The genesis of a more honest story…

I don’t exactly know when my belief in the absurd story of Genesis finally evaporated from my mind, the mythical story of God digging his hands into the earth like an artist shaping and molding the human body. And when the artist finally pleased with his work, embraced it, breathing into its nostrils, humanity came to life.

It was beautiful to think of creation this way, so profoundly special, so about us. But, are we more freaks of nature, rather than the ultimate end to grand design.

Evolution is deeply disturbing. On the one hand, yes we are unique, but in the other, could our coming into being be more of an unraveling, a cascading series of profound accidents, a chain reaction of possibilities that sometimes “stick” together.

The Genesis story is certainly comforting. The artist who loves his work, the realtionship of molding, shaping and seeing it come to life before his eyes, a sort of self portrait made in “His” image. But, perhaps even more profound (scary) and extremely fragile is the reality of organic chemicals, atoms suddenly sticking together like glue in this primordial ocean. From there unfolds unicellular life, to multicellular life, to a rigid internal frame, to musculature, to neurons, to grey matter, the human brain.

This celestial ocean that our galaxy spins in is some four or five billion years old, and what we imagine as infinity stretches in all directions beyond that. Looking back over our shoulders this evolutionary man, the up-right walking ” Homo erectus” is said to be fifty to one hundred thousand years old.

If one still clings to the idea of a cosmic creator, sitting in the factory of “existence,” the assembly line slowly moving as he randomly sticks atoms, and molecules together; maybe it is more a story of Dementia (taken from Latin) originally meaning madness, from de- (without) + ment, the root of mens (mind) is a serious loss of cosmic cognitive ability in a previously unimpaired person (a God) who lost his mind and we are the outcome of the accident.

Back to the Genesis story. Was it really a conversation that just instantaneously started like someone flipping a switch and words flowed freely back and forth, or again was it something evolutionary?

The shock of self confidence came into existence and this awakening brought the knowledge we were distinct, and in some sense separate, outside the non-being of the rest of creation. Humans would never again identify themselves completely with the natural. The Genesis story reinforces the myth of a creation story being about us, and our maker when maybe against all odds the dice were rolled in our favour and humans found themselves on a evolutionary pathway of higher complexity.

With consciousness we experienced a greater sense of self which stood over against the world. We became conscious of the uncertainty and the shortness of life. We began to contemplate life. With the evolution of human consciousness a tremendous need was also born to find meaning, permanence and stability in a world  suddenly meaningless, transitory and destabilized.

We can only imagine the first humans gazing into the infinite black depths of the night sky, the glittering surf rolling across this mysterious ocean. Try to imagine the shock, trauma, sense of aloneness and radical sense of insecurity that seized the human conscience. Now there was an awareness of danger being a chronic state of being. We were aware of our own mortality, and of the existence around us being so utterly vast we sensed ourselves as being insignificant.

The mind of humanity must have been gripped by angst and a fear of being squeezed to death. One thought must have oozed out constantly, “Who? Why? Is there anyone out there?”

There were no rockets, nor satellites to be launched. Primitive man howled at the moon. We screamed at the top of our lungs to anyone, anything, hoping for a response. We began to muse something beyond us, a maker, a creator. We mused what ever it was, it was as interested in us, as much as we were interested in it.

The relationship had begun, the evolution of God and the evolution of humanity.

  • http://biomystic.org Stephen Lewis

    The genesis of a more honest story must begin with an honest appreciation of spiritual evolution in human consciousness. Genesis I tells a Creation story in metaphoric terms and it’s simple, elegant and actually quite spiritually accurate when it tells us that humanity is made in the image of God, made male and female which right there tells us God is a Plurality, an “Us”, an Elohim, and the relationship of God to humanity is One to one. This relationship is explained in spiritual terms in the new Gospel of Humanity that is part of the real New Christianity, Celestial Torah Christianity, which being a modern form of Gnostic Christianity is not fatally attached to Pauline Christianity’s dependence on the Bible for foundational doctrine. The Gospel of Humanity at: http://biomystic.org/gospelofhumanity.htm. Celestial Torah Christianity at: http://biomystic.org/celestialtorah.htm

  • Pat McClure

    Better check your history. Home erectus fossils show up from 1.8 million years ago, not fifty or one hundred thousand.

  • http://thewearypilgrim.typepad.com ron cole

    Thanks for the feedback, That would certainly be the consensus according to a search on Wikipedia. But some of the leading physicists and cosmologist such as Marcelo Gleiser, and Brian Swimme think the date is much later. If you like the 1.8 million go for it. My question is, does it really change the premise of thought in the blog post.

  • Peter

    Homo Sapiens (our species) – of whom to be precise we are Homo Sapiens Sapiens – compared with Homo Sapiens Neanderthalis for instance – arose in the 100,000 year time span. The 1.8 million years is for our predecessor Homo Erectus.

    There is much spiritual truth in Genesis. But it is silly to look for modern scientific truth in what God could inspire in oral story tellers of the ancient and initially illiterate nomadic Hebrew tribal people. Considering those limitations, the Holy Spirit did the best job possible at the time.

    More recent revelations in the form of near death experience accounts have numerous people reporting receiving answers and even time-travel viewings of the creation of this Universe and life. These accounts e.g. see the “exceptional accounts” on http://www.nderf.org confirm and old (13 billion years roughly) Universe and evolution and millions of years of hominid development leading to our species as being the case – but not in the materialistic Dawkins style – rather there is intelligent design and purpose writ deep into all of creation.

    • http://thewearypilgrim.typepad.com ron cole

      “Considering those limitations, the Holy Spirit did the best job possible at the time.” That my friend is a profound statement.

  • http://brokenheadsojourn.blogspot.com Marcus Rempel

    “Who? Why? Is there anybody out there?” These are the questions of postmodern, not primordial hominids. The primordial dilemma was this: how do we sublimate the rivalrous violence of each against each? We aped what the other did; we desired what the other desired, we grabbed for what the other held. How to keep from tearing the tribe apart?
    Our salvation: the scapegoat. Turn the chaos of competing acquisitive hands into the solidarity of fingers pointed in accusation: all against one. Human sacrifice gave us human culture – not the other way around. And it gave us myths: veiled accounts of the culture-birthing murder. In Babylon, Jews heard the story of a fight amongst the gods, an arrow that ended the chaos, and a divine corpse that became the fertile earth.
    Somehow, they told a different story: a creation not out of a generative battle, but a plain, mysterious “Let there be.” And shortly after, also a murder story, but unveiled and unvarnished: Two brothers, an envious rivalry, an innocent victim remembered, and a killer granted protection.
    Strange, isn’t it. How did they perceive so early the victim’s innocence, the God’s nonviolence? I hesitate to say, but I’m sure glad they wrote it down and hallowed this odd text.

    Peace,
    Marcus Rempel

    P.S. This is entirely unoriginal on my part. Check out Rene Girard for the source of these thoughts.


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