15 Nov The Spirit and Its Identity.Part3
The spirit has deep relations with the past and the future. Animals have no conception of time, for their God-given primordial nature causes them to live only for the present, without feeling any pain for the past or anxiety for the future. On the other hand, we are deeply influenced by such pain and anxiety, for our spirit is a conscious, sentient entity. The spirit is never satisfied with this mortal, fleeting world, and our accomplishments or possessions (e.g., money, high position, satisfied desires) cannot make it happy. Rather, especially when considered for their own sakes or for that of the carnal self alone, such things only increase its dissatisfaction and unhappiness, for it finds rest only through belief, worship, and remembrance of God.
Every person feels a strong desire for eternity. This desire cannot come from the physical dimension of our existence, for our mortality precludes any feeling of and desire for eternity. Rather, it originates in the eternal dimension of our existence, which is inhabited by our spirit. Our spirit causes us to lament: “I am mortal but do not desire what is mortal. I am impotent but do not desire what is impotent. What I desire is an eternal beloved (who will never desert me), and I yearn for an eternal world.”
The spirit needs our body. The spirit, a non-compound entity issuing from the world of Divine Commands, must use material means to be manifested and function in this world. As the body cannot contact the world of symbols or immaterial forms, the spirit cannot contact this world if there is no human heart, brain, or other bodily organs and limbs to mediate. The spirit functions through the body’s nerves, cells, and other elements. Therefore, if one or more bodily systems or organs goes awry, the spirit’s relation with them is disconnected and no longer commanded by it. If the failure or “illness” causing this disconnection severs the spirit’s relation with the entire body, what we call death occurs.
Although some coarse, meaningless hand or finger movements can be produced by stimulating certain areas of the brain, such movements are like confused, meaningless sounds produced by pressing piano keys at random. They are automatic bodily responses to stimulation, and are produced by the body’s automatic functioning. Therefore, the body needs the spirit, which is conscious and has free will, to produce meaningful movements.
Although such psychoanalysists as Freud offered various explanations for dreams, dreams cannot be said to consist of the subconscious mind’s jumbled activities. Almost everyone has had dreams that have come true. Many scientific or technological discoveries have been made because of true dreams. So, as will be discussed later, dreams point to the existence of something within us that can see in a different way while we are sleeping. This something is the spirit.
Although the spirit sees with our eyes, smells with our nose, hears with our ears and so on, there are many examples of people who somehow manage to see with their fingers or the tips of their noses, and smell with their heels.
The spirit manifests itself mostly on a person’s face. Truly, our face is a window opened on our inner world, for its features disclose our character. Psychologists assert that almost all of our movements, even coughing, reveal our character. The face’s ability to reveal one’s character, abilities, and personality resulted in physiognomy, the art of judging character from facial features. The spirit determines these features.