There were some things in the book “The Divine Life of Animals” by Ptolemy Tompkins that I could not completely agree with. These were made up for though by a few really profound statements.
One of these was that the Paleolithic world was another world. He talks about “our fall out of that world.” As I understood it, this was not meant metaphorically or as a simile. He did not mean that it was “like” another world or just that human consciousness was different then. He said, and I believe he meant, that the Paleolithic was quite simply, another world.
This seems to make absolute sense. Consciousness creates the world. Hindu tradition talks about four ages, the yugas. We are in the last—the most decadent and despair-filled. While the accepted chronology for the four ages may be quite different than what I imagine it to be, that doesn’t necessarily mean that there is no valid connection at all between these various concepts.
The concept of the earth having several ages or several worlds is present in many traditions—with varying chronologies—or no chronologies.
Was the first world an ethereal world—one with forms, but no matter as we know it—an earth of light and beauty?
Did the Paleolithic world come next? Was the Paleolithic a world of magic?
The rock art all over the world depicts magical creatures, gods, spirits and spirit-beings. There are some who may be angels or ancient astronauts (is there a difference?)—beings from other dimensions.
All things were alive and conscious—the rocks, the clouds, the sun, the moon, the rain, the storms, the rivers, the drought. Animals were killed for food, but they did not die when they were killed. They were prayed to and their souls journeyed on.
All things then were alive and magical. There was fear, even suffering, wonder, and awe, but there was no death. All was filled with the life of the Great Spirit. There was art, beauty, worship, and if there wasn’t much science, it wasn’t much missed. There was though, in fact, highly developed mathematics, astronomy, and engineering—the evidence of which can still be seen in the alignments with the stars of the great megaliths scattered across every continent.
It was a world of magic—and, truly, an altogether other world.
Afterwards came the Fall, and the long descent.
Photo: Sharon St Joan, Canyon de Chelly