The Meaning of Being Human: Transient
The third view of humanity which has spread throughout the world sees the human condition as a temporary condition and experience on the way to something else.
There are several variations on this theme. Some have no explanation for the beginning of humanity and say such a question is not important. Other say we had a previous existence either in this world or another reality and will return again with a different experience in this life or return to our original reality. The purpose of all this is to learn, experience, evaluate the human condition and carry this with us onto the next phase of life.
The first challenge to this model for me is that like the accident it says that being human is not that important. The message appears to be that who I am is not really important but what I need or have are just experiences. Being is not important just experiences. This idea of placing experience over identity seems to mirror the drive behind addictions. In addictions who I am is not important but what my choice of “hit” or “high” is to get the experience I desire. I would say that we are designed to experience life and enjoy it but I have found that I need an identity to navigate my experiences.
I think that this emphasis on experience over identity come from our human desire to be able to go back and correct our mistakes. If we just had known what we now know in the past, we would have made better choices in our actions and life would therefore be better. “After he (God) drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life”¹ The way to the tree of life, to life itself is not in the past but the present and future. We cannot go back but only forward. The past does have a part to play but the answer is not there.
Wanting to escape the human experience is very old going back to not just Eastern religions but to the Greeks. The human body and therefore experience has been something to escape to be able to enter into something much better.
“…we wait eagerly for … the redemption of our bodies.”² There is a problem with my body and human experience but the solution is not an escape but a restoration, a redemption and a return to my original condition in the future. Humans are of great value and worthy of being considered significant. This is the story of the Scriptures.
1 Genesis 3:24
2 Romans 8:23