Monday, 27 October 2014


I think it is interesting to note that none of the old world religions managed to predict the existence of the Americas, nor did the new world religions predict the existence of the old world. Our diets now are so much more diverse than they were before the 16th century Columbian Exchange. What would life have been like for Europeans for most of recorded history until 1492 without all the food crops which were native to the Americas, such as pumpkin, peanuts, chocolate, potatoes, sweet corn, popcorn, turkey, avocado, vanilla, sweet & chili peppers, pineapple, papaya, green beans etc ?
I am celebrating Helloween this year from the point of view that superstitious claims are unfounded. Chocolate and pumpkin say to me that the witch doctors/ shaman/ priests could not even predict the knowable about this world so why would anyone give credence to their claims about the unknowable ?
On my pumpkin lantern I have carved out the words " No WIFI " as that is probably more scary than a scary face. I have microwaved the seeds for 10 minutes to toast them and they are quite tasty, would be a shame to waste them.
Halloween is often associated with ghost stories where the ghost passes through solid walls. How many people ask themselves why it is that in the gospels the stone needs to be rolled away from the tomb to let Jesus out ? However John 20v19 has Jesus appear to the disciples in a room where the doors were locked. John 20v26 also has, "A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them"
Which parts of the stories are real and which are not real ? What were the ancient story tellers playing at ? Did legends build up around a kernel story ?
Why did the ancient folk heroes not really manage to fly around the world on a magic carpet or broomstick to do something useful like bringing chocolate from America to Europe or taking oranges from China to America ? Would it be because they were just camp fire stories ? Ogden Nash in his poem, " And how keen was the vision of sir Launfal? " pens: "Man's earliest pastime, I suppose, was to play with his fingers and his toes. Then later, wearying of himself, he devised the monster and the elf. Enlivening his existence drab, with Blunderbore and Puck and Mab. A modern man, in modern Maryland, I boast my private gate to fairyland, my kaleidoscope, my cornucopia, my philosopher's stone, myopia.....I can wish on either of two new moons, billboards are graven with mystic runes....If my vision were twenty-twenty. I should miss miracles aplenty"

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