Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Neolithic Opinions

It’s all just opinion. Blogs are full of opinions. Some bloggers are very conscientious and will provide researched information. Of course some blogs are pure information sites. But in my experience most personal non-commercial blogs are pure opinion.
I’m not saying this is a bad thing. What else is there in communication beyond the necessary, but opinion? After we’ve given each other all the information we need to accomplish whatever task is at hand, there is nothing left but the telling of our thoughts on things.
This was probably true in the Neolithic times. Tug and Ug must have had a lot to say about things in their environment. There were tigers to worry about. Plum harvests, mating dances. Because they were also human, they shared opinions.
Are we any different now than we were then? What has really deeply changed in us? Nothing much, I believe. We have larger brains, but we see smaller brains in child protégés out-perform larger brains. So is that enough of a physical difference to give us a radical emotional difference?
When I am in the forest, away from the road; when there are no sounds from planes, I often think about my link to ancient humans. I am walking through a natural landscape, as they did. I am thinking of something my son had done, and also about the house, and whether it will withstand another winter before I redo the roof. A man living in the Neolithic time could easily have had those same thoughts. He could have the same worries, the same joys. How am I so different? I can’t put much importance on the gadgets I have, that he didn’t have.
I think it’s possible that just like me, Tug or Ug could be watching their people gathering up in groups and getting all excited about something. See them pick one of their own and put him in charge. Suddenly Ug and Tug’s tribe is telling everyone what to do. They’re making rules for Tug’s people, and different rules for Ug’s people; and those who were put in charge are not bound by either set of rules.
Even in the days of Cave Bears, and Saber-toothed Tigers; groups of people have looked up to the strong to provide, out of fear of their own weakness. They became detached from the self-sufficiency of their own action, and depended entirely on the sufficiency of those they appointed their leaders.
Tug and Ug were perhaps like a lot of people I know. Not entirely dependent on the society, but not entirely independent of it either; kind of an interdependency I guess. It’ the people in this category that end up in society’s prisons or society’s wars. Too strong to be left alone, too weak to be in charge of their own destiny.

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