(We’ve got to start somewhere, right?)
“To know your future, you must know your past” according to George Santayana, a philosopher, essayist, poet, and novelist from Spain. Now I am not going to go all Three Pillars of Zen with you; but understand, this quote holds true. Even Carl Sagan, the American astronomer, cosmologist, astrophysicist, astrobiologist…and so on, stated that, “You have to know the past to understand the present.”
Despite all the anthropologists, the archeologists, historians, and endless researchers of this planet’s history, we can only come to a level of understanding that our human brain can wrap around.
How far back can we go?
How far can we embrace without our minds being blown and we end up with purple brain dust everywhere?
Humanity can speculate and if our brains can justify it to be true then we believe it is true and we begin to teach the little ones inside the classrooms.
A few thousand years ago, humanity knew that the world was flat, the Sun and the five other heavenly bodies rotated around Earth. Tens of thousands of years to 60 million years before that, humanity didn’t care. There were other more pressing issues to wrap our brains around, like where the next meal was coming from and where are we going to sleep tonight?
What can we wrap our brains around? Can we believe Erich von Daniken and his Ancient Alien Astronaut theory that has gripped modern conspiracy theorists? How else can we explain the giant megalithic structures that are located all around the globe? Can we look to this theory when we are trying to understand life on the planet during the rise of modern humans?
I say we look even further than that. This planet has undergone five, that we believe, major extinction events. The first being the Ordovician period, some 440 million years ago, where we lost an estimated 86 percent of life. The second being the Devonian period, 375 million years ago, where we lost an estimated modest 75 percent of life. The third, the Permian period, occurred 251 million years ago. This one we refer to as “The Great Dying” where there was an elimination of close to 96 percent of life destroyed. We are going to come back to this one. The fourth is the Triassic period, occurring 200 million years ago, destroying 80 percent of life. And, the ever-popular Cretaceous period, where an estimated 76 percent of life being destroyed some 66 million years ago. This one removed most of the dinosaurs, thus making room for Homo sapiens sapiens. For this purpose, we will call them anatomically modern humans or AMH.
As promised, we are going back to the Permian period. When Pangea was the only continent on Earth. This we have deduced, as we piece the continents together. Someone noticed the shapes of the continents and the puzzle pieces they formed. Archeologist and Paleontologists studied this idea and have found similar geographical evidence that these continents were in fact, at one point, next to each other. So now we had Pangea.
No purple brain dust, yet.
Remember the giant megalithic structures that I touched on earlier? Wait, let’s imagine if you will, an island. Where is most of civilization going to settle? On the edges, right? History has shown us that life likes water. Perhaps it is the sunrises or sunsets that has their attraction to coastline communities. Perhaps it is their innate attraction to the primordial soup from which we came. All according to the theory of evolution from Charles Darwin. Personally, I vote for long walks on the beach that held the appeal to oceanfront properties.
Back to the megalithic structures located all over the world. (Take a moment now to get a napkin, broom, or swifter because here comes some purple brain dust.)
A huge majority of these structures are located on the coastal edges of Pangea. Take a moment. Precision cut, giant stones that we have been trying to wrap our brains around as to why they were built or even more importantly, how they were moved, are all located on the coastlines of the continent.
In 1987 a paleontologist by the name of Jerry MacDonald, discovered a footprint in the Permian strata. Strata is, according to geologists, a single bed of sedimentary rock generally consisting of one kind of matter representing continuous deposition.
What is that to us?
The earth’s layers are in fact a timeline that can tell us a story, a history lesson, if we choose to wrap our brains around what these layers are telling us.
Now remember the Permian period was 200 million years ago, humanoid life was not supposed to exist until 60 million years ago…right? Oh, one more thing about this footprint, it belonged to a giant. Take a moment to let that sink in. Another one of these footprints was located in South Africa in strata that dates over 200 million years ago. While some of the scientific community dismisses these footprints as a tafone (a small cave-like feature found in granular rock such as sandstone, granite, and sandy-limestone with rounded entrances and smooth concave walls) these footprints measure 1.2 meters in length and according to some scientists, “the forefoot, midfoot and hindfoot” are too distinct in these structures to be disregarded as a tafone or simply seeing “Jesus in your toast”. It is called pareidolia or aprophenia—the human tendency to see patterns and objects that do not actually exist. A concept that we’re going to revisit in later chapters.
Let’s look at some facts we believe we know. We do know that the oxygen levels during this time was higher than they have ever been since the existence of the planet. Insects grew to unimaginable sizes. Dragonflies the size of eagles, Centipedes the length of cars, a time where trees were new to this planet, I can keep going here, but you get the idea.
So we have megalithic structures with building stones pushing an estimated 100 tons in weight. How or who could have lifted them without modern technology? Whoever could, would probably have needed an extreme amount of oxygen for life support. For example, a humanoid that would have left a four-foot-footprint and who would have wanted to live on the coast. Take another moment… Purple brain dust everywhere.
Perhaps some giants struggled and survived. Stories are told throughout history of giants. In Shakespeare’s play In Measure for Measure “O! It is excellent to have a giant’s strength, but it is tyrannous to use it like a giant.” In the Bible, there is David’s advisory he overcame. In Guam, there is the legend of Camel Rock, where two four-year-old children carried a rock that measured 120 feet in length, 60 feet in width, and 30 feet in height to carry it to Agana Bay to stop an invasion in 1054 AD. Are we so quick to dismiss the idea that giants walked this planet? It is human nature to dismiss as fiction what we do not understand and choose not to believe.
Back to the Permian period.
All of a sudden, death from above or death from below. A four-mile crater is formed in Ohio just east of the Serpent Mound located east of Cincinnati. Perhaps it was an impact crater from a meteor or it could have been a gas magma that caused it. Either way, during this time the Earth began to reshape itself and the continents we know today started to break away. Ninety-eight percent of life was destroyed and coastal cities like Puma Punku, Peru, Monte Verde, Chile, and Yonaguni Island, Japan were destroyed. This era is also referred to as “the mystic past”; but let’s move forward to the ancient past, a mere 12 thousand years ago.
Our history is not written in the bias of humanity’s text books, but rather sung through the songs of their ancestors and told in the stories of their mythologies.
Now you may have to open your minds to understand and actually be able to wrap your brain around it. Let’s bring back Erich von Daniken and the Ancient Astronaut theory.
The Anunnaki who were depicted in Sumerian text and pictographs are believed to be an alternate sentient lifeform from a planet called Nibiru.
No way to really be sure. However, in Australia, during this same time period, the Aborigines believed that their deities ascended from another planet, they still have the stories and songs that represent them. Also during this time period the Great Sphinx of Egypt which is now beginning to be understood as having been carved during this time and as it then would have faced the Leo constellation in the night sky.
In China, it is believed that 12 thousand years ago an alternate sentient lifeform used the Xiayang pyramid for a variety of reasons. Petroglyphs at the base of it clearly show these beings. In India, around the same time, they knew that life existed on other planets and that they came to this planet. It is documented in the ancient religious text of the Mahabharata.
So now let’s agree here that around the world, anatomically modern humans knew they were not alone in the Universe and that the world was not flat and that everything did not revolve around Earth.
Take a moment, let this sink in. They knew… Genius!
Again, purple brain dust everywhere.
So what happened? The one extinction that I have yet to mention, the Ice Age began to recede as the Earth’s temperature began to rise. Perhaps it became too warm for the alternate sentient lifeforms and they left this planet for another. Who really knows for sure? Over time their existence fell into mythology and denial.
Thousands of years later, humanity began to rewrite our history and the flaws in their cognitive way of understanding of what they can wrap their brains around began to take hold. But, let’s not get into that just yet. First let’s begin with the dawn of the Empires.
The first great empire was the Akkadian empire in 2334 BCE. Located in Asia Minor stretching from the Persian Gulf through modern-day Kuwait, Iraq, Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea. This empire stabilized Mesopotamia and with stability comes literature, arts, and religion. Of course, we cannot forget the studies in the sciences, mainly the ones that led to wartime advancements. The seed of enough is not really enough takes hold in the human mindset. One of the rulers of Akkad, Sargon the Great wanted to conquer the known world.
During the reign of Shar-Kali-Sharri, the population of the great empire was already poisoned to the idea of their leader being a descendent of the gods and the protests and revolts became too much to coordinate defenses against the invasions from neighboring civilizations. Stop me if this rings familiar… I will bring this back up in later chapters.
Back to the fall of the first empire.
As a result, the increasing unrest made holding the empire together impossible for the last two kings and the empire eventually faded into mythology.
Enter the Egyptians, the Greeks, and the Romans. We cannot forget the Huns. Empires that rose and fell. The Egyptians ran into problems as the debate onto which deity to worship began to create divisions within its core. The Greeks had an empire under the rule of Alexander the Great. A man that ruled and played on both sides of the coin. A concept that was not unknown or effected Grecians opinion of him. When he passed, the leadership divided the empire proving that the sum of the parts does not equal the whole.
The Romans amassed a massive empire stretching from Africa to England. They created such life improvements like bath houses, and running water inside of homes. With the later rulers developing a sense of self-deserving and greed, as well as the outside jealousy of the barbaric tribes. The tribes seeing the success of the Romans rejected to such a level that they wanted no part of them and was blind with the desire to tear them down. In 476 AD when Rome finally fell, everyone immediately began to dismantle the advancements that we would not see again for a thousand years. While there were inalienable faults with the leaderships in these empires as their worlds crumbled, they ultimately made bad decisions. This becomes easier to do without support from those whom they were supposed to lead.
What was that quote again? “You have to know the past to understand the present” by Carl Sagan. Now let’s jump ahead a thousand years.
We can’t forget that there was an unknown part of the world during this time. A civilization that would build and last for almost eight thousand years, the Mayan Civilization. So much of this civilization remains a mystery. We know that at one point they too looked to the heavens, as their star charts rival what modern astronomers have today. Let’s not forget about the infamous calendar that ended on December 21, 2012. Whereas their civilization came to an end in 1524 when the Spaniards invaded the Yucatan Peninsula, they had looked to the future.
At the peak of this mighty civilization, around 450 AD, it is especially evident in the city Teotihuacan, where the buildings align with their very own solar system. Pretty awesome, huh? The Mayans were all but gone around 950 AD and provided little resistance by the time the Spaniards arrived. Nobody really knows what caused the demise of this powerful nation.
Okay, so now we are in the 1500’s, and the rise of global expansion of the Spanish, French and British empires. Native Americans were discovered by Christopher Columbus just eight years earlier and Europe was seeing Gold! The problem with spreading out your empire too far out, you begin to run into problems like distant colonies believing that they can run themselves better than their parent nation. Especially when communication, the number one challenge, takes months to happen. The Spanish Empire came to a close in 1896, where it ranged from Spain to the Philippines. And despite the huge blow to the British Empire in 1776, the empire continues its influence to this day, from Australia to South Africa to India. Although these countries are now independent from their parent nation.
We are losing track here; this chapter is where we talk about humanities history. “To know your future, you must know your past”, better yet, let’s bring in another quote from George Santayana, “those who fail to learn from the mistakes of their predecessors are destined to repeat them.” So, what have we learned so far? No civilization/empire can continue without the support of its citizens. Arrogance within human nature can cause blindness to the needs of those around them, creating bad decisions. Now I just mentioned human nature for the first time. A phrase that I will mention throughout the following chapters. Our nature, is it pre-ordained, can we control and develop it? Or is it easier to simply follow suit?
As we review, we can see that whomever takes the lead, believes that they can do better than their predecessor. Whether we are talking about the generals that took control of their section of the Greek Empire, or colonist that rose up against their kings, dictators that believe that they were stronger and more capable then previous dictators to take on a Russian winter and come out on top. All the way to presidential regimes undermining previous regimes because they feel they are better. Yet humanity continues to suffer the same struggles.
The main point we have learned is that humanity will rise and fall. Perhaps, they’re locked in a loop. The players change, but the storyline is still the same. Primary example, at one point anatomically modern humans knew we were one of many planets, thousands of years later they are burning people at the stake for openly saying such atrocities. Now we understand that our world is round, we have developed technology that has shrank it to a flat screen 19-inch monitor. Ladies and gentlemen, the world, once again, is flat. Purple brain dust everywhere.
…Stay tuned as we leap into the present era as we look at humanity and its need to covet.
After an unknown number of years of traveling around the world, I have finally found a place to call home. I am sitting on a secluded beach on the tropical island of Guam with my wife and one of my sons and my two dogs. We are currently enjoying one of the many endless sunsets. Serving in the United States military service has proven to be a gateway to the world. I have worked, shared knowledge and played games with humans from Afghanistan to Thailand, Australia to United States and it has been an eye opener. Because I have seen more than I should have; but, less than I want to, I have taken up writing as a means to share. After all sharing is caring.
My first book The Quixotic Faction was released in January 2016. Since then I have been working on sharing my insights through Anthropology, seeing that since it is the best way I can see in sharing what I have seen. I am a simple man that enjoys time out on my small boat doing to what should be the only form of trolling.