What is “the fairytale”?
There is some type of dreamworld that exists in all of our imaginations. It is a mix of reality and fantasy that blends together perfectly.
In our bones, in our DNA, we can feel a time before this one. Our great, great ancestors once lived during the time of much simpler days. The word “technology” and “machinery” had completely different meanings.
In our hearts, we still feel the presence of mythical creatures such as unicorns and dragons that still somehow carry great influence in the current modern world.
A brief history lesson…
When we think about “fairytale,” we distinctly think about the middle ages (500 – 1500) — we do not think about ancient history such as Babylonian or Mesopotamian civilizations, we do not think about prehistory or cavemen, and we most certainly do not think about recent history or the future.
Societies were actually far more progressed than we realize in B.C. times. There were astronomers, doctors, and many other forms of study. There was also impressive art, realistic statues of famous people for example. The Library of Alexandria located in Alexandria, Egypt was established around 200 B.C., containing a vast amount of complex and knowledgable literature. The Great Pyramids that date back to at least 3000 B.C. were built with such advanced mathematical precision, that no one from the middle ages could even come close to.
There is some evidence that ancient technologies were just as advanced, perhaps even more advanced, than modern times. Silurian hypothesis theorizes that there was another, more advanced civilization that existed on Earth around a million years ago at least. It is one of the many explanations as to why they had so much more knowledge back then than should be possible.
And then came the dark ages…
The start of the Middle Ages (or Medieval period) is known as the “dark ages” which was propelled by the fall of Rome around 500 B.C. This lead to more barbaric wars, population decline, economic deterioration, and a lack of scientific and artistic progression. The Renaissance period (1300-1600) and Enlightenment (1700) supposedly brought us out of the dark ages.
Reality of the Middle Ages
So what is so romantic or ideal about the middle ages? Perhaps because it traces so far back, way beyond our great-great-great grandparents, to a time that does not feel real to us. However, it is still somewhat recent enough for our minds to grasp it — as opposed to ancient history or prehistory.
The reality of the Middle Ages was that it was a dark time… or was it? You can find many articles arguing that the “dark ages” were not so dark after all. Or you can find others claiming that the world has gone through several periods of “dark ages,” in and out. Some may even argue that we are still currently in the dark ages, or merely beginning to get out of it.
No matter, the Middle Ages was definitely not as happy-go-lucky as the fairy tales paint it out to be. First of all, it was a very dirty, filthy, unclean time. It was also a time of… what is a nice word for “stupidity?” …let’s just say that they had less knowledge than us (and the ancient ones.)
The Middle Ages was plagued with diseases, famines, natural disasters — all the things we still deal with today. Except they must have had it much worse, considering the average lifespan was believed to be in the 30s. The reality is that many adults lived to the ripe old age of 80s, even 90s, however surviving childhood was their greatest obstacle. These days we tend to believe that children are the healthiest and immune to anything, and that all health issues can be blamed on aging — the reality is that children are sensitive and highly susceptible to disease, they just have a higher survival rate now.
This post is becoming very morbid. I apologize. Let’s fast-forward to the fantasy stuff!!!
Romanticism of Middle Ages
Many of us look back on the middle ages with rose colored-glasses. And there are some good reasons for this.
My opinion is that the progression of technology has killed romance in many ways. Romance has become more of a practical tool than a life-changing force. Romance has become more about the ego, as people use social media to update their relationship status and show off their partner to all their friends, to prove that they are lovable and doing just fine in life.
What sounds more romantic to you, a hand-written letter or a text message?
But it’s not just about technology, it also comes down to mindset. Today, all of us have this need, pressure, expectation to be in control. We are living under this false illusion that we have total control over everything. And this could be partially due to technology, giving us much more control than we ever had back then. Dying your hair, wearing contact lenses, plastic surgery, photoshop… there are countless ways to control your appearance. Social media lets us control our image and reputation.
And yet, no matter how far you go to control the external, you will always have your limits, and you can never fully control the internal. We see someone with a disease and naturally think “they must have poor health habits,” we see someone living in poverty and naturally think, “they must be careless with money,” we see someone struggling in general and we naturally think, “they are a hot mess, they have issues.” We judge people as if they consciously chose to be in their current situation — and then we get upset and paranoid about people judging us for the same — things that go beyond our control.
Science has become our new religion, and the worship of science has lead to extreme arrogance. Science is a set of theories that are tested through observation. And science itself teaches us that observation is unreliable — when you observe something, you change it. Science is truly about having an open mind — accepting theories, giving them room for error, and being open to new possible theories to take their place. That’s how we progress. Science can be seen as the opposite of religion because instead of a distinct set of belief systems, it’s about opening your mind to ALL possibilities, admitting that “fact” has the potential to be subjective.
However, these days, science has turned into a religion. The “top scientists” or “the experts” are the new gods. Whatever they say, goes. Fact is fact. There is no “thinking for yourself” or “thinking outside the box” — as science truly should be. There are many, many scientific facts we are no longer allowed to disagree with, or even question, without being shamed, ridiculed, and isolated from society. But science should be all about questioning! It is religion that doesn’t allow us to question! And so, science is the new religion.
So this brings me back to my point — these days, our brains have become to hard-wired that we cannot accept being out of control. Many of us feel uncomfortable to think that there are higher and unexplained forces at work. Even though, no matter how much scientific research is done, a lot of the information we have still contradicts one another and baffles us. But we’re living in this boxed illusion that we are in control of everything. That’s our egos speaking.
And what is true love? To me, it is the opposite of being in control. Being out of control forces you to put your ego aside, the same way love does. I don’t think anyone chooses to fall in love with anyone. If they do, it’s their ego, and that’s not real. Having a partner is convenient, but falling in love is extremely inconvenient. Finding someone compatible is like going to the spa, falling in love is like going to the DMV. It’s not something you would ever choose. You hear so many people saying “I wish I had someone to love,” but they’re not talking about true love, they are talking about easing the pain of loneliness. Seriously, you are crazy if you purposely want to fall in love with someone. How many times have you witnessed someone in love, and thought to yourself, “they are sane!” No, they’re crazy. And that’s why it’s love.
Falling in love is something that just happens… when you least expect it. In modern times, we fail to grasp this concept. We say that love is something you find all by yourself, no divine intervention necessary, it’s completely under your control. These days we think love is beneath us, not above us. These days we say everything in life must be planned –relationships, marriage, children. If something goes beyond your control, then apparently it’s all your fault. The people surrounding you persuade you to take any extreme measure just to maintain this sickening illusion that you are in control of everything. The truth is, the more you force yourself to be in control, the more you suffer.
And so, the middle ages was a time of mystery, especially from our 21st-century perspective. They had religion, they said God is in control. They didn’t have the same technology that made them feel like gods. They had superstition with no explanation. They had myths without evidence.
To be continued…
I’m going to wrap this up because I didn’t even expect to write this much. But I will continue examining “the fairytale” on another Wish Wednesday!!! Thanks for reading!!! Let me know if you have any thoughts or anything to add for my next post!