Posted below is a phenomenal and mesmerizing video that proves conclusively that the Bible is true, and that everything I’ve been saying about words for the past few months on this blog is also true.
Intrigued? I hope so.
This video shows that:
1. Empathy connects us to one another and allows us to live lives that are cooperative rather than competitive.
3. Lack of empathy – disconnectedness between people – leads to destruction. Without it, we won’t “make it”.
4. Human consciousness changes in history. This is huge! As society changes, our neurons develop in different ways. Not only is your brain different from that of a forager-hunter from 30,000 years ago – but the brain of a child raised on e-mail and facebook is different than the brain of a child raised on MTV and the Cosby Show. This development of human consciousness can allow us to expand our capability for empathy over time.
5. This expansion of “the invisible hand” of empathy is a direct result of language – WORDS! As the guy in the video says, “Script [writing] allowed us to expand the central nervous system, and to annihilate more time and space and bring people together”. Whoa!
6. The ultimate hope of the world is that “the invisible hand” of empathy would expand to include all of us – all humans, and even animals and Creation itself.
7. (The ultimate “Boo-ya!” moment for Bible-lovers:) This expansion of empathy is actually NOT based on just trying to “convince” ourselves that we are all tied together. Rather it’s based on actual scientific evidence that all humans descend from one man and one woman. And so, “We have to begin thinking as an extended family.”
Get it? Here’s what totally rocks about all this: IT’S SO BIBLICAL! The Bible teaches that our lives are all part of a broader “meta-narrative”: the story of God working in the universe to bring all things into harmony. And we (humans) were put here to help make this happen. As a part of that purpose, we are called to rule over creation – animals and the earth – with kindness and compassion. In fact, if the Bible is to be believed, then it’s not just every person, or even every animal that has value. It’s every atom and particle in the universe. They’re all created by God and designed to exhibit his glory. The goal is to take this broken universe and set it right again by returning everything to its proper place in God’s meta-narrative. “From Tohu Bohu to Shalom” as I am fond of saying.
The teacher in this video is trying to write a meta-narrative that will unify us. What he doesn’t seem to know/believe is that he is only scratching the surface of the (much fuller, much more philosophically satisfying) unifying meta-narrative of which the Bible has spoken all along.
Now, before I get too excited, I should point out that there are a few things that I think this teacher got wrong.
First, he says empathy only exists where there is suffering. I totally disagree. Empathy allows us to connect with others’ joy as well as their sorrow. No empathy in heaven? Sorry dude, you’re wrong.
Second, he implies that we are inherently wired for empathy, and we only fail to show empathy when our core nature is “repressed” by parents, education, businesses, and government. I agree that we are “soft-wired” for empathy; but it seems we are also all soft-wired for evil. And that’s not something we can overcome by just trying harder. Thinking that we can is way over-optimistic in my view.
You can teach me about empathy and I can try as hard as I want. Heck, I’ve watched this video like five times already, but I still get annoyed at people close to me when they say and do things I don’t like. I need more than just someone to tell me it’s good to have empathy. I need a deep change of heart.
Lucky for me, there is one who can change my heart. During his life on earth, he showed perfect empathy and compassion all the time. He died for me. And I died through him. He lives in me now, just as his power has been in the world from the very beginning, working to restore Shalom to a broken world.
“I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (John 17:22-23)
(p.s. – just for the record, I don’t think Evolution is incompatible with the Bible. The picture is just there for a joke.)