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What Is Oneness?


angel
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Hello, everybody, I'm very new to Progressive Christianity, I am enthusiast about it and I'm trying to make my ideas clear. My question is: in what consists the "Oneness" mentioned in point 1 "Believe that following the path and teachings of Jesus can lead to an awareness and experience of the Sacred and the Oneness and Unity of all life"? What makes life "One", instead that "many" or "plural"? I agree with most of postmodern philosophy, I like very much the fact that Progressive Christianity does not base itself on dogmas; but the concept of "Oneness", to which a progressive christian is required to believe, seems exactly a dogma: not clear, not revelated, but nonetheless it is required to believe in it. What is bad in thinking that no oneness exists in this world? Who could guarantee that the concept of oneness that one progressive christian has in his mind really corresponds to that of another progressive christian?

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I don't believe PC is as regulated as other religions and religious groups and subsequently there is no 'requirement' to believe anything really should you wish to call yourself a Progressive Christian. My interpretation of the 8 points is not that they are dogm, but more an expression of what many PCs find compelling about Christianity without the dogma that has developed that 'does' require certain beliefs. I guess in short, there's a lot more around Point 1 and the 8 points concerning PC than what the points themselves specifically try to capture.

 

For my own point of view, I interpret the Oneness of life as identifying that we did all come from the same stardust and big-bang mechanics as everything else in this Universe (as far as we are aware). I'm not sure how sacred I regard that but I can appreciate that as 'One' us earthlings rely on each other for fulfillment and community, often incorporating animals and nature into this situation to create a Oneness here on Earth.

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I'm with you on this, Angelo. I see diversity everywhere, and I have no reason to believe that we are all "one". We are all diverse. "Oneness" is a nice idea that reminds us that we are all made up of the same basic stuff, and we should treat each other accordingly. I don't see that idea going very far though, in our day to day dealings with one another. People pretty much live in disregard of that idea most of the time.

 

I have no reason to believe that things were not always diverse, and will not continue to be so. I think we are culturally conditioned to believe that we all came from a source that is "one", and eventually we will all return to that source. People call that source "God", or the "Absolute", or "Consciousness", or what have you. But it does not necessarily logically follow.....at least in my opinion!

 

Peace.

Steve

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It seems to me that in PC is almost frequent the difficulty of clearing the meaning of words; but I appreciate this, because it's a very new way and many times it has to use traditional words giving them new shades of meaning; I think this is inevitable.

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Angelo

There are several aspects to this

 

There are couple of formal philosophical monisms.

There is only substance

there is only matter possibly one kind of substance.

 

 

There is a a slightly newer kind of monism ... scientific monism ... where all is connected ... this concept is a relative of free will's determinism.

Buddhist's dependent origination and Indra's net.

 

Anyway ... that we can divide things into is and is not ... see Joseph's thread on opposites ... is interesting.

 

Here is a question ... when a carbon dioxide molecule goes across the boundary ... say a stomata on leaf ... at what point does the carbon dioxide molecule become tree? When the leaf falls of the tree does it cease to be come tree? Do we include the symbiants that have coevolved when we say tree?

 

The loving oness I personally don't buy into but is OK if that is what launches your boat to get to yonder shore.

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Hello, everybody, I'm very new to Progressive Christianity, I am enthusiast about it and I'm trying to make my ideas clear. My question is: in what consists the "Oneness" mentioned in point 1 "Believe that following the path and teachings of Jesus can lead to an awareness and experience of the Sacred and the Oneness and Unity of all life"? What makes life "One", instead that "many" or "plural"? I agree with most of postmodern philosophy, I like very much the fact that Progressive Christianity does not base itself on dogmas; but the concept of "Oneness", to which a progressive christian is required to believe, seems exactly a dogma: not clear, not revelated, but nonetheless it is required to believe in it. What is bad in thinking that no oneness exists in this world? Who could guarantee that the concept of oneness that one progressive christian has in his mind really corresponds to that of another progressive christian?

Angelo,

To me, the "Oneness" in the Point 1 statement

"Believe that following the path and teachings of Jesus can lead to an awareness and experience of the Sacred and the Oneness and Unity of all life"

is not a "concept" but rather an experience. It is not meant to be a dogma or creed in progressive Christianity. It seems to me that when one tries to conceptualize the word, whether it is God, Sacred, or Oneness it takes away from the experience since these words are only pointers to that which can only be experienced to be known. PC is, in my view, a personal journey and only one of many paths to the same end.

 

Joseph

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Relativism for me is a philosophical position that allows us to hang on to duality or perhaps pluralism.

 

While the experience of oneness that Joseph talks about, I can't say I have experienced it; but philosophically and logically it make sense for me.

Edited by romansh
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To me Oneness is infinity because infinity is endless. It is not a number and doesn't do anything, it just is. Infinity plus one is still infinity because it is endless, which I substitute the word God. We can have many numbers in infinity just like we have an endless number of things in God. Jesus said, "I and the Father are one." He is in infinity and a part of it, but united wholly holy, but so is everyone else but we are not totally aware of being wholely united with it. The mystics of every religion have pointed to this experience so duality is in unity and unity contains diversity. We get to choose or can see saw back and forth there is no force or requirements. Infinity which is in finite just is.

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I must admit I have technical difficulties of the infinite being synonymous with oneness. ie a mathematical concept being god.

Bearing in mind the universe appears to be finite or if Lawrence Krauss is right the whole lot adds up to a big fat zero in terms of energy. Then there is Cantor's an infinity of infinities ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georg_Cantor

 

But I think you might enjoy The Infinite Book by John D Barrow, a Christian view of the inifinite

Edited by romansh
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I think that any mathematical, geometrical or phisical concept, that tries to describe something of God, is inappropriate. Our mind is completely unable to figure God. I think that we can only use our richest faculties of our mind, and they are surely not the faculty of having mathematical concepts, but the faculties of emotions, feelings, silence, irrationality. I think that our mathematical and rational abilities should be used not positively, for having concepts about God, but negatively, I mean in order to avoid ingenuousness, such as when we are impressed by prodigies, miracles, magics, phisical concepts about God. The positive work, in my opinion, should be run by our "humanistic" faculties that I have named above.

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I think that we can only use our richest faculties of our mind, and they are surely not the faculty of having mathematical concepts.

This is a matter of opinion is it not?

 

but the faculties of emotions, feelings, silence, irrationality.

 

If that is what you believe then fair enough ... But this would include fear, hate, shame, anger, impatience, greediness to name a few. Perhaps the only feeling I might vote for is acceptance ... but speaking personally I don't think I could feel acceptance unless I had a feeling of understanding ... which brings us back to the logical part of our existence.

 

I've got a feeling, a feeling deep inside
Oh, yeah, oh, yeah (that's right)
I've got a feeling, a feeling I can't hide
Oh, no! Oh, no! Oh, no
Yeah. Yeah! I've got a feeling, yeah!

 

But if we think love or an expression of oxytocin is an expression of God or something similar ... I can't argue with you, I suspect any definition of God will end up being wrong somehow. So then why even think in terms of God?

 

I can be humanistic without God or gods ... in fact I suspect I am.

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rmansh thanks for the recommendation. I agree angel, we can't define God it is like catching water in a screen. God is a concept and there is no God is a concept so I see you guys applying dialectic enlightenment which is do not propose anything and demolish ideas so when the student gets to the void he or she is liberated.

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That someone applies a logical argument( based on observation) on whether god exists, I think is quite reasonable ... literally.

 

I am not sure what other options are .... throwing bones, faith, meditation? While all these are nice ... I would check the outcome against observation and logic.

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