What Our Ancestors Believed

Its amazing how ignorant we believe our ancestors were. They drew strange images on cave walls of creatures no one has seen. They told stories of monsters that exist in the dark, just beyond the light of the tribal campfire. Colorful explanations abound. And because of their wild and vivacious imaginations, we accuse them of somehow believing what they drew was real. That what they spoke of and sang about were all true.

Can modern humans assume we are so much more enlightened? Do we not tell stories of creatures that we have never seen? Do we not draw pictures of creatures both fantastic and demonic? Does this mean we believe? That we think it true? Have we not yet learned that one cannot trust everything just because it is written? Does this wisdom apply any differently to our ancestors?

Scholars and academics should take heed. A thousand years from now, should humankind be fortunate enough to still exist, what will our children think of us? Will they look at our strange pictures and hear our strange stories and think that we must have not know better? That because we revealed our imaginations in a tangible form that we thought it a complete and total reality?

A part of me does believe. Despite science and religion I do wonder at worlds we cannot comprehend. But I trust future generations not to scoff as if I were a brainless caveman with no sense of my own because cavemen were not brainless and our very existence proves it. I prefer our future kin realize that those that came before them had rich imaginations that not only entertained but informed, ignited new visions, and perhaps changed the way they look at their world, their universe, reality itself.

Do not belittle me because of my imagination. Do not belittle the caveman for his. His imagination is the root of the ancient racial memory that binds us all to our past just as our collective imagination is what binds us to our future. Our ancestors believed in exactly what they needed to believe to bring us this far. We must believe what will take us along the next leg of our journey.

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