A Sideways Glare at Contemporary Society
Yesterday was the Summer Solstice. Normally, it falls on June 21st, but such are the vagaries of astronomical science. For those in the know, the only place to be was the party at Stonehenge, on the Salisbury plain, in England. Stonehenge is one of those fascinating places on our planet where ancient architecture meets contemporary dumbass so seamlessly that it produces some of the smoothest con jobs since the Canarsee Indians of Brooklyn “sold” Peter Minuit Manhattan for $24.00.* There are a number of variations on this spiritual sleight-of -hand, but they’re all basically the same. Here’s the Twitter version:
Our ancient ancestors were spiritually connected to the physical world — the rhythms of the seasons, etc.
We are not.
Since we have no spiritual connection to anything, we have become assholes — to ourselves, to others and to our planet.
If we’d just take a minute, quit listening to our cell phones and start listening to each other and our planet, we wouldn’t be assholes anymore and perhaps both the planet and the people on it would be better off.
What better place to start the process than at Stonehenge et al where our ancient ancestors figured it out the first time?
Sounds legit — so far — but then we have the kicker:
Buy this book, film, seminar, television program etc., etc., etc. and I’ll show you how it’s done.
Here’s the deal, folks: we have no real proof that our illiterate ancestors were any more in tune with the planet than we are. In fact, we have some serious evidence that says they weren’t. They may have recognized day and night and winter and summer, but after that it was pretty much hit and miss. Remember, these people were still 3 millennia away from “Hey! Don’t poop in the river; it’ll make you sick!” The truth is we’ve given prehistoric humans these spiritual attributes. Whether they ever had them in the first place is still up for debate.
Plus, volumes have been written on what we DON’T know about Stonehenge. It might have been a calendar; it might have been a church; it might have been a burial ground; it might have been a navigation centre for aliens. Actually, given the utter lack of any hard evidence, it might just as easily have been a Neolithic Comedy Club — a sort of Bronze Age X Factor. We have no way of knowing what went on at Stonehenge circa 2000 BCE. For all we know, they could have been eating each other, or deflowering virgins or both. Tying your spiritual wellbeing to that kind of chimera is dodgy, at best.
I don’t mind anybody having a party once a year — especially on my birthday. If you want to have a howl and a dance and welcome the summer sun, knock yourself out. But call it what it is, and BTW, suggesting people can buy their way to spirituality is nothing more than a scam.