Reading the Writing on the Wall: The Trees of Knowledge and Life.
2. The challenge of the Tree of Life
David Pinnegar BSc ARCS
With the resurrection of bacterial genes from age old bees cast in amber (The Times (UK) 29 May 1995), we see the possibility of bringing upon ourselves long forgotten plagues.
Ever since the discovery of the blood group of the ice-age man trapped on the glacier in the Alps on the Italian border, the prospect of growing his genes back into the man he was is no longer beyond our immediate imagination. What a resurrection! We are told that Adam was created out of the dust of the earth. We now read of the extraction of a bone from his body in terms of a surgical operation and that Eve was created from that bone. It is standard practice already to treat leukaemia patients with bone marrow from a relative. In Ezekiel we read that bones will come out of their graves and be clothed in flesh and blood. In the Greek myths, Athena sprang from a bone of Zeus' head and Pandora, the first woman, was made by Athena and Hephaestus from a lump of clay. Hephaestus, Vulcan, himself was responsible for creating the first man by mixing his seed with the dust of the earth, mixing DNA with another chemistry - transmuting the software to run on a different hardware . . . ? A bioethics council will prohibit his sort of experiments but a clever chap will do it anyway . . .
This page looks at some biblical references to the Tree of Life, which I equate to DNA at the end of a high branch of the Tree of Knowledge and thereafter looks at 20th century history from a world karmic point of view. It is the Parthenon Frieze which operates as a past possible bioethics council which gives us hope for the present and teh future . . . and a link to the fireze follows at the end of the file. Clues to modern technology may be provided by ancient structures and a renewed look at the past mysteries may be worthwhile.
Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD. So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them. Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army. Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.
We cannot now refuse to believe in the actual and physical resurrection of Jesus Christ. We can understand now why the biblical truth is enwrapped in mysteries to be passed between generations and revealed selectively "to His servants the prophets". In the modern knowledge of DNA we come as Thomas to Christ's wounds:
And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them. . . . The sower soweth the word.
1 Corinthians 2:7
But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets. (see Dead Sea Scrolls section of the Parthenon text)
The Tree of Life of both Genesis and Revelation is the discovery of the self replicating computer, the
mechanism of life, the word made up of the letters of the DNA strands of chemical chains. St John started
"In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God".
It is in Genesis the source of life, discovery of which will enable man to live for ever and in Revelation the source of the cure of all ills.
In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city."
It is to the Tree of Knowledge that we will have to look in order to discover how to handle the Tree of Life. This will require interdisciplinary consideration - scientists, inter-faith theologists and mystics.
If we get it right, the mercy of God and the Hopi teach us that heaven can come on earth without the intervention of an apocalypse.Our Father which art in heaven,
This is the responsibility of all believers and in carrying it out God promises his help.
In his preface to his novel Jurassic Park, Crichton points out the dangers of unregulated commercialised genetic research and engineering. We know that such research will bring mankind the greatest of benefits and we have seen how the book of Revelation says so. But in view of Revelation's plagues and Crichton's warning story, is it not unsafe to do so?
Eventually the chances are that an experiment with the Tree of Life will go wrong. An accident will happen. Wouldn't it be better therefore, then or before, to wait until we have greater capability to conduct such experiments elsewhere in space? Perhaps initially in a station on the moon or thereafter, if we could, on another planet?
If space travel was a real option, wouldn't we like to explore the tools of creation - to the full - on another planet? If we were to ultimately understand that mechanism of DNA would we, just for the sake of science like to try to create a DNA from a silicon rather than a carbon base? If another planet were found to have an atmosphere and adequate conditions of "sunlight" wouldn't we try to create designer life from the dust (the chemistry) of that planet? Would not some curious scientist, however much he was prohibited from doing so, have a go at creating life in our image, not only for the sake of it but perhaps as an insurance policy in case our own life on earth were to be wiped out in an accident? Would not we then pass on the story of Father Christmas and teach our created beings in our wisdom as our children? Are we not ourselves Father Christmas to our children?
If we cannot grasp mastery of the Tree of Knowledge and the universal peace taught by all true religions we will be unfit to handle the Tree of Life, will blow ourselves up in the meantime, and will deny ourselves our destiny of procreation elsewhere.
And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer
From the victory of Churchill over Hitler, since the horrors of the Second World War, the Jewish people have been returned to Isreal and we were mercifully spared at Suez and Cuba. The Cold War has been overcome and dictators have been toppled. In these events we have seen both heroes and demons of our time. Our God appears to have given us a second chance.
But our future is by no means certain: whilst the Berlin wall has fallen, what remains shows more sign of disintegration than purpose. Now the superpowers have resumed nuclear bomb testing, have we missed our chance or is there still time?
Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And the heathen shall know that I the LORD do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.
This didn't come about because mankind wasn't ready and Christ was crucified.
In Revelation 21 we are told the same again:
And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:
If God's apparent plan is to be given the benefit of the doubt, all believers of all religions must listen now in peace and prayer - and lead mankind in global understanding. Not only has the Royal Family made a start, bringing together the leaders of the worlds religions together on matters of population and birth control but London's Battersea Park now boasts not a funfair but a temple which has already brought interfaith leaders together.
And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not:
For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.
And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.
The Koran informs us
Verily, whether it be of those who believe, or those who are Jews or Christians or Sabaeans, whosoever believe in God and the last day and act aright, they have their reward at their Lord's hand, and there is no fear for them, nor shall they grieve.
Just as the pyramids and their deities were linked with stars, the Sabaeans worshipped the Pole star which then would have been Vega.
The Koran continues further
We gave Moses the Book and we followed him up with other apostles, and we gave Jesus the son of Mary manifest signs and aided him with the Holy Spirit. Do ye then, every time an apostle comes to you with what your souls love not, proudly scorn him, and charge a part with lying and slay a part? And when they are told to believe in what God has revealed, they say, 'We believe in what has been revealed to us;' but they disbelieve in all beside, although it is the truth confirming what they have. Say, 'Wherefore did ye kill God's prophets of yore if ye were true believers? . . . The Jews say, 'The Christians rest on nought;' and the Christians say, 'The Jews rest on nought; and yet they read the Book. So, too, say those who know not, like to what these say; but God shall judge between them' on the resurrection day concerning that whereon they do dispute. . . . God's is the east and the west, and wherever ye turn there is God's face; verily, God comprehends and knows.
There is no reason why therefore, with true faith in their existing texts, all peoples of the world should not be able to come together in common understanding.
"That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation." Roosevelt January 1941
The President of the United States of America and the Prime Minister, Mr. Churchill, representing His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom, being met together, deem it right to make known certain common principles in the national policies of their respective countries on which they base their hopes for a better future for the world.
First, their countries seek no aggrandizement, territorial or other;
Second, they desire to see no territorial changes that do not accord with the freely expressed wishes of the peoples concerned;
Third, they respect the right of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they will live; and they wish to see sovereign rights and self government restored to those who have been forcibly deprived of them;
Fourth, they will endeavor, with due respect for their existing obligations, to further the enjoyment by all States, great or small, victor or vanquished, of access, on equal terms, to the trade and to the raw materials of the world which are needed for their economic prosperity;
Fifth, they desire to bring about the fullest collaboration between all nations in the economic field with the object of securing, for all, improved labor standards, economic advancement and social security;
Sixth, after the final destruction of the Nazi tyranny, they hope to see established a peace which will afford to all nations the means of dwelling in safety within their own boundaries, and which will afford assurance that all the men in all lands may live out their lives in freedom from fear and want;
Seventh, such a peace should enable all men to traverse the high seas and oceans without hindrance;
Eighth, they believe that all of the nations of the world, for realistic as well as spiritual reasons must come to the abandonment of the use of force. Since no future peace can be maintained if land, sea or air armaments continue to be employed by nations which threaten, or may threaten, aggression outside of their frontiers, they believe, pending the establishment of a wider and permanent system of general security, that the disarmament of such nations is essential. They will likewise aid and encourage all other practicable measure which will lighten for peace-loving peoples the crushing burden of armaments.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Winston S. Churchill
I address you, the Members of the Seventy-Seventh Congress, at a moment unprecedented in the history of the Union. I use the word "unprecedented," because at no previous time has American security been as seriously threatened from without as it is today...
I have called for personal sacrifice. I am assured of the willingness of almost all Americans to respond to that call...
In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.
The first is freedom of speech and expression - everywhere in the world.
The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way - everywhere in the world.
The third is freedom from want - which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peace time life for its inhabitants -everywhere in the world.
The fourth is freedom from fear - which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor - anywhere in the world.
That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation. That kind of world is the very antithesis of the so-called new order of tyranny which the dictators seek to create with the crash of a bomb.
To that new order we oppose the greater conception - the moral order. A good society is able to face schemes of world domination and foreign revolutions alike without fear.
Since the beginning of our American history we have been engaged in change - in a perpetual peaceful revolution - a revolution which goes on steadily, quietly adjusting itself to changing conditions - without the concentration camp or the quick-lime in the ditch. The world order which we seek is the cooperation of free countries, working together in a friendly, civilized society.
This nation has place its destiny in the hands and heads and hearts of its million of free men and women; and its faith in freedom under the guidance of God. Freedom means the supremacy of human rights everywhere. Our support goes to those who struggle to gain those right or keep them. Our strength is in our unity of purpose.
To that high concept there can be no end save victory."
Whilst there were international miracles at the beginning of the 1990s, catalysed by events of the 1980s, during the summer of 1995 the visions of Sir Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt have been cast asunder. The prospect of a common european currency has evaporated, fears have been raised of war between France and Germany arising from the prospect of monetary union and the French have tested nuclear weapons. The sacrifices of the nations in overthrowing Hitler have been put to nought: the deaths of millions of all nations, Hiroshima and Nagasaki are as if they never had been.
The 8th principle of the Atlantic Charter has been ignored together with the fourth of Roosevelt's freedoms for which the world fought, fifty years ago. Roosevelt called on his nation and the world to work together.
In this our generation has failed and unless we embrace it now, we will learn only in the possibility of our extinction. More than ever before we must now consciously turn to good. The clue may be in something as enigmatic as the Parthenon Frieze.