Monday 31 May 2021

What, if anything, is outside creation?

For traditional Christians: God is outside of creation - and every-thing else is inside it (including, you, me, and every entity)

For some Eastern Religions (and their Western oneness/ perennialist derivations): nothing is outside creation (because it is one) - including that 'deity' is inside of creation (hence is not fully a creator). 

For me: God (as creator) is outside of creation - and so is somewhat of all Beings (including you and me). Beings are such that each has somewhat outside of creation (which is divine, original, generative) and somewhat inside. 

That of us which is inside creation is inside God's creation; and that of us which is outside creation can contribute to God's creation. 


Doktor Jeep said...

Water above. Water below.

Francis Berger said...

"That of us which is inside creation is inside God's creation; and that of us which is outside creation can contribute to God's creation."

I don't mean to pester, I just want to make sure I have understood this properly. Can that which outside of creation contribute to God's creation through that which is in God's creation? Can our immortal, spiritual selves contribute to God's creation via our mortal selves within God's creation? Or can the contribution only occur outside God's creation (presumably after death)?

Bruce Charlton said...

@Frank - Yes to the first two questions.

One interesting thing about this kind of 'geometry' or physics types reasoning is that it smuggles in a metaphysical assumption of a division between that which is inside and outside of creation - which, to my mind, makes a picture of two separate things - and raises the problem of how the two can interact.

It is a bit like the separation of mind and body that was (supposedly) introduced by Descartes - the division creates a problem of interaction because if divided they cannot interact.

I really should kick the habit...

That is why this kind of metaphysics either gets bogged down in assertions about Polarity - whereby that which may properly be distinguished cannot be divided. Or else we try to use more biological natural metaphors, which don't lead to this problem.

Francis Berger said...

Thanks, Bruce.

Would it be wrong to assume Jesus bridged this division in the sense that the part of Him that was outside creation interacted in perfect harmony with the part of Him that was in God's creation? That's where my thinking is taking me these days.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Frank - Well, I don't think there is really a 'gap' to be bridged - that would be taking the explanatory 'model' too literally. But certainly Jesus was fully integrated and fully aligned.

I suppose that it is the 'part' of us that is outside creation (or real, divine, self or soul) which is what must choose to ally ourselves with God.

The part of us inside creation is more like our personality, which is more like a fact of life (one of the experiences from-which we must learn) - I don't think it is directly a factor in salvation.

Francis Berger said...

I expressed myself rather clumsily in my previous comment. Fully integrated and fully aligned is a far better way of putting it. Thanks.