Immigration and Emigration: an Anthropological and Mythological Perspective

Lately governments, political parties, and individuals use anti-immigration rhetoric to gain power and popularity. Some of these people proudly call themselves pious and God fearing. All over Europe, the USA, Russia, and Brazil, to name a few, new political forces rise into power by using xenophobia and cynical fear mongering. They have forgotten the principle not only of their founding fathers and mothers, but also of the entire human race. Not even a 305 feet (93 meters) statue of a torch bearing woman, help remind them of the mission statement that is or rather was the cornerstone of their enterprise. She herself in her majesty, still welcomes the tired, poor, and huddled masses, but her sons and daughter abandoned her grace. Some of these men and women long for the good-old-days where white was white and black was black. An imaginary glorious past where all their neighbors, politicians, businessmen, and teachers are white, and Christians (preferably for similar denomination). So, if these people argue we should go back in time, why stop at the 50s, why not go further?

Paleoanthropological Immigration
From about 300,000-50,000 years ago, homo sapiens sapiens emigrated out of Africa, reaching as far as Australia. We cannot deny that in the core of our DNA exists an “Exodus” array of genes that propels us to leave our native land, our relatives, our father and mother’s land and walk. The story of Moses and his liberation of the slaves out of Africa, could be a symbolic myth, a sort of humanity’s story of creation. Most of humanity living and breathing today are descended from these immigrants. Therefore, when an English man wants England to white English, he will be somewhat disappointed if he would learn the information engraved in his DNA. He will find a tree worshiping Celt, mixed with Jupiter loving Romans, Saxons, Anglos, Norman with a bit of Neanderthal. All immigrants in one stage or another.

Even the First Nations, or Native Americans, are not native to America. They are also emigrants that left the house of their fathers and mothers. It is not the strong that survives, it is he or she that moves, explores, discovers, and invents. The “Exodus” gene made us better by forcing us to adopt and adjust to different environments. We are all rock-walkers.

Astronomical Immigration
Let’s go further back. About 5 billion years ago, our planet’s origin can be traced to a caravan of immigrating dust and rocks who left the warmth of the sun and banded together to establish their place in space. Even once our planet was fully formed, it is still an immigrant. Orbiting around the sun, in double motion, around itself and its maker.

Mythological Immigration
Myths are true stories that never happen. They tend to be far more authentic and educational then “real stories,” or “the news.” The bibles, both what is called Old and New Testament, is full of imaginative mythology. If you peel off some of the redacted layers that distort the stories, like misogynism, nationalism, anachronism, etc. you will discover a wonderful juicy core. Like the sweet heart of palm, that grows in the buds of the palm tree. Take Adam for example, the first character in the bible after God. His name is derived from the Hebrew word for earth, adama. The first human, the one who mythologically is our common ancestor, was also an immigrant. He was born in paradise and ended up painfully toiling planet earth. And if you are a devoted monotheist, take a look at the Patriarchs. Abraham and his wife Sarah immigrated from Haran to Canaan. So did Jacob (Padam-Aram), and Josef (Egypt). The biblical Exodus took place because the Hebrews, descendants of Jacob, overstayed their welcome and in crossing the Jordan and conquering parts of Canaan, became again immigrants.

If you sigh, and say going back 3000 years is too far, well, what about 2000 years ago? Jesus, whom many who support strict immigration rules are among his most devoted followers. But wait, Jesus is the one who supposedly said “There is no prophet in his own land.” The fact that this saying is found in all three synoptic gospels as well as John, leads us to believe that Jesus did indeed say it (Mark 6:4; Luke 4:34; Mathew 13:57; John 4:44). What Jesus, like the Lady of Liberty, is trying to say, is that immigrants shine in their new homes, they live up to their potential, thus inspiring us all to do the same. In Leviticus 19:33, Moses is very specific of how one must behave with immigrants:

And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him. But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.

I am not saying all of Moses’ laws should be adhered, especially those relating to stoning people or interfering in their love life, or dietary needs. But those who profess to hold these words as sacred, do have to, well, hold them sacred.

And if you think, well, I don’t believe in the bible, I am a person of science. No worries, about 13.7 billion years ago, a very small but incredibly dense single point that, unable to contain itself, exploded in a Big Bang. As matter cooled from the traumatic experience, tiny particles migraLibrated away from the place of explosion forming atoms that banded together into galaxies, which also immigrated away from the center of the cosmos, thus forming an expanding universe. As you can see, not only humans are immigrants by default, but also the continents (tectonic shifts), our planet (orbiting the sun), the Milky Way, and the entire universe.

I rest my case.

Have a great New Moon in Libra, Rosh Hashana, (Sep 29) the mythological birthday of Adam and Eve, the primordial immigrants.



so we gonna walk – all right! – through de roads of creation:
we the generation (tell me why!)
(trod through great tribulation)
trod through great tribulation.
Exodus, all right! movement of jah people!

Bob Marley, Exodus
Gahl Sasson makes Kabbalah, astrology and psychology engaging, illuminating, and fun. The way he sees Kabbalah is accessible to anyone from any faith and background.



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