Prometheus and the Meaning of Life

          Monday night I caught the late showing of Ridley Scott’s latest sci-fi epic, “Prometheus,” and if you haven’t seen it yet, then you might want to skip this spoileriffic post and just come back here after you’ve had a chance to see it for yourself. If not, then at the very least consider yourself warned.

          The tale revolves around a misguided expedition deep into outer space to locate an alien race of higher beings, dubbed “the Engineers” by the movie’s protagonist who believes them to be our creators. By the movie's end it turns out that the geriatric trillionaire who funded the whole expedition didn’t, as we were lead to believe, pay a trillion dollars just to help realize the religious hopes and dreams of two wacky archeologists, but, rather, so that he can ask one these keepers-of-the-secrets-of-creation to make him immortal. He gets his wish of course, and by that I mean that they find one of these “Engineers” and he gets to ask his question, only to have his skull immediately bashed in with the violently decapitated head of his android interpreter by an angry alien albino who then proceeds to jump right into the driver’s seat of his space ship, apparently, on his way to kill everybody else from the planet of the asshole who woke him up to ask him such a selfish fucking question.

          This movie seems to baffle everybody, as I’m pretty sure it was designed to do, but there are a few possible explanations that I think make sense of it all. Basically, based on some of the lines in this, and in some of the other alien movies, not to mention the thanatotic artistic inspirations of Ridley Scott (i.e. Giger), I think it’s safe to say that the Engineers are a race of death worshiping Gnostic Archons. From the opening scene in which one of the Engineers takes his own life in order to (again, apparently) seed some earth-like planet with new life, to the often expressed idea that the Xenomorphs in the Alien movies are the ultimate living organism, I concur with a few others on the internet who have speculated that the Engineers are none other than the Igigi, the rebellious servants of the Annanuki from Sumerian myth.

          This is a fairly interesting idea, one which, when examined more closely, may serve to shed some light not only on this film but on the oft-misinterpreted myths of the Sumerians as well.

          To summarize, the ancient Sumerians (with only a few minor semantic revisions by modern believers in the ancient astronaut theory) believed that Man was originally created by aliens, aliens who were, in fact, slaves themselves, all so that we could “mine for gold” (more on THAT little gem later). According to the myths, this overworked slave race, known as the Igigi, genetically engineered us using their very own genes, and some other stuff that they found lying around down here, so that we could toil in their place in endless service to their own even more mysterious masters, the Annunaki. The rocky relationship between the Annunaki and the Igigi seems to be one fraught with constant labor disputes and rebellions, as even after they created mankind to replace themselves as slaves they still contrived to turn US against their former overlords as well, going so far as to re-engineer us via interbreeding (i.e. sexing our women a la the biblical story of the Nephilim) so that we too might be able to rise up and throw off the onerous yoke of slavery.

          One wonders exactly how far back the ancient Alchemist’s metaphorical use of the word “gold” reaches, and if, perhaps, the Annunaki were not, as the myths literally state, searching for precious metal, but rather something even more precious, although far less tangible. What if the Annunaki are not physical beings at all, but rather thought forms, Platonic ideals if you will, who require physical creatures as temporal experience machines to synthesize existential angst and other deliciously abstract sentiments which would, for them anyway, be otherwise unrealizable; mining for gold indeed.

          In this way physical life would best be understood as a tragic comedy, or, at worst, a hell of inescapable pain and suffering. Ridly Scott has admitted to being inspired by ancient Middle Eastern mythology, so, if these Engineers are indeed the Igigi, then the reason they would create a black goo that would cause women to birth nightmares like the Xenomorps, turn good men to ash, and turn lesser men into nigh unstoppable killing machines, is simply this: When the true point of all created life is simply to suffer and die, this’s the only kind of gold that their inhumane, sensually deprived, masters really crave.

          But perhaps it was all summed up best by T. E. Lawrence when he said, “Certainly it hurts... The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts.” Good luck and Namaste.

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