Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. Those who have known freedom and then lost it have never known it again.

–Ronald Reagan

Genesis, Chapter 5

Generation Gaps

Eve and Adam took turns trying to get power over the other, and since Adam got the upper hand more, he would tell anyone who would listen (which were many) and understand (which were few) that God clearly meant for man to rule.

The first son also murdered the first daughter, so things were really off to a great start since humans gained the power of judgement. The fighting, bickering, emotional upheavals spread around the world with the humans.

Each generation tore away from the last, fed up with the stubbornness, fed up with lying, cheating, and murder, they went their own way, finding food to grow and animals to hunt and no reason to ever turn back and see that their stubbornness, frustration, and choosing to lie, cheat, even kill to survive will drive their children away all the same.

There was a lot of space for humans. There was little to stop an animal that could decide what it might eat and make it safer, clothe itself when cold, pass down stories and dreams and anger using words, and teach each generation how to survive better.

A lot of space for cruel hearts to fester. A lot of space to reject wisdom. No one needed to listen to what they didn’t want to hear, even if it was important. No one needed to see a person they didn’t want to see, even to chance finding love and forgiveness.

One person stumbled upon the secret. It seemed impossible that love could be at the center of the universe, so it’s hard to believe that Enoch could have been seeking the truth. And yet, she (or maybe he or they) must have, because God’s truth runs just out of sight so that those who desire love can catch a glimpse, but still must work to hold it firmly.

What’s most likely is that Enoch watched the patterns of the people around her and found love hiding in the shadows, out of sight from such dangerous humans. It never seems to matter how terrible or bad things might be for those who live, love is always around waiting to be noticed.

The First Miracle

Enoch didn’t know that gravity existed, nor how much like love it is. Gravity holds separate elements together and finds incredible power by doing so. There was no dream that predicted every animal is made up of cells, who over a billion years before joined together to achieve greatness. Nor was there a story that spoke of chemical instructions that taught all life how to live, composing everything from the largest tree to the smallest maggot of, more or less, the same basic elements following different instructions.

This is not biological love. The love parents have for their genetic vehicles had existed before humans. So did the protective love that blood easily finds with relatives. And the love we feel in sexual attraction is merely lust, which next to hunger is the oldest impulse. These do not begin to encompass the love that Enough discovered. All these loves lead us easily into selfish and destructive behavior.

Indeed, every person seemed to be doing better for choosing hate, violence, and selfishness while defending the lusts for children, family, and procreation. Find a new place, kill anyone you can to allow for more food for your partners, your relations, your offspring. That had been the unquestioned way to go since before anyone could remember. We still see its incredible power today. So Enoch’s discovery of love was nothing short of a miracle.

But Enoch saw that this was an illusion. Things seemed to be better for a short time, but anytime one person was killed, a dozen were angered. From the dozen, many would stoke revenge in their hearts, and use that revenge to drive them. Some would claim to deliver justice, no matter the victim. Selfishness drove people away from each other. For the powerful who wrote stories of their victory, they silenced the billions who died against them.

Perhaps Enoch was lucky to live long enough and travel enough to see these patterns, but as all who first discover the path of compassion, she felt cursed.

In these early days, words were scarce. To make words, there had to be a need. What do we call this energy that burns wood and cooks food? We needed that word. What are those animals we hunt in the early spring, and the nuts we gather at the first sign of winter?

Oh, there was love, and trust, and compassion and honesty in these days. Enoch was not alone in virtue. She was alone in dedicating her life to pursuing the mysteries. There was no need for it.

When people trusted each other, changing their genetic lusts into love, they relied on their expressions, their voice to tell of love. If they used words, they were small, easily spoken words, a small syllable just to remind each other the bond of trust they have forged through their trials. They did not need to explore it or teach it. Anyone who didn’t understand their simple words were an enemy. The act of trying to understand anything more deeply seemed to rob the immediate needs of survival, and so words stopped there.

So, Enoch often felt cursed. He had this knowledge in her head; they had lived evidence and experience to prove its truth to herself. But no one had the words for the majestic complexity of creation, and the words he knew couldn’t even explain the most simple truths of this knowledge. The other human minds were wary, because people where getting very good at deceit.

And she was cursed. How would any of us feel, knowing a secret of the universe that we are unable to explain and share with anyone else? If God spoke to you in emotions and dreams instead of any language you knew how to speak?

She was most often misunderstood and always mistrusted. He would die with these secrets in their mind, unable to pass them on to anyone, even lacking the written word to keep them for a future time. We will never truly know his own thoughts, suffering with this curse, or how she improved the lives of those she met and inspired many to mimic her gentle actions, quick wits, unbreakable strength, and unwavering dedication to life.

She must have lived, because how else did we get inspired to dare and dream of better things when all we were surrounded by was endless suffering, brutal death, and a seemingly uncaring world, all focused to see us destroyed? Perhaps he (and she and they) lived a million times in a thousand lands.

Their stories are forever lost.

Noah never knew Enoch or their story, but Noah believed in love enough to carry the legacy of that compassionate warrior. It’s lucky for those who come after, she might even save the human race.

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