The Big Question. (Spirituality & Prayer)
Thanks for that, Francis. It is most enlightening and valuable. I would argue that even if you, or your father, were not highly intellectual, you were heavily driven by some mythos or mythology — some "big picture" paradigm of what life was all about and how you each found a sense of satisfaction, meaning and personal peace or happiness. That comes through in what you have just written even if in it you don't actually spell out what your mythos or mythology was.
I agree with you (and Warren) that the world would benefit from becoming more meditative or reflective. I don't disagree with that at all. I don't see it though as "the only thing" that is required — which is what I pick up from the thrust of Warren's contributions. (Warren don't take this all personally. I am arguing with you about methodology of implementing the ideas you share with us, not the substance of the ideas.) The reality is that for all of us time is an immense prison. None of us can read all the books we'd like to read in our lifetimes, study all the courses we'd like to study, master all the technologies we'd like to master. We have to rely on other "authority figures" a lot of the time — even for fixing our computers (I'm glad you're back on air). As James has argued elsewhere in this string quite persuasively, we need to apply both Newtonian logic and Quantum logic if we are, for example, to master the challenges of space and explore our universe. Where I disagree with Warren is that he is so enthusiastic about his subject that he seems to be proposing a whole new religion that supplants either/or logic with both/and logic. I think the future will be a blend of the two but society will have to mediate between those who are masters at either/or logic and those who are masters at both/and logic just as if we are to conquer space — or anything in science — we need a mix of experts some of whom are more imbued in the Newtonian mindframe and those who are more imbued in the Quantum mindframe. The bald reality is that we all live in a macro world — not the micro world of quantum physics nor the gigantic world of cosmological physics. The ruling logic of the macro world is Newtonian and with it Aristotolean-type logic rather than Zen or Tao logic which applies more in the micro or cosmological surrounds which we do not inhabit for most of our day to day lives..
I think it is valuable having the likes of a Warren in a place like this fervently putting forward his view — and especially with the vast archive of quotes he has from some of the very best thinkers there are in these realms of investigation. Just as I'd hate to see some society ruled by a whole lot of quantum physicists or other scientific "nerds", I'd also hate to see some society ruled by a whole lot of Buddhist monks, or Catholic monks, who do nothing but meditate all day.
In response to Tom McMahon's commentary today on the American Catholic Council, what amazes me is the apathy of the great majority of ordinary pew sitters. The 2000 people who gathered in Detroit might seem a large number but it is miniscule compared to the number still participating Catholics across America. The results of these petitions in Australia and even the international ones organised out of Germany recently is similarly reflective of that. Benedict is correct in that the vast majority of people are not deep spiritual thinkers. They basically want a simple set of rules that they can use to navigate their lives and they're not the slightest bit interested in any heavy theology or deep thinking about spirituality and theology. Religion is basically ruled by tiny elites — the insecure, remant sector overwhelmingly co-dependent on authority figures and dogma in one corner that probably numbers no more than 5% of the baptised — they have no better success than the likes of a Peter Johnstone or a Paul Collins in organizing mass petitions — and over in another corner the sort of people who were enthused by Vatican II and who today can be seen in places like Catholica or attending events like the American Catholic Council or a Catalyst for Renewal Meeting. They also probably number no more than about 5% of the baptised. In another corner, and possibly with even smaller numbers, you'll have the Christian meditation sector, and over there the charismatics speaking in tongues. Another increasingly important sector these days I think is what I term the "professional church" — those who live out their religion and earn their living from it. Increasingly I see them as a "special category" all to themselves and with their own agenda that doesn't much actually intersect with any of the other agendas. That's a fairly new sector in the long history of Catholicism — and if the remnant sector continue to exert the influence they do on the institution I'm not sure the "professional sector" is going to have a very long life. The vast masses of ordinary people are basically pummelled by all of these groups but I'd argue they have marginal influence in "establishing the ruling mythologies or spiritual/religious paradigms" that are operating in any particular epoch in history. Their acceptance of the paradigm or mythologies that are dictated by the smaller groups is what determines though the overall direction in which an institution, like the Catholic Church, heads. And, if they end up rejecting all the paradigms — as seems to be the case at the moment — that can also have a big influence on the direction in which the institution heads.
Brian Coyne[Editor & Publisher]
- The Unity of the Trinity. - Warren, 2011-08-16, 16:13
- The Unity of the Trinity. - Brian Coyne, 2011-08-16, 16:56
- The Unity of the Trinity. - Francis, 2011-08-16, 17:46
- The Big Question. - Warren, 2011-08-17, 13:42
- The Big Question. - Brian Coyne, 2011-08-17, 15:04
- The Big Question. - Francis, 2011-08-17, 15:06
- The Big Question. - James, 2011-08-17, 15:25
- The Unity of the Trinity. - Marvemlb, 2011-08-17, 15:39
- The Unity of the Trinity. - Warren, 2011-08-17, 18:47
- The Big Question. - Warren, 2011-08-17, 13:42