The universe was created after the pattern of a human being, who is in the image of God's dual characteristics. Therefore, the structure of the universe and every entity in it resembles that of a human being, which consists most fundamentally of mind and body.
Corresponding to the human mind and body, the universe consists of the
incorporeal world and the corporeal world, both of which are real and substantial. The incorporeal world is so called because we cannot perceive it through our five physical senses. Yet we can perceive it through our five spiritual senses. Those who have had spiritual experiences testify that the incorporeal world appears as real as the world in which we live. The incorporeal and corporeal worlds together form the
The body cannot act apart from its relationship with the mind; a person cannot perform true actions apart from a relationship with God. Likewise, the corporeal world cannot manifest its true value apart from a relationship with the incorporeal world. Furthermore, just as we cannot discern a person's character without fathoming his mind, and we cannot understand the fundamental meaning of human life without understanding God, so we cannot completely understand the nature and structure of the corporeal world without understanding the nature and structure of the incorporeal world. The incorporeal world, or spirit world, is in the position of subject partner, and the corporeal world, or physical world, is in the position of object partner. The latter is like a shadow of the former.24(Heb. 8:5)RS|KJ|NI When we shed our physical bodies after our life in the physical world, we enter the spirit world as spirits and live there for eternity.
The Position of Human Beings in the Cosmos
The position of human beings in the cosmos has three aspects. First, God created human beings to be the rulers of the universe.25(Gen. 1:28)RS|KJ|NI The universe does not of itself have internal sensibility toward God. Hence, God does not govern the universe directly. Rather, God endowed human beings with sensibilities to all things in the universe and gave them the mandate to rule over the universe directly. God created the human body with elements from the physical world - such as water, clay and air - to allow us to perceive and govern it. To make it possible for us to perceive and govern the spirit world, God created our spirits with the same spiritual elements that compose the spirit world. On the Mount of Transfiguration, Moses and Elijah, who had died hundreds of years earlier, appeared before Jesus and ministered to him.26(Matt. 17:3)RS|KJ|NI These were actually the spirits of Moses and Elijah, yet Jesus was able to converse with them and was glorified before them. Human beings, composed of flesh which can dominate the physical world and spirit which can dominate the spiritual world, likewise have the potential to rule both worlds.
Second, God created human beings to be the mediator and the center of harmony of the cosmos. When a person's flesh and spirit unite through give and take action and become God's substantial object partner, the physical and spiritual worlds can also begin give and take action with that person as their center. They thus achieve harmonious integration to construct a cosmos that is responsive to God. Like the air that enables two tuning forks to resonate with each other, a true person acts as the mediator and center of harmony between the two worlds. The ability to communicate between the two worlds also may be likened to a radio or television which transforms invisible waves into perceptible images and sounds. Thus, a person can accurately convey the realities of the spirit world to the physical world.
Third, God created human beings to encapsulate in a substantial form the essences of everything in the cosmos. God created the universe by projecting and developing the pre-existent prototype of the human internal nature and external form into countless substantial forms. The human spirit encapsulates all of the elements found in the spirit world, since God created the spirit world as the unfolding of the spirit's internal nature and external form. The human body encapsulates all the elements of the physical world, since God created the material realm as the unfolding of the body's internal nature and external form. Accordingly, since human beings contain within themselves the essences of all things in the cosmos, each person is a microcosm.
However, due to the human Fall, the universe has lost its master. St. Paul wrote, "the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God"27(Rom. 8:19)RS|KJ|NI - that is, people who have been restored to the original state. Tragically, with the Fall of human beings, who should have served as the center of universal harmony, the give and take between the physical and spiritual worlds was severed. The two worlds have been rendered utterly unable to achieve integration and harmony. Since they remain divided, Paul continued, "the whole creation has been groaning in travail."28(Rom. 8:22)RS|KJ|NI
Jesus came as the new Adam, perfect in flesh and spirit. He was the microcosm of the cosmos. This is why it is written, "God has put all things in subjection under his feet."29(I Cor. 15:27)RS|KJ|NIJesus is our Savior. He came into the world to open the way for fallen people to become perfect as he was perfect, by moving our hearts to believe in him and become one with him.
The Reciprocal Relationship between
the Physical Self and the Spirit Self
The Structure and Functions of the Physical Self
The physical self consists of the dual characteristics of the
physical mind (subject partner) and the physical body (object partner). The physical mind directs the physical body to maintain the functions necessary for its survival, protection and reproduction. Instinct, for example, is an aspect of an animal's physical mind. For the physical self to grow in good health, it must have proper nourishment. It must absorb air and sunlight, which are intangible, yang types of nourishment, and must eat and drink food and water, which are tangible, yin types of nourishment. The body has give and take with this nourishment through its digestive and circulatory systems.
The Structure and Functions of the Spirit Self
Our spirit self, or spirit, is a substantial yet incorporeal reality which can be apprehended only through the spiritual senses. It is the subject partner to our physical self. Our spirit can communicate directly with God and is meant to govern the incorporeal world, including the angels. In appearance our spirit self matches our physical self. After we shed the physical self, we enter the spirit world and live there for eternity. The reason we desire an eternal life is because our innermost self is the spirit self which has an eternal nature. Our spirit self consists of the dual characteristics of
spirit mind (subject partner) and spirit body (object partner). The spirit mind is the center of the spirit self, and it is where God dwells.
The spirit grows through give and take action between two types of nourishment:
life elements of a yang type that come from God, and vitality elements of a yin type that come from the physical self. The spirit self not only receives vitality elements from the physical self; it also returns an element to the physical self which we call the
living spirit element. When people receive grace from a heavenly spirit, they undergo many positive changes in their physical self; they feel infinite joy and new strength welling up in them which can even drive away illness. Such phenomena occur because the physical self receives living spirit elements from the spirit self.
The spirit can grow only while it abides in the flesh. Thus, the relationship between the physical self and the spirit self is similar to that between a tree and its fruit. When the physical mind obeys the spirit mind and the physical self acts according to the good purpose of the spirit mind, the physical self receives living spirit elements from the spirit self and becomes wholesome. In return, the physical self provides good vitality elements to the spirit self, which enable the spirit self to grow properly in the direction of goodness.
Truth illuminates the innermost desires of the spirit mind. A person must first comprehend his spirit mind's deepest desire through the truth and then put this knowledge into action to fulfill his responsibility. Only then do the living spirit elements and vitality elements reciprocate within him, enabling him to progress toward goodness. The living spirit element and the vitality element have the relationship of internal nature and external form. Because all people have living spirit elements ever active within themselves, even an evil person's original mind inclines toward goodness. However, unless he actually leads a life of goodness, the living spirit elements cannot engage in proper give and take with the vitality elements, nor can they be infused into his physical self to make it wholesome.
It can be inferred from the above that the spirit self can attain perfection only during a person's earthly life. The spirit mind guides the spirit self as it grows in the soil of the physical self. The growth of the spirit self toward perfection progresses through the three orderly stages ordained by the Principle of Creation. A spirit in the formation stage of life is called a
form spirit; in the growth stage, a life spirit; and in the completion stage, a
A spirit fully matures as a divine spirit when the person's spirit self and physical self unite through perfect give and take action centered on God and form the four position foundation. A divine spirit can accurately feel and perceive every reality in the spirit world. As these spiritual realities resonate through the body and manifest themselves as physiological phenomena, they can be recognized through the five physical senses. People of divine spirit, who thus resonate with the spirit world, build the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. When they shed their physical bodies, they will make a smooth transition into the Kingdom of Heaven in the spirit world. For this reason, the Kingdom of Heaven in heaven will be realized only after the Kingdom of Heaven on earth has been established.
All the sensibilities of a spirit are cultivated through the reciprocal relationship with the physical self during earthly life. Therefore, only when a person reaches perfection and is totally immersed in the love of God while on earth can he fully delight in the love of God as a spirit after his death. All the qualities of the spirit self are developed while it abides in the physical self: Sinful conduct during earthly life aggravates evil and ugliness in the spirit of a fallen person, while the redemption of sins granted during earthly life opens the way for his spirit to become good. This was the reason Jesus had to come to the earth in the flesh to save sinful humanity. We must lead a good life while we are on the earth. Jesus gave the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven to Peter, who remained on the earth,30(Matt. 16:19)RS|KJ|NI and said, "whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven,"31(Matt. 18:18)RS|KJ|NI because the primary objective of the providence of restoration must be carried out on the earth.
It is not God who decides whether a person's spirit enters heaven or hell upon his death; it is decided by the spirit himself. Humans are created so that once they reach perfection they will fully breathe the love of God. Those who committed sinful deeds while on earth become crippled spirits who are incapable of fully breathing in the love of God. They find it agonizing to stand before God, the center of true love. Of their own will, they choose to dwell in hell, far removed from the love of God.
Since the human spirit can grow only in the soil of the physical self, the multiplication of human spirits takes place at the same time that the multiplication of physical selves occurs: during earthly life.
Exposition of the Divine Principle
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