“God is an infinite sphere, the center of which is everywhere, the circumference nowhere.”
—Hermes Trismegistus, “thrice-great Hermes”, Book of the 24 Philosophers.
“The whole visible world is only an imperceptible atom in the ample bosom of nature. No idea approaches it. We may enlarge our conceptions beyond all imaginable space; we only produce atoms in comparison with the reality of things. It is an infinite sphere, the center of which is everywhere, the circumference nowhere. In short, it is the greatest sensible mark of the almighty power of God that imagination loses itself in that thought.”
In a dream/semi-asleep state I hear this lecture/have this inner dialog:
We tend to view the world as if thought is in our own minds and not out in the kosmos. But what if it is the other way around? The ‘ground’ locus of thought is actually the kosmos, or better—God, and WE are relatively inanimate? The Newtonian view (not necessarily Newton’s!) is that WE have freedom in our thought, and the world is completely mechanical.
Gurdjieff teaches that we are ‘mechanical’, and that one of the goals of his exercises and teachings is to regain our freedom.
We think we have choice, but do we? When I look at all the ‘choices’ I have made in the course of my life, if I tally up my genetic inheritance and the sum total of all my life experiences up to that point, in hindsight my choices are in fact rather inevitable. In the practical world of computers there are some calculations that take a while to compute—just because it may take months for the computer to compute the solution (and there are problems that take that long) doesn’t mean that each calculation isn’t completely determined. When we ‘deliberate’ over a Life choice, perhaps it is a similar process—it is simply taking a while for our inner ‘computer’ to compute how our unique combination of Nature and Nurture expresses itself in some new context.
A principle of the science of salesmanship is that people make decisions on an ‘emotional’ basis, and then come up with ‘reasons’ after the fact to justify their choice. It may be true that on commodities like gas that we simply choose the lowest price, or some other objective feature. But for the major and important decisions: those are based on emotion or some other primal and subconscious action. Closely watch your inner self, or reflect on a major choice after the fact, and see if this isn’t so.
In fact, I can’t tell you how many times I wake up in the morning, and I’m thinking about getting up, and as I’m deliberating that choice in my conscious mind when some deep impulse seizes me and I get up even as my conscious mind is still debating the question!
Maybe I’m not so self-sufficient and ”sovereign’ over my own life after all. Maybe I’m just an expression of Something much larger than myself.
One of the teachings of Rohr et al is that a more advanced stage of spiritual growth is the ability to hold paradoxes. What if we extend that ad infinitum—what if God is actually in love with paradox? I mean really in love with paradox? Maybe S/he wants to enjoy paradox Herself. To experience both His native infiniteness—and profound finiteness? To experience both eternal existence—and death? To know All—and simultaneously the time-consuming and sometimes painful experience of learning? To be all-powerful—and experience the utter helplessness of being a new-born baby? To experience the kosmos in its totality—and from a fragile infinitely small perspective? To experience Heaven—and hell?
Isn’t that what the story of Jesus’ incarnation tells us? The pre-existing Logos becomes a baby born into poverty in the middle of nowhere? What if we are all incarnations of the pre-existing Logos? It’s just that Jesus was completely clear about His ‘true identity’ in His whole being, and we’re not. The Logos saw that we weren’t ‘getting it’ so She came to show us—to show the other incarnations of Herself—how it is, and how it’s done! As best as could be explained to our (still) primitive minds.
What if God wants to ‘experience’ not only Her “I am the same yesterday, today, and forever”-ness, but also the ‘heroic quest?’ As each of us He descends/is incarnated into Hades (our individual lives) with all its struggles. Will we find our way back to the Light? (In this way She can also experience Failure.)
And what if God wants to ‘experience’ humanity’s heroic quest’—as a species? Humanity began in the depths of Hades—the Hades of ignorance, bigotry, cruelty, avarice, etc. Will we as a species find our way back to the Light?
(So He as each one of us experiences Individuality. As a member of our species She experiences community and Many-ness.)
This can all also be extended to all living things. She incarnates Himself as every living thing to experience being a bird, and a bug, and a flower—the whole range of degrees of consciousness.
Hmm, wild musings. Not entirely coherent. And certainly not new. But it seems to me that left-brain syllogistic ‘systematic theologies’ just don’t work—what might a right-brain metaphorical (mythical?) theology look like instead? A ‘poetic theology’ instead of a ‘systematic’ one?