Story of the mystery

Pratik Joglekar
Mar 21, 2018 · 7 min read

Human beings are biologically curious of the unknown. We have evolved over a million years due to our immense curiosity and a craving to search for answers to the world around us. Be it a twinkling star in the sky, a bolt of lightning and the sound of thunder. Curiosity drives us to understand these mysteries of life. We try to make sense of things around us and explain everything using logic and science. But when logic fails us, we develop stories. Stories that help us explain things beyond our understanding. This very nature of humans to develop stories to explain things that cannot be explained which then go on to be considered absolute truth by some is known as pseudoscience. Pseudoscience supports our beliefs and practices which claims to be factual and have scientific reasoning, but in actuality, it does not have evidential backing. That does not mean humans should stop believing and constructing ideas around experiences. In fact, these stories have brought about the evolution of cultures by leaps and bounds around the world.
This paper explores the idea of how man’s hunger for deciphering mysteries has driven him to achieve the unimaginable. The stories which they previously felt to be pseudosciences are now actual facts.

From ancient times people have been fascinated with stories of all kinds. The sky and stars, animals, rains and all its varied interpretations. Ancient paintings from stone age suggest that humans used to tell stories revolving around their perception of everything around them. In Mark Twain’s the book “Eve’s Diary”, he writes about the first humans on earth — Adam and Eve. Eve thinks the stars can be plucked and she can use them to weave a delicate necklace or a hairpin. It’s a beautiful depiction of a time when nothing was known, there was no science to explain events and hence Eve relied on stories. Her own story of what the twinkling stars meant. The first explorers held the imagination of the world through the stories of the unknown.

People depicting various ideas around unknown things in life have been there for ages. Stories were built around mysteries and guided a way of life. A shooting star was a spaceship, a falling asteroid was a form of punishment. People branded stars, sky, natural calamities, to be a higher authority who has the rights to make judgments. All that could not be explained and was feared was “An act of God”. A celestial being manifested in all cultures and civilization since then. The one who is the almighty and makes judgments when needed and summons rain and fire were looked upon as the most powerful entity in the world, they started worshiping it. Every culture derived its own meaning of what this unknown is and branded it. A story was no more just a story, it was a truth, it was a brand.

People were telling stories through narration, paintings, architecture, writings, and discoveries. They tried to explain or depict natural phenomena, science, day to day life and all unknown events. Perhaps, they did have some understanding of events happening in nature. What has pushed each human civilization towards development is this very motivation to find answers and as every generation left behind their stories, another generation built upon it to know just a little more of the unknown. We are always trying to make associations and these very associations form new stories and new ideas. Thus, catapulting humans on different paths of imagination.

By that time humans were already aware of the stars being different solar systems just like ours and there could be life on it. Humans started to construct stories of extraterrestrial beings and how they did visit the earth and helped build the human civilization. There are various paintings and carvings which suggests a flying machine almost 2000 years ago. In Hindu mythology, there is a reference to a flying chariot “Pushpak Vahan” which levitated without any thrusts and gilded its way around. In the Mayan civilization, there are various paintings which depict a man piloting a ship vertically towards the sky. These are some unsolved mysteries which humans are trying to understand. Were they just imaginative paintings and objectification, or were the humans achieved engineering expertise that time which we are not aware today? These stories which have been passed down to us, most of the time are filtered and altered. The truth we know today might not be as it was told 2000 years ago. We are still in a discovery phase and trying to understand our own ancestral history.

Human is a curious animal, we try and build stories around artifacts of the past and present to try and makes sense of it. Our curiosity is the driving force to understand the unknown. We objectify or subjectify unknown facts as mysteries and try to prove them scientifically or label them as pseudoscience or just a belief. Galileo was a brilliant man with a contribution to astronomy, mathematics, physics and more. He studied the space and based on the revolution of Venus, he realized that sun does not revolve around the earth but otherwise. The church had already established a story of the earth is the center of the solar system and condemned him of blasphemy against the “belief system” or an established story of the church. People believe what they want to believe in, and that is how stories are developed. A specific event could have various shades and stories around it. The fear of the unknown is another factor why people are reluctant to accept a new fact. There is still a society which believes the earth is flat. The branding of what people want to believe and great stories work so cohesively that people cannot part away from it easily. It is more about proving how the story which they believe is true, but in actuality, the truth is something different.

The corridor of human storytelling and repercussions of different interpretations has caused various theories to be developed around the actual event. People start believing in this diluted story and is so much rooted, to break through the shackles and to stop branding stories to be true and trusting it to a level where it becomes an integral part of life is something people should avoid. As important to what the story is and as important the emotional connection to the story is, it is rather of the utmost importance to actually verify if it is in fact true. Curiosity makes people believe in stories which have hardly any proven facts connected to it. But then again there were so many pseudoscience theories which have been proven to be true, so why not to believe in something which might not be true now? Even if that is right, it is still a story which emotionally connects and people start believing it without verifying the integrity. Until recently we thought big bang never happened and it was just a story till we discovered the existence of gravitational wave.

Human wants to explore and decrypt the mysteries around them, it will always fascinate them of the unknown, which is scary but that gets them excited. Even today, humans are unaware of what lies in space or in the deepest sections of the ocean. Mystery and emotional drive to figure out are fundamentally fulfills the curiosity of human being. Storytelling is an integral part of the life we live the stories we believe in and hope them to be real. Branding something to be real or untrue is what we as humans do this creates an identity which is then used to make a mark and used to convince how it is the only and best way. Identifying variations and alternatives becomes difficult once a choice has been made. The impression of any such idea is very difficult to erase or rewrite. But as mentioned before, the truth is half true, to begin with. God may exist but we are still not aware of it just we were not aware of god particle until recent times. It is up to us to believe and trust in things which are true to each individual.

The corridor of human storytelling and repercussions of different interpretations has caused various theories to be developed around the actual event. People start believing in this diluted story and is so much rooted, to break through the shackles and to stop branding stories to be true and trusting it to a level where it becomes an integral part of life is something people should avoid. As important to what the story is and as important the emotional connection to the story is, it is rather of the utmost importance to actually verify if it is in fact true. Curiosity makes people believe in stories which have hardly any proven facts connected to it. But then again there were so many pseudoscience theories which have been proven to be true, so why not to believe in something which might not be true now? Even if that is right, it is still a story which emotionally connects and people start believing it without verifying the integrity. Until recently we thought big bang never happened and it was just a story till we discovered the existence of gravitational wave.

In the Hindu culture, even today a constellation is associated with a child’s birth. It is claimed that each constellation has its own traits which are distilled in the child, it is also connected with the zodiac sign we as individuals carry.

Demystifying stories which have been branded for ages under a certain confine becomes difficult to break through. Modern science has proven that many unsolved mysteries and stories are in fact true, and they are on the verge of new discovery. Human’s need to understand the more they say they do not know and the more mysterious stories they make, the more will they be curious about the unknown.

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