Category Archives: Divine Subconscious

Divine Subconscious as Grounds for God’s Changing Conscious States

Question – how did the idea of create ever come into God’s mind in the first place? He couldn’t have eternally had it, or creation ex nihilo doesn’t seem possible. Yet if it just popped in there “one day” that seems rather arbitrary.

I have a potential solution and was wondering your thoughts.

God’s conscious experience, insofar as it is an expression of the fullness he eternally and necessarily has as Trinity, may well possibly be eternally becoming and changing. Hence the Father could be constantly experiencing new, lovely, creative emotions and thoughts towards the Son. Yet back behind God’s conscious experiences (his experiential becoming) lies his changeless nature or being. Could it not be that this being functions as it were as a kind of actus purus or unmoved mover insofar it throws up into God’s consciousness various existential experiences? This could help explain how the idea of creation “came into God’s mind.” For on an open view of God, it seems there must be something in God that is at least like our “subconsciousness” – some source of creativity, some reality or beingness that throws various thoughts into his mind which his mind THEN does something with. God cannot be at all times consciously willing in such a way where there is no element of experiencing new thoughts. His nature or unconscious being may be purely active, insofar as nothing is acting on IT or moving IT, but God’s conscious experience cannot be immovable in that sense, or it could not be going through a process of becoming, thinking, choosing, creating, relating to a changing world, moving from one moment to the next.

So, for example, do you think the following is possible. You have God existing alone, in Triune relation. And all of a sudden he gets the idea to create a world. This is something he’s never thought about before – literally it had never entered his conscious experience. How is this possible? Well, why can’t we say that God’s unchanging nature – which functions as a first mover – actualizes this particular potency in God’s mind? In anthropomorphic terms: the thought comes into God’s conscious mind by an instance of divine creativity, from his subconscious mind/being.

Thus all the seemingly arbitrary emotional states in God (in the sense that such states are not themselves consciously chosen – emotions are never consciously chosen) could be grounded in the changeless divine subconsciousness.

If Jesus really is God there is no such thing as being TOO anthropomorphic, is there?