Scientifically humans are conscious beings capable of communicating with one another using meaningful symbols. Mythologically ( by this I mean using symbolic language) a human is a being made in the image of God – which is a way of saying that a person is more than just elements and matter, but has a “deeper” or “higher” dimension connected with all that is.
Humans exist, but do not just exist. Plants are there, trees are there, animals roam the savannahs, monkeys swing from trees, butterflies flutter, bees buzz – for no apparent reason but to just be. Humans, seem to be the only sentient being that constantly asks, “why am I here?”, and “for what purpose do I exist?”
But how did humans come to be? Everything we now see and experience apparently have their beginnings in the Big Bang about 13.7 billion years ago. That phenomenon released gases which became matter which became stars which became planets which became waters which brought forth single cell algae which became multi-celled stuff which eventually exploded in a multitude of living things, from which eventually arose dinosaurs that mysteriously disappeared, and gave way for the ancestors of humans.
Of all that came out of the Big Bang humans, or sapiens – thinkers, are the only ones who looked back and tried to make sense of its journey from the beginning. And looks forward to where we could be headed for.
Humans/sapiensn are beings that try to find meaning and purpose in life.
Humans have created stories to make sense of existence, where we came from, if there is anybody out there who cares, and polices our actions. Stories of a great spirit in the sky. Narratives about how to reach and make contact with this Great Being. And systems of who should mediate in between.
But as humans become more aware of how things really came to be, our
stories have to be modified to coincide with scientifically proven fact – although some things remain constant: respect for other humans, value the earth because it sustains all life, not take life or other people’s properties, not engage in activities that diminish the quality of your life, the life of others or the community. More and more, humans are learning to honour one another – sensing that there is more to each other than meets the eye. Buddhists say, there is no single self that causes be to be separate from others. The Genesis story says each person has the breath of God. And Paul, the great shaper of Western Christianity, said, “Christ is in you, the hope of glory.” The human potential movement insists that we reach for the better version of ourselves.
What is man? Man is apparently a glorious being, who for now is hidden behind ignorance, doubt, uncertainty and guilt. Slowly, man advances, grows and awakens – and when humans fully do – they would be like “children of God”. Individual expressions of the force from beyond the Big Bang.