The Nature of God
First of all, I think we have to try and realise what it means to say that God is an absolute form of reality. If we can understand the numinous and ethereal quality of the highest Spirit, we have to say that God, the absolute God, is that from which this Spirit emanates. So there is no word for the substance of the nature of God other than life and consciousness, or life and awareness.
Life contains the vital, powerful, energetic and elemental qualities that we know in our own experience, and consciousness contains the attitudes that include Divine Love and Divine understanding. My own understanding is that the Creator, who is also God, is self sufficient in a sense. That is to imply that, although we need God, in every meaning of that term, God does not need us in the same way.
Against this we have to set the understanding that if God didn’t have a purpose which included us, no doubt He would not have gone to all this trouble of bringing us into existence. But to have a purpose in which we can play some part is quite a different thing from having an absolute need of us in the way that we have an absolute need of God.
In the way that a child needs its mother and father, we need God for sustenance and support of our own reality because our own reality rests upon the reality of God, and all our sustenance comes from that reality. But in quite a different way, I believe, our God wishes us to come to life, to come to a full expression of our potential, our Divine reality, and that must be for a purpose which is not essential to the Being of the Creator, but which may be essential to a particular longing and delight in the heart of the understanding of that Creator.
In simple words, I think that the Creator wishes to have other individual divine Beings who can be His friends with whom He can share the content of His own reality, with whom He can enter into conversation, understanding and discussion about possible experiments in living, in trying to go beyond the understanding that God has already, which to us, at our stage of development, seems infinite, but this is obviously only a relative term, and is not infinite to the Creator’s possible understanding.
Therefore we can suggest that it is within our understanding that the Creator wishes to go beyond His own highest qualities. It is not outside the bounds of possibility that this is a fact, and the Creator is aware of His desire, of His longing, not only to share His understanding with friends, but also to enter into life and living experiments with those friends, in such a way that their collective understanding can go beyond the qualities which the Creator has within His understanding already; qualities of beauty, of virtue, of character, which the Creator already knows about but which, in the depth of His spirit, He will never be satisfied to rest in.
There is something in our spirit, which we can all recognise, which never wants to come to an end of its living, of its growth and of its journey towards what we can only describe as the impossibly beautiful. It must be the impossibly beautiful, because immediately we describe a journey towards a possible goal, it implies that we know the way to that goal and we know what that goal is before we arrive at it. I think there is something in all our spirits which is a proper spirit of creative ongoing livingness, and it contains in it an element of delight in exploration and discovery. I think the Creator must feel in His spirit a desire to achieve impossibly difficult things.
I believe that it is in the nature of all healthy spirits, all healthy individuals, to want to achieve spiritual goals. And those goals, when we look at them closely, are always goals which are impossibly difficult to reach. They are goals which are endless goals; they are goals which are concerned with the ultimate perception of the most valuable and beautiful things which, when we reach them, will only incline us to look for more beautiful and more valuable things. So there is that creative, trans-logical, exploratory quality in human nature and in Divine nature.
Therefore I think the Creator wishes to have friends, not only to share the delights of friendship with, but also friends who will help Him with the sort of exploration, the sort of experimental living out of life, which will enable us all to stumble upon new potentialities within that reality which we call the Absolute Divine Nature.
We can suggest that the Creator is aware that there are potentialities in nature which have not yet been fully actualised. He also realises that He needs other beings to help Him to permutate, as it were, all the possibilities of the potentialities in that nature. That is why He wishes to share His nature with us, and give us a nature similar to His own as an outright gift for us to use in our own way; so that each of us actualises it in a uniquely different way. Thus each of His children develops a slightly different approach and attitude towards experience and reality, while sharing the same experience and understanding of reality and of qualities.
We can say that God is a Being whose nature rests on a subtlety of reality which we cannot fully comprehend, which is more subtle than the most spiritual nature of creation. He wishes to share His treasures with other individuals who are true, distinct, unique individuals and who are also His friends, but, before they can become His friends, they have to become His divine children.
After they have passed through the stage of being His divine children they can become mature Divine Individuals. Then they have to take upon themselves the understanding of this maturing process which the Creator is offering us all. They have to take upon themselves the maturing of their own Divine Nature. We don’t have to take upon ourselves the maturing of our own divine childhood in quite the same way, much of that is done for us. But when it comes to separating out from the Gordian-knot, which ties the child to its parents, then we have to start to initiate our own growth.
Our own self-becoming and our own uniqueness must be deliberate. We have to learn to develop the strength and the understanding to stand apart in our own nature, to stand apart on our own feet, as it were, in order that we can sustain and enter into a creative friendship with one another and with our God. This God is also our Divine Parents, in terms of being a father and mother, and longs to be a Divine Friend, a very great friend.
Now this creative friendship, which we can enter into with one another and with our Creator, depends on us being able to stand apart from one another. When we stand apart from one another, then between each of us exists a vortex where our unique differences meet. That vortex contains a supreme attitude of love and affection and creativeness, an ongoing longing to understand and discover. It acts out more and more beautiful qualities and beautiful aspects of living experience. Each friendship will form an area of potential discovery which could lead to a great discovery.
In this way we help each other to go beyond ourselves, to step into the impossibly beautiful new thing. We also help the Creator to go beyond Himself, to step into an impossibly beautiful new understanding too. It is the aspiration in our nature which is always trying to do the impossible; it can never be satisfied with the possible.
The greatest spirits we ever know are those spirits who are always trying to achieve the impossible, valuable, beautiful thing. Therefore the Creator has created a school or a university in bringing creation into existence. Into that university he has sown the seeds of His own Divine Being, little sparks of His own Divine Being. Each of these is sown into the school as a potential individual entity which has not been pre-programmed. This is done in order that we should grow gradually into our own uniqueness and not become too similar to one another, and yet grow within a form which has been preordained by the Creator.
Click for larger imageHe puts us into the university in such a way that we are not too structured, not pre-programmed, a university in which we come gradually to the understanding that we need to grow into the right specieshood. We need to become a part of Divine Reality in terms of a species if we are going to survive in what we can think of as eternal reality. If we don’t grow into that correct species that can survive in eternal reality, we will be rejected by the substance of that reality. So within that very broad spectrum of the divine species, we are all expected to grow in our own way into a unique form of that species.
The university is encouraging us to develop a uniqueness and a difference which we can call our Divine Uniqueness and our Divine Difference. That makes us true Divine Individuals, and thus gives us true and endless potential value for one another. It makes our friendships real and unique in a way which they wouldn’t be if we were pre-programmed, or were not truly growing into a distinct and separate form of our common reality, but only growing into something artificial.
In order that the Creator could properly take up the position of a parent towards us, at the highest and most ethereal level of creation, the Creator personified Himself as father and mother. He personified Himself in a certain way similar to our human form. That doesn’t mean to say that the Creator has personified Himself with the limitations we normally associate with the human condition. The Creator, as father and mother, does not suffer the limitations which we normally associate with living as a human being on earth.
This human form, or the form through which the human being is similar to the form of the Divine Father and Mother, must carry a tremendous significance which we have not fully understood yet. Although we feel that it is a limited form, we are discovering that it isn’t as limited as we normally assumed it to be.
Limitation varies, and this is a way of saying that, within the human form which is living in the Creator’s school or university, the pupils are growing at different rates and developing to different degrees. The children who have fully actualised a lot of their potentiality are beginning to show that the human condition and the human form is not as limited as we normally take it to be. But those of us who have not developed very much of our Divine potential, and haven't developed very much of our individual understanding, will not be able to gather the significance of the potentiality of their Divine Spirit in this human form as we know it at the moment.
Only gradually, as we mature in our understanding, can we begin to grasp the significance of the Divine Spirit in our human form, and begin to grasp the reality of our Divine individuality which is slowly but surely coming to life within our own universe of reality. By this term, I mean the separate existence which is a universe on its own, because the Divine potentiality which each of us carries around with us is a separate potentiality and its uniqueness is gathered into its own separate reality. This is a part of the Divine specieshood yet, nevertheless, contains within itself its own universe of values and realities, and this is at a very subtle and deep level of understanding. Yet, gradually we are coming to be able to understand what that means.
We are beginning to understand that the university is succeeding in doing its work of bringing us to a stage of maturity in which we recognise a Creator who is longing for us to accept Him as our Divine Friend. He is longing to draw us to a level of understanding in which we can meet as friends with a mutual respect which exists between friends, even if one of those friends has far more knowledge and far more capability than the other. This difference in knowledge and capability is never a barrier to real friendship. Real friendship can exist between any Divine Beings and it is not based on special capacities, it is only based on divine auction which carries with it the deepest respect for the individuality of each of those Divine Beings.
Click for larger imageSo the nature of God is in a sense manifold. It is the Absolute being nature of the Divine Being, it is also the personalised nature of the Father/Mother Creator, and it is also the intimate loving friend nature of that father and mother, the man-woman Divine Being, who is longing for the day when we will take up a fearless and mature attitude of friendship with them. But these male and female friends are so close to one another that they are two aspects of the same single spirit, single unity of reality. So the Creator is one Being who personifies Himself in two aspects, as a male and a female Being, in order to develop the capacity of a parent and to describe the masculine and the feminine aspects of Divinity.
This helps us in our becoming, for it is also a part of a situation, which we know of as the family situation, in which the reality and the significance of the family is played out on earth as well as in Heaven. This is part of the teaching method of the Creator in His university, and gives us the possibility of having the experience of being a father and a mother as well as being a child. Hence we know what it is like to be a child in a father and a mother in relation to a child.
We can then develop the understanding of the total relationship of the family, and this leads to an understanding of the problems that exist for a father in bringing a child to its own reality, and the problems that exist for a mother in bringing a child to its own reality. We develop an understanding of how far we should control the actions of our child and how far we should let go of the control of that child and allow that child to use its own initiative and make its own mistakes, thus discovering the world for itself, and learn about its own separate reality for itself.
This, on the small scale on earth, is the situation that the Creator has to face on a larger scale in the universe and the nature of our whole Divine Being. There are levels up to which He is able to guide and control us, His children, and then there are levels at which He has to let us go and allow us to make our mistakes and recover from them. If He didn’t let us go, we would never enter into the gift of our own true reality. That is why, on earth, the experience we have is filled with misunderstandings. It is filled with pains and sufferings which are caused by people not knowing how to live properly, not knowing how to value themselves and other individuals properly, not having developed the full loving respect for one another that only comes when they have begun to absorb the teaching which the university is trying to teach them.
This is also why the university has to contain Heavenly environments, which are beautiful serene environments, as well as earthly environments, which are environments where pain is present and where serenity is often absent. If we were too close to the strength of the Creator’s Divine Personality, it would dominate our own personality, and we would find it virtually impossible to develop a uniqueness of our own or an individuality of our own. But the nature of the university is such that it is expressing and holding out to us information which contains what the Creator is trying to teach us. It is offering us understanding and experience just as fast as we are capable of assimilating it and understanding it. So the only limiting factor in our growth and development is the ability we have to assimilate the significance of our surroundings and of our own nature.
We know of people on earth who are at all stages of development. We know of people whose understanding is very limited indeed, even in terms of respect for the value of physical life. We know people who are beginning to respect the physical nature of the physical individual, and we know people who are beginning to respect the psyche of the person. We know of people who are beginning to respect and understand the spirit within the psyche of the personal individual, and we know of people who are beginning to understand the Divinity within the spirit within the psyche of the human individual. All these different levels of development exist in different human individuals on earth at this time.
The full understanding of the human condition is only brought to fulfilment when we become Divine Individuals living in a physical personality, and that is also the only definition of full humanness, so, until we are consciously living our divine nature in a physical personality situation, we are not exercising full humanness. Until we do that, we have not reached the understanding of the significance of full humanness, but, when we do reach an understanding of that significance, we will find it beyond anything that we can yet imagine. The significance of it is beyond the living of an angelic life in an angelic divine heaven for instance, because it contains difficulties and potentialities which are not present in heaven.
It is because of these difficulties and these potentialities, which exist on earth, that it is to earth that the Creator is looking for His potential friends, and why He goes to so much trouble, and labours so patiently, with the maintenance and the teaching of the university at the level of earth. He could give to us a less valuable present by simply translating us into a beautiful and easy environment, which we would call a heavenly environment, where our environment would respond immediately to the spiritual nature in us, and our spiritual nature would immediately respond to the Divine Nature which it felt was imminent, and where we would all be in a state of blissful harmonious happy loving joy, but this would not develop our potentialities, and many of our strengths would not be drawn out of us. There would be no resistance to draw out our strength, which is the strength necessary to carry all our unique individuality and the understanding that gradually comes to us through experiencing and living it.
So God can be many things in any number of places. He can be here on earth, very close to us, within our spirit, as a friend and as a helper or a teacher. He is also an individual in Divine Heaven who is a father and a mother, and longing to become a friend, and He is also that God who brought the whole of creation into existence, who is the Absolute God, the foundation of all reality and all existence. So God is many things, and between God and ourselves exists a Divine Potential Friendship which can and should be many things; in each of our cases, a uniquely different thing, just as each of our friendships on earth is uniquely different.
The Creator’s nature has such extremes of love and affection and beauty in it, that we have to be brought to this appreciation and understanding of these strengths of love and beauty in a gradual way, because they would overwhelm us if we were introduced to them immediately. My feeling, through my own experience, is that the Creator’s nature is breathtakingly sweet; it is breathtakingly lovely; it is breathtakingly affectionate, it is breathtakingly beautiful. It would fill us with amazement if we understood it, and that amazement would knock us off our balance, and we wouldn’t be able to assimilate the significance of what it was that was amazing us, so, very gradually, patiently and slowly, the Creator is revealing Himself to us, revealing the qualities of His nature to us.
The life of a person like Jesus is revealing to us the nature of our Divine Friend, of our Divine Mother and Father, and of the quality of their love towards us. We may ask ourselves, "Did the Creator expect all the seeds that He sowed into the university to become His children, and did He expect all those children to become His friends?" I think the answer to that is no, he couldn’t expect all of them to come to the same fruition, because the gift He was trying to give them was a real one, and it depended on each of them understanding the nature of the gift, whether or not they wished to receive it.
Because the gift is so subtle, we have to enter into the spirit of it in order to receive it. It can’t be fed into us like we feed a programming circuit into a machine, it has to come to us in a much more beautiful, more subtle, more real way, and that is something we understand in living our physical life with our physical children, in a physical earth family situation.