Thursday, September 10, 2009

Earth History

A civilization constructed physically impossible and geometrically daunting tombs for their dead kings, displaying unparalleled artistic and engineering abilities. Stone boulders more than twice the size of any man are placed in a circle, with astronomical significance and remarkable constructional precision. A man walked on water and cured the sick, turned bread into wine. The son of God was among us. Tracking by stars, ancient mariners exchanged and traded, in volumes not known and languages not spoken anymore. Mongols swept through Asia and ruled the world, sparing only the then barbaric European tribes, unworthy of even conquest. An Alexander dreamed to unite the world, and conquered in a single line of battle-field genius. He read the Iliad every night and died at age 33. An empire invented democracy and brought civilization to Europe. Power led to megalomania and thus was the fall of the Roman Empire. A descendant of the Mongols conquered India and established a dynasty that would define prosperity and unbelievable riches. In a continent yet undiscovered, a civilization quietly foretold the end of the world would come. A man wrote plays of the world and its people, their lives and their aspirations. He is still not forgotten, even if his authenticity is questioned. Kings, without number, ruled over lands, rode and killed, conquered and reigned in fields and over lives uncounted. Letters were passed, from empire to empire, and diplomacy was created by a man whose name grew to define treachery and deceit. Explosions tore the land as man began to play with fire. Can you count the screams and shrieks that fell to the cannon since the invention of nitre? Boys shoveled coal into fires, and died of asphyxiation, but a train was made to move and distances grew smaller. Ships navigated across ancient seas, finding new lands and madmen eating one another. A man dreamed and wrote of a flying machine and submarines and barometers. His dreams were answered within a hundred years of his death. Evil men set hegemony over a factious group of rulers, looting and draining the Golden Bird till all was emptied. Inventors changed the world, and fought for their right to a better life. Religion and science divorced and never reconciled. Revolutionaries were propped by a vicious human reproductive system, to rise and shout and lead and die. Their voices were to resonate till long after. The world changed, sometimes gradually, sometimes abruptly. It was changed by a philosopher, it was changed by a warrior, it was changed by an artist, it was changed by an inventor with a thousand patents to his name. Man ruled his worlds with utmost control and utter chaos. The world plunged into war, a war to end all wars. Men were pushed down and made to apologise, then shot. Angry men stood back up, to fight again. The world fought again. Inventors, innocent and destructive, made new arms to help man kill his neighbor. As diplomacies grew to wet blanket this madness, borders were settled, the world slackened and sat down, in front of the TV.

The art of reproduction, safer and more indulgent, spawned millions who grew to billions. In the limbo between two ages, if there is another one ahead, man struggles for meaning and for purpose. Disillusion, depression, anxiety, workaholic, global warming, empowerment, equality, racism, white collar, glass ceiling, 9 to 5, stock crashes, prime lending and the fabulous lives of celebrities. The icebergs are melting. The ozone layer is vanishing. Tigers are becoming extinct.

We are on the verge of a global nervous breakdown.

This is 5000 years.

How much do we know? What are we worth?

Homo Erectus, with an under-developed brain and no television, thrived for 1.25 million years.

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