Friday, October 31, 2014

Musings About the Nature of "God"

The Sages ask a question: "Why does the Torah begin with a beit?" [Beit is the second letter of the Hebrew aleph-beit (alphabet)] The question is a fundamental of Torah scholarship and is the first and most important question as it lays the foundation for understanding the whole of the Torah itself. If one does not understand the answer and its implications then the rest of ones Torah study will be deficient. Of course there is more than one way to answer this question but I will herein lay out a brief answer which covers the essentials.

The Torah begins with the letter beit which is the second letter of the Hebrew aleph-beit. Why would the Torah begin with the letter beit and not the first letter- aleph? An equivalent way of looking at this question is to understand that each Hebrew letter is also a numeral. Thus we could ask why does the Torah start with the numeral two instead of the numeral one? The Torah starts with the beit (two) because the opening of the Torah is a description of the creation of dualism as opposed to the singularity of oneness embedded within the aleph.

The Midrash states that the purpose behind Creation is for "God to behold God."  In other words, Consciousness arose within the Primordial Essence of the Divine Source and the subsequent need of Consciousness is self-expression; this is the only way for Consciousness to experience Itself (i.e. become Self-Aware).

This concept is fundamental to the entire Torah based world-view that "He and His Name are One" and the declaration "Hear O Israel, Adonai your Eloheynu, Adonai Is One."  God experiencing Itself is a very important concept and can only occur within the parameters of a construct of duality.  Thus Creation emerged as a Divine expression from the beit of B'reishit (first letter of Genesis).  The Torah narrative begins with a beit representing the numerical value of 2 (dualism), meaning the potential actualized for "this" and "that."  The reason why the Creation emerged in this manner was simply because it is only possible within the context of conflicting expressions that Self-Consciousness can be actualized.  For example, we say that God is benevolent but how can we perceive the concept of benevolence without an alternative experience of malevolence?  If we say that God is Perfect then we must have another perception of Imperfection.  The natural laws of existence are defined in terms of one thing "opposite" the other.  Natural laws that define dualism don't simply oppose or harmonize though, their interrelation actually defines the concept of the "other," which is our experience of reality.  The manifestation of one quality automatically insures an opposite manifestation of a seemingly contradictory quality.  This is the nature of subjective Consciousness as the Consciousness of experience is dependent upon the opposing characteristics of dualism, which serve to define and create perceptions of the self (sense of identity).

The very concept of "God" cannot be experienced without the perception of its existence (as opposed to Its non-existence).  We perceive Some-Thing in our contextual experience and thus define God according to that experience.  However, the evolved personal consciousness realizes the illusory nature of its own perceptions and knows it cannot define God.  Therefore the individual personal consciousness casts off the restrictive definitions of God being Some-Thing and acknowledges that it is really No-Thing (from the perspective of the subjective creature).  This is the only objective reality, everything else is subjective experience.