From a mystical point of view, a human being is represented by the two triangles as shown in the last diagram.
One triangle has a flat base on the bottom and points up - this represents the physical, material part of a human being...it is triangle resting on the material plane (the right way up to us because we are focused on that plane).
The other triangle has a flat base on top and points downwards - this represents the non-physical part of a human being....it is a triangle resting on the non-material plane (upside-down to us)
Overlapping these triangles as shown in the last diagram is how a human being was represented in symbolic form by the ancient mystics. Notice how both triangles overlap equally - neither one dominates.
So, to answer your question, I would say that the essence of a human being is the perfect blending of a physical being with a non-physical soul or spirit (depending on your preferred terminology).
Well, the author George Orwell said this: "The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection, that one is sometimes willing to commit sins for the sake of loyalty, that one does not push asceticism to the point where it makes friendly intercourse impossible, and that one is prepared in the end to be defeated and broken up by life, which is the inevitable price of fastening one's love upon other human individuals."
I think there are some interesting observations in that quote that are consistent with much of what I believe about the essence of a human being. We are essentially ego with a paradoxical need for social ties, which necessarily means that we must often set aside the immediate wants of the ego, for the purpose of entering into, maintaining and growing a relationship. I may like to be alone (and I do) but I also need the social interaction (one reason I'm here, as well as other venues) for personal fulfillment. So there are many compromises I must make. Orwell makes the point of being prepared to be defeated and broken up by life, which is something almost all of us can relate to when we have loved someone, then lost that love. "Better to have loved and lost..." It's the price human beings pay for the fulfilling intimacy of a close, loving relationship. There's risk involved in being vulnerable, but I believe vulnerability is necessary to really connect closely with someone. Vulnerability says, "This is the real me, warts and all. Can you still love me?"
Seeking perfection is something I can relate to. My ego says, "I want to be the best" but my social self says "if I seek perfection in a friend or partner, I'll never find one" and "if I'm too concerned with perfection in myself, it will set me apart from others so much (at least in my own mind), that others may be uncomfortable entering into relationship with me."
My first thought when I read your question was, "the essence of a human being is our spirit." But whether a person believes that we have a spirit (or are a spirit incarnate) or that we are simply a physical organism that will die and be gone forever someday, I think the points I've made above apply to either, body and/or spirit.
Now if you're trying to differentiate between the human species and other species with your question, you may be looking for a different approach in the answers, but you'll have to let me know.
answered 30 Oct '09, 07:32
Hu is an ancient name for God and Man is an ancient word for Being, so to be Human or Hu-Man is to be God being.
Psalm 82 says we are Gods, of course not THE God, God is the total we are the offspring of God most are still reaching trying to get out of the God childhood into the God Teens, some are awake enough to be in the God teen years learning about being awake few are going through the God college years really awakening to their God selves.
There are more places than that in the Bible that say the same thing, "We are Gods" just most do not want to admit that or look at that and there are many that would call that Blasphemy and say I don't want to read that part of my Bible I am nothing not even fit to be a mat for God's muddy shoes.
So in our essence we are far more, far greater than we have ever given ourselves credit for or imagined our selves to be, but remember this Jesus sure tried to teach us what we really are.
Please do not be surprised that my answer is a bit tongue-in-cheek! We have read some very, very good and concise descriptions of what the essence is of a human being...I thought I'd look at it from a point of view something like a recipe...to round out the collection of answers with a editorial commentary!
First of all, the body. It consists of the most amazing collection of chemicals. The nanites in a Star Trek NG episode looked at us and pronounced that we were "ugly sacs of water." Actually, we are 70% water- each cell of our body has a lot of water in it- that is how that works out. Here is a comprehensive list of the chemicals- be prepared!
Element Mass of element in a 70-kg person Volume of purified element Element would comprise a cube this long on a side: oxygen 43 kg 37 L 33.5 cm
carbon 16 kg 7.08 L 19.2 cm
hydrogen 7 kg 98.6 L 46.2 cm
nitrogen 1.8 kg 2.05 L 12.7 cm
calcium 1.0 kg 645 mL 8.64 cm
phosphorus 780 g 429 mL 7.54 cm
potassium 140 g 162 mL 5.46 cm
sulfur 140 g 67.6 mL 4.07 cm
sodium 100 g 103 mL 4.69 cm
chlorine 95 g 63 mL 3.98 cm
magnesium 19 g 10.9 mL 2.22 cm
iron 4.2 g 0.53 mL 8.1 mm
fluorine 2.6 g 1.72 mL 1.20 cm
zinc 2.3 g 0.32 mL 6.9 mm
silicon 1.0 g 0.43 mL 7.5 mm
rubidium 0.68 g 0.44 mL 7.6 mm
strontium 0.32 g 0.13 mL 5.0 mm
bromine 0.26 g 64.2 µL 4.0 mm
lead 0.12 g 10.6 µL 2.2 mm
copper 72 mg 8.04 µL 2.0 mm
aluminum 60 mg 22 µL 2.8 mm
cadmium 50 mg 5.78 µL 1.8 mm
cerium 40 mg 4.85 µL 1.7 mm
barium 22 mg 6.12 µL 1.8 mm
iodine 20 mg 4.06 µL 1.6 mm
tin 20 mg 3.48 µL 1.5 mm
titanium 20 mg 4.41 µL 1.6 mm
boron 18 mg 7.69 µL 2.0 mm
nickel 15 mg 1.69 µL 1.2 mm
selenium 15 mg 3.13 µL 1.5 mm
chromium 14 mg 1.95 µL 1.3 mm
manganese 12 mg 1.61 µL 1.2 mm
arsenic 7 mg 1.21 µL 1.1 mm
lithium 7 mg 13.1 µL 2.4 mm
cesium 6 mg 3.2 µL 1.5 mm
mercury 6 mg 0.44 µL 0.8 mm
germanium 5 mg 0.94 µL 1.0 mm
molybdenum 5 mg 0.49 µL 0.8 mm
cobalt 3 mg 0.34 µL 0.7 mm
antimony 2 mg 0.30 µL 0.7 mm
silver 2 mg 0.19 µL 0.6 mm
niobium 1.5 mg 0.18 µL 0.6 mm
zirconium 1 mg 0.15 µL 0.54 mm
lanthanium 0.8 mg 0.13 µL 0.51 mm
gallium 0.7 mg 0.12 µL 0.49 mm
tellurium 0.7 mg 0.11 µL 0.48 mm
yttrium 0.6 mg 0.13 µL 0.51 mm
bismuth 0.5 mg 51 nL 0.37 mm
thallium 0.5 mg 42 nL 0.35 mm
indium 0.4 mg 55 nL 0.38 mm
gold 0.2 mg 10 nL 0.22 mm
scandium 0.2 mg 67 nL 0.41 mm
tantalum 0.2 mg 12 nL 0.23 mm
vanadium 0.11 mg 18 nL 0.26 mm
thorium 0.1 mg 8.5 nL 0.20 mm
uranium 0.1 mg 5.3 nL 0.17 mm
samarium 50 µg 6.7 nL 0.19 mm
beryllium 36 µg 20 nL 0.27 mm
tungsten 20 µg 1.0 nL 0.10 mm
Quoted from this website: http://web2.airmail.net/uthman/elementsofbody.html
Okay, that's the physical stuff. Thus the Centrum Multi-Vitamins with Zinc! (LOL!)
Then there is the spirit! How do we measure that??? I suggest that our spirit must weigh something infinitesimal...but it is the very essence of ourselves...our desires, personality, SOUL! Oh, yeah! So we add a soul to the physical ingredients. Luckily, God is great at that part. Mom doesn't have to worry about manufacturing a soul as well as a body...
Then there are the electrical impulses that flow inside us (and some believe) around us, through us...That is pure energy- no weight but plenty of zing!
Mix well, and what happens? You get a unique individual with unique fingerprints, a belly button, and a personality that grows from a baby into a walking, talking animated person!
All joking aside, despite knowing all of these things, we cannot pinpoint that essence too well.
Ain't God something? And we are supposed to be created in His Own Image....Thus the idea that He looks a bit like Zeus....
With Love, and Humor, and Gratitude for the Great Answers to this question, Jai.
answered 13 Dec '09, 00:08
The true essence thats of human beings is our connection with God that we are the children of God. We are on this earth to learn of God or more to the point to relearn of God and our relationship we have with him. For our journey of life is our learning of God, to relearn of who we are and to live life more abundantly according to our free will of choosing with the knowledge we continue to obtained. Also to enjoy life as all of the many beautiful wonders there are to be hold for God create a beautiful world for us humans to live in.
That we are a spiritual being living in a physical human body. We have a soul that lives within our human physical body who know God and waiting on us to be open up to the fact as well. For God dwells within each of us and Jesus stands knocking at the door to be ask into our heart and lives.
That we have a mind to think, create, observe and that we have both a conscious and subscious mind as well as a physical brain. But our brains are not our consciouness or subsciousness they both use the brain. They are interwinded and apart of the brain but they are far more than that for the subsciouoness is limitless for it reaches and connects to the electrical energy source from which we come from which is God our creator.
We are electrical energy beings that vibrates at different frequencies. Some of us are doing baby steps and still on the milk of the word of God still learning about God and who we are on our spiritual journey. While others have progress to walking and talking in the spirit of God.
But as long as we live we will always be striving and learning more of who we are and more about God and our connections to him.
answered 08 Dec '09, 07:10
in general we are a hierarchy of three major classifications; body, soul, and spirit.
answered 13 Dec '10, 11:27
To be confused.
Seek growth through that confusion by way of many available paths.
Go down many of those paths, most of them not having the answer
Remain confused. :)
But still grow.
answered 10 Dec '10, 19:36
What is the essence of a human being?
Two perspectives: The essence of the heart, and the essence of wisdom overtime
answered 12 Dec '10, 02:15
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