My wife thinks it’s silly of me to read prefaces, indexes, and footnotes. It’s mostly a waste of time, she says. Yes, this can often times be true. But I have discovered so many interesting bits of information by looking through those oft neglected sections of books that I now rarely skip them. You never know what you might come across.
The preface of one book actually moved me close to tears. It was, believe it or not, in the form of a poem. It was found in the beginning of a series of 12 volumes. You’d think that 12 volumes is long enough to try to get through without bothering with the introduction. It would have been all too easy to skip over the first few pages and miss a very interesting point that was expressed on the first page. And the point made was that the author had dedicated his life to this work but it had been accomplished at the cost of missing out on his children growing up. The series of books I am referring to is “Ancient Egypt: the Light of the World – a Work of Reclamation and Restitution in Twelve Books” by Gerald Massey.
The time and effort Massey put into his works is truly impressive. His deductive reasoning shines through in all his work. He was brilliantly adept at stripping back all the layers of added context which pile on throughout time to traditions, local customs, spoken and unspoken language, even place names, and he was able to imagine a time before recorded history. He then theorised about what essential elements of life would have given rise to the practices which have become integral to many communities’ identities. This gave rise to aptly titled works such as “The Book of The Beginnings” and “The Natural Genesis”.
Necessity gives birth not only to novel solutions but perhaps to everything.
This concept makes one realise that the world isn’t just a collection of crazy people (yes I said “just”) it is a collection of crazy people who got here using a very practical approach. Humans have the ability to deduct cause and effect. We don’t always get it right, but we have an instinctive need to work out what causes something and do our best at coming up with a reasonable explanation. From reading the works of philosophers like Plato, Plotinus, Xeno, Socrates, I can see that the human mind has been looking to understand the cause of things for the last 2 to 3 millennia and likely did so for a long time before those philosophers lived. Many pictographs indicate that this is indeed the case.
Considering the fact that the human mind is best at remembering things when using pictures, (see part one of this blog post) and that this has been known for thousands of years as per the writings of Cicero, we can begin to decipher the encoded pictographs which are still with us since time immemorial.
If we were to strip back all the added elements of civilisation, social interaction, art, and non essential practices that surround us in today’s world we may find that some of the greatest concerns still remain. Food security would undoubtedly top the list. It would not be beyond reason to credit humans of old with the ability to deduct that the sun was one of the more obvious essential supports to plant and animal life. As the sun would be seen every year to increase and decrease in its power fear as to whether the sun would at some point continue fading away and never return could naturally arise. The hope of the sun’s return would have been an essential part of educating the next generation. Without some assurance that things will get better when the opposite is seen to be occurring people can, and often do, lose hope.
Human (anthropomorphic) or part animal (therianthropic) characters as representatives of abstract concepts make for easier story creation.
To be continued.