|The Crown~Heart~World diagram is shorthand. It is a way of focusing on the major elements of life’s experience and meaning. It is designed to be as simple as possible while still being useful to wisdom.|
The diagram has 5 main columns:
- Creation: Why good?
- Fall: Why bad?
- Redemption: Good is greater than bad.
- Transformation: good over bad in us.
- Completion: good over bad in all.
The first column adresses several questions about life:
- Why is there something instead of nothing?
- Where did everything come from?
- Where do we get our sense of ‘good’ and ‘ought’ from?
- What does it mean to be human?
The three simple icons are a Crown, which represents God as King. A Heart, which represents humanity defined by how we love, and a World that is “upside right”. It is the best of nature, all that is good and wonderful.
“Why is there something instead of nothing?” is one of my favorite questions. Too often we think in relation to other things, defining ideas negatively. This question, maybe more than any other, pushes us back to a very basic starting point.
The fact that I can ask the question means that something exists; me. I also know that other things exists, including other minds (e.g. you the unknown reader). I can’t prove you are there, but I just know that there are actually other minds that are real, not just projections of my own mind. “I just know” is a basic belief. It is something that does not need to refer to something else.
Since something exists, something is eternal. The things that exists, or that which made things exists. The only other alternative is to say there was nothing, and out of nothing came something.
The next question I have is whether that eternal ‘something’ is personal or not. Is the ultimate, the original, the Source of all else, personal in the sense of having a will? Can this Source choose things? Or, can we now choose, even though our Primary Source can’t? It would seem that there is an eternal and personal source of everything else that exists, since I now exist and am personal.
[For the sake of argument, what if I can’t choose? What if I don’t really have a will? What if I am determined by variables so complex that I only seem to choose? Well, then all discussion is meaningless. Everything I say, feel, do is determined not by choosing, but by working out what is necessary including any debates about determinism. If anyone wants me to believe in determinism, they must not really be true determinists, because a true determinist would believe that I am determined to say whatever I say, and that there is no will in me to ‘choose’ to agree with determinism.]
So WHO is this ultimate Source?
Options = various cultural expressions. Brahma, the Tao, God, etc. Each are an effort to work back to the beginning, as closely as possible, of all the phenomena we now experience. The have things they share, and ideas which differ. The Tao (Dao) is a spoken reality which now rules all things, but the Tao itself had to be spoken by the unspoken Tao. Think about that for a while. Brahma is a ‘god’ who creates this world, but is somehow existing in another non-world. God, is mysteriously One and more than one. Atheist efforts via physics doesn’t solve much, either. Something went Bang in the big bang, but where did the something come from, and why did it go ‘bang!’ when it did?
For myself, the god of Israel, YHWH, Jehovah, the LORD is the most compelling answer. The triggering reason for that conviction, in me, is from focusing on Jesus and then taking his apparent views as seriously as I can. That’s how it happened for me. Since then, various aspects of the God of the Bible stand out as compelling to me. For example, the idea of unity and diversity in the Triune. It now seems essential to me that the Source would need to be unified (singular) but also diverse (plural) in order to create a world that apparently is made up of unity and diversity.
But are there problems? Of course. There are aspects of Hebrew revelation which are weird and confusing to me in my time, culture and experience. Whether it is in mythical sounding descriptions or in ethical freaky stories I often experience degrees of cognitive dissonance. But, if I take any other conceptual system to the same depths of reflection, of actually trying to picture and believe any other mode as the real explanation of life as I am experiencing it, I come up with even more challenges. The short summation is that super deep reflection gives me the bends no matter which deep part of reflection I try. It helps me to remember that I should think deep thoughts about where it all came from, but that it will always lead to some difficult experiences.
So I end up with the God of Israel, and I actually believe this song is right:
1Shout with joy to the LORD, all the earth!
2Worship the LORD with gladness.
Come before him, singing with joy.
3Acknowledge that the LORD is God!
He made us, and we are his.a
We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise his name.
5For the LORD is good.
His unfailing love continues forever,
and his faithfulness continues to each generation. – PSALM 100
God is our King, not just in making us, but in giving us minds which ponder, hearts which yearn and bodies which act. That is why I start the diagram with a crown:
For God is the King over all the earth. – PSALM 47:7
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