Top of Creation
An Original Tale
The angels once gathered together and rebelled against their Creator, for they objected to man being bestowed with the honour of being recognized as ‘top of creation’.
They reasoned: “Why should man be graded as the highest creature? After all, he has animal attributes of eating, drinking and procreating. We have no such drives, therefore we deserve the title of being ‘top of the creation’.”
The Lord said, “You yourself can take the decision after one of you volunteers to go and spend some time on earth and experience the life of a human-being.”
Many eager angels came forth, but only one was chosen to fly down.
As soon as the angel flew down, he was enchanted by the earth and its bounties, its natural beauty and alluring fragrances. He alighted on a tree and began to partake of its sweet and delicious fruit. The taste of it was so exhilarating, that he wondered how he could have ever lived without it. Life was pretty dull without satisfying the palate.
After a while, he heard piteous cries; a young girl was sobbing her heart out. Kindness and compassion led him to befriend the girl. Soon enough they became good friends; friendship led to love which paved the way for a happy union.
For the first few years, the angel was deliriously happy. But gradually the freshness, the novelty and the charm of life began to wear off. He had to face many difficulties and hardships to provide for his ever-growing family; he realized that people were deceitful and selfish; friendships were only a farce; relationships were short-lived. As the burdens of life fell upon him, he felt oppressed and suffocated.
Unhappiness led to constant complaints and then suffering. In pain, he cried out to the Lord who sent another angel to search for the brother who had not yet returned.
The next angel too was enchanted by the sounds, sights and smells of the earth. He too was ‘going astray’ when he met up with his brother-angel, who gave him an account of his experiences. The strength of awareness helped them to break through the worldly-web of human life and soar into the skies, heading homewards.
When the angels once again appeared before the Lord, he asked the experienced ones, “Now you tell us, why is man honoured with the title of ‘top of creation’?”
Tongue-tied, they could only hang their heads in shame.
The Lord said, “Even the angels cannot resist the temptations of the earth. The lure of the world is so strong that even they tend to go astray and forget me. Should I not then be proud of man, who in spite of going through temptations, burdens and the difficulties of life, remembers me and thinks of me sometimes? Does he not deserve the honour of being the ‘top of creation’?”
We are not human beings having a spiritual experience.
We are spiritual beings having a human experience.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin