“Everyday I write the book.
Don’t tell me you don’t know the difference
Between a lover and a fighter.
With my pen and my electric typewriter
Even in a perfect world where everyone was equal
I’d still own the film rights and be working on the sequel.”
–Elvis Costello, “Every Day I Write The Book”
Welcome to Butterfly Language, a look at the world inside and outside my head,
This will be a relatively short one. Recently listened to an Alan Watts lecture in which he says the ancient Hindu idea of “time” was not one long line of linear history but rather cyclical events and personages.
And this reminded me of the “phantom time” theories of Anatoly Fomenko, in which it is hypothesized that recorded human history might have lost 1000 years due to the Catholic Church trying to remove the pagan and Roman influence once-and-for-all. Within that theory is the idea of “synchronizing” various historical figures and events with ones from other time periods—the “cyclic” idea from ancient Asian cultures once again.
If we look at the Wikipedia entry for Fomenko’s “New Chronology,” there is a ton of arguments making the case that his work is “pseudohistorical” (the irony being…the whole crux of his work is about accepted history itself being psuedohistorical.)
I have not delved into his theories enough to make any statement one way or another on its credibility. (And you can read a bunch of his work here, just in case you are curious and have some time on your hands—caution, not a quick read!) But I do feel that some basic ideas that have emerged from his work—and that of the whole new “Cultural Layer” category of alternative thought—are at least springboards for other inquiries and intellectual pursuits.
Of course, like any other academic subject or radical fringe fever-dream thought up by a genius-level misanthropic dope smoker, such theories can be “weaponized” by an assortment of racists and fascists and etc.. I surprisingly haven’t seen much, if any, Holocaust denial in Cultural Layer circles. Actually, the big place where you see some Nazi sympathizers is, unfortunately, the Flat Earth crowd. Not smearing all Flat-Earthers with that brush, but if you go delving into YouTube about those theories, don’t be surprised if you start running into that stuff.
Going back to the idea of cyclical time—and I’ve written a post about the phenomenon, in a personal aspect, here—I really do tend to believe in that. We see the same—or, startlingly similar—patterns play out over and over again.
Philip K. Dick believed that we were all really living in Ancient Roman times. Fomenko seems to be, at least in a sense, on the same page as Dick. The idea that Roman pagan and ideological influence persisted, largely uninterrupted, up to the present day.
Consider Trump/Nixon, Manson Family/NXIVM, Moon Landing/Space Force, and a whole bunch of parallels between 1969/2019. Cyclical time? What haven’t we learned yet that this all keeps happening? Or are we really supposed to “learn” anything?
Well, I had a very fascinating conversation yesterday with a nice gentleman who is a reader of the site, and I have to say: it really gave me a moment of clarity about a lot of things. It’s funny how that happens in life, isn’t it? These sudden revelations. You never know where they will come from or when.
I’ll leave you with a clip from Fight Club—a still-relevant film, I think, that came out 20 years ago. Can you believe it’s really been 20 years? Phantom time, man. The Cultural Layer.