“Everything is God” — The Religion of Non-Religion

The following statement comes from a “scholarly work” (his words, not mine) by Jay Michaelson, who apparently is a well known Jewish thinker and writer:

For nondual Judaism, God does not exist — God is existence itself. Experientially, God is simply all that is, once the illusion of the separate self is taken away. And religiously, this view is the basis of a total transformation of religious life. Religion is not about belief — in God, myth, or fundamentalist ideas of scripture — but love, and the obligations which spring from it. Meditation is not about cultivating special states of mind, but learning to accept that everything in life — even suffering, pain, and injustice — as God. And the call to justice becomes essential to the religious life; even if everything is perfect, it’s up to you to make it better.

God is everything and everything is God.  Because everything includes nothing, this must also mean that God is nothing and nothing is God.  Is this an empty tautology or positive nihilism?  I cannot decide; it may be an irresolvable paradox.

What about the supposed “illusion of the separate self”?  Over many millions of years, those separate selves have been subject to selection.  Without separate selves, there is no evolution.

I am glad this works for Michaelson and he sounds like a happy guy, but I have serious doubts that this peace-and-love “departure from traditional theism” amounts to anything substantive or will have much success countering the spirits and gods that are naturally and neurologically generated and then reinforced by most religions.

What makes Michaelson’s work scholarly?  It contains “over 200 footnotes” (his words, not mine).  Either Michaelson went to law school (he did) or he is pursuing scholarship in the great German tradition of footnoting.

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