Shalom Place CommunityNondual Christianity - what could THAT possibly entail?This topic can be found at:http://shalomplace...
axiologically integral (does not realize its value apart fromthe other approaches, being autonomous only in amethodologica...
hindrance than our realization of transformation and humanauthenticity. Perhaps we can be there by our mere desiring –even...
Statements like that typically send me into desolation;which then, for me anyway, once again required a saddling upand som...
Because churches institutionalize Lonergans conversions(human authenticity), we might, in theory, try to gauge howsuccessf...
Thanks for the spirited engagement, pop-pop.pax,jbThis message has been edited. Last edited by:johnboy.philothea, 19 Decem...
the same time, will generally tend to foster and mutuallysupport growth in other areas of ones spiritual life.Charismatic ...
subjective emphases, there is likewise a shadow side toapproaches that are overly intra-objective (e.g., quietism,prematur...
into the pot in equal amounts! Sometimes, its a cup of this,a pinch of that or a dash of the other.So, when we inventory a...
mind.One very profitable engagement of our putative intra-objectivereality in humankinds history has been that of sciences...
Point of info: While the term inter-subjective isontologically dualistic, I consider our spirituality,optimally, to transc...
like John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila and then, and onlythen, take up an Eastern asceticism or Christian adaptationst...
A nondual intra-objective integrity refers primarily toEnlightenment experiences of the East, where folksexperientially re...
necessary, just not sufficient to realize the value offered usin the Good News — that God wants an intimate relationshipwi...
So, when a people’s history is explicitly eschatological(knowing where we’re headed per the Good News), when apeople’s cul...
I like St. Bernard as well, and his sermon distinguishingservant, son and spousal love s delightful. Dynamite stuff.But I ...
on nondual realities. I have also corresponded with Jerry Katzof nonduality.com (and reviewed his book); Jerry runs thefor...
quote:    Originally posted by pop-pop: “radical solidarity with allbeing”. Sounds nice. A typically sweet jargon – but cl...
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Nondual christianity huh

  1. 1. Shalom Place CommunityNondual Christianity - what could THAT possibly entail?This topic can be found at:http://shalomplace.org/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/15110765/m/614408711818 December 2011, 04:17 PMjohnboy.philotheaNondual Christianity - what could THAT possibly entail? quote: Originally posted by Phil: Finally, there is another approach you did not mention:subject-to-object. E.g., I have a relationship with manyobjects, like my iMac, which I dearly love. Smiler But it isobviously just an object and cannot enter into an inter-subjective relationship with me. I do feel connection with it,however, as I do the birds that come to my feeder, the sky,trees, etc. This is not the kind of intrapersonal resonancewith reality you mentioned above. My Ego is still quiteintact, and yet there I am reaching out with my consciousnessto apprehend and appreciate other "objects." See what I mean?What would this be called. Inter-sub/objectivity?If you look at my graphic, youll see that the intra-objective, intra-subjective and inter-subjective are aspectsof phenomenology. For the most part, when humans "accomplish"subject-object cleavage, thats the very essence ofepistemology and is primarily how we go about problem-solving: describing, evaluating, norming and interpreting reality.This subject-object cleavage is the hallmark of dualisticthinking and where it gets its name as we divide the whole anddistinguish its parts.Our dualistic approach is MERE problem-solving and our nondualapproach is problem-solving PLUS . The nondual sleight ofhand, here, whether we are talking anthropology,phenomenology, axiology, epistemology or theology, involvesour use of a mediating thirdness. In this sense, our nondualtripartite anthropology , triadic phenomenology, trialecticalaxiology, trialogical epistemology and trinitarian theology doall represent a higher value realization across the board,existentially, as, in each case, we go beyond but not withoutor transcend but include.Unfortunately, this is not what many nondual teachersadvocate. Their mistake is rather straightforward: even thoughthey may say they are transrational, what they are doing is(ironically, dualistically) according the nondual both anaxiological primacy and an axiological autonomy, which, as Isee it, makes their approach arational . What we are saying,rather, is that, while the nondual does, indeed, enjoy anaxiological primacy (being the most valuable moment in ourvarious hermeneutical cycles, epistemically), it is also 1
  2. 2. axiologically integral (does not realize its value apart fromthe other approaches, being autonomous only in amethodological sense).Thats straightforward but not simple. Put another way, thenondual moment is a necessary but not sufficient element ofour nondual approach. Unless properly integrated with ourproblem-solving, dualistic approach, our distinctly humanvalues will not be realized. The nondual moment is but onenote in our nondual epistemic symphony. (Cf. Phils discussionabove re: Lonergan)18 December 2011, 04:22 PMjohnboy.philotheare: the intra-subjective integrityI equate that with Lonergans conversions as expanded by DonGelpi: intellectual, affective, moral, socio-political andreligious. Think, here, of Fowlers faith development,Kohlbergs moral development, Eriksons personalitydevelopment, Maslows hierarchy and other stage anddevelopment theories. Think classical formative spirituality:purgative, illuminative and unitive paths.Keep in mind that I am not setting forth a systematic approachonly a heuristic account, providing some conceptualplaceholders, disambiguating some terms, mapping someconcepts, categorizing reality, introducing some alternativelanguage, stimulating some conversations, hopefully.18 December 2011, 04:50 PMpop-popPer Johnboy, a few posts back:“What is more so at stake, rather, is our possible realizationof superabundance , which is to suggest that the onus is onvarious religious practitioners to demonstrate that they canjourney toward transformation (human authenticity) much moreswiftly and with much less hindrance precisely because oftheir formative spiritualities.”Statements like that typically send me into desolation; whichthen, for me anyway, once again required a saddling up andsome time on the Ponderosa – and it was cold out there.I hates that desolation stuff, let me tell you – even morethan the cold. It was the onus that created the onus. Kind oflike the proverbial ‘putting a burr under my saddle’ (though Ihadn’t even saddled up).So I’m loping along and asking myself: Is the journey towardtransformation (human authenticity) really the highest goal?Or is the journey toward union with God? Is the journey – likethe US Army advertises – being all that one can be? Is thejourney about me realizing me in all my fullness? Or is Godsomehow in play? Is not the goal being with God, being in God,with His sap in me, my obedience in Him?Perhaps we can be there (in God) more swiftly and with less 2
  3. 3. hindrance than our realization of transformation and humanauthenticity. Perhaps we can be there by our mere desiring –even before the realizing of the fullness of our humantransformation, even whilst realizing quite deeply the realityof our profound dysfunction and our inability to eliminate it.Perhaps many, nay most, of our forbears had never realizedfull human authenticity and human liberation, yet were bytheir obedient surrender and grafting into and remaining inthe vine growing heavenward powered by a supernatural kind ofsap…. somehow …already there (at the goal, truly) -- despitenot at the highest level of human psychological growth aspsychologists would term is the goal.Perhaps our forbears and indeed even we ourselves can be‘there’ kind of by a miraculous grace, one might viably say.Hey, perhaps that’s -- the GOOD NEWS.Perhaps it’s that serpent again: saying, “Did God really saythat?” (Is being in, and remaining in the vine is whatglorifies the Father?)Does John 15 speak about human authenticity per se? “He whobrings himself to naught for Me discovers who he is” Jesussaid.Perhaps many martyrs even had not advanced all that far alongon their journey toward transformation (in terms of humanauthenticity) and yet were quite far along in the journey thatpleases God.Certainly, as the saint says: “The glory of God is man fullyalive”. I believe that with all my heart. But I hate onus andits attendant accusatory and sulphurous fragrance -- despitebeing somewhat of a feist myself (as the Old English and theirepistemological groupies might say).I like much of what Johnboy has posted, but I react to onusstuff. A Christian need not have to ‘demonstrate’ anything toanyone -- swiftness or otherwise.‘Remain in Me’, the Lord says. That works for Him…...thatshould work for us.Pop-pop18 December 2011, 06:34 PMjohnboy.philothea quote: Originally posted by pop-pop: Per Johnboy, a few posts back: “What is more so at stake, rather, is our possiblerealization of superabundance , which is to suggest that theonus is on various religious practitioners to demonstrate thatthey can journey toward transformation (human authenticity)much more swiftly and with much less hindrance preciselybecause of their formative spiritualities.” 3
  4. 4. Statements like that typically send me into desolation;which then, for me anyway, once again required a saddling upand some time on the Ponderosa – and it was cold out there. I hates that desolation stuff, let me tell you – even morethan the cold. It was the onus that created the onus. Kind oflike the proverbial ‘putting a burr under my saddle’ (though Ihadn’t even saddled up).Listen, I can hear Willie Nelson: ♫♪ Why do I have to choose?See everybody lose! Walk round and sing the blues? Well,darlin, I refuse! ♬ quote: Originally posted by pop-pop: So I’m loping along and asking myself: Is the journeytoward transformation (human authenticity) really the highestgoal? Or is the journey toward union with God? Is the journey– like the US Army advertises – being all that one can be? Isthe journey about me realizing me in all my fullness? Or isGod somehow in play? Is not the goal being with God, being inGod, with His sap in me, my obedience in Him?For those of us who imagine that humanization IS divinization,were talking bout one and the same cattle drive! quote: Originally posted by pop-pop: Perhaps our forbears andindeed even we ourselves can be ‘there’ kind of by amiraculous grace, one might viably say. Hey, perhaps that’s --the GOOD NEWS.Indeed, the journey up Mt. Carmel is an Assumption and not anAscension! quote: Originally posted by pop-pop: I like much of what Johnboyhas posted, but I react to onus stuff. A Christian need nothave to ‘demonstrate’ anything to anyone -- swiftness orotherwise.For all practical purposes, I am a universalist for whom anyonus would be moronic (of the oxy- variety)!Yet, the question remains begging - nest pas? - as to what inthe world I was saying, then! 4
  5. 5. Because churches institutionalize Lonergans conversions(human authenticity), we might, in theory, try to gauge howsuccessful they are in that regard because that might help usadjudicate between some of the competing claims of differenttraditions. The way the theological guild says this is thatorthopraxis authenticates orthodoxy. So, thats a suggestedecclesiological norm for fallibly discerning the fruits of theSpirit (or lack thereof) from one believing community to thenext and not, rather, an obligation of any given believer. Atthe same time, to the extent one aspires to engage inapologetics of any sort, proselytizing others, ones implicitdemonstration of ongoing conversion might emerge as a self-imposed onus?And this is why I also wrote, though you may not have gottenthat far in the thread yet: quote: Originally posted by johnboy: We certainly need a modicumof intra-subjective integrity vis a vis human authenticity toenjoy beatitude but, in the end, how much we grow or how holywe get is very much Gods affair . Beyond that, in my view,both now and forever, the experience of the inter-subjective ,both vis a vis our primary beatitude of being happy with Godand our secondary beatitude of being happy with our fellowcreatures, is our highest good and to be most highly valued.Our experience of unitary being vis a vis a realization of ourintra-objective identity will certainly round out and enhanceour other experiences integrally and holistically and can evenprotect us from certain errors (overly dialecticalimagination, deism, rationalism, pietism, etc).So, neither Lonerganian conversions/human authenticity (intra-subjective integrity) nor Enlightenment (intra-objectiveidentity) are our summum bonum or highest good, which is theunitive life (inter-subjective intimacy), a free gift.That we may move in superabundance, more swiftly and with lesshindrance, or even grow in authenticity or even experienceEnlightenment is no necessary spiritual aspiration (cf. Litanyof Humility - That others may become holier than I, providedthat I may become as holy as I should… ), in and of itself,but instead might entail, among other aspirations, a surrenderto divine providence, a cooperation with the holy Spirit, outof compassion for those who may otherwise have to suffer ourunconverted, unenlightened selves (as Teresa suggested: Let usdesire and occupy ourselves in prayer - not so much for theconsolations we may receive, but - to gain the strength toserve. - or something like that, which was my paraphrase ofher sentiment that The water is for the flowers. )Meanwhile, ♫♪ the shadows sway and seem to say tonight we prayfor water, cool water. And way up there Hell hear our prayerand show us where theres water, cool water. ♬ 5
  6. 6. Thanks for the spirited engagement, pop-pop.pax,jbThis message has been edited. Last edited by:johnboy.philothea, 19 December 2011 12:40 PM19 December 2011, 12:52 AMjohnboy.philotheaMore on Lonergans ConversionsThe authenticity is reached by conversion which in turn isreached by self-transcendence in an ongoing process. Asmentioned previously, one is responding (transcending self) tohaving first been loved (divinely). So, this religiousconversion is a two-step dance. Having been lovedunqualifiedly, I start loving, more and more through time, inthe same way.Thus gifted, I begin to gift others in return by cooperatingwith that gifting, which is nothing less than the activity(mission) of the Holy Spirit.The more we cooperate with that gift which was given freely,apart from anything we have ever known (or been educated to)or ever done (whether an ascetical practice or moral deed),the stronger our own unqualified loving and the more evidentour cooperation with the Holy Spirit vis a vis beatitudes(Matthew 5), corporal works of mercy (Matthew 25), spiritualworks of mercy (throughout the 4 Gospels), charismatic giftsfor community (Romans 12 & 1 Corinthians 12), gifts of theSpirit for personal sanctification (wisdom, understanding,counsel, fortitude, knowledge, reverence, wonder & awe),fruits of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness,goodness, faithfulness, gentleness & self-control -Galatians5), theological virtues (faith, hope & love - 1 Corinthians13) and cardinal virtues (justice, prudence, fortitude &temperance).To the extent, then, that conversion has been successfullyinstitutionalized (not only via an explicitly Christiananthropology, theology, pneumatology, ecclesiology,sacramentology, soteriology & eschatology but anywhere, inanyone and in whatever manner) in a community or realized inindividuals, of course to varying degrees, all of this giftingwill manifest (the greatest of such gifting being love, whichis patient, kind, neither envious nor boastful nor self-seeking nor easily angered but rejoicing always with thetruth, always protecting, trusting, hoping and persevering).And all of this gifting will foster ongoing intellectual,affective, moral, socio-political and religious conversionsvia what Gelpi called grace as transmuted experience.From this less than causal observer, these processes arerather, in a word, messy! These conversions dont presentsymmetrically, which is to recognize that growth in one areawill not necessarily indicate growth in other areas but, at 6
  7. 7. the same time, will generally tend to foster and mutuallysupport growth in other areas of ones spiritual life.Charismatic gifts tend to be spread among different members ofa community, not all being gifted to one person and so on.May the Spirit abide with you in great shalom!jb19 December 2011, 01:36 PMBradCongratulations on your new site, Phil. Make that a “non-dual”congrats. And you should know that Johnboy is a superbpublicist. I dont know if this thread is a part of that, butjust wanted to make mention.19 December 2011, 02:40 PMPhilHi Brad. Yes, the forums in this category are now anextension, of sorts, of philothea.net. JB has a subdomainworth checking out. I hope you will drop in here and on theblog to gift us with your insights.19 December 2011, 02:56 PMPhil quote: We certainly need a modicum of intra-subjective integrityvis a vis human authenticity to enjoy beatitude but, in theend, how much we grow or how holy we get is very much Godsaffair . Beyond that, in my view, both now and forever, theexperience of the inter-subjective , both vis a vis ourprimary beatitude of being happy with God and our secondarybeatitude of being happy with our fellow creatures, is ourhighest good and to be most highly valued. Our experience ofunitary being vis a vis a realization of our intra-objectiveidentity will certainly round out and enhance our otherexperiences integrally and holistically and can even protectus from certain errors (overly dialectical imagination, deism,rationalism, pietism, etc).JB, that was certainly worth repeating, and I completelyagree. I would add that intra-subjective integrity seems to gohand-in-hand with intersubjective spirituality/mysticism --that you cant really have one without the other. So manytimes it seems that intra-subjective work enables a deeperrelationship with God, and vice versa.Re. the intra-objective, I still have mixed feelings. Itmight, as you noted, help to guard against certain errors, butit also opens the door to others, especially if it isemphasized too strongly. Weve already noted the possibilityof a certain anti-intellectualism and the discouragement of(dualistic) intersubjective spirituality. It can even bringpsychological damage if the Ego is denigrated, and it cansurely negate the value of kataphatic approaches as means fora real encounter with God. So while the isms you mention abovealong with others like moralism and dogmatism have been andstill are a problem in "the West" with its strong inter- 7
  8. 8. subjective emphases, there is likewise a shadow side toapproaches that are overly intra-objective (e.g., quietism,premature kundalini arousal/awakening, psychologicalimbalances, disaffectivity, radical apophaticism). Indeed,theres little about intra-objective spirituality that seemsnaturally suited to the ordinary functioning of ourconsciousness, and I wonder if its not a seeking after anexperience that is not good for us. Its certainly difficultto earnestly pursue this kind of spirituality alongside theother approaches you mention, as it seems to have the effectof undercutting them in some ways.19 December 2011, 08:27 PMjohnboy.philotheaWhat we have going on in that diagram with the super-categories of people, relationships, values, methods andhermeneutics is what I would like to call an axiologicalspiral , which is analogous to the notion of a hermeneuticalspiral , such as we have within the category of methods wherethe normative mediates between the descriptive andinterpretive to effect the evaluative. Or, one might say thatthe philosophic mediates between the positivist and thetheistic to effect the theotic (thinking here of Helminiaksapproach to Lonergan).There are different versions of a hermeneutical spiral thatare at work in Biblical exegesis vis a vis the senses ofScripture. One could look at Pope Benedicts analysis of thetension between a Thomist knowledge and a Scotist praxis andsay, with Bonaventure, that Wisdom mediates between knowledgeand practice to effect Love. We could say that, often, notalways, orthopathy or cult mediates between orthodoxy or creedand orthopraxy or code to effect orthocommunio or communityThe examples are endless, really.In our axiological spiral , methods mediate between personsand hermeneutics to realize values in relationships. There arecreative tensions that exist in each moment of these value-realization movements.To use a music analogy, we might say that each moment(methods, persons, hermeneutics, values & relationships) is adifferent note on the scale forming part of a symphonicaxiological movement. Some are high notes; others are lownotes. Some are quarter notes; others are half notes. Someincrease in loud crescendo while others contribute in softpianissimo. Now, this axiological spiral is in play for thevalue-realizations that are to be derived in each type ofrelationship during this symphony, each contributingintegrally to the whole, all necessary and none, alone,sufficient. None of this is to suggest, however, that theprescribed amount of emphasis required in order to avoideither an over- or under-emphasis will necessarily and apriori be the same for each moment! To achieve harmonicbalance and symphonic excellence, we manifestly would not makeevery note a quarter note! To change metaphors, when wesuggest that each ingredient in a given recipe isindispensable, we are not at all suggesting they be stirred 8
  9. 9. into the pot in equal amounts! Sometimes, its a cup of this,a pinch of that or a dash of the other.So, when we inventory all of the insidious ISMs - pietism,encratism, quietism, radical apophaticism, rationalism,arationalism, irrationalism, fideism, ritualism, legalism,dogmatism and so on, we are not suggesting that they resultfrom such a lack of balance as would derive from not givingevery moment in a hermeneutical or axiological spiral movementequal emphasis, equal time, equal say. Or to provide everyingredient in equal amounts. I wont flesh out this metaphorbut will leave it as an imaginative tool for anyone who wantsto employ it. quote: Originally posted by Phil: I would add that intra-subjective integrity seems to go hand-in-hand withintersubjective spirituality/mysticism -- that you cantreally have one without the other. So many times it seems thatintra-subjective work enables a deeper relationship with God,and vice versa.That was my implication with the understanding that hand-in-hand needs to be nuanced along the lines of what I discussedabove and in the context that was well-presented by pop-pop.There are astounding asymmetries and exceptionalities thatpresent courtesy of what appears to us to often be a holy butunruly Spirit! reminding us of Who is sovereign. Still,normatively, that does seem to be the general rule and we dohave to rely on ordinary patterns of behavior as falliblytruth-indicative in our communal discernment processes. quote: Originally posted by Phil: Re. the intra-objective, Istill have mixed feelings. It might, as you noted, help toguard against certain errors, but it also opens the door toothers, especially if it is emphasized too strongly.That is the general point regarding various over- and under-emphases of ANY moment. An over-emphasis on 1) the inter-objective results in a radical apophaticism 2) intra-subjective - a narcissistic navel-gazing 3) subject-objectcleavage - scientism and positivism 4) intra-objective -philosophical naturalism and quietism 5) inter-subjective -pietism and fideism. Of course, these are broad over-generalizations and rather facile characterizations of someotherwise complex psycho-spiritual dynamics.The radical apophaticism of a radically intra-objective over-emphasis actually results from its ineffable encounter of theindeterminate ground of being, unequipped as it is with itslack of (or impoverished) analogical imagination, whichrequires a robust engagement of our dualistic problem-solving 9
  10. 10. mind.One very profitable engagement of our putative intra-objectivereality in humankinds history has been that of sciencesmethodological naturalism, which is epistemically dualisticbut ontologically monistic (for arguments sake). Thisdevolves into scientism and positivism, however, whenever anintra-objective approach gets over-emphasized vis a vis aphilosophical naturalism, which is ontologically monistic ( apriori and ideologically) .Another profitable engagement of intra-objective reality hasbeen that of those Eastern tradition schools that nurture bothdialectical and analogical imaginations and therefore embraceprominent devotional elements (with ipso facto inter-subjective aspects, for all practical purposes).The intra-objective identity experience of some type ofunderlying oneness may, in part and in various ways, play somerole, too, in what Maritain as per Arraj discussed in suchphenomenal experiences as could be associated withphilosophical contemplation (thru concepts) and the intuitionof being, natural mysticism (w/o concepts) or mysticism of theself, metaphysical insight (such as via Zen), all distinctfrom mystical contemplation in that the latter is illuminated,theological, personal and kataphatic while the former isunilluminated, existential, impersonal and apophatic.In our theologies of nature, the insights of intraobjectivityand intersubjectivity have been blended creatively andpoetically into various panentheisms (my own is called pan-semio-entheism to emphasize my semiotic perspective). quote: Originally posted by Phil: Indeed, theres little aboutintra-objective spirituality that seems naturally suited tothe ordinary functioning of our consciousness, and I wonder ifits not a seeking after an experience that is not good forus. Its certainly difficult to earnestly pursue this kind ofspirituality alongside the other approaches you mention, as itseems to have the effect of undercutting them in some ways.To elaborate a solely intra-objective spirituality would, atbest, seem impoverished, at worst, lead to a litany of (evenperilous?!) maladies such as you inventoried vis a vis theshadow side of a misappropriated intra-objective moment(premature kundalini arousal/awakening, psychologicalimbalances, disaffectivity). quote: Originally posted by Phil:Weve already noted thepossibility of a certain anti-intellectualism and thediscouragement of (dualistic) intersubjective spirituality. 10
  11. 11. Point of info: While the term inter-subjective isontologically dualistic, I consider our spirituality,optimally, to transcend epistemic dualism. But this brings upa point I forgot to make earlier --- that epistemic dualism isboth necessary and sufficient to realize truth, beauty andgoodness in abundance (e.g. erotic love of God in Bernardianlove, imperfect contrition, Old Covenant, moral living and soon).SIGNIFICANT PROBLEMS present in the integration of experiencesof intra-objective identity and inter-subjective intimacy ---not because the essential experiences are in any wayincompatible existentially, theologically, spiritually,psychologically, axiologically, developmentally,philosophically and so on and so forth. The theoreticalintegration is past the rudimentary stages thanks to Merton,Maritain, Arraj, Phil and others. These experiences have beenvalidated and deserve to be honored for the role they have andcan play in formative spirituality. The chief problem is thatthe associated practices so often continue to make their wayinto our culture without proper re-contextualization. Inshort, they arrive with baggage (that is philosophically andtheologically flea-ridden). The practices are often fine butthe conclusions (metaphysical and theological) that accompanythem are too often heterodox and in a manner that haspractical implications --- not only for ones life of prayer,but --- for ones emotional health and cognitive integrity.What is often lacking is proper catechesis and, occasionally,when it is offered, it is confused. Getting intra-objectiveidentity wrong manifests kataphatically as a fundamentalistcreationism and God of the gaps (obverse side of materialistmonism), philosophically as an ideological naturalism andscientism, theologically as pantheism or radical apophaticism,metaphysically as a rather kooky tautology or sillymanipulation of concepts (often found in nonduality internetforums), soteriologically as a denial of evil and evensuffering and so on.What to do or not? Chasing after experiences for their ownsake is folly. If one is really interested in cultivatingintraobjective experience, then I suggest one proceed firstthrough concepts like: 1) methodological naturalism and why weuse it in science 2) philosophical naturalism and why it isanti-thetical to Christianity 3) pantheism and panentheism andhow are they different 4) connaturality and intuition of being5) study the Eastern traditions that do have devotionalaspects (most do!) and see how nonduality is distinguished visa vis ultimate reality versus everyday practical reality andphenomenal experience 6) read Merton and Maritain 7) visitinnerexplorations.com 8) Google "spiritual emergency" 9)reconceive nonduality in terms of a mediated thirdness or evenfourthness and stay away from any monistic oneness gibberishthat does not define itself positively on its own terms butmore so as an argumentative over against dualism (which makessuch approaches, sadly and ironically, inherently dualistic)10) read the Doctors of the Church, especially the Carmelites 11
  12. 12. like John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila and then, and onlythen, take up an Eastern asceticism or Christian adaptationsthereof --- with a good spiritual director standing by as wellas the url to: shalomplace.com Finally, this should go withoutsaying, but, those whove best integrated practices that arequieting, centering or apophatic have not done so instead ofbut in addition to kataphatic devotions and liturgicalpractices.This message has been edited. Last edited by:johnboy.philothea, 23 December 2011 10:35 AM22 December 2011, 11:18 AMjohnboy.philotheaA task I have set before me but have not yet fully engaged (atleast not formally) is the setting forth of a matrix ofinteractions. On the left axis would be our various categoriesof phenomenal experience: inter-subjective intimacy, intra-objective identity, intra-subjective integrity and inter-objective indeterminacy. On the right axis, across the topwould be four categories: dualistic approach to Creator,nondual approach to Creator, dualistic approach to creation,nondual approach to creation. This matrix would identify thevarious gifts and fruits and values to be realized from eachsuch interaction.On yet another matrix I would include the same axes but try toidentify the shadow side of those interactions as might be dueto improper emphases.22 December 2011, 11:35 AMjohnboy.philotheaAnother attempt at concretization of these abstract concepts,oversimplified and exaggerated (but sufficiently nuancedabove, I hope, to prevent any facile caricatures):When I say nondual or contemplative, I am talking about theway I interact with my granddaughter when she knocks on mydoor. My heart leaps and we delight in each other’s presence.When I say dualistic, I think of doing my taxes. Talking abouta putative ultimate reality (God, for most of us)a nondualinter-subjective intimacy would be like that between spouses,parent and child, or, like in my example, grandparent andgrandchild. That’s one way we aspire to interact with God inthe West. If, however, we interact with God like He’s apoliceman or judge, that would be dualistic in a moralproblem-solving sense. St. Bernard spoke of a “love of God forsake of self.” In catechism we learned imperfect contrition orsorrow for the consequences our sins have on us. CS Lewisspoke of eros or the “what’s in it for me” dynamic ofrelationships. All of those would be examples of practicaldualistic problem-solving. Those who spend a lot of time onmetaphysical proofs and the apologetics of natural theology inphilosophy internet forums are engaging God in a rationaldualistic problem-solving. This is another way we interactwith God in the West, which is okay, but we miss the deeperinvitation to intimacy (unitive living) if we don’t go beyondit to the nondual. 12
  13. 13. A nondual intra-objective integrity refers primarily toEnlightenment experiences of the East, where folksexperientially realize, beyond all concepts, the grand unityof all reality, how everything is related to everything else(unitary being). This is not a metaphysical insight such thatone would come away a pantheist (God is merely the whole thatis greater than the sum of His parts) or materialist monist(the philosophical naturalism of an atheist). Rather, it is aprofound existential realization of our radical solidaritywith all being and the experience blossoms into a profoundcompassion, sometimes for all sentient beings. The Westernexperience oflove moves us to compassion, also, but more so from havingexperienced being so well loved. This does have practicalmetaphysical implications that some Christians have resolvedas a pan-en-theism, which more so suggests God indwelling inall rather than be comprised of all (pan-theism). TheEnlightenment experience is nondual. There is no problem-solving going on, just an ineffable … well, we cannot telluntellable stories. Elaborating a panentheist approach onpaper is a rational dualistic problem-solving, which is greatbut not the same as an existential realization.Intrasubjective integrity speaks to our growth within each ofus as subject. Think of Kohlberg’s stages of moraldevelopment; Fowler’s stages of faith development; Piaget’sstages of cognitive developmet; or Lonergan’s conversions –intellectual, affective, moral, sociopolitical and religious.Religious conversion is a two-step dance. Having been lovedunqualifiedly, we start loving, more & more through time, inthe same way, gifting others in return by cooperating withthat gift of divine love, which is nothing less than theactivity (mission) of the Holy Spirit. The more we cooperatewith that gift, which was given freely, apart from anything wehave ever known (or been educated to) or ever done (whether anascetical practice or moral deed), the stronger our ownunqualified loving & the more evident our cooperation with theHoly Spirit vis a vis beatitudes, corporal & spiritual worksof mercy, charismatic gifts, gifts of the Spirit, fruits ofthe Spirit, theological & cardinal virtues. Our intra-subjective growth has dualistic and nondual moments, also. Ourintellectual, moral, social and political growth is primarilydualistic problem-solving (that we would not want to proceedwithout!). Our affective (emotional) and religious developmenthas both but realize their unitive summit in the nondual, whenour other neediness is quieted.Interobjective indeterminacy speaks to the unspeakable. It isreally just a placeholder for the possibility of realitiesthat are wholly beyond us, like some aspects of God.We also interact with fellow creatures in the above-listedways but that takes us into arcane metaphysics with all sortsof root metaphors like substance, process, experience and soon.So, we want to affirm that our dualistic approach is good and 13
  14. 14. necessary, just not sufficient to realize the value offered usin the Good News — that God wants an intimate relationshipwith us via a more nondual engagement — as St. Bernard wouldsay, a love of God for sake of God. Our dualistic approach is,however, both necessary and sufficient to nevertheless live alife of abundance under, for example, the Old Covenant becauseall God really expects of us is an enlightened self-interest.Like any good parent, who wants what is best for a child andwill settle for them being safe, healthy, happy and moral evenif they do not fully reciprocate our deep, deep love of them –God’s cool with our erotic love of Him (what’s in it for us)and imperfect contrition. The nondual and dualistic are notover-against is what I am trying to say. The dualistic is aninvitation to a wedding shower; the nondual is an invitationto the bridal chamber.For those familiar with the teachings of Merton on false selfand true self, true self realization is the paragon of thenondual approach vis a vis intra-subjective (within oneself)integrity or human authenticity. For those who grew up RomanCatholic, the birth control fiasco came from an overemphasison the biologistic and physicalistic and rationalisticproblem-solving approach and an underemphasis on the nondualunitive value of conjugal love. In homiletics, an overemphasison fire and brimstone, church disciplines and other matters isprimarily dualistic, all true-enough, perhaps, but missing thedeeper invitation to contemplative prayer.What I really wish to convey here is that the major categoriesof our explicit faith include 1) eschatology (where are weheaded? orienting us), 2) theology (to whom are we dedicated?sanctifying us), 3) ecclesiology (how are we a people?empowering us), 4) sacramentology (how are we sustained &nourished? healing us) and 5) soteriology (what’s wrong andwhat can we do about it? saving us). EVEN in our otherwisesecular culture, EVEN among nonbelievers, the SPIRIT is theOne coaxing humankind along, always and everywhere, already 1)orienting us through our shared history 2) sanctifying usthrough our cultures 3) empowering us through our socialinstitutions 4) sustaining and healing us through oureconomies 5) saving us and freeing us through our politics!THERE IS NO COMPARTMENTALIZATION FOR THE HOLY SPIRIT BETWEENTHE SECULAR AND THE SACRED.Of course, for reasons due to poor formation or evendeformation or developmental inadequacies we encounterdifferent degrees of manifestation of God-presence as variouspeople(s) fail or even refuse to cooperate with the Spirit.Thing is, we must discern when and where it is we see failuresto cooperate but we can never know which failures result frominabilities (as above-listed) or refusals (sin), because weare not in a position to judge.Once we employ a more robustly nondual view of humanrealities, we’ll see the Spirit at work in both Republicansand Democrats. 14
  15. 15. So, when a people’s history is explicitly eschatological(knowing where we’re headed per the Good News), when apeople’s culture is explicitly theological (even ifpluralistically so), when a people’s society is explicitlyecclesiological (church-going), when a people’s economy isexplicitly sacramental and when a people’s politics isexplicitly salvific and liberating, we can rejoice that theKingdom which is to come is at least being more fully realizedin part. When it is not explicitly so — but merely historical,cultural, social, economic and political, we can STILL REJOICEknowing it is the same Holy Spirit providing all good gifts!They are being received, however, according to the mode of thereceivers.23 December 2011, 12:05 AMpop-popJB,Not to be argumentative. (Really.) But rather to express the‘mode of this receiver’ anyway, I offer my dibs (though Irealize you didnt ask for them):I don’t know… the way you want to define the term nondual (andyou have included fine examples per what you are intending) isnevertheless atypical of how it is often conceptualized inother forums (beyond SP). Therefore you will be leading usinto confusion.We will be understanding everything in the JB reference systembut having to convert or adjust our understanding when we readother sources or discuss these concepts with others speakingand thinking per a non-JB reference system.*******The restriction of ‘dual’ to ‘putative’ is artificiallynarrow. Love between persons is dual. I don’t see how love canbe conceived as anything but dual.The H.S. is interpersonal love. In a real way He is theevidentiary testament of the duality of the Father and the Son– a duality evidencing a substantial distinctness in the formof love (termed the H.S.) … Divine Love termed the H.S. nothuman love termed the H.S. (though an image of it).*******.“radical solidarity with all being”. Sounds nice. A typicallysweet jargon – but cloys (imo). To me, per my mode ofreceiving anyway, it is artificial.Christ knew the hearts of men, and what He knew was not atestament to radical solidarity. Quite the contrary.Solidarity is a ‘heart thing’ not a ‘biological human’ thing.******** 15
  16. 16. I like St. Bernard as well, and his sermon distinguishingservant, son and spousal love s delightful. Dynamite stuff.But I don’t think nondual terminology does it justice.Hoping we are in radical solidarity despite my dibs,(andrespectfully),Pop-popp.s. Have I belched a good belch?23 December 2011, 12:11 PMjohnboy.philothea quote: Originally posted by pop-pop: I don’t know… the way youwant to define the term nondual (and you have included fineexamples per what you are intending) is nevertheless atypicalof how it is often conceptualized in other forums (beyond SP).Therefore you will be leading us into confusion.I have discussed manifold and varied ways that nondual hasbeen employed, precisely because there is no typical way ithas been used. People move back and forth betweenepistemology, axiology, phenomenology, ontology, metaphysics,theology, practices and conclusions and I am parsing anddisambiguating those usages precisely to bring more clarity tothe reigning confusion. People will continue to talk past oneanother as long as what we call category errors persist.This is precisely the reason Amos Yong and I published mycontemplative phenomenology for interreligious dialogue . Itis philosophically grounded in the work of Charles SandersPeirce and largely theologically grounded in the work ofRobert Cummings Neville (mentor of Yong), whos one of theworlds foremost authorities on global theology.Now, this work of the theological guild does not predominateinternet discussion forums, other than on academic listservs,but that is one of the reasons I returned here --- to begin tomake this stuff more accessible. By fielding questions andtranslating jargon in a context of dialogue with cyber-passers-by, this very labor intensive process can slowlyunfold. I still havent fully committed to the task, yet,because it is so painstaking and time-consuming and one needsto be temperamentally disposed and pedagogically equipped todo this well (and, quite frankly, I have discerned from priorinteractions in this and other forums that I am neither). Butthere are people who have both the disposition and charism topopularize this type of material. Both Yong and Neville areprofessors by trade and their students are slowly making theirway into preaching and teaching professions. Richard Rohr andBrian McLaren are authors and conference speakers by trade andtheir material is even more quickly being disseminated in anaccessible manner. I have corresponded with both Fr. Richardand Brian and both have read Amos and my article and we areall reading from the same sheet of music vis a vis our outlook 16
  17. 17. on nondual realities. I have also corresponded with Jerry Katzof nonduality.com (and reviewed his book); Jerry runs theforum Nonduality Salon and he has well received my nuances.Therefore, just for starters, one can Google the followingsyntaxes: 1) +"Richard Rohr" +nondual 2) +"Brian McLaren+nondual 3)+"Robert Cummings Neville" +nondual 4)+"Amos Yong"+nondual 5)+"Shalem Institute" +nondual 6) +"Boulder Integral"+nondual 7) +"Charles Peirce" +nondualAs Fr. Richard cautions though: quote: A rediscovery of non-dual thinking, acting, reconciling,boundary crossing, and bridge building--based on innerexperience of God. “Second Axial Age?” Yes, some is immature,some is syncretistic, some is ungrounded, some not integrated,but the steps toward maturity are always and necessarilyimmature. quote: Originally posted by pop-pop:We will be understandingeverything in the JB reference system but having to convert oradjust our understanding when we read other sources or discussthese concepts with others speaking and thinking per a non-JBreference system.I hope I have conveyed that the JB reference system isprecisely a meta-critique that places other sources incontext. It is not some idiosyncratic, atypical usage but aGLOSSARY whereby one can decipher all of the other uses of theterm. This meta-critique is academically rigorous and buildson other peer-reviewed work. It is peer-reviewed itself in aninternational setting. quote: Originally posted by pop-pop: Love between persons isdual. I don’t see how love can be conceived as anything butdual. The H.S. is interpersonal love. In a real way He is theevidentiary testament of the duality of the Father and the Son– a duality evidencing a substantial distinctness in the formof love (termed the H.S.) … Divine Love termed the H.S. nothuman love termed the H.S. (though an image of it).Let me leave my work unfinished, for now. Perhaps in the NewYear, I will explicate what us Peirceans call the irreduciblytriadic nature of all semiotic reality. Think Holy TrinitySmiler 17
  18. 18. quote: Originally posted by pop-pop: “radical solidarity with allbeing”. Sounds nice. A typically sweet jargon – but cloys(imo). To me, per my mode of receiving anyway, it isartificial. Christ knew the hearts of men, and what He knew was not atestament to radical solidarity. Quite the contrary. Solidarity is a ‘heart thing’ not a ‘biological human’thing. I like St. Bernard as well, and his sermon distinguishingservant, son and spousal love s delightful. Dynamite stuff.But I don’t think nondual terminology does it justice. Hoping we are in radical solidarity despite my dibs,(andrespectfully), Pop-pop p.s. Have I belched a good belch?re: this last bit of yours, being neither descriptive nornormative but evaluative, I defer and demurMerry Christmas, pop-popjbp.s. Google this syntax for some good forum stuff elsewhere:+johnboy +nondual 18

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