Wednesday, December 1, 2010

#83. New Comments Collected


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ARCHIVE. For a list of all my published posts: 
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This is the third collection of comments I've published since I started this blog in December, 2006. (The two previous collections are posts #32 and #64.)

Because I often get comments on a specific post long after that post has been published, the comments can easily be missed even by regular readers. For a teacher-- this one, at least-- success is measured not by whether readers understand what's being said so much as whether they are spurred on to think more about it and to share their thoughts with others.

My hope for this post is that after you read these comments, you will keep the discussion going by sharing your suggestions and questions about them with readers. You can use either "Click here to send a comment" or click on "Post a Comment" (both at the bottom of this post). Or if you prefer, send your thoughts to my email address. (And do let me know if you want to be "Anonymous.") With my THANKS to all!

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Re: #66 (Arlene's Questions), Anonymous said: Thank you very, very much for post 66. Thank you for putting together the first complete definition of evolution I’ve ever had the pleasure to ponder. As one of those who calls myself ‘spiritual, not religious’ I’m grateful to know that my study of Jung and newly inspired religious study and practice are not just for me! As I understand it, the ‘stuff’ and images of ritual bridge our conscious and unconscious mind, put us in touch with the archetypes of the universal unconscious within each of us and empower us to be creative. I look forward to reading more on ‘useless’ ritual activities in a future post. “…everything we do can be creative participation in the world's evolution.”

I appreciate reading your personal examples. They tell me that even some of my cooking, finding nearly painless ways to get knots out of my Persians’ long hair, the haikus that I write when I ‘take personal delight’ in something, all of these are creatively participating in the evolution of the universe. My very ordinary life has found new meaning, and I’m grateful; grateful to be part of this “world-transformation awareness.” April 25, 2010

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Re #37 (What's Next) and #38 (Exodus), gloria said: Hi Sam. What food for thought! This is wonderful material to be digesting in this season of Easter/Spring when everything old is new again. Thank you so much. April 30, 2010

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Re #68 (Sam's Tao Te, Intro), Stardust said: All through this post I couldn't wait to get to the Tao Te Ching. But this was just an introduction -- a teaser. Can't wait to see what it's all about. From "babysitters to Emporers" caught my attention as did being a balanced person. I can see how it fits into the New Cosmology from the terms
 anthropos, cosmos, and Theos. Much to look forward to. May 14, 2010

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Re #69 (Sam's Tao Te, 1-27), Kathleen said: This is the kind of blog where each person reading it will relate personally to certain segments of it. I like the phrase, "Mystery behind the Universe". The analogies between physical aspects of the world and the way we live our lives are powerful. I particularly like the one about water being low to the ground, but nourishing all. Throughout there is the constant refrain of not living a pompous life. May 20, 2010

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Re #70 (Sam's Tao Te, 27-54), Anonymous said: Knowing that the power and presence of the Great Mystery are ours when we live in harmony with the way the Universe works is an amazing and comforting concept. We see everywhere the basic balance that is an underlying characteristic of the Universe. How worthwhile to develop that balance within ourselves based on these simple, yet profound "wisdoms" of the Tao Te. May 27, 2010

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Re #72 ("Great Mystery" in the Tao Te), Stardust said: I just finished an unusual novel that I think you would like: The Towers of Trebizond by Rose Macaulay. The story takes place mostly in Turkey and you will appreciate the references to Sophia, Sam. It was written in 1956 which makes it interesting to read now, more than 50 years later when we can get a historic perspective on it. June 11, 2010 5:30

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Re #72 ("Great Mystery" in the Tao Te), Anonymous said: This blog actually “explains” God. It is amazing for its Beauty, Truth, and Inspiration. I have bookmarked this page for my daily spiritual reading. Thank you, Sam. June 16, 2010

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Re #73 (Two Important Books), Michael Dowd said: Thanks, Sam! Best,
 Michael. June 26, 2010

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Re #75 (Three Post-modern Movements), Kathleen said: This blog is very enlightening, giving us the broader background of where we are now. It is also challenging -- integrating it all. As I was reading it, I kept thinking of Thomas Berry and how he would like this expansion of the second of his three basic characteristics of everything: "differentiation, subjectivity (interiority), and communion. He and Chardin were significant contributors in the "chain' of our understanding. And new individuals keep emerging to further expand the story, particularly the two you have selected here: Wilber and Michael Dowd. July 21, 2010

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Re #76 (Modernity's Gains), Stardust said: Sam, I don’t feel Wilber’s ideas really advance the telling of the Story. I don’t find them particularly inspiring or enriching – in contrast to so many of your previous blogs. However, I am looking forward to your over-view of Michael Dowd’s book. August 3, 2010

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Following #77 (From Theory to Practice), Sam said: Back in 1978 I was a member of the inaugural group of the Guild for Spiritual Guidance. It is still going strong and currently meets in Ossining, New York, north of NYC. It provides a two-year ecumenical, interfaith certificate program "designed to prepare its members for a ministry of spiritual guidance within the diverse contexts of contemporary life." Its core curriculum strands are the Western Mystical Tradition, Jungian Depth Psychology, and the Vision of Teilhard de Chardin. The 18th two-year program is beginning in January 2011. If you're interested, information about programs, dates, fees and faculty is available at www.spiritualguidance.org. August 22, 2010
Re #76 (From Theory to Practice): Anonymous said: I believe you are right completely. October 8, 2011

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Re #78 ("Thank God for Evolution"), Kathleen said: Michael Dowd’s book fill the niche we have been waiting for. It reinterprets mysteries of the Christian faith in light of the evolutionary story. His explanation of original sin is a masterpiece. He speaks throughout as a pastor, with compassion and understanding of human frailties as part of our deep ancestral heritage. This book is an inspiring and unique insight into what the Great Story means for each of us in our daily lives. August 29, 2010

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Re #78 ("Thank God for Evolution"), Johnson said: Took me time to read the whole article, the article is great but the comments bring more brainstorm ideas, thanks. September 13, 2010

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Re #79 (A Dowd Sampler), Michael Dowd said: Thanks, Sam!! September 17, 2010

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Re #80 (Two Mavericks), Todd Laurence said: The letters between Jung and Pauli
were published under title, "atom and archetype" - 1932-1958....
Their conclusions about "acausal 
reality" include the idea that number is the most primal archetype 
of order in the human mind."

As Jung said, in part: It is generally believed that numbers were invented, or thought out by man, and are therefore nothing but concepts of quantities containing nothing that was not previously put into them by the human intellect. But it is equally possible that numbers were found or discovered.. In that case they are not only concepts but something more-autonomous entities which somehow contain more than just quantities. Unlike concepts, they are based not on any conditions - but on the quality of being themselves, on a "so-ness" that cannot be expressed by an intellectual concept. Under these conditions they might easily be endowed with qualities that have still to be discovered.

I must confess that I incline to the view that numbers were as much found as invented, and that in consequence they possess a relative autonomy analogous to that of the archetypes. They would then have in common with the latter, the quality of being pre-existent to consciousness, and hence, on occasion, of conditioning it, rather than being conditioned by it.


Quotes: "man has need of the word, but
in essence number is sacred." Jung.

"our primary mathematical
 intuitions can be arranged before
 we become conscious of them." Pauli
(entelekk-numomathematics) October 4, 2010

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Re #80 (Two Mavericks), Mary Hicks said: Sometimes when I read these posts, I get so moved and excited that I feel close to wetting my pants. Not only because such huge ideas humble me but I know it is likely I will leave the planet without understanding them... 
I feel impatient at my limitations and almost unable to swallow because their hugeness begins to suffocate me, stops me from breathing.
 Having written that, it seems silly to say thanks for this post. No thing in my life right now provides me with this amount of intellectual challenge. Wish to God that she would inspire me to find the way for more individuals on the planet to receive your efforts. Keep going, Sam. I can always change my pants. I am sure there are many of us who don't always respond, but realize their lives are forever changed. Thanks. October 19, 2010

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Re #81 (The Deep Roots of "Person"), Mary Conrow Coelho said: Hi Sam: I like your phrase "there is nothing that's not non-dual with the Mystery." Being cumbersome and stated in the negative somehow makes one read it carefully so that it is a strong statement. And it certainly speaks to your deep interest in ritual as you write in the blog. You did a great job putting it all together. I'm glad my cumbersome reflections helped bring forth some valuable integration. October 20, 2010

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Re #81 (The Deep Roots of "Person"), Kathleen said: This is, indeed, a profound essay delving deeper yet into the unity of all with the Great Mystery. To speak of everything as part of the "divine incarnation" opens up a whole avenue of enlightenment for Christians who have limited that to Jesus. And "sacraments" and "ritual" make sense as any things or actions that deepen our relationship with the Mystery. With Karl Rahner we have reason to hope. October 24, 2010

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Re #81 (The Deep Roots of "Person"), Stardust said: To Mary Hicks... I just have to tell you how much I liked your comment on Sam’s blog. I’m chuckling every time I think of it. I know just what you mean. I feel like I’m absorbing maybe a fourth of what’s being said, but it is the most enriching stuff I’ve ever read. 

The way this one ended really does leave us a little uncertain. My obstacle to a next “life” is that we are earthlings. This is where we came from and where we belong. But, who knows, there could be another whole evolution awaiting us. I do hope! October 25, 2010

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Re Stardust's comments to Mary Hicks (above), Sam said: I think Stardust's reservations about a next life are very healthy. It wouldn't be much of a future if we were to be separated from the Earth, and it wouldn't be any future at all if it were static. Thinking along the lines of a "transfigured cosmos" as the Eastern Church tradition does (rather than the dualistic and static perspectives offered by the Roman tradition) helps a lot. I shared some thoughts about these ideas in posts #20 and #39. October 27, 2010

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Re #81 (The Deep Roots of "Person"), Anonymous said: Sam, I read this post on the eve of All Hollows and felt impatient that there wasn't more, that you didn't keep going and link consciousness with the cosmos through specific rituals at 'key' times of the year when the doors are opened for the unitive experience. Then I remembered how stupid of me. You've done that all your life and taught many of us to turn the daily key of ritual to step through to the numinous non-dual experience/presence of the unknowable Unknown, as the Gnostics would say. I will look forward to the next postings with more patience. November 1, 2010

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Re #81 (The Deep Roots of "Person"), Anonymous said: This is a thanks for your blog which i've started reading again - read post 81 twice - it felt wonderful, like standing on solid ground rather than the shifting sands i've been experiencing. November 1, 2010

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Re #82 (Moving Up the Ladder), K.A. said: Sam, This is terrific! I love the idea of sensing and feeling, among all of it. November 4, 2010

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Re #82 (Moving Up the Ladder), Allen said: Enjoyed your latest post. It made me wonder whether you are implying or leading up to the very useful conclusion that participating in ritual enhances one's wholeness by potentially activating, like art, the four functions or operations of the psyche. November 8, 2010

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Re Allen's comment on post #82, Sam said: I tried to do something along the lines Allen is suggesting in post #26. That post, "Help From Uncle Louie," is a followup to the three preceding posts about ontogenesis-- a fancy word for the developmental process by which we become who and what the universe is calling us to be. Yes, ritual-- so neglected in our time-- seems to be precisely the age-old means by which we tune in to the cosmic process for what Allen calls "the enhancement of our wholeness." Thanks, Allen! November 9, 2010

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Re #82 (Moving Up the Ladder), Stardust said: Well, I finally got to the blog (82) today. I also wanted to re-read 20 and 39 in reference to my comment on the question of a next life. They were very helpful. Everything I go back to now gets reinterpreted through a new filter. 

That off-hand remark I made about maybe the possibility of a whole different evolution of some kind after death may actually be on the mark. The evolutionary process seems to be in the “DNA” of the universe and the way it works.

I like Bulgakov saying: “Each of us will have the entire transfigured cosmos as our own risen body. It will be held in a way that is personal and unique to each of us.” What a beautiful thought! November 15, 2010

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Re Stardust's comment on #82 (above), Sam said: Stardust is referring to her comments on the previous post, #81 (The Deep Roots of "Person"). Her point is a good one; it expresses well that, as I'd say it, every traditional Western religious teaching has to be now reinterpreted in terms of the New Cosmology. AND that the result is an even deeper, richer and more beautiful understanding than was available earlier. November 15, 2010

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Re #82 (Moving Up the Ladder), Mary Coelho said: With regard to what you write about Jung's four functions, I hadn't thought of them as being part of moving up the ladder, "up" the great chain of being.


You suggest that feeling is related to soul and that intuition can know the unitive life. I had thought of the four functions as being on the same ontological level, so to speak, just different ways of taking in the world. 

Maybe in a nondual world one should not think of ontological levels, although levels need not imply a dualism or loss of unity, of course. So you are suggesting that the intuitive can help restore in the culture recognition of the chain of being.



It is wonderful that you have been excited about being able to articulate a good understanding of why ritual can be so significant. To me it is very exciting that there are rituals that can evoke the unitive experience i.e. enable us to know "that we humans and all reality are non-dual with the Mystery behind the universe." November 23, 2010

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Re Mary Coelho's comment on #82, Sam said: Mary's comment is, as usual, stimulating! When we're talking about the functions of consciousness at the human level I think it makes sense to think of them as ontologically equal; that's the whole point of the Medicine Wheel and Tibetan mandalas: it's a circle, not a ladder. No matter where we start around the wheel, we have to develop all four ways of being conscious if we are to be whole/complete persons. But if we're talking about the evolutionary emergence of consciousness (from reptiles to mammals to primates to humans), then the ladder image works well. My point in "Moving Up the Ladder" is that something similar seems to be happening in Western society as it moves beyond the gross materialistic consciousness brought about by Modernism and the take-over by science. A big topic! November 25, 2010

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Re #82 (Moving Up the Ladder), Anonymous said: I have been fascinated by the ways various cultures have looked at the functions of consciousness, and enriched by these descriptions. I have been waiting to see how ritual would have a role, and now feel some glimmers of understanding of its importance. 


Your words "So where does ritual come in? In terms of the way our minds work, ritual obviously belongs with both Intuition and the unitive perspective. Intuition is what allows us to see the Big Picture of cosmo-the-andric unity; sacred ritual is what allows us to enter into it" are clear and concise-- and yet give me much to ponder!


I look forward to more. November 27, 2010

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1 comment:

Sam said...

While trying to eliminate numerous spam comments, I inadvertently deleted all comments at the END of the posts up until #90. BUT... they are still preserved in the collections of comments found in posts #32, #67 and #83.

One set of comments, however-- for posts #84 to #89-- has been completely lost. If you happen to have copied any of them, I'd much appreciate your sending a copy to me so I can restore them. Thanks.