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Enlightenment and Contemplation Per Polydoxy

Enlightenment and Contemplation Per Polydoxy

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Published by John Sobert Sylvest
Jim Arraj, Thomas Merton, Jacques Maritain, existential Thomism, nondual Christianity, Christian nonduality, polydoxic, polydoxy, Zen, contemplation, Zen enlightenment, Advaita Vedānta, ultimate reality, Madhyamaka Buddhism, nature and grace, John of the Cross, Bernard Lonergan

http://www.scribd.com/johnboy_philothea
Jim Arraj, Thomas Merton, Jacques Maritain, existential Thomism, nondual Christianity, Christian nonduality, polydoxic, polydoxy, Zen, contemplation, Zen enlightenment, Advaita Vedānta, ultimate reality, Madhyamaka Buddhism, nature and grace, John of the Cross, Bernard Lonergan

http://www.scribd.com/johnboy_philothea

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Published by: John Sobert Sylvest on Apr 13, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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04/13/2012

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quote:Originally posted by Jacques:I like where Johnboy is going with this. I always thought Arraj pointed toEastern mysticism being a potential encounter with the Eternal Logos whoindwells and sustains all of existence.This ground of being is an act of God and hence not particularly personal.If a person only knew me through something I did, like a prison guard pushingfood through a slot in the door, this action may seem impersonal. But if theguard speaks to the prisoner and develops a relationship with them, suddenlythe whole reality takes on personal expression.The first is an Impersonal but Sustaining ActThe second is a Personal and Relational Reality that even gives Personal andRelational qualities to the Sustaining Act.Thanks, Jacques.Jim was onto something that Merton seemed to be on the verge of anticipating orarticulating, which is that our great traditions are not saying the same thing only indifferent terms. I would have liked to explore with Jim, though, whether or not wemight better say that
our great traditions are not 
emphasizing
the same thing
. Muchof Jim's dialogue and some of Merton's approach took place within Maritain'sexistential Thomist tradition with such classical distinctions as natural andsupernatural, nature and grace, existential and theological, and so on. And that's allgood and internally coherent. Jim was not bound, however, by a strict substanceontology for he had begun to consider formal causation in terms of deep and dynamicformal grounds. He also knew the dangers of nominalism that might inhere in anyimproperly nuanced process approach. Jim is the first person who suggested to methat Christianity was indeed nondual vis a vis knowledge and love but he also realizedthat distinctions perdure at the ontological level. So, in my own nondual approach, Ihave prescinded from any robustly metaphysical account to a more vaguephenomenological perspective. Thus, I have also moved away from classical naturaland supernatural distinctions and their ontological baggage.Let me expand on what I meant by a polydoxic vision:While Zen indeed gifts Christianity, it is true that Christian contemplation and Zenenlightenment should not be facilely equated; but neither should they be facilelydifferentiated in terms of grace versus nature. Here I may depart from Jim's paradigm -not necessarily by way of contradiction but by employing different categories.If, from Advaita Ved
ā
nta, we draw an account of ultimate reality as
ground 
, fromChristianity - an account of ultimate reality as
contingency
, and from the Madhyamakaschool of Buddhism - an account of ultimate reality as
relation
, and if we hold that the
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