Hidden Meanings Everywhere? Or Merely Thieves?

I was watching America Unearthed and as usual, some host was portraying hidden meanings in various structures.  Again, as usual, the hidden meaning was connected to the Free Masons.  It seems on every show these days every host claims some connection to the Free Masons or the Knights Templar.  It is really getting quite old.

As I watched the show and the pretend interviews with various so called experts it was unenlightening.  The host pretended to have no idea how the structures were connected or why they had been placed in a particular alignment across this massive city.  And then at the end of the show, oh my glob, the host has a realization that the structures in fact align with Orion’s belt.  This leads to a jump to a supposed connection between a mosaic in grand central station and these connections going back to the alignment of the ancient pyramids with Orion’s belt.  As it happened, the structures were all either made by or designed by Free Masons or brought to the city by Free Masons.  In a superman like leap of logic – this means the Free  Masons reach farther back in history than originally believed – to ancient Egypt in fact.

As I watched show after show tonight make superhuman leaps of logic in an effort to uncover or decode secret hidden meanings, I had to wonder – Why does there always have to be some hidden meaning?  Sure there are some cool things in history that did indeed have hidden meanings.  Some things in history merely required decoding.

The problem is, not all things created in the past have any connection to anything else nor any hidden message.  My theory is, if there were particular regions, creations, structures, sculptures, etc that were meant to carry a message for future generations, then wouldn’t there be someone or something with which to decode them?  Would they merely have been left so ambiguously for future civilizations?

What is more is that civilizations have a tendency to steal beliefs and art and designs and structures from past civilizations.  The Romans stole their art and architecture and religion from the Greeks.  The Romans were not the first to steal such things.  Countless empires of people have done the same.  This is why we see such similarities in very different civilizations from different time periods.  It is not some secret hidden meaning, it is merely imitation.

Why do people continuously seek out connections between civilizations of the past with other civilizations of the past?  Why do we have this incessant need for everything to have meaning?  Is it so hard to accept that civilizations rise and fall? Organizations die out.  Societies die out.  People live and die without leaving anything behind with which to remember them by.  In the history of humanity, millions upon millions of individuals have lived lives that at their time may have felt purposeful, may have been important, may have made significant contributions to their people, may have left family and friends behind to remember them but at some point, those people too passed on as did those who remembered them and the memory, the markings on tombstones, all remnants of the lives lived – have ceased to exist.

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12 thoughts on “Hidden Meanings Everywhere? Or Merely Thieves?

  1. Well, everyone wants to know where they came from. Future episodes of “Oodles” will have some observations on this. I would love to know what future generations, civilisations, or even “aliens” will make of the “Golden Record” on Voyager 2, especially Chuck Berry’s “Johnie B. Goode”!

    • I completely understand the interest in archaeology and even anthropology, my issue is with this current obsession with finding hidden meanings in practically everything and these meanings supposedly left behind by some powerful secret society.
      As for the golden record, I like to think that future civilizations will look upon it with awe at how simple we were in comparison to their advancements.

  2. People copying style is old news. You’re right about that although each culture includes themselves in it so the styles are based on this and evolve into that. We get to pick which one we want to wear or decorate our homes with.

    I don’t believe there are any big secrets. I found the Da Vinci Code disappointing, let me see if I can remember, was she a relative of Jesus, a way-great granddaughter or something like that? All this running around that led nowhere, but there was a group of people who knew she was coming.

    Did aliens design some of our landscape? Who knows! Is there more intelligent life somewhere else? I hope so. Things made years ago were planned out and required skill to accomplish. We’ve simply grown lazy and throw things together in record time for the sake of sell, sell, sell, get rich, richer, richest unconcerned with whether our creations can weather the storm. Here in the mid-west, they throw student housing and new apartments together in such record time I’d never move into one. As far as I’m concerned when a tornado takes a stroll down the street they’re going to turn to a heap of tinder the same as a trailer. (I hear Mater in the background)

    That’s the big secret. The ancient Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, Aliens and Predators were inventing, designing, coming up with stuff from scratch, and as warring cultures wanting to be top dog kept improving on each other’s designs.Would there be secret messages hidden, probably for the purpose of overthrow and win. If they were stacking up loot would there be code only certain people could decipher? Yeah, probably.

    It sounds like how too many businesses are run to me. Droning on about connect-the-dots is just a distraction.

    • I think this current television show obsession with hidden meanings and connections plays to the boredom so many people feel with the world and with life in general.
      “Is that all there is?” – that is the question I believe these people have asked and have found their answer disappointing so they seek something more interesting, like hidden meanings and conspiracy theories and whatever else anyone can create to make a tv show about these days.
      Also, I feel the reality television shows play to this same boredom so many have with their own lives. Why else would you want to see the day to day crap from a total stranger’s life?
      My thought is that if these people find their lives so boring or without meaning then perhaps they should turn off their televisions and computers and actually start living, experiencing things for themselves

      • This may be why I’ve lived happily without a TV for so many years: real life is so much more fascinating. Frustrating, too, because there’s no pat answer to any problem and things don’t tie up neatly at the end of an hour. I live in a small town. I’ve lived in the same area for 30 years. Layers upon layers of personal history. Networks of families and groups that intersect at some points and never touch at others. I’ll never understand it all, but I think that what I do understand gives me insight into how the wider world works. I still can’t wrap my head around the concept of “reality TV” so I won’t say anything more about that.

  3. Much of it comes from the publish or perish mentality of scholastic writing. All these professors and lecturers have to come up with some new spin on the same crap that everyone else before them has done.

    I recently read a write up of how Peter Pan is actually the villain of the story. And then tonight I read something about the hidden gay agenda of the movie Frozen. Basically, we have people desiring that something more be there in the stories and culture around them than just… Hey look some dorks stacked some stones. Or worse, how dare somebody write a story that is exactly what it appears to be on its surface, something meant to entertain.

    Apparently we all have hidden agendas that we are trying to foist on the world around us.

  4. One of the most fascinating books I’ve read in the last several years was Margalit Fox’s The Riddle of the Labyrinth, about the decipherment of Linear B. I’d never heard of Linear B when I started reading the book. My grasp of the ancient Mediterranean world was, to put it mildly, shaky. The idea of Arthur Evans, Alice Kober, Michael Ventris, and others dedicating their whole lives to deciphering those tablets struck me, at first, as totally bizarre. But gradually I got it: the challenge of writing that no one could read, in a language no one could identify? Solving the riddle did rearrange our understanding of the ancient world — not something that matters at all to most of us, and I was totally clueless before I read the book, even though the decipherment was finally accomplished in the early 1950s. The tablets, as it turned out, didn’t recount exciting stories of battle and palace intrigue. They were mostly records kept by palace scribes. Fascinating, nonetheless.

    • My constant concern with deciphering ancient writings, tablets, carvings, etc. is that there is no real way to prove that the translation is correct. One small error in their method could result in a completely different translation than originally intended. I am therefore always skeptical of when people claim to have deciphered some ancient mystery relating to unknown languages as who is to say these people interpreted it all correctly, in the correct context?

      • It could happen, and Fox’s book includes various wrong-headed attempts, including that of Arthur Evans, aka the wealthy guy who excavated the big stash of tablets and then did his best to restrict access to them — even after he died. But read about how Alice Kober went about it. She didn’t claim anything. She died before she could finish, but she laid the foundation for Ventris, who then got most of the credit.

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