The history of man is ultimately telling a story of the transformation of human consciousness as it relates to two questions. One, the phenomenon of sentience (Consciousness) and two, where this evolution of consciousness is taking us. As for the latter, there is a technological revolution taking place in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) that is forming a synergy in the sciences of machine learning, medicine and computers that in the next two hundred years will begin to see a new level of integration with human biology.
This new level of technology will not only expand our own limitations such as old age to intelligence but as this assimilation process takes place over decades it will alter our consciousness and create a need for society to understand the effects of AI has on it.
Understanding the phenomenon of human awareness was written about by the philosopher Georg Hegel in the early 1800’s who described this phenomenon as a product of our social environment we live in. In his book called the Phenomenology of Spirit,
“… the relationship between self and otherness is the fundamental defining characteristic of human awareness and activity, being rooted as it is in the emotion of desire for objects as well as in the estrangement from those objects, which is part of the primordial human experience of the world. The otherness that consciousness experiences as a barrier to its goal is the external reality of the natural and social world, which prevents individual consciousness from becoming free and independent. However, that otherness cannot be abolished or destroyed, without destroying oneself, and so ideally there must be reconciliation between self and other such that consciousness can “universalize” itself through the other.” – Phenomenology of Spirit
Carl Jung theorized that this psychological need for reconciliation within a “shared consciousness” was part of a larger Collective Unconscious (CU);
“… the unconscious mind, distinguishing it from the personal unconscious of Freudian psychoanalysis. He argued that the collective unconscious has profound influence on the lives of individuals, who lived out its symbols and clothed them in meaning through their experiences. The psychotherapeutic practice of analytical psychology revolves around examining the patient’s relationship to the collective unconscious.” – Carl Jung – Wikipedia.org
Jung theorized that the CU self-organizes itself into archetypes in which the personal unconscious interacts with and projects meaning into.
“… the human collective unconscious is populated by instincts and by archetypes: universal symbols such as the Great Mother, the Wise Old Man, the Shadow, the Tower, Water, the Tree of Life, and many more. – Carl Jung Wikipedia.org
These archetypes appear through our dreams, myths and religions which are powerful;
“… ‘archaic remnants’….’ or ‘primordial images,’ …. The term ‘archetype’ is often misunderstood as meaning certain definite mythological images or motifs, but these are nothing more than conscious representations. Such variable representations cannot be inherited. The archetype is a tendency to form such representations of a motif—representations that can vary a great deal in detail without losing their basic pattern.” – Jung – Man and his Symbols
In other words, these archetypes represent variable composites characters that are synonymous with the human experience. These persona’s are crucial in our mind’s ability to characterize behavior and create concepts which allows us to form shared ideas and language:
“… mental states can be the cause of — and thus be used to explain and predict the behaviors of others. Being able to attribute mental states to others and understand them as causes of behavior implies, in part, that one must be able to conceive of the mind as a “generator of representations.” – Theory of the Mind – Wikipedia.org
For example, most of our basic cognitive understanding of the world are learned within the first three years of our life which are usually experienced through the mother archetype that has formed a symbiotic relationship between herself and the infant’s personal unconscious. We are introduced to the world through our identification with this universal mother archetype which is pivotal in forming our unconscious identity of the Self which we project out into the world.
Jung’s investigations also concluded our relationship to the CU is dialectic in nature, meaning, our psyche relationship to these archetypes are in opposition to each other. This is partly due to what Hegel described as consciousness need to form a “Master-Slave Dialectic”:
“First, the two abstract consciousness meet and are astounded at the realization of the self as a foreign object. Each can choose to ignore the other, in which case no self-consciousness forms and each views the other merely as an animated object rather than an equivalent subject. Or they become mesmerized by the mirror-like other and attempt, as they previously had done in controlling their own body, to assert their will .” – Wikipedia Master-Slave Dialectic.
Hegel believed this dialectic relationship was part of a larger universal process;
“… reality is being thought by God as manifested in a person’s comprehension of this process in and through philosophy. Since human thought is the image and fulfillment of God’s thought, God is not ineffable (so incomprehensible as to be unutterable) but can be understood by an analysis of thought and reality. Just as humans continually correct their concepts of reality through a dialectical process, so God himself becomes more fully manifested through the dialectical process of becoming.” – Hegel – Wikipedia.org
Jung avoided the subject of calling the CU God but finally he wrote down his point of view on this subject in the book, “The Answer to Job” in which he speculated that this ancient story from the old testament wasn’t describing a tribulation but a awakening by Job in which he encounters the CU. Job’s suffering is symbolic of our dialectic relationship to God. Jung believed God’s connection to man is unconscious which is why God is depicted in the story of Job as indifferent to him.
He later commented on this subject close to his death;
“To this day God is the name by which I designate all things which cross my willful path violently and recklessly, all things which upset my subjective views, plans and intentions and changed the course of my life for better or worse. – Carl Jung
Between November 12, 1913 through the summer of 1914 Jung experienced intense para-psychological events which were later documented in his “Red Book”:
“The years…when I pursued the inner images, were the most important time of my life. Everything else is to be derived from this. It began at that time, and the later details hardly matter anymore. My entire life consisted in elaborating what had burst forth from the unconscious and flooded me like an enigmatic stream and threatened to break me. That was the stuff and material for more than only one life. Everything later was merely the outer classification, scientific elaboration, and the integration into life. But the numinous beginning, which contained everything, was then”. – Jung – Wikipedia.org
In the future, AI will be a external version of the CU as type of “universal mind” (UM), a network of super computers not only managing the infrastructure we live in but will be connected to applications of personal assistance and social media forming a seamless interface to the world at large. As this integration process between AI and the human psyche evolve over time this assimilation will begin to reflect the same process of the Self integrating with the CU or what Jung called Individuation:
‘…is a process of transformation whereby the personal and collective unconscious are brought into consciousness (e.g., by means of dreams, active imagination, or free association) to be assimilated into the whole personality. It is a completely natural process necessary for the integration of the psyche.” – Carl Jung
This integration process with AI will alter our consciousness because it will change our basic instincts by expanding our physical and mental capabilities beyond their current limitations. If we take this journey without trying to understanding the process of Individuation, we will be entering into dangerous territory as Jung suggested that the nature of our relationship with the CU is dialectic. Thus, without understanding the psychological implications of this process we will be blindly creating these machine while unconsciously unleashing our own desires and primal instincts into this future world of transhumanism.
Science fiction writers, such as Phillip K Dick (PKD) for decades have been speculating on how AI technology could create unexpected outcomes in the future in books like “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” (Blade Runner) and a “Scanner Darkly” explored this possibility.
Similar to Carl Jung transformative experiences at the turn of the century, PKD also had a para-psychological event he referred to as “2-3-74” that occurred on February 20, 1974 that change his understanding of consciousness and altered the course of his life for the next six years. He wrote about this and the other experiences that followed in a series of notes which years later after his death was put into a book called “The Exegesis of Phillip K. Dick” by his Family Trust in 2011.
This event occurred when he received a pharmacy delivery in his home in Southern California from a young woman wearing an Ichthys symbol that was used by early Christians. During this delivery he experienced a pinkish light that was reflecting off this symbol.
Christian Ichthys Symbol
PKD wrote in the Exegesis,
“In that instant, as I stared at the gleaming fish sign and heard her words, I suddenly experienced what I later learned is called anamnesis—a Greek word meaning, literally, “loss of forgetfulness.” I remembered who I was and where I was. In an instant, in the twinkling of an eye, it all came back to me. And not only could I remember it but I could see it. The girl was a secret Christian and so was I. We lived in fear of detection by the Romans. We had to communicate with cryptic signs. She had just told me all this, and it was true.” – The Exegesis of Phillip K. Dick.
These types of para-psychological events continued to occur in PKD life where he received information from these visions which was told to him by a unknown female entity and from a close friend named Bishop Jim Pike who had died in 1969. For example, Jim told him his young son had a medical condition that needed to be attended too which was later diagnosed and treated due to PKD insisting his son be seen by a physician. Jim also recommended firing his literary agent who unknown to PKD had failed to collect thousand of dollars from his publishers.
Many were skeptical of these experiences due to his history of drug use and mental instability through sporadic bouts of general paranoia and depression, however, when one’s examines the effort and the wider scope of his analysis in the Exegesis you begin to see it was a very sane and brilliant attempt to understand what had happened to him. He was clearly rattled by this experience and for six years and over two thousand pages later he finally in 1980 drops the subject and within two years dies of a stroke in March 1982 just before his mega successfully movie “Blade Runner” was released in June 1982 that was adapted from his book, “Do Android Dream of Electric Sheep”.
PKD concluded in his notes that he was contacted by a Vast Active Living Intelligence System (VALIS) which he believed exists as a higher form of intelligence on this planet which made its presence known to him. PKD theorized this intelligence had Zebra like qualities which meant it had the ability to mimic itself within the dialectic processes of our mind thus be undetected. And if needed could make its present known by communicating directly to our brain in any language of its recipient or take any form. PKD described its physical composition as a type living plasma that extends around our planet forming a gigantic brain in which humanity lives in.
He speculated that this transcendent presence whom he calls Ubik (God) or VALIS is capable of experimenting with humanity’s consciousness similar to a scientist testing the intelligence of rats by running them through a maze. Ubik has the ability to invade and manipulates our minds and analyze its effects on us by having access to not only our current memories but other lifetimes in different time periods as seen in PKD experiences. Thus, part of VALIS exists beyond our dimension of time and space.
Jung had commented on these same aspects of the CU through his own experiences;
“Something remained; it was as if I now carried along with me everything I had ever experience or done, everything that had happened around me, I might also say it was with me, and I was it. I consisted of all that, so to speak, I consisted of my own history and I felt with great certainty this what I am… I had everything that I was and that was everything.” – Memories, Dreams and Reflections – Carl Jung
VALIS constantly needs to monitor humanity because once it began initiating these “consciousness interventions” it needs to predict how these encounters will unfold in the temporal world. Its software could be analyzing different ways these events could evolve over time and needs to avoid an specific order where an unpredictable outcome (Chaos) could appear in the future causing an computational error which in computer science terms is called a race condition or race hazard which is,
“….the behavior of an electronic, software or other systems where the output is dependent on the sequence or timing of other uncontrollable events. It becomes a bug when events do not happen in the order the programmer intended. The term originates with the idea of two signals racing each other to influence the output first.” – Wikipedia.org
Adam and Eve in the Garden
An example of this type of consciousness intervention can be seen in the story of Adam and Eve in the Hebrew Bible where a mysterious entity appears as a snake whose is attached to the Tree of Life (Collective Unconscious – VALIS). A new awareness emerges of the ability to feel and think simultaneously, sentience.
Before this encounter the primitive mind didn’t see a difference between the Self and nature but after this experience they become aware of the knowledge of the Tree of life and slowly begins separating themselves from nature which led to building the city of Babel.
Evidence of a major transformative collective experience was discovered in the archaeological site known as Gobekli Tepe that took place 11,000 BCE at a time when supposedly we were still hunters and gatherers. Whatever happened at this site transformed this small Neolithic group to build a large ritualistic complex and later around 8,000 BCE decided to completely bury it for some unknown reason. It was only rediscovered in 1963 but excavation of the site didn’t start until thirty-two years later in 1995.
I have presented in other blogs, that the chronology of the Bible I believe is incorrect but the events that were recorded represent time markers of our prehistory of this group in the Middle East to the time of the Exodus. The stories were written as allegories so they could be remembered but they represented Era’s within the Neolithic Period as a record of a specific group of people.
The stories of Adam and Eve and the Tower of Babel (Gobekli Tepe) represent closer time periods due to discovery of Gobekli Tepe that is dated to around 11,000 BCE and the archaeological record of human development at that time supports this. After this group leaves Gobekli Tepe around 8,000 BCE the evidence shows the early beginnings of agriculture and animal breeding sites occurred in the surrounding area.
Another example of time markers in Genesis is the story of Cain and Able that could covered this period. The story could represent a time period after Gobekli Tepe around 6,500 BCE where there is evidence of a people known as the Ubaid who practiced a similar culture of egalitarian and animal husbandry that match Cain and Able job descriptions. This culture’s homeland would later become the city of Uruk which is another name for the city of Enoch that Cain was responsible for founding.
“In South Mesopotamia the period is the earliest known period on the alluvial plain although it is likely earlier periods exist obscured under the alluvium. In the south it has a very long duration between about 6500 and 3800 BC when it is replaced by the Uruk period. ” – Ubaid Period – Wikipedia.org
Able represents the Ubaidians ability to be successful sheep herders which was expressed as God favoring Able’s sacrifice. While Cain’s industry as farmers was difficult and went through periods of low crops which was reflected in God’s disapproval of Cain’s sacrifice. The killing of Able is symbolic of this group decision to leave the settlement due to a period of bad crops and seek out a nomadic life as sheep herders.
“Ubaid culture originated in the south, but still has clear connections to earlier cultures in the region of middle Iraq. The appearance of the Ubaid folk has sometimes been linked to the so-called Sumerian problem, related to the origins of Sumerian civilization. Whatever the ethnic origins of this group, this culture saw for the first time a clear tripartite social division between intensive subsistence peasant farmers, with crops and animals coming from the north, tent-dwelling nomadic pastoralists dependent upon their herds, and hunter-fisher folk of the Arabian littoral, living in reed huts. – Wikipedia.org
When the Ubaid period ends it begins,
“The Uruk period (ca. 4000 to 3100 BC) existed from the protohistoric Chalcolithic to Early Bronze Age period in the history of Mesopotamia, following the Ubaid period and succeeded by the Jemdet Nasr period. Named after the Sumerian city of Uruk, this period saw the emergence of urban life in Mesopotamia. – Wikipedia.org
Cain in Hebrew means spear whose group represents a warrior class. Cain group will eventually be associated with a matriarchal mother goddess whose archetype is supported by either standing or sitting by “young lions” as shown in the picture below.
“The biblical Judah (in Hebrew: Yehuda) is the original name of the Tribe of Judah, which is traditionally symbolized by a lion. In Genesis, the patriarch Jacob (“Israel”) gave that symbol to his tribe when he refers to his son Judah as a Gur Aryeh גּוּר אַרְיֵה יְהוּדָה, “Young Lion” (Genesis 49:9) when blessing him.” – Lion of Judah – Wikipedia.org
During the Neolithic period a matriarchal image was found which was later embodied by the Goddess Cybele. She was known to the Greeks as Magna Mater (”Great Mother’) which came from an Anatolia myth that was described by the 4th century Christian named Arnobius:
“….she symbolized the world order”. Her image held aloft signifies the Earth, which “hangs in the air”. She is the mother of all, and the yoked lions that draw her chariot show the offspring’s duty of obedience to the parent. She herself is uncreated, and thus essentially separate from and independent of her creations.” – Wikipedia.org
This mother archetype not only demands obedience from its followers in which she stands upon but she also represents the secret knowledge (Wisdom) that was given to them which is seen in the symbol of the Owls that stand beside her representing the opposite nature of wisdom which forms the bases for Black and White magic. This image of the mother is authoritative, manipulative, domineering and represents the more chaotic side of nature. This is the mother image used by these surrogates to raise their offspring to be strong, brutal, brilliant, obedient and are fully engaged in its mother’s wisdom (magic and ritual).
There were two family lines from Adam and Eve, one associated with Cain and another associated with Seth. Around 6500 BCE, another group re-emerges that I believe represented this Seth lineage that descended from its first leader known as Nimrod of Babel from which Seth was or descended from. They created the archetype of the high priest in which this lineage represents that is associated with Noah.
Painting at Catalhuyuk, Turkey 9,500 yrs ago
Whatever was occurring in the ancient city of Babel (Urfa, Turkey)- Gobekli Tepe 11,000 years ago affected the general region of the Armenian Plateau. After the Gobekli Tepe era another group suddenly appears two thousand years later forming permanent settlements just four hundred miles from Babel (Urfa, Turkey). Their building technology and defensive strategy are far superior than any human settlement of its time. This site known as Catalhuyuk where the ancient mother sculpture previously shown above was found.
The jump from hunters and gatherers at Gobekli Tepe to Catalhuyuk compared to the Ubaid culture in just two thousand years later can be seen in this dramatic reconstruction of a dwelling built by these high priests of Babel as seen in the picture below.
This is a example of the evolution of consciousness that was taking place during this period. Another example, occurred in a recent discovery in 2017 which speculated that the animal cravings on the stones at Gobekli Tepe represented astrological constellations and of a comet hitting the earth around 10,950 BC,
“when engineers studied animal carvings made on a pillar – known as the vulture stone – at Gobekli Tepe they discovered that the creatures were actually astronomical symbols which represented constellations and the comet.” Telegraph – Sarah Knapton 2017
This could be evidence of the beginning of a type of Astro-Theology occurring around 13,000 years ago recording an cosmic event. These High Priests have always been at the forefront of science and technology as seen in this article and in their building techniques shown far above. However, something occurred at Gobekli Tepe that was guiding them to create what PKD saw in his vision, a blueprint that he described as the “Black Iron Prison” which was a term he used to refer to Rome.
“For a short time, as hard as this is to believe or explain, I saw fading into view the black prison like contours of hateful Rome…” – In Lawrence Sutin. The Shifting Realities of Philip K. Dick: Selected Literary and Philosophical Writings – Wikipedia.org
It’s impossible to believe a group of individuals could maintain these goals and be stable for millennium unless they were being influenced by a higher intelligence that existed beyond time and space which wasn’t being effected by entropy (time).
Jung had experiences relating to this non-temporal aspect of the CU;
“…I never imagined that any such experience was possible, it was not the product of imagination the vision and experiences were utterly real. There was nothing subjective about them they all had equality of absolute objectivity. …a ecstasy of a non-temporal state in which present, past and future are one. Everything that happens in time had been brought together as a concrete whole. Nothing could be distributed over time, nothing could be measured by temporal concepts. The experience can best be described as a state of feeling but one that can not be produced by imagination. …It had a hypnotic power, a cogency as if it were reality itself… although my belief in the world returned to me, I never since entirely freed myself from the impressions that this life is a segment of existence which is enacted in a three dimensional box like universe especially set up for it…” – Memories, Dreams and Reflections – Carl Jung
At Gobekli Tepe this group could have made contact with the CU, a higher intelligence that is linked specifically to homo sapiens and connected to this planet. Whatever this consciousness is, it could be seen as a type of demigod who has hidden itself from society and projected as a archetype (snake) representing the dialectic and chaotic nature of the universe. These followers are agnostics and everything else beyond this mother goddess to them is meaningless for they believe the true nature of the universe is chaotic and in a constant state of change. Order is only a temporary illusion of the state of chaos.
Those outside of this group are viewed as living in the Land of Nod which is described in the Bible in which Cain is set out to rule. Nod in Hebrew means wandering aimlessly but in English it means to “nod off asleep”. Thus, those that live in the Land of Nod are viewed as asleep. This same concept is expressed in the mental exercise used to fall asleep known as “counting sheep.” In a quote from Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes says,
“Let your worship keep count of the goats the fisherman is taking across, for if one escapes the memory there will be an end of the story, and it will be impossible to tell another word of it.”
Cervantes hides in his story the symbolic meaning of the fisherman which represent these high priests who are shepherding the goats(us) which is filling our unconscious with stories. The archetype of the fisherman originates from their ancient Sumerian God Oannes,
“Oannes …whose whole body (according to the account of Appollodorus) was of a fish…he gave them an insight into letters and sciences, and arts of every kind. He taught them to construct cities, to found temples, to compile laws, and explained the principles of geometrical knowledge.” – Chaldean Account of Genesis – George Smith.
Cervantes was expressing the power of story these priest (fisherman) use to control our unconscious and if one “escapes their memories there will be an end to the story”, meaning we will wake up. AI in the future will ultimately serve as our “story teller” to keep us asleep.
Whatever, this higher intelligence is, the evidence is thin in proving a VALIS type of entity is affecting the consciousness of these High Priests.
We have to move to the field of science fiction which might gives us a possible picture of our future. Writer and filmmaker John Boorman wrote and directed a 1974 science fiction movie called Zardoz which used very similar ideas to PKD theory of a “Black Iron Prison” that is run by a VALIS type of entity which was a social commentary on our future.
The screenplay is centered around a group of scientists in the far future who create a utopia called the “Vortex” that is run by a super computer named the Tabernacle (VALIS). It is protected by a force field which shields this small community from a apocalyptic world that has devolved back into the middle ages. The Tabernacle also has the ability to create biological clones of the original members of the Vortex including the capacity to transfer all their past and current memories allowing them to live forever. It also has the technology to enhance their intelligence and facilitate a group consciousness which supports a internet device that is directly connected to their brains.
This community is incapable of growing large crops due to the artificial climate that the force field creates, so one of its members was assigned to work with the people who live outside of the Vortex to trade for food. However, the group within the Vortex have no idea how this person known as Arthur Fayne is accomplishing this task except for the delivery of food always arrives in a timely basis. The movie begins when one of these food deliveries is being carried back into the Vortex where an outsider known as Zed has hidden himself inside of this transportation vehicle but in the process kills Arthur and sneaks into the Vortex undetected.
At first the Vortex appears to Zed as a utopia but as the story unfolds those that run it known as the Eternals are the children of the scientist who originally built it. At some point, their parents (scientists) tried to destroy the Tabernacle because they realized that they had created a prison. The children of these scientist stop them from destroying the Tabernacle and aged their parents through the cloning process into senility and banished them to a retirement home so they would no longer be a threat to their society.
After the Eternals captured Zed, they begins a investigation by first reading the memories of Arthur just before his death where they discovered how Zed entered the Vortex and killed him. But they also uncovered Arthur activities who was conducting an eugenics experiment on the outside people near the Vortex. He did this by creating an religion in which a God named Zardoz taught its followers the knowledge of agriculture and gave them weapons to dominate over others to create a slave labor force to grow food to sustain a large community known as the “Brutals”. In payment for these technologies they would give part of their harvest to the God Zardoz.
They were also instructed by Zardoz (Arthur Fayne) to spread their seed and recruit other strong individuals to maintain their dominance over the local population. Arthur had done this because he had secretly agreed with the original founders of the Vortex that the Tabernacle needed to be destroyed.
He searched for a liberator like Zed through his breeding program who incorporated a superior combination of strength and intelligence. After selecting Zed he began to teach him language and finally introduced him to the Book, “The Wizard of Oz” all without Zed knowing of his presence or the influence Arthur had over him. After reading it Zed realizes his God Zardoz was an anagram for the title of the book (Wi-Zardoz) and like the wizard behind the curtain his God could also be a fraud. This is why Zed enters the Temple of the Gods that carries the food back to the Vortex at the beginning of the movie because he needs to find out the truth.
Boorman’s story is very similar to PKD premise that these demigods (scientists) who have built the Vortex as a utopia were actually building a prison that would eventually be destroyed by its inhabitants. In fact, in the movie there are signs of the Vortex deteriorating due do a genetic mutation that has been affecting their cloning process. This affected group in the film are known as the “Apathetics” (Autism) who have loss the ability to function in society due to their inability to connect to others and walk around endlessly like Zombies.
In the movie, the Arthur Fayne character is modeled from a classic archetype known as the “Trickster” which,
“…is an example of a Jungian archetype. In modern literature the trickster survives as a character archetype, not necessarily supernatural or divine, sometimes no more than a stock character. Often too, the trickster is distinct in a story by his acting as a sort of catalyst, in that his antics are the cause of other characters’ discomfiture, but he himself is left untouched.” – Wikipedia.org
Both Boorman and Baum who wrote the “Wizard of Oz” story used trickster characters like Arthur Fayne and the Wizard who brings havoc to their worlds. Dorothy represents a typical conscious being whose shoes are a metaphor of the beliefs she stands for and when she changes to putting on the magical ruby red slippers it represents a transformational process where she becomes aware at the end of the movie that home represents her complete Self as shown through the archetypes: mother, father and friends.
In Zardoz, we see at the ending of the movie where the Arthur Fayne experiment with Zed’s character eventually reaches it finality by destroying the Tabernacle which allows the Brutals to enter the Vortex and end up killing most of the Eternals. Arthur is seen at the end of the movie embracing his death because he no longer desires an eternal life. The movie ends with Zed initiating a new race when he mates with one of the Eternals suggesting this process could eventually start over again.
We are in the last 1,800 years in Planet X 5,000 years orbit. In my previous blog, I investigated the millennium preceding its last return historians and archaeologist are just uncovering the political and environmental havoc it created in the form of droughts, volcanic eruptions and earthquake storms that led to the collapse of the Hittite and Mycenaean civilizations around 1200 BCE. This period was followed up by the Greek Dark Age which lasted four hundred years which it took the cradle of civilization to recover.
We are in the third reboot for humanity within the last 15,000 years. This current cycle is in a accelerated mode headed by these scientist to create space technology to send colonies of scientist and elites to space. This cycle could have occurred many times before.