Mike Conversation Continues
“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.