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Body Swap

P1030671An article on BBC’s online Future section describes an experimental technology that gives two people the experience of feeling as though they have exchanged bodies with one another.

The thought behind the science is not new. It’s ancient wisdom that trying to imagine what it would be like to live in another person’s circumstances, bodies, or shoes, can help us develop a heart for those we are otherwise likely to dismiss or criticize.

After reading the article, my thoughts turned to the seventh chapter of Matthew’s Gospel. In our modern Bible’s this chapter is the last installment of what we call the Sermon on the Mount. It begins with Jesus’ urging his followers to not mindlessly judge one another (Matt 7:1-4). It ends with his challenge to not just hear his words but to do them (Matt 7:24-27)—and Matthew’s observation that those who heard Jesus were impressed by the way he spoke with such authority (Matt 7:28-29).

Since this last section of Jesus’ teaching focuses on treating those we resent with the generosity and heart that God has shown for us (Matt 7:1-11), I’m wondering if there is a remote connection with body swap technology. Because Jesus nets out the message of Moses and the prophets as a combined teaching on relating to others the way we’d want them to respond to us (7:12)—am wondering whether experimenting with “The Machine to be Another” is uncovering a need for which we’ve been created– to not just honor our own needs— but also those whose emotions and thoughts we haven’t tried to understand.


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70 Responses to “Body Swap”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    To walk a mile in someone else’s shoes is an old concept and meant to give meaning to the idea that we would need to be that person in order to understand their pain and motives for why they are the way they are.

    In learning the *why* about another does it excuse bad behavior or just explain it?

    Sometimes in the psychoanalysis of another’s behavior we find unrepentant selfish evil. What then do we do with seeing such an evil heart?

    We have not the *power* to forgive such evil in another unless that person has caused us harm or done evil to us. Are we expected to forgive such evil even if the perpetrator is unrepentant and does not ask for it?

    If I take the idea that understanding emotionally the motives behind evil and giving blanket forgiveness for it to its common denominator then God would be expected to forgive Satan for his rebellion cart blank.

    As well as all who remain in sin.

    More to say on this as it grows in content.

    Steve

  • remarutho says:

    Good Morning BYA Friends —

    It is interesting to think about some of the “Be Another” possibilities: a male and female swapping; a person who uses a wheel-chair swapping with a dancer; a Black person swapping with a Caucasian.

    How does a person “get out of him/her self” — how do parents and educators allow young people to experience even for a few moments the reality of being “the other”? What retraining could be applied to those who belong to hate-groups — or terrorist cells?

    I recall an episode of “Star Trek” in which a nebulous, super-powerful being entered the body of a human being. He commented how confined he felt inside this skin — and how alone and separated he felt. He concluded that he would not destroy the world he was about to vaporize…

    How did Jesus feel being born into time, the laws of physics, hunger, disease, thirst? We have already learned the “why” — John 3:16; Colossians 1:19. Could empathy bring about compassion? And could compassion bring about Christ-likeness in we humans? Just wondering.

    Blessings,
    Maru