Wednesday, August 21, 2013

To breath in the face…

“God formed man, dust from the earth, and he breathed in his face a breath of life, and man became a living soul” (Genesis 2.7).

Christos Yannaras, in his book Elements of Faith, explains the importance of breathing in ones face, stating: “To breath in the face of someone else was always for the Hebrews (and for the Semitic peoples generally) an act of the deepest symbolism: it means that you transmit to the other your breath, something very inwardly yours, your own self-consciousness or your spirit. This is so since breathing is a presupposition of life, the element which constitutes you as an active being, and all the experiences – fear, angry, joy, pride – all influence breathing, they show a relationship of breathing with your deepest being, your own self. When, then, the Scripture says that God blew his own breath in the earthly face of man, this image is to demonstrate the communication to man of certain marks of the very existence of God. In biblical language the result of this communication is that man becomes a living soul”. (p. 54-55).

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