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Elevation And Grounding


minsocal
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So there I was today ... reading Kant. And ... it became so clear. We are human, not all God. But, perhaps participating in God through Creation.

 

Because I am NOT God, I cannot grasp the infinite ... if I could, I would be God.

 

Because I am NOT God, I can aspire to grasp the infinite.

 

God stands in reciprocity to me?

 

Perhaps we are both grasping ... pulling each other into the future?

 

Perhaps that was too much ... and a transitional figure such as Jesus became necessary?

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Sounds like I need to read me some Kant. :)

 

What you wrote rings true with me, Minsocal. Before we can say what we are and what we are not, it would be best to define the terms. And who amongst us can define God adequately enough to give a defining definition?

 

For instance, in my view, God is the creator and sustainer of the universe. Did *I* do this? No, not to my knowledge or memory. And yet, as you have said, I have participated *in* God through the creation of my children and doing what I can to sustain their lives. And I continue to create and sustain things in my life and in my community that are life-affirming. But these are "create" with a little "c", not the creation that is behind the laws of the universe that gave birth to existence and continue to uphold it.

 

To me, we are in God much as a fetus is in it's mother. But the fetus is not the mother and, imo, we are not God. Jesus, imo, shows us what it is like to live and love "in God."

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My God-concepts have changed over the years, and they will probably continue to do so. Therefore, I have to acknowledge that anything I say now is tentative and subject to revision. At the same time, I feel that I’ve made some progress and some understanding in my life and experiences so that I am not simply swapping one relative God-concept for another. Rather, I hope I’m coming closer in apprehending who/what God is and how my life should change as a result of that understanding.

 

That being said, I suspect that Christianity suffered a severe distortion in its God-concepts when it meddled with Greek theological thought of the Roman world into which it moved. Perhaps over-simplified, the Greeks held that the gods lived in heaven and humans lived on earth. The gods were much like the humans, full of the same virtues and vices, but they lived on a higher plane (another locale) and seemed to visit the earth only to mate with a human in order to produce a demigod who often fit into neither realm, but who had an earthly task to perform through god-like supernatural abilities.

 

In contrast, I think that Jesus’ God-concept was that God and his kingdom were already here, not far off in heaven. It was available to everyone if they had “eyes to see and ears to hear.” While there is no denying that Jesus referenced his Jewish heritage with terms like “Father in heaven”, I think the balance of his teachings show us that he believed heaven to be accessible and near. Heaven, for Jesus, was not some far-off dwelling place of God, but wherever God’s will was done. And that will, if I understand it correctly, was for us to live our lives out of compassion for one another and care for our world, especially in seeking justice.

 

How sad it is, then, that Christianity soon adopted Greek thinking in placing God in a far-off “heaven”, leaving humanity alone on earth, with Jesus cast as a demigod who made it possible for “believers” in his sacrificial death to someday “go” to heaven. The Church tells us that God is not here, that sin has separated heaven from earth, God from humanity. And the Church tells us that Jesus’ mission was not to reveal to us that God and heaven are always here with us, but to make a way for us to “go” to God and heaven “someday.”

 

So while I agree that we are not God, but, rather, creations of God, I disagree with popular Christian-Greek thought that God is separate from God’s creation. Jesus, for me, shows us a life centered in the concept of “emmanuel” – God is with us. Heaven is with us, even within us. God is not some far-off Deity, but a very real Presence with us who is our source of life and love.

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