Monday 12 February 2024

The Human Form

We can speculate that our original spiritual form may have been one of light. If it had a shape it might have been something like a sphere or that's the closest we can imagine with our three dimensionally based minds. This is the only way we can conceive of the appearance of the soul, a spiritual being, on its own plane of existence. But when we come to Earth we acquire the human form we know with eyes, ears, a head, hair, limbs and so on.  However, all these are to perform material functions or developed in response to a physical environment. Eyes, ears and nose are to enable sensory response, their shape and structure determined by that requirement. Hands, fingers, legs and feet are to allow us to interact with and manipulate the environment. None of these  have a spiritual purpose as such and so my question is what is the form of souls in heaven? Do they revert to spheres of light with a luminescence determined by the degree of spiritual unfoldment or do they retain an earthly appearance?

Beauty is one of the major attributes of God. A major reason for creation is to allow for the expression of beauty, and, as we currently know it, beauty reaches its apogee in the human being. It makes no sense that this beauty be discarded simply because the functions on which it was initially based are no longer necessary. Therefore, I suggest that one of the reasons for our incarnation as spiritual beings in a material world is to acquire the imprint of the human form which we can take back to our soul selves in the higher worlds in order to beautify these. This would mean that our souls would still be spheres of light (again conceived in three dimensional terms), though now greatly expanded and much brighter than they were before if we have succeeded in our spiritual tasks, but they can be expressed in human form. In this physical world we have an outer form and an inner corporeal composition, blood, guts, bodily organs and the like. In the spiritual world we may have something similar except that that the inner body is now the soul, the being of light. This, I submit, is why we all feel a degree of disgust for the inner physical body but not its outer form. We know that our true inner self is the soul.

When visionaries see higher beings, whether it be Jesus or Mary for Christians or some of the saints, other traditions record similar phenomena, they see a figure. A figure glowing with light but still an individual human figure and one of great beauty. It is sometimes claimed that it is the visionary's own mind that creates the form or else that the spiritual being manifests in this way to appear more familiar. This may be true but it does not mean that the form is not real as well. We tend to think abstract spirituality is more advanced than a concrete representational sort but why should both not be included in the perfected end product? After all, God looked at creation and saw that it was good. I think it is a grave error to reduce the spiritual to the formless. There is the inner and the outer and both together make the whole. The perfection of life is in the perfection of spirit, soul and body, not just one as in spirit but all three, though naturally with spirit in the hierarchically superior position. But if God is a trinity so are we and all parts of the trinity require completion. The outer form may have been constructed in the physical world and according to physical needs but it is made beautiful by the developing soul and then remains as a spiritually perfected union of the two in the higher worlds.


Isbe said...

Your essay reminded me of the concept of The Primordial Man - the first being to emerge with the creation of the cosmos. This idea is common to a number of religious and philosophical traditions, the most well-known example comes from the Kabbalah in which the Primordial Man, known as Adam Kadmon is the first being to emerge from the Godhead. The symbol of Adam Kadmon expresses the idea that the cosmos has both a soul and a body very much like that of man. In other words, in this way of thinking, the human form is also the form of the cosmos.

William Wildblood said...

That wasn't what I was thinking of. The post was about how the human form we know in this world is retained in the spiritual world even though it clearly is, in many respects, modelled on physical plane requirements. The soul then uses that form to express its inner beauty.