History

The Story Of History

Real useful, but possibly not real.

Someone sent me a video recently called, “Unlocking Spiritual Illumination: The Hidden Wisdom Of The Rosicrucians | Dr. Robert Gilbert”

In the video Dr. Gilbert speaks about spiritual traditions, the evolution of human consciousness, ancient forms of clairvoyance, breaking our old patterns and regaining our old skills at a higher level, and how we now have the opportunity to create a new golden age.

In another video called “The Mistake Star Wars Keeps Making (Timeline Jumps in Legends & Canon)” the video maker, CorysDataPad, outlines some of the inconsistencies in the ever-evolving Star Wars story and how it creates gaping holes in the historical canon of the Star Wars universe. 

There are many videos like Dr Gilbert’s. 
There are many videos like CoreysDataPad’s.

Dr Gilbert seems like a lovely man. He is very earnest, has obviously spent years studying different spiritual traditions, and has some great insights.

If you didn’t know anything about anything, and you listened to these two videos they would sound quite similar. The big difference between Dr Gilbert and CoreysDataPad is that CoreysDataPad doesn’t think Star Wars is real whereas, from what Dr Gilbert says, it looks like he believes history is real. 

Hang on a minute, history isn’t real?

Conditional Illusion

It is common in many spiritual traditions to state that the world, or existence, is an illusion. It is called Samsara in Buddhism, Maya in Hinduism, Mithya in Jainism, and is known by other names in other traditions. The latest version of this idea is that we are living in a simulation.  

I talk about it in my book, Maya Noise, the subtitle of which is, “Sounds from the illusion,” and my book, The Gentle Snap, is all about practical demonstrations of how to see through the illusion.

So doesn’t it follow then that if we are living in an illusion that history is part of that illusion too?

That is definitely my experience and in the last couple of years, history has been giving the game away too. 

Malleable History 

One example of this is the Mandella effect which if you haven’t heard of it is a phenomenon where a large number of people remember an event, detail, or fact differently from how it, “actually,” occurred. It is named after Nelson Mandela, who a lot of people remember dying in prison in the 1980s, the “correct,” timeline is that he was released alive and well in 1990.

People often recall the Monopoly Man (Rich Uncle Pennybags) wearing a monocle, though apparently he never has.

In Star Wars, many people remember Darth Vader saying, “Luke, I am your father,” when apparently the actual line is, “No, I am your father.” (Don’t mention this to CoreysDataPad or we will be here all day.)

Some recall the lyrics of Mr. Rogers’ theme song starting with, “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood,” while the “correct,” lyrics are “It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood.”

Many people remember the song “We Are the Champions,” by Queen, ending with the line “of the world,” but the studio version of the song does not, “actually,” end that way.

Another example of the malleability of history is the recent archaeological discoveries, such as Göbekli Tepe in Turkey, and the Barabar Caves in India, both of which are significantly challenging the history books. 

Göbekli Tepe, dated to around 9600 BCE, challenges the conventional timeline of human civilization by predating known agriculture and settlement. Its advanced stone structures suggest early complex societies. 

The Barabar Caves, with their precise rock-cut architecture from the Maurya Empire (third century BCE), highlight sophisticated ancient engineering skills. 

These sites reveal that early human societies were far more advanced than previously believed, prompting historians to reassess the development of human culture and technology.

How To Know What Is Real

So if history isn’t real then what is? I have found I can divide what I know about the world right down the middle. On one side is everything I have personally experienced about the world. On the other is everything I have been told about the world. 

Growing up what I directly experienced about the world and what I was told about the world got mixed together. They were, and are, treated as if they are the same thing but they are not, they are very different.

Separating the two can be difficult at the beginning. The world encourages us to trivialise our own personal experience in favor of the huge body of commonly held beliefs. They are not presented as beliefs mind you, they are called facts which makes them sound much more believable. 

To help disengage from that seductive pull it is helpful to take a moment to check who is living in your body, who is having your experience, who looks out through your face? 
If you are like me you will find that it is all you. Only you. 
Only you live your life.
Your own personal experience is the only thing you know for sure. Everything that you have experienced about your world, you know for definite because you have experienced it.  
Everything you have been told about your world you don’t know for definite because you haven’t experienced it. 

It is not like you are rejecting everything you don’t experience directly. You are just putting a question mark over it. It is just information you have been told about. It is a story. 
A story of countries you have never visited. 
A story of celebrities you have never met. 
A story of events you have never witnessed. 
A story of history you have never experienced. 
It is not to disbelieve what you are told but also not to confuse it with your own direct experience.

History Is Important

The story of history is part of all the other stories in our lives. They are all significant in the same way that everything in our lives is significant. 

The story of our parents, for example. Why these two people? Of all the people in the world we could have been born to, we were born to these two people. 
Was it random? Possibly, but I don’t think so. 

The story of our nationality. Of all the places in the world we could have been born, we were born in this place. 
Random? Possibly, but I don’t think so. 
This ethnicity? This gender? These siblings?
Random? Possibly, but I don’t think so. 
Of all the times in history we could have been born into, we were born at this time. 
Random? Possibly, but I don’t think so.

When you look at history as a story, you can then ask yourself, of all the stories I could have told myself, why am I telling myself these stories?
History then becomes symbolic and when that happens the focus becomes what do the symbols mean to you in your life?

History and myth blend together and have equal significance because they are all stories. Rather than a solid sequence of events that have nothing to do with us, as we are told, history and myth become a great resource for discerning significance.  History and myth could have been any story but it is this one. Why?

Discernment

One of the very helpful things Dr  Gilbert says in his video is that we are living in a time of discernment and I couldn’t agree more with him on this. 

When listening to someone I find it very helpful to keep referencing back to what their authority is based on. Is it based on their direct experience, or is it based on what they have been told or read? Something that was presented as fact but is actually a story? Is their authority based on their direct experience, or on a story? 

If, like Dr Gilbert, a percentage of their authority is based on a story that doesn’t diminish what they are saying. Instead, it breaks the hypnotic effect of stories presented as facts and puts what they are saying in the symbolic context of every other story we hear.

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Photo by Birmingham Museums Trust on Unsplash


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