I was impressed that these economic experts who lead the world in commodifying almost everything - work is rewarded, injury is compensated, entertainers are disproportionately fated – could still see that humans must be valued.
They were very conscious that one of the great threats to humanity is the development of robots with artificial intelligence. The old model of body mind soul and spirit has been significantly eroded by the most extraordinary analysis of our chemistry.
What many feel challenged by is the notion that we can be defined as human by feeding information into a super computer that will categorise us ad-infinitum until we find our uniqueness. Sociologist Philosopher Tom Wolf expresses the concern that when we have been convinced that humans ultimately have no soul, we will no longer have a point of reference for purpose, meaning or accountability.
We have just read one of the most extraordinary accounts of human experience. The Transfiguration of Jesus. Can it offer us something of an idea of what it is to be fully human? The early part of Jesus life began the story of Love with a particular emphasis upon compassion for the lost, the broken, the sick, the handicapped, the paralysed, the lepers etc.
Taking his three closest and most trusted friends they climbed a local mount, universally respected as the symbol of spiritual perception, the symbol of transcendence. On this mountain-top, they entered a most extraordinary state of mind. In this state, they encountered, we could say, three primary voices of life.
1. VOICES OF DIVINE LAW AND INTERPRETATION – MOSES AND ELIJAH – THE VOICE OF HISTORY
We are told that Moses and Elijah appear beside Jesus. It is a unique voice of history. The voices of divine law - Moses - and the voice of interpretation - Elijah - are being fulfilled in the voice of Jesus.
2. THE VOICE OF DIVINE AFFIRMATION - CLOUD
A Cloud / come fog - descends upon the mountain-top. The senses are minimized, but from what we might call the primal depth of being……From beyond the common auditory hearing of our ears, they hear a more probing affirmation of Jesus, ‘this is my Son in whom I am well pleased.’ These are the words of the ultimate divine affirmation of Jesus. Such affirmation brings the message of ultimate value that can be placed in a human life
3. LISTEN TO HIM
This voice echoes to the disciples. With our human capacities the voice declares, ‘Listen to him’. We must learn the way of the divine. We learn by listening to the divine
The words of Jesus constantly echo the divine.
4. THE VOICE OF THE WILL
The human brain has evolved to its present state. From its primal creative, survival nature, to the social awareness and ultimately the highly rational-emotive capacity the human has always been able to stand tall and shape our path of character. It is enabled by the capacity to will. Will determines our capacity to manage all that we are. Humans are able to rise above the circumstances of life that come as if beyond our control. Our choices and decisions can shape our pathway beyond the most basic needs we seek to fulfill.
When all would transpire against us to pull us down we can choose to rise above. Jesus speaks such wisdom to his friends as they descend the mountain to return to life. He speaks the prophetic words that will symbolize his divine life.
“The Son of Man must suffer and die and in three days rise again”
This is the ultimate prophecy of what it is to be both human and divine. He speaks the divine wisdom to his fellow humans, for to be a human is to aspire to be divine.
The traditional criticism of the scientific paradigm consists in saying that it leaves no place for God, to which the scientific response is that there is no need for one. In contrast, my criticism of the scientific paradigm maintains that it leaves no place for Man. The great absentee in the scientific mythos is Man……….. Man, however, cannot be located among the data…Everything Man has, including genes, may be conveniently digitized, homogenized, and fed into the latest supercomputer, but this does not tell us what Man is, or who Man is, much less who I am.
Jesus had a different model. He presents a model that speaks of spirit as timeless. Past present and future coalesce in the present moment. In its fullness experience is timeless. In the depth of human knowing we can hear the voice of the divine affirming humanity as part of the eternal plan. Perhaps the most extraordinary quality of being human is that we are granted the responsibility of being divine in the way we live life.
Our will reflects the value we place upon the human experience. It speaks of what we can aspire to. We can even learn the way of the cross. Being the divine human has the capacity to transcend all life circumstance, even death.