What is your God?

“Even in the bareness of abstraction, our relation to Transcendence can take on a crucial seriousness. But as men in our world we seek support for our certainty in the concrete. Man’s supreme achievement in this world is communication from personality to personality. Accordingly, our relation to Transcendence, if we may speak in paradox, becomes sensibly present in our encounter with the personal God. The Godhead is drawn to us in its aspect of personality, while at the same time we raise ourselves to the level of beings capable of speaking with this God.” — Karl Jaspers

“Another danger is the tendency to imagine that God’s will can be known with certainty; this becomes a source of fanaticism. Many of the horrible things done in the world have been justified by God’s will. Fanatics fail to hear the many meanings inherent in every experience of God’s voice. Anyone who knows for certain what God says and wants, makes God into a being in the world, over which he disposes, and is thus on the road to superstition. But no worldly claim or justification can be based upon the voice of God. What is solid certainty in the individual and sometimes can become so for a community, cannot be concretely formulated in terms of universal validity. … The savagery that not infrequently appears in [religion] is a sort of perversion of the original pathos of faith. The old religious impulse still has compelling force, and when men translate its aberrations into practice, the result is a hideous combination of vital urges and their perversions.” — Karl Jaspers

“The Absolute itself does not become temporal. Wherever it is, it cuts straight across time. It erupts from the Transcendent into this world by way of our freedom.” — Karl Jaspers

Transcendence is unthinkable, an objective knowledge of Transcendence is impossible, for Transcendence transcends the subject-object dichotomy and other fundamental attributes of our individual existence; one can only have philosophical faith in Transcendence and mystical (transpersonal) experiences of self-transcending into the nondichotomic realm of Transcendence. Yet, as long as I am what I am — a dichotomic individual existence — I cannot avoid thinking of Transcendence within the subject-object dichotomy, for it is the fundamental bounding attribute of my existence and, consequently, of my thinking. Hence, even if in my philosophical faith I reject all images of Transcendence as mere myths, I cannot avoid them, for my dichotomic thinking needs an image of God.

The history of religions demonstrates many images of Transcendence absolutized by the human blindness toward the transcendent nature of God and imposed (often violently) on believers. All such images are false, for they claim to be the objective knowledge of that which can never become an objective knowledge; and at the same time all such images are true, for they reveal the truth about those who created and accepted them.

“Such as men themselves are, such will God Himself seem to them to be.” — John Smith, the Platonist

“Pure immanence without Transcendence remains nothing but deaf existence.” — Karl Jaspers

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Misha Rogov

Misha Rogov

“Pure immanence without Transcendence remains nothing but deaf existence.” — Karl Jaspers

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