Friday, 2 September 2016

The One

Poul Anderson, Three Hearts And Three Lions (London, 1977), Chapter Twelve.

"[Alfric] was not the head of the enemy. Morgan le Fay outranked him, and beyond her must be others, clear on to a final One whom Holger did not want to think about." (Chapter Twelve, p. 72)

In Operation Chaos, Steven Matuchek encounters that final One and conveys the deadliness of the experience.

Holger also reflects:

"Both worlds were, in some obscure way, one; the endless struggle between Law and Chaos had reached a simultaneous climax in them. As for the force which made them so parallel, the ultimate oneness itself, he supposed he would have to break down and call it God. But he lacked a theological bent of mind. He'd rather stick to what he had directly observed, and to immediate practical problems." (Chapter Eleven, p. 67)

No, Holger. You do not have to call inter-cosmic oneness "God" and, if you do call it that, then you need to be clear what you mean by it. A friend told me about some mystical literature that he was reading -

Me: Is it theistic?
Him: What do you mean?
Me: Does it refer to God?
Him: Yes.
Me: Does it refer to God as if God is a person?
Him: No.

No! Here we have the paradox of a non-theistic use of the word "God." Words change their meanings and can have more than one meaning. Thus, "God" can mean:

the Biblical Creator Who is distinct from the universe;
the Vedic Creator Who is one with the universe;
the "God" of the Yoga Sutras Who is merely a permanently discarnate soul;
the object of religious experience, which may be impersonal.

Sri Chinmoy said that Hinduism is like a mother. One of her children meditates and says, "Mother, God is impersonal." She replies, "I see, my child." Another of her children meditates and says, "Mother, God is personal." She replies, "I see, my child."

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Of course you know my own belief: I believe God is the Infinitely Transcendent Other who is nonetheless deeply concerned with and for all His creatures. Which means I agree with Holger.