On 12/31/2013 10:30 PM, s3raph...@yahoo.com wrote: Yes, but the Christian theologians were indebted to the Neoplatonists, especially the divine Plotinus and Iamblichus. Not sure what this has to do with MMY's Adwaita. There's no trinity in Adwaita. Go figure.
On 1/1/2014 12:16 PM, emptyb...@yahoo.com wrote: The doctrine of the Trinity was decided by decree not by philosophic analysis. It looks like maybe you lost your train of thought. What wouldit take to get you to say on topic? Traditional Advaita, as taught by the Adi Shankaracharya, has sadhana requirements. Not everyone will be accepted into the Saraswati Order. Most people won't have access to the initiation performed for the sannyasins of the Saraswati tradition. Ramana Maharshi changed all that - he established the Direct Path teachings. He taught that Realization is open to everyone, and that a long series of preparatory studies was not a requirement that the non-dual Reality be realized. MMY seems to agree with much that Ramana Maharshi has said, as do Poonja, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Papaji, Atmananda Krishna Menon, Swami Chinmayananda, and Ramesh Balsekar. However, although the Shankaracharya renunciates adhere to the Advairta Vedanta, at the same time they all worship the Divine Mother - Sri Vidya, and that is why they are termed Saraswati. They are Sri Vidya proponents who follow Shankaracharya's Advaita Vedanta.
Sure enough - this is beyond your understanding. However, you shouldn't interrupt our conversation because it is exceeds you. Not everything here on FFL is about you.
On 1/2/2014 9:15 PM, emptyb...@yahoo.com wrote: Sure enough - this is beyond your understanding. However, you shouldn't interrupt our conversation because it is exceeds you. What would it take to keep you on topic? There's no trinity theology in Advaita. Not everything here on FFL is about you. Why is it so difficult for you to understand the one, before you go off speculating on the three? Go figure.
Re Why is it so difficult for you to understand the one, before you go off speculating on the three? : Because there has to be duality before a subject (you, for example) can speculate about an object. The One has to divide for that to happen; and so the One + the subject + the object = three terms. *Everything* depends on that Original Trinity. Let Uncle Aleister explain: The Chinese, like ourselves, begin with the idea of Absolute Nothing. They make an effort, and call it the Tao; but that is exactly what the Tao comes to mean, when we examine it. They see quite well, as we have done above, that merely to assert Nothing is not to explain the Universe; and they proceed to do so by means of a mathematical equation even simpler than ours, involving as it does no operations beyond simple addition and subtraction. They say Nothing obviously means Nothing; it has no qualities nor quantities. (The Advaitists said the same, and then stultified themselves completely by calling it One!) But, continue the sages of the Middle Kingdom, it is always possible to reduce any expression to Nothing by taking any two equal and opposite terms. (Thus n + (-n) = 0.) We ought therefore to be able to get any expression that we want fromNothing; we merely have to be careful that the terms shall be precisely opposite and equal. (0 = n + (-n). This then they did, and began to diagrammatize the Universe as a pair of opposites, the Yang or active male, and the Yin or passive Female, principles. - (Aleister Crowley)
The Seraph sez: Yes, but the Christian theologians were indebted to the Neoplatonists, especially the divine Plotinus and Iamblichus. Emptybill sez: The doctrine of the Trinity was decided by decree not by philosophic analysis. The Platonists (nothing neo about them) set the stage for the Christian theologians. However, Platonism is based upon theoria (contemplation), an idea having profound impact on Western traditions. Plato described it as an ascent to the realm of the Real to unite the soul with the Intelligibles (eide) via the helmsman (kubernêtês) of the Phaedrus. Iamblicus (contra Porphyry) defined the path as occurring via theurgic noêsis, the act of a god knowing itself through the activity and medium of a soul. Iamblicus explained the helmsman as a witness (skt.sakshin) or spectator (theatê) of the supercelestial realm. The helmsman’s purpose is not to gaze upon an “other” but to unite with a god. When you add in Iamblicus’s idea that humans were so fallen they couldn’t return to the gods by theoria (thus needing theurgic erôs/philia to unite them) you have the seed-bed for the deformation of Platonism by the Christians. When Constantine instituted and favored Christianity, the stage was set for the rages of the monastic mobs against the “pagans/heathens” and their temples. The fact that influential theologians used Platonic themes to advance their cause is because Christianity (the religion of women and slaves) was bereft of any substantive content in itself. Platonism was the foundation of every form of intelligent understanding in the ancient world. It threaded the Western world until the 1960’s anarchists and their current psuchophantic slaves in academia usurped it. Nice that you even know about the Platonic tradition. I might recommend Paulina Remes’ excellent book Neoplatonism for a well-rounded and lucid presentation of the ideas and impact of “Neoplatonism”. For Iamblicus, no one is better than Gregory Shaw, whose book Theurgy and the Soul is a ground-breaking study of the theurgy of Iamblicus. He also has a great article demonstrating the direct influence of Proclus upon the theology of Dionysius the Areopagite. Gregory Shaw was invited to give the Thomas Taylor Lecture, “Platonic Tantra: the Theurgists of Late Antiquity,” at the Prometheus Trust Conference: Philosophy: restoring the soul in Wilshire, UK, June 2013.
Re When you add in Iamblicus’s idea that humans were so fallen they couldn’t return to the gods by theoria (thus needing theurgic erôs/philia: Presumably that was based on his own experience and observation of his fellow Platonists' struggles. Not so different to Indian ideas about the kali yuga and so us needing some kick-arse tantric techniques to liven us up. Re theologians used Platonic themes to advance their cause because Christianity was bereft of any substantive content in itself.: Because Christianity isn't a philosophy its a Way. They used contemporary Platonic categories in the same way a modern theologian would use scientific terms. Re Nice that you even know about the Platonic tradition.: Yes, it was coming across excerpts in anthologies of Stephen MacKenna's acclaimed translation of the Enneads that intrigued me. (Ie, it was a *literary* thing.) The later Neos like Proclus and Iamblichus are unreadable except by professors in ivory towers. Have you read Plotinus or the Simplicity of Vision by Pierre Hadot? Aimed at the layman and grounded in spiritual experience (not getting tied up in conceptual knots).
Yes, it was coming across excerpts in anthologies of Stephen MacKenna's acclaimed translation of the Enneads that intrigued me. Yep, me too. I like the MacKenna version because it is readable. However, I actually use the translation by A.H. Armstrong of the complete Enneads in 7 volumes in the Loeb edition. The later Neos like Proclus and Iamblichus are unreadable except by professors in ivory towers. Well I’ve had some pretty erudite professors but I never was able to find that ol’ ivory tower. Much depends upon the translator, with academics being some of the best examples for creating unreadable text. However, not all of them are so inept. Here is a translation of a passage of Iamblicus: But there is another principle (arche) of the soul, superior to all nature and knowledge, by which we are able to be united with the Gods, transcend the mundane order, and participate in the eternal life and activity of the super-celestial Gods. … The soul is then entirely separated from those things that bind it to the generated world and it flies from the inferior and exchanges one life for another. It gives itself to another order, having entirely abandoned its former existence. (Iamblicus, De Mysteriis 270, 8-19 – from Theurgy and the Soul, by Gregory Shaw) I found such a translation not only easily understandable but also illuminating.
Re The Trinity is a theological formulation in Christianity ... not a philosophical idea. : Yes, but the Christian theologians were indebted to the Neoplatonists, especially the divine Plotinus and Iamblichus. The One is at the top of the hierarchy. The first emanation is Nous (Divine Mind). From Nous proceeds the World Soul. There are similar notions in Kabbalah (which also pinched its ideas from Greek Platonists) with their Supernal Triad - the three heavenly Sefirot (Kether, Chokmah and Binah). Those ideas have their origin in number theory. In Christian terminology you could say that the original creation occurs when the primal One (the Father) withdraws to leave space for the other (the Son). A split is avoided because the Father has knowledge of and loves the Son. The love is the Holy Spirit. Bleeding obvious when you think about it.
A word to the wise: If you're trying to rebut the Christian idea of the Holy Trinity, it would be good to study up on it first so you don't find yourself setting up straw men to knock down. First came One. It's a leap of metaphysical theorizing to imagine that there is more than One real. Let's be logical: If there were three or more reals instead of One, there would be three or more truths, three or more ultimate realities, and three or more Selfs. But, what do you suppose would cause a person to think there are three are more reals instead of only One?
That is an excellent recommendation. The Trinity is a theological formulation in Christianity ... not a philosophical idea. It is also defined differently between Latin based traditions (Catholic and Protestant) and Greek based traditions (Eastern Orthodox). Speculating about the Christian Trinity is easy but foolish since it is the source of the great schism between the Roman Catholics and Orthodox during the past millennium