Psychologist, Dr. Malcom Crowe, is struggling to get things done, make sense of his practice, and communicate with his wife, when he takes the advice of one of his clients and talks to his wife while she’s sleeping. It’s then that he discovers he’s dead.
That explains a lot: the confusion, the inability to get things done, the poor communication skills. He then tells his wife that he loves her and that “things will be different in the morning.” And at that his spirit is released in a brilliant white light. And that’s the end of the movie: “The Sixth Sense.”
Everything changed when Dr. Crowe saw what he did not want to see: He was dead.
In Romans 5:14 Paul writes “Adam is a type (a ‘tupos’) of the one being about to be (the eschatos Adam, Jesus).” Adam is us and a ‘tupos’ is an imprint in clay. It implies that each one of us is like the presence of an absence of what we “should be” but are not. How can I be conscious of a “me” that actually is not?
According to some like George Herbert Mead, every person is comprised of at least two things.
1. A “me” that can be observed in space and time.
2. And “I” that observes “me” in space and time but cannot be located in space or time. For as soon as I observe “I,” it has become “me” . . . that I am observing.
I think Scripture refers to “I” as a spirit or breath (same word in Greek and Hebrew)
On the Sixth day of creation God breathed his breath into some clay and “I” (that is Adam) became a living nephesh in Hebrew, or psyche in Greek, or soul in English: I became a “me.”
I am not a person that has spiritual experiences, but a spirit having personal experiences.
And according to Paul, it seems that each of us will experience two persons: and old psyche and a new psyche, an old “me” and a new “me,” an old man and a new man—the new Adam, the true me.
I can’t make “me” into the image of God—that’s Jesus.
But maybe I can make nothing and call it something which I think is “me,” a false me.
If so, maybe I am a ghost trapped in an illusion that is crumbling before my eyes; I’m dying and seem to have forgotten that I’m dead… or at least was dead.
In Romans 6:2, Paul asks “How can we who died to, in, or by (each translation is a possibility) the sin still live in it?” Ultimately sin is choosing nothing and calling it something, choosing a lie and calling it truth, choosing desecration and calling it creation, choosing death and calling it life.
“The day you eat of it, dying you will die,” said God.
The snake said, “take and make yourself in the image of God; save yourself.”
So, are we dead?
In Romans 6:5 Paul writes “If we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his… “ Then in 6:11 “So you must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.”
So “how can we who died to sin still live in it?”
Well, perhaps we don’t know that we’re dead or did die.
We don’t know that we died the first death when we took the Life from the tree in the garden.
And we don’t know that we died the second death when Christ gave his life on the tree in the same garden.
Maybe I am a ghost . . . That’s just old English for “spirit.”
Scientists and philosophers are fascinated by ghosts but refer to them as “consciousness.”
They wonder if mind can control matter and, of course, it can.
The matter that your mind controls is called your body, and sometimes, your “flesh.”
The problem with your body of flesh is not that it’s physical, but that it is self-conscious, and only self-conscious; it feels only its own pleasure and pain; it is a universe unto itself.
It grows by eating Life and pooping death. (Sorry about that. Deal with it).
The only time your body grew by any means other than taking life, was when your mother gave you life through blood in a chord in her womb and through milk from her breast as you nursed in her arms. And yet you did not know this was the case, for a baby is not conscious of self as separate from the mother. But no mother is satisfied until her baby becomes self-conscious, and then, eventually, Mom-conscious—at least enough to say, “Thanks for life, Mom.”
Our Father is not satisfied until we each become God-conscious and neighbor-conscious and all return home for dinner and say, “Thanks Dad, for giving me your life—I mean our Life.”
And Jesus isn’t satisfied until we all become his body, his “me.”
In Romans 6 Paul refers to the body (our old body) as a body of sin, and in Romans 7 as a body of death. Perhaps all our control really is an illusion.
We each grow a physical body and a psychic body. Your psyche is the thoughts you’ve thought, the feelings you’ve felt, and the judgments you’ve pronounced. We grow our psyche by consuming other psyches, that is, exalting ourselves and humiliating others. Some now argue that every conscious person is like a dissociated identity disorder in the mind of God.
Whatever the case, the biggest threat to my psyche is other psyches—so I’m constantly tempted to eliminate other psyches. Yet if I eliminate all other psyches, I’m utterly alone. And that’s not heaven, that’s hell. All of my anxiety, fear and shame comes from trying to save my psyche from the psyche of God; and the Psyche of God came and died to save me from myself. He came to help me die the death of death, which is life, his eternal Life.
According to Paul, all sin is an effort to justify “me,” the “me” in which “I” am imprisoned.
So why do we sin?
We don’t know that we’re dead and cannot justify ourselves—our old psyche.
And we don’t know that we’ve already been justified. Jesus has given us his psyche.
At the cross, we lose our psyches and find them, for the old is filled with the new—the eternal you.
“Where sin increased (that empty ‘tupos’), Grace abounded all the more.”
I cannot judge “me,” without creating more “false me.”
But perhaps I can observe my own creation and say, “Thanks for your Life, and for me, and for all things with me.”
Apart from Christ, I can do nothing; I’m a ghost trapped in an illusion; the false me.
But in Christ, I can do all things; I’m the image and likeness of God; I’m me.
“You are already dead and terrified to die and so trapped in a lie,” says Jesus.
“But come die with me and you will rise with me, and everything will be different in the morning.”