Why The Animals Created Humans

The myth basically goes like this:

Long ago, all the creatures of the earth lived scattered across the earth, much like they do today. The only difference is that there were no humans anywhere. Now, every year, all the animals (or at least their representatives) would travel from all across the world and gather together for a great huge council. At this council they would all learn from each other. You see, each animal possesses its own intelligence and its own wisdom. The only thing is, they didnít all possess each otherís wisdom. So they would get together to share and learn from each other how to live and be together, and how to learn from each other. Then they would go home and take some of that wisdom with them. But they could never remember it all nor carry it all. So they would gather again each year.

After a long time, the animals grew weary of always having to travel so far each year for these councils. One year they got together and decided to find a way for all this wisdom and knowledge to be in one place so they could go and consult it. What they needed was something that could serve them as a repository of the wisdom of the creatures. "What we need," said some, "is a creature who can travel across the world in our place and learn from each of us, someone who can carry the knowledge and wisdom of all our ways within it, and who will serve and care for us."

Much discussion went into whether that creature should swim or go upon the land or fly in the air. Finally it was decided that it would go upon the land, but that it would be able to learn to swim and to learn to fly. And so humans were created with two back limbs for locomotion, two front limbs for exploration, and a deep curiosity to know and learn things. Humans spread out all over the earth, and began to learn wisdom from the ways of the rocks and rivers, of the sun and the moon, of stars and clouds, rain and snow. They learned wisdom from the other creatures, from trees and plants, birds and fish, from creepers, leapers and runners.

But as time went on, the humans forgot who they were learning from. They became so enamored with the fact that they could learn and know, that they forgot why they were learning. They forgot that they had been created to serve the creatures of the earth, indeed, to serve the earth itself, to carry and speak its wisdom and defend its ways, in fact, to uphold its ways so that all of creation might know its own wisdom. They began to capture their fellow creatures and put them on display to demonstrate to other humans the wonders of human knowledge. In celebration of the power of their knowledge, they carved up the land, stopped and redirected the rivers, and filled the skies with things the skies were not made to hold. Their knowledge became immense, almost as immense as their pride and arrogance. But what had slowly diminished over this time, what was almost gone, was wisdom: the wisdom of the creation of which they were a part, and for which they had been created to carry.

The creatures of the earth, the animals and plants, rocks and water were near despair. What could they do to shake the arrogance of the humans? What could they do to remind humans of the way of wisdom?

There is not an end to this story yet. The story is still evolving. But surely someone somewhere must remember how to listen deeply, and how to feel from within, and how to seek wisdom.......

This story is taken from:
Performance, Religious Imagination and the Play of the Land in the Study of Deep Ecology and Its Practices

By Craig S. Strobel, Director, Conspiritu: A Center for Cultural Creativity

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Introduction   -   Overview of the Workshop
About the Council   -   The Words of the Council