It was also a society steeped in legends of the supernatural. Fairy belief, in particular, was pervasive in Irish rural societies at the time, and had long coexisted with Christian doctrine. Children grew up hearing legends of the Little People from their earliest days, and learned how to appease them by leaving untasted food on the table, for example, or saying “bless them” whenever the fairies were mentioned. The fairies were blamed for everything that went wrong—lost items, spoiled milk, bad crops. As one County Sligo man interviewed at the start of the 20th century told an anthropologist, “Nothing is more certain than that there are fairies.”
Bridget herself was known to be fascinated by the beings, and to take trips to the most fairy-ridden spots around town. She may have visited such a spot on Monday, March 4, 1895, when she went to deliver eggs to her father’s cousin, Jack Dunne, near Kylenagranagh Hill. The area was home to a ringfort, an early medieval circular fortified settlement believed, in Irish folklore, to be a “fairy fort,” and thus to be avoided at all costs. Yet Bridget often visited the fort, and she likely spent time there that Monday after delivering the eggs.
It was a cold morning, the mountains still covered in the snow that had fallen the previous day, and after the two- or three-mile walk Bridget couldn’t seem to warm up once she got back home. She spent the following day in bed, shivering and complaining of “a raging pain in her head.”
Sacred Things Are Worth Defense. That Requires Strength
Pacifists, who believe life is so sacred no violence should ever be visited upon it, contradict themselves if they are unwilling to protect or defend themselves or others from harm. For if life is truly sacred, then it ought to be protected and defended even by violence.
However, let’s not get confused. Some might argue from all this that a criminal who is adept at violence and chooses not to leverage it against others is just as virtuous, then, as the person trained in the use of violence who defends an innocent person from attack. This is wrong. Choosing not to do the wrong thing is not the same as choosing to do the right thing. Virtue is moral excellence, as it reaches toward the good.
But there’s more to the story – the Aryans. Indo-Europeans.
The idea that a population moved off the steppe and made a major contribution to Europe’s culture and genetics was around a long time before people began studying ancient DNA. Mostly it was a product of linguistic analysis – just as the Romance languages such as French and Spanish and Italian are known to be descendants of Latin, almost all the languages of Europe ( and most of those in India and Iran) have deep similarities that suggest a common origin. For example, numbers:
English one two three four five six seven eight nine ten
Dutch een twee drie vier vijf zes zeven acht negen tien
German eins zwei drei vier fünf sechs sieben acht neun zehn
Icelandic einn tveir þrír fjórir fimm sex sjö átta níu tíu
Latin u:nus duo tre:s quattuor quinque sex septem octo: novem decem
Welsh un dau tri pedwar pump chwech saith wyth naw deg
Tocharian A sas wu tre s’twar päñ säk spät okät ñu s’äk
Lithuanian víenas dù try~s keturì penkì sheshì septynì ashtuonì devynì de:shimt
Russian odín dva tri chety’re pyat’ shest’ sem’ vósem’ dévyat’ désyat’
Farsi yak do se chaha:r panj shesh haft hasht noh dah
Sanskrit éka dvá trí catúr páñca s.as. saptá as.tá náva dáça
Nesbergu ai tah tro keti pekki sews eff owok neh tek
The details of Indo-European expansions and conquest of europe are still being worked out. The general trend is near-placement in Northern Europe, conquest and language imposition in Southern Europe (with a lot of change in Y-chromosome lineages) We know that 5,000 years ago, Great Britain and Ireland looked Sardinian: those are the folks that built Stonehenge. 4,000 years, they looked like the current inhabitants. Very little continuity with the previous tenants: In England, > 93% replacement. we also know that before the Bell Beaker populations arrived, agriculture apparently had already ceased for several centuries, except in out-of-the-way places like the Orkney Islands. Archaeologists guess ‘climate change’ – I’d guess devastating raids and piracy, not unlike the Viking raids in the Dark Ages.
Two hours before I had found myself in a roomful of people I hated. They were hippy types who dressed in that leather tribal gear. They probably didn’t like me, either, as I looked like a gymbro, but it was too late for any of us to leave the room without seeming like we were afraid of what was to come.
Although I had read DMT: The Spirit Molecule: A Doctor’s Revolutionary Research into the Biology of Near-Death and Mystical Experiences, no book can prepare a person for entheogens.
In 2015 a small group of academics, experts and psychonauts gathered at an English country house for a four-day symposium on N,N-Dimethyltryptamine or ‘DMT’, the powerful psychedelic used in many cultures for ritual purposes including the Amazonian ayahuasca ceremony. When inhaled or injected, DMT brings about a short, intense trip with vivid hallucinations that are often perceived to be mystical and meaningful. As Andrew Gallimore explains (p. 201): ‘The reason we’re all interested in DMT is because it seems impossible, and yet the DMT world is undeniable; it cannot be denied once you’ve been there.’
Dialogues is the official account of the symposium. It comprises transcripts of the talks given by renowned academics in the field, along with the ensuing discussions around key theological and philosophical questions arising from DMT phenomenology. The book aims to illustrate the merging of science and spirit, enacting a paradigm shift where the explicable dwells in comfort with the inexplicable. Sacredness is often shrouded in secrecy but Dialogues, much like the monographs of its contributors, aims to shine a light on the objects under discussion (although they may remain veiled).
Meyer presents Descartes’ basic error: that a body is of a completely different nature to a mind, and he argues that modern philosophy is only just recovering from this mistake. When philosophers ask what the relationship is between consciousness and neural activity, they are actually asking about the relationship between consciousness and an intellectual model, which is also part of their own consciousness. It is therefore an attempt to explain the whole in terms of a part of the whole, an enterprise recently satirized in The Onion as doomed to failure.
Buddha spoke a lot about clarity. I think the psychedelics provide a path to clarity.
“We were talking with the Master regarding the nature of conceptual reality. Psychologically speaking, the human mind, or brain or whatever, is almost incapable of distinguishing between the real and the vividly imagined experience. Sound and film and music and radio. Even these manipulative experiences are received more or less directly and uninterpretive by the mind. They are cataloged and recorded and either acted upon directly, or stored in the memory, or both. Now this process, unless we pay it tremendous attention, begins to separate us from the reality of the now. Am I being clear? For we must allow the reality of
the now to just happen, as it happens. Observe and act with clarity. For where there is clarity, there is no choice. And where there is choice, there is misery. But then, why should I speak, since I know nothing?”
– Peter Tork, Head 1968
To me, it sounds like the Boskop skulls didn’t fit into the normal thinking and so had to be discredited. It is easy to see the primitive skulls of our ancient ancestors such as Homo erectus and say without a doubt that we are a more improved version of humanity. To think that a large brained race fizzled out millennia ago opens up questions about our current place.
To put this into perspective, if the brain was the size they think it was or even smaller at say 1750cc it would be the same difference as exists between us and Homo erectus. If an increased brain size accounts for only say 10-20% in corresponding IQ than these people would average around 149 in the test. Einstein is said to have had an IQ of 160 (he never took the test), so around a third of Boskopians would have been at his level or higher.
Unfortunately having a large brain only helps so much in a primitive world. They existed in a time where the strong ruled.
It is with pleasure that we welcome our Author of the Month for May, Chris Bennett, who explores the role of cannabis in consciousness and history in a groundbreaking and original work.
“A fire-place is not a hearth,” the authors continue. “The Cueva Negra could have brought glowing brands left by a forest fire into the cave to establish and tend a fire where rain and wind would not put it out. They may well have been less afraid of fire outside than other animals they saw fleeing from it (which could have led them to play with fire in order to drive animals towards natural death traps, such as swamps, enabling dismemberment and roasting). This does not mean they could reproduce or control fire: there is a dearth of archaeological evidence for hearths or fire-pits before 0.5 Ma.”
I used to have some geese like this. The pic reminded me, and I miss them.
Right. Time for some more bloggage… Perhaps not very much, because I am not well. 🙂
Perhaps I should not add a smiley ? I’ve tended to add them when I find myself smiling, but I’m learning, that that is not the same thing, may confuse the reader, and be misinterpreted. In fact, imo, all these emojis are rather crude, pathetic, limited, they cannot possibly convey the subtleties, variety and nuance of real human expression, where there are many variations of smiling, and they are typically accompanied by additional cues, like body language, posture, tone of voice, familiarity, setting, etc.
Across four studies, the current paper demonstrates that smiles are associated with lower social status. Moreover, the association between smiles and lower status appears in the psychology of observers and generalizes across two forms of status: prestige and dominance. In the first study, faces of fashion models representing less prestigious apparel brands were found to be more similar to a canonical smile display than the faces of models representing more prestigious apparel brands. In a second study, after being experimentally primed with either high or low prestige fashion narratives, participants in the low prestige condition were more likely to perceive smiles in a series of photographs depicting smiling and non-smiling faces. A third study of football player photographs revealed that the faces of less dominant (smaller) football players were more similar to the canonical smile display than the faces of their physically larger counterparts. Using the same football player photographs, a fourth study found that smiling was a more reliable indicator of perceived status-relevant personality traits than perceptions of the football players’ physical sizes inferred from the photographs.
That said, I believe that a sense of humour, wittiness, is a vital thing to have, if only to prevent one’s own self from becoming too depressed and down-hearted. So much of life is so grim, painful, tragic, horrible and gruesome, but being overwhelmed by all the nastiness does not help, does it. Not you yourself, nor others. Compared with so much, I guess random smilies are relatively harmless. I mean, you’ve got to have a laugh, havn’t you ? To stay relatively sane and coherent amidst the brutal avalanche of general insanity…
Last year, my husband and I purchased our first house. Lucky for us new homeowners, the house needed minimal work. Any fixer-upping was mostly stuff we wanted to do, rather than repairs that were absolute necessities.
But one annoying, consistent downside of our new home was the presence of cockroaches—otherwise known as palmetto bugs down here—thanks to the Florida climate.
Anyone who has lived in a humid location is probably well-acquainted with these flying, horrifying monsters. I learned that they tend to take shelter in homes in hot or wet weather, although they can show up out of nowhere. Well, roaches kept making appearances in our home, so I finally called a local exterminator.
I have a hard life ! Somewhere in this house there is a dead mouse, and it is stinking, but I cannot find it. I suppose that it might be a rat. It’s been going on for rather a long time, and the larger rat corpse might explain that. You know, I go to the fridge to find something appetising, and I encounter that vile stench of death, corruption, and decay.
It’s been quite an interesting challenge, actually, to see if I have sufficient mastery, in the zen sense, to remain in equilibrium, unperturbed by nausea and disgust. I would not make a very good undertaker.
I have searched several times but without success. I don’t like to kill anything if I can avoid it, I mean, life is hard for all sentient beings, but this little space inside this cottage is MINE, and every year rats and mice want to move in and join me, and if I did not resist, they’d take over. So I put poison for them to eat, and occasionally they don’t go away and die elsewhere, and so I have this unpleasant experience to cope with.
This is a very old house, 1781, the walls are very thick, made of earth and stones, and there are many holes and gaps.
But it could be worse. At least I don’t have to live amongst decaying human corpses, like those crazy Tantrics in India.
I mean, it’s not all crazy, is it. Tantra, that is. There’s some virtue in getting deep insight into the brevity of one’s life and the fragility of human existence. But personally, I think I have a good enough grasp of all that, and I prefer to smell something more pleasant than rotting or burning flesh.
A man was mauled to death by a bear after he reportedly tried to take a selfie with the creature.
His fellow SUV passengers advised him against trying to take a picture with the creature.
As he sidled up, the bear struck and a struggled ensued. A stray dog also stepped in and bit the bear but its intervention failed to deter the larger animal.
Stray dog tried to help him ? I do love dogs. Well, not ALL dogs, some dogs more than others….
From the ‘Wild Weirdness’ department : Reindeer vortices, wtf ??!!
You know, it seems to me that human history, the history of our species, as taught in mainstream academia, is completely screwed up. I’m not certain why this is. Whether it’s something to do with politics, that, as George Orwell explained, if you can control the story of the past, then you can control the present and the future.
When I was a kid, I used to trust my teachers and what I was taught in school. But I went to several different schools, and they taught radically DIFFERENT ‘truths’. That caused me a lot of pain and difficulty, trying to sort out what I really believed and trusted.
It would be much easier, more comfortable, for me to accept what mainstream British historians and archaeologists tell us, but, particularly since the internet arrived, there are so many anomalies that simply don’t fit that model, I’ve become increasingly sceptical about what we are told, because so much of the conventional portrayal of the past is obviously WRONG, and cannot account for the physical evidence.
For example, the weird ‘cart ruts’, that are widely distributed around the world. Researched by alternative folk, like Sylvie Ivanova.
Why or how mainstream academics and other seem able to completely ignore that stuff baffles me. There are, of course, many other mysteries and anomalies which don’t match with the mainstream orthodoxies, all kinds of bizarre and incredible accounts out there, but for me, the prehistoric cart ruts are one of most intriguing, and also the most accessible for study, because unlike UFOs and Chupacabaras and what not, it’s solid stuff that can be studied.
I say that, but, although the standard descriptions state that the tracks are in stone, in many instances it’s obvious that the stone was SOFT when the tracks were laid down. And some tracks disappear into the sea, which suggests that the date they were made preceded rising sea levels as climate warmed and ice melted. Which takes us well back before so called the dates when ‘civilisation’ started, and the wheel was invented, as taught by standard history.
There are so many anomalies. This stone was supposedly cut with bronze. Well, I’d like so see a demonstration, please. Generally, you cannot cut something harder, with something softer. Try it.
Experimental archaeology combined with close observation of the cuts made and debris abandoned partially cut suggest that long straight edged metal blades, either in a pendulum saw configuration or a two man, two handled saw similar to one used by loggers was used, as explained in a Science News article. Abrasive sand, from the Greek island of Naxos, and water were also probably placed in the cuts to lubricate the blades and increase their cutting power.
A pendulum blade would offer more power to cut through hard rock and help explain the near circular curvature of many of the larger cuts. But, the logger’s saw configuration would have made it easier to cut stone at multiple precise angles and has an archaeological precedent in double-handled loggers’ saws excavated from sites from the Late Bronze Age Minoan society on Crete that could have been adapted to cut stone.
‘Adapted to cut stone’…. Easier said than done. I want a live demo, please. And also for the large diameter bore holes.
The view of human prehistory changes almost monthly. A couple of years back, ‘modern man’ dated back to maybe 80,000 years ago. That’s a heck of a long time compared with our brief lifetimes, and recorded written histories, no ?
But that picture is already obsolete, I’ve seen the date given as 350,000 years. Quite how ‘modern’, smart, capable, those people were is anybody’s guess. Maybe some had equal or greater skull capacity than we have, but it’d take more than a few high IQ individuals to produce some of the artefacts and inventions. Perhaps, as now, there were some extremely clever advanced people in some limited areas who have left no recognised trace.
Australian Aborigines seem to have been on that continent for 50,000 years plus, and what did they invent ? Some cool rock art, the boomerang, and the didjeridoo. Of course, technologies are a mixed blessing, and we now have all kinds of crap that can potentially destroy us all and most else.
We know there were other hominid species, Neanderthal, Denisovans, and probably others waiting to be discovered, and the 350,000 year date for H. Sapiens may already be superceded, because…
There’s just one problem: The find is more than ten times older than any human fossil recovered from the islands, and our species hadn’t even evolved that early.
Okay, so, maybe it was an archaic hominin, you’re thinking, maybe Homo erectus or some other now-extinct species. But there’s a problem with that line of thought, too.
According to the conventional view in paleoanthropology, only our species, Homo sapiens, had the cognitive capacity to construct watercraft. And to reach the island where the rhino was found, well, like Chief Brody says, “you’re gonna need a bigger boat.”
So who sucked the marrow from the poor dead rhino’s bones? It’s a whodunit with the final chapter yet to be written.