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3 years ago  ::  Sep 03, 2011 - 1:29PM #21
Lilwabbit
Posts: 2,760

Sep 3, 2011 -- 6:33AM, Neomonist wrote:


Rather than “beyond” I prefer to think of -O- as the Source, or as Alan Watts wrote, “The inside-inside”. My term of choice in my book Neomonism is The Centermost Reality”. This is not to say I deny the idea of beyondness, but the term satisfies the intellectual aspect, while the idea of insideness satisfies the emotional aspect of my mythunderstanding.



"Minds cannot grasp Me nor hearts contain Me." - Bahá'u'lláh


God is not only beyond the intellect. But also the heart. While I see where you're coming from, to consider God "inside" or "center" is actually just another way of intellectualizing God. There's no escaping from that if one wishes to communicate by words. Being "inside" or "at the center" is a very world-like and physicalist quality. God is beyond all such notions of "inside" and "outside", "depth" and "surface", "outward" and "inward". They apply to earthly objects. Not to God. The true Essence simply cannot be contained. Containing is a quality of a container, a barrel, a tin can, a jar. To be contained is the quality of a chocolate chip cookie. Not God. At best, such notions are metaphysically useful as symbols. But to attribute them to God is reducing Him to somewhat shallow qualities seen in the physical world and defined by the limited mind. Such limitations belong to physical and phenomenal entities. Whereas "beyond" simply means that God is "not" approachable by human devices, whether our language, our experience or our highest and deepest spiritual faculties. God is even beyond "all" and "everything". He does not belong into the category of "all" things since "all" is also an intellectual concept and cannot "contain" God. Hence ultimately pantheism and panentheism are not tenable according to the most consistent brands of apophatic theology.


Thanks for the very interesting articles. You have a probing mind. As I said, our philosophies have similarities. In your philosophy of neomonism Oneness is posited in response to the perceived error of separateness. Separateness is regarded as an illusory state whereas oneness as the true state underlying all being. In the Bahá'í philosophy, both "separateness" and "oneness" are regarded ultimately as illusory, where separateness is far more superficial an illusion than oneness. Perhaps you could visualize it as several layers of illusion (we call them levels of existence). God is simply not bound by any attribute, whether named by the intellect or experienced by the heart. To reformulate your profound apophatic quote in an alternate Bahá'í form:


"Behind the father-image and even the deepest father-experience, behind the mother-image and even the deepest mother-experience, behind the image of light inaccessible and even the deepest experience of light inaccessible, and behind the image of profound darkness and even the deepest experience of profound darkness, there is something else which we cannot conceive at all, nor experience at all."


"God."


I'm sure in your heart you can sense the added power of this reformulation.


With kind regards,


LilWabbit

"All things have I willed for you, and you too, for your own sake."
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3 years ago  ::  Sep 03, 2011 - 1:40PM #22
Lilwabbit
Posts: 2,760

Since man can never know God (Who is described as the Unknowable Essence) nor experience God, Bahá'u'lláh describes a person's honest recognition of his powerlessness to lift his heart to Him and to know God, as the highest life goal, the greatest praise and acknowledgement of God's 'greatness' if you will. This, too, is ultimately a heart-appealing posture of humility which Bahá'u'lláh also sets forth in the language of the heart:


"Glorified, immeasurably glorified art Thou, my Best-Beloved! Inasmuch as Thou hast ordained that the utmost limit to which they who lift their hearts to Thee can rise is the confession of their powerlessness to enter the realms of Thy holy and transcendent unity, and that the highest station which they who aspire to know Thee can reach is the acknowledgment of their impotence to attain the retreats of Thy sublime knowledge..."


(Baha'u'llah, Prayers and Meditations, p. 87)

"All things have I willed for you, and you too, for your own sake."
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3 years ago  ::  Sep 03, 2011 - 8:09PM #23
Neomonist
Posts: 2,670

Sep 3, 2011 -- 1:29PM, Lilwabbit wrote:


God is not only beyond the intellect. But also the heart. While I see where you're coming from, to consider God "inside" or "center" is actually just another way of intellectualizing God. There's no escaping from that if one wishes to communicate by words.




I refer to theological discourse as “Theobabble” and I call my theory of knowledge “Incompleteness” - no matter how much we know, we do not know everything. The most we can say with utmost confidence about -O- is this is what -O- is like to me. One of my favorite ways of stating this is “-O- is and the rest is Commentary.”


Sep 3, 2011 -- 1:29PM, Lilwabbit wrote:


At best, such notions are metaphysically useful as a symbols. But to attribute them to God is reducing Him to somewhat shallow qualities seen in the physical world and defined by the limited mind.




If -O- were simple enough to be completely knowable, -O- would be too simple to qualify for the title -O-.


Sep 3, 2011 -- 1:29PM, Lilwabbit wrote:


To reformulate your profound apophatic quote in an alternate Bahá'í form: ... I'm sure in your heart you can sense the added power of this reformulation.




That is nice.


 

Standard Disclaimer: This is just my 2cents worth.
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3 years ago  ::  Sep 04, 2011 - 12:27AM #24
Lilwabbit
Posts: 2,760

Sep 3, 2011 -- 8:09PM, Neomonist wrote:


The most we can say with utmost confidence about -O- is this is what -O- is like to me.



I personally cannot say even that. "Something is like something to me" talk is just another way of talking about one's feelings. God cannot be imprisoned by a personal feeling. The "heat" of His "light" can be felt. By the mirror of our hearts.


One of my favorite ways of stating this is “-O- is and the rest is Commentary.”



Good one. I also like the classic: "You are what You are."


With kind regards,


LilWabbit


 

"All things have I willed for you, and you too, for your own sake."
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3 years ago  ::  Sep 04, 2011 - 12:33AM #25
Neomonist
Posts: 2,670

Sep 4, 2011 -- 12:27AM, Lilwabbit wrote:


Sep 3, 2011 -- 8:09PM, Neomonist wrote:


The most we can say with utmost confidence about -O- is this is what -O- is like to me.




I personally cannot say even that. "Something is like something to me" talk is just another way of talking about one's feelings. God cannot be imprisoned by a personal feeling. The "heat" of His "light" can be felt. By the mirror of our hearts.





True, but if you're attempting to get published in this area, you have to say something. I doubt if a book of blank pages would sell. ;-)


 

Standard Disclaimer: This is just my 2cents worth.
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3 years ago  ::  Sep 04, 2011 - 12:47AM #26
Lilwabbit
Posts: 2,760

Sep 4, 2011 -- 12:33AM, Neomonist wrote:


Sep 4, 2011 -- 12:27AM, Lilwabbit wrote:


Sep 3, 2011 -- 8:09PM, Neomonist wrote:


The most we can say with utmost confidence about -O- is this is what -O- is like to me.




I personally cannot say even that. "Something is like something to me" talk is just another way of talking about one's feelings. God cannot be imprisoned by a personal feeling. The "heat" of His "light" can be felt. By the mirror of our hearts.





True, but if you're attempting to get published in this area, you have to say something. I doubt if a book of blank pages would sell. ;-) 




;) Who knows? Maybe a book by the title of -O- containing within its beautiful symbolic covers some 360 pages of the most dazzling purity of blank whiteness could be a best-seller! It's the paper quality that counts! At least it would make a point.


(I'm half-Persian but admittedly 5,000 years of business savvy hasn't passed on.)

"All things have I willed for you, and you too, for your own sake."
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3 years ago  ::  Sep 04, 2011 - 12:55AM #27
Neomonist
Posts: 2,670

Sep 4, 2011 -- 12:47AM, Lilwabbit wrote:


;) Who knows? Maybe a book by the title of -O- containing within its beautiful symbolic covers some 360 pages of the most dazzling purity of blank whiteness could be a best-seller! It's the paper quality that counts! At least it would make a point.


(I'm half-Persian but admittedly 5,000 years of business savvy hasn't passed on.)





Nice sense of humor. Thanks for the chuckle.


 

Standard Disclaimer: This is just my 2cents worth.
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3 years ago  ::  Sep 04, 2011 - 7:57AM #28
BIRK
Posts: 1,912

I recall, in the Movie  Circle of Iron.


  The Book of Life that contained all the secrets of the world was nothing more then blank pages with a mirror on the back cover.


  Anyone who wanted to know this great secret had to overcome several challenges before being  deemed worthy enough to veiw it, including death and betrayal as well as passive temptation.


  The Keeper of the Book is expected to guard this secret until the next warrior arrives to veiw its contents. Then that Warrior becomes the Keeper of the Book of Secrets.


 Everyone on the island will worship him as he gets to live in clean white robes, on this glorious island, that he fought so hard to get to, in a perfectly perfumed setting with plenty to eat and drink.


  The only catch is that once you choose to guard the Book, you can never leave, until another warrior arrives to take your place.


  The hero did what I would have done.  Left the book, stole the boat and got as far away as possible, with the secret intact within him.  A Secret that can not be hidden from anyone that has seen whats in the book.


    Powerless is not a word I could use to describe my very limited perception of God, however I can agree that my allowing God to be expressed thru me is and of itself a limiting thought, that takes nothing away from the whole being.


  Seeing God in you is a limiting thought.


   Learning to appreciate this wonderful world of contrast in a way that only provides me more to be joyful about.  Again taking nothing away from the whole being.


   


 

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