God’s Image and Likeness
My question deals with the human mind and consciousness of the world.
“God formed the Human blowing into his nostrils the (mind) breath of life: the Human became a living being.”
Def: לְנֶ֥פֶשׁ: breath of life, mind, soul
I believe this pesuk answers what scientists and philosophers have questioned for centuries. Many believe that neurons, synapsis’, electrical signals along nerve pathways, and brain chemicals are the origin and reality of our conscious minds.
The question is how matter/atoms attach consciousness and wisdom to dust. How does brain matter or dust see, hear, taste, smell, feel, or have an awareness of thoughts, cognition, dreams, and interpersonal relationships? We must look closely at Genesis 1:26-27 for a more accurate understanding of Hashem’s creation.
“And God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, after our likeness. They shall rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the cattle, the whole earth, and all the creeping things that creep on earth.”
And God created humankind in the divine image, creating it in the image of God—creating them male and female.”
As Hashem has no likeness, image, or substance, to whom is He talking? In human terms, our human consciousness/mind has no likeness, image, or substance. Could the Infinite Creator be a MIND be talking to our finite created mind’s consciousness? Before He blew us in the nostrils of our matter/atom body at first breath, we became humankind.
Your insight is appreciated.
Your premise is fascinating! In Midrashic sources a dialogue is recorded between Moses and God. When Moses wrote down the Torah and came to this verse, which is written in the plural and implies that there more than one Creator, he said “Master of the Universe! Why do You furnish a pretext to the heretics to maintain that there is a plurality of divinities?” “Write!” God replied. “Whoever wishes to err will err… Instead, let them learn from their Creator Who created all, yet when he came to create man He took counsel with the ministering angels.”
From this we learn just how important it is to always consult others before embarking upon major new initiatives. God was not deterred from
by the possibility that some might choose to find a sacrilegious interpretation in the verse. The implication of God’s response is that is that one who truly seeks the truth will see it; one who looks for an excuse to blaspheme will find it.
The Targum Yonatan, a translation of the Torah into Aramaic by Yonatan ben Uziel who was the greatest of Hillel’s students, circa 165 CE, paraphrases the verse to read “And God said to the ministering angels who had been created on the second day of the Creation of the World, ‘Let us make man.’”
The Abarbanel, Don Isaac Abarbanel late fifteenth century commentary and authority, explains that this verse teaches that man was created
with great deliberation and wisdom. Instead of creating man the way He had created the rest of the world God brought man into existence with
the deepest involvement of Divine Providence.
Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team