The Great Cycle – 2

Our prehistoric ancestors used Art as a medium for shamanic work. This cave painting created in Lascaux,France during the Ice Age shows a number of the animal spirits that these ancient peoples invoked in the course of spiritual ceremonies
Our prehistoric ancestors used Art as a medium for shamanic work. This cave painting created in Lascaux,France during the Ice Age shows a number of the animal spirits that these ancient peoples invoked in the course of spiritual ceremonies

The Great Cycle is composed of many smaller cycles. The milestone that I just recounted, the first re-encounter of two of the previously isolated human groups marked the beginning of one of those smaller cycles. That chance meeting of long-lost relatives, who had become so different from each other that they hardly recognized each other as human, that moment in prehistory was to mark the beginning of a global re-unification of our species. This amazing world-wide process of bringing the species back together was to take almost exactly 260 centuries, and it is just now coming to its conclusion.

It started with two groups meeting in one place, then the process was repeated in a totally different place, far away, perhaps several centuries later. Two other groups met and the reaction was exactly the same. In another part of the world it happened again with two other groups. It kept happening over and over, with increasing frequency, groups of humans, shocked to find out that they were not alone.

It was a bittersweet series of events, because even though it was the beginning of a great re-unification, it was filled with fear and pain. A great enemy was born that day. It is an evil entity, a spirit of infinite patience and malice. This being had a mission. Its mission was to thwart the glorious process of re-unification of the global human family. Its goal was to keep us from again becoming one unified community as we had once been, and to cause us to create the conditions for our own self-destruction.

That enemy manifested itself by corrupting our own survival instincts, especially those that allowed us to distinguish between ourselves and other animal species who might compete with us in our environment. Instead of allowing us to blend peacefully and harmoniously with one another clan with clan, tribe with tribe, this spirit taught us to fear and then to hate.

It began with the differences in appearance between two groups that met at a given time. At first there was a fleeting recognition of the inherent humanity of the “others”, but soon this was replaced by suspicion then a kind of hatred called “bigotry”.

The sound of the unintelligible speech of the “others” became an irritant, it became “stupid babble”. Familiarity bred contempt and initial recognition for whatever technological innovation that the “others” might possess and that might be traded for, turned into scorn and more suspicion. The “others” became “the enemy”. The fabric of the ancient covenant between the human species and the Great Spirit began to unravel.

 This is a replica of an image created by the Assyrians of ancient Mesopotamia. It shows an army of conquering warriors at the height of the classical empire era in the Middle East.

This is a replica of an image created by the Assyrians of ancient Mesopotamia. It shows an army of conquering warriors at the height of the classical empire era in the Middle East.

The process of re-unification proceeded, but it proceeded with great effort. Wars were spawned. People adapted weapons that had previously been used to hunt animals, they changed them to kill other people. Whole tribes resisted the process of re-unification by trying to exterminate the “others”. Sometimes they succeeded and the evil Spirit of Discord laughed.

Then a new cycle began. It was the cycle of Necessity. First in one place, then in another, people felt the painful bite of need. It probably began with a drought or some other environmental catastrophe which killed thousands through starvation and caused people to seek co-operation for mutual survival. It was only a temporary alliance, meant to end when the drought was over. But what if the drought persisted? What if it became a permanent fixture in the environment of the region? This actually happened. At the end of the Ice Age great global shifts in weather patterns turned forests into prairies and prairies into outright deserts. Whole species of game animals that the hunters had depended on for food for centuries became extinct. War and enmity became a counterproductive luxury that had to be put aside for the sake of tribal survival. Co-operation was the order of the day.

Sometimes this cohesiveness lasted long enough for the two people to blend into one. The customs and language of one group blended with the customs and language of the other. Eventually the two groups may have evolved into two clans of the same tribe, two communities of the same nation. That began to happen all over the world. It was happening in the two great land masses of the Earth. One land mass comprises the conjunction of the three continents of Africa, Europe, and Asia. The other land mass comprises the two continents of North America and South America and all the lands and islands in between. This did not include all the human beings of the world (Australian aborigines would have to wait a long time to join this process because the were extremely isolated in the continent down under). However it included by far the majority of the human beings on the planet, almost all of them!

The re-agglutination of the species continued. Sometimes it continued through co-operation and sometimes through brutal conquest. Some tribes continued to disappear, victims of a process that at times was very harsh. The harshness of the process was created by the ancient spiritual enemy who dogged the steps of human kind every inch of the journey.

Throughout this process of reunification, from time to time great and enlightened minds reconnected with the fabric of the Divine Covenant. These solitary individuals raised their voices in protest against the hatred and the discord and the oppression. They taught the ancient teachings of universal brethren-hood with all people, and harmony with the Spirit of the Earth. Sometimes these isolated voices fell on attentive ears and great strides were made in the process of re-unification. Other times the words fell on deaf ears and the process took on the nature of a steam roller plowing under the hopes and destinies of thousands.

As the process of re-unification proceeded, new necessities arose. Nations congealed into empires. Trade partnerships appeared in order to feed the needs of far-flung races. People were oftentimes forced to put aside their bigotries so that they could exchange goods that each other craved. Trade routes arose. This began to link more and more of the world together. More people were forced to deal with folks that were not like them. It forced them to recognized the humanity in the people with whom they were dealing. Oftentimes new enmities disappeared as quickly as they arose. And sometimes they didn’t. Sometimes the evil of discord consumed whole nations and extinguished great dreams.

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