I am coming to think that modern man & woman live in the wrong story. The whole, big narrative we slavishly believe and repeat is away off the mark. We got derailed with the Neolithic. I am not the first to point this out. Paul Shepard, Jared Diamond, Robin Fox, and many others have noted this. I, too, discuss this in several books. What none of them sees is that we lost the Gift. We lost Grace. We fail to see that people like Jesus of Nazareth were part of the larger story of Grace and the Gift, and that his Keystone Cop disciples didn’t really grasp what he meant—or what paleolithic mythology meant. (The apostles knew no such Pleistocene myth, of course.)
There is one, continuous story of Homo, and its theme is the Gift. This is what sets Homo in a special place in creation: that we can grasp the gift and consciously live in it. We can rejoice in it and help foster it. Above all, we can celebrate it.
No, I’m not talking about Christianity. Christianity missed the boat! Between them, Judaism and Christianity invented a horrific story—the cosmic tug-of-war between good and evil—thus launching the Mediterranean world, and eventually the entire world, on an insane morality tale ending in cataclysm.
It’s all in words. Language is the genie responsible for this mad narrative. Language got us into this mess and only the ancient language of the gift and grace can get us out. Man’s original language and consciousness invoked Presence. One might also call it Full Participation. Any other “language” is a counterfeit.
Modern man (“modern” since the Neolithic) lives in a dream spun by spurious language. The dream has turned into a nightmare—the long loneliness, Loren Eiseley called it.
Eiseley once wondered if the porpoise would ever talk to us. The question is tragic and pitiful, for the porpoise in fact has been talking to us since time out of memory. We simply dropped out of the conversation.