In the Image of G-d?
>> Bardon states that God made man in his own image. I understand the meaning of that completely - I think. But does that imply that humans are the superior physical race in the Universe? I don't know whether there is life on other planets or not, but if so, have we been singled out as above all such life as "Man" of the Divine? A very big question I know - but I would like to understand that one! <<
Here is my Understanding of this, but I must warn you that it lies in contrast to most popular belief and in some small, superficial way, is contrary to Bardon's statement.
The modern conception of this idea stems from the Genesis 1 creation story. To my mind, it has been totally misunderstood. Primarily this has to do with the taking of highly symbolic statements as literal things instead of the symbols they are. There is also the additional factor of translation -- Hebrew does not translate well into other languages.
Attendant to the idea that humans alone are made in the image of Deity, is the idea of "dominion over", also derived from a misunderstanding of Genesis 1.
In short (and believe me, I can be VERY long-winded on this topic ;-)) the Hebrew term translated as "man", in the context of Genesis 1, refers to corporeal life of ALL kinds. The things that "man" (corporeal life) is to have *precedence or superiority* over (this does not imply a right to *use*) are the astral and mental realms, and the Elements that compose all three realms. The references to "beast, fowl, fishes, trees, etc." in Genesis 1, are actually references to the Beings of the Elements -- i.e., the astral Elements.
Corporeal life (i.e., EVERY physical thing) is said to be "made in the image of Elohim" because it is composed of a mental, astral and material body that surrounds an Akashic root. In other words, EVERY physical thing reflects the structure of the Whole.
We humans are, in general, very self-important creatures and it comforts us to think that we are special. This however, is The Great Lie, a delusion that blinds us to the greater reality of the Unity of ALL things. We are not special, we are only unique, just like every other thing that exists. But in our desire to be special, we create concepts of Deity that are made in *our* image as a way of justifying or validating our specialness.
Life exists in EVERY thing, EVERY where, when, who, what and why. The real question is whether or not there is other *humanoid* life "out there". The great pity though, is that in our quest for "life" in the rest of the cosmos, we've overlooked the fact that everything surrounding us is alive, but in a non-human way. Perhaps it is even this ignorance that drives us to look elsewhere.
My best to you,
:) Rawn Clark
11 Mar 2002