Friday, September 6, 2013

800 Words: Monotheism and the Grand Chessboard

If the world is a chessboard, then Israel is the exact centerpiece which does not exist on any game yet played except in reality. Countries like America, Russia, China, are in the proper position to bestride the board like dominant colossi, but the ultimate goal is who controls Israel. For reasons many attribute to mystical properties, the dominant civilizations of the Western (and now Global) world have thus far almost always been those whose policies most favored the advancement of Jews.

The reason for this is not mystical at all, it is simple geography. America, Brazil, Russia, India, and China may be dominant players in the grand chess game. But Israel is the spiritual father to them all because Israel stands at the world’s exact crossroad - this tiny land is the closest thing to a central meeting point for Europe, Asia, and Africa. More than any other culture, it stands in the optimal place for its ideas to spread to many cultures which otherwise have nothing in common. If the larger world was eventually going to evolve from regional pagan superstitions, Israel was the only region with enough fluency for travel that the ideas could spread. And amazingly, as the Western World expanded into the Global World to include China and India to the Far East and the Americas to the Far West, Israel still seems to stand in the world’s precise center.

There may have been many other places where monotheism was thought of before Israel, but Israel is where it took root, and Israel is the center point from which it began to proliferate. Before the development of what eventually became the Jewish people, binding legal codes certainly existed, but such laws could never spread past the immediate city-state or Empire in which they were upheld because they could not take on the weight of immutable Divine Law. The Gods of one region might disavow the laws of another region. Only an invisible and indivisible God; omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent, could spread his law past the reach of any army. Only an eternal kingdom requires eternal vigilance, and such an idea could only spread were it to take root in the most fertile area for ideas to extend their reach.

Legal evolution is unthinkable without monotheism. The fact that laws took on the weight of Holy Word is what gave law the power to conquer entire civilizations. Monotheism may have enabled slaughter upon a scale yet unseen (though that’s debateable), but it also enabled feats of organization thus far impossible in eras when values were more relative (and that isn’t). With the quick rise and quicker decline of the Empire of David and Solomon, Israel displayed a rough draft for all the civilizations which came after it. The Kingdom of Israel was a kingdom of bedouin refugees whom in their wanderings absorbed many different influences from the empires of Egypt and Mesapotamia, and that was what allowed it to rise so quickly, and because it was encircled on all sides by those two empires was what made it fall even more quickly. The Israeli Kingdom was so short-lived that its subjects never completely forgot how to live as refugees, and once the reign of Solomon was over and the Kingdom of Israel divided, its subjects had to learn almost immediately following their inception how to live in a world where the influence of others could once again dominate life.

1 comment:

  1. The next essay that I would like to read from you: Monotheism and the Grand Cheeseboard...