This long article explores a very strange but scientifically-valid idea; that ghosts exist (for more on that, please read According to Science, Everything is Impossible, a.k.a. Solving Reality). In addition, ghosts are just people lacking physical bodies, which means they still have the ability to influence the physical world. Because of this, ghosts are able to perform physical acts through the use of stored charge. This article begins by describing a haunting, then explores some science, before finally delving into some ancient history. Warning: if you’re a devout follower of the Abrahamic religions, you might not like this article. That is the nature of scientific investigation. The truth can be hard to take but by doing scientific investigation, we are all learning more about the world, which is a process I devoutly believe in.
Without Body Experience
Over the last ten years, during my research, I’ve found that our non-physical minds influence reality. This idea isn’t just a spiritual fancy, borne out of some hippy ideal. Instead, it’s a scientific necessity. Without the organising, causal influence of our minds, reality would be entirely under the influence of entropy, which governs all physical matter. As a result, reality would be an amorphous soup of chaos. In addition, quantum physics shows that without minds, reality couldn’t come into existence at all out of the quantum realm. Many brilliant, Nobel-Prize-Winning physicists have stated this truth, so it isn’t just me that’s worked it out. I explain this matter in great detail in my book According to Science, Everything is Impossible, which will be available soon.
One consequence of this fact, that our minds create reality, is that we, as non-physical minds, are not created by our bodies and brains. Instead, we inhabit our bodies until we physically die, at which point we leave our bodies. This has an interesting consequence; it is possible to exist in our reality as a disembodied spirit. A disembodied spirit is simply a person that, for whatever reason, no longer has a body. Such a spirit would, logically, be able to perceive reality and exert some influence, but only as much as you or I exert an influence. In this article, I’m going to explore this idea using personal experiences and then branch out into events in our ancient history.
An unwelcome lodger
I was visiting a good friend one day when I began to notice a dark and unpleasant ‘presence’ in her house which seemed to be focussed in her bedroom. A week later, I helped her move shelves in that bedroom and when I was re-positioning her bed, I sensed that there was a place in the room where that negative feeling was strongest. Afterwards, I chatted to her, talking around the subject, to avoid alarming her and her son, but I also found that her young son had been experiencing repeating nightmares. At one point, he blurted out, in great emotion, that a ‘vampire was after mummy’. I carefully tried to gather more information. I discovered that their cat rarely went in that particular bedroom. The cat also never went in there after dark. My friend also admitted that her ex-husband had talked of a negative presence in the house and a feeling of dread and hostility when he went downstairs into the kitchen or bathroom in the night. She also reported noticing strange phenomena. For example, she would find small items such as ear-rings in the middle of the bathroom floor in the morning, even though they definitely weren’t there the previous evening and no natural vibrations could caused them to fall on to that location. I took notice of these oddities but, at the time, it was all weird and new to me; I therefore put them to the back of my mind.
A month-or-so later, I house-sat for my friend. I noticed, when alone there, how palpable was the negative presence. At one point during a visit, I was sitting with her cat in the living room and the cat turned and clearly saw something, invisible to me, at the foot of the stairs. He reacted strongly, hissing and baring his teeth and it took me a while to calm him down. My friend’s house had only two bedrooms, hers and her son’s, and so when I house-sat, I decided to sleep in her bedroom. At least, I slept there the first night. In the small hours, I woke up, thrashing my arms, as if fighting off something. I sat up, cleared my head and had a drink of water. After some thought, I went downstairs and set up an uncomfortable, portable, folding bed in her living room. From that night on, I slept downstairs in that folding bed.
After that experience, I made a deliberate decision to go on the offensive. I made an effort, when I was there, to try and perceive the presence in the house. It was clear that my friend’s cat could clearly see the presence, based on his reaction, so why couldn’t I? After some experimentation, I found that if I made my vision ‘zoned out’, if I stopped focussing on physical objects, then it became possible for me to see ‘energetic presences’. [This is the best description I can give, as the effect defies clear description. We don’t have the language for such phenomena.] Most importantly, I could perceive, in the part of her bedroom that I had always felt most uneasy, an alteration of the air, as if that volume of space was somehow polarised or excited in a subtle manner. This ‘excited’ area roughly matched the shape of a man, about five-foot-four in height. The ‘excitation’ was a very subtle effect; I could only notice it if I really concentrated and calmed my mind. My friend’s cat clearly possessed a much more advanced ability at seeing such phenomena. By comparison, I was a clumsy newbie. But I seemed to be able to spot the presence. Something non-physical but possessing a small effect on physical reality, was living in my friend’s house. It, or more accurately, he, was an unwelcome guest.
I felt that the ghost in my friend’s house didn’t belong there; he was causing upset for my friend and her son. But what could I do about it? What can anyone do about something non-physical? The interesting twist at this point is that I didn’t approach the matter using folk-tales or religion. Instead, I looked at the matter from a scientific perspective. I might be dealing with a ghost but everything in our universe has to obey physical laws. Ghosts might be freaky and supernatural but actually, they’re not. They have to obey the scientific and physical laws like normal people. This was the key to dealing with the ghost; treating it like any other scientifically-understandable phenomenon.
The final stage in my experience with the negative spirit in my friend’s house occurred, a month after my house-sit, when I was helping her clean out her attic. I was crawling around beneath the rafters, digging out old suitcases and boxes, when I found a wooden chest. I asked her about it. She looked confused when I mentioned the matter, as if she had no idea what I was talking about. I hauled down the chest from the attic to show her what I was talking about. When she saw the chest, she remembered what it was. She explained to me that her father had given it to her years before. She had moved from house to house with it, even though it had never been of practical use to her. I opened the chest up. It had a thick, wooden surround, Inside was a compartment lined with tin; which is a sensible way to protect the contents of a trunk when on a ship. In its inner compartment was a key and a paper tag. As I picked up the key, I received a strong but not dangerous electric shock. I replaced the key, closed the chest and left the chest sitting on the upstairs landing.
During the rest of that day, it began clear to everyone in the house, and particularly my friend’s cat, that the chest emanated a palpable negative feeling. The cat refused to go anywhere near it. We agreed that the chest was better off outside the house. I therefore carried it out to the front of the house and left it there. In order to get rid of it, my friend put the chest for sale on ebay. A week later, the chest sold and the buyers arranged to come and collect it the following day. On the way, their car broke down and they told my friend that they had to abandon the visit. They got their car fixed and arrange another pick-up day, as their car was running fine. They headed out again to my friend’s house but, once again, their car broke down. In frustration, they gave up the sale. I took the initiative at this point; I advised my friend that she had to throw the chest away. I said it wouldn’t sell for much anyway and I didn’t think anyone else should own it. She agreed. I put the chest in the back of her car and accompanied them to the town dump, I personally threw it on to the waste-wood pile. After that day, there was no longer a negative presence in my friend’s house. Her son slept soundly and stopped having nightmares. Their cat was also much happier and would visit both of them in their bedrooms, day or night, although that was a mixed blessing as he very much enjoyed sneaking up there at five in the morning and grabbing their toes with his claws.
What should be made of this experience? It’s perfectly possible that myself, my friend, her son and their cat were all deluded, that we collectively imagined this supernatural episode but this would be ignoring a lot of connected evidence. I think a scientist would refuse to do this because it would be deliberately ignoring significant phenomena. It’s also a fascinating mystery; why was that negative presence connected so clearly to a steamer-trunk? If a ghost can float around wherever he likes, why would he be forced to go wherever a box went? These questions lead to very strange but very revealing answers.
I decided to study the ghost’s behaviour as if it was any other phenomenon in reality, like a tree, a frog or a car. By studying its behaviour, I might be able to work out how it functioned. The ghost in my friend’s house did seem to have had clear patterns of behaviour. It was nocturnally active. It primarily hung out in my friend’s bedroom, which was a relatively dark place as it had only one window which faced north. When the figure was ‘standing’ in my friend’s bedroom, it seemed to have a subtle but visually detectable effect on the air that its ‘body’ occupied. It was tied, somehow, to the chest, as though it was anchored to that object in some way. The box wasn’t simply made of wood. It had a tin lining. This enabled it to store charge; I knew that because I’d received a mild shock when I grasped the key lying inside it. I therefore had several pieces of evidence to work with.
To understand the ghost’s functioning, I decided to treat is as if it was a person whose body was missing. Logically, if we are non-physical beings inhabiting our physical bodies and positively influencing them, which is the conclusion I came to in my book Solving Reality, or According to Science, Everything is Impossible, then the ghost would still have that influencing ability, only he wouldn’t have a body to influence. This would explain the subtle ‘ionisation’ of the air where he seemed to stand; it was his automatic influencing effect. To confirm this, it would be useful to place measuring equipment in such an ‘occupied’ area and gather readings such as heat, light emissions, polarisation and related effects… that is, if you could persuade the ghost to stay still. 😉
I thought about the electric shock I’d received. This experience had shown that the chest was a good insulator, that it could act as a capacitor, a storer of charge. This was to be expected, as a thin layer of metal (a conductor) inside a wooden shell (an insulator) is an ideal way to make a capacitor. I wondered if this wasn’t just a coincidence. If the ghost needed a capacitor, that would explain why it was tied to the chest. But that idea only led to another question; why on Earth would a ghost need to be near stored, electric charge? Fortunately, we have enough scientific knowledge to answer such a question.
Nothing can carry out any action in physical reality without expending energy. You need energy to do work, to make things move, to change something’s temperature. We all move around, grab things, throw things etc because we’ve consumed food and the energy in that food is broken down into a useable form for our muscles. A ghost doesn’t have a body, so it can’t do any physical work in that way. As a result, it would be paralysed and inert but if it could draw upon another form of energy somehow, and perform actions using that energy, it might be able to perform actions such as lifting objects, throwing them, making noises etc. The question then is, how could it draw upon some stored energy? This is where the stored charge comes in. Logically, that is a source of energy, like the sugars stored in a muscle. It’s worth noting that biochemical processes, fundamentally, are nothing more that transfer of electromagnetic charge. The ghost, therefore, if it had some way of turning stored charge into action, could use the stored charge in the chest as its energy supply.
I received a mild shock when I touched the key in the chest, which amounts to roughly 3,000 volts and a tiny amperage. This isn’t a lot of power, which would explain why a ghost could only move an earring, but the resources and result did match. I had no idea how he turned electric charge into action – and so I focussed on a second question; how had he accumulated the electric charge in the trunk? Electric charge doesn’t spontaneously accumulate, it requires work to be done, the accumulation of electromagnetic radiation, but that ghost had somehow made that happen; he’d channeled electric charge into his wooden chest. I went over what I’d learned from my friend, looking for some clue, then I remembered a strange fact. During my friend’s reports of the strange events, it became clear that the ghostly activity had increased during, and shortly after, she experienced a heavy period, a menstruation. It was a weird connection but it reminded me of something I’d read, years before. The Arab world has a long history of chronicling jinn activity and talks about them extensively. One advice they repeatedly give in their chronicles is that jinn seek fresh blood… but why would fresh blood be connected to ghostly activity?
Our blood is a most impressive fluid. Our heart pumps it around our bodies continually, so that it reaches all our cells via our body’s intricate network of capillaries. It carries oxygen to our cells so that the mitochondria in those cells can burn glucose and fats to produce energy for our cells’ functions. Those chemical reactions are, at their most fundamental level, the transfer of electromagnetic energy from one molecular structure to another or via the excitation of atoms electron shells, which itself is made possible through photon transfer, the basis of electromagnetic transfer. In other words, fresh blood is, among its many properties, a significant store of electromagnetic charge. That isn’t obvious to us because the charge is present in a subtle, biological-molecular form but it is there.
Somehow, if the ghost was drawing energy from fresh blood, then it had extracted the charge from the blood and transferred it to its improvised capacitor, the trunk. I do not know how it did this but perhaps ghosts can use their quantum organising ability to channel the charge to another location. This might sound unbelievable but it’s worth remembering that all of us, as non-physical minds, are doing exactly that, all the time, to keep our bodies working. According to the Law of Entropy, something non-physical must be doing that for our complex bodies to keep working, otherwise we’d rapidly die and fall apart. If the ghost did it in that way, through some coherent quantum channel, it must have been a fragile one. This would explain why it stayed in darkened rooms and only moved around at night. It may be that sunlight, being a potent source of electromagnetic radiation, might disrupt the ghost’s fragile, coherent quantum field.
The next question that arose in my mind was; how good is blood, as a source of charge? Can a ghost really do much physical activity with the charge from some spilled blood? Nowadays, thanks to modern science, we can answer such a question. I hunted through the scientific literature and discovered this paper, entitled: THE ELECTRICAL CHARGE OF MAMMALIAN RED BLOOD CELLS, by Harold A. Abramson and Laurence S. Moyer. The paper states that ‘a single mammalian red cell has a net surface charge ranging from four to fifteen million electrons’. With this data, we can do some calculations. To start with, a single electron has a charge of 1.6 × 10 to the power -19 coulombs. One red blood cell therefore has a charge of 1.6 x 10 to the power -13 coulombs (approximately). There are, on average, 5 million red blood cells per microlitre in a healthy mammal. Therefore, we can work out that there are 5 trillion red blood cells, or 5 x 10 to the power 12 cells, in a litre of blood. That’s a lot of cells! One litre of blood therefore contains cells with a total surface charge of 0.8 coulombs. Now, I have no idea what that means in real terms but I could translate that charge value into volts and amps, since 0.8 coulombs is a current of 0.8 amps flowing for one second, which is a serious jolt. The next step was clear; what would that charge be like if it was stored in a capacitor?
Capacitors are very well understood devices, nowadays, and so it’s relatively straightforward to work out their behaviour with stored charge, particularly their voltage potential, based on their construction. To start with, we need to work out the object’s capacitance value in Farads (named after Michael Faraday), knowing that 1 coulomb (charge) = 1 volt x 1 farad. The object’s capacitance value is how good a capacitor it can be. For example, the capacitance value of the human body is very low, around 100 picofarads or 1 times 10 to the power -7 farads. This is a tiny capacitance value, because we’re fleshy, watery blobs. If we were somehow charged to one coulomb, we’d therefore have a voltage potential of ten million volts! This may sound crazily large but it’s worth remembering that even a spark that one can feel in one’s finger requires around 3,000 volts of electric charge potential to occur. Now that we have these basics, we can apply them to the ghost’s steamer trunk.
The capacitance of a wooden box can be calculated as its absolute permittivity (ability to support a charge) x its area divided by the distance between its plates. The key number in this equation is the permittivity since, for wood, that permittivity is even lower than our bodies. As a result, the capacitance value of a chest-sized box, considering its surface area, is around 5 picofarads or 5 x 10 to the power -9 farads, fifty times lower than our bodies’ capacitance. This means that if a wooden box held a charge of one coulomb, it would have a voltage of about a billion volts! This result shows that 1 coulomb of charge is actually a very significant amount of charge. What’s more, let’s remember that that was the charge in just one litre of blood. If a disembodied spirit really could harvest the electric charge present in blood and transfer it successfully to a charge-storage container, it could accumulate significant electrical potential. There’s therefore a lot of sense in ghosts harvesting fresh blood.
In the midst of this theoretical weirdness, it’s worth adding some practical limitations. For example, the harvesting and transfer of the charge in the blood to the box, by the ghost, is hardly likely to be 100% efficient. I experienced the stored charge in that trunk and I received a small shock. If we guess that that shock was around 3,000 volts, then the trunk, at that moment was holding 15 micro Coulombs or 15 x 10 to the power -6 Coulombs. In other words, it was a tiny amount of charge. If the ghost had harvested 25cc’s of blood, as a very rough guess, then that would produce an efficiency value of about 0.1%. Obviously, these values are all ad-hoc. In order to have any chance of establishing if this phenomenon is correct, we would need to obtain some more supporting evidence. Has anyone else reported ghosts harvesting the electric charge from blood, storing it in an ad-hoc capacitor and then performing physical acts with that stored charge?
Oddly enough, they have.
In this section, I’m going to be talking about Yahweh, the God of the Old Testament, and his connection to blood sacrifices and charged containers. For anyone who is unhappy at me discussing the Lord in this way, I will be fair, scientific and objective; I hope that helps. I strongly believe in us all following Christ’s teachings but that mustn’t stop me seeking the truth of our ancient history.
In Exodus 25:10, the Lord (or Yahweh) tells Moses how to build his Ark of the Covenant (as shown in the 1900 illustration by James Tissot, available on Wikipedia):
“Have them make an ark of acacia wood—two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high. Overlay it with pure gold, both inside and out, and make a gold molding around it. Cast four gold rings for it and fasten them to its four feet, with two rings on one side and two rings on the other. Then make poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold. Insert the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark to carry it. The poles are to remain in the rings of this ark; they are not to be removed. [my italics] Then put in the ark the tablets of the covenant law, which I will give you. Make an atonement cover of pure gold—two and a half cubits long and a cubit and a half wide. And make two cherubim out of hammered gold at the ends of the cover. Make one cherub on one end and the second cherub on the other; make the cherubim of one piece with the cover, at the two ends. The cherubim are to have their wings spread upward, overshadowing the cover with them. The cherubim are to face each other, looking toward the cover. Place the cover on top of the ark and put in the ark the tablets of the covenant law that I will give you. There, above the cover between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the covenant law, I will meet with you and give you all my commands for the Israelites.”
Yahweh then instructs Moses on how to build the Table of Offering that will go with the Ark:
“Make a table of acacia wood—two cubits long, a cubit wide and a cubit and a half high. Overlay it with pure gold and make a gold molding around it. Also make around it a rim a handbreadth wide and put a gold molding on the rim. Make four gold rings for the table and fasten them to the four corners, where the four legs are. The rings are to be close to the rim to hold the poles used in carrying the table. Make the poles of acacia wood, overlay them with gold and carry the table with them. And make its plates and dishes of pure gold, as well as its pitchers and bowls for the pouring out of offerings. Put the bread of the Presence on this table to be before me at all times.”
It’s very interesting to see that Yahweh gave very specific instructions for his Ark, a word that comes from the Phoenician word Aron, meaning box, coffin or boat. Anyone who is used to making capacitors will immediately spot that Yahweh was specifying a container that would store charge extremely well. Just like my friend’s steamer trunk, Yahweh was ordering the construction of a box layered with metal over insulator. Not only that but Yahweh’s instructions fit with someone who wanted to make very certain that any stored charge was not lost by the box being earthed. For example, he stated that the gold-covered acacia poles must never be removed. This was a logical order; if the box was always carried with the poles, or placed on an insulated platform, and never touched by any conducting object, including a person, then it would keep all its stored charge. There are other ways that the Ark could have lost charge. For example, it would lose charge in damp, humid air but Yahweh and Moses were in a very dry environment, which solved that problem. Yahweh also specified an offerings table that would also be entirely insulated. Of course, his descriptions may have had nothing to do with charge storage but it is a fascinating coincidence, nevertheless.
Others have noted how well the Ark of the Covenant would have functioned as a capacitor. For example, according to this website article, the Discovery Channel hired Bruce Burges of Bluebook Films to make a documentary to discover how well the Ark would function as a capacitor. It was entitled, ‘the Ark of the Covenant Revealed’. In the documentary, an experienced team, including John Hutchison, a fascinating character, built a replica of the Ark precisely to see how well it would work as a high-voltage capacitor. They found that it did work very well; in fact it worked possibly too well. According to the author of the website article, the documentary was abandoned and shelved before transmission. When the author contacted the people involved in the project, one or more of them admitted that very strange phenomena took place, including the appearance of ghostly figures. Unfortunately, the footage of these events was lost, possibly deliberately, and so there’s little solid evidence available to support their claims. It’s interesting to note that in the surviving documentary, after the tests, the television crew interview the cabinet maker who constructed the box; he clearly looks visibly shaken. He states to the camera that he’s very glad that he’s going back to make a dining table and chairs. His rattled demeanour is hardly in keeping with a simple, high-voltage test of a box.
Strange issues surrounding the Ark’s design aren’t limited to its abilities as a capacitor. As the television-documentary-makers point out in the youtube video version of the documentary, a box built to the specifications stated in the Old Testament would weigh nearly two tonnes. According to the historical records, the Ark was carried by four men. How could four men have lifted such a weight? The answer may be that they could never have lifted the box when it was uncharged. When it was highly charged, its weight may have changed. It’s also worth noting that in the Old Testament, Yahweh was said to be able to wilfully change the weight of the box. This would indicate that charge and gravity are related. This is not possible, according to official, civilian physics, but there is evidence that official, civilian physics may be wrong in this regard, based on evidence such as the Brown-Biefield effect, the work of Dr LaViolette and others. I’ll delve into that issue in a future article.
Earlier in this article, I explained how a ghost may have stored charge from fresh blood and put it in a box that was functioning as an ad-hoc capacitor, in order to perform physical acts. I then showed that the Ark of the Covenant, in which Yahweh frequently resided, was also capable of storing a lot of charge. The similarities in these two situations can be extended when we note that Yahweh received significant blood sacrifices. In fact, the amount of fresh blood sacrificed to Yahweh, according to Bible records, was of astonishing proportions. According to the Bible, Solomon sacrificed literally tens of thousand of livestock to Yahweh. The religious view of these acts is that they were ‘symbolic’ or ‘a demonstration of worship’ but they also fit with the blood-charge-capacitor scenario. Its possible to calculate a rough value of the electric charge and voltage stored in the Ark after Solomon’s sacrifices. To do this, we could use the efficiency of harvesting and storage of the blood-charge as 0.1%, as calculated earlier, but Yahweh may have been more efficient, as he ordered that the blood be spattered on the cloth before his Ark. We can therefore guess that his efficiency was more like 1%. We can still use the value of 0.8 coulombs of charge per litre of blood, calculated earlier. King Solomon stated in the Old Testament (1 Kings 8:63) that he sacrificed ‘two and twenty thousand oxen, and a hundred and twenty thousand sheep to Yahweh’. This equates, according to my rough calculations, to 900,000 litres of blood. That much blood would contain 720,000 Coulombs of charge. Using the efficiency value of 1% mentioned earlier, 7200 Coulombs would therefore have made it into the Ark. That’s an enormous amount of charge, enough kill anyone that touched it. The fact that the Ark did store this level of charge is supported by the tragic death of Uzzah in 2 Samuel 6:6. Adding all the data together, my calculation is that the Ark would have possessed an electric potential of 1600 Gigavolts or 1.6 Teravolts.
The Ark of the Covenant, in the light of these calculations, takes on a very different form that simply an object of worship. It becomes a box that is literally a Haunted Capacitor of Mass Destruction. If a ghost did inhabit that box, and that ghost possessed the same abilities of the ghost in my friend’s house, then it would have been able to do a lot more than lift a earring. The Ark would have had approximately a billion times more charge than that steamer trunk. Such a level of charge has been studied in recent times. Here is a sample passage from a relevant science paper, entitled, ‘Magnetically insulated and inductively charged capacitor for the attainment of gigavolt potentials’, explaining what such a magnitude of stored charge can do:
A magnetically insulated coaxial capacitor of toroidal geometry is proposed which promises the attainment of gigavolt potentials. In contrast to earlier ideas employing the concept of magnetic insulation the proposed device does not depend on superconductors. Furthermore, also in contrast to earlier proposals, the charging does not require a high-energy electron accelerator but can simply be, performed inductively within a fraction of a second. The short charging time is of importance because magnetic insulation may prevent break-down only on a comparatively, small time scale. The energy of the device is discharged in the form of an intense relativistic electron beam with beam voltages and energy outputs many orders of magnitude larger than what is presently possible with Marx generators. The two most important applications of this machine seem to be in the field of thermonuclear fusion and the collective acceleration of ions up to energies of 103 GeV. Other applications are the generation of intense meson beams, gamma-ray flash tubes, the pumping of high-power lasers and ultra-strong microwave pulse generators.
This level of power does tally with the Bible’s descriptions of the power the Ark possessed, as shown in the historical etching. If the Ark of the Covenant were charged to such a level, and a ghost within it was able to turn that charge into physical acts, then the Old Testament was describing very real events. The Lord in his Ark truly could lay waste to armies, destroy cities and tear the ground from under people’s feet. This wasn’t because the Lord was unique. Instead, it was simply a spirit in control of an enormous amount of electrical charge.
If this is correct, then such technology would not have remained secret for very long in the Ancient World. It is highly likely that other tribes in the Near East would have heard of the Ark and what it could do. They would then have discovered how such an Ark was made and the blood sacrifices that were needed to ‘feed’ the god within. They would then have, most likely, copied those same methods so that they could have their own Haunted Capacitor of Mass Destruction. As a result, the Near East would have ended up with many ghosts or gods, dwelling in boxes, each receiving blood sacrifices from their tribal priests. Fights between these groups would have been inevitable, with people’s loyalties switching from one god to another. A good example of such rivalry, loyalty and competition is described in 1 Kings 18:17:
When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is it you, you troubler of Israel?” And he answered, “I have not troubled Israel, but you have, and your father’s house, because you have abandoned the commandments of the Lord and followed the Baals. Now therefore send and gather all Israel to me at Mount Carmel, and the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.” So Ahab sent to all the people of Israel and gathered the prophets together at Mount Carmel. And Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” And the people did not answer him a word. Then Elijah said to the people, “I, even I only, am left a prophet of the Lord, but Baal’s prophets are 450 men. Let two bulls be given to us, and let them choose one bull for themselves and cut it in pieces and lay it on the wood, but put no fire to it. And I will prepare the other bull and lay it on the wood and put no fire to it. And you call upon the name of your god, and I will call upon the name of the Lord, and the God who answers by fire, he is God.” And all the people answered, “It is well spoken.” Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose for yourselves one bull and prepare it first, for you are many, and call upon the name of your god, but put no fire to it.” And they took the bull that was given them, and they prepared it and called upon the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying, “O Baal, answer us!” But there was no voice, and no one answered. And they limped around the altar that they had made. And at noon Elijah mocked them, saying, “Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.” And they cried aloud and cut themselves after their custom with swords and lances, until the blood gushed out upon them. And as midday passed, they raved on until the time of the offering of the oblation, but there was no voice. No one answered; no one paid attention.
Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come near to me.” And all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord that had been thrown down. Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord came, saying, “Israel shall be your name,” and with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord. And he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two seahs[a] of seed. And he put the wood in order and cut the bull in pieces and laid it on the wood. And he said, “Fill four jars with water and pour it on the burnt offering and on the wood.” And he said, “Do it a second time.” And they did it a second time. And he said, “Do it a third time.” And they did it a third time. And the water ran around the altar and filled the trench also with water.
And at the time of the offering of the oblation, Elijah the prophet came near and said, “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel, and that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your word. Answer me, O Lord, answer me, that this people may know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back.” Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, “The Lord, he is God; the Lord, he is God.” And Elijah said to them, “Seize the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape.” And they seized them. And Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon and slaughtered them there.
Understandably, the Old Testament writers sided with the Lord but it’s clear that, on the face of it, the event described was a bloody stand-off between two gods to see who would prevail. The supporters of Baal, in their desperation to see him win, shed their own blood to give Baal some power. It was the technology of the day and, if the records are correct, it was used extensively. Some readers might conclude that such events were a particular cultural or religious aspect of just the Near East. In fact, like any appalling yet useful technology, it was developed and used all over our planet.
The Blood Drinker
In Nigel Davies’ book ’The Aztecs’, the author describes the acts of the Mesoamerican god Huitzilopochtli (shown in the Wikipedia illustration). Huitzilopochtli was the main god of the Aztec race. He masterminded the founding of their Empire. At the beginning, the Aztecs were little more than refugees in the Mexican wilderness, with Huitzilopochtli leading them along. He lorded it over them, issuing commands from inside his ‘ark of reeds’, carried by the four priests to whom he directly communicated. These four men were known as ‘teomamas’, a word that literally means ‘bearers of the god’. Under Huitzilopochtli’s guidance, and total control, the ragged group marched through the Mexican wilderness. They had left Atzal, their homeland, and were searching for their promised land The Catholic Padre Durán, writing in the late sixteenth century, describes Huitzilopochtli at length (Cronica Mexicayotl, page 23):
“They had an idol called Huitzilopochtli, who was borne by four guardians who served him. To these he spoke very secretly of the events of their route and journey, telling them of all that was to happen. And this idol was held in such awe and reverence that no one else but they dared to approach or touch it. And it was kept in an ark of reeds, and up to this day there is not one of these natives who knows or has seen its form. And the priests held it up as a god, preaching to their peoples the laws they had to follow and observe, and the ceremonies and rites which should accompany their offerings. And this they did in every place where they set up their camp.”
Huitzilopochtli’s half-starved nomadic group of Aztecs also had to build a temple for him every time they settled in one place. There was also the matter of sacrifices. According to the Codex Boturini, the Aztecs fought battles with their neighbours and took prisoners whom they would sacrifice to Huitzilopochtli. If prisoners weren’t available, the four bearers of the god would sacrifice the Aztecs’ own women instead. Huitzilopochtli’s very name shows his thirst for blood. The word literally means ‘humming bird of the south (or left)’. This may sound bucolic but in fact, the humming bird was ‘intimately linked with human sacrifice, occasionally even depicted with his beak boring out the blood of the victim’ (Seler Vol4, p577).
According to the chronicles, Huitzilopochtli was capricious and extremely dangerous. Any followers who questioned his orders ended up dead. When the Aztecs finally settled in their lagoon in the Valley of Mexico and built their impressive city, Tenochtitlan, they still worshipped their god. Their worship took two forms. Firstly, there was the symbolic consumption of the god, as reported in Florentine Codex Book III: The Origin of the Gods, translated by Arthur O. Anderson and Charles Dibble:
“And when the body of Huitzilopochtli was shapen, when they gave it form upon his feast day, when it was Panquetzaliztli, they made of it a dough of fish amaranth seed, which is this chicalotl… and then upon the next day of body of Huitzilopochtli died. And he who slew him was [the priest known as] Quetzacoatl, and that which he slew him was a dart tipped with flint, which was plunged into his heart. He died in the presence of Moctezuma and of the keeper of the god, with whom Huitzilopochtli could speak, to whom he could make himself visible, who could make offerings to him and of four priests, leaders of the youths. Before all of these died Huitzilopochtli. And when he died, thereupon they broke up his body, the aramanth seed dough. His heart was Moctezuma’s portion and the rest of his members, which were made like his bones, were disseminated among the people…. And when they divided it among themselves his body of amaranth seed dough, it was only in very small pieces… And of this which they ate, it was said ‘the god is eaten’ and of those who ate it, it was said ‘they keep the god’.”
When the Catholic priests reached Tenochtitlan, they were shocked at the similarities between Huitzilopochtli and Yahweh. They initially tried to stamp out the ceremony but later, according to some reports, they simply rebadged it as their own Holy Communion.
The second form of worship to Huitzilopochtli in Tenochtitlan was blood sacrifices on a huge scale. For example, for the re-consecration of Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan in 1487 – dedicated to Tlaloc and Huitzilopochtli – the Aztecs supposedly sacrificed about twenty-thousand, four hundred prisoners over the course of four days. Unlike Solomon, they never sacrificed sheep and oxen to their god. This is because they didn’t have any. There were no livestock in Mesoamerica to sacrifice and so the only mammalian blood available was that of the people themselves. This culture of mass-sacrifice only ended when the Conquistadores arrived, bringing their own religion of Catholicism and a more civilised God, Yahweh.
If we return to the Old World, we can find other instances of blood sacrifice. For example, it was a integral part of Scandinavian society. They had a famous and long standing ritual, or festival, which took place at key points in the year, called the Blót. The verb ‘blóta’ literally means ‘to worship with sacrifice’ or ‘to strengthen’. It’s where we get the word ‘blood’, as well as the root of the word ‘bless’. It was a large and important event that involved the entire community. The centre point of the festival was a communal sacrifice usually consisting of animals, in particular pigs and horses. The animals’ meat was boiled in large cooking pits with heated stones, either indoors or outdoors, in the central part of the town. The blood of this sacrificial soup was the crucial aspect of the ritual. It was considered to contain special powers. Once the blood had been gathered, it was taken out and sprinkled on the statues of the gods that stood in the centre of the town. More blood was then spattered on the walls and on the people of the community. This was regarded as a sacred moment. A sacred drink was passed around during the rituals; usually beer or mead but among the nobility it could be imported wine. While the participants carried out the blood sacrifice and drank the sacred drink, they would say the old prayer ‘was til árs ok friðar’, ‘for a good year and frith (peace)’. They asked for fertility, good health, a good life and peace and harmony between the people and the powers of the spirit world. A detailed description of a Blót can be found in a story about Haakon I of Norway, in the Svensk etymologisk ordbok by Elof Hellquist (1922):
“It was an old custom, that when there was to be sacrifice all the bondes (freeholders) should come to the spot where the temple stood and bring with them all that they required while the festival of the sacrifice lasted. To this festival all the men brought ale with them; and all kinds of cattle, as well as horses, were slaughtered, and all the blood that came from them was called “hlaut”, and the vessels in which it was collected were called hlaut-vessels. Hlaut-staves were made, like sprinkling brushes, with which the whole of the altars and the temple walls, both outside and inside, were sprinkled over, and also the people were sprinkled with the blood; but the flesh was boiled into savoury meat for those present.”
This is an example of sanctification, which literally means ‘to sprinkle with blood’. In fact, the Scandinavian ritual of Blót is the source of many of the English words we associated with holiness. For example, the root of the word ‘holy’ itself is ‘húsl’, an Old English and Norse word for sacrifice. Sometimes, the sacrifices were for more particular needs. For example, it was said that the Norse Gods and the Elves, lesser spirits of their realm, could also heal. The Kormáks saga tells how a sacrifice to elves was apparently believed able to heal a severe battle wound:
“Þorvarð healed but slowly; and when he could get on his feet he went to see Þorðís, and asked her what was best to help his healing. “A hill there is,” answered she, “not far away from here, where elves have their haunt. Now get you the bull that Kormák killed, and redden the outer side of the hill with its blood, and make a feast for the elves with its flesh. Then thou wilt be healed.”
If this really was going on, and having real-world effects, in places all over the world, then a big question jumps out; why did it stop? Why aren’t our civilisation now performing blood sacrifices? The fact that very few people in the world perform such sacrifices now seems to indicate that those primitive sacrifices were a waste of time, a foolish delusion, but is that correct? Did something physical change between the time of sacrifices and our modern world? There is evidence that it did.
The Bronze-Age collapse
Many medieval groups didn’t want to interact with ghosts, spirits, elves, fairies and other such supernatural creatures. According to their records, they discovered a way to keep such entities at bay, with iron. Celtic stories speak extensively of iron as a ward against spirits. In fact, the word for iron itself comes from a Germanic root word ‘iraen’, meaning ‘holy’ or ‘strong’. We can therefore see that horseshoes were traditional ‘wards’ against spirits not because of their shape but because they were an easily-available iron object that could be nailed to doors and fireplaces. Iron is an interesting choice because it is a naturally magnetic metal, unlike all other metals available to common people up until the last century. However it worked, medieval societies were clearly convinced that it discouraged or nullified the dangers of supernatural creatures, including ghosts. If they were right, then any ghost, dwelling in a charged box, would have also feared the arrival of iron. This possibility is supported in the Bible. There is no place in the Bible that Yahweh directly talks about the problem of iron but its presence seemed to be closely linked to his power, or lack of it.
Iron working is a relatively tough job to carry out. High temperatures are required to release iron from its stable ore in a furnace, higher than the temperatures required to make copper and bronze. Because of this, according to the records, humans only began developing iron weapons and tools in Europe and Asia in around 1300 BC. For example, excavations at the ancient city of Ugarit uncovered the earliest example of an Egyptian iron weapon, stamped with the cartouche of the pharaoh Meneptah, who reigned over Egypt between 1213BC and 1203BC. By interesting coincidence, this is around the time that Yahweh left Egypt, according to some scholars, and entered the Holy Land, which had not yet developed iron working. But the Near East did not remain iron-free for long. The first mention I could discover of the presence of iron in the Old Testament is in Joshua 17:14, when the children of Joseph become upset that they’re not getting their inheritance, as promised by Moses:
“They spake unto Joshua, saying, Why hast thou given me but one lot and one portion to inherit, seeing I am a great people, forasmuch as the Lord hath blessed me hitherto? And Joshua answered them, If thou be a great people, then get thee up to the wood country, and cut down for thyself there in the land of the Perizzites and of the giants, if mount Ephraim be too narrow for thee.And the children of Joseph said, The hill is not enough for us: and all the Canaanites that dwell in the land of the valley have chariots of iron, both they who are of Bethshean and her towns, and they who are of the valley of Jezreel.”
It seems clear from this passage that iron had entered the Holy Land by that point in history. It is therefore interesting to read that Yahweh’s power for winning battles seems to go into a terminal decline soon after. In the next book of the Bible, Judges. In Judges 1:19, it states:
“Also Judah took Gaza with the coast thereof, and Askelon with the coast thereof, and Ekron with the coast thereof. And the Lord was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.”
After that event, things seem to fall apart between Yahweh and the Israelites. The Israelites begin worshipping other gods and Yahweh bitterly forsakes them. Yahweh and his Ark stop being a major power in the Near East.
The arrival of iron also ended the blood-sacrifices of the Aztecs. On close inspection, it is shocking that the Conquistadores were able to defeat the Aztecs at all, as the Conquistadores were few in number but they did have one thing; steel armour and swords, which is made mostly of iron, doped with small amounts of carbon. The Aztecs were candid about why they lost. Firstly, the visitors looked like their god-race and secondly, their gods abandoned them.
These examples point to an interesting possibility, that iron stopped those ghosts, in their charged boxes, in their tracks. It sounds crazy but it fits the historical evidence. It is also a very practical explanation for an event in world history that still baffles many historians; the Bronze-Age collapse, the time when many city-states in the Ancient World fell easily to incoming tribes, causing massive social breakdown. The reason given by the leaders of those city-states was that their gods failed them, or abandoned them. This has been dismissed as religious delusion but it may have been literally true. If those city-states were all guarded by their own, blood-charge-powered gods, all of whom used the same techniques that Yahweh possessed, then the arrival of iron would have been a disaster for the whole region. When iron-clad raiders appeared, those city’s gods would have been suddenly useless, unable to destroy any enemies. As a result, the high priests and kings of those city-states suddenly found that their guardian spirit, who’d they’d sacrificed to for centuries and who had hitherto guarded their city in a very real way, was now doing nothing. Before they could adjust, they were sacked and carted off in bondage. It’s a weird idea but it works. We don’t perform blood sacrifices in the modern world because it’s a foolish, primitive delusion, we don’t do it because there’s iron everywhere. If we buried all our iron, that whole, dark, bloody process might make a return.
I hope this long article has made some sense. It is an odd idea but that’s mostly because we’ve all been taught that only physical things exist and all phenomenon such as ghosts, spirits, poltergeists etc are ludicrous impossibilities. In fact, as I’ve explained in my book According to Science, Everything is Impossible, a.k.a Solving Reality, the opposite is true; non-physical minds or entities have to exist in order for reality to have any order. Without non-physical minds or spirits, there would be no life; in fact there’d be no reality at all. Our ancient forebears weren’t delusional idiots; they were down-to-earth people who did things for very practical reasons. Livestock were valuable and they wouldn’t have sacrificed them just out of superstition. Our modern Scientific Materialism experts may have proved that they were delusional idiots, but it may be the other way around, it’s our Scientific Materialism experts that are the idiots.