Since the days of the Renaissance philosophers and scientists, such as Copernicus and Galileo, mankind has continually sunk themselves to a level closer and closer to mere common and ordinariness. From Copernicus, to Darwin, to Freud we have continually attempted to devolve the condition of man, and I firmly believe it is to our detriment.
The human race collectively is, as a whole, incredibly special. More special than I can possibly comprehend or do justice. The human race as a species, as viewed through the lens of all other species should leave the viewer in awe and reverence. The things we can dream, think, and do are incomprehensible especially to people just three or four generations in the past.
The incomprehensibility is just beginning though. Within the human race the individual diversity that exists in each member should be impossible. In all serious rational thought, how is it possible for every person that ever existed to be so incredibly similar, and yet so incredibly different, to every other person that ever existed?
Nicolas Copernicus first made the statement that the Earth was not the center of the universe. And the human race (and Earthly life) was perhaps not exceptional. Perhaps the human race is not the center of the universe, but over the last 400+ years with more and more remarkable telescopes and space probes no sign of life has yet to be found away from our home planet. If anything, then it is becoming more and more apparent to scientists just how unique conditions must be for life to exist. In the vastness of the universe the areas where life may possibly exist are surprisingly small. Just in our own solar system the band of space which a planet can orbit in order to sustain life, is remarkably small (Mars isn’t that much closer to the Sun, and Jupiter isn’t that much further away).
A couple hundred years later (early 19th century) Charles Darwin came along and developed a persuasive theory of natural selection. The natural history and anatomical evidence from fossils may perhaps give credence to his theory, but it also devolved the human race further. Charles Darwin speculated that living things evolved from a more primitive state/specie. Perhaps the evidence for these claims are valid, but how did only one specie over the entire history of the earth evolve rational, conscious thought? In all the ways humans are similar to other animals, there are infinitely more ways in which we are different. And those differences should not be marginalized. We do not think rightly of ourselves, if we think little of the ability to have rational, conscious thought.
Sigmund Freud quickly finished up this devolution of mankind with his psychoanalysis of the human mind. Perhaps much of Freud’s original theory is no longer in use, but he started a trend that is still very strong today. That the mind (conscious and un-conscious) is independent of anything else. Freud continued a tradition, that started long before his time, of thinking of humans as distinct and separate entities that are not to connect with Infinite Consciousness.
We are not common and ordinary. The mind is a powerful force, incredibly powerful when we use positive thought impulses, such as desire, love, faith, sex, enthusiasm, romance, hope, to connect to Infinite Intelligence in order to develop new habits, to persist in adversity, to block out irrational fears, to innovate goods and processes.
So incredibly powerful that life-long bad habits can be stopped instantly once one figures out how to use the mind. New habits can begin just as quickly. But using the mind merely as a tool for self-improvement, though worthwhile, does not do it service.
Thinking rightly of ourselves and our condition enables us to gain fleeting glimpses of a spiritual plane of existence, a Spiritual Consciousness. When we enter into an activity and completely submit ourselves to the activity through all or some of the positive impulses: desire, love, faith, sex, enthusiasm, romance and hope we learn why life on earth is so incredibly special – so incredibly special to be beyond comprehension. But that is the thing once you see it once, you’ll keep trying again and again to spiritually see these forces.
On Earth it may not be our destiny to live in this spiritual plane of existence, but it is reality now and forever.
Read, Leonard E. How Do We Know. FEE, October 1981
Hill, Napoleon. Think and Grow Rich. 1937.
Tozer, A.W. Knowledge of the Holy. Harper Collins Publishers, 1961.
Privileged Planet, Documentary. Lad Allen, Director. June 2004.