Frank Visser, CLIMBING THE STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN: Reflections on Ken Wilber's “The Religion of Tomorrow”
INTEGRAL WORLD: EXPLORING THEORIES OF EVERYTHING
An independent forum for a critical discussion of the integral philosophy of Ken Wilber
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Giorgio Piacenza is a sociologist student in the Certificate program leading to a Master's degree in Integral Theory at JFK University.
Giorgio Piacenza Cabrera
It stands to reason that God as self-effulgent, self-sustaining and essentially inscrutable…is. Just as God as Pure Beauty informs our 'hearts', our sentiment, closest to a First Person, most intimate aspect in our subjective, inscrutable experience; God as the Supreme Good informs both our heartfelt and our rationally understood (and gradually more inclusive) Second Person (the I-Thou) ethical relational experiential extensions towards all living beings, that exist in communion in relation with each other and with their Source. Additionally, God as Pure Being, most likely experienced as a Third Person rational-objective “It,” informs our reason as the Source of the rational-intuitive appreciation that that which is is; an intuition which gives origin to the recognition of the, so called, “Principle of Identity” or “Law of Identity” in logic.
Trying to expound on St. Anselm of Canterbury's revelation, I'll restate that God as the Ultimate Supreme Being is that which cannot be conceived as less than infinite and perfect and, because of this very conception, by necessity and according to reason, God must exist. This is because, without existence God wouldn't be complete, infinite and perfect. Restating: God wouldn't even be conceived as infinite and perfect if it didn't exist. That very conception wouldn't stand to reason if the referent didn't exist. Moreover, I think that God would be the only referent for which its conception necessarily refers to a true, or rather, an 'actual' existent beyond word-conceptual contingency. This is also because God is not a 'thing' whose definition might or might not stand for its actual reality. God is the origin of the capacity to define a 'thing' and, unlike a contingent 'thing', its self-reference remains logically adequate. God thus understood is Absolute Being, the source of self reference that stands at once (as One as Plotinus might say) outside and inside of that self reference, escaping solipsism.
God is that against whom nothing greater can be conceived. That absolute greatness is understood as 'perfection'. In fact, it wouldn't be possible to conceive of an inexistent perfection. Thus, as St. Anselm tried to teach, it's impossible to think of perfection without thinking that that perfection exists. In other words, the very thought of 'perfection' wouldn't even be possible otherwise and, since it is possible and experienced as such, therein lies the proof. Differently said, the existence of perfection is contained in the idea of perfection.
For God (the self-referent origin of contingent being) what is is, either potentially or actually, when thinking in relative, comparative terms. Thus, in relation to the Thomist creative polarity having in one extreme Absolute Actuality, Pure Agency and formless Spirit in contrast with the lowest dependency or potentia as Matter, God can be conceived panentheistically, both as participating as one of the poles and as transcendent of the polarity. The Pure Being represented by the first polarity is not limited by any form or matter but it's required to sustain the apparent being, form and change related with the second polarity of matter (the potential to be) which, in an ultimate sense, in order to “be” is an appearance held within the “Mind” of God. In this way, perhaps, Plotinian emanationism (heavily related with the idea of God's “many mansions,” the planes of existence of mystical-esoteric schools in the East and the West, the “Multiverse,” the “Omniverse,” the 'world' in a metaphoric sense) and the Catholic creationist emphasis (that God as Spirit creates by His power and Will out of nothing and remains as Spirit unaffected by limiting forms and matter) can be found rationally compatible, if not, at least companionable.
As an appearance, the world doesn't limit God. The contingent being of that appearance is sustained within God's Being by Will, rather than by necessity. The will creates/generates the world which emanates in (interactive) hierarchical stages with increasing substance and form as it overflows from God's Infinite Light and His Infinite Superabundant radiance (not to be confused with His inscrutable Ousia or Essence). This is the “Shekhina” and the “Or”/“Ain Soph Aur” of mystical Judaism, also known as the (Energeia), the uncreated but creating “energies of God” of orthodox Christianity; energies that within creation/emanation also allow for many degrees of conscious participation with God.
Looking for deeper compatible meanings, under ideas structured like this, perhaps the essential differences between important creation accounts (such as the Catholic, Kabbhala and Vedanta) can be better understood as stemming from One Knowledge. For instance, in principle I see no difference between the Ousia, the Inscrutable Essence and the Great Mystery of the Plains Indians, or most Islamic, Buddhist and Vedantin Non Duality approximations. Moreover, the metaphysical loci of the various doctrinal emphases given by major world religions (not exactly the seemingly incompatible and misunderstood exoteric doctrinal facades) could be understood as mutually inclusive and complementary.