The Relationship between God and the Universe

1.2 The Relationship between God and the Universe

 

 

We have learned that every creation is God’s substantial object partner, formed in His likeness as a discrete projection of His dual characteristics. God exists as the incorporeal subject partner to all beings. Human beings are object partners embodied at the level of image, and the rest of creation are object partners embodied at the level of symbol. These object partners are called individual embodiments of truth, in image and symbol.

Individual embodiments of truth are discrete manifestations of the dual characteristics of God. Therefore, they can be distinguished broadly into two classes: those of yang qualities which resemble the original internal nature and masculinity of God, and those of yin qualities which resemble the original external form and femininity of God. Although individual embodiments of truth belong to either of these two classes, since they are all substantial object partners to God-resembling His original internal nature and original external form-they each possess within themselves both internal nature and external form, and likewise both yang and yin.

In light of our understanding of the dual characteristics, the relationship between God and the universe can be summarized thus: The universe as a whole is a substantial object partner to God. It is composed of individual embodiments of truth, each a unique manifestation of the dual characteristics of God at either the level of image or of symbol, as governed by the Principle of Creation. The myriad qualities of God, in their duality, are apportioned into diverse human beings, each an incarnate object partner at the level of image. These qualities are also apportioned into all the diverse things of creation, each an embodied object partner at the level of symbol. The relationship between God and the universe is similar to that between internal nature and external form. It is a mutual relationship like that between dual characteristics: internal and external, cause and result, vertical and horizontal, subject partner and object partner, and so forth.

Finally, from the viewpoint of the Principle of Creation, let us investigate the metaphysical concept at the root of East Asian philosophy which is based on the Book of Changes (I Ching). There, the origin of the universe is the Great Ultimate (Ultimate Void). From the Great Ultimate arose yang and yin, from yang and yin came forth the Five Agents-metal, wood, water, fire and earth-and from the Five Agents all things came into existence.7 Yang and yin together are called the Way (Tao), or as the Book of Changes states, “One yang and one yin: this is the Way.”8 The Way is traditionally defined as the Word. To put all this together, from the Great Ultimate arose yang and yin, or the Word, and all things came into being based on the Word. Accordingly, the Great Ultimate is the First Cause of all existing beings, the integral nucleus and harmonious subject partner of yang and yin.

In light of our understanding of the dual characteristics, the relationship between God and the universe can be summarized thus: The universe as a whole is a substantial object partner to God. It is composed of individual embodiments of truth, each a unique manifestation of the dual characteristics of God at either the level of image or of symbol, as governed by the Principle of Creation. The myriad qualities of God, in their duality, are apportioned into diverse human beings, each an incarnate object partner at the level of image. These qualities are also apportioned into all the diverse things of creation, each an embodied object partner at the level of symbol. The relationship between God and the universe is similar to that between internal nature and external form. It is a mutual relationship like that between dual characteristics: internal and external, cause and result, vertical and horizontal, subject partner and object partner, and so forth.

Finally, from the viewpoint of the Principle of Creation, let us investigate the metaphysical concept at the root of East Asian philosophy which is based on the Book of Changes (I Ching). There, the origin of the universe is the Great Ultimate (Ultimate Void). From the Great Ultimate arose yang and yin, from yang and yin came forth the Five Agents-metal, wood, water, fire and earth-and from the Five Agents all things came into existence.7 Yang and yin together are called the Way (Tao), or as the Book of Changes states, “One yang and one yin: this is the Way.”8 The Way is traditionally defined as the Word. To put all this together, from the Great Ultimate arose yang and yin, or the Word, and all things came into being based on the Word. Accordingly, the Great Ultimate is the First Cause of all existing beings, the integral nucleus and harmonious subject partner of yang and yin.

It is written in the Gospel of John that “the Word was with God, and the Word was God,”9 and that all things were made through the Word. Comparing this to the metaphysics rooted in the Book of Changes, we can surmise that the Great Ultimate, as the harmonious source of yang and yin or the Word, is none other than God who, as we have seen, is the harmonious subject partner of dual characteristics. According to the Principle of Creation, the fact that everything created through the Word has dual characteristics shows that the Word itself consists of dual characteristics. Consequently, the claim made in the Book of Changes that yang and yin together are the Word is valid.

However, this East Asian metaphysics observes the universe exclusively from the viewpoint of yang and yin while failing to recognize that all things also possess internal nature and external form. Therefore, although it reveals that the Great Ultimate is the subject partner of harmonious yang and yin, it fails to show that the Great Ultimate is also the subject partner of harmonious original internal nature and original external form. Hence, it does not comprehend that the Great Ultimate is a God with personality.

We have learned that the root concept of East Asian philosophy as based on the Book of Changes can be fully elucidated only with the help of the Principle of Creation. In recent years, Oriental medicine has become recognized to an increasing degree throughout the world. Its success is due to the fact that its founding principles, which focus upon the concepts of yang and yin, are in accordance with the Principle of Creation.

 

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