The Topless Tower of Babylon
THIS MYTH is as compelling as the earlier one in Genesis, the myth of Eden and the expulsion from the Garden. The myth of Eden explains why we are unhappy. Knowledge and thought, sundering us from the animal life of instinct, have given us shame and guilt. Knowledge and thought have made us mortal-it is because we know we are going to die that we are mortal. We have subjugated nature, only to be haunted by that dream, or anamnesis-the dawn-age water hole at which a man drinks, an animal crouching side by side with the other animals. He does not know he is going to die, does not cast the shadow of death over his life, does not torment himself with reproach and judgment. What happiness to be an animal! Still greater happiness it would be to know and think and yet to be animal. In the Garden that was not yet impossible, but God has cast us out of the Garden. Or else a fatal weakness in us has led us to body forth from our self-alienation, in order to perfect our unhappiness, a God or gods.
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