Monday, 22 June 2009

Rambam: G-d Does Not Need Us... For Anything



"And if it should arise in one's mind that all existence should cease to exist, (still) He alone would exist. And He will not lose His existence due to their non-existence. Because all existence needs Him and He blessed be He does not need them – not any of them. Therefore His reality is not like the reality of any of them."

The philosopher's mind might continue in his thoughts regarding G-d's existence. From considering the possibility of whether G-d exists or not, to considering that everything could exist even of it's own accord in any case, the Rambam points out in law 1:3 that G-d's existence is of a different kind to every other creation.

In fact, even if it would be, that every single creation in the world would suddenly disappear out of the time/space continuum for all eternity, still G-d would continue to exist. He is not dependent upon anything in creation in order to exist. We do not give Him life. He did not even create us in the hope of continuing His "own life" – fearing that were He not to create something, He would mystically expire into nothingness.

G-d has created a world to be inhabited. He desires a dwelling place in the worlds below. His desire is for man to create a place where ultimately goodness and kindness will prevail. He wishes to bestow His kindness somewhere else – other than in His "own world of existence." He wants this because He is good and it is the way of the good to do good. He wants a world where all will follow His laws – because His laws are good, and bring goodness to everything. The Jewish people must follow the 613 commandments of the Torah, and the remainder of the world must follow the 7 Laws of the children of Noach. But at no time does G-d *need* any of His creations in order to continue His life. We are not His oxygen cylinder that He needs in order to breathe. We are not His eyes that He needs in order to see, nor His ears in order for Him to be able to hear what is happening in this world.

G-d, while completely attached to everything, is also completely separate. Not like a soul attached to the body, that once it leaves, the body is unable to do anything and ends up becoming a part of the ground – from where it once came before. As if the body needs the soul… or as if the soul needs the body in order to express itself in this world. G-d is not attached to His creation in a way that any physical thing is attached to anything else.

While the garment of nature conceals G-d inside it, this does not mean that were nature to disappear – that G-d would too. Everything is His creation, though it is separate from Him. There is nothing else but G-d and G-d fills all of creation, but at the same time that He is everywhere, He is also somewhere else – so that should "everywhere" disappear, He will continue to exist.

Much like the body is in need of the soul, all of creation is in constant need of G-d to give it life. Yet G-d needs none of creation in order for Himself to exist. He is One with them all, yet He is nothing of any of them. His reality is not like the reality of any of them. He is completely unique. There are no words to describe His uniqueness. He simply is.

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