The human SPIRIT is the breath of the Spirit of God, and for this reason it is immortal, like all bodily demons, angelic spirits. And their darkness is the way the Holy Scripture testifies, and the degrees of their development, their perfection are endless.
Among earthly beings, man is the first and only spiritual being, and there were people who displayed very high degrees of spirituality, who almost achieved liberation of the spirit from the body during their lifetime. These people, angels, rose into the air during prayer, showed the greatest power of the spirit over the body (pillars, fasts), they were a transitional step from the spirit associated with the soul and body (man) to the ethereal spirit (angel).
The whole world of living beings, even all nature, reveals the great law of gradual and endless improvement of forms, and it is impossible to admit that the highest perfection achieved in earthly nature, human spirituality, does not have further development outside the earthly world. It is impossible to admit that all the innumerable stellar worlds were only grandiose masses of dead matter, so that the world of living beings would end on a person, this first stage of spiritual development. What prevents us from admitting that celestial bodies are the habitat of countless living intelligent beings, the highest forms of intellectuality?
It is usually argued against this that no organic life is possible under the physical conditions that exist on stars and planets (with the exception, perhaps, only of Mars). But do ethereal spirits need certain physical conditions of life, like organic beings? And, finally, cannot there exist forms of corporeality completely different from the terrestrial ones, adapted to physical conditions that differ from terrestrial ones?
And the flaming incandescent masses of huge stars can be inhabited by fiery seraphim and cherubim (Create Your angels, Your spirits, and Your servants, Your fiery flame – Psalm 103: 4).
If the law of development and improvement in terrestrial nature is so clear, then there is no reason to assume that it is interrupted outside our planet, that the spirit, first manifested in man, but also manifested in the simplest creatures in its initial form, has no further development in the universe.
The world has its origin in the love of God, and if people are given the law: Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect, then, of course, the possibility of fulfilling this commandment, the possibility of infinite perfection of the spirit must also be given. And this requires the eternal immortal existence of the spirit and the infinity of a number of forms of its perfection. It cannot be that the law of the infinite perfection of spirit in approaching the perfection of God was given only to people, and not to the entire universe, not to the entire world of spiritual beings, for they too were created in various degrees of perfection, far exceeding the small perfection of the human spirit.
If matter and energy in its physical forms are perfect (indestructible), then, of course, spiritual energy should also be subject to this law, or, in other words, the spirit of man and all living things. Thus, immortality is a necessary postulate of our mind.
The Lord Jesus Christ directly testified about the immortality of man: Everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die (John II, 26).
He who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has eternal life (John 5:24).
And the fact that man is only the first stage of spirituality is definitely said by the Apostle James: Having thought, He gave birth to us with the word of truth, so that we might be some of the first fruits of His creatures (James 1:18). Likewise Paul: We ourselves, having the firstfruits of the Spirit … (Rom. 8:23). For us Christians, no other proof of immortality is needed. And for unbelievers it is useful not to remember the words of the most profound of people – Immanuel Kant, given in the previous chapter. He believed in the existence in the world of non-material, and therefore immortal beings, to which he ranked his own soul. C. Richet at the end of his large book, which contains a huge amount of undoubted metapsychic facts, discusses possible explanations and comes to the conclusion that the most probable of them should be considered the existence of others,
Why not admit the existence of intelligent, powerful beings who do not belong to the world accessible to our senses? By what right do we, with our limited feelings, our imperfect reason, our scientific development barely counting three centuries, dare to assert that in the immeasurable cosmos man is the only rational being, and that every thinking reality always needs nerve cells irrigated with blood?
The existence of intelligent beings, different from humans, with a completely different type of organization than human, is not only possible, but highly probable. It can even be argued that this is reliable. It is absurd to think that the human mind is the only one in nature and that any rational force must necessarily be organized like humans and animals and have a brain as an organ of thought.
If we assume that in the universe, in time and space, to which our rudimentary psychology is subordinated, there are powers endowed with reason that sometimes interfere in our life, then we will receive a hypothesis for a complete explanation of the facts set forth in this book.
So, to recognize the existence of mystical creatures that do not have a material form, angels or demons, spirits, sometimes interfering in our actions, capable of completely unknown ways to change our matter at will, direct some of our thoughts, take part in our destiny, recognize the existence of beings that can take the material and psychological form of deceased people in order to enter into communication with us, because otherwise we would not know about them – this is the easiest way to understand and explain most of the metapsychic phenomena.
Here is the conclusion of a scientist accustomed to positive thinking, obtained after objectively studying the many metapsychic facts that he diligently collected during his life.
Other major metapsychologists Mauer and Oliver Lodge came to the same conclusion.
The essence of this conclusion can be reduced to the fact that the human spirit has communion with the transcendental, eternal world, lives in it and itself belongs to eternity.
The main obstacle to the recognition of the immortality of the soul for unbelievers is a dualistic view of the soul and body, the understanding of the soul as a special entity associated with the body only during its lifetime. We consider this view to be unbelief and do not find in the Holy Scriptures any obstacles to understanding the relationship between the soul and the body from the point of view of monism. We have already spoken about the necessary connection between spirit and form, about the fact that the spirit forms it already in the embryonic state of the body. Spiritual energy is inherent in all cells of the body, for they are alive, and life is from the Spirit.
There is, of course, a two-way causal connection between all functions of the body and mental activity, understood as interpreted by physiologists.
But this concerns only that part of our three-part being that might be called the lower animal soul; it is that part of our spiritual essence that is embraced by our consciousness, so to speak, a phenomenal soul.
But the Spirit comes out of the brain from all sides (Bergson), the spirit is the sum of our soul and a part of it, which is outside the boundaries of our consciousness.
There is a constant connection and interaction between body and spirit. Everything that happens in a person’s soul during his life is significant and necessary only because every life of our body and soul, all thoughts, feelings, volitional acts that originate in sensory perceptions are closely connected with the life of the spirit. The spirit is imprinted, it is formed, all acts of the soul and body are preserved in it. Under their formative influence, the life of the spirit develops and its orientation towards good or evil. The life of the brain and heart and the combined, wonderfully coordinated life of all the organs of the body necessary for them are needed only for the formation of the spirit and stop when its formation is completed, or its direction has been completely determined. The life of body and soul can be compared to the life of a bunch of grapes full of beauty and charm. It stops feeding it with the juices of the vine, the dew of heaven, sprinkling the tender fluff of juicy berries, and only pomace remains, doomed to rot; but the life of the grape bunches continues in the wine obtained from them. All that valuable, wonderful and fragrant that was developed in living berries under the beneficial action of light and solar heat passes into it. And just as wine does not deteriorate, but continues to live its own life after the death of the grape, becoming the better and more precious the longer it lives, and in the immortal human spirit eternal life continues and endless development in the direction of good or evil after death body, brain and heart and the cessation of the activities of the soul. doomed to rot; but the life of the grape bunches continues in the wine obtained from them. All that valuable, wonderful and fragrant that was developed in living berries under the beneficial action of light and solar heat passes into it. And just as wine does not deteriorate, but continues to live its own life after the death of the grape, becoming the better and more precious the longer it lives, and in the immortal human spirit eternal life continues and endless development in the direction of good or evil after death body, brain and heart and the cessation of the activities of the soul. doomed to rot; but the life of the grape bunches continues in the wine obtained from them. All that valuable, wonderful and fragrant that was developed in living berries under the beneficial action of light and solar heat passes into it. And just as wine does not deteriorate, but continues to live its own life after the death of the grape, becoming the better and more precious the longer it lives, and in the immortal human spirit eternal life continues and endless development in the direction of good or evil after death body, brain and heart and the cessation of the activities of the soul.
The eternal bliss of the righteous and the eternal torment of sinners must be understood in such a way that the immortal spirit of the former, enlightened and mightily strengthened after liberation from the body, receives the possibility of unlimited development in the direction of goodness and Divine love, in constant communion with God and all disembodied forces. And the gloomy spirit of villains and boors, in constant communion with the devil and his angels, will forever be tormented by its alienation from God, whose holiness finally cognizes with that unbearable poison, which is fraught with evil and hatred, infinitely increasing in ceaseless communion with prices. throm and source of evil, Satan.
Of course, one cannot blame God for the eternal torment of grievous sinners and present Him as infinitely vengeful, punishing with eternal torment for the sins of a short life. Every person receives and has the breath of the Holy Spirit. No one is born of the spirit of Satana. But as black clouds darken and absorb the light of the sun, so evil acts of the mind, will and feelings, with their constant repetition and predominance, constantly darken the light of Christ in the soul of an evil person, and his consciousness is more and more determined by the influence of the spirit of the devil.
He who loved evil, and not good, has himself prepared for himself eternal torment in eternal life.
But here we are faced with an ancient debate about free will and determinism.
Only the great Kant gave a deep solution to this dispute. Freedom cannot be attributed to man as a phenomenon of the sensible world, for in this world he is subject to the law of causality. Like every thing in nature, it has its own empirical character, which determines its response to external influences. But with his spirit a person belongs to the intelligible, transcendental world, and therefore his empirical character is determined not only by external influences, but also by his spirit. Thus, – says Kant, – freedom and necessity, each in its full meaning, can exist jointly and without contradicting each other in the same act, just as every our act is a product of an intelligible and sensible cause.
Simply put, a person’s spirit is free, the spirit breathes where it wants … and his lower sensible soul obeys the laws of causality.
Until now, we have only spoken about the immortality of the spirit. But, according to the clear testimony of Revelation, our bodies will be resurrected into eternal life and will share in the bliss of the righteous or in the endless torments of sinners.
This is also a stumbling block for unbelievers and a deep mystery for believers.
It is considered impossible to restore and resurrect bodies completely destroyed by decay, or burned out, turned into dust and gases, decomposed into atoms.
But if during the life of the body the spirit was intimately connected with it, with all organs and tissues, penetrating all the molecules and atoms of the body, was its organizing principle, then why should this connection disappear forever after the death of the body? Why is it inconceivable that this connection after death was preserved forever, and at the moment of the General Resurrection, through the voice of the trumpet of the archangel, the connection of the immortal spirit with all the physical and chemical elements of the decayed body will be restored, and the power of the spirit organizing and creating form will again manifest itself? Nothing disappears, but only changes.
Another difficult question, a mystery for believers, is the comprehension of the purpose of the Resurrection of the dead in their earthly wholeness. For us, the immortality of the spirit, freed from the bonds of the body, is more understandable. Why is it necessary to participate in eternal life not only of the spirit, but also of the whole person, with his soul and body?
Of course, we are not able to clearly comprehend the mystery of God’s economy, but still the Holy Scripture gives us the opportunity to lift the veil over it.
In the works of the holy apostles Peter and John the Theologian, we find to some extent an explanation of the mystery of the Resurrection of human bodies. They clearly speak about the end of the world, about the great and terrible catastrophe that will occur in the entire universe during the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The day of the Lord will come, like a thief in the night, and then HEAVEN WILL COME WITH NOISE, THE ELEMENTS OF THE SAME, HEATED, WILL BE BURNED, THE EARTH AND ALL WORKS ON IT WILL BURN UP (2 Pet. 3, 10).
And the holy Apostle John in his Revelation vividly depicts this worldwide catastrophe in its individual phases.
What’s next? What is the purpose of this cataclysm?
However, we, according to His promise, await a new heaven and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells (2 Pet. 3:13).
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the former heaven and the former earth had passed, and the sea was no longer there. And I, John, saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven, saying: Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them; they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more; there will be no more crying, no outcry, no sickness, for the former has passed away. And He who sat on the throne said: Behold, I create everything new (Rev. 21: 1 5).
Behold, I create everything new. The time will come for a new universe, a new earth and a new sky. Everything will be completely different, and our new life will proceed in completely new conditions. And in this life we must have the fullness of our nature. They should perceive completely new sensations with renewed and enlightened feelings. Consequently, the activity of that part of our spirit, which we now call the lower, physiological soul, will be necessary.
Our thought will work intensely in the knowledge of the new world, in the conditions of which our spirit, freed from the power of the earth, from sinful flesh, will be built and come closer to God. The mind is a part of our spirit, and therefore our brain must also be immortal. The immortal heart will be the focus of new, pure and deep feelings.
Eternal life will not only be the life of the spirit, freed from body and soul, but life in the new Jerusalem, which St. John the Theologian so vividly described in his “Revelation.” The immortality of the body, and not only of the spirit, perhaps has another goal, full of justice and truth, the goal of honoring the bodies of the saints as great instruments of the spirit, who worked hard and suffered during the formation and perfection of the spirit in earthly life. And the bodies of grave sinners, which were the main instruments of sin, of course, deserve punishment. Mighty and terrible pictures of Dante’s “Hell”, probably, are not the fruit of poetic fantasy.
The Holy Apostle Paul largely reveals to us the mystery of the Resurrection of bodies in the 15th chapter of the first epistle to the Corinthians (15, 35 44): But somebody will say: how will the dead be resurrected? and in what body will they come? Reckless! what you sow will not come to life unless it dies. And when you sow, you are not sowing the future body, but the bare grain, which will happen, wheat or some other; but God gives him the body he wants, and to each seed his own body … So it is with the resurrection of the dead: it is sown in corruption, rises in incorruption; sown in humiliation, rises in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in strength; the spiritual body is sown, the spiritual body is raised.
A seed that is sown and buried in the ground seems to decay, it ceases to exist as a seed, but from it grows much more than it, incomparably more perfect both in complexity and in shape, a new plant. God gives him form and beauty and life full of benefits and delights.
The human body burrows into the ground, and it ceases to exist as a body. But from the elements into which it will decompose, like from a cage of a grain of wheat, by the power of God a new body will be resurrected, not a destroyed, feeble and powerless corpse, but a new spiritual body, full of strength, incorruption and glory.
The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second person is the Lord from heaven. What is earthy, so are you earthy; and as heavenly, such are not demons. And as we bore the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly (1 Cor. 15, 47 49).
During life, our body is dusty, spiritual, like the body of Adam. After the resurrection, it will become different, spiritual, similar to the body of the heavenly second Adam Jesus Christ, which He had after His glorious Resurrection.
We do not know all the properties of the body of the risen Lord Jesus Christ. We only know that it passed through locked doors, could suddenly disappear from sight (Luke 24, 36; John 20, 19).
He was not immediately recognized by the apostles and myrrh-bearers. In this glorious body, the Lord ascended to heaven. But it was the true body that the apostles could touch, for which the normal functions of the human body were also possible (Luke 24: 43). Our bodies after the resurrection into eternal life will be similar to this body of Christ.
But is it only man who inherits immortality? The great word: Behold, I create everything new refers, of course, not to one person, but to all creation, to all creation. We have already said that the spirit of animals, even its smallest beginning, the spirit of life, cannot be mortal, for it too is from the Holy Spirit. And in animals, the spirit is connected with the body, as in man, and therefore there is every reason to expect that their bodies will also exist in a new nature, a new universe after the death of the present world. The Apostle Paul also speaks about this in chapter 8 of the epistle to the Romans (19-22): Creation with hope awaits the revelation of the sons of God, because the creature did not submit to vanity voluntarily, according to the will of the one who subdued it, in the hope that the creation itself will be freed from slavery corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know
All creation would have lived in light and joy if the fall of Adam had not changed all the destinies of the world, and in the sad fate of life, it fell into vanity, disorder and suffering by the sinful will of Adam, to whom God had subordinated it. And for her there is hope that on the day of the glorification of all the righteous, redeemed by Christ from slavery to corruption, she herself will be freed from suffering and corruption, that is, she will become incorruptible.
In the new Jerusalem, the new world, there will be a place for the animal; there will be nothing unclean, and the new creation will receive an ancient justification and sanctification by the Word of God: And God saw everything that He had created, and, behold, it was very good (Genesis 1:31).
Of course, immortality will not have the same meaning for a creature as it does for a person. Her primitive spirit cannot endlessly develop and improve morally. For a low creature, eternal life will be only a quiet joy in enjoying the new light-beaming nature and in communion with a person who will no longer torment and destroy it. He will be whole and harmonious in the future new universe, and every creature will find a place in it.