The earthly Paradise, the splendid garden in which God settled the first
people, Adam and Eve, was in the East between the rivers Tigris and Euphrates.
The life of people in Paradise was full of joy and bliss. Their consciences were calm,
their hearts pure, their minds brilliant. They did not fear illness or death
and had no need of clothing. They were completely satisfied and without need of
anything. Their food was the fruit of the trees of Paradise.
Among the animals there was no enmity; the
powerful ones did not touch the weak ones, they lived together and fed on grass
and plants. None of them feared man; they all loved and obeyed him.
But the highest blessedness of Adam and Eve was in
prayer, a deeply spiritual prayer, in pure conversation with God. God
appeared to them in Paradise. He was as a father to his children and granted them all
that was necessary.
God created men, just as He created the angels, so
that they would love God and one another and delight in the great joy of life,
in the love of God. Therefore, as for the angels, He granted them complete
freedom to love Him or not to love Him. Without freedom there can be no love.
Love appears in the joyful fulfillment of the wishes of the one that you love.
But since men were less perfect than the angels,
the Lord did not grant them to make a choice immediately and forever: to accept
or reject this love, as He did with the angels.
God began to teach people love. For this purpose
He gave men one small, easy commandment: not to eat of the fruit of the tree
of the knowledge of good and evil. By fulfilling this commandment or wish
of God, they could also express their love for Him. In time, passing from the
simple to the more complex, they could be confirmed in love and be perfected in
it. Adam and Eve obeyed God with love and joy, and in Paradise the
will of God and the order of God was in everything.
Genesis, chaps. 2:10-14; .
Discussion About Man.
When we say that man is made of soul and body, we
express the fact that man does not consist of just dead material, matter, but
also of a higher essence which gives life to this matter, or animates it. In
actuality, man is made up of three parts consisting of body, soul and
spirit. Apostle Paul says, "For the Word of God is quick (alive),
and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the
dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and
marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart"(Heb.
The body of man was created by "God of the dust of the around"
(Gen. 2:7), and therefore belongs to the earth. "For dust thou art, and
unto dust shall thou return" (Gen. 3:19), it was said to the first man
after his fall into sin. In his physical, bodily life, man is not different
from any of the other living creatures or animals in satisfying the needs of
the body. The needs of the body are various, but in general they all come down
to the satisfaction of two basic instincts: 1) the instinct of
self-preservation and 2) the instinct of continuing the race.
Both of these instincts were placed by the Creator
in the bodily nature of every living creature with a completely understandable
and reasonable goal: that they not perish and be destroyed without a trace.
For dealing with the external world, the body of
man is equipped with five senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch,
without which man would be completely helpless in the world. This whole
apparatus of the human body is extraordinarily complex and most wisely put
together, but by itself would be merely a dead machine without motion if the
soul did not bring it to life.
The soul was given by God as the life-giving principle in order to govern the
body. In other words, the soul is the life force of man and of every living
being; the scientists call it just this: vital life strength.
The animals also have a soul, but it was brought
forth from the earth together with the body. "And God said: let the
waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life...great
whales, and every living creature that moveth...cattle, and creeping thing, and
beast of the earth...after his kind: and it was so" (Gen. 1:20-24).
Only of man is it said that, after the creation of
his body from the dust of the earth, the Lord "breathed into his
nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul" (Gen. 2:7).
This "breath of life" is the highest function in man, his spirit, by
which he is immeasurably higher than all other living beings. Therefore,
although the soul of man is in many ways similar to that of animals, still, in
its higher part, it incomparably surpasses the souls of animals, thanks to its
being joined with the spirit which is from God. The soul of man is the link
between the body and spirit, being, as it were, a bridge from the body to the
All the actions, or more precisely,
"movements" of the soul, are so varied and complex, so
interconnected, so changeable, and often so difficult to pinpoint, like
lightning, that for convenience in distinguishing them, it is acceptable to
divide them into three groups: thoughts, feelings and desires.
These movements of the soul serve as the subject of the study of the science
1. The organ of the body which helps the soul
perform mental activity, that is, thought and intellectualwork,
is the brain.
2. The central organ of feeling is generally
considered to be the heart. It is the measure of what is pleasing and
not pleasing to us. The heart is naturally considered the center of the life of
man, a center in which all that enters the soul from outside is contained, and
from which proceeds all that is manifested by the soul to the outside.
3. Manís desires are controlled by the will,
which does not have a physical organ in our body, but for its fulfillment the
members of our body are set apart, brought into action by the help of muscles
The results of the activity of our mind and
feeling, given birth by the heart, manifest one or another kind of influence on
the will, and our body carries out one or another action or movement.
In this way, the soul and body are closely bound
to one another. The body, with the help of the organs of external senses,
relates one or another impression to the soul, and the soul, relying on this
impression, in one way or another, governs the body and directs its activity.
Because of this bond between body and soul this life is often called by a
general term: "psychosomatic life," However, it is still necessary to
distinguish between bodily life as being for the satisfaction of the needs of
the body, and the life of the soul for the satisfaction of the needs of the
What life of the body consists of has already been
discussed. It is in satisfying two major instincts: the instinct of
self-preservation and the instinct of preserving the species.
The life of the soul consists in satisfying the
needs of the mind, feelings, and will; the soul wishes to acquire
knowledge, and to experience one kind of feeling or another.
By the grace of the Holy Spirit the soul in us aquires the following characteristics: 1)
fear of God, 2) conscience and 3) thirst for God.
1. Fear of God. This is, of course, not
fear in our usual human understanding of the word. This is reverent trembling
before the might of God, inextricably tied with unchanging faith in the truth
of the existence of God, in the actuality of the existence of God as our
Creator, Provider, Saviour, and giver of rewards. All peoples, no matter what
level of development they may have had, all had faith in God. Even the ancient
writer Cicero, two thousand years before our time, said: "There is not a
single people that is so coarse and wild that it has no faith in God, even
though it may not know His nature." "From the time," says the
scientist Hettinger, "that America and Australia were discovered by
Europeans and a multitude of new peoples entered into the history of the world,
still his (Ciceroís) words remain unshaken, and have become even more
indubitable and more obvious than before. Thus, as many centuries as there are
that history can count, so many proofs there are of this truth,"
2. Conscience. The second way in which the
Divinely inspired soul is made known in man is conscience. Conscience
tells a man what is right and what is not right, what is pleasing to God and
what is not pleasing, what he should and what he should not do. It not only
tells, but also compels a man to fulfill what it has said, and rewards him with
consolation when it is fulfilled or punishes him with pangs of conscience when
it is not. Conscience is our internal judge, the guardian of the law of God. It
was not in vain that people have called the conscience the "voice of God"
in the soul of man.
3. Thirst for God. The third manifestation
of the Divinely inspired soul in man is very aptly called "thirst for
God" by Bishop Theophan the Recluse. It is inherent in the nature of
our soul to seek God. Our soul cannot be satisfied with anything created and
earthly. No matter how many and how varied the earthly goods we might have,
still we long for something more. This eternal human dissatisfaction, this
constant insatiableness, this truly unquenchable thirst demonstrates that our soul
possesses a striving for something higher than all that surrounds it in earthly
life, for something ideal, as it is often said. Since nothing earthly can
quench this thirst in man, the soul of man is restless, not finding any rest
for itself until it finds complete satisfaction in God, with Whom the human
soul is always striving consciously or unconsciously, to have living communion.
Such are the manifestations of the Holy Spirit in
man, which must be the guiding principles in the life of every man: to live in
communion with God and to live according to the will of God; to live according
to these principles means to fulfill oneís purpose on the earth and to inherit