Saturday, July 28, 2007

Who am I: Your Identity Part 2

"Who am I?"

What a misleading question some times!!

C.S. Lewis explored this somewhat in 'Mere Christianity'*, noting the uniqueness of the human race to actually ask these questions.

No other creature that we are yet aware of asks "who am I", and looks to the divine as an answer. Modern psychology tells us that the answer to this question is environment; that we are the sum total of our experiences. Mostly this is true, but this would put us on par with a mollusk.

That sounds all well and good, but humans aren't fooled! We know that there is more.

Though there have been many amazing instances of intelligent animals (see the book 'Koko's Kitten'* for an interesting tale of a gorilla expressing love, depression and a recovery to joy with sign language), none that I have heard of yet has questioned its origin and looked to the divine for the answer.

At any Christian college or university, they will tell you of the imago dei* (latin for 'the image of God') which was placed in every man and woman. I believe that this is our ability to create, imagine, and the often-understated quality that always has us turning to the divine to explain origin, purpose and vision.

Traits like these continually point us toward faith in the divine. The good, the bad, and the ugly have all explored these characteristic. Aside from their conclusions, even the agnostic or atheistic have asked these questions.

Who am I? What is my purpose? Where I am going?

All human life has asked these questions. Some have brushed them aside as vain philosophies. Some have answered it in the most conventional means for their culture. Some have answered it by not answering it!

Regardless, turning to the divine for explanation has several implications to me: a) we inherently know that there IS divine, and b) we have an innate knowledge that we cannot get the answer from the material world (though the material world points us to the answer.)

That brings me to a conclusion. The imago dei within us is planted there for a purpose, and without interacting with the divine we cannot understand it. Thus, we cannot truly understand our identity apart from the divine.

This has MANY implications, but how I take that to means is this: to understand ourselves, lets ask our maker!

Let us ask the divine who we are. We are nothing apart from Him. We know nothing more than the other animals of this earth. Our answers are as limited.

This one trait, the imago dei, is what sets us apart and gives us the ability to seek the divine.

Seek and you will find answers. This is the beginning of understanding who we are; knowing that much of the answer lies in the one that created identity. Rest assured, He knows who you are and wants to share it with you.

See also Mere Christianity, Koko's Kitten, and imago dei.

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