Some random thoughts

juantoo3

....whys guy.... ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb
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The unexamined life isn't worth living, right? Or something like that...

animal mind

Animals reason. Some make tools, the closest to artistry I can remotely see would be nests, as so many are woven.

future time

I read some real time translations with Koko the Gorilla. I think the researcher was Penny....I had her name and lost it writing. Patterson, Penny Patterson. What I saw I interpreted as along the lines of a pre-school age human child, perhaps inable to speak, actually similar in most respects to a deaf child that has to sign with their parents.

What I recall was "here and now" thinking. I'm hungry. I'm tired. There was a good bit of understanding of past, and I chalk that up to experience. The only foresight I can interpret is experience...novel situations are just not part of the thought process. There's reaction I would think, such as being startled by a loud noise or such, and if my poor puppies neuroses during thunderstorms is any indication, some of that feedback becomes a self fulfilling loop.

Point being one aspect I see clear distinction between the human mind and animal mind is the ability to project our thoughts forward insomuch as we can anticipate novel situations.

sentience

I recall so many times Vajra would distinguish between sentient and non-sentient beings. For understanding, I take a bit more Native American (by my understanding) approach in that all life is connected. Vajra never disagreed with that, but I brushed his idea aside as irrelevant...and that's too harsh, I respect Vajra too much for that, but I'm not thinking of a better word to use right now.

I'm wondering though, in considering animal thought processes, that sentience almost seems a requisite cutoff between phylogenically (?) "higher" order animals.

food

I'm not sure what I want to say here other than I wondered if there was some distinction to be made between hunter and prey animals. This would play into early homonin reasoning, and the distinctions would help draw out the reasoning functions, basically scholastically picking apart animal reasoning, since early homonins were both hunter and prey.

Just watched 2001: A Space Odyssey again a few days ago, I've misplaced my copy and I've looked for about 3 years now and can't find it, so I bought a deluxe set with some interviews and backstory. The two lead mime / dancers that played the two dominant males were still alive (the commentary was made in 2001...22 years ago as I write this), it was really cool to see them and hear their story.

But yeah, I'm thinking this hunter / prey thing might or might not be something to consider.

knowledge v experience

Here I was thinking about how we talk all the time about "knowing" something, "we put a man on the moon," "we built a nuclear reactor," "we" did this or that....and as an exercise I've long asked, even here before but I don't remember where, about how we don't truthfully "know" unless we can show the experience. And then I ask if a person is able to make fire.

"Oh yeah, sure. Mankind has been handling fire for forever, of course I can...hand me a lighter and some newspaper. (Shows how old school I am, try finding a lighter anymore, let alone a newspaper)

"No." Can you make a fire with no man made tools, all organic, all natural...can you *make* a fire?

Ummm,...no.

Then you cannot *truthfully* say you can make a fire.

Animals live in the moment. That is the only place they know to live.

symbolic thought

Those who became human for one, could reason future. They could expand a bit on experience and pass that information forward, especially to family (tribe).

Over time what was painted became shorthand symbols, which became alphabets. Now "we" have writing.

But again Vajra would point about menus and meals...

Modern humanity is so immersed today in symbolic thought, we tend to forget our thoughts in pictures...experience...which is how we "reasoned" as a pre-school age child.

But for a person to live 24/7 "in the moment," would get a person locked up in a looney bin, that is just how immersed in symbolism all "First World" societies and civilizations have become.

The thought occurred to me, that arguing semantic differences over the interpretation of a passage, the minor critical points of the spelling of one word, of digging for the devil in the details...causes us to lose focus of the big picture experience.

Not sure if I'm done writing this yet...
 
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I edited the previous post and botched the save, and I'm not going back to fix the spelling...

Symbolic reasoning is a two edged sword. Clearly this manner of reasoning has carried humanity so much farther than ever possible without that tweak to the mind, of being able to predict.

Likewise it clouds the mind to experience. This is why driving while distracted is so dangerous. Our minds are capable of both, but don't do either one particularly well if trying to do both at the same time...better if one or the other from a processing standpoint.

I think we all get so absorbed into our texts, we forget to actually perform and experience what our particular faith paths lay before us.

It's not about what you believe, it is about what you do with what you believe.

One thing I know, I sense, I feel, it is an inseparable part of me. All of us will stand before a Creator, the well-spring, the Source, the fountain....regardless of the verbiage...we will all one day experience the Source. I don't know if that time is next week or a gazillion human years from now...I don't know...but I know I will "face" the ineffable, and the impurities will burn off, melt away, disappear and what remains will merge.

Perhaps to start again?, I don't know.

I just know that one day I will go home.
 
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Back to animals reason.

For a long time it was held out that because only humans use tools, that separated us from the animals. We've since discovered that isn't the case, There are a number of animals, even non-simians and non-mammals have been documented using tools. Usually something like a stick in a termite nest, but that seems sufficient for sociologists and anthropologists to deem that tool usage does not separate humans from animals.

I know I've pointed in the past about art among animals, and pointed to the artwork by Kanzi (I think he too was a Gorilla like Koko, a few years younger). and an unnamed elephant, and came away not really impressed. Revisiting the concept, I think at least certain animals do express a form of art, of a more practical nature. Spider webs for instance, or a bird's nest, or most any nest really...are all forms of art. (Correction, Kanzi is a Bonobo, born in 1980)

These thoughts go back to a written challenge that animals don't see / reason / comprehend in an experiential way the Divine, the ineffable.

I think they do.

Argument one; absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

This is meaningless by itself but should earn consideration of argument two; among some alternative paths are those animals referred to as "familiars." Cats, Dogs, Birds...I don't practice so I don't know what limitations if any. But this implies at least some "sentient" animals are capable of interacting with or hitching a ride on the Source...just as with humans.

Do dogs go to heaven? I hope so.
 
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This is meaningless by itself but should earn consideration of argument two; among some alternative paths are those animals referred to as "familiars." Cats, Dogs, Birds...I don't practice so I don't know what limitations if any. But this implies at least some "sentient" animals are capable of interacting with or hitching a ride on the Source...just as with humans.

Do dogs go to heaven? I hope so.
It recalls to mind a time I looked into our, what my dad has labeled, prayer closet. Its a room that was meant to be a breakfast nook for a more typical family, but for us has been purposed for meditation, puja, and prayers. No cats allowed.

Lamar got in somehow. I could see him through the crack in the door, was going to go and get him out.... but, he was standing on two legs, with his front paws on Shiva's altar, gazing at the picture of Shiva and his family with an intense, loving look. I didn't disturb him, but felt I oughta let him finish what he was doing.

Being as Shiva is sometimes called Pashupati, or Lord of Animals, it made sense that Lamar would choose his shrine.

Its also worth noting that Lamar has shown some amazing behavior regarding other cats... He actually at one time tamed a neighborhood feral enough that it would come to the house to get fed. Originally, he tried to get me to get the cat out of a neighbor's garage, but it was scared. Then he realized that he had to get the cat 'unscared', and worked to show him we were okay(long story, long process). I only mention this because the reasoning skills go beyond what the general populace attribute to a pet. Who's to say he couldn't be reverent?
 
Those here who know me, know my long standing interest in prehistoric humanity, in particular why humans "began" to reach out to the ineffable if there is nothing there to reach out to.

Now, "reach out" isn't literal. Maybe "connect with" might be more accurate? I don't think early humans had to find this connection, I think it was already a part of their lives, at least as much as some other "higher order" sentient critters. +/- 100K years ago, Cro Magnon - Modern Humans - were decorating themselves with pierced shell beads. One hundred thousand years ago Humans were stringing shell bead necklaces. What other animal decorates their body in such, or even similar manner? That was in Blombos Cave in South Africa.

Simultaneously in the Levant, is a burial of a young man with a boar mandible laid across his chest, and his body is decorated with red ochre (Skhul 5).

Outside of Johannesburg, South Africa, we have the find of Homo Naledi at the Rising Star cave, and noted careful burials as much as two hundred thousand years ago. Naledi were not modern humans, yet spent the effort and cognition required to carefully lay 15 of their companions into a burial chamber. The bodies were not all deposited at one time, so there was an element of ritual involved. I also noted recently that while originally this find seemed to predate human taming of fire, it appears there is now a still questioned find that suggests Naledi did use fire, placing the date for harnessing fire a good bit further back than what was believed only a few years ago.
 
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Schöningen spears: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schöningen_spears

Some interesting archeology from the recent past I was unaware of...

Fire: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Control_of_fire_by_early_humans#

Hunting: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunting_hypothesis

prehistoric religion: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prehistoric_religion

origin of language: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origin_of_language

related to pre-symbolic thought processes: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prefrontal_synthesis

twins' language: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryptophasia
also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onomatopoeia
also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neologism
wiki said:
It has been reported that up to 50% of young twins will have their own twin language which they use to communicate only with each other and cannot be understood by others.[2] "In all cases known, the language consists of onomatopoeic expressions, some neologisms, but for the greatest part of words from the adult language adapted to the constrained phonological possibilities of young children. These words being hardly recognizable, the language may turn out to be completely unintelligible to speakers of the parents' languages, but they resemble each other in that they lack inflectional morphology and that word order is based on pragmatic principles such as saliency and the semantic scope of words. Neither the structure of the languages nor its emergence can be explained by other than situational factors."[3]
emphasis mine

wiki said:
In one particular study, rats and pigeons were required to press a button a certain number of times to get food. The animals showed very accurate distinction for numbers less than four, but as the numbers increased, the error rate increased.[152] In another, the primatologist Tetsuro Matsuzawa attempted to teach chimpanzees Arabic numerals.[160] The difference between primates and humans in this regard was very large, as it took the chimps thousands of trials to learn 1–9, with each number requiring a similar amount of training time; yet, after learning the meaning of 1, 2 and 3 (and sometimes 4), children (after the age of 5.5 to 6) easily comprehend the value of greater integers by using a successor function (i.e. 2 is 1 greater than 1, 3 is 1 greater than 2, 4 is 1 greater than 3; once 4 is reached it seems most children suddenly understand that the value of any integer n is 1 greater than the previous integer).[161] Put simply, other primates learn the meaning of numbers one by one, similar to their approach to other referential symbols, while children first learn an arbitrary list of symbols (1, 2, 3, 4...) and then later learn their precise meanings.[162] These results can be seen as evidence for the application of the "open-ended generative property" of language in human numeral cognition.[152]
This seems to support what I brought forward about projective (future) thinking.
 
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wiki said:
In recent years, genetic and neurological research has expanded the study of the emergence of religion. In 2018, the cultural anthropologist Margaret Boone Rappaport published her analysis of the sensory, neurological, and genetic differences between the great apes, Neanderthals, H. s. sapiens, and H. s. idaltu. She interprets the H. s. sapiens brain and genome as having a unique capacity for religion through characteristics such as expanded parietal lobes, greater cognitive flexibility, and an unusually broad capacity for both altruism and aggression. In Rappaport's framework, only H. s. sapiens of the hominins is capable of religion for much the same reason as the tools and artworks of prehistoric H. s. sapiens are finer and more detailed than those of their Neanderthal contemporaries; all are products of a unique cognition.[16]
emphasis mine

wiki said:
In the Upper Paleolithic, religion is associated with symbolism and sculpture. One Upper Paleolithic remnant that draws cultural attention are the Venus figurines, carved statues of nude women speculated to represent deities, fertility symbols, or ritual fetish objects.[39] Archaeologists have proposed the existence of Lower Paleolithic Venus figurines. The Venus of Berekhat Ram is one such highly speculative figure, a scoria dated 300–350 thousand years ago[note 4] with several grooves interpreted as resembling a woman's torso and head. Scanning electron microscopy found the Venus of Berekhat Ram's grooves consistent with those that would be produced by contemporary flint tools. Pettitt argues that though the figurine "can hardly be described as artistically achieved", it and other speculative Venuses of the Lower Paleolithic, such as the Venus of Tan-Tan, demand further scrutiny for their implications for contemporary theology.[42] These figurines were possibly produced by H. heidelbergensis, whose brain sizes were not far behind those of Neanderthals and H. s. sapiens, and have been analysed for their implications for the artistic understanding of such early hominins.[43]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prehistoric_religion#cite_note-joa-47
wiki said:
The tail end of the Lower Paleolithic saw a cognitive and cultural shift. The emergence of revolutionary technologies such as fire, coupled with the course of human evolution extending development to include a true childhood and improved bonding between mother and infant, perhaps broke new ground in cultural terms. It is in the last few hundred thousand years of the period that the archaeological record begins to demonstrate hominins as creatures that influence their environment as much as they are influenced by it. Later Lower Paleolithic hominins built wind shelters to protect themselves from the elements; they collected unusual natural objects; they began the use of pigments such as red ochre. These shifts do not coincide with species-level evolutionary leaps, being observed in both H. heidelbergensis and H. erectus.[44] Different authors interpret these shifts with different levels of skepticism, some seeing them as a spiritual revolution and others as simply the beginning of the beginning. While the full significance of these changes is difficult to discern, they clearly map to an advance in cognitive capacity in the directions that would eventually lead to religion.[13][37][44]
emphasis mine, ibid

wiki said:
Anatomically modern humans begin to appear in the fossil record in Ethiopia some 200,000 years ago.[196] Although there is still much debate as to whether behavioural modernity emerged in Africa at around the same time, a growing number of archaeologists nowadays[when?] invoke the southern African Middle Stone Age use of red ochre pigments—for example at Blombos Cave—as evidence that modern anatomy and behaviour co-evolved.[197] These archaeologists argue strongly that if modern humans at this early stage were using red ochre pigments for ritual and symbolic purposes, they probably had symbolic language as well.[27]
emphasis mine, ibid

wiki said:
To lower the larynx is to increase the length of the vocal tract, in turn lowering formant frequencies so that the voice sounds "deeper"—giving an impression of greater size. John Ohala argues that the function of the lowered larynx in humans, especially males, is probably to enhance threat displays rather than speech itself.[207] Ohala points out that if the lowered larynx were an adaptation for speech, adult human males would be expected to be better adapted in this respect than adult females, whose larynx is considerably less low. However, females outperform males in verbal tests,[208] falsifying this whole line of reasoning.
emphasis mine, ibid

We have a bit of "chicken and egg" problem with the larynx development in humans. Without the required modification we would not be capable of speech (as with other simians, their larynx is unlike humans), yet logical evolutionary suggestions as to what prompted that change in morphology bump into walls. Was it a chance occurrence?
 
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wiki said:
The second prediction that follows from Trivers' theory is that the fact that females invest more heavily in offspring makes them a valuable resource for males as it ensures the survival of their offspring which is the driving force of natural selection. Therefore, the sex that invests less in offspring will compete among themselves to breed with the more heavily investing sex. In other words, males will compete for females. It has been argued that jealousy has developed to avert the risk of potential loss of parental investment in offspring.[22]

If a male redirects his resources to another female it is a costly loss of time, energy and resources for her offspring. However, the risks for males are higher because although women invest more in their offspring, they have bigger maternity certainty because they themselves have carried out the child. However, males can never have 100% paternal certainty and therefore risk investing resources and time in offspring that is genetically unrelated. Evolutionary psychology views jealousy as an adaptive response to this problem.
cuckolding
 
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It recalls to mind a time I looked into our, what my dad has labeled, prayer closet. Its a room that was meant to be a breakfast nook for a more typical family, but for us has been purposed for meditation, puja, and prayers. No cats allowed.

Lamar got in somehow. I could see him through the crack in the door, was going to go and get him out.... but, he was standing on two legs, with his front paws on Shiva's altar, gazing at the picture of Shiva and his family with an intense, loving look. I didn't disturb him, but felt I oughta let him finish what he was doing.

Being as Shiva is sometimes called Pashupati, or Lord of Animals, it made sense that Lamar would choose his shrine.

Its also worth noting that Lamar has shown some amazing behavior regarding other cats... He actually at one time tamed a neighborhood feral enough that it would come to the house to get fed. Originally, he tried to get me to get the cat out of a neighbor's garage, but it was scared. Then he realized that he had to get the cat 'unscared', and worked to show him we were okay(long story, long process). I only mention this because the reasoning skills go beyond what the general populace attribute to a pet. Who's to say he couldn't be reverent?
I once had a cat who was very ill.
A friend gave me one of those "Lucky Cat" statues you see at Chinese restaurants.
I put it near his bed thinking it just seemed apropos.
He gave it the longest and most thoughtful look, like he recognized it and knew what it was for.
 
It recalls to mind a time I looked into our, what my dad has labeled, prayer closet. Its a room that was meant to be a breakfast nook for a more typical family, but for us has been purposed for meditation, puja, and prayers. No cats allowed.

Lamar got in somehow. I could see him through the crack in the door, was going to go and get him out.... but, he was standing on two legs, with his front paws on Shiva's altar, gazing at the picture of Shiva and his family with an intense, loving look. I didn't disturb him, but felt I oughta let him finish what he was doing.

Being as Shiva is sometimes called Pashupati, or Lord of Animals, it made sense that Lamar would choose his shrine.

Its also worth noting that Lamar has shown some amazing behavior regarding other cats... He actually at one time tamed a neighborhood feral enough that it would come to the house to get fed. Originally, he tried to get me to get the cat out of a neighbor's garage, but it was scared. Then he realized that he had to get the cat 'unscared', and worked to show him we were okay(long story, long process). I only mention this because the reasoning skills go beyond what the general populace attribute to a pet. Who's to say he couldn't be reverent?
When cats are laying in loaf position with their heads up but eyes closed to me it looks like they are praying or meditating.
 
Not sure whether their reasoning power connects them more to the Divine, but apparently giraffes are capable of some kind of statistical intuition to help increase their likelihood of getting their preferred vegetable treats:
"behavior until recently seen only in primates and parrots"
 
I once had a cat who was very ill.
A friend gave me one of those "Lucky Cat" statues you see at Chinese restaurants.
I put it near his bed thinking it just seemed apropos.
He gave it the longest and most thoughtful look, like he recognized it and knew what it was for.
Did he get well?
 
Seriously...turtles are vicious.

I have a koi pond....sort of. Well, that's what it is supposed to be, really just a repurposed inground swimming pool, but it's not like I can use the chemical filtration system - which is broken anyway when we bought the house. So my filter system is a work in progress, and it hasn't been keeping up nearly as well as I hoped.

Still, there's a half dozen or so large koi, descendants of the first half dozen original fish that I managed to kill off being overzealous with a water change one day. Lesson learned, the orange tree is still feeding off of those fish.

At one time I counted over a hundred common pet store comet goldfish. Apparently they like the situation well enough, considering I started with ten feeders, just to eat the mosquito larvae...that was 12 years ago. I learned pretty quickly goldfish -and koi- are grazers. Any plants I tried to introduce were mowed down in no time. le sigh

My brother in law brought over a turtle fairly early on, and a month or so later brought another. Appropriately, Yertle and Tooter...fans of Dr Seuss and Saturday morning cartoons in the late 1960s would understand the references. So Yertle and Tooter have been in this pond now for about ten years.

I finally figured a way to introduce some plants by putting the plants in a dollar store laundry basket, and ringing it with a pool noodle. If I'm being too esoteric, ignore me. Anyway, that keeps the fish and turtles at bay long enough the plants can recover from any picking at them from outside.

The turtles managed to claw their way into one of the baskets, and being relatively flimsy and brittle plastic tore their way into the basket and gorged themselves. That basket never recovered, and I eventually pulled it out and trashed it. I figure the other two are just a matter of time, one is already showing damage.

So it seems now every spring I get a fresh batch of baby fish, and about this time of year they are about feeder size, maybe a smidge larger, and the other day I found two older fish dead and floating, and a baby dead and floating. Pulled those out and buried in the vegetable garden. Started swinging the net to get some of the detritus out and snagged another baby, and couldn't get it back out of the net, and eventually put it by itself in the catch basin of the filter. It lived a couple days and ended up in the garden as well. Like that one, there is one in the pool now with a broken tail.

I recognize this, it is a turtle bite. And invariably it is fatal, the mark of a turtle hunting. After the victim succumbs, the turtle will return to a meal that doesn't squirm around.

Turtles are faster than you might think in the water. They're heavily armored, and heavy to lift at the end of a pool pole. I've noticed when I feed, the little fish tend to steer clear of the feeding turtles.

Turtles are vicious.
 
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Somebody somewhere here wrote something about Christians not observing the natural rhythm. Found it.

If I were to argue anything, I'd say that while Christianity is a supernatural religion, the rejection of the natural – an issue, I think, more common in the West than in the East, is an error.

I would say many Christians have come to believe, rightly or wrongly, that natural rhythms are somehow evil/bad/associated with "devil worship," or some such...and I have heard pastors, even well meaning, teach something along this line.

Who made the sun and moon, the stars and the planets?

G!d did.

This is what is called, by my "philosophical" (I do not practice, by choice) understanding, "occult" knowledge. There is nothing hidden about it.

The tides rise and fall with the Moon. They just do.

We are coming into the final quarter, well into the waning moon, coming to the new moon in a bit over a week from now. Today is like the last day of this cycle for root crops; potatoes, carrots, turnips, beets. Right now I have just sprouted carrots about a month old; the potato patch needs serious attention - stiff competition with the very mature trees just outside the fence. The beans and bitter cucumbers, have been doing well. Red tomatoes finally starting to come in, been munching off the one yellow cherry tomato been coming in now for about a week. Only get one or two a day, but its nice just walking by as I'm watering the garden. Wife grows "bitter cucumbers"...an acquired taste, but you get used to it. She also grows those "yard long greenbeans," and we eat them, too. A lot, and I'm fine with that.

New moon the "flower" seeds sprout best, so I like to have my seed in the ground a few days prior to the new moon, so the seeds settle in first.

First quarter is for "fruit" seeds, a lot of trees work in this cycle (I try to grow avocado pits into trees in 5 gal buckets...bonzai!)

Full moon marks the root crops mentioned before.

And we are moving into the last quarter, which is typically when you want to discourage growth...want/need to cut it down, turn it in and renew the soil in preparation for the next crop. Also have to factor fertilizer...you can't put green manure on a hot "flower bed/garden," you will kill it for that season. Manure especially, has to mellow before you can use it (minor factoid overlooked in the movie The Martian). Plants simply will not grow in fresh manure...farmers call it "burning the plant."

That is pretty much the sum of "occult," hidden knowledge, as I understand. I know there are aspects I do not will to experience, but that I'm aware of.

Benjamin Franklin was an ardent believer in the essence of what I just laid out, he is a founder of the Old Farmers Almanac...as far as I know published continuously since Franklin's time, for farmers to use as a basic guide for the coming season(s).

It's right there, for anybody to see, who pays attention to the seasons as they unfold. Signs of the times.

That is why I've said for years that a garden is about as close as a "sane, first world" person can get "back to nature." And I've been ridiculed for suggesting that being in a garden brings a person a bit closer to the IS. I don't know how else to explain it, but humans tend to think their way away from it. There's more to it than that, but thinking...cognizant, and conscious, the Freudian Super-Ego, tends to put up a barrier. Denial, maybe?

There's more to the veil than simply thinking, but thinking absolutely clouds the perception, and it is a "doing" thing, that is - it is, so it must be experienced.

Like, have you ever known a kid that animals all just love? They are unafraid of that child. As a human grows older and enters into a "conscious" mind by way of symbolic thought, they - we - lose "touch" with the reality, and animals tend to start keeping their distance.
 
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I think that issue – the severance of nature and the supernatural – is particularly a western one. a minor one until the fervid imaginings of the later middle ages; added to by a general anti-nature stance of the (so-called) Enlightenment, which saw nature as a wanton female in need of taming under the new sciences brought to the fore by men, and then added to (I am informed) largely in the North American denominations.

But the first corrective would be to draw the distinction between 'the occult', 'witchcraft' and 'sorcery' of the ancient world, and 'pagan' acknowledgement of the rhythms of nature.

The latter are, simply, fact. The former is in need of a more nuanced interpretation.

Between the two – some kind of pact with the diabolical on the one hand, and a farmer knowing the best time to sow seeds on the other, is a whole range of folklore and superstition – and, as ever – those ever-ready to profit by such.

The situation was hardly helped by the witchcraft craze in the post-Reformation era, the anti-nature views of the Enlightenment, and consumerism generally ...
 
The word "occult" simply means "hidden." It has taken on other meanings, but that is the basic definition.

A solar eclipse, for example, is when the moon occults the sun. Ye Olde English, but the gist is there.
 
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