Catacomb Resident Blog

Covenant Psychology Tidbit

15 April 2022

As usual, this is just a collation of things far smarter people taught me.

Surely you've seen cartoons with someone sitting there having a debate between a cute little angel on one shoulder and a little devil on the other. That's a really bad mythology, and not at all consistent with Scripture.

The Bible says that God's Elect have two natures. We need to distinguish something here: Your mortal body is not the real "you" and is not inherently evil. It is mortal; it's part of the animal kingdom. There is an eternal form that is not mortal, but you won't normally see an eternal body in this life. If you had been around to see Jesus during the forty days after His Resurrection you would see His, but that's about it. Whatever it was for Jesus, His friends and family could recognize Him without any trouble, so it must appear very much like this mortal body. The eternal body is the same form Adam and Eve had before the Fall, and it's the form we'll have after His Return, but not while we are resting until then. Meanwhile, what you see now is mortal.

The body is not the person. The person is an invisible soul animating the body. For those who aren't Elect, or aren't yet aware of Election, they have one fleshly person in their body, running the show. For those aware of Election, there is another person in that body, an eternal nature made alive by the Holy Spirit. These two natures are two persons in the same body.

Your conscious awareness is not some third person. That notion arises from the silly mythology depicted in cartoons and such. Your conscious awareness is a manifestation, a tool, as it were. It's the part of you that's alert, but it's not a person by itself. If your body is unconscious or asleep, that manifestation is missing. Your fallen and eternal natures are unchanged by sleep or being unconscious. They are still there.

The reason your conscious awareness seems like a person itself is because your eternal nature is not fully in control, at least not at all times. It should be, but the dynamics of wresting control away from the fleshly nature means we typically die without ever fully having the eternal nature in control. The fleshly nature never seems to stay nailed to the Cross.

But it's wrong to suggest that we are simply spirits in bodies. This body is just the one we are aware of. The fleshly nature attached to it obscures the truth of what we are. Some people do experience a displacement into the Spirit Realm. Paul talks about that, and John mentions it in Revelation. Those excursions are temporary and restricted. In the Resurrection, we will be in eternal bodies. The Elect all have them, but can't experience them until after Christ Returns.

So the "you" that other people experience and get to know is just a manifestation of the balance between your two natures. You'll struggle to differentiate between those two natures until your conscious awareness learns the signs. It's really up to your eternal nature to assert itself, and your conscious mind is just where you become aware of the differences.

There's no clinical way to describe this. This is why Jesus used parables all the time; the heart understands instinctively, but the fleshly nature resists. If you have a habit of asserting your eternal nature, then your conscious awareness knows what to do with a parable. But the intellect by itself is incapable. It's on you to pull your awareness into your heart.

In Aristotelian mythology, the body and the intellect are separate things. To the degree there could be an eternal element, it would have to be the mind. The adoption of Aristotelian mythology is where we get the false notion in Agnosticism (it's actually more Platonic) that the material world is evil and the intellect and pure reason are good. That's pretty mixed up from what the Bible says. In the Bible, the material Creation of God is very good, but not perfect. Thus, your mortal body is surely flawed, but that's part of the natural variation of the physical realm. There can be no perfection in non-eternal things. Perfection is possible only in Eternity and eternal things. Your eternal body exists already, and is the perfected version of what you live with here and now.

Again, there are no clear clinical or logical boundaries. All I've done is provide an indicator of how you can think about it. If your heart of conviction doesn't witness to what I've said, ignore me. Figure out your own parables, but please, don't be trapped by western cultural mythology.

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