(excerpt from Cosmo and The Garden Earth) J.T. Hilltop
I do admit I was quite impressed by Cosmo, this God or Galactic Garden Creator, this claimer of Universal Existential Knowledge, this mindfuck Guru who had snatched me into some cyber world he called his garden Earth. A cosmic gardener he claimed, one of many each tending to gardens in their own galaxies. He had explained many basics of how humanity came to be what it is but left a glaring omission without explanation……
What’s the matter JT, did you not understand?” I reflected a moment before responding. “No, I think I understand our evolution on a certain level, something like fate and survival strategies determined our paths and the consequences on earth but something still bugs me.” So I asked this God a question, “Why wars? Why were so many wars necessary? Did we need to kill each other without even knowing who we killed or why we killed them? Is it to fulfill some cosmic prophecy? I mean it’s like the history of humanity was written in blood and not ink. Why do we need to constantly be at war somewhere with someone to continue evolving?”
I watched intently as Cosmo thought deeply before answering. He was calculating the appropriate assessment. “War is a complicated existential concept JT, and the state of what it has come to be is a bit hard to explain because like humans, war evolved. If you think about it you‘re involved in a war the very second you leave the womb. There is a war between bacteria and antibodies that begin with your first breath and continue for years. But you ask of human participation in wars so let me start at its beginning and see if I can outline it for you.
When the garden Earth was still very young I tended to various growth beds of life. It was concentric, my pride and joy I called the cycle of life. The insects ate vegetation, birds ate the insects, the small animals ate the birds, and the apex predators ate the small animals. When they died the replenished the garden in many ways. Feeding scavengers, enriching the soil, everything contributed to the garden and nothing went to waste. The decaying bodies fed the vegetation, all the basic cycle of life. As for humans though a new phenomenon appeared sometime in the early portion of your civilization. Greed, and vanity. Both attributes greatly disturbed the garden’s cycle. Through vanity the humans began burying their dead, so they wouldn’t be disfigured if there was an afterlife. There is no after, there is just life. They were supposed give back to the garden but their new beliefs prevented that from happening. You see in the beginning many different tribes were forming who shared my one common concept. They understood and observed a basic law of Garden Earth. A law was quite simply that every creature has the right to achieve its survival in the garden. What a creature cannot do is deny any other creature its right to its own survival strategies without benefit. But in one little corner, or more accurately a crescent, of the garden a certain species became greedy, felt empowered. They figured out a way to manufacture and horde food withholding it from smaller species. They penned animals behind fences for milk and eggs, and eventually family meals and learned how to cultivate and manipulate vegetation. This would eventually become known as the agricultural revolution. Why they horded so much food that no one in the tribes ever went hungry. From this surplus the species prospered, and when a species prospers that much it has growth spurts. Did they ever! They were eating and fornicating so much that the population doubled, then tripled. This created two major problems. First it was getting too crowded, and second by hording so much food it was depriving other creatures of an opportunity to feed causing some species to die out. To make shit worse, if a fox or a gopher or a crow or any other creature tried to eat the horded food, they not only killed the hungry thief, but they attempted to annihilate that entire species of the hungry creatures to prevent future thievery. Just because they MIGHT take some food at some point. But it was the overcrowding that really set the fecal matter hurling towards the rotary windmill.
The tribes began forming imaginary lines and began laying ownership claim to the land, and all the animals and vegetation on that land. As a few generations passed by the people began forgetting the time when the garden belonged to everything and soon the people were growing up with the notion that their parts of the garden actually belonged to them by virtue of their imaginary lines. As they worked the land they tried to figure out why some harvests would suffer droughts or flooding storms. They began to fear that a higher power was responsible so they invented more gods. Oh mercy did they invent gods. Hundreds of them, maybe thousands. A god that made it rain, or a god that controlled the wind. Even the big beautiful sun was a god. They began making sacrifices to these gods. Animals, other humans, whatever they felt would make the gods happy so they could continue to horde food and land. Somewhere along the line one culture came up with the concept that there is only one god, the true god. This somehow gave them superiority because they were the culture that knew the truth. When other cultures challenged that belief they would destroy the threateners so their god wouldn’t think them wimps. They began building armies to protect their belief and to protect their imaginary lines. The weapons they once hunted with now became instruments of destruction used on any human that challenged their land ownership or their one true god. So the armies began killing in the name of god and they began killing any who trespassed their land. Their land! Oh that makes me laugh. No, it makes me angry. The ones in authority were charging people money to live on my land which they called their own because of some stupid imaginary lines. They wanted more land, they made the imaginary lines longer and wider.” Cosmo stopped to catch his breath as he was visibly upset. I wanted to change the mood so I asked, “You keep saying imaginary lines, are you talking about borders? Borders are important because they separate areas of land.” A funny sound came from his nose like a nasal windstorm or something, and I wasn’t sure if the smile on his face was sincere or sarcastic. Maybe both. “Where do you live JT?” I proudly informed him I was born and bred in New York. “And what makes you so different form someone born and bred in Connecticut, or New Jersey? Or even Oklahoma for that matter? Do they have three arms in New Jersey? Five legs in Connecticut? Perhaps they are half bovine half human in Oklahoma! Of course not. Aside from a slight difference in the way they pronounce words, or the words they use to describe things like soda in New York, or pop in Oklahoma, you are all the same. You see JT, borders don’t separate people from other species of people, they are just arbitrary lines that make you think you belong to something. Like New York which you so proudly proclaim. You are no different from a JT from Oklahoma, except maybe a bit different in a cultural sense . You can’t step over a line somewhere and not find people similar to the one on the other side. We look for the differences in each other instead of the similarities. If you look closely at other races you will find far more similarities than differences. You bleed the same, cry the same, even laugh the same. That’s part of the problem. You have forgotten that in the end you are all human. You all want to love and be loved, you all want to live a happy and healthy life, you all get sick or injured and you will all eventually die. When you really think about it there are much more traits you have in common to others than there are that make you different. Why even more similar if you take religion out of the equation. If there were no Jews, or Muslims, or Hindis, or Christians how would you define your differences? But I suppose you will go on believing that it is important to consider yourself in some way better than other humans. That’s why war JT. That was how it began, war was a child protecting its ego from the rest of the world.”
“And the armies got bigger and stronger, and the weapons more and more advanced to give whoever had the most money to pay for the best equipment. Ah yes, once greed reared its ugly head humanity was done for. The larger landowners had better weapons and machinery and therefore built stronger and deadlier armies to protect them. It wasn’t enough to have more than enough food, they wanted to have it all. Control the food and you will control the world. Wars raged on in a struggle to control the food and hence the people, and to keep everyone in line it was important that everyone believed the armies had god on their side. Sounds a bit ridiculous when you think about it. All loving God wants you to kill or maim other humans. In the name of God my ass, it is clearly in the name of gold, or oil, or rubber, or anything else that can make one rich with the false perception of power. War had and has terrible consequences. Death and destruction resulted in a bid for the powerful to become even more powerful. It’s easy to see what horrible atrocities could come out of war but there were unintended consequences occurring as well.. The most hideous was the buying and selling of other humans. Slavery was a direct result of war. When one army decimated another those unfortunate enough to live were turned into slaves. Why? To work the land so the owners could own more and not have to pay. Buying another human being. Despicable, yet an accepted practice everywhere. Now they owned the land, the food, some of the animals and even other humans and industry flourished. War had become a teenager feeding on greed and lust for power. Yea, things were out of control, people killing in my name, killing for power, killing out of lust. That’s why I sent my son down in the garden, to put them back on track. To get them to understand that they should worship no one but accept everyone. They needed to revert back to a culture of existing with the rest of the garden”
Cosmo paused here as though reflecting on sad moment or maybe a happy moment he could never relive in his past. I know the look because I feel it myself so often. Call it melancholy, or nostalgia, it’s a feeling that can drive someone mad if they keep trying to find it. That was okay with me, I needed a break from this heavy discussion because my head was spinning. After a five minute pause, Cosmo continued.
“ Well that sure didn’t work out too well. When my son witnessed so much greed and lust and crime and trickery it pissed him off. He began to use my name to warn them of my fury so instead of a message being go back to living together and love all it became do as I say or deal with the wrath of Cosmo, who they renamed Jehovah, Yahweh, Allah, or God. They gave my son so much shit he changed his message. Out of anger it became follow me and do as I say or my Dad will kick your ass. Just as quick as a nuclear fission things turned from bad to worse and religion split off into a few different major groups, all agreeing on only one thing. That their religion is the one and only true religion and all others must be killed. That God created earth for humans but only for the humans that know and understand true religion. Bah!. So they did what they always do to a threat to their egos, they killed my son to erase his message. A horrible way too. It’s almost like they had to think of the most heinous way for him to die. I guess it made them feel all chest puffy or something. They had no idea how little and insignificant they were. Like any other gnat in this galaxy, their entire species could be wiped out in one giant swat and the universe would continue as though they never existed. But war was now becoming a young adult, and the weaponry just got more and more advanced. Bombs, missiles, planes, tanks, all the best and biggest in high tech murdering. Not that they should stop there, why of course there would be biological and chemical weapons as well. All the way up to the ultimate bomb. The atom bomb. The garden was taken over by the most destructive species that ever roamed the planet. Humans!”