--- In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, "salyavin808" <fintlewoodlewix@...> wrote: > > --- In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, turquoiseb <no_reply@> wrote: > > > > --- In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, "seekliberation" <seekliberation@> > > wrote: > > > > > > Does anyone out there ever wonder if perhaps we're being > > > just a little bit narcissistic when we assume that these > > > times are so much more important than any other time? > > > > Not just a little. :-) > > > > Back during the millennial new year of 1999-2000, several > > news outlets did articles on "apocalyptic predictions." > > They demonstrated very conclusively that *there has never > > been a time in human history* when such predictions were > > not being made, and in which the end of the world was > > imminent, about to happen Any Day Now. > > > > They concluded that self-importance and narcissism were > > hard-wired into the human system, and that no matter what > > the era, no matter what the culture or religion, there > > would *always* be predictions of the "end of the world" > > happening any minute, *because some people need that kind > > of delusional self-importance to feel good about themselves*. > > I'm wondering how our ice age ancestors saw things like this, > they must have had such a precarious life that the apocalypse > seemed near constantly. You'd probably need a bit of self- > importance to get through the day.
>From the point of view of classical anthropology and sociology, one of the things that actually *defines* humanity is its seeming need to believe that they have the ability to predict the future. Each culture seems to develop its own ways of convincing itself that it can do that -- from the astrological calculator of Stonehenge to the alignment of the pyramids of Egypt and the buildings of Chaco Canyon to modern-day science. The problem is that all of these methods are based on the concept of past events reproducing themselves in the future, and that is not what actually happens in real life. There are occasionally *new* events, and *new* forces, such as global warming or the unexpected arrival of a huge meteorite. Or even a plague. It is unlikely that our "ice age ancestors" had too many such beliefs, because they were just trying to make it through the day. However, as the cultures became settled and stable enough to develop a shaman or priest class, these individuals had to do something to establish their right to be in power. So the various forms of "predictive technology" began to appear. The shaman class would track the movements of the planets and pass their knowledge down from generation to gener- ation, so that they could pull a "magical" prediction out of their hats and foretell an eclipse. The peons would be wowed by this, and thus keep paying for the shamans' lives. > Funny how we still see everything through this Christian > prism, without writing, how long would these myths last? I suspect that you're right about this. Writing superseded oral traditions, and gave people the illusion that they could preserve the "greatness" of their past in ways that would enable them to live past their real lifetimes. As did architecture. The builders of the pyramids were in essence the Donald Trumps of their day. The buildings they caused to be constructed weren't truly magical or repre- sentative of super sekrit knowledge, they were just buildings with some guy's name on them, erected by a guy with an ego who wanted his name to outlast him. > Long forgotten by now I should think,or Chinese whispered > out of all recognition. Actually that probably happened > anyway given the several hundred years before the gospels > were written. What strange creatures we are to keep such > faith in unlikely and unreliable stories from so long ago. Essentially we're the same apes we were back then, with the same concerns. > As a percentage of human history, the last 2000 years don't > account for much, how many saviours have there been that we > completely forgot about? That's a big problem for the biblical > world view because it assumes the old testament was right and > we were just a few generations from creation. Bit of an > oversight not to take that into consideration now. The idea > that God would wait that long before sending a saviour > when we've spent millenia struggling out of Africa and round > the globe seems unlikely to me, but none of the prophets > mention any prior intervention. The whole *concept* of "intervention" is an attempt to impose some kind of predictable intelligence onto a world that is in all likelihood mainly random. People wanted to believe that there was a "God" or "gods" who "ran things" because they were terrified that NO ONE ran them, and that they just happened. People are *still* terrified of accepting that. > As highly unusual as the whole Christian mythos is, none of > it stops me enjoying Christmas, oh no. I'm on my third box > of mince pies since advent began. Me, too. It's a fun tradition, with all the gift-giving and celebrations and food and all, and I thoroughly enjoy it. For me it has little to do with some baby supposedly born in a stable, or with what he grew up to be. It's just a fun time to be with friends and family. I don't tend to hang with those who need it to be more than that.