Trigun Bookclub By Volume
Trigun: Volume 1 | Volume 2
Trigun Maximum: Volume 1 | Volume 2 | Volume 3 | Volume 4 | Volume 5 | Volume 6 | Volume 7 | Volume 8 | Volume 9 | Volume 10 | Volume 11 | Volume 12 | Volume 13 | Volume 14 | General Commentary
Trigun Bookclub By Member: alena-reblobs | aluvian | annaofaza | anxiety-elemental-kay | caffeinefire | deludedfantasy | discount-kirishima | domfock | dravencore | eilwen | fifthmooon | hashtagcaneven | hikennosabo | iwritenarrativesandstuff | lizkreates | makima-s-most-smile | merylstryfestan | mydetheturk | namijira | needle-noggins | nepentheisms | nihil-ghost | ocelaw | pancake-breakfast | rainbow-pop-arts | retrodaft | revenantghost | sunday-12-25 | the-nysh | weirdcat1213
Original Tumblr Post: Thinking about that Genesis symbolism
Thinking about that Genesis symbolism
SPOILERS AHEAD for the end of Trimax. I know bookclub still has a few weeks left to get there, but @pepplemint put down some thoughts I really liked (linked below, their post includes the spoilers that I’m reflecting on). I was originally going to just reblog with comments I wanted to add, but then this post wound up way longer than I expected.
Anyways, for op, I think this essay may be of interest to you with its discussion of the final few chapters; especially this bit where the writer quotes the late Thich Nhat Hanh:
Though the Bible values understanding, it prioritizes love above all. Jesus encourages his followers to love thy neighbor, no matter what, whether or not there is understanding. Alternately, in Living Buddha, Living Christ, Thich Nhat Hanh writes that “In Buddhism, understanding (prajña) is essential to love (maitri). Without understanding there cannot be true love, and without love there cannot be true understanding.” Perhaps the finale of Trigun Maximum is a blending of these two philosophies.
For me personally, the use of the Genesis allusions in the resolution of the story and the way that plants and humans switch around in acting as the god figure in relation to one another have stirred up thoughts about how there’s more of a push and pull in God’s relationship with humanity in the Tanakh or Hebrew Bible (which has the same books as the Protestant Old Testament but they’re arranged differently).
My knowledge of Judaism is pretty basic, so I’d love to hear from someone who can provide more perspective, but from what I do know, the Jewish approach to God differs from the Christian approach in that adherents are encouraged to question God (even the very existence of God is up for questioning). In Christianity, God is characterized as an all-powerful perfect being humans have to obey, but this characterization really involves a lot of retconning of the Jewish source material, because in those stories, God is not necessarily omnipotent or omnibenevolent.
In Genesis 3:22-23, God seems to express concern over the possibility of humans rivaling him. From the NRSV translation:
(22) And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” (23) So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.
But even with the banishment from the Garden of Eden and the whole Tower of Babel episode in which God voices his qualms about humanity becoming too powerful, God also has moments in which he welcomes it when people challenge him. Genesis 32:24-32 is the story of Jacob wrestling with God and insisting “I will not let you go unless you bless me,” and he gets his blessing. And it’s in these verses that we get an explanation for the meaning of the name Israel – “The one who strives with God” (from the notes of The New Oxford Annotated Bible).
And what is Trigun but a story of striving between creator and creation? There’s plenty of contentious striving, full of pain and conflict, but there’s also the striving for understanding – a struggle to truly KNOW the other so that together, they may have a chance at building a more mutually beneficial future.
TLDR: I think the relationship of mutual contention between God and mankind as seen in the Hebrew Bible is a better analogy for the humans vs plants conflict than the Christian view of original sin cutting people off from a perfect supreme authority.