Sitchin Zecharia - The Stairway to Heaven

Author : Sitchin Zecharia
Title : The Stairway to Heaven Book II of The Earth Chronicles
Year : 1980

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In Search of Paradise. There was a time—our ancient scriptures tell us—when Immortality was within the grasp of Mankind. A golden age it was, when Man lived with his Creator in the Garden of Eden—Man tending the wonderful orchard, God taking strolls in the afternoon breeze. "And the Lord God caused to grow from the ground every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for eating; and the Tree of Life was in the orchard, and the Tree of Knowing good and evil. And a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it was parted and became four principal streams: the name of the first is Pishon . . . and of the second Gihon . . . and of the third Tigris . . . and the fourth river is the Euphrates." Of the fruit of every tree were Adam and Eve permitted to eat—except of the fruit of the Tree of Knowing. But once they did (tempted by the Serpent)—the Lord God grew concerned over the matter of Immortality: Then did the Lord Yahweh say: "Behold, the Adam has become as one of us to know good and evil; And now might he not put forth his hand and partake also of the Tree of Life, and eat, and live forever?" And the Lord Yahweh expelled the Adam from the Garden of Eden . . . And He placed at the east of the Garden of Eden the Cherubim, and the Flaming Sword which revolveth, to guard the way to the Tree of Life. So was Man cast out of the very place where eternal life was within his grasp. But though barred from it, he has never ceased to remember it, to yearn for it, and to try to reach it. Ever since that expulsion from Paradise, heroes have gone to the ends of Earth in search of Immortality; a selected few were given a glimpse of it; and simple folk claimed to have chanced upon it. Throughout the ages, the Search for Paradise was the realm of the individual; but earlier in this millennium, it was launched as the national enterprise of mighty kingdoms. The New World was discovered—so have we been led to believe—when explorers went seeking a new, maritime route to India and her wealth. True—but not the whole truth: for what Ferdinand and Isabel, king and queen of Spain, had desired most to find was the Fountain of Eternal Youth: a magical fountain whose waters rejuvenate the old and keep one young forever, for it springs from a well in Paradise. No sooner had Columbus and his men set foot in what they all thought were the islands off India (the "West Indies"), than they combined the exploration of the new lands with a search for the legendary Fountain whose waters "made old men young again." Captured "Indians" were questioned, even tortured, by the Spaniards, so that they would reveal the secret location of the Fountain. One who excelled in such investigations was Ponce de Leon, a profes- sional soldier and adventurer, who rose through the ranks to become governor of the part of the island of Hispaniola now called Haiti, and of Puerto Rico. In 1511, he witnessed the interrogation of some captured Indians, Describing their island, they spoke of its pearls and other riches. They also extolled the marvelous virtues of its waters. A spring there is, they said, of which an islander "grievously oppressed with old age" had drunk. As a result, he "brought home manly strength and has practiced all manly performances, having taken a wife again and begotten children." Listening with mounting excitement, Ponce de Leon—himself an aging man—was convinced that the Indians were describing the miraculous Fountain of the rejuvenating waters. Their postscript, that the old man who drank of the waters regained his manly strength, could resume practicing "all manly performances," and even took again a young wife who bore him children—was the most conclusive aspect of their tale. For in the court of Spain, as throughout Europe, there hung numerous paintings by the greatest painters, and whenever they depicted love scenes or sexual allegories, they included in the scene a fountain. Perhaps the most famous of such paintings, Titian's Love Sacred and Love Profane, was created at about the time the Spaniards were on their quest in the Indies. As everyone well knew, the Fountain in the paintings hinted at the ultimate lovemaking; the Fountain whose waters make possible "all manly performances" through Eternal Youth. ...

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