Hasan “Sonsuz” Çeliktaş:
Burak Eldem, you highlighted an argument in your book 2012: Rendezvous with Marduk. As Marduk reaches the Earth, the Middle East will become chaotic, and powerful countries will occupy the region. Now that we are in 2012, the environment is hot enough, and the things you foresaw in your book are coming true. Burak, could you explain to us your conclusions on these issues?

Burak Eldem:

The above-mentioned foresights are the result of a cause and effect relationship. I observed repetitive events in history and their effects. My point of view towards the world and the cosmos is not “human centered,” so I always try to observe the tangible physical elements of the changes in the universe and state their effects on the daily lives of people. In my book 2012: Rendezvous with Marduk, I examined data from records of the last 5,000 years such as texts and myths (sometimes hidden by occult codes), astronomic data, and secret traditions. I took the emerging picture and matched it to the chaotic transformation periods in history. As those who read the book already know, I concluded that physical changes and natural events have had a prominent role in the records of human civilizations over the last 5,000 years, including holy texts that seemed “hard to understand” or a “mystery.” Communities, of course, experience their own developmental processes in line with their own inner dynamics. However, the effects of nature, the cosmos, and the physical world cannot be denied, and all of these periodically affect the flow of history.

According to my research, the greatest physical changes took place just after 1650 BC. There were some natural changes that affected the civilization centers of the period. Due to these physical events, life became different than before. For example, many consecutive natural disasters—such as volcanic eruptions and severe earthquakes—hit Egypt, Mesopotamia, the Aegean Islands, India, Western China, Central America, and the west of South America in a 5–10 year period. Following these disasters, climate changes also hit Egypt, Babylon, Harappa, Minos, and China. Because of the unbalanced climate and changes in river flows, both agriculture and the established way of life were affected, so naturally economies were also hit. Whenever the use of resources and the processes for producing goods change, the effects are felt in both the social and political arenas.
This is what happened 3,650 years ago. The places that already had problems became more chaotic when the controlling powers lost strength. These great civilizations experienced an “interim period” of nearly a hundred years of chaos, civil wars, and attacks by nomadic tribes. We know that Egypt was split into two, Babylon was occupied, and Minos and Harappa experienced great turmoil. Such things always occur at similar times: When natural changes begin!
Today, we could claim we will not experience the same level of chaos, thanks to the technological and psychological advancement of our civilization. Despite this, chaos has the potential to interrupt the global economy. The inner dynamics of countries or regions with unsolved political problems can easily emerge during such periods of natural change. For that reason, I did not specify which country would be occupied, but I only emphasized that we should be alert against such possibilities.
In fact, this is the case now: The authorities could guarantee globalization and order by creating some troubles in chaos centers. If this isn’t feasible, they would want to limit the extent of chaos and lay the groundwork for the use of power. The Middle East, Central America, and the Far East are good examples of such regions, so naturally, those regions have been very active recently.
Hasan “Sonsuz” Çeliktaş:
Cem, what do you think about where our world is heading?
Cem Şen:
Turkey’s position in the world is just like the position of the lungs or liver in the human body. As any deterioration in the body affects the whole body, deterioration in Turkey, Uganda, and other places affects the whole world. Although Turkey has a strategic location, it is only as important as any other country. Perhaps we should shift our paradigms and try something like that.
It’s like we are watching a movie in slow motion. In the scene, a car moves towards the barriers at high speed. We all know the car will hit the barriers. The distance between the car and the barriers is too close, so slamming the brakes isn’t enough. The only issue to discuss is how damaged the car will be when it hits. We are trying to find out what we should do after the crash. However, I emphasize that we have not yet hit the barriers. Maybe we can find a way to reduce the damage. So, instead of trying to predict the damage after the crash, let’s see what we can do now to reduce it. As Einstein once stated, a problem cannot be solved by the mind that created it. How can we change our point of view then? Perhaps we should better discuss this. In terms of spirituality, I must add this: Spirituality was first damaged 6,000-10,000 years ago when humanity aimed “to dethrone God.” They did it through religions and culture.
Hasan “Sonsuz” Çeliktaş:
Could you explain more? What damaged spirituality, and what does it mean “to dethrone God”?
Cem Şen:
First of all, we should understand one thing. It is inevitable that we will face destruction. There are at least 15–20 spiritual and reasonable reasons for that. I do not know how many of them will come to pass, but it’s true we are approaching global turmoil. So we are faced with another proposition: Our understanding should undergo a radical shift. Trying to solve problems without achieving this radical change is like trying to solve them with the same mentality that created them, which is emphasized in Einstein’s saying. Now, humanity is experiencing the famous “the darkest night of the soul.” A total darkness…So, what is that darkness?
The answer is so simple: Ignorance! This ignorance cannot be cured by reading books, because almost every book is already a part of this ignorance, and our existing mentality is inadequate to understand the ones not affected. This is impossible! In short, we are faced with a big problem based on ignorance. This ignorance is a disease that began with the agricultural revolution of the so-called “sophisticated” human. I call it a disease deliberately, because in the beginning, only a few people suffered from it. It then became an epidemic, and within 5–10 thousand years, everyone on earth had caught the disease. The remaining people were destroyed by the ill ones. For example, you know what happened to the Aborigines. They resisted this illness, but they now suffer from alcoholism, incest, violence, and suicide. This ignorance, the false belief that we can “dethrone God,” destroyed our lives. The whole civilization—our culture, airplanes, refrigerators, and advanced space technology—developed as a result of this disease. Everything we call civilization and progress is the result of this disease, and they all aim to do the same thing: to dethrone God and replace it with humanity. So, who or what caused this disease? It was the ones I call “demanding gods”…
Hasan “Sonsuz” Çeliktaş
Dear Burak, I recall you also mentioned something similar to these “demanding gods” in your book. I think it was a concept from the Sumerians. So, do you agree the human intent is to dethrone God and sit in its place? What are the effects of this effort on humanity? Are the problems facing us today caused by this effort?
Burak Eldem:
This concept is also very important for me. I also believe human civilization changed its route on this planet. This is a human-centric approach. In this approach, the humans play the leading roles, and they are the heroes of this chaos. Due to the mist of data, it is hard to determine the beginning of this change, but we can assume it all began in the late Neolithic era or during the last phases of the agricultural social order. What is the point of origin, and what are their natural results? First of all, humanity stands on one side and the rest remains on the other. Then, the “material” ones of the remaining elements are evaluated as given blessings for humanity, either as decor or side elements. According to this approach, the earth was created for human life; the plants were created for the humans; the animals were created to serve them; and the sun was created to give them light and heat. The list goes on.
The key to this approach is within its context. Once you eliminate the material elements, the immaterial ones are left, and this requires a creator. This creator puts humanity at the center of everything and focuses his whole project toward this highly important “product.” As the process of creation requires a creator, belief systems are established on that hypothesis. The “demanding gods” that Cem emphasized are the divine figures that yield. The institutional religions emerged at the final and happy phases of the agricultural societies, destroying humanity’s “unity” with the cosmos and replacing it with divine powers whose whole context is based on humans. We can observe this in Sumerian history, but this began earlier. We should also consider Harappa, Minos, and the pre-dynastic era of Egypt. The spiritual centers, which are called temples, consider the Gods to be projections of humanity in space. This means the characteristics of humans are attributed to divine elements, so the systems that are called religions hold the sociopolitical power in their hands. They positioned humans as the only important species on Earth and the subject of the cosmos, so humans began to take the place of God.
The emergence of temple systems within the social-development period is one of the important phases in centralizing power. During this phase, some people claimed to know the God(s) better than others did and that they had been entrusted as messengers. This is a very critical point. This is also the answer to the question, “Where does evil come from?” The relationship between the God(s) and humanity is built on “command and expectations” systems that are communicated via a selected few.
So, the demanding Gods were placed at the center of temple systems. One may think these things only concern the old polytheist beliefs and that everything has been corrected in the last 2,000 years, but this is not true. Humanity is still affected by the same institutionalized belief and cosmos perception that was created, presumably, 5,000 years ago. The pantheon of this theology gave its place to a belief system that is oriented towards humanity. For example, the Devil took the place of the bad god(s). Sometimes ghosts fill that role for the same effect.
The dualism that evaluates the cosmos within a black-and-white polarity is still alive in the monotheism of today. Consequently, starting with Harappa, Sumer, and Ancient Egypt, the God was replaced by “the human with the name of God.” Within a social and political context, this could be called “a spiritual structure classified by societies and hegemony systems.” So, what are its disadvantages? It is up to us to decide what we call disadvantages and what we approve of. There are no reference points in the cosmos, and everything goes with the flow. However, if we perceive it from the perspective of human societies, the point that Cem emphasized materializes: Ignorance.
The understanding that was confirmed 5,000 years ago still makes it difficult for us to understand the cosmos and our relationship with it through an information system that was built on that perspective.
In short, monotheism did not change but rather solidified the process of the institutionalized “temple system.” Enlightenment, which is based on thought and rationalism, also suffered from this defect and had to accept the absolute and unquestionable reality.
In other words, for me the start of the process to dethrone God is one of the breaking points in human civilization. I mentioned this in my book Fraternis. If we do not perceive reality and the relationships between humanity, society, nature, and the cosmos in a more flexible way, we will just try to solve our problems using the same mentality that created them, as Einstein stated. However, it’s not easy to say for sure if this will happen or not.
Hasan “Sonsuz” Çeliktaş
Dear Cem, where are the actual spiritual trends positioned within this frame? We experience the existing trends as if they are something new. We think that we are looking at a picture from the right point, but we have not yet turned it back. I always wonder this: We are trying to understand the cosmos with an inductive approach. We use ourselves as the starting point, and then we try to enlarge it to a universal scale, but we should use a deductive method instead. We will then see the whole picture and understand where we stand. Could I get your opinions about this?
Cem Şen:
First of all, I would like to add something to Burak’s words. He said that enlightenment has a defect. This is a critical point. If this is not understood fully, we will find it hard to see that enlightenment is a new-age religion, whereas this doctrine was aiming to place science ahead of religion. If we cannot understand this, we will blame religion and exalt science and intellectual enlightenment. However, this is not the case. As the proposition at the beginning is wrong, the intellectual currents will also show serious errors as well as the religions. So, we cannot blame the religions and perceive science as a given truth. When I read Joseph Needham’s book Science and Civilization in Ancient China, I was horrified by a sentence: “It is surprising that China could not create science, although this culture created many technical developments.” I read the same thing for Ancient Egypt as well. I think you can see this is a fanatical opinion. Science is something that has to be defined by the particular person. Likewise, religion is something that has to be defined by that person, too. So we force everyone to our own definitions: our religion, science, and lifestyle. This is one of the significant features of the stricken human. They do not accept any definition, any other god, or any other lifestyle. The only true thing is what they define, and as a result, they do not respect others.
Let’s come to your question, Hasan, but I think you guessed my answer already. The basis of spiritual trends today is all an extension of this wrong understanding. The new spiritual trends are distorted versions of ancient cults: Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Shamanist, Animist, Celtic, Egyptian, Islamic, and so on. The new trends are composed of randomly gathered information from all these cults, which is then sweetened with the new age spirit. I do not see anything valuable in these teachings, just an extension of the same ignorance, that’s all. Real spirituality is nothing to do with these things. Real spirituality looks for the “Knowledge.” This is not an outer knowledge, but rather the knowledge that already exists within the spirit. To find it, one should find where the spirit or the center is. This center should be the real source. However, this source cannot be explored by that mentality; this journey cannot be taken by that human. This human is conditioned differently, and he is in error, so his research will be controlled by this error, and he will reach an erroneous conclusion. Without abandoning this mentality and ignorance, we cannot begin such a search. On the other hand, it is not easy to rid ourselves of these erroneous thoughts. The hardest thing is to find the courage to accept that everything we live, see, and learn is wrong. When we find that courage, we will be ready for that journey.
Hasan “Sonsuz” Çeliktaş
Dear Burak, when we highlight the problems in the system I begin to think. For example, let’s assume you had the power to rewrite human history and travel back thousands of years. How would you design a world for humanity, especially in terms of humans’ place on earth and their relationship with it? Or how can we patch the defects in the existing system?
Burak Eldem:
Of course, there is no single clear answer to that question. First of all, this is a hypothesis where we ignore everything that happened and begin to rethink at the starting point. Secondly, the life and development of human societies have different dynamics, and it is not meaningful to direct it towards an ideal or design, or limit it in any way. That’s why it’s better to make some assumptions in the light of “social engineering” without transforming it into “historical engineering.” Firstly, the existing situation should be negated before assuming a transformation. Then we should find out where the process stumbled. When we diagnose the defect, some malicious elements can be immediately seen. Of course, there are some subjective judgments, but I just try to stand at a certain point and look at the whole picture before evaluating it.
The direction of civilization and the breaking point is linked with the trinity of violence–ownership–hegemony. The data we have shows that humanity was in a better position during the early stages of agricultural society, before the existence of institutionalized potency and its ideological tools. This was prevented by the emergence of social classes, because the ownership system was shaped by this hierarchical system. After the balance was lost because of natural factors that were outside humanity’s control, the existence took its shape according to the attitudes and thinking habits of the people of that time. When these concepts materialized under the principle of the big fish eats the small fish, the course of events in history changed direction. So, this defective understanding and the system that validated it took shape. Could it be any different than this? The religions say not. From a theological point of view, these things had to be experienced. The ones who exclude the religions and defend enlightenment, which they claim is an alternative rational point of view, also say that everything happened the way it should have, and it was all an inevitable experience. So they also define social development as fate like the religions do.
The answer should be clear and free: Yes, everything could have been different. The choices and explanations in the universe are endless, and there is not a single fixed result. There are always other alternatives that can change the course of events. It was possible 6,000 years ago, and it is possible now, too.
To be clearer, the breaking points in history could have led to other paths, and the conditions could have been shaped in different ways. As any other opinions cannot be simulated under laboratory conditions, they can only be hypotheses. However, if we diagnose the disease of one-dimensional thinking, forced beliefs, and a persuasion method based on violence, and if we realize the underlying psychological, cultural, and social elements, the answer is clear. In my opinion, three important elements threatened the human societies and became potent at breaking points in the history of civilization.
The first is religion and other imperative belief systems. The second is demographic and cultural concepts such as nationalism, racism, and chauvinism. The third is the socio-psychological attitude that perceives ownership of an asset as something to be gained and protected through violence. These three are linked to each other, and they trigger and strengthen each other. When claiming that civilization could develop in another way, I of course supposed another alternative that was independent of the conditions at that moment. Firstly, if the institutionalized religions and systems had not emerged, or if they were not popular, everything would have been different. Secondly, if ownership was only an individual issue and removed from social factors, this again could cause matters to develop in another way. Thirdly, if the ethnic solidarity based on nationalism and racism was not so popular, the world would be a different place. However, all these concepts are linked to each other, and if one exists, another is triggered. So, stating it could not be different is equivalent to belief and faith. On the other hand, defending that all could be different shows freedom and flexibility of thought. I prefer the latter. Of course, I always keep in mind that my choice is just one of the infinite possibilities. Here is the point where everything becomes entangled: Protecting a point of view that asserts that many options are possible against the belief that “this is how the world is; this is human life; this is how the cosmos works; this is it; and there is no alternative.” I think that we can only evaluate today and the coming era by replacing this point of view.
Hasan “Sonsuz” Çeliktaş
Here are the solution-oriented opinions from the masters. I got the answer from Burak Eldem, and now I wonder how Cem Şen will reply to the same question. To reiterate: Let’s assume you had the power to rewrite human history and travel back thousands of years. How would you design a world for humanity, especially in terms of humans’ place on earth and their relationship with it? Or how can we patch the defects in the existing system?
Cem Şen:
Such a power could easily make anyone crazy. The real power would be to know how to use it independently of my own desires. As it is, what I would do with that power relies on my existing mentality and conditions. I will try to play this funny game, but I want to begin with your last question. This “patch” is a critical issue. Our culture is shaped by ignorance and is very familiar with making patches. Is there something that does not work? Let’s patch it. Is the compulsory education system not working? Extend it to eight years. If this is not enough, increase it to 11 years. If this is still not enough, let’s spend more money on education. Let’s educate better teachers. But why can’t we find the easiest solution. If something is not working, why don’t we change it completely?
The answer is simple again. We think we do not have the plan to do it. However, transformation is only possible when you have a vision rather than a plan. If something has a clear vision, it does not require a plan—the plan creates itself. On the other hand, if you do not have a vision, you need a plan. From that point of view, discarding or patching things that are of no use is similar to the efforts at improving a useless education system. So the latest popular trends, Zeitgeist, and other patches are useless. The truth is THE WORLD CANNOT BE RESCUED BY ANY PLAN!
The world will not be rescued by people with plans. Only visionary people can do this, because vision is the flow, whereas the plan tries to control the flow. However, the flow cannot be controlled. Trying to control it only keeps it in a way that is similar to the existing structure. So making patches is useless, and things should not be corrected. No one should try to do that. This is the greatest mistake. This was the mistake of the generation in ‘68. They had the power to change the whole world, but instead they tried to make a plan. This may seem reminiscent of anarchy, but I am not an anarchist, and I absolutely do not defend such an idea. What I am trying to say is this: If something is not working then change it. The most dangerous reaction is to ask, “What should I change it to?” Do not replace it with another thing, just discard it. Let me give an example: Many people feel depressed because they cannot control the flow of their minds. They try many methods to rid themselves of depression. They try to think positively, they take vitamins, they devote themselves to religion, and so on. As a last resort, a psychiatrist prescribes a drug and their minds stop. While they are in this temporary lethargy, they feel they are cured. However, using the mind to stop a ceaseless mind or trying to change it only worsens the situation. The solution is to leave: To leave thinking. That’s all. But how? By leaving! I believe everyone has experienced similar things. Around 90% of modern people have experienced this situation, and at least 90% of these know how hard it is to stop the mind. However, this is the only way to prevent us from vanishing. So simple, yet so hard!
What we need is not a plan or solution, but only to leave what we are doing; that’s all! But why? Because it’s not working. It is that simple. There is no need for complicated solutions; no need for patches; no need to change elements; no need to eliminate money; and no need for socialism, democracy, capitalism, or systems to preserve the ecology. Just leave this culture; that’s all. You do not need to escape to the mountains and live your remaining life as a hermit. Well, various examples could be given, but let’s turn to your question now. If I had the power to change history, my choice would be based on my mind, my education, and my prejudices. It would be a wrong choice possibly. As I also tried to explain, this is a plan rather than a vision. But if we need to play that game, let’s play. I would start with the times before the agricultural revolution, namely the times when humanity and other species were in balance.
In those times, the population was naturally balanced. The population increased if production increased, and it decreased when there was lower production. Consequently, there was no hunger or suffering. Some people would say that nature was a horrifying place—humans were in danger because the law of the jungle was absolute. By the way, I should remind you that this is one of the biggest lies. Let’s turn back to the answer. I would have never started the agricultural revolution—I would have forbid such an effort. I would have let people live as they had for thousands of years.
I would support the inner search of humanity, and I would channel science towards inner discoveries. I would support the inner discovery of the secrets of the cosmos. This was what humans did during those times. Instead of dethroning the God, I would let humans keep the understanding that they are created of God’s essence and made of God’s form. However, as I emphasized before, those would be extensions of my prejudices. Claiming that this is the best thing for humanity would be arrogant. If God wanted to be known by humanity and experience free will, I think distortion would be experienced somehow. That’s why I would like to have everything as it is now, but I would like humanity to discard the useless systems. To maintain harmony, we need chaos—the cosmos needs chaos. The problem comes if we cannot make a step up in our spiritual evolution. I personally believe that humanity will make this step up. The question is how many people will achieve this? The more who do achieve this, the happier I will be as a finite being.
On the other hand, if only a limited number of people achieve this, as an infinite being I would not feel indisposed. They asked Buddha, “This water drop will vaporize. What should we do?” He answered, “Put it in the ocean.” From that point of view, there is nothing wrong, and there is nothing to be done. What exists is here, and it is in excellent shape. Everything will be wonderful when humanity understands this.
Hasan “Sonsuz” Çeliktaş:
I would like to end here with your answers. Thank you to both of you. I hope the coming days will be beneficial for us all.