Trying to understand and learn

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I’ve been reminded recently that Jupiter is currently close enough that you can see the moons with a pair of binoculars (if the clouds allow). Chances are I won’t get out to look up and try to spot them- my eyes are probably no longer up to it. I try to understand things with my mind these days.

I’m enchanted to read that Jupiter has 53 named moons and another 26 awaiting official names. Unsurprisingly, many are named after the many lovers of Jupiter (or Zeus): Io, Europa, Ganymede, Callisto, Leda, Metis, Pasiphae, and more. I’ve been looking at pictures of them, they are a lot more varied than I’d have expected. No matter how much I learn, the mysteries of the Universe continue to expand exponentially as I try to learn more. Our ancestors named things they saw in space after gods, and probably the same could be said of the depths of the sea, and the interior of the earth (realms of Zeus, Posidon & Hades).

When we didn’t have tools to measure them, we used Myths to try to explain natural phenomena, and now we study myth and folklore to try to understand the cultures that explained their experiences in these ways. Studying world folklore also supports the existence of much that’s “unmeasureable”.
Just about every culture has some form of ghost, some understanding of an afterlife, awareness of energy healing. Most cultures describe unseen (or rarely seen) intelligent beings who interact with us. When things happen that are so out of the ordinary an explanation is begged, humans need to understand why things didn’t work the way they usually do.

This is one of the reasons we often look at history, myth and religion in CTCW. Those who came before us may not have had our technology, but they were just as intelligent, just as observant as we are. We cannot dismiss, as some do, that they must have been “stupid” to accept events which have been labeled impossible today, simply because we cannot explain them with current science (which changes constantly!).

A true scientist accepts the evidence before him, and doesn’t attempt to discard any that doesn’t agree with his premise. So when associates mock our interest in the supernatural, paranormal, occult and metaphysical, we should not let it bother us, because we are being better scientists. (Unless we go around accepting every story that’s been blown out of proportion or generated to grab attention. But I’ll probably write about that another time.)

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