--- In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, turquoiseb <no_reply@...> wrote:
> --- 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. 

I try and imagine what they must have been like and I can't
convince myself we were the same. Look at how long art took
to evolve from notches on wood to mark how many beaver pelts
we owe the tribe up the river, to the caves at Lascaux, it
too many thousands of years. And early human self represent-
ation went from childlike dolls to more sophisticated forms
almost as slowly. And there's things like spears, we had them
for 100,000 years before someone thought of throwing them, 
they used to just stab at the prey, the wounds leave different
marks on the bone.

So we could have been in the throes of a consciousness evolution
up to the birth of civilisation when things began to settle
down and we gained our familiar superstitious selves you outline

My favourite book on the subject is a real piece of outsider
science, The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the
Bicameral mind. I've mentioned it before but he's convinced
that humans had evolved Gods that controlled us via auditory hallucinations 
from the left side of our brains and that
before this we didn't have consciousness as in an inner world
of thoughts and self reliance we called our own. It all came
from what we thought was outside.

I know it sounds like total crap saying it straight off with-
out his elegant primer on what consciousness is and means to
us now, but he amasses good evidence from neurology - more than
one speech centre in the brain. Psychiatry - qualities of hallucinations in 
schizophrenia. Archaeology - prevalence of 
statues of Gods that claimed were to speak by indigenous peoples
when discovered by Europeans. These also mirror the social 
structure of ancient cities and claimed writings by people of 
the time. He gets a lot from ancient literature and difference
in themes and purpose of characters between the Illiad and The 
Odessy and between old and new testament. And there is a good 
chapter on the sudden belief in predictive omens like astrology
etc, that occurred after the breakdown forced the two halves
of our minds to create the consciousness we have now with all
its needs for certainty that we lost when the Gods forsook us,
there's a great piece of writing from the fall of Babylon that.

He has a good idea about how they evolved and why the state
of mind changed suddenly. It sounds bonkers but when you read
it and go for a walk around any iron age site or museum you'll
never be able to see it all in the same way. Were we really 
without consciousness until 3000 years ago? Is it even possible
that it's true? I think so but it could of course be purely
circumstantial, yet it explains so much about why we are so
weird compared to the rest of the animal kingdom.

Anyway, I could go on forever and I doubt I've explained it 
clearly enough to give anyone an idea of what it's really all
about but it's a good book if you fancy having another theory 
about life to ponder over and I honestly think there is something 
to it, maybe not the whole idea but we, as in mankind, need some
explaining and there is no way we can intuitively sense what we
are if something like this had happened to us. We really would
have minds as odd as we do, all full of Gods and superstition.
The scientific world view is just the next step, maybe a breakdown
of post bicameral delusion?

I've been waffling for hours, I need a mince pie....

> > 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.

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