Blog 29 Midsummer New Year of Johns Eve 2012
|A Wild Apple Tree in Bloom by the Roadside|
If we accept the possibility that early humans were more or less exclusively forest dwellers, and that the forest environment is ipso facto guarantor of democracy, it is likely that at first self-sacrifice was a matter of mated birds, mother and father, vis a vis their nest, eggs, and nestlings. We can see this self-sacrificial pattern in small birds, who in mid-summer dash out of the bushes on the side of the road in front of our cars and attempt to divert our attention from the road (and of course their nests in the bushes or grass nearby) to themselves.
As early humans gradually emerged from the forest (whether due to changing climate or human deforestation activity), they increasingly came in contact with other members of homo erectus http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/life/Homo_erectus , which probably increased their self-sacrificial instincts, inadvertently activating intense defensive violence. Because violence is open ended (unless a tribal elder steps in or otherwise interferes in the conflict), it often results in death. In former times, if the conflict was provoked by premeditated aggression and resulted in the death of the unsuspecting victim, reaction could provoke the engagement of all members of the opposing groups. Therefore, it was not unusual for the elders of both tribes to come together, and in order to lessen the damage of a no-holds barred fight, each side chose one male representative to fight it out among themselves only. This solution is very much behind the David and Goliath story http://files.coloribus.com/files/adsarchive/part_1253/12537105/file/veikkaus-david-goliath-small-88744.jpg . However, beware of illustrations in which David is portrayed holding the head of Goliath http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/ef/David-goliath28.jpg/220px-David-goliath28.jpg . This is obviously a step too far, and the losing side is unlikely to accept David’s skill as a sling thrower and retreat. The renewed fight can well take the lives of many thousands.
In any event, the effort to harness the defensive instinct (of birds and humans), was not only to lessen the number of dead, but hopefully to also consolidate and increase the membership of the group, because conflicts may arise not only among strangers, but among intimates, such as between brothers (Abel and Cain) or parents and children.
Therefore (given human intelligence), the self-sacrificial instinct was not left to the instincts alone, but came to be manipulated by the elders and shamans and priests. What they did, to deduce from no shortage of stories and myths, was to choose the purest form of self-sacrifice, which is death by one’s own will. Of course, self-sacrifice through death is not always the only way to give self-sacrifice. In the following story, the sacrifice is of but one’s finger http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/2012/04/a-brand-new-fairytale.html and a dog.
If the fairytale told through the link continues to involve a form of self-immolation-mutilation, our time offers a way out of it through the technology of cloning. If we read the fairytale of “Goldenlocks” with care and attention, we will note that prince Goldenlocks merges with the poor shepherd boy who bites off his finger to gain for himself the prince’s clothes. In short, as a result of his self-sacrifice the shepherd becomes a clone of the prince, who (with his life saved) soon becomes the apprentice of a gardener, a job that prepares him to become the ruler of a kingdom.
With human cloning just around our scientific corner and with death still such a difficult event to contemplate and do, cloning permits King Goldenlocks to clone himself into prince Goldenlocks II. When the King reaches the age of a pensioner, he decides to clone himself into his successor. Because in the kingdom of New Jerusalem, the obligatory age of death is eighty-one years (9 x 9 representing a beaker near full, whereas 9 x 10 is a beaker spilling over), the retired King has about ten or so years left to educate his successor by his own self. The education process includes, of course, learning how to write and keep a diary.
This blogger hopes that the reader has noted the close relationship between the fairytale of Prince Goldenlocks with that of King Oedipus Rex http://oedipusrexrewritten.blogspot.com/ another of my series of blogsays.
This is how in nine generations the self-sacrificial Goldilocks became one of the wisest men on Earth. Also, if not yet immortal, this is as close to it as we are ever going to get.