This is hard. It’s especially hard for me being the type of person that I am. But I have to do it. I have to admit I don’t know everything.
The more I learn, the more I realize I don’t really know all that much. There is so much to know. Especially with regards to Ancient Egypt. And especially with the difference between Ancient Egyptian thought and Modern American thought.
You see, the Ancient Egyptians thought about “truth” in a much more dynamic way. The truth was symbolic and symbols were more true than the “truth”.
Then, of course, there were multiple truths. “Facts” were more flexible. Heru-wer and Heru-sa-Aset are both separate entities, as well as the same entity.
In Ancient Egyptian thought, a thing could hold entirely opposite characteristics and both characteristics could still be held to be true. And both could be held to be true without negating the other.
It’s a totally different way of looking at the truth. One that is very foreign to modern thought. Its a hard concept for those of us born in the digital age. An age where everything can be measured and quantified. An age lacking in mystery and mysticism.
What, exactly, am I getting at? I guess what I’m trying to get at is the fact that our “truth” was and is very different than the ancient’s truth and especially the Ancient Egyptians’ truth.
Without understanding this concept one cannot understand Egypt’s ideas, religion or history.
In a world full of empirical evidence, it is the universal truths of the ancients that speaks to us. It is their truths we seek to know.
I think that speaks to a few things. First of all, it should speak to our insecurities. While the ancients knew universal truths, they did not know absolutes.
The ancients knew the sun would rise every morning, but they didn’t know when an eclipse would strike. We know so much more. When an eclipse will occur, how long it will last and even why it is occurring. Now we know all that, but we still don’t have meaning.
The ancients knew when the sun had rose that Ra (and companions) had slain A/pep once again. They knew this. They didn’t know that the sun rising and setting is an illusion caused by the Earth’s rotation. They didn’t need to know that. Their truth had a meaning that ours, while advanced, is lacking.
Now does that mean that our knowledge is useless? Or that their meanings were? What if I suggested that both are needed for us today?
What if I suggested that a lack of knowledge isn’t necessarily bad, in and of itself?
For where humans lack in knowledge do they excel in imagination. And only in imagination lies the bounty of human creativity.
Only our imagination allows us to create. So, is it so bad not to know everything? Obviously, not know anything is bad. But while many would consider every lack of knowledge a bad thing, it is necessary for our imagination to lack knowledge. Everyone lacks some information. We cannot all know every bit of knowledge at all times.
Not knowing something gives us both opportunities to learn, and to use our imagination. So I guess we don’t need to feel so insecure not knowing everything. As with everything, there needs to be a balance. This could be applied further with regards to reconstructionism, but really that’s a whole different post. One that I’m still probably not well informed enough to write. But it’s a thought. Half history as interpretation, half knowledge versus imagination with a health helping of how to find a good source.
I don’t think it’s a post I’m qualified to write, at the absolute least, now. I also know that feelings run high around such topics and I’m not sure I am able to handle such a delicate topic. But you’re welcome to use your imagination.