My personal, near full-time quest for the modern understanding of my being in a created Universe, with its necessary conclusion for a Creator, are outlined in the Website articles of ‘perennialviews.com’.
The following reflection intends to complement those articles, and initiated during a fleeting view of an artwork at the NGA, which identified our Creator by His biblical self-revelation of ‘I Am’.
Those words remind us of our human personality that is also identified all over the world and throughout the ages, by same words of ‘I am’, ‘I am me’, etc. However, these words have essentially different meaning used by the Creator and used among human beings; and this difference is the central theme of this reflection.
The materialist philosopher Hegel was struck by the fact of universal similarity in the meaning of these words as used by human beings, and he deemed it an instance of ‘the divine nature of language’.
On the other hand, these same words conjured a daring assumption by Rudy Rucker in his Infinity and the Mind that: ‘…perhaps …there really is only one universal ‘consciousness’ that individual humans are simply disparate faces of what the classical mystic tradition calls the One’.’
Aristotle posited about human self-consciousness that is ‘I am aware of being aware of my existence’ must be the essential condition for self-identification of a person.
He viewed our personal survival is bound up with the ‘first-person’ perspective; as whenever our identity is threatened, the ‘I‘ is at the center-stage by asking ‘What ‘am I’ going to do’? or ‘How ‘am I’ going to do it’? etc.
However, while on one hand, human identity of this ‘first-person’ is expressed as ‘I Am‘, having its contingent existence based in physical reality; on the other hand, the very same words declare a divine identity of the Creator, as having absolute existence and transcending physical reality.
It is interesting to note also that in the Exodus passage, when Moses asks God for His name, the answer of ‘I Am Who Am’ (meaning Yahweh in Hebrew. and ‘I Am’ in Hebrew refers to Lord) succinctly implies for his divine ‘identity’.
Therefore, the meaning and scope of divine words of ‘I Am Who Am‘ summed up in the following philosophical attributes of an Absolute Being:-
He is infinite in every conceivable respect; owes His existence to nothing else; subsistent, omnipotent, omniscient, possessing personhood, and independent of His creation; He is eternal, i.e. transcending space and time without beginning or end. He simply ‘is’.
Finally, the rational deduction from self-evident truth that we find in the physical Universe is all that we can see around us point to a uniquely great Effect, which demands a similar, uniquely great, supernatural Cause. Aristotle considered the existence of a Supreme spiritual being, he called it the ‘Uncaused First Cause’ and the ”Unmoved Mover’ of the Universe.
Nevertheless, when the essence in question is the very existence of the physical Universe, there is nothing within the immensely great Universe that could explain the reason for its own existence; therefore the reason must be outside the physical world.
Anticipating all such questions about the unknowable Creator, Isaiah gives us some answers in the Bible: ‘Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator….’
What are the practical consequences of all this information that could enrich our life? According to Christian belief, the transcendental God formulated ‘Logos’ before creation, the way a computer programmer might design an algorithm, a quasi-software program written into the human mind by our Creator.
The intention of this divine act was to guide ‘immanently’ our human consciousness through reasoned logic toward His divine understanding.
However, the early Christian leaders still kept speculating about a possibly deeper meaning of ‘identity’ of this transcendent Creator, who declared Himself the Lord to Moses, and considered ‘..Such a ‘Bond of the physical Universe as nothing can break’. Leading Israelites also believed firmly that for a Creator God ‘…no name nor utterance nor conception of any sort is adequate’. Although the word Logos was familiar to Israelites but without its true meaning.
These speculations of religious leaders led them to consider even Aristotle the pagan philosopher, whose theories appeared to mean similar to those Moses had pronounced to the Israelites.
Aristotle used already a technical term Logos in his philosophy, as was both part of everyday Greek speech 25 hundred years ago, meaning reason, and order. Furthermore, he viewed Logos as ‘The reasoning principle in the Universe and Natural Law for all men and matter’.
Meanwhile, prophets of the Bible expressed their yearning that apart from this remote, transcendental and unknown divine Logos or Lord, ‘There must be an Unrelated Being who is yet somehow immanently related with us’.
Thus, God’s divine masterplan would tangibly unfold in the Bible as ‘The Logos was conceived in God’s mind before all things and manifest and is manifest in connection with all things’.
In the meantime, the earlier interpretation of Logos, although was enthusiastically adopted as the centrepiece of the Jewish wisdom books, and yet, it had not the slightest allusion to their expected Messiah, hoped to liberate them from their slavery.
In physical reality, however, the Biblical writings described primarily by Paul, and John, the most mystical of the Apostles who witnessed personally how all biblical prophecies (except Christ’s return on the last day) were fulfilled through the advent and resurrection of Christ, the Messiah (the Anointed).
As the result, Christian theologians began to adopt now an entirely new and realistic meaning to the word Logos:
‘Upon creating the physical world, God, in a sense, uttered the Logos, as the ‘breath of God’ or ‘face of the transcendent divine’ turning toward His creation through Logos, to live immanently among us and become our contact with the transcendent Creator who speaks to us now’.
Logos was then conceived according to the original ‘divine plan’ and as described in the Bible: ‘His mystical Body is living among us spiritually as the immanent divine ‘Logos’ till the end of time’. Thus, the ‘identity’ of our Creator has been revealed to us through Logos, his divine Son, Jesus Christ.
‘In the beginning was the Word, (i.e. Logos), and the Word was with God; and the Word was God; He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him…In him was life and the life was the light of men…And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we saw his glory, glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth…’ (Prologue, to the Gospel of St. John. Chapter 1.)
‘They stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, ‘Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?’ He asked them, ‘What things?’ they replied, ‘The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him, But we had hoped that he was the one to set Israel free’. (Luke 24:17-21).