Chapter 2 - Man, Microcosm and Macrocosm
Philosophy is the inner perception of the world through man, while science is the external knowledge of the world outside man. In man is revealed absolute being: outside him, only the relative. Man is the meeting-point of two worlds.
Man serves as a mediator and a uniting force between God and nature. And both God and nature are reflected in his dual being.
Anthropology is inseparably connected with Christology. The doctrine on Adam is inseparable from that about Christ.
The Son of God became a man and not an angel, and man is called to a royal and creative role in the world to the continuation of creation.
The divine-human is restored by the incarnation of God’s Son, by the appearance in our world of the Absolute Divine Man. Man’s kingly position in the world is confirmed by the God-man, and the principle of the fallen angel is overcome. The new Adam represents a higher degree of cosmic-creative development than did the First Adam in Eden.
The Logos restores to man and to the earth their absolutely central situation which was lost in the world of nature. Man’s higher consciousness of himself as a microcosm is a Christological consciousness. And the Christological consciousness of the new Adam surpasses the self-consciousness of the First Adam: it marks a new phase in the creation of the world.
The true anthropology can be founded only upon the revelation of Christ. The fact of Christ’s appearance in the world is the basic fact of anthropology.
In Christ God becomes a person, and man becomes a person.
Oh, certainly, man is not God, he is the son of God, but not in the unique sense that Christ is the Son of God; but man is a participant in the mystery of the nature of the Holy Trinity and is a mediator between God and the cosmos. Through Christ every human person is a part, not of the mortal world alone, but of the Divine as well. Man’s nature is God-worldly, and not simply worldly. Man is not only a natural-mortal being, but a divine-mortal being. There is a natural divinity in man; hidden within him is a natural-divine element.
The Absolute Man in God retains his human personality as it was made by God the Creator.
The Christology of man is inseparable from that of the Son of God: Christ’s self-consciousness is inseparable from that of man. The Christological revelation is also an anthropological revelation. And the task of humanity’s religious consciousness is to reveal the Christological consciousness of man.
Man is a microcosm; his is rightly a central and royal place in the world, because human nature mystically resembles the nature of the Absolute Man, Christ, and thus participates in the nature of the Holy Trinity. Man is not a simple creature, together with other created things, because the only-begotten Son of God, begotten before all worlds and of equal worth with His Father, is not only absolute God but Absolute Man.
Christology is the only true anthropology. Christ, the Absolute Man, appeared on earth and in humanity and hence forever confirmed a central significance in the universe for man and for the earth. Before the world was created, the image of man was already in the Son of God, born of the Father before all time. Only the Christology of man, the reverse side of the anthropology of Christ, reveals in man the genuine image and likeness of God, the Creator.
That man is a creator, like God the Creator—about this, nothing at all is evident in the consciousness of the Fathers and the teaching of the Church.
But man is godlike not alone because he is capable of suppressing his own nature and thus freeing a place for divinity. There is godlikeness in human nature itself, in the very human voice of that nature. Silencing the world and the passions liberates man. God desires that not only God should exist, but man as well. In this is the meaning of the world.
This failure to reveal anthropological truth in Christianity led to the rise of humanistic anthropology, set up by the willfulness of man himself in a formal reaction against the religious consciousness of the middle ages.
We are on the eve of an anthropological revelation. Christianity’s helplessness in the face of the modern tragedy of man is rooted in this very lack of discovery of a Christian anthropology. The new Christological anthropology must reveal the secret of man’s creative calling and thus give to man’s creative impulses a high religious meaning.
The anthropological revelation is bound up with a consciousness of relationship between the mystery of creativeness and the mystery of redemption.