Asun López-Varela Azcárate
In his bestseller Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (2015), Yuval Noah Harari noted that one of the most important cognitive faculties in the human species is the development of imagination, a faculty that, together with human capability for establishing cause-effect relationships and turning them into stories, has enabled the creation of narratives. But according to Harari, the importance of narrative not only lies on being able to tell about things that take place around us. “Rather, it’s the ability to transmit information about things that do not exist at all. As far as we know, only Sapiens can talk about entire kinds of entities that they have never seen, touched or smelled.” (24) This means that humans can create unique forms of social organization beyond the present; that is, envisioning not only the past, as in myths, but also the future, as in all the religious narratives that foresee life after death.