Saturday, February 7, 2009

Rock Art and Hard Heads

We have all I think, glanced twice at an article on rock art. There is a part of the population that believes in extra terrestrials and finds confirmation of their visiting our planet in rock art, and ancient artistic depictions. I am putting this forward as common knowledge and as a basis for a question.  What is the appeal of  talk about extraterrestials?  It fills the airways sometimes, and yet is absurd. To support that position I merely ask: why don't spaceships land on the whitehouse lawn?  No, they appear to guys in pickups on lonely roads. There is no reliable evidence for UFO visits, and yet there is even among scientists discussion of the liklihood of extraterrestials existing. No evidence, and yet massive talk raises for me a question as to the appeal of such. 

On one level extraterrestials answer the question for many of where we came from.  This answer to the origins of life, of humanity, of civilization, is pretty low grade intellectually. To say human progress resulted from the visits of extraterrestials is to ignore the fact this theory merely pushes BACK the real question of origins.  To say extra terrestial visits explain life on this planet is to ignore the next question, how did life arise, progress take place, on the OTHER planet these extra terrestrials came from?? And so on, the infinite regress objection is easy, once it is pointed out, to grasp and I am relying on it.

One thing that occurred to me is that these so-called explanations avoid any theophantic mystery, any discussion of conscience in the terms of Georges Gurdjieff, or of essence in the (early) writing of Jan Cox. 

Perhaps it is precisely because these ideas about origin, come, so to speak, from intellectual vending machines, that their appeal is explained. The explanations of life on earth that invoke extraterrestrial visits is not intellectually challenging, to put it gently. Nothing is demanded from the believer except a certain credulity.  No effort is required intellectually, and this lack of effort is the gulf separating Gurdjieff and Jan Cox from most of twentieth century attempts at explaining ANYthing.  Say man, has a need to understand, regardless of his situation, and this urge is rarely totally eradicated (I think.)  Answering these questions in a non intellectually challenging way may just be comforting to some types. And in this and the last century, explanations addressing ultimate questions must have some scientific shreds attached. So nowadays people see not apparitions of women in blue, but they see spaceships. The more things change, the more things fall into the same rut. Just some thoughts.

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