“Blessed are the dead…“Yes.” saithe the spirit, so, they may rest from their labours and their works live on after them” (Revelation 14:13) “Dust thou art, and onto dust thou shall return” (Genesis 3:19)… “You are a soul, burdened with a corpse” (Epictetus)
Biologically, You Are More Than Your Flesh.
Think of yourself. Think of the flesh that clings to your bones. But you’re more than that, aren’t you?
Biologically speaking, you are more than just your immediate flesh. Bones continuously crack and are replaced through time. The meal you had for lunch soon becomes your flesh. Oxygen cycles through you with every breath you take.
Your atoms mingle in the great cosmic dance of nutrient cycles. All men die. They are eaten by microbes. Soon they enter plants and animals, and are then consumed by us.
“A man may fish with the worm that hath eat of a king, and eat of the fish that hath fed of that worm.”
To the biologist, you are more than just your immediate flesh. To the evolutionary thinker, the body is merely a conduit for the genome.
Your children, brothers, sisters, kinsmen, and all the members of your species carry your genes. They bear your likeness!
Charles Darwin shows how populations evolve, not individual organisms.
Co-evolution is critical to understanding life on this planet. We co-evolve with the organisms around us. A flower doesn’t make any sense without the bee that pollinates it.
We are walking chimeras. Most of the human genome came from bacteria who transferred their genes into our cells. We are a mutated fusion of organisms!
If a human being is just an amalgamation of proteins made solely by human genes, then most of a human being isn’t even human.
It makes more sense to think of an “individual” as a community of bacteria than a single organism. We are the forest, not the tree. You are more than just your flesh.
If selection, the Logos of nature, favors you, then your likeness will go on. These traits, these forms of likeness, are your spirit. In this way, your spirit echoes through time, generation after generation, through the ages of ages.
Existentially, You Are More Than Just Your Immediate Flesh
The Existentialist claims that an individual’s dynamic existence goes beyond the existence of a mere static object. We do not exist in the same way coffee-mugs do. We dream, fear, hate, hope, and love.
We are the sum of our actions and deeds! The mason is more than his flesh, there is a piece of himself in every stone he lays down. His stone-works stand long after his flesh is laid to ruin.
Attempt to fathom the entirety of your own works. Think of dreams you possessed made flesh by your toil. They are your children, they are you insomuch as they bear your likeness.
Dreams beget dreams, and works beget works. The earth blooms with the seeds we’ve planted, and we reap what we have sown.
Each of us has our own personal butterfly effect which ripples through time. Try to fathom the depths of the one that cascades from you. These are the forces that stem from your incarnation.
Look back at the all the forces that led to your incarnation. The labours of your ancestors not only gave birth to you, but the city we take for granted. Even the breakfast you ate in the morning had a history. Did you ever wonder why Americans drank coffee and the English drank tea?
Our past goes beyond our birth. We are rooted in our history, our lineage, and our traditions. They give us shape.
We ARE they sum of our butterfly effect and our past. This is the spirit of our incarnation, the flesh that clings to our bones.
On The Nature Of Spirit
The spirit is greater than the flesh! It has a greater timespan, occupies a greater space, and presses on with a greater force.
The fleshly lives of human-beings last only for a moment, but how long does their spirit prevail?
Which traits unceasingly continue through the ages? What is the nature of that which is eternal?
Ultimately, that which is eternal is that which is good, self-sustaining, just, harmonic, and loving. These are the parts of our spirit that continue.
Evil consumes itself, it is unsustainable. You can’t build a city where everyone is always lying, discordant, and entangled in a stasis of self-conflicts. The ancients knew this, hence why Plato professed it.
Disharmony consumes precious energy, whereas harmonic systems are far more competitive because of their greater efficiency.
The dis-harmonic works we spawn disintegrate in their conflicts. The holocausts of violence, chaos of political treachery, and the pollution of the Earth are not sustainable. These works are the weakness of humanity, not its strength.
But goodness begets goodness! The righteous ally with the righteous, but the wicked are alone.
Our good works are sustainable. The city founded on virtue continues in as much as it adheres to virtue. The worthy city shines like a city on hill.
Inasmuch as we are righteous, our spirit is righteous. Inasmuch as our spirit is righteous, it will pass on though the ages of ages.
You are more than just your flesh. Our spirit is the incarnation of all the forces that led to our existence and all the forces that proceed from it. These forces hail from the dawn of all existence and proceed to the end of time, they are our immortal soul.
In this way, the spirit is greater than the flesh. Try to understand that you are a spirit burdened with a corpse.