Born on this day: Liam Neeson, Salma Hayek, Paul Dano, Bobcat Goldthwait, Brian Blessed, Earl Warren, Peggy Lee, John Holmes
5-Lamat (star) is a day set aside to consider multiplication and its relation to abundance. The animal “totem” behind Lamat is the rabbit, whose hallmark is its ability to multiply.
In the Bible, God commands Adam and Abraham to go forth and multiply like the stars in the heavens. Like rabbits, stars are associated with multiplication. To further illustrate, try driving out at night from city to desert while stopping along the way to watch the sky. The stars will do that rabbit thing.
So at the very beginning of monotheistic religions there is a divine decree to bear as many children as possible, like rabbits and stars. How does that sit in with overpopulation?
Nature knows how to deal with rabbit overpopulation. It has a special vaccine called ‘Fox”, which also cures other similar conditions like Chicken and Fowl OverAbundance. So case closed, right?
When Fox thrives beyond its environment, Rabbit quickly vanishes. The environment doesn’t support another carnivore big enough to curb the fox’s success. So too many foxes get hungry quick and their success is cut short. In addition, to reduce fox population and regain equilibrium, nature moves to act within the fox community, by increasing competition and violence, splitting the pack up.
Another move by nature is spreading disease among its members. Trillions of tiny life forms go to work and obliterate a pack of giant life forms. Business as usual.
The deck is shuffled, and fresh hands are dealt.
If God told most of the (religious) world to go forth and multiply, it goes contrary to nature. Our environment, looking at the world as science sees it, is at constant risk because it doesn’t seem to be the kind of world which is able produce life forms that curb human success in procreation.
The closest it gets to doing so is through other human beings who kill people, en mass if necessary . And ‘other humans’ is a whole other discussion.
Because of this dissonance, monotheists of different creeds share a common inability to reconcile between what nature teaches and rationally explaining their own belief and way of life. This is why catastrophes that dramatically reduce human population are automatically interpreted by monotheists as divine retribution, and the narrative or meme behind their rationale goes something like:
“We strayed from G-d’s path, succeeded to the extremes of decadence and disrespect to HIS world and Creation. Now we face judgement.”
And after the storm has passed, god’s 1st decree to multiply like rabbits will, naturally, make perfect sense again.
For comfort, if for nothing else.
Atheists say any catastrophe is either a mere accident of nature, or something humans are directly responsible for. The meme behind their rationale is the fully-automatic model of the universe, as Alan Watts used to call it. ‘Blind energy’ makes everything happen.
It’s just as bit as a myth as the monotheistic one.
Another myth involves Gaia-worshiping new-and old-agers, who might say Mother Earth intervenes now and again to level the playing field. As far as they are concerned, a virus killing off many people is nature’s version of dealing with Foxes who won’t starve off when all the rabbits are gone. It is a divine gift in a disguise of human suffering. A purging of the great Mother from those who would abuse her.
That’s Nazi talk, by the way – worshiping the environment over human concerns. The UN and all international bodies are still at it.
God further decrees that bread is to be won by the sweat of thy brow. Now that’s more like it! Who is the atheist who would not agree to that? Makes perfect sense: Work – play, effort-reward, action – reaction… sentences getting shorter… thought reduced to…
To elaborate and refocus, this decree is about what’s called husbandry and agriculture. These foundations of work are what we humans use to multiply fruit, seeds, and livestock. This is what ultimately facilitates decree number 1. We work for surplus so we can have more children.
Since agriculture began (about 15-20,000 years ago), we managed to add to it commerce, industry, service, and, most recently – instant sharing and hyper-connectivity. When all these elements are combined on your everyday, mundane level – they multiply just about everything to infinity and zero cost.
Please note that I did not mention ‘technology’ as a pillar of work, since it is a tool. If I did that you would be right to accuse me of techno-theism (the face behind most atheist masks nowadays).
As far as work is concerned, the Bible’s word (not surprisingly) doesn’t seem to withstand the Zeitgeist once again. Elon Musk is now advocating universal income, knowing full well that most jobs are rapidly disappearing, with no hope of returning. Computers and robots are living up to their promise of taking our jobs away, and in direct parallel, governments and businesses are failing to live up to their promise of giving us something to do and taking care of us.
Unless you’re on a zodiac boat in the middle of the Mediterranean, bread is not to be won anymore. It is the basic right of every citizen.
But still, in the midst of abundance beyond what even our parents could imagine, many between us strongly feel we are constantly flirting with catastrophe. Whether these fears are based or not remains unclear. It might all be a mirage the media is still able to conjure, so unplugging from it might provide a fresh point of view, where I can accept abundance without guilt.
But let’s see if there’s something deeper.
Let’s go back to the fox analogy and say humans are the ultimate predator on this planet. We are a life form that’s been overly successful in reproducing itself for way too long, and all the cute, promiscuous rabbits (whoever they may be) are in grave danger of extinction.
Being much more complicated than mere foxes, scientific and technical humans manipulate the environment and avert the fox’s fate of death when the rabbit supply runs dry. Being the super-predators that we are on this planet, it’s natural to expect calamity when considering the way we have wronged other people, let alone other creatures and nature itself.
But it doesn’t really matter what is the source of this fear, because it could be anything. What’s more important is to experience fear. To be in fear and to dive into it.