Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The Story of Cosmic Evolution, or This One Goes Out To Pachuco and Lil' Smokey in Rio Linda!

Stupid virus!

3:45AM and I can't sleep anymore, so here I am, wide awake, thinking about the cosmos and my own strange journey through its hidden arteries.

Way before I had ever conceived the idea of becoming a coonical pslackologist, I worked briefly in radio. Well, not exactly "worked," but I did have an internship. This was back when I was a film major for my undergraduate work -- a Radio-TV-Film major, to be exact. As a requirement for the program, everyone had to go through a semester-long internship. In my case, it was at KRLA radio in Pasadena.

At the time, I actually thought that radio would be much more suitable than film for my temperament and meager skills. I was especially intrigued by the free-form, underground FM deejays of my youth, who worked a three or four hour shift charged with the awesome responsibility of playing records of their own choosing while not even hiding the fact that they were often inebriated. I can do that!

Actually, I didn't really think I could ever be lucky enough to completely beat the system and become a deejay. That was too much to ask. But I thought that perhaps I could be a programmer. Luckily, my first assignment was as a go-fer to the assistant programmer.

Now at the time, KRLA was an oldies station that catered to the Hispanic population. To be honest, it catered to the gang population, but of course, the gangs were not nearly as vicious in those days (this was back in about 1980). This was way before rap and hippity hop. For some reason, these old school gang veteranos just loved listening to their oldies -- pre-Beatles stuff like doo-wop and early Motown -- while harmlessly cruising in their low-riders, drinking Colt 45, and spray painting their ubiquitous graffiti all over East Los Angeles.

Anyway, the assistant programmer didn't have much for me to do, but one day she asked me to man the "dedication line," on which listeners would call in and request particular songs for their novias. Without even thinking about it, I cheerfully responded, "Sure. Do I have to speak spray can?"

Ha! A little ethnic joke to lighten things up... you know, graffiti and all that...

The word "political correctness" didn't yet exist, so I didn't know what to call the distinctly hostile Nameless Presence that now dwelled between us. In any event, she looked at me as if, to paraphrase Bertie Wooster, I were a snake egg in the process of hatching. After that I was given the permanent assignment of monitoring the police scanner for traffic information.

Well, speaking of requests, today we have a request in the Cosmos! Trad-coon reader Joseph has asked me how I manage to reconcile the anti-evolutionary view of the traditionalist Guenon/Schuon school with my own belief in evolution. Upon superficial consideration, it seems like an either/or proposition -- either creation or evolution -- but I don't see it this way. Or at least I have tried to explain how the two can harmoniously coexist. In fact, I would go so far as to say that evolution must be a fact, not for scientific reasons but for a priori metaphysical ones.

Clearly, this was one of the main points of my book. When I use the word "evolution" I am not necessarily referring only to biology but to the phenomenon of progressive change itself. The local phenomenon of natural selection must be placed in the much wider context of cosmic evolution. This is not a static or mechanistic universe, but a dynamic and organismic one, as Whitehead so thoroughly articulated. This much is obvious. On every level we see cycles within cycles, from the subatomic to the cellular to the neurological and psychological to the spiritual.

Having said that, I do not believe that evolution is an open-ended process that starts from nothing and proceeds in a random way. Frankly, I think that such an idea is equally metaphysically absurd as the notion that the universe was created all at once in a static way. Rather, I share Sri Aurobindo's view that the existence of evolution must imply a prior involution. This is essentially what I was trying to convey in the opening passage of my book, using the idea of the Big Bang as a metaphor for God's simultaneous involution and creation of the cosmos. For example:

How Lo can he Go? How about all the way inside-out and upside-down, a vidy long descent indeed to the farthest reaches of sorrow and ignorance.... A self-willed division, expulsion & exile, and badda-bing, badda-BANG! a wondrous thunder rends it all asunder.... The molten infinite pours forth a blazen torrent of incandescent finitude, as light plunges an undying fire into its own shadow and F-A-L-L-S in love with the productions of time, hurtling higgledy-piggledy into jivass godlings and samskara monsters all the way down.

What does this nonsense mean? Simply that God, through the perpetual act of creation, involves himself in the cosmos like a seed in the womb of time. Evolution on a cosmic scale is the reverse of this, as the cosmos gradually awakens to its own divinity, what I call "cosmotheosis." Importantly, this is not to reduce God to the physical cosmos -- in other words, this is in no way pantheism. Rather, this fully comports with the Orthodox Christian doctrine of panentheism. Since I'm suffering from this virus and cannot think that clearly, I will just quote from the Wikipedia article on the subject, which seems to get it basically right (although my Orthodox readers may want to correct any errors).

Panentheism describes "the relationship between the Uncreated God (who is omnipotent, eternal, and constant) and His creation." This bears superficial similarities to pantheism, but maintains a critical distinction. That is, this doctrine does not teach that God is merely the deistic "watchmaker God" of the Enlightenment, nor "the 'stage magician God' who only shows up when performing miracles."

Rather, the idea is that "God is not merely necessary to have created the universe, but that His active presence is necessary in some way for every bit of creation, from smallest to greatest, to continue to exist at all." Specifically, God's energies "maintain all things and all beings, even if those beings have explicitly rejected Him. His love of creation is such that he will not withdraw His presence," which would end existence altogether.

Importantly, Orthodox Christian panentheism is distinct from the fundamentalist view, in that "it maintains an ontological gulf or distance between the created and the Uncreated." Creation is paradoxically not a "part" of God, and "the Godhead is still distinct from creation; however, God is 'within' all creation...."

Now, I find this view to be entirely compatible with the traditionalist doctrine of the cosmos as a "ray of creation" that emanates from the Creator outward, like a series of concentric circles, each circle representing another "world" -- say, matter, life, or mind. At the farthest reach of the divine ray -- i.e., the most distant from the "cosmic center" -- would be dead matter. Or at least dead matter is the last "congealed" aspect of the cosmos. There are presumably realms even beyond that, as the involutionary ray fades into darkness and obscurity. Sri Aurobindo called this the "unconscient"-- the seeming absence of conscousness which is actually a necessary result of the divine ray deploying itself infinitely into time and space.

In Orthodox Christianity, there is the idea of "kenosis," which refers both to God's "sacrifice" or "self-emptying" in creating the universe, as well has his sacrifice in becoming man. It is said that "God became man so that man might become God." Do you see how it all fits together? God becomes man -- i.e., he is involved in humanness -- so that humans might evolve to God, or achieve theosis. For me, this dovetails perfectly with the perennial doctrine that the One became many so that the many might become One, or Brahman became maya so that maya might become Brahman. Just substitute "evolved back to" for "became," and any odious implications of evolution are removed -- i.e., "the One involved itself in the many so that the many might evolve back to God."

Now, how does this apply to man per se? Is he evolving? Or is he an exception to the cosmic rule, a static entity created by God? The Bible teaches that man is the image and likeness of God. However, in Orthodoxy there is a clear distinction between image and likeness. They are not the same thing. The image is more like a seed; it is our divine potential, the spark of divinity involved in the core of our being. It is only a mirror in the way that an acorn mirrors the oak tree.

The purpose of life is to "actualize" the potential implicit in the mirror in order to become the image. Here again, simply substitute "evolve into" for "become," and any objections to evolution are eliminated. Naturally, we wish to "evolve" from fallen man and achieve our divine potential, do we not? Obviously this is not a reduction to mere Darwinian evolution, which it includes but clearly transcends. Again, the evolution of life itself can only mean that life was already "involved" in matter prior to its outward appearance -- as was mind and spirit. Thus, evolution is the ultimate cosmic reclamation project.

I could say a lot more, but I think l'll stop for now and see if there are any questions. In the mean time, Guadalupe would like to send out Angel Baby by Rosie and the Originals to Flaco in San Quentin. Little Flaco misses his daddy!

Hey, it's a joke, people!

64 Comments:

Blogger River Cocytus said...

Dunno about you, but I couldn't sleep either-- coughing spells. Turns out my overactive sinuses turn into a deluge of lung-choking madness in the case of a respiratory infection.

Anyhow, my way of conceiving Creation-Evolution-- Crealution? Is that God literally snapped existence into being-- but yet, out of time, or within the within of time, all of evolution came to pre-exist spontaneously. So the time of the creation is 6000 years, but the time of the World which is written in the stars is billions and billions. If God created a tree, would it not have rings, even if that tree popped into existence when God spoke it? So, Mike was right when he was painting that Sistine Chapel and gave Adam a Navel.

Adam's mother may never have existed in created time, but the World still remembers her.

For instance, the stars we see in the sky- that light is billions of years old, possibly! So God HAD to have made the time within the time of the natural world for it to work.

And yet, it popped into existence with his Word.

That's a trip, there!

1/09/2007 07:18:00 AM  
Blogger robinstarfish said...

tomorrow's shadow
the day after yesterday
come unstuck in time

1/09/2007 12:37:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

Occurs to me that in order to assure the separateness of His sentient creatures - ie., the necessary autonomy so that true partnership could be willed by His creatures - the Godhead would have had to pre-program a certain amount of randomness into His Creation.

The element of randomness would extend to where in the cosmos life would spring up, what form it would take - in short, what we call the evolutionary process. There might be entire galaxies where, by the throw of the divine die, no sentient life evolves. There might be others that are overabundant with such.

Of course, the Godhead, being the Godhead, would have and does foresee the outcome of the throw of the die, down to the life of the smallest microscopic organism, wherever in the cosmos. However, *God* Who I believe could be said to be synonymous with His Creation, must be in a position to be constantly *surprised* by His Creation, His Many, and not only by what forms might be wrought by the element of randomness. God must be in a position to be constantly surprised by what His creatures do with the free will vested in them - if He could not be surprised, the potentiality of the Divine Partnership couldn't exist.

I think the essence of this elemental surprise is woven into the fabric of the cosmos - it's why, have we the eyes to see, every sunrise is indeed a surprise, why we are surprised, made anew by every manifestation of genuine love.

1/09/2007 12:43:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

River C -

I have no clue as to what purpose would be served by your "flash into fullness" creation, other than, to be honest, to validate your own literalist interpretation of the bible.

Why the need for the divine sleight of hand? Such would contradict what is obviously a very elemental essence of the cosmos from top to bottom, which is the growth of potentiality into actualization.

God may "hide in plain sight", but what you suggest is something different - it would be a deception that contradicts His very essence. It's a KGB agent's version of creation.

"Occam's Razor" generally works as a philosophical principle because it suggests that (1)Truth is self-evident, (2) we are made from the essence of the Divine and can thus have the capacity to perceive Truth. In short, God made things to appear as they really are - unless we go to great lengths to deceive ourselves. If Occam's Razor works then, it must be an essence of God, a characteristic of God, thus a characteristic of His creation and his creatures. As above, so below. If we perceive that nature slowly unfolds from potentiality to actualization here "below", then that must be the case with the entire cosmos.

1/09/2007 12:45:00 PM  
Blogger GeorgeD said...

My problem with the word evolution is the atheistic freight it bears because Dawkins and et. al. I can see where Bob is coming from with this but its confusing given modern usage to call it evolution.

1/09/2007 01:30:00 PM  
Anonymous jwm said...

I think that it's almost impossible for the human mind to grasp the concept of eternity. The closest that we usually get is to understand that eternity is not the same as endless time. Our measure of time is chained to our human lifespan.
When we talk about the development of life on Earth, we are dealing in periods of time that are literally unimaginably vast.
To us.
God doesn't work by our clock.
We can't tell time on his, because it measures eternity.

JWM

1/09/2007 01:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Long time lurker, first time poster (no, I'm not THAT Anonymous!)

JWM said: God doesn't work by our clock. We can't tell time on his, because it measures eternity.

That brought to mind the profound They Might Be Giants hit Particle Man

...Universe Man, Universe Man
Size of the entire universe man
Usually kind to smaller men
Universe Man

He's got a watch with a minute hand, Millennium hand and an eon hand.
And when they meet it's a happy land
Powerful man, Universe Man...

1/09/2007 01:56:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

will: The same could be said of you; justifying a purely non-literal interpretation of the creation.

God did make things as they really are; did I say otherwise? God can both
'create' by 'evolving' and 'create' by 'fiat'. To restrict God to only creating by evolving things into existence is boxing Him in.

The answer to the question, I think, "Which came first, the Chicken or the Egg?" would be: 'In whose time?'

In a moment with
the Word the past, the future
was and is always.

- Yes, the evolution happened. And so did the literal creation.

1/09/2007 02:14:00 PM  
Anonymous cousin dupree said...

River Cocytus--

Your naively exoteric concept of God sounds sounds more like the capricious God of Islam.

1/09/2007 02:42:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

It might to some. I would account it to a difference of perspective that in time, may come to be understood.

It was a revelation that came upon me the other day, and I felt like sharing it.

Don't forget that I am not an 'esoteric', but instead an 'exoteric' Christian; if that counts for anything.

Literal miracles and all.

I simply appreciate the esoteric perspective on things even if I think it is in error in some places.

I'm certain you feel the same.

1/09/2007 02:57:00 PM  
Anonymous dilys said...

[Theosis = evolution] not exactly wrong, though the Orthodox I suspect would find your your discussions specifying all kinds of things they are careful not to specify. Paraphrasing not encouraged, for extremely good reason. Here's Orthodox Wiki on theosis.

One thing you have absolutely nailed, chiming nicely with the longing for the "return" (and, perhaps, even more). Truly, Little Flaco misses his daddy.

1/09/2007 03:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Joseph said...

Thanks for the post Bob. Although, I now question the whole paradigm since blogger was down all day.

What would you say the underlying assumptions are that brought these pieces together? What assumptions of Schuon, other than the rejection of the modern world, have to be jettisoned to allow for the theory of involution?

1/09/2007 03:13:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

>>The same could be said of you; justifying a purely non-literal interpretation of the creation<<

The difference, River, being that my "justification" aligns with what we humans can perceive as the natural unfolding of creation, of the creative process itself. Yours doesn't.

Of course God can create by fiat - that's exactly what happened when the Something appeared ex nihilo and began its programmed evolutionary path.

I think that if we did exist in an alternative cosmos, one that had, in fact, been created 6000 years ago - and I would think such certainly within the capacity of God - then that fact would be rather obvious to us, in some way. It would accord with whatever alternate state of physics that existed in that alternate cosmos. Of course, existence in such a state would be entirely unimaginable from our perspective. I allow how this must have existed as a possibility in God's mind.

You say that evolution exists along with divine fiat, but your instantaneous whole cloth creation only *appears* as having been the result of evolution; it would not be evolution, unless you're counting the small measure of evolutionary processes that have taken place in the last 6000 years. Again, your creation scenario amounts to a cosmic deception. And again I ask - for what purpose this deception?

Please don't say that you believe what you do "because it's in the bible". Things are not true because they're in the bible, they're in the bible because they're true - we're meant to internalize those truths, and one way of doing so is to collate the truths of which we have understanding and see how they interface in patterns, symmetries.

Your 6000-year-old-though-it-appears-much-older-cosmos just doesn't fit into any such kind of pattern/symmetry.

1/09/2007 03:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Uncle Carbunkle said...

The processes involved in the ultimate affair of esoteric religion and spirituality are fundamentally a physiological, biological and eveolutionary matter. True religious life is not devoted to all the cosmological and mythological nonsense through which popular religion is communicated in the world in general. Religion is a psycho-physical matter, fundamentally.

As a human being, you are ALWAYS basically dealing with the structures of your own body-mind, your brain, your nervous system. Therefore, what you call religion should be examined in terms of what it does to your brain, your nervous system, your emotional state, and your body itself. True Religion is a specific activity which, if it is actually practiced, transforms you into a benign personality. If you not in this moment a benign personality, you are not practicing True Religion.If you are not becoming a more radiant, loving, benign happy person, you are not practicing True Religion. If you are not bringing order into your life, if you are not becoming tranquil and more capable of existing in a higher, pleasurable state, then you are not practicing True religion, because True Religion is about literally transforming the body-mind in the process of love-surrender to the Living Divine.

Therefore we must judge our religion in pyscho-physical terms, in factual terms, real, actual,living, human terms. That is how you tell the difference between true teachers or prophets or practitioners and mere beliebers. What is the quality of their existence? What do they do? If you see people practicing some religious path and they look happy, and they are healthy, and they are sane, and they are also intelligent, and their experience is real and also extraordinary, then naturally they are attractive and there is value in listening to them and talking to them. They must be doing something appropriate at some profound level if they are such a good state.

By contrast if you see a group of crazy fanatical people, who call themselves true believers but who have no clarity, no humanity, no love, no humour, no ability to inspect and transcend themselves, then you can know that, whatever they are doing, they are not practicing anythingmore profound than mechanically feeling their own insides or mumbling the usual belief in some mythological idol.

1/09/2007 03:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Uncle Carbunkle said...

The processes involved in the ultimate affair of esoteric religion and spirituality are fundamentally a physiological, biological and eveolutionary matter. True religious life is not devoted to all the cosmological and mythological nonsense through which popular religion is communicated in the world in general. Religion is a psycho-physical matter, fundamentally.

As a human being, you are ALWAYS basically dealing with the structures of your own body-mind, your brain, your nervous system. Therefore, what you call religion should be examined in terms of what it does to your brain, your nervous system, your emotional state, and your body itself. True Religion is a specific activity which, if it is actually practiced, transforms you into a benign personality. If you not in this moment a benign personality, you are not practicing True Religion.If you are not becoming a more radiant, loving, benign happy person, you are not practicing True Religion. If you are not bringing order into your life, if you are not becoming tranquil and more capable of existing in a higher, pleasurable state, then you are not practicing True religion, because True Religion is about literally transforming the body-mind in the process of love-surrender to the Living Divine.

Therefore we must judge our religion in pyscho-physical terms, in factual terms, real, actual,living, human terms. That is how you tell the difference between true teachers or prophets or practitioners and mere beliebers. What is the quality of their existence? What do they do? If you see people practicing some religious path and they look happy, and they are healthy, and they are sane, and they are also intelligent, and their experience is real and also extraordinary, then naturally they are attractive and there is value in listening to them and talking to them. They must be doing something appropriate at some profound level if they are such a good state.

By contrast if you see a group of crazy fanatical people, who call themselves true believers but who have no clarity, no humanity, no love, no humour, no ability to inspect and transcend themselves, then you can know that, whatever they are doing, they are not practicing anythingmore profound than mechanically feeling their own insides or mumbling the usual belief in some mythological idol.

1/09/2007 03:30:00 PM  
Blogger Tusar N Mohapatra said...

Sri Aurobindo has authored the 1117 pages of The Life Divine to bring home the concept of evolution. The book needs to be read in original for clarity on the subject.

1/09/2007 03:44:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Will / River - Isn't the answer simply whichever view brings the greater glory to God? For me, it has to be "literal" Biblical view, hands down.

1/09/2007 03:49:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Well, to perfectly fair, the World still IS billions of years old, and is still however many years old according to scripture. That's what I'm saying. It's not a deception. Because no matter how 'far back' you go with the ex nihilo there's always further back to go.

So I will admit that trying to measure the exact number of years is fruitless-- since the 'Days' of creation described Biblically need not be literal days-- as to whether they are or not I do not know. But, I can safely say that it COULD be true-- but I see no need (or way) to really prove it.

I mean, either it banged into existence or it didn't. Or it did both. The age of the light of stars we see necessitates that the world be Billions of years old. But what is it to be that old in the mind of God?

I'm not certain as to why you consider it a 'deception' -- the World can't not be billions of years old-- and yet it also can't not be created ex nihilo.

In a sense it is immaterial whether or not that 'time' happened 'before' the actual creation or not-- time is as we conceive it a measure of the motion of atomic forces, more or less.

In fact, if you wanted to take that and run with it, you might even say that the creation could have started at this very moment and everything before was just a 'deception' -- an imprinted memory?

It could, in fact be to our knowledge, or rather, the knowledge of the material world, true.

Of course, with the understanding that God is truly with us to me the distinction is immaterial.

Even if it was by 'fiat' even a moment ago it does not make what happened - the imprint of history in the material - even one iota less true.

In this sense; God is the 'Now' of the world, like the needle hitting the record.

Hitting the song at 1:45 doesn't make the first 1:45 of the song a lie; to say it does would be to answer the question 'If a tree falls in the forest and no-one is there to hear it does it make a sound?' with a 'No'.

Anyway, it is clear to me that what is honest is not fair; though what is True is Just.

I am fully convinced of this thing; though I only grasp the edge of it. It is fine if you disagree. I see it as consistent with God as I know Him.

I would not say I know the Truth in its fullness because I still sin.

However, I think your perspective, Will, regarding God's providence and creation is consistent with your approach regarding the potential of multiple lifetimes/reincarnations.

So, I would say that from your perspective (and probably Bob's) how I am conceiving the working of God in this regard would not make sense.

It doesn't disturb me in the least; I understand that that each must seek the Kingdom of Heaven in his own way; not to say that the Truth is not one, but rather that we are many.

Any how, I also am certain that if we both (or all) do seek what is True our disagreement will only be temporary. Whether it is I who is wrong, or you, or both, I do not know.

BTW: blogger appears to have only one security word right now, so beware the potential of bot-spam on comments.

1/09/2007 03:54:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Although I almost hate to bring it up, it does seem like something to be reckoned with:

"The mentality of the West has long cherished the aggressive and quite illogical idea of a single religion for all mankind, a religion universal by the very force of its narrowness, one set of dogmas, one cult, one system of ceremonies, one array of prohibitions and injunctions, one ecclesiastical ordinance. That narrow absurdity prances about as the one true religion which all must accept on peril of persecution by men here and spiritual rejection or fierce eternal punishment by God in other worlds. This grotesque creation of human unreason, the parent of so much intolerance, cruelty, obscurantism and aggressive fanaticism, have never been able to take firm hold of the free and supple mind of India."

Sri Aurobindo

1/09/2007 03:57:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

River - Beautifully put. Thanks.

1/09/2007 04:01:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

River, here's another reason why I find your "6000 year old" perspective a bit on the blasphemous side, to be honest:

As I am given to understand, we are meant to emulate God in "reverse flow" - as God sacrificed His Oneness to give birth to His creation and us, so we are to sacrifice our egos, our sense of "many-ness" in order to return to Him in full divine partnership.

When you insist on your instantaneous full-blown creation, it seems to me to undermine the whole notion of reciprocal spiritual effort on our part. Intantaneous full-blown creation is, in effect, a "shortcut", and there are no shortcuts on the spiritual path. There are quantum leaps on the spiritual path, but those are the result of previous spiritual efforts.

I dunno, to me it's as if a father hides his own fatherly work, his earnest efforts to be a man, a good citizen, etc., from his own children, while telling them that they've got to put in the effort that he supposedly didn't.

1/09/2007 04:02:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

I would dispute his quote on the merit of his apparent Nationalism ;) But then again, the same could be said of America; we each seek the Spirit in our own way. What is important is that it is the same Spirit that we seek; all having the same rituals does not make our 'God' the same.

Of course, having different rituals for the sake of diversity again, does not make our God the same.

I agree, Sri-- though I would dispute that the mind of India is more supple than the mind of my own countrymen.

1/09/2007 04:03:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Will- that's what I said. I see your understanding of God's creation as consistent with your understanding of Theosis. It can't not be so!

I feel we only have one chance; then the judgement. Justification gives us a ticket 'in'-- but we cannot avoid, I think, the necessity of sanctification.

I conceive that the world would never end if we had to live again and again until we reached the perfection of God; for the perfection of God is unreachable.

I cannot agree with myself from your perspective, but I cannot disagree with myself from my own.

Look, just keep climbin' mount Zion, and I'll try to do the same.

1/09/2007 04:06:00 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Why are you so certain this is our one and only shot, River? If I were a betting woman the odds would certainly be against that. Plus I have run into old souls and young souls throughout this life. Besides, the fact that we are all human would eliminate all of us from passing a final one shot judgement. I think you have placed some limitations in your own views and misconceptions of infinity and eternity.

1/09/2007 05:00:00 PM  
Anonymous cosanostradamus said...

For me, "evolution" is one of those saturated words our Learless Feader warns about. I do like "elemental surprise" as coined by Will as well as crealution per River. Whether our universe is billions of years old, 6000 years young, or being constantly created only in the micropresent, it's still utterly impossible, yet is, and therefore an audacious source of wonder and amazement.

This creation, whatever it is, fills me with Ah! every time I go casting for trout at Hum Lake. Isn't that the point?

1/09/2007 05:06:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Dupree!!!

Fundies!!!!

What do I pay you for!!!!!

1/09/2007 05:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Jacob C. said...

Bob: Let me restate what you just said in the words of an epiphany I seem to have had just now...

"The universe is not God, but God is the Universe."

And I don't have a clue what that means, unless "universe" and "Universe" are different in the same way as O and (o).

1/09/2007 05:41:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

>>I feel we only have one chance; then the judgement . . . I conceive that the world would never end if we had to live again and again until we reached the perfection<<

Well, this implies that after one short life we are then "shortcutted" straight into, if not perfection, then the next closest thing. Or just the opposite, of course. Again, the shortcut venue just is not evident in nature, higher or lower

Now it may be that there are post-mortem stages of spiritual growth, dimensions in which we can resume the slow climb upward. However, this too would seem to be contrary to evident nature, higher and lower, at least in terms of what we need to learn re *earthly* lessons - earthly lessons can only be learned on earth, in earthly conditions. Thus, I think, the need to return to earth, the reincarnational cycle.

Should say that I think the reincarnational cycle has an expiration date, which might be soon - we don't get unlimited attempts at spiritual progress until the sun burns out. I believe we either make a certain grade by the time of the Parousia or we are separated from the sheep and are sent someplace else to resume our lessons in earth-like conditions, who knows, maybe on another earth-like planet. So we may as well be living as though this *were* the last incarnation we're going to get on this particular planet.

I agree that the perfection of God, the One, is unreachable for any one of the atoms (us) that make up His Body. I'm not sure if I believe in spiritual stasis - if there are infinite planes, dimensions that also make up His Body, then perhaps we "spend eternity" growing ever closer to Him, traversing one dimension after another, never reaching the center that is the One, but nonetheless growing ever closer.

You know all those stars out there? (billyuns)I suspect that each one "represents" a dimension, a plane of experience and learning that eventually we will pass through.

Time for dinner.

1/09/2007 05:53:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Jacob C:

Bingo!

You have independently arrived at a universal metaphysical truth. Your nous is opening.

1/09/2007 05:57:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Not to worry, Dupree. Minimum wage is going up soon -- Bob will pay!

1/09/2007 06:00:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Ah, now for dinner and a little red wine -- hopefully with a nice nous.

1/09/2007 06:05:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

Nomo - >>Isn't the answer simply whichever view brings the greater glory to God? For me, it has to be "literal" Biblical view, hands down<<

For reasons I hope I've made clear, I don't think the "shortcut to salvation" perspective is a shining example of that which upholds the glory of God. It really flys apart when confronted with the basic reasoning and intellectuation abilities that God graced us with.

OK, NOW time for dinner.

1/09/2007 06:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Yes, unalloyed metaphysical goofiness can never bring glory to God, for it makes God's most precious gift -- the awakened intellect -- a farce.

Quote me on that.

1/09/2007 06:20:00 PM  
Blogger GeorgeD said...

My Christian religion includes the following revelation:

"For I, the Lord God, created all things, of which I have spoken, spiritually, before they were naturally upon the face of the earth. For I, the Lord God, had not caused it to rain upon the face of the earth. And I, the Lord God, had created all the children of men; and not yet a man to till the ground; for in heaven created I them; and there was not yet flesh upon the earth, neither in the water, neither in the air"

1/09/2007 06:45:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Ptolemy, in trying to account for Mars' odd circuit through the night sky, through careful attention to observation, came up with epicycles, which predicted & plotted the backwards loops it took... that is until finer calculations were gathered, then multiple epicycles & variations did a much better job of it. Until the more refined measurements & subsequent thinking and observations of Tycho Brahe, Kepler, Copernicus, Galileo, Newton... and on it went, and on it goes.

Gagdad's idea of the involution squares happily with my sense of inwardly sensing 'something' which leads me further in and somehow outwards into all creation. Not all that long ago, I would have dismissed me as a mystic & a crank. I Know more than I knew then. Ptolemy, without Newton’s available data, would have dismissed him as a mystic and a crank. Einstein could afford a little condescension towards each.

We measure time by the revolutions of the earth around the sun (good enough for these purposes), or basically the pacing of one object's movement in relation to others. Ever put in a DVD (say maybe… of 24?), push play, and fast-forward it through the entire movie in 1 minute? Did time pass any differently for the 'inhabitants' of the movie?

Ever play a Video game, where you repeatedly build the skill's of a character, even across it's death in multiple games? If the character discovered the player, could he fathom the reasons for his own existence?

My point isn't to say all things are relative (I’d sooner cut off my tongue), or that we each understand best in our own way, but that we make use of the tools, data and understanding we have in the best way we can - and that we can do no other or better, whether we are ‘right’, like Newton, or 'wrong' like Ptolemy.

My point really, is that without adequate data (which would in this case would be require true omnipotence), all of our speculations are just that, nearly arbitrary speculations - no matter what few glimmers we cite as proof, whether it be in regards to Mar's evident backwards loops, or the evident spiritual logic which jibes best with what we know and understand. "Go and sin no more" doesn't assume your future actions can be error free, only free from immorality.

Meanwhile, I suspect that if God exists and bothers watching, he gets a good chuckle out of the options we provide for him to choose from in order to make and run the universe within the reasons we deem sensible.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to re-ascend to my mountaintop.

Om my.

1/09/2007 07:19:00 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Hey Van,

"I Know more than I knew then" amazing how that only leads to the vast amount of unknown that our potential future self will know soon which can only be a mere glimmer of what O knows. Spiralicious.

1/09/2007 07:35:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

For its relevance here, and many other places, Job is my favorite bible passage - Old or New. Job did what he deemed best through loving God with all his heart and all his soul.

Shaitan had it wrong, he didn't because of the benefits it brought - though those were fine. His wife had it wrong, he wouldn't stop because his sentiment for God evidently wasn't returned. His friends had it wrong, they couldn't correctly 'reason' from the evidence of his misfortunes that he'd angered God. Even Job, when he weakened, knew it was weakness, not rightness, to wallow in it.

When God spoke from the whirlwind "who are you to reason and judge from what you know not of?" (Yeah, shameless paraphrasing - hey the air on this mountaintop is mighty fine). You do what you can best see as being good and true, because it is good and true.

Sometimes this brings an observable payoff, sometimes not. Sometimes you can understand it, sometimes not. But at all times you Know whether you are trying to do as you can best see as being good and true. And in a very real sense, that which is Good and True, knows too.

Just be careful about asserting that that which you can know little of, is "Just So" - if you are tempted to, pull up some slack and revisit ol' Job, and Oedipus too - they've both got some swell thoughts they'd like to whisper to you.

Scoot over Petey, this is… no…! don’t push me ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(see what I mean?)

1/09/2007 07:46:00 PM  
Anonymous logosaustralis said...

Bob - just a note to say thank you for your insight and dedication in keeping up this corner of the vitual universe - you have been a pure blessing to this traveller on the journey.
Am currently reading the back catalogue, laughing out loud and joyful not to be alone in life's conclusions/observations vertically and horizontally - thankyou

1/09/2007 08:40:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

And there you have it, in Petey's own words -- "God's most precious gift -- the awakened intellect."

And here I was all satisfied with the Water of Life.

1/09/2007 09:30:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Bob,

I have a question on the ever shrinking format of your blog page.
For me, when I load the page initially, everything is there from the recent posts to the archives, links, book recomendations, profile etc.. As the page finishes loading alot of that disappears and I am left with recent posts, your picture, the picture from the cover of your book, a site meter and search function. The rest just disappears.
Is anyone else experiencing this?
I've noticed others speaking of printing out archives to ward off evil spirits, is there a way to access the rest of the page? An incantation or something?
Thanks.

1/09/2007 09:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Joseph said...

Dupree/Petey: Not just fundies, but Mormons quoting Huck Finn again. Georged: Been there, done that, it ain't no Christian revelation.

Thanks again for the post Bob. Again, causing me to deeply look inside out.

1/09/2007 10:11:00 PM  
Blogger LukeBlogWalker said...

Well, I must point out, again, that in Genesis the phrase, "..and the earth was without form and void.." is equally tranalatable:

"..and the earth became a waste and a deslation.." -as it is in Jeremiah -same for same in the original.

This opens the door for the initial creation -and then a vast amount of time to gap between the letting there be light, and subsequent events.

Van, Job, as you know is the oldest book of the Bible.

Also, the Gospel story is told in the stars -in the original and uncorrupted zodiacal signs. Subsequent additions to, by corrupt distraction to the truth.

And now, for a humorous lost chapter of Genesis:

THE ORIGIN OF PETS

A newly discovered chapter in the Book of Genesis has provided the answer to "Where do pets come from?

Adam and Eve said, "Lord, when we were in the garden, you walked with us every day. Now we do not see you any more. We are lonesome here, and it is difficult
for us to remember how much you love us."

And God said, "No problem! I will create a companion for you that will be with you forever and who will be a reflection of my love for you, so that you will love me even when you cannot see me.

Regardless of how selfish or childish or unlovable you may be, this new companion will accept you as you are and will love you as I do, in spite of yourselves."

And God created a new animal to be a companion for Adam and Eve, and it was a good animal, and God was pleased.

And the new animal was pleased to be with Adam and Eve, and he wagged his tail.

And Adam said, "Lord, I have already named all the animals in the Kingdom and I cannot think of a name for this new animal."

And God said, "No problem. Because I have created this new animal to be a reflection of my love for you, his name will be a reflection of my own name, and you will call
him DOG."

And Dog lived with Adam and Eve, and was a companion to them and loved them.

And they were comforted.

And God was pleased.

And Dog was content and wagged his tail.

After a while, it came to pass that an angel came to the Lord and said, "Lord, Adam and Eve have become filled with pride. They strut and preen like peacocks and they believe they are worthy of adoration. Dog has indeed taught them that they are loved, but perhaps too well."

And God said, "No problem! I will create for them a companion who will be with them forever and who will see them as they are. The companion will remind them of their limitations, so they will know that they are not always worthy of adoration."

And God created CAT to be a companion to Adam and Eve.

And Cat would not obey them. And when Adam and Eve gazed into Cat's eyes, they were reminded that they were not the supreme beings.

And Adam and Eve learned humility.

And they were greatly improved.

And God was pleased.

And Dog was happy.

And Cat didn't give a shit one way or the other.

-Luke

1/09/2007 10:44:00 PM  
Blogger LukeBlogWalker said...

On 6,000 year model / Bishop Usher, etc....

The main problem people neglect on this account is calendars.

The Babylonians had a 360 day year (same as number of degrees in a circle -another story)

This calendar was used at various times in the OT during the captivity years.

Additionally, the Gregorian calendar is off by 4 years.

They knew Jesus was born under the reign of the Caesar -but missed that he reigne under his name "Octavian" for four years prior to becomeing his ending titled position.

Then there is the crossover from the end of BC to AD -do you have a year zero? Most people mess up the transition there too.

Its not as easy as one thinks.

A study of the history of time, and time keeping is very interesting.

-Luke

1/09/2007 10:55:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Van-
Job rocks!

A point of interest perhaps:

As you know, God rebuked 3 of Job's friends-
Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, requiring offerings from them for Job (acting as Priest) to sacrifice for their transgressions.
God also vindicated Job before those 3 friends.

However, the point of interest is that God did not rebuke, affirm, acknowledge or even respond to Elihu, the youngest and last friend of Job to speak.
Nor did God require an offering from Elihu.

Elihu didn't blame Job like his other friends did, for sinning, and Elihu didn't perceive Jobs afflictions as punishment, but rather as a form of mysterious education.
He did tell Job to quit contending with God and to stop the self-pity trip (basically).
Adding some wisdom about fearing the Lord.

Any thoughts on this?

1/09/2007 11:19:00 PM  
Anonymous PrincessSpirit said...

RC may be meaning a view called Finished Work Perspective. Correct me if its not what you mean RC. FW encompasses Free will & sovereignty of God / predestination, growth / development / evolution and immanent-fiat creation. FW is at core of Integralism / God evidenced by a certain "unique balance & order" I often cannot adequately elucidate.

Certain orders of elements have a pattern - as in Grace encompasses works, but not other way round; Spirit absorbs spirit; k/K --> o/O; Justification absorbs Sanctification; Being absorbs Doing; Sphere absorbs Squares. Will encompasses Mind & Heart. All are not same if you reverse them. Neither are they egalitarian, equal nor complementary. I maintain they are uniquely balanced for lack of better word.

Similarly, God is not us & we are not Him; He absorbs us but He doesn't become billionz of human Jesus' as there IS only 1 Christ; we enter into Him but dont become billionz of God. Truly Integral is to NOT be New-age where they believe you can become God Himself. Both entities (God/human) maintain their separate unique identity-in-Oneness, are uniquely balanced in Oneness so annihilation & mush-mixing doesn't occur. Transcen-dent Communion is result. I can be Me In Oneness w/God w/o Me disappearing, Transcending into Gods Sphere from my Square plane. Separate-but-One is a coexistant pattern.

If we are 2 separate-but-Interal Spheres together, then a bunch of separate-integral-Spheres joined together, What absorbs us? A Mega-Sphere or Multi-Integral Sphere = God. (More later, one step at a time.)

Back to Calvin calling Arminius a heretic. Arminius was. But both were wrong - both were heretics. Both their theologies were polarized, not balanced. Polarization limits Balance-Integralism. Similarly, Esoteric encompasses Exoteric (to me, cuz I'm a girl I am Esoteric 1st) as God gave from His Esoteric 1st then Exoterically into creation / evolution. Again FW perspective applies at point of Esoteric / Exoteric; then again @ Creation / Evolution. Following pattern then, Eternity encompasses earthly / temporal. Creation encompasses Evolution, not other way round. Why? Creation IS. Evolution is Becoming - which is step down from Creation IS. Truth "IS"; truth is becoming Truth. Crucial to understand truth/AbTruth relationship so we do not hereticize the Pattern.

Both elements of a pair-pattern are correct together; either one alone is incorrect & is imbalanced, unholy, heretical. Calvin & Arminius both failed to see "integral balance." Both formulated failed incomplete Theologies & Doctrinal stances. Arminius paid immediately for his heresy. Calvin survived. Today, Calvinism is a largely word-based doctrinal rationalism devoid of personal engagement (little exchanged life theology). You're most likely never going to see many Calvinistic Communion-Mystics as their faith is basically dead (tho I'm sure they'd disagree). Calvinism is imbalanced & shows it from Reformation until now if you observe & track. Theres no integral balance in Calvin & Arminius' respective theologies. So where is the balance found?

When you understand a pair-pattern & transcend/ascend into a 3rd dimension - Voila! You arrive at Integral balance immediately. There Balance is found.

Not everything follows Nature's course & patterns. God himself does not follow nature alone, but Transcends it. On earth we're constrained by nature & laws including Death. In Heaven we're not constrained. Heaven encompasses earthly, not other way round. Scripture & Wisdom hence sanctificational growth defies natural laws. You die, rebirth, new life, die more, Transcend. Trees dont Transcend. We must have both sides of the Equation in order to achieve an integral-balance. One or the other side alone is imbalance. Trees in Heaven Transcend trees here.

Transcendence, if you're able to Be In It long enuf, is a different ballgame. What you give out exoterically at that point is Dynamism-in-motion. It doesnt reincarnate. It integrates. Begin w/an (x,y)-axis Cross. Vertical & Horizontal Cross w/a center Cruxpoint. Simple enuf. Bend Cross back on itself all points touching - what do you get? You get a Sphere. Eternality. Bend Cross forward upon Itself, you get another Sphere. Now you have a pair-pattern of 2 spheres from 1-2 Cruxpoints. As 1 Sphere encompasses many planar Squares (slices) so too 1 Multi-Sphere encompasses many Cruxpoints (us). God encompasses many us-cruxpoints. Nature doesn't. God Transcends earth / earthly man, hence evolution of man. The question becomes: Does God Transcend Creation? Of course He does. He Created or possibly Creates It. He transcends both, and that is His Identity.

He encompasses Heaven, but not us-here. He gives us Free Will to respond or reject/rebel. We BEcome Transcendent-over-Earth WHEN THERE in Heaven (even at times here but sporadic & thru miracles). In Heaven we won't Be Transcendent-over-Heaven. Only God is. Keep in mind the unique pairing of iimits & freedom that Grace+law or Truth+truth represents.

Integral progression moves from: One-point-Integral-perspective level (where each of us is Being Integral separately); then moves into 2-point Integral-perspective (two Being integral together); then logically into 3-point Integral-perspective level (2 of us & God Being Integral together). Result is what its prolly like for us in Heaven - dynamic non-linear uniquely balanced state of Eternal Being we barely imagine from here looking up. You become more Integral when you see from an FW-Eternal view & see God as multi-Integral.

Hence, you can say: earthly life --> Divine / Eternal Life. On other hand Divine --> earthly (God Transcendently looking down into Ascendent looking down into Earthly.) Reincarnation is not needed & does not fit pattern. Transcendence into Ascension is spiritual goal tho I speculate levels & sections of Heaven correlate to a type of unknown growth process as Will mentions. Wisdom doesn't stop growing when you're in presence of God; its not necessary to come back to earth to continue to grow in Wisdom.

Earthly life vs Heavenly life: fullness of Heavenly life is realized Then. Earthly life is realized here-now. Both are different; one is not the other; both follow order, just like universe --> Universe. earthly --> Heavenly. spirit --> Spirit. The Eternality of Heaven is NOT same as here tho it encompasses here-now. Heaven doesnt need to become earthly in order to BE Heaven. Neither will we when there, then.

FW view applied here is Transcendent; applied in Heaven, its Ascendent (or Depth/growth). When Eternal here is manifest it too becomes Ascendent - remember Elijah? Christ also follows this pattern. He died, Resurrected (Transcended death), ROSE (ascended) - (came to Earth to tell the Disciples he'd Risen - "touch me not for I have not yet Ascended to My Father). When we are Eternal, we are Transcendent here, Ascendent There, but NOT transcendent there. earthly --> Eternal is destination, no back to earthly.

- PrincessSpirit -

1/10/2007 01:17:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Ben: I enjoy Job as well:)

Job of course, was not without sin. One of the big points of Job is that no matter how righteous we conceive ourselves to be it is not as righteous as God.

To others: Yes, I do think it is a one-shot deal. It's not about betting to me, its just a fact. I don't think it cuts down on slack, or anything such as it. As for perfection, 'perfection' is used from the NT interchangeably with 'completion'.

Listen, if you doubt the veracity of my claim, then the Jesus can set you straight:

Matthew 20 (1-16)

(Jesus speaking): For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard.

And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, And said unto them; 'Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you.' And they went their way.

Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, 'Why stand ye here all the day idle?'

They say unto him, 'Because no man hath hired us.'

He saith unto them, 'Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.'

So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, 'Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.'

And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny.

And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, Saying, 'These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.'

But he answered one of them, and said, 'Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?'

So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.

-- the mystery of how theosis continues despite the fact our time here is very short, is indeed a mystery. And I don't think the answer is that we keep living again until we're 'perfect enough' -- that goes against old and new testament theology through and through, and is why Paul says with certainty:

'Man has once to die, and then the Judgement'. (He was speaking in refutation of the very same doctrine, of reincarnation, most likely.)

The point is that 'we are made perfect (complete) in our weakness'. If we seek higher things then let it be because we seek God, not because we want to be perfect. For if men became without flaw -- such as Job thought himself to be -- we would exalt ourselves with it. There is something about the Resurrection that, making man not a living soul but a quickened spirit, destroys utterly the flawed nature of the flesh.

This is not to say everyone gets a free ticket to flawlessness or something-- since being in full likeness to God would account all, body, mind and spirit--

Instead, think of the Resurrection as the Ultimate Slack Time (tm).

As to why one would do anything MORE than just be saved, since its the only sufficient condition-- the answer is simple-- the faith that saves compels one to Righteousness.

In this way, the Glory is given to God, and not to us for our worldly achievements.

But, alas, I suppose I am no more than just a Fundie, so you can ignore my blatherings ;)

I either put the Fun in 'fundamental' or the Mental in it. Sometimes, both.

PS: some of my firefox 2 hyperlinks appear green with a pink bg instead of normal blue/clear. Anyone have any clues as to why that is?

1/10/2007 05:48:00 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Trust me on this one, River. You are just so wrong that I couldn't even be able to explain it to you. Maybe next life! ;0)

1/10/2007 07:07:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Lisa - I admire your certainty, just make sure that's solid rock under your feet.

1/10/2007 07:41:00 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Nomo-Solid rock is not good for the body or mind. I prefer a soft natural uneven terrain. Body is much better aligned and movement and growth comes much easier. Train your body to react to new stimuli and lift up rather than keep pounding into that same hard ground. It will wear out the joints way fast. Plus expecting the unexpected is much more fun!

1/10/2007 07:47:00 AM  
Anonymous juliec said...

Thanks, all of you, for this great discussion. This is why I come back here each day.

1/10/2007 08:06:00 AM  
Anonymous PrincessSpirit said...

Solid rock is the Foundation upon which Absolute Truth is formed and built from. One can not separate the "rockness" of AbTruth nor its "spongeyness," only focus on one or the other in b/w polarization.

Integralism accepts both "sides" to AbTruth. While AbTruth itself does not change (it doesn't need to as its Eternal) our view of it is distorted when its not seen wholly, in Totality. AbTruth changes not, but our ability to know & experience it does.

Boundaries, Colors & Depth are needed to make a picture. Stereoscopic vision is needed to "rightly read" the picture. Without the addition of the 3-D we'd only see in 2-D flatland view.

Top down perspective is necessary, otherwise we dither around forever in the spongey-stuff and believe its all there Is, like swimming in a pool but never touching bottom or sides. The pool is contained by the bottom and sides, even if we perceive it not. A pool symbolizes both: the necessity of containment & boundaries w/sides and bottom; and also the fluidity of water & air, spongeyness & liberty to flow. Neither one negates the other.

- Princess Spirit -

1/10/2007 08:41:00 AM  
Anonymous PrincessSpirit said...

Solid rock is the Foundation upon which Absolute Truth is formed and built from. One can not separate the "rockness" of AbTruth nor its "spongeyness," only focus on one or the other in b/w polarization.

Integralism accepts both "sides" to AbTruth. While AbTruth itself does not change (it doesn't need to as its Eternal) our view of it is distorted when its not seen wholly, in Totality. AbTruth changes not, but our ability to know & experience it does.

Boundaries, Colors & Depth are needed to make a picture. Stereoscopic vision is needed to "rightly read" the picture. Without the addition of the 3-D we'd only see in 2-D flatland view.

Top down perspective is necessary, otherwise we dither around forever in the spongey-stuff and believe its all there Is, like swimming in a pool but never touching bottom or sides. The pool is contained by the bottom and sides, even if we perceive it not. A pool symbolizes both: the necessity of containment & boundaries w/sides and bottom; and also the fluidity of water & air, spongeyness & liberty to flow. Neither one negates the other.

- Princess Spirit -

1/10/2007 08:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Princessspirit said...

Sorry, some Compuserve screen came up and this posted 2x instead of 1. -Prin-

1/10/2007 08:44:00 AM  
Anonymous PrincessSpirit said...

For frustration levels to increase, try running, skiing or driving on sponginess. Reminds me of being stuck in wet sand dunes, slushy snow, and car eating mud.

Was never so happy to see hard ground after my car was almost swallowed by mud. Worse yet if you have underinflated tires. There's a dynamic relationship between air and tire. Can't go far without either proper inflation and proper steel belted rubber conditions both being met.

A tire illustrates Integral Balance: a spongy core (innertube, air) with rubber casement (steel lined rubber makes hard outer surface). One contains the other. Both coexist.

So "spongey" and "hard" are both needed and evidence a relationship. Applies to human body as well - while a brain might be spongiform, spongey skulls, bones & spongey-spines are generally not recommended, unless you like being a blob.

- PrincessSpirit -

1/10/2007 09:04:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

lisa: I understand that from your perspective what I am saying does not make sense.

That's fine.

Guess I'll be missing you? -- my next life will be in Glory. I hope yours will be as well.

You have to understand that from my perspective all of it clicks--

As I understand from yours it does not.

I cannot say with certainty that I am correct or you are correct other than to say when I see what God says about himself, and others about Him, I find these things true. As I had remarked to Will, I have no quarrel with you as long as you do righteousness; as John says:

'If ye know Him, then ye know that all who do Righteousness know Him.'

I am no fundamentalist in this aspect; having dealt with enough people I know that each works out his or her faith and understanding in their own way. If you do believe in God, then be encouraged; for all things are possible through Him.

Again, from your perspective I know I cannot be but wrong; but from my own I see the path leading upward.

If you disagree then explain why; for neither you nor I know the fullness of the Truth.

I sense a degree of condescension. Alas.

1/10/2007 09:14:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

"Integralism accepts both "sides""

"A tire illustrates Integral Balance:"

Princess, have you been hanging out with integralist? ;)

1/10/2007 09:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Joan of Argghh! said...

Bob, er..Petey said:
"God's most precious gift -- the awakened intellect..."

All that intellect and awakening, and yet, Bob still doesn't know why Mrs. G. keeps hanging around.

;)

1/10/2007 09:27:00 AM  
Anonymous PrincessSpirit said...

Hoarhey, For shame!! It was that bad, heh? LOL! It IS bad! I'll pare that one out. Thanks for the goose, bro! :D

Changed my car tire yesterday, see what happens? Inhaled too much rubber. Tires are Not actually Integral. Meant to convey Integralism IS "both/all sides" & contains "all sides" but it still doesn't do justice. I butcher it. I have the flu must be the virus G-BOB gave me. Too bad Integralism doesn't catch n spread like flu does, LOL!

Egads, what a horrible thought if Inty's way be in me. I solemnly promise to hunt it down, mind-puke & heart-repent to heal. Lisa's inspiring me to get into Pilates again so I'm making adjustments - AFTER the virus is finished w/me. At least I get Integralism, unlike Inty. Now to learn to express it better. :D

Liked Joans ref 60lb baby - reminded me instantly of that baby Satan held in The Passion movie. Obviously it was "born mature" (matured evil, son of satan, antichrist reference.) Looked to be 60lbs, too! Ewwww, was Spiritually grostesque.

-PrincessSpirit -

1/10/2007 11:04:00 AM  
Anonymous uss ben said...

River-
I concur with what you wrote about Job.

Of course, Job wasn't 'punished'
for any sins he may have committed.

I wonder why God never addressed Elihu in any way (or, at least it's not recorded in the book, if He did).

I believe Elihu was correct, but what he said could never be perfect or complete, which is one reason that God said so much more.

Obviously, there are many aspects to the book of Job.
I was curious about this particular area of the book (ie what Elihu said, and what Job said in response).
Since God never addressed Elihu, that part will remain a mystery.

1/10/2007 02:50:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Hey Ben,
To my mind Elihu, as with the other friends, presumes to knowledge of not only Job's secreted sins, but to God's mind and methods. He attempts another perspective on what amounts to a priestly scroll algebra as a convenient and self satisfying way of putting themselves on a "phew! Sure glad God's mad at Job & not us - we MUST be better than him!", the irony being that not only was God NOT angry at Job, but they didn't even rate the least of God's notice, and in fact in God's eyes Job was far and away the best of the lot not because he followed the rules of the scrolls, though incidentally he did, but because he loved and strove for truth and goodness in his heart and soul and actions, because they are good, they are his light and conduit to God. In short, Elihu & Co. are self important charlatans, and Job is the valued favorite.

The other thing to note, is what God considers to be of value and what he doesn't - friends, family, property, standing, pain, suffering - are little more than casually tossed on, off and back on the table. They aren't the point. The point is the only thing that is completely within your power - your faithfulness in seeking to understand, embody, and live in Truth and Goodness.

The casual roll of the dice (or a bet with the questioner, prosecutor, tempter, devil) may wipe out all of your possessions & relations. They aren't the point of good behavior. Sure, with favorable conditions, they will be welcome results of ethical behavior - but they are not and can not be the point. Happiness is enhanced by possessions, friends & family, but if it depends on them - then what you have isn't happiness, only a comfortable lifestyle.

I disagree that the Book of Job is a commentary on the problem of evil and now could God let it exist - I think it is about the importance of the meaning of goodness and value in your life. IMHO, Putting 'faith' in what others have written and passed down through the languages and outlooks of the ages, is to remove your grasp of what is good and true from your heart, and attempting to live it by proxy through others interpretations.

I seriously doubt you will be judged, through the course of one life or one thousand, by what you thought others said and meant - you will be judged on what you honestly faced, how you used your own mind to understand as best your gift of intellect gives you light to see, and the actions you take or avoid taking in accordance with that grasp in your life.

In the final analysis, You have to use your best judgment to do what is right because it is right. And not only is there no guarantee that there will be worldly payoff for your efforts – that world whomping asteroid could be just around the corner you know – but if you locate your highest values outside of that conduit between your soul and God’s – you will be reduced, you risk being among the self important group of ‘wise’ friends that don’t even rate the barest glance of the big guy’s notice.

1/10/2007 07:57:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Van-
Thanks. In fact, the 'commentary' in my Bible said as much about Elihu in regards to his self-importance.

Regardless of any truth Elihu spoke, he had ulterior motives, and I missed it.

With what you said in mind, re-reading the passage makes much more sense, and the truth stands out.

1/10/2007 09:23:00 PM  
Anonymous voice in the wilderness said...

All this carping over the all-important details of creation reads like a little relativism virus within the OC cognostinky. What gives? Where's Absolute Truth? Are you kids actually going to resolve this with some of RC's relativism? I understand that that each must seek the Kingdom of Heaven in his own way; not to say that the Truth is not one, but rather that we are many.

This all smacks of tolerance and understanding. Reincarnation allows for relative truth, yet Bob and PrincessSpirit do not. What the heck? Solid rock, or uneven and spongy? Which is it?

Or could it be that you are all right? That the creative power within each of you is the same creative power implicit in the creator? That this world is designed for us to hone our skills lifetime upon lifetime until we no longer need to return?

This would mean that there is indeed a righteous time for every purpose under heaven. Including tolerance of disparate thought on the OC blog. Could all of you be simply "wrong" in your ridicule and hatred? Oh, the horror!

1/10/2007 09:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Bitter, party of one, named Voice in the Wilderness, your table is ready."

1/10/2007 11:29:00 PM  
Blogger MikeZ said...

KRLA is now an all-talk station, with mostly conservative hosts (Laura Ingraham, Dennis Prager, Hugh Hewitt, Michael Medved, and for those who think the foregoing are too liberal, Michael Savage).

1/12/2007 02:40:00 PM  

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