Is the Oneness of God an important part of our vision as we search for God and seek to
find some being greater and more perfect in quality than any human being?
world around us we see other people that may in some small way manifest a
deeper, purer love or greater wisdom than ourselves; and although they may be
great examples for us to live by we perceive that the perfection of God’s love
and wisdom must be greater still. It is like climbing in an area of hills and
mountains. Every time we reach the summit of one small hill, another that is
higher still comes into view. As we climb and climb, and hills change to
mountains we are led on and on - upwards towards the highest peak. And when we
begin to approach that, we begin to realise that there can only be ONE highest
peak - just as when in our search for God we realise there can be only ONE
highest source of all that is best in creation and human life - so the Oneness of God becomes a reality for us.
Many world religions such as
Judaism and Islam have taught the Oneness of God but there have been other
religions who have presented God as having many different faces all derived
from one most perfect God. In Hindu tradition for example, if we were to ask the
question - “Which is true: is there one God or are there many Gods?” - the
answer would be that both statements are true. One way to understand this is to
recognise that although we see God as perfectly ONE we experience God in many
ways - for example as a counsellor we can confide in, as a leader we wish to
follow, as a father figure that loves us, or as a warrior that fights spiritual
battles on our behalf.
Thinking about God in this way
leads us to wonder whether God is just simply ONE or whether there are a number
of key attributes needed to make up this ONENESS of God. But at this point we need to
look at ourselves to get some insight into this question.
Imagine that you want to paint
a picture - or to put it more strongly - you would love to paint a picture. But
your desire to paint on its own won’t ever produce a painting. You need to know
how to paint and to have the right tools available, if you are to achieve
anything. Your love must wrap itself around your knowledge or wisdom if you are
to achieve your aim. And then together your love to paint and your wisdom as to
how to do it combines beautifully in activity, and a painting is produced.
Whether we are aware of it or not everything we do follows this pattern of
motivation (love), know-how (wisdom) and resulting product (activity).
And right near the beginning of
the Bible it says that “God created man in his own image…”.
If we put these thoughts
together we can begin to see that God is ONE but that this ONENESS of God is made up of
Love, Wisdom and Activity. The Divine nature is thus both ONE and THREEFOLD in
Emanuel Swedenborg presents the
ONENESS of God and the THREEFOLD nature of God throughout his writings and goes on to show
that the Christian idea of the Creator God as Father, Son and Holy
Spirit can also be understood in terms of the Love (Father), Wisdom (Son) and
Activity (Holy Spirit) of the ONE personal GOD.