Here’s what we’ve overlooked -- if God oversees and looks into and peers out from everything and everybody, then God is not other than what is seen, what is seeing, and what is looking itself.
Namely, the whole of it.
We’ve been taken with the idea that “the whole” is the perfect and the complete. What we’ve overlooked is that the whole contains within it both the good and the bad, the compassionate and the malicious, the peace and the hostility.
The ancient Hebrew Scriptures telling of the smote and the smiting, the carnage of enemies, the slaying of firstborn, and the crucifixion of a good man -- these are not aberrations or naive postulations of an un-evolved spirituality. These are the telling of what is part of the whole.
Preachers like to tell us we are sinful -- as if this is aberration of some primal state of grace and innocence that was smashed when some act (apple, snake, expulsion) ruined our nature and occasioned the finding of lumber to build confessionals and the church structure surrounding them. The coffers of mega-churches bulge with grace offerings of twenty dollar bills for smiling pastors who tell us that God loves prosperity and being born-again into the waters of goodness, silk suits, and multi-million dollar homes.
But this dualism is only a convenient narrative to bolster up an error much more primal than the Adam/Eve myth.
The error is the partializing. The dividing. The fragmenting. The bifurcating. Of the whole. Of reality as it is.
Hence: God and Satan; good and evil; right and wrong; blessing and curse; liberal and conservative; Obama and Trump; unifier and divider.
But what if we began to understand a more basic view that says the whole contains it all -- all the contradictory, perplexing, antagonistic, complementary, and ambiguous forces at work in this material existence, physical universe, and psychological perception therein?
Would our view of God change?
And if so, would we be capable of avoiding the simplistic siphoning out of states, conditions, structures in such a way that posits factions of antagonism, realms of sins, and blessings of grace as rigidified oppositions and irreparable realms of warfare?
“God” might be looked at in a new appreciation of complexity as the choice to transform all latency within us into beneficial action outside us (so to speak). It is not a “war” between flesh and the spirit -- it is a recognition of ego-driven desire and a transforming of it into empathetic consequence benefiting everything and everyone surrounding.
Do some whites hate blacks? Do some Americans hate immigrants? Do some Republicans hate Democrats?
But that hate is not far from love. Nor is the desire to punch someone far from the need to hug that someone.
The original “stuff” of the universe is the original “stuff” of each one of us. Fierce forces pulsing to emerge out into appearance for purposes that evade our understanding.
But we are also emerging as sentient, cognizant, and enlightened beings capable of reflecting, restoring, and transforming what is emerging into something beneficial, caring, and pragmatically communal.
By transforming what is emerging we transform God.
As the existentialists of the 20th century pointed out, existence precedes essence. Everything, everything is in the process of origination, development, formation, reflection, assessment, transformation, and rinse, repeat, restore, refine, and recur. It is a human way of experiencing what we have called the Diving Mystery.
If you feel you love God, love the process of becoming human.
As Nikos Kazantzakis once pointed out, we need to become the Saviors of God. http://www.angel.net/~nic/askitiki.html#prologue
I cite Kazantzakis and Irenaeus because they come to mind.
Underlying Irenaeus’ thought is the very simple, utterly amazing assertion that stands at the beginning of St. John’s Gospel: “The Word became flesh.” Or as Irenaeus puts it: “The only true and steadfast Teacher, the Word of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, through his transcendent love, became what we are, that he might bring us to be what he is himself” (Against Heresies, Book 5, preface). The first Christians had a very clear understanding of the unity of everything. As humans, we are one with the whole material world. All that exists is created and kept in being by the love of God, the maker of all things. The act of bridging the immense gulf between God and the physical cosmos, drawing human beings into a life like his, was no haphazard afterthought; it had been the plan and intention of divine Love from the outset. It is as we are that we are loved, for what we can become through the communion that God offers. Sharing the light of God’s eternal love, we discover that truly we are all made for a life that we never imagined possible. (--from, A PORTRAIT, Saint Irenaeus of Lyons, Taize) https://www.taize.fr/en_article6431.html
And then there is Dogen:
There are three points about Dogen’s view of reality to keep in mind here; first: “The whole of existence-and-time is our real body-mind, our ‘true self;’” second: “Every particular thing, in all space and time, that could—in any way, shape, or form—be known (experienced in any way) is, and by Dogen’s definition, must be, a real thing,” and third: “The only real things are mind (or, mental) things.”
Thus, according to Dogen’s logic, “Since all real things are mind, all mind things are real.” One major implication of this view is that the universe and the self are coexistent, coextensive, and coeternal. To utilize one of Dogen’s favorite modes of expression, “Sentient beings fashion the universe, the universe fashions sentient beings, the universe fashions the universe, the universe universes the universe.” (--from, Zen Buddhism Dogen and the Shobogenzo, a blog by Ted Biringer) http://dogenandtheshobogenzo.blogspot.com/2010/06/dogen-and-nonduality-of-nonduality.html
God longs for transformation. Humans long for transformation. God longs for the human. The human longs for God. Transformation longs for transformation.
And so it goes.