Easter Island again: both a disaster and a triumph of the human spirit

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / PeterMarble”.

I’ve been corrected by my friend Janet, who visited Easter Island in 1999. The statues face inward, not outward: ” .. . the moai look inland — 480 of them — they do not look out to sea — they concentrate their focus inland and up — I am going with Nassim Haramein’s volcanic black hole theory of the stargate.”

So why did I assume they looked out to sea? And why didn’t I fact check to see which way they looked? Mea culpa!

I googled without success the volcanic black hole theory of the stargate. But the no doubt simpler theory of resource depletion makes huge sense, especially in view of the fact that most islands in the South Pacific, according to Captain Cook, who visited Easter Island about 50 years after the Dutch arrived on Easter Sunday in 1722, were covered with forests. And, according to pollen evidence dug up from the bottom of a bog, this island, in an earlier age, was covered with palm trees.

I watched a series of videos on the history of Easter Island that include a wonderful mystery tour of various questions scientists asked, and then answered by microscopic evidence, including pollen and DNA.

Easter Island is an extraordinary parable for the human race now. A small island in the south Pacific parallels a smallish globe in the ocean of space. Both seemingly isolated, both with populations facing the challenge of how to live in harmony with their natural environment.

According to the resource-depletion theory, for that island population the statues were like gods, “the living face of the ancestors,” looking inward and up to protect the people. And if it’s true that the constant carving and moving of larger and larger statues was responsible for the ultimate downfall of the Polynesian civilization that had flourished there since 400, does not this parallel the way we continuously extract non-renewable resources and fashion out of them the stuff of modern life? And is not our worship of materialism our own version of a religious obsession that has became so acute it ignores the destruction of the resource-base upon which it depends?

Again, according to this theory, when they cut down the last remaining tree, they ushered in a violent period of starvation, warfare and cannibalism.

And yet, when the Dutch landed there, a century later, the islanders were again at peace. Why? What happened?

Seeking to answer this question, scientists discovered a series of rock carvings made from about the time the mayhem ended that seemed to explain the resurrection of the Easter Island civilization. According to this theory, the islanders discovered a creative way to end their civil war and begin again. Being land-bound, with no trees to make canoes, of course they dreamed of flying. They carved gigantic bird-men, based on an enormous sea-bird, the frigate. And held a contest every year, for young men to swim a mile in shark-infested waters to a tiny island where the frigates nested. Whoever removed the first egg laid, would then wrap and fashion it to his head, and swim back. The tribe to which this young man belonged then got the first pick of food with orderly distribution assured for the rest.

With the bird-man cult to save them, by the time the Dutch arrived, the island was again flourishing, despite the lack of trees. And yet of course, like any land colonized by Europeans, the islanders then succumbed to both Dutch savagery and disease. “Against the guns, germs and steel of the modern world, what chance did the bird-man stand?”

The voiceover sums it up: “What then can be learned? In part, it’s the story of a people that destroyed their own environment. A people driven mad by their own statue-building. What happens when you put a boatload of people with limited resources on an isolated island? The end equilibrium was small scale warfare and cannibalism. And yet [by inventing their bird-man cult] they triumphed over diversity. So it’s a hymn to the human spirit. In a way, both versions are true. A story of epic human achievement intermixed with terrible folly. The story of the whole of human history. ”

I can’t help but think that the fear, so prevalent in the mass mind now, of “evil alien invasion,” is, in reality, a symptom of guilty memories buried in our collective unconscious of all those times our so-called civilization has brutally conquered and destroyed the cultures of indigenous peoples. Physicist Stephen Hawking said it best: “If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn’t turn out very well for the Native Americans.”

And in that case, what we need to do now is hold a global Truth and Reconciliation Commission, modeled, for example, on Mandela’s inspiration for South Africa.

Materialism is an addiction, a sickness of the soul. Like an alcoholic, we need to follow in the footsteps of Alcoholics Anonymous and call ourselves to account for all our misdeeds, and those of our ancestors. And above all, we need to genuinely apologize. Only by baring our souls to the horrific violence we have wreaked on each other, on indigenous peoples, and on the natural world, can we even begin to start again, to resurrect our culture again, out of the ashes of this hellhole we are digging ourselves into.

If a people upon a tiny South Pacific island can completely and seemingly miraculously reweave their worldview into one of generosity and regeneration, then so can we.

Perhaps then, we will finally be ready for “first contact” with the millions of peaceful ETs now surrounding us, who can let us know that we are not alone. Not an island globe in a sterile, meaningless universe, but a living, spiritual evolutionary process spiralling into a a great harmonious celestial choir — galaxy upon galaxy to infinity.

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