Monday, August 19, 2019

Does God Surpass Joy and Love?

N, in a discussion on Facebook, asked me if God was any more special or profound than joy or love. I immediately thought of conversations that I’ve had with my neighbor about comparing the size of different infinities. Supposedly the set of all the whole numbers is the same size infinity as all the even numbers, but there are infinities bigger than other infinities.

Joy and love are not measurable so they are infinities. God, as an expression of the divine, is also immeasurable. All three of these are so immense that I feel that it would demean any of them to reduce them to less than another thing. In the continuum going from feelings to emotions to states of mind, joy, love, and God can all be states of mind.

 Some say that God is love. Jesus said that “the kingdom of God is within you.” Is this in the same vein that our 1st Zen ancestor Dogen said that when we sit we are Buddha? Could one say that when we love we are God? When we sit, our DNA does not shift to a man who lived 2500 years ago. Yet, when we sit, which may well be something more than plopping ourselves down on a cushion, we become transformed into something much bigger and more universal than ourselves. We enter a new state, almost as if we had traveled beyond. And when we love, we also migrate to this different cosmos, which becomes infinite and timeless. To say that anything is bigger than joy or love when we love or are consumed with joy seems to be wrong. With love or joy, when you enter these states, you are right there at a place that is unbeatable and unsurpassable. So, N, God is not any more special than joy or love. In my mind, this equality in no way diminishes God but rather elevates joy and love to pinnacles that cannot be surpassed.

Mango and Cherry Homemade Popsicle

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