For more than a million years they lived in the least possible relationship with the daughters of the sun. Because they knew by experience their ferocity. Until one night they began to understand each other.
How it happened or could happen (1)
Those luminous creatures were too dangerous. That’s why they feared them. As much as the monkeys and other animals feared them: even the birds ran away as soon as they appeared.
Some things were known about the sun: that it is old, because it moves slowly and only during the day. Then he runs out of strength and hides in the mountain until the next day. The sun is like an old lion.
The hominins, who also traveled a lot to hunt, when they got tired, took a break. And they also hid at the same time as the sun, like many other animals. That’s why they understood and respected him. And they dared not look him in the face, because they knew that if they did they could lose their sight forever.
But if the sun was easy to understand, with sun daughters, instead… very careful.
Sometimes, the sun would soon retreat, because the darkness was rising and terrible noises from the sky rumbled in the distance, like hollow logs frantically struck by a horde of enraged warriors. Strange lights appeared: they came and went. And then, the daughters of the sun arrived destroying everything they found. It was when every living bug escaped as fast as it could.
The daughters of the sun killed closely, when they saw a living being and devoured it. A baby of the sun, although small, grew rapidly to be much larger than the sun and wrap the tallest trees. As if that weren’t enough, new babies came out of it. And if they surrounded you, there was no way to escape. When they finally left, they left behind a black and desolate trail.
When the hominins saw the birds and other animals fleeing, they too were terrified. In the disbanded they mixed with the beasts, which at that time were not a danger. They just wanted to survive the daughters of the sun.
All the hominins and, according to the oldest, also those who were no longer among them, knew that nothing good could be expected of those beasts. No one would have thought of trying to hunt them down. And if someone had pretended, the family itself would have expelled him from the group because of his madness.
But the homininos were very curious; more than any other animal in the savanna. That’s why they had learned so much about the daughters of the sun; the old men told the younger ones the same story (2) every time they escaped from a storm.
Thus they had learned that the sun was an old lion and that it was not dangerous as long as they did not look him in the face. And they knew that the real danger came from their young, wilder than any other animal in the savanna. That came with the storm attacking everyone. And that it was no use gathering the hardest hunters against them. Neither weapons were of any use, because they ate them or rendered them useless.
Only the lake and the river seemed to stop them. But when everything was dry, the danger of attack was even greater. I had never seen anyone die to a daughter of the sun. After killing and feeding on their victims, they left; and until next time.
Thus many generations passed.
A well kept secret
A million years ago, hominins probably already used words to tell stories. And every time they were more curious.
And among the curious three brothers stood out: two boys and a girl, always asked new stories to the oldest grandfather. And one day he told them something he had never dared to tell before; and he didn’t want to die without transmitting his secret.
When he was young, grandfather was once alone in the middle of a storm. A baby from the sun had jumped into a tree very close to where he was and began to devour him. Paralyzed with terror, he stared at the dreadful scene. To his surprise, the creature began to weaken after growing up and became smaller. Emboldened, he thought he could make her run away and rushed her with his spear. When she was attacked, the fiery creature bit the spear’s wood and then something unexpected happened: the tip began to glow. Without daring to move, the young man stood still with his spear held high; and, soon, the light became smaller until it disappeared. The daughter of the sun had died before his eyes.
The grandfather told them that, at that moment, he realized that the daughters of the sun could be hunted, because they died like any animal when they lacked food. He had never told this story, because he would have been expelled from the family for playing with something so dangerous for everyone.
And he added that, over time, he began to think that this creature would have devoured him if he wanted to. And that, if he didn’t, it was perhaps because he offered his spear for food. He recalled that jackals also often follow remote hunters; but not to attack them, but to take advantage of the carrion they leave behind. Perhaps the daughters of the sun were not so aggressive, nor so different from other animals, if they were left with something to eat.
The three young men were fascinated by history and made the decision to repeat the grandfather’s adventure to find out if he was right.
That was how, since then, not a storm was lost, waiting for the occasion to repeat the old man’s experience.
And finally they found their chance. They were each prepared with a long spear with a bone point, to attack the creature at the same time from three places. They did so; but the creature responded and began to devour spears from the tip. Frightened to see the creature move through the wood of the spear towards his body, the two boys threw their weapons to the ground. The girl was paralyzed with fear with the spear held high. His brothers told him to let go and run away. But she replied: “She is very weak; if he doesn’t eat anything, he will die… ”and he kept holding it up.
The brothers, retraced their steps, picked up their weapons from the ground and carefully approached them to the one their sister held high. When brought together, the daughter of the sun shone something else. And, by separating the spears, it had become three. Although none of those creatures seemed as dangerous as before.
Hold the flame
They returned to the place where his family spent the night; happy, shouting with joy that there was no fear: that these daughters of the sun were her friends.
From that night on, life changed for the family of the three young heroes. The first thing the group did was to name those creatures. One was called “Fire“, another “Flame” and the third “Bonfire“. Then they made sure they never lacked food; To keep his precarious life at all times. But not too much food; so they didn’t grow up and become aggressive.
Fire, Flame and Bonfire corresponded to them, giving them their warmth and light. Like the sun, it does not burn if it is treated with respect; as they had always treated him. Now, even at night they could recognize each other and acquired new customs, such as eating together in the darkness that had lost its blackness. This food was called “Dinner.”
The new nights wiyh the camp fires were ideal for telling stories and representing the scenes they had lived in their hunting expeditions (2). Now their shadows danced and fought each other. And everything was more real: the daughters of the sun had brought them new life (3).
And also more security. You no longer had to worry about the wild beasts that prowled near the camp. The glow of the fire kept them away.
Soon, the news of the existence of the flame spread among the tribes. The different groups learned to keep their bonfire without danger and applied new names, such as “fire“, “fireplace” and “home“.
And over time they learned more about her. The most important is that they could now cook their food and digest it easily. That made his brain grow even more, although this took a lot of time (4).
And it also took a long time to discover how to start the fire: hundreds of thousands of years. Meanwhile, the most important thing was to prevent the flame from going out.
Therefore, even today, traditions of maintaining the flame are preserved. They have to do with the sacred. Not only with religions (such as the lamp of the tabernacle), but also of the flame in remembrance of the heroes who gave their lives for the group (5). And what are we going to do if we remain hominin?
Next Chapter The transcendence
The sense of transcendence marks the beginning of the spiritual dimension of the human being.
See Chapter index
Current chapter NOTES
(1) “How it happened or could happen.” Expression in tribute to Konrad Lorenz, who had to use his imagination to invent plausible stories that helped us think seriously about our role in the world.
(2) See: Telling stories without words
(3) See: Telling stories through art
(4) And there was still more time to apply to the wolves the same food treatment in exchange for disarmament, to make them man’s best friend: the domestic dog.
(5) See: Looking for the Lost Being