The facts of life might be okay for a science book, but it takes an outlandish story to inspire us human beings. Grab a hold of any of the holy books and you will find supernatural tales and plenty of action and adventure. Whether it be Christian, Islamic, Buddhist, Hindu or Jewish, the thrills and spills are all there on, just, about every page. Miracles abound, and acts of god are listed like items on an expensive invoice. Stories are the bedrock of humanity and we weave the events of our lives into meaningful narratives to inspire each other.
Miracles a Must for Any Aspiring Religion
What are the odds on any of the great stories being factually true? Well, after a number of years studying two degrees in ancient history at a well respected tertiary institution, I can safely say they are giant. The scribes who wrote down these sutras, surahs, and books of the bible, were never overly concerned about being Google fact checked. The more amazing each salacious and sensational tale could be, the greater the impact made with their audience. Miracles were a must for any aspiring religion worth its salt.
Spouting Their Words like Madmen on Acid
Demons and angels doing battle over souls, and gods residing in paradise, with prophets below spouting their words like madmen on acid. These stories are the bedrock of humanity, not the dry periodic table or Euclid’s elements of geometry. Real life may be composed of various building blocks, atoms and molecules, but it is only when these are arranged within an exciting story that we start to pay attention. Every single story told today contains parts of the great stories from the Iliad, the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Vedas, the Bible, and the Quran.
Personal Identity on a Crowded Stage
Personal brands are de riguour in the 21C, according to marketing gurus. They tell us that social media platforms are the codices and scrolls of yesteryear, where we can record our own ten commandments, Surahs, and Vedas. Blogs diarise the inner and outer activities of their authors. The stories we tell about ourselves, do more than sell our own personal brand, they invent our own world view and scriptures. Will we find true meaning in the many Facebook pages and posts we read? Stories will remain the bedrock of humanity, I posit, just the formats will change and evolve. Inventing stuff about ourselves is how we weave the web of our personal identity on a crowded stage.