» Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The similitude of His light is as a niche wherein is a lamp. The lamp is in a glass. The glass is as it were a shining star. [This lamp is] kindled from a blessed tree, an olive neither of the East nor of the West, whose oil would almost glow forth [of itself] though no fire touched it. Light upon light. Allah guideth unto His light whom He will. And Allah speaketh to mankind in allegories, for Allah is Knower of all things. [This lamp is found] in houses which Allah hath allowed to be exalted and that His name shall be remembered therein. Therein they do offer praise to Him at morn and evening. « [An-Nur 35-36]
A lovely looking tree
Many people instinctively feel that in today's society, appearance and reality are more and more diverging. Something is profoundly in the wrong. But what is it exactly? We are faced with overpopulation, poverty, climate change and, perhaps, the catastrophe of an atomic war. Distressed, alienated people, destroyed nature and a meaningless life shape our "modern" society.
While every technical innovation is welcomed as progress, the feeling remains that genetic engineering, robotics, artificial intelligence and other achievements are perhaps not the solution to our problems but instead will disturb the equilibrium of life even more than it is the case already, because every achievement seems to have considerable "side effects". For example, the highly praised medical progress is the main reason for the root of most of the problems that humanity faces today, the overpopulation.
Although industrial agriculture allows the food supply for much more people than traditional or natural methods such as permaculture, it ruins the soil in the long run and the extensive use of pesticides causes the disappearance of many species, apart from the dangers of genetically modified food. For each problem solved, several others seem to appear.
The enthusiasm, however, is nonetheless persistent: "We will get things under our control, with more and more comprehension and knowledge, and the resulting technology! We will shape nature as we want, and eliminate all the adversities of life!"
A great promise! In which most people seem still to believe. But actually, who gave us that promise in the first place?
Was there not an abstruse tale talking about a tree, which would be lovely to look at and be funny because it made wise? And of a serpent in a garden that deceived two naive nudes and told them they could be like God?