Some notes on theology

Writing on theology that I started last March led me to believe that there is a possible subjective theology that can be developed by each individual’s means of imaginative psyche. Out of all the branches of philosophy, only theology truly needs to be subjective. What I’ve seen with this theology remains a fact that does not conform to or deny any philosophical position. In other words, a subjective theology is not only a theology that can bridge the gap between atheists and theists but also a theology that surpasses individual philosophy because it is independent[1] from philosophy per se. I want to know what else we could derive from such a theology.

If we don’t agree with others, do we contradict ourselves?

That’s a strange question, especially for theology, but hereby I want to look at something that would, hopefully, become clearer by the end of the post. This question is asked in order to point out two issues in our worlds. First, that our disagreements are a topic to delve into, and second, that perhaps we need to find a way to abandon our contradictions.

Many of us contradict ourselves while being unaware of this fact. There is a problem with fighting this contradiction because people seem to think that it is natural to abhor various elements of our existence, even while they may not realize that these same elements, whether called vice or evil, are also within ourselves[2].

Whom we hate we share with, and thus many hate themselves for the vices they also see in others. Consider when you like someone and they do not do something correctly. Maybe they do not realize their potential (e.g., Weldon in the movie Shadows in the Sun). You become upset with them, but, while you say that they have nothing to do with you, you actually both share a contradiction through a disagreement. You don’t agree with them in terms of how they live their life for the hidden reason that you share the same way of life. Thus, by disagreeing with the person you like, you are disagreeing with yourself. And each of us is capable of not only self-disagreement but also self-loathing, and that’s how contradictions are expressed in our lives.

During academic development, we find great interest in establishing our own point of view with passion and criticizing or attacking other points of view in order to defend our own. We forget that by opposing others we also oppose ourselves, even at the time we are creating the illusion of our unique and independent points of view. With such contradictions in mind, I think we should find greater interest in attempting to overcome them because it’s harder and we shouldn’t search only for easy ways.

We may think that it is much more interesting to strongly disagree in order to express our opinion, which ultimately becomes only an expression of our contradictions. We therefore become addicted to contradiction, just as we are addicted to disagreement and what makes us different. But what if we get into another set of addictions? Would it be bad? Why not start with ourselves and find out. Why not try to overcome this difficulty by trying to agree with others and thus removing our contradictions? What if we can do this by seeing everyone, especially including ourselves, as parts of a whole?

So what can this new framework help us achieve? The concern that this resolution brings goes even beyond the ethics limited to our relationships. And if we apply this kind of thinking to other areas, we might find something fruitful. But before we do so we must delve still deeper into our assumptions.

The ontology of person and God

They say that God made man in His own image. We find ourselves alone and unable to easily escape from our self-contradictory predicament, which is only deepened by our arrogant and selfish natures. So which one of His features did God transfer upon His people? Isn’t God also alone, as He is the only one to be worshipped? Isn’t he also a jealous God? A God who is selfish and self-contradictory in his desires for people in what He deems best for us? Isn’t He the same as us, or we as Him? This kind of religious imagery of fragmentation of each into a metaphysical island surrounded by vacuum causes resistance to overcoming our separation.

The ontology based on this part-part relationship between God and people also causes proliferation of much disagreement among us. How would the theological argument matter if we are all parts of the same whole, just as God is? And wouldn’t it also please God to find that He is not the only one, that there are other universes for us to explore and other Gods for God to meet? We should then concentrate on this new theological ontology of part-whole relationship because this may be the only way potentially to lead us to a possible universal agreement. After all, God doesn’t need to be lonely, jealous, or self-contradictory. And so what if this discussion is based on belief?

Sometimes you need to be able to assume in order to be able to believe in something new because assumption is the basis, perhaps the only basis, of belief. Yet it is the kind of assumption coupled with an ability to enact it in life that makes this a faith. Enacting assumptions may lead to life not without God. Like in John Lennon’s song, we need to believe, or trust, in ourselves and our relationships before we believe, or trust, in anyone else, including God. This is neither atheist nor theist. Simply trust yourself like this and you may follow the path to your dreams, even if it’s a dream of heaven, a life after death, of immortality, or seeing loved ones who had passed away. It can also be a dream of universal agreement and abandonment of all contradictions.

[1] This independence is also similar, in some cases, in politics and art.

[2] And sometimes we use masks to hide ourselves even from us. But consider this quote from Žižek and Lacan: “We deceive the Other by means of the truth itself; in a universe in which all are looking for the true face beneath the mask, the best way to lead them astray is to wear the mask of truth itself.” Is wearing a mask, then, also a part of the truth?

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