My Canadian colleague did some digging and found the following, instructive excerpt from the collected works of Ms. [Barbara] Marx Hubbard:
“Although we may never know what really happened, we do know that the story told in the Gospels is that Jesus’ resurrection was a first demonstration of what I call the post-human universal person. We are told that he did not die. He made his transition, released his animal body, and reappeared in a new body at the next level of physicality to tell all of us that we would do what he did. The new person that he became had continuity of consciousness with his life as Jesus of Nazareth, an earthly life in which he had become fully human and fully divine. Jesus’ life stands as a model of the transition from Homo sapiens to Homo universalis.”
Irrespective of the insight that this remarkable passage gives us into the cast of mind at the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, Marx Hubbard’s blundering through Scripture and Christology does suggest one path to which the Episcopal critter prayers can lead. When the biblical metaphors used by the Lord (“people of your pasture” and “sheep of your hand”) are taken to imply that there is no substantial difference between human beings and the animal kingdom, then the temptation to transhumanism–the deliberate manipulation of the human condition through biotechnology–intensifies. As we can “improve” beef cattle, chickens and turkeys by manipulating breeding, we can make “better” human beings: transhumanized human beings, cyberhuman hybrids who are immortal. Prometheus, call your office. Aldous Huxley, how did you see this coming 80 years ago, when you were finishing “Brave New World”?