Divine Goodness was not content with contemplating Itself; it was necessary for the good to overflow, to go further and further. God invents, first, the angelic and heavenly powers. And thought became deed, which is filled with the Word and perfected by the Spirit. Thus came the second lordships, the servants of the first lordship. Since the first creatures were pleasing to Him, he invents another world, material and visible; and this is the harmonious composition of heaven and earth, and what is between them, amazing in the beautiful qualities of each thing, and even more, worthy of admiration for the harmony of the whole.
Wishing to show all the wealth of Goodness, the artistic Word creates a living being, in which the invisible and visible nature are brought into unity, that is, it creates a person, and, taking a body from an already created substance, and putting life from Himself (which is known in the word of God under the name of reasonable soul and image of God), creates, as it were, a second world, great in small things; He sets up another angel on earth, a contemplator of visible nature, a secret of the intelligible creature. Saint Gregory the Theologian (113, 148).
The soul, however, did not originate from earth or air, nor from water, nor from fire, nor from light, nor from the sun, nor from a cloud, nor from any other substance or created entity, visible or intelligible. From the most pure, eternal, incomprehensible, inexplicable, invisible, ugly, immortal, incorruptible, intangible, imperishable and incorporeal nature of God, through divine inspiration, our god-like, God-given, god-like and God-created soul received creation and origin, having originated, as it were, from some source of life. living and life-giving, being created by light, as if from a treasury of light, coming out of the mouth of God and being born, as it were, from some ocean of eternal fragrance, like a breath of fragrance, and dwelling in Adam. Venerable Anastasius of Sinai. Word 3, Sergiev Posad, 1915, p. fifteen.
In this way, therefore, God created spiritual beings: I am talking about the Angels and all the orders in Heaven. For they are obviously of a spiritual and incorporeal nature; incorporeal, however, I call it in comparison with the grossness of matter, for the Deity alone is truly immaterial and incorporeal. God also created sensible nature: heaven and earth, and what lies between them. So, He created one nature related to Himself (for the rational nature is related to God and comprehensible to the mind alone), while the other is very far from Him in all respects, since it is naturally accessible to the senses. It was necessary, as [St.] Gregory [the Theologian], who tells about God, that there should also be a mixture of both of them – an example of the highest wisdom and splendor in relation to both natures, as if some kind of connection between visible and invisible nature. But I say “it was necessary”, denoting the will of the Creator, for it is the law and the most proper ordinance; and no one will say to the Creator: Why did You create me this way? For the potter has power to prepare various vessels from his clay to prove his wisdom.
… God with His own hands creates man from both visible and invisible nature, both in His own image and likeness: having formed the body from the earth, the soul, endowed with reason and mind, giving him through His “breathing” what we and we call it a divine image, for the expression “in the image” means the rational and endowed with free will, the expression “after the likeness” means likeness through virtue, as far as it is possible for a person.
Further, the body and the soul were created at the same time, and not in the way Origen empty-talked that one before and the other after.
So, God created man free from evil, direct, morally good, carefree, free from worries, highly adorned with every virtue, blooming with all sorts of blessings – like some kind of second world, small in a great one – another angel, mixed from two natures, an admirer, a spectator visible creation, initiated into the mysteries of this creation, which is perceived by the mind, king over what is on earth, subject to the King of Heaven, earthly and heavenly, transient and immortal, visible and comprehended by the mind, intermediate between greatness and insignificance, in one and the same time-spirit and flesh: spirit-by grace, flesh-because of pride; one – so that he stays alive and glorifies the Benefactor, the other – so that he suffers and, suffering, is instructed, and, proud of greatness, is punished; a living being here, that is, in the present life, guided in a certain way and passing to another place, that is, to the Future Age; and – the highest degree of mystery! – due to its attraction to God, becoming a god; however, becoming a god in the sense of participation in the Divine Light, and not because it passes into the Divine Essence.
God created him by nature – sinless and by will – independent. But I call sinless not because he was not susceptible to sin, for only the Deity does not allow sin, but because the commission of sin was determined not by his nature, but rather by free will, that is, he had the opportunity to succeed in good, receiving assistance from Divine grace, as well as turn away from the beautiful and find yourself in evil because of the possession of free will, with the permission of God. For virtue is not done under compulsion.
So, the soul is a living essence, simple and incorporeal, by its nature invisible to bodily eyes, immortal, endowed with reason and intelligence, having no form, using a body equipped with organs and giving it life and growth, and feelings, and productive power, having a mind. , not different in comparison with itself, but the purest part of it, for as the eye in the body, so the mind in the soul is one and the same; independent and endowed with the faculty of desire as well as the faculty of action, mutable, that is, possessing a too volatile will, because she was created, having received all this naturally from the grace of Him who created her, from which she received both that which existed and that which was such by nature.
… One must know that a person has in common with inanimate objects, and participates in the life of dumb beings, and has received the thinking of beings endowed with reason. For with inanimate objects, he has in common in his body and because he is connected from the four elements, and with plants both in this respect, and on the part of the power that nourishes and grows, and contains the seed or is able to give birth; with non-verbal beings, it has this in common, and moreover, desires, that is, anger and lust, and the ability to feel, and movements corresponding to impulse.
… Through the medium of reason, a person unites with incorporeal and comprehended only by the mind natures, thinking and pondering, and pronouncing a sentence regarding everything separately, and following the virtues, and loving piety, the pinnacle of virtues – therefore, a person is a small world.
One must know that dismemberment and flow and change are characteristic of the body alone. Change I mean qualitative: warming and cooling and the like. The flow is the one that occurs as a result of emptying, for they are emptying: both dry and wet, and the spirit, and have a need to be filled. Therefore, both hunger and thirst agree with the laws of nature. Dismemberment is the dissociation of moisture – one from the other and the division into form and matter.
The soul is characterized by piety and thinking. But the virtues are common to the soul and the body, and precisely because they are related to the soul, since the soul uses the body.
One must know that reason by nature rules over the unreasonable part. For the powers of the soul are divided into rational and irrational. But there are two parts of the unreasonable side of the soul: one is disobedient to reason, that is, it does not obey reason, the other is obedient and obeys reason. The disobedient and disobedient part is, of course, the vital force, which is also called pulse, also the force that contains the seed, that is, capable of giving birth, also the plant force, which is called nourishing, and this also belongs to the force that promotes growth, which forms the body. For they are governed not by reason, but by nature. The obedient and obedient part is divided into anger and lust. In general, the irrational part of the soul is called capable of feelings and arousing desires. One must know that the movement corresponding to the impulse belongs to the part that is obedient to the mind.
And the power that nourishes and gives birth and sets the blood in motion belongs to that part that does not obey the mind. The vegetative force is called that which promotes growth, and the power that nourishes, and the power that gives birth; vital is the one that sets the blood in motion.
… It is necessary to know that of those forces that are in a living being, some are spiritual, others are vegetative, and still others are vital. And spiritual ones, of course, those that come from free will, that is, movement corresponding to impulse, and feelings. To movement, according to impulse, belongs the ability to move from place to place, and the ability to set the whole body in motion, and the ability to emit sound, and the ability to breathe, because it depends on us to do and not to do this. The vegetative and vital are those which do not depend on free will. And the vegetable, of course, is the force that nourishes and promotes growth, and contains the seed, while the vital force is that which sets the blood in motion. For these forces act both when we desire and when we do not desire. Saint John of Damascus. Exact presentation of the Orthodox faith. SPb., 1894, p. 78-85.
The God of all, having created a sensual and rational creature, finally created man, placing him as a kind of His image among inanimate and animate, sensual and rational creatures, so that inanimate and animate creatures would benefit him as a kind of tribute, and rational natures, by caring for man, proved commitment to Creator.
… When we hear in the story of Moses that God took dust from the earth and formed man (Gen. 2:7), and we look for the meaning of this saying, we find in this a special benevolence of God towards the human race. For, describing the creation, the great prophet notices that God created all kinds of other creatures with a word, but He formed man with His hands. But just as there by the word we mean not a command, but one will, so here too: in the formation of the body, not the action of the hands, but the greatest attentiveness to this matter. For just as now, according to His will, a fetus is born in the womb and nature follows the laws that He prescribed for her from the very beginning, so then the human body, according to His own will, was formed from the earth and dust became flesh …
… The divine Moses says that at first the body of Adam was formed, and then the soul was breathed in from God: “And the Lord God created man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul” (Gen. 2 , 7). This does not mean that any part of the Divine being was “breathed in” … but this word denotes the property of the soul as a rational being. Blessed Theodoret of Kirsky. Creations, part I, M., p. 28-29, 108-109.
Having first revealed the earth and the sky and all that is in them in a proper ornament. God proceeds to create man, whose existence He had in thought before. And every other creature He created at once by His command and brought into being by His word, like God. Since man is a truly good-looking and god-like being, so that it does not seem that he, the likeness of the highest glory, is created in the same way as that which is not the same as him, God honors [the process] of His creation with preliminary advice and personal participation. Forming his body from the earth. He made him a rational animal; so that he stood out from all the rationality of his nature, he immediately marked him with an incorruptible and life-giving spirit: “and he breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul” (Gen. 2, 7). Saint Cyril of Alexandria. Creations, part 4, M., 1886, p. 11-12.
The power of God is revealed in the fact that He creates from nothing what He wants, just as to give a soul and movement is not characteristic of anyone else but God. Saint Theophilus of Antioch. (Works of ancient Christian apologists. M., 1867, p. 187).
“And breathed into his face the breath of life”
(Gen. 2, 7)… With the word “breathed” the divine Moses points to the simplicity of the soul, to its lack of composition. Saint John Chrysostom (40, 789-790).
The Creator of the universe proceeds to the mere dispensation of man, as it were, with prudence, in order to prepare the substance for its composition, and to liken its image to some kind of primitive beauty, and to determine the purpose for which it will exist, and to create a nature corresponding to its activity, suitable for the proposed goals. Saint Gregory of Nyssa (17, 87).
After all, man was created, who was worthy of greater honor and greater providence, both before creation and after creation; and this sensible world was created before him and for his sake, and then the Kingdom of Heaven, also prepared for his sake before the creation of the world, was created before him. And a special will was manifested concerning him. And by the hand of God and in the image of God, he was created in such a way that he would not have everything from this matter and according to the sensible world, like all other living beings, but only his body would be like that, and he would have a soul from the supermundane, it is better to say, from God Himself through an inexpressible inspiration – as something great and wonderful, and surpassing everything, and contemplating everything, and ruling over everything, and knowing God, and revealing Him – as a perfect work of the artist’s wisdom surpassing everything. Saint Gregory Palamas (65, 70).
The origin of man transcends the origin of everything: God took dust from the earth and created man (Genesis 2:7). He builds our body with His own hand. Not an angel was sent to create. It was not the earth that produced us by itself, like grasshoppers. He commanded not the serving Forces to do this or that, but, taking dust from the earth, He creates with His own hand. Saint Basil the Great (Bishop Macarius (Bulgakov), p. 107).
Animals, cattle and birds, at the very creation, received bodies and souls together. But God honored man in many ways, and, above all, by the fact that he created him, as it is said. With his own hand, breathed into him a soul, gave him power over paradise and over everything that is outside of paradise, clothed him with glory and gave him the gift of speech, reason and knowledge of the Divine.
… By the words: “male and female he created them” (Gen. 1, 27) Moses makes it clear that Eve was already in Adam, in the bone that was taken from Adam. Although Eve was in him not according to her mind, but according to her body, however, not only according to her body, but also according to her soul and spirit. Because God did not add anything to the bone taken from Adam, except for the beauty of the external image. Venerable Ephraim the Syrian. Creations, part 8, M., 1853, p. 273, 268.
The Bible says: “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life” (Gen. 2, 7), into Adam, the original and created by Him from the dust of the earth. Many people interpret that this means that in Adam before that there was no human soul and spirit, but only flesh created from dust. This interpretation is incorrect, for the Lord created Adam from the dust of the earth in the composition about which the holy Apostle Paul speaks: “and your spirit and soul and body, in all its integrity, be preserved without blemish at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess. 5, 23). All these three parts of our nature were created from the dust of the earth. And Adam was not created dead, but an active living being, like other animate God’s beings living on earth. But here is the strength: if the Lord had not then blown into his face the breath of life, that is, the grace of the Holy Spirit, proceeding from the Father, and resting in the Son, and sent into the world for the sake of the Son, then Adam, no matter how he was excellently created by Compared with other God’s creatures, as the crown of creation on earth, he would still remain without the Holy Spirit within him, raising him to a god-like dignity. He would be like all other creatures, although having flesh and soul and spirit, belonging to each according to their kind, but not having the Holy Spirit within them. When the Lord breathed into Adam’s face the breath of life, then, in the words of Moses, “man became a living soul,” that is, completely like God in everything and like Him, immortal for ever and ever. Rev. Seraphim of Sarov (S. Nilus. Great in the small. Sergiev Posad, 1911, p. 189-190).
God considered only one thing worthy of his own hands: the creation of man … God created a wife for Adam from his rib. Saint Theophilus of Antioch (Bishop Macarius (Bulgakov), vol. 2, p. 107).
It is not in vain that the wife was not created from the same dust from which Adam was formed, but from the rib of Adam himself: yes, we know that in husband and wife there is one bodily nature, that there is one source of the human race, and therefore not two were created from the beginning – husband and wife and not two wives, but first a husband, and then a wife from him. Saint Ambrose of Milan (Bishop Macarius (Bulgakov), vol. 2, p. 207).
For in the beginning, Adam, having been created from the earth and having taken breath, was made alive on the sixth day (and not on the fifth, as some think, his creation began, but on the sixth it was brought to an end, for the opinion of those who assert this is erroneous). Saint Epiphanius of Cyprus. Creations, part 1, M., 1863, p. 25.
It is told by Divine revelation that the first man was created by God from nothing, created in the beauty of spiritual grace, created immortal, alien to evil. Bishop Ignatius (Bryanchaninov) (109, 98).
Purpose of creation
If everything happened by chance, without a reasonable reason, then everything would have formed at random, without a plan, without order. But in the Deed we see something else: everything in the world is wonderfully ordered and Arranged. And this inevitably makes us assume that the world is Arranged by a Being with the highest mind, that is, God. Saint Athanasius the Great (Bishop Macarius (Bulgakov), p. 11).
The world, as a product of the Living, All-Wise God, is full of life: everywhere and in everything is life and wisdom, in everything we see the expression of thought, both in general and in all parts. This is a real book from which it is possible, although not as clearly as from Revelation, to learn the knowledge of God. Archpriest John Sergiev. vol. 1, M., 1894, p. 282. Saint Epiphanius of Cyprus. Creations, part 3, M., 1872, p. 201.
… Nothing is created in vain and without benefit. For it either serves as food for some animal, or with the help of medical science, it turns out to be healing for ourselves … (4, 71).
…If you begin to consider the very members of animals, you will find that the Creator has not added a single superfluous and has not taken away the necessary. Saint Basil the Great (4, 143).
Why did God command to grow herbs that are unfit for food? There are many kinds of dumb animals – animals, cattle, reptiles and birds. God prepared food for all of them, and created them for the benefit of people, which is why it is said that they eat for us. For it is said: “You bring forth grass for livestock, and grass for the benefit of man” (Ps. 103, 14). Therefore, what is not useful to one is useful to another, and what is unnecessary to people is suitable for those created for the sake of man. In addition, the Lord, foreseeing that people who were sentenced to death for sin would be afflicted with diseases, commanded the earth to grow herbs, not only suitable for food, but also healing.
…Let no one reproach the Creator for the beasts, taking into account only the fact that there are beasts in themselves, but let him find out what is the use of them. And in the human body there is beauty, harmony, mutual correspondence of parts, but there are also excretions of the body. However, no sane person humiliates a living being for this, because it is impossible to live without it … Thus, if someone cuts off one joint of the finger, he will find it completely useless, but this joint, until it is cut off, delivers great benefits. Therefore, we must also act in this way: we should not consider each part of creation separately, what it is in itself, but find out whether it is useful for the whole universe. Blessed Theodoret of Kirsky. Creations, part 1, M., 1856, p. 19-20, 23-24.
The whole world bears witness to God, its Creator, and silently tells us rational creatures about Him: He created me. The great and wonderful building reveals the great and wonderful Creator. Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk. Works, vol. 13, M., 1837, p. one.
I owe you a lot, Lord God. There was no me, and here I am and I live. You, Lord, deigned me to be and be numbered among the works of Your hands … You created me not as a soulless creature, not as cattle, not as a bird, not as another dumb animal, created as a rational being … I cannot live without light, I can act – Your lights , sun, moon and stars, shine to me. I cannot live without fire – Your fire warms me and cooks my food. I cannot live without air – Your air revives me and preserves my life. I cannot be without food and drink – Your generous hand. Lord, gives me food. Thy goodness caused me to fall down springs, rivers that cool and wash people … Oh, what will I reward You, Lord, for everything that You have given me? Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk (113, 158).
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