By using their new three-part brain to create ideas, and developing their new potential for speech, our first human ancestors began an experiment in cooperative living. It was to share their new ideas by learning to "talk" to each other, form and carry out cooperative group plans of defensive action, and thereby increase their chance for survival and happiness in a dangerous world.
This "Human Experiment" worked very well. Their shared, cooperative ideas became the first culture, a unique human invention that guided their group thinking and behavior in a cooperative direction, and put them on a highly successful course for a long time.
Then their descendants unknowingly altered their Cultural Process and put themselves on the self-destructive course on which we find ourselves today. How did that happen, and how can we now regain our successful course? The answers to these questions will be presented in this blog, and they offer us humans "A Reason for Hope."

PLEASE NOTE: Out of my experience in WWII has come the rest of this blog, so to understand it all it is necessary to begin with Part One by clicking below.

Feb 12, 2012

Chapter 6      Conclusion  

    Why do we humans need a reason for hope? Because our battle to survive and enjoy life has become so difficult that too many persons are losing all hope and surrendering to our enemy. The conclusion of this study is that the main cause of this human tragedy is that to win a battle, one must first identify and understand one’s enemy, and we Humans have not yet done either.
    Instead, we have been accusing each other of being our enemy. For example, in the U.S. the Republicans and Democrats have called each other our enemy, as have the poor and the rich, and so on, while some 99% of the people call the giant, greedy Corporations our enemy. In this study we have made a point of digging deeper, and I think that having read this far in it you can join me in identifying our real enemy as being our corrupted  culture. Also, I think that you can agree with me that we have acquired enough information to understand it, meaning how our first human ancestors created a human Culture which was their best friend, and how their descendants unknowingly made changes which caused it to become their, and our, worst enemy.
    However, it is not entirely accurate to imply that we have not been hunting for our real enemy, even though we did not know that we were. What we did know was that we were seeking “the truth” through our invention and rules of the “scientific method,” and seeking “the truth” in this way happened to include hunting for our invisible, deadly enemy.
    So acquiring our vital information about our real enemy has not been entirely by accident, but the result of centuries of hard work by dedicated persons all over our planet, and its parts have been gradually fitted together to become our actual Human Story from its beginning into the present time. Very fortunately it tells us what we need to know in order to save ourselves from the seemingly irreversible, suicidal course on which we now are. Our New Human Story is especially inspiring to us today, because it shows us that, like us, our first human ancestors were on  an unsuccessful course but managed to take themselves off of it and put themselves on a new, highly successful course, and it shows us how we can now do the same thing for ourselves today!
    The reason for this is that our New Story shows us exactly why and how those early events  occurred, and how similar the situation was to ours today. People lived in an environment in which they had a powerful enemy that was killing them randomly at will. Fortunately, they had inherited certain new survival tools which enabled them to solve their problem. These included a three-part brain system, and the mental and physical potential for “speech.” As individual persons they had begun to use their three-part brain to create new ideas for cooperative group actions to defend themselves, and that had caused in each of them a strong desire to develop their potential for speech so as to share their ideas with the other members of their group. Cooperative ideas and speech enabled them to create a plan whereby instead of running in panic from their enemy they stood together and used their new weapons to fight. Their plan required great personal courage and skill but it was successful and put them and their descendants on their new course for a long time. This was in great part due to their collecting their successful ideas to form the first human Culture, and passing it along to each new generation, who updated the ideas and added new ones to keep up with their changing and evolving world.
    Thus we saw that from the human beginning the Culture had been composed of ideas that guided the thinking and behavior of the persons in a group, and that because their ideas were made by all group members agreeing together, i.e. democratically, the Culture was inclusive and beneficial. We called it a “Third-Brain Culture,” because at that time (i.e. long before the emergence of the fourth brain) this third brain was the “smartest”one and therefore the natural leader of the three.
    We saw that because humans were surrounded by the natural environment they studied the causes and effects of its workings in order to become able to understand and predict events, and that their ability to use “reasoning” to make connections was based on the workings of their three-part brain, which was not only very smart, but self-correcting and evolving. We called this successful action “the Human Learning Process,” because humans ran their creation of ideas through it, put their ideas which proved to be logical and helpful into their evolving Culture, and discarded their ideas which proved to be illogical and harmful.
    We saw that the first step toward losing their successful course was that because of their success in increasing their control over their lives by natural means, they tried to increase it even more by supernatural means, by using their imagination to create imaginary gods whom they could praise in order to receive their (imagined) favor and help. We saw that the result of putting these wrong ideas into the third-brain culture was to begin to invalidate the Human Learning Process, which began to weaken the Cultural Process. We saw that the second and conclusive step toward losing their successful course was their change from building democratic agricultural villages to building towns. That resulted in town merchants acquiring surpluses of goods, which created a division in the acquisition of wealth, from which emerged a ruling class who completely destroyed democracy, the Human Learning Process, the Cultural Process, and the Human Experiment. Having achieved all that, in order to maintain their rule they suppressed the new ideas needed for change, which caused  the third-brain Culture to stop evolving, stagnate, and become corrupted by power-seeking persons. That caused human evolution to stop and be replaced by human devolution, kings, armies, war, and slavery.
    The terrible result is today’s world, in which persons are split into two groups (which is  especially easy to discern in the U.S.):
- All that the corrupted-Third-brain persons can see and believe is that to survive one must keep  acquiring money, even if it requires one to steal, lie, cheat, and when thought necessary, kill, in order to gain the power they believe they must have to gain even more power to survive.
- What the persons in the other group are beginning to see is that there is only one way for a person to have what he or she really needs and desires— including peace, nutritious food, clean air, water, and soil, health care, decent housing and clothes, friendship, trust, rewarding work, just government by the people, and a green planet—  is to cooperate with each other person on our shrinking planet Earth, and build a new, cooperative Culture in which our Fourth Brain will be able to develop its qualities of love, compassion, empathy, understanding, and our advanced intellectual abilities, so that each person can see that global cooperation is actually the goal and the product of universal “enlightened self interest.”
    To continue to move toward this goal we need to learn how to live in communities designed to meet the needs of each person from conception through their natural life span. This design must include governments built inside the laws of Nature, rather than on top of them, which practice has been the major cause of our inability to govern ourselves successfully ever since we separated ourselves from studying and following the guiding forces of the workings of our natural environment. Very fortunately, we have built a global communication system through which we can help each other learn how to meet our vital needs, including our vital need for global population stabilization through our new methods of contraception which can prevent too many  pregnancies. These advances, along with our new knowledge about how to restore our Human Culture to its original greatness, offer us... a reason for hope.





Feb 3, 2012

Chapter 5      The Third Paradise and the Second Step Toward the Loss of the Successful Course
    The move southward of the groups which left the farming villages in the northern foothills of the Fertile Crescent led to the building of new farming villages, and some of these became towns, and some of those became cities.
    Until recently it was thought that the birth of cities had always been a result of such a progression, from hunter/gatherers, to hunter/wild-grain gatherers and herders, to the agricultural village, to the development of the town, then the city, and then the development of inter-city trade routes. However, new evidence shows that several cities did not grow from agricultural villages but were established as cities from their very beginning, and that most cities were built long after ancient trade routes had been established, partly, and sometimes entirely, as a result of them.
    For instance, Jericho, located at the southwestern end of the Fertile Crescent, was a city from its beginning and is the oldest city yet discovered. Its original wall was constructed around 10,000 years ago, 5,000 years before Sumer’s temples and ziggurats and Egypt’s pyramids. This original  wall was a solid, free-standing structure built of boulders that had to be hauled from a river bed a half mile away and set in place without mortar, and is six feet six inches thick at its base. To find it archaeologists had to dig down 70 feet through the dirt and stone remains of cities and walls built through the centuries, each new one on top of the remains of an older one.
    The city covered an area of 10 acres and probably had between 2 and 3 thousand inhabitants. It lay on a natural route of the ancient world, and its people traded with travelers who desired Jericho’s manufactured goods, services, and natural resources; the latter included minerals from the nearby Dead Sea, principally salt, highly prized as a preservative, and water that still gushes up from a spring at a thousand gallons a minute. The city dwellers had their own and local sources of  food, and also traded for food with travelers. It is not certain whether or not they city people irrigated the surrounding area. The city was inhabited over a period of some 6,500 years by at least 10 different cultures, during which time it appears to have been destroyed one or more times by earthquakes and rebuilt each time. Human habitation of the city ended with the Biblical Battle of Jericho around 3,500 years ago, but any traces of the walls Joshua is reputed to have sent tumbling down have been erased by erosion. The modern city of Jericho is a cluster of lush parks, palm trees, and attractive homes, surrounded by the great expanse of the desert. It lies next to the 50 foot high mound which contains the remains of the ancient city.
    The remains of another ancient city, at least 8,500 years old, have been found in what is now south-central Turkey. As there is no record of it in any of the ancient writings it has been given the modern name “Catal Huyuk,” which means “the fork in the road.” The mound shows that the city covered 32 acres, enough to house at least 6,000 persons, the biggest site of its time yet excavated. Like Jericho, it presumably was a trading center, but evidence of many shrines indicates that it may equally have owed its existence to another function that became a feature of the developing cities: religious service.

    The departure of groups from the farming villages in the northern foothills of the Fertile Crescent actually was followed by the building of new farming villages, some of which did become cities. This occurred in the land between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers (the southeastern part of the Fertile Crescent, now in Iraq), and village-building occurred also in three other river valleys: along the Nile River in Egypt; in the vast region watered by the Indus River in Pakistan; and along the Hwang Ho (Yellow) River in China. In these four valleys farming villages sprang up, and it is through these that the main thread of our Human Story now goes.

    (However, there is so enormously much to tell about what occurred in places all over Earth, before and after the emergence of farming villages, that if even brief summaries of all places and events, or even of the more important ones, were included, this account would become far too long and complex  to serve its purpose. Therefore we will consider only the story of ancient Sumer, because of the profound influence it has had on our Human Story, right into the present.)
    To continue our Human Story, the region along the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers came to be called  Mesopotamia, a Greek name which means “between the rivers.” Some of the groups which left the farming villages in the northern foothills of the Fertile Crescent moved southeast into Mesopotamia,  and built small farming villages along the two rivers. Each spring these overflowed and left coarse-textured silt, a highly productive soil, so farmers in the villages along the rivers no longer had the problem of the fertility of the soil becoming depleted (and moved to higher ground when the annual floods came). The annual rainfall was inadequate, but that was not a problem because after the flood the fields could be irrigated from the rivers; thus, agriculture on naturally-fertilized land was another quantum jump. The villagers continued to have their traditional strong sense of personal independence and democracy, the chief continued to be elected and to arbitrate but not rule, and was a chief among equals: thus was created the Third Human Paradise.

    As the farmers from the north settled along the rivers, they encountered human groups already living along the banks in the marshes and cane brakes. These people were hunting/gathering/fishing groups, and on the plain farther away from the rivers roamed nomadic herders. We can not know exactly what occurred when the farmers encountered these non-farming groups, as there is no known record.
    However, we can say that population pressures in the hills forced the colonization of the Tigris and Euphrates valleys and plains below, where rainfall was insufficient for the dry farming (farming without irrigation) which had been developed in the hills. To continue farming, the new villagers had to develop irrigation systems to water the land. The new technology demanded higher levels of social and economic complexity and in turn allowed much higher levels of population than were possible in the hills. By 5,500 years ago farming and herding had continued to move down the rivers and the plain, and a “civilization,” known as the first one, had evolved in lower Mesopotamia.

   (In his wonderful novel, “Ishmael,” Daniel Quinn put it that the farmers kept cultivating the land of the non-farming people already living there, and kept pushing them southward. He wrote that the biblical Abel, a shepherd, represented the hunter/gatherer/herders, whom he called  “keepers,” and that Cain represented the farmers, whom he called “takers.”
    Modern history records that the struggle continued when European immigrants landed on the east coast of North America and began to push the native people westward to acquire their territory, first for hunting for meat and skins, then for grazing, then for farmland. Then the farmers invaded the grazing lands of the ranchers, railroads pushed right across the continent transporting a flood of persons with them, and finally the lumber, mining, and oil and gas companies went westward and began to invade and destroy the last of the western unprotected forests and other natural areas until, very fortunately, several magnificent natural areas were made into National Parks, in the US and also around the world.
    Portuguese and Spanish explorers invaded the coasts of Central and South America and conquered the peoples living there, some of whom had already developed advanced societies.
   We can note that until recently researchers of world history tended to imagine that wherever farming centers began to spread out, the areas around them were unoccupied by other humans, but this was not the case. On the fringes of the farming world there have always been other societies practicing intermediate economies, such as the reindeer herders of Lapland and Siberia or the Bedouin camel herders of the Arabian and Saharan deserts.
    In Europe the spread of agriculture from the south-east to the north-west between 8,000 and 5,000 years ago has long been regarded as accompanying the movement of new people, i.e. the first farmers, into a sparsely inhabited environment. To the contrary, it has become increasingly clear that a vigorous hunter/gatherer population was living in most parts of Europe, and that the development of prehistoric agriculture there has to be understood as much in terms of the adaptation of existing people to new resources —   cereal grains, sheep, and goats which had been introduced to temperate Europe from the Mediterranean —   as in terms of the arrival of colonist farmers.
    Similarly, the beginnings of farming in other parts of the Eurasian and African continents had been regarded as the diffusion of ideas or people from agricultural areas in the Near East, but the variation we now see among early farming peoples across the world--- i.e. different crops and animals, different farming techniques, different time scales of development--- makes it clear that many prehistoric societies in different  parts of the world developed agricultural systems in the millennia following the end of the Ice age without any major stimulus from each other.)
    To return to our earlier Human Story, in the far south of Mesopotamia where the two rivers come together and flow into the Persian Gulf there is a broad delta area. Humans had been living there for some time, obtaining their food from the marshes and cane brakes, including the plants (fruits, berries, greens, etc.), fish, waterfowl, and other animals they found there. Excavations indicate that when the farmers from the north reached the delta, among the groups living there they may have encountered a group of persons who like themselves were non-Semitic-language-speaking persons, called Ubaidians, who obtained their food from the marshes and cane brakes. It seems that these people had been able to plan and cooperate sufficiently to dig ditches and drain some of the marshes and swamps to have solid ground and had built villages and temples. It seems that the farmers from the north may have assimilated with these people and that, as the delta was annually re-fertilized by the overflow of the rivers, together they built a great number of farming villages and became the Sumerians. (The origins of the name “Sumer” and of the “Sumerian” language are not known.) In any case, the farmers from the north did build farming villages there, the region came to be called Sumer, and its inhabitants spoke Sumerian, a non-Semitic-language.  
    Between floods the farmland had to be irrigated, and building and maintaining permanent irrigation systems both to reach existing farmland and to drain and create new farmland required organization, in order not only to dig the ditches but to keep them open of accumulating silt. The already-elected village chiefs who had worked only half-time in agriculture in order to have enough time to settle general disputes among persons, perhaps were asked to expand their duties to include full-time managing of the irrigation system, and to settling disputes about the allocation of land and water, etc, and received additional food in compensation.
    In conjunction with the farming operation, some persons continued to use some or all of their time specializing as craft persons, and bartered their wares for food, skins, and other items; money had not yet been invented. After the invention of the potter’s wheel its use also became a specialized craft, and eventually everyone was some kind of specialist, including the farmer, the herder, the fisherman, and the craftsman, and all were involved in bartering with everyone for everything. Some villages had raw materials and/or finished products that others lacked, so inter-village trade and barter were begun. At first they did not have stone or metal to work with as these were not to be found in the silt-covered areas, but eventually all necessary raw materials were brought in from other areas by traders and bartered for.
A major step which the villagers had taken was to expand their ideas for using animals for power and transportation. Although oxen were able to pull plows they were too slow to be used as pack animals, so eventually wild asses (donkeys) were captured, domesticated, and used to carry things and eventually to bear a rider. (Later, in Africa camels were domesticated and used in the same ways.)
     Probably an early step toward a village growing to become a town would have been the creation of a central market place. This probably would have occurred in an older village which had several intersecting paths connecting the farms and gardens around it. Perhaps the pattern was for growers to find a place there to set up stalls for food, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, dates, beans, apples, onions, garlic, turnips, and sometimes dried fish, pork, and duck. Then a specialist, say a maker of stone tools, set up his shop next to the food stalls. Then perhaps a metal worker came, and perhaps a potter opened his shop near the two others. Then perhaps a weaver came, and an artist who sculpted or molded figurines symbolic of gods and other subjects. Probably there were street musicians, singers, dancers, acrobats, storytellers, magicians, and other performers. More and more persons in the town and from the surrounding villages were attracted to the market area for the convenience of being able to find several things in one location and to barter one kind of goods for another, and/or for the excitement of the crowd and the entertainment.
    Sometimes specialists would have a surplus of sheepskins, sacks of grain, pots, copper or gold jewelry, or other items that they had taken in trade, so a merchant would set up a store (today a “trading post” or “general store”) next to the other specialists and take whatever surplus they had in exchange for whatever supplies they needed, and people came to trade with him too. Then other specialists came, some from other villages, and set up their businesses there, so a central market place was created, and people came from other villages to shop, and sometimes to stay, and the central village became a town.
    The town grew not only in size but in the sophistication of its inhabitants. The merchants and other specialists did daily bartering, and this sharpened their wits and improved their ability to acquire surpluses of goods (capital). Then they could use these to pay workmen to build larger homes for them to live in, and pay weavers to make fine robes for them to wear, and pay other persons to perform other services, including big, well-armed guards to protect the merchants’ caravans from being raided by nomads, and to protect the merchants’ homes and businesses from thieves.
      This was a disastrous turning point in our Human Story, because what the persons who acquired a           surplus of goods learned was that they no longer had to treat others with respect in order to get their help.  Previously, getting help had required involving others in a democratic plan of cooperative action, but now merchants (capitalists) could hire persons to help them.
    On the surface of it there was nothing wrong with acquiring a surplus (capital) and using it to hire persons. This was neither illegal nor against the town’s morality of the time. It was no longer a custom to share food or goods, so one could acquire a surplus and do with it whatever one chose to. From the standpoint of the person acquiring and using a surplus, he or she was only pursuing the human goal of each human person to continually improve his or her ability to survive and enjoy being alive. Today, of course, we often hire other persons to help us do things, but we have contracts, laws, Bills of Rights, constitutions, and courts to protect persons and democracy. However, at that time these safeguards did not exist, and consequently accumulating a surplus and using it to hire others led to the breakdown of egalitarianism and democracy, and to the fall of the Third Human Paradise.

   Put very simply and clearly what occurred was that, the surplus had led to a division in the creation of wealth which led to a ruling class, which situation reversed the ideas and goals of the Human Experiment, the Human Learning System , the Cultural Process, and the human culture and social structure, and  ended the Third Paradise by destroying six of its essential elements: the ideas of personal equality, liberty and responsibility; the ideas of democracy, morality, and the opportunity for all persons to attain the human goal (which was the goal of each person to continually improve their ability to survive and enjoy being alive).
        It was also the second... and decisive... step toward the loss of their successful course, and put them on the self-destructive course on which we find ourselves today.
    This second step was actually a continuation, expansion, and solidification of the earlier step, which was noted in Chapter 3 as being that: “Previously their neocortex (third brain) was being guided by the natural forces and was doing a great job of using their self-correcting, and thereby evolving, HLS to study cause and effect in the workings of their surrounding, evolving natural environment, which produced new, logical ideas to add to their evolving culture. Now, however, humans had built an artificial environment of illusory ideas (which they thought was real and pro-human), and had made their thinking and actions more interested in its workings, and less interested in the workings of the natural environment. This altered the workings of the HLS and led to the fall of the Third Paradise.”

     My overall view is that their initial wrong step, and  all of their subsequent wrong steps, resulted basically from  their continuing success in gaining control over themselves, and subsequently over the workings of their natural environment, which success created an unconscious (perhaps instinctive) desire to keep increasing that control. Consequently they created imaginary gods and goddesses who lived in an invisible world outside theirs, and, though much more powerful than humans, thought like them, (anthropomorphism) and therefore could in some degree be controlled by humans praising them and asking for help.
    Also as previously noted, this idea was becoming popular because it seemed to give persons more control over their personal lives. However, all of this was imaginative thinking, and began to alter (unbalance) the Human Learning System by causing persons to focus more of their attention on imaginative thinking and less on logical thinking, causing the corruption of the HLS, the Cultural Process, and the Human Experiment, to which corruption we are still subject today.
    Having recalled the foregoing, we can move on to the destructive governmental effects of the rise of a ruling class. These effects began to occur around 5,500 years ago when towns emerged in the region called Sumer. The towns’ chiefs too had been acquiring goods and property, and expanding their organizing power, and were becoming more important not only in the towns, but outside them in their surrounding villages, where the village chiefs were becoming less important. Hence the farmers were losing their traditional independence of government, and democracy was failing not only in the towns but in the villages.  However, the villagers knew of nothing they could do to prevent this shift, and it did bring them two important benefits.
    One benefit was personal protection, brought in the following way. Beyond the farming villages lived nomad herders who drove their cattle, sheep, and goats from one patch of green to the next and brushed against or clashed with the farmers from time to time. If a bad year dried up water holes and scorched the pasture, some nomads were driven to attack the farming villages for food. The towns’ chiefs and town councils had created professional bodies of armed men to act as police (or soldiers) to guard their towns and keep the peace, paying them with the tribute (taxes) paid by  the townspeople. Because the villages had become increasingly important to the towns for food, a chief sent the soldiers to protect them (and subsequently to collect taxes from them).
    The second benefit came out of the necessity to enlarge and improve the irrigation system to serve the farmers. This required many men, and the centralized authority of the town was able to organize them and to manage the work. This expanded workforce made canals long and wide enough to carry considerable bodies of water, not only to irrigate farmland but to drain swamp areas and create more farmland.
    In regard to the villagers not knowing what to do to prevent losing their independence, we can note  that at that time humans were not consciously aware of “democracy” as a form of government, even though they had created and lived successfully in it for millenniums. In fact they were totally unaware of their actual Human Story, and could not know consciously that one’s only real way to pursue the human goal successfully was to participate in creating and carrying out group plans of cooperative action. One could not know that in acquiring and using a surplus one was initiating an anti-democratic trend which led to a, perhaps the, disastrous turning point in our Story for the following reasons.
    The third brain’s culture had become based on imaginative thinking and, at one level or another, was governing the thinking and behavior of everyone. Under this system the village-becoming-a-town grew not only in size and sophistication, but in its organization. It became an artificial, self-contained organism (which included its satellite food-furnishing villages) cut off from Nature and governed by a ruling class. The town’s chief had created a bureaucracy, which became a class of persons that today we call “The Establishment,” i.e. persons in authoritarian positions such as governmental, business, religious, educational, police or military, etc., who desired to retain their power and privileges. Consequently their goal became to keep things the way they were, so they did not want change, and suppressed any new ideas that even hinted at it. Thus they completely banished the Human Learning System, which action stopped the Cultural Process, which action stopped the development of the Culture, which action prevented the building of the new Culture needed for the development of their fourth brain with its greatly needed higher qualities of love, compassion, empathy, and understanding, and its advanced intellectual skills. This suppression trapped humans at the level of the existing third brain Culture and its outdated capabilities, which caused their minds to stagnate there, and their Culture to become completely corrupted, because of its being completely cut off from the influence of the workings of the Natural Environment. In other words, it stopped human evolution.
    Between 5,500 and 3,800 years ago several of such towns grew to become the great city-states which together comprised  Sumer (not Sumeria). Known as the world’s first "civilization," it was a social movement so inventive and powerful that it led 2,000 years of our Human Story and left a legacy that continues to keep us on our self-destructive course today.

    The word “civilization” comes from the Latin civis, meaning “citizen of a city.” Hence, civilization means a way of life advanced enough to include living in cities. “Advanced” means having specialists, i.e. farmers, herders, fishermen, and hunters who produce enough food to support persons who do not produce food. Some of the latter furnish manufactured goods, and others furnish services including government, religion, education, medicine, and police/military protection. Required also are math systems, writing, laws, and an accompanying form of culture.

    Our knowledge of the Sumerians comes from excavations made by cooperating teams of archaeologists and anthropologists from several nations. By digging carefully into ancient mounds they found not only the remains of streets, buildings, houses and domestic life, but thousands of clay tablets, the earliest written records of our Human Story. Thus the Sumerians had made a critical quantum jump by learning to write. From representational picture writing they had evolved into the creation of the form of written symbolism called cuneiform, which consisted of wedge-shaped symbols made by pushing a wedge-shaped stick into soft clay tablets. These were allowed to dry, or baked, to become permanent records, and today they report on all subjects of daily life in the cities, towns, and villages of Sumer.
    The writing system was extremely difficult to learn, requiring years of schooling for “scribes,” as by 5,500 years ago the written vocabulary of Uruk contained 2,000 different signs, an alphabet having not yet been invented. What we know about the lives of the Sumerians is revealed in these thousands of clay tablets which have been found in the ruins of their cities, and laboriously translated by scholars into modern languages.
    Also found were numerous small stone cylinders, invented before the development of writing and used by Sumerians to indicate personal ownership by carving a design into a stone or metal cylinder, rolling it across a wet clay tablet, and making an imprint of the design. Many of these signature designs on tablets used religious or mythological themes.

    In the Sumerian civilization the first, richest, and largest city, Uruk (called Erech in the Bible, and Warka in modern Arabic), had some 45,000 inhabitants at its height around 4,800 years ago. It had broad avenues lined with date palms, large palaces, towering temples and pyramid-like ziggurats, and grand, two-story, balconied houses of the wealthy. Other notable Sumerian city-states included Umma, Lagash, Nippur, Eridu, Kish, Sippar, Adab, Larsa, Eshnunna,  Jemdet,  Shaduppum, Isin, Nasr, Shuruppak, Mari, and the famous Ur. Sumerian buildings were made of sun-dried brick because there was no stone and little wood. Sumer’s city-states had division of labor, monumental building, organized religion, and satellite agricultural villages providing food including barley, dates, wheat, many kinds of vegetables and meats, and superb, slightly intoxicating, barley beer. Sumerians took part in the invention of writing and of the wheel (mention of which invention it seems should include the invention of the axle), helped to develop the oldest known mathematics, and developed the world’s first written law code.
    The story of Sumer is of vital importance to us today, because its rise and fall became a model for what has occurred since then. Understanding its story helps us to see why we have the opportunity to “break the mold” today. Therefore we will give it extensive consideration, keeping in mind that during it the ruling classes continued to suppress the new ideas necessary to restoring the Human Learning Process so that persons could use it to create a culture which would make it safe for the fourth brain to develop, so that persons could use its qualities to help them to evolve.
    Even with the increased protection of soldiers, some farmers and villagers desired the safety of a larger, better-organized place to live in, so they drifted toward the walled towns that were growing into walled  cities. Around 5,000 years ago there were 146 villages surrounding the village of Uruk. By 4,700 years ago so many of them had been incorporated into Uruk that their number had dwindled to 76 and Uruk had become a town. In the 300 years that followed their number shrank to 24 and Uruk had become a city-state. During the same period the number of citiy-states, at this time meaning settled areas of more than 100 acres, grew from 2 to 4 to 8.
    We can see that food production was essential not only to the creation of the second and third paradises, but to the emergence of the non-food-producing specialists in the towns and cities, including chiefs, priests, kings and other bureaucrats. Hunting/gathering societies had tended to be egalitarian, lack full-time bureaucrats and hereditary chiefs, and have small-scale political and religious organization at the level of the group or tribe, because almost all persons were engaged in acquiring food. Once food could be grown and stockpiled, a political elite could assert the right of taxation, escape the need to produce its own food, and engage full-time in religious and political activities through which they were gradually building a pyramid of power with themselves at the top (which may be the reasoning backing the statement that the invention of agriculture was out worst invention).
    With a growth in commerce, money was invented in the form of metal coins, and surplus goods could be exchanged for it. That made it easier to set values on goods and labor, and easier for the traders and merchants to obtain, store, and use personal wealth. From then on, to and including the present time, a, if not the, main made-made element guiding humans has been the acquisition and use of money, because it can give one all of the material comforts of life, plus power, which in this case means power over other persons, whether the power be economic, political, religious, military, parental, sexual, or other, and can also seem to be a way of getting “in” socially.
    As we have seen in our own time, power over other persons is something no one can handle appropriately. As the historian Lord Acton famously observed, “All power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Once persons are put into positions of power, it is almost impossible for them to give them up. The need for power becomes a disease; the more power the afflicted persons acquire, the more power they feel they must have if they are not to perish. They feel they must be able to do whatever they desire to do whenever they desire to do it. They feel that they need more material things, a bigger house, more servants, more political influence, and so on.
    This situation pleases no one. The persons in power are not happy, because they are hated and afraid of being robbed, kidnaped, or assassinated by their rivals or by the people. They live in a constant state of fear and denial, blinding themselves to their cruelty by dehumanizing their victims and then despising them. In doing so they dehumanize themselves and become even more cruel. Their interest is only in what they think will be advantageous for themselves. The persons not in power are not happy, because they are angry at being forced to obey the dictates of their masters whether or not these are reasonable and/or just, and are ashamed of not being in control of their personal lives.

    Before looking further at the rise of cities we need to recall that while the farming villages were rising in the foothills, the earlier-imagined gods of the gathering/hunting groups became imagined gods who were thought to control not only humans, but the growth or failure of crops and animals. Consequently people believed it absolutely necessary to hold protective ceremonies to honor the deities and be in their favor, so each foothill village and valley village had a shaman, who in the town became a more worldly “priest,” to lead the ceremonies and honor the deities by making offerings and sacrifices to them.
    As the Sumerian form of government became less and less inclusive of all persons, the feeling of being “out” grew, and people turned increasingly to religion as a way of feeling “in.” Religion became so important in Sumerian life that by the time of the cities there were hierarchies of priests in them, and temples had become major elements. At first they were community property, built and maintained as offerings to the gods who represented the forces of Nature upon which life depended. The temples were seen as being the gods’ houses, and to them persons brought offerings of food, pottery, and sometimes figurines or ornaments.
    As food became more plentiful, the cities’ temples became repositories and redistribution centers for it, also serving as sanctuaries to the refugee, sources of relief to the needy, and major employers of workers. Soon after 5,000 years ago a temple in the city of  Lagash had a daily ration list for beer and bread for 1,200 men and women, of whom 300 were slaves. It ran a cloth workshop employing 205 women and their children as carders, spinners, and weavers. It had bakers, millers, brewers, and cooks. It also employed fishermen, herdsmen, sailors, guards, scribes, blacksmiths, and many other workers. The temple also mounted its own land and sea expeditions to bring back items such as precious stones, metals, limestone for the temple foundations, and timber for the temples and for the balconies around the second stories of the houses of the wealthy. It was in order to keep track of the temples’ activities that the Sumerians learned to do arithmetic and to write in cuneiform.
    Just as important as personal safety was the city’s promise of personal fulfillment, because a variety of roles awaited the man and woman there. In fact the city depended not only on numbers but on variety, and its concentration of numbers was possible only because its residents performed specialized duties that would be supported by the larger society. No longer was every man forced to be a hunter or a farmer, nor every woman a mother and housekeeper. From the time of the very first cities workers were needed to manufacture trade goods, conduct trades, tend shrines, do nursing and mid-wifing, build houses, create art, drive donkeys, undertake massive construction projects, and so on. The exciting variety of city life, offering the possibility of following a personal bent rather than a parent’s footsteps, must have been as powerful a lure 5,000 years ago as it is today.
    The family had always been the foundation of the Sumerian social structure; it was monogamous and patriarchal, and property was handed down from father to son. Women were respected and had the right to own property, possibly inherited from their husbands or relatives.
    As life in the cities developed there occurred a loosening of the family ties and tribal responsibilities that had been so important in the the early groups and villages, and replacing them were ties to craft and responsibilities to the city. Each craftsman belonged to a craft group, a sort of guild, and each craft was identified either by its occupation or by the name of some animal, such as the snake or ram. The craft group members’ responsibilities to the city went beyond their jobs as sculptors, painters, masons, gardeners, carpenters, potters, weavers, bakers, butchers, metal smiths and the like. If there was a crisis at an irrigation dam, for instance, they could be called up as a unit and dispatched to make emergency repairs. They could also be called to help with the harvest. If an enemy attacked a city, or if a city wanted to attack an enemy, the craftsmen were conscripted and each guild was put under the command of its foreman. Several platoons constituted a military company which was headed by an officer, and for these services the men were paid in food, clothing, or money. In this way the first standing armies were created.
    Women were primarily wives and mothers, and still respected as such, and records show that some women were engaged on their own in international trade. Some women and children were employed by the temples, and by wealthy persons as household servants, and probably were assistants in crafts and worked in market places. Probably women slaves could be used by their owners for sexual acts, and some free women may have been driven by poverty into prostitution.
    Most children’s education came from their parents, but also there were organized schools for boys to become scribes. As noted, the writing system was extremely difficult to learn, requiring years of schooling, as by 5,500 years ago the written vocabulary of Uruk contained 2,000 different signs. (An alphabet having not yet been invented.) However, success at it ensured a position among the upper classes and lifetime employment. In addition to their professional duties some of the scribes began to write narratives expressing their feelings, such as complaining about their masters, telling about arguments with fellow scribes (sometimes ridiculing each other), composing poems, and so on, using clay tablets to write on: the beginning of literature.
    The persons in the city were descended from families which had been village farmers and had left the farms and gone to the cities to enter the crafts and professions, and some of these persons still owned the family land either independently or together with several members of their families. By 5,000 years ago much of the land had been purchased in large segments by wealthy aristocrats for themselves, and by the priesthood for the temples’ holdings. By 4,800 years ago the temples still owned a good deal of land, but a large part was held by groups of wealthy citizens who bought and sold land as syndicates and corporations.
    The practices begun in Sumerian towns were continued in Sumerian city-states, on an ever- aggrandized scale. Governmental decisions were made by unelected, self-appointed city councils of wealthy, aristocratic elders and priests. When the need arose for military defense or offense the city council chose a member to function as a temporary king for the duration of the emergency, who afterward would return to his own affairs. As populations grew and city-states expanded, they fought each other increasingly for land and water rights, and this fighting between independent, politically-organized, city-states with armies was the beginning of the insanity we call “war.” The intervals of peace grew shorter and shorter, so the kings ruled for longer and longer periods of time, all the while growing more powerful, and by 2,800 years ago kings had superseded the elders and were in control of the city-states.

    However, the temple kept its firm grip on the people, so the king always sought the blessing and support of the priests in his conduct of worldly affairs. At the same time, the priests kept the right to help appoint the king or to approve the elders’ choice, and the king in turn became head priest. He enlarged and beautified the temples as a means of increasing his stature in the eyes of his subjects and the gods. The next step was for the kingship to become a hereditary monarchy. Thus were born, in Uruk and the other city-states of Sumer, three ideas that would influence human history for thousands of years: the military and political unit which was the city-state; war; and the divine right of kings.
    We can see that one reason why it was easy for the slide to occur from democracy to an elite, to kings, to king/gods, was that children had been taught about the gods and goddesses as being powerful, magical figures upon whom they depended and whom therefore they must fear, worship, and obey. As a result of this, when traders and priests in the cities acquired power, controlled the government, and hired soldiers, people had already been conditioned to fear, worship, and obey power, so they continued to be.
    Even today we tend to be impressed by persons with high rank, and by “the lifestyles of the rich and famous.” We can imagine how the common people felt when they were shoved back against buildings lining a street to let pass noble persons reclining on litters carried by slaves, the nobles dressed in richly colored robes and wearing jewels and golden crowns, and all being surrounded by large, fierce armed guards.
    Thus in Sumer the city-states had become the perfect settings for the aggrandizement of a corrupted, tyrannical, merciless, de-volving, third-brain culture, comprising hierarchies of powerful persons who claimed to be in touch with the gods, and eventually claimed even to be gods themselves, and that was why the third paradise collapsed so quickly. Adults had set themselves and their children up to become cogs in a nonhuman, anti-person machine, and had then let themselves be used to be slaughtered when one city-state’s machine was pitted against another's through the horror of war.
    Next after kings, priests, and nobles in Uruk’s hierarchy were the rich people, the big landowners, and the merchants who owned the fleets of ships that carried on extensive sea trade with places as far distant as Bahrein in the Persian Gulf, the Indus Valley cities of Moenjo-Daro and Harappa, and Egypt. Next were the lower bureaucrats and tradesmen; then sailors, farmers, fishermen, and water carriers, some employed by the temples, some by the secular aristocracy; and at the bottom were slaves.
    Slaves were a late development in Sumerian city-states, but their number grew after 5,000 years ago when there were several large city-states on the Mesopotamian plain and there was intense strife among them. Most slaves must have been prisoners captured in battle, for in Sumerian the word for “slave” derives from the word for “foreigner.” Other slaves had been impoverished nomads or marginal farmers who sold themselves and their families in bondage to the aristocrats or to the temple, in return for a roof, meals, and the security of the city’s walls.
    There may never have been great numbers of slaves in Uruk itself, but their work was important to city life. They were most often in weaving workshops, bakeries, the temple complexes, the kings’ palaces, and the households of the privileged classes. According to the records they were mostly women, but it is not certain what was done with male captives. They may have been organized into labor gangs for the military and listed in the records in a category other than slave, or they may have been considered too dangerous, and killed.
     Hence there had come into being a plutocracy (a class or group exercising governmental power based on wealth), combined with a theocracy (government by priests claiming a divine commission), and together these had replaced democracy (government by the people). Instead of being consciously considered a needed and important member of the group, the individual person had become expendable. As we know today, the human brain is an intricate and complex organ, and this radical cultural shift caused it great confusion. During the time of the villages, humans had retained the basic group bonds and customs that had given them social stability and had helped them to get along with each other and to cooperate. Now these were broken, and one could no longer be sure whom one could or could not trust.
    Consequently the new Sumerian culture did not represent or meet the basic human desires or needs of anyone. It was a “dark” culture, and makes us realize that by comparison what they had been enjoying during the three paradises was a “bright” culture. In it persons in groups were motivated to help and keep each other up, but in the dark culture they were motivated to help and keep themselves up by keeping the others down. Whereas the bright culture was an accepting and inclusive one, the dark culture became a rejecting and exclusive one. The dark culture continues to exist today and to reject everyone. This is the basic cause today sof persons being unhappy and angry, without knowing the cause. The result is that they blame each other for their problems, and this creates a horrendously miserable situation.
    Some of the unearthed clay tablets show that the Sumerians imagined a past in which people lived in a god-created paradise. This was expressed in a poetic tale that described the conflict between the king of Uruk and the distant town of Arrata, the earliest known description in writing of a paradise and the fall of humankind. The poem describes a period when there were no creatures that threatened people: no snakes, scorpions, hyenas, or lions, a period in which humans knew no terror. There was no confusion among various peoples speaking different languages, with everyone praising the god Enlil. Then something happened that enraged  Enki, the god of wisdom and water, who had organized the earth in accordance with a general plan laid down by Enlil. Enki had found some sort of inappropriate behavior among humans and decided to put an end to the Golden Age. In place of it came conflict, wars, and a confusion of languages (as in the story of the Tower of Babel).
    Also there is the story of Gilgamesh. One of the oldest epics in world literature, it is a collection of ancient folklore, tales, and myths that gradually developed into a single work. To summarize it very briefly, it centers around Gilgamesh, a powerful king of Uruk, half human and half god, about 4,700 years ago. He was a terror of a king, a man who chased girls, slaughtered wild beasts, pursued real or imagined enemies all over the country, and so upset his subjects that they appealed to the gods for help against him. In response the sky-god Anu creates the wild-man, Enkidu, to meet Gilgamesh in combat. After a mighty battle Enkidu and Gilgamesh become friends and share many adventures, until Enkidu is caused to die by the gods as punishment for his and Gilgamesh’s having killed the Bull of Heaven. As he is dying, Enkidu describes the Netherworld to Gilgamesh. He sets out to avoid Enkidu’s fate and makes a perilous journey to visit Utnapishtim and his wife in the hope of gaining immortality. They had been granted it by the gods and were the only humans to have survived the Great Flood. Along the way Gilgamesh encounters the alewife Siduri who attempts unsuccessfully to dissuade him from his quest. He completes his journey by punting across the Waters of Death with Urshanabi, the ferryman.
    Gilgamesh meets Utnapishtim who tells him that the gods had decided that humans were evil and so created a great flood to drown them. He said the gods told him in advance of it to build a huge boat to preserve vegetation and “the seed of humanity.” It had rained for seven days and seven nights and his boat was “tossed about by the windstorms on the great  waters.” When the storm subsided the sun god Uta came forward and shed light on heaven and earth. The boat went aground on the top of a mountain and Utnapishtim opened a window and let in light from Uta and sent out messenger birds. Then he prostrated himself before Uta and sacrificed an ox and a sheep. Finally he and “the seed of all living things” had found a home in the land between the two rivers.
    He tells Gilgamesh that if he can stay awake for 6 days and 7 nights he will become immortal, but he falls asleep. When he wakes, Utnapishtim decides to tell him that if he can obtain a certain plant from the bottom of the sea he will become young again. He obtains the plant, but does not eat it immediately because he wants to share it with the other elders of Uruk. He places the plant on the shore of a lake and while he bathes it is stolen by a snake. Gilgamesh returns to Uruk where the sight of its massive walls motivates him to praise this enduring work of mortal men. He sees  that the way mortals can achieve immortality is through lasting works of civilization and culture.
    (According to the Greek scholar Ioannis Kordatos there is a large number of parallel verses as well as themes or episodes which indicate a substantial influence of the Epic of Gilgamesh on the Odyssey, the Greek epic poem ascribed to the poet Homer. Thus the story of Gilgamesh foreshadowed not only the Biblical story of Noah,  but also the wanderings of Odysseus and Hercules. The tale was written down first in Sumerian, then in Akkadian, Hittite and, in one variation or another, eventually in almost all the languages of the Near East.)

    The Sumerian kings built palaces that rivaled even the monumental pyramid-like ziggurats in area. One king’s palace erected in the city of Mari covered more than eight and a half acres and its central courtyard was paved with precious alabaster. Other courts had frescoes portraying deities and the kings’ military exploits. Some palaces had as many as 300 rooms for the family, court officials, guards, servants, and guests. When kings died their tombs were filled with exquisite bowls and other vessels of silver and gold, cult figures of lapis lazuli, and gold daggers of exquisite artistry. Before 5,000 years ago Sumerians had discovered how to combine tin and copper to make bronze, and weapons made of it were found. Also found were decorative figurines of animals, carts and chariots, and ceramic jewelry whose beauty went unequaled for centuries.
    In death the Sumerian kings were as self-centered as in life. From the royal tombs of Ur have come not only objects of art but also the remains of full-size ceremonial chariots complete with the remains of oxen, soldiers, guards, musicians, and dignitaries of the court. While still alive they were drugged and then entombed along with their dead rulers. Human sacrifice was a conspicuous feature of the last rites for a monarch; one tomb yielded 74 members of the royal retinue who went to the grave with the king, presumably to be handy for service in an afterlife. Perhaps a king believed that he was being generous to the ones who were entombed with him, as they were getting a free ride with him to an afterlife. Still, he could have asked.
    Just as it does today, the variety of populous life of that time produced differing opinions on all subjects social, economic, and political. Sumerians complained, and one wrote that he was a “thoroughbred steed” but pulling a cart carrying “reeds and stubble.” Another complained in writing of the stupidity in one city taking enemy lands and then the enemy coming and taking them back. Rather than merely complaining, people in the city of Lagash instigated history’s first recorded revolt. This came after Lagash’s rulers had increased local taxes and restricted personal freedoms. Also, Lagash’s bureaucrats had grown in wealth, and the people resented these affronts enough to overthrow their king and bring to power a god-fearing, law-respecting king named Urukagina, who eliminated excessive taxation and rid the city of usurers, thieves, and murderers: the first-known reforms.
    As the use of writing increased in Sumer, businessmen wrote down their transactions. Sometimes these were later used to settle disputes and eventually the accumulated actions, along with the laws which had been passed down by word of mouth, were made into a written code by Ur-Nammu, a Sumerian king who reigned about 4,100 years ago. His code predates by more than 300 years the code of Hammurabi, a king of Babylon who about 3,750 years ago set down a series of minutely detailed laws that was long believed to have been the first law code in the world, and it predates the Ten Commandments by almost 1,000 years. In Ur-Nammu’s code the penalties were enlightened, generally prescribing fines instead of physical punishment. The fines were paid in silver shekels and silver minas, which shows that money had come into use by then.
    Common Sumerians remained illiterate, and though they were once the electorate, they had lost their power completely and become subject to tyranny. The monarch was viewed as an agent of and responsible to the gods, and it was the religious duty of his subjects to accept his rule as a part of the plan of the gods. Common people were obliged to pay taxes to the government in the form of a percentage of their crops, which the city could either trade away or use to feed its soldiers and the others it supported.    
    Thus out of a division in the creation of wealth came personal power and a new human plan by which government passed from the villagers to a chief and priest in the town, to an elite in the city, to a dictator/king, who became a hereditary monarch.
    It could be said that the third human paradise was officially over when the persons in the Sumerian villages lost democratic government and the traditional independence they had enjoyed through it. From the human beginning up to this loss of democracy and personal freedom, except for some setbacks which were always overcome, people had been moving gradually toward attainment of the human goal of each person to continuously improve his or her ability to survive and enjoy being alive through participating in creating and carrying out group plans (ideas) forooperative action. However, as we shall see, the loss of democracy in the Sumerian agricultural villages grew to become such a serious setback that it was a very long time before persons could begin to recover and again move toward attainment of the goal.
    During the time of the Sumerian elites the insanity called war was invented and city-states fought each other. Instead of being inspired by their leaders to work together, people were forced to kill each other, and to kill prisoners or make them slaves. The victims were not only those who were killed or disabled or enslaved, but the ones who were forced to commit these wretched acts. Killing or disabling or enslaving others is wrenching to the human mind and spirit
    However, it is important to recognize that during the two thousand years of Sumerian activity  persons had opportunities to open their minds in ways which are necessary for democracy today. One way was that the city offered the opportunity for a person to think of new possibilities for personal fulfilment. Four other ways resulted from the invention of writing:
 - Laws were put into writing, and that led eventually to crucial elements such as courts of law, the English Magna Carta, the Declaration of Independence by the American Colonies, the Constitution of the USA, the Charter of the United Nations Organization (UN), and other such documents..
 - Laws had been passed down vocally from generation to generation, and it was believed that they had been made by the gods and could not be changed. When Sumerians began to put the laws into writing their intended purpose was to standardize and clarify them, but as they did they generalized them, and added to them, and began to realize that new laws were being created by themselves, not by their gods.
 - Scribes began to write complaints, poems, hymns, proverbs, essays, and epics, the beginning of  literature, some of which led to modern democracy.
 - Clay tablets tell us the history of the changes in the social structure, what succeeded and what failed, and we can benefit from this experience.
    Thus the new way of life in towns and city-statesaffected all aspects of human thought and activity and became the pattern for all that followed, even to the present time.

    The Sumerians were a mixture of peoples and ethnicities and, as noted, the origin of their language is not known, but it was non-Semitic. While Sumer was growing, peoples moved into Mesopotamia, probably from the west, and adopted much of the Sumerian culture, but they spoke Akkadian, a Semitic language similar to Arabic and Hebrew. Because the Sumerian cities fought each other they were vulnerable to attack from outside. During this fighting, in an obscure city in northern Mesopotamia an Akkadian-speaking man named Sargon rose to power and gave the city the name of “Akkad.” Starting around 4,300 years ago as King Sargon the First, he conquered all of Sumer, then extended his empire both eastward and westward, and ruled for 35 years. It would seem that his people were still bonded by tribal customs and loyalties which could inspire them to be a formidable fighting force. Under Sargon the Akkadian language displaced the older Sumerian language, but he
 united the Sumerian city-states and preserved and advanced the Sumerian culture.
    His dynasty lasted 160 years and was destroyed by the Gutian tribe from the Zagros Mountains.

   NOTE: to go to Chapter 6, scroll up through Chapter 5 to top of page.

Dec 20, 2011

PART ONE: World War II: My Story

My name is Jim Jeffrey, and I'm a World War Two combat veteran with a story to tell. I'm joining the river of humanity on the Internet as a result of getting help, after always having worked on my own. I got the idea of putting myself on Facebook, because it is global, and putting a link on it to send Friends to a website/blog, but I didn't know how to go about it. Then I met Christine and she volunteered to help! Thanks to her dedication to peace and justice, and to her many skills, my life's work shall not wither and die! You can help, too, if you like what we are doing, by sharing our website with your Friends in our nation and around the world.
This is the patch that I wore on my uniform
as a Pfc in an A Company light  machine gun squad.
My unit was the 62nd Armored Infantry Battalion
of the 14th Armored Division.
Part One of our website/blog is an exciting World War II true story which we hope can help lead us all to peace, cooperation, and prosperity. To begin the story click below:
http://thehumanexperimentinliving.blogspot.com/p/world-war-ii.html  This link will take you to the full text of of the war story, and you can share your thoughts as comments on this post.

Now we are preparing Part Two: The New Human Story, and have begun to publish it as chapters. You can follow them through the links on the side, in the gadget titled Blog Navigator. As we add each new chapter, it will appear there as a link. This way of writing in a blog format allows us to make corrections and add new discoveries and updates as we go along, and it enables you to comment and keep in touch. We think that recognizing the evolving status of "The Human Experiment" and putting the information on the global communication system is a vital step in our Human Evolution.  (After reading Part One: WW II, go to the Blog Navigator and click on Part Two,  The New Human Story, Introduction.)

Part Two: The New Human Story

  INTRODUCTION  (to Part Two) - The Four Paradises

Accounts have been passed down through time saying that long ago there was a place on Earth that was a human paradise. Whether it had really existed or was merely a tale long talked about no one had evidence to prove. Finally the evidence in our actual Human story offers the proof, and what it reveals is amazing. Not only had the paradise existed, but it was the second one in a series of three, and we are in the process of creating a fourth!
Of course it can see unrealistic to say that we are creating a human paradise on Earth, when we have been over-populating our planet and destroying its life-sustaining natural environment as fast as we could, killing each in terrible wars that have not even been declared, letting preventable deadly diseases become pandemic, following "leaders" who divide us instead of bringing us together and have been taking us down the road to self-destruction, and so on. It is understandable that this horrible, irrational, morbid situation is causing many persons to despair, thinking that we have proved ourselves to be merely another "unsuccessful species" and that it is too late to late to save ourselves from terrible personal suffering ending in human extinction.

Fortunately, however, we can now see that there is another side to our human reality, which is that we are a successful species, but that we could not recognize this until we had discovered our actual Human Story. It shows us something that we desperately need to know today, which is that our first human ancestors knowingly took certain mental, vocal, and physical steps and thereby unknowingly began an experiment in living which was new on Earth and possibly new in the entire Universe.

This radically new "Human Experiment" was based on their being instinctively cooperative, and on
their having inherited new survival tools including a new three-part brain, and the equipment to develop language. As individual persons they had they had already begun to use their new brain to create cooperative ideas, and their Experiment was to see if by developing  their potential for sign and vocal language they could communicate these ideas to the other persons in their small group. If so, they could make cooperative plans of action which might improve their ability to survive, and to improve their ability to enjoy life.

What each of us persons on our planet Earth needs to recognize now is that this experiment begun by our early human ancestors was completely successful. However,  we need to see also that their descendants were unable to continue the cooperative function of the experiment successfully, because they had not evolved sufficiently to recognize the reasons for their success. Our actual Human Story reveals these reasons, and enables us to see what we can do now in order to make our Human Experiment again completely successful.
Very fortunately we have developed a global communication system which makes possible the instantaneous global dissemination of our new information, so that everyone will have access to it. Then we will each be able to see why we could not have recognized and entered the fourth paradise until now.  Our Story presents all of this information in a clear, understandable way, and enables us to fulfill what shall be seen as our wonderful, natural human destiny. To begin our Story, let us proceed to the building of the First Human Paradise.

CHAPTER ONE      The First Paradise

Let us imagine that we have traveled far back in time to a beautiful spring morning in southeast Africa. We are members of a group of eleven persons who have left the safety of a clump of trees and are out on the grassy plain gathering food. The bright sunshine reflects off the tall grass as it moves in the breeze, giving the savanna the appearance of an ocean's rolling waves. Large birds circle silently overhead and small birds flit from one place to another, chirping their songs.

While breathing in the fresh, clean air of the natural world we watch the people around us sweep the plain with their eyes, then look down into the grass, then look out on the plain again, in a continuing cycle. Following their gaze, we see a small herd of some kind of animal moving in the distance. Near us we notice a boy, too short to see over the grass, who is learning how to imitate his mother. He watches her squat down and lift a nest with two brown eggs. She holds the nest in her lap, opens an egg, and pours the liquid into her mouth. Next she opens the other egg and pours the liquid into the boy’s mouth. Then the two move with the rest of us farther out onto the plain, where we find and eat whatever edible things lie in our path, the boy taking two steps for every one by his mother.

Suddenly someone gives the scream which means: Danger! Run to the trees! The mother grabs her child, and holding him under one arm runs as fast as she can toward the clump of trees. We run alongside her, and when there is another scream no one looks back to see the throat of a loved one being crushed in the bloody jaws of a leopard; this has been witnessed too many times before. We keep running until we reach a tree with a branch near the ground. We help the mother and child up onto it, and she carries the child quickly up as far into the branches as she can. We follow her, and other group members climb high into other trees. Trembling and sad, we watch the victim’s body being dragged away, but we know that we were unable to do anything to prevent the death. We wait awhile, then descend to the ground and resume our interrupted search for food.

On returning through time to ourselves in the present, it is easy to see why these early ancestors of ours were unhappy about their inability to defend themselves: they lacked the jaws, claws, weight, strength, speed, fangs, coils, wings, beaks, and talons of their adversaries; they could not climb, dig, or even bite very well. Fortunately both for them and for us, their descendants, they developed their own way to defend themselves. To see how these ear;y persons achieved this, let us follow their inspiring story.

Our knowledge of them comes from discoveries of bones, skulls, foot and hand prints, rock and cave paintings, and primitive tools and weapons, as well as the findings of molecular biology. Using this information, plus studies of "primitive" groups in recent times, studies of animals in natural surroundings, and knowledge of ourselves, we can reconstruct much about these early persons and their lives.

They lived in the natural environment surrounded by deadly dangers and were held together by their common fear of them. Instinctively and consciously they knew that they desperately needed each other’s help in order to survive, and therefore treated each other with respect. Because they depended on the natural environment to produce their food they had to move around to find it, so were forced to live together in small, mobile groups. When a group became too large, some of the persons would form another group and move to another area.

They had developed the ability to use bones, sharp stones, and pieces of tree branches as tools (such as for digging edible roots) and weapons (such as for killing animals). Also they had begun to communicate with each other through sign language and basic vocal language, i.e. to “talk” to each other. All of these were vital steps because they led to their becoming able to make and carry out group plans for defensive and offensive actions which greatly improved their ability to obtain food, survive, and enjoy being alive.

As time passed they kept improving their proficiency to communicate through vocal and sign  language and to create new ideas for cooperative group plans. Through these advances, plus improving their skill in making and using tools and weapons, including clubs, and sharp spears and stones,  they became able to hunt and kill small and some medium-sized animals for food and hides.

 To see what this led to, let us imagine that we are members of a group of fifteen such persons on a summer evening. As the sunlight fades we climb into trees with branches suitable to be sleeping places, relatively safe from night-time predators. In the morning we descend to the ground, leave the safety of the trees, and venture onto the vast open grassland to search for food. After walking for awhile in the bright sunlight we have collected some eggs, berries, and nuts when we see a small antelope lying in the grass.  Although wounded it manages to struggle up and limp away from us until its path takes it into a rock formation where it becomes trapped. We follow and kill it with our clubs and spears, and are cutting it into pieces with our sharp knives of stone when suddenly we realize that our situation has been reversed. A leopard has followed us into the rock formation and blocks our escape.; instead of being the trappers, we are the trapped!

As the beast slowly approaches us, snarling through bared fangs, shifting yellow eyes from one to the other of us, we are terrified. All that each of us can think of is to run from this killer, because that is what our people have done instinctively for thousaands of years, but we cannot climb the sheer rock walls on three sides of us. Had we not been so frightened, we might have thought to hurl the meat to the leopard, but what each of us does think is, “I’m going to be killed!” and stark terror holds us frozen in place.

Suddenly someone screams and throws a sharp stone at the leopard, hitting it on its side. As this has never happened to it before, surprise causes it to stop and turn its head to see what had hit it.  Instantly we all join the attack, screaming and hurling our bone and wooden clubs and sharp spears and stones at our enemy and then picking up and throwing rocks at it, one hitting it in an eye. This unprecedented act of group aggression causes the leopard to reconsider and quickly limp away.

We are astounded! We can not believe what we have done. For a moment we fall silent and can only stare at the place where the leopard had been. Then we begin to yell and jump up and down and hug each other. During the days that follow, using vocal, sign, and body language, we re-enact our great victory again and again, pretending that a large stone is the leopard. We recognize that being hungry and suffering from a wounded foreleg it must have followed the scent of the antelope and our scent into the rock formation to find whatever it could to eat, because its running speed had been severely hampered.

The question we ask we ask each other is, “Could we do it again, not because of being trapped, but deliberately?” The question ask ourselves is, “Could I do it again? It was one thing for me to fight when there was no escape. But if there is an opportunity to run and escape, along with most of the others, can I imagine myself choosing to stand against the terrible fangs and slashing claws of an enemy I mortally fear and have always run from? But what if the others all run next time and I am the one who gets caught and killed?”

"A daring promise..."
Each of us is very proud of what he or she has done, and has a strong desire to be able to do it again the next time we are attacked. In response to our compelling need to defeat the leopard, and our strong belief that we can succeed, we plan our defense and each of us makes a daring promise to the others: “The next time we are attacked, I will stand and fight.”

We begin immediately to prepare ourselves for a future attack so that when the moment comes we will be ready. We know that none of us could stand alone against the leopard, but we believe that if instead of running we stay together and all shout and use our weapons we can drive off or perhaps kill our attacker. Because each of us helped to drive off the leopard before, we believe that we can trust ourselves and each other to keep the promise to do it again.

A few days later a leopard picks up our scent and follows it toward the place where we are resting in the grass. When our lookout sees it he runs to us saying that the moment has come. Our greatest desire as individuals is to be able to hold in our minds the shared idea that our best way to survive is to stand together with our companions and fight, rather than succumb to instinctive fear and flee in terror. As the leopard approaches it slows its pace, confused by our not running and consequently not allowing it to select a victim to chase; but it keeps coming right up to us, baring its fangs and snarling.

Suddenly, following the plan we had made earlier, we all begin to yell and scream, and while some of us use both hands to hold out our long, sharp spears and keep the beast away, others throw their clubs and sharp stones at it. It is not fully grown but puts up a strong attack, snarling and trying to bat the spears away, and takes one in its jaws, but two other spears immediately jab it, and then two more. Adrenalin rush, strong desire to overcome the enemy, sense of pride and loyalty, and maximum use of outer skill and inner strength enables each of  us to succeed. We hold the idea in our minds, act on it, and together drive off the very surprised, bleeding leopard. We have won!

Flushed with victory, and ecstatically happy, we sing and dance for joy. We each know that we have changed our lives forever. No longer will the leopard decide who will live and who will die;  we have taken that power away from it. By creating an idea which enabled us to change our thinking and behavior, we forced it to change its thinking and behavior. Now none of will die, or at least each will have a fighting chance.

Alone, no one of us could have accomplished this, but by each of us participating in making and carrying out the group plan we could succeed.

Returning to the present, we can see that this new ability of our ancestors to defend themselves from their age-old enemy made a revolutionary difference in their lives. In that moment, they delivered themselves from being helpless prey and took the first step toward becoming the mightiest hunters on Earth. No longer the helpless, frightened victims of powerful enemies, they could deal with them on an equal basis. Each of them had made a quantum jump in his or her personal ability to survive and enjoy being alive, and thereby in self-confidence and self-esteem. For each of them it was...  paradise. 

Today we would not desire to live as they did, without the safety and material comforts available to us, and our Story goes on  to show that in the second paradise this began to be remedied. However, the persons who created the first paradise were accustomed to living as they did materially, and to them what they added to their way of life was what they most desired: the ability to protect themselves in their daily lives, especially while gathering and hunting food.

It can seem that as individual persons they might have felt that they had given up their freedom to do whatever they desired to do whenever they chose to, but for the following reasons that probably was not the case. Long before attaining the first paradise they cared instinctively about each other’s safety and well-being, were instinctively cooperative, and within their group had developed a natural level of friendship, loyalty, and trust. In this social structure, surrounded by the dangers of the natural environment, a baby, child, and adolescent developed to become an adult person who valued being a member of such a supportive group. In a word, what they had been experiencing and enjoying from the human beginning was what today we call community.

"to the level of consciousness."
Then by developing sign and vocal language they became able to make plans through use of which they raised instinctive cooperation, friendship, loyalty, trust and community to the level of consciousness. This thrilled them because it made each person in the group feel even more needed and essential, more in control of his or her life life, and more free. For example, they did not desire to let someone in their group be killed by a leopard, and they had chosen to free themselves from having to let that happen.

To understand “instinctive cooperation,” we need to see that our genes have their own agenda, which is to get themselves into the next generation, and the next, and so on, i.e. to be immortal. Therefore it has been said that we are merely “taxicabs for our genes.” However, because we pass our genes on through sexual intercourse, and this is a cooperative act, natural selection has caused in us a genetic infrastructure which not only motivates us to have the urge to have sexual intercourse, and has made it a highly enjoyable experience, but also enables us to develop the friendship, loyalty, and trust which makes such cooperation possible. Thus, though our genes are entirely "selfish," it has been in their interest to motivate us in ways which have enabled us to become cooperative.

The persons in the human line had unknowingly been moving toward the creation of the first paradise ever since they descended from the trees to the ground, stood up, ran and walked on two legs,   thereby freeing their arms, hands, fingers and thumbs from being used for locomotion to being used for many other actions. These, without their knowing it, helped to develop their brains and minds to think in new and creative ways. Then through developing sign and vocal language, they raised instinctive cooperation to the level of conscious cooperation and created the first human paradise. 

It was a personal paradise, because it was the result of an idea conceived in the mind of the individual person to help him or her self, then communicated to others and made a group plan of action. Obviously one could not have conceived nor carried out the plan in isolation; one had to accomplish this in conjunction with the other persons in the group. Nevertheless it was an individual act. Each person had to form the group plan (idea) in his or her own mind and make the decision to act on it, and then do so on his or her own: no one could do it for someone else. What they were learning to practice was what today we call “enlightened self-interest.” Of course they were thinking too of the welfare of their loved ones, and that increased their incentive to participate in the plan because it included each person in the group and made each person an essential, valued member, treated with respect by the others.

All this was in fact necessary, because it was learned from from experience that the group plans could be successful only if each person participated in creating them and in carrying them out. For that to happen each person had to be highly motivated not only to cooperate but to do so voluntarily, in spite of the great personal risks, both physical and mental, the latter because one had to be able to trust the loyalty and courage of the others. The creation of this conscious type of cooperative government, this “paradise,” was a monumental step never before taken on planet Earth, as far as we know, nor possibly in the entire Universe.

"The Human Experiment..."
In driving off the leopard our ancestors took the first decisive step toward advancing what we have called, in this blog, "the Human Experiment.” As noted, it was begun by our early human ancestors to   see if they could use two of their inherited survival tools (a newly structured, three-part brain, and vocal language) to create and share cooperative ideas which would help them to survive and to enjoy life. For a long time their Experiment was successful and their new ideas served them well so they   collected them into the body of thought which we call our culture, and passed it on to each new generation, who updated it by creating new ideas to keep up with their changing and evolving survival situation. They had begun this "Cultural Process" by using their new brain to attach meaning to hand signals, such as go, stop, run, etc. thus inventing sign language. The next step in this process of "symboling" was to attach meaning to spoken sounds, creating sounds we call "words," which is what a baby and child does today in building a vocabulary, or an adult in learning a foreign language. Eventually they had used their brains to invent enough hand and vocal language to build the idea of driving off the leopard.
This furthered a trend toward using their new brain and language continually to create and share ideas  to  improve their ability to survive and enjoy life, and in this way they attained a goal which had been the instinctive and unconscious goal of each person, and was now becoming conscious. Language enabled each of them to form and share the idea of the goal, and of how to attain it, and out of this process came the idea which we call purpose.  
The conscious goal and method were uniquely human, and were immediately established as the personal goal and method, and therefore the group goal and method, forever after. The goal and method were new on planet Earth (as far as we know), and as we follow our Human Story we can see that by having the goal and using the method humans have three times attained the goal by building a human paradise, the second and third times on the foundation of its predecessor, and, without being conscious of it, we have been striving to build a Fourth Paradise. We have made real progress but, even with all of our great accomplishments, we will see that we could not have succeeded until now, the main reason being that we had not yet acquired (or not dispersed) the necessary information. Consequently we could not know what we needed to about our past, nor about our brain structure snd transmissible culture, and could not recognize the possibility of a Fourth Paradise, and could not be aware that we are now in a position to live in it. To see why we are, we need to begin by looking at the background to this Chapter 1, which is in Chapter 2.  To find it, go below and click on HOME. Then see Blog Navigator and click on Chapter 2 - Background to Chapter 1.

Dec 13, 2011

PART II -The New Human Story

 Part One of the blog was to tell the war story that started  me on my quest. I think that it should be read first, and it is presented here.

INTRODUCTION (to Part Two) The Four Paradises

Accounts have been passed down through time saying that long ago there was a place on Earth which was a human paradise. Whether it really existed, or was merely a tale long talked about, no one had evidence to prove one way or the other. Finally the evidence in our actual Human Story offers the proof, and what it shows is amazing. Not only did the paradise exist, but it was the second one in a series of three, and we are now in the process of creating a fourth! In writing this blog, and sharing this information, we hope to help speed its creation.

Of course it can seem unrealistic to say that we are in the process of creating a human paradise on Earth, when our species has been overpopulating our planet and destroying its life-sustaining natural environment as fast as we could, killing each other in terrible wars that have not even been declared, letting deadly, preventable diseases become pandemic, following “leaders” who divide us rather than bring us together and have been taking us down the road to self-destruction, and so on. It is understandable that this horrible, irrational, morbid situation is causing many persons to despair, thinking that we have proved ourselves to be merely another “unsuccessful species” and that it is too late to save ourselves from terrible personal suffering ending in human extinction.

Fortunately, however, we can now see that there is another side to our human reality, which is that we are a successful species. We could not recognize this until we had discovered and understood our entire Human Story. It shows us what we desperately need to know today: our first human ancestors knowingly undertook an experiment in cooperative living that was new on planet Earth and possibly new in the entire Universe, and it was completely successful.

The three brains. (From
Sustainable Sonoma blog)
This new “Human Experiment” grew out of a three-part brain structure that reflects stages in evolution. The experiment began when our earliest human ancestors began to create cooperative ideas in their individual minds, and by developing their potential for speech began to share these ideas with the others in their small group. This enabled them to form and share plans of cooperative action which greatly improved their ability to survive and to enjoy being alive.
However, we need to see also that their descendants were unable to continue the cooperative function of the experiment successfully because they had not yet evolved sufficiently to recognize the reasons for their success.

What everyone on our planet needs to recognize now,  is that it has required a million years for us to acquire the information we need to again make our human experiment completely successful. Very fortunately, just when we need it most we have developed a global communication system which makes possible the instantaneous dissemination of the needed information, so that everyone on our planet Earth can have access to everyone else's best insights. This gives us a powerful new way to cooperate as our ancestors did, by sharing our best ideas. Soon we will each be able to see why we could not have recognized and entered the "fourth paradise" until now. Therefore let us go now to 'The New Human Story," to begin it by a description of the building of the First Human Paradise.