THE DIVINE RESOLUTION III:
Creation by Possession
God initially embarked on creation by the word of command — apart from Creation itself. “For he spake, and it was done . . . ” (Psalm 33:9).
Then, about 12,000 years ago (10,000 BCE), God made his word immanent — within man.1 By his word the Creator, in fact, possessed man, thus giving him a consciousness of God. So long as mankind was controlled by this internal “god-consciousness,” human will and authority were represented by the symbolic appearance and voice of “god,” expressed by the right brain (left brain in left-handed people). Innovative actions of mankind were initiated through possessive commands and instructions from this unique god-consciousness. This authoritative presence of God granted mankind enormous benefits. These included protection from natural disasters and predatory attacks, direction for migration, the domestication of plants and animals, and the development of sedentary civilization. Furthermore, this god-consciousness led to the initiation of human language and writing. “Among many ancient societies, writing held an extremely special and important role. Often writing was so revered that myths and deities were drawn up to explain its divine origin.”2 Finally, god-consciousness was the predecessor of human consciousness itself.
Nevertheless, possessive god-consciousness had severe limitations. It did not include the consciousness of oneself. It did not involve one’s own volition and free will. Moreover, it was not relational and therefore not mutual. Thus, while this solitary god-consciousness was God’s loving gift to man, it did not include mankind’s loving response to God. While god-consciousness was profoundly beneficial to mankind for thousands of years (terminating with the emergence of self-consciousness about 1,000 BCE), it represented only one step in God’s creative development of humanity. Ultimately, therefore, God had to act to surmount this unilateral god-consciousness. And in the Christ event he determined to finally eradicate all immanent possession. For example:
1. In the illustrative story of his temptation by Satan in the wilderness, Jesus resisted Satan’s intrusions and attempted possession.3 “Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan; for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve” (Matthew 4:10).
2. In Jesus’ subsequent ministry “his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with diverse diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, . . . and he healed them” (Matthew 4:24).
3. “But they [the blind men who had been healed], when they were departed, spread abroad his [Jesus’] fame in all that country. As they went out, behold, they brought to him a dumb man possessed with a devil. And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spake: and the multitudes marvelled, saying, It was never so seen in Israel” (Matthew 9:31-33).
Thus, throughout his ministry Jesus determined to move beyond possession to mutual and loving human relationship. “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. . . . Henceforth I call you not servants . . . but I have called you friends” (John 15:9, 15). Then, at Calvary, Jesus, as the corporate head of humanity, painfully accepted the final step in dispossession. “Now . . . about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? . . . Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost” (Matthew 27:45, 46, 50). God thus acted to finally terminate solitary god-consciousness. And in that same act Jesus Christ, as human, manifested his own relational self-consciousness: “My God, my God . . . [hast] forsaken me”!
- See Julian Jaynes, The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1990), p. 139. (go back)
- “Origins of Writing,” at www.ancientscripts.com/ws_origins.html. (go back)
- “In the New Testament, Satan plays the role of adversary to the Christ. He tempts him in the visionary allegory of the temptation in the wilderness and at least one Gospel makes it plain that this . . . account is only a window on what was conceived of as a continuous running battle throughout Jesus’ ministry right up to the cross. . . . Satan, in a sense, is really the alter ego of Jesus. In the ancient Egyptian parallel, the Christ figure and his opposite are set forth as twin brothers. This holds the esoteric or hidden key to the entire meaning of Satan’s nature and function vis-á-vis our human condition” (Tom Harpur, “Even Today, Millions of People Live in Mortal Fear of Satan,” at web.ionsys.com/~remedy/Even today, millions of people live in fear of Satan.htm). (go back)