Ancient Wisdom

Penn & The Amazing Randi

It has been popular since the beginning of modernity to extol the virtues and profound wisdom of the ancients. And whereas we must be careful to not ingratiate ourselves in youth culture – we must also maintain the balance of how much credence we put into “ancient wisdom”.

Consider this – language evolves and changes meaning over time. Some words change over long periods of time and others change within a lifetime. I use the example of language because it is the very medium that is engineered to communicate information and ideas. Let’s also consider context. Human population was drastically different from what it has become since the industrial age. Let’s also consider the emergence of free will. Not as a fact but a task only recently within reach.

With recent free will, population boom and linguistic engineering put into context, it becomes obvious how little ancient practices correlate with modern tech, medicine, science or understanding.

We will not throw the baby out with the bathwater. The study of ancient civilizations has value in context of history. However it is intellectually disingenuous and requires a lot of abstraction and convolution to place so called ancient wisdom on the same level or hierarchy as modern understanding. As the Amazing Randi would say in his lectures “we can continue to reach for the stars or run back into the caves – the choice is ours”.

It’s an old trick to lure humanity from the stars back into the caves through the use of so-called ancient wisdom. Historically this technique has been used with temporary success typically riding on the back of bigotry and suppression cleverly disguised as the status quo. The potential of humanity always wins over time… spite our efforts.

We are creatures of a very long evolutionary processes of homogenization for which there is no turning back. Beware the charlatans and con artist peddling ancient wisdom and remember – humanities potential has always come from reaching to the stars and not retreating into the caves.

The balance and subtleties of the complexity for which we emerge as life is not to be understood by over simplification. With Wing Chun we not only manage the complexity that is human. We make it look easy!

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