The Spiritual ChicksSM Speak Out:
Genetically Modified Food: An Unconventional Spiritual Perspective
by K. Weissman & T. Coyne


Across the general population, scientific and religious principals are used to both support and oppose biotechnology. But is the current controversy over genetically modified food really grounded in the pursuit of scientific and religious truths?

Consider the fundamental messages behind both sides of the issue. The people who support biotechnology represent that our food supply isn't abundant or nutritious enough and needs to be fixed. Those who oppose genetically modified food warn that we shouldn't be playing God by tampering with Nature because something will go terribly wrong. Obviously, these two groups are at odds, but on an emotionally deep level, the level where all humans connect, are they really that far apart? Not if you entertain the idea that both sides are operating from a problem-oriented, fear-based perspective that "something" is wrong with the world as it is. This is not a spiritual or scientific platform, this is a carnal dilemma based on our fear of physical injury or death.

The more we fear material harm or annihilation-which admittedly, is a difficult thing to get beyond, thanks to the self-preservation urge-the more we enslave ourselves to technology that we fear, yet are afraid to be without-e.g., the laboratory-grown kidney that allows a diabetic to live 20 years longer, or the nuclear bomb as a supposed deterrent to war. Fear breeds fear on any level-in science, religion, health care, politics-and in our everyday lives. As a species, we are so steeped in fear that we aren't even consciously aware how insidiously it undermines our most lofty dreams and visions for ourselves and our world. Perhaps we are lonely at the top of the food chain, weary of being the latest and greatest product of evolution, and longing for union with that which made us and sustains us.

How to get back to the Garden? Think about this for a moment. If we really viewed ourselves as spiritual beings-a fundamental tenet at the core of all religious systems-and not simply as "bodies," would biotechnology even be an issue? Do we really believe that our true spiritual nature can be harmed by technology? The idea that Spirit/Energy/Nature/God pervades everything, even genetically modified food, helps us to feel less vulnerable, and allows us to look at scientific exploration more objectively. It also gives us a sense of interconnectedness with the universe as a whole, which promotes responsible action-hurt the universe and you hurt yourself. Technology flowing from this sense of connectedness would naturally serve life. Who knows, we might opt to send agricultural emissaries to developing nations rather than golden rice, or maybe our bodies would biologically adapt to assimilating new kinds of food, as they have many times before in human history.

Perhaps the role of spirituality in science is to remind us to purge our grim existential fears and operate from a new perspective based on faith in life itself. We don't have to deny the problems that exist, or even the inevitability of physical death, but we can focus more of our attention on our connection to our source-whatever we choose to call it-and our ability to take care of ourselves.

SM & Copyright 2000 K. Weissman & T. Coyne

Karen Weissman and Tami Coyne are The Spiritual ChicksSM. Check out our web site 


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