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The Ishmael Companion
Beyond Civilization
 Study Guide


 

From The Book of the Damned:
Excerpt 2

And say hello to Homo Magister's deity

God is a snob.

When man first appeared in the world, He cut him dead. He
took one scornful look at poor, scruffy little Homo habilis,
then rolled over and went to sleep.

He woke up a couple million years later and had another look.
By this time, man was Homo erectus. A definite improvement,
but still no one God cared to associate with. So He rolled over
and went back to sleep.

When He woke up a million years later, He saw that man
had become Homo sapiens. This was more like it. But as
yet Homo sapiens was still running around half naked, still
just a savage like Homo habilis and Homo erectus.

So God shrugged and went back to sleep. The next time He woke
up, a couple hundred thousand years later—about twelve thousand
years ago—He was definitely encouraged. Homo sapiens wasn’t
quite an agriculturalist yet, but here and there he’d gone a bit
beyond pure hunting and gathering. God watched his progress
with interest. He knew what He was watching: the birth of fully-
human man. Homo magister.

He watched his early experiments with settlement based on
intensive food collection. He watched the population of these
settlements grow. Until intensive food collection alone could
not support their growth. So that they were forced to supplement
wild crops with crops of their own planting.

Their settlements grew more stable. More populous. Until they were
forced to convert more and more land to the exclusive planting of
their crops. To support a population always one step ahead of food
production.

It was very inspiring. Homo magister had crossed a threshold.
He had become a true agriculturalist. And this was about ten
thousand years ago.

God was very gratified. Man had at last found the key to the box
of keys. But Homo magister was only in his infancy. He wasn’t
ready for God yet. Soon, He said. And took a nap for a few millennia.

When He woke up, He wasn’t disappointed. Homo magister was
really on his way now. It was about 2000 B.C., and the box of
keys that had been unlocked with the key of agriculture was wide
open. The revolution had spread throughout Europe. The early
valley civilizations of the Near East were flourishing. Egypt and
Mesopotamia and the Indus valley were blossoming with cities:
Mohenjo-daro and Ur and Susa and Memphis and Heracleopolis
and Coptos and others. A trade route two thousand miles long
carried the goods of wealth and power and technology: copper,
silver, gold, and ivory. Literacy was well established, and the
foundations of geometry and mathematics were being laid.

There could be no question about it now. Man was at last worth
consorting with. At last worthy of divine friendship. Divine
guidance. Enlightenment. It was time at last. For God to begin
to reveal Himself to man.

This is the way Homo magister likes to tell the story. His is a
fastidious God. One who, understandably, did not care to associate
with the wrong sort of people. With savages. He was saving
Himself for people of His own class.

The ruling class.

 

 

More excerpts from The Book of the Damned


More excerpts from
THE TEACHINGS

 

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