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glassjester
July 22nd, 2015, 06:53 AM
Shine a light on a wall.
Hold your finger close to the wall; the shadow will be distinct and well defined.
As you move your finger away from the wall, toward the light, the shadow changes in two ways.
It begins to spread out evenly in all directions.
It begins to dissipate.


God is the light.
God draws all things to Himself - the Unmoved Mover.



God is the Efficient Cause and Final Cause (Alpha and Omega) of all motion.
As creation is drawn to God (Colossians 1:19-20), the visible world (just as the shadow on the wall) changes in two ways.
The universe expands evenly in all directions.
The universe begins to dissipate.

PureX
July 22nd, 2015, 07:04 AM
That analogy would make God the "Big Bang". I don't understand the point.




I think it's a problem for religious Christians that they have such a strong (and childish) tendency to conceive of God as a singular being, instead of as the essence of all being. When they conceive of God as a singular being they can't help but endow God with the characteristics of a human being (the only model for a singular being we know), which are distinctly not 'divine' characteristics much of the time. Whereas if they were willing to conceive of God as being the essence of all being, they would better be able to recognize the spark (reflection) of that divine nature in all things, including themselves and each other. And as a result they would spend far less time and energy on petty human concerns, judgments, and condemnations.

That is my opinion on it.

glassjester
July 22nd, 2015, 07:07 AM
I think it's a problem for religious Christians that they have such a strong (and childish) tendency to conceive of God as a singular being, instead of as the essence of all being.

Not instead; both.

glassjester
July 22nd, 2015, 07:08 AM
That analogy would make God the "Big Bang".

or the cause of it, anyway.

glassjester
July 22nd, 2015, 07:27 AM
I think it's a problem for religious Christians that they have such a strong (and childish) tendency to conceive of God as a singular being, instead of as the essence of all being.

He is Being and a being.

He is conscious and consciousness.

He is good and The Good.



God is fully actualized. He is complete actualization; there is no potentiality in Him.

All creation is drawn to Him and desires Him. All creation is moving from potentiality to actuality (all created things are becoming, while God is being).

bybee
July 22nd, 2015, 07:39 AM
That analogy would make God the "Big Bang". I don't understand the point.




I think it's a problem for religious Christians that they have such a strong (and childish) tendency to conceive of God as a singular being, instead of as the essence of all being. When they conceive of God as a singular being they can't help but endow God with the characteristics of a human being (the only model for a singular being we know), which are distinctly not 'divine' characteristics much of the time. Whereas if they were willing to conceive of God as being the essence of all being, they would better be able to recognize the spark (reflection) of that divine nature in all things, including themselves and each other. And as a result they would spend far less time and energy on petty human concerns, judgments, and condemnations.

That is my opinion on it.

I believe you just spent time and energy on your own petty human concerns, judgments and condemnations.

PureX
July 22nd, 2015, 08:17 AM
He is Being and a being.

He is conscious and consciousness.

He is good and The Good. Do you understand that the use of the term "he", here, is an intellectual convenience? And that thinking of God as a 'personality' is likewise a human convenience?

That's all I'm saying.

When we forget that that these concepts are for our own convenience, and we start thinking that they are the 'reality of God', we begin to lose our grip on both reality and reason.

God is fully actualized. He is complete actualization; there is no potentiality in Him. What does that even mean from our limited human perspective?

All creation is drawn to Him and desires Him. All creation is moving from potentiality to actuality (all created things are becoming, while God is being).Creation is 'God being God'. Which is mostly beyond our comprehension.

glassjester
July 22nd, 2015, 08:17 AM
That's nice in theory, but not how it works in reality.

Do you say God is Being, but not a being?

PureX
July 22nd, 2015, 08:28 AM
Do you say God is Being, but not a being?God is all being. Thus, we are 'of God'. But we are not God. As we are not the whole, but only a small part.

Nevertheless, because we are 'of God', we embody that spark of the Divine Nature within us. This being the case, I believe it is our purpose to try and recognize that spark of the Divine within us, and to nurture and exemplify it as best we can.

And I think this is what Christianity is really about.



Turning "God" into some distant, separate, flawed (humanesque) being tends to blind us to that Divine Nature within us. And therefor, I think, also tends to blind us to Christ.

glassjester
July 22nd, 2015, 08:38 AM
God is all being. Thus, we are 'of God'. But we are not God. As we are not the whole, but only a small part.

Nevertheless, because we are 'of God', we embody that spark of the Divine Nature within us. This being the case, I believe it is our purpose to try and recognize that spark of the Divine within us, and to nurture and exemplify it as best we can.

And I think this is what Christianity is really about.

Turning "God" into some distant, separate, flawed (humanesque) being tends to blind us to that Divine Nature within us. And therefor, I think, also tends to blind us to Christ.

I'm not seeing how this refutes, confirms, or relates to anything in the OP. How is God, described as the Efficient and Final Cause of all Creation, at all flawed or anthropomorphic?


God is imminent and transcendent.

Do you believe in the Trinity?

bybee
July 22nd, 2015, 08:52 AM
I'm not seeing how this refutes, confirms, or relates to anything in the OP. How is God, described as the Efficient and Final Cause of all Creation, at all flawed or anthropomorphic?


God is imminent and transcendent.

Do you believe in the Trinity?

I believe that God is both immanent and transcendent. No doubt the Creator is more than I can comprehend but Is knowable to me in part.

glassjester
July 22nd, 2015, 09:54 AM
I believe that God is both immanent and transcendent. No doubt the Creator is more than I can comprehend but Is knowable to me in part.

Definitely. Through natural theology and reason, as well as revelation.

PureX
July 22nd, 2015, 12:02 PM
I'm not seeing how this refutes, confirms, or relates to anything in the OP. How is God, described as the Efficient and Final Cause of all Creation, at all flawed or anthropomorphic? It becomes anthropomorphic when we choose to conceive of God as a human-like being: a 'Magical Merlin' that creates and controls everything, but that exists apart from it, judging it, sometimes condemning it. As many Christians are encouraged to conceive of God.

God is imminent and transcendent.Absolutely. In fact, for me, it's the reality of the phenomena of 'transcendence' in our physical universe that stands as evidence of the Divine (God).

Do you believe in the Trinity?In the way that water manifests itself in our world as a solid, a liquid, or a gas, depending upon the conditions of observation; yes.

glassjester
July 22nd, 2015, 04:52 PM
It becomes anthropomorphic when we choose to conceive of God as a human-like being: a 'Magical Merlin' that creates and controls everything, but that exists apart from it, judging it, sometimes condemning it. As many Christians are encouraged to conceive of God.

Yes, if anyone took that to be God's only activity, then it would be severely limiting, and hardly almighty.

I do believe God exists apart from His creation (transcendence), and throughout it (immanence). I do not believe He is only transcendent. Does any Christian?

Was I reflecting on His existence beyond (or behind) Creation in the OP? Definitely. But I don't think that's all He is. Neither my words nor my thoughts could encompass all that He is.

Can't I contemplate individual aspects of His nature anyway?

I do enjoy that. And I enjoy discussing it. Is there anything you specifically disagree with in what I've said? I really do enjoy talking with others about these things.




Absolutely. In fact, for me, it's the reality of the phenomena of 'transcendence' in our physical universe that stands as evidence of the Divine (God).

I'm not sure how you're using the word transcendence here. And I don't mean that as a criticism. What do you mean by transcendence in our physical universe?

Is God's presence in all things not His immanence?






In the way that water manifests itself in our world as a solid, a liquid, or a gas, depending upon the conditions of observation; yes.

I don't personally subscribe to modalism, but I'm sure the fact that I am Catholic means that goes without saying.

I believe God is a trinity in His very nature - not just in relation to His creation.

PureX
July 23rd, 2015, 07:14 AM
Yes, if anyone took that to be God's only activity, then it would be severely limiting, and hardly almighty.

I do believe God exists apart from His creation (transcendence), and throughout it (immanence). I do not believe He is only transcendent. Does any Christian? I don't know. I do know that most people believe what they want to be true, or what they've been told and never bothered to reconsider for themselves. I also know that conceiving of God as some human-like magical overlord leads to an irrational acceptance of unhealthy religiosity.

I can accept that "God" is a form of existential transcendence, but not without acknowledging that I can't possibly comprehend what that would actually mean.

Was I reflecting on His existence beyond (or behind) Creation in the OP? Definitely. But I don't think that's all He is. Neither my words nor my thoughts could encompass all that He is. God is whatever God is regardless of what we think God is. And there isn't any way for us to know what that is, for sure.

I'm more interested in what we choose to think God is, and how that effects us. I am anti-religious, in general, for example, because I think most religions are not about God at all, but are instead about the ego; control, fear, and the desires of the adherents.

Can't I contemplate individual aspects of His nature anyway?So long as we realize that our contemplations are speculative, and tell us more about ourselves than about "God".

I do enjoy that. And I enjoy discussing it. Is there anything you specifically disagree with in what I've said? I really do enjoy talking with others about these things. Most people who "believe in God" don't realize that what they "believe in" is just their idea of God. What they are believing is that their idea of God, is God. And there is a great danger in this pretense: the arrogance and hubris of unquestioned self-righteousness. Which is a highly addictive drug for a significant number of people.

I don't object or disagree with your perspective experience of God. I'm just warning against the human propensity to confuse this perspective with the actual.

I'm not sure how you're using the word transcendence here. And I don't mean that as a criticism. What do you mean by transcendence in our physical universe?An example would be the transcendency to matter from energy. And then the transcendency to life, from matter and energy. Or the transcendency to consciousness from life. In each instance, a whole new realm of being springs from within a previous realm, the possibility of which could not have been foreseen or anticipated.

Gestalt: where the whole is far greater in scope and effect than the sum of it's parts.

bybee
July 23rd, 2015, 07:50 AM
I like this response.
I would add that whilst I realize that the infinity that is God is beyond my comprehension there is enough available to be known that the seeking is worth the effort.

PureX
July 23rd, 2015, 08:35 AM
I like this response.
I would add that whilst I realize that the infinity that is God is beyond my comprehension there is enough available to be known that the seeking is worth the effort.I think what's available to us in that spark of the Divine that we all have within us as we are bits of "God expressed" (creation). And because it is within us, we can then recognize it within others. Our ability to love, to respect, to appreciate, and to care about others is a manifestation of something Divine, to my way of thinking, because it leads us to a kind of moral transcendence. A morality that transcends our animal nature: survival of the fittest, might makes right, the end justifies the means, etc.,. And this spark is not just within us, we can see it in everything around us, too, if we have the intelligence and the willingness to look for it.

bybee
July 23rd, 2015, 08:46 AM
I think what's available to us in that spark of the Divine that we all have within us as we are bits of "God expressed" (creation). And because it is within us, we can then recognize it within others. Our ability to love, to respect, to appreciate, and to care about others is a manifestation of something Divine, to my way of thinking, because it leads us to a kind of moral transcendence. A morality that transcends our animal nature: survival of the fittest, might makes right, the end justifies the means, etc.,. And this spark is not just within us, we can see it in everything around us, too, if we have the intelligence and the willingness to look for it.

Yup!

glassjester
July 24th, 2015, 03:59 AM
And this spark is not just within us, we can see it in everything around us, too, if we have the intelligence and the willingness to look for it.

Definitely.

This is what I meant when I said God lies beyond, or behind, all physical Creation.

I think it's this sort of higher-dimensionality of God that resolves any paradox between His immanence and transcendence. They merge into one quality, when you view all of Creation as a screen or veil, beyond which, God lies, and upon which, He shines.



Aristotle describes God as the final cause - the end/goal or fulfillment - of all things. It's God's perfection which inspires all things to "move in wonder," compelled to go from potential to actual. Empedocles called this universal, attractive force "Love."

Aristotle, of course, disagreed - and then went on to write the most rational description of God's immanence and transcendence in the pre-Christian world. Strange.