Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Original Sin

I was thinking this morning about the nature of original sin and how the christian bible got it wrong. It wasn't that snake got Eve to eat the fruit of the tree. It's that she ate the snake. No symbolism intended.

When life, before we could have recognized it as such, began. There had to be some sort of proto-organisms, free of DNA, self forming, that grew through absorbing minerals and nutrients. We know that they didn't eat other things because there were no other things to eat. And then somewhere along the line one of them invented eating, absorbing not just nutrients but the physical matter of other proto-organisms. It was a big step.

Eating, that is the taking of life so that another organism might live, seems to me to be the original sin. It requires each of us to kill in order to live, even though the killing might be just the harvesting of green leafy parts, or the outright slaughter of animals. We kill to live. There's no escaping it. It is the way we evolved, the way we are, it is the original sin. It's the reason I give thanks at each meal, for those that I'm about to devour, the lives they led, be they bean or beast, and how they nourish me for these few coming hours until I will need to eat again.