KARL JASPERS FORUM
TA 106 (Müller)
Commentary 20 (to C16, RA Segal and DK Kim)
NEW AGE OR NEW PHYSICALITY ? RIGHT OR AUTHORITY ? DEFINITION OR DEDUCTION ?
by Philip Benjamin
17 April 2008, posted 26 April 2008
KJ FORUM TA 106 C16
The philosopher Sidney Hook once said to the theologian Paul Tillich that Christians used to convert by the sword but nowadays convert by the definition. For Tillich, whoever possessed what he termed an "ultimate concern" was religious, whether or not specifically Christian. Few persons were thereby excluded.
[PB] Definition or Deduction?
Absolutely no disagreement can be presented here with anything, except that disambiguation is desperately needed for the terms ‘Christians’ and ‘specifically Christian’. There are compelling reasons to distinguish New Testament (NT) regeneration from religion. This is becoming increasingly necessary since ‘Christ and ‘Christ Consciousness’ are synonymously used across the board in all demography and many post modern theological treatises. Many versions of Christianity far removed from the first century have assumed variant and many deviant characteristics totally foreign to the apostolic writings. This huddles up Hitler & Nazis, Stalin & Communists, Crusaders & Inquisitionists all in the same ‘Christian’ compartment. It is doubtful if that will help to throw any light on what HFJM reasonably expects to have: “The review which is reproduced below fits well into the topic of recent discussions of TA106 – [HFJM ].
More common today is the appeal to a definition of "human being" as the criterion of religiosity, and David Kyuman Kim enlists Charles Taylor's Sources of the Self (1989) to make the case that humans are inherently religious.
Right Or Authority?
Then why not have a basic, common, NT definition of ‘Christian’? Common sense demands it. For, only the New Testament has the authority to define ‘Christian’. Others may have ‘rights’ of all kinds- historic, royal, ecclesiastical, legal, canonical, cultural, editorial, literary, journalistic and so on- but no genuine authority. Defining ‘Christian’ is not the same as defining ‘Roman’, or ‘Greek’ or ‘Anglican’ or ‘Protestant’ or ‘Calvinist’ or ‘Arminian’. There is a basic difference. What is the authority of the philosopher Sidney Hook or the theologian Paul Tillich or the reviewer RAS or the Times or any one in any forum to present or represent any definition of ‘Christian’ outside the limits and specifications of the NT? That applies also to words as ‘God’, ‘Elohim’, ‘Yahweh’, ‘Messiah’ and the authority of the Old Testament. Dawkins then will have to rewrite his book in many volumes (with possible pecuniary benefits) to do justice to authenticity. He has to first understand the difference between ‘right’ and ‘authority’. He may have rights to write a book, but not necessarily any authority to do that.
New Age or New Physicality ?
What is the criterion of religiosity ? Is it worship ? Is it having a label or an identity ? Is it an idol or icon or a symbol ? Is it mysticism ? Is it revelation ? Is it belief ? Is it awareness of self ? Is it parapsychology ? Is it the sense of supernatural ? Is it addiction to something or somebody ? Though there are many physical and biochemical processes which are common to all forms of life, sentience exists with “punctuated” gradations in the biosphere. A vegetative state (mechanism/mind?) exists across the taxa in plants, animals and humans. Both vegetative and animal states (mechanisms/minds?) exist in humans. But a human state (mechanism/mind) exists only in humans. Nowhere else it manifests in the biosphere. One may even grant that the biosphere is pan-sentient at the vegetative and/or animal levels. ‘Pan-psychic’ is a misnomer, if psyche involves human mind. Recent developments in ‘axion’ particle physics add a new dimension which I will describe below.
This punctuation is also reflected in the rate of emission of biophotons from live tissues across the taxa. That is unseemly, if all biosphere is made only of the same three particles- electrons, protons, neutrons. Any lingering confidence in this exclusive identity of particles dissolves by the fact that the governing agents of life- genetic, hormonal etc- are very similar across the taxa. Confounding further is the fact that the mental phenomena not simply emerge (or emanate) in humans. They seem to coexist invisibly with physical phenomena. Adding to the enigma is the fact that the visible body and its parts are transient. There is constant flux at the cellular levels with frequent recycling of constituent elemental particles, while the mental phenomena persist and are intransient at least during the normal life-time. [Neither post mortem eternality, nor thanatism (disbelief in immortality) is necessarily implied].
Toying with the idea of an invisible homo sapiens (IHS) coupled parallel to the visible becomes a rational necessity. What will it take to do that ? If particles are involved, they must be invisible and of negligible mass. They must yield dark Chemistries following the pattern of stable configuration rules of ordinary chemistry (Duet, Octet), spin-spin interactions and couplings. Invisibility in the electric (EM) physical realm necessitates non-electric (non-EM) particles. Intransience will be associated with non-entropy. Axion type particles are probable candidates. Some bio-dark-matter particles must fill the bill.
Decoupling of the non-entropic invisible body from the visible, say 150-lb male/female body, will leave the former at a very low energy state, possibly negative. Enormous energy (Cosmic), beyond the presently known human capabilities will be needed to raise it to any functional level. Call that Resurrection Energy if you will. Thus, the claim that ‘Channeling’- globally practiced and widely reported in professional journals and mass media- is by disembodied spirit entities cannot be true. Conceivably, these may be perpetual sentient entities made only of ‘dark atoms’ existing at a higher energy state than humans and impersonating as ‘ghosts’ of deceased (decoupled) humans who’s lives are familiar to them. These may be rightfully called “familiar spirits”. The celebrated Seth/Jane Robert episodes may validate that postulate.
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