For those of you who haven't seen The Man From Earth, I highly recommend the movie. The dialogue of the story line does become a bit complex, shifting through a multitude of scientific and historical contexts. Not too complex for the average person though. Just complex enough to make it a more "intellectual" movie. If you would rather see the movie without any pretext, I highly recommend you stop reading and watch the show.
For those that don't want to watch the show, the story line start fairly simple. A professor at the age of 35 decides to quit teaching and "move on". At his good-bye party, he announces that he's actually a caveman who has the ability to regenerate/heal (and not scar). His PhD friends attempt to debunk his story, but all he has is answers that lead to more questions.
The entire dialogue about the history of man really intrigues me. Especially when it came to the religious discussions. I my lifetime quest in the search for truth, I've found that I agree with the entire sentiment behind that discussion: man invented diety(ies) in order to explain and/or control their environment.
HOWEVER, there was also a VERY strong suggestion that spirituality exists and has purpose and measurable implications (think Buddhism). Throughout time, I'm sure we lived like savages, in chaos. Whatever we could take we would. If we decided to gather in groups, IF someone wanted to be physically dominate, we listened them, subduing ourselves to their will. I would imagine that some tribes, over time, would have figured out that it was more peaceful to live in harmony with one another, while other tribes stuck to more rigid rules forcing obedience to their rulers. Some rulers may have been kind hearted and imposed morals (codes of law, and conduct). Laws and rules must be enforced to maintain peace within a group of peoples not intelligent or willing enough to understand them. So guards/police/armies were created to enforce those laws. Then rulers realized that law can only be enforced as far out as the "enforcers" can subdue the people. So they conquered other tribes (sometimes peacefully, sometimes violently). The strongest and smartest tribes either survived or accommodated the new "law of the land". The peaceful and harmonious tribes probably just accepted this new law as "this is just the way it is, so why fight it". So these newly conquered societies decided to make the best of it and tried to "please" their rulers by creating statues and referring to them as gods. If the rulers were wise/smart enough then they could have gathered groups of "scientists/doctors/philosophers" to help them rule their kindgom. If they were successful, the kingdom flourished and everything was peaceful. If resources became a problem (food, textiles, water) the king would HAVE TO conquer more land for more resources. As technology became more advanced, the types of resources neccessary to sustain the empire changed. Stone age, bronze age, iron age, damascus steel, arrows, trebuchets, cannons, rifles, bombs, airplanes, oil, the list goes on and on.
We find ourselves currently in a time where we are using so many different resources for so many different things and we are so disconnected from the fact that these resources were at one point FREE to anyone who could harvest them (including cattle and unfortunately people as well). Throughout this huge struggle we call life (survival of the fittest, natural selection) there is still enough room to fit in spirituality or what I call "the ability to accept life for what it is and transcend the suffering into something or nothing". Learning how to channel your body's processes to allow you to adapt to your environment. Yoga? We pay people to teach us that. Weightlifting? We pay to go to the gym. All of this stuff is "technically" free, yet we don't see it as such. We somehow find a way to disconnect from the inner universe we carry around with us AND from one another (you're english, i'm american; you're muslim, i'm jewish; i have a degree, you don't). Buddhism, sufism, taosim, shintoism....all these philosophies teach us primarily how to deal with ourselves, our bodies, our mind. Abrahamic religions (islam, judaism, christianity) try to teach us about laws, and rules and obedience, and subservience. I'm not here to justify which one is better (if one even is better than the other). I'm just pointing out that spirituality goes beyond the external physical life. And it DOES have an impact on our bodies, and our minds. It can lift our "spirits" (not the ghost spirit, the energy spirit...the desire to live and have fun).
Anyway, enough of the rambling. Just some thoughts that intellectual movies like this one tend to bring up in my head.
Tags: Philosophical discussion, History of man, Religion, Survival
Location: Houston, Texas, United States (load item map)
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