[as written 81311 – 31712, with additions on 11612]
On 81011 during our Bible Study prayer time, when it came time for my prayer requests, my small group leader prayed over me and lifted up my requests from the night, and I just started praying for the requests myself as if I wasn’t me. As if from my universal, eternal soul that is not confined to a body or circumstances or personality, but the universal spirit that we all have before being shaped by our lives. As I (the spirit, of God Himself perhaps, which is universally the same but individually molded depending on each person’s nature and nurture) was praying for Miles Prowers, who he is and has become, all that makes Miles Prowers Miles Prowers, that particular character in God’s story of Earth History.
And it produced in me a bizarre sympathy for me, as if I was praying for a dear friend who I knew more intimately than anyone else. I prayed for his job, knowing just how stressful it was and how it conflicted with his extreme desires to be an artist. I prayed for his brother, whom he’d always known and loved since youth. It was a surreal experience that had no reason for happening, it just happened. Since then I’ve never attempted to recreate that perspective, because it was kind of weird, and I’m not sure it was God-honoring, though I have no reason to believe it isn’t either; it’s just that I’d never thought or heard about something like that, so I don’t know what to think.
Hebrews 4:12: “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
But what are we really? I can’t figure out how to distinguish between soul and spirit and mind and heart and body. All I know is that in the beginning God created Adam from the dust and then breathed life into him, as if breathing in His own Spirit into him. As if he constructed all these little organic machines and then turned them on by breathing His electricity into them. So then do animals have spirits? Do they have the spirit of God in them, keeping them alive? Or was it just His Spirit that sparked them into motion and got fate in motion to carry itself out? Obviously there is a stark contrast between the most sophisticated animal and the dumbest human, in that the dumbest human is still a human being. Is the contrast because man has a spirit and animal does not? As if when you took away the spirit in man he became an animal? Or do they both have the breath of God’s Spirit in them both keeping them alive and man’s body is just that much more elaborate than the animal’s to allow for consciousness? The electricity through these elaborate machines of ours.
Or do man and animal still have spirit at all after the initial God breathe? If man is cloned will it be an animal version of man, with no consciousness? I used to think so, but I doubt it now. He’ll still have all the functions for consciousness that the physical brain allows. He may be mentally retarded, as a copy is never as good as the original, but that doesn’t make him unconscious. We are truly unique, self-conscious beings, but are we only machines made to resemble the one true Being?
[11612- An interesting note, made by an old, pot-smoking hippie I randomly met in The Parthenon while writing “Fade To White”: The Bible doesn’t say God breathed animals into being, only humans. So there is a spiritual difference between us and animals, whatever that may be exactly.]
Humans are in a class of their own, caught between the animals and the angels, but the choice is ours as to which end of the spectrum we fall on.
And yet there is something supernatural in us that allows us to transcend nature and have intuition, feelings and other supernatural capabilities. So do we each have individual spirits of our personalities, and that’s who we are? Or are we anything at all? Isn’t our individuality just the unique combination of our two parents’ previously-existing traits, mixed together and shaped through our surroundings in life? If we do have individual spirits, where do these spirits and personalities come from? The only logical conclusion is that they must have been directly assigned to us by God Himself who put certain spirits in certain bodies to have certain outcomes to make History go according to His great plan. So it all comes around to the fact that we have nothing God has not given to us and we are nothing that God has not made us.
But there is no evidence of individual spirits that give us our personality aside from our nature/nurture make up. I think perhaps more logical is that there is only one Spirit, that is, God Himself, who, according to His will, moves in us individually to give us those supernatural capabilities in certain times. He periodically manifests His spirit in our hearts and minds and the natural realm to intervene and guide us away from the natural path of fate so that by divine inspiration we change our natural course, that we would naturally go down aside from His intervention. Of course if there is only one Spirit, then what are we when our bodies die physically (the breath of life leaves) and yet we live on separately?
Ecclesiastes 12:7: “then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.“
In Heaven what are our souls if we no longer have the body that created our personality? Without our bodies what’s left? If we do each have souls are they all the same generic soul/spirit that manifests differently given a different body to come out of, a different-shaped outlet? It’s a mystery no mortal can solve. So then, when those bodies die, wouldn’t the Spirit of God return to its source (God)? This is the equivalent of Nirvana, where we exist in the afterlife, conscious, but not as our individual personality. Rather we all exist as The Personality of God Himself. And yet, there’s no mention of that concept in the Bible (our only sure-fire source of truth on the subject).
Isn’t it interesting that the Apocalyptic Bible passages all refer to us having bodies in Heaven. Almost implying at times that we have no consciousness until our bodies are resurrected/glorified. So, “we” are nothing without our bodies, but in Heaven our bodies are there, therefore our bodily-induced personalities live on through the bodies that make them. Still, it’s entirely possible that at some point in the future of eternity even our glorified bodies will fade away, leaving behind the One Spirit in all of us, and “we” return to experience the euphoria of existence in oneness with The Spirit.
John 17:22: “The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me.”
Our bodies are simply our parents’ bodies combined. God breathes spirit into us, giving us life, but it’s just the natural mysterious energy as it naturally flows through that machine of our parent-combination bodies. However, when we’re born again, God’s Holy Spirit indwells us, which is not just the spirit of life, but actually God’s own personal Spirit living in us, actually Christ Himself. So it’s not just our natural bodies at work, but Christ living and working with that physical body.
Which is why you actually witness people change to become different people after they’re Christians. Non-believers can try to change and do self-help formulas and show signs of change, but they’re still the same people they’ve always been with the same tendencies they give into. Only when another being comes into your body, living through you and changing you (not of your own energy and will-power), then can a person actually change into a real different person. Because it really isn’t them anymore. It’s the perfect spirit of someone else, His mind living in our bodies, making choices and offering an alternative to our natural bent. I am now partially Miles Prowers and partially Jesus Christ, but gradually becoming more of Jesus Christ and less of Miles Prowers, to the point where Jesus Christ is me, just with the looks, personality and memories of Miles Prowers.
Who am I? What am I? What even is “I”? I don’t know. Something between a random combination of atoms and God Himself.
[The mysteries expressed in this essay were condensed into a song entitled “Fade To White”. You can hear it at soundcloud.com/terremotoothers. Enjoy!]