What is God?  |  Instinctive Belief  |  How Spiritism Supports a Rational Faith
God's Nature and Attributes  |  Supportive Reasoning on Qualities Attributed to God

God's Nature and Attributes

Just as it would be impossible to explain light to a man who was born blind, or to explain chemistry to an infant, we humans are not yet able to understand the true, complete nature of our creator.  Our spirits have not yet acquired the proper level of intellectual and moral advancement.  However, we are able to rationalize some of the qualities of perfection attributed to this supreme being.

            Allan Kardec, in the Spirit’s Book intelligently inquired about our creator, asking not “Who is God”, but rather “What is God”.  The question of “Who” would imply inquiries as to God’s origin, age, and intimate nature.  “What” however defines God’s activity, condition, and qualifications, which are more in tune with what we are able to comprehend, and what we are able to express in terms of the extent of our current languages.

In answer to the first question of  “The Spirits’ Book”, the spirits replied that we should understand God as the “Supreme Intelligence, the First Cause of all things."  Questions 10-13 of this book are related to inquiries pertaining to God’s attributes, those characteristics that we are able to understand at present.  Below are the referenced questions and the answers given by the superior spirits.

Q 10. "Can any individual understand the essential nature of God?" 
"No, human beings lack the capability for such understanding."

Q 11. "Will we ever be able to comprehend the mystery of God?" 
"When human beings have advanced sufficiently - that is, when they have overcome the yoke of matter - they will be more capable of comprehending God."

Kardec's additional comments to this answer: "The limited nature of our human faculties prevents us from having a complete understanding of God’s nature.  As a result, in the early stages of human development, we often confused the Creator with the creation and attributed to the former the qualities of the latter.  However, as we progress spiritually, we will be able to penetrate the nature of things, more deeply and form a more just and rational idea of God, though our ideas will always be incomplete."

Q 12. "If we cannot understand the essential nature of God, can we at least have some idea of God's perfections?" 
"Yes, some of them. You will understand them better as you raise yourself above matter and master your own minds."

Q 13. "When we say that God is eternal, infinite, unchangeable, immaterial, unique, all-powerful, sovereignly just and good, aren't we expressing a complete idea of the qualities of the Divine?" 
"Yes, from your point of view. But don't think that you sum up everything in these terms. You must understand that there are things that transcend the capacity of even the most intelligent person and that outstrip the power of language to express. However, your reason tells you correctly that God must possess the perfections you mention in the supreme degree. Lacking one of them or having less than the absolute degree in any of them, God would be less than perfect; and in order to be above all things, to be almighty, God must have no imperfections."


Previous   Next