PHILIP SAYS WE ARE “IMAGES”


The last thing I would wish is to become involved in a tit-for-tat exchange with Bridget over whether humans can impart blessings. But I think it is fair to point out that, in claiming that “Martin believes that ... humans are the powerless creation of God” (December Oscailt, pp.3), Bridget (more than a little) distorts the actual position that I tried to put forward.
A disconnected car-battery soon loses its power; connected to a dynamo or alternator, the battery continues on and on. If, on this analogy, we humans are the battery, God is the dynamo. I was careful, in my original piece, using the religious views of the Indian sage Ohiyesa, to emphasize that “our souls should act as the mirror of what lies beyond”.
The disciple Philip too, in his Gospel, puts the case repeatedly for understanding human beings and their actions as “images” or “reflections” of the divine: see Saying 26b “You who have united the perfect light with the Holy Spirit, unite the angels also with us, the images” - which implies that human beings are images of the divine - and Saying 76 “Our bridal chamber is nothing other than the image of the bridal chamber which is above”.
So, on this basis, if we reflect God’s blessing or peace (or other attributes) to others, fine! But I remain deeply unsure of the rightness of imparting “my blessing” or “my peace” in this way. But I can speak only for myself; we are Unitarians, and others (such as Bridget) may reasonably hold a different position. I simply would not dream myself of doing what they seem happy with; but that is their affair, not mine!

Dr. Martin Pulbrook                28th November 2012


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