I had often wondered why my ancestors, the prehistoric people of Europe, Celts for example left no writings to continue the understanding of their culture. I heard it suggested that it was due to the superstition that writing down their knowledge and religion would allow others to steal and/or corrupt it. (I might think this a ridiculous notion were it not for the number of people who have died in past and who sadly continue to die today due to the corruptions of religions that were founded on love and peace.) Still this was not enough to satisfy my curiosity.
Then I saw a documentary about how, in Japan, many traditional arts, such as sword making, are not studied in books or classes but must be handed down from master to apprentice over many years of training. It had explained how in this way the craft knowledge from a thousand years was kept the same. At once I was struck both by, how beautiful and admirable such dedication seemed, and how impractical and impossible it would have been for my ancestors to do the same.
A thousand years ago, the Dark Ages was the well earned name for that period in European history. A result of waves of barbarians fighting over land and loot, the years between the fall of the Roman Empire and the Renaissance saw so many killed or dying young from the loss of any scientific medical knowledge that to imagine a fine craft passed from master to apprentice for generations was nigh impossible then. Only monasteries were able to protect what bits of craft and culture survive.
So it seemed to me a sad truth that most of the knowledge that my Celtic ancestors may have possessed was certainly was lost (Especially after thousands of pagan saxons were executed by Charlemagne) and the only remnants that survive are those that became part of Catholic tradition (like Christmas trees.) For I long while I thought them foolish for letting superstition keep them from writing down their history.
But then I dreamed a shaman summoned me, and granted me communion. I awoke the next day strangely changed. I found myself more aware of many things, especially nature. I found myself no longer questioning why they did not write but instead marveling at the confidence a oneness with nature bestows. I am in awe of the power contained in a single immortal soul.
If neither death nor time can keep a master from taking an apprentice, then I have no excuse for not learning.