Creation Day 6 part 3
MAN part 2 of 4
Genesis 1: 27 And God created man to his own image: to the image of God he created him: male and female he created them. 28 And God blessed them, saying: Increase and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it, and rule over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and all living creatures that move upon the earth.
29 And God said: Behold I have given you every herb bearing seed upon the earth, and all trees that have in themselves seed of their own kind, to be your meat: 30 And to all beasts of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to all that move upon the earth, and wherein there is life, that they may have to feed upon. And it was so done. 31 And God saw all the things that he had made, and they were very good. And the evening and morning were the sixth day.
Friends, Day 6 of Creation will be the longest blog on any subject. Part 3 MAN; itself will be by far the longest. I have posted the writings on Creation with very little to no editing in order to give you a bigger and better understanding of the early church thinking rather than to place pieces of it into my own writing and philosophy.
On the sixth day, the earth brought forth draught animals and reptiles. On the which day, God also created man – first Adam in his image, and from his rib as he slept, He created the woman, Eve. In the sixth age of the world, among many false men who could be compared deservedly with serpents and beasts, namely on account of their savagery and because with their whole soul they cling to worldly cares and enticements, also many saints which is ‘ad idolatriam’ (to idolatry) were born among the people of God, who in the likeness of clean animals knew how to ruminate upon the word of God, to keep the hoof of discernment to the way of good works, to carry the yoke of divine law, and to keep the poor warm with the fleeces of their sheep, of both of whom [that is the false men and the saints] apt mention is made in the Gospel, among whom the second Adam, to wit the mediator between God and mankind, in whom was all the fullness of the image of God appeared in the world and, sleeping on the cross, blood and water came out from his side, from which sacraments the church is born and is nourished, which is the mother of all living a true life throughout the world, which is what the name of Eve means. Hence the Lord himself says of these sacraments, ‘Who eats my flesh and drinks my blood … will have eternal life’. Now we perceive the evening of this day approaching, since with iniquity abounding through all, the love of many grows cold. However, a much more shadowy one than the rest will come, when with the appearance of the man of sin, the son of iniquity, who is lifted up and extolled above all that is called God or that is worshipped, there will be such great tribulation that even the elect will be led into error, if that is possible. Immediately the following hour [will be that of] the judgment of all, about which it is written: ‘Coming like unto a son of man, you may consider, will he find faith on earth?’
St. Gregory of Nyssa on the Making of Man
XI. That the nature of mind is invisible.
1. What then is, in its own nature, this mind that distributes itself into faculties of sensation, and duly receives, by means of each, the knowledge of things? That it is something else besides the senses, I suppose no reasonable man doubts; for if it were identical with sense, it would reduce the proper character of the operations carried on by sense to one, on the ground that it is itself simple, and that in what is simple no diversity is to be found. Now however, as all agree that touch is one thing and smell another, and as the rest of the senses are in like manner so situated with regard to each other as to exclude intercommunion or mixture, we must surely suppose, since the mind is duly present in each case, that it is something else besides the sensitive nature, so that no variation may attach to a thing intelligible.
2. Who has known the mind of the Lord Romans 11:34? the apostle asks; and I ask further, who has understood his own mind? Let those tell us who consider the nature of God to be within their comprehension, whether they understand themselves— if they know the nature of their own mind. It is manifold and much compounded. How then can that which is intelligible be composite? Or what is the mode of mixture of things that differ in kind? Or, It is simple, and incomposite. How then is it dispersed into the manifold divisions of the senses? How is there diversity in unity? How is unity maintained in diversity?
3. But I find the solution of these difficulties by recourse to the very utterance of God; for He says, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness Genesis 1:26. The image is properly an image so long as it fails in none of those attributes which we perceive in the archetype (prototype or model of i.e. Jesus is the archetype or prototype or model of and for all of humanity); but where it falls from its resemblance to the prototype it ceases in that respect to be an image; therefore, since one of the attributes we contemplate in the Divine nature is incomprehensibility of essence, it is clearly necessary that in this point the image should be able to show its imitation of the archetype.
4. For if, while the archetype transcends comprehension, the nature of the image were comprehended, the contrary character of the attributes we behold in them would prove the defect of the image; but since the nature of our mind, which is the likeness of the Creator evades our knowledge, it has an accurate resemblance to the superior nature, figuring by its own unknowableness the incomprehensible Nature.
XII. An examination of the question where the ruling principle is to be considered to reside; wherein also is a discussion of tears and laughter, and a physiological speculation as to the inter-relation of matter, nature, and mind.
1. Let there be an end, then, of all the vain and conjectural discussion of those who confine the intelligible energy to certain bodily organs; of whom some lay it down that the ruling principle is in the heart, while others say that the mind resides in the brain, strengthening such opinions by some plausible superficialities. For he who ascribes the principal authority to the heart makes its local position evidence of his argument (because it seems that it somehow occupies the middle position in the body), on the ground that the motion of the will is easily distributed from the center to the whole body, and so proceeds to operation; and he makes the troublesome and passionate disposition of man a testimony for his argument, because such affections seem to move this part sympathetically. Those, on the other hand, who consecrate the brain to reasoning, say that the head has been built by nature as a kind of citadel of the whole body, and that in it the mind dwells like a king, with a bodyguard of senses surrounding it like messengers and shield-bearers. And these find a sign of their opinion in the fact that the reasoning of those who have suffered some injury to the membrane of the brain is abnormally distorted, and that those whose heads are heavy with intoxication ignore what is seemly.
2. Each of those who uphold these views puts forward some reasons of a more physical character on behalf of his opinion concerning the ruling principle. One declares that the motion which proceeds from the understanding is in some way akin to the nature of fire, because fire and the understanding are alike in perpetual motion; and since heat is allowed to have its source in the region of the heart, he says on this ground that the motion of mind is compounded with the mobility of heat, and asserts that the heart, in which heat is enclosed, is the receptacle of the intelligent nature. The other declares that the cerebral membrane (for so they call the tissue that surrounds the brain) is as it were a foundation or root of all the senses, and hereby makes good his own argument, on the ground that the intellectual energy cannot have its seat save in that part where the ear, connected with it, comes into concussion with the sounds that fall upon it, and the sight (which naturally belongs to the hollow of the place where the eyes are situated) makes its internal representation by means of the images that fall upon the pupils, while the qualities of scents are discerned in it by being drawn in through the nose, and the sense of taste is tried by the test of the cerebral membrane, which sends down from itself, by the vertebra of the neck, sensitive nerve-processes to the ethmoidal (a perforated bone in the skull whose outer surfaces form part of the outer wall of the nasal cavity and the inner wall of the eye socket) passage, and unites them with the muscles there.
3. I admit it to be true that the intellectual part of the soul is often disturbed by prevalence of passions; and that the reason is blunted by some bodily accident so as to hinder its natural operation; and that the heart is a sort of source of the fiery element in the body, and is moved in correspondence with the impulses of passion; and moreover, in addition to this, I do not reject (as I hear very much the same account from those who spend their time on anatomical researches) the statement that the cerebral membrane (according to the theory of those who take such a physiological view), enfolding in itself the brain, and steeped in the vapors that issue from it, forms a foundation for the senses; yet I do not hold this for a proof that the incorporeal nature is bounded by any limits of place.
4. Certainly we are aware that mental aberrations do not arise from heaviness of head alone, but skilled physicians declare that our intellect is also weakened by the membranes that underlie the sides being affected by disease, when they call the disease frenzy, since the name given to those membranes is φρένες (brakes?). And the sensation resulting from sorrow is mistakenly supposed to arise at the heart; for while it is not the heart, but the entrance of the belly that is pained, people ignorantly refer the affection to the heart. Those, however, who have carefully studied the affections in question give some such account as follows:— by a compression and closing of the pores, which naturally takes place over the whole body in a condition of grief, everything that meets a hindrance in its passage is driven to the cavities in the interior of the body, and hence also (as the respiratory organs too are pressed by what surrounds them), the drawing of breath often becomes more violent under the influence of nature endeavoring to widen what has been contracted, so as to open out the compressed passages; and such breathing we consider a symptom of grief and call it a groan or a shriek. That, moreover, which appears to oppress the region of the heart is a painful affection, not of the heart, but of the entrance of the stomach, and occurs from the same cause (I mean, that of the compression of the pores), as the vessel that contains the bile, contracting, pours that bitter and pungent juice upon the entrance of the stomach; and a proof of this is that the complexion of those in grief becomes sallow and jaundiced, as the bile pours its own juice into the veins by reason of excessive pressure.
5. Furthermore, the opposite affection, that, I mean, of mirth and laughter, contributes to establish the argument; for the pores of the body, in the case of those who are dissolved in mirth by hearing something pleasant, are also somehow dissolved and relaxed. Just as in the former case the slight and insensible exhalations of the pores are checked by grief, and, as they compress the internal arrangement of the higher viscera (intestines), drive up towards the head and the cerebral membrane the humid vapor which, being retained in excess by the cavities of the brain, is driven out by the pores at its base , while the closing of the eyelids expels the moisture in the form of drops (and the drop is called a tear), so I would have you think that when the pores, as a result of the contrary condition, are unusually widened, some air is drawn in through them into the interior, and thence again expelled by nature through the passage of the mouth, while all the viscera (and especially, as they say, the liver) join in expelling this air by a certain agitation and throbbing motion; whence it comes that nature, contriving to give facility for the exit of the air, widens the passage of the mouth, extending the cheeks on either side round about the breath; and the result is called laughter.
6. We must not, then, on this account ascribe the ruling principle any more to the liver than we must think, because of the heated state of the blood about the heart in wrathful dispositions, that the seat of the mind is in the heart; but we must refer these matters to the character of our bodily organization, and consider that the mind is equally in contact with each of the parts according to a kind of combination which is indescribable.
7. Even if any should allege to us on this point the Scripture which claims the ruling principle for the heart, we shall not receive the statement without examination; for he who makes mention of the heart speaks also of the reins, when he says, God tries the hearts and reins ; so that they must either confine the intellectual principle to the two combined or to neither.
8. And although I am aware that the intellectual energies are blunted, or even made altogether ineffective in a certain condition of the body, I do not hold this a sufficient evidence for limiting the faculty of the mind by any particular place, so that it should be forced out of its proper amount of free space by any inflammations that may arise in the neighboring parts of the body (for such an opinion is a corporeal (physical) one, that when the receptacle is already occupied by something placed in it, nothing else can find place there); for the intelligible nature neither dwells in the empty spaces of bodies, nor is extruded by encroachments of the flesh; but since the whole body is made like some musical instrument, just as it often happens in the case of those who know how to play, but are unable, because the unfitness of the instrument does not admit of their art, to show their skill (for that which is destroyed by time, or broken by a fall, or rendered useless by rust or decay, is mute and inefficient, even if it be breathed upon by one who may be an excellent artist in flute-playing); so too the mind, passing over the whole instrument, and touching each of the parts in a mode corresponding to its intellectual activities, according to its nature, produces its proper effect on those parts which are in a natural condition, but remains inoperative and ineffective upon those which are unable to admit the movement of its art; for the mind is somehow naturally adapted to be in close relation with that which is in a natural condition, but to be alien from that which is removed from nature.
9. And here, I think there is a view of the matter more close to nature, by which we may learn something of the more refined doctrines. For since the most beautiful and supreme good of all is the Divinity Itself, to which incline all things that have a tendency towards what is beautiful and good , we therefore say that the mind, as being in the image of the most beautiful, itself also remains in beauty and goodness so long as it partakes as far as is possible in its likeness to the archetype; but if it were at all to depart from this it is deprived of that beauty in which it was. And as we said that the mind was adorned by the likeness of the archetypal beauty, being formed as though it were a mirror to receive the figure of that which it expresses, we consider that the nature which is governed by it is attached to the mind in the same relation, and that it too is adorned by the beauty that the mind gives, being, so to say, a mirror of the mirror; and that by it is swayed and sustained the material element of that existence in which the nature is contemplated.
10. Thus so long as one keeps in touch with the other, the communication of the true beauty extends proportionally through the whole series, beautifying by the superior nature that which comes next to it; but when there is any interruption of this beneficent connection, or when, on the contrary, the superior comes to follow the inferior, then is displayed the misshapen character of matter, when it is isolated from nature (for in itself matter is a thing without form or structure), and by its shapelessness is also destroyed that beauty of nature with which it is adorned through the mind; and so the transmission of the ugliness of matter reaches through the nature to the mind itself, so that the image of God is no longer seen in the figure expressed by that which was moulded according to it; for the mind, setting the idea of good like a mirror behind the back, turns off the incident rays of the effulgence of the good, and it receives into itself the impress of the shapelessness of matter.
11. And in this way is brought about the genesis of evil, arising through the withdrawal of that which is beautiful and good. Now all is beautiful and good that is closely related to the First Good; but that which departs from its relation and likeness to this is certainly devoid of beauty and goodness. If, then, according to the statement we have been considering, that which is truly good is one, and the mind itself also has its power of being beautiful and good, in so far as it is in the image of the good and beautiful, and the nature, which is sustained by the mind, has the like power, in so far as it is an image of the image, it is hereby shown that our material part holds together, and is upheld when it is controlled by nature; and on the other hand is dissolved and disorganized when it is separated from that which upholds and sustains it, and is dissevered from its conjunction with beauty and goodness.
12. Now such a condition as this does not arise except when there takes place an overturning of nature to the opposite state, in which the desire has no inclination for beauty and goodness, but for that which is in need of the adorning element; for it must needs be that that which is made like to matter, destitute as matter is of form of its own, should be assimilated to it in respect of the absence alike of form and of beauty.
13. We have, however, discussed these points in passing, as following on our argument, since they were introduced by our speculation on the point before us; for the subject of enquiry was, whether the intellectual faculty has its seat in any of the parts of us, or extends equally over them all; for as for those who shut up the mind locally in parts of the body, and who advance for the establishment of this opinion of theirs the fact that the reason has not free course in the case of those whose cerebral membranes are in an unnatural condition, our argument showed that in respect of every part of the compound nature of man, whereby every man has some natural operation, the power of the soul remains equally ineffective if the part does not continue in its natural condition. And thus there came into our argument, following out this line of thought, the view we have just stated, by which we learn that in the compound nature of man the mind is governed by God, and that by it is governed our material life, provided the latter remains in its natural state, but if it is perverted from nature it is alienated also from that operation which is carried on by the mind.
14. Let us return however once more to the point from which we started— that in those who are not perverted from their natural condition by some affection, the mind exercises its own power, and is established firmly in those who are in sound health, but on the contrary is powerless in those who do not admit its operation; for we may confirm our opinion on these matters by yet other arguments: and if it is not tedious for those to hear who are already wearied with our discourse, we shall discuss these matters also, so far as we are able, in a few words.
1. This life of our bodies, material and subject to flux, always advancing by way of motion, finds the power of its being in this, that it never rests from its motion: and as some river, flowing on by its own impulse, keeps the channel in which it runs well filled, yet is not seen in the same water always at the same place, but part of it glides away while part comes flowing on, so, too, the material element of our life here suffers change in the continuity of its succession of opposites by way of motion and flux, so that it never can desist from change, but in its inability to rest keeps up unceasingly its motion alternating by like ways : and if it should ever cease moving it will assuredly have cessation also of its being.
2. For instance, emptying succeeds fullness, and on the other hand after emptiness comes in turn a process of filling: sleep relaxes the strain of waking, and, again, awakening braces up what had become slack: and neither of these abides continually, but both give way, each at the other’s coming; nature thus by their interchange so renewing herself as, while partaking of each in turn, to pass from the one to the other without break. For that the living creature should always be exerting itself in its operations produces a certain rupture and severance of the overstrained part; and continual quiescence of the body brings about a certain dissolution and laxity in its frame: but to be in touch with each of these at the proper times in a moderate degree is a staying-power of nature, which, by continual transference to the opposed states, gives herself in each of them rest from the other. Thus she finds the body on the strain through wakefulness, and devises relaxation for the strain by means of sleep, giving the perceptive faculties rest for the time from their operations, loosing them like horses from the chariots after the race.
3. Further, rest at proper times is necessary for the framework of the body, that the nutriment may be diffused over the whole body through the passages which it contains, without any strain to hinder its progress. For just as certain misty vapors are drawn up from the recesses of the earth when it is soaked with rain, whenever the sun heats it with rays of any considerable warmth, so a similar result happens in the earth that is in us, when the nutriment within is heated up by natural warmth; and the vapors, being naturally of upward tendency and airy nature, and aspiring to that which is above them, come to be in the region of the head like smoke penetrating the joints of a wall: then they are dispersed thence by exhalation to the passages of the organs of sense, and by them the senses are of course rendered inactive, giving way to the transit of these vapors. For the eyes are pressed upon by the eyelids when some leaden instrument , as it were (I mean such a weight as that I have spoken of), lets down the eyelid upon the eyes; and the hearing, being dulled by these same vapors, as though a door were placed upon the acoustic organs, rests from its natural operation: and such a condition is sleep, when the sense is at rest in the body, and altogether ceases from the operation of its natural motion, so that the digestive processes of nutriment may have free course for transmission by the vapors through each of the passages.
4. And for this reason, if the apparatus of the organs of sense should be closed and sleep hindered by some occupation, the nervous system, becoming filled with the vapors, is naturally and spontaneously extended so that the part which has had its density increased by the vapors is rarefied by the process of extension, just as those do who squeeze the water out of clothes by vehement wringing: and, seeing that the parts about the pharynx (throat)are somewhat circular, and nervous tissue abounds there, whenever there is need for the expulsion from that part of the density of the vapors— since it is impossible that the part which is circular in shape should be separated directly, but only by being distended in the outline of its circumference— for this reason, by checking the breath in a yawn the chin is moved downwards so as to leave a hollow to the uvula (a small fleshy “V”-shaped extension of the soft palate that hangs above the tongue at the entrance to the throat), and all the interior parts being arranged in the figure of a circle, that smoky denseness which had been detained in the neighboring parts is emitted together with the exit of the breath. And often the like may happen even after sleep when any portion of those vapors remains in the region spoken of undigested and unexhaled.
5. Hence the mind of man clearly proves its claim to connection with his nature, itself also co-operating and moving with the nature in its sound and waking state, but remaining unmoved when it is abandoned to sleep, unless any one supposes that the imagery of dreams is a motion of the mind exercised in sleep. We for our part say that it is only the conscious and sound action of the intellect which we ought to refer to mind; and as to the fantastic nonsense which occurs to us in sleep, we suppose that some appearances of the operations of the mind are accidentally moulded in the less rational part of the soul; for the soul, being by sleep dissociated from the senses, is also of necessity outside the range of the operations of the mind; for it is through the senses that the union of mind with man takes place; therefore when the senses are at rest, the intellect also must needs be inactive; and an evidence of this is the fact that the dreamer often seems to be in absurd and impossible situations, which would not happen if the soul were then guided by reason and intellect.
6. It seems to me, however, that when the soul is at rest so far as concerns its more excellent faculties (so far, I mean, as concerns the operations of mind and sense), the nutritive part of it alone is operative during sleep, and that some shadows and echoes of those things which happen in our waking moments— of the operations both of sense and of intellect— which are impressed upon it by that part of the soul which is capable of memory, that these, I say, are pictured as chance will have it, some echo of memory still lingering in this division of the soul.
7. With these, then, the man is beguiled, not led to acquaintance with the things that present themselves by any train of thought, but wandering among confused and inconsequent delusions. But just as in his bodily operations, while each of the parts individually acts in some way according to the power which naturally resides in it, there arises also in the limb that is at rest a state sympathetic with that which is in motion, similarly in the case of the soul, even if one part is at rest and another in motion, the whole is affected in sympathy with the part; for it is not possible that the natural unity should be in any way severed, though one of the faculties included in it is in turn supreme in virtue of its active operation. But as, when men are awake and busy, the mind is supreme, and sense ministers to it, yet the faculty which regulates the body is not dissociated from them (for the mind furnishes the food for its wants, the sense receives what is furnished, and the nutritive faculty of the body appropriates to itself that which is given to it), so in sleep the supremacy of these faculties is in some way reversed in us, and while the less rational becomes supreme, the operation of the other ceases indeed, yet is not absolutely extinguished; but while the nutritive faculty is then busied with digestion during sleep, and keeps all our nature occupied with itself, the faculty of sense is neither entirely severed from it (for that cannot be separated which has once been naturally joined), nor yet can its activity revive, as it is hindered by the inaction during sleep of the organs of sense; and by the same reasoning (the mind also being united to the sensitive part of the soul) it would follow that we should say that the mind moves with the latter when it is in motion, and rests with it when it is quiescent (calm).
8. As naturally happens with fire when it is heaped over with chaff, and no breath fans the flame— it neither consumes what lies beside it, nor is entirely quenched, but instead of flame it rises to the air through the chaff in the form of smoke; yet if it should obtain any breath of air, it turns the smoke to flame— in the same way the mind when hidden by the inaction of the senses in sleep is neither able to shine out through them, nor yet is quite extinguished, but has, so to say, a smoldering activity, operating to a certain extent, but unable to operate farther.
9. Again, as a musician, when he touches with the plectrum the slackened strings of a lyre, brings out no orderly melody (for that which is not stretched will not sound), but his hand frequently moves skillfully, bringing the plectrum to the position of the notes so far as place is concerned, yet there is no sound, except that he produces by the vibration of the strings a sort of uncertain and indistinct hum; so in sleep the mechanism of the senses being relaxed, the artist is either quite inactive, if the instrument is completely relaxed by satiety or heaviness; or will act slackly and faintly, if the instrument of the senses does not fully admit of the exercise of its art.
10. For this cause memory is confused, and foreknowledge, though rendered doubtful by uncertain veils, is imaged in shadows of our waking pursuits, and often indicates to us something of what is going to happen: for by its subtlety of nature the mind has some advantage, in ability to behold things, over mere corporeal grossness; yet it cannot make its meaning clear by direct methods, so that the information of the matter in hand should be plain and evident, but its declaration of the future is ambiguous and doubtful,— what those who interpret such things call an enigma (mystery, riddle).
11. So the butler presses the cluster for Pharaoh’s cup: so the baker seemed to carry his baskets; each supposing himself in sleep to be engaged in those services with which he was busied when awake: for the images of their customary occupations imprinted on the prescient element of their soul, gave them for a time the power of foretelling, by this sort of prophecy on the part of the mind, what should come to pass.
12. But if Daniel and Joseph and others like them were instructed by Divine power, without any confusion of perception, in the knowledge of things to come, this is nothing to the present statement; for no one would ascribe this to the power of dreams, since he will be constrained as a consequence to suppose that those Divine appearances also which took place in wakefulness were not a miraculous vision but a result of nature brought about spontaneously. As then, while all men are guided by their own minds, there are some few who are deemed worthy of evident Divine communication; so, while the imagination of sleep naturally occurs in a like and equivalent manner for all, some, not all, share by means of their dreams in some more Divine manifestation: but to all the rest even if a foreknowledge of anything does occur as a result of dreams, it occurs in the way we have spoken of.
13. And again, if the Egyptian and the Assyrian king were guided by God to the knowledge of the future, the dispensation wrought by their means is a different thing: for it was necessary that the hidden wisdom of the holy men should be made known, that each of them might not pass his life without profit to the state. For how could Daniel have been known for what he was, if the soothsayers and magicians had not been unequal to the task of discovering the dream? And how could Egypt have been preserved while Joseph was shut up in prison, if his interpretation of the dream had not brought him to notice? Thus we must reckon these cases as exceptional, and not class them with common dreams.
14. But this ordinary seeing of dreams is common to all men, and arises in our fancies in different modes and forms: for either there remain, as we have said, in the reminiscent part of the soul, the echoes of daily occupations; or, as often happens, the constitution of dreams is framed with regard to such and such a condition of the body: for thus the thirsty man seems to be among springs, the man who is in need of food to be at a feast, and the young man in the heat of youthful vigor is beset by fancies corresponding to his passion.
15. I also knew another cause of the fancies of sleep, when attending one of my relations attacked by frenzy; who being annoyed by food being given him in too great quantity for his strength, kept crying out and finding fault with those who were about him for filling intestines with dung and putting them upon him: and when his body was rapidly tending to perspire he blamed those who were with him for having water ready to wet him with as he lay: and he did not cease calling out till the result showed the meaning of these complaints: for all at once a copious sweat broke out over his body, and a relaxation of the bowels explained the weight in the intestines. The same condition then which, while his sober judgment was dulled by disease, his nature underwent, being sympathetically affected by the condition of the body— not being without perception of what was amiss, but being unable clearly to express its pain, by reason of the distraction resulting from the disease— this, probably, if the intelligent principle of the soul were lulled to rest, not from infirmity but by natural sleep, might appear as a dream to one similarly situated, the breaking out of perspiration being expressed by water, and the pain occasioned by the food, by the weight of intestines.
16. This view also is taken by those skilled in medicine, that according to the differences of complaints the visions of dreams appear differently to the patients: that the visions of those of weak stomach are of one kind, those of persons suffering from injury to the cerebral membrane of another, those of persons in fevers of yet another; that those of patients suffering from bilious (nauseous) and from phlegmatic (unemotional) affections are diverse, and those again of plethoric (excessively full of bodily fluid, particularly blood ) patients, and of patients in wasting disease, are different; whence we may see that the nutritive and vegetative faculty of the soul has in it by commixture some seed of the intelligent element, which is in some sense brought into likeness to the particular state of the body, being adapted in its fancies according to the complaint which has seized upon it.
17. Moreover, most men’s dreams are conformed to the state of their character: the brave man’s fancies are of one kind, the coward’s of another; the wanton (cruel, nasty, vicious) man’s dreams of one kind, the continent man’s (The continent person consistently chooses to do the right thing for its own sake, because he knows that it’s right. But he doesn’t enjoy it, because he has to fight hard to overcome his urges or temptations to do wrong ) of another; the liberal (one who gives) man and the avaricious (greedy) man are subject to different fancies; while these fancies are nowhere framed by the intellect, but by the less rational disposition of the soul, which forms even in dreams the semblances of those things to which each is accustomed by the practice of his waking hours.
1. But we have wandered far from our subject, for the purpose of our argument was to show that the mind is not restricted to any part of the body, but is equally in touch with the whole, producing its motion according to the nature of the part which is under its influence. There are cases, however, in which the mind even follows the bodily impulses, and becomes, as it were, their servant; for often the bodily nature takes the lead by introducing either the sense of that which gives pain or the desire for that which gives pleasure, so that it may be said to furnish the first beginnings, by producing in us the desire for food, or, generally, the impulse towards some pleasant thing; while the mind, receiving such an impulse, furnishes the body by its own intelligence with the proper means towards the desired object. Such a condition, indeed, does not occur in all, save in those of a somewhat slavish disposition, who bring the reason into bondage to the impulses of their nature and pay servile homage to the pleasures of sense by allowing them the alliance of their mind; but in the case of more perfect men this does not happen; for the mind takes the lead, and chooses the expedient course by reason and not by passion, while their nature follows in the tracks of its leader.
2. But since our argument discovered in our vital faculty three different varieties— one which receives nourishment without perception, another which at once receives nourishment and is capable of perception, but is without the reasoning activity, and a third rational, perfect, and co-extensive with the whole faculty— so that among these varieties the advantage belongs to the intellectual,— let no one suppose on this account that in the compound nature of man there are three souls welded together, contemplated each in its own limits, so that one should think man’s nature to be a sort of conglomeration of several souls. The true and perfect soul is naturally one, the intellectual and immaterial, which mingles with our material nature by the agency of the senses; but all that is of material nature, being subject to mutation and alteration, will, if it should partake of the animating power, move by way of growth: if, on the contrary, it should fall away from the vital energy, it will reduce its motion to destruction.
3. Thus, neither is there perception without material substance, nor does the act of perception take place without the intellectual faculty.
XV. That the soul proper, in fact and name, is the rational soul, while the others are called so equivocally; wherein also is this statement, that the power of the mind extends throughout the whole body in fitting contact with every part.
1. Now, if some things in creation possess the nutritive faculty, and others again are regulated by the perceptive faculty, while the former have no share of perception nor the latter of the intellectual nature, and if for this reason any one is inclined to the opinion of a plurality of souls, such a man will be positing a variety of souls in a way not in accordance with their distinguishing definition. For everything which we conceive among existing things, if it be perfectly that which it is, is also properly called by the name it bears: but of that which is not every respect what it is called, the appellation also is vain. For instance:— if one were to show us true bread, we say that he properly applies the name to the subject: but if one were to show us instead that which had been made of stone to resemble the natural bread, which had the same shape, and equal size, and similarity of color, so as in most points to be the same with its prototype, but which yet lacks the power of being food, on this account we say that the stone receives the name of bread, not properly, but by a misnomer, and all things which fall under the same description, which are not absolutely what they are called, have their name from a misuse of terms.
2. Thus, as the soul finds its perfection in that which is intellectual and rational, everything that is not so may indeed share the name of soul, but is not really soul, but a certain vital energy associated with the appellation of soul. And for this reason also He Who gave laws on every matter, gave the animal nature likewise, as not far removed from this vegetative life , for the use of man, to be for those who partake of it instead of herbs:— for He says, You shall eat all kinds of flesh even as the green herb ; for the perceptive energy seems to have but a slight advantage over that which is nourished and grows without it. Let this teach carnal men not to bind their intellect closely to the phenomena of sense, but rather to busy themselves with their spiritual advantages, as the true soul is found in these, while sense has equal power also among the brute creation.
3. The course of our argument, however, has diverged to another point: for the subject of our speculation was not the fact that the energy of mind is of more dignity among the attributes we conceive in man than the material element of his being, but the fact that the mind is not confined to any one part of us, but is equally in all and through all, neither surrounding anything without, nor being enclosed within anything: for these phrases are properly applied to casks or other bodies that are placed one inside the other; but the union of the mental with the bodily presents a connection unspeakable and inconceivable—not being within it (for the incorporeal (spiritual)is not enclosed in a body), nor yet surrounding it without (for that which is incorporeal does not include anything), but the mind approaching our nature in some inexplicable and incomprehensible way, and coming into contact with it, is to be regarded as both in it and around it, neither implanted in it nor enfolded with it, but in a way which we cannot speak or think, except so far as this, that while the nature prospers according to its own order, the mind is also operative; but if any misfortune befalls the former, the movement of the intellect halts correspondingly.
XVI. A contemplation of the Divine utterance which said— Let us make man after our image and likeness; wherein is examined what is the definition of the image, and how the passible and mortal is like to the Blessed and Impassible, and how in the image there are male and female, seeing these are not in the prototype.
1. Let us now resume our consideration of the Divine word, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness Genesis 1:26 . How mean and how unworthy of the majesty of man are the fancies of some heathen writers, who magnify humanity, as they supposed, by their comparison of it to this world! For they say that man is a little world, composed of the same elements with the universe. Those who bestow on human nature such praise as this by a high-sounding name, forget that they are dignifying man with the attributes of the gnat and the mouse: for they too are composed of these four elements—because assuredly about the animated nature of every existing thing we behold a part, greater or less, of those elements without which it is not natural that any sensitive being should exist. What great thing is there, then, in man’s being accounted a representation and likeness of the world—of the heaven that passes away, of the earth that changes, of all things that they contain, which pass away with the departure of that which compasses them round?
2. In what then does the greatness of man consist, according to the doctrine of the Church? Not in his likeness to the created world, but in his being in the image of the nature of the Creator.
3. What therefore, you will perhaps say, is the definition of the image? How is the incorporeal likened to body? How is the temporal like the eternal? That which is mutable by change like to the immutable? That which is subject to passion and corruption to the impassible and incorruptible? That which constantly dwells with evil, and grows up with it, to that which is absolutely free from evil? There is a great difference between that which is conceived in the archetype, and a thing which has been made in its image: for the image is properly so called if it keeps its resemblance to the prototype; but if the imitation be perverted from its subject, the thing is something else, and no longer an image of the subject.
4. How then is man, this mortal, passible, short lived being, the image of that nature which is immortal, pure, and everlasting? The true answer to this question, indeed, perhaps only the very Truth knows: but this is what we, tracing out the truth so far as we are capable by conjectures and inferences, apprehend concerning the matter. Neither does the word of God lie when it says that man was made in the image of God, nor is the pitiable suffering of man’s nature like to the blessedness of the impassible Life: for if any one were to compare our nature with God, one of two things must needs be allowed in order that the definition of the likeness may be apprehended in both cases in the same terms—either that the Deity is passible, or that humanity is impassible: but if neither the Deity is passible nor our nature free from passion, what other account remains whereby we may say that the word of God speaks truly, which says that man was made in the image of God?
5. We must, then, take up once more the Holy Scripture itself, if we may perhaps find some guidance in the question by means of what is written. After saying, Let us make man in our image, and for what purposes it was said Let us make him, it adds this saying:— and God created man; in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them Genesis 1:27 . We have already said in what precedes, that this saying was uttered for the destruction of heretical impiety, in order that being instructed that the Only-begotten God made man in the image of God, we should in no wise distinguish the Godhead of the Father and the Son, since Holy Scripture gives to each equally the name of God—to Him Who made man, and to Him in Whose image he was made.
6. However, let us pass by our argument upon this point: let us turn our inquiry to the question before us—how it is that while the Deity is in bliss, and humanity is in misery, the latter is yet in Scripture called like the former?
7. We must, then, examine the words carefully: for we find, if we do so, that that which was made in the image is one thing, and that which is now manifested in wretchedness is another. God created man, it says; in the image of God created He him Genesis 1:27. There is an end of the creation of that which was made in the image: then it makes a resumption of the account of creation, and says, male and female created He them. I presume that everyone knows that this is a departure from the Prototype: for in Christ Jesus, as the apostle says, there is neither male nor female. Yet the phrase declares that man is thus divided.
8. Thus the creation of our nature is in a sense twofold: one made like to God, one divided according to this distinction: for something like this the passage darkly conveys by its arrangement, where it first says, God created man, in the image of God created He him Genesis 1:27, and then, adding to what has been said, male and female created He them Genesis 1:27, a thing which is alien from our conceptions of God.
9. I think that by these words Holy Scripture conveys to us a great and lofty doctrine; and the doctrine is this. While two natures— the Divine and incorporeal nature, and the irrational life of brutes— are separated from each other as extremes, human nature is the mean between them: for in the compound nature of man we may behold a part of each of the natures I have mentioned—of the Divine, the rational and intelligent element, which does not admit the distinction of male and female; of the irrational, our bodily form and structure, divided into male and female: for each of these elements is certainly to be found in all that partakes of human life. That the intellectual element, however, precedes the other, we learn as from one who gives in order an account of the making of man; and we learn also that his community and kindred with the irrational is for man a provision for reproduction. For he says first that God created man in the image of God (showing by these words, as the Apostle says, that in such a being there is no male or female): then he adds the peculiar attributes of human nature, male and female created He them Genesis 1:27 .
10. What, then, do we learn from this? Let no one, I pray, be indignant if I bring from far an argument to bear upon the present subject. God is in His own nature all that which our mind can conceive of good—rather, transcending all good that we can conceive or comprehend. He creates man for no other reason than that He is good; and being such, and having this as His reason for entering upon the creation of our nature, He would not exhibit the power of His goodness in an imperfect form, giving our nature some one of the things at His disposal, and grudging it a share in another: but the perfect form of goodness is here to be seen by His both bringing man into being from nothing, and fully supplying him with all good gifts: but since the list of individual good gifts is a long one, it is out of the question to apprehend it numerically. The language of Scripture therefore expresses it concisely by a comprehensive phrase, in saying that man was made in the image of God: for this is the same as to say that He made human nature participant in all good; for if the Deity is the fullness of good, and this is His image, then the image finds its resemblance to the Archetype in being filled with all good.
11. Thus there is in us the principle of all excellence, all virtue and wisdom, and every higher thing that we conceive: but pre-eminent among all is the fact that we are free from necessity, and not in bondage to any natural power, but have decision in our own power as we please; for virtue is a voluntary thing, subject to no dominion: that which is the result of compulsion and force cannot be virtue.
12. Now as the image bears in all points the semblance of the archetypal excellence, if it had not a difference in some respect, being absolutely without divergence it would no longer be a likeness, but will in that case manifestly be absolutely identical with the Prototype. What difference then do we discern between the Divine and that which has been made like to the Divine? We find it in the fact that the former is uncreated, while the latter has its being from creation: and this distinction of property brings with it a train of other properties; for it is very certainly acknowledged that the uncreated nature is also immutable, and always remains the same, while the created nature cannot exist without change; for its very passage from nonexistence to existence is a certain motion and change of the non-existent transmuted by the Divine purpose into being.
13. As the Gospel calls the stamp upon the coin the image of Cæsar in Matthew 22:20-21, whereby we learn that in that which was fashioned to resemble Cæsar there was resemblance as to outward look, but difference as to material, so also in the present saying, when we consider the attributes contemplated both in the Divine and human nature, in which the likeness consists, to be in the place of the features, we find in what underlies them the difference which we behold in the uncreated and in the created nature.
14. Now as the former always remains the same, while that which came into being by creation had the beginning of its existence from change, and has a kindred connection with the like mutation, for this reason He Who, as the prophetical writing says, knows all things before they be , following out, or rather perceiving beforehand by His power of foreknowledge what, in a state of independence and freedom, is the tendency of the motion of man’s will,— as He saw, I say, what would be, He devised for His image the distinction of male and female, which has no reference to the Divine Archetype, but, as we have said, is an approximation to the less rational nature.
15. The cause, indeed, of this device, only those can know who were eye-witnesses of the truth and ministers of the Word; but we, imagining the truth, as far as we can, by means of conjectures and similitudes, do not set forth that which occurs to our mind authoritatively, but will place it in the form of a theoretical speculation before our kindly hearers.
16. What is it then which we understand concerning these matters? In saying that God created man the text indicates, by the indefinite character of the term, all mankind; for was not Adam here named together with the creation, as the history tells us in what follows ? Yet the name given to the man created is not the particular, but the general name: thus we are led by the employment of the general name of our nature to some such view as this— that in the Divine foreknowledge and power all humanity is included in the first creation; for it is fitting for God not to regard any of the things made by Him as indeterminate, but that each existing thing should have some limit and measure prescribed by the wisdom of its Maker.
17. Now just as any particular man is limited by his bodily dimensions, and the peculiar size which is conjoined with the superficies of his body is the measure of his separate existence, so I think that the entire plenitude of humanity was included by the God of all, by His power of foreknowledge, as it were in one body, and that this is what the text teaches us which says, God created man, in the image of God created He him. For the image is not in part of our nature, nor is the grace in any one of the things found in that nature, but this power extends equally to all the race: and a sign of this is that mind is implanted alike in all: for all have the power of understanding and deliberating, and of all else whereby the Divine nature finds its image in that which was made according to it: the man that was manifested at the first creation of the world, and he that shall be after the consummation of all, are alike: they equally bear in themselves the Divine image.
18. For this reason the whole race was spoken of as one man, namely, that to God’s power nothing is either past or future, but even that which we expect is comprehended, equally with what is at present existing, by the all-sustaining energy. Our whole nature, then, extending from the first to the last, is, so to say, one image of Him Who is; but the distinction of kind in male and female was added to His work last, as I suppose, for the reason which follows.
This is continued in part 3 of 4.
Website of the Autocephalous Orthodox Catholic Churches of the Americas:
Now, YouTube doesn’t always agree with my viewpoint on what is happening in the world so I have two other channels, sometimes one of them does not agree either and so I need the other one, sometimes I speak for too long a time and the one will not accept the video but the other one will so I have videos spread out over three different channels.
Daily Motion: New Warrior Ministries
Bitchute: Bishop William NWM
Rumble.com: New Warrior Ministries
Another blog site: pureorthodox.blogspot.com
Archbishop Gregori’s Blog: Orthodox Christianity Your Spiritual Home