By Frank Conerton
I have wondered, for most of my life, why this world and this life are not considered good enough. Almost all of the spiritual schools I have read about say that Earth is a testing ground for us humans to develop into other beings. We are somehow stuck here until we ascend to another plane or planet, or just get off the wheel of life.
I am not saying that humanity as it exists now is the peak of existence. I am saying that we do not believe that being human is good in itself, but we need that belief as a starting point to explore what it means to be human. Otherwise, we are on a journey to stop being human in order to become something not human.
I was raised in a religious home and went to religious schools. I was taught that this world was a place of evil and this life was a test to get into a better spiritual world. We were to be in the world but not of the world. We were to rise above the mud and blood to die and go to heaven.
These beliefs are based in the biblical story that was written down about 4500 years ago in the Middle East. That region, the geographical root of western civilization, has gone through tremendous environmental change in the distant human past. At one time, the region was rich and lush. Now it is desert. It is fairly easy to understand the people who lived in that region, generation after generation, collected stories of a vengeful god that kicked them out of a garden and cursed them to a difficult life.
From our present perspective of time and knowledge, we can see the natural Earth processes involved in the environmental changes. As the last ice age ended global weather changed. Areas that had been bathed in life giving water changed from verdant savannah to parched desert. We have no reason to create a vengeful god to explain the changes. We do not need stories that show a cursed humanity. But these ideas are still deeply rooted in our culture. Why do we need stories that teach this world is a punishment or banishment from a mystical “good life”?
We could start writing a new creation story, one that accepts human life on Earth as good in itself. Here is one such story.
A Possible Creation Story
Before Mind and Being,
There was God.
Perfect, All Potential
God, aching, yearning for
Potential exploded into Possibility,
Manifesting all Being.
All possible being-ness,
All possible consciousness,
All possible universes.
Within the infinity of all universes
Within our universe of space and time
is God; the subsisting fabric of every
quantum, particle, atom and molecule.
The molecules of Earth,
Dancing to the Godly urge for expression
Combine and recombine,
becoming mineral, vegetable, animal.
God, being human, being us;
yearning for expression.
From this story we can believe that God is everywhere and everything. When everything that exists is made from the fabric of God, we are perfectly human. When everything we touch is the fabric of God, there is no better, more spiritual, place to be. We simply are God, being human, being us. We are in the perfect position to discover what is possible for us humans to achieve or become.
Ask yourself if you can revel in the joy of being human, living in this glorious world. Or do you feel this is only a proving ground for some future, more spiritual manifestation? Using the bible creation story, one answer is clear. But changing the creation story, naming ourselves creators instead of a flawed species, gives us a different path. Naming ourselves creators forces us to stop asking why a loving god allows war and starvation and children’s suffering. Creators must ask why we humans allow these things to happen. What could this Earth become if we accepted our humanity?