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Editorial: I Love Animals

Animals can be many things, and over the years we have domesticated animals to such an extent that we consider them to be our friends and companions. Some people see their animal cohorts as their equals, and a lot of people attribute various personality traits to their pets which defy the simplicity of their animalistic nature.

Personally, I like animals because they are delicious.

There’s a lot of debate within the spiritual community as to whether or not it’s alright to eat meat; animals are, after all, just another expression of ‘source’, and have just as much right to exist as the rest of us. Organised, mainstream religions may even have their own rules regarding which animals it’s alright to eat, and some (like Buddhism) ban their members from eating meat in any form.

Why? Well, it’s pretty self explanatory really: People are animals, and if one eats flesh it’s sort of like you’re eating one of our peers. It’s another resident of Earth you’re chomping down on, not just a boneless chicken wing served in a bucket- and if you believe in such ideas there’s every chance that the chicken that wing came from was a reincarnation of your own mother. Well, that’s why the Buddhists don’t eat meat anyway.

But Threejumps! Loads of animals eat meat, why should they get to do it and not us? Well, once again the reason behind that is self-explanatory. Humans may be animals, but we’re complex animals capable of cogitation and experimentation, and we transcended our actual physicalneed to eat meat long ago. If you don’t have to kill something to survive, then surely you shouldn’t do it- that just makes sense, right?

So why do I still eat meat?

Surely by my own ethical standards and observations I’m a hypocrite for indulging in the ingestion of slowly decomposing, charred animal products? Well, perhaps- but there’s a difference between eating meat and eating the kind of garbage most people consider to be food, which happens to have once been an animal. The trouble with the fast-food industry is that it removes any semblance of  dignity that the creatures it reconstitutes once had. So much effort goes into tricking us into believing that what we’re eating is delicious that we forget that it was once alive, and therein lies the problem.

If one is to eat meat and still claim to be an ethically sound being then one has to be prepared to face up to the fact that an animal has died to provide them nourishment. Part of that comes from the acceptance of death as a natural part of life on Earth, but part of it comes from defining what one is willing to do in order to gain food.

There’s a great line in Crocodile Dundee (the Paul Hogan masterwork) which sums up the belief of the Aboriginal people of Australia: “You don’t kill something unless you’re going to eat it.”

Well, that makes sense, right? Killing something for the express purpose of eating it is fine, so long as you don’t kill for pleasure, or indeed for sport- and the inedible parts of said animals can be put to use as well. Hides, furs and bones make excellent materials for use around the world even today; and the vast majority of this material comes from the meat industry. Admittedly we can replicate their effects just as easily now with petrochemicals, but that’s equally awful in itself, and if something’s dead anyway it’s a waste to simply discard the bits you’re not going to eat.

I’m not really sure why I wrote this editorial- perhaps it’s the fact that I’ve not eaten properly in about a week due to being poor (the last 48 hours have been powdered mash, long-life soup and nothing else) and my vegetarian friend has been harping on at me about my attitudes towards meat. If they don’t want to eat meat then fine- they’re morally awesome, but that doesn’t mean that I’m morally bankrupt simply because I can justify my diet of cow faces and pigs’ ass.

I mean beef and bacon are awesome, right?

TL;DR- if you can’t kill to eat then don’t eat meat. Revere your prey, and respect their sacrifice as their life now sustains you.

P.S. Don’t turn your nose up at meat that’s “left over”, that just makes you wasteful. If meat is going to spoil then you may as well eat it no matter what- it’s better than wasting it and means that dear old Porky didn’t die in vain. Oh, and veganism is pointless. Just saying.

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The Truth?

Today’s article is more of an editorial than a case study, but there has been more emphasis and personal investment in the investigation of this issue than most of my articles.

As most of you reading will know, I am an “Ascended Moderator” on the forum of the popular Spirit Science website. It’s full of some brilliant people and is one of the most spiritually diverse communities I have ever encountered, with sceptics, believers and deceivers all in their droves.

Tonight, I will be discussing the misinformation provided by one of the members of the forum. Whether this deception is intentional or not I do not know, and I am not calling this person a liar, merely saying that their evidence- when checked- was falsified.

First off, a little background information without which this article would make no sense:

Kathara

Kathara is a belief system based around the belief in spiritual geometry, channelling and alien abduction. It is, according to some “Theonly true path to physical ascension.” On a personal level that stinks to high heaven- for people on a forum dedicated to love and light to expect people to adhere to one dogmatic belief system is hypocritical, and merely rebalances the distribution of power in their favour.

The books also cost in excess of US$ 150, which is a lot for a system which wants to “help” people. This article isn’t here to cast doubt on Kathara though, just to offer another look at the information.

It is from this belief that the belief in “Realms” springs, and it may very well be true, so for the love of all Gods don’t judge people based upon their belief in anything, because nobody really knows.

Realms

As I’ve covered in articles in the past the universe is separated into different dimensions, realities and realms. This is important, as it is the entire basis for the belief system which some users of the Spirit Science forum are beginning to propagate, and it is a system based on fear, ego and self-importance. The theory of “Higher Selves” has been discussed on this blog before, and I’ve received no evidence of their existence, but rather have reason to believe the people purporting to be in contact with them.

There are many people on toe forum who claim to be in contact with these beings, and for the mostpart they are kind, wonderful individuals who sincerely believe in the message that they are putting out there. There is nothing which can prove or disprove the fact that they hear voices, and personally I see no reason for the vast majority of people to lie about that fact.

It’s the statements they make which I call into question.

Evidence

Everyone knows what evidence is- it’s the basis for scientific method and one of the most important things in the world if one is hoping to prove something to be true. I don’t really need to explain this at all, but at the same time it is worth mentioning that evidence almost never exists in matters of faith.

There is another kind of evidence though, in logical points derived from past statements. It is not the same as conjecture, which is something far more dire, and is often used to mask the truth.

Ok, now that’s out of the way, let’s get on with this:

In March of 2012 a thread was posted on the Spirit Science forum by veteran moderator and all-around good guy Chronamut. His threads are usually quickly derailed, as they rely heavily on evidence provided by his higher self “Crai”. They also are usually based in Kathara, as well as the existence of an otherworldly hierarchy who all seem to co-exist on Spirit Science; it is this which has caused him some of the most problematic and aggressive responses the forum has ever seen.

Chronamut, you see, claims to be a 12th dimensional half-Elven king from the Nibiru bloodline. Now, when you call yourself a king you elevate yourself over other people- as far as most people are concerned anyway- and that makes people angry. When you then make threads proclaiming people known to be your friends to be “lords and ladies” of various realms you place them on pedestals, elevating them too, and that makes people more mad.

Linguistically these monarchistic terms are seen as egotistical, especially when wielded by people in ‘power’ (such as it exists on a forum), and when people are seen as egotistical and act in a condescending manner… Well, you know the deal.

Personally, I understand exactly what Chronamut and his sympathisers are saying, and I want to clear that up right now for the sake of neutrality: As far as they’re concerned “Lord”, “King”, “Queen”, and all their derivatives are no more important than “peasant”. They don’t mean to come over as uppity, it’s just a choice of words which hasn’t benefited them thus far. Whether they have treated you in a caustic manner or not it is important to understand that their choice of words as far as their titles are concerned are not what you should be critiquing.

Anyway, back to that thread- this new one referred to what Chronamut referred to as a “Realm War”, and sparked fierce controversy on the forum, which has culminated in this article.

Ok, so the thread itself focused on an apparently upcoming war which would envelop all of reality and was known implicitly by people on the higher realms. The argument escalated more and more as opposition was voiced, and as always the exact same questions posited to those who believed in Kathara and spoke the views of their higher selves:

“Why should anyone believe you?”

Now, no-one was calling anyone a liar- the times stated didn’t add up (some people said the war began in 2003, some said it had yet to come and some said it was being fought using social mediums such as the Occupy movement) and a lot of it seemed very self-serving. Even so, the motives for the thread were pure, and there is no real problem with people speaking about things of this magnitude if they’re willing to behave like adults when they’re asked for proof.

Everyone acted admirably, but proof was not forthcoming. People, as always, claimed that theycould prove it, but refused to for whatever reason (I myself was accused at one point of being a ‘dark shadow’, the enemy of all light). Eventually one user- a notorious follower of the “Higher Self” principle named AlexofTerra- stepped up to the task, but said he would only speak in PM.

I’m not going to post what he told me in private, because that would be unethical, but the evidence he gave me is as follows:

  • The Occupy movement is being used by members of a shadow-society “Bent on world domination” to fight a ‘shadow-war’.
  • Two months into the movement several members of “Occupy L.A.” were arrested under a gang-violence initiative. This was a cover and the members were in fact members of a group named “Zhizhe” (Wise Man in Chinese).
  • AlexofTerra had evidence of a bank transfer showing funding by the group Zhizhe to the group as the foundation of a resistance cell under an alias (hence the gang bust).

AlexofTerra’s evidence copied from physical sheet:

Funding for November, 1011
Overseas
El Loco Lobos – 10,000 USD

Instantly my mind was boggled: Someone claiming to know things on an implicit level (with multiple personalities and higher selves embedded into their consciousness) had actual evidence of the things they were claiming. It was, of course, shortlived.

After contacting several prominent members of the Occupy movement it became clear that the banking sheet, which of course I wasn’t allowed to see, was fraudulent. The amount, name of the financier and even the transfer date were completely out of sync with what Alex had told me. No checks of arrest reports or news reports could show the arrests of the members he had talked about, and of course neither the Zhizhe site or the news reports Alex spoke of existed any more. L.A. had used the gang control act to move protesters on, but not two months in, and there were no arrests of the kind of which he spoke.

Whether this information was given to him fraudulently or whether he was simply making it up I don’t know, and he hasn’t answered me so I may never know, but it casts doubt on every piece of information these people have given us. Zhizhe doesn’t exist, the named benefactors didn’t donate that volume of money (or even exist) and no reports exist of the things he speak. What’s to say that anything these people have to say is true?

This is speculation. Conjecture. It is not definitive evidence that anyone is intentionally defrauding anyone, power grabbing or being a cult, but if one person presents forged, baseless evidence and claims it as fact then it harms everyone who believes the same things as them. It harms their entire case, and in actuality it’s that which matters. I’m not calling anyone a liar, and even AlexofTerra is above any degree of blame or defamation. He may well have been as lied to as the rest of us.

All I’m saying isask. Ask the questions people don’t want to answer- the awkward questions. Find the truth. Without the truth there is the danger of dissonance, and in dissonance there is hatred and in hatred there is war.

Oh, and always cross-reference your evidence.

Control Systems

Now, I’m far from crazy: I don’t believe that 9/11 was an inside job, I’m pretty sure that there are no aliens in Area 51 and there’s no way FEMA could be conspiring against the citizens it was commissioned to protect.

I’m not a ‘conspiracy theorist’ in any sense of the term, so when I tell you that in spite of this it isfact that the world is constructed in a manner which constricts our actions and thoughts it should have a little more clout than if I was a tinfoil-hatted homeless man. In spite of this, the vast majority of people reading this will still probably reject it as paranoid gobbledegook- which means that the control systems are doing their job!

Here in Britain, the setting of George Orwell’s utterly fantastic 1984 we are already careening wildly down a path which restricts civil liberties to such a degree that an Orwell himself would have been ashamed about the caste-run dystopia into which we have evolved. The United Kingdom is notorious in the international community for its utility of a social construct known as the Panopticon, with over 1.85 million CCTV cameras observing every action taken by every citizen. On average you are observed by a government representative every 35 seconds.

No other nation would put up with this.

Now the panopticon isn’t just a governmental construct; people have to be predisposed towards the acceptance of observation before they are willing to submit to an authoritarian force which can see their every action. Achieving this has been a true Machiavellian masterpiece, which utilises every facet of the public sector to create this attitude, ranging from entertainment, to the forth estate, to religion.

Many of you out there will know of the television show Big Brother, a reality TV show which began as a simple social experiment to observe the effects the act of observation had on a group of students in England, set up by Channel 4. Much like the Quantum Double Slit experiment, observation in the end caused people to act in a manner they would otherwise not have, and the study was deemed a success. Unfortunately for the people of Britain, the show also ended up being a fairly incredible social success.

By series 3 the television show was getting applicants by the millions, enticed by dreams of celebrity (which we’ll get onto in a bit) and naturally only the very ‘kookiest’ individuals ended up being selected. The show was watched by tens of millions of people religiously, all the while soaking up the message that it was not only OK to be watched over by a controlling authority (who, quite aptly made contestants perform arduous tasks for food) but that this forfeit for human rights was actually something to be desired and embraced.

The winner of the show may have gotten the prize of hundreds of thousands of pounds, but the real winners were the people who lived on in the public’s hearts- either loved or loathed- as the ‘professional celebrities’ that the tabloid magazine industry perpetuates. These people now existed outside the construct of theBig Brother house, and their lives became a public spectacle for all to see, and since this remained the source of their income these individuals constantly humiliated themselves in public.

The very notion of celebrity is, in itself, indicative of a populus who have grown accustomed to a lack of privacy, and the fact that we now wish to have our privacy invaded as a mark of social advancement is, to my mind, tragic. Since the launch of Big Brother CCTV systems in the UK have risen by just under half, more than doubling the increase seen in previous years.

Of course since then punditry has claimed that the paparazzi are a vile bunch, but considering the media conglomerates who control their talk shows and symposiums are the same people who fork over millions for pictures of Paris Hilton’s vagina I don’t think they’re in a position to talk.

The idea that it’s “OK” to be observed by an all-powerful entity is hardly a new theory; reality TV simply brought the theory into the new age and turned control from one set of people to another. The first people to use the idea of a benevolent superpower to control people were, quite obviously, the Church! This is not a phenomenon restricted to the confines of Christianity either- the vast majority of religions, Abrahamic or not, utilise the idea that there is some omnipresent entity who observes your actions and judges you as either “Good” or “Bad”. Christianity and Islam merely took it one step further by saying that sin led to damnation, which is something your average 12th century French peasant would do anything to avoid.

To quote my good friend ‘OmniZero’: “From the moment we’re born to the moment we die we are subjected to some form of control system.” I wish it weren’t so, but this chap could not be closer to the truth if he were in a Louisiana strip-club and the truth was a moderately hot girl from a broken home. We’re left over with a medieval control system of primal fear and religious piousness, a modern theory of the panopticon built on the same theories as those ancient methods, and yet we still consider ourselves free?

Well, it’s not just the act of observation which governments, religions and corporations attempt to trivialise and then utilise; even our very free will is utterly warped by the systems of economic control which society has now grown dependent on. Say you go to a supermarket, and you buy a carton of Soya milk- that’s a noble act, right? Soya beans are relatively easy to farm, and look! It even says “Fair Trade” on it, so you know it’s reputable!

I’m really sorry to break it to you, but that’s just not the case.

The modern world, such as it is, operates like an elaborate pyramid scheme: That soya milk comes from beans grown on a farm, which are then shipped in a truck to a factory, where it is processed and then packaged, then it is flown to the supermarket where you buy it with currency issued to you by a central authority. That’s a pretty simple process on the surface of it, but when you consider that the farm exports exclusively to a corporate factory, who have a corporate contract to use vehicles manufactured by another corporation, probably owned by the same shell company as the supermarket and the airline you eventually boil down to everyone working for one person:

Whomever owns the shell company.

Then of course there’s the issue of the currency used to purchase that soya milk. Only 10% of money actually exists as physical currency, with the rest being transferred around cyberspace in bank accounts as simple mathematical assertions of pure fiscal value. If this is the case, then why does the number on one person’s screen determine how much currency they are entitled to? Sure, they may have worked for it, but in the end who attributes the end value to an essentially valueless resource?

In the old days we used gold to determine the wealth of a nation, but now everything is just noughts and ones flitting around, given importance by banks, companies, governments and the people who have but no choice but to live with them. This is no problem for the people who are in control, but for your average bluecollar worker the lofty decisions of the elite can be utterly devastating, particularly when the same people who decide what currency is worth are the same people who define who pays taxes.

We’ve ended up with a system whose very goal is to keep the rich rich and the poor poor, masquerading as a benevolent meritocracy and side-lining spirituality and “off the grid” living as the notions of madmen and fools. If one expresses a wish to live outside the system they are expected not only to fend for themselves but to not reap the rewards of being inside the system- even if they contribute.

Humanity is, at its heart a collaborative species- we do what we must to survive, and it is important to note that living as a collective isn’t necessarily corrupt. The idea of political anarchy, having no leaders and simply living in love and peace with one another works in theory, but in the end simple greed causes us to corrupt ourselves, and pretty soon you’ve got a ruling class and every other sucker working for them. The trouble we have today is even more dire than this grim reality though:

Even if someone has a revolutionary idea we are unable to implement it due to logistics.

Take the visionary work of the reverend W. Cecil- he not only theorised that Hydrogen, not fossil fuels, could be used to create locomotion within machinery. A hydrogen engine is a pretty simple piece of kit- it runs on water, uses a catalystic chamber to break H2O into its component molecules, burns the hydrogen and then reconstitutes the excess back into water.

That’s right: The fuel for this engine is the same thing it burns. Not only that, but the excess Hydrogen and Oxygen which cannot be reclaimed are released into the atmosphere, where they form clouds which form as more water! It’s infinite fucking fuel.

So when was this idea patented? Well, there were a lot of hydrogen-powered engines being designed and manufactured in the 1970s, so surely this is the suppression of information to retain the global oil market, right?Wrong.

Rev. W. Cecil designed this Hydrogen engine in 1820. EIGHTEEN. TWENTY. It had some practical applications, but at that time coal mining was a huge industry, and naturally putting millions of miners out of work was impractical as it would destroy the very basis of the economy. Because of this the engine and all its counterparts were dismissed, and coal power remained the focus of the industrial revolution. The exact same thing happened in the 1970s, but instead of coal we had oil, and instead of workhouses we had multinational corporations.

One of the infamous 'panopticon prisons'

The sad fact is that unless we all change, showing people stuff like the Hydrogen engine, or solar heating, or the rejection of the panopticon is utterly useless. As a species we have so much faith tied up in the systems used to restrict us that our survival has begun to hinge on the survival of the systems just as deeply as it does on actually living!

I don’t mean to sound dire, but as long as we believe in shallow concepts like shame and governmental omniscience we are destined to be the slaves of the same ten or twenty corporate superpowers which own all of industry, and as such bankroll all of government. I’m not saying that we all need to rush to live off the grid, and in the end even the control system of nuclear deterrence in the cold war was based on the human need to survive. We simply need to have a little faith in the species and hopefully you and I can be as free as the birds we have always longed to be.

Namaste.

The Burden of Proof

Anyone familiar with law will know of the term “burden of proof”. It is, in its simplest terms, the need to provide proof for a statement or argument upon which the basis of an opinion is based. It is also to be noted that it is not the person who is disputing a point’s duty to provide evidence to cast doubt on a statement, but rather the defender of said statement’s prerogative to provide evidence that their statement is true.

For example: “You killed your wife.”

If someone has blood on their hands and is standing over a rapidly cooling corpse, a knife protruding from the mort flesh of its sinewy neck one is hardly likely to believe that they are innocent of committing the heinous act itself, and yet there is still the need for evidence. Proof that they did it. Otherwise that person will walk free, because without evidence there is no truth but hearsay, which is usually rubbish and always inadmissible.

Likewise, it is also imperative that the suspect, were he to be telling the truth regarding his innocence, provide evidence that he was not the perpetrator. Even though it seems heinously unlikely, because not only does he have a motive to lie but also the means to have committed the crime.

This is, of course, a clumsily thrown-together metaphor for the need for actual proof in the arena of spirituality.

If you propose to believe in something, and you wish to impart that knowledge and faith onto another person (and have it hold up to questioning) then you flat-out need to follow scientific method in the defence of said belief. People won’t believe that you hear magical voices in your head, or that you are a demonic ubermensch unless you can give them some reason to believe you.

If you have no proof, then it’s your job to be convincing, because if your argument doesn’t hold up to scrutiny then people are going to think that you’re a liar. Then your reputation gets damaged, and fewer and fewer people will be willing to listen to what they consider to be bullshit. Why, after all, should they listen to someone who can not only provide no proof that what they’re saying is true, but also lacks the charisma to convince them that they should listen?

Most damning though is a refusal to participate in debate or discussion, because the only thing which proves a lie more conclusively than a lack of evidence is the refusal to even entertain criticism of your belief and defend it as such. People will think you’re a liar if you say you can do something but that you’re choosing not to.

And they’re probably right to do so.

The Study of Spirit has one primary purpose: To provide the evidential proof that spirituality isn’t the soft-minded pseudo-cultist rubbish that the vast majority of human beings think it is. At the end of the day it is more than apparent to anyone who spends even a moment looking introspectively at the community and their own claims that more than 99% of what we say sounds completely and utterly fantastical, egotistical or just plain self-serving.

Add to this the general appearance of sub-par intellect and reputation of fraudulent behaviour the Spiritual community has managed to rack up over the years (thanks mostly to TV-psychics and palm readers) and we have an epidemic on our hands. Not a literal epidemic, but rather one of reputation, and most importantly laziness.

If we want what has been unfortunately classified as “New Age” teachings to be accepted as anything more than the implausible ramblings of madmen then we must be prepared to defend our beliefs in ways which don’t belittle the opinions or intellects of others. People not believing what we say isn’t a failing on their part, but rather a colossal failing on ours for expecting people to believe our theories without proof!

The problem a lot of people have with religions, mainstream or otherwise is that the proof is faith, and that faith itself is only compelling to people who want (or need) to believe it. The perception that a lot of the world is rapidly reaching is that while meditation and spirituality are good, faith is for weak people who need something to comfort them in the face of the all-encompassing abyss that is death.

It’s time to step up. Man up. Load up. We can’t take this lying down any more; it’s 2012, our time to shine and we can’t afford to be laughed up given the severity of the turbulent and glorious times ahead. Either we become more forthright and transparent, or we basically look like Joseph Smith.

You’ve seen that South Park episode, right?

Game Review: El Shaddai, Ascension of the Metatron

In today’s Study of Spirit I’m going to be taking a step back from the world of spiritual science to bring you work from my original field of study: Video games! I hope that you enjoy this break from my usual articles, and pray that you bear with me; I am not at home for the next week, so updates will be sporadic at best.

The reason I chose this game to review is its subject matter’s implicit links to spirituality, the Judeo-Christian mythos, spiritual science and indeed the vast majority of the subjects we at the Study of Spirit love discussing and investigating. The game itself appears at first glance to be a pedestrian hack ‘n’ slash game akin to a grotesquely simplified Devil May Cry, made unique only by unquestionably stellar art direction and a bizarre story.

El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron isfar more than it seems at first glance.

The plot of this game is more than complicated. It is hard to understand at the best of times, encompasses huge time-skips and has huge amounts of cryptic and ultimately unanswered points which are left intentionally open, so as to inspire theory and conjecture as to their true nature. The events which unfold as you play are, because of this, intriguing in a way that I have never experienced in a title before- which is an impressive feat to say the least. This is not to say that anything is vague- it’s all there to be discovered through log entries, collectables and cut-scenes, but these only go to inspire the feeling that the tapestry of fate that you perceive is only a thread in a far larger narrative.

You play as Enoch, an agent of God who (with the help of the black-clad angel Lucifel) is sent to earth to bring an end to a rebellious clan of fallen angels, lest God floods the Earth to rid himself of this nuisance once and for all. These beings have created a tower, hidden from the eyes of the almighty, and are abusing mortal souls by turning their heads from the light and into free thought. There’s talk of the Nephalim and Seraphim, and a colossal war between the agents of God and the rebellious humans who use the gift of free will he gave to oppose him. Needless to say this subject matter is powerful enough before your intervention in events even begins; the issues discussed so casually by El Shaddai are the subject of mass debate by theologians all over the world, and the game takes you through them with an incredible ease and clarity.

The game takes place almost entirely within the tower created by the fallen ,although by the time you enter Enoch has already been on Earth for 200 years and undergone many trials and adventures which we experience only as a single opening cutscene. These events are far from inconsequential, but at first glance appear only to be trivial matters which don’t concern Enoch’s larger objectives- underlining the importance of subtext within the game’s narrative.

I love that shit.

The tower itself is a mess of surreal dreamscapes which take us from a cubic realm of order, to a colourful cel-shaded 2D platformer, to a massive tron-like metropolis traversed by infinitely cool motorbikes and mechanical angelic constructs. It’s a brilliant location, and lends loads of visual variety to the game, as well as altering the very way in which the game itself is played. This is fundamentally vital in a hack and slash game, as repetition is almost a hallmark of the genre- you go from place to place despatching minions and fighting huge and cinematic bosses, and it’s really nice to find a game with such a juxtaposition of serene simplicity and quintessentially Japanese mayhem.

The way El Shaddai is played is refreshingly simple, and could be played on a SNES pad it’s controls are so concise. You have four basic functions: Attack, Block, Jump and ‘purify’, and that’s it. Four buttons. Combining these buttons or altering the timings of your inputs can cause a near infinite string of actions to take place, but short of special moves and ‘overload’ (a function similar to DMC’s ‘Devil Trigger’) the entirety of what you do with these condensed controls comes down to one thing: Finesse. The game doesn’t give you a counter button- countering is done by pressing the block button at the right moment, or by reversing the enemy’s weapons via purification. The combat system is very open, and is simple and easy to learn, but will take more time than any of us have to truly master.

Purification is one of the game’s most interesting concepts, and on the face of it is the rather rudimentary ability to steal an enemy’s weapon and turn it against them. As you progress through the game you eventually realise that these weapons are a far deeper mechanic than those in even the most prestigious hack and slash games, in spite of the limited number of weapons available in the game, at a meagre three. This system allows for a basic ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’ affair, by which blades are great for disposing of long range enemies, but awful at more heavily-armed, shielded foes.

You have to constantly switch between the game’s three weapons by stealing them from enemies, as Enoch has no inventory space to place them in, keeping the combat exciting and frenetic. Even the most basic moves in your repertoire are altered in subtle ways which make each weapon invaluable so long as you know how to utilise them; there’s a lot to remember, but ultimately once you figure out how each weapon works you feel like an unstoppable force of righteous fury.

As I said, the Artstyle in El Shaddai is beautiful, and it changes with every layer of the tower. The sound, music and voice acting are all up to a similar par, and very rarely disappoint- you may hear a lot of repetitive dialogue from bosses, or tire of the sound of your shots hitting home, but for the mostpart the game is fun for all the senses. The largely cel-shaded aesthetic lends itself well to the story being told, and as the situations we face as an audience intensify and degrade so too does the look and feel of the game. Not many games can pull this off with the clarity and success that this title accomplishes, and the end result is something which looks and sounds unforgettable.

El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron a romp through the world of spirituality with a surprisingly efficient and brutal method of storytelling. It’s unsurprising that the game is found in bargain bins due to its occasionally baffling plot and archaic control scheme, but as I said before, it’s far more than what it appears to be and if you’re willing to stick with it past the first few hours you find yourself rewarded with an experience with outstrips any modern Hack and Slash games. When you have a toss up between this, a beautifully written, artfully directed and intensely thought-provoking game which has conversations between Lucifer and God at every save point; and Devil May Cry 4, a game in which you play as a whiny little bitch for the first half and a non-character the second which deals with similar subject matter in a far less graceful way you really have no choice at all.

Overall, I loved my time with El Shaddai, and if you have any love of theology, debate, spirituality or even just an interest in great games you really, really have to play it. It’s cheap, gorgeous and very, very intense from start to finish, with some very interesting metaphorical gameplay thrown in.

It’s a £5 Asura’s Wrath beater without any of the awful QTE sections. Buy it now!

9/10

Welcome To The Study Of Spirit

Hello there, reader- my ‘name’, such as it is on the internet, is ThreeJumps, and this is the inaugural post of The Study of Spirit. I hope that you enjoy the posts which will follow, which will hopefully shed a little light on the chaos in which we are destined to live out our lives.

The purpose of this blog is a simple one: The illuminate the truth behind the often-suppressed existence of the soul. To do this I will be collating data from a vast catalogue of sources and studies, combining both science and faith into one reliable, easily readable resource. My reasons for creating this resource? Unimportant, and far from mysterious: Too often we are confronted with religious and scientific certainties and are offered little in the way of alternatives when literally thousands of man-hours have been invested by the governments and philosophers of the world to provide just that.

Please, don’t take the idea of an alternative out of context- I am not saying that one should reject current theories and facts; far from it. God is still God, and water is still comprised of molecules of Hydrogen and Oxygen: We here at The Study of Spirit are simply trying to find the truth. A compromise. Somewhere in which science and spirituality can coexist. Facts and faith working in unison, rather than against one another. This can be difficult, since faith is largely based on theory rather than evidence, and as a staunch sceptic it has been a turbulent journey reaching this system of mutual belief, however the quantification of faith has allowed me to reach some startling, yet perfectly commonsensical conclusions.

I digress- this tangent is a tale for another post, and if I began talking about my path to this study I’d be typing for hours, and this introduction would never end. The primary reason I created this blog is to explore and expose the worlds of sacred geometry, Atlantis theory, alternative history, pre-record civilization, biomatter, the correlation between scientific data and ‘new age’ theory, and most importantly: To search for and present the truth for all those who choose to read it. We’ll be drawing from a plethora of sources- each one fully credible and cross-checked with fact to provide a library of theories and facts which simply are, and (unlike most ‘new age’ resource centres on the internet) won’t come off as a bunch of hippie bullshit!

This isn’t the first academic study of the link between conventional science and spiritual theory, but it is the first blog designed to present these links in a comprehensive and factual light, with an emphasis on evidence rather than faith. It’s gonna be a wild ride.

Welcome to the study of spirit. I truly hope that you enjoy the posts which will follow with as much vigour and enthusiasm as I will writing them. I leave you with a quote:

“Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”
Albert Einstein, “Science, Philosophy and Religion: a Symposium”, 1941