The Divine Connexion

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by radarmark, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    I wish to begin a new thread, see what you think. The idea is that we as a species have lost (for the most part) our connexion to the Divine.

    We have lost our divine connexion, the holiness, the wholeness. In days long ago, those of Abraham, Zarathustra, the Rishis, the Ancient Shamans, and Druids our world view (or point-of-view or sense-of-life) was unfragmented. The myths and legends of the Bushmen, the Mundas, the Aboriginals, the Ainu, the Oceanics, the Siberians, and the Native Americans stand to show us that it is possible to experience holistically.

    Our world view need not be fragmented into the scientific, the mathematical, the logical, the statistical, the philosophical, the historical, the aesthetic, the ethical, the emotional, the political, the religious, and the spiritual.

    This the problem of not only what is laughingly called "post-modernism", but Modernism itself. All the way back to where science emerged from "natural philosophy", Religion from theology (in the classic Greek sense of the meta-physics), where the polis killed Plato.

    In the Great Centers of Civilization, Mezo-America, Ancient Nubia, Egypt, Greece, the Middle East, the Indus Valley, the Iranian Plateau, the Han China, there is plenty of evidence that this problem--the fragmentation of experience--is indeed ancient and endemic.

    Is this idea worth exploring in this forum?
     
  2. DT Strain

    DT Strain Spiritual Naturalist

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    I think these are good thoughts, with which I would generally agree. As a Spiritual Naturalist, I have a respect for science and the scientific method (which inherently includes certain classifications, isolation, specialization, etc). However, I also see - and agree - that although that kind of distillation can produce highly effective ways of revealing certain truths about Nature, it can also have a distorting effect on our perceptions about ultimate reality. This is because, in reality, the universe is one interconnected whole and these lines - which simplify things for us enough to get limited understandings of parts in our scientific pursuits - are not really so sharp.

    This is why I was pleased to learn of the new field of complex systems theory and places like the Santa Fe Institute, where they bring together scientists from fields as diverse as biology, physics, sociology, psychology, computer science/artificial intelligence, economics, politics, history, etc. They found remarkable overlap in many of the basic concepts in their fields. These overlaps indicated a universiality in how matter organizes itself in different incarnations. They began to develop a common lexicon and work out new ideas regarding complex systems (the 'flow of the universe') which apply to all these fields.

    Not coincidentally, their topics began to look more and more similar to those discussed by Heraclitus, and Chuang-Tzu, and other ancient philosophers, who naturally saw the universe as one interconnected whole.

    Meanwhile scientific study of the subjective experience in meditation, while no substitute for actual engagement in the practice, is opening up exciting prospects for more integration between the best of our scientific wisdom, and the best of our spiritual wisdom and practice.

    Due to human limitations, there will still be different approaches best suited to different subjects and challenges. Subjective spiritual intuitive experience and practice will be essential, as will times when we must go into the laboratory to practice a pure scientific method. But in our ultimate understandings and their applications toward better lives and better a better world, there is much potential for new horizons and growth.

    I'm sure there are even more aspects to your post than I have touched on here, but it reminded me of some of these things I've described.

    May you flourish! :)

    -Daniel
     
  3. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    I greatly appreciate your reply. More than complexity science look at the SFI work in chaos and "information physics" really, really cutting edge!
     
  4. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Hi Radarmark —

    Short answer, yes. I'm always interested in what you say.

    Agreed. Although I do not believe there once existed 'a golden age' of humanity, I think our disconnect from nature is a radical element in our disconnect from God.
    Try and get hold of "The Master and His Emissary".

    Augustine, among others, said 'true religion is true philosophy; true philosophy is true religion' The separation compartmentalises ...

    Yup.

    God bless,

    Thomas
     
  5. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    Thank you (as always) Thomas. It is Augustine's point I wish to explore. Neither do I believe in a "Golden Age" (I am a pretty strict Hobbesian when it comes to primative cultures). It is not some specific time or place that concerns me, nor the trappings of civilization (they are overwhelmingly beneficial, I believe)... rather it is the "raw experience" of unity with the Kosmos around us (physical and mental and emotional and spiritual). I feel so fragmented, fictional, phantasmalogical sometimes.
     
  6. Etu Malku

    Etu Malku Mercuræn

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    Nice thread Radarmark!

    My take on this is that mankind has always been trying to get back to His Monad/Singularity. That each of us are a fallen angel so to speak from our non-dual Self/Essence.

    I do believe that today most of us understand less about spirituality than our past, an example of this is Prayer, it has become rote recitations or simple wish-making.

    Prayer originally was a process of concentrated visualization, combined with emotional and mental energy, properly grounded to the physical through proper vocalization.

    The spoken Word became in essence praying, this was first understood by the ancient Egyptians in the way of Affirmations and made manifest in (Heka) vibrational magic. Efforts were made to align sound with the principles of a cosmic order (natural ordering of the universe) which perhaps could be seen as a LOGOS, the dialog with that part of your Self that has the ability to create any condition you need or desire.
     
  7. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Hi Radarmark —

    You expressed an interest in Augustine ... anything in particular?

    My own interest lies in the area of a Thomistic metaphysics of the human person. One little gem of a book is "Person and Being" (W Norris Clarke SJ).

    For Clarke, the human person is a triune:
    Person as Being;
    Being-in-itself;
    Being-in-relation.

    This relational aspect of being is not accidental to being, but is a primordial constituent thereof: To be fully is to be substance-in-relation"

    "... the Father communicates ecstatically His entire divine nature to the Second Person, the Son or the Word, in an act of loving self knowledge, so that the only distinction between them is the distinction of two complementary but opposed relations, Giver and Receiver. Then both together, in a single act of mutual love, pour forth the same divine essence again in all its fullness to their love image, the Holy Spirit, the third Person."

    "Within the divine being, the relations and procession between the three Persons are not accidental but constitutive of the very nature of the divine substance. Substantiality and relationality are here equally primordial and necessary dimensions of being itself at its highest intensity".

    If then we are made in the image of God, our very being is relational. But, we are also substance, namely substance in relation. If we were merely constituted by our relationality, we would have nothing to communicate.

    Norris argues that receptivity is itself a positive aspect of perfection of being. This has important implications for the understanding of the masculine and feminine dimensions of human personality.

    From here we go to:
    Personal Being as Self-possessing;
    Personal Being as Self- communicative and relational;
    Personal Being as self-transcending.

    Here is a key to the Christian hermeneutic (I wonder how the Buddhist notion of Sangha compares) – what is it about giving that we receive? Why to find ourselves, do we need to lose ourselves? Why do we need communion to be self affirmed?

    We are rooted in ourselves but we are also ecstatically transcendent communal beings.

    In a life's journey, self-knowledge can never reach completion, because we are creatures open to the infinite, yet "... the final goal and perfection of the whole universe is, literally, the communion between persons"

    "To be: is to be in communion".

    "It is of great importance, then, for a healthy personal development to find some appropriate way of expressing to somebody all the significant levels of being and personality within us, concluding the deepest and most intimate. Paradoxically, it seems that what we don't share, we tend to lose hold of, what we don't give away we can't hold on to."

    "Why it must be that way that self-possession must keep pace with self expression is one of the deep mysteries of being."

    "Thus the Christian revelation of the Trinity is not abstruse doctrine for theologians alone but has a unique illuminate power as to the meaning of being."

    Again, I would refer to "The Master and His Emissary" by McGilchrist. The right brain (and here I must again insist that the left/right distinction is only provisionally useful, it is true, but the whole brain reacts as one; left and right do not operate as individual minds) is holistic, all-in-all and everything-at-once; the left orders and explains. The author then goes on to provide a considerable amount of evidence to suggest that, for various reasons, this left-brain process is in danger of overwhelming the right, in that it has taken to rejecting the raw data it receives and prefers its own constructs ... and this is especially so when man is removed from nature, by urban living, by technology, by a loss of the sense of the sacred ...

    I might also offer that the fractal bifurcation, which means we see ever more deeply, but ever more narrowly, can be considered an aspect of the kali-yuga in which there is a tendency towrads the quantitative over the qualitative, and the notion of the 'using up' of experience in a kind of race against time at the end of the Age ... a race that inevitably goes downward, evidenced by cultures in decline which indicate an 'anything goes' mentality which they champion as freedom, autonomy and fulness of expression, but which is, in reality, the prsuit of ephemeral novelty and the breakdown of values ...

    God bless,

    Thomas
     
  8. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    I just got McGilcrist (don't spoil it for me!) along with the four Hebrew references I mentioned on the wierd "Dating the Herew Bible" thread inexplicably posted on the Judaism thread.

    I am not s big expert on Augustine and am reading both the book and some Stanford Encyclopedia pieces about him. Seems a little to Aristotelian for my tastes, but slogging ahead.
     
  9. Sam Albion

    Sam Albion akaFrancisKing:ViveLeRoi!

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    I think all topics are good for the forum and worth exploring.

    And here I'll throw my two-cents in...

    Personally, I don't think Man, en-masse, has ever really sought God for God's sake. Instead, man looks to God for favourable weather to boost his crops, he looks to God to help him win a specific lover, he prays for exam results and successful job interviews, or he prays to God because he is told by his community that he must. Now God is a particle, or a shared emotion, or a misfiring in the temporal lobe, or he's a delusion, or a symbol and symptom of a subtler oppression.

    Often those who speak of God have never met God.

    Like Thomas, I think that harking back to a golden age of spirituality is erroneous. I do not believe such a golden age ever existed. Mankind, as a species, lives his life today as he always has -- he works, he eats, he loves, he has a mother and father and competitors and opportunities for good and evil. He might now have an I-Pad, but the moral issues he struggles with daily are the same as they've always been.

    I don't believe that man as a species has lost God -- I think what they have lost is fear, the fear to admit they do not believe or that they do not understand. They are no longer frightened to state that God is not the centre of their universes, and they'd prefer to play golf on sundays. God isn't about fear.

    I see many people, on my travels, from different religious communities. I ask them all similiar questions, one of which is.... "what makes you choose this?"

    Only two, of hundreds, have ever said to me -- "because this makes sense". The others say they've opted for religion X because they're looking for something temporal -- a sense of community, inner peace, or a change from what they were doing before, be that a life of drug addiction or hardcore scientific endeavour. Some people want power. Some people come for the free lunch. I don't think the motives of todays seeker are that different to those of the seeker of old.

    Most people who, on the surface, seem devoted to their faith are not members of that faith community because they want to deepen their connection with God. They're there because they want life to feel better and they think religion X is the answer.

    Personally, I have no issue with that. I have no issue with those who say that God is not for them, or they do not accept God exists. I do not believe in aliens, mainly because I have no proof of them. I have no direct experience of such things, and without seeing, I'm not believing. I don't expect others to think differently than I do myself.

    Religion is a vehicle. And while that vehicle should really only be used to undertake one specific journey (unity with God), instead people drive their religious vehicle because they want to take a different journey. I have no issue with that, either.

    I don't want a world full of zealots. It'd be chaos. Nobody would arrange for my recycling to be collected and everyone would be too scared to open their mouths in case they reavealed themselves as the enemy (zealots love enemies). I don't want a world "on fire" for God. That would look like Hell, to me. I much prefer it when the world collectively muddles along, not quite deciding what's what...
     
  10. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Oh, read him as a Platonist, please! He was certainly that. And he was converted by Ambrose of Milan, another Christian Platonist.

    But yes, he's a huge topic! I've got Paul Ricoeur's "Time and Narrative" — 3 volumes! — a discussion based on Aristotle, and Book 11 of Augustine's Confessions (all about the nature of time).

    But Clarke's little "Person and Being" (the text of 3 lectures he gave) is, to me, staggering. But it is argued from a Thomist viewpoint.

    God bless,

    Thomas
     
  11. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Spoiler Alert....

    Short answer, No.

    I don't believe we as mankind have lost our disconnect with G!d....we never had it as a whole....yeah we may have been part of a collective dream....but the connection and awareness of same is an individual experience.


    You got that right....we've built cathedrals, temples, towers, to separate ourcellves from nature and increase our connection to G!d, the one and oneness...pretty stupid eh?

    We go and do the hokey pokey of pomp and circumstance and listen to someone pontificate while dressed in our finest and make our kids behave at their best....in short get as materialistic as possible to look good in public and in the eyes of our peers and preachers...and give him the ole pat on the back, handshake pump...good talk...

    where as, we can find a better connection in the local laundry mat.... putting coins in machines, assisting the single mother with her children...laying in the leaves watching them disconnect from their life source one by one as they age and then float gently to the ground and become nutrients for the very roots that fed them...

    The sun is shining.....we can choose to keep the blinds closed and whine, we can choose to turn on the telly and imagine that that 'light' emitting and that televangelist is providing us a connection....or we can open the curtains and let the light shine in....

    or we can open our heart and let our light shine out....

    no.....we've not lost or misplaced our divine connection....

    look neither high nor low.....it is in your midst.

    quit building edifices to substitute for the connection.....and connect.

    bliss.....thanx.

    (note RM, all the while writing this I'm thinking of sitting in a quaker service....it would be this that is rolling thru my head.....but I don't stand up...maybe I should....or maybe I shouldn't have here either)
     
  12. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Oh, Wil —

    It's just a pity people here can't discuss the issues without airing their prejudice and polemic.

    God bless,

    Thomas
     
  13. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Is this a case of 'the plank in your eye', I wonder?

    Is that all you can see?

    Here's a contemplation for you. It's Luke 18:10:
    "Two men went up into the temple to pray: the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican... "
    Which one do you sound like (spoiler: it's not the publican :eek:)

    God bless,

    Thomas
     
  14. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Thomas,

    Don't take everything so personal. There are monstrous Mosques and Hindu Temples, over here, as well as evangelical structured designed to seat tens of thousands....

    It ain't all about you. I don't have particular issues with Catholics...nor do I have issues with those who use/need pomp and circumstance....

    Hell, I discovered that I have parallels with you..my son was in a scout troop for 6 years that had a majority of Catholic scouts...one of the things that drove me crazy was these folks who had to get back from camping, we had to get up at 6 am or earlier on Sunday so we could break camp, pack up so folks could get back to make it to church....if they didn't make it, it was a sin, and the boys were afraid they were going to hell.

    Every now and then we were far enough from home and far enough from a church that they applied for special dispensation which absolved them of the need.....

    I thought it a joke....now they believed hell to be a physical place, fire and brimstone and everlasting toil...now I believe hell to be a place you put yourself in....right here right now, a perspective.... and truth be known....if I am available, capable, of make it to church....and don't....I am in hell, I feel I am missing something, missing my spiritual food, missing my time to commune with my spiritual travelers....so the parallels are there...

    now you are probably shaking your head as to how wrong I've got it.....

    tis ok with me...
     
  15. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Hi Wil —
    I just think it's a shame you can't get over your prejudices.

    God bless

    Thomas
     
  16. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Hi Wil —

    A critique would be that your arguments are all 'straw-man', you take the worst case scenario, and tar everyone with the same brush ... including Christ.

    When I was a kid we were at Mass on Christmas morning. A gold bracelet my mum was wearing, a family heirloom, broke and fell into the pew. My mum didn't notice, but what she realised later was that the woman next to her in the pew moved her handbag to cover the bracelet, and then waited for my mum to leave, and stole the bracelet.

    By my way of thinking ... that's tragic.
    By your way of thinking, all churchgoers are thieves.

    +++

    You say: "It ain't all about you."
    I don't care, it's water off a duck's back to me. What annoys me is your materialists judgements of everyone.

    You say: "pomp and circumstance"
    I say "symbol and ceremony"

    You say: "now they believed hell to be a physical place"
    I say, "Do they? Why? It's not doctrine, so it's their error."

    You say: "if I am available, capable, of make it to church....and don't....I am in hell, I feel I am missing something, missing my spiritual food, missing my time to commune with my spiritual travelers"
    I say: "Well, that's true. Hell might be over-stating the case, but you are missing 'spiritual food', and you can't deny it. If you are refuting the efficacy of the Sacraments, then you're refuting the whole point of Christ's teaching. He didn't institute them for no reason at all."

    You can manufacture your own version of Christianity if you like, but it will always be substantially lesser than what Christ did if you start stripping his words and deeds of their spiritual meaning.

    The point of Christianity is the spiritual is married to the material.
     
  17. taijasi

    taijasi Gnōthi seauton

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    Look who's talking!

    Look who's talking!

    Look who's talking!

    LOOK WHO'S TALKING!!!
     
  18. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Seems my elder brother and wayshower told of us of selling what we had, giving to the poor...

    Seems asked us not to put up what will rust and be eaten by moths...

    whatever...interesting the things you focus on....and always love it when you tell me what I think...

    I'ma churchgoer....today and every Sunday....and sometimes in between...why is it that I would think all churchgoers are theives??? Amazing the things you make up and perceive, speaks volumes of you and less about me...but you knew that.

    I say whatever floats your boat, whatever you need for the connection....some need to touch the garment, others think that touching the garment shows amazing faith and belief...I need no symbols, ceremony or garment...I sit in the lap of luxury (G!d).
     
  19. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    From what you tell me you think about liturgies, I can only ask ... Why?

    For the same reason you think all there is to it is pomp and circumstance. You reduce everything to the lowest denominator:
    See?

    See?

    What other deduction can I draw from any of that?

    Wil, you've made your views about the Curia, the Church and the silent faithful quite plain above ... in my experience you've never had one good thing, nor even one charitable thing, to say.

    So I have no idea why you seem surprised.

    Maybe, but you make your contempt for boats other than you own quite plain for all to see.

    Well bully for you. All I can say is the rest of us fall for short of your degree of perfection.

    Why, might I ask, if indeed you sit in the lap of God, do you never use the name He gave us?

    God bless,

    Thomas
     
  20. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Oh, good grief, don't you start ... :D

    God bless,

    Thomas
     

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