The Divinities

9. When man stopped hunting to become a farmer and domesticator of animals, his diet changed and his life expectancy was cut in half. He now was lucky to live through age thirty. His teeth fell out from the grain sugars. His bones weakened. He died horribly from diseases received from the domesticated animals he now lived beside.  From the forest the hunters and animals watched him working from morning until night. The gods of the hunt and the wild forest no longer spoke to farming man. Was he at this moment godless? Without a divinity how did he explain to himself the new and terrible afflictions and illnesses and the shortness of his life? Did he not consider a return to the forests and the life of hunting? 

10. The Biblical God was his answer. A vengeful God of punishment and sin and guilt. A God that from the first book of the Bible emphasized the hard life of work in tilling the fields and domesticating the animals (see Brody, The Other Side of Eden). The God of the Old Testament fit the farmer's form of life, a life of work and suffering. 

12. The farmer in his transformation of the earth was still close to the wild. Unlike the hunter gatherer who safeguarded the wild, the farmer fought against it. The farmer's struggle with what is wild made possible his God. Without the wild and the undomesticated there can be no divinity. 

13. Just as the divinities of the hunter gatherers perished with the passing of that form of life, the agrarian Biblical God is no longer suitable for the city dweller. His form of life cannot sustain a divinity. His form of life is no longer suitable to a god. 

14. Man's distance from the wild earth and untamed animals is his distance from divinity.

15. This epoch of man, the first to have broken with the divine, calls this break "progress"? But is it truly a break--will man never again require a divinity? Will man never again require the wild earth and the undomesticated animals?

28. The idea of slavery is born in his needing many sons to work his farm. To enslave strangers comes later. The first slaves were a farmer's sons. The hunter gatherer had no use for slaves: there was not enough work to be done to require them.

38. Men admire science and reason with something similar to the force of prior belief in divinities. But men do not regard the force of gravity as they once regarded the force of Ussen or Jupiter.

1 comment:

  1. Look at your aphorism 38. There is a big difference between the happy Earth-worship of the terrestrial religions, and the Gods of fire, death, fear, war, and technology (omniscience, omnipotence, transcendence of time), which come out of nowhere and are not of the Earth. Look, all the fucking gods, coming from the heavens, taking the leaders to the skies (Hebrew religion), having wars in the sky (Indian religion, 3000 BCE), having wars in the sky (South America, 3000 BCE), having wars in the sky (Ireland, 3000 BCE), China (3000 BCE). There is a Mayan glyph of a guy riding a rocket ship to the 'heavens,' but the glyph is 5,000 years old.

    So I claim you are really pissed off about aliens. God damn it, you are pissed off about aliens. Maybe this has something to do with slavery. With farming. With bad diets. With currency.

    The next advance in human understanding is a distinction between the terrestrial and the extra-terrestrial. There is an economic interest to muddy the waters in these matters. As with all matters of truth.


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