Welcome to Kala’s Quick Five, where I chat with fascinating authors, artists, teachers, and researchers and ask them five questions about their work. My guest today is Lamont Wood, author Out of Place In Time and Space: Inventions, Beliefs, and Artistic Anomalies That Were Impossibly Ahead of Their Time. As a journalist and freelance writer of wide experience, Lamont Wood is familiar with the sometimes arbitrary distinction between cause and effect, and the subsequent gulf between what happens, what is experienced, what gets written, and what is understood. He has been freelancing for nearly three decades, writing for publications ranging from American Heritage to trade journals in Hong Kong. He has also been a newspaper reporter, a publicist, and a welder. He lives in San Antonio, Texas.
Kala: Lamont, welcome to Kala’s Quick Five. What first piqued your interest in technological inventions and other oddities that were created well before their place in time?
Lamont: I have always been a history buff, and I kept noticing examples of things that seem to fly in the face of a strictly linear conception of history. Some of the examples are clearly engineers who got way ahead of themselves, such as Archimedes defeating a Roman army using huge machines. But there were other things that I could not readily account for. In each case I have proposed an explanation that follows Occam’s Razor (meaning I assume that the simplest explanation is the one to go with) but not all are equally satisfying. Some anomalies cry out for a time-traveler explanation, but I have to point out that we cannot assign agendas to time travelers. If they even exist, there is no reason to think they would act like we would act in their shoes.
Kala: In your research and subsequent book, you discovered computers from ancient Greece and helicopters depicted in art from the Middle Ages. Of all of the anomalies that you uncovered, which surprised you the most?
Lamont: Jules Verne writing in 1865 about an American space program launching three men from Florida in an aluminum capsule that circles the Moon and lands in the Pacific Ocean where it is picked up by the U.S. Navy. He was loosely describing the Apollo 8 mission of 1968. There was no logical basis for such a prediction. I also found several examples of people who based their careers on correct predictions of the future. Oddly, being correct was not always beneficial to them.
Kala: Did you come to a firm conclusion on how these inventions and beliefs are created that predict the future? Are they beyond the limits of third dimensional time floating in the global consciousness or through the imaginings of creative type people? We can look now at Star Trek and see the early display of an iPad. Do you see any creations like this today that seem to be reflecting our future?
Lamont: I think the main lesson from the history of technology is that the impact of any particular invention is less interesting than the network effect that you get when that invention can be applied in large numbers. A steam engine pumping water out of a coal mine was very beneficial for its owners. Many steam engines mounted on wheeled carriages pulling freight cars across the landscape over metal rails could change civilization. Being personally literate is beneficial. Having a literate population gives you a different civilization. Having personal access to books is nice. Creating a publishing industry that can address the intellectual hunger of an entire population opens the door to societal transformation. The computer is a marvelous thing. Mass ownership of computers that are networked together amounts to a revolution. As for whenever gadget they are tinkering with for tomorrow, it almost does not matter how marvelous it is or isn’t. The question is whether it will catch on and achieve widespread use sufficient to create a network effect. I’d love to be able to predict that, but there are so many factors involved that you might as well call the results chaos in action.
Kala: UFO’s were also portrayed in medieval paintings. Some surmise that aliens were on the planet for some time and shared some of their technological knowledge, but when they left, the technology went with them and civilizations went back into a more meager existence. Do you think some of the technology portrayed in art and other depictions had to do with ancient alien visitations and what was observed in the skies?
Lamont: I think the depictions you speak of mostly show our willingness to impose our visual vocabulary on our ancestors, who had their own visual vocabulary. That vocabulary, incidentally, was both rich and extensive, being based on the need for teaching aids to help communicate with a non-literate population. If the two vocabularies overlapped that does not prove the existence of flying saucers. Of course, my objections don’t disapprove the existence of flying saucers, either, since no one can prove a negative. But after studying the issue I’ve come to the conclusion that if the mediaeval or renaissance church had wanted to depict visiting aliens they would’ve done so unambiguously. Meanwhile, to assume that interstellar extraterrestrials would want to visit us is to impose our agenda on them. I can’t figure out my cat’s agenda.
Kala: Has your research changed any of your beliefs about history and the evolution of mankind?
Lamont: I have come to the conclusion that the space-time continuum may be a little porous around the edges. But that probably is not surprising. Consider: you can’t define or isolate time, and the simplest reason for that is probably that time does not exist and its passage is an illusion generated by our perceptual framework. But while you and I are stuck perceiving things sequentially in the here-and-now some part of us must be maintaining synchronization with the rest of creation that is perceiving the same sequence. If the focus shifts even a little you would end up receiving information from somewhere else. However, assigning meaning to it may not be possible.
About Kala Ambrose…
Noted wisdom teacher, author, intuitive, inspirational speaker, and host of the Explore Your Spirit with Kala Show, Kala Ambrose’s teachings are described as discerning, empowering and inspiring. Whether she’s speaking with world-renowned experts on the Explore Your Spirit with Kala Show, writing about empowering lifestyle choices, reporting on new discoveries in the scientific and spiritual arenas or teaching to groups around the country, fans around the world tune in daily for her inspirational musings and lively thought-provoking conversations.
Kala is the author of three books including the award-winning 9 Life Altering Lessons: Secrets of the Mystery Schools Unveiled, Ghosthunting North Carolina and The Awakened Aura: Experiencing the Evolution of Your Energy Body . A highly interactive teacher on a mission to educate, entertain and inspire, Kala presents workshops nationally on the Mind/Body/Spirit connection including Auras and Energy Fields, Developing Business Intuition, and Wisdom Teachings at the Omega Institute, the Learning Annex, LilyDale Assembly, and online in Webinar presentations including John Edward’s InfiniteQuest and Daily Om.