Why do I favor the Christian religion in particular? I seek the death of God, that is, the transcendent made immanent. As a starting point, I can consider the two great currents of religious thought, Abrahamic religion and Vedic religion. The relevant difference for my purposes seems to be that Abrahamic religion posits an essentially transcendent God, whereas Vedic religion posits an essentially immanent God. Neither a solely transcendent God nor a solely immanent God is useful to me, but the start of my need is in a transcendent God. So I look within Abrahamism to see whether there is anything in it which restores the immanence of God through the initiative of the transcendent God, and holds the two in paradox. And sure enough, one of the three great streams of Abrahamism is founded on the very principle. There are many incarnations, and not all of them interest me; but the incarnation of the Jewish God, the monotheistic, perfect, unchanging, omnipotent, omniscient God who cannot be seen and whose name cannot be spoken- that interests me.

There have been others to claim identification with such a God, including many who have claimed to be reincarnations of Jesus. But none of these has done it so well, in all of these I have not found one which actually educated me, rather than simply repeating what I already knew back to me. I have not found any which helped me better interpret my own conscience, or indeed any which agreed fully with my conscience on its face. On this matter, I concede to Lewis: Jesus fails to appear as a narcissist. But it is also the case that Jesus’ teachings defy my expectations and pull my mind heavenward in a way which other messiahs have failed to.

If a religion based on the incarnation of God interests me, one might ask whether the inverse does as well: a religion based on the apotheosis of man. Depending on what is being asked, that may not be what I’m looking for at all, or it may be another way of saying the same thing. If the ascent of man means that man, in a universe without God, becomes God, it does not resolve my dilemna, since the finite does not possess infinity so as to give it to itself. If it means that God makes man into God, then it is saying the same thing, and the consequence of this is the incarnation of God. Since God alone is God, and man, being finite, cannot achieve infinitity, the only way for man to become God is for God to become finite. If man becomes God, then man and God become one another, and thus God becomes man.


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