Today when we study ancient literature and mythology, merely regard those contents what we fail to understand as superstitious fabricated ones, or as talking about bizarre fantasy-style story. But we do not rethink why we ourselves cannot understand the contents of ancient written records, such as《The Book of Seas and Mountains》from the ancient Chinese. Therefore, we should use the studies on the ancient times as a tool to research why and how the ancient peoples composed those myths which seems like a Double Dutch to the modern people. Here, we propose a new concept: “Mythological Psychology” and we expect those who are interested in this field to participate in the discussion.
To directly access the main theme, we give you two points: the first one is that today people in their environment that is completely different from the ancient time accused of the ancient people with their literature and mythology of “contradictory and wrong.” And this criticism is really wrong. It just like someone comments somebody: why your great grandpa seven generations ago did not look like you. This comment is a reversal of the historical sequence and its comparisons are baseless accusations. Throughout human history, we know that in 4000 years ago, the nature and the ancient people experienced “snafu” changes. As a result, the ancient people left us marvelous legends of that magical era, but we sought to measure the ancient literature with the current situation of our lives and then we feel contradictions and fail to understand it, and boast ourselves in the absence of the ancient people.
The second point: by knowing the perspective of psychology, it is absolutely impossible for people to write something which had never existed. Since the ancient myths included marvelous episodes of the nature in that time, we do not recognize the facts that there must be a historical basis. If say that the ancient people created their legends from nothing, how they make a myth? This question is to explore the psychological state of the ancient people who created myths. If we study the various modern writers, their creative material and content are fabricated? On the legend of the dragon and phoenix made by the ancient Chinese, because today we can no longer see such strange animals, we just like, with an attitude of inconceivable, to deny such legends, myths, and their objective materials.
But, do scholars think of that the ancient people, in what kind of the psychological state and with how great the wisdom, created myths for which the modern wise people feel inexplicability? If we do a psychological research on human perceptual knowledge and rational thinking towards objective things, we will find out that human beings cannot create knowledge, legends, myth, and various works about the nature with their materials which have no root in the nature. Because their expressions from thinking base on using and managing their own seeing, hearing, reading, and all records in their brains, and their dreams are the presentation of getting mixed up the information in their brains. Moreover, we also note that the degree of psychological boost memory and the extent of direct ratio, that is to say people are unable to forget things and persons who hurt them so much. It would appear that the ancients did not emphasize the myth about a kingdom of ants, but talked about horrifying monster: dragon and phoenix, and left their drawings for their offspring. Later on the next generations did recreation based on the tales from their ancestors, with their own imagination to exaggerate and to color the myths, so that the Chinese emperors and their concubines played in their palace with the decoration of the dragon and phoenix.
If people do not agree with this analysis and believe that the records on the nature and the human beings made by our ancestors are fabricated, then the ancients has become extremely gifted, and we end up with a complete foolish; because we do not have the wisdom to create something beyond the existence of the nature. Someone may say that modern people have their imagination from nothing. Well, how they use their imagination? Today people play their imagination and creativity not only at the computer field, but also at the world of animated cartoon. From the animal kingdoms to Star Wars, from a real life to the evil and ghost, from the ancient dinosaur to super man, painters arbitrarily display their achievements from their imagination in such unlimited creative space. However the strange mix of human imagination is still not beyond all the fields of human knowledge. In other words, people’s imagination and creativity can not be fabricated, but they use old concepts or knowledge to make a combination for new versions or inventions. Although animated cartoons make people surprised by the strange animals and omnipotent figures and absurd circumstances, but if we look at the dinosaur specimens, and then read Homer to which the western people are familiar, and other ancient literature, including the Bible, will suddenly realize that accounts for the milk in the coconut!
If someone still wants to prove that people have fabricated creativity, then we would like to give a task to him or her: design and painted an extraterrestrial alien who is more beautiful than human being. The condition is that the extraterrestrial alien should be different from our appearance and image, but like human, are organic compounds and entities, rather than man made robots; because it is the basic condition of a biological being of wisdom. However, the human creation of extraterrestrial aliens are shameful objects, somehow look similar to human beings. This means that people are still using the Earth’s biological concepts such as eyes, head, hands, feet, etc. to create the extraterrestrial alien with a personified design.
Here we must note that people actually use their imagination and creativity to think and to bring together past and present knowledge, and apply different combinations of knowledge to create new products. For example, automobile inventions: its body is from the accumulation of experience of old and modern carriages. Car steering is similar with steering pitman arm of sailing and steam ships; and we also may think from the relations between the steering and a grinding pan or a simple hoist above a well in the ancient time. The car engine is a small system of a steam ship, and the man who did invention of the steam engine got his inspiration from the boiling water in a pot. Also its transmission has a basically principle from train and steam ship, and we can get this knowledge from the ancient water mill or the structures of the ancient clock.
Look at the computer inventions: the design of typewriter and keyboard is basically same, and typewriter may be inspired by typography and printing. The operating principle of electronic devices in computers is brought from TV and radio, and there is a close relationship between radio and telephone. Computers, television sets, and radios need power, electric and magnetic fields, we can find them in the nature. Those who love adventure and knowledge did research on lightning capacity.
We used the example of cars and computers to deliver an explanation that today people make inventions from the accumulation of knowledge and experience through many generations, rather than a kind of creation based on nothing. Meanwhile, we should also note that creating the nature and the living things from nothing is out of the human ability. And the human creation from the accumulation of knowledge and from association of ideas is limited in the field of non-living things in human society. Thus, regardless of how beautiful artificial flowers are, they are a kind of imitation without life. And the use of human genetic results, just like the grafting of fruit trees, is to apply of organic rather than creation. We must therefore explore the external reasons of myths.
The generation of myths and the human ancient mysteries are associated with the marvelous changes of the nature four thousand years ago. The deluge and the follow floods caused the change of the earth and the human history, and we can find those records not only directly from the Bible but also indirectly from the ancient Chinese literature. Please use your imagination: people had what kind of psychological impact when they experienced that catastrophe. When people faced earth suddenly becoming very hot or quiet cold, or when people escaped for their lives from the great floods, or to see the great changes of celestial stars, what kind of response would come from their hearts and worldviews? This is truly the soul stirring with which the ancient people had in 4,000 years ago. Believe or not, the rise of the Tibetan plateau did not take place in a few dozens of million years or several hundred million years ago, but did in 4000 years ago! The Chinese myth “Pangu opened heaven and earth” and the myths about the beginning of the nature and human beings from the ancient peoples around that area are the transformed reflection towards so incredible changes. That made them think of the God of their ancestors and they also began to increase their awestruck feelings with the nature. Therefore, worshiping Heaven of the ancient Chinese combined God and the nature abstractly together, and they used the punishment from Heaven and Earth as warning to strengthen the deterrence of social and traditional norms.
At that time, the changes of the nature caused a series of major changes accordingly. God used changes in the celestial galaxy to regulate the changes in temperature, drought and flood, and gravitation of the earth. After Noah’s great flood, the human beings began to watch celestial phenomena for making a lunar calendar and the schedule for agriculture; and the ancient Chinese got great achievements in that field and offered wonderful literature and materials for the mankind. Thus, the Chinese myths recorded the great changes of the nature and celestial space; for example, the legends of “Ten suns came out together” and “Houyi shot down nine suns”. Therefore we can analyze this ancient literature to help us understand the wonderful ancient celestial phenomena, which displayed the celestial background for our exposing the mysteries of the nature and human history during that time.
Here, let us briefly analyze the fantastic links between “Ten suns came out together” and “Houyi shot down nine suns”. Genesis in the Bible tells us that before Noah’s great flood, the upper water what existed above the Earth’s atmosphere may be in a certain height and have a certain thick “Water Film” of covering the earth, providing the ancients with a best environment for their longevity. However, during the time when the deluge occurred, the sky water poured down onto the ground drowned the entire planet. Here we must note that when the “Water Film” existed, the one sun can not be a sufficient brightness and heat for penetrating the “Water Film” and reaching to the ground. Thus, “a group of suns” may meet the survival needs of human existence. But, after that flood, the huge energy of “a group of suns” was beyond the needs of people and the nature and may burn all things on the earth. So God used vapor to make a composition of thick clouds to cover the earth for a while. Then the ancient people saw ten suns appeared together above the clouds, when the clouds gradually became thinner somehow. After that period, God moved nine suns away and left only one sun. But the ancients did not understand why such changes, so they made a story including the mystery and passed it to next generation. And the story figure Houyi may be a legendary hero at that time, which enabled people to have the worship of human beings for facing the challenges from the nature. Therefore, the ancient people composed profound myths and we feel so difficult to understand them. Say, without the revelation from the Bible, we can never discover the ancient mysteries which hidden among myths.
DIFFICULT QUESTIONS FOR THINK AND RESEARCH:
Goddess of Sky-patching has what kind of relations with the deluge?
The myth of “Pangu opened heaven and earth” reflected what kind of the ancient mystery?
《The Book of Seas and Mountains》recorded which part of human history?
H. Moses Sun wrote this article. The second edition in Chinese was published on September 15, 2006. The edition of translation was published on September 15, 2006.
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