Set Theory and Being God

“Have faith, my Child, have faith.
Do not be bewildered.
For you are beyond all things,
The heart of all knowing.
You are the Self.
You are God.”
-Ashtavakra Gita 15:8

Though Christmas is over, I’m still stuck on the Incarnation. I am conflicted about this idea that I am supposed to “be” God somehow. Much of what I am hearing and reading dances around it — “Be Christ to one another,” “We are one body in Christ,” etc. The above quote is the first I have read that comes out and says it plainly: “You are God.”

It was then that I remembered something Thomas Merton told me about “being Christ”:

“It is the Spirit of God that must teach us Who Christ is and form Christ in us and transform us into other Christs. For after all, transformation into Christ is not just an individual affair: there is only one Christ, not many. He is not divided. And for me to become Christ is to enter into the Life of the Whole Christ, the Mystical Body made up of the Head and the members, Christ and all who are incorporated in Him by His Spirit.”
— Thomas Merton, Seeds of Contemplation, p.88

So I become Christ by Entering into Him. This goes against my mathematical training. Set theory tells me that “is a member of” and “is equivalent” are two different relations. No set is a member of itself, right? That gives fuel to some nasty paradoxes that negate the possibility of a Universal Set — U — of which I’ve always pictured God as being the spiritual metaphorical equivalent. Is the Universal Set a member of itself? Well, if it is, there must be an even bigger set still. If not, then the Universal Set does not contain quite everything and is not truly universal. No wonder Bertrand Russel was an ardent atheist.

If Logic and Science are my ultimate authority (as I had decided early in my twenties), God cannot exist. God does not exist entirely within the bounds of the Logical, but exactly the opposite (as I decided in my late twenties). If my idea of God has to be logical, if I feel the need to come up with Scientific “proof” of God and other basic articles of faith, then my “God” is Logic and Science, not God. I lived with Logic as a God for the first twenty-seven years of my life. I prefer life after my upgrade.

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