2013-03-15

The Cosmos Own Language

Lake Chalice has been considering the thesis that "god" may be a verb. The verb we have been imagining "god" to be has, so far, been an intransitive verb. Now let’s try supposing god is a transitive verb – the abiding transit between subject and direct object, doer and done-unto. If reality gods, what does it god? To be worthy of being termed god, this activity must take in everything.

The universe gods you, and it gods me. Reality gods the mud and the flowers alike; it gods the Republicans and the Democrats alike. It godded Abu Ghraib, and it godded the government of Burma at the very moment it was murdering its monks and denying aid to its people. There is, in other words, an activity of relationship between all things, an active connection of each thing with all things.

In the fullest realization of God-as-transitive-verb, everything gods everything (else). This reminds us of Henry Nelson Wieman, the Unitarian theologian that Lake Chalice cited a few posts ago. Wieman’s position is that “qualitative meaning is intrinsically good.” (Wieman, The Source of Human Good. 1946. 19). Qualitative meaning is defined as
“any structure of interrelated events, together with their possibilities, when these events have appreciable qualities and when the structure as a whole can be represented by signs.” (Wieman 21)
The “universe becomes spiritual” as
“more events become signs, as these signs take on richer content of qualitative meanings, as these meanings form a network of interconnective events comprehending all that is happening in the world.” (Wieman 23)
It would seem, to carry Wieman to his logical conclusion, that the universe will have attained total, complete and perfect spirituality when everything signifies everything else -- or when, we might say, everything gods and is godded by everything else. Godding, then, would be the activity of building meaning by building interconnection and relationship.

The butterfly in Australia gods the weather in Chicago. You god the stars and the stars god you. Joy gods sadness and sadness gods joy. This use of “god” seems to mean something like “connects with” or “interdependently arises with.” But more. This way of thinking maybe helps us see through the illusion that there are any separate things. It’s not just that everything connects with or influences everything else. It’s that everything is everything else. There are no independent things – just an uncompromising oneness gently unfolding. That awareness is what spiritual awakening is all about, so it seems right to use god to talk about it.

Our grammar itself lures us into assuming that there are separate things, the referents of our nouns. Could we tell the story of life, of creation, in a language without subjects or objects, a language of only verbs, a language that perhaps the Cosmos itself speaks when it whispers to itself -- or in your ear?

Comes, goes.
Runs, jumps, twirls.
Births, grows.
Laughs.
Falls, breaks, cries, rages.
Abandons.
Returns, embraces, loves.
Wounds. Bleeds. Weeps.
Arises.
Works. Plays. Smiles.
Journeys.
Heals.
Dies.

Comes.
"Come, thou fount of every blessing, . . . fount of every vision, . . . fount of inspiration."
What is this fount? It is the founting process itself, which the world-oneness exhibits at every turn.

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This is part 6 of 6 of "God the Verb"
Previous: Part 5: "A Process Reality"
Beginning: Part 1: "The Ambiguity of Ponytails and God"