Lecture 1. Anthropological and ascetic aspects of human creation

Lecture 1. Anthropological and ascetic aspects of human creation

Today we will focus on the anthropological and ascetic aspects of human creation. We will not even touch upon such a fascinating topic as the dispute between creationists and evolutionists in the picture of the creation of the world, however, let us pay attention to the fact that man is created by God in the second half of the sixth day of creation.


The creation of man is not singled out on a separate day, and the creation of the animal world is divided into two. In the internal sense, such a division into two periods is hardly justified. On the fifth day, mostly fish and birds are created, and on the sixth day, beasts, mammals. And so far - I hope you read the first chapters of the Book of Genesis - the creation happened as follows: on every creative day твор a huge creative period, God says his word, I would even roughly call this word energy, because it performs certain actions.It affects the water - and the water produces animals, affects the land растения plants grow on land and so on. All this happens as if in nature there are certain response mechanisms: when the word of God acts on them, some processes take place in them. At the end of each day, God looks at the result and says, "Good." Approval in such cases means, perhaps in some already Christian, moral aspect, the joy of God from creation. But first of all, this means that God approves the created things as integral parts of His future plan.


Interesting thatno explanation,when sun is createdthis. It is simply created: light, water, land, plants, animals, stars. Even when it is said about the luminaries that they are created for counting the day and night, for the sign of the times, we immediately ask ourselves: who will take this time? Who will pay attention to the change of day and night? What is it all for?


And only in the second half of the sixth day, in one day with mammals, man is created. Here, as it were, the Lord is again going internally, creates counsel in himself and says: "Let us make man."Some of the Fathers of the Church, following the ancient Judean interpreters, perceived this as a creation of God and a conversation of God with angels. But the whole logic of the previous picture of creation, precisely in the light of Christian knowledge, the Christian view of the beginning of the creation of the world, tells us that it’s not the conversation of God with the angels, but the eternal advice of God in itself, intra-physical advice. And this advice is expressed as: “Let us make a man according to our image.” This is not said about anything else, the angels are not told here at all, but about all the visible phenomena of the world it is said that they were created according to the word of God; and it is said only about man, not simply according to the word of God, but “in our image and in our likeness, and may he rule over the fish of the sea, over the heavenly birds, (and over the beasts) and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and all reptiles kowtowing on the ground. And make God a man, in his own image, in the image of God, create him: create both men and women ”(Genesis, 1.26, 27).


In terms of meaning, the story of a person in the first and second chapters is different. In the first chapter, man is shown as the natural result, the end, the goal of all of God's creation - the crown of creation.The second chapter talks more about man as an employee of God, that is, he is not just a creature created by God for specific purposes, he is the one to whom God created the world will be given. This is a different aspect. We see the beginning of this at the end of the first chapter, because God not only creates man, not only gives certain commandments already known in the animal world, but also gives him commandments of power and interrelations with the previous creation.


Let's deal with the image and likeness. The fact is that in the Hebrew original, the image and likeness ̶ are synonymous. Image and likeness, heaven and earth, good and evil, are a feature of the Hebrew language, which is often prone to repetition. The image and likeness in the original do not have any significant differences, it is about the same. Unfortunately, many Christians still say that man was created in the image and likeness of God.


Directly from the text it does not follow. Because God said to himself: "Let us make man in the image and likeness," but through the sentence: "And God created man in his own image." And now in antiquity, meaning in Christian antiquity, the Fathers of the Church drew attention to this semantic nuance.God intended to create man in the image and likeness, but created only in the image. And the question of similarity left open. This gave reason in Christian theology to distinguish between these concepts. Distinguish, as if justifying it with text, but in fact, rightfully distinguish the already Christian approach to the meaning of the creation of man. Therefore, the image of God in man is understood to be those aspects that can be described as features of the reflection of the Divine in man, a certain initial Divine potential, the original Divine reality.


Each person carries the image of God. The image of God can even be a very evil person. In an evil, godless man, entangled in sins. But while the image of God is in man, there is also God's hope with him.


In order to understand what the image of God is in man, one must look at how a person differs from an animal, because an animal is also a living being, having certain biological needs, life, breath.


There are systems, for example Hindu, that equatethe soul of the animal tothe soul of man. Notice (first chapter, verse 20): “And God said, Let the water of the reptiles make a living soul.”This is characteristic of the Old Testament turn.


The living soul is not the psychic part of man. A living soul in a Jewish way is not a definition, but a characteristic of living biological life, the presence of vital force in the body. Man, of course, also has a living soul. The animal dies, and the living soul of the animal leaves, therefore the soul of the animal is mortal. In the Greek view, the soul of the animal is mortal.


"And the Lord God made man of the dust of the earth, and breathed into his face the breath of life, and man became a living soul." Man became a living soul, that is, just like an animal, he began to biologically live on earth. But the mechanism of its release from non-existence is completely different. Unlike an animal, it begins to live not by the word of God, not by God's logical definition, but after this set of chemical elements is breathed by the breath of life into this dust, earth. And in the Hebrew original the word “Ruach” is used, which in the scripture meansthe spirit of God, breath, blown from God, eternal breath. The same word, by the way, meant in the Hebrew writingswind. The ancient Jews believed that the spirit of God can be described as the wind that suddenly comes and brings with it coolness.This is a very interesting image. The image of coolness in the description of God is often found: "In heaven, God walked among the coolness of the day." Elijah the Prophet also says that in reality God is in the breath of a light breeze. The same line continues with the Lord in the Gospel in a conversation with Nicodemus about the breath of the Spirit of God and being born again of the spirit. There, the Lord also speaks of the spirit as a wind that comes unexpectedly and cannot be kept. This is a very interesting image of the spirit of God. In the third chapter of the Gospel you can see specific quotes about the spirit.


So, the image of God - this is what raises, distinguishes man over the animal world. Firstly, this is what is called human spirituality. If this topic had been analyzed not in an Orthodox university, but in a secular one, then, probably, they would have begun not from spirituality, but from such a topic as human consciousness. By the way, they used to always say that, unlike animals, man is a conscious being. However, this formulation of the nineteenth century has long been repulsed. Indeed, biology recognizes in animals the presence of many conscious manifestations. Therefore, speaking of human consciousness, we must be very careful.One Indian philosopher said: "Plants have an instinct, animals have an instinct with glimpses of intelligence, and man has an instinct and intelligence with glimpses of intuition." In fact, there are cases when an animal can even serve God's providence, which means that in some measure it will serve the work of human intuition. Even the human intuition of the Divine can touch animals. And if we didn’t define spirituality, about which I said, but human consciousness, then we should emphasize, first of all, not on the concept that man is a conscious being, because he is a conscious dolphin, a bear, and a cat. Man has self-awareness and self-knowledge. Knowing oneself, one’s meaning in life, the history of mankind, one’s place in history, the knowledge of global problems. This is a feature of human consciousness, in contrast to the consciousness of the animal.


If we talk about the spirituality of man, then first of all we understand that man is an animal. Aristotle said: "Man is a social animal." In fact, it must first be said that man is a religious animal. It is not necessary to put a derogatory meaning in the word “animal”: a living being, a living being of God, a religious one.Today, it is known for certain that there have never been the first non-religious beings on earth. There were periods of human falling away from God, but as soon as a man appears on earth, immediately there is a sign of his religiosity.


- What is the oldest sign in all excavations?


- Burial.


Of course, not just a burial, but a symbolically executed, symbolically decorated burial. Because there is information that rats also bury their relatives in some cases. But a person has not just a burial, but symbolically designed, explicit symbols of faith in the resurrection and in the next life. With this, a man appears. By the way, in vain some of our Orthodox people fear the data of archeology, excavations and sciences of every kind. These data, as a rule, are presented in a specific Darwinian key, in a godless context. In fact, they rather speak in favor of the biblical picture of the vision of human history, maybe they correct some points that we do not understand in detail from the biblical text. Excavations help us understand a lot about Adam.


So, among the features of the image of God in man can be distinguished: prayer, the ability to repent and what other beings do not have, ̶ an inner sense of immortality, immortality of the spirit.That is why a person, especially in times of crisis of faith, in periods of godlessness, feels his two-dimensionality, as if he were in two worlds. I am a worm - I am God. He feels at the same time a depravity, easily provable and hard to know, and internally for the believer already obvious incorruption ̶ immortality. And although this is not entirely accurate, after all, persecution is identified with the material nature of man, and imperishability духов with spiritual. But in the first approximation is true. The body is mortal, the soul is immortal. At one time they joked about the materialistic teachings; it was said that it consists of the interweaving of two mutually exclusive statements: man descended from a monkey and man — this sounds proudly. Berdyaev also mocked the essence of communism: "Man descended from a monkey, so let's love each other." You understand: speaking of descent from a monkey, I mean it is the materialistic aspect of Darwinian theory. From a monkey - in the sense of only a monkey, it means, not from God. Transfer of biology to theology. This feeling of the immortality of the spirit is very characteristic of man.


Of course, the concept that we encounter from the very first descriptions of human actions in paradise is connected with these features; this is both a feature of God and a gift given by God to man, which can be called freedom of will of man. By this man is fundamentally different from everything on earth. Free will means for a person freedom of choice, and therefore, the ability to moral choice. Human morality is a derivative of free will. A person's ability to choose between good and evil is determined by the gift of free will given to him. Many would like to refuse this gift, so that God would think for them, so that someone else would think for them, so that someone else would work for them so that they would not be responsible for anything. But a real person always chooses and always responds.


Moral choice is associated with free will; he, on the other hand, is associated with repentance. In this case, we are talking about a fallen man, because a man in paradise was not yet able to repent, but a fallen man also preserves the image of God, therefore we have the right to talk about it. The ability to repent also indicates that the person had a choice.Because if he repents, then he could do differently, then he feels the ability to act differently. Here, the notion of moral repentance and the thread of free will converge in the concept of moral choice.


What else in man clearly indicates the image of God? N. Berdyaev particularly insisted on this. By the way, Berdyaev in his time, when he wrote that the main thing was not the immortality of the spirit in man, but freedom of will and creativity, he thought that he was the first to utter these words. Indeed, these words in the theology of the 19th century were forgotten, but the holy fathers also knew the concept of free will and the concept of creativity. Creativity is also a feature of the image of God in man. Man is a creator in many ways. Today, man is a fallen creator and therefore we often criticize the creations of human hands and the human mind, but the very ability to create is given to man from God, as is the ability to cognize. We can not know - this is the gift of God.


The personality of a person as a result of the personality of God. There is such a thing as an aesthetic appreciation of the world. A simple example: for a gray duck, a painted drake is a sign that he is a male.A man looking at a drake sees that he is handsome. A person generally assesses the world often based on the criterion of beauty. We are about moraldeedswe say it is beautiful or ugly from a moral point of view. The very concept of beauty is, therefore, very deep, not only purely aesthetic, but also emanating from the interconnection of the revelation of God in man. You see, God is cognized not only as intelligent, not only as good, but also as beautiful - this must also be borne in mind.


Man is indeed created in the image of God, but in the Christian perspective of the New Testament one should never forget that God reveals us not just as a person, but as the Trinity. This is rarely written in interpretations, but in fact it is not superfluous to say that a person can also be considered as created in the image of the Trinity.


Man was created in the image, but the word "likeness" was also pronounced. Hence, based on further biblical logic, a person is called to this likeness. And therefore, likeness is understood as likening to God. It is not superfluous to note that in the Old Testament psychology the phrase about assimilation to God would have sounded very bold, and therefore this word could be understood as moral perfection.But in the New Testament the Lord says in the Sermon on the Mount, “Be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect.” And since our Heavenly Father is perfect infinitely, such a call is a call to our infinite perfection. Perfection is not an abstract word - it is an entry into the Divine life. After Christ, who died and was resurrected for us, but uniting Divine and human nature before his death, and after the resurrection and the creation of the Church, he united us to his God-manhood, the bold formulas that Saints Irenaeus of Lyons and Athanasius of Alexandria used are valid. They said that God became man (with a capital letter about Christ) so that man (with a small letter) would become a god (with a small letter).


This is how the concept of deification arises in Christian theology. And here there is a chain of synonyms: assimilation to God, the dynamic concept of holiness as growing in the light of God, deification. And this is well shown by Professor Popov at the beginning of the twentieth century in his book The Idea of ​​Deification in the Ancient Eastern Church. In Orthodoxy in different theology, say in Antioch and Alexandria, there were two approaches to the idea of ​​the deification of man.In the Antiochian approach, deification implied moral assimilation to God, that is, they were afraid to talk about something more; Alexandrian theology insisted on an anthological deification, that is essential, on the interpenetration or involvement of the real person, not in a figurative sense, but in the direct, in the Divine life. These are very bold words. They becomespecialunderstandable after the appearance of the teachings of St. Gregory Palamas.


Man is given the commandment to multiply and multiply. “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth ...” (Genesis 1.28). This is the commandment of what?


- to multiply.


- This is the commandment of marriage? Let me explain why I asked such a question. The fact is that until about the end of the XIX century, including in the catechism of St. Metropolitan Philaret and in the dogma of Metropolitan Macarius (Bulgakov), it was usually written about marriage in paradise that marriage was a blessed union of a man and a woman for the continuation of the race. And the reference was usually to two quotes at once: to the commandment of God in paradise at the end of the second chapter: “The man will leave his father and mother and cling to his wife; and the two shall be one flesh. "This phrase 2.24 says about the commandment of marriage in paradise, I have not yet commented on it, and the second phrase: "be fruitful and multiply." And only in the early 20s of the last century, Professor Troitsky carefully analyzed this issue. (In my work there is also an analysis, my work on marriage will be later covered by analyzing the different opinions of the holy fathers, putting them in a certain table, on marriage issues.)


Trinity came to the conclusion that the phrase “be fruitful and multiply” in the first chapter in verse 28 has nothing to do with marriage. Phrase 1.28 completely repeats outwardly 1.22 about fish and birds: “And God blessed them, saying: be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas ...” So, in the first approximation, without further words, we are not faced with the commandment of marriage and not the commandment of a limited number people, but simply with the commandment of biological reproduction on earth. And pay attention, without explanation, because in the next part of the commandment, what is going on? New commandment of power. "Sovereign over all that I have created so far alive."


That is, we already see that man has power over animals, but we do not understand why. For the time being, man is spoken of as an animal being.In the commandment of "be fruitful and multiply," man is an animal, like everything else. In the commandments of power, man is the main animal over everything. If there were no words: “in the image and likeness,” “breathed the spirit,” Engels would be right that man is the highest created animal by God.


Indeed, we have not yet seen any restriction in paradise. On the contrary, there is permission to fill as much as possible. And in the second chapter, we have already noticed that man is a special spiritual animal, spiritual and physical being, either divinely earthly, or immortal mortal, immortal dust, heavenly earthly. A contradiction lives in man: incorruptible and perishable. Still, an incorruptible man. At the end of the second chapter, we see that, without which even paradise is not possible. The final chord of heaven is the commandment of marriage: to leave a father and a mother to a man, there is still no father and mother, there is Adam and his wife, and “cleave to his wife, and the two will be one flesh.” Marriage is the union of two different creatures in the face of God, for unity and joint salvation. This is a love triangle, marriage without God is not a marriage. There must be three in marriage: God, man and woman. Not a man, a woman and children, but God, a man and a woman.


In the Hebrew original in this text are the words "ish, isha" (male, female), not a man and a woman, but a male and a female. That is, in the first chapter, man is chronologically the last higher being, the most powerful on earth, the wisest, the most powerful. In the second chapter it is already a divine being.


There are two versions, animals were mortal or immortal before the fall, two theological interpretations, two theologians. In any case, if we imagine that nature was formerly the same as now, and existed as mortal, then reproduction meant that the animal lives, multiplies, dies, the living soul dies, the body decomposes, enters into nature and reproduces new Cycle in nature. And if the person would not be the person, he too would be in this circulation. I came out of the dust and entered into the dust. This is scary for man. It is natural for an animal, it does not have the spirit of God, it has a “living soul,” vital power.


From the foregoing, we conclude that for man the commandment “be fruitful and multiply” is not the commandment of biological reproduction, because it creates immortal people. This is the commandment of multiplication or the creation of Divine animals, the commandment of the creation of new human personalities, cooperation with God. U born againan animalno cooperation with god. A father who conceives a child in the womb of a mother creates a new human personality, which in a heavenly perspective will enter into union with God. This is another cycle, unnatural. Think about it. This is not the multiplication of new biological entities, but the multiplication of new Divine personalities.


- God was a little one person?


- Conversations “to God is not enough”, “to God is many” in general are speculative from the point of view of theology. We just have to understand the goal, then we will not care much or little. We still have no answer to the question: how many people need God? How much more can God endure on earth, for example? How many more generations must pass in order for a certain number to turn? And in general, is there such a number or not depends on the quantity, but on the quality? If a person as a person is already empty, he will not give anything new, he either leaves as a martyr for the faith, or is filled with his fruits, or devastated. That is, when will the entire spiritual resource of humanity be exhausted?


- When Christ said that they do not marry and do not marry, but abide like angels. What did he mean: that people will not multiply or that people will not be so connected?


- Most likely in heaven there is no breeding. Father Alexander Schmemann rightly believes that "sex is a matter of law, and not grace, an earthly matter." When the Lord speaks, he means that the marriage of heaven is completely different, this is after all a marriage with God, with the Church, this is a marriage in love of God and neighbor. Earthly marriage - this is only the first step to understanding the heavenly marriage. It does not bother you that the bridegroom comes, and with him ten virgins should enter the marriage. Right? In mortal life it would be debauchery or at least a harem. And in the Kingdom of Heaven the virgins are our souls, our personalities, it is better to say.


“But will marriage continue in some spiritual sense in heaven?”


- Marriage will definitely continue in heaven. Marriage between a man and a woman, especially if he is monogamous, should continue in heaven, but not in that capacity as he was on earth, but as one of the proximity molecules. There is intimacy with father, mother, friend, teacher, child, wife. These are different forms.


- And if a man married several times, he will have two wives?


- In general, I think that in fact the wife of all cases, only one, or the first or second, I do not know. Only one wife.But when the Lord spoke on this subject, he meant that there is a true concept of a heavenly marriage, which will help to understand what was really a marriage in these cases.


- And what, then the second wife will be left alone?


- Yes, it is not tragic - there will be one, not left, there it will not be the main thing. There is no need to wash clothes, there will not be a household side. And love will find in God the form that should be. You see, the Lord gives the answer to all the tragic cases of love, all cases of perverted love. If there is any valuable grain in them, it will remain in heaven, and all that is perverse will perish. Because it does not necessarily have to be like an earthly marriage. Earthly marriage - only one form of connection.


- It turns out that man was once the most outspoken animal ...


“You want to convince me now of the dispute between evolutionists and creationists.” I have an article about this. I can bring in next time and show. But I can agree with the theory of creativeevolutionunder the influence of God, not Darwinian evolution. But I will never agree with the fact that man was once an animal. Man has never been an animal.


- That is, as soon as the Lord created him, he immediately became a man?


- What the Lord has taken as the material for the creation of man is a matter of dispute. Was it an animal, was it a collection of chemical elements or clay. But from the moment God breathed the spirit into this being, he became a man. That is, the question is incorrect. You should have said: “Could it be that God used animal creature, animal material to create man?” And I will answer:. Although not required. But a man, from the moment he is a man, can no longer be an animal. That is, there was no smooth evolution, there was a revolution, a leap. What happened before, we can only guess, but we know for sure that from the moment when we call a person a person, there have been no transitions. Why can no Darwinist find the transition formula? There were no transitional formulas, it was a divine act.


By the way, Catholic theologians in the twentieth century expressedvery wittythe assumption that this jump, that is, the transformation of animal material into man, could be due to a powerful radioactive release. Such hypotheses have the right to exist.Because really, radiation could cause a mutation. This is all again a hypothesis. But one thing is completely obvious: from the moment when we consider man, this is the Divine animal. Therefore, man is more perfect than the angel. But it becomes clear only after Christ.

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  • Lecture 1. Anthropological and ascetic aspects of human creation

    Lecture 1. Anthropological and ascetic aspects of human creation

    Lecture 1. Anthropological and ascetic aspects of human creation

    Lecture 1. Anthropological and ascetic aspects of human creation

    Lecture 1. Anthropological and ascetic aspects of human creation

    Lecture 1. Anthropological and ascetic aspects of human creation

    Lecture 1. Anthropological and ascetic aspects of human creation

    Lecture 1. Anthropological and ascetic aspects of human creation

    Lecture 1. Anthropological and ascetic aspects of human creation

    Lecture 1. Anthropological and ascetic aspects of human creation

    Lecture 1. Anthropological and ascetic aspects of human creation Lecture 1. Anthropological and ascetic aspects of human creation Lecture 1. Anthropological and ascetic aspects of human creation Lecture 1. Anthropological and ascetic aspects of human creation Lecture 1. Anthropological and ascetic aspects of human creation Lecture 1. Anthropological and ascetic aspects of human creation Lecture 1. Anthropological and ascetic aspects of human creation Lecture 1. Anthropological and ascetic aspects of human creation Lecture 1. Anthropological and ascetic aspects of human creation Lecture 1. Anthropological and ascetic aspects of human creation Lecture 1. Anthropological and ascetic aspects of human creation Lecture 1. Anthropological and ascetic aspects of human creation Lecture 1. Anthropological and ascetic aspects of human creation Lecture 1. Anthropological and ascetic aspects of human creation Lecture 1. Anthropological and ascetic aspects of human creation