18.5 Direct and indirect life from God
One important consequence of Postulate 16 is
that similar kinds of mechanisms are used between God and creation and between the
separate degrees of creation. The later degrees are derivatives of the previous
degree (as described in Section 18.1). The later degrees
can also be direct derivatives from divine power. Because the differences between
the degrees are similar to the differences between the degrees and God, derivative
powers from either source can look the same once they are produced. Whether and
how much this option is availed of by God remains to be seen. It is at least metaphysically
possible that the world receives both direct life from God and also indirect life
via the previous (higher) degrees. Physical bodies, for example, can be directly
sustained by God and also, by essentially the same mechanisms, be indirectly sustained
and controlled by the mental and the spiritual processes of the individual person.
We do not have a case of overdetermination, as the actual effect of these two inputs
is from their combination. They may cooperate or may be in tension. One input by
itself, in such cases, can never completely override another.