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Messages - Athanasius contra mundum

[1] 2 ... 18
Interzone / Re: Heathen Imperialism by Julius Evola
« on: February 23, 2012, 01:59:24 PM »
De Monarchia is loads better.

Interzone / Re: How to get brutally misled
« on: February 22, 2012, 02:16:02 AM »
While I don't really approve of Protestantism in any form, the experience of it from a rural perspective is quite different from the one you offered. I can see traces of it in the media though, in all of those ugly mega-churches that more so resemble a utilitarian shopping mall than a work of art like a Gothic cathedral.

Interzone / Re: How to get brutally misled
« on: February 18, 2012, 09:59:25 PM »
The author of the above article could use a crash course in the distinction and reconciliation of spiritual law and natural law. St. Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologica would probably serve as excellent course material.

It has been noted too many times that the Christianity that is most popular today is foreign to the Church that Christ intended to establish, and I am here to inform you all that this was intentional on the part of enemies of the Church in an attempt to destroy their greatest enemy, the greatest conservative institution, from the inside out. The Catholic (universal) Church isn't the only Church that suffered this attempted transformation.

Interzone / Re: How to get brutally misled
« on: February 17, 2012, 07:45:45 PM »
Something tells me that you only read my posts far enough to surmise that I wasn't anti-Christian and then proceeded to make a series of assumptions about me which strangely seem to include my having an aversion to taking the life of another being; in reality I'm an advocate of the death sentence and the burning of heretics, and all of those other things one must do to protect society, as you put it. Have fun in the echo chamber.

Interzone / Re: How to get brutally misled
« on: February 17, 2012, 01:26:38 PM »
The Christian Bible is an amalgam of all previous religions, made compatible (roughly) with each other and simplified to a crowd-pleasing level.

This is one reason that Christianity is growing worldwide: it is the simplest form of the message which is shared among the wise of all religious Traditions.

(This leads us to ask: is it esoteric wisdom, or a particular tradition, which conveys meaning?)

I think that many of the most profound thinkers in history would disagree with you. As has already been outlined countless times, the pretender to the throne that has gained sway within the world is an impostor, and Christ Himself said that not everyone who cries 'Lord, Lord' will be admitted into paradise. Furthermore, Christianity is not an amalgam of any prior religions but a fulfillment of the Christian truth implicit in those religions but unrealized (fully) by them. This is one reason why one can detect themes within Christianity that are uncannily similar to those found in other religious traditions, and another reason is that Christianity also recognizes some seasonal celebrations and values that are universal.

Ultimately you will all kneel before the Cross, either willingly or by compulsion.

Interzone / Re: How to get brutally misled
« on: February 17, 2012, 09:40:21 AM »

Love is the ability to do what is necessary to make goodness in life.

Sometimes, that includes evil acts -- frequently, in fact. If you want to defend your land, you must kill; if you do not defend, many die or are enslaved. If you want to stop criminals, you must beat, shoot and jail them and deny their self-expression. C'est la vie.

Good and evil together make reality.

There is no escaping evil. Or hatred.

For they are essential to love.

Constantly you reference a really faulty definition of good and evil. Good is that at which all things aim, the actualization of their potential which is contained in their nature. Evil is a privation of this good, in other words it is any deficiency that creates an obstacle to the actualization of potential. Obviously it is against human nature to allow our children to be killed or molested, and obviously not stopping a person from doing so is to betray our nature.

Evil is not an aspect of reality, it is a lack of it. The nature of reality is to exist, and so its privation would be what creates an obstacle to reality existing more actually, i.e. awareness coming to a full understanding of reality and thus a part of reality consistently reaffirming its existence, ergo evil for reality is a lack of reality.

And the quotations from Scripture you provided are rather spot on in their understanding of love. The love described in those passages, in context with the rest of the Christian tradition and not meaninglessly isolated, is intended to create a portrait of Aristotle's virtuous individual, the magnanimous man, or great soul. A great soul does not become exceedingly excited or distressed at anything, and neither does he become deficiently excited or distressed at anything; he understands something for what it really is, and responds in accordance with its nature. This is love because love by its very nature has to be an expression of unselfish commitment, and in order to commit oneself to something unselfishly one must understand what the thing is truly before he can commit himself to it through action. An example of love is to fervently ask that a pedophile repent of his actions in truth after telling him that he will be executed, so his repentance can be made sincere by the urgency of impending doom.

Interzone / Re: Orthos
« on: February 15, 2012, 04:09:18 PM »
Are the two that opposite?

No, they're not. God created the universe ex nihilo, as nothing that is in the universe did not receive its being from God, since being predicates the attributes of all things which have being.

I remember in my initial foray into Vedanta coming across an explanation of how something can come from nothing.  They used the metaphor of a wet dream.  Arousal happens entirely in the sleeping mind but when you wake up, there is the physical result.

So maybe the universe is simply God's ejaculate.

That's actually not an entirely bad metaphor, although it serves little utility other than to be amusing.

Interzone / Re: FACT: USA Possibly the Gayest Nation in History
« on: February 05, 2012, 01:42:39 AM »
FACT: Possibly the best title for a thread in history.

Interzone / Re: Orthos
« on: February 04, 2012, 10:25:12 PM »
Are the two that opposite?

No, they're not. God created the universe ex nihilo, as nothing that is in the universe did not receive its being from God, since being predicates the attributes of all things which have being.

If God permeates all consciousness and being, how is the universe not both product of God and his being?

Creation is certainly a product of its Creator, but it is not the being of the Creator. The being of God is self-subsistent, unqualified, and atemporal (all qualities which actually collapse into one another in the actus purus that is God). Created being is received being, and God both gives things their being at their creation and holds them in being from moment to moment.

If God is not anthropomorphic and personalitied, how is he not an animistic / pantheistic existence?

Because God is both immanent and transcendent. His Essence transcends comprehension, as It is the Confluence of all actuality; in other words It is the perfectly Being all that any particular thing that exists can be. We recognize that things really are things in any given present instance, but that they are subject to mutability over a series of those present instances. That thing cannot be all the things it has, may, or will be at once, but we don't want to come to the wrong conclusion that the change exists and the thing doesn't as a result. That conclusion leads us down the road to many errors, such as relativism and dualism, for the road to Hell is wide. If we could imagine what any given thing could be if it was all that it can be, we would conclude that its most perfect being would be unqualified Being. A conclusion of this line of thought is that since all processes in time are the process of things moving to an actual form that was implied by the actual form's prior potential form, the end that all things move towards is pure Actualization, and thus the end of all things is God. This also means that God is Good in Itself, since good is defined (as per Aristotle) as 'that at which all things aim'.

In that case, it makes sense that the universe = God and created itself.

Not quite. Panentheism (God pervades and transcends the cosmos) makes a lot more sense than pantheism (God's Being is the being of the cosmos), because pantheism is a really shaky basis for morality. Build your house on sand, the apparent mutability of the world, and it will fall with a great crash; build your house on a rock, the principles by which that mutability is actualized, and you will glorify those principles and as a result the world through your understanding.

From a monist perspective -- the only sensible one -- the universe is either all matter (and then how did it begin?) or all thought, with matter being a consequence of that thought.

The second part of your statement is partially true, but one would have to understand what thought in this context is. As you said above, God (the Father), is NOT an anthropomorphic entity.

Even more, monism would posit that matter as a subset of existence creates with it time, which means that on some level there are no beginnings and endings -- only the thoughts of a universe creating itself, or a God developing itself, or a God creating a universe of itself so that it can discover itself through the mechanism of "consciousness," which is time-dependent but capable of analysis as a result, where an all-knowing thing is limited by the fact that it cannot know -- it can only Be.

For the most part that is profound and correct. As nothing that has being contains anything that God did not give to it, then God is aware of the entire spectrum of potential forms for any given thing. This isn't really predestination, but more so a continuous act of unfolding eternity. From the atemporal perspective, the realization of this eternity is always complete, but from the temporal perspective the clash of beings actualizing creates the impression of linear time. At some point, obviously, that which cannot persist is going to be burned away and what will remain will be more perfectly actualized than what preceded it.

Food for thought. Producing flatulence for fear.


Interzone / Re: Hinduism
« on: February 03, 2012, 04:52:06 AM »
Also of value, and from the same source as my previous post, these are responses by Kristor to questions asked in the comments section.

In his valuable comment, Peter S. asks, “how exactly is one to view a Ramanuja, Honen or Chuang Tzu as bearing witness to an incipient Christianity, of whatever partial expression?” I didn’t say that they did. I said that shamanism, animism, paganism, and the religions of the Greeks and Hebrews are incipiently Christian. What I meant to indicate by that, in passing, was that shamanism and animism are both confluent in the high religions of the Greeks and the Hebrews, which both in turn fertilized each other – one should really include Babylon, Persia and Egypt, and the other Canaanite religions in this mix – and were then integrated in various ways in the religious sects of first century Palestine, which gave rise both to Christianity and to rabbinical Judaism. To this very day, the insights and methods of all its precursors – its forerunners – are to be found vibrantly alive somewhere in Christianity. The Christian inheritance from Athens and Jerusalem are explicitly recognized in the Creed, which is couched in their terms. Less often noticed is the legacy both to Athens and Jerusalem of their pagan, animist, and shamanist antecedents; yet this does not make the inheritance less real.

Of the high religions of China and India, by contrast, I would say rather that they are partial than incipient participations in the True Religion. As compared with orthodox Christianity they are less complete expressions of its Truth. I don’t for a moment think that Christianity has yet discovered all the implicate doctrines of that True Religion, nor does the Church; this is why she holds that doctrine can develop – can enlarge and enfold – without essentially changing or contradicting antecedent doctrinal discoveries. E.g., Aquinas does not contradict Dionysius, but amplifies and ramifies him. But I do think that Christianity has encompassed more of the True Religion than either India or China. Hinduism and Taoism both exemplify the sophia perennis, albeit with differing emphases, and to the extent that they do – a very great extent – they are coterminous with the True Religion, and therefore agree with Christianity. But Christianity expresses truths that the other high religions do not. All the truths of Hinduism and Taoism are therefore expressed in Christianity, but not vice versa. So, the Christian intersection with the True Religion is more extensive. It is as if the other high religions of the world each employs many of the available stops, while Christianity employs all of them. All the high religions run the gamut, but only Christianity does so using the diapason.

And this may be why India, Africa and China are all going Christian. Christianity doesn’t contradict them, anymore than it contradicts Athens or Jerusalem. To the extent that they are true, and in the ways that they are true, it includes them. Thus a Taoist – or a Hindu, or a Jew – may become Christian without contradicting his previous creed, but not vice versa.

I highly recommend Christ the Eternal Tao. A fascinating book, if only for the historical background it provides on the history of Christianity in China (extremely ancient), and in particular of Russian missionary efforts there.

The upshot: Taoism is a highly evolved, practical application of the Stoic doctrine of the Logos to spiritual work, quotidian life, and politics. So is Christianity, of course. As Patrick H says, the difference between the two is that in the latter the Logos is incarnate in the world, not just generally, but particularly in the person of a man. The Christian revelation enables us to understand that the general revelation of the Logos in every moment of the creation discerned by Taoism and Stoicism is effected by virtue of the Incarnation; that the Incarnation in particular and incarnation in general, and indeed also revelation, creation, redemption, and inspiration, are not different procedures, but the same procedure under different aspects. Incarnate as Jesus of Nazareth, the Logos is ipso facto incarnate in the whole cosmos, from beginning to end; for no body is an island; the world is, rather, a coherent, integrated whole. That’s the only way we could be parts of it. Jesus then is the whole of the Divine influx, and is thus the source of Natural Law, from before the very beginning. This is not to cheat other created beauties of their own participation in the Divine flux, but just to point out that, the Church as the Body of Christ being coextensive with the whole created order in Heaven and Earth, when we notice the beauty of some creature, we notice her Creator.

Peter draws an analogy between devotion to a creed and devotion to a particular woman. Point taken; but the analogy falls apart when we consider that while there are many beautiful instantiations of Woman (hurrah!), there is only one instantiation of God. Worshiping anything but God – idolatry – is therefore analogous, in the terms of Peter’s analogy, to adultery. Indeed, the prophets repeatedly recur to the analogy of religious to sexual infidelity. NB however that idolatry is a far deadlier problem than adultery, for it constitutes an error about the very First Thing; inasmuch as all the Law and the Prophets depend upon the utmost love of God, such an error cannot but redound to every department of life, depraving the whole shooting match – subtly perhaps, but nevertheless lethally. So it is uniquely, crucially (as it were) important to get religion right; the stakes are ultimate, and total, and permanent.

I should clarify the difference Peter rightly notices between my statement in my first comment that Christianity *just is* the historical instantiation of the True Religion, and my statement in my second that its intersection with the True Religion is more comprehensive than that of other religions. The statements do not differ in substance, but only in their temporal perspective. To wit: sub specie temporalis, Christianity is at any point in its history (including those points BC) but a partial expression of the True Religion. But, sub specie aeternitatis, and considered over its whole history out to the eschaton, Christianity *just is* the True Religion. In other words, I would say, with the Church, that Christianity has not completely expressed the True Religion *so far* (so that there is much room still for the development of the Church’s understanding of its own doctrines); but this is not to say that it will not ever do so. Indeed, Christianity will have achieved its own perfection only at the eschaton; only then will Christian doctrine reach its own completion, by virtue of a complete and total revelation, that spells everything out to the last jot. But, also, when that completion is achieved, so ipso facto will the explicit expression of the doctrine of the True Religion be also completed (and, not superfluously, enacted)(at that point, our world’s participation in the Sanctus will be made whole)(i.e., we will participate fully, and without defect, in that love that binds together the communion of all the saints and angels, and that echoes the love internal to the Trinity)(this full participation is what Paul means by saying that at the eschaton, Christ will be all in all).

So, while Christian doctrine does not yet exhaustively express the doctrines of the True Religion, Christianity is nevertheless the True Religion, and sooner or later it will. We could equivalently say that while shamanism does not yet exhaustively express the doctrines of the True Religion, even in its Christian implementation, shamanism is nevertheless, like Christianity, an approach to the True Religion, and will sooner or later, as it is carried forward in the Church, exhaustively express – conform itself to – the True Religion. Like shamanism, all other religions will in the fullness of time be revealed as partial expressions, not just of the True Religion, but of Christianity, period full stop. In this they will be, not repudiated, but completed, and transcended, and fully, rightly implemented – as the Church has always insisted that it is the fulfillment and correction both of the religion of Israel, and of the philosophical paganism of the Greeks, and as Hieromonk Damascene insists it is the fulfillment of Taoism.

Considered then as permeating the whole history of the world, Christianity is ubiquitous in time and space, and every fact expresses its truths, even if only to dispute them (thus is sin essentially a disagreement with Reality, and with the true nature of its effective agent). This is what is meant by the Christian doctrine that the redemption of the whole world – i.e., of the whole of cosmic history – in Christ has been prepared by the Father from before all worlds. So that, when in the order of human history there was as yet no religion but animism, or then animism plus shamanism, still nevertheless Christianity, in its fullness, was then completely present, however partial its explicit expression. Christianity is, by implication from mere being, necessarily everywhere fully present, and making itself felt. For, Truth is necessarily implicit in its fullness at every instance of existence. But different instants differ in the fullness of their explication of that Truth, which forms and provides for them all.

The True Religion natural to man, then, just is Christianity. It’s just that, for now, the manner in which its full revelation reconciles all religious feeling, and all religious truths, is still hidden from our sight. Thus while today it may be true that, “to claim that all the truths of other religions are expressed in Christianity and not the reverse appears dubious on its face,” we must remember that for now we see but darkly, and eventually we shall see clearly just how it is so.

Interzone / Re: Hinduism
« on: February 03, 2012, 04:45:04 AM »
Sunday, 29 January 2012
Comparative religion from a Christian perspective - Kristor writes

From an e-mail by Kristor:

Comparative religion is useful to me in that it helps me limn the Religion of Adam, the religion naturally proper to natural man, which I take (and the Fathers took) to be Christianity.

The key thing is this.

If as a scholar of religion you approach Christianity as but one errant creature among many, as rather a taxonomist than a metaphysician, then you are on the road to Hell, or at least to nowhere (is there a difference between nowhere and Hell?)...

But if on the other hand you approach other religions as defective/partly successful & right approximations of the True Religion you are trying to discover and comprehend and practice, as rather a metaphysician than a taxonomist,

...why then you are almost bound in the course of your studies to arrive at the conclusion that orthodoxy – traditional Christianity, of whatever lobe of whatever “lung” – is the historical instantiation of that True Religion, and is thus the True Church...

(understanding the Church as extending throughout the cosmos (and indeed beyond it),

...and thus ipso facto throughout all human history, so that Christianity simply must be present incipiently in shamanism and animism, and in high paganism of the Neo-Platonist/Pythagorean sort, as in high Hebrew polytheism (El & His Son YHWH plus his pantheon of angels);

...and so that it is present at least partially in any religion that succeeds at informing a virtuous life of true human flourishing, or at fostering wisdom (however “merely” practical that wisdom).


Interzone / Re: Hinduism
« on: February 02, 2012, 08:37:51 AM »
Here's a thought, albeit one with a few obvious flaws.  Since Hinduism is essentially the last remaining traces of the older Indo-European religions of the past, is there any possible way we could find some way to make one solid religion that marries all the features of these religions together, or at least carries the basic structure of all.  I think it's possible. 

One united Patriarch Sky-God religion based on reverence to nature and building one's self toward the stature of Gods. 

I've got just the thing for ya!

Interzone / Re: Becoming a Priest
« on: January 19, 2012, 12:10:21 AM »
Christianity is already anti-dualist inherently, and has opposed it in the past many times over.

Best of luck in your endeavors friend! Deo gratias!

Interzone / Re: Christianity and saving the West from itself
« on: January 16, 2012, 03:42:33 AM »
The complaints levied against the passion of our Lord and Savior read like the speculations of the philosophically illiterate. Whining and crying? Please try to use less paltry terminology when discussing a central doctrine to an institution that has accumulated over 2,000 years of experience and learning. Christ's sacrifice was the unification of the spiritual with the material and was undertaken for the sole purpose of making theosis possible. In the context of the sacrifice of the Eucharist, a necessary component of the Christian Faith to all but heretics, this is the exact opposite of a doctrine that expects nothing out of you.

Interzone / Re: Christianity and saving the West from itself
« on: January 12, 2012, 02:59:31 AM »
For the sake of discussion please avoid that sort of commentary.

The threat of eternal damnation is gravely misunderstood by most modern adherents of the Gnostic heresy they style as Christianity.

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