Lyall Watson's excellent and thought provoking book I now get the feeling that there is something to the theory of "Original Sin", but it's something that will take a little more than Holy Water on the head to overcome, as it's the inherent nature of our genetic defaults that we must sometimes battle to do good rather than the evil our genes would have us do that makes the idea of original sin seem a valid point.
To make an analogy imagine being born a vampire with a genetic lust for blood.
To do "good" and live among humans you would have to constantly battle your genetic urges to stick your fangs into people's necks...so the war between good and evil tendencies in such a vampire trying to behave would be a constant mental battle between his will to do right and his genetic makeup for blood-lust.
Maybe that's a bit of an extreme example, but I find this mythological picture below quite symbolically true when you think of genes looking like entwined snakes (the serpent in the tree?) and the apple being the forbidden fruit of knowledge.
As "souls" coming into this material world as human beings we are nailed to that genetic tree through our inheritance of our parent's genes that go right back millions of years, so with the fruit of knowledge to do right in one hand and the serpentine genes of the primitive on the other it can be a constant battle to do the right thing as long as we inhabit a human body.
Lyall writes about Richard Dawkins theory of the meme as a cultural virus and since we all share genes going all the way back to the beginning it is not hard to imagine the "biological internet" that Lyall writes about in this passage -
"We live in extraordinary and fascinating times, poised on the brink of something either too wonderful to imagine or too terrible to contemplate. Probably, given what we know of life, a bit of both. But the mix remains vital and possibly still within our powers to control. What worries me most is that we have an alarming tendency to tilt the balance in the wrong, the ugly way. How else can one explain the fact that mass murderers have now become cult figures celebrated in an unsavory market of killer kitsch? Of trading cards, posters and T-shirts that promote such adulation of serial killers that Ted Bundy even found one groupie credulous enough to marry him. Man-eating Jeffery Dahmer, until his own murder in a Wisconsin prison in late 1994, was showered with fan mail and thousands of dollars in gifts. Richard Ramirez, the "Night Stalker" who savagely murdered thirteen people in California, even now has a devoted following of women who write to him and even visit him in San Quentin. And there are those who have begun to turn to Charles Manson for advice.
And I find it amusing that this passage from his book starts on page 237, of all pages -
Our first attempts were probably directed at increasing productivity, and took the form of projecting our own internal desires onto the external world. "
"It is the genes that "want" men to have sex with as many women as possible. Sex and power are the nuts and bolts of natural selection. We are designed to seek ephemeral pleasures, to believe that just one more million, the next lover, one last drink for the road, will bring everlasting bliss.
Our old ally, the selfish gene."
|The cell-fish gene?! :-)|
|The African Queen|
Rose Sayer: Nature, Mr. Allnut, is what we are put in this world to rise above.