Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Stealing Fire

Surely there were a number of men sitting in that circle. The fire was circular to warm as many as possible. 

Those men sitting up late, their wives asleep already, had a dark we cannot imagine easily. There was the fire, lighting up a few trees, but the dark, was beyond description, the picture and fact,  of the unknown.

Did these stalwart researchers appreciate that their hearth echoed the stars they studied?

Somehow this distinction, picture and reality, became something men could leverage. To surmise that man's theft of fire, his acquisition of symbolic cerebral activity, involved several steps, first studying the stars in wonder, seeing patterns of things in the overhead lights, so different from the day,  may suggest pictures came before words. If so, it explains nothing, Just to know what the steps are, does not answer why. The how is not why. 

These men were braver than people today. They measured the edge of the unknown and pushed outward, upward. Jan Cox noted that people now do not look up. (And this was before the cell phones). These men did. And perhaps they saw the stars were similar to their own bright, circular, hearth. They saw patterns in the stars, patterns which at some point became the abstractions we call verbal words. These pictures in the sky were simpler, connecting the dots, white points without  distracting shrubbery.

So when Jan Coix spoke of men "falling upstairs" when they acquired language, the direction may reflect the men looking beyond their fire, exhausted but determined to understand their world with the tools they had. Pictures, then words. They, then, did not confuse words and reality. It was all new. Symbols evaporated and had to be rediscovered, not, as with moderns, just forgotten. The stars were  abstractions that became as important as the hunters' weapons, their knife edges. Only after many millenia did words become the cement of sleeping awareness. The sleeping dreams which assume that what is known, what is knowable, is all there is. This efficiency did not happen for a long time.

draw picture of campfire-- ask --is this before or after they stole fire-- the real fire-- verbal ability-- that leap [Jan COx called it falling upstairs] ---

tgat fire--- intellectual symbolic ability--- of course it was divine, it was nowhere in the primate lineage--- discontinuous--- 

what could it inspire but stories of gods, of a seeking to understand, itself inpsired by and made possible by----[[[ this symbolic acuity-]]] -- a seeking to understand which always, was self-understanding, pursuing the only valid objective path within its borders. boprder continuously expanded -- the edge always bleeding, leading, avodiing the lead of words by surpassing them---

one assume at first though--- there was no need to surpass this leaden cooling molten, loss of real form into, words---- because at first--- there was no sleeping state, necessitated by the efficiency of evolution---