Transhumanist Holy Week: Maundy Thursday



[Jesus] got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus answered, “You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.”
After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.”

(John 13:4-8, 12-15 - NRSV)

On this Maundy Thursday (Maundy from Latin 'mandatum' meaning 'command' or 'order') we reflect on the command of Jesus as he washed his disciples' feet as an example of we 'ought' to do. This act of deep humility and vulnerability stands in stark contrast to the mode and method of power so dominant in humanity. Here, Jesus removes his robe - an act of vulnerability exposing his humanity, puts himself below his disciples, and carries out a task often thought to be demeaning or beneath him.

This scene, along with others surrounding it in the Last Supper, sends a powerful message. The Mormon Transhumanist Association affirms that "We practice our discipleship when we offer friendship, that all may be many in one; when we receive truth, let it come from whence it may; and when we send relief, consolation and healing, that raises each other together." Transhumanism is, rightly, focused on technology's role in impacting and transforming the human condition. This effort should cause us to pause and ask what in humanity is not only worth redeeming into our future but what of our humanity may be a source of redemptive power. What role will the paradox of powerful human vulnerability play in humanity's future? Will our tools and technologies inherit an aesthetic and bias towards dominating power structures? Or will we instead use our tools and technologies in a way that can lead us to deep acts of humility in how we serve one another?

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