The loss of a one sided certainty has paved the way to an unbounded creativity that has led a number of thinkers to radically re-conceive history, and suggest – as Erich Van Daniken does – that human development upon the physical and psychological planes has not been the product of a straight forward Darwinian evolutionary process, but is rather the consequence of interference at the genetic level, carried out by technologically advanced alien civilisations who visited the planet Earth hundreds of thousands of years ago, and who, whilst finding human beings in a very primitive state of development, improved their DNA and bequeathed certain clues for the future development of advanced technology. Van Daniken expressed this ‘ancient astronaut’ theory in his 1968 book entitled ‘Chariots of the Gods – Was God an Astronaut?’ This book has sold millions and has been in print ever since with many reprints occurring in the early 21st century.
‘The nature of post-modern freedom, although equally applicable to all, does not necessarily mean that it is immediately perceivable to all those who exist within its condition. Its condition is the product, generally speaking, of advanced economic development, although on occasion such philosophies as Buddhism have been interpreted as being of a ‘post-modern’ nature. Obviously ancient India was not in the advanced economic state that western Europe is in today, but the Buddha’s philosophy marks a stark break with the traditions of his time, and represents a clear manifestation of one particular aspect of the post-modern condition, namely that of dismissing the long narratives of history that had previously dominated Indian philosophical and spiritual thought. West Europe, the United States of America and to a lesser extent the emerging central and eastern European states, are the product of hundred of years of economic development that has created nothing less than a revolution in the material structure of outward society that has seen the remarkable establishment of science and medicine over that of the theology of monotheistic religion. This state of industrialisation and technological development, regardless of its inherent inequalities has nevertheless created an extensive collective wealth that has raised the level of physical and psychological existence.’