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Into the Wardrobe A Community of Wardrobians 2010-09-03T18:39:44+00:00 http://cslewis.drzeus.net/forums/feed.php?f=11&t=10088 2010-09-03T18:39:44+00:00 http://cslewis.drzeus.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=10088&p=206615#p206615 <![CDATA[Re: Lewis' thoughts on other major religions?]]> Cyranorox said

Perhaps a view with respect to the Fall will clarify at least my side. Passions are post fall; the primal state was passionless. The final freedom of the sons of God will also be passionless, because perfect freedom would exclude compulsion, and the essence of passion is that it is experienced as compulsory.

Milton has a comment on this: in PL, Adam, who has been in voluntary control of his sexual appetites before the fatal apple, finds himself 'ripe for play' after some conversation with Eve. It's the "finds himself", the status of recipient instead of commander, that is passionate.


I understand. Augustine got quite carried away on this theme. He speculates that prior to the fall getting an erection would have been voluntary. However he knows this will seem hard to believe so he backs up his claim with a list of other actions not normally under the control of the will that sometimes are; this includes people waggling there ears and musical farting without making a stink. The trouble with this is that we now know much more about the involuntary nervous system and how it works and given how human beings probably evolved it seems more than unlikely that there was ever a time in history when we did have voluntarty (I meant to write voluntary and I am sure that was not a Freudian slip t being so close to r) control. I can image a pre-fallen or redeemed man however as being more in harmony with his sexuality, neither being controlled by it nor controlling it. There's a story about two Zen monks who meet a girl and one picks her up to help her through the mud. They walk on in silence and then later when they rest the other says, 'Why did you carry the girl when we are forbidden to touch women?' The other replies, 'Are you still carrying the girl, brother? I put her down long ago.' I think a lot of girls would prefer a man who was less governed by his passions, for example one who could cuddle without always wanting 'it'; but how many would want a man who had no passion and had to will himself to get aroused?
Cyranorox

This view marches with stoicism some way, but the good in view is rather different. Without the Christian virtues and the Spirit, indeed passionlessness is the equipment of a villain or a conqueror, no more. It can look cold because it's a space cleared and awaiting content.

That's what I was wondering. Stoicism redeemed rather than aped.
Nerd:

Lewis pointed out somewhere, I think it was in "Beyond Personality" that God having no passions suggests we have experiences of real value which He lacks. Lewis suggested it would be better to think of God as being superpassionate or transpassionate rather than nonpassionate. Like, God can't "fall in love" because He IS love.

He says something similar at the start of one of the space books, either the second or the third where he says that in heaven we will be trans - all kinds of things. Reminds me of an old joke. Religious education teacher asks the class to ask any questions about religion they want her to answer. One boy says, 'Is there sex in heaven?' A second boy says, 'Is there ----in' hell!' and the teacher says, 'One question at once please!'

Statistics: Posted by postodave — 03 Sep 2010, 18:39


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2010-09-03T00:23:52+00:00 http://cslewis.drzeus.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=10088&p=206608#p206608 <![CDATA[Re: Lewis' thoughts on other major religions?]]> Statistics: Posted by Nerd42 — 03 Sep 2010, 00:23


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2010-09-02T21:20:29+00:00 http://cslewis.drzeus.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=10088&p=206603#p206603 <![CDATA[Re: Lewis' thoughts on other major religions?]]>
Perhaps a view with respect to the Fall will clarify at least my side. Passions are post fall; the primal state was passionless. The final freedom of the sons of God will also be passionless, because perfect freedom would exclude compulsion, and the essence of passion is that it is experienced as compulsory.

Milton has a comment on this: in PL, Adam, who has been in voluntary control of his sexual appetites before the fatal apple, finds himself 'ripe for play' after some conversation with Eve. It's the "finds himself", the status of recipient instead of commander, that is passionate.

This view marches with stoicism some way, but the good in view is rather different. Without the Christian virtues and the Spirit, indeed passionlessness is the equipment of a villain or a conqueror, no more. It can look cold because it's a space cleared and awaiting content.

Statistics: Posted by cyranorox — 02 Sep 2010, 21:20


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2010-09-02T19:02:18+00:00 http://cslewis.drzeus.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=10088&p=206601#p206601 <![CDATA[Re: Lewis' thoughts on other major religions?]]>

The language of passions can be ambiguous: i mean what-is-suffered, what-is-received; opposed to actions. 'Compassion' is chiefly shared suffering, a choice, not intrinsically the emotion that goes with the act; paradoxically an active choice of a passive predicament.

Kenosis in fact. I think I am seeing a model of the self here where the agent is set in opposition to other aspects of the self. When we experience passions the agent is overwhelmed, feels like it has no choice but to feel a certain way and feels compelled to act in line with those feelings. What you call compassion sounds a lot like what some have called empathy, and this is partly an act of will, a being open to the other but it also a learned skill, something one can grow in. But empathy seems to work not simply as an act of the agent but through a drawing on deeper aspects of the self.

As God has, but for the Incarnation, no passivity, he cannot have passions in that sense. That He has definite desires, views, and demands is not in question; that they are expressed to us in the language of emotion and feeling is also agreed. If you look at one strain of thought in the Fathers, particularly Isaac the Syrian, you find an understanding of God that does not imagine him angry or passionate. It's been a while since I spent time with the texts, but a good reinterpretation can be had in MacDonald - although I disagree with him [as does Isaac] on the issue of punishment. Our Uncle Origen also hold these views.

You have used the idea of compassion as willed passivity, in this sense I think we can say God even aside from the incarnation has passivity. The very act of creating in a sense limits God. I wonder if you are familiar with Jurgen Moltmann who deals extensively with this theme. I am not familiar with Isaac the Syrian but probably should be.

The man of apatheia is not subject to his passions; in a sense, that must mean he has them not. However, he can choose to feel, and ought to, warm, generous, charitable, or just emotions. The distinction is in the process. The passion is the man *being dragged* by the horse, not the horse itself, which is the energy or activity; you can keep him. Plato's black horse with hairy ears can get a trim and nowadays looks rather sleek in harness ;~>

This sounds very like what Scott Peck has called transcendent consciousness. But here you are talking of the energy as neutral. Could it perhaps be seen as purposive? That is is the energy part of a greater self, wiser than the ego or agent, and guiding us towards growth or wholeness? So then I would not be either master of my passions nor yet subject but rather I would walk in harmony with them. I think this is the goal of therapy.

Statistics: Posted by postodave — 02 Sep 2010, 19:02


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2010-09-01T20:57:11+00:00 http://cslewis.drzeus.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=10088&p=206585#p206585 <![CDATA[Re: Lewis' thoughts on other major religions?]]> As God has, but for the Incarnation, no passivity, he cannot have passions in that sense. That He has definite desires, views, and demands is not in question; that they are expressed to us in the language of emotion and feeling is also agreed. If you look at one strain of thought in the Fathers, particularly Isaac the Syrian, you find an understanding of God that does not imagine him angry or passionate. It's been a while since I spent time with the texts, but a good reinterpretation can be had in MacDonald - although I disagree with him [as does Isaac] on the issue of punishment. Our Uncle Origen also hold these views.

The man of apatheia is not subject to his passions; in a sense, that must mean he has them not. However, he can choose to feel, and ought to, warm, generous, charitable, or just emotions. The distinction is in the process. The passion is the man *being dragged* by the horse, not the horse itself, which is the energy or activity; you can keep him. Plato's black horse with hairy ears can get a trim and nowadays looks rather sleek in harness ;~>

I think others here are using 'passion' to cover some of the semantic territory that belongs properly [iirc]to 'energy' or feeling.

As for Pagan infiltration, again it's an old story; but the burden of proof must rest on the latecomers who claim to hold a normative content and then point out what they feel is extraneous. Withal, their innovations must also be scrutinized; I've pointed out the Pagan strain in medieval western thinking about soteriology.

The warp of Christian life is revelation and sacrament, But where should the woof come from? where but the substrate of bread and wine, dress and speech, thought and discourse, all brought into and through Christian community, principally from the Greeks and Jews. What God is, how the universe is set up, is in the Creed- error, pagan or otherwise, is locked out. What He did and said is recorded in the Gospels and elsewhere- this is a pure source and admits no additions, pagan or otherwise. BTW I don't think the Fathers had quite the 'Biblical' view; the Gospel view, certainly, and a deep knowledge of the OT, but that is not quite the same thing.

Statistics: Posted by cyranorox — 01 Sep 2010, 20:57


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2010-09-01T18:02:17+00:00 http://cslewis.drzeus.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=10088&p=206573#p206573 <![CDATA[Re: Lewis' thoughts on other major religions?]]>

I would agree that Hinduism is really more "pantheistic" than truly "polytheistic". I learned this from my friends who were Hindu. But I think pantheistic religions can be just as "pagan" as truly "polytheistic" religions. In fact, I wonder how many truly "polytheistic" religions there ever were. Many religions we think of as polytheistic had this idea of an "Ultimate Reality" back behind all the gods that humans made sacrifices to.

So, I would still call Hinduism "pagan", with the acknowledgment that it is definitely pantheism rather than polytheism.

Actually pantheism is a western idea that has been imposed on Indian ideas. The concept of 'religions' is another western idea that is often unhelpful and so for that matter is 'Hinduism'. The term Hindu was originally a Muslim term and Hinduism a Christian one. You are assuming that all Hindus are credally united but this is not so. Some have views that could be called pantheistic, others are theists, others are atheists. Some as I have said are both theists and believers in Christ. Cyranorox suggests that Hindu's are monists. The Vedanta school has been called monist but more precisely it is said to be non-dualist. The ultimate reality is said to be not one or many but to transcend this distinction. Interestingly St. Dyonisius says the same when he says God is neither one nor oneness.

Cyranorox you said:

As I don't offer my gender I'm surprised to be referred to as 'she'
I can't remember how I came to think that you were female, you may have told me or . . . no I can't remember. Is it a problem? I can call you he or I can circumlocute if you prefer.

You said:

I am gratified to be asked to comment by Postodave.

I thought there had been some interesting developments. Ideas about the nature of God and what it means to be truly human seemed to be being linked so that saying God has no passions implies that man should aspire to a state of passionlessness. The problem with this is that the God of scripture is in many ways a passionate God. He has strong feelings. In so far as the Greeks have a concept of God it is of a God without passions an unmoved mover - (although the gods have very human passions and alongside the Apollonian aspect of Paganism which the Church adopted you have the Dyonisian). Similarly in scripture we find that passion is seen as a gift from God and the basis of compassion whereas the Stoics see passion as an evil to be avoided. The Church picks up this idea from the Stoics so my question was whether they then in some way transform this to fit the Biblical world view or whether they simply take it over as a piece of unreconstituted Paganism. Then I was asking whether in so far as the Fathers did adapt Pagan ideas we should not be doing the same thing with the ideas of our own culture. In the days of the enlightenment there was a huge emphasis on reason, in part a return to our Greek heritage, but this proved one-sided and there was a backlash in the form of Romanticism which values passion above reason and restraint. In therapy you find sometimes an emphasis on restraint but often the most successful therapists, like the romantics want to give passion it's due (think of Freud, Jung and Rogers) so this is a question with many practical implications. Can we as Christians find a way to transcend the dualism in ancient and modern thought and see value in the openness advocated by the post-enlightenment therapists as well as the discipline of our heritage as Christians? Can we learn to value our passions as scripture teaches us to or must we abandon them? Can we learn to harness these wild horses and turn them into a source of power?

I felt we were teasing something out on this theme.

Statistics: Posted by postodave — 01 Sep 2010, 18:02


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2010-09-01T15:54:09+00:00 http://cslewis.drzeus.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=10088&p=206571#p206571 <![CDATA[Re: Lewis' thoughts on other major religions?]]>
Nerd42 wrote:
Now you're quoting me as saying a bunch of stuff I never said.


I'm really sorry. I'm not having my best day today. :blush: I wonder if I should really be writing code, or if I should go home and go back to bed.

Statistics: Posted by archenland_knight — 01 Sep 2010, 15:54


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2010-09-01T15:48:23+00:00 http://cslewis.drzeus.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=10088&p=206570#p206570 <![CDATA[Re: Lewis' thoughts on other major religions?]]> Statistics: Posted by Nerd42 — 01 Sep 2010, 15:48


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2010-09-01T14:48:32+00:00 http://cslewis.drzeus.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=10088&p=206568#p206568 <![CDATA[Re: Lewis' thoughts on other major religions?]]>
postodave wrote:
Knight - you've quoted me quoting Nerd as if the quote were mine.


Oooops! Sorry. You guys were quoting each other. I guess I got confused. :??: While you may find this difficult to believe, it does happen to me from time to time.

Yeah! Really! :stunned:

Postodave wrote:
I think I had a lot to do with the souring tone round here. I had some very bitter and pointless arguments with Mitch who left after he in response had been very insulting to me. I never minded but John did and as a result Mitch left. The final closure of RSP came after an argument between Rus and Xara (who was invited onto the site by me).


I don't think it can be penned on any one poster or any one exchange. Had that been the case, the poster could have been banned or the thread closed and that would have solved it. No, the problem went beyond any one person or thread.

postodave wrote:
I'd be wary of calling Hinduism Pagan. It does have many gods but these gods are usually seen as part of an ultimate divine reality so ultimately one is looking to a final reality beyond images and idols. Lewis himself was very aware of the difference between the philosophical and what we would today call the 'folk' elements in Hinduism as this was his main reason for rejecting it.


cyranorox wrote:
Hindus, for all the colorful gods and stories, are almost certainly Monists, and educated ones will commonly acknowledge this.


I would agree that Hinduism is really more "pantheistic" than truly "polytheistic". I learned this from my friends who were Hindu. But I think pantheistic religions can be just as "pagan" as truly "polytheistic" religions. In fact, I wonder how many truly "polytheistic" religions there ever were. Many religions we think of as polytheistic had this idea of an "Ultimate Reality" back behind all the gods that humans made sacrifices to.

So, I would still call Hinduism "pagan", with the acknowledgment that it is definitely pantheism rather than polytheism.

cyranorox wrote:
Pagan inclusions is an old issue, quiet from about the 500's to the 1500's,


Well, sure! When the Emperor executes every pagan that doesn't join the church, and all the empire's pagans flood into the church, thus influencing everything it does! Any objections to pagan influence will be drowned out! You say the issue was "quiet". But is it not just as likely that it was "silenced".

cyrnorox wrote:
The OC has easily transformed and subsumed the good of paganism, simply because we are the Greeks, the Romans; there is so much less discontinuity and of course no real language barrier.


But did this make it easier to keep harmful pagan influences out, or did it make it easier for pagan influences to come in unhindered and even unnoticed? I think the latter is as likely as the former.

cyranorox wrote:
Neopagans are usually disaffected Christians or Jews, who desire to escape the personal demand of the Deity in favor of impersonal forces and a new set of colorful characters representing aspects of the world.


Well, if we can replace "Christian" with "people who were raised in Christian families but never made a commitment to Christ themselves," then I would agree. Many of them are mad at what they perceive as "injustice" on the part of God (never perceiving that His Mercy is poured out upon them with each breath they are allowed to take), or just mad at Mommy and Daddy for being too strict (when in fact they probably were not strict enough) and want to shock them and provoke them. It is, in essence, often just pure rebellion.

But, they are desperate too. Our churches and families have failed to bring them truly into touch with The True and Living God. Their journey into paganism is often part of a frantic search for Him ... IMO.

Statistics: Posted by archenland_knight — 01 Sep 2010, 14:48


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2010-09-01T01:26:18+00:00 http://cslewis.drzeus.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=10088&p=206559#p206559 <![CDATA[Re: Lewis' thoughts on other major religions?]]> Statistics: Posted by Nerd42 — 01 Sep 2010, 01:26


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