The Fallacy of New Information
Written by: Michelle Belanger
I am a firm believer that there is nothing new under the sun. Nearly all of the information that we moderns pride ourselves on “discovering” has simply been a rediscovery of things known in the past. In the case of metaphysical knowledge, many of the things the Western world is just starting to learn about, such as the impact a well-trained mind can have on the body, are things many Eastern cultures have known and practiced for hundreds, if not thousands of years. It is the same with virtually every new "discovery". Here is the US, we are taught that Christopher Columbus discovered America. Yet we know now that Columbus didn’t find anything that hadn’t been found before. In fact, even though the Europeans at the time considered the Americas the New World, these were only new to them because previous knowledge of the western continents had been lost over time.
More than a thousand years before Columbus, maps in the library of Alexandria depicted both American continents as well as islands like Haiti and Cuba. (It is also highly probable that Columbus himself was navigating from Portuguese port o’lans copied from these very ancient maps.) Commerce with the so-called “New World” was also nothing new, as studies of Egyptian mummies have yielded traces of both tobacco and cocaine - two plants that are native to the Americas and which were likely imported to Egypt through an ancient transatlantic trade network.
Even so, because the Europeans at the time did not know about the existence of these western continents, they assumed that no one else had ever known about them either. This is the myth of progress. Our culture as a whole tends to assume that everything that came before it must necessarily be less advanced. We forget that progress is not simply forward motion in time. Civilizations rise and fall, and progress follows these peaks and crashes.
When an age ends, knowledge is lost. Consider Rome and the Dark Ages. The ancient Romans had hot and cold running water. Yet in Medieval Europe, not only was this technology lost, but it was considered both unhealthy and ungodly to bathe!
People, and civilization, have been around for a very long time. In that time, knowledge has been found, then lost, then found again, more times than it is possible to count. Each time it is rediscovered, it seems new to the people who are rediscovering it, but if you know where to look, it is usually possible to see that it has been known before.
It is the same with metaphysical knowledge. All of the things that you will encounter on this page have been known before. In our modern materialist culture, a lot of these concepts will seem new, but this is only because they have become unfamiliar over time. There is nothing supernatural about psychicism or energy work, spirits, incarnation, or even magick, despite its name. All of these principles function according to knowable laws. These laws are universal, and therefore, even when the understanding of them has been lost, experience and observation will allow them to be found again.
Every song has been sung; every dream has been dreamt. We are all merely walking in the steps of those who have gone before. The difference is in what we do with this for ourselves.