Books by A.O. Kime
"Metaphysical realities in America's politically-challenged democracy"
"A sagacious accounting of the Stone Age and the beginnings of civilization"
U.S. colleges and trade schools
Odd combination of directories you think? See 'faces'
A.O. Kime Articles:
Shoofly Village ruins
Stone Age history
Stone Age timelines
Stone Age tools
Dynamics of now
Evil (nature of)
Gift of life
Light (nature of)
Time (nature of)
Curse of science
Int'l Criminal Court
Rule of law
When Charles Darwin published his The Origin of Species in 1859 he fully
realized it would revolutionize scientific thought, and it did. As it concerned
human beings, Darwin said “Much Light will be thrown on the origin of man and
his history” but it wasn’t until 11 years later that Darwin addressed human
origins in his book The Descent of Man which caused so much controversy.
In divergence to his theory of evolution, the abstract herein, creative and
unique, exhumes this controversy for reconsideration. So in the aftermath of
Darwin’s prophesy…we shall see who actually throws this light.
In order to challenge his scientific notion that mankind descended from ape-like humanoids, now a commonly held belief but which is a particularistic error, every conceivable aspect surrounding the issue is addressed herein. This is not from a biblical point of view either, or based on any religious tenet, but rather a common-sense approach, metaphysically in depth and surrounds factors previously overlooked or underestimated.
Because of the nature of evidence, to overcome the expected initial resistance from science, it is necessary to present it in an unusual format. Oftentimes to demonstrate the credibility of new evidence which, in this case, was never seriously applied before, the direct approach must surrender to finesse. To convince those with a fixed mind-set, evidence of a less obvious nature must be demonstrated in creative ways, each a little different, because, as an example, two or more analogies for comparative purposes is always better than one.
This book has been prepared with that in mind, especially since metaphysics is involved, not an easy subject to discuss as it relates to the caveman or anything else. You will witness different styles of delivery within the general text, in the narrative and within the incorporated fictional account and will soon appreciate the necessity for such creativity. A fictional account was necessary for effect and is incorporated throughout the book, coming and going as need be, but easily recognizable. The fictional account surrounds the life of Ashy, which begins when he was a young caveman, recently orphaned.
To academia, the century in which Ashy lived long ago would be considered largely irrelevant because there wasn’t any difference from one century to the next during the Stone Age, or so we’re told. This attitude and allowing only for the differences in tool-making capabilities has academia limited our knowledge. To say there wasn’t any difference would be misleading, imperceptible and therefore, as a historical abridgement, consistent with what else we’ve been taught. Within these very active times were cavemen far more intelligent than we’ve given them credit for and who had a far higher level of sophistication than ever before revealed.
This will be demonstrated throughout the book and will return honor to our forefathers instead of them forever being held in low esteem as academia would have it. We will regain a sense of pride in our heritage, subjugated for 5,000 years and actually a process the ancient Egyptians began. The cavemen were not stupid as most believe but were more astute than modern man in some areas, understanding metaphysics and other phenomena such as the true concept of time.
Before the concept of ‘time’ became corrupt in later civilizations, cavemen had a deeper understanding albeit lacking was a way to measure it. The concept the cavemen understood had nothing to do with a beginning or end and it wasn’t one dimensional as our current concept. Just how this and his other profound realizations were possible will be demonstrated throughout the book.
Except for being cognizant of the seasons, the lunar cycle or pegging a year to an particular event that he could recall, or his parents recalled, a caveman didn’t bother with ‘dates’. Of those cavemen I refer to within, it would be those from the Lower Paleolithic times, commonly known as the Old Stone Age, or prior to 10,000 B.C.
The Stone Age itself was broken down into various times in different scientific ways and was largely determined by the apparent skills the caveman had in making stone tools. The level of sophistication applied to make these stone implements determined the times they belonged to, subdivided often, and all these divisions belonged to either the immensely long Lower Paleolithic (Old Stone Age, or everything prior to 10,000 B.C.), followed by the much shorter periods of the Upper Paleolithic, then the Mesolithic (Middle Stone Age, which adds fishermen), then the Neolithic (New Stone Age, which adds farmers) which were all after 10,000 B.C. but with the regional variations in progress these applications often overlapped. There are still further refinements but are not applicable to this book since we’ll be dealing almost exclusively with the Old Stone Age; or everything prior to 10,000 B.C.
The Old Stone Age could go back 300,000 to 2,000,000 years, we don’t know, it depends on when man first appeared on the scene. We only know there were thousands upon thousands of generations who lived during that period when, according to academic standards, virtually no progress was made.
Since it was so long ago, and although the archaeologists didn’t have much to work with while trying to recreate the scenario except for some stone tools and a few art drawings inside caves, from practically that alone did the archaeologist decide to give us a picture of the caveman as brutish and dumb. They missed a great deal.
Besides hunting and gathering as so often depicted as all he knew, the caveman had other skills and the extent of those skills and his social sophistication you should find surprising. That will be revealed throughout this book but as a beginning example; cavemen quickly developed rudimentary mathematics and although they applied it sparingly, not fully realizing its practical value, or necessity, their idea of practical was different than ours. The reason for that is because they had a metaphysical mind, a fact which weighs heavily on ‘necessity’ as it pertains to ‘the progress of man’.
It is important to put his story in a historical context first because there is much more to this book than just the regenerated exploits of a caveman, although the fictitious life of Ashy the caveman is depicted as it was most likely, not how archaeologists and historians have largely led people to believe.
It is primarily about Ashy’s metaphysical mind that will be addressed and done so for several reasons. Since it is not limited to that, there are related observations which require the text to deal with other issues as well, more ‘practical’ in nature. These topics deal with the very same issues an archaeologist or anthropologist would, but under a different light and hence, can be scrutinized more effectively yet metaphysics is the central issue and will be dealt with to a great extent.
In order to establish chronological order, it was determined long ago by the curious devises of mankind that society must establish which year should be considered first. That eventually happened but largely the process became dominated by religious institutions when the importance of putting their brand on ‘year zero’ was recognized.
Almost universally this ‘beginning of time’, however superficial, was based on various religious tenants or some great religious event. The Christians and their Gregorian calendar is based on the year Christ was born and they determined that year should be considered as year zero (0 A.D.) even though his actual date of birth was later determined to be December 25, 4 B.C. However, the idea of calendars and chronological order were considered and utilized long before that.
Actually it was considered eons ago, but for those times this idea did not fit into the caveman’s reality. His practical realities dealt with seasonal concerns and did not revolve around any span beyond a year or so. In light of the caveman’s more urgent concerns in the beginning, anything not related to survival was considered non-essential and a foolish notion. In the beginning, anything not directly related to survival was considered frivolous, took a backseat and was the thinking of the day, and rightly so.
Until a system was in place whereby survival could be assured, nothing beyond that could be considered, a first-things-first rationale. Without being truly civilized as we understand the term, many things remained largely irrelevant and without a sophisticated system of counting, time, as we know it, also remained irrelevant. To establish a written language likewise was among the many processes necessary to reach beyond, they knew that too, but for the times, a written language was still an impractical concept.
That all changed after clans evolved into societies and became more or less civilized; it was then when the benefits of recording history were recognized. (Interestingly, the term ‘civilization’ was not coined until 1772) In order to do this, a system of chronological order was necessary first to put everything into context and so, independently, various societies began the process. Other than the Gregorian calendar as previously mentioned, the Egyptian calendar was the first to be established in 4236 B.C. and is often referred to as the ‘earliest known recorded date’. The Jewish Era begins from their belief in the date of creation which would be 3761 B.C.
There were several other early calendars too, for agricultural reasons the Chinese had altered an even earlier lunar version on or about 2357 B.C. The Greeks and Romans had theirs and so did Babylon which was referred to as the Era of Nabonassar while the Muslin Era began on July 16, 622 A.D. after the flight of Muhammad from Mecca. (All dates mentioned are as per the Gregorian calendar)
-----It should be repeated at this point that this book will be quite different than what you may be expecting or have otherwise gotten used to. The process within to discover those things relevant to the story of the caveman is significantly different than anything presented before. It will creatively present a variety of revelations substantiated in various ways and will be done so to better explain the heretofore unknown complex caveman. Hence, this is my Abstract.
And if a new reading experience is what you are looking for, you won’t be disappointed either. Not only will this book stimulate your thought processes, I think you will appreciate and enjoy its unusual text and hopefully in most cases, my humor. However, there may be times whereby you might think your intelligence is being insulted; you will soon discover it wasn’t. This may occasionally occur if it seems I left an issue hanging in the air… but after making a few more points to help fortify a particular position, that issue is revisited with weightier arguments, adding credibility to the position and at the same time, to make it comprehensible.
Before we begin with Ashy to set the stage, it should be noted that the following assessments will be substantiated as the book progresses…
-----While Ashy reasoned in ways modern day science has failed to appreciate, in this respect he was a typical caveman. However, in order to fully understand that, and the world of a savage, is to imagine that savage… which is difficult while living in a civilized world. One could, I suppose, go to Borneo otherwise, instead then, only by being ‘metaphysically enlightened’ can someone imagine being that savage but the savage I know is different than what you might think.
With success, you will discover his world was quite different than is commonly imagined and importantly, that his realities and logic would be alien to ours. However, worthy to note, because his realities were not in an abstract setting like they would be in a civilized society, like those of today, that very idea should be viewed as curious and worth re-visiting, which will be done often. It should be obvious by now that I want to debunk the commonly held notion that our ancestors were dumb, slow witted or just plain stupid.
It must be understood that Ashy was not any different than humans today except his realities actually forced him to perceive things in ‘primitive’ ways, empirical in nature. While his mind was not blessed with the amount of knowledge available today, it was most often his circumstances, not this lack of intelligence which forced his thoughts to be directly wired to everyday survival, even though he had the same intellectual capabilities as modern man. At various times and with some individuals, it was a matter of choice, not necessarily circumstances, which determined the lifestyle of early man.
It also should be understood that assuredly the caveman was aware of his circumstances but at the same time believed he had no choices at first. It should be understood the caveman was keenly aware of many things but with everyday survival being the dominate force and motivating factor, such things as an official calendar and recording history were considered non-essentials. They knew full well consideration of such luxuries would have to wait until after the basics of survival were conquered, and conquer them they would...
It may have been somewhat frustrating for some cavemen that his intellect probably would not be appreciated by future man but he didn’t have the wherewithal to record anything, except for statements like Stonehenge or by cave art. Frustrating or not, he had no written language as yet, also considered non-essential as compared to survival, and therefore he knew the true story would be lost. He knew order and the subtler benefits from having a civilized society could not happen without organization and organization would be a monumental task. The various competing clans would have no such interest while warring over food and territory if survival was at stake.
Yet in the very beginning, before their numbers were significant, consider how few would have had an interest in civilizing themselves, why should they? Until overpopulation became a problem which mandated order, there was really no need for those things required to be ‘civilized’. Neither could it be imagined, for those times, why a written language would be necessary. However, for our times, if we are going to understand the caveman, these are the things we must imagine. If clans were widely scattered and lightly populated… who could possibly care about a written language? The term ‘civilized’ would be a preposterous concept for a small number of people, so it wasn’t a lack of intelligence that kept those things that define a ‘civilization’ from happening, they didn’t need them for millennia.
Recording history may have seemed important to some, frustrated that their story would be lost, but written for whom? How could they possibly know what was to come? From all indications, forever would it be small bands of cavemen scattered about. If an interesting event occurred, which would be fairly rare (relatively speaking) in those sparsely populated centuries, one cannot develop a written language overnight to record it. Time passes and soon the matter is forgotten, its importance diminished.
This is one of the great mistakes scientists make in trying to decipher the life of cavemen; projecting the logic of today into yesteryear is narrow-mindedness because the realities were different therefore so would be their logic and reasoning. Their logic and reasoning dictated their lifestyle and for the times, it was perfectly sound. The logic and reasoning of the Stone Age caveman would be adopted by modern man in the same circumstances, assuredly so. Scientists assume the caveman was somehow to know it was expected of him to be progressive, like we are, at a time when that logic would be ridiculous. This will soon become clear as this book progresses.
Later, when their population increased which brought with it the associated problems, to deal with that, cavemen began to realize that in order to develop a successful organization it would require the involvement of a significant number of people, each dedicated to an assigned task. When their numbers grew large enough to become safely sufficient, then time could be dedicated to the finer points, those frivolous things which now characterize a civilization. But these things take time, unbeknownst to take millennia because of unrecorded setbacks, and with conflict and disease their numbers were slow to grow. The setbacks were due largely to the same reasons that cause them today, they were humans.
Originally, they also had a problem with a sustainable food supply to bring a large group together initially because tools for agriculture were primitive and much was to be learned about cultural practices. Thievery, like today, was also a problem as was foraging animals, birds and bugs. Until the problems of organizing and sustaining a large group could be overcome, these non-essentials would have to wait. All along too, they knew cooperation with other clans was necessary for a more secure and satisfying existence which is a goal we’ve yet to fully achieve.
Law and order, necessary for a civilized lifestyle, yet unattainable in the beginning without organization, had to be a huge problem initially and may have been most responsible for the long delays in achieving other goals. Roving bands of murderous bandits would upset progress on all fronts, causing continual setbacks, and later became the impetus for change. This problem can be seen in recent history as well, within Third World countries for example. Today, besides common banditry, it became the organized bandits within world governments, bureaucrats themselves, which prevent the citizenry from amassing or improving property for fear of confiscation. This was still the case in Mexico 10 years ago.
Despite these challenges, even under their harsh circumstances, cavemen would have been naturally more astute than modern man, especially concerning the grand scheme of things. This will be explained in more detail later.
As an elementary comparison to begin, one must try to imagine how well a modern day man would do under similar circumstances. Imagine if a modern man was somehow marooned in this primitive situation without any tools whatsoever, no clothes, no nothing. Even armed with modern day knowledge, while proving to be of some practical value, it wouldn’t be enough to catapult oneself beyond living the life of a savage.
He would quickly learn he couldn’t make anything worthwhile without tools and had little time to make the tools. Making a worthwhile knife would be monumental task to construct. His immediate thoughts would be to survive which would take all his time and attention and even if he managed to survive initially, avoiding predators, finding a safe place to sleep, a water source, something to wear and something to eat, that in itself would be a full-time job. Without the means to make metal or fashion anything durable, even a modern day man would be forced to live with stone, wood and bone implements. In a matter of weeks, he would become a savage himself.
Even if a modern day human managed to survive for a few years under those circumstances, knowing that his vast amount of knowledge had been rendered inert, he would likely be driven to near insanity due to the uselessness of his knowledge and the harshness encountered. As time passes, he would find each day would further deny him the ability to relate to modern day conveniences, gradually to become only distant memories, of little import.
Transposing the logic of today into that scenario would prove today’s logic would not, and could not, dominate for several reasons and would be abandoned in favor of a savage’s logic but one thing would become clear, progress is dependent upon a group effort. We’ll also witness Ashy contend with his everyday concerns which was all about survival at first, almost exclusively.
To understand the method I’ll be using in this book, the story of Ashy is timely inserted throughout the text to keep in touch with the realities of those days. Without the continual consideration of life within the caveman’s world, arguments can become armchair distant, stoic and disenfranchised. For that reason, this fictional account, comprising about 25% of this book, comes and goes. For effect, to get the feel of ‘primitive’ thought, the style of my writing will be ‘degraded’ initially to reflect this simpler time. While the caveman’s thought processes weren’t really primitive at all, until I can establish that, we’ll begin in this manner but expect a change later.
-----Ashy felt the nights were getting a little cooler, just like they always do after awhile. He remembered his parents often told him it gets cold after the birds head south and when the tree leaves change colors. He knows they were right although when it’s hot it seems like it won’t be cold again. He now knows for sure cold weather can be expected but remains perplexed as to the reason. Ashy often wonders how many more things he should know.
Besides always trying to organize his thoughts when he had time, Ashy specifically wished he knew more effective ways to hunt, especially for a variety because he was tired of eating the same things. At least he knew he wouldn’t starve because he can catch fish and knew where the nuts, fruit and berries were. He knew his father tried to teach him more things but sometimes he couldn’t understand what his father’s various hand signs meant. Ashy also wished his father and mother were still here because this will be the first time he’ll have to live by himself when the snow falls. He knows how the frigid cold can make everyday miserable.
But Ashy was lucky, he lived in a blessed land full of diverse creatures and useful indigenous trees and plants so there was a variety of game animals and other sources of food in order to survive. The countryside was of grassy meadows surrounded by beautiful slow-rolling hills of juniper, bur oak and manzanita. The higher mountains nearby were studded with ponderosa pine and the snow packs continually fed the lower valley its water, a land of cactus and mesquite trees. The two creeks, which are half a day’s walk apart, are part of the beautiful scenery, highlighted by patchy white barked sycamore trees and also along the creeks and within the small meadows were peaches, pecans, crab apples, mulberries and blackberries. It was suspected that the peaches were not indigenous while the rest were native. Because of the peaches, this land obviously had been occupied before.
Not being hungry for the moment and warm once again since the sun was now high in the sky, Ashy could finally think about other things besides a way to survive for the day. He reflected on those different sounds his mother made and how he learned what each sound meant, it was the alternative to hand signs. He believed his mother thought sounds, ‘words’ she called them, made it easier to understand but wondered why his father liked to gesture with his hands instead.
If only there were enough different sounds for everything, he thought, people could explain themselves better. Maybe his father knew there wasn’t enough sounds to go around either so Ashy surmised that’s why he didn’t use words like his mother did. Maybe it wouldn’t be practical because it would only work within one clan since other tribesmen would have different sounds. Ashy thought his father was probably right; trying to make a sound that means something was probably stupid.
A case in point, Ashy figured, if those tribesmen who lived further south used words, their words would be different and therefore be unknown to him. Oh well, he thought, nothing will ever be easier anyway, this is the way life is. It’s silly to try to think of easier ways but yet again, some things did made life easier he quickly surmised, like hunting with a spear. He wondered about the idea for a spear and whoever first thought of it must have been real smart.
Note: Since we’re going to be doing a lot of imagining in this book, we could start now. Imagine, if you can, without previous knowledge of a spear, what it took for the first man to conceive and make one. It wouldn’t have been such a simple process as it might otherwise seem.
If a spear can make hunting easier, Ashy wondered, could there be something else
that would be easier? He can throw things so maybe there’s something better to
throw? He remembered when he was little he tried throwing big rocks but they
won’t go very far and little rocks are only good for birds or maybe a bug. And
how come some things can fly and some can’t? How do birds teach each other how
to fly? These questions Ashy pondered as he dozed off.
Although orphaned in his mid-teens, Ashy knew the basics to survive. While he had not yet learned to be a skillful hunter, he was proficient enough to serve his immediate needs. He knew how to make jerky to keep meat, when water was potable, making fires and of the safer places to sleep. He knew how to skin an animal for its hide, tanning techniques and how to sew them together. Ashy knew these basics but hadn’t learned them especially well but he was still young, too young to be on his own yet, but he was.
Like everyone else during his time, Ashy knew death all too well. That attributed to his hardened outlook because he knew death can come early from many causes in the cycle of life. He knew if something didn’t die earlier, they’d die of old age. Ashy knew about old age although he didn’t see old people very often and seldom would a creature look old. He didn’t like what he saw but knew if he out-witted nature and the animals long enough, someday he’d look old too.
Today was especially kind to Ashy, he felt good because his latest injury was nearly healed and his stomach was full. Yesterday he finally snared a turkey, his favorite thing to eat and he saved some for today. No hunting today, he thought, and he could really use the rest. He knew he wouldn’t have many days like this, most days he would be hungry, scared or both. He knew about stark terror, the fear of being savagely killed, and knew that was an everyday possibility.
Note: The following few pages continue to be written in a way to give the feel of primitive thought, to set the stage, so to speak. He can’t be portrayed as thinking in too many 3-4 syllable words just yet, it would be psychologically in conflict with the image we have of the caveman but, as earlier said, that will soon change.
Some days he might be sick but that didn’t matter, he still has to hunt or else
die. He figured sometimes what made him sick was because of something new he
tried to eat. He was learning fast what not to eat although his parents tried to
tell him but he knew he didn’t pay attention all the time. He was often
impatient, he remembered, like not watching how his mother cooked frog-legs.
Maybe she cooked them longer, Ashy began to suspect.
It would be nice to have more days to rest, Ashy thought, or even to have fun like he remembered when he was a boy. Playing catch with his father was fun; he liked to see his father smile. They used a small yellow gourd he found and it worked well as a ball. Sometimes his father and mother would laugh at the silly things he brought home. The rest of the time everyone was usually serious because everyone had their job to do and it was the same boring thing everyday.
His father was usually gone unless he got lucky hunting and they had enough food for a few days. He would then stay home but that didn’t happen too often. Ashy liked the days when the tree fruit was ripe but that only happens once in a season. He knew fruit lasted longer than meat but only a little while longer, unless it was cold, then the meat would.
Ashy was really feeling good that he finally had the time to think and reflect like that. Maybe when a person thinks something good might happen; at least Ashy hoped it would. He knew thinking comes in handy when you need to get something, to figure out how, so why can’t thinking help more he wondered.
Since a person can make things out of wood, and if there is a lot of wood everywhere, why can’t we make more things that would help? What else could be useful besides wood, rocks and bones? Of course, he remembered, animal hides are good to keep warm and tree leaves help to start fires, bark too. Maybe that’s all the things he has to use, so what’s the use of trying to think of something else?
If there was something else, Ashy thought, then why didn’t his father and mother use it? He then remembered there were some things, like the black and white rocks that can chip away easy and can be real sharp, his mother called it ‘flint’. That’s something better than plain old rocks so maybe there are better things to find out about.
Even if someone knew of something better to use, nobody else would know unless they actually saw it because few people like to be around strangers. Maybe that means we always have to find better ways ourselves Ashy thought, but if he found a better rock to use, he would like to tell people but they’d probably run away like he usually does.
Ashy knew some people like to kill and you never know which ones, something to be leery about. He didn’t know why people kill unless it’s because of wanting food or maybe they think there’s not enough for everybody. He didn’t know if everyone had enough food, sometimes he didn’t think so.
He knew he was still growing and still not as big as his father was, so for now, he thought, it would be smart to keep away from strangers. Until he got bigger, Ashy surmised, maybe he should find a better spear to protect himself with. If he didn’t throw it, he knew his little spear-shaft would probably break trying to stick it in a big man or animal. It is only good for little animals but he likes it because he can throw it a long ways. Maybe he should start hunting instead of wasting time trying to think of better ways, he thought.
Note: It should be fully appreciated why Ashy would feel he was often bucking the prevailing belief that things never change and the rational that it was silly to think otherwise. The pressure is always great to conform.
Since it was early autumn, the countryside was soon to be even more spectacular,
the hillsides and hollows dotted with hues of yellow, red and orange foliage.
High enough in elevation to be pleasant most of the time, the general area is
5,000 to 6,000 feet in elevation and the mountains are two or three thousand
feet higher. Snow is a common sight in the winter and while it doesn’t usually
stick around very long, it would get cold enough to be dangerous without
shelter. For purposes of this story, we will assume the cavemen who lived in
this immediate area did so very early in the Old Stone Age and were likely
Caucasians. Geographically, the immediate area would now be known as North
America, in Arizona, although the presence of these Caucasian cavemen in Arizona
has yet to be substantiated.
Although the continent was populated almost exclusively by ‘Indians’, those largely of Asian descent, but also of blood from the Caucasian race of eastern Europe and from black Africans, it was within this mixing process, still underway, that there were pockets of clans more-or-less true to their origins. Ashy’s family came from one of these clans, originally from the Caucasus mountain range in southwestern Asia, having later migrated to northern Russia for a time then gradually southeasterly until they ended up on the Chukchi Peninsula. At some point and under some pressure from tribes to the north to evacuate, they soon crossed the narrow Bering Strait into Alaska and eventually made their way down to Arizona seeking a warmer climate.
-----During his young life, Ashy noticed some herd hunters did strange things that made their job look easier. He surmised some of those men must have thought long and hard to think of a different way, just to be easier. As doubt set in once again, he wondered if all that thinking was worth it. He knew he could still accomplish the same things in the normal way and not have to think, so would it really be worth it? How much time would he be wasting trying to think of something better when he needed that time to find something to eat? He also needed time to find that ideal place to live.
Wait a minute, he thought, if he had to think to find a safer place to sleep, why can’t he use thinking to do other things better? But maybe there isn’t any easier ways left, so maybe thinking is only good to find better places. All we have are stones, wood and bones to use and that’s all it seems. What else could he do with those things that he wasn’t already doing? Ashy threw up his hands and said to himself that it’s probably like he first thought, a waste of time trying to think of something better.
Wait though, he realized, there are different kinds of wood we use for different things, just like flint is different than other rocks. He figured bones are all the same except their shape, although antlers are stronger and last a long time. Maybe there’s hope after all, he thought, as long as other people don’t think he’s stupid or crazy for trying to find better ways.
From his limited observations, he suspected clans didn’t like people who did things differently and would kick those people out on their own. Ashy knew that unless that person was strong and a good hunter, they couldn’t survive very long on their own. That would be the same as his predicament, he thought, but nobody kicked him out, they just all died. Ashy wondered if he was going to survive the coming winter. He thought about seeing if he could join another clan but he didn’t think they would want him, besides, he thought, his family had problems with other clans before and they might want to kill him.
Luckily Ashy had traversed the land with his father when he was younger; he knew of some good places which should be safe from neighbors. He knew where the two creeks were and which trees gave fruit. He had stayed in caves before but only during bad weather, and while they were good for staying dry, the smoke from any fire was a problem. He thought if he had to live in a tree, he could, except some animals can climb trees and he wouldn’t be able to have a fire. Rain would be a problem too.
Note: It should be noted that most ‘cavemen’ never lived in caves, only on occasion if the opportunity presented itself. Those occurrences were rare, except for times of extremely bad weather or used as a temporary retreat for various other reasons, most caves are too far away from water to serve as a practical place of abode.
While thinking usually works to find a better place, still he knew those places weren’t ideal, there was always a downside. Smoke, snakes, bats and sometimes a lion was the problem with caves and in trees there were still some animals to contend with, besides the rain, and no way to have a fire. An open aired camp is good for a fire but little else, yet safe if you kept the fire going and slept close-by, animals don’t like fire. If only he could think of someplace he could always be safe, dry and warm.
Note: Just three more pages of this initial introduction to Ashy…it’s necessary to set the stage.
So Ashy tried thinking harder and an idea came which he hadn’t thought of
before. He wondered if someone else knew about places which might be safe, warm
and dry without choking all the time from the smoke in a cave. He could, he
thought, sneak up on different clans to see how they live.
Ashy knew he didn’t have too many warm days left, he knew the cold was coming. Besides needing to stock-up on supplies, like nuts, roots and fruit, he also needed to snare or spear several more animals. He thought he better forget about snaring animals this late, traps take too long to make and he’d have to stay close-by. He needed to keep moving, to look at every cave and to peek at the places where the other clans live. What should he take with him? He knew he couldn’t carry everything, not all the tools he made and those of his father and mother.
He’ll need all those tools if he is to survive, he thought, maybe he should wait until after the cold goes away before he looks. Maybe staying here wouldn’t be the best place but it would be better than having something worse. He then decided he didn’t have enough time to get situated at a new location anyway, even if he found a decent cave.
If he moved, he would have to leave behind most of the food he had stored and he needed it for the long winter; and he still didn’t have enough yet. He then thought he should be gathering more nuts instead of wasting more time thinking. If he starves during the winter, he’ll know it was because he wasted too much time thinking.
Since Ashy finally convinced himself he should stay put for the coming winter, he thought when he was hunkered down from the cold, he could think about how he can someday move away and take everything he needs with him. Then he thought maybe he could just take short trips in different directions to look for caves and see how other people live. He could take enough food for a few days and then make up the lost time by hunting harder when he came back. If he was gone too long, he realized, someone might think he’s dead and take all his tools. He wondered how he could make a sign or mark to let people know he wasn’t dead yet. Other people go by his camp once in awhile; maybe they’re looking to see if he was living easier, he guessed, or else they are looking for something to steal.
Ashy didn’t want to think very much about a recent episode tho, that day a few months ago when someone tried to steal his tools. He ended up killing the man but he didn’t really want to, he thought the man would run away but he didn’t. The fight was over almost before it began, it was quick but the terror he experienced was something Ashy can’t forget. He was surprised he reacted so fast and how his knife found the right spot in the man’s chest, the man quickly fell and it was all over. Ashy remembered how he trembled the rest of the day, he was afraid if he touched the man to drag him away he might wake up somehow. Ashy finally knew he was really dead after seeing a pool of blood seeping out from under his body.
Ashy thought that if he ever killed someone near his camp again he would bury them deeper or drag them a lot farther away. He remembered it was getting dark and he didn’t have time to dig a deep hole so later that night some animal dug the man up and Ashy had to smell that awful smell for days. He needed to think of a better way to dig a hole, he concluded.
Even though Ashy knew living conditions aught to be better, he often doubted that it was possible, possibly his parents unwittingly instilled that in him. Even if they didn’t, everything around him bore evidence that things always remain the same and it was foolish to think otherwise. After all, nature suggested this; the lot of every creature was the same every season and as far as he knew, or anyone knew, nothing ever changes. Ashy didn’t know precisely how his parents felt but had the idea they felt the same way, at least he thought his father did, although he sensed his mother held out hope. About this, Ashy was always thinking…
Well, there I go thinking again, Ashy had thought to himself, when he should be stocking up on food for the winter. He’ll need more firewood too although he has plenty of hides to keep warm since his parents passed on leaving their possessions. Ashy got the impression spears were a fairly recent invention but didn’t know for how long. He suspected it because not everyone uses a spear and some cavemen acted surprised to see one.
Ashy had long noticed each clan did things differently so using a spear could have a meaning he thought. Ashy knew his family killed more animals than others so maybe there was also resentment. Some people can have strange ideas, he knew, and while everybody within a clan does things the same way, he was sure ideas varied from clan to clan. Ashy knew that was something he needed to think about when he had more time.
Over the course of the next week or so Ashy got a routine going, in the mornings he would tend to his camp by running off or killing little creatures that would threaten his food supply and generally he would tidy up and maybe rearrange things. Ashy figured since the mornings are colder, he could work in his camp then wearing more clothing. It is hard to accurately throw a spear wearing a bearskin so he would save hunting for the afternoons. If it was going to be cold all day then he would gather nuts. Ashy reasoned wearing heavy clothing doesn’t interfere as much to gather nuts but he needed to take a spear just in case.
Ashy remembered most of his mother’s words but unless he used them, he was afraid he’d probably forget most of them. He didn’t believe they would be of much use though since he was the only one left that knew what they meant. He felt at least he should use them to remember his mother; maybe she would have liked that. If he could, he thought, he would tell people his words were invented by his mother.
Two kinds of nuts he always gathers she called ‘pecans’ and ‘acorns’ but he had forgotten the others because he never ate many and they came from a long way away. His father would find them on his faraway hunting trips or through traders and his mother was always surprised and happy to get something new. Sometimes he would bring home a weird looking animal and she would just sit there and stare at it, wondering how to cook it. He would always laugh at her when she looked perplexed. Ashy thought sometimes his father would bring something weird home on purpose.
Ashy remembered that if his mother didn’t like what his father brought home sometimes she would get mad and shake her finger at him. He would just laugh harder and then a smile would finally come to her face and soon everybody started laughing. He didn’t remember too many days like that though; mostly it was boring at best. He remembers being hungry and scared sometimes but at least they always made it through hard times.
Ashy knew he would surely remember the names his mother called each of their family. He was called ‘Ashy’ and had a brother called ‘Alka’ but he died real young. His mother had called herself ‘Veronica’ and she called his father ‘Olaf’. Ashy didn’t know why she called their little family by these names and wondered if she thought them up or heard them before. The name Veronica is a real tongue twister and must have been hard to think of something so complicated. Ashy then began to wonder if someone really could think of a whole bunch of complicated words then they could name more things.
While Ashy continued with his normal routine of hunting, gathering and thinking for the next several weeks to prepare for winter and except for an occasional brush with death as he had grown to expect, he became increasingly frustrated that he had to contend with those occurrences. He knew there must be a better way and vowed he’d make himself a better life.
The following is from the book ‘Civilization’ (1928):
“I have not yet defined civilization; but perhaps I have made definition superfluous. Any one, I fancy, who has done me the honour of reading so far will by now understand pretty well what I mean. Civilization is a characteristic of societies. In its crudest form it is the characteristic which differentiates what anthropologists call “advanced” from what they call “low” or “backward” societies. So soon as savages begin to apply reason to instinct, so soon as they acquire a rudimentary sense of values; so soon, that is, as they begin to distinguish between ends and means, or between direct means to good and remote; they have taken the first step upward. The first step towards civilization is the correcting of instinct by reason: the second, the deliberate rejection of immediate satisfactions with a view to obtaining subtler. The hungry savage, when he catches a rabbit, eats it there and then, or instinctively takes it home, as a fox might, to be eaten raw by his cubs; the first who, all hungry though he was, took it home and cooked it was on the road to Athens. He was a pioneer, who with equal justice may be described as the first decadent. The fact is significant. Civilization is something artificial and unnatural.
Progress and Decadence are interchangeable terms. All who have added to human knowledge and sensibility, and most of those even who have merely increased material comfort, have been hailed by contemporaries capable of profiting by their discoveries as benefactors, and denounced by all whom age, stupidity, or jealousy rendered incapable, as degenerates. It is silly to quarrel about words: let us agree that the habit of cooking one’s victuals may with equal propriety be considered a step towards civilization or a falling away from the primitive perfection of the upstanding ape.
From these primary qualities, Reasonableness and a Sense of Values, may spring a host of secondaries: a taste for truth and beauty, tolerance, intellectual honesty, fastidiousness, a sense of honour, good manners, curiosity, a dislike for vulgarity, brutality, and over emphasis, freedom from superstition and prudery, a fearless acceptance of the good things of life, a desire for complete self-expression and for a liberal education, a contempt for utilitarianism and philistinism; in two words; sweetness and light. Not all societies that struggle out of barbarism grasp all or even most of these, and fewer still grasp any of them firmly. That is why we find a considerable number of civilized societies and very few highly civilized, for only by grasping a good handful of civilized qualities and holding them tight does a society become that.” Clive Bell (1881-1964)
Projecting oneself into the mind of another is not all that difficult; it merely requires a passion to do so, perhaps an actor knows this best. It is not, of course, an ability to project oneself into another soul, only into an envisioned character. With or without a script, the accuracy of how well the actor portrays a character undoubtedly varies a great deal, dependent upon the actor and how deep they can imagine. That depth is critical.
In my case and my ability to understand the caveman’s mind will be subject to critical assessment. As to how the caveman thought, some may believe that either I have been guessing or at best, surmising. It is only conjecture, they might say. Perhaps instead the text will speak for itself, the logic consistent and more plausible than that heretofore put forth by historians and archaeologists. The cavemen were not dumb or dimwitted, on the contrary, and their story needs to be told.
If someone were to ask me to project myself into the mind of a typical carpenter, seaman or stockbroker, I couldn’t do it. I have no interest in that nor do I feel they have a compelling story to tell. It is those untold compelling stories that attract me in a phenomenal way; it’s as if I was called upon to tell their story although I know I’m not the only one beckoned but beckoned I am.
The cries of the dispossessed American family farmer began it all, those 3-1/2 million since 1950, each a heart wrenching sad story because their profession is purposefully being destroyed. I should know, I was once a family farmer for 25 years. Since I covered that in my previous book “STD LEX”, and since it doesn’t have a relationship to issues herein, it won’t be dealt with.
Another such instance was the calling of fallen warriors, those who had given their life for a cause which was later betrayed. They cry from the graveyards of every nation and their deafening cries for attention were the loudest for which my earlier book also addressed. I don’t know how many other calls I may answer but the caveman beckons now; that his sacrifices were that we shall live…should be fully noted and appreciated.
In a long dissertation by John Wilson (1785-1854) in his works ‘Why Savages Acquire Extensive Knowledge’, he theorized that, in short, necessity begets knowledge… rather extensive knowledge. If you knew that, he said; then you knew the savage.
In that his text was hard to follow, I’ll summarize by saying he was using the North American Indians as an example when he also said “before they were visited with the curse of an intercourse with Europeans”. He explained how much the mind of a savage was daily challenged because of the dynamics in his natural lifestyle. In contrast, the civilized man, with all his safeguards, does not use his faculties fully and has largely rendered them passive and inert.
I liked his closing statement though, which I quote: “Then add to this; his observations of air and the skies, from his dependence on their changes, and I think, my lads, if you have imagination to represent to yourselves one-twentieth part of the knowledge which a savage will thus be driven to possess by his mere physical necessities, you will be astonished to find how much liker a learned man he is than you be.”
Before we delve into the real subject matter of this book, it is still
necessary to preface it with further accounts of Ashy’s life in order to better
understand. This ongoing saga, otherwise later only sporadically injected, I
continue writing in a manner to reflect his mentality which, as he grows older,
improves. Importantly, I try to depict his train-of-thought in discoveries of
life, the elements and how he would naturally view phenomena. So before we get
into the historical aspects of the Old Stone Age, evolution, and the evidence of
contributions the caveman made to civilization and about his intelligence,
higher than what was previously believed, we need to get to know Ashy more in
depth, so we’ll begin again with an unusually long segment but in his own words
-----I don’t know why I’m always thinking when it doesn’t seem to do any good except for hunting and finding a better place to live. Anyway, it should be warm enough to hunt in awhile and I think I’ll go down by the small creek and then, depending on what I could kill, if anything, that will determine my thinking for the rest of the day. I could always gather acorns on my way back. Maybe the squirrels left me some pecans.
I’ve had good luck hunting by the creek because animals drink there but it’s also dangerous because bears and mountain lions go there too. I’ve learned that if the cats are busy eating their kill they won’t bother me if I don’t get too close and I’ve been close enough to hit them with a rock if I wanted to, but that would be a stupid thing to do.
When I was younger I threw rocks at animals just to watch them look surprised, I thought it was funny. Other times I’ve tried to be nice to animals, offering them something to eat, but they don’t want to come close. I wasn’t planning to kill them but they didn’t know that. I remember my father brought home a baby wolf-dog but we knew if a wild animal was more than a few days old it was too late; they would always want to run away, and it did. I’ve seen other people keep animals tied to a tree but that seems cruel.
The time it takes to get to the creek isn’t long because it’s just over one rocky hill. I’d like to live closer to water but water attracts all kinds of animals and I need a safe place to sleep. Hunting by this creek takes longer than just getting there because you usually need to walk alongside for awhile to find the best opportunity. Usually I’m picky at first on which animal I’d like to kill but learned I can’t be picky all day or else I might not have any meat to eat that night.
The brush is thick in places and hard to walk through so usually I use the animal trails but I have to be careful there too. I don’t like seeing a bear coming on the same trail and cats await their prey along the way. The best places I like to hunt are the open spaces with just a few trees for cover and safety. You can also see which trees can be climbed fast enough.
The brush country has a lot of birds and small animals but because you need to react so fast you’ll usually miss with your spear. For those places it’s best to set traps but you have to stick around because a trapped animal will attract other meat eaters with the fuss it creates. Actually I like to hunt antlered herds because you can get more meat from bigger animals and I like deer meat. The wooly mammoths are too big for me to kill.
To hunt, usually what I do is go early or else sleep in a good defendable tree close-by until the next morning. At dawn I’ll begin looking to see if the cats might be setting up their attack positions or where the dogs may be, or if they are even there. If there is a side of the valley that neither is using then I’ll take the long way around and set up my position. If for some reason the herd doesn’t get close enough, usually the attack from the other side by either the cats or dogs will send them my way.
Until I get stronger and full grown I’m stuck using a light spear so I’m limited to smaller prey or half grown animals. Anyway they taste better than full grown animals. My timing and luck has to be good tho, I can’t spear something before the cats or dogs have gotten one down otherwise they’ll take the one I’ve speared. It seems like everyone is happy as long as they got their prey. While they are consuming their kills they won’t bother me while I’m preparing mine to take home, that is, if I’m far enough away. I know they see me but they are more worried about leaving a sure thing to the others. They always seem a little uncertain about humans and won’t always attack you but you never know when they might.
I’ve learned a few tricks about animals and know to stay far away if you see young ones with them. Another one I learned is that animals will rate you depending on your size, trying to decide whether or not they would win the battle. One time when I was crossing a large open area I occasioned upon a cat in the grass about a stones throw away and I had to resort to an unusual tactic. The cat began running towards me and I knew I couldn’t outrun it and would be hauled down from behind and death would be certain. My only choice was to charge the cat but I did so with my hands in the air and waving the hide I had been wearing. To the cat, I became bigger than he first thought and my aggressive nature made him think twice. I chased the cat until I could climb a large tree where I could defend myself against that climbing cat if he returned.
It’s on those days when you wonder if the pounding in your chest will kill you if the animals don’t.
The nights have not been cold enough to cause ice yet so the grass is still green but the trees are starting to look pale. When the ice comes the trees change colors and the colors make the scenery beautiful because each type of tree picks a different color to be. I never learned the words my mother used for the different trees and I guess it was because I had no real interest in trees.
Well, this looks like a good spot to wait awhile, I’ve snuck up on these rock ledges with a view before and usually the creatures don’t spot me. If the squawking birds are here, and since they always see me first, they warn everybody but they aren’t always here. Some birds don’t seem to care and won’t tell on you. Being on a high ledge overlooking the creek bank helps a lot as I can look down on everything and it’s within the range of my spear. I’m picky at first but depending on how I feel later, I might decide on anything although little things like a rabbit are hard to hit. I like birds such as ducks and geese, but their feathers make them look bigger and a spear must hit them just right. I think turkeys are the easiest bird to hit and they taste better anyway.
I’ve always liked to see how close I can sneak up on an animal, once I got within a few steps of a sleeping deer. I could have easily stabbed him with my spear but he woke up before I could and my aim wasn’t good enough for a killing shot. I don’t know how long he had my spear in his rump which I never saw again.
Losing a spear is like losing a day’s work because unless you have a made-up supply of points and shafts, it would take that long to find what you need for another, sometimes it can take longer. I always have a couple of extras made up and usually I keep them hid because that is what people want to steal. I think I’m going to be more aggressive in handling that problem as I become bigger and more confident in my fighting abilities.
I see a big deer coming in cautiously but I don’t think my little spear will bring him down; I hate to waste a spear again so I’ll wait for something smaller.
Instead, it’s starting to get late and nothing much seems to be coming by to drink here. I’m sure they go to different places to drink at different times on purpose knowing a routine will get them killed. There were a few animals I could have thrown my spear at today but they weren’t close enough for a good shot and once you throw the spear, everybody will make such a racket that the place isn’t any good for hunting for awhile. So today I passed up shots at a big deer, a bevy of quail, javelinas and some ducks. I don’t like pigs much because they stink so badly. There were some coyotes, a bobcat and a few porcupine but they aren’t worth killing to eat.
I think sometime after scaring away animals when I miss a shot, I should spend the time trying to make this rock more comfortable for the next time. Rock ledges are too rough to sit or lay on very long; it takes hours to work out the dents in your skin. Maybe I could gather some leaves and place them here but the wind would later blow them away, or a mountain lion might decide he liked that spot. I could put a bear-hide there and put rocks on top because a cat can’t pick up a rock. A cat wouldn’t like all the rocks and the wind wouldn’t blow it away. Also the smell of a bear might keep the cats away, but I’m not sure, or else I can just carry the bear-hide for whichever ledge I want to use.
My plan is always to gather nuts on my way home from a failed hunting trip so I always bring something home. Gathering nuts is boring but I know I must; but they’re good because they last a long time, certainly through the winter.
Well, I just realized that my thinking might pay off; my idea of putting the bear hide on a rock ledge might work. If I won’t admit that I like things that are nice to lay on, I can always say to myself that I can lay longer on something soft than on something hard. That gives me more time to wait for a good shot, that is if I don’t get sick from smelling that bear all day. I could bring some nice smelling flowers to scatter on the bear hide but I’d feel silly doing that.
I wonder where those hunters live that my father hunted with, some of them seemed gentle natured. I never saw them in the clans nearby so they must live further away. Since our family and the clan we once belonged didn’t really like the nearby clans nor did they like us it seems, those men must belong to a clan in the distant hills.
I don’t know how my father knew when there was going to be a group effort to hunt herds but it only happened a few times each summer and once in the winter. It was usually a great event of which I was only allowed to go the last two times. I was finally big enough I guess. On my first trip the men brought down many deer and on my second trip even more and I helped kill one, at least my spear was stuck in the animal. It was teamwork that did it, I’m sure, and before I knew it, they were skinned and cut up into smaller pieces by the extra tribesmen who also helped carry the meat home.
It’s those times when I think a team effort could make a lot of things better but organizing something seems to be the problem. There has probably been too much fighting between the clans so they might not agree to do anything together. I think clans that live far enough apart get along better because they are not competing for the same food and territory. I wonder how long it’s been that way.
I think it might rain tomorrow and if it does I’m going to decide how much more food I’ll need for the winter. Sometimes looking at a pile of something to see how many days it would last is just guessing. It can fool you for some reason; all you see is a pile of food and a pile of days and try to put the two together somehow.
When winter came my father would clear a spot in our cave which nobody was allowed to touch and nearby he had a small bag of rocks. Every morning he would put one rock there and after several days it became a line of rocks. He did this to measure the days of the winter and could ration the food better. He could tell by how many rocks were left in the sack or by how long the line of rocks was. I don’t know how many rocks meant that winter was over but I have my father’s bag full of rocks and it should be what he starts with. I’ll try that this winter and then I’ll know for sure the next time if there are enough rocks in that bag for winter. I just have to either make the bag hold more or less rocks so it’s always full when winter starts and empty when the winter is over.
Now I need to know how to figure if the food would last the same amount of days. I could either match up some food with each rock, which would take a lot of time or else I can think of someway easier.
Okay now, I know how long winter will last by looking at the rocks but how can I figure if the food supply will be enough? Of the sacks of pecans, I’ve got about the same amount as the fingers on both hands. Of the smaller sacks of jerky, I’ve got about the same amount as my fingers and toes. Of the large sacks of roots, I’ve got about the same amount as my fingers and some toes…
I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t know what one and two meant and that the bellies of dead animals make good sacks. I don’t know if it makes sense for knowing more than two because anyone can see when it’s more and usually how many more doesn’t make much difference. You can just usually look at things to tell if it’s too many or not enough. Maybe there are times when knowing exactly would help though.
Back to the sacks and if I have enough and here I go thinking again like it will make a big difference. I can always just line up food to match the rocks and if it looks like enough for each day then I’ve got enough so it isn’t magic or something impossible to figure out. It just seems like there could be a better way.
So when will I do the match up? There are a lot of rocks in that sack. Before placing out the food in daily rations for each rock, I need to figure how much I need to eat everyday first. If I didn’t have any fresh meat and if I had to, I could live on two pieces of jerky, a handful of nuts and one root each day. So next I need to figure out how much food is in each sack… wait, what did I just say? How much? That never seemed to matter before, enough was enough, too much was too much and not enough wasn’t. You can usually just look to tell. So how can I do that? Forget it; I’ll just match the food with the rocks.
I’ve never thought knowing how many was important, more than two deer in a herd seems irrelevant and a whole bunch of nuts and roots are usually enough. I wonder if I practiced thinking that way using my fingers if that would help. Since I was taught about one and two which I think happened because we have two legs, two arms, two eyes and so forth and so therefore it was a natural thing to think of. Animals also understand one and two but they can get confused if there are more than two.
My father proved that to me onetime, along with my mother and me, we all went to where our trap was which we set and then baited it. While the big bird we were trying to catch saw people go in, it also saw people leave, thinking it was then safe to go after the bait because the bird thought the people had left. The only mistake the bird made was when it saw all of us go in, only me and my mother left and since it didn’t know the difference; my father remained to trigger the trap.
At least I could tell if more than two went in and if only two came out then I would know someone is still there. My only problem would be if a whole bunch of people went in and a whole bunch left, I wouldn’t know for sure if someone stayed behind or not. I’d have a good picture in mind though and usually I’d be close but that’s all.
I don’t know if my mother and father thought with their fingers or not, or if they did I wonder if it did them much good. Besides, what if what you saw was more than the fingers on your hands? I suppose you could use your toes or other things but then the process isn’t worth it. Although there could be instances when knowing a few more than two would come in handy but it wouldn’t do any good for how many nuts are in a sack, there’s too many.
If I could think of words for more than two, and then name all my fingers and practiced remembering those words, I would know exactly how to say how many there are for more than two of something. Although I can picture in my mind how many, and that always works for me, it just seems like at times a word for how many might help, especially if I’m going to be around people. If I saw a small herd and I needed to tell someone how many for some reason, I would need a word for that even though in my mind I can see how many. It might be dumb to do this because I can’t think of too many times it might be useful; it wouldn’t work anyway unless other people understood what my words meant. If I do this, it would just be out of curiosity to see if it could work. I doubt if it will unless I want to go to the trouble of teaching someone else. They would think I was crazy though, they would wonder why I can’t tell by looking whether there is enough or not enough.
I don’t understand why I like to think, maybe it’s because I’m bored with the daily routine. It’s never seemed to have done anybody much good or else things would be a lot better. It’s always the same dilemma; trying to figure out things can you do with wood, rocks and bones.
-----Ashy survived that winter and six more to date, I estimate his age at 21 now. While the last few years have been relatively uneventful, he finally found a perfect spot to live the following summer. Actually he built part of it, a shed butted up against the front of a well-located cave. It was an ideal location close to the area’s westernmost creek and as it turned out, it was only 15 miles east of his parent’s old campsite.
Because he was a further away from other clans, it fit part of his ideal scenario because he would have fewer problems with neighbors. He had only killed that one man when he was about fifteen and the normally expected brushes with death seemed to be decreasing. I attribute that to his experience and ever expanding skills, he is now, after all, a full grown man.
Although still a single man, Ashy didn’t want anyone to interfere with his goal for a more comfortable lifestyle. He was sure many people probably thought he was weird for doing things differently and didn’t want any new relatives telling him how he should live. Ashy was especially sensitive to scoffs and wondered if family criticism would cause problems if he was married. Marriage was recognized although there wasn’t any ceremony he thought; it was just by mutual agreement, besides he hasn’t seen any girl he would like to marry.
Ashy decided he was a thinking man instead and started to see some of the benefits, meager as they were. A long thin flat rock on leveled rock supports with a bear skin tied around it was his couch; it was against the inner wall of the cave so one could lean back. The cave itself was about 30 feet deep, 25 feet wide and about 8 feet high at the entrance. In height the cave tapered slowly to about 6 foot high towards the back until it rapidly tapered down to nothing but was high enough for Ashy without the need to stoop. At the back of the cave was his bed, a two-foot high contraption of very thin branches woven tightly together to act as a cushion like bedsprings and several layers of hide to smooth out the rough spots any protruding branches might make.
Also in the back of his cave he keeps his prized possessions, his tools, spears and various knives made of flint and antler horns. He also managed to build a wooden table, the four legs beveled in for a sturdy fit and bound together with leather straps. The table top was hand-hewn and very rough but it worked. He had a single rock as a stool to sit upon while eating. By local standards, Ashy had made a phenomenal leap forward.
In front of the cave was his most cherished invention; a 3-sided log framed shed with walls of wooden branches woven together in a mesh. Within this mesh, he had inserted tightly an array of leaves and packed them in with mud. For the pitched roof of layered and tightly fitted long and fairly straight branches, he sewed together and overlapped leather hides on top to weatherproof it. It wasn’t pretty but it was functional. And finally in the corner I see his best idea yet, a crude fireplace of large rocks. Although he hadn’t thought of a good way to keep rocks together, except by their shape, he packed the spaces with mud and so to assure it wouldn’t collapse or catch the shed on fire, he needed a monstrosity. It was built nearly like a pyramid and without certainty the chimney wouldn’t collapse inward it seemed precarious. It was mainly a matter of finding rocks with fairly flat surfaces and fitting them in. Figuring they wouldn’t burn, as an additional measure, he gathered a collection of antlers from across the forest grounds and used them to help keep the chimney shaft from collapsing inwards by intertwining them inside. It was ugly but a beginning.
Ashy knew that he could perfect these new concepts as time allowed and knew he had been blessed. While it was often difficult to survive alone in those days, Ashy felt it was benefiting him. He had become a good hunter in an area filled with game and he had avoided injury. He knew he was running a risk being alone in case something happened to him or got sick but on the other hand, he didn’t have someone else to worry about or hold him back somehow. He was already further ahead in practical comforts than anyone else in the area and he was only 21.
His counterparts and those much older were still living in camps without much shelter but he remembered full well their everyday misery during bad weather. In camps, the cold and rain would upset the otherwise tolerable living conditions and made dry sleeping spots harder to find unless a cave was nearby. He often reflected on that and wondered why they didn’t try to find a better way. He concluded accurately that it was largely from peer pressure against new ways; as if it was silly to think things could ever be better. Ashy felt on many occasions that his determination was why he overcame that rational. He often wondered if his father would have berated him if he tried something new, so maybe isolation has its good points and can be beneficial, he thought.
While he hadn’t seen any people since he finished building the shed last year, he wondered what their reaction would be. What would they think of him; both he and I began to wonder. Maybe they’ll think that he was a man from another world which was also common to imagine in those days.
As the squawking birds seem to herald everything as some great event to get our attention, and while I can see what Ashy sees, we notice some men are coming so I’ll let Ashy take it from here…..
-----Two men are coming this way from across the meadow, they are too far away to tell but so far they don’t look like anyone I’ve seen before. One is carrying a spear and the other an axe although carrying a weapon is commonplace. I must be firm and stand fast.
I’ll stand in my doorway with my spear at the ready so maybe they won’t come too close. They stopped about a stone’s throw away which always seems the distance wary people keep from possible danger. They were dressed as if on a long hunt, an array of tools were tied to their waist and their clothes weren’t the heavy type, like a bearskin, but instead were lighter looking pieces sewn together.
One of them started jabbering something I couldn’t understand and then he paused as if waiting for a reply. Since I couldn’t give a reply that would make any sense unless I hollered back ‘pecan’ or some other word I knew, I just stood there except I changed my stance to a more defensive position. I put my spear at an angle, bent my knees slightly and hunched my back as if ready to lunge forward. There was plenty of water around and they were loaded with supplies so I couldn’t imagine anything they might urgently need. I just couldn’t take any chances with two strangers, maybe one but not two or more.
The men got the message that I didn’t want them around so they turned around and left. I then began to start feeling bad, maybe they were only looking for directions but men don’t usually ask for directions. I still have to be on the alert; I won’t fall for the trick that they only pretended to leave. I’ll be nervous and wary now for the next two days in case they were real sly and planned to lay low. They would know I’ll be wary at first but usually people let their guard down after awhile. They have to guess how long that might be.
I won’t be leaving my home for awhile now so I’ll barricade the doorway and do things inside. I don’t like having to change my plans but I can’t take a chance to leave. Maybe I should have tried to communicate with them, at least I could have determined if they were a threat or not. Knowing for sure one way or another may be better than not knowing anything at all.
Who knows, they could have been gentle men like those I met on the group hunting trips. Now I’ll never know. Next time I should think of something to say back to strangers even if they don’t understand. They would then know, just like me, that talking won’t work and then we could resort to signs to see if that helps. I’m sure those men have encountered standoffish people like me before.
They might have become suspicious of me instead if I acted too friendly and waved them in. They might have thought I was setting them up for some kind of trap and that other men could be inside and would try to take their possessions. Handling a situation with a stranger is like balancing yourself on a log, balancing risks with common courtesy.
Well, at any rate, they can’t blame me for being cautious. If they would have thought about it though, one of them should have sat down to stay while the other moved closer for a man-to-man conversation. Maybe they are partly to blame for the reason we couldn’t have a civil exchange.
While I now know my home could have been better made, I’m glad I have it. Last winter was the easiest I ever had and although it was sometimes cold because my wood got wet but I never was really hungry. I would have liked to have been able to eat my fill everyday but at least I ate enough and don’t look too skinny this time. I still haven’t figured out an easy way to ration my food but at least now I can figure things up to ten.
It was strange how I did that, which seems so simple now, but it was hard to conceive at first. I began a process to name each finger and since I knew about one and two, then those would be the names of the first two. I then began to name each of the other fingers but as I did that I had to remember the sounds. However I didn’t do that all in one day but each day I would add one and in rotation I would repeat them all day. Then I had to figure out how I could put that in practice which wasn’t easy. All of a sudden it dawned on me how that could work.
I practiced looking at rocks and I’d say “you are one, you are two and you are three” and so forth and soon it became automatic. I can now look at things and can immediately tell how many there are without using my fingers. Maybe it would be possible to go further than ten but it would seem impossible to remember too many more. I think I would really be crazy if I started naming my toes. When I ran out of toes to name then maybe I could ask some neighbors if I could name theirs.
This kind of thinking is getting ridiculous, there has got to be a limit to the value of thinking. Knowing how many things there are up to ten has helped a little but I’m not sure it was worth the trouble. I can still look at things and tell if there is too many or not enough. Most of the time if there were seven or nine doesn’t make any difference. It is either enough or not enough.
-----Ashy had no idea what he was on to or that he helped paved the way towards the ‘civilization’ of man and there certainly were other cavemen that did the same. Putting it into context, to count to ten was a phenomenal accomplishment under the harsh circumstances of the caveman’s world with only an empirical mentality and was a major step forward. For Ashy tho, he had ventured far enough as far as mathematics go, at least for the time being.
If we are to try to imagine a caveman as anything other than unkempt and slovenly looking savages in tattered clothes huddled around a fire, we must use our imagination and intelligence. If we are to berate the caveman for his lifestyle then we cannot comprehend his environment or his circumstances and we should be able to, after all, aren’t we intelligently capable?
While the caveman struggled to comprehend what later became the basis of mathematics, or struggled to recognize the value of a spoken language and later the value of a written language, he was otherwise astute but that realization is lost to modern day man. We have had no such visualization that was the case but I hope this book will help change that forever.
In effect, his harsh conditions and options prohibited a thought process conducive for civilization’s needs. In a way, the caveman had to buck his own rational to change it and if one can possibly imagine what he was up against daily, it was a miracle that some men could overcome their doubts. The task to become civilized was so difficult and had so many monumental hurdles to overcome; it is not surprising that it took more than 100,000 years.
In context, our trip to the moon was a cake walk compared to their collective task; Orville and Wilbur’s flight was nothing nor was the first atomic bomb. Their task to become civilized was so difficult it may never be attempted again. In fact, Homo sapiens may be one of but a few such intelligent species in the universe that actually succeeded.
Yet we scoff at the caveman and savage and hold them in low esteem while they are, in fact, the ones most directly responsible for what we have obtained. The cowboy from the Old West can relate to that somewhat as he was responsible for taming it, yet that cowboy has often been stereotyped as stupid. Perhaps instead his ‘stupidity’ has been classified by stupid people that can’t understand a different kind of mentality, not necessarily inferior but just different. Just because that cowboy didn’t understand certain aspects of city life or what was required to live in one, that doesn’t mean he was stupid, he just knew about different things. Besides, that cowboy was generally more gracious than a city slicker; he wouldn’t call a dude stupid if he couldn’t ride a horse and to win the west you needed a horse.
No one could possibly imagine all of what took place on the road to become civilized and how each factor contributed; the dynamics would be mind-boggling. Along the way there were serious setbacks which were countless in number and it often looked like the process to become civilized would never succeed and after each failure, often it was doubted if it would be attempted again. In fact it was dead for nearly 500 years during the Dark Ages (476-1000 A.D.) for which religious fervor and the resistance to it, was responsible. It was largely the result of immensely complex power struggles, usually between ‘pagans’ and Christianity/Catholicism, the latter trying to impose their will on the world.
To keep things in context, occasionally a short dissertation will be presented about more recent events and the things wrong today. Since it is relevant, relevancy is always necessary to paint a bigger picture. Therefore, I’m going to occasionally insert modern day problems then quickly get back to the main topics of this book. Fear not, this won’t be leading to some sort of political statement, it’s just this book also deals with ‘civilization’.
For purposes later, it should not be forgotten that Christianity, as it evolved, largely under the umbrella of Catholicism, was responsible for causing the Dark Ages and, in their name, caused the deaths of over a hundred thousand people which they tortured to death using numerous methods, or had them burned alive at the stake.
Thankfully those days have passed but the negative effects of religious institutions are still being felt; many of the 2,000,000 in American prisons today are in for victimless crimes. Those blue laws responsible, a carry-over from the Dark Ages, were incorporated into societies under religious pressure and under this pretext of justice lay the insanity our generations will be known for. If cavemen knew about the downsides of civilized life, I wonder if they would have tried to contribute any further. Perhaps ‘civilization’ was never a well-defined goal tho, merely inevitable.
Note: The ‘blue laws’ I speak of are not merely the liquor laws on Sunday, as the term seemingly evolved to mean, but they encompass all victimless crimes as the term generally meant in 1781, that is, all laws regulating moral conduct.
Yet cavemen would have been absolutely delighted to see what we have today; all the descriptive terms would be needed to explain their exuberance. After a time however, one might imagine they would begin to recognize the cracks in our systems, some injustices would be apparent at first… but it would be their summation which would be interesting. After a thorough review, would they consider our civilization as practically utopia? Or would they be horrified? I suppose it would depend on their scales, how modern conveniences would balance against our negatives, like our wars, political treachery, social problems, etc., etc.
As wonderful as cavemen may view them, modern conveniences seem to be the only positive aspect left in our society to counterbalance the negatives. If cavemen could truly speak to us, I would venture to say we would be severely chastised for not making the best of what we have.
Note: As part of the discovery process, oftentimes the text within is written in ‘real-time’ to help understand things. I’ll explain what I mean by ‘real-time’ shortly.
All of a sudden I am now realizing I’ve yet to fairly portray the caveman. I assumed when I began I was in tune with his world but, thunderstruck, I discover I haven’t felt his depth fully. Not surprising tho, that has happened before. As I delve into a character in a particular scenario, it takes some time to get a head of steam. My visualizations improve as I go.
What could it be about Ashy and his world that I have failed to understand and relate? I thought I was feeling his pain and frustration, I could even imagine his terror when he occasioned that mountain lion. I felt that I sufficiently reasoned his thought processes as they related to discoveries and his need to make those discoveries.
While I may have tickled his dimension of thought, perhaps that is all I have done so far. It is becoming more obvious that I have not completely delved into it. With all my heart and being, I knew Ashy was smart and that he was capable of many things but I am beginning to understand there is much more. At this time I can’t put my finger on what it is but I know there is something missing.
I just realized it was ironic that I used the phrase ‘put my finger on it’. So too Ashy struggled with the concept of mathematics with his fingers. It probably would seem silly today for a grownup to elaborate on how they learned to count. If he knew most people would have laughed at him today, he would have kept that to himself. It’s now such an elementary process, amazingly so, if you think about it.
While I’m still struggling to find the way to completely understand Ashy’s mind-set and those of his counterparts that you, dear reader, should understand that oftentimes I will ‘wing-it’ for a few moments. After a few paragraphs the direction becomes clear again as I once again see this beckoning light, often perhaps you will before I do.
I shouldn’t get accused of plagiarism for using ‘dear reader’, even though that was similar to an address Walt Whitman used on one occasion and possibly more, although he said ‘dear, earnest reader’. I never use another writer’s terms anyway unless they are absolutely powerful. The only other time I did that was when I used the word ‘perfectibility’ and I used it often. It is a unique word and from a book called “Founding Fathers’ by Charles Meister. I know using one word is not plagiarism but that word is so powerful it should be. In our quest to be truly civilized, perfectibility is the aspirant at large.
Ashy could not have appreciated the power of certain things as they would later relate to civilization but at least we can understand why. There are more things we can now understand about Ashy but we both know that process took some effort. If Ashy’s complexities are true, and they are, then we both know there is more to learn. Perhaps now we can relate to our challenge in this by understanding why Ashy struggled to see any value in counting, even to count to ten, and appreciate why he could not see the practical benefits to expand upon that. In their world, we must understand ‘counting’ would not have been considered a practical pursuit.
He took mathematics to ten so, in comparison, perhaps we are only at ten when it comes to understanding the rest of Ashy’s mind-set. What else could there possibly be concerning Ashy? Like Ashy, do we have only wood, rocks and bones to work with? Well, by now we both know there is more, even though we can’t see it yet.
It should be understood that the process Ashy used to reach a realization, even the method used to learn how to count to ten, each assuredly varied between other cavemen on the same quest. The exact manner in how one taught themselves to count undoubtedly varied but the number of one’s fingers factored in for every successful case. That may not seem to be a profound observation but it should be incumbent upon us to appreciate the profoundness then, how hard it must have been to relate to during those days as to the possible value.
Yet, with further thought, the value of counting may have been recognized immediately, or at least it could have been the case with some cavemen. There may have been a mathematical system established much earlier than I previously estimated. The need for a written language was not absolutely necessarily for mathematics to be understood, we can do simple math in our head. We don’t need to write down two plus five to get an answer. So could it have been the caveman was even further advanced than even I have grown to imagine?
During World War II, the Germans were disheartened to learn after inspecting a downed American airplane that its cargo was of Christmas presents for the GIs. It was further evidence to them they were losing the war because they could not afford to fly such luxuries in place of ammunition, men or spare parts. It was an indication the Allied capabilities were more than adequate to win the war.
If we can use the same logic and apply it to the caveman it might lead us somewhere. Since we know cavemen bothered with burials and those burials sometimes included flowers then that means there was a ceremony of sorts. There has been evidence of this and oftentimes the body was placed there in a dignified position. That fact may provide a clue but it’s more than a mere indication of something, it has depth, but an indication of what? Well, first of all we would know they found the time, secondly we would know they had compassion, two important observations. Note: this may not apply all the way back into antiquity or with every clan. It could have been the case but I’m not trying to visualize the circumstances surrounding the very first humans.
If they found the time to bury someone it would mean they were more secure than being on the verge of starvation. If the burial was conducted in such a way to suggest compassion in that manner, then that highly suggests they also understood dignity. Now, that begins to change our overall visualization doesn’t it?
We could have easily imagined that starvation was not always a daily problem although we may suspect it was at times. We could also easily imagine there was a degree of compassion or love but remain unsure of the degree. We may have assumed it wasn’t anything like what exists today because we can’t imagine them kissing each other. They have never been portrayed that way so therefore it was the reason why we probably hadn’t envisioned it. Some of us couldn’t envision our parents making love but obviously they did.
Our newest realization then is that they appreciated dignity, not a word I ever heard associated with cavemen before. If we were to ever use the term ‘dignified caveman’, it would be a characterization which should change the general perception. We both know that won’t happen anytime soon and besides, that doesn’t represent that deeper dimension I’m looking for anyway.
Although dignity may be a characterization which could lead to a deeper understanding, it is also part of the formula. Although formula suggests we might be striving for a mathematical concept, that won’t be the case. Understanding a dimension of thought is to understand the parameters involved and everything applicable would be part of that process. While mathematical formulas are precise, our formula has yet to be developed but the discovery process itself is the formula, isn’t it?
With further thought however, perhaps I have imposed on the word ‘formula’ and should choose another. As the dimension becomes clearer and as each step clarifies the next, we’ll continue to adjust the terms to sharpen the picture.
From that, again, we should be able to further relate to Ashy when he was trying to understand a new concept. I really need to stress the point of how profound the process was to originally comprehend the many things we now take for granted. To visualize mathematics as having value is no less a phenomenal undertaking than comprehending the most difficult of questions today. For one to begin a new science, unrecognized before as being feasible which could serve a useful purpose, the very act of comprehending it is astounding.
If mathematics did not exist today, modern humans would struggle to appreciate its possible applications just like the caveman did. We would not have developed it at a faster rate than he did. Even with the concept in hand from the orient, thanks to the incredible foresight of the caveman, perhaps originating with Peking man, it took the gifted Greeks approximately 200 years to begin to utilize mathematics, which, from these Orientals, they first learned of this primitive concept.
Back to understanding the caveman… for now we shouldn’t concern ourselves with the technical aspects of a metaphysical mind, which would be like putting the cart before the horse. We have to ‘feel’ our way there first then explain it all later, or try.
So then, Ashy was compassionate and even dignified. However, concerning these and other words, concepts of the words themselves can change or they may not be exactly what we think. This can be demonstrated in many instances… for example the word ‘hero’ was once applied to any person of exceptional daring whether or not that daring served a good or bad cause. Under the old definition, tyrants were also considered heroes.
But that doesn’t apply to ‘dignified’ here because the caveman didn’t refer to himself as such, we did. All I’m suggesting is what we think as ‘dignified’ now may not be the same as what a caveman would consider dignified, if they called it something or not. Our idea of dignified would be considered a silly notion during the Stone Age. I don’t think Ashy would be impressed by anything of a pretext, nor do I think a waxed moustache, pipe and dinner jacket would impress him either, although Ashy might like the dinner jacket.
I don’t think the concept of ‘dignity’ really meant anything to a caveman; it was just a ‘feel good’ process. I don’t think it was ever used in pretext either until the demands upon the term ‘civilization’ condoned pretext, until then it was a natural thing. It shouldn’t be surprising that we can live by something without giving it a name. Civilization now demands that everything is named but has found that although we put a handle on it, that doesn’t mean we can understand, explain or describe it.
One case in point is ‘intuitive’; try to understand, explain or describe it. We can visualize what it is but that’s about all. In doing that (visualizing), best describes how ‘primitives’ thought.
Somewhat related, dictionaries seem to have a problem with ‘eternity, forever and endless’ because any reference to a ‘beginning’ (of time) is ignored. It was purposeful however because it would have religious connotations, testimony these lexicographers succumbed to pressure.
Another interesting case is that the meaning of ‘metaphysics’ has also evolved. It has evolved so many times it has its own history. For the past two thousand years it has weaved in and out of a connection with anything considered metaphysical. This will be explained in more detail later.
Metaphysics will be addressed extensively in a manner necessary for the purposes herein but in a different way than I did in “STD LEX” (second edition). Since this book largely has to do with metaphysical phenomena as well, there will be additional inroads established in this book about why metaphysics has been so illusive.
While it is necessary to cover a variety of subjects to better explain the caveman, at times, it will seem as if, unnecessarily, I am off on unrelated tangents. They may seem unrelated at the time but you will soon see why they tie in. The other reason is because we will learn something else from this unique process of understanding the caveman, that is, ourselves, and from those things learned, we may be able to apply it to solve modern day problems. This book will offer new historical perspectives on where we’ve been, where we are and where we might want to go. Juxtapositional and equally important, who we were, who we are and who we might want to become.
(end of chapter 2)
Matrix of Mnemosyne... the place of smoke signals from the spirit world
Last modified: 10/25/13