I Believe

Fantasy Creatures
via http://www.e-figart.com/

I believe in dragons, unicorns, fairies, and mermaids; not to mention, giants and elves, trolls and shape-shifters, heroes and demons. I also believe in places like Atlantis, Mu, and Punt. As I have stated before, I believe that we have barely scratched the surface of knowing, much less, understanding our own history. And since we do not know everything, how can we say with certainty that certain things never existed or claim without absolute proof that we understand the languages, words, and symbols handed down to us by our ancestors.

Simply put, We Can’t.

I know that admitting to believing in all the things listed above and more, most would consider me at least silly, if not a full fledged nut job. But, why? Because some teacher in some classroom told you that something didn’t exist. What was their proof? In most cases when we are told that something does not exist, the proof provided to support their claim is that there is no proof. Forgetting that the absence of proof does not in and of itself provide proof of nothing.

Mountain Gorilla wwf
Mountain Gorilla via WWF

Ironically, history has taught us time and time again, that not believing in something, just because there is NO proof is usually a good way to have to eat your beliefs in the end. Mountain gorillas, rhinos, ‘hobits’, and komodo dragons all turned out to be real creatures and not just myths and tall tales to regal listeners! In addition we now have the physical remains of such legends as Homer’s Troy and the Vikings’ Vineland (Newfoundland) and the Bible’s Jericho. Yet, still we are more adamant than ever about our disbelief in things we have been taught don’t exist.

lanse-aux-meadows
L’Anse aux Meadows

As part of the argument that these places and stories cannot be true, we are told that ancient peoples were superstitious, unknowing, scared lesser peoples that through their imagination created fantastical stories to explain things in nature that scared them and that they were unable to understand scientifically on such an evolved intellectual level as us today. The contradiction with this concept, is the following: first, it takes an intelligent mind to imagine and create, not the mind of a simple creature that is incapable of understanding the world around them; second, it tends to be the less intelligent mind that cannot fathom things beyond their understanding, that cannot accept those things as real that they cannot see and touch and feel for themselves. Thus, their argument falls flat when we remove our desire to believe that we are superior to those that came before us.

Part of the challenge of being able to access with as little bias as possible those people and places and events that came before us, is to overcome the arrogant belief that we in our current form are the best, smartest, most advanced we have ever been. For even recent history teaches us that empires rise and fall and that great persons gain great status and then fall into obscurity. Life nor history is a straight line always leading to better and higher success.

I believe that it is the mission of those that most consider to be crazy or ‘out there’ to continue to provide the means by which we can truly seek the truth and then know and understand where we have been, where we are, and where we are going.

 

Consider This

Diploma Money
via AssociateDegreeOnline.com

Today’s world places great emphasis on ‘experts’. Titles are doled out to supposed deserving individuals by Academic Institutions and Associations, Professional guilds and collectives, and government agencies and councils. Letters are added to the end of names upon merit, distinction, or fame.  However, the focus has shifted from the search for knowledge to the image of dominion over a study. This shift has been a killing blow to our understanding of our history and the world around us.

Take the concept of a Renaissance Man, this is a truly inconceivable idea to most people today. Awkwardly, most think that someone that knows a little bit about a few different subjects, enough to be entertaining from an average cerebral context at cocktail or dinner parties, fits the bill. In fact, this is very far from the truth, in reality those men of greatness that provided the example of what we now consider to be the “Renaissance Man” were not just merely acquainted with a few subjects, they were master students of many very diverse and broad areas of interest. The WHOLE of life and the world inspired them and drove them to seek understanding not just in the individual details of the subject matter, but also in the connectivity of all things within the universe. DaVinci was not merely interested in the flight of birds to make his art more realistic, he was consumed with the means and mechanics of flight in order to understand the very air we breathe and all its limits and limitlessness in our universe and the use of it to harness flight of man and machine.

leonardo-da-vinci-vitruvian-man
Vitruvian Man, c.1492 via allposters.ie

These men were inspired and driven to understand how everything worked and functioned and understood that each detail was merely one tiny piece of the huge jigsaw puzzle that made up the world around them and the universe we inhabit.

What made these men different from our scholars and scientist and ‘experts’ of today? These men of old were not seeking fame and fortune, a lot of the most learned have been forgotten to history, take for example Athanasius Kircher, considered the last man to know everything, they were seeking wisdom and understanding, they truly wanted to know how and why and where and when and what about it all! Their goal was universal knowledge as destined self-fulfillment of the mind and soul, the very purpose of our being.

We have lost that drive, that childlike passion and curiosity to know everything and how it is all connected. The ‘experts’ of today (in general) have tunnel vision and work in limited intellectual vacuums like blind mice in shoebox size labyrinths thinking they encompass their entirety. They might be true, in-depth experts of their one puzzle piece, however, they lack understanding of where and how that piece fits into the puzzle and thus in reality are not as expert as they think they are, for how the piece fits or doesn’t fit can change everything about the piece and that is the difference between seeking wisdom and arrogantly thinking one is wise.

Athanasius KircherAnd it is arrogance and ego that has created this prison of ignorance. We have become a species that is divided at the most basic level. We do not depend on the group, nor foster the group. We even lack the understanding of such creatures as the big cats that roam mostly in solitude, yet, still aware of and understanding their connection and dependence on the other of their own kind for their mutual survival. Not only do we put our individual self wholly and almost singularly on our priority list we will even destroy the rest of our species not for the sake of our physical survival, but for the survival of our own ego. We remorselessly kill those we deem less than us and abuse those we can gain some benefit from. This extreme of individualism has cost us dearly.

Thus, we cannot comprehend the savant of the idiot, nor the logic of the crazy, we cannot see good deeds can be done even by evil persons. However, all these things exist and to dismiss them because they are beneath our egos is merely the display of the smallest of individuals among us, namely the ‘experts’.

Errors in Studying History

WhatsApp Image 2019-02-25 at 13.16.14There are many things to keep in mind when one is a student of history. The most important feature that one needs is an open mind. Unfortunately, that seems to be the least common attribute that any academic has this day and age. The prevalent misconception is that either you are open minded and thus naive, or you are skeptical and thus intelligent and knowledgeable. This is a flawed sentiment, for having an open mind allows you to, without bias, observe and analyze an idea, thought, theory solely on its merit, and you can do this logically and rationally and critically. In academic circles, where skepticism is a requirement, it is both the PC label for close minded and the scholarly equivalent of double-dog dare daring them to not only prove their idea, but to prove it beyond your own personal biases and dogmas, usually an impossible feat indeed.

neanderthal nikola solicOur ancestors have left us with a plethora of clues about themselves that we need only unravel. However, in order to accurately and successfully accomplish re-constructing our past we have to stop using our measures to judge. In keeping with the thought that Neanderthals have been completely given the total short end of the stick and made out in our history and science books to be big dumb brutes I want to point out how such misconceptions are so easily made and propagated.

UN Delegate CollageEgocentric eyes need to be refocused into wondering and curious eyes that are open to ALL possibilities. Man today is not better and more advanced, man today is different from man of other times. The whole world is different therefore everything about our worlds differs. One need only look at all the differences among all the peoples that live in our time to see this for themselves. One of the most despicable and deplorable things that an academic can do is to judge their area of study against themselves or their standards. Just because you drive a sports car and live in a high-rise and some other person walks and lives on a covered platform with open walls does not make you advanced and them barbaric or savage.

Double Headed from ColumbiaThe same can be applied to history, just because a culture didn’t have the wheel does not mean they were mentally inferior, that they were not ‘smart enough’ to invent it, it simply means in most cases, they had not developed a reason for using it. As the saying goes, necessity is the mother of all invention; another words if you do not have need of the wheel you will not invent it. For example, the South American cultures, of which the Inca are the most famous, did not have the wheel, however, their gold smelting and smithing quality was better than what our so advanced societies accomplish today with all our technologies. And academics still consider the Inca’s to be a less advanced society, our less advanced selves 500 years ago labeled them as savages and deemed them not much better than slaves and forced labor sources.

Gilgamesh-tablet-flood via englishare netAnother egocentric method that we use in demeaning our ancestors is to judge those that had written documents based on our own perceptions of reality and fact and fiction. We read their stories and history and at best only accept those things that our narrow view of life can understand, the rest we call myths and tales and fiction. So inept are academics at having open minds in this area that the same piece of writing can be used to support our “facts and truths” while also proving what “fiction” writers the people were. And if a culture didn’t have a writing system especially one understood today then they are considered even more uncivilized.

Moving further back in time when ‘judged’ by today’s experts, those peoples that look different from us, well they are not even human, or at best they were sub-human predecessors to our totally modern human selves of today. The attitude that we are the perfection of the animal world and of the long line of peoples that have lived on this wonderful planet is the most arrogant and ignorant point of view that blocks our ability to fully understand our past and marvel in the amazement of our ancestors.

consequences-of-evolution-631Neanderthal should not be considered brutish cause of their physical features, just as they should not be considered stupid cause to the best of our knowledge they lived in existing caves. And they should not be considered uncivilized because they did not, to our knowledge have language, oral or written.

If we could teach the next generation of academics to study out of love of curiosity with open minds and child like enthusiasm, we will be amazed at how wonderful and rich our pre-history past was and will have to rewrite much grander tomes on our journey through time on the 3rd rock from the Sun.