Paul once wrote that there is a natural body and a spiritual body. He also said we have our old self and our new self. Paul was speaking of the realties and the shadows they cast. Yes, the body of flesh is a shadow of a higher, spiritual body just as the lower mind and spirit have a kind of higher reality above them. It may not always feel like it, but we are being raised higher and higher. As it is though, we have found ourselves in this lower world of the flesh, and this is where we will seek for the truth.
GEN 2:7 the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
Yes, our bodies are from the dust of our Mother Earth with a little bit of SPIRIT blown in for good measure! If we just consider the composition of our flesh (no bones), the human body is about 75% water. As we were all taught in elementary school, the surface of our Mother Earth is also 75% water. Looks like our flesh does take after our mother. We inherited more than water from our Mother Earth. The salinity (amount of salt) in seawater is identical to that of our body fluids like blood, sweat and tears. It turns out that both bodies of water contain about 35 parts per million of salt. Some may call all these similarities complete coincidence, but the truth is the Earth is our mother. This should not be a surprise if we accept the ancient wisdom of the Bible. While our bodies may come from the Earth, more importantly, our spirit is from God, our Father.
What we must come to understand is that the Earth and the human body are vehicles for consciousness (life). The Earth, which has its own level of elemental consciousness, is the platform for higher levels of life just as the body is a vehicle for our soul. As discussed in The Meaning of Life, the body houses the soul while the soul houses the spirit. So we have a triadic existence in body, soul and spirit. By seeing ourselves as merely a body, we hold the soul (mind) attached to this lower world. So long as the soul is trapped in this lower world, so is the spirit. The marriage of the soul to the spirit of Christ frees them in union.
Each person is like a mini universe trying to find that place and moment where we are peace, or rest. Our bodies contain the billions of cells, which are the galaxies. The cells contain billions of atoms, which are the stars. The atoms of each cell contain orbiting electrons that are the planets. It is amazing to think about! Also recall that MOST of an atom is empty space just like the universe. The pattern of the universe is even seen in our body of dust. Yes, those divine fingerprints are on everything God has created.
While our flesh is mostly water and those organic elements, our bones are products of the soil- the minerals. Our bones are mostly calcium with a few other elements mostly minerals. What I find interesting about this is that the Earth with all its minerals (rocks and earth) is the platform for life, right? Well, the skeleton is really doing the same thing. Just as the minerals support the plants, and the plants support the animals, so do our bones support our flesh that supports our consciousness.
The lasting power of bones far exceeds that of flesh, which is akin to the mountains that live eons beyond the men who climb them. This goes further in showing us that our bodies and bones are of the earth. Because they are of the earth, they are not us. We are not of the earth because we are spirits from God. The true Body we belong to is a spiritual one!
1COR 12:27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
While Paul used body parts to explain how we are all One Body in Christ, I prefer the cell to show this unity. It has been estimated that our body is made up of nearly 50 TRILLION cells! That is a mind-boggling number, but what if I told you that no two cells are EXACTLY alike? Of course we have cells that perform different purposes, but even among the same cell type, no two are the same. This is the same of identical twins who share the same DNA. They are not exactly alike. They can look slightly different and certainly can act and think differently.
What I am saying is this. Each of us, whether we know it or not, is a spiritual cell in the Body of Christ. Just as each cell of your body has exactly the same DNA, so do we all carry the same spiritual DNA from God. We each carry the potential of Gods fullness within us! In this way, we are the same and equally important. Even so, we are different because God calls us to different purposes. Somehow each cell in the body knows what kind of purpose it is suppose to fill. Somehow man finds his higher purpose given by God. This is all a bit of a mystery, but the one certainly shadows the other. How can your 50 trillion cells act as ONE entity? This is a miracle of miracles! However, do not marvel at this, but instead consider that Christ is rising up his body to do the same! That is the higher reality! Imagine 50 trillion souls acting as ONE! We are the cells of His glorious Body!
PRO 27:19 As water reflects a face, so a man's heart reflects the man.
This passage is wisdom. Prophets often refer to mans heart in matters of our spiritual experiences. Jesus said that from the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. In other words our heart symbolizes our desire and will. This runs deeper than just an emotional force, but more like a spiritual drive. What is in our heart motivates us for either good or evil. All throughout the Bible, the word heart is used to represent our spiritual will or life for good reason.
In the world of the body, there is no more vital organ to life than the heart. The heart beats around 35 millions times per year to keep those 6 quarts of life-giving blood flowing through our bodies. Located in the center of our bodies, it is the hardest working muscle weighing in at only around 10 ounces! Like the spirit deep within us, it is seemingly small, but powerful. It powers us just as the spirit given by God powers us. And like the spirit within us, it is important to keep it healthy. Bad blood flowing through our heart is like evil desires running through our spirit. The spirit gives life to our soul while in the shadow world; the heart gives life to our brain.
Some may argue that the brain is the most important organ for life. I guess it depends on how we define life because a body can exist with almost no brain. This is not true in the case of the heart. Like the spirit, the heart pumps life whereas the mind and brain simply try to understand life. We must understand that we are not merely flesh and bones. We live in these bodies to experience this world. In the same way, we use our brains and senses to know this world.
I see that the brain is but a shadow of where our true intelligence and wisdom are kept- that being the mind. The brain is the physical tool used by the mind in this physical world. Apart from this world, no brain is needed just as no body is needed either. Many of us have had out of body experiences that do not directly involve the brain. The mind is the spiritual brain if you will. The brain in our head connects the (natural) mind to this world using the senses.
The human brain has been evolving through the ages. The brain stem at the center is our rudimentary brain controlling the very basics body functions. We could imagine this brain to be the prehistoric brain that helped us crawl from the water. The cerebellum, often called the gray matter, surrounds the stem and controls higher functions of thought and body control. To this point, our brain and the chimps are very similar. They can reach up to grab some food or even clean their partners body. So then, there must be something more to us.
What is interesting is that most of our highest thought processes take place on the very outer layer of the brain. This area is called the neocortex. It is a very thin wall (about 1/10 inch thick) of brain cells that are more evolved than the ones near the center. In this very small area we can think about our existence, about God and why our favorite team lost- you know the important stuff in life! But isnt it interesting that even our brains have gotten smarter? The real question to ask your neocortex is then, WHO is causing our brains to evolve and become more aware of higher thoughts? My guess is that you may already know WHO that is.
It has been said that we only use 10% of our brains potential. What I have read is that, at best, this is wild guess and at worst this is a complete fabrication. The fact is we do not know what the potential of the evolving brain is. I feel the important concept to realize (in your mind) is that the brain is just the "tool" used by the mind. Understand that it isnt the saw that makes a desk, but rather the carpenter who runs the saw. The brain is simply a medium for the thoughts, energy and will of the mind to express itself in this world.
JOB 11:5 Oh, how I wish that God would speak, that he would open his lips against you 6 and disclose to you the secrets of wisdom, for true wisdom has two sides.
Yes, there are two sides to wisdom and all of life it seems. Duality is as present all through the bodys structure as it is in nature. Of course, the brain has two separate sides that handle different tasks and help to balance our personality. Beyond this we have two eyes, two ears, two legs, two arm and so on. Curious, isnt it?
Even within our being it seems duality is necessary for balance, contrast and coordination. Again, the human being is like a universe in itself- trying to come to that place of comfort and peace. As covered in The Meaning of Life, duality is for the sake of experience, judgment and evolution. We use duality to climb the ladder of consciousness. Try climbing a ladder with just one arm and one leg!
Consider our ability to see. We use two eyes, so we can have a better depth perception. In other words, we use our eyes to judge the distance. Our spiritual eyes are used in the same way and that is to judge or perceive. Our whole world is seen in duality, so this the way of this world. We have come to know this world by using duality and of course those five senses.
I find it interesting that we have five fingers reaching out from our right and our left hands- ten fingers. Recall that the number of mankind is 10? Duality in a five-sense world (2x5) has seemed to leave us using 10 as our base system. Doesnt our two-sided brain also reach into the world with five senses? This all goes back to the very nature we have been given. We are not this way by accident, but a product of our parents.
Interestingly, the Wicca religion uses the pentagram (5 pointed star) to represent mans nature and life. Man is a five-pointed star as they see it, and it is hard to disagree. Mans head is the top point of the star and our four limbs reaching out in all directions are the others. This ancient, Pagan symbol represents the truth of natural man. This symbol was even used to represent Christ on the Cross. The five points were his five wounds. So the notion that this symbol or religion is evil is completely wrong. Denying truth from any source simply demonstrates real ignorance. Get my point?
In the pentagram symbol, the top point is said to represent spirit, and it rules the others, which are water, air, fire, and earth. Now, when the pentagram is upside down this represents the spirit subservient to nature, or our carnal desires. This could be construed as bad, and it is in most religions-even paganism. Even in this remote religion, there is truth Fshining for us to see. So, we shouldnt overlook truth no matter where it is, and here it is! Every one of us is a star. As the singer once sang, "We are spirit in the material world." And in this world, the five points of our existence are clearly seen. Our SPIRIT powers our soul, which gives consciousness to our body that is mostly WATER. Our lungs breathe AIR. Our muscles and nerves make FIRE. Our bones are from the EARTH. Yes, we might recall that we are dust returning to dust.
Yes, every man dies, but not every man lives! Okay, I borrowed that one too! You might remember that man with a brave heart said it! So what about sickness? What does the shadow of sickness tell us in the spiritual?
Just as man seeks to cure his ailing body, I see that God seeks to heal our ailing souls. When someone is sick, most have pity on him and help him to recover. When some ones soul is ailing from sin, many label them evil and want nothing to do with them. This was so true of mental illness in the darker ages. Stay away from that man; he has a demon! Or, do not touch that sinful gentile; he is unclean! If we can see that sin is a sickness and Christ is the cure, then we can all be physicians instead of pallbearers.
There is little doubt that natural sickness is the shadow of sin and sinful behavior. The Christian writer Hannah Hurnard wrote about how physical sickness of the body is a response, or reflection to a spiritual ailment of the soul. In her writings, Temples of the Living God and A Transformed Life, she goes into great detail explaining many of the relationships between body and soul. In these books, she reminds that we are the temples of God and it is not right to be sick. She shows how our attitudes, words and deeds towards others greatly reflect (imprint) upon the health of our bodies. One of her examples was how are evil desires will translate, or imprint onto our bodies especially our hearts and lungs. She also found that gossip and ill thoughts towards others greatly affected the health of the stomach. She found that her own pride was responsible for severe headaches. Much of what she writes is from her own experiences. I found it very interesting and enlightening.
It has been said that cleanliness is next to godliness, but dont look for this passage in the Bible. Even so, there certainly is a shadow of truth in this. Some have taken this down to the lowest, most literal level and believe that clean people are better than dirty people. They may smell better, but believe Jesus and me when we say it is better to be clean on the inside than the outside!
MT 23:26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and, then the outside also will be clean.
Jesus wasnt opposed to bathing. He was opposed to trying to look perfect instead of BEING perfect. Be perfect like your Father in heaven was his motto. This also relates to what Hannah Hurnard writes about in the books I mentioned. If our inner person is right with God, then the rest will take of itself. Most want to be clean on the inside and the outside, but the latter is easier for most to manage. So rather than take a brush into our dirty minds, we focus on the body.
The Jewish Law was such that any man who had a discharge was unclean. Not only was he deemed unclean, but also his clothes, anyone he touched or spat on and everywhere he sat were all defiled. The Law said they all must be bathed in water to be purified. This was true of even the priests after a sacrificial burning. The whole notion of baptism will be addressed later in this article, but suffice to say that Jewish Law shadows the Truth.
So, the desire to have a clean body stems from the desire to have a clean soul, or mind. We are trying to wash the stain of sin from our minds and this desire has created a shadow in our behavior. Before man became aware of sin, did he care how clean his body was? Do we suppose that early man, say two million years ago, cared whether his hair and skin were smelling clean and fresh? No, I think not. His self-image was not evolved enough to care about such superficial matters. He was more likely concerned about getting some food and making babies (okay, so man hasnt evolved THAT much!).
Here is another observation. I believe the desire to remove hair is also a response to the desire to lose this animal nature. We shave it, cut it and pluck it. Women dont want hairy legs, and most men dont want hairy faces. We have emerged from the animal kingdom, and now we seek to separate ourselves from it. We now, I hope, strive to be more than flesh and bone. We are reaching beyond the animal kingdom into a higher kingdom where Christ is the King!
GE 2:24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
The two become one. What a miracle! How high does this truth reach? Are not God and His Image one? So then, this truth, like all Truth, reaches from the highest heaven to lowest hell. What kind of sense can we make of this? I believe there is much we can gather from this shadow of the Truth.
First, we can see that a man and woman become one flesh while having sex. They do this for several reasons: to conceive a child, to strengthen their love bond, or simply just for pleasure. However, the conception of a child is truly two flesh becoming one flesh. The sperm cell and the egg cell come together to create one complete cell. What is interesting is that the sperm cell is the smallest in the human body while the egg is the largest cell found in the body. I am not real sure what this is saying about the spiritual, but I will offer this.
We know that Christ is Gods seed. Christ seeks us out like sperm seek out the egg. The egg is stationary and waiting in the dark. Is this any different than us who must wait on the Lord? Doesnt God ask us to be still? So we are the egg waiting on the Lord. The sperm cells are sent out in what would seem infinite numbers. This is a shadow of Christs Spirit that also comes to us beyond measure. The sperm cell is small like that spark from God that starts a holy fire in us. The egg cell is the largest cell because it represents our whole self and world that is saved by Christ. When the two join, they become a new creation!
2COR 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is new creation; and the old has gone, the new has come!
When we are born of the Spirit we are no longer the person we were. We become a new creation. The false you is going to die and there is no way around it. The real you cannot die because the real you is a child of God. This identity crisis is hard for us to understand. The battle for our true identity is fought in the realm of the mind.
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