Response to some Theological Speculation

"The
free will we are endowed by our Creator is the very thing that defines
our existence– creation without free will is creation without love;
ironically, it is love, and only love, that can create life, for all
goodness rests in love. That which is not love is only for tearing down." -Amanda

Your point about love being the only thing that can create free
will…that is an interesting one.  Fear creates, ignorance creates,
but they do so without free will.  Why?  Because they are possessive,
they create only to benefit themselves.  Love creates for the pleasure
of letting go.  And this marks two ways that we as humans can create,
or approach life.  If we approach life through fear and ignorance
(which we all to often do), what we call love is really an attempt to
fortify ourselves and fill an emptiness within our hearts that we are
afraid of.  We don't want a person to be who they are, we want a person
to act in a way that benefits us.

If we approach life through love, then we are much more relaxed.  We do
not grasp at things or at people.  We love them without wanting to
possess them because we do not fear emptiness.  We have found that
emptiness is a window through which we might view love, truth, and
authenticity on the deepest level.  Love, it seems, is about letting
go.  And this letting go does imply a will to let each and every
creature or force behave as it is.

"This is what is meant of the Something More when I say it is "the individuality and unity of life."" -Amanda

You seem to be getting at something essential here.  Two components of
God.  Individuality, unity.  Others have labeled them immanence and
transcendence, or the Sophia and the Logos.  It is an ironic view of
God, because it holds two seemingly opposite qualities together.  For
me, this idea is absolutely essential to my concept of God. 

I understand your flirting with pantheism, because strict monotheism
doesn't seem to give you the same impression of cohesiveness and
unity.  It emphasizes God being set apart, transcendent.  While this
feels true to you, it doesn't emphasize how present God feels. How he
brings us together and exists in every level of his creation.

I also understand your hesitance to take on pantheism.  Christians have
long looked down on it.  You do not want to lose the transcendent
aspect of God.  But you don't have to. 🙂

I suggest you look into panentheism. It's monotheism and pantheism
combined.  The ironic God.  Both immanent and transcendent.  And the
fun part?  You can find traces of it (along with mysticism) in every
single religion.  I believe it is a more accurate description of how
God feels to us.

As far as the art and artist, I think God's presence goes deeper than
that.  To me, God is the artist, but he is also the canvas, the paint,
the will and the life of the art itself.  Once he has created, he lets
it take on a life of its own, but it is not separate, not on the most
fundamental level.  For though it does as it wills, it is made of the
canvas and paint.  It is free and separate on one level, but it is made
of God on another.  In every living thing exists a spark of God's
presence.

And on the topic of free will…I actually think that the more you
reveal this spark, the freer you are.  The more you let it become
buried, the more ignorant you are of your true nature, and the more
bound to separation you become.

So, paradoxically, I think that to be free *is* to be one with God.  To
have your will freely join with his.  It is rather ironic that in order
to become truly free, we do not start bound and have to separate
ourselves, but the reverse.  The moment we are born we are introduced
to separation, and our lives are a quest to find a way to rebind
(re-lig  the root of the word religion) ourselves with the essential
unity and become free.

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