the absolute itch for knowledge and power...
Just wanted to mention that my reason -based analysis makes it very clear, such that it meets my threshold for what I call a working truth, that the existence of an ash pond in Auschwitz containing the ashes of 4M humans is a sick and ludicrous joke made by highly sophisticated propagandists.
Years ago i burned the bodies of two adult male dairy goats that approximate human cadavers, reluctantly and at my wife's insistence for her ignorant fear of germs (cryptococcus) when the truth was simply mycotoxic shock from mold inhalation. It took placing the big wet meat bag corpses in the middle of a full cord of wood in order to turn them to ashes, and a full cord of wood takes the better part of a day to burn down.
Let's look at fantastical short narratives like this one
and do the math on feasibility. Scouring the woods for deadfall and salvaging lumber from houses to incinerate 100,000 bodies? No way. This link implies that almost all of the 4M were cremated (whether by wood, coal, or both) over the course of two years. Can the resources and time it would take away from the war have existed? And for what? And during the exact period in which German soldiers were forced to raid the rutabaga stores of country folk which caused no small number of German country folk to starve.
I remain open to having this patterned, working truth altered by Reason, but where's the requisite "test in reality" that Bronowski lauds while he theatrically disseminates the sick joke with apparent "absolute knowledge?" Right? if he didn't think he had absolute knowledge he wouldn't be making a show of 'touching people.'
I was able to watch episode one of thirteen of Bronowski's Ascent of Man series on Youtube this morning, after beginning to read this post. His anthropology is, of course, fifty years out of date, but his over-arching conclusions are still mostly spot on.
I think the essential difference between the minds of the ancient freemen and those of the modern kept folk is that our ancient teachers saw most themselves, their companions, and crucially, their environments, as subject, not object. That is, I see myself as subject, with a view, with a 'take', and I see my brother that way, too. But my son seems to live in a world where he is the only real subject, and everything else is of two dimensions or less. My forebears on this continent, whose voices I almost hear at times in the wood, saw almost everything in their environment as being itself subjective. Not as thinking in a human way, or experiencing in a human way, but as fundamentally different than mere stuff.
"They have studied nature, drawn their conclusions, and found it to be the embodiment of a profound metaphysical principle pertaining to all existence". James G. Gowan, writing in regard of Australian aborigines. Twenty years ago, I could only have heard this as nonsense of the most primitive sort; unscientific, irrational, and fundamentally childish. I was wrong.
Rationalism, rationally pursued, will soon demonstrate the limits of reason unmistakably. To deny that mystery has borne us here is to deny the mystery within as well, with results one may grieve daily in world events.
Thank you Jeff.