Who Am I?

Personal identity cannot be known without a relationship to something outside of one’s self. This is why inquiry is important, science, truth-telling, because if we do not face reality as it is, then we won’t have the clearest understanding of ourselves. This combines a few ideas in Philosophy and a major one in Psychology; Existentialism.

If understood to be true, then our identity is revealed in things we are most drawn to. This puts at the fore three incredibly important ideas to any theology.

First is that we are drawn to others. Second is that while we are drawn away from the good almost as much as we are to it, it is the good we seek; be that in moral goods or simply in aesthetics such as the beauty of art and music, or in the symmetry of maths. Finally, whatever God is, He is what a person would desire naturally. In that case, we cannot say we are drawn to God while claiming humanity is totally derived or by nature, evil, vile. Otherwise, we would desire God for being vile, for being evil, for His supreme depravity.

Instead, there’s no difference that makes a difference between the nature of man and the nature of what God is; no difference between the experience of God and the experience of goodness.

There is then no grounds for a theology which paints the nature of God with a different brush, different color, different stroke than the nature of man. Our ultimate identify would be revealed not by the magic and impossibility of knowledge of transcendent beings, inconceivable by definition. It would be through these relationships, through which our nature is revealed and refined through experience. It is then imperative that theology center itself most about human relationships more so than even the pretense that we can actually have relationships with the gods ourselves; we can’t.

Just a thought.

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