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Jul 10 2012

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On dual nature

We all have dual nature. Christ is that nature fully realized.

God is not exclusively transcendent nor completely immanent, but both. He did not fashion the world as a sculptor does a sculpture – separating from it in the end, though there is an aspect to Creation akin to the process of art-making. Still, the connection between God and the world is deeper than that.

We understand the analogies of Him as the Artisan, the Artist, the Life-giver (Parent), the Source (Root) of all things – and He is all that, and He is more. As creation proceeds toward its ultimate, culminative point, when the time will end and the world will have been created, God does not watch from a distance but participates in it by action and by being, by the very fabric of it, which is God’s nature, God’s “life-blood,” God’s active flow: Love.

Creation did not come from a substance foreign to God, for there is no such thing. In the pre-temporal existence, before Creation began (if one may even use the term “before”), in the primeval, primary, eternal state of reality of God – before “things” – there were no things. No matter before the creation of matter. No being but the being of God. No Being but God. Eternal reality. And so, out of what could He fashion the universe but Himself?

The world is not separate from God – not like a sculpture. More like a flower that grows out of Vishnu’s navel and blossoms to reveal a divine aspect that causes a universe into existence and wilts and dissolves back into Vishnu’s grand eternity – there for him to have admired for a day in its splendor, there for him to have guided and saved and taken back into himself to rest. The world is distinct from God in that it is deliberately temporal to experience God’s nature in its uniquely temporal way: to experience Goodness as Love. But the world is God, infused with God, grows out of God, flows back into God, made out of God’s very essence – one in being. Consubstantial.

We are the world. We are its uniquely temporal nature – human, not God. By virtue of our temporality, we must be changing, and therefore we must be imperfect. In being human, we are distinct from God.

We are divine. In our essential stemming from and belonging to Him, we are Him. In our longing for eternity and our mysterious feeling that we know it in para-intelligible ways, we know that we are.

Our ability to love brings both into unity, for Love is the temporal form of the eternal nature of God. Love is the flow of Goodness, the presence of God in the universe, the penetration of eternity into temporality, the fulcrum of two natures.

We say the Christ has dual nature, and we are right. In that, he is like us and unlike us. The wonder, the salvific power, the blessing, and the uniqueness of Christ Jesus is not in that he is human and divine but in that he is FULLY human and FULLY divine. That is the mystery. That is the blessing. That is the good news.

Two millennia ago among us walked a man whose memory won’t fade because the dual nature of Creation in him achieved its full fruition – a tiny preview of what it is intended to be at the end of time. An anticipatory experience of the Kingdom of God. He lived his life not as a perfect human, for there can be no such thing – it would contradict the very nature of humanity’s temporal existence – but as a fully realized human. He was “human to the max.” Human as human was meant to be. He was all things truly human and none of the things that come from the dark and empty places in our lives where humanity is lacking. He was the Son of Man.

He was God. That which is divine, in this world and thus in humanity, filled him to the brim and poured from his hand. He lived his divine nature – which in us, most of the time, remains a deep-seeded but vague and unsteady longing, a gut feeling, a mystery – he lived it with clarity, brightness, and fullness of eternity penetrating into temporality. He more than felt. He knew.

In the unity of two natures, his love surged and flowed like the Flood, and the wave of it swept the world over. Fully human and fully divine, he is all of Creation and all of God, and his love is all of Love: the fabric and embrace of reality itself. He saves because he loves.

We love, too. To the degree that we love, we save.

In his wake we walk – before, after, and beside him. We are Creation growing, changing, blossoming, and wilting toward that perfection which is intended by God. We feel it somewhere inside, where God lives. We see it in strands and wisps and bits out in the world, where God lives. We are guided by him who shined brightly the light at the end of our path – the Beloved and the Lover, Son of Man and Son of God. He is coming back as he is. We are coming back – better. And then the temporal will have played its role, shown its beauty, played its music – learned to love – and will have passed into the eternal, into the divine. Into God. With Christ. With all others who loved. And dual nature will be just… nature.

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