Religious Pluralism & Trinity

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by Samuel Stuart Maynes, May 11, 2014.

  1. Samuel Stuart Maynes

    Samuel Stuart Maynes New Member

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    If you are interested in some new ideas on religious pluralism and the Trinity, please give me your thoughts on improving the content and presentation of this summary.

    My thesis is that an abstract version of the Trinity could be Christianity’s answer to the world need for a framework of pluralistic theology.

    In a constructive worldview: east, west, and far-east religions present a threefold understanding of One God manifest primarily in Muslim and Hebrew intuition of the Deity Absolute, Christian and Krishnan Hindu conception of the Universe Absolute Supreme Being; and Shaivite Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist apprehension of the Destroyer (meaning also Consummator), Unconditioned Absolute, or Spirit of All That Is and is not. Together with their variations and combinations in other major religions, these religious ideas reflect and express our collective understanding of God, in an expanded concept of the Holy Trinity.

    The Trinity Absolute is portrayed in the logic of world religions, as follows:

    1. Muslims and Jews may be said to worship only the first person of the Trinity, i.e. the existential Deity Absolute Creator, known as Allah or Yhwh, Abba or Father (as Jesus called him), Brahma, and other names; represented by Gabriel (Executive Archangel), Muhammad and Moses (mighty messenger prophets), and others.

    2. Christians and Krishnan Hindus may be said to worship the first person through a second person, i.e. the experiential Universe or "Universal” Absolute Supreme Being (Allsoul or Supersoul), called Son/Christ or Vishnu/Krishna; represented by Michael (Supreme Archangel), Jesus (teacher and savior of souls), and others. The Allsoul is that gestalt of personal human consciousness, which we expect will be the "body of Christ" (Mahdi, Messiah, Kalki or Maitreya) in the second coming – personified in history by Muhammad, Jesus Christ, Buddha (9th incarnation of Vishnu), and others.

    3. Shaivite Hindus, Buddhists, and Confucian-Taoists seem to venerate the synthesis of the first and second persons in a third person or appearance, ie. the Destiny Consummator of ultimate reality – unqualified Nirvana consciousness – associative Tao of All That Is – the absonite* Unconditioned Absolute Spirit “Synthesis of Source and Synthesis,”** who/which is logically expected to be Allah/Abba/Brahma glorified in and by union with the Supreme Being – represented in religions by Gabriel, Michael, and other Archangels, Mahadevas, Spiritpersons, etc., who may be included within the mysterious Holy Ghost.

    Other strains of religion seem to be psychological variations on the third person, or possibly combinations and permutations of the members of the Trinity – all just different personality perspectives on the Same God. Taken together, the world’s major religions give us at least two insights into the first person of this thrice-personal One God, two perceptions of the second person, and at least three glimpses of the third.

    * The ever-mysterious Holy Ghost or Unconditioned Spirit is neither absolutely infinite, nor absolutely finite, but absonite; meaning neither existential nor experiential, but their ultimate consummation; neither fully ideal nor totally real, but a middle path and grand synthesis of the superconscious and the conscious, in consciousness of the unconscious.

    ** This conception is so strong because somewhat as the Absonite Spirit is a synthesis of the spirit of the Absolute and the spirit of the Supreme, so it would seem that the evolving Supreme Being may himself also be a synthesis or “gestalt” of humanity with itself, in an Almighty Universe Allperson or Supersoul. Thus ultimately, the Absonite is their Unconditioned Absolute Coordinate Identity – the Spirit Synthesis of Source and Synthesis– the metaphysical Destiny Consummator of All That Is.

    After the Hindu and Buddhist conceptions, perhaps the most subtle expression and comprehensive symbol of the 3rd person of the Trinity is the Tao; involving the harmonization of “yin and yang” (great opposing ideas indentified in positive and negative, or otherwise contrasting terms). In the Taoist icon of yin and yang, the s-shaped line separating the black and white spaces may be interpreted as the Unconditioned “Middle Path” between condition and conditioned opposites, while the circle that encompasses them both suggests their synthesis in the Spirit of the “Great Way” or Tao of All That Is.

    If the small black and white circles or “eyes” are taken to represent a nucleus of truth in both yin and yang, then the metaphysics of this symbolism fits nicely with the paradoxical mystery of the Christian Holy Ghost; who is neither the spirit of the one nor the spirit of the other, but the Glorified Spirit proceeding from both, taken altogether – as one entity – personally distinct from his co-equal, co-eternal and fully coordinate co-sponsors, who differentiate from him, as well as mingle and meld in him.

    What do you think?

    Samuel Stuart Maynes
     
  2. Samuel Stuart Maynes

    Samuel Stuart Maynes New Member

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    I’m in the midst of writing a book on Religious Pluralism and the Trinity Absolute. A summary and copies of the draft are available, but it has not been published yet and is still a “work-in-progress.” Constructive criticism from members of this forum would be very much appreciated.

    My thesis is that as the world becomes more and more religiously and culturally diverse, we will have no choice but to practice pluralism in order to avoid a “clash of civilizations” over what amounts to a possibly preventable and ultimately correctable misunderstanding.

    As religious communities and as growing nations, our futures are inextricably linked, being joined at the hip so to speak. We must develop a truly multi-cultural, multi-religious society in order to get along. Religious variety would be a wonderful source of cultural stimulus, if religious beliefs could be placed in some sort of comprehensive context which recognizes the differences, but integrates their best attitudes in one inclusive framework. Diversity can be healthy and something to be celebrated. Pluralism also has the virtue of being a universal moral worldview.

    Mere toleration is too fragile a foundation for a world of religious differences in close proximity. It does nothing to unite people, and leaves in place the stereotypes and fears that underlie old patterns of division and violence. In the world in which we live today, our elitism and ignorance of one another will be increasingly costly. If the interactions of society are to be at all a rational process, some set of principles must motivate the general participation of religious groups in the oneness of the community, without hindering the maintenance by each group of its own identity.

    There must be some form of creative pluralism or constructive interpretation that will allow all groups to agree to a “minimal consensus” of shared beliefs in a systematic unity. And there must be some metaphysical systematic unity, because ultimately all truth (including science) must be part of the explanation of One God.

    Recently, a number of theologians have suggested that the Trinity may provide the key to an inclusive theology of religions, and a new understanding of religious diversity. An expanded abstract version of the Trinity can function as a metaphysical "architectonic principle" to unlock the providential purpose and meaning of religious variety, in the portrayal of the multi-dimensional nature of God.

    In the past, religious misunderstandings have caused immense grief, but civilization is rapidly approaching the point where the very survival of the world depends on overcoming anti-social religious conflicts, and the negative impacts of increasing population on the planet. The human race can no longer afford religious strife that divides people and disturbs urgent cooperation on mutual issues such as conservation and sharing of resources, combating climate change, stimulating healthy economic growth, etc.

    Peace in the world requires peace among religions. Religious pluralism is a necessary paradigm shift whose time has come. Absent any better idea, the Trinity Absolute concept of One God in three phases or personae is the only adequate metaphysical vehicle necessary and sufficient for a real form of religious pluralism that is more than just lukewarm toleration and talking past one another.


    Please review my previous posting, and let me know what do you think of the Trinity Absolute as a scaffold for religious pluralism?

    Samuel Stuart Maynes
     
  3. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    I am surprised nobody piped up on your original post....although there is a slight aversion to prophets on this site and we have so many discussions on comparing and contrasting existing religions and similar discussions within the vagaries of our own... a new paradigm is often tough to swallow.

    I don't currently buy the premise that an organized pluralism is required and as we have thousands of denominations of Christianity, hundreds of sects of Islam, all the variations of Hinduism Buddhism, Judaism, and all the rest....to me will just act as a multiplier and now you'll have exponentially more potential versions of pluralism.

    That being said, how can we review the book?
     
  4. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Your other thread however got a myriad of responses on Kant....you might should take a read and respond.
     
  5. Frrostedman

    Frrostedman Keepin' it cool

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    There are many people who subscribe to Religious Pluralism. There is obvious appeal in having free license to cherry pick from all different religious beliefs, and form your own personal version of "God."

    Now, of course, being that I am Christian, I oppose the practice and believe it utter and complete heresy. It is New Age thinking, but obviously not new at all. I don't know what religious group, if any, would be willing to walk on this scaffold you have constructed. But I can tell you with certainty; from the vantage point of your soap box, you will witness the about face and quick exit of the entire Christian audience, once you mention Allah and God in the same sentence.
     
  6. Quirkybird

    Quirkybird Granny to five

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    Heresy good, dyed in the wool bad!:D:D:D
     
  7. voiceofwood

    voiceofwood Interfaith Forums

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    It is folly to label good bad and visa versa
     
  8. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Shirley, you do realize that every Arabic, Coptic Christian refers to G!d as Allah, as Allah is simply G!d in Arabic?

    You know they don't call a fork a fork either? They use their language, their words when they speak?

    Prior to Mohamed Christians over there referred to G!d as Allah, after Mohammed, they still did.
     
  9. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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    I'm curious how you accuse other people of "picking and choosing", when the same can easily be said of Christians. :)

    And the only Christians afraid of entering a dialogue with Muslims are the bigots. Frankly, we're better rid.
     
  10. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    We all pick and choose....it is just that others pick and choose differently....

    I like the folks who are objecting to yoga or tai chi in gym class...because it is indoctrination into other beliefs...
     
  11. b.finton

    b.finton New Member

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    In my view, trinitarian thoughts characterize those trapped in the netherlands of Daath, the undefined sphere(s) of Knowledge. The diety's home is in the realm that exists prior to the lattice of creation. As we catch glimpses of HaShem's faces through (his) handiwork, it is essential to remember the scripture that says, "YHWH, our G_d, is one YHWH."

    b.
     
  12. Frrostedman

    Frrostedman Keepin' it cool

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    If the author intended "God" and "Allah" to be one and the same, which he obviously didn't and if he were here he would tell you so, then we wouldn't be referring to pluralism anymore. Clearly, the author intended "God" to be the God of the bible and "Allah" to be the God of the Quran. I'm impressed with what you know about Arabic, but you didn't have to conjure up a false argument to put your knowledge on display.

    I guess you're suggesting that the following sentence makes complete sense: "In preparation for the meal, I grabbed a plate, a fork, and a fourche (French for fork)."
     
  13. Frrostedman

    Frrostedman Keepin' it cool

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    Accuse? The facts speak for themselves. And if you are implying that I only pick and choose certain verses of the bible to believe, please demonstrate where I have done so. If you're not implying that I'm guilty of it, then you really mean to say "some Christians," and I would agree.

    I never mentioned any Christians being afraid. Is that something you believe, that bubbled over into the conversation? I'm not aware of a single Christian on Earth that is afraid of entering a dialogue with a Muslim. That's a strawman, which you used in order to call Christians bigots. Let me just ask. Do you not like Christians? Have you been abused by a Christian in your past?
     
  14. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    I'll wait for the author to return.....but since we know that they are one in the same, simply different names for G!d, (google translate) it is fairly easy to see he used the words as identifiers.

    And no of course you fork sentence is silly and nonsensical....but you knew that.
     
  15. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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    I'm not accusing you specifically - I am simply making an observation of all Christians. :)

    Too many of whom insist their their conflicting interpretations of the Bible is The Truth. :)

    It was from this comment you made:

    If you're personally very comfortable among Muslims, and the faith of Islam, then obviously I've misinterpreted your comments. :)
     
  16. Frrostedman

    Frrostedman Keepin' it cool

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    On that part we can agree, pretty much. I have my own interpretations and preferred doctrine and I believe them to be true. But I don't insist on it.


    But you took it to mean Christians are afraid to have a dialogue. On the contrary, I was only saying that suggesting a blending of the Muslim God with the Christian/Jewish God would highly offend Christians and they would walk away out of disinterest. Not fear. I can't say the same for Muslims because I don't know enough about their faith, and I think they even claim that their God is one and the same as God of the bible.

    I wonder what Jack Chick would do if he was in the audience listening to the op... :rolleyes:
     
  17. taijasi

    taijasi Gnōthi seauton

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    Frankly, I'm still amazed that people think of God and Allah as different. That's like saying that `street' and `calle' are two different concepts, simply because the first bloke speaks English and the second speaks Spanish.

    Similarly, if one is a Hindu, one recognizes the Trinity, s/he simply calls it `TRIMURTI' - meaning `three forms.' It is useless to argue about subtle theological distinctions if you cannot face this basic truth.

    However, since Sanskrit underlies the Latin, preceding it by many thousands of years, and since the Latin has only influenced the extremely modern Romance languages for the past handful of centuries, we should at least note the parallels.

    To wit, the far, far more ancient Sanskrit term `trimurti' was already in existence for long ages before the appearance of Christ on the scene 2100 years ago. Likewise, Sri Krishna, whom some believe to be an earlier incarnation thereof, was able to interpret the existing sacred scriptures quite well, without any contribution from Christian theologians, let alone the latterday whizbang experts who have reinvented concepts like the Trinity to suit their own philosophies and pet notions.

    The Holy Spirit, simply put, is the Mind of God. This may be conceived - and soon will be proven by scientific investigation - as being present, in more or less passive form within every atom of physical, as well as superphysical substance. The latter is already accepted by science today as `dark matter,' though in fact there is no such thing as matter without energy, or vice versa, be they `light' or `dark.' Occultists knew this centuries ago, some quite a bit earlier. Where matter meets energy (each atom, as well as each greater confluence of the two), Consciousness - the SON, the 2nd Aspect - exists.

    The 2nd `Person' of the Trinity is likewise Universally present and pervasive. Some may call it `the Christ,' yet it exists within every atom just as does the 3rd Aspect, or `Holy Spirit.' In the case of human evolution, it is the goal to unfold and develop the Christ Consciousness, yet this proceeds only after the unfolding and perfecting of the Mind, if not entirely sequentially and in linear fashion. Indeed, the Will of God is often manifest in man quite soon after the Christ aspect has been perfected ... even if the Christ Himself has but just relatively recently entered the Way of a Higher Evolution, which we may safely call `Cosmic' if we accept that only a handful among [our] Humanity have also done likewise.

    Thus, also the 1st Aspect, or Will, becomes evident eventually, though upon Earth this only shows forth in a handful of cases. Yet every atom is destined to eventually pass the human, then superhuman stages. Such is Divine Law. And that Law, in concert with the Aspects of Beings, applies in three corresponding expressions: 1) The Law of Economy, including Karma, or Cause and Effect, 2) The Law of Attraction, including all that Earth's citizens know by the term `Love' [Compassion, Forgiveness, Grace, etc.], and 3) Synthesis, the expression of Will, or the 1st Aspect.

    It will be of little use to suggest that ALL THREE of the Trinitarian's `Aspects' or `Persons' of the Trimurti become perfected in the `Christed' individual, unless one accepts first that all human beings are destined to become PERFECT, even as did the Christ, Who by [repeated] incarnation - just as the rest of us - likewise attained. And yet, HE TOLD US THAT THIS WAS SO.

    It seems that - often enough - it only occurs to us *somewhere down the line* that such statements, such universal teachings, were right all along. Instead of seeing that it takes hard work, MUCH hard work on the part of the Soul, the person involved, we would rather invest blind faith in a thing like vicarious atonement ... and somehow expect that by professing oft and loudly that "Jesus paid the price," WE are somehow thereby benefited. Not surprisingly, it turns out that we are benefited *not one whit* - and instead, our own evolution is held back almost indefinitely - while we cling to such nonsense. Show me ONE more example in NATURE where this applies, and I will take two definite steps backward and reconsider such absurdity. Yet you cannot, and thus I will not.

    But I do know the Christ, others thus Perfected [vide Ephesians 4:13], and so too I know the consequences of ignoring the Lord's own Teaching, or of attempting to wrangle the meaning and thereby escape our own spiritual responsibilities. Worse yet, I see the karmic consequences of and for a clergy which twists and destroys the original Sanctity of the Gospels, even if they did leave fully 9/10ths of the original Books out of the Canon. I find no difficulty grasping the implications of the disciples questioning their teacher about the BLIND MAN, nor is the exchange between the Good Rabbi and Nicodemus lost upon my Intuition. PERFECT, even as MY FATHER IN HEAVEN is Perfect, is clear enough - for I have eyes to see with, and ears to hear it. So too, does my Mind function, if not yet Perfectly, and so too does my Heart aspire - even as the Nazarene Initiate encouraged it of us.

    There are no fewer than THREE Great Lords in Earth's own Spiritual Government that bear the Honor and Responsibility of *personifying* - in one sense - an ASPECT of the Godhood, relative to Earth's evolving Humanity. Only one of these is known today, as for several centuries, by Christians as `THE Christ.' Yet in the Mysteries there has always been a CHRESTOS, being the candidate for Initiation. The Highest Initiation, which the Nazarene Himself demonstrated and symbolized for us in the Resurrection and Ascension, is that which makes of the candidate a *CHRISTOS*. Ignore this, and call yourself anything else, but do not take the term `Christian' to represent your beliefs. Otherwise, I may as well ride horses for a living, yet dub myself `race car driver.' For there may be a similarity, yes, but we speak of a different animal, entirely.

    So indeed, the other two CHRISTED members of Earth's Spiritual Government are the 1st and 3rd Aspects of the Trinity, incarnate, just as the Christ is the 2nd, or `Son.' Yet every Son of Man who aspires, mounts the Cross, fulfils his DESTINY [as taught the Christ Himself] and attains to the Perfection ... becomes a full-fledged Son of God, earning for himself the *right* to this designation and recognition. Argue this if you like, but please do not do so and presume to call yourself `a Christian.' For I can assure you, such was not - and is not - the understanding maintained by `the Christed Ones,' who number several dozen upon our Earth ... a FACT, for the record, which I have proven for myself years ago, and which you can prove for yourself as well, though none other [including the Almighty!] can force upon you before your time.

    Namaskar

    Zagreus [Andrew/Taijasi]

    P.S. - There *is* one piece which I would `cherry-pick' from Christian theology, regardless as to how much bunk a great portion of it has already been revealed to be. It did not originate with the Messiah doctrine, for Vaishnavas also expect Kalki Avatara, just as Buddhists look to Maitreya Buddha to come to them. But inasmuch as Faithful Christians do sometimes acknowledge and aspire to hasten the return [objective reappearance] of the Planetary Savior, so too does every true esotericist [versus speculator] invoke and look to the reappearance of the World Teacher.

    To KNOW that such a Teacher exists, and has already announced His plans to return to us, OPENLY [as early as 1942, with stirrings which did not go undetected by some as early as 1925], is to take a definite stand against the rampant materialism, ignorance, atheism and runaway conspiracy theorizing so en vogue today.

    And no, not ONE WORD of what I share is `New Age' theorizing, sugar-coating, or hocus pocus. But blood sacrifice, devoid of an intelligent & informed explanation of why this *has been and remains* efficacious, plus hogwash surrounding any sort of vicarious atonement, likewise devoid of a grasp of the true spiritual process of at-one-ment ... is plenty vain, plenty pointless.
     
  18. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Not a lot of time for response....and will later take the time...but Jack Chick?? Lol...
     
  19. Aussie Thoughts

    Aussie Thoughts Just my 2 cents

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    From my side, I don't have a problem with 'Cherry Picking' the Bible. I think all of us have a tendency to put more weight on things that align with our personal beliefs and less on things that don't. The same process was used to compile the Bible in the first place.

    The authors of the scripture and I'm talking about the NT here, took a number of verbal and written accounts of the life of Jesus from a number of different sources and decided what best to include and what best to leave out. Right away they decided that information from certain sources was more reliable than others. Fare enough. Thing is, all of the information from even those sources was not included. Why not?

    Well, what was the motivation to write the scripture in the first place? Lots of theories on that, but I think the authors just wanted to promote Christianity as the one true religion. Nothing more, nothing less. So, when they sifted through all the information available, they weren't trying to figure out whether or not Christianity was valid, they were merely looking for information to support their own beliefs and unite the people in a common cause. And a fine job they did.

    Pure conjecture on my part, but if I'm trying to convince people that Christianity is the one true religion, the first thing I'm going to do is try to separate my religion from all the others. So anything I find that tends to align with the belief structure of those faiths already established, I'm either going to change or leave out altogether. This may account for some of the known mistranslations found in the scripture. Remember, some very learned and knowledgeable people composed the Bible. Surely any mistranslation would have been caught were it not deliberate.

    What we're left with is an accurate, but bias account of the life of Jesus. One that reflects the social and cultural mores of the time for one society as well as the beliefs of the authors themselves. It is also very possible that these accounts are not complete. I, nor anyone else can say for sure, but given the possibility, I can see the need to 'Cherry Pick' not only the Bible, but scriptures of others faiths as well to get the complete picture.

    Actually, I don't follow any scripture all that closely. I think there is some validity to them all. I guess I take a somewhat Hindu approach to religion in that, I don't use scripture to define my religion, but rather religion to define my scripture.
     
  20. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Still in and out, but will toss an... Amen... in here now.
     

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