When we enter a museum that exhibits the human past, the exhibition and the exhibitors want to give us the impression, that they have control of the past and that it is now packed down, categorized, hung with labels and put in showcases. Alas, the folly of the past and the ills of its people — or, oh, its glories and the greatness of men.
Times of greatness and their remnants we are fine with, as long as it is about art. We can admire this without obligation. When it comes to science and world explanation, we are immediately more reserved, for the people of the past can not possibly have anything to teach us at that point.
As for the views of life of the creatures of the past, our respect lies on the scale between curious astonishment and head-shaking indulgence. We can well accept that some dusty philosopher may have said something wise, for philosophy is today regarded as a rarity and an intellectual pursuit of modern pragmatic theory formation. Yes, already Aristotle said that… hoho. In other words, an academic excercise, which is more about emphasizing one’s own excellence – which is not the same as having understood anything of what was quoted.
But what did the ancients know then? According to the science of our day, they knew nothing. Which is just a reversal projection of: because we know everything. Their knowledge is considered imperfect fragments of pre-studies to the knowledge of our time, dead ends of well-tried but never-fulfilled. Their iconography has been reduced with a condescending contempt for their postulated superstitious worldview – alas, they did not know better, but today science has established that …
Mankind’s history has turned into a giant trash can, where we can dump everything we think we have grown out of. We were saved from the delusions via rationalism, where we reduced the Cosmos to the immediately sensuous (empiricism), measurable (nominalism, positivism) and usable (pragmatism, utilitarianism) and threw all the old junk, which we still did not understand much, in the scrap yard.
We understand very little of the pictorial universe of the ancient cultures. We believe they were religious. What we do not understand especially in European culture is, that our view of pre-Christian cultures and their knowledge is the character assassination of Christianity = the Roman Empire on these cultures. We believe that they had a consistently superstitious – a Christian expression – view of the world, and that they were manically fixated on an interaction with their world of gods. But who says that their so-called gods had anything to do with what we understand by God in the Judeo-Christian sense – and which, incidentally, we have now written off as superstition 2.0? Yes, we say it had. It did not!
An example. When our ‘superstitious’ ancestors in the Nordic countries talked about Freyr, they talked about the male counterpart to Freya, the male fertility principle in relation to the female complementary fertility principle. Freyr was semen in the biological sense in humans, animals and plants. Another so-called god named Thor, who is currently ashamed and perverted by Hollywood – along with Loki, who has become a PC transvestite god-help-us – was the electric forces of nature, from the violent electricity of lightning and thunder, up to planetary size and down to the life energy / electricity that lives in living beings. This divine = natural energy was known by all cultures, the Romans called it Hercules, the Indians called it Indra, in the Baltics they called it Pergonas, in Slavic culture they called it Perun.
Whether all of these cultures had the deep understanding of electricity, plasma, magnetism as the universal energy principle is hard to fathom, but the great cultures all knew at one point, what it was all about. When the Persian cult of fire still today cultivates fire as the creative power, then it is the maintenance of an ancient and deep understanding of this divine power, that is the very source of life.
In Egyptian cosmology, there is a wealth of so-called idols. The Christians mocked and despised them as idols. The tragicomic is that the Christians were far more superstitious than the pre-Christians. The Christians believed that it was a pantheon of many gods, which in that case was offensive to them and their one God. The pre-Christians knew that they were not gods at all. It was pictorial, anthropomorphic forces of nature. The Egyptians called it neters – note the similarity with the word natures. They existed both in the outer cosmos and in the inner universe and its archetypes. Man contains the Cosmos in fractal-scaled-down form. In the Egyptian wisdom tradition (Thoth / Hermes) it is said: As above, so below. As in the galaxy and the solar system, thus in the cell and the atom and everything that is in the cosmic scaling field.
Such a pervasive denial of the old means that the old is doomed to re-emerge in a distorted form. The archaic returns in perverted form. Freud’s contribution to the understanding of man is, that when the denial or repression takes place and something is referred to the subconscious (the unconscious), then the repressed takes over the control of the day-conscious without us being aware of it. It becomes unhealthy, when we do not have concepts and names for the Power.https://mellemsteetage.dk/2021/01/10/the-hidden-meaning-of-fairy-tales/
Nordic folklore tells about what it means not to know the name:
When the king wanted to build a church, he would not succeed at first. But then a troll came and offered him his service on the condition that when the church was finished, the king should be able to say what the troll’s name was. If not, he should give the troll his eyes and his heart.
When the church was missing half a pillar, the king had not yet guessed the name of the troll. Desperate, he walked around, and as he rested on a mound, he heard from inside the mound a woman saying: “Quiet my child, tomorrow your father, Finn, will come and give you the king’s eyes and heart to play with”.
The king returned to the construction site. When the troll came with the last half pillar, the king greeted him by name. Finn became furious and disappeared.
The mound is the Elverhøj, the Hill of the Elves, so besung by the romantics. The mighty forces of nature lived in the mound = underground. If it had been in Norway or Iceland, they would have lived inside the mountain, but in Denmark we have to make do with huge mounds, where there are stones so large that it must have taken trolling forces to move. The fairy tale is an archetypal mental image. The moment the king = the hero = anyone as the protagonist in his own life knows the name of the power, then the power no longer has power over the king – who is the king of every life who has the power.
We no longer understand the language of the ancients. Why do they talk in pictures, why do they tell stories that they do? The Bible is full of parables and allegories, for that is how they spoke and wrote, but foolish Christian fundamentalists believe it to be taken literally. It was not because the Nordic legend writers did not know the elaborate and complete explanation of their mythology, but it was not suitable for popular communication. It was for the knowers of legends, the wise. What do we do ourselves when our son-in-law comes and asks: Dad, what is it, why is it? Does daddy then get involved in the big academic dissertation on the difficult subject? Or does he say: Yes, you see, it’s like something you know. The forces of nature were given figures instead of abstract explanations.
But the ancients knew all about, what Freud thought he had discovered. His contemporaries believed that it had to be quite new and groundbreaking because a piece of cultural oblivion (repression) had meanwhile emerged. Every peasant wife-grandmother out in the village knew of the principle of repression. And the farmer’s grandfather knew the projection principle – The one that the fart can smell, is the owner of the fart. Or as it says in the Bible, which contains all conceivable popular proverbs gathered under one hat: It is easier to spot the splinter in your neighbor’s eye than the beam in your own .
Every time we come across a building from antiquity that we have no control over and explanation for, we think it is either a graveyard or a place where the poor worshiped their foolish gods. Thus, all the Egyptian pyramids must be mausoleums, even though a dead pharaoh has never been found anywhere inside them, and even though they bear no resemblance to the tombs in the Valley of the Kings. When the deeply strange underground complex called the Serapeum in Saqqara was opened, it was immediately designated an animal cemetery because a strip of huge stone coffins was found. After all, they had to contain dead embalmed Apis bulls. One did not have the strength to open the ton-heavy lids, and when some archaeological vandal smashed the lid on one of them with a rod of dynamite, it was not surprisingly empty. Do the arrogantly-alleged Egyptologists then change their explanation? They would never dream of that, because then they would appear as the alleged fools as they are. They have refined the art of elevating assumptions to indisputable dogma. They smear a new layer of rubbish on top of the rubbish and pretend to be nothing. The rubbish can still be read in the history books.
We make fun of what was out there and what once was. We have great contempt for the divine, all the while the devil is loose in the back room. We have contempt for cultures’ homage and respect for the divine = the miraculous-natural life-giving, while committing one destructive assault on nature after another. We are not aware that black magic is practiced with our perception of reality every minute of our daily lives, because that kind of thing does not exist besides Harry Potter.
To avoid too many repetitions of what has already been described in great detalil, here is a strip of links to articles about ‘the old’ that is so poorly understood. They threw it down in the basement with a fake mark, and now it’s alive in the dark among us like the mummy’s curse: