Thursday 10 March 2022

Try and see it from God's point of view...

That we should try and understand creation from God's point of view was a recurrent theme in the work of William Arkle - and one of the valuable things I got from reading him. 

In particular, I found it useful to consider why God created in the first place - what was God trying to achieve by it? 

But the imaginative exercise also highlights several vital metaphysical assumptions that must be made prior to the procedure. 

For instance; Christians know (or ought to know) that we are like God and God like us in some very fundamental ways - for instance, because Jesus (a Man) was fully divine, and because Men are described as Sons of God. 

It is this sameness of kind that makes it a valid exercise. 

If, on the other hand, we regard God as qualitatively different from us - than the exercise must be misleading. But then, it seems not to be Christian to insist on absolute difference. 


When we identify with God before creation, in broad terms God's motivator seems to be something-like loneliness; and God's overarching purpose seems to be to make companions... 

And the best possible companions are similar but not identical, free and agent 'divine friends' who are bound-together by love and a common (overall) purpose - for which we have the earthly-mortal analogy of the best kind of human family.

That is, 'creation' is about making individuals and situations, the-result-of-which is intended to be: more Beings of the same kind, and at 'the same level', as God. 

Also, we need to decide whether or not God was single and utterly alone before creation. 

And if not alone, then with whom? Another god or gods, presumably - by which I mean, others who are different/distinct Beings of the same kind and level.  

This is especially relevant because if God was a solitary god before creation; then He could not actually love until after he had created. 

This makes a big difference - because if God was initially alone, then embarking on creation seems likely to be necessarily of a self-gratifying, gratuitous, 'playful' and indeed experimental act - indeed this was how Arkle eventually seemed to regard it.  

(Arkle regarded god as initially one - then dividing into Heavenly Parents, and then further to procreate Jesus Christ, who contained both the male and female aspects.)

I have not thought-through the implications of multiple god; but my own conviction is that God's original situation was dyadic: a Heavenly Father and Mother. And it was from their mutual love that creation originated.  

In other words, before creation there was both the loneliness of Heavenly Parents as the only divine Beings; and also the experience hence knowledge of love, which pointed the way ahead to a creation of more-and-more divine Beings living (and creating) in a harmony rooted in love. 

A creation rooted in the experience of love is not gratuitous, nor a game; and is 'experimental' only in terms of creation being a trying-out of various means towards a known end.  

And such a creation is understood to be open-ended (endlessly expansible); because the more loving divine companions that eventuate: the better. Each - being different - adds to the totality ad potential of creation. 

Yet because all such divine companion Beings are harmonized by love; then there is no limit to how many can be integrated in the 'project' of creation. The more the better!


Francis Berger said...

"we are like God and God like us in some very fundamental ways"

Very important!

This is one of Arkle's most meaningful insights, in my opinion. Moreover, I think it's key to the further "development" of Christianity. Traditional ideas that place God in an entirely separate category of being and claim that any relationship between man and God is analogous to the sort of relationship my pet cat has with me do not provide the sort of framework required to reveal the true potentiality and depth of Christianity.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Frank - Yes indeed.

Of course, there are pitfalls in this - as in all - directions. There are some net-dreadful 'channeled' books (Christianized New Age, usually) which purport to 'tell the world' what God's view is on this that or the other. They mix truths and lies artfully - or accept them gullibly - when they genuinely emanate from the spirit realm.

(It is strange the way that 'God' or his angels have so often apparently chosen to communicate divine teachings in such a form that they can become bestsellers; and lead the recipients to fame, prosperity and serial adultery!)

To avoid this is why I suggest that each Christian regards such revelations and communications as intended for himself; and test them in his own life. That is the proper meaning of romanticism in Christianity.

Howard Ramsey Sutherland said...

You've said something very important here, that we can't hear too often.
For resurrected life eternal to be something Christians should desire enough truly to seek for it, it's essential that God's Creation be open-ended, with the possibility - and reality - of growth and beneficial change. We can't fully imagine what that means, but we catch glimpses.
It's easy to think of Heaven as a place of blissful stasis. That's not enough.