200.01 General Quest for Potential (pps.78-81)
a Natural Order
b Mortal
c Universal

hard cover page 80

fashioned the world out of primeval matter, or that random combinations of primeval matter evolved into the universe, ultimately the question narrows down to: Where did the small- est subatomic particle come from? Ultimately they must bridge the gap from “nothingness” to “somethingness.”

For all those who postulate eternal God or gods, the question remains: In what sense is eternity to be understood?

In Jewish philosophical tradition only the kabbalists face the issue. And their solution is the obscure En Sof. We propose a parallel solution: that the infinitely holy quest for potential- the core of the Divine-bridged the gap.

The perception that dawns on a person to see the world not as finished, but as in the process of continued becoming, ascending, developing-this changes him from being “under the sun” to being “above the sun.”

The universe is not static, it is on the march to the future.

Now things desire their perfections.

History, therefore, is moving toward a final perfection.
-I. Greenberg290

. . . the full worth of reality is found not in its actual, but in its potential value.

The creative act is an escape from the power of time and ascent to the divine.

In contrast, classic Aristotelianism does not focus on poten- tiality in general in any significant way. According to the classic position, a potential is actualized only by some actually existing

——————- NOTES ——————-

287 Bokser, Abraham Isaac Kook, p. 229,

288 Gordis, The Book of God and Man, p. 147. Cf. idem, A Faith for Moderns, p. 208.

289 Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, vol. I, q. 6, a. 1, p. 110.

290 Greenberg, Perspectives: The Third Great Cycle of Jewish History, p. 1.

291 Berkovits, God, Man and History, p. 81.

292 Berdyaev, The Destiny of Man, p. 136. Berdyaev elegantly straddles the Aristotelian position of creation out of primal matter, and the position of those (including traditional Jewish think- ers) who posit creation ex nihilo (“out of nothingness”).


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