The Incarnational Rights of Men and Women
~ The Illumination and Flowering of Homo Incarnatus ~
Jul 2, 2014
On this new 4th of July, 2014, as America celebrates the establishment of a free and democratic nation, we may wonder about the health of liberty and human rights around the world. Freedom is not set in stone, as we can see by the activities of ISIS, or the “Islamic State,” which has proclaimed its religious dominance over all Muslims, as it seeks to establish a global Caliphate.
ISIS and other radical Sharī’ah based groups are in direct opposition to the spread of freedom and human rights, and will, if left unchecked, do all they can to eliminate them. Their opposition is both astonishing and severely behind the times. In their efforts to spread their medieval flavor of totalitarianism, they are ignoring the flow of history.
In spite of the hostility and ignorance of radical totalitarians, I believe that the scales are weighted in favor of freedom and human rights. Illumination is spreading across the world, and has been increasing in speed and scope.
One enormous, watershed event happened in 1948, when the United Nations General Assembly presented the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” as the common standard of human rights for all people. The document’s preamble begins with this statement:
Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world...
Article 18 of the Declaration states:
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
I believe that “the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family” are incarnational in nature. The Random House Dictionary defines “incarnation” as “a living being embodying a deity or spirit” and “a person or thing regarded as embodying or exhibiting some quality, idea, or the like...”
The current scientific classification of humans is “homo sapiens” (“wise man”), or even more exactly, “homo sapiens sapiens”, or “anatomically modern humans.” I propose that a more accurate classification of humans is “Homo Incarnatus”, the Latin for “Incarnational Man.”
At first glance, this new classification depends upon a belief in God, or a Divine Intelligence, which would remove it from viability in the realm of science. It would encounter difficulty with atheists, and could even be controversial with religious individuals who might pull out their doctrinal books and say, “Um, I don’t see that phrase in my Sacred Text.”
The good news is that the scientific method, with its rigorous methodology of testing, has already brought anatomically modern humans to the vast frontier of quantum physics, which in turn is now positing that there is indeed Something Behind it All.
Dr. Stuart Hameroff, of the Center for Consciousness Studies of the University of Arizona, stated, in an interview with Deepak Chopra:
I think some connection to a kind of cosmic mind in Planck scale geometry is possible. I tend to focus on the biological end of it, on how consciousness occurs in the brain. You don’t need a scientific explanation to believe in a cosmic mind, and be part of it. But that’s my thing. I like to investigate science. I do think that our theory for example could explain consciousness as ripples in this fundamental level of the universe which could be the Akashic field, Bohm’s Implicate Order, Planck scale geometry. And many descriptions. I think they’re pretty much all the same thing. ~ http://www.quantumconsciousness.org/deepakchoprainterview.htm
In 1918, Albert Durrant Watson, the Retiring President of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, stated:
“Thus we come to see that if our bodies are made of star-stuff,—and there is nothing else, says the spectroscope, to make them of—the loftier qualities of our being are just as necessarily constituents of that universal substance out of which are made
‘Whatever gods there be.’
We are made of universal and divine ingredients, and the study of the stars will not let us escape a wholesome and final knowledge of the fact.”
If all life springs from that Quantum Cosmic Mind, and if all life is energetically and “non-locally” connected, and is made from the same bits of energy and matter, as quantum physics and astrophysics seem to imply, then one could easily state that humans are so deeply intertwined with their common traits that they all deserve to be treated equally.
Those common traits include the desire for joy and happiness and peace. Love is central to the human psyche, no matter what religion or culture a child is raised in. Yes, it is true, humans are also complicated and can be abominably nasty. Yet, when human beings are stripped of all the façades that often cover them like layers of sludge, what is the most important thing to everyone?
The evidence points to the fact that we all really like to be treated well, with kindness, respect, service and love. Human beings around the world tout the “Golden Rule” as the basic measurement of ethical behavior – the “ethic of reciprocity.”
Professor Harry J. Gensler, S.J., a professor of philosophy at Loyola University in Chicago (starting in the Fall of 2014), wrote the book Ethics and the Golden Rule (published by Routledge, 2013). He has an excerpt of the book on his website, http://www.harryhiker.com/chronology.htm, which lists over two hundred and fifty quotes and variants of the golden rule from ancient times until the present.
It’s a fascinating read, and includes a pithy comment from Abraham Lincoln in 1865:
I have always thought that all men should be free; but if any should be slaves, it should be first those who desire it for themselves, and secondly, those who desire it for others. When I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.
This is, of course, the very heart of the Golden Rule, to treat others as we would wish to be treated. It is also, I contend, the central motivation to provide freedom and human rights for all men and women. When I hear a man arguing that women should not vote, or drive, or dress the way they wish to, then I also have a strong impulse to try it on that man personally. It’s not too much of a stretch to conclude that the said gentleman would not like it at all. I say, cut through the voluminous “reasons” why civil liberties should be infringed, and make it personal.
The common theme of the Golden Rule always comes back to love. Saint Paul’s Letter to the Galatians says it well, in Chapter 5, Verses 22 and 23 (Revised Standard Version):
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law.
The virtues of the fruits of the spirit are universal, and reveal that all humans, however influenced by uncharitable desires for power over others, resonate at their most basic levels with goodness.
The illumination and flowering of Homo Incarnatus has been dramatically persistent. Lord Acton’s phrase that “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely” has been demonstrated repeatedly, and yet humans have still managed to consistently renew their commitment to the virtues of love and beauty.
Four centuries before the birth of Christ, the ancient Chinese philosopher, Mo Tzu, wrote, “Universal love is to regard another’s state as one’s own. A person of universal love will take care of his friend as he does of himself, and take care of his friend’s parents as his own. So when he finds his friend hungry he will feed him, and when he finds him cold he will clothe him.”
Many of Mo Tzu’s teachings were destroyed after his death when Qin Shi Huang, the First Emperor of Qin, who favored “legalism,” embarked on a campaign of book burning and the burying alive of scholars. Yet, the Golden Rule survived, and continued to illuminate humankind.
Religion has unfortunately been a great transgressor against the incarnational rights of men and women, despite its purported goal of bringing humans closer to the Divine. Still, humans were awakened, one by one, and resisted totalitarianism, religious or otherwise, often at the cost of their own blood.
Christianity, although birthed in persecution, sometimes became the Great Persecutor. Blots on Christian history include the Spanish Inquisition and many other examples. However, reformation and free thinking finally did arrive, and Christian theologies which justified oppression gave way to the unstoppable power of compassion.
Islam has an equally troubled history which continues to this day. There have been bright lights in Islam, such as the twentieth century Sufi, Hazrat Inayat Khan, who wrote, in his “Ten Sufi Thoughts,” from The Way of Illumination:
There is One Law, the law of reciprocity, which can be observed by a selfless conscience, together with a sense of awakened justice.
Although the different religions, in teaching man how to act harmoniously and peacefully with his fellow men, have given out different laws, they all meet in this one truth: do unto others as thou wouldst they should do unto thee.
Unfortunately, fundamentalist Islam and Sharī’ah Law do not support the incarnational rights of men and women. Islamic human rights are seen through the filter of Islam, and do not allow men and women the freedom to follow their own conscience and systems of beliefs. In Sharī’ah nations, women are oppressed, freedom of speech is curtailed, and followers of Islam are not allowed to change their religion.
Fortunately, the human spirit is unquenchable, and today more and more Islamic citizens are working for reform. A necessary ingredient for modernization and ideological reform is an unbiased desire to pursue the truth of things, no matter what the outcome. Islam can look to one of its greatest scientists, Ibn al-Haytham, born in 965 AD, for such an example. He is credited with contributing to the scientific method, among many other accomplishments. Applying an unbiased scientific method to an analysis and reform of Islam and Sharī’ah Law may prove fruitful.
Democratic reformers in totalitarian countries often find themselves running foul of the pernicious tradition of “Lèse-majesté”, which means “injured majesty” and is a legal term which states that a ruler of a nation cannot be insulted or spoken ill of by any citizen, upon threat of punishment. Lèse-majesté is practiced under Islam, in reference to its Founder, and also in countries such as Thailand, where one can be jailed for insulting the King. Lèse-majesté is totalitarian because human beings must have the freedom to follow their conscience, even those who choose to renounce God, a King, or religion.
Following one’s conscience based on unalienable and incarnational rights is supported by the American Declaration of Independence, in the timeless sentence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
It is cemented and codified in the Bill of Rights, in the First Amendment of the US Constitution:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the American Declaration of Independence support the view that all humans are “incarnational peers” with “equal and inalienable rights,” from the humblest individual to the very top of governmental and social structures. They are peers based on the central acknowledgment that all humans are incarnational men and women, whether birthed from a Creative Intelligence or simply the Quantum Universe.
I prefer to believe that there is indeed a Creative Intelligence that not only created physical matter but also created the invisible energies of love and compassion – and the Golden Rule – as the central motivators of human life. I thus believe that the core attribute of a world of peace is the full acknowledgment of the divine and universal nature of every human being. With this view, the status of each person as “Homo Incarnatus” is an inviolable and eternal identity.
Therefore, we must all have the legal freedom to be true to our beliefs and principles. This core individual freedom is the most basic underpinning of an incarnational society, and informs freedom of speech, freedom of religion and all other human freedoms. Since humans possess these unalienable rights as endowed by their Creator, these same rights can never be revoked by anyone other than God.
The identity of humans as Incarnational Peers demands that all governments must honor the sacred rights of the individual. The most effective model to date has been that of a democratic republic, where all individuals are citizens with the right to vote, hold office, and pursue their versions of happiness, no matter what they believe. The best democratic republics have checks and balances to guard against the rise of totalitarianism.
If humans can agree that the Golden Rule is the ethical principle driving the establishment of a loving world, one could assert that a culture and society that reflect the virtues of the fruits of the spirit is our common end goal. One might call the government of this type of society an “Unselfish Republic of Incarnational Peers.”
Since the means to the end are the same as the end, a culture of unselfish love is necessary to create nations of unselfish love. However, one cannot force love, and thus, nations must not try to force their citizens to adhere to a state religion, in the name of morality. The ends do not justify the means.
As the hearts of individuals change and grow closer to the universal ethic of the Golden Rule, as they have striven to do throughout recorded history, I believe that an atmosphere of love will naturally increase. The flowering of Homo Incarnatus will transform society. During and after that process, it is vital that laws that provide true freedom are held firm, so that the opportunity for tyrants to rule is eliminated. With freedom, a world of love and equality will indeed be created.
Image(s) from Wikimedia Commons
"The Whirlpool Galaxy"
NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team
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