Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Thinking well about ourselves

Last night I watched a show on one of the Discovery Learning Science History channels about Ramses. Yep, the Egyptian pharaoh. The show was done well, but don't ask me which Ramses it was about. I guess I was not watching all that fully.

At any rate, I did catch the narrator talking about these majestic structures that Ramses had carved and constructed in his honor, and then the program went into some depth regarding the intensive labor required to move 8 ton upright pillars from the quarry to the construction site. Not to mention setting the giant rocks upright. Weeks. Month. Years.

Impressive as that all was, this Ramses fellow seemed to be seeking some sort of immortality in all of this construction. I watched the actor portraying him strut down a crowded staircase as the announcer talked about the spectacular art that had been created in his honor.

Passing quick through my mind came the thoughts "what delusion" and "you're dead now and we're not". Followed by an immediate "oops" as it struck me that, for all but the tiniest piece of eternity, we, those of us living today, have not existed and will not exist. Then, as delusional as the moments and the effort at attaining a God-like status seemed, it also seemed somehow worth noting that here we are many thousands of years after the fact and they have done a television show about this man. This delusion stuff may deserve a second look.

• To Wikipedia Ramses, click here.

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