Noah

Treeshepherd

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Oppenheimer’s Journey of Man: JOURNEY OF MANKIND - The Peopling of the World

For some time I have admired the work of director Darren Aronofsky. People say that he makes movies that cause you to feel. That was true, for me, with my experiences of movies like The Wrestler and Black Swan. This post has to do with Noah (2014). I suspect the movie was compromised, more than other Aronofsky works, due to the large investment made by Paramount Pictures and accompanied strings attached. For me, the problem had to do with parts that initially left a hokey impression. That wore off shortly, and the movie took me on a rollercoaster of feelings ranging from anger to elation to a deep and sorrowful sense of mortification. Have you ever watched a movie and felt like it was made specifically for you? Noah wounded me personally as a human being, but I fully understand how and why others might not be touched by it. Atheists and Biblical purists both have their natural reasons to scoff at Aronofsky’s Noah.

The Biblical story of Noah is intimately tied to the story of Eden, the banishment from the Garden, and the children of Adam and Eve. God has breathed his spirit into man, not only the breath of life but a spiritual sense capable of recognizing, loving and seeking the divinity upon which his reality is founded. By the time of Noah’s quest, the higher light within man has all but been extinguished. He lives during a time of universal apostasy.

The Babylonian version and other non-biblical accounts of the flood reflect pagan mythology. Many gods decree the flood for no apparent reason. One of the gods warns the hero, again for no moral reason. In the biblical version, man is to face brutal justice. Noah is chosen because he is Noah, and the Genesis story is a religious interpretation of a natural disaster. The story ends with renewed hope for mankind.

According to British geneticists like Stephen Oppenheimer, man originated in Eastern Africa. He crossed the green Sahara 120,000 years ago and entered the Levant. Then around 90,000 years ago, a brief and devastating global freeze-up and desiccation blocked the passage back to Africa and killed off those first pioneers. After generations upon generations of drought, Neanderthals repopulated the eastern Mediterranean shores, being forced south by glaciations.

It was the second wave of homo sapiens beach combers who left Africa and survived, but they didn’t travel north. They hugged to coastlines to India and beyond. A super-eruption of Mt Toba 74,000 years ago killed everyone in India, caused a six year ‘nuclear winter’ and forced a 1,000 year ice age. Humans were nearly wiped out, reduced to a global total of 10,000 adults. Survivors east of India were cut off.

A dramatic warming trend began around 65,000 years ago. An isolated band of humans called Cro-Magnon man multiplied, and by 45,000 years ago began to successfully challenge his Neanderthal cousin for his northern birthright. He fought his way into Europe. He came not from Africa, but from India which had been repopulated from eastern populations. He came from east of Eden, if you will.

During the last ice age (22,000-19,000 years ago), once again, humans in Northern Europe were depopulated. They survived in isolated refuges. They survived as if in Arks, literally “chest vessels”. Some of us share their haploids. Others share the haploids of homo sapiens who survived elsewhere in Arks, so to speak, at various times. Man is a survivor, by skill or by luck or by mercy. A very short time ago, he built the world’s first cities. He insulated himself ever further from the natural world. He exercises the parts of his brain which dwell in abstraction. He remembers where he came from only in ideas held at arm’s length. Does he still retain a faint capacity to recognize and harmonize with divinity in nature?

The story of Noah in Genesis is an interweaving of two ancient authors, known to bible scholars as J and P. Chapter 9 is attributed to P. The anthropomorphisms in that chapter are unusual for P and reveal profound convictions. In verse 15, God “remembers”. In verse 16, God “sees and recalls”.

 
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Treeshepherd

Treeshepherd

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http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/260e3168-b177-11e4-831b-00144feab7de.html

Interesting article ^^^ called 12 Ways the World Could End


"Since the dawn of civilisation people have speculated about apocalyptic bangs and whimpers that could wipe us out. Now a team from Oxford University’s Future of Humanity Institute and the Global Challenges Foundation has come up with the first serious scientific assessment of the gravest risks we face.


Although civilisation has ended many times in popular fiction, the issue has been almost entirely ignored by governments. “We were surprised to find that no one else had compiled a list of global risks with impacts that, for all practical purposes, can be called infinite,” says co-author Dennis Pamlin of the Global Challenges Foundation. “We don’t want to be accused of scaremongering but we want to get policy makers talking.”…


A few of the existential threats are “exogenic”, arising from events beyond our control, such as asteroid impact. Most emerge from human economic and technological development. Three (synthetic biology, nanotechnology and artificial intelligence) result from dual-use technologies, which promise great benefits for society, including reducing other risks such as climate change and pandemics — but could go horribly wrong
."

I find it interesting that they rated the probability of nuclear war so low. Synthetic biology is higher, and AI is the highest, and those are probably the most pertinent themes addressed by the book of Genesis.
 
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Treeshepherd

Treeshepherd

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The name Elohim has to do with powers: The Powers That Be; The Many Powered.

"Also note that the Hebrew name אל (El) transliterated into Greek forms Ηλ, which constitutes the first syllable of the word ηλιος, (helios), meaning sun and which originates in a very ancient proto Indo-European root." The author P tends to describe God as transcendent, not as anthropomorphic and personal as the YHWH of author J. The author P is named for his "priestly text", and his contributions were probably made at or shortly after the Hebrew captivity in Babylon.

Sidebar: I find it interesting that Pythagoras is said to have been taken captive to Babylon after the Hebrew captivity, and was exposed to both ancient Hebrew wisdom and Babylonian science. He took that learning back to the Apennine Peninsula and from there it traveled to Europe and was incorporated into Celtic druidism.

The Noah story in Genesis is the product of over 1,000 years of mythological evolution, with roots in Babylonian and Chaldean culture. The Babylonian version describes the Ark as cubical, while Noah's Ark is more rectangular. Neither vessel was designed for navigation, but just to remain afloat until the waters subsided. Noah's Ark is said to have settled on Mt Ararat, a dormant volcano on the Turkish-Iranian border.

Of Noah's three sons, Shem's line is said to have populated Asia. Many many generations later his ancestor Terah dwelt in southern Mesopotamia. Terah is the father of Abram, who became Abraham (The Father of Many Nations). Abraham travelled from Ur to Syria and down into the Levant.

I see a lot of parallels between mythology in Genesis and the story of how homo sapiens populated Europe. The first humans from Africa who settled in the Levant died out. It was a backwash from India that populated the West. Cro-Magnon man came from proto-Indus roots. He came from the East and he suffered many near-terminal die offs. Did he intentionally protect the animals during those devastations? At any rate, there were many times when certain small bands of men survived in refuges while most human genetic lines got erased.
 
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Treeshepherd

Treeshepherd

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As to the idea of a global flood, we have to understand that in the view of any isolated band of ancient humans, a widespread natural disaster would seem to be global. It effected their entire "known world".

We see this in many parts of the bible. Caesar decrees that the entire world be taxed. Obviously, the reach of his tax collectors did not extend to the Mayans. "All countries came into Egypt to Joseph to buy corn". Well, I doubt the proto-Chinese were involved in that effort.

Archetypes are formed from a sort of vestigial collective unconscious. For lack of a better description, somewhere in your own mind is buried a memory of the super-eruption of Mt Toba 74,000 years ago when the earth was covered in a deep flood of ash and the human species was very nearly snuffed out. To the small bands of survivors of many various devastating historical events, the effects would have appeared to have been total and absolute.
 

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