Opinions / Swirl of thoughts

The Closest Thing To Forever

Ancient Egypt Obelisk4

Whatever we think we leave behind in this world, one thing is for certain: If it can disintegrate, then it simply will not last the ages. There is only stone, like granite and other hard materials, that can stay intact for thousands, millions and billions of years. It’s no wonder ancient civilizations built their most scared edifices out of stone. The ancients also knew only nature’s hardest materials could withstand the test of time. And when you stop and think of how long it would take a wooden house to vanish, or a concrete building for that matter, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out in the course of a few thousand years, nothing would remain. Everything we own, live in, drive on, and take for granted as part of our civilization will eventually disintegrate at some point in the future if left to deal with the forces of nature (free standing). There was even a television show devoted to showing what would happen to cities and all the things man has built if left unattended over a long period of time (Life After People). So, when you really think about it, what exactly can we do to preserve a piece of our history, our lives, our civilization so that others in the future will know our story? Well, it has already happened many times before in man’s history. Just take the Egyptians and the Pyramids, for example.

When we ponder what kind of people built Stonehenge, or the Nazca lines, or Machu Picchu, it is best to try and put yourself in the frame of mind of someone with a completely different set of beliefs than modern man. And that makes this pondering quite difficult. For example, the Egyptians had such a firm belief in a systematic and detailed transcendence into the afterlife, their entire civilization was built around it -even though it was likely a very exclusive population of individuals who participated in their most sacred ceremonies. It wasn’t the sort of thing common folk could do because they, like the working person of today, were too busy trying to complete their tasks and work to have the time and energy to contemplate these things. Of course, this is a grand assumption from top to bottom, but most Egyptologists cannot agree on what the Egyptians were up to, why they built the pyramids in the first place, nor what half their hieroglyphics really mean anyway. They simply make educated guesses based on their interpretations of what was left behind. And since no one is left to properly translate what their culture and language entailed, it is anybody’s guess what was really going on there at the time of the many great Pharaohs. But there is one thing we can all agree on: the Egyptians who built the pyramids knew what they were doing and understood their work would be “the closest thing to forever” they could build. And all the other remnants of ancient civilizations that still exist to this day likely thought the same thing when they built their edifices.

In the modern world, we fancy ourselves so smart. We have so much technology at our disposal. But that’s just it: most of what we have is disposable. What have we built in modern times that will last thousands of years? What would some future civilization discover of us? What kind of people will they think we were? What kinds of things will they think we did? What, of all the things we have accomplished, will be around thousands of years from now? Styrofoam cups? Plastic bags? What would someone from the far future think we were if all they found of us was garbage that did not decompose? Think about that.

Perhaps there are some minds out there that are thinking the same thing. Perhaps there are some that want to be part of building something grand, something made out of granite, something that would tell the story of who we are and what we managed to accomplish. How would anyone in the far future know we went anywhere other than the Moon and Mars if all our evidence is left in small objects on some surface somewhere? How would they know we flew commercial jumbo jets all around the world, or built great computers and fancy devices? Perhaps we could build a obelisk with such a story -like the Egyptians did. But we cannot write the story with words, they likely will not read English or any modern language. It would have to be with pictures. Something that could be decoded rather easily (at least to us). The builders of this monument have to step out of the usual frame of mind and be overly objective. But the story would have to be written in truth, not embellishment. It would have to be written by a writer who wants no credit because none can be offered. This would be the most selfless, yet most important task anyone could ever face. All in the name of mankind of this era for something that would last The Closest Thing to Forever.



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