posted on Jul, 10 2020 @ 05:01 PM
“Well, it’s right- but only just!”
British Camp Hotel, Malvern Hills, August 1973. Regular joke of a regular customer receiving his change.
Some philosophies are anxious to find ways to resolve all things into a unity, and they deny, in consequence, that there can be any true dualities.
When I was being pestered by one of these enthusiasts for unity, I could not resist pointing out that the disagreement between his view and my view
was already one form of duality. He was disproving his case in the act of stating it.
The clear and sharp distinction between “right change” and “wrong change” is only one example of the fundamental distinction between “Yes”
and “No”, between what is true and what is not true.
Discernment is the act of recognising the distinction between two categories.
Judgement is the act of recognising a preference between the two categories.
In the Biblical perspective, true and final judgement is God’s work, not ours.
Yet we may and must exercise our discernment, an obligation imposed by the lines of division between two categories which fill every part of the
The Creator and the Creation
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”
There is the most fundamental division, right from the start.
On the one hand, the Creator. On the other hand, what was created.
So the Bible, at the outset, is disowning monism. The created world is distinct from the Creator.
At the same time, though, this is not true dualism, because in true dualism (as in Yin and Yang) the two sides are symmetrical, of equal power and
This division is asymmetrical. The created world depends on the Creator, absolutely.
Thus Creation doctrine occupies a position halfway between monism and dualism, and I frequently like to suggest that it should be called
In the events after the first creation, we are introduced to the progress of time, which implies a division between past and future. Again, this
division is not symmetrical, because the progress cannot be reversed.
The work of creation then proceeds by making further divisions within the created world.
On the one hand light. On the other hand, darkness. Light is understood to be more desirable than darkness. In fact we are told later that “God is
light and in him is no darkness at all” (1 John ch1 v5).
On the one hand, land. On the other hand, water. The earth is made habitable by the way that the waters of the abyss are held back from the land, so
that the land emerges free and dry.
The abyss is that part of the creation which has not been organised in line with God’s will, so there is a sense in which the land is “of God”
and the water is not. That is why the sea or the abyss represents “the source of evil” all the way through the rest of the Bible. That is why
Leviathan is a sea-beast.
The division between male and female, which follows, is of God on both sides, of course, but it continues the pattern of setting up distinctions. The
division is at least physically asymmetrical. Nothing in the story of creation suggests that there is room for ambiguity.
The real problem for those who want to explain the universe without God is not the fact that the universe exists, but the fact that the universe is
The rest of the Bible is filled with examples of the choice between good and evil, and also clear choices which are analogues of the choice between
good and evil, and I will pursue some of those on a later occasion.