COP26 #19

I have written before on this blog about how the ancient myths from the beginning of Genesis might be read as an allegory of the rise of mankind, from our start as hunter gatherers, to farmers, to accumiulators, to city builders then to the destructive rise and fall of empires. You can read more about this reading of the Bible here.

You may wonder what some ancient stories from the Bible have to do with climate change?

I think the stories we tell each other in order to make sense of our world matter, and perhaps none more than our origin story. We have been raised on the idea of human progress, defined technologically. Even with the destruction of world wars and the real and present realities of climate emergency, this myth is very hard to counter. We still hear grand plans to solve our problems technologically; some brand new carbon scrubbing technology, or brand new electric cars.

But what if we need to go back to the beginning? What if the problem started when we forgot the theology, the ecology, the politics and the economics of the garden of Eden?

What if, as we ate the fruit of the tree in that ancient story, we separated ourselves from the harmony and balance of the ecosystem that sustains us? What if this was our ‘sin’ all along, and that these sins are now finding us out?

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The fruit from tree of the knowledge of good and evil

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We ate then separated

We were in leaves, we were in tree

We were not I but we were we

We saw beauty rise in everything

Like birds we were not taught to sing

We were not young nor were we old

We were the way a thing unfolds

The way a breath is whisper soft

The way small feathers stay aloft

We were not here we were not there

Our garden covered everywhere

We ate then separated

.

We ate then separated

We formed in tribes, we played with fire

Always motivated to acquire

We gobbled down small chunks of knowing

And knew where every wind was blowing

We knew each sin we should commit

And just how atoms could be split

We built a house behind high walls

And stuffed it full from shopping malls

We ate then separated

.

We ate then separated

But hold a memory deep inside

Of how the soil did once provide

Of how the speckled forest floor

Embraced tiny mushroom spores

Of how the stars were mystery

And love made electricity

Of how each body is but host

To the spirit and the holy ghost

We ate then separated

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