Free Me

It seems a lot of people want their freedom from the wider country of which they have been a part. The list of wrongs they can give differs but the main well spring of this desire come from a feeling that they can do better unfettered and on their own.

Two of the most beneficial time sin human history for creativity were in Greece circa 6th century BCE and in Italy circa 14th century AD. Both these periods coincided with the rise in power of city-states. Cities that ruled themselves and warred with other cities. Vying for eminence lead them to attract commerce and artists which in turn lead them to high culture. High culture that we still look to today. The wider the population, the narrower the levels of choice.

It’s a strange thing that capitalism does but by widening the market place it reduces choice to a common denominator. An average of taste in food and clothes, houses and TV shows. It becomes a numbers game.

Artistic achievement of course, is never a numbers game.

Invitation To a Seance

Houdini famously took part in many seances after his mother died trying to find out if there was an ‘after life’ and being a showman he was able to expose every supposed mystic he met. It doesn’t stop people believing though, as many in this country regularly go to mass meetings where individual’s start telling them what messages they are receiving from the ‘other side’.

The Greeks and Romans had a whole show of their own, placing oracles in dark tunnels, strangely dressed in torch light and sometimes disjointed voices in the dark, a dark ruled by Hades or Pluto, one step away from the demons of Hell. And the oracles said much the same thing as they do today with lines that could be taken two ways and some indistinct probings that sometimes hit their mark with the credulous visitor.

That, of course, is the heart of the whole matter. The credulity of those who approach the mystics hoping, wanting, even praying that there is an afterwards, there is a place where consciousness continues to exist. Not of course doubting that decrepit bodies won’t be decrepit any more. Nor doubting that some great mystery ties it all together. That the blood stream of life and the pulse of death are all connected in some indefinable way in the dark of ignorance.

We would all do better to put aside all thought of living after death, and live while we may. It is after all, what life is for.

Nonsense

There are many assumptions that come to us in our education because a close reading is not given to the facts even as we know them. And let’s face it when the protagonists have been dead two thousand years it is hard to know what we know. For example would it interest you to know that eight hundred years ago the people who thought the Earth was flat would have been looked upon by educated people in the same way scientists and modern thinkers think of people desperately trying to deny evolution today.

The fact is that the proof (albeit luckily discovered) that the Earth was 24,000 miles round was found in 300 BCE.

Around about the same time or slightly earlier middle eastern thinkers had discovered the Moon controlled the cycle of time and come up with close to a 365 day year, though their leap year to keep up was every nineteen years. Whenever the Olympic circus begins I always sort of wish we have kept the nineteen year leap year.

Clocks were invented by the Chinese almost two thousand years ago. In fact to think that somehow people were standing still and not thinking much over the last ten thousand years is to misunderstand human  beings. People were experimenting long before experimental method was created. They were simply not being systematic. So the Romans knew what crude oil was they did not have a use for it.

In the past many people have hit upon accurate ideas they have just not been the ones listened to, their knowledge was lost or other countries rose and conquered theirs and disregarded their findings.

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October 2018
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