COVENANTAL CRISES IV:
The Emergence of Humanity
Humanity did not actually emerge in and from the Garden of Eden about 6,000 years ago as the Genesis story suggests to some. Rather, God first began creation of the universe about 13.75 billion Earth-years ago. He then brought forth our solar system approximately 4.66 billion years ago. About 3 to 4 billion years ago God began to form life on this planet as microbes, plants and animals. It was not until 3 million years ago that prehuman beings emerged at God’s command. Then, about 100 thousand years ago, modern humans, known as Homo sapiens, appeared and gradually migrated from Africa to the far reaches of this planet.1 These early humans were migrant hunter-gatherers who lived virtually alone in caves, forests and other hiding places. They had no self-consciousness.2
The Bicameral Mind and the Garden of Eden
Then, about 10,000 BCE, God introduced the bicameral mind to mankind. This innovation allowed God to instruct humans on the right side of the brain. These messages were then transmitted to the left side of the brain so that individuals could respond and obey divine instructions on what to do and how to do it. This development led to sedentary human communities, advanced technology, agriculture, and the use of language.3,4
It was in the context of communication with God that human beings constructed what became known as the Garden of Eden. This Garden, called Gobekli Tepe, was recently discovered.5-7 It is now being excavated by archeologists in southeastern Turkey, near the source of the Tigris (Hiddekel) and Euphrates Rivers (see Genesis 2:10-14).
The “Fall” and the Gift of Self-Consciousness
For several thousand years God maintained the bicameral mind in and for human beings. However, he then began to withdraw bicamerality from the general population. Those individuals who retained vestiges of the bicameral mind typically assumed hierarchical authority in roles such as prophets, priests and kings. It was in the context of the momentous loss of the bicameral mind that humanity concluded that the “Fall” was taking place. But, in fact, it was a “Fall” upward, for about 1,000 BCE God endowed human beings with personal self-consciousness.8-10 This happened in the time of King David, who exercised his self-consciousness when he declared:
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. . . . Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. — Psalm 23:1, 6 (emphases supplied).
Through the gift of self-consciousness, mankind was able to individually, personally and freely communicate with “others.” This was a major advancement in God’s continuing creation (creatio continua). The consequences of this gift will next be addressed.
- See “History of the Universe,” at historyoftheuniverse.com/tl1.html. (go back)
- See Julian Jaynes, The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1976, 1979). (go back)
- See ibid, pp. 126-145. (go back)
- See “The Divine Struggle for ‘I’ and ‘Thou’ IV: Possession,” Outlook (January 2010). (go back)
- See Charles C. Mann, “Every Now and Then the Dawn of Civilization Is Reenacted on a Remote Hilltop in Southern Turkey,” National Geographic 219, no. 6 (June 2011): 39-49, 56-59. (go back)
- See “Gobekli Tepe — Eden, Home of the Watchers,” at andrewcollins.com/page/articles/Gobekli_Tepe_interview.htm. (go back)
- See “The Eternal Journey II: The Garden of Eden,” Outlook (May/June 2012). (go back)
- See Thomas Cahill, The Gifts of the Jews: How a Tribe of Desert Nomads Changed the Way Everyone Thinks and Feels (New York: Doubleday, 1998), pp. 199-201. (go back)
- See “The Divine Struggle for ‘I’ and ‘Thou’ V: Self-Consciousness,” Outlook (February 2010). (go back)
- See “The Eternal Journey III: The Origin of Consciousness,” Outlook (July/August 2012). (go back)