May 13

The Nature of Man

Defining the Nature of God Defines the Nature of Man

What is God?

What is Man?

What is the Meaning of Nature?

I read an article today.  In it, two points of view were discussed relative to the nature of man.  One viewpoint contended that man enters the world with innate abilities that unite with human experiences to form his being, while another argued that man essentially enters the world with a blank page mentality, drawn upon by day-to-day experiences which mold and shape his being.  Both viewpoints have some merit in defining mankind, but neither contributes to the true nature of man.  Three words must be defined before man’s true nature can be discussed:  “God” “man” and “nature.”

Webster defines nature as “qualities that make something what it is.”  What is it that makes man who he is?  This question can be answered by understanding who God is.  God is “incorporeal, divine, supreme, infinite Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life,’Truth, (and) Love” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 465).  This means that God is bodiless, divine, not human; above everything that exists; has unlimited intelligence; is Spirit, not matter or flesh and blood.  God is Soul, therefore He is not cognizant of anything the physical senses behold.  As Life, He has no beginning or ending; as Truth and Love, He knows all and impels progress, and as Principle, He is the only law governing man and the universe.  There is nothing mortal about God.  He is totally Immortal.  God is all-knowing, all-acting and all intelligence.  He fills all space.  There is no place where God’s presence is absent.  Wow!  Now that we have some idea of who God is, who is man?

Moses tells us in Genesis that God created everything, and that everything He created is good.  We read further, and see  that God sets man apart from everything else He created, because He made man in His “image and likeness” (1:26).  This phrase is crucial to the understanding of the nature of man.  If man is made in God’s image, this means that he expresses all that God is.  An image of something is exactly like the original.  Therefore, if God is Spirit, man has to be spiritual–not the physical structure that human nature uses to define him.   Like his Creator, man is bodiless, divine, pure and good.  Man’s nature is the expression of God’s being.  That nature is untouched by the storms of life–the ups and downs of human experiences.  Mary Baker Eddy says, “God, the divine Principle of man, and man in God’s likeness are inseparable, harmonious, and eternal.  .  . God and man are not the same, but in the order of divine Science, God and man coexist and are eternal” (Science an Health, p. 336). She’s saying that God and man are eternally connected–connected not physically, but metaphysically.   How does this gel with what is seen in the human experience?

God is Soul, the opposite of sense, and has no knowledge of the human experience.  The man made in His image also has no knowledge of the senses.  Mortal man is not the creation of God, but of mortal thinking and logic.  This so-called logic is based on the biblical accounting of man in the second chapter of Genesis, where man is seen as made from the “dust of the ground” — a view of creation that is mortal; an attempt of mortal thinking to simulate God’s creation of man which has already taken place in the first chapter of Genesis.  This illusive creation of man deviates from the nature of God.  Why would God create man out of dirt?  If man is made of dirt, then God would have to be made of dirt  also, because man is made in His image.  Man’s true nature is bounded by spiritual qualities: purity, strength, faith, hope and abundance.  His appearance is measured by lawfulness, justice, impartiality and equality, for he is the expression of Principle–divine Law.  Holding in thought the true nature of man, brings harmony to human conditions and experiences.  This is how healing takes place.  Thus, it is essential to understand God and man’s relation to Him.

What is the nature of man?  Abundance, grace, purity, love and dominion over all that is unlike God!

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