Sunday, April 12, 2009
Curiously I never read Clarke during my major sci-fi geek faze, between ages 13-18. I read nearly all of Heinlein and as much Asimov as I could, but before I got to Clarke I moved on from the genre.
I remember reading a story called "The Nine Million Names of God" somewhere-perhaps it was at Loyola College? "The Nine Million Names of God" demonstrates Clarke's interest in mysticism and religion, and I think there is no doubt that Clarke likely read many books about the occult or hermetic theory. I mean, 2001: A Space Odyssey (the film, at least, I never read the story or novelization)--is full of Rudolf Steiner's theory of evolution toward a Jupiter Consciousness. And Childhood's End, which I read on the plane to New Mexico and rather enjoyed, is again a story of more advanced beings manipulating humans over centuries toward a kind of evolution of consciousness.
I wrote a paper once for a French class comparing ideas in St. Exupery's Pilote de guerre with those of Fulcanelli, and the professor (who went to the Sorbonne and received his PhD from Yale) told me: "It's one thing to suggest there is a similarity of ideas between an established writer and intellectual and those of a professed alchemist who may be an urban legend...but you must do research and find proof."
But doing research or crafting a lengthy explanation is what an academic or intellectual would do; because I am simply a crank I need explain nothing. I work with hunches. Childhood's End is an esoteric novel along the lines of Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson.
And the Mogollon and Anasazi petroglyphs I saw in New Mexico? They clearly picture aliens!