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PostSubject: Christianity Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:46 pm


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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:48 pm

When they get into how the first converts were mostly women, I was reminded about how, today, it is still females who are attracted to Christianity...and the young, the ill, the feeble, the old, and the effete.

It was "their willingness to die" which impressed the Romans.
Nihilism must have flabbergasted those men who loved life so much, and who would go down fighting.

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Sun Jun 09, 2013 7:40 pm

Evola and Xt. Mysticism:

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:32 am

The Wowman and the Cultist wanted consideration on
Kierkegaard...

Kierkegaard 1.

Quote :
"The type of Christianity that underlies his writings is a very serious strain of Lutheran pietism informed by the dour values of sin, guilt, suffering, and individual responsibility.

For Kierkegaard Christian faith is not a matter of regurgitating church dogma. It is a matter of individual subjective passion, which cannot be mediated by the clergy or by human artefacts. Faith is the most important task to be achieved by a human being, because only on the basis of faith does an individual have a chance to become a true self. This self is the life-work which God judges for eternity.

The individual is thereby subject to an enormous burden of responsibility, for upon h/er existential choices hangs h/er eternal salvation or damnation. Anxiety or dread (Angest) is the presentiment of this terrible responsibility when the individual stands at the threshold of momentous existential choice. Anxiety is a two-sided emotion: on one side is the dread burden of choosing for eternity; on the other side is the exhilaration of freedom in choosing oneself. Choice occurs in the instant (Øjeblikket), which is the point at which time and eternity intersect—for the individual creates through temporal choice a self which will be judged for eternity.

But the choice of faith is not made once and for all. It is essential that faith be constantly renewed by means of repeated avowals of faith. One's very selfhood depends upon this repetition, for according to Anti-Climacus, the self “is a relation which relates itself to itself” (The Sickness Unto Death). But unless this self acknowledges a “power which constituted it,” it falls into a despair which undoes its selfhood. Therefore, in order to maintain itself as a relation which relates itself to itself, the self must constantly renew its faith in “the power which posited it.” There is no mediation between the individual self and God by priest or by logical system (contra Catholicism and Hegelianism respectively). There is only the individual's own repetition of faith. This repetition of faith is the way the self relates itself to itself and to the power which constituted it, i.e. the repetition of faith is the self.

Christian dogma, according to Kierkegaard, embodies paradoxes which are offensive to reason. The central paradox is the assertion that the eternal, infinite, transcendent God simultaneously became incarnated as a temporal, finite, human being (Jesus). There are two possible attitudes we can adopt to this assertion, viz. we can have faith, or we can take offense. What we cannot do, according to Kierkegaard, is believe by virtue of reason. If we choose faith we must suspend our reason in order to believe in something higher than reason. In fact we must believe by virtue of the absurd.

Much of Kierkegaard's authorship explores the notion of the absurd: Job gets everything back again by virtue of the absurd (Repetition); Abraham gets a reprieve from having to sacrifice Isaac, by virtue of the absurd (Fear and Trembling); Kierkegaard hoped to get Regine back again after breaking off their engagement, by virtue of the absurd (Journals); Climacus hopes to deceive readers into the truth of Christianity by virtue of an absurd representation of Christianity's ineffability; the Christian God is represented as absolutely transcendent of human categories yet is absurdly presented as a personal God with the human capacities to love, judge, forgive, teach, etc. Kierkegaard's notion of the absurd subsequently became an important category for twentieth century existentialists, though usually devoid of its religious associations.

According to Johannes Climacus, faith is a miracle, a gift from God whereby eternal truth enters time in the instant. This Christian conception of the relation between (eternal) truth and time is distinct from the Socratic notion that (eternal) truth is always already within us—it just needs to be recovered by means of recollection (anamnesis). The condition for realizing (eternal) truth for the Christian is a gift (Gave) from God, but its realization is a task (Opgave) which must be repeatedly performed by the individual believer. Whereas Socratic recollection is a recuperation of the past, Christian repetition is a “recollection forwards”—so that the eternal (future) truth is captured in time.

Crucial to the miracle of Christian faith is the realization that over against God we are always in the wrong. That is, we must realize that we are always in sin. This is the condition for faith, and must be given by God. The idea of sin cannot evolve from purely human origins. Rather, it must have been introduced into the world from a transcendent source. Once we understand that we are in sin, we can understand that there is some being over against which we are always in the wrong. On this basis we can have faith that, by virtue of the absurd, we can ultimately be atoned with this being. The absurdity of atonement requires faith that we believe that for God even the impossible is possible, including the forgiveness of the unforgivable. If we can accept God's forgiveness, sincerely, inwardly, contritely, with gratitude and hope, then we open ourselves to the joyous prospect of beginning anew. The only obstacle to this joy is our refusal or resistance to accepting God's forgiveness properly. Although God can forgive the unforgivable, He cannot force anyone to accept it. Therefore, for Kierkegaard, “there is only one guilt that God cannot forgive, that of not willing to believe in his greatness!”." [Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy]


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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:32 am

Kierkegaard 2.

Quote :
"In ‘Existentialism Is a Humanism,’ the celebrated existentialist Jean-Paul Sartre defines existentialism as characterized by the belief that the human existence comes before its essence.

Sartre says that if God the Creator does not exist, then there can be no imbued meaning inherent in human beings. There is no significance organic to our existence – we simply are, and from that starting point, create meaning for ourselves; hence, our existence comes before our essence. The conclusions Sartre arrives at – that we are then completely free to define our own meaning, and also fully responsible for the choices we make – clearly echo Kierkegaard’s carefully developed notion of choosing oneself into being. Sartre’s arguments that “man chooses himself” and that our choices are “a commitment on behalf of all mankind” sound like they are lifted directly off of one of Kierkegaard’s pseudonyms, and there is little room for doubt that Kierkegaard would accept Sartre’s definition of existentialism.

Kierkegaard argues that God created man in complete freedom. We are completely free to choose and therefore completely responsible for our sin. To him, it could not be otherwise, for if we did not have total freedom within our given situation, we could not be held culpable for our sin. Since we have a creator who intended the kind of total freedom Kierkegaard demonstrates to be ours, then it follows that the ‘essence’ or meaning of our lives is not in any way predetermined.
We exist (by virtue of God’s creating us, certainly), but not with any predetermined essence or purpose, for God has left these things to us in freedom to determine for better or for worse. Exploring the ideas of ‘necessary’ and ‘sufficient’ conditions, Kierkegaard even argued that any kind of ‘essence’ could not possibly be necessary. This is because nothing that is necessary can have undergone any kind of change, and by the act of coming into existence, human beings have undergone the fundamental change of being. In Kierkegaard’s view, there is nothing in humanity that is necessary, because we have all undergone a change of being. In this way, Kierkegaard upheld the existence of God while simultaneously demonstrating that no necessary human essence exists, and that freedom necessitates that choosing our essence succeed the fact of our existence."
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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:33 am

Kierkegaard 3.

Quote :
"For Kierkegaard God is the fact of possibility: what makes us free – but also gives rise to anxiety

in The Sickness Unto Death his pseudonym Anti-Climacus offers a surprising description of God:

"Inasmuch as for God all things are possible, it may be said that this is what God is: one for whom all things are possible … God is that all things are possible, and that all things are possible is the existence of God."
This alludes to a teaching that is recorded in the Gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke. When Jesus tells his disciples that 'it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God,' they ask, in amazement, 'Who then can be saved?' Jesus replies, "With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible". Kierkegaard seems to have been fascinated by this biblical text, for he echoes it in several of his works, including Fear and Trembling. However, in The Sickness Unto Death he goes beyond it, claiming not just that all things are possible for God, but that God is this possibility – and that believing in God means believing in possibility.

For Kierkegaard, possibility is integral to human life – and his own use of pseudonyms and fictional characters enables him to dramatise different philosophical or existential possibilities. In The Sickness Unto Death he states that the human being is a synthesis of possibility and "necessity", which in this case means actual, concrete existence. At any moment in time, in any situation, there are facts of the matter: right now, for example, I am sitting at home in Manchester, writing; it is raining. But we also reach out into the future to envisage various possibilities: if I finish my work in time, and if it stops raining, I might go out for a walk this afternoon. Even the past is haunted by possibility, since things might have happened differently. Possibility fills each present moment with meaning. Of course, some possibilities are more significant than others. But Kierkegaard's point is that human existence is not confined to concrete, factual actuality, but opens out onto the dimension of possibility. This, he thinks, is what makes us free – but it also gives rise to anxiety.

If the human being is a synthesis of possibility and necessity, then both of these aspects are equally important. When he discusses despair in The Sickness Unto Death, Kierkegaard identifies several different forms of despair. In one case, a person lacks concrete actuality: he loses himself in imagining, reflecting on and dreaming about different possibilities, without actualising any of them. In the opposite case – which seems to be the most common – a person loses himself in concrete things. This is the despair that lacks possibility:

"When one faints, people shout for water, eau de cologne, smelling salts; but when one is about to despair the cry is, Get me possibility, get possibility! Possibility is the only saving remedy; given a possibility, the desperate man breathes once more, he revives again, for without possibility a man cannot, as it were, draw breath."

For Kierkegaard, this psychological or spiritual "drawing breath" is understood religiously. "To pray is to breathe," he writes,

"and possibility is for the self what oxygen is for breathing. But for possibility alone or for necessity alone to supply the conditions for the breathing of prayer is no more possible than it is to breathe pure oxygen or pure nitrogen alone. For in order to pray there must be a God, there must be a self plus possibility … for God is that all things are possible."

In The Sickness Unto Death, the despair that lacks possibility is described as 'spiritless philistinism', which both "tranquilises itself in the trivial" and "imagines itself to be the master". In our own world, this takes many different forms: the reduction of spiritual teachings to rigid dogmatism; the commodification of romance; the stifling of intellectual life by a fixation on measurable "skills", "outputs", and "impacts". In our universities, the threats currently posed to the humanities – and to Philosophy in particular – provide all-too-concrete evidence of this philistinism. In such times, Kierkegaard reminds us that without possibility we are not fully human. If God is "that all things are possible", then the question of what it means to relate to God cannot be separated from the question of what kind of life we want to lead, and what kind of world we want to live in."
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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:33 am

Kierkegaard 4.

Quote :
"In one of his last philosophical works, Kierkegaard (hereafter K) exclaims: ‘Oh, to what degree human beings would become – human and lovable beings – if they would become single individuals before God’. This exclamation expresses a main goal of K’s literary efforts, early and late: to invite readers to ‘become single individuals before God’ (1851a, 11). Accordingly, he remarks: ‘To me, not personally but as a thinker, this matter of the single individual is the most decisive’ (1859, 114). He also puts this goal as: ‘To come to oneself in self-knowledge and before God’ (1876, 106). A key limitation on K’s invitation to self-knowledge before God is that ‘I cannot make my God-relationship public’ in a way that disregards its ‘purely personal inwardness’ (1859, 25)."
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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Sun Jun 23, 2013 9:30 am

Quote :
Perennialism amounts to turning this interpretive activity as a spiritual path in itself - a quest for eternal Truth, self-liberation, union with the divine, higher consciousness of pure bliss.

Its what makes Dugin, embrace Evola and Guenon as pro-Orthodox.
In one of his [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.], its easy to see how he uses Tradition - with a capital T.

When you define the modern problem as a battle for the 'human' spirit, then one remains such a Traditionalist, with a capital T.


Traditionalism: This is the Enemy!
Guillaume Faye

Quote :
In the circles of what we might euphemistically call the “revolutionary right,” or more broadly the “anti-liberal right,” one can observe the recurrent rise—like outbreaks of acne—of what one can only call “metaphysical traditionalism.”

Authors like Evola or Heidegger are in general the pretexts—mark my words: the pretexts—for the expression of these tendencies, many aspects of which seem to me negative and demoralizing. These authors themselves really aren’t the problem. To speak only of Evola and Heidegger, the works of neither author—whose true ideas are often extremely distant from those of the “Evolians” and “Heideggerians”—are susceptible to the criticisms that apply to their right-wing “disciples” who are in question here.

How do we characterize this “deviation” of metaphysical traditionalism, and what are the arguments against it? This mentality is characterized by three axiomatic presuppositions:

1. Social life must be governed by “Tradition,” the forgetting of which brings about decadence.
2. All that relates to our time is darkened by this decadence. The further back one goes in the past, the less decadence there is, and vice versa.
3. Ultimately, the only things that matter are “inner” preoccupations and activities, turned towards the contemplation of a certain something usually called “being.”

Without lingering over the relatively pretentious superficiality of this outlook which prefers, instead of true reflection and clarity, the facile obscurity of the unverifiable and the free play of words, which—under the pretext of depth (and even, in certain authors with strong narcissistic tendencies, of “poetry”)—ignores the very essence of all philosophy and all lyricism, one should especially recognize that this metaphysical traditionalism is in profound contradiction with the very values it generally claims to defend, i.e., counteracting the modern ideologies, the spirit known as the “European tradition,” anti-egalitarianism, etc.

Indeed, in the first place, the obsession with decadence and the dogmatic nostalgia that it induces make it seem like a reverse progressivism, an “inverted” linear vision of history: the same frame of mind, inherited from Christian finalism, of all “modern” progressivist ideologies. History does not ascend from the past to the present but descends.

Only, contrary to the progressivist doctrines, traditionalism cultivates a profoundly demoralizing pessimism toward the world. This pessimism is of exactly the same type as the naive optimism of the progressivists. It proceeds from the same mentality and incorporates the same type of vanity, namely a propensity to verbose prophecies and to set oneself up as a judge of society, history, and the like.

This type of traditionalism, in its tendency to hate and denigrate everything in the “present day,” does not only lead its authors to bitterness and an often unjustifiable self-conceit, but reveals serious contradictions that make its discourse incoherent and unbelievable.

This hatred of the present day, the “modern age,” is absolutely not put into practice in day to day life, unlike what one often sees, for example, in Christianity. Our anti-moderns can perfectly well benefit from the conveniences of modern life.

By this they reveal the true meaning of their discourse: the expression of a guilty conscience, a “compensation” carried out by deeply bourgeois souls relatively ill at ease in the current world, but nevertheless unable to get beyond it.

In the second place, this type of traditionalism usually leads to an exaggerated individualism, the very individualism that their “communitarian” vision of the world claims to denounce in modernity.

Under the pretext that the world is “bad,” that their contemporaries are patent decadents and imbeciles, that this materialist society “corrupted by science and technology” cannot understand the higher values of inwardness, the traditionalist, who always thinks of himself as standing on the mountain tops, does not deign to descend and accept the necessity of combat in the world, but rejects any discipline, any solidarity with his people, any interest in politics.

He is interested only in his hypertrophied self.

He transmits “his” thought to future generations like a bottle in the ocean—without seeing the contradiction, since they are supposedly incapable of understanding it because of increasing decadence.

This individualism thus leads logically to the very reverse of the original ideology, i.e., to universalism and implicit globalism.

Indeed, the metaphysical traditionalist is tempted to believe that the only associations that count are “spiritual,” the communication of great thinkers, which is similar throughout the world, regardless of their origin and source, provided that they seem to reject “Western modernity.” They replace the service of the people, of politics, of community, of knowledge, of a cause, not only with the service and contemplation of the self, but with the service of mere abstractions.

They defend “values,” no matter what their place of incarnation. From this, for some, comes a captivation with Orientalism; for others, a militant globalism; and for all of them, a disillusioned disinterest in the destiny of their people.

One even arrives at straightforwardly Christian attitudes—on the part of “philosophers” who usually busy themselves fighting Christianity.

Some random examples: the choice to prize the intention over the result; the choice to judge an idea or a value in terms of their intrinsic characteristics rather than their efficacy; a spiritualistic mentality that judges all cultures and projects in terms of their spiritual “value” rather than their material effects.

This last attitude, moreover, obviously has very little to do with the European “paganism” that our traditionalists often profess.

Indeed, by looking at a work, project, or culture from an exclusively “spiritual” point of view, one posits the Christian principle of the separation of matter and spirit, the dualistic dissociation between the pure idea and the concrete product.

A culture, a project, a work are nothing but products, in the concrete and dynamic sense of the term.

From our point of view there is no separation between the “value” and its “product.” The lyrical, poetic, aesthetic qualities of a culture, work, or project are intimately incorporated in its form, in its material production. Spirit and matter are one and the same thing. The value of a man or a culture lies in their acts, not in their “being” or their past.

It is precisely this idea, going back to the most ancient sources of the European tradition, that our metaphysical traditionalists—so imbued with their spiritualism and their monotheism of the “tradition” or their quest for “Being”—readily betray.

Paradox: nobody is further from European traditions than the traditionalists. Nobody is closer to the Near Eastern spirit of the monastery.

Everything that characterizes the European tradition, everything the cults from the East tried to abolish, is exactly the reverse of what today’s European traditionalists defend.

The European spirit, or that in it which is the greatest and the most civilizing, was optimistic and not pessimistic, exteriorized and not interiorized, constructivist and not spiritualistic, philosophical and not theological, open to change not settled and complacent, creator of its own traditions and forms or immutable ideas, conquering and not contemplative, technical and urban and not pastoral, attached to cities, ports, palaces, and temples and not to the countryside (the domain of necessity), etc.

In reality, the spirit of today’s traditionalists is an integral part of Western, commercial civilization, as the museums are part of the civilization of the supermarket. Traditionalism is the shadow self, the justification, the living cemetery of the modern bourgeois.

It serves as a spiritual supplement. It makes him believe that it doesn’t matter if he likes New York, television serials, and rock ’n’ roll, provided that he has sufficient “inwardness.”

The traditionalist is superficial: the slave of his pure ideas and contemplation, of the intellectual games of philosophical poseurs, at bottom he believes thought is a distraction, an agreeable but ultimately pointless exercise, like collecting stamps or butterflies—and not a means of action, of the transformation of the world, of the construction of culture.

The traditionalist believes that values and ideas preexist action. He does not understand that action precedes all, as Goethe said, and that it is through the dynamic combination of will and action that all ideas and values are born a posteriori.

This shows us the true function of traditionalist ideologies in the anti-liberal “right.” Metaphysical traditionalism is a justification to give up any combat, any concrete project of creating a European reality different from the present day’s.

It is the ideological expression of pseudo-revolutionaries. Its regressive utopias, hazy and obscure considerations, and pointless metaphysics do more than cause fatalism, inaction, and enervation. They also reinforce bourgeois individualism by implicitly preaching the ideal type of the “thinker”—if possible contemplative and disembodied—as the pivot of history. Men of action—the true historical personalities—are thus devalued.

Because the traditionalist ultimately does not support the “community,” he declares it impossible hic et nunc and turns it into a utopian and regressive fancy lost in the mists of who knows what “tradition.”

In this sense, “anti-modern” and “antibourgeois” traditionalism belongs objectively to the system of bourgeois ideologies. Like these ideologies, its hatred of the “present” is a good way, a skilful pretext, to reject as impossible any concrete historical construction, even those opposed to the present.

At the heart of its discourse, traditionalism maintains an absurd confusion between the “modernity” of European technological-industrial civilization and the “modern spirit” of egalitarian and Western ideologies (which are arbitrarily linked to each other). Thus traditionalism disfigures, devalues (sometimes to the profit of an idealized “traditional” Third World), and abandons the Western and American spirit, the very genius of European civilization.

Like Judeo-Christianity, but for different reasons, the traditionalist says “No” to the world and consequently undermines the tradition of his own culture. Ultimately, a traditionalist is someone who always already knows that there is only one tradition, as an idealist always already knows that everything is an idea.

Finally, from the point of view of “thought”—that war-horse of metaphysical traditionalism—what could be more detrimental to the spirit, more incompatible with the quality of intellectual debate and the reflection that makes one free and contemplative, than to disembody them from all “political” projects (in the Nietzschean sense) and divert them into the elitism of bibliophiles and salaried autodidacts?

Let us dare to liquidate the Evolians and Heideggerians.

But let us read Evola and Heidegger: to put them in perspective, rather than mount them on waxed paper.

“Le traditionalisme: voilà l’ennemi,” Lutte du Peuple, no. 32, 1996.

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Wed Sep 11, 2013 8:47 am

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Sat Jan 04, 2014 6:22 pm

Lyssa wrote:
Kierkegaard 3.

Quote :
"For Kierkegaard God is the fact of possibility: what makes us free – but also gives rise to anxiety



To Heidegger, Kierkegaard's indulgence in the above is only one more example of modernistic, nihilistic subjectification; the possibility of 'God' as the possibility of 'God-For-Me'...


Quote :
"The fact that thinking becomes something proper to the human subject also plays an important role. In this process of subjectification, degodization introduces another phenomenon: namely, religious feeling. Metaphysics in modernity goes along with religious experience. The relation to the divine becomes a subjective-affective mood in man. Religion loses the framework in which the religious can be thought as an objective reality. As the objective system of metaphysics disappears in the sub- jectification of the modern age, so too does the relation to the divine become a purely subjective matter. God is no longer seen as something that is present in reality. Reality itself loses its sacral dimension. The last place for the divine is the sub- jectivity of the believer. The domain of the divine is indicated as feeling, personal experience, individual conviction, and existential pathos.

Therefore, the gods are fled once religion has become reli- gious feeling. Because religion withdraws in subjectivity, it is withdrawn from the world. Even though the religion of subjectivity protests against the degodization of the world, degodization is actually a symptom of the very religion that protests against it. The logic of subjectivity rules in both degodization and mod- ern metaphysics. Christendom itself stimulated the subjectification of metaphysics.

“The fact that the transformation of reality to the self-certainty of the ego cogito is determined directly by Christianity, and the fact that the narrowing of the concept of existence is indirectly determined by Christian factors only proves how Christian faith adopted the fundamental trait of metaphysics and brought metaphysics to Western dominance in this form.”
Thus Heidegger identifies Kierkegaard and Hegel within the same perspective.34 Kierkegaard is called a religious writer who corresponds to the destiny of his era. He writes dur- ing the same time in which Hegel’s metaphysics and Marx’s system rule. It is the era in which we still are: the era in which subjectivity rules in Western thinking. Although Kierkegaard as a religious writer and Hegel as a thinker are deeply differ- ent from each other, both belong to the same paradigm of Western philosophy: in one giving rise to a religious subjectiv- ity and in the other a rational subjectivity. Both are located in the degodization of the world. Even though the subjective feel- ing resists the increasing degodization, in the end it is a symptom of it." [Vedder, Heidegger's Philosophy of Religion]


Quote :
"So the process of degodization appears in two forms. It appears in the figure of rational subjectivity by way of Descartes, Kant and Hegel. And we find the figure of passionate subjectivity in the line that includes Pascal, Jacobi, and Kierkegaard. The essence of modern religion and modern metaphysics are connected. Both lines express a deeper process: degodization, which is the result of the ontotheological structure of meta-physics, and the modern thinking of subjectivity that is connected with it.

The disappearance of the divine from the world has as a consequence the commencement of historical and psychological research of myth and religious phenomena. By the sociological and historical study of religion, one can indicate in what way religion still exists, but this is nevertheless a symptom of degodization. The modern scientific analysis of religious representation, both individual and collective, is also connected to the culture of subjectivity, because the question of being of the gods is no longer raised. The scientific and the philosophical approaches to religion are highly reductionistic. Mostly the religious is understood from the perspective of nonreligious phenomena using words like projection, ideology. However, the scientific approach to religion is not, according to Heidegger, the cause of degodization. The emptiness in which degodization arises creates space for the reductionistic approach. The relation with the divine is replaced by a scientific explanation of the history of religion. This becomes obvious in biblical research and the psychological and sociological research of what historically is understood as mythical. As myth, religion is neutralized and degodded. Such an approach is only possible when the gods are fled. This flight, however, has its grounds in what is called the essence of metaphysics." [ib.]

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Fri Jan 10, 2014 4:15 pm

Ananda Coomaraswamy and the gnostic Perennialism behind the Xt. 'If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple." [Luke 14:26] :


Coomaraswamy wrote:
"That in this day and age, when “for most people religion has become an archaic and impossible refuge,” [1] men no longer take either God or Satan seriously, arises from the fact that they have come to think of both alike only objectively, only as persons external to themselves and for whose existence no adequate proof can be found. The same, of course, applies to the notions of their respective realms, heaven and hell, thought of as times and places neither now nor here.

We have, in fact, ourselves postponed the “kingdom of heaven on earth” by thinking of it as a material Utopia to be realized, we fondly hope, by means of one or more five-year plans, overlooking the fact that the concept of an endless progress is that of a pursuit “in which thou must sweat eternally,” [2] — a phrase suggestive less of heaven than of hell. What this really means is that we have chosen to substitute a present hell for a future heaven we shall never know.

The doctrine to be faced, however, is that “the kingdom of heaven is within you,” here and now, and that, as Jacob Boehme, amongst others, so often said, “heaven and hell are everywhere, being universally extended…. Thou art accordingly in heaven or hell…. The soul hath heaven or hell within itself,” [3] and cannot be said to “go to” either when the body dies. Here, perhaps, the solution of the problem of Satan may be sought.

It has been recognized that the notion of a Satanic “person,” the chief of many “fallen angels,” presents some difficulties: even in religion, that of a Manichean “dualism” emerges; at the same time, if it be maintained that anything whatever is not God, God’s infinity is thereby circumscribed and limited. Is “he,” Satan, then a person, or merely a “personification,” i.e., a postulated personality? [4] Who is “he,” and where? Is he a serpent or a dragon, or has he horns and a poisonous tail? Can he be redeemed and regenerated, as Origen and the Muslims have believed? All these problems hang together.

However the ultimate truth of “dualism” may be repudiated, a kind of dualism is logically unavoidable for all practical purposes, because any world in time and space, or that could be described in words or by mathematical symbols, must be one of contraries, both quantitative and qualitative, for example, long and short, good and evil; and even if it could be otherwise, a world without these opposites would be one from which all possibility of choice, and of procedure from potentiality to act, would be excluded, not a world that could be inhabited by human beings such as we. For anyone who holds that “God made the world,” the question, Why did he permit the existence in it of any evil, or that of the Evil one in whom all evil is personified, is altogether meaningless; one might as well enquire why He did not make a world without dimensions or one without temporal succession.

Our whole metaphysical tradition, Christian and other, maintains that “there are two in us,” [5] this man and the Man in this man; and that this is so is still a part and parcel of our spoken language in which, for example, the expression “self-control” implies that there is one that controls and another subject to control, for we know that “nothing acts upon itself,” [6] though we forget it when we talk about “self-government.” [7] Of these two “selves,” outer and inner man, psycho-physical “personality” and very Person, the human composite of body, soul, and spirit is built up. Of these two, on the one hand body-and-soul (or -mind), and on the other, spirit, one is mutable and mortal, the other constant and immortal; one “becomes,” the other “is,” and the existence of the one that is not, but becomes, is precisely a “personification” or “postulation,” since we cannot say of anything that never remains the same that “it is.” And however necessary it may be to say “I” and “mine” for the practical purposes of everyday life, our Ego in fact is nothing but a name for what is really only a sequence of observed behaviors. [8]

Body, soul and spirit: can one or other of these be equated with the Devil? Not the body, certainly, for the body in itself is neither good nor evil, but only an instrument or means to good or evil. Nor the Spirit — intellect, synteresis, conscience, Agathos Daimon — for this is, by hypothesis, man’s best and most divine part, in itself incapable of error, and our only means of participation in the life and the perfection that is God himself. There remains only the “soul”; that soul which all must “hate” who would be Christ’s disciples and which, as St. Paul reminds us, the Word of God like a two-edged sword “severs from the spirit”; a soul which St. Paul must have “lost” in order to be able to say truly that “I live, yet not I, but Christ in me,” announcing, like Mansur, his own theosis.

Of the two in us, one the “spark” of Intellect or Spirit, and the other, Feeling or Mentality, subject to persuasion, it is obvious that the latter is the “tempter,” or more truly “temptress.” There is in each of us, in this man and that woman alike, an anima and animus, relatively feminine and masculine; [9] and, as Adam rightly said, “the woman gave, and I did eat”; also, be it noted, the “serpent,” by whom the woman herself was first beguiled, wears, in art, a woman’s face. But to avoid all possibility of misunderstanding here, it must be emphasized that all this has nothing whatsoever to do with a supposed inferiority of women or superiority of men: in this functional and psychological sense any given woman may be “manly” (heroic) or any given man “effeminate” (cowardly). [10]

One knows, of course, that “soul,” like “self,” is an ambiguous term, and that, in some contexts, it may denote the Spirit or “Soul of the soul,” or “Self of the self,” both of which are expressions in common use. But we are speaking here of the mutable “soul” as distinguished from the “spirit,” and should not overlook the extent to which this nefesh, the anima after which the human and other “animals” are so called, is constantly disparaged in the Bible, [11] as is the corresponding nafs in Islam. The soul is the self to be “denied” (the Greek original meaning “utterly reject,” with an ontological rather than a merely ethical application), the soul that must be “lost” if “it” is to be saved; and which, as Meister Eckhart and the Sufis so often say, must “put itself to death,” or, as the Hindus and Buddhists say, must be “conquered” or “tamed,” for “that is not my Self.” This soul, subject to persuasion, and distracted by its likes and dislikes, this “mind” that we mean when we speak of having been “minded to do this or that,” is “that which thou callest ‘I’ or ‘myself,’” and which Jacob Boehme thus distinguishes from the I that is, when he says, with reference to his own illuminations, that “not I, the I that I am, knows these things, but God in me.” We cannot treat the doctrine of the Ego at length, but will only say that, as for Meister Eckhart and the Sufis, “Ego, the word I, is proper to none but God in his sameness,” and that “I” can only rightly be attributed to Him and to the one who, being “joined unto the Lord, is one spirit.”


That the soul herself, our “I” or “self” itself, should be the Devil — whom we call the “enemy,” “adversary,” ” tempter,” “dragon,” — never by a personal name [12] — may seem startling, but it is very far from being a novel proposition. As we go on, it will be found that an equation of the soul with Satan has often been enunciated, and that it provides us with an almost perfect solution of all the problems that the latter’s “personality” poses. Both are “real” enough for all pragmatic purposes here, in the active life where “evil” must be contended with, and the dualism of the contraries cannot be evaded; but they are no more “principles,” no more really real, than the darkness that is nothing but the privation of light.

No one will deny that the battleground on which the psychomachy must be fought out to a finish is within you, or that, where Christ fights, there also must his enemy, the Antichrist, be found. Neither will anyone, “superstition” apart, be likely to pretend that the Temptations of St. Anthony, as depicted in art, can be regarded otherwise than as “projections” of interior tensions. In the same way that Picasso’s “Guernica” is the mirror of Eurpoe’s disintegrated soul, “the hell of modern existence,” the Devil’s horns and sting are an image of the most evil beast in man himself. Often enough it has been said by the “Never-enough honoured Auncients,” as well as by modern authors, that “man is his own worst enemy.” On the other hand, the best gift for which a man might pray is to be “at peace with himself;” [13] and, indeed, for so long as he is not at peace with Himself, [14] he can hardly be at peace with anybody else, but will “project” his own disorders, making of “the enemy” — for example, Germany, or Russia, or the Jews — his “devil.” “From whence come wars and fightings among you? Come they not hence, even from your lusts (pleasures, or desires, Skr. kamah) that contend in your members?” (James 4:1)

As Jung so penetratingly observes: “When the fate of Europe carried it into a four years war of stupendous horror — a war that no one wanted — hardly anyone asked who had caused the war and its continuation.” [15] The answer would have been unwelcome: it was “I” — your “I” and mine. For, in the wordss of another modern psychologist, E. E. Hadley, “the tragedy of this delusion of individuality is that it leads to isolation, fear, paranoid suspicion, and wholly unnecessary hatreds.” [16]

All this has always been familiar to the theologians, in whose writings Satan is simply referred to as “the enemy.” For example, William Law: “You are under the power of no other enemy, are held in no other captivity, and want no other deliverance but from the power of your own earthly self. This is the one murderer of the divine life within you. It is your own Cain that murders your own Abel,” [17] and “self is the root, the tree, and the branches of all the evils of our fallen state … Satan, or which is the same thing, self-exaltation…. This is that full-born natural self that must be pulled out of the heart and totally denied, or there can be no disciple of Christ.” If, indeed, “the kingdom of heaven is within you,” then also the “war in heaven” will be there, until Satan has been overcome, that is, until the Man in this man is “master of himself,” selbes gewaltic, enkrates heautou.

For the Theologia Germanica (ch. 3, 22, 49), it was the Devil’s “‘I, Me, and Mine’ that were the cause of his fall…. For the self, the I, the me and the like, all belong to the Evil Spirit, and therefor it is that he is an Evil Spirit. Behold one or two words can utter all that has been said by these many words: ‘Be simply and wholly bereft of self.’” For “there is nothing else in hell, but self-will; and if there were no self-will, there would be no devil and no hell.” So, too, Jacob Boehme: “this vile self-hood possesses the world and worldly things; and dwells also in itself, which is dwelling in hell”; and Angelus Silesius:

Nichts anders stuerzet dich in Hoellenschlund hinein
Als dass verhasste Wort (merk’s wohl!): das Mein und Dein. [18]

Hence the resolve, expressed in a Shaker hymn:

But now from my forehead I’ll quickly erase
The stamp of the Devil’s great “I.” [19]

Citations of this kind could be indefinitely multiplied, all to the effect that of all evil beasts, “the most evil beast we carry on our bosom,” [20] “our most godless and despicable part” and “multifarious beast,” which our “Inner Man,” like a lion tamer, must keep under his control or else will have to follow where it leads. [21]

Even more explicit sayings can be cited form Sufi sources, where the soul (nafs) is distinguished from the intellect or spirit (aql, ruh) as the Psyche is distinguished from the Pneuma by Philo and in the New Testament, and as anima from animus by William of Thierry. [22] For the encyclopedic Kashfu’l Mahjub, the soul is the “tempter,” and the type of hell in this world. [23] Al-Ghazali, perhaps the greatest of the Muslim theologians, calls the soul “the greatest of your enemies”; and more than that could hardly be said of Satan himself. Abu Sa’id asks: “What is evil, and what is the worst evil?” and answers: “Evil is ‘thou,’ and the worst evil ‘thou’ if thou knowest it not”; he, therefore, called himself a “Nobody,” refusing, like the Buddha, to identify himself with any nameable “personality.” [24] Jalalu’d Din Rumi, in his Mathnawi, repeats that man’s greatest enemy is himself: “This soul,” he says, “is hell,” and he bids us “slay the soul.” “The soul and Shaitan are both one being, but take two forms; essentially one from the first, he became the enemy and envier of Adam”; and, in the same way, “the Angel (Spirit) and the Intellect, Adam’s helpers, are of one origin but assume two forms.” The Ego holds its head high: “decapitation means, to slay the soul and quench its fire in the Holy War” (jihad); and well for him who wins this battle, for “whoever is at war with himself for God’s sake, … his light opposing his darkness, the sun of his spirit shall never set.” [25]

‘Tis the fight which Christ,
With his internal Love and Light,
Maintains within man’s nature, to dispel
God’s Anger, Satan, Sin, and Death, and Hell;
The human Self, or Serpent, to devour,
And raise an Angel from it by His Pow’r.
John Byrom

“Spark of the soul … image of God, that there is ever in all wise at war will all that is not godly … and is called the Synteresis” [26] (Meister Eckhart, Pfeiffer ed., p. 113). “We know that the Law is of the Spirit … but I see another law in my members, warring against the Law of the Intellect, and bringing me into captivity…. With the Intellect I myself serve the Law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin…. Submit yourselves therefore to God: resist the devil.” [27] And similarly in other Scriptures, notably the Bhagavad Gita (VI.5, 6): “Lift up the self by the Self, let not self sit back. For, verily, the Self is both the friend and the foe of the self; the friend of one whose self has been conquered by the Self, but to one whose self hath not (been overcome), the Self at war, forsooth, acts as an enemy”; and the Buddhist Dhammapada (103, 160, 380), where “the Self is the Lord of the self” and one should “by the Self incite the self, and by the Self gentle self” (as a horse is “broken in” by a skilled trainer), and “one who has conquered self is the best of all champions.” (Cf. Philostratus, Vit. Ap., I.13: “Just as we break in skittish and unruly horses by stroking and patting them.”)

At the same time, it must not be forgotten that the Psychomachy is also “a battle of love,” and that Christ — to whom ye should be married … that we should bring fruit unto God” (Rom. 7:3, 4) — already loved the unregenerate soul “in all her baseness and foulness,” [28] or that it is of her that Donne says, “Nor ever chaste, except Thou ravish me.” It was for nothing but “to go and fetch his Lady, whom his Father had eternally given him to wife, and to restore her to her former high estate that the Son proceeded out of the Most High” (Meister Eckhart). [29] The Deity’s lance or thunderbolt is, at the same time, his yard, with which he pierces his mortal Bride. The story of the thunder-smitten Semele reminds us that the Theotokos, in the last analysis Psyche, has ever been of Lunar, never herself of Solar stock; and all this is the sum and substance of every “solar myth,” the theme of the Liebesgeschichte des Himmels and of the Drachenkaempfe.

“Heaven and earth: let them be wed again.” [30] Their marriage, consummated in the heart, is the Hieros Gamos, Daivam Mithunam, [31] and those in whom it has been perfected are no longer anyone, but as He is “who never became anyone.” [32] Plotinus’ words: “Love is of the very nature of the Psyche, and hence the constant yoking of Eros with the Psyches in the pictures and the myths” [33] might as well have been said of half the world’s fairy-tales, and especially of the Indian “pictures and myths” of Sri Krishna and the Milkmaids, of which the Indian commentators rightly deny the historicity, asserting that all these are things that come to pass in all men’s experience. Such, indeed, are “the erotika (Skr. srngara) into which, it seems that you, O Socrates, should be initiated,” as Diotima says, and which in fact he so deeply respected. [34]

But, this is not only a matter of Grace; the soul’s salvation depends also on her submission, her willing surrender; it is prevented for so long as she resists. It is her pride (manas, abhimana; oiema, oiesis; self-opinion, overweening), the Satanic conviction of her own independence (asmimana, ahamkara, cogito ergo sum), her evil rather than herself, that must be killed; this pride she calls her “self-respect,” and would “rather die” than be divested of it. But the death that she at last, despite herself, desires, is no destruction but a transformation. Marriage is an initiatory death and integration (nirvana, samskara, telos). [35] “Der Drache und die Jungfrau sind natuerlich identisch”; [36] the “Fier Baiser” transforms the dragon; the mermaid loses her ophidian tail; the girl is no more when the woman has been “made”; from the nymph the winged soul emerges. [37] And so “through Thee an Iblis may become again one of the Cherubim.” [38]

And what follows when the lower and the higher forms of the soul have been united? This has nowhere been better described than in the Aitareya Aranyaka (II.3.7): “This Self gives itself to that self, and that self to this Self; they become one another; with the one form he (in whom this marriage has been consummated) is unified with yonder world, and with the other united to this world”; the Brhadaranyaka Upanisad (IV.3.23): “Embraced by the Prescient Self, he knows neither a within nor a without. Verily, that is his form in which his desire is obtained, in which the Self is his desire, and in which no more desiresor grieves.” “Amor ipse no quiescit, nisi in amato, quod fit, cum obtinet ipsum possessione plenaria”; [39] “Jam perfectam animam … gloriosam sibi sponsam Pater conglutinat.” [40] Indeed:

Dafern der Teufel koennt aus seiner Seinheit gehn,
So saehest du ihn stracks in Gottes Throne stehn. [41]

So, then, the Agathos and Kakos Daimons, Fair and Foul selves, Christ and Antichrist, both inhabit us, and their opposition is within us. Heaven and Hell are the divided images of Love and Wrath in divinis, where the Light and the Darkness are undivided, and the Lamb and the Lion lie down together. In the beginning, as all traditions testify, heaven and earth were one and together; essence and nature are one in God, and it remains for every man to put them together again within himself.

All these are our answers. Satan is not a real and single Person, but a severally postulated personality, a “Legion.” Each of these personalities is capable of redemption (apokatastasis), and can, if it will, become again what it was before it “fell” — Lucifer, Phosphorus, Helel, Scintilla, the Morning Star, a Ray of the Supernal Sun; because the Spark, however it may seem to be smothered, is an Asbestos that cannot be extinguished, even in hell. But, in the sense that a redemption of all beings cannot be thought of as taking place at any one time, and inasmuch as there will be devilish souls in need of redemption throughout all time, Satan must be though of as being damned for ever, meaning by “damned,” self-excluded from the vision of God and the knowledge of Truth.

The problem with which we started has largely been solved, but it still remains to accomplish the harder tasks of an actual “self-naughting” and consequent “Self-realization” to which the answers point, and for which theology is only a partial preparation. Satan and the Ego are not really entities, but concepts postulated and valid only for the present, provisional, and practical purposes; both are composite photographs, as it were of X1, X2, X3. It has often been said that the Devil’s most ingenious device is to persuade us that his existence is a mere “superstition.” In fact, however, nothing could be more dangerous than to deny his existence, which is as real, although no more so, as our own; we dare not deny Satan until we have denied ourselves, as everyone must who would follow Him who said and did nothing “of himself.” “What is Love? the sea of non-existence”; [42] and “whoever enters there, saying ‘It is I,’ I [God], smite him in the face”; [43] “What is Love? thou shalt know when thou becomest Me.” [44] [[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]]

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Fri Jan 10, 2014 4:22 pm

Lyssa wrote:
Ananda Coomaraswamy and the gnostic Perennialism behind the Xt. 'If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple." [Luke 14]

And in another passage on the same esoterism of "annihilation" and "self-hatred";

Coomaraswamy wrote:
"Let us enunciate the Christian doctrine first in order the better to understand the Indian. The words of Christ are these: that "I am the door; by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall pass in and out." It is not enough to have reached the' door; we must be admitted. But there is a price of admission. "He that would save his soul, let him lose it." Of man's two selves, the two Atmans of our Indian texts, the self that was known by name as So-and-so must have put itself to death if the other is to be freed of all encumbrances-is to be "free as the Godhead in its nonexistence."

In the Vedantic texts it is likewise the Sun of men and Light of lights that is called the doorway of the worlds and the keeper of the gate. Whoever has come thus far is put to the test. He is told in the first place that he may enter according to the balance of good or evil he may have done. If he understands he will answer, "Thou canst not ask me that; thou knowest that whatever I may have done was not of 'my' doing, but of thine." This is the Truth; and it is beyond the power of the Guardian of the Gate, who is himself the Truth, to deny himself. Or he may be asked the question, "Who art thou?" If he answers by his own or by a family name he is literally dragged away by the factors of time; but if he answers, "I am the Light, thyself, and come to thee as such," the Keeper responds with the words of welcome, "Who thou-art, that am I; and who I am, thou art; come in." It should be clear, indeed, that there can be no return to God of anyone who still is anyone, for as our texts express it, "He has not come from anywhere or become anyone."

In the same way, Eckhart, basing his words on the logos, "If any man hate not father and mother.... yea and his own soul also, he cannot be my disciple," says that "so long as thou knowest who thy father and thy mother have been in time, thou art not dead with the real death"; and in the same way, Rumi, Eckhart's peer in Islam, attributes to the Keeper of the Gate the words, "Whoever enters saying 'I am so and so,' I smite in the face." We cannot, in fact, offer any better definition of the Vedic scriptures than St. Paul's "The word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, extending even unto the sundering of soul from spirit": "Quid est ergo, quod debet homo inquirere in hac vita? Hoc est ut sciat ipsum.” “Si ignoras te, egredere!"

The last and most difficult problem arises when we ask: what is the state of the being that has thus been freed from itself and has returned to its source? It is more than obvious that a psychological explanation is out of the question. It is, in fact, just at this point that we can best confess with our texts, "He who is most sure that he understands, most assuredly misunderstands." What can be said of the Brahman-that "He is, by that alone can He be apprehended"-can as well be said, of whoever has become the Brahman. It cannot be said what this is, because it is not any "what." A being who is "freed in this life" (Rumi's "dead man walking") is "in the world, but not of it."

We can, nevertheless, approach the problem through a consideration of the terms in which the Perfected are spoken of. They are called either Rays of the Sun, or Blasts of the Spirit, or Movers-at-Will. It is also said that they are fitted for embodiment in the manifested worlds: that is to say, fitted to participate in the life of the Spirit, whether it moves or remains at rest. It is a Spirit which bloweth as it will. All of these expressions correspond to Christ's "shall pass in and out, and shall find pasture." Or we can compare it with the pawn in a game of chess. When the pawn has crossed over from the hither to the farther side it is transformed. It becomes a minister and is called a mover-at-will, even in the vernacular. Dead to its former self, it Is no longer confined to particular motions or positions, but can go in and out, at will, from the place where its transformation was effected. And this freedom to move at will is another aspect of the state of the Perfected, but a I thing beyond the conception of those who are still mere pawns. It may be observed, too, that the ertswhile pawn, ever in danger of an inevitable death on its journey across the board, is at liberty after its transformation either to sacrifice itself or to escape from danger. In strictly Indian terms, its former motion was a crossing, its regenerate motion a descent.

The question of "annihilation," so solemnly discussed by Western scholars, does not arise. The word has no meaning in metaphysics, which knows only of the nonduality of permutation and sameness, multiplicity and unity.
Whatever has been in eternal reason or idea or name of an individual manifestation can never cease to be Such; the content of eternity cannot be changed. Therefore, as the Bhagavad Gita expresses it, "Never have I not been, and never hast thou not been."
The relation, in identity, of the "That". and the "thou" in the logos "That art thou" is stated in the Vedanta either by such designations as "Ray of the Sun" (implying filiation), or in the formula bheddbheda (of which the literal meaning is "distinction without difference"). The relation is expressed by the simile of lovers, so closely embraced that there is no longer any consciousness of "a within or a without," and by the corresponding Vaisnava equation, "each is both." It can be seen also in Plato's conception of the unification of the inner and the outer man; in the Christian doctrine of membership in the mystical body of Christ; in St. Paul's "whoever is joined unto the Lord is one spirit"; and in Eckhart's admirable formula "fused but not confused." [[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]]

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Fri Jan 10, 2014 5:30 pm

"Our whole metaphysical tradition, Christian and other, maintains that “there are two in us,” [5] this man and the Man in this man; and that this is so is still a part and parcel of our spoken language in which, for example, the expression “self-control” implies that there is one that controls and another subject to control, for we know that “nothing acts upon itself, "

Nothing acts upon itself - Sounds like a very deterministic view of the universe but at the same time there is something inside us with free will which is the important part - the soul...

Makes me think that it was those who pretend to be humble in front of the ONE who were actually the arrogant ones - Who left their humble, connected, dependent self behind to exchange it for a self-delusion.
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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Sat Jan 11, 2014 4:46 pm

Coomaraswamy is not wrong in saying "there are two in us" - Man is of twin/dual nature.

If you read on the myth of the Titans and the Dionysian dismemberment, it is said Man thus came to have a dual nature - the immortality of the gods [dionysos re-generated by Zeus, etc.] and the mortal nature of their self [dionysos torn to pieces].
In the Birth of Tragedy, 9, Nietzsche explained this 'esoterism' as,

Nietzsche wrote:
"I find expressed in the terrible triad of Oedipean fates: the same man who solved the riddle of nature (the ambiguous Sphinx) must also, as murderer of his father and husband of his mother, break the consecrated tables of the natural order. It is as though the myth whispered to us that wisdom, and especially Dionysian wisdom, is an unnatural crime, and that whoever, in pride of knowledge, hurls nature into the abyss of destruction, must himself experience nature's disintegration. "The edge of wisdom is turned against the wise man; wisdom is a crime committed on nature": such are the terrible words addressed to us by myth. Yet the Greek poet, like a sunbeam, touches the terrible and austere Memnon's Column of myth, which proceeds to give forth Sophoclean melodies."

Man is both the Apollonian self [defended with borders, skins, barriers, principles, ego] And being interconnected with Nature - entropy, Man is also the Dionysian self [breaching those borders, corrosive, expanding].

From the Apollo-affirmative-Dionysian view, Man is an Agon between fighting entropy out in the world and maintaining an Apollonian self, and he is also the Entropy, nature fighting from within cor-Rupting out...

And as N. says above, any corruption of nature is simultaneously also a cor-Ruption of and on his own self.
This is also the meaning of the vedic nexus "I" "am" "Brahman" (become) - while popular hinduism and vedanta literally equated the individual ego [atma] with the super-id [Brahman], dissolving the individual soul likened to a droplet of water into the "absolute ocean", the real nexus as I've excerpted in the Heesterman thread shows man as the same agon: the Apollonian "I" against-With the Dionysian nexus and excess of possibilities.

The pro-Nazi Benn, expresses this in his writings,

Gottfriend Benn wrote:
"We saw in [the (human) organism] the amphibian, the reptilian, the marsupial, the mammalian, the simian: all these stigma of its subjection to a vast principle of tellurian history; all these stigma of its former declines and of its renewed joy in the surges of one great organic motif that always runs through all animal forms of the same geological period, producing a tension that drives contemporaneously living zoological beings away from their characterising specificities towards new corporeal situations and functions."

Gottfried Benn wrote:
"Mass in instincts. Brain bubbles into the drain, germ layers into the flower bed, yolk sacks in the thrust of distance. Heritage of exaltation and intoxications, astral conflagrations, transoceanic decay. Crises, mixtures, third century. . . . Primeval urges of ageless masses in the sound of the seas and the plunge of light. Life wants to maintain itself but also to perish. . . . From catastrophes that were latent, catastrophes that preceded the word, come dreadful memories of the race, hybrid, beast-shaped, sphinx-pouched features of the primal face."

Life at large is the incessant re-invention of itself, always creating and perishing and re-creating into a plethora of forms, constantly bursting into newer and newer becomings, recurring in novel forms - Man being one of them.

Where Coomaraswamy and his eternal perennialism go wrong in this common confluence of all 'T'raditional systems and 'T'raditional 'T'ruths, Xt., Hinduism, Sufism, etc. is not in the dionysian theory of constant self-overcoming - the lower self dying to regenerate into the higher self, etc. but  in already presuming Godhead as an absolute ground, an abstraction,,, making the "self-annihilation" a singular, one-time process,,,, the union is supposed to be eternal.

I am brahman-Becoming (self-expansion, birth of self-exceeding possibilities) - becomes - I am brahman Become.

Stasis.

All change as suffering. And stasis - the unchanging, as pure eternal bliss.

This is in brief is the esoterism of "mystical" perennialism of Xt., vedanta, etc.

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Sat Jan 11, 2014 6:13 pm

Binary logic, dualism, is a primitive form of self-consciousness as it begins to relate to consciousness.
Art, and the recognition of the mind's own thoughts and words as a form of artistry (technique), is how the mind evolves to the next level.

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Sat Jan 11, 2014 7:35 pm

'Being' came before Dualism.
Being -> Awareness -> Self-awareness.
To be self-aware makes it possible to reflect on being. And I think this is a point where the self-aware creature could start to believe that it is its self-awareness and not its body - which would be a delusion. Self-awareness is a creation of the body and it has limitations. And also, both are intertwined, because, there would be no self-awareness without the body and it wouldn't be said body if it wouldn't produce its own self-awareness.

Moments of self-awareness create the possibility for a 'choice', the choice to not choose the path of least resistance but some other path. In a sense, that choice is an illusion, the illusion of free-will.
Which is an illusion because self-awareness is tied to the body. But I think we are supposed to create this sense of free-will with our self-awareness. That's how there is meaning created for making a choice against the path of least resistance.
And both are true in their way.

So is the Dionysian path the path of the body and the Apollonian the path of the self-awareness?
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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Sat Jan 11, 2014 7:38 pm

Heidegger wrote:
"First and foremost, according to Heraclitus, this struggle [Kampf] allows what is essential to come into opposition by setting itself apart from itself [auseinandertreten], thus letting position and stance and rank first come into relation in what is present. In such setting itself apart, clefts, intervals, expanses, and jointures open themselves up. In con-frontation [Auseinandersetzung] there emerges a world. (Confrontation neither divides nor eve destroys unity. It forms this; it is a gathering logos. Polemos and logos are the same)." [Introduction to Metaphysics, 62]

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Sat Jan 11, 2014 7:40 pm

Yes, this distancing from Becoming, perceiving it as Being, is the beginning of this disassociation from self.
A schizophrenic state, Jaynes already described.
Modernity is this regression or this retardation of maturity so this state is retained.

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Sat Jan 11, 2014 7:44 pm

Many things can be traced back to this state, and not only monotheism.

Spirituality detached from the aesthetic, identity deferring to an abstract otherness, nihilism as a philosophical psychological world-view...etc.

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Fri Jan 17, 2014 3:52 pm

Lyssa wrote:


Where Coomaraswamy and his eternal perennialism go wrong in this common confluence of all 'T'raditional systems and 'T'raditional 'T'ruths, Xt., Hinduism, Sufism, etc. is not in the dionysian theory of constant self-overcoming - the lower self dying to regenerate into the higher self, etc. but  in already presuming Godhead as an absolute ground, an abstraction,,, making the "self-annihilation" a singular, one-time process,,,, the union is supposed to be eternal.

I am brahman-Becoming (self-expansion, birth of self-exceeding possibilities) - becomes - I am brahman Become.

Stasis.

All change as suffering. And stasis - the unchanging, as pure eternal bliss.

This is in brief is the esoterism of "mystical" perennialism of Xt., vedanta, etc.


More popular vedanta: Brahman = God, etc.

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Sun Jan 19, 2014 8:09 pm

How Zizek smuggles in Xt. love valuing it against Buddhist "indifference":

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Sun Jan 19, 2014 8:16 pm

You can't be a Communist without being a crypto-Christian.
A Socialist would be a Protestant.

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Tue Feb 25, 2014 3:20 pm

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This gave me new appreciation for medival society and what remnants persist. This boundless confidence brought upon lower divisions. Enable competitive social mobility, a sort of righteousness of knowing the one god is on your side. This resulted in consistent strife within own boundaries whilst maintaining expasion.


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A sense of beauty in simple defiant humbleness and hope.
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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Tue Jun 03, 2014 6:42 am

Lyssa wrote:
How Zizek smuggles in Xt. love valuing it against Buddhist "indifference":

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Satyr wrote:
You can't be a Communist without being a crypto-Christian.


"The sacrificial victim as vanishing mediator

To the extent then that mimesis took over from instinct, to that same extent man's natural sociality (the herd mentality) was lost and mimesis had to make up for that loss by creating the unnatural sociality called culture. Thus mimesis works on the basis of what Žižek has termed the vanishing mediator between nature and culture..."

Ha!

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Decadence Sun Jul 13, 2014 9:13 am

Judaism unites Egypt's disenfranchised, forcing them to flee into a life of "wandering", forever on the outside.
The psychology of the Jew is born, as a Romani/Gypsy united under a shared code; a internal Law, applicable only to its members, and giving them a purpose for their condition.

The "choseness" to prepare the way for the coming reckoning - the retribution of the slave against his master.  

Salaquarda wrote:
If it is in Christianity that the life-hostile morality of décadence receives especially clear expression, and if it has shown itself in this form to have been a factor in history such as no other, then it is understandable that the ‘revaluator’ Nietzsche viewed Paul, the ‘inventor’ of Christianity, as one of his great adversaries, and finally as the great adversary.

Jesus is offered up to the Romans, by the Pharisees.
They would rather eliminate this rabble-rouser than Barabbas the criminal.
 
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The usurper of Jewish Priestly power, that would shake the foundations of Jewish identity, had to be crucified as a warning for generations to come.

Sena, Allan wrote:
The whole doctrine of Paul stems from this fundamental assumption, from which derives the need for “expiation”, “sacrifice”, “salvation”, “judgment”, “punishment” and “retribution”.
With the preaching that is need, above all, faith in Christ as Savior to obtain the salvation of the soul, Paul creates a whole theology that departs radically from what Jesus actually taught, i.e, that it is only through the practice of nonresistance and unconditional love that one can achieve the bliss, which is located in within, in the kingdom of God as a condition of the heart.

Mainly influenced by Tolstoy, Nietzsche goes on to identify the doctrine of personal immortality the great medium intuited by Paul for getting the power he so craved. With this belief in another life, he managed to attract the whole mass of disgruntled and disinherited of the ancient world. He managed to thereby form a real agglomerate of degenerates that, eventually, would take possession of the Roman Empire.
What he needed most was proper symbols to lure the disinherited of the ancient world and bring them together under his aegis.

As Nietzsche explains:
"Paul wanted the end, consequently he also wanted the means. What he himself did not believe, the idiots among whom he threw his doctrine believed. [...] – he could use only concepts, doctrines, symbols with which one tyrannizes masses and forms herds. What was the one thing that Mohammed later borrowed from Christianity?
Paul’s invention, his means to priestly tyranny, to herd formation: the faith in immortality – that is, the doctrine of the “Judgment”..."

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.], a Jew, himself, had the tools necessary to repackage an idea and turn it into a product the pagans would buy.
Rome was full of slaves poor, ill peasants, desperate for hope, and an idea that could help them deal with the plight.  
Jews being the best merchants, directed by their detached position, could offer the market a product.

The ideas themselves were not Jewish inventions. they were adaptations of already existent philosophies.
Jews are essentially Egyptians who sought a "promised land" to escape their social status.
They carried with them, into the deserts, Egyptian theology, and a obsession with immortality, and then came into contact with Zoroastrianism and its monotheism, already providing the symbols of God and Satan.

Into the loving embrace of Christianity the multitudes of heterogeneous peoples found their shared social identity - later to morph into Marxism's class identity.
An escape from suffering.
A hedonistic maximization through eternal bliss.

Old identifiers had to be diminished in importance, for the new shared one, bridging race, sex, nationality, culture, to take hold and stick.
In Modern times the concept of 'God' has to be abandoned as too divisive, and outdated.
Humanism, Marxism, Idealism, could now express the same anti-life, anti-world sentiments, uniting a more sophisticated herd beneath its leveling identifiers.          
 
Sena, Allan wrote:
Christianity is, strictly speaking, what resulted from the union between décadent East – namely, priestly Judaism and degenerated asceticism –, and décadent West – i.e. post-Socratic philosophy and degenerate paganism, the underground cults of mysteries belonging to lower strata of society.
Both in décadent Greek philosophy as in degenerated paganism, a belief in the afterlife, in the salvation of the soul, was already fully developed, what remained to Paul was reinterpret it and incorporate it into his priestly Judaism and his degenerated asceticism.

“This was his moment at Damascus: he comprehended that he needed the belief in immortality to deprive ‘the world’ of value, that the concept of ‘hell’ would become master even over Rome – that with the ‘beyond’ one kills life…”

Among the décadent movements that most contributed to the rise of Christianity, are the subterranean cults, symptoms of decay within paganism itself, something already fully infiltrated within the Roman Empire, though kept under control by it, but that, with the new symbols of Christianity brought by Paul, eventually supplanted the Empire.

Nietzsche maintains that the main reason for the decline of paganism and Hellenism was not their “corruption”, i.e. their moral perversion, but exactly the opposite, namely the introduction of morality into its bosom.
It may be possible to draw a trajectory for this movement of dissolution within Paganism having as a starting point the introduction of elements of Zoroastrianism within the mystery cults, as well as elements of what Nietzsche calls “egyptism”, i.e., the doctrine of judgment, punishment, reward and salvation of the soul that was transported to the initiation rituals of underground cults, what began with the Orphism.

It is probable that the cult of Dionysus had already been infected by this moral disease. This is also the first time when the practice of asceticism stemmed from Asia was denaturalized, previously a way for the neophyte find his place in the vastness of the universe, now transformed into a practice of denial and escape from the world.

This movement takes on a new aspect in the Pythagorean school, passing by Parmenides and leading to, of course, Plato,“this anti-Hellene and Semitic from instinct...”
The underground cults propagated in ancient Rome represented, therefore, the decline of paganism, and was it what Paul led to his
Christianity. In fact, with his doctrine of salvation of the soul by the faith in Christ, by the faith in the forgiveness of sins by the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross, he managed to overcome all the mystery cults, thus eliminating any competition.

Besides the pagan décadence, another key element for the development of the Christianity of Paul was the use of the “ill reason”, i.e. post-Socratic philosophy. “The appearance of the Greek philosophers after Socrates is a symptom of décadence: the anti-
Hellenics instincts take the lead.”

As well as Greek dialectic, other element of corrosion of the Hellenic culture that Christianity has inherited was the Platonic philosophy, corrupted since its birth by Pythagoreanism. Despite the use of Platonic philosophy by Christianity have acquired its definitive form in the works of Church Fathers, the direction that made Christianity a “Platonism for ‘the people’” had already been given by Paul.

The unprecedented falsification of reality elaborated by Paul has as main result the that expresses the absolute negation of life and all aspects that condition life itself: the Crucified One.
In the symbol of the Crucified, in the vision of Christ, the “firstborn of God”, dead on the cross for the sake of humanity, all unsuccessful and poorly formed see the consecration of his weakened, wretched and miserable state: “– God on the cross – are the
horrible secret thoughts behind this symbol not understood yet? – All that suffers, all that is nailed to the cross, is divine...”
On the death of Christ on the cross, pain and suffering are deified as means of salvation, as getaway vehicles from the world, but, as such, must be seen at the same time as the very refutation of life, rather than be its condition.

Against this ominous symbol, Nietzsche will oppose the symbol of the pagan god Dionysus.
In the last phase of Nietzsche’s thought, the symbol of the god Dionysus is closely related to the notion of Dionysian affirmation of life.
The Dionysian becomes increasingly the manifestation and the acceptance of the only existing reality. To say Yes unconditionally, unlimitedly and unshakably to life, to all its aspects, to everything that she has to offer, especially to pain, suffering and death, because these are not negative factors, but the very condition by which life might be effective. This absolute affirmation of life is
contained in the figure of Dionysus, the god who comes from the most authentic pagan religious sentiment.

To this day Plato is the common westerner's symbol for Hellenism.
Socrates - Plato's vehicle - becomes the Jesus-like figure, representing Hellenic decline - Democracy the end result of political necessity.
There are some who claim that Plato, through Socrates, had come into contact with the monotheism of Zoroastrianism through a mysterious Thracian sage who was named [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.].

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Sun Jul 13, 2014 9:50 am

In the quest for an all-unifying, secular, idea(l), the lowest-common-denominator is sought.
Something undeniably human, without being divisive, nor controversial, yet, at the same time, something that offers relief.

Perhaps the very sensation of relief will do.

It is the lowest-common-denominator, and so no more explorations need be attempted.
Salvation from life's sufferings; an end with no beginning, no God necessary.

Not quite an emotion, as is love, but a sensation, to satisfy (pun intended) the most jaded mind with nothing left to hold into but its own detached aesthetics.

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Sun Jul 13, 2014 11:54 am

Quote :
Paul's commitment to a single church was shown by his ruthless anger with any who broke its rules-heretical thoughts or deeds which varied in any way from his own prescriptions must be punished by expulsion from the church and eternal damnation. In all his contradictions, his anger, humility, energy, faith, arrogance, certainty and dedication, Paul set out the stall of the Christian church and its faith. As an educated Jew living in a Graeco-Roman world, he invested Christianity with its unique combination of Greek rational universality and Hebrew moral fervor.

The influence of Judaism on Paul's beliefs, and thereby on the church, was considerable. Like the Jews, early Christians found themselves members of a community defined by shared beliefs rather than attachment to a particular place or material world. For most of their history, the Jewish people existed as a discrete entity, separated from their oppressors and from the natural world, with their homeland as a disembodied ideal. This separation was made plain in the creation story: "And God said, 'Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and let them have domination over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth'"(Genesis I:26). Humanity as a uniquely privileged creatures--made by God in his image and given power over all others--was a distinctively Judaic idea that fitted well with Greek post Socratic philosophers' promotion of a distinctly human rationality.

Christianity adopted these ways of thinking, and then took them a stage further by stating that God had sent his son in the form of a man. While most other religions--Egyptian, Celtic, Germanic, Greek, Persian, Hindu--saw gods woven into the natural fabric of the world, appearing as bulls, swans, griffins, rams, elephants or horses, Christianity was utterly based on the unspoken belief that human beings were not only the centre of the natural world, but were the reason for its existence
.-Roger Osborne-New History of the Western World


We can also see as well the Reformation was the pinnacle that Christianity reached to be secularized into everyday living by turning it into a practical meme through the protestant movements of Lutheranism and Calvinism. The Judaic monotheistic anomaly became absorbed into the Capitalist system through the feudal empire, it took on its respective anti-natural metamorphosis through labor and monetary acquisition. The Church wasn't rejected, it was only reintegrated into a more efficient political pragmatism that gave it deeper roots into realistic life.

Max Weber wrote:
In the first place it follows dogmatically. The world exists to serve the glorification of God and for that purpose alone. The elected Christian is in the world only to increase this glory of God by fulfilling His commandments to the best of his ability. But God requires social achievement of the Christian because He wills that social life shall be organized according to His commandments, in accordance with that purpose. The social activity of the Christian in the world is solely activity in majorem gloriam Dei. This character is hence shared by labor in a calling which serves the mundane life of the community. Even in Luther we found specialized labor in callings justified in terms of brotherly love. But what for him remained an uncertain, purely intellectual suggestion became for the Calvinists a characteristic element in their ethical system. Brotherly love, since it may only be practiced for the glory of God and not in the service of the flesh, is expressed in the first place in the fulfillment of the daily tasks given by the lex naturae; and in the Process this fulfillment assumes a peculiarly objective and impersonal character, that of service in the interest of the rational organization of our social environment. For the wonderfully purposeful organization and arrangement of this cosmos is, according both to the revelation of the Bible and to natural intuition, evidently designed by God to serve the utility of the human race. This makes labor in the service of impersonal social usefulness appear to promote the glory of God and hence to be willed by Him. The complete elimination of the theodicy problem and of all those questions about the meaning of the world and of life, which have tortured others, was as self-evident to the Puritan as, for quite different reasons, to the Jew, and even in a certain sense to all the non mystical types of Christian religion.

Max Weber wrote:
Only a life guided by constant thought could achieve conquest over the state of nature. Descartes’s cogito ergo sum was taken over by the contemporary Puritans with this ethical reinterpretation. It was this rationalization which gave the Reformed faith its peculiar ascetic tendency, and is the basis both of its relationship to and its conflict with Catholicism. For naturally similar things were not unknown to Catholicism.


Mitchell Heisman wrote:
Without accounting for Jesus’s hatred of the family one, very simply, cannot understand Christianity. Jesus did not preach a superficial doctrine of “universal love” but, rather, a hatred of selfishness so total that it attacked the selfish love of father and mother, and sister and brother. The “universalism” of Christianity is built upon a refutation of the “universalism” of the values of the common, patriarchal family. Pure, literal individual egoism is, in its implications, the negation of subordination to kinship logic, and “altruism” against the egoism of the family was the supreme individual egoism of Jesus as the negation of subordination to familial altruism. Christianity is a distinctive source of the implicit Western modern valuation that kin selective altruism is ultimately evil. Hatred of kin selective altruism is the foundation of the distinctly Christian form of altruism that systematically negates those kinship roots. Jesus’s love of the stranger is founded upon “Christian” hatred of the family. It is from this attack on family values that a distinctively Christian life follows. The traditional negation of Christianity’s roots in Jewish sociobiology is only an extension of this interior logic. The demolition of the family is the deepest, most profound human foundation of Jesus’s moral innovation. Without this thorough attack on the family, the purity of Jesus’s vision of the end slips back into Judaism’s honoring of father and mother on the path to the end. But with this overcoming of the family, Jesus’s vision was consummated and Christianity was born."


The great Roman hierarchy was built on a central contradiction: the glorified selfish altruism of duty to Rome. Christianity worked by exposing this contradiction to Jesus’s radicalization of the ideal of altruism: consistent self-sacrifice unto the self-destruction of the ego. This was the seditious genius of Jesus. Christianity deconstructed the Roman hierarchy by pulling the thread of altruism loose from its conventional association with familial love and thus unraveled the whole structure as if a yarn from a knitted sweater"


Love killed honor. The values of honor and shame are appropriate for group moralities where the group is valued over “the individual”. Crucially, such a morality is inconceivable without a sense of group identity. Jesus’s morality became liberated from a specifically Jewish group identity. Once it dominated gentile morality, it also eroded kin and ethnic identity. The Christian war against honor moralities became so successful and traditional its premodern origins were nearly forgotten along with the native pagan moralities it conquered"


Liberalism continues the Christian paradigm by interpreting Homo sapiens as individuals, rather than members of groups such as racial groups. If it is wrong to assume Jesus can be understood on the basis of group membership, and his half-Jewish/half-Roman descent is a key to understanding this, then the evolutionary connection between Christianity and modern liberalism becomes clearer. Jesus was a paradigmatic individual exception to group rules, and his example, universalized, profoundly influenced modern liberal emphasis on individual worth in contradistinction to assumptions of group membership."


It was precisely because shame in his hereditary origins was so radical, and his pride in his non-biological identity as the “son of God” was so radical, that Jesus helped initiate a radical break with the shame/honor ethics of the ancient pagan world. Jesus’s values implicated the end of the hereditary world by living the logical consequences of denying the importance of his hereditary origins. This is a central premise underlying the entire modern rupture with the ancient world: breaking the import of hereditary origins in favor of individual valuations of humans. In escaping the consequences of a birth that, in his world, was the most ignoble possible, Jesus initiated the gentile West’s rupture with the ancient world. Jesus’s repression of shame in his own biological birth was a sociobiological foundation of Christianity’s evolutionary impact on modern values. The rupture between the ancient and the modern".


The average secular liberal rejects Biblical stories as mythology without rejecting the compassion-oriented moral inheritance of the Bible as mythology. That people, still, after Nietzsche, still tout these old, juvenile enlightenment critiques of Christianity would seem to be another refutation of the belief that a free and liberal society will inevitably lead to a progress in knowledge. The primitive enlightenment critique of Christianity as a superstition used as a form of social control usually fails to account that its “social control” originated as a weapon that helped to bring down the Goliath of Rome.

The very spirit of Jesus, his blind almost frantic hypnotic state of revolutionary drive, shows how he forcefully absorbed his half breed inheritance of the dedication to the Roman kinship nepotism, in the form of applying it to "humanity", and his memetic loyalty to his Jewish ancestry of a singular God, the Singularity.

We can see how with the advent of industrialization and technology, religion became secularized into modern rationalism. The socialist paradigm is one that is bred of taking religion to its extreme, through the new age attitude of enlightenment and of course "free thinking". This is the reason why the Jews survive and thrive so prosperously in Capitalism. it is a system that is intrinsically anti-world, and anti-natural, and collectively individualistic, atomistic, singular.
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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Sun Jul 13, 2014 2:13 pm

Satyr wrote:


To this day Plato is the common westerner's symbol for Hellenism.
Socrates - Plato's vehicle - becomes the Jesus-like figure, representing Hellenic decline - Democracy the end result of political necessity.
There are some who claim that Plato, through Socrates, had come into contact with the monotheism of Zoroastrianism through a mysterious Thracian sage who was named [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.].


This is very interesting....

Quote :
Thus Getae, worshiped Zalmoxis, apparently a God, whose high priest king seems to have been considered a substitute on earth. Zalmoxis endowed his priests with the power of healing, and they were known as physicians. The myth of Zalmoxis descend into an underground chamber or cave, and his priests habitation in such a cave appear to represent an initiatory ritual, including a temporary death. In later time, the eternal happiness after death, promised by Zalmoxis, made the Greeks compare him with their Lord Elysium, Kronos.

The ritual is based on a most fascinating phenomenon; the search of revelation of ultimate truth and wisdom by means of altered states of consciousness. Altered states of consciousness, deliberately sought by various mystics and visionaries worldwide, but first and foremost by shamans, may be induced by a variety of means, one of the easiest being sensory deprivation, during which a reduction of external stimuli leads to the release of internal imagery. As a means of attaining these visions in the geographical setting of the Balkans, caverns, grottos, and underground chambers, provide an easy way to isolate the mind from the outside input and allow its concentration on a spiritual quest. Zalmoxis' behavior finds more than a few parallels in the life legends of Greek sages and prophets.

Vegetarian commandments of Zalmoxis, his catabasis, and above all the doctrine of immortality, induced the Pontic Greeks to link him with Pythagoras already by the fifth century. Disregarding the Greek prejudice of superiority of the Hellenes over the Barbarians, which is reflected in the tale making Zalmoxis Pythagoras slave, this interpretatio Graeca of Thracian ideas on immortality demonstrates that the cult of Zalmoxis involved a belief in the blissful postexistence, certain initiatory rites, magical healing, and decent into a cave, as a means to attain ultimate wisdom.--Greek Knowledge of Thracian and Scythian Healing Practices
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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Sun Jul 13, 2014 3:11 pm





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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Sun Jul 13, 2014 3:16 pm

LaughingMan wrote:

Yes - it does kind of seem like the Jesus myth was used as a way of making people more servile, thus more easy to control.

Paul even stated in his epistles that the believers ought to submit to Roman authority.
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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Sun Jul 13, 2014 3:21 pm

Exactly Erik. Given the propensity of a majority of the human population to believe in just about any kind of bullshit I believe that very Roman thesis is very probable.
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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Mon Sep 29, 2014 10:36 am

I'm not sure that Christianity began as nihilism. However, it clearly transformed into nihilist ideology after Christ was killed. What if Christ had not been crucified? Would Christianity be a religion that despises life itself, as does Judaism, or would it more humanistic?

Or, perhaps, if you hold any weight to the figure of Jesus Christ, the world would have been perfected. Do any of you hold any weight to the figure of Jesus Christ, other than being the harbinger of meekness?
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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Tue Nov 04, 2014 4:27 pm

Camus' book 'Christian Metaphysics and Neoplatonism' is a welcome relief for the clarity with which it lays out the trend and evolution of Christianity and the Christian character that is typical of it that separates it from Hellenism.


Camus wrote:
"If it is true, then, that Greece euhemerised the gods, if it is true that the problem of the destiny of the soul had disappeared beneath Epicurean and Stoic ideas, it nonetheless remains true that the Greco-Roman world was returning to a real tradition. But something new is nevertheless making itself felt.

In this world, in which the desire for God is getting stronger, the problem of the Good loses ground. For the pride of life that animated the ancient world, this new world substituted the humility of spirits in pursuit of inspiration. The æsthetic plane of contemplation is concealed by the tragic plane where hopes are limited to the imitation of a God.

They act out the sorrowful drama of Isis in search of Osiris; they die with Dionysius, and they are reborn with him. Attis is subjected to the worst mutilations. In Eleusis, Zeus is united with Demeter in the person of the great priest and hierophant.

And in the same period, there infiltrates Lucretius’s idea that the world is not oriented toward the “all things are the same forever,” but that it serves as the scene for the tragedy of man without God. The problems themselves are incarnated, and the philosophy of history is born. One will be less reluctant consequently to accept this change of the world that constitutes Redemption. It is not a matter of knowing or of understanding, but of loving. And Christianity can do nothing but embody this idea, so little Greek in nature, that the problem for man is not to perfect his nature, but to escape it. The desire for God, humility, imitation, and aspirations toward a rebirth, all these themes are intertwined in the Oriental mysteries and religions of Mediterranean paganism. Above all, since the second century before Christ (the cult of Cybele was introduced in Rome in 205 BCE), the principle religions have not ceased, in their influence and in their expansion, to prepare the way for Christianity. In the period that concerns us, new problems are posed in all their acuteness.

Greece is continued in Christianity. And Christianity is prefigured in Hellenic thought.

But can we distinguish, nevertheless, even in this confusion, what constitutes Christianity’s originality?

From a historical point of view, Christian doctrine is a religious movement, born in Palestine, and inscribed in Jewish thought. In a period that is difficult to determine, but certainly contemporary with the moment when Paul authorized in principle the admission of gentiles and exempted them from circumcision, Christianity was separated from Judaism. At the end of the first century, John proclaimed the identity of the Lord and the Spirit. The Epistle of Barnabas, written between 117 and 130 CE, is already resolutely anti-Jewish. This is the fundamental point. Christian thought is then separated from its origins and is dispersed throughout the entire Greco-Roman world. The Greco-Roman world, prepared by its anxieties and by mystery religions, ended by accepting Christianity.

What constitutes the irreducible originality of Christianity is the theme of Incarnation. The problems are made flesh and immediately assume the tragic and necessary character that is so often absent from certain games of the Greek spirit.

Christianity blossoms in the second revelation that was Augustinian thought. But there are three stages or moments in the evolution of Christianity:

Evangelical Christianity, in which it finds its source;
dogmatic Augustinianism, in which it achieved the reconciliation of the Word and the flesh;
and the intervals in which it allowed itself to be led to attempt to identify knowledge and salvation, that is to say, the heresies of which Gnosticism offers a complete example.

Gospel, Gnosis, Neoplatonism, and Augustinianism: these four stages of one common Greco-Christian evolution.

Evangelical Christianity spurned all speculation but asserted, since the beginning, the themes of Incarnation;
Gnosis sought a special solution in which Redemption and knowledge are joined; and,
Neoplatonism endeavored to achieve its purposes by attempting to reconcile rationalism and mysticism and, with the assistance of its formulas, permitted dogmatic Christianity to form itself, through Saint Augustine, into a metaphysics of Incarnation. At the same time, Neoplatonism served here as a control-doctrine. The movement that animates it is the same one that drives Christian thought, but the notion of Incarnation remained foreign to it."


As above, Camus presents the evolution of Xt. in four critical stages.

1. Gospeline Evangelical Xt. and its break from Judaism owing to Paul. [Path of (Christ's) Incarnation]
2. Gnosticism [Path of Initiation by gnosis - Sophia perennis]
3. Neoplatonism [Path of (platonic) Redemption from gross matter]
4. Augustinian Revelation. [Path of Grace by Faith]


Since Camus doesn't cover the reason behind the Judeo-Xt. internal split, I excerpt that part from Gager and the rest, the gist from Camus:


I - Splinter of Pauline Xt. from Judaism:

Quote :
"The substance of Paul's point concerns Abraham's two sons, their different mothers, and an "allegory" based on them.

Hagar = Slave; Son [Ishmael] born of flesh; Cast out
Sara = free woman; Son [Issac] born of promise; Inherit

From the final warning in 4:30 (quoting Gen. 21:10-12) the lesson is drawn: do not associate yourself with the line of descent through Hagar and Ishmael, for they are cast out as slaves and will not inherit the promises. Only the children of the free woman count as heirs. If we ask why it occurred to Paul to apply this reading of Abraham's offspring to the Judaizers in Galatia, the answer must lie in its associations with slavery and bondage (douleia in 4:24 and 5:1; paidiske in 4: 22,23,30,31). The Judaizers, by placing themselves under the Torah, were reverting to a condition of bondage. As a result they, like Ishmael, will be ineligible for the inheritance.

As is frequently the case with Paul, the key to understanding the passage lies in the immediately following verse, 5:1: "For freedom Christ has set us free; stand fast therefore and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery!" Consequently we can only conclude that the Jews are absent from the entire passage. The contrast is not between Christianity (Sarah) and Judaism (Hagar) but between Israel (Isaac) and the nations (Ishmael).19 The moral which Paul draws from the contrast is that what is right, namely, circumcision, for the one is wrong for the other.

With this as background, we are now in a better position to understand how it is that Christ and Torah are mutually exclusive categories for Paul. In fact, he addresses the issue directly in the following passage, Gal. 5:2-12. The hallmark of Gentiles in Christ is freedom, that is, free- dom from the Torah and its curse. Thus any return to the command- ments of that covenant, in this case circumcision, can only be likened to slavery (5:1). To spell this out, Paul dwells on the antithesis of Christ and Torah, for they are indeed antithetical in terms of their effects on Gentiles. The Torah brings condemnation and slavery; Christ brings freedom (from both) and the Spirit. Thus, Paul asserts, "Christ will be of no advantage to you if you receive circumcision." The only possible result would be condemnation and slavery again. As if to underscore his point, he concludes on a note of bitter resentment. Indulging briefly in a medical fantasy, he expresses the wish that those who are circumcising the Galatian Christians might slip while using the knife and mutilate themselves!

In 2 Corinthians as in Galatians and Romans the proper reading of Scripture is that Moses is no longer of any value for Gentiles. In Paul's reading of the scriptures, Abraham (and Christ) are the figures through whom the Gentiles are released from the curse and the condemnation and are brought to new life.

For Paul Torah and Christ are mutually exclusive cate- gories. But the relationship between the two is such that neither invalidates the other. Torah remains the path of righteousness for Israel; Christ has become the promised way of righteousness for Gentiles.

Paul neither expects Israel to convert to Christ nor does he tolerate observance of the Mosaic rituals among Gentiles. His reasoning is not just that Christ is the expression of God's righteousness for Gentiles but that the meaning of the Torah for Gentiles has always been and remains curse and condemnation. Because Christ has redeemed Gentiles from this curse, any observance of the Torah by Gentiles must now be tantamount to un-doing Christ's work. Paul comments that the Jews are "ignorant of the righteousness that comes from God and seek to establish their own."

This perspective also makes it possible to understand why Paul singles out boasting for special attention in his quarrel with Israel. For if his gospel is as we have presented it, that is, if Christ was not the climax of the history of God's dealings with Israel, but the fulfillment of God's promises concerning the Gentiles, the one major point of controversy would be Israel's claim to enjoy an exclusive relation to God. This boast would collide directly with Paul's gospel that the Gentiles as Gentiles have received sonship not through Israel but through Christ. Thus for Paul, Israel's boasting becomes the principal target of his concern because his own legitimacy and that of his gospel were at stake.

The chain of thinking, then, in Paul's quarrel with Israel went something like this: Why has Israel stumbled? Because the Jews have not accepted the legitimacy of Paul's gospel to and about the Gentiles. Why have they not accepted? Because they have insisted on righteousness through the Mosaic covenant. Why have they made this error? Because they fail to see that righteousness rests on faith, whether for the circumcised or the uncircumcised.
As for later Gentile Christianity, its triumphant stance vis-a-vis Israel left the Jews little choice but to regard Christians as at best deluded sectarians and at worst apostates destined for perdition.

For Paul, the privileges attendant on Israel's status as God's chosen people had been momentarily suspended. Israel had failed in its pursuit of righteousness based on the Torah (9:31, 10:3); their zeal for God was unenlightened (10:2);Israel had been disobedient (11:30-32); and finally, "a hardening has come upon a part of Israel" (11:25). Furthermore a fundamental component of Israel's self-understanding, the privileged rela- tion to God provided by the Mosaic covenant, has been permanently revoked.

Here Paul makes use of the idea, found in various forms of Judaism, that a faithful remnant rather than all of Israel will be redeemed by God at the end. What he has in mind at this point is certainly the fact that some Jews, including himself, had recognized what God had accomplished in Christ.
Paul turns the disobedience of the Jews into the divinely preordained occasion, foretold in scripture, for God to offer salvation to the Gentiles. "Through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles".
Hence, Israel's disobedience is not only not accidental to God's plan of salvation, it has become an essential part of its fulfillment!

Making use of the verb "to make jealous" (parazelosai) in the verse from Deut. 3 2 : 2 1 cited in Rom. 10:19, Pa comes full circle in affirming that Israel will in turn be made jealous and return to its senses when it sees the riches of God poured out on the Gentiles. Indeed, he makes every effort to highlight his ministry to Gentiles, so as "to make my fellow Jews (ten sarka mou) jealous and thus save some of them" (11: 13f.).

In an effort to extract still more evidence of divine providence from Israel's opposition to the gospel, Paul contrasts Jews and Gentiles one final time in 11:30—32. Echoing the important Pauline theme that God offers salvation to sinners and shows mercy to the disobedient, he applies it now to the current situation of the Jews as enemies of the gospel:
Just as you [Gentiles!] were once disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience,so they (the Jews) have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may receive mercy. For God has consigned all men to disobedience that he may have mercy on all.

If we use 1 Cor.15:28 as a guide, we should probably conclude that Paul looked forward to universal redemption without exception. In any case, for Israel there is no doubt: "All Israel will be saved."
Finally, we must dwell for a moment on an irony embedded in the argument of Rom. 9—11.On the one hand, it would be possible to claim that Paul's basic quarrel was with Israel's failure to fulfill its mission to the Gentiles (Rom. 2:17-29). The irony is that Israel has in fact now fulfilled that mission, but through disobedience rather than obedience to the Torah. For, it must be remembered, salvation has come to the Gentiles through their trespass! (Rom. 11:11). The irony is then compounded by the fact that the obedience of the formerly disobedient Gentiles will soon provoke jealousy among Jews and lead to their full restoration. Now the Gentiles have become a light unto Israel!
These are bold thoughts, unique in the literature of early—or indeed later—Christianity. For him, Christianity is neither superior to Judaism nor its fulfillment. Nor are the two one except insofar as God's promises are one. He never proclaimed his gospel at the expense of Jews or the Torah as such." [Gager, The Origins of Anti-semitism]

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Tue Nov 04, 2014 4:31 pm

Camus wrote:


II - Evangelical Christianity.

1. The Tragic plane.

"Ignorance and disdain of all systematic speculation, these are what characterize the state of mind of the first Christians. The facts blind them and press them, especially the fact of death. This idea of an imminent death, closely bound moreover to the second coming of Christ, obsessed the entire first Christian generation. Herein lies the unique example of a collective experience of death. In the world of our experience, to realize this idea of death amounts to endowing our life with a new meaning. Actually, what is revealed here is the triumph of the flesh, of the physical terror before this appalling outcome. And it is no surprise that Christians have had such a bitter sense of the humiliation and anguish of the flesh and that these notions have been able to play a fundamental role in the development of Christian metaphysics. “My flesh is clothed with worms and dirt; my skin hardens, then breaks out afresh. My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, and come to their end without hope.” As we see it, the Old Testament, with Job and Ecclesiastes, had already set the tone for this development.

But the Gospels have placed this sense of death at the center of their worship.
Jesus being fully human, the emphasis had been concentrated on his death, and one scarcely knows of a more physically horrible death. It is on certain Catalonian sculptures, on the broken hands and the cracked joints, that one must reflect in order to imagine the terrifying image of torture that Christianity has erected as a symbol, but it suffices just as well to consult the well-known texts of the Gospel.

Another proof, if one is necessary, of the importance of this theme in Evangelical Christianity, is the indignation of the pagans. “Let her have her way with her empty illusions, and sing her sad, fond songs over her dead god who was condemned by the upright judges and, in his lonely years, met the ugliest death, linked with iron.”
And again: “Why did he allow Himself to be mocked and crucified not saying anything worthy for the benefit of His judges or His hearers, but tolerating insults like the meanest of men.”
But this is sufficient to prove the importance of the sense of death and its flesh-and-blood contents in the thought that concerns us.

“We are laughable,” says Pascal, “to remain in the company of our fellow men: miserable like us, powerless like us, they will not help us: one dies alone.” The experience of death carries with it a certain position that is tricky to define. There are actually numerous Gospel texts in which Jesus recommends indifference or even hatred toward one’s loved ones as a way of reaching the Kingdom of God. Is this the basis of an immoralism? No, but of a superior moral: “If any one comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” Through these texts we understand the extent to which the “Render unto Caesar” marks a contemptuous concession rather than a declaration of conformism. That which belongs to Caesar is the denarius on which is imprinted his effigy. That which belongs to God alone is man’s heart, having severed all ties with the world. This is the mark of pessimism and not of acceptance. But as it is natural, these rather vague themes and these spiritual attitudes are made concrete and summed up in the specifically religious notion of sin.

In sin, man becomes aware of his misery and his pride. “No one is good;” “All have sinned.” Sin is universal. But among all the significant texts of the New Testament, few are as rich in meaning and insight as this passage from the Epistle to the Romans: “I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good . . . So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin which dwells in my members.”

Here Saint Augustine’s “incapacity not to sin” becomes apparent. At the same time, the pessimistic soul of the Christians toward the world is explained. It is to this view and to these aspirations that the constructive element of Evangelical Christianity provides an answer. But it was useful to note beforehand this state of mind. “Let us imagine a number of men in chains and all condemned to death, of which some each day have their throats cut in the sight of the others, and those who remain see their true condition in that of their fellows, and, looking at each other with sorrow and hopelessness, await their turn. This is an image of man’s condition.”

But in the same way that this Pascalian thought, situated at the beginning of the Apology, serves to emphasize the ultimate support for God, these men under the sentence of death are left with the hope that should have transported them.


2. Hope in God

“Augustine: I desire to know God and the soul. Ratio: Nothing more? Augustine: Nothing whatever.”

It is much the same in the Gospel, in which only the Kingdom of God counts, for the conquest of which one must renounce so much here below. The idea of the Kingdom of God is not absolutely new in the New Testament. The Jews already knew the word and the thing. But in the Gospels, the Kingdom has nothing ter- restrial about it. It is spiritual. It is the contemplation of God himself. Apart from this conquest, no speculation is desirable.
One must endeavor to attain the humility and simplicity of little children. It is therefore to the children that the Kingdom of God is promised, but also to the learned who have known to divest themselves of their knowledge in order to understand the truth of the heart and who have added in this manner to this very virtue of simplicity the invaluable merit of their own effort. In Octavius, Minucius Felix has Caecilius, defender of paganism, speak in these terms: “And thus all men must be indignant, all men must feel pain, that certain persons—and these unskilled in learning, strangers to literature, without knowledge even of sordid arts—should dare to determine on any certainty concerning the nature at large, and the (divine) majesty, of which so many of the multitude of sects in all ages (still doubt), and philosophy itself deliberates still.”

By placing man’s striving toward God on the highest level, these Christians subordinate everything to this movement. The world itself is ordered according to the direction of this movement. The meaning of history is what God was willing to give it. The philosophy of history, a notion foreign to the Greek spirit, is a Jewish invention. Metaphysical problems are incarnated in time, and the world becomes only a fleshly symbol of man’s striving toward God. And here again, fundamental importance is given to faith. It suffices that a paralytic or a blind man believes—this is what cures him. This is because the essence of faith is to consent and to relinquish. Moreover, faith is always more important than works.

The reward in the next world retains a gratuitous character. It is of so high a price that it surpasses the requirement of merit. And here again, it is only a matter of an apology for humility. It is necessary to prefer the repentant sinner to the virtuous man, who is completely fulfilled in himself and in his good works. For the repentant sinner, there is eternal life.
If it is true that man is nothing and that his destiny is entirely in the hands of God, that works are not sufficient to assure him of his reward, if the “No one is good” is well founded, who then will reach the Kingdom of God? The distance between God and man is so great that no one can hope to fill it. No man can reach God, and only despair is open to him. But then the Incarnation offers its solution. Man being unable to rejoin God, God descends to him. Thus is born the universal hope in Christ. Man was right to put himself in God’s hands, seeing that God offers him a most boundless grace.

It is in Paul that this doctrine is, for the first time, expressed in a coherent way. For him, God’s will has only one goal: to save man. Creation and redemption are only two manifestations of his will, the first and the second of his revelations. The sin of Adam corrupted man and led to death. He is left with no personal resources. The moral law of the Old Testament is content, in effect, to give man the image of the work he must achieve. But it does not give him the strength to achieve it. It thereby renders him twice guilty. The only way for us to be saved had been for there to come to us, to release us from our sins by a miracle of grace, this Jesus, of our race, of our blood, who represents us and is substituted for us. Dying with him and in him, man has paid for his sins: the Incarnation is at the same time redemption. But for all that, the omnipotence of God is not reached, because the death and Incarnation of his son are graces and not sanctions owing to human merit.

This de facto solution resolved all the difficulties of a doctrine establishing such a great distance between man and God. Plato, who had wanted to unite the Good to man, had been constrained to construct an entire scale of ideas between these two terms. For that he created knowledge. In Christianity, it is not reasoning that bridges this gap, but a fact: Jesus is come. To Greek wisdom, which is only a science, Christianity opposes itself as a state of affairs.

The Incarnation likewise seems unacceptable to Porphyry: “If the Greeks do think that the gods dwell in statues, at least it shows a purer mind than the belief that the deity went into the virgin’s womb.”

Nothing, therefore, is as specifically Christian as the notion of Incarnation.

Distaste for speculation, practical and religious concerns, the primacy of faith, pessimism regarding man and the immense hope which is born of the Incarnation—so many of these themes come alive again in the first centuries of our era. Actually, one must be Greek in order to believe that wisdom is learned.

From this combination of evangelical faith with Greek metaphysics arose the Christian dogmas. Moreover, steeped in the atmosphere of religious tension, Greek philosophy gave rise to Neoplatonism.

Gnosticism made use of Neoplatonism and its convenient structures in order to accommodate religious thought. Permanently detached from Judaism, Christianity filtered into Hellenism through the door that Oriental religions were holding open. And upon that altar of the unknown God, which Paul had encountered in Athens, several centuries of Christian speculation would be devoted to erecting the
image of the Savior on the cross.

We must consider the Gnostic heresy as one of the first attempts at Greco-Christian collaboration. Gnosticism is actually a Greek reflection upon Christian themes. That is why it was repudiated both by the Greeks and by the Christians.
Gnosticism is a philosophical and religious instruction, given to the initiated, based upon Christian dogmas mingled with pagan philosophy, which assimilated all that was splendid and brilliant in the most diverse religions.

Gnosticism poses problems in a Christian manner. It solves them in Greek formulas.

Basilides and Marcion are actually persuaded of the wretchedness of the world. But insofar as one accuses the carnal side of reality, one expands the catalogue of sins and wretchedness and increasingly widens the gulf between man and God. There will come a time when no repenting nor any sacrifice will suffice to fill in such a chasm. It suffices to know God to be saved. Otherwise, any works or any other source would be able to draw man out of his nothingness. This is the Christian solution of salvation through Incarnation. It is also, in one sense, the solution of the Gnostics. But Christian grace retains a character of divine arbitrariness. The Gnostics, unaware of the profound meaning of the Incarnation, restricting it in its significance, have transformed the notion of salvation into that of initiation. Valentinus actually separated humanity into three orders or types: materialists, who are tied to the goods of this world; psychics, balanced between God and matter; and the spiritual, who alone live in God and know him. The latter are saved as later will be the Chosen ones of Mani. Here is introduced the Greek notion. The spiritual are saved only by gnosis or knowledge of God. But this gnosis they learn from Valentinus and from men. Salvation is learned. It is therefore an initiation.

For though these notions of salvation and initiation appear, at first sight, related, analysis can no doubt discern subtle but fundamental differences between them. Initiation gives man influence over the divine kingdom. Salvation admits him to this kingdom, without his having any part in achieving it. One can believe in God without being saved. On the other hand, baptism does not imply salvation. Hellenism cannot be separated from this hope, about which it is so tenacious, that man holds his destiny in his own hands. And at the very heart of Christianity there was, as it happens, a tendency slowly to draw the notion of salvation back into that of initiation. In the same way that the Egyptian fellah slowly won, through the Pharaoh, the right to immortality, the Christian, through the Church, finally had in his hands the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Gnosis is an attempt to reconcile knowledge and salvation." [Christian Metaphysics and Neoplatonism]


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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Tue Nov 04, 2014 4:32 pm

Camus wrote:
III - Gnosticism

1. Gnostics.

"Four fundamental themes are found at the heart of the entire Gnostic system: the problem of evil, redemption, the theory of intermediaries, and a conception of God as an ineffable and incommunicable being.

“The origin of this evil doctrine is in the inquiry about where evil is from.” This is, in fact, what stands out from the little we know of Basilidean thought.  

“Basilides seems incapable of conceiving an abstraction. It is necessary for him to give it an appearance of substance.”

It is from this point of view that Basilides develops his thought and is bound to establish a theory of original sin. To tell the truth, the word does not exist in his thought, but only the idea of a certain natural pre-disposition to sin. Finally, he adds two complementary assertions: sin always carries with it a punishment, and there is always an enrichment and an atonement to draw out of suffering. These three themes are attributed indiscriminately to Basilides and to his son, Isidore.

Be that as it may, Basilides is deeply struck by the fate of martyrs. According to him, martyrdom is not useless suffering. Each suffering requires a previous sin that justifies it. Basilides must therefore conclude that martyrs have sinned. Moreover, this state is perfectly reconciled with their holiness. It is precisely their privilege to be able to atone so completely for their past. But who is the greatest of the martyrs, if not Jesus himself? Christ does not escape the universal law of sin. But at least he shows us the path of deliverance, which is the cross. This is why Basilides and his son, Isidore, inaugurated, to a certain extent, an ascetic life. Moreover, it was necessary for Isidore, because it is to him that we owe the theory of the appendage passions. The passions do not belong to us but cling to the soul and exploit us. Isidore saw clearly that a similar theory could lead the wicked to present themselves as victims and not as guilty. Hence, the ascetic rule of life.

Marcion is the one among the Gnostics who was most keenly aware of the originality of Christianity. He was aware to such a point that he turned contempt for the Jewish law into a moral.
There are two divinities for Marcion: the one is superior and rules in the invisible world, the other is subordinate and is the God of this world. “Well, but our god . . . although he did not manifest himself from the beginnings and by means of the creation, has yet revealed himself in Christ Jesus.”
The God of creation is the second God, the cruel and warlike judge, the God of the Old Testament, the one who persecuted Job to prove his power to Satan, who demanded blood and battles and whose law oppressed the Jewish people. There is no Avestic influence here. It is not a matter of two opposing principles of equal force whose struggle sustains the world, but of a God and a demiurge between whom the fight is unequal. And in the continual contrast that Paul makes between the Law and the Gospel, Judaism and Christianity, Marcion believed he saw proof that the two Testaments were inspired by different authors.

We see already the importance that Christ will take on for Marcion. He is nothing less than the envoy of the supreme God, sent to combat the wicked God, the creator of the world, and to deliver man from his domination. Jesus accomplished here below a revolutionary mission. If he atoned for our sins, it is through them that he combats the work of the cruel God. Emancipator as much as Redeemer, he is the instrument of a kind of metaphysical coup d’etat. “Marcion has laid down the position, that Christ who in the days of Tiberius was, by a previously unknown god, revealed for the salvation of all nations, is a different being from Him who was ordained by God for the restoration of the Jewish state, and who is yet to come. Between these he interposes the separation of a great and absolute difference—as great as lies between what is just and what is good; as great as between the law and the gospel; as great, (in short) as is the difference between Judaism and Christianity.”
In support of this remarkable theory, Marcion cites a number of texts, which he interprets in his own way and which he draws mostly from Luke’s Gospel. “What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent? . . . If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” This strange interpretation finds its crowning achievement in morality. The rule of life that Marcion proposes is ascetic. But it is a proud or arrogant asceticism. One must scorn the goods of this world out of hatred for the Creator. One must give as little influence as possible to his domination. This is Marcion’s ideal. It is a most extreme asceticism. And if Marcion preaches sexual abstinence, it is because the God of the Old Testament says: “Increase and multiply.” In this pessimistic view of the world and this proud refusal to accept can be found the resonance of a completely modern sensibility. This pessimistic view also has its source in the problem of evil. Marcion considers the world to be wicked but refuses to believe that God can be its author. If his solution revolves around Redemption, it is because he views the role of Christ in a more ambitious manner than the Christians themselves. It is a matter of nothing less than the complete destruction of creation.

The first Gnostic generation was content to consider God as ineffable and inexpressible. But at least they believed in him firmly. Their successors went even further...   “(Time) was, says (Basilides), when there was nothing.  
“He who speaks the word was non-existent; nor was that existent which was being produced. The seed of the cosmical system was generated . . . from nonentities; (and I mean by the seed,) the word which was spoken, ‘Let there be light.’ And this . . . is that which has been stated in the Gospels: ‘He was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.’” Hippolytus summarizes these remarks as follows: “In this way, ‘nonexistent’ God made the world out of nonentities, casting and depositing some one Seed that contained in itself a conglomeration of the germs of the world.”

The pleroma that Valentinus places between God and the earth is a Christian Olympus. At least it is Christian in intention, but in form and imagination it is Greek.

Valentinus’s Godis uncreated and timeless. But solitary and perfect, he superabounds as a result of his perfection. By thus super-abounding he created a Dyad, one of Spirit and Truth. This pair in its turn generates Word and Life, which produce Anthropos and Ecclesia. From these six principles now arise the pleroma intact, which is composed of two groups of angels, or æons, the one containing a dozen, the other containing ten, that is to say, in Gnostic terms, the decade and the dodecade. Spirit and Truth, wanting to glorify the divinity, create a chorus of ten æons whose mission is to render homage to God. They are created in the following order: the Abyss, the Mixed, the One who is ageless, Unity, the One who is of his own nature, Pleasure, the One who is motionless, the Mixture, the only Son, and Happiness. Word and Life in their turn—but this time with the goal of glorifying the active Spirit— create the dodecade. The dodecade is composed of the dozen eons prepared in syzygies, that is to say, in pairs of male and female. They are: the Paraclete and Faith, the Father and Hope, the Mother and Love, Prudence and Intelligence, the Ecclesiastic and the Very Happy, the Volunteer and Wisdom. Together these æons form the pleroma, midway between God and the world.

It is remarkable that thus far God alone has created without the help of a female principle. He alone is perfect. He alone superabounds. It is through their union that Spirit and Truth or Word and Life succeeded in generating, respectively, the decade and the dodecade. Now the last born of the eons, Sophia, or Wisdom, from the bottom of the ladder of principles, turned around and wanted to see God. In this manner, she knew that God alone had created. Through pride and envy, she attempted to create on her own. But she succeeds in creating only one formless being, of which it is said in Genesis: “The earth was without form and void.” Sophia then recognized with great sorrow her ignorance and, full of fear, was moved to despair. These four passions constitute the four elements of the world. And Sophia lives forever joined to this formless fetus she had created. But God took pity on her and again created a special principle, the principle of Horos, or Limit. Limit, coming to the aid of Sophia, will restore her to her original nature and cast the world out of the pleroma, thus reestablishing the original harmony. At this moment a demiurge intervenes, and arranging matter, makes from it the cosmos. Utilizing Sophia’s passion, he created men. These men are divided into three categories according to the level of consciousness of their origin: the spiritual, who aspire to God; the materialists, who have no memory and therefore no concern for their origins; and between the two, the psychics, the indecisive, who run from the vulgar life of the senses to the most elevated anxieties without knowing which to hold on to. But they all bear the mark of their birth: they have been born of fear, ignorance, and sorrow. Hence the need for Redemption. But it is the Spirit this time who, transforming himself into Christ, came to deliver man from his ill-fated seed. Things are further complicated when we learn that the Redeemer was not Jesus. Jesus is born of the acknowledgment of the eons regarding the God who had reestablished order. They therefore gather their virtues and offer to God in thanksgiving the being thus formed. Redemption, on the contrary, is a work of the Holy Spirit who has revealed to men their divine part and who has brought about in them the death of their sinful part. This is without doubt the meaning of that enigmatic text of the Stromateis: “‘Ye are originally mortal, and children of eternal life, and ye would have death distributed to you, that ye may spend and lavish it, and that death may die in you and by you; for when we dissolve the world, and are not yourselves dissolved, ye have dominion over all creation and all corruption.’ ”

Valentinus’s ethic is closely tied to his cosmology. For all that, his cosmology is only a solution adapted to a problem that obsessed him, the problem of evil.  "I do not regard as an unbelievable thing that two brothers may have been able to fight one another. And I could not find the strength within me to say that God was the author and creator of all this evil." It is therefore the problem of evil that directed Valentinus toward these speculations. And the conclusion he draws from his cosmology is very simple: there is no freedom in the human soul as a result of Sophia’s error. Only those who regain an awareness of their origins will be saved, that is to say, the Gnostics and the spiritual. Salvation is contemporaneous with knowledge. As for the psychics, they can be saved, but it is necessary that they put themselves in the hands of the divine arbitrariness.

It is here that Valentinus’s thought rejoins the common foundation of all Gnostics.


2. Other gnostic schools:

The Followers of the Mother are thus named because nearly all of them accept a female principle as the origin of the world.

Justinus, the Gnostic of whom Hippolytus speaks, is rather a leader of a religious brotherhood. The sexually symbolic plays a great part in his speculations. It is thus that the world has three parts: the Good God, Elohim the Father Creator, and Edem his wife who represents the world. Tragedy is born when Elohim, drawn to the Good God, abandons Edem. Edem, in order to avenge herself, creates wicked man. Hence the need for Redemption.  

If we add to this list a certain Monoïmus the Arab, Neopythagorean and juggler of numbers, we will have a rather good idea of the variety of Gnostic sects and ideas.

It seems that in Gnosticism, Christianity, and Hellenism encounter one another without being able to assimilate one another and have therefore placed side by side the most heterogeneous themes.

A great number of Gnostic themes appear to come from Plato, or at least from the tradition he represents. The emanation of intelligences from the bosom of the Divinity, the madness and suffering of spirits remote from God and committed to matter, the anxiety of the pure soul tied to the irrational soul in the psychics, regeneration through a return to the original sources, all this is purely Greek. Horos, a significant name, making Sophia return within the limits of her nature is typical in this regard.
Greece introduced the notions of order and harmony into morality as into æsthetics. If Prometheus has suffered, it is because he has cast off his human nature. Sophia acted likewise, and it is by returning to the place which she was assigned that she once again finds peace.

Gnosticism has taken from Christianity the essence of its dogmas. The concern is the problem of evil... Hence their attempt also to explain Redemption.

Another influence, less marked but just as true, is the meaning of history, that is to say, the idea that the world marches toward a goal as if it were the conclusion of a tragedy. In this view of history, the world is a point of departure. It was a beginning. Truths are not to be contemplated. Rather, we use them and with them achieve our salvation. Here the Christian influence resides less in a group of doctrines than in a state of mind and an orientation.

We have already defined initiation as the union of knowledge and salvation. A “spiritual” being would make his own these orphic lines, found on the gold tablets at Croton: “I have escaped from the circle of trouble and sadness and I am now advancing toward the queen of sovereign places, Saint Persephone, and the other divinities of Hades. I glory in belonging to their blessed race. I ask them to send me into the dwelling places of the innocent in order to receive there the saving word: You will be a goddess and no longer mortal.”

Consequently, we should not be surprised to find with the Gnostics a rather large number of themes dear to Philo: the supreme Being, source of light that shines forth through the universe, the battle between light and darkness for control of the world, the creation of the world by intermediaries, the visible world as an image of the invisible world, the theme (essential for Philo) of the image of God as the unadulterated essence of the human soul, and deliverance finally, allotted as the goal of human existence.

Finally, it is possible to recognize within Gnostic doctrines the influence of a certain number of Oriental speculations, especially of Avesta. Zoroastrianism, moreover, as a result of the exile of the Jews, of the protection that Cyrus accorded them and the benevolence that he had shown Avesta, played a considerable role in the evolution of ideas in the first centuries of our era.

The Ameshas Spentas and the Yazatas, who maintain the fight against wicked demons, themselves also constitute a pleroma, intermediate between God and the earth. And Ahura Mazda has all the characteristics of the infinite Gnostic God.
These indications suffice to bring to light the complexity of Gnosticism. We see the medley of colors from which this Christian heresy shone forth.

3. Gnosticism in the Evolution of Christianity:

“Instead of eternal acts of the divine will, dramatic climaxes or passionate initiatives; failures replacing causes; in place of the unity of two natures in the person of Christ incarnated, the dispersion of divine particles in matter; instead of the distinction between eternity and time, a time saturated with eternal influences and an eternity shot through with, and emphasized by, tragedy.”

It would be best to sum up the spirit of Gnosticism thus: extending over more than two centuries, it gathers up all the ideas that lingered about the period in order to form an outrageous Christianity, woven from Oriental religions and Greek mythology. But that this heresy was Christian we cannot doubt by a certain raucous resonance that runs through it. It is evil that obsessed the Gnostics. They are all pessimists regarding the world. It is with great ardor that they address a God whom they nevertheless make inaccessible. But Christianity draws from this emotion, incalculable in the face of the divinity, the idea of His omnipotence and of man’s nothingness. Gnosticism sees in knowledge a means of salvation. In that it is Greek, because it wants that which illuminates to restore at the same time. What it develops is a Greek theory of grace.

Historically, Gnosticism reveals to Christianity the path not to follow. It is because of its excesses that Tertullian and Tatian check Christianity in its march toward the Mediterranean. It is, to a certain extent, because of Gnosticism that Christian thought will take from the Greeks only their formulas and their structures of thought—not their sentimental postulates, which are neither reducible to Evangelical thought nor capable of being juxtaposed to it—but without the slightest coherence.

The excesses themselves make us better aware of the risk of being lost in details and nuances. Nevertheless, Christianity fought this undergrowth mercilessly. But it is harder to rid oneself of one’s false children than of one’s enemies. Parallel to these developments in Christian thought, Alexandrian metaphysics was crystalizing in this period in Neoplatonism, and the material that dogmatic Christianity will use is in the process of being developed. Thus is developing, in different directions, that second revelation, which was Augustinian doctrine." [Christian Metaphysics and Neoplatonism]

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Tue Nov 04, 2014 4:34 pm

Camus wrote:
IV - Neo-Platonism

"The Plotinian synthesis supplies Christian thought, not with a doctrine (as certain authors argue), but with a method and a way of seeing things. The desire for God is what animates Plotinus. But he is also a Greek, and very determined to remain so to the extent that he is content to be nothing more than Plato’s commentator. In vain, however. His World Soul is Stoic. His Intelligible world comes from Aristotle. And his synthesis retains a completely personal tone. He is concerned about the destiny of the soul;4 but following his master, he also wants destiny to be included in the intellectual forms. The whole fragrance of the Plotinian landscape is this: a certain tragedy in this attempt to cast emotion in the logical forms of Greek idealism. For, to see clearly, Plotinus himself proposed to create, without the assistance of Faith and with the resources of Greek philosophy alone, what ten centuries of Christianity have succeeded in creating with great difficulty.

This solution is the joining of the destiny of the soul and the rational knowledge of things. Here the solution is like it is in psycho-analysis: the diagnosis coincides with the treatment. To reveal is to know and to cure oneself, it is to restore one’s homeland. “The demonstrations [of the Good] themselves were a kind of leading up on our way.” To know is to worship in accordance with Reason. Science is a form of contemplation and inner meditation, not a construction. Plotinus’s rationalism is based on the intelligibility of the world— but with what endless flexibility. The principles or hypostases that underlie this intelligibility are valid only in a perpetual motion that leads them from cosmological explanation to the particular state of grace that each of them represents. In one sense they mark the order of a procession, in another sense they reveal the path of conversion. Plotinus’s philosophy is an artist’s point of view. If things are explained, it is because the things are beautiful. But Plotinus carries over into the intelligible world this extreme emo- tion that seizes the artist confronted with the beauty of the world. He admires the universe to the detriment of nature. “All that is here below comes from there [the intelligible world], and exists in greater beauty there.” It is not the appearance that Plotinus seeks but rather the inside of things, which is his lost paradise. Each thing here below is made a living reminder of this solitary homeland of the wise. This is why Plotinus describes intelligence in a sensual way.

But for a Christian, art does not suffice. The world unfolds according to a divine production; and to be restored is to be incorporated into the movement of this tragedy. The climax of the Incarnation has no meaning for Plotinus. This is an opposition that goes still further. For the Christian who separates Reason and Beauty, the Truth of Beauty, Reason is reduced to its role of logical legislator. And thus conflicts between Faith and Reason become possible. For a Greek, these conflicts are less acute, because Beauty, which is both order and sensitivity, economy and the object of passion, remains a ground of agreement. It is directed against the Gnostic Christians.

If the world is beautiful, it is because something lives in it. But it is also because something orders it. This spirit that animates the world is the World Soul. The superior principle that limits this life within determined structures is called Intelligence. But the unity of an order is always superior to that order. Thus there exists a third principle superior to Intelligence, which is the One. Let us argue this in an inverse direction. There is no being that is not one. That is to say, once more, that there is no being without soul, since logos is the necessary action of the soul. In the first meaning we have discovered three levels in the explanation of the world; in the second, three stages of deepening the Self. These two processes coincide. Metaphysical reality is spiritual life considered in itself. The first is the object of knowledge; the second, of inner asceticism. And where objects coincide, so too do methods. To know is to return somewhat to the “more inward than my most inward part.” Knowledge is not an experience, but an effort and a desire, in a word, a creative evolution.
One, Intelligence, and the World Soul express the same divinity, the first in its fullness, the other two as a reflection. The procession of the three hypostases shows how this unity and this multiplicity are reconciled. This hypostatic progression, which underlies the rational explanation of the world, naturally finds its equal in conversion, which is the very movement of the soul in search of its origins.

God himself, insofar as he is perfect substance and timeless, super-abounds. He creates Intelligence, and from Intelligence will arise the World Soul.

It is in this way that Intelligence and Soul both are and are not the One. They are the One in their origin and not in their outcome, in which they are divided, the one into duality, the other into multiplicity. “The One is all things and not a single one of them: it is the principle of all things, not all things, [but all things have that other kind of transcendent existence; for in a way they do occur in the One;] or rather they are not there yet, but they will be.”

We see here how the notion of procession is opposed to that of creation: the latter separating the heavens and the creator, the former unifying them in the same gentle movement of superabundance. But this divine emanation does not take form until Intelligence, descended from God, turns back toward him and receives his reflection, and until the Soul, in its turn, contemplates the intelligible sun and is illuminated by it. It is therefore through contemplation of the superior hypostasis that each principle is fully realized.

The One is simultaneously a rational principle of explanation and a desire of the soul. Plato says that the Good is the greatest of the sciences: by science he means, not the vision of the Good, but the reasoned knowledge that we had of it before this vision.

What educates us about the Good are analogies, negations, and knowledge of beings descended from it and their graduated ascent. But what leads us to it are our purifications, our virtues, and our inner order.

Thus one becomes a contemplator of oneself and other things, and at the same time, the object of one’s contemplation; and having become essence, intelligence, and animal together, one no longer sees the good from outside. At the very moment when we look at a star, it defines us and limits us to a certain extent. And to say that the One is the principle of all things is to say that contemplation is the sole reality.

The real question is this: Why has the One, which contains all reality contracted within itself, created, and above all how is this unity made a multiplicity?

“The One, perfect because it seeks nothing, has nothing, and needs nothing, overflows, as it were, and its superabundance makes something other than itself. This, when it has come into being, turns back upon the One and is filled, and becomes Intellect by looking toward it. Its halt and turning toward the One constitutes being, its gaze upon the One, Intellect. Since it halts and turns toward the One that it may see, it becomes at once Intellect and being.” The One, therefore, produces Intellect and being as fire gives off heat or a flower its fragrance. And it is as an object of contemplation that the One gives Intelligence the forms in which it is clothed. But how can we accept that this One is scattered throughout a multiplicity of intelligibles? Herein lies the true difficulty and the center of the Plotinian system.

How can the One both be and not be dispersed in multiplicity? As a tree is spread out among its branches without being found in them entirely, as light is dispersed in the rays it emits without, however, being gathered together in them, as fire gives off heat and communicates it by affinity, and finally, as a source is able to give birth to rivers that will run to a sea of different yet similar waters, this is how the One both is and is not dispersed in multiplicity.

Are the intelligibles different from Intelligence, or are they inwardly of a form that is common to both?

Plotinus’s solution is the notion of transparency. The intelligibles are within Intelligence, but their relations are not those that ordinary logic would accept. Like those diamonds that the same water covers, of which each flash is nourished by fires that also reflect on other surfaces, such that this infinitely repeated light is defined only by these fires but at the same time without being able to embody them, in this way Intelligence scatters its brilliance in the intelligibles that are in it, as it is in them, without one being able to say what it is of Intelligence that belongs to them and what of them belongs to it.

“All things there are transparent, and there is nothing dark or opaque; everything and all things are clear to the inmost part to everything; for light itself is transparent to light. Each there has everything in itself and sees all things in every other, so that all are everywhere and each and every one is all and the glory is unbounded . . . the sun there is all the stars, and each star is the sun and all others. A different kind of being stands out in each, but in each all are manifest . . . Here, however, one part would not come from another, and each would be only a part; but there each comes only from the whole and is part and whole at once.”

What stands out in these remarks is that Intelligence bears within it all the wealth of the intelligible world. To know, for Intelligence, is entirely in knowing itself—and through that, knowing the One.
In the ideal, Intelligence indicates a state in which the object is identified with the subject, in which pure thought is only thought of itself. It is by a progressive concentration, by diving into itself, that Intelligence takes hold of its inner wealth. And scattered in its intel- ligibles though being known as Intelligence, it is the ideal intermediary between the indefinable Good that we hope for and the Soul that breathes behind sensible appearances.

The Third Hypostasis. “It occupies a middle rank among realities, belonging to that divine part but being on the lowest edge of the intelligible, and, having a common boundary with the perceptible nature, gives something to it of what it has in itself and receives something from it in return, if it does not use only its safe part in governing the universe, but with greater eagerness plunges into the interior and does not stay whole with whole.”

This text explains clearly the first aspect of the soul, heir of the intelligible world in its superior part, and dipping its lower extremity into the sensible world. But at the same time the religious content of this conception appears, and we see how the soul, a metaphysical principle, could be equally able to serve as a basis for a theory of the fall or of original sin.

This World Soul defines all that lives, in the style of the Animal of the Stoic world. But at the same time, it is also the intelligible world and more and more divided and fragmented (as the latter marks already the dispersion of the One). It is therefore the intermediary between the sensible world and the intelligible world.

How, then, does Plotinus explain the differences between individual souls? “It is that they do not have the same relation to the intelligible. They are more or less opaque. And this lesser transparency, which renders them different on the path of the procession, organizes them into a hierarchy on the path of conversion. In this connection the explana- tion by contemplation forcefully intervenes."
“[It was said that all souls are all things, but each is differentiated according to that which is active in it: that is, by] one being united in actuality, one being in a state of knowledge, one in a state of desire, and in that different souls look at different things and are and become what they look at.”

Plunging into darkness little by little, these souls sink into matter. Here, finally, Plotinian thought is not definitive. For Plotinus, the cause of this fall of the soul is both audacity and blindness. The latter interpretation would seem more orthodox. The soul is reflected in matter, and taking this reflecting for itself, it descends to become united with it, when it should, on the contrary, elevate itself in order to return to its origins.The principle that regulates it is this: it is only by its inferior part that the human soul participates in the body. But there is always in it an intelligence directed toward the intelligible world. But constrained to pilot the weak body through the traps of sensible nature, it fails and forgets little by little its princely origin. From this principle follows the whole of Plotinus’s psychology. First, if the diversity of souls imitates that of the intelligible world, their function is purely cosmic, and psychology is still physics. Another immediate consequence is that all knowledge that is not intuitive and contemplative participates in the conditions of corporeal life; reasoned thought is only a weakening of intuitive thought. Conscience is an accident and an obsession. Nothing that constitutes it can belong to the superior part of the soul. Memory itself indicates an attachment to sensible forms. The soul, having arrived at the contemplation of intelligibles, will have no memory of its past lives. In this way, there appears a conception of the self, at first sight paradoxical, but very fertile: “There is no point by which it might be able to determine its limits, so as to say: up to that point it is me.” We see here the connection between this understanding of the soul and the doctrine of conversion. It is through meditation that the soul forgets practical necessities. By closing its eyes, the sight of Intelligence will be born in it. The desire for God will animate it. It will remount the scale of things and beings. And it will recover the procession through a movement of love—which is conversion.

It is in the Soul that is found the principle of conversion. The soul is the desire for God and a nostalgia for a lost homeland. Life without God is only a shadow of life. All beings are striving toward God on the ladder of Ideas and attempt to return to the course of the procession. Matter alone, that great indigent, that positive nothing, does not aspire to God, and in it resides the principle of evil: “It is only left for it to be potentially a sort of weak and dim phantasm: so it is actually a falsity: this is the same as that which is truly a falsity’; this is ‘what is really unreal.’” But, creator of mirages, it really exists only in the blindness of souls. The principle of conversion finds its source in the Soul and not in matter. But what is this principle? It is the desire for God.

Desire is in this way frustrated by the world. “So we must ‘fly from here’ and ‘separate’ ourselves from what has been added to us.” To desire is to love what is absent from us. It is to want to be and to want to be one, because to search for an identity is in a sense to be unified. Beauty itself does not suffice. Thus, virtue is no more than a state that one must pass through in order to reach God. And nothing is desirable except through the One that colors it. The Soul in its wild desire is not content even with Intelligence. “But when a kind of warmth from thence comes upon it, it gains its strength and wakes and is truly winged; and though it is moved with passion for that which lies close by it, yet all the same it rises higher, to something greater which it seems to remember. And as long as there is anything higher than that which is present to it, it naturally goes on upwards, lifted by the giver of its love. It rises above Intellect, but cannot run on above the Good, for there is nothing above. But if it remains in Intellect it sees fair and noble things, but has not yet quite grasped what it is seeking. It is as if it was in the presence of a face which is certainly beautiful, but cannot catch the eye because it has no grace playing upon its beauty.”

This desire of the Soul contaminates Intelligence. To know is still to desire. Intelligence lacks something, and this is its unity. There is in Intelligence an indigence in relation to itself and from which it suffers and stirs. Plotinian Intelligence is not mathematical Reason. It is through a return to and contemplation of the One that Intelligence receives its form. This march toward God is for it, therefore, fundamental. And the intelligible world as a whole moves toward the One.

But the great problem that conversion evokes is analogous to the one we have found in the notion of Procession. It is laid out entirely in one text of the Enneads: “That which is altogether without a share in the good would not ever seek the good.” That is to say: you would not look for me if you had not already found me. Or, in Plotinian terms: desire requires a certain immanence of that which is desired in that which desires. Will the One, then, be transcendent or immanent? This question is much debated, on the one hand by those partisans of Plotinus’s pantheism (Zeller), on the other hand, by those who see in the One a doctrine of transcendence (Caird). Without pretending to resolve the question, we can nonetheless attempt to pose it differently.

In our view, God is therefore immanent. Desire demands it. And furthermore, we carry within ourselves the three hypostases, since it is through inner meditation that we attain ecstasy and Union with the One. On the other hand, we cannot deny Plotinus’s God an unquestionable transcendence in relation to other beings. When he creates he is not completed but superabounds without being depleted. The whole error of all overly rigid interpretations of Plotinus is to place the One in space. Plotinus’s doctrine is an attempt at nonspatial thought. The One does not exist locally and that in a certain sense it is both transcendent and immanent to all things. All things considered, it is everywhere on the condition that it is nowhere, because what is bound nowhere has no place where it cannot be.

Ecstasy or Union with the One. In order to ascend to God, one must return to oneself. Carrying within itself the reflection of its origins, the soul must be immersed in God. From God to God, such is its journey; but it must be purified, that is to say, it must be cleansed of what is bound to the soul during generation. It must not cling to what is not the soul, but must return to that homeland, the memory of which occasionally colors our souls’ restlessness. The soul, to that end, is destroyed and allows itself to be absorbed into intelligence, which dominates it, and intelligence in its turn endeavors to disappear in order to leave only the One that illuminates it. This union, so complete and so rare, is ecstasy. But here it is up to inner meditation to take over, and Plotinus stops at this point in his journey. The analysis can go no further nor any deeper. This sentiment, so nuanced and so “full” of divinity, this exqui- site melancholy of certain Plotinian texts, leads us to the heart of the thought of its author. “Often I have woken up out of the body to my self and have entered into myself.”

The fervor with which Plotinus ascends toward God could delude us and tempt us to believe him more Christian than he was capable of being. His attitude toward the Gnostics, that is to say, regarding a certain form of Christian thought, and the more categorical position of his disciple Porphyry, will permit us, on the contrary, to judge prudently. It is in the ninth treatise of Ennead II that Plotinus writes against a Gnostic sect that has yet to be defined precisely. There he contrasts eloquently his own coherent and harmonious universe with the romantic universe of the Gnostics. He reproaches the Gnostics for despising the created world and for believing that a new world awaits them, for believing themselves to be children of God and for substituting for universal harmony a providence that will satisfy their egoism, for calling the most vile men brothers, even though they do not accord this name to the gods, and for having substituted for the virtue of wisdom the idea of an arbitrary salvation in which man has no part.

This treatise is actually entitled “Against those who say that the demiurge of the world is wicked and that the world is evil.”

It is therefore through his sense of the order and economy of the world that Plotinus feels himself wounded. “Then besides this, God in his providence cares for you; why does he neglect the whole universe in which you yourselves are? . . . But they have no need of him. But the universe does need him, and knows its station.” Dramatic climaxes, creation, this human and sensible god, all this is repugnant to Plotinus. But perhaps even more repugnant to him—to his aristocracy—is the unrealistic Christian humanitarianism: “Do the Gnostics think it right to call the lowest of men brothers, but refuse, in their ‘raving talk,’ to call the sun and the gods in the sky brothers and the soul of the universe sister?” It is, therefore, also ancient Greek naturalism that protests in Plotinus.

But it is very certain that all these objections are summed up in Greek wisdom’s revulsion regarding Christian “anarchy.” The theory of unmerited and irrational Salvation is at bottom the object of all the attacks of this treatise. This doctrine of salvation implies a certain disinterest regarding virtue in the Hellenic sense. To appeal to God, to believe in him and to love him, atones thoroughly for one’s errors. Plotinus has well understood to criticize precisely this point, and he did so with uncommon violence: “This, too, is evidence of their indifference to virtue, that they have never made any treatise about virtue . . . For it does no good at all to say ‘Look to God,’ unless one also teaches how one is to look. In reality it is virtue which goes before us to the good and, when it comes to exist in the soul along with wisdom, shows God; but God, if you talk about him without true virtue, is only a name.”

It must be well understood that it is a matter of Gnosticism and that these reproaches are addressed to a certain caricature of Christianity. But in the end, Plotinus is fighting far more an attitude toward the world than the details of doctrine.

What place must we attribute, therefore, to Neoplatonism between Hellenism and Christianity? Regarding the former, we have sufficiently demonstrated that the Enneads contain what is purely Hellenic. But something nevertheless made Plotinus a completely original figure. In Plato’s writings, myths of the destiny of the soul seem added and juxtaposed to properly rational explanations. In Plotinus, the two processes form one body, and neither can be excluded, since they conceal the same reality. This is the difference essential to understand and which distinguishes Plotinus in his epoch. It is a difference equally valuable with regard to Christianity, since, all the more, it is the rational aspect that is missing from Christian thought. Midway between two doctrines, Plotinus is clearly appointed to serve as intercessor. To tell the truth, what Neoplatonism has furnished Christianity with for its subsequent development is a method and a direction of thought.

It is actually according to the principle of participation that Christianity will resolve its great problems, that is to say, the problems of the Incarnation and the Trinity.

Consider Athanasius’s Defense of the Nicene Council, in which he cites Theognoste, head of the Catechetical School of Alexandria between 270 and 280 CE.98 “The essence of the Son is not procured from without, nor accruing out of nothing, but it sprang from the Father’s essence, as the radiance of light, as the vapour of water; for neither the radiance, nor the vapour, is the water itself or the sun itself, nor is it alien; but it is an effluence of the Father’s essence, which, however, suffers no partition. For as the sun remains the same, and is not impaired by the rays poured forth by it, so neither does the Father’s essence suffer any change, though it has the Son as an Image of Itself.”

These texts are significant and show us the nature of Neoplatonism’s influence concerning methods of resolution. It is therefore with good reason that we have taken Plotinus’s thought as the symbol of this influence. It has prepared and made more flexible formulas which, in the required time, were ready to be used by Christianity. Apart from that which is moving and original in itself, its role stops there. Too many things separate Saint Augustine and Plotinus." [Christian Metaphysics and Neoplatonism]

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Tue Nov 04, 2014 4:35 pm

Camus wrote:

V - The Second Revelation

The Neoplatonism of Saint Augustine:

"The celebrated passage of the Confessions on the “books of the Platonists” gives us a very clear account of the question. “I read . . . that at the Beginning of time the Word already was; and God had the Word abiding with him, and the Word was God . . . [and that] the Word, who is himself God, is the true Light, which enlightens every soul born into the world . . .
“But I did not read in them that the Word was made flesh and came to dwell among us . . . [and] they do not say that he dispossessed himself, and took on the nature of a slave, fashioned in the likeness of men, and presenting himself to us in human form; and then he lowered his own dignity, accepted an obedience that brought him to death.” Opposing Incarnation to Contemplation, Saint Augustine had clarified for the first time the oppositions and similarities between these two forms of thought.

On many points, Manichaeanism merely continued Gnosticism, but it promised demonstrations. This is what attracted Saint Augustine.

But the problem of evil obsessed him as well: “I was still trying to discover the origin of evil, and I could find no solution.” And he is haunted by the idea of death.

“[These were the thoughts which I turned over and over in my unhappy mind,] and my anxiety was all the more galling for the fear that death might come before I had found the truth.” Greek in his need for coherence, Christian in the anxieties of his sensitivity, for a long time he remained on the periphery of Christianity. It was both the allegorical method of Saint Ambrose and Neoplatonic thought that convinced Saint Augustine. But at the same time they did not persuade him. The conversion was delayed. From this it appeared to him that above all the solution was not in knowledge, that the way out of his doubts and his disgust for the flesh was not through intellectual escapism, but through a full awareness of his depravity and his misery. To love these possessions that carried him so low: grace would raise him high above them.

What Saint Augustine demanded beside faith was truth, and beside dogmas, metaphysics. And through Augustine, Christianity itself demanded it.  

Plotinus provides Saint Augustine with a doctrine of the intermediate word and, what is more, a solution to the problem of evil.

The hypostasized intelligence actually clarifies the destiny of Christ as the word of God. “We have learned from a divine source that the Son of God is none other than the Wisdom of God—and most certainly the Son of God is God...but what do you think the wisdom of God is if not truth. And indeed, it has been said: I am the truth” (De Beata Vita, ch. IV, no. 34, P.L.I. 32, col. 975). As for evil, Plotinianism teaches Augustine that it is tied to matter and that its reality is entirely negative (Conf. VII, 12, VIII, 13). And by this all Saint Augustine’s doubts seem to have vanished. But for all that, conversion did not come. There is this curiosity about the author of the Confessions, namely, that his experience remains the perpetual reference for his intellectual pursuits. Satisfied but unconvinced, he himself remarks that it is the Incarnation and its humility that Neoplatonism has been unable to offer to him. Only after having understood this did an outburst of tears and joy come to deliver him in the garden of his home. It was virtually a physical conversion, so total that Saint Augustine moves progressively toward renouncing all that was his life and to consecrating himself to God.

It is therefore this place, given to Christ and the Incarnation in Christianity’s originality, that one must note in Augustine. The figure of Jesus and the problem of Redemption will transfigure everything.

Neoplatonism maintains that evil is a privation and not a true reality. Saint Augustine agrees with this view. But still it is necessary to distinguish two types of evil: natural evil (the misery of our condition, the tragedy of human destinies) and moral evil, that is to say, Sin. God has given us the free will of Adam, but our will has acquired the desire to serve evil. And we are so profoundly corrupted that it is from God alone that comes all good use of free will. Left to himself, man would possess in himself only wickedness, falsehood, and sin: “No one has anything of his own except falsehood and sin.” It is God who restores him when he deigns to do so. This is why the virtues that reside in us only have meaning and value through God’s assistance, special and suited to our weakness; namely, through his grace. Saint Augustine lays great stress upon the vanity of virtue itself. First grace, then virtue; here we recognize an Evangelical theme.

Thus it is that pagan virtues are ineffectual. God has given them virtues in order to urge us to acquire them if we lack them, and to humble our pride if we possess them. Moreover, these natural virtues instead become vices when man glorifies himself through them. Pride is the sin of Satan. On the contrary, our only legitimate end is God. And the gift God makes of his grace is always the result of his generosity. This grace is free. Those who believe they can acquire it through good works take things the wrong way. Grace would not be free if it were possible to merit it. It is necessary to go even further. To believe in God is already to experience his grace. Faith begins with Grace. Of course, there is still no problem where there is only submission. Nevertheless, as is the rule in what concerns evil, this absolute dependence gives rise to great difficulties. Here divine grace is absolutely arbitrary: man must only have faith in God. How then can we speak of human freedom? But the difficulty is that our only freedom is precisely the freedom to do evil. Saint Augustine’s final word on this question, vital for a Christian, is an admission of ignorance. Divine arbitrariness remains intact.

The fierceness that Saint Augustine puts into his fight against Pelagianism will be explained if we summarize the latter’s thought. It is from his profound experience, from his acute awareness of the wickedness in man, that Saint Augustine was suffering.

A Breton monk, Pelagius feared at bottom a certain complacency in sin that can be drawn from the doctrine of predestination. A man of conscience rather than of ideas, these especially are his disciples: Celestius and Julian, who propagate his doctrines.

According to Pelagius, man had been created free. He can do good or evil as he pleases. This freedom is an emancipation from God. “Freedom of will, whereby a man was emancipated from God, consists of the ability to commit sin or refrain from sin.”

The loss of this freedom was for Saint Augustine a consequence of original sin. On the contrary, the Pelagians thought that Freedom, being governed entirely by the will, implies that man could, if he desired it, avoid sin. “I say that it is possible for a man to be without sin.”

But then the doctrine of original sin loses all significance. And the Pelagians reject this doctrine absolutely as leading to Manichean conclusions. If Adam has injured us, it is only through his poor example. We must not even accept the secondary consequences of the fall, like the loss of the soul’s immortality. According to Pelagius, Adam was born a mortal. Nothing of his error has been passed on to us. “New-born infants are in the same condition as Adam was before the fall.”

If we sin easily, it is because sin has become in us a second nature. As the Pelagians see it, and strictly speaking, grace is useless. But as always according to Pelagius, creation is already a form of grace. For all that, grace retains its usefulness not “in order to accomplish” but “in order to accomplish more easily [the works of God].” It is an aid, a recommendation with which God provides us. In a general way, it demonstrates confidence in man and rejects explanations by divine arbitrariness. It is also an act of faith in man’s nature and independence. But graver consequences followed from this. The fall denied, Redemption lost its meaning. Grace was a pardon and not a type of protection. Above all, this was to declare the independence of man in relation to God and to deny that constant need of the creator that is at the heart of the Christian religion.
Against this doctrine, Saint Augustine concluded his theories with a certain number of affirmations. Adam possessed immortality. He was free in that he had the “ability not to sin” and enjoyed already a certain divine grace. Original sin came to destroy that happy state.

Our nature is tainted, and without baptism, man is destined for damnation (according to John II, 54). Saint Augustine sees proof of this in the universal desolation of the world and in the misery of our condition, of which he paints a powerful picture.

But these are the secondary effects of original sin. Others more intimate and more irremediable will indicate the extent of our misfortune. First, we have lost the freedom of the “ability not to sin.”

We depend on divine grace. On the other hand, damnation is, in principle, universal. Humankind as a whole is doomed to the flames. Its only hope is divine mercy. From this, there follows another consequence: the damnation of unbaptized children.

Grace is then made more urgent. And we are dependent on this grace from three points of view: in order for us to preserve our tainted nature, in order to believe the truths of the supernatural order, and in order to make us act according to those truths. But this highest grace which is faith we do not merit by our works. However, we can merit, to a certain extent, that of beneficence. In all cases, what determines our entire fate is Predestination. And Saint Augustine constantly returns to the gratuity of this doctrine. The number of the chosen, just as that of the outcasts, is set once and for all and invariably. Only then does God consider our merits and demerits in order to determine the degree of our punishment.

We have grasped in reality what in Saint Augustine is specifically Christian. What he has drawn from the Platonic authors is a certain conception of the Word. But his role was to include Christ in this conception and from there to develop it into the Word made flesh of the fourth Gospel.

Plotinus actually arranges his hypostases in a hierarchy and affirms the distance that separates the One from Intelligence. Saint Augustine, in his account, started from God, not as the source of the other two essences, but as the only nature of the Trinity. “The one God is, of course, the Trinity, and as there is one God, so there is one creator.”

The three persons of the Trinity are therefore identical. From this there follow three fundamental consequences: the three persons have only one will and one operation. “They are supremely one without any difference of natures or of wills.” “It is therefore not the Word alone that has appeared on earth but the entire Trinity.” “In the Incarnation of the Son it is the whole Trinity that is united to the human body.”

It is thus that the Word is separated from Neoplatonic Intelligence.

The Flesh: The Word has already been made flesh, its body is real, earthly and born of a woman. This union of body and word is indestructible. Man and Christ are one, and this is the whole Christian mystery: “The fact that the Word became flesh does not imply that the Word withdrew and was destroyed on being clothed with flesh, but rather that flesh, to avoid destruction, drew near to the Word . . . The same One who is Man is God, and the same one who is God is Man, not by a confusion of nature but by unity of person.” What one must note here is that the Word in Saint Augustine is increasingly Plotinian, and it is increasingly separated from Neoplatonism to the extent that the union of this Word and this flesh becomes more miraculous. But everything is justified by one fact: Jesus’ incarnation. Augustinianism declares at each step the inadequacy of philosophy. The only intelligent reason is the one that is enlightened by faith. “True philosophy begins by an act of adherence to the supernatural order which will liberate the will from the flesh through grace, and thought from scepticism through revelation.” One could not emphasize this point too much.

The dialogue between Faith and Reason is placed, for the first time, in full view by Saint Augustine: this was the whole history of Christian evolution. There are two things in Augustinian faith: the adherence of the spirit to supernatural truths and the humble abandonment of man to the grace of Christ. One must believe, not that God exists, but in God.
“But you will probably ask to be given a plausible reason why, in being taught, you must begin with faith and not rather with reason.” Reason must be humbled: “The beatitudes begin with humility. ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit,’ that is to say, those not puffed-up, while the soul submits itself to divine authority.”

Thus we can grasp that the Alexandrian Word had served Christian thought without harming it. By understanding Saint Augustine, we can understand the entire course of Christianity’s evolution: to soften progressively Greek reason and to incorporate it into its own edifice, but in a sphere in which it is inoffensive.

In this sense, it is possible to consider Augustinianism as a second revelation, the revelation of a Christian metaphysic that follows the initial revelation of Evangelical faith. The miracle is that the two may not be contradictory.

Augustinianism marks both an end and a beginning. Here ends the evolution of primitive Christianity and begins the history of Christian doctrine.
The principle fact in its evolution is its break with Judaism and its entrance into the Greco-Roman world. From that moment on, the fusion begins. Prepared by Oriental religions, Mediterranean thought is inclined to be impregnated by this new civilization. Though Neoplatonism can be considered as the artisan of this fertilization, it is true that it too is born of this Greco-Oriental syncretism. The dogmatic formulas of Christianity are products of a combination of this syncretism and Evangelical faith’s own givens. Announced by Paul and John, elaborated by the Greeks, converted to Christianity, these formulas find their fullest expression in Augustinianism.

Christian thought had conquered through its universality." [Christian Metaphysics and Neoplatonism]

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Tue Dec 02, 2014 10:11 am

Quote :
"For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God [Exod XXXIV: 14].

For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God [Deut IV:24].

14. Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you.

15. (For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth [Deut VI].

Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Surely in the fire of my jealousy have I spoken against the residue of the heathen [Ezek XXXVI:5].

God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies [Nah 1:2].


To refuse to share, to coexist, to tolerate equivalence; these things are ruthlessly divine. In comparison to Jahweh, the God of the Christians is a wheedler; a door to door salesman. It is true, nevertheless, that the genocidal frenzy with which Jahweh asserts his monopoly can disconcert. Squeamishness is not a charge one can fairly bring against him:

1. When the Lord thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou;

2. And when the Lord thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them:

3. Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son’ [Deut VII].

16. But of the cities of these people, which the Lord thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth:

17. But thou shalt utterly destroy them; namely the Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee [Deut XX].

Jealousy is inextricable from paroxystic violence, historically rooted in national chauvinism, before being sublimed into the cosmological intolerance of a divinity. What does it matter who is instrument here? Whether God serves the annihilating designs of a tribe, or the tribe serves to purify the earth of alien gods? There is no antagonism at the origin, but rather a perfect pact between the election of the chosen people and the brutal solitude of the unnameable One.

What the Jews never understood about this God (the Christians understood it even less of course) was the sovereignty of this jealous wrath. How could these feverish rages be subordinated to an end beyond themselves, to a mere persistence, as if God—too—was subject to inhibition? A God that held himself in check, submitting the splenetic extravagance of his moods to the exigency of being, would be something far less glorious than the sun (he would be humbled by a mediocre star). Each creature uselessly dispensing with its existence would outstrip his prodigality, deepening by a ratchet-notch his hatred for himself.

Could such a God glimpsing the impossible sovereignty of his fury—time opening as a dark shaft of impersonal loss—and, howling in utter loathing at the servility of self, restrain from scurrying to a squalid death on the cross?" [Landa, The Thirst for Annihilation]

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Sat Dec 06, 2014 12:18 pm

'Drago Lord' (comment at alt-right-blogspot) wrote:
Well the Christian Right had a lot of power during the bush administration

All we got was a push for amnesty and two wars for Israel

And it is Israel that is important, because ultimately what Christians want is the world to end and Jesus to come. They are radically incompatible with our ideology, which actually cares about earthly concerns and the future

Beyond that, I fail to see how Leftism is not the natural evolution of Christianity

Aren't leftists but Christian True Believers, reading the Gospel Morality in the most literal interpretation? Loving their enemies, hating their family, glorifying the poor, damning the rich?

Leftism developed when literacy rates grew and people actually could read the Gospel. The real nature of Christianity has been out of the bag ever since, and unless you ban people from reading the Gospel it won't change

The Pope wants Europe to abolish its border because it is what Jesus would want, Lutheran Churches import somalians because that is what Jesus would want: for the meek and degenerate to take the land away from the strong, healthy and superior

Do we want to create a christian society, with the same values, just to repeat the same process?

Emphasized part marked by me.
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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Sun Dec 07, 2014 5:44 pm

Following from Camus' description above of Plotinus,, these images should make it even more clear.

The Plotinian "Overflow" of the "Prime-Mover":


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