God is the only infinitely perfect being.
What is God? God is usually described in terms of “all”; omniscient (all-knowing), omnipotent (all-powerful), etc. God is also said to be perfect, good, love, uncreated, omnipresent, and infinite. Each of these traditional descriptive attributes necessarily bring with them strong anthropomorphic definition. All-knowing meaning God knows everything possible to be known, or rather everything possible for the human mind to learn and know. All-powerful means all possible power to be experienced in this universe, from the human perspective. In each case, we find the descriptions of God's qualities to be understood in terms of the extremes of human possibility. Unfortunately, this does not begin to scratch the surface. God’s attributes transcend the universe. God created everything we find in our universe, and necessarily exists beyond the confines of the universe. God’s power is greater than the sum total of all the power in the universe, for God’s power created the universe and all processes within. Our description of God should similarly transcend all that is possible within our universe, and all that is possible for the human race. How can we do this?
The one attribute of God we may be defining with the greatest correctness seems to be God as infinite being. We have a rudimentary analogy for the infinite with respect to numerical infinity. Think of the largest number you can, and add one more, then another and another. You never get to the point of numerical infinity because you can always add one more number. This analogy works sufficiently for math, but misses the point with respect to the Divine. No matter what the largest number we can think of might be, the point of numerical infinity remains infinitely beyond even that. No matter how enormous a number we might conceive, it will always be infinitely less than numerical infinity itself. But all is not lost. The idea of numerical infinity being infinitely beyond human numerical possibility gives us a clue as to the limitless nature of infinity itself.
Let’s apply this "infinitely infinite" mode of definition to all of God’s attributes. God is infinitely knowing. God is infinitely powerful. God is infinitely loving, infinitely good, infinitely present, and infinitely perfect. This new way of defining God’s attributes best avoids the traditional logical pratfall of placing limits on God. "All-knowing" means all of God’s knowing is limited to all that is possible for humans to know. On the other hand, infinite knowing places no limits on God’s knowing, whatsoever. The same is also true when applying this new, expanded conception to each of the other traditionally acknowledged attributes of God. This does not mean we are any closer to actually knowing what God is, for absolute definition of God is infinitely beyond our most extreme understanding. But it does make our necessarily finite understanding a bit closer to being correct. Plus, we avoid confusing divine attributes with finite human attributes.
In addition, just as there can be only one conceptual point of numerical infinity, there can be only one authentically infinite being. If there were two or more such beings, none of them would be authentically infinite for each would occupy a point in cosmic location unoccupied by the other, or others, and each would be necessarily finite. Thus, there can be one, and only one God.
The notion of infinite attributes also provides a possible resolution to many of the judgmental questions we commonly raise. Why does this or that have to happen? What kind of God is this, anyway? We might borrow a line of reasoning from the 17th century Kabbalist, Anne Conway. God is infinitely perfect being, and everything God does must necessarily be perfect… from God’s perspective. It can be no other way. We, as caring, emotional humans, are on the inside of creation looking out. We cannot, nor can we ever hope to be able to take God’s perspective on this creation. If we could, we would see the perfect necessity of every event that takes place, and how it fits perfectly with God’s intent for this creation as it unfolds. But we cannot. Thus, we naturally use our free will and inflict theosophical judgment on events we experience or witness and find distasteful. We must have faith that all things and all events in this universe are exactly what God intended, and do our best not to judge God for it.
The notion of infinite perfection also provides the foundation for Kabbalah’s most fundamental truth. This creation is necessarily perfect from God’s perspective. The Bible is God’s Word, and necessarily perfect from God’s perspective. If our interpretation of scripture does not conform with what we understand about the world we live in, then something is wrong. Traditional theology strongly suggests our interpretations of scripture cannot be incorrect, thus our understanding of the world must be flawed. But, traditional scriptural interpretation is largely little more than a human judgment, based on the political and social norms of the times in which the interpretation itself was formulated. Observation of the world is not only a mental machination, but includes some or all of the five physical senses. True, our senses can sometimes deceive us, but most of the time they do not. And, when our senses and our minds find something factual, we cannot honestly doubt what we have discovered. This is why Kabbalism concludes that if scriptural interpretation does not conform with what we find to be true about the world, our interpretation of scripture must be incorrect, and should be modified accordingly. Please be reminded that this is precisely what St. Augustine taught, too. God’s creation is perfect. God’s Word is perfect. They must fit together perfectly for our understanding to be correct. It cannot be any other way if we hope to authentically understand.
Next on might ask, what is God comprised of? What does God’s being consist in? What is God’s substance? God’s substance is infinite, perpetual, timeless, unchanging and perfect. The one word for it is “divine”. God is composed divine substance. Humans, in fact everything in this universe is comprised of created substance. Created substance is finite, has a limited life span, exists in temporal flux, changes with each passing moment, and is imperfect relative to the divinely perfect. Again returning to the work of Kabbalist Anne Conway, divine substance and created substance are the absolute converse of each other, and exist in conceptual contradiction to each other. In other words, for each term of description for the “stuff” we are made out of, think of the most extreme converse and you may have a definition that can be used to describe each aspect of God’s substance. God’s substance is in no way the same as created substance. The two cannot be more different. We are created. God is divine.
Thus God may be described as the singular infinite being, infinite in all attributes, and comprised entirely of divine substance. God is timeless and does not change because with infinitely perfect being there is no need for change. And, for the authentic infinite being, there was no moment of birth nor will there be any moment of death. God is the perpetual, singular, uncreated, unmade being.
1. Conway, Vizcountess Anne; The Principles of the Most Ancient and Modern Philosophy; edited by Peter Loptson; Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague; 1982. http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/conway/principles/principles.html (Also, may be found on Past Masters CD, British Philosophers 1600-1900)
2. Manhar, Nurho; The Sepher Ha-Zohar (Book of Light); Edited by H.W. Percival; Theosophical Publishing Company, New York; 1914. http://www.sacred-texts.com/jud/zdm/zdm000.htm
3. Wescott, W.W.; Sepher Yetzirah (Book of Creation); 1887. http://www.sacred-texts.com/jud/yetzirah.htm
4. Kalish, Isidor, Phd.; Sepher Yezirah; L.H. Frank and Co., New York; 1877. http://www.sacred-texts.com/jud/sy/sy00.htm
5. Cooper, Rabbi David A.; God is a Verb : Kabbalah and the Practice of Mystical Judaism; Berkley Publishing Group of Penguin Putnam Inc., New York. 1997