A revolution within evolution
A general perception exists that the human being of today must be superceded. Creation of the human being of today is not yet finished, but is latent in the dynamism of the process of evolution. This search for the new man and the new woman is perhaps one of those longings that never was achieved throughout history.
Two examples. The Mesopotamian thinking produced the Gilgamesh Epic of the VII Century, BC, that is very close to the Biblical narrative of the creation and the flood. The hero, Gilgamesh, distraught over the drama of death, seeks the tree of life. He wants to find Utnapishtim, who had escaped the flood, had been made immortal, and lived on a marvelous island where death did not rule. On his way, Shamash, the Sun god, counseled him: «Gilgamesh, you will never find the life you seek». The divine nymph Siduri warns him: «when the gods created humans they included death as their destiny; the gods kept eternal life for themselves. You would do better, Gilgamesh, by filling your stomach and enjoying life, day and night; be happy with what little is within your grasp».
Gilgamesh does not desist. He arrives at the island of immortality, grasps the tree of life and returns. On his way back, the serpent blows its evil breath on the tree of life, and steals it. The hero of the epic dies disillusioned, and goes «to the land of no return, where one eats dust and mud, and the kings are dispossessed of their crowns». Immortality continues to be a perennial search.
Our Tupi-Guarani and Apopocuva-Guarani envisioned the utopia of the “Earth without Evil” and the “Motherland of Immortality”. Those two nations lived in constant motion. From the coast of Pernambuco, they suddenly would move towards the interior of the jungle, near the headwaters of the Madeira river. From there, another group would go to Peru. From the border of Paraguay, another group would go to the Atlantic coast, and so on. The studies of myths by anthropologists revealed their meaning. The myth of the “Earth without Evil” inspired a whole nation into motion. The shaman would prophesy: “It will appear in the sea”. There they would march, filled with hope. Through rites, dances and fasts they believed in making their bodies light so as to go to the encounter with the “Motherland of Immortality” in the clouds. Disillusioned, they would return to the jungle until they heard another message, and move on, in search of the desired “Earth without Evil,” yearning for a never ending hope.
These two example express, in mythical form, the same concept that the moderns express in the language of science. They do not wait for the new being from heaven, they want to create it through genetic manipulation. We continue searching, and in spite of that, we always die, sooner or later.
Christianity also subscribes to this utopia, with the difference that for Christianity, it is no longer a utopia, but a topia, that is, a blessed and unprecedented event that occurred in history. The oldest testimony of paleo-Christianity is this: “Christus ressurrexit vere et aparuit Simoni” (Luke 24,34): “Christ is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon”.
They understood the resurrection not as the reanimation of a corpse, such as Lazarus, who after all ended up dying again, but as the emergence of the new human being, “novissimus Adam” (1Corinthians 15,45), the “newest Adam”, as a full realization of all the potentialities present in the human being.
They did not find words adequate to express that unprecedented phenomenon. They called it “spiritual body” (1Corinthians 15,44). That appears to contradict the prevailing philosophy of the times: if it is a body, it cannot be spirit; if it is spirit, it cannot be body. Only by uniting the two concepts, according to the early Christians, could they do justice to the new reality: it is body but transfigured; it is spirit, but liberated from the material limits and with cosmic dimensions.
They say more: the resurrection is not simply a personal event that occurred in the life of Jesus of Nazareth. It is something for everyone, including the cosmic, as it appears in the epistles of Saint Paul to the Colossians and to the Ephesians. This is why Saint Paul reaffirms: “He is the hope of those who have died… As all died for Adam, so for Christ, all will come to life again” (1Corinthians 15,22).
This is a discourse of faith and religion, but it also has anthropological importance. It represents one of the many answers to the enigma of death, perhaps the most promising one.
If it is so, we are facing a revolution within evolution. It is as if evolution anticipated its positive ending, in the zenith of the realization of its hidden potentialities. It would be a model that would show us the glory and the extremely wonderful destiny to which we are called.
Thus it is worth living and dying. In reality, we do not live to die. We die to resurrect. To live more and better.
To all who believe, and to those who suspend judgement, have a good and happy Easter.
Free translation from the Spanish sent by
Melina Alfaro, firstname.lastname@example.org,
done at REFUGIO DEL RIO GRANDE, Texas, EE.UU.