Am I just another aardvark or am I a god?
I tend to cringe a bit when I open a book by an unknown author and see the word ‘God’ on every page. The word ‘God’ has been misused to justify every damned thing, to avoid personal responsibility for every sort of misdeed.
An arrogant individual behaves like almighty god and refuses to confess that he is the god actually doing the speaking. Furthermore, to speak of the subject named ‘God’ as if God were an object-out-there is the worst sort of materialistic profanity. Indeed, to speak of the Subject-of-subjects as an object is grammatical idolatry. Moreover, it is technically blasphemy, for the name ‘God’ is being used to slander God by calling God an object.
Once I perceived that the usual employment of the usual deity-word of pagan origin was perverse from both the scientific-objective and religious-subjective perspectives, I simply ignored literature in which it often appeared. However, I have lately developed a keen interest in religious subjects and their core Subject-of-subjects, the Supreme Generalization, not because I have or want Faith in general or some organized faith in particular, but because I want to know more about my real self, the subject I am, before my body turns to dust.
Indeed, I have become more concerned with death, the foil for life, and with the purpose of life itself in contrast to death, especially the human life that is mine at present. Hence the topic ‘God’ and everything ‘God’ stands for arose in relation to my concern, and led me to the realization that whether or not God “exists,” human beings with their fear of death and their hope for life certainly do exist, and that ‘God’ is the proper topic for study if I am to get to know them and therefore myself in our mutual concern. ‘God’ may be nothing more than the projection of the human Ego or Existential “I”, but what is that?
Who am I? Who or what lives and dies and why? Such a selfish need to know invariably leads to a search for obscured causes or origins. Is not the self or subject the origin or cause of my effective existence? I want to know who I am, the subjective “I” that is me and every other “I” like it. In our mutual identity we are the human Subject-of-subjects, the True Man, if Truth be agreement. We are, to the extent our wills are one will, the Collective Cause of our “I”s. But I cannot know “I” alone, for “I” am knowing-subject and not object-known. However, I can know the effects, or the objects of causes. And if objects can be understood as the universal Object, I can know the Object-of-objects, sometimes called “World.” Needless to say, this Object is acted on or tainted by the Subject by virtue of some active Relating. Not that “I”, as I ordinarily think of myself (as a unique individual), am the sole omnipotent creator of the World, yet in the respect that I am a cause influencing the World along with my perceptions and conceptions appertaining thereto, I act by some means of Relating.
Therefore there is a third Moment involved. I would also know the active relating between subjects and objects, and the Relating between the general Subject (Cause) and Object (Effect), or more mundanely, between Man and World. That Relating is said to be spiritual, energetic, forceful and so on, an activity called “spirit”, “energy”, “force” and so on. Thus we have a third term. Where we have a Cause and an Effect we also have a intermediating Force. In temporal terms, we have the Past (Cause), the Future (Effect) and the intermediating Present (Force). Or, here is another word play: Heaven is the Cause, Earth is the Effect, and Life is the Force.
Besides the three Moments, there is a final concern to be termed, the unity of the three, the Triune. Some heretics think that the Triune is a fourth Moment, signifying the Power behind the other three! Other heretics dispense with the three terms altogether and say they know the ONE and only ONE. Since all these speculations defy the known laws of logic, and rely instead on the faith that inspired the disputes that resulted in the discovery of logical precepts, there are many heresies (“to choose”) to choose from.
Such are the metaphysical calisthenics resulting from my concern with my own life and death. The exercises have had many good and bad effects for me just as they have had for the world at large. At the very least they distract my mind from the final answer to the ultimate question. As I said, I am seeking myself in my causes. Sometimes I think I have an inordinate concern with the past, but then I observe archeologists and psychoanalysts digging up the past, and I notice astrophysicists speculating on the origin of the universe: I do not think I am out of order. Some good might come out of self-spelunking!
That good might extend our lives a bit or make them more enjoyable, but as we advance in age during our investigations, the end of our bright future becomes increasingly obvious, as if it were not obvious all along as we inspected the bones being dug up. Ah, but if the secret of the Cause of that awful Effect could be found as we approach the birth of death, then we will be able to recreate the elixir of immortality and slake the thirst of that godly portion of us dying to live forever. But alas, as we approach the ultimate truth of life, the Ultimatum, it is too late.
Little did I suspect when I began my struggle to know myself that I was digging my own grave. Little did I suspect that my historical researches were literal grave diggings. The deeper I dug into the archives to rob the dead of some life for myself, the more I encountered intimations of the Unknown beyond the tombs. The intimations occurred to me by means of the ghostly traces of men and women who lived centuries if not millennia ago, people who were seeking to know themselves then just as I am now.
Many of the ghosts I encountered were speaking of gods with different names, then of one ‘God’. I wanted to know what they meant. I believed I might from that meaning ascertain who they really were and if they still are. Strange as it may seem, I received a message saying “No one is dead, we are all here.”
So I am proceeding with my excavations, seeking life in the dead, as if there were a death instinct in life. It is not the leisure pastime most people are wont to engage in. I must say “terror” is often a better word for my preoccupation than “leisure.” Yet my work does have its ecstasies, its exalted periods. It has its cataleptic, its catatonic periods, and its virtual rigor mortis.
Although my preoccupation may seem morbid to some, am I any more morbid than an aardvark digging his burrow to live and to perhaps die in? Who knows what an aardvark is thinking during the burrowing process, or what termites taste like to him? If I am morbid, I am nevertheless immensely entertained by the process, and that process is Life, is it not?
I bring my crude personal introduction to the word ‘God’ to a rapid conclusion here so that I may get back to an excavated site where I found the ghost of one of the most influential heretics that ever lived. He is a profound pessimist who constantly speaks of the God of Love. When I return, I might relate what I learned from him, just in case anyone is listening.
David Arthur Walters