by Ernest O'Neill
Human life consists of the exercise of our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual powers. We were all born with these abilities and our lives are limited by them. However, our Maker never intended that--He always meant us to share His own superhuman life. We were made for that. That's why we want to fly--physically, emotionally, mentally--we feel we were made to live forever. We feel we were made to be far more than we seem to be in our present, narrow, frustrating little lives. One old writer put it like this: God "has made everything beautiful in its time; also He has put eternity into man's mind.'' (Ecclesiastes 3:11) What is this superhuman life?
We've said in past weeks that it's an energizing spirit that heightens our mental and physical powers so that we are able to live the kind of serene, joyful, powerful life that Jesus of Nazareth lived--seeing things the way God sees them, responding to them with His power over sickness and evil. It's like water--no smell, no taste, almost invisible--but it utterly delivers you from your own cramping small-mindedness and lifts you over the walls of your own personality. The history of the world that we have in the Bible recounts that the Creator offered our forefathers this life at the beginning of the world. Ta mankind in his childhood He presented it as a "tree of life" and stated that we could survive here on earth through receiving that life by faith from him or we could survive through our own independent knowledge of good and evil.
The Fallen Life
We chose the latter--to live by trial and error--building gradually our own human list of precedents based or our experience of the earth year by year. What we didn't realize was that our mental and physical powers did not need just knowledge to operate properly; they needed the superhuman life that we lost when we began to live as if there was no God. The result is that we not only have imperfect knowledge of the way life works (theories of relativity, that have to be constantly modified and updated), but we have human personalities that seem perverted or twisted in the way they operate. However, we have endeavoured to make ourselves at home on the earth and to persuade everyone else that this is the best of all possible worlds. So, we have devised systems of family, work, peer-recognition, drugs, education, travel, recreation and consumer-goods to cover up our anxieties, frustrations and unhappiness.
The Need for Exposure
The result is that we have not simply fallen short of the Creator's plan for us but we have made "falling short" the norm so that it's very difficult for us to tell what superhuman life would be like. We ourselves therefore have great difficulty saying whether we have it or not. This is why our Maker described it to a human being called Moses about 3400 years ago. He listed its symptoms so that we could tell if we had it or not. We, of course, have taken those symptoms and made them part of our own "knowledge of good and evil" to try to persuade ourselves that we possess this "superhuman life". We call them laws of God and we call people who "obey" them moral people. Most religions and churches spend great amounts of time trying to get people to be moral. They encourage everyone to think that if they manage to be moral--or to reproduce these symptoms of superhuman life--then they possess it and will live forever. This does not follow at all--anyone can rouge up his cheeks and make them look like healthy cheeks, but he may still be dying of cancer! The external imitation of the symptoms of superhuman life proves only that you don't have it. However, most religious people continue to believe that the laws of God were given to teach us how to become like God. They were given for the very opposite reason.
Purpose of the 'Law'
Paul put it like this in the Bible: "if it had not been for the law, I should not have known sin...since through the law comes knowledge of sin...in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure." (Romans 7:7,13; 3:20) God described to us the ways or the laws of superhuman life to expose the fact that we didn't have it! That's the whole purpose of the laws, but we have turned the tables on God--and on ourselves--by reducing them to external actions that we then try to reproduce. YOU DON'T HAVE TO TRY TO BREATHE; IF YOU'RE ALIVE, THEN BREATHING IS ONE OF THE SYMPTOMS--YOU CAN'T AVOID IT! Have you superhuman life? Just check yourself against the symptoms!
Your Maker said that if you have superhuman life you will be free from trying to please people in order to get what you want. You'll want to please only one person, knowing that His pleasure will always be best for your relatives and friends as well. That's what the first law means-- "you'll have no other gods besides me". Your god is the person you want to please all the time, so if you want to please your wife some of the time--or your boss--or your peers--or your children, then they are your gods at those times--and you lack this symptom of superhuman life. Don't blur the real truth about yourself by playing around with the word "god". God is the being you regard as having absolute power over your life; He's the being on whom you depend for life itself; He is regarded by you as absolutely wise and as knowing you better than you know yourself. If you see Him as the father of Jesus Christ, then you know He really, loves you and cares about your life. So, He's the only one to please--because He will want what's best for all the others and for you.
If, however, you please yourself some of the time, then you are your god during that time, so once more you lack this symptom of superhuman life. You should just face that fact--if you do, this can be the beginning of the solution to your whole life. It is a great step towards truth if you can admit the you don't have superhuman life--reality begins to break in upon you when you deal honestly with this issue of having other gods besides the real one.
Read Superhuman Life No. 22
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