Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I don't think I posted this before. (Yes, I am certain Darwin Prayed.) this is available online as a sneak peak for the book which I recommend if you need a liturgical resource

 

If Darwin Prayed

 

I wonder if Mr Darwin had imagined a god bigger than the theist's puppeteer and thus aloof from nature's ways how he might have prayed.

 

I wonder if he had viewed the great march of time with the mystic's eye, his spirit's unhurried play with form and function that not creation leaving god in the dust and pulling itself up by its own boot straps, if his heart might not have burned with faith.

 

I wonder when the push of eros and pull of the possible caused him to close the city of god and leave the dreary seminary to set sail on board his beagle destiny if he ever imagined that he embodied spirit's irrepressible urge to evolve.

 

i wonder when he reflected on the mystery of a flinch's beak and the glories of the galapagos if mr darwin considered his own adaptive brilliance that brought forth the origin of species, his great gift to theology, an occassion of an even deeper mystery: evolution awakening in him.

 

I wonder if hunched long years over beetles and mollusks if he ever considered st pauls self emptying god

touching all with a rising non coercive presence and then going on ahead of us as did the galiliean calling from an undissected future, beckoning this sighing creation toward freedom and fullness of being.

 

I wonder mr darwin if your beloved emma might have worried less over your apostasy if you could have played the prophet and announced with the baptist that evolution was filling every valley and making low the mountains preparing a highway through descartes desert for the advent and not the end of god.

 

if i were god i too would keep my presence hidden, an allurement of love that predestines no fixed future, conferring maximum dignity upon life and if together all that is joins in the great procession of the formless assuming forms most glorious crowning the human ones with a distinctive diadem: the capacity to select our own future, naturally.

 

I wonder if Darwin prayed.

Link to post
Share on other sites
" Nor could we check our sympathy, even at the urging of hard reason, without deterioration of the noblest part of our nature. The surgeon may harden himself whilst performing an operation, for he knows that he is acting for the good of his patient ; but if we were intentionally to neglect the weak and helpless it could only be for a contingent benefit, with an overwhelming present evil.

 

Charles Darwin

Link to post
Share on other sites
If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great be our sin.

 

Charles Darwin

 

I think Darwin prayed ... but if not, he understood.

 

Myron

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think Sanguin would intellectually question Darwin's faith but what I hear in the poem is the "what if..."

 

I wonder mr darwin if your beloved emma might have worried less over your apostasy if you could have played the prophet and announced with the baptist that evolution was filling every valley and making low the mountains preparing a highway through descartes desert for the advent and not the end of god.

 

If we can leap the illusory divide between science and spirituality, the sacred and the secular, is there any reason to anguish over this new understanding? Couldn't it be a reason to celebrate?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps, just perhaps, Darwin was aware of what Pierre Janet would later write:

 

.. it is dangerous to expect too much from progress because it leads to contempt for the present and destruction of the past.

 

Then there is Darwin's beloved Emma, patiently advising Charles while editing his manuscripts. Perhaps we hear her voice at times in his work? I'd like to think so.

 

Myron

 

(edit to timeline, Janet wrote this after Darwin and Whitehead then repeats Janet)

Edited by minsocal
Link to post
Share on other sites
it is dangerous to expect too much from progress because it leads to contempt for the present and destruction of the past.

 

So what we are fighting about, is all that led up to this moment , or the enlightenment, or landing on the moon? If we destroy the past can we have a (healthy) future?

 

I googled Janet. Apparently had an unpublished work on religion. Only an article by Horton now housed at jstor. Any other web accessible writings about his views on the origins of religion?

 

 

Dutch

Link to post
Share on other sites

So what we are fighting about, is all that led up to this moment , or the enlightenment, or landing on the moon? If we destroy the past can we have a (healthy) future?

 

I googled Janet. Apparently had an unpublished work on religion. Only an article by Horton now housed at jstor. Any other web accessible writings about his views on the origins of religion?

 

 

Dutch

 

Dutch,

 

All I know is that Horton was a Pastor and that his summary of Janet's lectures on the psycholgy of religion is probably all that has survived. Most of what I have is technical.

 

As to your question concerning destroying the past, that would make for an interesting thread. I'd do it and invite your input.

 

Myron

Link to post
Share on other sites

Dutch,

 

Digging a little deeper into my archives, one contrast between "traditional" and "progressive" is in the origins of "truth". The old view is that of the "one true Chruch" as the 'owner' of truth whereas the "progressive" perspective claims that all views are (at least) trying to say something true, and ... Janet notes:

 

Truth also implies individual belief in a permanent reality extending beyond the field of present knowledge (Janet, in Ellenberger, 1970; Boree, 1998)).

 

And ... Janet's concept of "progressive tendencies":

 

[A level at which] ... a person achieves their own individuality and also honors the individuality of all other persons, establishing with them a relationship of spiritual intimacy. Individual growth is open towards the future. (Janet, in Ellenberger, 1970).

 

Myron

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

If we destroy the past can we have a (healthy) future?

 

Dutch

 

Dutch,

 

I owe you a better answer to this question.

 

I was raised in what would be called a progressive Christian family. My own attitute towards change passed down to me through generations of German farmers who were constantly caught up in the efffects of religious disputes and wars, large and small. Wars of ideas that ended up in bloodshed. This, they thought, had nothing to do the teachings of Jesus and, when they grew weary of wars, they came to America with the view that progress must proceed slowly and never pass over the brink into violence.

 

Myron

Link to post
Share on other sites

just bouncing obsessively,

 

.. it is dangerous to expect too much from progress because it leads to contempt for the present and destruction of the past.(Janet)

If we destroy the past can we have a (healthy) future?

Or is it that the expectations of one yearning obsessively for something new are destructive?

 

generations of German farmers constantly caught up in the effects of religious disputes and wars, large and small....

they came to America with the view that progress must proceed slowly and never pass over the brink into violence.

 


  •  
  • Then should one progress at a speed which does not separate oneself from the present nor the past?
  • Meaning too much progress or change is destructive?
  • If there seems to be destruction is that a sign of too much change?
  • People in therapy take time to incorporate the change that has disrupted their lives?
  • Too much good change can be bad destructive too much too handle?

 

is any violence, destruction, and contempt tolerable to achieve great progress?

 

If we put Jesus on this metaphorical cross - the change of heart he is asking for elicits contempt, violence and destruction among those who see the proposed change threatens to their investments, and their invested interests in the future of the status quo.

 

If the change rises to "transformation" is there less destruction and violence?

 

Just thinking

 

Dutch

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Then should one progress at a speed which does not separate oneself from the present nor the past?
  • Meaning too much progress or change is destructive?
  • If there seems to be destruction is that a sign of too much change?
  • People in therapy take time to incorporate the change that has disrupted their lives?
  • Too much good change can be bad destructive too much too handle?

 

is any violence, destruction, and contempt tolerable to achieve great progress?

 

If we put Jesus on this metaphorical cross - the change of heart he is asking for elicits contempt, violence and destruction among those who see the proposed change threatens to their investments, and their invested interests in the future of the status quo.

 

If the change rises to "transformation" is there less destruction and violence?

 

Just thinking

 

Dutch

 

"The history of the Mediterranean lands, and of western Europe, is the history of the blessing and the curse of political organizations, of religious organizations, of schemes of thought, of social agencies for large purposes. The moment of dominance, prayed for, worked for, sacrificed for, by generations of the noblest spirits, marks the turning point where the blessing turns into the curse. Some new principle of refreshment is required. The art of progress is to preserve order amid change, and to preserve change amid order."

 

"It belongs to the goodness of the world, that its settled order should deal tenderly with the faint light of the dawn of another age. Also order, as it sinks into the background before new conditions, has its requirements. The old dominance should be transformed into the firm foundations, upon which new feelings arise, drawing their intensities from delicacies of contrast between system and freshness. In either alternative of excess, whether the past be lost, or be dominant, the present is enfeebled."

 

A. N. Whitehead

 

 

Myron

Link to post
Share on other sites

Myron, I like that last Whitehead quote you used. Headlong rush to change just for the sake of change, without an established and maintained order which must neccesarily be based on the past and the status quo, is senseless revolution. The result is a chaos out of which who knows what will eventually emerge.

 

Early on in my life it was Ralph Waldo Emerson's essay of Liberalism and Conservatism that greatly influenced my perspective on these two seemingly conflicting, but yet harmonious and complementary states.

 

True Progress seems to emerge from within a balanced position somewhere in between liberalism and conservatism. In such a balance, conservatism informs liberalism, holding up the status quo and the past that brought us to it, without which we are perhaps destined to repeat the same old errors. Conservatism seeks to hold the status quo, what is now. But without the impulse to liberalism, conservatism will both only hold too what is now, but become regressive. Much of what is being called conservatism in todays popular social and political arenas is actually regressivism, the tendency to want to try to get out of the problems that exist by backing out of them, to some idealized former time and state where nostalgia lures with fictional images of some lost utopian existence, "the Good Old Days." In this conservative/regressive state, there is an attitude of holding onto the status quo, what is, simply becasue it is, and is familiar. Change in any direction other than back into more familiar, i.e., the comfortable Good Old Days, is threatening. Yet it must be respected that among things of the status quo and past there really are those things of great value, that we need to hold onto, lest we slip into the chaos of unrestrained and misdirected revolution.

 

So must conservatism be informed by liberalism, with recognition that not all that is past and present is good or best, and there are both things worth hodling onto andthings best let go of so as to move forward. Without liberalism, we'd never question the less functional, less positive elements of the now, the present status quo.

 

I see Progessivism poised upon a balance point somewhere in between conservatism and liberalism...a willingness to change what may not be so good as it could be, while holding onto what is good in what is the status quo.

 

Jenell

Edited by JenellYB
Link to post
Share on other sites

Jenells point about a balance between liberal / conservative views is affirmed by Michael Dowds one-page summary of Evolutionary Christianity, on this website

http://www.religioustolerance.org/chrevol.htm

From the perspective of Evolutionary Christianity,

Conservatives are honored for their passionate commitment to upholding, defending and preserving that which has been experienced in the past to be healthy, meaningful, lifegiving.

Liberals are honored for insisting that we expand our circles of care, compassion, and meaningful interpretations of truth, and for embodying the evolutionary impulse to transcend what is, in order to co-create what God is calling forth next.

Radicals are honored for periodically upsetting the status quo and forcing both liberals and conservatives to value the importance of breakdowns in catalyzing creativity and transformation.

 

Thought that was a bit surprising but worth sharing.

 

Dutch wrote, if we can leap the illusory divide between science and spirituality, the sacred and the secular, is there any reason to anguish over this new understanding? Couldnt it be a reason to celebrate?

 

I agree as the poem says, preparing a way for the advent, not the end of God. Resonating with Michael Dowd-- Charles Darwin didnt kill off God; to the contrary, he gave us the first glimpse of the real Creator behind and beyond all the worlds mythic portrayals of the divine.

Edited by rivanna
Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, rivanna, you are right. That we must honor different views is the core of Jungian psychology. Jung did not feel that society was ready for this ... perhaps we are now ready.

 

Myron

Link to post
Share on other sites
Resonating with Michael Dowd-- “Charles Darwin didn’t kill off God; to the contrary, he gave us the first glimpse of the real Creator behind and beyond all the world’s mythic portrayals of the divine.”

rivanna, thanks so much for this. I am giving the 4th sermon of my life in about a month and this speaks so clearly to why we need new language with which to tell our stories.

 

Dutch

Link to post
Share on other sites
Conservatives are honored for their passionate commitment to upholding, defending and preserving that which has been experienced in the past to be healthy, meaningful, lifegiving.

Liberals are honored for insisting that we expand our circles of care, compassion, and meaningful interpretations of truth, and for embodying the evolutionary impulse to transcend what is, in order to co-create what God is calling forth next.

Radicals are honored for periodically upsetting the status quo and forcing both liberals and conservatives to value the importance of breakdowns in catalyzing creativity and transformation.”

 

Thought that was a bit surprising but worth sharing.

 

1. I have been listening to Michael on various videos. He has developed - probably all pentecostal/motivational speakers - a lot of chunks like this. Are these "memes"? Like metaphors some carry more weight or significance than others. I really like a couple of them. Then he assembles them as needed for speaking.

 

In this trinity Michael, I think, sees himself as the Radical. Maybe the trinity is helpful because it lessens the polarization. Tri-polar. The issue of liberals and progressives speaking of conservatives with an exclusive, rather than inclusive attitude was brought by our former pastor this afternoon at the Ordination and Call examination - actually they called it an Ecclesiastical Council.

 

Random connections

 

A friends ordination paper, presented today for Ordination and Call, used Voltaire's idea that history is a series of "imaginative inventions" to highlight

  • "reformed, always reforming."
  • the UCC legacy of justice, peace, and ecumenism.
  • UCC's commitment to inclusiveness and diversity

Not quite as fleshed out but seminary graduates know the paragraph or two that always follows these phrases.

 

Grace - I don't remember who - grace is the chaos that interrupts the expected, the normal flow, the laws of our life - chaos creates that opening for the in-breaking of the Spirit.

 

Left brain is the conserving, ordering, list making and belief holding side of the brain. It is about the past and the future. The belief system can filter - accept or reject information. We do not have free will until our belief system releases it's filtering duties. We are controlled by that conserving impulse.

 

Left brain is ya-da-ya-da-da.

Right brain is where we experience being in the moment, at one, deep inner peace. The more time we spend in our right brain experiences the more we will live out of peace and the more peace there will be in the world. Jill Bolte Taylor (TED video)

 

I should go to bed instead of meandering

 

Dutch

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think, sees himself as the Radical. Maybe the trinity is helpful because it lessens the polarization. Tri-polar. Dutch

Dutch,

 

Please, once again, excuse a diversion, but "tri-polar" reminded me of a paper I read years ago in which the author discussed the 'tripartization' that arose in Indo-European culture.

 

Ancient Indo-European society divided its world into three parts. This is reflected in Indo-European grammars (3 genders). Today, this way of organizing the world is evident in our government (3 branches), literature (trilogies, 3-act plays), education (the three R’s), nutrition (3 meals a day), sports (3 strikes, 3 outs, first, second & third places, etc.). We tend to assign three initials to names such as FBI, CIA, USA, FDR, JFK, GWB and on and on. Many children stories have tripartite structures - The Three Bears, The Three Little Pigs, etc.

 

As I recall, the trinity --- a Hellenistic innovation -- was also mentioned (or it occurred to me) as a manifestation of the tripartization mentality.

 

George

Link to post
Share on other sites

tri-polar

 

It is almost impossible for me to imagine a system without those trinities it so deeply embedded

 

would 3 be one of those universals in numbers:

 

1 unity

2 dichotomy

3 sometimes represents all possible choices - in revelations possible categories hot, cold or lukewarm for the 7 churches

4 foundation, cardinal pts of the compass

6 less than perfection hence 666

7 perfection, completeness

12 represents all - 12 months, 12 astrological signs, 12 apostles

and others I imagine

 

are these numbers found in oriental thought?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Tripartized mentality - St. Augustine "traces of the trinity" and Freud.

 

 

Augustine - various combinations

 

1. Memory - Understanding - Will

 

2. Ego Consciousness - Knowledge - Love

 

3. Reason/Knowledge - Introspection/Experience/Wisdom - Faith

 

 

 

Freud -

 

Superego - Ego - Id

 

 

Jung - The trinity is incomplete, systems of four appear more often than systems of 3

 

Myron

Link to post
Share on other sites

Lot's of good thought-provoking stuff here... I like the addition of the role of radicals in the balance of conservatism and liberalism that brings progress. So true that it often does take radicals to upset the present state,the status quo, to get things moving, when stagnation has set in. The 50's-70's of this just passed century was certainly such a point in our society, in the movement and integration of Civil Rights principles. Few to no women really wanted to have the right to burn her bra, few colored really wanted to step up in open protest of the status quo and by doing so put themselves and their families in real danger of violent retribution, but for that some did, society was jolted out of it's deeply rutted track of complacency with the status quo.

 

Jenell

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

terms of service