Monday, February 06, 2006

When the Earth is Young (tidbits 2)

Matthew released a slow breath. “It is more fantastic than I had imagined,” he said, his voice trembling. “It is beautiful, so… mythical.”

The stranger smiled. “Indeed. It is the first of all myths—the myth from which all others spring. It is the one true myth.”

“So then it is a myth.”

“Not in the sense that you understand myth,” the stranger replied. “It is mythical in that it speaks of the earth’s pre-history, of its birth, its God and gods, its fall and its redemption. These are things of which all myths spoke, and which all myths attempted to explain. The true myth is the first and greatest, for in it is found the source of all others. Should not the similarities that exist in all of the ancient myths have been evidence to you that they were each grounded in actual prehistoric events—events that lay within the collective consciousness of the sons of men? Was it a coincidence that every primitive culture spoke of wars in the heavens, of great floods, of the gods coming to earth and begetting children through the daughters of men? They spoke of what they knew, of what they had seen and heard. They spoke of what had been. The race of man was all one in the beginning, and every subsequent culture drew from this beginning as it sought to make sense of itself. Yet the divergence from the true myth does not invalidate its reality—nor was it the path of wisdom to so quickly dismiss the lesser, later myths. Wiser in many ways, were these primitive peoples, and closer to the truth than we ever knew.”

Matthew began to speak and then stopped. Finally he said, “But the true myth remains yet a myth, does it not? If ever I was tempted to believe in Adam, it was only in a symbolic sense. I saw him as a literary device concocted by the Jews as a theological explanation for why things are as they are—a parable of sorts, but not to be taken literally.”

“Look upon me now,” the stranger said. “Do you still find it hard to believe in one whose body was made from the dirt by the finger of God, and into whose soul was placed the divine breath? I was raised from the dust into which Adam fell, and in my veins flows the divine blood. If you do not doubt the greater as he appears before you now—and you do not—how much more should you believe in the lesser? You are correct that Adam was a symbol, indeed he was a device—a divinely appointed one—but he was not merely a symbol; no more than I am. It is true that all things point to something outside of themselves, and in this I am one with Adam, for just as the life of the first Adam prophetically testified to the coming of the Second, so too my life testifies to the fact that the He has already come, and that in glory. Why should you find it too fantastic that the world was born as the prophet spoke?”

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