Studying the past had become a most interesting thing for me over the years. Once I realized that human beings have not changed within the last 100,000+ years, it brought me to the realization that we are not better, or worse for that matter, than our closer or distant ancestors. We are very much them, with different environmental conditions, technology, language, etc. Some would like to think that we know more than those in the past or are better. I have found this not to be so.
Many of us still seek to be fulfilled in the different areas of our lives, even in the same ways. Culture, I found, is paramount in how we deal with one another, regardless of ethnicity. Culture is far too important to ignore. Along with culture, a premise is needed to operate from that can give us a basic understanding of respect, trust, and safety in dealing with one another. That is why government was important as well. To ensure that the basic rights of people, not be violated at will. The beauty of the idea of America, United States, as a free society, is freedom of association, freedom to choose one’s own path in life. We have the freedom to deal with one another, and the freedom not too. Freedom brings a certain level of responsibility as well. If one person’s expression of freedom doesn’t infringe upon another’s expression of freedom, then we should have no problem living in relative ‘harmony.’ Whether or not this plays out, well, you decide.
In the writings, monuments, and other relics from the past, we have a window into the lives of those who have gone before us. Whether we are reincarnated, as some believed, or not, one understanding was the passing on of genes, i.e., offspring. If people could reproduce, they could have a certain level of comfort knowing that they would live on through their offspring. The mating games today are no different than in the past. We see it play out all the time. Many of our laws are biologically driven. One thing that I found out over the years, is that no matter what your spiritual preference or otherwise, it will never account for or trump biology. Self-preservation is more of a reality than many would like to sit down, think about, and admit. Our ancestors were no different.
Peace is something many say that they want. Yet, when you study the past, the only time peace came, was after a period of war. Some believe that violence will cease to exist. I am of opinion, that there will be periods where violence will increase and periods where it will decrease. But if nature is a duality as some of the ancestors suggested, then you cannot have one without the other.
In learning through studying the past, I have had the privilege of being able to look back over my own life, have experiences to test my learning, and have come to many realizations about life. You cannot get it all in one life. Perhaps therefore some of the ancestors believed that we had to come back. Or another reason could be that they were afraid of dying so that they had to create something in their minds to help them cope with the fact that they one day will have to pass on like those before them. Some teach against defense mechanisms. I believe that some mechanisms are healthy, while others are not. I still hold true to myself what M. Scott Peck stated in “The Road Less Travelled” and in “People of the Lie: The Hope for Healing Human Evil”,
“Mental health is the ongoing dedication to reality at all costs”
I had seen where some ancestors state that the world and time were created together, and that time would cease to exist when/if the world ceased to exist. I had seen some modern ones’ state that time is not real or to be regarded as important. If it is true that time isn’t real, then one would have to accept that the past, present and future are the same and that studying the past is key to understanding that. Regardless of this, the past is too important to ignore in my estimation of things. I have escaped many ills, saved much time and money, and have become a better person overall while studying the past. The past records have everything concerning the lives of those who lived before us. It’s not just about reading history. No, it’s about learning what was important to those before us as to why they went through all the trouble to pass it down to us, even to the point of death. If someone was willing to give their life for me to know something, then I think it is more than admirable to see what they had to say. Especially if it’s a chance that that person or persons blood has travelled over the ages and into my veins.