Deus Ex Machina…

… was invented by the Greeks for their theatre, for gods’ sakes; so why not round off our theatre (Battlestar Galactica, Daybreak Pt. 2) about the ancient roots of their civilisation with it?

The whole theme about DNA being the magic maguffin is already the Deus ex Machina – our version of lost continents in the nineteenth century, or software worlds made from glowing geometry in the early ’80’s: it’s the theosophical Fourth Dimension of our age, that we can read whatever mythical leaps we want into it.

“You know he doesn’t like being called that…” [Pause; meaningful look from Caprica, look of recognition of some unspoken truth from Baltar – taps head as though it should be obvious] “_Silly_ me… silly, silly me…” What was that? That was an OUT – a back door. There is always a margin of the unknown in life, no matter how far we think we are pushing back the frontier. This hint at what should be obvious, even trivial knowledge about God, yet hidden from us for some unexplained reason, is both a confirmation of this, and a hook that we can attach all other mysteries in the series to.

Regarding “All along the Watchtower”- apparently, this may reference Isaiah 21:5-9:

Prepare the table, watch in the watchtower, eat, drink: arise ye princes, and prepare the shield./For thus hath the Lord said unto me, Go set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth./And he saw a chariot with a couple of horsemen, a chariot of asses, and a chariot of camels; and he hearkened diligently with much heed./…And, behold, here cometh a chariot of men, with a couple of horsemen. And he answered and said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground.

Ancient civilisations, esoteric knowledge, babylon is fallen… gods… broken… ground… get it?

According to Wikipedia:

Christopher Ricks has commented that “All Along the Watchtower” is an example of Dylan’s audacity at manipulating chronological time: “at the conclusion of the last verse, it is as if the song bizarrely begins at last, and as if the myth began again.”

Nudge-nudge, wink-wink, know what I mean? So yes, thanks to the Cylon modem in all that “junk DNA” that are relics of our past collective incarnations, Bob Dylan connected with the collective Hard Drive whilst reading the Bible after his road accident.

Or not. It’s an open book that we can write our own myths into. That was rather the point of all the deliberate ambiguity, I believe – and what makes this a living story, rather than a dead letter of typical Sci-Why with it’s adolescent insistence on removing all veils of mystery… Not everything _has_ to be explained, or can be in life, you frakking geeks.

PS Hera, wife and sister of Zeus (Olympians), born of Cronus and Rhea (Titans). Cronus eats his children for fear that one will replace him. The deranged god that eats his children (Hi Goya!). Rhea conspires with GAIA to make him regurgitate the FIVE original Olympians (who later dwell UP THERE on the mountain). Cronus later banished “to Tartarus, the deepest chasm in the underworld, because the Titans were immortal and could not be killed.” Thank you, Wikipedia. No, I don’t think there is an exact parallel or neat explanation for this story, or life in general; ergo, myth.

Ah, the circle of life.

PPS: Cronus = Time. In the Zurvanite court-heresy of Mazdaism/Zoroastrianism, Time (Zurvan) was the genesis/parent of the twin gods of good and evil. Zoroaster, Zarathustra… you know, Nietzsche: “beyond good and evil”, “eternal return”… in the words of The Swayze in “Roadhouse”: “you know, all that shit”. Mazdaism: from the Persian hinterland between the Hindu and Semitic Gods, later influence on cultural aspects of Islam, but first the homeland of the 3 Magi or Wise Men who visit the little fella in the stable.

Would you live your life more meaningfully if you were condemned to repeat it forever? A la Borges “The Immortals”, would the banishment of death deprive it of meaning? As with Hindu/Buddhist reincarnation, is there a way to break the cycle of birth and death?

Honestly, if you really want great, meaningful Sci-Fi with out all the stupid laser talk and shiny bing-bing crap, you could do far worse than studying ancient mythology, theology, and cosmology. BSG’s not too shabby either. Awww, but they don’t tell you what angels are made from. Poor widdle wuzzums.


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