Friday, September 9, 2011

The Holy Double Helix?

So in the first week of class, Sam told a story about spraining his ankle and going to a witch doctor/ shaman/ healer when he was doing research in an “uncivilized” jungle village in the tropics. Now this shaman didn’t speak any English or know anything about modern medical tactics, but with some paste made from plant roots and a very rough massage he miraculously healed Sam’s ankle by the next morning. In later research about this shaman and others like him, the discussion of God came up between the shamans and the academics doing the research. The surveyors asked the shaman to draw/ depict what they thought, “God looked like.” To the amazement of the researchers, Sam, and the rest of my Sociology 119 class multiple different shamans roughly sketched a double helix. Our amazement stems from the fact that these uncivilized somewhat prehistoric shamans have never taken a biology class, never watched Bill Nye, or never made a double helix model out of styrofoam for a 7th grade science project.

What is so humbling about these shamans vision of God is that without any education of the scientific or religious kind these healers recognize the connection between God and the human race. As a Christian I can’t honestly think of a more explicit explanation of the phrase “created in the image and likeness of God.” This is a statement of God being incarnate, that is one like us. The Christian believes that the main form of this incarnation and this notion of God appearing like a strand of human DNA is Jesus, the Christ.

A student in class asked the question does this depiction of God as a strand of human DNA help or hurt one’s religious beliefs?

For me personally, the shamans drawing reveals that God is human and to be human is to be one with God spiritually, physically, and emotionally.

For the longest time I did not believe in the existence of heaven or hell, whether that existence be physical or psychological. I considered myself a student of the teaching that the “Kingdom of Heaven” is among us and we are called to make our own heaven on Earth. This former belief of mine relates to the double-helix-God because if God is perceived as a double helix, then we should see God in every single member of the human being (in SOC 119 we ‘learned’ that human is not a race – defined as “ the physical or biological characteristics of a person or a group”- so the term ‘human race’ is incorrect). And if God is in the genes, the very chemical being, of each one of us how can heaven not be on Earth?

I love that this question was asked because it has such a strong connection to Race and Race relations. From a religious “golden rule” perspective if God is our DNA, then how can we discriminate? How can we categorize people as ‘black,’ ‘white,’ or ‘brown?’ How can there be any unknown number of races if our entire DNA is made in the image and likeness of God? How can we hate? How can we kill?

No comments:

Post a Comment