In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters. –Genesis 1:1-2
We firmly believe and simply confess that there is only one true God … the Creator of all things visible and invisible, spiritual and corporeal; who from the very beginning of time by His omnipotent power created out of nothing [de nihilo condidit] both the spiritual beings and the corporeal. –Fourth Lateran Council of 1215
Rudolf Steiner, speaking of ethereal or ‘negative’ spaces in regard to the understanding of the laws of living processes, uses the idea of “nothingness” – ein Nichts – and he brings together with this concept the word chaos…[Chaos] used in it’s ancient sense – the Greek word Xaos…describes a region empty of formed matter, but ready to receive new, living growth or development, such as is to be found in a seed or any other germinating process….An embryo is actually such a receptive, ethereal space – a realm of empty nothingness into which new formative process can work… -Olive Whicher, “The Heart of the Matter”
To attempt to explain the Holy Ghost is to attempt image building of something altogether different from any manifestation. To try to say what “it” is not, is to say that the “Holy Ghost” is not the precise opposite of everything in manifestation, but is different from and equal to it because “it” empowers, contains, and is the all-pervading medium. The only “thing” one can liken to “it” is space – that of space which is not its fields, is not energy, but is the “manifestation of nothing,” paradoxical as this statement is, that allows energy’s manifestations to operate within it and matter to exist in it in discrete state. It both encompasses and involves energy’s dual nature that gives rise to the trinity in being: negative, positive, neutral. -Preston Harold, “The Shining Stranger”
Hopefully one can see the parallels contained within these four citations. The concept of the Holy Spirit seems to leave many of us bereft of a hard and fast definition. How does one hold onto “spirit?” Once you try and grasp it, it slips right through your fingers. Preston Harold concurs:
A scientist would be as hard put to explain what space itself is as a theologian is to explain what the Holy Ghost is – both can only discuss what takes place through it….The all-pervading space that contains Einstein’s motionless ether may be likened to the Holy Ghost of God, a priori, that which cannot itself be examined because the ether, motionless, stands between it and all manifestation within it. The ether alone as the seat of the electromagnetic fields may be likened to the being of God, the Father, one’s refuge, that allows him to “Be still and know…” The Son may be likened to the elementary particle, endowed with the “electric charge”: I will be. Jesus speaks of the Son ‘sitting on the right hand of the power,” and His teaching points to the Father as the seat of the power that is being given over to the Son.
We will continue discussing the relationship between the Holy Spirit and space in our next installment. Until then, peace.