Consciousness and Ancient Human Origins
Mikael Kindborg, April 15, 2020
Updated March 27, 2021
We are currently working on a book about ancient civilizations, and are researching the work of people who are active in this field.
Early on we came across Michael Cremo, who is well known in the Forbidden Archeology community. As we have continued to investigate his publications, we have found, perhaps somewhat surprisingly, that there is also a spiritual side to his work, involving studies of human consciousness.
We have found several scholars who make references to both material and spiritual aspects of their field, and Michael Cremo is a striking example of this. We find this interesting, and in this post, we will elaborate on the human consciousness aspect of his research.
Two Sources of Evidence
Michael Cremo is well known for his work on Forbidden Archeology. He has a way of working where he stays true to the dating methods and practices accepted by modern archeology. His investigation of archaeological findings is based on documented site reports and published scientific papers.
He has made several remarkable claims, and presented solid evidence that points to humans having existed much longer than what is commonly believed.
However, in addition to examining physical archeological evidence, there is also a very different side to his search for human origins.
While Michael Cremo presents his work at peer reviewed archeological conferences, he also describes himself as a Vedic scholar. He is a member of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.
Based on Sanskrit texts and traditions, he brings up the "Vedic Alternative", and proposes a model of "Human Devolution" in place of "Human Evolution". He discusses this view of ancient human origins in his book "Human Devolution".
He considers sources like the Vedic texts, to contain a type of evidence that he refers to as a "higher" kind of evidence ("testimony"). According to Vedic scholars, such evidence can be used to gain insight into that which is impossible to sense directly, or deduct from what we can sense or measure directly. One such example is our ancient human history.
Here is a link to a Q&A session of a Google Talk, where Michael Cremo explains his view on using "higher" evidence as a scientist: Tap here to watch
He also talks about this subject in the interview "The Krishna diaries Will be Reopened", which is available here: Tap here to watch
Below, we will discuss some of the topics from the interview.
Human Model: Body - Mind - Consciousness
Michael Cremo subscribes to the notion of humans originating from pure consciousness, having come into physical material existence very far back in time. According to this view, the physical world and biological life is created from consciousness, instead of the other way around.
According to Vedic teachings, what constitutes a human being is three things: body, mind, and the conscious self.
The body is the "gross physical body", which consists of ordinary matter.
The mind is the "subtle material body" (or "subtle mind element") made of "mental substance", which contains our memories, our beliefs, and integrates our senses into the experience of being on earth.
The conscious self is the source of our conscious experience. It exists apart from the body and the mind, and can exist separate from them.
The human body is a vehicle for consciousness to be restored to its original pure stage, freeing the conscious self from all its covering of mind and matter.
The Computer Analogy
Michael Cremo makes an analogy with a computer system, where he views the body as the hardware, the mind as the software, and the conscious self as the computer user.
Here is the part of the interview where he is discussing this: Tap to watch
The mind, he says, is the subtle material mind element (or subtle body), and this is the multimedia software that integrates sensory input and makes it available to us (to the conscious self).
Thus, the conscious self is the user of the mind and the body. Michael Cremo compares this to a VR (Virtual Reality) system. The mind (the VR software), which runs on the hardware (the body), is constantly integrating sensory input and other sources into our living experience.
According to Michael Cremo, the Vedic history points to humans having existed for a very long time. He calls this "Extreme Human Antiquity".
He says that modern science has been too distracted by materialism, trying to explain our history using the "hardware" alone. But this won't work until you also consider the "software" of the subtle mind, and the "user", which is consciousness.
Implications for Research on Lost Civilizations
What can be said about the view brought forward by Michael Cremo? How can it help us in the search for ancient civilizations? How can we tell the difference between authentic "higher" evidence and pure imagination and speculation?
It is worth noting that Michael Cremo seems to make considerable efforts to be true to his sources. Not only when it comes to archeological findings, but also in his work on Vedic history. He seems to examine the texts and teachings carefully, practicing them himself, and drawing his conclusions from that.
The underlying assumption here is that ancient myths and religious texts can tell us something we don't know. Something humans knew from experience in ancient times, which has been lost today.
This, of course, highlights the problem with historical research. We cannot go back in time and experience for ourselves. And therefore, we at times have to rely on myths and insights coming to us outside of the scientific method. Or we simply have to say that we don't know, and dismiss anything outside of our scientific paradigm.
Assuming that we live in a materialistic society, it is perhaps not strange that we are quick to dismiss that which cannot be observed or measured. But what if our society would be more oriented towards consciousness? (Whatever that would mean?) Then we would perhaps be more likely to interpret our history in the way Michael Cremo does.
We have to accept that we are highly biased by the currently accepted scientific mindset. We assume that the scientific methods we use are objective and free from bias — but this is not the case. Our thoughts and beliefs determine how we understand the world, and for some reason, we seem to have a hard time stepping out of our established paradigms.
According to Michael Cremo, we can change the software (subtle mind), while still using the same hardware (gross physical body) and being the same user (conscious self). You can "change your mind", so to speak.
Is it possible that an advanced ancient civilization had access to "software" that was very different from ours? A different belief system, a different view of the world and the universe, and different capabilities than we have today?
Is Buddhism, Zen, Yoga, and other practices and meditation techniques, remains from a lost civilization that developed and used advanced consciousness technologies?
Perhaps previous civilizations had knowledge of consciousness that has to be found again to understand our history?
This article has also been published on Facebook in the group Forbidden Archaeology and other Mysteries.