So far, we have discussed the question of Jesus the so-called Son and also God the supposed literal Father of Jesus. Yet there is a third person by the name of ‘The Holy Ghost’ who according to Christian dogma, despite having a distinct individual personality, is still amalgamated and so completely and eternally fused with the ‘Father’ and the ‘Son’ that their merger creates a singleness in three. Now we turn our attention to this question by enquiring whether the Holy Ghost has an ego separate from the God or Jesus, or do they share one single ego? Ego can be described here as the ultimate of consciousness, which in the final analysis, is indivisible and specific to each individual. The same ultimate awareness of one’s being as distinct from others gives birth to ‘I’, and ‘my’ and ‘mine’, as against ‘he’ and ‘his’ and ‘you’ and ‘yours’.
Bringing into focus the three parts of Divinity, we must resolve whether the three have distinct egos of their own or not. If they do not have distinct separate egos, then to attribute to them personages would become inconceivable. Each person, however close he may be to another, has to enjoy a separate individual consciousness of his being.
The official position of most churches is very clear and well defined, claiming that each of the three entities of God’s personage had a distinctly separate personage of its own. So it is not just ‘Three in One’ it is three persons in one person. The bitter encounter of Jesus with death and all its fateful consequences must have been equally shared by the Holy Ghost. So also, he should have been included in the sacrifice along with Jesus. Again, he must have suffered hell in the company of Jesus and God the Father. If not, then one cannot escape drawing the inevitable conclusion that not only were they three distinct and different persons but also their emotions and faculties relating to head and heart must have been different, separate and insulated from each other.
In trying to further our vision of the Trinity we should attempt to visualize the fact of three persons merging together or existing as merged together eternally as one. So far we have failed to see how they could have merged in their emotions and thought processes.
The only option left, therefore, is a merger in the body. It reminds us of a hydra headed monster on a different scale, mentioned in the Greek mythology, which possessed many heads that grew again when cut off. Of course, man cannot understand the true nature of God and how His attributes function within, but it is very easy and simple to believe in one single entity without specific areas to which certain functions are attributed and confined, like head, heart and kidneys etc. But the scenario of separate individual thoughts and feelings is certainly at variance with the afore mentioned scenario of a single entity. It creates an image of God which is very difficult to believe and conceive for human beings, many of whom have lived long with Christian dogma without questioning it and have somehow shut their eyes to such glaring violations against the human intellect, supposedly created by God himself.
Holy Ghost and Creation
We do not observe any role played by the Holy Ghost in the divine plan of creation and also for that matter of Jesus Christ.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)
Obviously it is God the Father who is referred to in the Old Testament without any hint of a reference to Christ or the Holy Ghost. In the entire pre-Christian era, among all the Jews who believed in the Old Testament and must have heard this verse hundreds of thousands of times, there was not one who could read the name of Christ in the creation of the Universe or that of the Holy Ghost. In his Gospel, St. John suggests ‘Word’ to stand for Jesus. It is strange that such an important subject has been taken up by author of only one Gospel; by someone who was not even a disciple of Jesus.1 Even if one accepts his word to be the word of God, still it can only be understood to mean the Will of God; a concept that is common to many religions with reference to Creation.
Surprisingly, the age long secret of Christ’s and the Holy Ghost’s participation in the Creation, remained a secret to Jesus himself. We read not a single statement of Jesus Christ where he claims to be the Word. Therefore, neither had any part to play in the shaping and making of Creation. Again it was God the Father alone, we are told, who fashioned man from dust with his own hands. I have never read anywhere in any Christian writings that the two hands belonged to Jesus and the Holy Ghost. Hence God created everything without the slightest help from, or participation of, Jesus or the Holy Ghost. Were they passive observers generally in agreement with what God was doing or did they actually participate? If the latter is more acceptable to Christian theologists then immediately the question arises whether each of them was individually capable of creating, without the help of the others, or were they only capable in their totality. And again, if all three were essentially needed to pool their functions together to create, then was their share equal, or did one have a larger share of the labour put into the process of creation? Were they three persons with different powers both in intensity and kind or did they share them equally? One has to admit that whichever of the two options is taken, each of the components of Trinity becomes incompetent to create anything in itself.
If the same argument is extended to other Divine functions, the same question will continue to plague the Christian theologists. At the end of the day Christianity will have to admit that it does not believe in one simple entity of God, with three aspects and expressions of one single central power and majesty. But rather that they believe in three complementary components of Godhead that are three segments of the body of God. The question of being equal or unequal would then be assigned a relatively minor status.
Take, for instance, the attribute of Justice and Forgiveness. The Son appears to be more compassionate whereas God the Father appears to be less Just than the Holy Ghost, who took no part in the injustice on the part of God the Father.
The second possibility we mentioned was that Jesus and the Holy Ghost played an inert role in the processes of creation and the government of the laws of nature. That being so, it raises many other questions. First of all what is the assigned role of the two partners of God in the discharging of their Divine functions? If they are passive silent observers, like sleeping partners, then they are automatically relegated to a secondary, inferior position where they coexist with God but without, in practicality, sharing His powers. This concept of God having two non-functional appendices is very bizarre to say the least. I wonder whose conscience it can satisfy. Rationally it is, of course, unacceptable and does not harmonize with the Christian concept of ‘Three in One’ and ‘One in Three’. The oneness in three cannot be reached or even remotely conceived without there being a total merger of will, of powers and of whatever experience of life that can be attributed to a single living entity.
In the case of Holy Ghost, being a separate person, unless that person merges completely and irrevocably, losing all its identity in the other two, there remains no future hope of the emergence of a hydra headed-god with single thoughts, single will and a single body.
Mystery or Paradox
It is acceptable for a person to believe in something not fully understandable to him because of some irrefutable evidence in its favour. For example, many people do not understand the phenomena which collectively make it possible to create radio transmission and receptor sets, and also the transmission of electrical audio video pulses that are converted to televised pictures and sound. Yet even the most unlettered person would have to believe in the reality of radio and television. Similarly, most of us do not understand how computers work, yet very few in this contemporary age would dare to deny the existence of computers simply for this reason. Such cases may be classified as mysteries but there is no question of denying their existence or deriding those who believe in them, provided of course, that they are fully backed up and supported by irrefutable evidence.
We also accept that a much more lenient attitude can be and is exercised regarding many mysteries which exist in the form of religious dogmas. A very large number of human beings believe in such dogmas without being able to understand or to explain them. They seem to inherit such doctrines through generations and acquire a ‘taken for granted’ attitude towards them. But when the elements of contradiction and paradox find their way into religious dogmas, no excuse in their favour can be accepted on the plea that belief in perplexing mysteries also provides justification for believing in paradoxes. It is here that the problem becomes complicated. I can believe in something that I do not understand, but I cannot believe in something that is contradictory in itself, nor I hope, can any other person in his senses. For instance, I cannot understand how a watch is made, that is all right, but I have no right to believe that a watch is simultaneously a live barking and kicking dog. This is not a mysterious dogma but simply a glaring contradiction.
When there is any contradiction between two or more attributes of God or when there are inconsistencies between the word of God and the act of God, then the limits of mystery are transgressed by a large margin and one finds oneself drifting out of the sphere of mystery and into a world of fantasy. When so proved, it is but natural to expect that the believers in contradictions should make amends in their beliefs and accordingly, effect a reform in their faith. Unfortunately however, in our dialogues with some Christian ministers, we find them tenaciously holding the view that belief in Jesus as a god and simultaneously as a man is not contradictory. Nor does it appear contradictory to them that one person can be three persons simultaneously without there being the slightest difference in their character. They insist that to believe in one God and also to believe in a three pronged godhead, of God, the Holy Ghost and the Son, is not a paradox but simply a mystery. They shut their eyes to the contradictions in their claim that God remains a single entity despite the fact that the person of God, ‘The Father’, is distinctly different from the person of Jesus, ‘The Son’, and the Holy Ghost. When we point out to them in amazement that we are talking of three persons, and not about different aspects, moods and attributes of a single person, and that God being ‘One in Three’ and ‘Three in One’ is certainly not a mystery but a glaring contradiction, they would nod their heads in sympathy with us and politely ask us to step into contradictions operating in another area of discussion. They require us to first believe in the unbelievable and then to progress from there, to develop a faith in contradictions, or mysteries as they would much rather call them. A non-Christian therefore cannot understand the contradictions of Christian dogmas and to understand what he cannot believe in, he must believe without understanding. This is the world of Christian fantasy into which we non-Christians are advised to enter. But this magic flying carpet of fantasy refuses to take its flight if a non-believer steps onto it.
- In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word
was God. (John 1:1)