15.07 – Playing God or playing with God?
Be it attempts to create artificial rains or create artificial life, modern technology frequently aims to bend nature to human will. This desire is essentially the desire to play God, because God is the controller of nature, not man.
Such attempts to play God often promise technological salvation: paradise on earth through technology. This promise has enamored not just billions of humans globally. It has also seduced many of the finest human brains.
Result? Pockets of heavenly comfort and slices of dazzling control. And a planet the brink of ecocide. Perilous pollution of air, water and land. Ominous depletion of non-renewable energy sources like fossil fuels. Climate change, a euphemism for environmental super-disasters.
Many eminent thinkers have started recognizing that we need to cooperate with nature, not dominate it. They could be echoing the beginnings of Gita wisdom. The Bhagavad-gita (15.07) indicates that we are parts of Krishna. When we forget or neglect our fulfilling relationship with him and instead seek enjoyment through matter, we struggle and suffer (karshati). Eco-crises are one contemporary version of this misery.
A further insight of Gita wisdom is that cooperating with nature is not a mandate for intellectual passivity, for not doing anything intellectually to improve our lives. Our intelligence is meant for a far more worthy purpose than struggling in vain to control temporary matter: exploring eternal spirit.
To aid such exploration, Gita wisdom reveals an endearing vision of the divine: a God who delights not in omnipotent majesty but in innocent play. In the ultimate spiritual paradise, God as Krishna conceals his divinity to play in love with his devotees for all of eternity. Educating our heart to attain that ecstatic world where we can play with God – that is the perfection of our intelligence.