Lisha (lishablog) wrote,

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A BSG epiphany

Just now, as I was washing dishes, I had this thought about how kabbalistic the ending of BSG turned out to be. Beware, utter geekiness ensues in which sci-fi fandom meets a love of religious philosophy for its own sake.

The thought started out when considering the fact that two of the most evil-seeming characters in the series turn out to be angels doing the work of the Divine. That made me think about how the kabbalistic explanations of "original sin" in the garden turn the whole mainstream way of thinking about that story on its head. The serpent is there for a reason. He was doing God's Will. Someone had to knock Adam and Eve out of their complacent little lives of ignorance and (false, unfulfilled) bliss. Their "sin" does cause them to leave the Garden of Eden, but that's not really a bad thing. It's actually a good thing, because without it they could never be co-creators with God. Without that sin they could never have really explored art or science, literature or engineering. Without a broken world, Man would have nothing to fix, and thus Man would never learn or grow. So, Caprica and Baltar are messed up and their actions may even be called evil, but they are wholly necessary in the Plot of the Divine Story.

But that got me to thinking about the next kabbalistic connection. Kabbalists often talk about being co-creators and being partners with God in fixing the world. The concept has even drifted into mainstream Jewish thought, and I think at least liberal Christian thought as well. In Hebrew we call this "Tikkun Olam" which is translated as "Fixing the World" but you should note that the word "Olam" means "world" in modern Hebrew, but traditionally also has the connotations of "forever" in time and "universe" as in everything there is. (I just throw that out for those who enjoy chewing on such tidbits.) So, where am I going with this?

By creating the Cylons, Humans created a species that was able to continue forward independently. Humans had, therefore, taken a step much like the one taken by God Themselves in Genesis when They said to Themselves, "Let us make Man in Our image." But the job was not complete.

It was necessary for the Cylons and the Humans to live separately for a long time in order for them to continue on in their evolutionary paths. When the Cylons left the company of the Humans and headed for Earth, they used resurrection to continue "living". But they wanted to be more like their creators, and eventually they began to reproduce sexually. The story doesn't explain how this happened. Perhaps it was spontaneous, a divine gift to push them on their evolutionary way. Perhaps it was an intentional move, something that took much study, trial and error. However it happened, they were eventually able to reproduce in the same way that their human creators had done, and that set the stage for the next step in allowing Humans to be co-creators.

When, at last, the Humans and the Cylons come back into contact, it is in part by way of a second act of creation by the Humans and in part by way of the actions of the Cylons who had long since moved beyond their Human-created origins. The Earth Cylons become co-creators with the Humans who were their creators.

And then it gets really interesting. Because if the "as above so below" metaphors continue, then the next step is an amazing omen of what's to come after.

When Earth-Cylon created Bio-Cylons (ie "skin jobs") meet up with Humans, we get a whole new race entirely. The new, half-human half-Cylon is a blend of creator and the fruit of creation. The next era of "Human" development in the BSG universe is not really Human at all, but a blend of Human and Cylon. On a kabbalistic level, the created is moving closer to its creator. This is like the lightening bolt running back up the tree of life.

The next era in such a story could well be a blending of these Human-Cylon mixes back into the fabric of Godness. By what method? Well, the Cylons had to master biological reproduction in order to become One with their creators. Obviously, the Human-Cylon mixes would have to research and master the way in which the Divine exists, and then blend with Them in that way.

OK, yes, I realize that this is way too much heavy philosophical thinking about a fictional world, but its interesting to contemplate.
Tags: religion, television
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