The breath of life

Image: Léa Dubedout

Today, I want to talk about the story in the Bible (please hang with me here if that word makes you vomit a little) about the creation of the human. I think there’s an amazing point to be made that it seems many have missed the mark on.

Genesis 2 tells us how God made Adam. According to the story, he was the first human being.

Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.
 — Genesis 2:7

This records the mark where the human being became alive. So until the human received the ‘breath of God’, s/he was a lifeless form. S/he was not alive. Not living.

Now, we can take this literally, or we can take this literately (yes, they’re different).

Note: If you’re a literal Bible person, please close this post now. You’ll likely not like anything I say about the Bible and you’re not going to change my mind, so you might as well go find something that aligns with your beliefs in peace. Rock on.

This is a story. I don’t know how you read it, but I see this as the moment when humans became self-aware. When we recognized our thoughts as thoughts.

This God — this Life Force — breathed itself through our nostrils and made us become alive. We had an awareness of this life. We no longer just did what our lizard brain told us to do in order to survive/fornicate/kill.

When this living God breathed life into us, we could choose differently.

We could recognize our souls.

What this story also points to is that our form is not what makes us alive, in the metaphysical sense. My God-given consciousness — the awareness of my soul — is what makes me alive.

Sure feels nice to breathe, doesn’t it?