Whether you be Roman Catholic, or as I am, Orthodox, this is a very confusing question. I always thought that our soul was our human nature and that it was fallen, but this doesn’t make any sense to me. Christ was said to have had taken on human nature and flesh, how could He have human nature, He had a purely divine soul.
Where is our human/sinful nature at?
(This one for Orthodox Christians only). How did Christ take on flesh and human nature, if our human nature is in our soul? He only had a divine soul.
Christ has a human body, a human soul, and divinity. It is the Apollinarian heresy to say that Christ did not have a human soul.
Human Nature: body and soul
Divine Nature: divinity
Human nature is not sinful. Man is the image of God, however, our likeness has been defaced. When we are baptized, we are “created anew in the likeness of God’s image.”
“For as, when the likeness painted on a panel has been effaced by stains from without, he whose likeness it is must needs come once more to enable the portrait to be renewed on the same wood: for, for the sake of his picture, even the mere wood on which it is painted is not thrown away, but the outline is renewed upon it; in the same way also the most holy Son of the Father, being the Image of the Father, came to our region to renew man once made in His likeness, and find him, as one lost, by the remission of sins; as He says Himself in the Gospels: I came to find and to save the lost. Whence He said to the Jews also: Except a man be born again, not meaning, as they thought, birth from woman, but speaking of the soul born and created anew in the likeness of God’s image.”
St Athanasius the Great, On the Incarnation of the Word, 14
Within psychoanalysis, our sinful nature resides in the ID, the source of all sinful desires. Some, especially those in Judaism, would say that our sinful nature resides within the evil inclination. But both of these may be referring to the same thing.
Luke 6:45 Jesus said, “For each tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a briar bush. 45"The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.”
Luke 12:34 Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Human nature is flesh united with the soul. A soul is not a man, neither is a body. Jesus had a human soul. There was a heresy in the early church called Appolinarianism, which denied that Jesus had a human soul. Apolinarius said that Jesus’ divine nature took the place of the human soul. But the Church rejected this idea at the council of Constantinople. The fathers responded that Jesus had everything we have. ‘What was not assumed was not healed.’ So it is necessary that Jesus have a human soul. This is the teaching of both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches.
The thing I wonder about Freudian theory is; is anyone ever really helped by psychoanalysis? I knew a guy who quit a thriving psychology practice after he saw people healed all at once in prayer groups.
I would never choose psychoanalysis over religion, but, yes, it is a common and effective method of psychological intervention, and has come a long way since Freud. Freudian theory is another thing, but I liked studying it and feel it helped me spiritually. A lot of people simply think of Freud’s theories as constructs like penis envy, but his theories really are multifaceted, and have numerous aspects to it. The whole notion of the power of the unconscious is brilliant. Freud’s notion of unconscious conflicts is equally brilliant.