Creation of the earth and man #15 Formation of man #7 Living creatures of the natural world

From these testimonies it is manifest that the ruach or spirit is all pervading. It is in heaven, in sheol, or the dust of the deepest hollow, in the uttermost depths of the sea, in the darkness, in the light, and in all things animate, and without life. It is a universal principle in the broadest, or rather, in an illimitable sense. It is the substratum of all motion, whether manifested in the diurnal and ellipsoidal revolutions of the planets, in the flux and reflux of the sea, in the storms and tempests of the expanse, or in the organism of reptiles, cattle, beasts, fish, fowl, vegetables, or men. The atmospheric expanse is charged with it; but it is not the air: plants and animals of all species breathe it; but it is not their breath: yet without it, though filled with air, they would die.
File:Earth's atmosphere.svgThe atmosphere, which extends some forty-five miles in altitude, and encircles the globe, is styled the expanse, by Moses; and the breath of God, in Job. It is a compound body, consisting, when pure, of nitrogen and oxygen, in the proportion of 79 of the former and 21 of the latter, in 100 parts.* These are considered as simple bodies, because they have not yet been decomposed; though it is probable they have a base, which may be the ruach. This may exist free or combined with the elementary constituents of the neshemeh. Uncombined, it is that wonderful fluid, whose explosions are heard in the thunder, whose fiery bolts overthrow the loftiest towers, and rive the sturdy monarchs of the woods; and in less intensity gives polarity to light, the needle, and the brain. These three together, the oxygen, nitrogen, and electricity, constitute “the breath“ and “spirit” of the lives of all God’s living souls.

File:Rouach-goslar.jpg
Statue representing the Rouach (ruach) Holy Spirit in the church market (Marktkirche) Goslar; contemporary work

Thus, from the centre of the earth, and extending throughout all space in every direction, is the Ruach Elohim, the existence of which is demonstrable from the phenomena of the natural system of things. It penetrates where the neshermet el, or atmospheric air, cannot. When speaking, however, of the motivity and sustentation of organized dust, or souls, they are co-existent within them. In this case, the ruach Elohim becomes the ruach chayim, or “spirit of lives”; and the neshemet el, the neshemet chayim, or “breath of lives”; and both combined in the elaboration and support of life, the neshemet ruach chayim, or “breath of the spirit of lives”. Living creatures, or souls, are not animated, as physiologists and speculative “divines” erroneously imagine, by “a vital principle”, capable of disembodied existence as the ghost of a man, or the transmigrating spectres of other animal species: — ghostly things, the laws and functions of which in the animal economy physiologists are unable to discover; and theologists are nonplussed to prove the existence of from the word of God. On the contrary, “souls” are “made living” by the coetaneous operation of the ruach chayim and neshemet chayim upon their organized tissues according to certain fixed laws. When the as yet occult laws of the all-pervading ruach, or spirit, shall be known, this subject will be understood; and men will then be as astonished at the ignorance of the “divines” and physiologists of this “cloudy and dark day”, respecting “living souls”, as we are at the notion of the ancients, that their ”immortal gods“ resided in the stocks and stones they so stupidly adored. This, however, is quite as reasonable a theory as that of “immortal souls” dwelling in sinners of Adam’s race.

The ruach chayim and neshemet chayim are lent to the creatures of the natural world for the appointed period of their living existence. But, though lent to them, they are still God’s breath, and God’s spirit; nevertheless, to distinguish them from the expanse of air and spirit in their totality, they are sometimes styled, “the spirit of man”, and “the spirit of the beast”; or collectively, “the spirits of all flesh”, and “their breath”. Thus, it is written,

“They have all one ruach, or spirit; so that man hath no pre-eminence over a beast; for all is vanity or vapour.”

“All go to one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.” {a}

And in the sense of supplying to every living creature, or soul, “spirit” and “breath”, Jehovah is styled by Moses,

“God of the spirits of all flesh”. {b}

Besides the ruach and neshemeh without, there are certain elementary principles, in a state of combination, within all living souls, which are related to them by fixed and appropriate laws, for the manifestation of living actions. The light to the eye, and the eye to the light; so also, the breath and the spirit of God to the constituents of blood, and the blood to them. These, acting and re-acting upon each other in the lungs of all breathing frames, cause that motion throughout their structure which is termed life. The following testimonies will throw some light upon this part of our subject.

– Thomas, D. J.; Elpis Israel: an exposition of the Kingdom of God (electronic ed., pp. 34–35). Birmingham, UK: The Christadelphian.

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Notes:

  • *. Since this was written argon and other rare gases have been discovered; but all scientific research favours the hypothesis here laid down.—Publisher.
  • {a} Ecclesiastes 3:19-20 (ESV):19 For what happens to the children of man and what happens to the beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts, for all is vanity. 20 All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return.

  • {b}: Numbers 27:16 (ESV): 16 “Let the Lord, the God of the spirits of all flesh, appoint a man over the congregation

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Preceding article:

Creation of the earth and man #14 Formation of man #6 The Uncreated One, neshemet ruach chayim and nephesh

to be continued

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Further readings:

  1. The In-Between
  2. 10 September ― 3 ‘Izzat
  3. Contemplation
  4. Our Place
  5. Saints and Souls and Fairies
  6. The Petition For Souls
  7. What awakens our soul?
  8. Divinity of man.
  9. Time of Souls aka Halloween in Estonia
  10. Transhumanism in Light of the Bible
  11. Your Soul Is The Prize

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