At the young age of 18, Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein, the infamous story about a modern day Prometheus. The story of the demon man-child, created during an unorthodox scientific experiment, was published in France in 1823.
Everyone knows the Frankenstein story. It has been told many times and has been the subject of many films. In fact, the first motion picture adaptation of the story was made by Thomas Edison’s movie studios and directed by J. Searle Dawley in 1910.
I tend to interpret stories differently from most people. I look at horror and science fiction stories as mirrors of the human experience. I look at them as parables and comparative metaphors.
Since man has his spiritual side I often draw from that realm to show that our humanity is concerned with spiritual health. Frankenstein’s monster a paradigm of sorts when you consider that in the pure story, the monster is not the creature that was forged from the dead cells. The monster is its creator.
Today mankind is edging closer to the reality of creating life through science. The Frankenstein story is a metaphor for our times. In some ways it can also be a metaphoric blasphemy.
A creature is formed in a laboratory. The creator sees that his creation has flaws and lacks intelligence so he attempts to parent it. When the creature gets too big for the laboratory it escapes. The creator realizes that he has lost control of his creation and decides to hide from it. All the creature wants is acceptance from its creator. The creator then provides a mate for his creation. But the creator does not approach or come in contact with his new offspring. The creature tries everything he can to find his creator. He makes mistakes, he takes life, he destroys the laboratory and his mate. The whole time he just wanted to know if his creator loved him. He dies confused and helpless.
In a way, Man is like Frankenstein’s creation.
God creates man in a laboratory. This laboratory is called Eden. God sees that while man is capable of doing small tasks in the laboratory he lacks intelligence. Man is also lonely so God creates a mate. After Man is introduced to evil, God abandons him. He hides from Man. Man tries everything in his power to try and find out who made him. In the process he makes mistakes, in some cases he kills others, disrupts order and little by little destroys the laboratory that God placed him in. The whole time Man wants to know if what he is doing is right, and whether or not God loves him. He dies still confused and hopes that dying will get him closer to where is creator is.
This metaphor gets lost in the nuts, bolts and even in the dialogue of the movie Frankenstein directed by James Whale. The most important dialogue of all was lost in the Universal 1931 movie when the creation moves its trembling hand Henry Frankenstein played by Colin Clive cries out:
Quote:“Look! It’s moving. It’s alive. It’s alive….It’s alive, it’s moving, it’s alive, it’s alive, it’s alive, it’s alive, it’s alive! Oh – in the name of God. Now I know what it feels like to be God”
The last line was censored by the studio.
The line clearly defined the promethean hubris that Dr. Frankenstein possessed. He saw himself as a God because he created life from death.
Cassell’s Family Magazine was a sober British magazine that was printed years after Mary Shelley first introduced us to her frightening creation. In February of 1887, the magazine printed an article that was allegedly written by an alien named Aleriel. The article was entitled “Letters from the Planets.”
Aleriel told the readers that he had just visited the moon and that he could see traces of former life. He also said that there were ruins there of a former civilization and that they had erected these monuments to their leaders.
Then Aleriel then made the journey to Mars and there he saw a civilization surrounded by lush vegetation. The Martian cities were built on islands, which floated on the surface of the canals. Their achievements were far superior to ours. While Aleriel seemed to be some benign being attempting to stir the imagination, it wasn’t until 1928 that we were introduced to the possibility that there were legions aliens above and below us that were hostile and most definitely not tolerant of human beings.
In the pulp magazine Weird Tales we were introduced to the Cthulhu mythos and the tales of the Necronomicon, an old grimoire that was first used by Magicians John Dee and Edward Kelly and later Aleister Crowley.
Dee and Kelly first came in contact with the book of spells when they bought a copy from “Black Rabbi”, the Kabbalist and alchemist Jacob Eliezer, who had fled to Prague from Italy after accusations of practicing necromancy. At that time Prague had become a magnet for magicians and alchemists of every kind.
Prague is also the place known for the famous Golem that was created by Rabbi Judah Loew. A Golem of course is an animated anthropomorphic being, created entirely from inanimate matter. In fact the process of creating a Golem includes using mud and forming the man. The Golem is then brought to life through Hebrew incantations. When the Golem rises he is a man that is turned to stone and is used a servant to his creator.
Frankenstein translated from German actually means “man of stone” and is quite literally a metaphor for a Golem and also an even more escoteric metaphor for Adam, the first man of creation, in the Old Testament. Adam, according to the Talmud, was initially created as a golem when his dust was “kneaded into a shapeless husk.”
According to the Necronomicon Adam was created from the dust of Mars by the Martian God Marduk. There is a partial account of the Babylonian creation story called the Enuma Elish. Marduk was considered a sixth-generation god and made man to do his bidding so the other gods can rest. This is similar to the story of God (Elohim) creating man on the sixth day so that on the seventh day he can rest.
Quote:“Blood I will mass and cause bones to be. I will establish a savage; `man’ shall be his name. Truly, savage-man I will create. He shall be charged with the service of the gods that they might be at ease.” — Marduk from the Mesopotamian Enuma Elish
The Hebrew name for man is pronounced ah-dahm. The name Adam came from that and is also related to the Hebrew o ah-dahm-ah, which means man of red clay or red earth.
According to the Old Testament, a group of gods, the Elohim, planted a garden in Eden and a man made from red clay was created to tend the garden that was seeded by these Gods. Some authors have written that the entire creation was the aftermath of an exodus from Mars or some other planet and that the way the Earth was seeded with life is through a bombardment of comets and meteors that carried the building blocks for life.
If we read the antediluvian apocrypha like the books of Jasher and Enoch we learn that man was always having communication with elder Gods that lived on spheres and fiery stones outside the planet Earth. Mars has often been cited as an off-world paradise.
In the book of Ezekiel it was written that many times that the prophet was visited by off-world beings and that they traveled in what is called a wheel within a wheel.
The extraterrestrial beings carried Ezekiel above the fiery stones and as he looked down he saw below him what appeared to be a planet. This planet was known as a fortress and below him what he saw appeared to be a temple. The temple had what appeared to be a monument or face that he determined to be a god.
Quote:“So that the face of a man was toward the palm tree on one side, and the face of a young lion toward the palm tree on the other side: it was made through all the house round about.” — Ezekiel 41:19
It is quite synchronistic to point out that for the longest time there were astronomers who would look upon mars with great interest in the Cydonia region. There it was proposed that a great city similar to what we see in Egypt was there and that near what appears to be Martian pyramids is a “face.” The face of course resembles a man with the mane of a lion.
Needless to say that in many ancient writings Mars has been called the Fortress and that Elder Gods of war and creation once lived there.
In the 20th and 21st century we have sent probes and all sorts of other spacecraft to the red Planet and each time we have gone there with the hopes that we could find any traces of life. We are hoping that life is there, however science would settle for fossilized or microbial life. In 1976 Gilbert Levin said that Viking had sent back proof of life, but after peer review his findings were rejected. There was also a scientific report stating that there was Methane being detected in the Martian atmosphere indicating that the planet may have life that is dying and releasing methane into the atmosphere.
Now scientific maverick J. Craig Venter says he is confident there is life on Mars and announced plans to send a “biological teleporter” to there to find Martian DNA and beam it back to Earth.
Venter, who is best known for helping to sequence the human genome, said at a Wired Health conference held in New York City that life will most definitely will be found there and that we should plan on sending a machine there to seek out that life so that science can sequence its DNA.
If we find decaying or fossilized life there is also the possibility for cloning and other experiments where we can resurrect Martian life in a lab environment.
Venter isn’t the only one to consider such an audacious plan. According to a MIT Technology Review report, the idea is also being considered by Jonathan Rothberg, founder of the genome sequencing company Ion Torrent. Ion Torrent is working with Harvard and MIT to modify the company’s personal genome machine for use on Mars as part of a NASA-funded project called SET-G, or “the search for extraterrestrial genomes.” The alien genome could be brought back to Earth, where it could be reassembled in a super-secure space lab.
Back in 2004 NASA was awaiting the arrival of a Saucer shaped probe called Genesis. Genesis was a space sample mission. Project Genesis was the first U.S. sample return mission since the 1972 Apollo mission. This was the retrieval mission that would set the course for other such missions already scheduled for years to come.
A fireball sighting was reported near Bend, Oregon. It was a dot of light far brighter than Venus, moving across the morning sky. Oregon was having a rare clear day and observers were getting an eyeful. Moving at 25,000 mph, it got brighter as it moved across eastern Oregon into Southwestern Idaho. People in Elko, Nevada, were able to see it as it roared across the sky to its destination in Western Utah. It was at that point that a set of parachutes was to open, slowing its descent, and helicopter pilots were to snag the capsule in midair.
Unfortunately, it did not happen the way it was planned. The capsule’s parachutes did not open. The $250 million dollar project and its precious cargo whizzed past the helicopter pilots at about 150 miles per hour.
The capsule’s wobbling arc ended in a crash into the soft salt flats 40 miles west of Salt Lake City. The salt flats were probably not soft enough for the 55 hexagonal fragile wafers that were used to gather up particles from the sun. Scientists had been worried that if the capsule crashed, the samples would be contaminated.
There were others who were concerned that perhaps the crash would somehow trigger an Andromeda strain scenario where space viruses would be released contaminating the area and possibly infecting millions. Luckily the Genesis probe crashed in an area near Dugway proving ground a facility capable of containing and disposing of any viral compound from space.
The Dugway Proving Grounds was also the facility mentioned in the science fiction film “Species.” In the film scientists receive information about alien DNA along with instructions on how to splice it with human DNA. The result is a female hybrid that escapes and seeks out a mate in order to breed. The story is like an exobiological Frankenstein story in which the sequencing of alien DNA leads to an out of control species of alien that can’t be destroyed.
The same idea was also presented in the ALIEN films where Ripley and the Marines discover the Weyland Industries’ plan to return to earth with an alien for their Bio-Weapons Division by impregnating Ripley and Newt and killing the rest of the Marines.
All of the aliens represented in both films were based on descriptions of the Old Ones provided by H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos and the Necronomicon.
The question is, in our reality are we already trying to create a possible exobiological monster in lab? What purpose will it serve? Are the implications being fully considered?
It seems that science no longer wants to play God, they want to prove that there is no need for one.