“I’m looking at the man in the mirror, I’m asking him to change his ways.”
– Michael Jackson
What is this life, but a striving for connection. We want to feel connected, initially to our parents/family, friends, lovers, then to our conception of society, and finally to the narratives we choose to pursue, identify and struggle with, draping them with the flimsy cloth of existence. We also want any irregularities, or unexpected changes in our narratives, to be fully explained and if possible, connected. We want to see ourselves in our surroundings, we want connection.
The Information Lords at Wikipedia have supplied us with this gem –Pareidolia (/pærɨˈdoʊliə/ parr-i-doh-lee-ə) is a psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus (often an image or sound) being perceived as significant.
Common examples of pareidolia include seeing images of animals or faces in clouds, the man in the moon or the Moon rabbit, and hearing hidden messages on records when played in reverse. In 2014, archaeologists in India, discovered prehistoric cave paintings, which they claim depict ‘tripod objects, flying crafts, and a race of noseless, weapon carrying aliens.’ The paintings, done in a natural tone, are thought to be over 10,000 years old.
The reportage over at the Times of India was very well balanced, and didn’t lean into non-facts, or what could explained as pareidolia. “We can’t refute possibility of imagination by prehistoric men, but humans usually fancy such things.” But do these drawings validate the theory of ‘paleocontact’, ancient aliens visiting us in the distant past, giving us our edge? Or are they the “fancy” of an ancient artist, in love with connections, trying to connect the images in his/her brain, with reality, with the narratives of her people?
We are constantly trying to connect everything, to everything else. Centaurs, chili-cheese-fries, gryphons, politics n’ religion, open browser-Twitter-iPhone-TV-Wii, Combos – we want all of it condensed and understood, smashed together in a pill, fitted into a box, all the wild hairs shellacked down to our scalp.
Connections are thought to give our life meaning. But almost all of the most meaningful moments in our life are unplanned, non-connected, beautiful, wild, and sometimes horrifying. And when nature’s had her unexplainable way with us, we get to choose how we want to connect to the information.
So the question of the cave art is this – Do you connect more with an ancient race of people, who with the assistance of extraterrestrials really turned on their cave art, maybe went to space and learned the secrets of the universe, but still died with nothing but great cave art to show for it….or do you connect more with an ancient race of people who strove for connections, who wanted explanations for the unexplainable, who saw their forms commingle with the forms inside their creative minds on a cave wall, a race of people who wanted connection with the forms of nature, a race of people trying to tame an untameable world? Sounds familiar.