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.