The Goat Herders Had it Right
The future. That's what humanity is constantly aiming for. This ever elusive moving target that nobody can really define.
The future. That's what humanity is constantly aiming for. This ever elusive moving target that nobody can really define. What is the future? What is progress to the human civilization? Hollywood would have us to believe it is advanced technology; artificial intelligence, biowarfare, cures for every disease, bioengineered food and the ability to traverse the universe in a blink of an eye. In a sense, utopia navigated by a Sony Playstation controller.
But is this really progress for the human species? How does trading in a horse and carriage for a Ford Model T advance the human race? I often wonder who comes up with these ideas as they often lack coherence. Nothing about the human species changes by coming up with new technologies. Humans are the same today as they were thousands of years ago. Well, except for the fact we're moving backwards -which I'll get to in a bit. Just know that for now we're all trapped in an illusion that gives the appearance of progress. The very idea of societal advancement can be defined as fake purpose gift wrapped in fake altruism. Inventing new technologies doesn't change our moral constructs or our gift of intelligence. It doesn't define destiny. New technologies don't give us purpose or identity either. In fact, technologies should be the tools used for an already defined purpose. And if the purpose is utopia, well, that's a bit problematic.
Let's first define utopia; everyone has access to everything they need to live a fulfilling life. Great! Now that we've got that out of the way, who gets to define what a fulfilling life is for each individual? One persons want is another's "want not". Who gets to determine what utopia is for each person on the planet and ensure every desire is met? How do we all come to an agreement on differing ideologies? In short, who gets to play God?
When I was a child I was mesmerized by the "hamster in the wheel". Just look at him go! That little guy is going to break free one day! As an adult I'm mesmerized by all of the hamsters in the wheels. Just look at them go! Those little guys are going to break free one day!
The problem with getting high off your own supply is you cloud your own judgement to the point you can longer properly transact with others in a way that benefits you. - Probably said by a drug lord somewhere.
The point, is our modern day human society is so full of hubris, working hard, chasing the future, looking for dead rocks in space, pushing, pushing, pushing, that we're no longer adding any benefit to the human race. And I'm not talking about making life more comfortable either. I'm talking about what it means to be human beyond a 7th-grade biology definition. Beyond a macro-evolutionists single cell bacteria to complex organism definition. I'm talking existential here. What does it mean to be human and who gets to define it? And what does progress or advancement look like for the human race? I fear we've traded what's real for what's fake in order to make the idea of utopia -the future- more digestible as a goal. And to accomplish this task modern day society mocks those who came before us in the name of our new god, science. Yes, he deserves a lowercase letter "s".
It's an odd thing; science (we're still lowercasing this guy). In our modern day we act as if those who lived thousands of years ago didn't have it, use it or understand it. As if they were just a bunch of aimless goat herders who were too ignorant to know how the world worked. That somehow, because these people believed in the coexistence of the supernatural and natural world, they were inferior to our big brained, puffy chested, nose in the air society of today. You already know the claims. These people weren't intelligent. They believed in gods and myths. They believed deities created rain! Well, none of that is actually true. But here's a few examples of what they did believe.
The Egyptians believed in mathematics and helped pave the way for writing by way of hieroglyphics. They also believed in medicine, relying on the scientific method to test out their hypotheses. A method they invented. The Mesopotamians believed in and contributed to metallurgy, architecture, astronomy, mathematics (value of Pi) and built irrigation systems to boot. I heard a rumor that the Aztecs and Mayans built some cool stuff too. Also, there was an ancient Greek and Roman civilization that contributed some neat things, or so I hear. But I get it, we're all sold this narrative that the ancient peoples relied on "the gods" because they didn't understand how anything worked.
Truth is, all of these civilizations contributed greatly to the human race in terms of science and technology. And I'd argue anyone to the death that they were immeasurably more brilliant than any one of us as they built the backbone for what we all do today, with practically nothing. The ingenuity they possessed, the memorization skills they exercised and the risks they were willing to take is out of this world. Our comforts and accomplishments are indebted to yesterday's people. The real reason today's society shuns them as stupid, is because they embraced the supernatural world. However, now we're too stupid today to embrace it. Why? Because, "look ma, no hands! I did it all by myself". The hubris of humanity.
The stupid goat herders weren't really stupid at all. In fact, they were all trying to teach us something about the world we live in. Scholars of ancient literature wouldn't dare disagree on the voluminous connections between Mesopotamian literature and the first eleven chapters of the book of Genesis alone. There's a connection with the story of creation, genealogies before the flood, the actual flood and what happened at the tower of Babel. Literature such as the Mesopotamian epics Enuma Elish (“The Epic of Creation”), the Eridu Genesis, the Tale of Adapa, the Sumerian King List, Atrahasis, the Epic of Gilgamesh, and Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta all draw close connections. One can also read the story of Israel's exodus and realize there was a shared understanding of the universe as the God of Moses battled the many gods of Pharaoh - who himself was seen as a god to the Egyptians.
The reality is, the goat herders didn't use mythological creatures to fill in their knowledge gaps about the universe. In fact, people of the ancient near east didn't separate the idea of supernatural and natural. It was all one creation to them. It was simply how the world was and is architected. Only today do we do something as silly as divide the two realms. Instead, these people - who clearly believed in science and technology- understood there were forces that could influence the natural world. By understanding the architecture of all creation these ancient peoples could also draw out their true purpose as a human race. They realized they were not the only "species of being" that existed and that their role was different from the so called "mythological" creatures. This is where we get ideas such as domain authority which comes from the book of Genesis:
Genesis 1:26 (ESV)
26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
Here's the deal. The goat herders had it right. We don't. Not only are the supernatural beings they interacted with real, they understood the architecture of the cosmos and how it all worked together. I think it's disingenuous to write off thousands of years of human thought -which consisted of shared ideas across different eras amongst different people groups- as ignorant simply because we don't understand them. It's down right narcissistic in my view.
Today we live in a society that no longer knows the value of a human life. Our society no longer knows what it means to even be human as it capitulates to the idea of the Build-A-Bear human through transgenderism. This society is falling victim to the idea that a planet that supports life is inferior to those that don't. For some reason people think it makes more sense to attempt to build an earth from scratch. Last I checked -Genesis 1:26- Earth is the planet we're supposed to exercise dominion over. If there ever was a definition for stupid...
Modern day society has thumbed its nose at God and the entirety of the supernatural realm, unwilling to realize their necessity to those who provided a foundation for our society. Also unwilling to realize the necessity of God today. The truth is, we get to do the things we do today because of the beliefs of yesterday. And the creation of new technologies under the umbrella of "science" doesn't negate the truths of the ancient past. But what do I know? I'm just a goat herder.
If you want to know your true purpose, check out my previous article on Knowing Your Purpose and Bearing God's Image.
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