Tuesday, January 13, 2009

On Matter and Spirit

The division between matter and spirit is an interesting conundrum. In the Corpus Hermeticum, God contracts part of infinity leaving a sphere of smoking matter. In the contraction, he had to remove everything from that sphere *except* what would later become "matter." So, it's safe to believe that the stuff that became matter existed within God eternally "before" the contraction.

Now, did *all* of the "stuff" that became matter that was in God before the contraction get dumped into that sphere? Or is there still the "stuff" of matter in the Ain Soph Aur-Pleroma-Infinite Light of God? If it all got dumped, we have a foundation for saying Spirit is separate from Matter. Both combined were the infinite Monad. (Oh, wait, that would mean that after the contraction, the Monad became somehow less than what it was before the contraction, and the pros and cons of this difference can be argued.) If God separated himself from matter, he would no longer be infinite.

Since I'm not literally light floating in a sea of light, it's safe to say the contraction occured. I don't know what the ramifications of this contraction are.
Based on my experience, there's no "where" I can go without running into evidence of God. I tend to be more animistic lately, Working with the spirit of my laptop as I type, for instance, thanking it and treating it with respect. I believe all spirits are a manifestation of God, and the more I treat my "stuff" as if it a spirit indwelled it, the better things seem to work. So I guess I'm currently in the camp that God is in the earth and Matter, while separate from God, is indwelled nonehtless by God in some form.

Hmmm. When speaking to the Athenians, Paul quoted a Greek poet who said, "In him we live and move and have our being." As an apostle inspired by and given the Words by the Holy Spirit, his acknowledgement of that phrase as a manifestation of the truth og God's being-ness would indicate that the World *is* God.

So matter is God, but a dumped part of God, and is indwelled by manifestations of the Spirit of God. With the "ISes" used in the previous sentence indicating a logical map tht helps me understand where I'm coming from, not necessarily a declaration of truth.


  1. This is the reason why I keep finding myself leaning towards Epicurean atomism: there's only one Everything and the division of it into pieces is illusionary. For most practical purposes, it's just easier to accept the steady state as fundamental and focus on the application rather than any theoretical exegesis of these observer-imposed divisions.

    But that's just me and how I roll...

  2. I think I agree with you. Everything is infused with the divine spirit, and has the point of origin in God alone.

    The Jewish and later Hermetic Kabbalists talked about how everything, even the furthest point of the Kelippoth (world of shells, generally associated with evil) also contains this divine spark.

    This spark makes it able to being remedied and brought into the right relationship with the divine. This thinking (which is similar to yours) bases itself upon the idea that divinity is neither entirely transcendent; outside of creation, or entirely immanent; the totality of creation.

  3. In Taoist Alchemy and some Hindu thought it is similar, but instead of a contraction outward leaving "something" behind, it is a contraction of a more muscular nature. Like a crystalization. Infinite Mind became more manifest as Infinite Power, which became more manifest as Matter. Matter as a form of Energy as a form of Consciousness. Thus everything that has Matter has Consciousness in some form.

    It's always how I thought of the numinae, as places who were people.

    Oh, and btw your blog rocks. I really enjoy reading it.


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