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GENERAL Citations including THEOLOGY & LOVE (works cited listed at bottom):
 

"In 1956, towards the close of his essay Gegenwart und Zukunft, C.G. Jung wrote:

We are living in what the Greeks called the kairos--the right moment--for a 'metamorphosis of the gods', of the fundamental principles and symbols. This peculiarity of our time, which is certainly not of our conscious choosing, is the expression of the unconscious man within us who is changing. Coming generations will have to take account of this momentous transformation if humanity is not to destroy itself through the might of its own technology and science.

"He compares the moment with the beginning of the Christian era, and asks: '...does the individual know that he is the makeweight that tips the scales?'...

"Without the sense of soul, we have no sense of history. We never enter it. This core of soul that weaves events together into the meaningful patterns of tales and stories recounted by reminiscing creates history. History is story first and fact later. In the words of Lessing: 'Geschichte als Sinngebung des Sinnlosen.' Only those events enter history that have been experienced as facts which matter to the story told by someone. Only that which is retold, re-counted, remembered becomes history. This remembrance of things past requires an experiencing sinngebende individual psyche." Hillman, James, Puer Papers, "Senex and Puer," Spring, 1979, pp. 4, 6.


"Responsibility must begin with attention. To act responsibly we must ask: What is happening? What is calling us to respond? The theologian H. Richard Niebuhr in his book The Responsible Self argued that all our action is a response to action upon us, for we are caught in an inescapable web of relationship with other human beings, with the natural world, and with the ultimate reality that includes and transcends all things--what Jews and Christians call God. In many situations we either passively accept what is happening to us or try to evade the implications of what is occurring around us. But, says Niebuhr, we must interpret what is happening; especially, we must interpret the intentions of the people we deal with. A third element in responsibility has to do with the effect on others of what we do, a matter that Niebuhr calls 'accountability.' But our actions usually are not isolated encounters with persons or things with whom we have no continuing relation but, rather, occur in contexts that are already patterned and partake of an element of social solidarity. Summing up, Niebuhr wrote: 'The idea or pattern of responsibility, then may summarily and abstractly be defined as the idea of an agent's action as response to an action upon him in accordance with his interpretation of the latter action and with his expectation of response to his response; and all of this is in a continuing community of agents.'" Bellah, Robert et al, The Good Society, Vintage, 1992, p. 283.


“Arjuna: And now, Krishna, I wish to learn about Prakriti and Brahman, the Field and the Knower of the Field. What is knowledge? What is it that has to be known?

"Sri Krishna (God): This body is called the Field, because a man sows seeds of action in it, and reaps their fruits. Wise men say that the Knower of the Field is he who watches what takes place within this body.

"Recognize me as the Knower of the Field in every body. I regard discrimination between Field and Knower as the highest kind of knowledge."

"Now listen, and I will tell you briefly what the Field is; its nature, modifications and origin. I will tell you also who the Knower is, and what are his powers.
"The sages have expressed these truths variously, in many hymns, and in aphorisms on the nature of Brahman, subtly reasoned and convincing in their arguments.

"Briefly I name them:
First, Prakriti
Which is the cosmos
In cause unseen
And visible feature;
Intellect, ego;
Earth, water and ether,
Air and fire;
Man's ten organs
Of knowing and doing,
Man's mind also;
The five sense-objects--
Sound in its essence,
Essence of aspect,
Essence of odour,
Of touch and of tasting;
Hate and desire,
And pain and pleasure;
Consciousness, lastly,
And resolution;
These, with their sum
Which is blent in the body:
These make the Field
With its limits and changes."
Bhagavad-Gita: The Song of God, Translated by Prabhavananda and Isherwood, Mentor, 1944.


"We are faced with a harmonized collectivity of consciousnesses equivalent to a sort of super-consciousness. The idea is that of the earth not only becoming covered by myriads of grains of thought, but becoming enclosed in a single thinking envelope so as to form, functionally, no more than a single vast grain of thought on the sidereal scale, the plurality of individual reflections grouping themselves together and reinforcing one another in the act of a single unanimous reflection." de Chardin, Teilhard, The Phenomenon of Man, Harper, 1959, 251-2.


“Heaven is my father and Earth is my mother, and even such a
small creature as I find an intimate place in their midst.
Therefore that which fills the universe I regard as my body and
that which directs the universe I consider as my nature.
All people are my brothers and sisters, and all things are my
companions.” Tu, Weiming.  1998. “The Continuity of Being: Chinese Visions of Nature”  From: Tucker, Mary Evelyn and Berthrong, John, editors. Confucianism and Ecology: The Interrelation of Heaven, Earth, and Humans. Harvard University Press (Harvard University Center for the Study of World Religions). p. 113.


“Yet the notion of humanity as forming one body with the universe has been so widely accepted by the Chinese, in popular as well as elite culture, that it can very well be characterized as a general Chinese worldview.” Tu, Weiming.  1998. “The Continuity of Being: Chinese Visions of Nature”  From: Tucker, Mary Evelyn and Berthrong, John, editors. Confucianism and Ecology: The Interrelation of Heaven, Earth, and Humans. Harvard University Press (Harvard University Center for the Study of World Religions). p. 113.


“These oppositions recall Ernst Troeltsch’s famous contrast between the church and the sect as historical forms of social organization in the Christian church. For Troeltsch, the Christian ideal has always contained two poles. One pole receives expression in the sect, as evidenced in the religious forms of the Reformation that gained ascendency in the early English colonization of North America. Here, ‘communal forms rest on the principle of a mature, free, conscious decision by the adult individual, on the constant control of faith and morals,’ so that the religious community is seen as an ‘association’ of free individuals. In this understanding of Christianity, argues Troeltsch, ‘divine law is more important than sacrament,’ while individual achievement is decisive rather than grace. Where the church type has ‘sacraments of penance and forgiveness of sins, the other [sect type] has congregational discipline and the expulsion of the unworthy.’ The great strength of the ‘sect type’ has been energy and renewal; its negative legacy has been an indifference and cruelty to those considered outside the circle of light.” Sullivan, William. “Politics as the ‘Public Use of Reason’: Religious Roots of Political Possibilities.” pp. 236-253. Madsen, R. & W. Sullivan, A. Swidler, S. Tipton. Meaning and Modernity: Religion Polity and Self. University of California Press. 2002. p. 250.


“Whereas in tribal and archaic societies self and society were seen as embedded in the natural cosmos, the axial religions and philosophies made it possible in principle for the self to become disembedded from society and society from the given world of nature. It should be remembered, however, that in its radical consistency axial religion was never more than the religion of a minority; the majority continued to entertain beliefs and practices continuous with archaic or even tribal religion, which is what Weber meant by the return to the garden of magic.

“With the Protestant Reformation, the belief in a radically transcendent God had dramatic this-worldly consequences: the consistent demands of an axial ethic were to be expected from everyone and in every sphere of daily life. An entirely new degree of disembeddedness of self from society, and society from nature, became possible.” Bellah, Robert. “Epilogue.” pp. 255-276. Madsen, Richard & William Sullivan, Ann Swidler, Steven Tipton. Meaning and Modernity: Religion Polity and Self. University of California Press. 2002. p. 257.


“The mythology of the war of all against all that threatens to engulf civilization if morality is not enforced is told only by those who have withdrawn from the people the basic morality that sociability has imposed for millions of years on animals in groups. This should be obvious but is not–because, unfortunately, moral philosophy is a narcotic as addictive as epistemology, and we cannot easily kick the habit of thinking that the demos lacks morality as totally as it lacks epistemic knowledge.” Latour, Bruno. Pandora’s Hope: Essays on the Reality of Science Studies. Harvard University Press. 1999. p. 255.


“On the one hand, the diversity of moral outlooks surrounding each individual in a modern society encourages her to distance herself from any single outlook and relativize all of them in order to enact each one in the social role and practices specific to it: efficient worker, expressive lover, law-abiding citizen, lifestylish consumer, authoritative yet caring parent, faithful believer, and so on. The institutional multiplication of moral ideals accounts for the apparently inconsistent and self-contradictory cosmologies modern individuals hold simultaneously, and the ‘eccentric’ moral hybrids they compose from various traditions.” Tipton, Steven. “Social Differentiation and Moral Pluralism.” pp. 15-40. Madsen, Richard et al. Meaning and Modernity: Religion Polity and Self. University of California Press. 2002. p. 33.


“The actual institutions in which we live, as opposed to ideal-typical ones, are both structurally and ideologically mixed. In each social situation and institution we actually experience, we have all these ethical styles and traditions in our heads, however fragmentarily or unevenly represented, ringing more or less true to the practical activities, roles and relations of that situation and of our own history. The distinctions of ethical outlook we actually adopt, then, are rarely all-or-nothing, mutually exclusive matters. They are more nearly matters of mixture: Which ethical style will predominate in which situation? Which style will order the interrelation of other styles and the elements of tradition in a given situation and for whom? Particular persons and groups combine and recombine moral traditions and styles in mixtures of meaning specific to particular social situations and problems.

“This perspective rebuts ethical absolutism without confirming ethical relativism. For in each situation and with each problem, institutionally arranged and enacted as they are, persons frame practical moral questions and answers in search of alternative responses that are intelligible, justifiable, and therefore public in their cultural coherence. To guide my moral decisions, I am seeking criteria that I can communicate coherently and persuasively to others, not rationalizations I can use to mask my arbitrariness. I am seeking moral guidance not just for myself, but for anyone in my situation. Institutionally embedded and dramatically enacted as it is, such guidance is not simply a matter of universalizing from each person to every rational subject or free citizen, abstractly conceived, but neither is it simply a statement of personal intent or group interest. For we cannot make the modes of moral discourse and the moral drama of institutions mean whatever we wish and still make sense to ourselves and others, which is what we must do in order to live as social beings.” Tipton, Steven. “Social Differentiation and Moral Pluralism.” pp. 15-40. Madsen, Richard & William Sullivan, Ann Swidler, Steven Tipton. Meaning and Modernity: Religion Polity and Self. University of California Press. 2002. pp. 38-9.


"...one can respond to this human/nature dualism by attempting to draw the human into the realm of nature, thus effectively eliminating subjectivity altogether; or one can attempt to pull individual species of animals into the realm of the human, and populate our landscape with the pets and puppets that these pseudo-humans inevitably become. But to actually encounter the other beings as other, as living subjects of significance, requires some loosening of the conceptual bindings of nature so that subjectivity can flow back in, like water to a scorched garden. This is resisted in the everyday defense of dualism and by the strictures of empirical investigation which dictate that we treat nature 'as an invading army treats an occupied country, mixing as little as possible with the inhabitants.'

"Yet here is the paradox: although we treat nature as the antithesis of order, we also attribute to it a secret order. That is, by claiming that there is a reasonable, regular structure behind all the appearances of nature, an order discernible only by the human mind, we also claim it for our own system; we have ordered it by claiming privileged access to the 'system' within. By 'systemizing' nature, we make it ours, a part of the ordered world, a part of culture. So, curiously, we both accept it--the hidden part at least--as an ordered realm, while simultaneously rejecting the 'dirty' manifestations of that hidden order that are actually encountered in the chaotic domain that strives against the backyard fence. Given this, perhaps the only action a concerned person could take in support of the nonhuman world is to demonstrate a tolerance of the 'divine chaos'--including weeds and dirt. To do so would not only expand the habitat of innumerable creatures, but would also confront the system that sustains this organic apartheid."

"Wildness, however, lies beyond the objects in question, a quality which directly confronts and confounds our designs. At root, it is wildness that is at issue: not wilderness, not polar bears, not whooping cranes or Bengal tigers, but that which they as individuals exemplify. These creatures are 'made of' wildness, one might say, before they are made of tissue or protein. But perhaps even wildness is an inadequate term, for that essential core of otherness is inevitably nameless, and as such cannot be subsumed within our abstractions or made part of the domain of human willing."

When Richard Jefferies concluded, at the end of a life of trying to understand the creatures he so greatly admired, that he could not 'know' nature, he liberated himself from a lifelong deceit. In doing so, he also freed nature, as if he were releasing a songbird. He gave up the pretense to knowledge that delimits what a creature may be, and which protects us thereafter from the uncertainties of strangeness: we hide from wildness by making it 'natural.' Inevitably, what we know is largely our own symbolic representations, which will behave as they were designed to. But of that which they purport to represent, they tell a partial story at best." The Social Creation of Nature, Neil Evernden, Johns Hopkins University, 1992, pp. 108-9, 119, 121, 129.


"The evolution of ideas has added a new dimension to the creative process, supplementing but not displacing the evolution of material things. As mind becomes less and less dependent on matter a collective mind is taking shape--thoughts are reverberating around the earth and beginning to reach out into the universe.

"Although mankind appears to be just a minute local phenomenon in a cosmos so vast that its size humbles the imagination, size alone is not a measure of importance. We have seen that the transformation process takes place by building from tiny individual centers. The whole is immanent in all the parts, no matter how small.

"An exponential process magnifies in a spectacular way even very little beginnings. As the extension of the creative force of life and mind doubles and doubles again it will rapidly encompass ever widening spheres. We can imagine that the next stages of evolution will be more beautiful as they approach nearer to the ultimate expression of Form. Although the general direction of the transformation process can be perceived, we know that it is always moving into unexplored territory. Each new level of organization reveals qualities that cannot be anticipated until that stage is reached. (It would not have been possible, for example, to predict the creation of mind by studying the individual human cell.) Higher levels of organisms may be taking shape--not just in time but also in space, far out in the larger dimensions of the universe." Young, Louise B. The Unfinished Universe, Oxford University, 1986, p. 204.


"When we consider the soul of relationship, unexpected factors come into view. In its deepest nature, for example, the soul involves itself in the stuff of this world, both people and objects. It loves attachments of all kinds--to places, ideas, times, historical figures and periods, things, words, sounds, and settings--and if we are going to examine relationship in the soul, we have to take into account the wide range of its loves and inclinations. Yet even though the soul sinks luxuriously into its attachments, something in it also moves in a different direction. Something valid and necessary takes flight when it senses deep attachment, and this flight also seems so deeply rooted as to be an honest expression of soul. Our ultimate goal is to find ways to embrace both attachment and resistance to attachment, and the only way to that reconciliation of opposites is to dig deeply into the nature of each. As with all matters of soul, it is in honoring its impulses that we find our way best into its mysteries." Moore, Thomas, Soul Mates: Honoring the Mysteries of Love and Relationship, Harper Collins, 1994, p. 3.


"The contemporary renaissance of Goddess spirituality is not merely a protest demonstration against patriarchal hegemony in Western religion or even against the broader cultural negation of the female body. It is the practice of an embodied way of knowing and being in the world. We have immersed ourselves in the erotic realm of myth, symbol, poetry, song, dance, and ritual for more than fifteen years in order to come to our senses. Having been educated within the patriarchal framework of tightly bound 'reason' and supposedly detached 'objectivity,' we hungered to feed our capabilities of perceiving subtle, encompassing, scrumptious connectedness emanating from every direction of our being. We longed for authenticity, the truth of our being. Boxed in by cultural denial, we dissolved the boxes by forming a circle, an ever-widening circle of the empowering realization that being is being-in-relation, that we come to know the larger reality of humanity, Earth-body, and cosmos through the body, not by escaping the personal to an abstract system, and that apprehending our dynamic embeddedness in the unitive unfolding brings wisdom and grace to our subjectivity--including our conceptualizing and theorizing.

"These metaphysical observations, considered so elementary in non-patriarchal, nonmodern cultures, challenge the entire defense system that has been erected by patriarchal, disembodied epistemology, the seemingly inviolable split between the knowing subject and the passive object about which data is gathered....

...What is needed is not a lockstep ecocentric 'foundationalism,' so feared by deconstructionists, but a creative orientation of attentive and respectful engagement with the natural world, from our own body to the unfolding presence of the entire cosmos. After all, what is human culture, but an extension of the dynamic physicality of the planet?" "Revisioning Postmodernism with an Embodied and Ecological Spirituality," Spretnak, Charlene, excerpted from States of Grace, Harper, San Francisco, 1991 in Open Eye, Journal of California Institute of Integral Studies, Vol. 10, No 1, March 1993;


“The effulgence of the divine, he [Pindar] feels, is reflected in the appearances of the world; his sensuous delight in the multiplicity of things is not yet obscured by the knowledge that the essence which really matters is located beyond the visible world, and that it can be known only by reason.” Snell, Bruno. The Discovery of the Mind in Greek Philosophy and Literature, p. 86.


“Even though medieval philosophers could not avoid discussing matters divine, they were careful not to call by the name of theology those truths about God and the heavens accessible to mere reason.” Funkenstein, Amos. Theology and the Scientific Imagination From the Middle Ages to the Seventeenth Century. Princeton University Press. 1986. p. 4.


“Because the seventeenth century wished language to become precise and thoroughly transparent, God’s omnipresence became a problem. If it could no longer be given a symbolic or metaphorical meaning, how else could the ubiquity of God be understood, God’s being ‘everywhere’?” Funkenstein, Amos. Theology and the Scientific Imagination From the Middle Ages to the Seventeenth Century. Princeton University Press. 1986. p. 10.


“New in the seventeenth century was the critical-contextual understanding of history. Historical facts were no longer seen as self-evident, simplex narratio gestarum. Instead, they obtain significance only from the context in which they are embedded–a context to be reconstructed by the historian. And the meaning of historical periods or of their succession was likewise, since the revolution in historical thought, to be derived from internal connections within history rather than from a transcendental premise or promise.” Funkenstein, Amos. Theology and the Scientific Imagination From the Middle Ages to the Seventeenth Century. Princeton University Press. 1986. p. 11.


“Bodies, though breakable, are impenetrable; spirits, though indivisible, are penetrable.” Funkenstein, Amos. Theology and the Scientific Imagination From the Middle Ages to the Seventeenth Century. Princeton University Press. 1986. p. 77.


“The medieval sense of God’s symbolic presence in his creation, and the sense of a universe replete with transcendent meanings and hints, had to recede if not to give way totally to the postulates of univocation and homogeneity in the seventeenth century....

“All of them [seventeenth century philosophers and scientists] and most of the others believed that the subjects of theology and science alike can be absolutely de-metaphorized and de-symbolized.” Funkenstein, Amos. Theology and the Scientific Imagination From the Middle Ages to the Seventeenth Century. Princeton University Press. 1986. p. 116.


“Descartes, thus, made all of us closer to being angels (Maritain); at any rate, the exceptional in the eyes of medieval theologians becomes the rule in his eyes.” Funkenstein, Amos. Theology and the Scientific Imagination From the Middle Ages to the Seventeenth Century. Princeton University Press. 1986. p. 187 (footnote) (“Immediate intuitive cognition irrespective of sense perception and even irrespective of the actual presence of the object became, for Descartes, the essence of intuition, the rule rather than an exception.” p. 186 - same footnote)


“The progress of the city of God from now on is not comparable anymore to biological processes: it runs through spirituales aetates, and is measurable ‘not by years, but with advancements.’” Funkenstein, Amos. Theology and the Scientific Imagination From the Middle Ages to the Seventeenth Century. Princeton University Press. 1986. p. 260 [speaking of St. Augustine’s view]


“One of the questions answered by the notion of a cosmic mind–and, in fact, one that was fundamental in Whitehead’s own acceptance of this notion–is that of the mode of existence of abstract entities, or possibilities. One formulation of the ‘ontological principle’ is causal: To look for an effective cause is to look for an actuality. But another meaning involves our present question: ‘Everything must be somewhere; and here ‘somewhere’ means ‘some actual entity’‘ Whitehead agrees, in other words, with the widespread intuition that abstract entities, as mere possibilities, cannot exist simply on their own, free-floating in the void. This intuition has led most modern thought, having rejected any cosmic actuality in which they could subsist, to reject their existence altogether. This rejection implies that not only all moral and aesthetic norms but also all logical norms and mathematical relations must be thought to be created or invented, not discovered. The senior author of Principia Mathematica, not being able to accept this and having thought through the implications of the ontological principle, overcame his long-standing aversion to all theistic talk. Saying that ‘the general potentiality of the universe must be somewhere,’ he named this somewhere ‘the primordial mind of God.’” Griffin, David Ray. Unsnarling the World-Knot: Consciousness, Freedom, and the Mind-Body Problem. University of California Press. 1998. p. 204. Subquotes are from Alfred North Whitehead, Process and Reality, p. 46.


"On the far side of the subjective, on this side of the objective, on the narrow ridge, where I and Thou meet, there is the realm of 'between.'

"This reality, whose disclosure has begun in our time, shows the way, leading beyond individualism and collectivism, for the life decision of future generations. Here the genuine third alternative is indicated, the knowledge of which will help to bring about the genuine person again and to establish genuine community.

"I become through my relation to the Thou; as I become I, I say Thou. All real living is meeting." Buber, Martin, I and Thou, from The Way of Response Martin Buber, Nahum Glatzer, Schocken Books, New York, 1966, pp. 48, 55.


"Nous sommes les abeilles de l'invisible."
"We are the bees of the invisible."
Rilke, R. M.


"Then the serpent said to the woman, 'No! you will not die! God knows in fact that on the day you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods, knowing good and evil. The woman saw that the tree was good to eat and pleasing to the eye, and that it was desirable for the knowledge that it could give. So she took some of its fruit and ate it. She gave some also to her husband who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened and they realised that they were naked." Bible, (The Jerusalem), Genesis 3: 6-7


"And the Lord God said, 'The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.' So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken." Bible, New International Version, Genesis 3:22.


"The entire modern analysis of religion, including much of the most important recent theology, though rejecting Kant's narrowly rational ethics, has been forced to ground religion in the structure of the human situation itself. In this respect the present paper is a symptom of the modern religious situation as well as an analysis of it. In the world view that has emerged from the tremendous intellectual advances of the last two centuries there is simply no room for a hierarchic dualistic religious symbol system of the classical historic type. This is not to be interpreted as a return to primitive monism: it is not that a single world has replaced a double one but that an infinitely multiplex one has replaced the simple duplex structure. It is not that life has become again a 'one possibility thing' but that it has become an infinite possibility thing. The analysis of modern man as secular, materialistic, dehumanized and in the deepest sense areligious seems to me fundamentally misguided, for such a judgment is based on standards that cannot adequately gauge the modern temper..."

"Nevertheless, the fundamental symbolization of modern man and his situation is that of a dynamic multi-dimensional self capable, within limits, of continual self-transformation and capable, again within limits, of remaking the world including the very symbolic forms with which he deals with it, even the forms that state the unalterable conditions of his own existence. Such a statement should not be taken to mean that I expect, even less that I advocate, some ghastly religion of social science. Rather I expect traditional religious symbolism to be maintained and developed in new directions, but with growing awareness that it is symbolism and that man in the last analysis is responsible for the choice of his symbolism." Beyond Belief, Robert Bellah, Harper & Row, 1970, pp. 40-2.


"It was Georg Cantor who, in the late 1800s, finally created a theory of the actual infinite which by its apparent consistency, demolished the Aristotelian and scholastic 'proofs' that no such theory could be found....

"Cantor soon obtained a number of interesting results about actually infinite sets, most notably the result that the set of points on the real line constitutes a higher infinity than the set of all natural numbers. That is, Cantor was able to show that infinity is not an all or nothing concept: there are degrees of infinity....

"This threefold division is due to Cantor, who, in the following passage, distinguished between the Absolute Infinite, the physical infinities, and the mathematical infinities:

'The actual infinite arises in three contexts: first when it is realized in the most complete form, in a fully independent other-worldly being, in Deo, where I call it the Absolute Infinite or simply Absolute; second when if occurs in the contingent, created world; third when the mind grasps it in abstracto as a mathematical magnitude, number, or order type. I wish to make a sharp contrast between the Absolute and what I call the Transfinite, that is, the actual infinities of the last two sorts, which are clearly limited, subject to further increase, and thus related to the finite.'

"Suzuki distinguishes between two ways of knowing the world. Prajna is intuitive, immediate knowledge of the world--what we might call a mystical grasping of the world in its unity....

"Vijnana is discursive, analytical knowledge of the world--what we call rational thought.... Suzuki says something that is very relevant:

'Vijnana can never reach infinity. When we write the numbers 1, 2, 3, etc., we never come to an end, for the series goes on in infinity. By adding together all those individual numbers we try to reach the total of the numbers, but as numbers are endless this totality can never be reached. Prajna, on the other hand, intuits the whole totality instead of moving through 1, 2, 3, to infinity; it grasps things as a whole. It does not appeal to discrimination, it grasps reality from inside, as it were.'

"The point is not that mystical, unitive, prajna-type knowledge is preferable. Both types of knowledge are real, and both are important. But it is very hard--perhaps impossible--for us to see the world in both ways at once. At any instant we see the world either as One or as Many....

"Moving from Many to One tends to be a gradual process, the result of some kind of deliberate calming of the mind. But the passage from One to Many is usually sudden. At a given instant you may be sunk into a complete unity with the world. And then an instant later you are talking about your experience, standing outside yourself, making distinctions. The difficult thing is to catch the instant when you are still between One and Many, what I earlier called the '/' in the One/Many problem. According to Suzuki this instant is the fleeting enlightenment that Zen calls satori....

"Benjamin Blood wrote at some length about this type of experience. He would equip himself with a handkerchief soaked in ether, hold it to his face, sink into unconsciousness, and, as his nerveless hand fell away, he would wake back up. The experience of moving abruptly from artificial trance to normal awareness struck him as central, and he wrote something very interesting about it:

"'I think most persons who shall have tested it will accept this as the central point of the illumination: [i] that sanity is not the basic quality of intelligence, but is a mere condition which is variable, and like the humming of wheel, goes up or down the musical gamut according to a physical activity; [ii] and that only in sanity is formal or contrasting thought, while the naked life is realized only outside of sanity altogether; [iii] and it is the instant contrast of this 'tasteless water of souls' with formal thought as we 'come to,' that leaves in the patient an astonishment that the awful mystery of Life is at last but a homely and a common thing, and that aside from mere formality the majestic and the absurd are of equal dignity.'"
Rucker, Rudy, Infinity and the Mind: The Science and Philosophy of the Infinite, Bantam, 1983, pps. xii, 3, 4-5, 8, 10, 230-3. (Enthused mathematician arguing that metamathematics and metaphysical questions or mystical experiences have much to offer each other.)


"The Norwegian anthropologist, Frederick Barth, writes of how the basseri, another tribe of Iranian nomads, were, in the 1930s, forbidden by Reza Shah to move from their winter grazing ground.

"In 1941, the Shah was deposed, and they were free once again to make the 300-mile journey to the Zagros. Free they were, but they had no animals. Their fine-fleeced sheep had suffocated on the southern plains: yet they set off all the same.

"They became nomads again, which is to say, they became human again. 'The supreme value to them,' wrote Barth, 'lay in the freedom to migrate, not in the circumstances that make it economically viable.'

"When Barth came to account for the dearth of ritual among the basseri--or of any rooted belief--he concluded that the Journey itself was the ritual, that the road to summer uplands was the Way, and that the pitching and dismantling of tents were prayers more meaningful than any in the mosque." Chatwin, Bruce, The Songlines, Penguin, 1987, p. 201-2.


“Briefly, I want to propose that transpersonal phenomena can be more adequately understood as multilocal participatory events (i.e., emergences of transpersonal being that can occur not only in the locus of an individual, but also in a relationship, a community, a collective identity, or a place).” Ferrer, Jorge, N. Revisioning Transpersonal Theory: A Participatory Vision of Human Spirituality. State University of New York Press. 2002. p. 116.


“Whenever we understand the relationship between the divine and the human as reciprocal and interconnected, we can, humbly but resolutely, reclaim our creative spiritual role in the divine self-disclosure....”

“In the so-called affective mystics (Richard of Saint Victor, Teresa of Avila, Jan van Ruusbroec, etc.), for example, we find the idea that the love for God substantially affects divine self-expression and can even transform God himself. In his discussion of Ruusbroec’s mysticism, Dupre points out:

‘In this blissful union the soul comes to share the dynamics of God’s inner life, a life not only of rest and darkness but also of creative activity and light.... The contemplative accompanies God’s own move from hiddenness to manifestation within the identity of God’s own life.’” Ferrer, Jorge, N. Revisioning Transpersonal Theory: A Participatory Vision of Human Spirituality. State University of New York Press. 2002. p. 153 Subquote is from L. Dupre. Unio Mystica: The State and the Exprience. In M. Idel & B. McGinn (Eds.), Mystical union in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam: An ecumenial dialogue. 1996. p. 17.


“As Whitehead so beautifully proposed, God, too, is slightly overtaken by His Creation, that is, by all that is changed and modified and altered in encountering Him: ‘All actual entities share with God this characteristic of self-causation. For this reason every actual entity also shares with God the characteristic of transcending all other actual entities, including God.’ Yes, we are indeed made in the image of God, that is, we do not know what we are doing either. We are surprised by what we make even when we have, even when we believe we have, complete mastery. Even a software programmer is surprised by her creation after writing two thousand lines of software; should God not be surprised after putting together a much larger package?” Latour, Bruno. Pandora’s Hope: Essays on the Reality of Science Studies. Harvard University Press. 1999. p. 283. Subquote is Alfred North Whitehead, Process and Reality: An Essay in Cosmology, p. 223.


“One way of putting our present situation would be to say that reality–God–is asking us to embark on a transformation of our way of life, a transformation that would restore our organic relationship to each other and to the biosphere, asking us to struggle to see whether we can reconcile the conflicts between freedom and equality that are inherent in our kind of society with the requirements of that organic relationship. This is the task that the greatest (and most Christian) modern philosopher, Hegel, set for us.” Bellah, Robert. “Epilogue.” pp. 255-276. Madsen, Richard & William Sullivan, Ann Swidler, Steven Tipton. Meaning and Modernity: Religion Polity and Self. University of California Press. 2002. p. 275-6.


"One day some people came to the master and asked: How can you be happy in a world of such impermanence, where you cannot protect your loved ones from harm, illness and death? The master held up a glass and said: Someone gave me this glass, and I really like this glass. It holds my water admirably and it glistens in the sunlight. I touch it and it rings! One day the wind may blow it off the shelf, or my elbow may knock it from the table. I know this glass is already broken, so I enjoy it incredibly." Achaan Chah Subato, given to me by my friend Sarah Goodman


"This we know. The earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth. This we know. All things are connected.

"Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.

"But we will consider your offer to go to the reservation you have for my people. We will live apart, and in peace. It matters little where we spend the rest of our days. Our children have seen their fathers humbled in defeat. Our warriors have felt shame, and after defeat they turn their days in idleness and contaminate their bodies with sweet foods and strong drink. It matters little where we pass the rest of our days. They are not many. A few more hours, a few more winters, and none of the children of the great tribes that once lived on this earth or that roam now in small bands in the woods will be left to mourn the graves of a people once as powerful and hopeful as yours. But why should I mourn the passing of my people? Tribes are made of men, nothing more. Men come and go, like the waves of the sea.

"Even the white man, whose God walks and talks with him as friend to friend, cannot be exempt from the common destiny. We may be brothers after all; we shall see. One thing we know, which the white man may one day discover--our God is the same God. You may think now that you own Him as you wish to own our land, but you cannot. He is the God of man and His compassion is equal for the red man and white. This earth is precious to Him and to harm the earth is to heap contempt on its Creator. The whites too shall pass; perhaps sooner than all other tribes. Continue to contaminate your bed, and you will one night suffocate in your own waste.

"But in your perishing you will shine brightly, fired by the strength of the God who brought you to this land and for some special purpose gave you dominion over this land and over the red man. That destiny is a mystery to us, for we do not understand when the buffalo are all slaughtered, the wild horses are tamed, the secret corners of the forest heavy with the scent of many men and the view of the ripe hills blotted by talking wires.

"Where is the thicket? Gone. Where is the eagle? Gone. And what is it to say goodbye to the swift pony and the hunt. The end of living and the beginning of survival.

"So we will consider your offer to buy our land. If we agree it will be to secure the reservation you have promised. There, perhaps, we may live out our brief days as we wish. When the last red man has vanished from this earth, and his memory is only the shadow of a cloud moving across the prairie, these shores and forests will still hold the spirits of my people. For they love this earth as the new born love its mother's heartbeat. So if we sell you our land, love it as we've loved it. Care for it as we've cared for it. Hold in your mind the memory of the land as it is when you take it. And with all your strength, with all your mind, with all your heart, preserve it for your children and love it...as God loves us all. From Speech of Chief Seattle, 1854.


"I am the darkness of a new age. Survival is a frightened word, but, for this interlude at least, you are not frightened. You go to the window and, startled at yourself, you feel a rush of tenderness for the sheer vulnerability of this headlong rushing, longing world of your fellow creatures. Something sleepless in your heart calls out to what is sleepless in the hearts of others. And sometimes it happens that in the darkened building across the street, one light goes on. Somebody else is tired of being asleep, but is uncertain of what to do with such uneasy wakefulness. Each of us has turned on a light. Each of us has been, again and again, a lighted and distant window for someone to look towards after they've stepped from a dream. They are looking toward whatever's to come, straight at us. We are looking at them. We are each other's answers. We always have been, and always will be.

"The house is quiet, the street is quiet for one suspended moment, the city seems actually at rest. You can almost hear the music to which, half-unknowingly, you've been dancing all along." Shadow Dancing in the USA, novel, quoted to me by a friend, Jack Prager.


"The extent to which the importance of mind-altering drugs was played down is illustrated by the declaration of the Holy Inquisition concerning the peyote cult in New Spain. This plant, they said, did not have the power to bring about those phantasms which obviously led the Indians astray. Such action could only be the work of the Father of Lies.

'This is a matter of superstition, which is reprehensible and opposed to the purity and sincerity of our sacred Catholic faith. The said herb and others like it cannot have the power or the natural efficacy attributed to them to bring about the said effects, or to cause the images, phantasms, and representations that the said divinations are based on. In those, what can manifestly be seen is only the suggestion and the assistance of the Demon, the author of such abuses.'

"To some extent, of course, the Holy Inquisition was right. It was not interested in the psychological, pharmacological or scientific aspects of a confusion of the senses or of hallucinations as such. Rather, what was important was the content of these conditions and their origin. And when we read how one of the most outstanding ethnopharmacologists of our day brags that, in contrast to Indian sorcerers, he knows that the nature of the spirits of poisonous plants is a chemical one, then we realize that quite possibly the Holy Inquisition had a much more discriminating intuition about the subject than many of today's scientists." Duerr, Hans Peter, Dreamtime; Concerning the Boundary between Wilderness and Civilization, Basil Blackwell, 1985, p. 6.


"'Relationships,' not love affairs, are what they [students] have. Love suggests something wonderful, exciting, positive and firmly seated in the passions. A relationship is gray, amorphous, suggestive of a project, without a given content, and tentative. You work at a relationship, whereas love takes care of itself. In a relationship the difficulties come first, and there is a search for common grounds. Love presents illusions of perfection to the imagination and is forgetful of all the natural fissures in human connection. About relationships there is a ceaseless anxious talk, the kind one cannot help overhearing in student hangouts or restaurants frequented by men and women who are 'involved' with one another, the kind of obsessive prattle so marvelously captured in old Nichols and May routines or Woody Allen films. In one Nichols and May bit, a couple who have just slept together for the first time, assert with all the emptiness of doubt, 'We are going to have a relationship.' This insight was typical of the University of Chicago in the fifties, of The Lonely Crowd. The only mistake was to encourage the belief that by becoming more 'inner-directed,' going farther down the path of the isolated self, people will be less lonely. The problem, however, is not that people are not authentic enough, but that they have no common object, no common good, no natural complementarity. Selves, of course, have no relation to anything but themselves, and this is why 'communication' is their problem. Gregariousness, like that of the animals in the herd, is admitted by all. Grazing together side by side and rubbing against one another are the given, but there is a desire and a necessity to have something more, to make the transition from the herd to the hive, where there is real interconnection. Hence, the hive--community, roots, extended family--is much praised, but no one is wiling to transform his indeterminate self into an all too determinate worker, drone or queen, to submit to the rank-ordering and division of labor necessary to any whole that is more than just a heap of discrete parts. Selves want to be wholes, but have lately also taken to longing to be parts. This is the reason why conversation about relationships remains so vacuous, abstract and unprogrammatic, with its whole content stored in a bottle labeled 'commitment.'" Bloom, Allan, The Closing of the American Mind, Simon & Schuster, 1987, pps. 124-5.


"The eroticism of our students is lame. It is not the divine madness Socrates praised; or the enticing awareness of incompleteness and the quest to overcome it; or nature's grace, which permits a partial being to recover his wholeness in the embrace of another, or a temporal being to long for eternity in the perpetuity of his seed; or the hope that all men will remember his deeds; or his contemplation of perfection. Eroticism is a discomfort, but one that in itself promises relief and affirms the goodness of things. It is the proof, subjective but incontrovertible, of man's relatedness, imperfect though it may be, to others and to the whole of nature. Wonder, the source of both poetry and philosophy, is its characteristic expression. Eros demands daring from its votaries and provides a good reason for it. This longing for completeness is the longing for education, and the study of it is education. Socrates' knowledge of ignorance is identical with his perfect knowledge of erotics. The longing for his conversations with which he infected his companions, and which was intensified after his death and has endured throughout the centuries, proved him to have been both the neediest and most grasping of lovers, and the richest and most giving of beloveds. The sex lives of our students and their reflection on them disarm such longing and make it incomprehensible to them. Reduction has robbed eros of its divinatory powers. Because they do not trust it, students have no reverence for themselves. There is almost no remaining link visible to them between what they learn in sex education and Plato's Symposium. The Closing of the American Mind, Allan Bloom, Simon & Schuster, 1987, pps. 132-3.


“Fashion is an externalization of woman’s daemonic invisibility, her genital mystery. It brings before man’s Apollonian eye what that eye can never see. Beauty is an Apollonian freeze-frame that halts and condenses the flux and indeterminacy of nature. It allows man to act by enhancing the desirability of what he fears.

“The power of the eye in western culture has not been fully appreciated or analyzed. The Asian abases the eyes and transfers value into a mystic third eye, marked by the red dot on the Hindu forehead. Personality is inauthentic in the east, which identifies self with group. Eastern meditation rejects historical time. We have a parallel religious tradition: the paradoxical axioms of eastern and western mystics and poets are often indistinguishable. Buddhism and Christianity agree in seeing the material world as samsara, the veil of illusion. But the west has another tradition, the pagan, culminating in cinema. The west makes personality and history numinous objects of contemplation. Western personality is a work of art, and history is its stage. The twentieth century is not the Age of Anxiety but the Age of Hollywood. The pagan cult of personality has reawakened and dominates all art, all thought. It is morally empty but ritually profound. We worship it by the power of the western eye. Movie screen and television screen are its sacred precincts.” Paglia, Camille. Sexual Personae. Vintage Books. 1991. P. 32.


“The unprovable assumption of the present philosophy is this:

“As a human being, my ultimate objective is a joyful life. Joy is the feeling that results from using myself–my thinking and feeling capacities, my senses, my body, and my spirit–in all the ways I am capable. I am less happy when I not using myself and when I am blocking myself.

“Curiously, this assumption is quite similar to the United States Army motto: Be all you can be.” Schutz, Will. Profound Simplicity: Foundations for a Social Philosophy. BCon WSA International. 2002, p. 6.


“I cannot believe that our existence in this universe is a quirk of fate, an accident of history, an incidental blip in the great cosmic drama. Our involvement is too intimate. The physical species Homo may count for nothing, but the existence of mind in some organism on some planet in the universe is surely a fact of fundamental significance. Through conscious beings the universe has generated self-awareness. This can be no trivial detail, no minor by-product of mindless, purposeless forces. We are truly meant to be here.” Davies, Paul. The Mind of God: The Scientific Basis for a Rational World. Simon & Schuster. 1992. P. 232. (quoted in The Biosphere and Noosphere Reader, p. 7)



“It is true that many religious beliefs are false as literal descriptions of the real world, but this merely forces us to recognize two forms of realism; a factual realism based on literal correspondence and a practical realism based on behavioral adaptedness.” Sloan Wilson, David. Darwin’s Cathedral: Evolution, Religion, and the nature of Society. University of Chicago Press. 2002. P. 228.


“Constructing a symbolic system designed to motivate action is a substantially different cognitive task than gaining accurate factual knowledge of one’s physical and social environment. Somehow the human mind must do both, despite the fact that they partially interfere with each other.” Sloan Wilson, David. Darwin’s Cathedral: Evolution, Religion, and the nature of Society. University of Chicago Press. 2002. P. 229.


“The project of Modernism was to expel preindustrial magic and mysticism and stabilize consciousness in materialism, but the projects of postmodernism have broken down the walls that once contained us in a solidly materialistic and confidently middle class worldview. The Internet has become a kind of astral plane, a bardo realm, in which everything is out there at once, a technologized form of the collective unconscious, from paranoid cults and pornography to corporate home pages, so it would seem that the sum total of all these innovations is an evolutionary turn against the animal body of evolution. Biological evolution is real time, and real time is slow; cultural evolution is multiple times and nanosecond fast. Unconsciously, a fragment of humanity is seeking to make the human body unviable as a vehicle of incarnation and evolution, and is trying to displace it from the slow times of biological development to the quick and simultaneously overlapping times of electronic lattices.” Thompson, William Irwin. Coming into Being: Artifacts and Texts in the Evolution of Consciousness. St. Martin’s Griffin. 1998. Pps. 306-7.


"It is probably by seeking to understand the simple in terms of the complex rather than the complex in terms of the simple, that one can best understand the true nature of our relationship with the world of living things. Whitehead intimated this when he suggested that the concept of organism should be extended downward to include the particle." Goldsmith, Edward. The Way: An Ecological World-View. University of Georgia Press. 1998. p. 25.
 

“What you people call your natural resources our people call our relatives.” Lyons, Oren - faith keeper of the Onondaga. Quoted in McDonough, W. & M. Braungart. 2005. Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things. North Point Press. Dedication page.
 

“A myth cannot be correctly understood without a transformative ritual, which brings it into the lives and hearts of generations of worshipers. A myth demands action: ...” Armstrong, Karen. 2005. A Short History of Myth. Canongate. Pp. 106-7.


“Significantly, the Greek Orthodox Christians despised this rational project. They knew their own Hellenic tradition and knew only too well that logos and mythos could not, as Plato explained, prove the existence of the Good. In their view, the study of theology could not be a rational exercise. Using reason to discuss the sacred was about as pointless as trying to eat soup with a fork. Theology was only valid if pursued together with prayer and liturgy. Muslims and Jews eventually reached the same conclusion. By the eleventh century, Muslims had decided that philosophy must be wedded with spirituality, ritual and prayer, and the mythical, mystical religion of the Sufis became the normative form of Islam until the end of the nineteenth century. Similarly, Jews discovered that when they were afflicted by such tragedies as their expulsion from Spain, the rational religion of their philosophers could not help them, and they turned instead to the myths of the Kabbalah, which reached through the cerebral level of the mind and touched the inner source of their anguish and yearning. They had all returned to the old view of the complementarity of mythology and reason. Logos was indispensable in the realm of medicine, mathematics and natural science – in which Muslims in particular excelled. But when they wanted to find ultimate meaning and significance in their lives, when they sought to alleviate their despair, or wished to explore the inner regions of their personality, they had entered the domain of myth.

“But in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, Christians in Western Europe rediscovered the works of Plato and Aristotle that had been lost to them during the Dark Age that had followed the collapse of the Roman Empire. Just at the moment when Jews and Muslims were beginning to retreat from the attempt to rationalise their mythology, Western Christians seized on the project with an enthusiasm that they would never entirely lose. They had started to lose touch with the meaning of myth. Perhaps it was not surprising, therefore, that the next great transformation in human history, which would make it very difficult for people to think mythically, had its origins in Western Europe.” Armstrong, Karen. 2005. A Short History of Myth. Canongate. Pp. 116-8.


That's why I wander
And follow la vie dansante
On the night wind
That takes me just where I want.
That's all I want,
La vie dansante.
Miss the beat if you close your eyes.
Every night wears a new disguise.
And I live when a new surprise - surrender.
Feel it all with a willing heart.
Every stop there's a place to start,
If you know how to play the part
...With feeling.
I play with feeling.

Why don't you wander
And follow la vie dansante?
La Vie Dansante, Song by Aaron Neville, Bahamian vocalist


"What birds plunge through is not the intimate space
in which you see all forms intensified.
(Out in the Open, you would be denied
your self, would disappear into that vastness.)

"Space reaches from us and construes the world:
to know a tree, in its true element,
throw inner space around it, from that pure
abundance in you. Surround it with restraint.
It has no limits. Not till it is held
in your renouncing is it truly there." The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke, Stephen Mitchell, Vintage, New York, 1982, p. 263.


"The entire modern analysis of religion, including much of the most important recent theology, though rejecting Kant's narrowly rational ethics, has been forced to ground religion in the structure of the human situation itself. In this respect the present paper is a symptom of the modern religious situation as well as an analysis of it. In the world view that has emerged from the tremendous intellectual advances of the last two centuries there is simply no room for a hierarchic dualistic religious symbol system of the classical historic type. This is not to be interpreted as a return to primitive monism: it is not that a single world has replaced a double one but that an infinitely multiplex one has replaced the simple duplex structure. It is not that life has become again a 'one possibility thing' but that it has become an infinite possibility thing. The analysis of modern man as secular, materialistic, dehumanized and in the deepest sense areligious seems to me fundamentally misguided, for such a judgment is based on standards that cannot adequately gauge the modern temper..."

"Nevertheless, the fundamental symbolization of modern man and his situation is that of a dynamic multi-dimensional self capable, within limits, of continual self-transformation and capable, again within limits, of remaking the world including the very symbolic forms with which he deals with it, even the forms that state the unalterable conditions of his own existence. Such a statement should not be taken to mean that I expect, even less that I advocate, some ghastly religion of social science. Rather I expect traditional religious symbolism to be maintained and developed in new directions, but with growing awareness that it is symbolism and that man in the last analysis is responsible for the choice of his symbolism." Bellah, Robert. Beyond Belief.  Harper & Row. 1970. Pp. 40-2.


"Paradise is exactly like where you are right now, only much, much better." "Language is a Virus," Anderson, Laurie. "Home of the Brave" Album, 1986.


"Prayer is the Study of Art.
Praise is the Practice of Art.
Fasting &c., all relate to Art.
The outward Ceremony is Antichrist.
The Eternal Body of man is The Imagination, that is,
God himself
The Divine Body,..., Jesus: we are his Members.
It manifests itself in his Works of Art (In Eternity All is Vision). William Blake, "The Laocooen," p. 776. Quoted in Apocalypse and/or Metamorphosis, Norman O. Brown, University of California Press, 1991, p. 54.


"'Nothing but a sense of duty could carry any European through the Koran.... With every allowance, one feels it difficult to see how any mortal ever could consider this Koran as a book written in Heaven, too good for the Earth; as a well-written book, or indeed as a book at all.'

"The Koran is not like the Bible, historical, running from Genesis to Apocalypse. The Koran is altogether apocalyptic. The Koran backs off from that linear organization of time, revelation, and history which became the backbone of orthodox Christianity and remains the backbone of the Western culture after the death of God. Islam is wholly apocalyptic or eschatological, and its eschatology is not teleology. The moment of decision, the hour of Judgement, is not reached at the end of a line, nor by a predestined cycle of cosmic recurrence; eschatology can break out at any moment. Koran 16:77: 'To Allah belong the secrets of the heavens and the earth, and the matter of the Hour is as the twinkling of an eye, or it is nearer still.' In fully developed Islamic theology only the moment is real. There is no necessary connection between cause and effect. The world is made up of atomic space-time points, among which the only continuity is the utterly inscrutable will of God, who creates every atomic point anew at every moment. And the Islamic mosque discards the orientation toward time essential to a Christian church: 'The space,' says Titus Burckhardt, 'is as if reabsorbed into the ubiquity of the present moment; it does not beckon the eye in a specific direction; it suggests no tension or antinomy between the here below and the beyond, or between earth and heaven; it possesses all its fullness in every place.'" Brown, Norman O. Apocalypse and/or Metamorphosis, University of California Press, 1991, pps. 69, 86; first quote is from Thomas Carlyle.


"You came from Non-existence into being.
How did that happen? Tell me about it!
You were a little drunk when you arrived,
so you can't remember exactly?
          I'll give you
some secret hints. Let your mind go, and be mindful.
Close your ears, and listen.
          But maybe I shouldn't tell,
if you're not ripe. you're still in early Spring.
July hasn't happened in you.
          This world is a tree,
and we are green, half-ripe fruit on it.
We hold tight to the limbs, because we know
we're not ready to be taken into the palace.

When we mature and sweeten,
          we'll feel ashamed
at having clung so clingingly.
          To hold fast
is a sure sign of unripeness.
          To drink and enjoy
blood is fine for an embryo.

More needs to be said on this, but the Holy Spirit
will tell it to you when I'm not here.
          You'll tell it
to yourself. Not I, or some other 'I,' You
who are Me!
          As when you fall asleep and go
from the presence of your self to the Presence
of your Self. You hear That One and you think,
'Someone must have communicated telepathically
in my sleep.'
          You are not a single You,
good Friend, you are a Sky and an Ocean,
a tremendous YHUUUUUU, a nine hundred times huge
drowning place for all your hundreds of you's.

What are these terms wakefulness and sleep?
Don't answer. Let God answer.
Don't speak, so the Speakers can.
Not a word, so Sun-Light can say
what has never been in a book, or said.
Don't try to put it into words,
and the Spirit will do that through you,
in spite of you,
          beside you,
               among you.
Stop swimming so hard,
          and climb in the boat
with Noah."
Rumi, Jalal al-Din. "You Are Not a Single You," c. 1260. This Longing. translated by Coleman Barks and John Moyne. Threshold Books. 1988. Pp. 48-9.


"Messiah's not coming
Messiah's not even phoning."
Israeli rock song
 

“Never does Homer, in his descriptions of ideas or emotions, go beyond a purely spatial or quantitative definition; never does he attempt to sound their special, non-physical nature. As far as he is concerned, ideas are conveyed through the noos, a mental organ which in turn is analogous to the eye; consequently ‘to know’ is eidenai which is related to idein ‘to see’, and in fact originally means ‘to have seen’. The eye, it appears, serves as Homer’s model for the absorption of experiences. From this point of view the intensive coincides with the extensive: he who has seen much sufficiently often possesses intensive knowledge.” Snell, Bruno. The Discovery of the Mind in Greek Philosophy and Literature. 1953 and 1982. Dover. Translated by T. Rosenmeyer. P. 18.


“But this is a new form of life, on a level of organization never before achieved by evolution: macrolife on a planetary scale, in symbiosis with humanity. This hybrid life, at once biological, mechanical, and electronic, is coming into being before our very eyes. And we are its cells. In a still unconscious way, we are contributing to the invention of its metabolism, its circulation, and its nervous system. We call them economies, markets, roads, communications networks, and electronic highways, but they are the organs and vital systems of an emerging superorganism that will transform the future of humanity and determine its development during the next millennium.” Rosnay, Joel de. The Symbiotic Man: A new Understanding of the Organization of Life and Vision of the Future. 2000. McGraw Hill. Translated from the French by Aronoff, Charest, Scott and Taylor. Pp. xii-xiii.


“Edwards studied communities of wild grouse in the Scottish moors. Here, punishments and rewards were handed out not by scientists, but by wind, rain, other rouse, and by poultry-loving prowlers of all kinds. Male grouse who mastered their surroundings and were socially adept managed to corner the best food and the largest plots of real estate. In the process, they became strong and self-confident. Those less able to forage successfully or to grab a large plot of land became droopy, dispirited, and unkempt. Weakened, they entered the seasonal competition for females, attempting to outdo their problem-mastering flockmates in tournaments of ferocity and of fancy display. Each morning they erected the combs on their heads in a feeble manner which showed their lack of confidence, fluttered in the air with as much flash as they could muster, battled for control of land, and usually lost. Their failure to find a way to dominate their natural environment led to a corresponding failure to gain control in their social milieu. By winter’s end, almost all of the losing red grouse were dead ... victims, says Wynne-Edwards, of ‘the after-effects of social exclusion.’ The triumphant birds, on the other hand, were rewarded with avian harems and patches of land not only rich in food, but heavily fortified by high heather plants against passing predators.

Wynne-Edwards theorized that he was watching group selection at work. The birds whose failure had led to a physical decline, he reasoned, were unwittingly sacrificing themselves to adjust the group size to the carrying capacity – the amount of food and other necessities – in their locale. The Scot announced his conclusions in 1962. By 1964 William Hamilton’s equations had taken the evolutionary community by storm. Wynne-Edwards became the poster boy for group selection and was driven from scientific respectability.

“What Wynne-Edwards had seen at work was a complex adaptive system devilishly similar to a neural net. Those individuals within the group capable of finding solutions to the problems of the moment were rewarded with dominance, desirable food, luxury lodging, and sexual privileges. The weak links in the group’s neural net, the individuals who had not found a means of solving the puzzles thrown their way, were isolated and impoverished by the social system and disabled internally.

“In other words, a flock of feathered aviators had shown all the characteristics of a collective learning machine. Later, Israeli naturalist Amotz Zahavi would postulate that bird roosts function as communal information-processing centers. Now try a little twist of thought. If you put Zahavi’s conjecture together with the observations of Wynne-Edwards, add in the evidence from ‘learned helplessness’ experiments, and toss in the discoveries of complex adaptive systems researchers, an interesting pattern emerges.” Bloom, Howard. Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century. 2000. John Wiley & Sons. Pp. 11-2.



“... at its core, to think of oneself as modern is to define one’s being in terms of time. This is remarkable. In previous ages and other places, people have defined themselves in terms of their land or place, their race or ethnic group, their traditions or their gods, but not explicitly in terms of time. Of course, any self-understanding assumes some notion of time, but in all other cases the temporal moment has remained implicit. Ancient peoples located themselves in terms of a seminal event, the creation of the world, an exodus from bondage, a memorable victory, or the first Olympiad, to take only a few examples, but locating oneself temporally in any of these ways is different than defining oneself in terms of time. To be modern means to be ‘new,’ to be an unprecedented event in the flow of time, a first beginning, something different than anything that has come before, a novel way of being in the world, ultimately not even a form of being but a form of becoming. To understand oneself as new is also to understand onself as self-originating, as free and creative in a radical sense, not merely as determined by a tradition or governed by fate or providence. To be modern is to be self-liberating and self-making, and thus not merely to be in a history or tradition but to make history. To be modern consequently means not merely to define one’s being in terms of time but also to define time in terms of one’s being, to understand time as the product of human freedom in interaction with the natural world. Being modern at its core is thus something titanic, something Promethean.” Gillespie, Michael Allen. The Theological Origins of Modernity. 2008. University of Chicago Press. P. 2.


“Scholastics of the High Middle Ages were ontologically realist, that is to say, they believed in the real existence of universals, or to put the matter another way, they experienced the world as the instantiation of the categories of divine reason. They experienced, believed in, and asserted the ultimate reality not of particular things but of universals, and they articulated this experience in a syllogistic logic that was perceived to correspond to or reflect divine reason. Creation itself was the embodiment of this reason, and man, as the rational animal and imago dei, stood at the pinnacle of this creation, guided by a natural telos and a divinely revealed supernatural goal.

“Nominalism turned this world on its head. For the nominalists, all real being was individual or particular and universals were thus mere fictions. Words did not point to real universal entities but were merely signs useful for human understanding. Creation was radically particular and thus not teleological. As a result, God could not be understood by human reason but only by biblical revelation or mystical experience. Human beings thus had no natural or supernatural end or telos. In this way the nominalist revolution against scholasticism shattered every aspect of the medieval world. It brought to an end the great effort that had begun with the church fathers to combine reason and revelation by uniting the natural and ethical teachings of the Greeks with the Christian notion of an omnipotent creator.” Gillespie, Michael Allen. The Theological Origins of Modernity. 2008. University of Chicago Press. P. 14.


“The deepest disagreements in the period between the fourteenth and the seventeenth centuries were thus not ontological but ontic, disagreements not about the nature of being but about which of the three realms of being–the human, the divine, or the natural–had priority. To put it simply, post-scholastic thinkers disagreed not about being itself but about the hierarchy among the realms of being.

“This is immediately apparent from even a superficial examination of humanism and the Reformation, the two great movements of thought that stand between nominalism and the modern world. Both accepted the ontological individualism that nominalism proclaimed, but they differed fundamentally about whether man or God was ontically primary. Humanism, for example, put man first and interpreted both God and nature on this basis. The Reformation, by contrast, began with God and viewed man and nature only from this perspective. Despite their agreement on ontological matters, the differences that resulted from their ontic disagreements were irremediable, and they played an important role in the cataclysmic wars of religion that shattered European life in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Modernity, as we more narrowly understand it, was the consequence of the attempt to resolve this conflict by asserting the ontic priority not of man or God but of nature. As we will see, while this new naturalistic beginning helped to ameliorate the conflict, it could not eliminate the antagonism at its heart without eliminating either God or man. However, one cannot abandon God without turning man into a beast, and one cannot abandon man without falling into theological fanaticism.

“The two great strains of modern thought that begin respectively with Descartes and Hobbes seek to reconstruct the world not as a human artifact or a divine miracle but as a natural object. They disagree, however, about the nature and place of God and man in the world as they open it up. For Descartes, man is in part a natural being, but he is also in part divine and is thus distinguished form nature and free from its laws. For Hobbes, man is thoroughly natural and thus free only in a sense compatible with universal natural causality. These two poles of modern thought are thus rent by the same contradiction that set humanism and the Reformation at odds with one another.” Gillespie, Michael Allen. The Theological Origins of Modernity. 2008. University of Chicago Press. Pp. 16-7.


“While there was considerable variety within scholasticism, its classic form was realism. Realism, as the scholastics understood it, was a belief in the extra-mental existence of universals. Drawing heavily on a Neoplatonic reading of Aristotle, scholastic realists argued that universals such as species and genera were the ultimately real things and that individual beings were merely particular instances of these universals. Moreover, these universals were thought to be nothing other than divine reason made known to man either by illumination, as Augustine had suggested, or through the investigation of nature, as Aquinas and others argued. Within this realist ontology, nature and reason reflected one another. Nature could consequently be described by a syllogistic logic that defined the rational structure of the relationships of all species to one another. Moreover, while God transcended his creation, he was reflected in it and by analogy could be understood through it. Thus, logic and natural theology could supplement or, in the minds of some, even replace revelation. For similar reasons, man did not need Scripture to inform him of his earthly moral and political duties. He was a natural being with a natural end and was governed by the laws of nature. Scripture, of course, was necessary in order to understand everything that transcended nature, including man’s supernatural destiny, but earthly life could be grasped philosophically.” Gillespie, Michael Allen. The Theological Origins of Modernity. 2008. University of Chicago Press. P. 20.


“For all of its magnificence, the cathedral of scholastic thought depended on the delicate counterbalancing of Christian belief and pagan rationalism, and it was the instability of this relationship that brought it down. The balance was threatened both by the growing influence of reason and secularism with the church, which fostered a falling away from Christian practices, and by the ever recurring and ever more urgent demands for a more original Christianity, based on revelation and/or an imitation of the life of Christ. The preservation of medieval Christianity depended upon a reconciliation of these two powerful and opposing impulses.”

“The immediate cause of the dispute that shattered this synthesis was the growth of Aristotelianism both within and outside the church....”

“The church attempted to limit what it saw as a theologically subversive development by fiat. Aristotelianism was condemned first in 1270 and then more fully in 1277 by the Bishop of Paris Etienne Tempier and by Archibishop of Canterbury Robert Kilwardby. The position staked out in this Condemnation laid great emphasis on omnipotence as the cardinal characteristic of God, and in the succeeding years, this notion of omnipotent freedom came to constitute the core of a new anti-Aristotelian notion of God....”

“God creates the world and continues to act within it, bound neither by its laws nor by his previous determinations. He acts simply and solely as he pleases and, as Ockham often repeats, he is no man’s debtor. There is thus no immutable order of nature or reason that man can understand and no knowledge of God except through revelation. Ockham thus rejected the scholastic synthesis of reason and revelation and in this way undermined the metaphysical/theological foundation of the medieval world.

“This notion of divine omnipotence was responsible for the demise of realism. God, Ockham argued, could not create universals because to do so would constrain his omnipotence. If a universal did exist, God would be unable to destroy any instance of it without destroying the universal itself.” Gillespie, Michael Allen. The Theological Origins of Modernity. 2008. University of Chicago Press. Pp. 20-2.


“In this way, Ockham’s assertion of ontological individualism undermines not only ontological realism but also syllogistic logic and science, for in the absence of real universals, names become mere signs or signs of signs. Language thus does not reveal being but in practice often conceals the truth about being by fostering a belief in the reality of universals. In fact, all so-called universals are merely second or higher order signs that we as finite beings use to aggregate individual beings into categories. These categories, however, do not denote real things. They are only useful fictions that help us make sense out of the radically individualized world. However, they also distort reality. Thus, the guiding principle of nominalist logic for Ockham was his famous razor: do not multiply universals needlessly. While we cannot, as finite beings, make sense of the world without universals, every generalization takes us one more step away from the real.” Gillespie, Michael Allen. The Theological Origins of Modernity. 2008. University of Chicago Press. P. 23.


“Nominalism in this sense was Franciscan theology. It destroyed the order of the world that scholasticism had imagined to mediate between God and man and replaced it with a chaos of radically individual beings. However, it united each of these beings directly to God. From the Franciscan point of view, life in a radically individualized world seemed chaotic only to those who did not see the unity of creation in God. For those such as Francis who shared in this mystical unity, all other beings were their brothers and sisters, since all animate and inanimate beings were equally the creatures and creations of God.” Gillespie, Michael Allen. The Theological Origins of Modernity. 2008. University of Chicago Press. P. 27.


“Nominalism sought to tear the rationalistic veil from the face of God in order to found a true Christianity, but in doing so it revealed a capricious God, fearsome in his power, unknowable, unpredictable, unconstrained by nature and reason, and indifferent to good and evil. This vision of God turned the order of nature into a chaos of individual beings and the order of logic into a mere concatenation of names. Man himself was dethroned from his exalted place in the natural order of things and cast adrift in an infinite universe with no natural law to guide him and no certain path to salvation. It is thus not surprising that for all but the most extreme ascetics and mystics, this dark God of nominalism proved to be a profound source of anxiety and insecurity.” Gillespie, Michael Allen. The Theological Origins of Modernity. 2008. University of Chicago Press. P. 29.


“Humanism grew alongside and also out of nominalism. It offered a solution to many of the problems posed by divine omnipotence. This solution was itself constructed on nominalist grounds, that is, on the understanding of man as an individual and willful being, although it is only successful because it vastly narrowed the ontological difference that nominalism saw separating man and God. The consequent vision of the magnificent individual, towering, as Shakespeare’s Cassius puts it, ‘like a colossus,’ was thus something distinctively new and a clear step beyond the Middle Ages. Glory not humility was the this man’s goal, and to this end he employed art rather than philosophy and rhetoric rather than dialectic. Humanism thus sought to answer the problem posed by divine omnipotence by imagining a new kind of human being who could secure himself by his own powers in the chaotic world nominalism had posited.” Gillespie, Michael Allen. The Theological Origins of Modernity. 2008. University of Chicago Press. P. 32.


“Luther’s answer to the question of indulgences was thus his answer to the problem of the nominalist God: ‘faith alone saves.’ Luther accepted the nominalist notion of man as a willing being but transformed this notion by reconfiguring the relationship of divine and human will. Faith, according to Luther, is the will to union with God, but faith can come only from God through Scripture. Faith in Scripture, in other words, guarantees salvation.

“At first glance, it is difficult to see how Scripture solves the problem posed by nominalism, since the reliance on Scripture seems to assume the invariance of what God has ordained, an invariance that nominalism explicitly denies. Luther, however, gives Scripture a different status. In his view, it is not simply a text, but a means by which God speaks directly to man. Faith arises from hearing the voice of God. God’s power is thus not something abstract and distant but acts always in and through us. In this way, Luther was able to transform the terrifying God of nominalism into a power within individual human beings. The Christian is reborn in God because God is born in him.” Gillespie, Michael Allen. The Theological Origins of Modernity. 2008. University of Chicago Press. P. 33.


“Luther too saw God as a deus absconditus who could not be philosophically analyzed or understood. He too turned to Scripture as the sole source of guidance. In contrast to the nominalists, however, he recognized that the difference between God and man could be bridged by the scriptural infusion of divine will that banishes all doubts. In contrast to the humanists, however, this was not because man willed in the same way that God wills, that is, creatively, but because he willed what God willed, that is, morally and piously. Man does not become a demi-god but becomes the dwelling place of God; God becomes the interior and guiding principle of his life, or what Luther calls conscience.” Gillespie, Michael Allen. The Theological Origins of Modernity. 2008. University of Chicago Press. Pp. 33-4.


“Italian humanism suggested in a Promethean fashion that man could lift himself to the level of God or even in some respects become God. In this sense it was clearly Pelagian, or at least semi-Pelagian. Humanism’s vision of man was thus incompatible with divine omnipotence and with the notion that God was God. Without such a God, however, it was difficult to see how man could be more than an animal. The Reformation was directed not merely against the abuses in the church but also against this Pelagian humanism. God for the Reformers was omnipotent, and man was nothing without God. The idea of a free human will was thus an illusion. This anti-Pelagian and antihumanist position, however, was equally unsatisfying, for if the human will is utterly impotent, then God and not man is the source of evil, and humans cannot be held morally responsible for their actions. While humanism thus could not sustain a notion of divine omnipotence, it also could not exist without it. Similarly, Reformation theology could not countenance a free human will and yet could not sustain the notion of a good God in its absence. The humanists and the Reformers were thus entwined in an antinomy from which there was no escape. They were thus inevitably brought into conflict. This disagreement appears in its clearest light in the debate between Erasmus and Luther over the freedom or bondage of the will, but also in the disastrous Wars of Religion that raged across Europe for more than a hundred years.” Gillespie, Michael Allen. The Theological Origins of Modernity. 2008. University of Chicago Press. P. 34.


“In fact, however, modern science develops out of nominalism as the result of a reconsideration of the meaning of nominalist ontology....

“From the perspective of the beings we encounter in everyday life, God thus seems to be nothing. In Eckhart’s view, however, this issue must be examined from a divine rather than a human perspective, not logically but mystically. From this perspective, it is not God but the beings of the world that are nothing, or at least they are nothing without God. Since, however, these beings in some sense ‘are,’ they must ‘be’ God, that is, God must be ‘in’ beings in some way. Without him, they would be pure nothingness. However, the infinite difference between God and his creation means that God cannot be in things as their whatness or essence. God, Eckhart suggests, is in them in a different sense, as their how, the operative force that determines their becoming. In nominalistic terms, God is pure willing, pure activity, or pure power, and the world in its becoming is divine will, is this God. Or in more modern terms, the world is the ceaseless motion that is determined by divine will understood as efficient or mechanical causality. The world is the incarnation, the body of God, and he is in the world as the soul is in the body, omnipresent as the motive principle.

“Creation is thus not simply disorder. God is in the world in a new and different sense than scholasticism and traditional metaphysics imagined. He is not the ultimate whatness or quiddity of all beings but their howness or becoming. To discover the divinely ordered character of the world, it is thus necessary to investigate becoming, which is to say, it is necessary to discover the laws governing the motion of all beings. Theology and natural science thereby become one and the same.” Gillespie, Michael Allen. The Theological Origins of Modernity. 2008. University of Chicago Press. Pp. 35-6.


“Since Plato, being had been understood as timeless, unchanging presence. Change was always a falling away from being, degeneration. Nominalism called this notion into question with its assertion that God himself was not only subject to change but was perhaps even change itself.” Gillespie, Michael Allen. The Theological Origins of Modernity. 2008. University of Chicago Press. P. 36.


“The knowledge that Bacon seeks differs profoundly from that of scholasticism. He is not concerned with what nature is and what it tends toward, that is, with the formal or final cause of things, but with the particular character and motion of matter, that is, with material and efficient causality.” Gillespie, Michael Allen. The Theological Origins of Modernity. 2008. University of Chicago Press. P. 38.


“For the chain of causes cannot by any force be loosened or broken, nor can nature be commanded except by being obeyed.” Bacon, Francis. The New Organon. 1960. Macmillan. Page 29. Quoted in Gillespie, Michael Allen. The Theological Origins of Modernity. 2008. University of Chicago Press. P. 38.


“Bacon thus offers a new and revolutionary answer to the problem posed by nominalism and the nominalist God. He confronts and accepts the nominalist vision of the world and attempts to find a solution to its fundamental problems. He seeks neither a poetic transfiguration of this world nor a new covenant with its God. Instead, he strives to discover the hidden powers by which nature moves in order to gain mastery over it. For Bacon as for Ockham and Petrarch, man is a willing being who seeks to secure himself in the world. In contrast to both Franciscan asceticism and the humanist notion of godlike individuality, however, Bacon imagines man to be a relatively weak and fearful being who can only succeed by consistently working with his fellow human beings over many years to learn nature’s laws and turn this knowledge to human use.” Gillespie, Michael Allen. The Theological Origins of Modernity. 2008. University of Chicago Press. P. 39.


“Man for Descartes becomes master and possessor of nature by dispossessing its current owner, that is, by taking it away from God. This is possible because man in some sense already is God, or at least is the same infinite will that constitutes God.

“The Cartesian notion of science thus rests upon a new notion of man as a willing being, modeled on the omnipotent God of nominalism and able like him to master nature through the exercise of his infinite will. Descartes draws here not merely upon nominalism but upon the humanist ideal of a self-creating and self-sufficient individual, and upon Luther’s idea of the conjunction of the human and divine will....”

“Insofar as Descartes both leaves man within nature as a body in motion and elevates him above it into a quasi-omnipotence, he lays the groundwork for an inevitable and irremediable dissatisfaction that poses tremendous moral and political dangers for modernity. The infinite human will constantly strives to master and transcend the body but is itself at the same time always bodily. In its striving to realize its infinite essence, it must always negate the finite.” Gillespie, Michael Allen. The Theological Origins of Modernity. 2008. University of Chicago Press. Pp. 40-1.


“Modernity has two goals–to make man master and possessor of nature and to make human freedom possible. The question that remains is whether these two are compatible with one another. The debate between Hobbes and Descartes in the Objections and replies to the Meditations would suggest that they are not. Indeed, what we see in this debate is the reemergence of the issues at the heart of the debate between Luther and Erasmus. For Descartes as for Erasmus, there is human freedom in addition to the causality through nature. For Hobbes as for Luther there is only the absolute power of God as the ultimate cause behind the motion of all matter. In this way we see the reemergence at the very heart of modernity of the problematic relationship of the human and the divine that bedeviled Christianity from its beginning.” Gillespie, Michael Allen. The Theological Origins of Modernity. 2008. University of Chicago Press. P. 42.


“Love for Petrarch, in contrast to Dante, is not the solution to the human problem but a great danger, for unless we are attracted to the appropriate object love enslaves us and distracts us from both virtue and God. Thinking is motivated by love, but love must have the right object. Love for earthly things can be overcome, as Petrarch tries to demonstrate with his own example, only when it contemplates death and the transience of all the earthly objects of passion. The disdain for created forms that the constant thought of death engenders is thus the first step on the path to virtue. Virtue can only be attained, however, if we are also attracted to the proper object, if we come to love what is truly worthy of love. In Petrarch’s mind the only earthly object so worthy is virtue, and the strongest spur to virtue is the love of fame.” Gillespie, Michael Allen. The Theological Origins of Modernity. 2008. University of Chicago Press. Pp. 52-3.


“For Luther there is literally nothing that man can do to attain salvation, since everything depends on God alone. There is thus no path to salvation for Luther. In Erasmus’s view this univocal focus on divine will utterly undermines morality. Almost as if reflecting on Luther’s famous advice to Melanchthon to ‘Sin boldly!’ Erasmus remarks: ‘If it is predetermined that I am damned, any effort I make is useless. If I am destined to be saved, there is no reason not to follow my every whim.’ Humans can be improved by a proper upbringing and by education. They can also improve themselves by combining humanitas and pietas within the philosophia Christi. Erasmus was convinced that ‘a large part of goodness is the will to be good. The further that will leaves imperfection behind, the closer a person is to grace.’ To abandon morality and moral education, to see the formation of character as irrelevant to human well-being, can end only in a world in which force alone rules, a world in which the murderer, the rapist, and the tyrant rule, or worse a world in which the faithful rape, murder, and tyrannize over others in the name of God and as agents of his omnipotent and indifferent will.” Gillespie, Michael Allen. The Theological Origins of Modernity. 2008. University of Chicago Press. Pp. 166-7.


“For Descartes, I come to recognize myself as limited and distinct at the end of the path of doubt. In becoming self-conscious, in positing myself as a finite being, I recognized myself as distinct from other beings, as needy, as imperfect. God, however, comes to no such realization. He is not finite and thus cannot be self-conscious of himself because his will is never impeded, never limited by what it is not. God thus cannot distinguish himself from all that is. As a result, he cannot be a deceiver. And if God is not a deceiver, then Descartes’ universal science is secure.

“Descartes in this way tames the nominalist God by reducing him to pure intellectual substance. This was already clear in the Little Notebook where he asserts that God is pure intelligence. God’s intelligence, however, in Descartes’ mature thought is equivalent to his will. As pure intelligence, God is pure will. As infinite, God’s will is not directed to anything specific; it is causality as such. God is the causa sui because he is pure causality, the mechanism at the heart of mechanical nature, a how and not a what. Looking backward we could say that he is fortuna, or forward, the source of the motion of all matter.

“The goal of Cartesian science is to master nature, or more correctly to master this motion and this causality at the heart of nature. Put in somewhat different terms the goal of his science is to comprehend and master God. Descartes’ science achieves this end by reconstructing the chaos of the world in representation, by transforming the flux of experience into the world in representation, by transforming the flux of experience into the motion of objects in a mathematically analyzable space. The omnipotent God of nominalism and the Reformation is thus unable to enter into Descartes’ rationalized universe unless he gives up his absolute will and lives according the powers that Descartes ordains. He is dispossessed of his absolute power and his world, which falls increasingly under the hegemony of the scientific ego. In this reading, Descartes’ proof of God’s existence is a proof of God’s impotence or at least of his irrelevance for human affairs. As Descartes puts it, whether or not God exists, nature operates in much the same way and in either case we must use the same mathematical means to understand it.

“But how can man compete with God, for the mastery of appearances and the possession of the world? The answer to this is fairly clear: man can only compete with God if man himself in some sense is omnipotent, that is, if man in some sense is already God. The key to understanding this titanic claim that lies at the heart of Descartes’ thought is understanding that for Descartes both God and man are essentially willing beings. Descartes tells us that the human will is the same as the will of God. In his view it is infinite, indifferent, and perfectly free, not subordinate to reason or any other law or rule. It is consequently the sole basis of human perfection.

“The difference between God and man, Descartes suggests, lies not in their wills, which are identical, but in their knowledge. Man’s will is infinite, he wants everything and his desires are insatiable, but his knowledge is finite. His power is thus limited by his knowledge. In contrast to Kant, who would face a similar disjunction, Descartes does not counsel the restraint and accommodation of the will to the limits of the understanding, in large part because he believes that the limits of the understanding are not given but are rather the consequence of the past misapplication of the will.

“What is crucial for Descartes is the rational application of the will to the mastery of nature. Descartes believes that his method and mathesis universalis will make this possible. Humans are therefore godlike but they are not yet god. To become god, to master nature utterly and dispossess God entirely, one needs Cartesian science. This finally is the answer to the problem with which Descartes began his philosophizing: if the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, then wisdom is the means by which the Lord is captured, disarmed, dispossessed, and subsumed within the citadel of reason.” Gillespie, Michael Allen. The Theological Origins of Modernity. 2008. University of Chicago Press. Pp. 204-5.


“The God that Descartes first imagined and feared was a titanic God, beyond reason and nature, beyond good and evil. Descartes won his struggle with this fearsome God only by taking this God’s power upon himself. He thereby opened up the hope and aspiration for human omnipotence, a hope that has manifested itself repeatedly since in monstrous form.” Gillespie, Michael Allen. The Theological Origins of Modernity. 2008. University of Chicago Press. P. 206.


“Final causes exist only for beings with reason and will. Causality for Hobbes thus becomes the aggregate interaction of all motions, or, to put the matter in more theological terms, it is the purely indifferent will of God that has no rational form and no rational or natural end but consists in the interacting motions of all things acting corporeally upon one another.” Gillespie, Michael Allen. The Theological Origins of Modernity. 2008. University of Chicago Press. P. 230.


“Hobbes holds a similar view of God’s apparent indifference to human suffering or thriving. In contrast to both the humanists and Reformers, however, Hobbes does not accept this view as final but seeks to show, as we will see, that through the natural law God provides a impulse toward self-preservation that is the foundation for a human science that will make us masters and possessors of nature.” Gillespie, Michael Allen. The Theological Origins of Modernity. 2008. University of Chicago Press. Pp. 230-1.


“Fiction, I propose, does not establish but does improve our capacity to interpret events. It preselects information of relevance, prefocuses attention on what is strategically important, and thereby simplifies the cognitive task of comprehension. At the same time it keeps strategic information flowing at a a much more rapid pace than normal in real life, and allows a comparatively disengaged attitude to the events unfolding. It trains us to make inferences quickly, to shift mentally to new characters, times, and perspectives. Fiction aids our rapid understanding of real-life social situations, activating and maintaining this capacity at high intensity and low cost.

“Fiction also increases the range of our vicarious experience and behavioral options. Like play, it allows us to learn possible opportunities and risks, and the stratagems and emotional resources needed to cope with inevitable setbacks, without subjecting ourselves to actual risk. It does so efficiently because it acts as a superstimulus by focusing on intense experience and concentrated change. These not only hook attention but rouse emotion, which in turn amplifies memory.” Boyd, Brian. On the Evolution of Stories: Evolution, Cognition, and Fiction. 2009. Harvard University Press. Pp. 192-3.


“We desire deeper explanations. We see cause in terms of agency, and recognize the special characteristics of psychological or ‘spiritual’ rather than physical causation. We recognize other creatures’ different powers. We readily invent, recall, and retell stories involving agents that violate expectations. Across humankind we have therefore repeatedly offered (1) deep causal explanations in terms of (2) beings with powers different from ours, (3) understood in terms of mind or spirit, moved like us by beliefs, desires, and intentions but (4) somehow violating our expectations of things or kinds, especially by transgressing normal physical limits–perhaps by being invisible, or existing in more than one place at a time, or being able to change shape or pass through solid obstacles or live forever.” Boyd, Brian. On the Evolution of Stories: Evolution, Cognition, and Fiction. 2009. Harvard University Press. Pp. 200-1.


“Art prepares minds for open-ended learning and creativity; fiction specifically improves our social cognition and our thinking beyond the here and now. Both invite and hold our attention strongly enough to engage and reengage our minds, altering synaptic strengths a little at a time, over many encounters, by exposing us to the supernormally intense patterns of art.” Boyd, Brian. On the Evolution of Stories: Evolution, Cognition, and Fiction. 2009. Harvard University Press. P. 209.


“If art is ‘unnatural’ variation, science is ‘unnatural’ selection.” Boyd, Brian. On the Evolution of Stories: Evolution, Cognition, and Fiction. 2009. Harvard University Press. P. 411.


“The basic word I-You can be spoken only with one’s whole being. The concentration and fusion into a whole being can never be accomplished by me, can never be accomplished without me. I require a You to become; becoming I, I say You.

“All actual life is encounter.” Buber, Martin. I and Thou. 1937. Translated by Wallter Kaufmann. Charles Scribner’s. P. 62.


“What we call ‘life’ is a general condition which exists, to some degree or other, in every part of space: brick, stone, grass, river, painting, building, daffodil, human being, forest, city. And further: The key to this idea is that every part of space–every connected region of space, small or large–has some degree of life, and that this degree of life is well defined, objectively existing, and measurable.” Alexander, Christopher. The Nature of Order: An Essay on the Art of Building and the Nature of the Universe. Book One: The Phenomenon of Life. 2002. P. 77.


“What I would like to demonstrate is the way that the creation of life is possible, and how it is done. There are four key ideas, all arising from the structure of centers described in chapter 3:

“1. Centers themselves have life.
2. Centers help one another: the existence and life of one center can intensify the life of another.
3. Centers are made of centers.
4. A structure gets its life according to the density and intensity of centers which have been formed in it.

“These four points, simple as they are, give us the secret of living structure, and of the way life comes from wholeness.” Alexander, Christopher. The Nature of Order: An Essay on the Art of Building and the Nature of the Universe. Book One: The Phenomenon of Life. 2002. P. 110.


“1. Centers arise in space.
2. Each center is created by a configuration of other centers.
3. Each center has a certain life or intensity. For the time being we do not know what this life ‘is.’ But we can see that the life of any one center depends on the life of other centers. This life or intensity is not inherent in the center by itself, but is a function of the whole configuration in which the center occurs.
4. The life or intensity of one center is increased or decreased according to the position and intensity of other nearby centers. Above all, centers become most intense when the centers which they are made of help each other. Exactly what ‘helping’ means in this context remains to be defined.
5. The centers are the fundamental elements of the wholeness, and the degree of life of any given part of space depends entirely on the presence and structure of the centers there.

“From these five assertions, it will follow that the life of a given part of the world depends on the structure of centers it contains–and that these centers are given their life, in turn, by the way that each one is made of still other centers.” Alexander, Christopher. The Nature of Order: An Essay on the Art of Building and the Nature of the Universe. Book One: The Phenomenon of Life. 2002. P. 122.
 

“... the relational quality of responsive cohesion lies at the heart of the best guides to value that we have.”  Fox, Warwick.  A Theory of General Ethics: Human Relationships, Nature, and the Built Environment.  2006.  MIT Press.  P. 86.
  

“(i) There are three basic kinds of relational qualities, which can be characterized as fixed cohesion, responsive cohesion, and discohesion.

“(ii) The relational quality of responsive cohesion characterizes the best examples to be found in every domain of interest – and even the very possibility of valuing.  The particular range of reasons given for judging one thing better than another may vary from domain to domain and from case to case, but the fact that the relational quality of responsive cohesion underpins the object of each of these judgments remains invariant; thus, the relational quality of responsive cohesion is a deep feature, often perhaps not even explicitly recognized, of the object of informed evaluative judgments.  Putting the matter bluntly, we can say that responsive cohesion trumps both fixed cohesion and discohesion in informed evaluative judgments.”

“(iii) The evaluative evidence from across the widest range of domains of interest, together with the fact that we cannot reduce something as basic, deep, and abstract as a relational quality to anything else, points to the fact that the relational quality of responsive cohesion is the foundational value.”  Fox, Warwick.  A Theory of General Ethics: Human Relationships, Nature, and the Built Environment.  2006.  MIT Press.  P. 167.
 

“... internal responsive cohesion refers to the degree of responsive cohesion that any item of interest can be said to have within whatever the boundaries are that define that item of interest as an item of interest, whereas contextual responsive cohesion refers to the degree of responsive cohesion that an item of interest has with respect to its immediate and wider contexts.”  Fox, Warwick.  A Theory of General Ethics: Human Relationships, Nature, and the Built Environment.  2006.  MIT Press.  P. 168.
 

 “The upshot of this line of thinking is that a thoroughgoing example of responsive cohesion is only achieved in the case of an item of interest that possesses not only the highest possible degree of internal responsive cohesion but also the highest possible degree of responsive cohesion with its immediate context, which in turn possess the highest possible degree of responsive cohesion with its immediate context, and so on, outward and outward.  The notion of responsive cohesion is, therefore, a context saturated one.”  Fox, Warwick.  A Theory of General Ethics: Human Relationships, Nature, and the Built Environment.  2006.  MIT Press.  P. 170.
 

 Authors & Works cited in General/Theology/Love:

Alexander, Christopher. The Nature of Order: An Essay on the Art of Building and the Nature
Anderson, Laurie. "Home of the Brave" Album
Armstrong, Karen, A Short History of Myth
Bellah, Robert et al, The Good Society
Bellah, Robert. Beyond Belief
Bhagavad-Gita: The Song of God
Bible, (The Jerusalem), Genesis
Bible, New International Version, Genesis
Blake, William. The Laocooen
Bloom, Allan, The Closing of the American Mind
Bloom, Howard. Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century
Boyd, Brian. On the Evolution of Stories: Evolution, Cognition, and Fiction
Brown, Norman O. Apocalypse and/or Metamorphosis
Buber, Martin, I and Thou
Chatwin, Bruce, The Songlines
Davies, Paul. The Mind of God: The Scientific Basis for a Rational
de Chardin, Teilhard, The Phenomenon of Man
Duerr, Hans, Dreamtime; Concerning the Boundary between Wildness
Ferrer, Jorge, N. Revisioning Transpersonal Theory: A Participatory
Fox, Warwick. A Theory of General Ethics: Human Relationships, Nature,
Funkenstein, Amos. Theology and the Scientific Imagination From
Gillespie, Michael Allen. The Theological Origins of Modernity
Goldsmith, Edward. The Way: An Ecological World-View
Griffin, David Ray. Unsnarling the World-Knot: Consciousness,
Hillman, James, Puer Papers, "Senex and Puer,"
Latour, Bruno. Pandora’s Hope: Essays on the Reality of Science
Lyons, Oren - faith keeper of the Onondaga
Madsen, R. & W. Sullivan, A. Swidler, S. Tipton. Meaning and Modernity
Moore, Thomas, SoulMates: Honoring the Mysteries of Love and
Neville, Aaron.  Bahamian singer
Paglia, Camille. Sexual Personae
Rilke, R. M., poems
Rosnay, Joel de. The Symbiotic Man: A new Understanding of the Organization of Life and Vision of the
Rucker, Rudy, Infinity and the Mind: The Science and Philosophy
Rumi, Jalal al-Din. "You Are Not a Single You
Schutz, Will. Profound Simplicity: Foundations for a Social Philosophy
Shadow Dancing in the USA, novel
Sloan Wilson, David. Darwin’s Cathedral: Evolution, Religion,
Snell, Bruno. The Discovery of the Mind in Greek Philosophy and
Spretnak, Charlene, excerpted from States of Grace
Thompson, William Irwin. Coming into Being: Artifacts and Texts
Tipton, Steven. “Social Differentiation and Moral Pluralism.”
Tucker, Mary E. and Berthrong, J., ed. Confucianism and Ecology
Young, Louise B. The Unfinished Universe

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