My sign is vital, my hands are cold.
And I'm on my knees looking for the answer.
Are we human, or are we dancer?
The Importance of Being Human is without doubt; we've amply established this, but one can't help wondering, 'is this all there is?' Theological questions arise when we delve into this subject, questions like, 'where will you spend eternity?' & 'Does our humanity continue on in either?' Will we inhabit these biological bodies, or ones like them, in the 'after-life'? The apostle Paul echoes a similar sentiment in his first letter to the Church at Corinth ( I Corinthians 15:35 ); 'How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come?' To many Christians, not to mention non-Christians, these questions are of utmost importance, but what if they're all moot; what if, rather than going somewhere when our biological bodies perish, we now inhabit a different plane altogether, while our biological bodies walk this earth?!
Why are we so enraptured with the notion that we are what we eat? Yes, we were given this body of flesh, this biological marvel in which we walk this earth, functioning as the Hands & Feet of the Creator, our Heavenly Father, but do they define us, are we intricate biological machines, or are we the spirits that give them breath? The historical Jesus was a human being, but it was not His biology that defined Him: is it really much different with us? As the Holy Spirit defined who Jesus really was, it is our spirits that prove who we really are!
What if we weren't confined to this biology? What if we could transcend our humanity, bypassing those 'triggers' that inhibit us from doing what we long to do, what we were put here for? Take a disabled person ( like me ) for instance; sometimes we have to ask ourselves if we aren't using our disabilities as a 'crutch'! There's no question that certain actions are limited, if not prohibited by the diseases that plague our biological bodies, but must these disabilities plague our spirits as well? If we could reach beyond our humanity, beyond these diseases ( including 'old age'? ), the possibilities are almost endless, boundless!
If one only has the eyes to 'see & the ears to 'hear', there is a host of evidence out there, available to the average human, that pointedly witnesses to those who transcend their humanity on a daily basis! In most Christian circles, this practice is largely 'poo-pooed' or outright tabooed! Much of what is practiced in this area is pagan, admittedly, but just because it is so, doesn't mean that it is wrong. Pagans were around long before Christianity ever came on the scene & many of them, in their own way, knew the ways of our Heavenly Father, many eons before the Christ ever came! Their resulting spirituality, or communion within the Divine, puts much of modern Christianity to shame today!
Religion has confined us to our humanity, to a great extent! This is not to say that religion, in & of itself. is a bad thing, this is merely to say that, because true religion is based on outward actions, or deeds done in the body, religion has been relegated, like the concept of life itself, to the actions performed in biology! Without religion, one would accomplish nothing while in this biology, though, because it is simply the practice of what one believes in the spirit. Religion, therefore, is good, though too often, we, as human beings, define ourselves by our religion, rather than allowing ourselves to be defined by who & what we are!
So, 'what are we, really?' We ARE human beings, yes, in the sense that we are housed, much like Jesus was, by this biology, but we are so much more than mere human beings that perish! With the Spirit of the Living God impelling, compelling us, we can transcend, or go beyond this humanity & be who we were meant to be, not limiting ourselves to what this biology will allow us to do, going 'further up & further in', to quote a popular writer. Having settled the question of where we go when our individual biological body perishes, previously, we will go no further here than to reiterate that glorious fact that we, as Christians especially, are forever with our Lord, as the apostle Paul promised his readers in Thessalonika..
In short, a human being is a sentient animal, one who, through the Breath of the Creator God is able to discern absolutes, able, not only to walk & talk like all the other animals, but to judge for his or herself between right & wrong. Our humanity, while it distinguishes us from other animals, is not what makes us 'us', though, it is the Spirit itself that empowers us! To transcend our humanity is not to become inhuman, or not human; it simply means that we are not defined by our biological 'shell'. When we go 'Beyond Humanity' & embrace our spiritual nature, we are empowered further to live because we understand that life is not limited to this biology; to be free indeed, we must recognize & realize this glorious fact!
Charles Haddon Shank