A Meditation on the Worship of Gold

Biblical prophet Daniel stands in defiance before the golden statue of Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar while the Babylonians bow in worship (see Daniel, Chapter 3)

Since the beginning of recorded history, mankind has worshipped the metallic commodity known, colloquially, as “gold.” All other religions fade in comparison with the worship of gold. We create idols out of gold – most famously, the golden calf created by the Israelites who dissented with Moses following their exodus from Egypt, and who were severely chastised for their act of rebellion (see Exodus, Chapter 32). We construct elaborate mythologies based on gold – sometimes involving gold-mining extra-terrestrials, as seen in the creation myths of the Sumerians and Babylonians. We base entire economies and monetary standards on gold. We characterize our standards of excellence, metaphorically, as “gold standards” and we lavish our icons of extreme wealth with golden trappings.

Rebellious Israelites worhip the golden calf after the Exodus from Egypt

When Columbus landed in the New World, it is said (anecdotally), that the first priority that obsessed him was to scour the land for gold. The Spanish conquistadors in South America were predominantly motivated by the hunt for Inca gold. The mass migration of more than 300,00 fortune-seekers to California in the mid-nineteenth century was instigated by the gold rush.

Golden statuettes representing the ancient Sun-Bull cult

And yet, gold has no intrinsic value, per se, other than its bright, shiny color and its relative scarcity, and the fact that its value remains relatively stable over time. In the vein of an Einsteinian “thought experiment,” however, let us consider what might happen if the value of gold suddenly crashed.

The idea that the value of gold might, one day, suddenly collapse is not entirely fictional or fantastical. In relative proximity to the earth’s orbit, there are asteroids floating about in space containing more than enough gold and silver ore in them to permanently crash the value of precious metals on earth. Even as we speak, there are startup companies around the world that are making serious plans to explore deep space, beyond the orbit of the moon, and one of the primary ambitions and motivating factors of these space-faring enterprises, launched by Elon Musk, Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos and others, is to harness and mine these floating gold and silver mines.

Main nave of the Church of the Society of Jesus (La Iglesia de la Compañía de Jesús), a Jesuit church in Quito, Ecuador.

But have we seriously considered what such an enterprise, were it successful, would do to human society on earth? What would the collapse in the value of gold mean to centuries, even millenia, of religion, mythology and iconography, all constructed around the value of gold?

Author and scientific visionary Peter Diamandis, in his seminal book Abundance: The Future is Better than you Think, relates, in the first chapter, the fascinating history of another element – the metal aluminum.

He recounts the story of the initial discovery of the remarkable element, described as “a new metal, very light, shiny, almost as bright as silver” (Diamandis, Peter H., and Steven Kotler.  Abundance: the Future Is Better than You Think. Simon & Schuster, 2015., p.3). The metal was, apparently, extracted from clay, using a secret process, by an enterprising goldsmith, during the reign of the Roman emperor Tiberius (contemporary to the life of Jesus Christ).

However, the goldsmith was rewarded for his pains by being beheaded by the ruthless monarch. Diamandis notes:

This shiny new metal was aluminum, and that beheading marked its loss to the world for nearly two millennia. It next reappeared during the early 1800s but was still rare enough to be considered the most valuable metal in the world. Napoléon III himself threw a banquet for the King of Siam where the honored guests were given aluminum utensils, while the others had to make do with gold.

(Ibid., p.3)
The capstone of the Washington Monument, in Washington, D.C. is made of aluminum, once considered to be rarer and more precious than gold!

As recently as the early 19th century, therefore, aluminum was considered to be more precious, even, than gold! Diamandis continues:

While bauxite is 52 percent aluminum, separating out the pure metal ore was a complex and difficult task. … In 1854 Henri Sainte-Claire Deville created the first commercial process for extraction, driving down the price by 90 percent. Yet the metal was still costly and in short supply.

It was the creation of a new breakthrough technology known as electrolysis, discovered independently and almost simultaneously in 1886 by American chemist Charles Martin Hall and Frenchman Paul Héroult, that changed everything. The Hall-Héroult process, as it is now known, uses electricity to liberate aluminum from bauxite. Suddenly everyone on the planet had access to ridiculous amounts of cheap, light, pliable metal.

(Ibid., pp.3-4)

For Diamandis, there is a generic lesson to be learned from the story of aluminum:

History’s littered with tales of once-rare resources made plentiful by innovation. The reason is pretty straightforward: scarcity is often contextual. … Technology is a resource-liberating mechanism. It can make the once scarce into the now abundant.

(Ibid., p.4)

Aluminum products are now widely used as kitchen utensils, cooking foil, etc.

From the perspective of the thesis of this meditation, however, the story of aluminum represents a cautionary tale – the parable of a once-precious metal, regarded not so long ago as even more valuable than gold, but which is now “cheap, ubiquitous, and used with a throwaway mind-set” (Ibid., p.3) thanks to a series of technological innovations in the latter half of the nineteenth century!

Can we, nevertheless, even begin to fathom how disruptive it would be to human society if the value of gold suddenly crashed, as a result of technological developments, such as those described above? The difference between aluminum and gold is stark – while aluminum may once have been more valuable than gold, gold has had a deep iconic status in human culture for millennia – going back to the beginnings of recorded history, in fact – a status that aluminum simply never had. Thus, a collapse in the value of gold, or even silver, would not simply be hugely economically disruptive, it would be socially, culturally, and even religiously disruptive to a level that is currently beyond our ability to grasp! The truth is that, when all is said and done, let’s face it – the worship of gold is the real religious principle that underlies and drives human society, not so much the worship of any deity!

Monsters in the Shadows

I recently had the most bizarre and unnerving dream. I dreamt that I was deep-sea diving, and that I was surrounded by inky blackness in the shadowy depths of the ocean. It was completely silent and dark everywhere I turned. Then, I abruptly turned on a flashlight and swung the beam of light around me. The beam of light revealed that I was surrounded by monstrous creatures hidden in the shadowy depths of the ocean – some with gargantuan humanoid-looking features, others, resembling whales or great sharks – all completely silent, immobile, observing, and completely concealed by the inky depths of the ocean.

This was one of the most unnerving dreams I have ever had. I suffered from a panic/anxiety attack that morning, after I woke up. At first, I was unable to determine the cause of the attack, but I was eventually able to pinpoint this nightmare as the underlying cause.

I was at a loss, initially, about how to interpret this dream. Given the almost impersonal, archetypal elements of this dream, I took it to be a “mythical dream” – a term used by Joseph Campbell in a lecture about Jungian dream analysis. But if this was, indeed, a “mythical dream,” then I had no idea what it must represent.

Then, as I was reflecting on the content of this unsettling dream, I recalled what I had recently heard and read about the pervasive cultural phenomenon known, colloquially, as “social media.” It occurred to me that social media was either being used by or was a front for massive corporate and government surveillance operations – that, according to some commentators, social media corporate giants like Facebook, Twitter, etc., are, in fact, fronts for government agencies like the CIA, NSA and others, and are designed to con the public into revealing intimate personal details about themselves for data collection and surveillance purposes – ostensibly to facilitate targeted advertising features on social media platforms but, possibly, associated with more nefarious hidden agendas.

While I don’t deny that intelligence agencies like the CIA, NSA, MI-6, etc., play an important role in policing the world we live in, so as to ensure a safe environment for all, especially for the most vulnerable among us, it is also true that these intelligence agencies have been linked, through rogue operatives, if not systemically, with some extremely ugly, nefarious activities including drug-trafficking, gun-running, sexual blackmail, child abduction and abuse, human-trafficking, mind control, etc. In fact, in recent news, with the arrest of the supposed “pedophile billionaire” Jeffrey Epstein, evidence has emerged of a likely connection with intelligence agencies like MI-6 and Mossad – that, in fact, Epstein was a Mossad operative, possibly working in conjunction with MI-6, on a sophisticated operation to entrap and blackmail politicians, dignitaries and other power brokers over intimate and revealing evidence of illicit and criminal activity, often highly depraved in nature, which was, apparently, secretly recorded at one of Epstein’s numerous facilities.

If these are the kinds of people behind, or lurking in the shadows of, such social media platforms or, should I say, “operations,” as Facebook, Twitter, etc., then we have reason to be deeply concerned and suspicious. I am not one to advocate panic or paranoia, but it behooves us to be aware of the potential risks involved with engaging in social media – the waters may be far from safe – indeed, who knows who or what may be lurking in its shadowy depths, silently observing us?

The Key of David: Michael Tyrell and the Music of Healing

In 2015, Grammy award winning musician Michael S. Tyrell published The Sound of Healing: Unveiling the Phenomena of Wholetones to accompany his Wholetones music project. The original project contains more than 150 minutes of music – 7 music tracks recorded over 7 music frequencies – the six Solfeggio frequencies and, additionally, 444 Hz. – the supposed “key of David.”

In his book, Tyrell describes an encounter with Dr. Leonard G. Horowitz while he was undergoing alternative medical treatment for a health problem. Tyrell mentions:

After meeting Leonard, I felt that my theories of sound and light and spontaneous healing with music might be far more than just theories. (Tyrrell, Michael S., The Sound of Healing: Unveiling the Phenomena of Wholetones, Barton Publishing, 2015, p.41)

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Dr. Horowitz, as mentioned in my prior blog post, is the author of The Book of 528, in which he makes the case for the Solfeggio frequencies – especially the 528 Hz. frequency – as having remarkable – even supernatural – healing properties, as they are profoundly organically resonant and connected with the molecular structure of water.

In his book, The Sound of Healing, Tyrell provides a musician’s perspective on the significance of the Solfeggio frequencies, drawing upon his considerable knowledge of music history and practice.

Tyrell describes the history of Solfege, or “sight singing”, which, he notes, he was introduced to while he was training to become a Madrigal singer. He notes that:

The early Christians and disciples of Jesus continued to sing the psalms of the Old Testament. These psalms by King David became the inspiration of the Gregorian chants or Solfege (sight singing). (Ibid., p.61)

Tyrell then describes how, in AD 590, Pope Gregory officially made several modifications to the original music of the Roman Catholic church:

Historians reported that the Pope reduced the multiple original intervals of the scale to just 7, then modified the ancient music accordingly. He compiled the altered chants in two books, Antiphonarium and Gradual Romanum…. (Ibid., p.63)

The upshot of these changes was that:

By the year 1050 AD, the Church admitted to losing 152 of the original Solfeggios sung by the early Church prior to Pope Gregory. Along with those Solfeggios, 6 intervals or frequencies inspired by ancient Hebraic songs were also missing, seemingly forever. (Ibid., p.64)

Tyrell then suggests that these missing frequencies were, in fact, identified by Dr. Joseph Puleo and Dr. Leonard Horowitz, as recounted in their book, Healing Codes for the Biological Apocalypse. These are the very frequencies that, in addition to the 444 Hz. “Key of David”, form the basis of Tyrell’s Wholetones healing frequency music project, which he clearly acknowledges and documents in his book.

Tyrell describes taking a trip to Israel with a friend, and stopping at a coffee shop on Ben Yehuda street in Tel Aviv. Upon a chance encounter with a piano player, coincidentally named David, Tyrell was gifted with “manuscript copies of several of David’s psalms” (Ibid., p.80) which contained his musical transcriptions of the ancient musical texts. Upon examining the transcriptions, Tyrell “noticed that [David, the piano player] had adapted these manuscripts to play in modern keys, based on the A440 tuning. At the time, it seemed logical.” (Ibid., p.81)

After returning home, Tyrell tried playing these adaptations of the Biblical psalms on his guitar. However, he notes, “[t]hough they were beautiful, I felt that something was missing.” (Ibid., p. 81) Tyrell also mentions that for him, music has a supernatural quality to it: “I had always known that music held a key to far more than entertainment.” (Ibid., p.81)

Tyrell also mentions his association with a music band named “The Key of David” and describes his reflections on the number 222, especially with regard to Biblical numeric interpretation. “It reminded me of the scripture, Isaiah 22:22, which is where the band The Key of David got their name,” (Ibid., p.82), he explains. The verse in question reads, “I will place on his shoulder the key to the house of David.…” (Isaiah, 22:22)

Tyrell mentions that King David famously played the lyre or kinnor – a musical instrument that never left his side and was a critical part of the practice of worship of the nation of Israel. Tyrell notes that David constructed his lyre out of cedar wood from Lebanon, which was sturdier than other wood, resistant to insects and natural decay, while being beautifully fragrant.

As Tyrell reflected on these varying themes, he was struck by an epiphany – a sudden realization about what it all meant:

I always imagined David tuned his kinnor [i.e. lyre] with some derivative of the note “A,” which in Western tuning today would be 440 Hz…. I also knew that David tuned higher than many of his contemporaries. Suddenly, I remembered page 222 in my Bible, as well as Isaiah 22:22. I asked myself, “What if I double them to 444? Could the tuning be 444?”

Then the bomb dropped! Could it be more than a note … maybe a key, THE key of David? There was only one way to find out!

I grabbed my guitar and tuned it to 444 (“A”) and there it was: 4 of the 6 solfeggio tones were right under my fingers! (Ibid., p.94)

Tyrell goes on to say that this realization was like solving a musical puzzle as all the pieces began to fall into place:

Suddenly, it all made sense. Because David was not satisfied with the kinnors that were available to him, he built his own. He chose cedar from Lebanon because it was a stronger, warmer sounding wood…. Its strength holds up under the higher tensile strength of the 10 strings tuned to 444 Hz. (Ibid., p.95)

All the questions in Tyrell’s mind began to be answered by this understanding. “I began to understand why the ‘Sound of Heaven’ was so elusive and impossible for musicians to capture,” he continues. “Not only have we been playing music in the wrong key, but also we often do it with impure motives.” (Ibid., p.95) Tyrell continues with a powerful affirmation of the spiritual and supernatural dimension of correctly tuned music:

When someone plays music with true spiritual motives and properly directs it to God in worship of HIM alone, God responds and heaven invades earth. (Ibid., p.96)

Tyrell proceeds to discuss the history of music tuning in the western world. He mentions that early instrumental music tuning did not follow any consistent guidelines – there were no reliable standards in place. While King David apparently tuned his lyre to A=444Hz, his contemporaries did not necessarily abide by that system of tuning. However, Tyrell points out, “[t]uning would eventually become stringent due to polyphony and larger symphonic works.” (Ibid., p.97)

Tyrell observes that from the 17th through the 19th centuries, music tuned to A=432Hz was widespread – a practice that is common even today. “By 1850,” Tyrell notes, “instruments were redesigned to play at pitches from 420 Hz (A) to 460 Hz (A). Some played even higher in the cultured theaters of Venice. A full swing tuning war thus began in Europe!” (Ibid., p.98)

Citing the Schiller Institute at length, Tyrell observes that the current practice of A=440Hz music turning was never widespread or taken seriously until the 1930’s, when it was adopted by Nazi Germany and promoted by Hitler’s propaganda minister, the infamous Joseph Goebbels:

The first effort to institutionalize A=440, in fact, was a conference organized by Joseph Goebbels in 1939, who had standardized A=440 as the official German pitch.… The congress did in fact occur in London, a very short time before the war, in May-June 1939. No French composer was invited. The decision to raise the pitch was thus taken without consulting French musicians, and against their will. The Anglo-Nazi agreement, given the outbreak of war, did not last, so that still A=440 did not stick as a standard pitch.

A second congress in London of the International Standardizing Organization met in October 1953, to again attempt to impose A=440 internationally. This conference passed such a resolution; again no Continental musicians who opposed the rise in pitch were invited, and the resolution was widely ignored….

As recently as 1971, the European Community passed a recommendation calling for the still non-existent international pitch standard. The action was reported in “The Pitch Game,” Time magazine, Aug. 9, 1971. The article states that A=440, “this supposedly international standard, is widely ignored.” Lower tuning is common, including in Moscow, Time reported.… (Ibid., pp.99-101)

Tyrell then makes an emphatic, unequivocal statement on his opinion regarding A=440Hz frequency music tuning, which is currently widely accepted as “standard western tuning” and is used by most mainstream media organizations in their practices of sound calibration:

The 440 Hz frequency is a dissonant, unrested, and chaotic tuning that creates agitation in the human body. (Ibid., p. 101)

Tyrell quotes the abstract of an article by Dr. Leonard G. Horowitz that summarizes his position with regard to the insidious and damaging nature of the A=440Hz music tuning standard:

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“This article details events in musical history that are central to understanding and treating modern psychopathology, social aggression, political corruption, genetic dysfunction, and cross-cultural degeneration of traditional values risking life on earth.

This history concerns A=440 Hz “standard tuning,” and the Rockefeller Foundation’s military commercialization of music.

The monopolization of the music industry features this imposed frequency that is “herding” populations into greater aggression, psychosocial agitation, and emotional distress presdisposing people to physical illness and financial impositions profiting the agents, agencies, and companies engaged in the monopoly.

Alternatively, the most natural, instinctively attractive, A=444 Hz (C5=528 Hz) frequency … has been suppressed … [and] musically censored.

Thus, a musical revolution is needed to advance world health and peace, and has already begun with musicians retuning their instruments to perform optimally, impact audiences beneficially, and restore integrity to the performing arts and sciences.

Music makers are thus urged to communicate and debate these facts, condemn the militarization of music that has been secretly administered, and retune instruments and voices to frequencies most sustaining and healing.” (Ibid., pp.102-3)

Tyrell proceeds to point out that Joseph Goebbels was a deeply depraved and monstrous member of Hitler’s Nazi party, whose “goal was to ‘Nazify’ the art and culture of Germany.” (Ibid., p.105) Tyrell states that “Goebbels used radio and propaganda films to win over supporters … [and] was also responsible for creating a cult of personality for Hitler.” (Ibid., p.105) Tyrell then poses the naturally occurring question:

Is it a coincidence that a Nazi, anti-Semitic, outright hater of the Jews [sic.] would push for a tuning (A=440 Hz) that facilitates social unrest, agitation, and friction? (Ibid., p.106)

Again, to clarify his point, Tyrell poses the question:

Why would Joseph Goebbels, propaganda minister and right hand man to Adolph Hitler, master of mind-control, manipulation, and unspeakable evil be so concerned with the international standardizing of musical pitch? (Ibid., p.106)

Tyrell then provides the response to his own question:

My answer is control, manipulation, and power. (Ibid., p.106)

Tyrell makes the case, in his book, for the power of music properly tuned to the correct Solfeggio frequencies to provide healing and even mystical and supernatural experiences. His claims and affirmations in this regard are informed both by personal experience with the power of frequency tuning and music healing as well as the ideas and literature of Dr. Leonard Horowitz and others who have addressed this subject in their publications.

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Clearly, the thought that the monolithic modern media machine operates on music frequencies that were standardized, initially, under the auspices of a Nazi war criminal – in fact, one of the most depraved and heinous characters ever to walk on the face of the earth – is deeply disturbing, to say the least. Is it a far cry to suggest that a slight modification to the pitch of live and recorded music, especially when exponentially amplified and transmitted by modern music and communications technology, could have a dramatic effect on our quality of life?

“‘Does tuning really make a difference?’” Tyrell inquires in his book. He replies, “My answer would be, ‘Only if you are interested in spontaneous healing, changing the world, and touching the heart of God.’” (Ibid., p.97)

Tyrell notes that:

Intonation is simply the accuracy of pitch…. When the cells of the body are in tune with each other, the body functions flawlessly and resonates with life. When the body is in a state of disease, it is out of tune with itself and in need of cellular intonation. (Ibid., p.107)

He summarizes his position with the statement:

“Life is too short to live out of tune.” (Ibid., p.107)

While it is hard to provide definitive, concrete evidence to support claims of miraculous healing brought about by frequency music, it is undeniable, in my mind, at least, that certain sound frequencies, and music tuned to those frequencies, have a palpable effect on one’s mind and body. I can attest to having listened to music tracks that almost magically remove stress from one’s system, even as other music tracks I have been exposed to have the power to inexplicably generate a sense of unease, perturbation and even deep-seated dread.

That music generates a powerful emotional response is undeniable in my mind. That this emotional power of music can extend, under the right circumstances, to produce miraculous healing is a remarkable idea and certainly worth considering, debating and putting into practice.

Thinking Outside the Box

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It’s a common enough expression, but what, exactly does it mean to “think outside the box?”

I suppose, the first thing to do is to define what exactly is “the box.” It might help to play a little game of word association to understand the connotations associated with the word “box”. One may think of constraints and limitations of some sort, especially in one’s thinking. To be “boxed in” is to be entrapped and contained. One may imagine a prison cell or a tiny cubicle. One may think of the pressures of conformity with the norms and conventions of society. One may think of a “jack in the box” a child’s toy with a glove puppet on a tightly wound spring compressed inside a tiny space, ready to pop up out of its confines with the flip of switch. One may think of the “idiot box” television the most widely deployed medium of mass communication in our society frequently regarded as a popular means for mega-corporations to perpetuate a never-ending doctrine of dumbed-down banality, conventionality, and mindless conformity and consumerism.

Each of these concepts associated with the word “box” are relevant and meaningful in their own way. Ultimately, we cannot define the word exactly, in this context it is defined by its connotations and associated iconography.

Once we have an idea of what we mean by “box”, the notion of something being “out-of-the-box” becomes pretty self evident.

Evidently, to think outside the box is to challenge convention and question the status quo. An out-of-the-box idea may be said to be one that redefines established paradigms of reality or one that takes one’s thinking to a new level a refreshing, life-changing, liberating, ground-breaking, paradigm-shifting mode of thinking. It may be said to be an idea that brings about enlightenment and new understanding instead of a sense of fear or entrapment. It may be described as a revelation or an epiphany, a fresh perspective or a higher vibration — in other words, an eye-opening experience. Some examples that readily come to mind include Einstein’s Theories of Relativity, Newton’s Laws of Motion and Kepler’s heliocentric model of the solar system – all of which were revolutionary, out-of-the-box ideas in their times which dramatically reshaped and challenged established paradigms of reality.

The point of this new blog is to highlight some interesting ideas I have come across that challenge convention and have had a dramatic impact on my life. These ideas are not merely new physical or mathematical theorems they are ideas from a variety of disciplines and spheres of thinking. Some of them are esoteric ideas that defy categorization into any modern university curriculum. Others are ancient modes of thinking that have been forgotten and have quite recently been rediscovered. They are ideas about the nature of reality, about human performance, about developing enhanced skills and abilities and about how the world really operates. The common thread running through each of these ideas is that they are intriguing, fascinating, profoundly unconventional and most certainly out-of-the-box. They have the potential dramatically to transform one’s life or, at least, to open one’s mind to powerful new modes of thinking and understanding if one is open-minded enough to take them into serious consideration instead of dismissing them out of hand.

It must be stated, however, that none of the ideas that I intend to showcase in my blog involve any ethical compromise or  violation of what I consider to be fundamental principles of decency and morality. They may, certainly, impel one seriously to question one’s framing of reality and expose the limitations of one’s modes of thinking. But I would never intentionally seek to promote any idea that I would consider to be a violation of some fundamental ethical principles that I personally hold sacred such principles as honoring the sanctity of life, upholding truth and justice, having compassion for others, having common decency and humanity and, most especially, abiding by the Golden Rule of doing to others as one would have done to oneself.

I write this blog out of a sense of positivity, optimism and hope – a belief that by entertaining such ground-breaking ideas, our lives may profoundly be changed for the better and that all people may thrive and flourish in ways that may never previously have been imagined or, indeed, imaginable.

Here’s looking forward to an incredible voyage of discovery into a new world of incredible out-of-the-box ideas!