Ancient peoples stored their philosophy and practical wisdom in a different manner to how we do today.
I will shortly be undertaking a task of translating a language of the ancient Celts. This language is a metaphorical symbolic language which nobody has fully attempted to make sense of. I call this language R1B, since that is the Haplogroup Y-DNA genetic marker of the Celtic people.
The Celts used oral tradition to remember knowledge
The Celtic people used various scripts like Ogham, or used other languages like Greek for simple functional purposes like boundary marking, accounting and memorials, but never to record their philosophy or practical wisdom. The Celt is an ancient people who preferred the oral tradition, handing down their knowledge orally, never in written form.
How the Celt remembered their knowledge
The Bard was a group of people who remembered and narrated the philosophy and memories of the Celtic people. A member of the Druids, the Bard entered into twenty years of training to remember a vast bank of knowledge by memory. Anyone looking to learn memory skills would find a study of how the Bard remembered their knowledge a useful exercise. The Bard knew how the human mind worked, and exploited it to remember their vast knowledge.
Amongst the techniques to remember knowledge in the oral tradition is to use patterns, which could be matched with sensory techniques like music. The knowledge was written in strict verse, thus it comes through as poetry set to music.
One technique is to group knowledge in three parts under a common theme, called a triad:
Three Red Ravagers of the Island of Britain:
and Rhun son of Beli,
and Morgant the Wealthy.
Just as a word is said to convey a meaning, the Celt used a symbol, for instance a cauldron meant something that renews or is new. Through the use of metaphor the Celt gave the sense of a thing, its function, its action and its relationship, thus a noisy war horn changing to a horn flowing with wine conveyed the sense that a group at war has made peace.
Why academics made an error to reject Celtic knowledge
The practical wisdom and the philosophy of the Celts is in the manner it is for the purposes of the oral tradition, thus pattern, symbol and metaphor was vital to be able to remember and use this knowledge in an oral way. The oral tradition uses different parts of the brain, especially the right-side of the brain.
The modern-day techniques is to use abstract scratches on a surface called words, set in patterns like essays, and ordered according to logical manners; all which use the left side of the brain, a less efficient way of using the brain, which forces it to work harder and thus become tired quicker than the oral tradition.
Whereas the academic prefers their knowledge to be in books, the Celt had immediate access to their knowledge in their heads. The academic prefers to store useless knowledge in journals (the mating habits of the cane toad), the Celt stored practical wisdom in verse (what defines a man). The academic strips meaning from a thing through abstraction, down to its parts or one part, whereas the Celt leaves the holistic meaning intact through concrete thinking.
If knowledge is inside the head of the user, and is being actively used then it is a “living” knowledge. I am sure that many academics have made no efforts to memorise entire journals and books, nor do they find what they store in their journals useful to their everyday living, it is therefore “dead” knowledge.
The Celtic philosophy and practical wisdom remains intact
Thanks to Bards who under Christian influence began to write down what was in their heads as poetry and prose, the core Celtic philosophy and practical wisdom remains available and largely intact. What the academic rejects as fairy tales is a metaphorical symbolic code that contains the wisdom of an entire people, that remains to be translated. This is a task I have taken on, to break the code and translate it into everyday language.