I’m a new reader to Jeremy Puma, but his post Totally Reasonable is just a fantastic and accessible piece of gnostic reasoning about God and the Universe at large. He covers the primary points of eschatology in a reasonable way and it’s written so people not particularly well versed in gnostic thought (me) can read it and understand it.
However, I disagree with two of his points. First he posits that the universe is manifest of creation because the universe exists. This is confusing purpose with existence. In a theist view, this is perfectly reasonable. Because someone needed to plow the driveway, they invented the snow thrower, so it doesn’t matter what the snow thrower is doing when the snow thrower isn’t in use. The snow thrower is the example of the universe in this argument. My rub here is the falsification of this statement – there actually may not be any conscious direction to the universe and the universe just happened as a quantum state change. The argument here is that there may actually be many other universes in many other quantum states and we may actually only exist in this particular universe as a function of the divine needing some scaffold to put us in. Just as a tongue of fire could not comprehend being occupied by water, these other universes may serve some purpose which we could not possibly fathom or perceive but are still purposeful to the divine. A better question in my mind would be “What might they contain?” As we think more about these possible, other universes, a better question would be “Could we even perceive them or exist there?” The fundamentals would be so different that it’s likely everything except the finest etheric bits of ourselves would be destroyed, if we could even access them. I would reason that the universe appears imperfect only because our perceptions of the universe are imperfect. This is a fundamental concept in Christian thought, but I feel it’s correct and valid. Going back to the original concept which I’m afraid I’ve muddled to death, if the creator is imperfect than the universe may or may not be accidental and incidental to the need of the imperfect creators will to express itself. If the universe is perfect, then the creator is perfect and only through imperfect perception do we think otherwise. The universe in perfection is intentional, a universe being empty is imperfect as it has already collapsed. To apply hermetic reasoning to this, the living creations of god are imperfect because they are different from the perfect god. As we draw close to god then, we become perfected and become like god.
“But wait, Phergoph, you said above the universe is perfect!”
The universe, like us, is not static. It is evermore changing. A universe which did not have creation from the spark of the divine is empty and lifeless. A universe with life is imperfect in it’s creation but eventually returns to the divine, where there is no universe and all which is left is God. While it sounds like nihilism, the universe is perfect enough to have us occupy it, much in the same way as we return to god we become perfect enough to have more and more of the divine light occupy us. Just as the universe is without the fire of god in it consuming everything, we lack the fire of god in us until we cultivate it and eventually return. The universe too, shall one day return.
Can we both be right? Sure. The argument that the universe is not unique also means that we might be living in a universe which seeks to return to the divine creation (as below, so above) and perfect itself and in another universe the universe does not seek to return to the divine creation.
The second point I disagree with is inequality. If there is balance in everything and every reaction has an equal and opposite reaction, inequality simply exists because we have differentiated a point. We have the insured, and the uninsured. We have the rich and the poor, we have the sick and the healthy. Why then do the sick clusters up, the poor, the wealthy? Like attracts like, be it philosophy or money or a shoebox of buttons. Because we strive ever upward, we tend to notice our own shortfalls, spiritually and materially as we are here in these bodies, and ignore our own blessings. Yes, my kid might be sick, but he doesn’t live in fear of ethnic cleansing. On the other hand the kid in Africa might live in fear of ethnic cleansing, but he also lives in a much more spiritual environment than we do because Africa is so poor it couldn’t become stuck in material trappings if it wanted to. This is not evidence of the world being imperfect or some sort of karmic deficiency, it simply means we’ve assigned different values to different things in our lives.
I think the counter argument here is “Well if we’re created in Gods image and we are imperfect than God is imperfect!” Children really do start out as a blank slate. They know nothing of riches or poverty, and similarly they know nothing of hate or love or empathy or disregard. It is only through their experience that they learn these things much in the same way it is only through your experience reading this blog that you might start thinking about the mechanics of the world. Can we truly raise children? Yes, you can form a person subjectively but it is literally by subjecting them to experiences. We come to god, literally, as children then, and if we hope to come to perfection than we trust that god is perfection but we can only approach it through our limited understanding in the faith that we will be transformed.