Verses 1, 3, 4: “Man, eat….Man, swallow….Man, go and tell….”
God’s instruction to Ezekiel repeatedly begins with God addressing Ezekiel as “Man.. I am struck by the focus on the “Man” Ezekiel versus the personality Ezekiel. It is as if God were calling to something greater than the ego or personality known as Ezekiel. God was calling forth the aspect of Ezekiel created in the image of God— Ezekiel’s humanity.
We are all recovering from centuries-old, erroneous beliefs that human beings are lower than low and the human condition is to be loathed. We are still escaping from the belief that we are born sinful. Yet, God engages, instructs, fortifies, and commissions “Man.” Man, shorthand for humanity, is created in the image of God. (Genesis 1)
As humans, we are expressions of God. Psalm 8 beautifully affirms this while stating, “What is man that thou hast created him a little lower than the angels?” The New English Bible translates the same verse, “yet thou (God) has made him (human) little less than a god.” We have God-given powers to mediate between biological and spiritual energies. We have been commissioned by God to tend the physical realm while honoring the presence of God within and around us.
Humans have a bad rap as we have struggled to realize we are more than reflective, automatic, impulsive, and instinctive responses. A quick review of the history of mankind shows the atrocities of our barbaric, unfeeling animal nature. We can all call to mind times we’ve reacted coldly out of the instinctive fight or flight response. We may have realized it was out of proportion for the present situation, but it still prompted our actions.
Our humanness is the mediating consciousness between our animal and divine natures. To be human is to embody the nature of God (our divine essence) in our body and mind; it is to live in a state where our instincts and our desires are at one with our Divine Essence, our soul. It begins as our cellular consciousness responds to our seeking, relating to, and opening to the essence of our true nature, which is God’s nature.
We embody the essence of the Divine in our earthly life when we use consciousness. We have a God-given capacity for consciousness that allows us to direct our attention and energies, to look beyond surface appearances, to see the big picture, to make choices, and to create with vision. When we realize that we are more than our automatic responses, we can consciously access the presence of God Within our body-mind.
We associate being human with these qualities: “humane, philanthropic, kind, gentle, polite; learned, refined, and civilized.” To be human is a state that we cultivate; it doesn’t happen just because we are born into a human body. We have to consciously learn and refine our abilities to mediate what goes on inside of us—the various impulses, desires, and phantasies. The inner tension between our ego or personality and the aforementioned unbidden messengers of our larger Self has to be acknowledged, known, and explored. We have to listen to what the voice of God Within says in all our internal stirrings.
God instructs Ezekiel, “Man, eat…swallow…go and tell.” It is not enough for “Humans” to hear; we must ingest, digest, and assimilate what we experience. It must be grounded in our body. (The word human comes from the word humus, which means earth.) Taking in is key. The earth takes in our seeds to grow what is planted. We have to receive what our larger Self offers, so the energies can be digested. Then, our sense of self and ways of responding, to our selves and others, becomes more human.
Where are you struggling to be human? What are the reflexive ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving that interfere with your consciousness? When do you get ungrounded? Where are you being called by God Within to assimilate emotions, impulses, and their resulting one-sided thoughts?
Dialogue with these bits of yourself. Listen to what each has to offer and hold it with the desire to become more human. Feel God Within call you to live the fullness of who you as a human being.