Chapter 13 - Freshly Baked Buns
Chapter 13 - Freshly Baked Buns
"Have you ever been in Egypt?" Steve asked me moments later.
I said that I hadn't.
"Ah, then you haven't seen the pyramids and the Nile. They are at the heart of Egypt's history," said Steve. He explained that the pyramids wouldn't exist without the Nile. The Nile drains a huge chunk of the land-mass of Africa, so that during the rainy season its banks overflow and flood the surrounding areas with richly fertile silt. He explained that this flooding formed the basis for a highly productive agriculture and abundant wildlife. "This means that less effort was required to provide food," said Steve. "As the result of it the people in Egypt's early epoch had time to spare for their mental development, which in turn became the heart of the Egyptian civilization. The pyramids could not have been built without this development. They are a silent testament of the remarkable mathematical knowledge, astronomical discoveries, technological skills, and spiritual purpose that the early Egyptians had acquired. Thus, the pyramids are a testament to the riches of the Nile."
After Steve finished talking about the Nile, he asked me if I knew in which century humanity discovered that the Earth is a sphere.
I suggested that this was known in 500 BC to the Pythagoreans.
"So it was already common knowledge in the third century BC when the length of the circumference of the Earth had been accurately calculated by Erastosthenes in Egypt and the Egyptians set sail in the year 232 BC to circumnavigate the Earth in order to prove his calculations," said Steve. "That became the first transoceanic expedition ever undertaken. When Columbus reached the Caribbean in 1492, he came 1700 years too late to claim this honor." Steve explained that all of this progressive development was made possible by the Nile. "The Nile provided the foundation for easily obtainable food resources. The ease of living then set the mind free to develop its greater potential. In this sense the Nile had eliminated one of mankind's major developmental barriers, hadn't it?"
Steve began to laugh and then suggested that we had addressed a somewhat different developmental barrier during the night when another very-deep-seated human need was met. He conceded that in our case the need had not been for easy access to food, but for the fulfillment of another natural requirement for sexual beings. He suggested that the end result in both cases might be the same. He suggested, that for as long as the human mind remains tied into knots over unmet needs or unresolved paradoxes, which the prevailing social conventions aggravate, society won't be free to soar to the height of perception that it is capable of, and embrace the infinite.
Steve asked us to compare this morning to our experiences of the morning before. Indeed he was right. How much had already changed in that one single day? The morning before was interwoven with the darkness of the ugly things in the world, the brutalities that made one ashamed to have witnessed, that made one almost ashamed of mankind. One day later, the shame had been replaced with a deeply seated love for ourselves, and a corresponding love for one-another. Indeed, Steve was right, our faces probably were as bright as the sun, reflecting the brightness of what we had found in ourselves and in one-another.
"That's how we begin to transform the world," said Steve. He added a few moments later that the deeper aspect of it has to do with establishing the conditions to eliminate nuclear war and all forms of wars.
Steve explained, and he is totally serious about this. He said that our episode from the night before illustrates a principle that is essential for the survival of civilization. He urged me never to forget this day and what came out of it.
Agape novels by
Rolf A. F. Witzsche, free online books,
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