The Evolution of Religion

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

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Nick_A
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Re: The Evolution of Religion

Post by Nick_A »

Belinda, I saw this on the smart and dumb Christianity thread and would like to respond to it here since it refers to the evolution of religion.
Belinda wrote: ↑Fri Jul 24, 2020 12:43 pm
Theology and science both owe the same relativity insight to evolving cosmology, in particular the evolution through Earth centredness, through Sun-centredness, to no centre at all.
Where science has the purpose of revealing facts, the purpose of religion is to reveal objective values. Science can be abused for pragmatic purposes. But it seems we have lost the quality of attention necessary to "feel" objective values so they devolve into subjective values or subjective morality.

You write that theology begins as earth centered motivated by fear. Theology evolves into sun centered theology where morality responds to or directs fear. That is as far as you go. There is no center

As I see it the secularized insufficiency of sun centered religion leads to the renaissance and humanism which is the attempt to put humanity at the center.

Now humanity is on the verge thanks to those like Simone Weil and Einstein, of contemplating the evolution into universalism. Imagine a vertical or a Pythagorean octave as a ladder of seven steps. This is creation. It has no center since the source of the ladder contains the ladder. The involution and evolution of the essential forces sustain the ladder.

From this perspective the purpose of the human soul becomes clear. It can evolve to receive from a higher level of reality and nourish the lower. But a person contains the seed of the soul with the potential to develop and become a mature soul. But as we know the world is against it and imagination denies the essential help of the Spirit to nourish the soul. Often it just starves and we get what Jesus wrote of "Let the dead bury their dead."

The evolution of religion to transcend humanism as the source of meaning and open to universalism and a human perspective is a long way off. Then we can understand Jesus' mission as far more than earthly morality but with the Spirit, awakening to the conscious potential for human being.
Belinda
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Re: The Evolution of Religion

Post by Belinda »

Nick_A wrote: Sat Jul 25, 2020 2:48 am Belinda, I saw this on the smart and dumb Christianity thread and would like to respond to it here since it refers to the evolution of religion.
Belinda wrote: ↑Fri Jul 24, 2020 12:43 pm
Theology and science both owe the same relativity insight to evolving cosmology, in particular the evolution through Earth centredness, through Sun-centredness, to no centre at all.
Where science has the purpose of revealing facts, the purpose of religion is to reveal objective values. Science can be abused for pragmatic purposes. But it seems we have lost the quality of attention necessary to "feel" objective values so they devolve into subjective values or subjective morality.

You write that theology begins as earth centered motivated by fear. Theology evolves into sun centered theology where morality responds to or directs fear. That is as far as you go. There is no center

As I see it the secularized insufficiency of sun centered religion leads to the renaissance and humanism which is the attempt to put humanity at the center.

Now humanity is on the verge thanks to those like Simone Weil and Einstein, of contemplating the evolution into universalism. Imagine a vertical or a Pythagorean octave as a ladder of seven steps. This is creation. It has no center since the source of the ladder contains the ladder. The involution and evolution of the essential forces sustain the ladder.

From this perspective the purpose of the human soul becomes clear. It can evolve to receive from a higher level of reality and nourish the lower. But a person contains the seed of the soul with the potential to develop and become a mature soul. But as we know the world is against it and imagination denies the essential help of the Spirit to nourish the soul. Often it just starves and we get what Jesus wrote of "Let the dead bury their dead."

The evolution of religion to transcend humanism as the source of meaning and open to universalism and a human perspective is a long way off. Then we can understand Jesus' mission as far more than earthly morality but with the Spirit, awakening to the conscious potential for human being.
Yes, you are absolutely right. When I said "religion" in the context I meant religious cosmology only. I have always said Xian values are stable and good.

I disagree that "the world is against it" universal values.
I was active as a Humanist for about twenty years, and although I did not disparage churchiness as a few Humanists did, I believed morality is of human not divine origin. So I view Christian ethics as universal ethics. I don't understand what you mean by "the Spirit". I am not sure whether or not when you say "the Spirit" you mean a supernatural substance.

The strength of traditional, 'Newtonian' Xianity is its foundation myth, and I think a new myth needs to arise, or the traditional one be interpreted practically not supernaturally.

I don't believe in objective values if 'objective' implies an authority that claims more than democratic, free, and human wisdom. I suspect "the Spirit" of which you write of being elevated to a higher status than physicality, and I will not agree with this especially as elevation of spirit over body leaves a door open for power hungry charlatans, and is not democratic.

We have indeed too much lost the feel for values. Some people still retain the feel for values. I hope to goodness more people will be able to feel values. My preference is for reason and education to be the means of raising feeling for values. To accomplish reason and education for all we need to reduce the excesses of capitalist regimes and the military industrial complex: swords to ploughsheares.

Nick_A wrote:
Now humanity is on the verge thanks to those like Simone Weil and Einstein, of contemplating the evolution into universalism. Imagine a vertical or a Pythagorean octave as a ladder of seven steps. This is creation. It has no center since the source of the ladder contains the ladder. The involution and evolution of the essential forces sustain the ladder.
It is an attractive image. However more than image it's a model of reality. After Einstein and Relativity we abandon all models of reality except as heuristic devices. Heuristic devices are hypotheses the use of which is for comparison with other interpretations of reality. You still cling to a version of the absolutely true. I try not to do so, as without God we are alone in the universe without even a guiding star. We have no absolutely true model of reality and the ladder you describe can become a false idol.

We do have the lives and examples of good men who have previously lived and died and these examples depend on the survival of the cultures that conserve their memories. Democracy is the only system of government that can be trusted to conserve the traditions of mans past.
Nick_A
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Re: The Evolution of Religion

Post by Nick_A »

Belinda

I disagree that "the world is against it" universal values.
I was active as a Humanist for about twenty years, and although I did not disparage churchiness as a few Humanists did, I believed morality is of human not divine origin. So I view Christian ethics as universal ethics. I don't understand what you mean by "the Spirit". I am not sure whether or not when you say "the Spirit" you mean a supernatural substance.

The strength of traditional, 'Newtonian' Xianity is its foundation myth, and I think a new myth needs to arise, or the traditional one be interpreted practically not supernaturally.
There is nothing wrong with humanism. Its error IMO is ignorance of the human condition. We say one thing and do another. We are in opposition with ourselves We need the help of the spirit, of spiritual energy, to enable higher consciousness to reconcile this basic contradiction which prevents human conscious evolution.

Why do you think the Jesus said he would be hated? As I see it anything questioning Man’s supremacy as the author of morals will have to be hated. It is a very deep question
John15:18-19 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.
People often confuse emotional energy arising from the earth with spiritual energy descending from above. Spiritual energy nourishes the soul while emotional energy when feeding habitual negative emotions is poison.

Do we need a new myth or is a new realistic understanding based on verification acquired through effoerts to “Know Thyself serve as the foundation for the evolution of religion. From the preface to Jacob Needleman’s book “Lost Christianity:
....................What is needed is a either a new understanding of God or a new understanding
of Man: an understanding of God that does not insult the scientific
mind, while offering bread, not a stone, to the deepest hunger of the
heart; or an understanding of Man that squarely faces the criminal
weakness of our moral will while holding out to us the knowledge of how we can strive within ourselves to become the fully human being we are meant to be– both for ourselves and as instruments of a higher purpose.
But, this is not an either/or. The premise –or, rather, the proposal—of this
book is that at the heart of the Christian religion there exists and
has always existed just such a vision of both God and Man. I call it
“lost Christianity” not because it is a matter of doctrines and concepts
that may have been lost or forgotten; nor even a matter of methods of
spiritual practice that may need to be recovered from ancient sources.
It is all that, to be sure, but what is lost in the whole of our modern
life, including our understanding of religion, is something even more fundamental, without
which religious ideas and practices lose their meaning and all too
easily become the instruments of ignorance, fear and hatred. What
is lost is the experience of oneself, just oneself—myself, the personal
being who is here, now, living, breathing, yearning for meaning, for
goodness; just this person here, now, squarely confronting one’s own
existential weaknesses and pretensions while yet aware, however
tentatively, of a higher current of life and identity calling to us from
within ourselves. This presence to oneself is the missing element in
the whole of the life of Man, the intermediate state of consciousness
between what we are meant to be and what we actually are.
It is, perhaps, the one bridge that can lead us from our inhuman past
toward the human future.........................
Is there a logical way we can approach the question of what we ARE, or what it means to know thyself as opposed to imagining oneself? That would be the foundation. Anything else is opinions

What is needed is a either a new understanding of God or a new understanding of Man: an understanding of God that does not insult the scientific mind, while offering bread, not a stone, to the deepest hunger of the heart

I believe the religion of the future as an esoteric school will strive to answer this question
I don't believe in objective values if 'objective' implies an authority that claims more than democratic, free, and human wisdom. I suspect "the Spirit" of which you write of being elevated to a higher status than physicality, and I will not agree with this especially as elevation of spirit over body leaves a door open for power hungry charlatans, and is not democratic.
Yes this is danger. When the lack of conscious attention enables emotional energy to take the place of spiritual energy it becomes the opposite of our original intent. Paul said we must test the spirits. Conscious attention and imagination are mutually exclusive. Emotional energy blocks out the spirit. When we have conscious attention, imagination is impossible.


the commandments have both a literal and psychological meaning. The sixth commandment for example states do not kill. We know the literal meaning but how do we kill psychologically? How do we kill the young growing mind preventing it from feeling its natural attraction to the source of its origin.

Objective values began for Man as conscience and devolved into subjective morals. Thou shalt not kill has only a literal meaning in these times. That is why Einstein referred to conscience rather than morals
Nick_A
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Re: The Evolution of Religion

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As humanity works its way towards the religion of the future, will men and women of science open themselves to a new understanding of a miracle such as the virgin birth? As of now it seems absurd to science but something in the seed of the soul senses its depth. Will those not yet indoctrinated by pre-conditioning discover it? Maybe they already have. But it is too disruptive to speak of in polite educated company. Society as a whole is not ready for it but prefers to believe in secular dualism as the source for human meaning.

Yet for science and religion to unite in the cause of truth (objective facts and objective values,) it will require those willing to transcend the blinders of secular condemnation and reason in a new way. Can the religion of the future show us the way regardless of all attempts to corrupt it? Maybe in 100 years it may be different. Who knows?
Nick_A
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Re: The Evolution of Religion

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Jacob Needleman wrote
What is needed is a either a new understanding of God or a new understanding of Man: an understanding of God that does not insult the scientific mind, while offering bread, not a stone, to the deepest hunger of the heart
It seems then that the religious person who is seeking truth as opposed to self justification must transcend the indoctrinated belief in subjective morality and evolve to experience conscience in the depth of their being. The Man of science must verify the truth of what they are at the expense of self serving imagination. Religion cannot evolve as an esoteric school without allowing the seeker of truth to experience what we are in relation to objective values as well as the means to verify. How can a person verify? Once they verify and experience conscience, they still often do the opposite. How do we handle being two people?

Verification comes from the impartial efforts to"know thyself" to have the experience of ourselves. What is conscious in our collective being must become able to experience what is mechanical in our being and how our machine we live in works. Is it possible? Can the seeker of truth acquire the humility to learn how to "Know Thyself or is the desire to imagine oneself too strong?
Belinda
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Re: The Evolution of Religion

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Nick, is theer really a difference between emotional energy and spiritual energy?

If you think there is a difference, how do you know there is a difference?

I myself can see no difference between emotional energy and spiritual energy. Actually I'd not use these terms at all as they are misleading and imprecise.
Nick_A
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Re: The Evolution of Religion

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Belinda wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 9:04 am Nick, is theer really a difference between emotional energy and spiritual energy?

If you think there is a difference, how do you know there is a difference?

I myself can see no difference between emotional energy and spiritual energy. Actually I'd not use these terms at all as they are misleading and imprecise.
Yes, the study of vibrations is essential for all those who seek "meaning" and the objective relationship between facts and values. It is unimportant for all those who are satisfied with meaning defined by society. Spiritual energy is a much higher vibratory frequency then emotional energy. But when person manifesting emotional energy believes its results are from the Spirit, it produces imaginatioin Once a person experiences that the universe itself is constructed on the laws of vibration it opens new doors.

https://www.sacred-texts.com/eso/kyb/kyb11.htm
"Nothing rests; everything moves; everything
vibrates."--The Kybalion.

The great Third Hermetic Principle--the Principle of Vibration--embodies the truth that Motion is manifest in everything in the Universe--that nothing is at rest--that everything moves, vibrates, and circles. This Hermetic Principle was recognized by some of the early Greek philosophers who embodied it in their systems. But, then, for centuries it was lost sight of by the thinkers outside of the Hermetic ranks. But in the Nineteenth Century physical science re-discovered the truth and the Twentieth Century scientific discoveries have added additional proof of the correctness and truth of this centuries-old Hermetic doctrine.

The Hermetic Teachings are that not only is everything in constant movement and vibration, but that the "differences" between the various manifestations of the universal power are due entirely to the varying rate and mode of vibrations. Not only this, but that even THE ALL, in itself, manifests a constant vibration of such an infinite degree of intensity and rapid motion that it may be practically considered as at rest, the teachers directing the attention of the students to the fact that even on the physical plane a rapidly moving object (such as a revolving wheel) seems to be at rest. The Teachings are to the effect that Spirit is at one end of the Pole of Vibration, the other Pole being certain extremely gross forms of Matter. Between these two poles are millions upon millions of different rates and modes of vibration.

Modern Science has proven that all that we call Matter and Energy are but "modes of vibratory motion," and some of the more advanced scientists are rapidly moving toward the positions of the occultists who hold that the phenomena of Mind are likewise modes of vibration or motion. Let us see what science has to say regarding the question of vibrations in matter and energy.....................
Belinda
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Re: The Evolution of Religion

Post by Belinda »

Nick_A wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 1:36 pm
Belinda wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 9:04 am Nick, is theer really a difference between emotional energy and spiritual energy?

If you think there is a difference, how do you know there is a difference?

I myself can see no difference between emotional energy and spiritual energy. Actually I'd not use these terms at all as they are misleading and imprecise.
Yes, the study of vibrations is essential for all those who seek "meaning" and the objective relationship between facts and values. It is unimportant for all those who are satisfied with meaning defined by society. Spiritual energy is a much higher vibratory frequency then emotional energy. But when person manifesting emotional energy believes its results are from the Spirit, it produces imaginatioin Once a person experiences that the universe itself is constructed on the laws of vibration it opens new doors.

https://www.sacred-texts.com/eso/kyb/kyb11.htm
"Nothing rests; everything moves; everything
vibrates."--The Kybalion.

The great Third Hermetic Principle--the Principle of Vibration--embodies the truth that Motion is manifest in everything in the Universe--that nothing is at rest--that everything moves, vibrates, and circles. This Hermetic Principle was recognized by some of the early Greek philosophers who embodied it in their systems. But, then, for centuries it was lost sight of by the thinkers outside of the Hermetic ranks. But in the Nineteenth Century physical science re-discovered the truth and the Twentieth Century scientific discoveries have added additional proof of the correctness and truth of this centuries-old Hermetic doctrine.

The Hermetic Teachings are that not only is everything in constant movement and vibration, but that the "differences" between the various manifestations of the universal power are due entirely to the varying rate and mode of vibrations. Not only this, but that even THE ALL, in itself, manifests a constant vibration of such an infinite degree of intensity and rapid motion that it may be practically considered as at rest, the teachers directing the attention of the students to the fact that even on the physical plane a rapidly moving object (such as a revolving wheel) seems to be at rest. The Teachings are to the effect that Spirit is at one end of the Pole of Vibration, the other Pole being certain extremely gross forms of Matter. Between these two poles are millions upon millions of different rates and modes of vibration.

Modern Science has proven that all that we call Matter and Energy are but "modes of vibratory motion," and some of the more advanced scientists are rapidly moving toward the positions of the occultists who hold that the phenomena of Mind are likewise modes of vibration or motion. Let us see what science has to say regarding the question of vibrations in matter and energy.....................
What is it that vibrates? Everthting changes, true. If there was nothing but sameness no thing could exist there would just be existence itself , only I cannot imagine existence itself without contrasting it with the myriad creatures of existence that are all so various and so necessary to existence as it is.

I am not clear about circular time. I 'see' time as a spiral not as a circle
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Re: The Evolution of Religion

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Belinda
What is it that vibrates? Everthting changes, true. If there was nothing but sameness no thing could exist there would just be existence itself , only I cannot imagine existence itself without contrasting it with the myriad creatures of existence that are all so various and so necessary to existence as it is.

I am not clear about circular time. I 'see' time as a spiral not as a circle
Secularism defining itself to one level of reality explains existence as you describe it. However universalism and its levels of reality enable a person to get a a glimpse of how creatures on earth are both connected by their source at a higher level but also have their individuality serving a universal necessity at a lower level.

Man is unique on earth. Animal man serves as a universal necessity. Conscious Man not only has an animal necessity but also the potential to serve as a conscious necessity connecting levels of existence. The purpose of the essence of religion is to make a conscious necessity possible. But with emotional energy taking the place of Spiritual, only self defeating imagination is produced.

The quality of the vibrating interactions of elemental forces within the universal ether define a phenomenon. Actually what we experience as time is cyclical. The cycle moves up and down according to the laws the pendulum. Universal evolution gradually allows the pendulum to become as spiral. Is that what you mean by a spiral?
Belinda
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Re: The Evolution of Religion

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Nick_A wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 2:24 pm Belinda
What is it that vibrates? Everthting changes, true. If there was nothing but sameness no thing could exist there would just be existence itself , only I cannot imagine existence itself without contrasting it with the myriad creatures of existence that are all so various and so necessary to existence as it is.

I am not clear about circular time. I 'see' time as a spiral not as a circle
Secularism defining itself to one level of reality explains existence as you describe it. However universalism and its levels of reality enable a person to get a a glimpse of how creatures on earth are both connected by their source at a higher level but also have their individuality serving a universal necessity at a lower level.

Man is unique on earth. Animal man serves as a universal necessity. Conscious Man not only has an animal necessity but also the potential to serve as a conscious necessity connecting levels of existence. The purpose of the essence of religion is to make a conscious necessity possible. But with emotional energy taking the place of Spiritual, only self defeating imagination is produced.

The quality of the vibrating interactions of elemental forces within the universal ether define a phenomenon. Actually what we experience as time is cyclical. The cycle moves up and down according to the laws the pendulum. Universal evolution gradually allows the pendulum to become as spiral. Is that what you mean by a spiral?
Old Greek philosophers were discussing what it is that makes man unique. They concluded man is the only featherless biped . Then one of the philosophers left and went out for a short while and came back with a plucked chicken he said;"Behold I present you with a featherless biped".

It's not possible to identify the essence of a man . or of mankind. The Pythagorean octave you described earlier is a hypothesis made to fit the Pythagorean humanism and mysticism of the Pythagorean sect. Certainly some of the harmonies are mind boggling.
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henry quirk
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"It's not possible to identify the essence of a man"

Post by henry quirk »

But: "I know it when I see it." -Potter Stewart
Nick_A
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Re: The Evolution of Religion

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Belinda wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 2:42 pm
Nick_A wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 2:24 pm Belinda
What is it that vibrates? Everthting changes, true. If there was nothing but sameness no thing could exist there would just be existence itself , only I cannot imagine existence itself without contrasting it with the myriad creatures of existence that are all so various and so necessary to existence as it is.

I am not clear about circular time. I 'see' time as a spiral not as a circle
Secularism defining itself to one level of reality explains existence as you describe it. However universalism and its levels of reality enable a person to get a a glimpse of how creatures on earth are both connected by their source at a higher level but also have their individuality serving a universal necessity at a lower level.

Man is unique on earth. Animal man serves as a universal necessity. Conscious Man not only has an animal necessity but also the potential to serve as a conscious necessity connecting levels of existence. The purpose of the essence of religion is to make a conscious necessity possible. But with emotional energy taking the place of Spiritual, only self defeating imagination is produced.

The quality of the vibrating interactions of elemental forces within the universal ether define a phenomenon. Actually what we experience as time is cyclical. The cycle moves up and down according to the laws the pendulum. Universal evolution gradually allows the pendulum to become as spiral. Is that what you mean by a spiral?
Old Greek philosophers were discussing what it is that makes man unique. They concluded man is the only featherless biped . Then one of the philosophers left and went out for a short while and came back with a plucked chicken he said;"Behold I present you with a featherless biped".

It's not possible to identify the essence of a man . or of mankind. The Pythagorean octave you described earlier is a hypothesis made to fit the Pythagorean humanism and mysticism of the Pythagorean sect. Certainly some of the harmonies are mind boggling.
For those aware of the laws of vibration, the essence of Man is a position within the great chain of being which takes a while to verify through self knowledge. But on a more basic level, can you verify through efforts to Know thyself if the essence of Man is a tripartite soul described by Plato?. If true, we are not one or inner unity but actually three lacking inner unity. How different it would be for our species on earth if personal efforts towards inner unity was the goal of a society rather than arguing parts.
In other words, each person's soul is divided into three different parts, and these parts are simply in different balance from one person to the next. Plato defines the soul's three parts as the logical part, the spirited part, and the appetitive part.
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Re: "It's not possible to identify the essence of a man"

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henry quirk wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 3:23 pm But: "I know it when I see it." -Potter Stewart
You remind me of the old joke of a man going to bed with a woman wakes up to realize the woman he went to bed with is not the same as the one he woke up with.

"I know it when I see it"? She'll let you see what she wants you to see. :)
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Re: The Evolution of Religion

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“Give me beauty in the inward soul; may the outward and the inward man be at one.” ― Socrates
Secular interpretations of religion only consider the outward man with an emphasis on morals or what we DO. But if morals are purely subjective so therefor superficial morality is one thing in public and quite another in private

Experiencing objective conscience is far deeper but still, due to the fallen human condition, we do the opposite and sacrifice the calling to objective human meaning and purpose

What would it take for a person to become aware of what we ARE, that we are two, and have this awareness influence what we DO and invite humility? But what is humility and is it a good thing or just sign of weakness?
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Re: "It's not possible to identify the essence of a man"

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Nick_A wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:46 pm
henry quirk wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 3:23 pm But: "I know it when I see it." -Potter Stewart
You remind me of the old joke of a man going to bed with a woman wakes up to realize the woman he went to bed with is not the same as the one he woke up with.

"I know it when I see it"? She'll let you see what she wants you to see. :)
Well, a man is a simple coherent thing. Like a clunky coach gun, for example. Robust, low maintenance, few moving parts; direct and plain and inexpensive.

A woman, on the other hand, is like a H&K P7. Deceptively simple in action, but hellishly complex under the skin. Certainly a joy to handle, but temperamental... ;)
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