As old as the hills
[another brief school paper written while drunk]
I love that science is providing a tool to reveal questions. Questions that have become increasingly interested in discovering actuality, separating us from our mythology. It's increasingly ridiculous to 'believe' the mythos' of mankind. Our elaborate and beautiful stories serving to explain our place in this world, serving to make connections and understanding. Now it's almost hard to imagine how entire cultures could seriously create and value mighty gods of earth, sea and sky. Do we know too much to activate the collective imagination of our present society? Perhaps stepping outside of our comfort zones to communities which are closer to the action would serve to activate our imaginations! I've lived around the Ring of Fire, here in the Pacific Northwest, in the Aleutian Chain and in the South Pacific. Growing up in the shadows of the Cascades I remember the day Mt. St. Helens went off. Moving to the North Pacific on an island that experienced hundreds of seismic events a day, there we learned to pause to feel the earth move. Later I moved to Guam where the island suffered the brunt of an 8.6 earthquake and many aftershocks, and earthquake so large it changed the face of the island and restructured our daily lives for years during recovery. Living in these active environments it's easy to imagine how indigenous people would create elaborate stories to explain the excitement.
[there should be a section here about similar images found in Pacific Northwest indigenous cultures as well as on South Pacific islands, discussing plate movement and the separation of peoples -- and thereby introducing the concept of time...but I didn't get that far]
I am hardly one to have a serious discussion of the perception of time - I consider time commodified and a function of western culture of control. If we think of our dimension, the one we can see and touch - and look at it very carefully we can clearly see so many functions of the planet happen in their own time scale, our pulse compared to that of another species; plate movement, tree growth, the life span of cats vs that of humans or flies. We all exist in our own time. We are all part of a larger organism. We all serve to fertilize and facilitate the order of things. We however as humans have developed process that are a danger to ourselves. Fortunately, in the grand scheme of things we've caught our mistakes and are looking to find ways to cause a stop to the damage we're causing.
Perhaps our future selves will look back on our era, study our society and our impact on the planet and wonder what the heck we were up to in a similar way we look back on the naivete of the early natural philosophers process and intentions.