Friday, December 28, 2012

"Most High God" Part III: Personified State

(Continued from Part II: Highest State)

Personified State

This is not an avatar or incarnation of deity.
This 'Personified State' of God is Spirit.
In this 'Personified State' we find a God more akin to our traditional understandings. This state of God meets our criterion of the divine. It has the five attributes. (Omnipotence, Omniscience, Omnipresence, Omnibenevolence, and Personhood).

This is a God that 'lives' within our world (and as we shall explore, within ourselves also). Ultimately we cannot in all honestly commit a non-corporal Spirit to any gender. God cannot be male or female. Maybe both – maybe neither; but not one or the other. Personally, I see this “form” of God as feminine.

The Greek word used for spirit is pneuma and is gender neuter. (It's where we get the names pneumatology and pneumology from). However, Greek was only the language the Old Testament was translated into. The Hebrew word commonly used is ruach and is feminine.

Of the approximately 89 times ruach refers to the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament, only 9 are masculine (and not without some ambiguity). The other 80 are feminine and 44 of which (including the aforementioned Genesis 1:2) are used in the context of feminine verbs. (see More Than Just a Controversy: All About The Holy Spirit).

This Holy Spirit - this Personification of God's Wisdom - this feminine Sophia can be shown to display all five criteria of deity.

“For she is the brightness of the everlasting light, the unspotted mirror of the power of God, and the image of his goodness [omnibenevolence].” Wisdom of Solomon 7: 26 KJV (Apocrypha) 
“…kind to man, stedfast, sure, free from care, having all power, [omnipotence] overseeing all things, [a form of omnipresence] and going through all understanding,[omniscience] pure, and most subtil, spirits.” Wisdom of Solomon 7:23 KJV (Apocrypha) 
“…and being but one [she is an individual being - Personhood], she can do all things: [omnipotence] and remaining in herself, she maketh all things new: and in all ages entering into holy souls, she maketh them friends of God, and prophets.” Wisdom of Solomon 7:27 KJV (Apocrypha)
This is the same Spirit of God in Genesis 1:2 as in Proverbs 8:12 & 27.
This is the only real cognitive, active, and personhood of God. This is the Tao-like Brahman something, conscious and active. But active in our universe how?

For this we need to return to the Hindu understanding of Brahman.
“It is clear from this that Brahma is all that is objective, the whole external world given to us by our senses, all that exists outside of us. “But this is only half the fact. Brahma is also all that is subjective, the whole inward world of feeling and self-consciousness, with which the innermost self is identified... The term for the inner self here employed is atman... in a deeper sense it refers to the innermost and unseen self of a man as distinct from his body, his sense-organs, and his brain, that is to say, his transcendental self or ego.” John B. Noss,“Man's Religions”, Revised Edition, The Macmillan Company 1956, pg. 130
We are introduced to something called the Atman, or sometimes called paramatma. Paramatma is the localized aspect of the Supreme (Brahman) within the hearts of all living entities. The parallel to the gnostic concept of the Divine Spark is noteworthy.

A seed – an unrealized potential within all humanity – God's indwelling Spirit. We return to the Holy Spirit, and again with the feminine ruach. We also know that the Holy Spirit has everything to do with Pentecost.

Wasn't Pentecost an isolated moment in history? A one time event? The moment when the Holy Spirit “comes out of hiding”; takes up residence in Man's hearts and souls.

But isn't history divided into Pre-Pentecost times and Post-Pentecost times? What if the story of Pentecost is taken as a metaphor rather then an isolated historical moment?
“Is the greatest truth about Adam and Eve and the fruit that it happened, or that it happens? This story... is true for us because it is our story. We have all taken the fruit. We have all crossed boundaries. We have all made decisions to do things our way and then looked back and said to ourselves, What was I thinking? The fruit looked so great to Adam and Eve for those brief moments, but the consequences were with them for the rest of their lives. Their story is our story. We see ourselves in them. “This is why the Bible is still so powerful. These ancient stories are our stories. These stories are reflective of how things are... And this is why the Bible loses its power for so many communities. They fall into the trap of thinking that the Bible is just about things that happened a long time ago.” Rob Bell's “Velvet Elvis”, pgs. 58-59
Similar to a point Rob Bell makes in “Velvet Elvis” in reference to Adam and Eve and the Fall, that this story may be true on a daily level. That each and every individual goes through their story, their temptation, their betrayal; that it is Man's story. The same stands true with an alternate interpretation (The Edenic Birdcage – and incidentally, both versions of this story can be true and stand side-by-side.)

Pentecost may be a similar wisdom story or a parable. Pentecost is when the Holy Spirit “comes out of hiding”; takes up residence in Man's hearts and souls. When we become her temple.

If the Pentecostal story is viewed in this same light, the focus ceases to be on a individual historical moment. We no longer need to view history as Pre-Pentecostal and Post-Pentecostal. God's Spirit is present and always has been. It becomes a dormant seed of potential within all human being (and even all living entities). We can begin to see what the Hindus see as the Atman, the paramatma within us all. What the Gnostics viewed as the Divine Spark. It is God's indwelling Spirit inhabiting us as a yet unrealized or unborn potential. Sophia. God the Mother.

It makes us all Sons and Daughters of God. (Granted, it's stealing away many Institutional Religion's exclusive claims to God). It is an indwelling potential all of us have, not just a select few.

Did not Jesus say that there will be others that will do greater things than himself? (John 14:12)? (Also Luke 18:19 and Mark 10:18 - Why do you call me good?).

Jesus. The Unique Son of God.
Did he really claim to be God?
Or was that thrust upon him by Christianity?
God Incarnate?
That brings us to the final states of God. The Incarnational State.

Continued on "Most High God" Part IV: Incarnate State

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