Day and night, no difference.
The sun *is* the moon: An amalgam.
Their gold and silver melt together.
This is the season when
the dead branch and the green branch
are the same branch.
Nightmares fill with light like a holiday.
Humans and angels speak one language.
The elusive ones finally meet.
Good and evil, dead and alive,
from one natural stem.
You know this already, I'll stop.
Any direction you turn
it's one vision.
-- Rumi --
(trans. Coleman Barks)
New! Watch the video of a public talk in which I tell the full story of my discovery of the central secret of the ancient "mystery religion" of Mithraism! The talk is based on my book, The Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries: Cosmology and Salvation in the Ancient World (Oxford University Press).
name is David Ulansey. I am Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Religion (Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness Program) at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. I am a scholar of the history of religions, comparative religion, and cultural history (Ph.D., Princeton Univ.), and before teaching at CIIS I was on the faculties of the University of California at Berkeley, Boston
University, Barnard College (Columbia University), the University of Vermont,
Princeton University, and Pacifica Graduate Institute.
My specialty is the religions of the ancient Mediterranean world, especially the ancient Mystery religions, Gnosticism, ancient cosmology, and early Christianity. I have also taught courses in a variety of more speculative areas such as the evolution of consciousness, archetypal psychology, alchemical symbolism, the metaphysics of cyberspace, and applied deep ecology, and I have been a frequent lecturer at the San Francisco C.G. Jung Institute.
My book, The Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries: Cosmology and Salvation in the Ancient World, was published by Oxford University Press, and my book Mysteria: The Ancient Mysteries and the Evolution of Consciousness (based on a series of lectures I presented at the San Francisco C.G. Jung Institute) is forthcoming from North Atlantic Books/Random House. I am also currently finishing a new book for Oxford called The Other Christ: The Mysteries of Mithras and the Origins of Christianity. I have published numerous articles in places ranging from Scientific American to the Journal of Biblical Literature. (See below for links to online versions of several of my articles.)
In addition to my work as scholar and teacher of the history of religions, I am also an environmental activist and filmmaker. I am the creator and webmaster of Massextinction.net, the web's foremost source of information on the current mass-extinction/biodiversity crisis (there is now a consenus among biologists that unless humanity changes its course, half of all species of life on Earth will be extinct in as little as 30 years). Massextinction.net was featured in Natural History magazine.
In connection with my work on the extinction crisis, I am Chair of the Board of the Species Alliance-- a non-profit organization devoted to public education about the threatening mass extinction-- and I am the Executive Producer of the Species Alliance's new feature-length documentary film Call of Life: Facing the Mass Extinction. The film is now finished and has been screening in major festivals, where it has won a number of prestigious awards including the John Muir Award at the Yosemite Film Festival, the Award of Excellence and the Humanitarian Award in the Accolade Competition, and the Award for Best Science Communication Film at the Reel Earth Environmental Film Festival (New Zealand). A DVD edition of the film, with a license to host group screenings, is now available for order here!
I am also the co-founder of the PlaNetwork project on information technology and the global environment.
My publications have focused on the ancient mystery religion of Mithraism. For a summary of my book, The Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries: Cosmology and Salvation in the Ancient World (Oxford University Press, revised paperback 1991), click here.
Those of you who have read my book in English may be interested in several important appendices that I wrote for a German translation of the book. To read these appendices in English, click here.
For information on my forthcoming book, Mysteria: The Ancient Mysteries and the Evolution of Consciousness (based on a series of lectures I presented at the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco), click here.
For my article The Mithraic Mysteries, published in Scientific American (December, 1989), click here.
For my article Mithras and the Hypercosmic Sun click here.
For my article The Eighth Gate: The Mithraic Lion-Headed Figure and the Platonic World-Soul click here.
For an article of mine on cosmic symbolism in the Gospels (from the Journal of Biblical Literature) click here.
For my article Cultural Transition and Spiritual Transformation: From Alexander the Great to Cyberspace, click here.
For information on the Species Alliance to halt the mass extinction, of which I am the Founder, and the documentary film it is producing entitled "Call of Life" for which I am the Executive Producer, click here and here.
Have you ever wondered how much each person would actually be entitled to if the world's resources were divided equally? For a ballpark estimate, see my article The Arithmetic of Compassion.
For information about the Planetwork Project on the internet and ecological survival, which I co-founded, click here.
For the fascinating story of the early history of the California Institute of Integral Studies, click here.
For a collection of short poems of mine called "asterism" click here.
For some of my music (two songs-- I'm on vocal and rhythm guitar), click here.
Thanks for stopping by. To send me a message, email me at this address: david (at) mysterium (dot) com.
"It has been calculated
that Humanity is eighteen days of age,
basing this on the assumption that human beings
have existed for one million years,
and the earth may be habitable two billion more.
An infant that is eighteen days old
will cry when it is hungry or in pain,
and is able to follow a bright light with its eyes."
-- Evan S. Connell --