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Stories will Survive Rituals

  • We are torn between a brain that wants the external world (nature and society) to be represented by regularities and a brain that is driven by passions that create a chaotic world of irregularities.
  • Rituals were meant to bring order to both nature and society for the benefit of the brain that desires order in the external world.
  • Rituals were the first form of mathematical logic, the primordial ancestors of computation and simulation.
  • However, due to the brain that is driven by passions, human history is chaotic and convoluted, a maze of interlocking and overlapping stories.
  • The ordered rituals chaired by the priests were disrupted by disorderly stories (mainly stories about the aristocracy that ran society) as told by the worshippers.
  • Stories often embed regularities that are overlooked in rituals, and possibly some rituals emanated from the need to find regularities in those chaotic stories, that, ultimately, represent the chaos of the external world.
  • Religion adopted stories too because the masses understand fiction better than reality. Thus the holy scriptures of many religions with their mazes of stories.
  • Government and laws structure society; science and technology structure nature. Their combined efforts over the centuries are making rituals and religion useless.
  • The order desired by the brain is increasingly delivered by more powerful entities than rituals (by laws and technologies); but stories, due to the passions of the brain, persist in different forms: world news, conspiracy theories, agiographies of stars, etc.