BOOK TWO - Part 8
On the significance of Relationships


8. Relationships -- the only reality
    8.1 God

    8.1.1 Father

    8.1.2 Son

    8.1.3 Holy Spirit

        8.1.3.1 Jesus Christ

            8.1.3.1.1 Mary the Mother of God

8.2 Passive creation

8.3 Active creation
    8.3.1 The soul -- a relationship between Creator and Created

        8.3.1.1 Immaterial intelligences

            8.3.1.1.1 Angels and Devils

            8.3.1.2 Material intelligences - Pending
            8.3.1.2.1 Original Sin


8 -- RELATIONSHIPS Are The Only Reality (13)
IF you haven't already done so, this would be a good time to read Zukav, Gary; The Dancing Wu Li Masters - William Morrow, 1979 (paperback) especially his fairly lucid description of the way in which quantum "particles" exist only in relation to other particles. To sum it up - no subatomic particle exists independently, but rather each is a kind of relationship; and since everything in our physical (Newtonian) universe is built from subatomic particles; thus, everything exists as relationships.

8.1 -- God (18)
Does God want or need anything? Of course not! The characteristics of God (infinite, perfect) do not allow for any kind of "lack", nor can God "change" (because a God that changes was either better or worse before the change, and perfection does not permit "better" and "worse".) So why would a perfect God create anything? The catechism answer to this still seems to be the best we can come up with -- He creates us because He loves us (Because He is love!) (19)

Farther; consider the real meaning of "infinite." Most of us think of "large" when we hear that word, but it really means "limitless" and that goes both ways. An Infinite God has NO physical limitation - God is neither large nor small, neither slow or fast, before or after. God simply IS. Trying to imagine "what God is like' is a complete waste of your time because God is not "like" ANYTHING -- if God was describable, it would not be God.

8.1.1 -- The Father
Do not become trapped into our human "before-after" problem: The Father does not precede the other persons of the Trinity in time -- it is only because of our own time-dependent frame of reference that we are obliged to assign precedence. Rather it might be better to say that the Creative aspect of God is of primary importance in our considerations, because if the Creator had not brought physical and immaterial reality into existence, we would not be here to consider these problems. (Yes, this is the Anthropomorphic Principle which Hawking et al. denounce in books on the origin of the universe, but that does not mean that it is incorrect theology.)

Working from the timelessness of the Creator, I prefer to say that the Son is the necessary exhibition of God's love, and the Spirit is the inescapable conclusion of the perfection of the Creator's Wisdom.

8.1.2 -- The Son
The aspect of the Son's existence about which we are here concerned is that of the perfect relationship between the Creator and Love. This relationship is the reality that we view as The Word. A Word spoken between Creator and Love before the establishment of the universe.

The Catechism(20) speaks of Jesus ". . . reveal[ing] that God is Father . . ." but I think Jesus' existence reveals a great deal more about the way the Creator intends for us to operate in His universe. The presence of Jesus / Son / God in our space-time-mass continuum offers both insight into God's plan, and hope for us who are trapped here, nearly blind, deaf, and dumb, otherwise left to wander in a world that is apparently randomly changing, without meaning, and hopelessly confusing.

The inspiration we can gain from knowing that the relationship between God and man is so intimate that it is expressed in a real, living, human man is [to me] far more important and meaningful than simply accepting the scriptural attestation that Jesus is "the image of the invisible God."(21)

8.1.3 -- The Holy Spirit
The Third Person of the Holy Trinity is perhaps the most frightening for we humans to consider, since "wisdom" or "intelligence" (they are not the same thing!) are much more abstract concepts than "father" or "son." Wisdom of such perfection that it assumes a personality is completely unfathomable, and yet we are assured by both scriptures and the study of dozens of brilliant theological thinkers that this is not only true but necessary.

The word used in the Creed -- proceeds -- is an attempt to avoid our inability to speak without referring to a time-progression framework. The Spirit can not come "after" the Father and the Son because there is no meaning to these time - dependant considerations in regard to God's existence. "Proceeds" refers to the relationship between the Three Persons; it implies equality and simultaneity.

In terms of this present study, the reality of the Holy Spirit is not difficult to accept, since the relationship between the Creative Element of God (The Father) and the Love of God (The Son) is unmarred by any lack, and therefore must be more real than any other feature of existence. Still, hampered by our inability to project beyond time and limits, we can not understand, but it is feasible for us to believe in the actuality of the relationship as a person, a being, neither dependent nor independent, but simply a necessary function of God's perfection.

Further consideration of the way in which Wisdom relates to the laws which govern reality is needed. I hope that some of you will be interested in pursuing this thought.

It appears to me [WJL] that all of the physical laws we perceive and which govern the physical universe we live in, are aspects of this Wisdom, and therefore at their base, these laws are the Holy Spirit. The converse is not necessarily true; the Spirit is not merely these laws. The Spirit is also the infinity of the Father and the Son; unlimited by physical considerations, untrammeled by any rules as humans can understand the concept of rules or laws.

However, the study of the physical universe must give considerable insight into some aspects of the Holy Spirit since the laws we learn are functions of the operation of the Spirit in time. When we deduce a new law of physics, mathematics, or cosmology, we are seeing another aspect of the Spirit as the reality of this person of the Trinity intersects our perception in space-time. When we observe interactions between components of our physical universe, we are seeing an aspect of the Father, the Creator, intersecting our path through space-time.

[Addendum November 9, 1996 /WJL]
There arises the question of miracles: since, by definition a miracle is a violation of natural laws, what does the study of science reveal about miracles and the apparent violation of Wisdom they represent?

The most obvious response is that the Creator can abrogate natural law; but this poses a quandary: a violation of the natural order (established by that same Creator) appears to go contrary to the nature (simple and unchanging) of God. The principles of Chaos are some help here; it is my understanding that observations made from within a pattern are limited to that pattern and cannot include a larger pattern which is a superset of the one in which the observer resides. It is also my understanding that there is no theoretical limit to the number of "nested" patterns--each of which are entirely valid within their own space. This seems to say that what we observe as a pattern of natural law is possibly only one aspect of a greater pattern-space, and that an apparent "violation" of the order we perceive as singular, is in fact merely an intersection of "our" pattern with a higher order pattern.

Another consideration: Most miracles appear to be localized phenomena affecting only the perceptions of those who directly observe the event. As an example, the celestial phenomena reported by observers at various times at Fatima: There is no "outside" record of wildly erratic movements of the sun, which would certainly not have escaped the attention of the roughly one half of the earth's population bathed in that same sunlight at the moment of the miracle. Even well documented miracles and those of Jesus testified to by Biblical accounts did not make a "permanent" change in the natural order. Being transient in nature, the effects of these miracles can be seen as a modification of temporal relationships as opposed to fundamental changes in the basic structure of reality. You may argue that a miracle such as the cure of a dying person changes the pattern of reality since that person is now active in a time frame which otherwise would have found him or her absent. Anything the person does will have enormous potential for changing the future course of events (see the section on non-linear systems and sensitivity to initial conditions.) However, the presence of this "saved" person has no more effect on the patterns of creation than any operation of freewill by other persons, and therefore is no more a violation of natural law than is any act of free will.

It is difficult to accept any miracle that causes a permanent change in that structure (e.g.; a change in the freezing point of water, or a change in the gravitational constant) because such a change would affect the way in which the entire universe operates. The is no observational evidence that God has ever brought about such a miraculous change in natural law; therefore it is reasonable to believe that God's plan does not allow for violations of natural law at the fundamental and universal level.

The Holy Spirit, under the title of "Wisdom," is also the Spirit of "Order." If the operation of the created universe relies on order (as we have been saying it does) then miracles cannot violate the order (the wisdom) of the Creator's plan. If a proven miracle seems to violate natural law, we must seek further insight into the event itself, or revise our understanding of natural laws.
[End November 9, 1996 Addendum /WJL]

8.1.3.1 -- Jesus Christ the man
    The humanity and accompanying physical presence of Christ in the space-time-mass continuum is miraculous. That is, the coexistence of Infinite God with limited physical mass, is impossible under the constraints of physical laws. We could make the premise that other exhibitions of immaterial beings in our perceptual universe were figments of the observers' imaginations, or sensory illusions put into their minds by God. But Jesus entire history indicates that we are not allowed to make such a premise here. We are not offered any opportunity to say that Jesus was some kind of mass illusion. Many of those who interacted with this man had no interest in him as a person with supernatural connections; and in fact, it is the presence of an enormous number of such persons in the Bible that makes Jesus' humanity so real and compelling.

Within this study we are faced with accepting the reality not only of the person of the human Jesus Christ, but the revealed presence of the relationship between the God Jesus and the Man Jesus. Does this reality offer us any insight into the basis of existence of the universe? I believe it might.

The space-time-mass continuum somehow was [is] in a condition of imbalance. How this came to be is the subject of section 8.3.1.2.1 Original Sin.

(July 5, 1996 addendum [WJL]) Even more challenging is the question of the reason the Creator (Father) was required by the scheme of creation to send the Son into the space-time continuum as a physical being. The theology of this is well developed and beyond the scope of the TCP but the implications are not so well understood and may be suitable for further examination here.

An initial premise is that God did not "make a mistake" or "allow man to defeat the purposes for which He created the universe." This statement appears to me to be unassailable since God is beyond change, error, and imperfection. I suggest therefore that we look at the question of how mankind's violation of the corporate relationship between Creator and created could have affected the physical universe. We are assured by the accounts in Genesis and analyses by eminent theologians that when the world was created mankind was in a state of "original holiness" and existed in harmony with nature.(22)

Since there is no present data indicating that the physical laws of the universe changed abruptly at some (relatively) recent time in the past, we are left with three choices: (1) God miraculously changed the working laws of the entire universe at the moment of Adam's sin, or (2) the universe is proceeding exactly as God intended, and the effects of Original Sin are relevant only to the "sinners"--us, or (3) the entire Genesis story is allegorical and has no physical significance at all.

I prefer (2) because it does not fly in the face of all evidence -- that is, that God does not work miracles on this scale. In addition to the lack of supporting evidence for a universal shift in the modus operandum of creation, such a miraculous change would seem to indicate that God had indeed "goofed" and that man's failure to obey and trust Him had forced the Creator to reevaluate His program. This smacks of the Greeks' Olympian gods with their petty squabbles and capricious interference in human affairs and is entirely contrary to the evidence presented by the well ordered and precisely regulated universe. Option (3) is certainly within reason, but the Church's position on the state of creation prior to Original Sin seems to force us to accept that the unsullied world was greatly different than the present. One of our theologically trained members may want to comment on this.

On the basis that mankind's corporate sin damaged the relationship between all men and their creator (still a problem for me since I do not recall being offered the opportunity to make a free choice myself), the question reduces to: "What was Christ's effect in implementing the repair of that relationship?"
[End July 5, 1996 -- WJL]

8.1.3.1.1 -- Mary the Mother of God
 Now here is a fascinating relationship! The Holy Virgin Mary has a relationship with God which is unique in humanity. We are told that she was born without Original Sin -- not a problem -- outside the time-space continuum she existed/exists from the inception of creation in God's plan as the only human who will/would never damage the relationship she has with the Creator. Mary's soul must be as perfect as that relationship can be. We have no way of knowing what that means until we are released from the limitations of matter and energy ourselves and the filtering effect of space-time is removed from our ability to comprehend. (Even so, we will never know how Mary relates to God since at the best, our own souls are still damaged by our failures to control our gross appetites and by the exercise of our free will in contravention of God's perfect plan for us. [WJL August 18, 1996]>

Still, it may be enlightening to consider the scope and depth of her soul; without the slightest deviation between her free will and God's plan, she is the singular focus of the pattern of creation. I say this because, even though the chaos caused by our free wills <fits perfectly into the[WJL August 18, 1996]> overall pattern which is God's plan for the universe, Mary must act as the anchor point for that plan, since hers is the only soul which never deviated from the God's primal pattern.

Picture the movement of all souls as random in the manner of Brownian Motion. All of these movements contribute to the final and perfect macropattern, regardless of the fact that they appear to be independent to the micro-observer. But there is one soul (one molecule) which does not move randomly: the Blessed Virgin Mary. The rest of us therefore circulate around her even if we are unaware of her existence (because God is not unaware, and He is the planner.)

It is Mary's stability and perfect conformance to God's plan that make her the suitable receptacle for the formation of a space-time continuum realization of God the Son. The relationship between God and Mary is the real person of Jesus Christ. This is the ultimate proof of the perfection of this relationship (Mary's soul.)

8.2 -- Passive Creation
    Why did God create the physical universe? Why not just make all of us as He did the angels? Why does he need suns, oceans, dirt, atoms?

One possibility: This is the only universe in which we could have come into existence. This is the inverse of the Anthropic Principle which says that since this universe contains us it is the only one we can understand and conceive of, that any other universe would not contain us, so we cannot conceive of it. I prefer to see the universe as it is by necessity, because God means for us to exist.

An interesting point, illustrating the intimate interconnectedness of everything in the universe is the element carbon. Without carbon no life as we now it, can exist - all that we are and all that we eat to maintain our existence is built on a foundation of carbon ("Carbohydrates are compounds of carbon and hydrogen with varying amounts of other chemical elements.) But there was no carbon in the primal universe. No carbon came into existence until suns were formed, matured and died, for carbon is formed only in the death throes of stars.

Our bodies (and every other living thing) contain carbon atoms that were formed in the blazing fury of exploding stars. This forms a relationship between you and I and all living creatures, as we are all literally the children of ancient stars. Think of it! In order for us to exist, God made the universe; those stars and all else that we perceive as "reality."

8.3 -- Active Creation
    <WJL 7/27/01> Active creation is made up of all living things, animals, and to a lesser extent, plants. The word "animals" comes from the Latin "anima" (air, or soul). We recognize a difference between animals (which do not form their own food by chemical means) and plants (possessing the ability to photosynthesize food), those living things that cannot move about under their own power. There are "gray areas" of course, but my concern here is to observe these orders of creation as components of the Creator's plan. I will argue that plant life, being insensate and unintelligent, exists because it is needed for animal life. I am not prepared to argue the possibility of exotic forms of intelligence in Oak trees or vast numbers of interconnected mushrooms. The question that interests me is: What are we to learn from the existence of animals?

The first lesson I stumble across is that animals (and plants as well) do perfectly well without us, but not vice-versa. Genesis tells us that God made all these things subject to man, but there is a less understood aspect to the story: Responsibility. Active, non-intelligent creation (we assume without souls) doesn't need us. We humans have souls, and do need the rest of living creation. Lemma: We are in debt to Active Creation, and owe responsibility to it. And then there is that fascinating fact that all living things share carbon, the element that only begins to exist in super novas.<End 7/27/01 edit>


8.3.1 -- The soul
    With the exception of my basic hypothesis that each person's soul is in fact the relationship between that person and the Creator, no work has been done on this section.

Your comments are solicited. For example: could God have made us so that soul and intellect are one, and when we die our physical body could immediately be judged and go to heaven or hell? Answer: He could have, but then we would have no need for faith since the process of transport upon death would show clearly our need for belief. The point is, things are they way they are because this is the way God wants them to be, and we are not nearly smart enough to demand changes!

8.3.1.1 -- Immaterial Intelligences
    If the Soul is the Relationship between the Creator and a created being having intelligence and free will, there would appear to be no need for this Relationship to possess aspects of matter. The soul can be a reality existing outside the limitations of space-time. It is obvious that intelligence can not be linked solely to matter or God could not exist, therefore, we can accept the existence of immaterial intelligences.

8.3.1.1.1 -- Angels and Devils
    Tradition describes a universe of such immaterial intelligences. We can consider these in greater detail later, but just now, let's look at the way in which such beings must relate to the material universe, and therefore to us humans.

Existing outside time, these most simple created beings will be outside the limits of Newtonian Physics. Their being is more intimately involved with The Infinite because their relationship is simple and direct. God wills them and they (must?) understand that more clearly than we can, because their understanding is not obscured by the distortion of time and matter.

With this in mind, it is both difficult to believe that one of these beings could fail to participate in the God-Self relationship 100%, and easy to empathize with the pride which we are told {need reference}, led to the downfall of some of them.

It would seem that these beings must be aware of God's plan at a level which we can not possibly grasp (while we live in matter) and yet they are still limited by the mere fact that they are created. What must these beings (feel? think?) about the creation of the material universe? Standing outside time, they must be able to see the entire story of man's creation, fall, redemption, and final resurrection.

Unfettered by the time-space phenomena related to matter, these creatures must be able to see all of time as a integral whole; it would therefore appear that they "know" the past, present and future of each of us, and quite literally, of every atom of the created universe. <WJL 7/27/01> Except as limited by their capacity to understand and comprehend, immaterial persons would appear to be "godlike" -- which makes the fact that they are infinitely inferior to God all the more astonishing.

However, it is difficult to see how such creatures can interact with the material universe. It seems to me that they must have to establish relationships with us either freely of their own will, or have the relationship established for them by God as part of his plan. <WJL 7/27/01> With this in mind, one wonders how evil spirits grasp their relationship with God. They do what is not His will, but only with the assistance (permission?). To see how this can be, it might be good to consider the implications of Chaos Theory.

I believe that it is possible that Immaterial Beings are capable of manipulating the material universe, as an essential result of their understanding of reality as relationships. With a clear and complete grasp of this, they should be able to "participate" in the material world at will. However, there must be limitations imposed on this ability by the nature of God's plan; otherwise the existence of evil would be even more obvious than it is.

We are told that the Archangel Michael "defeated Satan"-- can you see this as meaning that these two forces are balanced to prevent chaos (Satan) from achieving his goal of destruction? What bitter irony for the fallen Lucifer -- chaos personified, while striving to destroy God's Plan, nevertheless ultimately satisfying that Plan.

At the material level, if Chaos is an effect of Satanic presence, how are we to understand and react to the chaotic aspects of physical reality? Since this opens the possibility of understanding that good may be hidden within evil, it is an area deserving of more thought.

One can only imagine that in the view of the fallen angels, not only has God "sullied Himself" by taking on aspects of matter and time, the Son (see section 8) now has what may appear to them to be an impossible loop-back relationship within infinite God itself! Perhaps it is trivializing these beings to put it this way, but I can almost hear Lucifer and his companions saying to God, "You can't do that!"

If you accept my understanding of "beings" as "relationships with the Creator," it is easy to see how this mere "doubt" would poison the doubters and be its own punishment. I do not think that the Devils "suffer forever in Hell"-- the word "forever" is meaningless -- their punishment must be / was/ is instantaneous and perpetual. Their very being is fouled and their joy turned into pain. What must be even worse, they must understand completely that the loss is of their own doing. They know that God cannot change (only the created can change) so even though they have "damaged" themselves, from the viewpoint of God's Plan, no damage has been done. God has "lost" nothing and even we material beings will not, in the long run, be harmed by their actions, unless we participate in evil willingly, and thereby distort our own relationship (soul) with God.

8.3.1.2 --- Material Intelligences

At last we come to us - material creatures, subject to the laws of the Newtonian Universe, but also capable of understanding and able to establish relationships based on the exercise of free will.

We share some of the characteristics of Immaterial Intelligences, but we are constrained by what we sense as the flow of time. We are therefore incapable of directly comprehending God as He really is. Time, for us, is not one of the characteristics of existence, it is a prison with unscalable walls and impenetrable doors. The reality of quantum physical processes which express time in terms of energy or mass allow us to see that our mode of viewing reality is not the only possible way, even if we cannot fully grasp the actual universe.

Furthermore, we are not fully subject to the rules that govern those components of the gross material universe which lack intelligence. We may "elect' to do or not to do -- unlike a stone, a flower, or an animal that responds solely to forces acting upon it -- we have the ability to form or reject relationships. It is this ability to choose that leads to the next subject.

8.3.1.2.1 --- Original Sin [Addendum July 7, 2006]

This concept -- that of "fallen mankind" remains a quandary to most modern theologians, since it appears to violate the concept of individual innocence and justification.

I have come to believe that the Biblical fable of Adam and Eve is the best interpretation that the contemporary authors could make of the inspired truth given them by God, and I think that Immanuel Velikovsky (June 10, 1895 (NS) – November 17, 1979) may have hit on the truth with his theory of "The Evolution of the Bicameral Mind." Unfortunately, Velikovsky also held a number of strange theories that made all of his work suspect, and put him at the center of such academic furor that it is unsafe to suggest that anything he thought might have some value. Let me admit that I have not personally researched the theory, but as I understand it, he proposed that at some point in human evolution -- relatively recently, say, perhaps 10,000 year ago -- the development of human intelligence reached the point at which the human mind acquired the ability to "'argue within itself" -- similarly to the way in which bicameral houses of government function.

This idea appeals to me, and I propose that the first humans to develop this ability to "reason" were our biblical Adam and Eve. It was at this time that God instilled an undying spirit into mankind, and with the ability to reason, came the ability to decide and (free will) the ability to do wrong. Sin came into the world.

Think about it -- if you were given the job of inspiring writers in the seventh century BC with information on the evolution of human intelligence, exactly what would you have put into their minds? One thing is certain - they were not capable of expressing it in any terms except those of the time.

If my suggestion is correct, "Original Sin" is nothing more than the development of the ability to reason and choose, coupled with free will. This is something we all have from birth, and something which will inevitably lead all of us to choose our own immediate pleasure over that which we have learned is the best course of action relative to the rest of humankind. According to orthodox Catholic theology, only two human beings have ever resisted the impulse to self-pleasure; The Christ, and His mother, our Blessed Virgin Mary.

 


[ INTRODUCTION ] [ CONTENTS ] [ Part 6 ] [ Part 7 ] [ Part 9 ] [ My Home ]

Dreamweaver-3™ Web Site by Bill Laudeman. ©2000, 2001 All rights reserved. Page updated Saturday, December 15, 2007 20:54