A New People for a New World: Further Reflections on Christmas
I like to think of Christmas as a new “big bang,” a “trans-human” event. I follow the movement of Transhumanism with keen interest and while some radical transhumanist ideas can raise eyebrows, the sheer boldness to transcend biological limits reflects our capacity for radical newness. Transhumanists maintain that technology will enable us to overcome our biological limits towards a better life but it is not yet clear who will actually benefit from technologically improved lives. While there are many questions raised by the ideals of transhumanism, here I simply want to focus on the key idea of “trans-limitations.” We have the capacity to go beyond or “transcend” our boundaries of existence. The mechanical-human hybrid or cyborg shows us that nature is not fixed; boundaries are local and temporary. To be part of nature is to be a “boundary-crosser.” We humans are natural born cyborgs with temporary boundaries of existence.
The French philosopher Henri Bergson was attuned to this openness of nature to transcend but he also said that nature resists change. How interesting! Nature has the capacity to go beyond its limits but does not do so readily. Bergson suggested that there is a super-presence at the heart of nature, a vital impulse, that is within and yet distinct from nature, impelling nature to “go beyond” into new forms of being.
Teilhard de Chardin was influenced by Bergson’s notion of creative evolution and spoke of the vital impulse in nature as God Omega, an irresistible absolute center of “wholeness” at the heart of every “thisness.” God is within and ahead, Teilhard said, and to adhere to this immanent presence of God is to transcend the limits of constraint towards the future of absolute freedom in love.
Jesus of Nazareth was, for all practical purposes, a “trans-human.” He shattered the limits of Jewish law and ritual through a deep conscious awareness of God Omega and created a new form of community centered on the dynamic presence of God’s in-dwelling love. Jesus spoke of a new kin-dom or family of brothers and sisters united in a new set of values and a new code of ethics centered on forgiveness and reconciliation.
The Omega Center is devoted to the arrival of the future, a new divine presence of love in our midst inviting us to become a new people for a new planet. We have the capacity to do so but as a community we need the support and strength do so as well.
As we ponder the meaning of birth and new life this Christmas, consider the radicality of divine love—boundary crossing, trans-human love—a love not focused on sin but a singularity of love that can heal all wounds if it becomes our love with a radical openness to new life.
Please consider supporting the Omega Center this Christmas so that we may become a new planetary family with a new mind and heart centered in love—knowing that life seeks more life—that we may say with one voice: L’chaim!
Yours in the heart of God,
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