Question people always ask. Key question as deals with realm of meaning. Does life have a meaning? What is meaning of life? Who am I? Identity Answer depends on whether God exists or not and what God is like. I am Man U supporter. I am child of prime minister. I am child of God. If don’t understand purpose end up destroying self. No God -> nihilism, Sartre. All ways of life equally valid.
Renoir. Invisible idea takes a substntial form. Artist invests whole self in painting. Tries to reveal, express self through work. If succesful happy. So study work can understand character. Reverse engineering
If God created world should be able to find him in it. Wordsworth, Coleridge poem
Basic symmetry of the natural world. Jung called anima and animus All things exist in complementary pairs We call these the Dual Characteristics of yang and yin or masculinity and femininity or positivity and negativity
Atoms are made up of positive nucleus and negative electrons Molecules are made up of atoms with positive and negative valencies Plants and all living organisms are made up of DNA which is double helix with base pairs. Also have stamen (pollen) and pistil/carpel (ovum) In animals generally more separate sexes. Male and female are needed to reproduce and maintain existence of the species Human beings too. Particles -> next slide Extra info: Polarity exists throughout the creation. Scientists have often commented on the symmetry which exists, and use this to postulate the existence of undiscovered particles. Yang and yin include masculinity and femininity, and positivity and negativity. There are two important points to note here. Firstly, unlike in the English language, &quot;negative&quot; in Unificationism does not have the connotation of evil or deficient (despite its general conversational use by Unificationists in this way). And secondly, as mentioned before, Derrida has been compared to Lao Tzu. Both reversed the normal order of polarities in their own cultures. Unificationism therefore has reversed again the reversed order. Hence yang and yin instead of the traditional yin and yang . At the level of minerals, there are anions and cations. A molecule has neutral charge if they balance out. At the level of life, DNA is a double helix of base pairs. It replicates by unravelling and each strand creating its pair.
So in the real world what is the ultimate symbol of God? Sexual organs. Seat of intense creativity and ecstacy. Drawn together to interpenetrate and become one.
Not dualism - Soul body. Ss/hs is nature of reality. Very important how use language. Often in UC say ‘this is external’ ‘this is internal’ This is dualism not unificationism. Everything has dual aspects. Can’t have internal without external or vice versa. not this is external and this is internal Can’t say witnessing is internal and FR is external Witnessing is an external expression of heart to share principle, love others etc. Fr is external expression of desire to make an offering. A way of learning. Everything has 2 dimensions One is the exprression of the other Transparency, what you see is/should be what you get. Shouldn’t have ‘inetrnal’ and ‘externa;’ motivations. That is called having an ulterior motive. Dishonet. Be transparent. We have been unsuccesful because often had an ulterior (internal) motivation. People could see this and feel it. Do something for its own sake. Putrity of hear is to will one thing.’ kierkegaard UC too opaque, secretive
Don’t encounter ss and hs as separate. Just different aspects/dimensions. Can’t have one without the other. One is an expression of the other. This is traditional Christian incarnational sacramental theology. A sacrament such as baptism is an outward and visible sign of an inward and invisible grace Saussure - ‘sign’ combination of word and idea. Word is signifier; idea is signfied
IDN -> move towards complexity Thimgs exist and move because mind directs body
Highest most complete expression of God is a person. So self-knowledge very important. prayer
That insight is also at the heart of the Biblical view of human nature. It is within oneself that one encounters the divine. God wrote himself into our hearts. For this commandment which I command you this day, it is not hidden from you, nor is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, “Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?” Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, “Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?” But the word is very near to you, in your mouth, and in your heart, that you may do it.
First let us look at what the Bible teaches us about God. Throughout history God revealed Himself to his prophets and the messages they received from God and the experiences they had of God were written down and collected together to form the Bible. Can’t say ‘my God’ compared to ‘your God’. Or Jewish, Christian, Muslim Gods. Only One God The key insight for Jews, Christians and Muslims is the Oneness and Unity of God.
It is God who created the universe. God is powerful. Some other religions teach that the physical world is evil, the creation of a malevolent being Is omnipotence what is most important? Is power what is most important to God? But is power the most important thing for God. Do we worship God only because he is powerful?
God knows everything. God is very much higher than us, very Other. But is knowledge most important for God?
God is not just powerful. God is good. Another key insight. Ethical monotheism. But what is justice if no one to judge? Is justice most important attribute of God?
Moving now to a deeper level. God is love. Love presumes a relationship. So what is the relationship between God and people?
In the Lord’s Prayer Jesus called God, “Abba” meaning “Daddy”. This brings us closer to the understanding of why God created.
So what is the essence of God which explains him. Mystery of course.
Now bearing all this in mind, let us explore one of the central mysteries of the faith. Why did God create?
God satisfied. Happy. Created for God’s pleasure Joy through creating. What create expression of self. Deeper relationship if more like self. God wanted more than just things. Limit to depth of relationship. Wanted beings like himself. How to make? Spirit is indivisible. Therefore need physical world. Joy from rock, plant, pet, human, friend, lover
Child enjoys touching, playing with things. New things. Relationship with things limited. Collect rocks but whether live or die they don’t change. Don’t depend on self for life. Can cut and polish. Child plants bulbs and waters. Plant depends on you for life. Awe and wonder. But can’t touch or kill. Animal, pet -> play with, train, tricks, dog best friend – loyal and will defend. Returns love with loyalty and affection Read poetry to dog -> woof woof Want relationship with another human being -> friends Want to experience unique love, understand with another -> marriage Relationship should deepen and last forever
This is why God created man in his own image. Deepest relationship. Wanted to create other gods with whom could share everything. The original will is in the theology of creation. Too often we focus on salvation. Difference in Ortho church between image and likeness God had a dream, a vision and ideal. He wanted to create beings like himself with which he could share his love and everything. So God created human beings as his children in his image and likeness so that he could enjoy a relationship of love with us.
God had plan. A production line
These three fold blessings are a central concept in the Bible. God gave these blessings to Adam and Eve and later to Noah and
Blessing a gift. Level 4 defines blessing as “ability”. We have existential burden to create charater by what think say and do. A true person has mind and body centred on God. Their words and deeds are the same. They keep their promises. A tree bears fruit when it is mature. So God told Adam and Eve to grow and mature and become ‘perfect as God is perfect.’ Jesus of course was such a person. There was no difference between what he taught and how he lived. He taught people to love their enemies and on the cross he asked God to forgive the very people who were crucifying him. If Jesus says he loves you, you know he will never change his mind. He was the incarnation of God. God lived in and through him. This what God wanted everyone to become like. By become perfect and one with God we inherit the heart of God 1 Cor. 3:16 “You are the temple of God and God’s spirit dwells in you” John 14:20 “In that day you will know that I am in my Father and you in me and I in you.”
Growing up is mind mastering body. So learn to control excretery functions, eat at right time and place, sleep at right time and place and in right clothes after washing etc. So too with sex - right time, right place, right person. If body dominates mind -> greedy, secret eating, quantity not quality, stuffing oneself. Eating should be elevated and spiritualised. Beauty embodied in meal -> elegantly laid outr table, eating as social occasion. Ritualised meals, scared meals, feasts, festivals. Same sexual desire - lust. Should also be given high spiritual content. Express love. Sex without love -> empitiness and dehumanising. Unity of spiritual and physical. Principle point is sp and ph are different aspects, dimensions. So eating, sleeping and sex all have sp and phy dimension. What is important is if spiritualised and eleveated or not. Sex too should be encounter with divine not just satisfying urge. Desire for shelter -> cave or beautiful architecture. Desire for sleep -> cardboard box or luxory bed
Having reached maturity, God wanted to bless Adam and Eve in marriage and wanted them to establish a happy family in which he could dwell. By establishing an ideal family we inherit God’s love and logos. God’s love is NOT complete until ideal family established Rev 21:2 “Behold the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them and they shall be his people”
God created the world as our home and wanted Adam and Eve and their descendants to look after and develop it so as to create a comfortable and beautiful environment. This would be the Kingdom of God on earth. Through this we would inherit God’s creativity. “ So out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air and brought them to the man to see what he would call them and whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name.” Co-creators with God Ps 8:6-8 “Thou hast given him dominion over the works of thy hands; thu hast put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea.”
In the garden of Eden was the archangel Lucifer who rebelled against God and refused to bow down to Adam and Eve who he did not respect. Lucifer undermined Eve’s faith and tempted her to disobey God’s commandment. In giving into her desire for the fruit she turned away from God and become self-centred. Eve offered the fruit to Adam and he also disobeyed God’s commandment and ate it. Through this Adam and Eve became slaves to sin and Satan came to rule humanity. This broke God’s heart. But God looked forward to the day when everything would be put right.
Even Jesus had to grow and become perfect.
In the created world only the human being combines material and spiritual elements. Human existence is thus differentiated from non-human creation in a qualitative way. In light of this fact, the Church Fathers often speak of the human being as a &quot;little world&quot;, a &quot;microcosm&quot; of the whole of the creation. Using this notion, the Church Fathers teach that the human body contains in it all levels of existence of the natural world which preceded it in order of the creation, and considered the physical elements which make up the human body as in no way different from those which constitute the physical world. This means that the natural world is fully integrated with the human being and the whole of the creation. 10. At the same time, the Fathers' use of the notion of microcosm means that humanity, created in God's image and likeness, transcends the material world because it participates in God spiritually and consciously, unlike the rest of the creation. Humankind then stands on the boundary ( methorion ) between the material and the spiritual worlds as a connecting link.
Just + elements not good Just – elements not good -> burnt out if just work hard even if helping others. Need truth and to be connected to infinite source of love – God – otherwise become empty. Then God’s love flows through you to bless others.
Law of resemblence <ul><li>“ Ever since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen…from what has been made.” </li></ul>Romans 1:20
So what is the world like? <ul><li>Every entity possesses the dual characteristics of yang/masculinity/positivity and yin/femininity/negativity </li></ul><ul><li>These dual characteristics are complementary and mutually attractive </li></ul>
+ – + – + – Dual characteristics in creation All Beings Masculinity Femininity Humans Man Woman Animals Male Female Plants Stamen Pistil Molecules Atoms Particles
First Cause Universe Cause Effect Masculinity Femininity Masculinity Femininity If all things in the universe have masculine and feminine aspects, the Ultimate Cause or Creator of the universe must also possess the dual characteristics of masculinity and femininity. Within God these characteristics are harmonised into oneness. – + + –
So what is the world like? <ul><li>Everything has two aspects: an outer form and an inner quality </li></ul><ul><li>The visible outer form resembles the invisible inner quality </li></ul><ul><li>The inner quality has a structure which is manifested in the outer form </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Palm reading </li></ul></ul><ul><li>These two aspects are called “Dual characteristics of internal nature and external form” </li></ul>
Examples All Things Internal nature External form Sign Idea/signified Word/signifier Mechanic Skill, knowledge Body Watch Design Metal Diamond Coal Molecular structure Carbon Baptism Grace Water Tear Sorrow, joy Water, salt
Dual characteristics All Beings Internal nature External form Humans Heart, mind & spirit/soul Body Animals Instinct Body Plants Taxis Body Molecules Directive nature Energy & matter Atoms Directive nature Energy & matter Particles Directive nature Energy & matter
First cause Universe Cause Result External form External form Internal nature If all things in the universe have inner and outer aspects, the Ultimate Cause or Creator of the universe must also possess the dual characteristics of internal nature and external form. Internal nature
<ul><li>“ Know yourself. He who knows himself will know God. He who knows God will become like God.” </li></ul><ul><li>St. Clement of Alexandria </li></ul>
<ul><li>But the word is very near to you, in your mouth, and in your heart, that you may do it. </li></ul><ul><li>Deuteronomy 30: 11-14 </li></ul>
One God <ul><li>“ Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One.” </li></ul><ul><li>Deuteronomy 6:4 </li></ul>
God is the Creator <ul><li>“ Ah Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You.” </li></ul><ul><li>Jeremiah 32:17 </li></ul>
God is all knowing <ul><li>For the Lord is a God of knowledge, And with Him actions are weighed.” </li></ul><ul><li>I Samuel 2:3 </li></ul>
God is Just <ul><li>"For all His ways are just; A God of faithfulness and without injustice, Righteous and upright is He.” </li></ul><ul><li>Deuteronomy 32:4 </li></ul>
God is Love <ul><li>“ God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” </li></ul><ul><li>1 John 4:16 </li></ul>
God is our Parent <ul><li>“ Our Father who art in heaven . . .” </li></ul><ul><li>Jesus called God “Abba” </li></ul>
God is Heart <ul><li>“ What is man, that you make so much of him, and that you set your heart on him.” </li></ul><ul><li>Job 7:17 </li></ul><ul><li>And when the Lord smelled the pleasing aroma, the Lord said in his heart , "I will never again curse the ground because of man.” Genesis 8:21 </li></ul><ul><li>Yet the Lord set his heart in love on your fathers and chose their offspring after them, you above all peoples, as you are this day. </li></ul><ul><li>Deuteronomy 10:15 </li></ul>
<ul><li>And God said, “Let us make man after our own image, after our likeness”. </li></ul><ul><li>Genesis 1:26 </li></ul>
<ul><li>“ I say, ‘You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you .” Psalm 82:6 </li></ul><ul><li>“ God became man so that man might become God.” Athanasius </li></ul><ul><li>“ Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.” Ephesians 5:1 </li></ul>
The Three Great Blessings <ul><li>And God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it.” </li></ul><ul><li>Genesis 1:28 </li></ul>
The first blessing: Be fruitful “ You are the temple of God and God’s spirit dwells in you.” 1 Corinthians 3:16 The ability to create and complete our character Unity of mind and body Words and deeds are one Sensitivity to the heart of God Joy Be ye perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:48 Subject Object “ And I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who shall do according to what is in my heart and in my mind.” I Samuel 2:35 True Person Mind Body God
Mind - Body unity True Person Subject Object Beauty Truth Goodness Food Sleep Shelter Sex God Mind Body
The second blessing: Multiply The ability to create an ideal family Joy Four Great Realms of Heart If we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. I John 4:12 Society Nation World True Family Man God Woman
“ Become like God” <ul><li>When husband and wife are united in marriage, they are no longer seen as something earthly, but as the image of God Himself. </li></ul><ul><li>St John Chrysostom </li></ul><ul><li>The love of God and the love of man are not two loves, but aspects of the same unifying love. </li></ul><ul><li>St Maximus the Confessor </li></ul>
Third blessing: Take dominion Right of dominion over the creation Joy Inherit God’s creativity Lords of Creation Whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. Genesis 2:19 Microcosm Harmony with nature God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it. Genesis 2:15 The creation waits for the revealing of the sons of God. Romans 8:19 Beautiful World Person Creation God
What was God’s original ideal? Mature Person Mind Body God Society Nation World Happy Family Adam God Eve Beautiful World Person Creation God
How do living things grow? Completion Growth Formation Tree Sapling Seed Adult Youth Child Indirect Dominion Direct Dominion God Man “ God unites Himself only with gods.” St Symeon the New Theologian God guides people through his Word God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. I Jn. 4:16
Principles of Growth <ul><li>Living things automatically reach perfection through the laws of nature </li></ul><ul><li>Human beings only reach perfection through the laws of nature AND by fulfilling their responsibility </li></ul><ul><li>“ And the child grew strong, filled with wisdom and the favour of God was upon him.” Luke 2:40 </li></ul>
The role of human responsibility <ul><li>“ Your faith has made you well.” Mark 5:34 </li></ul><ul><li>“ The prayer of faith will save the sick man.” </li></ul><ul><li>James 5:15 </li></ul><ul><li>“ Behold I stand at the door and knock.” </li></ul><ul><li>Revelation 3:20 </li></ul><ul><li>“ Ask and you will receive.” Matthew 7:8 </li></ul>Divine Grace + Human Will -> God’s Will
Freedom and responsibility <ul><li>“ Behold I set before you this day, a blessing and a curse: the blessing if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God . . . And the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the Lord your God . . .” </li></ul><ul><li>Deuteronomy 11:26-28 </li></ul>
Examples of freedom <ul><li>If Adam and Eve had not eaten the fruit there would be no sin </li></ul><ul><li>If Abraham had not been willing to sacrifice Isaac . . . . </li></ul><ul><li>If the people of Ninevah had not repented </li></ul><ul><li>If Jesus had been accepted . . . . </li></ul>
Why did God give people freedom and responsibility? <ul><li>To give us creativity so that we could become co-creators and children of God </li></ul><ul><li>So that we could become Lords of Creation and rule creation in our own right </li></ul>
What is the relationship between the spiritual world and the physical world?
What are the stages of life? Like dying Like dying Placenta Mind Spirit self Body Physical self Spirit Mind Spirit Body 40 weeks 80 years Eternity Unborn child It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. I Cor.15:44 SPIRITUAL WORLD final destination EARTH preparation of the spirit self WOMB preparation of the physical self
What is the position of human beings? Physical Body Spiritual Body Spiritual Mind Physical Mind Spiritual World Physical World Angels Spirits Ancestors Minerals Plants Animals Mediator between spiritual and physical worlds Jesus spoke to Elijah and Moses Human beings are a microcosm of the cosmos
What is the relationship between spirit and body? + Air Food, water - Vitality elements Life elements ‘ My food is to do the will of him who sent me.’ John 4:34 Light Warmth Physical Self Spiritual Self Spirit elements + - “… as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead”. James 2:14-26 Love Truth + Atmosphere of freedom God