By: Thoughts of a Random Citizen Podcast
I am joined today with Betty Kovacs, who has a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature with an emphasis on symbolic and mythic language, which I'll get wrong here in a moment. Betty is an amazing woman, and I really enjoyed having her on as a guest. Her expertise in symbolic and mythic language as it relates to this discussion, specifically, at its core, is about stories and the ancient writings and myths that we all grew up hearing about. In this episode, we talk about how these stories we're all familiar with, were initially constructed, told and passed on for our development and growth as people as a society.
It helps to understand all of this when we start our conversation because we fundamentally oriented around the understanding of these ancient stories, and how they are comprehended today for our conversation. We discuss our origins in this episode, and Betty begins to explain how the common stories of early Earth and humanity have potentially been miscommunicated. We also talk about how we grow, from not only understanding these potential miscommunications, but the original intent of these stories themselves by understanding symbolic and mythic language and/or storytelling, if you will.
There is a noticeable gap between the rational mind and the minds of ancient symbolic language and stories. However, while they go about communicating messages in different ways, the messages are quite similar, if not the same. With today's evolution and comprehension of science, but explains how there's a bridge between the two ways of communicating as history stories in today's science are coming to a point. I did just want to walk you guys through that so you understand that today's episode isn't necessarily going to be based around entrepreneurship.
While Betty is an author, we chose to focus on what she's discovered, as opposed to her entrepreneurial journey, and how she's discovered it. Lastly, if you've managed to stumble across this episode today, for all of those out there who claim to be open-minded, I challenge you to drop any preconceived notions now, and stick with this episode through to the end. I hope and think you'll find it as fascinating as I did. Anyways, I hope you enjoy the episode.
All right, Betty, thank you so much for coming on to the podcast. I'm very excited to dive into a deeper topic such as the one that we're going to get to in this episode. However, you have quite a diverse and expansive background, feel free to elaborate on that. First things first, you obtained a Ph.D. in comparative language and the theory of symbolic and mythical language. Can you elaborate on that for some who might not know what that means? Me, being one of them.
It was comparative literature but with a focus on symbolic, mythic language. In the university, I studied several different theories, because they're different groups of people who have different theories about what's happening. I felt that one of the earliest, and I think the best, symbolic language theorist was Giambattista Vico, from Italy, in the 1700s. That's at the same time that the French philosophers were carrying on in France with an entirely different idea. Giambattista Vico, I think was correct, and that is he saw and although he didn't call it right brain and left brain, that there was a brain component that we call the right brain and a brain component that we call the left brain.
Now, the right brain has our native language, our first language is produced by the right brain. In ancient text, they always say, "Spirit speaks to us in symbols." It was unfortunate that the church later made many of the symbols literal and historical. That was a misunderstanding. If we just look at who we are now with the right brain and left brain, other brain components, for sure, but let's just say the right brain and left brain. In the right brain, there is an organizing principle. Vico points out very clearly, these symbols are not irrational at all. They have a poetic logic, and the right brain develops before the left brain, and it feeds in poetic logic to the left brain.
Otherwise, the left brain wouldn't be able to be rational and conceptual at all. He's saying both of these languages symbolic language, and rational conceptual language, are equal. They are equal, and one should never replace the other. You can talk about symbolic language rationally, but always to go back to the fact the symbol must not be replaced, nor should the idea be replaced. There must always be an integral and continuum of movement between these two brains, so that we're always working with symbols and ideas.
Then, what we know now, and we knew from the ancient Germanic cultures, that these two brain components are connected to the heart. That the heart is a major brain component. It gives more signals to the brain than the brain gives to the heart. It is through this symbolic right brain, that the heart, which the Sufis called the organ of soul, opens us to other dimensions of reality. That gives us access.
We're going to dive into all of that, but bringing it back to the basic, can you refer or elaborate on some of that symbolic language specifically, that you're referring to just for those who might not exactly know what we're going to dive into on this episode?
We all know the story from Genesis of the tree of life. We know the story that was inverted by the Deuteronomist, but the Deuteronomist told this particular story, and it's not a true symbolic story. That is that there's a tree of good and evil, and a second tree of life, there's really just one tree. God tells Adam and Eve, "Don't eat of that tree." This is a symbolic story. What's the tree? What's the fruit? Why shouldn't they eat of it? Of course, they do. When they do, they are exiled from the garden. We are told this is the fall of mankind. This we are now sinful, living in sin henceforth and forevermore.
Once we know the symbolic language, we know that that is not arbitrary. That was made up by the rational brain to control people. It's not a true myth. It's not really symbolic language, or we could say it is symbolic language, but inverted and used incorrectly. A true symbolic story comes out of the psyche, the symbolic brain, and it is structured by organizing principles within the human psyche. We can always detect what is a real one because the real one is always going to be to nurture our growth and development. We find out what is the true story.
What is the story that the symbolic brain created for us about the tree? It is that here's the tree of life, it's rooted in the earth, its branches reach up into the heavens. Its fruit, if we eat up this living presence, we know that we are immortal, divine, and creative. The Deuteronomist totally inverted that and said, "Do you know you'll die." They're totally opposite. They inverted everything.
Certainly, you're not divine. They threw us out of the garden so we wouldn't eat of the tree of life and know that we are immortal and divine. This is a total inversion, for politics, for political control.
It is not the true myth. Once we study these myths, we see that they're similar all over the world, but with different symbols, but they're always are supportive of our development, our growth, our evolution.
I'm really excited to dive into a bit of the political side, especially, with the Roman church in a bit, but speaking of that formation in the very, very beginning. Can you elaborate on how the ancient Hebrews described day one, or the creation, as when our perception or consciousness was formed?
Yes, that's interesting is that in the ancient world, and certainly, with the First Temple, Hebrews, there was an understanding of the universe as if there is a dimension that is pure intellect. Pure intellect. It has no form whatsoever, but it is always moving into the symbolic world, if that is the world of spirit, we would say, and which it takes shape as it moves into that dimension in form of archetypes or symbols. That is day one, because here are these archetypal symbols that that dimension communicates to us. We really can begin to take form at that point.
Of course, the third place is the world of time and space. In the Hebrew temple, there was the Holy of Holies and the First Temple, the priest, the great high priest, entered the Holy of Holies. When he was going to move into a mystical state of consciousness and receive the images from day one. Day one would be creation of form, but always there is first and foremost, the pure world of intelligence. Then it goes into symbolic archetypal form, and then we, as human beings, are able to perceive it in time and space.
Wow. That is in-depth to say the least. I want to shift to that intellectual side of things and talk about Plato for a moment. Many people might not be as fluent in the discussions of Hebrews and maybe Christianity beginnings, or the tree of life. Most people are aware of Plato because it's taught quite often in our education system. You had said in an interview that Plato was afraid of a powerful other dimension of consciousness. For those who didn't hear that interview, you did. Am I correct in understanding that when we talk and discuss Plato today as being this rational figure, he had another side to him?
There was an assumption on my part, and on the part of others, that he might have been because he went through a period in which he didn't want any of that other dimension or the symbols, and so on. Peter Kingsley is a wonderful writer and scholar. He talks about the pre-Socratic philosophers who were before enduring Plato. Parmenides, was one of them, Pythagoras also, but Parmenides actually had a conversation with Plato. Parmenides had a very deep and profound understanding of the dimensions of the universe. Certainly, Plato would have had to hear from him about that.
It's very interesting to read Peter Kingsley, because it's a little bit of a complicated situation, because it seems as though Plato did not go that route. He went his own way, although later in life, he might have changed somewhat. What has happened historically, is the people think of Plato only as the emergence of the rational mind of consciousness, but they left out the depth that he evidently left out in some rejection of the Presocratics. Now we didn't know before Peter Kingsley that the Presocratics were powerful shamans, very much in contact with other dimensions of reality.
They were great healers, and at the same time, they were politicians, diplomats, and inventors. They could sometimes go into an altered state of consciousness, says Peter Kingsley, for a day or two or three. They were very very powerful. I can see why Plato maybe didn't want to go that route or wasn't able to. I don't know, but I'm not a specialist in Plato so I want to be careful about what I'm saying.
Absolutely. Well, something that you are more versed in would be that ancient shamanistic view. Can you elaborate because we've mentioned it a few times now what is specifically that ancient shamanistic view in life.
Yes. That's a really important question because we know now that all around the world around 40,000 BCE, shamanism emerged. It looks as though around that time, all around the world, we learned how to trigger the mind, to open up to its natural universal consciousness. Let me say it this way. We are all born out of universal consciousness.
That's who we are, but as Bergson and also Aldous Huxley explain it, is that we have a valve because we reduce that vast consciousness to a stream, so that you and I can have a conversation in a limited way. Or just have a conversation, or I can buy groceries, cook, dinner, whatever, because I'm not in.
If we can do that then the real trick is how do we release that valve from our daily routines so that we can experience this vastness that we hear we are. The shamans learned how to do that. Our ancestors learned how to do that around 40,000 BCE, all around the world. What shamanism really is, is simply the ability to trigger an opening to the vastness that we all are.
Now, not everybody could do that and so there would often be a shaman in a village, and if it's often said he lived in the village but he lived on the edge of the forest. He could be in both dimensions, but often he did it for people. Of course, the goal would be for us all to be the shamans that we really are, to release that valve when we want to experience that vast, as we have the time and the space to do it.
You said 40,000 years ago is when that was a globally recognized time in which we had that capability?
Yes, around that time.
Geez. Wow. That's old old.
It really is. I think that some cultures really developed a very high ability to do that, and others maybe not as well, but the rituals we now know that shamans did that repetitive, sometimes ritual. It actually can create a slow brain wave that goes through all of the brain components and unites them in a way that can trigger opening that valve.
That's fascinating to me at least, considering that science is starting to explain or beginning to explain that gap that we have between what we consider science and almost spirituality, I guess you can say. I do want to talk about that more later but I know that your late husband had experienced your son's consciousness for a prolonged period of time. Can you elaborate on exactly what that was like, how that was communicated, and just that experience?
Yes actually he and I both did, and the interesting- and I was very grateful that we both did so I knew I wasn't losing it in some strange way.
I had been the one always who I taught symbolic language. I taught visions. I taught the visionary life and the myths, and fairy tales, which are also structures of that symbolic function.
Also, our son, Pisti. When he was not quite 12, had a dream of exactly how his death happened. We talked about his dreams because I taught dreams and visions, so he and I talked about it. One afternoon, I was vacuuming the floor, and he said, "Oh, mom, I just remembered a dream I had." We sat down, I wrote it. I realized later, he wrote it and drew a picture of it. He saw that he was up above a hospital.
He said an intensive care ward, looking down at his dead body, and then he said there was a space of darkness, then in the next scene he was on the other side. He was standing at the height of the horseshoe. On the left, there were four boys, and on the right there were four boys. In the center, there was an eternal fire burning, and they could see the horror of the 10th boy that they were waiting for him. Pisti said, "We were all waiting for him, and I knew that when he would arrive I would be complete because ten is a number of completeness." I don't know how he knew that at 12, but he didn't write in the dream he did.
He says, "What do you think it means, mom?" I don't know because it was pretty frightening, in a way. He also had a dream just before he died, again, in a similar way, that he actually died in a car accident. When I looked back at my dreams I had two years in which I had dreamed of his death, but I looked at it symbolic. That helped, because that way, I could go ahead and live and not be scared to death. Then my husband had now this is the point too. My son was into this thing but I was actually teaching it, and my husband was tolerant of that, but he hadn't any interest in it.
That's what husbands often do.
I tried to tell him of a vision I'd had in Peru, because I went twice to Peru to work with shamans there. I said he realized he was trying to look at the newspaper and not listen to me. As I said, "You're really not interested in this, are you? Well, since he was caught. He said, "Do you know, I know you had that but I've never had an experience like that. I don't know how to relate to it. I can't relate to it." Well, that's honest, but then it wasn't long until he himself had a vision when he was in his office working. Suddenly, he saw Pisti's car, on the side of the freeway, and he saw Pisti's body superimposed on it.
He knew he was dead because it was two different dimensions. He heard himself say, "Oh, that's right, Pisti, it's almost time for you to do that," and that scared him. Pisti, answered in the vision, "That's right dad, I'll be out of the house for a little while, and it wasn't too long, a few weeks I think, after that, that Pisti was in the accident. Actually, he would have been dead had they not put him on every machine in the hospital. He was there for two weeks, and then we knew he wasn't going to make it.
We all had this knowledge on an unconscious level that it was coming and out of the house for a little while. Well, he was. It was after the memorial, the Sunday, it was on Saturday that Sunday, my husband, his heart was really- because he'd had a healthy heart, but he was having pains in his heart. He said, "I wonder if grief could cause a heart attack." I said, "I think we need to go to the doctor." No, he was having no doctor. Two weeks in the hospital, it was enough with Pisti. Anyway, that day we both experienced Pisti, that day after memorial.
It's a visionary state in which it's what people who have had this experience say, "It's realer than real." To question, it would just crack you up. You'd start laughing. To question, you just know, the presence is so clear, and his presence was for my husband and also for his girlfriend, he actually appeared in his form. For me, he didn't, and I think as the mother, maybe I needed to release that form more. I knew his presence in the room, and there were conversations, and this lasted for over two years, and then my husband was also killed in another automobile accident.
Just two years afterwards, my mother had been killed in another one. One year before and Pisti, our son, was taken off the machines in the hospital, had nothing to do with my decision at exactly the same day that she had died one year before. At the same hour, if you can imagine. There's something synchronistic there. I don't know what, but nevertheless, we had an inner knowledge that it was coming. My husband also started having experiences of his own death, which he looked at symbolically. He said, "Well, I think I'm dying to the old self," because he hadn't been interested. He was, but he was also going to die in time and space.
Yes. Well, I appreciate you sharing that with us. I know that can't have been easy, and I do just want to take a shot in the dark really quickly. This is completely out of the blue, have you ever read a book called Jesus In The Essenes?
I don't know that particular book but I know about Jesus, and the possible connection of him with the as Essenes.
Would you be able to elaborate on the Essenes as a group?
Yes, let me just go back just a little bit. We have the shaman mystic activity around the world around 40,000 BCE, and we had incredible culture is based on this knowledge, this wisdom. Certainly, the Egyptian culture is incredible. We really need more attention given to that now that we have more artifacts. The first temple, in the Hebrew tradition, was also a shaman mystic tradition. We can thank the scholar, Margaret Barker for that knowledge. We didn't know that before.
At 621 BCE, when the Deuteronomist came in, a group of priests, probably a small group, we don't know much about them but they destroyed the first temple tradition of the shaman mystic tradition. That was, of course, the symbols included male and female. Yahweh created the world with the feminine wisdom. If she was called, she was the goddess. Later, he thinks he made it all by himself but his memory doesn't hold too well. At any rate, this was a really beautiful shaman mystic tradition. The Deuteronomists came in and destroyed the whole tradition, and this was devastating for many Jews. They would have nothing to do with the second temple and many of those Jews became Essenes.
It is a shaman mystic tradition from the first temple that really there were many Essenes all over the Palestinian area. It looks as though the Essenes later were at the Dead Sea that they always said, "We carry the true tradition of Israel," meaning the shaman mystic tradition. After World War II, those books were found at the Dead Sea and they were shaman mystics of a sort, having nothing to do with second temple. The Jesus tradition also, when that developed, that was the Jewish attempt to recreate the shaman mystic tradition, so Jesus was a shaman mystic.
When we found, after World War II also the Nag Hammadi text in Egypt, then it was very clear that these texts were the kinds of texts that the church destroyed whenever they found them. The monks there had hidden these and buried these texts, but in these texts, we see the shaman mystic tradition of Jesus, in which he said he doesn't come to save us from our sins. He comes to remind us of who we are.
You are confused, you're forgotten. He wanted to be able to know this again. Not to follow the Christ, but to become the Christ. The Essenes were very powerful and they were also therapeutic who were like the Essenes in Egypt. They were Jews all over the place who did not go along with the second temple, and had that mystical tradition. This was a very active tradition that people in power often wanted to kill out.
Just to clarify again, because I can picture a lot of listeners out there who might be hearing a lot of terms and phrases for the first time, and understandably being a bit confused. If you'd be so kind to tell us again, what the traditions and practices of these ancient shamans are just to reiterate?
Yes. It's just simply that, it's those people who could trigger the mystical state, and so spirituality was based on experience, not on believe or faith.
Could you clarify the two temples really quickly as well?
The first temple was the shaman mystic that was destroyed in 621 by the Deuteronomists, and they developed the second temple. It's not based on the shaman mystic tradition.
Okay, fantastic. I'm just trying to fill in the of gaps that people might have there. Is there any way that you can just elaborate a bit more on the first temple specifically?
That's in the Hebrew tradition, Solomon's temple, and they seem to be knowledgeable about this other dimension to which we have access. When the Deuteronomist came in, it was no longer nurturing that potential for us to experience the Christ within, but we had to follow the law. We had to be obedient. Perhaps they did it to keep the Jewish people together as a group, but it was devastating for the inner spiritual life. Then when the church came along later, they did the same thing. They followed in their steps.
So shifting gears into the church side of things now, you recently wrote a book semi recently, two years ago, I guess 2022, now three years ago, that was Merchants Of The Light: The Consciousness that is Changing the World. Can you tell us a bit about out the book, and then specifically, elaborate on the more than 2,500 years of repression by both church and state, and how that forced us into this limited understanding of science?
Oh, yes. Well, I've done some of it already because from 40,000 we had the knowledge of how to do this, and then there were cultures that actually were able to build a culture around that. There was then the Deuteronomist that destroyed that shamanistic tradition within Hebrew culture, and then they attempted to give it birth again in the Essenes, and in the Jesus tradition. When the church took that over, then of course, they inverted the story of Jesus as an image of who we are, who we can become.
Our evolutionary potential, and made it something outside of us that we had to follow by law, and so on. The church then, certainly, ruled by doctrine and law. The scripture that the Roman church had, was simply a selection of scriptures that were used all in that area. They repressed the ones, they didn't want, like the Nag Hammadi, they repressed in anything that dealt with Jesus being a teacher, to help us to become Christ. Our evolutionary blueprint is what Jesus wanted to give us. No, He was a God and we had to obey Him, follow Him. It was heresy to say that you could become the Christ, so that was the church's continuation of that inversion and suppression.
These cultures didn't just die out internally. They were suppressed and repressed, but they went underground. They would arise from time to time. In fact, in Europe, it emerged four times, there were four Renaissance periods of this underground traumatic tradition, and the first one, 700 years after the church took over, in the High Middle Ages. In the book, I talk about, in the second part of the book, these four waves, absolutely incredible what happened in the High Middle Ages. They were actually teaching the true teachings of Jesus, and how to experience it yourself and to become that experience.
Then the next one, it continued in the Italian Renaissance, and then in the Rosicrucian, which was in Prague 1600. By 1620, that was suppressed by the church, absolutely wiped out. Now, in that group at Prague, old Bohemia, these people were not only shamans and mystics, they were scientists, mathematicians. They actually were the ones who gave mathematics to science in the West. They were brilliant, but the church didn't like what they were coming up with. Now, many of those same scientists were in England later, when the Royal Society for the study of science was developed in 1660.
They knew because there was a 30 years' war in between Catholics and Protestants, by 1660, these shaman mystic scientists, who had been part of the Rosicrucian enlightenment at 1600 to 1620, they knew they could not write about anything but matter. The church was scared to death, didn't want them to go inward nor talk about consciousness mysticism because that took people away from the church. Little did the church realize, I think, that by saying, "You can only study matter," that we would end up with such a materialistic worldview, that the church would be irrelevant. The church was the root of it, so the scientists studied only matter. Many of them later didn't know why.
They began to believe there's nothing but matter, but they never developed the tools to actually study other dimensions, until the early part of the last century, when quantum physics came full circle. Here, they know there are other dimensions of reality. These physicists who were discovering that, started going back and reading these mystical texts because they knew something was going on here. I think, in the last years, quantum physicists know there are other dimensions of reality. We have access to those dimensions. This is science come full circle, but we are today suffering from the wounds, the horrible wounds of believing for centuries that we're nothing.
That's the old worldview, scientific worldview, there's nothing but matter, you are a fluke of nature, there's no meaning, no purpose, and when you're dead, you're dead. We're the only culture that ever did that, and that is the most devastating worldview. Today, the darkness that we have to deal with, is a result of the wounding that that has caused in our culture. People who are planning pretty dreadful things, because they believe there's only science, and that when we're dead, we're dead. They don't value life as we would if we knew from quantum physics what really is going on.
Can you tie in the relevancy of quantum physics and alternate realities, and how that ties into the ancient shamanistic view?
Well, I think you've said it. They are beginning to conceptually, understand what the symbolic mystical experience taught us, and that is that there are other dimensions of reality. We have access to those dimensions, and that when there is a connection in time and space, it exists eternally. That's a wonderful thing to know. There's so much more that I'm not capable of talking about in quantum physics, but there are those who are. It's a real renaissance in our understanding scientifically, of who we are. It's just that many people haven't caught on yet.
Yes. I don't think I'm capable of understanding the quantum physics behind that conversation either.
It doesn't really matter, except that if we have an openness to what the possibilities are, and we can hear, then those who do, they could help us and guide us on that path. Because it's a conceptual understanding of what we knew before intuitively, and mystically, to some degree, and more.
Have you personally ever experienced an altered state of consciousness?
Yes, that's how we experienced our son's consciousness. During those times, it's so interesting because it's such a different vaster beingness. When you're there, you know you've really known it all along, just that you forgot, and that we're all capable of it. I think that today, we need to work, and I think many people are working on techniques to open that valve. Most people are not going to be in an ashram, and meditate for hours and hours daily. Many of us are not going to do that. I think that we're in such a state that it's time for us to remember, so much that we've forgotten and suppressed.
Perhaps generations today will be discovering techniques that are much easier and much more capable of opening that valve. Because once we experience it, we know for ourselves. I remember the first time I experienced it, it's like suddenly, I've realized what a joke I had played on myself. Oh my, God. Suddenly, I was at Machu Picchu. I was up above. I looked down at my dead body that four people were taking on a gurney into the Huayna Picchu, which is in that mythology. It's the great woman of the mountain, the sacred mountain. If you enter that mountain, everything is revealed to you.
I'm up above looking at my dead body, and these spirit-like people are taking it up to the mouth of the mountain, and I think, "Oh, great, I'm going to be admitted. The ancient ones will to teach me." Then, suddenly, oops, they stopped before the entry. What happened, I'm not going to be able to-- Then suddenly, it was that realization, and I was laughing. It's like I was the mountain, I was the great mother, I was the dead body in the gurney. You suddenly realize we are it. It's just that incredible realization that you realize you always knew but you forgot that we are all it. That's what Jesus wanted to teach. You are it.
Can you elaborate because you said that you experienced an out-of-body experience where you saw your dead body on this gurney? Can you elaborate