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Feature Story

…Few Are Chosen

“Many are called but few are chosen…”  Though these words originated with the ancestral traditions of Merita, this saying has become associated with modern religions and contemporary ad campaigns. As a result, those who listen to the plagiarizers of this statement fail to realize its profound meaning.  Though many humans are called to spiritual pursuit, many invest their time, energy and hope in religions whose leaders claim that their religion will help us to achieve the enlightenment or contentment we seek. Many are called but few seekers are aware of the history of these religions, few hear historical accounts that expose the true agendas of the leaders and authors of what are actually political movements that only claim to be sacred.  Few have been exposed to information that will empower them to make the decisions that will keep them out of the hands of those who wish to exploit them.

The late Master Naba Lamoussa Morodenibig, founder of The Earth Center, (a cultural organization preserving the oldest documented culture of humanity in its authenticity) would use that phrase to express to new initiates in The Earth Center’s M’TAM School of Kemetic Philosophy and Spirituality how difficult the challenges would be that lay ahead.  “It is not my intention to scare you, but you must realize, this is a school of knowledge.  It can defeat you!”  He did what he could to convey that the honest climb up the hill of knowledge and application is rough and though many are called to start, few have the strength to endure the sharp inclines, fewer have the humility to face a spiritual master, and yet fewer the patience needed to learn appropriately.  He tried hard to share this knowledge, though he could see that these American students romanticized the path of the seeker.  He was right, of course, it was only a few of those he spoke to that day who showed the perseverance to rise after each inevitable fall and the endurance Proxy-Connection: keep-alive
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make it through the first checkpoint signified by their M’TAMProxy-Connection: keep-alive
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raduation.

Master Naba spent his life reviving the original M’TAM education system on the global arena.  Having entered that system of education at the age of eight in its surviving, traditional context still available to him in his homeland in the deep bush of Western Merita, he was well prepared.  He stayed in the M’TAM initiations well over twenty years being exposed to sacred texts and artifacts that are heavily guarded by the Dogon priesthood.  He learned thirteen languages, trained in colonial schools and universities and traveled to over one hundred and twenty countries to continue to build the knowledge and experience it would take to secure his goal.  He traveled to many museums and research centers to study Kemetic texts that had been left to him by his fathers, treasures that had been stolen by those wishing to confuse the ancestral inheritance of
the human population.  He studied the School of Thebes, the original M’TAM school, as well as the other Kemetic M’TAM learning centers.  With the blessings of his royal authorities and his initiatic masters and elder brothers he came to the United States in 1994.  His mission was to bring the original M’TAM education to the colonial world; To the colonized people who seemed to be trapped, with their attentions held by the glitter thrown by their colonial leaders.  His first stop was the US, a colonial powerhouse and the home of many of the Kemioo who were stolen away from his (and their) motherland.

Inhabitants of America, like the inhabitants of any other colonial territory, are under constant pressure.  Institutions, organizations and ideologies all fight to gain the individual’s attention in order to exploit their time and energy.  Americans are recruited into various agendas that lead them away from what is important.  In this environment of constant pressure,Americans have little time to invest in themselves and can easily forget how that process even looks or feels.  This situation, intensified by the colonial education system and values, made Master Naba’s job much more complicated than he may have foreseen.  He was not welcomed.  People were not waiting to study with him.  Kemetic organizations who had invested years of hard work into researching colonial Egyptology were not open to hearing that their culture had never died, their language was never silenced and the elders had sent one of their own with the philosophy and spiritual tools necessary for a lost people to reclaim their culture.  So Master Naba worked hard to continue slowly building his reputation and a body of work that would speak for itself.

The first class of the M’TAM School on American soil had around forty students.  Of those forty only five would graduate.  Of those five only one remains, continuing to progress through the M’TAM education, studying with elders of M’TAM and building connections with other indigenous elders around the world.  After that initial class, countless classes would begin the initiation, yet disintegrate and produce not a single graduate. The next graduates wouldn’t come until five years later.  There would be two from a starting group of eleven, and their experience was a testament to Master Naba’s words, “a school of knowledge… can defeat you!”  He told those two shortly before their own graduation, “I would rather graduate just one student than end up with a school full of people who’s quality (whose education) I can’t count on.”  Nine graduating
generations later, and after the inauguration of four more Earth Center locations throughout the colonial world, the M’TAM School graduates its first student who stands alone.

Though he stands alone at his graduation, he now enters a world-wide family of Kem, all connected by the commitment they have made to their own refinement as guaranteed by their spiritual and intellectual honesty, their ancestral culture and the Original Code of Human Behavior (77 Commandments).  This global community celebrates and congratulates the single member of the tenth graduating M’TAM generation.  His accomplishment will forever be remembered in the Kemetic historical records.  His commitment, his strength, and his success will forever inspire other Kemetic descendants to reclaim their culture.  Other descendants of Kemet who, now disconnected from their ancestral culture, find themselves infected with the culture and values of their slavemasters.  These are descendants who now find themselves unknowingly and unwillingly
dirtying their hands and histories with the blood of the Earth’s inhabitants.  In the Kemetic records, this is an important age, on which the integrity of human genius and the survival of our ancestral culture depends.  Whatever energy humans can muster they must put into releasing the destructive culture they’ve been conditioned towards and relearn the ancestral culture they have been conditioned to despise.

On that very pursuit, on the third day of Seret, in the month of Pen Iminhotep in the four hundred and eighth year since the close of the last Divine Year, is when Menibra Zehaikhou (previously Clarence Stewart) crossed the bridge built by his Master, Neb Naba Lamoussa Morodenibig, that connects the colonial world to humanity’s traditional, ancestral home in Kemet.  Menibra’s accomplishments and perseverance now stands as an example to other individuals who have been unwillingly recruited by the destroyers of this world and now seek a way out.  We congratulate you, the lone Zehaikhou, and remind you that your journey has just begun.  Remember that the higher you climb the more narrow the path, and the more evident the statement: “Many are called but few are chosen.”  But, Menibra it is your commitment to your ancestors, your descendants and your brothers and sisters throughout the world who depend on your success that has brought you this far and we rest assured that it will continue to push you forward.  For the world (of humans) has no choice but to return to a more harmonious relationship with the natural order; there is truly no other way to get there than by leaving the destruction and oppression we are in and walk the path that leads towards the ancestors…

On The Ancestral Path

On the Ancestral Path – Unity

We can see unity in all things.The Earth Center, located on the South Side of Chicago, with locations in New York, San Diego, Ouagadougou and Los Angeles, is an organization dedicated to the preservation of not only Kemetic (African) culture and spirituality, but the unity of the entire human family tree. Under the guidance of, Dogon Priest/Kemetic spiritual master, Naba Lamoussa Morodenibig, The Earth Center pro­motes cultural and spiritual awareness, natural heal­ing and education on the highest level. In addition, The Earth Center also publishes The Rising Firefly Magazine of culture, philosophy and spirituality as well as the Sunnyside Magazine.

Being an organization with a focus on spiritual growth and transformation, seekers are given the tools to enhance their own personal human qualities as well as to ensure the preservation of the Earth. Such a task is a lot easier said than done, but since The Earth Center’s inception (born from the initia­tion camps of Tamert (Africa)), the number of people nationwide that have expressed desire to learn the authentic knowledge of Kemetic spirituality has in­creased and continues to do so. It is truly a beautiful thing to see how spiritual evolution manifests itself.

My name is Bikbaye Inejnema and I am Master Naba’s eldest student in this country. Being that I was always interested in learning the values and culture of the most advanced civilization the Earth has known (the Kemetic or Ancient African Civili­zation), I knew just seconds after meeting Master Naba ten years ago that I wanted to engulf myself in learning the things that society makes sure to keep far away from our awareness. Such knowledge is rare and is not taught in the educational system, churches, temples or mosques. Like many others worldwide, I always knew there was much more to the world than what is being presented.

Since January of 2004, telephone inquiries from seekers around the world have increased tremen­dously. There are many reasons for such interest, but the one that is most voiced is the notion of authentic­ity. People are becoming more aware of the falla­cies that are being force-fed to them by those that are motivated and driven by ambition and their own ego. Fortunately, anything built on a foundation of these factors will, sooner or later, be exposed for what it really is. The fact that Master Naba was the only authentic Kemetic/Dogon Priest allowed to teach the ancient/traditional knowledge of the world, outside of the mystery school initiation camps of Tamert, weighs heavy on the minds of many that are looking for the original source of knowledge. On the other hand, there are many who simply don’t care one way or another. The latter used to frustrate me because I knew how vital it is to be exposed to the highest level of knowledge for the survival of the whole humanity. Little did I know that these frustrations would also become a part of my education and understanding of how powerful the mind can be.

After learning more and more about the mental con­ditioning of people, those same frustrations evolved into compassion, tolerance and patience. Sensing my frustrations, Master Naba once told me, “Don’t worry, sooner or later, they will all come. Just be patient.” He spoke in a soft tone with a smile on his face. “We just have to stay vigilant and keep pro­ducing the highest quality of work,” he continued. “They will all come.”

Every day since then, his words have become evi­dent. The influx of emails and calls by those interest­ed in natural healing and spirituality is very assuring of a better world to come.

The Earth Center encourages and promotes em­bracing the most ancient human spiritual values known to man, the Kemetic spiritual system. The values within this culture are inclusive; interestingly, this inclusiveness has been questioned and shunned by many individuals that are active members of other African-centered organizations. Although such be­havior is based on the emotions of these individuals, the fact remains that the most challenging task fac­ing Kemetic (black) people is to cause or create a cohesiveness amongst the masses. To return to the same values of all of our ancestors, to have everyone on the same accord – where we once were before the destruction and colonization of the world – this is the goal. It is not impossible, and this makes it even more frustrating. But what I have been taught by Master Naba allows for a greater understanding of the major role that emotions play when it comes to the self destruction of the individual and how he af­fects his environment based on his reactions because of them. “Time and patience do more than strength and rage,” Master Naba has said on more than one occasion.

The truth is, our perception of things, people or places is merely based on what we know about them. It is the things that we don’t know about the world that divides us, and yet it is this same notion that al­lows us to be led by our emotions rather than our intelligence. These two components do not mix well together. They cannot coexist within the same mo­ment in time and produce anything of a positive na­ture. There is a whole universe of things we do not know, but that doesn’t mean that the knowledge is not there for us to learn – it is here and it is in the form of The Earth Center.

The time is now to take advantage of this rare op­portunity of being educated on the original Kemetic spiritual system, culture and values. Call The Earth Center at 773-285-0677 for more information about our products, services and classes. You can also check our website at www.theearthcenter.com

Survivor's Notebook

Survivor’s Notebook: Soilutions-Food Is Power

by Kasabez Maakmaah

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This prescoot melon is the ancestor of the cantaloupe. It was grown in the Samples' garden. After it is eaten, the seeds can be saved to plant more next year.

“Through study of the history of man, we realized that most of the knowledge that we enjoy today was acquired through man’s interaction with nature…” said Julian Sample as we sat outside on a sunny fall afternoon. I was there to interview him and his wife, Kenya, about the garden that they raised in a vacant lot next to their house and their organization, Soilutions.

Julian and Kenya have always been close to nature and their families have a history of farming and gardening. Kenya recollects, “One of my earliest memories is fishing on a very calm lake with my father and my grandfather about 5:00 in the morning and I was complaining to them that my mom was gonna be mad that I’m missing church out here fishing and quickly, my grandfather told me that if I really wanted to be connected to creation, the universe, and really be in God’s church, then the first place I should be is outside.”

They were inspired to start Soilutions after, “We began to do research on the food that’s most available to us. After we realized the truth in regards to how the food has been corrupted, we decided to act upon that knowledge and to make sure the that food that our children, as well as my wife and I eat was the best possible food that we could grow,” Julian explained. Kenya added, “We have 5 children. In order to really feed the children, we need to be conscious about what’s going into their bodies.”

The Garden

This year, their garden fed their family and many members of their community. They grew a wide variety of vegetables in their garden: Black Aztec Corn, Goyokumba Eggplant (West Africa), Cherokee Trail of Tears Black Beans, Paul Robeson (Russia) tomatoes, arugula, kale greens, celery, potatoes and more. They only use organic, heirloom seeds. Heirloom seeds are seeds that have traditionally been saved by families, generation after generation, as opposed to hybrid seeds, which have been selectively bred for certain desirable traits, often sacrificing taste and nutritional value for shelf life and other traits that make the crops more profitable.

Julian and Kenya’s farming practices are inspired from organic and bio-dynamic practices that are more harmonious with nature. They gained a lot of their knowledge about farming during a summer of volunteering at a farm in Pembroke, Illinois in Kankakee county. Continued independent study and work with their connections in Pembroke and Chicago has deepened their understanding. Kenya says, “It has turned into a lifestyle change for myself, my husband and our children.”

Their practice involves a more natural approach to growing food. Unlike many local farmers, they plant their crops directly in the ground, as opposed to using raised beds. Many claim that the soil in the city is contaminated. They explained that the lot that they use has historically been used as a garden. The abundance of plant and insect life in the soil was evidence to them that the soil supports life. According to the USDA, the soil of Illinois is unmatched for fertility in the U.S. and equaled by only three other places in the world.

“It’s really about being in tune and relying upon as much of a natural process as you can,” said Kenya. The Samples said that they had high crop yield this year, even while allowing nature to do most of their watering. Additionally, Julian and Kenya made a promise to the land, that they would do no harm. They use no forms of pest control and they say that the worst incident they had was when a Rabbit ate one leaf from a plant.

Food is Power

“People are controlling our community with the food,” said Kenya. It’s becoming more and more well known that most of the health issues that are plaguing people of the colonized world are directly linked to a poor quality diet. Many communities in Chicago have become what are called “Food Deserts,” meaning that the fast food and junk food are much more available than fresh fruits and vegetables. This is one of the most important reasons for us to grow our own food. “The highest form of control that we can take back for ourselves is our food intake,” Kenya proclaimed.

For Julian and Kenya, the vision extends far beyond their own back yard. They are committed to making a positive change in the world, especially for black and indigenous communities. Julian explains, “We realized that you have to have a platform to use if you’re engaging the community and attempting to affect change. What better way to engage our youth and adults to make transformational positive steps than utilizing agriculture?”

One of the key platforms of Soilutions is education. “We’ve created a hands-on curriculum (for ages 5 through high school) that places prospective students and participants directly with nature, growing plants and vegetables,” said Julian. The curriculum includes English, math, science, social science, and physical development. The Samples plan to provide students with incentives by offering community service hours that students are required to complete for graduation. “There is an entrepreneurial portion that’s added as well that will allow students to realize that they can control the entire chain of production, from planting seeds to maintaining a crop until maturity, reaping the harvest, having children manage farmers markets, pooling funds for projects for next season and creating the environment where there is community interdependency,” Julian explained.

Ultimately, they want people to visualize a career for themselves in agriculture. We would like to see that people take this project and say, “’You know what? I think I want to go into beekeeping or I think want to make my own soap, or I can get into food distribution,’” Kenya explains; “We’d like to see our community doing soil testing, distribution, manufacturing, processing. We could create a job environment for ourselves, with our own health care.”

The Grand Scheme

“The grand scheme is to create an extensive network of interdependent individuals. That network would include independent urban farmers who may just have a private garden in their back yard, someone doing vacant lot conversion, or also apartment communities,” Julian explains, “Once you have all of these individuals growing, we want to coordinate for the produce to be gathered, centralized and distributed to participating communities. We will have farmers’ markets in those communities where the children and adults will be involved in managing.”

Besides their own garden, The Samples have made other con

nections to start gardens in other parts of the city. “We have one in specific, London Townhomes, that has a large tract of land available. We have elementary schools interested in participating in the program, they have land available also,” said Julian.

“Green lifestyle should be further defined as our natural way of life. Indigenous populations lived this way for untold number of years before adopting a western lifestyle.” Julian added.

Kenya illustrates the urgency of the situation, stating, “It’s an emergency, we need to be planting.” With the cost of food steadily rising and concerns growing about a possible global food shortage, the need for a backup plan to the grocery store is very real, especially in the city, where it’s estimated that, on average, there is about two days worth of food in stock in the grocery stores.

Get Involved

The opportunity to grow food in the city is much greater than what one might expect. “I saw the possibility, a working definition from Pembroke. I think we can take that working definition and apply it to our lives in an urban setting. We have tons of resources of vacant lots, all of the aldermen are really with it, there are tons of people who are ready for something like this,” Kenya explains.

For those who are inspired to create a garden in a city-owned vacant lot, Julian says, “We’re trying to create a template amongst all the people who become inspired and want to duplicate this process. In short, you have to get some political support, so local aldermen, tell them what you’re trying to do. Once the alderman gives you the approval, that’s pretty much it.” They also recommend getting support from local block clubs.

But the vision of Soilutions doesn’t stop at gardening. Through Soilutions, participants can take trips to Pembroke to take classes in processing and canning food, identifying wild, edible plants, making their own soaps and oils and much more. They will be exposed to organic farmers who are raising their own free-range animals, house building with straw bales and solar energy.

Julian says ultimately, “We’re trying to create both the self sustaining community of food growers in the urban setting to create a successful network for distribution, teach agriculture skills, create products, take control of our communities and take control of our futures.”

The road to where they are has not been easy. At some point, Julian gave up a job at one of the biggest computer companies in the world and, with Kenya at home to watch the children, he was supporting his family by delivering pizzas. If you ask if it was worth the sacrifice, their determination to follow through on their goals and their strength as a family will serve as evidence. For Kenya, “This is a preparation of our future, just to have some sort of future that we control.”

Julian offered these words of encouragement: “Let’s be leaders of ourselves and our own communities. Once you take on that philosophy, it will give you the inspiration to do things that may have never been done before. You can put your energy behind an original idea, or an idea that is not common. Take yourself out of the matrix and act upon your inspiration. I’ve come to realize that the future that we’re experiencing is based upon the actions individuals who came generations before us. So if we want the future to be different than the one we are experiencing, then we should take the initiative to begin to craft what we want the future to be.”

For those interested in finding out more about Soilutions, Kenya says, “I always invite people to call me freely on my cell.”  708-704-9213  708-704-9213

Pembroke Farmers

Black Oaks Center for Sustainable and Renewable Living –  (773) 410-3446  (773) 410-3446

Iyabo Farms – 944-5891

Basu Natural Farms –  (815)295-7357  (815)295-7357

B & S Youth Center & Academy  (815) 944-8000  (815) 944-8000

Recommended Readings

Soul of the Soil by Grace Gershuny

Unbound by Wangari Maathai

Prescriptions for Nutritional Healing by Phyllis and James Balch

Recommended Videos

Songhai Sustainability Project

One Man, One Cow, One Planet

The Secret Life of Plants

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Myrck Sample poses next to ears of dried Black Aztec Corn to be used as seed for planting next year

What is News?

What is News?

US Employers Exploit Economic Depression
Reports Around the country are exposing the dog-eat- dog society that capitalistic America exemplifies.  Though human society started out in order to give the individual strength in numbers in order to survive the destructive forces of nature, the colonial era has ushered in a new type of human system.  Today all over the colonial world our political leaders have given us the example of exploiting the weak and poor.

Today, while U.S. citizens find themselves in more and more desperate economic situations, U.S. employers are taking the chance to get more work out of their employees.  With employees desperate to keep their jobs, employers are demanding overtime and excessive work conditions without justified payment; instead, workers are given the chance to keep their jobs.  In our country’s most difficult times it seems our values have taught us to exploit our weak rather than joining our forces….

Earth Day Celebrations
Earth day has been observed in the month of April for almost forty years now. Earth Day’s history can actually be traced back to 1962 when Senator Gaylord Nelson encouraged President John F. Kennedy to take a five-day, eleven state conservation tour in September 1963.  Senator Nelson was hoping to put environmental concern into the nation’s political agenda.  Six years later Senator Nelson had an idea to organize a huge grassroots protest over what was happening to our environment.  In 1969 at a conference in Seattle, Washington, Nelson announced that there would be a nation-wide grassroots demonstration on behalf of the environment.  This year will begin a two-year initiative which will culminate with the 40th anniversary of Earth Day in 2010.

The goal this year is to have a day of action and civic participation with the primary focuses being:

  • Working toward a carbon-free future based oProxy-Connection: keep-alive
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    renewable-energy that will end our common dependency on fossil fuels, including charcoal

  • Getting individuals to commit to responsible, sustainable consumption
  • The creation of a  new green economy

Skokie lagoon cleanup – Hosted by the Chicago Kayak Club, Saturday, April 19th, from 9a.m. to noon. Come volunteer to assist in cleaning up the Skokie Lagoons.  Cleaning supplies will be provided and some boats will be available but volunteers are welcome to bring their own canoesProxy-Connection: keep-alive
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r kayaks.  Cleanup will also be done on dry land.
“Going Green” Festival – A day of vending on the Kennedy King College campus at 64th and Halsted.  The festival starts at 9:30a.m. and goes until 4p.m.
North lake Shore community earth day – A day of workshops and panels exploring caring for the environment on a global and local level.  Saturday, April 25th from 9a.m. – 4:30p.m.
Earth hour 2009 – An hour-long blackout from 8:30 – 9:30p.m. central time on the evening of April 28th.  Chicago businesses and households will shut off their lights, joining nearly 1000 cities around the world in hopes of raising awareness of environmental and energy concerns.

Earth day celebration at Betty Shabazz INTL  Charter School – The school will be initiating its living science curriculum, which is based on ecological and agricultural observation and practice. There will be a screening of the film, “Taking Root;” initiation of the recycling/vermiculture compost system, incubation of eggs,  and the cleaning up and planning for school garden.
The Sunnyside Magazine encourages all to remember to treat the Earth as a sacred, living entity every day of the year, it is our only home and the provider of all our survival needs.
Illinois Sewage

The construction of the world’s largest sewage system is underway in Chicago’s Bronzeville area.  City workers are cutting down forest, gouging into the Earth and will be setting off dynamite explosions to carve out a tunnel 200 feet into our planet.  This project ironically starts just before Earth Day 2009 which is approaching on April 22nd.  It also is on the same block as The Earth Center, a community organization that preserves humanity’s original culture which kept the clear goal of preserving the Earth and its inhabitants.  The city and it’s “progressive” plans smack The Earth Center and the Earth’s inhabitants in the face with such a project.  The Lakefront neighborhood residents of that area have been complaining of a natural gas leak not even a block away from the digging/explosion site for months now.  The city has has finally handled this but only after one of the students from nearby Donague elementary school (just one block north) found the site of the leak.  The entire neighborhood is now indebted to this 2nd grader considering city workers, who had given up looking for the leak after a few failed search attempts, are now bringing dynamite to blow holes in the Earth.  The destruction in the name of development will be carried out along 39th street for several miles.

Many readers, may not understand the severity of this situation.  Modern city-dwellers may understand only the need to maintain some form of the city’s cleanliness that sewage treatment seems to provide.  Many of us born in the city and modern lifestyle are unaware that many of our indigenous counterparts will not even dig more than a foot into the Earth out of respect for it as a sacred living organism.  It is not only a living organism but the very one on which all of the planet’s organisms depend.
This happens just one month after another interesting finding in the Illinois sewer system.  In Urbana, workers found human placentas in the sewer system.  The stir created centered mainly around the damage that the placentas could do if clogging sewer drains and pipes.  Others also cringed at what this means to tap water and the sewer-treated drinking water.  However, many miss a much more severe aspect.  Our ancestors valued the placenta very highly and civilized cultures all around the world made sure to carefully dispose of the placenta through ritual (usually through burial) because its well-being had a direct affect on the energy and well being of the human it sustained in the womb.  Today the idea that we are flushing ours down the toilet says much about our disconnection to our spiritual existence.  If every civilized culture went about post-birth a certain way and we  do the opposite, what does that make us in the “modern world”?

Art for Thought

Art for Thought

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Left to Right:

1)     We complain about US schools but can we really expect a foreign system to teach us, about us? This system will only provide us with leaders that embody their values.

2)     In the U.S. we have built an identity of athleticism, entertainment and servitude based on what we’ve been taught by this system.

3)      Nature gives us an identity defined by where we come from. Our heritage has an education system which teaches us the values that are important to us.

4)     That education system brought to the world astronomy, geology, mathematics, agriculture, government, architecture, language, etc. leading us towards human genius and perfection, isn’t it time we returned to what works?