Take Outer Mongolia…please!

Tse Tsan Tai would have been 139 today, had he not died long ago. Among the line-up of Eden-seekers I follow in Paradise Lust—preachers, archaeologists, hucksters—I confess he’s my favorite. Tse, a Hong Kong businessman and Chinese nationalist revolutionary, wrote a book in 1914 called The Location of the Garden of Eden and the Origin of the Chinese… in which he insisted, quite without the usual pseudo-scientific hemming and hawing, that the Garden of Eden, birthplace of mankind, must have been located in China, NOT Iraq. (“Why would the Lord Almighty have created man in such a place?”) I admire his brazenness, which makes that much more sense now that I realize he is a Taurus.  But I also admire his motivations: it was tough to be both Christian and Chinese during World War I, and Tse was all about bringing his two identities together.  He thought if he could prove that life began in China, all the nations of the world might unite in world peace.  Can’t blame him for trying.

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