Friday, October 20, 2006

Adam & Evolution, Darwhiggian History, and Supernatural Election

A few posts back I promised to discuss the relationship between tradition, or orthodoxy, and progress, or evolution. It’s a very important point, because many cultures have died a wreck on this very dialectic. For if you veer too strongly toward tradition, you are essentially opting out of time in favor of eternity, which on this plane leads to stagnation and ultimately collapse. But if you veer too far in the other direction by abandoning tradition, you cut man off from his deepest metaphysical roots and create a society that is unfit for man as such.

The latter is what all radicals do. You will often hear radicals say that the word “radical” comes from the word “root,” and that they are merely the type of person who likes to seriously attack the problems of mankind at their root (I heard Bill Moyers say this just the other day). But what radicals always do instead is attack the root of mankind, which is how you end up with nightmare regimes such as the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, or North Korea. However, to a lesser extent, it is also how you end up with socialist Europe, which, if Mark Steyn is correct, will not survive its abandonment of tradition. Perhaps historians in a thousand years will lump all of these things together as different aspects of the same phenomenon: the abandonment of man qua man.

So on one side of broad pathway through of history we have the nightmares of the left, while on the other side we have the naughty Moors of the right, i.e., the Islamists who believe that time is a big mistake and that we need to undo it and return to the Golden Age of 1267. But that too is a caliphate worse than death, because you cannot undo time without destroying a lot of genies and the bottles they came in. Tenured clowns to the left of me, armed and dangerous jokers to the right, stuck in the middle are the Jews.

Yes, the Jews, because the Jewish prophets discovered history as we know it, which is to say linear history, which is to say irreversible time, which is to say evolution, which is to say the anti-entropic nature of the whole existentialada as the river of time flows toward its nonlocal deustinocean. And yet, at the same time, no human group has been more diligent about preserving and recollecting the primordial tradition that connects us to our source and makes us human, i.e., revelation. Perhaps a rabbi will correct me, but I believe it would not be treffling with scripture to say that, on a spiritual level, Torah is analogous to DNA, in that it represents not just our human blueprint, but the blueprint of creation itself.

However, I believe it is a postmodern superstition to say that DNA holds the secret of life. Rather, if we turn the cosmos back rightside up, we see that Life holds the secret of DNA. In other words, DNA is not anterior to life; rather, Life is anterior to DNA. In other other words, to the extent that God is alive--which he no doubt is--he most certainly cannot be reduced to biological life, any more than the Divine consciousness can be reduced to what a brain is capable of. Frankly, if the average brain were to experience an unfiltered influx of the divine light, it would fry like a computer struck by lightning and shatter into pieces. Which, according to the Jewish kabboomalists, is what happened when God created the universe and it shattered into so many little sparks of divine light, sparks that are preserved at the core of our being and the being of our luxury corps.

Now, back to the issue at hand, tradition vs. progress. It is a banality to point out that all of our amazing scientific and technological progress has done nothing to improve the moral stature of man. In fact, there are many traditionalists who argue--wrongly, I believe--that it has actually made us worse. Actually, in the absence of the guide rails of traditional morality, it is an independent variable, in that good people will use technology in a good way, while bad people will use it for bad ends. Nevertheless, there are many idiots who ask the question--I recently saw the idiot Wolf Blitzer ask it of President Bush--”Israel has a nuclear bomb. Why can’t Iran?” Good question, Wolf. Wolf Blitzer has a cable news show. Why can’t a morally insane sociopath have one? Oh, wait a minute.... Olbermann does have one.

But do we really want to have the dissemination of information in the hands of madmen? Well, we do. It’s called wackademia, or the leftist looniversity bin, where parodies of truth are disseminated by parodies of scholarship to a slackjawed but diverse flock of sheep. For the academic left, time stands still no less than it does for the Islamists, except that it is always 1967 instead of 1267.

But time moves, and it moves toward a transcendent goal that is implicit or immanent in each moment of time. Someday it will be common understanding that we inhabit an evolutionary cosmos that is fundamentally spiritual in nature. Until then, we cosmonauts will have to satisfy ourselves with being at the leading edge of this cosmic evolution, waiting for the rest of the world to catch up. We must be voices crying in the bewilderness of a spiritually blind scientific materialism on the one side, a religiously bland materialism on the other.

This is actually a very old problem. For example, it is the problem Thomas Aquinas confronted in his great Summa, in which he attempted to reconcile faith and reason. Yes, scripture is eternal. But our understanding of how the universe works is always changing and evolving. Therefore, it is always necessary to show how the uncreated wisdom of scripture is compatible with our shifting understanding of the things of time.

Consciousness evolved. Consciousness is evolving. End of story. Or, to be perfectly accurate, the beginning of the story, for the evolution of consciousness is the only story that is, and that story is not over. Therefore all religions must be compatible with that fact if they are to be vehicles of Truth.

I have no doubt that Christianity is compatible with the idea of an evolving cosmos that is ultimately the evolution of consciousness. Although perhaps never articulated in a straightforward way prior to Teilhard de Chardin, it is clearly implicit in Christian teachings. As noted above, it is thanks to the Judeo-Christian tradition that we even have the concepts of history and progress. The Hebrew prophets discovered the directionality of history and were the first to clearly understand that it was not cyclical or degenerative. Christianity teaches that history is salvation history--it has a beginning, a middle, and an end. It is not static. Rather, history is drawn to its transcendent end--the eschaton or telos--which it is man's birthright to intuit.

Consciousness is the container. Knowledge is the contained. Consciousness itself evolves as higher knowledge is metabolized to become understanding and thereby expand being. As being expands, we can bear more Truth. The first and last word of being--the Alpha and Omega--is I AM. Evolution is the ongoing, ever-deepening disclosure of that uncontainable ontological fact. It is what it means to constantly be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind (Rom 12:1). After all, it is nothing to be transformed horizontally. That is like rearranging the furniture but remaining on the same floor of the high-rise. We want to be transformed vertically. We want to progress and deepen our understanding. We want to evolve and take the human eschatolator to the next floor. And we would like leftists to join us, instead of pulling on the other end of the R.O.P.

Gazing into the singularity at the end of time, bathed in the white radiance of ecstasy central, One Cosmos Under God, Indivisible, with Liberation and Joyousness for All:

41 Comments:

Anonymous JWM said...

Great post! here are two quotes from yashanet.com that are right on point:

Wisdom lives in the future, and from there it speaks to us. There is no such thing as wisdom of the past. Wisdom preceded the world and wisdom is its destiny. With each passing moment, wisdom becomes younger as we come closer to the time when it is born and breathes the air of day. Our ancient mothers and fathers, the sages, all those from whom we learn wisdom -- they are not guardians of the past. They are messengers of the future.

Torah is the interface between the Infinite and creation. On the outside, it speaks the language of humankind. On the inside is depth without end. Grasp either end and you have nothing. Grasp both and you have G-d Himself.

JWM

10/20/2006 09:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Will said...

>>The Hebrew prophets discovered the directionality of history and were the first to clearly understand that it was not cyclical . . . <<

Linear history is surely salvation history with a divinely designated telos, but I think it's cyclical as well, though not as the ancient (and neo) pagans perceived it. Nothing new under the sun, as they say. But - new wine in old bottles.

I think history, linear time might be understood as a spiral, each "loop" describing a higher level of consciousness. Now, whether or not one believes in the intuitive reading of history by such figures as E Cayce, M Blavatsky, R Steiner, etc., what they had to say about the supposed existence of the continent of Atlantis is interesting with respect to the "spiral of time/history" concept. The intuitives understood the modern scientific age to be a reprise of sorts of the old Atlantean ages - in other words, we are going through the same "cycle" of history that did the Atlanteans. Where the Atlanteans were said to have been scientifically progressed in use of electrical, atomic energy, advanced medicine, etc., their science was on a completely different order than ours. Theirs reflected a deeper penetration into the secrets of nature, applied "etheric" energies, etc. However, their understanding lacked the rationalizing talent that we apply. Their understanding could be said to have been almost instinctual, completely intuitive, without rationalization.

To put it another way, the ancient Atlanteans lacked individuality - they operated by herd instinct. If our age is the "New Atlantis", it should be understood that we are on a higher consciousness level in terms of individuation and soul development. However - and this is where I think an understanding of the cyclical nature of history is critical - we essentially face the same spiritual problems as did the Atlanteans. To wit: excessive, demonic pride, (as well as grotesque sexual experimentation and excess), with an unholy desire to tamper with the fundamentals of nature in one way or another, and with the ability to literally destroy, if not the entire planet, then a good portion of it.

Atlantis destroyed itself completely, you may have heard.

10/20/2006 09:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Will said...

I might add that in our individual lives, the "cycle of time/history" applies microcosmically - what goes around, comes around, and when a psychological comes around, hopefully we can deal with it from the vantage point of a higher, more perceptive consciousness. In any event, count on the issue to come around again as the individual cycle unfolds.

10/20/2006 10:12:00 AM  
Anonymous will said...

To continue with the spiral of time/history theme, I think the ancient Jews must have understood this truth as they solidified their traditions with their festival cycle, even as they perceived history and linear time as having a salvation endpoint.


I might add that in our individual lives, the spiral of time/history applies microcosmically - what goes around, comes around, and when a psychological comes around, hopefully we can deal with it from the vantage point of a higher, more perceptive consciousness. In any event, count on the issue to come around again as the individual cycle unfolds.

10/20/2006 10:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hmm . . I re-cycled some of what I previously said.

The spiral of history again.

10/20/2006 10:25:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Will-

I didn't have time to get into that, but yes, time--both individually and collectively--is a circle, but an open circle, AKA, a spiral.

10/20/2006 10:26:00 AM  
Blogger Cardozo Bozo said...

Good post. Any thoughts on how one should go about finding the "sweet spot" between Traditionalism and Radicalism ("R&T")?

It would seem to me that there are a range of 'acceptable' trade-offs to be made between R&T. For instance, while it is clear that Europe has veered further down towards R=1 than the USA, it is not clear to me they have gone too far. I define "too far" as the R' where societal destruction exceeds its ability to heal and regerate itself, leading to a downward spiral. That's a fancy way of saying that I think Europe, while flirting with destruction, has not yet tipped irreversibly into decline. They still might turn it around.

As only a couple examples:

1. The newly free Eastern European countries are experimenting with economic freedom (possibly setting an example for the ossified economies in Western Europe).

2. A recent article in the NY Times talks about France's social policies which are reversing their birth rate problems; policies which other European countries are considering adopting.

In fact, if I'm reading the statistics right I believe France's 'native' birth rate may be higher than the USA's now, since a large chunk of the USA's replacement rate of 2.01 is from immigration and first-generation immigrant families. France's (growing) rate of 1.94 must be more "home grown", since they have lower immigration.

3. It seems that political sentiment in the Netherlands has realized the limits and dangers of multiculturalism (even if they haven't decided what to do about that yet).

-----

Now, all of the above doesn't mean I want to live in Europe. I prefer the USA, thanks; but it seems that Europe, while more radical than the USA, may still have stumbled on a "workable balance" between R&T.

Another example would be Japan, which is "workable" for the moment, but too far along towards T=1 for my taste. While radical and experimental in some sectors (e.g., electronics and manufacturing), they seem to be far too Traditional in their approaches to immigration, agriculture, and their approach to organizing their economy around feudel keiretsu. They are now stagnant economically, and declining in numbers.

Of these two civilizations (Europe and Japan), I give Europe better odds of 'making it' in the long run, since they seem more likely to invent a solution to their problems.

--------------

So, any practical advice for your readers? Or am I missing the point of your post entirely?

10/20/2006 10:39:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes. Entirely.

10/20/2006 10:58:00 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Will and Bob,

You are both on the right track when you speak of time and history being spiral in shape, much like DNA. My Pilates practice is gaining popularity among the Orthodox Jews in my area and one of my clients was explaining this to me. He said the reason we celebrate so many holidays that are both joyous and some even sad, such as the Days of Sadness, when the first temple was destroyed, can't remember the hebrew name, is that time is cyclical and events of the past happen in a new way each year and cycle. The Days of Sadness this year occured during the Hizballah attack on Isreal. It is important to acknowledge and celebrate our history good and bad.

This line of reasoning also fits in with my limited study of infinity. The pursuit of a definition of infinity is very paradoxical and always ends up or arrives at the same place, being that there are infinite number of numbers between 0 and 1 as well as 1 and 2. This idea essentially negates movement but if you think of it in a spiral way becomes more accessible without losing one's mind! Talk about mind-blowing!

10/20/2006 11:00:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Lisa--

Yes, "temporal resonance," as Terence McKenna called it. Horizontal time is mere duration, but as it is intersected by the vertical, it takes on various archetypal qualities in a cyclical way. It's why every Christmas is the same and different. As is every day, for that matter.

10/20/2006 11:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps historians in a thousand years will lump all of these things together as different aspects of the same phenomenon: the abandonment of man qua man.

You of course assume there are such things as "historians" in a thousand years instead of only Islamic Scholars, Imams, and Mullahs. (Who needs history when you have the Koran?)

And it's interesting you'd say that Christianity is compatible and even implies an evolving cosmos and consciousness. I've been flamed off Christian lists & blogs for even saying the E-word and have learned to NEVER speak of it.

10/20/2006 11:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps historians in a thousand years will lump all of these things together as different aspects of the same phenomenon: the abandonment of man qua man.

You of course assume there are such things as "historians" in a thousand years instead of only Islamic Scholars, Imams, and Mullahs. (Who needs history when you have the Koran?)

And it's interesting you'd say that Christianity is compatible and even implies an evolving cosmos and consciousness. I've been flamed off Christian lists & blogs for even saying the E-word.

10/20/2006 11:09:00 AM  
Anonymous ben usn (Ret) said...

Speaking of wackadamia, I saw a picture of a follywood starlet (can't recall her name), wearing a shirt that said:
"Drop knowledge, not bombs".
Obviously this ignorant actress was consumed by gnawledge, to believe in such a moronic solution.
Lefties feel that virtually every problem can be solved with education and money.
Educating terrorists results in smarter terrorists.
Terrorist groups have doctors, chemists, engineers, computer programmer, etc., via the looneyversities Bob mentions, and they still want to kill us.
We see how well knowledge, money and
blind trust, brought a peacful, nuclear-free North Korea.
Thanks to Jimmy cracked corn Carter,
Bill Zipperson Clinton, and Maddohlyin Allblight, who still believes she did the right thing and wants President Bush to implement Clinton's failed bilateral talks...again, with Kimmy Ill.
No, giving knowledge
to delusional psychotics is dangerous, and maybe even more dangerous when given to terrorists.

10/20/2006 11:21:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

anon--

Those aren't really Christians, they're spiritual materialists.

10/20/2006 11:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

P.S. Wretchard over at the Belmont Club (political blog) linked a trackback to you today.

His comment thread almost immediately degenerated into a Creation-vs-Evolution free-for-all.

10/20/2006 11:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Jewish treadition holds that G-d consulted His Torah when he created the universe, thus making the Torah the blueprint for creation, the DNA of the universe, as it were.

So, yes, there are not any rabbis who would contradict you.

10/20/2006 11:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Will said...

>>It's why every Christmas is the same and different<<

And Christmas is, in a sense, the "same" as the old pagan festival of Saturnalia (or whatever it was), but it's WAY different, Christmas being elevated on spiral of history/consciousness.

Christmas is the sublimated Saturnalia, so to speak.

10/20/2006 11:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For your musideration -

There is no "time". What we call time is nothing more than the way we measure change. Before material reality, there was no change to measure and no need for time. Our unchanging Creator thought material reality into being, but it "always" "existed" in the Creator's "mind". Our view of material history, "evolution", is our best time-bound explanation for how things appear to have progressed since the "beginning". However, there may be a simple alternative explanation. Is it really necessary that there was any material reality before humans were thought into being?

Could a full-grown tree be created out of nothing? If my Creator is real, the answer is "of course". How old would the newly created tree APPEAR, and how old would it actually BE a few moments after it appeared in the material realm? To those of us in that realm, busily measuring change by time, the tree would obviously be however many years old the rings would show us. To a being looking in from outside the material realm of constant change (let's say an angel -- spirit, non-material created being), the tree would obviously be only a few moments old. To the Creator the tree would have always been there.

My head hurts. This needs further thought and fleshing out, but there seems to be something there.

NoMo

10/20/2006 12:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

. . . and Lisa is the sublimated Isis.

10/20/2006 12:23:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

A little off topic but I want to be the first to congratulate "The Cuz" on his new Cabinet position.

10/20/2006 12:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Will said...

Speaking of the historical spiral/cycle, my pick for the St Lou/Detroit series (last cycled in '68)is St Lou in 6, maybe 7.

10/20/2006 12:31:00 PM  
Blogger Duchess Of Austin said...

Dr. Bob:

How do say, the Amish, fit into this theory? They have rejected the present century as much as possible, and prefer to live as they did prior to emigrating to this country from Germany? They eschew the modern conveniences in today's world, so they stick rigidly to tradition.

Is this in their best interests, and do you think their rejection of modern conveniences played a part in the recent tragedy?

10/20/2006 01:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Joan of Argghh! said...

Re: Cousin Dupree

Yeah, hoarhey, I saw that too, and it brought back memories of working in a little inner-city church where we had our own "bouncer". And the pastor kept a gun on the pulpit next the bible and would proclaim, pointing at the Bible, "this is for the sons of God" and pointing at the pistol, "this is for the sons of the Devil."

Good times, that.

I feel safer knowing Cuz is watchin' out for us.

10/20/2006 04:33:00 PM  
Anonymous looptloop said...

"Those aren't really Christians, they're spiritual materialists.

I’ve always had difficulty with Christianity because of this, especially much of the Americanized evangelical or fundamentalist forms of Christianity. They seem more preoccupied in belonging to a righteous gang headed up by a Jesus image, a personality, sort of the utmost ego this world has ever seen as mandated by God. God being yet another personality, allah Old Testament style. To them, Jesus and God appear to be made in the lesser image of man. They are not seeking how we’re immanently created in the image of the Divine through the experience or knowingness of Christ…the ultimate gift, the connection to the vertical.

Any past or future blogs that bandy this about would be highly appreciated!

I would not claim that lefties can detect the lack of truth here, but you never know, to some this may add to their aversion to what they consider conservative spiritual views.

10/20/2006 05:19:00 PM  
Blogger MikeZ said...

I just stumbled in by way of an internet worm-hole. It was a bit like coming from a mud hut into a crystal palace. Not to give yer worship an inflated noggin, but you do know your way around a keyboard.

"Duchess" asks about the Amish, and whether their life style is "in their best interests". I would have to reply that they are in the best position to determine their best interests.

There is another Amish story in recent news: Apparently the Ohio Department of Human Services (or whatever they call it - that name has a bit of a Halloweeny tinge) is all aflutter because they just discovered that the Amish are not getting food stamps. This is because, of course, they aren't asking for any.

The Department is trying to fix this terrible situation, and is making great efforts to convince the unusually self-reliant Amish to hop into their buggies, sashay over to the Department and pick up them thar Food Stamps.

Amish won't cooperate

10/20/2006 05:56:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10/20/2006 05:59:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Will,
I'd be curious to see what you think about what I posted about this idea (Bob, I'm really not trying to make a habit of this) of the spiral being less of a fixed route spiral as with a slinky & more of a circular action describing spirals on a cone.

In that fashion forward motion may, if just coasting will only spin you around in circles, and if thinking vertically, lift you upwards, but if thinking horizontally, you're motion, though forward, could actually be dragging you downwards, faster and faster.

With a conceptual cone, the surface area you can grasp represents a larger percentage of the circumference of thought the higher you go, and a lesser percentage of circumferential understanding at the bottom; what someone might be able to encompass with one hand at the top, couldn't be grasped with both arms wide open at the bottom.

(By the way, you're cat's wrong, you've got a good voice!)

10/20/2006 06:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Will said...

Van -

re: voice - thanks. (fergus = skewed 4-legged evil)

re: your cone insight (on your very cool blog) - excellent! Mark me down as a cone-head.

Poet WB Yeats also developed an intricate theory of social/spiritual evolution based on the cone or what he termed "gyre". It's amazing how elemental shapes, numbers, etc., insinuate themselves into every aspect of Creation - the insightful mind can forever draw insightful analogies from them.

I have to think there's an aspect of the historical cone-spiral that is exterior to us, so to speak, that "accelerates" on its own. Perhaps it's a "quickening" of universal subtle energies that enliven and expand the consciousness of the prepared soul. Those who can't integrate the new energies are rendered out-of-sync and dysfunctional. And the faster the acceleration of the exterior quickening, the more insane the consequent reaction of those who can't integrate it.

Obviously, a good portion of the planet's population seems mysteriously unable to sync itself with modernity, some being more dramatically "unable" than others.

10/20/2006 07:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Will said...

For what it's worth, Yeats perceived a "13th gyre", a phase into which we are moving at present. The 13th gyre, as Yeats saw it, is, in a sense, off the charts and radar - it's a liminal zone, beyond linear time, apart from and beyond all precedent cycles. It's analogous, I think, to the 12th house of the zodiac, which is also a liminal zone, the departure point for either ultimate transcendence or madness.

I believe if you check the astro chart of the creator of the One Cosmos (that's the micro One Cosmos, not the macro One Cosmos whose author is God), you'd find a distinct emphasis on the 12th house liminal zone.

10/20/2006 07:38:00 PM  
Anonymous jwm said...

looptloop:

Me too. I had Christianity pegged as a lot of 'flat earth' nonsense, and I absolutely hated the way that many Christians have of framing their religious argument as an ultimatum (convert or burn), or as a guilt trip (Jesus died for you, and you're not grateful.) These approaches may be great fun for the True Believers who like to (as we used to say)'throw a trip' on someone, but they turn people off, and drive them away from faith.
It wasn't until I started reading Bob's work, and the comments here that another possibility took shape in my mind- that the Christian religion was a vehicle to truly expand your consciousness, a way of opening the mind to higher and deeper awareness. And as I began to read the Gospels I found out that Jesus didn't take kindly to religious busybodies either.
It has been a slow process of change- a subtle voice from somewhere (like that Petey guy), a growing sense of hunger for Truth, a whole bunch of visits to Bible Gateway, and some wonderful exchanges with the Bobblehads, (thanks Will, Dilys, Ben!) but I have changed.
The Jesus freaks don't bother me much, now. I still don't like the ultimatum givers, but now when I encounter them I can politely nod, smile, say, "Thank you, yes I am a believer", and walk on. I no longer have that gut level hostility that I used to feel.
In some ways I know I'm still not 'there' yet. I seem to be on the mustard seed route, rather than the burst of illumination plan, but that's OK. "I have to admit it's getting better- a little better all the time. (can't get no worse)..."

JWM

10/20/2006 08:14:00 PM  
Anonymous looptloop said...

jwm-

Sounds like you’ve experienced many similar apprehensions with mainstream American Christianity. It reminds me of the bumper sticker “God, save me from your followers!” that I’m sure the moonbats love to snicker at. It makes one wonder why we can’t come up with more capable spiritual representatives of conservative political ideas – ones that speak from a higher level of Truth like here at OC. Perhaps I hear the ground swell for the new Vertical party represented by a more esoteric, mystical message in Christ.

10/20/2006 09:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gotta love the real, truth-seeking atmosphere here- thanks. For years I was desperate as a Christian to figure out why I didn't experience much of the abundant life I read about in the Bible. I was hurting so much that I'd speak to many Christians about this. One person out of a hundred was able to help me so thank God I didn't quit searching. Through this one person, I was led to a couple of books which happened to help me. They are Lifetime Guarantee by Bill Gillham (at lifetime.org)and Grace Walk by Steve McVey. I learned so much about the triune beings that we are- body, soul and spirit - and what was really going on inside me. Gone is the guilt, condemnation of myself and others, nagging sense that something is missing, etc. I have so far to go, but this is like heaven compared to how life once was. How wonderful it is to know I AM a spirit-being made loveable by Christ and united with Him. I really have tasted and seen that the Lord is good!

10/21/2006 12:33:00 AM  
Blogger free2bruth said...

I'm new to posting comments so didn't mean to post as anonymous above.

10/21/2006 12:39:00 AM  
Anonymous sehoy said...

Joan of Argghh,

That was a great story about the pistol-packing preacher. My dad and brothers would probably go to church if there were more preachers around like that. They're not interested in the milquetoast Jesus that's being peddaled these days, nor the milquetoasts doing the peddaling.

[Apologies for being so off-topic, but I'm always reading this blog long after the blogging and comments are done for the day, so I'm always at least a day behind, usually more.]

+++++

These are great posts and comments. I especially enjoyed the "Red Letter Christians" one.

It is really heartening to see one theological site where these RLC folks are not allowed to get away with their sanctimony and condescension.

10/21/2006 01:10:00 AM  
Anonymous sehoy said...

P.S.
I really like the cone spiral image.

10/21/2006 01:17:00 AM  
Anonymous joseph said...

Very interesting and thought provoking post Bob. One of the things I have been pondering lateley in relation to these ideas of "the evolution of consciousness" and the Perennialists who follow Schuon is the theory of cycles from the Hindu tradition (also from the Greeks). This idea, or perhaps and interpretation of an idea, is taken by them as axiomatic, meaning, that the current cycle is winding down and that we are at the last stages of the darkest of the dark ages. It is, therefore, in their minds, inconcievable, or quite literally, impossible, that there could be any kind of significant collective progression. How do you reconcile, or perhaps you don't, this theory of spiral time=evolution of consciousness with the Hindy theory of cycles?

Does anyone else see the hand of God in the Cardinals game 7 victory? Could he have made use of a less likely hero in Yadier Molina?

10/21/2006 05:24:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Thanks Will, glad to hear you liked the Cone imagery! I too wonder about the ease with which elemental principles in shapes, numbers, music and poetry seem to resonate deep within our minds. Perhaps there's some relationship there with how concepts are formed, stored in memory or related to each other....

I've read some of Yeats' poetry but haven't heard of the "gyre", I'll look into it. A while back Gagdad mentioned something about how some of the thoughts I had on Conceptual Relationships and Poetic imagery resembled Synesthesia where one perception is accompanied by another sense such as colors being "seen" with particular numbers or sounds (surprised me a bit, because I have always had mental images associated with types of sounds, I don't see them as if they were out there in reality, but they are definitely there internally - is that similar?) and numbers, I wonder if that's maybe a bit of conceptual 'overflow' in the works of the mind?... ah well, just wonder-ing.

10/21/2006 12:50:00 PM  
Blogger Mark W. said...

Would you go as far as the process theologians and say that everything in the universe, even God, changes and evolves?

10/22/2006 09:34:00 AM  
Blogger PSGInfinity said...

Mark W.

Q: How could God NOT grow and evolve? We know that learning becomes easier as one grows, as the number of 'hooks' in your head grows. How many 'hooks' would God have? How could His learning curve NOT be asymptotically vertical?

10/22/2006 10:32:00 AM  
Blogger Kathleen Lundquist said...

I have problems with a God who changes:

- If God is perfection (omniscient, omnipotent, all those omnis) , and He changes, what does He change into?
- How could we, from our perspective, ever perceive a change in God?
- If God changes, do standards of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty change as well?

10/23/2006 12:00:00 AM  
Anonymous tsebring said...

Time for me to chime in here, albeit a bit late. Bob, excellent, though mind-warping, post.

Cardozo: I hope you're right about Europe, but what I'm reading in the news does not encourage me. I'm more inclined to see Mark Steyn's point of view on it at this time.

Ben: that idiotic slogan you cited reminds me of another one: "Make Love Not War".

Dutchess and MikeZ: I certainly applaud the Amish for having the cahones to reject government handouts which would devastate their traditions and culture, as it has with many American minorities. However, I would say that the recent school shootings are proof that you can only hide from the world for so long before it somehow finds you, especially with our present technology. This is the same tragedy that confronts primitive tribes worldwide. I think of the original Star Trek episode, "A Private Little War".

Looptloop: The great Christian writer Gene Edwards spoke at my church one time: he referred to much of American Christianity as "humanistic"; i.e., horizontally occupied. Edwards and others such as Sparks and Tozer have much to say about this trend.

Van: I had an English professor at the Christian college that I attended (yes, that one, the one with Campolo) that was very big on Yeats and Joyce, and would spend entire classes speaking on the idea of "the cone", how its top represented eternity and its bottom represented the Ground, and how Joyce's "Vicus Commodius" (from Finnegan's Wake) and even the incarnation of Christ related to the cone concept. Most of the materialistic young freshmen just wanting that dammned degree couldn't stand these lectures; I ate them up. This prof really opened my eyes to the idea of Christianity being mystical and metaphysical, not just a set of rules and ethics. My time there was not a total waste.

Free2bruth: I would also suggest any books by Madame Guyon or the Edwards book "The Inward Journey" about deeper spiritual seeking.

Joseph; Some really heavy reading about historical cycles can be found in Asimov's Foundation books, and the Foundation sequals written by other authors afterwards. Though I can't abide by Asimov's atheism, I found Hari Seldon's theories of "psychohistory" to be both fascinating and terrifying, if somewhat Hegelian, in their ramifications.

Mark W: like Kathleen, I really have trouble with a changing God, the same way I have trouble with a "living, breathing Constitution". One of the main tenets of Postmodernism is that everything is totally fluid, therefore there are no absolutes. The logical conclusion of this is anarchism and nihilism, which Bob has already gone into. The Scriptures speak of God being "The same yesterday, today and tommorow". It is we who must evolve and grow.

Bob, that awesome photo of the spiraling cosmos is the same one Gene Edwards uses on the cover of "The Divine Romance", which is an absolute must read for any reader of this blog.

10/23/2006 04:32:00 PM  

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