Friday, 21 February 2020

Is God's creation play, or from overflowing love?

If the primal reality of God is imagined before the beginning of creation, and if God is single and personal; then creation can be understood as God's 'play'.

This is made simple and explicit in God, the Player Friend; a rare 42 page booklet self-published by William Arkle in 1993, which I only discovered-about a couple of weeks ago, and which I am currently reading.

Typically (and valuably) Arkle boils it down to God alone becoming bored with a world in which everything was caused by himself; and from this dissatisfaction manifesting creation so that divine 'Friends' - that is, fully-developed men and women - could gradually evolve, and become genuinely independent sources of surprise and innovation.

As so often, much hinges upon the primary assumptions; and here Arkle makes the primary assumption that the beginning of everything - God - is a unity. When this is the assumption, then I think it is 'inevitable' that there is an 'arbitrary' quality of 'play' about everything in creation.

Reality is because creation is more 'fun' than no reality; as Arkle sometimes put it.

When creation is driven by something negative like boredom, and negativity is cured by the independent play of other agents or actors; then we get this kind of double-negative theology which I always regard as secondary.

Yet, if creation is dynamic, expansile (as I believe) then it must indeed be motivated by some kind of (negatively) discontent, or (positively) yearning.

My own understanding is different from Arkles, and is pretty-much the Mormon Christian theology; which is that 'in the beginning' God was two, a dyad, man and woman, Heavenly Father and Mother.

By this understanding there never was 'unity' - unless the unity is regarded as being divided in twain. The 'unity' comes from Love: love between our Heavenly Parents, which eternally 'binds' them (in a 'celestial marriage'). That is my primal reality.

The primal reality is therefore one that is dynamic, as love is dynamic; and it is one of yearning, as love contains yearning. By my understanding, then, creation is the result of an overflow of this yearning love; so that there be more autonomous, agent, independently-creative persons to love.

This is a familiar motivation arising between a loving husband and wife: the positive desire for children to expand the scope and possibility of love. The married couple's aspiration for pro-creation (and also to create a home, a family, ideally one that is ever-growing and inter-linking - with all that entails in terms of the context for such growth) is thus seen of a microcosm of the divine impulse to creation. 

The classical 'Trinitarian' formulation of Christian theology 'has it both ways' in asserting that God is both undivided-unity (with no sex) and hence of its nature static and self-sufficient; and also a triad of Father, Son and Holy Ghost (with no sex) - who are different enough to be bound together by love, hence dynamic and motivated to grow.

By this classical account; sexuality is secondary, temporary, inessential; whereas for Mormon theology sexuality is primary and causal; deriving from the nature of God - our Heavenly Parents. 

I can make no rational sense of classical Trinitarianism; but as a form of words, it covers all the bases!

However, for me, God must be either one or more-than-one; and my understanding is that God is (or rather was, primally) two. And these two were a man and a woman. And their love was the fount of creation.