IF I SEEK US
Mankind in Ignorance and Denial
Before the introduction of "Modern Mythology" with the invention of "gradualism", "uniformism" and the millions and billions of years by the English armchair scientists and scholars including Lyell, the prevailing understanding in the world was not only that the duration of mankind on earth was of a few thousand years, but this time was punctuated by global catastrophes–including but not limited to the deluge– that devastated and decimated the race of Man. In the last 200 years the world of academia has fostered the theories of this group, including those of Charles Darwin. See: The Origins of Modern Geology and other selected articles in the Modern Mythology section. Specifically Ancient Civilisations, The Importance of Catastrophism and The Modern Mythology. See also: Velikovsky's Challenge to Scientism and Worlds in Collision Review and Reviewers
Then about 70 years ago in 1950 the academic and religious world was rocked and shocked by the publication of Worlds in Collision authored by Velikovsky. This book dealt with the big picture of astral or planetary catastrophism, and relied heavily upon ancient accounts and records generally dismissed by modern scholastics as fabricated myth. Soon to follow was Earth In Upheaval, which presented the case from the scientific or geological perspective.
Several other modern catastrophist pioneers recovered much information from the field and the literature and made significant contributions, which were generally couched in ill-conceived theories schemas. These were Isaac de la Peyrère, Thomas Burnet, William Whiston, Nicolas Antoine Boulanger, Johann Gottlieb Radlof, Antoine Bernard Alfred, Ignatius Loyola Donnelly, William Comyns Beaumont, Hans Schindler Bellamy, Alexander Pavlovitch Braghine, and Georges Cuvier.
"Like the early memory of a single man, so the early memory of the human race belongs to the student of psychology. Only a philosophically and historically, but also analytically trained mind can see in the mythological subjects their true content . . . " - I. Velikovsky, From AAAS Speech (1974)
The polymath Velikovsky, who was primarily interested in the disturbed and unhinged psychological condition of Man, borrowed heavily from some of these men and generally put together a much larger and coherent picture of the ancient catastrophic times. He also put it all in a much more meaningful framework by positing that primarily from these ancient global catastrophes the collective consciousness of mankind was in a state of amnesia and denial. This syndrome is something that we are not only born into, but further conditioned into by the dirty, noisy, confused, troubled, dangerous, absurd world that we live in, otherwise known as the "human condition".
Immanuel Velikovsky described his work on collective amnesia as follows:
"Mankind in Amnesia has to do not only with the past, like my other books – primarily it has to do with the future, a future not removed by thousands or tens of thousands of years, but the imminent future, on whose threshold we now stand."
The subject that Immanuel Velikovsky has chosen is the psychological condition and case history of the human race. Virtually every aspect of human behavior, every pattern in human history, and every article of human belief, if examined and illuminated in the light of the thesis of this book, reveals how human thought and action have been shaped and molded by repressed collective memories of cosmic catastrophes that befell our ancestors as recently as one hundred generations ago.
In the section "A Collective Amnesia" of Worlds in Collision, published in 1950, Velikovsky outlined his principal psychological thesis. His theory of collective amnesia explains the inability of people to look at the overwhelming evidence of global catastrophes – from all parts of the world – that is unequivocally there, and the unwillingness to see the implications of that evidence. Velikovsky put this as follows in Worlds in Collision:
The memory of the cataclysms was erased, not because of lack of written traditions, but because of some characteristic process that later caused entire nations, together with their literate men, to read into these traditions allegories or metaphors where actually cosmic disturbances were clearly described.
For detailed accounts of the evidence of our catastrophic past one should read Velikovsky's Worlds in Collision and Earth In Upheavel. Velikovsky wrote Mankind in Amnesia over the course of many years. Most of it was written in the 1950s and early 196os, but he added sections as late as 1979, the last year of his life.
"In 1973, Velikovsky told a Nassau Community College audience that Worlds in Collision "caused an excitement that no other book in the history of science did cause," provoking more than 4,000 articles in response. The book also stirred the scientific community into somewhat uncharacteristic censoring activities. As a psychoanalyst, Velikovsky was willing to ascribe the scientists' reaction to an underlying unconscious motivation "caused by a hidden fear of knowing the events of the past, more than by an aversion to challenging the conventional notions." I Like "the projection of fear of atomic disaster not toward its source in our mental heritage, but toward the disclosure of that source," the behavior of the anti-catastrophists from Aristotle onwards is "a negative reaction... a combination of not wishing to become aware of hidden springs, and an emotional reaction against that which may bring awareness of the cause of the mental disturbance."
This conclusion was echoed by one of the few psychiatrists who has seriously looked at Velikovsky's later work–Harold Graff–who compared the "Velikovsky Affair" with the case of Freud's struggle for acceptance." - Velikovsky biographer Duane Vorhees in Worlds in Collision Review and Reviewers