Posted by d on October 09, 2002 at 20:49:43:
In Reply to: Re: Egyptomania vs Egyptology posted by BRUTUS on October 09, 2002 at 17:04:08:
You are quite right that Egyptology of the amateur sort easily slips into Egyptomania.
And you are right, that of some hundreds of pyramids and assorted other remarkable constructs, the popular imagination is seized by two or three....
As to the latter, a feature of the human mind is that it always seeks "synecdoche": the rhetorical state in which the part stands for the whole. In fact, it sometimes seems to be the main method of human reasoning- leading sometimes to stupid or tragic conclusions.
As to the former, I believe the typical amateur "pyramidiot" (which I may well be) is a sort of individual who, having spent his or her life engaged in some kind of rationalistic, programmatic endeavor, begins to wonder if there is not something more.... some aspect, some
interior sense to the world which is somehow powerful and yet immune to reason....
The world of the remains of Pharaonic Egypt, consisting naturally of only the structures and symbols which have survived (because they were
graven images) appeals to this kind of person. In particular, it is the "mortuary" sense of Egyptian art which appeals, precisely because it seems to be that same individual's psychology, writ large.
The "pyramidiot" thinks: "Here was a society, an entire culture, which , like me, could never accept that life is limited to a mundane
spoonful of time; in every way that has survived, in ways that today may seem pathetic or peculiar, they attempted transcendance..."
The computer and its attendant phenomena , particularly virtual reality, are perhaps the culmination of the development of reason as the medium for human existence; the creator of that machine, however, is still essentially a prehistoric hominid with an innate appetite for
symbolic transport via the emotions.
Thoughts about reason-based systems, cannot provide this transport.
Thoughts about the empty coffer in the "King's Chamber" , can.
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