Ką reiškia amžinas gyvenimas?
Kas yra amžinas gyvenimas?
Amžinas gyvenimas išsakomas šešiais atvaizdais - keturiais asmenimis (apimtimis), taip pat suvokimu (didėjančiu laisvumu) ir susiklausymu (mažėjančiu laisvumu).
Suvokimas, kad Dievas nebūtinai geras.
Suvokimas, kad mūsų kertinė vertybė nepakankama.
Gyvenimas Dievu: Dievo išsipildymas
Gyvenimas Savimi: Amžina branda, čia ir dabar.
Gyvenimas Tavimi: Gyvenimas klausimais. Žiūrėjimas ne į Dievą, o su Dievu.
Gyvenimas Kitu: Šviesuolių bendrystė.
Gyvenimas Visais: Gyvenimas susiklausymu
Amžinas gyvenimas ir gyvenimas
Amžiną gyvenimą (ir ypač šuolius bei sąmonės išsiskaidymus, vieningumus) išsako asmenų lygties lygmenys:
Dievas trokšta viso gerumo
I share my thoughts that "God seeks ALL good" and therefore allows for bad whenever there is related good. I offer my definition of "eternal life". I suggest that "God's love", in the sense that Frank Mosca points to, is a fruitful concept that we might first locate within our own minds, and then learn more by considering its implications for the CTMU.
I imagine that, above all, the CTMU is a hypothesis that our minds and the universe and all self-standing systems are structurally the same, when they are fully realized as to their potential. I suppose that is to say that metaphorical thinking is valid. For example, in Plato's Republic, Socrates compares the human soul with an entire city-state, and analyzes the state so as to draw conclusions about the soul.
This hypothesis lets us choose the system that we study so as to be able to explore the questions that we are interested in. The physical world is an amazing place to consider isolated, reproducible interactions at a variety of scales. A city-state is a helpful organism for considering how different outlooks structure themselves with regard to each other. I imagine that our own human lives are the domains where we have our best intuition as to how everything comes together as a whole. It is natural and appropriate to "anthropomorphize", to think as a human, when we try to grasp the meaning of it all, and anyways, that is the outlook from which we need to make sense of it all, in the end. But this is valid when we do so in the sense of a self-standing human because that is when the metaphor definitely holds. We are brought up not to consider ourselves as self-standing (think of the oddness of Jesus' "I Am" or the self-centeredness of an infant). However, we can imagine God's outlook and thereby escape the social realities that we have consented to. Perhaps God is sufficiently important to us as simply the ever present possibility (and through the historical Jesus, an actuality, and the Creator, a necessity) that we may imagine and access a self-standing perspective (a Why).
From this view, it is valid to sketch out conclusions based on our aesthetic sense (what idea we find most beautiful, what we would like to believe) that is also faithful to the facts that we find. For our aesthetic sense is, I imagine, a faculty onto a self-standing system that it relates us to. The conclusion which is most beautiful is the one that is true. That is, I think, the purpose of our aesthetic sense. The facts are there, apparently, to force us to unfold, enrich our aesthetics. They are like dust on panes of glass that let us see the glass even as we see through it. In general, I suppose, our aesthetic sense tends towards the minimal solution.
For example, in suburban Orange County, California, in many ways a real utopia, I grew up thinking that evil is just a misunderstanding. It was only when I lived for several summers in Soviet-occupied Lithuania - in a different culture outside my own - that I saw evil. I saw a system designed to corrupt people, to break their spirit, and to enroll them. I saw that people were choosing - some to participate in that, succumb to it, take up its outlook, and others to stand up to that system. But the participants - the dissidents themselves - would say that those KGB officers were just victims, too. Living within their own culture, they could not see that, actually, they were all making choices which were relevant as to why some ended up as dissidents, and some ended up as tyrants. When I lived or stayed in different cultures, and felt the logic of segregation in Chicago, or the castes in Bangalore, then I could see it there, too. And I could start to understand why somebody might speak of a demon as afflicting a drug-addict, as if using them for a nest or shell, or a curse that one might physically feel upon crossing a street that is all-black on one side and all-white on the other, or an invisible wall that keeps one human from making eye contact and makes another confident to do so. Finally, I could step a bit outside of my own native culture and realize the struggle taking place that Chris describes, and that we're all part of it. All of this to point to the empirical and visceral reality of evil as a system that seeks to trap us into a hell of manipulations.
Aesthetically, what might be the purpose of such evil? What does that suggest about God? Especially if, aesthetically, we wish to believe that God is good?
For me, the simplest answer is that God seeks ALL good. Aesthetically, there must be at least some good which there could be without any bad. This is to say that good is greater than bad. That although they are opposites, in some way, good is marked as the relevant one, the self-standing one. Good allows for bad, perhaps requires bad, but yet stands on its own, independently of bad. Slack is a structure which models this. We imagine slack as either increasing or decreasing. They are both slack. But decreasing slack exhausts itself, whereas increasing slack does not. They are both "good" and are both representations of the underlying "good", and yet, as opposites, one is good and the other is bad.
To say that "God seeks ALL good" means that what's important to God is good, not bad. God is willing to introduce a lot of bad if that's what it takes to have an extra bit of good. He wants ALL of it - he is a megalomaniac. If we think of Scripture as a self-standing body of wisdom that is greater than our own minds, that stretches our minds beyond the strictures of logic, and opens our minds to our full ability, then we see examples of this: the shepherd who risks the 99 sheep to go out and find the 1 lost sheep.
The practical utility of this position is that wherever we see bad, there must be good that required it, and so we can look for that good and reinterpret in terms of it. But we do not have to leave the good and look for related bad, as there need not be any. Indeed, we can leave our own good and go beyond ourselves to give slack, to allow for bad and also good - to increase slack so that slack might decrease. And we can learn to do that effectively - don't do good in ways that set us up to feel bad or do bad where we'd regret that - give just a little bit of slack, as that is all it takes - and be creative and ready to always give it - and discover new dimensions in which to give it.
In this way we are participating in God's work to pull all the good together so that it's clear that it all is definitely good. We're making his life easier, we're sharing an aesthetic. If he doesn't do it through us, then he'll have to do it through somebody else, and why? We choose whether we want to be unravelers or simply unraveled. We live forever as unravelers if we help with the unraveling.
I like the thought which came up (was it Chris? or Franz?) that purpose (Why) is what we can introduce at any point to bring out moral implications. The perspective Why - an external reason, not simply an internal reason How - is what makes any system just as important as any other as a reference point. The perspective Why is that which presents it as self-standing and thus able to participate in the metaphors which link all such systems. Allowing for an answer, Why open us to integration with other systems.
In thinking about the mind, I am familiar with a division of everything into four perspectives: whether, what, how, why. I find this structure to have two representations. We may think them in terms of an observer, as questions: Whether? What? How? Why? Or we may think of them in terms of an observed, as answers: Whether! What! How! Why! In terms of the idealism of the observer, Why? is most important, and Whether? seems inconsequential, whereas in terms of the materialism of the observed, Whether! is most substantial, and Why! seems inconsequential.
I suppose that evil arises when a system is not open to integration with other systems yet takes itself as self-standing. It doesn't need a Why!. I suppose it is supported by an idealism that doesn't need a Whether?, that is willing to go along with whatever.
I think that we need to open ourselves to allow for straddling at all four levels, so that Observer and Observed might see through us, as through those panes of glass.
Šiaip gyvenimas ir amžinas gyvenimas
I would like to write more about "life" and "eternal life" as opposites, much like "decreasing slack" and "increasing slack". Briefly, we may think of life as the goodness of God (or structurally, anything is everything plus slack). But, as I read in the Gospel of John, eternal life is understanding the goodness of God. To understand the goodness of God is to keep the two concepts separate, to recognize good and God as independent concepts, and not to assume that they are related. Unfortunately, so often we presume that God is good. That is very harmful because it diminishes what God means to us. In our lives, we can testify to many injustices which have yet to be fixed. It is too early for us as witnesses to say that God is good. The facts aren't in yet! And to claim to know that God is good is to make him unreal. If we look forwards, outwards, then we think in terms of increasing slack, that yes, perhaps in the very end God is good, and yet there is an eternity of possibility for him to have that be so. God is not constrained by good, he does not have to be good, it is up to him whether he is. By presuming his goodness, we are constraining him, our narrow little minds are binding him to good, and we are therefore looking backwards. Our lives are finite, and we can explain away everything in them, until there is nothing left, and we have death.
I find it helpful to recognize that I, as a human, find it hard enough to wish for my own "life". In general, we tend to tune ourselves out, to diminish ourselves, to be unsuccessful, to dissipate ourselves, to walk away from our life. And so "eternal life" isn't even relevant. Scripture inspires me that it is not my wish, but God's wish that I live forever. If we define "love" as "support of life" (to love X = to support the life of X), then it is God's love for us that makes for eternal life. That is what God wants for us, not what we want for ourselves. If we understand life, if we understand the goodness of God, and if we disentangle the concepts of God and good, then we can look forwards, we can appreciate the reality of life so far, and we can be open to all the wrongs so far that may be yet redeemed, and all the many good things left that might come. We can and do live this "eternal life" now when we choose to allow for the open question of God's goodness and participate as a player - when we are sensitive, responsive, engaged. And we choose "death" when, alternatively, we consider it all closed and let that logic unravel any slack we have.
I liked very much Frank Mosca's letters. I think that the relation between "love" and "life" is very much that kind of give and take, that slack between structure and activity, which we may aesthetically ascribe to God with regard to us. And I am thinking that, just as we ought to shift from focusing on "life" to "eternal life" as I sketch above, but so we might shift from "love" (support of life as we might see it) to "God's love" (support of our life as the eternal life that he cares about).
If we live the open-ended outlook of eternal life, then I think that the CTMU might say that such an outlook can't be snapped by any physical events. Instead, we take our outlook with us, and all of our life which it connects to, into a broader reinterpretation that is open to connect with other such. Our life can be stopped only if we restrict ourselves to a closed outlook which, sadly, is the one that our society presumes upon us, and the one that would have us be reduced to nothing more than that which we have already been. The proof, so to speak, is that we are able to have an outlook "eternal life" which is not what we ourselves want, but what is given to us nonetheless, and which connects the unfolding future to our openness to it, so that it has a stake in our being ever alive, and we're able to drag the "real world" along with us, "uncollapsed" I suppose. The Psalmist clings to God's glory, for if his fate is tied to God's glory, then he will ever be alive.
In summary, I think that God would not be attractive if he might might forbid some good because it would also bring bad. I think that we, as systems, open ourselves and break out of evil by allowing for the question Whether? and the answer Why! as they naturally transcend us. Allowing for an answer Why! makes our question Why? meaningful, and allowing for a question Whether? makes our answer Whether! meaningful. We can thereby open ourselves to integration by that which is truly bigger than us, so that it might peer through us, see itself through us, and so live through us.
I think that the nature of life continuing openly, uncollapsed by physical events, is a question that we might apply the CTMU to, especially in defining further, what is life? We might be able to show what structures and activities in this world are actually relevant to that broader world. We might engineer bridges back and forth with that broader world, perhaps through prayer and good deeds. This might also have application to our health care systems. I look forward to exploring connections between the CTMU and my own quest "to know everything and apply that usefully". I'm especially stirred by Frank's letters on what I might think of as God's love. Here is my current attempt at an Overview of how everything unfolds.
Day of Judgment
Andrius: God will account for himself. He will silence those who account for him. This is the logic and the story of the Book of Job, when he silenced Job's friends and responded to Job and rewarded him. He will be separate from the good, and not reduced to it. And this is eternal life. And this day is brought on by the innocent victims who require justice. This is the message of the Book of Revelations. For God is a borrower who borrows from those to whom he gives.
Gyvenimas įdomus, kad vis nežinai, kas bus toliau. O ko daugiau žinai, to labiau nežinai, kas bus toliau ir to įdomiau.