Thursday, October 1, 2009

What does it mean to be human?

Our adaptability and self-transcendence work together to rob us of any sense of identity that can be derived from the world. Plasticity means that we lack a biological "home" in the cosmos. Other living beings have a discoverable "niche" in the biological framework. But biologists have yet to discover a set role for
humankind that explains our purpose for existence.

At the same time, our adaptability and self-transcedence mean that we enjoy the unique possiblity of continually experiencing our environment in new ways. We can project, envision, and plan for an existence "beyond" any "world" we create.

But for this reason, we are never completely fulfilled by any one achievment or by any one "world" we fashion as a "home" for ourselves. Rather than being at home in the world, we are continually on the move to something yet undefined. We are always seeking the new, the "future," the not yet. We continually chase that illusive "something" which surpasses the here-and-now or the status quo. We are continually shaping and reshaping our envirnoment in an unfulfilled attempt to create a "home" for ourselves.

~Stanley Grenz, Created for Community

I was reminded of this excerpt yesterday as I sat in my theology class and contemplated the notion that human beingness is about a process of becoming. These concepts are still floating around in my head and are only in the beginning stages of forming a lens for which I can peer through to make sense of life from a new vantage point...but I thought it was worth posting for others to contemplate as well.

No comments: