- Education and Science»
- Sociology & Anthropology»
- Folklore & Mythology
Dragons Amongst Us
Every civilization has some mention of dragons or dragon like beasts. Many scientist have theorized that either the myths are based on dinosaur remains or perhaps from actual living dinosaurs who were around later than anyone had previously thought. As fascinating as the subject is, it is not what this hub is about. Instead it is about the living breathing dragons that we pass on the street everyday.
Dragons are identified by a particular set of physical characteristics that are universally recognized. They have a serpentine body covered in scales that is as hard as any armor. They have long curved claws and in some cases a matching set of teeth, the Chinese dragon however has flat teeth. Their eyes are sharp and piercing, typically compared to that of a demon. Skulls are crocodile in shape and are adorned with horns and spikes. The breathe of the dragon is hot, either manifesting as fire or steam. Wings may be included in the design, usually bat-like. As a designer there are many issues that can arise due to the requirements of size for lift as well as the needed muscle mass in the chest and shoulders. The typical illustration is seldom a creature that would actually be capable of flight.
Within the Christian church it has come to be the embodiment of evil, the symbol of darkness. To older cultures it was a natural or celestial force. Ancient maps were detailed with pictures of sea serpents and dragons in areas that were yet unexplored. In western legends they guarded some great treasure or beauty. In eastern myths they dwelt beneath the water in any lake or stream. They always existed just on the edge of the unknown. As man's knowledge of the world expanded the territory of the dragons shrunk. Despite this encroachment the species still thrives.
Myths are stories that serve to illustrate a point or teach a lesson. The acquisition of the treasure or goal in the story serves as the culmination of the lesson, or the knowledge to be gained. So if the treasure is knowledge than what of the beast that guards it? The beast serves as the trial the hero must over come to gain the prophesied insight. The dragon is the obstruction of knowledge, in other words, a mental barrier.
We all have them. Those little blind spots in our receptors that keep us from gaining certain bits of knowledge. Some we choose to put in place, some are a product of conditioning, and others are the more mystical variety that can't be explained beyond genetics. Externally we have them wherever the flow of knowledge is obstructed. They dwell just on the edge of our peripheral because they're too horrifying to acknowledge. When you spot them and try to tell others you're likely to rave like a madman. But they are everywhere, especially when you're not looking.
The process of slaying these beasts is an epic one fraught with peril. Typically it requires a strong motive to encourage someone to undergo the challenge. Motivation could stem from losing your fields to being stuck in a dead end job. Regardless the quest for new knowledge is risky, especially in an age where fool's gold is treasure. It requires a careful introspection into the infinite space between your ears. You must arm yourself with the proper criticisms, but not so much as to hinder your movement. Honesty is your sword and faith your shield, most people can't wield these and there journey ends before it begins. These are the people who over encumber themselves with armor and go no where.