The Divine Human

The Divine Human

Isaac Newton, by William Blake (1795)

Emanuel Swedenborg proposed a very intriguing argument for the ultimate Nexus: the humanity of God and the divinity of man. In Jesus, we have a man in whom the two seemingly heterogeneous natures were unified. But this wasn’t something exclusive to Jesus, as the Christian Church teaches. Jesus was the Symbol for all mankind, what is known in Gnosticism as the Anthropos. He displayed the attributes of both God and man. He taught that all of us are human and divine. Swedenborg believes that, in humans, the two are one, that we have divine attributes and God has human attributes. Swedenborg has the idea that the attributes of God are inconceivable without thinking of them in human terms:

that God could not have created the universe and all things thereof, unless He were a Man, may be very clearly comprehended by an intelligent person from this ground that… in God there is love and wisdom, there is mercy and clemency, and also that there is absolute Goodness and Truth, because these things are from Him. And because he cannot deny these things, neither can he deny that God is a Man: for not one of these things is possible abstracted from man: man is their subject, and to separate them from their subject is to say that they are not. Think of wisdom and place it outside man. Is there anything?… It must be wisdom in a form such as man has, it must be in all his form, not one thing can be wanting for wisdom to be in it. In a word, the form of wisdom is a man; and because man is the form of wisdom, he is also the form of love, mercy, clemency, good, and truth, because these make one with wisdom.1

I might add that in man is also the form of all malevolent acts. But that would go along with Swedenborg’s argument, as well, since God encompasses all things, both good and evil.

William Blake claims to accept the “religion of Jesus,” which is certainly not the doctrine taught by the Catholic and Protestant world. The religion of Jesus, for Blake, like Swedenborg, is the complete identification of God and man. Jesus is God and God is the Imagination. This is a total interiorization of the Incarnation.

In her book, Golgonooza: City of Imagination, Kathleen Raine argues that William Blake’s primary message as a prophet and poet is “that God is ‘in the form of a man’ and that the Incarnation is not particular but universal.”2 Of course, this was also the message of Jesus. A few dogmatically-minded individuals twisted His message and transformed it into an authoritarian religion. In his poem, Auguries of Innocence, Blake writes,

God Appears & God is Light
To those poor Souls who dwell
in Night,
But does a Human Form
Display
To those who dwell in Realms
of day.3

Jesus Himself said, “Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?” And, “I and my Father are one.” This is why He was condemned. What His accusers didn’t realize, however, is that Jesus came to teach them they were just as much God as He was. The mission of Jesus was to reveal to mankind what He had discovered during his short sojourn in this realm. The mode of consciousness He had developed and opened Himself to is also available to whomever desires it. He said, “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.”

It is said that man was created in the image and likeness of God. Identifying God with man is not a humanistic notion, nor is it an anthropomorphic projection. Rather, it is God’s image imprinted upon the inner nature of human beings, including all the attributes of God, and the entire infinite universe. A daunting thought, indeed! Raine writes:

Thus we are given a conception of man totally other than that of a materialist science: Man in his spiritual being is boundless and contains not a part of his universe but its wholeness and infinitude. The ‘body’ of the Divine Human is not contained in natural space but contains all things in itself.4

When science affirms the only reality as being the material realm, it denies the entire spiritual being of man, which is the godhood of man. This being is not located in natural space; space and time are but a reflection of it. Every element of nature is human, since it originates within God-Man. Blake espouses this in a poem he sent to a friend:

In particles bright,
The jewels of light
Distinct shone and clear.
Amaz’d and in fear
I each particle gazèd,
Astonish’d, amazèd;
For each was a Man
Human-form’d. Swift I ran,
For they beckon’d to me,
Remote by the sea,
Saying: ‘Each grain of sand,
Every stone on the land,
Each rock and each hill,
Each fountain and rill,
Each herb and each tree,
Mountain, hill, earth, and sea,
Cloud, meteor, and star,
Are men seen afar.’5

As Jesus said, “as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us. . . (John 17:21, KJV).

What I am saying here is that Jesus actually taught the same idea as was later taught in the Hermetic writings, and what I wrote about in 2012 in my post, The Principle of Mentalism:

The All, what we think of as God, The Infinite, which is beyond all understanding, is all and is in all. We cannot really say what The All is; only that it is The All. We cannot say The All is Soul or Spirit because The All supersedes these classifications. For the sake of analogy, however, we can say that The All has an Imagination, which encompasses all possibilities. Using infinite Imagination, The All imagines the Universe; the Universe exists in the Mind of The All and is therefore infinite.

 

Works Cited

Raine, Kathleen. Golgonooza: City of Imagination. Kindle Edition. Lindisfarne: New York, 1991.

  1. qtd. in Raine, 83
  2. Raine, 75
  3. qtd. in Raine, 82
  4. ibid.
  5. qtd. in Raine, 85-86

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