For the context of the following comments and to reply, please click on the DATE/TIME above them.
(Responding to a Blog Post by Caroline Fairless on Rational Doubt.)
A Divine Agency of the Christian sort, is not likely the best fit, but then the Sacredness of the Universe doesn’t require it.
It still qualifies as God.
The Deep Ecology of absolute interdependence is the kinetic surface of Divine Singularity.
Humans present as a special case in nature because of our amplified sense of abstracted self. The confusion of identity with our body’s mind-made ego.
We are only “special” if the dance runs to completion, in enlightened Self awareness.
i.e. the prodigal son returns.
God has seen itself from our eyes, and lived to know about it.
Can not help but to do so.
UnumOmnia – “I assume you equate sacredness to value. If so, then what is the value in the finites ? The Sun (after devouring the planets) and the moons will disappear and All will be forgotten eventually. When that happens, no one cares what Einstein did because there wouldn’t be anyone around to care. Would you still see sacredness in leprosy (disease/sickness), disparity (rich get richer and poor get shafted, big fish eat little fish), cruelty (catastrophes/violence), etc. ? It’s easy to see sacredness when one is not poor, sick, raped, illiterate, handicapped, just to name a few, not to mention being a mosquito, skunk, or being an undesirable part (a**hole).”
Sacredness is in the absolute interconnectedness. The non difference of the parts from the whole.
It is our eyes which see the leper and a peacock.
Identification with grandeur or degradation is optional. Though, being deep asleep we must first wake up.
drakvl responding to Caroline Fairless – “What you call the sacredness of creation is probably the same as what I call the beauty of nature: a vast, intricate tapestry formed from the interaction of matter according to consistent principles of physics, into which we are thorougly woven.”
Open your mind to the unifying Infinitude from which nature expresses, and you arrive at God.
No contradictions remain to feed the truncated version, unless you choose.
drakvl- “Most people define God to be something with a will and an ability to act on that will; whether or not //the unifying Infinitude from which nature expresses// is describable as such will determine whether it is consistent with how most people conceive of God.”
After a certain age most people imagine their own “will” as something that they own. Something local to their personal sense of “self”.
But, getting them to show you why, what or where that sense of “self” is, that is is another story.
Can you see the assumptions?
By this, we get more tightly woven into the fabric than is necessary.
Even those with strong “belief” in God succumb to this, to the degree that God remains as Other.
drakvl – “All true, but my point was that if someone defines God in such a way that God either doesn’t have a will or can’t act on that will, the person might as well just worship a mountain.”
Only if the understanding extends no further than the end of a nose.
I didn’t say God has no will, or does not act on it. But rather, that the center of that dynamic is not elsewhere, but HERE.
This opens the door (as has always been known) to intention, aligning and harmonizing. The process of tuning up.
Putting the Ego in it’s place because we know better.
The higher practices of Religion, Art, and Philosophy.
Does this include Science? You tell me.
drakvl – “And you have yet to show that this notion of God describes a being which has a will and the ability to act on it.”
Fair enough. I am probably trying to telegraph the epiphany.
How important is it to you, that God decided to create a universe and then did so?
I mean, you have already excluded the concept from consideration right?
Why limit this conversation with me, to me proving something like that? I don’t even believe it.
Seems an unnecessarily primitive conception.
Whatever “will” is though, it emerges with the sense of self awareness. The “I Am”.
My premiss is that the first instance of this Awareness arises from the primordial infinitude of undivided potentiality.
I’ll suggest that primordial Will is the urge to discover and explore the ramifications of Awareness.
The echos of that awareness, and it’s animating force,”Will”, cascade throughout creation as Us.
Always seamlessly integrated with the Whole. Even in the delusion of “separateness”.
The above sketch is the best I can do at this time. Especially without knowing what resonates and what falls flat.
As for the “practical implications” of this, to you or me, I can only say that my nature, is of the contemplative sort, and therefor quite involved in…
” … aligning and harmonizing. … tuning up. Putting the Ego in it’s place…
Because of the seamless connection experienced as the sentient Here and Now, there is learning, refinement and evolution. i.e. Purpose.
[note: drakvl parses out quotes from the previous comment. I’ve added the names to make it easier to track.]
brmckay – “How important is it to you, that God decided to create a universe and then did so?”
drakvl – “Not all that important. In ancient Greek belief, the gods that were actually worshipped were one or two generations removed from the beings responsible for the act of creation.”
brmckay – “Whatever ‘will’ is though, it emerges with the sense of self awareness. The ‘I Am’.”
drakvl – “I’m perfectly happy accepting the notion of God-within-us as a rather poetic expression of whatever it is that makes humans special among all the animals.”
brmckay – “Always seamlessly integrated with the Whole. Even in the delusion of ‘separateness’.”
drakvl – “And you’re losing me here.
Also: what I meant by ‘practical implications’ is that I don’t see any big difference between how ‘god-within-us’ suggests we act and how humanism suggests we act.”
“And you’re losing me here.”
That’s fine. There is no need to take it further.
You may run into other sources or turn a corner in your own speculation at some point. Or not.
“Also: what I meant by ‘practical implications’ is that I don’t see any big difference between how ‘god-within-us’ suggests we act and how humanism suggests we act.“
I’ll just say that it is we who set the limits and the pace.
(Responding to Chris Highland’s response to the post by Caroline Fairless)
Your problem with the idea of ‘Creation’ is of your own making. An artefact possibly, of not respecting “the kind” of people who use the word regularly.
The spontaneous emergence of Existence from Infinitude qualifies as “Creation”.
Even though the nature of the agent is indistinguishable from the nature of it’s manifestation. The nature of the manifestation, indistinguishable from the nature of it’s agent.
How could it be otherwise? I would think that by rights, this should be called God. Giving credit where credit is due.
You may differ. And, requiring God to be somehow “supernatural” will of course be problematic. You might want to take a look at that.
I’m pretty sure that the term “Spirituality” still has plenty of play left in it, if only to distinguish, between the conscious and the unconsciousness aspects of relating to the above mentioned Singularity (aka God).
It may not apply to you of course, but that is neither here nor there.
Elizabeth – “. Although I wouldn’t use the term ‘being,’…”
To exist is to “Be”… the habit of separating “beings” out from “Being” is the Viewpoint Universe. At least it seems to me.
mason – “Humans may choose to hold nature/creation as sacred but nature does not and will not return the favour. Every living thing is expendable and eatable 🙂
Actually it just did “return the favour”.
Whether you realize it or not, humans are a natural phenomena.
Their abstracted sense of “self” reflects on it’s existence. The sense of “sacredness” arises. This is not separable from nature.
If an individual human transcends the “abstracted” sense of self, the sense of “sacredness” would not be apparent since the underlying suchness and sentience would be be all pervasive.
Bur really, how is that different?
mason – ” …but I still find that such rhetoric is superfluous poppycock.”
You must realize that you are simply describing an attitude not a Truth. Right?
If the “attitudes” of others, that you so carefully list, were “overstated bullshit”, then surely yours would qualify in spades.
“I disagree that there is any benevolent, caring, or sacred nature in the Universe. It is a childish wish IMHO.”
You keep placing humans outside of the Universe. Claiming zero presence or effect. That is just not correct.
The Universe made us. So there it is. Benevolence and caring. A sense of sacredness.
There is of course also, self pity and victimization, nihilism and despair.
The question is, which of these dogs do you feed?
Caroline Fairless – “It is not my desire to take the word “God” away from anyone. I’m simply no longer sure why we need it.”
It is good word. All the variations like Eskimo words for snow.
Not everybody reads widely. Some can’t read at all.
Elizabeth – “Re: the sacred: Ned wrote, ‘You are describing experiences of wonderful natural phenomena’; and you responded: ‘Actually she is describing an intimate relationship with, and a sharpened comprehension of, the moment.’
I agree with Ned, brmckay, that is a helpful and fruitful comment; thank you for the food for thought!”
Ok. But, are you saying that the word “sacred”, or my elaboration upon it’s meaning, presupposes something “supernatural”? (which is the point he was making)
How about words like meditation, transcendence, communion, as well as divine?
Or, even your reference to “a continuum of One”?
Elizabeth – “I’m puzzling about this, brmckay… in a way, I think maybe I want to use just plain ‘tree,’ ‘witness the birth of a newborn,’ etc, and just have it understood that whatever one thinks of as ‘god’ is involved. Otherwise, it seems impossible to avoid seeming to separate out some discrete entity. But because of our Western mindset, we don’t seem to apprehend the numinous unless someone explicitly calls attention to it — which is one reason I appreciated your lifting up the distinction of Caroline’s perception of the moment.
Words, words! ‘Meditation’ should not throw anyone off track, I would think — but ‘transcendence,’ ‘communion,’ ‘spirit,’ ‘creation,’ etc., seem to inevitably bring along that ‘baggage’ that Chris writes about.
Thank you for keeping at the challenge!!”
Sometimes words serve most in their ability to generalize.
On personal, community and professional levels we get down to nuance and detail, but across the various cultural divides, we keep it broad and vague.