Thursday, September 19, 2013

We Walked on It, but They Looked at It Too

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," equinox 2013 ... down into darkness we go!

The full moon is over my left shoulder, bright in the sky, and to my home have come an amazing pantheon of bored gods so very, very ancient that their names and faces have been completely lost to time. This is a complex community of deities, some with human characteristics, some animistic, some ghostly, some ethereal. They've been bored so long you'd think they'd be comatose ... but no. Their pulses quicken.

Over the summer, archeologists in Scotland confirmed the discovery of a lunar calendar that could be 10,000 years old. The next nearest calendar is 5,000 or so, from the Fertile Crescent.

Other bloggers can seamlessly throw in the link. I'm challenged by that, so here it is:

According to the reports, the calendar was aligned with moon phases but also was calibrated to the winter solstice, so that the year could be calculated accurately. What remains of this calendar are pits in the ground.

So now everyone puffs up and says, "Well, this changes how we look at the Stone Age. This is pretty sophisticated. And 5,000 years older than the oldest ones we knew about already."

Well, folks, I am here to tell you that these ancient deities who are visiting me tonight, the ones squinting to see their moon through the light pollution of a North American megalopolis, are 10,000 times better than today's busy god. They are telling me that Their praise and worship team, of whom not a bone splinter remains, used that calendar to plant things in the ground for harvest later. Yes! Word! That's what They're telling me. They say that Their people sang hymns in beautiful tongues, lived in comfortable dwellings, respected the land, and ... yes, believe it or not, were smart.

Honestly, what do we think the ancient people did with their time? The Moon was up there, just like now. The Sun was up there, just like now. Their brain cases were just as big as ours, and they weren't challenged by turnpikes and Teflon poisoning. They figured it out. The Moon goes through phases, and the Sun changes position in the sky, and this is predictable and measurable, and it runs in a wheel. And oh, by the way ... there are Gods and Goddesses, and Nature Spirits, and Sacred Animals, and legends of heroes and ballads of love, and eye-popping paintings on the cliffs! And this is not Sumer, it's Scotland!

When I was a kid, sitting in world history class, I used to wonder what was happening in Scotland and England during the time when "civilization" was occurring in the Fertile Crescent. Prevailing wisdom declared that people in those colder climes were just basically hanging on for dear life, hunting and gathering willy-nilly and ever so much less efficiently than the fancy places in the Middle East. Why would we think that? If a person is smart enough to drop a few seeds on the ground and watch them grow in one part of the world, why wouldn't a similar person be just as smart elsewhere?

What kinds of conceits do we labor under? The venerable and ancient deities visiting me on this harvest moon night say that the world was a happier and better place for Their praise and worship team than for us. Everything we have in the way of art, music, and drama, they had too. And according to these deities, the same level of achievement held pretty steady all over the world. The evidence is lacking because, let's face it, 10,000 years is a lot of years. Given that much time, New York City will be a trackless desert. And the Great I-Am will be just another bored god, mourning and mooning over the passage of time.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

Never underestimate the Scots, no matter what era they lived in. Och aye.

Anonymous said...

Someone just sent me an email with a bunch of pictures of modern Africa -- big cities and parks and mansions and shopping malls. It was supposed to shock us, when we thought that Africa was just primitive places to go on safari....
I'm afraid we are generally pretty ethnocentric, thinking we are better, smarter, more modern, etc. I suspect it's a human failing.

Anne Johnson said...

I'm with you, Kim. I think if we went back 30,000 years and looked at Africa, we'd see civilizations that would boggle our minds. Nothing lasts forever, so how would we know what was going on in that time?