The following guest sermon was submitted by ULC minister Torre Huffines. All ULC Ministers are invited to contribute their own sermons for consideration/publication. To submit a sermon, please email it to email@example.com.
The relationship between divinity and humanity is both unique and, perhaps, the most profound relationship we could ever know- the creator and their creation. In fact, the moment of creation often stirs other questions about awareness, life, and the deeper purpose of humanity. Behind the poetic prose of nearly all creation myths, there is often a serpent that alters the original nature of humankind from that of what creation had intended. What does the serpent tell us about the connection between creation, life, and awareness?
We find the concepts of the serpent and creation encircling each other time and again. In the traditions of Christianity, we are introduced to Adam and Eve. Eve commits the first sin when she eats from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. She not only condemns herself by these actions but also the rest of humanity. The serpent also appears in the Epic of Gilgamesh where the hero loses the plant of immortality to the snake. Gilgamesh is given a second chance at immortality yet fails once more. The serpent is also mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita. While advising him in battle, lord Krishna declares to Arjuna that he is the Ananta, or cosmic snake of infinity which coils in the waters of creation.
These parables (with plenty more to include) are undoubtedly used to show us the first aspect of our relationship with the divine- to know that we are not god or the gods but rather made in a mortal likeness. In each case, it would seem the serpent power, not only cunning and primal, has its own agenda. The serpent, made of earth and possessing gifts of persuasion, seeks to overwrite humanity's divine destiny and relationship with the creator and life. Referring to the bible, the interjection of the serpent seems to alter the predestined course of humanity to live in Eden (a place free of physical conditions of time) and the only factor that is said to have changed is our awareness of self. Where before, the human mind lay void of suffering and contrary truths, the polarity of life was cast upon the mind's eternal nature. This moment changed that prime creator's innocent view of humanity to an uncertainty of our true potential and intent. Throughout each of these stories, the serpent, having already been aware of the true nature of consciousness, changed the original destiny planned for us. One described as harmony with divinity, as well as opened our eyes to the polarity of life as though the serpent knew how good can lead to evil and how cause turns to effect.
These polar truths, good and evil, war and peace, pain, and elation, and so on were never meant to be grasped by human thought as far as divine beings are concerned. In the original plan of the divine, we were never meant to see the harsh, and even irrational side of life that exists between the extremes of truth. Rather, prior to the knowledge of good and evil, we saw the interconnected nature of all truths leading back to one final idea; all things embody creation and divine purpose. The serpent, to both our demise and revelation, warrants us to take ownership of our own willpower, bringing choice into prophecy. After we are exposed to the polarity of conditions and have seen the struggle and pain that comes with the glory of life, will we honor or rebuke our divine nature?