Youtube: Distinctively Human
As I weigh in on the question of what makes us human, I do so from a spiritual rather than from a scientific basis. Science, as you know, is grounded in materialism, explaining human qualities by what can be measured and observed. We walk upright, we have opposing thumbs, and we have a large brain. We study our ancestor’s fossilized bones and the trail of artifacts they left behind. From these lines of evidence, we draw comparisons and conclusions on what sets us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom.
Many in the scientific community were stunned by how close the human genetic makeup is to that of the chimpanzee. Yet if our genetic makeup is the determining factor, why is it not the chimpanzee that is conducting this fascinating research?
I maintain that it is our faculty of imagination that sets us apart. While science considers this amazing ability as a function of the brain, there is mounting evidence that the reverse is closer to the truth. A growing segment of research scientists recognize the brain as a transmitting tool of consciousness. I also suspect that the ancient Hebrew was insightful enough to know it was not the physical but the spiritual aspect of our being that prompted him to state we are created in the image and likeness of God.
Jesus reminded his following of common people that they had the ability to see the completed harvest that the rest of the world would treat as an event of the future. We do not know where our faculty of imagination can lead us. While we are often prone to simply let it drift aimlessly through mental and emotional landscapes that have little transformative value, this amazing faculty remains available and waiting to carry us into new frontiers of personal discovery and deeper self-realization.
As members of the human species, you and I are endowed with a capacity that sets us in a unique position among the creatures of the world. How we use this distinctively human faculty is up to each one of us.