Continuing in Bossuet’s Elevations on the Mysteries, 1,4:
Hear, Israel: the Lord your God is one God, because he is who is, he who is indivisible. All which is not perfect, degenerates from perfection. Thus the Lord your God being the perfect one is alone and there is no other God but him. All that is not him who is by his essence and nature, is not and will not be eternal, if he who is along does not give him being.
If there is more than one God, there will be an infinity of them: if there is an infinity, there are none: because each is not what he is, and are finite, and there will be no point where the infinite is not lacking, or it would be necessary to hear one who has all and who from that will be alone. Hear Israel: hear at your deepest, do not hear from the place where fantasies are forged. Hear from the place where the truth is heard, where one puts together pure and simple ideas. Hear there, Israel, and there, in the secret of your heart where truth is heard, keep this word without noise: The Lord your God is one God alone: before him the heavens are not: all is before him as it were not: all is counted for nothing, like a void, like a pure inanity, because he is who is, who sees all, who knows all, who does all, who orders all and calls that which is not as if it were.
2 Replies to “God, His Unity and Perfection: The Unity of God”
This is the central proposition — and as a Jew I know ahead of time that those are going to be my dying words.
In a way they are the absolute core item of faith on which any decent civilization has to be built — that everything is tied together, from ne Source, whether we can figger it out or not.
The alternatives, most of which seem to me to be pantheisms of multi-spirit mysticisms of one sort or another are all very well and nice: they give you lots of little godlets to be grateful to all the time, the rice guy, the water sprite, the wheat god and so on,
Now a wee bit of gratitude and modesty before mysteries ain’t a bad thing. Your problem is, if everything is run by a bunch of different godlets, then there really aren’t any mysteries. One more puzzle? OK, one more little spirit I didn’t know about. End of problem.
If all Creation is One,by contrast, and if the best of us is in the image of God, then that cheap out doesn’t work. If we’re ignorant, we’re ignorant, and if we want to stop being ignorant then there’s work to do.
Next stop, civilization.