Ideas are not things / Cultural Hoarding

If ideas were things, the earth would be buried in "stuff" and like this junkyard, ideas need to be sorted into those that are no longer helpful, and those that can be salvaged and updated

Human culture is a vast junkyard of ideas: supernatural ideas, destructive ideas, and simple nonsense crowd out helpful ideas that can be salvaged and updated

Human culture is a hoard of outdated and disastrous ideas.

People who are unacquainted with scientific explanation of phenomena fall back upon magical explanations; thus, analytical thinking has all but disappeared from American life. Emotional entrenchment, childish behavior well into adulthood, infantile self-centeredness and addiction to power and violence are defended by rich and poor alike as political rights. The hard-won facts as to how nature works are a mystery to generations of American children, as well as to the adults who are teaching them, and the elected officials charged with guiding the nation.

The supernatural dimension is a product of the modern human brain. Supernatural ideas defy nature; they are the product of “word thoughts” that are detached from correspondence to physical reality. Modern humans do not recognize their dependence on magical thinking because our culture defends and perpetuates impossible beliefs. Despite the global application of advanced technologies, typical humans believe that imaginary entities inhabit their brains (or at least listen in) and control human fate, utilizing individuals, and the masses alike, like puppets (and yet some believe that humans possess free will), when it is science and technology that determine the health and stability of 7 billion people living on the earth. Magic in the form of miraculous interventions by all powerful parental figures is not only a delusion, magic is insufficient to the survival of modern cultures.

The supernatural dimension – language connection is easy to demonstrate. There are no blue deer or orange pigs in nature, and yet humans have no difficulty imagining or creating these nonexistent creatures in words and images. Our thought landscape is populated by beings and objects of this type. Magical thinking results in unquestioning acceptance of ideas and images presented to the brain, without regard to the physical possibility of those ideas and images.

Some artists transform the sun into a yellow spot, others transform a yellow spot into the sun. _Pablo Picasso

lemons-1

And then there are plants, which turn the sun’s energy into tasty lemons and seeds.

The representation of supernatural ideas as concrete objects, such as angels and superheroes, confers an illusion of reality on physically impossible objects. Advertising, the media, the fashion and cosmetics industries, and the frankly supernatural activities of religion, politics, and financial institutions, utilize the magical state of the human mind for sales, profit, and power.

Does this mean that supernatural ideas are not useful? Not at all. Our peculiar ability to think outside reality (imagination) allows us to create objects that are built on the principles of nature, but which do not exist in nature in the configuration that we desire. Jet engines, internal combustion engines, computer chips, microwave and x-ray technologies, and chemical products such as glues, dyes, medicines, and plastics are part of a long list of familiar products made possible by our clever rearrangements of matter and energy. The effect of this cleverness on earth’s environments however, is proving to be disastrous.

 

 

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