Wandering Thought # 89

A summary reading of the history of myths teaches us how religious even the most atheist of us remains; how the religious lives on in us, in our imagination, ideas, impulses, emotions, motives, narratives of life, etc., irrespectively of what our rational mind believes. We remain worshipers in a temple we no longer believe in its existence. We remain idolators of a power in which we ceased to believe, at the very thought of which we cannot hold our laughter, our cynicism — and what is cynicism if not the pain of a wound? We may know a lot more, we moderns, but we feel a lot less and less profoundly, and the world of our feeling, intuition, and imagination has shrunk in proportion to the horizons which our minds have widened. We know no reverence; we are deeply irreverent. The sacred has been expunged from our rational world, and that is a direct correlation with the way we are handling our planet and ourselves.

Wandering Thought # 68

The concern of the inventors of what we today call magical or mythical powers was not factual; the truth of an event was not their primary concern. The motive behind their attempt to explain was the need to place the event under some form of control — and what they placed under the control of a deity the modern scientist places under that of scientific law. Explaining the event in such a way, as the act of a god, placates the fear of being utterly at the mercy of a chaotic unknown acting with complete unreason. Lightning falls because the lightning god wills it — having a reason gives the person a certain measure of control. The lightning god can be propitiated. It was this and not a concern for truth that was behind the first impulse and need for knowledge. Science as refined magic, and man still expanding his horizon of domination and control.