We are coming to the end of our journey. Only a few questions remain.
It is time to return to the beginning.
Humanity's exemplars understand the origination of their powers as a manifestation of physical or intellectual principles that guided them in transforming society. I have suggested that this is a form of self-deception - that indeed those powers arise from their coupling to transformative energies that we understand incompletely at this time.
Does it make a difference? Is any perspective better than any other?
Genesis is a parable that is difficult to interpret. The literal interpretation seems to fly in the face of everything we have discovered through application of our reason. But the story resonates. Whether it has a basis in fact or not, I believe that it reflects deeply on the human condition.
Imagine the world before humanity, before understanding. The animal kingdom was replete with intelligent creatures. They used the gift of neurophysiology to negotiate their futures. The tokens of exchange were primitive: food, reproductive opportunity, and death.
Masculine and feminine personalities existed, but without the preconceptions of society, tended to merge more readily. There was a unity to Nature. Individual creatures may have been only dimly aware of their separate personalities, as they frequently merged with their prey, mates and competitors.
Onto the scene comes humanity. In this case, the distinction between male and female is enculturated. They follow separate paths through life, most markedly differentiated by the process of child bearing. For women, still bonded to unity - although predominantly a social unity - integration with nature would still have been a deep part of their lives. For men, a separate set of cultural traditions developed - traditions that celebrate male singularity. As social competition developed, those traditions came to include war, culminating in practices that served no purpose except control. This gross exercise of power would have separated them from nature. The separation would have been gradual, and men may not have realized the loss.