I am working on a new book and have been sending a proposal to academic publishers. Most have not yet responded but a few have responded that it, in the current language of rejection, “doesn’t fit our list.” An editor from one of the most distinguished wrote: “This is a wonderful project, and I enjoyed reading and thinking with your proposal.” Abigail has sometimes received even more striking praise in letters of rejection, one saying, “I hope God doesn’t strike me dead for turning this down.” I have wondered since then if she should have written back, threatening divine retribution, but I suppose calling down infestations and plagues on people has gone out of style
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They are the same.
“Manifestations of God?”
“But that means there is only one God.”
No, that is too simple. Open your mind. Do not assume your current categories are adequate. Imagine other possibilities. Do thought-experiments. For example, what if a being/beings do not have to be only one or only many? What other ways are there to think about it?
What other possibilities? I was steeped in Western philosophy, in which the great metaphysical debates have been conducted in terms of such concepts as the one and the many, universals and particulars, identity and difference, being and becoming. I constantly pressed God to explain things in terms familiar to me. Sometimes He did, but often he told me that I had to revise my concepts and loosen my logical constraints. These were the only concepts I had. Where does one go to get new concepts?
Similarly, what other ways are there to think about infinity, omniscience, and so forth. And, most fundamentally, what other ways are there of thinking about being, nothingness, existence, the power of existence, the act of existence, the force of creation? I will guide you, but you have to make the breakthrough. I can’t put new concepts into your head.
“Once again, why not?”
The human being is a …
I seemed to get a partial answer that was making sense in terms of what it is to understand a concept, but it was immediately erased, as if someone pushed the erase button on a tape recorder.
The answer is very complex and you don’t have time for Me to go into it all. You need to get back to work now.
Lunch break was over. The vague sense I had afterwards is that a concept is not a distinct entity, like a momentary thought or idea, that you might just zap into somebody’s head, but more like a pattern of mental behavior that has to be lived through, like knowing a melody.