August 20, 2010

The Movement of God - 7

How does God move? Where does God move? Where did God move, before there was physical matter?

Perhaps God lived as Spirit within limitless space – the same volume now occupied by galaxies full of stars – before there was physical matter. That is, perhaps God simply roamed, as immaterial Spirit, across empty Space, without having objects to bump into, pass through, or alight upon.

OR. Perhaps God – who is Spirit – lived solely within God’s own spiritual realm. Perhaps Space (the absence of physical matter) did not even exist before physical matter. We cannot know. But if God existed before matter, God may just as well have existed before Space.

From this point on, let’s try to imagine things in that context. Thus, to review:

God moves, and the Way of his Moving is deeply connected to Who and What God actually is. Also, God is Spirit, and so God moves in spiritual ways. (That is NOT metaphorical.) Thus, it may very well be that God was moving before there was Space. It may be that God spent all of Time, before Creation, as a mover with no physical space to move in. In other words, if God existed before Space, then all his movement was purely spiritual. God was moving before there was any place He could go!

All fair enough, if you follow that much.  But now think about this. If God was All, in His spiritual realm, then we should probably think He filled All, as well. (Not that spirit necessarily fills spirit like matter fills space, but nevermind for the moment.)  If God was All and filled All, before anything else, then how could God move? Even spiritually? If God was everywhere, in His own realm, then "where" else could He go?

In such questions, we can find only paradox.  God is the Primary Mover. Yet, God had nowhere to go, and nothing to 'push off' against(*).  Thus, God CANNOT have been moving.  Or so Physics would have us believe.  But who really thinks God is a physical Being?

*** So, now, here comes the rub. ***

Is this physical realm the only place where things move around, and thus by contrast true Godliness is merely, eternally static? Or can we grasp that there seems to be something Eternal (and thus, unchangeable) about God which is also dynamic, even in His Eternal realm? Is there something that truly Alive, that Provokes, that Enacts, that Sponds as much as it longs for Responding?

It would seem that there must be some kind of deep dynamism within God's own nature that helped motivate His Creation.  Indeed, that God even Created shows that God has a drive to Initiate!  Apparently, it must be a very deep drive.  And apparently - right instep among all other aspects of his Eternal Purpose for Creation - it seems God desired to express this Dynamic Impulse within God'self as Movement.

But to move in this new way God envisioned, God required a physical realm.

To be continued…

-----------------------------------------
(*) We've left off Newton's Laws of Motion, especially Inertia - that objects at rest or in motion tend to remain so unless interacting with other material substance.  But Aristotle was the first one to point out the inertial paradox of movement itself (that is, of movement's ultimate origin) when he called God "the unmoved mover".  How is it that something (GOD) could ever alter its own momentum without first being acted upon?  In the physical realm, that's impossible.  But in the spiritual realm?  Well. Who's to say?  ;-)

11 comments:

Just A Girl said...

Question: Are you asserting that if we keep the understanding of movement and space as defined by the Movement of God series, that God did not move when before physical matter when He was all and filled all? Are you saying that perhaps one reason God created was because of His desire to move?

Bill said...

Good questions, V. Did God move in that earliest period? Yes, but not physically.

What if I said I think there was movement within God, but he desired to express that movement outwardly? Would that help?

It may be that what we see as physical movement is only a 'shadow' of what God's Movement actually is.

Just A Girl said...

Ohhhhhhhhhhhh...so movement within Him because if He filled all and was all there was no where He could move outside of Himself until He created it...is that what you're saying?

Bill said...

'Swhaimsayin.

;-)

Bill said...

'Swhaimsayin.

;-)

Just A Girl said...

I got it!

Franklin said...

Bill, I find this idea fascinating... the most fundamental thing you have said so far @ God from the story of the Bible is this: He moves. The most fundamental thing I can say about the Universe (humans...all things) is this: it moves.

I don't know if that completely holds up...but I love the thought.

Bill said...

I think the *most* fundamental thing I've said about God so far is that God is Spirit. The fact that he moves is more like one of his attributes... although it seems to cover nearly all that he does. Even the fact that he loves, that he enlightens, that he comforts, that he brings peace, etc - those are E-motional (pun obviously intended) aspects of God's dynamic activity, including both communication with others as well as communion within the godhead (Jn.17), whatever THAT was/is like!

At any rate...

Regarding God, his most fundamental attribute may indeed by his deep abiding dynamism. But equally fundamental to God's nature may be this abiding quality he has, also. (Btw, that's a teaser for upcoming posts!)

Regarding the universe, "time" is nothing but observation of objects becoming altered or changing in position. So yes, there's no such thing as "time". It's just all an awful lot of relative motion[ings].

But in all sincerity...

Let me know as soon as you figure out which part doesn't hold up. ;-)

Franklin said...

Another quick question...is God a spirit? Is Jesus God? If the Son of God is God and he now has a body, how can it be said that God is spirit? Is it more true that God was Spirit, is 2/3 spirit and 1/3 matter?

What is the most fundamental thing about God? He has always been in motion from what we can tell from the story...and him being spirit or matter really doesn't affect that statement does it?

We are in motion...perpetually...yes? At least until we die. Death is the cessation of motion in space and "time". So, the problem of "sin" is really one of motion, no?

Bill said...

Oh, sure, ask me to explain the Trinity now, whydontcha? ;-)

God (the Father) is spirit, not matter. Jesus has a resurrected body that can walk thru walls and disappear from a cloud, so he lives in God's eternal realm... and yet we know him through his Spirit, which dwells within us.

Clear as mud, right?

To other points...

On death:

Physical death is the cessation of all bodily function, including electrical impulses and brain activity. But what/where/how is the soul? If my consciousness migrates away from my body, is that immaterial movement? IDK. And what is 'spiritual death'? A body can be very dynamic while the spirit within remains lifeless. (Point: I wouldn't equate death with motionless, necessarily.)

On sin:

"Sin" is disobedience to God. You can definitely fit obedience into this motion metaphor, and God often does (following God, moving with Him, walking by his direction). These terms help us think about the 'o' word in a number of positive ways. That said, I wouldn't redefine "sin" in these terms, as some category of motion/non-motion. It just doesn't seem helpful.

On motion:

Again, too, don't overlook the importance of PLACE, stillness, stability, rest, and constancy. God is not merely dynamic. He is both motion AND stillness. This is the balancing point that I've tried to keep slipping in all the way through my series so far.

Sometimes we obey God by sitting still. Sometimes his command is "wait". Sometimes the pillar of fire stops moving forward... and yet keeps on burning and crackling heavenward.

Dynamic instigation AND permanent fixation are both parts of his method.

Just wait till you read the post that's coming up next week about Mosaic Law! :-)

Bill said...

Oh, sure, ask me to explain the Trinity now, whydontcha? ;-)

God (the Father) is spirit, not matter. Jesus has a resurrected body that can walk thru walls and disappear from a cloud, so he lives in God's eternal realm... and yet we know him through his Spirit, which dwells within us.

Clear as mud, right?

To other points...

On death:

Physical death is the cessation of all bodily function, including electrical impulses and brain activity. But what/where/how is the soul? If my consciousness migrates away from my body, is that immaterial movement? IDK. And what is 'spiritual death'? A body can be very dynamic while the spirit within remains lifeless. (Point: I wouldn't equate death with motionless, necessarily.)

On sin:

"Sin" is disobedience to God. You can definitely fit obedience into this motion metaphor, and God often does (following God, moving with Him, walking by his direction). These terms help us think about the 'o' word in a number of positive ways. That said, I wouldn't redefine "sin" in these terms, as some category of motion/non-motion. It just doesn't seem helpful.

On motion:

Again, too, don't overlook the importance of PLACE, stillness, stability, rest, and constancy. God is not merely dynamic. He is both motion AND stillness. This is the balancing point that I've tried to keep slipping in all the way through my series so far.

Sometimes we obey God by sitting still. Sometimes his command is "wait". Sometimes the pillar of fire stops moving forward... and yet keeps on burning and crackling heavenward.

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