Graves’ spiral and Spirit
At the risk of drawing Ernest Everhard’s opprobrium for getting all “up in the air,” let’s take a brief look at how Spirit relates to vMEMEs. We said previously that religions (most flavors) are prototypical of the Blue [DQ] vMEME. Conflating spirit with ‘religions’ easily creates a false impression when thinking about the spiral—e.g., that the spiral subsumes religion/spirit. Some SD purists may somehow see spirituality as a Blue footnote to the grand design of the Spiral. However, I’d counter that conflated notion seriously confuses matters. Better to say, Spirit creates the grand design of the Spiral. But, we’ll not quibble here. Feuerbach literalists notwithstanding, my writings take anthropology as a subset of theology.
Graves research and resulting theory defines a bio/psycho/social (double-helix spiral) model of human values development. The bio/psycho/social dimensions—in relationship with Life Conditions—are constituent/component aspects of the Spiral. Spirit is the ground of being for the Spiral. Though paradoxical, I will attempt to describe using words.
We may think of it even as Plato would have it, essentially two distinct spheres: finite (Matter) and infinite (Spirit). Here, though, unlike Plato, matter and Spirit are in union as, curiously, these quite distinct spheres are not-two. The spiritual sphere simultaneously coincides with the material sphere and yet transcends it. So, narratively, I take a panentheistic view with regard to the relationship between matter and spirit. If existence/the universe is God’s body, then Tillich’s ‘G-d beyond God’ is the very ‘ground of being.’ On this view, the Uncreated was a priori to the Big Bang; that is, for purposes of doing theology, Spirit preceded matter (Creation ex nihilo). Macrina’s very early mystical argument (see here) forms an image that can help point (metaphorically) toward panentheism.
I am not sure if poetry and narrative are the only verbal ways to relate paradox. Perhaps. The old story of an exchange between Jesus and Nicodemus helpfully differentiates the spheres (read John 3.1-9). The key is a polysemous Greek term, “ánōthen.” The author is opportunistic with its double entendre. Strong’s reads:
ἄνωθεν ánōthen, an’-o-then; from above; by analogy, from the first; by implication, anew:—from above, again, from the beginning (very first), the top.
Nicodemus serves as a foil in this narration to delineate those of the Johannine community as children of God—those born of God are able to see/enter the kingdom of God. These two translations of John 3.3 reflect two possible meanings of the Greek term (my emphasis):
3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born anew [or again], he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (RSV)
3 Jesus answered him, ‘Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.’ (NRSV)
Nicodemus was flummoxed because he took the perspective of flesh (matter) and heard the born again meaning. Jesus differentiated/distinguished the perspective of the kingdom of God (Spirit), and the Johannine community heard the born from above meaning as they heard (and saw) as children of God. How does one become a child of God? Jesus spells it out in verse five and it, again, affirms what the community already knows: Baptism (“born of water and the Spirit”).
New site title
The legacy site title: #ReturnToDecency.
New sub-head: …writings from outside your Overton window?
Return to decency. Probably harmless enough. The notion struck me as crucially important in November, 2016, after Donald Trump was elected. This was surely a function of my grief. Now, it’s come to strike me as far too romantic, way too nostalgic.
It was always meant as a play on words as ‘return’ flies in the face of an axiom of contextual reality: we cannot stand in the same river twice. I’d forgotten my romantic longings for a lost bond of political naïvety with most of my fellow citizens, and a time before our social innocence was sacrificed on the altar of cable news and The Trump Presidency Show.
The initial point of the blog was that ‘decency’ shows up looking a bit different in form depending on what values system a person is using to process their sense of reality. I mean, decency is decency in essence, but the question very quickly becomes: Who gets to be included in decency, and how?
So, then, what’s the new site title? I don’t know yet. Assuming, for the purposes of this question, that you wouldn’t just as soon I simply put a sock in it, what (theme) umbrella would you put over my writings here? Accepting your suggestions on a new name for the page.
I never know what I’ve said till I hear the response. What did you hear me say?