Thursday, October 25, 2007

Original Man: original solitude

As much as we toss around the phrase, "theology of the body," you may be wondering what exactly we are talking about. In a previous post, I explained the basic concept (how our bodies reveal God).

The first thing that Pope John Paul II does is to turn to the beginning, before original sin, to determine what God's original plan was for our lives. There are several points he makes, which I will explain in future posts.

The first concept he addresses is called "original solitude." We read in the second creation account (Genesis 2) that when God created Adam in His own image and likeness, Adam was alone. From this experience of "original solitude" Adam learns that he is different from the animals. He has a different relationship with God, he can reason with his intellect and he can make choices due to the gift of free will.

When Adam looks at the animals around him, he can see he is different. When he looks at himself, he can tell that not everything about him is visible (intellect and will, for example). So, Adam's body reveals something about himself. Through his body, he realizes his different relationship with God and his difference from the animals. They cannot fulfill him. He experiences a sense of solitude through this experience.

As Adam searches for his meaning in life, God creates a "helper fit for him," who we know as Eve. This will lead us to the concept of "original unity." But that will be another post.

For now, just know that through Adam's solitude, we know that we are different from the animals, and that our relationship with God is special. Ponder this: YOU are made in God's image and likeness!


Nolan Reynolds said...

Great post on solitude. From the very beginning Man knew he was not like the animals. Man thinks and reasons. He has instinct, but he also has the power to ignore it and to change it. Animals do not possess that control. What is sad is to see so many people in our world give that control up. Whether it be drugs, booze, mindless sexual activity, pornography, gambling, etc., people have these so called "outlets" that they think helps them to escape the "prison" of the real world. What they are doing is giving up their freedom, and placing themselves under the control of their addiction. Making themselves like animals, with out the ability to choose otherwise.

Emily said...

Excellent thought! Thanks for adding this valuable insight.