“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” [Gen.1:1]. This was not a divine emanation in the sense of the extension of divine self, so that we do not fall into pantheism, rather it was an act of love, as Augustine had said. God wanted to make, through that love, creatures who carry God’s love, or they are denotative of it. It is a power that emerged from God. God has thrown God’s scarf on the world and embraced the world, and the world still lives from divine warmth. In this sense, the Creator has been always in a situation of descent, through which the creatures rise to their Creator. There is a bond between the two, the nature of which we do not know. It [this bond] lies in our existential reality and not in the rational ability we have.
In this manner we are creative. The difference between our creativeness and the divine creativity is that God did not take an object to make the universe out of it. While we take material from nature, thought and imagination and we arrange them anew, as no one else has done before. Imitating the image of God we are called creative. Old stones do exist and you build with them a new palace.
God has first loved you through creation and then, God loves you continuously and raises you anew and you become stronger, more glorious and you enlighten others, through the light that God has thrown within you, and you raise them whenever they realize their belovedness. The human being does not exist [truly] unless another loves him/[her]. Anything else is flesh and bones, confusion of thought and storms of heart. However, there is no complete love in the world, since it is always blemished by the faults of the loving one and of the beloved. Nevertheless, whenever the beloved one feels the purity and the sublimity of the loving person and that he/[she] gives him/[her]self without expecting and return, i.e., whenever the beloved one experiences that the loving person is him/[her]self poured, then, he/[she] understands that this feeling [of love] is nothing other than a bridge to divine love, and consequently that he/[she] is the beloved of God through creation. Thus, whenever a person denies him/[her]self for the sake of the beloved one, God would be poured in the creature, chosen by another creature.
The human being does not love his/[her] slave, but he/[she] loves his/[her] son. This has been the case from the beginning. Hence, God has raised us from the rank of the slaves to the rank of the sons [and daughters]. That the human being is made of blood and flesh and at the same time is a son [a daughter] of God; this does not change a thing in the work of divine love. There is no sexuality in the relationship of divinity to us, since the Lord has no sex. Divinity works in us on a different level.
The human being is not a slave of God, since the owner of slaves would be controlling, while the loving one does not control. God longs to you and draws you to Godself with affection, and whenever you accept God you respond to God with affection, which seems to be human, however, its power descends upon you from above.
If God, historically, has sown in humanity words from God, those are nothing other than expressing the handling of human understanding of divine depth. Whenever you hear words from God, these are not permissible to pronounce them, since the tongue [does not reflect] the innermost depth, but its outward [reality]. The word that descends upon you is a nurturing word, which raises you to above. Then, there would be no difference between God, who spoke the word, and the spoken word [itself], there would be no difference between the words of the Word and the ear that hears and the heart that perceives it.
On this foundation friendship is built. It would not be possible [for friendship] to be reciprocal if you and your friend were in a relationship of slavery to God. You are free and he/[she] is free. Only the free person gives and the Other free person receives. Thus, you give the Other everything you are [or you have], and if you give him/[her] only part of what you have, then you become a slave of the other part, which you have not given.
Whatever is true for friendship is true for a married couple. Whenever each of them loves the other from a divine perspective, i.e., in freely giving [everything], then, he/[she] raises the other. This is what Paul has expressed when he said, “Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (Ephesians 5: 21) In other words, this is what it means to be merciful toward one another. A relationship means to penetrate into the person, to accept him/[her] and be poured within him/[her]. Thus, it is an act of being poured in order that one might die in [or for] the Other. Then, the question of who gives and who receives orders would not occur. And undoubtedly this adhesion between the two spirits and the two bodies is the adhesion of God to Godself, since whenever God is absent in a relationship, then there would be nothing other than a biological, residential and financial unity. [However,] unity is not cumulation. It is music. In love, each plays music with the other, and it emerges not from each of them alone, but from both in the unity of existence which is nurtured daily through bestowal.
The last domain, which imposes itself on me, concerns the relationship of the state with the citizens. The state is not on the top [of a hierarchy] and the citizenship beneath it. This would be a system of slavery. The state is nothing other than the citizens arranged in harmony, according to a particular construction entailed by the constitutions and the laws. Of course, the president, the ministers and the deputies are not in love with the people of the country, since there is a compulsory element in the state, though without subdual. However, the juristic mentality and the legal procedure do not deny compassion and they require the continuous attendance of the responsibles, and attendance does not result from other than love.
Dostoevsky has said that the state has to become a church, and this entails that love should prevail over compulsory force. Of course I long to see the Lebanese reach a stage where they become one family, with the consideration of the regulations in respect of the patronage, the opposition, the police, the military and the civil. This would not deny the religious belonging, which is an environment of warmth. It is inevitable to humanize the relations between the different classes of people and the government, without confusion or chaos.
Similarly, in the denominations where spiritual leaders are appointed, as in Christianity, or those denominations bound to scholars, as in Islam, there should be love-relations among all believers, which can heal all other relations.
In our country, there are many slaves, in different domains, finance, politics, and family life and in the connections between some leaders and their followers. This would not end unless God bestows God’s grace over this people, and the hearts willingly receive their Lord. The honor of God being poured in the soul is that the person might believe that he/[she] exists through divine delight and that he/[she] is independent of any other person. We have obtained the independence of the country, [but] we have not obtained enough independence of the persons, since we have worshiped the powerful and the tyrant ones. From this subdual, we must move toward the second creation, which takes place in our ever renewed and ever loving souls. Then, universal creativeness would spread and the Kingdom would embrace us to its depth.
Translated by Sylvie Avakian-Maamarbashi
Original Text: “إبداع الله وإبداعنا” –An Nahar- 10.11.2007Continue reading