2001 - A Space Odyssey

The Stanley Kubrick film, "2001 - A Space Odyssey" is perhaps one of the most memorable films ever produced. Its initial start from the "dawn of man" with the ominous black box (often referred to as an obelisk), that appears in a clearing (a home of primitive ape-men) and is by appearance somehow linked to a rapid increase in their intellectual ability to use tools. Before it appears the scene is peaceful and interrupted by minor squabbles at the water-hole, whilst food is gathered peaceably but the home is in danger from predators that they are unable to prevent taking their place in the food chain above them. Despite this the creatures are docile, and unimaginative until the arrival of the obelisk.


After contact with the obelisk, an ape-man starts to think. For once in creation an animal has one truly original thought, to use a bone to whack the life out of competing creatures and hunt for meat. The black box is not seen again until a buried obelisk is found on the moon uncovered by mining. The box sends a signal in the direction of Jupiter, and the film passes on to a manned space mission to Jupiter to see what was being contacted. There is no clear indication that planning of this mission occurs longer than one would expect. Other than advances in computer technology and cryonics, there is no evidence to suggest it took longer than a few years to arrange.

The buried box's signal has not been decrypted by the time the mission starts, and the only possible being who can decipher the message is the ships' computer HAL (I-1, B-1, M-1) that of course has a record of the find in his databanks with a command to show it to the crew when they approach Jupiter. Somehow however, the computer develops a 'fault', kills the crew in cryonic sleep leaving only one survivor after an accident to repair a non-faulty part during spacewalk "does in" the only other of the two left awake.

The survivor has to re-enter the ship in difficult circumstance and shuts down the computer's higher logic functions, and by fail-safe the briefing of the mission tape is played him. The survivor 'Dave' leaves the ship and approaches another 'obelisk' free floating in space, and appears to "enter" it. There follows a weird scene that doesn't quite resemble hyperspace (like from star trek or starwars) but has impressed teenagers experimenting with narcotics for decades.

The films penultimate section follows 'Dave' through scenes where he is aware of his existence as he is and will be. A final view of the obelisk is had whilst he appears to be dying in bed in a sterile prison. He reaches out to the black box, and though it seems too far from him to reach, the scene cuts as though the box had reached out and touched him itself.

The film ends with a visual of a child as within a womb, yet surrounded by stars.

Instead of watching the film and saying, "I don't get that ending", We can tell that 'man' has been gifted intellect by the obelisk to innovate at various times. It finishes with another vast gift of intellect to a child, by knowledge of the universe and the child's place in it. Somehow, I feel the child is as related to Dave as the ape to the bone. The possibility that Dave with all his knowledge becomes aware not of who he will be but who he was in the past, is also implied in the reaching out scene where he is standing in front of the bed while the old man dies, but all the man sees is the obelisk. On touching the obelisk, the bedridden man Dave could be breaking 'the time barrier' in being conscious of more than in the present, but of all his time, all of his life and existence itself. He has become 'illuminated'. The human race will eventually follow, something wonderful is going to happen.

Dave experiences the last scenes of his life in his sterile prison in a reward that could (or should) have been for HAL. He is given a similar memory to a computer and can recall all his past and future (as deterministically as HAL would) in these scenes. However the mechanics of life (eating etc) continue until he reaches the end of his life and reaches out from his deathbed to the obelisk (satan) always requiring one more gift of life in this final act of worship and yearning. If indeed he lives on in a super-evolved state, it is an act of some faith to imagine it.

"Something wonderful is going to happen!"


From the moment the film descends into visual effects, the character Dave is undergoing the obelisks gift of human evolution after encountering it at Jupiter. The bright visuals, cut only by a view of Dave's watching (not all seeing, but attempting to be) eye are extremely chaotic. It could be that the sequence shows how Dave himself is catapulted through accelerated evolution and the visuals represent the stress of overcoming the entropy of mutation through some mechanism or chaotic manipulation.

The scene changes from chaos to landscapes and then into a shortly compressed sequence where Dave is aware of watching his future and past selves. This could be related to the visuals of first five, then seven diamond octahedron shapes during the chaos scene. First five senses, then seven, looking toward what Dave has been in the past, and what he wants to become in the future. Perhaps Dave is contemplating or experiencing his own accelerated evolution physically?

The landscapes and periods of Dave's life flow past as if Dave is trying to overcome all that he was as a human being. In reaching out to another obelisk from a bed at the end of his human life, has he failed to become fully "illumined" and as the serpent in Eden tempted, "As Gods"? By reaching out to the obelisk, Dave is reaching out for the desire to be more, as if a god. But by doing so he must accept being completely removed from the realms of human physical experience. In the day he becomes what he wishes for from the obelisk, he will cease to be human... He will surely die.

The last scene of the starchild, (at least in the film) shows that the story starts once more, and the obelisk has succeded in Dave making another covenant with the luciferic doctrine of the serpent. There is no way for man to ever become "Gods". The temptation is an empty promise. To live as humans requires that we live with what we know, the only other choice is death.

Why would the point be for humans to live as simply a static recording of time?: Without any more life than a book that can't be read? If the HAL9000 computer had succeeded in killing Dave and fulfilling its mission on its own, Dave would have become the bone of the HAL's evolution,.. perhaps whether the obelisk's gift was better for HAL or Dave is a throw up toss between either. Neither one or the other would ever continue to "live".

You may find it interesting to watch the scene at the end of Star-Trek "The Motion Picture" where Decker joins with the Voyager 6 probe in order to synthesize the human as creator-machine with all knowledge paradigm. Decker says "Jim, as much as you wanted the enterprise, I want this". The enterprise, is a common term in the mystery religions and refers to the social engineering, (ordo ab chao etc), the use of any and all means to bring about this end. In effect, Jim represents the journey to that end, Decker is (one) step along the way. These films actually end with the exact same story, the enterprise goes on, and we can assume Decker will not be satisfied.

If you would like to know more about the mystery schools, their teachings and traditions, their history and membership and you are not a tight fisted asshole that wants everything for free when sainted others have worked hard to research, collate and present the information you want and need, Then I suggest you buy it. 'The Hour Of the Time' will appreciate your honesty.

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