Volatility

December 24, 2017

The Forest of Eden

Filed under: Dance of Death — Tags: — Russell Bangs @ 8:24 pm

>

 
 
According to one version of the story of Eden, God forbade Adam and Eve to taste of the fruits of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. If they tasted of knowledge, God promised them, “you shall surely die”. In this version the serpent entered Eden and enticed Eve and Adam to taste of knowledge. To punish them for this disobedience God cast Adam and Eve from the forage of the Garden, dooming them to toil for their food and shelter, dooming them to mortality.
 
There’s another version of this story. According to this story God never forbade the taste of knowledge, on the contrary he encouraged it, but warned against letting knowledge usurp life to the corruption and death of both. The serpent entered Eden and enticed Adam and Eve, not to eat of the tree but to cut it down. Eve said to the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of every tree of the garden, but God has said we must not touch any tree to hurt it, lest we die.
 
And the serpent said, you shall not die, for God knows that in the day you kill his trees and poison his garden you shall drive him out and become as gods, dictating good and evil. Your murder gains life for your own godhood.
 
Adam and Eve were seduced. The serpent fired their lust for power, and they cut down the tree believing this would liberate them. But they found only their fear and alienation, God no longer was to be found, the garden withered, themselves doomed to worthless toil and mortality.
 
 
Another story is told of a Jewish spiritual reformer who was crucified by the Romans and then rose again, because he was really the human incarnation of God. Followers, onlookers, even his persecutors looked on in awe as God cried out from the cross and gave up the ghost. According to another version of this story, Jesus dodged the nails leaving a sign while the cross went up alone, and all who looked on felt the magnitude of the wood of the cross itself, the sacrifice of the trees which were felled to crucify God.
 
 
All the trees are coming back. All the trees murdered for commodity and spite will rise again. All the trees come back, millions everywhere, the forests sprout from the lawns, break from every street and parking lot, burst through the houses, level the strip malls, rip open the McMansions, purge the industrial plantations.
 
All versions of the story agree that when the reformer was tempted by the devil, offering the same promise of becoming a god himself, to dictate good and evil, to receive the submission of millions, to murder for his own godhood, Jesus rejected the devil and rejected the temptation.
 
 
At Christmas the people think again of the primal trees but drive themselves to reprise the sacrifice. To symbolize the original sacrifice they kill another for the ceremony, or kill the very idea of the tree in favor of an artificial simulation. Idolatry of the anti-tree is most symbolic of the modern idol-worship, the worship of every technology and every idea of technocracy in proportion to how much it promises to murder nature, to murder reality.
 
 
In this West at its final climax it’s murder for commodity, murder for monoculture, murder from spite most spiritually deadly of all. The suburbs spawn psychopaths, powerless atoms who can play at voting for evil but truly can exercise their love of death only in murdering the most ancient, most beautiful, most sentient beings. Where each middle class suburbanite, including the most impeccably liberal or radical, gleefully murders trees or blandly looks on amid such massacre, we can expect nothing but the same banality toward climate change and ecological destruction in general. And that’s exactly what we have. Politics is Dead. Tree-murder is a cause and a symptom.
 
Nature’s laws are a wall, however much they temporarily may seem like mist. God sees the truth but waits, and Gaia’s correction proceeds according to its own timetable but arrives completely in the end. An organism cannot rebel against the foundation of its life other than as a mode of suicide. The extreme energy civilization and all who exalt it are committing suicide. Humanity’s great mission is to redeem itself and not commit suicide as a species. Ecologically, suicide is directly proportional to one’s action of homicide. We must stop murdering or else die ourselves. Whatever humanity chooses, Gaia’s kinesis is imminent.
 
 
All the trees are coming back. The tree of knowledge of good and evil stands everywhere, this is every tree. The tree of life stands everywhere, this is every tree. The tree of beauty, the tree of love, the tree of peace, the tree of happiness, the tree of wisdom, the tree of childhood, the tree of health, the tree of vigor, the tree of strength, all stand everywhere. All who once stood are coming back. The tree of Earth still stands everywhere, and everywhere is coming back. If it ever were felled, humanity surely would die, but the true life would continue.
 
This is the true Christmas tree, if there still were such an idea in the mind of humanity. This will decide whether we can reclaim ourselves.
 
All the trees are coming back. This is the true reclamation.
 
 
 
 

1 Comment

  1. BIG GAME OVER?

    Nobody, one believes, liked seeing Isaiah going naked, so.
    Well, Old Jehovah, maybe. He, who sent Isaiah
    preaching through those holy streets, his bony finger
    accusing rich folks’ fat cheeks; whatever
    he had (not much, no pockets then, you’ll please recall)
    discarded or given to the poor. This finger pointing
    a practice quite unpopular with the well heeled, I suppose;
    with those who pull the puppet strings,
    who pluck the lyre teaches any world’s humbler folk
    to dance for wealth, or for their suppers, sing?

    But that’s not me! (Yes, I dance
    and have long danced, if slow, to money’s waltz tune, too.)
    I mean I’m not him (the prophet Isaiah, i.e.); although
    I do seem (my own annoying way) to point things out a bit;
    declaiming now and then to Mr./Mrs./Ms. Pretend/Pretense
    how the head man (this system, I mean) goes unclothed;
    he (it, we), not me, any (or not many) present day prophets
    personally parading buck naked now. (You know.)

    No, prophet or not, I predict this spin-gyre cycle cannot hold, when hell, none ever do.
    As the poet said, the center folds; we, feeling perhaps like things that seemed certain
    right from Rome’s founding by those twins sucked on wolf tits suddenly not the same:
    tribes slip-sliding over a frozen Rhine, folk come up the blue Danube for peace, place, power, plunder
    while, here in our own imperial time, hungry, work-willing folk walk the drying Rio Grande.
    Winners/losers break their big game up at last (or it gets swept off the card table for them),
    rules (if any anymore) all changed.

    Comment by Joseph Patrick Quinn — December 25, 2017 @ 1:35 pm


RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

%d bloggers like this: