To those who may be receiving one of these post-notifications for the first time: This is not a blog; it’s actually part of a book, and will make little sense to you without knowledge of what has come before—which you can easily obtain, along with a goodly amount of satirical theatre as matters progress, by simply entering ttgftyri.org into your web browser, opening the menu, and starting at page one. J.J.
And so with his new World Order now rounded out clear to the sea in all directions, Gaim returns to his own city amid much personal glory—and a great celebration of the fact that while he’d been out organizing everything, Gamita had birthed her first young.
Moreover, she turns out to have produced twin daughters—the first of whom she named Gamie; and the second, who’d emerged right at daybreak, Dawn.
And promptly paying his own respects to them, Gaim was quite moved; apparently, the Queen had been thinking about him when she’d conceived them. “Why, they look more like me,” he couldn’t resist teasing her, “than like you.”
But of course, as the next weeks pass, Gaim himself becomes the biggest story in town—and indeed, is scarcely unaware that people all over the delta have suddenly begun referring to him as the world’s ‘ultimate gardener’, and to the world itself as but his ‘garden’.
And oh, he sure likes that—and loses no time taking control of this new image too in people’s consciousness.
“At the very heart of this Garden, then,” he subsequently reminds them, “stands the Tree of Life that as we all know, belongs to the Great Mother. And of course, we people musn’t touch it—lest we somehow bring her whole natural world to ruin!
“But now I would point out that in my Garden there’s a second Tree—a cultural Tree that isn’t rooted in the earth, but in reason, and that ultimately yields all our knowledge of the Great Mother and her Laws. We’ll call that one the Tree of Knowledge: that is, the knowledge of which ideas purportedly arising from reason are right—and wrong.
“And from here clear to the edge of the world,” he declares with a sweeping motion of his right hand toward the horizon, “that one—by this sacred ring that the Divine One placed on my finger at the beginning of all this—that one belongs exclusively to me!
“And so you must never touch that one either,” he now shakes his ring hard at everyone in conclusion, “—lest everything get turned and twisted all about, and all our wonderful civilization itself ultimately come tumbling down.”
The mythical Tree of Life has been depicted in art for at least seven thousand years—right up to the present, when we still find its image much in demand. But the Tree of Knowledge—that is, knowledge of what’s good and bad for people, which only God is supposedly intelligent enough to figure out, while people should just bring him their great questions in life and gratefully accept his answers—not so much; in fact, except for the traditional tale of Adam, Eve, and the Forbidden Fruit in Judeo-Christianity, which alone contains this story (Islam also has a version, but they don’t allow ‘graven images’ in their art), not at all!
Three or four thousand years ago, groups of Indian singers, musicians and painters called chitrakars moved from village to village to pass on to their inhabitants the great stories of Hindu mythology. They illustrated them using large bolts of cotton cloth painted on the spot with a kalam or ‘pen’ and dyes extracted from plants. This type of painting, called kalamkari—in which tradition dictates that the painter must use natural dyes and follow exactly twenty-three steps—is still performed today by some Indian artists; an example of which appears in the photo above. But it’s the first sentence of this paragraph that’s of most interest to us here, since it helps explain just how ‘oral tradition’ worked in the days before writing was invented.
Above, the Tree of Life depicted as a woman. Years ago, when I used to give slide lectures on the topic now covered on this website, I had a slide of a mid-20th century depiction of the Tree as growing directly from the supine Earth-mother’s vagina—but I can no longer find it! So this will have to suffice.