When looking at the news, the best analysis quite often comes with a fair bit of 'dot connecting'. Ideally, we seek to understand our world and the major events unfolding as deeply as possible, but we're too often served a dish of two-dimensional news that furthers our knowledge just so much and not much more. So when a writer in the alternative news world manages to draw upon history, philosophy, science, and any number of other areas and disciplines - broadening our perspective in the process - we notice.

This week on MindMatters we are joined by just such a voice: author and lecturer Matthew Ehret. Matthew is like the college prof you wish you had, enlivening his knowledge base with an infectious enthusiasm and command of the relevant facts. A veritable plethora of subject matter is on the table: Darwin and Malthus, Planck and Einstein, Kepler's genius, the retrograde motion of Mars, the nature of conspiracies, and why you need to watch Resurrection: Ertugrul. Join us this week as the owner and contributor of the Canadian Patriot and the Rising Tide Foundation reminds us that academic-level research need not be a dry and listless affair, but can expand our world views in ways not previously anticipated.

Running Time: 01:47:49

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Here is the transcript:

Elan: Hello and welcome to another Mind Matters show. Today joining us we have Matthew Ehret, journalist and owner of two websites. One is and the other is the We're very happy to see you with us today Matthew. We have a lot that we want to talk to you about.

Matthew: Yeah, it's great to be on. Like I said, I really enjoy your show. It's one of the few oases on the internet in the alt media world where you can get some real substantial ideas and discussions so I really appreciate that.

Elan: Well we appreciate you. Funny story, the Mind Matters guys were talking about your work one evening and how we'd love to sit and chat and discuss a few things with you and lo and behold several hours later we saw your comment to our Ertuğrul show on YouTube and that seemed to clinch it. That was the universe saying "It's time to talk to Matthew." So again, we're super happy to have you with us today to talk about Ertuğrul and a whole lot of dots that you connect in history that most people are largely unaware of. I know I've been unaware of many things that I've read in your articles that we've been seeing on and on your own website.

I thought I'd start today with one piece that just, to me, explains so much of what we're seeing today, especially in the area of science and politics. The title of your article was How Thomas Huxley's X-Club Created Nature Magazine and Sabotaged Science for 150 Years. If anyone's ever looked at or read science journals you'll know that Nature Magazine is one of maybe two or three or five that are these kind of establishment bastion cornerstones of accepted science and review. They're rather insulated and very protective of the ideas that they put forth and go on the attack towards ideas that are unorthodox or one would say are outside of the box.

So in the context of Covid-19 you take a look back at what you called or what was established as Thomas Huxley's X-Club and the establishment of Nature Magazine. This was philosophically a very pro-Darwin establishment magazine that, as you explain in your article, was put out there as a kind of alternative to the hard power that was quite often the way that the British empire expressed itself in the world, aggressively and overtly. And in response to Abraham Lincoln and some of his colleagues' view of the world where there was cooperation and where universal war would not be the rule but rather universal cooperation would be the rule, you had this group of elitists decide that they had to go about things in a different way. I wonder if you can discuss that and kind of underscore some of the main points of that piece because it speaks so much to how Darwinism has become this firmly entrenched, almost monolithic idea in the minds of the west and scientists, despite many ideas to the contrary.

But let me stop there and let you take off in that direction because it's just a wonderful piece.

Matthew: Well thank you. Yeah, that's an interesting entry point. Thank you for posing the question the way you did. Indeed, a lot of people wonder sometimes how it is that certain scientific theories perpetuate themselves over many generations. The thinking is often 'well there must be something really true about it otherwise it would have been replaced by a different theory' and that's very naïve. There are very strong political agendas that often reinforce and keep certain lines of thinking or certain narratives that put our minds in a certain box by which we have to look out of that box from a filter that's very skewed to try to explain natural phenomena whether in physics or in life sciences.

That was one of many theories in the 19th century. People often forget that there were other theories that were accounting for the evolution. It was becoming more and more obvious that life was not this fixed thing that just came into being 6,000 years ago from nothing according to a literal biblical interpretation. There were other scientists grappling with the appearance of fossils and the obvious increase of biodiversity over time and they were coming with 'well what is the mechanism that would answer what makes this happen?' You have people like Silliman who ran the American Scientific Journals or James Dwight Dana. Karl Ernst Von Bayer was a German scientist who was part of the Alexander von Humboldt network who were all approaching this in very interesting ways where they were all saying, 'Okay, there's obviously a directionality to evolution. What is the thing that decides what species disappear and which ones come into being with new attributes, new powers of organizing themselves and perpetuating their existence? Is it just random? Is it chaotic or is there a directionality? Is there a flow? Is there a higher design?' Obviously they were of the design school that there is an orientation towards this, that it wasn't all pre-deterministic but there was a directionality.

Now the British Imperial School of Science didn't like that idea, that there was a design in the world, that there is a harmony of the parts, that the whole biosphere is organizing itself and harmonizing itself with the whole unifying principle in mind. They prefer to keep things in a sort of paradigm of conflict that no, if we allow for an explanation it has to involve the idea that nature is at war with itself and that the things that come about that replace other species that are weaker only replace them because they were more fit to survive. They had an ability to develop an attribute that allowed them to kill off the weaker, to have more sex, eat more of the food in a diminishing environment, of diminishing resources, which Darwin himself admits in his autobiography that this theory is something that arose entirely by his reading of Thomas Malthus's essay on the principle of population.

He describes it in his own words that it was only by reading that all of nature - and Thomas Malthus is talking about human beings right, and he's working for the British East India Company, he's Haileybury school so he's not exactly the most objective economist - but he's talking about human beings and how his theory of population growth is that populations grow geometrically, human population, and nature's abundance and agriculture grow arithmetically and thus you have these charts with the Malthusian forecast that as population grows in this geometric ways and the food resources grow arithmetically, at a certain point there's a forecastable collapse phase of tension that will cause the system to break down unless an enlightened elite can come in and manage the resources, manage the population.

That's what they did with the repeal of the corn laws in Ireland as a conscious effort to undermine the population of the 'dirty Irish'. The British oligarchs always hated the Irish and that's a whole story that probably goes back to the days of St. Patrick and that's just another interesting story.

But anyway, Malthus had this really anti-human idea and Darwin loved it. When he read this thing - I think he was on the Beagle when he read the essay - he was like, "Wow! That's it! That explains why there's all of these different phenomena in nature!" So his ideas didn't really get off the ground. People were kind of disgusted, even amongst the British aristocracy which was still very Anglican. They had a lot of religious attributes to the British elite itself, which made them somewhat weak. It was recognized that these attributes of having Christianity embedded in your organizing structure, even though they didn't really follow Christian principles, it was recognized that politically and pragmatically this was not expedient because these principles in the bible, if you actually read the bible you start realizing that your way of doing things as a globally extended empire, whether it's the destruction of Irish or the undermining of the Chinese through opium wars or the killing and controlled mass famines in India, were all necessities of empire that were antagonistic obviously, to the bible and principles of the new testament.

So that was something that certain intellectual figures within the British intelligentsia realized had to be expunged and replaced with a more compatible religion that didn't have any pesky problems like the divine or a moral natural law. So Darwin's theory fit the bill really nicely. But again, as I said, even amongst the British aristocracy there was a lot of push-back. There was something wrong. And also the Darwinian mechanism of random mutations on the small, that ultimately everything was governed by these little mutations within the species, were just randomly just changing and every once in a while it was like rolling dice and sometimes you'd get two sixes and you'd get lucky and all of a sudden you'd get a bigger cloth.

Harrison: Yeah, or you'd get six billion sixes.

Matthew: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. {laughter} So they didn't like these things, rightfully so. They were very offensive to natural reason. But Thomas Huxley who was a cynical, misanthropic guy who wasn't part of the upper class, wasn't part of a rich bloodline or anything, but he had creativity. He had to work as a surgeon's assistant dealing with syphilis patients for years in the London ghettos and he developed a really, really unhealthy hate for humanity. He became a little unkiltered. But he was very creative and he was a very funny guy, very witty. Certain people saw his talent and said, "Okay, we can use this guy. He's got things we don't have." They were getting a little bit lazy and encrusted in their comfort zone for a few too many generations.

They had lost some of the creative edge that they needed in the face of the growth of republics and the growth of the love of democracy that had just recently spread out in the wake of the American Revolution around the world. People were getting ideas of independence that they didn't have before and they were willing to fight for higher ideals that didn't bother the empire before 1777.

So that required a higher order of thinking and so as Huxley became increasingly rewarded with higher positions of influence he was made a leader within the British Royal Academy of Sciences and he set up a battle plan. Using the control of collaborative media they created a lot of public debates with religious fanatics of the Anglican church who were trying to defend the literal interpretation of the bible and Huxley knew that these guys had really lame arguments but set up these public debates between himself usually, defending the Darwinian view - Darwin himself had no social skills. He would not be trusted to go out in public and argue his own case. {laughter}

So Huxley was the guy who was usually called his bulldog. It would be covered by the media in a very strict way. They knew the outcome. Huxley was going to make fun of them, destroy their arguments and ultimately people were led to believe they had to be a creationist or a scientific Darwinist. There was nothing else. And they just pumped this for a few years and it increasingly worked but they still only had popular media on their side. They didn't have much else.

So at a certain point Huxley created a group called the X Club. That's actually their name and they started a dining club that met once a month or so with different misanthropic scientists from various fields, you had Tyndall representing physics. Matthew Arnold was a frequent guest. Herbert Spencer was a frequent guest, the guy who later came up with social Darwinism, which was always there anyway. It was called Malthusianism before that and they just changed the name and called it social Darwinism and then eugenics under Francis Galton later on, Darwin's cousin.

There were about 12 or so of these characters who were mainstays and their idea was, "Okay, it's not enough just to have the media convincing certain people. We need to enshrine this theory as a real scientific doctrine that's indisputable." So they created Nature Magazine coming out of that as sort of the tool that, to this very day, is sort of the peer review standard of truth, that if you get published in nature that is as good as gold as far as the new gospel is concerned. It's irrefutable at that point. You're untouchable if you get there. Or so they want to project. That's the idea, is control of people's perception.

So I think that in short - we could talk more and unpack this - but that was the origin of Nature Magazine.

Harrison: Well I've got a follow up on a couple of things that you said in there. The first was this Malthusianism and Darwinism into social Darwinism, correct me if I'm wrong. You basically said this was a necessity of keeping around the empire, keeping around imperialism because of the conflict with the actual Christian values that were supposed to have upheld the empire? Is that kind of what you're saying?

Matthew: Yeah. Britain wasn't always an empire, okay?

Harrison: Yeah.

Matthew: If you go back to Henry VII in the end of the 15th century, he was really an anti-imperialist. He took over from Richard III. Richard III was a real cretin. But at this time this was a Britain that was not the world's financial center of the world. The City of London was a negligible part of world politics. Indeed he was an admirer of King Louis XI, the founder of the first modern nation state and Louis XI and Henry VII who followed after him in that tradition were firm believers that to be a Christian king you had to be the instrument of god's will on earth, that you were a servant to your people.

So the legal reforms, the political, economic reforms that were conducted under their reign and also the crackdown on corruption in both of the countries was astounding. Both the leaders worked really hard for peace treaties to get out of these controlled wars that were being funded by a certain international clique of financiers. They both turned their treasuries from war chests into engines for what's called cameralism or later what was called dirigisme which was the investments into canals, schools, the teaching of orphans to read, internal improvements.

So money had to be increasingly understood as a servant of the interests of the people instead of the interests of an imperial class. So that tradition unfortunately was undermined. And I'm going to bring it back. I'm not trying to deflect from your question. Just some content.

Harrison: Yeah, I'm seeing it.

Matthew: Henry VII's kid unfortunately wasn't such a good student of Thomas Moore. Thomas Moore was a really great human being as was his friend Erasmus and many of these humanists operating within that environment, a leading physician, you could read their writings and their letters and they're really very politically astute unto the nature of the cultural warfare of empire, how to oppose it. And Henry VIII was unfortunately targeted for an operation of deconstruction. He was psychologically worked on and worked on, his passions inflamed. He was given access to basically people like Francesco Zorzi, the advisor to Henry VIII who became sort of his marriage counsellor, was a Venetian monk and a very slimy operative.

He was the leading Rosicrucian mystic actually at the time who was really, really satanic and this guy was the guy who organized Henry VIII to marry Ann Bolen and get rid of Catherine of Aragon and all of these things involved him turning into a bit of a sex-crazed maniac. He lost his bearings. He lost his moral principles. He killed Thomas Moore when Thomas Moore resisted his desire to get a divorce and remarry, which had deep political ramifications. He cut off Thomas Moore's head and others too, others had their lives sacrificed because they were trying to revive the Henry VII traditions.

There was a fight for the next 150 years, whether Britain was going to be a bastion of humanistic principles or whether it was going to be taken over by the Venetian oligarchy which at that time had worked very hard to crush the humanist movement in the Netherlands which had developed a very strong humanist fight against the Spanish Habsburg empire. Friedrich Schiller's Don Carlos gets at that in that story, so the fight of republicanism against empire. The Netherlands was a bastion.

That's also why I think you have so many great scientists and artists emerging out of there in the 1600s. But that was first worked on and crushed when the Venetian groups, these families that were sort of just carryovers from the Roman Empire's ruling empire, the ruling oligarchy, after the Roman empire collapsed those families just sort of morphed and moved, doing the same thing but under a new costume, in Venice and also parts of Byzantine.

So at that time they had to crush - they were smothering out these growing fires of independence movements that were growing in steam. When they set up the Bank of Amsterdam as the world's sort of first private central bank in 1609, that was part of their corruption, their takeover of smothering out the fires in the Netherlands which continued on. People like Rembrandt were really trying to fight against this corruption in his time, 80 years later. So was Christiaan Huygens's father who was a governor of the Netherlands and a sponsor of Rembrandt and a painter unto himself. But anyway that's a whole other thing.

So when the time came, around the 1700 period when Jonathan Swift became a leading advisor to the government of Robert Harley who was the prime minister under Queen Anne. There was a major fight for about a decade over whether they were going to permit the glorious revolution, the sort of Dutch/Venetian takeover of Britain that happened in 1688. After taking control of the Netherlands they then moved to take control of Britain in that sort of way.

There was a fight against that to try to keep Britain in an anti-imperial sort of mode. They did that by creating an anti-Bank of England because the Bank of England was set up in 1694 modeled on the Bank of Amsterdam in 1609 so it was the same private central banking model of using debt slavery usury to try to get your enemies into a cage and just increasingly create speculation. That had already taken over Amsterdam. It was known as the speculative capital of the world and soon that became London under the South Sea bubble.

So Robert Harley, Jonathan Swift, Daniel Defoe, who wrote Robinson Crusoe, were a part of this network. They were all co-architects of the National Land Bank which was created two years after the Bank of England. When you read the legislation that these guys wrote it was all done to encourage the investment into manufacturers into canals, internal improvements, once again, instead of wars with the Netherlands or wars with France. Actually it was more wars with France. It was Britain and the Netherlands against France most of the time. Or Spain.

So that land bank would have worked. The problem was it was undermined and turned into a speculative instrument that became part of the South Sea bubble later on that exploded in 1720. Isaac Newton was a part of that. He lost his entire fortune speculating while he was also the secretary of the mint of the Bank of England.

So you start seeing that the people that we didn't think played a very big role in universal history, like Jonathan Swift-Gulliver's Travels, Daniel Defoe. On the other side of the coin Isaac Newton or his enemy Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. These were scientists. People think of these guys as the inventor of calculus. They don't realize that no,...

Elan: They were political.

Matthew: ...very, very political. Very controlled instruments. He was a sociopathic narcissist who controlled the mint of the Bank of England and put thousands of people to death for counterfeiting coins after England stole massive amounts of money from people during the Coinage Act where they took all your coins. Anyway, that's a whole other story. {laughter} I realize that. I don't want to open up too many cans of worms. {laughter}

So anyway, these people were very political. Just like Darwin. There was a political agenda behind Darwin. It wasn't just objective science emerging and taking over. There were always political objectives on both sides. When Britain became more consolidated as an empire and that identity after the Jonathan Swift, Robert Harley factions lost out and Queen Anne died - actually as a side note, Queen Anne's death in 1714, I wrote an article on this on the art of political lying a few weeks ago. I think you guys even published it on SOTT.

All of the evidence points to the fact that Queen Anne was likely poisoned to death and her lead physician at the time was Daniel Malthus, the grandfather of Thomas Malthus who would have been the guy who orchestrated her poisoning. So that's a thing. So her death really resulted in the destruction of the anti-imperial movement in Britain and at that point it was always sort of downhill. And the problem was the Christian traditions were always antagonistic to the practical behaviour of the empire to destroy manufacturers, to keep the world subjugated and impoverished and ignorant in order to keep your system alive. The very existence of intelligent, self-governing, sovereign individuals in the world that you were trying to dominate wouldn't allow for the types of absurd immoral customs and laws of empire to maintain themselves.

People would naturally question, "Why are we destroying our food crops for speculative purposes? Shouldn't we maybe not do that instead?" They would fight to stop it if they were thinking and they weren't induced to reduce their identities to a status of live in the moment bestialism, which is why the empire always promoted certain types of cultural movements in the arts, in the music, in literature, in fiction and whatever else, everything that tunes and awakens our passions. They wanted a very specific type of cultural matrix to dominate their victims which cut out the actualization of what it means to be human.

So by the time the 19th century was rolling around the empire was making a lot of mistakes. There was a lot of internal resistance. Many people within the British House of Lords had passed motions in the House of Lords to get rid of slavery, to disband as an empire, to let the colonies go free. There were real, actual legitimate fights going on in the inner sanctum and that was unacceptable. They needed the empire to be coherent with itself.

And so I would say the thing with Nature Magazine - just to go back to that quickly - is that it involved not just the Darwinian theory being engrained but they needed to take every domain of harmonics, physics, astrophysics and these different people who were participants of the X-Club each represented leading aspects of each of the different schools of thought and they needed to integrate it into a new unifying, holistic system where none of the parts would be incompatible with the other parts, including the political economy side of things which is where ultimately things like radical empiricism in the sciences became promoted, the idea that all scientific fact has to be reduced to sensory data.

Now science never evolved that way. If you actually look at the history of science, people would have to obviously use their senses but the discovery was never located in the deductive or inductive mode of reasoning located with the senses jumping back to abstract thinking or anything. It was always when you leapt outside of that with eurekas into real discovery concepts and then transmitted that back metaphorically through your writings, through your speech, to other minds that would then awaken the idea which was more than the logical sum of the parts of the details of the descriptive component.

So the descriptive empirical sciences sort of emerged out of that.

Elan: Matthew, let me interrupt you real quickly because you did have a piece some time ago about Einstein and a few others, maybe it was Bohm, a physicist, and you made the point that some of these heavy hitters were also musicians, if I'm remembering correctly, it's a while back. It speaks to this point you just made about them using other parts of their minds in order to come to their ideas and mapping of reality. I regret that I didn't reread the article but it was fascinating because you established well how that works, how when you try and reduce everything to a certain way of thinking you're leaving out whole portions of the ability to come to some understanding through science.

Could you expand a little bit on that? Do you remember that piece?

Matthew: Yeah sure. I think it was Einstein right? Because I used the two case studies in that particular article. I think it was called The Plasma Universe and a Return to Max Planck's Musical Space-Time.

Elan: Yeah.

Matthew: Yeah, I used the case studies of Max Planck and Albert Einstein. They were both musicians. They both would actually play music together. Max Planck could have been a concert pianist and really he describes how the thing that kept him in physics was when one of his teachers at university told him, "Become a pianist. You're really good and honestly, in physics, there's nothing left to really discover. It's just sort of ironing out the details." And Max Planck said "No! There's no way that everything has been discovered! There's no way!"

That's what got under his skin and he was like, "I'm going to prove him wrong and I'm going to make a discovery." He was looking at black body radiation and there were certain paradoxes that were arising in the black body. When you'd heat a black body of metal usually, as the heat increased, light started increasing and as the heat increased there were different colours being emitted by the black body, as you see on your heating element. And the hotter it got it went from orange to yellow to white and then into the blues.

And then at a certain point it just disappeared. It stopped increasing. Rather than increasing the colours you had a sort of drop off. He was like, why does it drop off? Does it just stop there? So you have this increase and then all of a sudden it increases in the light spectrum and you wonder why is that? Why isn't it just increasing forever?

So he put himself to work figuring out the whole idea of the quantum of action, that there's little packets of what he called harmonic oscillators. He didn't attribute them the way people often describe photons today. He didn't think of it as a particle of light, which is why people often say, "Oh yeah, Isaac Newton, he was right! Light really does travel in little individual particles." He didn't think of it that way. He called them harmonic oscillators. There was a certain idea of energy flux density in there so you had both a wave aspect of light in all directions 360 degrees. Ss you move away from a source of light, you had a reduction of the intensity of that in a wave flow. Yes that was true, but you also had these individual packets as well. Again, the idea of harmonic oscillators I think is an interesting idea of frequencies.

So he created a new field of science that came out of that and Einstein worked very closely with him to understand what is really going on. And they would play music together. Einstein was a violinist and together, they would both describe in their own words that whenever they couldn't answer the problem mathematically that they were putting their minds to over many days and weeks and months, they would often go to their instruments and play Mozart. Einstein couldn't handle Beethoven so much but they would play Mozart together and by then, after a few hours of doing this and just going back to the equations, unsolved problems would be solvable. Their minds would be in a different space time right? So they'd be able to look at it from a new vision and answer the problems.

And they're not alone. There are a lot of scientists who have similar descriptions and it was more understood in the 19th century. The physics department at Vienna University had instruments for all the physicists. That was something that was sort of understood. If you want to be creative and productive in your scientific thinking you had to develop - not had to, it was a desire. The words 'had' and 'must' wouldn't work if it was a Kantian "I have to do this and thus."

Elan: It was encouraged.

Matthew: Encouraged, yeah.

Harrison: It seems like that's a view of the mind and the world that is totally lacking nowadays - maybe not completely - but it's lacking in the materialist, Darwinist, mainstream mindset. But it makes perfect sense when you step outside of that, that when you're engaging in a musical activity for instance, you're tuning into something. You're wanting to - as David Lynch would put it - catch the fish. There's this fish out there in the ether, in the whatever it is and when you're creative, when you're looking for something, it's an idea that comes to you. I've played guitar for years. I went to school for it and that's the way I look at it too. A lot of musicians look at it like that. If you ask them, "Who wrote this song?" sometimes they'll say, "Well I didn't even write this song."

One of the Beatles - was it John Lennon, was it Yesterday?

Elan: Yes.

Harrison: Because we watched that movie Yesterday which was pretty fun.

Matthew: You watched it yesterday or you watched Yesterday?

Harrison: No, we watched the movie Yesterday some time ago. {laughter} Have you seen that one? It's a fun kind of RomCom where the Beatles don't exist and he remembers all their songs. But anyway, I'm pretty sure Yesterday was the song where he woke up with the song in his head and just wrote it down. He didn't consciously put it together and compose it. It came to him. It doesn't always work like that. Not all writers or artists have that moment of complete inspiration where it comes completed and whole but there's something to that process where you're kind of opening up your mind to receive something, wherever it's from. There's all kinds of theories about what's going on in the subconscious and what the nature of the mind is. You can argue about that. But there's an aspect of inspiration and intuition to this process of, like you said, putting ideas together when you get the gestalt, when you have that eureka! flash.

So just with that kind of understanding which you should get from life experience, just living, that you've got a bunch of scientists, a bunch of physicists trying to figure stuff out. Well, get them in the state of mind maybe, where you're receptive, where you're being creative, where things are being put together and being recombined and composed, as you say, in a different space/time, on some other level.

Matthew: Yeah, yeah.

Harrison: And then that will translate into that other domain.

Matthew: Yeah, absolutely! And play is key. Friedrich Schiller - I mentioned Don Carlos, the History Play. That was written by Friedrich Schiller who's known in Germany as the poet of freedom. In all of his plays and all of his aesthetical letters, he's always getting at how do you resolve the seeming contradiction between us being a spontaneous society - we have our emotional state and we have this logical side of ourselves and if a society is organized with a disequilibrium where it's too much - he uses certain politically incorrect language - but if you have a society of what he calls the barbarians running the show which he characterized by the French revolution. He defined the French revolution as a society where you had a barbarian culture in the elites so that he defined as being a society which is too ivory tower, too in their own heads in the abstract world where people say, "Oh yeah, I love humanity but I hate people" because they love the idea of humanity but they haven't cultivated their own internal emotions. They can't actually talk to people or care about them.

So you have that stratification in the elite which had access to education, to culture and other things and then you had what he called the savage culture in the masses where people were never given access to education or the development of their intellectual identities and so they were a society where the masses just lived in the pursuit of survival moment-to-moment. So you this certain disequilibrium in that society that resulted in a complete and devastating blood bath in the case of the French Revolution which started off hopefully - for the first couple of months there was hope that it could be a successful republican revolution in France - but very quickly all of the leading scientists who actually had a development of both their minds and their hearts together and harmonized like Lavoisier, people who had been working with Benjamin Franklin, they all found themselves on the chopping block and the banner of the French Revolution quickly became Le Révolution des sciences and they just killed all of their leading scientists and statesmen and astrophysicists who were also part of the republican movement to get rid of monarchical systems of control.

So in Schiller's writings he gets at the importance of play, that the way to get out of this problem is to awaken the play instinct and he makes the point that a man cannot truly be a man if he does not play and you can't play unless you're a man. That's the thing that the Kantians are incapable of getting at because Kant says, "Yeah, you should do good. You should do your duty but ultimately you can't ever really want to do your duty. It's just something you should do as a categorical imperative."

When Schiller read that and Schiller's allies like Alexander von Humboldt and Wilhelm von Humboldt, the educational reformers of Germany who were also a part of this group, they were all horrified. They were like no, the Kantian system destroys our ability to understand the natural role of play, of irony. This is where the thing that inspires people into moving their minds and their own free will and making eurekas, you're destroying that by getting people to just do good because you should do good, you must. And Schiller makes the point, no man must 'must'.

I think music and arts, painting, things like that get you into that state of mind where you're just having fun and it frees you from the shackles of the logical part of yourself. So then you could play with the cracks in logic. If I'm trying to make a discovery of something, obviously that discovery in science exists outside of the domain of the logical language that I'm utilizing because that logical language is the composite of everything that's only been discovered up until my moment now. But I'm trying to discover something outside of there. So how do I make that leap?

So I've got to take my language, my logical language that's very descriptive and then look for 'where does it break down when I map it onto reality?' Where are the cracks? And those cracks become the paradoxes, the irony that becomes more interesting. All of the generic data is less important than where those ironies are. If you want a concrete example of that I think a great one is Kepler. When Johannes Kepler, the guy who discovered certain laws of planetary motion like the elliptical nature of the orbits or the area equal time law or the third law which was harmonic law that, that there's a constant in all of the planets' motion, that the cube of the mean distance from each planet to the sun has a certain relationship to the square of the periodicity of each orbit. So there's a certain cube to square relationship of each planet within the solar system as a whole.

He discovered that over the course of 20 years but the thing that allowed him to get his entry point into that was looking at the paradox of the retrograde motion of mars. So every single descriptive standard model of planetary motion available to him that you had to adopt if you were going to be a respected scientist in his day, every one of those models adopted certain common assumptions which chose to just explain away the retrograde motion of mars. Do you know what the retrograde motion of mars was or is?

Elan: No. Tell us, please.

Matthew: It's when you go back and look at the night sky and obviously mars jumps out because it's the only red star and if you take a snapshot at the same time every night, mars is at a different position right? And every 687 days the interesting thing is that the motion of mars all of a sudden stops. Let's say it's 8:00 o'clock at night. It all of a sudden stops. The next night all of a sudden it's at the same place. The next night it's all of a sudden going backwards again. The next night it's going backwards again. And for two weeks it goes backwards before stopping again and then continuing back on its track for the next 687 days. Six hundred eighty-seven days later, almost two years later, you can go back and now the retrograde happens in a slightly different direction, maybe two degrees further to the left or right, whichever direction you're looking at, southern or northern hemisphere, right?

But it all of a sudden happens at a different spot in the night sky. All of the scientists were saying, "Okay, the way we're going to account for this phenomenon is just by putting epi-cycles onto our model." So you've got your sun in the middle, you've got the planetary orbit. Everyone said it had to be circles, couldn't be anything but circles because god made the universe and god is perfect and the circle is the most perfect of all shapes so everything must be circles, which by habit, I did like an oval.

So what they basically said is if this is mars' orbit, then what we're going to do is we're going to put a little secondary cycle around an invisible point that is going around - imagine this whole thing's a circle, okay - it's going around the sun and that mars is going to be on this little secondary small orbit going around at a constant motion. This is going around at a constant motion and by doing this, there'd be this sort of pathway charted out by mars' motion over time around the sun and there were different variations on that, whether it was Tycho Brahe's version or whether it was Tollman's version or Copernicus' version, they all had a different configuration where they all obeyed equal constant motion, cycles upon cycles that are called epicycles with these little equants that are these invisible points around which everything moves in equal distance, equal speed.

And Kepler was like, well that's a lot of add-ons that god had to create in our solar system if every planet is doing this in different proportions. That's a lot of absurd, unnecessary stuff that's been created just to account for this thing we're visually seeing. Is there not a simpler, more elegant answer to this? This is where he opened by proving that there is an ontological paradox, The logic of this system of description totally broke down at a certain point and that break, that paradox that people couldn't run away from allowed him then to introduce a higher hypothesis which took the form of 'Well maybe it's not circles. Maybe it's ellipses' which are slivers of a conic section. Then that allows us now to move our minds in a totally different domain. He's very playful. The guy's poetic.

If you read Kepler's writings he's a poet. It's a beautiful book. It's been 400 years it actually took them to actually translate this into English but you can order the Harmonies of the Worlds online. It's really something but it's entirely based on a musical hypothesis. So he's like, 'Is it possible that there's a musical coherence in all of the planetary motions and the distance? Why are all the planets moving around the sun at these different intervals where they are? Is it just random or is there a higher musical coherence and reason?' By the way, he discovers the third law by proving that that's so and that's why he called it this and not the disharmony.

And he does it politically. He's actually dedicating this to James I on the dedication page, who he's trying to persuade as a new king of England - and he's in Germany - but as I said, there's this fight to keep England from becoming an empire and James I is being induced to take on an imperial sort of modus operandi declaring unnecessary wars all over the place. Kepler's writing this right before the 30 years war really kicks off. Actually the 30 years war has at this point begun. This is 1620 and his father dies. His father was a mercenary in the 30 years war. It killed half of Germany. Half of Germany died in the 30 years war. The whole Black Forest was wiped out. It was brutal, like Aleppo today, you know?

In light of that, his way of intervening on that is to go into astrophysics and try to prove that the universe is harmonic and then to persuade the different kings and different puppet leaders that they're doing things all wrong. 'It's not just the bible that says we're made in god's image but it's provable that god made us in his image because I discovered a part of god's mind by looking into my own mind and there's this coherence scientifically.' He's like, 'Okay, there's obviously political ramifications to this being true.'

I think that if you look at a lot of the great scientists like Benjamin Franklin, he was talking about Kepler or Ben Franklin's teacher Cotton Mather or John Winthrop. They were all scientists in the pre-revolutionary period in Europe and they were all studying and translating Kepler. Can you guys hear me?

Adam: Sorry. I was going to jump in and say something because you've said so much and a lot of it is just really interesting. You are super knowledgeable and you can tie in everything together in this beautiful harmony which is something that strikes me about a lot of these different theories of whatever it is. We'll take natural selection and random mutation as but one example where you start off with a kind of absurd premise and then in order to justify it you have to come up with an even more absurd premise and then in order to justify that you just have to keep going with even more and more absurd premises where in order at this point for them to continue justifying natural selection and random mutation because we know, mathematically speaking, it's impossible for those things to be true.

But the way that they get around it is by saying 'Oh we just happen to live in the one universe in however many trillion where everything has gone perfectly right such that we are here and everything has gone that way.' Like I was just saying, it's building upon absurdities to an unbelievable degree...

Matthew: Yeah.

Adam: ...when really it's a lot simpler and a lot more elegantly beautiful than that, I think.

Matthew: Those are exactly like the epicycles.

Harrison: Yeah, yeah.

Matthew: That's exactly the same thing over thousands of years. They were just finding ways of putting more and more epicycles to the point that Copernicus's system which technically has the sun in the center, technically you could remove the sun from Copernicus's model and nothing changes because nothing's really moving around the sun. It's actually moving around a spot a few thousand miles from the sun. There's this invisible mathematical equant that he makes this whole system work around.

And then from there, if you look closer at the Copernican system, there's not just one but four different epicycles and sub-epicycles on Mars's motion. So Mars is going around one invisible circle which is going around another invisible circle which is going around another invisible circle which is going around the sun. But it's not really the sun. It's a spot next to the sun.

Adam: Yeah.

Matthew: Because as your data becomes more refined and you get more evidence, more information on where the actual positions and distances are of the planets, the more it proves that you're out of whack. Your model doesn't work. So you have to just either change your model the way Kepler does or if you're lazy or dishonest, simply add more absurd layers and epicycles.

Adam: Yes.

Matthew: Which is what the Darwinians have done.

Adam: And that is another...

Matthew: That's a global model too...

Adam: Yes.

Matthew: If you actually look at the global warming models, not that long ago people were accepting the fact that the global warming sort of stopped about 14 years ago in 2001 or so. It started tapering off. Now they've tried to start to change the google searches so you can't even find that data for some reason. But they were that for a while...

Harrison: We're in the second wave.

Matthew: I've actually had climate scientists come up to me and I was talking to them and they're like, 'Yeah, yeah. You didn't know that the cooling is caused by the warming?' {laughter} It's like 'Whoa! You wouldn't have said that five years before you just said that. What are you talking about?'

Adam: Exactly. It's only later on when they have incontrovertible evidence that they can't just dismiss away, it's in their face now. They have to deal with it so the only way they can deal with it is still by brushing it aside in this weird and absurd way that doesn't make any rational sense and wouldn't have fit in their original premises. They had to come up with something totally new and irrelevant or irrational.

Harrison: Well that's just how people are right? This is one of the things we do on our show. Sometimes we'll get into specifics. We'll talk about politics a bit but then we try to bring it down to psychology or philosophy or something like that, just on a different level. In interpersonal relationships, when you've got a strong belief about something or a strong interpretation about an event that has happened, maybe an emotional encounter that you've had with your significant other or someone or a family member, and then you get called on it, you just keep coming up with excuses and they become more and more ridiculous as you dig yourself deeper into the hole, right?

So what we see in all these scientific theories is just that very basic element of interpersonal relationships and psychology in the public domain, in the scientific domain. If you read the emails that scientists send each other, they sound like toddlers just getting in fights over things. They can be completely rude to each other and not listen and swear at each other. If you look behind the scenes at scientists, it's kind of like seeing your parents naked when you're a little kid. You don't want to see it {laughter} because it's very uncomfortable and it shatters so many illusions that you've had about them.

But every once in a while it's necessary to show that there's nothing great about scientists necessarily.

Adam: Nothing magical.

Harrison: There are some great scientists. There are some total inspirations that are total geniuses but most of the guys that you'll see on TV and the people that are holding up the mainstream view of things, when it comes down to it, they're pretty average on so many other levels. So when you see all of these epicycles in the theorizing to the point where as a result of developments in biology and in microbiology, the argument gets to the point, like you said Adam, where you have to say, 'Oh, there are actually an infinite number of universes and we just happen to be in the one where this happens,' which isn't an explanation for why things happened here. You can use that as an explanation for anything.

It may be true that there are an infinite number of universes but it can't be an explanation because it's not an explanation. It just says, 'This must have happened.' 'How was this cup made?' 'Well I must be in the universe where this cup just happened to be here.' Well no, there was actually a way in which it happened and there are reasons for why every step in the process did happen.

Matthew: As an example, how did the cake come into being? Oh well I had all these ingredients in my hand. I fell down the stairs and by the time I got to the bottom of the stairs I had a cake. {laughter} Sure, maybe you could explain something away like that but it's really absurd. It's lazy mindedness to a very high degree for sure.

Adam: And then with that, trying to bring things together in a way - maybe multiple avenues here - but one of them being a more nefarious-minded group, like the X Group who had a very clear goal in mind, which was to further empire. So that's got a great influence on society and where things go. So we have to keep that in the back of our minds as to why things play out the way that they do. Then there's also the natural human aspect, like you were saying Harrison, with the problems of people getting emotionally attached to ideas or outcomes or what have you.

So it becomes a really big mess because again, on the one hand, you have the people who are trying to control things for individual gain and then there's people not wanting to be wrong and so it creates this mess. The way I want to tie this together...

Harrison: It's all in Ertuğrul.

Adam: Exactly! {laughter} That's exactly where I was going.

Matthew: Wait, wait, before you go there because I want to go there...

Adam: Okay.

Matthew: But I was just thinking about something that I didn't want to lose that touches on what we were just saying about the whole 'the formula was just right in our little part of the universe and so life came about and just happened to be the way it is.' That's one of the problems too with the entire 20th century. It has really been derailed. We brought up Max Planck and Einstein. They were mocked in their lifetime for being of the old generation who denied the new discoveries of the Copenhagen school of quantum mechanics. This is the school around Niels Bohr and Max Heisenberg. They said 'The way that we're going to resolve the new paradox is that we're emerging in the quantum' was by solving it through the assumption of randomness.

Just like Darwin solved the problem of why species come about through the idea of random mutation, obviously it's like this invisible wall beyond which your mind can't transgress. They said the same thing now for the atom. 'We're just going to say that there's a randomness function going on', on the small and this is where people misunderstand why Einstein and also Planck said god doesn't play dice with the universe. They were like, 'Maybe there's another set or organizing principles that you just haven't discovered yet because you're not being very creative and you're running away from that fact by just creating another mechanism of randomness and statistical probability theory.' It became the tool that was used to describe where an electron might be, where a photon might be because obviously as soon as you try to see something like a photon, the very act of seeing it requires a photon hit the photon to jump back to your eye to be absorbed into whatever apparatus you're measuring it with which causes it to move. So you can't know the position plus the momentum of it. You can only know maybe one of the two and even that imperfectly.

So rather than make a discovery, a whole new system that became known as the standard model of cosmology on the large or the standard model of quantum theory on the small, it's pretty much the same thing where they try to absorb Einstein's relativity and absorb Planck's constant into their explanatory system but denying the principle of creative thought and useable thought that gave birth to those very ideas that they didn't want to use and put in its own little cage.

But trillions of dollars and godless - godless! Yeah godless... {laughter} hours...

Adam: The shoe fits.

Matthew: ...of...{laughter}

Harrison: Godless hours!

Matthew: ...of energy had been pulled into building bigger and bigger tests using particle accelerators. It's great that we have these particle accelerators and CERN. It's all great that we have these machines that are out there that can get us empirical data by smashing things together, but they've put years of work into pursuing things like the god particle which they finally discovered, I think, in 2012 or 2011. They discovered the god particle and this was supposed to be the particle that was going to explain how mass exists. How does coherence exist? They're like, 'Finally we've got it!' They smashed things together, just the right velocity and they found something bounce off of the explosion. They then were like, 'That is the thing!' What changed? What power of discovery did that give you? Nothing! Nothing changed!

And part of this whole thing was that they don't want to accept Kepler's discovery of the harmony of the universe which came before Newton. Eighty years before Newton they came up with his laws that he called gravity. Newton is very much like a Darwin character in this whole story. Newton was a bit of a black magician, autistic character who was a sociopath and a political agent, kind of like a composite of a Barack Obama character. There's nothing really there behind the hologram. It's like a composite of impulses and desires and sex. {laughter} It's nothing.

But you look at where the discoveries that we attribute to gravity, where did they actually come from? The gravitation equations of the inverse square law are all directly derivable from Kepler's discoveries, from Kepler's equations, mixed in with a little bit of Huygens's work on centrifugal motion and also one of Kepler's leading defenders, Gottfried Leibnitz who discovered the calculus based on a challenge that Kepler threw out to future generations of mathematicians to discover who do you create a language of non-linear change? With the elliptical orbits you have change happening at every moment in the orbit. There's no constant. So how do you create a language of that type of non-linear changeness that happens with all curvature in physical space/time?

So Leibnitz took the challenge up a few decades later and succeeded. All of these things, like calculus, are attributed to Newton for some reason and gravity is attributed to Newton and his work on optics. So again, the people who made the discoveries were not Newton. They all happened way before Newton did.

So there's obviously, again, political objectives to hollow out those discoveries to destroy the idea of the harmony of their minds, the musicality of their minds and then just allow only the descriptive shell to remain that you could then maybe use but you can't improve upon. You can't get inside into the nature of the universe that way or the nature of your mind.

If you were to approach things today in quantum physics the way that Einstein or Planck, who were both followers of Kepler did, they write about their understanding of Kepler, they read his writings, they fought to get people to also study it, which their followers refused to do unfortunately, very few of them did, it wouldn't be a paradox as to why there is such a thing as mass. You wouldn't need to pursue hitting particles together to explore them to get the god particle because Kepler didn't have an idea of gravity as such. He had an idea of coherence. Why is there universal coherence? What are the harmonic intervals? And what are the purposes of the disharmonies?

He also has a special role for the dissonances, things that sometimes people call the devil's interval of Fa sharp and Do. There's certain keys that don't resonate well. We know scientifically now why, on one level, those wavelengths are interfering with each other. But they also don't resonate with the soul very well but they can be used. Beethoven used them a lot, but always for resolution, right? So you can create controlled dissonances, kind of like the same way a painter would control shadow in a painting to get a better effect of chiaroscuro.

So all of physics really needs to be, I think, revised with a better filter that's more coherent with the laws of nature which are provably so and that you could see that people like some of the anti-Darwinists like Karl Ernst von Baer who was part of the German school of Keplerian scientists of the 19th century. He had an idea of a morphogenetic field in the 1830s and 1840s, that there was a harmony of parts. Even Lemarck, the French scientist, had an idea of the harmony of the parts, had in place how things worked together. They were all political. So the idea of a harmony of interests, a harmony of agriculture, of industry, of the bourgeoisie so-called and the masses, that there wasn't necessarily any class struggle you had to assume was built into the fabric of nature or of humanity. With an idea of creative change embedded in your mind, you could always have a harmony of interests, win-win processes was what made America such a threat to the empire, the better America.

It was increasingly understood as being something that was going to replace empire structures, especially after the civil war. So this whole randomness thing really, really screws people up and that's why Ertuğrul is awesome! {laughter}

Harrison: Wait, wait!

Elan: Just one quick comment before we get into Ertuğrul. Just tiny and then we can launch into it.

Harrison: Tiny. Tiny. {laughter}

Elan: We can talk about the beards.

Harrison: It's the one we've been waiting for.

Elan: Yes. It's just this. It seems to be no coincidence that Albert Einstein was a highly moralistic individual and actually spoke out about political issues in his day and, according to my perspective, held the right positions about imperial behaviour, especially in the Middle East. I can't speak to what Planck thought politically but it seems to me that this whole approach to science was also part and parcel of who he was as a human being and his whole outlook on the correct behaviour of nation states and of individuals and that whole thing.

So it seems that there is a strong correlation, at least based on my understanding of Einstein's thoughts, between this thinking outside the box and the harmonics and this approach to physics, that speaks very much to humanistic values and non-imperial approaches to politics. And now we can go into Ertuğrul, unless you want to say anything about that. {laughter}

Matthew: I would just say a lot of people attack Max Planck because he stayed in Germany after the Nazis took over and they say, 'Well why wasn't he like Einstein? Einstein left early on as a pacifist. Why didn't he leave?' That's a bit naïve because he was a patriot of Germany but he didn't like the Nazis. He saw himself on the frontlines defending the soul of Germany and the better traditions of Germany that were antagonist to Fascism. So he was very courageous.

His son also was executed by the Nazis because his son was part of the assassination plot against Hitler in 1944. He definitely imparted these principles and values into his son. Einstein was also super moral. He was part of the civil rights movement before there was a civil rights movement. He was working with Paul Robeson. He was working with Henry Wallace advocating for an anti-imperial post-World-War II order.

People often attack Einstein too frankly, for being a promoter of world government and all of that. I don't think that that's fair either because he was politically naïve on some levels too. Bertrand Russell who was a very nefarious character in the story of world history, was able to seduce Einstein intellectually about what Israel could be, about what world government could be. The world government at the time wasn't the same thing as the new world order idea today. You had an idea in Einstein's mind and in many moral people of those days that we need to destroy empire and have a world of harmony essential; we are one world, one system and we need to cooperate together to develop infrastructure, end hunger and poverty and create education for everybody. Einstein was of that view.

So I just wanted to say, because some of your listeners might not like Einstein. I've met tons of people who think that he was an evil tool in disguise. There's nuance there, right? He made mistakes but he was a good human being and he devoted himself to humanity and so did Max Planck. If you want to talk about Ertuğrul we can do that, sure.

Harrison: Yeah, let's move on to Ertuğrul. We've talked about tyranny. We've talked about inspiration, an alternate worldview to the bland, black and white...

Adam: Dead.

Harrison: ...dead philosophy that we have that's so prevalent today. In our show we were so excited to find a show that was not only entertaining but actually had some substance to it and managed to show another way of being. But I just want to hear what you think about the show.

Matthew: I was surprised to find it as well. I've been trying to tell people in my network to watch this show. I haven't been very successful overall. {laughter} Six hundred episodes. {laughter} Or some people would say, 'Ah, it's Turkish propaganda. I don't want to do that.'

A friend of mine in California who runs websites told me I should check it out. I'm always looking for a way to just relax sometimes when I'm not doing political writing or lecturing. I want to just watch a show or a movie but far more than half the time - I'm sure you guys can identify with this - you feel afterwards like you've just wasted your time. I could have done something productive and now I just watched a stupid show. I don't want to feel that regret.

So I was happy that after a few episodes of this Ertuğrul show I thought there was something there. Maybe what caught my attention at first was some of the cool fight scenes or something but very quickly I realized 'There's more to this than meets the eye.' So I was really happy that you guys also tapped into this when I started watching your Mind Matters show. I never thought that I would watch 600 episodes and at the end be like, 'Oh man! It's over?!' {laughter}

Harrison: Yeah.

Matthew: I never thought I would say that. But there it happened. Yes, it's quite the phenomenon, eh?

Harrison: Yeah. A few of the aspects, I can't remember how much we spoke about them in detail when we talked about the show but the things that stick out in mind immediately are tyranny and inspiration as my lead-in to this topic. There is this strong identification of political evil, that there can be and there is something wrong often, with a certain status quo or the way things are, the nature of the leadership and that there is an ideal. People get written off as dreamers, John Lennon Imagine type people, if they even look at the world and have any criticism of it. 'Oh look at the state of things' or criticize governments.

There's all kinds of attitudes like that but in Ertuğrul you have a stark reality of what's going on and then you have this character, and not just one character, but a character with allies - you can say a community of people - who have this ideal. First they have a clarity of vision to see what the reality on the ground is but also a religious ideal in this case, of what things could be and a total determination and motivation and...

Elan: Commitment?

Harrison: ...commitment, that's the word I'm looking for - a commitment to getting to it and to not be corrupted along the way. We're still only on season 3 so we're weaving our way through it, but that's just one of the remarkable aspects of the show. And they are able to do it I think, because there are so many episodes, you have the opportunity to travel this meandering path through this dark forest of treachery and betrayal and new challenges and higher level bosses, you know. {laughter} It's pretty remarkable to see it play out. It's inspiring.

Matthew: Yeah.

Harrison: It's inspired and it's inspiring to watch and like you said, it's got some great battle scenes too.

Matthew: It might be useful because maybe some of your viewers haven't seen the previous shows or haven't watched Ertuğrul but...

Harrison: Go ahead.

Matthew: ...just to say this was a show which I think started in 2014. It's a Turkish show. I found it on Netflix. It basically is a quasi-historic account of the father of the founder of the Ottoman empire, Osman. So the father of Osman was a figure named Ertuğrul. Now there's not very much data available about who Ertuğrul was so there's a lot of leeway, a lot of flexibility creatively for the writers to go in and create an epic with a lot of drama. The thing that I found really fresh about this show is that it doesn't stagnate. I'm always used to waiting for a show to lose it's creative vitality, like the Simpsons or something, where at a certain point it's just randomness. They're not thinking anymore. There's no more funniness.

But it doesn't. They continuously find ways to introduce new types of organizing principles and new types of components of the human persona that are embedded in the characters that come into the show over time and the scenarios rise. So there's the constant rejuvenation, freshness with it. I guess this resurrection idea, this renaissance which is the title of the show itself, which is nice that they're actually following their own title where they're reviving that spirit. I think for any type of healthy society to function there's no formula for success of a republic, but you have to constantly, with every generation, revive the vitality that gave rise to those people who sacrificed as the founding fathers are concerned. If you lose that and people stagnate too much the society loses its moral fitness to survive and thrive and it will be corrupted and it will be taken down in the political reality that we face.

So there's a lot embedded in this show but, as you point out, there's political insights. Knowing a little bit about how world history actually is shaped, the fact that we have a respect for the group dynamics of the Mongols, of what organized that part of society historically for hundreds of years as one dynamic that Ertuğrul is sort of navigating through as one of many Turkish tribes. They're Islamic and they're trying to create a society where they define their vision or...

Harrison: Oh! We lost you Matt. We lost your audio.

Matthew: Is that better?

Harrison: Yeah, you're back.

Matthew: Okay. It just went on strike for some reason.

Harrison: You were talking about the Mongols.

Matthew: So the fact that you have a society where Ertuğrul is leading a Turkish tribe and charting out a vision of a world where yes, he's Islamic, but his idea of it isn't this Islamic state stuff. It's a world where justice is done and the strong defend the weak and you have certain characters within it like Ibn Arabi who's this character that comes and goes and always introduces these higher, enlightened lessons that to rule a society justly requires that we respect science and that we have economic development for the poor.

These are ideas that are infused within the series as it goes on. It's true no matter what type of society you are, whether it's Christian or Muslim or Jewish society, to be in alignment with natural law you have to do these things. You have to defend justice. You have to see yourself as an instrument of god's will, like Henry VII did or Louis XI that we discussed earlier today and the fact that you have them running up against these cultish Templar and these other sub-cuts of secret societies within the Byzantine empire.

Obviously part of me is uncomfortable sometimes the way that Christianity is sometimes treated a little bit too uni-dimensionally, all of the bad guys who don't have too much complexity...

Harrison: Yeah. {laughter} Of course they have the theme music.

Matthew: ... Yeah. Okay, that's not too classy, but at the same time it's not totally anti-Christian either because there's many good Christians within the show too who are betrayed by bad Christians.

Elan: Yes.

Matthew: So it's kind of like what Shakespeare does in The Merchant of Venice. Yeah, Shakespeare is speaking to a Christian audience and people say it's an anti-Semitic play. But it's not that Shylock is bad because he's a Jew. He's bad because he's a bad human being and he happens to be a Jewish banker. But there's also good Jews - his daughter, another Jewish character. They're horrified by what Shylock is doing.

So Shakespeare, unlike his detractors, is not actually being anti-Jewish. He's being anti-bad and it happens to be that they're cloaked often - as in the case of Shylock - yeah, he's a Jewish antagonist. And in the case of Tekfur Ares any of these characters, they're cloaked in the Christian cult. But at the same time you also have an idea of transformation, of redemption which is again, a powerful part of the human experience. If anything, what makes us human is our power to not just be corrupted, which I think today is what most cynical people tend to think of as what makes a human being special, what makes us different from other animals. Well we're corrupt, animals are just pure.

Well okay. They're willing to accept that a good person can be corrupted very easily but the idea that corrupt people can become good, people have a much more difficult time I think, contemplating that seriously. But that's been our human history as well and you can't account for most of universal history if you don't realize this. They get at that. There are many characters within, from the Mongols, from these Templar affiliated nut jobs, who actually change and become good people!

So that's difficult to do. That's not an easy thing to accomplish. The only time I had ever seen that done has been either in certain classical works like the bible where you have characters like Saul become Paul on the road to Damascus and he goes from being morally driven to kill Christians as a warrior of the pharisees - he kills a lot of fucking people and he really is unredemptive. He thinks he's totally right about that until he has his moment of transformation and ends up becoming an advocate of Christ's message in the bible. Before that you have some examples of the furies in Sophocles' plays, who become the Aryans at the end of the Orestes trilogy, these terrible vendetta-seeking, rage-ball quasi-deities who are just chasing Orestes who made some bad mistakes. But they're pursuing him and pursuing him. These are ugly creatures. By the end it's resolved beautifully where they're transformed by Athena into the Erinyes.

So you have examples of that in the western classical matrix which are great but we haven't seen a lot of that. I haven't seen any of that in the last 100 years of western literature. I can't think of any examples where that happens, but they do that in this Turkish show.

Elan: Well one of the things that we discussed a little bit while trying not to give too many spoilers on that show, was the transformation of one character in particular. It was dramatically so convincing, it was so well done from beginning to end...

Harrison: And you wouldn't have been able to predict it from the beginning. It's like, no, no, this character has no...

Adam: Irredeemable.

Harrison: Irredeemable. I'm never going to like her.

Elan: And you're going from seething with disgust at her behaviour to 40 episodes later, cheering her on and celebrating her newfound elevation in the eyes of god, herself and her tribe and everything. So it was exactly what you mentioned Matthew. I didn't remember seeing anything like that in any other program. Like you said, the story revitalizes itself constantly. There is a resurrection of values and people consolidate their vision again and again to rally what the tribe wants to accomplish under the leadership of Ertuğrul. You laugh, you cry. You enjoy the battles. {laughter} All of the emotions come up in this story.

Adam: Oh yeah! There were a couple of characters in mind that I've seen do this switcheroo and that was from Dragon Ball Z there were a couple of characters, Vegeta and Piccolo. {laughter} Yeah, I'm a nerd. And also in Buffy the Vampire Slayer there was Spike. People always forget about Spike, but he was absolutely horrible and horrendous and then he goes through the very painful process of fighting for his soul in a literal way and then redeems himself as being one of the strongest in the group in the fight to save humanity.

It's not nearly as satisfying as some of the transformations in Ertuğul just because it's a different show.

Harrison: And it's a fantasy.

Adam: It's a fantasy and it's a lot shorter. They don't have 30 episodes to really explore the personal dimensions of character dynamics and everything that Ertuğul does. I really liked those transformations from before so then when we started watching this show and we started seeing these kinds of transformations I think, "Oh my gosh! This is exactly what I was wanting to see in these other ones but they couldn't ever do it." So when I saw it with this one, I think what I actually said at the time was, "This is the most satisfying transformation I have ever seen."

Matthew: Yeah. That's a great way of putting it because also as a geek, I've got to say, you have cases in Marvel comics too. I used to read a lot of comic books in the day. Yeah, Venom at various points actually walks a good path. You have different characters like Magneto for storylines coming in, and changing his ways and defending the good. There are many characters in many case studies and comic books and I think the thing that makes the Ertuğul transformation so satisfying is that, unlike the comic book culture, the motive for why characters do good tends to be reduced to some combination of revenge, guilt for letting Uncle Ben die. There's something Kantian usually underlying the motive for a lot of the good guys. There's a certain lack of depth for the reasons why we do good or why we change from being bad to good...

Harrison: Yeah.

Matthew: ...which doesn't take into consideration the full depth of the human condition whereas I think what makes the Ertuğul transformations so satisfying in that show is that they're really doing things for the realization that there's something about the health of their soul and something that they were lacking by not walking on god's path by living in dissonance from the actual will of god, this creative force of the universe, however you want to take it, which I think makes the more durable good guys happen.

When you look at people who are just willing to succumb, link-in or whatever, to dying and to putting their lives at great risk for the sake of their ideals, they're doing it not for any Kantian reason. They really are happy people and they love life but they love the health of their soul so much more than the safety of their body. That's why Socrates was able to willingly and happily take the hemlock because he knew that life really wasn't living if he was going to do something to make his soul more ugly, more unhealthy by disobeying his conscience or whatever. Cicero did the same.

That's something which we used to understand more in the west as a part of the human experience, the human psyche, and under the last century of Freudian sort of interpretations of the psyche and Darwinian interpretations of evolution, we lost that eternal sense of what is the soul, what it is that makes us eternal or that ties us to the eternal and the divine.

Adam: The higher connection has just been completely severed.

Matthew: And it's very clear in Ertuğul. And Ertuğul sort of represents himself as a really integrated person.

Harrison: Yeah.

Matthew: Where there's no conflict with his ideals and his desires. So his obligations and his will are so in tune that that accompanies these profound insights that other people can't understand because they have their godly ideals but they still live as individuals day-to-day for personal comfort, like local, more reduced secondary concerns which are at odds and dissonant with their principles, so they don't have that insight. They don't have the ability to have that confidence, the courage and that penetrating power to see through processes and conspiracies the way Ertuğul has and they're very mystified by it.

So I think that's another really, really great...

Adam: Ertuğul with his schemes and trying to be greedy, that's how they see it anyway.

Matthew: Exactly.

Harrison: The image from the show that came to mind as you were speaking Matt was Ertuğul as this integrated character. One of the things that gets me every time, it really brings a tear to my eye - and it's happened several times - is where Ertuğul is trapped or he's at the end of his rope and someone's holding a sword to his throat. So this is the moment where he's going to die. Of course we know he's not going to die in the show because it's his show, but every time that he's facing death, the actor's so great, he is completely calm in the face of death and he recites - what's the Islamic line called? Is it the Shahadah or is it something else that they recite before they die.

Matthew: Mohammed is the messenger and there is no god but Allah.

Harrison: Right. So he recites the line and he's got this completely serene acceptance of death on his face. He's willing to die at any moment with total confidence and no fear. That's another thing that you don't see elsewhere really. In the comic books you might see a facsimile of it. You might see a tough Marvel superhero character that's getting in a situation and facing death but it doesn't pack a punch for some reason, whereas this is totally human and totally believable and totally inspiring at the same time to see that combination of - how did you put it? - obligation and will where there's a totally unified human being. We've talked about Ibn Arabi on the show, we've talked about mysticism, we've talked about stoicism. But in this stoic sage, this totally integrated person nothing can take that away from them or can take that purity of heart away from them.

Matthew: Yeah, they're really sovereign. I think that's the paradox. In the case of the United States, one of the things that's always been the battle in the US is to resolve the general welfare principle of the constitution with the sacredness of the individual. They're both beautiful, to actually have a nation enshrining the sacredness of individual liberty. That had never been done before the United States Declaration of Independence. And then to have the Constitution with its preamble that asserts that the entire society and the laws must be read from the filter that everything must be adherent to the general welfare of the whole.

They seem to represent two different opposing ideas that a lot of people have not been able to resolve properly, which is why they often will characterize Lincoln or JFK who believed in big government as being tyrannical because they abused certain individual liberties to do whatever they want to do or Hamilton, the same thing. Or the inverse, they will consider anybody who just cares about individual rights as being just selfish. We see that with a lot of the covid arguments today. "You care about your individual rights in not wanting to get a vaccine! Aren't you selfish?" Then you've got that other distortion.

So there's been this inability to resolve the two properly but that's the precondition for sovereignty. So in America, what made the United States so powerful is that it was a nation where everybody was seen as sovereign. Formerly the idea of sovereign was the Sovereign, the monarch who was born into a hereditary master class, was the "Sovereign" and rights trickled down from the will of the sovereign that could be taken away or given as that sovereign saw fit.

So to have a whole society of every sovereign citizen being the source of a nation ruled by the consent of the governed, that's a democratic republic. It doesn't mean that every single decision is going to be made by everybody in the society, but you have to have that development where everybody cares, where everybody sees himself as responsible for the orientation of their society regardless of what party you find yourself in so you have to both care about the sacredness of your individual but you also have to care about the whole. You have to be willing to make sacrifices when they're needed, objectively. But you also have to be able to reasonably discern what are legitimate sacrifices versus illegitimate sacrifices too, right? So the cultivation of all the mind, the emotions and the body all have to be happening together.

So Ertuğrul really exemplifies that. That's the best role model which I think is why it brings tears to our eyes to see him in action because you think, "Okay, that's what a human being is supposed to be."

Harrison: Yeah. {laughter}

Matthew: Maybe nobody's ever going to achieve that level of integration. Maybe that's a little bit too high to expect everybody to attain, but still, something natural is there and we haven't seen it so much. We've been hungry and thirsty for it being in a drought of morality that we're born into. It's like when you see a bit of oxygen after you've been underwater, you're like, {huge inbreath}.

Elan: That's what it's like.

Matthew: Yeah.

Harrison: And it's so funny. Just like you when you started talking about this you said you'd try to introduce some friends to it and haven't been very successful, "I really want you to watch this show about a 13th century Turkick nomad group {laughter} trying to establish an Islamic world empire essentially and it's really great!" {laughter} It's a hard sell.

Elan: It's about traditional values.

Harrison: But, if you can get over that and just watch it, you'll find that it's actually got quite a lot to it. Except like you said Matt about some of the cartoonish depictions of the evil Christians, aside from that, there's absolutely nothing really offensive about it.

Matthew: No. Absolutely.

Harrison: It's got a few groan-worthy plot devices every once in a while, but for me it's more of the fun actually.

Matthew: I think by introducing a sane approach to how conspiracies actually happen, it gives you a lot of insights into your own world of how you actually think. It's not this Fight Club version of conspiracy theories which is how people often tend to disrespect conspiracy theories. Fight Club! Everybody is literally in on it. No, there's layers of subterfuge and dynamic that Ertuğrul's constantly navigating through and operating on a counterintelligence level and you actually look at history from the standpoint of counterintelligence from both the good guys and the bad guys -- you look at Benjamin Franklin subverting and infiltrating the Hellfire Clubs of London and bringing intel back to his network back in the United States on Isaac Newton and Bernard Mandeville and all these things -- there's layers. They're setting up traps. Ben Franklin is the master of deception, of constantly getting his enemies to think he's going to do one thing and he does another thing.

He's already operating 80 steps in the future and setting up all these different contingency plans. I did this class a little while ago - and I don't want to talk about the class right now but I'm just going to throw it out there as a teaser.

Harrison: Yeah.

Matthew: One of his key allies is a figure that he brings in from Pennsylvania and he sets him up as a painter with certain networks that he has cultivated in the Lunar Society in Britain which is also behind the creation of the industrial activity of Manchester that gives rise to the industrial revolution in Britain. It was ironically Ben Franklin doing it in America. It wasn't anything indigenous to the British empire. He has networks like Joseph Wright of Derby who was a great painter and part of the Lunar Society. Joseph Priestly was another one. Erasmus Darwin, Darwin's grandfather who was actually a really good guy, was also a part of that.

Benjamin West is brought into this network and ends up creating the British Royal Academy of Fine Arts to create a cultural revolution to bring back the best anti-imperial cultural and esthetical traditions into Britain itself which totally flanks the empire. They didn't expect any of that stuff to happen. And he's doing this 15 years before the American Revolution. He's planting tons of seeds. His discovery of electricity is integrated into his future plans for not just a revolution in science but the creation of the republic was part and parcel of his designs for discovering the nature of electricity, harnessing it and sharing it.

So you have characters like that. I've seen criticism online of people saying that nobody could think like Ertuğrul. He's always on top of things. He's always 10 steps ahead. That's part of our history. People operate that way.

Harrison: I'd just say a hard no to that because in the first season they're always getting trapped and they're falling for all the traps. Ertuğrul's actually learning from each of those new lessons, new traps. Once he's been trapped once or twice using the same method, it's not going to happen again unless the bad guys up their game. He's constantly learning. That was one of the things that kind of annoyed me during the first season. All these ambushes! They're always working all the time! When are they going to learn?! And then season two comes around and they've learned!

On the topic of that level of insight, oftentimes people will say, "What's going on here?" And Ertuğrul will say, "Well it's obvious. This person's thinking this and he wants to do this because of this" and he lays it all out and that's of course what's happened. There are people like that, just like you're saying. There are people in history. Some people are just that insightful about what's going on and how to read people's motivations and how to see the dynamics that aren't obvious on the surface of things.

Matthew: Exactly! It's motives. They're looking on the domain of what is organized in that person's heart and you know that there's almost like a species characteristic. A cat will be a cat no matter what scenario you put it in. It'll be a cat. It's going to start flying like a bird, for the most part.

Human beings are kind of like that too. There are certain personality types that you know, if you haven't resolved certain things or you believe certain things, then I can put you in no matter what scenario, and you will have certain predetermined reactions and impulses that you will react according to. This is what Shakespeare as well was trying to get us to understand by introducing characters like Iago in Othello. Iago is a master intelligence architype representing Venice and Othello is a Moorish general who's operating for the Venetian army. He's got a lot of successes under his belt. He's seen as a really great man and he's got a lot of virtues. But he also has a problem where he really believes that Iago, honest Iago, his close friend really is trustworthy. He has a reputation of being the most trustworthy guy.

And Iago is animated by very nefarious intentions that Othello and others cannot see and he's able to profile everybody so that he knows how they're going to react when he plants certain seeds inside their minds, whether it jealousy - "I heard that your wife Desdemona is having a thing with your other buddy (forgot his name)". As soon as he awakens the jealousy and insecurity he's identified as there within Othello - as a black man from Africa operating in a European world he's got a lot of insecurities, prejudices against him - he's able to capitalize on those things to get Othello to go completely against his own better nature and act very tragically. I'm not going to spoil it for people who haven't read the play.

But Shakespeare is definitely trying to get us to understand how humanity is organized by group dynamics which is an expression of individual psychology and how the empire utilizes their knowledge of these things to maintain their control by getting their victims to divide and be conquer, to fight and destroy each other where in reality our true interest is in working together. Regardless of our different cultures and religions and whatever, we have universal characteristics that every time that society has organized themselves to operate on what makes us human, which is that we all know we're going to die - we're the only species that is self-conscious of our mortality long before it happens, it's built into our awareness of our existence - which then opens up the door to the next question which is "What's the purpose of our existence? What's the purpose of our happiness?" Legitimate higher happiness versus lower order ephemeral happiness that could lead to destruction. What are the universal sentiments that we should cultivate and try to feed more and not feed the lower order sentiments that bring us into self-destruction?

So all of these things, whether you're Muslim, whether you're Jew, whether you're Hindu, whether you're atheist, whatever, are just parts of human nature and empires will capitalize on their knowledge of that to exploit and great leaders like Ben Franklin or Colbert, you name it, I think Putin and Xi Jingping today are operating by leading the idea of win-win cooperation guiding the multipolar alliance and the Eurasian alliance. I think that they very much have tapped into that source even though we're seeing certain strategic decisions that are maybe not wise coming out of China lately, I think overall they're operating on that paradigm with the Christian cultural matrix of Putin and anybody. They're basically saying "Anybody can join us with big projects for win-win advantage to everybody" orientations, which is really good.

I think that scares the hell out of the empire which is why I think they're fueling so many flames of prejudice in the pro-Trump support base right now which is falling prey to fearing any type of big government. There's a hyper radical libertarianism that has embedded itself philosophically into a lot of the pro-Trump patriots who see everything big government as being evil so they see China, which is central government, and they just see it as evil so they're very easily falling prey to the idea that it's not British intelligence running the colour revolution in America. It's really China and Venezuela. {laughter} It's like whoa! Calm down here. You're skipping steps. There's another causal Iago that's not China running around setting fires.

Elan: Well that's interesting that you go into that direction because that's something I wanted to discuss with you at some point as well. But that is a whole conversation in and of itself.

Matthew: Maybe we should save that for a future discussion.

Elan: Absolutely.

Harrison: Yeah, because we've already gone an hour and 45 minutes.

Elan: And I feel we can go another hour and 45 minutes {laughter} without any issue. I just wanted to say Matt, what a pleasure it is to speak with you today. I hope we do, sometime in the near future, get together again and discuss a lot of the topics that you cover in your articles and lectures that we didn't get to discuss today.

I was thinking at one point I wish I had this guy as my professor in college because one of your gifts - and of course there's a lot of hard work behind it, all this research you put in - is creating context within context within context and it's wonderful! So I'm tipping my hat to you my friend. I do just want to remind our viewers that you can catch a lot of Matthew's articles on SOTT. A lot of them are originally posted at and Your work is also seen on the Strategic Culture Foundation website as well as a few others I think, yeah?

Harrison: Fort Russ. Duran. A lot of people probably post your stuff.

Matthew: Yeah, that's the thing in the alternative media where you post it somewhere and ...

Harrison: It goes everywhere.

Matthew: But also guys, thank you very much for having this show. I don't think that this type of content and discussion - I don't know where else it would be able to happen other than on a show like yours. So it's great that you've made a platform for this type of dialogue to occur.

Harrison: Great.

Adam: It's a pleasure.

Matthew: Anytime you want to continue a dialogue let me know. I'd be happy to join you guys.

Elan: That's a near guarantee.

Matthew: Cool.

Harrison: Alright well thanks again Matt.

Matthew: Thank you!

Elan: Take care. We'll be in touch.

Matthew: For sure. Bye guys.