“Man is the only animal for whom his own existence is a problem which he has to solve.” –Erich Fromm
Do we need to live in a world with violence, in which the tools of violence become so extreme that they could undo the results of human and other life for hundreds of thousands of years on the planet? Since I was a child I have wondered why people hate, fight each other, and use violence; this is not the picture many of us would paint were we to have the power to create our species. At age twenty-four I was blessed with some ideas that for me, began to answer questions about conflict and war with their ugly tools: someone thought I would be interested in the ideas of Dr. Immanuel Velikovsky, and I read his famous book Worlds in Collision. As I read this book I would often nearly jump up off the couch with amazement as my vision of the history of Earth, humanity and our solar system was greatly changed by Velikovsky’s points, ideas, and theory. For the first time many things began to make sense.
Velikovsky was born in 1895 into a Jewish family in Russia. His father Simon Velikovsky was a businessman who was very involved in the effort to create the state of Israel. Along with Albert Einstein and others, Velikovsky worked on a project which later led to the creation of the Hebrew Universisty. Velikovsky’s mother Biela was a self-taught linguist, could speak several languages fluently, and wanted the best education possible for her three sons (1). Immanuel became a very successful psychiatrist and knew Sigmund Freud, William Stekel, and Carl Jung. His ideas went beyond those of Freud and Jung, as he found the probable historical source of the Oedipus story, and took the meanings and origins of archetypes into a deeper significance than did Jung. He became an inter-disciplinarian with his questions about human history and how we got to situations such as Hitler’s Nazi Germany. His research led him to deep studies in different fields, and he traveled to many countries to pursue these. Here I shall not try to outline his ideas, as there are his many books and papers, as well as books/articles about him and his work. It is very significant to me that Velikovsky spent most of his adult life with a dedicated persistence in his work which he thought could help our species turn away from destroying itself. He suffered greatly in this effort, as some “scientists” were so threatened by his revolutionary ideas that they dragged his name through the dirt. This caused both him and his wife Elisheva great mental and emotional anguish at times.
These are words from the late Canadian author Dwardu Cardona: “I have read less than a handful of books that can be said to have influenced my way of thinking. Immanuel Velkovsky’s Worlds in Collision has not only been one of them, in the end it totally changed my life”(2). Velikovsky impressed me so much because he and some of his followers were the only ones to offer possible answers to questions I had–as well as to questions I had never thought to ask. Some of the questions: why is the number 13 considered unlucky by so many? Why is Venus so hot, and hotter at its core? Why was human sacrifice practiced? What was the origin of the dragon and why is the serpent so important? How and why did anti-Semitism begin in ancient times? Is there a relationship between the symbol for the planet Venus being a five-pointed star and five-pointed stars sewn on military hats in Russia, China, and the US? What might be the origin of the Jewish Jubilee year, and what may it have to do with the Meso-American tradition of expecting a great catastrophe every 52 Years? What caused the Earth’s year to change from 360 days to 365 1/4 days? What connects the noel tree to the history of the solar system? Why has the Tree of Life or cosmic tree been for so many ages a prominent symbol the world over? How did mammoths get frozen in the ice while eating tropical plants? Why are fossils of sea animals found in the high mountains? What caused extinctions of giant animals and humans? Why were there at one time ten months, and with our twelve months, why are the last four months named “seven, eight, nine, ten”? Some of Velikovsky’s predictions were ridiculed by lauded experts, yet in time many of those predictions were verified–a list of some is given below.
In his research Velikovsky did not assume that ancient tales from different cultures all over the world were made up stories; he saw that in their different ways of expressing, our ancestors were telling the same stories–stories about things they actually experienced. As much of this was about horrendous cataclysms he realized that all of us descend from survivors of unbelievable horrors and are inheritors of intense deep-seated trauma. Studies indicate that extreme trauma can make changes in our DNA which then are passed on to future generations (https://www.pbs.org/newshour/extra/tag/post-traumatic-stress/). Velikovsky himself had thought this was the case. In his lifetime he actually did not complete all the volumes he intended to write, as his books deal mainly with global catastrophes which he surmised occurred in about 1500 BCE and in the 700’s and 600’s BCE. These involved Venus and changes in the solar system that had been very threatening to Earth, her moon, and Mars. The topics he covers are vast, and his expertise in varied areas was unusual in his time, when for several hundred years different disciplines had further and further separated from each other. His timeline for history changed that which had been accepted for a great many years. His reconstruction of the events in our solar system was so contrary to accepted tenets that his critics were merciless. Velikovsky respected and used the histories that peoples worldwide had passed down for ages, and put these together to re-tell the human story and it’s relationship with our solar system. This was done presenting evidence from geology, written history, stories, astronomy, physics, chemistry, geology and archaeology; it paved the way for a new view of our place in time, of electromagnetics, and of the human collective unconscious.
From The Elder Elder Edda, Icelandic tales:
Now the Son of Hlodyn and Odin comes,
to fight with Fenris; fiercest of warriors, He mauls in his rage all Middle Earth; Men in fear all flee their homesteads; Nine paces back steps Bur’s son, Retreats from the Worm, of taunts unafraid.
Now death is the portion of domed men, Red with blood the buildings of gods, The sun turns black in the summer after, Winds whine. Well, would you know more?
Earth sinks in the sea, the sun turns black, Cast down from heaven are the hot stars, Fumes reek, into flames burst, The sky itself is scorched with fire (3).
It was over two centuries ago that uniformitarianism started to take hold in the sciences. Before that Earth catastrophes had been recognized by some historians and geologists. The hold that uniformitarianism gained may have been partly to do with a deep longing to live in a world where things make rational sense and are stable, predictable. Changes were seen to take place slowly over millennia. These attitudes held sway until recent times when scientists themselves were making discoveries that began to challenge them. It was strongly due to his interdisciplinary approach that Velikovsky played a major part in this. His ideas were looked upon with scorn; after all, if his ideas had merit what would happen to the previous scientific work? Many books would have to be re-written. In changing the events and history of the solar system, Velikovsky emphasized the importance of electro-magnetism, which had not been considered by mainstream science. Rapid and sudden species extinctions can be explained with his approach. Today we find that many of the scientists studying the drastic Earth changes due to human causes often find their predictions of the enormity or the timing of future events fall short by quite a bit. A recent red flag is new findings about the speed of Arctic and Antarctic warming. The surprise of this can be due to remnants of the uniformitarian attitude of very slow change.
Of course his expertise in psychiatry contributed to the impact of Velikovsky’s work. His deep interest and concern was with the human psyche and how it was affected by catastrophic events. His book Oedipus and Akhnaton turns the Oedipus story it into a tragic epic reflecting socio/political and religious conflicts in Egypt. Though the book is written as a well-constructed and meaningful novel and does not deal with cataclysms, the events according to Velikovsky, would have been influenced by these. Such times, as Velikovsky shows in other works, produce social, political and religious disruption. Archetypes such as noted by Carl Jung in the dreams and art of many people, became for Velikovsky universal symbols representing what occurred in the past cataclysms. Not only in art, poetry, music, drama, and spirituality but also in our dreams the elements of terror and havoc are represented. To some extent, and maybe moreso in certain societies, these re-enactments and symbols must have accomplished some collective healing, yet there is a much still needed. In Velikovsky’s time the great threat recognized was humanity destroying its own and most other life with the bomb. He wrote:
“The basic unconcern over what would follow if, or properly when, the accumulated thermonuclear weapons fly out of silos…is a psychological phenomenon of no mean significance. The acquiescence amounts almost to a desire to have the doom come. Do not the churchgoers ask for the Second Coming, and do not business concerns distribute to their shareholders profits from merchandise of death, and do not superstates together with ‘developing nations’ live in anticipation, and is not the morbid disconcern but a rejoicing in such anticipation? To consider others being annihilated on a grandiose scale fascinates so greatly that it is worth the risk of the same” (4). “As I see it, we have a choice. We can be ‘hit’ psychologically and stirred to our cores and moved to serious action about nuclear war and nuclear arms now, as a matter of top priority in our public policy and private lives. Or we can expect to be hit physically, in five years or 10 to 20, by the bombs and missiles that we and Moscow have so ingeniously amassed for our ‘defense.’ …..Nuclear terror–nuclear deterrence–means living by the bomb”(5).
Velikovsky’s great concern was that humans, if we are to keep from destroying life, must be aware of our traumatic past and the fact our species like many others was nearly wiped out more than once. We must heal from that trauma and create a world without the overpowering fear which leads to greed, war, fascism–we must not be driven unconsciously to destroy ourselves. Velikovsky’s research led him to assume that the events our ancestors experienced were so overwhelmingly terrifying that the memory of them was largely pushed far into the unconscious. This has left us with collective amnesia which drives our species, ironically, to attempt a replay of the catastrophes of the past. I call this a huge fear and even terror of Nature, as natural catastrophes were what nearly wiped us off the Earth. Humanity tries, to its own danger, to overpower Nature–as destroyer. Our species hold an unconscious drive to show we are at least as powerful as the ‘gods’ which destroyed Earth for our forbears many times over. That we even exist was a slim chance; only a few humans survived some of the ancient cataclysms.
When I first read Worlds in Collision I had experienced several destructive events. When I was going on four years old my parents were driving my little sister and me from our home in Yakima WA to visit my Mom’s sister and family in Portland OR. But we were not to reach our destination due to the Vanport Flood which blocked our crossing of the Columbia River. I remember looking down on the town of Vanport with the dark water making it look as if the tops of houses were sticking up from a lake. This flood had been the making of human folly combined with the works of Nature. Then as a student at Reed College in Portland in 1962, the area was struck by the huge devastating storm on October 12th. I had been outdoors when the wind first came up, blowing leaves everywhere. Then after dinner in the Commons I attempted to walk the short way to my dorm in a wind of about 92mph. It was not easy! A little later we were evacuated from our dorm due to a tall tree outside. I spent the night in the room of a couple friends, listening to the howling wind. In the morning there were many downed trees, and damage to a roof of one large building. The storm, later named a cyclone, came up out of the Pacific in northern California and went all the way to the SW corner of BC. Also at Reed, we felt the tremors of the Alaska earthquake of 1964. I was taking my meal tray out to a table to eat when suddenly the ground shook and I had to steady my step. In Alaska this was a hugely devastating quake. After reading some of Velikovsky’s books and while living in the hills of NE Washington State, we experienced the aftereffects of the Mt. St. Helens volcanic eruption of May 18th, 1980. The night before some of us had been performing music in Kettle Falls. A few of us decided to sleep out under the stars along the Columbia River that night. In the morning, still in my sleeping bag, I heard a huge flock of Canada geese honking as they flew north. A friend there told me he’d heard the rumbling of the eruption that must have stirred the geese. It took awhile, but the land was covered with ash. We didn’t know how much protection we’d need from it, but it turned out it was no more harmful than a thick dust.
Here in British Columbia in the past year not only have we had the on-going pandemic, but the coastal areas especially experienced more than one atmospheric river. Communities were flooded and agriculture stopped for awhile. Homes, highways and infrastructures were destroyed. The transport of food and goods across the southern part of the Province was stalled. People died or were injured when huge landslides came down on highways. We also had a couple episodes of heat domes: 595 people died from these. For about three weeks I slept on the floor in my basement to get some relief from the heat, and in the daytime it was too hot to do much. Then this past winter where I live and in many other areas we had so much snow in a short time that way more snow removal than usual was required. Some could not travel from their homes for days. Southern Canada has temperatures increasing twice as fast as the global average, while in northern Canada the increase is nearly three times the global rate.
In my counseling career I worked with many survivors of trauma, mainly from abuse. Many people are able to heal themselves from the effects of this. Some others tend to repeat the mistreatment toward others and/or toward themselves if they are unable to heal. Velikovsky extends this process to say humanity in general is in a collective amnesia of the global horrors faced by our ancestors; we are unconsciously creating such horrors. Thus we must become conscious of this process and heal to stop our march toward destruction. With this conscious realization could come a healing transformation of the collective fear of Nature–into an acceptance that our experience of life on Earth could not exist without the overwhelming creative and destructive forces of Nature. In order to have any chance of a future for most all life on this planet humans would have to have a global awakening to the self-destructive paths the collective amnesia has led us; and would need to build a road to discarding militarism and war, oppression, huge inequality, the rape of the planet, and use of it as a garbage dump.
There are some very sad ironies here. Velikovsky found evidence that much of the oil deposits around the globe are actually not Earthly “fossils,” but were deposited by a comet as burning rains of deadly fire. So actually they are extra-terrestrial fuels with which we have been polluting and threatening Earth one more time. In many cultures the sun, planets and other bodies in the sky were seen as gods which had the power to create and sustain life, or to destroy it. With the intense military build-up of many nations in the past century it would seem there is a deep unconscious drive to imitate the gods and thus carry a false sense of power. This power is to destroy, not defend or protect, and is a terrorism held over all life here. In traditions such as given above in The Elder Edda the ancestors inform us of what they experienced: sudden floods, cometary dust and volcanic ash that darkened the sky at times for years–lakes, rivers, and food sources poisoned by chemicals dumped by comets, and deathly plagues. Peoples migrated to try to find places they could survive and this brought conflicts between different groups. Hungry refugees roamed in many areas. There were ear-piercing thunderbolts from electrical interactions between celestial bodies. All these–fire, pollution, floods, famine, destruction of areas of great food sources, loss of wildlife, have been replicated in our activities over centuries: our unconscious acting out of past tragedies in spite of rational ideas of a world of cooperation, prosperity, of peace and the beauty and healing of Nature. Indeed it is haunting how literally many ancient cataclysms have been replayed. For many of us who accept Velikovsky’s thesis, what is commonly referred to as ‘human nature,’ we see as behaviors driven by collective amnesia of past cataclysms. With the poisons, the death and destruction caused by human endeavors, we now are confronted with more and more issues that imperil life.
In The Velikovsky Heresies Laird Scranton gives some scientific findings that support Velikovsky’s ideas and predictions. Just a few of these are given here. A: Studies of Jupiter have shown that it could have ejected the material which may have become a comet such as Velikovsky postulated was the origin of Venus. B: Astronomic records from ancient times referring to Venus as a comet have been translated. C: The apparent rotational resonance between Earth and Venus could be as a result of a past close encounter between the two. D: Evidence of geomagnetic events on Earth in the 16th and 8th centuries BCE as well as climate changes in the latter period fit in with Velikovsky’s model. E: There are records of the movements of Venus that support Velikovsky’s idea that the planet fairly recently settled into its present orbit( 6). In recent times scientists have reported that dinosaurs, despite their huge size, could get around easily and even fly due to a time of less gravity. Velikovsky reminds us that when another celestial body comes close the Earth there will be much less gravity. There are traditions in different places of human giants, and less gravity would have made that possible; actual skeletal remains of human giants have been found in many places in North America (see Lost Cities of North and Central America, by David Hatcher Childress, and IT sites). As to the large number of scientists having rejected most of Velikovsky’s ideas, Scranton writes that a “…point of confusion comes out of the knowledge that many of the same researchers–archaeologists, geologists, historians, and researchers of ancient architecture–who have characterized ancient textual references as unreliable when used by Velikovsky also routinely employ these same ancient astronomic references to establish likely dates for ancient artifacts and events when working in their own fields of study”(7). In Einstein’s later years he lived in Princeton, as did Velikovsky and Elishiva. Like Einstein Eleshiva was a violinist and the two sometimes played duets. Velikovsky spent many hours discussing his theories with Einstein, who did tell him that they were actually plausible. It is a fact that the only book lying open on Einstein’s desk when he died was Worlds in Collision.
Velikovsky touches on human sacrifice, which in many cases seems to have been a societal sacrifice to appease the gods. Humans were trying to understand why the gods (planets assumed as instigators of the tremendous loss of life) would inflict horrible catastrophes upon them. Perhaps those deities could be satisfied if we take control and offer one or several special persons, such as kings, warriors, children, those highly respected by us–then perhaps we can live without the destructions that have been thrust upon us. And so, now the irony is that huge life loss–including human life sacrificed from needless wars, from polluted air, water, land, from suicide and murders–can be seen as evidence of illness in societies. In some places we see systems which imprison those who struggle for the rights of people and for the land, other life, forests and water. Journalists and activists are being murdered, many of them Indigenous. So now that we have deluded ourselves that we have out-done the gods–what is next? Is there a way other than to the END of everything?
In 1974 I attended the symposium in Lethbridge, Alberta featuring Immanuel Velikovsky. There I was very impressed with the presentation made by Canadian Professor of drama, Irving Wolfe. Wolfe has written articles showing how great literature that figures prominently down through the ages repeats the drama, the chaos, tragedy and the possibility of a return to a situation of more ease and predictability. He shows how Homer’s works and some of Shakespeare’s plays are examples of this. He writes the following: “The closer…[the narrative] structure comes to the catastrophic events, the more powerfully the work will affect us at a subterranean level, because the real events have been fixed in our unconscious memories as part of our racial inheritance, and thus we will respond deeply, albeit unconsciously, to a narrative which contains them to a high degree. As a result, I feel that only when racial involvement occurs will a narrative endure as a human statement meaningful to other men in different times. It talks to the future because it tells of the past….it is not simply the catastrophic parallels in a narrative which grip us, but, even more, the way in which the narrative is resolved. When it recalls the terrifying events of the past, but then moves to a unifying, harmonizing, stable conclusion, we accept and approve…for…we have seen the racial fears exposed but then controlled, which means that we have not simply been reminded, but comforted. The fear has been brought forth only so that it can then be put away again in tranquility.” Wolfe adds that an author of such work is not conscious of this process of dealing with the racial experiences. The work happens through what he calls “…unconscious, or pre-conscious, or transcendental, or instinctive”(8). Wolfe also mentions that at the time of Shakespeare England was in the throes of some major weather anomalies, so it is possible that this could have brought him more in touch with the unconscious realm of past cataclysms.
Velikovsky wrote the following. “As a psychoanalyst I returned many times to the problem of awakening the human conscious mind to the forgotten heritage of ages. The traumatic experiences that humans keep buried in oblivion possess enormous power of the destiny of nations. If the human race is not made able to face its past, the traumatic experience that caused cultural amnesia will demand repetition–and since the atomic age began, humans have lived under the sword of Damocles” (9). I am sure that were he alive today our environmental destruction and ecocide would seem the same danger to him as the bomb. I am sad that this emphasis that permeates much of Velikovsky’s work seems to receive little attention. Many experts in different field have focused discussion on other aspects of his writings and talks, yet is this not of major import?
At the Lethbridge Symposium I asked Velikovsky to sign one of his books. What he said to me was “keep reading them,” and I said I would. There is great importance now in devoting action to his concerns in Mankind in Amnesia. My hope is that this will be done and that we can communicate concerns and envision a path. One thing I suggest, as did Velikovsky, is first to encourage people to read his books. As for healing our species there could be many ways to enter into this. As Dr. Irving Wolfe has shown, and anyone deeply involved with Indigenous traditions knows, cataclysms are found in the most important stories, in drama, dance, music and sacred ceremonies. Creating collective art with consciousness of the catastrophes of our past can be a way of healing together. This means putting ourselves in the very vulnerable position of being threatened by fire, flood, tornados, earthquakes, loved ones dying. In this way we can recognize the terror and helplessness, and heal into accepting it. Just knowing that we all are, actually relatives and that we are the only survivors of ancestors who went through such unimaginable terrors could have the potential to create a sense of togetherness that has been scarce in the world psyche for eons.
The challenge and the gift of Velikovsky’s immense contributions, a theory of an electromagnetic universe and solar system catastrophes leaving our species in a sort of stunned state of crisis, a revised history and the honoring and re-naming of “myth”–is that as a psychoanalyst he was a healer and had our healing as a species as his primary concern. The tragic part is that his contemporaries were so focused on rejecting his history and modelling of the solar system that a most important message was pretty much ignored except by a few whom he inspired.
As in a Bruce Cockburn song, “the trouble with normal is it always gets worse.” The normal can seem to be those leaders and corporations that are driving us to ecosystem death and/or nuclear (and etc.) death. The clock-readers may tell us it is two seconds to midnight, yet for all we know we may be 2/100 of a second to midnight. And hatred, bigotry, violence and murder appear to keep growing; this happens because trauma piled upon trauma drives it all deeper into the unconscious. The psychiatrist R. D. Laing wrote of how any serious problems within a society are messages about the actual condition of that society. The key to the state of humanity right now is to face the truth of our blind march to the cliff that lends no choice but to fall off it into oblivion. Young people, Indigenous people, activists and many others are pointing this out–some taking great risks. Yet the condition of our collective amnesia may well be keeping the species in general asleep, neither seeing nor recognizing the insanity of our state.
I began this article over a year into the Covid 19 pandemic; and now and the Russian attack on the Ukraine is in its sixth week. The UN passed the nuclear weapons ban, yet the nations possessing and manufacturing nuclear weapons are not signing, and are showing no signs of adhering to it. Since this current war began I should hope that world leaders would wake up to the fact that nuclear and other grisly modern weapons (including cyber warfare) are way beyond something with which humanity can cope. In fact, is it not the peak of insanity for living creatures to manufacture the instruments of their demise? Today in the news we hear the term “nuclear war.” No, to use some of these 14,500 (or so) weapons could in just a few hours, a few days–put an end to everything we know, everything we hold sacred, all beauty we have experienced. It is dire that we destroy such weapons and that means humanity must heal enough to come together and name the actual threats facing us all and Earth herself.
In her book For Your Own Good the respected Polish/Swiss psychiatrist and author Alice Miller wrote the following: “…the hope that by means of rational agreements it might be possible in the long run to prevent nuclear annihilation of the human race is at bottom a form of irrational wishful thinking and contradicts all our experience. As recently as the Third Reich, not to mention countless times before that, we have seen that reason constitutes only a small part of the human being, and not the dominant part, at that. All it took was a Fuhrer’s madness and several million well-raised Germans to extinguish the lives of countless innocent human beings in the space of a few short years. If we do not do everything we can to understand the roots of this hatred, even the most elaborate strategic agreements will not save us. The stockpiling of nuclear weapons is only a symbol of bottled-up feelings of hatred and of the accompanying inability to perceive and articulate genuine human needs” (10).
As Miller writes unconscious drives are more powerful than ‘reason,’ and I consider this the crux of the threats we face. I sometimes wonder whether the gigantic fear of Nature which led to our current predicament underlies abuse, rape, hatred of women and girls, and rape as an historical part, sadly, of war. As the feminine can be equated with the birth of life and the creative and thus the destructive powers of Nature, is aggression against the female an expression of the unconscious fear of and resentment of the power of Nature? Just this week the UN released a new report on the urgency for nations to take drastic steps to curb the projected rise of temperatures in order to preserve life on the planet. So long as we do not identify ourselves as part of Nature, we can walk in a blind fog on this planet, not realizing the beauty of Life, others, all life, profound connections, and our own selves–Love. Nature is truly our Mother, and she and we need each other so much!
Just this week the UN released a report on the urgency for nations to take drastic steps to curb projected temperature increases which would end the possibility of most life on Earth. It outlines many steps that would need to be taken so that emissions and other other harmful effects would peak in 2025, and then reduce to net-zero by 2060. In spite of this Canada has just approved the Bay du Nord deep water mega project in an offshore oil field. The final investment is expected to be approved in 2024.
Since Velikovsky’s death (in 1979) there have been many developments in healing, and some may be of great value in the much-needed collective healing. In 1996, working as a counselor, I was able to take trainings in Eye Movement Desensitizing and Reprocessing–the method discovered and developed by Dr. Francine Shapiro of the US. In using this method with many clients for the next seventeen years I found it (EMDR) to be a very effective process. One major part of it is that the client or therapist uses alternate stimulation of the right and left sides of the client’s brain. What happens here is that traumatic memories that someone has not been able to resolve open up to the person’s own healing resources; with the alternate brain hemispheres working on the issues a way is found to healing that can make actual changes in the brain. This is in a very structured process, and with advanced training much deeper work can result. Some traditions, such as Chinese Medicine, also use alternate brain stimulation. And of course forever humans have walked, danced, drummed and done other activities, often in a sacred group setting, which offer the left/right brain stimulation. On myself and with my clients I also used Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) developed by Gary Craig, who had studied under Dr. Roger Callahan, the founder of Thought Field Therapy (TFT). Callahan studied Traditional Chinese Medicine for twenty years and developed TFT from what he had learned; it also contains some alternate left/right brain stimulation.
In her work Joanna Macy has designed ways to have groups enter the deep grief of the losses and possible future for Earth and life on the planet. In creating ways to enter the deep pain of grief from what our ancestors suffered, and then to heal, groups could use exercises Macy has outlined. In our present world it seems to take more courage to love than to put barriers between peoples–more courage to step toward the ‘other’ and open to our own innate compassion and recognition of our common human family. The recognition of our “interbeing” introduced by the late Vietnamese Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, is used to strengthen awareness of this. Velikovsky’s work can help people integrate new expanded meanings from ancient archetypes, and these have the potential to change our perception of who we are.
Indigenous cultures have been incorporating the depth of socio-psychological effects on humans, other life, and Earth for thousands of years; this is done through stories, dance and costumes, traditional history acted out, and through music including drumming and singing. As these activities include the whole community, the healing from them serves all. In many cases the stories told, sung or acted out are those of the cataclysms which Velikovsky addresses. I can see such cultural practices in terms of the great art persisting for ages which Irving Wolfe addresses, and this may point to the possibility that we are on the edge of re-membering the terrible things our ancestors experienced. If Velikovsky was correct, the re-membering will be necessary to the continuation of our kind, and thus of others.
Such healing may lead to the greatest change in humanity as a whole that has come in many thousands of years–a shift toward the end of competition, mistreatment of groups of people, the drastic threats of militarism, war, and the rape of Earth. We would draw together in the transformative consciousness that we are all descendants of a few greatly traumatized survivors. With awareness and healing we may come out of the amnesia and into a vision of a world we can actually create, rather than merely look upon as an unreachable dream. Beyond the catastrophes, humanity has an unconscious memory of a “lost paradise” which I consider actually to have existed. The new world of cooperation and respect for all life, all beings and for Earth may be more easily reached if we can re-member this ancient time of harmony–showing us it really is possible.
Suzanne Simard, author of Finding the Mother Tree, happens to live where I do. In her work with how trees and fungi work in community and how the older trees take care of and instruct and communicate with other trees, other species of trees, she shows that life in the forest can be a template for how humans might take care of each other and communicate toward the benefit of all and of the environment and of the planet. The findings she has made have struck the scientific and other realms; these echo the knowledge of our ancestors and Indigenous peoples around the world. Other research is taking place on communication by fungal mycelia. One study of four different species shows each has its own language (to get link to this — The Fungus Among Us May Have Their Own Mushroom Language – Nerdist). Nature is the teacher and the healer, and if we want to help Nature we can learn from Her and heal ourselves as part of Her. In these times of big oil, big pharma, big agriculture, just as with forestry here in BC, the philosophy that “we can do better” than Nature, has failed drastically.
I carry a heaviness in my heart from the many areas of perceived ‘otherness’ in the world today: the other as different, as the ‘enemy,’ as not deserving, even as not human. And just as harmful is blindly treating Earth as something separate. It was a relief for me, years ago after reading Velikovsky, to accept totally that I live on a planet, in a solar system, where a catastrophic event can happen at any moment–this takes away a huge amount of anxiety. And humanity must accept that our kind has greatly added to the potential for catastrophes! We ARE Earth; we ARE Nature, and to survive we must awaken to the fact that the last 500 years and more or human activity on this planet is a huge part of the problem, and to the fact that the only workable way to remedy what we can of this problem is to become one human family. My vision is that we end the era of ‘opponents’ and be together respectfully: drink the tea another drinks, watch and join the dancing another dances, listen to the stories of another, laugh with their jokes, cry with their tears. In these ways our hearts can open and our fear turn toward the real, not the imagined threats. We can recognize we are all related, we share the same concerns, we can be stronger and more successful coming together. From Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969), founder of Aikido– “The art of Peace that I practice has room for each of the world’s eight million gods, and I cooperate with them all. The God of Peace is very great and enjoins all that is divine and enlightened in every land.”
Those who have closely followed Velikovsky’s work and joined in on the research and theories have published many articles and books; they have been experts in the many fields in which Velikovsky did his research. His plan was to write more about an earlier time of upheaval in the solar system but did not live to do that; on the site varchives.com his daughters included some notes he had written on this.
Many who admired Velikovsky shared their feelings and thoughts after his death. Here are some words from Vine Deloria (author of God is Red):
“Immanuel Velikovsky, in my own opinion, will be seen by civilized people a century from now as the truly great thinker in human history dwarfing both his contemporaries and all but a few of the now-honoured giants of the human intellect. …Worlds in Collision…will be regarded as the watershed in the development of our knowledge about the universe and about ourselves and will be seen as the first effort to present a truly cosmic history of our species. …it still amazes me that a person so intelligent and so eternally busy…could have had the patience and the gentility to spend several hours with me as if we were equal seekers after truth. A person not too busy to recognize the common humanity that distinguishes us from the rest of the world can never be replaced” (11).
Elisheva Velikovsky was a great help in Velikovsky’s work. After her husband’s death, along with the help of Jan N. Sammer she did much of the work to prepare Mankind in Amnesia to go to press. Velikovsky considered this book his service to humanity in the face of our possible self-created doom. He felt it was a very important book, and to me it still is of great importance. I hope that many who read my piece here will read Worlds in Collision and Mankind in Amnesia, and maybe others of his works.
- Sharon, Ruth Velikovsky PhD, ABA: T he Glory and the Torment. Boulder, CO: Paradigma, 1995, revised 2010, p. 25.
- Cardona, Dwardu, p.1 in “The Road to Saturn,” The Cataclysm: A Monthly Symposium on Myth and Science: Jan. , 1988, Vol. I No. 1.
- The Elder Edda: A Selection: translation by Paul B. Taylor and W.H. Auden. New York: Random House, Vintage Books Edition, 1970, p. 152.
- Velikovsky, Immanuel: Mankind in Amnesia. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, 1982, pp. 158-9.
- Ibid., p. 207.
- Scranton, Laird, The Velikovsky Heresies: Worlds in Collision and Ancient Catastrophes Revisited. Rochester, Vermont: Bear & Company, 2012, pp. 129-131.
- Ibid., pp. 126-7.
- Wolfe, Irving. “Shakespeare and Velikovsky: Catastrophic theory and the Springs of Art,” Recollections of a Fallen Sky: Velikovsky and Cultural Amnesia. Lethbridge Alberta; Unileth Press, 1978, p. 122.
- Velikovsky, Op. cit. p. 93.
- Miller, Alice: For Your own Good, Hidden Cruelty in Child-rearing and the Roots of Violence. Translated by Hildegarde and Hunter Hannum. New York, NY: Farrar, Strauss, Giroux, Second Edition, 1984, p. 144.
- Deloria, Vine. “Dr. Immanuel Velikovsky Tributes,” SIS REVIEW Vol. IV No. 4, pp. 78-79.
BELOW–Some of Velikovsky’s predictions born out. All but the last two items are from: Ferte, Thomas. “A Record of Success.” Pensee I: Immanuel Velikovsky Reconsidered. Portland, OR: Pensee. May, 1972: 11-15,22.
Space is not a vacuum: electro-magnetism plays a fundamental role in our solar system and the universe. In 1950 this was considered heresy by most of the scientists of the day. Between 1955 and 1960 the finding of radio noises on Jupiter, the discovery of the Earth’s magnetosphere and interplanetary magnetic field, and solar plasma proved Velikovsky right. The sun is electrically charged. In 1960 Prof. V. A. Bailey of the University of Sydney, Australia found the sun had negative charge. It was also found that the interplanetary magnetic field was centered on the sun and rotates with it. His predictions on Venus. Velikovsky said the temperature on Venus would be very hot, as it was in the process of cooling from a state of candescence. At the time scientists thought it would be found to be 45 to 90 degrees F. Venus probes showed surface and ground temperatures at 800 and 1,000 degrees F. In 1963 NASA and the Mariner Mission confirmed Velikovsky’s prediction that Venus’s atmosphere would contain carbon dioxide, carbohydrates, and hydrocarbons. His prediction that Venus may have an anomalous rotation (due to its joining the solar system in a separate event) was confirmed in 1962 by R. Carpenter and B. Goldstein. A large comet was in collision with Earth. According to M. Ewing (1959) the even distribution of a layer of white ash on the floor of the oceans suggest a ‘cometary collision’ of gigantic proportions. Some cometary tails and some meteorites contain hydrocarbons; and some meteorites contain argon and neon. Bobrovnikoff reported spectral analysis confirmed such compounds in cometary tails; H.H. Nininger stated some hydrocarbons in some meteorites resemble waxes and petroleum products found on Earth. In 1961 this was borne out. Jupiter emits radio noises. Eighteen months after Velikovsky made this claim in 1953, strong radio signals were discovered to be emanating from Jupiter. It was found the planet had a radiation belt producing 10 to the 14th times the radio energy as from the Van Allen belts around Earth. Evidence of hydrocarbons will be found on the moon; lunar rocks will reveal remanent magnetism; moonquakes must be very numerous. The Apollo XI mission found aromatic hydrocarbons in samples of lunar material. Apollo 11 found magnetic remanence in lunar rocks. In 1970 NASA reported that equipment left on the moon from Apollo XII recorded an average of one moonquake a day, with severe quakes about once a month. Earth has a magnetosphere; there have been sudden reversals in the Earth’s magnetic polarity; some of Earth’s petroleum deposits are recent and are of extraterrestrial origin; Earth’s climate has had fairly recent changes, and human settlements will be discovered on the Kolyma or Lena Rivers flowing into the Arctic Ocean (1955). Velikovsky made the first claim in 1956; the magnetosphere was discovered by Van Allen in 1958. Reversals had been thought to have been hundreds of thousands of years ago until in the 1970’s a reversal was found at about 12,000 years ago. Velikovsky claimed one occurred in the eighth century BCE, and there have been findings that support this. Radiocarbon analysis of oil in the Gulf of Mexico showed it was deposited 9,000 years ago, rather than millions of years ago. In 1962 A.T. Wilson in Nature, claimed all of the oil on Earth was extraterrestrial. And J. Oro and J. Han described in Science (Sept. 16th, 1962) how petroleum can be formed from interaction of comets and planets. A.P. Okladnikov in 1951 reported settlements had been found on the Kolyma River and Bronze civilization in the Yakutsk region. The ground at the Kolyma site was completely frozen. Mesoamerican culture is several centuries older than supposed. In 1956 it was reported in the American Journal of Science that these cultures had been proven by atomic science to have begun some 1,000 years earlier than had been thought. There was water on our moon and some may still be there. In 2018 water in the form of ice was discovered at the poles of the moon. “University of Hawai’i News,” Aug. 21st, 2018. There are many more predictions made by Velikovsky that have been shown to be correct.
Allan, D. S. & J. B. Delair. Cataclysm! Compelling Evidence of a Cosmic Catastrophe in 9500 B.C. Santa Fe, NM: Bear & Company, 1997. Though the authors present a different scenario of what happened in the past, they give informative material on catastrophism.
Balbin, Georgia. Cyclical Catastrophe: Planetary Wars in the Solar and Saturn System. Boulder, CO: TET Publishing, 2005.
Greenberg, Lewis M., & Warner B. Sizemore, Eds. Velikovsky and Establishment Science. Glassboro, NJ: Kronos Press, 1977.
Markman, Roberta & Peter T. Markman. The Flayed God: The Mythology of Mesoamerica. San Francisco, CA: HarperSanFrancisco, 1994. Chapter III–Of Time, Space, and Earth: the Mythology of the Urban Tradition; Chapter IV–The Fourfold Unfolding: the Myths of Creation, 57-172.
Ransom, C. J. The Age of Velikovsky. Glassboro, NJ: Kronos Press, 1976.
Sharon, Ruth Velikovsky PhD. ABA: The Glory and the Torment. Boulder, CO: Paradigma, 1995, revised 2010. Velikovsky’s daughter on her father’s life, challenges, successes, influences and family.
Talbott, David N. The Saturn Myth: A Reinterpretation of Rites and Symbols Illuminating Some of the Dark Corners of Primordial Society. New York, NY: Doubleday Press, 1980.
Velikovsky, Immanuel. Earth in Upheaval. New York, NY: Dell Publishing Company (permission from Doubleday & Company, New York), 1965.
______, Mankind in Amnesia.Garden City, NY: Doubleday & company, 1982.
______, Oedipus and Akhnaton: Myth and History. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, 1960.
______, Stargazers and Gravediggers: Memories to Worlds in Collision. New York, NY: William Morrow And Company, 1983.
______, Worlds in Collision. New York, NY: Dell Publishing Company (permission from Doubleday & Company, New York), 1965.
http://www.varchive.org site Velikovsky’s daughters created containing many unpublished writings including letters and exchanges with Albert Einstein. In “Before the Day Breaks” one can read correspondence between Velikovsky and Einstein regarding the former’s theory on electro-magnetism involved in the solar system.
Thunderbolts Project–https://www.thunderbolts.info/ This site carries on with Velikovsky’s presentation of the electromagnetic universe.