Panentheism

Is there a God? If so, what is She like?

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Nick_A
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Panentheism

Post by Nick_A » Thu Aug 24, 2017 2:09 am

From Wikipedia
Deductive reasoning, also deductive logic, logical deduction is the process of reasoning from one or more statements(premises) to reach a logically certain conclusion.[1] It differs from inductive reasoning and abductive reasoning.
Deductive reasoning links premises with conclusions. If all premises are true, the terms are clear, and the rules of deductive logic are followed, then the conclusion reached is necessarily true.
Deductive reasoning (top-down logic) contrasts with inductive reasoning (bottom-up logic) in the following way: In deductive reasoning, a conclusion is reached reductively by applying general rules that hold over the entirety of a closed domain of discourse, narrowing the range under consideration until only the conclusion(s) is left. In inductive reasoning, the conclusion is reached by generalizing or extrapolating from specific cases to general rules, i.e., there is epistemic uncertainty. However, the inductive reasoning mentioned here is not the same as induction used in mathematical proofs – mathematical induction is actually a form of deductive reasoning.
Questions pertaining to God are normally argued by inductive bottom up reason. The idea is that if you put enough details together it will be obvious there is no God. The whole is not more than the sum of its parts since there is no whole.

Deductive or top down reason must begin with a premise of what God is and provide details which are lawful and consistant devolutions of the whole. The whole is more than the sum of its parts since we are only aware of some of the parts.

Panentheism is a God concept which serves as a plausible premise for the relationship of God to the universe. The universe is the body of God for panentheism. God is both outside not limited by time and space and inside of its body.

Imagine a large water saturated log floating in a pond. The water is both outside of the log and inside of it. The same idea is in Christianity:
John 14: 9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me?
For the purposes of this thread I am defining God as the ONE explained by Plotinus

http://www.iep.utm.edu/plotinus/
a. The One

The 'concept' of the One is not, properly speaking, a concept at all, since it is never explicitly defined by Plotinus, yet it is nevertheless the foundation and grandest expression of his philosophy. Plotinus does make it clear that no words can do justice to the power of the One; even the name, 'the One,' is inadequate, for naming already implies discursive knowledge, and since discursive knowledge divides or separates its objects in order to make them intelligible, the One cannot be known through the process of discursive reasoning (Ennead VI.9.4). Knowledge of the One is achieved through the experience of its 'power' (dunamis) and its nature, which is to provide a 'foundation' (arkhe) and location (topos) for all existents (VI.9.6). The 'power' of the One is not a power in the sense of physical or even mental action; the power of the One, as Plotinus speaks of it, is to be understood as the only adequate description of the 'manifestation' of a supreme principle that, by its very nature, transcends all predication and discursive understanding. This 'power,' then, is capable of being experienced, or known, only through contemplation (theoria), or the purely intellectual 'vision' of the source of all things. The One transcends all beings, and is not itself a being, precisely because all beings owe their existence and subsistence to their eternal contemplation of the dynamic manifestation(s) of the One. The One can be said to be the 'source' of all existents only insofar as every existent naturally and (therefore) imperfectly contemplates the various aspects of the One, as they are extended throughout the cosmos, in the form of either sensible or intelligible objects or existents. The perfect contemplation of the One, however, must not be understood as a return to a primal source; for the One is not, strictly speaking, a source or a cause, but rather the eternally present possibility -- or active making-possible -- of all existence, of Being (V.2.1). According to Plotinus, the unmediated vision of the 'generative power' of the One, to which existents are led by the Intelligence (V.9.2), results in an ecstatic dance of inspiration, not in a satiated torpor (VI.9.8); for it is the nature of the One to impart fecundity to existents -- that is to say: the One, in its regal, indifferent capacity as undiminishable potentiality of Being, permits both rapt contemplation and ecstatic, creative extension. These twin poles, this 'stanchion,' is the manifested framework of existence which the One produces, effortlessly (V.1.6). The One, itself, is best understood as the center about which the 'stanchion,' the framework of the cosmos, is erected (VI.9.8). This 'stanchion' or framework is the result of the contemplative activity of the Intelligence.
Modern science and secular education is fixated on evolution for explaining existence. For Panentheism the process of existence begins with NOUS described in the article and NOUS is the beginning of the universe or the body of God. So God outside of time and space is inner unity. It is ONE. NOUS begins with the conscious division of ONE into Three. From this perspective God is both ONE and Three simultaneously. God IS and existence is a process taking place within IS.

Creation for Panentheism isn’t evolution from nothing but rather the involution from pure consciousness which creates the beginning for evolution. In this way involution and evolution taken together is a complimentary cyclical process which sustain the body of God much like the flow of blood through arteries and veins sustains the life of the human body.

There is a lot more to Panentheism. I believe in the future it will provide a quality of reason that will unite science and the essence of religion. This is just a beginning.

seeds
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Re: Panentheism

Post by seeds » Thu Aug 24, 2017 7:38 am

Nick_A wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 2:09 am
Panentheism is a God concept which serves as a plausible premise for the relationship of God to the universe. The universe is the body of God for panentheism. God is both outside not limited by time and space and inside of its body.
I cannot think of a more fitting metaphorical representation of what you stated above than that which is depicted in the image below:

Image

To me, the illustration is a near perfect depiction of Panentheism, wherein the “throne” of God’s personal and central consciousness (his “I Am-ness”), not only exists above and outside of the “material” fabric of the universe...

(the way our own “I Am-ness” exists above and outside of the fabric of our thoughts and dreams)

...but also encompasses and subsumes the totality of the universe itself.

In other words, as Panentheism implies, the universe is indeed the “body” of God – his “spirit body,” so to speak.

Furthermore, in the context of the illustration, God is both immanent and transcendent at the same time.

God is immanent because absolutely everything we understand the universe to be (including our own bodies) is constructed from the living fabric of God’s personal being (the fabric of his personal mind and consciousness).

And God is transcendent because his central consciousness (again, his “I Am-ness”) is not encapsulated within the fabric of matter, and is thus not restricted by the speed that governs the physical mechanics of the universe.

I suggest that God can move throughout the universe at the speed of thought, of which the speed of light is basically standing still in comparison.

And all that means is that in the same way that we can access anything within our own minds instantly, likewise, so can God access anything within his mind (the universe) instantly.

I’ll just let that be my brief introduction to my own personal take on Panentheism while leaving you with another rendition of the same image that has us humans bickering about the truth of reality while, hopefully, the truth of our ultimate (and extremely “natural”) relationship with God is implicit in the image itself:

Image

(For a clearer view of the dialogue, click here: http://theultimateseeds.com/Images/48%20page%2077.jpg and expand the image.)
_______

Dontaskme
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Re: Panentheism

Post by Dontaskme » Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:26 am


Nick_A
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Re: Panentheism

Post by Nick_A » Thu Aug 24, 2017 3:07 pm

Hi Seeds

Your diagram indicates that the question of God considered by inductive or bottom up reason only results in arguments over opinions. All a person has to do to verify this is to visit a philosophy site. Panentheism begins with a God concept we can gradually conclude specifics from. From this perspective the specifics cannot contradict the premise making arguments over opinions meaningless. The trick is to establish the conscious connection between above and below - reason from the general to the specific'.

Do you find anything to disagree with in this general description of panentheism?

http://www.frimmin.com/faith/godinall.php
One of the wildest aspects of mystical Christian thought lies in the simple truth that God is everywhere. And if God is in fact everywhere, then God is in all things, and all things are in God. As mystical theologian Matthew Fox writes: "As the ocean is in the fish and the fish are in God, so God is in everything and everything is in God." Theologians call this Biblical position "panENtheism," meaning literally, "all in God." Panentheism is distinguished from pantheism, which maintains that God is all, and all is God. Panentheism is not yet in most dictionaries, but with Google listing over 8500 pages with the word, perhaps its time has come!

seeds
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Re: Panentheism

Post by seeds » Thu Aug 24, 2017 6:52 pm

Nick_A wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 3:07 pm
Hi Seeds

Your diagram indicates that the question of God considered by inductive or bottom up reason only results in arguments over opinions. All a person has to do to verify this is to visit a philosophy site.
The portrayal of arguments taking place within the context of my illustration was merely meant as ironic humor, as it is obvious (from a transcendent vantage point) that the clueless arguers all share the exact same eternal destiny as the ultimate “seeds” (progeny) of the ultimate lifeform.
Nick_A wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 3:07 pm
Do you find anything to disagree with in this general description of panentheism?

http://www.frimmin.com/faith/godinall.php
One of the wildest aspects of mystical Christian thought lies in the simple truth that God is everywhere. And if God is in fact everywhere, then God is in all things, and all things are in God. As mystical theologian Matthew Fox writes: "As the ocean is in the fish and the fish are in God, so God is in everything and everything is in God." Theologians call this Biblical position "panENtheism," meaning literally, "all in God." Panentheism is distinguished from pantheism, which maintains that God is all, and all is God. Panentheism is not yet in most dictionaries, but with Google listing over 8500 pages with the word, perhaps its time has come!
Nick, isn’t that precisely what my illustration depicts? - that God is indeed everywhere and in all things, and that all things are in God?

Is that not the obvious implication of my drawing?

Look at it again:

Image

However, even though God is literally everywhere by reason of the fact that everything throughout the universe is constructed from the living fabric of his personal being, it does not mean that his “central consciousness” is everywhere.

God’s central consciousness (again, his “I Am-ness”) is the transcendent aspect of his being, and is the feature of his makeup that exists above and outside of “material” reality.

That also means that God is not continuously aware of every little jot and tittle of his creation - as is implied in the concept of “omniscience”...

...(imagine how incredibly tedious it would be to be constantly aware of every micro and macro detail of the entire universe. It would be the equivalent of us being constantly aware of every thought or dream we have ever experienced – all at once).

Keep in mind that as we attempt to introduce a “new spiritual paradigm” based on Panentheistic ideas, we must, in turn, weed-out and discard some of the “old paradigm” nonsense.
_______
Last edited by seeds on Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Harbal
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Re: Panentheism

Post by Harbal » Thu Aug 24, 2017 6:53 pm

Nick_A wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 3:07 pm
God considered by inductive or bottom up reason
If you must persist with your notions of God then at least have the sense to know that he doesn't conform to reason, in fact, he completely defies it. Why don't you trust God to get on with being God and just concentrate on being a Human Being, which is the thing you more urgently need to figure out.

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Re: Panentheism

Post by Nick_A » Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:45 pm

seeds wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 6:52 pm
Nick_A wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 3:07 pm
Hi Seeds

Your diagram indicates that the question of God considered by inductive or bottom up reason only results in arguments over opinions. All a person has to do to verify this is to visit a philosophy site.
The portrayal of arguments taking place within the context of my illustration was merely meant as ironic humor, as it is obvious (from a transcendent vantage point) that the clueless arguers all share the exact same eternal destiny as the ultimate “seeds” (progeny) of the ultimate lifeform.
Nick_A wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 3:07 pm
Do you find anything to disagree with in this general description of panentheism?

http://www.frimmin.com/faith/godinall.php
One of the wildest aspects of mystical Christian thought lies in the simple truth that God is everywhere. And if God is in fact everywhere, then God is in all things, and all things are in God. As mystical theologian Matthew Fox writes: "As the ocean is in the fish and the fish are in God, so God is in everything and everything is in God." Theologians call this Biblical position "panENtheism," meaning literally, "all in God." Panentheism is distinguished from pantheism, which maintains that God is all, and all is God. Panentheism is not yet in most dictionaries, but with Google listing over 8500 pages with the word, perhaps its time has come!
Nick, isn’t that precisely what my illustration depicts? - that God is indeed everywhere and in all things, and that all things are in God?

Is that not the obvious implication of my drawing?

Look at it again:

Image

However, even though God is literally everywhere by reason of the fact that everything throughout the universe is constructed from the living fabric of his personal being, it does not mean that his “central consciousness” is everywhere.

God’s central consciousness (again, his “I Am-ness”) is the transcendent aspect of his being, and is the feature of his makeup that exists above and outside of “material” reality.

That also means is that God is not continuously aware of every little jot and tittle of his creation - as is implied in the concept of “omniscience”...

...(imagine how incredibly tedious it would be to be constantly aware of every micro and macro detail of the entire universe. It would be the equivalent of us being constantly aware of every thought or dream we have ever experienced – all at once).

Keep in mind that as we attempt to introduce a “new spiritual paradigm” based on Panentheistic ideas, we must, in turn, weed-out and discard some of the “old paradigm” nonsense.
_______
We have to remember that these ideas are new to many so even though I asked if you agreed it was only to elaborate on the idea for the sake of the conversation.

Once the ONE enables the universe by its division into three at a lower vibratory frequency I've learned that universal existence is governed by law, consciousness, and accident. As the interactions of universal laws become so involved no conscious input is necessary.

Are you familiar with Hermetic philosophy? If you are it will help to explain how the ratio of spirit to materiality differs on levels of reality or planes of existence comprising the body of God within the ONE.

http://www.sacred-texts.com/eso/kyb/kyb04.htm
2. The Principle of Correspondence

"As above, so below; as below, so above."--The Kybalion.

This Principle embodies the truth that there is always a Correspondence between the laws and phenomena of the various planes of Being and Life. The old Hermetic axiom ran in these words: "As above, so below; as below, so above." And the grasping of this Principle gives one the means of solving many a dark paradox, and hidden secret of Nature. There are planes beyond our knowing, but when we apply the Principle of Correspondence to them we are able to understand much that would otherwise be unknowable to us. This Principle is of universal application and manifestation, on the various planes of the material, mental, and spiritual universe--it is an Universal Law. The ancient Hermetists considered this Principle as one of the most important mental instruments by which man was able to pry aside the obstacles which hid from view the Unknown. Its use even tore aside the Veil of Isis to the extent that a glimpse of the face of the goddess might be caught. Just as a knowledge of the Principles of Geometry enables man to measure distant suns and their movements, while seated in his observatory, so a knowledge of the Principle of Correspondence enables Man to reason intelligently from the Known to the Unknown. Studying the monad, he understands the archangel.

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Harbal
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Re: Panentheism

Post by Harbal » Thu Aug 24, 2017 9:18 pm

Nick_A wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:45 pm

Once the ONE enables the universe by its division into three
The top, the bottom and the bit in the middle.
I've learned that universal existence is governed by law,
That would be the law of "make it up as you go along'. This law has been known about for thousands of years, its flexibility has made it a very popular law.
no conscious input is necessary.
Maybe not but it wouldn't do any harm, neither would a bit of common sense.
Are you familiar with Hermetic philosophy?
I think most people will know it by its more common name of Mumbo Jumbo.
explain how the ratio of spirit to materiality differs on levels of reality or planes of existence comprising the body of God within the ONE.
I believe the ratio is thought to be two parts nonsense to every one part sheer fantasy, although this can be varied slightly without compromising the ridiculousness of the results.

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Re: Panentheism

Post by fooloso4 » Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:07 pm

Nick:
Questions pertaining to God are normally argued by inductive bottom up reason.
Throughout the history of Western philosophy and theology questions of God have been addressed using deductive arguments. Those who argue against claims for the existence of God ask those who make the claims for evidence. That is not inductive bottom up reason.

You do not understand how deductive reason works. What are your premises and what are your conclusions? Deductive reason does not:
… begin with a premise of what God is and provide details which are lawful and consistant devolutions of the whole.
You simply start with a concept of God and mistakenly call it deductive reason.
Modern science and secular education is fixated on evolution for explaining existence.
This is simply wrong. Evolution takes existence as a given it does not attempt to explain it.

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Re: Panentheism

Post by Nick_A » Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:20 pm

fooloso4 wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:07 pm
Nick:
Questions pertaining to God are normally argued by inductive bottom up reason.
Throughout the history of Western philosophy and theology questions of God have been addressed using deductive arguments. Those who argue against claims for the existence of God ask those who make the claims for evidence. That is not inductive bottom up reason.

You do not understand how deductive reason works. What are your premises and what are your conclusions? Deductive reason does not:
… begin with a premise of what God is and provide details which are lawful and consistant devolutions of the whole.
You simply start with a concept of God and mistakenly call it deductive reason.
Modern science and secular education is fixated on evolution for explaining existence.
This is simply wrong. Evolution takes existence as a given it does not attempt to explain it.
Why is the idea of the ONE as the God concept quoted earlier which can initiate deductive reason uniting the general with the specific so offensive to you?

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Re: Panentheism

Post by Nick_A » Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:41 pm

Seeds

If we accept the panentheistic conception of God, we must also have a hypothesis as to how “being” involves into the universe creating its virtual infinity of things. I accept the Great Chain of Being as the logical means for lawful involution through planes of existence. Do you agree?

http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/ent ... n_of_Being
The Great Chain of Being or scala naturæ is a classical conception of the metaphysical order of the universe in which all beings from the most basic up to the very highest and most perfect being are hierarchically linked to form one interconnected whole. Although this notion was viewed in various ways from antiquity and throughout the medieval period, its philosophical formulation can perhaps best be seen beginning with Aristotle, moving through the Neoplatonists, and culminating in the theological vision of the scholastics.

Although many modern philosophers abandon the classical view, some alternate versions of the Great Chain of Being can be seen in the metaphysical rationalists of the seventeenth and eighteenth century. Beyond the realms of academic philosophy, the Great Chain of Being characterizes a cosmology that in its essence traces back to the Egyptian and Greek civilizations in the West and is continuous through Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and ancient Chinese thought. Discarded by many or even most intellectuals under the critique from modern science and philosophy, the cosmology of the Great Chain of Being in various forms nonetheless remains powerfully attractive to millions of people who are uncomfortable and unfulfilled within the cosmology presented by modern scientific materialism………………………….

seeds
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Re: Panentheism

Post by seeds » Fri Aug 25, 2017 1:42 am

seeds wrote: ...Keep in mind that as we attempt to introduce a “new spiritual paradigm” based on Panentheistic ideas, we must, in turn, weed-out and discard some of the “old paradigm” nonsense.
Nick_A wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:45 pm
We have to remember that these ideas are new to many so even though I asked if you agreed it was only to elaborate on the idea for the sake of the conversation.
Okay.
Nick_A wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:45 pm
Once the ONE enables the universe by its division into three at a lower vibratory frequency...
Three what?
Nick_A wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:45 pm
...I've learned that universal existence is governed by law, consciousness, and accident. As the interactions of universal laws become so involved no conscious input is necessary.
To me, that just means that the Creator and owner of this particular universe has been alive for so long in his transcendent form and context that it has allowed him to bring such a profound and perfected level of order to the fabric of his mind that it, in turn, does not continuously require his, as you say, “conscious input” to keep things running smoothly.

In other words, God does not have to directly involve himself in the mundane mechanics of the movements of the spheres, or the processes of evolution, etc., etc. (unless he so desires), and the “machine” will still grind along quite nicely in the absence of his direct attention.
Nick_A wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:45 pm
Are you familiar with Hermetic philosophy?
To a certain degree, Yes. Especially that of which I believe is Hermeticism’s most salient aspect:
Wiki wrote: The tradition claims descent from a prisca theologia, a doctrine that affirms the existence of a single, true theology that is present in all religions and that was given by God to man in antiquity.
It makes sense to me that each of the world’s religions would be in possession of a “portion” of the truth (some more than others), like puzzle pieces.
Nick_A wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:45 pm
...If you are it will help to explain how the ratio of spirit to materiality differs on levels of reality or planes of existence comprising the body of God within the ONE.
Please explain what you mean by “levels of reality” or “planes of existence”?

Also, how are you differentiating “God” from the “ONE”?
Nick_A wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:45 pm
http://www.sacred-texts.com/eso/kyb/kyb04.htm
2. The Principle of Correspondence

"As above, so below; as below, so above."--The Kybalion.

This Principle embodies the truth that there is always a Correspondence between the laws and phenomena of the various planes of Being and Life. The old Hermetic axiom ran in these words: "As above, so below; as below, so above." And the grasping of this Principle gives one the means of solving many a dark paradox, and hidden secret of Nature. There are planes beyond our knowing, but when we apply the Principle of Correspondence to them we are able to understand much that would otherwise be unknowable to us. This Principle is of universal application and manifestation, on the various planes of the material, mental, and spiritual universe--it is an Universal Law. The ancient Hermetists considered this Principle as one of the most important mental instruments by which man was able to pry aside the obstacles which hid from view the Unknown. Its use even tore aside the Veil of Isis to the extent that a glimpse of the face of the goddess might be caught. Just as a knowledge of the Principles of Geometry enables man to measure distant suns and their movements, while seated in his observatory, so a knowledge of the Principle of Correspondence enables Man to reason intelligently from the Known to the Unknown. Studying the monad, he understands the archangel.
In my opinion, Nick, terms such as the “Veil of ISIS” and “archangel” are precisely what I was referring to as being the discardable nonsense of the “old spiritual paradigm.”

That old and archaic terminology simply has no place in the “new paradigm.”

Of course that is not to say that “as above, so below” doesn’t have some good tread left, and is precisely what is represented in another one of my illustrations:

Image
_______

fooloso4
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Re: Panentheism

Post by fooloso4 » Fri Aug 25, 2017 2:59 am

Nick:
Why is the idea of the ONE as the God concept quoted earlier which can initiate deductive reason uniting the general with the specific so offensive to you?
I said nothing at all about Plotinus’ concept of the One. What I said is that you do not know what deductive reason means and have not presented a deductive argument. You have simple made claims that you mistakenly call deductive reasoning.

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Re: Panentheism

Post by Reflex » Fri Aug 25, 2017 3:36 am

Nick, Seeds:

Interesting discussion (if you ignore Harbal and F4). May I suggest Return To The One: Plotinus's Guide To God-Realization by Brian Hines?

seeds
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Re: Panentheism

Post by seeds » Fri Aug 25, 2017 4:01 am

Reflex wrote:
Fri Aug 25, 2017 3:36 am
Nick, Seeds:

Interesting discussion (if you ignore Harbal and F4). May I suggest Return To The One: Plotinus's Guide To God-Realization by Brian Hines?
Thank you, Reflex, I'll check it out.

Feel free to offer your own ideas to the mix.
_______

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