I was reminded several times this week how revisionist history is. That would include personal, family, country, and world history. Certainly, history may change as new facts come to light. But there is also resistance when the new data can cause the collapse of larger swaths of understanding. The Dead Sea Scrolls are a good example. Or some of the more recently discovered “Gospels”.
Much of history is build on the platform of perception and inference. Historians are rarely part of the history they document so must be deriving it second-hand. Or third or fourth-hand. Archaeologists take this even further, deriving the entire lifestyle from a jaw bone. Certainly this inference is well informed and carefully considered. But considering how much is built upon early assumptions, its amazing what a house of cards we build for ourselves. Most histories are built well outside of science and instead pile onto assumptions from our early childhood and deep past.
I talk quite a lot in this blog about The Story, the “explanation set” the ego builds to explain the world so it can try to control it. A story that plays off and builds on presets based in the root identity. An identity that is built on fear. In this light, History becomes more His-Story. Possibly based in facts, but grown into an epic poem. I’ve also talked about how our perspective changes as we grow older. Also as we expand our consciousness. Each shift in perspective causes shifts in the story. At some point, the mesh of our story begins to unwind and collapses as outlined in The Past.
History has an important role in giving context to our life. But its better to see it as an organic, evolving play than a fixed narrative of facts. The first is a script, the second a trap.