If the gods ‘exist’ then how can god do so? …or what does that mean for monotheists?

Discussion in 'Comparative Studies' started by _Z_, May 30, 2010.

  1. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Re: If the gods ‘exist’ then how can god do so? …or what does that mean for monotheis

    In my tradition, 'people who became gods [even if delusional]' is contradictory. If delusional, then they are not gods, and your argument falls down. If people, they are not gods anyway, so the argument makes no sense.

    The point is how that exists apart from God. Only God is, by definition, uncreated ... everything else is created ... by God. Perfection/imperfection does not apply to God, rather God's existence is Absolute Perfection by virtue of being God.

    Again we would say if there is 'everything else', then the infinite is not infinite.

    Not at all! That assumes that this creation defines and determines God, which we hold it does not. There can be n-number of other creations, both simultaneous to our own, and prior to it, and posterior to it ... who can tell? But really it's immaterial, for us, here and now.

    The Kalam Cosmological Argument actually asserts the universe cannot be infinite...

    But God isn't a bubble ... not in our book, anyway.

    OK. Not quite sure what you mean by that ...

    No we haven't. You might have, but then you'd be wrong as far as Christianity is concerned. The Absolute must be infinite, else it is relative to that which it is not, and the Infinite must be absolute, else it is not infinite. From our pov yours is a false premise, or at least an inadequate one.

    I think you're confusing yourself here. Universals are qualities — all-encompassing — we attribute to the Absolute to make it comprehensible, and indeed it must possess if it is absolute. We also acknowledge that such qualities are themselves inadequate to express the Absolute, because every quality implies its contrary, and there is no contrariness in the Absolute.

    Again, that's your idea of God, not mine, not the Abrahamics ... certainly not the God of the Western Philosophical Tradition.

    God is beyond time, space and thus all contingency, so is not born, does not die, does not move, change or transform, and so on ... where are you getting these ideas from?

    For us the body is the form of the soul. It is how the soul manifests itself in a physical universe. Without a body, it would not be 'present' in act.

    No problem in my tradition.

    What has that got to do with God?

    Well I'm not agreeing with you so far ... it might be that our ideas appear to coincide. I'm saying that each soul is a unique created being, creatio ex nihilo, and that each body is the manifest form of that unique created being.

    Again, I think there may be superficial coincidence, but I don't agree with any of that. I might agree to a more precise statement. There is human nature, which is a universal, but unmanifest, which manifests itself in humans as such ... but the idea of 'primordial nature' requires a far more concise definition.

    On the strength of what has been said so far, I fear not.

    I do accept certain similarities between the two traditions regarding metaphysical principles, but not as you've expressed Hindu metaphysics. Mine is limited, I admit, to the commentaries of René Guénon, plus a couple of others I have only read and not 'interrogated' at any length ... but they do seem to be saying something quite different to what you are saying.

    Thomas
     
  2. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Re: If the gods ‘exist’ then how can god do so? …or what does that mean for monotheis

    I think Hinduism has found a way to resolve the issue in that the many gods and deities are viewed as aspects of the Brahman.. When you think about it early religions were focused on a very essential aspect..say producing good crops or having a lot of game.. so special designations for each of these needs developed and prayers and rites were used..

    There is also an early monotheism that Wallis Budge identified in his work on Egyptian religion..

    As time developed people fixated on one or a few of these aspects of God forgetting the Source..
     
  3. bhaktajan

    bhaktajan Active Member

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    Re: If the gods ‘exist’ then how can god do so? …or what does that mean for monotheis

    This is incorrect. I am a Hare Krishna Devotee. Our mandate is to present the Vedas as it is so that Hinduism becomes an Open-book.

    a] The Polytheism is TOTALLY different from that which is understood that existed in the mid-east.

    b] Note that Buddhist/Taoist/Shinto philosophies are devoid of such demigods.
    India higharchy of Gods is extremely unique --to the point that immediately after the start of Kali-yuga (3,102 BC) and thus, after the end of Krishna's advent, pastimes & ascention ---all the Brahmin Class of India sought to double their efforts to attain moksha. IOW, society became devoid of the brahmin class because they left society to become ascetics to practice severe yoga penances ---the brahmin class had abandoned secular society enmass so as to follow the 'coat-tails' of Krishna's avatara pastimes which only occurred once in a day of Brahma.

    c] Lord "Brahma" is the first person born in this material world.
    "Brahma" is one of the three Dieties of the Hindu Trinity.
    "Brahma" is the first progenitor of Humanity.
    "Brahma" is Grandfather of all the Demigods.
    Each Demigod is a Superintendent of all the different facets of the manifest universe's management & Functioning.
    All mundane societal institutions are structured in the same way:
    There is someone in charge behind the scenes in all circumsatnces.

    The Source of Brahma is Maha-Vishnu's navel.
    The source of Mahavishnu is Krishna's External Energy.
    The source of Krishna's External Energy is his rear fascade, embodied as Mahavishnu.
    The source of Krishna's internal Energy is his Smile, embodied by his consort Srimati Radhika Devi.

    The External energy is material-transcient-created/maintained/destroyed. It is the material world that we are in now.

    The Internal energy is transcendent to the Material/External.
    The Internal energy has three attributes: Eternal-Cognisant-Blissfull.

    The Soul is a part and parcel individual spark of Krishna's Internal Energy . . . Now present in the material world.

    Lord Brahma created all the Demigods to maintain and populate all the lower Planetary systems that are "situated within" this bubble-of-a-universe-that-emits-from-Mahavishnu's breathing. Thus we are very finitely small. We are living where Time exists and forms transpire without absolute reference to the ABSOLUTE TRUTH WHICH IS A "PERSON".

    GOD AS "PERSON" ABSOLUTE. Can only be ascertained directly by the Absolute representative of said Topic.

    In regards to this maxim, the example is given:
    Q: "How does one know who their father really is?"
    A: "Ask you mother"

    In the same way, Krishna is known to be that long hidden Almightly God Absolutely as He is.

    It is revealed in the Vedas. Especially in the the Bhagavad-gita directly in your face unequivically. This science of self-realisation and the nature of the souls dharma has been openly hidden in the Gita whilst civilasation march on with all its other IN-ABSOLUTE pursuits without prejudice by those in-the-know.

    The Polytheist family tree of Hindu Gods are actually elite celestrial Manor-Borne aristocracy of the rulling elite of embodied souls tha manage the material real-estate of the cosmos.

    All other notions of multiple Gods is animistic inventions of shamans amongst aboriginal tribes roaming the persian plateau along the silk trade route since Gypsies where first spotted setting up camp.
     
  4. bhaktajan

    bhaktajan Active Member

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    Re: If the gods ‘exist’ then how can god do so? …or what does that mean for monotheis

    Quote:
    The soul is all there is that comprises a living-enitity's personhood.

    It is not there is the body too. again as above this is the problem with absolutes. It is factual that causality is mostly environmental, and both that and things in environments are interactive. Feel the flow man!

    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
    The body changes while the souls are transcendent.
    The mis-indentification of the Souls' Spiritual Ego [servant of God] with that of the temporal birth body is the source of sectatrian/trible/bestial false identification of "Who am I".

    The "I" is innate to the souls' presence. The Body we are born in affords one a tempory mask to wear ---past karma affords us more or less advantagous Masks to claim as our own during each life time. When you see a beautiful stripper exposing here assets remember how must penance she had preformed in past-life times to be worthy of inheriting such feminine opulences. Similarly, the same is said about all High-standing oillars of society who become prodigal falldowns from grace.

    The cycle of birth and death provides leesons that spell out that we are part and parcel of an absolute person's realm, where we are servant. The example is given in platable ways or if the student insists the example may be provided in more extreme unplatable fashions.


    Quote:
    The Soul takes a fresh a new birth in a new model off the assembly line in one of Millions of available models (species) of Human, Para-Human, or any of the economy-size sub-human species to live out the birthright to preform actions.

    Then karma does not pass from one body to the next so you are agreeing with me ~ as the new soul in a body is 'fresh'.

    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
    The karma is personally-custom-fitted and it is impersonally lumped together.

    The fish in the sea are not "recused" by fisherman.
    The short life span of most sub-human species are often to be repeated by a soul tha transmigrates to the stratum via their karma.

    The Soul may be pluckled out of the stream . . . but the stream will continue to be the same staus quo when the souls takes yet againa nother birth in the same sphere of activity.

    The soul may drop out of school and obtain a good salary nonetheless ---but upon returning to School , the class work remains the same old standard curriculum. Entrance exams will be re-administered to assess classroom assignment.
    Past credits earned may not be accepted or lessons learn past will be forgotten and thus repeated yet again.

    Where do you think the soul is escaping to?
    It's the same old System.


    It is a gamble based of Bingo-balls tumbling in a mixer. Yes, the numbers are random but they are predictable in an inprecise pattern.

    The soul is the same person ---but the person hadn't fixated on anything higher than "eat/sleep/mate/defend". So the next birth will be in-accordance with the 'first-come-first-serve' choice of future birth.

    To die consciously chanting God's Name is to have the goal in mind that will propulse the soul toward a direction ... vague or specific ---depending on weather the spiritual directions where from absolute sources.

    The driver of the machine is the same . . . the model of the auto changes.
    The ego similarly changes as per the sleekness or function of the new Machine that the soul inhabits and animates

    Quote:
    Without the soul's presence (a persona, as God is the Supreme, First & Original reservoir of Persona) all interactions (activities) are simply sand in an ocean of marbles (molecules) without any other signficance.

    Here you describe also what I have said, I have been describing the primordial nature or more; the infinite and universal base, as a pool ['Original reservoir'] from which all things pervade and go within and without [come and go from in life and death].

    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
    Yes, I quoted you and stated that, 'yes' It is all just a pastime, birth after birth ["chewing-the-cud"], ---Unless the goal is a Supreme Person.

    If the goal is that out individual Personality of our own individual Soul returning to the pastimes of the Original First Soul [as per the Vedas & the Gita states] ---then all the experiences all people have gone through since time-immemorial had a bench-mark for which all the illusory births were in contra-distinction from ---Rather than a rude litanny of aimless cyle of re-births for no other then to buy a bill of sale for yet another purposeless ride on the roller-coaster.

    I learned much of what I know from Hinduism my friend! :) There are just a few basic inconsistencies that need to be ironed out between our wisdoms ~ but we are meaning a very similar thing in the end i feel.

    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
    Did you know that the word "Hindu" is a aberration of the word 'Sindhu' [as in The Sindhu river along the Pakastan Boarder] and is NOT a sanskrit word?
     
  5. _Z_

    _Z_ from far far away

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    Re: If the gods ‘exist’ then how can god do so? …or what does that mean for monotheis

    Thomas

    well of course! sorry I meant that in the context that pagan gods are considered as ‘false’ by abrahamic religions. silly me :rolleyes:

    Good point. I would say it is all contained within a greater reality which must ultimately be infinite. As long as I am not speaking in absolute terms then there is no reason why you cant have infinities [a plurality within the one]. Infinite sets ultimately as aleph omega etc.

    I have never said the ‘universe’ is infinite [though some same cosmic inflations says it is]. What I meant was that if you arrive at a void at the end of existence then there would be nothing, hence history would not exist ~ which is a paradox no matter how many other creations there may be, when you consider that the same paradox would apply for all of them.
    By ’bubble’ I meant a whole object ~ a complete entity ~ absolute.

    Is infinite as opposed to having an exterior factor which is infinite.

    The absolute means contained or completely itself and nothing else. Therefore if infinity is that then there cannot be anything bar it, no universe or creation extra to it. Equally it may not be defined as ‘god’ as nothing that one may attribute to god, can be attributed to infinity.

    This would make god into an ‘everythingness’, so we would all be part of it. I thought you and most abrahamics considered god as an absolute exterior to the universe and us. Otherwise we are part of god? For example, you say this; “God is beyond time, space and thus all contingency, so is not born, does not die, does not move, change or transform, and so on” and then above you are saying that god possesses all universal qualities and all of everything. …it cannot be both transient and intransient, infinite and finite and universal, these things need fluidity.

    Ok so you have soul in heaven but without body, then you have soul on earth but with body, how can they be the same, it just doesn’t add up? When we die we no longer have our body, hence the soul at most is us without a body.
    .
    Karma is not your tradition so I will answer the rest to those who it is.
    …thought provoking stuff though! :)
    .
    Arthra
    .
    .
    forgetting the Source? i dont think so, see below. In the druidic tradition we have ‘ceugant’ [similar to brahman un-personified] which is an infinite base, the gods don’t need to be part of a godhead in paganism because the whole thing is decentralised. We do have a similar god Imho that Caesar referred to as ‘dispater’ or sky father, and I think this is similar to brahma [as we all come from the same ethnic source] and is the head god or father of the gods. As far as I know Hinduism wasn’t always panentheistic and was pagan, just like druidry and Egyptian religions etc.
    Perhaps you are thinking of Akhenaton as the Egyptian monotheistic deity?
    .
    What I am trying to say is that the more ancient religions did have a single source, they just didn’t see it as centralising. Take for example the native american tradition of the great spirit, probably better known as the great mystery, for such peoples there was a spiritual infinite source, but gods can all be a personal link between us and that source.
    .
     
     
     
     
     
  6. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Re: If the gods ‘exist’ then how can god do so? …or what does that mean for monotheis

    Thanks for your reply..

    I wasn't really referring specifically to Akhenaton but some have suggested they see in him some monotheistic concepts that were unusual at the time..

    [SIZE=-1]...O living Aton, thou wert the first to live ... Thou hast made the earth according to thy will alone: Mankind, cattle, and all other beasts, everything on earth that walketh on feet. [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]And everything lifted on their wings in flight; ... Each one has his sustenance, and his time is reckoned... [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]- Akhenaton[/SIZE]

    I was thinking of what Wallis Budge wrote many years ago which of course some have disagreed with later..but what else can some schoalrs do but disagree with some point made earlier and write books about it.. Anyway this is the position that Budge took as I understand it..

    That view is well documented by the famous Egyptologist, Sir Wallis Budge, in his best known text, The Book of the Dead. Following are statements from the Book of the Dead as to the attributes of the true God, selected from The Papyrus of Ani: "A Hymn To Amen-Ra ... president of all the gods ... Lord of the heavens ... Lord of Truth ... maker of men; creator of beasts ... Ra, whose word is truth, the Governor of the world, the mighty one of valour, the chiefs who made the world as he made himself. His forms are more numerous than those of any god ... "Adoration be to thee, O Maker of the Gods, who hast stretched out the heavens and founded the earth! ... Lord of eternity, maker of the everlastingness ... creator of light ...

    "He heareth the prayer of the oppressed one, he is kind of heart to him that calleth upon him, he delivereth the timid man from the oppressor ... He is the Lord of knowledge, and Wisdom is the utterance of his mouth. "He maketh the green herb whereon the cattle live, and the staff of life whereon men live. He maketh the fish to live in the rivers, and the feathered fowl in the sky. He giveth life to that which is in the egg ... "Hail to thee, O thou maker of all these things, thou ONLY ONE. In his mightiness he taketh many forms."

    Wallis Budge states: "After reading the above extracts it is impossible not to conclude that the ideas of the ancient Egyptians about God were of a very exalted character, and it is clear that they made in their minds a sharp distinction between God and the "gods" ... Here then we have One God who was self-created, self-existent and almighty, who created the universe."

    Wallis Budge sees monotheism as the original Egyptian belief corrupted into polytheism. He argues convincingly that the various attributes of the one great God were transferred to become other lesser gods.Budge states: "The truth seems to me to be that the Egyptian religion never wholly lost the monotheistic element which was in it." He suggests a similarity to the monotheism of the Hebrews. Crude polytheism developed in Egyptian history, with increasing numbers of deities. This is an indirect confirmation of a beginning with monotheism - not "many gods".


    I also read something very similar in Budge's " Egyptian Religion" some years ago..on p. 30 you will read the following in an interest chapter on "Monotheism and Polytheism":

    "It is certain that from the earliest times one of the greatest tendencies of the Egyptian religion was towards monotheism and this tendency may be observed in all important texts down to the latest period..."





     
  7. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Re: If the gods ‘exist’ then how can god do so? …or what does that mean for monotheis

    Also I wanted to say how much I appreciated the response above by Bhaktajan..

    One of the early spokesmen for Hinduism in the West was Swami Vivekananda.. He represented Hinduism at the first World Parliament of Religions in 1893 at the Columbian Exposition held in Chicago. Here is a talk he gave on polytheism that I thought you might enjoy..

    Polytheism, Pantheism, Idol Worship in Hinduism (Part XIII) - Hindu Spiritual Videos)
     
  8. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Re: If the gods ‘exist’ then how can god do so? …or what does that mean for monotheis

    Why?

    Not in my book. The Absolute is that which is uncontained and unconditioned.

    Quite. The finite is a mode of the infinite.

    Quite so. God is Infinite, but the infinite is not God.

    Not quite.

    Hmmm ... not quite so simple as that. God is absolutely 'other' than creation, because God is not created ... so God utterly transcends the created order, but God is also immanent to it, and this immanence is seen as an interiority.

    .
    I have not said that.

    Try it this way: Creation and all things exist in the 'mind of God' as it were (this is akin to the Platonic theory if Ideas), but exist only as a potentiality, a possibility, with no reality or actuality.

    In creation, the ideas are 'actualised' and become real (in the context of the universe in which they appear), and then the reality stands in relation to its ideal, it's divine image, etc., thus we say man is made in the likeness ond image of God.

    Creation, which is finite, contingent and relative, does not 'impact' in any way upon its cause, the Absolute — the Absolute conditions the relative, but the relative does not alter, condition or in any way effect the Absolute, although it is utterly dependent upon it for its own existence and continuance.

    If you mean a soul in heaven, which then attaches itself to a body on earth, then no. The soul is created along with the body ... the soul transits the death of the physical body, and remains in the spiritual state until the General Resurrection.

    Thomas
     
  9. bhaktajan

    bhaktajan Active Member

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    Re: If the gods ‘exist’ then how can god do so? …or what does that mean for monotheis

    There is "Something-ness"
    and
    there is "Nothing-ness"

    It is called duality.

    God is the source of both.

    Both exists as complimentary to the other.

    Consciousness is above both.

    God is a conscious person originale.

    We are human persons temporale.
     
  10. _Z_

    _Z_ from far far away

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    Re: If the gods ‘exist’ then how can god do so? …or what does that mean for monotheis

    Thomas I will reply when I get the chance. :)

    arthra

    Interesting stuff, note how the text seamlessly went from amen-ra to ra, and the book says similar things about many gods if I remember rightly. They had a strange way of seeing things, as like they would say ‘I am the father of my father’, so you can have someone in the like of 'x' who came before but was born after that person.
    In essence many gods and goddesses would be viewed as having similarly divine origins, so you have an un-manifest divine essence as the base of all divinities.
    I always found it strange that Wallis budge kept using the term ‘god’ throughout the book, when apparently the Egyptians didn’t know god. This is what first made me seek a universal divine essence.

    Interesting line, especially for a pharaonic society.

    I think the gods had been around since forever, at least to the dawn of civilisation [20,000 yrs ago] in turkey where gods are depicted. Wallis is imposing his christianised worldview upon them, because he sees some kind of glue but doesn’t understand its occult nature [infinite, universal, empty, decentralised].

    He also doesn’t realise that most pagan gods are seen as like one would see god, as a personal portal to the divine, ~ which is itself is formless. It is not then god and the gods, more gods and ‘?’ the great mystery, something that cannot be seen as god/s.
     
    the thing about having many gods is that you cannot have a father and a mother earth figure within one. this is why people see divinity through its aspects [paganism].
     
  11. _Z_

    _Z_ from far far away

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    Re: If the gods ‘exist’ then how can god do so? …or what does that mean for monotheis

    Thomas, I think I may have been seeing the absolute as something different to how you see it/it is. If you look at the dictionary descriptions [below] then you see why I considered it as somewhat ‘solid’, I didn’t research it enough as its not a term I use.

    Then when I read in wiki [below bottom] about the philosophical concept it seamed quite different. The philosophical concept is similar to how I see ceugant [infinity] ~ as unattached and incomparative, the only difference is that I see it as something which things go in and out of literally seeing reality as the un-manifest and the manifest. In order to do this there has to be a fluidity betwixt the relative and non-relative, and this is where I get stuck with the definitions.
    I hope that clears up our differences on many points. :)

    --------------------
     contrast the blues..
    Absolute
    adjective: perfect or complete
    adjective: not capable of being violated or infringed
    adjective: expressing finality with no implication of possible change

    Absolute; philosophical meaning...
    It contrasts with finite things, considered individually, and known collectively as the relative. As such, the word "Absolute" signifies a negative concept: non–relative, non–comparative, or without relation to anything else. This is reflected in its Latin origin absolūtus which means "loosened from" or "unattached."
     
  12. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Re: If the gods ‘exist’ then how can god do so? …or what does that mean for monotheis

    Hi Z —

    Below is a reference from various works of Frithjof Schuon, a metaphysician of some renown, and a leading light of the Sophia Perennis Tradition.

    Here Schuon speaks of "the absolute is the ether – the underlying and omnipresent primordial substance – whereas the infinite is the indefinite series of substances" — a concept with which I disagree, as the image of 'the ether' suggests a mode of being of the Absolute, which contradicts the totality of the theory.

    I would rather say , "On the plane of material manifestation, the absolute is the Logos, which is the totality of potentiality of every possible mode of being – the logoi — the infinite then is the indefinite series of essences that manifest according to their logoi — both sensible and intelligible, spirit and matter, formal and formless, according to Divine Providence.

    We do not hold with the idea of Universal Radiation as emanation of the Absolute (which renders the absolute relative in manifestation) but rather creatio ex nihilo, in which the Absolute brings being into actual existence by the pure free act of the Divine Will, not dependent upon any substrate, any primordial substance or ether.

    Again, I would define the Absolute is unknowable, but logically and rationally identifiable as the First Cause of All.

    The infinite reveals itself through diversity and number.

    Perfection reveals itself in the good of all things towards which they are directed, for the Absolute defines both the origin of things, from Itself, and the end of things, participation in Itself. This participation is a gift and a grace, not a given inherent in the nature of things. The lower cannot participate in the higher, cannot transcend itself, except by the invitation and incorporation into the higher, by a supreme condescension of incorporation.

    It is a given in my tradition that this divine union, or divinisation, which we call theosis, occurs without the extinction of the lower, but rather its sanctification and glorification.

    Here again I see Schuon somewhat at fault. Although the Absolute as such, uncaused and uncreated, cannot be rendered relative, it can relate absolutely — this is the very essence of theosis or deification — by union with the caused and the created, by which the caused and created participate in the life of the Absolute. As St Paul said, "and the dead shall rise again incorruptible: and we shall be changed" (1 Corinthians 15:52) and St Peter "Unto an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that can not fade, reserved in heaven for you" (1 Peter 1:4) and "Being born again not of corruptible seed, but incorruptible, by the word of God who liveth and remaineth for ever" (1 Peter 1:23).

    Most notably, by St John "and it hath not yet appeared what we shall be. We know, that, when he shall appear, we shall be like to him: because we shall see him as he is" (1 John 3:2)
    We shall be like Him because we will be in Him, the Mystical Body, and we shall see Him as He is, because He makes Himself known absolutely to us, by the free gift of His superessential and transcendent being.

    Traditional metaphysics holds 'objectivity' as the supreme principle of intellection, but this misses a higher and more profound point — beings know themselves only by relation to other beings, that is everything knows what it is, and what it is not, by relation to other beings (if one existaed as the only existing thing in an absolute void, how could one know anything, even itself, if there was nothing else to know?).

    Christian metaphysics holds subjectivity as the supreme principle — not the subjectivity of the ego, but the subjectivity of the pure relation of self to the other, the pure gift of self to the other, which is love.

    Thomas
     
  13. _Z_

    _Z_ from far far away

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    Re: If the gods ‘exist’ then how can god do so? …or what does that mean for monotheis

    Hi Thomas. Thanks for the info

    I agree with you.

    Bare with me while I try to understand, ~ as I say, this is not how I see things at all.

    I wouldn’t see the infinite nor absolute [‘ceugant’ to me [not sure if it is totally the same]] as material but I would see them as a reality. The material is what we call manifest things, un-manifest things are not ‘physical’ but more nearer to mental/spiritual.

    Ok, but herein lies my problem with the notion of the absolute;
    .
    1.0. If it pervades everywhere and is without limit then there is only it and nothing else.
    1.1. If not then it is limited?
    2.0. If creation is separate from it [and not within it], then manifest existence denies its limitedness.
    2.1. If it has abilities like ‘creation’ and aspects like ‘will’, then these things are more than the singular emptiness.
    2.2. An unlimited thing weather we call it infinity, the absolute or whatever, has no ‘limits’, therefore all must be contained within it.
    3.1. Where all things are contained within, then both the manifest and the un-manifest are within the one sphere [thing]. Equally things like the will, the mind and the ability to create anew [like the imaginations does], are all within that oneness. As these are all aspects of advanced consciousness [such as human and divine], then all beings with this advanced nature would necessarily have those abilities.
    4.0. Each and every aspect including emptiness, begins with universals then moves to the particular. A universal does not belong to the particular, though the particular will belong to them.
    4.1. There may be no first cause [given infinity and universals in all-time], though there may be beginnings.
    5.0. A being within the emptiness and the infinite cannot itself belong to the sphere of beginnings and endings. Being greater than, and fundamental to, the transient things, it will necessarily be their source ~ or that is they will necessarily be primarily manifest of the primordial thing [whatever that is].

    *In short the fundamental nature having infinite and universal natures, is the original self [or thing]. *All things thereafter come and go from within that place. This is the definition of ceugant according to secret lore, and the fundamental nature of paganism in both druidry and I believe many other pagan religions such as the Egyptians.
    Can we clear up a few of these points and then come back to the rest of your post. Thank you for that post. There seams to be many similarities between this kind of monotheism and the deeper side of paganism [idolatry aside lols].
    .
    *Most notably, by St John "and it hath not yet appeared what we shall be. We know, that, when he shall appear, we shall be like to him: because we shall see him as he is" (1 John 3:2)

     
    most interesting

    Z :)
     
  14. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Re: If the gods ‘exist’ then how can god do so? …or what does that mean for monotheis

    Z,

    The concept of an absolute is a cornerstone of my belief system, so let me share some of my ideas.

    I agree that it is without limit then there is only it and nothing else.

    I disagree with the idea that creation is separate from the absolute and not within it. (This is a Christian concept that I disagree with. In the Garden of Eden we see Adam hiding from God after Adam's 'evil deed,' God finds Adam, and then God gets angry at Adam. Things such as God getting angry and Adam's ability to hide from God are things that do not 'happen' to the absolute. The absolute is not the same as God, especially as portrayed in the Bible.) Creation is ‘within’ the absolute, and is merely one aspect of the absolute. In this way, manifest existence does not deny the absolute’s limitedness.

    Abilities like ‘creation’ and aspects like ‘will’ are merely aspects of a singular emptiness.

    I agree that the absolute or whatever, has no ‘limits’, therefore all must be contained within it.

    I agree that then both the manifest and the un-manifest are within the one sphere [thing]. Manifest things and unmanifest things are merely aspects of a greater singularity.

    I think the word ‘emptiness’ is confusing to most people in the way it is used. It is a direct reference to the absolute, and refers to all aspects of the absolute. We humans are unable to understand what the absolute really is, so we can only use words like ‘emptiness’ to refer to the absolute.

    I agree that a universal does not belong to the particular, though the particular will belong to a universal. Particulars are only one aspect of a universal. But (and this is the hard part for us to understand) a universal is only one aspect of the absolute.

    You mentioned beginnings and first causes. It has been said that the absolute has "no conceivable beginning nor imaginable end," and this is a close as we humans can get to understanding the relationship of first cause to the absolute.

    I disagree with the idea that a being within the emptiness and the infinite cannot itself belong to the sphere of beginnings and endings. Beings are a part of a sphere of beginnings and endings — it is an inherent part of their identity.

    ~~~

    Z, I’m curious how my ideas match or do not match your belief system.
     
  15. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Re: If the gods ‘exist’ then how can god do so? …or what does that mean for monotheis

    Hi Nick —

    The Bible, especially Genesis 1-11, is a metaphysical commentary, not a story, so should be treated as allegory, or metaphor.

    The same as with the stories of Krishna, for example, in another Tradition. One needs to look beyond the superficial and seek informed commentary.

    May I politely suggest you make comparisons within your own doctrine, as your understanding of Christian doctrine is not quite as well-informed as it might be, and so you tend to cloud the issue and confuse matters.

    'The Divine Names' by Denys the Areopagite explains how and in what sense positive and negative qualities are attributed to the divine, including such ideas as anger, wrath, jealousy, etc.

    Don't you mean 'the absolute's unlimitedness? If so, then this is the Christian understanding.

    Interesting, I wonder how an 'emptiness' can have aspects ...

    I think it suffers the same as any attribute of the divine, as any predication implies its opposite, in this case fullness, which is also applicable to the absolute ... or plenitude, as we call it.

    I don't see the difficulty?

    Or rather, 'universals' as we understand in the Greek philosophical tradition, manifest themselves through and in the particulars, universals do not manifest themselves as such. Universals belong to the realm of the created.

    Beginnings and First Cause do not apply to the Absolute, but rather the Absolute is the Cause of all contingent being, whilst Itself is subject to no contingency. Hence the idea of 'Motionless Mover', or the sphere with its centre everywhere, and its circumference nowhere ...

    I'm not sure what you're disagreeing with?

    The Absolute is not subject to any spatio-temporal condition, therefore does not suffer beginnings or endings ... everything else does ...

    Thomas
     
  16. shawn

    shawn New Member

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    Re: If the gods ‘exist’ then how can god do so? …or what does that mean for monotheis

    And so then he should not draw any conclusions because he is not as well read as you deem necessary?
    You would not make a good teacher of children m8.
    But such is a typical and quite traditional catholic meme.
    That, I agree with, to a point, as it is also a condensed version of much older stories.
     
  17. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Re: If the gods ‘exist’ then how can god do so? …or what does that mean for monotheis

    Shawn

    I agree with you that having an atmosphere that promotes a open discussion of ideas is a great idea.
     
  18. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Re: If the gods ‘exist’ then how can god do so? …or what does that mean for monotheis

    Hi Z —
    No problem ... I've got the same thing coming the other way ...

    Absolutely!

    In our tradition they can be called sensible and intelligible.

    OK ... let's go for it ...

    Well ... how deep d'you wanna go? In one way yes, there is only one 'real' and that is the Absolute, everything else is 'unreal' in that it depends upon the Absolute for its existence and continuance ...

    Johann Scottus Eriugena put it something like this:
    Every 'level' of being assumes itself to be real, whilst every level below it unreal, or only partially real, in that it does not participate fully in the reality that it itself knows, whilst every level above it is 'unreal' because it is beyond the senses of the being who intuits it ... thus angels are 'unreal' to us because they are beyond empirical determination, but we are 'unreal' to angels because we are not beings of pure intellection ...

    No. This is why we reject monism, pantheism and, to some degree, panentheism (depending upon how that slippery doctrine expresses itself) ... the Absolute creates, but is Itself unmoved, unaltered, unconditioned, by its creation ...
    ... the 'error' we perceive in pantheism, panentheism, etc., is the assumption that the created is akin to, or in some way consubstantial with, the Absolute.

    So created nature — the entire cosmos — is not Absolute, but is not other than the Absolute, in the sense that it's existence impinges in no way upon the Absolute/ It is caused or brought into being by the Absolute, sustained in existence, and its good, its end, is directed by the Absolute (hence the notion of judgement) ...

    Again, it is not separate, nor is it the same ...
    The finite is a mode of the Infinite ... by the finite enjoys none of the attributes of infinity, it is contained, it is limited, it is determined, it has a beginning and an end, etc. etc. It exists within the Infinite, but it not like the Infinite at all, nor does its being limit the Infinite in any sense.

    As above, 'emptiness' is, like any other attempt to determine or define the Absolute, inadequate.

    Emptiness has no place in our tradition, we talk rather of plenitude.

    Yes ... but the everlasting problem is than that man assumes the right to possess whatever falls within his gaze ... So many people read 'the kingdom lies within' or 'in him we live and move and have our being' and assume that makes them inherently divine ...

    OK

    Yes. But again these faculties are limited according to the nature of being that possesses them.

    I don't know what you mean by 'advanced consciousness' ... to us there is only reason and intellect, and the qualities of the soul.

    The ascent or transcendence occurs by the indwelling in the soul of the higher, which effectively elevates the soul to itself ... as you can imagine, this is a pure act of grace, and not achievable by any scientific means or method.

    Humans and angels are rational beings, but the intellect of angels is more luminous than humans because angels are pure intellect ...

    But God, or the Divine, or the Absolute, transcends this order of discussion.

    For us, transcendence means participation in the higher ... so there is human consciousness, and angelic consciousness (according to the order of the angels, not all angels are 'rational', some are 'fixed' intelligences ...) up the scale of ascent.

    OK.

    Well if something begins, something initiates that beginning? Even time has a beginning ... Kalaam's hypothesis is that if time is infinite, then the duration between each moment would be infinite, and so, in effect, time would never move ...

    I do not agree that universals are infinite, however, so that might be a stumbling block.

    OK

    I would say the 'fundamental nature' is the cause of an infinite number of universal natures, but they are not synonymous with their cause ... but we/I might be saying the same thing here without realising it ...

    OK

    Thanks for the discussion.

    Ooh, yes ...

    To refer to Eriugena again, he divided nature into four categories:
    That which is not created, and creates (The Absolute 'outward' — Logos)
    That which creates and is created (universals/essences)
    That which is created and does not create (particulars)
    That which does not create, and is not created (the Absolute 'inward')

    Divine Plentitude belongs with the first, I think 'emptiness' as you and Nick propose it belongs to the fourth.

    Thomas
     
  19. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Re: If the gods ‘exist’ then how can god do so? …or what does that mean for monotheis

    He is of course entitled to draw conclusions ... but if they're the wrong ones, then he's only adding confusion rather than clarity.

    The point is, I think Nick would better serve all here by referencing his own doctrines, which he knows, rather than those he is not so au fait with.

    I could reference Hindu or Moslem ideas in this discussion, but I don't because I know my knowledge is not as in depth, and might actually lead the unwary into my error, which would make me the blind leading the blind.

    Nick's not a child.

    Thomas
     
  20. shawn

    shawn New Member

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    Re: If the gods ‘exist’ then how can god do so? …or what does that mean for monotheis

    That does sound like a matter of opinion.
    Look at the massive disagreement as to what those doctrines are and mean in the christian groups.
    If the christians can't even agree, then really it is opinion and speculation and one persons speculation is as good as anothers.
    Of course, you won't agree with that as you have the truth all figured out;).
     

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