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In the Name of God بسم الله

Creator/created Distinction

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Salam. My question will be a very short one, but a its definitely one of the most difficult questions within any theology, and has been trying to be solved by theologians and philosophers for hundreds of years.

If God is completely infinite and indeterminate, then how can he be the creator of the universe, when creator implies that there is a distinction between the creator and what he creates, therefore making him finite rather than infinite??

Therefore how can something infinite be the creator of something distinct from it??

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Salam. My question will be a very short one, but a its definitely one of the most difficult questions within any theology, and has been trying to be solved by theologians and philosophers for hundreds of years.

If God is completely infinite and indeterminate, then how can he be the creator of the universe, when creator implies that there is a distinction between the creator and what he creates, therefore making him finite rather than infinite??

Therefore how can something infinite be the creator of something distinct from it??

Dear mr.haidcat,

Which theology are you referring to and what are the sources for the world being completely distinct from the creator?

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Bismillahi Irrahman Irrahiim

Anything that is not infine, is finite and thats why they are different from each other. Finite have begining and end, but infinite does not have begining and end. What is finite, has come to know by infinite who made the finite begun, when there was no begining of before before it begin and finite become. That is how thise two are different. Other is created, and other is Creator. Finite creation, and infinite Creator, all mighty, all knowing, Allah. To whom all turns to, and who does not need any. Truth, Living, Eternal, First, Last. King of great kingdom.

May Allah bless Muhammed, best of His creation, and his ahlulbayt (as),

Fii iman Allah.

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Salam. My question will be a very short one, but a its definitely one of the most difficult questions within any theology, and has been trying to be solved by theologians and philosophers for hundreds of years.

If God is completely infinite and indeterminate, then how can he be the creator of the universe, when creator implies that there is a distinction between the creator and what he creates, therefore making him finite rather than infinite??

Therefore how can something infinite be the creator of something distinct from it??

God is creature of human mind so the creature become creater and creater become creature.

MARX

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If God is completely infinite and indeterminate, then how can he be the creator of the universe, when creator implies that there is a distinction between the creator and what he creates, therefore making him finite rather than infinite??

I couldn't follow your argument at all. Are you saying that because the universe (created) is infinite, the creator cannot also be infinite (in order to be "distinct" from it) ? Please elaborate.

Furthermore, I don't see how it is relevant anyway, if God is transcendent.

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I couldn't follow your argument at all. Are you saying that because the universe (created) is infinite, the creator cannot also be infinite (in order to be "distinct" from it) ? Please elaborate.

Furthermore, I don't see how it is relevant anyway, if God is transcendent.

Maybe he was trying to say that since God is Absolute nothing else can exist, since it would limit God. In other words, there would be a distinction between God and creation; and where there is distinction there is a boundary, and where there is a boundary there is limitation. But also i need this to be clarified as well...

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All existence get their existence from God.

The existence aspect belongs to God and God possesses and unites in him every perfection, every glory, that can possible exist or be experienced.

But nothing fully exists and is true existence, rather everything get`s it`s existence from God.

Since God is infinite, his bestowing existence does not decrease anything from his Essence, hence whether he creates or not, nothing is added to what truly exists and nothing decreases either.

No glory, no perfection, no beauty, exists that does not belong to him, come from him, points at him, and returns to him.

But as nothing is the absolute beauty and perfection except the ever-existing, everything is inbetween to poles, non-existence and existence, darkness and light, ugliness and beauty.

The absence of beauty is ugliness, the absence of light is darkness, etc..

So creation is in between non-existence and darkness and light and perfection.

At every stage, there is what is higher and lower, more beautiful, less beautifully, so it`s all relative, at higher levels what was beautiful is seen as ugly, what was seen as high is seen as low, and God is infinite and never fully reached but rather forever approached.

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This is an excellent question. Frankly, it's one I've struggled with for years. I think the best answer here is arguably the most radical one: only Allah exists. So then, do you, Shiachat and my computer not exist? If not, why am I (who don't exist either) wasting my time? LOL. It's better to say these things don't ULTIMATELY exist. Anything other than Allah is actually an apppearance and manifestation of Allah. Though finite things may be appearences, as a mentor once told me, "appearances really do appear." It's not the illusion seeing something where nothing is there at all; it's instead like the illusion of seeing when what's really there is something else. Of course, none of this means Allah incarnates in finite entities (astakfurillah!). The Christian after all is wrong in saying Jesus is God. Yet if the Christian backs his claim down to Jesus is an appearance of God (as some Christian "heresies" did), then they'd be right - only, they'd be right in saying that of everyone and everything, not just Hazrat Isa.

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This is an excellent question. Frankly, it's one I've struggled with for years. I think the best answer here is arguably the most radical one: only Allah exists. So then, do you, Shiachat and my computer not exist? If not, why am I (who don't exist either) wasting my time? LOL. It's better to say these things don't ULTIMATELY exist. Anything other than Allah is actually an apppearance and manifestation of Allah. Though finite things may be appearences, as a mentor once told me, "appearances really do appear." It's not the illusion seeing something where nothing is there at all; it's instead like the illusion of seeing when what's really there is something else. Of course, none of this means Allah incarnates in finite entities (astakfurillah!). The Christian after all is wrong in saying Jesus is God. Yet if the Christian backs his claim down to Jesus is an appearance of God (as some Christian "heresies" did), then they'd be right - only, they'd be right in saying that of everyone and everything, not just Hazrat Isa.

AKA Wahdatul Wujood?

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Salam, everyone.

Thank you for all the responses.

Here is my only issue with saying everything is an appearance of God. What is it the appearing of?? When u say everything is an appearance of God, it sounds like ur saying there is God in himself, and then there is an appearing of him to us, which again makes God finite, for if there is a God before the appearance and an appearance of that same God, he is appearing to something distinct from him, heck, even the appearances themselves are not God in his true nature, therefore dualism results, and the absurd happens, God becomes infinite.

Im currently reading a book by Joseph Bracken called the Divine Matrix, which tries to understand the infinite/finite relation, and he says that God is primordial ontological infinite activity which creates and sustains everything but which at no time ever existed apart from creation, for if God were something that existed apart from creation that means he would be an entity distinct from creation and therefore finite. I dont know please tell me ur thoughts on this.

And SadrasStudent, I think my ideas tend towards what u are saying, that everything is God, but then is God an entity, one huge infinite substance, and are we just the properties of God? If I am jsut a finite mode of God how do I fell like an individual, and where does my freedom come from, furthermore, if everything is one substance, how is there change, different properties, different colors, sounds, things in the world, shouldnt the world be a changeless propertyless blob like for parmenides?? Where all the diversity if everything is just one infinite substance??

Wa-salam

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AKA Wahdatul Wujood?

Yup, pretty much what I was thinking too..

Here is my only issue with saying everything is an appearance of God. What is it the appearing of?? When u say everything is an appearance of God, it sounds like ur saying there is God in himself, and then there is an appearing of him to us, which again makes God finite, for if there is a God before the appearance and an appearance of that same God, he is appearing to something distinct from him, heck, even the appearances themselves are not God in his true nature, therefore dualism results, and the absurd happens, God becomes infinite.

What is it the appearing of?? - not the essence, as this part of your post would imply. Such would be shirk.

In any case, Tabatabai [QS] touches upon this in LWM:

..At this stage there is no conception of duality. There is nothing but the light of the glory of one Single Being, which is described in different words. Sometimes it is expressed as the Divine names and attributes and sometimes as the essence of the Imam or his luminosity.

i.e. Manifestation of Divine Names & Attributes = Essence of the Imams [AS].

One who has attained the level of self-annihilation (fana'), has annihilated his own will in the Divine Will, hence he becomes a manifestation of the Divine will, and also the "Perfect Man" (Insan-e Kamil). The highest degree of which the Imams [AS] had reached only.

Back on-topic, on your confusion (which leads to shirk):

These three stages are of great importance for the purpose of achieving the objective. Many people who fail to reach their destination either stop at one of these stages or go astray while on their way to them. The dangers which these stages imply are idol-worship, star-worship, fire-worship and occasionally heresy, Pharaonism, claim of incarnation and identification with God, denial of being obligated to abide by religious injunctions and regarding everything lawful. We will discuss briefly all these dangers. Let us first talk about incarnation and identification with God, which is the greatest danger and is caused by devilish insinuation when the mind is not free from evil thoughts.

As the spiritual traveler is not out of the valley of ostentation, he may be led in the wake of the manifestation of Divine names or attributes to believe (God forbid) that Allah has dwelt in him. That is what is meant by incarnation, which amounts to infidelity and polytheism, while the belief in the unity of Allah nullifies every concept of pluralism, and considers every existence in comparison to the existence of Allah a mere fantasy and everything existing a mere shadow. When the spiritual traveler attains to this stage, he annihilates his existence and does not perceive anything existing except Allah..

Obviously, I won't bother posting the entire argument (because it will be the whole book otherwise); you can read it here: http://www.al-islam.org/lwm/

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Salam, everyone.

Thank you for all the responses.

Here is my only issue with saying everything is an appearance of God. What is it the appearing of?? When u say everything is an appearance of God, it sounds like ur saying there is God in himself, and then there is an appearing of him to us, which again makes God finite, for if there is a God before the appearance and an appearance of that same God, he is appearing to something distinct from him, heck, even the appearances themselves are not God in his true nature, therefore dualism results, and the absurd happens, God becomes infinite.

Im currently reading a book by Joseph Bracken called the Divine Matrix, which tries to understand the infinite/finite relation, and he says that God is primordial ontological infinite activity which creates and sustains everything but which at no time ever existed apart from creation, for if God were something that existed apart from creation that means he would be an entity distinct from creation and therefore finite. I dont know please tell me ur thoughts on this.

And SadrasStudent, I think my ideas tend towards what u are saying, that everything is God, but then is God an entity, one huge infinite substance, and are we just the properties of God? If I am jsut a finite mode of God how do I fell like an individual, and where does my freedom come from, furthermore, if everything is one substance, how is there change, different properties, different colors, sounds, things in the world, shouldnt the world be a changeless propertyless blob like for parmenides?? Where all the diversity if everything is just one infinite substance??

Wa-salam

God's "appearance" or God's "self disclosure" to ourselves is really identical to ourselves. these words like "appearance" is poetic. dont take it literally. Even self disclosure is a poetic use. we have no choice but to use such poetic expressions. what this means is that you cant understand this analytically, but you must understand this phenomenologically (i.e. use your imagination and get the experience"). Even Sadra's idea of Tashkik al wujud; you wont be fully convinced of it unless you understand that wujud cant be analyzed analytically. what is wujud? wujud is Awareness. think about the relationship between Awareness and everything else. This funny relationship is something one must just accept as something a priori after one gets the experience of Awareness of Being (wujud).

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Asalaamhu alaikum,

Time, space and everything material were created by Allah and is distinct from him as a painting is to a . Islam does not believe in pan-theism or the belief that 'God is in everything'. The study of Tauheed may take the rest of your life and you may still not really understand anything because if you could, you can limit and if you can limit you can contain and if you can contain you can accommodate the concept 'God'.

What helped me a lot are the concepts of 'accommodation' and 'components'.

Firstly, Allah can not be accommodated, or in other words, be somewhere and somewhere not: reside in heaven but not on earth(a Christian concept of 'ascension' and 'return'). Allah is everywhere - omnipresent - but not in anything!

Secondly, Allah does not have parts or components because such parts had to exist before they were 'assembled' to become Alah. Allah is therefore a non-material being who can not be 'experienced' by human senses of sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell. For this reason, he must utilise angels to communicate with man.

A better understanding if at all possible is that Allah is all knowledge (discovered and as yet undiscovered), the scientific basis of everything, mother (of) nature, the idea or intention behind the seen and unseen worlds. He has no arms or legs, does not sit on a throne, etc.

I hope that this helped you in some small way...

Please study Nahjul Balagha as Ali (as) explains all of these things a lot better than anyone else. It is available on the internet, use google or any other search engine...

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God's "appearance" or God's "self disclosure" to ourselves is really identical to ourselves. these words like "appearance" is poetic. dont take it literally. Even self disclosure is a poetic use. we have no choice but to use such poetic expressions. what this means is that you cant understand this analytically, but you must understand this phenomenologically (i.e. use your imagination and get the experience"). Even Sadra's idea of Tashkik al wujud; you wont be fully convinced of it unless you understand that wujud cant be analyzed analytically. what is wujud? wujud is Awareness. think about the relationship between Awareness and everything else. This funny relationship is something one must just accept as something a priori after one gets the experience of Awareness of Being (wujud).

I'm going to go out on a limb here and respectfully disagree with my esteemed brother. I'd venture to take "appearence" and "self-disclosure" LITERALLY. Certainly, many mystical expressions are more potetic than literal (some even involve shirk if taken literally). Yet I don't take "appearance" or "self-expression" as being among these. I believe moreover, one can to a certain significant extent approach these matters analytically. While I am very irfani is the content and doctine of my philosophy, I am still very rationalistic in terms of my philosophy's form and method.

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Salam Ethereal,

U always have amazing things to say masha-Allah

and I honestly think ur post contains the answer,rather than reading 5000 books on this subject, we needa understand that analyzing breaks down things and therefore there can be no unity with analyzing, and therefore no true understanding of the infinite, thank u for the insightful post, i have a lot of thinking to do.

peace bro.

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I'm going to go out on a limb here and respectfully disagree with my esteemed brother. I'd venture to take "appearence" and "self-disclosure" LITERALLY. Certainly, many mystical expressions are more potetic than literal (some even involve shirk if taken literally). Yet I don't take "appearance" or "self-expression" as being among these. I believe moreover, one can to a certain significant extent approach these matters analytically. While I am very irfani is the content and doctine of my philosophy, I am still very rationalistic in terms of my philosophy's form and method.

:) Salaam dear brother (and teacher). Thanks for your insight.

i think i really made a big mistake on that part. Thanks for pointing that out. "appearance" is in itself something poetic or vague or rather "imaginal". because "appearance" means "this/ not this" or in the case of God "He/not He". when we talk of the appearance of an object we mean "the object/ not the object". i was just initially afraid that someone might ignore the negative aspect (i.e. the "not He" aspect). but upon closer inspection, i find the very word "appearance" is imaginal, poetic and vague. So, i agree with you that it should be taken literally; since it is literally a poetic expression. what do you think?

I agree as well that we can to a certain extent approach this analytically as long as we keep "the experience" as the foundation of our philosophy.

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Salam

SadrasStudent, I think on this issue Ethereal is right in terms of needing to focus on the imaginal and not being analytical.

If you could explain to me in a rigorously logical manner how an appearance of God is God but not God at the same time then u would be going against the law of non-contradiction, which is the foundation of logic.

See thats my only worry with all this. I strongly believe in using rationality to prove the existence of God, my belief in God is based solely on philosophical rationality, the only problem is that when we try to make sense of how the creator could be infinite it seems we need to go against rationality, and if we are "allowed" to against rationality when discussing God, why trust rationality to get u to God in the first place?

For either Everything is God, which goes completely against the felt view of being different than everything and an individual, Or somehow everything is God and NOT God at the exact same time, but then we just left logic

So in conclusion, i dont think u can logically explicate the relation between creator and created, for to be the creator the creator must be separate from the created, and therefore different, but to be truly infinite the creator must also not be separate from the creation, these are both contradictory and therefore logic has flown out the window.

IF sadraStudent or ethereal could answer these questions, it would be much appreciated.

Wa-salam

I love this discussion.

And thanks for all the help

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(salam)

Haitcat1 do you remember that Egypt book we read way back that talked about half truths. Think bro straight path posted it and it had something about half-truths and i thought it solved your problem.

The hadiths of Ahlulbayt (as) are filled with statements only true from one angle.

The Quran also shows the principle of angled truths and just understanding what is meant and the problem with people who can not understand a single saying:

04.078

"Wherever ye are, death will find you out, even if ye are in towers built up strong and high!" If some good befalls them, they say, "This is from Allah"; but if evil, they say, "This is from thee" (O Prophet). Say: "All is from Allah." But what hath come to these people, that they fail to understand a single saying?

004.079

Whatever good, (O man!) happens to thee, is from Allah; and whatever evil happens to thee, is from thy (own) self. and We have sent thee as a messenger to (instruct) mankind. And enough is Allah for a witness.

The way they meant: If some good befalls them, they say, "This is from Allah"; but if evil, they say, "This is from thee" is wrong because All is from Allah at the same time what happens to thee, is from Allah; and whatever evil happens to thee, is from thy (own) self.

So the statements are literally true so as long as they are seen from the proper angle.

wa salam

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See thats my only worry with all this. I strongly believe in using rationality to prove the existence of God, my belief in God is based solely on philosophical rationality, the only problem is that when we try to make sense of how the creator could be infinite it seems we need to go against rationality, and if we are "allowed" to against rationality when discussing God, why trust rationality to get u to God in the first place?

Ibn al arabi says that reasoning only tells us what God is not (i.e. it can only prove God's Esence). In other words you cant know the attributes of God (that which tells us what God is) logically. rather in order to know the latter we must appraoch it with "imagination". Imagination tells us what God is, while reasoning tells us what God is not. the attributes of God is precisely that which connects the creation with the Essence. n other words the attributes of God is the issue that is to be discussed when one talks about the relationship between Creator and creation.

For either Everything is God, which goes completely against the felt view of being different than everything and an individual, Or somehow everything is God and NOT God at the exact same time, but then we just left logic

I would like to know what exactly the contradiction is between me as an individual and "God as everything".

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Salam.

Well if God exists, and God is infinite, and I exist, then I am bounding his infinitude, by me existing and having my own domain of being i am therefore excluding the existence of God in that domain, and therefore making him finite instead of infinite. How could I exist if God is infinite????

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Salam.

Well if God exists, and God is infinite, and I exist, then I am bounding his infinitude, by me existing and having my own domain of being i am therefore excluding the existence of God in that domain, and therefore making him finite instead of infinite. How could I exist if God is infinite????

I see. ibn al arabi says that to be truly truly unlimited is not even to be limited by being merely unlimited. everything is, in reality, unlimited. There is nothing truly finite. Zen Master Dogen describes this situation through a metaphor. imagine you are in the middle of an infinite ocean. around you, the ocean "appears" to be finite since you see the ocean just as a circle surrounding you. but you should know that the ocean that you see is really infinite. similarly the things around you appear in different finite or limited shapes. they just appear as this or that thing, in this or that shape. but in reality these things are infinite. And Rumi would say something like: we are nonexistent appearing as existent things, while as the Real is sheer existence appearing as the perishable things.

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Salam.

Well if God exists, and God is infinite, and I exist, then I am bounding his infinitude, by me existing and having my own domain of being i am therefore excluding the existence of God in that domain, and therefore making him finite instead of infinite. How could I exist if God is infinite????

i am no expert on this issue to say the least but we really need to ask ourselves if we can think of the infinite on those terms. ie is it even rationally possibel to answer that question?

perhaps one way of answering it is to say that things are infinite in different dimensions. eg 1d infinity (an infinity line) 2d infinity (eg an infinte square) 3d infinity etc...

Allah is not contained within space and time and thus anything that that exists withing these two does not infringe on his infinitude.

we dont really know the essense of Allah to that extent. we dont know HOW he is so we cant answer these questions. even our imams have told us not to think deeply into these issues becasue we wont get anywhere.

the only problem is that when we try to make sense of how the creator could be infinite it seems we need to go against rationality,

my point is why do we need to go against rationality when it is not even possible to rationally analyse how a spatial temporal being can infringe on the infinitude of a non spatial non temporal being. we are temporal creatures, our rationality is confined to time, we cannot even imagine what it is like to be outside of time.

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i am no expert on this issue to say the least but we really need to ask ourselves if we can think of the infinite on those terms. ie is it even rationally possibel to answer that question?

perhaps one way of answering it is to say that things are infinite in different dimensions. eg 1d infinity (an infinity line) 2d infinity (eg an infinte square) 3d infinity etc...

Allah is not contained within space and time and thus anything that that exists withing these two does not infringe on his infinitude.

I think it is a rational question. My mind cant fathom an "actually" infinite space...my mind can only fathom a "potentially" infinite space. and that goes with everything physical i know. To tell you frankly, the only "actual" infinite that can make sense to me, is if we are talking about reality. reality cant be finite and also cant be "potentially" infinite. and when we think of reality we dont think of reality to be spatial (at least not necessarily spatial). Reality is infinite in the sense that there is nothing other than it. it is everything. and not only that, it is always (i mean necessary existent). There can never not be a reality. but what is this reality? we know it is wajib al wujud. we know it is absolute. unlimited. independent. but these are all negative descriptions. it isnt telling us anything positive about reality. they just tell us what reality isnt rather than what it is not. to know that reality "exists" or to know that reality is "existence" is to know that you do not know reality. because from this talk we have learned that existence itself is a negative word. if we do have a slight idea of reality, we should realize that it is just the "appearance" of reality but not reality itself. to know the things around you is to know reality as it "appears" to you. Because everything is reality (is it not?)! but it is always reality AS IT APPEARS TO YOU and not reality itself. it is always the appearnce that you know of reality and not reality itself because reality by definition is that which you do not know since its very Essence is Wujud (existence) and not Mahiyyah (quiddity). It is appearance that you know. and not only that. you are what you know. in other words, you are the very appearance of reality. An appearance of reality is at once (reality and not reality). Just as an appearance of an object is at once the object and not the object.

my point is why do we need to go against rationality when it is not even possible to rationally analyse how a spatial temporal being can infringe on the infinitude of a non spatial non temporal being. we are temporal creatures, our rationality is confined to time, we cannot even imagine what it is like to be outside of time.

Reality is temporal. Reality is spatial. Reality is the tree. Reality is the chair. Reality is the keyboard. Reality is everything. But reality is also not everything. reality is also not temporal, not spatial, not the chair, not the keyboard ect..

Reality is ESSENTIALLY not everything. but it is ACCIDENTALLY everything. why? because reality is ESSENTIALLY ONE and everything is not ESSENTIALLY ONE. what it means to be reality is to be one. there cant be more than one reality because if there was more than one reality then what would distinguish them from one another? whatever distinguishes them has to be something unreal. thus we say reality is at essence one but it is accidentally many. to know this we just have to look at a single thing (e.g a tree). this thing is at once many and one. it is many through its attributes (branch, green, rough, fresh, moist). look how many attributes this one "real" thing has! it is no doubt many. But it is many accidentally because these very same attributes can be attributed on other things as well. other things can be moist. other things can be green. other things can be fresh. ect ect. these attributes or "distinguishing marks" are what we call mahiyya. they are sheer manyness. i.e. they dont exist. But what are we left with once we strip away all these accidents or descriptions? we cant be left with nothing, because we are all pretty sure there was something (something REAL!!). what we are left with is "the Face of God", in "everything will perish except His Face" (quran). when you look at anything, we need to ask, what makes this thing this thing. and the answer to this is God (in our terms, reality). Reality is the identity of everything. Reality is the ultimate meaning of everything. it is what makes this life meaningful. it is what binds everything together.

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I wouldn't say Allah both is and isn't the world. I appreciate the intuition such tries to express, but the mode of expression isn't my style. Rather than saying "He/not He" like Ibn Arabi, I stick strictly to "not He." That being said, I try to work out the logical implications of "not He" and in the process I reach results that actually sound a lot like "He." Allah is not a compound of immanence and transcendence. Allah is pure transcendence. Yet in trying to be very thorough about Allah's absolute transcedence, my researches have lead me to consider Allah's radical immanence as a necessary aspect of Allah's Transcendence. If Allah is genuinely transcendent, I reason that Allah must transcend all determination. There are two ways to develop this theory. There's on the one hand the Ismaili way (which Sayyed Hossein Nasr seems to advocate as well), according to which Allah actually transcends wujud. I take this as sheer nonsense, at least if it's meant literally. It would certainly render all the proofs I've offered for Allah here and elsewhere absolutely batil.

My preferred solution at this point? Allah is wujud and wujud is Allah. There's no room for any other wujud. So, what again about you, my computer, Shiachat. etc.? We generally consider all these to exist. So far I've said these are all appearences and manifestations of wujud. To explain: these are phenomena, empirical experience-matter. Yet they are not Kant's "things-in-themselves." It might tempt one to say they exist "in the mind," but this isn't really accurate - not by a long shot. The mind is not "reality-in-itself" (Sarte's term paraphrasing Kant), either. It too is phenomena and empirical experience matter. Indeed, the world is nothing more than a dream. Yet if it be a dream, it's not yours or my personal dream; it's Allah's dream.

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Salam

SadrasStudent, could u explain why u think the completely transcendent and indeterminate God is also utterly immanent at the same time, like what reasons do u have for beleiving so. And the reason the Ismailis followed that neplatonic path of saying God is beyong being, is because being means to be intelligible to be a determinate thing, and God is utterly indeterminate, therefore he is beyong being, aka determination.

Its weird to say God is not determinate whatsoever, because then does he still exist??? Or does he collapse into absolute nothingness?

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Salaam.

God willing you are doing well.

Yet in trying to be very thorough about Allah's absolute transcedence, my researches have lead me to consider Allah's radical immanence as a necessary aspect of Allah's Transcendence.

Would you then say that for something to be "purely transcendent" means that it be immanent as well? And if this is correct, would you consider this another version of "He/not He"?

There are two ways to develop this theory. There's on the one hand the Ismaili way (which Sayyed Hossein Nasr seems to advocate as well), according to which Allah actually transcends wujud. I take this as sheer nonsense, at least if it's meant literally. It would certainly render all the proofs I've offered for Allah here and elsewhere absolutely batil.

This is interesting! but...

So that i can better understand Nasr's view... does this mean: God transcends wujud and permeates mahiyya and dwells in mahiyya? or does he mean God is at once existence and absolute nothingness?

My preferred solution at this point? Allah is wujud and wujud is Allah. There's no room for any other wujud. So, what again about you, my computer, Shiachat. etc.? We generally consider all these to exist. So far I've said these are all appearences and manifestations of wujud. To explain: these are phenomena, empirical experience-matter. Yet they are not Kant's "things-in-themselves." It might tempt one to say they exist "in the mind," but this isn't really accurate - not by a long shot. The mind is not "reality-in-itself" (Sarte's term paraphrasing Kant), either. It too is phenomena and empirical experience matter. Indeed, the world is nothing more than a dream. Yet if it be a dream, it's not yours or my personal dream; it's Allah's dream.

Just out of curiosity... would you say that words like "appearance" manifestation", "dream" all just mean "He/not He"? or would you say that they just mean "not He"?

thanks in advance.

MK

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Haidcat - I wouldn't consider being/wujud indicative of determination.

eThErEaL - Would Ithen say that for something to be "purely transcendent" means that it be immanent as well? BINGO! As to how my thought relates to Ibn Arabi's He/not He, I think its the same basic idea but expressed in a more precise/logical and less poetic/paradoxical way. Dr. Nasr and the Ismailis don't hold God to have anything to do with mahiyya. For Nasr (providing I understand him), wujud transcends mahiyya, but the Absolute in turn transcends even wujud. Accordingly, God is completely indescribable and unknowable except through irfan. For me on the other hand wujud IS the Absolute. I believe we can know and describe God through rational philosophy to some extent - though irfan ultimately goes further.

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Salam.

SadrasStudent, I have two questions.

1. Through using the logic of philosophy, how does the idea of being completely transcendent mean being completley immanent, if u have the time could u please state the logical steps?

2. could u further elaborate the whole he/not he thing and how ur logic relates to ibn arabi?? Like are his manifestations him, or not him, or somehow both.

If not him then that means they have same determinate relation to him and intrinsic being of there own over against him, thereby reducing his infinitude.

But if the creation is ultimately him, then that means we dont really exist as ourselves at all, but the problem with this is how do we have our sense of self then??

-

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1.

Try this:

Allah transcends all limit. (assumption of transcendence)

Separate realities limit one another.

Ergo, there is no reality separate from Allah. This we term immanence.

1.

Allah's manifestations are neither Allah nor separate realities. They are distorted perceptions of Allah. Only Allah exists, and in Allah all perfections are absolute and unified in simplicity. Ignorance separates these perfections from one another, thus separating them from Allah and rendering them relative. The sense of individual/particular self is itself a product of ignorance. The real self is the universal Self (Allah).

Are you familiar with the Hindu philosopher Shankara?

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1.

Try this:

Allah transcends all limit. (assumption of transcendence)

Separate realities limit one another.

Ergo, there is no reality separate from Allah. This we term immanence.

1.

Allah's manifestations are neither Allah nor separate realities. They are distorted perceptions of Allah. Only Allah exists, and in Allah all perfections are absolute and unified in simplicity. Ignorance separates these perfections from one another, thus separating them from Allah and rendering them relative. The sense of individual/particular self is itself a product of ignorance. The real self is the universal Self (Allah).

Are you familiar with the Hindu philosopher Shankara?

Would you allow if we substituted "transcendence" (found in first premise) for "separate" so as to keep things consistent?

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Would you allow if we substituted "transcendence" (found in first premise) for "separate" so as to keep things consistent?

I'm afraid I don't understand where/how you want me to make the substitution. Could you make the proposed substitution for me and show how it would look? I'm sure what you meant will be obvious when I see it, but for now I'm confused and need clarification.

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I saw what u posted about Shankara, and how the manifestations are altered perceptions of Allah.

My only question then, is what becomes of the reality of ignorance and the ignorant, are they in the end not real?? This ends up sounding more like ibn arabi than logic. Also, I think u agree with Ethereal that the manifestations of Allah are he/not he, from what u said, but according to ur logic of transcendence and immanence it seems there is only He, there is no NOt he, for NOt he would limit him.

Thank u for all the help .

wa-salam

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