Thursday, May 13, 2010

Planetary Mythologies

Analogy One

Imagine insects with a life span of two weeks, and then imagine further that they are trying to build up a science about the nature of time and history. Clearly, they cannot build a model on the basis of a few days in summer. So let us endow them with a language and a culture through which they can pass on their knowledge to future generations. Summer passes, then autumn; finally it is winter. The winter insects are a whole new breed, and they perfect a new and revolutionary science on the basis of the 'hard facts' of their perceptions of snow. As for the myths and legends of summer: certainly the intelligent insects are not going to believe the superstitions of their primitive ancestors.

(William Irwin Thompson)

1 comment:

Angela said...

Indeed - I've also heard the analogy of being a fish in a small pond, insofar as being aware of the world's very clear, we know very little. Good to hear from you, hope all goes well.