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Hegel as Sorcerer: The "Science" of Second Realities and the "Death" of God
Self | November 10, 2008 | Jean F. Drew

Posted on 11/10/2008 11:37:17 AM PST by betty boop

Hegel as Sorcerer:
The “Science” of Second Realities and the “Death” of God

 

by Jean F. Drew

 

 

 

A friend asked for an explanation of a remark I recently made on a public forum that the great German philosospher, Hegel, was a “sorcerer.” I’m glad for this opportunity to respond. For the spirit of Hegel is alive and well today in the construction of any Second Reality, of which I regard the recent Obama Campaign to have been a splendid example.

 

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770–1831) was a world-class philosopher — a master of classical philosophy, and a master system-builder. He is usually associated with the period of German Idealism in the decades following Immanuel Kant. The most systematic of the post-Kantian idealists, Hegel attempted to elaborate a comprehensive systematic ontology, or “science of being,” from a “logical” or “rational” starting point. He is perhaps most well-known for his teleological, “goal-directed,” even eschatological, account of human history — a model which was later appropriated by his notable follower Karl Marx, who developed Hegel’s “dialectical science” into his own theory of historical development (“dialectical materialism”), which by “historical necessity” culminates in communism.

 

Sorcery, or magic, is a conceptual system that asserts the human ability to control the natural world (including events, objects, people, and physical phenomena) through mystical, paranormal, or supernatural means — through, for example, magic words, or an ability to present compelling appearances of fictitious reality.

 

A Second Reality is such an ersatz reality. The term was coined by Robert Musil to denote a fictitious world imagined to be true by the person creating it, who will then use his construction to mask and thereby “eclipse” genuine, or First Reality.

 

In 1807, Hegel published his grimoirei.e., a magician’s book of spells and incantations — the Phänomenologie, which takes as its main goal the transformation of philosophy, the “love of knowledge,” into the final, complete possession of “real knowledge,” by means of his system of “absolute science.” Of his accomplishment the great German-American philosopher Eric Voegelin (1901–1985) would write, “No modern propaganda minister could have devised a more harmless-sounding, persuasively progressivist phrase as a screen for the enormity transacted behind it.”

 

For Hegel, “‘Absolute knowledge’ was to be the form ‘in which the pure consciousness of the infinite is possible without the determinateness of an individual, independent life.’” In short, the Phänomenologie “admits no reality but consciousness…. [Yet] since consciousness must be somebody’s consciousness of something, and neither God nor man is admitted as somebody or something, the consciousness must be consciousness of itself. Its absolute reality is, therefore, properly identified as ‘the identity of identity and nonidentity.’ The substance becomes the subject, and the subject the substance, in the process of a consciousness that is immanent to itself…. The reader would justly ask what a consciousness that is nobody’s consciousness could possibly be?”[1]

 

And with that question, noetically astute observers realize we must be dealing with a Second Reality: It appears that “Hegel the sorcerer” wants to eclipse our image of reality by a counterimage conjured up to furnish a plausible basis for the action he calls for.

 

As Vöegelin notes, “in order to be effective as a magic opus,” Hegel’s system of absolute science had to satisfy two conditions:

 

(1)  The operation in Second Reality has to look as if it were an operation in First Reality.

(2)  The operation in Second Reality has to escape critical control and judgment by the criteria of First Reality. (I have noticed that President-Elect Obama excels in conducting both types of operations.)[2]

 

So, what is First Reality? In effect, it is the classical Greek (and Judeo-Christian) description of the context in which human existence is actually experienced and lived. That is to say, the human condition is specified by man’s participation in a Great Hierarchy of Being that extends beyond, encompasses, and shapes his existence as a man.

 

Being is a philosophical term referring to the fundamental structure or order of the world. Vöegelin, following the classical Greeks, defines being as “not an object, but a context of order in which are placed all experienced complexes of reality….” Thus the Great Hierarchy of Being consists of four partners: God, Man, World, and Society. The individual man, as “part” of this “whole,” finds his own humanity in his participatory experiences and relations with the other partners of the hierarchy, and most especially in his relation to God.

 

Strangely, given his “revolt” against God and man and the world, Hegel was a man who not only insisted on his Christian orthodoxy up to his dying day; but as already mentioned, he was a master of classical Greek philosophy. So clearly he was aware of First Reality in the above sense. His “magical opus” is motivated fundamentally by a desire to overturn and supplant it with a plausible Second Reality of his own imaginative construction.

 

The first “partner” of the Great Hierarchy that had to go was God. This was necessary in order to make room for Hegel as the “new Christ” who would usher in the “third religion” of his System of Absolute Science, so to be the Messiah, the New Christ, of the new age a-borning. The point here is that with God “gone,” man himself becomes a pure abstraction and, as such, an ideologically manipulatable entity and nothing more.

 

As far as I know, it was Voegelin who first drew attention to the element of sorcery in Hegel’s work — even though the language Hegel had been using from the first was the language of the “magic word” and the “magic force” (Zauberworte and Zauberkraft respectively). Vöegelin indeed identified the Phänomenologie as a sorcerer’s grimoire. My sense is if Vöegelin was joking here, he was only half-joking: Something very serious is going on. So we need first of all to understand what Hegel intended by evoking such language. As for instance, here:

 

“Every single man is but a blind link in the chain of absolute necessity by which the world builds itself forth. The single man can elevate himself to dominance over an appreciable length of this chain only if he knows the direction in which the great necessity [i.e., the Geist of history] wants to move and if he learns from this knowledge to pronounce the magic words (die Zauberworte) that will evoke its shape (Gestalt).”[3]

 

We need to define our terms here: Geist can be translated from the German as either “mind” or “spirit”; but the latter, allowing for a more cultural sense, as in the phrase “spirit of the age” (“Zeitgeist”), seems a more suitable rendering for Hegel’s use of the term. Gestalt (plural: Gestalten) means the present historical configuration of events as the Geist inexorably moves or evolves in time towards the fulfillment of its final  “absolute necessity,” at which point — in its final Gestalt, which in Hegel’s system is identified with the consciousness of Hegel expressing as the complete identity of absolute Self and absolute Idea — world history ends; and a “new age” of Man, “standing alone,” begins. Because man is now “alone,” Hegel teaches that now he has arrived at the point in history where he can grant “grace to himself,” to “save himself,” to perfect the human condition, without the salvific Grace of God.

 

And Hegel’s enormously influential student Karl Marx (1818–1883) took the lesson to heart:

 

“Philosophy makes no secret of it. The confession of Prometheus, ‘In a word, I hate all the gods,’ is its own confession, its own verdict against all gods heavenly and earthly who do not acknowledge human self-consciousness as the supreme deity. There shall be none beside it.”[4]

 

“A being regards itself as independent only when it stands in its own feet; and it stands on its feet only when it owes its existence to itself alone. A man who lives by the grace of another [including God] considers himself a dependent being. But I live by the grace of another completely if I owe him not only the maintenance of my life but also its creation: if he is the source of my life; and my life necessarily has such a cause outside itself if it is not my own creation.”[5]

 

And so the “outside cause” — God — must “die” in order for man to be “liberated” for self-sanctification and self-salvation.

 

In light of such expectations, first of all, we need to remember that a “magic word” in itself does not evoke an actual creative act. Rather, it is the invocation of appearances, of illusions. “Magic words” do not have the power actually to change the structure of being, of reality; but only the way the sorcerer wants us to see it. If he is successful, then we are grievously misled.

 

Hegel’s famous epigone Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900) had a field day with Hegel’s insights. He not only declared God “dead,” but claimed that “we” had “murdered” Him. Mankind, on this view, has finally gained the existential status not only to be in a position to “kill God,” but also to grant itself “grace” and “salvation” via human reason alone. Of course, these are the maunderings of a person who sadly died in an insane asylum. Nonetheless, Nietzsche is splendidly honored by the “progressives” among us to this day….

 

It’s interesting to note that many students of the Phänomenologie consistently over time have reported that to be drawn into the “magic circle” of this enterprise is to enter into a perfectly logically self-consistent construction — so long as one does not use the criteria of First Reality to judge it. But finally, all criticism by appeal to reality itself, i.e., as actually experienced by human beings in contrast with being merely cogitated or thought, is foreclosed by Hegel’s rule that his construction need justify itself through nothing but “the presentation of the system itself.” Thus we have the case of the magically disappearing world.

 

And so not only God is booted out of Hegel’s system; but also any sense of “objective reality.” The “world” is drawn into the sorcerer’s consciousness as conceptualizations only, as Gestalten, “shapes.” Once the sorcerer possesses the historical “shapes” in his consciousness, he has no further need of “the world,” of evidence from the side of actual experience of the world. Thus he intends to “eclipse” such experience by the force of reason alone, dispensing with human existential experience altogether through the power of “magical” imagination — which of course altogether destroys any avenue of critical judgment from the side of First Reality, which happily satisfies criterion (2) above.

 

Second of all, we need to appreciate the worldview implicit in Hegel’s remarks. Voegelin thinks the above-quoted passage — i.e., “Every single man is but a blind link in the chain of absolute necessity….” — reveals Hegel’s intense resentment of the human condition as well as its cause. Further, it is a key passage for understanding the diremption — meaning the tearing apart, or violent separation from all former historical notions of the human condition so characteristic of modern existence — at the foundation of Hegel’s enterprise:

 

“Man has become a nothing; he has no reality of his own; he is a blind particle in a process of the world which has the monopoly of real reality and real meaning. [Note it is not the world that has meaning; only its process has meaning.] In order to raise himself from nothing to something, the blind particle must become a seeing particle. But even if the particle has gained sight, it sees nothing but the direction in which the process is moving…. And yet, to Hegel something important has been gained: the nothing that has raised itself to a something has become, if not a man, at least a sorcerer who can evoke, if not the reality of history, at least its shape. I almost hesitate to continue — the spectacle of a nihilist stripping himself to the nude is embarrassing. For Hegel betrays in so many words that being a man is not enough for him; and as he cannot be the divine Lord of history himself, he is going to achieve Herrschaft [i.e., dominion, lordship, mastery, rule, reign] as the sorcerer who will conjure up an image of history — a shape, a ghost — that is meant to eclipse the history of God’s making. The imaginative project of history falls in its place in the pattern of modern existence as the conjurer’s instrument of power”….

 

Since the conjurer’s instrument of power is in this case to be obtained by the “perfection” of philosophy into a system of absolute knowledge, we need to define what philosophy is. The etymology of the word tells you the meaning of philosophy is “love of wisdom”: In the original Greek, philo refers to “love” or “lover”; sophia to “wisdom.”

 

Hegel’s main project, as it turns out, was to transform philosophy, the love of wisdom, into an instrument of Absolute Science, whereby “wisdom,” and all knowledge, are found to consist, not in the loving search or quest for divine truth, the complete possession of which is denied to mortal men in this lifetime; but in the  “final possession” of absolute truth once and for all — the “absolute science” that can make men “immortal” in this world. In short, Hegel would like to transform philosophy into an exact science.

 

But if this were possible, then philosophy would instantly cease to be philosophy.

 

For although the insights of philosophy can advance, it cannot advance beyond its structure as “love of wisdom.” In the great tradition of the classical Greeks, eminently Plato and Aristotle (which Hegel had thoroughly mastered), philosophy denotes the loving tension of man “toward the divine ground of his existence. God alone has sophia, ‘real knowledge’; man finds the truth about God and the world, as well as of his own existence, by becoming philosophos, the lover of God and his wisdom. The philosopher’s eroticism implies the humanity of man and the divinity of God as the poles of his existential tension. The practice of philosophy in the Socratic–Platonic sense is the equivalent of the Christian sanctification of man; it is the growth of the image of God in man. Hegel’s harmless-sounding phrase [ i.e., philosophy must at last “give up its name of a love of wisdom and become real knowledge”] thus covers the program of abolishing the humanity of man; the sophia of God can be brought into the orbit of man only by transforming man into God. The Ziel [goal] of the Phänomenologie is the creation of the man-god….” — commencing with Hegel’s own self-deification as the redeemer of mankind now that the history of mankind, and notably his spiritual history, has been abolished by Hegel’s system of absolute science.[6]

 

In this, Hegel reveals his profound alienation from the idea of an established order of the universe. Indeed, he outright rejects any idea of order that has an origin other than in human consciousness, which he hypostasizes as “reason” or at least a facsimile thereof that the sorcerer can put over on his audience.

 

Voegelin provides some helpful insights into the consciousness of the sorcerer and his project:

 

“…Hegel experiences his state of alienation as an acute loss of reality, and even as death. But he cannot, or will not, initiate the movement of return; the epistrophe, the periagoge, is impossible. The despair or lostness, then, turns into the mood of revolt. Hegel closes his existence in on himself; he develops a false self; and lets his false self engage in an act of self-salvation that is meant to substitute for the periagoge of which his true self proves incapable. The alienation which, as long as it remains a state of lostness in open existence, can be healed through the return [to God], now hardens into the acheronta movebo of the sorcerer who, through magic operations, forces salvation from the non-reality of his lostness. Since, however, nonreality has no power of salvation, and Hegel’s true self knows this quite well, the false self must take the next step and, by ‘the energy of thinking,’ transform the reality of God into the dialectics of his consciousness: the divine power accrues to the Subjeckt that is engaged in self-salvation through reaching the state of reflective self-consciousness. If the soul cannot return to God, God must be alienated from himself and drawn into the human state of alienation. And finally, since none of these operations in Second Reality would change anything in the surrounding First Reality, but result only in the isolation of the sorcerer from the rest of society, the whole world must be drawn into the imaginary Second Reality. The sorcerer becomes the savior of the ‘age’ by imposing his System of Science as the new revelation on mankind at large. All mankind must join the sorcerer in the hell of his damnation.”[7]

 

In classical Greek philosophy, and especially in Plato, the epistrophe or periagoge in the above passage refers to the “turning around” to God (the transcendent Beyond of the cosmos) in open existence, in loving response to His call. The terms are analogous to the Christian “born again” experience. The term acheronta movebo means “If I cannot bend the Higher Powers, I will move the Infernal Regions.” It is the satanic declaration of the sorcerer who chooses to close all of reality in on himself, the Subjekt. Given the classical experience, this can only be a system of anti-philosophy.

 

In [Plato’s] Republic, the Beyond is imagined as the ultimate creative ground, the Agathon, from whom all being things receive their existence, their form, and their truth; and since by its presence it is the origin of reality and the sunlike luminosity of its structure, the Agathon-Beyond is something more beautiful and higher in rank of dignity and power that the reality that we symbolize by such terms as being, existence, essence, form, intelligibility, and knowledge. In the myth of the Phaedrus, then, the Beyond is the truly immortal divinity from whose presence in contemplative action the Olympian gods derive their divine and men their human immortality. In the puppet myth of the Laws, finally, ‘the god’ becomes the divine force that pulls the golden cord of the Nous that is meant to move man toward the immortalizing, noetic order of his existence. In this last image of the noetic “pull” (helkein) Plato comes so close to the helkein of the Gospel of John (6:44) that it is difficult to discern the difference.[8]

 

It appears that Hegel’s “revolt” is above all finally a revolt against, a rejection of the human condition, of the fact that a human being is never consulted about the terms of his coming into the world, nor of his departure from it. It is the essence of the human condition that a man is neither the origin nor the “end” of himself — “end” in the sense of telos, meaning purpose, or goal. Meanwhile, in between birth and death, there is a litany of evils to which mortal human nature is subject. “The life of man is really burdened,” as Voegelin put it, “with the well-known miseries enumerated by Hesoid. We remember his list of hunger, hard work, disease, early death, and the fear of the injustices to be suffered by the weaker man at the hands of the more powerful — not to mention the problem of Pandora.”[9]

 

Notwithstanding, Voegelin reminds us that “as long as our existence is undeformed by phantasies, these miseries are not experienced as senseless. We understand them as the lot of man, mysterious it is true, but as the lot he has to cope with in the organization and conduct of his life, in the fight for survival, the protection of his dependents, and the resistance to injustice, and in his spiritual and intellectual response to the mystery of existence.”[10]

 

Now the “lot of man” as just given is a description of the condicio humana, the human condition. It is the very basis for the idea of a universal, common humanity, of the brotherhood of mankind. It is my conjecture that it is possible for a person to take great umbrage at this condicio humana, to deplore and reject it, to see it as a grievous insult to one’s own assumed personal autonomy; and so to take flight in an alternative reality that can be structured more according to one’s own wishes, tastes, and desires. And thus, a Second Reality is born.

 

As for me, all things considered, I’ll take First Reality, the Great Hierarchy of Being — God–Man–World–Society — any day, any time. I believe that human beings were put in this world to be creative actors, even if they never get to design the stage on which the acting is being done, nor to control the writing of the script by which the play unfolds. And meanwhile they not only act, but suffer the actions of other actors or forces — personal, natural, social — from outside themselves.

 

Yet to recognize all this is to recognize the very basis of one’s own existential humanity. And to realize that the lot of any other man is no different. To be part and participant of this divinely constituted, dynamic “sub-whole” of a yet greater Whole is a glorious privilege. To go hole up in a Second Reality, to me, would be to lose one’s reason and probably one’s soul as well….

 

Indeed, that appears to be the conclusion reached by Charles Baudelaire (1821–1867), the great French poet, a noetically and spiritually sensitive person who understood himself to be living in an age of great noetic and spiritual disorder:

 

“A man who does not accept the conditions of life, sells his soul.”

 

And he penned these lines that make it crystal-clear to whom our soul is to be sold:

 

Sur l’oreiller du mal c’est Satan Trismégiste

Qui berce longuement notre esprit enchanté,

Et le riche metal de notre volonté

Est tout vaporiseé par ce savant chimiste

 

C'est le Diable qui tient les fils qui nous remuent.[11]

 

 

[“On the pillow of evil is Satan Trismegistus

Who long lulls our minds delighted,

And the rich metal of our will

Everything is vaporized by the scientist chemist.

 

“It is the devil who holds the son who we move.”]

 

 

 



[1] Eric Vöegelin, “On Hegel: A Study in Sorcery,” Collected Works Vol. 12, 1990.

[2] Ibid.

[3] G. W. F. Hegel, MS, Fortsetzung des “Systems der Sittlichkeit,” c. 1804–06.

[4] Karl Marx, Doctoral Dissertation, 1840–41 (quoting a passage from Aeschylus’ Prometheus Bound).

[5] Karl Marx, “National Ökonomie und Philosophy,” Der Historische Materialismus: Die Früschriften.

[6] Eric Vöegelin, “On Hegel,” op. cit.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Eric Vöegelin, “Wisdom and the Magic of the Extreme,” Collected Works, Vol. 12, 1990.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Charles Baudelaire, “Au lecteur,” introducing the Fleurs du Mal, 1857.

©2008 Jean F. Drew


TOPICS: History; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: atheism; hegel; obama; secondrealities
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To: Alamo-Girl
To the contrary, God is not "in" time or space. Time and space are not properties of God. Neither therefore can the term "physical causation" or any other physical terms, e.g. physical laws, operate as restrictions on God.

Just because aspects of God are outside of time and space doesn't mean that others are not in time and space. Certainly the Son and the Holy Ghost have physical and temporal qualities, but I digress. I agree that your concept of God is eternal and uncaused and outside of time and space. This is a theological statement and a belief based on faith. It cannot therefore be argued.

Philosophically and scientifically, however, it is encumbent upon you to show why one class of object, let's call it the "supernatural" can exist outside of space-time and cause events inside of space-time, but other classes of objects may not.

Tegmark and Plato may be right or they may be wrong about mathematical constructs existing outside of space-time. Clearly this is another form of the koan: "tree falling in forest with no one to hear".

It is also the core of my cosmology. Interestingly, in "Timothy" you birdies mention Dawkins repeatedly, but I have yet to see references to the memes that he invented. (I'm only half way through (I read Gatsby in 2 hours which says something about Timothy)).

There is no doubt thgat Bethoven's fifth exists in space-time. It was created in space-time by a creature of space-time. And yet it doesn't exist anymore than the Pythagorean theorem absent some medium. It moved from a mind to written music to another mind to a wax disc to vinyl to tape to cd and it will exist as long as some form of memory exists.

If you listen carefully, you will learn that you too are just a signal in the fabric of space-time. All that exists is space-time and unique peices of information contained in discrete wave packets of space-time. That includes you and me and God and Satan and ducks and pencils and all other nouns and pronouns. I forget the word used for a discrete wave packet that behaves like a wave. It was discovered in Edinburgh in the 19th century near Heriot Watt University.

Dawkins didn't get it with his memes. He thought they were physical structures in brains, but they are your theoretical information outside (but really inside) of space-time.

151 posted on 11/19/2008 11:17:25 AM PST by PasorBob
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To: PasorBob

John Scott Russell and the solitary wave
Over one hundred and fifty years ago, while conducting experiments to determine the most efficient design for canal boats, a young Scottish engineer named John Scott Russell (1808-1882) made a remarkable scientific discovery. As he described it in his “Report on Waves”: (Report of the fourteenth meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, York, September 1844 (London 1845), pp 311-390, Plates XLVII-LVII).

``I was observing the motion of a boat which was rapidly drawn along a narrow channel by a pair of horses, when the boat suddenly stopped - not so the mass of water in the channel which it had put in motion; it accumulated round the prow of the vessel in a state of violent agitation, then suddenly leaving it behind, rolled forward with great velocity, assuming the form of a large solitary elevation, a rounded, smooth and well-defined heap of water, which continued its course along the channel apparently without change of form or diminution of speed. I followed it on horseback, and overtook it still rolling on at a rate of some eight or nine miles an hour, preserving its original figure some thirty feet long and a foot to a foot and a half in height. Its height gradually diminished, and after a chase of one or two miles I lost it in the windings of the channel. Such, in the month of August 1834, was my first chance interview with that singular and beautiful phenomenon which I have called the Wave of Translation’’.
(Cet passage en francais)
This event took place on the Union Canal at Hermiston, very close to the Riccarton campus of Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.
For a more detailed and technical account of the solitary wave, see for example R K Bullough, “The Wave” “par excellence”, the solitary, progressive great wave of equilibrium of the fluid - an early history of the solitary wave, in Solitons, ed. M Lakshmanan, Springer Series in Nonlinear Dynamics, 1988, 150-281


152 posted on 11/19/2008 11:24:44 AM PST by PasorBob
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To: Alamo-Girl
And even under Tegmark's model, there must be an uncaused cause of the mathematical structures themselves. No. Tegmark pretty much says they ARE God.
153 posted on 11/19/2008 11:33:53 AM PST by PasorBob
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To: betty boop

Did you know that to the Pythagoreans, soul was equivalent to breath?

This makes sense because they were trying to determine the difference between what it meant to be alive or dead. Clearly dead people didn’t breath. More interesting is the story that they believed that bean plants were repositories for the soul. That’s why they forbade eating beans.

Now why would they draw these conclusions?


154 posted on 11/19/2008 11:43:17 AM PST by PasorBob
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To: weston
Because God is outside of time, He sees all of time at once. This is why God can foreknow and yet be moved to action by my prayers. It is why I can make bad choices and yet in the future God can make these choices work together for my good. It is why freewill and predestination can both be true. All time is equal to God.

Same path of thought for me too. We can only see through a glass darkly . . . but I think you are right.

155 posted on 11/19/2008 7:31:03 PM PST by Woebama
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To: betty boop
Thanks, betty, for remembering me. I value and appreciate everyone’s contribution to this fascinating discussion, but I am particularly thankful for your initiative in raising this subject.

It’s not difficult to believe Marx’s affinity for Hegel, given his (Hegel’s) collectivist understanding of freedom and of Man (the individual). To propose that for Man to be left alone to make his own choices without interference by others is not to be free, but that Man is only free if his duty and his self-interest coincide, leaves me bereft of any defining word save one; that being ‘Orwellian’ (freedom is slavery).

But I wonder how much does Obama contemplate the mind-cracking dialectics of Marx and Hegel (William Ayers notwithstanding), or does he simply view their meanderings as a vehicle to exercise control of all our lives, our energies, and our wealth. I rather think the latter, but I’m open to persuasion.

156 posted on 11/19/2008 10:06:51 PM PST by YHAOS
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To: PasorBob; betty boop
I'm glad to hear you are about halfway through "Timothy!"

If you listen carefully, you will learn that you too are just a signal in the fabric of space-time. All that exists is space-time and unique peices of information contained in discrete wave packets of space-time.

When you get into the "What is Life?" section around page 91, you may find yourself on familiar ground (information theory and molecular biology.)

Even so, since you self-identify as a frog and define reality as finite or more specifically, that which is contained within the boundaries of space/time (which is finite) - and betty boop and I self-identify as birds, there is no way we can "make" you see what we see.

The frog view is that mathematical structures exist "in" space/time. The mathematician invents the geometry like the composer invents the music, etc.

The bird view is that mathematical structures confirm Platonic forms by the mere presence of variables in the equations. For instance, pi is the same regardless of the size of the circle or its location anywhere in space/time. The mathematician doesn't invent the geometry, he discovers it.

In my view, the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics is like God's copyright notice on the cosmos.

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. [There is] no speech nor language, [where] their voice is not heard. - Psalms 19:1-3

Indeed, wave phenomena are part of that creative speech. Interestingly, the sound or pressure waves at the moment photons decoupled from electrons, protons and neutrons are recorded in the cosmic microwave background radiation.

And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. – Genesis 1:3

But to the frog, God must exist "in" space/time because that is the boundary of his reality In the frog view, God must be finite because space/time is finite, physically existing, physically caused, subject to physical laws, e.g. entropy, etc.

In other words, there can be no God in frog-world, only an anthropomorphism of God, a “god” the frog can comprehend in his reality.

All that exists is space-time and unique peices of information contained in discrete wave packets of space-time. That includes you and me and God and Satan and ducks and pencils and all other nouns and pronouns.

Our irreconcilable differences notwithstading, we may find some agreement with reference to quantum field theory. To me, a particle is like a placemarker in a wave. Indeed, apparent mass may be merely a shadow of extra-dimensional dynamics.

And as you will see on page 91 forward in “Timothy” – we assert that the difference between life v. non-life/death in nature is the presence verse absence of information (successful communication) - not the message (e.g. DNA) but the successful communication of the message.

157 posted on 11/19/2008 10:18:37 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Alamo-Girl
The bird view is that mathematical structures confirm Platonic forms by the mere presence of variables in the equations. For instance, pi is the same regardless of the size of the circle or its location anywhere in space/time. The mathematician doesn't invent the geometry, he discovers it.

I am not communicating very effectively. I am apparently neither frog nor bird. I did not mean to imply that Pi was "invented" anymore than space-time was invented. (Although you apparently do believe it was invented by God). I see the universe as an ocean and everything that exists as waves in that ocean. Pi is a feature of the ocean itself. We are now in the realm of zen where we cannot explain, but only lead. I am reading your book which gives me insight into your thinking. If you are interested, here are two books I would recommend: The Tao of Physics

http://www.amazon.com/Tao-Physics-Exploration-Parallels-Anniversary/dp/1570625190

and The Matter Myth

http://www.amazon.com/Matter-Myth-Discoveries-Challenge-Understanding/dp/0671728415

I am trying to follow your implied definition of "God". It is confusing to me in that you seem to be denying that aspects of God are temporal. This would invalidate Jesus as God. Do you birds have an explicit definition of God that includes the Trinity?

I have most of Plato's works in my library. I read everything before it goes on the shelf. I am having trouble reconciling what I know of Plato with your writings citing him.

Birds can learn as well as teach??

BTW, Tegmark was Shapiro. He chose to be Tegmark, but of course he is Shapiro too (superposition). Tegmark sits on the mountain of wisdom but is also up to his neck in saṃsāra.

158 posted on 11/20/2008 4:57:42 AM PST by PasorBob
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To: PasorBob

saṃsÄ = samsara


159 posted on 11/20/2008 4:58:50 AM PST by PasorBob
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To: PasorBob; betty boop
Thank you for the book recommendations.

I am apparently neither frog nor bird.

That’s what I gathered early on in our discussion. I said that you remind me of Einstein who argued like a frog – indeed he self-identified as a frog (Aristotle) – but had the instinct of a bird (Plato.) His dream was to transmute the base wood of matter to the pure marble of geometry.

I see the universe as an ocean and everything that exists as waves in that ocean. Pi is a feature of the ocean itself.

I also gathered the wave worldview from your earlier remarks. That is why I said it is better to watch a movie from the beginning.

You are taking space/time, inertia and information as “given.” There is no origin in your cosmology. That’s very Aristotlean, very frog-like.

Einstein was so disturbed by the Hubble discovery, that there was a beginning of real space and real time (later affirmed by measurements of the CMB in the 1960’s) – that he “kluged” a cosmological constant. He later called that his biggest mistake. His personal, Aristotlean, cosmology required infinity past and he let that influence his reasoning.

And just like Einstein’s frog view was threatened by the beginning of real space and real time, your view also cannot appeal to an infinity past, aka the plentitude argument to justify the existence of space/time, information and inertia – i.e. wave mechanics.

I am trying to follow your implied definition of "God". It is confusing to me in that you seem to be denying that aspects of God are temporal. This would invalidate Jesus as God. Do you birds have an explicit definition of God that includes the Trinity?

Space/time, causality, information, inertia, life, consciousness, conscience etc. are all part of the Creation – they do not operate as restrictions on the Creator. Jewish mystics use the term Ayn Sof to describe God the Creator. It means “no thing” or “One without end from which all being emerges and into which all being dissolves.”

Jesus is God. His life did not begin when He was enfleshed. It was His will to become incarnate. Nor can His life end.

Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all [things] he might have the preeminence. For it pleased [the Father] that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, [I say], whether [they be] things in earth, or things in heaven.– Colossians 1:15-20

Who Jesus is can only be Spiritually discerned. The ones Jesus is addressing below were physically hearing Him (pressure or sound waves) but they could not spiritually hear Him:

Why do ye not understand my speech? [even] because ye cannot hear my word. – John 8:43

Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and [that] no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. – 1 Corinthians 12:3

Jesus Christ is the living Word of God. And the words of God are spirit and life, the words of men are neither spirit nor life.

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, [they] are spirit, and [they] are life. - John 6:63

And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. - Matt 4:3-4

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. – John 1:1-3

If you have – or if you receive in the future – “ears to hear” then that divine revelation will give you pause because of your wave cosmology. The Greek word Logos is translated to Word - it is also the root of the word “logic.”

Everything that was made was made by Jesus and for Jesus. His Creation is logical by His own will. If it were not, we could not understand any of it. That is why I see the "unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics" as His copyright notice on the cosmos.

And He spoke “all that there is” into existence – hence, the wave phenomena.

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. [There is] no speech nor language, [where] their voice is not heard. – Psalms 19:1-3

By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. – Psalms 33:6

A thing is true because He says it.

God’s Name is I AM and Alpha and Omega. He is not time-bound.

And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. – Exodus 3:14

Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. – John 8:58

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. – Revelation 1:8

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. – Revelation 22:13

My favorite metaphor for the Trinity is an ancient one. The Father is like the sun and the Son is like the light of the sun and the Holy Spirit is like the heat of the sun. The light and the heat cannot be separated from each other and both of them emanate from the sun. And if the sun had no beginning or end - as God has no beginning or end – both the light and the heat would share in that attribute as well.

Scripture speaks of the Trinity here (Spirit, Spirit of Christ, Spirit of God:)

But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. – Romans 8:9

The doctrine of the Trinity was subtle in the Torah – but it was there. El means mighty one, singular, as in El Shaddai which means “God Almighty” (Gen 17:1) Elohim means mighty ones, plural, as in Ruach Elohim which means “Spirit of God” (Gen 1:2). One God, three "Persons."

To God be the glory!

160 posted on 11/20/2008 7:47:45 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Alamo-Girl
I wish I typed as well as you!

Of course you do not know me. We have just met. But, please assume that I have been at this for a decade or two and that I have studied scripture, Plato and have at least read Super Strings and the Theory of Everything

My theory isn't arrived at recently.

I am intrigued by you and your sister bird because you reason and have expanded your horizons beyond the Bible. I must tell you that I am immune to the quoting of scripture. It is faith and I am in pursuit of objective nowledge before I die. Scripture is one view of the universe; birds are supposed to see the whole.

Please answer this question: What "thing" do you encounter that isn't made up of protons, neutrons, and electrons?

161 posted on 11/20/2008 9:18:37 AM PST by PasorBob
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To: Alamo-Girl
I wish I typed as well as you!

Of course you do not know me. We have just met. But, please assume that I have been at this for a decade or two and that I have studied scripture, Plato and have at least read Super Strings and the Theory of Everything

My theory isn't arrived at recently.

I am intrigued by you and your sister bird because you reason and have expanded your horizons beyond the Bible. I must tell you that I am immune to the quoting of scripture. It is faith and I am in pursuit of objective nowledge before I die. Scripture is one view of the universe; birds are supposed to see the whole.

Please answer this question: What "thing" do you encounter that isn't made up of protons, neutrons, and electrons?

162 posted on 11/20/2008 9:19:23 AM PST by PasorBob
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To: PasorBob; betty boop
Thank you for the encouragement!

Of course you do not know me. We have just met.

Actually, you sound very familiar.

I must tell you that I am immune to the quoting of scripture. It is faith and I am in pursuit of objective nowledge before I die.

Your "immunity" means that you do not yet have "ears to hear" or in the alternative, you choose to ignore what you hear. That is not a good thing because "the rest of the story" can only be spiritually discerned.

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned. – I Corinthians 2:14

Objective knowledge is only available to one who can see "all that there is" all at once. That One of course, is God. The natural man is merely an observer "in" space/time.

Your "immunity" prevents you from achieving your goal.

What "thing" do you encounter that isn't made up of protons, neutrons, and electrons?

Again, in the absence of space, things cannot exist. In the absence of time, events cannot occur. Space/time is required for physical causation. Ditto for physical laws, protons, neutrons, electrons, photons.

God is not a "thing" or an "event."

Nor is God a hypothesis. I've known Him personally for half a century and counting. His Name is I AM.

But your "immunity" prevents you from knowing Him and therefore from knowing objective Truth.

Sensory perception and reasoning - even knowledge of Scripture - can only take you so far because you suffer from the observer problem. You must know the power of God, Who is Jesus Christ Himself.

Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. – Matthew 22:29

But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. - I Corinthians 1:24

Your quest, by the way, is similar to Justin Martyr's whose journey took him to various Greek philosophies, the best knowledge of the day - peaking with Plato and ending with Jesus once he encountered Trypho the Jew.

Perhaps your bird instincts will overcome the frog predisposition and you, too, will be given "ears to hear" or if you have chosen to ignore what you hear, you'll change your mind.

To God be the glory.

163 posted on 11/20/2008 10:35:27 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: PasorBob

“I am in pursuit of objective nowledge”

You’ll find that objective knowledge in the person you give the power to ultimately define facts.


164 posted on 11/20/2008 2:43:11 PM PST by the_conscience
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To: Alamo-Girl

I thought we were speaking of science. If you wish to argue theology, I must retire. All theology is true and it is also all false.


165 posted on 11/20/2008 6:05:06 PM PST by PasorBob
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To: PasorBob; betty boop
I thought we were speaking of science. If you wish to argue theology, I must retire. All theology is true and it is also all false.

Science adheres to "methodological naturalism." Therefore it has neither the reach nor the methods necessary in the quest for "objective truth."

It's been fun though, thanks for the conversation.

166 posted on 11/20/2008 8:57:49 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Alamo-Girl

Good bye.


167 posted on 11/20/2008 10:00:35 PM PST by PasorBob
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To: weston
Hope this makes sense.

It does, weston. Thank you ever so much for noticing!

168 posted on 11/23/2008 1:50:26 PM PST by betty boop
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To: Woebama; Alamo-Girl
The leftist totalitarian has to live in the nightmare they create as well, even if they are partially in charge of the nightmare. Voegelin’s explanation of it as a psychological phenomenon . . . a turning away from reality that requires others to accept the illusion as well to avoid facing reality rings true to me at a deeper level than just the desire for power. Probably different mixes of the three motivations exist person by person who promote a totalitarian or God denying agenda: protecting a denial of reality, the will to power, and a malignant desire to afflict others with your pain and problems (invitation of them into your hell).

Brilliantly said, Woebama! Somewhere Eric Vöegelin is smiling right now. As am I. Thank you oh so very, very much!

169 posted on 11/23/2008 1:55:29 PM PST by betty boop
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To: the_conscience; Alamo-Girl; Woebama; weston; hosepipe
The problem with the hierarchy of being system is that it reduces each of these domains (God, man, world, society) into separate entities.

Absolutely excellent observation, the_conscience!

But at the same time, to “reduce” the partners into separate entities fatally detracts from the universal, synergistic cooperation and coherence of the partners, which is what the symbol “great hierarchy of being” intends to convey. Any “reduction into entities” tends to falsify its comprehensive meaning.

As with just about everything, there is a danger of “doctrinalization” of what is fundamentally ineffable. Language is the only carrier of human meaning. It is the articulation of self-reflected human experience. And experience is the key word here. Any doctrine tends to separate the “articulation in language” from the actual experience that gave rise to the language symbols. Further, to the extent that any doctrine holds itself out as authoritative, we are invited to accept its tenets as a sort of substitution for direct experience. Both ways we lose the idea that human experience, self-reflection, and articulation are the very foundations of everything we know or think we know, whether in science or philosophy.

And so I stay constantly aware of the Great Hierarchy of Being, not as any kind of “system” or “doctrine,” but as the most universal description of reality of which I can conceive, which illuminates my own direct existential experience and the articulation thereof. To me, it is the universal context in which human existence is conducted. I say that, not because I’ve been “told” that (by means of some doctrine), but because I have actually “seen” that, based on my own direct experience and my self-understanding of it.

Thank you so very much for your most perceptive criticism. I don’t know whether my reply answers it to your satisfaction, so take it FWIW.

170 posted on 11/23/2008 3:29:53 PM PST by betty boop
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To: betty boop; the_conscience; Alamo-Girl; Woebama
Great Hierarchy of Being...as the most universal description of reality of which I can conceive, which illuminates my own direct existential experience and the articulation thereof.

It certainly sheds light on my own personal war between spirit and flesh.

171 posted on 11/23/2008 4:26:34 PM PST by weston (As far as I'm concerned, it is Christ or nothing!)
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To: PasorBob; Alamo-Girl; hosepipe; Woebama; weston
I am intrigued by you and your sister bird because you reason and have expanded your horizons beyond the Bible. I must tell you that I am immune to the quoting of scripture. It is faith and I am in pursuit of objective [k]nowledge before I die. Scripture is one view of the universe; birds are supposed to see the whole. Please answer this question: What “thing” do you encounter that isn't made up of protons, neutrons, and electrons?

One thing at a time here PasorBob!

First of all, from where I sit, neither A-G nor I have “expanded [our] horizons beyond the Bible.” If you understand what the Bible is, you would understand that cannot be done: God’s Word is the Measure. Scripture comprehends everything that is, everything that ever was, and everything that ever will be. It is the Logos (in the sense of "story" here) of the Alpha and the Omega.

You say you are “immune to the quoting of scripture. It is faith and I am in pursuit of objective [k]nowledge before I die.” I gather by that you mean you are confining your field of interest to physical bodies, to the things that are composed of particles according to the laws of physics and chemistry, which must also satisfy the condition of being directly observable by you as "facts" of external nature. This is what makes them “objective.”

Yet there are two questionable things implied by your method: First, your expectation that physical bodies (composed of “protons, neutrons, and electrons” — i.e., “matter”) are “all that there is”; which of course leaves out the small matter of the laws of physics and chemistry, which are not themselves “physical.” Second, you overlook the not so small fact that the separation of knowledge into “objective” and “subjective” categories is itself a “subjective” operation, an operation of your mind (another non-physical entity).

You wrote that “you birds ‘are supposed to see the whole.’” Well, we don’t "see the whole." No one (save God) ever sees the “whole.” We just try to take a perch where we can get the most expansive field of vision possible.

You and we and all of us humans are all parts and participants of “the whole.” As such, we cannot ever stand outside of it to see it all “entire.” What we are left with is a point of view only. As James Bowman writes in his latest book, [Media Madness: The Corruption of Our Political Culture, Encounter, 2008], “….we all must have a point of view of the world, if only because we can’t see it all at once.” We must accept we can only have partial views of it based on our spatio-temporal position.

And “partial views” in another critical sense, as Immanuel Kant pointed out. Human perceptual equipment is only designed to register what can be filtered into it by means of direct sensation by our five senses, and mainly sight. Kant, in effect, argues (persuasively, it seems to me) that what we actually perceive by means of sensory experience is a sort of temporal “image” of the surface appearance of the entity under observation. We never see the entity, the intended object of our thought, as it is in itself, but only its surface appearance at a particular moment in time.

I think what you are looking for is not so much “objectivity,” as “certainty.” But there is no certainty in this world! We cannot have that unless we are omniscient, omnipresent observers of its evolution over time, AND we are not “involved” as entities in its process.

Thus there are cognitive limits that we humans cannot transcend. That being so, there is no way we can have absolute “certainty” about anything in this world, this side of the grave at least.

FWIW PasorBob! Thank you so very much for your participation on this thread.

p.s.: There is no "thing" that isn't made up of protons, neutrons, and electrons. But man is MORE than a "thing."

172 posted on 11/23/2008 4:52:40 PM PST by betty boop
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To: betty boop; the_conscience; Woebama; weston; hosepipe; marron; xzins
Thank you so very much for your outstanding essay-post, dearest sister in Christ!

For the conversation, I'd like to put the emphasis on the word hierarchy in the Great Hierarchy of Being and offer an example.

Namely that There is only One Great Commandment.

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

This is the first and great commandment.

And the second [is] like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. – Matthew 22:37-40

When we keep our priorities straight, the hierarchy, we will always love God surpassingly above all else. Love of neighbor is a distant second priority which flows necessarily from the love of God.

But when we invert those two commandments, the result is "Liberation Theology" which of course is Obama's spiritual Christian roots.

In that theology, the true believers put loving neighbor and self ahead of loving God and defiantly declare that if God does not meet their standard of loving their neighbors and self as they think they do, then they reject God.

The consequence of such inverted true belief is socialism.

173 posted on 11/24/2008 9:01:05 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Alamo-Girl; joanie-f; marron; hosepipe
When we keep our priorities straight, the hierarchy, we will always love God surpassingly above all else. Love of neighbor is a distant second priority which flows necessarily from the love of God.... But when we invert those two commandments, the result is "Liberation Theology" which of course is Obama's spiritual Christian roots.

What a brilliant insight, Alamo-Girl! When the "preferential option for the poor" is established as the main focus of religion, God is eclipsed; the proper hierarchical relation is inverted; and we lose the meaning of "the poor" stressed in Holy Scripture, which is not just a description of someone who is economically disadvantaged ("The poor ye shall always have with you"); but someone who is "poor in spirit," meaning: a man who walks with God in humility — meaning a man who puts God first in his life.

I certainly agree with your conclusion: "The consequence of such inverted true belief is socialism."

Thank you ever so much for you most perceptive essay/post, dearest sister in Christ! — and for your very kind words!

174 posted on 11/24/2008 10:36:01 AM PST by betty boop
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To: betty boop
So very true, dearest sister in Christ. Thank you for your encouragements!

BTW, Obama's particular flavor of Liberation Theology is even more preferential, because it gives even higher priority to disadvantaged people of color.

Spiritual error twice over.

175 posted on 11/24/2008 10:46:10 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Alamo-Girl; marron; joanie-f; hosepipe
Obama's particular flavor of Liberation Theology is even more preferential, because it gives even higher priority to disadvantaged people of color.... Spiritual error twice over.

Yup, it sure is "Spiritual error," twice-over!

This "preference" violates the spiritual truth that all men are equal in the sight of God, despite whatever their earthly "advantages" or "disadvantages" might be.

It should be obvious that equality of persons in the sight of God is the core principle underlying the American idea of equal justice for all persons under a rule of law.

Thank you ever so much, dearest sister in Christ, for your perceptive observations on this point!

176 posted on 11/24/2008 12:48:57 PM PST by betty boop
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To: betty boop

Have you ever tried to imagine God’s understanding . . . each atom in our body, each cell’s actions, our thoughts, our perceptions, the world spinning, rotating around the sun, the sun rotating within the galaxy, the galaxy moving relative to the other galaxies, space itself contracting or expanding (whichever it is), and this for every man, woman, child and animal on the face of the earth and beyond if they exist. All this at once, and for all history and all future. We can be stopped in our tracks by the beauty of a single sunset. God sees all sunsets, his creation, from the beginning of time, at once and forever, through millions of eyes, plus his own. On and on. Lewis in one of his novels called it a dance. God’s glory is an act of love. Since scripture comprehends the beginning and the end, the alpha and the omega, creator and creation, and the logos, all pointed out by you, I agree that there is nothing outside of scripture in the sense that you mean.


177 posted on 11/24/2008 6:22:40 PM PST by Woebama
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To: betty boop
So very true, dearest sister in Christ, so very true. Thank you for all your encouragements and insights!
178 posted on 11/24/2008 8:50:04 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Woebama; Alamo-Girl
Since scripture comprehends the beginning and the end, the alpha and the omega, creator and creation, and the logos, all pointed out by you, I agree that there is nothing outside of scripture in the sense that you mean.

That is the sense I meant indeed! Thank you for expressing it so very well Woebama!

179 posted on 11/25/2008 11:05:00 AM PST by betty boop
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To: betty boop; Alamo-Girl; Woebama; weston; hosepipe
Any doctrine tends to separate the “articulation in language” from the actual experience that gave rise to the language symbols. Further, to the extent that any doctrine holds itself out as authoritative, we are invited to accept its tenets as a sort of substitution for direct experience. Both ways we lose the idea that human experience, self-reflection, and articulation are the very foundations of everything we know or think we know, whether in science or philosophy. [emphasis mine]

Historical knowledge is a substitute for direct experience but nevertheless a distinct part of reality. Mere existentialism must always flatten out history and assume all past events are cotemporaneous. History loses its revelational content, God becomes unknowable, the Christ event is mystery, humanness is all contingency with no relation to the universal.

Of course the existential is a necessary component of knowledge but to yank the historical revelational content expressed doctrinally out of the knowledge equation leaves the subject swaying the seas of experience without the firm foundation of actual historical events.

The historical event is not merely a language game but actually provides concrete meaning to our experiences.

Happy Providence!

180 posted on 11/27/2008 9:40:17 PM PST by the_conscience
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To: betty boop; Alamo-Girl
[ I certainly agree with your(A-G) conclusion: "The consequence of such inverted true belief is socialism." ]

Socialism is in reality a second reality.. a closed system, that many buy into.. Ronaldus Maximus said it quite simply..

"How do you tell a Socialist:- It's someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an Anti-Socialist.... someone who understands Marx and Lenin" -Ronald Reagan

181 posted on 11/28/2008 10:54:18 AM PST by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole....)
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To: hosepipe
That is a wonderful quote! Thank you so very much for sharing it, dear hosepipe!
182 posted on 11/28/2008 9:27:37 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: the_conscience; betty boop; hosepipe
Thank you for sharing your insights, the_conscience.

However, there is a vast difference between hearing about Jesus and knowing Him.

hosepipe often puts it something like this: "Jesus: you MUST be born again."

But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. – Romans 8:9

Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. - John 3:5-7

To God be the glory!

183 posted on 11/28/2008 9:34:28 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: the_conscience; Alamo-Girl; Woebama; weston; hosepipe
Historical knowledge is a substitute for direct experience but nevertheless a distinct part of reality.... The historical event is not merely a language game but actually provides concrete meaning to our experiences.

Totally agreed that historical knowledge is a distinct part of reality. It must be a substitute for direct experience since it deals with vast stretches of the human past in which we were not living. But history is susceptible to "doctrinalization," which may deform or even misrepresent the actual historical record. For instance, Marx's Communist Manifesto is essentially an elaboration of Marx's theory of history, which in many ways is the projection in retrospect of his own personal character, beliefs, and aspirations onto the actual historical record. In Marx's case, this deformation is so extreme that we can call it a "second reality."

Also take the example of Karl Jasper's axial time, in which he segregates the historical period roughly 800–200 B.C., focusing on ~500 B.C., noting that at this time certain great yet quite similar irruptions of the human spirit took place via such figures as Confucius, Lao-Tse, the Buddha, Deutero-Isaiah, Heraclitus, and Pythagoras — a striking contemporaneity that cannot be explained by cultural diffusion. Jaspers on a look-back sees axial time as a distinct "era," carving it out, as it were, from the stream of history; and then imbuing it with the éclat of being the very period in human history in which the few seminal, constituting thinkers established the lasting cultural bases of their respective societies.

There are two things "wrong" with Jasper's idea of axial time as the seedbed of the great historical human cultures. (1) In his search for meaning in history, he relies on his own rational criteria and lived experience (as indeed he must), backloading them onto a period when men then living would never have seen them as relevant to their own lived experience (there being no Protestant, post-Enlightenment thinkers back then). In short, this procedure is anachronistic. (2) Axial time completely omits Moses and Christ (who of course did not live in this "era") — without whom the 2000-year-old Western culture would be utterly unintelligible.

You are absolutely right to say that historical events actually provide concrete meaning to our experiences. Certainly this was true for Marx and Jaspers. My only point is that the overlay of our own personal rational criteria and experiences backwards onto history in our search for the meaning of it may distort history and the conclusions we reach about it. "History" can be distorted, deformed by "historiography." This is equally true whether we are speaking of history in general or evolution theory in particular.

I never intended anyone to think I was speaking of "language games" in my last. When I said that "experience, self-reflection, and articulation are the very foundations of everything we know or think we know," by "articulation" I meant "language." Language is not a "game." It is the only means by which human beings can communicate their experiences to one another, the only way knowledge can be conveyed and preserved. There is no other.

Note the "category" of self-reflection. It is here that men become aware of spiritual experience (if they ever do). It is here where the God–Man relation is sensed, where we encounter the divine, where we meet Christ.

the_conscience, thank you so very much for your penetrating essay-post!

184 posted on 11/29/2008 12:01:09 PM PST by betty boop
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To: betty boop
Thank you so very much for your wonderfully informative essay-post, dearest sister in Christ!
185 posted on 11/29/2008 8:56:29 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Alamo-Girl; betty boop; hosepipe
However, there is a vast difference between hearing about Jesus and knowing Him.

Thanks, AG. Without trying to parse your statement too closely I'll only add that all men know the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost through nature, conscience, and providence to leave them without excuse. The fact that many suppress the truth only adds to their condemnation (Rom 1).

186 posted on 12/01/2008 7:35:25 PM PST by the_conscience
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To: betty boop; Alamo-Girl; Woebama; weston; hosepipe

bb,
What you highlight and examine is true and accurate. But I wonder do not all men engage in a second reality? Getting to first reality is knowing God accurately and I’m afraid we all fall short of that mark. The unbeliever will reside in second reality while, perchance, he might at a point reflect and turn for a moment to first reality, but like the prodigal son he will headlong to the pig trough.

As to the spiritual experience, well, I guess i like to be concrete and where the existential is examined it is always the history of the existential in light of the transcendent law. If the existential is not fully perceived in light of the transcendent law than the spiritual becomes merely creature worship.

Happy Providence!


187 posted on 12/01/2008 8:05:25 PM PST by the_conscience
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To: the_conscience; betty boop; hosepipe
Thank you so very much for sharing your insights!

The fact that many suppress the truth only adds to their condemnation (Rom 1).

Truly men have no excuse for not noticing that God IS:

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. – Romans 1:20-21

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. [There is] no speech nor language, [where] their voice is not heard. – Psalms 19:1-3

Moreover, not everyone has “ears to hear” – it is a gift of the Father. The people Jesus was addressing below were physically hearing Him, but they could not spiritually hear Him:

Why do ye not understand my speech? [even] because ye cannot hear my word. – John 8:43

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: - John 10:27

And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. - John 6:65

Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people's heart is waxed gross, and [their] ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with [their] eyes, and hear with [their] ears, and should understand with [their] heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

But blessed [are] your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. – Matthew 13:13-16

The natural man cannot receive the things of God because they are Spiritually discerned:

For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned. – I Corinthians 2:11-14

But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. – Romans 8:9

To God be the glory!

188 posted on 12/02/2008 7:40:02 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: betty boop; the_conscience; Alamo-Girl
[ its final Gestalt, which in Hegel’s system is identified with the consciousness of Hegel expressing as the complete identity of absolute Self and absolute Idea — world history ends; and a “new age” of Man, “standing alone,” begins. Because man is now “alone,” Hegel teaches that now he has arrived at the point in history where he can grant “grace to himself,” to “save himself,” to perfect the human condition, without the salvific Grace of God. ]
-----------------------------

The gestalt of identity is what being born again is all about.. Do you identify with the "flesh" or do you identify with the "spirit"/Spirit?.. What "are" you?.. Flesh?... spirit?.. both or neither?.. What is at stake is not only your lifestyle.. but the spirit of your awareness..

When you look into a mirror do you see yourself?.. or merely the container of yourself?.. Are you happy with the packaging or do you want(seek after) the contents of the packaging.. Large questions requiring answers about "identity"..

What is God, Angels, spirits, demons, the devil? are distant answers to personal identity.. cause what "you" are determines what those things(beings) are.. in your world..

Personal Indentity is at the base of who you think you are.. Metaphorically being born again is mandatory to your world view.. What Hegel missed (I think) is after becoming sure of who you(anyone) think you are.. you might be WRONG!.. I love the verse of I Cor 2;9..

However, as it is written:
"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him"
(also; Isaiah ch 64..)

Identifying with God (on any level) is a mind blowing event..
Are you a primate?... or something else entirely..

189 posted on 12/03/2008 7:13:48 AM PST by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole....)
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To: the_conscience; Alamo-Girl; Woebama; weston; hosepipe
...where the existential is examined it is always the history of the existential in light of the transcendent law. If the existential is not fully perceived in light of the transcendent law than the spiritual becomes merely creature worship.

the_conscience, I'm intrigued by your use of the word "existential" here. Are you referring to subjective experience? Or did you intend something else by this term? I just want to be clear that I'm understanding you correctly.

190 posted on 12/03/2008 9:21:50 AM PST by betty boop
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To: Alamo-Girl; betty boop; the_conscience; Woebama; hosepipe
so when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate.-Gen 3:6

Trying to attain wisdom apart from the spiritual (God) has been a temptation from the beginning. The results are always the same; a lack of understanding and separation from God.

191 posted on 12/03/2008 5:15:57 PM PST by weston (As far as I'm concerned, it is Christ or nothing!)
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To: hosepipe
Identifying with God (on any level) is a mind blowing event..

Indeed. Thank you so much for sharing your insights, dear brother in Christ!

192 posted on 12/03/2008 9:10:59 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: weston; betty boop; hosepipe
So very true. Jesus Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. The wisdom of men will not do.

Thank you so much for sharing your insights!

And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.

For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.

And my speech and my preaching [was] not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. – I Corinthians 2:1-5

But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. - I Corinthians 1:24

To God be the glory!

193 posted on 12/03/2008 9:14:21 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Alamo-Girl
But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. - I Corinthians 1:24

Thank you for bringing it back to Jesus, Alamo-Girl!

BTW your new book is on my Christmas "wish list."

194 posted on 12/03/2008 9:50:27 PM PST by weston (As far as I'm concerned, it is Christ or nothing!)
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To: weston
Thank you so very much for your encouragements and for your support for There is Only One Great Commandment!
195 posted on 12/03/2008 10:01:40 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: betty boop

“Are you referring to subjective experience?”

Yes.


196 posted on 12/04/2008 5:53:53 AM PST by the_conscience
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To: weston; the_conscience; Alamo-Girl; Woebama; hosepipe
the_conscience wrote: ...where the existential is examined it is always the history of the existential in light of the transcendent law. If the existential is not fully perceived in light of the transcendent law than the spiritual becomes merely creature worship.

weston wrote: Trying to attain wisdom apart from the spiritual (God) has been a temptation from the beginning. The results are always the same; a lack of understanding and separation from God.

Beautiful insights both! It seems we're all seeing the same thing here though perhaps from slightly different perspectives. Ultimately it's called "soul," and our common concern is with what constitutes its good order.

Man is more than a "creature," i.e., in the sense of having a finite physical body. God created him in His own image, i.e., as an eternal soul, a spiritual entity whose essential nature is liberty and understanding. Created man is "psyche in soma," as the Greeks put it — embodied, incarnated spirit — the implication being, as St. Thomas Aquinas pointed out, that psyche is the senior partner, the specifying order of the corporeal body, and that without the soul there could be no soma, no corporeal body, in the first place.

Soul is moreover the seat of all subjective experience whatsoever: It is where the light of the transcendent law can become luminous in human consciousness, mediating all true understanding and knowledge.

A soul closed to God means a deliberate separation from God's order, which involves a sort of collapse back into one's own creatureliness. The soul becomes disordered, because closure to God means that the soul loses connection to its own innate principle of order. When this happens, we begin to "devolve" into brute animals.

Man was made for God, not God for man. We can reject our God-given nature by denying the soul. We are at perfect liberty to do that. But in doing that, in effect, we reject our own divinely-constituted humanity as well, notably including reason and free will....

Typically we humans take pretty good care of our bodies. But what are we doing for the good order and care of our souls?

Just some ruminations, FWIW. Thank you weston and one_conscience for your excellent posts!

197 posted on 12/04/2008 12:19:07 PM PST by betty boop
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To: betty boop; the_conscience; Alamo-Girl; Woebama; hosepipe
Typically we humans take pretty good care of our bodies. But what are we doing for the good order and care of our souls?

So odd you would say this today, betty. This evening as I drove back to my hotel, I was busily building a mental list of things I need to do before retiring. I was thinking about working out in the gym, checking email etc; at the same time searching for a good radio station (I'm in a new city today). A station was playing some sort of Gregorian Chant type music which sounded rather soothing and I continued to let my mind race. But this song kept saying the same thing over and over "for the beauty of your mercy and passion, we thank you Lord for ourselves and the world" After 4 or 5 times I sort of got irritated because it was interrupting my thoughts. Suddenly the words shook me awake and something in my spirit stirred. A little voice in my head said almost your very exact words! You're taking care of your body and your business, but what are you doing to care for your soul?
I've been trying to figure out how I ended up on this thread, because I would not consider myself a deep philosophical thinker like the rest here. But today I think I know why. This may be TMI, but I thank you for your post.

198 posted on 12/04/2008 5:24:27 PM PST by weston (As far as I'm concerned, it is Christ or nothing!)
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To: betty boop
Thank you oh so very much for sharing your wonderful insights, dearest sister in Christ!

A soul closed to God means a deliberate separation from God's order, which involves a sort of collapse back into one's own creatureliness. The soul becomes disordered, because closure to God means that the soul loses connection to its own innate principle of order. When this happens, we begin to "devolve" into brute animals.

Precisely so.

199 posted on 12/04/2008 9:15:13 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: weston
I've been trying to figure out how I ended up...

LOLOL! That happens a lot to me, too.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose. - Romans 8:28

To God be the glory!

Thank you so very much for sharing your testimony and insights, dear brother in Christ!

200 posted on 12/04/2008 9:17:20 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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