This book is a quest, well two actually; on one hand we have a search for the Holy Grail, on another the correct ascertations of the backstory behind that most famous of legends. The two chief components of the tale are the sacred cup used by Jesus at the Last Supper; & a search for this relic some centuries later by King Arthur & his Knights. We moderns are given a heavily embellish’d & alter’d version of events embedded in real people & objects. To undestand these long lost truths we must utilise a new academic discipline called Chispology.
My task has been one of the mightiest of challenges; the extreme scarcity of evidence left to us by the deep past, coupled with the counter-productive tendency among modern scholars to treat ancient reports with suspicion. Despite this state of affairs, I am rather of the opinion that we broad-minded moderns must respect everything that we are given as we say, ‘this is what we have got, this is what has been left to us,’ and construct our histories according to the evidence. The scattered shrapnel of sources which have survived to the modern day has come from the minds of intelligent people, the intellectual elite of an age. We must remember that each of these clue-givers represents the tip of an iceberg, for beneath the surface these ancient scholars would have conducted their own research into the matter from accounts long lost & forgotten.
The fabric that is the multi-hued tapestry of history contains holes which have been darned only by the imaginations of historians. On first coming to my studies, I soon discovered that certain sections of historical research were actually in a state of chronic disarray; whether down to this defective academic needlework, or more likely an error made by our earliest historians. Mistakes of the latter sort would then be perpetuated by centuries of scholars & scribes who, not knowing the material they had been using were corrupt, maintained such errors as truth.
Only by a painstaking examination of all the clues possible may we at some point discover if what we are reading is the actual truth, or is only a mere factoid; that is to say a fact-shaped falsity that has become generally believed. What the modern sciences of forensics & ballistics are to criminal justice, so Chispology is the new tool in which to unearth, to identify, to understand & to assemble the evidence left to us by posterity. Like a microscope scouring the vast metaverses of history, Chispology helps us deviate from false narratives & to take things at prima facea, free from the obscuring mists of time & happenstance.
When looking at any piece of history, there are five separate forces which may affect an event. The first is its Realization, that is to say the moment or moments when an event occurred. The second is its Remembrance, whether contained in the memories of witnesses, or a more tactile entity such as the bullet-holes in the brickwork of Budapest, pommeled into the masonry during the Hungarian rising of 1956. The third force to effect historical events is their Recording, the moment when they are stored for posterity by some enduring medium such as the printed page or via its modern-day version, the website. From here the information diverges, whether in an act of Reproduction – i.e. copying the story with varying degrees of accuracy – or Regurgitation, a retelling, a remoulding, a refashioning of the tale.
Between an event’s realization and its recording, a great many factors may affect its remembrance, which inevitably results in a distortion of the truth. Over passages of time, people are prone to forget the facts of a matter, or become influenced by personal bias when it comes to the retelling. As time spins on further from an event’s realization, especially those of hundreds – if not thousands – of years ago, items of remembrance become rarer & rarer, opening themselves up to such misinterpretations that one false assumption can send scholars spinning off into barren factoid-lined cul-de-sacs.
These changes in remembrance occur under the auspices of what I have labelled the ‘Chisper Effect,’ named after the children’s parlor game, Chinese Whispers, in which a bunch of noisy kids with chocolate smudged-faces gather together in a circle. A single sentence whispered ear-to-ear, and by the time that string of words has traveled the circuit it has almost inevitably been altered in sound & sense. In the same fashion, an alteration of sound and sense has affected a lot of our historical information. In this day and age, the era of mass communication, a piece of writing can be sent to billions right across the world without it changing one iota. Things were very, very different in the past, however.
Until the advent of printing in the 15th century names, places, dates etc. were oftentimes corrupted through transmission, whether orally or through the scribal transliteration of texts. The Roman poet Martial, infuriated by the lack of accuaracy in the transmission of his works, complained, ‘if any poems… seem to you either too obscure or not quite good Latin, not mine is the mistake: the copyist spoiled them in his haste to complete for you his tale of verses.’ Things were bad enough when the transcreation was occurring in the same language, but would get even more problemic if the transcreation was also a translation. As centuries passed, & new alterations were bolted onto the old, the original events, names & places would become ever more obscured in the mists of history. The Modern World is faced with this annoyingly messy morass of information, but once we begin to understand the processes of the Chisper Effect, we may begin to make sense of that maddening jumble. If history is a kaleidoscopic patchwork of confused accounts, then Chispology is the lens that coalesces the evidence into a cohesive & logical depiction.
I have called an identifiable occasion of alteration in an act of historical remembrance a Chisper, of which there are three principle forms. Of these, the Philochisp is a phonetical variation that is obtained through the transmission of a word or phrase. The Factochisp is a distortion of an event’s realisation into something different to that which occurred. The Creochisp is an embellishment of an event, its regurgitation, a milder form of distortion that has been influenced by the original, but takes on a whole new spirit of its own. The more mouths & minds through which information passes, the more open to corruption becomes the truth. These moments of alteration can be strung together into ‘chains’ known as Philochains, Factochains & Creochains, which may then intertwine like an infuriating knot of thick wooly thread.
Here follow two examples, both of which spring from the same event, that a certain theif called John stole five hundred turkeys from a market.
John stole five hundred turkeys from the market
Jane stole five hundred turkeys from the market
Jane stole five hungry turkeys from the market
John stole five hundred turkeys from the market
John stole five hundred chickens from the market
John stole five hundred chickens from the farm
The two sentences, ‘John stole five hundred chickens from the farm,’ & ‘Jane stole five hungry turkeys from the market,’ seem the record of quite different events. But we in the know understand they are both errant remembrances of a singular happening. It is the chispologist’s task to unravel these chispers, as if they were following a piece of thread through a maze to the pointed rock on which the ball of yarn was caught. When analyzing such tangles, the good student will learn to think outside the box, to acquire an instinctual feel for the similarities between Jane’s stealing of five chickens & John’s stealing of five hundred turkeys, then identify the chispers which lead them back to their common source of realisation.
Of the three species of chisper, the Philochisp is the most prevalent. These may be easily observable, as when the English Peter becomes the Dutch Pieter; the Albanian Petro, & the Spanish Pedro. Note how, in the Spanish version, the letter ‘t’ has been changed to a ‘d,’ while the –er ending has become -ro. A copyist’s error here may lead to something like ‘Badro’ & we are then presented with a name from which only faint hints of ‘Peter’ may be discerned. The student of Chispology must be aware of the vast varieties in languages & dialects – some alive, some dead – through which a name may have traveled, before arriving on the page or screen before us. Most days of the week the English-speaking peoples are faced with such transmissions, for the day named after the Anglo-Saxon god Tuesco becoms Tuesday; Woden’s Day becomes Wednesday; Thor’s day becomes Thursday & Freia’s Day became Friday.
Chispology traces the changing phases of fact and phrase from origin to reception. The Chispologist must ask why is the information different, where are the points of diversion, & what has happened to the separated strands in the meantime. Imagine an underground train travelling through Delhi during the Commonwealth Games of 2010. Three consecutive carriages are filled with the visiting natives of three separate countries – in the first are Mauris from New Zealand, in the second are Zulus from South Africa and in the third are Inuits from Canada. On to the train steps an itinerant singer from Rajasthan, whose sweet voice entertains the carriages to the accompaniment of a stringed sarangi. As he makes his way through the train collecting money, each set of visitors asks him his name. That night, during animated meal-time conversations, all three sets of visitors remember the singer’s name, which has now been subtly changed through the lingual processes of each of their three languages, resulting in three different versions of the original. Twenty-five years later, at three separate reunion dinners, the Rajhastani singer is spoken of again, only this time no-one can quite remember what he was called. A name is mentioned, which the company agrees to along the lines of, ‘yes that sounds right,’ but of course it is not the same, and the name has changed yet again through the mnemonic processes of the Chisper Effect. By this point in the process, as the singer’s name made its way through time and language, six different versions have developed out of the original.
A Philochain is also known by the more poetic-sounding Babel-Chain, named after the biblical Tower of Babel in which God divided the world’s original language. Just as normal chains are only as strong as its weakest link, the Babel-Chain works best when each philochisp is supported by confirmable facts. Without the back-up of evidence, all we would possess is a simple list of phonetically interconnected names. A good example of a well-supported babel-chain is found within the mythology of King Arthur, in which the name of his wife, Guinevere, appears with five variant spellings. If you could spare a moment to say the following names out aloud, slowly and in sequence, you should be able to feel each philochisp as it occurs.
When comparing the names Gwenhwyfar and Wander, it would appear strange to suggest they were the same woman, but analyzing the sources shows both names have been ascribed to the legendary queen of King Arthur.
Three unbridled ravagings of the Isle of Britain: The first of them, when Medrawd came to Arthur’s court in Celli Wig in Cornwall; he left neither food nor drink in the court he did not consume, and he also pulled Gwenhwyfar out of her chair of state The Welsh Triads C.13th
It is the scene of innumerable legends, which agree in representing it as the residence or prison of the infamous Vanora or Guinevar, who appears in the local traditions under the more homely appellation of Queen Wander, and is generally described as a malignant giantess The New Statistical Account of Scotland 1845
The beauty of Chispology is that it is always possible to find some kind of solution to a puzzle. Whether it is correct, of course, is down to the weight of evidence which transplants a theory from conjecture, thro’ circumstantially proven, to the realms of ‘distinct possibility.’ The main difference between my personal approach to history & that of many scholars, is that where they spend the majority of their time attacking the sources, I tend to use them. The key is learning how to read a difficult & oblique text, rather than declare it as phantasmagorical & discard it completely. As I write in 2019, I can make a comparison the Jesus Christ & the Holy Grail ‘legends’ & the famous shipwreck at Mahida, Tunisia. A chance discovery by sponge divers, early last century, of a marble bust led to an enormous effort to see what else lay beneath the waters. Using new methods an international team discovered the wreck of a first century Roman freighter laden with Greek art treasures, & in the process had created, de facto, the discipline of Underwater Archeology. The Chisper Effect, then, is the air-tight biving bell with which we shall enter the murky waters of the past.
This book is part chronicle, part detective story. Searching for the Grail has been something of a jigsaw puzzle – all the pieces were there, it was just a case of finding them in the depths of unread manuscripts, analyzing their value, & then assembling them to paint a cohesive picture. I have laid out the text accordingly, with each chronicle entry beginning in the main with a passage nuggeted from an old text, followed by fairly brief annotations. The culmination has been this little treatise, which I hope you shall enjoy reading as we travel through the vast & fascinating journey that is The Chisper Effect.
The fragrance of a lotus is the sum total of the fragrance of the individual petals that compose the lotus… If the petals are plucked away, the lotus ceases to exist. If what has happened or has been achieved in the regional spheres is bypassed, the composite image… gets distorted and disturbed. K.D. Thirunavukkarasu
Who in the Western World has heard of the Samkhyakarika? Who in the Eastern regions has heard of Apollonius of Tyana? In the context of this book they are but two of the many pieces of a remarkable puzzle known as ‘The Jesus Jigsaw.’ The teachings of Jesus Christ are the foundation stones upon which stands one of the most important religions of mankind: Christianity. We encounter the founder in the canonical Gospels of the New Testament, four moving reports of a divine ministry in and around the city of Jerusalem. Before this, and indeed after, as some scholars would have it, a great deal of evidence both new and old suggests he had at one point taken residence in India. Following the Sub-continent’s introduction to the tenets of European Christianity; by the nineteenth century many native intellectuals began to notice the numerous similarities between the religion preached by the ‘Carpenter’s Son’ from Judea, & the antique faiths of India. One of these scholars, an early 20th century ascetic called Swami Sivananda Saraswati, suggested that Jesus;
Lived like a Hindu or a Buddhist monk, a life of burning renunciation and dispassion. He assimilated the ideals, precepts and principles of Hinduism. Christianity is modified Hinduism only, which was suitable for those people who lived in the period of Christ. Really speaking, Jesus was a child of the soil of India only. That is the reason why there is so much of similarity between his teachings and the teachings of Hinduism and Buddhism.
During my research for this book I went to India & the city of Leh, situated gloriously among the Himalayas of Ladakh. While there I mooted my embryonic theory to certain scholars at the Central Institute for Buddhist Studies. One particular morning we were sat outside in the sunshine, a small gaggle of pupils observing our conversations, as I explained to the scholars the crux of my thoughts; not only did Jesus Christ survive the Crucifixion, not only did he travel to India, but during his time on the Subcontinent he would also compose seminal texts which would form the fundamental pillars of both Krishnaism and Mahayana Buddhism. In this spirit I asked the scholars about the possibility of a certain Asvaghosha being the same personage as Ishvarakrishna. The notion was promptly met with laughter of gentle condescension, and I was told rather bluntly that although the two men may have shared the same era, and written in the same style of Sanskrit, Asvaghosha was a poet and Ishvarakrishna a philosopher. I replied with calm erudition, explaining that although Ishvarakrishna was considered to be a philosopher, he wrote his Samkhyakarika in verse, hence making him a poet. My observation was met with Vedic silence, a profound moment of validation, for my new theory of Jesus-in-India had passed its first critical test.
While it is true that there are always two sides to every story, in the case of the Jesus I have discovered there are many, scattered throughout numerous texts. The Jesus Jigsaw is an attempt to make sense of all the information, when to ascertain the realities about this opaque figure we must understand how the historicity of Jesus lies embedded in the cultures of several faiths. Along one branch he is remembered in the Judeo-Christian tradition, with smaller sub-branches shooting off into Islam. Along another branch he is remember’d in the Hindoo tradition, with sub-branches leading off into Tamil mythology. In another he is one of the inspirational minds which fashioned Buddhism in its earliest days. Jesus Christ should in all reality be seen not only as a preacher in Palestine, but also a poet-saint in India. Fruitfully creochisped into Christian, Buddhist & Hindu traditions, such ebullient richness & untrammelled diversity in the world’s worship must be heartily praised, for it would be a dull congregation indeed if this planet of ours all sang entirely from the same hymn sheet.
Lately, reproaches in the form of solar eclipses and meteors have been in the sky. These great strange signs were repeated and yet those in official positions remained silent; rarely has there been loyal advice. Now a bushy star has been seen in Tung-chin. We are very dismayed. The ministers, grandees, doctors and advisors are each to think solemnly as to the meaning of these changes and compare them clearly with the Classical texts: nothing is to be concealed. Edict of the Chinese Emperor Cheng di
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” Matthew 2:1-2
Philosophy, a thing of the highest utility, flourished in antiquity among the barbarians, shedding its light among the nations. And afterwards it came to Greece. First in its ranks were the prophets of the Egyptians, and the Chaldeans among the Assyrians, and the Druids among the Gauls, and the Samanaeans among the Bactrians, and the philosophers among the Celts; and the Magi of the Persians… The Indian gymnosophists are also in the number
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled. This was the first enrolment, when Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. Luke 2:1-5
The Gospel of Luke describes a census that occurred around the time of the Nativity. We know that an ‘enrollment,’ took place in Judea in 6AD, as described by Josephus, who records how the ‘taxings’ were conducted in the 37th year after Augustus’ victory at Actium in 31 BC. This, however, could well be a second census, for Luke specifically remembers the Nativity census as being, ‘the first enrolment.’ According to Dr. EJ Vardaman a census in the provinces under Augustus was taken every 17 years, giving us a date of 11 BC for the first census.
And it came to pass, when the Lord Jesus was born at Bethlehem, a city of Judea in the time of Herod the King; the wise men came from the East to Jerusalem, according to the prophecy of Zoradascht, and brought with them offerings: namely, gold, frankincense, and myrrh, and worshipped him, and offered to him their gifts First Gospel of the Infancy of Jesus Christ
Isha – Issa – Isa – Is
They believe in the incarnation of gods and in the advent of future Buddha or ‘Enlightened One.’ The Buddhists await their future Buddha and always make a search for hum. The Buddhist of Tiber and Ladakh, make us of the Tantara, Mantara and Yantara for searching future Buddha, for this purpose, a minute study of cosmic signs is conducted by their priests. Succession of the incarnate lama is a complicated affair, and rest on the belief in the transmigration of the soul. After a week, from the demise of the lama, a complicated search is conducted of the newly-born baby, in all directions by a special band of priests. Personal belongings of the departed lama, such as incense, holy water and cup are placed before the new born baby, along with presents. The articles are mixed with other articles, and if the baby touches the belongings of the deceased lama, then the priest, declares the baby as the incarnate lama, and worships him.