Rob Bast, who runs a couple of 2012 related web sites, proposes that not only the Maya, but pretty much every “culture” in ancient times were invented by some mysterious elders. Here follows a couple of quotes and summaries of his revolutionary ideas found on his 2012 forum (notice the sense of irony intended here). I also add some of my comments during this discussion.
A common tendency among the 2012ers is that they believe they think outside the box (the box of critical thinking and evaluation of evidence that scientists are trapped within). Hence, in response to my summarizing blog post on the 2012 circus, Bast says that:
An advantage I have over those with expertise on the topic of the ancient Maya is that I am looking at a much bigger picture, including:
– global nature of pyramids
– unneccessary immensity of pyramids
– extinction of mega-fauna 12,000 years ago
– the variety of things that could go wrong for us any old time (Yellowstone, comets, CME etc)
– global myths and prophecies
– roles of mysterious elders in numerous ancient civilizations
Experts on specifics can put forth some pretty solid debunking. But when you look at the big picture through my eyes, you’ll find that there’s enough accumulated doubt to have a level of concern.
Thus, Bast’s assumption is that experts on the Maya lack any knowledge about the rest of the world. Pyramids do not have the same global origin, they are local developments and if they do appear to be similar it is because the morphogenic processes are similar. The unnecessary immensity of the same buildings can be explained by Rathje’s potlatch idea, etc. Bast’s interpretation of global myths and prophecies is as superficial as it can be. Just because ancient “cultures” talk about floods, mysterious beings, etc. does not mean they explain the same global event or phenomena. We simply live in a world where natural phenomena repeats and change. This is observed by humans and humans can come up with similar ideas and myths independent of each other. The reference to Einstein among 2012ers (either him or quantum physics) appears to be added to make their own ideas more credible. Einstein has very little to contribute to social science. Finally, the mysterious elders are the topic of this post so let us take a look on what Bast visualizes:
It seems reasonable to suggest, that to some degree, outsiders were involved in building pyramids throughout the world. I think it is unfortunate that most researchers take the alien angle, because although it is more interesting, so far it has been impossible to prove.
My angle is the “mysterious elders”. If they are of Earth, then they are either humans just like us (but with secret knowledge), or they are a different species of human. If they have always been on Earth, then there should be clues about their existence. If they still exist today, it should be possible to find them. I’m not aware of any efforts being made to locate them. [Would not these contemporary mysterious elders be people like Bill Gates, Ingvar Kamprad (IKEA), etc.? I am sure they are from this planet anyway]
Ancient advanced cultures have stopped dead in their tracks worldwide – not just the Mayans. My understanding is that the Mysterious Elders left them, and left to their own devices they were unable to be advanced any more. Couple that with fighting between the new factions, and you rapidly revert to how you were before the mysterious elders arrived on the scene. [The Maya “collapse” is therefore the result of these elders leaving them. I guess a couple of them stayed at Mayapan, Tulum and Utatlan even after the collapse because the Maya could never have maintained such skills]
Simply put, worldwide there were cultures that made mighty structures (pyramids), and then suddenly were unable to. And that’s just for starters. We had ancient cultures that performed dentistry, had electroplating, and so on. [Because people have the capability to do dental work throughout the world the knowledge must have been given to them by some mysterious people. Electroplating is often brought up as evidence of a mysterious knowledge that the ancients may have had a technology superior of ours].
One of the big puzzles regarding the ancient Egyptians is why their biggest and best pyramids came first, and those that followed were significantly inferior.[Their biggest pyramids were not the first ones built, the late pyramids also indicate changing functions, a stressed economy, etc.]
Not only had Angkor Wat completely disappeared, the locals have not shown any inclination or ability to make anything similar since. [Angkor Wat is one of many temples at Angkor and there are several massive constructions built after Angkor Wat (such as the walled city of Angkor Thom and the Bayon temple in the centre). The major construction activities of Angkor Thom are believed to have put severe stress on the Khmer state economy causing its downfall. After Angkor’s demise we have large Thai cities like Sukothai and Ayutthaya. Much of these cities have architecture derived from Khmer architecture]
In Samoa is a pyramid – the locals say “nothing to do with us!” [There are countless of stories around the world where people lack knowledge of past ruins in their backyard. I have no idea of who constructed some old ruins in the nearby forest where I live. It has nothing to do with me, but are they remains of some mysterious elders? I think not]
In order to fit the whole world historical chronology into his arborescent model (such as the 3,500 years that separate the Pyramid of Khufu and Angkor Wat, or why not modern skyscrapers as well) Bast needs to come up with an explanation why these elders moved from place to place:
That’s what I think – once the locals got sick of building pyramids for elders whose promises didn’t come true, they revolted.
The mysterious elders then moved on. There weren’t (aren’t?) many of them, so they were typically only at one place at a time, moving from place to place over thousands of years. I am slowly working on a timeline of their movements. I think there may have been two different factions, those that encouraged human sacrifice and built giant structures, and a more peaceful bunch who hung out in northern Europe.
One have to twist and bend archaeological, architectural and art historical data to explain how these mysterious elders changed architectural styles, construction techniques, art styles, writing systems, and more as they moved along. One has to explain why there always is a local development preceding the largest architecture. The Khufu pyramid did not just emerge out of nowhere. There is ample evidence that the Egyptians experimented with forms for several centuries before this pyramid (from Predynastic mastabas, to Djoser’s step pyramid, Huni’s pyramid and Sneferu’s Bent and Red pyramids).
The mysterious elders of the north would have been more peaceful and not performing human sacrifice according to Bast. No quite true. The Vikings and their predecessors sacrificed people now and then. By this logic it would also mean that those that built huge southern Buddhist monuments in SE Asia (Borobudur on Java, Bayon at Angkor, Bagan in Myanmar, etc) also performed human sacrifices? For Bast’s “theory” to work, there have to be plenty of mysterious elders and several factions of them that apparently had no knowledge of the others. I wish Bast good luck with outlining the movement.