When your imagination and your thought are in conflict, your imagination will inevitably win.
Now, I will ask you my friends, do you ever just get a clear description of what someone saw or heard?
Nope. There is a reason for that. There is a part of the brain that is responsible for producing what could be called a “developed” picture for you to understand. Every time the brain receives input, it sorts it through a set of parameters and attempts to categorize it as something familiar or understood. It will not accept failure. So when it can’t connect what you experienced with something mundane, it will produce a metaphor, like the Native Americans perceiving the foreigners as centaurs.
Or metal birds. Yes, human brains have been doing this for a very long time.
And then became centaurs themselves. Indeed. With understanding, that would come to them later, and with the understanding of their wise folk.
Humans adapt quickly. Yes, and they can adapt too quickly. The brain takes the path of least resistance if left to function on idle.
I’ve heard that’s why the Native South Americans were so easily defeated. They “didn’t see it coming” as it was so out of context. And that’s why they started telling fairy tales, as a way of equipping people to see it coming.
In the old legends, wolves are often seen as being virtually demonic beings, even attributed with human like cunning and motives, as were a great many other animals. At first, all the animals concerned were wild species, and well, the models of animal behaviorists are loose approximations at best in my view.
When did mythical beasts start coming around? Dragons etc. Mythical beasts stem from a variety of sources, and because humans understand animals more readily than more abstract presences or forces, they tried to conceptualize what sort of creature would be the agent behind whatever it was they saw. Perhaps linking dragons to forest fires, things like that, and water dwelling people have multiple, equally old sources. An undertow, or rip tide, or whatever, can look awfully suspicious, perhaps even intelligent, but fairy tales get much more complex and involved than just attempts to explain natural events.
I guess personifying things makes them seem less terrifying in a weird way, as if you just need to appease the force to avoid being its next victim. I would offer it makes them intelligible. When you think of something as a presence that can get angry, then that means there is also a way to make peace with it, or defeat it if you judge it as evil. Even today, people think of germs and viruses as in some way intelligent, even if this notion is only subconscious.
People understand people, but not the physical world. Just trying to describe the fluid dynamics of air and the turbulence fans create can put a blank stare on my mother’s face. My own disorder is being linked by theorists with a failure of the mechanism that makes those mental thumbnails most people use to think with. So I have to assemble any understanding on a sort of case by case basis. I have just developed a familiar set of tools to apply my “rules”, but that’s not directly relevant to this topic.
Seeing things from a different perspective can be very useful. Yes.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.