69 million page views

An internally consistent world-view

Reader comment on item: Musing on History
in response to reader comment: potentials

Submitted by Michael S. (United States), Jun 25, 2015 at 00:47

Hi, Waz. You said,

"...Everything is a part of 'God'. Ultimately , looked at in this way, - only 'God' exists..."

I said at one point, something to the effect that "if the realm beyond the known universe were called 'God', an intelligent essense of some sort, this would explain inconsistencies we find in physics. Even with this simplistic model, God isn't the only conscious entity because we live in this realm of ignorance, apart from knowledge of God. In other words, at least two classes of entity exist: God and us (non-Gods).

Before we go further, let's speculate on the "essence" of God, whatever that means. God may or may not be made of the "stuff" of this universe (matter, energy, dark matter, dark energy, matergy, whatever), though there's nothing we can perceive that will tell us whether He is or isn't. Philosophically, we see Him as a "counterweight" for what happens in this world -- which would make Him in some ways like us and in some ways not like us. The best analogy of what God is like, comes from Genesis:

Genesis 1:
[27] So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them...

Genesis 2:
[18] And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
[19] And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
[20] And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
[21] And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
[22] And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

In this scenario, God created man in the "image" of Himself -- a visual "counterweight", to put this in the perspective of what I've already said. In one sense, we are "like" God, just as an image in the mirror is like us. Even in the mirror case, though, there is a great difference between the observer and his image: The observer is real; the image is virtual; the observer is right-handed, the image left-handed.

In the case of Adam; it was not good for him to be alone. We can infer from this, that it is not "good" for God to be alone. Likewise, Eve was created "like" Adam in some ways, but his opposite in other ways. God's relationship to Adam was thus mirrored by Adam's relationship to Eve. The bottom line, for the sake of our discussion, is that at least three discreet entities exist: God, Adam and Eve.

You went on to say,

"...The good and the bad, the smallest processes in the infinitude of the nano world in each atom and the largest galactic clusters and all the spaces in between. It is everything.Nothing can exist outside of the 'Ground of Being'...."

You have here defined God as the "Ground of Being". Certainly there is a scriptural basis for this:

I Am that I Am (אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה, ehyeh ašer ehyeh [ehˈje aˈʃer ehˈje]) is the common English translation (JPS among others) of the response God used in the Hebrew Bible when Moses asked for his name (Exodus 3:14). It is one of the most famous verses in the Torah. Hayah means "existed" or "was" in Hebrew; "ehyeh" is the first person singular imperfect form and is usually translated in English Bibles as "I will be" (or "I shall be"), for example, at Exodus 3:14. Ehyeh asher ehyeh literally translates as "I Will Be What I Will Be", with attendant theological and mystical implications in Jewish tradition. However, in most English Bibles, in particular the King James Version, the phrase is rendered as I am that I am.
-- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Am_that_I_Am

My own understanding of this is that God was saying, "I can be whatever I want to be". I don't believe He was saying, "I am existence itself". The Apostle Paul said, speaking to the Athenians,

Acts 17:
[24] God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
[25] Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;
[26] And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
[27] That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:
[28] For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

Note here that God is described as the "Lord" of heaven (a type of the unseen, spiritual realm) and earth (a type of the physical realm, the known universe). He is not described as heaven and earth themselves.

I also partially agree with the following:

Which to me suggests that there is the potentiality for human beings to do astounding things when fully spiritually (for want of a better word) awakened. And you don't have to be no longer in a body for that to happen.

Jesus said that if we have faith, we can do astounding things:

Matthew 21:
[21] Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.
[22] And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

I agree, that humans can potentially do just about anything they can imagine. For example, we have already put a man on the moon, an astounding feat to the ancients. We did that through "faith", but it was faith in the correctness of our scientific theories. Even so, we tested all aspects of the landing before performing it; and the landing itself was actually an experiment to prove that we were correct. When Peter walked on the water, he was using a different kind of faith -- namely, an unquestioning confidence in Jesus and what he commanded.

Let's define "faith":

Hebrews 11:
[1] Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Considerint the model I have constructed, God and spiritual entities live in the world of the "unseen" or "unknown": whereas our physical universe and the empirically-verified science associated with it is the realm of the "seen". Small wonder, that our "known" world is bounded by the speed of light. Faith is the "substance" of the world beyond this one. I suppose we might call it our "warp drive". When we leave this existence, at death or rapture, we enter into a realm where all things are made of faith -- perhaps in the way that this world is made of matter, energy, etc. Nevertheless, Jesus said that our faith can affect things in this present world as well. Paul (who I believe was the author of Hebrews) goes on to say,

[3] Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

Here we have the concept that everything is "framed" by a word (which may be a single word, a string of words, a concept, a picture, etc.) John repeats this idea:

John 1:
[1] In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
[2] The same was in the beginning with God.
[3] All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
[4] In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
[5] And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

In this passage, we can think of our present existence as the "realm of darkness", since our world is bounded by an ignorance that we cannot surmount. That ignorance is like a one-way mirror: God can see in, but we cannot see out:

1 Corinthians 13:
[12] For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

Whatever can be said for or against my cosmological point of view -- which is based on a limited knowledge of science, plus revelation from the Bible -- it is internally consistent. Coming back to the Middle East, which we are actually talking about with our widely-ranging bunny trails, I find it amazing that Muslims accept a doctrine that is deficient in these respects. One day, God will open their eyes.

Thank you for discussing these things with me. I cannot talk about them with Christians, the way I can talk about them here with you.


Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to An internally consistent world-view by Michael S.

Email me if someone replies to my comment

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2022 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)