Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Does Mankind Really Want Mysteries of the Past to be Solved? Facts as Unwanted Visitors in the World of Academic and Other Wishes and Emotions

It is all a bit like What's it All About, Alfie, a philosophical topic to which David Brooks has just penned a remarkably good op-ed at the New York Times titled "What Is Your Purpose?".

We have a spectacular posting coming up in Posting 82 of this series of postings on The Great Mound, Petroglyph and Painted Rock Art Journey of Native America. This, however, is Posting Number 80, which should also be read.

Posting Number 81 after that will in fact serve as an introduction to that. 

This Posting Number 80 serves more as a preface to both of those, because we want to post some thoughts about myths, legends and mysteries, and how and why human beings view them as they do -- at least in our opinion -- because it bears immensely upon how some people may view our decipherments.

We can not escape the feeling in much of our work that humanity loves a good mystery and is not even always very happy to see a mystery solved.

This applies particularly to controversial issues of fact or fiction, the resolution of which questions plays (or appears to play) no significant role for matters of human survival (even indirect influences, however, can be important), and where one or the other solution is more a matter of personal fancy than raw necessity. People thus have little motivation to abandon false paths .

When life is dependent upon the solution of some mystery, then things change, because a right solution must be found, but in certain fields of academic inquiry, finding the real "truth" is not what drives much research, otherwise peer-reviewed journals would not be filled with so much jargon-laced garble. "Publication" fulfills many other purposes, not the least of which is "career".

A good case in point for the preference of myth and legend over facts is Stonehenge, where the research of Gerald Stanley Hawkins established fairly convincingly (in our estimation of his work) that Stonehenge was astronomical in purpose, even if many questions remained to be answered.

However, rather than the matter being taken up intensively by the world's astronomical community, further research has in fact fallen back in the hands of archaeologists, anthropologists and assorted other soft-science researchers, most of whom have no understanding of astronomy, modern or ancient, and who therefore will never unravel the mystery of Stonehenge or any similar sites, some even seeing Stonehenge as a pilgrimage point for people suffering from ill health and other such assorted obviously somewhat bizarre theories. 

Similarly, when we view the "gods" of Ancient viz. Classical Greece, then we see how personages -- as anthropomorphic astronomy in origin -- have in the course of millennia been adapted to the world of myth and legend (e.g. Hercules) because that is what the masses want, and that includes the so-called professionals, who manage a thriving profession by it.

Gods and Goddesses, Kings and Queens, Princes and Princesses, Rites and Rituals. These ideas and their corollaries dominate many research works of the mainstream. Just watch any archaeological TV documentary, from most of which one would presume that there are no unanswered questions and that everything is known, especially by the academics doing the presentations.

That is the wish of humanity -- also in the sphere of religion -- for people to be able to elevate their own present lives into higher spheres by means of their personal association and affiliation with the "divine" and thereby also to exercise their creative capacity for dreaming of great things, also in the past.

"Truth" about the actual original identity of the human "beings" that "divines" surely were originally, is quite secondary, and few really care about that.

It is all a bit like What's it All About, Alfie, a philosophical topic to which David Brooks has just penned a remarkably good op-ed at the New York Times titled "What Is Your Purpose?".

Mankind's works are dominated by a search for meaning, especially a meaning to the (re)searcher's own life, which usually profits by swimming with the stream, and in no case is furthered by rocking the boat of "whatever is".

That is why arguing simply "facts" is a very hard road, because human motivations have little to do with facts and more to do with wishes and emotions. That is what makes "fact people" such as the fabulously wealthy investor Warren Buffet so successful in what he does, where ALL others are much less successful. Wishful thinking is not his bag. He is a rarity.

Nevertheless, we can understand the sentiment that leads to myths and legends, because, as we noted in a previous posting about a popular book heavy with "astronomy":
"The Little Prince" (Le Petit Prince) by Antoine Saint Exupéry ... is said to be the world's second most widely read book, after the Bible, so Artcurial....
[A] Turkish astronomer discovers a new asteroid, unveiling his discovery at an international astronomy conference, but no one believes him, because he is dressed as a Turk, gesticulating at a blackboard and pointing to mathematical equations -- just like astronomical drawings in our writings.
The Turkish astronomer attends a second conference later in the book, dressed as a Westerner, and his discovery is resoundingly accepted."
As we can see from Exupéry, even astronomy can be "popular" among "the crowd" (hey, that's us), extremely so, but it has to be cloaked in the right dress, just as Exupéry's Turk, and myth and legend fill that bill marvelously. 

Just look to J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books. Good fiction sells like hotcakes.

Accordingly, if we too wanted to be commercially successful through the publication of our own research, through which we have never made any commercial profit, we would have to do it all quite differently. We realize full well that the last thing that people want to read are dry facts.

Alas, however, for what we are doing, which is the revelation of the astronomical nature of many ancient mounds and earthworks, we have no other choice, other than the path of reason. We have to stick to the facts, as much as possible.

We leave the writing of "fiction" on these topics to the appropriate academic disciplines (smiley) ... and that last comment takes us to the next posting, which you should read, before then seeing the spectacular Posting Number 82.

THIS POSTING IS Posting Number 80 of
The Great Mound, Petroglyph and Painted Rock Art Journey of Native America

Does Mankind Really Want Mysteries of the Past to be Solved? Facts as Unwanted Visitors in the World of Academic and Other Wishes and Emotions

Most Popular Posts of All Time

Sky Earth Native America

Sky Earth Native America 1:
American Indian Rock Art Petroglyphs Pictographs
Cave Paintings Earthworks & Mounds as Land Survey & Astronomy
Volume 1, Edition 2, 266 pages, by Andis Kaulins.

  • Sky Earth Native America 2:
    American Indian Rock Art Petroglyphs Pictographs
    Cave Paintings Earthworks & Mounds as Land Survey & Astronomy
    Volume 2, Edition 2, 262 pages, by Andis Kaulins.

  • Both volumes have the same cover except for the labels "Volume 1" viz. "Volume 2".
    The image on the cover was created using public domain space photos of Earth from NASA.


    Both book volumes contain the following basic book description:
    "Alice Cunningham Fletcher observed in her 1902 publication in the American Anthropologist
    that there is ample evidence that some ancient cultures in Native America, e.g. the Pawnee in Nebraska,
    geographically located their villages according to patterns seen in stars of the heavens.
    See Alice C. Fletcher, Star Cult Among the Pawnee--A Preliminary Report,
    American Anthropologist, 4, 730-736, 1902.
    Ralph N. Buckstaff wrote:
    "These Indians recognized the constellations as we do, also the important stars,
    drawing them according to their magnitude.
    The groups were placed with a great deal of thought and care and show long study.
    ... They were keen observers....
    The Pawnee Indians must have had a knowledge of astronomy comparable to that of the early white men."
    See Ralph N. Buckstaff, Stars and Constellations of a Pawnee Sky Map,
    American Anthropologist, Vol. 29, Nr. 2, April-June 1927, pp. 279-285, 1927.
    In our book, we take these observations one level further
    and show that megalithic sites and petroglyphic rock carving and pictographic rock art in Native America,
    together with mounds and earthworks, were made to represent territorial geographic landmarks
    placed according to the stars of the sky using the ready map of the starry sky
    in the hermetic tradition, "as above, so below".
    That mirror image of the heavens on terrestrial land is the "Sky Earth" of Native America,
    whose "rock stars" are the real stars of the heavens, "immortalized" by rock art petroglyphs, pictographs,
    cave paintings, earthworks and mounds of various kinds (stone, earth, shells) on our Earth.
    These landmarks were placed systematically in North America, Central America (Meso-America) and South America
    and can to a large degree be reconstructed as the Sky Earth of Native America."

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