The First Rung by Hamid Rafizadeh
Somewhere in Chapter 5
Myths are everywhere. They are ancient models that have persisted for millennia. To the modern human they may seem to be imprecise pieces of knowledge portending importance to human life. To face them poses a dilemma. On one hand they encourage humans to engage in critical thinking to reflect upon assumptions and beliefs adopted for life. On the other hand they make the human face ancient pieces of seemingly incomplete and vague information to which critical thinking cannot be readily applied because of insufficient current evidence. The thoughts invariably divide into separate and irreconcilable domains called science and myth. Science has conditioned itself to remain oblivious to the veiled knowledge that myths bring into human life.
This gets more complicated when myths declare the end of the world, the death of everything that humans love, thus becoming disorienting dilemmas. Disoriented by the specter of blunt, millennia-old portents, the human is forced to apply critical thinking to myths in hope of relief from logical contradictions. This catapults the critical reflection to where it has never been applied before. But the human does not have to go there. Facing the challenge of the myths, critical reflection is one alternative, another, the refuge in defensiveness and dogmatism. But regardless of the choice, the disorienting dilemma makes a critical aspect of existence explicit. The disorientation forces the human to think beyond the unusual, with no guarantee where the thoughts would end. Instead of clarification and insight, the view built on mythical foundation might only be confusion, but regardless of how the human approaches the myth, the scientific concern about one’s assumptions and beliefs lurks in the background and remains explicit.
In a sense the human remains helpless, unable to ignore the scattered remnants of the past that supposedly point at something substantial about human life, such as the ending point of the world. The myth, a human-made artifact, comes with certain embedded features. It could be as unfamiliar as anything the human might face, yet the lack of familiarity does not counter the uncertainty and insecurity that accompanies the scientific concern it makes explicit. Whether on the path of reflection or defensiveness, the human theorizes about the unfamiliar in order to turn it into familiar. But at the end, regardless of the meaning attached to the unfamiliar, life gets defined by what the human does in relation to the unfamiliar.
It is not thinking about the myth but acting in relation to it that defines life. The challenge is to convert reflection or defensiveness into meaningful activities in the world. The human can only get a sense of the world through activities within it. With this glimpse of the mythical, the unfamiliar events of the past stretch into the present and the future and set the purpose of this book. The purpose, not just to provide a scientific theory of a myth or two, but to turn a number of myths into scientific events that aggregate into a single celestial theory supported by the full force of the most recent scientific observations.
The specific purpose, however, is to demonstrate that the earth’s climate has a celestial pattern; that it has utterly influenced and defined the societal behavior, especially the organization and operation of government, business, and individual activities. This new view, new paradigm, develops within the context of the myths made explicit through scientific reflection. The proposed mindset demonstrates that certain periodic events experienced in the distant past have massive presence in the human future. With this knowledge we avoid the trap of defensiveness that only points a finger of blame rather than clarify what lies as explicit scientific knowledge behind the mythical information.
Defensiveness is always the knowledge-deficient human’s solution to mythical challenge, a manner of escaping instead of engaging. It does not resolve the tension of the unknown, but merely repositions it. This book removes much of the tension of the unfamiliar past and replaces it with the intense tension of the future that is not fully known, yet must be completely managed.
The challenge of the preoccupied human
There is another problem when facing a myth, a problem common to all situations that the human considers to be distant, insignificant, and inconsequential. This orientation manifests in not having time to consider, analyze, and digest the myth. The myths considered in this book deeply impact every human life, yet most humans are busy in government, business, and family with little time outside day-to-day activities. This implies that the book has to be brief and concise if the new view of the myth is to be heard. Otherwise, humans would treat it surficially, giving it only a moment’s thought and doing nothing about it, too involved in what they already do. On one hand this is pragmatic. It keeps them away from the disorienting dilemma they have to address. On the other, these absorbed humans are the ones to be utterly shocked when the myth becomes a real and onerous aspect of their life that has not been managed.
Having not reflected on it nor prepared for it, once it happens, the situation moves too fast to allow reflection, preparation, or constructive action. Would the scientific view of myths improve the reflection possibilities for those presently absorbed in daily activities of the world? I hope that it does, but cannot guarantee it. In theory, the greater the opportunities to reflect on foundational myths that purport to cause radical transformation of the world, the greater the possibilities for making the world and its resources more ready to face and manage the unfamiliar coming their way.
1 S. Segal, “The Existential Conditions of Explicitness: an Heideggerian perspective,” Studies in Continuing Education 21, 73-89 (1999).