Who is God?


(c) 2006 Excerpt from True Islam's upcoming new book, 'The Bible, the Qur'an, and the Secret of the Black God'





The God of normative Jewish, Christian and Islamic tradition is wholly spiritual, commonly described as "a perfect, pure spirit," "a nonembodied mind". According to this tradition, God's spirituality, affirmed in Isaiah 31:3 and John 4:24 ("God is Spirit"), necessarily implies that he is immaterial and formless. But as is well-known now, such an understanding of spirituality and of the divine is thoroughly Hellenistic; that is to say, it is Greek philosophic tradition that bequeathed to the world, and to the monotheistic religions in particular, this divine, immaterial and formless spirit.[1] The very notion of immateriality is the brainchild of Plato.[2] Semitic tradition, however, even Semitic revelatory tradition (i.e. the "Religions of the Book") possessed no such understanding prior to contact with Hellens or carriers of Hellenistic culture.[3] The ancient Near Eastern (ANE) and Semitic 'God of Religion' was always anthropomorphic (Greek, anthropos='man', morphe= 'form'): that is to say he/they possessed human form.[4] While representation of the divine in animal form (theriomorohism, Greek therion, 'animal' and morphe 'form') is met with in all periods of religious history in the ANE, it is not the case that anthropomorphism succeeded an earlier theriomorphism.[5] The gods of the ANE were transcendently anthropomorphic: they possessed bodies human in form, but supreme in holiness, substance, and sublimity.[6] The theriomorphs were so-called 'attribute animals', meaning they represented particular characteristics of the otherwise anthropomorphic deities.[7]







This is true as well of the God of the scriptures, Bible and Qur'an. Israel stood in linguistic, cultural and religious continuity with her neighbors in the Levant.[8] And as Morton Smith pointed out in a classic article, Israel participated in "the common theology of the ancient Near East."[9] This means that the god(s) of Israel and the gods of the ANE actually differed less than has been supposed.[10] Like the gods of the ANE, the god(s) of Israel and biblical tradition was anthropomorphic.[11] The single most important effect of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim intercourse in Late Antiquity with Greek philosophic tradition was the total eclipsing of the anthropomorphic God of Religion by the formless God of Philosophy. In all three religions, the God of Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad was supplanted by the God of Xenophanes, Plato, Aristotle and Cleanthes.





1.1. Is the biblical God a formless, immaterial Spirit?





Rev. Fred Price argued:







Mr. Muhammad goes on to state...: 'Did God say that He was a Mystery God, or did someone say it of Him? If He were a spirit and not a man, we would all be spirits and not human beings!' It appears Mr. Muhammad has not accurately read the Bible (emphasis mine-TI), which clearly states that God is a Spirit, and so is man...In John 4:24 (KJV), it records the fact that Jesus, speaking to the woman at the well in Samaria, referred to God as follows: '...God is a Spirit...' (emphasis original) John also says, in Chapter 1, Verse 1, 'In the Beginning was the Word (Jesus) and the word was with God...' If the word, Jesus, was 'with God,' the Word should know who, or what, God was or wasn't. In John 4:24...Jesus Himself said, '...God is a Spirit...' But Mr. Muhammad says, 'God is a man and not a spirit'...Somebody is confused here.[12]







In fairness to Rev. Price, the average reader of John 4:24 also assumes that, as a spirit, God is here described as formless and immaterial. Again, spirituality is commonly thought to necessitate incorporeality (lacking a body).[13] They also assume that, since God is spirit, he can't be a man. But, as we shall demonstrate, these assumptions betray an unfamiliarity on the part of these readers with the scriptures in their original Hebrew and Greek contexts.





1.2. Not 'A' Spirit



Firstly,the King James translation of John 4:24, used by Rev. Price, is wrong. The Greek p?e?µa ? ?e?? (Latin spiritus est deus) is not "God is a Spirit" but simply "God is spirit." The absence of the indefinite article is grammatically small but theologically significant as it indicates that John 4:24 is not attempting an ontological definition of God, i.e. God is a spirit as opposed, for instance, to a man.[14] This is confirmed by 1 John 1:5, "God is Light", and 1 John 4:8, "God is Love," where the same constructions are used: God is certainly not actually a light, i.e. a natural luminary or a human emotion. God is spiritual, but not a spirit. This is confirmed by the Hebrew Bible (HB, i.e. Old Testament) background to this passage, Isa. 31:3, "The Egyptians are human ('adam) and not divine ('el); and their horses are flesh (basar), and not spirit (rûah)."[15] Here the two contrasting sets, human ('adam) vs. divine ('el) and flesh (basar) vs. spirit (rûah) are parallel and therefore 'adam is synonymous with basar and 'el with rûah.[16] These terms are used adjectivally[17] to contrast the corruptible, mortal sphere with the eternal, powerful, and creative divine sphere.[18] But they do not describe God as a spirit:







The Spirit is not identical with God but is the agency of his historical activity in the world...(T)he doctrine of the spirituality of God has no place in the OT. The apparent exception is Isa. 31:3...Even here, however, the issue is not the spirituality of God in opposition to anything material, but that of his vitality as opposed to the creaturely weakness upon which an alliance with Egypt rests (cf. vs. 1). Yahweh is not pure spirit, for his Spirit, like his Word, is the agency of his activity."[19]







Shailer Mathews notes also:







Even among the prophets Jahweh was described with such vivid anthropomorphism as to enable persons to form a mental picture of his appearance. Not only was he portrayed as an old man with white hair, but he had passions and policies like those of the rulers of his time...The conception of God as spirit DID NOT APPEAR IN THE OLD TESTAMENT. To the theologizing historians who in the eighth century (B.C.) unified and expanded the literary data of their religion, GOD WAS NOT A SPIRIT BUT POSSESSED A SPIRIT (emphasis mine-TI).[20]







The contrast in Isa. 31:3 between divine spirit and mortal flesh, and the denial to God of the latter, is significant. The broader context of John 4:24 implies the same contrast.[21] We will look further at this opposition below. But for now it is important to point out that the contrast does not mean spirit is immaterial. "(S)pirit in the biblical tradition is not simply an abstraction, but a fairly concrete image."[22] Both the Hebrew rûah and Greek p?e?µa, pneuma literally mean "wind, breath, air in motion" and thus contain a definite, if subtle and rarified materiality. "The constitutive factor of p?e?µa in the Greek world is always its subtle and powerful corporeality."[23] Herman Gunkel, in his groundbreaking religio-historical study on the Holy Spirit,[24] noted that the Hebrew rûah in Jewish tradition, even when applied to Yahweh, was materially conceived, a kind of Lichtstoff (light-particles).[25] Thus we see that Louis Berkhof's statement, "The idea of spirituality of necessity excludes the ascription of anything like corporeity to God,"[26] is simply unbiblical. [27]






Flesh (basar/ sarx), in both the HB and NT, was characterized by weakness, corruption, and mortality, all that is antithetical to God, who therefore had no relation to it.[28] But this does not mean he is incorporeal, as H. Wheeler Robinson points out:







Isaiah 31:3, "the Egyptians are men ('adam) and not God ('el), and their horses flesh and not spirit." The whole realm of spiritual energies belong to Yahweh, here identified with ruach, and over against Him stands all material existence, including man himself, here virtually identified with bâshar, flesh. But to speak of God as 'spirit' does not mean that Yahweh is formless...The majestic figure seen by Isaiah in the temple is in human form, though endowed with superhuman qualities. If we ask for further definition, we shall find that the 'glory' of Yahweh, His full visible manifestation, is conceived in terms of dazzling and unbearable light. Yahweh's body is shaped like man's, but its substance is not flesh but 'spirit,' and spirit seen as a blaze of light. It is true that the imageless worship of prophetic religion repudiates the making of any likeness of God, and no form was seen in the storm-theophany of Sinai (Deut. iv. 12). But it is one thing to shrink from the vision of the form, and another to deny that a form exists, though a form wrought out of ruach-substance."[29]







1.3. The Greek Philosophic Origins of Divine Incorporeality







Hebrew as well as NT Greek spirituality, even divine spirituality, was therefore corporeal. It is in Greek philosophic tradition that such ideas as divine incorporeality begin: in fact, it is to this tradition that we owe the very concept of "immateriality." As R. Renehan notes in his important study, "On the Greek Origins of the Concepts Incorporeality and Immateriality"[30]:







Few concepts have been more influential, for better or worse, in the history of Western philosophy and theology than those of incorporeal beings and immaterial essences. Their importance for the particular directions which European thought long took pondering such problems as the nature of deity, soul, intellect, in short, of ultimate reality, is not easily exaggerated...Such concepts are the creation of Greek philosophy. Prior to that even 'spirit' was material, in Egypt, Greece, and elsewhere[31]




A number of Presocratics (i.e. Greek philosophers before the time of Socrates) laid 'stepping stones' leading to a fully explicit notion of incorporeality/immateriality. The Ionian philosopher of Colophon Xenophanes (570-475 BCE) posited an abstract and non-anthropomorphic deity that would be highly influential to the development of the Christian doctrine of divine transcendence with its characteristic notion of divine incorporeality/immateriality.[32] But for all its abstraction Xenophanes' deity was still corporeal.[33] "When all is said and done, it must be recognized that one man was responsible for the creation of an ontology which culminates in incorporeal Being as the truest and highest reality. That man was Plato."[34] Renehan suggests that it was Plato who coined the term as?µat??, asomatos (incorporeal).[35] Plato's incorporeal Form (e?d??/?dea) of the Good, however, was not God.[36] It seems to have been his student Aristotle (384-322 BCE) who, understanding the full implications of the term as?µat??, first used it of the deity, his Unmoved Mover (Cael. 279a17ff, Metaph. 1073a5ff).[37] This novel Platonic/Aristotelian notion of divine incorporeality/immateriality will be taken up and elaborated in Hellenistic Judaism, Patristic Christianity, and heterodox Islam.[38]





<>


1.4. 'Yahweh is a Man'







This incorporeal, non-anthropomorphic deity of the Greeks is in stark contrast to the God of biblical tradition. The God of the Hebrew Bible is without question a man. He is anthropomorphic: he has a human form. He is anthropopathic: he has human feelings. And, importantly, he is called a man repeatedly in the HB, a fact lost in the various English translations. Hebrew has five words (plus their derivatives) for man: "îà, geber, 'adham, 'enôš and mt. The last three terms connote human frailty and as such are never applied to God.[39] It is a different story, however, with "îà and geber. These two terms connote strength, kingship, and spirituality[40] and the HB declares that God is this sort of man[41]: Yahweh is an "îà and geber, or rather gibbôr, mighty man.[42] The Book of Exodus states emphatically YHWH "îà milhamah, "Yahweh is a man of war (15:3)."[43] This is not a metaphor, but a divine title[44] and, according to rabbinic tradition, a description of how Yahweh physically appeared to the Hebrews at the Red Sea. Thus, Mekhilta de-Rabbi Shim'on bar Yohai: "Another interpretation: 'YHWH is a man of war, YHWH is His name.' Because when the Holy One, blessed be He, was revealed at the sea He appeared as a young man making war. 'YHWH is His name.'[45]






Ex. 15:3 is not the only time Yahweh is referred to as an "îà.[46] God speaks to Moses face to face, "as a man ("îà) speaketh to his friend (Ex. 33:11)." He appears to Abraham as one of three 'anasîm (plural of "îà).[47] Jacob wrestles with a man ("îà) at Penuel whom he would later identify as Elohim/God (Gen. 32:31).[48] In both Hosea (2:18) and Isaiah (54:4) God even uses it as a self-designation.[49] God is also a gibbôr "mighty man,"[50] which is the intensive form of geber.[51] He is called a gibbôr milhamah, "mighty man of war" (Ps. 24:7-10; also Isa. 42:13). In the Dead Sea Scrolls God is called a "mighty man of war (gibbôr hamilhamah)" and "man of glory" ("îà kabôd) (1QM, xii, 9-10; 1QM, xix, 2). Thus, even Marjo Korpel, in her extensive study A Rift in the Clouds, Ugaritic and Hebrew Descriptions of the Divine, concedes that "in the Bible God appears as a man ["îà]."[52] Walter Eichrodt, in his Old Testament Theology, notes also that "God is, without doubt, thought of also in human form, more specifically as a man."[53]





www.theblackgod.com
www.allahteam.info
www.myspace.com/truislam
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Last edited {1}
Original Post
quote:
Originally posted by kresge:
Vorstellung denken!!!


Kresge...

I do not speak German ( I assume this is German)... and I assume the phrase above means "imaginative thought"...

If this is a negative reference... May I ask what in the article do you find in error?...

If it is not... May I ask to what point(s) you are referring?


Thanks...
quote:
Originally posted by Khalliqa:
quote:
Originally posted by kresge:
Vorstellung denken!!!


Kresge...

I do not speak German ( I assume this is German)... and I assume the phrase above means "imaginative thought"...

If this is a negative reference... May I ask what in the article do you find in error?...

If it is not... May I ask to what point(s) you are referring?


Thanks...

It is German. It is also technical terminology from field of history of religions/religious studies. It was neither negative or positive, simply descriptive. Probably the best translation is "representational thinking" as opposed to "conceptual (abstract) thinking" (Begriff denken).

The piece seems to be endorsing the former as opposed to the latter.

Other than that, I am not really sure what was the point of the piece. It seems to endorse a kind of ahistoricism and literalism, which I must admit I find disconcerting.

Perhaps if you say more about what motivated you to post it. Why were you so moved?
Sister Khalliqa,


quote:
The God of normative Jewish, Christian and Islamic tradition is wholly spiritual, commonly described as "a perfect, pure spirit," "a nonembodied mind". According to this tradition, God's spirituality, affirmed in Isaiah 31:3 and John 4:24 ("God is Spirit"), necessarily implies that he is immaterial and formless. But as is well-known now, such an understanding of spirituality and of the divine is thoroughly Hellenistic; that is to say, it is Greek philosophic tradition that bequeathed to the world, and to the monotheistic religions in particular, this divine, immaterial and formless spirit.[1] The very notion of immateriality is the brainchild of Plato.[2] Semitic tradition, however, even Semitic revelatory tradition (i.e. the "Religions of the Book") possessed no such understanding prior to contact with Hellens or carriers of Hellenistic culture




While I would readily agree with the findings of Truislam, it is my taste to take a different approach to unraveling the formerly hidden aspects of the anthropomorphic nature of God. As a student of The Honorable Elijah Muhammad I have accepted the idea that Allah self generated Himself out of a state of intense darkness. The Darkness is often described as a womb. The womb, absent the masculine drive, represents a static state of unmoving, undifferentiated material. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad once implied that the Darkness possessed matter, however He taught that since the matter was doing nothing, it was "nothing". According to Master Muhammad, it remained in a static state until it was moved into action. The first act of creation, according to NOI creation accounts, was the accumulation of atomic materials, and the subsequent spin of the atom of thought. The material for this act was gathered from the fabric of the Darkness itself. This idea surrounds the question of the first act, however, it fails to explain the extraordinary existence of the Architect who designed the process.

The Nation Of Islam's cosmogony is reminiscent of older traditions such as that espoused by the Kemau, the Dravidian, the Akkadian, students of the Kabballah and those who would come much later such as those who study Theosophy, and scientific models such as Big Bang Cosmology.

All of these schools of thought wrestled to reconcile the pre-existence of the Creator or moving force. When we approach this aspect of God's nature we cannot assert an anthropomorphic representation in the classical sense. This God, if man, would have to be an incorporeal mind. The act of moving material was nonexistent until the first act. There was a time for this. The first action unfolded in accordance to laws which were pre"”scribed. The laws were coded into Netcher or Nature prior to activity. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught that as far back as we can go the woman or womb "was there". We know that we can go back to a certain period when we can go back no further.. According to our doctrine, spacetime has an age, this provides an age for the womb itself. . ...The Beautiful thing is that we are taught that Master Fard Muhammad traveled into the mind of the Originator. He traveled into His mind....His mind still exists however it cannot be assumed to be a material or a place. The mind is the design or Engineering of the algorithmic Universe.

The mind of God did not Supervene upon Creation. The mind of God within the Creation manifested in the form designed for itself which is man. However as in the prevailing models of astrophysics the First cause itself must be extra dimensional.

We are taught that the original man created the Asiyah ..all of it....Even the part of it that we dwell within. We are the Maker of Asia..

Man is God, however, man is more than our present representation in form. We are polymorphic in shape, and substance. The common unchanging element is our mind...It requires a mind in order to think, the first manifestation was a thought.


I do not say any of this to disagree with my brother, but to expand upon the idea which has been presented in a way which covers the subject from a different direction.


Considered Well,



Whirling Moat
quote:
Originally posted by kresge:
It is German. It is also technical terminology from field of history of religions/religious studies. It was neither negative or positive, simply descriptive. Probably the best translation is "representational thinking" as opposed to "conceptual (abstract) thinking" (Begriff denken).

The piece seems to be endorsing the former as opposed to the latter.


Is this not part of the point of the piece... the "literalism" which you describe has significance... it is not a simplistic metaphoric description of God... The theophanies in the Bible are narratives... and thus hold significance to God's corporeal body... the significance of this? Is a disruption of the psychological disconnect between ourselves and God...

Many use their understanding of scriptural text to hold on to an inferior spritual existence... one where God is unknowable... and distant... where His attributes are wholly unattainable...

quote:
Other than that, I am not really sure what was the point of the piece. It seems to endorse a kind of ahistoricism and literalism, which I must admit I find disconcerting.


May I ask what it is you find disconcerting?

quote:
Perhaps if you say more about what motivated you to post it. Why were you so moved?


I hope my answer above is sufficient...

Also on another note Kresge... Did you say you got your doctorate in Religious Studies? I posted this in part because I like to engage the opinions of others I respect.... I have been reading this brother's works lately... and.. well.. I am not a Phd... but I have interests in religious studies and would not restrict myself to my own analysis of various works... hence my posting...

If so, from what institution did you procure your degree?


~Blessings~
quote:
Originally posted by Khalliqa:
quote:
Originally posted by kresge:
It is German. It is also technical terminology from field of history of religions/religious studies. It was neither negative or positive, simply descriptive. Probably the best translation is "representational thinking" as opposed to "conceptual (abstract) thinking" (Begriff denken).

The piece seems to be endorsing the former as opposed to the latter.


Is this not part of the point of the piece... the "literalism" which you describe has significance... it is not a simplistic metaphoric description of God... The theophanies in the Bible are narratives... and thus hold significance to God's corporeal body... the significance of this? Is a disruption of the psychological disconnect between ourselves and God...

Many use their understanding of scriptural text to hold on to an inferior spritual existence... one where God is unknowable... and distant... where His attributes are wholly unattainable...

quote:
Other than that, I am not really sure what was the point of the piece. It seems to endorse a kind of ahistoricism and literalism, which I must admit I find disconcerting.


May I ask what it is you find disconcerting?

quote:
Perhaps if you say more about what motivated you to post it. Why were you so moved?


I hope my answer above is sufficient...

Also on another note Kresge... Did you say you got your doctorate in Religious Studies? I posted this in part because I like to engage the opinions of others I respect.... I have been reading this brother's works lately... and.. well.. I am not a Phd... but I have interests in religious studies and would not restrict myself to my own analysis of various works... hence my posting...

If so, from what institution did you procure your degree?


~Blessings~

I do not have the PhD yet. I hope to have the proposal accepted and defended in the next month. Eek

As to the article, I instantly thought of the distinction that is drawn in the history of religions between the types of thinking.

I agree with you that much of what is found in the scriptures are narratives, but they are particular kinds of narratives, namely they belong to the genres of myth, saga, or legend. What I find lacking in the brothers piece is that this is not acknowledged. There is the anachronistic assumption with respect to people of antiquity that no contemporary anthropologist, sociologist, historian, etc. would hold, namely that ancient/archaic peoples think as we do. They do not. They think in terms of myth and story where as much of contemporary discourse, particularly in the area of science and philosophy, are in terms of abstract concepts.

There is much to be said for mythological thinking, but it is a serious mistake to conflate it with modern concepts such as history, fact, or the literal. This are concepts that are only a few hundred years old. They come out of the Enlightenment, which has shaped and framed much of contemporary society, but despite the progenitors of the movement, they are not universals. They arise in a particular historical, social, cultural milieu.

There are also other minor problems with the piece as well. The dichotomy between Xianity, Judaism, and Greek/Latin thought is too simplistic. The Greeks and Romans engaged in anthropomorphism with respect to their deities [Zeus/Jupiter, Posideon/Neptune], etc. Even the philosophers such as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle talk about the gods and created new myths. Plotinus asserts the existence of the demiurge who is responsibe for this world, etc.

I know that I have not done the topic as much justice as it deserves. One book that I would recommend to get a take on some of what I am trying to allude to is Mircea Eliades' classic work, [i]The Myth of the Eternal Return: Cosmos and History[/].
quote:
Originally posted by kresge:
I do not have the PhD yet. I hope to have the proposal accepted and defended in the next month. Eek


I wish you much success... though I truly have no doubt you will do an excellent job...

quote:
As to the article, I instantly thought of the distinction that is drawn in the history of religions between the types of thinking.

I agree with you that much of what is found in the scriptures are narratives, but they are particular kinds of narratives, namely they belong to the genres of myth, saga, or legend. What I find lacking in the brothers piece is that this is not acknowledged. There is the anachronistic assumption with respect to people of antiquity that no contemporary anthropologist, sociologist, historian, etc. would hold, namely that ancient/archaic peoples think as we do. They do not. They think in terms of myth and story where as much of contemporary discourse, particularly in the area of science and philosophy, are in terms of abstract concepts.


While I agree that not only do our forefathers (time) differ in the way they think.... But those of differing cultures (place) have different philosophical/cosmogonical viewpoint.... Though I seriously doubt that people of antiquity took their myths to be only myths... perhaps a certain portion... and then it was rife with symbolism for the purpose of learning...

It is contemporary thought to suggest the impossibility of human divinity or that the form of God is limited to anything other than incorporeal... is not your premise limited by its own assertion?... that being that no matter the outcome the process of analysis will still have changed through the mind of a contemporary interpretation of ancient dialogue and perspective...

But, this is where the book discusses those notions... there are times of metaphor... times of myth... and many other times of literal experience.....


quote:
There are also other minor problems with the piece as well. The dichotomy between Xianity, Judaism, and Greek/Latin thought is too simplistic. The Greeks and Romans engaged in anthropomorphism with respect to their deities [Zeus/Jupiter, Posideon/Neptune], etc. Even the philosophers such as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle talk about the gods and created new myths. Plotinus asserts the existence of the demiurge who is responsibe for this world, etc.


This is just an excerpt... there are other parts of the book that address this...

quote:
I know that I have not done the topic as much justice as it deserves. One book that I would recommend to get a take on some of what I am trying to allude to is Mircea Eliades' classic work, [i]The Myth of the Eternal Return: Cosmos and History[/].


I will check it out..
quote:
Originally posted by Saracen:
Sister Khalliqa,


quote:
The God of normative Jewish, Christian and Islamic tradition is wholly spiritual, commonly described as "a perfect, pure spirit," "a nonembodied mind". According to this tradition, God's spirituality, affirmed in Isaiah 31:3 and John 4:24 ("God is Spirit"), necessarily implies that he is immaterial and formless. But as is well-known now, such an understanding of spirituality and of the divine is thoroughly Hellenistic; that is to say, it is Greek philosophic tradition that bequeathed to the world, and to the monotheistic religions in particular, this divine, immaterial and formless spirit.[1] The very notion of immateriality is the brainchild of Plato.[2] Semitic tradition, however, even Semitic revelatory tradition (i.e. the "Religions of the Book") possessed no such understanding prior to contact with Hellens or carriers of Hellenistic culture




While I would readily agree with the findings of Truislam, it is my taste to take a different approach to unraveling the formerly hidden aspects of the anthropomorphic nature of God. As a student of The Honorable Elijah Muhammad I have accepted the idea that Allah self generated Himself out of a state of intense darkness. The Darkness is often described as a womb. The womb, absent the masculine drive, represents a static state of unmoving, undifferentiated material. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad once implied that the Darkness possessed matter, however He taught that since the matter was doing nothing, it was "nothing". According to Master Muhammad, it remained in a static state until it was moved into action. The first act of creation, according to NOI creation accounts, was the accumulation of atomic materials, and the subsequent spin of the atom of thought. The material for this act was gathered from the fabric of the Darkness itself. This idea surrounds the question of the first act, however, it fails to explain the extraordinary existence of the Architect who designed the process.

The Nation Of Islam's cosmogony is reminiscent of older traditions such as that espoused by the Kemau, the Dravidian, the Akkadian, students of the Kabballah and those who would come much later such as those who study Theosophy, and scientific models such as Big Bang Cosmology.

All of these schools of thought wrestled to reconcile the pre-existence of the Creator or moving force. When we approach this aspect of God's nature we cannot assert an anthropomorphic representation in the classical sense. This God, if man, would have to be an incorporeal mind. The act of moving material was nonexistent until the first act. There was a time for this. The first action unfolded in accordance to laws which were pre"”scribed. The laws were coded into Netcher or Nature prior to activity. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught that as far back as we can go the woman or womb "was there". We know that we can go back to a certain period when we can go back no further.. According to our doctrine, spacetime has an age, this provides an age for the womb itself. . ...The Beautiful thing is that we are taught that Master Fard Muhammad traveled into the mind of the Originator. He traveled into His mind....His mind still exists however it cannot be assumed to be a material or a place. The mind is the design or Engineering of the algorithmic Universe.

The mind of God did not Supervene upon Creation. The mind of God within the Creation manifested in the form designed for itself which is man. However as in the prevailing models of astrophysics the First cause itself must be extra dimensional.

We are taught that the original man created the Asiyah ..all of it....Even the part of it that we dwell within. We are the Maker of Asia..

Man is God, however, man is more than our present representation in form. We are polymorphic in shape, and substance. The common unchanging element is our mind...It requires a mind in order to think, the first manifestation was a thought.


I do not say any of this to disagree with my brother, but to expand upon the idea which has been presented in a way which covers the subject from a different direction.


Considered Well,



Whirling Moat



Brother Karriem...

Does not the act of defining God begin at His Self-Creation?
Does not God subject himself to his own laws?
Did not the laws that govern the material exist in the "womb" of space?
Does not this material house the imagination... the thought (which moves... and can be measured... is it not material?) which gave birth to God's self creation?

Is not it faith to suggest that which exists outside of the material..?

Not suggesting impossibility... just asking about the foundational strength your argument is resting upon...

Salaam...
Peace....

I was actually preparing to address these questions more thoroughly, however, I have decided to provide basic replies. These questions concern very specifics aspects of the NOI's theology and due to the fact that this discussion is taking place on a public forum I have decided not fill this thread with information which may be viewed by others who will not have the benefit of the proper foundation in NOI theology.

quote:
Does not the act of defining God begin at His Self-Creation?


The act of defining God can start at this point, however, this is not be necessity.

If Allah is a product of the processes which gave rise to Creation then it is only right to suggest that He was a product and not the producer. Of course it may be true that Allah inadvertently set in motion the process of Creation and later His own intelligence arose, however, even this line of reasoning evidences inescapable flaws since the laws of Nature exist. These laws are the grid wherein the Universe operates. These laws either have an origin or they exist independent of the God of Creation. If they exist without the permission of God then once again He is a subject, perhaps the greatest subject, but a subject nonetheless.

We are taught that Allah engineered the process. He is called an "Author", and within our tradition He is described as an "Architect of Grand Majesty". He Allah is responsible for the Design of His own make.

Read more of Ra Un Nefer Amen's, Metu Neter volume II, wherein he describes the Subjective unmoving consciousness and the subsequent alteration of the Nu.

quote:
Does not God subject himself to his own laws?


Yes, however He can only claim the Law if He created it. If He created the laws of Quantum Mechanics then He must have existed first before appearing in the form of an Atom.


quote:
Did not the laws that govern the material exist in the "womb" of space?


Physicists always say that the laws of physics "break down" at the singularity, or at the point when the primordial egg thought to explode. When there was no time, there could have been no real causation. Many problem's arise when people begin to think like this, however, to answer your question, whatever laws that existed in the womb existed in a state of potentiality. Some would call this the ultimate Qualia space...Alas....


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Does not this material house the imagination... the thought (which moves... and can be measured... is it not material?) which gave birth to God's self creation?


Interesting, i think I see now what this is...

The material of the brain is not the thought..the thought moves outside of the brain and travels through space so we are taught. The brain is sensory device for the mind, it provides the mind with a vehicle for experiencing the physical world. However, they are not one and the same. the Honorable Elijah Muhammad speaks of the survival of one mind in the person of different people.

Differing brains but the same mind.

Is the mind a kind of material? Well in the sense that energy is matter yes, however, I think that all who argue on behalf of an Incorporeal God would agree that the "spirit" which can be called, "God Consciousness", "Nous", "Amun", or even "Allah", is a form of energy and power.

Is the "Spirit" a physical object? Yes. However by strict definitons only. The Physical, phenomenal world is here now, and so all that dwells within it with causative power is part of it, however, this does not mean that there does not exist an extradimensional essence to such force and power.

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said that Master Fard Muhammad could create a new Universe using nothing of this one, if so He would have to destroy everything of this universe including His own form...

Think this over...

quote:
Not suggesting impossibility... just asking about the foundational strength your argument is resting upon...


My argument rests upon years of investigation.

Rashida19, The Honorable Elijah Muhammad called us students. We are training in this labor course to become scientists. Our approach to understanding this teaching must be one founded upon principles which undergird the best of empiricism, historical research, and reason.



It is late in the day...



And I have a flight to catch....


My best wishes to you....


Your brother in Islam,


Whirling Moat

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