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Biblical Worldview -- Pagan Worldview

Yahweh or the Great Mother?
a Video Seminar Outline

F. Earle Fox

This page begins the online lecture series on the two fundamental worldviews, the division between which marks the watershed between good and evil, the Kingdom of God and the Fallen world initiated by the Serpent in the Garden of Eden, using Adam and Eve as his tools. 

What we will be looking at is not two "interesting options" before us, we are looking at the divide in the spiritual war between God and the kingdom of rebellion and ignorance.  That will no doubt seem rude to many readers, but I do not believe that any other conclusion can be reached when the facts are laid out on the table. 

We begin with the Biblical view of the cosmos as an open circle, running two sessions, and then follow up with the secular/pagan view of the closed circle cosmos, with two more sessions, and a final 5th session for wrap-up and discussion on how to put this to work on the street.

See Worldview Page;   Biblical Worldview;   Pagan Worldview 

   

 Beginning on September 14, 2010, at 10 p.m.  Eastern time & 7 p.m. Pacific time, the Road to Emmaus and Earle Fox, on the www.ustream.tv video streaming website, will present 5 sessions on the topic, Yahweh or the Great Mother?   --  two on the Biblical worldview and two on the secular/pagan worldview.  

Anyone may join in.  This will be the starting video steaming program in what we hope will continue until the Lord returns, on various subjects concerning Biblical religion, and how it can steadily, gracefully, and reasonably present a compelling case for the truth of Biblical religion.

Fox will speak for about an hour, and then open discussion up for Q & A.  We will aim for about one and a half hours, or more as interest indicates.   

During the talk, please limit questions to clarification issues.  For debate and discussion, wait until the presentation is finished.  Otherwise, you may join the conversation at any point when there is a jump-in space.  The event will go about an hour and a half, or longer if there is interest. 

Sessions will be recorded, and available with your same password at Ustream (go to your account) and at
The Road to Emmaus Shopping Mall -- http://www.emmausmall.org/SemDesc.html#Yahweh  .     

Session 1 (Sept. 14) = Biblical Worldview -  

Session 2 (Sept. 21) = Biblical Worldview -

Session 3 (Sept. 28) = Pagan Worldview -

Session 4 (Oct. 12) = Pagan Worldview -

Session 5 (Oct. 17) = Pagan Worldview

Session 6 (Oct 26) = Catch up, & How to use this material on the street -- Restoring Western Civ. to Biblical Foundations.   No, it is not impossible...  

 

 Logging in to Ustream for the seminar...

...be ready to aim your computer at this page, and have other pages (see 2 links below) on other browser window-tabs for easy access.   We will go back and forth between some of them.  
    
("Control" + "click" will on some browsers put the page on a new browser window with its own tab at top of page.) 

Whether or not you have an account, log in to www.ustream.tv/channel/the-road-to-emmaus   

A box will show asking for the password to the show.  Type that in (all lower case), and that should bring you to the broadcast with the screen on the left..   (If the screen remains blank, and there is an “Off  Air” message just below the screen after you put in the password, that means that the broadcast has not yet started.  It will normally begin “warming up” about 15 minutes before broadcast time.  You will see me at my computer...)   

You should have received the password in an email if you purchased an eticket to the show.   If you have not received a password, call me at 562-697-5049 at least an hour before the show (or call a friend who has the password).  During the show, my phone will be on the answering machine.  

To the right of the rectangular viewing screen is the square Chat Box.   If you try to send a message (type in at the line at the bottom of the Chat Box just below the word ‘audience’) you will be asked for your personal account login information.  If you have no account, you can still view and hear the presentation, but not communicate with others.  The screen asking for your login information gives the option of starting your new account.  If you have time, go for it.  The Chat Box enables spirited conversation at the end of the presentation. 

One of the prices we pay for free use of the Ustream system is the occasional intrusion of an advert.  It will show on your screen for the first 15 seconds or so when you start up, so be patient.  Again, log in a bit early.    That seems to be the only intrusion into the viewing screen.   You may be insulted with some inappropriate ads on the sides or top.  They should not interfere with viewing so long as you do not click on (or hover the mouse over) them.   So just ignore them and keep your mouse pointer away.  

Be sure to log in (on another browser tab) ahead of  time to this current main outline page (Yahweh or the Great Mother?, to read directions just below on how to set up your four browser windows so that you will be most easily able to navigate as we go through the presentation.  Set up other tabs with the key pages at The Road to Emmaus website.

After the broadcast starts, you will see the live picture of the presenter at the Ustream logon site, and at some points during the seminar, especially on the general outline.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Before Broadcast starts -- Set up four browser windows with tabs on the same browser:
1.  www.ustream.tv/channel/the-road-to-emmaus (to logon to broadcast);     2.  This outline page;
3.
The Biblical Worldview Page;     4. The Pagan Worldview Page

* * * * * * * * * * * * * 

Control + Click on #2 & #3 above will put them in their own windows with tabs.  Do the same with any other links below you choose so you can keep the three main pages alive, plus whatever else might be helpful.  Do  not use simple "click", click either the page-tab at the top of the page, or use "control + click".  Then you will  not lose the pages needed for keeping up with the discussion.  You can always delete tabs you do not need.  If you do happen to delete one of the three main pages, go to one of the two remaining main pages to get back to the lost page .   The three are all interlinked at the top and at the bottom of the pages. 

You will not lose contact with the audio by changing pages if you do not tune into any other audio.  You will get your directions from the leader of  the seminar as to where to go, and occasionally from written pointers on this website. 

Some links are for later use at your leisure.  Follow only those links as directed by the leader so as not to get off track from the flow of the material. 

After the seminar is over, to view or download a copy of the seminar for which you have paid, go with your seminar password either to your account on Ustream, or to http://www.emmausmall.org/SemDesc.html#Yahweh for information.

 

 


 

- Part I -
the Biblical Worldview

Section I - the Personhood of God
Section II -
Gender & the Tri-Personhood of God

Part II - The Pagan (Perennial) Worldview

Section III - The Great Mother: a Cosmic Organism             
Section IV - Secularism: Masculine Revolt Against Mother
              Section V - Spiritualism: Return to the Eternal (& Lethal) Embrace

Part III - How to Put This to Work

              Section VI - Winning Back Western Civilization for Jesus Christ

Sec. I. The Personhood of God

I-A. Why This Matters --- the preservation of truth and morality...
    Intro: Secularism has led to erosion and coming destruction of Western Civilization.

    I-A-1. Age of pseudo-pluralism - decided (not discovered) that "no ultimate truth" -
                        all religions of equal value - no way to tell who right
                            A self-condemning & self-contradictory idea. 
              "What right have you to condemn someone else's beliefs?"   Answer?
                        What right?  or obligation?
          Loss of belief in objective truth -
                            word 'truth' factored our of education process - in humanities
                      Not in hard sciences, but in ethics, morality, cultural issues, politics, history --
                  Alan Bloom - The Closing of the American Mind  - (1970's??) documented deliberate dumbing down
                                Closing of Christian mind. 

Leading (deliberately) to moral and political collapse -- collapse of moral consensus, thus moral anarchy
            Power rules, not righteousness.   Loss of moral consensus leads to amoral society.  
                No society can withstand loss of sense of objective truth and objective morality. 

        Loss of moral consensus important to power-grabbers -- enables divide-&-conquer strategy.   

         Leads to absolute depersonalization of all entities, no persons survive, or any personal qualities.   
                    E.g., Beyond Freedom & Dignity by B. F. Skinner  ((dup below)) 

Logical end of both secularism & paganism is privatizing of morality & religion, leading to public tyranny.
            Exhibit A:  the 20th century power grab - globalists, et al. 

    I-A-2. Honest Pluralism -- to judge beliefs, opinions, behavior - not persons (belongs to God alone)  
            "I have a
right to my opinion...!"    No - You have an obligation to be truth-seeker 
                        Have right only to opinions which you test & allow to be tested in public arena. 

            Falsehood has no rights -- Public arena discussion has duty to seek truth
                            Note: how used wrongly, e.g., in Reformation
                                    Ideas vs. persons -   Dangers of "infallibility" - common among tyrants
                    Voters & legislators making laws to be imposed on others who cannot be there for discussion
                            Thus, absolute obligation to get objectively
right laws, not subjective feel-good laws. 
 

             Real Pluralism -- truth is singular - views are plural --  All views are welcome into the debate --
                                but not because all views are "right", rather to discern
which view is true and right. 
                                        rejection of
view is not rejection of person.  Free to come back & try again. 

  Thus, need truth-testing technique:
            1. Logical consistency -- any statement which contradicts itself is false.
            2. Empirically accuracy -- consistent with and descriptive of observed experience
            3. Able to integrate varied experiences - unify under common explanation - common sets of
                        a. natural laws (how does nature operate?)  
                        b. moral laws (how ought we to behave? what is goal of life?)
                        c. spiritual laws (who is God? what does He want?)  

I-B. Two basic worldviews: 

         Biblical (Yahweh) vs. secular/pagan ("Perennial" - the Great Mother)
                Test two worldviews on above criteria
                        & on two issues
                              How do worldviews handle "power" (ability to
be myself) & "authority" (for doing, commanding)? 
                                        Two primary realities of all life, all experience.   Ontological & moral stability.

         Two Working Principles - which require & imply each other - neither will survive without the other:
                 1. Objective truth (needs love)
                 2. Unconditional love (needs truth) 

         Odd Title -- Yahweh well known  -  who on earth is Great Mother 
                     GM is the earth - for primitive minds - or totality of cosmos for more sophisticated
                          Cosmos as self-sufficient entity, totality of all that is, autonomous, independent, self-existing
                              Circle of life includes totality, nothing outside, no appeal beyond circle, no Creator
ex nihilo.

                     GM is object of worship of probably all pagan religion & of all secular philosophy.  Same basic pattern. 

                 Basic distinction - in nature of ultimate reality --  Personal God vs. absolutely Impersonal Yin-Yang 
                            (See
Personality, Empiricism, & God, Volume I of A Personalist Cosmology in the Imago Dei)
                                    on Cosmological Argument for the Existence of God. 

         If understand these two opposed ways of looking at life, well prepared to witness for Biblical faith.
                Trinity College, Hartford, CT.  1955, jr. year, religion prof. Edmond Cherbonnier
                    included courses on far eastern religions  --  "Two ways to look at life... Biblical and Perennial."   
 

                Aldous Huxley - book, The Perennial Philosophy -  All religions saying same thing, one basic theme
                        Fundamental entity in Perennial Philosophy - the Great Mother - source - all else evolves out of her.
               Arthur O. Lovejoy,
The Great Chain of Being -- describes Perennial worldview -
                                        from lowest material stratum to highest intellectual/spiritual stratum
                    Confusion of logic, reason, of empirical world, & place of revelation.  
                                But basis of most of world's religion and philosophy.   

              Cherbonnier - "Biblical way is only logically consistent philosophy/religion -- all others contradictory..."
                       

I-C. Yahweh - the Biblical Worldview - the Personhood of God

          I-C-1. Genesis 1:1 creates watershed between Bible and all other religions -- flow in opposing directions
                    "In the beginning...." (of the world, not of God) unique to Bible - the cosmos is created, not eternal
                            (see
Personality, Empiricism, & God for cosmological argument for existence of God)
          I-C-2. Q: What is the nature of the basic substance of universe?
                        Substance: (1) Durable with respect to time, endures the same through time and change
                                          (2) thus Reliable as explanation of all contingent, created things. 

Biblical Answer: God is the substantial being of the cosmos
      Durable - because eternal - identically the same through all time and change
      Reliable - because the necessary and sufficient causal explanation of the whole created order. 

     (Click here for Secular/Pagan answer -- beginning at 3rd lecture.) 

Human Persons = substance in same, but diminished way, a diminished "eternity"...  
                    I am reliable explanation of all my activities.

          I-C-3. God is a "person", a "someone", not a "something" -- Personhood:
                 a. Creative - a doer;    
                 b. Free - able to initiate, freewill;
                 c. Purposive - intelligent designer, going somewhere  

                         Purpose for existence (heaven, family, Kingdom, law of love) for whole created order
                                     is only objective basis for Moral Order

                Biblical Definition of 'God' (not of God) -- Creator & Sovereign                      

                The Omni-Person
                       Omni-Scient - knows all that is possible to be known
                                    God does not "know" contradictions (;
                       Omni-Present - able to be present at all places, with all persons,
                                            instantaneously in a personal & individual way --
                                    Difference between Incarnate Jesus & Holy Spirit;
                       Omni-Potent - able to do anything that is logically possible. 
                           Denial to God of illogical capacity is not a diminution of
                                            Godly power or authority
                           Nature of God grounded in reality, not unreality, God of living, not of dead.

                God eternal -- no entropy - persons are the only anti-entropic entities in existence
                            Only intelligent design can reverse entropy
                                    God is the Omni-Intelligent & Omni-Potent Designer.   
                            Entropy may be that to which God was referring when He told Adam:
                                        "...for in the day that  you eat of it, you shall die."  Genesis 2:17. 
                                    Adam & Eve did not die instantaneously, but cast selves into dying world,
                                            where, lacking the grace of God, everything dies.  Everything. 
                                                A world increasingly separated from its Source of existence dies. 
                                                        See Augustine - City of God - a response to the Sack of Rome.  

                                          A & E cast themselves into the Close Circle of Paganism/Secularism   

 

         I-C-4. Three characteristics (creative/doer, free, purposive) always implied in Bible, seldom stated specifically
                Hebrews not psychologists, theologians, or philosophers - spoke historically, poetically, experientially
                            they were telling a story, of God with His people...   History = His Story

              I-C-4-a. God = creator, doer, initiator  
                       --  actor, not just reactor.  (Abraham Heschel - God Who Acts)  Foreign to pagan philosophical mind. 
                            Not static, not a concept, ideal, or Idea (Plato), not essence, state of being 
                                            (as in Perennial or Platonic view)

                      Active agent - creating something out of nothing,  out of "pure possibility" alone, not stuff lying around
                                (Click on Biblical Worldview tab at top of browser - scroll down to picture)
                            Triune God above open circle of creation -- Hand of God on right arches down to support Cosmos
                                        ("He's got the whole world in His hand, the whole wide world in His hand....") 
                                 Hand of God stands for power of God to bring things into existence, the power of being,
                                                can give power of being to other beings, including persons other than Himself. 
                    Act of creation means God eternally distinct from creation -- God will be God with or without us
                            We cannot be ourselves without Him.  We contingent upon Him, not He on us. 

                    Time Machine - crank cosmic time back to T=1;  then to T=0;   then to T= -1.   One minute before T=0 ,
                                What see as look out window of Time Machine?
                                        Total nothingness, nothing to see, hear, feel, touch, taste.  Total blank, total nothingness.
                                     Similar to Buddhist "Nirvana" (= Place of No Wind), Yin-Yang, center of Perennial cosmos 
                                                Disturbing thought -- total unending, infinite nothingness.

                             Q: How get from T= -1, where there is nothing, past T=0, to T= 1 where there is something?    
                                    Was there an eternity of nothing, then nothing somethinged? 

                                          If something came out of nothing, then existence is capricious & knowledge of cosmos,
                                                    as in science, is impossible
 

                              A: Possible only if something is already there --
                                   (Control + click)  Cosmological argument for God:  If anything exists,
                                                     then something must exist eternally and necessarily, uncreated.
                                          or else, cannot explain presence of what is. 

                                Philosophical principle behind both philosophy and science,
                                        second only to principle of non-contradiction: 
                                    principle of Sufficient Cause -  (sometimes called principle of Sufficient Reason)
                                                The reasonable understanding of an event requires knowing the
                                                    cause sufficient to explain it.  

                                         E.g:  You own a heavy Mack Truck - find it totaled, smashed, twisted, on its side.
                                                    a 3-year old boy on tricycle sheepishly rides up and says,
                                                                "I'm sorry, mister, I wasn't watching where I was going..."

                                                    But alleged cause not sufficient to explain effect. 
                                                            Intuitively true, everyone understands it.

                    Creator = One always there, before anything else - called all else into being - ex nihilo.

                          Doctrine of Creation makes watershed between Biblical and all pagan and secular views
                                Pagan gods & goddesses not creator ex nihilo  --  So-called "creation stories" about
                                    how gods and goddesses themselves emerged out of primal soup (Yin-Yang)
                                            womb of Great Mother  -- or about how they construct out of prior "stuff".
                            E.g., Marduk - Mesopotamian "creation" story --
                                    Bible said to be "Just another one of those!"  
                                but Mesopotamian story not creation story -- but construction story
                                    Marduk, rising masculine god, battles Tiamat, Mesopotamian "Great Mother"
                                            slays her, cuts in half -- one half = heaven, other half = earth
                                        Marduk = Mesopotamian "dragon slayer"  Uses dragon's body as material for construction

              I-C-4-b. God is Free -
                        Causes, creates, but does not have to.  Can do nothing at all, or many things.
                    Creation does not "emanate" out of God by necessary principle nor by chance, accident
                                only by free, "intelligent design" choice.
                    Total ultimate freewill = omnipotence  -- ability to cause, create anything that can be created
                                 limited only by logical possibility -- any logically possible state of affairs. 
                          Out of total range of possibilities, God can pick any - and cause it. 
                                Pure possibility is God's sandbox -- By author-ity of creation, He owns it, lock, stock, & barrel.
                                        Author-ship gives owner-ship -- as per patent and copyright laws. 

                    Law of Non-contradiction - a thing cannot both be and not be in the same time, place, and respect.

                         God cannot do self-contradictory -- seems like inhibition on omnipotence of God
                                    Cannot create "round square", "rock so heavy He cannot lift it", etc. 

                         Self-contradictions not possible to be  -- 
                                   Truth = "what is",  falsehood = "What is not."  
                                                 Possibility contains both together - either could come to be
                                   But existence/truth creates divide between what-is & what-is-not, between being and non-being,
                                                      thus allowing rational cosmos with truth & falsehood distinction
Causal power is what creates that divide between what-is-not (still only possible)
             and what-is. 
           So attributing self-contradictive power to God defeats the whole point of creation,
                   (i.e., desire to select specific possibilities for reality),
                        thus rendering creation chaotic, absolutely meaningless, unlivable
                         would be no such thing as a meaningful declarative sentence.   

(click tab above for..) Pagan WorldviewYin-Yang, Coincidentia Oppositorum = cosmos built on self-contradiction
      no objective truth, no objective distinction between what-is & what-is-not. 
 

         Law of Non-Contradiction thus defines boundaries of Omnipotence & thus of freedom
                    God can do whatever is not self-contradictory
                Omnipotence = ability, freedom, to create whatever is logically possible

         Pagan cosmologies - no room for freedom - submerged under Fortune (Luck) and Fate (Determinism)
                    both make freewill impossible in any rational sense. 
              Isaiah 65:11-12 - But you who forsake the Lord, who forget my holy mountain, who set a table for
                            Fortune and fill cups of mixed wine for Destiny; I will destine you to the sword... because
                            when I called, you did not answer, when I spoke, you did not listen... 
                   
Luck & Destiny are the cosmic arch-enemies of God.  

              I-C-4-c. God is Purposive --

             Isaiah 45:18-19 -  For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens (he is God!), who formed the earth
                      and made it, (he established it), he did not make it a chaos, he formed it to be inhabited!)....
                       ...I did not say to the offspring of Jacob, "seek me in chaos."  I, the Lord, speak the truth,
                       I declare what is right.

                     [Click on Biblical Cosmos tab above,
                                Power of Being (Hand of God) & Authority for Doing (Voice of God)]

          God going somewhere with creation - goals, purpose, intentions.  Cosmos thus has purpose,
                            not accidental, chance.  Meant to be inhabited
                                  (anthropic principle & Intelligent Design Movement). 

                       INSERT PIX OF COSMIC ARROW ===>>>  SHOWING PURPOSE   linear time 

           God & Cosmos not identical - God = Creator & thus distinct - thus able to give purpose to cosmos
                        Meaning of 'Lord' - basis for all moral, political, spiritual authority
                                Purpose of God for cosmos gives shape & direction for all cosmos
                                Cosmos has a history, not only local histories.  
                           See City of God, Augustine -- first written philosophy of history. 

           Purposive behavior of God establishes God as rational, capable of rational relationships
                    Relationships (not abstract thought) force us toward rationality
                            can believe self-contradiction -- but cannot act or relate using them.

                    Purposive behavior of God makes possible rational cosmos
                            thus natural laws are consistent, so we can act on them. 
                    Rationality of cosmos is necessary basis for science. 

          What is the Cosmic Purpose?   
                  Query (Mt. 22):  "What is the meaning of the Law?"    Response:   2 Great Commandments
                            Love = freewill covenant  --  freewill required
                                    Thus "space" between power & authority (difference between my being & my doing)
                                           Creatures (1) supported by power (Hand of God)
                                                      (2) obligated by authority (Voice of God) 
                                              Pressure of obligation pulled back to leave wiggle room to make free decision
                                                        God guarantees freedom of will - even though consequences to behavior
                                                            God requires
a choice, but not which choice. 

                           Biblical view of heaven unique in world religions
                                    No other culture ever guessed purpose of cosmos
                                            creation of beings with freewill who could rebel, say "NO!" 
                                    God asking creatures to willingly, freely submit selves to Him - Lord & Savior
                                                & freely choose to love one another as He loves each of us
                                           Inconceivable among pagans & secular
                                                                 that God would pay unimaginable price to bring it about.
                                        Never occurs outside Bible. 

              I-C-4-d. 'Personhood' definition = 3 concepts united - creative, free, purposive - thus rational & self-aware
                                    vs. robot (R2-D2)    Person = conscious, self-aware, initiates freely, purposively
 

                               Omni-Person - (see above) = omni-potent;   omni-scient;    omni-present   
                                        Bible puts "omni-" qualities together with "person" = Hebrew "God" 

                        Pagan-Secular (Perennial) persons cannot be "omni-) 
                                    Always child of Great Mother, cosmic process, Yin-Yang, never freestanding adult. 
                                                (See Perennial Worldview.)

 

 Summary: Two Basic Concepts: Power & Authority...
                How does each worldview handle these two? 
                        Lays foundation for understanding all aspects of cosmology, including gender & sex. 
                                All emerges out of Genesis 1 & 2.  Made in the Imago Dei, male and female. 

Biblical worldview has objective power & authority, wedded together
                    see next session, Tri-Personhood of God. 

 

Sec. II. Gender & the Tri-Personhood of God

Introduction: Part I above, the Personhood of God, lays the foundation for Part II, the Tri-Personhood of God,  
           a possible framework for better understanding the One, Holy, & Undivided Trinity -- the family in God.   

  Possible framework for integrating comprehensive understanding of gender in Scripture, how masculine and feminine interact, clues to how gender is related to cosmic, not just human, issues, uniquely distinguishing Biblical world from secular/pagan worlds.  The other gender shoe, the feminine, has been waiting to drop for centuries.  It may now be happening. 

Back ground:  Pagan world saturated in sexual promiscuity, monogamy almost unknown, sex = pagan sacrament of choice -- to "find themselves", the quest for the heiros gamos (sacred marriage) dominated all pagan religion, attempt to unite two fundamental polarities-yet-complementarities - masculine with feminine -- never succeeded.  The Battle of the Sexes continued unabated.  Only God of Bible can integrally and peacefully unite masculine and feminine -- the two fundamental poles of all personhood - because they are inherently already united within Himself.  (See Dennis Prager on Jewish view of Homosexuality for some of the cosmic consequences of sexuality.   We will do much more with this in sessions 3 and 4 on the Pagan worldview.) 

II-A.  The One, Holy, & Undivided Trinity -- of Christian Creeds 

   The PROBLEM - 3 in 1???   Jews & Pagans: "Are you polytheists?"  Christians: "Monotheists!" 

Seeking ways of explaining -  Analogy from Theater -- 
            Mask "Persona" - large, stock figures - 1 actor wore many masks.  Analogy: "Trinity like that..."
                Father / Son / Holy Spirit - all different, 3 personae, but one "substance" - i.e., one God.   

Analogy stuck -- but...

'Persona' (= person) changed meaning over centuries
       Modern 'person' = unique, self-aware, free-willed, purposive, initiator, individual -- not mask.  
            More like old "substance"
                Modern person = core of one's being.   3 persons = tri-theism - Not the Christian God. 

Trinity = 1 Person (in modern sense), 3 Personae (in old sense) 

Hebrew notion of "substance" is personal, not impersonal as in abstract Hellenic philosophy, ,

   

II-B.  Testimony of 2 Great Commandments - Purpose for existence -
                Communal Unity is God's purpose (see John 17 - High Priestly Prayer)  -
                                deepest meaning of "Holy Communion"
                    Archetypal realities of life find unity in family, community, Kingdom of God

Possible because unity (community) already pre-exists in God - & we made in His Image. 

In Trinity - God - on silver platter - gives answer to
       1. How personal God relates to His personal creation -- people, persons. 
 

       2. Irresolvable gender structure of fallen pagan/secular worlds

II-C. How Personal God relates to Personal Creation    

 Father -  God independently of cosmos, outside circle of creation
                (click at top on Biblical Worldview tab for picture of open circle cosmos)
        God is the only substantial, independent, autonomous being
    Monotheism - Primary circuit (between God and creation) separate from Secondary (between creatures)
            Not true in pagan world -- all deities within circle of existence.  
    Father - masculine centered, distant, objective -- necessary aspect of God in relation to creation. 
        But if only masculine, leads to deism, clockmaker, no intimate communion.   (See Islam, Allah)

          Son - God as one of us - Hard for non-Biblical mentality to imagine -
                Son leaves glory of Father (Philippians 2) kenosis, self-emptying -- scales Self down to our size. 

                Hard part of that - not becoming human, but entering conditions of fallen, murderous, closed circle world
                         which wants to keep circle closed.  Keep out intrusive God. 
               Not "out of character" for God to become human - tells us of "humanity" of God
                            in which Image we made -- male & female
                        Incarnation = "reduction", but not distortion, of Godhead. 

          Holy Spirit -  similar to Son - experienced here in creation, but not as "one of us"
                    rather, dwelling
within and among us --  Pentecost - 
                                can be with all of us at same time and different places (as distinct from Incarnate Jesus)
                                    Monotheism becomes more intimate & inclusive, surrounding and aiding. 
                                        Undergirding.  Hand of God.  Power of being. 
                        I Peter 2 - we are spiritual house, living stones
                        St. Paul - I Cor. 6:19 Bodies = Temple of Holy Spirit. 

                  Holy Spirit = God - never merges with cosmos,
                            not the  "world spirit" of New Age or other paganism - where we become God. 
                        But God dwelling in us.

II-D. Irresolvable Gender Structure of Pagan/Secular cosmos

Failure of heiros gamos (sacred marriage) - Battle of Sexes continues in pagan/secular world, no resolution
        All beings remain "children" of Great Mother -- never outgrow her
        Thus, no possibility of Great Father.  All masculine figures remain children of Great Mother --
                thus, no possibility of marriage of equals.  Great Mother always wins conflict in the end -
                    swallows everything in death. 
        Battle of Sexes irresolvable because masculine & feminine not complementaries, but conflicting self-interest
                feminine seductiveness competes with masculine power & strategy for dominance. 

 

II-E.  Trinity as Family
                  3 Personae of Trinity give framework for understanding personal relation between Creator and creature
                        Sets stage for "family" in God, & how Biblical gender structure resolves Pagan dilemmas

    II-E-1  Key verses - Gen. 1:26-27.  
                    1.  "We" verse (26) -- "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness,
                             and let them have  dominion...."   Who are "we"?   Editorial or royal "we" not yet invented. 
                    2. Gen. 1:27 - "So God created man in His own image, in the image of God he created him;
                                male and female he created them." 
                        Hebrew says clearly that male and female in A & E reflect something parallel in God.
                                God a spiritual, not physical, being.  Sex (male and female in A & E), physical quality, not in God,
                                        but gender (masculine & feminine), a spiritual quality, is. 

                                "made in image of..." - comparisons always 2-way, never only 1-way.
                                                If we like God, God must be like us.  
                                       thus something in God similar to what we see in A & E. 
                                            Different but complementary "down here",
                                                must be two things different, but complimentary "up there" also.
 
                                        Only candidate is spiritual gender, masculine & feminine in God
                                                corresponds to physical male and female, sex, in humans.
                                        Of all qualities in Imago Dei in which humans participate (rationality, feelings, purpose, etc.)
                                                       
only sex & gender mentioned in Bible. 
                                                God saying - "Pay attention to this!!!"

          Transforms pagan/secular meaning of sex & gender (see Dennis Prager article). 
               Feminine means mothering, nurturing (not "sex pot"). 
               Masculine means fathering, moral authority (not "big and tough").  

          Humans to embody spiritual qualities of God --
                  outward and visible signs (sacraments) of mothering & fathering qualities of God -
          Eve to embody image of God as Creator, life-giver.  Adam - image of God as Sovereign - decision-maker. 
                  In God, totally complementary - not competing.  Heiros gamos in God eternally at one,
                            Two aspects, masculine & feminine, eternally wedded.  No "battle of sexes".  Model for humans. 

    II-E-2  Father
            Obvious place in Trinity -- initiating creation - sovereign, spiritual authority, decider - purpose for existence,
                        autonomy, freestanding adulthood, eternal, protector, warrior

            Hebrew - 'father' = 'ab' = 'deciding one', 'decision-maker' -- spiritual head of household 

            Authority - ability to command - i.e., assign purpose for existence. 
                Core of fatherhood = Spiritual Authority - decision-making. 
                   Gift passed on by father to children -- authority, personal boundaries,
                                    purpose for existence, personal identity    

                   Freedom "to do that for which I was created" = Authority against all Tyranny (i.e., bad, pseudo-authority). 

                   Authority has to do with "doing", deciding action, behavior.  Based on secure sense of "being".
                       hence two primal stabilities:  1. of being, personhood, ontology -- mothering gift
                                                                     2. of moral direction, value, purpose -- fathering gift

    II-E-3  Son  

        Child in God - specifically masculine in role as Savior
                in Salvation in first stages opposite order of Creation, Birth - where mothering comes first
                    in Salvation - fathering comes first -- bringing order out of chaos of Fall. 
                            love cannot happen in chaos -- Law takes charge - aggressively creates orderly space, society. 
 

               Broader sense of "child" includes both sons and daughters. 

      Qualities of Child --
            A. vulnerable, impotent, needy -- Jesus experienced these with human parents
            B. (1) dependent/trusting, (2) obedient, (3) carry image of -- Jesus experienced these with Father. 
                    In doing so, becomes revealer of the Father
                          (I and the Father are one;  If you have seen me, you have seen the Father).

            Jesus the Archetypal Child, model for all rest of us...
                        who by nature invested in God -- the only begotten Son 

                  We become children of God - adoption & grace - share in childhood/sonship/daughterhood 

    II-E-4  Holy Spirit 

       In what sense can the Holy Spirit be the feminine side of God?   

           Q: Who missing to make this a family?  Where is the mother? 

                  Strong resistance to feminine in Christian community vs. feminine in God. 
                        Good reasons:  Great Mother always primary enemy of Biblical worldview
                                    GM eradicates fatherhood - absorbs all back into herself. 

           Q: Can we talk of motherhood in God in way compatible with Father?  i.e., Mother not swallowing up Father? 
                            Fear of feminine common among men.  Fear of being "infantilized".
                But:  Genesis 1:27 - Would expect God to combine masculine (doing) with feminine (being)
                                    masculine & feminine not just "ways of behaving", but fundamental aspects of who we are.   
                                        This error (merely ways of behaving) supports notion of relative morality. 
                        But - each logically implies the other: like up/down,  right/left -- complementaries require each other. 
                                        See Personality, Empiricism, & God on Cosmological Argument for Existence of God
                                                necessary logical distinction in fundamental reality of personhood --
                                                         between deciding/doing (masculine) & power of being (feminine).

            Much needs to be sorted out, but this presentation suggests that the answer to the gender & sex
                    confusion rampant throughout human history, is contained in Genesis 1:26-8. 
                All tied to child begetting and raising - forming of personhood by being first mothered & then fathered,
                            & then brothered & sistered. 

        Qualities associated with Holy Spirit? 
                Paraclete - military term, called along side..., support, sustain;   
                Comforter -  Latin: cum + fortis = with strength.   "A mighty fortress is our God..."  walled comfort
                        Comfort of Holy Spirit within, inner strength, ability to be myself anywhere, any time, with anyone. 
                Creed - "Lord & Giver of Life..."   mothering image
                Jesus (John 3:3-6) - must be "born again"  ditto - mothering image   
                One in the Spirit -- integrating, uniting -- mothering activity (masculine is individuating...) 
            All feminine images - mothering, not sex-pot of fallen world. 

           Q:  If core of fathering image is Spiritual Authority, what is core of mothering image? 
                   A: Spiritual Power - (not worldly power, coercion, ability to get my way)
                                    but Power of Being - ability to BE myself.  Primal gift of mother to infant.
                                        child soaks up stability (or instability) of mother. 
                                                See Acts 1:8 ff.  What kind of power needed to witness?
                                                        Ability to be myself in the face of conflict.  Stability.  "Comfort"

                       Thus have: Feminine mothering -- power of being
                                         Masculine fathering - authority for doing  

    II-E-5  Names for God 

            Old Testament - El Elyon - God Most High
                                    Adonai - Lord, Ruler
                                    Elohim - God ("-im" ending indicates plural word)
                                    Yahweh - I AM - Uncaused Cause - Law Giver, Warrior, the One to Reckon With 

            New Testament - Paraclete, Comforter

            Another OT name - El Shaddai - usually translated "God Omnipotent"
                    Root meaning - 'shad' = 'breast'    Literally, 'the breasted God'.
                 Q:  Why omnipotence connected with nurturing power?  
                  A: stands for power of being, that which gives inner strength, backbone, selfhood.
                        The substantial power of life is our ability to be our real selves in the face of conflict or temptation.   
                                Power of Being far more "powerful" than coercive power: military, police, political, etc. 

    II-E-6  Family in God

           Feminine Power of Being = necessary feminine counterpart to Masculine Authority for Doing 
                        Creates ontological complementarity and mutual attraction (my other half).  No battle of sexes implied. 
                                This marriage = true heiros gamos fruitlessly sought in pagan and secular worlds.

                In God, marriage is eternal - model for all other marriages - "'til death do us part"  . 
                        Family/Community in God becomes basis for all human family and community life --
                                            pointing, leading to Kingdom of Heaven.   "...Thy will be done on earth... as it is in heaven."

 

    II-E-7  Trinity in God -- One Person in Three Personae

            In Hebrew/Biblical cosmology, Person replaces impersonal Hellenic 'substance' or 'ousia' (
                        (as used in Creeds - written using Hellenic philosophical categories) 

               Persons are basic entities, as "I AM" - uncaused cause of all else - a Someone
                            Not a Something as in Plato "Ideas", or neo-Platonic essences, cosmic consciousness.
                                    All these impersonal, destructive of personal life
                                        Cause of theological trouble all through Christian history  (See The Law & the Grace of God)

               Personae - three integral aspects of Person --  Mothering - Power of Being,  Fathering - Authority for Doing, 
                                    Child - Receiving Being from Mother and Authority from Father - two basic stabilities

                Son, Child in God, lives in space between Father & Mother - place of freedom to be, freedom to do --
                            in center of love between Father & Mother. 
                                    Place of heavenly delight.  Overflow of love between Parents
                                        Receives two stabilities, Power & Authority, eternally & unlimitedly. 
                        Son, eternally generated, thus represents freestanding adulthood to creation --
                                        As Jesus does to world - I AM. 

            Jesus sends Paraclete, to "come along side"
                    Relation of Holy Spirit to us, to undergird our being - Hand of God - by design & grace. 
                        Also relation of Holy Spirit to Father -- Holy Spirit = eternal being of the Godhead
                                        by nature, not by design. 
 
                                Father = sovereign, director, purpose-giver over feminine Power of Being, by nature -
                                            Sovereign over us by design & by creation. 

             Trinity in human beings -- same trinitarian character -- 3 Personae - being, deciding, doing --
                    each uniquely different from the other, yet each an aspect of same person as individual. 

        Q: What is Relation of Power to Authority
             Men & Women all have both Power & Authority -
                  How do you want your personal Power to be related to your personal Authority? 

        A: Power must submit to Authority, give substance to Authority
                    E.g., in creation - Power of Being called forth -
                                Mothering Power of Being responds to Fathering word of Command
                                        (See
The Meaning of Sexual Intercourse

       Q: What is Relation of Authority to Power
                            How do you want your personal Authority to relate to your personal Power? 

       A:  Eph. 5:21-33  Authority - gives protection, purpose, direction, shape, goal -- Spiritual Leadership   

Relation between gasoline and engine - when gas burns uncontrolled, undirected -- destructive
            In engine, explosion given shape, direction, purpose.  Directed power = meaningful work. 

              Power without Authority = chaos.   Authority without Power = impotence, ineffective, goes nowhere
                    Life requires marriage of the two -
                            Fallen world cannot accomplish this union --
                                  heiros gamos - the Sacred Marriage in God - in which we participate - made in His Image.
                                            Inner Marriage = fundamental aspect of our personhood -- trinitarian nature 
                                                    Father, Mother, Child 

      Holy Spirit always points on to Father = essential step in child's life-
                Mother points child on to Father - about age 4-9
                     individual process, finding one's being independently of human mother.
                        Father, standing straight & tall = stepping stone to independence.  

            Exodus (ex-homosexual ministry) speaker: "The child see in the mother and father relationship
                            how the world reacts to God."
 
                        For small child, mother is the world,  for child 3-7 father "owns" the world - authority over it. 
                                Money = authority.  All the money in the world comes out of daddy's pocket. 
                    Later, about 9-20, child leaving father, more independence, thinking on his/her own. 
                            Now looks at how father relates to higher authorities -- pointing to God. 
                                Essential steps in child's spiritual growth. 

 

        Q: How might this understanding of masculine/feminine change or effect usual view of sex & gender?

        Q: Does this work theologically?   Does this meet aims given in Introduction above?

        Q: Are there problems with the feminine in God?    

 

 

- Part II -
the Pagan (Perennial) Worldview

Section III - The Great Mother: a Cosmic Organism             
Section IV - Secularism: Masculine Revolt Against Mother
              Section V - Spiritualism: Return to the Eternal (& Lethal) Embrace

Review  -- click on Biblical Worldview tab at top of browser --  or "control-click" here for separate tab --
           

Sec. III. The Great Mother - a Cosmic Organism

   III-A.  Introduction 

          Extraordinary age -- demolition of Biblical worldview of 4 millennia -
                    even within Christian community -
                    Trying to be "relevant", up to date with "science" --
                                    or deliberately subversive, planted change agents. 

          Expect atheists, humanists to abandon or subvert Biblical view -- but bishops? 
                    John Robinson (English bishop) - "The Death of God" 
            Would expect Anton LaVey - Satanist high priest, to proclaim Satan hero in Garden of Eden
                        but John Sanford - Episcopal priest, Jungian counselor  in Man who Wrestled with God --?
             Would expect Alfred Kinsey - secular (pseudo-) sexologist -
                            to prefer Canaanite fertility cults to worship of Yahweh 
                        Some Episcopal bishops worshipped at Buddhist temples
                            One - "Sex is so powerful a religious experience that it should not be limited to marriage...
                                                (see Dennis Prager's article on Judaism and homosexuality for Biblical view
                                                                of sexuality.)

                        All over Western Christendom -- (I just know Episcopal Church best....)
         Film 1980s - Last Temptation of Christ - a confused Jesus, could not distinguish God from Satan --
                                Judas the better man.
                Many Christian clergy  --  "
I do not see the problem." 

Rise of anti-rationalist "New Age" - conglomeration of Eastern religion & Occult
            Specifically opposed to Biblical view of last two weeks. 
E.g., Joseph Campbell - mythologist - 4 vol.
Masks of God = "Power of Myth" TV series. 
Debt of gratitude to pagan authors - esp. J. Campbell and Erich Neuman "
The Great Mother"  --  helped build
             foundations for Trinity College (Hartford, CT) course on Mythology = "Comparative Theology"
                            where present material began to take shape in 1969.  Contrasted with Biblical. 
        Last two weeks, Biblical Worldview -- This week & next, World's suggestion as viable replacement. 

Extraordinary age - Foundations of Western Civ uprooted, destroyed... 

    III-B.  The Fall
            Curious - God did not warn Adam of Satan in Garden of Eden -- only of Tree of Knowledge of Good & Evil
                        Satan intrudes later
            Meaning of Tree similar to Pagan Cosmic Tree - Yggdrasill - World Tree of Scandinavia    
                        (Click on Pagan Worldview Tab above
        [or control/click here to create separate tab --http://www.theroadtoemmaus.org/RdLb/11Phl/WrldV/WvwPag.htm ]
                    then near bottom of page, control/click on link to "Norse World Tree" - Yggdrasill.     
                Note the serpent biting its tail around the base of the tree -- click on picture to enlarge it.

           The roots of existence plunge downward, but find no secure foundation.  They just "float" there
                    Hindu image of world resting on the back of a cosmic turtle. 
                Cosmos is self-sustaining - no Creator -
                        nothing beyond itself and its eternal cycles of growth and destruction -
                                Ragnarok, Gotterdammerung = "Twilight of the God's"  & then a new world. 

Genesis 2:16 -  (NKJV) - "And the Lord God commanded the man saying, 'of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good & Evil, you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it, you shall surely die."  
        "K of G & E" Hebrew idiom - "A to Z" - self-contained, self-sufficient knowledge
                    as you need to "be on your own".  

               No warning of Satan - safe if with God - Satan = toothless tiger, harmless.
                        Tree of K of G & E = Satan's realm -  "prince of this world"
                            That is world we investigating - Philosophy of the Fallen World
                                    Depressing experience -  (as The Wasteland by T. S. Eliot)  

    III-C. The Perennial Philosophy - Aldous Huxley -
                Only 1 philosophy - not 2 or dozen - all saying same thing -- Campbell's "monomyth"
                                Bp. Spong, Jungian cosmology, Alfred Kinsey, et al. 
                        Worldview of forbidden tree - no personal Creator, evolved out of primal substance
                        Same view behind "relative truth", celebration of "individuality", promiscuous freedom,
                                leads always to centralized government, loss of freedom of individual. 

            No Creator God - Cosmos is God -- the eternal entity.   Ultimate, divine, eternal, substantial being
                    Takes 3 forms which go in cycle 
                            1. Ancient paganism - the "cosmic organism", alive, pulsing, life-giving;
                            2. Materialism - make it on our own here in space/time 
                                    Much deeper roots than "modern" materialism --
                                        Early Greek philosophers - 4-500 BC primitive science -
                                                           the 4 physical elements: earth, air, fire, water
                                                           the beginnings of "history" - linear time; 
                            3. Spiritualism - we cannot make it here & now, in space/time -
                                                    thus Must Exit to world of pure spirit.
                                        Two directions:  Platonism, intellectual    or    mystery religions, emotional

III-D - the Cosmic Organism    

     Primitive drive to find "substantial" -  (see Pagan Worldview tab...)
                        durable through change
                        reliable - explanation for all other things

          Mother Earth best candidate --
                        cycles of nature, birth, life, waning, death...  eternally.....
                        Mother Earth seemed to stay the same, source of all life, end of all life. 
         Earth not inert, dead, lifeless, but organic, alive, breathing, bringing forth...
                                ultimate object of worship --
                    though often faded into background, became impersonal, quiescent, distant
                            behind the more personal, active, & local deities. 

             Search for "substantial" emerges out of our own experience of not being substantial
                            fragile, vulnerable, at risk, dependent on things beyond us and our control. 
                    Life without God depicted in continuing plunge downhill deeper into violence & chaos after
                                    Cain slays Abel. 

      Abraham - ca. 1900 BC   --   no Bible, synagogues, Torah, only a sea of paganism
                    (but with dim distant memories of a "high God" from whom they had fallen
                                Read Eternity in Their Hearts by Don Richardson)   

            Canaanites, Egyptians, Greeks, Babylonians, et al -- what were they believing?
                            ....some version of Huxley's Perennial Philosophy, or Campbell's Monomyth

    Begins in strange place -- Polar opposite of Personal Creator - Yahweh. 
                    [Click on Pagan Worldview browser tab above --
                            Or control/click here http://www.theroadtoemmaus.org/RdLb/11Phl/WrldV/WvwPag.htm
                                                    (Keep that tab)
                                    scroll down to big picture of Pagan worldview - with Yin-Yang symbol at center ... ] 

              Yin-yang at center is the "coincidence of opposites", the union of all exact opposites. 
                        Popularly seen as black/white, cold/hot, right/left, etc.  
                            But most basic opposite is being/non-being, everything & its exact opposite,
                                    hot/not-hot,  up/not-up,  good/not-good 
                                                  cannot go any deeper than that - the ultimate opposition. 

                              Contrast with Yahweh - in very nature "built on" rationality, reason, law of non-contradiction  
                                                [See Personality, Empiricism, & God - PEG - cosmological argument for God]

                        Origin of all things is built on exact self-contradiction -
                                mystical substance beyond all intellectual comprehension. 

                       Cosmic Womb -- Indefinable, ineffable "stuff" - spiritual or physical
                            Imagine cosmic blender -- primordial soup - container of all opposites - "Coincidentia oppositorum"
                                No clear, unambiguous statement/description possible
                                        Corresponds to root of Cosmic Tree, Yggdrasill, source of existence... 
                            Good never wins, evil always equally there -- balance of opposites. 

    III-E.  Individuality Emerges
        Life Emerges/Evolves -- out of Cosmic Soup 
                            [Click above again on Pagan Worldview tab - scroll to large picture of Uroboros & Yin-Yang] 
                    Mother Earth object of worship - enduring object
                                All comes from....,   All goes back to.....
            Time - cyclical, not linear, going nowhere
                Goal - to get into eternal rhythms of nature cycles  --  the flow
            The "Eternal Return" -- endless aeons, generations,
                    Fatalistic, deterministic, absolute repetition endlessly, eternally - whole cosmos. 

         Ontogeny follows Phylogeny -- (and vice-versa) The growth of the individual child
                                    follows the same patterns through which culture, clan followed. 
                         Cultures begin in primordial attachment to mother earth, just as child
                            begins in primordial attachment to mother.  Both grow through similar stages
                    But child limited by ceiling of culture -- cultures begin to press against their ceilings
                                & break through when some "hero" or "wise man", etc  introduces new insight,
                                            new way of doing things.  E.g., discovery of planting seeds, of wheel, etc.
                                                    or new moral insight, spiritual insight. 

        Q: If Great Mother is feminine image, where is masculine image? 
                        Masculine is essentially individual, a self, a somebody
            A:  All opposites contained in Great Mother - contains Masculine image also --
                        As beings emerge, opposites separate out as identifiable entities or qualities -
                                now distinguishable -- no longer "uroboric" -- i.e., opposites combined. 
                                         Q: by what mechanism can this possibly be done? 
                                            A: no adequate explanation offered in pagan or secular world. 
                                                    Requires First Cause [see Personality, Empiricism, & God]

          First "children" of Great Mother often masculine - become her consorts, have other children
                        e.g., Gaia is Great Mother in Greek mythology - has Uranus - becomes her consort
                                Uranus has Chronos, who has Zeus.  Uroboros one of early masculine gods
                             Drive in human psyche to unite, or reunite, these opposites of masculine & feminine
                            as if we somehow got separated from each other... 

                         Feminine is enfolding, incorporating, merging, togetherness.
                        Masculine contained in "that which is emerging..."
                                child of GM, but moving toward individuality, personhood
                                    most forcefully in hero, king, leader -- "the Great Individual" -- the "Somebody"

                But that comes next week -- first immersed in nature, clan, tribe -- individuality did not count
                        as small child, attached to mother, no clear independent personhood
                            Aboriginal people saw selves attached to Cosmic Organism -- part of her flow through cycle

              Yet, masculine principle slowly growing, forming -- as distinct identity
                        emergence of individuality, separateness from mother, tribe, clan, culture, rising above...
                            signifies emergence of masculine person
                    Caused by nurturing of Mother herself -- guarantees growth, maturing of child
                            as with individual human children -- come to stage where being to launch out on own.
                                Investigate world...   Stand up on own two feet. 

    III-F.  Fertilizing the Great Mother
                Mother Earth needed to be fertilized by masculine principle --
                            king, clan leader = epitome
                    Fertility cults (most of near east) used slain king to fertilized Mother Earth
                            King for a Year...   slain on winter solstice - shortest day -
                                            to revive Mother Earth
                Nature religions - aim to "participate in" rhythms of nature
                                World was a living sexual organism -
                                                (nothing "romantic" about it!)  Matter of life & death
                                        hard for mechanistic moderns to imagine.
                                                New Age = return to old paganism.
                    Attempt: to wed the masculine and feminine into compatible whole
                                real world terribly fractured - Battle of the Sexes began with Fall, never stopped.
                            The Wedding - Hieros Gamos = Sacred Marriage, attempt to create the "good life"
                                        inner marriage of me with "my other half"  --  seldom worked, never stable

                Two reigning deities - Luck - Fortune  -  &  exact opposite  -  Fate, Determinism
                        Not a rational universe -- reason not yet consciously employed
                                        Like pre-8-year-old child - operating on perception & intuition, not abstract reasoning. 

                        Life hard, cruel, barbaric -- but also, apparently, happily unself-conscious --
                                            go with the flow - even to death
                                Not much aware of a "self" -  Thus did not miss what had not yet experienced. 

            Q: If cosmic Mother is total cosmos, & if masculine image born by emerging ego, personhood
                            How get a cosmic Great Father -- to stand on equal terms with Great Mother?
                                    i.e., how have masculine & feminine happily wedded?  Heiros Gamos?  
                A:  Not possible - In the end, Great Mother wins any contest. 
                            True wedding of masculine with feminine can happen only in Biblical cosmos. 
                                       [See above, Part II, The Tri-Personhood of God

           Without God - life is closed circle -- only two choices -
                                (1) Pagan/Secular (no creator God) - life is closed circle - Cycle of life unbreakable.
                                (2) Biblical (with creator God - life is open circle -
                                            Only God can break that cycle back into death in closed circle. 
                                                        By opening the circle -- Incarnation -- Revelation -- Personal presence. 

 

Sec. IV. Secularism/Materialism - the Masculine Revolt against Mother

IV-A.  Introduction

     Modern secular people tend to think of secularism as "scientific materialism" -
                  post Middle Ages, Renaissance, Enlightenment, Industrial Revolution,
                        modern technology, etc. 
         But materialism was (in a sense) 1st child of ancient GM - long before Biblical times. 
               The first child (in the archetypal sense, a pattern, not necessarily a specific child
                                see second child below)  of GM was boy-child --
                                        masculine principle struggling upward to assert self
                     Mother needed a male consort to fulfill her role... 
        Feminine - mothering - represents the containing, including, enfolding, encompassing
                 Masculine - fathering - represents individuating, separate selfhood,
                        climbing upward, self-assertion, differentiating, distancing. 
                 Task of child (boy or girl) to separate from mother, then later from father
                            to become free-standing individual....   an adult in the world....

          Paradox - the very nurturing by GM of boy-child - ensures his maturing, outgrowing of Mother
                            developing sense of individuality, personhood, separateness.  
                Just as any child -- "I am a somebody!" 

     If do not sense separateness, individuality -- do not mind losing it. 
                As swing past prime in circle of life (at pinnacle) downward - death seems natural, acceptable
                        Cf. Eskimo old folks -- go off to die in ice & snow -- not be drain on scarce tribal resources.   

    IV-B.  Then - New Thing emerges -
                                  Ownership of something new -   "I am a somebody!"
                  Realizes - being a person, individual, selfhood = prerequisite to all else
                                    part of very meaning of life....   "Terrible two's...."  Individuating.... 
                        Retaining personhood becomes priority - major item in understanding survival 
                                starts right at foundation of myths...
            Great Mother brings forth 1st child -- Boy Child...   - creates 1st Cosmic Split (see 2nd)
                    Child moves from position #1 in womb, Yin-Yang, non-being
                               upwards to position #2 development of individuality, personhood,
                                            but --  then begins to wane, descend toward death of individuality,
                                                back to womb of nothingness, nonbeing. 

Mythical battle between rising hero and GM - Marduk vs. Tiamat, Zeus vs. earth monsters
        Masculine ego declaring independence.   Ontogeny follows phylogeny. 
                Individual growth reflects growth of clan, tribe, family...  with a lid...
                    until another breakthrough. 

              Says: "Put on the brakes!  Stop the world-cycle, I want to get off!"   
                             Grabs Rim of Uroboros -- pulls self up to stand on surface - position #3 --
                                                took millennia to accomplish
                      No longer "enveloped" & controlled by nature, now taking charge of own history, free-standing
                                                -- or so it seemed - by comparison -- much more to come. 

                                [Memory of discovering that we live in surface of earth, not inside it. 
                                        not uncommon experience.  Feeling of loneliness.  Exposed to empty cosmos. ] 

              But -- still hooked -  kingly sacrifices (see Fertilizing GM)  -  to fertilize Great Mother at Winter Solstice
                                Revive dying Mother.  King for a year -- then fertilizer. 
                          Love/hate relation with GM -- cannot get along with her or without her. 
                    As time progressed - king took more charge of event - substitutes for sacrifices, relative, slave,
                                        captured enemy, animal -- as Eskimo totem animals. 
                                Goal increasingly to survive - masculine ego asserting self increasingly
                                        seeking to break ties with enveloping maternal bond.  Like child leaving mother. 
                                                    role of fathers to draw boy-child out into male culture.  
                                    Implicit rejection of death as consequence of fleshly dependency
                                            beginning of quest for ultimate autonomy, independence, self-sufficiency
                                                        i.e., eternal life.  

                  Every human child goes through similar stages - so far as culture has generated them...
                                we can become as individuated as our culture models for us... 
                             

    IV-C.  Shift in Cosmic Imagery -
            replacing cyclical with angular, upward thrusting linear
                 Pyramid replaces circle - e.g., Egypt, Babylon, Aztecs, and others....

          Two driving forces for Pyramid-building -
                        1. drive for Autonomy                 
                        2. Pathological fear of sinking ground under feet -- GM
                    Bottom level of pyramid = Platform over Mother Earth - over sinking ground, quicksand
                            Natural ground no longer safe for personhood --
                                Mother Earth ambiguous - giver of both life and death.
                            "Down" now becomes dangerous - the Pit - Sheol - Gehenna - Hell - the Black Hole
                    Each level of pyramid = one more buffer against forces of disintegration -
                                            gravitational pull downward - back into nature cycles & disintegration of selfhood
                                One more level of increasing control over circumstances.  
                                        One's "being" no longer a gift,  rather a struggle to create & sustain oneself
                                            Attempt to build one's own ground under oneself. 

       Linear vs. Cyclical Time -    Time clocked by reign of kings - the "Great Individual" - the "Somebody"
                            But only local linear times -- because at first only local kings - era lasted as long as king did
                                        or series of kings 
               Dominated by drive for autonomy, safety against opposing forces  - Thus pyramid building
                        Inherently competitive - need to control resources, people 
                The wider the base, the higher up -- At top = King of the Mountain -
                                                     Position #4  = "The Great Individual" the Somebody.
                                                                at bottom = the Nobodies...  
                                        Life about Power Struggle -- as Roman quest for glory (Augustine in City of God)
                                                        glory was the meaning of life....  Conquest. 

                            Review: 1. Womb;  2. top of cycle of life;  3. outside of Uroboros;   4. top of pyramid. 
                                        Two more to come....

          Kings & Pyramids competing - power struggle - Empire building - age of heroic myths
                    Marduk, Gilgamesh, Iliad, Odyssey, heroic gods & goddesses - mostly at war with each other.

                Warfare now on two fronts -- GM beneath - & Siblings all around.    

Sense of  history beginning to develop - as chronology of heroic events, sagas, epics
            Homer & Trojan wars, Thucydides Greek history.... et al    
    Problem: no king able to conquer all (cf. Alexander the Great - never lost a battle, but died --
                    left all to his squabbling underlings. 

       But heroic image - dragon slayer = son of GM who slays or tames devouring Mother
                Marduk in Mesopotamian,  Zeus in Hellenic culture,   Horus in Egypt
                    achieves independence of child   --   Powerful model for others
                                         to imagine their own history.... 
                       Iliad & Odyssey (ca. 700 BC?) become "Bible" for Hellenic culture.  
                                Led to "high Hellenic culture" of 400's BC. 

                      Nevertheless, deadly fear of pull of GM always there -- floating underneath...

                   Hero striving for autonomy - gets to "top" - Position #4 -
                        Devouring Mother beneath
                        Looks up to heavens - into empty cosmos  -  No Great Father there to draw them on 
                                Q: Where is there a cosmic Father? 

          IV- D.  Early Myths -
                            gods & goddesses all located down in Mother Earth -- Deities, gods & goddesses, all of the earth. 

                   Appearance of Sky gods = sign of secular/materialist age - individual consciousness
                            Masculine ego seeking to wrest boon of immortality from cosmic forces...
                    Pyramids thrust skyward to heavens - residence of "the Immortals"
                                Those who supposedly had sprung free from grip of GM --
                            (Tower of Babel takes on new meaning....)           

              Horus - Egyptian god - rising ego consciousness - slain by Set, monster representing earth forces
                            Horus is dismembered, body parts scattered --  his Eye rescued - "resurrected"
                                    Eye becomes "Sun God" in the Sky  =  Light of consciousness - emerging ego. 

                           [Q: where is Eye of Horus today???  In direct opposition to Biblical worldview?
                                                pyramid with eye of Horus at top....  Who is the light of the world?  Jesus or Satan?
                                                    who is Lord, Jesus or civil government?]   

              Uranus - Hellenic god - 1st offspring of Gaia - GM  --  Uranus not equal to or independent of Gaia - but her child
                                Chronos (time) - son of Uranus -- killed (or castrated) Uranus to get his power
                                            Uranus dies - to heavenly glory -- planet up in sky  = Position #5 - the Immortals
                                                    represents man's dream   (yes, a bit contradictory....) 

                                  Review: Position 1 - womb;  Position 2 - top of circle of life;  Position 3 - over the rim of Uroboros;
                                            Position 4 - at the top of the Pyramid - king of the mountain; 
                                                    Position 5 - the "immortals" in the sky - the sought-for eternal life. 
                                                                (one more to go... next week.)

               Zeus - son of Chronos - slew Chronos, same reason to get to top of Pyramid. 

                                          Note: pattern of Freudian "Oedipal complex"  son competing with father
                                                    for control of resources of "mother", i.e., mother earth, mother nature...  
                                  Zeus - top of Mt. Olympus - natural pyramid -
                                                by force of arms - defeats earth/sea monsters & sibling rivals

                          But  -  impossible task - Original Source of being of Zeus = stuff of GM
                                                still ruled by GM  -- cannot break laws of cosmos - as Greeks knew...
               3 Fates - one spins, one measures, one snips off the fate of us all -- none of us immortal
                                    Gotterdammerung comes  -  Twilight of the gods. 
                        Fates determined our fate:  Zeus to die by one of his sons - same future as his ancestors. 

           Uroboros smiles -- at our pretensions to outwit GM -- releases, stretches, encloses us
                        We cannot step outside circle of existence - we just take the world and nature with us
                                Nature is the GM - womb of life -- Ultimate Beginning & Ultimate End.   

                  Thus personhood always temporary - Life & Death always mixed ambiguously, indiscriminately
                            Vulnerability of Hero inescapable -- Man at Top dependent on his control to get support
                                        from underlings.  "Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown..."  Shakespeare
                                   Underlings climbing up pyramid to knock off one at top. 

                  Eternal life not given - Mythology replete with heroic figures -- seeking Fountain of Youth, Tree, Bush,
                                magic amulet -- to give eternal life --- gods always deny 

                  1960s (?) song "Hotel California" - occult theme - hotel may be Satanic temple of Anton Levay. 
                                 Line at end: "You can check out anytime you want, but you can never leave...."

                           Fallen world is a labyrinth from which we can check out any time we want, but can never leave....
                                              locked into forces and laws of that cosmos -- no reprieve - no outwitting Uroboros. 
                                        Not without help from outside.  Revelation - Incarnation. 

           IV-E.  Failure of Father
                            Not there at start, not fundamental to Origins --
                               thus not possible for masculine figure to emerge on par with GM -- always a child...

Society thus always founded on power struggle -- not on justice or righteousness or moral obligation 
                            (role of Father God...) 
            not "patriarchy", but "fratriarchy" -- rule of the siblings, would-be fathers
                    No Great Father -- only Big Brother.    And in the end -- only the GM. 

                    New Dimensions Magazine - May 1990 -- article Gangs, Drugs, & Single Parent Families
                       
p. 21 - "The deadly combination of disintegrating families and lucrative illicit drug trade
                                         is creating a national epidemic of violent gangs."  
                        P. 24 -  "One trait common among gang members:
                                             'The absence of a positive male role model in their own family.'"

                          Prisons full of men who hate or ignore their fathers...  Father's Day vs. Mother's Day 

The so-called "death of God" of the 1960's was not the death of mother goddess, Gaia was
very much reasserting herself.  It was the death of Father God -- not really, of course, but
in the minds and hearts of our people.  The death of Father God led directly to the
family chaos of the 1980's and -90's -- and still counting.

                     The Five Stages of Greek Religion by Gilbert Murray describes, in chapter "The Failure of Nerve")
                             how the High Hellenic culture fell from poise and beauty of the 400's BC
                            into what Murray called "Hellenistic Lowlands".  When father is absent, the failure of nerve
                            soon follows.   The age of heroes was over, and culture was cycling downward, back again
                            to GM. 

                        Failure of nerve is flowing full tide through males in Western culture - Boys falling into peer culture
                                no longer raised by fathers, but by peers -- not patriarchy, but fratriarchy -
                                the rule of Big Brother -- the loud mouth, the clever fellow, not the wise man. 

             IV-F. Cosmic Return to Mother -
                     Ancient materialism is long way from modern....  & yet...
                          widely acclaimed - by Carl Sagan...
                            "Cosmos" - book & TV series - on alleged beauties of evolutionary theory --
                                    described supposed Big Bang of evolution...
                                        nature of original "nugget" that exploded, made of simplest element, hydrogen
                                                similar to undifferentiated cosmic soup pattern of Great Mother
                                   As with "cosmic blender" -- reduces everything at beginning to undifferentiated soup --
                                              Potential out of which all else will "evolve" -- 

                    But -- (says Sagan) One day, sun will expand into supernova, incinerate solar system
                            Total cosmos - 2 choices  -
                                   1. if enough mass to create sufficient gravitational pull,
                                         cosmos will stop expanding, shrink back to nugget, re-expand again, recreating new cosmos.
                                   2. if not enough mass or gravity, will continue expanding toward absolute cold, death 

Then Ultimate Beginning = Ultimate End -- Common pattern in all non-Biblical worldviews --
                            Ragnarok, Gotterdammerung.
                Beauty, truth, relationship, love - all froth tossed on sea of chaos,
                    temporary appearance of meaning, order, but dissolved as next wave of cosmic
                            sea sweeps over.  
In chapter ten, "The Edge of Forever", Sagan acknowledges his Hindu preferences. 
        ...does not recognize that the Hindu cosmos is incapable of science. 

Sagan's choice of Hinduism is one more example of how secularism is not capable of sustaining a culture.
    Too impersonal, anti-personal.  Destroys persons and personality.  Book "Cosmos", full of poetry
     (or pathetic fallacy, at which he is quite good) but which carries more weight in his presentation
     than does fact and logic.  Poetry substitutes for honest metaphysics. 
        And thereby, he illustrates our next section - spiritualism......

Secularism - has proved itself unattractive -- least attractive of all worldviews - impersonal, depersonalizing
                        succeeded on well propagated illusion that it owned "science" & "reason" & "industry" etc.
            We are watching Western culture go through the final stages of the cycle of the GM...
                from original beginnings in paganism, rising out of paganism
                            via Biblical worldview & Good News -
                                leading to extraordinary development of Individuality in Community context 
                                    with realistic hope of overcoming despair inherent in pagan view & secularism
                        but now - Biblical culture derailed, undermined, & led to despair by secular atomizing
                                of individuals isolating from supportive local communities (
                                families, churches, neighborhoods increasingly controlled by centralized govts.,
                                giving up, losing desire for life, not even repopulating itself,
                                    being taken over by Globalists -- using Islam and sexual perversion
                                            to finish off remains of Biblical view....

          Without God -- only two choices -
                                (1) Pagan/Secular (no creator God) - life is closed circle -
                                                No intelligent, meaningful, hopeful breaking of Cycle of life
                                (2) Biblical (with creator God) - life is open circle -
                                            Only God can break that life-back-into-death-cycle in closed circle. 
                                                        By opening the circle -- Incarnation -- Revelation -- Personal presence
                                                            restoration of two stabilities. 

  

Next week - the final stage of dissolution -  Spiritualism  ---  & our Western "failure of nerve...."
                        falling from our own High Biblical Foundations.....
                then final week, Where do we go from here?   Part III - Recovery....   

 

Sec. V. Spiritualism - Return to the Eternal (& Lethal) Embrace...

V-A.  The Collapse of Selfhood

         The second child (again, in the archetypal sense, a pattern, not necessarily a specific child - see first above..) 
                        was girl-child, Spiritualism, sister to her brother, Materialism

   Gautama - born ca. 570 BC In India (Hebrews were in Exile in Babylon) - rich family, protected life --
                        wandered out of family conclave, discovered horrors that afflicted most people. 
                    Sense of compassion - went on quest to find secret of good life, peace - spiritual quest.

              India long into materialist age - Hinduism formed over previous millennium --
                    Gautama found orthodox Hinduism unsatisfactory -  did not give answers for the downtrodden masses.
            Enlightenment under Bo Tree -- "discovery" - All pain caused by desire,
                        Peace comes by cessation of desire, attachment, longing. 
                  Enlightenment came out of profound discouragement with world of human affairs -- pyramid building, etc.
                            [Q: How did you feel at end of last session about man's hope for good life?]

      Gautama became the "Buddha" -- not alone in conclusions - most of world's religions arrive at same
                    discouragement with world -- e.g., Greek philosophy, then Hellenistic religions, Neo-Platonism,
                                the "Perennial Philosophy"   World not seen as human-friendly, not place of fulfillment
                                    secularism, pyramid-building, soon wears thin . 
                    Socrates' quest for the "meaning of man as man..." never found answer in Greek philosophy.
                                    (see The Law & the Grace of God, section I-D on Socrates...)
                                no meaning (purpose) beyond pragmatic, what we can assign...
             Worldview of pagans could not imagine a Creator ex-nihilo who loved His creation. 
                   Mankind at war with GM beneath, no adequate Father above --
                            Human race decides to make peace with the Great Mother again...
                                    abort the drive toward personhood --  return to her embrace
                                            to cosmic cycles of "eternal return".  

V-B. Thus - Second Great Cosmic Split  (see 1st) --
                                rejection of our own history, meaning, purpose in life - as unattainable.
                        Man on his own not capable of establishing meaning, purpose,
                                            direction for himself. 
                                Can give meaning to his activity, but not to his being
                                       Who I am is different from what I do.  Logical fact: I cannot give my own reason for existence,
                                                 only my Creator can (if He exists). 
                                 Mission aborted - process of individuation rejected, reversed.
                                        Desire, yearning, planning, relationship -- are all part of being a person, an individual. 
                                                Desire is an individuating activity -- like learning to say "yes" and "no". 
                                        Rejection of desire means rejection of individuality, selfhood, personal & cultural history. 

                           Western Culture at this same point --
                                        Rejection of science - even by secularists -- as giving us truth
                                        Rejection of objective truth - especially in morality & religion, meaning of life
                                        Not wanting to repopulate our own culture -- giving up....
                                West still too entranced with power to go fully for Great Mother -- stumbling, uncertain. 

           Move to Position #6 - back to Primal Matter - Yin-Yang - womb of Mother --
                            Nirvana = "place of no (nir) wind (vana)".  No breath of God, no Power of Being - no Holy Spirit. 

          Eastern Spirituality - to  help divest you of your self , personhood, individuality, existence. 
                        Move into time, history, & human control - tragic mistake
                            thus pursue flow back into our Mother Cosmos. 

Gilbert Murray again, in The Five Stages of Greek Religion, "Failure of Nerve" - 4th Stage
            Greek culture rose to monumental heights - ca. 800-400 BC. - beauty, balance, poise
        Homer, ca. 700 BC, - Iliad & Odyssey primary inspiration - became "Bible" of rising Hellenic culture -
                            heroic life-affirming ideal - rooted in family, home, hearth
                    What it means to be a "somebody"
                About same time as Hebrew prophets - Isaiah, Jeremiah, et al.  300 years after King David
                          Different development of personhood and individuality -
                                Effect of prophets & Hebrew religion - to rescue from fall into Great Mother,
                                        leading to only possible solution to Gautama's or Socrates' problem. 
                            Execution of Socrates was execution of move toward honest selfhood -- truth-seeking. 
                                    Socrates an upstart, anti-conservative, rebel, dangerous to status quo

 Human efforts at spiritual growth & maturation reaches point of "somebody", individuation, personhood
        beyond which unable to sustain self - a ceiling.  Top of pyramid.  Vision falters, life drains
            Replaced by mechanical effort to copy heroes of bygone days.

        Failure = failure of individuation - to be a real self in world, freestanding adult on earth.
                Failure of fathering -- masculine dream of being able to stand on terms equal w. GM
                    No heiros gamos (sacred marriage - integral union of male/female, masculine/feminine) possible....    

   "On the day that you eat of it, you shall die...."   Labyrinth, no way out. 
                    Hotel California:  You can check out any time you want, but you can never leave. 

              Gilbert Murray's Fifth Stage - "The Last Protest" -- retreat in to mystery cults, fertility cults,
                                orgiastic - feel-good cults, and intellectualism.  

                     Sound familiar?   Nothing new under the sun....
                                    with Neo-paganism -- West has peaked - dream of self-sufficiency increasingly sought within...
                                          isolation from relationship  [Cf. Sartre - "Hell is other people..." - character in No Exit (?)]     

                       Buddha seems right -- give up personhood, individuality
                                    Globalists today only a last final gasp at being a "Somebody"  --
                                                No possibility of their pyramid succeeding. 
                                                Typical materialist illusion that power, deception, mind-control can win
                                                            & hold the pyramid. 

                     Best Perennial Way can offer = choice of 2 worlds:

                             (a) inherently & lethally competitive world, climbing pyramid
                                            hovering over pit of Nothingness
                            (b) world which renounces pyramid, embraces that Nothingness of the GM
                                        makes tragic virtue out of woeful necessity

      Spiritualism - similar to Parent, original Cosmic Organism  - but also Radical Difference
                Spiritualism born of profound disillusionment & rejection of space-time & individuality
                            Cosmic Organism not yet experienced disillusionment - naive self-contentment, innocence
                        Spiritualism not original naive, innocent, & unself-conscious acceptance of what is
                                    but self-controlled, deliberate acceptance of fate
                                            deliberate self-conscious rejection of selfhood. 
                                                Deliberately induced "schizophrenia" - disjunction from relationship reality. 

Theme of all Eastern religions - Hinduism, Buddhism, Transcendental Meditation (TM), Yoga
                & many Western adaptations in New Age  

                 Spiritualism, today our neo-paganism, in other words, tends to be cynical -
                        C. S. Lewis points to this, responding to someone -- March 17, 1953 
                                                (Quoted from The Journal, p. 2, at www.summit.org, October 2010.) :
                                   "What you say about the present state of mankind is true: indeed, it is even worse than you say.
                                   For they neglect not only the law of Christ, but even the Law of Nature as known by the Pagans. 
                              For now they do not blush at adultery, treachery, perjury, theft, and the other crimes which
                              I will not say Christian Doctors, but the pagans and the barbarous have themselves denounced.

     They err who say "the world is turning pagan again."  Would that it were!  The truth is that we are falling into a much worse state. 

    Post-Christian man" is not the same as "pre-Christian man."  He is as far removed as virgin is from widow: there is nothing in common except a want of a spouse: but there is a great difference between a spouse-to-come and a spouse lost."  

The first pagans, that is, had a better grasp than do present pagans of the "good", even though they
                    could not truly understand the "right" (see The Law & the Grace of God)
                        for which they needed the Biblical worldview

V-C. Rules of the Game  -  10 Points of the Perennial Cosmic Order --

      (1) God & Cosmos Identical - not distinct
                Original pure form - undifferentiated Soup  -  Monism  not   Mono-theism
                        Move to individuality thus IS the Fall -- into unreality
                Difference between Creation & Evolution (in its various forms)
                        thus is Continental Divide between Bible & Perennial Philosophy
                                from which all other differences flow. 

      (2) Truth is relative & subjective - not objective
                Coincidence of opposites means - no possible positive statement or proposition
                            the negative also always true - thus propagates illusion: all truth "relative", not objective
                                    true for you but not me.   We all cling to some truth - even if only "relative"

      (3) Moral judgements relative -- situational - not objective
                    If no fundamental truth, then no moral truth either
                    Values relativized, privatized
                            No moral difference between Hitler & Jesus 
                Reality not just non-rational, but anti-rational
                            "Once truth becomes optional, it will soon become forbidden, criminalized. 
                        Morality (like truth) becomes tool of tyrant --
                                    forbids truth-seeking because truth-seekers are greatest enemies of tyrants.

      (4) Time cyclical - Nature dominates persons - no meaningful scientific control of nature...
                        No cosmic purpose or goal - no direction to history -
                            Existence either random, chance, or totally deterministic - no place for rational freewill.

      (5) Intellect abandoned in search for divine -
                    Mind good only to analyze, distinguish True from False -- but no such distinction exists. 

              Thus focus on experience as feeling, not on objective truth
                        3 areas of soul (Mind, Will, Feelings-Emotions) 
                                When mind abandoned, Feeling rules the will -- tyranny of the spoiled child. 

       (6) Pendulum Swing - between compulsive self-sufficiency, self-containment
                                  Rejection of dependency (too dangerous) 
                            vs. bondage to immature, manipulative relations - co-dependency
                Feelings divorced from relationships, become entities in themselves
                                        rather than "relationship information". 
                         
                Spiritual Life thus is quest to get in touch with one's own inherent autonomy - divinity,
                            to find the "substantial" within oneself -
                                    this "knowledge" lost when one "falls" into individuallity        
                            See Hindu (and other) mendalas -- cosmic circle often with Self at the center
                                        especially in Jungian interpretations.          

      (7) Personal existence therefore meaningless -
                Only froth on waves of chaos, life essentially impersonal
                    Genesis 2:16-17 - "And the Lord God commanded the man saying,
                            'You many freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge
                            of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it, you shall die.'" 

                    Not a threat, but warning of natural consequences --
                            when distance self from Source of Being, existence erodes. 

      (8) Hostile, irresolvable polarities -- 
                        autonomy vs. dependency
                        spiritual vs. material
                        masculine vs. feminine
                        parent vs. child - sibling rivalry
                        luck/chance vs. determinism/fate  -- no secure principle of rational freewill and choice. 

      (9) Masculine-feminine - battle of the sexes
                built-in contradiction in gender structure of cosmos
                        leads to breakdown & rejection of gender distinctions
                              from masculine-materialist over-emphasis to dissatisfaction, rejection, & unisex 
                Leads to Failure of Father figure -- no equal footing with Great Mother
                        Drive toward legitimate masculine individuality fails...  life is like... 
                                        Charlie Brown & Lucy -- with football
                                        Sisyphus & the Rock  --  endless meaningless toil
                        Fails also because no objective morality -- spiritual authority, prime masculine role -- gone. 

      (10) Cosmos controlled by Fortune (luck, chance)  and  Fate (Determinism)
              Consequent elimination of freewill, and of both reason and moral choice - from human nature.
                    Reason dependent on conscious freewill decision making 
                                    To trust statements as utterances of truth, I must believe that you observe
                                            reality, & intend to tell me the truth of what you observe

V-D. What Does God Think of All This???      
            Each of 10 opposed to Biblical cosmology -

                            "For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens (He is God)
                            who formed the earth and made it (He established it;
                            He did not create it a chaos, He formed it to be inhabited!);
                            I am the lord, and here is no other. 
                            I did not speak in secret, in a land of darkness;
                            I did not say to the offspring of Jacob, 'Seek me in chaos.'
                            I, the Lord, speak the truth, I declare what is right."  
Isaiah 45:18-19 

                          "But you who forsake the Lord, who forget my holy mountain,
                           Who set a table for Fortune, and fill cups of mixed wine for Destiny;
                           I will destine you to the sword, and all of you shall bow down to the slaughter;
                           because, when I called, you did not answer, when I spoke, you did not listen,
                           but you did what was evil in my eyes, and chose what I did not delight in"
      Isaiah 65:11

                   In those 2 passages, God rejects the whole Perennial Cosmos. 
                                He is Creator, an intelligent designer, with a purpose and plan, He formed the world
                                        to be inhabited, there is a truth which He speaks to His people,
                                                and a moral order which He requires to be followed. 

            Clear strong current drifting in West today (I first wrote this about 1988) -
                        strongly back into cyclical cosmos of paganism
                Deliberate demolition of Western culture -- & of Biblical roots.
                        Hebrews spent 70 years in Babylonian captivity 6th century BC --
                    West today captive again to same pagan cosmology, same dynamics of closed circle
                            that brought Babylonian captivity 25 centuries ago. 

              God speaking to us right out of Isaiah:
                            "Have you not known, Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning?
                            Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?
                            It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers,
 
                            Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in...."  (40:21-22)

      In paradoxical way, Aldous Huxley is right, there is only one philosophy -- but not the Perennial
                    Perennial Philosophy does not qualify as philosophy -- which is reasonable, rational explanation
                                of how things are...
                        P. Ph. is rather an explanation of how they fail, fall apart, & die
                                    a philosophy of hell - masquerading as heaven,
                                            Gehenna (cosmic dump where things go which have lost their reason for existence...)   

The nature of the substantial being or "stuff" of the cosmos will determine the nature of all else --
        That is why we search for atoms - smallest building block - to explain other things

     Common sense - if we believe in a substance, the nature of which violates the canons of
          reason and explanation - we end up with chaotic & irrational cosmos --  garbage in, garbage out.
                2 Basic Principles:
                    1. non-contradiction: a thing cannot both be and not be in the same time, place, & respect
                    2. sufficient cause: every event requires a cause sufficient to explain it 

Creator God of Bible is only substantial foundation for rational universe. 
        10 Points of pagan/Perennial cosmos show a cosmos floating on a sea of chaos - cosmic black hole
                        incapable of reason or order, and thus incapable of science, or rational living. 

          Without God -- only two choices -
                                (1) Pagan/Secular (no creator God) - life is closed circle -
                                                No intelligent, meaningful, hopeful breaking of Cycle of life
                                (2) Biblical (with creator God) - life is open circle -
                                            Only God can break that life-back-into-death-cycle in closed circle. 
                                                        By opening the circle -- Incarnation -- Revelation -- Personal presence
                                                            restoration of two stabilities. 

 

  What to do?   -- tune in next Tuesday, October 26, for final session --
                                            What God has done and continues to do.... 
                                How to Put This Information to Work in the Trenches....
                                     & how to recapture the public imagination & the public arena

                      Won't be easy, there will be casualties, and it will take several generations,
                                    but it will happen - God will not be mocked. 

                            Question for us:  will we be among those who help get it started??? 

 

NOTE: sign on to get your account on Ustream.tv so that we can have a discussion via the Chat Box.... 
        Lots of interesting issues to discuss next time, and questions to raise.  

 

 

- Part III -
How to Put This to Work in the Trenches

Sec. VI. Winning Back Western Civilization for Jesus Christ

VI-A  -  Fundamental Issue:  Worldview & Stability
                 - which worldview can supply stabilities??? 

          Theme all through 1st 5 sessions -- two stabilities -  (1) of personhood, ontological, ability to be oneself
                    (2) of moral direction & political -- private & public
                                purpose, direction of life, basis of all authority.  Know where I am going, the right way...

          (go to two worldview tabs -- compare the two worldviews.....)  

           Each age needs to retell basic Biblical story -- Progress of Western Civ created enormous changes
                        in lifestyle, thinking patterns, understanding of personhood, selfhood --
                            often conflicting with received religious opinion...  Creating conflict.
                Problem - to sort out wheat from chaff -- in both old ways and new. 
                       Western Civ. resolved problem -- blossoming of basic Biblical theme --
                              Universities & Science -- 
                                        Free market of ideas for all persons - Perhaps first time in history
                       Conflict inherent where no freedom of thought, search for truth secondary, subject to power struggle
                               Pagan world -- goodness of idea or policy based on pragmatism, not generally on moral order
                                                            because works (for someone) not because right.
                                                Morality in West local and sporadic, not universal,
                                                            Roman law generalized into Natural Law -- by Stoics
                                      Pagan morality & politics not wedded - because little idea of generally authoritative morality

                       Greek philosophers began to develop notion of universal truth -- but difficult to translate into
                                personal life, or political life.  Too abstract, and no clear basis for moral obligation. 
                            Personal morality generally came with mystery religions,
                                                or with code of military honor - as described in Augustine's City of God
                                      but neither had clear link between objective truth & objective morality which
                                            could support morality in politics, civil government.
                Biblical view had both objective truth and objective & universal morality
                                relevant to both personal and political realms. 

                        Moral Commitment depends on whom you worship -- which depends on worldview
                                Perennial worldview does not supply moral order --
                                        Reality of assumed or attempted moral order demands explanation
                                                          in world where no basis for it --
                                              Either a delusion (a la Freud - projection of father on cosmos)
                                                    or a vague echo of Voice of God in consciences of pagans.
                                Socrates' quest for moral order began with quest for "meaning of man as man".
                                      Understood meaning of man as artisan, physician, warrior, etc, but
                                             as man himself. 
                                                 [See The Law & the Grace of God, addenda to chap. 1 on Greek philosophers.]
                                        Meaning based on purpose -- obvious with artisan, physician, warrior
                                                        these gave their activity a purpose & thus an identity. 
                                            But not obvious as man per se --
                                                            No purpose for their being -- because no personal God who could give
                                                                    purpose for man -- as our creator.
                                            World as such meaningless, purposeless -- only purpose given by man himself
                                                        Thus meaning limited to our personal purposes
                                                                Nothing universal. 
                                Universal meaning depended on doctrine of Creation, Intelligent Designer. 

                                          So two stabilities tied together....    Ontological & moral. 

 VI-B  -  A Sea Change in the West --
           Strong tradition of truth-seeking in Bible & early Church fathers --
                But not yet a clear statement of open, level playing field for discussion
                         or for freemarket of ideas, every side (including Church) had to explain & defend position
                                   against all challengers.  (See sermon on definition of 'catholic' and relation to truth-seeking)
               Constantine put Christians in power -- power seduced Christians, to use force
                           to convert and maintain Christian faith --  e.g., Inquisition (greatly misunderstood)
                                  Assumption that society required one religion --
                                        True -- but the "oneness" could not be maintained by force
                                                only by truth-seeking. 

              But, in Western civilization, basic Biblical assumptions gradually replaced old pagan assumptions 
                        respect for truth and morality, & unique Biblical theme of all persons equal
                            led to democratization of education -- aided by printing press -- led to universities
                                    where science developed in late middle ages. 
                        Free market of ideas --  to become truth-seekers rather than position-defenders
                                    let truth & Lord of truth win their own battles. 
                                  When truth wins, everybody wins....  

                        Moral commitment to truth (very slowly) became a primary focus for moral & political unity --
                                    developed via English common law, & American democratic republic - both under God.
 
                            Education: teaching based on open, public debate between positions
                            Politics: passing of laws based on open, public debate between positions. 
                                    In both cases, often subverted, but the ideal was there,
                                            & became a plumbline for judging quality of education & politics. 

               Beginnings of honest "pluralism" -- after Christian Post-Reformation carnage... 
                     -- admission that society could have competing religions - not enforced by coercive power --
                            False "modern" pluralism -- truth relative -- truth is plural, everyone right - only charlatans benefit
                            True pluralism -- all invited to public arena, not because everyone right
                                    but to test for who is right -- Positions plural, truth singular.

                      God wins primarily in open contest of truth -- as I Kings 18, Elijah on Mount Carmel...

                     Jeffersonian (vs. false) liberalism -- Truth can be found only if have free-market of ideas
                                                where each side required to prove its case in context of public debate. 
                                Began with universities and rise of science.  
                                            Christians being equipped with more finely honed Two-edged Sword of Spirit -
                                                         reason & revelation welded back to back... 
                                      First Commandment - before all others: Thou shalt be a Truth-Seeker....
                                                required - to make sense of all other commandments. 

              Christian failure, during 1800s - Fear of "reasonable" Enlightenment
                          Thus opposed revelation to reason, retreat into "revelation"
                                    failure to see both need each other, neither will survive without other. 
                                    failure to see reason is NOT a possession of secularists. 
                                            God is the supremely reasonable one...
 

                          Led to disaster of 20th century -- most brutal century in history. 
                                Perceived irrelevance of God, Church, faith -- sidelining of Church, failure of public witness.   

                          "So who needs salvation?  We have science!"   Mantra of secularists. 
                                  The failure of science -- admitted by some of most important philosophers of science
                                           
e,g., Bertrand Russell -- "science does not give us the truth."   (or words to that effect). 
                                    Science will fail to produce the "good life" -- so long as God left out. 

             Christians again need to learn how to retell our story -- in line not with secularists, but in line
                        with what God has done in our midst, which we have rejected, ignored. 
                            Rise of science & freemarket of ideas is gift of God, right out of Biblical inheritance
                                         (see
Science Library

                    Science requires moral commitment to truth - thus cannot survive loss of God --   
                            much  of science today co-opted by forces of power struggle, back to paganism.  

            Christians must again learn how to tell story of salvation and Kingdom of God,
                    relevant to all facets of life, both personal and public arena
                          West far slidden into thinking of GM --  alive & well. 
                    Confusion about nature of choices -- because lost grasp of Biblical worldview
                                & how radically different from Pagan/Perennial 
                                        & how intellectually, morally, & spiritually far more credible....

 

VI-C  -  What is "Salvation"???   &   Who needs it? 
        Everyone understands "stability" & our need for it --
                We spend enormous amounts of money, time, effort -- at stabilizing ourselves
                        Insurance policies, saving up resources, planning for "rainy day", etc. 

       Not everyone understands two basic stabilities -- believe that money, power are the big stabilizers

                  Ontological, stability of our being, personhood --
                          we scrape for worldly stabilizers: money, power, fame --  all of which more often
destabilize
                  Moral stability -- for our doing, behavior, attitude
                            Requires reason for existence -- purpose of creator     

      In impersonal pagan/secular cosmos -- no personal cause of existence,
                Thus no possible reason for existence.   Impersonality eats up persons.  Meaningless.
 

      God to Adam: "You may freely eat of every tree of the garden;
                   but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it,
                           you shall die."  
           
Forbidden tree = tree of independence from God -- Universal knowledge - from good to evil, a to z. 
                        Cast themselves into dying cosmos -- subject to entropy, descent into chaos. 
                                Their tiny efforts unable to prevent it. 

            Pagan/secular world is world of the Fall - separation from Creator & Sovereign
                    Thus separation from two primal stabilities - into meaninglessness & death.
                            Like labyrinth, no way out. 
 

           No I AM in fallen world, no possibility of Great Father to stand with devouring Great Mother
                    World of siblings, no Father, and only ambiguous Mother.   

          No creator God, hence no explanation for existence, all chance, no meaning. 
                Nothing on which to rest ontological dependency, nothing to follow as reason for existence.   

    Personalist Cosmology - persons are primary objects, not "things" (atoms, electrons, cows, houses, etc.)
                    a Person creates cosmos for fellowship with created persons -- us humans.   
          Physical part of cosmos is stage upon which community can happen --
                                built for that community -- anthropic principle. 
                    Rich resources for sustaining and directing created persons --   Hand & Voice of God

          Genesis 1 source for doctrine of Trinity brings personal character of cosmos into full focus
                        Not as GM, but as creation designed by and for persons.
 

          Personalist cosmos -- persons primary objects.  And subjects.  Not flotsam and jetsam of chaos -  accidents. 
                Biblical source of Trinity - Gen 1:26-28 -  brings personality of cosmos into full focus.  
                            Not as Great M (which destroys persons) but as creation designed by and for persons.
                                    God both mothers and fathers us -- and in Jesus, brothers us.  

VI-D  -  An Offensive Strategy   -  for recovering Western Civ. 
                Recovery of Western Civ. vital -- has been primary focus of Satan's attack
                        primarily to unglue Sword of Spirit -- union of Reason with Revelation - invincible weapon. 
                                Has brought West to its knees spiritually -- Church all but irrelevant --

       But rising tide of good Christian apologists --  
                        Many dedicated to Truth Principle -- that truth comes first before all else
                                be truth-seekers & truth-speakers...  at any cost to ourselves. 
                            If we wrong, we want to know -- based on evidence. 
                                Open, level playing field -- is where Kingdom of God is built... 

          Personal Salvation -- 
                 Ontological stability -  "You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you;
                            and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth." 
                        Witnessing requires ability to be my real self with a real testimony in front of potentially hostile
                                    magistrates, neighbors, friends, family -- anywhere, anytime, with anyone
                              Power of being, power of Holy Spirit - gives us that stability which Jesus had. 
                                    No one could make Him back down from being fully Jesus, Son of God.

                       We then have that ontological stability which world cannot give - a very practical, down to earth,
                             ordinary, yet extraordinary stability -- which no one, not even Satan, can touch
                                   Comes from Hand of God, too deep for anyone to touch.   
 

                Moral stability - "For this commandment which I command you this day is not too hard for you,
                            neither is it far off.  It is not in heaven, that you should say, 'Who will go up for us to heaven,
                            and bring it to us that we may do it....   But the word is very near you; it is in your mouth
                            and in your heart, so that you can do it."
 Deuteronomy 30:11 ff.
                                    Repentance, forgiveness, get right with God and fellow man...
                        Christians must further say that Jesus, Son of God, has brought the living Word down to us
                                No excuses for Christians being confused about the word of God
                                            IF we are truth-seekers -- at any cost to ourselves. 

              To be adults (freestanding individuals with moral and spiritual focus) we must be children in God
                        Mothered, Fathered, & Brothered by God. 
 
                    only then no longer children of world, subject to destructive, self-defeating forces of world
                            We in (openly engaged with) world,
                                        but not of (ontologically or morally dependent upon) world...
                            Worldly - of world, but unable fully to be in it -- always defensive, walled off 
                            Only children of God can be fully in world -- because not of it.

       Political Salvation
                Primary political question:   Whom or What do I Worship?  
                        I.e.,  What gives personal stability of my being?   What defines my moral direction? 
                  If we do not know answer to that question -- our Christian faith is in doubt.   
                           Bedrock question of all life. 
 

               Political Bondage -- see I Samuel 8 - God's warning what centralized government will do to you 
                        Godly government -- centralized only in God
                                    dispersed everywhere else -- to bring use of coercive force under law & grace of God
                                    save us from our worship of power. 

               Political Freedom -  ordered freedom - ordered by law & grace of God
                            as American Declaration of Independence & Constitution signify....

  Only possible cure for political bondage - Creator God who loves His creatures. 
            Sovereign over all things, including civil government
                    Jesus is Lord is political claim.   

  How unite separated & unfocused populace against small and narrowly focused government? 
                Difficulty of secular/pagan societies to unite -- must seek enemy, war, great cause (go to moon), etc.
                        will deliberately create crises to bring unity --- justify centralization of govt. 

       1.  Ontological stability - able to give powerful witness in face of threat, will not back down
                    from telling truth...  Face today's magistrates when they require
                                                        pinch of incense on secular/pagan altar
       2. Moral stability -- Moral unity among people supplies unity which rebellious government
                        cannot divide and conquer. 

              Foundation of free people is ontological stability & moral stability among the people --
                                unifying them in moral & thus also political direction

              Intellectual, Moral, & Spiritual consensus among people
                          will take down any evil government opposing them.
                                "Their arms are too short to box with God..."   (Title of play)

  Western Christians have been divided & conquered --
         like hard drives, we need defragging - excellent parallel --
                                our worldview and morality files need to be defragged.  
                    Only God can do that -- restore intellectual, moral, & spiritual consensus. 
        We had it at beginning of America - to significant degree -- now mostly lost
                Will require deep spiritual renewal among Christian population
                        working together with Jews who share our basic foundations. 

            To be adults in the world who can take on tyrannical government, we must be children in God 
                        Our adulthood in world stands on our childhood in God. 

                    Our political freedoms come from God just as personal salvation freedoms 
                            Only God of Bible can supply those stabilities. 
                            The secular/pagan/perennial world can only take them all away.
                        But secure in Christ, we are more than a match for anything world, flesh, or devil can throw at us. 

   Evangelism --  therefore
        MUST include clear presentation of worldview issues --
                               clear presentation of differences
                               clear presentation of two stabilities. 
                               clear presentation of gender roles under God
            all built on primal commandment -- to be truth-seekers at any cost to ourselves
                    defenders of open public arena & freemarket of ideas
                    Requires  (1) ending totally all government control of education - returning to parents & students & NGOs;  
                            (2) rebuilding of family life with husband as spiritual leader and wife as spiritual power; 
                            (3) recovery of Biblical form of government which alone can supply govt. for free people. 

See http://www.emmausmall.org/seminars.html for coming seminars.

 

Biblical Worldview -- Pagan Worldview

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Date Posted - 05/03/2010   -   Date Last Edited - 07/07/2012