From recent trip: Lake City to Creede to Buena Vista to Alamosa, Colorado. I live in Grand Junction and work with those in the throes of homelessness or on the verge of homelessness. It is an interesting lot: examining the 'welfare' aspect in this smaller town in the midst of great kindness. The mountains high to the east and the red of Utah to the west. The homeless deserve a home. The wage earners deserve a liveable wage. Welfare is in the quality of life and in supporting human flourishing. There are positive and negative outlooks toward community. A good way to heal this rift is in economic justice and positive education.
'The idea of philosophy is mediation - Christianity's is the paradox.'
If one holds to some (Christian) scripture, there is no mediation but a clear stance. If it is open and in the spirit of a greater inclusivity as in the blind man made to see's awareness of 'worship God and do his will and God will listen' (gospel of John), then assuredly the person will be cast out from the first.
This was a solution to the 'opposites' found in Samaritan and Jew. Jesus, after all was sacrificed between two 'others'. triad to synthesis or higher celebratory resolution. Jesus told the Samaritan woman, 'I who speak to you am he.' Devoid of titles, a simple statement of non-separation that includes the 'I am' (God) within triad of I, you, he(she).' We are all bound singularly.
How do we hold to the collective while sitting with the individual person right in front of one? There is difference and there is something in the space: there is potential and it is always in between you and me, he and she.
'But spirit is not bound to the universal; it is something absolutely particular, individual, though it can take up the universal within itself. Every spiritual act is, therefore, an individual meaningful act fusing thought and being. It is an individual meaning-fulfilling act. Considered in its cultural context, the reality in which the spirit-or spirit bearing form-lives and creates is meaningful reality. The meaningful reality represents the creative unity of thought, being and intuited meaning. Thus it represents the unity of intention toward the universal and the realization of creative individuality. Where the universal is ignored, the purely arbitrary results; where the creative individuality is ignored, pure abstraction or formalism is the consequence.'
' There are three elements in every awareness of meaning. First, an awareness of the content of meaning in which every separate meaning stands and without which it would be meaningless. Second, an awareness of the meaningfulness of the context of meaning and thus of every particular meaning, ie. the consciousness of an unconditioned meaning which is present in every particular meaning. Third, an awareness of the demand under which a particular meaning stands, to fulfill the unconditioned meaning.'
'....this unconditionedness of meaning is itself, however not a meaning, it is rather the ground of meaning.'
Paul Tillich's Philosophy of Culture, Science and Religion, James L Adams, p 58-59.
...'the Gestalt of grace in which the unconditioned meaning is expressed and in which the claim to exhaust it is renounced.' p 60.'
'...imbued by a principle supporting and at the same time breaking through them but not shattering them.' p 60
'Hence the command to Abraham to go out from his established space into an unknown future is symbolic of human existence in general. It is symbolic also of the spiritual and social struggles of our time, for today the deepest cause of struggle is the fact that the gods, the powers of limited space, resist being uprooted to grow into a more encompassing space, into a space for humanity and into a future in which human existence may fulfill itself anew.' p 103
'Tillich believed that a philosophy of meaning can be achieved only by bringing the autonomous and questioning attitude of philosophy into vital relation with the theonomous and integrating attitude of theology.' p 118
'In every spiritual act the orientation is toward the unconditioned meaning. Yet one can concentrate attention upon the forms or upon the import: if upon the forms, the attitude is autonomous; if upon the import, the attitude is theonomous.' p 158
'Thus the proper relationship is the maintenance of the tension between theonomy and autonomy, the former not annulling but rather deepening and fulfilling the latter, the latter providing the conditioned forms of, the inner assent to, the former.' p 164
re: import and form: 'The synthesis of the two may take various forms. It may be a heteronomous dogma. But the more desirable synthesis produces a metaphysical symbolism creatively adapted on the one hand to the theonomous attitude and on the other to the autonomous concept-material. Where this synthesis is successful we have theonomous metaphysics-the metaphysics that imbues autonomous forms with a theonomous attitude.' p 166
'In Tillich's mystical view, the principles of the macrocosm are given in the microcosm.' p 183
'...to establish the relation between theonomy and autonomy. For this reason, Tillich holds that philosophy of religion, understood in this context, is really theonomous philosophy deepening autonomy.'
'The ultimate goal of philosophy of religion is self-annihilation in favor of a theonomous philosophy that carries autonomy within it as an equally justified element.' p 185
'it is the task of the Christian mission to gather the potential, divided church out of all religions and cultures and to lead it into the actual church, and in so doing to transform potential world history into actual world history to give humanity a unified historical consciousness.' Tillich, Theology of Peace, p 39
People of science and of religion (one hundred and forty or so years earlier....): 'That the admired (men) of science in my most honored contemporary age, men whose concern in their search after the system is known to the whole congregation and who are concerned to find a place for sin within it, may find the above position highly unscientific is entirely in order. But let the congregation join in the search, or at least include these profound seekers in their pious intercessions; they will find the place as surely as he who hunts for the burning tow finds it when he is unaware that it is burning in his own hand.' Kierkegaard, The Concept of Anxiety, p 51, 1842
'If we are to influence global and planetary life, we will do it in cooperative interaction rather than in competitive strife. Our inter-relationship with life is a learning process of mutual inter-dependence and not that of exploitation, combat, and warfare, a lethal process which is almost certain to destroy us in the end.'
'Life is not determined by blind external forces; it is affected, by the quality of our respect for its inherent processes and our willingness to interact with and relate to all life forms in a gentle, non-exploitive cooperative manner.'
'Our universe is so vastly complex and mysterious that no one species (no matter how enlightened) and no one religious system (no matter how sophisticated) could comprehend and understand its totality.'
In remembrance of Fish Town, where food is scarce and conditions are harsh. This year I have a lot to work on. BW
“Any discussion of world poverty that does not come round to demanding a radical change in our habits of consumption and waste, our tastes, our profligate standard of living, our values generally is a hypocricy. There are no technical answers to ethical questions.’
Theodore Roszak, Where the Wasteland Ends
“The effect of life in society is to complicate and confuse our existence, making us forget who we really are, by causing us to become obsessed with what we are not.”
Thomas Merton, The way of Chuang Tzu
“Most of the luxuries, and many of the so-called comforts of life, are not only indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind.”
“The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it.”
“Shall we always study to obtain more of those things, and not be sometimes content with less?”
Henry David Thoreau, Walden
'The prevalent fear of poverty among the educated classes is the worst moral disease from which our civilization suffers.’
James, Varieties of Religious Experiences
'Driven by the forces of love, the fragments of the world seek each other so that the world may come into being.' 265-66
'To be fully ourselves it is in the opposite direction, in the direction of convergence with all the rest, that we must advance- towards the 'other'.' 263
'Also false and against nature is the racial ideal of one branch draining off for itself alone all the sap of the tree and rising over the death of the other branches.' 244
'Man is not the centre of the universe as once we thought in our simplicity, but something much more wonderful-the arrow pointing the way to the finalunification of the world in terms of life.' 224
'it centres itself further on itself by penetration into a new space, and at the same time it centres the rest of the world around itself by the establishment of an ever more coherent and better organized perspective in the realities which surround it.' 172
'the evidence that science, in its present-day reconstructions of the world, neglects an essential factor, or rather, an entire dimension of the universe.' 163
'What was the intention behind all my intentions, the fundamental intention which I represented rather than willed, the thing to which I was committed rather than committed myself? In unbelief I call that intention fate - what I was fated to do - in confidence I call it divine governance.'
'The more the world deceives, the more patience wins.'
'It is all a repetition, it is not a question of making a conquest, of hunting and seizing something, but of becoming more and more quiet, because that which is to be gained is there within a person, and the trouble is that one is outside oneself, because that which to be gained is in the patience, it is not concealed in it so that the person who patiently stripped off its leaves, so to speak, would finally find it deep inside but is in it so that it is patience itself in which the soul in patience inclosingly spins itself and thereby gains patience and itself.'
5/2016 add: 'One of the unfortunate aspects of modern times is precisely that 'the I', the personal I, has been abolished. And for this very reason it is as though genuine ethical-religious communication has disappeared from the world. For ethical-religious truth is related essentially to the personality and can be only communicated by an I to an I. As soon as the communication becomes objective, truth becomes untruth. Our destination must be the personality.'
D.T. Suzuki describing two forms of Buddhism. (Interest as it applies to Christianity):
'Both schools started with the same spirit, pursuing the same course. But after a while one did not feel any necessity for broadening the spirit of the master and adhered to his words as literally as possible; whilst the other, actuated by a liberal and comprehensive spirit, has drawn nourishments from all available sources, in order to unfold the germs in the original system that were vigorous and generative. These diverse inclinations among primitive Buddhists naturally led to the the dissension of Mahayanism and Hinayanism.'
'Mahayana Buddhism...is the Buddhism inspired by a progressive spirit, broadened its original scope, so far as it did not contradict the inner significance of the teachings of the Buddha, and which assimilated other religious-philosophical beliefs within itself.'
'Is there a religion which has shown some signs of vitality and yet retained its primitive form intact and unmodified in every respect?'
'...the Journey to the Lord of Power and the arrival in His presence, and the return, through Him, from Him to His Creation, without separation.'
'Every rational person must know that the journey is based upon toil and the hardships of life, on afflictions and tests and the acceptance of dangers and very great terrors. It is not possible for the traveler to find in this journey unimpaired comfort, security and bliss.'
'Revelation corresponds to the extent and form of knowledge. The knowledge of Him, from Him, that you acquire at the time of your struggle and training you will realize in contemplation later. But what you contemplate of Him will be the form of the knowledge which you established previously.'