Sunday, August 19, 2007

A Transfinite God

I think (not "I know" or "I believe") that a part of God being infinite is that God is transfinite.

Let me explain and define my terms. If we were all points on a plane (a flat, two dimensional world), a solid sphere that intersected the sphere would be a transfinite object (vis a vis the plane).

Just as the number of curves in the plane is infinite (an aleph two infinity), so the number of curved planar surfaces inside a sphere is infinite (and perhaps sufficient to correlate to the curves).

I think that, in some ways, the resurrection makes us transfinite. The sort of thing C. S. Lewis grasped at with his book The Great Divorce. Lewis has things getting more and more real as they get closer to God (all of hell is contained in a speck at the bottom of a crack in the pavement at the edge of Heaven). I suspect that all of our grasping at meaning is limited by our lack of a transfinite nature and by our finite understandings. Which is why John would say that it does not yet appear what we shall be. ("Beloved, it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that, when he comes, we shall be like him.” So love for one another, genuine love")

He knew we would be resurrected and become like Christ, yet his best analysis of that was that we should embrace love, because he could not otherwise define it.

So it is that I don't really know or really define, but it appears to me that much of the infinite may be subsumed in the transfinite.


By the way, I listened, a while back, to some of the people whose stories are told in "God Grew Tired of Us." The movie is out now. I think I need to see it.

5 comments:

barb said...

I had not heard of the word transfinite and in my research just now I saw that they are supposed to be larger than all cardinal numbers and yet not infinite. I am not sure I understand this or what you are saying. However, I was never very good at Geometry.

It is interesting to ponder.

I am not sure that I would agree with CS Lewis saying that something is more real as it approaches God. The closer to God something is, the greater the advancement potential. God has the ultimate power and we should give him all the Glory. And he is willing to allow us to have eternal progression. I think that Eternal Life is defined as living with God. In this context, that would make sense as those with God are living in the real sense of the word. I do tend to contemplate things as opposite poles though or as the Bible may say hot and cold with warm being spewed out of the mouth. In such an analogy, the hot and the cold would be most real while the warm would be least. Or good and bad would be more real that average because the one is fully contrasted against the other. But that is just my thinking.

Stephen said...

I guess I need to say that I think that God is both infinite and transfinite, but transfinite in a specific way, rather than "large," if that makes sense. Extra-dimensional doesn't capture the specific type of infinite nature I think that God has.

I'd agree that those with God are living in the real sense of the word.

Barb said...

I was thinking of the defintion of transfinite numbers on the way to work and discussing it with someone. I felt like I had a leap as to what you meant, but now I am not sure. I enjoy trying to understand even if I never come to a full understanding.

These comments also brought to my mind a recollection of my grade school years that I wanted to share. I think I was in about the fifth or sixth grade when one of my classmates mom's was substituting for relgion. I am not sure if I was that close to her yet as later she, my mom, and I and I think her daughter would sit together and I would listen to them visit as soccer practice was going on nearby. She was also the person who taught religion to the public school children in the evening. Back to my anecdote. One day she asked if we had any questions and I am not sure what the topic of hand was. Out of the blue, I asked something on the lines of the universe and it having no end and I think about God and how it was that he always existed. I think that my brothers' friends who were two higly intelligent brothers planted this seed in me on a visit as they shared these thoughts, but it was unusual that they just popped into my head right then as I normally just thought of normal thoughts of youth. My teacher was very calm and just wrote on the blackboard, "Faith." I was easy and satisfied.

Anonymous said...

My computer is back in the shop.

I'll eventually be back on line and able to post.

Steve

David Littlefield said...

I am very interested in this topic. I have written some on it also. May I recomend to you one chapter from my book "Mormon Mysticism?" Here is a link to the chapter regarding God and dimensions. The entire book can be downloaded here for free.

-David