One God Many Religions

‘“In your nothingness I hope to find everything,” said Faust to Mephistopheles, and so it was; after the Mothers, Faust became free to follow his own instincts.”

I owe so much to the teachings of Goethe’s Faust!

In The Beginning was the paradox: How can God/perfection and creation/imperfection coexist? Paraphrasing Robert P. Scharlemann, “what cannot be thought is that the world is the being of God when God is not being deity; the world is, in the time of not being, a moment in the being of God. (p. 89-90, 1982).

Short answer to the paradox above: One God, many religions, why— because God backs into existence; that is, by virtue of being not-God in the form of “being-what-is-not-while-not-being-what-is” God becomes, in the verb sense, “free to be,” and, by implication, in the noun sense, free to be the “God of all creation,” i.e., the logically implied God of creation. This state of affairs suggests to me the original significance of John Paul Sartre’s definition of pre-reflective Cogito (the double movement of conscious reflection). But, of course, in Sartre’s Cogito there was no God. 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) Yet, 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” (implied self-Logos). Absent the “face of God” knowledge—language with its lexical, syntactical, and contextual designations, science, ethical behavior, existential meaning, and religion(s) —could not exist.

The above realization—that I am both D.H. and divine—was a very emotional event. Eventually, I came off of that high, but there was no going back after that. Put another way: God resides in my temporal present as an “all knowing awareness,” but I do not (usually) experience awareness that way. Instead, I experience my own beliefs, concerns, intentions, and deeds. God (implied God), however, resides in my temporal present in the same way that images reside in figure/ground Gestalt representations, e.g., whether you see two faces or a vase depends on which part of the drawing you see as figure and which part as background. This figure/ground relationship is what lies behind my personal relationship with God! bwinwnbwi

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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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5 Responses to One God Many Religions

  1. So happy to find this post from you. Have missed your deep thoughts. Since least I got a post from you I have become a Pinterester. Pinned this post. On my Remember What Matters Board. Need deeper thoughts there so you filled the bill. Stay strong, I am working at it.

  2. Last not least. Oh my aging brain.

    • bwinwnbwi says:

      Thanks for all your support. I also have aging brain problems that make life difficult. Occasionally, however, I leave comments at NPR 13.7. Anticipating one of 13.7’s rare posts on religion, I penned the above comment (upon posting it, however, the comment would be revised to make it appropriate for the discussion). After waiting a couple weeks with no opportunity to post the light came on and I remembered my own blog—nuff said. Stay strong!

  3. boozilla says:

    Wonderful to read you again! Thank you so much. Aging brains, gotta love ’em, yah? What random access memory……….?

  4. bwinwnbwi says:

    In 1922, Werner Heisenberg, as a student, asked his professor and friend-to-be, Niels Bohr, “If the inner structure of the atom is as closed to descriptive accounts as you say, if we really lack a language for dealing with it, how can we ever hope to understand atoms?” Bohr hesitated for a moment and then said, “I think we may yet be able to do so. But in the process we may have to learn what the word `understanding’ really means.”

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