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.