Essay by Guru Tony
Thinkers’ Corner features theoretical essays on everything from politics to the paranormal, science to religion, crime to love, offering a different way of thinking best described as Rational Holism.
They gather by the hundreds to see the Summer Solstice dawn at Stonehenge. Yet, some researchers feel they shouldn’t. They should actually be waiting for the Winter Solstice moon. That is what is important. Or is it purely an observatory?
No, it’s about ancestor worship. No, it’s a calendar. No, it’s all about healing. No, it purely for burial. No, it’s purely about trade. No, it’s a UFO beacon. No, it’s a transmitter to the stars ….
Will you all please shut up! Thank you. That’s better. So many theories, so many ideas, so many arguments. It is no wonder so many are confused about what Stonehenge is, and what it was meant to do. What DO we know about it?
The most spectacular example of a stone circle, Stonehenge is in Wiltshire, England, and was begun about 3000BC, and rebuilt in stages for the next thousand years or so. Some believe it had been a wood henge long before that.
It consists of huge upright stones with stones laid across the top. It originally had an outer circle and an inner horseshoe shaped construction. With stones being hauled from as far away as Wales, there is evidence of cremation pre-dating the structure.
It is clearly aligned to the rising sun of the Summer solstice, but other than that, arguments proliferate concerning any other meaningful astronomical alignments. Beyond this, everything is hypothesis.
Of course, chances are all the ideas put forward are wrong. Oh, and they are also maybe right. Confused? I find a severe problem with modern man’s intellect. The modern world is one of specialization, with everything compartmentalized for ease of explanation.
Due to this, modern intellectuals project specialization backwards into the past. Hence, everything must have a specific reason for its existence. And thus, we have all the contradictory theories regarding Stonehenge.
I don’t think we can see ancient man in this way. All the earliest texts suggest man did not reason as we do. Rather, they existed in a natural world of connections, with one thing merging into another. Yes, they had an element of specialization, or they’d never have been able to build Stonehenge. But the engineering was intrinsically part of a ‘whole’.
We know of this today as ‘holism’. It is a system that does not see any part of a system as separate to any other. As Aristotle first explained, the ‘whole’ is more than the sum of its parts. Meaning that the various elements of anything build up to a far greater truth.
Specialisation is the opposite of holism. Specialisation is interested only in those parts, ignoring the ‘whole’ as non-existent. And it is due to this that modern intellectuals will never grasp just what Stonehenge is.
Is Stonehenge an observatory? I’d say yes. Is the Summer or Winter Solstice most important? Yes. Both. Was it a burial ground? Yes. Were ancestors important to the builders? Yes. Is it a calendar? Yes. Was it about trade, or healing? Yes. Was it a beacon for a UFO … We’ll leave that one.
The point I’m making is that Stonehenge was most likely about ALL those things. The whole of existence was wrapped up in stone, and none were more important than the other. And the ‘whole’ of those things led to something even more fundamental than that.
Just what that was, we cannot grasp in today’s intellectual climate of specialistion. All we can do is argue over whether it was this or that, when it was clearly the ‘other’.
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