“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Monday, October 4, 2010

Object-Oriented God

Thinking about withdrawal and Buddhism, I remembered this fascinating line from a post of Levi’s on 8.19.10:

“Like any other object, an object-oriented theology would have to argue that God is withdrawn from both itself and that all other objects are withdrawn from God (i.e., that God has no privileged access to creatures).”

This is precisely the Buddhist theory of god (whoever that is). Some being was reincarnated as a formless god (no articulated body, just sheer extension+awareness). Formless gods live for billions of years. This formless god was around when our Universe emerged. He thought he had created it…out of himself, since having no body it appeared as if the big bang was happening “inside” him...


skholiast said...

Huh, Tim.... Sounds like a kind of Buddhist version of Nag Hammadi-style Gnosis. This long-lived but non-ultimate "god" is not unlike the gnostic Ialdabaoth, a being who mistook himself for the Uncaused Cause. (There's also a kind of parallel with the fall of Prajapati).

Timothy Morton said...

I think that's spot on. I'm writing about it in Buddhaphobia ch3.