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des

Panentheism 101

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In regards to childhood and mysticism though I read an interesting quote in the "Universe Story" Briane Swimme. "Li Sao [China 4th c BC] gives expression to the deepest sorrow in a poem entitled 'Falling Into Trouble'. Mencius (??) tells of the tendency in humans as they move out of childhood to throw away their minds. Thereafter the whole life is to recover the lost mind of the child." This is explained as to how the Chinese (or at least ancient Chinese) saw what we term the "fall".

I highly recommend reading Wilber on developmental spirituality, to avoid the trap of thinking that infants and children are more spiritually mature than adults, and that adults have fallen away from some pristine state of paradise. Especially Up From Eden and The Atman Project. The jist is: infants aren't in Paradise; they just don't yet realize they're on Earth. Subconsious Hell -> Conscious Hell -> (Super)Conscious Heaven. Undifferentiated Union -> Differentiated Split -> Integrated Union. I know this is way too cursory, but I have a train to catch. ;)

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If you and Panta wish to continue the Process Philosophy/Theology discussion, I might pipe in now and again, but I've kinda run out of steam. I'm enjoying the conversation, but alas, do not feel I'm contributing much worth commenting on at this time.  ;)

 

Same here. I'm in "observation mode" with this thread.

 

I find myself agreeing sometimes, disagreeing sometimes, and questioning where all this agreement and disagreement is coming from or what it's actually worth. The thread has value to me, but so far it isn't changing my thoughts about anything related to the actual thread topic. Mostly what I'm learning here has to do with the difficulty in communicating when people come at a subject from so many varied backgrounds and points of view.

 

FWIW my background is so completely different from that of most others here that I've abandoned the idea that it's possible to get onto the same page as many here, and I'm pretty certain that any attempt to express my own spiritual sense of things is likely to be grossly misunderstood.

 

So it's probably best that I just listen for now.

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Fred:

I highly recommend reading Wilber on developmental spirituality, to avoid the trap of thinking that infants and children are more spiritually mature than adults, and that adults have fallen away from some pristine state of paradise.  Especially Up From Eden and The Atman Project.  The jist is: infants aren't in Paradise; they just don't yet realize they're on Earth.

 

I'm not sure I *believe* the quote from Swimme's book (or that he believes it for that matter) haven't gotten to that point in the book yet actually-- was paging thru.

I know enough about child cognition to know that children are at an earlier cognitive state and are not able to think as adult's do. This allows a certain naivety and innocence that is appealing and wonderful, but we could never go back and I dont' think we'd want to.

I think it *is* accurate to say we lose something though. (Aside from innocence and virginity :-)) There are lots of studies of creative thought and it is only after years that we can regain that which we lose in about 4th grade. (Not sure why we lose it, I have often thought it is school, but at that same age children start being aware of their peers in a way that they were not previously. It is possible that this awareness causes children to worry about who they are in the world and how they "present" so they give up some of their newer ideas.)

You hear a lot of artists talk this way. I'm sure creativity has a part in mystical thought.

 

BTW, I would also NOT ever think of children as more *spiritually mature*, I think what we are talking about is more mystical experiences that are available regardless of age, intellect (even to the mentally retarded), etc.

 

--des

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BTW, I would also NOT ever think of children as more *spiritually mature*, I think what we are talking about is more mystical experiences that are available regardless of age, intellect (even to the mentally retarded), etc.

Absolutely, hence Wilber refers to both developmental lines and peak experiences.

 

In A Sociable God, Wilber actually makes the important distinction between the "romantic" idea of a Fall from infancy to adulthood, and the more perennial idea of an involution, or Fall into materiality at all. By the time we're conceived, we've already "forgotten" (in the Platonic sense), i.e. we're already on our way Up. (Incidentally, this is how I interpret and apply the Christian idea of original sin.)

 

At the same time, and in an different way, a child's creativity certainly flows more freely before the advent of an extreme adolescent obsession with self-image. This isn't so much the "Great Fall," as it is a pitfall of the developmental process itself. Sadly, it's one that many never overcome.

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BTW, I would also NOT ever think of children as more *spiritually mature*, I think what we are talking about is more mystical experiences that are available regardless of age, intellect (even to the mentally retarded), etc.

Absolutely, hence Wilber refers to both developmental lines and peak experiences.

 

In A Sociable God, Wilber actually makes the important distinction between the "romantic" idea of a Fall from infancy to adulthood, and the more perennial idea of an involution, or Fall into materiality at all. By the time we're conceived, we've already "forgotten" (in the Platonic sense), i.e. we're already on our way Up. (Incidentally, this is how I interpret and apply the Christian idea of original sin.)

 

At the same time, and in an different way, a child's creativity certainly flows more freely before the advent of an extreme adolescent obsession with self-image. This isn't so much the "Great Fall," as it is a pitfall of the developmental process itself. Sadly, it's one that many never overcome.

Yes, when we discusuus "pre-personal" & "trans-personal," the operative term is "personal." Cognitive development and the development of a "self" structure, (implied in the term "personal") probably go hand in hand &, of course probably are unavoidable. I tend to think it si reaching the developmental phase of "personal," developing a self, which is a relatively enduring image/view of self and world, that tends to close the gate on these other froms of awarenesses. It is only as we gain or regain a more permeable self that those awarenesses can come to the fore again. Still I think there is a subtle tendency in wilber's thought to assume that insights emerging later in development are in a sense "truer" than those which come earlier. "tis the same "God" speaking, only the insturment spoken through that changes over time-kinda like first hearing the "sound of God through a harp, then later through a trumpet. Which is the "truer" sound? Have a good one, Earl

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BTW, I would also NOT ever think of children as more *spiritually mature*, I think what we are talking about is more mystical experiences that are available regardless of age, intellect (even to the mentally retarded), etc.

Absolutely, hence Wilber refers to both developmental lines and peak experiences.

 

In A Sociable God, Wilber actually makes the important distinction between the "romantic" idea of a Fall from infancy to adulthood, and the more perennial idea of an involution, or Fall into materiality at all. By the time we're conceived, we've already "forgotten" (in the Platonic sense), i.e. we're already on our way Up. (Incidentally, this is how I interpret and apply the Christian idea of original sin.)

 

At the same time, and in an different way, a child's creativity certainly flows more freely before the advent of an extreme adolescent obsession with self-image. This isn't so much the "Great Fall," as it is a pitfall of the developmental process itself. Sadly, it's one that many never overcome.

Yes, when we discusuus "pre-personal" & "trans-personal," the operative term is "personal." Cognitive development and the development of a "self" structure, (implied in the term "personal") probably go hand in hand &, of course probably are unavoidable. I tend to think it si reaching the developmental phase of "personal," developing a self, which is a relatively enduring image/view of self and world, that tends to close the gate on these other froms of awarenesses. It is only as we gain or regain a more permeable self that those awarenesses can come to the fore again. Still I think there is a subtle tendency in wilber's thought to assume that insights emerging later in development are in a sense "truer" than those which come earlier. "tis the same "God" speaking, only the insturment spoken through that changes over time-kinda like first hearing the "sound of God through a harp, then later through a trumpet. Which is the "truer" sound? Have a good one, Earl

I think I'd better change my signature line to: "warning, you will need language translation to read my posts as I've long been the king of typos! :) " Perhaps it might be nice to spin off a discussion thread re kid's spirituality, as my mind's been a bit busy pondering the possibilities lately. In fact, i like to play "what if" conceptual games. Wilber's view had always been one essentially of psychospiritual development or evolution, which would imply that the later development being more "complex & holonic" was a "better" development. I guess what my aforementioned metaphor as humans being literally the "instruments" of God implies is that the instrument can & does change over time, but what of the song played or the nature of the player? Does a "truer" God song get played with development of the instrument? There probably is something to be said certainly for the notion that we can "hear" & respond more coherently to God when we are not overly burdened by the "passions," (to use the terms of the early Christian church) & evolving out of that dominance would "clean up our instrument" a bit to play a purer note. The apparent innocence of childhood is eventually replaced by the "maturity" of humans having trod the world a bit & often being trod on by the world. Innocence is untested by the world. The maturing of the instrument can either result in a dead instrument or a tempering that allows for a redeemed song to go forth-pain and suffering redeemed by a maturing that results in an ability ot open our minds and hearts to allow that same song of God to resonate through the now known world of pain, limitation, suffering but with a open-eyed joy and love. The Word/song played out and in the playing redeeming both the instrument and the world within which it plays. Between the innocence of childhood and the redemption of a more transpersonal awakening, however, we tend to do the majority of our stumbling. Unfortunately, it's adults at that phase of life of peak confusion;i.e., the maturity of conventioanl ego-bound thought, that lead the church services & sunday schools that attempt to teach the kids "what it's all about," when perhaps we don't realize how much they have to teach us. Take care, Earl

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Unfortunately, it's adults at that phase of life of peak confusion;i.e., the maturity of conventioanl ego-bound thought, that lead the church services & sunday schools that attempt to teach the kids "what it's all about," when perhaps we don't realize how much they have to teach us. Take care, Earl

Amen to that!

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BTW, I would also NOT ever think of children as more *spiritually mature*, I think what we are talking about is more mystical experiences that are available regardless of age, intellect (even to the mentally retarded), etc.

Absolutely, hence Wilber refers to both developmental lines and peak experiences.

 

In A Sociable God, Wilber actually makes the important distinction between the "romantic" idea of a Fall from infancy to adulthood, and the more perennial idea of an involution, or Fall into materiality at all. By the time we're conceived, we've already "forgotten" (in the Platonic sense), i.e. we're already on our way Up. (Incidentally, this is how I interpret and apply the Christian idea of original sin.)

 

At the same time, and in an different way, a child's creativity certainly flows more freely before the advent of an extreme adolescent obsession with self-image. This isn't so much the "Great Fall," as it is a pitfall of the developmental process itself. Sadly, it's one that many never overcome.

Yes, when we discusuus "pre-personal" & "trans-personal," the operative term is "personal." Cognitive development and the development of a "self" structure, (implied in the term "personal") probably go hand in hand &, of course probably are unavoidable. I tend to think it si reaching the developmental phase of "personal," developing a self, which is a relatively enduring image/view of self and world, that tends to close the gate on these other froms of awarenesses. It is only as we gain or regain a more permeable self that those awarenesses can come to the fore again. Still I think there is a subtle tendency in wilber's thought to assume that insights emerging later in development are in a sense "truer" than those which come earlier. "tis the same "God" speaking, only the insturment spoken through that changes over time-kinda like first hearing the "sound of God through a harp, then later through a trumpet. Which is the "truer" sound? Have a good one, Earl

I think I'd better change my signature line to: "warning, you will need language translation to read my posts as I've long been the king of typos! :) " Perhaps it might be nice to spin off a discussion thread re kid's spirituality, as my mind's been a bit busy pondering the possibilities lately. In fact, i like to play "what if" conceptual games. Wilber's view had always been one essentially of psychospiritual development or evolution, which would imply that the later development being more "complex & holonic" was a "better" development. I guess what my aforementioned metaphor as humans being literally the "instruments" of God implies is that the instrument can & does change over time, but what of the song played or the nature of the player? Does a "truer" God song get played with development of the instrument? There probably is something to be said certainly for the notion that we can "hear" & respond more coherently to God when we are not overly burdened by the "passions," (to use the terms of the early Christian church) & evolving out of that dominance would "clean up our instrument" a bit to play a purer note. The apparent innocence of childhood is eventually replaced by the "maturity" of humans having trod the world a bit & often being trod on by the world. Innocence is untested by the world. The maturing of the instrument can either result in a dead instrument or a tempering that allows for a redeemed song to go forth-pain and suffering redeemed by a maturing that results in an ability ot open our minds and hearts to allow that same song of God to resonate through the now known world of pain, limitation, suffering but with a open-eyed joy and love. The Word/song played out and in the playing redeeming both the instrument and the world within which it plays. Between the innocence of childhood and the redemption of a more transpersonal awakening, however, we tend to do the majority of our stumbling. Unfortunately, it's adults at that phase of life of peak confusion;i.e., the maturity of conventioanl ego-bound thought, that lead the church services & sunday schools that attempt to teach the kids "what it's all about," when perhaps we don't realize how much they have to teach us. Take care, Earl

Not being a Bible scholar-or even much of a Bible reader-I'd never encountered this verse before until someone else brought it to my attention @ another forum:

 

"I praise you Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children." Matthew 11: 25-26

 

Matthew must have been on the same track-take care, Earl

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12 minutes ago, romansh said:

Came across this blog

Why I Am Not a Pantheist

I thought it was well presented from a more orthodox theistic point of view and the discussion thereafter was to the point.

 

Inadequate in terms of Christian panentheism.  A better illustration would be God as a collective consciousness connecting individuals through a web of spiritual relationships.  The Holy Spirit of the Trinity.

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1 hour ago, Burl said:

Inadequate in terms of Christian panentheism.  A better illustration would be God as a collective consciousness connecting individuals through a web of spiritual relationships.  The Holy Spirit of the Trinity.

So what you actually describe is not all-in-god. Unless you are claiming bricks have consciousness and we have spiritual relationships with bricks?

Also the author was specifically speaking to a plain vanilla flavour of panentheism.

Edited by romansh

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This should have read ... Why I Am Not a Panentheist apologies

Edited by romansh

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But I have a spiritual relationship with you :).  

I did not say this person was incorrect; only inadequate.  He has a piece of the puzzle.  God the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit are always present as well.

Bricks are a combination of the clay created by God being modified by mankind's free will to be a co-creation.  Not unlike grain being co-created by mankind's free will into digestible bread, or rapidly spoiling grape juice being co-created by mankind's free will into wine.

 

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32 minutes ago, romansh said:

Dawkins on deism and pantheism

 

Dawkins is an atheist incorrectly reducing pantheism to a tautology.  He even says pantheism and atheism are synonyms, which is ample evidence he does not know what he is talking about.

The Gaia hypothesis is a true pantheism.  We are but cells in the all encompassing, sentient deity of Gaia.  Definite not synonymous with atheism.

 

Edited by Burl

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4 hours ago, romansh said:

Came across this blog

Why I Am Not a Pantheist

I thought it was well presented from a more orthodox theistic point of view and the discussion thereafter was to the point.

 

The author's take on panentheism is a bit off. The 'world is in God' but not God; there is immanence but there is also transcendence. There is no identify as in pantheism, there is a dialectic between these two realities. Classical theism tends to overemphasize the transcendence of God, pantheism the immanence - whereas panentheism attempts to do justice to both realities of God relating to creation. 

In addition, he seems to be taking a literalist view of creation (from nothing). Such an ontological difference also leads to problems with understanding incarnation, Jesus as God and man, natural vs. adopted son of god, theodicy, etc. 

 

Edited by thormas

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takes more than one to have love........there must be the other.

and/or it takes two to tango.

 

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When you love you are one. When you tango you are one. And when you don't you are one.  I have posted this before but is well worth a repeat ...

Happy New Year!

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1 hour ago, romansh said:

When you love you are one. When you tango you are one. And when you don't you are one. 

Happy New Year!

Actually, no: when you love there must first be another, and, if lucky, be it a friend, a lover or a child - there are two becoming more, maybe not one but what is shared, what is created - is more than if there were no love.

As for the tango: feel free to take to the floor on your own, I would always go with another. It is both more fun and much less silly looking.

HNY 2018!

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Where the little film fails is that it reveres the unity of the One but that is a limited beauty. A field of one kind of flower has its beauty, but a field of many different flowers, create a Unity that is a higher Beauty. The unity of the One is not as dynamic, not as interesting, not as beautiful, not the accomplishment as the unity of the many. 

You do have a fixation on one - which is the loneliest number! 

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5a4c23bd7cdb2_panentheism-small.jpg.c15276611a96b52fcd4ed13861527bd5.jpg

This is my take on panentheism as I see it. On the left and right we have the classic theism and pantheism respectively. The left middle is what the blog addressed. And the middle right is an approximation of thormas's take. Is this about right?

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4 hours ago, thormas said:

Say what??

Funny, that is what I say when you try to explain your version of panentheism

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6 hours ago, romansh said:

Funny, that is what I say when you try to explain your version of panentheism

Now, now you can't try to co-opt my expression.

Oh, well - can't please everyone, but have no idea what your little picture means (looks like a rash). Is it from an official bubble site or is it an original Rom?

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OK taking this slowly ... did you understand the bubbles in Anderson's blog Analogical Thoughts depicting theism and panentheism?

Whilst we are at it I presume you understand the pantheist bubble in my representation?

 

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