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Lyssa
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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Thu Dec 11, 2014 5:40 am

McEvilley's comparative reading of Plotinus, from 'Shape of Ancient Thought':


Quote :
"According to Bhaskara's successor, Yadava Prakasa, the relationship between the One and the Many is bhedabheda "difference/nondifference". The absolute by exercizing its own potential energy (sakti), transforms itself into the world, while yet remaining itself. Plotinus had it figured out similarly: By its dynamis - a term as close as Greek gets to sakti - the One spontaneously radiates the Many. Ramanuja, around 1100 A.D., synthesized the tradition: The power of the One proceeds from it without truly becoming separate from it, as moonbeams proceed from the moon, and constitutes the manifest universe, which is both different from the One and not different from it. Plotinus' own doctrine was more like those of Ramanuja or Bhaskara than like that of Sankara. "Nothing is separate", he said, "which originates from the One - but nothing is identical with it either." (Ennead, 6.3.12)"

Quote :
"Ramanuja, Madhva, and other Vedantins taught that the One transforms only a part of itself into the phenomenal world, another part remaining transcendent . Plotinus duplicates this structure of Vedantic thought, in the concept of the World Soul, which has a lower immanent aspect and a higher transcendent aspect.
In other passages both Plotinus and the Upanisadic-Vedantic authors shift from the imagery of pantheism to that of omnipresence. As the Svetasvatara Upanishad called brahman "the one embracer of everything" (4.14), so Plotinus says "everything is fully held by the divine" (Enn., 5.5.9)

"We cannot think of something of god here and something else there, nor of all god gathered at some one spot: there is an instantaneous presence everywhere. (Enn., 5.5.9)

"The divine nature is infinite. Therefore it is not limited. That means that it is never absent; it is present in all things... Conceive it as a power of an everfresh infinity, a principle unfailing, inexhaustible, at no point giving out, brimming over with its own vitality... You cannot pass onto where it is not yet; you will never halt at a dwindling point where it fails at last and can no longer give; you will always be able to move with it - better, to be in its entirety - and so seek no further. (ib., 6.6.12)"

The Upanisadic authors and Plotinus were both at pains to unite these two approaches to the One, and both did so by expressions of bipolar contradictions. "It is far and it is near; it is within all this and it is also outside all this:, says the Isa Upanishad (5). The Brahma Sutra declares "that the individual self is different... from Brahman but at the same time not different" (2.3.43), that the world of the Many is a part of brahman (2.3.43), yet the brahman has no parts (2.1.26). And Plotinus: "The One is all things and none of them" (Enn., 6.2.1). "It can be none of existing things - yet it is all" (6.7.32). "It is both present and absent" (5.5.9)."

Quote :
"The Katha Upanishad presents it as the absolute contradiction of all that is ordinarily regarded as knowledge. "When the five (sense) knowledges together with the mind cease (from their normal activities) and the intellect itself does not stir, that, they say, is the highest state (II.3.10)."
...Again, both agree that this condition cannot be willed to happen. "We must not run after it", says Plotinus, "but fit ourselves for the vision and then wait tranquilly for its appearance" (V.5.8 ). And the Katha Upanishad: "This self cannot be attained by instruction, nor by intellectual power, nor even through much hearing. He is to be attained only by the one whom the (self) chooses" (I.2.23). In a locution that shows how close are the Orphic and the Upanishadic discourses, Plotinus defines "acquiring identity with the Divine" as "awakening into myself" (IV.8.6)."

Quote :
"The type of knowledge in which subject and object are one is the "thought that thinks itself" that Aristotle attributed to the Prime Mover, and Plotinus calls such knowing "primal intellection". When the mind cognizes something external to it the act "cannot be the primally intellective since it does not possess the object as integrally its own or as itself - the condition of true intellection (VI.6.1)." He calls primal knowing "a unity in duality... being dual by the fact of intellection and single by the fact that its intellectual object is itself (VI.6.1.). This primal act of knowing, in other words, is simply an ultimate self-awareness.
...This nondual knowledge is so primal that every sentient being is regarded as already permeated with it at a level so basic and personal that one cannot even see it. "It does not have to come and so be present to you", says Plotinus, "it is you that have turned from it (VI.6.12). And Sankara: "It only removes the false notion, it does not create anything" (Commentary on the Brihad Up. I.4.10)."


Quote :
"In that you have entered into the All, no longer content with the part, you cease to think of yourself as under limit but, laying all such determination aside, you become an All. No doubt you were always that, but there has been an addition, and by the addition you are diminished; for the addition was not from the realm of Being - you can add nothing to Being - but from non-Being. It is not by some admixture of non-Being that one becomes an entire, but by putting non-Being away By the lessening of the alien in you, you increase. Cast it aside and there os the All within you; engaged in the alien, you will not find the All. Not that it has to come and so be present to you; it is you that have turned from it. And turn though you may, you have not severed yourself; it is there; you are not in some far region; still there before it, you have looked the other way." [Ennead, VI.6.12]


Quote :
"Plotinus does not call the subjective awareness of the One a noesis, or act of knowing with subject and object, but an epibole, literally a kind of hurling oneself upon the object, an immediate intuition without self-discrimination (V1.7.38-39). Sometimes he calls it a "pre-knowing" (pronoousa) (VI.3.10). He notes that he is speaking loosely when he says, "The One, as it were, made itself by an act of looking at itself. This act of looking at itself is, in effect, its being" (VI.8.16). A little later in the same passage he calls the One "a wakefulness and an eternal superknowledge. The universe is consciousness, or mental activity, at different levels of intensity, from the extremely vague and inert consciousness of stones and vegetables up to the highest contemplation, that of oneness with the One. Consciousness is being. The act of contemplation makes what it contemplates."


Quote :
"Plotinus repeatedly speaks in terms that suggest Indian and Tibetan meditation practices. The most striking passage is this:
'Let us, then, make a mental picture of our universe; each member shall remain wat is, distinctly apart; yet all is to form, as far as possible, a complete unity so that whatever comesinto view, say the outer orb of the heavens, shall bring immediately with it the vision, on the one plane, of the sun and of all the stars, with earth and sea and all living things as if exhibited upon a transparent globe.
Bring this vision actually before your sight, so that there shall be in your mind the gleaming representation of a sphere, a picture holding all the things of the universe moving or in repose or (as in reality) some at rest, some in motion. Keep this sphere before you, and from it imagine another, a sphere stripped of magnitude and of spatial differences; cast out your inborn sense of Matter, taking care not merely to attentuate it: call on God, maker of the sphere whose image you now hold, and pray Him to enter. And may He come bringing His own Universe with all the gods that dwell with in it - He who is the one God and all the gods, where each is all, blending into a unity, distinct in powers but all one god in virtue of that one divine power of many facets. (Enn. V.8.9)'
Plotinus's instruction to his students has almost exact parallels in tantric practices, where "the characteristic... method of meditation is visualization". The tantric aspirant is instructed to work on the detailed and clear visualization of a mandala, a "magic circle" which is "above all, a map of the cosmos". ...Despite the denials by some, there is evidence suggesting formal meditational practice in Plotinus's school, directed by Plotinus himself, perhaps as part of his instructions in theoria, literally "seeing"."

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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 Thu Dec 11, 2014 5:47 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 Sun Jan 18, 2015 7:01 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Sun Jan 18, 2015 7:05 pm

Drury wrote:
"In an age that is disenchanted with science and technology but is hungry for authority, we long for the towering moral authority of the Church. Without realizing it, we long for a romanticized version of the Middle Ages. We long for a world in which the Church represented a transcendent moral order to which the state was subject. We long for a day when the Church provided a moral compass that sets limits on the power and iniquity of the state. We long for a time when submitting to the authority of the Church was proof that the state is legitimate—that it is more than the incarnation of force and fraud. We dream of a Church that can curb the immorality of society. We imagine a Church that can play the role of an international umpire, upholding justice and settling disputes between secular powers.


The Christian conception of virtue as an inner disposition of soul cannot infiltrate politics without making the latter totalitarian in the literal sense of the word. Christianity is not satisfied with outward conformity; it demands heartfelt convictions; it is not limited to the public realm but pervades every aspect of life—worship, belief, educa- tion, entertainment, business, family, and intimate relations. But law and politics can only require outward conformity. They cannot demand particular sentiments. They cannot command the heart. And when they try to, they become monstrous. Unfortunately, the conception of virtue as an inner disposition of the heart is irresistible to society. Society is rarely satisfied with people who behave decently as upright and honor- able citizens. Society insists on changing attitudes—it insists on partic- ular beliefs, sentiments, and dispositions. In that sense, society is by nature totalitarian.

The Christian idea that you must believe in order to be saved is one of the problems: “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36).
This conflict between human nature and morality is at the root of the Western assumption that terror––spiritual, political, and psychological––is at the heart of the civilizing process. The assumption is that to be civilized, man must be spiritually terrified, politically oppressed, or psychologically brutalized.

Wittingly or unwittingly, the ethic of love has contributed to the development of an inner state of siege—a psychology of terror—that accounts for the psychic neurosis of the West.

Christianity has bequeathed to Western civilization a conception of morality as a repressive internal policeman. Not only is this policeman concerned with monitoring our actions, but also our thoughts. The result is a pathological augmentation of guilt that Freud associates with neurosis. In other words, the Christian sensibility has created a psychic state of siege that is best described as the neurosis of the West. Far from undermining Christian morality with his signature brand of rational secularism, Freud lends it scientific authority and makes it as influential in the modern secular world as it was in the Dark Ages. Nor does he deny his intellectual debt to Christianity. On the contrary, he declares Christianity to be true—historically and psychologically speaking. Far from rejecting original sin as preposterous, chimerical, and unfounded, Freud provides it with a historical and psychological justification. Freud replaces the war between the flesh and the Spirit with the struggle between the id and the superego. Just as the Spirit is the alien voice of God, the superego is the alien voice of society. But the assumption is still the same—namely, that there is a conflict between human nature on one hand and the moral law on the other. No one articulated this thesis more clearly or more systematically than Freud.

What passes for late modernity or postmodernity is not so much a departure from fundamental Christian assumptions, but their continuation in a new guise." [Terror and Civilization]
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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Sun Jan 18, 2015 7:14 pm

Drury wrote:
"At the heart of the matter is the assumption that there is a conflict between human instincts and morality—human nature and civilization. By nature man is a wild and dangerous animal. Terror and brutality are necessary to civilize him and make him fit for society. The assumption is that the civilizing process is a process by which man is tamed, despoiled, and domesticated. In other words, terror and civilization are intimately linked because terror is the key to the civilizing process. This is the view that I intend to challenge.

The view that I am challenging is the view that conscience is an alien, hostile, and repressive force—the internalization of terror—the terror of civilization. I believe that this thesis leads to erroneous (but enduring) assumptions about the relation between human nature and civilization. Moreover, it seriously misconstrues the connection between terror and civilization.

Freud explains that the task of civilization is to render the aggressive instincts of the individual innocuous; otherwise, social life and the life of the individual are threatened. The strategy is as follows:

His aggressiveness is interjected, internalized; it is, in point of fact, sent back to where it came from—that is, it is directed towards his own ego. There it is taken over by a portion of the ego, which sets itself over against the rest of the ego as the super-ego, and which now, in the form of “conscience,” is ready to put into action against the ego the same harsh aggressiveness that the ego would have liked to satisfy upon other, extra- neous individuals. The tension between the harsh super-ego and the ego that is subjected to it is called by us the sense of guilt; it expresses itself as a need for punishment. Civilization, therefore, obtains mastery over the individual’s dangerous desire for aggression by weakening and disarming it and by setting an agency within him to watch over it, like a garrison in a conquered city.

Conscience is a garrison within—the military metaphor underscores the violence involved. For Freud, civilization is an all-out war against the instincts. This psychological form of terror is far greater and considerably more effective than any threat of physical torment. Indeed, it is so successful that it punishes the individual not only for her misdeeds but also for her thoughts and wishes:

"the distinction, . . . between doing something bad and wishing to do it disappears entirely, since nothing can be hidden from the super-ego, not even thoughts."

Conscience succeeds where punishment fails. However, the success of civilization is purchased at a price—a staggering price for the human psyche and its instincts. For conscience is not satisfied merely with the renunciation of the illicit desires, it demands that they no longer be desired. The forbidden thoughts, feelings, and desires must be banished. Con- science demands thought-control and censorship. Freud’s conception of conscience has for its model the morality of Jesus. Like Jesus, Freud does not confine sin to actions. Conscience finds us culpable not only for our wrongdoing, but also for our thoughts, impulses, dreams, and fantasies.

From Christianity to Freud, this view of civilization invites the same questions. What evidence is there that human nature and the moral law are antithetical? What evidence is there that civilization and the instincts are indeed deadly enemies?

It is my contention that the war of civilization against the instincts is the invention of Freud. But he did not invent it single-handedly; he inherited it from the Christian civilization that shaped him. In what follows, I will make arguments against the view that civilization is built on the backs of the instincts, that human nature and civilization are profoundly antithetical, and that only spiritual, political, or psychological terror can civilize humanity.

Why not abandon the negative view of civilization altogether? Why not see civilization as presenting us with something appealing that we love, and are willing to serve with devotion and even self-sacrifice. Why not affirm a genuine positivity or a true good? Conscience may not be a garrison within; it may be a self-imposed restraint that admonishes and even torments, because men and women cannot stand to live haplessly without purpose, without ideals, and without discipline. Civilization offers us a way of life that is as arduous as it is enchanting.

Far from subverting human inclinations, civilization succeeds so well because it goes with the grain—not against the grain. And that is why there is no reason to marvel at its astounding success. Civilization cannot succeed against all odds. It succeeds because it answers a deep need for discipline, a need to give life structure and meaning, a need to be admired, and to admire oneself. Civilization succeeds not because it is contrary to nature, but precisely because it appeals to certain funda- mental aspects of our nature. In particular, it allows us to indulge our penchant for grand ideals, and to pursue these ideals without mercy and without restraint. Civilization provides us with the opportunity to live large; it provides us with grand visions or grand narratives that give significance to our lives.

Civilization makes it possible to conquer and colonize in the name of our ideals. But in so doing, it makes human beings more dangerous animals than need be. When we find a grand ideal to give significance to our lives, we are eager to share it with the world; and if the world is unwilling to receive it, we are ready to impose it on a recalcitrant and ignorant multitude. And if threatened by a competing ideal, we are ready to defend our ideals to the death.

I have no intention of substituting the belief in the depravity of human nature with faith in its inherent goodness. I have no intention of denying that terror and civilization are intimately linked. My claim is that the connection between them has been seriously misconstrued. In my view, human beings are not attracted to evil; they aspire to be part of something resplendent; they need to order their lives according to some grand ideals, some difficult principles, or some arduous rules; and this is why civilization must be understood as a search for ideals. It is not for love of evil or even love of self that human beings do wrong. The worst atrocities have their source in the zealous pursuit of a sublime ideal that is believed to be so majestic, so magnificent, and so grand, that it is worthy of every sacrifice, every hardship, and every abomination.

Civilization makes it possible to do things collectively; it makes it possible to act together in concert and with conviction. Such collective action may contribute to our well-being and our development but it also allows us to indulge in abominations that transcend the abilities or incli- nations of primitive man. In particular, civilization provides the tools to fight, not just for survival, but also for the triumph of our ideals. In short, what makes us civilized is also what makes us terrible.

The problem is that Freud has misunderstood the nature of the danger involved. It is not a question of the revolt of the instincts; it is not the animal that we should fear; it is not the beast within that poses the danger; it is the civilized man. Civilization co-opts us into its schemes by allowing us to indulge our penchant for grand ideals. It allows us to colonize and conquer in the name of these ideals. Civilization arms us with weapons and with a clear conscience. Only civilized men have the technological as well as the psychological equipment to launch deadly and destructive wars of unimaginable cruelty and terror. Only the conviction that we are conquering in the name of something sublime and splendid allows us to ignore the barbarous ferocity of our conduct.

Freud naïvely allies civilization with pacifism and the savage instincts with war. In his exchange with Einstein on war, Freud interprets war as the revolt of the instincts against the repressions of civilization. But this dualism between civilization and the savage instincts is fallacious. There is nothing pacifistic about civilization.

In conclusion, the assumption that human nature and civilization are at odds, and that human beings must therefore be terrorized spiritually, politically, or psychologically in order to be civilized, has very dire consequences. It leads to a fallacious understanding of the relation of terror and civilization. It assumes that terror and civilization are opposites. It assumes that civilization represents the right, the just, and the good. It assumes that the function of civilization is to subdue nature in general and the diabolical nature of man in particular. By exaggerating the evil of human nature, it justifies the endless terrors of civilization. But worst of all, it has the effect of mistaking all self-restraint and self-government for repression. This attitude incites a Promethean revolt—not only against God but also against morality itself.

The assumption is that transgression liberates whatever it is that has been mercilessly repressed by the prohibitions of civilization.

In conclusion, biblical morality unwittingly leads to a Promethean revolt and its attendant valorization of evil. When the moral life is reduced to submissive, blind, uncomprehending obedience, evil becomes a heroic defiance. And for all its talk about liberating humanity from the yoke of the Mosaic Law, Christianity has imposed an even harsher law that is not satisfied with restraining the hand, but insists on commanding the mind. The result is that the moral life came to be understood as an inner state of siege, the war of the Spirit against the flesh, the aggressive instincts turned inward, and a garrison in a conquered city. This understanding of morality invites a Promethean revolt against God, morality, and conscience—a revolt against the forces of oppression. This triumph over conscience is naturally understood as a heroic revolt in the name of the natural, wild, original self, which has been domesticated and despoiled by civilization. This is not a romanticization of nature; this is not a rejection of the assumption that human nature is depraved. On the contrary, it is a valorization of nature in all its depravity. Human nature is not as depraved as Christianity would have it, and civilization is not as oppressive as Freud and his cohorts believe. Far from thwarting our nature, civilization offers us just what we long for—but that is precisely the trouble." [Terror and Civilization]
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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Wed May 20, 2015 6:42 pm

A very "interesting" blog:

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Wed May 20, 2015 6:53 pm

perpetualburn wrote:
A very "interesting" blog:

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If I recall accurately, he runs the Rudolf Steiner Archive:
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He's a bit chaotic and prattled, which is usually the decree among Anthroposophists.
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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Wed Oct 14, 2015 6:45 am

Grace in J.-Xt.

Quote :
"Christianity cannot sever its relationship to Judaism for the simple reason that Judaism is an integral element in the language games that comprise Christianity. If one understands that essences don’t stand beyond language, then to read Paul’s assertion that ‘Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, but we proclaim Christ cruciWed, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God’ (1 Cor. 1: 20–4) is to realize that he is doing more than comparing and contrasting a distinct, monad-like essence with two others. On the contrary, through the use of contrast, he is literally creating the very essence of Christianity. As Jaroslav Pelikan put it, ‘The very boldness of Paul in attacking the authority of the Old Testament law was predicated on a continuity with the Old Testament and on the identity between the God of the law and the God preached in Christ’ (1971: 110).

Thus to examine the Hebrew roots of grace is not to ignore the novelty of the Christian concept or to denigrate its predecessor and companion in religion, but rather to give the Christian concept its full, which is to say its relational, signiWcance. For as Otto Pesch notes, ‘Even the New Testament, when it proclaims the grace of God in Jesus Christ, speaks of the grace of God to Israel’ (1983: 77).

The Hebraic roots of grace seem both straightforwardly concrete and personalist, not surprising when one remembers that Judaism begins as an indigenous religion and as such Wrst viewed the divine as that which bestows blessings in this life and not in some future, occult afterlife. In the earliest strata of the Hebrew scriptures, grace is primarily the Creator’s bestowal of life itself. It includes ‘length of days’ (Pss. 21 and 119) and ‘good days’ (Ps. 34: 13). A graced life is bound up with peace and joy, good fortune, health, descendants, the fruitfulness of the land, and especially the gift of the promised land (Auer and Ratzinger 1970: 162).

‘One Hebrew word which will clearly inXuence the Christian Scriptures is hanan. The (hnn) of hanan means to be gracious, to have mercy on someone. This good will is embodied in action. Grace (hanan) is a kindness expressed in a gift.’ Of the sixty-eight times it is used in the Hebrew scriptures, it is combined forty-one times with the expression ‘to Wnd favor in the eyes of . . .’ (Pesch 1983: 77). (Cf. Gen. 6: 8; Exod. 33: 12, 16.)

Cornelius Ernst suggests that this good will is embodied in a certain commonality of feeling between God and the human person. ‘We may take as an example here the wonderful passage, Ex. 33: 12–23, with its association of the themes of favor and mercy, God’s sovereign elective purpose, the mutual knowledge by personal name of God and his people, God’s face and presence and the hidden transcendence of his glory’ (1974: 16). The pericope so viviWes the Hebrew conception of grace that it bears quoting in its entirety;

Moses said to the Lord, ‘See, you have said to me, ‘‘Bring up this people;’’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. Yet you have said, ‘‘I know you by name, and you have also found favor in my sight.’’ Now if I have found favor in your sight, show me your ways, so that I may know you and Wnd favor in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people.’ He said, ‘My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.’ And he said to him, ‘If your presence will not go, do not carry us up from here. For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people, unless you go with us? In this way, we shall be distinct, I and your people, from every people on the face of the earth.’ The Lord said to Moses, ‘I will do the very thing that you have asked; for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name.’ Moses said, ‘Show me your glory, I pray.’ And he said, ‘I will make all my goodness pass before you, and will proclaim before you the name, ‘‘The Lord’’; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. But,’ he said, ‘you cannot see my face; for no one shall see me and live.’ And the Lord continued, ‘See, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock; and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by; then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back; but my face shall not be seen.’

Note the lack of divine antinomy. ‘There is for the Hebrew no dualism between an interior disposition of benevolence and the outward gifts of grace’ (DuVy 1993: 18). We know who God is by what God does in history, within our world, which is why the evidence from the most primitive strata of Israel’s faith shows attention concentrated upon the blessings that Israel’s God oVered a nomadic people. Only much later, after sustained contact with other peoples, does Israel develop a proper theology of creation (Flick and Alszeghy 1982: 23) ‘Moreover, it is clear that creation is not the theme the Bible most frequently addresses. In the Old Testament the determinative religious experience is the cov- enant of God with his people, his special relationship with Israel’ (Ladaria 1983: 1).

Note also that grace, seen from the viewpoint of the person bestowing, is not so much an object as an act. What God gives is more than any singular object; God gives the self in the form of personal benevolence, which is itself revealed in the giving. The same is conversely true for the receiver: grace is not an entity received but rather an act of perception, the comprehension that God is present and acting benevolently.

The second Hebrew word closely associated with hanan is hesed, which the Septuagint will translate as eleos, mercy. It occurs some 250 times. ‘The experts diVer about the origin of the root, some referring it to the ‘‘kindly’’ temper of those of the same kin, and some to the Semitic root meaning ‘‘desire’’ ’ (Smith 1956: 10). Its Hebrew origins suggest ‘a love transcending duty, a love unmerited and overXowing in abundance’ (DuVy 1993: 23). When used of God, hesed typically, though not exclusively, is linked to the concept of covenant.

In his treatment of the Hebraic roots of grace, Johann Auer situates both hanan and hesed in the broader constellation of election. The Hebrew perceived God to be gracious, because God had manifested a predilection, Wrst in the call of Abraham and subsequently in the Mosaic Covenant (1970: 162). Hanan and hesed are thus intrinsically relational concepts. One only knows the self or, in this case, the people to be chosen for the graciousness and mercy of God when one juxtaposes this favor to what has not been extended beyond the object of election. Likewise, God also appears gracious when his Wdelity is juxtaposed to the sinfulness of his people (Pss. 6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, 143).

Religions of revelation—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—view themselves as the result of a divine intrusion into human history. This means that the very concept of revelation is fundamentally linked to that of grace, of elective favor. It is a predilection or favoring on the part of God that distinguishes the recipients of revelation from those who have not received it. Granted that religions of revelation view them- selves as vehicles that ultimately serve the universal benevolence of God (and this is what gives impetus to the spread of the religions), they nonetheless begin with the claim, or the recognition, that God has acted preferentially in one place, and at one time, for a single, recipient group. ‘Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: ‘‘May they prosper who love you. Peace be within your walls, and security within your towers.’’ For the sake of my relatives and friends I will say, ‘‘Peace be within you.’’ For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek your good’ (Ps. 122: 8–9). All revealed religions view their adherents as graced, or favored by God, even if the purpose of this favoring ultimately is a more universal election of humanity at large. ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples’ (Isa. 56: 7). (Cf. Gen. 12: 3; Isa. 42: 4, 43: 9–12, 45: 14 V., 51: 4 V., 55: 5, and 66: 18 V.)

For Judaism, the Exodus event manifests the concept of election and stands as its ultimate foundation: God has acted on behalf of the people. Indeed God’s gratuitous action literally forms them as a people. Within the Hebrew scriptures, predilection remains consti- tutive of its worldview. Moses, not Aaron, is chosen to lead his people from slavery; David, not his brothers and not Saul, is God’s choice for king. Esther alone can save her people.

In like manner, prophecy in ancient Israel Wnds its origins in an existentially experienced call, a manifestation of predilection. The election is a unique and unrepeatable experience for the individual prophet. Sometimes this is explicit in the message, ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations’ (Jer. 1: 5). At all times, the prophet must acknowledge that he has been the recipient of a revelatory word, and hence a favoring, from God (Ezek. 1: 1; Isa. 1: 1).

Remember that in the Hebrew scriptures, as Gerhard von Rad insisted, the word of God, dabar, is never representational. ‘This noetic function of the word, the conception of it as bearing and conveying an intellectual idea, is . . . far from covering the meaning which language had for ancient peoples’ (1965: 80). It stands for nothing beyond itself, because it is always active, accomplishing whatever it expresses (1965: 80–98). ‘By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and all their host by the breath of his mouth. He gathered the waters of the sea as in a bottle; he put the deeps in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood Wrm’ (Ps. 33: 6–9). Thus simply to have received the word of God is to be recipient of God’s active favoring. The indigenous person ‘makes no distinction between spiritual and material—the two are intertwined in the closest possible way; and in consequence he is also unable properly to diVerentiate between the word and object, idea and actuality. Such thought is thus character- ized by an inherent absence of diVerentiation between the ideal and the real, or between word and object; these coalesce as if both stood on one plane of being’ (von Rad 1965: 80–1). To have received God’s word is not simply to be the bearer of a message. Far from it! Rather, one becomes a recipient of the very life and favor of God. ‘So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it’ (Isa. 55: 11).

Islam likewise understands itself as the recipient of Allah’s Wnal, and Wnally direct, revelation to the Prophet Muhammad. Granted that this revelation comes, because of the transcendence of God, through the mediation of the Angel Gabriel, by ‘direct’ I mean that, for the believer, the revelation that is the Qur’a ̄n is the immediate word of God and not a message that must be discerned through contemplation upon the events that produced the revelation, nor is it one that must be distilled from its human elements. ‘They say: Accept the Jewish or Christian faith and you shall be rightly guided . . . Reply: We believe in God and that which was revealed to us; in what was revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and the tribes; to Moses and Jesus and the other prophets by their Lord. We make no distinc- tion among any of them and to God we have surrendered ourselves’ (Qur’a ̄n 2: 135). A Muslim is one who submits to God, whose will has been made manifest in the Qur’a ̄n.

The Western religions of revelation share another foundational concept that must not be overlooked in any consideration of grace: creation. In these religions, the world is not co-eternal with God. It is not a primeval chaos out of which God fashions a cosmos. On the contrary, the doctrine of the creation alters the prerevelatory understanding of the world’s relationship to God. The world of the revealed religions is a free act on the part of a gracious God.1 It cannot properly be called nature, which suggests an essentially static and ordered skein that requires no explanation beyond itself.

The created world of the revealed religions reveals itself as the Weld and foundation of what would come to be known as history, the place where the divine and the human would engage in the dramas of election, call, and response. David Burrell is helpful here in contrasting the revealed revelations’ desire to question the meaning of existence with worldviews that simply presume upon it: ‘To refer to existence as an act bespeaks its intelligibility. And only a Creator can assure that what presents itself to us as mere fact enjoys a meaning, an intelligible structure’ (1973: 201). Genesis thus acts as a heuristic agent in the question for existential intelligibility.

The drama of history reveals yet another foundational feature of Western, revelatory thought. At the very least, God and humanity share fellowship, one which will play out in the course of history, because, however diVerently and distinctly, both God and the human being are persons, and to be a person is to be fundamentally ordered toward fellowship (Smith 1956: 189). We employ the very word ‘person’ to indicate those elements within the world that can dia- logue with each other, can enter into fellowship.

In his classic Freedom, Grace, and Destiny Romano Guardini identiWed the fulcrum upon which the religions of revelation move the world itself from the realm of nature, an eternal, timeless, and static cosmos, to a Weld of historical decision, the theater of truly cosmic drama.

Revelation teaches that God created the world out of nothing by His sovereign will. This implies that the world did not have to exist. That is conWrmed by the sense of obligation which a man has—as one of his basic, existential experiences—of giving thanks for what he has and what happens to him, even for his existence and life or of protesting against what man is and even against his very existence. This gratitude and protest are not directed against this or the other happy or unhappy detail but against existence in itself. Such reactions could not arise if the world were necessary. No amount of lyrical or pseudo-religious talk can obscure this. We can never give thanks for what has to happen and we can just as little protest against it, quite apart from the fact that we would be equally bound by the necessity. The whole of a man’s perception and reaction would be part of the universal necessity: an attitude of gratitude or protest would be as unthinkable on his part as on that of an animal. (1961: 119)

The world itself as grace, as an act of grace and as a place of encounter with grace, remains a crucial consideration later in this essay, when the metaphysical implications of grace are considered. For now, allow it to stand as a foundational perspective of the revealed religions. The world for these religions need not exist. That it does, reveals a fundamental attitude toward us, namely the benevolence of a creator. As we saw in Wittgenstein’s Tractarian work, contingency itself is revelatory.

Christianity understands itself as both the proclamation and the prolongation of God’s radical entrance into history in the Incarnation of the Son of God. ‘With all wisdom and insight he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth’ (Eph. 1: 8–10). The Christian proclamation of the Kingdom of God’s outbreak begins in the consciousness of the historical Jesus himself, who viewed his own person and activity as God’s uniquely unrepeatable oVer of self.

Cornelius Ernst is surely correct in arguing that other New Testa- ment notions are integrally aligned with that of grace. ‘One very obvious candidate, it seems to me, is the notion of the ‘‘kingdom of God’’. Apart from a few not very signiWcant uses in Luke, the word charis does not occur in the Synoptic gospels; on the other hand, the ‘‘kingdom’’ or, better, ‘‘reign’’ (basileia) of God is central to the preaching of Jesus’ (1974: 27). Here the oft noted paradoxical char- acter of the kingdom in the preaching of the historical Jesus is surely signiWcant. The earliest strata of preaching the kingdom speak of it as already accomplished, but not yet realized. Why is it that Jesus himself seems to have deWed the Wrst law of logic, that of non- contradiction, in preaching a kingdom that is already/but-not-yet? Here let us simply raise a question that is of foundational importance for this essay: is it possible that insight changes the world itself? As Ernst trenchantly noted,

For our purposes here it will be suYcient to try to show that our experience of ourselves and the world is not in fact adequately analyzed in terms of a distinction between ‘objective’ and ‘subjective’ understanding; and conse- quently that our experience and understanding of Jesus Christ in faith is still less adequately analyzed in such terms. And if this is accepted, then grace too is not either ‘subjective’ or ‘objective’: grace is not either ‘subjective experi- ence’ or ‘objective fact’. (1950: 66–7)

On one point, however, the New Testament is unambiguous. Grace unperceived is not yet grace eVective (Smith 1956: 56; see also 157–86). Suggesting otherwise renders the very proclamation of the gospel superfluous. This simple datum of New Testament evidence will be crucial in the construction of a contemporary metaphysics of grace, one which recognizes the world to be more than the sum total of objects within it.

Note that the Kingdom of God derives its meaning only in contrast to that which is not of God. Like other religions of revelation, Christianity cannot coherently surrender its claim to be a unique recipient of God’s favor, and this means that the existential situation of those whom God has favored must be radically distinctive from those who have not received the same. This is why Christianity presents itself as a tightening of the torque between God’s action and that which stands outside of that action.

‘[W]hile the Old Testament simply divides men into good and bad, the New Testament makes a crucial change. Normally it speaks, not of good men, but of believers in Christ’ (Smith 1956: 56). One could say that the salient factor in the relationship of God and humans shifts from ethics to epistemology.5 The question is not primarily the human person’s ability to do the good so much as the human ability to recognize the good that God has done. Christ is the great event of grace, of God’s favor, and everything turns upon the ability to recognize this manifestation. Indeed, Christianity’s foundational apperception is that humans are called to election by God precisely because of their ability to perceive that Christ is himself the elected one of God. ‘Behold my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved in whom I delight’ (Matt. 12: 18).

Consider the use of the concept ‘world’ in the Johannine writings. In the pre-Christian worldview, because the graciousness of the divine is expected to manifest itself within the world, no Jew, or any member of an indigenous religion, would ever have set up the Johannine polarity between Jesus and the world. The world is supposed to be good. In Judaism, it comes forth from a benign creator. So why does John, who wants to proclaim the incarnation of God into the world, employ a negative concept of the word? The concept of the ‘world’ in John can only be understood when one reads the word as the converse of Jesus and his activity. It is that which resists the new initiative of God. With his pneuma/sarx (spirit/Xesh) dichotomy, Paul fashions a similar duality between that which acts under the impetus of the Christ event and that which oVers resist- ance. ‘[T]he resurrection has a cosmic, universal signiWcance. It is not simply one more event to be viewed in the march of history; on the contrary, it reveals the very meaning of it’ (Ladaria 1983: 25). (See Rom. 8: 29 and 1 Cor. 15: 20, 49.)

What would have once been a foundational blessing is now cursed because of its relationship to, here its failure to acknowledge and accept, the second great initiative of God. (Cf. John 1: 10, 12: 31, 14: 19, 14: 22, 16: 18 V., 17: 9; 1 John 2: 16, 5: 16, 19.) Indeed, as Luis Ladaria notes, sin for the Christian can henceforth never be reckoned merely as moral failure, as a potency in nature culpably negated. It is always a rejection of God’s initiative in Christ and is therefore intrinsically Christological. ‘One cannot speak...of sin as though the redemption of Christ did not exist, since this is determinative of the human person in all aspects of life’ (1983: 217). Thus to sin is to do more than negate nature; it is also to shut the ear to the summons of history that is the Christ.

Likewise, the devil, who in the Hebrew and Islamic scriptures acts as a subservient and somewhat impish functionary of God, takes on the character of the Satanic adversary in Christianity. The New Testament calls Jesus the way, the truth, and the life (John 14: 6); Satan in contrast becomes ‘the Father of lies’ (John 8: 44). Goethe perfectly captured the Christian understanding of Satan when his Mephistopheles is asked his identity and answers, ‘I am the spirit that always negates.’ He continues, ‘and rightly so, since everything that comes into existence is only Wt to go out of existence and it would be better if nothing ever got started. Accordingly, what you call sin, destruction, evil in short, is my proper element’ (1971: 780). Goethe’s Satan is the implacable denial of the grace that is creation. To understand the depth of Goethe’s deeply Christian insight into evil, one need only compare the evil one’s identity, ‘the one who says no’, to the last verse of the Wrst chapter of Genesis in which God evaluates this world. ‘God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good.’ Satan becomes the necessary shadow surrounding the light, which is Jesus Christ within the world. In Christ, God aYrms the goodness of creation and his acceptance of it (cf. Mark 13: 19; Matt. 11: 25, 19: 4; Acts 4: 24, 7: 49 V., 17: 24–8; Rom. 4: 17; Eph. 1: 4, 3: 9; 1 Tim. 4: 4, 6: 13; Heb. 11: 3; 1 Pet. 3: 5; Rev. 4: 11). Whatever else Satan represents to Christianity, he embodies the existential denial of that singular divine aYrmation.

Christianity understands itself as eliciting an all-encompassing re- sponse from a humanity summoned to recognize what God has done in Jesus Christ. Freedom, around which grace pivots in the constella- tion of Christian anthropology, requires the possibility of the human rejection of God’s oVer of self. Hence the darkening of the shadows at the penumbra of the gospel. As Thomas J. J. Altizer insists,

nothing is more historically distinctive of the New Testament than its continual naming of demonic power, a power that is manifest and real only in the context of an apocalyptic ending and therefore only in the context of the actual advent of the Kingdom of God. Jesus was the Wrst prophet who is recorded as having seen the fall of Satan (cf. Luke 10: 18), a Wnal fall of Satan that is an apocalyptic epiphany—an apocalyptic epiphany that is a decisive sign of the Wnal advent of the Kingdom of God. (1998: 207)

After Wittgenstein, it is hardly denigrative to view Christianity as a matrix of language games, which are always built upon dichotomies that become fecund through juxtaposition. So, for example, ‘Chris- tianity maintains two pretensions, which are not always easily rec- onciled at Wrst glance: its universality and its exclusiveness’ (Ladaria 1983: 31). The Church sees herself as constituted by election. She is favored, and therefore is herself an act of grace. Members of the ek- klesia of God are those who have been ‘called out’. Note the obvious: a call, to be eVective, which is to say, to be a call, must be heard.

The ‘New’ Testament presents itself as an axial delineation, which to ignore would be to eviscerate. ‘To quote one text among many, the perspective of the New Testament appears in the great summary, ‘‘God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life’’ (John 3:16)’ (Smith 1956: 56). Indeed the New Testament ‘uses the same expressions to designate the call of the elect to salvation (Rom. 8: 30) and the call of the world into existence. The identity of terms demonstrates that St Paul doesn’t see a structural diVerence between the divine creative will and that which confers free gifts’ (Flick and Alszeghy 1982: 44–5). Creation itself is being reread in the light of the Christ event.

In the Septuagint, the Hebrew hen is translated as charis, a Greek word meaning favor. Charis is a derivative of chairein, ‘to rejoice’, and ‘it always expresses delight, whether in secular, Septuagintal, or Christian literature’ (Ernst 1974: 13; Smith: 1956: 57). Paul Wnds it an indispensable word. ‘It occurs one hundred times in the Pauline corpus of letters, twice as frequently as in all the rest of the Christian scriptures’ (DuVy 1993: 30). Remember that Paul’s letters pre-date the gospel portraits of Jesus. Like the early preachers of the primitive kerygma, he must Wnd a way to proclaim the revolutionary turn that history has made in Jesus Christ. For Paul, that turn is a radical graciousness, an unmerited kindness on the part of God.

The most systematic treatment of his proclamation is found in his reXective letter to the Romans. There grace often appears more as adverb than as substantive, which is to say, as the manner in which God acts rather than as something God bestows. For example in Romans 3: 24 Paul writes, ‘They are now justiWed by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus . . .’ ‘As a gift’ is a translation of an adverbial phrase, amplifying the gratuitousness of God.

In view of Christ, grace seems intrinsic to human nature itself, and therefore universally ordered, but Pauline thought also lays the foundation for the clearly Christian contention that grace accom- plishes the triptych of justiWcation, sanctiWcation, and salvation through acceptance. ‘A gift is not a gift until it has been accepted.’

Paul wants to insist that something both highly selective and ultimately universal has occurred in the Christ event. The stone rejected-but-becoming the cornerstone is thus the perfect image for the Pauline economy of grace. Charis and its cognates ‘are not set in contrast to nature or creation (as the natural and the supernatural would be contrasted in later theology) but to sin and helplessness (cf. Rom. and Gal.)’ (DuVy 1993: 38). In fact, Paul shows no interest in the notion of a human nature considered apart from Christ. One might say that, given what Paul considers to have occurred in the Christ event, such a consideration would seem superXuous at best. ‘New Testament anthropology, and Pauline in particular, always contemplates the being of the human person in the light of God; it is not interested in the concept of the human person ‘‘in se,’’ perhaps because of the silent persuasion that this human being doesn’t exist’ (Ladaria 1983: 97).

A fundamental tension between Christianity and its interlocutors is thus evident in the earliest Christian use of the word ‘grace’, a fruitful tension in the search for the meaning of the word. Henri de Lubac beautifully captures early Christianity’s self-comprehension of being graced, vis-a`-vis the pagan world, when he suggests that the latter lacked the theological virtue of hope because nothing radically new was to be expected from the divine (cf. Pelikan 1971: 281). The pagan cosmos was a realm of static, timeless order not a place of encounter, and, without the concept of history, hope has no mean- ing. One can have no hope of nature. Nature will always do what nature has always done.

That the latter lacked hope was primarily because the very idea of a sursum and a superabundance, the idea of an order incommensurate with nature, the idea of something radically new, something we might call an ‘invention in being,’ the idea of a gift coming gratuitously from above to raise up that needy nature, at once satisfying its longings and transforming it—such an idea remains wholly foreign to all whose minds have not been touched by the light of revelation. (de Lubac 1967: 130)

Ladaria aptly summarizes the foundational Christian understanding of grace in writing, ‘[I]t’s clear that for the New Testament grace is not primarily something that the human person possesses, but rather the benevolent activity of God, realized and manifested in Christ, who is the font of salvation for humanity’ (1983: 276). Another way of saying the same is to insist that the Wrst thing grace must create or accomplish is a world that is fundamentally one of history rather than nature. History suggests contingency, freedom, decision, and denouement. Nature implies order, stasis, and causal determination. Christianity cannot be preached to nature; it addresses history. If grace were an object, one would naturally want to locate it either within nature, or vis-a`-vis nature. But grace is an event, and history is its milieu. The fundamental metaphorical nexus is of time, not space.

Only if one correctly understands the novum of the Christian message, the perception that humanity has been made the recipient of the most fundamental favor that God could conceivably bestow, namely God’s self, can one accurately perceive the threat to Chris- tianity’s charis that the gnosis of Gnosticism posed through the variegated, occult religious movements that surrounded the early Christian Church. Just as the concept of grace would perfectly en- capsulate Christianity’s perception of divine favor, the usage of the word gnosis (knowledge) incarnates its fundamental antithesis. The concept of grace that emerges from the New Testament is the human apperception of God’s favor. The initiative is God’s. God acts; hu- manity reacts. Gnosis, on the other hand, presents the human subject as fundamentally in control of the noetic process: God becomes the object of the human person’s search. Direction of the noetic drive passes from the divine to the human, and God becomes reduced to a pursued object of human cognition. The same dichotomy that an- thropologists note between authentic religion and magic, that of surrender to the mystery versus manipulation of it, is played out in the noetic arena between charis and gnosis.

This is quite evident from the role that ritual plays in each move- ment. Christianity viewed its adherents as a plebs sancta and threw open the previously sacrosanct (meaning ‘to cut oV the holy’) temple precincts. Basilicas, which had served as assembly halls, became architectural statements of the new faith’s essential inclusiveness. This was a gratuitous revelation, one intrinsically ordered toward proclamation (Bouyer 1967).

In contrast, the Gnostic cults met in secrecy. There the divine was an object to be hunted down, mastered. An open, public proclamation of the knowledge received through the cult would have enervated its power, which necessarily demanded secrecy. The early Christian liturgy did practice a disciplina arcana, a keeping hidden of its deepest secrets to adherents, but this was essentially a proleptic secrecy, one designed to draw others in. The fundamental movement of the early liturgy was evangelical, missionary. In contrast, Gnosti- cism obviously wanted to admit new adherents, but it never saw itself as the possessor or herald of a message addressed to the world. Gnosticism was an attempt to control the world by accessing occult, divine power. Letting the entire world in on the secret would have rendered it flaccid.

There is, however, an aYnity shared by the Platonic worldview and the Christian concept of grace in the concept of revelation. Both suggest that something not ordinarily found within the world has been made manifest, or can be made manifest, to the world. Both direct the attention of the one seeking enlightenment beyond the Xux of the surrounding world. Yet beneath these similarities lies a more fundamental division. In Plato the divine reawakens from the slum- ber of the world; it steps out from behind the world. It does not engage or love the world. The world is its occluding dross, so the divine is to be encountered by shunning the world. This world must dissolve into the reality that is the divine. In contrast, Christianity’s grace is not the sloughing of of an illusory dream; it is an awakening to the caress of a lover, one seeking engagement.
Still, Plato’s view of the sacred lying hidden, beyond the world, was similar to Christianity’s view of a sacred that was latent, and has now been made manifest, within the world. Yet conflating the two would have led to a fundamental abandonment of Christianity’s essential proclamation of God’s favor. That Christian discourse on grace could be Platonized without losing its distinctive, elective character is due to the biography and writing of a single, graced soul, Augustine of Hippo, the doctor gratiae." [Terrance Klein, Wittgenstein and the Metaphysics of Grace]

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Wed Oct 14, 2015 7:53 am

When the Jews discovered the "magic" of words, and how they could be used to invert reality, they discovered their own road to salvation.
Since then they've been selling symbols, words, with no reference to reality.
The Banking system disconnected from the gold standard, from real elemental wealth, and is now cutting abstractions into small pieces and selling them in the market - pure noetic artifices.

Jews inherit this innate quality from their mother's side, so it is intimately tied into sex and reproduction, as Freud reminds us.
They make talented snake-oil salesmen and priests, which amounts to the same thing.
r-selection at its root.
They sell what they, themselves, do not buy.
Classic omega-male tactics of feminine deception and word-games, to compensate for a genetic inferiority.
From them the christian the Muslims and then the New Agers, the Marxists, the liberals, the secular forms of this same dis-ease.
Priests wearing suits and ties, or hippie funky cool, chilled out drug dealers - their words being another mind-numbing drug, for those wanting to desperately escape and forget.

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Wed Oct 14, 2015 8:00 am

All this is not unprecedented in nature...


In this species, as the anonymous author of r/K theory mentions, the omega-males avoid the alpha/beta battle for reproductive rights by mimicking a female.
Deception instead of noble combat.
The ability to meld into their environment, to take on any color, hue and disappear.
Big-Brained, sophisticated neurological system, but spineless.
They mesmerize their preys, with "dazzling displays".
Converting this to human contexts, we find the word as the "dazzler" and "mesmerizing" light show.
The word which can help the human variant of this invertebrate to disappear into the environment.

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Wed Oct 14, 2015 8:19 am

Quote :
Revelation teaches that God created the world out of nothing by His sovereign will. This implies that the world did not have to exist. That is confirmed by the sense of obligation which a man has—as one of his basic, existential experiences—of giving thanks for what he has and what happens to him, even for his existence and life or of protesting against what man is and even against his very existence." [Klein, Metaphysics of Grace]

The idea of grace in Jewish thought originates from the view of life as an accident… "it did not have to exist"…

but, as to this signifycant point,

Nietzsche wrote:
"Let us beware! —Let us beware of thinking that the world is a living being. Where should it expand? On what should it feed? How could it grow and multiply? We have some notion of the nature of the organic; and we should not reinterpret the exceedingly derivative, late, rare, accidental, that we perceive only on the crust of the earth and make of it something essential, universal, and eternal, which is what those people do who call the universe an organism. This nauseates me.
Let us even beware of believing that the universe is a machine: it is certainly not constructed for one purpose, and calling it a "machine" does it far too much honor.
Let us beware of positing generally and everywhere anything as elegant as the cyclical movements of our neighboring stars; even a glance into the Milky Way raises doubts whether there are not far coarser and more contradictory movements there, as well as stars with eternally linear paths, etc. The astral order in which we live is an exception; this order and the relative duration that depends on it have again made possible an exception of exceptions: the formation of the organic. The total character of the world, however, is in all eternity chaos—in the sense not of a lack of necessity but a lack of order, arrangement, form, beauty, wisdom, and whatever other names there are for our aesthetic anthropomorphisms.
Judged from the point of view of our reason, unsuccessful attempts are by all odds the rule, the exceptions are not the secret aim, and the whole musical box repeats eternally its tune which may never be called a melody—and ultimately even the phrase "unsuccessful attempt" is too anthropomorphic and reproachful.
But how could we reproach or praise the universe? Let us beware of attributing to it heartlessness and unreason or their opposites: it is neither perfect nor beautiful, nor noble, nor does it wish to become any of these things; it does not by any means strive to imitate man. None of our aesthetic and moral judgments apply to it. Nor does it have any instinct for self-preservation or any other instinct; and it does not observe any laws either.
Let us beware of saying there are laws in nature. There are only necessities: there is nobody who commands, nobody who obeys, nobody who trespasses. Once you know that there are no purposes, you also know that there is no accident; for it is only beside a world of purposes that the word "accident" has meaning. Let us beware of saying death is opposed to life. The living is merely a type of what is dead, and a very rare type.—Let us beware of thinking that the world eternally creates new things. There are no eternally enduring substances: matter is as much of an error as the God of the Eleatics. But when shall we ever be done with our caution and care? When will all these shadows of God cease to darken our minds? When will we complete our de-deification of nature? When may we begin to naturalize humanity in terms of a pure, newly discovered, newly redeemed nature?" [Joyful Wisdom, 109]

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Wed Oct 14, 2015 8:23 am

The answer presupposes the question, and it offers a solution.

{Why?} is the most mystical question man can ask.
It asks for what he must create.

Some create it by studying nature, the cosmos, and finding patterns within it.
Others create it by disregarding nature, overturning the cosmos, negating it with words.

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Wed Oct 14, 2015 9:32 am

Satyr wrote:
The answer presupposes the question, and it offers a solution.

{Why?} is the most mystical question man can ask.
It asks for what he must create.

Some create it by studying nature, the cosmos, and finding patterns within it.
Others create it by disregarding nature, overturning the cosmos, negating it with words.


What makes a possibility [life] turn into a probability?

The J.-Xts. answered it as Grace. (We know it as 'just because'.)

The Hellenes continued to wonder… and plato called Thaumazein the source of all philosophy…

Quote :
"There is, however, an aYnity shared by the Platonic worldview and the Christian concept of grace in the concept of revelation. Both suggest that something not ordinarily found within the world has been made manifest, or can be made manifest, to the world. Both direct the attention of the one seeking enlightenment beyond the Xux of the surrounding world. Yet beneath these similarities lies a more fundamental division. In Plato the divine reawakens from the slum- ber of the world; it steps out from behind the world. It does not engage or love the world. The world is its occluding dross, so the divine is to be encountered by shunning the world. This world must dissolve into the reality that is the divine. In contrast, Christianity’s grace is not the sloughing of of an illusory dream; it is an awakening to the caress of a lover, one seeking engagement." [Klein, Metaphysics of Grace]

As regs. the above - the thymos of plato and the eros of Xt., Norman Brown agreed and only reworded it his way:

Norman Brown wrote:
"The Platonic Eros is the child of defect or want. Its direction is away from the insufficient self; its aim is to possess the object which completes it (there is a Platonic residue in Freud's inadequate notion of object-choice). The Christian Agape, with its self-sacrificial structure, has the same basis in the insufficiency of the self, but in it the self can be completed by no object and therefore must be extinguished. In the words of Luther, "To love is the same as to hate one-self"; in the words of St. Augustine, "Love slays what we have been that we may be what we were not."
From the psychoanalytical point of view, Platonic Eros is inseparable from an aggressive component, Christian Agape inseparable from a masochistic component." [Life Against Death]

N. gave the pagan concept of grace as the light-feet of a god that can dance: power-become-conscious, its not worn on the sleeve and looks effortless.

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Wed Oct 14, 2015 10:03 am

Lyssa wrote:
Satyr wrote:
The answer presupposes the question, and it offers a solution.

{Why?} is the most mystical question man can ask.
It asks for what he must create.

Some create it by studying nature, the cosmos, and finding patterns within it.
Others create it by disregarding nature, overturning the cosmos, negating it with words.


What makes a possibility [life] turn into a probability?

The J.-Xts. answered it as Grace. (We know it as 'just because'.)

The Hellenes continued to wonder… and plato called Thaumazein the source of all philosophy…

This is the question I've tried to answer without resorting to mysticism, or by trying to explain mysticism as chaos (that which alludes understanding because it has no pattern, and understanding is the (re)cognition of patterns).
We are mesmerized by a pattern so complex we cannot dissect it further; we cannot discern a more subtle pattern within it.
We feel like we've reached the end, the fabric, the immanent unfolding before us, from that point in space/time.

There is no {why?} in nature, there is only continuity born of (inter)acting patterns - the causal chain that can be followed back infinitely, and projected forward infinitely, because patterns are not eternal but a continuous process which is fragmenting due to its own (inter)activity.
Patterns (inter)acting with patterns produces chaos - the cosmic joke, the tragic irony man had to overcome (resentiment).
we are the "victims" of the very processes that make us possible.

If by space we mean possibility, and by order (energy/matter) we mean probability within this expanding/increasing possibility, then life emerged as the possible, once (inter)activity made it probable.
Life could not have emerged close to the Big Bang, because there possibilities decreased (singularity - collapse of space/time), and it could not have merged after a point where chaos (randomness) had increased to a level where patterns (energy/matter) was the exception, and not the rule, therefore life, as we know it, could only have emerged at the distance, from the BigBang (near-absolute order) where patterns were still present and chaos had not increased to the point where multiple pattern could not emerge and sustain themselves for the time period required for them to coalesce (stabilize, harmonize, balance) into an emergent unity.
Grace is a reference to this harmony/balance coalesce of aggregate patterns into a self-perpetuating, relating, in relation to what is outside of this relating.

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Wed Oct 14, 2015 11:47 am

Satyr wrote:
Lyssa wrote:
Satyr wrote:
The answer presupposes the question, and it offers a solution.

{Why?} is the most mystical question man can ask.
It asks for what he must create.

Some create it by studying nature, the cosmos, and finding patterns within it.
Others create it by disregarding nature, overturning the cosmos, negating it with words.


What makes a possibility [life] turn into a probability?

The J.-Xts. answered it as Grace. (We know it as 'just because'.)

The Hellenes continued to wonder… and plato called Thaumazein the source of all philosophy…

This is the question I've tried to answer without resorting to mysticism, or by trying to explain mysticism as chaos (that which alludes understanding because it has no pattern, and understanding is the (re)cognition of patterns).
We are mesmerized by a pattern so complex we cannot dissect it further; we cannot discern a more subtle pattern within it.
We feel like we've reached the end, the fabric, the immanent unfolding before us, from that point in space/time.

But the other way is also symptomatic.

If closing off possibility with Grace was then, keeping the possibility going and open forever [what if a god exists and keeping an open mind towards revelation, etc.] is what Kierkegaard and Leo Strauss championed.

The need for an Athens-contra-Jerusalem to be forever tied in a symbiotic+agonistic eternal dialogue was the other Straussian symptom.

The first spark of which life "stirred", neither purposeful nor accident is a 'something' lets say.

To speak nothing of it and not complicate it with conceptual abstractions is the school of zen and anarcho-primitivists - "living in the moment".

To impose human vanity, human measures, human abstractions on it and then experience the gulf between world-reality and self-reality is the tragic consciousness that 'intimates' through this agon and human pride, violence, satyric desire. You sense all that it takes to 'close the gap', giving way to tragic insights…

And then there are other methods too. Discovering, inventing means and methods has been the history of life… until now. Now, there's the other "spark" that is under threat, and with it, the end of all wonder…

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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 Wed Oct 14, 2015 11:59 am

The nil is bipolar...absolute order/chaos....absolute truth/error...absolute positive/negative.

The accusation of antisemitism is itself semitic; an absurdity, because one cannot blame a dis-ease, a virus for being what it is, nor wish it were not there, dreaming of a pristine paradise.
The victim rejoices when it is hated/loved, because it validates its identity.
A pagan rejoices at the quality/quantity of his enemies, because against them he discovered, sharpens, his sense of self, his own identity.

"I am, what I am not!!"
Eternal agon, conflict, war.

The mystical is what forever alludes our intuitions - it is, by its nature, counter-intuitive, like chaos is in relation to order.
The only way to become aware, by looking from the side of your eyes, is through the effects of (inter)activity.
How the ordering patterns (re)act to the chaos, exposes the chaos/randomness/mystical for what it is.



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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Fri Oct 16, 2015 7:28 am

Thomistic precursor to Whitehead's idea of grace as a process relation.

Quote :
"In suggesting that human beings require only the knowledge, which revelation oVers, but not an active interpenetration of the divine and the human, a divine coming to the aid of the human, Pelagianism, Augustine’s end-life foe, likewise threatened the core of the Christian economy of salvation by undermining its anthropology and cosmology. For Augustine, human love stands in need of a redeemer, and the world itself is a dramatic locus of encounter. In reducing the Christ event to a manifestation of knowledge, here transposed from the Gnostic realm of esoteric mystery into the Stoic sphere of moral teaching, Pelagianism remained within the pre-Christian worldview of a cosmos complete within itself.

For Pelagius, the task of human transformation, for the well- intentioned non-believer as well as for the Christian, is essentially the Platonic trek toward enlightenment. In the Neoplatonic thought of the late fourth century, what has emanated from the divine should with moral eVort make its way back to the divine. But an emanation is not an encounter; it is only a moment in what we would today call an evolution. Once again, the prerevelatory concept of nature tries to evict history. Evolution is nature unfolding. History is self- determination, and Augustine came to its defense. ‘More than any- thing else, it was the controversy with Pelagius, Julian of Eclanum, and others, in which his teaching on grace was challenged, that compelled him to diVerentiate between ‘‘the gift that is nature itself ’’ (gratia naturae) and ‘‘the grace by which we are made believers’’ (gratiae Wdelium)’ (Studer 1997: 5).

But what exactly is the gratiae Wdelium? How does it diVer from the gratiae naturae, which is another way of asking what self-understand- ing separates the Christian appropriation of the world from that of others? If the world itself is graced, if it is itself an act of grace, what is the role of grace within the world? What does it mean for Augustine to experience grace? Why is this signal experience so threatened by Pelagianism, which sees everything as having been given in a single gift, at the dawn of creation?

Augustine will reinforce the biblical apperception of divine favor, but for him, in the light of the Christ event, this favoring is nothing less than a divine–human nuptial. ‘The words of Paul about ‘‘the love of God poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit’’ (Rom. 5: 5) may well have been Augustine’s favorite passage from scripture, quoted over and over, also in the treatises against Pelagianism’ (Pelikan 1984: 252). In Augustine grace becomes personal, which is to say that it addresses the human being and awaits a response. The Church for Augustine is that response. It is constituted by lovers:

[H]e that loves the sons of God, loves the Son of God, and he that loves the Son of God, loves the Father, nor can any love the Father except he love the Son, and he that loves the sons, loves also the Son of God. What sons of God? The members of the Son of God. And by loving he becomes himself a member, and comes through love to be in the frame of the body of Christ, so there shall be one Christ, loving Himself. (Epis. Ioan. X. 3)

Love is a noetic reality, a way of being in the world. The human person does not survey the world with Cartesian objectivity. He or she is always drawn toward the world, toward some distinctive element within the world. This drawing conforms and patterns the world to itself as focal point. Anyone who has ever been in love knows that the entire world has been remade with the advent of the beloved.

For Augustine, we were made to love, to yearn. We cannot not love. The question is whether we dissipate love in the lesser, or yearn for the sursum. At every moment, desire remains a fundamental noetic reality, what Heidegger would later call an existential, a foundational way of being human within the world. Even in base loves, something of love’s truth prevails. ‘An impure, evil-loving man loves a beautiful woman. The body’s beauty moves him, but within it is the exchange of love (amoris vicissitudo) that is wanted’ (Serm. 34). If he is spurned, he loses his love. ‘But if he sees his love returned (vicissim amatur), how much more intensely will he burn? She sees him and he her; no one sees the love. Yet that very thing (love) which is not seen is loved.’ Augustine is proleptically preaching Aquinas. All human activity is dependent upon that which is pure act, love itself. Even disordered base loves (and it is precisely their dis-ordering that makes them base) still partake of the divine act of being.

Reflecting on his arrival in Carthage as a youth, Augustine wrote, ‘So I arrived in Carthage, where the din of scandalous love-aVairs raged cauldron-like around me. I was not yet in love, but I was enamored with the idea of love, and so deep within me was my need that I hated myself for the sluggishness of my desires. In love with loving, I was casting about for something to love’ (Conf. III. 1. 1). All this concerns sinful love, but in the sermon cited above he also says: ‘There is no one who does not love; the question is what are we to love. We are not urged not to love, but to choose what to love’ (Serm. 34). Love is an enrichment of being; it completes the self. It must be rediscovered, illumined, intensiWed in love of God. ‘One loves Thee less who loves something else together with Thee, which is not loved because of Thee. O Love, always burning and never quenched, set me on Wre’ (Serm. 34)! Love is the soul’s secret life begotten in the exchange of love. Love bestows being itself. It is both noetic and ontological, given the post-linguistic understanding that the two can never be adequately distilled.

In his theological masterpiece The Trinity, Augustine’s own odys- sey of love, his historical journey, and not the Greek metaphysics of nature, is used to deWne the very experience and nature of God.

Let no one say, ‘I do not know what to love.’ Let him love his brother, and love that love; after all, he knows the love he loves better than the brother he loves. There now, he can already have God better known to him than his brother, certainly better known because more present, better known because more inward to him, better known because more sure. Embrace love which is God, and embrace God with love. This is the love which unites all the good angels and all servants of God in a bond of holiness, conjoins us and them together, and subjoins us to itself. And the more we are cured of the tumor of pride, the fuller we are of love. And if a man is full of love, what is he full of but God? (De Trin. VIII. 12)15

Note that love has both a personal and a noetic character. It is an event, an encounter with a person. It is also a way of seeing, a reordering of noetic elements. This is why Augustine will speak of love as light, and why he so often uses both light and love as metaphors for God. If one understands Augustine, love is light, because love is God and participation in God is that which allows for participation in the world. In Book VII of The Trinity, Augustine will use light as the fundamental metaphor of our Christic participation in God. We are illumined in Christ, and Christ is the self-illumination of the Godhead. ‘For we too are the image of God, though not the equal one like him; we are made by the Father through the Son, not born of the Father like that image; we are image because we are illuminated with light; that one is so because it is the light that illuminates, and therefore it provides a model for us without having a model itself.’16

For Augustine, Christians were participants in an axial action of God, one so decisive as to drive theologians to bestow metaphysical status upon grace. The problem arises with the choice of meta- physical elements that the Greek tradition could oVer. In the Aris- totelian frame of reference, ‘relation’ is the weakest of the categories of being, a debellissimum ens. This remains true even if the relation in question is that uniquely human apex of relationship, love. Relationship tends to cloud the purity of the self-subsisting sub- stance in Greek thought. As David Burrell notes, ‘relation remains the most elusive of Aristotle’s categories, not properly an accident for its being is not in but ad; which is to say that it does not exist in another so much as ‘‘between’’ the relata’ (1986: 23).17 Furthermore, in the ordered and essentially static world of nature, relationship is understood as a conceptual quality which the human mind infers upon reality.

So the axial decisiveness of the Christian message suffered some when translated into Greek categories. Grace, which began its Judeo- Christian life as an apperception of a relation, that of being favored by God, necessarily began to assume the character and status of a substance for the simple reason that in Greek thought substance is a greater expression of being than relationship. However, this metaphysical ‘translation’ was not neutral and carried strong theological repercussions.

Thomas’s personalism is so predominant that it would not be incorrect to say that he sees the entire cosmos not as a continuum of substances but rather as a communion of subjects, which is to say dialogical partners.

Remember that for Thomas agere sequitur esse (to act follows upon to be). Activity is not an addendum to the act of being; it is its essential self-expression, its eVulgence. To be is to act. Clarke asserts of Thomas’s teaching: ‘Every being . . . insofar as it is in act, tends naturally to overflow into action, and this action is a self- communication, a self-giving in some way’ (1994: 47).

Thomas will maintain the Aristotelian primacy of substances over relations, because only substances can be subjects capable of entering into relationships with each other. Stress too strongly the independence of the substance, and one arrives at a monadism that cannot explicate the dynamism that we experience in the world. Stress relationship too strongly, and one cannot account for that which endures. And if nothing endures, nothing can enter into relationship. One cannot give the self over into a relationship if there is no self. As Wittgenstein put it, ‘What brings the self into philosophy is the fact that ‘‘the world is my world’’ ’(1961: 58; §5.641).

Clarke defends the Thomistic reliance upon Aristotelian substance by showing the alternative. In personalist language, the eclipse of the substance means the banishment of the subject.

The primary instance of real being is the individual existent as a ‘nature,’ i.e., as an abiding center (no matter for how long) of its own characteristic actions and the ultimate subject of which attributes are predicated, but which itself is predicated of no other subject as an attribute or part. This ability to exist in itself as an ultimate subject of action and attribution and not as part of any other being is what it means to be called a substance (from the Latin sub-stans: that which ‘stands under’ all its attributes as their ultimate subject). To stand thus ‘in itself’ does not mean that the entity thus characterized is not related to others. As we shall see, the intrinsic orientation toward self-expressive action that is also characteristic of all natures—hence of all substances—implies that all substances will be related at least to some others. But it does mean that no substance, no real being in an unqualiWed sense, can be nothing but a pure relation. A relation in the real order must relate something, making it a related, or the relation itself self-destructs. As the Buddhists have long insightfully argued, if all beings are nothing but relations, such that A is nothing but a relation to B, and B is nothing but a relation to A, then neither one has ‘own being’ and both disappear into ‘emptiness’ (sunyatta)—a point often naively overlooked, it seems to me, by many modern Western philosophers who cavalierly dismiss substance for relation as the primary mode of being. (1994: 104–5)

Despite Clarke’s brilliant retrieval of the concept of substance for a personalist philosophy of being, a contemporary Christian might still be disappointed to hear that St Thomas considers grace to be an accidental modiWcation of the substance that is the human person. ‘Accidental’ can seem to suggest both lack of necessity and ephem- erality. It’s important to note, however, that in Aristotelian categories a modiWcation stronger than accidental would mark a change of substance. In this system, if God and the human person are not to be collapsed into each other, they must remain distinct substances. God’s action cannot subsume the human subject or so fundamentally alter it as to obliterate it, in the sense that it would no longer be the same substance, the same subject as an enduring unity of action. The challenge Thomas faced was to use Aristotle in a way that indicated the profound relationship that grace establishes without obliterating one or the other related subjects.

Again, one must caution about the picture being employed. For Thomas the substance which is the human person cannot be conceived apart from its accidents. It simply is its own accidents, as their temporal and spatial source of unity. Only God can be conceived of as a substance that never undergoes modiWcation. Fully cognizant of temporality, Thomas views created substances as being always subject to modiWcation. Without it, they cannot actualize their own potency, which for Thomas means to become what they were meant to be.

Thomas will speak of grace as a form that modiWes accidents by gathering them into itself. In Thomistic thought a form is the unitive principle allowing the many of sensory experience to be considered under a single intellectual aspect, as a one. Every time the human person, through the use of the intellect, perceives a unity amidst a plurality of instances, a form has been recognized. Both accidents and substances are ultimately characterized by forms. A given Xower, or the sun, or a piece of cloth may all be instances of yellow; yellow then becomes the form that transcends these individual instances. That which can hold together a host of such accidental forms and endures is a substance.

Thomas will thus call the soul the form of the body because we perceive the body, the self which acts within the world, to be a self, a cohesive, abiding center of activity. How diVerent this is from the contemporary picture of the soul as that which steps away from the body, say at death, to reveal its own existence. For Thomas, nothing reveals the soul so much as the activity of the corporeal self that acts within the world.

In the Thomistic cosmos every substance is drawn into a dialogical union with every other substance. In this sense, one should say that, for Thomas, all of creation is transferred from the status of substance to subject. Grace is the place of union, not a dialogical partner of union. It is the unique relationship between God and humanity. To speak of grace as a substance wreaks havoc with the subtle language game being employed by Aquinas. Substances always stand in relationship; they cannot be relations. Again, the similarity to Wittgenstein’s struggle to free philosophy from an inad- equate picture of logic is helpful. If logic stood within the world, as one more object, it could not be that which uniWes the world, which makes distinct objects into a world. If grace were one more object within the world, it could not be that which draws the world together and into union with the divine." [Klein, The Metaphysics of Grace]

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Thu Oct 22, 2015 5:24 am

Klein's book elaborated on the pagan<>Xt. inversion via the concept of grace.

To the J.-Xts., it is the pagan world that was "static", "mechanical", and it is with the Xt. world, bringing the concept of a creator, of a lover<>beloved relation of "interacting" with the world that made it "dynamic"… and lent it its superiority…

The meaning of Dynamism was totally inverted (why N. had to become Dynamite):

Quote :
"Only a world ordered toward a fulfillment can define the lack of this fulfillment as harmartia (a missing of the mark), as sin.

The novelty that Judaism represents is the insistence that the world didn’t have to be. The act of creation is itself a grace, a foundational favoring on the part of God. The novelty of Christianity is the revelation of the Beloved, the one who reveals the world as essentially purposeless, rendered futile now that the Beloved has appeared, that is, if the Beloved is not attained. In other words, the world’s purpose, its Wnality, becomes a grace. Love is revealed as the world’s efficient and final cause. It was created by love, and it is created for love. In either case, we are far removed from the prerevelatory understanding of the world as simply a given." [Klein, Metaphysics of Grace]

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Wed Dec 02, 2015 11:18 am


Philosopher Stelios Ramfos presents Jesus as a diagnostician of his time, preceding Nietzsche as the diagnostician of Modern times.
Miracles as healing of the mind.

A new reading of the Biblical tales.

Legion, (I am Legion), the expression of schizophrenia.
Healing the deaf man, as a healing of vulnerability to popular opinion - closing your ears to criticism and gossip.

Saul takes the figure of Jesus, and converts him to Christ - mystifying him, translating him in a way that contradicts his teachings, just as Moderns, modern day Saul-well-ioses, self described "Nieatzscheans", transform Nietzsche into an antithesis of his diagnosis - and return Christianity back into his analysis by changing the words.

Ramfos describes the Apostles as uncertain with the nature of Jesus, who is exotic, supernatural in the sense the he diagnosis man using methods beyond the immediate, beyond their own capacities, also true of these Nieatzscheans in relation to their idolized transmutation of the corporeal figure, the man.
Incomprehensibility forces the student into a lifetime of study of what is beyond his own ability to relate to - the other, the teacher, becomes a mythological figure, after death, and exotic, while alive.  
With no internal sources to connect, to relate, they convert the man into god, or idol.

Ramfos claims that all antiphasis, out of phase, contradictory presentations of the historical figure Jesus, is an avenue for relating the believer with the story.
Jesus becomes a figure helpful in bridging the antiphasis between real/ideal, man with eternity, ordering within disordering.
He is metaphor, artistic device, insinuating the incomprehensible; translating the counter-intuitive into intuitive forms.
Spinoza's insights into biblical language teaches us that much of the wording is hyperbole, founded on the expressions of that time, later taken literally for Saul to construct the dis-ease we know as Christianity.
Linguistic hyperbole is also the method Nieatzscheans use to convert Nietzsche's words to something their Nihilism, their perspective, can use - perspectivism transformed to subjectivity through the elimination of the subject matter, the objective - converting all to a Church of believers in what is not present: faith in what is absent; in this case the objective, the world itself, the man Jesus, the man Nietzsche, the man Socrates, to use another abused iconic figure, within their particular social environments.

Parables, according to Ramfos, expose real psychological conditions of that time, which we, if we do not take them literally, but read them by relating them to our own condition, can decipher.
Dialogue is how we internalize ideas, which cannot be achieve with a monologue.

Parable of the "good" Samaritan.  
We associate with the victim, not the one coming to his aid.
Ramfos says the other is how we justify our own existence. Jesus picks the most hated, in that time among the Jews, Samaritan to construct his point, to elucidate his insight.
The story does not only teach the value of giving without expecting a return but, according the Ramfos, the even greater fact is that the saved never recovers, so that there isn't even the return of gratitude - narcissism escaped.
Complete ingratitude for a deed done.
One does it for self, not for other, not for fame, not for fortune, not to enjoy future rewards, but simply because he is what he is and can be no other.      

Parable of Lazarus, who eats of the breadcrumbs beneath his master's dinner table, comes to the Jews from Egypt, like all of their monistic, death cult, reversals of the Egyptian hierarchy pyramid, do.
Selfishness based on the absence of an "afterlife" which is no more than an internal rebirth.
Afterlife, meaning to live after the corporeal, to live as mind - after genes/memes, after real/ideal, after phenomenon/noumenon.
To suffer for your worldly deeds in the afterlife means this conscience, in relation to our noumena, our human capacity to live beyond the present, beyond immediate gratification, above pleasure motives - to hold yourself accountable before your own ideal, your own "god"; yourself idealized - the noble spirit.

Virgin birth...if taken literally it is absurd, but, as Ramfos indicates, even Plato was described as the result of a virgin birth, where Apollo fertilized his mother - Buddha, as well.
It was a metaphor the ancients used to express an exceptional individual.

John the Baptists' baptism of Jesus.
Not a Jewish tradition, but related to Pagan, Hellenic, rituals of cleansing, adopted by a Jewish sect.
John as prophet, serves as a harbinger of a shift from the exoteric to the esoteric, a coming age of subjectivity.

Jesus goes into the desert, alone, because only in loneliness can he be honest with himself.
The temptations are his internal struggles with self-doubt - demonic.
Preparation for the loneliness of the cross - isolation of self before world; a man pulls from inside himself the strength, the ideals, when there is no other to come to his aid.
Corporeality dissolved in spirit.
The body needs an external validation, the spirit comes from within, as a manifestation of our entire past/nature.  
Division between public and private man - personae and character.
Openness as the implosion of noumenon/phenomenon as self.

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Wed Dec 02, 2015 11:26 am

Is that your writing?

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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 Wed Dec 02, 2015 11:35 am

Lyssa wrote:
Is that your writing?
I take Ramfos and expand it within my own thinking.

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Wed Dec 02, 2015 12:20 pm


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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 Dec 02, 2015 12:38 pm

The only reason we obsess with the Bible is because there are billions of morons, out there, that take it literally, and nor figuratively, and the only reason morons are obsessed with Nietzsche is because they lack what is self-evident, in what he exposes, in ourselves, and so we seek it out in the other, namely him, which becomes a sort of idol, a shadow, we can never escape; we cannot escape that Platonic cave.

The world through a proxy.
We find our aletheia validated by him, this icon.
We see world through his eyes, because we have no eyes for it.

Christians cannot be good, so they find in the bible the threat/reward to help them pretend to be good.

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Wed Dec 02, 2015 12:52 pm

He's said that himself on brooding over some things so much that you become a chicken…

Nietzsche wrote:
"I approach deep problems such as I do cold baths: fast in, fast out. That this is no way to get to the depths, to get deep  enough, is the superstition of those who fear water, the enemies of cold water; they speak without experience. Oh, the great cold makes one fast! And incidentally: does a matter stay unrecognized, not understood, merely because it has been touched in flight; is only glanced at, seen in a flash? Does one absolutely have to sit firmly on it first? Have brooded on it as on an egg?  Diu noctuque incubando, as Newton said of himself? At least there are truths that are especially shy and ticklish and can't be caught except suddenly - that one must  surprise or leave alone.

Enough about brevity; things stand worse with my ignorance, which I don't try to hide from myself. There are hours when I am ashamed of it - to be sure, also hours when I am ashamed of this shame.

Maybe we philosophers are all in a bad position regarding knowledge these days: science is growing, and the most scholarly of us are close to discovering that they know too little. But it would be even worse if things were different - if we knew  too much; our task is and remains above all not to mistake ourselves for someone else. We  are different from scholars, although we are inevitably also, among other things, scholarly.

We have different needs, grow differently; have a different digestion: we need more; we also need less. There is no formula for how much a spirit needs for its nourishment; but if it has a taste for independence, for quick coming and going, for wandering, perhaps for adventures of which only the swiftest are capable, it would rather live free with little food than unfree and stuffed.

It is not fat but the greatest possible suppleness and strength that a good dancer wants from his nourishment - and I wouldn't know what the spirit of a philosopher might more want to be than a good dancer. For the dance is his ideal, also his art, and finally also his only piety, his 'service of God'." [JW, 381]

Swift and supple does for some kinds of truths...

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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 Wed Dec 02, 2015 12:57 pm

I don't need his words, except as support, and supplement.
I don't need him to think.

The world is all around me...constantly, inescapably.
How I, I, relate to it, deep or shallow, is my testament, an expression of my spirit.
I need no other's spirit to inflate my own, and pretend that I am more than what I am.

Take it, or leave it, this is who I am.
I will not wear Nietzsche, or Jesus, or whomever, to impress you, or anybody.
I suffice.
I need no acknowledgment, no appreciation, through it is always appreciated and enjoyed when I receive it.

These thinkers are steps on my ladder, not me.

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Wed Dec 02, 2015 1:17 pm

Satyr wrote:
I will not wear Nietzsche, or Jesus, or whomever, to impress you, or anybody.

Whether I am someone who needs to be impressed or not is of no concern and relevance here.

What is of relevance is constitutions differ.
Metabolisms differ.

There are those like you, and there are those with different conceptions of independence, which do not immediately and necessarily invalidate you.

To you N. is a thinker you grasp and move on.

To others N. is an instrument that is deployed not as one's eye, but one More eye, one More tool, one More ear, hand nose…

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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 Wed Dec 02, 2015 1:22 pm

J.-Xts. and pop. Buddhists are those who mumble mindlessly as they rotate their rosaries and the dharma-wheel.

But they do not own remembrance.


Remembrance is also growth.
Why Mnemosyne, the muse of memory, and money[wealth, weal, well-being] were minted together.

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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 Wed Dec 02, 2015 1:26 pm

Those "like me" differ from those "like you" in degree, and here is where I know you.


I need Nietzsche as I would a friend in the jungle who has knowledge, of the plants and animals, I do not have, or has words to represent intuitions I do not possess.
I learn, and then move on, having no more need of what insights he offered, and only adding to my own judgments and experiences.

If not, then you have Saul-well-ios, an effete, natural born follower, jumping from one to another, with that penis, that first one that popped his cherry, in mind - measuring all that follow to that first love, the first one that filled him with what he could not find in self.
Then some charlatan, like Jacob, can seduce him/her, with the promise of a penis comparable to that first hymen rip - the first orgasm.

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Wed Dec 02, 2015 2:42 pm

We can understand why taking a dog to Paris will not cultivate its spirit beyond the point of it experiencing a different environment in its own dog-like spirit.
It cannot understand the spirit of the place, because it is non-canine, it is human.
No art, no culture, no essence, can penetrate digishness. It knows what dogs know, and can comprehend, and everything else is invisible to it.

We take this extreme and relate it to divisions between humans, on a more subtle level, and one not burdened by modern ideals, and political-correct, leftist dogma.
Take a human and place him in Paris, in London, in Nepal, in a movie theater watching a popular film and he will be blind to all, except what is on his level of cognition. All else is invisible, beyond the visible, the tangible.
No matter how often he travels how many experiences he acquires, he remains on that level, a bit more informed, but not more enlightened.

The receptivity, the potential, of the individual, should not be mistaken for the pragmatism, his/her experiences, when it is is we who project ourselves in his/her position imagining how invigorated we would be if we had experienced what (s)he has experienced.

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Wed Dec 02, 2015 5:31 pm

One either remains a disciple for ever, or one becomes a discipline unto oneself.

The most disciplined disciple is still a disciple however.

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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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