by Ernest O'Neill

We've all experienced a life-power that surprises us by its unexpected strength or its unexpected consequences. There isn't one of us who has not been elated by physical energy that has surged within us at times of extreme exhaustion or traumatic crisis. All of us are able to look back on certain moments when we achieved things that we did not think we could ever have achieved. Though some of these can be explained by the summoning of all our own physical resources as at the end of a marathon or in a moment of extreme physical danger, yet there are other times when we have sensed a power of life that seems to come from beyond. This kind of "superhuman" life has been expressed on our planet by certain individuals throughout history in more continuous ways than most of us have ever experienced, but undoubtedly the outstanding example is the life lived in the first century of our era by the man known as Jesus of Nazareth.

The Superhuman Phenomenon

He not only expressed powers that made dead bodies live and withered limbs active but he had an ability to manipulate and change the form of matter so that stones became bread and wind-torn waters became calm. The plainest manifestation of all is the reason for our splitting our history into B.C. and A.D. -- that is his own death and destruction of death three days later. He then explained to his followers that this superhuman life was the original plan of the Creator of the world for all of us. Followers of his like Paul of Tarsus have elaborated this explanation so that many of us have begun to realize that life on earth apart from this superhuman life is very much a second-best. We simply were not meant to live with only the powers of physical, mental, and emotional life that most of us depend on for our existence.

The Source of Superhuman Life

Instead, we were intended to acknowledge our Creator and treat him as our Father. He knows why he made us and put us in the particular town in which we were born. He planned that we should treat him as real and as a result he would manifest through us powers that were greater than those of our mental and emotional faculties. In fact, these faculties have no power to create anything -- they only manipulate and play around with things and people and circumstances, but they do not possess power to create. This supernatural life is the actual essence of God himself and is uncreated life. It isn't observable or measurable by the senses but throughout history has been the cause of all kinds of inexplicable military victories and personal achievements that have amazed mankind. This supernatural life seems to surge under our physical and mental capacities and extend them. But at times it seems to work utterly apart from them and bring about results that bear no relationship to their capacities at all. Jesus explained that this superhuman life was the gift of his Father to all of us IF we would believe him.

Don't Believe It!

We, of course, from the beginning of the world rejected this whole idea. We liked what we could see -- and we could see an earth with food and water and wonderful animals, magnificent scenery and other attractive human beings, so we resolved we would use what we could see and feel. This is what is described in the early chapters of Genesis in the Old Testament. There it is presented as the choice between two trees -- a tree of life and a tree of knowledge of good and evil. We preferred to build upon our own knowledge of good and evil by the precedents of our predecessors rather than by any inner attitude of dependence on some invisible God, so we proceeded to develop the world by experimentation and the old system of trial and error. As we know now, so many errors occur with the ozone layer, strange viruses, and economic greed and imbalance that we now have a world that is out of control. Far from "subduing" it or "filling" it, we human beings are wondering how to avoid blowing it apart and ourselves with it.

Alienation From Our Roots

But the worst result of our rejection of this superhuman life comes from the absence of a relationship which is essential for our sanity. Most of us know that there just has to be somebody somewhere holding the earth up. We know fine well that sea. sons, orbiting planets, and DNA molecules do not occur by chance. We know there's someone out there. We know too that that someone must know we're here and he must have some reason for putting us on this earth. That's the only thing that makes any sense! When we evade this issue or pretend that person isn't there we're left hanging in the air --literally as well as metaphorically. And we know it. We feel the insecurity of spinning around space on a revolving sphere. We feel the insignificance of being one of four billion who all think they're more unique than all the other four billion. But above all we feel the frustration and meaninglessness of being shot up into existence for seventy years and then ceasing to exist forever. The whole thing lacks sense or point.

The Daily Consequences of our Lack of Superhuman Life

Faced with this seeming fiasco we all have set about trying to meet the needs that are created by our lack of this superhuman life. Perhaps our most obvious one is that of security. Not only have we the cosmic need for some kind of reassurance that we won't fall off the earth (especially if we live in Australia) but most of us know from kindergarten days that "no one will look after you if you don't look after yourself." So we develop a very strong preoccupation with our own survival. This forms the basic motive for our educational plans -- get a good schooling so that you can get a good job so that you can buy good clothes, a comfortable house, and eat good food. Our idea is always to meet these basic needs and then get on to other more important things. But most of us don't! Most -- even among the clever and sophisticated --fail to get much beyond the newest BMW or the latest microwave. Indeed, we not only spend most of our lives trying to keep alive, but we usually lose ourselves in the process.

Let's talk in the next article about some of the ways this lack of superhuman life has stolen our very identity.

Read Superhuman Life No. 16

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