God Is Nature—Freedom And Reason Are Part Of Nature

Mike Conversation Continues
July, ‘82

“Pantheism is part of it, but there’s more,” I said. “I have always
been attracted to those images of deity that identify God with nature.
Spinoza, Lao Tsu, Whitman, Black Elk, all those guys believed nature
to be sacred. God is nature, but nature is also an expression of God’s
freedom, and further, God’s freedom is something `other’ than God. It
is God when God is `not being God’–God’s own non-being. I know that
sounds strange, but I can’t help it. That’s the way it is.”

“Sure,” Mike responded, “cut to the chase why don’t you, and we’ll
see just how strange that idea really is.”

“I’m getting there,” I said. “All nature is a `way of non-being.’ This non-being is peculiar in that it is not a singular thing; rather, it is manifested by reciprocal movement—the reciprocal movement occurring within the structure of double negation. God, a logically implied God, must exist because if all existence occurs within the structure of double negation then that which is implied by the double negative becomes logically affirmed, or, put another way, the Logos becomes another word for God. But that is not the end of it. This logically implied God becomes ‘free’ in the reciprocal movement that occurs within the structure of the double negative. All existence, in fact, occurs within the reciprocal movement of the double negation, so we have arrived back at the concept of pantheism with two important differences:

1) God, via implication, exists.
2) God, ‘in the form of the other,’ is both God and freedom, and, through reasoned analysis, we can derive the meaning and significance of God. In fact, both freedom and logic, on some level, are present in all non-being, all nature.

So you see, the concept of pantheism now includes logic and reason and that is a game changer. Both God and God’s ‘freedom to be’ expands the concept of pantheism to include not just what we call ‘universe,’ but also the freedom to evolve self-conscious awareness, logical consistency, and the ‘collective good’ that perpetuates and sustains all humanity.

“That’s the chase,” Mike replied. “That’s it?”

“I told you, my god is not user friendly,” I said. “Freedom exists at
every level of nature. It also goes through changes, and these changes
represent freedom at more complex levels. After a sufficient level of
complexity, freedom becomes less restricted. When it experiences its
own double-negatives in the space of a higher negation, it becomes
alive. In that sense, freedom is always `stretching itself’ and
`reaching out’ for more freedom. At a sufficient level of complexity,
inorganic nature becomes organic, and freedom becomes freer. At death,
nature’s double negation must be conserved, so higher expressions of
freedom dissolve into less free states, and, ultimately, into God
because God is affirmed in double negation—in the being of non-being. This is
my religion. This is what I believe. God is not separate from nature,
life, or culture. That’s how I understand the meaning and significance of God.”

“What has culture to do with anything?” Mike said. “Hell, social
insects have culture!”

“True,” I replied, “but they do not bring self-consciousness to
culture; consequently, they are not free to expand that culture into
self-determined orders of complexity. Only humans can do that. Humans
are free in a way other animals are not.”

“That’s bullshit,” Mike said. “Culture keeps us alive. It’s the same
with insects. It’s a matter of degree, not kind, and the same goes for
what you call freedom.”

“Suit yourself,” I replied, “but at least hear me out.

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About bwinwnbwi

About me: Marvin Gaye’s song, "What’s Going On" was playing on the jukebox when I went up to the counter and bought another cup of coffee. When I got back, the painting on the wall next to where I was sitting jumped out at me, the same way it had done many times before. On it was written a diatribe on creativity. It was the quote at the bottom, though, that brought me back to this seat time after time. The quote had to do with infinity; it went something like this: Think of yourself as being in that place where infinity comes together in a point; where the infinite past and the infinite future meet, where you are at right now. The quote was attributed to Hermann Hesse, but I didn’t remember reading it in any of the books that I had read by him, so I went out and bought Hesse’s last novel, Magister Ludi. I haven’t found the quote yet, but I haven't tired of looking for it either.
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One Response to God Is Nature—Freedom And Reason Are Part Of Nature

  1. bwinwnbwi says:

    Freedom is both the source and ground of universe/life/reason, while at the same time, being absolutely transcendent as the “affirmative ideal.” The three different pulses of freedom’s inter-connectivity explain away the seemingly unbridgeable gap that separates science and religion; the third pulse liberating the “affirmative ideal in human consciousness,” which, in turn, became the source of meaningful symbol creation that opened the door to language creation, myth, religion, art, theoretical knowledge, and the rest of the civilizing processes that we call civilization.

    Inherent in both matter (the ~~b structure) and consciousness (the b~b~bb structure, i.e., self-consciousness/Sartre) we witness the “affirmative ideal”. Soul, if that’s what one wants to call “life after death,” has no place to go outside of the affirmative ideal! I am not going to argue there is life after death; but, I will argue that death is a necessary structural condition of human consciousness, and hence a condition that suggests something like life after death may exist. One can ponder the spiritual significance of the affirmative ideal for a long, long, long, time, then again, love, the kind of love that preserves and seeks out the best in all things, I believe, allows one to face death without fear or regret.

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