The time has come today... Afterwords.
My personal belief has always been that the only book of the bible worth reading is Genesis. I’ve always had the notion that the book is the collected bits of information remaining from the days just before and shortly after the collapse of the water canopy surrounding our planet. It must have been a truly calamitous event wiping out nearly everything and everyone living upon the surface of our world. The survivors must have known it was going to be a long time before civilization recovered from the event and that many dark days lay ahead of them. They left us a story. They left us a warning.
It is reported in the bible that the rains fell for one hundred and fifty days. God only knows how long it took for the waters to recede. According to the accounts in the bible there were viable cities at that time possessing metallurgical skills, crafts and a thriving arts community. Cities contained brothels, markets and homes protected by walls. The primary source of energy was fire.
Fire provided light at night, heat during the cold seasons, cooking sources and heat for the smelting and production of metal tools. It also would have provided warm water for bathes and warmed the pools in the brothels. I imagine the heat pumped into the atmosphere and the carbon dioxide along with it was considerable. Could the first planetary disaster have been caused by the pollution sent into the atmosphere by cities around the world using fire as their primary energy source? Wood was a fairly cheap and available fuel source in those days.
Before the flood that laid waste to nearly every living thing upon the face of the planet a civilization existed that was wiped away and buried beneath an unimaginable amount of water and debris. I believe a monument still remains from that civilization. I believe that said monument remained hidden in plain sight for a great number of years because it had been altered and thus misled many who viewed it because they attributed its building to the wrong group of people in the wrong epoch of human history. You have seen this monument in hundreds perhaps even thousands of pictures and illustrations. It was the face that fooled you.
Can you guess what monument I’m talking about?
Let me tell you a story. Once upon a time a great power was developing amongst the people. This political entity had an alphabet, a system of mathematics capable of erecting marvelous buildings and they had a sophisticated political system capable of motivating large numbers of it citizenry to participate in engineering projects that created a robust economy. This robust nation had mapped out the area surrounding it and traveled great distances to engage in trade with many countries in the known world of its day.
One day as a group of travelers was journeying across a trade route that had been traversed a thousand times by as many caravans before it someone noticed something unusual. It wasn’t long before the leaders of the group realized that what they’d just found in the sand had been manufactured by the hand of man. They began digging to see just what it was they’d discovered and soon realized that the task was going to be far more arduous than anyone had first imagined.
When the leader of the powerful nation was informed of what had been discovered he sent teams of men to excavate the item buried in sand. Now, no one had any idea what was about to be unearthed. As carefully as the area of this kingdom had been studied, mapped and cataloged no one had ever seen anything in this particular area but sand and even more sand. They began to dig and as they dug a figure began to emerge from the ground.
The ruler of the land watched the monument appear beneath the efforts of the excavation team and realizing what a remarkable edifice was being unearthed he decided to take advantage of the opportunity and add to his already considerable glory. He called in a team of artisans and began an immediate alteration to the monument. He had the original face on the great stone construct changed to reflect his very own face. As the excavation continued a new face was created and when the excavation was finished it was discovered that the head of the pharaoh now adorned what appeared to be the body of a great stone lion. That is how the Sphinx came to be. It was not built by the Egyptian peoples; it was simply excavated by them and altered by a glory hungry pharaoh to appease his personal ego.
It took archaeologists a long time to put together the true story of the Sphinx and by time they did so it was already believed by almost everyone in the world to be a monument to the greatness of the Egyptian empire of centuries past. Who really built it and what its original purpose was intended to be is still a mystery.
I like to believe that as the climate began to change the civilization about to be obliterated from the face of the planet decided to leave a legacy. Knowing how little would remain to mark their time upon our planet they decided to build a monument that would reflect the character of what they’d been as a people. I believe they built a lion in the dessert. They built it as a symbol of their strength and the courage of their spirit in the face of impending annihilation. They built a lion in the sand so that when the waters receded and civilization began to recover from the disaster that had nearly destroyed it someone would find the monument and it would fill those who looked upon it with the wonder of what had once been achieved and what could be accomplished in the world again. I believe it was the final statement of a people who knew they were about to be destroyed and did not want to be forgotten. I have always been amazed by the lion in the sand and the fact that no one from the Egyptians who discovered it up to the present day has any idea of who built it. It is a relic of a forgotten civilization.
I do not believe farmers set out to destroy the world. I do believe they provided the means by which our destruction would eventually be guaranteed. The agricultural revolution broke the balance of nature. Through the process of farming man was capable of achieving an evolutionary survival edge that has remained unmatched by any other species with which we share the planet. We have created so many of our species that no real purpose exists for most of us. Consumption is no great and glorious endeavor. The majority of us are truly extraneous and there is no significant reason for us to exist.
Our numbers are in the billions and the way we are doing things is clearly affecting the ecology of our world. The byproducts of our way of life are killing the planet. The Earth has protected its integrity in the past and I believe it will do so again. Pride and hubris have blinded us to the peril we face and I believe that unlike the people who built the lion in the dessert the only monument we will leave behind us is a flaming ball of ruin circling a lonely sun at the end of a spiral arm of a galaxy located in the middle of nowhere.
Even if all we’ve built as a civilization crumbles and falls to the ground in ruins among the flames of destruction there is one thought that brings me great comfort; somewhere on the scorched and despoiled planet remains a monument to a group of people who showed the greatness and character of what we could have been if we’d possessed the strength and character of a lion in the sand. Whoever built that monument may be forgotten by the rest of you but they are always remembered by me. I think about them a lot...