Nature versus Fairy Tales


Since the beginning of Mankind, people have looked to Nature to explain the world around them. As people progressed and their thoughts became more complex, they began to use the aspects and forces of Nature as symbols of their beliefs. The world can be a very scary place, and having real objects which hold powerful meanings can be a soothing and motivating method of survival. As natural objects began to take on meaning for events, natural events began to take on relevance to stories invented by people. Human nature includes the desire to see personality and human traits reflected in the outside world. People crave validation of what they do by seeing similar events unfold in explainable ways. The sun sets. A day ends. This cycle comes to represent life as a whole. The sun rises, a day begins. People can relate this to the birth of a child, the planting of crops, the founding of a village, and so on. The cycle continues. With the advancement of society, stories became more complex. Humans began to incorporate the forces of nature, good and bad, into likenesses and powers within human beings. In other words, the concept of super powers was born. This is the origin of myth and legend. Thor, the Norse God is a good example. All of the gods of ancient Greece and Rome are great illustrations of this also. Virtually all of the old gods had some responsibility and control over a part of nature that was crucial to early life in these dramatic civilizations. The Egyptians came before that. The stories of Gilgamesh from ancient Sumeria parallel almost every story in the Bible; which brings us to modern religion, and Christianity. The religions of most first-world countries today center on monotheism, or one God; and almost exclusively on human figures without any special ties to nature. Moses parted the Red Sea; but he didn’t live in the sea, nor did he have a tail like Poseidon. One exception is angels having wings. Christianity, however, is a great segue into fairy tales. About the time that Christianity was spreading, there were still holdouts in the old world that believed in natural gods and mythical creatures. These people were called Pagans. They still exist today; but not in the true sense that they did in the Middle Ages and before. True Pagans worshipped Nature. In this religion they created things such as fairies and nymphs. Other creatures, such as trolls and goblins also abounded. They almost always lived in the forest, and they always had a hard connection to their natural surroundings. These beings existed because the holy men of Paganism, the Druids, were like witch doctors of the woods. They used things like “Fairy Dust” and “Elvish Medicine” to treat and heal people of their pastoral villages. Although imaginary inventions, these devices were critical in making the people under their care believe in the Druids. So, this was the first instance of Nature versus Fairy Tales.
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