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Divine Humanity

by David Truman































What it means to be human

What's important about our humanity

The cosmic call for humans to be human

Why we resist our humanity

Ego's first line of defense: distortion and sabotage

Ego's second line of defense: false alarms

Humanity according to ego

The spiritual answer to the problem of egoic living

Traditional spiritual versions of anti-personhood beliefs

Why a spark in the dark is not enough

The Divinity of human personhood

It's not hard to be beautifully human

Conflict ends with Self-acceptance

Try it and see

Many of us are diligently searching, on various levels, for solutions to humanity's personal, interpersonal, and global problems. Many of us fervently strive for spiritual growth and fulfillment. Few suspect what a rich but unused resource for both we have at our fingertips, and in our hearts -- our own humanity!

The primary cause of humanity's problems is not greed, or insensitivity, or dogmatism -- it's that we don't understand WHO we are. And consequently, we don't LIVE as who we are.

As God made us, we're Divinely beautiful. We're WELL-SUITED to be good stewards of God's creation -- PERFECTLY DESIGNED to care for ourselves, each other, and our planet. But often, we THINK we're flawed, ugly, even evil. That unfortunate misjudgment keeps us from functioning as God made us to be; it dissuades us even from WANTING to. The result: a world full of human beings, but way too little humanity. Nowhere near enough personal and spiritual fulfillment. Far too few people living as God made us to be: genuine, generous, passionate, vulnerable ... in a word, TRULY HUMAN.


What it means to be human

Look at the authentic human qualities shown in the chart below. THAT is what it is to be human.


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What magnificent qualities! This world NEEDS those qualities in abundance. And we would naturally manifest them in abundance, if we'd only be OURSELVES, the human beings God made us to be.


What's important about our humanity

When we cut corners on being human, economizing has its price. All over the world, even in our personal lives, we witness the heavy cost of hesitating to be fully, truly human -- to love deeply, to serve unstintingly, to live passionately, to openly depend on others, to live our positive desires, etc. When will we recognize this reluctance as the true cause of our suffering, and correct it?

Perhaps an easy place to start seeing it is in the problem of INhumanity. We all deplore inhumanity; the worst examples of it make us shudder. Beloved reader, inhumanity is just an extreme symptom of our unwillingness to be the human beings we are. Isn't it obvious that NO human being who embodies the human qualities shown on the chart would create, tolerate, or ignore cruel, unfair, or divisive conditions, even on a small scale? Don't you see that our beautiful humanity, truly lived, would mercifully end our insensitive mistreatment of other beings? And surely, if we would be truly human, the plague of heartbreaks and the famine of unlove would also disappear from the face of this earth. Do you see it? AS truly human humans, we would certainly heal ourselves, each other, and the world!

In saying that, we aren't being arrogant, or overly optimistic. We know that world healing is not a job for mankind alone. In truth, NO job is. We need God's help. As God's human children, we NATURALLY depend on Divine support.

But dependence on God goes only so far. Divine intervention could always save the day, but until we are willing to live our true humanity, conditions will always degrade again, won't they? So, we have a responsible part, a CRUCIAL part, to play in our own salvation, and the salvation of our world: to bring our humanity to life. As part of our faithful dependence on God, we SHOULD depend on what God made us to be, and on the qualities God gave us. We CAN. We MUST. We humans need to get human -- NOW.


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The cosmic call for humans to be human

Our individual well-being and the collective destiny of our race DEPEND on the living expression of all of our TRULY human characteristics. Until and unless human nature is resurrected from the trash bin in its ENTIRE and REAL goodness and Godness, we cannot be optimally effective in:


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relating positively to ourselves (as children of God, or Divine creations);

relating effectively to others (as children of God, or Divine creations);

relating closely to God as the Creator, Lover, Beloved of all that is.

NOR can we be optimally effective in:





WORKING in close cooperation with God and Divine agencies;

DOING GOOD for ourselves, for all, and for God.

The obvious need, then, is to embrace humanity, within and without. But for that, we must thoroughly reappraise the reality, beauty, goodness, and cosmic value of what God created IN human beings, and AS human beings. This requires a radical RE-COGNITION, RE-EVALUATION, and RE-VISION of our views and teachings regarding human nature.


Why we resist our humanity

Since each of our Divinely human qualities is so miraculously redemptive, and since each of us is richly endowed with those qualities, why do we RESIST them so much? Here's one explanation: The human qualities this article has described, are -- according to ego -- too good to be true TO. Actually, they are too good for EGO to be true TO.

Glance again at the list of beautiful qualities and their wondrous effects. All of our quintessentially human characteristics, lovingly crafted by God, of God, were made for cosmic blessing. So, OF COURSE ego, in its fear and self-protectiveness, disapproves of them. OBVIOUSLY, ego would recommend that we would NOT "go out on a limb" by living our true passion, our natural creativity, our honest dependency, our desire to serve and love, etc. The results would simply be too GOOD, too POSITIVE for the ego's taste.

The worst threat, from the ego's viewpoint, is this: Once we get a good enough taste of what it's like to be ourselves, to move as Spirit moves, ego would lose ALL power and credibility in our life. Ego's painful and disheartening results can't compete with the beautiful results of simply being human, as we are.


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Ego's first line of defense: distortion and sabotage

To maintain its hold on people, ego MUST build a continuous case AGAINST humanity itself. But how can it indict something so pure and innocent? The usual ways: sabotage, distortion, and lies. Ego produces false but convincing evidence against our humanity by distorting all of our Divine qualities into twisted and aberrant forms, as shown in the chart below.


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Looking at that list of horrible distortions, you see how successful ego has been at its game. "Yep, love means attachment. Everyone knows that. Love and possessiveness always go together. Uh-huh. Dependence is irresponsible. Sure enough." -- right down the line. We've taken the bait. We've been "informed" about the nature of our humanity. We've "learned" what to expect. The ill-intentioned inner prosecutor has sold us its verdict against us.

Taken together, those ego-aberrations of human qualities represent the worst traits commonly attributed to "human nature" -- serious problems that directly or indirectly hurt our lives, our relationships, and our planet. Inevitably, whenever we "buy" ego's horrible fakes and try to use them as real, we get terrible results -- traumatic experiences that leave ugly marks on our minds and hearts. For example:

A man wants to impress a woman with manly passion. But in the good name of passion, he starts being insensitively aggressive with her and ends up just turning her off.

Wanting to share her passion for her spiritual path, a woman preaches to her husband in an insensitive spirit -- only to succeed in turning him against her religion, and convincing him that she's an irrational "religious fanatic."

So much for passion! And so it goes with all our human qualities. We need to remember that those distortions are NOT the true qualities of human nature God made. They are selfish, separative, negative ABERRATIONS masquerading as our human nature. They are dramatizations cleverly designed to throw us off the trail of our TRUE nature, values, and impulses.


Ego's second line of defense: false alarms

What if we remember the goodness of our good qualities, and resolve to live them rightly? Then, feeling threatened, ego jumps to dissuade us with warnings about the specific "dangers" of BEING who we are and ACTING ON our authentic Divine impulses. We list those alleged "dangers" in the chart below.


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Again, you will surely recognize the doubts and fears listed beside each of the true human qualities. All of us have heard those warnings reverberating in our minds, or spoken by friends and advisors. All of us have succumbed to those warnings many times. But now we see the danger in playing it safe -- as ego defines "safe." Our Divine humanity, and everything that depends on it, is at stake.


Humanity according to ego

The ego's position on who you are, and on being yourself, boils down to this:


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"As a general rule, DON'T be who you are. Most of the qualities of your personhood are bad. Therefore, if people are allowed to see those qualities, they will reject you. With respect to the good qualities of your personhood, those positive inclinations are DANGEROUS. If you live BEAUTIFULLY, you will be hurt (taken advantage of, abused, mocked, despised, and rejected, etc.), and you'll hurt others as well. You can protect yourself from many dangers by NOT BEING YOURSELF."

Unfortunately, most people on earth believe ego's false alarms and trumped-up evidence against humanity. And it's easy to see why: as USUALLY lived, human life IS hellish. NO WONDER people hesitate to live AS WE ARE!

But honestly, is that mess a valid argument against living beautifully? No! Don't let ego fool you! That's not who we are; it is the disastrous result of believing the ego's negative notions about who we are, who others are, etc.

Beloved reader, do you see the picture? In trying to build a case against humanity, ego is really building a case against ITSELF! Aberrant behavior DOESN'T prove the dangers of being truly, authentically human -- it only proves that thinking/acting in a manner consistent with the false and distorted ego's image of who we are creates pain and misfortune. Always remember this crucial fact:

WHENEVER the ego warns of the "dangers" of acting authentically, it is still only talking about what will happen when we do things EGO'S WAY (which is, in reality, ANYTHING BUT authentic).


The spiritual answer to the problem of egoic living

Wise people throughout history have seen the problems that ego causes, and turned to spiritual life in the attempt to deeply solve those problems. This is a wonderful step in the right direction. The traditional spiritual recommendations help motivate us to get in touch with our Divinity through meditation, prayer, and other mystical experiences. They denounce egoic tendencies that so plague human life. And, they help us break ego's hold over us with ego-transcending disciplines. These are all crucial steps toward living the fullness of who we are.


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Traditional spiritual versions of anti-personhood beliefs

Unfortunately, however, we are not safe from ego's anti-humanity beliefs, even in spiritual life. By the time we turn to spiritual life as a solution to the problem of ego, we've already been infected by the ego-conviction that human personhood is bad. As a result, ego-promoted misunderstanding and rejection of humanity has insidiously infiltrated the spiritual traditions of mankind in ways that are perhaps unnoticed, but nevertheless obstruct full appreciation of the real and eternal value of human personhood.

The good news is, people CAN progress quite far in real spiritual refinement before needing to re-examine and correct their humanity-negative beliefs. The bad news is, in any context, diminishing ideas of humanity play into ego's hand. They tend to alienate us both from the humanity as a group, and from our own actual Selfhood as God created us to be. That is tragic. We must be careful, then, when it comes to philosophic or doctrinal assertions that diminish or dismiss the value of human personhood -- even in the presumed "safe harbor" of spiritual life.

Consider, for example, the widely accepted beliefs about the need for "spiritual salvation" and "spiritual self-identification."


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Spiritual salvation: Many religious offerings of "spiritual salvation" directly subscribe to the notion that human personhood is fundamentally, tragically, irremediably flawed -- a page straight out of ego's book! The doctrine of spiritual salvation says, "Owing to our flawed and fallen nature, humans can only be redeemed by Grace" (and the delivery of the needed Grace is assured, according to many faiths, by membership in their particular creed).

Mystic paths use different terminology to talk about salvation: liberation, enlightenment, nirvana, Self-realization, etc. These traditions strongly warn their followers about the dangers of worldly life and human individuality (as egoically lived), and exhort seekers toward transcendence and the "dissolution of self in God."

Transcendence is really a bright idea, because Spirit IS transcendent. And in fact, going beyond all that is personal is right and wise, because it puts us in touch with the vastness of Divinity, of our spiritual nature. Transcendent awakening allows for the ongoing seeing-knowing-appreciation of manifest personhood and its various qualities AS Divine.

So, transcendence is a great and necessary part of true spiritual realization -- but only a PART. The truth is, after we've transcended the prison of the body-mind and all limiting appearances, Self-realization still cries for completion. Spiritual ignorance lies NOT ONLY in the failure to realize one's absolute Divine reality; it continues as long as we fail to recognize and value our relative personal existence ITSELF (as a real, God-created entity -- of Divine nature, goodness, and eternal value).

Beloved reader, the Divinely transpersonal or non-personal aspect of humanity does not, in and of itself, comprise the entire reality of man. Our spiritual reality includes our manifest humanity, with all its God-given qualities. For FULL Self-realization, humans need to be who we are, as God created us to be, as a whole.

Spiritual self-identification. Wisely, almost all spiritually aware people agree that the spiritual problem of MISTAKEN IDENTITY lies at the root of many, if not all, problems of humanity. They concur that our biggest spiritual error is identifying with an egoic version of "self." The traditional spiritual solution is to work on virtually eliminating identification with ALL that is "lower" -- INCLUDING, presumably, body, mind, and personhood. We are advised to identify ONLY with the spark in the dark -- a "spark of God" or "soul essence" hidden within the darkness of our embodied individuality.

Aimed at diminishing ego's influence in our lives, this advice is well-intentioned, and can be purely helpful -- unless it is interpreted in a way that SUPPORTS ego's cherished aim of condemning human beingness. We are indeed wise to repent of what we, under the influence of ego, erroneously conceive ourselves to be. Identifying human personality with ego and the tendencies of ego is a costly mistake. But we don't truly correct that mistake when we give up on the manifest aspects of human personality, and seek to eliminate THEM, or leave them conclusively behind. In denying the value of human personhood as a whole, we simply repeat the error of the man-equals-ego formula in a new, "spiritualized" iteration.

To truly correct the mistaken association between egoity and personhood, we need to rightly distinguish our humanity from the distorted, egoic version of human beingness. Only then can we safely shift the balances of our identification away from the conventional emphasis on our manifest body and mind, toward our more subtle spiritual characteristics -- without moving so exclusively toward the unmanifest "spark" that the beauty of human personhood as a whole is diminished, ignored, or lost.


Why a spark in the dark is not enough

Many people today, possibly even MOST people, subscribe to the belief that human beings are part bad and part good. This idea attempts to counteract humanity's devalued self-image by asserting, optimistically, that even an outwardly "bad" person has a good part "within." That good part is often described as a "spark of Divinity," a "soul essence," or a "higher self." It's usually taken for granted, under this "spark" theory, that the REST of human personhood -- the dark around the spark -- is flawed, base. It may even be viewed as fundamentally evil. But at least, according to most of the various spark theories, these other parts are more superficial, less permanent, non-essential.

Being told that we are essentially sparks of God is comforting in some real sense. And yet the belief in a "pure and perfect soul nature" still does not adequately support a truly positive self-view, or a positive view of humanity AS A WHOLE. Why not? Because . . .


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2.

As we interact in daily life, it is through our so-called "imperfect" parts that we have the most immediate, perceptible effect upon others and the world around us.

Soul nature, being relatively abstract, is NOT that with which people generally IDENTIFY. We are keenly aware that it is our OTHER, "less worthy" parts that distinguish us in our uniqueness.

An appreciation of our "Divine spark" or "soul essence" cannot fully redeem self-esteem -- not as long as the judgment on the rest of personhood remains FAR less positive. It is misleading and depressing for human beings to think that our ONLY good aspect is the inner kernel of God-essence within us -- and that the rest of our personhood may be suspect. Reactions to these demeaning beliefs spawn many of mankind's most chronic self-esteem and spiritual problems. To mention a few common ones:




















Feeling seriously suppressed and depressed and de-spirited -- and therefore handicapped in making progress personally or spiritually.

Disrespecting ourselves, and feeling a lack of respect and affinity for OTHER children of God, and for the world at large.

Feeling our wings are clipped. Feeling invalid, and impotent as forces for GOOD and GOD.

Feeling alienated from God, unworthy, and disenfranchised as children of God.

Being prone to give up on ourselves in particular, and on humanity (as well as on humanness) in general. Wishing to REPUDIATE what God made us to be.

Wanting to "beam up" out of manifest life rather than help it, or the people in it.

Indeed, the spark-in-the-dark concept throws our desire to love and serve other persons into question. What if we believe that people's manifest humanity is "transitory, unreal, inherently flawed," while their soul is "already perfect and invincible"? In that case, it may seem as if there isn't much we can or should do for others. It might seem useless to try to support hopelessly flawed personalities. And, though we might still wish to support "soul essence," how, exactly, does one support the pure, abstract nature of soul? We certainly don't feel confident in our ability to do so.


The Divinity of human personhood

Beloved reader, our goodness is not just a spark in the dark! Human personhood is WHOLLY Divine -- not JUST in its soul essence, but ALSO in its specifically human qualities, AND its uniqueness. In Truth, all of our truly human qualities are gorgeous expressions of Divinity. We doubt that only because, under the influence of ego, the goodness of personhood is obscured and/or misdirected.

In our REALITY, there is no "lower" or "unspiritual" part of who we are, and of what human personhood IS. It is wise, for spiritual refreshment and enjoyment, to dive DEEP into the inner springs of Divinity. But we do not need to dive SO deep to find in ourselves that which is perfect, beautiful, Divine. (For that, we need to dive only deep enough to get past our superficial egoic programming, deep enough to see and accept who we ARE.) NONE of our truly human qualities should be written off as "vestiges of animal nature that we're slowly evolving beyond." Not one of our truly human qualities is to be avoided or suppressed -- only recognized, celebrated, and RIGHTLY expressed. ALL that God created us to be is good.


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It's not hard to be beautifully human

Truly, as human beings, it's NOT hard for us to be spiritually beautiful. Granted, we all have habits of resisting our humanity. Those habits may take a while to change. Even so, it's always easier to do what comes naturally than to go against it.

For a human being, being human comes naturally -- at least it should -- and it WOULD, if we were used to it. But in common culture, we're USED to acting UNnaturally. For example, we're used to being stingier than we'd LIKE to be. We're used to withholding love and affection -- etc.

As a consequence of this habit of acting UNnaturally instead of naturally, we're used to life being very DIFFICULT. In fact, most of us are SO used to things being hard, that if anything came easy, we'd probably feel SUSPICIOUS. For example, we may take it for granted that:


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It's HARD to get someone to feel our love.

It's HARD to get anyone to be trustworthy.

It's HARD to get anyone to accept an apology.

What we don't realize is, such difficulties result from -- or are made considerably worse by -- the fact that we're acting in ways that are UNnatural. Unnatural behavior is unconvincing, low-powered, ineffectual.

Consider this: Many people have trouble with "love" relationships. So they say, "Love is hard." But, WHAT IF both parties in a relationship loved each other freely and abundantly? THEN would love be hard? A similar solution applies to all of the things we take for granted as being hard:


The left side of this chart shows difficulties that result from NOT being yourself (or that are made WORSE by not being yourself). The right side of the chart shows what is natural -- natural for people being THEMSELVES.

The natural way DOES tend to erase the problems of the UNnatural way. However, it doesn't also eliminate other people's free will. So, while it is easy to get someone to feel your love, what people do in RESPONSE may be another matter, because that's where their free will comes in. While the spring rain tends to bring out all the flowers, not every plant is willing to bloom.

Nonetheless, once we get back to naturalness, we find that the natural way is not only better, it's also easier. Consider this: For a person who is naturally generous, it's easier to be GENEROUS than STINGY. For a person who is naturally trusting, it's easier to be trusting than DIStrusting. ALL our truly human attributes are easier for us to live than to suppress. That doesn't mean there isn't some effort involved, but what we do in our naturalness is never EXCESSIVELY hard or effortful (not AS hard, certainly, as what we're used to, and have come to expect, in our UNnaturalness).


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Conflict ends with Self-acceptance

It's when we resist our truly human impulses that things feel hardest, because at those times, we're in conflict with our own nature. CONFLICT is always difficult -- especially INNER conflict.

Our biggest source of inner conflict comes from our misunderstanding about who we are. As long as we believe we have a lower part and a higher part, a good part and a bad part, we're BOUND to feel inner conflict, frequently. For example, we may think, "To do what my heart and my Spirit want, I need to fight against what my ego wants." Or, "To do the will of God, I have to go against my own will."

However, whenever we've been at higher levels of Self-recognition and Self-acceptance, we've all enjoyed blissful relief from inner conflict. At those times we know, beyond the shadow of a doubt: "What I AM is good. What I want is beautiful." AND, "My will and God's will are not in conflict, fundamentally not. In that sense, when I do what GOD wants, I'll be doing what I want."

That's the magic of the dance that flows freely whenever I am simply I. Jesus knew that when he said, "My yoke is LIGHT." As children of God, when we're pulling the plow of service to God and God's creation, all we're really doing is what we WANT to do. If we be ourselves, we can't help but help.

We NATURALLY move as the Spirit moves -- even when we're following our personal inclinations. Why? Because each human being is a "chip off the old block" -- a CHILD of Spirit, a CHILD of God. Our true human qualities reflect our Divine heritage, and so do our responses. For example:


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Because we ARE compassionate, we WANT to help.

Because we are of generous nature, we're moved to give.

Because we have a loving heart, we are inclined to love.


The apple didn't fall that far from the tree, you see. God-and-me is a genetic team of permanent likeness. All that's required for Parent-child Unison is to just be ourselves.


Try it and see

The truth of who you are is self-evident. If you will only try earnestly to live as God intended you to live, to be your true self, and to rightly use your Divinely human qualities, you'll confirm everything we've said:


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1.



2.



3.

You'll learn that living your true humanity works MUCH better than avoiding it ever did. Your results will PROVE it.

You'll learn that when it comes to who you are and what's best for you, ego is a big liar. As you see that more and more, ego will lose its grip on you.

You'll learn just how keen God is to support you in living as who you were created to be.

The ONLY thing that has ever kept people from learning these inevitable lessons is NOT TRYING IT. And that's why ego warns us so much about the dangers of being who we are. It knows that if we get even a little bit of experience under our belt, it's likely to lose the war. So it wants us to not even TRY being ourselves. But . . .

Nothing can prevent us from breaking free and learning the truth in the school of our own experience. All that's in the way are a few false beliefs and expectations. We're like a man who has been told under hypnosis that he can't get up out of his chair. It's time to break the ego's spell, and redeem our blessed human qualities, for the blessing of all. Arise, and live as you ARE!


Message for spiritual teachers

by David Truman

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