Man's Kinship to God

MRS. EDDY defines man as "the compound idea of infinite Spirit; the spiritual image and likeness of God; the full representation of Mind" (Science and Health, p. 591). In the material world, or on the plane of human belief, man is regarded as the only being that manifests the possession of self-consciousness in the exercise of thought, volition, and the like. Mountains, seas, rocks,—all that is usually classified as inorganic,—and all that is usually classified as the organic life of the vegetable and animal kingdoms, except man, are differentiated by their want of self-conscious thinking. It is true that a few animals manifest an intelligence which appears at first glance to be analogous to that of man; but it is, so far as we can judge, essentially different, lacking such important characteristics as codes and ideals for the higher standards of moral conduct, religious beliefs, and hopes and aspirations concerning future existence.

God, infinite Mind, the "I am that I am" of the Mosaic record, is One, and the only One. Man is the individualized representation of the omnific Being, and as God's idea is apart from all materiality. Man's close kinship to the invisible "I am" is shown in many ways; for example, individual man recognizes and identifies himself as a self-conscious thinking being, thus identifying himself, however, not because of his visibility to physical sense, but solely by means of his perception as a spiritual, intellectual being—this kinship being admitted by all the world's great writers. As Descartes pointed out, man knows himself to be, only because he knows that he thinks. He thus recognizes himself to be a self-conscious thinking being.

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