Tuesday, March 10, 2009

strange loopy pelagianism/elevation

I know I am a neek (nerd/geek) when it comes to studies of consciousness and its emergence;
but I stink, therefore I am.

So when Len's recent post incorporated Kierkegaard 's "stages of human consciousness":

...In many of his works Kierkegaard interprets three stages of human consciousness. Every believer must grow through these stages and overcome them in order to come into a full and mature relationship with God.

The first stage is “aesthetic.” More commonly we would use the word “romantic,” but aesthetic describes something more instinctual. It is the sensate life, lived only on the surface of things. In this stage everything is about appearance and how we feel. Identity is brittle and this is a narcissistic existence.

The second stage we must pass through and die to is the moral life. This is a much more subtle battle, and one which many churches and individuals never move beyond. It exhibits a Pelagian righteousness, mirrored in Paul’s statement in Galatians: “Having begun with the Spirit will you end with the law?” It is zealous for good works, but often ignorant of God’s design or his heart. It is strong on techniques and methods, less clear about ends. It has little sense of the glory of God.

Kierkgaard cites Abraham’s test with Isaac as death to this kind of life. As with many stages, the transition point involves both confusion and surrender.
The third stage is the stage of human religious consciousness. Kierkegaard proclaimed himself a prophet of the second Reformation, and called the Danish Christendom church to die so that true Christianity might be born. But in order to be this kind of prophet he placed himself outside the establishment. He believed that all favors of ecclesial life must be rejected in order to call the church to repentance. Like John the Baptist his was a voice in the wilderness.

Dying to religious life meant rejection and hiddenness. Kierkegaard understood that popular Christianity was triumphal and avoided the Cross. He saw that the closer we grow to God, the more we suffer with him for the world. Kierkegaard emphasized being over doing, a direction that seems to mirror many prophetic voices in our own time. But then, the church of our day, like that of his, is thoroughly Pelagian.

...this opened many doors for me.

One of the wilder ones to open would be the connection of these stages to the "literal"
(whatever that means) emergence of human consciousness.
One shouldn't walk through that door, of course, without Hofstadter's Pulitzer-Prize winning
" Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid." and his "I am a Strange Loop" under one's arm.

He suggests that "if you don’t mind the term, a soul" emerges out of a "loopiness" of self-referentialism in the physical brain.

Maybe we have no soul until we get kickstarted out of the Pelagian stage.

Even then:

“I am a mirage that perceives itself.”

I still think it's possible that we might overlay the rabbinic (and U2) category of elevation as a stage three of consciousness:
we may never get unstuck from moralistic pelaganianism until we deal with our sexuality..

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