Monday, August 25, 2008

The God and Garden of Intellect

So there we were. In a place as magical as the Garden of Eden. Living in sweet and peaceful harmony. And yes, God walked with us and talked with us.

And on our own, we found wonder in each new day and each new minute. We consulted with fairies dancing in fairy rings. We viewed with pleasured sweetness the videos of our afterlife in golden cities painted on dark blue skies at sunset. We were calm, happy, and so completely at peace. Restlessness and anxiety, foreign to us.

We questioned life in a pleasant way, drawing solace and eternal security from the rebirth of all of nature. And, in particular, the death and internment of ‘dead’ worms in silk winding sheets tucked away in coffin-chrysalises. In sarcophaguses made of bleached gray limestone-colored ash and moth-eaten burial linens. And when we poked them with a stick they were dead, dead, dead.

Buried and forgotten under the old granary roof. But, as children, we watched them closely and came a day, when they were divinely and magically resurrected. Rising from that brutal and lonely place into sunny skies on delicate wings of unsurpassed beauty.

And there in our youth, and in our Eden, we felt the warmth of heart-felt appreciation when a plump deer of the forest came by when for so long, so very long, our stomachs were aching and hungry and gnawing at night. We were hungry, and so our father shot that deer and skinned it out.

And with that, hope and happiness were instantaneously renewed. A divine blessing and generous gift it was, when at long last, once again our dinner table was loaded with heaping plates of tender meat and golden gravy.

In Eden, we went to bed without fear. Confidently cradled by the same loving divinity that brought us food. And in our daily lives, we ignored those sorrows imposed by thoughtless or contemptible people knowing that a justice reigned that they could not escape. A justice that would humble them to full and complete penitence. Whether they ever showed a countenance of remorse or not. Connections to prestige, money, and wealth would in no way lighten the divine discipline meted out for their thoughtlessness.

And we reveled always in the miracle of what was seemingly so impossible. New babies with cooing smiles, and new puppies and kittens with stubby little wags that expressed such joy in life.

We smelled them. The babies’ hair – how sweet and lovely it was! And new puppies, kittens, lambs, and baby goats held their own fragrant scent. We breathed in deeply. And found that a lung-full made our own breath come easier and made us laugh with joy (rather than simply good humor or passing fancy).

We reveled in the uniqueness of our minds, our hopes and passions. All of life was wonderful new discoveries that fit into the pattern of a Garden of Eden. The joy of life, love, rebirth, breezes, rain, and sunshine all blended into a divine magic, within the sweet and secure cradling of nature.

And then, oh woe is me. Along came the Intellect.

A devil, as it were, that forced us to discard fancy, and miracles, and God, and the meaning of nature that fit so comfortably with our own understanding. The Intellect took away our most stunning miracles and put them in labs and test tubes. The Intellect taught us to ignore visions of golden cities at sunset. The Intellect seduced us and the dialect of life with nature was hushed. And like the serpent in the original Garden of Eden he offered us great and wonderful things. And so we believed and became a chaotic mass of competitive followers striving to be the greater, and the greatest of the Intellects.

Now we shiver and quail by day and night, with nothing more to comfort or clothe us than the Intellect’s cold, chilling facts. All the wondrous magic that once surrounded us like a warm, downy blanket, destroyed through explanation.

And with the new found knowledge of the Intellect, and the newfound aspirations of the Intellect, we now have schemes and methods to kill creatures in mass rather than just for dinner. We have ways to alter nature to our own economic advantage and at the same time we continue to unwittingly destroy the balance and the rhythm. We make babies in petri dishes, without fragrant hair, and new forms of life, without real souls.

We have used more of our intellect for evil than good. We have used it to kill God, kill oceans, kill forests, kill morality, and kill conscience. And with God and conscience dead, we continue to use our ever-evolving intellect to split atoms in order to kill even more.

And so the Divine Comptroller of earth and nature, shadow and light; that divine one that walked with us in the cool of the day when I was a child, was compelled to cast us out. We were forced to pack up our facts and leave the Garden of Eden to tread the refuse, toxic, and gunk-strewn paths of our new god – the God of Intellect.

All I can say now is that, ‘As an intellect, I’m not loving it!’


Dick said...

With you nearly all the way, Roberta. My Eden of the soul had Intellect walking hand in hand with Spirit from the start. But Spirit was leading. And there wasn't a God.

Roberta S said...

Enjoyed your remarks, dick. Particularly satisfied that you fully understood what this rant was about without explanation.
Also, somehow I wasn't surprised that you have let your 'god-less' spirit lead your intellect. I'm proud of you for that.

Our other shared knowledge about this one is that I am no intellect, but sometimes I pretend to be.

Thanks for the visit.

Pauline said...

I'd say your spirit is intellectual, Roberta. Like Dick, for me, even as a Catholic-reared child, there was no God; rather there was something bigger, more omniscient than omnipotent and much less involved with our human doings. I experienced all the beautiful things you mention, and I certainly see all the "evil" things you talk about in the end, but I'm not sure it's intellect so much as interpretation that's to blame...

Roberta S said...

pauline, I am pleased that other people, like yourself, understand the beauty (and spirit) of which I speak (God or no God).

As to the other half of your comment as to word choice, I gave this consideration when I was writing this rant. What I needed was a word meaning 'all knowing, all wisdom' with a negative connotation and I found, to my dismay, there is not such word in a world ruled by 'intellect' (as our current society is).

So with no really good choices for the meaning I was looking for I choose 'intellect' - no negative connotations in most people's minds but still, to me, it seemed to represent the closest I could find to fit my particular needs -a cool, aloof, standoffish concept.

As for 'interpretation', I couldn't use that because what I write are MY interpretations of a variety of things and so I was not willing to cast negative splash on that which I do in pretty much every rant I write. That's why that word wouldn't have worked.
Still, I appreciated your comment, it gave me much food for thought before I could write this 'interpretive excuse'.


Pauline said...

my dear Roberta - you've just proved my point. Interpretation is what we ALL do, and perception points a negative or positive finger. (And sometimes one wonders about the intellect behind it all which proves YOUR point). Aren't words fun?

Joy Des Jardins said...

It's all about the words for me....and that's why I come here to read your work Roberta.....beautiful. I'll let my heart interpret the rest...

Roberta S said...

oh indeed, pauline. Words are totally fun. I love them as you do. But I confess, I only wish when I read your poems and lyrical prose that I could splash my words with color and texture the way you so easily do.

Roberta S said...

joy, no surprise to me that like pauline you are another lover of words and your comment about interpretation? ..that is exactly all I hope for when people read my you so aptly stated...'interpretation by the heart'. Thanks for visiting.