One Unofficial Version of Events, Inspired by Terence McKenna
Moko the Hunter possessed all the attributes an early proto-human hominid needed for success. He was strong, strong enough to choke a wild boar with his bare hands. He was stealthy, able to blend into foliage and tree canopies like a biped chameleon. And he could wait patiently for hours, standing still as a birch trunk. Moko knew a few signals — movements with his hands and arms that communicated information to his fellow hunters. But he couldn’t talk. He had no language.
Kunga the Gatherer possessed all the attribute an early proto-human hominid needed for success. She had a vast knowledge of the jungle’s plants; she knew where the most delicious ones grew, and she knew which ones would make you sick. Like Moko, she knew a few signals and gestures that communicated crude ideas. But for more subtle thoughts she required something stronger, a better tool to inform her fellow gatherers when they ought to avoid eating a flower, or when they needed to come running to help. She began amassing a repertoire of grunts and moans, a vocabulary of sounds, that symbolically represented the objects of her desires. Kunga the Gatherer began inventing what we now call language.
She had plenty of students to practice with. While Moko and the men were out in the forest, standing still, waiting in silence for an unfortunate deer to cross their blind, Kunga and the women gathered plants — and talked.
Eventually, they were able to communicate with each other a complex vision of the natural world: locations, quantities, colors, even tastes. If it could be sensed, there was a word for it. Since the natural world was such a varied and complicated place, language evolved to match the complexity of the universe it was attempting to describe. Language’s earliest experts, women, used this new communication tool to make their lives easier. They discovered and developed what we now call agriculture.
Women realized — communicated through language — they could grow many iterations of a few plants, rather than having to gather handfuls of countless plants. The days of nomadic wandering were over. Kunga and Moko and their descendants transitioned to a sedentary lifestyle centered on a few God-like plants, like corn. The cultivated plot became divine, interrupting the human connection to Gaia, the Mother Spirit, Nature. Grains become our main connection to (tamed) nature, replacing plant-induced hallucinations, the archaic pathway to ecstasy.
Humans were no longer intrinsically inside nature; now they stood outside it. Dualism was born.
So was the heretofore unheard of concept of “overproduction.” With too much cereal comes hoarding, trading, warring, all of which lead to the formation of cities, the manufactured walls of which further delineate a perimeter between humans and the untamed world beyond the barriers.
No longer in touch with Gaian nature, adrift in a reality that seems persistently incomplete, humanity moves toward what some call progress and what some call eternal malaise, a kind of constant rootlessness and ennui that the world’s best religions, consumer products, and prescription pharmaceuticals have failed to fully ameliorate.
The warring, trading and hoarding continues.
The answer to recovering our rightful place in the universe, intertwined with every living creature of every formation, lies in reconnecting with Gaia. The magic Spirit World is waiting to tell us everything we need to know, including the comforting notion that maybe we don’t need to know anything.