Transhumanist Advent: Lift up your eyes and look at the Earth beneath
IMAGE: PHOTO OF EARTH
“Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look at the earth beneath” (Isaiah 51:6)
In what is often called the overview effect, humans who have travelled into space and have viewed the earth from that elevated vantage point describe intense feelings of euphoria, interconnectedness, humility, awe, and the awareness of the fragility of life. National boundaries fade away, the atmosphere we often take for granted appears paper-thin, and the world appears as an oasis, silently suspended in an endless void.
Religion is at its best when it too produces these same sensations: euphoria, interconnectedness, humility, awe, and awareness of the sanctity of life. It is at its worst when it is used to produce the opposite: dogma, sectarianism, pride, dullness, and disregard for life. Jesus powerfully orients us towards the best in religion:
Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel contrasted the difference between anti-science religion used to dull and oppress vs. science-welcoming religion that can awe and inspire:
(God in Search of Man: A Philosophy of Judaism)
May we turn to the example of Jesus, lift up our eyes to the heavens in spirit and with our tools and technology, then look at the earth beneath with re-invigorated humility and awe towards the sacredness of our world, life, and one another.
- Caleb Jones