Themes And Variations
The Tarzan Novels Of Edgar Rice Burroughs
Lady Barbara Drops In
As always ERB is the consummate multi-culturalist both ethnic and social. Barbara is the daughter of the English Lord Whimsey, Smith is a college professor, Capietro is an Italian Communist renegade, Stabutch is a Russian Communist, the Midianites represent an ancient religious culture derived from the Jewish, Tarzan is Tarzan of Africa and Lord Passmore of England and then we have a cast of animal characters including a tribe of baboons who interact with Tarzan on the cultural level. All are represented as being culturally distinct. ERB is more of a right multi-culturalist than a left.
If a culture is in fact a culture it must be distinct or it couldn’t qualify as a culture. To be of the French culture there must be characteristics that can be identified as specifically French. Else, why call yourself French? The Left multi-culturalists need to define their terms a little better. They come across as rather shabby intellectually.
Then, of the hundreds, probably thousands of cultures, are they all to be considered equal? For instance is it considered desirable to be of the Prison culture? Pedophile culture? No, of course not; not all cultures are equally beneficial. Each culture must be analyzed on its own merits and faults, completely analyzed by objective analysts. No particular culture need be nor can be taken at its own evaluation. Obviously many cultures are to be avoided completely. Others should be isolated or quarantined. Which is which can only be determined by an analysis of its positive contributions. The results of analysis can be unkind; the truth frequently hurts. As the French say: C’est la vie.
In his analysis of group cultures ERB does draw conclusions. There’s no doubt he thinks that the Communist culture is a negative to be avoided. Thus Zveri in Invincible was ignominiously defeated by Tarzan as Stabutch will be in Triumphant.
In almost every case ERB is very hard on religious cultures as he will be in this novel. Is he unjust or is the truth about religion just too hard for devotees to bear? Everyone will have their own opinion while I have made my position abundantly clear: the religious consciousness is outdated, having been surpassed by the vastly superior Scientific Consciousness. I won’t be changing my mind soon.
Lady Barbara Collis is about to parachute into a culture two thousand years in the past. ERB commits a major gaffe here in the opening pages of his novel. Lady Barbara is attempting a non-stop flight of 7500 miles in a 1930 plane, clearly impossible. Rather than taking a direct route up the Nile she is lost several hundreds of miles to the East over Ethiopia and, get this, already running on empty.
I don’t know who calculated her fuel needs but I should imagine he would be looking for a new occupation. But, that doesn’t interfere with my enjoyment of the story any more than the donut atmosphere of Poloda in Beyond The Farthest Star. Who knows what goes on beyond the farthest star. They probably even suspend the laws of gravity.
There Lady Barbara is, way up there without the means of propulsion. she does the manly thing: she jumps out. This is real Twilight Zone stuff; little does she know she will leave the twentieth century and land in 80 AD or so. The Land Of Midian has been frozen in time for the last two millennia.
The Midians assembled within the walls of their crater hear the drone of the airplane, which sound they are unable to identify and then to their amazed eyes a little white cloud appears through the mist with a human form dangling below it. To their religiously distorted senses it must be the Angel of the Lord.
Thus we have a nice confrontation between two different cultures. The modern scientific of Lady Barbara and the ancient religious culture of the Midians. The Midians could stand as a metaphor of the religions of Burroughs’ day which, not unlike the Midians, were roooted in a culture two thousand years old and of a different and inferior consciousness. Not only had the Scopes trial recently ended but the sensatinal affair of Aimee Semple Mcpherson was still fairly warm, plus ERB had recently read Sinclair Lewis’ Elmer Gantry. That novel did not sit well with ERB nor does it sit well with me. Burt Lancaster’s movie Elmer Gantry, by the way, is totally dissimilar to the Gantry of the book.
According to ERBzine Burroughs took offence at Elmer Gantry, deploring Lewis’ habit of ridiculing
and demeaning people rather than presenting the story as entertainment. Lewis does ridicule and belittle every character in his book in a detestable holier than thou manner which is very annoying. Burroughs turns the story around and disparages practices which I suppose makes it entertainment. For instance both the fictional Gantry and the real life Mcpherson are what are known in military slang as ‘Sky Pilots.’ Thus there is a certain amount of humor in Lady Barbara as an angel of the lord sky piloting into the religious Land of Midian.
When the Midianites drown a young woman while dragooning her, Lady Barbara, after the manner of Mcpherson, brings her back to life by ‘a laying on of hands’, that is artificial respiration. Clever of ERB. It will be remembered tha Mcpherson had a roomful of crutches and wheelchairs from people she had supposedly cured by a laying on of hands. I have no idea how many readers might have gotten the joke when the novel was released but there the joke is if you care to look for it.
So we have the Scopes Trial, Aimee Semple Mcpherson and Sinclair Lewis’ Elmer Gantry all rolled up in a series of jokes ‘highly fictionized.’ There is probably more to be found if one could steep
oneself in the ephemeral culture of the time.
As mentioned, Lady Barbara parachutes through two thousand years of time to find herself among a Pauline Christian sect that hadn’t changed one iota since c. 80 A.D. The emphais on Pauline Christianity is important. At about this time ERB was becoming involved with the Vedantist mission in Hollywood so discussions of early Christianity may possibly have made an impression on him. Paul was, of course, a Jew who adapted the Jewish Christian sect for dissemination among the Gentiles. The Catholic Church was founded on Sts. Peter and Paul while the medieval Knights Templar based their Christianity on the Gospel of John thus being Johannites. There was a cultural divide between the Church and the Templars which did necessitate action no less than between the Paulites and the Arians. ERB’s emphasis is intended to indicate the Jewish origins of the Midianites.
It will be remembered that Angustus was a Jewish Christian who arrived in company with a Nordic slave girl. So for two thousand years the Midianites have been inbreeding. ERB is considering the results of inbreeding, as a year later he will write Pirate Blood that deals with the famously inbred Jukes family. Pirate Blood is perhaps his most despairing story as his mind tips toward Lamarckian evolution in an apparent attempt to explain to himself why he can’t resolve his psychological problems.
Thus the genetic and Lamarckian traits of Angustus and the slave girl have been passed down through approximately seventy generations. Angustus’ genes have predominated while those of the slave girl appear occasionally in sports.
Angustus was characterized by a huge nose that was an actual deformity, a chinless face and epilepsy. Thus if one imagines this, Lady Barbara is confronted by a group of people with huge noses covering most of their faces with no chins, the throat sweeping back from just under the lips and writhing on the ground in epileptic fits.
There can be no mistaking that ERB is caricaturing the Jews. Angustus was a Jew and he was a Pauline Christian. As a Christian, ERB disguises his Jewish nationality. The leader of hte Midianites, Abraham the son of Abraham certainly puts the Midianites into a Jewish context, as does the fact that they consider themselves the ‘chosen people.’ Ludicrous enough from their physical description.
ERB’s caricature is one that was prevalent when he was a young man, while one that couldn’t be missed by the gentlemen of the ADL/AJC and MGM. They would neither forgive nor forget. In fact Tarzan would be potrayed in The New Adventures Of Tarzan as chinless and with a huge nose. While Herman Brix/Bruce Bennet had neither a bulbous nose nor was chinless the effect was achieved through photographic lighting and shadowing. Either that or the film has deteriorated through time to achieve that effect. (DVD, The New Adventures Of Tarzan, Alpha Home Entertainment, www.oldies.com )
If you think there isn’t a war going on here, look more closely.
Even though of Jewish descent, the Midianites are Christians, but of the most primitive stripe; they make sects like the Nazarenes look liberal. Their minds are uncompromisingly dark. The girl who was dragooned was sentenced to death for smiling. Joy was considered of the devil in Midian. Here ERB characterized a number of Christian sects correctly.
Among the people who greeted Lady Barbara was a genetic sport who harked back physically and mentally to the original slave girl. She is Jezebel. She and Lady Barbara are immediately attracted to each other by their beauty. The attractive and intelligent Midianites were invariably fair haired and blue eyed while the unattractive ones were dark haired, brown eyed and stupid. Little doubt that the AJC/ADL would consider the book ‘racist.’
Jezebel is an interesting character in that she is a little more than light headed. She is governed entirely by surface appearances. As in Lion Man where the hybrids were expelled from Henry’s village, so the more attractive males were exiled to the other side of the crater. Obviously we have an example of eugenics here. They were more warlike than the Midianites occasionally raiding them. Jezebel remarks that they are so good looking she hopes they will capture her. When the Midianites honor ‘the angel’ with her own cave and offering of food, Jezebel is depicted laying back eating grapes like a spoiled young thing with a box of bon-bons. ERB later describes her as a Golden Girl which relates her to Balza of Lion Man and hence to Florence.
Whatever ERB tells himself about Florence in his conscious mind his depiction of her in his unconscious life seems to be quite different.
At first Lady Barbara is treated quite well but familiarity breeds contempt. Abraham Ben Abraham begins to suspect her divinity. Even the miracle of the laying on of hands that restored the girl to life being no less a miracle than the raising of Lazarus cannot dissuade Abe Ben Abe from testing Lady Barbara. Thus she too is dragooned but instead of being dunked three times she is thrown into the lake wrapped in a net with the net weighted. Here is proof positive that ERB read Dumas’ The Count Of Monte Cristo. The scene replicated Dantes being thrown into the sea from the Chateau d’If.
Lady Barbara has her handy jackknife so that she is able to cut her way free. Thus we leave her here crawling gaspingly ashore while we check in on Lafayette Smith and Danny ‘Gunner’ Patrick.
February 13, 2011
A Contribution To The Erbzine
ERB Library Project
Review by R.E. Prindle
The sources of ERB’s work are always so rich that one is at a loss as to where to begin. This is certainly the case with Camille Flammarion. While little known today he had great influence in ERB’s early years. He incarnated in 1842 and disincarnated in 1925. That may be a fancy way to say born and died but appropiate to Flammarion’s way of thinking. He had very nearly established a superior reputation in his early twenties when his writings first began to appear. Indeed, the narrator of Urania seems to have been Flammarion himself as he is named Camille while the narrator is already very famous in his mid- twenties. Flammarion was a fabulous combination of the scientist and neo-Romantic. A perfect balance to my mind and a balance that I believe Burroughs sought to emulate.
ERB acknowledged that he based his vision of Mars on that of Flammarion. The question of when he read his available translated works probably can’t be answered but one would have to believe that Flammarion was fresh on his mind when he began writing in 1911. He had also been pondering Mars for some time as the trilogy of Under The Moons Of Mars is especially well thought out. Apart from his desperate situation one searches for the nudge that got him started.
The nudge may possible be found in a Chicago Tribune article of August 9, 1908 republished here on ERBzine by Bill Hillman. The article is entitled Are All The Planets Inhabited? The unnamed writer is essentially reviewing the thought of Camille Flammarion which he or she acknowledges. Flammarion wrote a number of sci-fi volumes about Mars many of which were apparently translated but which are unavailable now. There are a great many titles available from Print On Demand publishers in French but few in English. I have only three titles although they seem to contain the information in the Tribune article. It’s not impossible that ERB read only the books I have but it seems from the description I have of it he might also have read an 1864 title, supposedly translated, called Real And Imaginary Worlds.
Over all Flammarion wrote over fifty titles including what the English called Scientific Romances or proto-Sci-fi as well as popular astronomy titles and volumes based on psychic research. While he was not a member of the Society For Psychic Research he was aware of it and was in frequent contact with Arthur Conan Doyle who was a member. Doyle for a period of time visited him at his private observatory at his home at Juvisy near Paris. Flammarion considered psychic research a science. Spiritualism pervades the romances I have of him so once again it is unquestionable that ERB was conversant in spiritualism although he apparently rejected it.
Apart from Astronomy For Amateurs the volumes I have are titled Lumen and Urania: A Romance. I’ve already mentioned Lumen in my Edgar Rice Burroughs, Camille Flammarion and Theodore Flournoy essay here on ERBzine so I’ll concentrate on a review of Urania. She, Urania, as one of the nine muses of Greek Mythology, was the muse of astronomy and the head of the Muses. I have a POD facsimile reprint. Based on that I would have to say the original was a beautiful volume. The book was published in France in 1889, translated into English and published in 1891. ERB would have had plenty of time to have read it. The translation is by Augusta Rice Stetson. Between the original and the translation it is a stunningly well written book in the Romantic tradition. It reads as well as Charles Nodier’s Trilby, De La Motte Fouque or E.T.A. Hoffman, all great writers from the first Romantic period.
Urania seems to have been a major influence, perhaps a catalyst on the terrific neo-Romantic novels of George Du Maurier which I have also reviewed on ERBzine. Du Maurier was, of course, an ERB influence also. The tone of Urania is also similar to William Morris’ novels who, Lin Carter believes, as do I, was an influence on Burroughs. So a very strong romantic psychical infuence is operating in Burroughs’ imagination.
In addition to the wonderful translation of Urania by Miss Stetson the work was illustrated by no less than three artists with beautifully distinct styles. I think it’s worth picking up a copy just for the illustrations, or download the book at the link above. Really, reading the book was an ethereal experience. The first chapter is even entitled: A Dream Of Youth.
The book is divided into three parts. The first is an imaginary voyage through the universe, the second the love story that sets up the third part which is a wonderful discussion of Mars and its view of Earth. ERB toys with the this while it is very clear where he got his ideas.
All Across The Universe
Flammarion tells a charming story of an astronomy student who became fascinated by his professor’s clock which has a figure of Urania on it. Urania is the muse of astronomy in Greek Mythology. Pygmalion like this figure comes to life and the beautiful Urania conducts Camille on a tour of the universe. Thus the Romantic or Faerie World melds into the scientific. Very satisfying pyschologically.
Urania is apparently capable of traveling a few thousand times the speed of light because she take Camille to the edge of this universe where they behold other universes across immense stretches of empty space. Flammarion is demonstrating the concept of infinity.
Bearing in mind that he is writing in 1889, the concepts he is demonstrating would have been unthought by his readers, certainly unthought by Edgar Rice Burroughs as so much of this was adapted in his own writing virtually unaltered. John Carter’s translation to Mars can be compared to Urania’s trip across the universe. Indeed, on the way out she reaches Mars then gives a wonderful description of how Earth would look from that planet. Flammarion’s version is remakably close to how the Earth really does look from space as we now know from actual pictures.
Flammarion is convinced that life exists on all planets divising a concept of infinite variation of life forms. This is reflected in ERB’s depiction of animal and plant life in his Valley Dor on Mars, or Barsoom in his lexicon.
Flammarion, who studied double stars at his observatory at Juvisy has some spectacular descriptions of stellar phenomena which, once again, are fairly accurately corroborated by the fabulous photography of the Hubble telescope.
Now, having illustrated the concept of infinity, on the way back Urania demonstrates the meaning of eternal. According to Camille’s ideas light emanating from a source is a continual snapshot of that moment of that source. Thus at the speed of light one can intercept the wave at specific times in a source’s history, in this case, Earth. At the proper distance then one can observe, say, the Battle of Thermopolae, Waterloo or whatever one might choose enacted eternally, thus once created these images always exist in that light wave and wherever the wave touches at whatever distance the scene could be perceived, hence each moment is time is eternal.
In fact, no accurate view of the universe is possible because the light arrives from billions of light years distant. The light we see is so old that the stars may no longer exist. The configuration of that place in space is now probably entirely different from what we see. Flammarion is writing pure science fiction. While he is seldom credited with being one of the originators of science fiction it would appear that rather than there being a, or one father of science fiction there are several and Flammarion is one. I think the Scientific Romances of Hinton also qualify as well as Abbott’s Flatland. These years leading up to the twentieth century are very, very rich in absolutely wonderful lore if you approach it in the right frame of mind.
I am no believer in parapsychology and yet if you approach it from the point of view of these late Victorians as possible science then the period begins to glow in irridescent colors, flouresces before your eyes. Flammarion’s merging of romanticism and science is just stunningly beautiful.
So, having shown his character back to Earth Flammarion in an expert and entrancing way introduces the character of the second section, George Spero. I’m sure that Du Maurier found the catalyst that began his writing in Urania and Spero. The feel, the similarities are remarkable. Du Maurier read French so he could easily have read Urania in 1889 so the time frame is right. His books even look like Urania.
…to live like idiots if we do not think,
live like fools if we do.
This chapter sets up the denouement on Mars. As such it it concerns the love affair and death of Spero and his love, Iclea. Flammarion sets the scene, time and place in such a charming way I feel constrained to quote it. Part Second, Chapter One:
An intense evening glow floated in the atmosphere like a wondrous golden radience. From the heights of Passy the view extended over the whole of the great city, which at that time, more than ever before, was not a city, but a world. The Universal Exhibition of 1867 had lavished all the attractions and delights of the century on imperial Paris. The flowers of civilization were blooming in their most brilliant tints, wasting themselves away by the very ardour of their perfume- fading, dying in the full fervor of youth. The crowned heads of Europe had just heard a deafening trumpet-blast there, which was the last of the monarchy; science, arts, industry had sown their newest creations broadcast, with an inexhaustible prodigality. It was a general delirium of men and things. Regiments were marching, with music at their heads; swifty-rolling vehicles crossed each other from all directions, thousands of people were moving about, in the dust of the avenues, quais and boulevards; but as the very dust, gilded by the rays of the setting sun, crowned the splendid city like an aureole. The tall buildings, towers, and steeples were ablaze with reflection from the fiery orb; tones from a distant orchestra, mingled with a confused murmur of other sounds- the brilliant fit ending of a dazzling summer day- poured into the soul an undefined feeling of contentment, happiness, and satisfaction. There was a kind of symbolical summing up about it of the evidences of the vitality of a great people in the youth of its life and fortune.
Exhilarating what? The sense of discovery, the feeling of perfection just around the corner, the expectation of fulfillment when science- astronomy and psychology leading Flammarion’s way- reveals the blessed secret. The progression to perfection which existed in Flammarion’s paeon still cast a shadow in my childhood. I was raised on it but now I look in vain for evidence of it.
With that sense of the pursuit of the absolute, the squaring of the circle, George and Iclea prepare to step into the brave new world of their dreams.
The couple’s meeting is one of the loveliest I’ve read. Iclea, in Norway was standing on a hillock when she saw her reflection in the sky greatly enlarged and in full detail. George standing a little away but out of sight was also projected into Iclea’s celestial image. At that time he chose to lift his hat to the sinking sun which appeared to Iclea that he was greeting her, so she saw his features and gestures but he didn’t see hers or her.
What was a mytery to Iclea George could have explained as a natural phenomenon called an anthelion. Then the next day as they were boarding a ship to leave Norway, Camille, noticed Iclea staring fixedly at George as she recognized him as the figure in the sky. Then moving away he out of sight of Iclea but she within sight of him he repeated his previous gesture as a salute to Norway. Iclea once again mistook his gesture. Thus when they did meet in Paris it was a dream come true for the girl.
The courtship is charmingly described, as with the anthelion Flammarion faultlessly blends science with the faerie, the romantic as a mind exalting anthem. Quite astonishing, really. One of the central problems that Camille dealt with in the clash between the magical and the scientific world views was the question of immortality. The over riding fear of the scientific view was the elimination of life after death. Man can’t accept that he is materialistic, living for the moment and completely ceasing to exist upon death, even though that is so, thus Flammarion seeks a plausible reason for immortality. That quest is the real reason for the ‘science’ of the Society For Psychic Research which is merely a search for the proof of life after death. Just beautifully written though.
Thus George and Iclea have to die tragically to prove life after death ‘scientifically.’ The couple return to Norway where George is going to attempt to discover the height of the aurora borealis by a balloon ascent.
Sparing the details they rise to the height of fifteen thousand feet when the valve controlling the hydrogen gas bursts and the balloon begins to descend. They chuck everything overboard to slow the descent to no avail. Approaching free fall Iclea gives George one last kiss and then sacrificing herself to love she leaps out of the basket at several hundred feet. George bobs up to three thousand feet then he too throws himself out a la Romeo and Juliette to join his beloved in the great beyond. Whew!
We next see George’s friend and narrator, Camille, at a hypnotic seance in the university town of Nancy. Nancy was one of the two great hypnosis research centers in France. Jean-Martin Charcot presided at the Salpetriere in Paris while Hippolyte Bernstein and Auguste Liebault held court at Nancy. The seance is within the realm of then science but oh so romantic. There, Camille gains concrete evidence that life does exist after death. I transcribe the passage, this is good:
I do not recall how, but it happened that my conversation with him turned on the planet Mars. After describing to me a country situated on the shores of a sea known to astronomers under the name of Kepler’s Ocean, and a solitary island lying in the bosom of this sea; after telling me about the picturesque landscapes and reddish vegetation which adorned the shores, the wave-washed cliffs, and the sandy beaches where the billows break and die away- the subject, who was very sensitive, suddenly grew pale, and raised his hand to his head; his eyes closed, his eyebrows contracted; he seemed desirous of grasping some fugitive idea which obstinatley eluded him. ‘See!’ said Dr. B (ernstein?), standing before him with irresistable command; ‘see! I wish it.’
‘You have friends there,’ he said to me.
‘I am surprised at that,’ I said laughing; ‘I have done enough to deserve them.’
‘Two friends,’ he went on, ‘who are talking about you, this very minute.’
‘Ah, ha! Persons who know me?’
‘How is that?’
‘They have known you here.’
‘Here- on the earth.’
‘How long ago was it?’
‘I do not know.’
‘Have they lived on Mars long?’
‘I do not know.’
‘Are they young?’
‘Yes; they are lovers, who adore each other.’
Then the beloved image of my lamented friends rose distinctly in my mind; but I had no sooner seen them than the subject explained-
‘Yes, it is they!’
‘How do you know?’
‘I see,- they are the same souls, same colors.’
‘What do you mean by the “same colors”?
‘Yes, the souls are suffused with light.’
A few instants afterwards he added, ‘And yet there is a difference.’
Then he was silent, his forehead frowning in his effort to find out. But his face regained all its calmness and serenity as he added-
‘He has become the woman, she is now the man- and they love each other more than ever.’
Wow! There’s a twist. You really can kiss yourself. So, you see there were things going on on Mars. Perhaps the scene is reflected in Dr. Ras Thavas, the Mastermind Of Mars who could switch minds and bodies. As Burroughs let his mind, his imagination play, flickering across these details that he couldn’t replicate exactly he invented variations to amaze and stun us. Note the similarities of the balloon disaster to the balloon flight in ERB’s Pirate Blood.
The third part of Flammarion’s story Heaven And Earth deals with life on Mars. Let Urania seize your mind, lift it and transport it instantaneously through the void to the Red Planet.
Heaven And Earth
The magnetic seance at Nancy had left a strong impression on my mind. I often thought of my departed friend, and his investigations in the unexplored domains of nature and life, of his sincere and original analytical researches on the mysterious problem of immortality; but I could not think of him now without associating him with the idea of a possible reincarnation in the planet Mars.
-Camille Flammarion, Urania
If one looks at John Carter’s first translation to Mars one will remember that he disincarnated before the Arizona cave and reincarnated on Mars, that is he left his old body behind. It was sort of like dragging and dropping on your computer. You somehow magically create a doppelganger of the original. Carter was born again as a full grown man but naked came he. This is exactly the same situation as with George Spero and Iclea. They disincarnated on earth and reincarnated on Mars.
We wonder by what method Carter was transported. Flammarion has possible explanations:
This idea seemed to me to be bold, rash, purely imaginary if you like, but not absurd. The distance from here to Mars is zero for the transmission of attraction; [By this he means the gravitation attraction between the two planets.] it is almost insignificant for that of light, since a few minutes are enough for a luminous undulation to travel millions of leagues. I thought of the telegraph, [action at a distance] the telephone, and the phonograph; of the influence a hypnotizer’s will has on his subject many kilometers distant; [a mistaken idea of hypnotism] and I wondered if some marvelous advance in science might not throw a celestial bridge between our world and others of its kind in infinity.
Alright. ‘Transmission of attraction’ and celestial bridges.’ What kind of argument can one make against that. Transmission of attraction is gravity and as Flammarion explains when Mars and Earth are in alignment the two planets act on each other disturbing their orbits in a measurable degree. I want to be in on that next session with Dr. B. Anyway one or more of the above explanations must have worked for Burroughs although we’re sure that Carter didn’t use a celestial bridge. The distnace was zero by transmission of attraction which required only a short hop so J.C. just stepped from Jasoom to Barsoom shedding his drawers in the process. Right on!
Camille does admit though: …the fantastic ideas flitting through my brain prevented me from making a truly scientific observation. A caveat, no doubt, but then, …It is not this hypothesis which is absurd, it is the simplicity of the pedants. Ah, ha, the bases are covered.
Now after several pages of rumination on the possiblility of telepathy Camille is translated to Mars as in a dream. As a prelude he says, somewhat sagely:
…astronomy and psychology are most closely united to each other since, the psychic universe has the material world for its habitat, while astronomy has for its subject the study of regions of eternal life, and we could form no idea of these regions if we did not know them astronomically. In fact, whether we know it or not, we are living now, at this moment in heavenly regions, and all beings, whatever they may be, are eternally citizens of heaven. It was not without a secret divination of things that antiquity made Urania the muse of all sciences.
While I imagine not many have read the Book Of Urantia, a contemporary astronomical religious text, written during Burroughs time, that text seems directly inspired by Flammarion’s text also. Then in a hot summer ramble Flammarion rests beneath a tree and seems to fall asleep:
I was strangely surprised on waking up after a few minutes’ nap at no longer recognizing the landscape or the trees, nor the river flowing at the foot of the hill, nor the undulating meadows which stretched far away to the distant horizon. The setting sun was smaller than we are accustomed to see it, the air thrilled with harmonious sounds unknown to Earth, and insects as large as birds were fluttering about the leafless trees, which were covered with gigantic red flowers. Astonishment made me spring up with so energetic a bound that I found myhself on my feet feeling singularly light and bouyant. I had taken but a few steps before it seemed to me that more than half the weight of my body had evaporated during my sleep.
Compare that to Carter’s arrival in the Valley Dor of his second translation to Mars. As we know from Burroughs, citizens of Mars are able to communicate telepathically. No one on Earth does it but is there a possibility future evolvement might enable us to do so. On Mars Camille has a character say ‘our body is impregnated with the solar electricity that puts all Nature in vibration.’
Electricity is indeed the stuff of life. Let us see how life and evolution began on Earth. Life on Earth is essentially H2O, hydrogen and oxygen. Therefor it is evident that life began in a primordial ocean of water and certain dissolved chemicals whose elements are known. Over millennium it is evident these eventually combined in permutations and floated inert in the ocean until in some way Earth’s magnetic field, electricity, activated the chemicals making life on Earth and beginning the evolution resulting in life as we know it.
There is little doubt that man’s brain while being only superficially different to other mammals is superior to all beasts including apes. It is obviously superior and more highly evolved than any hominid predecessor although they had a certain something that separated them from the anthropoids. So if telepathy is possible then it must travel on electrical currents, radio waves. That means that one mind must act as a transmitter and another as a receiver. Presently our current is too low to allow transmission even if a mind was tuned to our frequency as a receiver. That’s the key problem for telepathy although technically it seems possible.
Camille having been translated to Mars and returned the next occurrence is even more startling. George Spero returns to Earth not as a woman but as a man. This stuff comes from an unusual mind. Remember that on Mars George and Iclea had switiched sexes so on Mars George left a female body behind but he appears here on Earth in his male form. so you can sort that out as you will with the following:
Shortly after the accident on Lake Tyrinfiorden he had felt like a man who awakes from a long and heavy sleep….He was alone in midnight darkness on the border of a lake; he knew that he was living, but could neither see nor feel himself. The air did not affect him; he was not only light but imponderable. Apparently what remained of him was solely a thinking faculty. His first idea on trying to remember was that he had awakened from the fall by the Norwegian lake; but when day broke he saw he was in another world. The two moons revolving rapidly in the sky in opposite directions made him surmise that he was upon our neighbor, Mars. He lived there for a while in the spirit state, and recognized there the presence of a very beautiful humanity, in which the feminine sex reigns supreme, from an acknowledged superiority over the masculine sex. These organisms are light and delicate, their density of body very slight, their weight slighter still. On the surface of this world natural force plays a secondary part in nature; delicacy of sensation checks everything. There is a large number of animal species, and several human races. In these species and races the feminine sex is stronger and handsomer (the strength consisting in the superiority of sensation; than the masculine sex, and it is she who rules the world.
Flammarion was obviously a feminist.
His great desire to know the life before him induced him not to remain long as an unlooker in the spirit state, but to come to life again under a corporeal form, and knowing the organic condition of the planet, in a feminine form.
Right. Be on the dominant side. Iclea apparently wishing to remain dependent to George chose the male sex. The two then unite into one being. It’s not clear what the status of a unisex was on Mars. Naturally Martians are much more advanced than Earthlings as are all extra-terrestrials in our imaginations. Of course they have to know more than we to get from where they were to where we are as the reverse is impossible for us. Like all extraterrestrials Martians know a lot.
They have invented , among other things, a kind of telegraphic apparatus, in which a roll of stuff [film?] constantly receives a picture of our world, and it is impressed by it, unalterably, as it unrolls. An immense museum devoted expressly to the planets of the solar system, preserves all these phtographic pictures, fixed forever in chronolgical order.
George Du Maurier calls these little bags of memory which he is fearful of losing on death. There’s a collecting mania that beats Andy Warhol all to pieces. George reveals that it was he on Mars who spoke to Camille in the form of a beautiful maiden extending his arms to George. Wow! There’s some implications there. As sci-fi this is very advanced.
‘But then,’ I cried, ‘if you are that Martial maiden, how can you appear to me in Spero’s form, when he no longer exists?’
‘I do not act upon your retina or your optic nerve,’ he replied, ‘but on your mental being and your brain. I am in communication with you now; I influence directly the cerebral seat of your sensations.’
I think I bought that bridge once, but excellent sales job here, certainly the reverse of what you see is what you get.
It is the same, too in conditions of hypnotic somnambulism. You see me and hear me, you feel me, too, by your brain, which is under influence; but I am no more in the form, which you see than the rainbow exists in the presence of the eyes that look at it.’
Isn’t that good? Flammarion is a genius even though he is a little off track, not his fault not that much was known then, especially the nature of hypnotism and its actions on the mind. Then here’s the clincher that proves ERB read and was influenced by this book:
‘I must confess,’ I answered, ‘that I cannot understand your Martial beings as having six limbs.’
And then when Flammarion looked away and looked back the apparition had disappeared. The watchman returned and the Martian story ends.
Thus begins the final chapter of the story The Fixed Point In The Universe in which Flammarion tries to tie up the Faerie and Science aspects of his story- the entwining of the Romantic and the Scientific. While it isn’t quite as noticeable in Burroughs, at least in the first burst of stories from 1911 to 1914, that is exactly what Burroughs tries to do, enclose the Faerie within the scientific. Ray Bradbury would try the same thing in his The Illustrated Man and The Martian Chronicles.
Flammarion establishes the scientific aspect in a magnificent summation of man’s progress toward understanding the place of the Earth in the universe. I quote it because it is a superb understanding that I don’t believe is universally understood:
The Earth is not what it seems to be. Nature is not what we think….
The natural and direct impression given by the observation of Nature is that we inhabit a solid, stable Earth, fixed in the centre of the universe. It took long centuries of study and a great deal of boldness to free ourselves from that natural conviction, and to realize that the world we are on is isolated in space, without any support whatever, in rapid motion on itself and around the Sun. But to the ages before scientific analysis, to primitive peoples, and even today to three quarters of the human race, our feet are resting on a solid Earth which is fixed at the base of the universe, and whose foundations are supposed to extend into the depths of the infinite.
And yet from the time when it was first realized that it is the Sun which rises and sets every day; that it is the same Moon, the same stars, the same constellations which revolve about us, those very facts forced one to admit with absolute certainty that there must be empty space underneath the Earth, to let the stars of the firmament pass from their setting to their rising. This first recognition was a turning-point. The admission of the Earth’s isolation in space was astronomy’s first triumph. It was the first step, and indeed the most difficult one. Think of it! To give up the foundations of the Earth! Such an idea would never have sprung from any brain without the study of the stars, or indeed without the transparency of the atmosphere. Under a perpetually cloudy sky, human thoughts would have remained fixed on terrestrial ground like the oyster to the rock.
The Earth once isolated in space, the first step was taken. Before this revelation, whose philosophical bearing equals its scientific value, all manner of shapes had been imagined for our sublunary dwelling place. In the first place, the Earth was thought to be an island emerging from a boundless ocean, the island having infinite roots. Then the Earth, with its seas, was supposed to be a flat, circular disc, all around on which rested the vault of the firmament. Later, cubic, cylindrical, polyhedric forms, etc., were imagine. But still the progress of navigation tended to reveal its spherical nature, and when its isolation, with its incontestable proofs, was recognized, this sphericity was admitted as a natural corollary of that isolation and of the circular motion of the celestial spheres around the supposed central globe.
The terrestrial globe being from that time recognized as isolated, to move it was no longer difficult. Formerly, when the sky was looked upon as a dome crowning the massive and unlimited Earth, the very idea of supposing it to be in motion would have been not only absurd but untenable. But from the time we could see it in our minds, placed like a globe in the centre of celestial motion, the idea of imagining that perhaps this globe could revolve on itself, so as to avoid obliging the whole sky and the immense universe to perform this daily task, might come naturally into a thinker’s mind; and indeed we see the hypothesis of the daily rotation of the terrestrial sphere coming to light in ancient civilizations, among the Greeks, the Egyptians, the Indians, etc. It is sufficient to read a few chapters of Ptolemy, Plutarch, or Surya-Siddhanta for an account of these conjectures. But this new hypothesis, although it had been prepared for by the first one, was none the less bold, and contrary to the feelings inspired by the direct contemplation of Nature. Thoughtful mankind was obliged to wait until the sixteenth century, or, to speak more correctly, until the seventeenth century, to learn our planet’s true position in the universe, and to know by supported proofs that it has a double movement- daily about itself, and yearly about the Sun. From that time only, from the time of Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler and Newton, has real astronomy existed.
A brilliant and remarkable synthesis of astronomical knowledge. Burroughs frequently mentions his debt to Flammarion while I have yet to see where he refers to Percival Lowell. Lowell, himself visited Flammarion at Juvisy where he, it would seem, learned from the master.
We have seen that in 1908 The Chicago Tribune recapitulated Flammarion’s vision of Mars and not Lowell’s on its pages with illustrations. Burroughs said that he based his vision of Mars on Flammarion and adapted to more correct knowledge when it appeared.
It seems clear that Burroughs was fully exposed to the paranormal/Theosophical viewpoints borrowing only what he found useful while rejecting the rest while very like believing none of it. Like Flammarion he accords telepathic powers to Martians but they are not effective with the Earthman, John Carter.
As the magical world of the fairies of the first Romantic period had metamorphosed into the pseudo-scientific paranormal Flammarion too has metamorphosed his magical longings into a scientific framework while accepting modern scientific astronomy. However he still confuses the two because of the longing for personality immortality. He accords full scientific values to the Society For Psychic Research because they seem to follow rigorous scientific methods yet the unconfirmed anecdotes they rely on he accepts as attested facts while they aren’t. It’s odd that with his trained mind he couldn’t see the fallacy.
And then while being a very able astronomer he merely decides that all the planets in the universe are inhabitable and then populates them. Thus he believes that Mars as a fact is fully peopled with flora and fauna like Earth’s but more exotic and spiritual.
He imagines a nearly infinite variety of life, that is human like intelligent life when in fact to this date all planets but Earth are barren of life. Venus isn’t even watery. What a blow that truth was.
Burroughs combined this wonderful fantastic fairyland displaced from Earth with evolution to imagine a fantastic array of life forms both on Earth and other planets, even beyond the farthest star.’
Both men were neo-Romantics although Flammarion having been born earlier was more heavily influenced by the first Romantic period while the much younger Burroughs was more acclimated to the scientific. By the time he began to write autos, planes, telephones and electricity had already transformed the world while radio and television were just round the corner. Talk about action at a distance and telepathy. God, Skype.
It was a wonderful time when all things were possible if improbable. Truly, astronomy and psychology would be he cornerstones of the Brave New World that awaits. Will it be Utopian or Dystopian?
December 23, 2010
Who Is The Mysterious John Carter?
There are nine wise men who control the destiny of the world and I am on a first name basis with each of them. Sworn to secrecy I cannot reveal the names of these Unknown Masters. No Wiki-leaks here. Due to the upcoming movie concerning doings under the moons of Mars first revealed by the adept Edgar Rice Burroughs beginning in 1912 I have been advised that it is thought expedient to reveal who John Carter really is.
Elipsis being the favored mode of action of the Nine rather than just give the info straight out I have been given a list of web sites, articles and books from which Carter’s identity may be deduced leaving some room for error on my part from which Carter’s identity may be deduced. Given the nature of the material, much of which I had already read that I have always thought rather fanciful I can’t guarantee that I have succeeded in determining J.C.’s true identity. If I have failed in this great trust placed in me by the Nine I lay the blame at their feet for having made an erroneus choice but it is possible that, as a result of such a possible failure, I may not be heard from again.
Burroughs, who seems to have known the true identity of Carter, whose books were part of the package given to me, as if I hadn’t already read them many times, gives us a clue in that Carter was at least one thousand years old and had enjoyed many identities over the centuries. Actually with a little invention I may be able to whiff this past the Nine.
Amongst the papers entrusted to me was the web address of the French Wold Newton Universe which I abbreviate FWNU. As this site intelligently summarizes a thousand years of history I found it an invaluable resource but just because I’m relying on the FWNU doesn’t mean I’m lazy; I’ve already read the other stuff: the Greek myths, Homer, Grave’s White Goddess, the Bible, De Santillana, Eco and a host of others, besides which I have to use the sources the Nine supplied.
It will be necessary to begin our search with the Knights Templar and the Crusades. It is quite possible that J.C. by whatever identity he may have been known is co-existent with the First Hominid Predecessor. For all we know he was present at the creation, among the artists who painted the caves at Lascaux or he may even have had an intimate acquaintance with the Via Dolorosa; but, that might merely be relying on the coincidence of initials. We have no reliable or even quasi-reliable records that far back.
We will have to content ourselves with beginning at the Crusades. The historical figure who claims an ancient pedigree is the Count de St. Germain. He makes his appearance under that name in revolutionary France. As the name he uses then is demonstrably French we have to assume that over the centuries he has been known under many, many names, many guises, many roles as the concept French is of fairly recent origin. He was perhaps one of the nine who formed the Knights Templar, a very secretive group. The Crusades changed the course of European society just as the Templars were the first catalysts of that change. While Templar history is in the hands of those sympathetic to them who find them wholly admirable I who should be among those sympathsizers have a lurking suspicion that the Order was wholly sinister. Who else, I ask you, would recruit in taverns haunted by criminals and excommunicants? What building material was this?
The Templars ostensible purpose, good reason as opposed to real reason, for existence was that they were to protect pilgrims to the so-called Holy Land but, once created, they lost interest in such a worthy cause. Perhaps they were created for a much more subversive and less worthy purpose. The Templars are frequently linked with another band of ‘holy’ soldiers, the Assassins of Alamut in Persia. Who were the Assassins? The FWNU: Will There Be Light Tomorrow, Part I:
The word “assassins” is usually linked to hashish, and the name of the group is sometimes spelled “hashishins,” because of their alleged use of the drug to keep their fearsome warriors properly motivated…What is not widely known is that, in fact, the name “Assassins” derives from the word “Assass,” meaning “Guardians,” or “Protectors,” for the Assassins were in reality the Islamic Soldier Monks in charge of the protection of the Holy Land. “Assassins” in Arabic signifies “quardians,” and some commentators have considered this the true origin of the word: “Guardians of the secrets’” – Arkan Daraul, Secret Societies.
If the Assassins had secrets to protect and/or disseminate then they might easily have swayed the minds of a group of simple unsophisticated Nordic warriors. Once swayed then their role would have been to form a fifth column in Europe in alliance with the Assassins to subvert the Church and State which is exactly what the Templars were doing. Thus though the Moslems had been defeated and thrust back by Charles Martel the Templars would be internal allies to achieve the Moslem conquest not unlike the Liberal undermining in favor of the Moslems in the West today. Wheels within wheels, plans within plans. There undoubtedly was constant communication between the two groups for well over a hundred years until the Mongols of Ghengis Khan stormed Alamut putting an end to the Assassins c. +1260. An unforseen event. It was then only a few decades later that Philip Lebel of France terminated the career of the Templars launching Europe on the period of confusion that terminated with the murder of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.
From the wreckage of the Templars, for they were only wrecked not destroyed, came great criminal organizations such as the Commora, the Carbonara and the Mafia. All these elements combined to create the revolution in France during which the Compte de St. Germain and the extra sinister Caligliostro, who might have been the same, appeared and who in all possiblility emigrated to America to become…John Carter.
Names and dates in this underworld milieu can never be taken as certain. As the FWNU points out it is clear that Cagliostro left for America after 1795 or at about the same time Edgar Allan Poe was handed the mysterious manuscript detailing the adventures of Arthur Gordon Pym. We’re slipping into the realm of pure fiction here but suppose that Poe did get the story from someone and suppose that someone was merely posing as Cagliostro or St. Germain, probably the same person in two identities. Still fantistic but not impossible.
However contrary to Man’s desire nobody lives forever so at some point Cagliostro has to die but before he does he finds the Virginian John Carter and instructs him in this pious fraud to keep the tradition going. Now, it is clear that whether or not someone gave Burroughs a manuscript which he at least claimed happened in the case of John Clayton he writes of John Carter in the tradition of the Great Conspiracy that had its roots in the Crusades.
Burroughs may very well have been self-indoctrinated in the Traditions as many of us are, however Burroughs was learned in several matters not least of which was psychology by his brothers’ partner, Lew Sweetser.
Sweetser along with the Burroughs Boys was graduated from Yale University which we know is the home of the prominent occult organization the Skull and Bones Club. The Skull and Bones takes its emblem from the pirates of the Caribbean. Their banner was a corruption of the black and white Beauceant banner of the Templars. It is generally thought that the excaping French Templars, or a portion of them, fled to Scotland. After 1492 when the Spanish gold fleets of his Most Catholic Majesty, the Defender of the Faith, the King of Spain began their runs, the Templars set sail for the New World to prey on the treasure fleets to avenge themselves on Church and Throne.
I have seen no record that Lew Sweetser was in the Skull and Bones but if he was or aspired to, if the Skull and Bones have any secrets which they obviously do, Sweetser may have become privy to some and whether intentionally or inadvertantly he probably imparted some to young Burroughs. At the very least, in educating young Burroughs as he obviously did he would have given him his outlook or point of view. Young Burroughs was at an impressionable age.
This point of view was reinforced by all of Burroughs’ reading. That reading was more heavily occult and revolutionary than is usually supposed. By 1912 when he began writing ERB was fully versed in the underground French literature in translation of the day. There doesn’t seem to be a reference to Balzac although he must have read something but maybe not. He did read Eugene Sue, one of the early nineteenth century writers, a veritable mad man. Sue’s The Mysteries Of Paris was in his library while I’m relatively certain he read Sue’s Wandering Jew also. Between
those two books his mind would have been ripped apart and reassembled as was mine for instance. He read Dumas, Three Musketeers and Count Of Monte Cristo for sure and probably The Man In The Iron Mask. He plowed through Victor Hugo’s sewer epic, Les Miserables. He devoured whatever was translated of Jules Verne. Verne’s works were firmly implanted in his mind: From Earth To The Moon and Mysterious Island absolutely filled his mind. Paul Feval and
Emile Gaboriau weren’t translated as yet so these very important crime/revolutionary writers missed him. They write much more directly at what Sue, Dumas, Hugo and Verne imply. But, all four of those guys are powerful writers dealing with life in a very direct way. Edgar Allan Poe, another prime influence of Burroughs, 1808-1849 seems to have been influenced by the early bunch of French writers, probably Balzac and some writers less well known but earlier than Feval and the rest. Poe may be the most astounding writer of all in the French school although its hard to top Sue. I shudder while I write his name. And then it is impossible to know what magazine and newspaer articles about such topics Burroughs may have read. His age was a magazine and newspaper age.
And, of course, Burroughs read a full slate of English and American writers not least the detective stories of Conan Doyle and many others. One should not overlook George W.M. Reynolds incredible ten volume novel The Mysteries Of The Court Of London which is found in ERB’s library. An amazing 5000 page novel.
All of this reading seemed to come together in the John Carter Martian Trilogy. Burroughs never again wrote anything quite like it. One could remember that one doesn’t have to be fully conscious of what one is writing. One is caught up in the sweep of intellectual currents developing themes whose antecedents began long before so that one is merely developing the themes.
Thus Burroughs was part of the breaking up of the Semito-Aryan mythology of say -2000 to +1000 which was accentuated by the first of the three major blows to Man’s self-confidence picked out by Freud- the place of the Earth in the Universe. Once it was understood that Earth was merely one lone planet spinning in a Universe that if not thought boundless in his time was understood to be more extensive than mythological heaven. The old mythology crubled to the ground, the old gods of the Semitic religions had their teeth pulled, their knees crushed, in other words, they lost their power to command.
Now, it is often asserted that there is no mythology to replace the old mythology, that science has destroyed the concept. This is not true. The Templars began a new mythology, while Galileo, Copernicus and Kepler forwarded it when they discovered or revealed that the Earth was a point in a surrounding universe. Thus, if the Earth is not the center of the universe with God in his heaven above it then Man can penetrate this boundless space. This is where John Carter enters the mythology of the Scientific Era.
The idea of traveling in space according to the FWNU was almost immediately written in a story by Kepler himself. While this is a sort of change of venue travel in the upper spheres has a long history predating Kepler. To cite only two examples there is Jacob’s Ladder on which Jacob was said to ascend to the heavens or, in other words, space. Mohammed is said to have mounted his horse and risen to the Seventh Heaven, way up there in the ideas of the time, where he conversed face to face with God, or in Moslem terms, Allah. So, now that space became open it isn’t unusual that Kepler immediately translated the old mythology into scientific terms. So while a magic carpet may have served Gullivar Jones if fails as science.
Thus from Kepler to Burroughs the tales of space travel and the complexity of methods increases.
With the development of astronomy, that is space, the concept of Time developed apace. The Earthly year had already been adequately measured so now the conquest of the Earth day, hour, minute and seconds- eventually nanoseconds- began. Thus Time and Space became one word, timeandspace. Along with rocketry came the fantasy of the Time Machine, the time traveler. As we know Burroughs was an expert on both, having some very well developed ideas about Time. Rather than being a merely frivolous romanticist then it can be seen that Burroughs was trying to work out the central problems of his times. to a very large extent, he did. In a literary sense, then, Burroughs is the equal of Freud and Einstein. Hence his writing style is odd. He is trying to convey ideas he is struggling to understand, not unlike Freud and Einstein. While Freud is considered a literary stylist I find him barely comprehensible, not at all clear.
As the FWNU points out, while John Carter takes his place in space travel in the 1860s his amanuensis, Burroughs, only published Carter’s exploits from 1912 to 1914.
Burroughs himself completely distorts the facts as he claims he himself was born c. 1855 in the Trilogy while we know he was actually born twenty years later in 1875. He could not possibly have known Carter as a child and been his ‘favorite nephew.’ Why he would tell such a transparent falsehood isn’t clear. Even when Carter made his second vanishing in 1888 Burroughs would have been entering his teen years while being in Illinois rather than living on the Hudson in the State of New York. Does he think we’re stupid? Perhaps he is concealing his real sources.
Even though the issue is somewhat clouded because of the lapse of time between the historical events and Burroughs’ publication of them only in 1912, one thing is clear, John Carter is the Lord Of Time And Space. As Burroughs recounts Carter’s words claimed to be to him in the prologue to the Gods Of Mars:
I have learned the secret, nephew, and I may traverse the trackless void at my will, coming and going between the countless planets as I list…
Carter’s achievement is of great import because it means that he has become one with the gods. he has joined the heavenly pantheon with the added advantage that he can move equally freely between the spiritual and the temporal. Not even the Great Gods can do that. Although he has the secret he doesn’t choose to divulge it to his ‘favorite nephew’ who we know did not possess this occult secret.
It is interesting in light of Carter’s achievement to pay some attention to the Urania Book that was received by another Chicagoan. Why Chicago was selected to be the center of revelation at this time isn’t known. The book of Urania is a massive volume giving the details of the celestial organization of the gods dispersed throughout the universe of which Carter must have been familiar although he didn’t impart that knowledge to his nephew. Fortunately that vast organization was related by the Uranians.
As Burroughs was left more or less on his own on that score by Carter it is evident that Burroughs must have fleshed out Carter’s bare announcement of having discovered the ‘secret’ of traversing interstellar space by hints from the famed French explorer of space Camille Flammarion. That author discusses outer space in several profound works chief of which are The Plurality Of Inhabited Worlds, The Inhabitants Of Other Worlds, Imaginary And Real Worlds and Lands In The Sky. It is to be noted also that rather than taking his information on the nature of Mars from the American Percival Lowell Burroughs took it from the Frenchman, Camille Flammarion. Lowell and Flammarion were in close communication so it is probable that Lowell’s inspiration was taken from Flammarion. Burroughs speaks of Flammarion many times even going so far as to say he formed his early ideas on him but he never mentions Lowell. Unfortunately Flammarion’s information on Mars turned out to be more inspired than factual. Let us hope his ideas on interplanetary space are more sound. But then he is a pioneer and the lay of the land always looks different to the first comers than the settlers who become familiar with it. Cartographers so to speak. Geographers, that sort of thing.
At any rate the transition from the old astrology to the new astronomy, from myth to science, was achieved through the medium of Edgar Rice Burroughs. There should a BB and AB, before and after Burroughs. Thus with the publication of A Princess of Mars in 1912 world history entered a new phase. The centuries after Keplers’ space epic culminated with Burroughs in 1912 when he more or less perfected the new mythology as far as the heavens were concerned.
Nor was Burroughs finished when Carter using the ‘secret’ transported himself to Mars the second time. One is inclined to believe that Carter stumbled on the secret before the cave in Arizona or else was selected by the Celestial Organization to receive it. The latter would have been impossible for a naive earthling like Burroughs to understand so Carter probably chose to say he discovered the secret.
Burroughs himself who was undoubtedly chosen as the conduit to the New Mythology was immediately recognized as the avatar of the New Mythology as nearly all other mythographers began to develop the ideas in Burroughs framework. His knowledge which was itself almost miraculous seems as though it must have been divinely imparted. Perhaps the two concusssions he received before 1900 rearranged his synapses so that he could intellectually go where no man had gone before. He celebrates the memory of these two concussions by beating a steady tattoo on the skull of Tarzan.
Having organized the way in which inter-stellar planetary travel was to be perceived Burroughs set out to create the man-god of the New Age on earth, the second aspect of the trinity, John Clayton otherwise known as Tarzan Of The Apes. Burroughs retained the JC initials linking Jesus Christ, John Carter and John Clayton as so many have noted although those three are not the Trinity in question- the three in one, one in three. One must beware of the so-called revolutionaries who with their inability to understand common sense deride the triple aspect of mankind as faulty arithmetic. In the course of evolution it would seem that they failed to acquire the advanced intelligence gene.
Three of Burroughs’ most formative years were spent at Harvard Latin School in Chicago where he developed his classical knowledge and fell in love with classical mythology.
Thus, as the mythological god of heaven was Zeus to whom John Carter corresponds, John Clayton, or Tarzan corresponds to the terrestrial god, Poseidon or, perhaps more accurately to the son of Zeus, the great man-god Heracles. Burroughs often refers to Tarzan as the Heracles of the jungle so perhaps he shoved Poseidon aside in favor of the son of Zeus. This leaves only the realm of the underworld ruled by Pluto or Hades in Classical Mythology which Burroughs renamed Pelucidar and placed at the center of the Earth. He doesn’t seem to have felt the need for a ruler of that particular realm. Thus while the three realms exist in his mythology the trinity seems to be curiously truncated by one but perhaps I’m missing something.
Thus Burroughs updated the Trinity. It might be coincidence or maybe it was destiny but Burroughs was chosen to transit the bases of the New Mythology at the first glimmer of the dawning of the Age of Aquarius. Was he conscious of his role as the Man of Destiny? While he could never be sure he undoubtedly hoped the Light was shining on him.
Although obscure this move shows a very astute religious understanding. If one wishes to supplant a religion the wise idea is to appropriate the forms of symbols, shrines and ideas and replace their content with your own. Catholicism did this with Greek and German sites and Jewish and Moslem religions are attempting the same with Christian and or Western sites, symbols and ideas now. There is an eternal religious war. For instance Jews have instituted the new Jewish holiday Hannukah in opposition to the Western Christmas which in itself contains the superposition of the Christian religion on pagan sites. While shining the light on their Hannukah they make vicious attacks on Christmas trying to have it outlawed. Christmas celebrants are thus being nudged to embrace Hannukah at which time they will be left in peace to celebrate their Christmas under the guise of Hannukah. In the time honored manner Christianity will have been superseded, in this case by a lesser religious faith. Undoubtedly they will be happy with an eight day celebration rather than a one. A little bribery works well.
Thus Burroughs makes John Carter the Master of Time and Space in place of Jahweh or Allah. When the scientific British conquered India and scoffed at the Hindu notion that the world rested on the back of the elephant as an impossibility the Hindu priests withdrew, worked it over in their minds and countered: OK. The world rests on the back of the tortoise. The Hindus could not accept the negation of their religious beliefs.
So science made clear to Christians, Jews and and Moslems that there was no god and that instead of the earth nestling in an egg of seven heavens with god in the seventh and highest balanced by seven layers of hell beneath the flat earth and that space was in fact boundless and the earth occupied an infinitessimally small space in the universe, the Christians, Jews and Moslems retired to consider the problem then each gave a new solution based on God in heaven much as the Hindus switched from an elephant to a tortoise. It is impossible to just switch the human mind from one system to another. As Voltaire said: No one ever willed himself an athiest.
Science is abstract while religion is visceral. so even those working in science retain their religious views. The Christians said: Alright then, if God didn’t create mankind what happened is that a comet brought life to Earth. You see, Evolution or Creation must come from outside. It is more comfortable to think that. Thus nothing changed, life came from ‘above.’ As the space idea developed one had the spectacular Uranian religion develop where the entire universe becomes one huge revival camp while ‘visitors’ from outer space landed handing knowledge to dumb ox earthlings. Knowledge wasn’t acquired bit by bit by humble earthlings but was given by superior aliens, i.e. God. The Aliens then began to hover over Earth in flying saucers to monitor our activities until we were ‘ready’ to enter the congress of planets in a peaceful manner. Like God they don’t interfere in our affairs.
Thus John Carter the man-god can replace both God in his heaven and space aliens and God will still be in his heaven and all right with the world. Only the symbols will change which is as it must be. As above, so below. Following that religious formula Burroughs placed the avatar of primitiveness and sophistication, Tarzan, as overlord of Africa. Tarzan remains a savage but is sometimes dressed in a tuxedo, even in the jungle.
How aware is this? Currently certain groups are going into the very heart of darkness to haul Negroes out of the jungle, put them on airplanes which they may only have seen flying high above them and transporting them to the United States where these groups expect these primitives to get a job, eat frozen food, and flush the toilet none of which the primitives have any knowledge. As is well known feral humans are incapable of transiting to human society. The brain can only absorb so much and at such a rate. This inability cannot be accelerated or changed. Even well educated, supposedly sophisticated humans can’t make the transition from a magical religious mindset to a rational scientific one so what is to become of primitives? Scientific thought has had no part in Chinese or Asian thought until very recently so how can these peoples be expected to abandon their essentially mythopoeic thought processes for a scientific one?
So, while Burroughs was attempting to lead the way to an Aquarian scientific conception of the coming New Age he was wisely attempting to do the impossibhle: Putting new wine in old bottles without bursting the bottles. It may be impossible yet it has to be done. The issue has now been complicated, probably irreparably, by the introduction of hundreds of millions of people into Western society for which the transition is a complete impossibility. The enlightened Westerner will be swamped by those incapable of understanding whether it be their natural limitations or not.
In this global society the Aquarian religion must displace several antiquated thought systems. The truth is obvious. A palatable religion has to be packaged for the masses that will make them psychologically comfortable and an elite and priesthood who hopefully understand the issues who can keep society moving forward on an even keel. Is this possible? Even Burroughs could solve the problem only by continuing the institution of slavery. Slavery permeates his entire work.
In our situation it is important to keep the religious warfare confined to the warring elites and away from the masses.
That means of course that the egalitarian character of the last two hundred years has come to an end. Of course, the Semites put a period to that on 9/11.
The question then is who will wear the crown? Burroughsian religious ideas must triumph. The Carter-Clayton ideas must be put into action driving the three Semitic religions off the field as well as conquering the minds of the Asians and Africans.
Not as difficult as it may seem but it takes a steely determination so far shown only by the Jews and Moslems. You have to know who you are, what you want and be prepared to deal with any obstacles as these two groups obviously are an do. Know who you are and the superiority of your beliefs. There is no longer any room for tolerance as with them. Everything else out there is inferior, nothing can successfully slander our beliefs unless we permit it.
November 21, 2010
Themes And Variations
The Tarzan Novels Of Edgar Rice Burroughs
#14 Tarzan The Invincible
Religion: Standing On The Promises
Even though at the beginning of the novel Burroughs says he does not consider Politics and Religion suitable topics for fiction- unless highly fictionalized- the two topics seem to constitute a major portion of his work.
The Great One does not feel called upon to exhibit a foolish consistency. In Invincible the first sentence is: I am no historian. In Tarzan Triumphant he says: ‘Being merely a simple historian and no prophet…’ So in the few months between Invincible and Triumphant he has gone from no historian to a mere simple one while hinting that while he is no prophet he may become one. We can’t be certain what the future holds in store for him. I’ve already sensed that he is a prophet. Tarzan is the god and Edgar Rice Burroughs is his prophet. So much for Mohammed being the end of the prophetic line.
Under cover of fiction Triumphant will deal extensively with the Jewish and Christian religions so this might be an appropriate place to review some aspects of the history and nature of religion.
Evolution occurs on many levels other than the biological. The biological naturally controls all other forms of evolution. The species has developed from a time of pre-hominid ancestors that must at some time have diverged from that of the other anthropoids as unpleasant as that may be for a certain type of mind although, for the life of me, I can’t imagine why. One of the more significant areas of evolution has been that of the brain. Nothing should be clearer than that the brain of HSIII is superior to the brain of the first Homo Sapiens and species which evolved from the Last Hominid Predecessor. I mean gorillas must have a relatively primitive brain.
There is no reason for this not to be so. The brain of the infant Homo Sapiens continues to develop outside the womb until at least the early twenties. At each stage the ability of the brain to function increases. As above, so below; as in the macro so in the micro.
Thus as in each stage of evolution from the first Homo Sapiens to the present most highly evolved specimen Homo Sapiens III, abilities to think and function have increased. Thus HS’s understanding of the world and universe are immeasurably different from the first Homo Sapiens model. I can’t imagine anyone who would dissent from that conclusion.
Now, except for the intermingling of human species certain human species would still be unacquainted with the approximately true nature of the world and universe that we have attained. I don’t see how this can be disputed. Without European influence the rest of the world would still think the earth was flat. These are facts whether one likes them or not. Indeed, even among the most advanced human species there are very large numbers who resist the scientific explanation of nature. These people still prefer the atavistic, antiquated religious Semitic explanation of natural phenomena. These people can barely accept the notion of a heliocentric solar system, many don’t. Why should anyone pay attention to them?
If one accepts that Homo Sapiens is 150K to 200K years old then it seems to me impossible that all human intellectual development has occurred in the last ten thousand years. Weapons of some sort have been in existence for many tens of thousands of years if not from the beginning of Homo Sapiens having been evolved from the Last Hominid Predecessor. It seems evident to me that a highly developed civilization existed in the Med Basin beginning c. 100K years ago. That doesn’t mean they had advanced Science it merely means that they had an organized society with relatively sophisticated thought processes and tools. Religion is basically an attempt to understand and make order of the world. All interpretations of the natural order must be based on that order.
Hence the North Polar stars which never set are the basis of religion. The Polar stars rotate about the Pole over a period of some 25K odd years forming what is called a Great Year. The Great year was made to conform to the terrestrial year of twelve months therefore being divided into twelve periods called Ages.
The Great Year with it twelve Ages formed the basis of religion. We will call that religion the Astrological Religion. Thus the religion goes back for tens of thousands of years as Sumerian records indicate. These Ancients did not make up their lives or talk through the backs of their necks.
Each Age of the Astrological Religion had its male and female religious archetypes. These are, perhaps most easily traced as far back as four ages, possibly five, in the Greco-Cretan mythology. The historical ages are the Taurian, Arien, Piscean and the next, the Aquarian. I am not a New Ager although I see no reason to disparage them and I am in sympathy with the outlook. One may say that I am of the Astrological religious tradition as we will see, I think, was Edgar Rice Burroughs.
In ancient days the Hom Sapiens species were separated each having distinct territories so that in the Darwinian sense they were not yet in conflict. When the last Ice Age came to an end flooding the Med Basin- this is not speculation, but fact- the civilization of the Basin was forced to higher ground bringing them into contact with the highland savages from West to East. Thus civilization as we now know it began.
The first settlers of Mesopotamia brought the Astrological Religion with them or, according to Mesopotamian mythology a man-god named Oannes- the name Oannes evolved into Johannes or John- appeared from the sea to teach them the rudiments of civilization and the Astrological Religion. Immense amounts of lore must have been lost, that is forgotten, so perhaps that is where the legend of the Lost Word comes in.
Now, off to the East on the Arabian Peninsula a different species lived. These were called the Semites or would be after the later Hebrews so named them after their mythical ancestor, Shem. Mere desert dwellers the Semites were attracted to the glitter of the Astrological Religion. There is no evidence that the Semites had a civilization or anything that could be called an actual culture of their own. They merely mimicked the existing culture infiltrating it much as Europe and America are being infiltrated today by their descendants. Eventually they will succeed the European civilization just as their ancestors did the Sumerian.
The evidence is that they had no religious forms of their own so that they attempted to take over both the physical and cultural edifices of their predecessor civilization, the Sumerian.
The Semites did not have the same mental organization or capabilities as their predecessors so they could maintain neither the civilization nor the religion. The major conflict came at the transition from the Age of Taurus to the Age of Aries. Here is where the real conflict between the Semites and Indo-Europeans or the Semites and HSII & III begins to take its historical form.
When the Astrological Age changes the religious archetypes change. For instance Cronus had been succeeded by Zeus at the transition from Taurus to Aries. Zeus himself was succeeded by Jesus the Christ at the transition from Aries to Pisces. Zeus would have been succeeded by Dionysus but the Semites either had to be accommodated or they forced Jesus of Nazareth on the Age which was later combined with the Kyrios Christos to form the composite deity the Semitic Jesus and Hellenic Christ. The role of Paul was very important in forcing Jesus of Nazareth on the goyim as Burroughs attests in Triumphant.
As we are now about to transit from Pisces to Aquarius a new set of archetypes will emerge representing the current intellectual and psychological development of Homo Sapiens.
This raises the question of whether Burroughs was merely a simple historian or was he also a prophet. Is Tarzan his offering for the role of the male archetype for the Aquarian Age? I think he is. For those who scoff at such an idea it would be wise to examine Burroughs relation to Mormonism during his stay in Salt Lake City. If it was possible for Joseph Smith to befuddle the minds of intelligent Westerners with his nonsense in the middle of the nineteenth century, or Mohammed to impose his twaddle even in the seventh, then I see no reson to be amazed that Burroughs would attempt the same thing in the twentieth century. I mean, look at this stuff for what it is.
Also, believe it or not, I read recently where someone thinks Oprah Winfrey could be the female archetype for the Aquarian Age. Get out of here. I don’t whether to laugh or barf. So, the notion of religious archetypes for the new age is a fairly active one. Any such discussions are in conflict with Semitism. So, we’re back to that problem.
Semitism took identifiable form at the transit from Taurus to Aries.
The record of such happenings is, of course, much more recent than the transition from Taurus to Aries. It could have been made up during the Babylonian captivity. The Old Testament record was only recorded, perhaps even formulated, after the Captivity which began in 586 BC lasting for only fifty years although rather than return to the pleasure of the temple most Jews remained behind by the waters of Babylon just as their ancestors yearned for the fleshpots of Egypt.
To clarify the nature of human species according to Jewish sources: The Jews argue that all mankind is derived from Jewish or Hebrew stock. The only survivors of the great flood were Jews- Noah and his family. The ancient Hebrews while knowing many cultures knew of only three species or stocks. They acccordingly named them Hamites, Shemites and Japhetites after sons of Noah. In their conversations with De Great Lawd which were frequently carried on in public He apparently dispensed information on a need to know basis so he withheld the info on the Mongolids and West African Negroes as no account of them is taken in the descendants of Noah. A little gap in the perfect knowledge of the Old Testament.
Thus the Old Testament acknowledges the differences between the Semites, the Europeans or Japhetites and the Hamites are more than merely racial, which is to say Cosmetic. Such an idea is of course in line with genetic learning.
The Med People or HSII devised a fluid religious system that allowed for the development or evolution of the human mind. In other words they not only accepted but embraced change. This is a quality of mind not shared by HSI, the Semites or the Mongolids.
Depending on what time period the Semites began the infiltration of Mesopotamia which may have overlapped the Geminian and Taurian Ages or perhaps fell completely within the Taurian Age there would have been no conflict with the Semitic need for stasis and the Astrological allowance for development, evolution or growth. However, by the time of the transit from Taurus to Aries the Semites had gained political control of Mesopotamia while the religious control was still in the hands of the Aryan priesthood.
Following Astrological precedents the ancient Aryan priesthood wanted to change to the Arien archetypes. In European Greece where the Semitic influence was lower the transit from Cronus to Zeus was made with only the usual warfare hence the legends of the Cronian Titans and the Olympians.
In Mesopotamia where the Semites were in the ascendant, according to Jewish myhthology, the Terahites, under the tutelage of Abram, disputed the succession with the ancient priesthood. According to Jewish mythology Abram and the Terahites argued that the religious archetypes were eternal and there was no Astrological tradition. Thus in the ancient world the Jews were believed to worship Saturn. If Saturn were the Taurian archetype then this was very likely true as Saturn would then be the basis for the Eternal which the Jews do acknowledge worshipping.
In the Semitic manner, then, the Semitic mind being incapable of accepting change, having been fully developed before they emerged from the desert, went into opposition to the Astrological Religion. Thus the conflict changed from a termporal one to a ‘spiritual’ one. At that point then diaspora was possible without the laws of national identity. As a spiritual entity, Judaism was born. The notion of Semitism developed along with its opposite anti-Semitism. Christ = Anti-Christ. Thus the explanation of the origin of this so-called anti-Semitism is simply explained. In reality Semitism was in conflict with the Astrological Religion and hence was anti-Astrological. Any other religion must perforce be anti-Semitism. The struggle then became a struggle for the souls of men as well as their bodies.
Once again in direct conflict Europe and Asia began a long theological dispute. As the Piscean transition progressed the Semites began their attempt to convert the Astrological religion to Semitism. They were effective in shutting down intellectual inquiry which is the motive force for change. We will see this again in the nineteenth century efforts of Marx, Freud and Einstein.
As the ancient world ended, its religious legatees were the Catholic Church and Judaism. All other ancient religions disappeared from the face of the earth except in ineffective remnants or underground movements.
It is interesting that fourteen hundred years after being forbidden the Arien Age worship of Zeus has been made lawful again in Greece. There’s really no place in the Aquarian Age for the Olympian pantheon but it is an interesting atavistic attempt reviving as it were the struggle between the Arien Age religions of Olympia and Israel.
Gradually the Egyptian and Anatolian elements of the Christian manifestation of the Piscean archetypes have been displaced in favor of the Semitic models. The Catholic Church was able to contain the Semitic influence in Europe from the end of the Western Roman Empire to the Age of the Enlightenment of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The Enlightenment let Simitism loose on the world again.
While the Roman Empire militarily defeated the political entity of Jerusalem from 66 AD to 135 AD the battle weakened the Empire allowing in Asiatic influences like the Emperor Heliogabalus. Then in the seventh century AD the present form of the struggle between Europe and Asia took form when the prophet Mohammed formed the Moslem Religion based largely on its predecessor religion, Judaism.
The Moslems stormed across North Africa into Spain and France where they were stopped at Tours by Charles The Hammer. It took nearly one thousand years to drive the Moslems from France and Spain which result was finally obtained in 1492.
As the Moors were driven from Europe by Ferdinand and Isabella they also expelled the Semitic Jews. In the evolutionary sense this was the other correct response to an invasion of a competing species. The other, of course, would have been extermination. Thus at this stage of European history they were responding in an evolutionarily correct manner. England had expelled the Jews in 1190 and France in 1307. The various small German States fluctuated in their attitude sometimes expelling sometimes readmitting. There were always German States that allowed Semites. Otherwise the great mass of European Semites lived in the no-mans land between Russia and Germany that would after Russian annexation be called the Pale of the Settlement meaning this area was roped off for Jewish residence.
While these actions may have been evolutionarily correct and probably even politically correct the defensive party seldom thinks in such grand terms as evolutionary inevitability. So, really, in evolutionary terms the only correct response is extermination. The Shona of Zimbabwe fully understand this principle. I say this to show I am not springing anything new or unusual on you. These natural responses are going on today in Zimbabawe, South Africa, South and West Sudan, Indonesia, in former Yugoslavia where Moslems are exterminating non-Moslems. If you don’t believe these things, open your eyes, open your eyes.
Now, wars do not end after seeming victory. The expelled Moslems of Spain continued the war establishing the Barbary Pirates who then preyed on Europe for the next three hundred years plundering and enslaving Europeans. The actual invasion of North Africa first by Spain and then by France was an attempt to end this savage warfare.
Burroughs would have been brought up on the legend of millions for defense but not one cent for tribute as was my generation. Until recently I believed that Americans had ended Barbary piracy. This was just something we were told in the fourth grade. Actually the Barbary pirates were put down only in 1830 when France conquered and annexed Algeria.
France at that time ought to have either exterminated or driven out the Moslems. Having once expelled them, if they had had the power, they should have swept across North Africa, as the Moslems had done, driving the Moslems before them until they had reached Suez.
Thus Africa would have been reclaimed for Europe. First it was held by the HSII survivors of the Med Basin flooding, then the Semitic-Carthaginians, then HSII Romans and back again to the Semitic Arabs. So such a preemption was certainly historically justified. The Moslems make a great noise about the Crusades but the modern problem was their offense of the Eruption From The Desert. Get straight.
At the same time the Jewish and Arab Semitic struggles were going on the yeast of the suppressed religions of the Middle East and philosophies of Greece were converting the Europeans from Semitic stasis to Aryan intellectual activity. The Eastern Roman Empire fell at the time of the expulsion of the Jews and Moslems from Spain. Scholars flooded out of the East. These Egyptian, Greek and Syrian influences burst forth in the seventeenth and eighteenth century as the Enlightenment. Previously the discussion had been between the Semitic reigions of Judaism, Moslemism and Christianity. The level of human consciousness between the three was nearly equal although still retaining some measure of the Astrological Religion. This is a very serious subject for study. Christianity, such as it was, was intellectually superior. Remember, however, that Catholicism was so imbued with the limited Semitic intellect that the Pope made Galileo deny the notion of a heliocentric system.
The release of the Scientific Consciousness after the long suppression of several hundreds of years put the inferior religious consciousnesses on the defensive. The Semitic counterattack going on today is the culmination of the Jewish response to the Enlightenment. It is imperative that a Scientific offensive be made against this anterior and surpassed form of the evolution of human consciousness. As in the past a victory cannot be achieved without a perhaps bloody and costly struggle. Such as is going on now.
We, you readers, Burroughs and I, are concerned with the middle of the Englightenment period here, say from 1890 to 1935. I think we will see that Edgar Rice Burroughs is deeply and constructively involved in this struggle between the Religious and Scientific Consciousnesses.
As I’ve noted before, the Christian response to the scientific challenge was to declare either the Pope or the Bible infallible. Protestants didn’t have a Pope so they declared the Bible infallible. Same thing. American Liberals who evolved from the Puritan/Abolitionist nexus essentially became secular religionists. It is to be remembered that the Puritans the Liberals evolved from considered themselves neo-Hebrews hence the new Chosen People. According to John Adams as Neo-Hebrews they even rejected the celebration of Christmas. Thus Liberals tend to give science a religious spin rejecting Christianity.
The Jews on the other hand confronted by a hard edged Science that could not be bent to Semitic ideas decided to co-opt Science perverting it so that it resembles their religion. All these responses have been taking place since the French Revolution of 1789 which emancipated the Jews removing them from Roman Catholic control.
As I pointed out in an earlier essay there was a brilliant episode on the TV show Twilight Zone in which monks had captured and imprisoned Satan. They made the mistake of allowing a lost traveler to stay the night in the monestery. The monks warned the visitor to pay no attention to the entreaties of the prisoner to release him. The traveler did not heed the warning and prisoner who was Satan was released again in the world. A little allegory.
Thus the Revolution and Napoleon emancipated the Jews who immediately began the conquest of Europe. France was the first to fall. Karl Marx then hi-jacked Socialism in the name of Communism. Communism negates change in favor of stasis. Its story is all regulation and control, no different than Judaism. An elite administers to the ‘masses’ as the Chosen People administers to the goys.
Just as the Moslems are called to prayer five times a day and the Jews are expected to apply their 613 commands to every action before they take it, so Communism coopts the individual into the collectivity and regulates his every action.
Using Socialism as its cutting edge the way was paved for Communism in Europe.
Burroughs first encountered Socialism on the streets of Chicago as Socialists marched along under their waving red banners. The scene made an indelible impression on the young boy resulting after the Russian Revolution in his book, Under The Red Flag. Thus the Semites coopted the political ideology of the next one hundred years.
Science unfolded very quickly in the years following Darwin’s Origin Of Species. Particularly great progress was made in the scientific understanding of the mind. Psychology then was coopted by the Jew, Sigmund Freud. It is rather difficult to understand why all research seems to have been channeled through Freudianism. A rather fecund area of research seems to have been enveloped into one train of thought.
Freud quickly established his version of the static ‘unconscious’ as the sole vision of the mind. He demoted the conscious mnd to a position of irrelvance. His intention is quite clear. The conscious mind is the engine of change. By emphasizing the static unconscious combined with is vision of sex, which is to say only sexual intercourse, he was attempting to disarm the conscious mind and hence stop change or in other words establish stasis. Success in such a course is not instantaneous so naturally science continues to progress as the pall of the unconscious spreads. It doesn’t take a genius to understand why scientists are male and white. Once you have established the fact that scientists will be male and white it becomes necessary to stultify and emasculate white males, thereby establishing stasis. One would have to be blind not to see that that is exactly what is happening.
In point of fact the unconscious does not have an objective existence. Its apparent existence is merely a mind in an arrested state of development. The stasis is caused by fixations from challenges too stressful for the conscious mind to handle. Once the fixations are dealt with and disappear, which is included in Freud’s understanding of the mind, the mind or personality is allowed to integrate, the Freudian unconscious disappearing.
Freud never integrated his personality remaining under the influence of his ‘unconscious’ so it is possible he didn’t understand the integration of the personality although his disciple, Jung, did.
However in Freud’s hands the unconscious became a weapon in the Semitic attempt to subjugate mankind. This subjugation is not religious or moral but a matter of one species seeking dominance over the others. Thus as Marx perverted the science of politics so Freud perverted the science of the mind. The third perversion of Science was the conquest of physics by Einstein. As Marx and Freud had interjected Semitic religious concepts into Politics and Psychology so Einstein did the same in Physics. It matters little that there is some scientific content in the the theories of these men. Their intent is to subordinate science to religion just as they had done vis-a-vis the Astrological Religion to the Semitic Religion when the Religious Consciousness was supreme.
That Einsten has been able to befog the minds of very intelligent men with his nonsense about the ‘fabric’ of space and time is nothing short of incredible. Yet, by the second decade of the twentieth century the perverted notions of these three men were directing the course of research in these three essential disciplines.
Thus cored from within the Aryans were made susceptible to the rising time of Wahabi Moslemism that Lothrop Stoddard noted and warned against but which warning was defused due to the machinations of Jewish Semites within Western Civilization.
Running concurrently in the background contra to the Semitic stream was the evolving Astrological Religion. Just as the evolution of the Dionysiac Archetype of the Age of Pisces developed for hundreds of years within the Arien dispensation of Zeus so the formation of the Aquarian has been taking place in the Age of Pisces.
The Enlightenment with its advance in the development of scientific consciousness was undoubtedly the opening salvo. Unlike Semitic development the Astrological evolution was not institutionalized. It is an idea that once set in motion is maintained by volunteers who get the idea and keep it perpetuating.
The principle is known. For instance the notion that America is a land of immigrants has been allowed to develop to the point of self-destruction. Of course that notion is constantly forwarded by the Liberal Coalition. Even though it is obvious to the feeblest intelligence that the land is capable of supporting only a finite number of humans the madness has now reached the point where it is beleived that the whole world can be imported ‘to share what we have.’ One of the most, if not the most, bizarre notions in all history. Such insanity is difficult to understand.
If one assumes, as one must, that human consciousness has been developing over the 150K years since humans evolved from the Last Hominid Predecessor then this transition to the Aquarian Age is the most dramatic development of history. All previous stages of evolution have involved the progression from one stage of supernatural religion to another. In this transition, for the first time, it has been proclaimed that ‘God is dead.’ That is to say a supernatural being who guide’s our destiny.
With the age of Science mankind realizes the true nature of appearances or Nature itself. The concept of Evolution destroyed the basis of the Semitic religion. There is no God, no Yahweh, no Allah, no stasis. Oh, Lord, crikey Massa, don’t put me jail for saying that! People who still believe in such non-existent deities have not been relegated to the dustbin of history.
Burroughs, and I consider this fairly remarkable, seems to have accepted the New Order of Science upon his first contact with Darwin and Evolution. To say that ‘God is dead’ creates a vacuum in human consciousness such as the integration of the personality changes one’s mental structure leaving an aching vacancy between the vacation of the old personality and its replacement by the new. Thus for the last hundred years or so mankind has been seaching for a metaphysical sucessor to the supernatural concept of God.
Just as the Enlightenment may have opened the way to the transition to the new consciousness so men have appeared to direct consciousness into constructive channels. One of these writing as Burroughs writhed through the years between his marriage and the epiphany that produced his writing career and Tarzan was a man called Levi Dowling writing under the name of Levi. His effort, I’m certain what he considered his gift to the world, was a work called The Aquarian Gospel Of Jesus The Christ.
I doubt Burroughs read this book although one never knows. Chicago in the period before Los Angeles was the American hotbed of religious speculation. One should never overlook that. Burroughs lived in a welter of religious speculation. Added to that Burroughs was heavily influenced by Lew Sweetser who was particularly interested and well informed on such topics. Plus Burroughs lived in Mormonland for a decent period of time making a special visit ot the Mormon capital in 1898, while living in Salt Lake City for several months in 1903-04. It would be hard to believe that he wasn’t learning of the Mormon doctrines especially how a noodle brain like Joseph Smith was able in the nineteenth century to impose his religious will on thousands of people.
Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, came from an area highly influenced by the fantastic religious notions of the Rhineland Pietistic Germans who became known as the Pennsylvania Dutch in America. Magazines would have been full of this stuff while the Chicago papers must have covered these religious speculations in detail. There is no reason to believe that Burroughs’ mind wasn’t filled with these speculations. Such ideas spill out all over the pages of his books.
Many writers have noted that the initials of John Carter and John Clayton are JC the same as Jesus the Christ. No Freudian believes in coincidence so there must be an intellectual connection. Burroughs repeatedly says that the next deity must be a man-god and that is explicitly what Tarzan is.
There is nothing supernatural about Tarzan. He is completely a man of science. The most highly involved specimen of humanity ever. If like Jesus the Christ he doesn’t have a magical birth he certainly has a miraculous upbringing from the age of one. Unlike Sargon and Moses who were fished from rivers in baskets thus breaking continuity with human predecessors Tarzan was taken from the cradle by an ape thus breaking continuity with human predecessors while establishing a new human paradigm. He in fact unites nature with civilization or, at least, a thin veneer of it. Now, this is completely in keeping with the Dionysiac paradigm.
Dionysus has two sides. The soft feminine side which has characterized the Piscean Age and the wild natural side which is meant to characterize the Aquarian Age. The undisciplined natural side of human consciousness that the Patriarachy tried to suppress in favor of the strictly rational as characterized by Apollo wouldn’t be suppressed. As mythology relates it, women could not be rational thus they embraced the Dionysiac religion imposing its ecstasies on society. The Dionysiac ethos was so strong that it forced itself on the Delphic Oracle in partnership with Apollo. Thus Delphi came to represent both the rational and irrational sides of consciousness. The conscious and unconscious if you will.
Thus as the Piscean Age dawned and the religious archetypes changed from Zeus and Hera to Dionysus and Isis the struggle was to keep consciousness or the rational uppermost. Of course, Dionysus and Isis were supplanted by the Semitic ideals Jesus and his mother, Mary who later became the Mother of God. Later the Dionysiac Kyrios Christos was grafted onto Jesus of Nazareth and he became Jesus the Christ as Levi Dowling correctly notes.
One can’t be certain how learned Burroughs was in this lore. He most probably was somewhat read in it while brilliantly intuiting the direction the evolution of consciousness must take. One can never be sure although there is little in the surviving library to indicate he read deeply in such lore. But then, so much of his knowledge he does evidence can’t be found in the library either. Suffice it to say that such knowledge seems to be apparent in his stories.
Needless to say the idea of Tarzan expanded and developed over his career. The Tarzan of the teens is quite different from the Tarzan of the thirties. There are a couple of passages in Tarzan Triumphant that make you do a double take. To wit: p. 12
…Tarzan with knitted brows, looked down upon the black kneeling at his feet.
“Rise!” he commanded, and then; “Who are you and why have you sought Tarzan Of The Apes?”
“I am Kabarega, O Great Bwana,” replied the black. “I am chief of the Bangalo people of Bungalo. I come to the Great Bwana because my people suffer much sorrow and great fear and our neighbors, who are related to the Gallas, have told us that you are the friend of those who suffer wrongs at the hands of bad men.”
So here Tarzan as become a Sultan, a King, an Emperor, a great judge and dispenser of justice; shall we say a god? Certainly the Lord Of The Jungle. He also seems to have lost perspective but then, perhaps a god must keep up appearances. We do have a new imperious Tarzan here who was not in any books before Invincible.
And then in Chapter 13, p. 98 in the Bowlderized Ballantine edition:
The “Gunner” was waiting for him upon the summit of the cliff directly behind the village, and for the second time these strangely dissimilar men met- dissimilar and yet, in some respects alike. Each was ordinarily quiet to taciturnity, each was self-reliant, each was a law unto himself in his own environment; but there their similarity ceased for the extremes of environment had produced psychological extremes (opposites) as remotely separated as the poles.
The ape-man had been reared amidst scenes of eternal beauty and grandeur, his associates the beast of the jungle, savage perhaps, but devoid of avarice, petty jealousy, treachery, meanness, and intentional cruelty; while the “Gunner” had known naught but the squalid aspects of scenery defiled by man, of horizons grotesque with screaming atrocities of architecture, of an earth hidden by concrete and asphaltum and littered with tin cans and garbage, his associates, in all walks of life activated by grand and petty meannesses unknown to any but mankind.
“A machine gun has its possibilities,” said the ape-man, with the flicker of a smile.
The last near hundred years has been characterized by the attempt to overturn the Scientific Consciousness in the name of two Arien Age Semitic religions, Judaism and Moslemism. Indeed the ‘hand of God’ moves in mysterious ways. Let’s look at one called ‘The Iron Law Of Wages.’ When you read in the Old Testament that ‘the poor shall be always with us’ you probably didn’t notice the arrogance of the remark nor that it is an actual ‘eternal’ tenet of Semitic religious belief. The remark put into academic terms might be that the price of labor is the lowest price that a man can be gotten to do a job and that they may be worked to death like slaves thereby insuring that the poor shall always be with us.
The religious theory was formulated in scientific terms by David Ricardo in 1817. Described as a British economist Ricardo was actually a Sephardic Jew. That is to say his people fled Spain c.1492 in this case first to Holland and then to England which was undoubtedly done illegally after a period of Dutch acculturation. It will be easily seen that Ricardo is adapting the ancient Semitic belief that the poor will always be with us to British conditions. Indeed, as his formulation became the bedrock of employment practices it may be said he created poverty as the industrial age took shape until Henry Ford disproved this ancient historical bunk in 1914. At that time he ‘unilaterally’ doubled the wages of unskilled labor to begin to create the prosperity that characterized American society until the reemergence of Semitic beliefs in the twenty-first century.
I personally deplore unionism but I also see its necessity. Ford’s action raised the price of labor across the board. Unionism was successfully fought by managers until unionism gained the backing of the government under FDR. Backed by the government support unions made excessive and ridiculous demands until their momentum was stopped when Ronald Reagan sent the Air Controllers back to work which put unionism on the defensive.
Ricardo’s Iron Law Of Wages was not re-instituted at that time. Fordism still prevailed. Then jobs were exported wholesale to ‘multi-cultural’ areas of low wages. This was a crucial mistake for the world. Even this did not break the back of labor.
The next strategic move was simply to open the borders allowing millions of immigrants who would work for lower wages under distressing conditions. While immigration makes no sense on any other level it does put the Biblical managers in control of labor once again. President Bush himself was a primitive religionist unacquainted even with the twentieth century who had surrounded himself with even more primitive Jewish religionists. The war of religion against Science goes on.
Thus the Semitic counterattack against Science goes on. Both major races of Semites, the Jews and Arabs, are waging war on the most primitive basis. The issue is not the issue. Immigration, the ostensible issue, is simply a Red Herring to disguise the true issue which is to defeat Fordism and re-institute Ricardo’s Iron Law Of Wages to ensure that the poor will always be with us. The streets are now filled with the homeless.
This is the real reason Ford is called an anti-Semite and on that basis he certainly was. God bless his memory.
So, the unsuspecting young Burroughs thrust himself into this melee. Just as Ford was in actuality a religious prophet with a new industrial dispensation so Burroughs, judging from results set himself the task of creating an archetype for the Aquarian Age. Something of value for one to aspire to. One can trace the development of Tarzan from the miraculous babe to the finished archetype as the man-god.
As H.G. Wells noted in his First And Last Things there is a necessity for metaphysics. Man does not live by bread alone. While Science reduced everything to its material basis it destroyed the means of ‘spiritual’ or psychological comfort. With God dead mankind lost its identity and sense of direction. As the old psychological projection of its identity had failed a new one was required that would be based on scientific material realities.
Levi Dowling’s vision of an Aquarian Jesus is unsatisfactory. Burroughs vision of the competent Tarzan satisfies on several different levels. Burroughs seems to have caught the essence of the Astrological Religion although there is difficulty in understanding how he came by his knowledge. The rudiments can be clearly seen so the answer must be in his personal digestion of the ideas. Lew Sweetser is obvious while perhaps Burroughs loyalty to a medical charlatan like Dr. Stace may possibly be explained by the man’s esoteric knowledge. Such knowledge frequently goes hand in hand with special diets and medical nostrums. There is no reason to believe that Stace didn’t sincerly believe in his nostums just because science couldn’t find a reason for them to be effective. Men have misled themselves to a much greater degree than that. Nevertheless I am convinced that Burroughs acquired his New Age beliefs as evidenced by Tarzan more from his associates’ conversation than reading.
The idea of Tarzan as the man-god culminates in Tarzan The Invincible and Tarzan Triumphant. With these two novels he is a fully functioning psychological projection of the Aquarian Age. The ‘spritual’ basis for Western man to regain its psychological balance destroyed by the ‘death’ of God.
He is what stands between the immolation of Euroamerican men on the altars of Semitism and the triumph of the scientific Aquarian Age.
Mankind, or at least Euroamerican mankind, must make the great leap for mankind into the Scientific Consciousness, into evolution to the next level. The old Religious Consciousness must be rejected. One cannot tolerate primitive belief systems any more than there can be no tolerance of the intolerant whatever that may mean.
Burroughs has given us an avatar of the future. It is up to us only to accept him and make use of the gifts he brought us.
Themes And Variations
The Tarzan Novels Of Edgar Rice Burroughs
#14 Tarzan The Invincible
Part II of X
Time On His Hands
I pair this novel with Tarzan At The Earth’s Core. Burroughs could have titled that novel Tarzan In Pellucidar but he didn’t. Why not? Probably because he was trying to avoid as much confusion between his two imaginary worlds as possible, or possibly he needed the site to illustrate his point but didn’t want to make it a Pellucidar novel. Earth’s Core isn’t merely a story in which Tarzan makes a guest shot in another of Burrough’s worlds. Rather ERB is making a serious exploration of Einstein’s Theory of Time and Space. Alternatively the novel might have been titled, Tarzan, Lost In Time. The novel is written to disprove the objective existence of Time. Burroughs’ own conclusion is that time is merely a human construct for mankind’s own convenience but not substantial. I think he’s right.
The nature of Time was a topic of serious discussion during the late nineteenth century, into the twentieth , still going on today. Indeed the Pellucidar series as a whole is a discussion on the aspects of Time. Of course Burroughs was familiar also with H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine.
Perhaps one of the more interesting notions of Time and Space and time travel was one advanced by Mark Twain in 1916 in his interesting novel No. 44, The Mysterious Stranger. In his story Twain imagines that space and time are assembled like a multi-storied building with each diorama of time and space continuing in replay eternally. Thus his hero, #44 scoots around in time and space in what is apparently a system of chutes and ladders.
It is possible in this system to visit ancient Egypt to watch the Pyramids being built, climb through the years to discover the head of the Sphinx sticking out of the sand as Napoleon saw it in 1798, climb once again to watch the first Aswan dam being built, move up a story or two to watch the High Dam being built and off to Troy to stand in the front ranks with poor maligned Ajax.
To The Time Machine, Einstein’s Theory and The Mysterious Stranger, now add Tarzan At The Earth’s Core. There are more similarities than dissimilarities.
ERB apprently didn’t think he made his point in At The Earth’s Core or perhaps he received some criticism from someone so he carries the discussion over into Invincible. While incongruous for this story ERB works it in.
As there are no book s on Einstein in his library one may ask what evidence there is that ERB had ever thought of Relativity. Well, I’ve got the evidence right here, p. 104:
…but though Time and space go on forever, whether in curves or straight lines…
One can’t mention curved space and Time without being familiar with Einstein. And then, Einstein absurdly claimed that a nonexistent mental construct like Time forms a Fourth Dimension which somehow interacts with the other three. We are still waiting for a demonstration of that but we’ll let it pass. I’m sure Einstein picked that up from H.G. Wells Time Machine which was a very fine piece of imaginative literature but reflected no known physics then or now. Someone ought to pin a big red bozo nose on Einstein but, back to the future.
ERB had discussed the notion of Time thoroughly in Tarzan At The Earth’s Core. Actually that’s a contradiction of terms as a hollow earth obviates the notion of core. The key fact at the Earth’s Core is that it is always high noon. The central sun knows only endless day without a contrasting night to give the appearance of Time. Without the contrast between day and night and the revolution of the Earth around the Sun the concept of Time disappears; there is nothing to measure just pure duration.
In Invincible Burroughs explains it this way, if you didn’t catch it in At The Earth’s Core, p. 104 again, same paragraph:
The beasts of the jungle acknowledge no master, least of all the cruel tyrant that drives civilized man throughout his headlong race from the cradle to the grave- Time, the master of countless millions of slaves. Time, the measurable aspect of duration, was meaningless to Tarzan and Tantor.
Not only is Time meaningless to Tarzan and Tantor but Time is meaningless to the universe itself. Nothing that ocurs in the Universe is dependent on Time nor can Time change any occurrence. The so-called Fourth Dimension is totally ineffective. Everything will happen just as it does now and has always without any reference to Time. The progress of a physcial action will progress in scientifically determined steps from inception to completion without any interference from that clown Einstein’s ‘fabric of time and space.’
That is the import of timelessness at the Earth’s core. The inhabitants live and die without the ability to know they are getting older as there is no night, day or year. The organism merely comes into existence, behaving according to physical laws determined by genes and other micro-organisms progressing through all the changes until the final change which change no longer has any conscious meaning.
The same is true of suns and galaxies. It is virtually meaningless to say the Sun is several billions of years old. It is only a mental construct that lets you grasp a concept of duration. It is much more relevant to say, for instance, that the changes in the Sun’s development are, say, 30% completed. You see, it’s all quantative not qualitative. Barring accidents and diseases, at twenty the average life span in the US is 25% consumed. The changes relative to that portion of development in the organism have occurred and will not occur again. On that basis I have used up about 85% of the physical changes alloted my organism. The nature of future changes are predictable. They cannot be avoided. This has no reference to Time no matter what state of development an organism is in.
While in a state of depletion I become ‘old’ only if my psychology is affected by the concept of ‘age.’ While my physical capabilities are not what they were at twenty, that phase of development having been passed through, my mental capabilities have developed accordingly. As my body has decreased in powers my mind has increased. The beginning has compensated the end. If I die today or tomorrow that is as it must be. Everything has its end. There is no tragedy involved.
Life and death are completed, unaffected by Time. If time ‘stopped’ as people imagine it can, everything would continue as now. Organisms merely run their physical course. That is the point Burroughs is trying to make. He is repudiating Einstein.
As a young man I was conditioned to revere Einstein. I did this unquestioningly and, boy, was I sincere. I disgust myself in memory. But then, somewhere along the line the hypnotic spell wore off, contradicted by facts. Einstein began to unravel before my eyes. It wasn’t that I questioned his reputation it was just that a mist began to lift. I began to have doubts; sort of religious doubts. I blinked once and Einstein was no longer the archetype of genius. At the second blink I began to ask questions. I tripped over the notion of the physical reality of Time just as Burroughs did.
When I read the ancient Jewish historian Josephus I began to sense the specious nature of the problem. According to Josephus Abraham was the greatest astronomer cum astrologer of his time just as Einstein is thought to be the greatest of ours. At the time of the transition between the Age of Taurus and the Age of Aries Abraham had an astrological/astronomical dispute with the academy.
You see, at that stage of the evolution of human consciousness astronomy and astrology were united into one discipline. The magical element of astrology wouldn’t be separated from the scientific element of astronomy until the scientific consciousness of humanity had separated itself from the magical or religious which two systems are synonymous. The concept of god functions only in a magical sense as his presence is even less noticeable than that of Time.
However magic and astrology are still part of human consciousness although with a quasi-scientific basis so that systems organized perhaps tens of thousands of years ago continue to function through inertia. I have been accused of being New Age. Quite frankly as New Age in my view rejects the scientific consciousness as much as any other religious system, Fundamentalist Judaism, for instance, hint hint, I cannot be New Age. But, I sure like the way they talk.
What I discuss is scientific history. Facts which religious people reject because they disavow the ideas behind them but accept as real, i.e. Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. Why bother worrying about it; witches do not exist except in the imagination.
So whether you ‘believe’ in astrology, the Zodiac or whatever is irrelevant. The fact is at one time in history people universally did and they acted on their beliefs.
At any rate the fact is at the time of the transition from the Age of Taurus to the Age of Aries Abraham had an astrological/astronomical dispute with the Chaldean astronomers of Ur. As I understand it they said the religious archetype was changing with the transition from Taurus to Aries. (I think of this as a form of set theory; it is so because everyone agrees it is so. No different than now.) Abraham argued that the archetype of the Ages was Eternal, unchanging, the Rock Of Ages to you religious types. Rock of Ages means unchanging through all the signs of the Zodiac, all twelve Ages. An Age is one sign of the Zodiac. Ages are the twelve zodiacal signs. (Hello, Central? Put me through to God.)
Now, to be Eternal is astrologically impossible. The Earth wobbles on its axis visible at the North Pole so that every twenty-five thousand years or so it creates a Great Year then begins again. The Ancients divided the Great year in the system of twelve periods, called Ages, to correspond with the months of the terrestrial year.
Apparently Abraham denied this and adamantly insisted on the Eternal. For this reason, according to Josephus Abraham and his fellow Terahite cultists were run out of town.
Lousy astronomers, then, Abraham’s descendants had learned little by the time Einstein stepped onto the world stage to give his oration. Just as Abraham had voiced his foolishness four thousand years previously Einstein did the same in our time. There are those who seriously argue that time travel is possible in Einstein’s universe. Well, maybe in his, but not in this one.
Nothing is relative but one’s point of view. The physical universe is one of absolutes; that is the nature of science. Science cannot be relative; in order for an experiment to be true it must replicate itself the same way under the same conditions. As unpleasant as that may be to some intellects there is in fact only one way in a given set of circumstances. A+B will always equal A+B. If one switches to A+C then the result will always be A+C. There is nothing relative about it. You may religiously expect other results but you will be eternally disappointed. So Einstein said that the further out in Space his mind penetrated the closer he got to god. Who can say, but he never got close enough to touch God. Einstein was not a scientist. He was a Rabbi. There is no g-d to get closer to. I’m sure that a good Rabbi would find arguments in the Talmud almost identical to those of Einstein.
Burroughs saw through Einstein hence his arguments disproving the physical existence of Time and the futility of any supposed Fourth Dimension. These are religious matters requiring a belief in a supernatural being.
Having said that Time was measureless to Tarzan and Tantor which was not entirely true since the rotation of the Earth divides ‘Time’ into night and day unlike at the Earth’s core. Burroughs then goes on to say, p. 104, same paragraph:
Of all the vast resources that Nature had placed at their disposal, she had been most profligate with Time, since she had awarded to each all that he could use during his lifetime, no matter how extravagant of it he might be. So great was the supply of it that it could not be wasted, since there is always more, even up to the moment of death, after which it ceases, with all things, to be essential to the individual. Tantor and Tarzan therefore were wasting no time as they communed together in silent meditation…
A beautiful piece of sophistry. Regardless of the Time involved, immutable physical changes continued to take place. What opportunities appropriate to that physical state were lost forever.
Apropos of which carrying his argument further, on p. 120 he says:
Time is of the essence of many things to civilized man. He fumes and frets, and reduces his mental and physical efficiency if he is not accomplishing something concrete during the passage of every minute of that medium which seems to him like a flowing river, the waters of which are utterly wasted if they are not utilized as they pass by.
Imbued by some such insane conception of time, Wayne Colt sweated and stumbled through the jungle, seeking his companions as though the fate of the universe hung upon the slender chance that he could reach them without the loss of a second.
I understand what ERB is saying, of course, I’m virtually a disciple. Tarzan lolling on the back of Tantor achieved his goal more easily than the frantic Colt. Still, one should remember: Work, for the hour grows late. Those irreversible physical changes are drawing one closer to the grave. Get it done now.
ERB displays a seeming peevishness over the issue which has little or no bearing on this story. It is an interesting aside but it does not illuminate the tale. Maybe somebody criticized the ideas expressed in At The Earth’s Core and Burroughs is carrying on the argument. Nobody paid any attention, still I am charmed by the vision of Tantor and Tarzan suspended in Space and Time wandering blissfully through the jungle unaware of any impending doom.
Proceed to Part III of X
Four Crucial Years
In The Life Of Edgar Rice Burroughs
…presumptuous attempts to conquer the outer world of appearances by the inner world of wishful thinking.
–S. Freud, Letter To Arnold Zweig 5/8/32.
Quoted by Schur: Freud: Living and Dying
Now back in Chicago he had to consider what direction his life was to take. At least secure working for his Dad, ERB made a tentative move in the direction of an artistic career. During the summer he enrolled in the Chicago Art Institute.
Chicago is billed as America’s Second City but in many ways it is or was, America’s First, certainly West of the Appalachians. The city was much more important to the Southern States than New York City, while its importance to the West is shown by the fact that the Outfit- the Chicago Mafia- considers the whole West as its province. The Outfit ruled everything west of the Appalachians by the end of the fifties
At the time in question when Chicago’s population was a mill six the population of the country was about 75 million so Chicago represented over 2% of the total. West of the towers rising from the mud there was virtually no one and those that existed were rubes and hicks or living on the reservation. During Burroughs entire youth this most modern of American capitals stood a beacon of civilization, such as it was, on what was then known as the great American desert.
Burroughs was to approach this metropolis from the West several times so is it any wonder that when John Carter emerged from the deserts of the Green Men- read Indians- the towers of Helium rose from nowhere much like Chicago. The twin of Chicago was probably New York City in ERB’s mind.
As the capital of the Empire, Helium, like Chicago, reflected the racial and ethnic makeup of Mars.
Chicago was polyglot and the mix was troubling. Bruce Grant who wrote the history of the Union Club of Chicago entitled characteristically ‘Fight For A City’ in 1955 characterized the situation during Burroughs’ time in this manner, page 96:
The thousands of laborers and adventurers who were attracted to Chicago during the rebuilding era following the fire of 1871 were for the most part uneducated newcomers. Ignorant of the underlying spirit of American institutions. Chicago was the Western distributing point for a vast European immigration. With the good came the bad, and borne along with the stream were the scum and dregs of countries where despotism had made paupers and tyranny had bred conspirators. From Russia came the Nihilists, described by one newspaper as ‘the gift of centuries of Slavic slavery and cruelty.’ From the German states came the Socialists, the offspring of military exactions and autocratic government. And from Europe generally, including Great Britain and Ireland, Chicago drained the feverish spirit of human resentment against laws and life; of property and of conduct which it had no hand in making or enforcing.
This was the environment Burroughs was growing up in. I suppose he was getting his Russian and Jewish information from the newspapers. Therefore it was heavily slanted in favor of the Jews. But as he walked around Chicago he must have thought himself a Stranger In A Strange Land. I do today. No more than 10% of Chicago’s population could be considered native. The city had a larger Irish population than Dublin, was the most populous German city in the world, The Polish population could compete with Warsaw and on down the line.
The Socialists paraded shouting and screaming Revolution under the Red banner which may have made sense in Germany but made no sense to the native born. Anarchists unfurled the Black Flag with their preposterous social conceptions.
The remarkable thing about America is the extent that the Anglos went to accommodate the immigrants. Of course there were movements such as the APA- American Protective Association- and later the Ku Klux Klan, but these were scorned and ineffective in any event, regardless of how seriously some paranoid immigrant writers like Gustavus Myers might take them.
Then as now Liberals controlled the country. More typical of the reaction was this querulous little poem gleaned from the pages of ‘Chicago’s Public Wits: a Chapter In The American Comic Spirit,’ Edited by Kenny J. Williams and Bernard Duffy. LSU Press, 1983:
I Wish I Was A Foreigner
I wish I was a foreigner, I really, really do.
A right down foreign foreigner; pure foreigner through and through;
Because I find Americans, with all of native worth,
Don’t stand one half the chances here with men of foreign birth.
It seems to be unpopular for us to hold a place,
For we are made to give it up to men of foreign race.
The question of necessity and fitness to possess
Must never be considered- who cares for our distress.
Perhaps it is not wicked to be of foreign birth,
Or to mutter a mild protest when an alien wants the earth;
But the latest importation is sure to strike a job,
And be the sooner qualified to strike and lead a mob.
A Dutchman (German) or an Irishman, a Frenchman or a Turk
Comes here to be a voter, and is always given work;
A native born American is here, and here he must stay;
So it matters little how he lives, he cannot get away.
The Spaniard and Bohemian, the Russian and the Pole,
Are looking toward America with longings in the soul,
Because the politicians will receive them with open arms,
And the goddess of our freedom bid them welcome to her charms.
But the law abiding Chinaman from the Celestial shore,
Because he has no franchise, is driven from our shore;
Americans and Chinamen are not in much demand,
The one remains neglected while the other is barred the land.
So I wish I was a Dutchman, or some other foreign cuss
I’d lord it over the natives- who don’t dare to make a fuss,
But my blushes tell the story, I am native to the soil’
So the aliens hold the places- visitors must never toil.
With the real American response as above, the retiring Bill Moyer doesn’t have to worry much about ‘the thunder on the Right’ caused by a few radio announcers. The real threat to them is that the Liberal ideology will be shown to be false and ridiculous not that the ‘danger from the Right’ is pernicious.
One believes that if Burroughs were alive today Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly would find him an ardent supporter. One wouldn’t want to be called ‘an unapologetic Conservative.’ The Liberal oppression is that strong.
The resignation is fairly bitter in the above poem. The Chinese, the only nationality ever excluded, had been denied entry in 1882, which was shortly before the above poem was written; thus the writer laments that ‘Americans and Chinamen are not in much demand’ comparing natives with the excluded Chinese.
By the nineties the Irish had seized control of many municipal administrations, including Chicago’s, so that they were in control of political patronage. The boodle as it was known. All the sinecures, city and county, were theirs to distribute to friends and cronies. The Irish effectively controlled Chicago. As the poem indicates this privilege was obtained by the vote and votes were obtained by corruption thus the Irish and the Democrats, then as today, were the party of corruption. All Irish city administrations were corrupt.
The failure of the potato, of course, sent the Irish fleeing Ireland for more emerald pastures, but the Scottish emigration to the US and Canada caused by the Highland Clearances is virtually unknown. There were two clearances, one in the eighteenth century which sent the Highlanders to the colonies or US and second , 1800-1860 which populated Canada.
After the Union when the Scottish Lairds no longer had need of armed retainers they simply cleared the natives off the land in about as brutal a manner as the Americans cleared the Indians to make room for sheep. All these people who had lived in the highlands for centuries discovered they were mere squatters on land which legally belonged to the Laird. Past services were forgotten; they were literally thrown off the land. How do you like that? Matches any hardluck story you’ve ever heard, doesn’t it?
The Lairds then invoked the law to kick their former retainers not only off the land but out of the country. Dig that, and take heed for the future. Sheriffs burned down their houses around their ears. There was then no place for them in their homeland. They were ordered to emigrate. What was that Walter Scott said:
Breathes there a man
With Soul so dead,
Who to himself hath not said,
This is my home,
My native land…
Well, with a mere change of place you can that about Canada, too. That’s how the Scots came to the US and Canada.
The Irish supremacy in the US lasted until the thirties when the massive immigration of the nineties through 1914 wrested power from them. Fiorello LaGuardia, the Jewish-Italian politician, replaced Jimmy Walker in New york ending the long Celtic rule of that city. James T. O’Farrell in his Studs Lonigan trilogy has the Irish lamenting that the Slavs are swamping the Irish causing them to lose control of the boodle. The Irish of Chicago must have rallied because Mayor Daley put the Irish back on top but because of the huge Negro influx into Chicago the Irish have to share power with the Blacks.
If one makes an analogy of the present with the past it won’t be long before Mexicans and Moslems are directing the affairs of municipalities and States. A vote is a vote.
Be that as it may, in 1897 I believe ERB would have been in sympathy with the author of I Wish I Was A Foreigner. The Irish certainly figure largely in both his personal and political images of the time. David Adams writing in the ERBzine has come up with several possible origins for the name of the Mahars of Pellucidar. I think the most obvious is that the Mahars are intended to be a parody of the Irish administration of Chicago. Mahar is an Irish name.
Earlier in the century the city of Chicago which was built on slightly different gradients so that sidewalks had a lot of up and down stairs had been literally jacked up to one level making the sidewalks even. Entire huge buildings and city blocks were raised several feet above ground to make a level city. The resulting cavity produced an underground city which the indigent occupied.
This might suggest the image of the occupants as slimy reptiles into an imaginative mind. Putting the images together one comes up with an Irish administration of slimy reptiles. I haven’t figured out why they’re deaf and female yet unless ERB was unhappy with Emma who may have been deaf to his entreaties. For the present I’ll leave that one up to you.
I shall permit myself to send you a small book which is sure to be unknown to you. Group Psychoogy And The Analysis Of The Ego, published in 1921. Not that I consider this work to be particularly successful, but it shows a way from the analysis of the individual to an understanding of society.
– S. Freud to Romain Rolland.
Quoted by Max Schur: Freud Living And Dying
Working at the Battery Company, starting from the ground up, his father must still have allowed ERB flexible hours because Our Man found time to attend classes at the Chicago Art Institute. He was not a very cooperative student, refusing to accept any discipline. According to Porges he only wanted to draw horses and that without acquiring the fundamentals of drawing. As he couldn’t find anyone willing to drop some hints on the fine points of equine deliniation he lost interest dropping out of school
I for one would be very much interested in learning exaclty how he passed his time during this halcyon period. If he and Emma went to the theatre as Porges suggests I would like to know what shows or lecture they attended. Lecturers were a much more important adjunct to entertainment than they are today. Robert Ingersoll had a huge reputation and of course Mark Twain. There was also the Chautauqua Circuit.
In the much discussed issue of Theosophy in Burroughs’ life it is quite possible that he attended a lecture or series of lectures either in their own building or some other place. There undoubtedly would have been reviews of lecture in the papers. Chicago had at least a dozen, in which the tenets or beliefs would be discussed. In the crowd in which Burroughs associated I’m sure the fairly amazing doctrines would be discussed.
When the US government places its 30 million pages of newspapers on the internet by 2006 dating back to the earlyh nineteenth century we will be able to examine this pertinent period in detail.
At the theatre he and Emma would most likely have seen an actor by the name of John McCulloch who was a fixture of the Chicago stage. This would have struck ERB as quite a coincidence as his mother had a John McCulloch as an ancestor. If I am right in my surmise John the Bully was surnamed McCulloch.
Nor would this be such a far fetched coincidence. There must have been a couple dozen John McCullochs in Chicago at the time, probably hundreds in the United States. As I write, my phone book lists a half dozen John McCullochs in this area.
If Emma introduced ERB to the theatre at this time, there seem to be no reference3s to the theatre earlier, it held an attraction for him he never lost. The old actor in Marcia Of The Doorstep is probably based on John McCulloch while ERB wrote his play You Lucky Girl at about the same time for his daughter Joan.
Then at the beginning of the thirties ERB wrote his novelette Pirate Blood using the pseudonym John T. McCulloch which united the McCulloch references in his life. It is said that ERB capitalized too much in his writing on improbable coincidences which on the one hand may be true but on the other, life is just like that, isn’t it?
A near contermporary of ERB, Vachel Lindsay, who was born in 1879 in Springfield, Illinois, catalogs the influences to which he and his generation were subject. It might not hurt to look through the poem here to try to capture some of the essence of what it meant to be young during this period. The piece is entitled: John L. Sullivan, The Strong Boy Of Boston.
The poem may be especially relevant to Burroughs as it centers on boxing which was a special interest of his. During the period from 1892 to 1897 Burroughs’ idol, Gentleman Jim Corbett, was the heavyweight champion. Corbett had defeated the incredible hulk, John L. Sullivan, in 1892 by landing one on the solar plexus making that piece of anatomy a topic of conversation down to when I was a kid. In 1897 Bob Fitzsimmons took the title from Corbett.
In the poem, Lindsay lists the many influences on his young life centered around 1889. Pervading and overriding all is the ominous figure of Sullivan and the Irish. Both Lindsay and Burroughs were Anglos. The refrain ‘East side, West side’ refers to the Irish domination of New York City while the capitalized LONDON BRIDGE IS FALLING DOWN of the last stanza implies that the Irish were conquering the Anglos.
When I was nine years old in 1889,
I sent my love a lacy valentine.
Suffering boys were dressed like Fauntleroys,
While Puck and Judge in quiet humor vied.
The Gibson Girl came shining like a bride
To spoil Tennyson’s Elaine.
Louisa Alcott was my gentle guide….
I heard a battle trumpet sound.
Nigh New Orleans
Upon an emerald plain
John L. Sullivan
The strong boy
Fought seventy-five red round with Jake Kilrain.
In simple sheltered 1889
Nick Carter I would piously deride.
Over the Elsie books I moped and sighed.
St. Nicholas magazine was all my pride;
While coarser boys on cellar doors would slide.
The grownups bought refinement by the pound.
Rogers groups had not been told to hide.
E.P. Roe had just begun to wane.
Howells was rising, surely to attain!
The nation for a jamboree was gowned.
The hundreth year of roaring freedom crowned.
The British Lion ran and hid from Blaine
The razzle-dazzle hip-hoorah from Maine.
The mocking bird was singing in the lane….
“East side, west side, all around the town the tots sang: ‘Ring a rosie-
‘London Bridge is falling down.’
John L. Sullivan
The strong boy
Broke every single rib of Jake Kilrain.
In dear provincial 1889
Barnum’s bears and tigers could astound
Ingersoll was called a most vile hound,
And named with Satan, Judas, Thomas Paine!
Phillips Brooks for heresy was fried.
Boston Brahmins patronized Mark Twain.
The baseball rules were changed. That was a gain!
Pop Anson was our darling pet and pride.
Native sons in Irish votes were drowned.
Tammany once more escaped it chain.
Once more each raw slaoon was raising Cain.
The mocking bird was singing in the lane….
“East side, west side, all around the town
The tots sang: ‘Ring a rosie’
‘London Bridge is falling down.’”
John L. Sullivan
The strong boy
Finished the ring career of Jake Kilrain.
In mystic, ancient 1889
Wilson with pure learning was allied.
Roosevelt gave forth a chriping sound.
Stanley found old Emin and and his train.
Stout explorers sought the pole in vain.
To dream of flying proved a man insane.
The newly rich were bathing in champagne.
Van Bibber Davis, at a single bound
Displayed himself and a simpering glory found.
John J. Ingalls, like a lonely crane
Swore and swore and stalked the Kansas plain.
The Cronin murder was the ages’ stain.
Johnstown was flooded, and the whole world cried.
We heard of Louvain and Lorraine,
Of a million heroes for their freedom slain.
Of Armageddon and the world’s birth-pain,
The League of nations, the new world allied,
With Wilson crucified, then justified.
We thought the world would loaf and sprawl and mosey,
The gods of Yap and Swat were sweetly dozy,
We thought the far off gods of Chow had died.
The mocking bird was singing in the lane….
“East side, west side, all around the town
the tots sang: ‘Ring a rosie’
‘LONDON BRIDGE IS FALLING DOWN.’”
John L. Sullivan knocked out Jake Kilrain.
So many of the references which had an influence on Vachel Lindsay have lost their relevance but there are two which are important for our story. One is that: The Gibson Girl came shining like a bride to spoil the cult of Tennyson’s Elaine. Elaine came from Tennyson’s Arthurian poem ‘Idylls Of The King.’ She was sort of pale and wan. The Gibson Girl was created by the illustrator, Charles Gibson. The latter girl was a robust saucy temptation of the All American Girl. Emma made the choice between the two the Gibson Girl her role model which is why I find her so entrancing. In that sense Emma was forward looking heading into the twentieth century. The Gibson Girl may be said to epitomize the woman of the myth of the twentieth century. From the Gibson Girl the ideal progressed to the Vargas pinup girl of the heyday of Esquire Magazine and from there she degenerated to the sex fantasies of Hugh Hefner and on down to Larry Flynt’s Hustler. The story could have had a happy ending but didn’t. It’s gotten worse. I don’t want to go into that.
The second key point is the general regretful tone concerning the Irish. Just as in the poem I Wish I Was A Foreigner where the American complains …’the foreigner comes here to be a voter,’ so Lindsay notes ‘Native sons in Irish votes were drowned.’ This is serious. This was a major problem with the ‘democracy’ when its intended fairness was turned against itself. In a homogeneous society votes are used to determine an issue regarding the welfare of the whole people. In a heterogeneous society votes are used to advance the interests of one segment against the others. Thus the whole democratic process is subverted.
Thus while the Anglos were concerned with regulating the country and immigration for the benefit of all, the Irish put themselves forward as the benefactors of the immigrants against the Anglos taking moral shortcuts which undermined the integrity of the State. Immigrants then were brought in on the Irish side condemning the Anglos who were their true benefactors.
Hence the baffling undercurrent of condemnation and complaint that runs thorugh American historical writing.
Vachel Lindsay would also run afoul of the Diversity with his poem of the Congo which the Left portrayed as anti-Negro while it merely was an expression of Lindsay’s understanding of the culture of the Negro Group within the Diversity. The Negro deserves to have his own psychology and he does. We should value and honor that.
Such censoring of opinion will have its consequences. Burroughs himself was and is charged with racism merely for having prescient views. The man was a deep thinker. Viewing the world around him at this time he came to a remarkably accurate conclusion. I can’t tell what his thought processes were but analyzing history he came to this conclusion.
In his prophetic futuristic novel ‘Beyond Thirty’ of 1915, just after the Great War began, he has a post-war Europe ruled, as I thought improbably by Black Africans. In light of recent events this now seems not so improbable.
Life is not what we would have it: The world is not run on any principles we can cheerfully accept. The twentieth century was one of unprecedented disasters in their scope. Shiva and Kali rule whether we will or not. The twenty-first century will be even more destructive. Now, beginning in the fifteenth century Europe, in essence, began the invasion of the world. Scientifically far in advance of the rest of the world its success was dazzling. However, somewhere in these years, we are considering, perhaps specifically 1893, the Euroamericans, the West, lost its will to dominate. This lack of will was presciently picked up by a number of writers including Burroughs.
The way of the world is that one either conquers or one is conquered. Having begun to impose its will on the world there was no turning back for the West. However it has attempted to do so. The result is that instead of invading and conquering the West is now being invaded and conquered.
Any Freudian analysis of the ego of the various peoples or, Groups, will provide a record of their mental processes, objectives and desires, not mention, capabilities. The myth of the twentieth century was destroyed on 9/11/01 when the Moslems destroyed the religious symbol of the World Trade Center.
The West at the height of their confidence moved peoples about the world to satisfy their needs. East Indians were taken to all corners of the world while Chinese were moved into areas in the Pacific where their skills were in advance of the native populations. During the two wars Africans were recruited to fight from Europe to the Far East. A great deal of the consequences have been suppressed. Having set the peoples of the world in motion, the West withdrew from its conquests, the conquered peoples began to assert their Group egos realizing that it was either conquer or be destroyed. Then they began their invasions.
The Japanese attempt to expel the West from Asia was successful although costly for themselves. Nevertheless by the 50s the West had been expelled from Asia while the enclave in Hong Kong was allowed to live out the terms of their lease.
By the early sixtes the Africans had expelled the West except in South Africa. that fearful drama is not yet finished.
Africans had been dispersed throughout the Americas during gthe 16th through 19th centuries. Beginning recently they have begun to invade Europe from the North African ports especially from Libya.
At the same time the world’s population has grown so large that there are areas that can no longer support their populations. Whether by design or natural increase the Semitic States were so productive that they began exporting people throughout th world beginning in the seventies while their populations at home continue to grow.
As the Moslems invaded the world in this second Eruption From The Desert this narrow, bigoted, antiquated religious faith came into conflict with Western Scientific knowledge.
To accept scientific knowledge would destroy the Moslem faith in much the same way that the Christian and Jewish faiths in the West have been affected. There can be no compromise between the two; this is an either-or situation.
While Moslem proselytizing has never ceased since the seventh century there was now a renewed burst of activity combined with an all out assault on the West, well conducted within Moslem military limitations.
On 9/11/01 they were successful in destroying the symbol of scientific achievement, the World Trade Center in New York City. They aimed directly at the strength of the West- its economic system.
It is a mistake to think that anything can be achieved by fair minded discussion or concessions, otherwise known as appeasement. Appeasement didn’t work out so well in the thirties when another determined ideology asserted its will. This is a war to the knife; only one side will be left standing.
More remarkable still, having disturbed the Africans in their nest, the Africans are on the move having begun an invsion of Euorpe which is already over populated there being no room for vast numbers of either Africans or Moslems, unless…. Religious and racial intolerance began to take a vicious turn in the twentieth centgury when racial clashes began almost simultaneoulsy in Europe and Asia.
Since then genocidal wars of either a racial or religious nature have proliferated. The Moslems have opened a guerilla war on the world. In areas where resources are insufficient to support an Arab or Semitic population against other races the Semites or Arabs are conducting genocidal wars as in the Sudan where they are wiping out the Negroes or driving them beyond the borders.
As Moslems and Negroes flood into Europe this must result in a terrific struggle for survival of the Europeans, probably breaking out within the next ten or twenty years.
The resultant war must be genocidal in nature. If the European struggle is successful it must result in the death of alien populations or their being driven out of Europe the same as the long struggle to drive the Moslems out of Spain. Or the Europeans will be annihilated.
This is an unpleasant but inevitable prospect.
If the Europeans fail as I am sure they will then Burroughs remarkable prophecy of a Black Europe in ‘Beyond Thirty’ is almost certain to become a reality. Life does not give you any easy choices. Here in America you’re not even supposed to talk about this problem in a realistic manner so there is no hope of avoiding destruction.
ERB’s head must have been aswirl with all these thoughts that society forbade him to express directly.
Probably wrestling with all these macro thoughts he had the really important micro thoughts to deal with. Really, what to do with Emma who he wanted but didn’t want to marry, while still not losing her to Frank Martin.
In February of ’98 he once again for some reason decided to seek an officer’s appointment. He wrote to a former commandant at the MMA, Capt. Fred A. Smith, seeking his assistance. Smith, of course, replied that there was nothing he could do. ERB still didn’t understand the consequences of abandoning his post in 1896.
Shortly thereafter ERB pulled up stakes to return to Idaho abruptly abandoning Emma again. Why he should have done so is not clear although perhaps there is a clue in the Return Of Tarzan. Remember that dream displacement and disfiguration are in operation so that one cannot expect a literal representation of the incident. One has to demythologize it.l In the Return W.C. Clayton, Tarzan’s rival for Jane, and Jane have been stranded in the jungle.
Tarzan has chanced upon their camp. As he watched an aged, toothless lion was about to spring on a cringing W.E. Clayton as Jane watches. Tarzan transfixes the lion with his spear. He then sees Clayton get up to embrace and kiss Jane. Mistaking the import of the embrace and kiss, Tarzan turns sorowfully back to disappear into the jungle.
Burroughs himself may have seen Frank Martin kissing Emma. Perhaps he thought that a pauper like himself had lost out to a prince like Martin. Thinking himself cut out might have been the reason for his departure to Idaho much as Tarzan melted back into the jungle.. With no more thought for his Dad at the Battery Company than he had for Col. Rogers at the MMA ERB just up and left. Poor old Emma must have been wondering what she had done. Couldn’t have been anything she said.
Continue to Part III.
Yoko Ono And The Men Who Influenced Her
Review by R.E. Prindle
Clayson, Alan: Woman: The Incredible Life Of Yoko Ono, Chrome Dreams, 2004.
Yoko Ono involved herself with several of the most influential men in the arts during the sixties, seventies and eighties of the twentieth century. She drew her inspiration from them patterning her own efforts after them. At the same time she was one of the leading feminists of the day having her share in shaping and furthering the movement. The mantra was female liberation, equality between men and women. In fact women were equal to men in the West but only by acknowledging the biological differences between men and women. The fact is the differences are real and not social constructs as women would have us believe. The fact is women are women and men are men. So, in seeking ‘female liberation’ feminists were seeking much more than ‘equality’ however the term may be defined.
The fact is that in the Ages old war between the sexes feminists are seeking to restore the Matriarchy and destroy the Patriarchy. That is why many men favor feminism, they prefer the Matriarchy. Thus the feminists are atavistic. Yoko and her cohorts wished, in her words, to restore ‘heart’ as she viewed the Matriarchy and eliminate ‘reason’ as she viewed quite rightly the basis of Patriarchalism. Nevermind that bilogical science has invalidated the concepts of Matriarachy and Patriarchy. This is a post Matriarchy and Patriarchy world.
Circa -2000 in the West men revolted against the mind stifling Matriarchy and the vaginal swamp of the ‘heart’ seeking to establish
the authority of the infinite power of the mind of Zeus on ethereal Olympus. This is the story of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey and the Greek myths in general recording the struggle.
The Western male was able to impose the ascendency of reason over the heart for 3000 years until the disestablishment of the old order by science about mid-nineteenth century. The center could not hold during this period of extreme change as W.B. Yeats put it as the rearrangement of the intellectual order moved into the twentieth century.
Yoko Ono sought with her feminist fellows to return to the biological innocence of 2000 BC. She herself had no talent. Filled with audacity she pitted her ‘heart’ against the reason of John Cage, Andy Warhol and John Lennon. I’m sure she had a mentor for her so-called performance art but I am as yet unaware of who he may be. Perhaps Maciunas and the Fluxus group.
Thus her first manifestation as an artist was based on the musical ideas of John Cage while her artistic efforts were at least based in the avant garde ideas of the Fluxus group. Her first assault on the NYC art world failed so in 1961 she returned in defeat to Japan. When she returned to NYC in 1964 she found an entirely different art scene. On the musical side the focus was on Bobby Dylan and the Beatles while on the artistic side Andy Warhol and his Factory had destroyed the Abstract Expressionists and the old avant garde. Dylan, the Beatles and Warhol had in fact usurped the avant garde which now had little meaning. From my point of view held at the time the avant garde had ceased to exist. Of course I didn’t understand exactly why or how.
From 1964 when Yoko returned to NYC until 1966 when she left for London I’m sure Yoko was at a loss. She developed her silly
notion of Bagism at this time even having a black bag on a stand in Max’s Kansas City that some one or ones were supposed to slide into. This seems to have been thought a lame idea at the time as it seems now.
At this time while retaining allegiance to John Cage’s musical ideas she was falling under the influence of Andy Warhol’s artistic notions. Warhol’s intent had been to destroy the idea of ‘fine art’. In this he pretty well succeeded. As Yoko expressed it you didn’t need any talent to be an artist. She seems to demonstrate this notion in her own artistic efforts. Warhol had also redefined the notion of film with his static studies. He then sought to combine his film ideas with live music, probably in competition with Bob Dylan who was also attempting to move in that direction. Warhol adopted Lou Reed and his band the Velvet Underground as the Factory house band while creating a multi-media show called the Exploding Plastic Inevitable, innovative for its time. Thus a concert at his hall, the Dom, was an ‘experience.’
While Yoko makes no mention about how this, actually, incredible development affected her there can be no doubt that she was well aware of Dylan, the Beatles and the Warhol Experience and was affected by it. Indeed, the first manifestation was the making of her Warhol style films such as Bottoms.
The second manifestation was her removal to London to seduce either Lennon or McCartney of the Beatles, thus in the manner of Warhol’s adoption of the Velvet Underground she sought to co-opt the Beatles, the premier rock group in the world. Real chutzpah and more than one upping Warhol. I think it would be nonsense to think she had any other goal in mind.
She undoubteldy learned that Paul McCartney was actively involved with John Dunbar and his Indica Gallery that opened in 1965.
Some say she first set her sights on McCartney but the more vulnerable Lennon showed up and the Spider Woman spread her web.
She was still married to her second husband, Tony Cox, but, regardless of what she says she very aggressively pursued, or attacked, Lennon. Lennon was emotionally under water unable to handle his success while drugging himself out of his mind. He was unwillingly married to his wife Cynthia. It appears that he married Cynthia out of duty when she became pregnant. He doesn’t seem to have been happy in his virtue. Yoko had no difficulty in capturing his affections.
Now, just as Warhol had adopted the Velvets and imposed his female singer, Nico, on the band Yoko sought to imp[ose herself on the Beatles through Lennon. At this time she was still musically completely in thrall to John Cage understanding nothing about Rock music. She and Lennon had made a ridiculous LP called Two Virgins in 1968. She combined her cagian screechings while using an avant garde 'performance' notion of the couple posing nude on the cover; full frontal on the obverse, full posterior on the reverse. As no store would carry the cover the couple reverted to Yoko's idea of Bagism placing the cover inside a plain manila envelope or bag. While it didn't sell the record this form of Bagism was actually a successful artistic statement. The nude cover given an outer garment so to speak.
Well, the public was prepared to forgive the Beatles anything but the other three Beatles weren't prepared to forgive Yoko for forcing herself on them thus she broke up the most successful act of the sixties. Still, she had succeeded according to her wildest dream. Lennon and his wonderful reputation and fortune were hers. She had gone from a neglected, nondescript 'performance' artist to center stage, not on her own womanly talents but by attaching herself to a talented man. Yoko's 'heart' was useless without the male intellect. Yoko was now the most influencial feminist in the world. She knew what to do with that.
After several 'performance' acts such as the 'Bed In For Peace' the couple left England to return to the place Yoko wished to subjugate artistically, New York City. She had raised herself to a par with Andy Warhol. She now had to meld her musical and artistic goals through Lennon and Warhol.
On the musical side she began to develop her rock n' roll skills under the tutelage of Lennon. While not abandoning the avant garde notions of John Cage she now emasculated her husband. Always semi-delusional or perhaps completely so, she fantasized that she was not only equal to Lennon in skill and popularity but superior to him. She imagined herself more popular than Lennon. Thus one has such travesties as the LP Double Fantasy. It was only after Lennon's death that she was forced to recognize than Lennon's fans did not appreciate her efforts. So she failed as a musician.
She quickly tired of being Mrs. Lennon. Thus she and Lennon separated for eighteen months or so during the years 1973-75. She then realized that her financial well being and musical acceptance depended on Lennon. In 1975 she called him back resuming their relationship until his death in 1980. But, things had changed.
She began to adopt Warhol's life style on her return to NYC. While she propagated the notion that she was some sort of business whiz Iam having difficulties discovering any such skills. It appears that with the enormous income of Lennon she emulated Warhol in
spending her way to prosperity.
She was in a position to not only match Warhol’s spending but exceeding it by many times. Through the seventies and eighties Warhol came into his own as an artist while reaping a fortune doing portraits. There appears to have been no effort on his part to invest in income producing vehicles. Rather he bought stuff. He purchased buildings in NYC and elsewhere while acquring undeveloped acreage in places like Aspen. He shopped nearly every day buying antiques from furniture to objets d’ art by the bushel almost as though he were trying to excel the incredible W.R. Hearst.
He usually didn’t even look at the stuff once he bought it merely filling rooms with his shopping bags. At his death all this junk was auctioned off for 25 million dollars, a nice appreciation in value.
Yoko followed the exact pattern buying apartments and houses as well as an extensive dairy farm with a herd of prize cows. She not only had but has five apartments in her principal dwelling, the Dakota apartment building and many other houses scattered around.
Like Warhol the Dakota apartments are stuffed with junk. Valuable, but, you know, stuff. She bought at good prices. Her extensive collection of Egyptian antiquities was mostly purchased before a steep rise in value.
Like the Rothschilds of old Yoko didn’t do all her own shopping but employed agents to search things out. Chief among these was an associate of Warhol’s, Sam Green, and an Hungarian immigrant by the name of Sam Havadtoy.
There should be no surprise then that she now has an extensive collection of Warhol’s artwork as well as his portraits of Lennon. The Warhols would have been purchased for form 25 to 50K while now being listed on her assets at tens of millions. She also has been said to have a good collection of Magrittes as well as one assumes other artists. So, much of her net worth is tied up in artwork purchased through Sam Green.
Sam Havadtoy was an antiques dealer as well as an interior designer. He appears to have been a somewhat shady character. It is very difficult to find much about him, however there is a sharp portrait available from the notorious A.J. Weberman ( http://www.acid-trip.org/lennon/ )
…(the Lennons) hired a sleazy Eastern European bisexual to renovate the pad. (Dakota) I had heard of this dude, whose name escapes me, from an asswipe named BRUCE KIRSH, who worked for him. KIRSH told me that the dude, who worked for the King of Morocco, would form a dummy renovation company, hire employees like Kirsch who were willing to work under false names, then, when it came time to pay taxes, everyone would disappear. I learned of him long before he was hired by John and Yoko, and I was taken aback when Yoko took up with him after John’s death.
I know that Weberman is not particularly well thought of by fandom but this is because of his harassment of Dylan who did, after all, misrepresent himself to the revolutionaries like Weberman. A.J. himself is an intelligent observer who was wading through it when it was deep. I do believe he knows what he’s talking about although his interpretations of Dylan’s lyrics seem absurd.
I would have to question Yoko’s judgment in taking him in. Both he and Sam Green were candidates as successors to Lennon with
whom she consorted in front of Lennon before he died while Yoko chose Havadtoy as his successor the day he died.
Perhaps she selected Havadtoy over Green because he was more rough trade. With Lennon while managing to reconcile revolution with peace and love with Havadtoy she discarded peace and love in favor of strong arm methods against her former employee Fred Seaman when it was totally unnecessary.
Havadtoy was living in a homosexual arrangement with his business partner when Yoko beckoned him to switch to her. Apparently an able switch hitter he was lured by the money to this much older woman. The arrangement did last for twenty years before Havadtoy removed to his native Hungary taking a nice cash settlement and several of the Warhols.
Thus, just as Warhol had his live-in homosexual arrangement so after Lennon’s death Yoko adopted the exact arrrangement. Today she apparently lives alone, a seventy-eight year old woman.
After Lennon’s death there was an accession of from 30 million to a possible 100 million dollars as their last album, Double Fantasy, sold into the millions while the rest of Lennon’s catalog and one assumes the Beatles’ catalog was reinvigorated while all things Lennon sold. This is, of course, no reflection on Yoko but the inevitable result with intellectual properties when the maker dies.
Post-Lennon, then, Yoko realized that her recording and art careers were nil. Heart without intellect is worthless. She then became the caretaker of the Lennon legacy. His recordings, of course, continued to sell, but even his artwork eclipsed that of Yoko. So she suffered the humiliation of being a mere appendage to a man. The feminine dismal swamp was eclipsed by the Olympian heights of the male intellect. As in ancient times the God had trumped the Goddess. And yet as with Hera and Zeus the Goddess gets her way. Yoko came up with the money and goods while Lennon’s spirit was wafted into the stratosphere.
As any reader of mythology knows Hera ruled the Lernean swamps of Argolis while Zeus ruled the gods on ethereal Olympus. Thus one has the symbolism of the biological difference between the male and female.
In ancient times the female had her share in magic. She knew herbs and plants, was familiar with poisons and cures as with the arch witch of the ancient world, Medea. The reputation of the female witch even as a consort of Satan persisted down through medieval and post-medieval times, indeed, even up to the dawn of the scientific enlightenment. One would have thought that magic and witchery were a thing of the past in the 1960s and yet Yoko embodied the whole female swamp mentality.
She established something called the Spirit Foundation attributing the direction to Lennon who in fact knew nothing of these matters but followed her lead. The Spirit Foundation celebrated the ancient art of the Shaman or witch doctor. Shamanism itself even preceded the Matriarchal swamps of Argolis. It was a rich repository of magical tradition. Further the Foundation was feminist in that it was dedicated to preserving the magical traditions of the women of the Pacific islands still living in such archaic societies. The wealth generated by the male intellect was appropriated by the female vagina or ‘heart.’
In her own life and that of Lennon’s Yoko was addicted to a variety of magical practices- astrology, numerology, Tarot readings, and indeed she traveled to the Caribbean to sell her soul to Satan through the offices of a female curandera. Her Tarot reader, John Green, was a priest in the shamanistic, magical, Yoruban African cult of Santeria.
Her feminism was more a magical effort to restory Matriarchal supremacy over the Patriarchy thus reversing the Patriarchal victory of three thousand years previously. Indeed, what has been called the movement for female equality is nothing more than a covert campaign to restore the Matriarchy.
Thus while Yoko o9riginatd nothing she usurped the abilities of the reason of men- Cage, Warhol, Lennon and male magicians such as John Green. Indeed the Trojan War itself was a war of men in service of women.
In her associations with men she preferrred to deal with emasculated types such as homosexuals like Cage, Warhol, Sam Green and Sam Havadtoy. Lennon claimed to have always been dependent of women for comfort and guidance while Yoko caught him at his most confused and vulnerable.
While she received direction from Cage and Warhol she was able to manipulate Lennon out of his talent somewhat as Vivian did that of Merlin of the Arthurian saga. When Vivian had usurped Merlin’s magical knowledge she buried him deep much as Lennon was put out of the way. Yoko then appropriated his wealth and residual income after his death. It was this constant inflow of cash that allowed her to propagate the notion that she was a financial genius.
Then as the female of the ‘heart’ or vaginal swamp she managed and appropriated the reason of Olympus through Cage, Warhol and Lennon. What she got from Havadtoy other than brute strength is not clear to me.
As such Yoko is Woman. In her case a seeming reversion to the archetypal Shaman of the most ancient times.
October 25, 2009
A Contribution To The
ERBzine Library Project
Edgar Rice Burroughs Meets Rider Haggard
Among the very many important influences on Edgar Rice Burroughs, contending for the top spot was the English novelist of Africa, Henry Rider Haggard, frequently named as just Rider Haggard.
Haggard was born on June 22, 1856 in Norfolkshire. He died on May 14, 1925. When Burroughs was born in 1875 his future idol was beginning his stay in South Africa of seven years duration. It was there that Haggard learned the history of the Zulu chiefs from Chaka to Cetywayo that figures so prominently in his African novels.
In Africa at twenty, he was back in England at 27. Even though Science was surging through England and Europe curiously Haggard was untouched by it all his life. There is not even an acknowledgement that he had ever heard of Evolution in his novels. Nor was he religious in the Christian sense. Instead he became well versed in the esoteric tradition leaning even toward a pagan pre-Christian sensibility. Perhaps very close to African animism.
One supposes that on his return to England he might have immersed himself in Madame Blavatsky’s Isis Unveiled published in 1877. He certainly seems to be a theosophical adept in his first two African novels, King Solomon’s Mines and She but he must have been pursuing his esoteric studies in Africa to have known so much. If so, he is certainly knowledgeable of Zulu and African lore having a deep sympathy for it. Indeed, he frequently comes across as half African intellectually.
Once he began writing he apparently never put down his pen. I am unclear as to how many novels he wrote. For convenience sake I have used the fantasticfiction.com bibliography which lists 50, but as I have sixty so there are obviously some missing. In addition Haggard wrote a dozen non-fiction titles.
While writing dozens of African novels Haggard also wrote a dozen or so esoteric novels placed throughout the eastern Mediterranean, Mexico and Nicaragua. These are all terrifically impressive displays of esoteric understanding, breathtaking as a whole. Usually disparaged by those without an esoteric background and education these volumes are almost essential reading for anyone so inclined. For those who would deny ERB’s esoteric training and background I refer them to Haggard’s novels.
The key to understanding Haggard’s thinking and works are a batch of novels exploring the relationship of the Anima and Animus. Haggard’s quest in which he failed was to find union with his Anima.
His fictional seeker and alter ego was Allan Quatermain. Thus the first of his esoteric novels is King Solomon’s Mines, in which he introduces Quatermain establishes his Ego or Animus. With his next novel, She, he introduces his Anima figure Ayesha otherwise known as She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed. Early Sheena, Queen Of The Jungle.
She was much acclaimed as the epitome of the Theosophical doctrine by Madame Blavatsky while C.G. Jung asserted that She was a perfect representation of the Anima figure. Haggard followed She (1886) with Ayesha, The Return Of She (1905) and the final volume of the trilogy, Wisdom’s Daughter: The Life And Love Story Of She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed (1923). Terrific stuff, well worth a couple reads each. She, of course, became the model for Burroughs’ La of Opar.
Haggard died in 1925 so it can be seen that he was obsessed by his quest for union with his Anima. Two additional volumes deal with his problem. The trilogy does not include Allan Quatermain so Haggard had to write his alter-ego into Ayesha’s story. This was begun in She And Allen of 1920. You can see that he closer he got to his death the problem became more urgent. The end of the story was told in his postumously published Treasure Of The Lake (1926).
Treasure is the most hauntingly beautiful title Haggard wrote. Just astonishing. In the novel Quatermain is ‘called’ to travel to a hidden land. He has no idea why but fate is visibly arranging things so that he must obey. Terrific stuff. The Treasure Of The Lake is none other than Allan’s Anima although no longer called Ayesha. She lives on an island in the middle of a lake in an extinct volcano, She being the Treasure. Heartbreakingly she is not for Allan. He is only to get a glimpse of the grail while a character is rescued by Allan who bears a striking resemblance to Leo Vincey, the hero of She who is winner of the Treasure. The Treasure is reserved for him. Thus Allan and Haggard journey back from the mountain’s top having seen the promised land but not allowed to enter. By the time the first readers, which included Edgar Rice Burroughs, turned the pages H. Rider Haggard had crossed the bar, his bark being far out on the sea.
Burroughs was impressed. His 1931 novel, Tarzan Triumphant, is a direct imitation in certain episodes. Largely on that basis I have to speculate that Burroughs read the entire Haggard corpus at least once.
The Anima novels of Haggard then are:
1. King Solomon’s Mines
3. Ayesha, The Return Of She
4.Wisdom’s Daughter: The Life And Love Story Of She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed
5. She And Allan
6. The Treasure Of The Lake
The writing of the titles span Haggard’s writing career.
His first esoteric novels which I heartily recommend are Cleopatra, The World’s Desire (top notch), The Pearl Maiden, Montezuma’s Daughter, Heart Of The World, Morning Star and Queen Sheba’s Ring.
What most people think of and when anyone thinks of Haggard is his character Allan Quatermain. The makes and remakes of Quatermain and She movies are numerous. You could entertain yourself for many an hour.
Fourteen novels were published during Haggard’s lifetime, the best known being King Soloman’s Mines and Allan Quatermain. Many people have no idea he wrote anything else. She, of the first African trilogy, doesn’t include Quatermain.
Both of the first Quatermains were highly influential on Burroughs. Tarzan was fashioned to some extent on the character Sir Henry Curtis, the original white giant. While most people look for the origins of Tarzan in the Romulus and Remus myth of Rome that is only a small part of it that reflects Burroughs’ understanding of ancient mythology. The models for Tarzan are more diverse including not only Curtis but The Great Sandow who Burroughs saw and possibly met at the great Columbian Exposition of 1893. The list of titles in the Quatermain series: (N.B. It is Quatermain not Quartermain.)
1. King Solomon’s Mines
2. Allan Quatermain
3. Allan’s Wife
4, Maiwa’s Revenge
6. Child Of The Storm
7. The Holy Flower
9. The Ivory Child
10. The Ancient Allan
11. She And Allan
12. Heu-Heu or The Monster
13. Treasure Of The Lake
14. Allan And The Ice Gods
As I look over the list I find that they were all pretty good. The trilogy of Marie, Child Of The Storm and Finished, concerning Chaka’s wars is excellent. The Holy Flower and The Ivory Child are also outstanding. The Ivory Child introduces the notion of the Elephant’s Graveyard that captivated Hollywood while taking a central place in MGM’s Tarzan series of movies.
Other noteworthy African titles are Nada, The Lily, The People Of The Mist and Benita.
In addition to the Esoteric and African novels Haggard wrote various contemporary and historical novels. All of them are high quality but mainly for the Haggard enthusiast. Burroughs may have been influenced to write the diverse range of his stories by Haggard’s example.
In the current print on demand (POD) publishing situation nearly the entire catalog is available. The Wildside Press publishes attractive editons of forty-some titles. Kessinger Publishing publishes most of what Wildside doesn’t and most of what they do but in relatively unattractive editions. You can search other POD publishers and probably come up with what you want.
Haggard is wonderful stuff. You can choose at random and come up with something that truly entertains you.
Themes And Variations
The Tarzan Novels Of Edgar Rice Burroughs
#5 Tarzan And The Jewels Of Opar
Du Maurier, George: Peter Ibbetson
Dudgeon, Piers: Captivated: J.M. Barrie, The Du Mauriers & The Dark Side Of Neverland, 2008, Chatto And Windus
Hesse, Herman: The Bead Game
Neumann, Erich: The Origins and History Of Consciousness, 1951, Princeton/Bollingen
Vrettos, Athena: “Little Bags Of Remembrance: Du Maurier’s Peter Ibbetson And Victorian Theories Of Ancestral Memories” Erudit Magazine Fall 2009.
While it is today commonly believed that Sigmund Freud invented or discovered the Unconscious this is not true. As so happens a great cataclysm, The Great War of 1914-18, bent civilization in a different direction dissociating it from its recent past.
Studies in the earlier spirit of the unconscious continued to be carried on by C.G. Jung and his school but Freud successfully suppressed their influence until quite recently actually. Through the fifties of the last century Freud’s mistaken and harmful, one might say criminal, notion of the unconscious held the field. Thus there is quite a difference in the tone of Edgar Rice Burroughs writing before and after the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution.
There are those who argue that Burroughs was some kind of idiot savant who somehow knew how to write exciting stories. In fact he was a well and widely read man of varied interests who kept up on intellectual and scientific matters. He was what might be called an autodidact with none of the academic gloss. He was very interested in psychological matters from hypnotism to dream theory.
The scientific investigation of the unconscious may probably be dated to the appearance of Anton Mesmer and his interest in hypnotism also variously known as Mesmerism and Animal Magnetism. The full fledged investigation of the unconscious began with hypnotism. Slowly at first but by the last quarter of the nineteenth century in full flower with varied colors. Science per se was a recent development also flowering along with the discovery of the unconscious.
While Charles Darwin had brought the concept of evolution to scientific recognition in 1859 the key discipline of genetics to make sense of evolution was a missing component. It is true that Gregor Mendel discovered the concept of genetics shortly after Darwin’s Origin Of Species was issued but Mendel’s studies made no impression at the time. His theories were rediscovered in 1900 but they were probably not widely diffused until after the Great War. Burroughs knew of the earlier Lamarck, Darwin and Mendel by 1933 when he wrote Tarzan And The Lion Man. His character of ‘God’ is the result of genetic mutation.
Lacking the more complete knowledge of certain processes that we have today these late nineteenth century speculators seem ludicrous and wide of the mark but one has to remember that comprehension was transitting the religious mind of the previous centuries to a scientific one, a science that wasn’t accepted by everyone then and still isn’t today. The Society For Psychical Research sounds humorous today but without the advantage of genetics, especially DNA such speculations made more sense except to the most hard nosed scientists and skeptics. The future poet laureate John Masefield was there. Looking back from the perspective of 1947 he is quoted by Piers Dudgeon, p. 102:
Men were seeking to discover what limitations there were to personal intellect; how far it could travel from its home personal brain; how deeply it could influence other minds at a distance from it or near it; what limits, if any, there might be to an intense mental sympathy. This enquiry occupied many doctors and scientists in various ways. It stirred George Du Maurier…to speculations which deeply delighted his generation.
Whether believer or skeptic Burroughs himself must have been delighted by these speculations as they stirred his own imagination deeply until after the pall of the Revolution and Freud’s triumph.
Burroughs was subjected to dreams and nightmares all his life. Often waking from bad dreams. He said that his stories were derived from his dreams but there are many Bibliophiles who scoff at this notion. The notion of ‘directed dreaming’ has disappeared from popular consideration but then it was a serious topic. Freud’s own dream book was issued at about this time. I have already reviewed George Du Maurier’s Peter Ibbetson on my blog, I, Dynamo and on ERBzine with Du Maurier’s notions of ‘Dreaming True’. It seems highly probable that Burroughs read Ibbetson and Du Maurier’s other two novels so that from sometime in the nineties he would have been familiar with dream notions from that source.
Auto-suggestion is concerned here and just as support that Burroughs was familiar with the concept let me quote from a recent collection of ERB’s letters with Metcalf as posted on ERBzine. This letter is dated December 12, 1912.
If they liked Tarzan, they will expect to like this story and this very self-suggestion will come to add to their interest in it.
Athena Vrettos whose article is noted above provides some interesting information from Robert Louis Stevenson who developed a system of ‘directed dreaming’ i.e. auto-suggestion. We know that Burroughs was highly influenced by Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde while he probably read other novels of Stevenson. How could he have missed Treasure Island? Whether he read any of Stevenson’s essays is open to guess but in an 1888 essay A Chapter On Dreams Stevenson explained his method. To Quote Vrettos:
Rather than experiencing dreams at random, fragmented images and events, Stevenson claims he has learned how to shape them into coherent, interconnected narratives, “to dream in sequences and thus to lead a double life- one of the day, one of the night- one that he had every reason to believe was the true one, another that he had no means of proving false.” Stevenson describes how he gains increasing control of his dream life by focusing his memory through autosuggestion, he sets his unconscious imagination to work assisting him in his profession of writer by creating “better tales than he could fashion for himself.” Becoming an enthusiastic audience to his own “nocturnal dreams”, Stevenson describes how he subsequently develops those dreams and memories into the basis for many of his published stories, most notably his 1886 Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde.
Now, directed dreaming and Dreaming True sound quite similar. One wonder if there was a connection between Stevenson and Du Maurier. It turns out that there was as well as with nearly the entire group of English investigators. Let us turn to Piers Dudgeon again, p. 102:
Shortly after they met, the novelist Walter Besant invited [Du Maurier] to join a club he was setting up, to be named ‘The Rabelais’ after the author of Gargantua and Pantagruel. Its name raised expectations of bawdiness, obscenity and reckless living, (which were not in fact delivered) as was noted at the time. Henry Ashbee, a successful city businessman with a passion for pornography, and reputed to be Robert Louis Stevenson’s model for the two sides of his creation, Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde, denounced its members as ‘very slow and un-Rabelaisian’, and there is a story that Thomas Hardy, a member for a time, objected to the attendance of Henry James on account of his lack of virility.
Virility was not the issue however. The members of the Rabelais were interested in other worlds. Charles Leland was an expert on fairy lore and voodoo. Robert Louis Stevenson was the author of The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde (1886) which epitomized the club’s psychological/occult speculations. Arthur Conan Doyle, who became a member of the British Society For Psychical Research, was a dedicated spiritualist from 1916. Henry James was probably more at home than Hardy, for both his private secretary Theodora Besanquet, and brother William, the philosopher, were members of the Psychical Society.
In many ways the Rabelais was a celebration that [Du Maurier's] time had come. Parapsychological phenomena and the occult were becoming valid subjects for rigorous study. There was a strong feeling that the whole psychic scene would at any moment be authenticated by scientific explanation.
Du Maurier was obviously well informed of various psychical ideas when he wrote Ibbetson. In addition he had been practicing hypnosis since his art student days in the Paris of the late 1850s.
So this was the literary environment that Burroughs was growing up in. As Bill Hillman and myself have attempted to point out, ERB’s mental and physical horizons were considerably broadened by the Columbian Expo of 1893. Everything from the strong man, The Great Sandow, to Francis Galton’s psychological investigations were on display. The cutting edge of nineteenth century thought and technology was there for the interested. Burroughs was there for every day of the Fair. He had time to imbibe all and in detail. The Expo shaped his future life. That he was intensely interested in the intellectual and literary environment is evidenced by the fact that when he owned his stationery story in Idaho in 1898 he advertised that he could obtain any magazine or book from both England and America. You may be sure that he took full advantage of the opportunity for himself. As this stuff was all the rage there can be no chance that he wasn’t familiar with it all if he didn’t actually immerse himself in it. Remember his response to Kipling’s The White Man’s Burden was instantaneous. Thus you have this strange outpost of civilization in Pocatello, Idaho where any book or magazine could be obtained. Of course, few but Burroughs took advantage of this fabulous opportunity. It should also be noted that he sold the pulp magazines so that his interest in pulp literature went further back than 1910.
In addition ERB was enamored of the authors to the point of hero worship much as musical groups of the 1960s were idolized so he would have thirsted for any gossip he could find. It isn’t impossible that he knew of this Rabelais Club. At any rate his ties to psychology and the occult become more prominent the more one studies.
It seems to me that longing as he did to be part of this literary scene, that if one reads his output to 1920 with these influences in mind, the psychological and occult content of, say, the Mars series, becomes more obvious. He is later than these nineteenth century lights so influences not operating on them appear in his own work making it more modern.
At least through 1917 the unconscious was thought of as a source of creativity rather than the source of evil impulses. If one could access one’s unconscious incalculable treasures could be brought up. Thus gold or treasure is always depicted in Burroughs’ novels as buried. The gold represents his stories, or source of wealth, brought up form his unconscious. The main vaults at Opar are thus figured as a sort of brain rising above ground level. One scales the precipice to enter the brain cavity high up in the forehead or frontal lobe. One then removes the ‘odd shaped ingots’ to cash them in. Below the vaults are two levels leading back to Opar that apparently represent the unconscious. Oddly enough these passageways are configured along the line of Abbot’s scientific romance, Flatland.
In Tarzan And The Jewels Of Opar the gold is taken to the Estate and buried replicating the vaults. Once outside Opar and in circulation, so to speak, the ingots are accessible to anyone hence the duel of Zek and Mourak for them. The first gold we hear of in the Tarzan series is brought ashore and buried by the mutineers. This also sounds vaguely like Stevenson’s Treasure Island. The watching Tarzan then digs the gold up and reburies it elsewhere. In The Bandit Of Hell’s Bend the gold is stolen and buried beneath the floorboards of the Chicago Saloon. Thus gold in the entire corpus is always from or in a buried location. These are never natural veins of gold but the refined ingots.
Not only thought of as a source of treasure during this period the unconscious was thought to have incredible powers such as telekinesis, telepathy and telecommunication. One scoffs at these more or less supernatural powers brought down from ‘God’ and installed in the human mind. As they have been discredited scientifically Western man has discarded them.
On the other hand Western Man deludes himself into accepting the oriental Freud’s no less absurd assertion that the unconscious exists independently of the human body somewhat like the Egyptian notion of the ka and is inherently evil while controlling the conscious mind of the individual. This notion is purely a religious concept of Judaism identifying the unconscious as no less than the wrathful, destructive tribal deity of the old testament Yahweh. Further this strange Judaic concept of Freud was allowed to supersede all other visions of the unconscious while preventing further investigation until the writing of C.G. Jung were given some credence beginning in the sixties of the last century.
In point of fact there is no such unconscious. The supernatural powers given to the unconscious by both Europeans and Freud are preposterous on the face of it. For a broader survey of this subject see my Freud And His Vision Of The Unconscious on my blogsite, I, Dynamo.
This so-called unconscious is merely the result of being born with more or less a blank mind that needs to be programmed. The programming being called experience and education. The maturation and learning process are such that there is plenty of room for error. All learning is equivalent to hypnosis, the information being suggestion which is accepted and furthers the development of the individual. Learning the multiplication tables for instance is merely fixing them in your mind or, in other words, memorizing them. All learning is merely suggestion thus it is necessary that it be constructive or education and not indoctrination or conditioning although both are in effect. Inevitably some input will not be beneficial or it may be misunderstood. Thus through negative suggestion, that is bad or terrifying suggestions, fixations will result. A fixation is impressed as an obsession that controls one’s behavior against one’s conscious will, in the Freudian sense. The fixation seems to be placed deep in the mind, hence depth psychology. Thus when ERB was terrified and humiliated by John the Bully certain suggestions occurred to him about himself that became fixations or obsessions. These obsessions directed the content of his work.
To eliminate the fixations is imperative. This is what so-called depth psychology is all about. The subconscious, then, is now ‘seprarated’ from the conscious, in other words the personality or ego is disintegrated. The goal is to integrate the personality and restore control. Once, and if that is done the fixations disappear and the mind become unified, integrated or whole; the negative conception of the unconscious is gone and one is left with a functioning conscious and subconscious. The subconscious in sleep or dreams then reviews all the day’s events to inform the conscious of what it missed and organize it so that it can be acted on. No longer distorted by fixations, or obsessions, the individual can act in his own interests according to his abilities. The sense of living a dream life and a real life disappears.
That’s why experience and education are so important. What goes into the mind is all that can come out.
But, the investigation of the unconscious was blocked by Freudian theory and diverted from its true course to benefit the individual in order to benefit Freud’s special interests.
So, after the War ERB forgot or abandoned the wonderful notions of the unconscious and was forced to deal with and defend himself against Freudian concepts. The charactger of his writing begins to change in the twenties to meet the new challenges of aggressive Judaeo-Communism until by the thirties his work is entirely directed to this defense as I have shown in my reviews of his novels from 1928 to 1934.
Tarzan And The Jewels Of Opar then reflects this wonderful vision of the subconscious as portrayed by George Du Maurier and Robert Louis Stevenson
Then the grimmer reality sets in.
End Of Review.
August 2, 2009
Two, Three And Four Dimensional Burroughs
George McWhorter, the headmaster of our school, published a couple of very interesting letters in the Burroughs Bulletin, New Series #79, Summer 2009 issue.
In the first letter a Leo Baker from Nova Scotia proposed an idea to ERB. Burroughs gave a very interesting reply:
On March 16, 1920, I started a story along similar lines based on a supposed theory of angles rather than planes. If we viewed our surrundings from our own “angle of experience,” the aspect of the vibrations which are supposed to consitute both matter and thought were practically identical with those pervceived by all the creatures of the world that we know, whereas, should our existence have been cast in another angle, everything would be different, including the flora and fauna and the physical topography of the world.
The thought underlying the story was that wherefrom, viewed thus from a different angle, the vibrations that are matter took on an entirely different semblance, so that where before we had seen oceans, we might now see mountains, plains and rivers inhabited by creatures that might be identical with those which we had hithertoo been familiar, or might vary diametrically.
You see that it was a crazy story….
Now, Burroughs was a child of his times. Part of those times were some very remarkable speculative works by a remarkable thinker, Camille Flammarion. In his work Lumen for instance he demonstrates the non-existence of time. We know that ERB read Flammarion. We know that Burroughs went to lengths to demonstrate the non-existence of time. He may have drawn his own conclusions but as he read Flammarion say, by 1900, the notion at least was deposited in his mind where subconsciously it came to fruition prompted by Einstein no doubt. There were a couple other imaginative scientific writers of the late nineteenth century that my Burroughs studies led to me read. As has been said of old: When the student is ready the teacher will appear. I suppose I was ready and I read. Having read them they resonated quite strongly of ERB’s work but without anything other than ‘resonances’ to go on I didn’t dare suggest the ERB might have read them.
Other than Flammarion the two works I have in mind are Edwin Abbott’s Flatland: A Romance Of Many Dimensions and Charles Howard Hinton’s Scientific Romances. Flatland was published in 1884, Scientific Romances undoubtedly inspired by Flatland appeared in 1886. Flatland is still a famous if recondite book while Hinton is less well known.
Both works deal with lines and angles in a manner that as ERB suggests is ‘crazy.’ One has an unreal feeling in reading the books. Either ERB felt the same of his story or he was so close to Abbott and Hinton that he desisted. One notes, however, that his description of his 1920 story is very close to his Pellucidar stories and it was Pellucidar that was brought to my mind while reading Hinton and Abbott. ERB notices a theory of angles rather than planes combined with ‘vibrations.’ This suggests a continuing interest intitally excited by Abbott and Hinton combined with the originator of the theory of vibrations. The last is unkown to me at present.
While there are many who believe there is no intellectual depth to Burroughs I find a great deal of mounting evidence to suggest he was very interested in the intellectual and scientific ideas of his time and, indeed, built his entire corpus around them.
Both Hinton and Abbott are readily available, as well as Flammarion, if anyone want to join in a discussion.