Chapter 1 - Eden
Chapter 2 - Beer
Chapter 3 - The Flood
Chapter 4 -The King of Bashan
Chapter 5 - The Bashan Stone Circle
Chapter 6 - Moses
Chapter 7 - The Tin Isles
Chapter 8 - Manannan & the West
Chapter 9 - The Root of Evil
Chapter 10 - Christianity
Chapter 11 - Augustine
Chapter 12 - The Church
Chapter 13 - Enlightenment
Chapter 14 - The End Game
Author – M.Gill
Illustration – Andrea Connor
One difficulty in writing a book like this is in knowing where to begin, but this one was easy. Adam blamed his wife for the apple incident and accepted his punishment, showing he had already been blessed with an Ego. In this creation story he arrived in a land already populated by happy go lucky Hunter-Gatherers who had no idea of themselves as individuals and very little language. This set the stage for my theme: 'How did the incredible ability to see ourselves in the Universe evolve?'
The hardware for this new facility must have taken ages to develop, and during that time the primitive population had generated much love and co-operation between their tribes. Getting the think-box to work would be tricky and dangerous, so to avoid it getting out of hand it would have to be a speedy operation. So far it has taken twelve thousand years and I think we are changing to a new phase of the process. Maybe that's why the world is in turmoil.
Thanks to the Tree of Knowledge, (or something), we have developed this wonderful ability to think but alas it has brought to the brink of destruction. In order to develop it two new drives were necessary to speed up the process, and this enabled individuals to benefit themselves from the new faculty. Thus the anti-social drives of Greed & Jealousy appeared in our human desires, and many religions try to get people to think and guide them in a different direction.
Christianity is full of such doctrines. Jesus said, 'Love your Neighbour (or Enemy, as both words sound the same when spoken). Then trick questions, (Which son obeyed his father?): doctrines to help other people, (Good Samaritan): stories and actions in abundance to show the way, (Widow's Mite and the Moneylenders in the Temple): and lastly the prophesies, (Wars & Rumours of War and the Second Coming). And of course, other religions show similar doctrines.
We end our book with questions about what might be happening today. With the world in such turmoil are greed & jealousy endemic in our leaders and their herds of followers, and is our civilisation gearing up for the third world war? And can they be eliminated? The Vatican has been muttering something about 'Abolishing Hell', which could be a step in the right direction. But, as we all know, 'The darkest hour comes before the dawn'.
So in this unusual little book the author has tried to convey the progress of this latest and most wonderful, dangerous, yet forward-looking bit of our evolution, with a possible route for the next phase.
He wishes his readers 'Bon Voyage' through these difficult waters.
The truth of the matter is that God had not wanted to go to Earth but Galaxy Central had insisted - 'You're the man for the job and you'll enjoy it when you get there', they said.
'But it's so far out', said God, 'I'll be more or less totally on my own', but he was told to shut up and get on with it.
The next thing he knew was being greeted by a good-looking woman who said, 'Hello, I thought you were never going to wake up. Welcome to our good green planet Earth. Now you're here I expect you're hungry. I'll take you round and introduce you to the set-up, and you can tell me who you are and what you are doing here', and at once God felt at home and explained his mission.
'I'm called God', he said, 'And I'm here with a plan to take charge of the next phase of your evolution. Who are you?'
'I have so many names I've lost count, and I've been nurturing this planet since the beginning so I will have to keep an eye on you', and the two of them stepped out into the sunshine.
God was enchanted by what he saw as they proceeded with his introductions. 'Your Earth is a revelation', he said, 'Galaxy Central is all spiritual and so far away that I had no idea a place like this could exist. Forests, and mountains, rivers and plains, fruit and animals in a chain of delicious food and drink and love, people who sing and dance for sheer joy, night and day, rain and sunshine, changing seasons, lakes and seas so vast and full of fish ...',
'You'll forget what you're here for', said his companion, 'The people you have seen are called the Tribe of Og, and they have been here as long as I can remember. I suppose my part in all this will be to see that you don't mess it all up. I'll be your 'Mrs God' whether you like it or not, and you can live with me up there in Heaven. You had better tell me about your plan'.
'It's only a mission so far', said God, 'I have to get the people who live here to think. They can't even talk yet. I'm not sure where to begin. And this place is so wonderful. I don't want to spoil it'.
'Perhaps if you could make a new man to get the ball rolling nothing would be spoilt', said Mrs God, but of course neither of them could guess how it would work out. So after Mrs God had shown him his quarters, he settled down and did do his best, to make a new man who could educate the Ogs. They were so joyful and friendly that it might work.
So he took dust from the earth, moulded it into the shape of a man and breathed life into him. Next he created a big and splendid garden, and put his man into it. He made a river of sparkling water running through the garden, plants and bushes giving every kind of good thing to eat and lawns to show it all off. Lastly he planted two special trees.
When all was ready he introduced his man to the garden, called him Adam and told him to look after it and eat anything that grew there except from two special trees.
'They are the 'Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil', he said, 'And the Tree of Life', and you had better keep off them or you will surely die'. He then introduced the man to the beasts and told him to give names to everything, and lastly he waited until the man was asleep, took a rib from his chest and from it he created Woman, so called because she came from a man.
Being well pleased with his work, God made his way quietly out of the garden, and back up the stretchy ladder to Heaven.
Adam called the woman Eve, because she was the mother of all living.
When Mrs God saw what was happened in the garden she decided to investigate. She found a path where the river came out, and she heard the whole conversation, and she was a bit miffed. 'I'll have to keep an eye on all this', she said to herself, and went off to tell Og, well, as best she could.
Now. What she did next was wicked. She hid herself in the Tree of Knowledge until Eve came walking under it. Then she whispered in Eve's ear, 'Take a bite. It's good to eat'. 'But.but.but.', said Eve. 'Don't worry my beauty. 'Look. I've taken a bite' said she, and she handed the apple to Eve.
Eve took one bite and listen, it was so good she took another. Then she handed it to Adam saying, 'Go on. Try it. It's very very good'. Adam liked it so much that he finished it off, and for the first time they realised that being naked was sinful. 'God won't love us any more', they said, and they sewed fig leaves together to hide their private parts. Mrs God laughed and said they looked even more desirable like that.
Then she fetched Og and his wife Aggy into the garden and introduced them all. What she did next was not so wicked as you might think. She gave each of the Ogs fruit from the Tree of Life. Well, God hadn't said not to, had he? They thought it the most delicious fruit they had tasted so far, and they frolicked around in the sunshine trying to talk to one another, laughing and happy all the time. As the sun began to set Mrs God took the Ogs back to their cave and she herself climbed back up the ladder.
Before long God came back into the garden and saw at once that Adam and Eve had committed their first sin.
'You have eaten the fruit I forbade you to eat', he said, 'And so you will be cast from this garden, and you will be punished for your sin'.
So off they had to go, and started giving names to everything, tilling the ground and growing corn, and slowly thinking out the best way to do things.
God could not have been more pleased with the foundation of his plan. His only worry was the Ogs. They were not in his plan, and the outcome might not to be as straightforward as he wanted. He would just have to wait and see.
Og & Aggy fared very well in the forests. They lived happily in their cave for the whole of their lives, and Og was a hunter. He knew how to catch all sorts of animals, birds and fish to keep them well fed. His wife knew about all plants: how some mushrooms, leaves berries and roots had good flavours but others didn't, and how some could bring your life to an end quite quickly if you ate them.
Mrs God began to teach them both how to talk, and they both talked in an Oggy sing song sort of voice that always sounded cheerful. Mrs God visited them frequently in these early days. She thought it important that they should be able to talk with the Adamites, and just visiting and chatting away proved a good way of teaching. Although they had no idea of themselves as individuals, the primitive language of Oggish developed quickly. As Adam and Eve liked to show off their Addish, they were soon all laughing together. And trading.
'I've developed this corn,' said Adam, 'Look how big the grains are. It makes very good bread to eat with your venison'.
'Ya like venison?'
'Ow ya mek bread?'
'Eve makes excellent bread from it. You'll have to ask her how to do it'.
'She good woman. She tell me', and so it went on.
heir two wives were having a good laugh at the proceedings and it wasn't long before they decided to pool what they had and have a meal together. One thing led to another and before the sun had set they had all got to know each other much much better than before.
In due course their children began to arrive - twins to both couples - little boys to Eve and little girls to Aggy. Trade and friendship increased, and as the Ogs developed their language they were able to enjoy their lives more as each day passed. One little girl excelled at gathering in all kinds of vegetables and fruit, and her sister became a splendid cook. As their family grew in number and moved around following the herds they became known as the 'Children of Og'.
Adam & Eve did not do so well. Their little boys were called Cain and Abel, and they had to work very hard. They grew lots of good things to eat in the ground they farmed, especially barley, which grew wild, and other grains that were scarce but could be cultivated. Week by week their farm got bigger until it stretched along the valley floor, always where the ground was easiest to dig. Cain did most of the digging and reckoned he had a difficult life.
'Keep your sheep off my patch', he would say,
'You're taking all the best ground', said his brother,
'God likes my corn better than your sheep', came the reply.
'Oh do stop your wrangling', said Adam, 'There's enough room for us all', and they all had lots of feasts and parties and good times, and did their best to live and let live.
But as Abel's herds became bigger and bigger and as good pastures were further and further up the hillsides his work became harder and harder. He and his brother Cain started to quarrel whenever they met. In fact Abel began to spend more time with the Ogs.
'Ah see yer 'erd sheep' Og said.
'It's getting difficult'.
'Well lissen. Yon dog ower thur 'erds sheep'.
Ogs speech was improving, and now he was able to add words to the picture memory he was born with. Of course Able jumped at the idea of a helpful dog. He married one of Og's daughters who was called Meg, and he quarrelled less with his brother.
But Cain was selfish. He didn't marry because that would mean sharing the farm with his wife when he inherited it. But, eventually, envying his brothers happiness and thinking it might solve the problem, he married one of his own sisters to keep the farm in the family. Not a good idea.
God was furious. This would spoil his plan. Every year he had given a prize for best produce to Cain, (which had made Abel's feelings of jealousy worse), but this year he gave it to Abel. The next time the twins met they fought, and Cain killed his brother. For this dreadful crime Cain was banished into the wilderness and some people say he was never heard from again.
The Ogs were absolutely mystified by this event. They simply could not understand why one brother should kill another under any circumstance, nor even be in the least upset by such a trivial event. Truth to say those feelings did not exist in their bodies, and they had not even enough language to explain them. They were happy people.
Anyway, Able's brother Alf moved in with Meg, and Seth, the youngest of Adam's children, inherited the farm, and things carried on as before. Seth married one of Og's grandchildren, and the farm continued to grow with their large family, and much later it covered the whole of the valley floor, right up to the muddy shores of the sea. They were trading, swapping and marrying the Ogs, and enjoying the ways they could improve their surroundings. God and Mrs God were glad to see how well it was thriving.
It would be about that time that two young Ogs, Erk and his friend Dug, came back from their hunt. They were absolutely parched. The weather had been unusually hot but they had brought back nice young deer, gralloched and ready to skin and hang.
Water was scarce and their spring only ran freely after sundown, but Dug had an answer. His wife always soaked barley in water for a few days before putting it in the broth. It was in a big clay pot and the two exhausted hunters drank most of it. Including some of the barley. Well. They hadn't come back empty-handed had they? So, thirst quenched, they set to work.
It was some time before the women came back. They were stunned by the sight that greeted them. Two young men dancing round a badly prepared carcass, singing away and laughing, who without even a 'by your leave', ran over and embraced them, inviting them to join in. Needless to say the women were not amused, but didn't know what was wrong with the two young men. 'We'll have to ask the 'Old Woman Who Knows Absolutely Everything', they said. This old dame had a wrinkly face and walked with a stick but she did remember the same sort of thing happening a long time earlier. 'Look to the barley-water', she croaked. There was none left. And that is how they found out that barley-water had some special properties. Very special.
And over the years they refined what been an accidental process into a regular addition to their expertise. They called it Beer, and it became the special drink for special feast-days. Parties got better with lots of singing and dancing round the fire. Not only that but they could trade their special brew with the Adamites for some of their produce, and their friendships became even firmer.
There is a little confusion as to who was first to produce beer, but whoever it was God was uneasy. This might ruin my plan' he said, and when he saw how far things had gone, he decided to do something about it. Mrs God said not to be too harsh as he would never stop it, but he saw trouble ahead, and what he did makes up the next part of our story.
This part of our story is a little unclear. Part of it comes from our source doc. and part from an apocryphal account. Never mind. All will become clear as we get further into the narrative. The main thing is that God decided that things were getting out of hand.
The Children of Og were having things easy, and by marrying with the Adamites they were muddying his waters. Og now able to talk easily with all the Adamites, was breeding special sheep-dogs. He had also started to breed dogs for hunting, and to domesticate cattle, thereby shrinking his necessity to hunt.
The Adamites too were making good progress themselves, providing a steady supply of barley for 'Cakes & Ale' under the moon. but, God thought they were getting - er - over friendly with the Ogs. If the Ogs and Adamites went on like that his plan might be ruined. It was supposed to be only for well-educated Adamites. Something had to be done.
What he decided on was a flood. A huge flood. No land anywhere. By warning the Adamites, and telling them what to do, and not telling the Ogs anything about it, he would solve the problem and his plan would speed up and remain intact. But Mrs God had a foot in all three camps, that is Ogs, Adamites and Heaven, and she enjoyed everything on offer. She didn't want God to spoil things.
So. The Ogs were not warned but the Adamites were, and before Mrs God knew about it, one called Noah with his three sons and their wives, were embroiled. Noah had inherited the lowest farm on the huge estuary of their river, where the silt had built up over thousands of years. He was told to build an ark if he wanted to survive. His three sons were called Shem, Ham, and Japhet, but we don't know what their wives were called. We think that one of them, Mrs Japhet was friendly with Og who did a bit of trading there, but Mrs. Japhet hadn't been told anything at that stage. None of the wives had. It was Mrs God who got wind of the plan from God himself. And she told God that if he went ahead with his flood she would never forgive him.
'You can't stop me', said God, 'You and the Ogs are screwing up my plan'.
'You'll regret it', said Mrs God, 'And anyway I'm beginning to think you're brilliant at screwing up your own plans'.
'Not this time', said God, and there was an ominous note in his voice.
Mrs God saw he had the bit between his teeth. She would never change his mind. 'Don't be too sure of that', she said. She too had a plan.
'Don't be silly', said God, 'There's nothing you can do and if you're off out you had better get back here before I start the show'.
'Wait and see,' said Mrs God ominously, and off she went down the ladder, and God couldn't see where she went next because of the trees.
She got down just in time to see Og disappearing into the forest. 'Og', she called, but he paid no attention. So she called again much louder 'OOOOGGGG', and he turned round.
'What's up with you?' she asked.
'Were you were calling me?' asked Og, 'Does Og meant me?'.
'Yes', she said, and she told him God's horrible idea, and the consequences if he got caught on the Ark. 'It's going to be big', she said.
'That sounds nasty', said Og, 'Tell Aggy I'll be back as soon as I've finished at the Ark', and he ran off. That was the first time that he knew he was a person, and that Og was his name.
What Mrs God did was to spread word round all the Ogs, and all those who could moved to higher ground. As fast as they could go, Aggy included. Very few were caught out.
God sensed that his wife would warn the Ogs and he had better get on with it. So making sure all was ready he punctured the clouds and rain began to fall. Not just ordinary rain. Great big juicy drops by the million. He was a God of 'Thunder, Lightening and Rain' if he wanted,, and he let go the lot. The waters rose, the rivers overflowed, the waterfalls tore away rocks and the seas burst over the land.
It was terrifying. But ... 'as it transpired', Og had taken a fancy to Japhet's wife, and he had a nice haunch of venison for her. The waters caught him out. She told him to cling onto the roof of the Ark and hope for the best. And that's what he did. He managed to survive the first day but only just. Ham saw him up on the roof and hauled him down. He called for Shem and Japhet and they decided not to tell Father Noah, but told Og they would keep him safe, but only if he told them how to make his beer. If he didn't co-operate they had crocodiles and lions and tigers to feed, and they might find him very tasty.
'Oh dear', said Og, trying not to smile. Mrs God had said something like this would happen.
She had also predicted that the Flood would be bigger than God anticipated, and only Noah had been told to build an ark. The other Adamites were all thought to be above the high water mark, but alas there were a few who were not.
Anyway, Father Noah knew nothing about any of that until the Ark had been high and dry on Mt. Ararat for several weeks, and by then Og was off and well over the horizon. The story came to the surface one evening when the three brothers and their wives were merrymaking, (especially Mrs Japhet), and they invented a story about how they had found the secret of making beer, and would Father Noah like a taste of what they had managed to produce. Indeed he would, and indeed he did. However he was old. Really very old, and beer was new to him. The splendid old soul finished up totally beamless. That led to a weird story about Shem and Ham going into their father's tent to cover him up, but going in backwards so they wouldn't see him in such an embarrassing state. Japhet was considered too young.
Poor old God was left with a worrying thought. Was there another god working away somewhere? Some force he didn't know about. This Og had escaped the purge. How? He hadn't thought his way out. Far from it. In fact he was just frolicking around wasn't he? God made a note to add frolicking to his impending list of 'Thou shalt not's'. And then there was the beer. Again no thought involved there either. It had been the result of a slightly dubious chain of events had it not? He even began to suspect Mrs God, and he resolved to keep an eye on her. Well anyway, as best he could.
However he had to find where Og had gone and would attend to that problem next. And of course Mrs God, who was looking after Aggy, also wanted to find him. It proved quite difficult.
To finish this chapter we must record that Shem became 'Father of the Jews', Ham the 'Father of the Greeks' and Japhet 'Father of the Celts' What goes round comes round as they say.
So. What happened to Og? They only had a little barley on the Ark: enough for only one barrel and some left over. Og told them to get out and look for some, but they hadn't found a grain by the time he left. His beer-making lessons took from one new-moon to the next, and then he made his escape from the Ark. It was stuck fast on the rugged slopes of Arrarat, along a ridge of dry land stretching towards the setting sun. He was worried about his wife, and had no idea which way to go, so he headed along the ridge hoping to find a nice dry patch where he could settle. He was joined by a young man who had been washed off his lands, and who had only just managed to rescue a herd of tough-looking horses. He was called Akkos, and he was a joiner. They decided to join forces and look for a space together. 'Two heads is better than one', thought Og. His wife would surely find him. There weren't that many people around.
Six months later the waters were much lower, and they had meandered in all directions possible and were on a low ridge leading gently towards dry land. It took them to a valley that they followed, along a sparkling river running through a large lake along one boundary, with hills and rolling pastures along the other. 'Excellent', they said, and where the river emerged from the lake, they started to settle in. 'There's been people here before', said Og, 'That big stone was used for grinding corn. That's a good sign'.
A few people came down from the hills and started to help. They had survived the flood and were happy to start rebuilding the settlement, 'The King will visit in due course', they told him. 'He looks a bit like you. Be sure to tell him you will start a brewery.'
'We need barley first', said Og, and they started to look, but found only a small patch that the flood hadn't drowned.
It was Og's wife Aggy who appeared next, with Mrs God and their entourage. Hugs and kisses all round and 'How did you find me?' asked Og.
'Very difficult', said Aggy, 'We found the Ark and a pathway leading to a sheltered valley where the crew had started a little mixed farm.'
'Very mixed', said Mrs God.'
'Yes,' said Aggy, 'Jacob said they had just finished weeding a patch for their barley, and were going to use their last beer to celebrate naming their two new arrivals, and would we like to join them. We had asked about you and got nowhere, so kept quiet until we all had a little beaker of beer and blessed the new-born babies. Then all was revealed. 'Here's a welcome to our little twins', shouted Japhet, 'We are calling them 'Gog and Magog', and everybody cheered'.
'Your wife didn't bat an eyelid', said Mrs God.
'Well they were really happy little bouncers', said Aggy, 'and I didn't want to spoil anything. I had a quire talk with Mrs Japhet and she told me, 'He went off along that ridge when the waters were still high. Bear that in mind because they're a bit lower now. I thanked her, gave her a little bag of the barley we had, set off, and here we all are'.
And indeed there they all were. Full of the joys of re-union and talking most of the night. They all agreed that the Flood was a nasty trick, that the Adamites might have bigger brains but there were some mighty gaps in them. And Og hadn't shown them the plants he used for bittering his beer. That was his secret.
Next day was for looking around. Aggy and Mrs God had fetched a huge entourage and Aggy took charge. She told Akkos his horses were the best she had ever seen and she had a nice wife for him. A good start. By the time she was finished Og's patch was a different sort of place. Shelters were being built, fields marked out, cattle & sheep organised on the hillsides and the whole place came alive, but in spite of several reminders no king came to visit them.
The next few months passed quickly. Aggy took on their patch joyfully. 'A bit bigger than I thought', she said, 'The flood didn't reach the north-eastern heights and thankfully the salt water hardly reached these parts. I shall enjoy farming it. Better than gathering roots and berries, and we have more mouths to feed'.
By the time Og was maturing his first brew and they had started making clay pots, were beginning to shear their sheep, milk their cows and grow their own vegetables, a small party of horsemen turned up headed by - at last - His Majesty the King of Bashan.
Even before dismounting he and Og caught sight of each other and burst out laughing. 'Who are you?' asked the king, 'You look exactly like my grandfather'. Og was laughing too. They both had the same distinctive rust-coloured hair. 'I am Og the Brewer young sir', he said, 'And I see you have timed your first visit to taste my first brew in these parts'.
What better introduction could these two men have had. What stories they had to tell whilst tracing back their ancestry, and what plans they made to bring the lands of Bashan back into prosperity. And Og liked his nice low key title.
Mrs God had gone back to tell her husband what a mess he had made of things.
'All the lands round where the Danube flowed into the Black Sea are still under water', she told him, 'And that's where the wild barley used to grow. They'll have to farm it now'.
'Good', said God, 'That starts the plan. They'll have to work harder for their beer'.
'You mean to say you planned for more farming?'
'Of course', said God, 'They needed an incentive'. He wasn't slow to claim a bit of excellent forward planning when it came his way.
Mrs God guessed that her husband had no idea what had happened to Og in the flood, which was just as well. It would give Og and Aggy time to establish their farm, and she thought that when God saw what a good job they were making of it that he might change his mind and let the Ogs thrive. The tribe was increasing, and Bashan was becoming an established place with a strapping young rusty-haired king.
Now, Aggy knew most of what there was to know about plants from her gathering days, and was really happy to run the farm in Bashan. In fact after countless years of unmeasured time she began to notice yearly weather patterns that might produce more corn, and ways of keeping the soil fertile.
'The trouble is keeping track of the year', she said to her husband.
'We always knew when Spring had come', said Og. Recent events had helped him to become more an individual person with an individual name, and his picture memory was gaining a word memory, but individual reasoning was still beyond him.
'Sometimes. Other times it's a false spring and freshly planted shoots just die', said his wife.
'And we know when it's autumn. A good time for hunting'. Og could see the young stags in his mind, a time when the herd needed culling.
'Same problem', said his wife, 'Stuff planted then might be too soon or too late'.
'And we have no idea how many days there are'.
'Guessing is all we can do' said his wife.
'And one day is just like another', said Og, 'I don't see how we could do that'.
'We need one day that's different' said his wife. They reasoned that way, throwing the subject back and forth until they reached their conclusion. But with this subject there was none.
'Is there anybody we can ask? said Og.
'Maybe they would know in Egypt', said his wife.
'We can ask the next trader who calls', said her husband and they left it at that.
By this time the farm was reaping its biggest harvests, and had established itself on a minor trading rout from Aleppo in the north to Egypt in the south via Damascus. It had good accommodation for small caravans. Og himself was tempted by trading. Farming was a bit cramped for his ancient hunter-gathering upbringing, and he missed his old Adamite friends. He noticed that some of the people he traded with in Aleppo and Damascus were a bit clever and made hard bargains, but times were changing. There were a few Adamite farmers in the region, and most of them were rivals. They had vineyards.
Things continued to progress well for the Galilee Farm Brewery, and after another stretch of time had reached a stage when it could function well without Og's attention. He had started hunting again, taking surplus cattle, sheep and game to market in Damascus, and trading beer for all kinds of goodies fetched by traders from far-away places. But after all that time they still hadn't found a way of measuring the year. They still ran their farm by instinct, 'When things looked about right', but there were stories of mysterious buildings that could measure time in the far north.
One day a lone trader called Shankar turned up asking for shelter for a few nights. 'I came with a group that stopped at Damascus', he told Og, 'and I'm heading for Egypt, but I don't like travelling alone. If I can stay here I will go on with the next caravan going south'.
'Of course', said Og, and Akkos, (whose eldest son had always been named after him), looked after his horse while Og offered him hospitality.
'What are you trading in', he asked.
'Sapphire', said Shankar, and he opened one of his saddlebags. It was packed with blocks of the intense blue stone that we call Lapis Lazuli today. 'They like it in Egypt', he said.
'Do they like horses too?' Og was quick with his question.
'Yes, if they're tough. They have invented a cart on wheels'.
'Our herd has grown too big. Come and see', said Og. The upshot was that Og and Akkos would travel with Shankar on six horses to Egypt in a day or two. They would take his son Oik with them to help.
'Remember to look after Oik and ask about measuring the year', said Mrs Og as they left for Egypt. She hadn't forgotten her quest.
On their way to Egypt, Shankar told Og about a cult of two prophets appearing in Damascus, and how they seemed to have worked out which days of the year were right for sowing and reaping. He had no idea how they did it but some people in the mountains seemed to have worked it out. He suggested that Og buy some Lapis beads to trade for Amber that came from a northern sea. Og thanked him for the advice and said he had heard of the prophets he mentioned.
They were welcomed at the Pharaoh's palace, and traded well in spite of the palace buyers hard bargaining. Shankar taught Og a lot. 'Say as little as possible and don't appear eager to part with your horses', he said, 'They are better than what they have here'.
Akkos said, 'Their chariot wheels are a bit old fashioned, There's better up north with spokes'.
Oik was coming into puberty and had other things on his mind.
Og purchased a bag of Lapis beads. He was looking forward to a more adventurous life now the farm was so well established. He also remembered to ask a Magus about measuring the year. 'We use the Nile floods mostly, but we're also trying to do it by the Moon', he was told. 'We have an obelisk too, to measure the sun's shadow, but this only shows us the Equinoxes and gives us our sowing & reaping times. Solstices move sideways and not in the same group of days each year'. He obviously liked showing off his learning. 'We really only use these dates for our festivals', he said, 'And we have one that comes round every 1460 yrs so it needs re-adjusting. The equinoxes are far more accurate. The Sun is in the same point in the sky for both Spring and Autumn.' Og thanked him and reckoned he should try a pole in the ground as a start, and he wondered if the Adamites were becoming officials around the palace and the temples. They reminded him of their ancient beginnings.
Anyway, they had sold all six horses, so they went to a camel dealer for transport home. He had a big herd of camels, five sonsy daughters but no sons, and fate took a hand. 'You can see my predicament', said he 'My daughters are too young to help very much, Would you like my best camel in exchange for your young man for a year?' Og said he would consider it for three camels. They shook hands, and Og said he would call back to see how Oik was getting along, He had made a new friend and they had arrived home well in profit, with his next trip roughed out in his head, and an idea for measuring the year for his wife. It took a few days for her to come to terms with Oik's fate, but when she saw how well her husband had traded she reckoned it was all for the good.
With Lapis for their horses, camels for Oik, and an idea for his next venture, Og told his wife about the Egyptian obelisk. 'I'm not quite sure how it works,' he said, 'But it shows the Equinoxes. Maybe a pole stuck in the ground would do the same thing'.
'We will have to try the idea out,' she said eventually, and they spent an hour or two getting a nice straight pole and banging it into the flattest bit of ground they could find. Next Og tied a nice little stake to the pole, and they hammered it into the ground week by week when the shadow was at its shortest. It was trial and error, but Og wanted to be off on his next trip. He left his wife with the job of observations, and set off with Akkos to mountains in the North. He hoped to sell some of his Lapis beads for wheels with spokes, and find out more about the new corn cult. They seemed to be doing more than growing corn.
When they were passing through Damascus Og was told that two prophets had indeed helped the peasants with their expertise and stories. They were called Aleyin & Mot and had come in with invaders from the sea, and they were indeed educating the peasants into improved methods and wonderful stories. One ancient tale making the rounds was about a hero and his companion who knocked the Zodiac into shape, and thus benefited the growing of corn. But these two prophets were the sons of gods and represented corn. If one was killed (the plant), the other came to life, (the seed), and carried on the task. It was a bit grizzly. The prophet who represented the corn plant was sacrificed as if he was corn being harvested. They made up the story that the plant was greedy and wanted the corn for himself. Thus he had to be cut - thrashed - milled - baked into bread before he could be eaten.
As they journeyed north Og and Akkos reckoned there were more bright people and fewer peasants who couldn't understand speech working those lands, and wondered if they could join the cult with their own farm. They might add being drowned to represent making beer from barley. Anyway, they were in good spirits and made good time.
They did well. All the carts had wheels with spokes in those mountains, and he sent Akkos to get a couple. And also, to his joy, they brewed a splendid beer. It was well bittered and Og liked it, and they gave him a couple of their plants for bittering. But, they could shape Lapis Lazuli themselves from rough, so his beads didn't do too well, but they pinned him down to returning 'within twelve moons' with some rough blocks for them. That jogged his memory. 'It's my wife', he explained, 'She runs the farming and she wants to measure the year to get a better produce. Any ideas?' They had, and mentioned a place about twenty days east into the mountains where some stargazers were themselves trying to understand the strange dance of Sun, Moon and Stars, and had two days every year when the sun was in the same place in the sky. Og said they had heard about that idea, but it was the Solstices that were difficult.
Next day Og swapped his last Lapis cabochon, (a large beauty with a golden pyrites inclusion), for a little knife with a very hard blade hammered out of iron from a meteorite: 'A Gift from the Gods', they called it. So with a couple of wheels under a good thick blanket and new ideas in the head they set off home in cheerful mood. Back in Damascus they met another traveller from the East who traded Lapis in rough blocks that cost much less than his polished stones from Egypt. Og and Akkos travelled back home with him in a fair sized convoy bound for Egypt, feeling quite pleased with their trading.
Aggy was not much further ahead measuring shadows. She had tied a cord to the pole, but the shadow moved so little it took a two weeks to see any real change. Og had been away for nearly twelve weeks and the shadow, although shorter, seemed now to be moving sideways. It was hotter too, and she thought that must mark the middle of Summer and now thankfully it might start getting cooler. Neither she nor Og liked the midsummer heat.
Og saw that the best way for their measurements was a really flat base for the pole. In their river they found a big, flat, sandstone slab. It didn't take long for them to have it in use, with plenty of time to bathe in the sparkling waters during their spare time.
Akkos, had rounded up a good log for wheel-hubs and was already shaping up some spokes. Og told him to make a few more wheels but to keep them out of sight for the time being. By that time Og was impatient for his next venture - to the observatory at far away Metsamor that he had been told about. He knew where it was and a short way to get there because of his flight from the Ark. In due course he set off with his most versatile son and with strict instructions from his wife to bring him back home again. He was well fired up to find out what was happening in that far-away mountain top observatory, and he wouldn't be back for about sixteen weeks. His first step was back again to the ancient trading centre of Aleppo, and from there into the mountains to the North.
Og made good progress on that long trip. When he got to Metsamor they told him that they counted the days in the year by the stars, and showed him stones with channels and pits 'to map the movements of the Heavens'. A great half circle of stones was to measure the passage of the Sunsets and constellations on the horizon. 'Our brothers in Sidon have four great festivals attached to these stones. It goes through one of them twice, spring and autumn, and round the two end stones at mid-summer and mid-winter. In Sidon they celebrate their farming year on those two fixed days and two pairs of days at the solstices'. Og thought this must have taken a long time to get right and was told that indeed it was, and they were still perfecting it. They also told him about some people in the Northern Isles who were getting better results with circles of stones to measure the Sun on the horizon, and Og left them having learned how far behind he was in measuring the year. He gave them his recipes for beer. 'They may have been extra-learned about the stars', he said, 'but their beer needed a lot of help, and we parted best of friends'.
Og became a well-known and very versatile trader. His longest trip was to the Tin Isles, following what he had heard at Metsamor. He was well rewarded at the huge circle of Stonehenge. At that time it was in its early stages of being built and he had been told to look for a hefty middle-aged man called Shug who was helping with the layout. He said he came from the Northern Isles where they had invented stone circles to do what Og wanted, but he had left those isles to spread his expertise in the south. He drew a circle in the ground, with a mark to show the Winter Solstice.
'Your pole will show that as the longest shadow', he said, 'And the Summer Solstice will be the shortest. The two Equinoxes are the most accurate, and listen - children conceived at the Spring Equinox will be born at the Winter Solstice. That means we can rig a Holy Birth at the Solstice as if it came from the Sun Temple'.
'Our pole shadow crosses at the Equinoxes, but goes into a loop at both longest and shortest times', said Og, 'So that probably wouldn't be accurate enough. How did you do it?'
'Well I was coming to that. It's the Sun Temple we have up north. It's a small hill with a narrow passage to a chamber at its centre. The passage points to the horizon where the setting sun shines through it to a cavity in the back wall of the central chamber for a very short time, but only on the day of the Winter Solstice. This day moves two days forward and two back, so our years follow each other in a four year cycle', and he added that there were three temples like that, two up north, and one to the south in Brittany. 'So it means that we can make growing corn a holy task that connects us to the Gods'.
'I've never heard of temples like that', said Og, 'It sounds a very accurate idea.'
'Those are the only ones,' said Shug, 'We found the circles gave us more information, and were easier to build. Except this one here. They're showing off I think. Look at the size of these stones'.
Shug said there wasn't much more he could tell him, but when Og tasted the beer he had he was as ever able to repay what he had learned. 'They may be good with stone circles but had a good bit further to go along the beer road', he said once again. He and Shug parted good friends, and Og said he would try and visit the Northern Isles one day. And he said he would try to build a stone circle back in Bashan.
Og saw they were far ahead of his own sun-shadow observations, so, not unduly disheartened they abandoned them, and, with the King's help, they built a stone circle. The remains of it are still there, on what is now the 'Golan Heights'. It is one of the very few stone circles that is recognisable on the whole of mainland Europe, and it has been suggested to be the 'Tomb of the King of Bashan', but it is definitely a sun circle, and they didn't get it quite right.
So. By now, the tribe of Shem was called the Israelites and they all lived in Egypt. They had become so obstreperous that the Egyptians enslaved them, and this is where God introduced Moses into the story. After avoiding a Pharonic purge, spending his childhood in Pharaoh's palace, murdering an official slave master, fleeing, marrying Zipporah, ( the daughter of a camel herdsman called Oikos), returning with his brother Aaron to Pharaoh, inflicting him with the ten plagues and gaining the release of the Israelites, Moses escaped with them through the Red Sea into the desert. The Israelites complained. They missed the Egyptian goodies.
They wandered through the desert for forty years looking for somewhere to live, and picked up the Ten Commandments on their way past Mt. Sineai, declaring that God was the one and only god. The mysterious tribe of Dan had been the first to backslide into their old ways, but somehow they avoided the slaughter that followed.
When Mrs God saw this carnage she exploded with rage. Up the ladder she went and demanded that God gave lives back to those brave tribesmen who had been so ruthlessly killed.
'They were all partly Oggish', she said, 'They had trekked all that way through the desert, more helpful than most and look how you treat them. Have you no soul?
No respect for life? What sort of being are you?'
'Steady on', said God, 'Can you see what's happening?'
'Yes. You're going to have only your Adamites living on this earth, and the Ogs were here first. They have just as much right to be here as your stuck-up brain boxes. Is that the sort of place you're aiming at?'
'No. No. No my dear', said God, 'I didn't like doing it. It had to be done. And I can't undo it. You know what happens. They would wobble between life and death for eternity'.
'I can't believe it had to be done', said his wife, 'Why? Tell me why. And while you're at it what on earth are these ten horrid commandments for? It's your lot that goes round killing people and turning our natural love making into a sin. And what is the Sabbath? Are you trying to spoil people's lives? Or are you some sort of weird maniac?'
'Calm down. Calm down, You're partly responsible', said God.
'Utter rubbish', said his wife, 'and another thing. Noah's daughters. They complained to your brutal Moses about their husbands seizing their lands. Whose crackpot idea was that I would like to know? Women need the land for food. Are you trying to make people miserable?
'Alright. Alright. It is all part of my Plan', said God, trying to be casual about it, 'And it might take some time. I'm trying to create a new faculty with the Adamites that will make life easier. You and your Ogs were undermining it'.
'Well so we should. And we'll continue doing so. We've been here a damn sight longer than your lot.' But then she realised that it might have something to do with Aleyin & Mot, so she asked, 'Has your plan anything to do with the new corn cult around Canaan?'
'Yes indeed,' said God. 'Have you seen it?'
'Heard about it. Is that where there are two prophets, one for sowing and one for reaping, and a sacrifice in the spring?'
'Yes. What do you think of it?'
'A very good idea', said Mrs God, 'and it will need both Ogs and Adamites to get it working smoothly. But now look at what you did at Mount Sinai. Not very sensible, was it?'
'I know,' said God. 'I think you're right. They seem to be organising their lives around growing corn, and that may take all of them into a new way of living.' He had realised he had made another mistake and wanted to make amends. 'It might be going to take both Ogs and Adamites to get it going. Come and see my latest creation', he said, 'Cloud Nine' it's called. Much more comfortable than here and I'll explain in detail'. His wife thought this was a good change of direction and she had better go along with to find out.
Indeed Cloud Nine was really soft and comfortable. Mrs God was able to relax a little and her husband explained that he had been doubtful about the Ogs right from the start and when they started trading beer with his Adamites something had to be done or his Plan would go wrong. Hence the Flood. But that was long ago, wasn't it?'
Then when his wife ruined the Flood things had got worse. He thought he had to have at least one group of people totally Adamites, hence the drastic action at Sinai. 'I hope you can forgive me', he said, 'and they're now all called Israelites. Except one tribe. But I am giving up on trying to organise a pure race of people. It never seems to work out the way I want. And altering any creation is simply not an option'.
'I can't see why the world shouldn't be a tangled mix of Ogs and the rest', said his wife, 'But, I suppose as you have modified this vast almighty Plan, I can let it go'.
Maybe 'Cloud Nine' helped the two of them to reach an understanding. It was certainly a better place than when she had lived there permanently. She relaxed even further and asked God why he had created this benign cloud, and when he told her that he missed her she decided to climb the ladder more often. 'It's a shame what happened at Sinai', she said to God, 'but it's an ill wind that blows no good'.
'Absolutely my dear, and the Ogs do seem to be benign and helpful', said God. And then he made his absolutely most stupid blunder ever. 'What I'm going to do now is to give the Isrealites their own kingdom. They're almost ready to start expanding their territory and I've chosen the land of Canaan for them to live in.'
When Mrs God heard those words she only just managed not to explode again. She realised she would have to warn the Ogs. They would have to find somewhere else to live. Og's peaceful little farm lay at the very gateway to Canaan. The Israelites with God's help would find Bashan very easy to overcome and he had an old score to settle with Og hadn't he? What she had been told meant there was no time to lose.
When she reached Bashan Og told her that 'Og the King of Bashan' was not closely related to him. His family had ruled Bashan more or less reliably since before the Flood, and he himself had taken to trading as if born to it. 'In fact', he said, 'I am now known as 'Og the Trader'. But I like 'Brewer' better. Anyway I have been as far as the Tin Islands where there are great things going on, and we even had a shot at making a stone circle here in Bashan. But we had better head North, and fast. He and his wife Aggy gathered what they could, took their children and the loyal Akkos family with them, and headed off to the mysterious islands in the north.
By this time the Corn Rituals were in full swing. The main celebrations were around the Equinoxes, geared to the yearly work of farming: sowing & reaping and so on, with the two creation gods of Sun and Rain sitting comfortably next the Solstices. The main festival was in the Spring. As far as we know it was held when the Moon was in the right place near what is today called April Fool's Day, possibly because children conceived on that day will be born at Christmas if it is right. It was an orgiastic festival in the middle of forty days of abstinence so they could identify the children. This festival must have of been supreme importance, since we still remember it as Easter.
Anyway. By the time the Israelites had finished in the desert and were preparing to battle for their Canaanite Kingdom, Bashan was indeed 'a land flowing with milk and honey'. In the fracas that followed the official story is that 'God delivered Og the King of Bashan into the hand of Moses', and Bashan became Israelite territory. When that was all over another story made the rounds. It says that Moses dropped a mountain on Og whilst he lay in his huge iron bed. And, would you believe it people were supposed to believe it was true.
What God really thought was that Moses was too old to continue. He told him to go no further, to proceed to the top of the mountain for a look down on the 'Land of Canaan'. And that is where we say good bye to him. At least he saw the 'promised-land'.
Joshua was to continue the conquest. Helped by God in several interesting ways, (by hornets for instance), he managed to conquer as far as the Dead Sea, and there the Israelites settled down, and started to write their Holy Book. This they had continued to do through a very turbulent history of wars with very powerful neighbours on every border. This Holy Book has spawned the three 'One God' religions, although, believe it or not, they all turned out to be closely related to the Aleyin & Mot cults. Their story became embedded in the Book. These 'People of the Book' are a quarrelsome lot. And mysterious.
But, be patient, the mystery will unfold. We have to see the Ogs settled up north first.
So. Their escape from Moses was not a total setback. As everybody has their own quest for their own selves, Og was particularly lucky in that his inner journey was so very slow. Escaping the Flood was luck, and trading was the obvious way forward for any Hunter-Gatherer. His personal search started with trying to measure the year. This meant carrying ideas in his head. His experiments with the yearly variations in the Sun's shadow, his attempt at a stone circle, together with figuring out what other people wanted in his trading gradually gave birth to his spirit, his 'I' or Ego or whatever we call it now. It's slow to start with but it's the same for everybody, and with language, it grows through the average life. He noticed that he could talk to it and he wondered if the prophets Aleyin & Mot were helping their peasants to develop the same faculty. 'A bit drastic to have a sacrifice', he thought, because the ceremonies involved separating the corn seed, (Spirit), from the corn plant (Body), and Aleyin represented the body and so endured the sacrifice. All this helped Og to use his thinking to question what he did and said day by day. What he didn't notice was the way he began to grow possessive about the things he now regarded now as his.
After the long journey they landed on the rocky coast where Og had purchased his tin, and set off looking for a place to settle. When Aggy saw Stonehenge she was awestruck. Og explained, 'It's well finished now. Look at the multitude of harpists round about it. That's where I met Shug', he said, 'They have divided the year into thirteen months.'
'That sounds a bit different from our corn year', said Aggy, 'And this looks totally different from our little circle'.
'Yes', said Og, 'I've never been able to understand it. Maybe you will. There's a lot more circles of stones to see, some just earth, some painted white, and temples underground in little hills further north. You'll see them as we move on'.
'Your circle wasn't bad was it?'
'No. But it could have been better. The Boulder Field was an ideal place to put it, but we couldn't measure the sun's movements quite well enough'.
They made their way across the land looking for a place to set up their home, and when Aggy saw the Ogmagog hills she said they were a bit small, but the ground near the fens was the best she had seen anywhere. Alas it was crowded so she was unable to claim a good-sized patch for her fields. Og said the water was too brackish and only OK much further north.
He had another string to his bow. Remember his Iron Bed? Smelting meteorite iron had been a start, but shortly before he left Bashan, traders from south of the Sahara had come to get spoked wheels, and they had shown him how to smelt Ironstone using double bellows, and so make hard iron. This had been a revelation and Og wanted to give it a try.
They zig-zagged their way through the country looking at all the henges and circles they could on the way. Og had a place to settle in mind but couldn't remember just where it was.
'It's a very big inlet from the sea on the east coast', he said, 'The water is excellent and I've heard of Ogs living up here.' They were looking at ancient cup and ring carvings on some rocks.
'Do these carvings measure the year?' asked Aggy, 'They're a bit like your stone circle'.
'Nobody knows for sure', said Og, 'They may be at the start of thinking'.
They had found that the farming year was well known on these islands, and was divided into four quarters of thirteen weeks each. It was like a modern pack of cards - a year of 13 months dived into quarters of 13 weeks with a joker for the extra day, and another every four years when there were two extra days. 'A very neat way of dividing the days into the year', thought Og.
To continue: Og & Aggy found the right place eventually, of good land, forests and steep-sided gullies, where the water ran sparkling off the limestone, and with a huge rocky hill to the North and low hills to the south. It didn't take long to get the brewery started, and a neighbour told him about the isles to the north, and more to the west, and Manannan's island. 'He's the King of the Sea, and he's very moody', they said. They said it wouldn't be much use going to the Northern Isles because the people there had abandoned them when the waters rose. 'They rounded up all their cattle and feasted for about a month', they said, 'And then ferried their possessions to the mainland to start new lives. They knew all about the sun-circles and temples, and had a story that helped understand what they did to grow and use the corn. They had burned all the forests on those islands, and no-one has been back since as far as we know'.
Manannan set Og's mind developing further. He was linking things together in a way that had been impossible before. What dawned on him now was how alike these gods were. All the different lands had goddesses and gods of beer, and Manannan had similar stories to Poseidon - Lugh to Apollo - and so on. Og's memory held a lot of history, and now his spirit, his inner voice, was asking questions and proposing answers. But he saw that there were Adamites who were still better at it than he was. They spoke faster than he did.
Anyway once Og's brewery was installed and Aggy's fields had started production they wanted to explore the big island in the west. It was called Tir nan Og, (The Land of Eternal Youth), and that intrigued both Og and his wife.
When they did finally set sail it was from a finger of land a few miles north of Manannan's Isle, and from which they could see Tir-nan-Og over to the west. 'See those hills away to the south?' said the captain of their boat, 'There's an inlet just past them and that's where we're headed'. They had waited for a Northerly wind to help them over and when they set sail their crossing was relaxed and joyful. They were greeted by friendly people, and their guide was a lively young woman with long reddish brown hair like theirs. She took them to her father's large farmstead just south of the hills, 'They're called the Mountains of Mourne', said the young woman, 'And', pointing to buildings bathed in sunshine, 'There's where we're going, and there's my Dad'. He was called Torquil, and they spent the next few days feasting, with songs and music, poetry, preposterous stories and excellent beer.
The temple they were going to visit was already ancient to them.
'We don't know who built it but they mist have been brilliant', said Torquil, 'It was here when we came. But you'll like its name - it's called 'Brug mac ind Og'.'
'Do you know what sort of temple it is?' asked Og politely, but all Torquil knew was that it measured the sun.
'You'll meet Ogma when you get there. He knows more about it', he said.
They took four or five days visiting friends on their way south. Ireland was very prosperous at that time with gold in the south, (and very accomplished smiths to turn it into marvellous brooches), and apart from a little cattle-rustling a very peaceful place.
Ogma looked a bit like Og, except he was a good bit taller. They punched each other in their old way of greeting and Ogma said, 'I hope this villain is looking after you well. How do you like his brood of daughters? He hasn't spawned a single son yet'.
'I'm happy with what I've got,' said Torquil, 'And anyway, how are you getting on with the alphabet we want?'
'Thinking about it', said Ogma, 'I hear the Greeks have whittled it down to about twenty letters, but I can't imagine how'.
'I think I know about that', said Og, 'Some strange people turned up north of our farm in Bashan before we left, and they fetched a big way of farming with them. They put the yearly sequence of growing corn into festivals with the Gods, so that the peasants could follow it. They were called the 'People of the Sea' and they wrote it down on clay tablets with an alphabet they had invented.'
'Must be very clever people', said Torquil, 'Did it embody a sacrifice? Ours finish up in bogs these days'.
'Yes. Grizzley', said Og. 'The plant had to be sacrificed to gain the seed, personified by two brothers, one fathered by Rain and the other by Sun. Complicated. Anyway, the people on Crete worked out the letters from one of their tablets. They had a few shots before the letters worked, but it's on the mainland now and taking root. Each sound has its own letter'.
'That sounds great for messages', said Torquil.
'Wouldn't help me', said Ogma. His alphabet was for carving onto stone pillars.
'Can we get a copy?' Torquil asked.
'The Greeks are starting to use it to tell stories', said Og, 'A trader fetched one and explained it to me. I might be able to get a copy made for you'.
Torquil wanted to know if it was Pythias who fetched it but it wasn't, and then he wanted to know who these mysterious people were and what was their 'Big Farming' idea.
'No one knows exactly who they are,' said Og, 'But they ploughed very big fields and planted them carefully and watched the Sun for the right time to sow and harvest, and then divided the grain into beer, bread and seed. They said that Ba'al the god of Rain started it and Anat his daughter sowed the seed. His son Aleyin was the corn that produced the next seed, which was his brother called Mot. So the corn died twice, first buried as seed to grow corn and then thrashed as corn to release the seed'.
Torquil wanted to know what time of year their sacrifice was.
'Spring,' said Og, 'Surrounded by forty days of chastity, so they could identify the children they conceived. They were called Holy, and born at the Winter Solstice,'
'That's interesting', said Torquil, 'Our Druids on Anglesey do something like that, and our year has thirteen months. There is also a yearly sacrifice, but it looks as if a different group of people started it. You could go and visit them on Anglesey.'
'Yes', said Og, 'But there's more. Our prophets developed a culture establishing a yearly sequence of events that could be followed faithfully year after year by the peasants. Also, whenever the sun, moon & planets lined up with a particular star another brilliant prophet would appear. They were all beer-makers, and that made corn more essential. And, they started to educate the peasants. Well, not all peasants can think properly.'
'Tell us something new', said Ogma.
'They don't have the inner spirit that thinks inside the head', said Og, 'And the prophets helped people to get one. They were known as 'Green Men'. One or two were sacrificed'.
'So what? That's the fate of prophets who make miracles', said Torquil.
'It'll be a miracle if we ever get to see inside this temple', said Ogma. He was getting impatient. 'There's much more inside than there is outside,' he said, 'It is extraordinary', and he took them through the awesome Trispiral Doorway.
They stooped along a narrow straight passageway into a central chamber, with side chambers leading off. Ogma explained, 'It may be co-incidence only, but on the Winter Solstice only, the sun shines along the passage into this central chamber. It's lined up outside to where the Sun rises on the horizon on that day only. You can see that it is very accurate. From that you can count the days to the Summer Solstice and Equinoxes, and to our farming festivals. It moves one day more or back on leap-years but that's over four years. That's when they reach the side chambers', said Ogma, 'Every so often it gave birth to a prophet. It's a bit old fashioned now. These days we just use the stone circles'.
'I've heard of another of these temples in the Northern Isles', said Og, very excited.
'Yes', said Ogma, 'A bit smaller than ours. They abandoned those islands when the waters rose and the weather changed'.
'So they were not used for burials?' said Aggy.
'No. Only for births. But we're not sure', said Ogma.
'And for measuring the year,' said Og. He was remembering what Shug had told him at Stonehenge. These people were still catching up.
'Well, we say it gives us a sacred day for the birth of the New Year', said Ogma,
'Maybe it was seen as a womb', said Aggy, 'I like that. Death of the Old Year, and Birth of the New. Was there a child born in the temple at the New Year?'.
'There's talk of it', said Ogma. But listen. You never told us who those mysterious people were'.
'Oh. Scrag- it !! I'm getting old', said Og, 'They're called 'People of the Sea'. Nobody knows where they came from, but there must have been one or two tribes of them.'
They spent the rest of their stay in Tir nan Og going round the country, tasting the beer, and meeting the people in that happy land.
'Very good for farmers', said Aggy on their way home. 'Great soil, Rain and Sun: old Aleyin and Mot in a different cloak'.
She said she had seen more mysterious temples, circles and rock carvings in these Tin Isles than she could remember. When asked she added that the corn rituals seemed all roughly the same, 'Two corn gods, plant and seed, rain and sun, spring & autumn', she said in a very matter-of-fact sort of way. They talked about the wonderful carvings inside the temple and wondered about the people who built it. They talked too about the friendliness of their visit all the way back home, and looked forward to a possible visit by Ogma to them in the near future.
His visit was delayed for a year or two. By then he had completed the Ogham alphabet, which the Ogs thought would be a big step forward. They told him they still had to remember important facts if they could, one of which was the appearance of Pictish people who had come to live around them. Fortunately they were very helpful and they had been able to extend their farm, forge and the brewery. 'Very Interesting', said Ogma, 'We told them there was space to settle in your part of the country. It's an ill wind that blows no good'.
Later he asked if they had visited the Druids, and Og told him they had been too busy to journey as far as Anglesey, but they had talked to one or two holy men. 'They knew a lot about plants and the stars and so on, but we were quite mystified by the ways they had of telling the future. Especially when we saw that some just didn't work. But we didn't say anything,' he added.
Some time later an explorer/ trader turned up at the farm saying he had heard that Og had the best flavoured beer ever, and would he divulge his secret for two beautiful drinking vessels. His name was Pythias and he came from Greece. 'I have a friend who is measuring the earth called Meton', he said, 'and he asked me for information from the Isles of Tir nan Og. They mentioned you. 'Find Og the Brewer', I was told. So here I am'.
Og became very excited by their conversation. It transpired that Meton thought the Earth could be a huge ball that spun round once a day and circled the sun once a year. Og thought that that might explain the curious behaviour of the sun-shadows he and his wife had been measuring. Maybe the beer in two special cups helped the flow of conversation along. Pythias said he would call again next visit, but he never did.
Og's word memory was growing much bigger now, and, more to the point, it was accessible. He was now starting to reason accurately with his own thoughts. A new worry for him was the way greed and dishonesty were both creeping into human behaviour. He could remember the rivalry they enjoyed as hunters, but nothing like what he heard now about wars. The worst was the Romans who had an army and had conquered part of Italy and said it was now theirs. He wondered if it was the 'Inner Spirit' that led to these ambitions, and realised that if anybody impinged on their farm & brewery he would resist with force if he had to. It wasn't likely to happen because there was still plenty of space where they were. But he began to realise that it might. This inner spirit was changing the world.
In the sixth century BC a Greek king found a mine yielding gold and silver which together make a very soft alloy that they called 'Electrum'. He had the bright idea of stamping little bits of this alloy into money. His subjects took to his plan with joy. Nobody knows who this king was, but we think he was probably the prototype for King Midas. Of course his little bits of Electrum cost him far less to produce than did their declared worth as 'Coins of the Realm'.
The idea exploded round Europe in an unstoppable surge, making employment easier, enhancing trade and enabling people to get richer. But, it wasn't long before usury took hold, and by the time the Romans came to Britain the bit of metal you got for a days work was absolutely miserable. Then the Romans began debasing their Gold and Silver coins, and inflation resulted shortly before they left. Clever people soon found that they could grow wealthy by lending money and charging rent for doing so. That practise was christened the 'Root of Evil', and the modern world was born.
When a trader turned up saying he had heard that Og's beer was the best flavoured in the world, and would he part with the secret for a small gold roman coin, Og would have none of it. 'Sorry to disappoint you', he said, 'But I have already sold the information'. Eventually money spread to all corners of the earth with mixed results, some good and others not so good.
Another idea that took root was that of the 'Green Men'. These were either prophets on exceptionally intelligent men who schooled the peasants in farming know-how, and emphasised the 'Good' benefits of money. Zagreus in Crete or Osiris in Egypt are the first two to be mentioned. Zagreus was said to be the 'First to Yoke Oxen to the Plough', and was in fact being eaten when he was rescued and restored. Osiris was also 'First to yoke Oxen to the Plough, and was renowned for his 'Excellent Beer', and his good humour. All the Green Men were conceived in the Spring and born at Christmas, and lived for around 34 years, which I think is a 'Great Year'. They were also all sacrificed again at the Spring Festival, which was originally held on what is now April Fool's day, and then shifted to May Day with the Precession of Equinoxes. Thus the Zodiac Bull was originally Sower, whilst today he is the Ram. After their death all Green Men occupied a position in the Underworld guiding souls to their destiny. This we presume was to be re-born if the seed was good, but to be burned with the chaff if it wasn't.
It seems likely that that this yearly tradition of farming corn was based on the myth of Aleyin & Mot, the corn planted by Anat, nourished by her father Ba'al, and matured in the sunshine as Mot, son of El. Aleyin is the son of Ba'al and Anat, and is the plant that produces the corn seed called Mot ( Sun). This format is recorded on a clay tablet, dated around 1500BC and found in the Lebanon. It is translated below with thanks to the Larous Encyclopedia of Mythology.
Aleyin is the corn plant, son of Ba'al, (the god of rain). Ba'al's virgin daughter Anat is Aleyin's mother. She is in charge of the cornfields. At harvest time Aleyin has nourished his brother Mot, (the seed from which he was born), but has himself shrivelled in the sunshine.
Aleyin sees Anat and he admits that his life came from the death of Mot, his brother, and he wanted to keep the corn for himself, and is ready to be sacrificed for his sin. He says as follows, found on a Lebanese 1500BC clay tablet :-
'I am Aleyin, son of Ba'al. Make ready the sacrifice.
'I am the lamb, which is made ready with pure wheat,
'To be sacrificed in expiation'.
Anat then seizes Aleyin and
With her sickle she cleaves him,
With her flails she thrashes him,
With her mill she grinds him,
With her fire she grills him,
In the fields to scatter him,
To consume his leven, so he no longer withholds his share.
Then, when the seed is planted again in the ground, Ba'al let loose his rain and Aleyin came back to life. Thus the cycle can start again. Aleyin was seen as a villain who wanted to keep the seed for himself, and he had to be sacrificed to release it for re planting. This tradition lasts to this day in the Ballad of 'Sir John Barleycorn'.
It seems that words were seen to be similar to corn seed. If planted in the human mind they would grow into a new plant, and produce new seed, but only if the Prophet had been 'Sacrificed, Dead & Buried' at Easter, to be reborn at Christmas. Or something like that.
'Think not that I am sent to bring peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household'. Matthew 10.
By making sure that there were Ogs embedded into the ancestry of each and every European, (even the Israelites), and seeing that God had vowed to accept things as they were, you may think that Mrs God and her husband were somewhat reconciled. Indeed you are right. He was becoming much less dictatorial, and strange things were happening in Israel. A little boy had been born under a bright star and Herod wanted to kill him. 'I can't have that', said God, 'Do you know anywhere safe?' Of course Mrs God did, and she took him there. She had a fair idea of what was going on.
On her last visit she had been very impressed with the Og's progress in the Tin Islands, and the way his iron foundry had taken root, but this visit she said was more important.
'I'm here with a little refugee and his family', she said, 'Do you know Joseph the tin trader?'
'Yes', said Og, 'I know one or two traders. They'----- but Mrs God cut in,.
'He brought us over. This little boy is a religious refugee, and he may be here for some time, Now tell me. Do you remember the invaders to the north of your farm in Bashan?'
'Yes indeed', said Og, 'Very bright people. I traded with them a lot. I think they may have been the folk who invented spoked wheels.'
'You may be right', said Mrs God, 'Well. This little fellow is probably one of their prophets. He was born under the bright sky about six weeks ago'.
'I remember it. Our Druids thought it was heralding something important.'
'Indeed it was', said Mrs God, 'The trouble is that those people say they are related to the Israelites. They say they came off the Ark together, but none of that matters just now. The point is that all that territory is occupied now by the Roman Army. Herod could lose his throne if they knew what was going on. He tried to kill this little baby but they got him away in time. Just. These traditions are far older than Rome itself and they are trying to stop them. And the little boy is here in the Tin Isles for safe keeping until things settle down'.
'Oh', said Og, 'Will he be safe here?'
'The Romans haven't got here yet have they?' said Mrs God.
'Caesar put a friendly king in place, but he's died', said Og.
'Thankfully', said Aggy. She had been listening to the conversation, and she didn't like the Romans. 'Romans slave-drive you for corn', she said.
'I think this family will be safe where they are even if they do come back', said Mrs God. 'I hope so anyway. We need about thirty years training time'.
'Will we meet him?' asked Og.
'Maybe, but he is in hiding so say nothing if you do. That's important, and I am not going to say where he is. It's important he's kept safe. He's still a little baby, and he's here with his parents. There was quite a stramash about them when we left, and this is the safest place we can think of'.
'It sounds very important', said Og, 'We will be ready to help if necessary'.
'That's what I hoped you would say', said Mrs God, 'But, let's hope the pressure to find them will fade away in time. This land seems tranquil.'
'It's turning out to be a most excellent place', said Og, 'We're doing very well here'.
'And let's hope things don't change', said Aggy,
'Why have you brought the little boy here?' asked Og,
'He had to be outside the Roman Empire', said Mrs God,
'I'm not sure', said Mrs God, 'God said he had to study in Britain. He says that the true doctrine is that the body gives birth to the spirit, like the corn plant giving birth to the seed and not like the Greek idea that the spirit is the person. Britain is still outside the Roman Empire and the Romans don't care much for anything like that. Caesar has a great respect for Druids. Says they have the most accurate calendar in the Empire, but he can't see how it works. Says, 'How can they do it using nights instead of says?' A bit of a blockhead unless it's to do with money I think.'
'Are they from the two gods Aleyin & Mot?' asked Aggy.
'Not exactly. Do you know of Aletin & Mot?'
'Yes. We met the idea before we left Bashan.' said Aggy. '
'That must be why this little boy has to study here. The Romans hate the Old Religion whatever form it takes. They say they don't like the sacrifices'
'Well the Druids seem a good lot to us', said Aggy, 'And they do have sacrifices. We'll be quiet as the grave. I can see a reason behind the decision. The people here are the friendliest and most helpful we have ever met'.
'Most', said Og, ' But the one or two who have gained a spirit are a bit pushy'.
'Well. I suppose that when I think about it things are changing even here', said Aggy.
'Yes.' Said Og, 'Not everybody is so friendly these days. Trading used to be making friends with people, but now they can feel threatened. They can be suspicious until they know you', he said.
'Well it's much better here than in the south,' said Mrs God, 'Women can still inherit stuff in these Tin Isles, and women still have a say in the rules and regulations of life. Not so south of the Alps'.
'Oh', said Og, 'But I thought the Greek Mysteries were on the right lines'.
They agreed that the one exception was the Mystery Cults, which were in the hands of the 'Barley Mother' for life above ground, and her virgin daughter for life below ground. The corn itself was divided into plant and seed - the body and spirit, and echoed the Aleyin & Mot barley cults. The Mysteries started in Greece around 1500BC based on the myth of Demeter and Persephone, and Og thought their teaching had been a huge step forward.
'Well living so long seems to have given you both a very good grasp of events, and you seem a happy lot to me, said Mrs God. 'Anyway, Your ironwork looks good. As everything else does on your establishment,' she said.
'Thanks. But it's beginning to be mostly swords and chariots', said Og, 'Makes me a bit depressed sometimes'.
'God says it will get worse, but there is no other way forward. He says it's part of his Plan, so prepare for the unexpected'.
And on that mysterious note she made her departure.
By the time Jesus had finished his ministry and his words were spreading round Europe, God felt confident enough to divulge the object of his Plan to his wife.
'It's starting to work,' he said.
His wife was not happy about it. 'Did it have to be so cruel?' she asked. 'John was such a kindly fellow. Did he really have to have his head cut off for a seductive dancing girl? And Jesus? What harm did he ever do to anyone? His teachings had splendid results.'
'Tradition', said God, 'Difficult to explain. Like I said Jesus was not the first teacher. It started with corn, and there have been dozens over the years. It's as if Mot was the seed that died in the soil giving birth to Aleyin. He was the plant that produced more seed, (Mot), and tried to keep it for himself. But, in the end he volunteered himself for sacrifice at the hand of Anat, and thus release Mot for re-birth. The release and re-planting of Mot echoed the release of words for re-planting in the population, to give a ten or twentyfold yield'.
'Am I supposed to understand all that?' asked his wife.
God laughed. 'It is complicated', he said, 'And lots of other stories surround it. But they all helped people to understand, and that is what minds are for. My Plan is progressing '.
'At last', said his wife. 'How long until it's finished?'
'Don't be impatient', said God, 'A long, long time. The teaching of Jesus was to nurture the spirit. See how all the parables and teachings are about people thinking for themselves and not behaving like morons. As he said 'Them that have ears to hear let them hear'. A very very very slow process.'
'So that's what your garden ploy was all about was it?'
' Er. Yes.'
'Well you might have told me. And listen', she said, 'The beer helped all that along like nothing else didn't it?'
'Yes indeed. That was the crux of the Last Supper. Cakes and Ale or Bread and Wine are again Body and Spirit'.
'So you didn't have to make things so difficult for the Ogs did you?'
'Er. No,' said God, 'Not really. I was just a bit, er, well, incompetent in those far off days. I suppose the Ogs had been on the Earth for ages and it was all dark to me because I didn't know anything about it.'
'Yes. At last. Maybe you're getting there. But how's it going to end? An Earth that's full of screwed up miserable people killing each other off in horrible ways?'
'I hope not,' said God, 'Look. There's always more people being born than dying. And what we're trying for is an independent spirit that can think for itself. To get that a person must stop fighting and then try for independence because he wants to'....
'Of course, or he wouldn't be independent would he?'
'Alright - or she', said God.
'So why is there no sign of that. The main focus seems to be people trampling on each other to get rich'.
'Come on', said God, 'There's a lot of kindness
'Mostly weapons of war. Where is that leading?' asked Mrs God.
'I know. It's worrying. I sometimes wonder if I've got it right.'
'You mean you might be missing something?'
'I don't think so. We'll have to wait and see, I sometimes wonder if there's another hand in it.' said God. Even he couldn't see the outcome.
Mrs God didn't like the sound of that.
Og didn't like it either. The Romans had come and gone. Invaders were hammering at the doors again, but what really sent shivers down his spine were the doctrines of Augustine. Some time after Emperor Constantine had started to use Christianity for his own ends, laying the foundations for the 'Holy Roman Empire', Augustine made his appearance. He was basically a reformed, hedonistic, academic, mother dominated cleric preaching hellfire in an effort to put Christianity onto the 'Straight & Narrow'.
Mrs God was visiting Og & Aggy. 'He's part of the Plan', she told them.
'He's anti-love', said Og, 'Life won't be worth living'.
Then Aggy asked why it had to be so drastic. 'I cant see why it should be', she said.
'It will lead to a turmoil of terrible wars and misery' said Og.
'I'm sure you're right,' said Mrs God,
'I thought it was going well until this cruel cleric appeared,' said Og, 'The Mysteries morphed so well into Christianity but then this. Let us know what God has to say about it'.
'God said this is the most dangerous part of the plan', said Mrs God, 'but there is no other way. Mankind has got to develop words in the head to enable him to talk to himself. He will be able to develop the world so much faster and making life much more abundant. It may have gone too far to stop. I will have to see what he says about it now'.
She didn't hang back - up the ladder she went and straight in, 'Look', she said, 'This Augustine is busy undermining the joys that both Ogs and Adamites share with each other. Right from the start they have attracted each other in making love. Enjoying the pleasure of living, that is, and this wretched cleric dominated by his atrocious mother is busy spoiling it for a crack stupid idea of a bodily life after death. Putting the fear of eternal tortures into innocent people by misrepresenting the doctrines. Promising a new bodily life after death and you know that's impossible. The spirit that thinks inside people's heads is difficult to achieve isn't it? And how can it live on after its host has died? Answer that'.
'Yes my dear. You are exactly right', said God. 'First words and meanings have to make a place for themselves in the head, and then the person has to learn how to use them. All that has to be done after the person is born. Through time some people will be born with a flesh & blood place for words, and that is when the hard work starts. It has taken ten thousand years so far, and very few people have grasped the process. Look at your Ogs. It has taken that time to get this far. Most of them haven't really started yet.'
'Is pushing them into wars and terrors on our good green earth the way to do it?' Mrs God was beginning to see the problem. 'There is a huge gap growing too. Some people can write it down and others still can't talk it yet. Is it drifting into a situation like that ghastly Armageddon bit of The Book. Written on Patmos of all places, where the Marihuana grows ten feet tall. What for? What for? Did Jesus suffer and go through such a horrifying ritual for this? Is it another of your amateurish blunders?'
God waited patiently until she had exhausted her questions. 'Yes yes yes', he said, 'It does look like a step backward. I hope that I'm right and that in fact it is a step forward. You must have seen how much people have prospered since Adamites and Ogs joined forces. That's because Adamite thinking has brought lots of new ideas, and Ogs have ..'
'Most of their ideas have been about weapons and wars.' His wife was getting into her stride. 'How's that supposed to make things better? Tell me that. Is that your 'Big Pan?'' His wife sounded bitter.
'I was just going to tell you', said God, 'It's not to do with what they do with the new thinking. It is the fact that the thinking is growing that is important. The Ogs are slow to catch on but when they do it's well grounded. Once human thinking has grown as far as it can, then people can embark on the next stage.'
He went on, 'Like I said learning to think takes energy and requires flesh and blood additions to the brain. Love-making soaks up energy. Lots of it. And both Ogs and Adamites are going to need all the energy they can get for thinking. I hope this new doctrine from Augustine will divert energy away from love and into thinking and learning. Thinking out new weapons is an incentive. The best thinker gets the best weapons and wins the best goodies, and thinking starts individual people competing with each other. There will be wars, and no end to that incentive. The human mind will grow'.
'Quite a speech', said his wife, 'I reckon anybody who believes that that is the right way to go will believe anything. Well listen. I'm going down and I'll put a spike in your wretched Plan whenever I get a chance. Most Og's would be left behind.'
Still her old self was Mrs God. And God could do nothing about it. He just had to hope that his idea of diverting the huge bank of energy away from making love and into developing the new mind would work. Or would it follow a course to destruction? He would just have to be patient, because any other way would take too long. And anyway, it would not be necessary to develop a huge number of minds would it?.
Augustine's teachings had a profound affect, and the Roman Empire grew into the Holy Roman Empire. Doctrines about 'Seven Deadly Sins' started to appear, and soon the Clergy started to make themselves felt in most of Europe. Then came a setback. Whilst William the Conqueror was busy in Britain the Pope mounted a Crusade to take the Holy Land from the Muslims.
Mrs God was appalled by it. She spoke of her fears to Og but he said that he was doing well with iron farming implements, shoeing, scythes and carts, but she interrupted,
'With armour and weapons of war too', she said ' and that's anti-progress.'
But Og just shrugged hid shoulders, 'I can't stop these wars,' he said, 'and things are changing. The Norman's are a cruel lot and the Crusades are causing a bit of grief, but the Monasteries are a force for good. That's what God want's isn't it?'
'Yes. But people are not so happy', said Mrs God.
'Well we can't have everything', said Og, 'And anyway some friends of mine here in Scotland have relations in the South of France and they follow a different kind of faith. They have one god for the body and another for the spirit. They have a really happy society. Lots of wine and beer and music. Reminds me of our old Aleyin and Mot festivals, I thought that was what God wanted. Do you know them'.
Mrs God didn't, but reckoned she should. As soon as possible.
She came back from her visit to France full of enthusiasm. 'Like you said. They are charming people', she told Og, 'I'm impressed. They're called Cathars, and if they are part of God's plan and if they can overtake the Roman Church then fine'.
'That's two 'ifs', said Og, 'But you're right. Let's hope. And there's people round here who have similar beliefs - Knights Templar they're called. They say they are finding evidence of the first Christian faith under the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. A brave lot. What does God have to say about it?'
But Mrs God hadn't seen her husband for the last fortnight. She wasted no time in climbing the ladder.
'I was beginning to despair about your wretched plan,' she said to God, 'But having met the people in the south of France I think it will bring great times before long. Perhaps there's hope after all'.
But, 'Sorry to disappoint you my dear', said God, 'They are far too relaxed about things. They're putting more energy into enjoying life than learning how to think, and thinking is nowhere near being fully developed yet. They will have to be brought back into the fold. Goats are OK as long as they help the Sheep in trying to think'.
Mrs God exploded. She used words even God had never heard. She left him in no doubt about what the outcome would be. 'You are ruining what we have', she said, 'The world will become a miserable and cruel place, burdened by war. Life may even give up and your Plan with it'.
But God said it was part of evolution and had to run its course.
Back down the ladder she went vowing to keep the Ogs pursuing life more than knowledge. But when she arrived at Og's Smithy, things had gone from bad to worse. Once the Crusades had started they showed no signs of stopping, and continued even when the Mongols invaded bits of Europe. The Holy Roman Church was trying to convert the Cathars without success and was preparing to convert them to the Roman Church one way or another.
Og seemed to take it as it came. Not that he didn't think about those things. Mrs God found him making flintlock mechanisms.
'They're a new idea I'm trying to get working', he said.
'What's it for?'
'It makes it much easier to get a gun to shoot'. Guns were new so he explained what they were.
'So guns kill people more easily,' said Mrs God, 'and what you're doing looks difficult,'
'It is. I wouldn't be doing it except a bright young fellow asked me to'.
'Who might that be?'
'He's called Zyzka. A protégé of King Wenceslas in Bohemia. He's been hired to help the Queen of Poland. He's a friend of some Knights Templar in Prague, and they have links with a place called Roslin nearby'.
'You're getting drawn into it all'.
'So be it', said Og, 'At least we have our memories. Even most people who can think still can't remember the first time of being themselves. Maybe if they could life would get better. Who knows? But in the meantime I make what I am asked to make, and what I want to make I do in my spare time. How do you like this?' and he showed Mrs G a beautifully forged iron bell that seemed to ring two harmonious notes at once.
Not long after that things went from worse to absolutely frightful. The Cathar Faith had been destroyed, (Exterminated or moved underground), and the Knights Templar were declared heretics. A greedy and stupid king disbanded and tortured them to get their 'treasure'. This was followed by the Hussite wars, the Black Death, famines, and the Hundred Years War.
One morning one of the Roslin knights called into the smithy with four horses for shoeing. 'Have you heard the ghastly news from the south?' he asked Og. He was called Kurt and they were having a beer together.
'No. You look worried. Tell me.'
'Well. There's a deathly plague crossing Europe. It's just reached Bohemia, Zyzka died of it'.
'Oh. I'm sorry to hear that. I met him here a few years back'.
'Yes. Well, he led us against the Church. They threw five Crusades at us when we rebelled against their Indulgences. We won the lot. Got what we wanted from them, and we're keeping our Zodiac Clock. That's about when this plague appeared. It might have reached England by now. It's killing everybody who gets it, and that's about everybody who contacts it. I tell you. It's the worst evil ever.'
'So how do you know about it?' Og was a bit worried. Kurt was serious.
'Heard about it. Don't worry. We got gold from some property we sold in Prague, and I was entrusted to get it here. Safer here. I sailed from Denmark and this 'Black Death' plague hadn't reached there.'
'I'm glad to hear that', said Og, 'But tell me about your clock. Did the church not like it?'
'No they did not. The Pope declared it the 'Work of Satan'. They burned Jan Hus for his Wycliffian beliefs and that started the wars. But the Holy Roman Church lost every one of them. Most people are no longer Catholic in Bohemia. Let's hope we can keep our own faith alive'.
'Yes indeed'. Og seemed happy with this news, but questioned another rumour. 'What happened to you? I heard the Templars were being squeezed for money by the King'.
'We simply called ourselves the 'Knights of St John' and escaped the purge. The others dispersed as best they could, but they got Jaques and roasted him on the Isle de la Cite. Took three days over it but got nothing out of him. There was nothing to get. The stupid clods couldn't understand that our treasure was not gold. Fighting the Mongols left us exhausted and then we lost everything in the last of the Mediterranean battles. Got back shattered and broke'.
'Greedy scunner that king', said Og,
'He's dead', said Kurt, 'And the Bishop that helped him'.
'The Devil takes his own', said Og, 'Anyway how's your building here getting on?'
'Well slowly but surely I suppose. Thank heaven the guys from Chartres came over before the plague struck us'.
'Thank heaven indeed', said Og, 'And no sign of it here so far. I'm glad to say. Ah. Here's my wife - Aggy this is Kurt from Roslin. I'll go and see if his horses are ready'.
The Church's repression continued, and gunpowder, canons and pistols all added to the continuing carnage. People turned to the Witches for salvation believing they were being punished for deserting the old gods. This led to an even more frightful backlash from the Church, with yet more torture and revolting paintings of tortured souls on their way to perdition becoming a common theme. And, in southern Spain, the Cordoba centre of learning had been scattered to the winds when part of the country was reclaimed rather forcefully from the Muslims. It became Spanish and the Inquisition had appeared in France and Spain to deal with the Cathars. Called the 'Holy Order of Blackfriar Monks', it continues in the service of the Church to the present day.
But also the universities in Europe, all founded by the Church except one at this time, had become very beneficial institutions. The pursuit of 'Goodness Truth and Beauty' versus the 'World, the Flesh and the Devil' was in full swing. The Renaissance took root, and all forms of human progress improved starting with an arms race, (Progress or Regress?), that started in 1400 and has not stopped to this day. The quest for Knowledge and Learning became so intense that it caused some people to mutilate themselves to abate their sexual desires, a method still practised today by a few individuals.
So. The brakes were off. Everything got bigger and better, and Ogs questions with himself had became more detailed. He realised that his memory was so long that he had developed a 'Question Everything' attitude, that those people who simply 'Went with the Flow' avoided. He saw that farming had changed humanity. People who had gained an inner spirit became anxious, but most people had no real idea about themselves, and they were exploited. 'Poor worried souls', Og thought. He remembered the 'People of the Sea' and their Green Men who were educating their workers into farming. Their ritual harvest sacrifice may have been horrific, but it made a yearly structure that people could follow and such a long time ago it was not even questioned.
He himself had vague pictures of the time when he felt absolutely at home with people and no idea of being an individual being. He realised that his first knowledge of being aware of himself was when Mrs God had called out to him before the Flood. It dawned on him that it was the subsequent growth of his spirit, his 'I', that had enabled him to think. And of course, words. Words made his thoughts real so he could use them, but they could not be heard before birth. There would always be a gap between a person's birth and this new faculty, and that this new faculty of thinking centred around the 'I'.
These thoughts led to ideas of possessions and wealth, greed, envy and war. That's where he gave up on that line for the time being, but a doorway had been opened. He got on hammering the black iron, making cart-wheels, scythes, and sun-dials, whilst his foundry did the production work.
Mrs God was depressed. Society had changed ever more rapidly since the Plague. There were far more prostitutes and far less love-making, and as the years went by the status of women sank. There seemed to be far more work, but the population had taken three generations to catch up after the plague. Farm workers cashed in on the shortage and this extra money helped to fuel the changes.
Mrs God complained to God about wars. 'Look', she said, 'I thought you were spawning a population of learned people but most human progress in that direction is devoted to developing weapons of war. There have been forty wars in Europe since the Hundred year's stramash. Where are your Adamites now?'
'Well I'm a bit worried about that,' said God, 'I can't help thinking there's another creative force at work that's maybe even stronger than me. Have you any ideas?'
'Not really', said Mrs God, 'I thought you were the big chief'.
'I thought so too, but I can't help thinking my Plan is being subverted. I thought it was blossoming when the Roman Church founded universities in every corner of Europe, and diverted energy away from love and into abstinence and learning. But look at what's happening. Is it the fault of that book the Israelites have produced? The Church is insisting that it is the right law and everything else should be confined to the flames. Fat lot of use that is - people interpret it any way they want. What is happening?'
'What's happening I think', said Mrs God, 'Is that the material world is growing, and the spiritual world is speeding things up. The new intelligence is devoted to all kinds of things that generate power and wealth for those who can cash in on it. The population is stratifying like a military regiment - only a few generals, but the numbers increase with the lower ranks down to the multitude of foot-soldiers ready to die for a cause. These poor souls think that a cushy heaven waits them after they die'.
'Listen,' said God, 'Forget all that just now. Who was your Grandmother? Do you think she might be lurking in the background?'
'Not sure. I seem to remember she was called Gaia, or Chomolunga, 'Goddess mother of the Earth or just 'The Virgin'. But I can't be sure.'
'Maybe she is the Earth', said God, 'And what is happening is that my Plan going too far into a danger zone, and it is much stronger than I had realised'.
'Well at least try to slow it down', said Mrs God.
'Can't', said God, 'It's gone out of my hands'.
Soon after that Mrs God was down seeing the Ogs. She saw that even they were pleased with the material progress. Aggy said her seeds were being improved, and new farm implements were speeding things up.
'And we're hammering out all kinds of new things,' said Og.
Aggy chipped in, 'But there's no need for armaments and blunderbusses,' she said.
'Blunderbusses keep the crows off your corn', said Og, 'And the academic stuff is going ahead quietly, and anyway, the better the material world is the more it helps the peasants. Another thing. Trade is really growing. Ships are bigger and there's more of them, and they are drawing charts and exploring new lands and that's giving us more knowledge of the earth. Look at the new lands over the sea. People starting to live there and that can't be bad.' Og didn't usually say so much, but he had obviously been thinking about it. 'And look at the surge in the arts new arts down in Italy,'
Aggy and Mrs God looked at each other. 'I've never heard him say so much', said Aggy.
'What are you feeding him on?' asked Mrs God.
'Well I don't like lop-sided arguments', said Og. 'But I must admit the foundry has been getting bigger with the demand for armaments round here. But, we're improving farming tools all the time too', he said.
'Look', said Aggy. 'There's more peasants starving through lack of work again. The better the farming tools become the fewer farm workers we need, and the population doesn't stop growing.'
Mrs God chipped in, 'God goes on about his Plan, and that worries me' she said. 'He thinks his Plan is being subverted. I think it may have to grow like a tree does, and if that is the case then it won't end until the tree is fully grown'
'Well there's not much we can do', said Og. 'People are not born equal, and I think that will make jealousies and greed grow bigger every day. Can that be the way forward? '
'Jealousies and greed. They didn't exist until Cain and Abel', said Mrs God.
'We were a happy lot before then', said Aggy, 'Remember how much we enjoyed the life we had with our new neighbours in Eden. Maybe this is part of God's Plan. Maybe this is just part of the growing Earth. Maybe things will get back to normal again when this is all over.'
'Well God has said that it's going further than he thought it would and it's out of his hands. I'll go and see if he can tell us more, but I don't think he will'.
'In the meantime we have to get on with it,' said Og. 'If learning is what we're supposed to be doing then let's have more. The more we learn the sooner we'll be through it.'
'Enough talking', said Aggy, and that's where they left him sitting with his beer and muttering away to himself.
'Before the Adamites came,' he muttered, 'We didn't have the language for talk like that. We must all have been born with the same body and mind as far as it had developed. So except for the material differences we were all the same. We must all have seen ourselves as brothers of the animals, and have had an instinctive knowledge of the material world'. He was finishing his beer.
'I can't remember any words from that time', he said, still talking to himself, 'We must have lived with each other like wolves in a pack, and only after the Adamites arrived did our thinking minds start to grow. It all depended on words. Learning to talk came first and that only happens whilst we're still babies and before we start to grow up. The rest seems just to follow. Its beginning to make sense,' he said, and that's when his wife came back in.
'What are you muttering about?' she asked.
'Just that all our individual thinking grows on us since being born'.
'Thank Heaven for that', she said, 'Heads are almost too big to get born as it is. It's easy to see that men don't have babies'.
Og was forced to smile. Women often have a direct answer to difficult questions. But the result was the same - these new minds were installed after a person was born and had learned to talk. They couldn't work out ideas without the words in their minds.
'If some of those words were generated by greed and jealousy', said Og, 'It would be bound to lead to trouble'.
'Exactly what happened to Cain and Abel', said Aggy.
'And they didn't have our weapons', said Og'
'And that is very worrying', said his wife, 'Where will it end?'
'Look at stags rutting', said Og, 'If jealousy can spark emotion and action, then words can start people fighting. That's trouble. Maybe that's where wars start. And I suppose, the better we make the weapons and the bigger the armies, the more destructive will be the wars. There is no end'.
'Maybe God has an answer', said Aggy. And that's where they left that line of thought.
Realistically it took scientific thought, theory and experiment, rather a long time to become established in Europe. Not until 1660 was the Royal Society launched in London, and 1666 in Paris. By that time Europe had suffered the Plague, and the Roman Church now had competition from the Protestants. They had followed on from John Wyclif and Jan Hus.
In 1687 Newton really opened the scientific door with his exploration of gravity, and through it came the Enlightenment. 'Rational Thinking' versus 'Superstitions'. The Church fought a long drawn-out but losing battle. Look at the turmoil Darwin caused with his 'Origin of Species', which has not been totally settled to this day. 'Creationists' still have dedicated congregations and strong voices.
Wars became more destructive and killed more people as one followed another. Napoleon tried to conquer Europe, the first try since Roman times, and things have become steadily worse since then, but, (the old argument), they have speeded up our development of the modern world. How many scientific advances and engineering breakthroughs have been perfected to improve warfare is impossible to say.
Talking things over with Og, Mrs God again cast a shadow over the way things were going when she mentioned wars. 'See how weapons have developed much faster than everything else,' she said, 'Wars cause death and destruction, and,' she said, 'They waste a huge mass of good resources, and get worse and worse as developments get better and better.'
Og had a different view. 'The more I think about it,' he said, 'the more inevitable they seem. We will have to change human nature if they are to fade away'. Quite advanced thinking, but,
'Impossible', said Mrs God. 'But I'll see what God has to say. He was a bit gloomy last time I saw hm'.
And God too was worried by wars. He said that 'If it goes on developing as much as it has in the past, my worry is that the world will be blown sky high before the thinking has had a chance to mature.' He elaborated by saying, 'I thought it would be plain sailing. But it isn't. The world is in the grip of the Cain and Abel syndrome. Twenty thousand years it has taken this mind with its words and its Ego to reach this stage, and it will have to change direction. It will have to find a way of joining together with the old benign mind that has no words, but which has been thousands of millions of years in the making and knows what's what.'
'How on earth is that supposed to happen?' asked Mrs God.
'It will only happen if people make a special journey to accomplish it. And, people will have to make that journey because they want to, not because they've been told to, or it wouldn't be their own independent mind would it? And every individual will have to find his or her individual way. And if that is true then its out of my hands'.
'Quite impossible', said Mrs God. 'Og's wife mentioned that. Anything new would have to be learned after learning to talk. And is developing an independent mind the goal of your great Plan?'
'It is', said God, 'And I seem to have failed absolutely. They can all think into the smallest detail, but they seem only able to do it en masse. Especially when it comes to wars. It looks as if the new mind with its eternal thinking has absolute power over the old mute mind of their prehistoric ancestors. In which case it has nothing to stop it doing what it wants. It has a conscience without any power. This will lead to trouble.'
'That's what it looks like so far', said Mrs G.
'They'll have to find a way of somehow joining the two together. I can't see how'.
And his wife agreed.
And that's about when two gentlemen set out to try and find a way beyond all that.
They were called Sigmund Freud and Carl Gustav Jung.
Over the next hundred years things went from Bad to Worse, and then on to the edge of destruction. The advances made through the wars have made it possible to bring mankind into its own bitter fate. And the frightful truth is that there is no opposition that could stop the process should it ever start. Nothing to prevent deranged politicians pressing the button so to speak.
Two wars that involved most of the world occupied most of the first half of the 20th century, leaving a population exhausted and broke. The horrors of the 'Great War' had left not only many men with badly damaged bodies, but also with badly damaged minds.
A new branch of medicine called Psychiatry was brought into being. It did what it could to bring help to the damaged men, and also in the years that followed to the women in the lop-sided society that followed. There had been a brief interlude of joy soon after the end of this first really frightful war, when Nature realised there were so few fertile men left that something would have to be done. There were too many women with no husbands, and society definitely did not allow 'Free Love'. But Nature thought otherwise. Jazz appeared upon the scene and for awhile, and for a few years, love ruled.
It took about 20 years from the end of the first war to the start of the second, during which time the ruling classes tried to put their territories back together, and two new ideologies emerged. At first sight there wasn't much to choose between them. They established themselves in some of the democracies against a background of Military Government or unemployment. In fact it has been said that in 1939,World War 2 saved the British Isles from unemployment, starvation, and a rigid un-natural sexual morality for children.
Towards the end of that second war God was so worried he felt forced to ring up Galaxy Central. 'Look', he said, 'I think they're going to use the Ultimate Bomb. Surely we had better end this war whilst they still have a planet?'
'We know', was the reply. 'But the next step can only be resolved when people resolve the danger by themselves, and it has been digested. Many a planet doesn't get past it. They have to develop their minds into being able to think for themselves, and they must overcome two huge obstacles. They will have to give up pursuing more money when they have enough, start following their own pathways without breaking any rules, and trying not to obstruct other people. Good Luck. You've done well so far'.
So God had to hold onto his seat and do nothing. Very difficult.
And indeed nothing had ever been seen so ghastly inhuman as what surfaced between 1940 and 1944. And when that war had ended the world was an absolutely different place. A dangerous place. A place for new beginnings.
Psychologists of all breeds were drafted into the armed forces foe all kinds of services during that war, and by the time it had ended their ideas had branched and multiplied.
Psychoanalysis had emerged fully by 1960. The Analysts found that whilst the life between birth and the emergence of ego could be recalled through memory and speech of the patient, a lot more (especially painful) episodes from childhood could come to the surface full force having been released through the mind and body working together.
These releases are active, with the patient re-enacting the incident with talk, shouts, and actions that are unpredictable but which can be a total release from the trauma. Different analyses result in different episodes from the quiet and contemplative, to the wild and uncontrolled outburst of repressed feelings. As unknown forces come into the light, so the patient can move into a more productive and happier life.
Perhaps these ideas helped to produce different attitudes. And different ideas about the ways forward were rife. By this time people had begun to realise that if they didn't put the brakes on and start peaceful relations they would indeed bring life on earth to an end. The hope was that with the Atom Bomb in 1945 and the Hydrogen Bomb in 1950, thoughts of war would gradually disappear after the hostilities finally came to an end in 19 47.
That indeed proved to be the case in 1950 when the National Health Care was opened in Britain to all nationalities. It proved popular for the first 50 years, but has run into problems recently as the population has increased faster than the funding.
But the biggest step towards a peaceful future has been the founding in 1945 of the European Union. This started with three countries - Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg - coming together to bring peace and prosperity to Europe by encouraging trade. The idea has worked well so far, with a trading area from the Black to the White Sea, Polar, North- Atlantic and Mediterranean Seas, More or less. Until now. Maybe.
At the end of the war Og gave up his ironworks. They had expanded out of recognition contributing to the war effort, and being more a business than a craft Og had lost interest in it. He sold it on to a demobilised Navy officer who had a splendid house on the east coast and he changed the works to making spare parts for the motor-car industry. They were trying to get vehicle production started in Scotland after the war to relieve the unemployment.
Og turned his hand to Silversmithing. He was, when all was said & done, getting a bit long in the tooth, and to Og silversmithing was a doddle. The hammers were lighter, the anvils smaller and the heat not so intense. The little things were a bit tricky, but he soon got the hang of the little pliers and files, and ideas flowed in. He paid attention to what others in the game were doing, which was a help, and that is how this final step came about. A fellow called Digby was making Zodiac pendants depicting the hieroglyphs derived from the clock in Prague, incising the marks so clean into the silver that try as he might, Og couldn't figure out how. They reminded him of the alphabet that had appeared in Phoenicia just before he left, which were made with wooden styluses in clay, and that intrigued him. These marks were clean cut into the silver, and Og couldn't see how. Also he still had a liking for the Zodiac on the old Prague Clock.
Digby told him he was close. The process was like 'Cuneiform with steel styluses', he said, and, (with a laugh), 'please don't do any Zodiacs - my business is doing well on them'. As they began to know each other, and compare notes, Digby went on to tell Og about his rehabilitation after the war, which started him off silversmithing.
'I had done a bit of Panel Beating in the Royal Engineers and an outfit called the Scottish Country Industries Development Trust suggested silversmithing as it was a similar sort of game. They were trying to get a body of people to start a variety of workshops all over Scotland, and they were just opening a splendid old house in Edinburgh as a showroom to sell the stuff being made. It was all go'.
'I remember the place', said Og. 'I had started with copper but they didn't like it, and I had to look for other outlets.'
'I got a spell in Art School that proved really helpful and I got started pretty quickly. I was soon setting stones and selling stuff at Acheson House and elsewhere', he said, 'It was OK to begin with, but I lived on an island a long way from Edinburgh at that time, and set up my own showroom. When it didn't work I slid into the doldrums and depression.
A fellow from London turned up. A sort of sculptor I suppose, working in all sorts of unusual wood, making bowls and things in weird shapes. He told me he had been part of a sort of psychotherapy group following a kind of shaman guru from Siberia - well - there was an explosion of weird ideas in those days. Anyway they flew apart in dire circumstances and he shunted to Cambridge with a woman and her three kids and pots of money. He then tried his luck with a Reichian therapist and struck gold. Started to sell his carvings to a shop there. They would have been OK but his wife was pregnant, and she wanted to shift. As far away as possible she said. She was a bit diabolical. Very manpulative.Thought she was a witch, and they shifted to just about next door to me'.
'Do I detect Fate taking a hand in your life?' Og's question was very tentative.
'Yes indeed. I must be boring. I'll cut it short. We shifted to a nice little place on the Bonny Banks of the Clyde, where we could see the sinister American submarines that carry Atom Bombs round the world. I embarked on a Reichian therapy myself. We started to flourish. I started banging out these little Zodiacs'.
'Must have been like a new beginning', said Og.
'Indeed it was. I had noticed that some didn't all look anything like what they were supposed to represent, but they're all looked as if they held meaning. I wanted to get to the bottom of them all.'
'Are you getting there?'
'Slowly. Burn's poem 'John Barleycorn' holds a key', said Digby.
''Very interesting', Said Og. 'I had a feeling they were more than meets the eye, and I liked what you were doing with them. I had figured out it must be like Cuneiform, but how do you get the corners so clean? Like with Capricorn?'
'Steel tools are easy to make', said Digby, 'and can be fashioned into almost any shape you want. Little tools can make any corner cleanly. I'm making them from old files. See how well they polish'. Og saw that they were a simple idea once you had seen them. 'I don't think I could ever have thought of that', he said. 'Do you think the therapy unlocked the idea?'
'Well it arrived towards the end of that journey', said Digby, 'So I suppose it did'.
Og said he had wondered if therapies might be a way forward for him too, 'But can talking overcome the depressions and anxieties?' he asked. Not that he had any anxieties. He was more interested in what Mrs God had told him about how going back into his ancient old mind was a way forward.
'This therapy doesn't start with talking', said Digby, 'And I really do think that depressions and anxieties are a necessary part of our lives. Difficult but necessary. You get a boost when you get through one, and the world seems a better place than it did. In fact I've written the whole experience up from start to finish word for word - and a lot of other stuff too about the Zodiac on the Prague clock. I can't help thinking that clock still hides a dangerous message.'
'It's beginning to sound as if your new mind likes looking round corners,' said Og.
'Oh. I get carried away sometimes, I had better shut up,' said Digby, 'What I think it does do is to link body and mind together, but I don't know. It's early days yet',
He went on to explain that this therapy was to do with breathing and then letting his body do the rest. 'A unique and fascinating journey', was how he described it.
Their friendship lasts until this day. And that brings us to the end of the story so far. I came across them through a website about the Cathars. Fascinating. I decided to write the whole story. It sounded like fantasy but has the 'Ring of Truth' about it, and the world is starting to spin out of control. Og says that God has given up worrying. He doesn't care if anybody believes him or not. 'Galaxy Central seems to be in charge', he says, 'So what does it matter?' Digby has similar ideas, 'There's plenty to enjoy', he says,'So let's just get on with it while we can'. And I have nothing to add to that.
So that's me finished this book. It is August 18th. 2018, and the hottest summer on record has just ended. What the hell am I going to do now? Enough is enough - MG