the ancient hebrew word "nephesh" can be translated as "living being, life, blood, or soul". according to genesis life is given to humanity through the very breath or spirit(hebrew-ruah)of God. in the gospel of john we are told - "all things came into being through Him and without Him no thing came into being. what came into being in Him was life, and the life is the light of the world."
through God, the source of life, we come into existence, but it is in God that we experience the fullness of life and come to a knowledge of who we truly are. what do i mean? our existence is a simple fact - i be therefore i am. through God we exist in relation to God by the mere fact that we now exist, and all that exists does so in relation to all else that exists. yet we only come to an understanding of what it means to be fully human by relationships we enter into with others. when we consciously engage the One from whom all things flow we have entered life in God, that is - in relationship with God. if our relationships with other human beings, who share in our limitations, enables us to experience more fully what it is to be human - how much more expansive and intimate a knowing and experiencing of life we have when we consciously live in God - who knows each of us better then we know ourselves!!!
all living beings are equal in the sense that we all share in the inter-dependency which is the nature of all that exists within the physical universe. and we are all equal in that we all share the same fate, whether human or animal, that is birth and death - the cycle of physical life. living in God, that is intentional relationship with God, is qualitatively different from relationships we may hold with another person or any sentient being, because we are not equal with God, we do not share, by nature, the same fate as God. unlike a relationship of equals, in which we are inter-dependent, our relationship with God is rooted in the awareness of our total dependency on God. that the whole universe is completely dependent on God is the true nature of things. yet it is only by being in relationship with God that we are conscious of our dependency - inviting us to gratitude and humility.
gratitude awakens in us a sense of joy as we grow in awareness that life is total gift, given to us freely and without any merit on our part. joy is a common human experience whenever we receive an unexpected gift, and the most common response is thankfulness to the giver. in thankfulness we are able to deeply sense the love expressed in the giving. in thankfulness we come to know that in the eyes of the giver we are worth the gift. to come to a sense of our own worth in the eyes of God we are able to find the truth of our being - beloved children of God. this truth fills us with joy, and affirms our dependency on the Giver. thus we are humbled.
humility makes equality a reality because it allows us to see ourselves in proper perspective. humility opens us to engage in real relationships with other people and God; it frees us from the need to control others and the illusions of pride, and invites us to simply love and enjoy. we are free to be who we are, equal to all others and sharing in the same rights to life and liberty gifted to all. living in God calls us to right living - that is "to be kind, to seek justice, and to walk humbly with God". freed from the illusions of pride we can experience inner peace. in relationship with God our lives become a light to the world.
this is the soul of sanity.
© 2010 halley low