written in sand, not stone

Many cultures have aspired to write their history in stone, be it that of an edifice or on a tablet. But some have been more fluid than that, relying on the oral narrative to pass down cumulative experience. We are taught to value the static, that which is "set in stone", but the more I grow, the more I feel that it is precisely the static that imprisons us.
There is a reason why the natural philosophy of yesteryear - the root of modern science - said nature loves to hide, and why the scientific knowledge was hidden from the non-initiate in symbolic code, which would be interpreted differently according to the context. Nature is not static, and our understanding changes according to context. Both the Tao Te Ching and the New Testament speak a lot about this. In the latter, Christ is criticized for healing someone on a Saturday, "against the law" - but he explains that if the rule is broken for an animal (which is allowed to take water), why wouldn't it be for man? In other words, there are times one must break the rule if it will help another soul. "The way is broad, reaching left as well as right... It clothes and feeds the myriad creatures yet lays no claim to being their master." (Tao Te Ching XXXIV)
The ten commandments are replaced with two: Love God with all one's heart, and loving one's neighbour as oneself. Man grows up. He is given freedom - a freedom to make mistakes, but a freedom that implies responsibility. Another example of the importance of flexibility is when man was told to write the sins of his brothers in the sand, as opposed to punishing his brother for his sins by pelting him with rocks. "One who excels in reckoning uses no counting rods; One who excels in shutting uses no bolts yet what he has shut cannot be opened; ... Therefore the sage always excels in saving people, and so abandons no one; always excels in saving things, and so abandons nothing..." (XXVII)
There is a way, but it is delivered orally according to occasion, or, if it is written, it is hidden in metaphor. It must not be visibly set in stone, for to do so would be to mandate, and to mandate is to impinge on natural laws, which bestow freedom.
Some of the greatest cultures have fallen victim to that which seeks to cement. I am thinking about Native American tribes - with their very complex oral tradition, in which the story teller was to change aspects of a story on a needs-basis (which is quite contrary to the Grimm brothers' story-collecting method of "extracting impurities to the folk tales"). I am thinking of the stories told in the Balkans, which some are attempting to totally obliterate - even in terms of its name, now sometimes referred to as "The Western Balkans". This name does not tell you, for example, how some of the greatest stories of these people eulogized even their "Eastern" oppressors, when their oppressors showed virtue.  
What I am saying is that if it is written in stone, it is also more subject to transience, which is feared by those who think that the ultimate goal of life is here on this earth. It is on this earth, but in our hearts, not in stone. And our hearts are connected to "the eternal skies". Levavi oculos meos in montes unde veniet auxilium meum. (Psalm 121, which I was reminded of by this post).

Elements: medallions: pugly pixel; film: volfcamia.

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