The Pragmatic Christian

This pragmatic Christian is primarily concerned with pragmatism and its application to Christianity in terms of understanding and interpretation, as well as the changes that can occur in one's relationship to God and Christ as well as in one's life as a result of carrying out specific actions. In particular, the act of invoking faith.


My Websites: The Pragmatic Christian, Ouroboros: Story Composition and Analysis Using Feng Shui and the Enneagram , A Process Theory of Spiritual Transformation , The Chi Coltrane Appreciation Page. , The Dancer and the Piper. , Inclusionality Yahoogroup

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Parallels between the seven days of creation and Easter week

There are some interesting although rough metaphorical parallels between the seven days of creation in Genesis 1 and Easter week, which I represent symbolically here with a Celtic cross, the circular design representing the world. Seven-- for the seven days- is a spiritual number.


Sunday Light (bright) TRIUMPHAL entry to Jerusalem

Monday Water CLEANSING the temple

Tuesday Earth and plants Paying taxes, giving tithes, predicting the future
(earth means practical,
plants mean growth)

Wednesday STARS (bright) Jesus' ANOINTING and
and PLANETS (dim) Judas' DESERTION

Thursday Wild beasts and fish Last Supper, Judas' betrayal, Jesus' arrest
(the flesh)

Friday Man Jesus' trials and crucifixion
(salvation for)

Saturday Rest Jesus dead in tomb

Descriptions of the easter week days are from "The Bible for Dummies", which is the best book I've seen so far on the Bible.

The new Biology

Aristotle taught that man's soul -- the principle of life- is his shape. The new cell biology is finding that the skin of the cell (NOT the DNA!) is also what gives it life. So that a cell is controlled, not like some robot with a tiny brain of DNA inside, but by the environment ! Thus if you put a stem cell in the environment of muscle tissue, it grows muscle,. Put it in another organ, and it grow that organ.

The new biology

@ 2001-2005 Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D.

Recent advances in cellular science are heralding an important evolutionary turning point. For almost fifty years we have held the illusion that our health and fate were preprogrammed in our genes, a concept referred to as genetic determinacy. Though mass consciousness is currently imbued with the belief that the character of one�s life is genetically predetermined, a radically new understanding is unfolding at the leading edge of science.

Cellular biologists now recognize that the environment (external universe and internal-physiology), and more importantly, our perception of the environment, directly controls the activity of our genes. The lecture will broadly review the molecular mechanisms by which environmental awareness interfaces genetic regulation and guides organismal evolution.

The quantum physics behind these mechanisms provide insight into the communication channels that link the mind-body duality. An awareness of how vibrational signatures and resonance impact molecular communication constitutes a master key that unlocks a mechanism by which our thoughts, attitudes and beliefs create the conditions of our body and the external world. This knowledge can be employed to actively redefine our physical and emotional well-being.


Dispelling the Myth of Genes:

If the brain is removed from any organism, the immediate and necessary consequence of that action is� death of the organism. Removing the cell�s nucleus, referred to as enucleation, would be tantamount to removing the cell�s brain. Though enucleation should result in the immediate death of the cell, enucleated cells may continue to survive and exhibit a "regulated" control of their biological processes. In fact, cells can live for two or more months without a nucleus. Clearly, the assumption that genes "control" cell behavior is wrong!


The cell membrane, once thought to be like a permeable Saran Wrap that holds the cytoplasm together, actually provides for the bacterium�s digestive, respiratory, excretory and integumentary (skin) systems. It also serves as the cell�s "brain."


Dr. Lipton (who has impressive credentials) describes this in his book,

The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter & Miracles


Sin and personality type

Whether or not we make it to heaven may depend on if we can overcome our addictions to particular sins. By way of developing a theory of what we can focus on, note that personality types are thought to have characteristic sins, given below. They also have characteristic virtues, which would be the antidotes, and might indicate an appropriate path for good works.

Enneagram Characteristic
Type# Sin/Virtue**

1. Perfectionist Anger /Serenity
2. Helper Pride/Humility
3. Performer Deceit/Truthfulness
4. Artist Envy/Equanimity
5. Sage Greed/Non-Attachment
6. Loyalist Fear/Courage
7. Connoisseur Gluttony/Sobriety
8. Boss Lust/Innocence
9. Mediator Sloth/Action

# MBTI correspondences from testing given by Richards/Flautt/Baron (1997) and others on Probably best to take an enneagram personality test such as at or if you are uncertain of enneagram type.

A possible solution to the problem of predestination

In predestination, a seeming contradiction occurs because God both determines whether we are saved or not, while at the same time He has given us free will, so that presumably the choice is ours.

In my view, the contradiction is only apparent and occurs because we have forgotten that God has made us ( if you want to look at it scientifically, He chose the parental genes). At any rate, this includes the strength of our will, so while the will is free, according to our design, the will may or may not resist sin.

On God's genetically predisposing us to salvation or not

Romans 9:21 (KJV) "Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? "

Karl Barth on election and predestination

Karl Barth followed the Gospel teachings that Christ died for all,
so that all men, women and children are elected for salvation. But not all are predestined to be saved, for man has to accept that election, as stated on ,
"It therefore follows that for Barth predestination is 'the non-rejection of man.' "

On Barth's dialectic

This is an attempt to understand Karl Barth's dialectic with the use of a Venn diagram, so I invite criticism and suggestions. It may also be useful in seeing how well our own beliefs match with the Word. The Venn diagram is on .

With regard to Barth, Barth takes the the Bible or the Word as a priori (these are given by the circle labelled "truths" in the diagram. ( See if it does not appear here. ) Beliefs is our Christian believe (presumably all or nearly all) of what the Bible tells us) if we have read it in faith so that the Holy Spirit helps with the interpretation. In that diagram knowledge (particular beliefs we obtain from a particular passage) is a part (that which is known) of the overlap of these.

I am not sure what definition of truth (for a list of philsophical definitions (NOT NECESSARILY PERTINENT HERE) see . On the one hand, it would seem to be that of Kierkegaard, existential and very personal. On the other hand, since Barth finally described his writings as "sermons", it would seem closer to the consensus (of believers) definition of truth, which would seem to be close to Peirce's definition, as 'the opinion which is fated to be ultimately agreed to by all who investigate' ) ("all" here meaning all believers). James, another pragmatist, allowed for emotional influences as well, -- if love and trust, that would point to a faith definition of belief. [For the above, see .]

In my own (pragmatic) way of interpreting this, particular truths are those which gives results in accordance with what one observes inwardly due to the Spirit working on us. That is, both the meaning and the truth of any idea (in this instance in the Bible) is a function of its practical outcome. And the meaning of an idea is to be found in its "conceivable sensible effects" and that humans generate belief through their "habits of action." The particular " habit of action would be the intention of faith in God, in the the words of the Bible, etc. The "sensible effects" would be Paul's list of the fruits of the Spirit in Romans. And on the other hand, we have the wages of sin is death. In fact, Peirce defined the meaning of a concept or proposition as that form which is most directly applicable to self-control in any situation and to any purpose. For more on these pragmatic concepts, see ( ).

Rahner's transcendental theology


If man has free will, then he transcends nature, which is
deterministic, as pointed out by Kant in his Anthropology[1].
This transcendence is called by various names in various disciplines: For example, in Rayner's Inclusionality [2], it refers to the world, represented spacially outside but also embedded or included in us all, joining all of us together and with nature. In Rahner's anthropological theology [3] it refers to God being able to reach us with His Word and permitting us to know God.

In both of these philosophies, what is outside of us is also inside of us. For example, Jesus said "I am in you and You are in me." Again, the basis can be found in Kant, who found that the mental/physical aspects of man was only an apparent dualism on the earthly plane, because these were aspects of a larger whole on a higher plane, which we might call, along with Rahner,Tillich and Spinoza, God, the ground of all being.

Kant's thought is thus key to understanding that these philosophies, which appear on the surface to be widely different, are in fact quite similar.

In classical analytic philosophy, such as that of Aristotle, you have the a priori, (that which is before, and is given or assumed, which is an abstract general), and the a posteriori, that which comes after, the particular, the concrete, the data. Knowledge is obtained by confirming the former with the concrete data of the later. The concrete data might be a concrete perception, an image. The a priori its abstract meaning or name.

Kant's revolutionary idea was to give a method for obtaining knowledge of the a priori from the a posteriori, something never done before other than by empirical observation, and show their inverse dissimilarity. In this he provided a method to obtain the a priori from the mind itself, through its judgements. There are few achievements in western philosophy as enormous as this.

This can be referred to as the pragmatic approach to synthesis-- what the mind DOES- This turn to the mind of man as a necessary ingredient in metaphysics was crucial to Heidegger's -- and thus Rahner's -- enormous successes.
An important point I had overlooked with regard to free will, and the scholastics, from what you say, seem to have overlooked as well, was Paul's observation In Romans-- and it is also found in Augustine -- that man by himself can will only evil. And as Luther found from his reading of Romans, it is only through God's grace that man can will (and do) anything good.

The dualism of mind and space is sometimes referred to as the Double Aspect theory, which you can Google on. Kant probably spelled it out most precisely, but I can't give you a reference, other than the page cited below, I am also studying it.

Kant's Transcendental Deduction

In my view, the key to understanding what the mind is is to study Kant's transcendental deduction, which is the central section of his Critique of Pure Reason. It is a deduction of the properties of mind (what it is) from its behavior (what it does). The basic idea is that the mind is so constructed that we can make sense of objects. By examing the possible types of objects we can perceive, Kant arrives at a set of categories necessary to do the job. Necessary is the key word.
An interesting observation that emerges from such an approach is the behavioral description of the self or observer. It does not change in time. This says to me that it is beyond the realm of everday existence. The taoists speak of two realms of existence which emerge from, and later return to, the T'ai Chi or timeless universal spirit-energy: the timeless symmetical space-ordered world of Early Heaven of Fu Xi, and that of Later Heaven of King Wen, which is the everyday world of time and space.

These roughly correspond repsectively to Kant's a priori and a posteriori worlds. What Kant did was to place mind between these two worlds to deduce the categories of Fu Xi or the a priori (sounds like Early Heaven, doesn't it !) from the a posteriori (posteriori is like Later-> later heaven).
You could also use Peirce's categories for Kant's deduction if you flip the inside/out and the time order:
Thirdness == a priori or Law (possibly Sheldrake's morphisms)
Secondness == the mind or thinking, quantity
Firstness == a posteriori or quality
While the deduction can be notoriously difficult to understand because of the technical terms involved, and some have spent entire careers studying it, there are several accounts on the web, such as that found at
transcendental deduction
Peirce's categories align to it as well.

Kant's theory of space and time

Kant's theory of space and time shows that his concept of space,
"........that space and time do not really exist outside of us but are "forms of intuition," i.e. conditions of perception, imposed by our own minds"
is essentially that of inclusionality. The phase "do not really exist outside of us" is true, for the space we observe is not space itself, but what is IN space.
For more details, see below.
- Roger Clough
  1. What space and time are:
    Kant proposes that space and time do not really exist outside of us but are "forms of intuition," i.e. conditions of perception, imposed by our own minds. This enables him to reconcile Newton and Leibniz: agreeing with Newton that space is absolute and real for objects in experience, i.e. for phenomenal objects open to science, but agreeing with Leibniz that space is really nothing in terms of objects as they exist apart from us, i.e. with things in themselves.

  2. How space is known:
    Kant does not believe that the axioms of geometry are self-evident or true in any logically necessary way. They are logically "synthetic," which means that they may be denied without contradiction. That is a significant claim because it would mean that consistent non-Euclidean geometries are possible (which would involve the denial of one or more of the axioms of Euclid, as Bolyai, Lobachevskii and Riemann actually accomplished). Nevertheless, Kant did believe that the axioms of geometry are known "a priori," i.e. that they are known to be true prior to all experience, because Euclidean axioms depend on our "pure intuition" of space, namely space as we are able to imaginatively visualize it. Only if non-Euclidean space can be visualized would Kant be wrong.

  3. The cosmology of space and time:
    Kant does not think we can know, or even imagine, the universe as either finite or infinite, in space or in time, because space and time are only forms of perception and cannot be imagined or visualized as absolute wholes. The universe, as the place of things in themselves, is not in space or in time and so is neither finite nor infinite in space or in time. Thus there cannot be an a priori, rational or metaphysical, cosmology. Kant's Antinomies are intended to show that contradictory metaphysical absolutes can be argued and justified with equal force, meaning that neither can actually be proven. It can be argued however, that Einstein answered Kant by proposing a non-Euclidean (Riemannian) universe that is finite but unbounded (i.e. without an edge).

Joseph Marechal was the first to apply Kant's transcendental deduction
to Aquinas, by modifying Kant's treatment -- essentially extending his
set of categories-- in such a way that the Divine (presumably in the
form of the Holy Spirit) can act through the mind.
This is of great interest in understanding how we might relate with or
communicate with God, but it is also somewhat controversial.
Kant's transcendental deduction is the central section of his Critique of Pure Reason.
It is a deduction of the properties of mind (what it is) from its behavior (what it does).
The basic idea of Kant was that the mind is so constructed that we can make
sense of objects. By examing the possible types of objects we can perceive,
Kant arriveds at a set of categories necessary to do the job.
While the deduction can be notoriously difficult to understand
because of the technical terms involved, and some have spent
entire careers studying it, there are some fairly readable accounts on the web,
such as that found at
Although Marechal's description includes a more Thomistic type of anthropolgy,
to my mind at least, Marechal, in effect by allowing divine activity to act on or
interface with the mind, extended Kant's set of categories to include categories
such as Absolute, Infinite Being, God. That is where the controversy centers,
in the same space as the human categories of Kant.
The suggestion is that the divine activities belong to a higher realm of
potential categories, as I understand it.
Perhaps there is some help available with an analogy to Taoist thought,
a topic I am familiar with. An interesting observation that emerges from Kant's deduction is
the behavioral description of the self or observer. It does not change in time.
This says to me that it is beyond the realm of everday existence.
The taoists speak of two realms of existence which emerge from,
and later return to, the T'ai Chi or timeless universal spirit-energy:
the timeless symmetical space-ordered world of Early Heaven of Fu Xi, and that
of Later Heaven of King Wen, which is the everyday world of time and space.
These roughly correspond repsectively to Kant's a priori and a posteriori worlds.
What Kant did was to place mind between these two worlds to
deduce the categories of Fu Xi or the a priori (sounds like Early Heaven,
doesn't it !) from the a posteriori (posteriori is like Later-> later heaven).
The T'ai Chi would correspond to Rahner's and Tillich's ground of all being,
Early heaven to Kant's a priori and Later heaven to Kant's a posteriori.
In this way everything is grounded in God.

Rahner, the transcendental Heideggerian

After Catholic theologian Karl Rahner became a Jesuit, he was asked to obtain a doctorate in philosophy at Freiburg, Germany, where Martin Heidegger was rector. Rahner was greatly influenced by Heidegger's existential philosophy, but appalled at Heidegger's then-enthusiastic support of Nazism, so he studied under Honecker instead, although he attended Heidegger's seminars. One aspect of his doctoral thesis, Spirit in the World, concerned itself with an issue I am very interested in, what happens when we read the Bible.

When later asked what he had learned trhere from Heidgger, his standard reply was "He taught me how to think",
or a variant, "He taught me what happens when I read the Bible." In his thesis, Rahner had incorporated transcendence from Kant into the secular existentialism of Heidegger, a notable achievement. Here's more on this transcendence:
"Karl Rahner's approach to theology is characteristic of the 1930's: a Christian response to the secular loss of the transcendence of God. Whereas earlier generations met this challenge through liberalism and modernism, Rahner and his circle argued that the recovery of the sense of the transcendent could only be achieved through a reappropriation of the classical sources of Christian theology, especially Augustine and Aquinas. His approach fused German idealism and existentialism with Thomism.

Rahner believed that the polarity between "transcendence" and "immanence" was false, being imposed upon Christianity by secular world views. Human experience is unintelligible unless it is interpreted in light of the transcendent mystery of God through "transcendental reflection." Humans transcend themselves in every act of questioning and thinking, by which they demonstrate themselves to be both part of the natural world and yet simultaneously oriented towards the mysterious horizon of being that Christians know as God, the infinite horizon of hope and love. The dilemma of immanence or transcendence of God must thus be overcome without sacrificing either. Due to the ability of humans to discern the transcendent element of their situation, there is an implicit knowledge of God latent within humanity, which it is the function of transcendental reflection to identify. The sense of relation to God, a natural knowledge of God, he terms "transcendental revelation," but is inadequate in itself and needs to be supplemented by a supernatural knowledge of God, or "categorical revelation." This revelation reaches its climax and fulfillment in Jesus Christ."

Rahner's transcendental anthropology

"How does Rahner develop this philosophical theology? It is clear that in building his own system, Rahner always starts from the human as an existential unity, who is simultaneously historical and transcendental. On the one hand, the historical dimension of human being refers to the fact that we are always connected to the world through our spatio-temporal and actual (“categorical” in Rahner’s terms) experiences. In this sense, categorical experience is a posteriori experience. Even, Rahner maintains, our transcendental knowledge or experience of God, which is conditioned by our transcendentality, is also a posteriori, since it is “mediated by a categorical encounter with concrete reality in our world, both the world of things and the world of persons” (FCF, 52). "
To me, two modes of Rahner's anthropology look like the two halves of the brain given by Sperry's cerebral hemisphere
model of the brain- (for mind, really, not the brain)- with the right and left brain metaphors being:
left brain metaphor right brain metaphor
in time timeless
in the world transcendent/spiritual/inclusional
particulars wholes
logic aesthetics

Rahner's transcendental psychology

Anton Losinger's "The Anthropological Turn - The Human Orientation of the
Theology of Karl Rahner" is a fairly slim volume minimizing the use of highly
technical terms, and so is a good concise introduction to Rahner's
"Foundations of Christain Faith", which even as a summary can be difficult
going. Yet even Losinger requires meditative slow reading.
On p. 24, an account of given of Rahner's tripartite psychology,
which is parallel to conventional tripartite psychology, even
to Peirce's categories, but including the transcents to/from God.
Peirce and conventional tripartite psychology can be described thusly:
Thirdness = doing & communication with others in the world
Secondness = thinking (communication with self)
First = sensing/feeling= raw perception
These seem to be roughly parallel or analogous to Rahner's transcendental
Communio = interactive communion in God's presence
God's communication to us through the Word (nature and grace)
Self-awareness (the possibility of transcendence)

[1] See
---The urgent do later. The important do now.---

A simpler version of my story theory

A simpler version of the story theory (see ) is to use the semiotic square,
which you construct in the spirit of Claude Levi-Strauss' mythic binary oppositions in this order (ABCD):

A Problem D. Solution
(hex. A) (opposite hex. A)

C. Successful B. Unsuccessful
strategy strategy
(inverted opposite ( inverted hex. A)
hex. A)

By opposite I mean all lines changed from yin to yang or vice versa. By inverted, I mean turn the hexagram upside down. (It may be the same in some rare cases).

Each trigram has a mood as well as a personality. See for characteristics. [Note that these also can be used as yin and yang forms of the five phases to understand
interactions between personalities.]

The mood trigrams are the inside of a hexagram, meaning the bottom trigram. The personality of the protagonist is the outside, meaning the top trigram, and it stays the same.


Now let's arbitrarily let the protagonist be a reluctant, scholarly type, trigram mountain (mt.), having a problem with anger, trigram thunder. (He may not necesarily literally be the youngest son).

Then the story square is
A. mt./water D. thunder/fire
(Hex. 4) (Hex. 40)
Youthful Folly Taking Apart or
or Enveloping or Deliverance

C. fire/mt B. water/thunder
(Hex. 56 ) (Hex. 3)
Sojourneying Difficulty
or the Wanderer at the Beginning
or Sprouting

The hexagram numbers were obtained from the 8x8 matrix at
The hexagram meanings were obtained from
You need an I Ching book to understand the full meaning. The sequence ABCD is then the scenario for the mythic, primordial drama. One interpretation would be:


A. A scholar seeking tenure is on the brink of a dangerous abyss he has
foolishly created or stumbled across.

B. This closes the door for his progress toward that goal.

C. But a sabbatical opens another door. There he finds new ideas.

D. He analyzes these and publishes a landmark paper that delivers
the desired tenure.

Another approach would be to use the Jungian archetypes, where shadow is the opposite trigram of the personality, and so forth.

The heavens are telling....of continuous creation

Below is an image of giant galactic nebula NGC 3603, taken from
which shows all of the stages of stellar evolution, which is happening at this moment throughout the universe. This supports the view that Genesis is an allegory composed by God but filtered through the mind of Moses-- who, as a man, not God, was quite naturally unaware of modern images much later taken by the Hubble telescope, even though God would have foreseen and understood them.
According to the site,
"In this stunning picture of the giant galactic nebula NGC 3603, the Hubble telescope's crisp resolution captures various stages of the life cycle of stars in one single view.

This picture nicely illustrates the entire stellar life cycle of stars, starting with the Bok globules and giant gaseous pillars (evidence of embryonic stars), followed by circumstellar disks around young stars, and progressing to aging, massive stars in a young starburst cluster. The blue super-giant with its ring and bipolar outflow [upper left of center] marks the end of the life cycle.

Credit: Wolfgang Brandner (JPL/IPAC), Eva K. Grebel (Univ. Washington), You-Hua Chu (Univ. Illinois Urbana-Champaign), and NASA "

God and STUART KAUFFMAN's self-organizing universe

Just to be clear, I'm not talking here about materialistic pantheism but panentheism, which includes the non-material, and this is Biblically based, not some New Age religious view.
I'm writing this to demonstrate that there are parallels between the Bible and Science, even though the Bible speaks of the spiritual, and science the material level. The concord suggests to me that both both views are true.
According to Genesis, in the beginning, God created heaven and earth, the latter from a formless void, and saw that it was good, so that, to believers, God, who is Spirit, not material, is both inside (immanent) and outside (transcendent) the material world. It also shows that God loves order and law.
A possible explanation of the parallelism, using Stuart Kauffman's Non-Darwinian view of evolution as part of the self-organizing universe (see ) is the inclusionality of attractors, as shown in the diagram of a Lorenz attractor.
To scientists, chaos theory shows that completely random systems can evolve points or loops of convergence (attractors), which show order as well. A biological example is life itself, which is ORDERED, not random. Kauffman proposes that the continuing organization of increasing levels of complexity of life -- which we refer to as evolution-- occurs by much the same principle. Thus Kauffman's theory of evolution is not NOT randomly-based, as Darwin's was. To the believer, this accords with the Biblical view that God loves order, and so Kauffman's theory is to that extent Biblically based.
As Kaufman puts it, on , like inclusionality nature seems to be interconnected::
" Think of a wiring diagram that has ten thousand light bulbs, each of which has inputs from two other light bulbs. That's all I'm going to tell you. You pick the inputs to each bulb at random, and put connecting wires between them, and then assign one of the possible switching rules to each of the light bulbs at random. One rule might be that a light bulb turns on at the next moment if both of its inputs are on at the previous moment. Or it might turn on if both of its inputs are off.

If you go with your intuition, or if you ask outstanding physicists, you'll reach the conclusion that such a system will behave chaotically. You're dealing with a random wiring diagram, with random logic — a massively complex, disordered, parallel- processing network. You'd think that in order to get such a system to do something orderly you'd have to build it in a precise way. That intuition is fundamentally wrong. The fact that it's wrong is what I call "order for free.""

There are other epistemological considerations regarding "order for free." In the next few years, I plan to ask, "What do complex systems have to be so that they can know their worlds?" By "know" I don't mean to imply consciousness; but a complex system like the E. coli bacterium clearly knows its world. It exchanges molecular variables with its world, and swims upstream in a glucose gradient. In some sense, it has an internal representation of that world. It's also true that IBM in some sense knows its world. I have a hunch that there's some deep way in which IBM and E. coli know their worlds in the same way. I suspect that there's no one person at IBM who knows IBM's world, but the organization gets a grip on its economic environment. What's the logic of the structure of these systems and the worlds that they come to mutually live in, so that entities that are complex and ordered in this way can successfully cope with one another? There must be some deep principles.

For example, IBM is an organization that knows itself, but I'm not quite talking about Darwinian natural selection operating as an outside force. Although Darwin presented natural selection as an external force, what we're thinking of is organisms living in an environment that consists mostly of other organisms. That means that for the past four billion years, evolution has brought forth organisms that successfully coevolved with one another. Undoubtedly natural selection is part of the motor, but it's also true that there is spontaneous order."


Psalm Cycle 120-134, the Beatitudes, and the Celebrate Recovery principles

Note: Psalms 120-134 comprise the songs of ascent, being the fifteen steps of ascent
to Jerusalem. [KJV version]. There are 15, which form two cycles of 8 and 7, the
final or 16th returning to the first, Psalm 120.
(Elsewhere I have also fitted these to the 7 last words of Christ.)
1 - Theme: Catastrophe and darkness.
Principle: Realize I'm not God; I admit that I am powerless to control my tendency
to do the wrong thing and my life is unmanageable.

Beat.1: "Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor"
Ps 120: " In my distress I cried unto the LORD, and he heard me. "
Ps. 128 " Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD;"
2 - Theme: Hope and encouragement.

Principle: Earnestly believe that God exists, that I matter to him, and that he has the power to help me recover.

Beat.2: "Happy are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted"
Ps. 121. " I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help."
Ps. 129. "...may Israel now say: Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth: yet they have not prevailed against me. "

3 - Theme : Commitment, humility and release.

Principle: Consciously choose to commit all my life and will to Christ's care and control.

Beat.3: (humility) "Happy are the meek"

Ps. 122. (release) " I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD. "
Ps. 130 (commitment) "I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. "

4 -Theme : Self-evaluation and Confession

Principle: Openly examine and confess my faults to God, to myself, and to myself,
to God, and to someone I trust.

Beat.4: "Happy are the pure in heart"

Ps. 123 ".. Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy upon us: ".
Ps. 131 "...Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child. "

5 -Theme : Accepting change.

Principle: Voluntarily submit to every change God wants to make in my life
and humbly ask Him to remove my character defects.

Beat.5: "Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires"

Ps. 124. "... Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers:
the snare is broken, and we are escaped. "
Ps. 132. "Surely I will not come into the tabernacle of my house, nor go up into my bed; will not give sleep to mine eyes, or slumber to mine eyelids, Until I find out a place for the LORD, an habitation for the mighty God of Jacob."
6 -Theme : Making amends.

Principle: Evaluate all my relationships; Offer forgiveness to those who have hurt me
and make amends for harm I've done to others except when to do so would harm them or others.

Beat. 6.: "Happy are the merciful"

Ps. 125 "...As for such as turn aside unto their crooked ways, the LORD shall lead them forth with the workers of iniquity: but peace shall be upon Israel. "
Ps. 133. " Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! "
7 -Theme : Peace and spiritual growth.

Principle: Reserve a daily time with God for self examination, Bible readings and prayer
in order to know God and His will for my life and to gain the power to follow His will.

Beat.7: "Happy are the peacemakers"
Ps. 126 " The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad."
Ps. 134. "Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD. "
8 -Theme : Outreach

Principle: Yield myself to God to be used to bring this Good News to others, both by my example and by my words.

Beat.8: "Happy are those who are persecuted because they do what God requires"
Ps. 127 " Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of [God's arrows] : they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate."
Ps. 120. " In my distress I cried unto the LORD, and he heard me. "



On Bricolage

I believe that when we look at something, or when we read a text such as the Bible or poetry, or try to make sense of our lives, or write a play, or read tea leaves, the mind performs bricolage, which is a kind of divination, for lack of a better word, to make sense of the whole.

This refers to a type of logic referred to by Claude Levi-Strauss in The Savage Mind (1962)
and in Totemism (1962). Levi-Strauss derived the meaning of bricolage from the "bricoleur" --
someone who does odd jobs, making and mending things from bits and pieces which have
been left over from previous jobs. It provides a "science of the concrete" by which the world
is ordered in minute ways. Judith Williamson says that advertisers employ bricolage as
they can only construct meanings for products out of the bits and pieces of ideological
thought that already exist. "
We can see a similar representation in the art of Alan Rayner, although I make no pretense as to how he actually painted the above, which is used on to represent "Inclusionality – An Immersive Philosophy of Environmental Relationships"
Thus a pragmatist such as I am, or writer of scientific reports, as I was, or a reader of Tarot cards, an artist or dramatist. These all deal with a bricolage of data, starting with a blank display board or empty stage or empty mental space on which he pastes a collage of data bits or events, so arranging them into a pattern that makes sense. The sense comes, as in all art, from the whole emerging from the arrangement.
This may also be the mechanism of Alan Rayner's inclusionality (see the above link), by which I mean that there is no ONE thing inside of us that links all to all, but different views of collections (contexts) of spaces or experiences of such spaces. This would be similar to our own reading of a bible passage keeping in mind other passages we know.
This also fits the classic definition of art by Aristotle, from :

"Art is defined by Aristotle as the realization in external form of a true idea,
and is traced back to that natural love of imitation which characterizes humans,
and to the pleasure which we feel in recognizing likenesses."
So that the form is symbolic or iconic of a true idea, in the above case, the meaning.
Willard Quine went farther, believing that classical epistemology failed because of a circularity in the classical or Aristotelian concept of epistemology given above (because as above, given by Aristotle, the actual representation must exist for the statement to be true )and vice versa. Quine thus instead advocated a PSYCHOLOGICAL not philosophical model of epistemology. (see
In such a "naturalized" epistemology, the mind divinizes meaning in the aesthetic mode of the bricoleur, not the rational model of Kant et al.

On the truth of a Bible verse

There is something special about the Bible. The Barthian view (and mine) is that this is due to the error corrections
of the Holy Spirit when the Bible is read in faith.
Since the true meaning of any text comes only when the statement is compared to the context (what is revelant in the rest of the Bible), the Holy Spirit would thus seem to make sure that you interpret the text in the right context.
So you don't exactly trust the words, you trust the truth of the words-- as REVEALED to you via the Holy Spirit acting on you with the words. Faith is what opens you up for the double-edged sword's cuttings and discernings.

You don't read the Word, the Word reads you.

It really doesn't matter, says Paul, how you read the Bible, if you read it
in faith for not matter if you are a literal reader of Bible, for example,
taking Genesis as straight fact, or on the other hand as an allegory,
you've been out-foxed.
For Paul says:
"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any
two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit,
and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and
intents of the heart."
Hbr 4:12 (KJV)

Accepting the results of science if they conflict with the Bible

I have a personal bias of accepting the results of science if they conflict with the Bible, even through Jesus once scolded Peter I think for using human reason to warn Jesus not to go to Jerusalem on a donkey before the easter event.
My only hope is that the Holy Spirit guided me to the scientific results, which can't always be in agreement with the Bible, particularly when science says that the negroes were the first men (and the other races were new "speciations" from them).
Very problematic, agreed. But in the final analysis, my heart and not my head accepts or rejects the scientific judgment.
It doesn't make sense rationally, only under the aspect of faith. When I read the Bible in faith, using the Barth model, the Holy Spirit gives us the correct interpretation. Presumably the same happens reading with scientific results.

On the other hand, it has been said that :

" the Bible and science never contradict because they talk about two
different kinds. The message in the Bible is spiritual. Christ says
that "one day of a man is 1000 years of God and 1 day of God is 1000
years of man". Therefore, the whole creation is still going on; all
days from 1-6; and evolution is one of the scientific aspects how it
is happening. (Even if evolution theories are not totally correct, it
is a fact that we have new strains every day, etc. "

What is truth ?

I follow Kierkegaard and Barth in believing that If God or Jesus is the Truth, then we can never know what truth is because we can never understand God (other than what the Bible says). Kierkegaard and Barth were both existentialists, which is roughly the European term for pragmatism.
They meant truth found by analytical thinking. In pragmatism, truth is what results from performing an action, such as doing a scientific laboratory experiment. Or something spiritual, such as exerting faith in God (from which comes Paul's list of fruits of the spirit) or helping the distressed ("I was in prison and ye visited me").
In my own experience, I pray daily to God, asking in a prayer, to understand Him. The result over a period of months has been a growing love for God, but little improvement in understanding other than from the Bible, which I read daily. So I would conclude that we cannot know the Truth, in whole at least, but we can love the Truth.
Perhaps God wants to save us from such an endless pursuit. Adam and Eve were forbidden to eat of the Tree of Knowledge (of Truth). And then there's the Tower of Babel. And Jesus never answered Pilate's question "what is truth ?"

The Holy Spirit, Semes, and the Princeton Egg

How can an idea spread so rapidly ? No doubt advertising plays a role, and for each child that sees the ad,
word of mouth to others. Semes. They spread like a virus infection.
That would seem to explain it, but I once took a course in intellectual history and was struck by the fact that similar developments occurred all over the world at the same time. They spoke different lanaguages and were far apart and there was no radio or TV. I don't think that semes -- by word of mouth-- could explain it.
Another global phenomenon that is hard to explain on the basis of semes, because it is instantaneous and even starts up BEFORE a traumatic event is the change in random number standard deviations detected by the Princeton Egg computers at locations all over the world. Peaks develop during catastrophic events. See
This is very hard to explain scientifically- with semes and advertisements. It could be a human phenomenon or the Holy Spirit acting through the minds of men possibly to warn us of a coming catastrophe.

Some hair-splitting on experience and authority

To a pragmatist everything comes from personal experience or the experience of others. The later would then be authority if it passed muster and many agreed, or in the case given, the mother seemed to be mostly right to the child, or the child was told by the rest of the family that "mom is always right". But not from her own proclamation of authority. And as you say, there is also continual testing, just as in science.
The definition given below (2) of pragmatism is fine, but that of analytic is wrong, or at least very misleading. Here's Webster's definition, from :
1 : of or relating to analysis or analytics; especially : separating something into component parts or constituent elements

2 : being a proposition (as "no bachelor is married") whose truth is evident from the meaning of the words it contains -- compare SYNTHETIC
vs. synthetic (the method by which pragmatists think):
1 : relating to or involving synthesis : not analytic
2 : attributing to a subject something determined by observation rather than analysis of the nature of the subject and not resulting in self-contradiction if negated -- compare ANALYTIC
Analytic thinking then, goes from generals to particulars (data of experience),
while synthetic goes from particulars (data of experience) to generals.
In religion, the generals are beliefs, while the data of experience are faith.
Karl Barth would say that the scriptures have no meaning - at least to us--if they are not heard, and I agree. I suppose you might argue that God heard them, because He said them, but we have no way of confirming this other than picking up a Bible or hearing it read. We pragmatists would say that if a tree falls in a forest while nobody observed it is an undecideable (unless you go back to check). So the Bible is not Holy, unless we read or hear it read. It takes the Holy Spirit to transmit the truth of the words to us. Or as Hebrews puts it, for the words to act on us like a double-edged sword. Like postmodernism, pragmatism starts with experience with a minimum of assumptions.
Presumptions in science aren't scientific ? I suppose you mean the presumptions of theory. Actually, it takes two to tango, an analytic theorist, who has presumptions leading to a theory, which leads to data, from the general to the particulars, as above,and a laboratory scientist - (a pragmatist or synthetist) who starts with NO presumptions,
and sees how well the theory fits the data. Both are useful, they just think differently.

Experience and authority are the sources of knowledge

Experience and authority are the sources of knowledge.

To an analytic thinker, faith comes from beliefs obtained from an authority, such as the Bible.
To a pragmatic thinker such as myself, belief comes from faith, which is an experience.
So I do things backwards.

Let's look at Romans 10:17: "So then, faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (WBS) "
It doesn't say "faith cometh by reading (the Bible)", but by "Hearing (it read) ". So I never read along with the readings in church, I listen. The other half is that hearing comes by the word of God, which in my interpretation,
following Karl Barth's model, is the work of the holy spirit, not us. Thus, as Karl and I see it, the truth of the Bible does not come by authority (although authority may tell us where to look), but by expeirence.In other words, the truth of the Bible comes not from authority but through the Holy Spirit.
Science is similarly pragmatic in that its truth is not fully believed until the results
or ecperiments or calculations of theory -- the data, what is experienced--- are repeated
by others.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Toward a calculus of meaning

This is basically a remap of the Roget categories to Pierce's 9x9 (the TXJ), with the aim of setting up a calculus of meaning: the domain being God, man, and others, including text. God acts on His own, and I do not presume
to specify God's actions. But in the everyday world, God seems to act largely through others, so although theologically incorrect, I treat His actions here as acting through others. So God is not explicitly in the algebra,
but appears only implicitly here in the actions of others.

Roget's spectrum of words, as I call it, does go from earth to heaven, but on closer inspection it does so in pairs of antonyms. Except for one section where the opposite is true, generally the even numbers are positive and the odd ones negative. In a much simpler version, here I remap the Roget numbers into Peirce's 9x9 matrix, where Roget's numbers of about 1000 are separated into 81 sets of numbers. I have not yet separated these in terms of positive and negative.

a) Peirce's terminology of embeddings:
Thirdness = outside = Doing = D
Secondness = middle = relational = Thinking = T
Firstness = inside = raw Perceiving = P

b) Roget's terminology of embeddings:
I = abstract = Thinking by others = T public, social or objective =
as others think
II = space = Doing by others = D public, social or objective =
as others do
III = matter = raw Perceiving by others = P public, social or objective =
as others perceive
IV = intellect = Thinking by our own brain = t private, personal or subjective=
as I think
II = space = Doing by our own brain or body = d private, personal or subjective=
as I do
III = matter = raw Perceiving in our own brain = p private, personal or subjective=
as I perceive

These give the following 9-fold map or matrix, where going up or going to the right
means to the outside. Going down or to the left means to the inside. The map is much like the phases of TXJ or Tai Xuan Jing, where each letter is a phase digram, e.g. PP or pp is a solid line over a solid line. [Hence there does not seem to be a differentiation
between public (objective) and private (subjective) perspectives the TXJ line structure, although there is at least a possibility of doing so in the 9 line appraisals for each tetragram. Perhaps these might map to even and odd line numbers or perhaps to AM and PM readings. ]

A further possible differentiation, which I have not pursued here, other than suggesting a possible terminology, is that,
since the categories are given in terms of pairs of letters, the self can be attached to either member of the pair.
The member it is attached to would then be the verb, and the other the object of the verb. I would suggest
bracketing of the form <> to the member which the self is attached to. The self used in this way would also
include the "generalized other" of sociology, as used by George Mead. Thus P would be others in this sense thinking of an inner perception.

Leaving this aside for now, and proceeding, we have:
Social (y axis)
DD= Doing in the world or on world objects by others ("They run")
DT = Thinking in the world or of world objects by others ("They think of running")
DP= Perceiving in the world or of world objects by others ("They watch running")
PD = Doing in the world or on world objects by others ("They run")
PT =
PP =
Personal (x axis)
Correspondences of Enneagram and MBTI types

En. MBTI SN assume FT
Blindness % chosen Dimness # meaning + numerology
(from tests)
2 ESFJ, ENFJ EFJ EFJ EJ = doing for others, goal-oriented love, relating
3 ESTP, ESFP ETP, EFP ETP EP = doing external thing, not goal-oriented* growth, expressively creating
4 INTJ, INFJ ITJ, IFJ IFJ IJ = doing something internal, goal-oriented practically creating
5 ISTP, INTP ITP ITP IP = thinking an internal, not goal-oriented change, uncertainty, sensuality
6 ISTJ, ISFJ ITJ, IFJ IFJ IJ = thinking an internal, goal-oriented devotion to family
7 ENTP, ENFP ETP,EFP EFP EP = thinking an external, not goal-oriented intuition
8 ESTJ, ENTJ ETJ ETJ EJ = feeling about others, goal-oriented power, control
9 INFP, ISFP IFP IFP IP = feeling something internal, not goal-oriented humanitarian
1 all J-types J ITJ IJ = feeling something internal, goal-oriented leader, initiator

% from Fudjack's site.
* 3 is the artistic achiever
# Note that J= female and even numbers, P= male and odd numbers,
also and F at all the corners (so apparent FT dimness, meaning less important)
+ where E means external or for others, while I is internal
J means goal-oriented, P means not goal-oriented