What if all the relationships, all the wisdom and knowledge worth knowing, was within a person? And what role do institutions play? They preserve and perpetuate these relationships, this knowledge.
What if the institution preserved the wrong wisdom? What if a race of people existed that possessed the wrong knowledge? That is, what if the knowledge that everyone sought to preserve and possess failed to preserve them and actually possessed them?
What if everylasting life was a way for consciousness to be passed down from generation to generation? What if the level and purity and complexity of these relationships thought up in the mind, resembling a platonic or pythagorean nature, were preserved through institutions, in religions through the priests of old?
What is religion? From religō (“I bind back or behind”), from re + ligō (“I tie, bind, or bandage”). To bind words to the mind, through meditative reflection. Similar to education’s methods of inculcation. Both are useful, no? But to what extent?
What is man but nothing more than his culture? I insist: man is purely his culture. If you were to toss a new born into the jungle, it would be animalistic. What is civilization but nothing more than a complex web of relationships among entities in the world?
There is no man, no definitive conception of humanity to speak of, without culture. It is society’s productions, or “culture”, that manufactures man into the image we esteem him to possess today. And how tainted and obtuse and slanted is this image? How myopic and distorted? Our modern day image of man is a palladium erected to protect against our own possibility, our own potential; thus it is our greatest weakness. Let us discard limits and notion of definite certainty. Let us embrace chaos with our eyes cast inward and outward, but let us spare our eyes from observing the pantomimes of others, let us rely on our own intuitions regarding worldly wisdom that is checked by humility and bolstered by courage.