From knowledge, truth, from truth, understanding


Seek first to understand, then to be understood

– Stephen R Covey

On this blog site I generally post pieces that reflect my values and beliefs. Should readers be interested I also have another blog site on which I post pieces more concerned with my personal experiences in life:


Posts – links by topic

Aboriginal Australians

Central Australia’s Caterpillar Dreaming: Gleaning an insight into Indigenous ritual and ceremony

Central Australian Dreaming Sparks a Glimmer of Hope at a Time of Global Crisis

Ancient cultures and traditions

Ancient Origins of the Zodiac

Awakening our Spiritual Power: A Cosmic Seeing Eye Glass

Denisovan Origins of the Zodiac?

The Lion Man and the Age of Leo

Mary Magdalene, Jesus’ Tower of Wisdom

Seeing the NAZCA through new eyes

Footprint of Comet Encke?

Uncovering the Truth Behind Matriarchal Societies in the Ancient World


Animal Insights into Risky Play

Are Animals Spiritual?

Cats in our community

Of Great Apes and Lessons for Humanity

Earth and environment

Our Climate Crisis and Humanity’s Extinction: Just a Question of Time?

Plugged into the Planet – Timeless understanding in a time of global need

Pumice Raft or Life Raft?

We are NOT Alone: Thoughts on Comets and Meteorites – Where Life Began?

A Note on “We are NOT Alone: Thoughts on Comets and Meteorites – Where Life Began?”


On being a househusband


Mediums in Popular Culture & Science: A Personal Encounter

On Clairvoyance and Other “Gifts”

Thinking Telepathy


Reincarnation – Fact or Fiction?

Philip Jamieson and Marianne Schmidt

The following jointly authored paper was published in Nexus: The Alternative News Magazine 28(5) (August-September 2021) 63-68, 87 (available, as published, at

Featured image from Pixabay, by Gerd Altmann at

The Tale of an Argonaut and an Ancient Greek Philosopher

It is now almost 60 years since the rollicking adventures of Jason and the Argonauts, searching in that ancient Greek tale for the Golden Fleece, were immortalised in a now cult classic family film. The myth, one of the oldest chronicling a hero’s quest,[1] has been described as setting the example for the plot of almost all modern stories.[2]

Another, less well known, aspect of the myth is also worth recounting. Amongst the crew of Argonauts joining Jason on his famous quest was Aethalides who in ancient Greek mythology lived and died in the years before the Trojan Wars some 3300 years ago.  Or did he? – his death at least requires something of a footnote, for one of our most famous philosophers, who also excelled in mathematics, astronomy and music, claimed to have been Aethalides reincarnated. That philosopher, described as perhaps the most persuasive intellectual of all time, was Pythagoras. Living some 8 centuries after Aethalides, a contemporary of Gautama Buddha, Confucius and some suggest Zoroaster, his teachings in the 6th Century BCE were part of a flowering of philosophical and religious thought across Eurasia. He remains, in Western culture, the “father of philosophy”, long before Socrates, Plato or Aristotle.[3]

Belief in reincarnation

Pythagoras knew the concept of reincarnation as metempsychosis, from the Greek meta (in this context indicating change) and empsykhoun (to put a soul into),[4] but it may also be found referred to by a number of other terms such as rebirth, transmigration and past lives. For our part, while (given its common use) we refer to reincarnation on occasion, in this paper we generally use the terminology of ‘other lives’. As will appear in our analysis below, we believe that the lives, the memories of which we may have access to, might as equally be parallel or future lives as much as past.

Pythagoras is far from alone in accepting reincarnation as a reality. It is a belief found in many cultures throughout the world, both ancient and modern. It remains a central tenet in many Eastern religions and even features in early Christian tradition – Origen is one influential early Christian Church Father who embraced the belief. In fact, a recent survey of US adults found 29% of Christians believe in reincarnation – and one third of American adults generally.[5]

We are amongst those many who believe in reincarnation. Indeed, in the course of our spiritual journeys, we have each ‘unlocked’ numerous memories of other lives. For others like us who ‘know’ this reality, there is no need of scientific proof in validation. However, we acknowledge that, for those who have not experienced our journey, evidence is sought in proof of the phenomenon. Given our own rationalist professional backgrounds, we turned to science early in our journeys to better make sense of our experiences.

In researching the phenomenon we came to appreciate how divergent are the understandings of the concept across religions, cultures and individuals. While many in our global community share our belief in reincarnation, there is much variation in how the reality of this experience is understood. Our understanding has been shaped by our own insights and spiritual awakening. It is an understanding that we believe is consistent with developments across a number of scientific fronts. In this paper we have set out that understanding and that developing science. We hope others may find the paper of interest in exploring their own insights into this intriguing aspect of our human experience.

The reality of other life memories

Although not without their critics, the detailed researches of eminent psychiatrists like Dr Brian Weiss, Professor Jim Tucker and the late Professor Ian Stevenson have provided highly persuasive evidence of the reality of reincarnation. So extensive has been their work that the question today has become, in our view, not so much the existence of such other life memories but the mechanism behind that reality.

We join the influential physicist Doris Kuhlmann-Wilsdorf in her conclusion that:

The statistical probability that reincarnation does in fact occur is so overwhelming … that cumulatively the evidence is not inferior to that for most if not all branches of science, whether physics, cosmology, or Darwinian evolution.[6]

The objective reality of the experience having in our view been amply established, efforts are being made to demonstrate through science the mechanism that might explain the phenomenon. In considering that science, we note that this is not an academic paper and we are not seeking to provide an exhaustive account of the research and analysis being undertaken. However, we believe that, in the writing we canvass, a broad commonality of explanation appears to be emerging that is consistent with our own understanding. So, before turning to the science, what is our understanding?

Our understanding of the ‘mechanics’ of the memories of other lives

In Pythagoras’ understanding “Souls never die, but always on quitting one abode pass to another”, “hither and thither, occupying now this body, now that”.[7] He drew upon beeswax in explanation, not surprising given its easy malleability on being heated and its common use in Ancient Greece:

As a wax is stamped with certain figures, then melted, then stamped anew with others, yet it is always the same wax. So, the Soul being always the same, yet wears at different times different forms.

This is perhaps the classic understanding of other life memories as reincarnation, our one soul passing from one body to another in each lifetime. There is certainly an attractive simplicity in the idea of ‘one soul, one journey’. However, our understanding of the nature of one’s ‘soul’ is more nuanced and, we believe, supported by the emerging science.

From her insights, Marianne likens each of our incarnations to a drop of water emanating from a larger body of water. When we die our spiritual essence is re-absorbed into that body of water. The next time we incarnate we will come from the same body of water, albeit we will wear a new ‘costume’, or energetic blueprint, which will be defined by the time and place of our birth.

Clay serves as a useful metaphor in explanation, particularly given that the creation of humans from clay is a recurring ‘creation’ theme in various ancient cultures and religions – for example, in Christianity man is formed by God from clay (or dust – which of course forms clay when mixed with water – depending on the translation adopted of the Biblical Hebrew in Genesis 2:7).

In Marianne’s insight the lump of ‘clay’ from which we are each formed is merely a vessel – in our case, our human form. This form is imbued with an energetic blueprint – a pattern of energy unique to us at birth and providing us with our individuality and the path of our soul in this life. This energetic blueprint or pattern remains unique to us even as it changes and shifts through our lives with the influence of energetic cycles over time.

Norbert Weiner, the inventor of cybernetics, once commented that “[w]e are not stuff that abides, but patterns that perpetuate themselves”.[8] It is these perpetuating patterns that shape our material world, including ‘us’[9] – in the context of other lives, the pattern of energy unique to us. These patterns of energy can be described using various models, some of which are archetypes, astrology and numerology.

In our insights they are key to understanding other life memories, for when we die the memories of our life continue to exist energetically in some form of ‘collective memory’ – effectively as a ‘file’, in what many term the Akashic Record. As this is “a compendium of all universal events, thoughts, words, emotions, and intent ever to have occurred in the past, present, or future” (emphasis added),[10] we perceive that our other life memories may be of parallel and future lives as much as past.

In other lives, these memories can be accessed (either consciously or unconsciously) by those whose energetic pattern aligns (vibrationally) with the same patterns of energy in the Akashic Record. These memories may be of all or, in our experience, more typically only part of a particular other life depending on the degree of energetic alignment between the living individual’s energetic blueprint and that of the other life.

It is this collective memory, the Akashic Record, from which our other life ‘memories’ are drawn. Not only do we, like many others, believe this collective memory to be the source of our other life memories, it also explains why we find on occasion more than one person accessing the same other life memory (eg. Joan of Arc). Since anyone with a particular pattern of energy which is vibrationally aligned with a matching pattern of energy in the Akashic record may be able to access that memory.

So what is the developing science that we suggest is consistent with our understanding?

The place of quantum science

Quantum science, in particular the related concepts of ‘nonlocality’ and ‘entanglement’ (Einstein’s ‘spooky action at a distance’ – “the idea that the fates of tiny particles are linked to each other even if they’re separated by long distances”),[11] is increasingly expanding our world view on many fronts. It is hardly surprising that it is to this science a number of researchers and authors have also turned in seeking explanation of the mechanism of other life memories.

Jim Tucker, a psychiatrist whose research documenting stories of children with other life memories we referred to earlier in this paper,[12] is one researcher who has turned to quantum physics in possible explanation of the phenomenon.[13] He points to the fact that from our understanding of quantum physics we know that the physical world is affected by the non-physical. More than that, the physical world may actually be derived from the non-physical, from consciousness. Tucker comments of Max Planck:

… the father of quantum theory, said that he viewed consciousness as fundamental and that matter was derived from it. So in that case, it would mean that consciousness would not necessarily be dependent on a physical brain in order to survive, and could continue after the physical brain and after the body dies. In these cases, it seems – at least, on the face of it – that a consciousness has then become attached to a new brain, and has shown up as past life memories.”[14]

It is specifically to ‘entanglement’ within quantum theory that Milton Brener has turned in possible explanation of the phenomenon. The thesis he postulates is that given the atoms that comprise us are of an enduring nature such that they survive our death, where such atoms have formed part of the “brain organs dealing with memories”, they can be ‘entangled’ within the quantum realm with the consequence that they “can and do communicate with each other even after the death of the ‘prior personality’ and in some cases can and do retain the memories of that deceased person” with the “clear possibility that fetuses or young children could be the recipients of entangled particles from the organs of memory of prior personalities”.[15]

For Bob Good, Executive Director of the International Association of the Science of Reincarnation, it is not the atoms themselves that provide the explanation but the energy that comprises them. In a recent text, The Matrix of Consciousness,[16] that Good jointly authored with Dean Radin, Stephan A. Schwartz, Titus Rivas and Cathie Hill, the authors argue that since our bodies replace every cell every two to seven years, our consciousness cannot be dependent upon our bodies. Rather, the authors present “the mathematical case that the electrical charge measured by an electrocardiogram (EKG) is actually you”: “[s]imply put, you are not matter but energy”. They conclude therefore that there is “much evidence to say that what is regarded as ‘you’ as your body changes is not stored in cells but in energy”.

So how are “you”, your consciousness, stored in this energy? The authors point to the finding that our memories are stored as a waveform throughout our bodies. Given then that we have both a particle state – “you, here and now” – and a wave state, the authors describe our lives as “fractal iterations” (essentially repeating patterns) of our consciousness. Since “[i[nformation topology is fractal in design, so we can infer that the information that is you retains coherence after your body is gone”. Our consciousness will still be after our death – our memories from this life still intact will continue in a discrete waveform.

Moreover, the authors note the “statistical proof that the electrical charge comes back to other lives in other bodies similarly to how we upload and download files on our computers to the cloud”: the “electrical information transfer that is us is a fractal of the process we use to upload and download information to the cloud”. Not only then do we have a “nonlocal consciousness” (what the authors describe as an aspect of consciousness independent of space-time and not resident in an organism’s physiology), but all our consciousnesses are interdependent and interconnected.

In another explanation of the mechanics of other life memories, retired professor of physics, Dr Amit Goswami, also considers that our memory lies outside our brain. He concludes that there is “much empirical evidence” precisely for the quantum model of survival after death and reincarnation that he presents:[17]

The idea is that part of our memory (call it quantum memory), specifically that of our learning, is nonlocal, which means that this memory resides not locally in the brain but outside of space and time altogether. In this way, this memory can transmigrate across space and time without signals, without transfer of energy.”

He draws empirical evidence suggesting the nonlocal nature of the memory of a learned propensity from a 1960s experiment of the neurophysiologist Karl Lashley:

… [Lashley] trained rats to find cheese in a Y-maze and then systematically began to chop off parts of the rat’s brain to test if the propensity remained. Strangely, he found that even with fifty percent of its brain removed, a trained rat found its way to the cheese. The only viable conclusion is that the learned memory of a propensity is nonlocal …

So when we die our physical body dies but our soul (our learned tendencies of our subtle, non-physical, body – what Goswami terms the “quantum monad”) survives as nonlocal memory that will reincarnate in another physical body in the future.[18] Indeed, “[i]t seems … that … certain incarnate individuals are correlated via quantum nonlocality” and so “share the same quantum monad in an ongoing fashion; it is they who can be called the reincarnations of one another”. However, “[i]n principle, the use of such quantum monads is available to all of us”. And if “any person’s nonlocal window that connects all of her incarnations is open to everyone who knows how to look”, Goswami concludes that “in principle, consciousness is one”.

Goswami refers to the ancient term for this nonlocal memory – ‘akashic’, a Sanskrit word meaning outside of space and time – “memory written in akasha, emptiness – nowhere”. In these comments, he brings to mind the Akashic Record we referred to earlier. That such memories are written “outside of space and time” further serves to emphasise our understanding that our other life memories may be as much of parallel and future lives as past.

The nature of our ‘collective memory’

Nor is it only in the work of those exploring the role of quantum physics in other life memories that we find possible support for our understanding. For Karl Jung this ‘collective memory’ was the ‘collective unconscious’. Dr Rupert Sheldrake’s related vision is of a resonance of memory operating within a ‘morphic field’.  As he describes the process:

Morphic resonance is the influence of previous structures of activity on subsequent similar structures of activity organized by morphic fields. It enables memories to pass across both space and time from the past. … What this means is that all self-organizing systems, such as molecules, crystals, cells, plants, animals and animal societies, have a collective memory on which each individual draws and to which it contributes.[19]

In an interview he gave to Quest Magazine, Sheldrake suggests that:

… through morphic resonance we can all tune in to a kind of collective memory, memories from many people in the past. It’s theoretically possible that we could tune into the memories of specific people. That might be explained subjectively as a memory of a past life.[20]

Dr Bruce Lipton provides a very similar perspective on other life memories, but framed within his understanding as a cellular biologist.[21] He postulates that in our body, each cell has a unique set of identity receptors located on the membrane’s outer surface which act as ‘antennas’ that ‘read’ a signal of ‘self’ in our surrounding environment. Your sense of ‘self’ comes not from your cells themselves but from these receptors that ‘download’ your sense of ‘self’ from the environment around you. In explanation, he suggests that a useful way to understand this is to imagine yourself as the image on a TV screen. If, one day, you turn on the TV to find it broken and that you can’t see your image, it doesn’t actually mean that the image no longer exists. It is only the TV that is broken, not the broadcast. You only need tune a new TV into that broadcast to recover your image.

As Lipton acknowledges, this entails that an individual’s ‘broadcast’ will still be present after death. He points in support to the now well known experience of transplant patients reporting that along with their organs come behavioural and psychological changes, including memories the accuracy of which he notes is beyond chance or coincidence. For Lipton, this model of reincarnation allows that an embryo in the future displaying the same set of identity receptors that I now possess will be tuned into my ‘self’ and so ‘my identity’ will be back playing through this new body. As your ‘broadcast’ will remain in the ‘collective memory’ even after your physical death, an embryo able to tune in will receive your ‘broadcast’.

Our energetic imprint

To our minds there is a clear theme broadly running through these various accounts of the mechanics of other life memories – that such memories in an individual are not from the previous birth of one ever reincarnating soul, but from that individual accessing a collective memory. As we observed earlier in our paper, this too is our understanding of other life memories – these ‘memories’ are drawn from this collective memory.

Why do some people tune into certain other life memories and not others?

So, if our other life memories derive from this collective memory, why do some people tune into certain ‘other life’ memories and not others. For Goswami individuals “correlated via quantum nonlocality” share the same quantum monad. Lipton suggests that someone displaying the same set of identity receptors will tune into that particular ‘broadcast’. In Sheldrake’s understanding, “[t]he greater the similarity, the greater the influence of morphic resonance”.[22]

This relationship of ‘similarity’ reflects our own insights as to why we each develop our own unique collection of ‘other life’ memories. As we described earlier, our understanding is that the measure of that similarity is energetic. It is our unique energetic patterning that attracts those same patterns of energy – vibrationally aligned ‘memories’ – stored in the Akashic Record. Moreover, while as ‘clay’ we are impressed with an energetic pattern at birth, as the energetic environment changes over time it will influence that energetic profile. Certain patterns of energy (eg. archetypes) will be activated and deactivated during our life and thus we potentially gain access to new ‘memories’ (and lose access to others) over time. It is these ‘memories’, and associated patterns of energy, that constitute our ‘other lives’.


A developing body of scientific understanding appears to be revealing the possible mechanics of other life memories. A theme we see emerging is the existence of some form of collective memory that we can access in each lifetime. In our insights, the particular energetic blueprint or pattern that we have at the time of our birth, and which changes over time in line with emerging cycles of energy, will define what memories we have access to in this collective memory, whether we describe that as the Akashic Record, a collective unconscious, a morphic field or some other expression embodying an interconnected information field. We will be drawn to those energies with which our energetic patterning vibrationally aligns. In our understanding it is this vibrational attraction that is the underlying principle on which ‘reincarnation’ works.

As so elegantly expressed by Nikola Tesla, “[i]f you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration”.[23] This we believe is the ‘secret’ of ‘reincarnation’.

References as at 26 May 2021

[1] Michael Wood, In Search of Myths & Heroes: Jason and the Argonauts (2005) (

[2] Scott Stoll, “The Story of Jason and the Argonauts: The Archetypal Adventure”, (2001) The Argonauts (

[3] On the content of this para, see generally Saugat Adhikari, “Top 11 Contributions of Pythagoras”, (25 June 2019) Ancient History Lists (; Wikipedia contributors. Pythagoras. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. May 24, 2021, 14:18 UTC. Available at:; Wikipedia contributors. Argonauts. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. May 6, 2021, 13:03 UTC. Available at:; Wikipedia contributors. Axial Age. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. May 15, 2021, 11:48 UTC. Available at:

[4] Douglas Harper, metempsychosis (

[5] Claire Gecewicz, “New Age’ beliefs common among both religious and nonreligious Americans”, (1 October 2018) Pew Research Centre (

[6] Quoted at Reincarnation Research (

[7] This quote and the next appear at Goodreads (

[8] Norbert Weiner, The Human Use of Human Beings: Cybernetics and Society (Doubleday, New York, 2nd ed. revised, 1954) page 96.

[9] John Algeo, “The Essentials of Theosophy”, (May 1981) The Theosophist (available at The Theosophical Society in Australia,

[10] Wikipedia contributors. Akashic records. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. April 19, 2021, 22:14 UTC. Available at:

[11]  Yasemin Saplakoglu, “’Spooky action at a distance’ could create a nearly perfect clock” (2021) Live Science (

[12] See a discussion of his work at Wikipedia contributors. Jim B. Tucker. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. January 29, 2021, 17:22 UTC. Available at:

[13] See Sean Lyons, “The Science of Reincarnation”, (Winter 2013) University of Virginia Magazine (

[14] Interview with Rachel Martin, “Searching For The Science Behind Reincarnation” (transcript of interview), (5 January 2014) NPR (

[15] Milton E. Brener, Something Survives (Xlibris Corporation, 20 April 2016) (a relevant extract from the book appears at

[16] Bob Good et al, The Matrix of Consciousness (IASOR Press, Boynton Beach, Florida, 2020). The book is online at On the discussion and quotes which follow see esp. pages XV, 4,13 – 15, 86, 88, 93, 122 and 125.

[17] Amit Goswami, Physics of the Soul The Quantum Book of Living, Dying, Reincarnation, and Immortality (Hampton Roads Publishing, Virginia, 2nd ed., 2013). On the discussion and quotes which follow see esp. pages IX, X, 15, 88, 123, 127-128

[18] And see further Amit Goswami, Creativity and Reincarnation (30 March 2014) (

[19] John Horgan, “Scientific Heretic Rupert Sheldrake on Morphic Fields, Psychic Dogs and Other Mysteries”. (14 July 2014) Scientific American (

[20] Interview with John David Ebert, Quest Magazine Interview (

[21] Bruce Lipton, The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter & Miracles (Hay House, 2008) see esp. at pages 258-263.

[22] John Horgan, supra n.19.

[23] Quoted at Goodreads (

Australia’s Enigmatic Boab Tree Seeding The Out-Of-Australia-Theory

A piece I prepared on this topic was published on Ancient Origins on 2 August 2021. The link appears below:

Ancient Origins is a thoroughly engaging ancient history website that aims to inspire open-minded learning about our past for the betterment of our future through the sharing of research, education and knowledge.

Human Origins – The Narratives of Our Creation Conference 2021

I was one of the presenters at the 4th Ancient Origins Conference: Human Origins – The Narratives of Our Creation, held on November 20-21, 2021.

I presented on the topic Australasian Myths of Human Origin, covering creation traditions amongst Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, New Zealand’s Māori with their Polynesian heritage, and their Melanesian neighbors.

A recording of the conference is available at

Ethical and legal aspects of sterilizing pregnant companion animals

In my role as a volunteer with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Queensland, Australia, I had occasion recently to co-author a paper with Dr Mandy Paterson considering ethical and legal aspects of sterilizing pregnant companion animals:

“Sterilizing Pregnant Companion Animals: Ethics and Law” (April 2021) Journal of Applied Animal Ethics Research doi:10.1163/25889567-BJA10013

An abstract of the paper appears at

Awakening our Spiritual Power: A Cosmic Seeing Eye Glass 

Philip Jamieson and Marianne Schmidt

Featured image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

As the search for the origins of the viral pandemic continues, one theory that resonates strongly with us is that put forward by Professor Chandra Wickramsignhe who (in a recent joint publication) concluded that it “was probably linked to the arrival of a pure culture of the virus contained in cometary debris”; interestingly an event that he had foreshadowed in 2019. This is a reflection of his broader thesis that life is distributed through the Universe by cosmic visitors such as comets and meteorites (‘Panspermia’). In New Dawn last year he commented that “[t]he evidence is stunningly clear that the first life on Earth in the form of bacteria came with impacting comets”. As Wickramsignhe and his colleagues noted last year, nor is this potential impact limited merely to the initial origins of life on Earth, but embraces equally its ongoing evolution.

Tunguska impact event


By ru:Евгений Леонидович Кринов, member of the expedition to the Tunguska event in 1929. – [1] (original, black and white version of photo) / Vokrug Sveta, 1931 (current, color version of photo), Public Domain,

The 1908 Tunguska impact event may provide evidence supportive of this evolutionary impact. Jacques Van Impe has recently suggested that genetic mutations resulting from the 1908 event provide the most likely explanation for the subsequent extinction of a particular species of goose. Van Impe’s theory draws upon the work of Zurab Silagadze who drew attention to genetic anomalies that had been reported in plants, insects – and people – in the Tunguska region after the event. Silgadze also noted that an increased rate of biological mutation was found not only within the epicentre of the impact event, but also along the trajectory of the cosmic body responsible. Even in its flight it appears to have been accompanied by “some unknown agent” capable not only of inducing remote ecological change but perhaps even genetic changes. Silgadze postulates that agent may be electromagnetic radiation – powerful ELF/VLF electromagnetic radiation from the cosmic body and ionizing radiation due to lightning accompanying the explosion. Certainly, this may well be part of the explanation, but is there perhaps some even wider agency also at work?

Continue reading “Awakening our Spiritual Power: A Cosmic Seeing Eye Glass “

Footprint of Comet Encke?

Featured image: Detail of Astrology Manuscript, ink on silk, BCE 2th century, Han, unearthed from Mawangdui tomb 3rd, Chansha, Hunan Province, China. Hunan Province Museum by Unknown author – China Arts, Volume 1st, Wen Wu Publishing, Beijing, China, 1979-10, Public Domain, 

Philip Jamieson and Marianne Schmidt

In the last weeks of 2020 the Sydney Dance Company performed Indian-Australian Raghav Handa’s Cult of the Titans, a work exploring the Nazi appropriation of the swastika from Hindu culture. The Company was so concerned at the depth of animosity in the community towards the symbol that it provided a content warning that the work contained swastika images and invited concerned audience members to leave if they wished. In a video introduction, Handa explained his piece as an attempt to reclaim from its horrific association with Nazism the Swastika’s ancient symbolism in Hinduism of light and peace.

While this positive symbolism in Hinduism is indeed millenia old, the origins of the swastika are actually far more ancient and its original meaning still the subject of much speculation. While long found in Eastern religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism, its use is also found in many ancient cultures around the world, in some cases dating from the Neolithic and even late Paleolithic Periods. The earliest known example, excavated at an Ice Age site at Mezin in the Ukraine and dating from at least 12,000 years ago (in some accounts 15,000 years old and possibly even older), is a bird figurine carved from mammoth ivory tusk, its torso displaying what Mukti Jain Campion has elegantly described as “an intricate meander pattern of joined-up swastikas”. Photos of the figurine can be seen in her article at

So what might this swastika imagery have been intended to represent in antiquity? Continue reading “Footprint of Comet Encke?”

Our Climate Crisis and Humanity’s Extinction: Just a Question of Time?

Philip Jamieson and Marianne Schmidt

As the world continues to endure the ravages of a global viral pandemic, we can easily lose our focus on the urgent need to address our growing climate crisis. Last month brought yet another record breaking climate extreme. It was globally the hottest September in the 141 year dataset record. In the image below, September 2020 global temperature differences world wide from the average are highlighted.  Those areas shaded in blue show locations up to 6°C cooler than average, while the far more dominant areas shaded in red show locations that were up to 6°C warmer.

September, temperature anomaly, global, 2020 image from Data Snapshots, based on maps processed by NOAA EVL from NCEI data (available at–Monthly–Difference-from-average–Global–2020-09-00–large.png and sourced from

Unfortunately, there are still some amongst us who consider humanity a privileged community amongst the species of our planet, immune through our technology, intellect and acknowledged adaptability from the impacts of climate change. Our lived experience should be enough to invalidate this false belief but, if more were needed, recent research continues to undermine the thesis.

Continue reading “Our Climate Crisis and Humanity’s Extinction: Just a Question of Time?”

Cats in our community

In my role as a volunteer with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Queensland, Australia, I had occasion recently to co-author a paper considering aspects of cat desexing in Queensland.

Paterson, M.B.A.; O’Donoghue, M.; Jamieson, P.; Morton, J.M. The Cat Desexing Policies and Activities of Private Veterinary Practices in Queensland. Animals 202010, 841.

The full text of the paper is available at

Pumice Raft or Life Raft?

Featured image: Pumice raft, 13 August 2019. Detail from NASA Earth Observatory image by Joshua Stevens, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey , available at

Philip Jamieson and Mariannne Schmidt 

On an early August 2020 walk along Newport Beach in northern Sydney, Marianne recently found littered on the sand numerous fragments of pumice. Pumice is a very porous, lightweight, frothy-looking volcanic glass which can drift gently with the currents, floating for years on the ocean surface before becoming waterlogged. It is not a common visitor to the sands of Newport Beach.

Pumice Marianne

Photo by Marianne of pumice pieces that were abundant on Newport Beach

By ‘coincidence’, at the time of her pumice find, Marianne was preparing to deliver a range of children’s activities for Science Week. Its synchronistic theme – Deep Blue: innovations for the future of our oceans – with pumice featuring in several activities.

In a further synchronicity, shortly after, Philip visited Caloundra in Queensland, where the northern end of the 35km long channel named Pumicestone Passage opens to the ocean. The Passage was so named (though then thought a river) by Matthew Flinders at the end of the 18th century after he found abundant pieces of pumice on its shores. Walking along Kings Beach during his visit, Philip similarly found an abundance of small fragments of pumice lining the shore.

Philip pumice

Photo by Philip showing some of the numerous small pieces of pumice abundant on Kings Beach

To our minds, these were fairly clear examples of Jung’s ‘meaningful coincidences’. So what was it about pumice that it had so evidently been brought to our attention? Continue reading “Pumice Raft or Life Raft?”

A Note on “We are NOT Alone: Thoughts on Comets and Meteorites – Where Life Began?”

Our post, We are NOT Alone: Thoughts on Comets and Meteorites – Where Life Began?,  by Marianne Schmidt and myself has been published in New Dawn magazine: July-August 2020 issue (volume 181: 25-30).

New Dawn is an excellent magazine first published back in 1991. It publishes material exploring ancient wisdom and new thinking. It has an online presence at

Plugged into the Planet – Timeless understanding in a time of global need

Featured image at by DarkWorkX from Pixabay

Philip Jamieson and Marianne Schmidt

The world is in the middle of a viral pandemic. Hundreds of thousands have died, many millions have been infected. There is a need for healing. There is a need for change.

Global meditations

Earlier this year organisations such as Unify and Global Peace Meditation sent out a call for action. They proposed a worldwide mass meditation.[1] It was planned to take place for some 20 minutes on the evening of 4 April, from 10.45pm EST that evening (timed to coincide with the energies of a Jupiter/Pluto conjunction). More than a million people participated.

One of the stated aims of this global meditation was to help address the pandemic. And indeed the daily number of known new coronavirus cases worldwide which had been consistently growing in the days before, was noticeably lower over the next several days.[2] Clearly, there appears to have been a temporal relationship. But was it causative? Such variation has hardly been unique to these specific dates. The number of daily new coronavirus infections around the world has been consistently fluctuating. Equally, while there is no necessarily causative relationship, this correlation in time does invite consideration of whether there is other evidence that in conjunction could support such a causative relationship. Continue reading “Plugged into the Planet – Timeless understanding in a time of global need”

Central Australian Dreaming Sparks a Glimmer of Hope at a Time of Global Crisis

Featured image is of the Butterfly Nebula by NASA, ESA and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team –, Public Domain,

Marianne Schmidt and Philip Jamieson

Earlier this year, we attended the Cosmic Conciousness Conference at Uluru. There we had the opportunity on 12 January to experience at this sacred site a rare Saturn/Pluto conjunct and, indeed, the more rare for the fact that their conjunction was in Capricorn, something that had not occurred in more than 500 years.

Pluto and Saturn are two of the most feared planets in astrology. Pluto is a force of transformation and Saturn a force of responsibility, restriction and limitation, representing authority and structures like government and rules. So when they meet up in Capricorn, which rules governments, corporations and the economy, we can expect a tumultuous shakeup of antiquated global structures and institutions. When in 1518, Pluto and Saturn last met in Capricorn we saw the burgeoning of both the African slave trade (actions taken by Charles 1 of Spain in August 1518 resulted in a nearly 10 fold increase in the numbers of transatlantic slaves) and the Reformation movement (Martin Luther’s Ninety-five Theses spread swiftly after their translation from Latin into German in January 1518). Now again, 500 years later, during the period of this astrologically significant conjunction, half of global humanity sits in various stages of lockdown around the world as we experience a viral pandemic, wreaking transformation across all aspects of our global institutions, economic structures and indeed our very way of life – we find ourselves restricted, largely confined to our homes, and with our economic and social lives in disarray.

Continue reading “Central Australian Dreaming Sparks a Glimmer of Hope at a Time of Global Crisis”

Denisovan Origins of the Zodiac?

Featured image is of Denisova Cave by Демин Алексей Барнаул – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

In New Dawn magazine last year,[1] I explored the work of two British academics (Dr Martin Sweatman and Alistair Coombs) pushing back the origins of the Western zodiac to a time more than 40,000 years or more in the past.[2] As I noted in that article, they have apparently identified an ancient zodiac code that continues to inform the one we use today. In fact, it appears that we still use exactly the same zodiacal constellations. The authors allow though that there are some differences in the symbolism we now use to represent the constellations. Not only would the symbolism in this ancient zodiac likely have been subject to many local variations, some constellations that were apparently previously represented by animals are no longer in our modern zodiac and a few other constellations are now represented by different animals.

Key to finding that this zodiac code dates back at least 40,000 years is the analysis by Sweatman and Coombs of its application to the ancient Lion Man figurine from Stadel Cave in Hohlenstein, Germany, although they have concluded that the lion is actually one of the animal symbols that has been switched. In our modern Western Zodiac, the lion is of course the symbol for Leo. However, they conclude that in this ancient code Leo is likely to have been represented by horse symbolism while the feline symbol appears to have represented Cancer. For them, the Lion Man figurine represents Cancer on the Winter solstice around 40,000 years ago.[3]

These symbolic associations have been questioned as part of a broader criticism of their theory.[4] While I find many of their conclusions persuasive, in my earlier paper I also queried their view that the lion was not associated with Leo in this ancient code. I believe there are reasonable grounds for suggesting that the lion was then, as it remains to this day, the symbolic representation for this zodiac constellation. And since my earlier article was published I believe that those grounds may have been strengthened by recent findings at the Denisova Cave in Siberia. These findings may even support the view that the ancient zodiac code identified by Sweatman and Coombs is an inheritance from the Denisosovans. Continue reading “Denisovan Origins of the Zodiac?”

We are NOT Alone: Thoughts on Comets and Meteorites – Where Life Began?

Marianne Schmidt and Philip Jamieson

Featured image is of a meteor during the peak of the 2009 Leonid Meteor Shower, showing the meteor, afterglow, and wake as distinct components. Image and description by Navicore – Own work, CC BY 3.0,

“[A] fiery devil ran down from the sun and made his home in the earth” Aboriginal elder in 1932 describing the Henbury meteorite crater field

Earlier this year, after attending the Cosmic Conciousness Conference in Uluru in Australia’s Central Desert Region, we had the opportunity to visit two very special sites in the area: the Henbury meteorite crater field and Gosses Bluff. Both are significant in the dreaming of the local Arrernte Aboriginal people. And to our mind in those dreaming stories is understanding and insight relevant as much for modern humanity as for the Arrernte peoples themselves. Continue reading “We are NOT Alone: Thoughts on Comets and Meteorites – Where Life Began?”

Central Australia’s Caterpillar Dreaming: Gleaning an insight into Indigenous ritual and ceremony

Philip Jamieson and Marianne Schmidt

Featured image: aerial view of Alice Springs by Stephen Codrington, CC BY 2.5,

Alice Springs, lying as it does almost at the geographic heart of the Australian continent, inspires in many Australians a nostalgic sense of their national identity – a tough and hardy community of people forging a living in the harsh Australian desert, enduring baking summers and freezing winter nights, and meeting each challenge with laconic indifference. It is an image of hardiness and mateship that we can draw upon at times of challenge. As half of global humanity now sits in lockdown, it is an image that helps inspire the fortitude we need as a nation to survive the adversity we are facing.

Alice Springs/Mparntwe’s antiquity

We also suggest that reflection upon the significance of Alice Springs to our national psyche provides opportunity as well as inspiration, an opportunity to recognise the antiquity of our human connection with the landscape of Alice Springs.

Continue reading “Central Australia’s Caterpillar Dreaming: Gleaning an insight into Indigenous ritual and ceremony”

Mary Magdalene, Jesus’ Tower of Wisdom

Featured image by Idontfindaoriginalname – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

A piece on the topic, Mary Magdalene, Jesus’ Tower of Wisdom, that I co-authored with my writing colleague, Marianne Schmidt, was published on Ancient Origins on 23 December 20l9. The following link is to a preview of the piece:

The full text of the piece is available with Premium membership on the magazine’s main site.

Ancient Origins is a thoroughly engaging ancient history website that aims to inspire open-minded learning about our past for the betterment of our future through the sharing of research, education and knowledge.

Ancient Origins of the Zodiac

A piece I prepared on this topic was published in 176 (September – October 2019) New Dawn 61-64.

This is an updated, broader and more well developed revision of an earlier piece I wrote on The Lion Man and the Age of Leo.

New Dawn is an excellent magazine first published back in 1991. It publishes material exploring ancient wisdom and new thinking.

New Dawn has an online presence at

Uncovering the Truth Behind Matriarchal Societies in the Ancient World

A piece I prepared on this topic was published on Ancient Origins on 7 March 2019. The link appears below:

Ancient Origins is a thoroughly engaging ancient history website that aims to inspire open-minded learning about our past for the betterment of our future through the sharing of research, education and knowledge.

Animal Insights into Risky Play

Play it seems is ubiquitous across both cultures and time. The archaeological record supports play amongst our ancestors from at least the Paleolithic era. Much of that record is to be found in physical artefacts like balls, dice, gaming boards and other toys, but some “astonishingly beautiful” children’s footprints preserved beneath the Namibian Sands some 1500 years ago delightfully show a small group of children skipping, hopping and jumping as they shepherded the family flock (Bennett and Reynolds).

And children amongst our ancestors were not accorded the constancy of care so characteristic in today’s society. Footprints found in Southern Ethiopia and probably made by the extinct species Homo heidelbergensis (600,000 to 200,000 years ago) “may have been made by children as young as one or two, standing in the mud while their parents and older siblings got on with their activities” – “[t]his was their school room, and the curriculum was the acquisition of survival skills” (Bennett and Reynolds). The apparently “overwhelming parenting lesson from the distant past … [in which] children had more responsibilities, less adult supervision and certainly no indulgence from their parents” presents “a picture of a childhood very different from our own, at least from the privileged perspective of life in Western society” (Bennett and Reynolds).

It is in the realm of “risky play” that the protectiveness of our modern society is most clearly evident. That area of “thrilling and exciting activity that involves a risk of physical injury, … [but] provides opportunities for challenge, testing limits, exploring boundaries and learning about injury risk” (Carrig). Continue reading “Animal Insights into Risky Play”

The Lion Man and the Age of Leo

The lion man from the Stadel Cave in Hohlenstein, Lonetal
Thilo Parg / Wikimedia Commons, License: CC BY-SA 3.0

In a paper recently accepted for publication in the Athens Journal of History, two British academics (Martin Sweatman and Alistair Coombs ) have greatly expanded “our understanding of the astronomical knowledge of ancient people” from a study of Palaeolithic cave art sites in Germany, France and Spain, and Neolithic sites in Turkey. They conclude that “[t]his knowledge, it seems, enabled [the ancients] to record dates, using animal symbols to represent star constellations, in terms of precession of the equinoxes”. They present these conclusions as “at odds with the conventional view that astronomy began in Mesopotamia a few millennia BC and that precession of the equinoxes was discovered by Hipparchus in the 2nd Century BC” which they consider must now be seen as “unsafe”.

Outside the cautious understated expression common in the scientific world, the authors more closely reflect the true impact of their conclusions in observing that “we have undoubtedly cracked [an] ancient zodiacal code”: “This code was likely used for many tens of thousands of years, from at least the time Homo sapiens migrated into Western Europe, around 40,000 years ago, until comparatively recently”.

Continue reading “The Lion Man and the Age of Leo”

Are Animals Spiritual?

On 21 August this year a woman died in a road accident in China. Tragically, more than 700 such deaths are likely to have occurred in China on that single day. However, in the months since, her passing has become a matter of international public interest as her canine companion has continued to stand steadfastly by the guard rail near the spot where she was killed. Allusions have been made to Hachiko, the Akita dog that for almost 10 years from 1925 waited at the end of each day for its dead owner outside a train station in Tokyo (, although there are many examples upon which one could draw of such canine “loyalty”.

I wonder though if the commonly used term “loyalty” properly captures the sentiment behind these actions. I consider them more properly understood as “faith”, a steadfast and unwavering belief that their human companion will rejoin them. Is “faith” spiritual? Are the actions of these dogs evidence to a human mind of a spiritual ethos? And the deeper question: Are animals spiritual? Continue reading “Are Animals Spiritual?”

Of Great Apes and Lessons for Humanity

Ota Benga was born more than a century ago. He was a Mbuti, a short statured indigenous peoples of the Congo. As a four foot 11 inch pygmy with teeth filed to sharp points, he found himself in 1904 headed to the United States to be part of an anthropology exhibition. By 1906, he was working in a role helping maintain the animal habitats at the Bronx Zoo before the interest the public took in the young Ota saw his gradual but ultimate degradation into one of the very exhibits he had been helping maintain. In a sad poststcript, in 1916, aged 32, Ota took his own life.

Ota’s treatment evokes a feeling of revulsion by the standards of our day. Yet Ota shared his cage in the Monkey House with an orangutan named Dohong. Dohong’s circumstances were no less desperate yet even today there is little public interest in his story or the degradation he experienced. Continue reading “Of Great Apes and Lessons for Humanity”