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Excerpt from Chapter Six: The History of Mankind
As discussed in the previous chapter, establishing the God-inspired institution of marriage proved to be a major milestone in the social evolution of man, resulting in the creation of family life, the very cornerstone of human civilization.
And to his credit, primitive man, resourceful by nature, made many important discoveries apparently without clear indication of divine intervention.
The ability to create and control fire, for example, ushered in an era of unprecedented progress for primitive humans. This vital skill, taught by Teacher Angels to only a few advanced individuals before the insurrection, was lost when the Teachers abandoned their posts and their students were unable to duplicate fire-starting tools.
Eventually, however, through trial and error, primitive man learned to harness the power of fire, an achievement that produced immediate improvements in the human condition. The purification of cooking meats alone greatly improved man's resistance to the animal-to-human transfer of viruses and other infectious diseases. Added health benefits resulting from the use of fire included the reduction of colds and pneumonia afforded by warmer dwellings, the introduction of brewed herbs for medicinal purposes, and protection from fire-shy wild beasts. Reclaiming this lost skill also paved the way for primitive man to smoke and preserve meats, thereby making it possible to avoid starvation during food shortages.
Mankind's relationship with fire, however, has always been shaped by two conflicting emotions: fear and reverence. Every human being learns at an early age that fire has the potential to destroy orenhance life. Like our primitive ancestors, we understand the importance of getting as far away as possible from an out of control fire. On the other hand, sharing the warmth of a blazing fireplace with family and friends on a chilly night can still be a very pleasurable experience.
And, as with early man, we continue to marvel at the courage of those who would attempt to tame fire. Awe-inspired admiration for the modern firefighter as he rushes into a burning building, or parachutes into a wild fire, is very similar to the feelings experienced by primitive people who witnessed the dare-devil antics of fellow tribesmen, risking injury and death to snatch a flaming branch from a burning tree, or drag a blazing log back to the dwelling site.
The most significant difference between modern and primitive fire-tamers, however, is that the first people who learned to control fire were able to parlay their skills into positions of complete dominance over their less adventurous peers.
The reason these ancient trailblazers were able to rise to such lofty positions in their tribal groups is simple: primitive people believed that fire originated from a supernatural source. Roaring thunder accompanied by lightening bolts that flew down from the Heavens, igniting grass and tree fires, were considered to be the work of gods. Likewise, the people who dared to capture the flames and develop techniques to keep fires going in a controlled setting were viewed as having a special connection to the gods.
And so early fire-tamers, as a result of successfully challenging a formidable force of nature, were able to gain total control over the lives of their fellow tribesmen. If someone wanted to cook food, or obtain glowing coals to warm their dwelling, a tribute to the keeper of the flame was required. Those in need of a favor from the gods, such as the healing of an injury or sickness, or more abundant game, were also obligated to pay the fire-tamer for conveying their requests to the appropriate deities.