Friday, October 1, 2010

I hate the dark, it makes me think about death, life and forever

I usually hate the dark, it makes me think too much. Now the question is sometimes I think, why anthropology? Why not something else to give meaning to my life? Why not philosophy? or Archaeology so I can muse on the questions of life or death and probably along the way see what it is actually like to exist. these things, these questions have been around since the dawn of time. How long ago that dawn of time, nobody actually knows. I saw recent photographs of bison drawings in a cave in France, and I thought, well, it is 32,000 years old and it looks perfectly new. The details and the colours on the bison, while I do not pretend to be an artist but an amateur enthusiast once in awhile, the drawings to me were perfect. The ones in the Niah Caves are only 1200 years old, 200 years after the death of the Moslem prophet Muhammad s.a.w., and those in Perak, Malaysia are 2000 years old, about the time of Christ. History, then, is duplicitous, indicating times and spaces that are so relatively different from one section of the world to another. At one point, the barbaric and the 'savage noblesse' of South East Asia 1200 years ago and another, the Angkor Wat built in and around the same time.

The thing that strikes me most about the passage of time is the fact that humans have existed, they will exist after this and they will exist maybe some more after that. They have, fro 32,000 years or more, if we could find the evidence for it anyway. How long have we been here? And how long more will we be here? Is there a God? And if there is, what happens to us after we die? Religion has been one of the most fundamental breakthroughs of man, giving them hope to advance, to be creative, to exist. Any religion, from the Mayans, to the Zoroastrians, to the old Celtic religions, from Islam, to Buddhism, to Christianity. Each with their own version of how to exist, when to exist, what to expect in life and what to expect in death and ironically no matter what, there is no proof for any either one of them to be completely true, and that is the anthropologists' explanation. The only way to do so is to take philosophy in one's own hands and leap as Kirkegaard commends. That faith and religion n actuality is irrational and there is no system of thought in the world that could justify faith and religion, it is a matter of irrationality. And now we have come into a new chapter of anthropology. One that requires leaping as well. We have come to exist on this planet and in a multitude and variety of ways we try to exist in it. The Chinese and the Indians making incense, to pray at sunset or sundown, to chase spirits from a house, to wrap a dead person with cloth, to pay homage to our ancestors, to worship our ancestors, to file our teeth, to scar our bodies, to tattoo our adventures, to participate in exchange, to trade, to make boats, to canoe, to travel between different islands, to be married, to fall in love, to be beautiful, to be young, to be old, to be wise, to purchase and buy, to be urban, to dress and style oneself, to cover our bodies, to expose our bodies, to heighten our bodies, to stretch to lie, to bury our dead, to burn our dead, to everything. And each and everyone of our actions, our beliefs, our thoughts, our cosmology, at one point or another might or might not matter because life on earth of man have been going on for thousands of years, perhaps millions. The only thing and benefit that we gain is the acquisition of wisdom and the knowing that when we die, life on earth continues as if we do not exist.