Is this even possible? 

Here is the wiki: 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnosticism

How does one integrate a religious philosophy like this? 

But first, let's make sure I am understanding it correctly, and please correct any deficiencies in my understanding. 

Okay, apparently an emanation  of the pleroma (god); Sophia, took it upon her naughty self to get creative, and created a demiurge. Now, apparently, the pleroma was napping while Sophia was waxing creative. Apparently, Sophia concealed the truth of its existence from the demiurge, and the demiurge extended this breaking bad theme and created the whole known material universe while the pleroma continued his napping. At some point, the pleroma awakens to the fact that there is this thing now in existence that is the material universe, and the pleroma decides that, yes, indeed, this universe is exceedingly evil, and implements a plan to redeem it, and bring it to an inevitable destruction. Is this summary anywhere close? 

Now, is there any scientific evidence that the universe itself is inherently evil ? 

How can anyone who believes this ever be convinced that this view is incoherent? 

Apparently, very very intelligent people buy into this view of the universe including Aleister Crowley; whom Mike Hockney is apparently related to. His view, he says, is premised on reason and logic; he argues that mathematics is evidence for a created universe ( which I concede is an interesting argument for theism ), but then frames this possibility in what seems to me to be a bizarre and untenable metaphysics. 

Views: 242

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Andrew,

I just came across this today, and am only half-way through reading it, but it might be useful to check out Bonnita Roy's article in Integral Review on "Born in the Middle: The Soteriological Streams of Integral Theory and Meta-Reality."  She compares and contrasts the views of Wilber and Roy Bhaskar, and in the second half of the article (the part I haven't read yet) she discusses "The Gnostic Revival" and "some guidelines of a gnostic view of soteriological philosophy."

I did quite a bit of research on the gnostic influence in Dzogchen. See this post for one example.

This from the paper you linked David:) 

When you do all the negations, when you say no system, no organization, no leaders, no fixed dogma, no fixed thought, no papal thought, no priestly thought, no spiritual authorities, no fixed emotional make-up, nothing, then what do you get when you have stripped all those things away, what do you get? It is not nothing; it is not only just nothing. When you strip away everything that we impose, everything that, heteronomously, we impose on human beings, we get free, creative, loving, spontaneous, energetic, intelligent, right-acting human beings – left to ourselves in what I would call our innermost nature. Technically what I would call our ground state. We are free, creative, loving. We are also right-acting, we will do the right thing and we will love it when we allow it. (Bhaskar, 2002b, 322) 

Now, this is what I am getting at when I talk about a spirituality that has transcended all the 'local' narratives. Yes, this is what I mean! WOO-HOO ! And , I can see how this might be a modern reframing of gnostic ideas; or at least, I can see that even if no one else can . 

Thanks for the link!

First off, somewhere along the line humanity went wrong and whatever that was is obstructing our true and pure nature (aka The Fall, aka the rational ego).That is gnosticism and shentong Buddhism to the core. Also the notion that if we but return to the pure core nature we'll be saved. And it is not nothing, not in the least. It is nothing from our tainted nature, but every one of those descriptors of the pure nature are something indeed. It's just an eastern version of Christianity's heaven and hell, god and the devil. Both of them are metaphysical in the same sense of this pure/contaminated split. And neither is postmetaphysical in the sense we've explored in various guises in this forum. At least not to my notion of postmetaphysics.

I am following what you are saying Ed. Here is another tidbit from the paper: 

page8image1216

Figure 1: An illustrative interpretation of Bashkar's stratified reality.

In the ontological realm, Bhaskar distinguishes the domain of the Alethic Truth from the domain of “the Real.” The Alethic Truth does not depend upon human systems or human knowing. It can only be inferred because, although unknown, it is causally effective. We experience the effects of the alethic truth in the many ways our theories go wrong and our predictions fail. We experience it in the deep unsolved mysteries of science and the profound unpredictability of human systems.7

The next part of the illustration labelled “the Real” is that part of reality which unfolds through the mutual interpenetration of the ontological realm and human processes of inquiry and knowing. This domain of “the Real” most closely represents Wilber’s notion of the mutual dependence of the ontological and the epistemological domains. But for Wilber, it is human development which constantly adjudicates and improves the adequacy or accuracy of “the Real” and therefore every perspective (every “real world that arises) is true, but partial. On the other hand, for Bhaskar, it is the Alethic Truth which exerts a continuous evolutionary pressure on human knowledge systems toward more adequate or accurate understanding, and so “the Real evolves the capacity to express more and more of the Alethic Truth. 

At the very least, it is helping me come to terms with a coherent gnosticism . Also, for the first time, I am gaining an appreciation of Bhaskar's mapping. Have you read this paper before; and you are familiar with it? 

I finished an initial reading of the paper and love it! Some thoughts on it: 

-there may be a correlation to khora here in the alethic truth/the real. Perhaps even something along the line of Bohm's implicate order. I don't think this needs to be literal , but can be held as metaphor. So, in that sense it may be post metaphysical. 

-I can see myself, even as a layperson, moving towards process metaphysics/ ontologics

-the ability to view this is a first stage in the upper MHC? 

My initial reading doesn't agree. I think both Wilber and later Bhaskar are alike in this sort of metaphysics, and different than a khoratic reading. See "What 'is' the differance?" for an exploration of Wilber on this. We also explored Bhaskar's later works in this thread, where he seemed to take a neo-Vedanta turn akin to Wilber's. Balder though has explored this turn in much greater detail than I so his opinion may have changed?

Naysayer! lol Yes, I agree, there is a neo-Vedanta feel to Bhaskar and it appears that colleagues were none to happy about it within the academies. I didn't say it was exactly like khora, just that it has that kind of feel to it. Nevertheless, he does capture in that earlier post the idea that I've been trying to get at when trying to frame a new global spirituality. One that peels all the smelly onion layers of race; gender; ethnicity; etc. But, as much as I appreciate Bonnie's framing here; I can't see any massive soteriological efficacy here; 7 billion babies want their stuff, and neo-Vedanta is not going to stop that, and the oligarchs are hell bent on giving that stuff to them. The Vedantist's in India want their stuff and that alone is probably enough to push the thresholds of the tipping points. I still loved that paper and have an appreciation for Bhaskar's thought , though. A coherent gnosticism to boot!

There is definitely a neo-Vedantist flavor to Bhaskar's spiritual model.  He draws on multiple sources (or concepts from multiple sources) -- Vedanta, Kabbala, Zen, Taoism, Yoga, Gnosticism, and Islam (Fana) -- in his meta-Reality books, but the primary way he articulates his spiritual ontology and soteriology definitely relies on Vedantist language and images.  However, because he integrates this model with his earlier (post-postmodern) dialectical critical realist work, the Vedantist language can be a bit misleading on the surface -- not necessarily implying what it appears to imply (from a classical reading of the terms).  I'll have to dip into his book again to give some examples.  But theurj is right about the gnostic vision of original, obscured goodness:  Bhaskar definitely embraces such a view, and he sees the spiritual path as involving the 'clearing' of heteronomous elements that obscure our natural condition (ground state potential).  The basis for his view is his understanding of nonduality as the necessary condition for any experience at all: without nonduality, we could not even watch TV and be moved by it.  Nothing could interact with anything else, or be affected or internally changed by anything else, without an originary unification-in-difference, or same-differentness.  He argues that heteronomous elements in the self lead to internal and external incoherence, to living out of integrity with one's own potential and nature (theory-practice inconsistency, not walking your talk, remaining stuck in the lower rungs of Maslow's ladder, etc).  For Bhaskar, nonduality is the necessary transcendental condition for his critical realist ontology, without negating the key elements of that ontology (regarding difference, absence/withdrawal, becoming, etc).  But nonduality is also the ontological 'side' of the spiritual factor of 'love,' which he regards as the emotional 'ground state' of, and transcendental condition for, most other spiritual/emotional states, including so-called negative ones.

Hi, B. Does Bhaskar draw specifically on or make comment on some perceptions or understandings about newborns, infants, fetuses, to support the conclusion of "love", transcendence, or goodness of life and kosmos? Or some such?



Balder said:

There is definitely a neo-Vedantist flavor to Bhaskar's spiritual model.  He draws on multiple sources (or concepts from multiple sources) -- Vedanta, Kabbala, Zen, Taoism, Yoga, Gnosticism, and Islam (Fana) -- in his meta-Reality books, but the primary way he articulates his spiritual ontology and soteriology definitely relies on Vedantist language and images.  However, because he integrates this model with his earlier (post-postmodern) dialectical critical realist work, the Vedantist language can be a bit misleading on the surface -- not necessarily implying what it appears to imply (from a classical reading of the terms).  I'll have to dip into his book again to give some examples.  But theurj is right about the gnostic vision of original, obscured goodness:  Bhaskar definitely embraces such a view, and he sees the spiritual path as involving the 'clearing' of heteronomous elements that obscure our natural condition (ground state potential).  The basis for his view is his understanding of nonduality as the necessary condition for any experience at all: without nonduality, we could not even watch TV and be moved by it.  Nothing could interact with anything else, or be affected or internally changed by anything else, without an originary unification-in-difference, or same-differentness.  He argues that heteronomous elements in the self lead to internal and external incoherence, to living out of integrity with one's own potential and nature (theory-practice inconsistency, not walking your talk, remaining stuck in the lower rungs of Maslow's ladder, etc).  For Bhaskar, nonduality is the necessary transcendental condition for his critical realist ontology, without negating the key elements of that ontology (regarding difference, absence/withdrawal, becoming, etc).  But nonduality is also the ontological 'side' of the spiritual factor of 'love,' which he regards as the emotional 'ground state' of, and transcendental condition for, most other spiritual/emotional states, including so-called negative ones.

Not to my knowledge.  His view appears more like early, "Romantic" Wilber in this respect (with some qualifications and differences, of course -- but not apparently taking much from developmental psych, for instance, to formulate or support his theory).

A little bit more on this from the IACA ( Integral Amateur Caddie Association). 

Point 1) It seems to me that Bhaskar never fully succeeded in his negative/stripping away of the onion. To that end, his  ideas still seem immersed within a particular stream of religious thought i.e. the Dharma. Having said that, he doesn't seem to have committed that 'looseness' to the same degree as Wilber. Bhaskar seems to give the western process theologians a due respect, in that they are able to resolve western  theology ( thought within it) on its own terms without the colonizing move (I hope am respectfully getting my point across).

Point 1A) It seems to me, that although we can't misidentify completely; we could disentangle our ethnicity, geography, race, gender, bias, fallacy, etc. At least to the degree where we become sphere-centric ( if I can use that term). At that point we might be able to hold an agnostic view ( or at least a light grip) on the more difficult questions that arise around ontology and metaphysics. 

Point of interest) I do like how Bhaskar left an 'other' within his onto -theology. If we are going to theorize this (sorry Ed), then I think we should definitely do that addition. Obviously, panentheism . In other words, onto- theologically speaking: god and myself are not exactly the same thing ( close but no cigar). Or just quit smoking completely and have a spirituality that is almost not spiritual( post-metphysical non duality).  

The IACA official residence is always right next door to homeless!  lol

Reply to Discussion

RSS

What paths lie ahead for religion and spirituality in the 21st Century? How might the insights of modernity and post-modernity impact and inform humanity's ancient wisdom traditions? How are we to enact, together, new spiritual visions – independently, or within our respective traditions – that can respond adequately to the challenges of our times?

This group is for anyone interested in exploring these questions and tracing out the horizons of an integral post-metaphysical spirituality.

Notice to Visitors

At the moment, this site is at full membership capacity and we are not admitting new members.  We are still getting new membership applications, however, so I am considering upgrading to the next level, which will allow for more members to join.  In the meantime, all discussions are open for viewing and we hope you will read and enjoy the content here.

© 2018   Created by Balder.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service