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Tag Archives: Theology

So this is what I do in a boring period in AP English and AP Economics and Credit Recovery, write extremely rambling explanations of my theories on philosophy.

I think that defining one’s philosophy ought to be somewhat systematic. While my system may not work for everyone, this is what I consider the simplest and most efficient way to get at your true beliefs. First must come observation and speculation. You must observe the way reality works and the truths inherent in it, and speculate on what is non-observable. If the two are separate they are useless, they must complement each other as one process. Next comes contemplation, piecing observations and speculations together, and finding what truths you believe to be evident in the world of creation and the superb, or whether you even find those to be evident. Next comes finding labels, which are used to explain your beliefs, labels cannot define your beliefs, but can allow you to consider them in a more systematic way. I think the three categories of your personal philosophy that need labeling are your philosophic method, your cosmology, and your ethic. With these you have a largely complete world view that you can compare to others. This can be called a MCE, and I will use that acronym for the rest of the post.

For me, my MCE is that of a Rationalistic <a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panentheism”>Panentheistic Humanist. As with everyone, there may be multiple names for each category that your philosophy falls under, or none. For me mine falls well into pre-established labels.

Rationalism means that I believe that the created world works under certain logical laws and that conclusions about it must follow from observation and logical laws. This is largely true for the superb as well. I do not however believe that our logic is the highest form; I do not think this means that rational struggles are useless, just hard.

Panentheism means I believe God is transcendent over creation, yet is also the summary of creation. Some people may use this to meant that God exists in creation and outside of it. I personally do not believe that God exists as such, but that he transcends. Panpsychism, Monism, Holism and Idealism also apply, but in lesser ways. Panentheism is not the same as Pantheismwhich holds that creation and God are synonymous. I am a big fan of Platonic Universals and Forms.

My ethic is Humanism. I view the indomitable spirit of man as largely synonymous with God, though God transcends it. I believe that that which creates the highest human equilibrium is the most moral, and that the most moral actions are those that allow the largest amount of men to realize the largest amount of their human potential.

From this MCE you can draw greater conclusions. I personally, upon examination of science and world philosophical traditions am drawn to accept the claims of Bahá’u’lláh, founder of the Bahá’í Faith. For this reason I identify as a Bahá’í. As a Bahá’í I view the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh as in agreement with my MCE in every way, and adding to it. For each person these conclusions can be different, perhaps political, perhaps religious, perhaps personal.

This is the rationalization I use to define my Panentheism and Humanism. The rationalism may need a further definition, but I am glad to let its use be its own justification for use. These are statements I view to be self-evident, but mutually justifying.

  1. YOU MAY NEED TO USE THE ARROW KEYS TO VIEW THE WHOLE SENTENCES.  
  2. THERE IS NO WORDWRAP.  
  3. THERE IS A SCROLLBAR AT THE BOTTOM.  
  4.   
  5. God is an ultimate concept.  
  6.     Ultimate concepts cannot have the dichotomy of cause/effect applied to them. They deny causality.  
  7.     Existence is an effect necessarily preceded by a cause.  
  8.         Anything which exists has a cause.  
  9. God does not exist.  
  10.   
  11. (Creation = Nature. Noun, not verb.)  
  12. Creation is a relative concept.  
  13.     Existence is a relative concept.  
  14.         Relative concepts are those proceeded necessarily by a cause.  
  15.             This implies that the relative, or existent, did at one time not exist.  
  16.                 Time is existent.  
  17.     Creation at one time did not exist.  
  18.         Creation has a cause.  
  19.             Creation is a relative concept.  
  20. Creation exists.  
  21.   
  22. God does not exist.  
  23. Creation exists.  
  24.   
  25. Transcendence and existence are mutually exclusive.  
  26.   
  27. God transcends.  
  28. Creation exists.  
  29.   
  30. (God = ultimate cause. Nonentity)  
  31.   
  32. Transcendence is independent of cause.  
  33.     Transcendence necessarily proceeds existence.  
  34.     A cause encompasses all attributes of the effect.  
  35.   
  36. God is transcendent and causeless.  
  37.     Transcendence must be ultimate/unified.  
  38.     God is ultimately transcendent and causeless.  
  39.     Creation is relative and caused.  
  40. God causes nature.  
  41.   
  42. relative concept cannot produce another equally relative concept.  
  43.     Each production is more relative.  
  44.     New productions must become increasingly relative.  
  45. Entropy.  
  46.   
  47. A transcendent can cause any relative.  
  48.   
  49. God is capable, and must constantly create the incapable, or dependent. (Nature)  
  50.   
  51. Causing/Capable  
  52.     Increasing. Capable of continuity.  
  53.   
  54. Entropic/Incapable  
  55.     Decreasing. Dependent.  
  56.   
  57. God  
  58. -Ultimate  
  59. -Transcendent  
  60. -Causeless  
  61. -Causing/Capable  
  62. -Precedent  
  63. -Encompassing/Sufficing  
  64.   
  65. Creation  
  66. -Relative  
  67. -Existent  
  68. -Caused  
  69. -Entropic  
  70. -Following  
  71. -Reflective  
  72.   
  73. //===============  
  74. ===============//  
  75.   
  76. Man’s nature is good.  
  77.     Good is that which seeks the highest possible equilibrium.  
  78.         Disruption must proceed a heightening of equilibrium.  
  79.     Evil is nonexistent.  
  80.         Evil, the concept, is latent good.  
  81.     What is evil in higher equilibriums may be good in lesser equilibriums.  
  82.         Latent good is realized by actively seeking an ever heightening equilibrium.  
  83.             Ultimate equilibrium is impossible by entropic beings.  
  84.                 Potential for good must be infinite.  
  85.                     Latent good is infinite.  
  86.                     Evil is infinite.  
  87.     Latency and stagnation is contrary to the purpose of man.  
  88.   
  89. Good is the existent expression of transcendent divine attributes, or platonic universals.  
  90.     Man realizes greater good through the seeking of an ever heightening equilibrium  
  91.         Greater good lies latent as evil.  
  92.             Man contains infinite potential good.  
  93.                 Man cannot be perfected.  
  94.             Man can be improved.  
  95.     God is the source of existence.  
  96.         Evil is a comprehension of a nonexistence, an intellectual construct.  
  97.             God is the source of comprehension, an attribute of God.  
  98.             The nonexistent requires and cannot have a source.  
  99.                 God is not the source of evil.  
  100.     God intends man to express His attributes.  
  101.         Man expresses His attributes via realization of latent good.  
  102.         Serving humanity allows higher equilibrium to follow.  
  103.             Serving man is synonymous to serving God.  

YOU MAY NEED TO USE THE ARROW KEYS TO VIEW THE WHOLE SENTENCES.
THERE IS NO WORDWRAP.
THERE IS A SCROLLBAR AT THE BOTTOM.

God is an ultimate concept.
	Ultimate concepts cannot have the dichotomy of cause/effect applied to them. They deny causality.
	Existence is an effect necessarily preceded by a cause.
		Anything which exists has a cause.
God does not exist.

(Creation = Nature. Noun, not verb.)
Creation is a relative concept.
	Existence is a relative concept.
		Relative concepts are those proceeded necessarily by a cause.
			This implies that the relative, or existent, did at one time not exist.
				Time is existent.
	Creation at one time did not exist.
		Creation has a cause.
			Creation is a relative concept.
Creation exists.

God does not exist.
Creation exists.

Transcendence and existence are mutually exclusive.

God transcends.
Creation exists.

(God = ultimate cause. Nonentity)

Transcendence is independent of cause.
	Transcendence necessarily proceeds existence.
	A cause encompasses all attributes of the effect.

God is transcendent and causeless.
	Transcendence must be ultimate/unified.
	God is ultimately transcendent and causeless.
	Creation is relative and caused.
God causes nature.

A relative concept cannot produce another equally relative concept.
	Each production is more relative.
	New productions must become increasingly relative.
Entropy.

A transcendent can cause any relative.

God is capable, and must constantly create the incapable, or dependent. (Nature)

Causing/Capable
	Increasing. Capable of continuity.

Entropic/Incapable
	Decreasing. Dependent.

God
-Ultimate
-Transcendent
-Causeless
-Causing/Capable
-Precedent
-Encompassing/Sufficing

Creation
-Relative
-Existent
-Caused
-Entropic
-Following
-Reflective

//===============
===============//

Man's nature is good.
	Good is that which seeks the highest possible equilibrium.
		Disruption must proceed a heightening of equilibrium.
	Evil is nonexistent.
		Evil, the concept, is latent good.
	What is evil in higher equilibriums may be good in lesser equilibriums.
		Latent good is realized by actively seeking an ever heightening equilibrium.
			Ultimate equilibrium is impossible by entropic beings.
				Potential for good must be infinite.
					Latent good is infinite.
					Evil is infinite.
	Latency and stagnation is contrary to the purpose of man.

Good is the existent expression of transcendent divine attributes, or platonic universals.
	Man realizes greater good through the seeking of an ever heightening equilibrium
		Greater good lies latent as evil.
			Man contains infinite potential good.
				Man cannot be perfected.
			Man can be improved.
	God is the source of existence.
		Evil is a comprehension of a nonexistence, an intellectual construct.
			God is the source of comprehension, an attribute of God.
			The nonexistent requires and cannot have a source.
				God is not the source of evil.
	God intends man to express His attributes.
		Man expresses His attributes via realization of latent good.
		Serving humanity allows higher equilibrium to follow.
			Serving man is synonymous to serving God.

One of my personal theories aligns with the Bahá’í principle of progressive revelation. I think that the evolution of man is very gradual but also dependent upon a few large leaps; this is also the way that modern science is finding that biological evolution works. (God is the unified field theory people, figure it out!) Man reaches stagnancy when seeking equilibrium. Stagnancy is contrary to the purpose of man. In a stagnant state the great latent good in man is not becoming realized, though what already has been realized remains. However, while before the stagnancy began this was enough good for man to function, at some point man needs to advance or the build up of evil over time has negative effect. At this point society has become so wrapped up in stagnancy that it is impossible to advance any further, or break free of the hold. Monolithic figures, aberrations must occur, single men who can raise society just enough to reach equilibrium again, so that again an ever advancing society can continue. The greatest of these are divinely guided, as their aberrations are beyond what can naturally occur.

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Mulla Musayn has fascinated me since learning my first bits of Babi history. Firstly he has my favorite name ever, Husayn. Secondly he has the unique privilege of being the Babu’l-Bab; a single mortal man through whom the fulfillment of all human potential was ushered in. And I love the name Husayn.

At Carmel Baha’i school my teacher told us that the Bab referred to Mulla Husayn-i-Bushru’i as the return of Muhammad, and that thus in a mystical way there have perhaps been more than two manifestations in this dispensation. I did not even think to doubt it, the man is a genius, and upon getting home I looked it up and he was right. (Shout out to Dr. Jay)

Consider thou the Revelation of the Point of the Bayan — exalted is His glory. He pronounced the First One [1] to believe in Him to be Muhammad, the Messenger of God. Doth it beseem a man to dispute with Him by saying that this man is from Persia, the Other from Arabia, or this one was called Husayn while the Other bore the name of Muhammad? Nay, I swear by God’s holy Being, the Exalted, the Most Great. Surely no man of intelligence and insight would ever pay attention unto limitations or names, but rather unto that with which Muhammad was invested, which was none other than the Cause of God. Such a man of insight would likewise consider Husayn and the position he occupied in the Cause of God, the Omnipotent, the Exalted, the Knowing, the Wise. And since the First One to believe in God in the Dispensation of the Bayan was invested with command similar to that with which Muhammad, the Messenger of God, was invested, therefore the Báb pronounced him to be the latter, namely His return and resurrection. This station is sanctified from every limitation or name, and naught can be seen therein but God, the One, the Peerless, the All-Knowing. [1 Mulla Husayn.] (Baha’u’llah, Tablets of Baha’u’llah, p. 184)

This passage seems at first to say that Mulla Husayn was an independent Manifestation of God, endowed with constancy, and the power of the creative word. This throws the idea of the Twin Manifestations out the window and opens up the door to many questions. However, if we analyze the meaning in context with some other quotations, it begins to make sense on both logical and mystical levels. Now, I don’t claim that the meaning I take from it is the only one or even the right one, just the one that seem apparent to my faulty reasoning. Insha’allah it is somewhere close to the intended truth.

If we examine this statement by ‘Abdu’l-Baha, the Centre of the Covenant, we can start see what I think Baha’u’llah might have intended us to gather from the above passage.

In confirmation of the exalted rank of the true believer, referred to by Bahá’u’lláh, He reveals the following: “The station which he who hath truly recognized this Revelation will attain is the same as the one ordained for such prophets of the house of Israel as are not regarded as Manifestations ‘endowed with constancy.'” (Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha’u’llah, p. 111)

The quote above does not say that we can become Lesser Prophets, it says that we can attain an equal station. Lesser Prophets, nabi are a thing of the previous age, however we have now the oppourtunity, by pure recognition of Baha’u’llah to reach a station that is equal in glory to them, and perhaps this even implies an equal, if different spiritual power – utterly dependent still on the Manifestation of God.

Likewise Baha’u’llah makes it clear elsewhere that the station He holds is supreme among Manifestations, and thus the power wielded by Him is greater than those manifestations of the Adamaic Age. The essence is no different, but the station is far greater, and this applies as well to the manifestations to come in this age. (As I understand it.)

And since the First One to believe in God in the Dispensation of the Bayan was invested with command similar to that with which Muhammad, the Messenger of God, was invested, therefore the Báb pronounced him to be the latter, namely His return and resurrection.

It was pointed out to me that while the return of a Lesser Prophet can well be a Greater Prophet, it cannot be the other way around – nor can a Greater Prophet return as a normal human being, as their essence is that of Manifestation. (Not to say they cannot, (He is, in truth, the exponent of ‘God doeth whatsoever He willeth’.) but it is a different concept than that return Baha’u’llah teaches us about.

However, if the believer in this Age can be exalted to the station of a Lesser Prophet of the previous age, and the Manifestations of this Age wield greater power than the previous ones, why cannot – by the will of the Manifestation of God, a soul endowed with acquired infallibility be given power to wield equal to that wielded by the Manifestations of the previous age?

So I would venture that this passage is not saying that Mulla Husayn is an independent Manifestation of his own right, nor anywhere near the level of Baha’u’llah. It seems to me that it is saying that his station has been exalted such, that he bears power equal to that Muhammad bore, while remaining human in his essence, and that his piety and human attributes are identical, through the power given him by the Bab, and through his very nature to those of Muhammad. Thus he is the same person, and equal to him in all ways but his pre-existent essence. I hope that made some sort of sense.

164 years ago, on this day, the Point of the Bayan ascended from this mortal plane, making way for ‘Him Whom God must needs make manifest’. I would like to offer a written prayer to that Point as a testament to Him and all those exalted souls who gave their lives for His cause, and that I may live.

How numerous the souls raised to life who were exposed to dire humiliation in Thy Path for exalting Thy Word and for glorifying Thy divine Unity! How profuse the blood that hath been shed for the sake of Thy Faith to vindicate the authenticity of Thy divine Mission and to celebrate Thy praise! How vast the possessions that were wrongfully seized in the Path of Thy love in order to affirm the loftiness of Thy sanctity and to extol Thy glorious Name! How many the feet that have trodden upon the dust in order to magnify Thy holy Word and to extol Thy glory! How innumerable the voices that were raised in lamentation, the hearts that were struck with terror, the grievous woes that none other than Thee can reckon, and the adversities and afflictions that remain inscrutable to anyone except Thyself; all this to establish, O my God, the loftiness of Thy sanctity and to demonstrate the transcendent character of Thy glory.

These decrees were ordained by Thee so that all created things might bear witness that they have been brought into being for the sake of naught else but Thee. Thou hast withheld from them the things that bring tranquillity to their hearts, that they might know of a certainty that whatever is associated with Thy holy Being is far superior to and exalted above aught else that would satisfy them; inasmuch as Thine indomitable power pervadeth all things, and nothing can ever frustrate it.

Indeed Thou hast caused these momentous happenings to come to pass that those who are endued with perception may readily recognize that they were ordained by Thee to demonstrate the loftiness of Thy divine Unity and to affirm the exaltation of Thy sanctity.