Sunday, February 4, 2007

Monkey Business

Last night I watched a movie I haven't seen for quite a few years: Planet of the Apes (1968). While I could write a lot about the futuristic plot that sees apes take over the earth, while subjugating humankind, I was more struck by the similarities between the Christian version of God and this story's vision of civilization in the 23rd century.

In both tales, the leading characters possess human traits and foibles. It's as if, whether looking backward or forward, we Homo sapiens believe we represent the top of the heap, the apex of sentient life.

The Christian God is shown to possess all the petty emotions of people. At one time or another, we're told that God is jealous, angry, remorseful or even suspicious. At times, he seems rather befuddled as he doesn't seem to know what's going on around him and is forced to send spies [angels] to determine what's going down.

On the other hand, we're told that God is all knowing and all powerful. If the latter were true, then there would be no reason for the display of emotion. Emotions are borne by the uncertainty of our lives and our feeble attempts to deal with unknown situations and circumstances.

On the flip side, regarding the vision of this classic film, we catch a glimpse of a futuristic society that has been created in the aftermath of nuclear holocaust. Humanity has destroyed its own civilization and society. Via evolution, apes have moved beyond the ethical limitations of Homo sapiens and created a more just society.

Yet, for all their supposed advancements, we soon learn that our new masters of the planet are nothing more than humans in monkey suits. Their society offers a mirror image of our own, replete with all the advanced conceptualizations, religious belief and base emotions as then-20th century human society.

It leads me to believe that we humans are a very egotistical lot. Far too many of us simply cannot conceive of a life force that does not embody the essence of our consciousness.

This is most unfortunate as it seems to be leading toward the demise of our planet and civilization. If we continue to be unable to visualize beyond our own self-imposed glass ceiling, we are lost. If we continue not to recognize our connection with all things, we will ensure our eternal separation.

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