The Eclectic Life: Love, Law and Liberty

Category: The Meaning of Being Human

I will have . . .

I will have love, I will have grace, I will have strength, I will have peace, I will have joy, I will have goodness, I will have connection, I will have solitude and I will have discontent.

The Trinity are discontented.

When I am restored to the reality I was created to live in, then discontent will be dispelled.  “For we know in part …but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.” I Corinthians 13:9

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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 

 

The Meaning of Being Human: Accident

Many people in studying the world around us have reached a view of the world which if true would have significant impact on the meaning of being human. 

This model of the world says that through random actions over a long period of time the materials of our reality have resulted in humans and the surrounding world and universe.  The only things required for humans to exist is material and enough time to exist to allow sufficiently random activities to occur that would result in human beings.  No plan, forethought, design or desire is required for humans and our universe. 

The word which seem to sum this process up the most succinct would be accident.

Humans are the result of time and random accidental reactions.  I try to look for meaning in human life with this model and I cannot come up with any.  I cannot find a path from accident to being significant, having identity or meaning as a human being.  Humans may be interesting but no more so than a colony of ants.  Humans may seem to have some beauty but no more so than any sunset which could be called beautiful.  Humans may have desires but not any more significant than a honey bee desires the nectar of a flower.  Humans maybe able to build engineering marvels from computers, to spacecraft to skyscrapers but so can wasps and birds.  Humans may have social interactions but so do many other mammals. 

I hear some express a wonder at DNA and imbue DNA with the quality of being able to control human interaction and behavior so that the DNA in one person is able to survive and be passed on while another set DNA does not continue to exist.   What significance does a sting of oxygen, carbon, nitrogen and hydrogen atoms have over those who continue to exist as water, air and limestone?  Do they not all continue to exist?

Accidental existence seems to imply no significance and meaning other than the immediate needs of today.  Who really matters?   It would seem to suggest no one.  If you exist by some fluke accident what is the loss if you are not around anymore?  But the sense of loss exists.  Where would the sense of loss come from with a basis of life as accident?  Where is there respect for other humans?   Humans are just water, air and limestone in a diffrent arrangment. 

As C.S. Lewis pointd out, a fish when he is out of water senses something is missing that he does not notice when he is in water.  I sense something is missing about being human if all we are, are an accident.  But that is restored if human are significant because of design, desire and creation. 

“…God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made…”¹  “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness…”²

If humans are an accident what meaning do we have?  If humans are god like, what could be our identity and future?  The question to really answer then is, what are our Creators like? 

1 Romans 1:20

2 Genesis 1:26