Cain Was Angry Because His Offering Was Not Accepted

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Leviticus 6

14 When someone offers a sacrifice to give thanks to me, the priests from Aaron’s family must bring it to the front of the bronze altar, 15 where one of them will scoop up a handful of the flour and oil, together with all the incense on it. Then, to show that the whole offering belongs to me, he will lay all of this on the altar and send it up in smoke with a smell that pleases me. 16-17 The rest of it is to be baked without yeast and eaten by the priests in the sacred courtyard of the sacred tent. This bread is very holy, just like the sacrifices for sin or for making things right, and I have given this part to the priests from what is offered to me on the altar.

18 Only the men in Aaron’s family are allowed to eat this bread, and they must go through a ceremony to be made holy before touching it. This law will never change.

1 Kings 4

29 Solomon was brilliant. God had blessed him with insight and understanding. 30-31 He was wiser than anyone else in the world, including the wisest people of the east and of Egypt. He was even wiser than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Mahol’s three sons, Heman, Calcol, and Darda. Solomon became famous in every country around Judah and Israel. 32 Solomon wrote three thousand wise sayings and composed more than one thousand songs. 33 He could talk about all kinds of plants, from large trees to small bushes, and he taught about animals, birds, reptiles, and fish. 34 Kings all over the world heard about Solomon’s wisdom and sent people to listen to him teach.

Cain and Abel

The first murder in human history followed close on the heels of the human fall; indeed, the tension between the brothers can be attributed to the situation they inherited from their parents. the story of Cain and able raises the inescapable human problem of inequality. it asks: how should people cope with differences in wealth, talent, love, fortune, and in this case, blessing.

    The bible regards Abel as one of the righteous; the Qur’an portrays him as a man of peace who refuses to take up a weapon to fight his brother Cain. hence comes the tradition that there are two kinds of people: Abel-type people are good and faithful, while Cain-type people are evil, atheistic and violent. in Father Moon’s teaching, however, Cain and Abel are most essentially brothers. Moreover, both had flaws: Abel’s arrogance over being the favored one contributed to Cain’s hatred, and Cain’s hatred had a history, too.
    Father Moon teaches that God’s purpose in accepting only Abel’s offering was not to express his disdain for Cain, but rather to promote a process of restoration: by Cain yielding to Abel, Cain and Abel were to reverse the mistake of their parents when Adam was wrongly dominated by the archangel. had this restoration been successful, there would have been no murder; instead even Cain’s offering would have been accepted by God.
    Inequality is inevitable; how we deal with it is where choice comes into play. Cain had a choice: to react with violence or to humbly seek his brother’s help. Abel also had a choice: to glory in his favored status or to have compassion on his less favored brother, comfort him and raise him up. the choices we make in these Cain-Abel situations can make the difference between peace and war.
Readings

Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a tiller of the ground. In the course of time Cain brought to the lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel brought of the firstlings of the flock and of their fat portions. And the lord had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering He had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. The lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is couching at the door; its desire is for you, but you must master it.
    ”Cain said to Abel his brother, “Let us go out into the field.” And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel, and killed him. Then the lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He replied, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” And the lordsaid, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground. And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength; you shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth.” Cain said to the lord, “My punishment is greater than I can bear. Behold, you have driven me this day away from the ground; and from your face I shall be hidden; and I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will slay me.” Then the lord said to him, “Not so! If any one slays Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the lord put a mark on Cain, lest any who came upon him should kill him. Then Cain went away from the presence of the lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, east of Eden.
    Genesis 4.3-16

And recite for them the story of the two sons of Adam truthfully, when they offered a sacrifice, and it was accepted of one of them, and not accepted of the other. “I will surely slay you,” said one. “God accepts only of the god-fearing,” said the other.
    “Yet if you stretch out your hand against me, to slay me, I will not stretch out my hand against you, to slay you; I fear God, the Lord of all Beings. I desire that you should be laden with my sin and your sin, and so become an inhabitant of the Fire; that is the recompense of the evildoers.”
    Then his soul prompted him to slay his brother, and he slew him, and became one of the losers.
    Then God sent forth a raven, scratching into the earth, to show him how he might conceal the vile body of his brother. He said, “Woe is me! Am I unable to be as this raven, and so conceal my brother’s vile body?” And he became one of the remorseful.
    Qur’an 5.27-31

By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he received approval as righteous, God bearing witness by accepting his gifts; he died, but through his faith he is still speaking.
    Hebrews 11.4

When Adam and Eve begot children, the first-born was the son of the serpent’s slime. For two beings had intercourse with Eve, and she conceived from both and bore two children. Each followed one of the male parents, and their spirits parted, one to this side and one to the other, and similarly their characters. On the side of Cain are all the haunts of the evil species, from which come evil spirits and demons and necromancers. From the side of Abel come a more merciful class, yet not wholly beneficial—good wine mixed with bad. The right kind was not produced until Seth came, who is the first ancestor of all the generations of the righteous…
    Cain rose up against Abel and killed him because he inherited his nature from the side of Samael, who brought death into the world. He was jealous of Abel on account of his female, as indicated by the words, “and it came to pass when they were in the field (Gen. 4.8),” the word “field” signifying woman. According to the text, Cain was angry because his offering was not accepted, but this is a further reason.
    5Zohar 1.36b (Judaism)

 

Gautama, Be Careful All the While!

John 4

32 But he said to them, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.” 33 So the disciples said to one another, “Has any one brought him food?” 34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work. 35 Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see how the fields are already white for harvest. 36 He who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. 37 For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor; others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”

Leviticus 25

46 You may bequeath them to your sons after you, to inherit as a possession for ever; you may make slaves of them, but over your brethren the people of Israel you shall not rule, one over another, with harshness.

Preparation for Eternity

Religions do not expound on the reality of a future life merely as a comfort to the bereaved or as an opiate to the oppressed in this life. rather, the fact of a future life enhances the purpose and sharpens the meaning of earthly existence. how a person lives on earth mainly determines his or her ultimate destiny. a wise person lives in this world with an eye toward eternity.
Indeed, it is generally taught that life in this world is the only chance we have to prepare for life in the next world. the link between deed and retribution is not severed by death; rather we reap in the eternal world the fruits of our actions in this life. Just as importantly, a person’s qualities of character survive death: as a person in this life was hard-working or lazy, generous or miserly, courageous or timid, forgiving or begrudging, so will he or she continue to be in the afterlife.
Therefore, the wise person lives with an eye to eternity by following religious precepts, repenting for mis-deeds, and seeking to clear up all accounts before the day of his death. For one who is prepared, death is not to be feared. but for those who are heedless and do not prepare, death comes suddenly, fearfully and leaving them with regret. as Father Moon teaches, souls in the spirit world breathe the air of love; therefore, unless they have cultivated on earth the capacity for love, they will find the spirit world suffocating. hence, the measure of our future happiness in the eternal world is the ability to love that we cultivate during earthly life.

  1. Live this Short Earthly Life in the Light of Eternity

This world is like a vestibule before the World to
Come; prepare yourself in the vestibule that you
may enter the hall.
Mishnah, Avot 4.21 (Judaism)

The Marrying Maiden:
The superior man understands the transitory
In the light of the eternity of the end. 10
I Ching 54 (Confucianism)

Better is one hour of repentance and good
works in this world than all the life in the world
to come, and better is one hour of calmness of
spirit in the world to come than all the life of
this world.
Mishnah, Avot 4.22 (Judaism)

A rare chance, in the long course of time, is
human birth for a living being; hard are the
consequences of actions; Gautama, be careful
all the while!
Uttaradhyayana Sutra 10.4 (Jainism)

And we see that death comes upon mankind…
nevertheless there was a space granted unto
man in which he might repent; therefore this life
became a probationary state; a time to prepare
to meet God; a time to prepare for that endless
state which has been spoken of by us, which is
after the resurrection of the dead.
Book of Mormon, Alma 12.24 (Latter-day Saints)

If any do wish for the transitory things of life,
We readily grant them such things as We will, to
such persons as We will. But in the end We have
provided hell for them; they will burn therein,
disgraced and rejected. But those who wish for
the things of the hereafter, and strive for them
with all due striving, and have faith—they are
the ones whose striving is acceptable to God.
Qur’an 17.18-19

We are on a market trip to earth:
Whether we fill our baskets or not,
Once the time is up, we go home.
Igbo Song (African Traditional Religions)
As the fallow leaf of the tree falls to the ground,
when its days are gone, even so is the life of men;
Gautama, be careful all the while!

As the dewdrop dangling on the top of a blade
of grass lasts but a short time, even so the life of
men; Gautama, be careful all the while!

A life so fleet, and existence so precarious, wipe
off the sins you ever committed; Gautama, be
careful all the while!
Uttaradhyayana Sutra 10.1-3 (Jainism)

In the evening do not expect [to live till] morn-
ing, and in the morning do not expect evening.
Prepare as long as you are in good health for
sickness, and so long as you are alive for death.
Forty Hadith of an-Nawawi 40 (Islam)

O people! Fear God, and whatever you do, do
it anticipating death. Try to attain everlasting
blessing in return for transitory and perishable
wealth, power and pleasures of this world.

Be prepared for a fast passage because here you
are destined for a short stay. Always be ready for
death, for you are living under its shadow. Be
wise like people who have heard the message of
God and have taken a warning from it.

Beware that this world is not made for you to live
forever, you will have to change it for hereafter.
God, glory be to Him, has not created you
without a purpose and has not left you without
duties, obligations, and responsibilities…

You must remember to gather from this life
such harvest as will be of use and help to you
hereafter.
Nahjul Balagha, Khutba 67 (Shiite Islam)

In My Father’s House There Are Many Rooms


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Leviticus 23

23 And the Lord said to Moses, 24 “Say to the people of Israel, In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall observe a day of solemn rest, a memorial proclaimed with blast of trumpets, a holy convocation. 25 You shall do no laborious work; and you shall present an offering by fire to the Lord.”

2 Kings 3

21 When all the Moabites heard that the kings had come up to fight against them, all who were able to put on armor, from the youngest to the oldest, were called out, and were drawn up at the frontier. 22 And when they rose early in the morning, and the sun shone upon the water, the Moabites saw the water opposite them as red as blood. 23 And they said, “This is blood; the kings have surely fought together, and slain one another. Now then, Moab, to the spoil!” 24 But when they came to the camp of Israel, the Israelites rose and attacked the Moabites, till they fled before them; and they went forward, slaughtering the Moabites as they went.[b]25 And they overthrew the cities, and on every good piece of land every man threw a stone, until it was covered; they stopped every spring of water, and felled all the good trees; till only its stones were left in Kir-har′eseth, and the slingers surrounded and conquered it. 

LIFE AFTER DEATH AND THE SPIRIT WORLD

The Spirit World

2. The Many Levels and Realms in the Spirit World

In my Father’s house are many rooms.
John 14.2

Of the nether worlds and heavens has He
created millions;
Men exhaust themselves trying to explore
them.
Adi Granth, Japuji 22, M.1, p. 5 (Sikhism)

There are celestial bodies and there are terres-
trial bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one,
and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There
is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the
moon, and another glory of the stars; for star dif-
fers from star in glory. 2
1 Corinthians 15.40-41

The church of the Firstborn… are they into
whose hands the Father has given all things—
they are they who are priests and kings, who
have received of His fullness, and of His glory;
and are priests of the Most High, after the order
of Melchizedek, which was after the order of the
Only Begotten Son. Wherefore, as it is written,
they are gods, even the sons of God… These are
they whose bodies are celestial, whose glory is
that of the sun, even the glory of God, the high-
est of all, whose glory the sun of the firmament
is written of as being typical.
And again, we saw the terrestrial world,
and behold and lo, these are they who are of
the terrestrial, whose glory differs from that of
the church of the Firstborn who have received
the fullness of the Father, even as that of the
moon differs from the sun in the firmament.
Behold, these are they who died without law…
who received not the testimony of Jesus in the
flesh, but afterwards received it. These are they
who are honorable men of the earth, who were
blinded by the craftiness of men.
These are they who receive of His glory, but
not of His fullness. These are they who receive of
the presence of the Son, but not of the fullness of
the Father. Wherefore, they are bodies terrestrial,
and not bodies celestial, and differ in glory as the
moon differs from the sun…
And again, we saw the glory of the telestial,
which glory is that of the lesser, even as the
glory of the stars differs from that of the glory
of the moon in the firmament. These are they
who received not the gospel of Christ, neither
the testimony of Jesus. These are they who deny
not the Holy Spirit. These are they who are
thrust down to hell. These are they who shall
not be redeemed from the devil until the last
resurrection, until the Lord, even Christ the
Lamb, shall have finished his work.
These are they who receive not of His
fullness in the eternal world, but of the Holy Spirit
through the ministration of the terrestrial; and the
terrestrial through the ministration of the celestial.
And also the telestial receive it of the administering
of angels who are appointed to minister for them,
or who are appointed to be ministering spirits for
them; for they shall be heirs of salvation. 3
Doctrine and Covenants 76.54-88 (Latter-day Saints)

When King Solomon “penetrated into the
depths of the nut garden” (Song of Solomon
6.11), he took up a nut shell and studying it, he
saw an analogy in its layers with the spirits that
motivate the sensual desires of humans…
God saw that it was necessary to put into
the world so as to make sure of permanence all
things having, so to speak, a brain surrounded by
numerous membranes. The whole world, upper
and lower, is organized on this principle, from
the primary mystic center to the very outermost
of all the layers. All are coverings, the one to the
other, brain within brain, spirit inside of spirit,
shell within shell.
The primal center is the innermost light,
of a translucence, subtlety, and purity beyond
comprehension. That inner point extends to
become a “palace” which acts as an enclosure for
the center, and is also of a radiance translucent
beyond the power to know it. The “palace”
vestment for the incognizable inner point, while it
is an unknowable radiance in itself, is nevertheless
of a lesser subtility and translucency than the
primal point. The palace extends into a vestment
for itself, the primal light. From then outward, there
is extension upon extension, each constituting a
vesture to the one before, as a membrane to the
brain. Though membrane first, each extension
becomes brain to the next extension.
Likewise does the process go on below; and
after this design, man in the world combines
brain and membrane, spirit and body, all to the
more perfect ordering of the world.
Zohar (Judaism)

All kingdoms have a law given;
And there are many kingdoms; for there
is no space in which there is no kingdom; and
there is no kingdom in which there is no space,
either a greater or a lesser kingdom.
And unto every kingdom is given a law; and
unto every law there are certain bounds also and
conditions.
All beings who abide not in those conditions
are not justified.
For intelligence cleaves unto intelligence;
wisdom receives wisdom; truth embraces truth;
virtue loves virtue; light cleaves unto light;
mercy has compassion on mercy and claims her
own; justice continues its course and claims its
own; judgment goes before the face of Him who
sits upon the throne and governs and executes
all things. 4
Doctrine and Covenants 88.36-40 (Latter-day Saints)

Movie Stars, Singers and Actors Are Last in Line to Enter Heaven

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Leviticus 23

26 The Lord God said to Moses:

27 The tenth day of the seventh month[k] is the Great Day of Forgiveness.[l] It is a solemn day of worship; everyone must go without eating to show sorrow for their sins, and sacrifices must be burned. 28 No one is to work on that day—it is the Great Day of Forgiveness, when sacrifices will be offered to me, so that I will forgive your sins. 29 I will destroy anyone who refuses to go without eating. 30-31 None of my people are ever to do any work on that day—not now or in the future. And I will wipe out those who do! 32 This is a time of complete rest just like the Sabbath, and everyone must go without eating from the evening of the ninth to the evening of the tenth.

Psalm 52

52 You people may be strong
    and brag about your sins,
    but God can be trusted
    day after day.
You plan brutal crimes,
    and your lying words cut
    like a sharp razor.
You would rather do evil
than good,
    and tell lies
    than speak the truth.
You love to say cruel things,
    and your words are a trap.

God will destroy you forever!
He will grab you and drag you
    from your homes.
    You will be uprooted
    and left to die.
When good people see
    this fearsome sight,
    they will laugh and say,
    “Just look at them now!
Instead of trusting God,
    they trusted their wealth
    and their cruelty.”

But I am like an olive tree
    growing in God’s house,
    and I can count on his love
    forever and ever.
I will always thank God
    for what he has done;
    I will praise his good name
    when his people meet.

World Scripture and the Teachings of
Sun Myung Moon

Chapter 4

God’s Creation and Human Creativity

Creativity and Art

4. Art and Morality

As for the poets, those who follow them stray
into evil. Have you not seen how they stray in
every valley, and how they say what they do
not? Except for those who believe and do good
works, and remember God much.
Qur’an 26.224-227

Singing produces hypocrisy in the heart as water
produces crops.
Hadith of Baihaqi (Islam)

‘A’isha told that when the subject of poetry was
mentioned to God’s messenger, he said, “It is
speech, and what is good in it is good and what
is bad is bad.”
Hadith of Daraquni (Islam)

Emotions of any kind are produced by melody
and rhythm; therefore by music a man becomes
accustomed to feeling the right emotions; music
has thus power to form character, and the various
kinds of music based on various modes, may be
distinguished by their effects on character—one,
for example, working in the direction of melan-
choly, another of effeminacy; one encouraging
abandonment, another self-control, another
enthusiasm, and so on.
Aristotle (Hellenism)

If one should desire to know whether a king-
dom is well governed, if its morals are good or
bad, the quality of its music will furnish the
answer.
The noble-minded man’s music is mild
and delicate, keeps a uniform mood, enlivens
and moves. Such a man does not harbor pain
or mourn in his heart; violent and daring
movements are foreign to him.
Yo Ki, Memorial of Music (Confucianism)

The final purpose of art is to intensify, even, if
necessary, to exacerbate, the moral conscious-
ness of people.
Norman Mailer

Under the effect of music, the five social duties
are without admixture, the eyes and the ears
are clear, the blood and the vital energies are
balanced, habits are reformed, customs are
improved, the empire is at complete peace.
Spring and Autumn Annals (Confucianism)

Teachings of Rev. Sun Myung Moon

Humankind struggles in frustration, longing in the world of the heart, because they have defiled the heart’s law. People strive to fill that longing through hobbies, art, knowledge, and love objects, but they are never fully satisfied. This is the sorrow and tragedy of the human condition since the Human Fall. (6:348, May 24, 1959)

After World War II, the trend developed, especially among American women, to worship Lucifer-like men. Who are they? Movie stars, singers and actors… These people are actually last in line to enter heaven, yet women came to worship them.
I have a vision for the arts far beyond secular art. The secular world’s art is rotten; especially the recording artists and Hollywood set who are immersed in free sex. Many have contracted HIV/AIDS. I am promoting absolute sex, and members of my ballet company should not be involved in immoral love affairs. It is a wedge to protect American people from rotting away because of these artists. (339:152-53, December 10, 2000)
In America, you can watch movies on television 24 hours a day. You can watch any kind of movie: war movies, movies about love, even pornographic movies. Young people are readily attracted to them and influenced. Since they do not have a clear viewpoint of life or thought, they copy what they see in these movies.
Youth today live in a permissive environment and have abandoned traditional values that might restrain them from seeking out the stimulating things that they see in the movies. Since their parents do not pay them much attention, family ties are not strong enough to sway them. Teachers and public officials avoid giving them proper education on these matters. Therefore, there is nothing to stop young people from trying free sex, drugs, violence—copying everything they see in the movies. If this continues, the family will disappear and the world will soon be doomed… Therefore, we should quickly establish the standard of a new tradition for the building of a new culture. It is a most urgent matter for unifying the world. (241:197-98, December 26, 1992)

God’s heart of true love—to give and give more, and forget and forget again, to give unconditionally and live for the sake of others—is the foundation of the world of heart. God’s ideal out of which He created the world began from His heart. The arts, which spring from this Origin, should resemble this heart. Hence, in the world of art, there can be no barriers. Art cannot be used as propaganda or the instrument of a particular ideology. Harmony and unity are its basic principles. Divisions and conflicts are the fruits of fallen nature. Accordingly, in the world of art, East and West should under-stand and accept each other, through art whose character is universal and inclusive. (316:70-71, February 9, 2000)

Richard: The teaching of absolute sexual ethics is crucial for the success of youth and young adults: See our teaching materials here.

We Have the Unique Capacity to Know God and Love God

Leviticus 14

The Lord told Moses and Aaron to say to the people:

34 After I have given you the land of Canaan as your permanent possession, here is what you must do, if I ever put mildew[g] on the walls of any of your homes. 35 First, you must say to a priest, “I think mildew is on the wall of my house.”

36 The priest will reply, “Empty the house before I inspect it, or else everything in it will be unclean.”

37 If the priest discovers greenish or reddish spots that go deeper than the surface of the walls, 38 he will have the house closed for seven days. 39 Then he will return and check to see if the mildew has spread. 40-41 If so, he will have someone scrape the plaster from the walls, remove the filthy stones, then haul everything off and dump it in an unclean place outside the town. 42 Afterwards the wall must be repaired with new stones and fresh plaster.

43 If the mildew appears a second time, 44 the priest will come and say, “This house is unclean. It’s covered with mildew that can’t be removed.” 45 Then he will have the house torn down and every bit of wood, stone, and plaster hauled off to an unclean place outside the town. 46 Meanwhile, if any of you entered the house while it was closed, you will be unclean until evening. 47 And if you either slept or ate in the house, you must wash your clothes.

Richard: In our lives, we can evaluation what is ‘clean’ and ‘unclean’. We must get rid of that which is ‘unclean’. Our lives and possessions should be kept in good order.

Matthew 1

Jesus Christ came from the family of King David and also from the family of Abraham. And this is a list of his ancestors. 2-6a  From Abraham to King David, his ancestors were:

Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah and his brothers (Judah’s sons were Perez and Zerah, and their mother was Tamar), Hezron;

Ram, Amminadab, Nahshon, Salmon, Boaz (his mother was Rahab), Obed (his mother was Ruth), Jesse, and King David.

6b-11  From David to the time of the exile in Babylonia, the ancestors of Jesus were:

David, Solomon (his mother had been Uriah’s wife), Rehoboam, Abijah, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Jehoram;

Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, Manasseh, Amon, Josiah, and Jehoiachin and his brothers.

12-16 From the exile to the birth of Jesus, his ancestors were:

Jehoiachin, Shealtiel, Zerubbabel, Abiud, Eliakim, Azor, Zadok, Achim;

Eliud, Eleazar, Matthan, Jacob, and Joseph, the husband of Mary, the mother of Jesus, who is called the Messiah.

Richard: Lineage is important. The Blessing shifts our lineage from Satan’s side to God’s side.

World Scripture and the Teachings of
Sun Myung Moon

Chapter 4

God’s Creation and Human Creativity

The Lord of Creation

2.Human Beings Are Superior to All Other Creatures

Verily We have honored the children of Adam.
We carry them on the land and the sea, and
have made provision of good things for them,
and have preferred them above many of those
We created with a marked preferment.
Qur’an 17.20

What a piece of work is a man! How noble in
reason! How infinite in faculties! In form and
moving how express and admirable! In action
how like an angel! In apprehension how like a
god! The beauty of the world, the paragon of
animals.
William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act II. Scene ii

Having created the world and all that lives and
moves therein, He, through the direct operation
of His unconstrained and sovereign Will, chose
to confer upon man the unique distinction and
capacity to know Him and to love Him… Upon
the inmost reality of each and every created
thing He has shed the light of one of His names,
and made it a recipient of the glory of one of His
attributes. Upon the reality of man, however, He
has focused the radiance of all of His names and
attributes, and made it a mirror of His own Self.
Alone of all created things man has been singled
out for so great a favor, so enduring a bounty.
Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah 27
(Baha’i Faith)

Man, as the manifestation of God, is the leader
of all things, and no creature is more honorable
than man. All things upon the earth, following
their own individual names, fashioning their
true way, will know that Thou hast brought
them to sight for man’s sake. All things what-
soever, forgetting not their source, deviating
not from their determined pattern, are made to
work as well as to understand their part; hum-
bling themselves and honoring man, without
anger, without haste, without anxiety, without
grief, neither linked nor parted, they are made
to work out their true personality.
The Ritual Prayer (Perfect Liberty Kyodan)

The human body is a revelation of the goodness
of God and the providence of the body’s Creator.
It is a body obviously meant to minister to a
rational soul, as you can see from the arrange-
ment of the human organs of sense and of man’s
other members. This is obvious, too, in man’s spe-
cific appearance, form, and stature. The bodies
of irrational animals are bent toward the ground,
whereas man was made to walk erect with his
eyes on heaven, as though to remind him to keep
his thoughts on things above.
Saint Augustine, City of God 22.24 (Christianity)

Man was equipped with [three] souls… By virtue
of the animal soul he shares with the animals; his
physical soul links him with the plants; his human
soul is a bond between him and the angels…
The function of the human, rational soul
is the noblest function of all, for it is itself the
noblest of spirits. Its function consists of reflecting
upon things of art and meditating upon the
things of beauty: its gaze being turned towards
the higher world, its loves not this lower abode
and meaner station. Belonging as it does to the
higher side of life and to primal substances, it is
not its business to eat and drink, neither does it
require luxury and coition; rather its function is
to wait for the revelation of truths.
Avicenna (Ibn Sina), Katib al-Najat (Islam)

We did indeed offer the Trust to the heavens and
the earth and the mountains; but they refused to
undertake it, being afraid of it. But man under-
took it; he was indeed unjust and foolish. 11
Qur’an 33.72