Beyond Civilization

The students had just returned from their library visit for the day and quiet time had settled the classroom. Adam walked over to James’ table hovering for a moment to dissuade the subtle eruptions of conversation with his presence. He considers his positionally and the course of the body as a disciplinary object, subjecting and subjected, and then he notices James’ book: Early Civilization. Written on a forth grade reading level his first graders could handle he sits down at the table with the students and opens the book. “Did you pick this out James?” “Yeah, I like civilization!” James’ smile is precious, his eyes wide and expectant. “Yeah, me too, James.”

Mesopotamia, the cradle of civilization. Diverse in climate and ecology, it was the first global area humans ceased hunting and gathering to become agricultural. The first cities emerged, the first Kings crowned, both Greece and Rome would follow in the cultural footsteps of these great peoples that lived some 12,000 years ago. Just then a familiar thought came to Adam, “All the wars original to these lands, between these peoples live deep in the bodies of their decedents and still, to this day, in Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Israel, wars follow from contention over original lands and resource. Deep cultural-land memory – genetic deep – is a living curse upon that land. It is a global curse perhaps, as we are all children crawling from that cradle.” Duty calls his thoughts back from wonder, his co-teacher rings her bell, signaling clean up.

Adam turned toward one of his favorite students in the class, a gifted girl, her gaze laid upon him with enthusiasm. “We live on an Earth, Ann!” “I know!” “Everything is magic here, and full of wonder. Its a whole Earth and everything is happening. Magic and wonder, even suffering. It is God’s doing.” She smiles large, knowing and accepting the truth of the matter… as a first grader knows…


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