Questions on the Origin and Nature of Man

This entry has been updated with Part 2, resulting from the answering of a comment below.

Since the Scopes Monkey Trials in the 1920s, during which Darwin’s materially scientific theory of the origin and evolution of mankind clashed powerfully with the Fundamental Christian interpretation of mankind as being the literal descendents of Adam and Eve, material science and traditional religion have become increasingly at odds with one another.  Christian Science asks two questions to open minded and sincere seekers of the Truth of being:  First, what if both sides of this argument are correct with respect to their own respective premises?   Second, what if the absolute and correct answer to the question of the origin of mankind depends upon a set of absolutely spiritually true premises;  lost premises which have were presented in practice by the Master Christian, Jesus Christ, over 2 millennia ago?   In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, the textbook of Christian Science which was first published in 1875, author Mary Baker Eddy presents the following potential syllogism in a paragraph bearing the marginal subheading “Rejected theories” on page 269:

 

“The theories I combat are these: (1) that all is matter;   (2) that matter originates in Mind, and is as real as Mind, possessing intelligence and life.     The first theory, that matter is everything, is quite as reasonable as the second, that Mind and matter coexist and cooperate. One only of the following statements can   be true: (1) that everything is matter; (2) that everything is Mind. Which one is it?”

 

Darwin’s theory of evolution begins with proposition (1).  Evolution explains man’s existence as the result of the action of intelligent matter.  It begins with the premise that everything substantial is comprised of matter.  Evolution leaves the presence of God, or a source of intelligence capable of arranging such complex action, either out of the picture entirely, or it assigns intelligence to matter itself by the presence of a substance which has been more recently called DNA.  Some justify their belief in both God and evolution by assigning God the credit for the design of DNA.  No matter what the individual view of the supporter of evolution may be, evolution in general includes the premise that all substantiality or entity is contained in material forms.  Evolution does not provide for any explanation of entity either before of after appearance in the material form.  Spiritual entity is “off limits” in the evolutionary explanation. This is one of two common points of human view.

 

The story of Adam and Eve begins with proposition (2).  As Mrs. Eddy states, it is just as reasonable (or unreasonable!) to assume that matter is derived from the divine intelligence of God, as it is to assume that matter contains its own resident intelligence.  The story of Adam and Eve in the 2nd and 3rd chapters of the book of Genesis reveals a human understanding of man which is based upon the premise that man was created by the Lord God out of matter, out of the dust of the ground, but is animated with God’s divine intelligence.  The rules of this explanation also state that man must be born of flesh, live in flesh, and that this flesh, being finite and limited in nature, must again return to a lifeless form of matter.  This second explanation goes one step higher than the initial proposition, in that it provides some explanation of a spiritual entity or consciousness.  The entity of the Adam-man is said to reside within a finite soul which lives on after the death of the body.  This is the second of two common points of human view.  This traditional analysis has never been able to explain why man appears in a fleshly form, even though he is admitted to already have an immortal nature in consciousness, already assigned by God.

 

Christian Science intervenes with a deeper analysis and an explanation of the apparent physical appearance of man in human consciousness.  In the human experience, man appears to be physical in spite of his already immortal nature.  This immortal nature is reflected in man’s being as Soul. Christians understand God, good, to be omnipotent and omnipresent, the source of all valid entity.   Christians also understand God to be Spirit, and thus that God cannot be comprised of matter.  To attempt put God into a material form would assign God an impossible limited, finite, and mortal nature, contrary to the very definition of God.  God as cause is the only substantial and permanent entity, and man as effect is God’s image and likeness. Matter is not that likeness, and hence not the effect of God, Spirit.  Matter must then be the opposite of Spirit, and evil is unmistakably the opposite of good.

 

Yet, our human experience proclaims that good and evil, spirit and matter, reside alongside one another.  How can good and evil coexist, and how can spirit and matter coexist, where all valid entity is good and spiritual?  They cannot!  Is it not possible that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the forbidden fruit described in the Garden of Eden in Genesis 2 of which Adam and Eve partook, resulted in Adam’s curse on himself – a false awareness of the presence of evil in his life?  God told Adam not to partake in the belief of evil – to avoid partaking of that tree.  Adam did, and humans continue to follow that Adam model.  Why do humans continue to partake of it, accepting that both good and evil, spirit and matter, are ever present?  Because, we so educate ourselves to live human life.  We must reverse this education if we hope to find spiritual reality and eternal life.  How could God, Spirit, good, comprising all valid entity, allow a place for His opposites, evil and matter, to reside?  Where all space is filled only with the entity of God, nothing remains but good!  To say that God allows evil, could be likened to saying that the sun sets aside a place for darkness to reside. The sun dispels darkness by shining.  So, God dispels evil by BEING, and man dispels evil by thinking as God does.  As the sun simply shines, so God simply IS.  Since God, good, created all which is valid, must not all which is valid, be good?  Is it not a present possibility, based on this logical analysis, that evil, the opposite of good, is simply invalid?  Can the sun emit rays of darkness, or only rays of sunshine?

 

The conclusion being that man’s real entity is spiritual in nature, what then could be the purpose of our living life in matter?  There actually is none.  God did not put us into a material form.  Adam only created the illusion of this environment, this apparent material form, by partaking of the forbidden fruit.  Spiritual man, existing in an eternal spiritual form, is the reality.  Adam’s life is only a dream.

 

Why would God, the creator of all that is substantial, perfect, eternal, valid, and spiritual have reason to put man into a material universe, in which law appears to operate independently from the universal law of God, good?  God, Love did not, could not, and would not!  Instead, humans continue dreaming the Adam dream initiated by figuratively partaking of the forbidden fruit.  The first chapter of Genesis clearly states that the universe was already created by God, and that it was created to remain perfect.  God had already rested on the seventh day to behold Himself and His creation of perfection.  Matter and evil were not part of the perfect and complete spiritual creation of Genesis Chapter 1.  No mention of them appears except in the context of man’s supposed second, material creation, in Chapter 2.

 

Mankind continued and continues to dream the Adam-dream of existence in a material realm.  Later, Christ appeared in the form of Jesus to take away to take away the sins of the world.  What were these sins?  Following the initial creation of spiritual perfection, from whence came sins, or from whence could sins come?  Could sins have proceeded from the initial and perfect creation, in which man was made in the image and likeness of God, good, as in Chapter 1?  Or, did sins derive from man’s false perception of himself as the descendant of the fleshly Adam, as in Chapters 2 and 3?  Sin is most simply defined as the false recognition of any power or entity existing outside of the perfect and infinite self-containment of divine Love, Mind, God.  Because Jesus came to take away the sins of the world, he could only take away sin from the Adam-concept of man – not from God’s spiritual and perfect man.  God’s image and likeness, spiritual man, is permanently sinless, residing in a perfect and infinite realm wholly apart from that of the Adam man.  The spiritual man needs no salvation.  His perfection is unimpeachable.  We rarely see, or feel that we are experiencing being this spiritual man because we have buried our sense of our spiritual nature in the belief and dream of material living.

 

From what does the Adam man need to be saved?  He needs to be saved from his own false sense of material existence; an existence he began dreaming when he fell into a deep sleep (Gen 2: 21).  Adam needs to regurgitate the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. What evidence do we have from the New Testament to support this understanding?

 

In I Corinthians 15: 26 Paul wrote” The last enemy that shall be overcome is death”  Death, then, cannot have its source in God.  Otherwise we would not be advised to overcome it.  Jesus plainly overcame death by bringing at least three people back from its seeming grip, not to mention his own resurrection.

 

Paul also wrote in Romans 8:6 “ For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace”  The word carnal indicates a fleshly existence.  We are being clearly told to dwell in the spirituality of our consciousness, not its apparent materiality.  What does Paul say is the result of dwelling on materialism?  Death.  Death, which we have already shown by Paul’s previous statements, has no origin in God, and is the very opposite of the eternal Life which Jesus demonstrated.  Death is explained by Paul to be the by-product of keeping thought buried in materialism and the carnal nature.  The carnal nature has its roots in the Adam-dream.

 

In I Corinthians 15:22 Paul writes “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”  Christ is the perfect spiritual man.  The Christ nature was most perfectly lived by Jesus.  By partaking of that Christ, our true spiritual nature, we find eternal life.  The sense of matter and evil, is all that must die, and that sense finds its origin in the belief of living life in the material Adam-dream.

 

How can we arise from this Adam dream and enter into our heritage of eternal life?  Again, Paul wrote (I Cor 15:53, 54) For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.  So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.”  We can choose to align our thought with the Christ thought through continual awareness and self-purification.  As we drop the false characteristics of our old identity as an Adam-man, we gain increasingly clearer perceptions of our spiritual identity as a Christ-like man.  In proportion as we do this, our lives more closely approximate the perfect life demonstrated by Jesus.  Matter and material law become increasingly less influential and more powerless as our self consciousness aligns increasingly more closely with the perfect spiritual Christ-nature.

 

Here enters the logic of the second set of premises in our quote from Science and Health: “One only of the following statements can   be true: (1) that everything is matter; (2) that everything is Mind. Which one is it?”  In this sentence, proposition (1) still refers to evolutional theory, while proposition (2) emphasizes man’s perfect and spiritual nature, where, according to the evidence presented in the above logic, matter is entirely excluded.

 

Man’s nature as the child of God excludes mortality and carnal existence.  We can rejoice now in the assurance that we can and will awake from the Adam dream to find ourselves where we always were, safe and sound in the arms of divine Love, where matter is found to be only a distorted representation of God’s already perfect ideas.

 

 

 

Share

4 Comments

Filed under Christian Science

4 comments on “Questions on the Origin and Nature of Man

  1. I often believe that I have been such a disappointment. But, know that when God sees me he sees Jesus. But, here is what I often think about. If God sees Jesus who died for all of our sins, what does Jesus see when he looks down on earth. I try so very hard to be a good person and when I try really hard, I fail. But, when I run to Jesus to say I am sorry, he holds out his arms takes me into a tight hug and tells me it is okay. Go try again but, let me help you. Each day is better than the day before.

    • This isn’t an imaginative anewsr, but I would imagine it is the most sensible you are going to get.The likelihood is that god did not create’ anything, and that simply humans, and all other complex celled organisms, developed out of single celled amoebas, that managed to evolve due to having the fortune of being on a habitable planet. I think your whole point about which one came first, chicken or egg, just proves that this whole creation’ theory has to be untrue. However, if you are interested, there was a religious philosopher who made the claim for the existence of god based upon the design theory’ ie that everything around us looks as though it were designed. That is quite an interesting read!2 years vet nursing

    • Then, what was the origin of these first amoebas? They were animated weren’t they? After all, they were ALIVE. And where did their habitable planet come from? What made the plant’s conditions there match those needed by the amoebas? More accidents? Or did the amoebas derive their adaptation from the planet itself? If so, was the intelligence necessary for the amoebas to come alive contained IN the planet’s materials? What was this intelligence doing before it decided to animate amoebas? And why did it wait so long to animate matter into amoebas? And if it is an intelligence that animated them, does that not make them, by man’s definition, a god? If changing material conditions is the cause, and there is no such thing as intelligence, what could possibly cause the material conditions to change? Certainly SOME kind of principle or force, no? You don’t even have to call it God. Just call it a cuase. If there is NO fixed principle or cause of any kind and all is an accident, then even the laws of physics are invalid. Are the laws of physics not representative of causation and order? Without some sort of principle, how could the solar systems and galaxies move in harmony? By accident? Is the law of gravitation representative of accident? Did man get to the moon by outwitting unpredictable material forces, or by learning to abide by principled rules of physics? Is the entire harmonious universe of galaxies and planets and solar systems one giant but harmonious accident? If it were, and there were no ordering principle, would not the planets simply all be crashing into each other constantly? Would there be orbits and rotations? Would there be an earth rotating about the sun without a principle of law to make it happen? There is SOME kind of a cause behind any and every thing that exists. Without it, existence is impossible. And if there was no resident intelligence or principle to animate these first amoebas, then how did they become alive? By pure accident, just like this mysterious solar system? There must be one very complex set of accidents for this amoeba theory to stand. Even a single cell amoeba displays the characteristics of life. What were these amoebas before they evolved into amoebas? At what point did a lifeless cell become alive, and what CAUSED it to come alive?

      If there was NO cause, then even an accident could not occur, because there would be no principle from which accidental conditions could separate themselves. Without principle, all law would be chaos. And then, just by a series of chaotic accidents, these mysterious amoebas with no rational explanation of their origin, evolved into more complex life? Into all forms of plant life, animal life, and man? WHERE is their resident intelligence? If all existence can be explained as being IN matter, WHERE does its intelligence reside, and in what form? If your answer is that there is no intelligence, then in the same statement you would condemn your very own material existence and life — it would of necessity be devoid of all intelligence. So, exactly what animated these first amoebas? The amoeba theory is as full the very same holes as any other theory of the complete materiality of existence. Thank you for your comments.

  2. In Christian Science, the understanding of the spiritual nature of our existence is consciously and continually freed, to the highest level we each can attain day by day, from the influence of human doctrine and dogma. In the proportion that we learn to rise above the influence of human thought, as opposed to the influence of God’s thought, we find that pure spiritual logic and God’s perfection actually become our experience. As we gradually learn to make practical the exercising of spiritually transformed thought, we become aware of the great fact that we actually live in perfect infinite eternal Spirit, and not at all in imperfect, flawed, finite matter. As God’s image and likeness, we live in perfection. We do NOT live in imperfection as the vast majority of the world teaches us, and reinforces to us daily.

    Adopting the spiritually true viewpoint that we live in God’s perfection, understanding that the seeming world of imperfection is unconsciously produced by human thinking and is without an origin in God and thus invalid, we can learn to understand a surprising conclusion. That is, since we are the image of God, in the same sense that the image in the mirror is the image of yourself, then our real being when correctly viewed is exactly like God – perfect, eternal, loving, patient, understanding, powerful, etc. Every characteristic of God’s, by nature of our existence as His image and likeness as we are described in Genesis Chapter 1, MUST naturally also be ours. And everything else, all negative factors, are excluded. Understanding this great fact is what gives us our dominion over the things we feel disappointed about.

    From this true and spiritual perspective, we will learn that is as impossible for us to be a disappointment to God, as it is impossible for a person to look into the mirror and see a different person. God, perfect, looks into the mirror, and sees – you, and mankind, perfect. God does not, and is incapable of knowing you as imperfect. Only your mistaken human sense of identity, influenced by “the devil” to use traditional terms, knows a man who is a disappointment. And what is “the devil”? It is only this mistaken sense of imperfection falsely personified. The devil is only the personified causation assigned by human thought to the false belief and conviction that man has the capability of living a life separated from his perfect source, God.

    When God sees you, He sees not the man Jesus, but He sees the same Christ, the same perfect God-like nature which the man Jesus perfectly lived and expressed as a human. Jesus was our Great Examplar. He died and was resurrected to illustrate to us the nature of sin. The nature of sin goes much deeper than common human belief teaches. Sin includes much more than the carnal lusts. Sin includes any and all belief in a life separated or separable from God. The nature of sin is simply this: that yielding ourselves to ANY power which is outside of the realm of God’s infinity is wrong, false, impossible, and pointless, because God’s infinity completely excludes ANY opposition to Him, by the very nature of the meaning of the words “infinity” and “omnipotent”.

    So, when we feel that we try hard to be a good person, we need to change our perspective. It is only a false sense of ourselves which is trying. It is the false sense our ourselves, as limited and flawed, which we must dispose of. This sense of inherent imperfection is sin itself! We need not try to be good as humans, for the human concept of ourselves falsely excludes God. Our natural state is included, and is always inside of the realm of infinite God, Love. What we need to do is to continually mentally recognize our true and perfect nature as the image of God. This is living the Christ nature. This is the way Jesus mentally viewed both himself, and his fellow man. he did so perfectly, without a trace of doubt, and this perfect recognition of the Christ-nature native to all of man, healed the sick and the sinning, and raised the dead.

Leave a Reply to Stirling Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

HTML tags are not allowed.