THE WATCHMAKER IN LOVE
Jay B. Gaskill
Yes this, too, is myth.
But myths sometimes encode more valuable life truths than the arid lessons of philosophy and the pitiless conclusions of empirical science.
Human myths are not always constructs. Sometimes they are “infostructs”, the pan-lingual story-language by which we humans capture, decode, and release bits of God wisdom. They distort the Original message only in the sense and to the degree that all metaphors do that. In our species’ best myths, the signal-to-distortion ratio is high; the core meaning of the Original message is conveyed in about the same proportion that language does for mundane communications. Language originates in metaphor after all.
God originated in potentiality embedded in indeterminacy. [I use the past tense for convenience in the knowledge that I’m ascribing ordinary temporality to proto-events outside time and space.]
There was an ur-event: Being selected itself against non-being. All further selections followed that first contrast: light against dark. And so on. Again metaphor.
The Tora’s Genesis account of creation is code, embedded in myth.
In the beginning God began making universes.
The First Universe was the creation of a space-time bounded realm wherein events could take place. But it was lifeless.
God hovered over that deep in a state of proto-awareness.
Light is code for conscious being, in the first instance, that of God.
Each divine engendered Day was the creation of a New Universe, successive iterations of the First Try.
With each “Day”, God became more conscious and alive (in the sense that we humans might dimly understand those terms).
We are living in the Sixth Universe. It was made by God on the Sixth Day
This Universe started out as did all the rest: a divine watchmaker’s masterwork-in-progress. But this time God was very pleased, caring deeply about the greatest creation yet, that of living, intelligent, morally capable conscious beings, a people to love, and to love God in return.
But there was a trap: both for God and for us.
It turned out that in order for we humans to be made in God’s essential image (as creative, intelligent conscious living beings), God had to let go of any control over human decisions, and depend exclusively on humanity’s ability to acquire knowledge.
Otherwise we’d have been soulless automatons, unworthy of love and incapable of giving authentic love in return.
Because God did love us, God was thereby bound to love to our freedom. As a result, God became fully part of our joy, love, and creative accomplishment, but God was also caught up in our pain, desolation, venality and corruption.
It was almost too much. There was a very dangerous moment when God considered our erasure. God could have started over with a Seventh Universe.
But we were spared.
So God decided to become more involved: from divine Watchmaker to divine coach, divine mentor, co-sufferer, revealer and inspirer. To accomplish this, God needed to take a supreme risk. In this moment, God fully entered the universe. This was a dangerous, irrevocable step, even for the Creator of all Universes, because meant that God would become partly shattered, divided and wounded, taking on all our pain and sharing all our risks, including the risk that we would ruin everything for all time. All of these and more became also God’s pain and God’s risks.
For a time we weren’t told.
Then an iterant rabbi appeared among us in first century Palestine as the “son of humankind”. When he was executed by a tyrant, yet appeared later to his students as a living link to God, the Event was a coded message to us. We’re still decoding that lived-out metaphor for God’s self-wounding. A rabbi’s life, execution and improbable return recapitulated, as if in a play, the Original Sacrifice that God made in order to be fully with us.
The rest of the story is not yet over.
But the Watchmaker is now in the game…
APPENDIX – A
A Cosmological – Biological Narrative:
Space time buds a proto-universe.
The First Order Creation processes appear. These mediate the emergence from the undifferentiated “sea” of pre-quanta singularity: matter / energy quanta, elements, gravity and the nuclear forces, star and planet formation processes, pre-biological systems on and between the planets.
The Second Order creation processes appear. These mediate the emergence of biological processes, procreating organisms, ecological cooperation and inter-species competition from the pre-biological systems. These developments inaugurate accelerated bio-adaptive evolution.
The Third Order creation processes appear. Bio-adaptive evolution leads to the emergence of self directed organisms whose threat-avoidance & food seeking systems adaptively acquire the critical information processing density necessary for the emergence of low order awareness.
The Fourth Order Creation processes appear within all neurological systems with the capacity for low order awareness. Cognitive capacity now appears as an adaptive advantage for individual organisms and becomes for the first time a special venue for the evolutionary emergence of special cognitive faculties.
The Fifth Order Creation processes, now firmly located in biological cognition, generate actively conscious awareness whose faculties include the capacity to recognize other minds and for communication. With these developments, the capacity for personhood is born.
The Sixth Order Creation processes are located in individual conscious, intelligent beings in communication with others. These processes lead to the emergence of a virtual ecology of personal interactions (called civilization). The adaptive speed of creative intelligence within civilization (which can also be seen as a social technology, in the same way that a bat’s wing is a flight technology) achieves a huge innovative acceleration, outpacing all prior stages.
APPENDIX – B
Outline of the Torah Narrative
Day One: Light (1:3-5)
Day Two: The firmament separates earth from the universe. (1:6-8)
Day Three: Land and water are separated (1:9-13)
Day Four: Sun, moon, stars; light separates from darkness. (1:14-19)
Day Five: Water animals and birds (1:20-23)
Day Six: Land animals are created, finally humans, and God is pleased. (1:24-31).
Day Seven: God rests (2:1-3)
Copyright © 2006 by Jay B. Gaskill, Attorney at Law