So maybe here’s a rough outline…

Enter The Tribe, to perform a creation ritual in the depths of a cave

The Ritual is a Story, performed using Chanting and Shrieking and Banging on Drums and Rattling Rattles and making Totem-Puppets out of Bits of Bone and Sticks and Animal Skins and Fire and Groans and So On:

The Animal Spirit-Ancestor-Totems Hump

The First Human is Born, into a Tribe of Almost-Humans

The Tribe is overjoyed, and the First Human is Adored

But The Tribe is Afflicted by the Sinister Spirit of Hunger, or Natural Evil

Hunting is Going Badly

The First Human has a Dream of a Place where Hunger cannot Go, and where Everybody is Happy: Heaven

The First Human describes Heaven to The Tribe, and says it’s Out There Somewhere

The Tribe is Confused and Hurt that the First Human wants to Go

The First Human Goes Alone into the Wilderness

The Tribe joins the First Human, having decided to Trust the Dream

They Crown the First Human their Leader, and Follow

The Tribe travels through the Wastes, where they are Defenseless against Hunger and Other Monsters

The Tribe grows Unruly, and the First Human must urge them Onwards

But a Member of the Tribe is too Weak to Continue

The First Human decides to Leave the Weak One Behind

But Heaven is still Nowhere in Sight: Despair

The Tribe Rebels against the First Human, and Kills En, and Eats En

But they are now Lost in the Wastes, with no Leader, no Dream, and no Way Home

They feel Overwhelming Guilt, and have a Funeral for the First Human

They blame the Spirit of Hunger (Evil) for the Crime

The Ritual is Finished.  Exit the Tribe from the Cave.

About Judd Trout

Judd Palmer is one of the Old Trouts.

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7 Responses to So maybe here’s a rough outline…

  1. petertrout says:

    I also like the idea of a communion with the audience…could this presented in video format…so that we see the food and wine being consumed and even digested?

  2. petertrout says:

    What if we take away the notion of “first human” then we don’t have to worry about where the other people in the tribe come from or where we come from because En was eaten…the ritual birth is a testament that this person is different in the same way that say Jesus was born…we can still incorporate all the good ideas of ego and good and evil and such.

    There will be a subplot as well in this construct…One that hasn’t really been presented but that is in the works…that of the voice of a Narrator (in sitting with the idea that this is a documentary) and video images that can be used to convey some notions that are being discussed here…this element will allow us to use pop culture and depart from the ritualistic world into the present…through abstraction and irony and such we can explore a great many of the suggestions presented in these responses.

  3. Catherine says:

    The human is born. The next question is why is it more human than the other ‘Half-humans’. Do these ‘Half-humans’ have the minds similar to animals?
    From what I understand, and believe, it is that animals do not have thoughts. Is this Human a human because E thinks? To have thought is to have the ability to imagine, to have awareness. To create a world that has words and labels. Dualities! Good vs Evil, Happy vs Sad. Hungry vs Full, Life vs Death, Weak vs Strong.
    Ego must be born here as well no? (within the Human).
    The ego says “I am right, I know the way, I am the best. Trust me. All will be well.”
    Is it Ego that drives Twig? Does it fit in anywhere?

    Twig imagines good and then teaches it to the tribe.
    Do the good things emerge out of Twig? Out of Twig’s head? Mouth?
    Meanwhile as E imagines the good E begins to unintentionally imagination and therefore create the bad but refuses to acknowledge it at first. (Does the Ego not want to be wrong? Doesn’t want to disappoint the tribe?)
    E takes them out and teaches them what good there is in this new reality outside the cave. It is everything E imagined. But the Evil things creep up in this new reality as well. Twig tries to cover it up. The Ego drives Twig to lie and continue to convince the tribe how great E is for bringing them out of the cave and into the awareness… E gave them the ability to see all that good…. And therefore all that is Evil.
    The more Twig denies the Evil, suppresses it, the more powerful it becomes. It dominates the reality that E is imagining for the tribe. E spends his time not imagining a great life for the tribe but how bad the Evils can be. Bigger monsters, more and more Evils to contend with. The tribe becomes hungry, weak, and angry and scared. Twig only knows to run from the Evils. Too weak to fight them. Too frightened to face them.
    Twig continues the search for Heaven. Leaves behind the Weak One.
    The Tribe resents En and kills him.
    As they eat En, their own imaginations begin to build up their environment. They consume not only the flesh but perhaps the Ego or the ability to think for themselves.

    ***IF Twig is the one generating the story, the “reality”, the images. When he dies everything goes black except a small fire.
    We return to the ritual around the fire.
    Back to the way things were before the Human, who was full of thoughts/imagination/stories. We are back to the Half-humans living in their world free of labels, of words, of the knowledge that there is anything other than exactly what they have, which is grunts, and drumming, and music and cave.

  4. Terminator E says:

    not worried about any potential plot holes, if anything they tend to lend strength to creation myths, but really there are two types of people in this world, those that came from The One We Ate, and those that came from The One We Left Behind. the communion helps us keep track of who is who, Them and Us.

  5. Judd Trout says:

    Shit! Good point. If the first human has been eaten, where do we come from?
    But as you say, more importantly: the ritual is missing the climactic bit: the communion. As in, the bread and the wine. How do we do this?
    I had some idea at some point that the performers would enter carrying some wild totem-banner at the head of the line — kind of like a procession with a saint or a crucifix. It could be a heavy branch, decorated with bits of fur and teeth and such, that supports a skeleton, which is bound together using dried sinews and old intestines and such so that it doesn’t fall apart. It could turn out that the branch is the thing they used to follow The First Human through the blowing snow, the banner-of-leaving-home, and then, in the funeral, they add the skeleton of the newly-gnawed hero. So that the whole contraption becomes the symbol of their religion — the symbol simultaneously of hope and of being lost (there’s no need for hope if you’re not lost).
    Can this thing be used to create some kind of communion with the audience? Everybody is led out of the theatre behind it?
    Or is there some other way to create communion? Maybe, when they tear the First Human apart, they could tromp through the audience passing out bits of meat for everybody to eat.

  6. Neandertaler says:

    “The weak one left behind” is a good point. For if the first human is killed, where did we all come from? I love the idea of the ritual story, though, and of the ceremonial recreation of a creation myth. But I think that before the tribe exits the cave and the audience exits the theatre something needs to be affirmed that connects us all to this seminal myth. When a shaman performs a ritual, there is normally (as far as I remember from anthropological readings) a double journey involved: an inner, mystical “trip” the shaman undertakes with expertise but often at great peril, and an outer, dramatized version of that trip that includes special effects, stage magic and role playing, so that the onlookers can follow what is happening in the other realm, the world “behind the veil” to which you have no access unless you were born schizophrenic, bipolar, artistic, or sufficiently crazy to go an mess with the gods.

    In other words, if I’m in the audience I’ll need to be shown, through shamanic puppet-craft, how I became human by “eating” the first human, or how my ancestors had to resurrect the consumed first (and last) human by becoming creative: make puppets, make paintings, evoke the unseen, recite the unmentionable, stage the dance of death and rebirth. Raise the Totem to honour the Taboo.

  7. Terminator E says:

    … and it is revealed that the First Human was Born a Twin; its sibling was the Weak One Left Behind.