Is there a superhuman life or is this a closed universe limited to what we can see and touch? Right from our beginnings as a human race we and our forefathers have always felt there has to be some power beyond this earth who is ultimately responsible for our existing at all. In other words, there has to be a first cause, however many intermediate or evolutionary causes lie in between. Is there any empirical evidence of a life above and beyond ours? Is there any touch-and-see evidence of life from outer space?
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by Ernest O’Neill
- The Beginning
- The Force
- Visible Evidence from Outer Space
- The Visitor from Outer Space
- Is the Bible True?
- Is There Superhuman Life?
- Has There Ever Been a Superhuman Life?
- Any Life Greater Than Death?
- Can We Experience It?
- What is It?
- Why Not Born With It?
- Why Are We Not Born With It?
- The Second-Best–Human Life!
- Our Poor Alternative
- Daily Life Without It!
- Who Am I?
- Why Am I So Unhappy?
- Why Don’t We Miss It?
- Its Laws
- Have You Got It?
- How to Tell Whether You Have it or Not
- Its Symptoms–the Ten Commandments
- The Purpose of Frustration
- Fallen Nature
- Who Is Jesus?
- Starting to Live
- Can You Begin Again?
- The End of the Beginning
- The Cosmic Death
- The Ideal You
- Turning Back the Clock
- Living Above Time
- The Timeless Life
- Understanding Yourself
- Dichotomy or Trichotomy?
- The Human Spirit
- Inner Space
- The Something Missing
- Dead Inside
- When Did I Die Inside?
- Struggling Into Life
- Internal Gyro-compass
- Seared Conscience
- An Awakened Conscience
- Reformation or Regeneration?
- Conscience and Will
- The Pivotal Point
- Good or Godly
- Living Originally
- Are You Successful?
- Your Hot-line
- The Inner Monitor
- Inner Knowledge
- Deduction or Induction?
- The Source of Intuition
- The Loss of Intuition
- Rediscovering Intuition
- A Personal Guidance System
- A New Life
- Your Unique Life
- Lie or Reality?
- Wanting What God Wants
- What do You Want to Do?
- Someone Inside You
- Can You Live It?
- The Triumph of Man
- I’m Part of Someone Else
- You’re Part of Christmas
- Where Did You Come From?
- The Eternal Now
- Why Are You Alive?
- Your Daily Work
- The Purpose of Work
- The Meaning of Your Work
- Are You Important?
- Am I Just My Mother’s Child?
- Why Do We Exist?
- Your Real Origin and Purpose
- Your Real Nature
- Faith for What?
- You’re Part of Someone Else
- You’re Part of Christ
- Today in Paradise
- Where is There Then Superhuman Life?
- What Attitude Should I Have?
- The Relief of Reality
- Can You and God Both Have Free Wills?
- A Beneficent Dictator?
- What Are You?
- Step Out of Yourself
- When Were You Born?
- A New You
- Whose Child Are You?
- Only One Way
- The Life Within Us
- The Life Within
- The Order in Life
- The Inner Guide
- The Basis of Life
- The Great Choice
- Why This Present Life?
- How Do We Then Live?
- Living Inside Out
- The Person Inside You
- Your Other Self
- Direction in Life
- Your Work
- Your Future
- A Destiny That Shapes Our Ends
- Beginning a Guided Life
- Inside Out or Outside In?
- Self or Maker?
- Are You Important?
- Directed or Improvised?
- The Thinking and Calculations of Death
By Ernest O’Neill
How did this whole world come to exist at all? Have you ever wondered aboutthat? Most of us have been forced to think this kind of thought at some point inour lives. Perhaps our mother or friend dies or we suddenly face some crisis inour own lives: momentarily we find ourselves wondering “Why are we aliveanyhow?” What’s the point of it all–the eating and sleeping and strugglingand working and dying–how did it all start in the first place?
The usual cliches satisfy only those of us who don’t really want an answer.You know them already– “It all came by evolution.” Evolution ofwhat? What evolved from what? Evolution from simple to complex forms may or maynot describe how this whole system developed, but it certainly doesn’t explainhow it started. What power originated the first single-cell amoeba? If it allstarted from scum on a pond, where did the pond come from? If it all came fromone proton, where did the proton come from?
In recent years we’ve tried through research in astronomy to suggest that itall started with a ‘big bang’ but even this attempt to explain an expandinguniverse begs the question “what exploded?” Somewhere, sometime,something or somebody had to make something out of nothing!
Theories like the ‘big bang’ look at the present facts and suggest probableexplanations for them: does that method suggest anything about the origin of theuniverse? Well, the facts about our universe suggest one very obvious thingabout its origin: it was not by chance or good luck! Why is that so? Because ofthe order that we find right from the smallest molecular structure to theorbiting of the largest planet. If our earth were any closer to the sun, wewould all burn up. If air pressure were any greater, we would explode. Ourenvironment is so carefully adapted to our existence and we are able so to adaptto it that it’s obvious this order was built in from the beginning.
This order is what caused one of the greatest geniuses of our era, Einstein,to declare, “My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitableSuperior Spirt who reveals Himself in the slight details we are able to perceivewith our frail and feeble minds. That deeply emotional conviction of thepresence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in theincomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God.” This order, whichenables the blood to carry at least 64 substances thousands of miles a daythrough our bodies and is evident in the chart of the elements and the structureof the DNA molecule, suggests that very reasonable hypothesis that the universeoriginated from an intelligence at least as developed as yours and mine.
In other words, the existence and persistence of the seasons, the intricateconnection between your eye and the object it photographs, the mystery of whatmaintains the electrical charge that makes your heart beat–these facts andmillions of others suggest to common-sense this order did not result from chanceplus time but from the conscious design of an intelligent mind.
By Ernest O’Neill
Where do you think life came from? Perhaps you reply that you haven’t aclue. But there do seem to be some clues. If summer came one year in Januaryand the next year in July, if some people fell off Australia while othersmanaged to stay on, then one would be tempted to say the whole universeresulted from chance. But instead of this kind of chaos we are surrounded by aworld of so much order and design that one of our greatest geniuses, Einstein,said that his religion “consists of a humble admiration of the illimitableSpirit who reveals Himself in the slight details we are able to perceive withour frail and feeble minds.”
Many of us admit that there must be a first cause but we hesitate to goas far as Einstein when he refers to the first cause as HE. Why can allexistence not be attributed to an impersonal force of some kind? One of theobvious reasons is that you cannot imagine a dog making a man: a lesser form oflife cannot make a greater form of life. Human life is superior in itsanalytical and reasoning powers to inanimate life so it is logical to assumethat the probable cause of the universe is at least as personal as we are.
If this were the case it would also help to explain the existence ofconscience and the sense of moral obligation that is felt universally by ushuman beings. Wherever you travel you find that even the most uneducated andprimitive tribes think it’s wrong to be cowardly or to double-cross yourfriends. Even though we find it easier to hate than to love, to lose our temperthan to keep it, to be selfish than to be unselfish, yet we persist in feelingguilty and continue to feel that we ought to be loving, even-tempered andunselfish. It’s difficult to explain such a strong sense of moral obligationunless it comes from outside this selfish, squabbling, assertive human race. Onthe other hand, if there is a personal being greater than ourselves with higherstandards than we live by, then this mysterious feeling of ‘I ought” may comefrom that Supreme Being.
So there is circumstantial evidence to support the intuitive belief in acreator that men have had for centuries. Wherever anthropologists research thebeginnings of the human race they find that man has always believed in theexistence of a supreme being. Not only does every corner of the earth yield itsstore of temples for worship but it also is filled with all kinds ofsacrificial altars where man expressed his sense of guilt. Though these factsof design and personality and conscience are not proofs that a Supreme Beingexists, they are strong circumstantial evidence for the reasonableness ofbelieving in such a Supreme Being.
Is there any empirical evidence for believing that there is a personalCreator behind this universe? Let’s examine this question in the nextarticle.
By Ernest O’Neill
Is there a superhuman life or is this a closed universe limited to what we can see and touch? Right from our beginnings as a human race we and our forefathers have always felt there has to be some power beyond this earth who is ultimately responsible for our existing at all. In other words, there has to be a first cause, however many intermediate or evolutionary causes lie in between. However, this kind of reasoning consists primarily of circumstantial evidence like the order and design in our world, the existence of conscience, and the universal intuitive belief in a Supreme Being. Is there any empirical evidence of a life above and beyond ours? Is there any touch-and-see evidence of life from outer space?
The answer is “yes.” In the first century of our era there appeared on earth a remarkable human being. Unlike other religious leaders who claimed to tell us human beings about the Supreme Being who originated our world and our lives, this man did not die like a dog. This is what happened to Buddha, Mohammed, Confucius, Zoroaster, Moses, and Jeremiah. They told us a lot about the Creator of the world, but they themselves succumbed to death like the rest of us. Their graves contain their bones and there is no evidence that they ever left the earth or got beyond its confines. This man Jesus told us he was the unique Son of the Creator of the universe, but when he was killed and was buried, he came alive again, moved among hundreds of people in Palestine for over a month, and then simply disappeared off the earth. He explained that between his death and his coming to life again he had been with His father, the Creator of the world, and that he was going back to Him again to prepare a new world for us.
This is the empirical evidence we have that there is a Creator with superhuman life behind all that we see around us. However, there are several obvious questions about evidence like this that we call empirical. First, how reliable is the evidence that this man ever existed? Secondly, how reliable is our present version of that evidence? Thirdly, does this evidence clearly indicate a life that has come from outer space?
The first question is about the historicity of this remarkable human being. Did he actually exist? Why believe that he did? The reason for believing that this man Jesus existed is that the historians who tell us about him were actual eye-witnesses of his actions and words. They didn’t hear it from others 500 years later as did the followers of Buddha, nor did they read it in collections of myths as did the Hindus; people like Peter and John lived and walked with Jesus of Nazareth. Peter put it like this in the last quarter of a collection of books, known to us by their Greek title “ta biblia,” the Books: “For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eye-witnesses of His majesty. For when He received honour and glory from God the Father and the voice was borne to Him by the Majestic Glory,
“‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” we heard this voice borne from heaven, for we were with Him on the holy mountain.’ But how do we know that Peter was telling the truth that he was an eye-witness: Because the life and death of this man Jesus was a well-known public event and men like Peter were well-known by those who were alive at that time. Other writers like Clementine, Ignatius, and Barnabas refer to Peter and his writings during these years in the first century a.d.
However, there is another reason for our certainty that these men who have given us the best account of this remarkable life were actual eye-witnesses who told the truth of what happened. Other historians whose writings were not included in the Bible also referred to this Jesus. For instance, Tacitus, the leading historian of Imperial Rome wrote in his “Annals”: “The author of that name (Christian) was Christ who in the reign of Tiberius suffered punishment under his Procurator Pontius Pilate.” Even a Jewish historian, Josephus, confirms “There was about this time, Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man for he was a doer of wonderful works– a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day.”
Is there other evidence that this unique human being lived in our world and was in some way connected with the superhuman life behind our world? Let’s look in the next article at some overwhelming evidence in this regard.
By Ernest O’Neill
Is there such a thing as superhuman life? Is there any kind of life that ishigher than the creaturely existence you and I have here on earth? Or are weimprisoned here on this planet with no hints of where it came from or how we gothere? Have any of us succeeded in getting sufficiently deep into space that wecan tell what, if anything, lies beyond this physical universe?
The answer is bluntly “No.” Not even the great religious leaderslike Buddha or Isaiah claim ever to have got off the earth and remainedconscious. BUT in the whole history of the world, there has been one visitorfrom Outer Space that has been able to tell us that there is a superhuman lifebehind the physical universe. He existed about 1950 years ago and hedemonstrated his ability to leave the earth and return to it at will.
Such a claim as this requires almost superhuman substantiation because thiskind of fantasy has been imagined by human authors for generations. Does thisvirtually superhuman evidence of a visitor from Outer Space exist? Yes — thoughit seems too good to be true, the historicity of this person’s life on earth ismore firmly established than almost any other human being of that era.
First, this man’s life has been recorded by eye witnesses like Peter andJohn who were well-known figures in Palestine in the first century. Their ownexistence is confirmed in many contemporary history books unconnected with theBible which contains their own writings. Secondly, their accounts of this man’slife are corroborated by other contemporary historians like Pliny, Josephus,Tertullian, Porphyry, and Celsus who make this kind of comment: “Tiberiusaccordingly, in whose days the Christian name made its entry into the world,having himself received intelligence from Palestine of events which had clearlyshown the truth of Christ’s divinity, brought the matter before the senate, withhis own decision in favor of Christ. The senate, because it had not given theapproval itself, rejected this proposal. Caesar held to this opinion,threatening death against all the accusers of the Christians.”
But this seems incredible unbelievable! Is it not more probable that thesefollowers were so deeply impressed by this remarkable leader that they allowedtheir admiration to get the better of their love of truth, and they exaggeratedhis power over death? This might happen if their story about the resurrectionresulted in their fame and fortune. But it did not! If they had just spread histeaching they could have lived long and respected lives; what they insisted onclaiming was that this man rose from the dead–this is why they were persecutedby the Jewish and Roman authorities. This fact was the cause of their earlydeaths — and the deaths of their wives and children.
Now men will die for something they think is true but which later turns outto be a lie. BUT men will not create a lie or an exaggeration that not only theybut their families have to die for. Such an event is an ethical andpsychological impossibility!
However, there is an even greater reason for accepting with absolutecertainty the historicity of this unique life that occurred on our planet at thebeginning of this era. The first written accounts (which we have today) wereread by hundreds of people who had themselves seen Jesus’ life and death. Theyonly had to laugh at these written records and tell what had really happened,and these accounts would never have survived the first century as history letalone the twentieth.
One of the letters that recount this unique life was written to people wholived in the Roman province of Galatia in the year 48 a.d. Obviously there weremany people alive in 48 a.d. who had seen Jesus crucified in 29 a.d.. Even a manof 20 at the crucifixion would be barely 40 when this account was circulating.The population in that small area of the globe was not large and the writtenreports were being read far and wide. In such a situation, historians have towrite it “like it was” – otherwise their histories will be exposed asfantasies. There was no such scandal! There was no such outcry! Incrediblethough this unique man, Jesus, was, the evidence that he existed is stronger andmore detailed than the evidence for Julius Caesar or Alexander the Great. Ifthis man did not live in our world, then history does not exist!
By Ernest O’Neill
What is life about? Why are you here? Why does the earth exist? All of us humans can give our best answers to these questions, but even to Einstein we have to say, “What do you know about these cosmic questions?” We have to say this because all of us humans suffer the same limitation–we’re trying to explain the enigma from WITHIN the enigma! We’re like goldfish that have never been outside the bowl trying to explain why they’re there and where the bowl came from.
We’ll never know why we’re here or why the world exists unless we hear from some power OUTSIDE our world. There must be something or someone out there in space that can see beyond the farthest star our radio telescopes and space-probes have discovered. Only such a “visitor from outer space” can logically be expected to explain why you exist.
What we’ve been sharing during the past few months is that such a visitor came to our planet more than 1950 years ago. We discussed last month the evidence for his existence presented in that collection of history books know as “the books”–“TA BIBLIA” in Greek. We talked about the integrity of the eye-witnesses who wrote the original accounts of this man’s life. We mentioned also the non-Biblical historians like Pliny, Tacitus, Celsus, Josephus and others who corroborated the details of his life. In other words, if we ask the question about the life of this man Jesus, “Is what they wrote true?”, we have to answer because of the substantiating evidence, ‘Yes.” BUT do we have what they wrote? After all, this visit from outer space took place more than 1950 years ago. Buddha lived around 500 b.c. but the details of his life were first written down 500 years later. Those intervening years provided all the time needed to develop untrue legends about him that could then be presented as history. Obviously that time didn’t exist in the case of this man Jesus, because accounts of his life were being circulated throughout the ancient world just 20 years after he died. BUT 1950 years have elapsed since those accounts were first written. How can you be sure those accounts have not been lost, tampered with, even completely re-written? How can you be sure that what we read in this Bible is what they wrote?
Obviously by having a Bible that was 1950 years old! If you had an account of his life that was written within a hundred years of his death, then you could be sure that nobody had changed the original account or if you had a lot of old copies of his life you could travel round the world unearthing them all and changing them to present a spurious story. Because the material used in old manuscripts was so perishable, the early scribes would destroy the old script after making a new one: the result is that ancient history like Caesar’s Gallic War has only 10 ancient manuscripts to confirm the original account–and the oldest one was copied 900 years after Caesar wrote his original history. It’s the same with the histories of Livy, Herodotus, Tacitus–even Plato’s Republic is based on a few ancient manuscripts, the oldest of which was copied about 1300 years after Plato lived. This is why the ancient history departments of our universities regard anything written within 200 years of the event as an eye-witness account.
What is the oldest manuscript that attests to the life of this man Jesus who lived 1950 years ago? 130 a.d.! That’s barely a hundred years after his death–and just 30 years after the death of one of the eye-witnesses that wrote about him. But perhaps someone got hold of that manuscript (it’s in the library of the University of Manchester in England) and changed it. If the classical scholars accept Caesar’s account of the Gallic Wars on the basis of 10 ancient manuscripts, how many are there to help us check that we have exactly the account of Jesus’ life as it was originally written? 4,000!
That’s right–there are more than 4,000 ancient manuscripts between the year 130 and 1100 a.d. that all attest to the accuracy of the account that we have in our Bible of the visit to our planet of this remarkable being from outer space, Jesus. If any of the world’s history can be trusted, then the history of this unique being justifies that trust more than any other history we possess. If he actually lived, why believe he came from some superhuman life? Let’s talk about this in the next article.
“Is the Bible History or Myth?” is a booklet that summarizes this kind of evidence and contains some pictures of the original manuscripts.
By Ernest O’Neill
We’ve been discussing on this page the question “what is life about?” Why are we here? What’s it all in aid of? We’ve been particularly concerned with the question of whether there is any life beyond this one that we are all experiencing here on earth. We have concluded that there must be something higher than us and the earth if we are to explain the existence of thinking, complex creatures like ourselves and a world that contains so much evidence of deliberate design. But, if such life exists out there beyond space, has it ever communicated with us? Have we ever heard from outer space–apart from the bleeps we may get on our radio-telescopes?
We’ve answered “yes.” There appeared on our planet about 1950 years ago a remarkable human being. The documentary evidence for his historicity exceeds anything we have for either his comtemporaries or the classical Greeks and Romans so the records we have of his life in the Bible are strongly corroborated by secular histories like Livy’s and Pliny’s. Today’s question is this–was this man Jesus of Nazareth any different from the rest of us? Was he any MORE than a man?
When you look at his life as it’s outlined in a book like the gospel of Mark in the Bible, some simple facts stand out. He talked like God’s son! Even though his earthly father was an ordinary carpenter, he said to his parents once when he was just twelve and they found him in the temple, “Did you not know that I would be about my Father’s business?” His mother, of course, knew her husband had no business in the temple. In a very natural way, he identified himself with God, saying things like, “If you knew me, you would know my Father also” and “He who has seen me has seen the Father also.” Indeed, where prophets like Mohammed avoided claiming a unique kinship with God, this man made it the focal point of his teaching. He would confront his followers with the question, “Who do men say that I am…who do you say that I am?”
However, probably all of us can think of people who make all kinds of wild claims as long as they will benefit from them; but this man was pointed and blunt about it even when he was on trial for his life about this very question of his identity. He was being tried for his life and the presiding official asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” He replied, “I am; and you will see the Son of man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.”
When I read that as a sceptic, I thought, “That explains it right thereÄÄthe man was a lunatic. The mental asylums are full of crazy people claiming to be anything from Napoleon to God’s SonÄÄthat’s what he was–just another mad demagogue!
Was He a Lunatic?
But this man called Jesus didn’t act like a lunatic! The insane people in asylums not only make insane claims for themselves, but they ACT insanely–they produce other symptoms of mental imbalance. But this man Jesus does not have the abnormalities or extremes of a madman. Indeed, the opposite is true. When anyone in the world–whatever their religious or nonreligous background–wishes to set forth an example of a perfectly balanced and integrated personality, Jesus of Nazareth is the one who is presented as the model to follow. “His zeal never degenerated into passion, nor his constancy into obstinacy, nor his benevolence into weakness, nor his tenderness into sentimentality. His unworldliness was free from indifference and unsociability or undue familiarity; his self-denial from moroseness; his temperance from austerity. Such are the opinions of most of the behavioural experts of our time. If this man was a lunatic, then all of us are hopelessly insane. As C.S. Lewis pointed out, “No one has yet explained how such deep, moral teaching could come from the lips of a megalomaniac!”
Was He a liar?
But perhaps this man was simply a con man, a simple liar. Maybe he knew he wasn’t God but deliberately deceived his hearers about his true identity in order to lend authority to his preaching. But he is universally regarded as the teacher of the highest ethical ideals the world has ever seen; moreover, his life is looked upon as the outstanding example of a perfect, faultless expression of his teaching. If he is a liar, then the whole world of logic crumbles in our hands, and our ability to make even the simplest observation with our five senses becomes questionable. It is nonsense to say that the greatest moral teacher and example the world has ever seen lied–about the focal point of all his teaching–his own identity! If Jesus was a liar, then the world is a “tale told by an idiot.”
Perhaps He is just a legend! Lets look at that possibility in the next article.
By Ernest O’Neill
What lies behind all this life that we see around us? Plant life, human life, animal life, emotional life–is there any kind of super life that brought all this into being? We’ve answered “yes.” Not only have we the circumstantial evidence of order and design in nature and human nature that some intelligence lies behind the universe, but we also have first-class historical evidence that a being who seemed more-than-human lived on this planet about 1960 years ago.
This is the man known as Jesus of Nazareth–capable of making sick people well, controlling the powers of nature, and breaking the death-barrier. Not only is he recognised by humanity as the foremost ethical teacher the world has ever known, but he himself said he was directly related to the Creator of the world. Surely such a man must be a lunatic to make that kind of claim! But his life did not show the imbalance of a lunatic–indeed he is usually respected as the example of a perfectly integrated personality. Then perhaps he was a liar! But we face a logical impossibility here. How can the greatest ethical teacher the world has ever seen lie about the focal point of his teaching his own identity? Moreover, wherever he has been followed and not merely talked about he has introduced honesty and integrity into people’s lives.
Was He a Legend?
Perhaps he was just a good man who was lionized by his follower after his death? That happened to Buddha. Nothing is written about him for 500 years after his death. Then all kinds of legends were circulated about him which by then could not be proven or disproven.
That, of course, is part of the difficulty for this theory in regard to Jesus. Legend takes time to develop. All the people who saw Kennedy shot in 1963 have to be long dead; all contemporary records have to be lost before imaginative stories can gain credence and acceptance. This kind of time does not exist in the case of John Kennedy–and this kind of time did not exist in the case of Jesus of Nazareth.
By 48 a.d. the letter to the Galatians was circulating throughout the then-known world. This was a mere 20 years after Jesus was crucified. Anybody trying to create a legend about Kennedy in 1984 would have to face thousands of us who were alive when he was actually killed. It was the same with Jesus–thousands of people who had seen the crucifixion in Jerusalem were alive when accounts of his life (the very ones we have) were already being read and studied. If Jesus is not a lunatic or a liar, and if he is not a legend, there is only one possibility left–He really did exist and live the life that the Bible and other contemporary historical records describe in such detail.
But Was Jesus the Son of God?
Was he more than a remarkable human being? Can he really be the son of God? Not just a son of God the same as other human beings who have a spiritual experience–BUT the unique Son of God–who existed before the universe was created and has a close kinship-relation to God, the creator of the world?
He Acted Like God
Certainly he is different from others–because he not only spoke like God but he acted like God–that is, he did the kind of things you would expect the Creator’s Son to be able to do. He said quietly to a storm on a lake “be still” and the waves smoothed out and the wind died down. He simply touched the withered skin of a leper and said “be clean” and the man was instantly healed. He had power over death and raised a man called Lazarus from the grave. He was able to change the very make-up of matter so that water was changed into wine in a moment by his word. So his life is filled with miracles like these which demonstrate the kind of power over nature and disease that you would expect the Maker of the world to have.
What do you think? Was he the Son of God? Let’s look at the strongest reasons for believing he was–in the next article.
By Ernest O’Neill
We’re discussing whether there exists any life greater than this humanmental, emotional, and physical life that you and I experience. Is there anysuperhuman life? We’ve been looking at a remarkable “more-than-human” life thatwas lived in the first century of our era by a man in Palestine called Jesus.He differed from other religious leaders like Buddha and Mohammed in that heclaimed perfection–and even his enemies didn’t contradict his claim tosinlessness. He had power over nature and disease, and he is looked upon as theforemost ethical teacher the world has ever seen.
However, what sets him utterly apart from the other famous religiousleaders is his death. They all died–like dogs–and were buried like the restof us will be! He was killed and buried–but he got up after he was dead! Hetreated death as sleep and was able to raise people out of the grave. Now thatis “https://truthmatters.worldinvisible.com/?talk=superhuman life” because all of us have been brought up to believe thatdeath is the end of this temporary human life–and there is no way to avoid it.But this man repeated publicly that he would destroy death–and he did.
Many gurus have been buried alive and through controlled breathing havemanaged to survive in a kind of trance under the earth, but none have beenexecuted by experts like the Romans–and then actually risen from the dead.
This is what happened with this man. The soldiers were so sure he wasdead that they didn’t bother breaking his legs; they simply thrust a spear intohis side and a mixture of blood and water poured out. Then he was buried in aprivate tomb, bound tightly in grave-clothes, and then a large stone was rolledacross the mouth of the grave.1 On Sunday morning (he was buried on Fridaynight) he met Mary, one of his followers in the garden. When she reported it tothe other disciples, they wouldn’t believe her. But, in a moment, Jesusappeared suddenly in the room with them.2
He did this for the next month or more–appearing on more than a dozenoccasions. Sometimes He appeared to a few of them, sometimes to more than 500at one time.3 Sometimes he ate breakfast or allowed sceptical Thomas to pokehis fingers into the holes in his hands to make it clear that he was not aghost or a psychological hallucination.4 Then he explained that he must returnto his Father, the Creator of the universe, and his body has never been foundon earth since.
All the hypothetical explanations of the resurrection are harder tobelieve than the facts themselves. The two vital facts are–the EMPTY TOMB andthe RESURRECTION APPEARANCES. The old arguments that Jesus just swooned on thecross and was revived in the coolness of the tomb or that the disciples or theRomans stole the body aren’t even very logical. How could a man whose side hadbeen speared by the Roman experts as already dead have recovered from hiswounds so completely that he could not only free himself from thegrave-clothes, roll away the heavy stone, but could appear at a dozen differentlocations over the next month and appear not only revived but more alive thanhe had ever been before! It just doesn’t make sense. If the Romans stole thebody, why didn’t they parade it through the streets to prove that this man wasnot the Messiah? If the disciples stole it, why did they die for what they knewto be a lie. A man might die for what he believes to be the truth but he willnot die for what he knows is a lie.
The same is true of the suggestion that the resurrection appearanceswere just hallucinations. They just don’t fit the psychological criteria forsuch phenomena. Hallucinations occur usually to one person who desperatelywants to see the deceased person. Jesus appeared always to groups of people andnormally they had given up all hope that he would rise from the. dead.Hallucinations usually continue over a lengthy period of time; Jesus showedhimself alive for about forty days and then disappeared from the earth!
Because of evidence like this scholars hold that no fact of history hasbeen examined so comprehensively by legal, medical psychological, religious,and historical experts and emerged so unchallenged as to its veracity. If Jesusdid not rise from the dead, then we can be sure of nothing in mankind’s pasthistory.
Is there such a phenomenon as “https://truthmatters.worldinvisible.com/?talk=superhuman life?” The fully documentedhistory of the death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth is plain evidencethat such a life exists. How do you get into it? Can an ordinary person likeyou or me experience it? Let’s talk about this in the next article.
1 John l9:31-37
2 Mark 16:1-14
3 1 Corinthians 15:3-6
4 John 21:12-13, 20:27
By Ernest O’Neill
Many of us human beings have tried to fly. This is true not only of the early aviation attempts where men strapped themselves into all kinds of winged contraptions and jumped off cliffs. It is true of people like you and me, who feel the frustrations of our earth-bound existence and long to be able to fly above the limitations of both our physical and our mental life. So we are always interested in magazine articles that talk about the possibility of expanded mental powers or emotional experiences that take us beyond ourselves. It is a simple fact that most of us feel intuitively we were made for some kind of life that is superior to this present one we possess. Ponce de Leon was only one of many explorers that discovered new islands because of his search for the elixir of life that would liberate us from the limitations of this present temporal life.
Does such a life exist? We have been discussing evidence that it does. In the first century of our era there lived a remarkable individual who not only demonstrated power over the natural forces of storms but also power over diseases and death itself. In fact, some of the best documented history that exists shows that he was able to stay alive and cover substantial distances in a short time even though he had open mortal wounds out of which all his blood should have poured. In other words, he demonstrated a superhuman life that sustained a complete physical existence even though the normal vital signs of blood circulation and breathing were absent.
However, what is more significant than these physical signs of superiority were the mental and emotional signs of a superior kind of life. When his enemies hurled gibes at him as he died, he expressed verbally a heart-felt love and forgiveness towards them which indicated a freedom from the normal resentment that we would feel was justified. Moreover, his own life of unquestioned rectitude carried with it a mercifulness and magnanimity that refused to condemn a woman caught in the act of adultery. In hideous situations of confusion and chaos he exhibited an indifference to his own safety and to the intense hatred and danger around him that is utterly contrary to what we ourselves experience in such contingency.
This supernatural life that was lived in the first century supersedes everything that we have learned to expect from ordinary human beings. It seems to transcend the earth-bound existence that we all possess and appears to be filled with an attitude that is as spacious as the skies, as exciting as the steepest ski slopes, and as fresh and stimulating as the whitest water in the cleanest mountain torrent. It’s the life lived by the man called Jesus of Nazareth.
Is it possible for us to experience such a transcendent life ourselves? He said it is. Actually he stated that this was the reason he came to earth in the first place–he used these precise words– “that you might have life and that you might have it more abundantly”. How is this possible?
Jesus repeatedly used a special word to answer this question. It occurs again and again in his conversations with others. It’s the word “faith.” It’s the word that is used repeatedly by others who expressed partially the supernatural life that he exhibited so completely. Because there have been other human beings who exhibited a life that appears to break through the physical and mental limitations that we all know. For instance, about four thousand years ago there was a man called Abraham who was about a hundred years old. His wife was about ninety. He sensed the Creator behind the universe telling him that he would have as many descendants as the sand on the seashore, yet his old wife had not yet borne even one child. He believed the Creator’s reassurance and the explanation that was given was that the Creator “counted his faith as righteousness.”
Against all the odds–and all the human possibilities let alone probabilities–this man’s wife, Sarah, had a son–and his consequent children became the many of the most important nations on the earth. “Faith” in this case was a willingness to believe what God said he would do. However, many of us think that such faith is just a train of ideas in the head or a notion that we try to entertain when possible. But this man’s faith was a “tried faith.” In other words, the Creator allowed him to go through experiences of danger because of his wife that forced him to come to trust God’s promise completely even where, his own life was at stake. So the faith that releases supernatural life into us human beings is not just a mental belief that God will infuse this kind of life into us. Faith is a belief that is tried by circumstances that force us to put our actions where our belief is. This supernatural life does not manifest itself in a vacuum of armchair positive thinking. It occurs only where the faith expresses itself in action that is appropriate to the belief.
Are there other instances of this supernatural life expressing itself besides this remarkable one of a ninety-year-old having children? Many. Let’s look at some more in the next article to see what is needed in order to rise above the limitations of our present existence.
It’s a life that has greater capabilities than human life. Greater capabilities! Not just human capabilities intensified or quantitatively superior, but capacities that are different and more powerful than the ones we possess.
For instance, about 4,000 years ago a relatively small group of Israelites were faced with a strongly fortified city that blocked their path into land that they were to settle. There is no way they could penetrate the thick walls that surrounded the city, but their General sensed intuitively that God wanted them to march around the walls and then shout their faith aloud. They did this and the walls fell. Archaeologists have uncovered the site of the original city and their photographs show that the walls fell out–not in! This of course is opposite to what one would expect to find in the normal military siege of a city. So, there seems to be a force that can be released on matter by faith in the invisible power behind the universe.
Though our scepticism about this kind of event is based on the various mythical stories we have read about magic spells and psychic forces, the reliability of the historical documents and the archaeological evidence for Jericho’s existence encourages one to examine other evidences of this supernatural life. Indeed, the remarkable preservation of the Israelite nation can only be explained by the recurrence of similar manifestations of this inexplicable energy.
Some years later after this destruction of the walls of Jericho one of their leaders called Samson was dying of thirst. He called on God, the creator of the universe, and a rock was split open and water gushed out for him to drink. On another occasion a man who believed the creator could release such supernatural life was staying with a widow when her only son died; he prayed and the young man was brought back to life. Several times during these centuries, a supernatural power divided the waters of the river Jordan so that people could escape from the enemies out to destroy them. Later on a famous soldier in Syria was well-known to be a leper; another man who believed the creator could intervene prayed and Naaman’s leprosy disappeared. This same man, Elisha, who prayed for Naaman, told some of his associates to cut down trees for a house when one of them dropped his iron axehead into the river; Elisha threw a stick into the water and made the axehead float.
However, these instances of a supernatural kind of life changing the very form of matter and material substances markedly increased in number and frequency during the life of the unique human being who lived at the beginning of the first century. Jesus of Nazareth, whom we can explain only by accepting that he was the actual Son of God, calmed a storm on a lake, healed a man of congenital blindness, brought a man called Lazarus back to life in the very grave he had been buried, walked on the surface of the lake, cured a twelve-year-old haemorrhage, raised to life the daughter of a man called Jairus, made a few loaves and two fish multiply to feed five thousand people, and overcame death himself so that he lived for more than a month after he had been executed.
This supernatural life continued to change material things in the world after Jesus of Nazareth left the earth. One of his followers called Paul cured a life-long cripple, brought another man back to life, and healed physical and mental diseases by believing the Creator could counteract such material perversions. Despite the counterfeit activities of thousands of religious charlatans and pretenders through the censures, ordinary people have continued to this present day to experience the effects of this life that has capabilities beyond our human ones.
Undoubtedly the greatest change this supernatural life can create is the change in human nature itself. It seems able to pierce the deepest parts of a human being, analyze the motivational complexes, create a desire to change, and then provide a gentle but firm life-force that elevates the human character above what it has been for years. So, thousands of people like ourselves have somehow been enabled to virtually start life over again–with a whole new set of habits and traits of character that frees us from the slavery to self and the past. People who have been subject to depression and anxiety for years have been utterly changed into people with light hearts and a happy disposition. Others who were bound by bitterness and resentment for decades have been lifted out of their introverted misery and released into a balanced life of realistic honesty and magnanimity. Generally society has continued to survive because of the individuals that have been touched by this supernatural life.
There are two important questions to answer about this kind of life. First, why do we not have it naturally from the moment we’re born? Secondly, how do we begin to experience it. Let’s start answering these questions in the next article.
We’ve been discussing during these past few months a kind of supernatural life that has surfaced in individuals down through the centuries. People who experience it are able to make matter change — rocks have split open to pour out water for men dying of thirst, mothers have seen their sons raised from death, a man in the first century of our era actually died and then came alive again for more than a month, followers of his made congenital cripples able to walk. But the most beneficial effects of this supernatural life throughout history has been its power to change the motivational centres of individuals who are overwhelmed with depression or worry or resentment or greed. This life-force is able to rearrange the whole series of response reactions that are built into the personality through the years so that the person is freed to start life again.
Why were we not born with this supernatural life? How did we ever come to have just human life with all its limitations?
In fact we were born with all the potential to live by this supernatural life. It’s the actual life-power of the Supreme Being who created the whole universe. Jesus of Nazareth explained that it’s the very Spirit of his Father, the God of the whole creation. They live in perfect happiness with each other in a timeless, spaceless state of pure love. Because of this love which always wants to give and share, God resolved to create other beings that could enjoy the love that He shared with his Son. Jesus in this pre-existent state explained this pre-creation conversation to a man called Moses about 3500 years ago in these words: “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” (Genesis 1:6) The reason you were made by God in his image was precisely for one great purpose so that you could enjoy the love relationship that he has with his Son Jesus. Even in our deteriorated state here on earth, the most valuable and least boring experience we know is the whole-hearted unselfish love of another person. But such love is possible only in people who have the same capabilities.
For instance, you can have fun throwing a ball for your dog to run after. He’ll even enjoy you tickling his tummy. But try him with your views on aids or the world economy — and you know your relationship is strictly limited. So our creator made us like himself and his son. He explained exactly what this entailed and Moses wrote it down by inspired intuition. Obviously mankind was in its childhood at that early time in the earth’s history so God explained it in childlike terms that men would
understand at that time. “Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground.” (Genesis 2:7) First, the Creator made your body out of dust. That accords with our experience of death when the body returns to dust after it’s buried or burned. You probably have realized yourself when you’ve looked at a dear face in a coffin that this body is no longer your Dad or your Mum — they themselves have left the body and all you’ve got there is a few pounds’ worth of chemicals which will deteriorate quickly into dust. But God gave us a body so that we could manifest ourselves to each other as he himself does. Our body happens to be perceptible to senses we know as hearing, seeing etc..
“And breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.” (Genesis 2:7) This is a very simplified way of describing the Creator giving us his own uncreated life — what we have called “https://truthmatters.worldinvisible.com/?talk=supernatural life.” It’s designated by the Hebrew word “ruah” which means “wind” or “spirit” and contains all that makes God what he is in his very essence. It includes all his powers to control the energies of the created world and to release the energies of uncreated life but it is an invisible life that is triggered by our faith or belief that we have it.
“And man became a living soul.” (genesis 2:7) This uncreated life of God combined with the physical body to produce a third intermediate level of life called the “soul.” The Hebrew word is “nephesh,” but the contemporary meaning is found in the Greek word “psuche” which becomes “psyche” in English. This is the entity that makes us men and women unique — we have a psychological existence that distinguishes us from the animals on one side and the angels on the other.
However, all these capabilities would have utterly failed to fit us for friendship with our Maker without one additional essential. You can’t love unless you are free NOT to love. Without free will, love is not possible! God himself is a self-determining being: he can enjoy only the love of other self-determining beings who love him because they want to — not because they can’t do anything else. If God had wanted performing monkeys, then he needed to add nothing more to the capabilities we’ve outlined. But he wanted friendship with other beings who were like himself. That’s why he gave us free will.
He describes it again in childlike terms that early man would understand. However, we can state it bluntly and succinctly. Your soul — the psychological part of you — can choose to depend either on the physical body — or on the uncreated spirit. You can live from the inside out or from the outside in. The Creator put it like this through Moses. “And out of the ground the Lord God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil…and the Lord God commanded the man, saying, ‘You may freely eat of every tree of the garden: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.” (Genesis 2:9,16)
So we WERE created with supernatural life inside BUT we had to choose whether we’d let it run our mental, emotional, and volitional life or whether we’d let our physical body’s sense of corporate right ant wrong run our psychological life. Let’s see in the next article what our forefathers did and what effect it has had on you in your present life.
We’ve seen instances in the history of mankind when a kind of supernatural life has shown itself. We’ve all read fantasy stories of supernatural beings and magic spells, but these instances are different from those. For one thing, they are documented in historical records that are beyond dispute some of the most reliable we possess. For another thing, they have been handed down by people who have been some of the most respected and tested men and women in society. For another, many of these events brought death and persecution to the people who told of them.
This supernatural life has transformed physical sickness into health, and enabled thousands of people to cross dry deserts because of water that sprang from rocks when struck by men who exercised faith in the Maker of the world. It has changed the most cruel, savage men into kindly and gentle people. It has enabled others to leap out of depression and anxiety, into joy. It has even destroyed death and its power to end life. It seemed to reach zenith in the first century of our present era when a man called Jesus healed lepers paralytics, and raised people from death through touching them and exercising faith in the Creator whom he called His father. Even today, people experience the power of this life in their own personal day to day lives: they know that it is able to transcend the limitations we all so often experience in our natural lives.
Why then were we not born with this supernatural life? The answer is we were! But we refused it? But how could we? After all, we were given breath and blood circulation without any conditions or an option to refuse. Why was this supernatural life not given in the same unconditional way?
Because the Creator of the world wanted friends who would love Him because they wanted to — that’s what love is. It’s freely giving yourself to another person for their uses whatever it costs you. That’s what He did when He made us –and that’s why He made us — so that we would do the same for Him. This meant that He had to make us like Himself in every way — especially in this matter of free will. He is a self-determining Being: He had to make us the same! How did He do it? After all, it is surely the most difficult thing to do in the universe — to make a being that would be absolutely free from you — free to oppose you if it wanted. We human beings just wouldn’t do it — it’s too dangerous!
But this is what Our Maker did. He made our bodies of earth from the ground breathed in His own spirit of life, and we developed living souls or psychological capacities (Genesis 2:7). Thus He made us like Himself — in His own image with the same physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual capabilities as He has. Only if we were capable of the same attitudes and feelings as Him would we be able to love Him. However, the essence of His nature is not these capacities but His own spirit and inner attitude of perfect love and purity. These He has chosen of His own will. They exist only in His Spirit of life. He could not give this freely?chosen nature to us by compulsion as He gave us our physical, mental and spiritual capacities: such an act would be a contradiction — an impossibility. The only thing He could do was to make it available to us — so that we could choose it if we wanted!
This is what He did. In Genesis 2:9 “and out of the ground the Lord God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” In verse 1, the choice is clearly presented — “and the Lord God commanded the man, saying ‘You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die!”‘
In other words, right from the beginning of man’s existence on the earth the tree of life — the supernatural life of God’s own Spirit — was available to enable him to develop the world by intuition and superhuman powers. Thus we would have been able to find the oil and the minerals through God’s own guidance to the places He had buried them. Our minds would have been utterly unimpaired, our emotions balanced, and our wills strong. The world would have been filled with God’s own life of harmony, and the order that God placed in Eden would have spread throughout the universe. If we had chosen to trust His direction to take His spirit-life into us by faith. But we thought we could become like Him and be independent of Him. We thought we could develop the world through trial and error by our own knowledge of good and evil. We thought that imitating Him was enough and rejected the closer relationship of trusting Him not only for what we could see but also for what we couldn’t see.
Immediately that happened, we broke the mystic bond between us and Him and sank into a coarse existence that lost sensitivity to the world. Instead of controlling and developing it by His spirit?life we sank under its domination. Lacking His rule through free-will agents, the earth itself veered out of His will and fell into the power of the spirits He had permitted to test our free will. The only thing Our Maker could do was to withdraw the superhuman life of His spirit from our grasp to prevent us misusing it to spread our chaos throughout the universe (Genesis 3:22-24). From that moment on, we human beings have been born with only the natural, created life of God’s destructible image while the supernatural, uncreated life of His indestructible image has been removed from our grasp. Let’s look in the next article sat the effects of this deprivation on the way you and I live our lives today.
One of the most reliable facts in our history is that a certain man appeared about thirteen times over a period of a month with open wounds from which he had died. He ate fish and allowed fingers to be thrust into holes that nails had made in his hands during his crucifixion. He possessed material substance yet he was able to pass through solid walls. During his years of physical life on earth before his execution he demonstrated the same power to destroy death in people by raising them from the grave and removing their organic sicknesses. He explained that the many other instances in history of a supernatural life that is capable of affecting our material life on earth were actually done by him even though people like Moses or Samson were the apparent second causes.
Freedom to Choose
This man Jesus explained the availability of that supernatural life in the same way that people like Moses explained it around 1500 B.C. He said our Creator assured us that even though it was invisible it would work for us if we believed Him and followed His guidance. In the early part of Genesis it is called the “tree of life” (Genesis 3:9), but in the same verse is mentioned a “tree of knowledge of good and evil.” We were free to develop the world’s resources by our own trial and error method of establishing precedents or by this intuitive use of the invisible supernatural life that was available.
The “Fall” of mankind from the normality of supernatural life broke the mystic bond between us, our Creator, and the world and cast us on our own resources — our knowledge of good and evil. This has resulted in the whole complex series of limitations that we have come to accept as normal human life. It is in fact sub-normal and a decline from the life originally designed for us by the Maker of the world. First, it affected the capacities we had been given; secondly, it affected the way we use those capacities in our everyday life.
Effect on Our Minds
Do you think better when you’re filled with anxiety or when you’re free from care? You might answer differently from me, but we would both say our capacity for clear thought can be affected by our circumstances. Our minds were created to think and reason in an atmosphere of peace and confidence that the Creator who controlled all things was a Father whom we respected and trusted. In that relationship His spirit and life affected the very cortex of our brains. A catastrophe occurred when we cut ourselves off from that supernatural life (Gen. 3:24). Not only did we lose freedom from death (Gen. 3:22) but our minds were impaired by the lack of this superhuman spirit?life in the same kind of way as they are impaired by restricted blood supply.
Without the overall intellectual stability of a solid relationship to the central reality our minds became impaired Anthropological studies of early civilizations like the Incas and Egyptians show this deterioration occurred gradually over centuries just as life?spans became gradually shorter. But the result today is that we have minds that are impaired in their operations so that we make mistakes in judgement, errors in calculations, and suffer lapses of memory. Often these impairments themselves are the cause of many of our nuclear and economic disasters that spoil our present world.
Effects on Our Emotions
As our minds were affected organically by the absence of the thought and life-spirit of our Creator, so our emotions which provide so close a link between our thought-life and our physical bodies began to lose their balance also. Instead of issuing feelings of peace and delight to the body from a mind that was at rest and peace in truth, our emotions caught the insecurity that our bodies felt when we rejected the Creator’s protection. Overwhelming fears of death and pain exerted unbearable strain on an emotional life that was designed for peace and joy. Anxiety about the future end cosmic infinity stirred up unfathomable apprehension and torturing frustrations. The emotions were raked with physical stimulation that utterly unbalanced the gentler directives of the mind so that they became unbalanced in their operation and their responses.
The emotions lacked the feelings of the spirit-life that formed the essence of God’s own supernatural existence and so lost their inherent cohesiveness and stability. Instead of tending towards integration and wholeness, our emotions developed a tendency towards dissolution and dissipation which has increased and intensified as the centuries have gone by.
Let’s look in the next article at the effects on our wills and bodies that this Fall from superhuman life had on our personalities.
You have known moments when you seemed to live above yourself, haven’t you? We all certainly have read about moments like this that have occurred in other people’s lives. In war time or at moments of unusual danger, ordinary men and women have surprised even themselves by showing courage, presence of mind or intense compassion that suggests the presence of a power of life within them that they do not usually tap. This is the superhuman life that the unique man, Jesus of Nazareth, exhibited so signally in the first century. Moreover, it is the life that he said was designed to be normal for us human beings. He explained that his Father, the creator of the world, planted this life of his own within us at the beginning but that we lost touch with it by our attitude. From that time on we have seen only symbolic, isolated instances of its power over death and human weakness — at times in ourselves, at times in outstanding human beings like Moses or David or Peter.
What Attitude of Ours Precludes Superhuman Life?
The attitude in us that necessitated the Maker of the world withdrawing this super-life from us is simply a proud, independent trust in ourselves as if we were self-made. It is the opposite of reality. We are not self?made, we have no idea what happens to us after death, we cannot explain the origin of each heart-beat let alone the infinite spaces of the universe, but we live each day as if there is no one else either who knows these things. In other words, we are living a lie, following a way of life that is out of synch with final reality — and therefore we are dangerous people who would wreak havoc in the universe if we used the infinite power of superhuman life.
The Dearth of Superhuman Life in our Wills
Just as the lack of this superhuman life has caused deterioration in our minds and our emotions, so its absence has had a disastrous effect on our wills. Our Maker’s plan was for the will to act as commander over our minds and emotions, but as these capacities lost their balance and began to produce mistakes in judgement and excessive responses, so the will lost its position of leadership. The result is that most of us have wills that are weak because of lack of exercise or erratic because of impulsive use. This is due to the absence of any intuitive sense of the Maker’s will for us so that we are left to use the mind to determine what we ought to do in given situations. The mind was never intended to fulfil this vital function and is itself strictly a neutral agent that gathers information and relates it to other information so that the will can effectively enforce its decisions. Similarly the emotions are meant to desire or feel in accordance with the thought-life of the mind so that they can provide the dynamic that the body needs for action.
Instead of this kind of master-servant relationship between the will and our minds and emotions, these two capacities operate independent of the will most of the time. This is why so many of us have such difficulty controlling our thought-life or our emotional life through exercise of the will. It also explains why many find their lives lacking clear direction and feel they are just drifting through life.
The Dearth of Superhuman Life in our Bodies
When you are embarrassed you blush. When you’re nervous your mouth feels dry. When you’re angry you clench your fists. Perhaps you don’t do all these things, but you know some people who do some of them. That’s because our emotions directly affect our bodies — they affect the secretion of fluids, the tension of muscles, the circulation of the blood. In other words, emotional stress causes stress in the body. Emotional lack of ease causes disease in the body.
The lack of superhuman life flowing from within us has perverted the operation of our minds and emotions which in turn have caused increasingly complex malfunctions in our bodies. Not only do they lack the healthy, integrating dynamic of a balanced mental life, but they suffer strains and stresses that they were never meant to bear. So, through the centuries the human body has become weaker and weaker so that today it is a shadow of what it used to be. Indeed, many of us are now born with congenital weaknesses and deformities which make normal life almost impossible. The hereditary deformities that come through venereal diseases are only the most obvious examples of the deterioration that follows the inaction of supernatural life in us.
Thus the lack of superhuman life has weakened all the mental, emotional, volitional, and physical functions of our lives so that we are handicapped by errors in judgement, imbalance in our emotions, impotence in our wills, and weakness in our bodies. But this is the least of the damage! Let’s look in the next article at the way we live life today because we lack superhuman life. This is by far the more serious consequence for you and me in our day-to-day lives.
We’ve all experienced a life-power that surprises us by its unexpected strength or its unexpected consequences. There isn’t one of us who has not been elated by physical energy that has surged within us at times of extreme exhaustion or traumatic crisis. All of us are able to look back on certain moments when we achieved things that we did not think we could ever have achieved. Though some of these can be explained by the summoning of all our own physical resources as at the end of a marathon or in a moment of extreme physical danger, yet there are other times when we have sensed a power of life that seems to come from beyond. This kind of “https://truthmatters.worldinvisible.com/?talk=superhuman” life has been expressed on our planet by certain individuals throughout history in more continuous ways than most of us have ever experienced, but undoubtedly the outstanding example is the life lived in the first century of our era by the man known as Jesus of Nazareth.
The Superhuman Phenomenon
He not only expressed powers that made dead bodies live and withered limbs active but he had an ability to manipulate and change the form of matter so that stones became bread and wind-torn waters became calm. The plainest manifestation of all is the reason for our splitting our history into B.C. and A.D. — that is his own death and destruction of death three days later. He then explained to his followers that this superhuman life was the original plan of the Creator of the world for all of us. Followers of his like Paul of Tarsus have elaborated this explanation so that many of us have begun to realize that life on earth apart from this superhuman life is very much a second-best. We simply were not meant to live with only the powers of physical, mental, and emotional life that most of us depend on for our existence.
The Source of Superhuman Life
Instead, we were intended to acknowledge our Creator and treat him as our Father. He knows why he made us and put us in the particular town in which we were born. He planned that we should treat him as real and as a result he would manifest through us powers that were greater than those of our mental and emotional faculties. In fact, these faculties have no power to create anything — they only manipulate and play around with things and people and circumstances, but they do not possess power to create. This supernatural life is the actual essence of God himself and is uncreated life. It isn’t observable or measurable by the senses but throughout history has been the cause of all kinds of inexplicable military victories and personal achievements that have amazed mankind. This supernatural life seems to surge under our physical and mental capacities and extend them. But at times it seems to work utterly apart from them and bring about results that bear no relationship to their capacities at all. Jesus explained that this superhuman life was the gift of his Father to all of us IF we would believe him.
Don’t Believe It!
We, of course, from the beginning of the world rejected this whole idea. We liked what we could see — and we could see an earth with food and water and wonderful animals, magnificent scenery and other attractive human beings, so we resolved we would use what we could see and feel. This is what is described in the early chapters of Genesis in the Old Testament. There it is presented as the choice between two trees — a tree of life and a tree of knowledge of good and evil. We preferred to build upon our own knowledge of good and evil by the precedents of our predecessors rather than by any inner attitude of dependence on some invisible God, so we proceeded to develop the world by experimentation and the old system of trial and error. As we know now, so many errors occur with the ozone layer, strange viruses, and economic greed and imbalance that we now have a world that is out of control. Far from “subduing” it or “filling” it, we human beings are wondering how to avoid blowing it apart and ourselves with it.
Alienation From Our Roots
But the worst result of our rejection of this superhuman life comes from the absence of a relationship which is essential for our sanity. Most of us know that there just has to be somebody somewhere holding the earth up. We know fine well that sea. sons, orbiting planets, and DNA molecules do not occur by chance. We know there’s someone out there. We know too that that someone must know we’re here and he must have some reason for putting us on this earth. That’s the only thing that makes any sense! When we evade this issue or pretend that person isn’t there we’re left hanging in the air –literally as well as metaphorically. And we know it. We feel the insecurity of spinning around space on a revolving sphere. We feel the insignificance of being one of four billion who all think they’re more unique than all the other four billion. But above all we feel the frustration and meaninglessness of being shot up into existence for seventy years and then ceasing to exist forever. The whole thing lacks sense or point.
The Daily Consequences of our Lack of Superhuman Life
Faced with this seeming fiasco we all have set about trying to meet the needs that are created by our lack of this superhuman life. Perhaps our most obvious one is that of security. Not only have we the cosmic need for some kind of reassurance that we won’t fall off the earth (especially if we live in Australia) but most of us know from kindergarten days that “no one will look after you if you don’t look after yourself.” So we develop a very strong preoccupation with our own survival. This forms the basic motive for our educational plans — get a good schooling so that you can get a good job so that you can buy good clothes, a comfortable house, and eat good food. Our idea is always to meet these basic needs and then get on to other more important things. But most of us don’t! Most — even among the clever and sophisticated –fail to get much beyond the newest BMW or the latest microwave. Indeed, we not only spend most of our lives trying to keep alive, but we usually lose ourselves in the process.
Let’s talk in the next article about some of the ways this lack of superhuman life has stolen our very identity.
Many of us today feel there is a hollow emptiness in our lives. We watch television, go to movies, attend concerts, and go out with friends, but still feel an emptiness in life that we cannot quite explain. On the other hand, many of us have experienced moments when we seemed to transcend our own limited personalities by bravery, endurance or kindliness that seem to come from outside ourselves. The explanation of both of these opposite extremes is that there is available to us a superhuman life or energy that we are intended to experience in our normal everyday lives. Though it has been observed in the lives of various people throughout history, it was expressed most consistently in the integrity and wisdom and power over death that is found in the life of Jesus of Nazareth around 28 a.d..
This life is an energy that is different from our mental, emotional, and physical life: it is the actual life-power of the Creator Himself and is manifested by Him in the lives of those who acknowledge Him. The created life that we have when we’re born was also given us by our Maker but it was intended only to maintain our existence on the earth long enough to enable us to consciously choose to recognize Him. As we began to live in conscious friendship and obedience to His plans we would “shift into overdrive” as His creative life lifted and extended our mental and physical powers. The Creator still expresses this “creative” life unconditionally in outstanding human beings irrespective of their own attitude to Him — FOR JUST ONE BIG REASON! So that you and I will see how we ourselves can live!
Our Created Life
But so dominated have we become with “knowledge” (Gen. 2:17) that we look at these “outstanding” people as simply having more ability than ourselves. If this were real ability in the sense of “being able to change situations in the world” we might be more justified in our own resignation. But usually these “outstanding” people do not effect permanent change in the course of history; they simply express a life that is more vibrant and alive than natural created life. The real changes in the world usually come not from such outstanding individuals but from inexplicable and often untraceable, gradual movements by lots of ‘little” people. In this way, the Creator demonstrates down through the years both the visible expression and the effectual power of His uncreated life.
However, He does this so that we will see that our present “flat” and “relatively ineffective” created life is nothing more than a temporary “battery” until we “plug into the main power supply.” While we fail to do that, we find an emptiness in our lives. This feeling of futility comes from the fact that we are not living the life we were meant to live and are not living off the life we were meant to live off. No wonder we wonder who we are or what we’re doing here!!
Who Am I?
That’s the question that increasingly eats at us inside as the years go by. We fill up our time with little jobs and temporary purposes that our underpowered capacities and our human relationships present to us, but always we are wondering “why am I doing this?” “What am I here for anyway?” Even when we are presented with the gold watch after 30 years of service, we still wonder who we are or what we’re meant to do here.
But the real agony of this identity crisis is not in the external question of what we’re doing with our lives. Our identity crisis is most intense inside us — in our “losing touch with our selves”.
Loss of Identity
Because we are out of touch with the Creator and His creative life we are unable to fulfil our part in completing the creation. Instead, we look at the creation as a source for maintaining our temporary created life. The result is that we become utterly dependent on the world of people for our own self esteem. If someone praises us we feel we’re worth something. If someone criticizes us, we face a crisis of self worth. In order to keep the praises coming and evade the criticisms, we become little performing monkeys who will do anything to get the boss, our peers, or our mates to praise us. So deeply ingrained do these reflex responses become that we quickly develop into “social machines” that respond the way we’re expected to respond. In place of the creative, spontaneous, original individuals we were created to become, we turn into robots that can no longer find their own souls
So, without the uncreated life expressed pre-eminently in Jesus of Nazareth, we knock at the door of our hearts in vain — because we cannot find anyone in. As Wordsworth wrote:
“Heaven lies about us in our infancy;
Shades of the prison-house begin to close
around the growing boy.
At length the man perceives it die away
and fade into the light of common day.”
If we miss the purpose and life-power we were made for, we are bound to have a problem with our identity.
Let’s look in the next article at the impact this lack of superhuman life has on our happiness.
Until you get the fastest car, boat, or motorcycle. Until you marry the mostbeautiful girl or buy your dreamhouse. Until you get to the top of yourprofession. Until you have money to burn. Until you fulfil your early promise.Until you get a certain level of security. Until you do these things, you liveto pursue happiness.
That is-you live with the thought in the back of your mind that the onlyreason you aren’t happy is that you haven’t got what you think would make youhappy. But “when you get it” you will be happy!! Just a few get thesethings–people like Howard Hughes or Boy George–and then? Well, then they areso happy they want to die!!
But that’s the people who seem to get to the end of their rainbow. Whatabout you and me-and most of us? Why are we so unhappy? And why do we conourselves into thinking that we would be happy if we had those things that justa few people have attained-especially when we see them so unhappy too? Actually,when we at last get past these temporary hopes and ambitions, we reach a pointin life where we are able to see that happiness or unhappiness isn’t so much thereal problem. The real problem is just a lack of satisfaction with life – afeeling that we haven’t quite lived it as it was meant. We feel we’ve missedsomething somewhere, but don’t quite know what it is. Why do we feel like this?
The real reason is that most of us have passed all our years here on earthbreathing sub-standard air, and as a result living a sub-standard life, andfalling far below the person we were intended to be. We were given createdlife-physical, mental, emotional-but within us, deep inside, was the seed ofanother uncreated life. It is spirit-life-the kind that enabled Jesus ofNazareth to maintain serenity despite nails in his hands and the kind thatsurged from his body and healed a woman who had been bleeding for 12 years. Thisspirit-life transforms our physical and mental life so that it lasts forever.
But more importantly, this uncreated, superhuman life enables you to be anddo what you were created to be and do. Without it, you live ahalf-life-attempting only what you can achieve with the minimal powers you wereborn with. Your expectations grow smaller as the years pass, and you fall intothe old debilitating attitudes and habits of thinking that accompany the declineof temporary life.
Because that’s what created life is-temporary! That’s all it was ever meantto be. The creator gave you enough physical and mental life to get you on yourfeet in his world. Then he expected you to turn to him and ask him to begin toinfuse his uncreated life into you. This is the meaning of the tree of life inGenesis 2:9. Most of us, of course, have never taken this step. So we live asub-standard life with substandard resources! The result is we are almostcontinually dissatisfied with life, with ourselves, with the world. We arevaguely unhappy most of the time.
Why do we Refuse Superhuman Life?
Why do we live like this? Why do we settle for this half-hearted, vaguelyunhappy life? Mostly because we don’t think there’s any alternative. We’ve heardso much religious talk that is either infantile or nonsensical. We’ve seen somuch so-called religion that is more ruthless and underhanded than good oldatheism. But there’s another reason that underlies these. It has to do with theway one is supposed to receive this supernatural life. God seemed to place this”tree of life” in the garden of Eden and Adam simply had to eat thefruit of it. He was obligated simply to eat it. Now we can’t see any tree(because that was the way God provided it to mankind in his childhood). Todaywe’re supposed to receive a “spirit” that we can’t see or taste orsmell. We’re not supposed to manipulate our thoughts in a certain way orstimulate our emotions because this superhuman life-spirit is a gift. We’vesimply to receive it and live as if we have received it! It’s all so ephemeraland unreal that most of us reject the whole idea as being too unlike life whereyou get only what you earn and work for. It’s so unlike ordinary existence whereyou can see and taste and touch things that are really real.
Faith and Superhuman Life
Yet all our objections are ill-founded. In fact, our most valuablepossessions were indeed given to us we did not earn them-our eyesight, ourbrains, our arms, spring mornings, our breath. And we do operate byfaith-believing that we can walk even before we take our first steps–believingthat the plane will hold us up even before we take our first flight. We put ourlife into the hands of a stranger when we have general anaesthetic before anoperation. And we often try a new diet or vitamin pill for months with fullfaith before we abandon it. The Creator who has given us eyes that see the worldoffers us a superhuman life that we can depend on. When we do, our real lifebegins!
We’ve just completed a study of the results that follow from our lack of superhuman life. That’s the spirit-life that our Creator intended us to experience in a close relationship with him. He made us to live in association with him as our Father.
As we saw, this would result in a great sense of security for us, real reassurance of our self-worth, and great satisfaction from knowing and doing the work he put us on earth for. But beyond these benefits for our personal sense of purpose and identity, this inner “connection” with him in our thought-life would result in psychological benefits of an unimpaired mind and balanced emotions which would produce a strong healthy body. When these factors are combined with a deep spirit-life that imparts the Creator’s own directions through intuition, it’s obvious that we were meant to live a life that is far above the dissipating, diseased, unbalanced and besieged lonely lives most of us live today.
Our Poor Substitute
Once we (or rather our forefathers) chose to live “without” God’s directions or help, we had no alternative but to use the human life he had given us to get from the world what we needed through the centuries–with, as we know, disastrous results.
We’ve operated on the basis of what is mentioned in Genesis 2:17 as “knowledge of good and evil”. This has meant building up a list of precedents from man’s “trial and error” experiences throughout history. Not only does it result in domination and manipulation of mankind by the power of knowledge, but it has proven a very inadequate and crude method of dealing with circumstances and problems that have so many variables that “solution by study of past precedents” has become simplistic.
So dangerous is this “building on the past” for beings who were meant to develop the universe that the Creator simply eliminated access to His own spirit-life lest we try to use its infinite powers to bring about our own short-sighted and selfish purposes. This is part of the meaning of the statement in Genesis 3:22 which resulted in our present “lame-duck” human life.
However, the powers and spirits that had already been given responsibility by Him for the supervision of this planet–known by the name Satan or popularly as devil–have concentrated on blinding us human beings to our “deprived” state. The great lie has been urged throughout history as it was expressed in Genesis 3:4. Even though our common-sense tells us it is illogical to believe that we are spinning through infinite space on a spherical spaceship by sheer chance, we have come to believe that ridiculous lie. Though we see millions die of heroin addiction or cholesterol imbalance, yet we continue to say “we won’t die”. Indeed, we humans have made our “self-made” existence such a complete system that our sheer blindness to our predicament has become the greatest obstacle to our deliverance.
Our Maker’s Attitude
This is because our Creator’s love was prepared for our calamitous declaration of independence” because His purpose was to create beings who would have free wills and could therefore live with him in a mature family relationship. He knew therefore that a declaration of independence was possible and was prepared to reconcile once we realized our rebellion and turned back to trust him. But we had first to become aware of our second-rate life.
So began a long “process of education” which began thousands of years ago when “natural law” dictated that Cain, the first murderer, would feel a loneliness and persecution because of his “sin” (Genesis 4:14). But not only did God arrange that our conscience would still trouble us when we lived without His spirit-life; He also imparted his spirit-life unconditionally to certain individuals down through the years so that He could “reveal” to them the way we should be living. One of the earliest summaries of these laws” is known as the Ten Commandments and is recorded in Exodus 20.
So blind and self-assured have we humans become that we have missed the whole point of these laws. They exist to drive us by frustration see that we are missing something– we lack some superhuman life we were meant to possess. We have accepted them as a challenge or standard that we have to try to live up to. So, most of us live with a constant sense of frustration and defeat that is aggravated by vague feelings of guilt that we don’t live the way we should. However, we keep on trying even though the Creator has a far, far better way. Let’s begin to talk about that in the next article.
Have you ever had to live for a month in a room that lacks the conveniences or orderliness that you are used to? Isn’t it uncanny how you adapt so well to your situation that the end of the month finds you much less irritated by the things you missed than the beginning? This is because we human beings have been given a remarkable ability to adapt to inferior surroundings when we have to.
This is what we have done in regard to the present life we now live here on earth. The Maker of the universe intended us to live in a close personal relationship with him that would impart to us His insight into the functioning of our own personalities and the world itself. We rejected that gift in order to do what we wanted with ourselves and the world. He thereupon withdrew access to this superhuman life and we steadily deteriorated until we ended up with the impaired minds, unbalanced emotions, and weakened wills that hamper our lives today. However, we used the gift of adaptability that we had to make this “deteriorated” life bearable. We have created such a complete, “alternative” life-support system that billions of us today fail to realize that our present life is a huge “second-best”. This then was the first great need after the human “fall” thousands of years ago–our Maker had to make us aware that “there was something rotten in the state of Denmark”–that something was not as it was meant to be.
Origin of Law
This was why the first murderer in human history was given a visible mark and became a fear?ridden fugitive in Genesis 4:8-16. Our maker wanted us to realize that a better life was possible than the one we were adapting to. We were not made to kill each other or be angry with each other or be jealous of each other. So, our maker began to outline the way normal “https://truthmatters.worldinvisible.com/?talk=superhuman” life would operate–through the early centuries He set out the “laws” of this life. Just as the ‘law of gravity’ describes the normal behaviour of heavier-than-air objects, so these “laws of God” describe the behaviour of humans who live off superhuman life. These were first expressed in a written form about 1400 B.C. One copy of them is found in Exodus 20. People who live in a close personal relationship of trust to the maker of the universe will not steal (because they trust the Creator’s plan for provision of their needs). They will not kill (because they depend on their Creator and not on their own ability for their safety). They will not worship stone idols (because they know the real God who made them and the earth).
Origin of Moralism
But we all know what we human beings have done with these “laws”. We have made it our goal to live up to these laws of superhuman life–using only the “human” life that they are meant to expose! Then when we have failed to do that, we have used our failure as proof that there is no God and that all such idealism is unrealistic. So, our Maker is faced with a world-full of humans who not only accustom themselves to an inferior life-power but try to use that life-power to measure up to the descriptions He has given of the real, superhuman life He has available for them.
Real Purpose of the Law
Most religions, including that of non-christian Christendom, have adopted this moralistic purpose as their raison d’etre. The aim is to prove to the Maker that they have superhuman life because they can imitate some of its characteristics through their purely human life. They never can, of course, so they end up in constant frustration and guilt. The “laws” of superhuman life were revealed to mankind by the Creator to convince them that they were missing a super-life that He could make available to them again. The law therefore is a diagnostic tool to convince us that we lack what we were originally intended to possess: it is a list of “symptoms” of health with which we are meant to diagnose our sickness. Instead, we behave like cancer patients who try to rouge their cheeks and pad their bodies to disguise the symptoms of their disease.
The Human Response to the Law
Nevertheless, for fifteen hundred years the Creator used the nation of Israel as a living, practical illustration of the fact that we humans could not reproduce the advanced characteristics of His original, superhuman life with the deteriorated human life we possess. Those fifteen hundred years tell a story of repeated human “trying hard” when what is needed is superhuman power. It’s a story of people trying to be like the Creator without the Creator’s life–and this independence and misuse of the laws of God is known as sin. Paradoxically, sin itself is not immorality but morality attempted without superhuman life. Thus, we have taken the Maker’s diagnostic tool and turned it into a sledge-hammer with which to batter ourselves senseless. The law, which was intended as a way to show us what we were missing, has been perverted into something else we try to do without God. The marks of superhuman life have been rationalized into a way of improving ordinary, human life.
Acceptance of a true diagnosis is the first big step towards health. Let’s look together in the next article at some of the marks of superhuman life that may help you to take your first step.
Imagine a math teacher placing calculators on her desk and telling the classshe wanted them to begin using them. After a few days she finds half the classuse them but half do not. So the next day, she gives them thirty square roots towork out in 15 minutes, reckoning that this will force them to use thecalculators. Lo and behold, after 15 minutes she finds 10 students still tryingto work out the answers without using the calculators. When she points out tothem the time is up, they begin complaining that the standard she sets is toohigh and they cannot possibly live up to it. She then reminds them that thewhole point of giving them a challenge that could be met only by using acalculator was to force them to use a calculator. She knew they wouldn’t be ableto do the square roots without one!
Purpose of God’s Laws
This is why the Creator of the universe communicated “laws of behaviour”to one of us on Mount Sinai about 3400 years ago. They were laws of “https://truthmatters.worldinvisible.com/?talk=superhumanlife” i.e. they describe the behaviour of people who live off superhumanlife. They are “calculations” that can be done only if you usecalculators! Their whole purpose is to force you to use calculators. Their wholepurpose is to force you to use superhuman life or to show you that you haven’tgot it. We human beings have done exactly what the students in the math classdid–we have committed ourselves to trying to reproduce the standards describedin the laws of superhuman life–without the superhuman life! This is moralismand results in people who complain that the standards are too high and cannot bereached. Yet this moralism is what most of our religions, includingpseudo-Christianity, are involved in.
Talking About Others
Are you living off superhuman life or just ordinary human life? It’s vitalto know because one is a poor second-best and results in a kind of lame-doglife. And it is possible for you to know. For instance, do you find yourselfblaming another person for something you really are responsible for? Or do youfind yourself carried by the conversational flow into overstating anotherperson’s shortcomings? Would you be embarrassed to save face-to-face what youhave said behind the person’s back? Do you criticize in another a flaw in yourown character? Do you gossip about another in such a way that they seem now lesscompetent or admirable? All of these behaviour patterns involve “bearingfalse witness against your neighbour” BUT it is the very absence of thishabit that is a symptom of eternal supernatural life. Why?
Because supernatural life creates a real sense of peace about your ownstatus and worth. The Spirit of the Creator and His own peace flow into you sothat you melt into Him: the result is you have no doubt about your ownacceptance by Him. But you know this is simply because of His gracious love ofyou, so you sense that same loving acceptance towards others. You find yourselfwanting to protect and build them up in others’ eyes. But, if you don’t trustyour Creator’s loving attitude towards you, then you are concerned about whatothers think of you. You want to impress them with your own value or, if youcan’t do that, get them to side with you against someone else. Thus you fallinto mildly tearing others down in order to build yourself up. So, you can tellwhether you are living off human or superhuman life by the way you talk aboutother people!
Be Moral or Believe?
But don’t fall into moralism. Don’t be like the students in the math class.Don’t determine now that you will avoid gossip and critical talk. Theythemselves are not the problem–the problem is your lack of superhumanlife–this is sin. It means, whatever your mental beliefs may be, you are notreally trusting God for your acceptance and worth. You’re trusting other people.His superhuman life begins to flow through you when you begin to treat Him asthe one whose opinion alone matters and when you start to look up to Him to seewhat He thinks of you. Trusting God is an inner attitude of your heart thataffects the way you live.
It’s the same with coveting. It’s mentioned too in Exodus 20 as one of thelaws of superhuman life–one of the ways superhuman life expresses itself inlife here on earth. If you believe that the Creator really does know when asparrow dies and that He has counted every hair on your head–and if you alsobelieve that He does love you and want the best for you–then you will beutterly content with the possessions you have at this moment. You’ll feel thatyour present state is absolutely right for you–if it weren’t, He would changeit. So it won’t stir anything in you if you see someone else better of than you.You won’t care if you never have a car or a stereo or a new coat: what yourFather-Creator has given you contents you.
But, if you live with only human life, then you depend on this world of jobsand money to get what you need. Moreover, your opinion of what you need isalways being formed by what other people have. The result is you find yourselfwishing at times that you had something you haven’t. Occasionally, you findyourself dwelling on a husband or a wife or a job or a life-style and then yourealize you are coveting these things. You are preoccupied with getting them andfeel some resentment at not having them. Don’t fall into moralism. Don’t resolvenot to covet. Look honestly at whom you trust for the things you need in thislife. Is it your Creator or is it yourself or your abilities? Do you reallythink your Maker loves you or cares about you? Does HE really want the best foryour life? And are you prepared to accept as best what He judges to be best?
So it’s possible–if you’re honest–to gradually begin to deal with thecentral issue in life–do you believe in God or in yourself?
Human life consists of the exercise of our physical, mental, emotional andspiritual powers. We were all born with these abilities and our lives arelimited by them. However, our Maker never intended that–He always meant us toshare His own superhuman life. We were made for that. That’s why we want tofly–physically, emotionally, mentally–we feel we were made to live forever. Wefeel we were made to be far more than we seem to be in our present, narrow,frustrating little lives. One old writer put it like this: God “has madeeverything beautiful in its time; also He has put eternity into man’s mind.”(Ecclesiastes 3:11) What is this superhuman life?
We’ve said in past weeks that it’s an energizing spirit that heightens ourmental and physical powers so that we are able to live the kind of serene,joyful, powerful life that Jesus of Nazareth lived–seeing things the way Godsees them, responding to them with His power over sickness and evil. It’s likewater–no smell, no taste, almost invisible–but it utterly delivers you fromyour own cramping small-mindedness and lifts you over the walls of your ownpersonality. The history of the world that we have in the Bible recounts thatthe Creator offered our forefathers this life at the beginning of the world. Tamankind in his childhood He presented it as a “tree of life” andstated that we could survive here on earth through receiving that life by faithfrom him or we could survive through our own independent knowledge of good andevil.
The Fallen Life
We chose the latter–to live by trial and error–building gradually our ownhuman list of precedents based or our experience of the earth year by year. Whatwe didn’t realize was that our mental and physical powers did not need justknowledge to operate properly; they needed the superhuman life that we lost whenwe began to live as if there was no God. The result is that we not only haveimperfect knowledge of the way life works (theories of relativity, that have tobe constantly modified and updated), but we have human personalities that seemperverted or twisted in the way they operate. However, we have endeavoured tomake ourselves at home on the earth and to persuade everyone else that this isthe best of all possible worlds. So, we have devised systems of family, work,peer-recognition, drugs, education, travel, recreation and consumer-goods tocover up our anxieties, frustrations and unhappiness.
The Need for Exposure
The result is that we have not simply fallen short of the Creator’s plan forus but we have made “falling short” the norm so that it’s verydifficult for us to tell what superhuman life would be like. We ourselvestherefore have great difficulty saying whether we have it or not. This is whyour Maker described it to a human being called Moses about 3400 years ago. Helisted its symptoms so that we could tell if we had it or not. We, of course,have taken those symptoms and made them part of our own “knowledge of goodand evil” to try to persuade ourselves that we possess this “https://truthmatters.worldinvisible.com/?talk=superhumanlife”. We call them laws of God and we call people who “obey”them moral people. Most religions and churches spend great amounts of timetrying to get people to be moral. They encourage everyone to think that if theymanage to be moral–or to reproduce these symptoms of superhuman life–then theypossess it and will live forever. This does not follow at all–anyone can rougeup his cheeks and make them look like healthy cheeks, but he may still be dyingof cancer! The external imitation of the symptoms of superhuman life proves onlythat you don’t have it. However, most religious people continue to believe thatthe laws of God were given to teach us how to become like God. They were givenfor the very opposite reason.
Purpose of the ‘Law’
Paul put it like this in the Bible: “if it had not been for the law, Ishould not have known sin…since through the law comes knowledge of sin…inorder that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment mightbecome sinful beyond measure.” (Romans 7:7,13; 3:20) God described to usthe ways or the laws of superhuman life to expose the fact that we didn’t haveit! That’s the whole purpose of the laws, but we have turned the tables onGod–and on ourselves–by reducing them to external actions that we then try toreproduce. YOU DON’T HAVE TO TRY TO BREATHE; IF YOU’RE ALIVE, THEN BREATHING ISONE OF THE SYMPTOMS–YOU CAN’T AVOID IT! Have you superhuman life? Just checkyourself against the symptoms!
Your Maker said that if you have superhuman life you will be free fromtrying to please people in order to get what you want. You’ll want to pleaseonly one person, knowing that His pleasure will always be best for yourrelatives and friends as well. That’s what the first law means– “you’llhave no other gods besides me”. Your god is the person you want to pleaseall the time, so if you want to please your wife some of the time–or yourboss–or your peers–or your children, then they are your gods at thosetimes–and you lack this symptom of superhuman life. Don’t blur the real truthabout yourself by playing around with the word “god”. God is the beingyou regard as having absolute power over your life; He’s the being on whom youdepend for life itself; He is regarded by you as absolutely wise and as knowingyou better than you know yourself. If you see Him as the father of Jesus Christ,then you know He really, loves you and cares about your life. So, He’s the onlyone to please–because He will want what’s best for all the others and for you.
If, however, you please yourself some of the time, then you are your godduring that time, so once more you lack this symptom of superhuman life. Youshould just face that fact–if you do, this can be the beginning of the solutionto your whole life. It is a great step towards truth if you can admit the youdon’t have superhuman life–reality begins to break in upon you when you dealhonestly with this issue of having other gods besides the real one.
Have you ever imagined that you were somebody famous or rich? Have you ever dreamed that you could do things far beyond your natural powers? Have you had moments when you thought, “I can be different–I can escape from this narrow, little life I live?” When we do this, the whole world usually implies we are just day-dreaming: compensating for our feelings of inadequacy or mediocrity. But the only man who overcame death and gave verifiable historic proof that he was directly related to the Creator of the world–Jesus of Nazareth–disagrees!
Significance of our Daydreams
He says that you were made to love above the limitations you were born with. Your powers of speech, thought, and feeling are neutral, passive abilities that differ only in quantity from those of the animal. They exert power to change and effect things in the world only when they are energized by a superhuman life that is activated through personal trust in the Maker of the universe. Your dreams of a higher kind of superlife exist because that is reality. Certainly our egotism perverts it in many ignoble and childish ways, but the existence of such dreams reflects the reality that we were made to experience a superlife that is meant to power our purely human abilities.
Jesus of Nazareth indicated that the early account in the Bible of man’s creation was historically reliable on this point that God made man with human powers–and then made available to him a “tree of life” that would give effectual force to those human powers. Without this superhuman life (actually his own personal life) our human abilities would deteriorate over 70 years and could produce no increase in the world’s resources. The history of mankind expresses the truth of these first and second laws of thermodynamics–the energy in the world remains constant but the world-system itself is running down.
In mankind’s early days we refused to believe this and determined to make do with what we thought were our considerable human powers. We separated ourselves from the Creator and His own life and were therefore left by Him to discover the limitations of ordinary human life. However, left without our Maker, we abandoned developing the world for him and concentrated on using it for ourselves. Without the self-esteem and security of a relationship to Him, we accustomed ourselves to extorting these things from each other. Soon after creation we had normalized this state of Godlessness so that we were blind to any life other than one of covetousness, greed and hatred. It was at this point (about 1400 B.C.) that the Creator prompted a man called Moses to describe the superhuman life we were intended to experience.
The Ten Commandments
These were called the laws of life. Just as the laws of science describe the way matter behaves, so these laws describe the way superhuman life behaves. Newton’s apple didn’t have to try to fall to the ground in order to obey the law of gravity: it naturally obeyed it because it was a “heavier-than-air” object. If it had been lighter than air, it could not have behaved that way–however much it tried. The only way, for a balloon filled with hydrogen to behave the same way as the apple is for the balloon to become a heavier-than-air object by getting rid of the hydrogen.
We human beings have been so determined to live independent of our Creator that we have tried to do the impossible. We have regarded the so-called “Ten Laws” as behaviour we ought to emulate. Rather than face the fact that we lacked the life they described, we have committed ourselves to imitating the behaviour patterns of that life even though we possess only human life! The result is the frustrating, self-righteous philosophy of moralism which occupies most religions and churches today.
Old Testament History
The purpose of the Ten Commandments was exactly the opposite–they were not commandments that we should try to obey–they were symptoms of divine life to show us our true condition. Over a period of 1400 years (documented in the Old Testament human history details man’s repeated efforts to “obey” these laws without possessing the superhuman life they describe. The result is the gradual deterioration of that society until it became the most moralistic nation in the world. Though the broad principles exhibited by these laws have become the foundation of our legal system which restrains anarchy in the world, we human beings have continued to miss their essential purpose by trying to reproduce them rather than be exposed by them.
Using the Ten Laws
Have you superhuman life? How do you know? Simply ask yourself–do I depend on people or money rather then God for my self-esteem and security? Do I wish I had what someone else has (covetous)? Do I say things behind people’s backs (bear false witness)? Do I commit adultery? Steal? Swear? Do I have to “try” to avoid these things? Stand out in the open–be honest–have you superhuman life? Or are you limping along with ordinary human powers that will run out after 70 years? Let’s talk in the next article about what you can do.
“I can’t be a goody-goody. I just have to be myself!” We like that kind of comment because we identify “goody-goodies” with hypocrites who pretend not to feel what the rest of us feel. They study to please the “authorities” by meticulous adherence to moral norms. They irritate us to death!
On the other hand we aren’t happy with the idea of trying to be out-and-out evil ourselves. Something inside us makes us want to be “normal”, and normal involves being kind, generous, caring, honest, and loyal. But we find there is also something in us that is repulsed by “goody-goodness” and yet stops us being as good as we feel we ought to be. What’s the explanation of this paradox in people like ourselves? And is there any way to escape it?
Why Are We Not as Good as We Want to Be?
The explanation is that we’re made to be better than we are–naturally! We’re like cars that are made to run on Super gasoline but they’re trying to make do with Regular. We’re made to be powered by an intimate trusting relationship to the Maker of the world. Treating him as our faithful Father creates in us great peace and forbearance to other people–we don’t covet or steal. But when we live as if we have no great Father who cares for us, we thresh around full of envy and anxiety. Our Creator wants us to realize we’re missing a relationship with Him that makes us naturally like Him, so he has built into us a memory of what life is like with him as our friend. That memory is our conscience and it makes us want to “live up” to his laws.
But the laws of God are just descriptions of the way we automatically live if we trust Him. They’re like Technical Manuals for a car that runs on Super gasoline or petrol. If you run the car on Regular, the laws or performance “specs” for Super gas will frustrate you to death. However much you try, you’ll never match the specification standards for Super gas UNLESS you use Super gas! That’s the purpose of the so-called “laws of God”–they exist to “frustrate you to death”. So the paradox that we talked about at the beginning is really God’s plan. We want to be better than we are but we dislike people who try to be good themselves because–deep down–we know goodness is the result of a relationship, not the condition for a relationship.
Why Are the Ten Commandments So Frustrating?
The purpose of the laws of God is to drive us to despair. Paul wrote this in Romans 7:13–“Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, working death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure.”
In other words, you try to obey the laws of God. You fail, fail, fail. You try, try, try. And fail, fail, fail. Until you see that your very trying is the problem. It’s not your badness that is the problem–it’s your goodness–YOUR goodness! You think you’re still able to be good on your own without God–that’s sin! It’s the way you live in inner dependence on the world of people, things, and circumstances instead of on God.
Our attempts to reproduce the symptoms of a God-trusting life without trusting God are the ultimate declaration of independence. This is why we hate “goody-goodies” and why religious people and churches who emphasize morality rather than trust in God seem so obnoxious.
How Do We Escape From Our Condition?
First-by seeing the real problem. The problem is not changing our behaviour, but changing US. However much we improve on our morals, we’ll never be like God until we begin to depend on him for everything. That’s why God allowed the Jews to live in frustration for 2,000 years–for our benefit. They became utterly preoccupied with his laws. They are known as people of the law. They still discuss it, dissect it, honour it, elevate it. Yet they find it is still not natural to reproduce it in their lives. It seems more natural to disobey it than obey it. They have tried to change their behaviour for 2,000 years just as many of us have for 20 or 30 years. But we cannot! Regular gasoline cannot perform like Super gasoline, however much it tries. Its very essence has to be changed. This is why God did not destroy us all but allowed us to have 70 years here on earth. Moses recorded in Genesis 8:21–“the Lord said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.”
It’s our nature that needs to be changed–not our behaviour or our morals. They will change when our nature is changed. This is why God “winked” at us; Acts 17:30 records Paul’s statement in Athens: “The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all men everywhere to repent.” Our Creator expects us to be changed now–because he has provided a way to change us–inside and out. The first step towards that is to see it’s not our behaviour that has to change it’s us. But we human beings have got used to what we are. Moreover, our nature is fixed deeply in our life-style. But, more than that, it has been bred into our race for centuries–there’s a reason why we can’t do what we aspire to do in our best moments. We now are burdened with a psychological and physical nature that has developed its own ways and modes of operation. So, changing our natures is not just a case of keeping better company or reading some self-improvement books. Changing our nature means dealing with the very inner essence of humanity. Let’s look in the next article at the extent of that change and see why it cannot be handled by one little human being’s will.
What was it like to be the first person on the earth? The account given inthe first book of the collection of history books called “The Bible”helps you to imagine it. Seemingly, the Maker of the world was able to givedirections via mental or verbal communications. So, you would have known that akindly creator had made you and that he was going to show you day by day how todevelop the earth. Naturally, this would have given you a great sense of safetyand security and you would have set about the tasks that your Maker gave you. Heknew where he’d buried the oil and the water and the coal; he knew the best timeto sow your seeds and reap the harvests. He also would be able to indicate toyou variations that might occur in weather patterns. The result would be a lifeof fulfilment and order flowing from an inner sense of what to do and when to doit. Above all, you would feel your life depended on your Creator’s personal loveand interest in you; the world was simply one of his planets you were lookingafter.
The Great Perversion
You and I know that the first men and women did not take that attitude. Infact, they began to ignore these inward intuitions from the Creator and setabout developing the world as if there were no kindly creator. In order to stayalive they saw they needed continuous food supplies, clothes to protect themfrom the cold and rain, and shelters in which to sleep when the sun went down.But as humans multiplied, the competition for these “necessities of life”increased and we human beings developed new feelings like fear and anxiety. Webegan to worry about whether we would have enough food stored for the next yearand the adrenalin increased the excess acid in our systems so that our bodiesfelt the strain. As we experienced frustration at not having as much grainstored as others, our blood vessels experienced constriction and headachesbecame a fact of life.
But the greatest change occurred not in our physical health but in ourmental attitudes. Our minds became preoccupied with “beating our neighboursto the punch” and manipulating our grain stores (and later, our stocks andshares) into ever larger quantities. This itself turned into an infinitelyreceding horizon as it became impossible to be sure that we ever had “enough”.It was very difficult to produce the same security as we had when we depended onthe infinite Creator of the universe. As the centuries passed, we transmittedthese competitive and acquisitive drives to our children. The result was thatthe human race turned into a mass of little neurotic squirrels trying to getenough nuts stored for the winter. Instead of the fulfilling of our minds’desires for wholeness and order as we saw the world respond to the creator’splans, our minds became slaves to the fulfilment of our physical needs. Underthis kind of physical and emotional pressure, mistakes in judgement occurred andthe resulting errors in action produced agricultural and mining fiascoes thatcaused further trauma for the race.
The Love Shortage
However, this perversion of our mental and emotional natures caused morethan unbearable angst. As a race, we found that our “individualness”seemed to go unrecognized. There were billions of us who thought we weredifferent for all the other billions, but none of the rest seemed to appreciatehow different we were. We knew we were different, but we no longer felt the loveof the One Significant Other in the universe who could give us that sense ofworth and self-esteem. The resulting sense of inferiority and insignificancedrove us to force others to acknowledge and recognize our importance. So beganthat disapproval that has resulted in our present society of people-pleasers. Wedon’t want to run our lives by what other people think, but we do. We havebecome little puppy dogs who will do anything for a pat and a cookie.
The Doubly Perverted Nature
The reason we have difficulty being what we were meant to be is due tosomething missing in our natures and something perverted in our natures.
We now live without any contact with our maker. This means we lack any innerguidance or direction from him. We roam through life driven by circumstances andothers’ opinions.
Because we lack internal direction, we have become utterly dependent on theexternal world of things, people, and circumstances to provide for our needs.This has twisted the ways our minds, emotions, and bodies operate so that ourpersonalities are disintegrated. Even when we do aspire to do the kind of thingour maker wants, we find ruts in the very cortex of our brains and imbalances inour emotions that prevent us from “doing what we would”.
Our Fallen Nature
Our own personal failures to live up to what we believe we ought are due tosomething bigger than our own inadequacies. Our personal failures stem from anature that is almost as “old as the hills”. It’s a perverted andtwisted psychological and physical nature that has been bred into ourforefathers for generations. You are faced not simply with changing “thehabits of a lifetime”, but with changing the nature of mankind. In order tolive the way you were originally created to live, you have to somehow recoverthe nature you once had.
This is a problem that is far bigger than you yourself. This is not just apersonal problem you have with bad temper or drugs. This is a human raceproblem–a cosmic problem.
The perversion of our natures is so complex and ancient that humanity itselfcan no longer solve it. Trying to repair a product that needs to be returned tothe manufacturer never solves the problem. This is the reason for our humanpredicament.
For centuries we human beings have been living everyday life as if we happened here by chance and have to make the best of it. This has produced in us a restless drive to survive by getting from the natural world around us whatever food and shelter we need. It has also produced in us a dreadful need to prove our worth to the rest of mankind so that we will feel some sense of self-esteem in a world full of others like ourselves. The result of such pressures has been a radical perversion of our natures which were created to depend on our loving Father Creator for all that we needed.
So, instead of a world full of relaxed, kindly people free to use their abilities to develop the world as their Creator guided them, the world is full of groups of selfish, anxious, driving people trying to survive. For two thousand years the Creator revealed to the Jewish people the ways he intended us to live. His purpose was to show them that we needed to depend on him and listen to him, but they took his descriptions of life with him as laws and tried to obey them. This brought great guilt into their consciences because they couldn’t live as he wanted unless they depended on him. So until about two thousand years ago, they and the rest of mankind lived in frustration and guilt because they could not live the way they were intended.
A Unique Human Being Was Born
Finally, after human beings had tried living as if there was no God for two thousand years, the Creator of the world put a unique man on the earth. The Roman historian, Tacitus, recorded his existence in these words: “The author of that name (Christian) was Christ who in the reign of Tiberius suffered punishment under his Procurator Pontius Pilate.” However, this man was more than a man. Early on in his life he talked as if the Maker of the universe was his own father. When his mother found him in the temple discussing truth with the old scholars, he said he thought she would know he would be about his father’s business–but his earthly father was Joseph, the carpenter! On other occasions as a public preacher, he pointed out that anyone that had seen him had seen his father also. When some religious leaders asked him if he was the Son of the Blessed (meaning the Son of God), he told them that they were right. He talked often of the fact that he existed with his father before the world was created and assured his disciples that he would come back to earth just before the world ended.
Was He Mad?
Our immediate reaction is to class this kind of talk with the insane boasts of others who have claimed to be God. The difference between this man and megalomaniacs is that he is universally regarded as the best man that has ever lived. Far from being regarded as a charlatan or con-man, he is respected as the model of honesty and love in human history. He shows none of the emotional imbalance or mental instability that we see in those who inhabit hospitals for the insane. On the contrary, his behaviour evidences a balance that all men try to emulate. In him, exaltation never passed into ecstasy, zeal never into rashness or one-sidedness; sympathy never into sentimentality, determination never into casuistry. A wonderful tenderness of heart left him stern and uncompromising, and an energy which rejoiced in work, and shrank from nothing, never led him to be exacting towards others or inconsiderate of their weakness.
Was He Perfect?
Here is a man that is regarded as the foremost ethical teacher the world has ever seen. But he is the only one whose life excels his teaching. Even the official who legally condemned him to death protested that he could find no fault in him, while hostile critics were silent when he asked them to point out his sins. This man only talked as if he were the son of the maker of the universe–he lived as we would expect the son of the maker of the universe to live. He is the only man that is regarded as sinless and perfect in his behaviour here on earth. He refused to be driven into legalism by the legalists or into license by the lawless. He lived in purity himself yet showed kindly love to a prostitute. He rebuked hypocrites but was fatherly and loving to little children. His life is utterly different from religious leaders like Mohammed and Buddha both of whom evidenced excesses of asceticism and militancy. But his life is utterly different also from that of the greatest saints. Part of their saintliness is their consciousness of sin and falling short of their ideals. This man expressed no such consciousness of sin and falling short of God’s standards–and his life substantiates this as do the opinions of men then and now.
Who Was This Man?
Who or what was this unique human being that began to live on our earth after our forefathers had spent two thousand years trying to imitate the life that God described to them? Why did he appear when people were getting utterly lost and frustrated in their inability to live up to what they knew to be right? Did he come from outer space? Let’s talk about this in the next article.
By Ernest O’Neill
For two thousand years we human beings lived in frustration. The frustration arose from the fact that we found we could not live lives that were free from anxiety. We had anxiety about our food, our clothes, our homes, our security, our reputations, the earth and even the stars. We didn’t know where this spaceship earth was going. We didn’t know who or what kept it flying. But worst of all, we didn’t know why we were ever put on it in the first place. All we did know was that we somehow had to keep ourselves alive by getting the food and shelter that sustains physical life; besides that, we had to get the peer recognition and self-esteem that sustain mental life. After two thousand years of this kind of strain at trying to live as self-created, self-dependent creatures (when we were neither), the human personality had become utterly perverted. It was designed to exist in peaceful dependence on the Maker of the universe: but in fact, it was living in anxious dependence on the earth. This radical eccentricity produced in us angst–fear of the future, fear of the past, fear of the present: over the centuries these phobias produced impaired minds, unbalanced emotions, and weakened bodies. The result was that we human beings found that we were unable to live the way we sensed we should.
At this point in our history — around the year 6 B.C. a remarkable baby was born. He lived an ordinary, unremarkable life for the first thirty years, but the next three years he lived a public life that was called perfect and sinless even by those who observed him day after day. He talked as if he were the son of the Creator of the universe and he lived the way we would expect such a person to live. He was different from other religious leaders in that his ethical teachings were the highest that humans have ever heard, but his greatest contrast with people like Buddha and Mohammed was in his daily behavior which was a perfect expression of his teachings. He is the one human being whose claim to be God’s son seems reasonable in the light of the balanced integrity of his character.
But what sets him apart from all the other religious seers the world has seen was the manner of his death. According to the contemporary accounts of eye-witnesses like John and historians like Tertullian and Tacitus, this man Jesus was executed very efficiently by the Roman authorities, but on the third day after his death he got up out of the tomb and travelled around Galilee for the next month. Though the open wounds were still obvious, he seemed to be able to counter the normal symptoms of death and maintain life through a kind of superhuman energy. He explained that he must return to his father, the creator, with whom he lived before the world was created. He then lifted off the earth and his body has not been found since.
The only explanations of this unique human being are that he was a liar, a lunatic, a legend or the son of the Maker of the universe. To call the world’s greatest ethical teacher and example a liar about his own identity makes fun of human logic and terminology. To call one of the most balanced human personalities insane suggests we ourselves are more insane. To call him a legend is impossible because written, corroborated accounts of his life were circulating long before the original eye-witnesses died. The only explanation that is left is that this Jesus of Nazareth was and is — the actual son of the Maker of the world.
Why Did The Creator Wait So Long?
But why did the Creator wait so long before sending his son to earth to express the ethical and biological qualities of superhuman life? Because we humans had used our free wills to reject this kind of existence when we were first made. Our maker knew we would not dream of making a different decision until we were utterly convinced by centuries of defeat that such life was the only way to live in this universe. This superhuman life is his own life — the very life and energy that constitutes his nature. When he imparts it to one of his creatures, he actualizes his own attributes of wisdom and eternity in them. But he can make this transfer only to beings who want him intensely and who can be trusted with the superhuman powers of his own life. The Creator therefore can give this life only to beings who have thoroughly tried running the world without him. Only thus is there the possibility of the wholehearted commitment of a free will.
Two Thousand Years of Impotence and Guilt
So, for two thousand years, we human beings were permitted to try living in the world without the superhuman life that God had planned for us. During that time, we developed pseudo-religions to try to satisfy the yearning we had for the infinite. We perverted God’s revelations into ethical systems by which we tried to meet his standards while getting our own way. And we tried to develop the world according to his plans while we lived independent of him and dependent on the world itself. The result was a world full of human beings who had again reached the frustration point of yet another of their many civilizations. At this point, our Creator inserted into history himself in the person of his Son. He then began to show us what had to be done to deliver us from our predicament. Let’s talk about this in the next article.
A World of Parasites
For thousands of years we human beings lived off each other. We depended on each other for the food and money we needed to stay alive. We depended on each other for whatever emotional satisfaction or thrills lifted life a little above the ordinary. We were enslaved to each other for any sense of self-esteem or self-worth we could stir up.
But we were parasites not only on each other but on the earth itself. We lived by the smiles of Mother Nature: sunny days made us feel sunny. We collapsed in depression and gloom when her skies glowered at us or when her mountains erupted in fire.
So, through the centuries, millions of us were thus dominated by our environment — and, as we multiplied, by our heredity. Around two thousand years ago, we human beings had developed minds and emotions that were so perverted that we couldn’t live above our heredity and environment if we tried.
A Free Man
Into this conformist, dominated world entered the unique human being whom we have come to know as Jesus. He presented a wholly new, fresh concept of reality. He said he and his father made the universe as a home for his children. They made us so that we could live together with them as a family. But the only way we could experience real love from each other was if we wanted to be with them of our own free will. This is why they endowed us with the ability to trust them or not Jesus explained that thousands of birds and animals are born and fed–and no one seems to do it. Somehow they get what they need. Similarly he pointed out that the richest king is not dressed in the fine delicate colors that clothe an ordinary flower. Yet neither the birds of the air nor the flowers of the field sow seed or toil or reap — they are in fact fed and clothed by his father. It was obvious that if God did that for birds and flowers, he would do much more for the creatures he had made to be his own friends and relatives. But the only way he could do it is if we trusted him. Otherwise we would end up as forced, overwhelmed slaves, not friends.
However, for years we had known a little about the Creator through the Jewish people. And many of us had tried to trust God for our everyday lives, but we had grown so accustomed to thinking that our continued existence depended on our own ability to wring what we needed from the earth by the sweat of our brows–that a habit of distrust had gripped our mental apparatus. We found ourselves in the iron grip of self-trust that prevented us relaxing into the arms of a creator. Besides we liked doing what we wanted when we wanted!
There was, however, a more sinister side to our condition. We found that we persisted in insisting on our own way even when it was to our disadvantage. So there seemed to have developed in mankind a force that made us want to destroy ourselves just as long as we could eat and drink what we wanted. This is why Jesus said that flesh and blood could never inherit the kingdom of God–man’s enslavement to his physical senses–the total orientation of his whole personality to physical smiles and materialistic things has coarsened our personalities to the point where we cannot sense our Maker’s sentiments. Jesus said we had become incapable of perceiving or understanding our Creator’s spirit He said that a radical change would have to be wrought in our personalities and a sensitivity of spirit introduced to our lives if we were ever to be able to trust God as our dear Father.
A Birth from Above
Jesus explained that we really had to be created all over again. He said we had to be born from above–from his Father rather than from our earthly mothers. Only a complete renewal of our whole being would enable us to live in the intimate and deep trust of God that we were intended for. In fact, all that we have been up to now would have to be wiped out — utterly destroyed if we were to have any possibility of trusting and loving God above all the dependencies we had become enslaved to.
This was the most startling part of his whole preaching — this need for our destruction. He tied it up with the whole purpose of his own life — which was to die. He said this was why he had come to the earth: not simply to set us an example which we could not follow anyway. But his death was just an outward expression in time and space of a cosmic destruction of all of us that God had wrought in eternity. Jesus explained it to Paul in this way: he said that when he died, we all died. In eternity — which is actually timelessness or an eternal present moment — his father had utterly, wiped out all that you and I have become. Then he brought us to life again in Jesus.
The choice is ours–whether to believe him and what he has said–or to reject him and what he has said. If we believe Jesus and this explanation of reality, he assures us that the spirit-life that enables him to live in vital and restful trust of God will fill our lives also. We will find within us a life-power that sets us free from the domination of things and people and circumstances.
What does this choice mean for you? Let’s talk about that in the next article.
You need money? You get a job! Right? Of course–that’s just commonsense.You’re feeling a little depressed–so you take an upper, or a sherry, or anicecream. You feel a little inferior? Go out and buy a new outfit or stereothat your friends will admire– that will help your self-esteem. This is the wayhumans lived for two thousand years–though they had other names for theirstimulants and their treats. Nevertheless, they thought as we do–whatever youneed, you get it either from the world around you or from the people around you.There’s no other source for the security and self-esteem we need.
Then about two thousand years ago a remarkable human being appeared on theearth who said that his father had made the world and us. He said his fatherloved us and would himself supply what material things we needed. He said alsothat his father would transmit his love to us so really that we would never havetrouble with our sense of self-worth again. All we had to do was believe what hesaid and act accordingly.
This was the first time we men and women grasped the idea that the power weneeded so often in our living would come from outer space–from beyond thispresent world. You would think all of our forefathers would immediately havechanged their attitudes and begun to establish relations with thisfather-creator!
Why didn’t they? Just look into your own mind and you’ll see thedifficulty. At first glance it would seem wonderful if the God who clothes theflowers of the field and feeds the birds of the air would even more attentivelyclothe and feed us. But would he do it the way we want to be clothed and fed?Would he give us the kind of clothes we want in order to draw attention toourselves? Would he give us the kind of drink that we need for enjoyment? Theseare exactly the feelings that motivated our earliest forefathers to reject Godas the answer for all the needs in the first place. These are the very reasonswhy they decided to depend on the world and other people. This way they couldget what they wanted when they wanted why they wanted.
It’s the same with us today though we have the advantage of hindsight. Welook out on a world that is confused and bewildered. We don’t understand whypeople take guns and mow down innocent children in school playgrounds or blowairline passengers out of the air. We don’t understand why people beat up theirchildren or their wives. But worst of all, we don’t understand why we get sopetty about having our own way at home or why we can spoil beautiful days andrelationships just in order to say the nasty things we want to say. So often, welook back on spoiled evenings out or summer vacations, and are bewildered at theapparent devil inside us that makes us destroy ourselves and those we love.
We can look back over 4,000 years of history and see that millions of ustrying to get from the world the material possessions we need irrespective ofwhat anybody else needs has turned us into selfish monsters. Moreover, when weproduce a little effort to change, we find the monster inside grows even worse.The more cocaine we throw away, the more effort we put into family life, thefairer we try to be at work, the worse the demon within seems to become. Many ofus feel we’ve become so perverted that the only hope for us lies in somehowstarting life all over again. The ruts in the cortex of our brains are so deep,the emotional habits and the mental pattern of our lives are so much part of usthat the only answer seems to be a destruction of us as we are and a raising ofsome kind of phoenix from the ashes.
The Cosmic Death
Only when you’ve got to the point of realistic despair and extremity, areyou ready to experience the radical, surgery that was done on the human racebeyond space and time. Until you see the human predicament (and your ownpredicament) in the above terms, the Creator’s action seems unreasonable. Whathe actually did was to foresee the way we would use our free wills to substitutethe world of men and things for him to supply our needs. Then–in eternity–thetimelessness an spacelessness that lies beyond the planet–he put us all intohis Son, Jesus, and destroyed what he foresaw we would become–and raised us upabsolutely new and fresh. He then expressed this within our time-space world in29 a.d. on a hill outside Jerusalem in the historic person of Jesus of Nazareth,and gives us now the choice of living whichever life we choose.
But the choice of the world of our father-Creator means a complete turningfrom one to choose the other. In other words, “dying with Christ”means giving up our right to our own way here on earth. It means a deepreadiness to allow him to live in our place. Only in being a physical and mentalframework with which he can live the rest of his life, we fulfil the originalplan of our Maker. However, if we do adopt this attitude to Him and to life,then all our past perverted personality is blotted out and our Creator startslife all over again for us. We literally are born again and start life new–theold has passed away, and the new has come. This cosmic miracle becomes apersonal one if you are willing. Let’s talk further about the implications ofsuch a change time.