The battle between the snake and the crow
The other day, as me and my Jewish friend were riding by an ancient shrine we witnessed a battle between a snake and a crow. My friend jumped into the battle on behalf of the snake. “Why do you interfere in a battle between a snake and a crow?” I asked. He said, “I felt sorry for it, it is just a baby.” The snake was a poisonous one, we could tell from its triangular shaped head. It was seriously injured with its guts sticking out in two different places. “All you are going to do is deprive the crow of its food and give this snake a slow and lingering death,” I said.
Nonetheless, he took it home. I told him to tape its mouth shut and then stick its guts back in or it would die. That is what he did. Five days later he carried the now-recovered snake on his shoulder back to the shrine and let it go. This is a shrine, by the way, dedicated to the war gods in commemoration of a great victory over 1000 years ago.
To me there was a profound philosophical lesson in that incident. It made me realize the Western view of an eternal war between God and Satan is fundamentally wrong. The Asian view of Yin and Yang is much closer to the reality. The Yin contains a bit of the Yang and vice-versa. Think of them as two opposing and yet at the same time harmonious inter-twined forces. Sometimes it is a male and a female making love. Sometimes it is best friends having animated discussions. Sometimes it is rivals in a competition and sometimes it is mortal enemies fighting to the death.
In this case, my friend was right and I was wrong. From the point of view of God, which I believe to be the life force in and of itself, the future life of a baby snake had more value than a crow’s lunch.
The West needs to replace the metaphor of God and Satan in eternal battle with one of a more harmonious interaction between the forces of dark and the forces of light.
This brings us to a fundamental question in Western philosophy which is “why does anything exist at all?” The answer is that by its very definition anything could not exist without nothing to contrast it with. The universe is composed of two fundamental particles: light and dark or energy and vacuum. You can see their primal action by looking at the static seen between channels on a TV. That is right, the universe is digital.
Every once in a while, the random interactions produce a self-replicating mathematical formula that turns into a vortex that creates a new universe or reality. The Satan worshippers who have been herding us with a Hegelian dialogue of action and reaction made a fundamental mistake by thinking that mayhem, death and destruction were necessary ingredients to this process.