81:2.1 The growth of culture is predicated upon the development of the tools of civilization. And the tools which man utilized in his ascent from savagery were effective just to the extent that they released man power for the accomplishment of higher tasks.
81:2.2 You who now live amid latter-day scenes of budding culture and beginning progress in social affairs, who actually have some little spare time in which to think about society and civilization, must not overlook the fact that your early ancestors had little or no leisure which could be devoted to thoughtful reflection and social thinking.
81:2.3 The first four great advances in human civilization were:
- The taming of fire.
- The domestication of animals.
- The enslavement of captives.
- Private property.
81:2.4 While fire, the first great discovery, eventually unlocked the doors of the scientific world, it was of little value in this regard to primitive man. He refused to recognize natural causes as explanations for commonplace phenomena.
81:2.5 When asked where fire came from, the simple story of Andon and the flint was soon replaced by the legend of how some Prometheus stole it from heaven. The ancients sought a supernatural explanation for all natural phenomena not within the range of their personal comprehension; and many moderns continue to do this. The depersonalization of so-called natural phenomena has required ages, and it is not yet completed. But the frank, honest, and fearless search for true causes gave birth to modern science: It turned astrology into astronomy, alchemy into chemistry, and magic into medicine.
81:2.6 In the premachine age the only way in which man could accomplish work without doing it himself was to use an animal. Domestication of animals placed in his hands living tools, the intelligent use of which prepared the way for both agriculture and transportation. And without these animals man could not have risen from his primitive estate to the levels of subsequent civilization.
81:2.7 Most of the animals best suited to domestication were found in Asia, especially in the central to southwest regions. This was one reason why civilization progressed faster in that locality than in other parts of the world. Many of these animals had been twice before domesticated, and in the Andite age they were retamed once again. But the dog had remained with the hunters ever since being adopted by the blue man long, long before.
81:2.8 The Andites of Turkestan were the first peoples to extensively domesticate the horse, and this is another reason why their culture was for so long predominant. By 5000 B.C. the Mesopotamian, Turkestan, and Chinese farmers had begun the raising of sheep, goats, cows, camels, horses, fowls, and elephants. They employed as beasts of burden the ox, camel, horse, and yak. Man was himself at one time the beast of burden. One ruler of the blue race once had one hundred thousand men in his colony of burden bearers.
81:2.9 The institutions of slavery and private ownership of land came with agriculture. Slavery raised the master's standard of living and provided more leisure for social culture.
81:2.10 The savage is a slave to nature, but scientific civilization is slowly conferring increasing liberty on mankind. Through animals, fire, wind, water, electricity, and other undiscovered sources of energy, man has liberated, and will continue to liberate, himself from the necessity for unremitting toil. Regardless of the transient trouble produced by the prolific invention of machinery, the ultimate benefits to be derived from such mechanical inventions are inestimable. Civilization can never flourish, much less be established, until man has leisure to think, to plan, to imagine new and better ways of doing things.
81:2.11 Man first simply appropriated his shelter, lived under ledges or dwelt in caves. Next he adapted such natural materials as wood and stone to the creation of family huts. Lastly he entered the creative stage of home building, learned to manufacture brick and other building materials.
81:2.12 The peoples of the Turkestan highlands were the first of the more modern races to build their homes of wood, houses not at all unlike the early log cabins of the American pioneer settlers. Throughout the plains human dwellings were made of brick; later on, of burned bricks.
81:2.13 The older river races made their huts by setting tall poles in the ground in a circle; the tops were then brought together, making the skeleton frame for the hut, which was interlaced with transverse reeds, the whole creation resembling a huge inverted basket. This structure could then be daubed over with clay and, after drying in the sun, would make a very serviceable weatherproof habitation.
81:2.14 It was from these early huts that the subsequent idea of all sorts of basket weaving independently originated. Among one group the idea of making pottery arose from observing the effects of smearing these pole frameworks with moist clay. The practice of hardening pottery by baking was discovered when one of these clay-covered primitive huts accidentally burned. The arts of olden days were many times derived from the accidental occurrences attendant upon the daily life of early peoples. At least, this was almost wholly true of the evolutionary progress of mankind up to the coming of Adam.
81:2.15 While pottery had been first introduced by the staff of the Prince about one-half million years ago, the making of clay vessels had practically ceased for over one hundred and fifty thousand years. Only the gulf coast pre-Sumerian Nodites continued to make clay vessels. The art of pottery making was revived during Adam's time. The dissemination of this art was simultaneous with the extension of the desert areas of Africa, Arabia, and central Asia, and it spread in successive waves of improving technique from Mesopotamia out over the Eastern Hemisphere.
81:2.16 These civilizations of the Andite age cannot always be traced by the stages of their pottery or other arts. The smooth course of human evolution was tremendously complicated by the regimes of both Dalamatia and Eden. It often occurs that the later vases and implements are inferior to the earlier products of the purer Andite peoples.