THE PRINCIPLES OF RELIGION
As stated above, we exist and our existence is limited. Our existence is physical. Every physical thing, whether it is the human body, the planet earth, the entire galaxy or the whole universe, is limited. A physical thing, by definition, is composed of parts and is therefore quantifiable. If it is quantifiable, it is not infinite; it has a beginning and an end. It has a beginning and end both in time and space. A physical thing, by definition, has dimensions. It must exist within time and have length, width and depth. Anything that exists within time and has length, width and depth has measure and is therefore limited.
Even space itself, is finite. For space to exist there must be at least two points of position. If there are two points, the area between them has measure. Being that it has measure, space, by definition, is finite. (Of course, the space between two points is only one dimensional space and cannot exist as physical space. For actual physical space to exist there must be the three dimensions of length, width and depth. In any case, if the totality of the universe would be compressed into a single non-dimensional point which did not possess length, width nor depth, neither time nor space could exist. In addition, that point would not exist within time or space.) Time too, is finite. For time to exist there must be at least two points of sequence. The duration between the two points has measure. Being that it has measure, time, by definition, is finite. Obviously, that which is measurable cannot be immeasurable. It has a beginning and an end. Since time and space are limited, everything within time and space is most certainly limited. This means that the universe and everything therein is limited and has a beginning and an end. (However, the above statements about time and space do not necessitate that once they exist they cannot exist infinitely or eternally. Nonetheless, they would fall under the category of limited or “defined” infinities, which are discussed in chapter three of this treatise, and their existence would still be dependent on the existence of a “truly” infinite being. Continue to chapter three for further elucidation on this point.)
Now, if time and space are limited and have a beginning and an end, this means that their existence is not intrinsic to them. In and of themselves, they do not have to exist. If this is the case with time and space, then, certainly, this is the case with everything within time and space. We therefore see that the existence of the universe and everything therein, is not intrinsic to it. It does not have to be.
Now, since time, space and the universe had a beginning to their existence, this means that prior to it, they did not exist. This being the case, how did they come into being? Certainly, they could not bring themselves into being, for something that does not exist cannot bring itself or anything else into being. However, as mentioned above, our existence is a self evident truth which is undeniable, for here we are!
Now, if something that does not exist cannot bring itself or anything else into being, this means that a being that does exist, must bring everything into existence. Otherwise, how does anything exist? However, this being cannot be limited to time and space. Time and space are limited and have a beginning and an end. If they have a beginning, there was a point when they did not exist. If they did not exist, they could not bring themselves into being. If time and space cannot bring themselves into being, then, certainly, any being which is limited to time and space cannot bring itself or time and space, and the universe and everything therein, into being. Therefore, we must say that this Being is beyond time and space.
Furthermore, this Being cannot be a limited being with a beginning and an end whose existence is not intrinsic to it. A limited being has a beginning and an end. Since it has a beginning and an end, it does not have to be. Its existence is not intrinsic to it. Since its existence is not intrinsic to it, and it has a beginning, this means that before the beginning it did not exist. Something that does not exist cannot bring itself or anything else into being. Therefore, we must say that this Being is infinite. There was no point when it did not exist nor will there ever be a point when it does not exist. Its existence is intrinsic to it. It must be. From this we understand that this Being is the “True Being” whose existence is intrinsic and not dependent on any other being.
The existence of the universe, however, is not intrinsic to it. It does not have to be and by itself, it cannot be. On the contrary, its existence is an anomaly which must be imposed upon it, by this “True Being” whose existence is intrinsic and above time. As explained above, it is impossible for a limited being to bring itself into being. Only a being who is infinite and whose existence is intrinsic can bring other beings into existence. In other words, every being and every form of existence aside from this Infinite Being is a dependant being, rather than an intrinsic one. It depends on this Infinite Being for its very existence. Since it cannot exist by itself it is not a true being. Its “natural” state, so to speak, is not to exist.
It is clear that everything that exists, aside from this Infinite Being, must have its existence imposed upon it, for its existence is not intrinsic to it. On the contrary, its “nature”, so to speak, is not to exist. Furthermore, if the Infinite Being would stop imposing existence upon the created, it would cease to exist. This is clearly understood, for as explained, since every limited thing has a beginning and an end, and its existence is not intrinsic to it, it cannot exist by itself. Furthermore, as explained above, time and space are also limited and do not have an intrinsic existence. Their existence must be imposed upon them. Therefore, everything that exists within time and space must certainly be compelled into existence, along with time and space.
Furthermore, it is necessary to say that this Infinite Being is an absolute singularity whose existence alone is intrinsic and independent. In other words, there can only be one truly Infinite Being who exists intrinsically, without beginning or end. It is impossible for two truly infinite beings to co-exist. For, if there were more than one, neither of them would truly be infinite. There would be a point where the existence of the one would stop and the other would begin. Therefore, if there were two, they would of necessity be limited and therefore dependant upon a higher, truly infinite and singular being to bring them into being. Therefore, we must say that the Infinite Being we are speaking of is an absolute singularity. In other words, only this Singular Infinite Being truly exists, in a way which is intrinsic and independent of any other existence. He is alone, and all other beings do not exist intrinsically, but are, rather, dependant on His existence for their existence. This means that relative to His existence, they do not have an existence, even after having been brought into being. (Now, it must be pointed out that the use of the masculine gender in reference to this Singular Infinite Being is in no way to be taken as being sexist. Rather it is the result of the constraints of human language, which is the only means of communication at our disposal. Obviously, as will be explained shortly, in chapter three, this Being is beyond body or form, and is therefore also beyond gender. Nevertheless, we only have three possible options of terms which may be used to reference this Singular Infinite Being: It, He or She. We cannot use the term “it” for that would imply a being which is inferior to us. Of the two remaining terms, “He” is the more appropriate because in the relationship between the Singular Infinite Being and the Universe, He is the source of existence and we are the recipients. This parallels the biological relationship between male and female in that the male is the source of the seminal drop of life and the female is the receptacle.)
To summarize, we have concluded several crucial points:
1) Firstly, that our existence, because it is limited, necessitates the existence of an Infinite Being, whose existence is intrinsic. This Being is infinite, and has no beginning or end.
2) Secondly, this Infinite Being is absolutely singular and alone.
3) Thirdly, any existence, aside from this Infinite Being, does have a beginning and an end. Therefore, the existence of anything, besides this Infinite Being, is not intrinsic to it. Therefore its existence must be imposed upon it by this Infinite Being and is dependent upon it.
4) This Infinite Being is above time and space.
5) All other “dependant” beings have no existence relative to this Infinite Being.
It would therefore be improper to worship anything other than this Singular Infinite Being. If one were to worship anything besides Him, he would be worshiping a created, limited entity, that does not have an intrinsic existence and whose existence is imposed upon it by the Singular Infinite Being. He would, therefore, be guilty of worshiping a false god.