Monday, June 04, 2007

End of Eden

In the days before history began, before the people of Sumer began the first known civilization in what we now call Iraq, people lived in small scattered groups. Prehistory humanity was probably migratory following the seasons and game eking out a modest living in a pristine wilderness. Before the ancient King of Babylon Hammurabi hammered out his code of laws in stone I imagine people were able to get along with each other united by family and the need to survive and they no doubt cooperated with each other in order pass on their genes and to survive.

With the invention of civilization came empire and laws to rule empire bringing a new set of problems. Crime was among the first of these problems otherwise why would humanity need the code of Hammurabi? Then came the plague for now that people were grouped together in close proximity and in ever larger numbers diseases like the plague could now spread as large populations became vectors with rodents, fleas and virus. While civilization was an invention of convenience -- the convenience of growing crops, raising livestock, protection from the elements, it also came with a price and a heavy one at that. No doubt there was conflict before the rise of civilization but these conflicts would have been small and limited in number but now with the invention of the state began the curse of organized warfare and the development of military in order to pursue war.

I have long believed that the origin myth of what we call the story of Adam and Eve was the story of the end of humanity as a natural animal that lived in the natural world who one day inflicted civilization upon themselves. It was the end of Eden and the beginning of a long nightmare of crime, murder, rampant and deadly diseases and the greatest ill of all, organized war wrought by the coming of humanity’s greatest mistake which is known to us as national leaders for national leaders are probably the greatest curse of all.

How odd it is that what we see before us we accept as normal. We accept that capitalism is part of the natural order of reality. That it is normal for humanity to congregate in huge hives and for each hive to wage war with other hives in order that our hive should be the best of all hives and that our hive will outlast all the other hives that came and went before us because quite naturally since it is the hive we belong to it must be the best hive possible. It rarely occurs to anyone that this is only one reality out of many realities that may have been, could have been.

We are curious creatures, very curious indeed. We discover what is called evolution and what is the first conclusion we come to? That we, humanity in all its glory, are the epitome of evolution and that we are the highest pinnacle of that process whereby nature evolves life forms that can live within the confines of an environment and how nicely that fits in with our astonishing conceit. I ask you, was there ever a more conceited creature than modern man? How we look down our noses at what we call prehistoric man, at ancient man, and what proof of our forgone superiority do we hold forth? Technology we say, surely our technology is proof that we are the highest and the noblest creature ever to open its eyes and perceive creation around us. Look, look, we build tall structures that reach to the clouds. We make machines that move us rapidly from here to there though what the hurry is none can say. But, but, we can move very heavy objects over vast distances you might point out though we never question the sanity of such pastimes. We can catch a fish in the Philippines, freeze it, and send it on a jet plane to Kansas where we can have it for dinner on the very same day, and surely this is proof positive that we are the most marvelous of creations.

Most people don’t know and are not aware of the fact that ancient man had technology as well. The reason for this is though technology has replaced that fearful God of Eden many do not even understand the definition of technology or even how it differs from science though we point to our technology and revere it as proof of how amazing and unique we are. Ah but we have invented modern medicine yet I would point out that with each passing minute, hour, and day that fewer and fewer have access to modern medicine and that that modern medicine has also produced viruses that are immune to our miracle drugs because we have abused those drugs.

But again one might say we have invented science. We have big-banged the universe and made science our savior. We know how many miles it is to the nearest galaxy. We know the composition of stars and their rightful place in the main sequence. We see the very curve of the universe and yet the closer we get to the origin myth of science, what we call the Big Bang theory, our scientists tell us they see the hand of God itself. Science is turning on itself and eating its own tail like the fabled Worm Oroborous because it is handing us another origin myth throwing God into the mix as the laws of physics break down the closer we approach the moment of the Big Bang.

So this is the modern take on reality. On one end we have the Big Bang and on the other end we have that ultimate apex, that wonder of wonders, the natural conclusion to the entire reason for existence which is to cradle us, humanity, in its cosmic arms and for the universe to know that we were well worth the eons of time and space and cataclysmic energies that were released only to culminate in us the true wonders of the universe. We are surely the most amazing assholes.

Look, I am a huge fan of science, I like modern technology, I like my car which I can drive down to the local market or where ever and knowing that if I break a leg that a doctor can heal it rather than the local barber bleeding my blood to let the evil spirits out. On the other hand we really need to get a grip on it, to look, to see, to understand that this is only one reality and we could make better ones for ourselves without the war, without the strata of social levels, without being such conceited and self important asses that we are. We need to stop accepting all those givens of normalcy that we believe to be normal and part of the natural order of the universe. We could do a whole lot better than what we are doing now. We have fallen from Eden and created a living Hell on earth filled with violence, insanity, greed, and stupidity. So why not try for something better, we really have nothing to lose.