Before this current civilization there was another, and before that one, of which we are not aware, there was another, and prior to that, yet another. In that time, the time of the old ones who originated from trees and rocks and water, humans were merely one race of beings among many who could make words do magical things, who could form sounds into music that soothed the troubled heart of the north wind, or make sea waves rise up and crash against the shore.
At that time, nothing happened automatically the way it does today, when we take the weather for granted, and the changing of the seasons, and our own respiration, our birth and death. Then, all such events were carefully constructed with purpose and intent by the group mind, the will of the collective of elements, animals, and people.
Everyone participated in the slightest action, such as the falling of a leaf in the forest, or the shine of the great sun that escorted the night into non-existence for the length of a day. Since there were no hours at that time, the day might go on for quite some time, centuries by our measure, or else just last for the time it took for the birds to mate.
Sometimes the birds became people and people became birds. It was all fairly casual in that respect, maybe today you were a Blue Jay, but then tomorrow you were a river. Everyone wanted to be a river at least once, to feel the ecstasy of the wild flow, the thrill of pouring at last into the ocean. In the ocean, many beings without names prowled around, dreaming of life on land.
Sometimes the watery beings crawled out onto the beach and rested there, and felt that they had achieved a spiritual goal. They didn’t mind when the great birds descended and snatched them from their place in the sand. They were pleased to feed the children of the great birds. They became those children. Soon they could fly!
What’s sad is that today we can only be one thing, instead of everything. This is how far we have fallen from the old times. We think about the future, but with the poverty of our diminished imaginations, all we can hope for is getting more money, a better car with which to commute to work, or maybe a more interesting venue to spend our two week vacations.
In prior times, there were no cars, everyone was right where they were meant to be. Nor was there any money, everything one needed was free. If one wanted to go on a vacation to a more interesting place, we simply projected ourselves into a time like this. We would go around and observe what had become of the species, then we would return to our own time and share what we had seen. This marked the beginning of recorded dramas, of comedy and tragedy — what we now call “theater” was born then, and that is how it came to be.