One of the most encouraging pieces of evidence that the world around us is actually changing dramatically (for the better) is that we are becoming much more open to new ideas. Historically, cultures all over the world have sentenced people to death for new ideas.
One the most infamous historical figures was nailed to a cross for his radical thoughts. Fast forward a couple hundred years, when those thoughts become the foundation for such religious fervor that people who were seen as a threat to those once radical ideas (with radical ideas of their own) were burned at the stake. What is it with culture’s extreme resistance to new ideas and extreme defens(iveness) of the orthodoxy?
The word Zeitgeist (of documentary fame) literally translates into English (from German) as “time ghost.” The German language has such amazing concepts built into its worldview.
A zeitgeist is the unquestioned beliefs that govern any culture. They are largely invisible beliefs, their origins mostly obscured by the mists of time. They are taken as sacrosanct and not only go unquestioned but, by virtue of their invisibility, have become inherently unquestionable.
These are beliefs we have inherited from our ancestors. Literally, ghosts from our past.
Time ghosts are similar to myths. The most important distinction is that they are invisible. The most important similarity is that they are mostly unquestionable.