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God Does Yoga!

David Cowles

Aug 10, 2023

“We engage in spiritual practices and so does God…we both seek the Unity that underlies Plurality…but so does everything else!”

Have you ever taken a Yoga class? Then you may have run into God doing warm-up stretches along with the rest of the yogis and yoginis. Didn’t notice? No problem. He doesn’t stand out. He usually keeps to himself. (He’s reputed to have something of a temper, but I’ve never seen it.) Anyway, he wouldn’t be wearing Lululemon!

I only just learned about God’s interest in yoga. I was reading Zen and Hasidism - not exactly where you’d expect to find a meditation on the Trinity, and yet…

Contributing author, R. Shatz points out that God has the same spiritual ‘problem’ as the rest of us: how to experience Unity (Parmenides’ Aletheia) in the midst of Plurality (Doxa). 

Have you ever tried to meditate (often part of the practice of yoga)? What happened? Was your supposedly ‘blank mind’ flooded with thoughts? Did those thoughts sometimes take the form of an audiobook, a steady stream of inane babble? You want to shut it down, but you can’t find the off switch. Makes you want to scream! Well, don’t beat yourself up too badly; you’re in good company. God has the same problem. 

“Hear, O Israel, the Lord your God is One!” So begins the day for every observant Jew around the world. Help God discover his Unity. Christians might do well to adopt this practice: God is three, Trinity, but also one, Unity - one substance (ousia), three persons (personae). 

  • ‘The Father’ is God’s ‘executive persona’: God being ‘God’, the first among equals, the unifying principle. In the person of Father, God creates, gives laws, negotiates covenants, and intervenes in history. 

  • ‘The Son’ is God’s ‘projective persona’: God speaking ‘God’, the Word, logos. Through the person of Son, all things that come to be, come to be. (John 1: 3)

  • ‘The Spirit’ is God’s ‘reflective persona’: God thinking ‘God’. The Spirit is the relationship, the eternal dialog, between Father and Son and by extension between us and God. The Spirit is the searcher of hearts who prays to the Father for us and through us in ‘inexpressible groanings’ (Romans 8: 26-28).

God is, in fact, God is Being. God does; in fact, God is Doing. God reflects, in fact, God is Consciousness.  We are by our participation in Being (God); we act by our participation in Doing (God); we reflect by our participation in Consciousness (God). We live by our participation in Trinity (God).

We are like God…and we are not like God. Like God, we have executive, projective, and reflective functions, but none of these functions is fully and completely us. They are aspects of who we are, not who we are. God has no aspects (no ‘parts’). Whatever God is, he is always and completely. 

God’s functions are his personae, but each persona is ‘true God’. Unlike us, God does not perform his functions; God is his functions. “I am what am.” (Exodus 3: 14) God poses a standing challenge to us: “Don’t dream it, be it!” (Rocky Horror Picture Show)  

We engage in spiritual practices, and so does God. Without forfeiting our aspects or God’s personae, we both seek the Unity that underlies Plurality…but so does everything else! 

Any Universe consists of a multiplicity (M) of events or Actual Entities. M is a measure of Potentiality. For example, in a baby Universe consisting of just 10 events, those events can be configured in more than 3,600,000 different ways. Extrapolate that!

Novelty ‘begins’ when an emerging Actual Entity (AE) constitutes M as its unique Actual World (AW); this is its executive function. (Note: the use of temporal language here is metaphorical; there is no temporal dimension within an AE. Spacetime is what connects AEs.)

Each AE reflects on its AW by comparing the values manifested by that AW to Values (e.g., Beauty, Truth, Justice) that are transcendent (i.e., normative for every AE). This is the initial application of AE’s reflective function

The objective of every AE is to transform its AW into an AE that perfectly manifests these Transcendent Values (V). Here the projective function kicks in.  An AE ‘proposes’ a different arrangement of the elements in its AW: it generates a ‘proposition’, a plan. 

Using that proposition as its blueprint, the emergent AE preserves and intensifies certain elements of its AW and dismisses or diminishes others. But novelty does not spring full-grown from the head of Zeus; the concrescence of an AE is a process – an iterative process of trial and error, guided all along the way by the reflective function

Ultimately, each AE becomes a settled matter of fact and achieves Objective Immortality (OI). As OI, that Actual Entity enters M and becomes part of the AW of every future AE. So it’s not just you and God that practice yoga. Every event (AE) is engaged in the process of finding Unity (OI) amid ‘naked’ Plurality (M). 

But it’s not easy. In fact, since every AE is novel (unique), only one AE can achieve the universal objective of perfectly manifesting the Transcendent Values; we call that AE, ‘God’. Every AE manifests V, but only one does so perfectly!

Meanwhile, we are busy, busy, busy, executing, projecting, reflecting. “Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers.” (Wordsworth) We strain to experience the Unity behind Plurality; we struggle to find the pearl hidden in the bale of hay. That’s why none of us can afford to miss Yoga class, not you, not me, not a quantum fluctuation in deep space, and not God.

So, armed with these insights, I plan to open a chain of Yoga Studios all across the Galaxy. Can I put you down as Member Zero?


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