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- John Metcalf
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Philippine History - A narrative / synopsis on Philippine history: from the pre-colonial Spanish times up to the present.
Time Line of Historical Events - A list of important events recorded in Philippine history.
Presidents & Vice-Presidents - A list of presidents and their vice-presidents from the time of Emilio Aguinaldo to Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
Filipino Flag - Philippine Flag - The evolution of the Philippine flag starting from the time of Andres Bonifacio and the Katipunan to the present day Philippine flag.
Philippine Statistics - data about Philippine population, per capita income and more.
About the Philippines - land, bodies of water, fishery, minerals and other natural resources.
Spanish Expeditions to the Philippines - The expeditions of Magellan, Villalobos and Legazpi to the Philippine islands.
Spain as Colonial Masters - how the Spanish crown governed the Philippines when it was a colony.
The Galleon Trade - about the galleon trade between Manila and Acapulco during the Spanish times.
Secularization of Priests - which sparked Philippine nationalism.
Gomburza - Gomez, Burgos & Zamora - The death of Fathers Mariano Gomez, Jose Burgoz and Jocinto Zamora that inspired the propaganda movement against Spanish rule
La Solidaridad & La Liga Filipina - About the revolutionary newspaper La Solidaridad and the organization called La Liga Filipina.
The Katipunan - Andres Bonifacio started the revolution against Spain by establishing the Katipunan.
Cry of Pugad Lawin - The shouting of the Katipuneros and the tearing of their cedulas.
The Biak na Bato Republic - the republic the Aguinaldo established and the pact done at Biak na bato.
The Spanish-American War - the short war that ended with Spain selling her colonies to the U.S.
Battle of Manila Bay - On May 1, 1898, the U.S Navy attacks and destroys the Spanish fleet at Manila Bay.
Revolutionary Gov't: Malolos Congress - the short-lived government established by Aguinaldo in Malolos, Bulacan.
Filipino-American Hostilities - the conflict between the American forces and Filipinos during the American period.
End of the Philippine Revolution - the capture of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo put an end to the Katipunan.
The Taft Commission - a commission to hasten the transformation of the Philippine military government to civilian.
The Philippine Commonwealth - the 10 year transition period to prepare the country for independence.
Tydings-McDuffie Law - the Philippine Independence Act or more popularly known as the Tydings-McDuffie Law
Japanese Occupation - Japan invades the Philippines during World War II and was liberated by the Allied forces in 1945.
The Philippines During Martial Law - President Marcos declares martial law on September 21, 1972.
Photos of Old Manila - a collection of old photographs of people and places from the late 1800s to early 1900s.
United States History Sitemap
United States History Sitemap
The United States History Sitemap contains fast access to articles containing facts and information about American History during the various presidencies. Learn about US history via this American History Sitemap including:
United States History Sitemap : Historical Era's
Learn about the History of the United States via this useful Sitemap with access to simple, clear and easy to read articles that all have interesting illustrations, information and fast facts. This website covers United States History from the presidency of George Washington to the modern presidency of Barack Obama. For an individual Sitemap for each section detailing all the articles available on specific subjects click one of the following links:
United States History Sitemap by Era
United States History for Kids: Important Time Periods and Events
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United States History Sitemap : The New Nation - 1790-1800
Learn about the famous historical events in the New Nation of America via this United States History Sitemap 1790-1800.
United States History: New Nation Era - 1790-1800
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United States History Sitemap: Evolution Era - 1801-1828
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United States History Sitemap: Westward Expansion Era - 1841-1850
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Learn about the famous historical events in the Civil War Era of America via this United States History Sitemap. The events surrounding Secession are detailed in our Civil War website.
United States History Sitemap : The Secession and Civil War Era - 1850-1865
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1920's Economic Boom and Prohibition
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US United States History Sitemap: United States History for Kids - Video of US Presidents
The United States History Sitemap provides detailed facts and a summary of the most important events during the history of the United States - a crash course in American History. The following video will give you additional important facts, history and dates about the personal and political lives of all the US Presidents.
US United States History Sitemap
United States History Sitemap - US History - Facts - First - Second - United States History Sitemap - United States History Sitemap - Definition - American - First - Second - United States History Sitemap - US - USA - United States History Sitemap - America - Dates - United States - Kids - First - Second - United States History Sitemap - Children - Schools - Homework - Important - Facts - First - Second - United States History Sitemap - Key - Main - First - Second - United States History Sitemap - Summary - Definition - History - Interesting - United States History Sitemap - Info - First - Second - United States History Sitemap - Information - American History - Facts - Historical - Major Events - United States History Sitemap
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S i t e G u i d e
Writings by John Lash and Lydia Dzumardjin
The purpose of this guide is twofold: provide one-click access to any text on the site, and showcase the topics and themes treated in those texts. To assist navigation through this material, the guide follows the buttons on the menu panel. This is a teachng site so each button can be regarded as a classroom, or a course being offered there. This guide shows where you go by entering each classroom and previews the topics to be explored, the subject matter on offer, etc.
Please note indications of unfinished work.
PLANETARY TANTRA has its own site guide: Tantra Tour. The link to Planetary Tantra is found at the top of the home page: click on the banner beneath the menu panel. This link is consistent on all pages with the metahistory heading. Pages in PT have a different heading with the link back to metahistory through the tree and well logo in the lefthand column.
* * * * * * * *
defines metahistory.org as a teaching site and states its dual purpose: to critique beliefs and invite a future myth to guide humanity. The "future myth"proposed in metahistory is not the author's personal invention, and not a channeled scenario. It is a recovery and extrapolation of the sacred narrative of the fallen goddess Sophia derived from the Pagan Mysteries of pre-Christian Europe, Egypt, and the Levant. Hence the mission statement links immediately to the story of Gaia-Sophia, a myth in progress.
Throughout the site, a click on the Tree and Well logo in the upper lefthand of the first page of every file returns you to the home page. Or use the menu panel at the end of each document. How Metahistory Works (starting beneath the cartouche that signals recently posted material) is the opening orientation essay with emphasis on the Socratic angle of the site. Both these essays belong to the category (/folder) of
Essential orientation to the concept of metahistory, its assumptions, themes, and applications.
Socrates in dialogue. Raphael, The School of Athens
Sacred Nature: All we know and are is rooted in the earth.
Opposition: Everything develops by polarities, with or without conflict.
Origins: We postulate beginnings by the act of recording them.
Moral Design: Is there justice and equilibrium in human reality?
Technology: In ancient and modern times alike, our tool-making skills set the course of our experience.
Background to Metahistory is long essay on the antecedents of metahistory, going back to founding of Rome in 747 BCE, an event in which mythical and history converge, and coming forward to the modern definition of metahistory proposed by the academic Hayden White.
Myth in Metahistory is on long essay on the nature of myth, the eight categories of mythic narrative, and problems concerning the use of myth in its application to actual experience.
The Uses of the Erotic by Audre Lorde is an exception on the site, a rare guest writer. Metahistory.org does not feature the writings of any other authors except this one. Audre Lorde was a black lesbian feminist active in the 1970s. Her view of the erotic resonates closely to the spirit and tone of metahistory.org, and especially the goddess material. See, for instance, in the Eros section of Gaia-Sophia: Coco de Mer.
More orientation-type essays with emphasis on the Gnostic angles of metahistory can be found in Gnostique/Telestics.
Here is more orientation material, including 36 suggested books for research and reference, and a few book reviews. Special emphasis on the Gnostic literature: NHL, Nag Hammadi Library.
Basic Reading in Metahistory, introduction to suggested reading.
14 Essential Books with reviews and comments on their relevance to the metahistorical perspective.
Suggested Books for the Themes (15), each with a brief review.
The Seven Classics, a long essay with reviews of unmissable writings on prehistory, goddess religion, mythic astronomy, and more.
Selective Book List offers one-page, one-click access to all 36 recommended books.
Bibliography, a partial list of books from my library which in its entirety is now on offer as an endowment.
Books by John Lash, in and out of print.
/ REVIEWS is the portal to this folder, listing the books reviewed:
Other reviews specific to Gnosticism in gnostique/tar baby jesus.
/NHL is the folder for my extensive commentaries on the Coptic writings discovered at Nag Hammadi in Egypt early in December 1945, the week, month, and year I was born. Introduction to the Nag Hammadi Reading Plan explains my selection and reasons for the three-part breakdown.
Access to the Reading Plan lists all the texts in my three-part breakdown for reading these diverse and chaotic materials. The Plan does not cover all fifty-two tractates from Nag Hammadi, or any other non-NHL Coptic writings such as the Pistis Sophia. I selected only thirty-two texts out of the total fifty-two from Nag Hammadi.
THE READING PLAN: READING/NHL/
Level One: The Mysteries and the Master
Level Three: The Sense of Cosmic Order
Text 18: The Apocalypse of Adam, V, 5
Text 19: The Second Apocalypse of James, V, 4
Text 20: The Apocryphon of John, II, 1 III, 1 IV, 1 (three versions)
Text 21: The Concept of Our Great Power, VI, 4
Text 22: The Discourse on the Eighth and the Ninth, VI, 6
Text 23: Eugnostos the Blessed, III, 3 V, 1 (two versions)
Text 24: The Sophia of Jesus Christ, III, 4
Text 25: The Exegesis of the Soul, II, 6
Text 26: The Gospel of the Egyptians, III, 2 IV, 2 (two versions)
Text 27: The Gospel of Truth, XII, 2
Text 28: Marsanes, X
Text 29: The Paraphrase of Shem, VII, 1
Text 30: The Three Steles of Seth, VII, 5
Text 31: Trimorphic Protennoia, XIII, 1
Text 32: Zostrianos, VIII, 1
NOTE: The NHL Reading Plan is an unfinished book.
To my knowledge, there is so far (December 2009) no alternative guide comparable to this one that treats the NHL material from the Pagan Gnostic viewpoint, rather than from the angle of Judeo-Christian scholarship. Both viewpoints are biassed, of course. My viewpoint gives fair represention to the non- and anti-Judeo-Christian elements of the Coptic writings, and takes a huge bite into the Archon material which scholars avoid like the plague due to their fear of dabbling in psychic and supernatural matters. Furthermore, my commentaries come from someone who admits having mystical experiences comparable to those described in the texts, rather than from armchair scholars who lack the benefit of such experiences, or would be loth to admit having them if they ever did.
I regret being unable to complete these in-depth commentaries and offer them in a book. But there is only so much time in life for life. JLL
Gnostic Alphabetic NHLE is an alphabetic list of the texts in the standard English translation of the Coptic books from Nag Hammadi: The Nag Hammadi Library in English, edited by James Roberston. As if this material were not chaotic enough in the first place, the table of contents in that book makes it difficult to locate any particular text. Over the years, I have found that I end up having to riffle the entire table contents each time I want to return to a specific document. I provide this list merely for reader convenience. Print it out and keep it inside your copy of the NHLE.
Gnostic Source Materials (note on sources in the site bibliography)
Gnostic Studies (from Not in His Image) Reading and Research
This large section of the website is not displayed by any button on the menu panel, but may be accessed at the Introduction. Definitions in the Lexicon are linked occasionally throughout the site when specific terms such as behavior call for clarification. I have taken this feature out of circulation because it is a massive project I was unable to finish or edit properly, so it contains some gaps and errors. However, it is still there to be explored if you are inclined. The index page lists all the entries and most of the links seem to work.
If this is only one entry you read in the Lexicon, make it this: Zaddikim
nine chapters of a thirteen-chapter book on the quest for the Holy Grail, considered by Joseph Campbell to be the most important secular myth of the Western world. The book traces an untold story: the diaspora of the Pagan Mysteries after 400 AD. It describes how refugees from those ancient schools of visionary science sought santuary in the far westlands of Europe, in Brittany, Wales, Ireland. This historical account of the survival of the Mysteries is exclusive to metahistory.org. To my knowledge, such an account cannot be found anywhere else on the internet or in any book.
An Alternative History of the Grail
1. Grail Magic Versus the Paternal Lie
The Grail Quest entails a challenge to expose the paternal lie about the message of the off-planet father god, and counteract that lie by direct engagement with the power of the Goddess, the living earth. The mythemes of hero and goddess and hero (true man) versus patriarch underpin the Grail narrative, as explained in my book The Hero - Manhood and Power
Parzival by Wolfram von Eschenbach: A Synopsis
Ahandy recounting of the complex medieval story.
2. The Destiny of the Swan Knight
3. Three Currents from the Grail
4. The Radiant Wisdom Stone
5. The Most Enigmatic of All Enigmas
It is possible to describe in a concrete and explicit way what the Grail was in experiential terms, an experience rather than a symbol or relic. Doing so, I make an unprecedented claim: attainment of the Grail was a direct encounter with the Organic Light, the "radiant wisdom stone." Whoever chooses to undertake the Quest can verify this claim first-hand. It is not a theory I expect anyone to accept. It is not my pet notion. It is not a matter of speculation any more than is the presence of oxygen in your lungs.
6. Spiritual Warriors of the Grail
7. Sacred Love, Sacred Light
8. Faith Incarnate
(Alchemical Peacock, image of psychedelic vision
of the Organic Light, the goal of the Great Work.
In the Grail legend, the wounded Fisher King wears
a peacock plume in his hat.)
The mystical quest for the Grail is linked closely with the knights of the Round Table and the troubadours. Because the Arthurian order of knights was founded to protect the refugees from the Pagan Mysteries who preserved direct knowledge of "attainment of the Grail," that is, first-hand encounter with the Organic Light. Arthurian literature was the genre in which that knowledge became encoded. Among the troubadours, romantic love was intertwined with the Grail Quest: the Girl and the Grail were regarded as one. The mystique and ethos of romantic love, defined at "the mythogenetic moment" (Campbell's term) of 1250 AD, defined a highpoint of human spirituality, but that moment was also the gateway into the oppression, deceit, and addiction of our time.
9. The Tale of the Magic Garland
The Gawain Episodes: A Synopsis (forthcoming)
This chapter discloses the lore of entheogenic shamanism encoded in the Grail legend. It affirms that the ancient Mysteries, even in their late survival down to the 13th century, contained extensive knowledge of sacred plants and used such plants for visionary trance to acquire supernatural power and enjoy direct access to the Organic Light.
10. The Bleeding Lance
11, 12, 13 . incomplete
With chapter 10, this book brings the Grail legend up to the 20th century, showing how the Nazis adapted the legend to their political agenda. The uncompleted chapters would then show how Grail lore survived clandestinely in Russia and from there, starting with Vernadsky, produced what we today call Gaia theory.
NOTE: The Alternative History of the Grail is also an incomplete book, and remains so as of December 2009.
Originally conceived in three parts, but only Part 1, covering the years 1935 - 1965, has been completed so far: The Psychonautic Adventure. Right now I can't say if or when I will complete the two remaining parts, generation two 1965 - 1995, and the current generation, 1995 - current. The remainder of this classroom consists of two folders:
The Discovery of a Lifetime describes how I found in the National Library in Paris a medieval ms. of the 13th Century, the Paris Eadwine Psalter, the only copy in existence, lavishly illustrated with Daliesque images of psychoactive mushrooms.
Entheogenic Revelation: The Paris Eadwine Psalter outlines my proposed book on the Wasson theory of the origin of religion (working title "Paradise Denied'), a project that did not get sold. It relates the Eadwine psalter to the Mysteries, in particular to perception of the molecular structure of DNA in a heightened state induced by psychoactive plants.
Illuminated Heresy presents further commentary with illustrations from the Eadwine psalter, including one image of Christ tempted by an antlered shaman-devil in a mushroom grove.
Mystic Jesus: Hanged Man and Dancer offers yet more jaw-dropping images from the Eadwine psalter, included Christ inverted and an explicit cameo of Jesus dancing with Mary Magdalene. All in all, extraordinary evidence for Gnostic heresy and entheogenic mysticism preserved in this unique medieval text.
Forbidden Fruit: The Psalter of Saint Louis compares images of another psalter containing entheogenic imagery with the Eadwine illustrations.
The Entheogenic Theory of Religion sets out my strong objections to the trendy notion (coming from Benny Shannnon, John Rush, and others) that patriarchal figures like Moses and Jesus, iconic proponents of salvationist religion, acquired their message by inspiration from sacred teacher plants.
The Oldest Taboo in the World: Introduction to Wasson Book (incomplete and unpublished). Considers the taboo encoded in the Old Testament myth of the Temptation of Adam and Eve, forbidding the eating of sacred plants that give wisdom or a divine or god-like nature.
The Banker and the Bruja: Chapter One of Wasson Book - describes the meeting between R. Gordon Wasson and the Mazatec shaman Maria Sabina, resulting in the handover of psychoactive plant mysticism by its indigenous practitioners, making it known to the world at large.
is a small collection of writings by my long-time friend and loyal tantrika, the only other living author to be featured on his site. Her intimate testimony includes an explanation of the timing and circumstances of our disclosure of the Organic Light, the ultimate secret of the Mysteries.
Lydia's Vow explains the sacred vow to reveal the sworn secret of the Mysteries: instruction by the Light.
Lydia Dancing describes the origin of sarod thread dancing, which Lydia teaches as she wanders about the land.
The Throw of Dice introduces the Kali Dice Oracle, a conversational divination game for the communities of the future.
Recapitulations of her lives, recounted in reverse order:
9: Pia, called "The Raven (La Corvina)," Italian courtesan
8: Alisan de Monfaucon, Celtic bard
7: Lydia of Damascus, telestes
6: Socrates, dialectician
5: Priam, Prince of Troy
4: Timotheos of Naxos, stone mason
3, Nefer-Hat-Shu / Nefer-Nut-Shu, hieratic daughters of Amon
2, Asuramaya, Hindu astrologer
1, Zev the Magian
The new folder named Gnostique (formerly /VIEWS) contains essays arranged in five categories: Metacritique, The Archon Files, Tar Baby Jesus, Telestics. and The Gnostic Castaneda. Each of these sections comprises a complete book of research-based interpretative material.
I have coined the term "gnostique" for this collection of writings with a Gnostic spin, contrasted to the actual source texts of Gnosticism and my commentaries (above). A mystique is an air or attitude of mystery developing around something, or, the specialist or esoteric skill essential to a field or calling. The coined term gnostique refers both to the genuinely mysterious aura of Gnostic teachings and the special expertise of those ancient seers. I argue that gnosis, the practice of cognitive ecstasy, was an ancient version of what we today call the noetic sciences, including parapsychology.
The Heruka is a form of the Wrathful Dieties who appear in the afterdeath experience, according to the Tibetan Books of the Dead. This charming monster is equipped with razor-sharp steel claws like those of the demon Freddy in the popular horror film, Friday the 13th. With these spectacular nine-inch nails, the Heruka strips away beliefs and false notions of self so that the deceased is liberated into the ecstatic non-self beholding of the Bardos.
The sensation of yielding to Heruka's claws is as exquisite as being flayed alive, I suspect, but that's what you get for identification with beliefs. The effort of metacritique can be painfully arduous at moments, but it's nothing compared to the afterdeath stripdown. In these essays I attempt to lay out the methodology for a clear and consistent critique of belief and belief-systems. Nasty work, but someone's gotta do it. I convey my immense gratitude in advance to any and all readers who dare to take this challenge. However you cut the deck, metacritique of beliefs may be essential to human sanity, individuallly and collectively.
Belief-Change - an essential definition, linked to How Metahistory Works
Defusing Belief set out a technique of metacritique that may be compared to defusing a bomb without triggering the detonation system.
Modes of Believing a list (incomplete) of 38 specific forms of belief with examples. Some examples are also missing.
A Concise Inventory of Beliefs breaks down beliefs into three types following the classification of Pierre Miranda: metaphysical, moral, existential. And provides a useful spot check to detect what you believe.
Phantom Belief defines one of the more problematic forms taken by belief when it becomes severed or dissociated from the experience or source that produced it.
The Placebo Effect presents a contrast between two concepts of healing.
Reflex Belief is an excruciatingly close analysis of an extremely insidious form of belief: that which regarded as true merely because you hold it, not because it was found to hold a truth that you came to embrace by a process of testing and assessment.
The Role of Syntax is another close analysis showing how the way a belief is stated can preclude examination of what it states. Closely related to the concept of neurolinguistic programming.
Spectator Belief examines a dangerous and widespread form of belief that permits masses of people to participate vicariously in events that they would not join as individuals, hence acting against their conscience for the thrill of a mass experience. Basis of mob violence.
The ET/Archon Navigator
Alien Dreaming: The Enigma of the Archons is a foundation essay on the Archons featured in the Sophianic vision of the telestai, the seers who ran the Pagan Mysteries, including illustrations of the fractal generation of the alien species, and reference to the Annunaki script, the Sumerian scenario of alien intervention.
The Gnostic Theory of Alien Intrusion - brief note on how alien or ET presence is treated in the Gnostic Coptic materials surviving from Nag Hammadi and elsewhere.
The ET Deception - written following my Coast to Coast interview in 2006, focussing on the insanity of the Biblical father god and the virus of salvationist religion attributed by Gnostics to alien mind parasites.
Christianity -- Extraterrestrial Religion? - further exploration of how the Gnostic expose of Christianity as an ET-inspired religion that alienates us from our empathic and imagination bond to Gaia-Sophia.
Kundalini and the Alien Force is one of the most important essays on this site, if I do say so myself. It describes in detail the Gnostic practices of sacred sexuality used to enforce immunity against alien psychic influence.
Nine Theories of Extraterrestrial Contact is a summary of diverse views, positive and negative, on alien intrusion.
A Gnostic Catechism presents testimony on Archontic intrusion and how to resist it from The First Apocalypse of James (NHC V, 3).
The Promise of a Lonely Planet is a three-part essay closely related to the material under Gaia-Sophia and presents advanced commentary on it. Here is another view on the emergence of our alien cosmic cousins, the Archons, more on the teleography of the Aeon Sophia, and exploratory suggestions on the tricky issue of the human archetype/genome, the Anthropos.
"You Are the Plague" - A Review of the Matrix, indicating how the concept of the Matrix fits the Gnostic warning that humanity can isolate itself in a simulated world.
Who Wrote the Reptilian Agenda offers my view that the Sumerian Annunaki scenario of extraterrestrial intrusion, the mother of all intervention myths, is a channeled text presenting fantasy material rather than a literal account of actual events.
Fabulating Jesus explains that Gnostic Coptic texts do not name the historical Jesus, although scholars insist on that identification.
The Tyranny of Faith, heretical reflections on the death of the Pope John Paul XXIII and the problem of faith.
Armegeddon Politics describes the recent origin of the Rapture scenario widely embraced by Christians in the US and elsewhere.
Jesus Mystified: A Review of The Jesus Mysteries and Jesus and the Lost Goddess by Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy
Betrayed by God is a critical reviews of speculation triggered by the Gospel of Judas, demonstrating my notion of "goofy gnosticism."
The Resurrection Scam, more of the relations of Judas and Jesus as an example of victim-perpetrator collusion treated at length in my book, Not in His Image.
The Jesus Scandal discusses Hollywood director James Cameron's documentary on Jesus, intended to disprove miraculous resurrection, related to the Da Vinci Code notion of a sacred bloodline.
The Last Taboo discusses the sexuality of Jesus/Christ with reference to Wilhelm Reich (The Murder of Christ) and a famous monograph by art historian Leo Steinberg showing the savior with an erection, and other scandalous images from medieval art.
Mesotes - The Gnostic Christos tackles the question of the identity of the mystical Jesus or Etheric Christ as distinguished from the historical messiah, the darling of conventional Christian faith. One of the most important definitive essays on site.
is a term of my invention, derived from the Greek telos, "aim, end, purpose." I have often pointed out that the title "Gnostic" was an insult, never used by the people to which it was directed. The seers and teachers of the Pagan Mysteries called themselves telestai, "those who are aimed." Telestics is the art of interpreting the mystical and supernatural elements of human experience in a sober and rational manner, yet without dismissing or denying the authenticity of such experience. Gnosis was an ancient form of noetics, the science of relating mind to phenomena, natural and supernatural. In telestics, the insights of noetic science can be brought to focus specifically on issues of human purpose, cosmic order, and so forth.
It specifically treats the diagnosis of social evil and presents Socratic techniques for confronting it.
Insane and Inhumane is a foundation essay on the premises of metahistory, the archetype of the shaman, and the human role in Gaia's purposes. It raises the crucial question: If the beliefs you hold are insane and inhumane, how would you know?
Children of the Damned is another foundation essay that tackles the daunting problem of how to define humanity and the human race. It refers to the sci-fi/horror film (essay title) to examine the question of "human potential."
When the Mysteries Died on ecstasy and intolerance in the Pagan world, explains how religious fanaticism destroyed the millennial tradition of the Mysteries in which Gnostics (who called themselves telestai) were the directors and teachers.
Approaching Gnosticism presents three definitions of Gnosticism, with reference to salvationism and the "plasmate" of Philip K.Dick.
Honeycomb Light of the Christos offers my personal account of the mystical experience sometimes called "meeting the Etheric Christ." I believe that my description of the fractal hexagonal structure of the Organic Light in which the luminous phantom appears is unique, although the experience of this meeting certainly is not.
A Sheaf of Cut Wheat is a refutation of the hologram or holographic theory of consciousness (proposed by Karl Pribram and others), drawing upon the evidence of the Eleusinian Mysteries.
The Gnostic Gallery 1, a visual tour of the Mysteries coming forward in time from the Upper Paleolithic era, circa 12,000 BCE
The Gnostic Gallery 2, continuation of the tour into historical times.
Greek Buddhas illustrated essay on the merge of Indian and Greek art in Gandhara in the Hindu Kush, around 300 BCE. Presents evidence for the cross-fertilization of Buddhism and Gnosticism.
Through A Gnostic Lens lists 31 controversial points relating to the problem of alien intrusion, global manipulation, behavioral control, etc., many of which may be elucidated through reference to Gnostic teachings.
Origins of the Gnostic Movement, an important orientation essay, explains the split of the Magian Order, the tricky problem of Persian duality (Zoroastrianism), and makes the crucial distinction between Gnostics and Illuminati.
The Madness of the Ego reveals an extraordinary Gnostic-Buddhist parallel: the demented alien god Jehovah equated to a Buddhist demon or delusional entity, using textual citations. Striking evidence for the close correlation and perhaps historical cross-fertilization of Buddhism and Gnosis.
Karma is a Rigged Game : Archontic Influence in Human Psychology and Social Order considers, and dismisses, the widely held notion of karmic compensation. Using a unique passage in a Gnostic text, this essay considers how Sophia may use archons to test humanity through hiermarmene, "the binding of fate."
On the Illuminati excerpt from Not in His Image with further clarification on the distinction between Gnostics and Illuminati.
Gnosis Today: Reich, Noetics, and Metahistory
Suppressed Wikipedia Article is a position piece I posted on Wikipedia warning about the disinformation around the subject of Gnosticism.
§ On the Debate Over Human-made Global Warming:
Planetary Vision, Perverted considers how a Gaian, green, or planet-friendly perspective can be perverted into a false appeal to "save the planet," currently invoked in support of globalization and other schemes for mass behavior control.
§ On 911 and Arrogation:
Essays on social evil and Socratic techniques for confronting it.
Introduction to deconstruction of social reality, and practice with visionary intent (Sophia's correction).
Arrogation, the practice of talking back to authority, sets out what I call "deconning probes," basic tools for telestics.
The 9/11 Solution proposes an explanation of HOW the attacks of September 11, 2001 were accomplished, consistent with the "no planes' theory. This essay suggests that 9/11 be viewed as an alarm signal, a unique call to planetary conscience.
Surro-Predation and Global Psychosis (in development) defines intra-species predation and its central role in the current global breakdown of human society.
The Sham and the Slither continues from the introduction page with some suggestions for assessing authenticity in shamanic experience.
Dreaming Castaneda: A First Person Encounter In case you were wondering.
Gnostic Parallels in Castaneda, one of the most hotly discussed essays on site, covers the extraordinary correlations that can be identified between the language of Castanedan sorcery and Gnostic concepts from the Mystery Schools.
Carlos Casanova I: Sex and the Sorcerer
Carlos Casanona II: The Sorcerer's Bluff
Here is the core of metahistory.org, presenting the "future myth" proposed in the mission statement. I do not say "new myth," because there is no such thing as a new myth, although myths appear at different stages of expression in various cultures, in various ages. Metahistory.org is not an activist site proposing tactics or practical measures to improve society or save the planet. Rather, it offers a challenge for imagination. There are critical limits and clear criteria for this imaginative adventure of dreaming with Sophia.
DISCLAIMER: The Gaian orientation of this site does not imply that the earth needs to be saved from the human species by an elite program of social engineering, eugenics, and depopulation. It does not endorse the argument that pollution of our habitat and depletion of natural resources necessitate such measures. Site author John Lash does not approve the theory of human-made global warming. On no account can writings on metahistory.org be cited to support a falsely alleged "pagan" call to "earth worship" that disguises an agenda of genocide, transhumanism, and off-planet salvation.
In the Gnostic perspective of this site, Sophia, the embodied wisdom of the earth, is the savior of humanity, not vice versa. The earth will take care of herself no matter where divine paternalism and the global psychosis lead the human species.
For more elucidation on this crucial issue, see Planetary Vision, Perverted and Prelude to the Ronda Moment.
In this section, metahistory.org invites participation in a directive script, a story to guide the species that might aim humanity toward a sustainable society in a planet-friendly future. The sacred narrative here proposed is not my invention: it is the restoration of the myth of the fallen goddess drawn from Gnostic and Pagan sources. This is a genuine planetary myth, one of its kind, as far as I know. GAIA-SOPHIA presents material in three categories, starting with general orientation:
THE TRUE ANARCHY OF LIFE ON EARTH with audio commentary. The first essay in the series of post-correction writings (after March 2011), this is the general introduction and orientation to the treatment of Sophia's correction on metahistory.org. It describes how we are currently living a mythogenetic moment of unique opportunity, as prefigured in a preterrestrial event described in Gnostic myth: Sophia confronts the Archons and foretells their defeat by humanity at the moment of the consummation of their works, right now.
Essays in the post-correction series are signalled IN CAPITALS. These writings are filed under GAIA-SOPHIA/mythos.
READING THE CAPTAIN'S LOG
1 The Mythogenetic Moment Demonstrated
2 Navigation by the Stars
3 Gaian Dreamtime : Recapitulations of the Wisdom Goddess
4 Trance Mutation: Epigenesis and Subliminal Recall
5 Two-Course Correction and Deep Immersion
6 The October Correction: Tugboat Jupiter
7 Reflections and Corroborations
8 Planetary Vision Quest
A Planetary Myth from the Pagan Mysteries ("Or Ever the Earth Was") shows that the figure of Wisdom, represented at the handmaiden of the Old Testament father god, is the gnostic Sophia, a divinity who embodies in the earth—rather than the mere servant of a male deity who claims to be creator of the earth. Quitessential reading.
The Fall of the Wisdom Goddess is a summary of the Sophianic myth of the Mysteries in nine episodes.
The Fallen Goddess Scenario - Summary and Evaluation presents yet another version of the nine episodes with special attention to the astronomical features of the myth. Also considers if the Sophia myth is a merely a metaphor, and offers an inventory of the many unique points contained in the FGS.
Wooing the Wisdom Goddess (1): Considerations of Reconstruction of the Sophia Myth covers my consideration in recovering and restoring the vision story of the Mysteries, the myth that guides the human species.
Wooing the Wisdom Goddess (2):
Textual Sources of the Fallen Goddess Scenario.
The Imagined God is a brief essay on the "theopathic question" and the choice between Gaia (feminine) and God (masculine).
The three-part essay, Promise of a Lonely Planet, under archon files, also covers essential aspects of the Sophianic vision story. Not to be missed.
Overview of the Gaia Mythos is an explanation of how I handle the myth, and why I frame it with allusions to modern astronomy, shamanism, and so forth. Essential to know how I have proceeded in restoring the sacred narrative that survives in pitifully skant and fragmented materials.
Sharing the Gaia Mythos sets out the nature of the Gaia Mythos as a participation narrative or vision story to be developed in a tribal or community setting.
Sources of the Gaia Mythos describes how I have recovered and restored the myth, with various references to modern biology and science, although such references are not necessary to validate or legitimate the sacred narrative.
Gaia Mythos 1 - 8 Episodes pisodes of a projected prose poem version of the Sophia story.
SPOKEN VERSION episodes 1 - 8 : JLL added December 2014
Gaia Mythos 8 - 16 Three more episodes. The prose poem version of the myth is incomplete.
Commentaries on the Gaia Mythos is a set of notes linked to the episodes.
i.e., essays on "the sacred theory of the earth," developed from
Pagan, Indigenous, and Gnostic sources.
Coco de mer I: The Human Role in Gaia's Dreaming, an essential essay on Gnostic cosmology, co-evolution in Gaian terms, and the open source spirituality that fits the Sophianic vision of the earth.
Coco de mer II: The Shock of the Beautiful sets out the role of erotic play, beauty, and pleasure in a Gaian perpective.
Gaia and Gnosis I: The Unspelling of the Earth is a dense essay on the sacralization of the earth, citing an important precedent to Grail myth in Celtic legend. A key position paper on biomysticism or Gnostically informed animism.
Gaia's Age: An Eccentric Calculation in which I show that Gaia, our planet considered as the goddesss Sophia embodied, is not an old crone in her last years but a budding young nympho of 23.
"The standard geological timeframe makes Gaia appear to be immensely old, as she truly is in human terms, but in her own time she is still quite young. A mere lass of 23 and some months. This startlingly low figure introduces a totally new way to think about the evolution of the Earth."
See also under 2012 Shift (Endtime) Sophia Unveiled: The Resurgence of the Mysteries in the Endtime
"Magdalene in the Cave." J. J. Lefebvre, 1826.
Centerfold girl for the mystical wet dream of Romanticism.
The harlot is redheaded according to a long-standing rumor.
Metahistory.org went on line in July 2001 when world-wide controversy over Dan Brown's novel The Da Vinci Code was escalating. Interest crashed not long after the debut of the appalling film based on the novel, early in 2006. During that five-year period, anyone writing on Gnosticism or the Tar Baby Jesus was under heavy presssure to pronounce some view or other on the figure of Mary Magdalene. I weighed in by dedicating an entire section of the site to her. Why She Matters So (MM Navigator) is the orientation page to the Magdalene material on site, which comprises an entire book in its own right.
When MM went mainstream, I had been stalking the Harlot of Heresy for a good thirty years, well over half my life. Initially, I tended to view her as a counterpart and balance to the male redeemer figure Christ. Together they might have provided the model for gender-balanced version of "Erotic Christianity," as I dubbed it around 1987. But with deepening study of the Gnostic materials, I came to view her as wholly Pagan and not in the least Christian, i.e., a trophy wife for the Messiah. This latter view is reflected in the essays compiled in this folder, which comprise a complete book.
Celebrating MM sets the tone and mood for my approach to this heretical heroise, an immensely rich and significant figure in Western culture, both sacred and profane. The initial ambitions of this section, intended to showcase many views of MM in art and literature, were not completed.
She Who Anoints is a book review of Mary of Magdala by Karen King. It is highly critical of King's view, shared by most Gnostic scholars of Christian faith, that Gnosticism was merely an early, immature phase of Christianity, a mere splinter in the vast movement that came to conquer the world.
The Gnostic Avenger is a radical portrait of Mary Magdalene as a Pagan initiate and adept of the Mysteries.
The Magdalene Connection
is an ambitious three-part essay, a monograph presenting the highlights of a radical view of Magdalene as she stands apart from Christian spin and cooptation.
1 The Myth of Choice tackles the sexuality of Christ and different views of MM as saint and prostitute.
II The Backstory describes the noble example of love and soul-bonding in Pagan spirituality, suggesting what Jesus and MM would have been like had they been Pagans rather than Christians.
III The Love Story examines the role of MM as a teacher of love who reconciles sex and spirituality. Doing so, it touches on the powerful archetype of the Lovers exemplified in the medieval legend of Tristan and Isolde.
NOTE: This monograph, especially the third part, closely complements the essays on sacred sexuality in The Alternative History of the Grail, especially Faith Incarnate with its emphasis on the love-death of Tristan and Isolde.
Unmaking History: The Sion Scenario, a review of The Da Vinci Code, presents my objections to linking a theocratic bloodline with the figure of Mary Magdalene. I argue that taking her womb for the "Grail," i.e., the matrix of a sacred bloodline, is wrong on scholarly terms, on mythological terms, and, worst of all, on ecofeminist terms.
For critical reflections on The Da Vinci Code scam, the Priory of Sion, and (in my view) serious misrepresentations of Pagan Gnosticism relating to MM, see also The Most Enigmatic of All Enigmas in The Alternative History of the Grail.
is the most recent category added to metahistory.org (September 2009), the last of thirteen buttons exclusive of Planetary Tantra which is a site within the site, an open terrain in its own right. In this section, I follow the four precriptions of Joseph Campbell suggestive of "creative mythology," but extrapolated in an idiosyncratic way. Hence I suggest the terms applied mythology or dynamic mythology. A myth is actional if it is actually applied to experience as a factor of intention, vision, and enactment, not merely for the interpretation of experience.
This section presents myths in progress, including poetic juvenalia of the Maine terton (Translations from the Andromedan) with extensive notes on the prehistory of humanity, and some commentaries and critical writings on the problems of applied or dynamic mythology.
Introduction: I discuss Campbell's mistake in advising the plot for Star Wars, and other knotty problems relating to the art of applied imagination. NOTE: This essay is incomplete and has a long way to go. I might resume it verbally when I get around to putting mp3 files on site in 2010. Some fair day.
I feel compelled to apologize for broadcasting the embarrassing lyric splurge of the Translations, but this callow indulgence does not carry the expectation that anyone will read it. As proof that I am not entirely lacking in self-censoring abilities, I have not included pictures of my cats.
To my knowledge, the rewritten myth of Orpheus and Eurydice is the first of its kind, a classical myth given a different ending. Campbell and Eliade were theorists who did not attempt to revise myths and might have considered such revision an arrogant presumption. This revised myth has three parts: othe first is posted here, with the other two parts still in draft form. In all, the three parts might comprise a small book or basis for a libretto, an operatic version. In my wildest dream, I hear the voice of Eurydice sung by Greek diva Savina Giannatou.
When my Eurydice returned, she did so, not with her own voice, but with a borrowed one. Such is the difference between myth and reality. Or perhaps better said, the distance. Myth is mere vapor without human reality to reflect it, but distance and distortion operate in that reflection as they do in all human interactions. Who among you can live in the depth of what you truly feel?
jll December 2009 Andalucia
Orpheus and Eurydice - A Myth Rewritten
Part One: The Return of Eurydice
Part Two: The Beauty of Goodbye
Part Three: The Flight of the Black Swan
* * * * * * * *
Translations from the Andromedan
An Alternative Myth of Human Origins and Gender Conflict
Preface by the Translator
C O N T E N T S
Sweet Talk in the Syrene Limb
Walking the Alameda
The Physics of Beauty
Five Dreamings (detail), Michael Nelson Jakamarra
Dreamings: The Art of Aboriginal Australia
Asia Society Galleries, New York, 1988
Living Myth: Commentaries and Critiques
Tree-Nymphs and Tree-Hung Shamans presents a glimpse into the remote time when arboreal nymphs (tree-women), the sole human inhabitants of the earth, were confronted by hunters from Orion, their male counterparts.
I The Myth of Adonis further elaborates on the arboreal mythology of the Gaian paradise.
II The Chthonian Romance considers the little-understood mythological theme of "the separation of the sexes," with reference to the Divine Sophia and the Anthropos (human genome).
III The Consciousness of Nature is an extended explanation of the remote origins of shamanism and the complex process of cognitive binding of the human species into the lifeweb of the planet. This essay demonstrates how to read myth as a record of phylogenetic memory.
This section of the site presents a loose and incomplete collection of writings on the knotty problem of the two zodiacs, star-based and starless, plus articles relating to astrology, sidereal mythology, precession, and so forth.
Having been occupied for some thirty-five years of my life with sky-watching and astronomical studies, I feel compelled to pass on what I have learned. Lacking students to teach in flesh-and-blood, or anywhere to teach, I have resorted to dumping my sky lore on this site. In the profession of astrology, I struggled against the grain, never accepting that planets cause human behavior, refusing to predict or play guru to my clients, and battling right, left, and center with (to me) unacceptable concepts and techniques that litter that ancient and much corrupted genre.
Quest for the Zodiac is a total makeover of astrology incorporating the stellar dimension or StarBase©. I would like to publish it entirely on site but without assistance with editing, formatting, and graphics, that will not be possible.
Constellation of the Fishes (astronomical Pisces) with historical timing of precession of the spring equinox (VP) indicated by specific stars. Note the end of the Piscean Age when the VP aligns to the star beta in the nose of the Western Fish: 2820 CE, eight centuries from now. © John Lash 1983
M O O N D A N C E
Lunar Calendar and Dakini Instruction: Technically,
this material belongs to Planetary Tantra but I signal
it here because there is so much sky lore to be found
in these particular writings. For orientation, go to
Cruising the Lunar Shaktis
Shaman in the Sky: The Evolutionary Message of the Solar Apex. Considers the significance of the constellation of Hercules, location of the Solar Apex, in relation to the role of sacred plants in human evolution.
Hercules and Serpentarius shows graphically the connection between these two massive figures, shamanic heroes of ancient legend.
A Primer of Stellar Astrology
consists of several chapters from Quest for the Zodiac, revised
and formatted for the website. These lessons are incomplete.
Ch. 1: In the Dark of Night - orientation to basic astronomy relating to real-sky observation of the constellations, distinguished from the 12 astrological signs
Ch. 2: Astrology Without Stars - further explanation of how astrology ignores the stars
Ch.3: Visions on the Rimsite - describes step by step how I developed the Rimsite model of the thirteen ecliptic constellations
Ch. 4 Cycles of Animations - complete tour of the graphic or visualized form of the constellations
Unpublished MS interpreting the entire sequence of the World Ages in Dendera Zodiac, revealing my discovery of a fifth axis pointing to the galactic center. To be published sequentially in 2010 as time and circumstances allow.
2012 SHIFT (Endtime Essays)
Closely related to my study of the Dendera Zodiac, these essays cover the mythical and astronomical background of the 2012 debate and present some suggestions on what that date might entail as a window of opportunity looking toward a "planetary shift." With eight chapters and an afterword, this is an entire book, complete.
Introduced in May 2008, this 13th and final category of metahistory.org contains so far just a single essay on Contra-Violence and Warrior Ethics. In that essay, I question the notion of karma as a reward and punishment system, and I argue that accountability can only be voluntary, never imposed or enforced. I define contra-violence, as distinguished from the non-violent resistence of Gandhi and others, and suggest an approach to rite action through owning the force of transpersonal rage.
In May 2008 I launched the gambit of a dangerous animal with a couple of essays on "the topic of topics," predation. These writings present an initial foray into an area of extremely volatile issues but ultimately they concern the self-defence of the human species against predation from its own kind.
Due to conditions and limitations at that critical moment, May 2008, I was unable to proceed with either the theoretical framework or the practical exposition required for this theme. At the moment of completing this revamped site guide, December 2009, I have no idea how or when I will resume writing on the practice of contra-violence through rite action, i.e., ritualized expression of transpersonal rage directed at specific targets, including individual persons, with intent harm, neutralize, and eliminate.
Kurukulla, Diamond Sky Dakini of the Shakti Cluster
Mistress of Witchcraft and Sexual Enchantment
"Love didn't get the species into this mess, and it won't get us out."
JLL to Lydia, September 2009
"Truth on human terms has a half-life of five seconds."
Lydia to JLL, December 2009
festina lente: make haste slowly
Material by John Lash and Lydia Dzumardjin: Copyright 2002 - 2018 by John L. Lash.
A sitemap is a blueprint of your website that help search engines find, crawl and index all of your website’s content. Sitemaps also tell search engines which pages on your site are most important.
There are four main types of sitemaps:
- Normal XML Sitemap: This by far the most common type of sitemap. It’s usually in the form of an XML Sitemap that links to different pages on your website.
- Video Sitemap: Used specifically to help Google understand video content on your page.
- News Sitemap: Helps Google find content on sites that are approved for Google News.
- Image Sitemap: Helps Google find all of the images hosted on your site.
Why are Sitemaps Important?
Search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing use your sitemap to find different pages on your site.
“If your site’s pages are properly linked, our web crawlers can usually discover most of your site.”
In other words: you probably don’t NEED a sitemap. But it definitely won’t hurt your SEO efforts. So it makes sense to use them.
There are also a few special cases where a sitemap really comes in handy.
For example, Google largely finds webpages through links. And if your site is brand new and only has a handful external backlinks, then a sitemap is HUGE for helping Google find pages on your site.
Or maybe you run an ecommerce site with 5 million pages. Unless you internal link PERFECTLY and have a ton of external links, Google’s going to have a tough time finding all of those pages. That’s where sitemaps come in.
With that, here’s how to setup a sitemap…and optimize it for SEO.
Your first step is to create a sitemap.
If you use WordPress, you can get a sitemap made for you with the Yoast SEO plugin.
The main benefit of using Yoast to make your XML sitemap is that it updates automatically (dynamic sitemap).
So whenever you add a new page to your site (whether it’s a blog post or ecommerce product page), a link to that page will be added to your sitemap file automatically:
If you don’t use Yoast, there are lots of other plugins available for WordPress (like Google XML Sitemaps) that you can use to create a sitemap:
What if you don’t use WordPress?
No worries. You can use a third-party sitemap generator tool like XML-Sitemaps.com. These will spit out an XML file that you can use as your sitemap.
Either way, once your sitemap is created, I recommend manually taking a look at it.
(Your sitemap is usually found at site.com/sitemap.xml. But it depends on your CMS and what program you used to create your sitemap)
It should display all of the pages on your site:
If everything looks good, it’s time to submit your sitemap to Google.
Submit Your Sitemap To Google
To submit your sitemap login to your Google Search Console account.
Then, go to “Index” → “Sitemaps” in the sidebar.
If you already submitted your sitemap, you’ll see a list of “Submitted Sitemaps” on this page:
Either way, to submit your sitemap, enter your sitemap’s URL into this field:
And if everything is all setup, you’ll start to see information on your sitemap on this page under the “Submitted Sitemaps” section:
Use the Sitemap Report to Spot Errors
Once Google has crawled your sitemap, click on it under “Submitted Sitemaps”:
If you see “Sitemap index processed successfully”, then Google successfully crawled your sitemap.
You can also click on the little bar chart icon to go to the Coverage Report for your sitemap:
This report shows you how many URLs Google found in your sitemap… and how many of those pages ended up in Google’s index:
For example, you can see that my sitemap contains links to 116 webpages. 109 are “valid” and 6 are “Excluded”.
I can obviously ignore the valid pages.
But I do want to check out any “Excluded” pages to see what’s up.
It turns out that those 6 URLs in my sitemap are getting a “Duplicate, submitted URL not selected as canonical” message.
And when I look at the URLs, I see that these are pages that I don’t even want indexed in the first place.
So I should remove them from my sitemap.
Use Your Sitemap to Find Problems With Indexing
One of the cool things about using a sitemap is that it can gives you a ballpark estimate of:
For example, let’s say that your sitemap links to 5,000 pages.
But when you look at the Google Search Console, your site only has 2,000 pages indexed.
That’s a sign that something’s up. It could be that there’s a lot of duplicate content in those 5,000 pages. So Google isn’t indexing all of them.
Or it could be that the number of pages on your site exceed your crawl budget.
Match Your Sitemaps and Robots.txt
It’s important that your sitemaps and Robots.txt work together.
If you clock a page in Robots.txt or use the “noindex” tag on a page, you DON’T want it to appear in your sitemap.
Otherwise, you’re sending mixed messages to Google.
Your sitemap says: “This page is important enough to make it into our sitemap”. But when Googlebot lands on the page, they get blocked.
Huge Site? Break Things Up Into Smaller Sitemaps: Sitemaps have a limit of 50k URLs. So if you run a site with a ton of pages, Google recommends breaking up your sitemap into several smaller sitemaps.
Be Careful With Dates: URLs in your sitemap have a “last modified” date associated with them.
I recommend changing these dates ONLY when you make significant changes to your site (or add new content to your site). Otherwise, Google warns that updating dates on pages that haven’t changed can be seen as a spammy tactic.
Don’t Sweat Video Sitemaps: Video Schema has largely replaced the need for video sitemaps. A video sitemap definitely won’t hurt your page’s ability to get a video rich snippet. But it’s usually not worth the hassle.
Stay Under 50MB: Google and Bing both allow sitemaps that are up to 50MB. So as long as you’re under 50MB, you’re good.
HTML Sitemaps: This is basically the equivalent of an XML sitemap… but for users.
You don’t necessarily need these as Google and other search engines now rely on your XML sitemap. But if you think they’re useful for human visitors, an HTML sitemap probably isn’t going to hurt your SEO efforts.
Build and submit a sitemap: A guide from Google on creating sitemaps… and getting them submitted to Google.
Using Sitemaps to help Google find content hosted on your site: Quick video from the Google Webmaster YouTube channel on how sitemaps can help your site appear higher and more often in the search results.
Special Forces History
1st Special Forces Group
3rd Special Forces Group
5th Special Forces Group
6th Special Forces Group
7th Special Forces Group
8th Special Forces Group
10th Special Forces Group
11th Special Forces Group
12th Special Forces Group
19th Special Forces Group
20th Special Forces Group
SF / SOF Units
USSOCOM. United States Special Operations Command
1st Special Service Force. The "Devil's Brigade".
8240th Army Unit. Worked with anti-Communist North Korean Partisan Unit.
46th Company. Thailand during the Vietnam War.
Office of Strategic Services (OSS). Organized in WWII to conduct intel operations.
Rangers. History of U.S. Army Rangers.
Early Reserve Component SF Groups and Units
SF Chronological Timeline
Timeline by Year
Timeline by 'On This Day'
Sitemap - History
All of the articles here on the Today in History Site are organized into categories. Browse through these categories to find the content you're looking for.
They were not held in high regard until the movies were invented, but now actors are stars whose lives we celebrate. They easily fill a category all of their own.
Starting with a day for pranks and fools, April brings the giddiness of spring to the northern hemisphere. Here’s what else happens during this month.
The last month of summer in the northern hemisphere, August is hot and hushed and restless. Take a look at some events that occurred during these weeks.
What is it about a life of crime that fascinates us? Find out from some of history’s most infamous events and notorious criminals.
Fame & Infamy
Superstars. Outlaws. Curiosities. Daredevils who lived to tell. Victims of the law, wrongly accused. Whatever their claims to fame or infamy, these men and women made history.
The shortest month of the year, February is made a day longer every leap year, which is exactly divisible by 4 and 400. An extra day for an extra event!
Firsts & Lasts
The first man in space. The first time women could vote. The first words spoken on the telephone. Famous last words. Here are a few notable beginnings and endings in recorded history.
Fun & Games
All serious topics and no play would make Today in History much too dull. Read about humor and games, and try your hand at a few quizzes here!
The first month of the year is named for Janus, the Roman god with two faces. One face looks to the future it is greeting the other looks to the past, when these events occurred in history …
“When I want to read a novel,” said Benjamin Disraeli, “I write one.” Here, read about writers of novels, non-fiction and poetry, and the stories they told.
It was named for Mars, the Roman god of war, and has a hidden pun on its fourth day, not to mention the infamous Ides. In fact, March is 31 days of pure fascination …
Named for the Greek goddess Maia, the fifth month of the year “brings May flowers” in the northern hemisphere. Here’s what else it brought in the past.
Without music, as the pun goes, the world would B-flat. Here are some of history’s musical occurrences and the people we can thank for them.
Motion pictures and television shows have all but ruled our lives since they were invented. Do you remember some of these dates in movie and TV history?
Coronations, assassinations, awards, appointments, and the achievements of statesmen and spiritual leaders alike. Read about world-changing events here.
Whether through serendipity or by design, science and technology advance culture and make history. Read about these occurrences and their enduring consequences.
Thirty days hath September … and what happened in the past on each of those days? Find out on this short list.
Sporting events have fascinated spectators for centuries. Read about athletes who have broken barriers, pushed the bar high, and set world records.
5 Minute History (Five Minute History) is an attempt to explore Islamic History and Culture with the help of maps, videos, and infographics.
At 5-Minute History, we make learning history fun. We highlight aspects of Islamic culture and history that are often overlooked and uncover the historical gems on a daily basis.
We are a team of students, research scholars, and history enthusiasts studying in different parts of the world. The motive is to uncover the gems of Islamic History and Culture spread throughout the world.
We write on Islamic History, Sufism, Dynasties and Empires, Islamic Thought and Philosophy, the Contributions of Muslims in the fields of Sciences, Technology, Social Sciences, Arts, and Music and the values of Islamic tradition that have promoted interfaith harmony, love, and peaceful co-existence.
In a world full of hatred, let’s unite and promote the values that are essential for human existence. Love & Peace
Important: When you delete information from Timeline, it’s permanent. You won’t be able to find your Location History information on Timeline again. If you have other settings like Web & App Activity turned on and you delete Location History, you may still have location data saved in your Google Account as part of your use of other Google sites, apps, and services. For example, location data may be saved as part of activity on Search and Maps when your Web & App Activity setting is on, and included in your photos depending on your camera app settings.
- On your computer, go to Timeline.
- Click on the day you want to delete.
- In the panel on the left, go to the top right and click Delete .
- Choose Delete day.
The essence of why extensible markup languages are necessary is explained at Markup language (for example, see Markup language § XML) and at Standard Generalized Markup Language.
Hundreds of document formats using XML syntax have been developed,  including RSS, Atom, SOAP, SVG, and XHTML. XML-based formats have become the default for many office-productivity tools, including Microsoft Office (Office Open XML), OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice (OpenDocument), and Apple's iWork [ citation needed ] . XML has also provided the base language for communication protocols such as XMPP. Applications for the Microsoft .NET Framework use XML files for configuration, and property lists are an implementation of configuration storage built on XML. 
Many industry data standards, such as Health Level 7, OpenTravel Alliance, FpML, MISMO, and National Information Exchange Model are based on XML and the rich features of the XML schema specification. Many of these standards are quite complex and it is not uncommon for a specification to comprise several thousand pages. [ citation needed ] In publishing, Darwin Information Typing Architecture is an XML industry data standard. XML is used extensively to underpin various publishing formats.
XML is widely used in a Service-oriented architecture (SOA). Disparate systems communicate with each other by exchanging XML messages. The message exchange format is standardised as an XML schema (XSD). This is also referred to as the canonical schema. XML has come into common use for the interchange of data over the Internet. IETF RFC:3023, now superseded by RFC:7303, gave rules for the construction of Internet Media Types for use when sending XML. It also defines the media types application/xml and text/xml , which say only that the data is in XML, and nothing about its semantics.
RFC 7303 also recommends that XML-based languages be given media types ending in +xml for example image/svg+xml for SVG. Further guidelines for the use of XML in a networked context appear in RFC 3470, also known as IETF BCP 70, a document covering many aspects of designing and deploying an XML-based language.
The material in this section is based on the XML Specification. This is not an exhaustive list of all the constructs that appear in XML it provides an introduction to the key constructs most often encountered in day-to-day use.
An XML document is a string of characters. Almost every legal Unicode character may appear in an XML document.
The processor analyzes the markup and passes structured information to an application. The specification places requirements on what an XML processor must do and not do, but the application is outside its scope. The processor (as the specification calls it) is often referred to colloquially as an XML parser.
The characters making up an XML document are divided into markup and content, which may be distinguished by the application of simple syntactic rules. Generally, strings that constitute markup either begin with the character < and end with a > , or they begin with the character & and end with a . Strings of characters that are not markup are content. However, in a CDATA section, the delimiters <![CDATA[ and ]]> are classified as markup, while the text between them is classified as content. In addition, whitespace before and after the outermost element is classified as markup.
- start-tag, such as <section>
- end-tag, such as </section>
- empty-element tag, such as <line-break /> .
An element is a logical document component that either begins with a start-tag and ends with a matching end-tag or consists only of an empty-element tag. The characters between the start-tag and end-tag, if any, are the element's content, and may contain markup, including other elements, which are called child elements. An example is <greeting>Hello, world!</greeting> . Another is <line-break /> .
An attribute is a markup construct consisting of a name–value pair that exists within a start-tag or empty-element tag. An example is <img src="https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/madonna.jpg" /> , where the names of the attributes are "src" and "alt", and their values are "madonna.jpg" and "Madonna" respectively. Another example is <step number="3">Connect A to B.</step> , where the name of the attribute is "number" and its value is "3". An XML attribute can only have a single value and each attribute can appear at most once on each element. In the common situation where a list of multiple values is desired, this must be done by encoding the list into a well-formed XML attribute [i] with some format beyond what XML defines itself. Usually this is either a comma or semi-colon delimited list or, if the individual values are known not to contain spaces, [ii] a space-delimited list can be used. <div >Welcome!</div> , where the attribute "class" has both the value "inner greeting-box" and also indicates the two CSS class names "inner" and "greeting-box".
XML documents may begin with an XML declaration that describes some information about themselves. An example is <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> .
XML documents consist entirely of characters from the Unicode repertoire. Except for a small number of specifically excluded control characters, any character defined by Unicode may appear within the content of an XML document.
XML includes facilities for identifying the encoding of the Unicode characters that make up the document, and for expressing characters that, for one reason or another, cannot be used directly.
Valid characters Edit
Unicode code points in the following ranges are valid in XML 1.0 documents: 
- U+0009 (Horizontal Tab), U+000A (Line Feed), U+000D (Carriage Return): these are the only C0 controls accepted in XML 1.0
- U+0020–U+D7FF, U+E000–U+FFFD: this excludes some non-characters in the BMP (all surrogates, U+FFFE and U+FFFF are forbidden)
- U+10000–U+10FFFF: this includes all code points in supplementary planes, including non-characters.
XML 1.1 extends the set of allowed characters to include all the above, plus the remaining characters in the range U+0001–U+001F.  At the same time, however, it restricts the use of C0 and C1 control characters other than U+0009 (Horizontal Tab), U+000A (Line Feed), U+000D (Carriage Return), and U+0085 (Next Line) by requiring them to be written in escaped form (for example U+0001 must be written as &#x01 or its equivalent). In the case of C1 characters, this restriction is a backwards incompatibility it was introduced to allow common encoding errors to be detected.
The code point U+0000 (Null) is the only character that is not permitted in any XML 1.0 or 1.1 document.
Encoding detection Edit
The Unicode character set can be encoded into bytes for storage or transmission in a variety of different ways, called "encodings". Unicode itself defines encodings that cover the entire repertoire well-known ones include UTF-8 and UTF-16.  There are many other text encodings that predate Unicode, such as ASCII and ISO/IEC 8859 their character repertoires in almost every case are subsets of the Unicode character set.
XML allows the use of any of the Unicode-defined encodings, and any other encodings whose characters also appear in Unicode. XML also provides a mechanism whereby an XML processor can reliably, without any prior knowledge, determine which encoding is being used.  Encodings other than UTF-8 and UTF-16 are not necessarily recognized by every XML parser.
XML provides escape facilities for including characters that are problematic to include directly. For example:
- The characters "<" and "&" are key syntax markers and may never appear in content outside a CDATA section. It is allowed, but not recommended, to use "<" in XML entity values. 
- Some character encodings support only a subset of Unicode. For example, it is legal to encode an XML document in ASCII, but ASCII lacks code points for Unicode characters such as "é".
- It might not be possible to type the character on the author's machine.
- Some characters have glyphs that cannot be visually distinguished from other characters, such as the non-breaking space ( &#xa0 ) " " and the space ( &#x20 ) " ", and the Cyrillic capital letter A ( &#x410 ) "А" and the Latin capital letter A ( &#x41 ) "A".
- &lt represents "<"
- &gt represents ">"
- &amp represents "&"
- &apos represents "
- ' "
- &quot represents '
- " '.
All permitted Unicode characters may be represented with a numeric character reference. Consider the Chinese character "中", whose numeric code in Unicode is hexadecimal 4E2D, or decimal 20,013. A user whose keyboard offers no method for entering this character could still insert it in an XML document encoded either as &#20013 or &#x4e2d . Similarly, the string "I <3 Jörg" could be encoded for inclusion in an XML document as I &lt3 J&#xF6rg .
&#0 is not permitted, however, because the null character is one of the control characters excluded from XML, even when using a numeric character reference.  An alternative encoding mechanism such as Base64 is needed to represent such characters.
Comments may appear anywhere in a document outside other markup. Comments cannot appear before the XML declaration. Comments begin with <!-- and end with --> . For compatibility with SGML, the string "--" (double-hyphen) is not allowed inside comments  this means comments cannot be nested. The ampersand has no special significance within comments, so entity and character references are not recognized as such, and there is no way to represent characters outside the character set of the document encoding.
An example of a valid comment: <!--no need to escape <code> & such in comments-->
International use Edit
XML 1.0 (Fifth Edition) and XML 1.1 support the direct use of almost any Unicode character in element names, attributes, comments, character data, and processing instructions (other than the ones that have special symbolic meaning in XML itself, such as the less-than sign, "<"). The following is a well-formed XML document including Chinese, Armenian and Cyrillic characters:
The XML specification defines an XML document as a well-formed text, meaning that it satisfies a list of syntax rules provided in the specification. Some key points in the fairly lengthy list include:
- The document contains only properly encoded legal Unicode characters.
- None of the special syntax characters such as < and & appear except when performing their markup-delineation roles.
- The start-tag, end-tag, and empty-element tag that delimit elements are correctly nested, with none missing and none overlapping.
- Tag names are case-sensitive the start-tag and end-tag must match exactly.
- Tag names cannot contain any of the characters !"#$%&'()*+,/[email protected]^`
The definition of an XML document excludes texts that contain violations of well-formedness rules they are simply not XML. An XML processor that encounters such a violation is required to report such errors and to cease normal processing. This policy, occasionally referred to as "draconian error handling," stands in notable contrast to the behavior of programs that process HTML, which are designed to produce a reasonable result even in the presence of severe markup errors.  XML's policy in this area has been criticized as a violation of Postel's law ("Be conservative in what you send be liberal in what you accept"). 
The XML specification defines a valid XML document as a well-formed XML document which also conforms to the rules of a Document Type Definition (DTD).  
In addition to being well-formed, an XML document may be valid. This means that it contains a reference to a Document Type Definition (DTD), and that its elements and attributes are declared in that DTD and follow the grammatical rules for them that the DTD specifies.
XML processors are classified as validating or non-validating depending on whether or not they check XML documents for validity. A processor that discovers a validity error must be able to report it, but may continue normal processing.
A DTD is an example of a schema or grammar. Since the initial publication of XML 1.0, there has been substantial work in the area of schema languages for XML. Such schema languages typically constrain the set of elements that may be used in a document, which attributes may be applied to them, the order in which they may appear, and the allowable parent/child relationships.
Document type definition Edit
The oldest schema language for XML is the document type definition (DTD), inherited from SGML.
DTDs have the following benefits:
- DTD support is ubiquitous due to its inclusion in the XML 1.0 standard.
- DTDs are terse compared to element-based schema languages and consequently present more information in a single screen.
- DTDs allow the declaration of standard public entity sets for publishing characters.
- DTDs define a document type rather than the types used by a namespace, thus grouping all constraints for a document in a single collection.
DTDs have the following limitations:
- They have no explicit support for newer features of XML, most importantly namespaces.
- They lack expressiveness. XML DTDs are simpler than SGML DTDs and there are certain structures that cannot be expressed with regular grammars. DTDs only support rudimentary datatypes.
- They lack readability. DTD designers typically make heavy use of parameter entities (which behave essentially as textual macros), which make it easier to define complex grammars, but at the expense of clarity.
- They use a syntax based on regular expression syntax, inherited from SGML, to describe the schema. Typical XML APIs such as SAX do not attempt to offer applications a structured representation of the syntax, so it is less accessible to programmers than an element-based syntax may be.
Two peculiar features that distinguish DTDs from other schema types are the syntactic support for embedding a DTD within XML documents and for defining entities, which are arbitrary fragments of text or markup that the XML processor inserts in the DTD itself and in the XML document wherever they are referenced, like character escapes.
DTD technology is still used in many applications because of its ubiquity.
A newer schema language, described by the W3C as the successor of DTDs, is XML Schema, often referred to by the initialism for XML Schema instances, XSD (XML Schema Definition). XSDs are far more powerful than DTDs in describing XML languages. They use a rich datatyping system and allow for more detailed constraints on an XML document's logical structure. XSDs also use an XML-based format, which makes it possible to use ordinary XML tools to help process them.
xs:schema element that defines a schema:
RELAX NG Edit
RELAX NG (Regular Language for XML Next Generation) was initially specified by OASIS and is now a standard (Part 2: Regular-grammar-based validation of ISO/IEC 19757 – DSDL). RELAX NG schemas may be written in either an XML based syntax or a more compact non-XML syntax the two syntaxes are isomorphic and James Clark's conversion tool—Trang—can convert between them without loss of information. RELAX NG has a simpler definition and validation framework than XML Schema, making it easier to use and implement. It also has the ability to use datatype framework plug-ins a RELAX NG schema author, for example, can require values in an XML document to conform to definitions in XML Schema Datatypes.
Schematron is a language for making assertions about the presence or absence of patterns in an XML document. It typically uses XPath expressions. Schematron is now a standard (Part 3: Rule-based validation of ISO/IEC 19757 – DSDL).
DSDL and other schema languages Edit
DSDL (Document Schema Definition Languages) is a multi-part ISO/IEC standard (ISO/IEC 19757) that brings together a comprehensive set of small schema languages, each targeted at specific problems. DSDL includes RELAX NG full and compact syntax, Schematron assertion language, and languages for defining datatypes, character repertoire constraints, renaming and entity expansion, and namespace-based routing of document fragments to different validators. DSDL schema languages do not have the vendor support of XML Schemas yet, and are to some extent a grassroots reaction of industrial publishers to the lack of utility of XML Schemas for publishing.
Some schema languages not only describe the structure of a particular XML format but also offer limited facilities to influence processing of individual XML files that conform to this format. DTDs and XSDs both have this ability they can for instance provide the infoset augmentation facility and attribute defaults. RELAX NG and Schematron intentionally do not provide these.
A cluster of specifications closely related to XML have been developed, starting soon after the initial publication of XML 1.0. It is frequently the case that the term "XML" is used to refer to XML together with one or more of these other technologies that have come to be seen as part of the XML core.
- enable the same document to contain XML elements and attributes taken from different vocabularies, without any naming collisions occurring. Although XML Namespaces are not part of the XML specification itself, virtually all XML software also supports XML Namespaces. defines the xml:base attribute, which may be used to set the base for resolution of relative URI references within the scope of a single XML element. or XML Infoset is an abstract data model for XML documents in terms of information items. The infoset is commonly used in the specifications of XML languages, for convenience in describing constraints on the XML constructs those languages allow. (Extensible Stylesheet Language) is a family of languages used to transform and render XML documents, split into three parts:
- (XSL Transformations), an XML language for transforming XML documents into other XML documents or other formats such as HTML, plain text, or XSL-FO. XSLT is very tightly coupled with XPath, which it uses to address components of the input XML document, mainly elements and attributes. (XSL Formatting Objects), an XML language for rendering XML documents, often used to generate PDFs. (XML Path Language), a non-XML language for addressing the components (elements, attributes, and so on) of an XML document. XPath is widely used in other core-XML specifications and in programming libraries for accessing XML-encoded data.
- (XML Query) is an XML query language strongly rooted in XPath and XML Schema. It provides methods to access, manipulate and return XML, and is mainly conceived as a query language for XML databases. defines syntax and processing rules for creating digital signatures on XML content. defines syntax and processing rules for encrypting XML content. (Part 11: Schema Association of ISO/IEC 19757 – DSDL) defines a means of associating any xml document with any of the schema types mentioned above.
Some other specifications conceived as part of the "XML Core" have failed to find wide adoption, including XInclude, XLink, and XPointer.
The design goals of XML include, "It shall be easy to write programs which process XML documents."  Despite this, the XML specification contains almost no information about how programmers might go about doing such processing. The XML Infoset specification provides a vocabulary to refer to the constructs within an XML document, but does not provide any guidance on how to access this information. A variety of APIs for accessing XML have been developed and used, and some have been standardized.
Existing APIs for XML processing tend to fall into these categories:
- Stream-oriented APIs accessible from a programming language, for example SAX and StAX.
- Tree-traversal APIs accessible from a programming language, for example DOM. , which provides an automated translation between an XML document and programming-language objects.
- Declarative transformation languages such as XSLT and XQuery.
- Syntax extensions to general-purpose programming languages, for example LINQ and Scala.
Stream-oriented facilities require less memory and, for certain tasks based on a linear traversal of an XML document, are faster and simpler than other alternatives. Tree-traversal and data-binding APIs typically require the use of much more memory, but are often found more convenient for use by programmers some include declarative retrieval of document components via the use of XPath expressions.
XSLT is designed for declarative description of XML document transformations, and has been widely implemented both in server-side packages and Web browsers. XQuery overlaps XSLT in its functionality, but is designed more for searching of large XML databases.
Simple API for XML Edit
Simple API for XML (SAX) is a lexical, event-driven API in which a document is read serially and its contents are reported as callbacks to various methods on a handler object of the user's design. SAX is fast and efficient to implement, but difficult to use for extracting information at random from the XML, since it tends to burden the application author with keeping track of what part of the document is being processed. It is better suited to situations in which certain types of information are always handled the same way, no matter where they occur in the document.
Pull parsing Edit
Pull parsing treats the document as a series of items read in sequence using the iterator design pattern. This allows for writing of recursive descent parsers in which the structure of the code performing the parsing mirrors the structure of the XML being parsed, and intermediate parsed results can be used and accessed as local variables within the functions performing the parsing, or passed down (as function parameters) into lower-level functions, or returned (as function return values) to higher-level functions.  Examples of pull parsers include Data::Edit::Xml in Perl, StAX in the Java programming language, XMLPullParser in Smalltalk, XMLReader in PHP, ElementTree.iterparse in Python, System.Xml.XmlReader in the .NET Framework, and the DOM traversal API (NodeIterator and TreeWalker).
A pull parser creates an iterator that sequentially visits the various elements, attributes, and data in an XML document. Code that uses this iterator can test the current item (to tell, for example, whether it is a start-tag or end-tag, or text), and inspect its attributes (local name, namespace, values of XML attributes, value of text, etc.), and can also move the iterator to the next item. The code can thus extract information from the document as it traverses it. The recursive-descent approach tends to lend itself to keeping data as typed local variables in the code doing the parsing, while SAX, for instance, typically requires a parser to manually maintain intermediate data within a stack of elements that are parent elements of the element being parsed. Pull-parsing code can be more straightforward to understand and maintain than SAX parsing code.
Document Object Model Edit
Document Object Model (DOM) is an API that allows for navigation of the entire document as if it were a tree of node objects representing the document's contents. A DOM document can be created by a parser, or can be generated manually by users (with limitations). Data types in DOM nodes are abstract implementations provide their own programming language-specific bindings. DOM implementations tend to be memory intensive, as they generally require the entire document to be loaded into memory and constructed as a tree of objects before access is allowed.
Data binding Edit
XML data binding is the binding of XML documents to a hierarchy of custom and strongly typed objects, in contrast to the generic objects created by a DOM parser. This approach simplifies code development, and in many cases allows problems to be identified at compile time rather than run-time. It is suitable for applications where the document structure is known and fixed at the time the application is written. Example data binding systems include the Java Architecture for XML Binding (JAXB), XML Serialization in .NET Framework.  and XML serialization in gSOAP.
XML as data type Edit
XML is an application profile of SGML (ISO 8879). 
The versatility of SGML for dynamic information display was understood by early digital media publishers in the late 1980s prior to the rise of the Internet.   By the mid-1990s some practitioners of SGML had gained experience with the then-new World Wide Web, and believed that SGML offered solutions to some of the problems the Web was likely to face as it grew. Dan Connolly added SGML to the list of W3C's activities when he joined the staff in 1995 work began in mid-1996 when Sun Microsystems engineer Jon Bosak developed a charter and recruited collaborators. Bosak was well connected in the small community of people who had experience both in SGML and the Web. 
XML was compiled by a working group of eleven members,  supported by a (roughly) 150-member Interest Group. Technical debate took place on the Interest Group mailing list and issues were resolved by consensus or, when that failed, majority vote of the Working Group. A record of design decisions and their rationales was compiled by Michael Sperberg-McQueen on December 4, 1997.  James Clark served as Technical Lead of the Working Group, notably contributing the empty-element <empty /> syntax and the name "XML". Other names that had been put forward for consideration included "MAGMA" (Minimal Architecture for Generalized Markup Applications), "SLIM" (Structured Language for Internet Markup) and "MGML" (Minimal Generalized Markup Language). The co-editors of the specification were originally Tim Bray and Michael Sperberg-McQueen. Halfway through the project Bray accepted a consulting engagement with Netscape, provoking vociferous protests from Microsoft. Bray was temporarily asked to resign the editorship. This led to intense dispute in the Working Group, eventually solved by the appointment of Microsoft's Jean Paoli as a third co-editor.
The XML Working Group never met face-to-face the design was accomplished using a combination of email and weekly teleconferences. The major design decisions were reached in a short burst of intense work between August and November 1996,  when the first Working Draft of an XML specification was published.  Further design work continued through 1997, and XML 1.0 became a W3C Recommendation on February 10, 1998.
XML is a profile of an ISO standard SGML, and most of XML comes from SGML unchanged. From SGML comes the separation of logical and physical structures (elements and entities), the availability of grammar-based validation (DTDs), the separation of data and metadata (elements and attributes), mixed content, the separation of processing from representation (processing instructions), and the default angle-bracket syntax. The SGML declaration was removed thus XML has a fixed delimiter set and adopts Unicode as the document character set.
Other sources of technology for XML were the TEI (Text Encoding Initiative), which defined a profile of SGML for use as a "transfer syntax" and HTML, in which elements were synchronous with their resource, document character sets were separate from resource encoding, the xml:lang attribute was invented, and (like HTTP) metadata accompanied the resource rather than being needed at the declaration of a link. The ERCS(Extended Reference Concrete Syntax) project of the SPREAD (Standardization Project Regarding East Asian Documents) project of the ISO-related China/Japan/Korea Document Processing expert group was the basis of XML 1.0's naming rules SPREAD also introduced hexadecimal numeric character references and the concept of references to make available all Unicode characters. To support ERCS, XML and HTML better, the SGML standard IS 8879 was revised in 1996 and 1998 with WebSGML Adaptations. The XML header followed that of ISO HyTime.
Ideas that developed during discussion that are novel in XML included the algorithm for encoding detection and the encoding header, the processing instruction target, the xml:space attribute, and the new close delimiter for empty-element tags. The notion of well-formedness as opposed to validity (which enables parsing without a schema) was first formalized in XML, although it had been implemented successfully in the Electronic Book Technology "Dynatext" software  the software from the University of Waterloo New Oxford English Dictionary Project the RISP LISP SGML text processor at Uniscope, Tokyo the US Army Missile Command IADS hypertext system Mentor Graphics Context Interleaf and Xerox Publishing System.
There are two current versions of XML:
XML 1.0 Edit
The first (XML 1.0) was initially defined in 1998. It has undergone minor revisions since then, without being given a new version number, and is currently in its fifth edition, as published on November 26, 2008. It is widely implemented and still recommended for general use.
XML 1.1 Edit
The second (XML 1.1) was initially published on February 4, 2004, the same day as XML 1.0 Third Edition,  and is currently in its second edition, as published on August 16, 2006. It contains features (some contentious) that are intended to make XML easier to use in certain cases.  The main changes are to enable the use of line-ending characters used on EBCDIC platforms, and the use of scripts and characters absent from Unicode 3.2. XML 1.1 is not very widely implemented and is recommended for use only by those who need its particular features. 
Valid Unicode characters in XML 1.0 and XML 1.1 Edit
Prior to its fifth edition release, XML 1.0 differed from XML 1.1 in having stricter requirements for characters available for use in element and attribute names and unique identifiers: in the first four editions of XML 1.0 the characters were exclusively enumerated using a specific version of the Unicode standard (Unicode 2.0 to Unicode 3.2.) The fifth edition substitutes the mechanism of XML 1.1, which is more future-proof but reduces redundancy. The approach taken in the fifth edition of XML 1.0 and in all editions of XML 1.1 is that only certain characters are forbidden in names, and everything else is allowed to accommodate suitable name characters in future Unicode versions. In the fifth edition, XML names may contain characters in the Balinese, Cham, or Phoenician scripts among many others added to Unicode since Unicode 3.2. 
Almost any Unicode code point can be used in the character data and attribute values of an XML 1.0 or 1.1 document, even if the character corresponding to the code point is not defined in the current version of Unicode. In character data and attribute values, XML 1.1 allows the use of more control characters than XML 1.0, but, for "robustness", most of the control characters introduced in XML 1.1 must be expressed as numeric character references (and #x7F through #x9F, which had been allowed in XML 1.0, are in XML 1.1 even required to be expressed as numeric character references  ). Among the supported control characters in XML 1.1 are two line break codes that must be treated as whitespace. Whitespace characters are the only control codes that can be written directly.
XML 2.0 Edit
There has been discussion of an XML 2.0, although no organization has announced plans for work on such a project. XML-SW (SW for skunkworks), written by one of the original developers of XML,  contains some proposals for what an XML 2.0 might look like: elimination of DTDs from syntax, integration of namespaces, XML Base and XML Information Set into the base standard.
Binary XML Edit
The World Wide Web Consortium also has an XML Binary Characterization Working Group doing preliminary research into use cases and properties for a binary encoding of XML Information Set. The working group is not chartered to produce any official standards. Since XML is by definition text-based, ITU-T and ISO are using the name Fast Infoset for their own binary infoset to avoid confusion (see ITU-T Rec. X.891 and ISO/IEC 24824-1).
XML and its extensions have regularly been criticized for verbosity, complexity and redundancy.  Mapping the basic tree model of XML to type systems of programming languages or databases can be difficult, especially when XML is used for exchanging highly structured data between applications, which was not its primary design goal. However, XML data binding systems allow applications to access XML data directly from objects representing a data structure of the data in the programming language used, which ensures type safety, rather than using the DOM or SAX to retrieve data from a direct representation of the XML itself. This is accomplished by automatically creating a mapping between elements of the XML schema XSD of the document and members of a class to be represented in memory. Other criticisms attempt to refute the claim that XML is a self-describing language  (though the XML specification itself makes no such claim). JSON, YAML, and S-Expressions are frequently proposed as simpler alternatives (see Comparison of data serialization formats)  that focus on representing highly structured data rather than documents, which may contain both highly structured and relatively unstructured content. However, W3C standardized XML schema specifications offer a broader range of structured XSD data types compared to simpler serialization formats and offer modularity and reuse through XML namespaces.