The God Connection—What If Paper

What follows is an abbreviated version of my final paper to satisfy the requirements for my Independent Study class in the Department of Religion at Central Michigan University, April 30, 1981

The God Connection

In this paper I will explore the possibility that human meaning is a
consequence of God’s nothingness. The development of this idea has so
radically changed my perception of the world that in my reassessment
of the world, things, which once appeared insignificant or
meaningless, now possess unlimited virtue. In the pages that follow I
would like to share some of this newly acquired insight. My premise
simply stated is: What if God is free not to be God?

The above premise begins to make sense when you consider that God and
freedom are non-complementary terms. It is difficult to conceive of
God contained within boundaries or limits, but in order for freedom to
exist, qualifications must follow. For instance, implied in freedom is
a freedom from, or a freedom to, and within these qualifications there
is a further qualification of a not that or a not yet, i.e., place and
time. Given these types of limitation it does not appear that freedom
can be an attribute of an omnipresent, omnipotent God unless—God is
free to not be God!

It may be that in order for God to Be and be free at the same time
that God must “Back Into Existence”, so to speak; that is, by virtue
of being not-God in the form of “being-what-is-not-while-not-being-what-is,”
God becomes free, in the verb sense, and, by implication,
God becomes free to Be, in the noun sense (the God of all creation is
the logically implied God of all creation). This odd state of affairs, it
seems to me, suggests the original significance of John Paul Sartre’s
conception of a being that exists as being-what-is-not-while-not-being-what-is.
But, of course, Sartre was not referring to God when he conceived this relationship. Rather, he was addressing what he thought to be the “mechanics of human
self-consciousness.” Nevertheless, we see here essentially the same
relationship addressing two different situations, 1) human
consciousness on the one hand, and, 2) God’s freedom to be on the other.


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 The God Connection—What If Paper

  1. bwinwnbwi says:

    By virtue of being not-God (~~b) God becomes, in the verb sense, “free to be,” while, in the noun sense, free to be the “God of all creation,” i.e., the implied God of creation. Sartre’s cogito (for Sartre) had nothing to do with God, however, as Sartre says, the transcending For-itself …”is a being such that in its being, its being is in question in so far as this being implies a being other than itself.” (Being And Nothingness p.801) In so far as Sartre’s pre- reflective cogito is a product of freedom, i.e., a product of universe, life, and the symbol-generating movement of free thought, it reflects both the backside of God (the time of not being) and the “face of God” (our emotional experience of beliefs, concerns, intentions, and deeds). Absent the “face of God” knowledge—language with its lexical, syntactical, and contextual designations, science, ethical behavior, existential meaning, and religion(s) —would not/could not exist.

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