1. The Lord Or Jehovah, The Ground Of All Being

The Divine Being (Esse) will be discussed first, then the Divine Essence. It looks as if these two are one and the same, but in fact Being (Esse) is more universal than Essence, since Essence presupposes Being, and comes into existence from Being. The Being of God, or the Divine Being, is indescribable, since it transcends all ideas of human thought. This cannot grasp anything except what is created and finite. What is uncreated and infinite, such as the Divine Being, is incomprehensible. The Divine Being is Being Itself, the source of all things and which must be in all things for them to exist. (True Christian Religion 18)

It is well known that Jehovah means ‘I am’ and ‘Being’. It is clear from the Book of Creation, called Genesis, that God was so called from most ancient times; for there He is called God in the first chapter, but in the second and subsequent ones Jehovah God. Later on when the descendants of Abraham, starting with Jacob, forgot the name of God owing to their long stay in Egypt, it was recalled to their memory. About this we read: Moses said to God, What is your name? God said, I am who I am; thus shall you say to the Children of Israel, I am has sent me to you; and you shall say, Jehovah the God of your fathers has sent me to you. This is my name for ever, and this is my memorial from generation to generation. Exod. 3:[13,] 14, 15. Since God alone is I am or Being, that is, Jehovah, therefore there cannot be anything in the created universe which does not owe its being to Him. (True Christian Religion 19)

Because God is life, it follows that He is uncreated. He is uncreated because life can create but cannot be created, for to be created is to have existence from another, and if life had existence from another there would be another being even as to life, and that life would be life in itself. If this First were not life in itself it would be either from another or from itself; and you cannot say life from itself because from itself involves an origin, and that origin would be from nothing, and from nothing, nothing can originate. This First, which has being [esse] in itself and from which all things have been created, is God, who is called Jehovah because He is Being in Himself. This, especially if it is illustrated by things created, reason can see. Now as there can be no Being unless it exists, so being and existing [esse et existere] in God are one; for when there is being there is existing, and when there is existing there is being. This, therefore, is the life itself which is God and which is Man. (Apocalypse Explained 1126{2})

That which goes forth directly from the Divine itself cannot be understood even by angels in the inmost heaven. The reason for this is that it is infinite and so surpasses all understanding, even that of angels. (Arcana Coelestia 5321)

Divine Esse as the Ground of All Being: Jehovah, the Divine Esse, is the ultimate reality and source of all existence. This concept emphasizes Jehovah as the Ground of Being, embodying an all-encompassing perfection beyond human comprehension.

Creation as an Expression of the Divine Esse: The act of creation stems from Jehovah, where all created things contain traces of Divine perfection. Creation involves a separation from the infinite perfection into finite forms, creating a diverse universe that reflects the Creator to varying degrees.

The Finite Nature of Man: Human beings, as finite creations, have limited understanding and existence. This finiteness contrasts sharply with the infinite nature of Jehovah, shaping human experience and comprehension within limited bounds.

Limits of Human Perception: Human understanding is confined by finite faculties, which makes the true essence of Jehovah incomprehensible. While we can acknowledge Jehovah’s perfection, our grasp of His true nature is limited by our finite perception.

Incomprehensibility of Jehovah: Jehovah’s essence is beyond the reach of human thought and language. The Divine transcendence means that while we can recognise and worship Jehovah, His true nature remains profoundly beyond full human understanding.

1. What is meant by the Divine Esse in the teachings for Spiritual Christianity?
a) A being among other beings with finite qualities.
b) The essence and source of all being, embodying ultimate reality.
c) A spiritual entity with limited influence over creation.
d) The personification of natural forces and laws.
Answer: b)

2. How does creation relate to the Divine Esse according to the teachings for Spiritual Christianity?
a) It is a separate process unrelated to the Divine.
b) It is a direct manifestation of Jehovah’s infinite perfection in finite forms.
c) It happens independently of Jehovah’s influence.
d) It is a random occurrence without Divine origin.
Answer: b)

3. Why can human beings not fully comprehend Jehovah’s true nature?
a) Because Jehovah does not interact with the finite world.
b) Because human understanding is limited by finite perception.
c) Because Jehovah’s essence is too simple for human minds.
d) Because Jehovah’s true nature is identical to that of human beings.
Answer: b)

4. What does the “finite nature of man” mean within the perspective of Spiritual Christianity?
a) Humans have an unlimited capacity to understand the universe.
b) Humans are limited in understanding and existence compared to Jehovah.
c) Humans can comprehend Jehovah’s perfection fully through reason.
d) Humans are as infinite as Jehovah in their essence.
Answer: b)

5. How does Spiritual Christianity describe the act of creation from Jehovah?
a) As a manifestation of finite entities completely independent of the Divine.
b) As an expression of Jehovah’s infinite perfection in finite and diverse forms.
c) As a process that depletes Jehovah’s essence over time.
d) As a mere illusion created by human perception.
Answer: b)

1. How does the concept of the Divine Esse as the Ground of All Being alter your understanding of existence and the relationship between the Creator and the created world?
• Reflect on how this foundational perspective influences your view of the Divine presence in all aspects of existence and its sustaining role.

2. In what ways does the finite nature of human beings affect your spiritual or philosophical beliefs about knowledge and understanding of the Divine?
• Consider how acknowledging human limitations can shape your approach to spiritual growth and your perception of Divine mysteries.

3. How does recognising the limits of human perception in understanding Jehovah influence your approach to worship and reverence for the Divine?
• Think about how this awareness of limitation and mystery might affect your practices and attitudes towards the Divine in daily life.

Spend 10-15 minutes in contemplation focusing on the concept of the Divine Esse as the Ground of All Being. Reflect on how everything around you, including your own existence, is sustained by this Divine source. Acknowledge the limitations of your understanding while recognising the profound connection to the Divine.

Steps:

  1. Find a quiet place and sit comfortably.
  2. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths to centre yourself.
  3. Contemplate the idea that your existence and everything around you emanates from and is sustained by the Divine Esse.
  4. Acknowledge your finite nature and the vastness of the Divine mystery.
  5. Conclude with a moment of gratitude for the Divine sustenance in your life and record any insights in a journal.

Choose one of the key points from the video and try to express and integrate it creatively through your senses. Pick a modality to do this through – consider drawing or painting, making or listening to music, poetry, exercise, gardening, cooking, or even just watching the colourful or dramatic impressions of the natural world. There are so many ways you can engage with it. Record your insights from this exercise.

You will have your own personal preferences, but here are two pieces of music and art that you might like to use for inspiration to get you started.

Music

“Spiegel im Spiegel” by Arvo Pärt

This minimalist composition reflects a profound sense of stillness and transcendence, resonating with the idea of the Divine Esse as an infinite, sustaining presence.

Visual Art

“No. 61 (Rust and Blue)” by Mark Rothko

Rothko’s abstract painting, with its expansive colour fields, invites contemplation on the vastness and depth of the Divine, symbolising the grounding and sustaining presence of the Divine Esse.

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