ShalomPlace.com    Shalom Place Community    Shalom Place Discussion Groups  Hop To Forum Categories  Premium Groups  Hop To Forums  Contemplative Practice Support    Nondual Christianity - what could THAT possibly entail?
Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 
Go
New
Find
Notify
Tools
Reply
  
Nondual Christianity - what could THAT possibly entail? Login/Join
 
http://www.scribd.com/johnboy_philothea
posted Hide Post
Well put, Phil. You indeed described the wisdom traditions that I was talking about and not the theological systems, by which I meant those that get inextricably bound with any given metaphysic or, worse, its own epistemology. More often, the way I like to say it is that theology is a practical not a speculative science. Wisdom traditions combined with love are doing theology, the practical science, but they needn't be, in my view, best not be, done as comprehensive systems of everything, which necessarily employ formal arguments rather than common sensical intuitions, which are informal and don't rely on the root metaphors of metaphysics. Now, even metaphysics is fine as a probe, to help clarify our questions, but it has little use as a proof, where we imagine we have such answers.
 
Posts: 178 | Location: http://www.scribd.com/johnboy_philothea | Registered: 03 December 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
http://www.scribd.com/johnboy_philothea
posted Hide Post
kilroy was here
 
Posts: 178 | Location: http://www.scribd.com/johnboy_philothea | Registered: 03 December 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
http://www.scribd.com/johnboy_philothea
posted Hide Post
At some point, after clarifying the categories and terms of the practical science of our theology of nature (which is theo-ontology, a poetic venture, not an onto-theology or natural theology, a speculative philosophic venture) and perhaps constructing a glossary of sorts, Phil and I hope to segue into matters of practice vis a vis formative spirituality and the life of prayer.

The next topic I wanted to treat was how the 4 senses of scripture cohere with our categories. I still haven't fully developed the compare and constrast of these hermeneutical spirals but I'll share my heuristic below to evoke others' imaginations:

quote:
1) what can i know? or literal or
descriptive (science) or awareness

2) what can i hope for? or anagogical or
evaluative (culture) or hope

3) what must i do? or moral or normative
(philosophy) or love

4) what does this mean? or allegorical or interpretive
(religion) or faith.


Also, in our sorting out of matters re: Ken Wilber's system, in addition to the rather obvious metrics by which we might guage the efficacies of a faith's implicit (or explicit) formative spirituality, such as its fostering of Lonerganian conversions, one very salient feature might come to light in response to the question:
quote:
What practical consequences might ensue from the nature of any given numinous experiences, more importantly from any interpretation of same (which can be rather common sensical and not weighed down by the heavy baggage of arcane, even esoteric, metaphysics or onto-theology), vis a vis 1) somehow, amplifying those numinous encounters 2) enhancing the alignment of the ego-self axis 3) toward the end of augmenting such human-value realizations as articulated in Lonerganian conversion?


This concise question is dense because it is loaded with jargon that requires extensive unpacking. Perhaps we can do that after Lent and some of this will likely be unpacked when Phil shares his Wilber presentation. If you want to engage this depthfully, let me provide some pointers (maybe Phil can provide some hyperlinks when he gets more time).

RE #1 - I am suggesting that complementary (albeit vague)unitary-intraobjective and unitive-intersubjective, God-concepts would be optimal. This is all explicated above in this thread. The nondual aspect of this intuition would ordinarily come last developmentally, sometimes via post-experiential reflection or perhaps a deep metaphysical intuition or otherwise even via philosophical contemplation and might be considered higher in that narrow sense. But it would be otherwise incoherent (in-principle and by definition) to suggest that such complements, whether epistemological or ontological, could somehow transcend but include each other.

In Christianity, our theo-ontologies speak to God's determinate nature via general and special revelation vis a vis the Creator in relationship to creatures but maintains a respectful silence on God's essential, indeterminate nature.

Buddhism remains a respectful silence regarding ontological origins, in general, but takes a great deal of metaphysical liberty regarding teleological destinies, which works out well enough, formatively, I reckon, since it allows for significant developmental impetus, personal dignity/integrity and devotional aspiration (although not as cultic, still with pronounced transformative aims).

As far as Advaita, Wilber's own panentheism is a case in point that Advaita needn't present the developmental conundrums of unnuanced pantheisms and panpsychisms. Of course, Advaita also allows for prominent devotional elements on the pragmatic level.

In each of these traditions, this all serves to mitigate against such obstacles as might be implicitly inferred vis a vis an improperly nuanced (or appropriated or misinterpreted) monistic stance. Of course, quietism can occur in any tradition where elements are 1) explicitly incoherent anthropologically 2) misappropriated 3) misinterpreted 4) insufficiently nuanced, albeit for very different reasons.

RE #2 I believe Phil's dissertation is available for download somewhere on this or a sister site. Or at least some graphics or summaries?

RE #3 Phil has much of Helminiak's schema a la Lonergan archived at Shalomplace, also.
 
Posts: 178 | Location: http://www.scribd.com/johnboy_philothea | Registered: 03 December 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
http://www.scribd.com/johnboy_philothea
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by johnboy.philothea:
Well put, Phil. You indeed described the wisdom traditions that I was talking about and not the theological systems, by which I meant those that get inextricably bound with any given metaphysic or, worse, its own epistemology. More often, the way I like to say it is that theology is a practical not a speculative science. Wisdom traditions combined with love are doing theology, the practical science, but they needn't be, in my view, best not be, done as comprehensive systems of everything, which necessarily employ formal arguments rather than common sensical intuitions, which are informal and don't rely on the root metaphors of metaphysics. Now, even metaphysics is fine as a probe, to help clarify our questions, but it has little use as a proof, where we imagine we have such answers.


I will share an excerpt from recent correspondence with another friend who had blogged on heresy hunting. It's not directly related to this conversation in every way but has some common touchpoints that elucidate some relevant distinctions:

quote:
Shouldn't the clear conceptual implications of our different approaches also
translate into obvious practical implications for our relationships to self, others, the world and God? Of course they will but those implications will present in varying degrees, more versus less consequential.

We do, after all, have metrics to guage intellectual, emotional, moral, social
and faith developments (thanks to Piaget, Maslow, Kohlberg, Fowler and others) and to guide our conversions (also intellectual, affective, moral, sociopolitical and religious, thanks to Lonergan and Gelpi)?

It is one thing, however, to have our Lonerganian metrics but quite another
to imagine that we also have the sociologic methods to adequately guage their realization among and across populations and religious cohorts (not ignoring that Stanley Jaki and others have made reasonable but still
controversial general cases for one hermeneutic versus another).

Let's return to the essential nature of faith, itself, for more insights into these
questions. Here we might better clarify why it seems to be that conceptual implications don't always translate into practical consequences. The primary reason, in my view, is right here before our eyes in the distinction between
the conceptual and practical!

Different faiths will far more engage what we might call practical existential hermeneutics and far less have anything at all to do with
speculative evidential metaphysics, which involve, instead, what are essentially philosophical preambles. In the practice of faith, as a live (not unreasonable), vital (existentially significant) and forced (not to choose is to choose) option, one will far more engage the participatory, imaginal and
existential and far less rely on the conceptual, propositional and evidential, which is to recognize that theology is much more so a practical, much less so a theoretical, science.

The efficacies of faith present in terms of right relationship to self, other, world and God; these efficacies are not primarily measured narrowly in terms of conceptual coherence but more broadly in those of value-realization,
with an emphasis on those related to love.

Developmentally, more often orthocommunio (right relationship in community) will result moreso from orthopathy (right desires) and orthopraxy (right behavior) and less so from orthodoxy (right beliefs). Put another way, most often, community, cult and code will be robustly practiced even as creed typically will be only vaguely sketched and poorly understood. In our reality, which is radically incarnational and profusely pneumatological, quite often such value-realizations will be much more implicit than explicit, reflecting, then, a degree of unconscious competence. Even when explicit, quite often those conceptualizations will represent caricatures and misconstructions, a degree of conscious incompetence, but with little practical consequence due to the otherwise proper forming of desires and of behaving in community via practices, liturgy, ritual and spiritual formation.

This is all to suggest, perhaps, that, all gnosticism and agnosticism aside, a great deal of practical ignosticism nevertheless prevails even among believers. (Ignosticism suggests that, when it comes to God-concepts,
people aren't even employing coherent definitions or that they are too often assuming too much or employing different definitions even when otherwise coherent). Also, while much has been made of radical apophaticism in recent years, few have seriously critiqued what has
become a predominant radical kataphaticism, which presents both as pietism (an over-emphasis on the affective and kataphatic) and rationalism
(an over-emphasis on the speculative and kataphatic); where faith elements that are primarily interpretive, metaphorical and mythical are misconstrued as being mostly descriptive, metaphysical and literal; where
the participatory imagination fancies itself as doing conceptual map-making; where what is essentially a theology of nature (or theo-ontology), a poetic venture, is received as a natural theology (or onto-theology), a philosophic venture; where the exoteric and mythical crowds out the esoteric and
mystical; where believing and behaving take formative precedence over belonging and desiring; where implicit and existential approaches are denigrated and explicit approaches are fundamentalistic; where the
unconsciously competent is not appreciated and the conscious is manifestly incompetent. Such rationalists might (rightly) acknowledge that one needn't understand the metaphysics and theology of the Eucharist or other sacraments in order for their celebration to be efficacious but not as quick to agree that the same could be true for energy healing or with the manifold and multiform goings on during one's 20 minute sitting (those psychological imbalances, which have often associated with spiritual
mispractice, generally require the therapy of prudential norms - e.g. moderation, not the ministration of theological gnosis - e.g. proselytization).

Of course, not all therapies for practice will involve merely normative and prudential remedies; some may well involve interpretive corrections (think Ignatian imaginative modes and reimaging in spiritual direction). Still,
when interpretive, those remedies will moreso require metaphorical, imaginal and mythical reformulations and not so much metaphysical, conceptual and literal corrections. For example, in this vein, Westerners can acknowledge that reality IS like the unitary interpretation but that, as with the unitive interpretation, what
we have, perhaps and at most, is a successful reference, not a successful description. Furthermore, we can acknowledge that there IS more to be said literally through apophatic predication and negation even while there is no limit on what can be metaphorically affirmed through kataphatic affirmation. The western dualistic mindset often gets caught up in a zen
conundrum regarding, first, there is no mountain, then there is no mountain because it doesn't finish the trialectic with then there is , which returns one to the practical plane where we live and move and have our being, hopefully, in solidarity and
compassion. The unitary interpretation, as with the unitive interpretation, is but part of the truth; both interpretations refer to a LARGE reality and thus convey enormous existential impetus. As mentioned earlier, the unitive
without the unitary has often led to deism, while the unitary without the unitive has often tended toward quietism; held in creative tension, though, they affirm us as created co-creators.

While it is neither ideal nor optimal when folks enjoy poor catechesis and employ impoverished theological conceptions, to the extent they have
otherwise been suitably evangelized and have enjoyed a loving community that has formed their desires and shaped their behaviors through liturgy, sacrament and practice (even if implicitly, whether via most unitary or unitive pathways), for all practical purposes, their formation will have been more than adequate even if suboptimal.

None of this is to suggest that we should not otherwise all aspire to the most nearly perfect 1) articulation of truth 2) celebration of beauty 3) preservation of good and 4) enjoyment of community in order to give God the greatest possible glory (AMDG: ad majorem Dei gloriam). It is to say, however, that we should acknowledge that there is no a priori
theoretical argument that can demonstrate which path would take us to AMDG and that, furthermore, beyond a certain measure of epistemic virtue, any a posteriori demonstration of the practical superiority of one religious stance versus another remains too highly problematical for all sorts of reasons. That's why both proselytizing and heresy-hunting so quickly reach a point of diminishing returns and become counterproductive, even to the point of offending charity.

As it is, heresyhunting does not engage theological method per se; rather, it's essentially a simple exercise in semantics (more akin, really, to mathematical set theory) and only reveals which stance corresponds to which other stance (s); it cannot reveal which stance corresponds to reality. At the same time,via philosophical method, we can measure the epistemic virtue of competing faith stances (but we still can't prove which stance is true, only which employs coherent preambles).


Theological formulations are very often post-experiential reflections on practices (incl liturgical and devotional celebrations) that very efficaciously have already formed us even when we cannot articulate with facility or understand with clarity those formulations, hence, we have an ontogeny recapitulating phylogeny dynamic where the creedal aspects of the faith follow the communal & cultic - not only in the formative development of the individual, but - in the history of a tradition, itself. For example, what does it mean that we have been breaking this bread?

Arraj issued this challenge in Buddhist dialogue regarding whether or not post-experiential reflection on nondual realizations might speak to an intentional nonduality, which sounds very right-headed as such interpretations go, rather than, necessarily, an ontological nonduality.
 
Posts: 178 | Location: http://www.scribd.com/johnboy_philothea | Registered: 03 December 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
http://www.scribd.com/johnboy_philothea
posted Hide Post
 
Posts: 178 | Location: http://www.scribd.com/johnboy_philothea | Registered: 03 December 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
  Powered by Social Strata Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7  
 

ShalomPlace.com    Shalom Place Community    Shalom Place Discussion Groups  Hop To Forum Categories  Premium Groups  Hop To Forums  Contemplative Practice Support    Nondual Christianity - what could THAT possibly entail?