The Great Divide

“Now to all who acquired the use of them these new weapons [horse, chariots, and swords] gave a powerful horizontal thrust that carried all before it, and the older, basically peasant, land-rooted civilizations were simply helpless. But not only a new striking power, a new arrogance, too, had arrived: for is there anything more flattering to a man of simple character than a good seat on a splendid horse? The words cavalier, caballero, chevalrie, and chivalrous tell the tale. The day of the peasant afoot and the nobleman ahorse had dawned, which the machine age, only now, has ended. And it was to last for about four thousand years, gradually welding by violence and empire the far-flung provinces of the earlier, centrifugal ages; so that the world that formerly had been dividing was now gradually being brought together—but with a radical split horizontally between those who cry ‘Victory!’ and those who weep. All the way from the Nile to the Yellow River the lesson of the inevitability of sorrow thus was learned by those in the role of the anvil from those with the mettle to be hammers, and with that, the golden age of the children of the earth Mother was of yore.” – Joseph Campbell, The Masks of God: Oriental Mythology

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