There is truth in the world. There is a way in the world. As Sting said, “There is a deeper way than this.” And it is expressed in stillness.
The first celebrations were ceremonies inspired by mans experience of nature. The idea of a party as we know it today would have seemed strange, pointless even.
There is still a culture in Africa to this day that lives much as prehistoric man must have, and after efforts were made to explain the concept of being bored, they reported that they are never bored. Bored is a modern notion, and celebration came before it. The original celebrations were efforts to communicate. To communicate not only to other people but to the world around them. What do we communicate today?
Let’s take an example, hunting ceremonies. When the season was right, humans would gather together and enact elaborate shows of behaviour that we might think strange today. These ceremonies never took place out of season.
Getting psyched up? People do that before playing a sport. Well yes, but there was more. It was a form of preparation, yes. They didn’t act like human warriors during the celebration. During their ritual dancing they would call and move like animals. Was this just because they were psycho?
They were maybe paying respect to the creatures in exchange for taking their lives. Communicating with animals? Yes, but also hearing the animals, hearing their world. Strengthening their awareness of the way of their world as their intuition revealed it to them, as their observations had shown them the world to be, and yes, showing respect. In the early age of humanity, if you failed to respect nature, you died. It was as simple as that. Their resources were few. Their physical might limited. Without their celebrations, how could they have survived?
They learned to hunt by moving as the wolf or as the lion. They learned to find things by moving as the antelope or the bison. They had to elaborate on what they saw to gain their depth of understanding, because while engaged in the hunt they would not have time to philosophize. Analytical speculation would have left their people very hungry.
Celebration brings awareness to our life and enhances our survival? Yes, and it grew bigger. Eventually, as humanities early path prospered, they thought to come to terms with the bigger mysteries. Things beyond where they would take shelter and how they would eat and drink. At first they celebrated discoveries. One of the earliest being their alliance with the dog, and they would have elaborate ceremonies that embodied their way with dogs, and embodying the way of dogs among men as well.
When did they start indulging in things like alcohol during celebrations? Something that certainly hinders awareness. That came after the discovery of agriculture. At first they discovered what was a gift from the spirits. That they themselves could do something that would bring to pass the growth of food near their camps.
That’s why drinks are called spirits? Actually it is, and it is also a sign of how people have lost respect for the spirits. At first, the harvest celebrations were just a way of remaining aware of what they needed to do and know in order to have good harvests. This worked well, and they had harvests that were well beyond their needs. Many left a portion of their harvest in the field for the animals, and they continued to prosper as they always had. But some decided that they could take all. They did. They took so much that eventually it came to spoil. This is fermentation.
At this stage, each culture took the mystery of fermentation differently. Some took it as a gift of the spirits to be used as a sacrament, to be used sparingly, and to clear the mind when it was otherwise too driven. Others decided that they were especially favoured, and that both the harvest and the fermentation were to be used at their whim. Thus the first defilement of celebration, the entry of profanity, the birth of the devil, if you will.
It wasn’t long after fermentation that man discovered metal, and they had not fallen too far from the original ways yet. With that attitude of entitlement and the strength that an understanding of metal gave man, and understanding that they did arrive at intuitively, they would come to what we now call the feudal era. Basically an age of psychosis and drunken fighting, and drunken inbreeding to substantiate the psychosis.
We are not still there. In fact, things have gotten worse. We came to what some call the age of reason, and we came to revere nothing more than our own ideas, our own ingenuity. Thinking that maybe it had nothing to do with nature or the world at all, and that our world was just some dumb object we could shape at our whim.
Then came the industrial era where rather than a reverence for mans genius we came to revere an idea we name progress. Thinking that there is some ultimate state we can achieve, some heaven on earth, and we can do it all by ourselves. Sort of like how we made ourselves, right?
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.