Wednesday, September 14, 2011
The Malevolent God
One can see how the Gnostics could come to eschew the God (Yahweh) of The Hebrew Bible/Old Testament.
That “God” or demiurge as the Gnostics had it was a vindictive, insane entity, far from divine and intrinsically hateful.
We’ve noted God’s personal wrath, exampled by Exodus 4:24 where Yahweh seeks to kill Moses, face-to-face.
Numbers 15:32 ff. also shows a God that is pathological: a man gathering sticks on the Sabbath is stoned to death by the Israelites at the direction of their God.
Verse 37, following, indicate an entity that is steeped in meaningless ritual; God’s directions indicate psychotic attention to nonsense.
Was Jesus the Son of this insane entity or was/is Jesus the Son of the ineffable God whom the Gnostics worshipped?
That is the important question, for persons of Faith.
We contend that the Hebraic God, Yahweh – a pseudonym surely, as the real name of God was unspoken and unmentionable as the Kabbalists note – is long dead, not metaphorically, as Nietzsche put it, but actually, in real physical terms.
And that this God could die is backed up by the Exodus account (above), which confirms God’s physical attributes; an eternal, infinite God? We think not.
The nature of the Hebrew God is footnoted in countless examples of insane behavior in The Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). A divine being might behave psychotically also, but we take the stance that the real God, God above god, is aloof, uncaring and removed from human existence unless provoked into attendance, as Melville intuits in his great unmasking of God: Moby Dick.
The now-dead God remains with us, in the form of the [Holy?] Spirit, so remnants of Evil persist, Satan or the Fourth Face of God, as Jung posited in his Quaternity thesis, still effective, but only as the “breath” of God, not as a physical presence.
For more on the demiurge, Yaldabaoth, see the Gnostic tract, On the Origin of the World [II, 5 and XIII, 2].