Panentheism

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

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Greta
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Re: Panentheism

Post by Greta » Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:17 am

Reflex wrote:
Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:34 am
Greta wrote:
Mon Sep 04, 2017 3:16 am
The wildest conception I am open to is the possibility that some kind of Omega Point....
I'm taking you out of context just to mention that my Omega Point is the convergence I mentioned in my previous post. Given what I've read about physics, it's a real possibility.
My "everything is maturing" angle, which seems pretty compatible with yours, again would posit that things "become more themselves" over time, or at least healthy ones.
Reflex wrote:
So the search for God is the conduit through which you have lived at least some of your life. Others use a formal religion. For many, it's their family or vocation that provides the focal point and raison d'etre. My conduit shifts - family & friends, the arts, work, now I am on a mission work out what the heck is actually going on with this reality caper, with all angles to be covered.
Never thought about it that way, but you're right. I'm retired and my kids grown up so I have a lot of time on my hands but I'm never bored. It's really true: Life begins when the kids leave home and the dog dies.
Not the dog - she is my mentor, inspiration and guru! :)

But that is the bottom line for so many of us - what is actually going on? I'm at the point where I see many things through either/or the lenses of two dualities - maturity and immaturity and order and chaos. There's an arrow from each of the latter to the former. Despite the second law, the extra entropy is out in space, imposed by the ever more concentrated order of worlds and their life.
Reflex wrote:I take VERY seriously what I said about the circle of infinity whose center is everywhere and circumference nowhere and what it implies.
I note that this is more or less the way the universe is explained - its centre being everywhere with no conceived limit of surface area.

It implies to me (in my usual academic way :) that there is a core of being (the centre) around which stuff grows, and keeps growing.

Belinda
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Re: Panentheism

Post by Belinda » Mon Sep 04, 2017 10:45 am

Nick wrote:
Man is a microcosm an inner unity in the image of God. Man on earth is a plurality and disunity out of balance.
You and I are both out of balance. You and I both are beset by present problems the worst of which are global problems like who should have the atom bomb? Neither you nor I can live constantly in the eternal Now. Don't you think that it's possible that God wants man to be imperfect and precisely not an image of Himself?

Nick_A
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Re: Panentheism

Post by Nick_A » Mon Sep 04, 2017 10:42 pm

Belinda wrote:
Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:12 am
Nick-A wrote:
Whenever one tries to suppress doubt , there is tyranny . Simone Weil.

The poison of skepticism becomes, like alcoholism, tuberculosis, and some other diseases, much more virulent in a hitherto virgin soil.” Simone Weil.


The naïve will say “yo, that’s a contradiction.” Is it?
I did think it's a contradiction.

Scepticism is a sieve that excludes self deception. It does not exclude feelings but it excludes denial of feelings. Scepticism enables acceptance of one's feelings and also the ability to view one's feelings in the context of reason.
Scepticism no more denies peak experiences than it denies the fright of falling off a cliff face.
Intellectual doubt allows for the necessary quality of detachment necessary for freedom from conditioned habitual doubt.
Attachment is the great fabricator of illusions; reality can be attained only by someone who is detached. Simone Weil

There is no detachment where there is no pain. And there is no pain endured without hatred or lying unless detachment is present too.” — Simone Weil
When we praise skepticism as a virtue, all we are praising is an attachment to preconditioned denial prohibiting any realistic human understanding.

It is rare to find people capable of detached doubt in the cause of human understanding while free from the conditioned denials of emotional scepticism

Nick_A
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Re: Panentheism

Post by Nick_A » Mon Sep 04, 2017 10:51 pm

Belinda wrote:
Mon Sep 04, 2017 10:45 am
Nick wrote:
Man is a microcosm an inner unity in the image of God. Man on earth is a plurality and disunity out of balance.
You and I are both out of balance. You and I both are beset by present problems the worst of which are global problems like who should have the atom bomb? Neither you nor I can live constantly in the eternal Now. Don't you think that it's possible that God wants man to be imperfect and precisely not an image of Himself?
Of course we are out of balance. We live in Plato's cave. What else could be expected. forget about the eternal now. The problem is how to leave the cave.

I don't see why any god would create an entity intentionally unable to live its potential through its perfection. It doesn't make any sense to me.

seeds
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Re: Panentheism

Post by seeds » Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:28 pm

Belinda wrote:
Sat Sep 02, 2017 5:15 pm
...I think there is no cause or reason for nature. Nature simply is. Just like those who believe in transcendent God say there is no cause of or reason for God; God simply is.
Yes, but one of those propositions implies that the order of the universe is founded upon blind chance, while the other implies a guiding intelligence.

The contrast between the two could not be more stark and profound in terms of their accompanying implications, and represents the very heart of the perennial debate between science and religion.
Belinda wrote:
Sat Sep 02, 2017 5:15 pm
The fact that amoebas don't have nervous systems which are developed like mammalian nervous systems is no accident but is a result of organisms having struggled against hostile environments to live until they could reproduce. Amoebas fitted the environment well enough that they survived long enough to reproduce and adapt through random mutations, when their environments were such that the mutated individuals were better fitted to survive. This process of natural selection is within a backdrop of geological time. There is no need to posit a creator God with intentions to produce humans or any other beings.
Everything you stated above is predicated on the pre-existence of an unthinkably stable setting that was “fully-stocked” with every possible ingredient and process necessary to allow life to begin.

I am talking about a pre-established system of foundational order that (according to “scientific” theory) allegedly came into existence through the mindless meanderings of gravity and thermodynamics that...

(without the slightest reason or teleological impetus)

...somehow managed to cause random bits of matter to magically coalesce into a “perfect arrangement” of absolutely everything needed to awaken us into existence.

Now doesn’t that seem like an awful lot to ask of “nature,” which (as I mentioned in a prior post) is just an anthropomorphic rendering of the word “chance” - dressed-up in a mother’s apron?

The ultimate point is that for you to insert yourself within the context of an already thriving biosphere and then point to this or that as being “proof” of there being...
Belinda wrote:
Sat Sep 02, 2017 5:15 pm
...no need to posit a creator God with intentions to produce humans or any other beings.
...represents a brazen and blatant “leapfrogging” over the miraculous prerequisite conditions that had to be in place before any such biosphere could even begin to take form.

Now it would be fitting to wonder why anyone would feel comfortable with taking the “impossible” for granted.

However, I’m pretty sure I know why such is the case for humans, for I believe it is directly related to the cognitive limitations imposed on us as a result of where we sit on the ascending ladder of consciousness.

For just as the human rung on the ladder is beyond the grasp of dogs, likewise, so is God’s rung on the ladder beyond the grasp of humans.
_______
Last edited by seeds on Thu Sep 07, 2017 1:52 am, edited 2 times in total.

seeds
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Re: Panentheism

Post by seeds » Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:29 pm

seeds wrote: Keep in mind that God’s “glorious body” (according to Panentheism) is the universe.
Nick_A wrote:
Sun Sep 03, 2017 8:37 pm
True, but man isn’t God. Man is a microcosm an inner unity in the image of God. Man on earth is a plurality and disunity out of balance.
Right you are, Nick, man isn’t God - in the same way that you are not your mother (hopefully the analogy isn't too vague).

Furthermore, the only thing that is “out of balance” at the moment is the relationship that the “old paradigm” of religious cosmology has with modernity, hence the need for a new paradigm.
seeds wrote: You need to re-adjust your thinking to understand that our true and “eternal” evolution is going to take place in a context that is “above and outside” of the dark and limited confines of this universe.
Nick_A wrote:
Sun Sep 03, 2017 8:37 pm
As I understand it Man can only consciously evolve or return to to the level of the origin of man’s being. This like the rest of the demiurge is in the universe, in the body of God.
Then what you are basically saying is that we (as individuals) have no ultimate and “eternal” purpose.

And that the estimated 100 billion humans who have lived and died on earth (prior to us) since humans began, have simply disappeared into the darkness of nothingness and nonexistence.

Now don’t get me wrong, Nick, for I respect your passion and tireless devotion in pointing-out the problems and limitations associated with “cave consciousness.”

However, upon deeper inspection, your theology seems to be on a par with the nihilism and oblivion inherent in materialism - in that it neither promotes nor foresees any ultimate purpose for us (again, as “individuals”) in the context of eternity.

Is that true?
_______

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Arising_uk
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Re: Panentheism

Post by Arising_uk » Tue Sep 05, 2017 12:23 am

seeds wrote:...
And that the estimated 100 billion humans who have lived and died on earth (prior to us) since humans began, have simply disappeared into the darkness of nothingness and nonexistence. ...
But they haven't? As we are here and there are traces of them all around this planet.

Reflex
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Re: Panentheism

Post by Reflex » Tue Sep 05, 2017 12:29 am

If you believe that the world is a cold, predetermined place, in which inert bits of matter interact mechanically to produce the illusion of freedom and consciousness, then you will quite naturally have a distinctly different sense of the possibilities that life has to offer than someone who believes that the universe is an interconnected, living, dynamic whole and that human beings have the capacity to experience a profound intuitive attunement to levels of consciousness that are, quite literally, cosmic in scope." -- Barnard, G. William, Living Consciousness: The Metaphysical Vision of Henri Bergson
To put it another way, “It matters little what idea of the Father you may entertain as long as you are spiritually acquainted with the ideal of his infinite and eternal nature.” (UB, 1783) Viewed from within, things will always appear logical.

In these two statements, we see the difference between "free thinkers" and free thinkers.

Nick_A
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Re: Panentheism

Post by Nick_A » Tue Sep 05, 2017 4:57 am

seeds wrote:
Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:29 pm
seeds wrote: Keep in mind that God’s “glorious body” (according to Panentheism) is the universe.
Nick_A wrote:
Sun Sep 03, 2017 8:37 pm
True, but man isn’t God. Man is a microcosm an inner unity in the image of God. Man on earth is a plurality and disunity out of balance.
Right you are, Nick, man isn’t God - in the same way that you are not your mother (hopefully the analogy isn't too vague).

Furthermore, the only thing that is “out of balance” at the moment is the relationship that the “old paradigm” of religious cosmology has with modernity, hence the need for a new paradigm.
seeds wrote: You need to re-adjust your thinking to understand that our true and “eternal” evolution is going to take place in a context that is “above and outside” of the dark and limited confines of this universe.
Nick_A wrote:
Sun Sep 03, 2017 8:37 pm
As I understand it Man can only consciously evolve or return to to the level of the origin of man’s being. This like the rest of the demiurge is in the universe, in the body of God.
Then what you are basically saying is that we (as individuals) have no ultimate and “eternal” purpose.

And that the estimated 100 billion humans who have lived and died on earth (prior to us) since humans began, have simply disappeared into the darkness of nothingness and nonexistence.

Now don’t get me wrong, Nick, for I respect your passion and tireless devotion in pointing-out the problems and limitations associated with “cave consciousness.”

However, upon deeper inspection, your theology seems to be on a par with the nihilism and oblivion inherent in materialism - in that it neither promotes nor foresees any ultimate purpose for us (again, as “individuals”) in the context of eternity.

Is that true?
_______
As I understand it, man on earth is serving a necessary purpose and the same purpose all organic life on earth serves which is the transformation of substances through bodily processes.

However Man has the potential through conscious evolution to serve an additional conscious purpose which receives a quality of energy from above and gives to below.

Man on earth has a seed of a soul. It can become the soul of the New Man as referred to in 1 Corinthians 15. This is the spiritual body of Man as a demiurge or one of those spiritual beings who govern the workings of our conscious universe. I don’t see this as nihilism even though the future of man on earth, without a seed of a soul for whatever reason is just dust to dust.
Matthew 16:26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?
IMO a person with a developing soul is in an enviable but dangerous position because they have responsibility. A good human being has a healthy seed of a soul and that will be saved in the body of Christ. But if a person with a developing soul starts to follow all sorts of hair brained paths or pervert their inner freedom for earthly gains, then they contaminate this developing soul in ways that are hard to fix. Fortunately only a few acquire something worth perverting so no lasting harm is done except for a few willing to forfeit the seed of their soul to gain the world.

Belinda
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Re: Panentheism

Post by Belinda » Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:32 am

Nick wrote:
I don't see why any god would create an entity intentionally unable to live its potential through its perfection. It doesn't make any sense to me.
I understand that is an important part of the standard Christian myth, that God created man with free will. The upshot is that fallen man has to find his own way to God.

However God took pity on Man and incarnated Himself in human form so that man could be shown how to perfect himself.

____________________________

Nick , as for scepticism, it is a perfectly ordinary strategy for understanding the environment in which we find ourself. Philosophical scepticism is specially rigorous scepticism. There is nothing in scepticism that denies that a person perceives whatever they perceive, however interpreting what we perceive is enormously helped by scepticism.

It is correct, as you implied, that it's impossible to obliterate subjective feelings and prejudices. There are philosophers who think that pure objectivity even if it were possible would not be desirable. Scepticism allows me and you to be aware of what subjective feelings and cognitive prejudices we harbour.

_____________________________________

Nick wrote:
IMO a person with a developing soul is in an enviable but dangerous position because they have responsibility. A good human being has a healthy seed of a soul and that will be saved in the body of Christ. But if a person with a developing soul starts to follow all sorts of hair brained paths or pervert their inner freedom for earthly gains, then they contaminate this developing soul in ways that are hard to fix. Fortunately only a few acquire something worth perverting so no lasting harm is done except for a few willing to forfeit the seed of their soul to gain the world.
The Parable of the Labourers in the Vineyard describes how even late-comers are equal in the sight of God. Nobody is an outsider.
Human legal systems are not God, and human legal and moral systems, and human individuals, do apportion blame. However we are urged to look at God's inclusivity. One of the two really effective ways we can look at God's inclusivity is by use of reason and knowledge.

Reason and knowledge when applied to real problems get us closer to God's inclusivity by letting us understand the motivations of the other. "The other" might be a personal acquaintance, a terrorist, a criminal, or an aggressive foreign power. Reason and knowledge aided by a sceptical attitude can allow the sorting out of dangerous problems where emotionally-reactive (gung-ho) attitudes increase the danger and diminish the harmony.

There are more than "only a few" who want to acquire "something worth perverting" !

Nick_A
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Re: Panentheism

Post by Nick_A » Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:02 pm

Belinda
The very thing which is now called the Christian religion existed among the ancients also, nor was it wanting]rom the inception if the human race until the coming if Christ in the flesh, at which point the true religion which was already in existence began to be called Christian. -ST. AUGUSTINE, Retractiones
First of all remember what you call Christianity, I call man made Christendom, For example there is no personal God in Christianity.
The historical "double stain" on the Church that Simone Weil denounces originates in the fact that Israel imposed on Christian believers the acceptance of the Old Testament and its almighty God, and that Rome chose Christianity as the religion of the Empire.[22] Despite its universal redemptive mission, the Church became from its very beginnings heir of Jewish nationalism and of the totalitarianism inherent in Imperial Rome. As the spiritual locus in which both traditions of power displaced the religion of powerless slaves, Christianity became the actual negation of its own foundational leitmotiv: the self-annulment of divine omnipotence by the godly act of kenosis or self-abasement.
The Parable of the Labourers in the Vineyard describes how even late-comers are equal in the sight of God. Nobody is an outsider.
Human legal systems are not God, and human legal and moral systems, and human individuals, do apportion blame. However we are urged to look at God's inclusivity. One of the two really effective ways we can look at God's inclusivity is by use of reason and knowledge.
The length of time it takes for labourers to awaken by first experiencing metanoia is of secondary importance. Maintaining the vineyard is most important and requires this change of mind or what Plato called the reorientation of the soul. All those who participate in it receive the same benefit.
Reason and knowledge when applied to real problems get us closer to God's inclusivity by letting us understand the motivations of the other. "The other" might be a personal acquaintance, a terrorist, a criminal, or an aggressive foreign power. Reason and knowledge aided by a sceptical attitude can allow the sorting out of dangerous problems where emotionally-reactive (gung-ho) attitudes increase the danger and diminish the harmony.
If a robot does this even if free from human hypocrisy, does it evolve closer to the Absolute. If not, why not?

Belinda
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Re: Panentheism

Post by Belinda » Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:23 pm

Nick wrote:
(Belinda)Reason and knowledge when applied to real problems get us closer to God's inclusivity by letting us understand the motivations of the other. "The other" might be a personal acquaintance, a terrorist, a criminal, or an aggressive foreign power. Reason and knowledge aided by a sceptical attitude can allow the sorting out of dangerous problems where emotionally-reactive (gung-ho) attitudes increase the danger and diminish the harmony.


(Nick)If a robot does this even if free from human hypocrisy, does it evolve closer to the Absolute. If not, why not?
Because robots don't experience quality, especially quality of interpersonal relationships.Feelings are more than raw emotions, and are more than calculations.

Nick:
Maintaining the vineyard is most important and requires this change of mind or what Plato called the reorientation of the soul. All those who participate in it receive the same benefit.
But everybody is a labourer in the vineyard its not a matter of choice, or special ability. God's mercy is infinite and extends to idiots, criminals, terrorists, torturers, ordinary selfish people, and mystics. God's mercy makes no difference between you and Saint Nicolas.

True, what you call "Christendom" has distorted the simplicity of God's infinite mercy and has allocated it only to what the high and mighty of "Christendom "considered worthy--i.e. themselves and their favourites. Islam has similarly distorted God's infinite mercy and has excluded slaves and infidels .

Nick_A
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Re: Panentheism

Post by Nick_A » Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:08 am

Belinda wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:23 pm
Nick wrote:
(Belinda)Reason and knowledge when applied to real problems get us closer to God's inclusivity by letting us understand the motivations of the other. "The other" might be a personal acquaintance, a terrorist, a criminal, or an aggressive foreign power. Reason and knowledge aided by a sceptical attitude can allow the sorting out of dangerous problems where emotionally-reactive (gung-ho) attitudes increase the danger and diminish the harmony.


(Nick)If a robot does this even if free from human hypocrisy, does it evolve closer to the Absolute. If not, why not?
Because robots don't experience quality, especially quality of interpersonal relationships.Feelings are more than raw emotions, and are more than calculations.

Nick:
Maintaining the vineyard is most important and requires this change of mind or what Plato called the reorientation of the soul. All those who participate in it receive the same benefit.
But everybody is a labourer in the vineyard its not a matter of choice, or special ability. God's mercy is infinite and extends to idiots, criminals, terrorists, torturers, ordinary selfish people, and mystics. God's mercy makes no difference between you and Saint Nicolas.

True, what you call "Christendom" has distorted the simplicity of God's infinite mercy and has allocated it only to what the high and mighty of "Christendom "considered worthy--i.e. themselves and their favourites. Islam has similarly distorted God's infinite mercy and has excluded slaves and infidels .
Belinda
(Nick)If a robot does this even if free from human hypocrisy, does it evolve closer to the Absolute. If not, why not?

Because robots don't experience quality, especially quality of interpersonal relationships. Feelings are more than raw emotions, and are more than calculations.
I’ve been under the impression that secularism doesn’t accept objective values so denies objective quality. Quality is considered a purely a subjective determination. The robot will be programmed as to interpersonal theory and will make an educated determination of emotional quality based on previous subjective determinations. If it is a recognized expert, why isn’t it closer to God?
But everybody is a labourer in the vineyard its not a matter of choice, or special ability. God's mercy is infinite and extends to idiots, criminals, terrorists, torturers, ordinary selfish people, and mystics. God's mercy makes no difference between you and Saint Nicolas.
As I understand it we are all labourers. Most are mechanical labourers and perform the same function of transforming substances through our bodily processes as does the rest of organic life. Conscious labourers consciously unite above and below –levels of reality. They receive from the higher and give to the lower. Either way we are serving the universe. Where animal man results in an animal future, conscious man has a conscious future

seeds
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Re: Panentheism

Post by seeds » Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:07 am

seeds wrote: And that the estimated 100 billion humans who have lived and died on earth (prior to us) since humans began, have simply disappeared into the darkness of nothingness and nonexistence.
Arising_uk wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 12:23 am
But they haven't? As we are here and there are traces of them all around this planet.
I get it Auk; you are a hardcore materialist who no doubt agrees with Scott Adams (the creator of the Dilbert cartoon character), who suggests that humans are “moist robots” or “animated meat, bouncing around according to the laws of physics.”

Now of course you don’t have to accept it, however, you know good and well that in the above quote, I am talking about something wholly different than DNA.
_______

Belinda
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Re: Panentheism

Post by Belinda » Wed Sep 06, 2017 11:23 am

Nick_A wrote:
As I understand it we are all labourers. Most are mechanical labourers and perform the same function of transforming substances through our bodily processes as does the rest of organic life. Conscious labourers consciously unite above and below –levels of reality. They receive from the higher and give to the lower. Either way we are serving the universe. Where animal man results in an animal future, conscious man has a conscious future
That is as I understand it, Nick. There is a difference between our understandings which is that your understanding is binary , whereas mine is relative. I mean, sometimes a person acts mechanically, and at other times the same person acts with conscious awareness. Moreover, I believe that all people are capable to some degree of conscious awareness.

How can individuals, especially unformed youngsters, be liberated into conscious awareness?

Nick_A wrote:
I’ve been under the impression that secularism doesn’t accept objective values so denies objective quality. Quality is considered a purely a subjective determination. The robot will be programmed as to interpersonal theory and will make an educated determination of emotional quality based on previous subjective determinations. If it is a recognized expert, why isn’t it closer to God?
If by "secularism" you refer to people who don't believe that there are absolute values, then I agree that there are people who don't believe that there are absolute values. I am one of those, so I suppose you would call me a "secular".

Anyway, the more important issue is what you imply ; that quality is purely subjectively experienced. I don't believe any person has ever experienced another person's quale. It would be wonderful if this could be done, as then we could all feel total empathy for each other, and for other animals too. The best that can be done with regard to experiencing others' qualia is by way of the arts.( Religions, as I gather you would agree, are too adulterated by worldly motives. )

I say 'by way of the arts'. I don't mean not only the fine arts but also novels, films, and reportage. Reason enters our evaluation of any art when we seek the reality and sincerity within it.

The robot isn't a "recognized expert" in human relationships, and relationships to God, because the robot lacks whatever anatomical and mental faculty it is that allows us to sympathise with others, despite that qualia are not mutually -accessible. We need both the subjective and the objective ways to discover reality.

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