That really is the question. A few thoughts about being and non-being…
First, George MacDonald:
“There could have been no darkness but for the light. Without God there would not even have been nothing; there would not have existed the idea of nothing, any more than any reality of nothing, but that He exists and called something into being. Nothingness owes its very name and nature to the being and reality of God.”
George MacDonald, Unspoken Sermons
Like fireworks in my brain, Athanasius:
“The presence and love of the Word had called them into being; inevitably, therefore when they lost the knowledge of God, they lost existence with it; for it is God alone Who exists, evil is non-being, the negation and antithesis of good.
As they had at the beginning come into being out of non-existence, so were they now on the way to returning, through corruption, to non-existence again.
It was unworthy of the goodness of God that creatures made by Him should be brought to nothing through the deceit wrought upon man by the devil; and it was supremely unfitting that the work of God in mankind should disappear, either through their own negligence or through the deceit of evil spirits.
The solidarity of mankind is such that, by virtue of the Word’s indwelling in a single human body, the corruption which goes with death has lost its power over all.
For the human race would have perished utterly had not the Lord and Savior of all, the Son of God, come among us and put an end to death.”
St. Athanasius, On the Incarnation
On being, from Paul:
“The God who made the world and everything in it…gives everyone life and breath and everything else. From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth…God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move and have our being.”
Acts 17:24-28, NIV
And in conclusion, only Jesus could and does restore our existence in God:
“Apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.”
John 15:5, Amplified Bible
Existence disconnected from Life is futility. While final and lasting death has been defeated, to experience the fullness of the life for which we were saved, we must lean into the grip of God as our source of Life.
This is where my thoughts are today, and I wanted to share.