What happened to paradise, the Garden of Eden? How are we supposed to get there if we don’t even know where it is?
There are theories: it’s a spiritual place, not subject to the strictures of a base, physical life. Alternatively, it’s somewhere in the Fertile Crescent: present day Iraq, Syria, Turkey, or maybe even Iran… we’re not sure. But it’s somewhere in the most violent region of the world. For the most part, it’s no idyllic garden, but rather forbidding terrain: scorching desert, difficult mountains. But we still want to get back.
We often thought we were getting close. The Russian Revolution hailed the beginning of a socialist utopia. Chairman Mao’s victory in China confirmed it was at hand.
The Shah of Iran was a brutal dictator, but he was our ally, good for Western civilization. When U.S. President Jimmy Carter threw him under the bus, it was an act of friendship to the Iranian people; refusing to support an immoral regime. Surely, this good deed would bring us closer to paradise.
In the late 1980’s we were almost there. The Berlin Wall fell; most Communist dictatorships collapsed in its wake. In Pakistan a woman became Prime Minister as Muslims, it seemed, were ready to acknowledge equality of the sexes. The United States and the USSR signed multiple treaties reducing the threat of nuclear war, bringing peace and tranquility ever closer.
So what happened? Seventy or eighty million dead convinced most people that Communism wasn’t paradise. The repressive regime that replaced the Shah of Iran became the seedbed for worldwide Islamic terrorism. Russia and the United States may have cut back on their nuclear weapons, but Pakistan and North Korea haven’t. Now Saudi Arabia wants the bomb. Its arch-enemy Iran may get nuclear weapons because the American regime is offering another act of friendship to the Iranian people, cutting back on the sanctions that have hampered Iran’s nuclear capabilities.
While all nuclear regimes know that launching an atomic bomb will lead to their own destruction as well as their enemies, this isn’t a problem for Iran. Shia Islam believes that an apocalypse, worldwide destruction is necessary; desirable in fact, to bring about the coming of their Twelfth Imam, their Messiah, who will usher Shia Muslims into paradise (and Western civilization to hell). The regime has been feverishly preparing for this event.
So what happened to paradise? Where the heck is it? So close at times, then a dream out of reach. Is it an ethereal realm, one promised by so many religions to their own followers? Or is it a real place, guarded by angels with flaming swords, or maybe terrorists with IEDs?
Kabbalah asked the same question thousands of years ago: Amorai asked “where is the Garden of Eden? He replied “on the earth.”
Read the novel Quantum Cannibals for an explanation, and simple instructions on how you can get to paradise.