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INTRODUCTION After they had both heard the Gospel preached by the missionary bishop Paulinus, an advisor of King Edwin of Northumberland said to him: The present life of man, O king, seems to me, in comparison of that time which is unknown to us, like to the swift flight of a sparrow through the room wherein you sit at supper in winter, with your commanders and ministers, and a good fire in the midst, whilst the storms of rain and snow prevail abroad; the sparrow, I say, flying in at one door, and immediately out at another, whilst he is within, is safe from the wintry storm; but after a short space of fair weather, he immediately vanishes out of your sight, into the dark winter from which he had emerged. So this life of man appears for a short space, but of what went before, or what is to follow, we are utterly ignorant. If, therefore, this new doctrine contains something more certain, it seems justly to deserve to be followed.1 Like King Edwin and his council of elders, who among us has not been warmed by lifes goodness, fed by its truth, inspired by its beauty? Even then, who has not also poignantly experienced the wintry storms of lifes poverty in so many different forms, the hunger pangs of our ignorance regarding lifes ultimate concerns and the always swift flight of lifes beauty from our sight? Prompting all of us to ask whether there might be more? To the extent that human life has always been an ongoing quest in pursuit of such value-realizations as truth, beauty, goodness, unity and mercy, lifes unavoidable value-frustrations have given rise to many questions with clear existential imperatives. What is that? Describe it. What is that to us? Evaluate it. How might we best acquire (or avoid) that? Norm it. Might there be more? Interpret all of that! Thus it is that humanitys perennial value-pursuits have given rise to lifes many different methods --- descriptive sciences, evaluative cultures, normative philosophies and interpretive religions --- each autonomous, all necessary, none alone sufficient, for every value-realization. The value-pursuits of truth, beauty and goodness, in a context of freedom, comprise an essential axiology, or interpretive axis, presupposed even by an evolutionary epistemology.2 Beyond this essential axiology, humankind has embarked on many different religious quests. That is also to say, we have adopted many different interpretive stances toward
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Bede, The Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation, L.C. Jane's 1903 Temple Classics translation, introduction by Vida D. Scudder, (London: J.M. Dent; New York E.P. Dutton, 1910) 2 For a compelling example of such an account, see Goodenough, Ursula and Terrence W. Deacon. 2003. "From Biology to Consciousness to Morality." Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science 38 (December): 801-819.

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reality. The primary religious quest pursues truth, beauty and goodness, in a context of freedom, through a basic cosmology via a participatory imagination, which is respectively engaged with historical, socio-cultural and economic concerns in a political context (freedom presenting in degrees). Beyond this cosmology, though certainly not without its perspective, a theological imagination then respectively engages these same concerns through creed, cult-community and code, in a context open to transcendence (what we might call an outside assist). A more distinctly pneumatological imagination divines, again respectively, more precisely how it is that we are thus oriented, empowered-sanctified and healed, in a context of being saved. The Christological imagination then breaks open these categories of human concern and divine interactivity elaborating various approaches to eschatology, ecclesiology-theological anthropology and sacramentology within a context of soteriology-political theology. In no way necessarily mutually exclusive, these various imaginative engagements of reality reflect the urgency of our existential concerns with their forced and vital natures as each interrogates reality, once again, with that question born of our most insistent longings --might there be more? While we will aspire to describe here some significant measure of the sought after unity between traditions through this account of humanitys common methods and shared values, at the same time, this should in no way be mistaken for any facile syncretism, false irenicism or insidious indifferentism, for we will not be at all suggesting that every such engagement of humanitys forced and vital concerns is also, necessarily, a live option.3 Still, what we may discover in this excursus is that, while many of our great and even indigenous traditions can not in the final analysis be fully live options, theoretically, in that they appeal to putative descriptions and norms that are on their face incompatible, they otherwise will have to be considered so, nonetheless, for all practical purposes, because it is just too early on humankinds journey to imagine that we can successfully adjudicate between all such disparate approaches. This is also to suggest that not all affirmations of religious plurality will be grounded the same way, methodologically, which is to say that some approaches may remain live options only because we remain ignorant, while others may be live options, indeed, because they reflect merely a legitimate plurality of aesthetical expression, which is otherwise ordered toward the same truth and goodness, and a bona fide diversity of ministry, though otherwise enjoying a great unity of mission. Finally, in none of this will we be saying that it is too early on humankinds journey to successfully adjudicate between at least some disparate approaches, especially where it is patently obvious that a growth in human authenticity is being either wondrously fostered or miserably thwarted by this or that religious cohort. Of course, many approaches will lie between these extremes and will thus serve us, because they are, as they say, good enough, even if not optimal. The quest thus perdures! What we hope to offer in this collaborative exercise is an axiological vision of the whole
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Cf. The Will to Believe by William James. An Address to the Philosophical Clubs of Yale and Brown Universities. Published in the New World, June, 1896.

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of reality that will assist all those who aspire to foster a growth in human authenticity in the members of their faith community. This vision, we hope, will also offer a meaningful contextualization of the Good News of Jesus Christ, one that answers humankinds quest --- not only for more, but --- for superabundance, pressed down, shaken together, running over, poured into our laps. About Our Triads and Tetrads From whence and whither the Fourthness of our tetradic arrangement of phenomenology, axiology, epistemology and theology, as well as the tetrads nested within them (i.e. the triad within each immanent frame plus a fourth element of transcendence) ? Is it a Platonic artifact? Certainly it makes no a priori claim on our metaphysics? Perhaps it simply mirrors the functions of the human brain quadrants as inventoried by our Jungian intuitions? Clearly, in semiotics, it reduces to the irreducible Thirdness of Peirce's modal ontology of the possible, actual and necessary, as inspired by an axiology of truth, beauty and goodness, as modeled by an epistemology of icon, index and symbol? We have presented a tetradic architectonic within which we have framed our triadic phenomenology, trialectical axiology, trialogical epistemology and trinitarian theology, each situated in both immanent and transcendent frames. In one sense, perhaps implicit in our transcendent frames, we are simply recognizing reality's depth dimensions as reality confronts us, respectively, with ontological vagueness, axiological frustration, epistemic indeterminacy and hermeneutical interpretation. In another sense, our radical finitude and fallibility leave us perennially wanting, always probing for something more. But is there necessarily more? We have characterized our descriptive sciences, evaluative cultures and normative philosophies as interrogations of reality, respectively asking: What is that? What is that to us? How can we, therefore, best acquire (or avoid) that? And we have recognized interpretive religion as a quest asking: Is there more where that came from? And such ultimate concerns, correspond to, in the case of what we would like to acquire, our fondest existential hopes, and in the case of what we would like to avoid, our worst existential fears. As they say, we thus hope vaguely and dread precisely. Merton describes these existential crises in terms of continuity (not mincing words, here, we all fear death in its many forms) and creativity (we all want to somehow matter and make a difference). In our view, it is precisely continuity and creativity that hold the key as we try to break open the portal of Fourthness to transcendentally gaze beyond our immanent frame. If reality is in any manner either pervasively triadic or tetradic, this does not necessarily entail our eschewal of such dyadic conceptions as we use to describe such polar realities, for example, as true and false (principle of noncontradiction), either- or (principle of excluded middle), this not that (haecceity, Peirce's nondescriptive reference), faith and doubt, beautiful and ugly, good and evil, right and wrong. But we will discuss later how such First Principles as noncontradiction and excluded middle will either hold or fold in each modal category of the possible, actual and necessary, particularly noting how

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metaphysical necessity often yields to probability in the Peircean category of Thirdness (which relates to laws, axioms, regularities and such). It is especially in this category of Thirdness that we can bring into sharp relief the tensions between pattern and paradox, symmetry and asymmetry, order and chaos, random and systematic, chance and necessity, vague and specific, determinate and indeterminate, and, finally, Merton's concerns with continuity and discontinuity, creativity and insignificance. Might there be a root metaphor that would best capture Thirdness, Fourthness and all of the above-described polarities, dynamisms and tensions? And that might also unitively reframe the dichotomy of immanence and transcendence, presenting a single polar reality to be realized in measures of degrees? The best such metaphor, in our view, would be that of freedom, the deprivation of which we often describe as coercion, the dynamism of which we recognize as the political4, broadly conceived. In our triadic phenomenology, determinate reality issues forth (ex nihilo) precisely as necessity kenotically prescinds to probability as the Creator shrinks to "free" new actualities from the realm of possibility. In our trialectical teleology, we grow in human authenticity (humanization is divinization is our theosis) precisely through a progressive realization of freedom via ongoing intellectual, affective, moral, sociopolitical and religious conversions. Lord Acton has clarified our confusion regarding this authentic human freedom, which, per his counsel, we should not misinterpret as a license to do what we merely want, but as the liberty, rather, to do what we simply must. Freedom realized down a path toward necessity? How dramatically ironic! Again, we encounter the utterly paradoxical but clearly efficacious kenotic dynamic of self-emptying as we co-creatively participate in our own shrinking (imago Dei) to free up novel realities from the realm of possibility in a reality framed by an aesthetic teleology, which realizes value precisely through the shedding of monotony and appropriation of novelty as our will is surrendered only to be transformed into a will that is free, indeed. The paradox lies in our striving to participate in the perichoretic dance of the Ens Necessarium, Who, necessarily, only loves, but with a love that issues forth from an utter fullness of freedom. In becoming a prisoner of love, paradoxically, we are thus transformed and realize authentic freedom. Perhaps this is what Maritain5 recognized as la dialectique immanente du premier acte de libert (the immanent dialectic of the first act of freedom). In our trialogical epistemology, we amplify the epistemic risks we've already taken in our descriptive sciences, evaluative cultures and normative philosophies in order to augment our human value-realizations through an interpretive surrender that expands our horizons
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See Yongs In the Days of Caesar Pentecostalism and Political Theology, Wm. B. Eeerdmans Piublishing Co. 2010. 5 Jacques Maritain, Raisons et raisons 1947

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of concern thus freeing us up to realize new possibilities. Our trinitarian theology precisely addresses our most insistent human longings and most urgent existential concerns, again, inviting a paradoxical surrender to manifold assists coming to us from beyond (Patrology) , beside (Christology) and within (Pneumatology) and promising to thereby set us free, indeed, in a word, saving us. In another irony, perhaps few understand this as well as those who are marginalized socially, economically, culturally, politically and even religiously, or who are otherwise radically in touch with our radical poverty in our dependence on God. As Richard Rohr suggests, there are generally two routes to transformation suffering and mysticism. In other words, we dont enter the monastery or undertake a life of prayer to make us better human beings rather, we urgently and in crisis and seriously and radically place the utter dependency and abject poverty of our selves (which are nevertheless good) at Gods disposal in order to be dramatically rescued. Thomas Merton Pericean Thirdness, now conceived as necessity, next conceived as probability, might be reconceived in terms of reality's realization of various degrees of freedom, always paradoxically gifted through surrender. As a single polar reality, both our immanent and transcendent frames recognize it, even if in unfathomably different measures, as we participate in freedom in a way that is, at once, indeterminately transcendent, vaguely immanent, proleptically realized and always mediated, whether theologically, axiologically or semiotically. Fourthness thus conceptually reduces to that aspect of Thirdness which we experience as horizon, thirdness itself corresponding to various degrees of freedom in a reality that sometimes appears nearly wholly determined, while at other times very much free, at least within what we might otherwise imagine to be realitys initial, boundary and limit conditions. It is further interesting to note that emergence, itself, relies on information loss (mistakes even) in each introduction of novelty, in a teleodynamic process of alternating forgetting and remembering (anamnesis) that well explore later. It is no accident, then, that strategic sacrifice and surrender recur as a central motif in so many of our worlds phenomenologies and theologies.

About Our Pathways In the East, a distinction is drawn between the way of the baby monkey and the way of the kitten, the first way describing that of the ascetics in pursuit of Enlightenment, Knowledge and Wisdom, the second that of Devotion. The metaphorical implications are that there is more effort on the part of the baby monkey, which must actively cling tightly to its parent in getting transported around, while, as we are all aware, the kitten is passively transported by the nape of its neck in its mothers teeth. I offer another distinction, which is the way of the baby goose, implying an imprinted following of the parent or an imitation of Action. Finally, we might consider the way of the baby martin, which is familiar to any whove observed the parents knocking a fledgling off of the Purple Martin House that it might thereby learn to fly, the implication here describing

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the Way of the Cross via formative, reformative and transformative suffering. If these are different path-ways, perhaps roughly corresponding to creed, cult, code and community in our great traditions, where do they ultimately lead? We will explore, herein, how they are all ordered toward a unitive Life in the Spirit and are animated via Lonergans conversions (intellectual, affective, moral, social and religious) by the very same Spirit. One of the richest reflections on the contemplative life is in Mertons __New Seeds of Contemplation__, especially in the preface and first three chapters, which reflect on what contemplation is and is not and what the true self and false self are. We will engage Mertons formative spirituality at some length, but concise summary would be that, 1) for our true self, our joy is found in Gods glory; 2) our will is oriented to Gods love; 3) the work of our journey is to co-create with God our identity through and with and in God; 4) that we may become wholly in His image, holy in His image; 5) when we do have our memory, understanding and will integrated and holistically operative, we experience our true self but 6) this co-creation of our identity and this surrender of our memory, understanding and will to faith, hope and love are effected through theological virtue gifted by the Spirit by an elevation of nature through grace and transmutation of experience through grace and not by a perfection of the natural order by our natural efforts, which is to say 7) we are in need of salvation to overcome both death and sin and the most fundamental vocational call we answer is 8 ) to be saved and then 9) transformed.

An Ecumenical Pneumatological Ecclesiology A new generation of pentecostal scholars has entered into a credible dialogue with modern science, modern philosophy and modern theology. These approaches have profound implications for ecclesiology. What is emerging is nothing less than an ecumenical pneumatological ecclesiology.6 It criticizes our Western approach, which is largely discursive theology. It emphasizes that Life in the Spirit is also an experience.
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The Spirit Poured Out on All Flesh by Amos Yong (2005 Baker Academic).

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They believe that our coming Christendom will be radically pluralistic, centered not in Rome or Canterbury but variously in Seoul, Beijing, Singapore, Bombay, Lagos, Rio, Sao Paulo and Mexico City. The emphases in dialogue will be: 1) postmodern theology that hears the voices of the marginalized 2) postpatriarchal theology 3) postfoundationalist theology that values methodological pluralism 4) postcolonial theology that privileges local traditions, languages and practices 5) posthierarchical that embraces dialogical and democratic processes 6) post-Cartesian theology that gives recognition to the inductive, lived, existential and nondual character of reflection alongside deductive, propositional, more abstract and dualistic forms of theologizing 7) post-Western and post-European theology open to engaging the multiple religious, cultural and philosophical voices of Asian traditions and spiritualities. A pneumatological approach to revelation will then be 1) transcendental Spirit breaks thru human condition from beyond ourselves 2) historical 3) contextual, concerned with real lives, real histories, real societies 4) personal, both interpersonal and intersubjective 5) transformational 6) communal 7) a verb not just a noun 8 ) progressive & dynamic Spirit calls us to interpret, respond and act 9) marked by love, an unmistakable criterion for discernment 10) received by humble faith seeking understanding 11) propositional and resisting our fallen interpretations 12) eschatological.

Getting from Is to Ought Our descriptive sciences and normative philosophies, in many ways, respectively, grapple with the "is" and "ought" of reality. Beyond the most general of norms (that is also to say within the constraints of the initial, boundary and limit conditions of reality's givens), our evaluative cultures will then otherwise enjoy and employ (co-creatively) the freedom we've been given, which we celebrate through a wonderful diversity of ministry and beautiful plurality of expression, historically, socially, economically and politically. Historical tensions forever push and pull us between an uncertain future and unforgiving past. But we continuously manage to get oriented and reoriented nonetheless. Social tensions have human dignity always precariously perched between individual autonomy and institutional necessity. But subsidiarity principles, when in play, will often enlighten and empower such decisions. Cultural tensions result from choices we must make between competing values. But we usually imagine that we and our choices can, perhaps, be sanctioned, maybe even sanctified.

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We inevitably experience economic tensions as we fail in our willingness to distinguish between wants and needs and our ability to match needs with goods and services. But healing, in all sorts of ways, keeps coming our way. We experience political tensions (broadly conceived) precisely because reality presents us with both coercion and freedom. But we always imagine that we can be saved, somehow, from reality's manifold and multiform coercions. How is it that humanity continues to be oriented, empowered sanctified, healed and saved albeit in ways that are variously (more and less) efficacious? Might these be tantalizingly proleptic (value-)realizations of reality's enticingly telic dimensions, which gently coax (and sometimes impolitically cajole) us along on what seems to be a journey, on what undeniably is an adventure?7 One compelling hypothesis is that, in many of our Great Traditions our interpretive religions have gifted us with a pneumatological imagination, which discerns a Spirit active in every aspect of our lives, broadening our horizons of concern beyond --the starkly historical to the remarkably eschatological (orienting us); the simply social to the robustly ecclesiological (empowering us); a merely cultural to a fully theological anthropology (sanctifying us); the mercilessly economic to the mercifully sacramental (healing us). and the nakedly political to the compassionately soteriological (saving us);

This Spirit, Who is holy, has broken open our philosophies with the novel questions posed (although not answered) by our natural theologies and enlivened our sciences with an evocative poetry inspired by our theologies of nature.

The reality of the Incarnation, Jesus, then further reveals how we are being: 1) oriented, as the historical tension between past and future has been transcended by One Who broke into our now from eternity --- not to transfix our gaze on the utterly beyond, but --- to infinitely transvalue the significance of our fragile, temporal existence (cf. the Lukan gospel narrative); 2) empowered, as the social tension between individuals and institutions has been transcended by One Who promised to be present where two or more are gathered
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Our essential axiology and basic cosmology already recognize a minimalist telos at play in reality, prior to the more robustly telic dimension suggested by our pneumatological imagination. Modern semiotic science has room for both the formal and final causations as analogs to those of a classical aristotelian metaphysics. Obviously, an emergentist perspective, which would admit such causations and telos, need not violate physical causal closure. But neither would a more robustly telic dimension that is operative at the level of primal reality in its initial, boundary and limit conditions. Scientific methods, which are empirical and probabilistic, relying on falsification, would not, in principle, measure such improbable proleptic realizations, which otherwise get recorded as inexplicable anomalies.

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in His Name and affirmed an even more radical solidarity in establishing --- not an earthly realm, but --- a Kingdom wherein belonging (community) and desiring (cult-ivation) enjoy a clear primacy over (even if not a complete autonomy from) behaving (code) and believing (creed) (cf. Sylvest & Yong's Contemplative Phenomenology, 2010 ); 3) sanctified, as the cultural tension between competing (and extrinsic) values has been transcended by One Who invites us to savor the intrinsically valuable approaches of faith, hope and love in the pursuit of truth, beauty and goodness (cf. the Lukan narrative, Acts); 4) healed, as the economic tension between our needs and our means has been transcended by One Who, by initiating us all into a grand solidarity, has ushered in a compassion (that inevitably ensues from any awareness of our oneness) whereby a love begun in the Kingdom, now, will get perfected as it more fully comes to realization, eternally (cf. the Our Father); and 5) saved, as the political tension between reality's coercions and freedoms has been transcended by One Who deemed even equality with God as nothing at which one should grasp (cf. also the Magnificat); saved, as the political tension between reality's coercions and freedoms has been transcended by One Who deemed even equality with God as nothing at which one should grasp (cf. also the Magnificat); The tensions we experience present in many ways and are not confined to those inventoried and fleshed out above regarding our evaluative and interpretive methods. Our descriptive sciences and normative philosophies have their own tensions and paradoxes, some which we are able to dissolve such as through perspectival and paradigm shifts, some which we can successfully resolve dialectically such as through an Hegelian-like approach, some which we simply evade by ignoring, at least, for all practical purposes, and some which we discover can be maintained in a creative tension to our utmost edification. We cannot know a priori which paradoxes will thus submit to which strategy. Neither can we a priori know when it is that our knowledge is being thwarted only temporarily due to methodological constraints or permanently due to some type of in-principle ontological occulting. What we do know is that reality presents us with values, affords us methods and provides us perspectives. It is a story of rewards, risks and relationships. Many of our value-augmentations precisely derive from strategic risk-amplifications. But rewards do not come from risk, alone; rather, they result from properly managed risk. Risk management involves a knowledge of realitys relationships, both its functional (objective) and personal (subjective) relationships. To the extent that much of reality is indeterminate and that certain of its relationships are not specifiable, it suggests that many of realitys relationships are interobjective, whereby we somehow recognize that there are various effects proper to no known causes even though we can in no way get at how this might be so due to an interobjective indeterminacy, which hints at some type of duality or degree of ontological discontinuity . However, a great deal of reality is indeed determinate and specifiable, even if sometimes in varying degrees of epistemic determinacy and ontological vagueness, and we have been able to establish both that there are certain effects as well as how they are caused because such relationships derive from a type of intraobjective identity, affirming a nondual aspect to many of realitys

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functional relationships. Humankinds greatest value-realizations are intersubjective, relationships between persons. And the quality of these relationships, often measured in degrees of intersubjective intimacy, is very much determined by ones relationship to self or ones intrasubjective integrity. The histories of philosophy and religion are littered with one school after another that over- or under-emphasized some method, value or perspective (or some risk, reward or relationship) in a fetish-like manner. This includes many of philosophys so-called turns and many of religions schisms as well as all manner of insidious isms, which we neednt inventory here. We can affirm this that methods precede systems. And we do accept that epistemology models ontology. However, to the extent we affirm only a fallibilist epistemology, any ontology will therefore be more than a tad tentative and any modeling power will be, shall we say, weak. Our deontologies, then, should be as modest as our ontologies are tentative. We are not at all suggesting that one should not take epistemic risks for these risk-amplifications are indispensable to our value-augmentations. We do, however, aspire to properly adjudicate between those options that are indeed live vis a vis epistemic virtue and those that fall prey to either an excess hubris or humility, respectively, the excesses of modernity (e.g. both Enlightenment and religious fundamentalisms) or of any radically deconstructive postmodernism (e.g. vulgar Rortyism). Any God-concept, suitably predicated apophatically, will take into account this interobjective indeterminacy. Gods determinate nature, revealed in creation and amplified in special revelation, presents in a creative tension between some type of intraobjective identity, for our autonomy can only be quasi-, and some type of intersubjective intimacy, for this love has been revealed. Our own relationships to God, others and creation require a proper relationship to self or intraobjective integrity. All of these relationships can be cultivated through various ascetic displines and spiritual practices. These are addressed more fully, below, under Formative Spirituality.

What does it mean to express faith, hope, and love in the 21st Century (or Post-postmodern world)? We should amplify the risks we took when we moved from our exclusivistic ecclesiocentrisms to a more inclusivistic Christocentricism by exploring a robust pneumatological inclusivism in our interreligious dialogue. Put simply, we should take more risks in our faith outlook by being more open regarding where we expect to find the Spirit at work in our world, for example, among other peoples, in both sacred and secular settings, thereby augmenting the value to be realized from a broader ecumenism. We should amplify the risks weve already taken liturgically being more open to how it is the Spirit can form our desires, recognizing that we can fruitfully adopt the spiritual technology of other religions, such as certain asceticisms, disciplines and practices, without necessarily adopting their conclusions, thus augmenting the value to be mined from desiring the Kingdom above all else and being sensitive to its less visible

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manifestations. We should amplify the risks involved in our dualistic, problem-solving mind, with its empirical, rational, practical and moral approach to reality to engage reality more holistically and integrally with our nondual mind and its contemplative stance thus augmenting the value of relationship to God, others, the environment and even self. We should amplify the risks involved in our moral ventures by moving beyond our legalistic approach to moral realities in society to a more social justice oriented approach, striving less for a theocratic and coercive moral statism and more for the establishment of the Kingdom via our successful institutionalization of the corporal works of mercy, thus augmenting the value to be mined on behalf of those whove been marginalized. We should amplify the risks involved in conducting a more scientifically rigorous Biblical exegesis, unafraid of historical-critical methods, literary criticism and honest Jesus scholarship, thus augmenting the value of the Good News for all people of the world through enhanced reliability, credibility and authoritativeness. We should amplify the risks involved in ministering to the world through noninstitutional vehicles, affirming them as partners and mining the value they create in the ecclesiological models they afford us, egalitarian models that are free of clericalism, paternalism, hierarchicalism, colonialism, parochialism, sexism, institutionalism and so on, thereby augmenting the value to be realized from a more dutiful engagement of the Sensus Fidelium. The Risk-based Approach to Value-Realization Faith, hope and love are adventures in that they involve risk or what Pascal called a wager. And it is a grand cosmic adventure in which we are invited to participate as we unconditionally assent to the proposition that the pursuits of truth, beauty and goodness are their own reward. This quest, itself, becomes our grail. This journey becomes our destination. As we observe this 13.7 billion year old universe, notwithstanding humankinds cumulative advances in science, philosophy, culture and religion, questions still beg regarding the initial, boundary and limit conditions of the cosmos. There is, however, an overarching narrative that begins to address these questions. It is the story of Emergence. Emergence gifts the universe with an increasing complexity as its novel structures and properties present the beauty that surrounds us. It is a complexity, however, that is willing to run the risk of disintegration. The greater the number of bifurcations and permutations involved in any given system, the more fragile. And, the more fragile, the more beautiful. Put most simply, an emergent cosmos amplifies risk and thus augments beauty.

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These are realities we can understand without the benefit of special divine revelation. We have explored how: A descriptive human science queries reality asking: What is that? Our evaluative human culture inquires: Whats that to us? And our normative human philosophy then aspires to answer the ensuing question: How do we best acquire or avoid that? The answers we have derived for these perennial questions take the form of truth, beauty and goodness. And while each individual asks these questions everyday, as radically social animals, these values are realized in community. Because we are radically finite, hence needy, we form communities of value-realizers. Thus we talk about the scientific community, philosophic community, cultural community and so on. Each such community, in its pursuit of value, in its own way, embarks on a risk-taking adventure, amplifying risks in order to augment our human value-realizations of truth, beauty and goodness. The scientist, for her part, ventures forth with hypotheses that are inherently falsifiable by design. The philosopher, for his part, articulates a provisional closure, which is represented as this school or that. Human culture has been a veritable laboratory, wherein our falsifiable sciences and provisional philosophies have played out as anthropological explorations, as we know, sometimes to humankinds utmost benefit but, all to often, to humanitys everlasting dismay. Before we introduce competing meta-narratives, or axes of interpretation of reality, we already observe our communities of value-realization in pursuit of the intrinsically rewarding values of truth, beauty and goodness. And we observe science, philosophy and culture harvesting these values in abundance in what is an inherently spiritual quest. Before our interpretive narratives (religions) are introduced, our descriptive, evaluative and normative narratives are in place, as a cosmology, amplifying risks and thereby augmenting our value-realizations. In this regard, they might very well be considered both necessary and sufficient. Still, as the ultimate value-realizer, our species might naturally wonder: Is there, perhaps, more? In our distinctly human way, most of us not only wonder but also pursue more truth, more beauty and more goodness, than is already realizable by science, culture and philosophy. In so doing, we ask: How does all of that tie-together? And this re-ligation query is a distinctly religious question. It is, then, the interpretive aspect of our axiology. Now, if science, culture and philosophy, each in their own way, comprise a risk-venture in pursuit of truth, beauty and goodness, amplifying our epistemic, normative and evaluative risks toward the end of augmenting these intrinsically rewarding values, then what inheres in the very fabric of the religious quest is a further amplification of risks. These amplified risks are nothing less, then, than faith, hope and love.

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It is no accident, then, that the worlds literature has ubiquitously employed the journey, the quest, the adventure as its root metaphor for the religious quest and that its preferred allegory has been an erotic love that risks all for the sake of all. Weve come a long way in this presentation without addressing the postmodern influence on our 21st Century expressions of faith, hope and love. And if youve hung in here with me thus far, know that were now on the threshold of describing the postmodern prescription for what has ailed our modernistic religious quest. The chief problem with the modernistic approach to the religious quest is that it lost touch with the essential risk-taking nature of faith, hope and love. Perhaps due to our natural human anxiety to banish all mystery, perhaps due to our rather feeble ability to tolerate ambiguity, and perhaps due to our insatiable need to either resolve, dissolve or evade all paradox, humanity has largely surrendered to a neurotically-induced hubris that imagines that all mystery has thus been comprehended, all ambiguity has thus been eliminated and all paradox is subject to either synthetic resolution, perspectival dissolution or practical evasion. The practical upshot of such hubris is that we begin to imagine that there are no risks to undertake, much less amplify, no further values to pursue, much less augment, no quests to launch, no journeys on which to embark. Life, then, is no longer an adventure. The chief malady of such a malaise is that an insidious ennui settles over us. Its not so much that we think we have all the right answers, which is bad enough, but that we imagine that we even have all the right questions. Our science devolves into scientism. Our culture caves into a practical nihilism. Our philosophies decay into a sterile rationalism. The only thing that remains to be seen is whether our planet will go out with a silent ecological whimper or a fiery nuclear holocaust. Our religion, for its part, gets hyper-eschatological with heavenly notions that are of little earthly use. A once enchanted world becomes inhabited with terribly disenchanted denizens. Modernism, in its pretense, bottled up the elixir of risk and offered us instead a vile concoction that it mistook for some type of truth serum, a formula with all the answers, which diluted any risk. Its ingredients included a fideism, which walled itself in to a house of language game mirrors claiming immunity for religion to cultural critique. It also mixed in an inordinate amount of theological nonrealism due to a hyper-active dialectical imagination that approached God as not only wholly incomprehensible (which He is), but as not even partly intelligible (which She is). It suggested that no reasons could be given for religious belief as if all reasons necessarily derived from empirical and rational argumentation with their informative propositions and epistemic warrants, when, so much of human reasoning, instead, is prudential and moral with performative significance and normative justification.

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Put much more simply, modernism overemphasized reasons of the head and relegated reasons of the heart to historys propositional dustbin. A radically deconstructive postmodernism, in one of philosophys most tragic ironies, ends up being nothing more than a hypermodernistic outlook, with great hubris putting a priori limits on human knowledge except, well, for one singular exception, which would be the limits they refuse to place on their own anthropology. In their caricature of all human communication as language games, the Wittgensteinian fideists misappropriate Wittgenstein as they saw off the epistemological limbs wherein their own ontological eggs are nested. In their anxiety to annihilate metaphysics, both the social construction theorists and the scientistic cabal do away with the very analogia that fuel both highly theoretical science and speculative cosmology. This is just as insidious as the tautologies that were inhabited by those who bought into Feuerbach, Marx, Freud, Nietzsche and others, whose anthropological conclusions were buried in their reductionistic premises and hidden in their cynical definitions. None of this is to deny that we do not all inhabit elaborate tautologies with their various circular references, causal disjunctions, infinite regressions and question begging. It is to suggest that not all tautologies are equally taut and that we can and should attempt to adjudicate between them based on such anthropological metrics as provided by Lonergans conversions (expanded by Gelpi): intellectual, affective, moral, sociopolitical and religious. And this is not to claim that such sociologic metrics are readily available or easily interpretable but, come on folks, some religious cohorts are rather transparently dysfunctional, wouldnt you say? And judging different approaches to faith by employing such pragmatic criteria is admittedly not robustly truth-conducive but it is certainly reasonable to imagine that it is truth-indicative. Our inability to finally discriminate between all religious approaches, some which end up being quite equiplausible, even if not equiprobable, does not make our approach moot; rather, it makes it problematical. It does not mean that we do not have reasons (and very good reasons, at that) to embrace one faith approach and to eschew another; it only means that those reasons will not be universally compelling. Faith, hope and love in the 21st Century will look like an adventure. It will look like a risk-filled adventure where believers run the cosmic risk of disintegration in self-emptying kenotic love. Like Pip in Great Expectations, we will embark on a search for our Benefactor. Like Mark Twains Huckleberry Finn, we will be a people of hope, always looking in expectant anticipation for whats around the rivers bend. Like the cosmos, itself, and with the grand Cosmic Adventurer, we will actively participate, not without some moaning and groaning, in the great act of giving birth. Faith, hope and love in the 21st Century will look a lot more like that time of enchantment in the early days of Christianity, when the apostles and disciples and closest confidants of Jesus, Himself, took great risks in following Him. It will look a lot less like that self-righteous certitude of fundamentalistic religion, scientistic philosophy or even,

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ironically, a social constructionist nonrealism. These are, in the end, very pessimistic anthropologies whether gnostic or agnostic. We simply cannot a priori know how knowable or unknowable reality will turn out to be. It makes a lot more sense to believe that, as we progressively enhance our modeling power of reality, albeit in a very fallibilist way, our concepts and constructs and categories are making some of our tautologies much more taut vis a vis reality writ large. And this includes our God-concepts, which, in-principle, must be inherently vague. If there is a grand telic design and we actively participate in same, there is every good reason to hypothesize that the inexorable advance of human knowledge gifts us with a more coherent outlook on both proximate and ultimate reality. To the extent we understand reality better, the analogs we apply to ultimate reality will improve. This is not to deny that such analogs will invoke an infinite number of dissimilarities over against the similarities they will reveal. It is to affirm that those similarities, however meager, have profound existential import because they pertain to a VERY BIG reality, indeed. Over against any radically positive theology (kataphasis) of the gnostics, fundamentalists and rationalists, and over against any radically negative theology (apophasis) of the agnostics, nonrealists and fideists, a postmodern theology eschews both an epistemic hubris and an excessive epistemic humility in favor of a Goldilocks approach that is just right, an epistemic holism with an integral approach to reality. In our postmodern milieu, science, culture, philosophy and religion are intertwined. When one advances, they all advance. When one regresses, they all regress. This is not to say that they are not otherwise autonomous methodologies. A postmodern theology recognizes and affirms this autonomy. It is to say that these approaches to reality are integrally-related in every human value-realization. They are, then, methodologically-autonomous but axiologically-integral. Enhanced modeling power of reality, whether in science, culture, philosophy or religion, translates into an enhanced modeling power of reality writ large. We best not set these value-pursuits over against or in competition. A modernist rationalism is a failed risk-management technique, attempting to domesticate this risk and ameliorate its adventuresome nature. A modernist fideism is a failed risk-elimination technique, attempting to immunize faith from critique by reducing it to mere expression. Only a constructive postmodern approach can successfully retrieve, revive and renew our sense of adventure, enchantment and risk-taking, inviting us anew to journey on a quest for a grail worthy of our ineradicable human aspirations for more, a LOT more! Thus we amplify our risk in our pursuit of truth into a faith, often articulated in creed; in our pursuit of beauty into a hope, often celebrated in the cultivation of liturgy and ritual; in our pursuit of goodness in love, often preserved in our codes and laws; in our pursuit of community, often enjoyed in our fellowship and unity of believers. Thus humankind

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augments truth, beauty, goodness and unity in creed, cult, code and community. Thus we participate in the grand cosmic adventure, amplifying risks and thereby augmenting values, courageously running the risk of disintegration as Gods fragile, but beautiful creatures. Retrieval, Revival and Renewal Dynamics While propositional or theoretical or creedal aspects of a movement are not unimportant, there seems to be a much greater emphasis on the primacy of the participatory and practical and experiential aspects. Thus questions of ecclesiology and pneumatology, or how to be church and respond in the Spirit, are being answered existentially in the way we live and move and have our being. One could not better describe our 20th Century church-emergent. To the extent theological breakthroughs occur, there are no new discoveries in anthropology, soteriology, Christology and eschatology, providing new propositions about what it means to be human, what is wrong with humanity and how to fix it, Who Jesus is and why our hopes are fixed on Him. Rather, there are rediscoveries of the truths long articulated in our creeds, of the beauties well cultivated in our celebrations of liturgy and ritual, of the goodness well preserved in Gods laws and of the fellowship long enjoyed in our communities. There are corrections in various over- and under-emphases as we then eschew any decay (seemingly inevitable & recurring) of dogma into dogmatism, ritual into ritualism, law into legalism & moralism, and institution into institutionalism. The latest iteration of our church-emergent precisely emulates such retrieval, revival and renewal dynamics. And there is a reawakened nurturance of creative tensions as we re-cognize that lifes deepest paradoxes remain ours to exploit, transformatively, and will not otherwise yield to our attempts to resolve (dialectically thru synthesis), dissolve (perspectivally thru paradigm shifts) or evade (practically by ignoring) them, reductively, as happens with lifes lesser paradoxes of science, philosophy and metaphysics. Our world remains enchanted and needs re-enchantment, on an ongoing basis it seems, but only in our stance toward reality and not in Nature, Herself, which is enchanted through and through! When it comes to lifes most important questions, then, the church-emergent du jour precisely resists the fundamentalistic, rationalistic, reductionistic strategies of dualistic problem-solving and nurtures a robustly nondual contemplative stance toward our ultimate concerns. The paradox is really the pathos of intellectual life and just as only great souls are exposed to passions it is only the great thinker who is exposed to what I call paradoxes, which are nothing else than grandiose thoughts in embryo. Take away paradox from the thinker and you have a professor. ~ Soren Kierkegaard To the extent our anthropologies, soteriologies, Christologies and eschatologies do get

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rearticulated propositionally, there does seem to be an ongoing and ever-growing universalizing tendency (an ecumenical and inclusivistic catholicity) to affirm the radically egalitarian nature of the Good News as we better come to realize over against our own marginalizations, hierarchicalisms, colonialisms, patriarchicalisms, clericalisms, sexisms, ecclesiocentrisms, exclusivisms, traditionalisms, institutionalisms, gnosticisms and, finally, even movementisms that, sooner or later, the Gospels preferential option for the poor will be consolation for every last one of us. To paraphrase Pogo: We have met the poor and they are us. So, as the Spirit moves when He wills, where She wills, how They will, may the Spirit of Gods love, now, move within me and you and all. Thats the fugal movement that perdures even as other movements, most assuredly, do come and go. When we look carefully at what is going on, what we call emergent, in one sense, might be the re-emergence of a reality that, inevitably, gets submerged, time and again. Its a reignition and conflagration of a Fire lit long ago. Emergence also has a more generic sense and, in that sense, is inextricably associated with novelty, a reality that will not go away for those of us who buy into telos, an inexorable movement built into the very fabric of creation. What seems radically new is humankinds conscious appropriation of emergentist dynamics and how they possess an autopoietic (self organizing, for better or worse) trait, which is to say that we now know we can harness some evolutionary impulses and possibly kedge forward8 with a more consciously competent emergence, shaping and forming9, as co-creators10 the unfolding of the Kingdom that we desire (Ps. 37:4). Conversely, we ignore this dynamic and forsake this movement at our own peril. The Nature of Our Theological Convergences To the extent our discussion often primarily involves a consideration of methods, practices and experiences and not, rather, belief systems, conclusions and propositions, and given our conversations postfoundational orientation, what emerges will not always be in the form of arguments in the strict sense. Instead, we are discovering a convergence that is more so of nonpropositional nature. This is to say that this convergence does not articulate, for example, a new narrative arch of a distinctly descriptive, normative or speculative nature, which would be a cosmological enterprise. Rather, this convergence has an axiological trajectory, which is to say that it fosters a harmonic resonance of an evaluative, interpretive or existential nature. Interpretively, we are coming away with a deepened sense of solidarity. Evaluatively, we share a profound sense of compassion. We share, then, a great unity of mission even as
8 9 10

cf Mike Morrell & Frank Spencers website need url cf. Jamie Smiths Desiring the Kingdom) need citation cf. Phil Hefner

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we recognize our diversity of ministry and acknowledge our plurality of belief systems. What emerges, then, is not so much a convergence of metanarratives but, instead, of meta-perspectives. It is a convergence of perspectives that conditions HOW we will first see and experience reality, so to speak, desiring the Kingdom, and not of narratives setting forth WHAT we will eventually think about reality in order to somehow argue and prove the Kingdom. A lot of people, who remain immersed in dualistic mindsets with their problem-solving orientation to all of reality, have a difficult time evaluating such conversations. For so many, apologetics is primarily evidential, rational and presuppositional, proceeding with empirical, logical, practical and moral reasoning. And, by all means, this approach to reality is indispensable and necessary. When it comes to lifes deepest mysteries, more ultimate concerns and most significant value-realizations, however, we must go beyond this dualistic approach and engage reality with a more nondual, contemplative stance. So, when we speak of a convergence in our conversation, we are not suggesting a novel set of concepts and categories. Neither should one look for a specific political agenda. It is not a convergence of moral reasoning, such that emergent folk will all necessarily share the same positions on one moral reality or another. Even regarding cosmological matters, we are not suggesting a convergence of views regarding such things as philosophy of mind, theological anthropology, divine interactions and so on. A distinctly nonpropositional convergence of shared practice and shared experience, of a deepened sense of solidarity and heightened sense of compassion, will very much condition our approach to environmental & social justice, ecclesiology, worship and Jesus. Notice how these are not primarily propositional realities but are, first and foremost, relational realities. We are not first preoccupied with getting answers right as if we were mostly dealing with ideas. This convergence is not about getting the correct relationships between ideas, whether through a harmony of reasons or even intuitions. This is about realizing the right relationships between humankind and God, ourselves and one another, ourselves and nature and even our relationship to our own self. This harmonic convergence, then, is like a symphony of many instruments, each with its own sound and timbre, all playing together in the same key, in harmony and to the rhythm of the same Drum. This is not to deny, however, that to the extent that we are conditioned, shaped and formed by a convergence of nonpropositional influences, that it will not eventually transvalue our more propositional approaches, effecting their convergence also. It will. But that requires a great deal of patience. Beyond socialization, we are opening ourselves up to ongoing transformation and a deep desiring of the Kingdom. We experience a deep desiring for environmental and social justice in solidarity with and compassion for humankind and our cosmos. Ever more identified with Jesus and His deep desiring of communion with the Father, we long for the coming of the Cosmic Christ. Our ecclesiology is more ecumenical and egalitarian as

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we go beyond institutional structures (and not necessarily without them) seeking authentic community in manifold and multiform ways, wherever two or more can gather in His Name. Our worship becomes the practice of the Presence of God as we seek an abiding relationship with Him not Whom we possess, but Who possesses us. In solidarity and sharing this same deep desiring, we may otherwise differ in HOW we see justice playing out morally, practically and politically, in HOW we see the Kingdom unfolding eschatologically and metaphysically. And we can abide with these differences because of our deep humility and deep love for one another, encouraging and forgiving one another, sharing a vision THAT in the Kingdom all may be well, all will be well, all shall be well and we will know that all manner of things shall be well. Our conversation, then, is less about positions and more about dispositions, about being disposed to a Deep Awareness, Deep Solidarity, Deep Compassion, Deep Humility, Deep Worship, Deep Justice, Deep Ecology and Deep Community. That these realities will play out in our lives we are confidently assured. How they will play out is something we explore in humility and civility with all people of goodwill. Ours is foremost a shared axiology, interpretively and evaluatively, of what we deeply desire and deeply value. We share practices that shape, form, cultivate and celebrate these desires and values. We believe that, one day, this will lead also to a shared cosmology, descriptively and normatively, consistent with the best science and best philosophy. Your life is shaped by the end you live for. You are made in the image of what you desire. Thomas Merton Triadic Phenomenology Relationships: Word, Community & Spirit Economic Trinity & Immanent Ontological Frame Intraobjective Identity as Word Science the physical Science vs Natural Theology vs Theology of Nature We should aspire to be clear regarding this project or the other regarding whether or not one is doing science, philosophy or theology. And we mustnt forget religion! And if one is talking about ALL of these spheres of human concern, in which sphere do they begin their conversation? and, in which do they end up? Except for the classical proofs by Aquinas and Anselm, and CS Peirces Neglected Argument for the Reality of God, and the Modal Ontological Arguments as crafted by Godel and Hartshorne only to be lately and greatly improved by Christopher McHugh, we wouldn't consider much of what is going on, nowadays, to be natural theology or a natural philosophy of God. There is just not THAT much that one can say, in our view,

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about God, using philosophy as a starting point, at least not when methodologically restricting ones musings to the rubrics of formal argumentation. The same is true for any other notions regarding ultimate or primal reality, using either philosophy or science as a starting point. All anyone thus establishes is a modicum of epistemological parity with alternate worldviews, i.e. elaborate tautologies. Dont get us wrong. We are not at all dismissive of these enterprises, which demonstrate the reasonableness of faith (or, for those of you who consider this too strong, that it is not unreasonable or is, for what its worth, as reasonable as other interpretive stances vis a vis their Scottish verdicts). For some, they have been indispensable parts of our journeys. For most, though, weve been told they dont matter very much. And we trust what they report. Still, some say that theyve enjoyed many fruitful dialogues with many nonbelievers who do seek such apologetics and have thereby grown in mutual respect and understanding and self-understanding. Worldviews, thankfully, are not mere formal arguments. They represent deeply and profoundly experienced existential orientations and ultimate concerns. And, if they are authentically re-ligious, they tie lifes experiences back together and heal us that we may survive and grow us that we may thrive. If we are not experiencing both healing and growth, both broadly conceived, well, thats what the Prophets are for! They remind us that we are to be about the actualization of value. The interface between science and theology is not terribly interesting, philosophically, unless our project is to disambiguate their definitions. If it remains interesting, even early in the 21st century, it is only because so many scientistic and fideistic apologists are arguing past each other, precisely because theyve neglected the work of philosophical disambiguation, which understandably can be difficult subject matter. Unlike philosophy (natural theology) and science, wherein we bracket, best we can, our theology, in a theology of nature we start with God and see His presence in all things and hear Her siren song from all places! From a different explanatory stance, we break out in analogy and metaphor, poetry and song, allegory and parable, joke and koan, story and dance, ritual and sacrament! And we speak of trail dust and stardust, quarks and supernovae, maidens and sailors, the Cosmic Adventure (John Haught) and the Divine Matrix (Joseph Bracken), leaping whitetails and creeping lizards, bright indwelling presence and luminous dark nights, hope and love and faith The Implications of a Semiotic Theological Anthropology for the Interaction Between Science and Religion Some Traditional Distinctions The human mind has been described in many different ways over the years by psychologists, philosophers, theologians and others. In psychology, it has been described in both structural and functional terms, both by its parts and by their activities.

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Psychology coursework typically combines sensation with perception, emotion with motivation, learning with memory, personality with development. There are Jungian terms like sensing, intuiting, thinking, feeling, perceiving and judging and Freudian terms like ego, id and superego. Philosophers have drawn a distinction between the brain and the mind. Most recognize distinctions like conscious, subconscious and unconscious. Neuroscientists describe a neuronal network that is distributed throughout the body. Theologians speak of memory, understanding and will. A host of other terms come to mind, like cognitive, affective, instinctual, inferential, noninferential, empirical, logical, practical and relational. One might also find the categories normative, descriptive, interpretive and evaluative helpful. In philosophy, there is a branch of study called epistemology, which is concerned with how it is that we know what we know and just what it is that we might know, when we say we know something. In theology, belief has been justified as evidential, when based on evidence, rational, when based on reason, presuppositional, when based on inescapable suppositions, and existential, when based on ultimate concerns. In psychology, different developmental theorists have studied human growth. The best known are probably Piaget (cognitive), Erikson (personality), Kohlberg (moral) and Fowler (faith). Lonergan, as a systematic theologian, described growth in terms of intellectual, moral and religious conversions to which Gelpi has added affective and social conversions. Normatively, Lonergan gave us the famous transcendental imperatives: Be attentive! Be intelligent! Be reasonable! Be responsible! Be in love! For every distinction listed above, there are further distinctions. We need not treat all of these nuances; however, just for example, lets further examine human inference. Peirce, the founder of American pragmatism, described three types of inference, all which presuppose the others, from the strongest form to the weakest, as deductive, inductive and abductive inference. Generally speaking, one might think of deductive inference in association with formal logical argumentation. Inductive inference is most often associated with the scientific method. Abductive inference might best be thought of as hypothesizing. Abduction is, then, informal argumentation and its methods are quite often what might otherwise be known as logical fallacies in formal argumentation. This does not mean that it should be readily dismissed for this is how we do most of our critical thinking, which is to say, fallibilistically. For example, so often, with only very limited information, we necessarily find ourselves reasoning backwards (retro-ductively) from known predicates (or properties) of a reality to unknown subjects (of various classes, sets or subsets). We find ourselves venturing guesses as to what reality or type of reality we may have encountered and employing analogies in our references to and descriptions of such realities, when we otherwise cannot determine (epistemically) or specify (ontologically) this reality versus another. Sometimes, we wonder if this or that reality is novel, even? It is through such alternating conjecture and criticism, then, or what Popper called falsification, that much of human knowledge has advanced. This is not to say that knowledge has not also advanced, on occasion, through various leaps and bounds, or what Kuhn called paradigm shifts. Another pivotal distinction is that between a theory of truth and a test of truth. For our

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purposes, a conventional understanding of truth will suffice in place of any otherwise elaborately nuanced theory. A test of truth is a process that helps us navigate toward the truth while not otherwise constituting the truth in and of itself. A truth-conducive process, like deductive inference and formal argumentation, navigates us more or less directly toward the truth. A truth-indicative process, like abductive inference, navigates us indirectly by, at least, raising the probability that we are approaching the truth. As the weakest form of inference, abduction needs to be bolstered by repeated testing, which is to say, inductively. Beyond these rather simple, straightforward rubrics for human knowledge-advances, there are long histories and many competing schools in philosophy and theology and their interactions have not always been dialogical and irenic. At the risk of oversimplifying all things epistemological, we suggest that much of the confusion has been rooted in dualistic thinking which has viewed reality rather facilely in either-or and all or nothing terms, too often viewing what are mere distinctions as full blown dichotomies, too often mistaking partial truths for the whole truth, and too often absolutizing perspectives that are indeed relative to ones frame of reference. In theology, there is a word for such thinking, heresy. In philosophy, there is an adjectival suffix, -istic. Some Additional Distinctions Sociologically and linguistically, we would like to introduce some additional distinctions11 that are based on whether or not our concepts have been negotiated (accepted into general use, more or less) by the wider pluralistic community. Those that have been thus negotiated have theoretic status. Those still-in-negotiation are heuristic devices or conceptual placeholders. Dogmatic concepts are employed within communities of belief but have not been negotiated by the wider pluralistic community, more broadly conceived. Semiotic concepts are those presuppositional notions without which meaning and communication would not even be possible. Toward a Philosophical Anthropology Our purpose, thus far, has been to introduce enough categories and distinctions to provide each different member of what might be a rather diverse audience some handles with which to grasp our meaning and intent as it relates to our philosophical anthropology. Foundational to any theological proposal, one must have a philosophical anthropology, a perspective on humankinds psychological make-up that is grounded in good biological science and sound evolutionary epistemology. The history of philosophy has been characterized by one overemphasis after another, which is to say one istic perspective after another, whether the empiricistic, rationalistic, positivistic, idealistic or pragmatistic. Its history might best be summed up as the struggle between the more static essentialistic and substantialistic approaches and the more dynamical nominalistic and process-like approaches, which are but the obverse sides of the same coin of an otherwise epistemically and ontologically bankrupt dualistic realm, which transacts in a philosophical currency that has no practical cash value for most of us who get along quite
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well with good old common sense. The history of theology, which takes philosophy as its handmaiden, necessarily fares no better as its approaches can alternately be similarly described as evidentialistic, rationalistic, fideistic and pietistic. One might justifiably wonder if, down through the centuries, an epistemic fetish is all one could be expected to come away with after a formal academic engagement of these disciplines. Perhaps thats what those in the modern scientistic cabal must think? No doubt, thats what the radically deconstructive postmodernists must imagine with their nihilistic bent? Do the arationally gnostic mysterians have the only mindset that can transcend these otherwise mutually unintelligible epistemic stances and totally incommensurable ontological approaches? Because of their overly facile dyadic approaches, neither an essentialism nor a nominalism, neither a substance nor a process approach, can account for the novelty we encounter in reality. Our known categories of givens include the primitives (like space, time, mass & energy), forces (like electromagnetism, gravity, strong & weak nuclear) and axioms (like the laws of thermodynamics & quantum mechanics). While it may be too early on humankinds journey for us to epistemically determine with any ontological precision the exact nature of such novelty in terms of our known theoretic givens, our inability to robustly describe this novelty does not mean that we can not otherwise successfully refer to it with good heuristic devices. To be clear, the novelties we are dealing with include those involved in the Big Bang and its earliest moments, the origin of life and the dawn of human consciousness. The question that should be begging for our readers, now, is just what is the most successful way to refer to reality, phenomenologically, even if we cannot otherwise robustly describe it, metaphysically? What concepts and categories can we most profitably employ and what rubrics for relating them would be most fruitful in their application? What can we reasonably aspire to say about reality without saying more than we know about such realities as the origins of life or human consciousness or even the cosmos, itself? It is beyond the scope of this consideration to set forth the details of our own philosophical journeys through these questions to our present provisional closures, but with a great deal of enthusiasm we can recommend the approach of the American pragmatist, Charles Sanders Peirce, as it has been employed and articulated by the biological anthropologist, Terrence Deacon12, and the systematic theologian, Donald Gelpi, S.J.. While we will not unfold the arguments of these scholars in any detail, neither would we want our enthusiasm to be mistaken for an academic pretension to either a full understanding of their work or a comprehensive grasp of its implications. Deacon, for his part, employs an emergentist heuristic, which has also been well
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Deacons Symbolic Species

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articulated by, and on several occasions even co-authored with, Ursula Goodenough, a prominent cell biologist and popular author at the interface of science and religion. Deacon and Goodenough are very circumspect in not telling what are otherwise untellable tales, as they comprehensively refer to many different natural phenomena without exhaustively describing them. In their popular writings, they take one on a cosmic journey where properties, even realitys laws, are seen to emerge, first thermodynamically, as mere shape interactions, then morphodynamically, as shape interactions playing out over time, and finally teleodynamically, as a consequence of shape, time and information. These orders of emergence refer to progressively higher orders of regularities, which are causal configurations. For all science can tell, teleodynamics, or 3rd order emergence, as Deacon and Goodenough say, define the onset of telos on this planet and, for all we now know, the universe. They go on to develop a correspondence between the human virtues of compassion, fair-mindedness, care and reverence with the inherited pro-social capacities of empathy, strategic reciprocity, nurturance and hierarchy, suggesting various symbolic accessions and syntheses whereby our otherwise innate groundings are complexified and transfigured into uniquely human capacities. In our view, this is hypothetically consonant with Gelpis Peircean-nuanced definitions of selves as autonomous functioning tendencies (think higher order regularities and telos) and of human persons as selves capable of conversion (think of Gelpis Lonerganian account of conversion). In any case, the human capacities for virtue can be realized both intuitively and imaginatively as well as rationally and inferentially. Because humans are finite and learn fallibilistically, each human value-realization attempt leads to an uncertain outcome, which is to recognize that it requires a wager or risk. As such, the augmentation of human value-realizations must be successfully managed through various risk amplification and risk attenuation strategies, which is to further recognize that we must be able to cash out the practical value of our concepts and risk amplification-attenuation strategies in what is our perennial pursuit of goodness, radically finite as we are. Thus it is that many fallacies of formal argumentation are employed in everyday common sense leading us fallibly but probabilistically toward value-realizations. For example, if it is true, we believe that it is also beautiful and useful, leading us to various attraction or avoidance strategies in our value-realization pursuits. While the converse, if it is beautiful or useful, then it is also true, is not necessarily true, still, we do raise the probability of something being true in our recognition that it is either beautiful or useful because if something is neither beautiful nor useful then the possibility of it being true is nil. Thus it is in science that we employ Occams Razor and other truth-indicative criteria like simplicity, elegance, parsimony and symmetry. Thus it is in theology that orthopraxis grounds orthodoxy. Our existential orientations toward truth, beauty and goodness, which are innately grounded in our inherited pro-social capacities, get transfigured into the theological imperatives of faith, hope and love as a human value-augmentation strategy requiring the amplification of the epistemic risks already entailed in the normative sciences of logic, aesthetics and ethics. In our religious communities, truth is thus articulated in creed, beauty celebrated in cult or ritual, and goodness preserved in code. Such is the nature of the Kierkegaardian leap and of the

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Pascalian wager. Questions That Beg Toward a Theological Anthropology Our emergentist account, appropriately modest in its description of thermodynamics, morphodynamics and teleodynamics, leaves profound existential questions begging, questions which leave all in wonder and awe, many in reverential silence, and many more musing imaginatively about what we would refer to as the proto-dynamics that gave rise to and the eschato-dynamics that might ensue from this emergent reality we have encountered. Some employ a root metaphor, like being or experience, to elaborate a speculative metaphysic. Others dwell in analogical imaginations, inchoately relating to ultimate reality through robust metaphors and sweeping metanarratives. While our own Peircean-informed sensibilities do not ambition a metaphysic (and we feel there is no attempt better than Gelpis own triadic construct of experience), they are suggestive of a pneumatologically informed theology of nature, precisely derived from an analogy that one might draw between the Peircean telos, as minimalistically conceived in Deacons teleodynamics, and the work of the Spirit, as broadly conceived in all of humankinds great traditions and most native religions, also. Our proposal is that what humankind relates to as an ineluctably unobtrusive but utterly efficacious tacit dimension comprised of a matrix of dynamical formal causal relations would, from an hierarchical perspective, correspond to a divine telic dimension, much like the interpenetrating causative fields of John Haughts process approach and aesthetic teleology, much like Joseph Brackens Divine Matrix. We would point out that this conception is not an attempt to facilely blend otherwise incommensurate approaches, for example the Whiteheadian process versus Gelpis Peircean account, and we do recognize and endorse the efficacies of the triadic over the classically dyadic (even di-polar) accounts. Rather, from a phenomenological perspective, we are invoking vaguely referential analogs as heuristic devices or conceptual placeholders, recognizing that metaphors and analogies are not, in and of themselves, system-bound. In other words, our robustly pneumatological imaginations are relating our triadic and social human experiences of phenomenal reality, with all of its many different patterns and regularities, to what we consider putative divine supremacies. We are not otherwise attempting, in the least, to account for manifold and multiform continuities and discontinuities between different orders of reality. We do believe that any who ambition a metaphysic must both account for divine alterity as well as differentiate the moral status of the human from other selves and creatures. All of this is to suggest that, because of the pervasive ubiquity in the use of the concept of Spirit down through the ages and still across the face of the Earth, arguably it meets the criterion of enjoying theoretic status contrasted with the dogmatic status of so many other theological concepts. In this regard, we might affirm with Radical Orthodoxy that, over against any notion that there exists a secular society writ large, as abstracted and reified by a militant but not truly regnant nihilism, our planet is inhabited, rather, by a pneumatologically-informed but broadly pluralistic community. With the Reformed epistemologists, we might affirm that being-in-love in the Spirit is a necessary and sufficient epistemic risk amplification for any whod aspire to most robustly (superabundantly) augment human value-realizations beyond those inherited as

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pro-social biases and transfigured (abundantly, to be sure) into our authentically human moral virtues.

The Relations of Science and Religion What are the implications of this theological anthropology for the interaction between science and religion, viewing reality pansemioentheistically, employing the epistemic categories of the normative, descriptive, interpretive and evaluative and characterizing our concepts as semiotic, theoretic, heuristic and dogmatic? To the extent that we map science as a descriptive enterprise and religion as an interpretive enterprise and affirm them as autonomous methodologies but still integrally-related in every human value-realization, there can be no talk of conflict, as reigns in the scientism of the Enlightenment fundamentalists and the literalism of the various religious fundamentalists. Our axiological perspectivalism with its explicit integralism speaks of a model of interaction that coincides with Ian Barbours Integration, John Polkinghornes Assimilation, John Haughts Confirmation and Ted Peters Hypothetical Consonance (and Ethical Overlap). In some sense, the very basis of a semiotic approach is grounded in the need for informational interpretation, a need that derives from the radical finitude of creatures, a need that plays out in our fallibilistic methodologies and heavy reliance on the weaker forms of inference, both abduction and induction, such as in the back-door philosophy of Popperian falsification and the informal argumentation that predominates, even mostly comprises, our common sense. The implication is, then, that absent this finitude and given a virtual omniscience, descriptively, and omnipotence, evaluatively, the normative sciences would consist of only aesthetics and ethics, logic would be obviated and the descriptive and interpretive would be a distinction without a difference, which might describe, in fact, an idealized eschatological epistemology whereby humankind as a community of inquiry has attained to the truth. At any rate, to be sure, that is manifestly not the case, presently. One practical upshot of this situation is that there need be no Two-Language Theory as discussed by Peters or Two-Language System as described by Peacocke, at least from our idealized theoretical perspective; however, from a practical perspective, science and religion will seemingly traffic in two languages because, if for no other reason, the latter is dominated by dogmatic and heuristic conceptions, the former by semiotic and theoretic conceptions. These need not be conceived as two languages, from a strictly linguistic perspective, but might better be conceived as two vocabularies that are slowly merging. There is another reason for religions expanded vocabulary, though, but that derives from the fact that it has additional concerns (e.g. interpersonal) that are of no special interest to a purely scientific quest or merely descriptive enterprise. It is in that vein that one might invoke what Barbour and Polkinghorne have called Independence and Haught has described as Contrast. Willem Drees has developed a schema that more explicitly

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recognizes that religion has additional elements than the merely cognitive-propositional as much of religions content rests on both religious experience and tradition. At this point, one might recognize that the various categories that have been employed for the interaction between science and religion are not all mutually exclusive. The categories we employ in our axiological perspectivalism are methodologicallyautonomous but epistemically related and this noetic reality is affirmed whenever a scientist normatively invokes Occam s razor, parsimony, symmetry, elegance or other aesthetic criteria to adjudicate between competing hypotheses. Thus it is that, whenever any methodologically autonomous realms do not fully overlap, but only partially overlap, and are placed in what Haught calls Contact, we would urge what Barbour and Polkinghorne suggest as Dialogue. Anticipations From the standpoint of interreligious dialogue, this hermeneutical circle of the normative, descriptive, interpretive and evaluative might be interpreted in terms of orthopathy, orthodoxy, orthopraxis, orthocommunio, each as an aspect of a religious interpretation which presupposes the other aspects. From a practical perspective, these distinctions are critical because they imply, for example, that the orthopathic aspects of our spiritual technologies by which we refer to the various spiritual disciplines, practices, asceticisms and devotions, for example are not (necessarily) inextricably bound to any given doctrinal insights. Thus we would expect continued fruitful interreligious engagements such as have already been realized between Christianity and Zen, for example, and would encourage further orthopathic dialogue and exchange. Most theologians already recognize this dynamic, prudentially speaking, in their willingness to abstract orthopraxes or moral and practical aspects out of their doctrinal contexts in other traditions. Also, metaphorical and analogical language (ananoetic knowledge) is not system-bound, so our depth encounters of reality can be enriched by our interreligious ananoetic interchanges, which can provide common ground to explore together our theologies of nature, especially from a pneumatological perspective. We believe this approach can help prepare an ever more fertile ground for interreligious dialogue as our orthopathic, orthopraxic and ananoetic exchanges prepare the way to a much sought after unity even as we continue our search to discursively identify the commonalities in our otherwise diverse and pluralistic belief systems.

We can discuss the philosophic focus of human concern in terms of the normative sciences. These sciences, in their mediation of our interpretive and descriptive foci will, in the final analysis, always come up short in rationally demonstrating and empirically proving our competing worldviews and metaphysics. We do want to ensure, normatively, that any of our competing systems at least minimalistically gift us with sufficient modeling power of reality such that we can establish an epistemic parity with other systems. Once we have established a modicum of equiplausibility or equiprobability, we might then invoke a type of equiplausibility principle to guide us in our existential choices. And such a principle can (should) adhere to normative guidelines for informal

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reasoning based on our abductive and retroductive inferential modes, which are presupposed in our triadic inferential dynamism along with induction and deduction. Here we reason from predicates and properties back to subjects and essences (nonstrict identities) in order to gain a probabilistic edge over otherwise arbitrary decision-making and prudential judgment. Thus we invoke parsimony, simplicity, elegance, beauty, symmetry, utility, goodness and other aesthetical and ethical and logical existential orientations, advancing notions like Pascal's Wager, for example, and taking courage to leap with Kierkegaard. And it is here that we would propose that these philosophic norms transist into theological virtue, which we propose might be understood in terms of the amplification of risks toward the augmentation of value. As we gather from Haught's Cosmic Adventure and aesthetic teleology, the more fragile the more beautiful. And, as we know from nonequilibrium thermodynamics, the greater the number of bifurcations and permutations in a structure's composition, the more fragile ---because it runs a greater risk of disintegration--- hence, the more beautiful. So, the leap, the wager, from a philosophic epistemic virtue to a theological virtue, from logic and aesthetics and ethics to faith and hope and love, is an amplification of risk (kenosis as risk of disintegration) toward the augmentation of value, an increase in truth, beauty and goodness, mediated by creed, cult and code in community, both a philosophical community of inquiry and a theological community of lovers. We are not, in any manner, suggesting that we believe that this is what many, or even most, people are doing consciously. This is how we conceive the underlying dynamism for common sense as practiced by humanity, whether consciously or not, competently or not. Our affinity for Peirce comes from our appreciation of his pragmatic logic and theory of meaning and affirmation of metaphysics as a valid but fallible enterprise. Beyond that, we otherwise sympathize with the analytical approaches and the advocates of common sense and any other approaches that incorporate some type of fallibilism or critical realism. And beyond that, we really are not looking for additional epistemological or methodological rigor other than that practiced by conventional science and that enjoyed in colloquial usage (including the "leap" of faith) and subject to linguistic analysis. It is our simple thesis that most people are competent in their interactions with reality because we have evolved that way. That is a tautology, to be sure. But it is a taut one, empirically. Peirce is exactly right in his use of the analogy of a cable with many strands or filaments to explain human knowledge. The reason most people are competent is that they have enough strands. We are also fallible, because no one has them all. Epistemology searches for an eschatological ideal that would account for every strand and epistemologists argue about the attributes of differently-stranded cables. Good for them. But these arguments, in my view, reach a point of diminishing returns where, for all practical purposes, the differences in their positions become so nuanced as not to be relevant to me vis a vis my value-realization pursuits. Ontologists, for their part, argue about how high they have rope-climbed these cables and

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what vista they have taken in, cosmologically, or how low they have descended into the deepest structures of matter to discern reality's microstructures. Their arguments, too, reach a point of diminishing returns vis a vis my value-realizations. Although there is no theoretical constraint on how high or low humankind can travel, hoisting itself on its epistemic cables, for all practical purposes, our radical finitude limits our horizons vis a vis humanity's ultimate concerns. And this, then, places us in deep sympathy with Wittgenstein, Pascal, James, Kierkegaard et al with my qualifying proviso being that faith takes us beyond but not without reason, which is to recognize that we do need different strands to construct our cables and that some cables are indeed better than others. Which strands are necessary and how many of them are sufficient is Problematical. What would make for the ideal cable is highly problematical. We think it is fair, then, to talk in terms of adequacy, abundance and superabundance (or degrees of participation, if you will) when it comes to epistemic cables vis a vis value-realizations. We might think, for example, of Lonergan's transcendental imperatives: Be attentive, empirically. Be intelligent, semantically, such as in our naming exercises, critically examining our referents, concepts and terms as they variously describe or refer to realities. Be reasonable, logically, whether in formal or informal argumentation, especially employing common sense. Be responsible, prudentially, in our practical and moral deliberations and judgments and in our analyses of actionable norms, guided by equiplausibility principles. Be in love, affectively, relationally interacting with reality guided, orthopathically, by authentic aesthetic sensibilities and a grammar of trust, proper assent, dutiful fidelity, a felt sense of solidarity expressed in compassion and by being-in-love (storge, philia, eros and agape). Now, one of our central contentions is that a philosophical anthropology that does not recognize and affirm a human exceptionalism is not empirically demonstrable and therefore not philosophically defensible. Further we contend that such a philosophical anthropology does not necessarily derive from a Peircean-informed perspective, neither from a religious nor a secular outlook. For example, we largely resonate with Ursula Goodenough and Terry Deacon, who have set forth what we interpret as a naturalistic account of human exceptionalism. However one defines the epistemic filaments that comprise the human cable of knowledge per the Peircean metaphor, epistemology is the study of which of the filaments are necessary and how many of them are sufficient. Beyond the necessary and sufficient, epistemologists also want to know what mix might be epistemically optimal. Presumably, because of our finitude, we are all operating suboptimally, some merely satisficing, minimalistically, others variously enjoying epistemic abundance and superabundance. One doesn't have to be a self-aware, consciously-competent epistemologist to realize human values because human common sense evolved as fast and frugal heuristics that probabilistically guide us toward knowledge, sometimes unawares. People with the requisite common sense are enjoying epistemic efficacies from these probabilistic heuristics. The normative and evaluative mediation of human knowledge-advances and value-realizations are grounded in these probabilistic heuristics and can be rendered, in fact, in terms of informal argumentation based on retroductive

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abductions that reason (backwards) from predicates to subjects, or, we might say, from various properties to various modal realities. (If it is elegant, it is true. If it is useful, it is true.) That is why Occam's Razor works, sometimes. That's how and why parsimony, symmetry, elegance, simplicity and utility work, sometimes. The epistemic efficacies, or gnosiological significance, of the logical and aesthetical and ethical sciences, or of truth and beauty and goodness, derive from the fast and frugal heuristics of an ecological rationality gifted by natural selection. When these heuristics are modeled like informal arguments, their fallibile and probabilistic nature is plain to see. Because we are fallible, our value-realizations involve risk-ventures. Risk ventures involve risk-management. The amplification of risks, within reasonable norms, augments human value-realizations. Like all other epistemic risk-taking, risk-amplification toward the end of value-augmentation is normed probabilistically and can be guided by equiplausibility (or even equiprobability) principles, which might suggest, for example, that one is acting within one's epistemic rights, only when one's risk-ventures are life-giving and relationship-enhancing. The concepts and terms employed in our various belief systems can be categorized as semiotic (if nonnegotiable, cross-culturally), theoretic (if negotiated), heuristic (if still-in-negotiation) and dogmatic (if non-negotiated). One's belief system, even when articulated with dogmatic and heuristic concepts and terms (in addition to the requisite semiotic and theoretic ones), enjoys epistemic parity with competing perspectives as long as one is acting within one's epistemic rights as guided by the actionable norms derived from acceptable equiplausibility principles, which have been established in a, more or less, pluralistic community. One's beliefs enjoy epistemic warrant in a community of value-realizers when one establishes epistemic parity with competing systems, acts within one's epistemic rights and articulates those beliefs using only semiotic and theoretic concepts and terms. A community's acceptance of actionable norms and establishment of semiotic and theoretic terms and concepts is, itself, a truth-indicative, probabilitistic (hence, still fallible) guide to optimal value-realization. The creeds, cults and codes of religious communities thus represent existential risk-ventures, Pascalian wagers and Kierkegaardian leaps, that go beyond (but certainly must not go without) the philosophic risk-taking of the normative sciences of the wider pluralistic community in a risk-amplification ordered toward optimal augmentation of human value-realizations of truth, beauty, goodness and unity. Which communities enjoy epistemic parity with competing interpretive systems and meet the criteria of acting within their epistemic rights? Which do not? Those are sociologic transactions, the currency of which is the pragmatic cashing out of values, not as a theory of truth (truth-conducively, as they say) per se but as a darned good test of truth (truth-indicatively). We consider ourselves minimalist realists, fallibilists. We draw our inspiration from Peirce's pragmatism (or pragmaticism). Theologically, then, the only thing we need in our epistemic suite to do the God-encounter is our common sense and a receptive heart. The existentialists and reformed epistemologists think all we need is that receptive heart. The

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classical rationalists think all we need is deductive inference. The presuppositionalists think the God-idea is axiomatic, as indispensable as other unprovable notions like belief in other minds, first principles and the intelligibility of reality. The evidentialists think all we need is inductive inference. The cumulative case folks think all we need is abductive inference. Peirce teaches us that inferential thought is irreducibly triadic and each inferential process presupposes the others and that, when our inferential processes end in a stalemate or Scottish verdict, we then necessarily fallback on our noninferential approaches to reality, like our receptive hearts, in order to adjudicate between competing actionable norms. So, as in theology, it is our view that in epistemology, heresy consists of our making a partial truth into an absolute. So, just like in theological apologetics, some folks adopt a perspectivalism that gives each of our epistemic witnesses to revelation a voice, our appropriation of the Peircean triadic logic is a nonfoundational perspectivalism that is holistic. Unlike those theological perspectivalists, however, who turn to Scripture as the normative perspective, we have somewhat of a positivist bent, which is to say that, for epistemology, broadly conceived, we do not consciously get into fallback mode noninferentially until the stronger types of inference have failed us, which they necessarily will vis a vis our ultimate concerns. Even then, where the heart comes in -whether via beauty or goodness, we interpret as a type of informal reasoning, a probabilistic, truth-indicative sign. This is synthetic thinking, not systematic (which is for philosophers and theologians). This book sets forth an exploratory heuristic as a meta-critique of religious epistemologies and theologies of nature, hence, a nonfoundational perspectivalism normed by common sense and a receptive heart (inspired by Peirce's pragmatic logic) and a pneumatological theology of nature, a pansemioentheism, suggested by vague analogical references but not otherwise aspiring to robustly systematic descriptions. In terms of Lonergan's imperatives, the descriptive is a focus of concern that requires the epistemic virtue of being attentive. The normative requires being reasonable and being responsible. The interpretive requires being intelligent in our naming exercises. The evaluative requires being-in-love, broadly conceived. Peirce's pragmatic logic guides us in properly relating these epistemic foci and virtues such that our existential orientations correspond to transcendental imperatives. Our distinctions between the dogmatic, heuristic, theoretic and semiotic draw inspiration from and are a concrete application of the pragmatic maxim coupled with Peirce's eschatological definition of truth and is also an affirmation of pneumatological realities that are at play in the sensus fidelium and consensus gentium. Our nonfoundational perspectivalism is very much like John Frame's perspectivalism (his religious epistemology) which integrally relates the evidential, rational, presuppositional and existential methods of apologetics, except for the fact that his normative perspective is Biblical, while ours is Peircean vis a vis the normative sciences. While we deeply sympathize with the existentialist, fideist, presuppositionalist and reformed epistemologies, it is our rather mundane contention that beauty and usefulness guide us to

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truth and goodness because they are retroductive abductions with probabilistic significance that gift us, truth-indicatively, with a higher probability of realizing the truth than other more arbitrary criteria based on chance, alone. The same is true for the truth-indicative criterion of community consensus. Beauty, pragmatic utility and community consensus are informal arguments but fallacies of formal logic; when intertwined together as individual filaments in our epistemic cables they gain epistemic strength, even if fallibilistically. We are not wholly disagreeing with other epistemologies in the belief THAT orthopathic and orthopraxic dynamisms are efficacious but offering my philosophic defense of HOW and WHY they work, as well as suggesting that while they may even enjoy a certain methodological primacy and even autonomy in matters of ultimate concern, this is true only after they have established epistemic parity with competing worldviews and only when operating within their epistemic rights vis a vis equiplausibility principles (life-giving and relationship-enhancing). They are not otherwise autonomous systematically vis a vis the other perspectives required for all human value-realizations. Using a paradigm of risk-amplification/attentuation for value augmentation, we appropriate Haught's aesthetic teleology, ontologically, and we relate the theological virtues to other epistemic virtues, epistemologically. Normatively, the implications are that, in our search for a root metaphor to articulate a speculative metaphysics, we must employ an emergentist heuristic in order to robustly account for the novelty that we will encounter in reality, a novelty that corresponds, hypothetically, to various degrees of participation in the divine matrix, ergo, also accounting for meaningful differences in the moral status of emergent modal realities, meta-ethically, and affirming a divine alterity, theologically. Beyond these minimalist formulations of theological virtue -It may be that Spirit, broadly conceived, is a theoretic concept, crossculturally? It may be that this is an empirically defensible sociologic datum? This would be consistent with the suggestion that the term secular society is a reification, that our world community is, rather, a pneumatologically-informed pluralistic community and overwhelmingly so, demographically. Radical Orthodoxy may thus have some valid points regarding same? It may be, too, that, all things otherwise being equal theoretically and essentially vis a vis humanity's ultimate concerns, belief in Spirit is indeed epistemically warranted (beyond mere epistemic parity) practically and existentially, consistent with the Reformed perspective? Even if the Spirit is not nonnegotiable for human values, broadly conceived, it might certainly approach nonnegotiability for any who'd choose the path of normative risk-amplification in pursuit of such value-augmentations as would be fueled by humanity's ultimate concerns? So, to the extent that humanity's existential orientations to ultimate concerns are in play (and in whom are they not?) and to the extent that the Spirit

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would thereby be a semiotic concept, then this would be consistent with the presuppositionalist perspective? These are stronger positions to defend philosophically than what we have argued within these pages, but it is our belief that our exploratory heuristic provides the categories and the empirical thrust by which these epistemic hypotheses can be evaluated as sociologic data. It may be that narrowly conceived dogmatic formulations of religion, as strawgods, are deservedly in retreat, but belief in Pneuma writ large remains compelling and vital in our new age and, arguably, as indispensable as ever to any truly robust augmentations of human value-realizations. Let the half-gods depart that God may appear (borrowing phraseology from Emerson)! If we, as created co-creators, indeed participate in and are indwelled by our Creator in a dynamic Creator-creature relationship, then all dualistic conceptions of this relationship must give way to nondual approaches. There is a great deal of value that has been revealed by and that can be realized through our cosmology via its triadic constellation of descriptive science, evaluative culture and normative philosophy. Many report that there is even more value to be had if one allows this constellation to then spin around the interpretive axis of religion. If there is one thing that the great traditions and even many indigenous religions seem to have in common, then it would seem to be the notion that this Creator-creature relationship involves a Lover, a beloved and the love dynamic, itself, most often called the Spirit. Whatever else may be going on with onto-theologies and theo-ontologies and such root metaphors as being, substance, process or experience, we must recognize our creaturely autonomy as quasi (not inconsistent with the formal modal distinction of Scotus). So, too, it must be with this dynamic love triangle, wherein we recognize our otherness as also quasi. If we are not wholly autonomous in the intraobjective dimension of our experience, wherein we interact in reality's dynamic unfolding, however that activity might be conceived, neither are we wholly other in the intersubjective dimension of our experience, wherein we interact, hopefully, as lovers do. That we are never wholly autonomous or wholly other in any dimension of our experience is precisely due to our constitutedness as spirit in a perduring intrinsic relationship to the Spirit, a relationship that, for better and worse, is vectoral (characterized by both magnitude and direction). This is all to recognize that, like all participatory dynamics, there's an implied range of motion whereby one can participate or not and in varying degrees. The Spirit, we might suggest, is never timid (always present) but always coy (ever unobtrusive), a gentlemanly suitor, Who'd not force His way in, but a seductive siren, Who'll not stop singing from around the bend. As in any relationship, the Creator-creature dynamic is characterized by elements of vulnerability and risk, sacrifices, even, of that which is good for that which might be better. There's a divine kenosis, in fact, in the act of creation, itself. This self-emptying or delimitation is like a fugue playing in every dimension of our co-creative reality as we shed monotony and appropriate novelty, augmenting value-realizations through all manner of risk-amplifications, running even the risk of disintegration in the pursuit of

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more truth, beauty, goodness and unity. The quasi-autonomy of creation is a "managed" risk, reminiscent of my old banking trope that profits do not come from risk-taking but from superior skills at managing risks. However one might conceive of such boundaries and limits, or laws and axioms, in a divine kenotic act of self-delimitation, the Ens Necessarium "relaxed" its boundary and limit conditions in devising the initital conditions of creatures and creation thus processed forth with regularities, habits, tendencies, capacities, or an agapic Spirit, if you will, coaxing it along in a dance of discovery toward a divine romance. The cosmos, for its part, gave itself over to emergence dynamics as it surrendered to a state far from equilibrium, where novelty could be teased forth from the bifurcations and permutations that were compounded in the formation of each dissipative structure, structures that, in running the risk of disintegration, experienced increases in fragility that were only to be exceeded by their increases in beauty. Animals emerged whose behavior became increasingly plastic only because their brain processes became decreasingly algorithmic, which is to say more capable of error. But the animals exploited these errors, where different parts of otherwise discrete memories became dissociated from each other only to be recombined in novel (mistaken) ways. Their brains became open-ended rather than close-ended processors as mere icons and indexes gave way to symbols (mistakes) that presented models (more and less perfect) of reality that could compete with reality, itself, for the animals' attention and responses. This is to say that predicates could now be stripped from their subjects, properties from their objects, accidents from their essences, and combined in novel ways (even bigger mistakes) to tell stories and make myths, some which, lo and behold, evoked novel but appropriate (adaptive) responses to reality. Mistakes were being exploited by creatures as their algorithmic, rule-governed behavior became progressively de-limited, more open-ended, an imago Dei dynamic, to be sure. Homo sapiens thus emerged as the symbolic species, modeling reality through story-telling and myth-making. This modeling abilty was very rudimentary and was, ironically, a tad too rule-governed and dualistic in its conceptions. This is to recognize that humankind's epistemology was not modeling reality's ontology very well. For a participatory reality which was governed much more so by probability and much less so by necessity, which had initial, boundary and limit conditions that were much more relaxed and much less fixed, which was profoundly relational, triadic and semiotic and much less empirical, logical and dualistic --- well, when it came to 1) logic, there was way too much emphasis on the deductive and inductive and not enough attention given to abduction; 2) reason, there was way too much emphasis on conceptual map-making and not nearly enough on participatory imagination; 3) aesthetics, there was way to much emphasis on art as imitation & mimesis, as essentialism and formalism, and not enough on art as expressivism and instrumentalism; 4) ethics, there was way too much emphasis on the deontological and contractarian and not enough on the teleological (consequentialistic) and aretaic (virtue); 5) paradox, there was way too much emphasis on its resolution through dialectic, dissolution through paradigm shifts and evasion through pragmatics and not nearly enough on the exploitation of its creative tensions; 6) first principles, there was way too much emphasis on the excluded middle and noncontradiction of actualities & necessities (radical empiricism and logical positivism) and the folding of noncontradiction in possibilities (metaphysics run amok) and way too

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little emphasis on the folding of either-or thinking (excluded middle) in probabilities; 7) causations, there was way too much emphasis on efficient causation, while material causation was taken for granted, and not nearly enough attention paid to the emergent realities of formal and final causation (essential to the study of semiotics); 8) and so on and so forth. The practical take-away is that a participatory ontology can gift us with an enhanced modeling power for reality. And this does not really challenge the notion that methods precede systems because a participatory ontology is not really a system but is a practice, which is to say, a method, an approach to reality, an interpretive axis, a confessional theological stance that is moreso practical and not so much speculative. It inspires a turn to community because it invites one to love and be-loved via the Spirit. It allows us to leverage up our cosmological approaches of descriptive science, evaluative culture and normative philosophy through the orthodoxic, orthopathic and orthopraxic risk amplifications known as faith, hope and love, which augment our value-realizations of truth, beauty and goodness. Think Eucharist. Do Eucharist. Next time you encounter a mistake, an imperfection, a blemish, an uncomfortable arousal from a serene equilibrium --- welcome that Cross with open arms. It's the paschal mystery come to call and great things are about to happen --- if you hold on loosely but don't let go. That's the divine fugue and your co-creative calling to bring an even greater harmony into a love relationship. What does this mean in terms of esse? or the immanent trinity? Heaven if I know. And it's increasingly hard to care less these days.

Ontology the metaphysical Is Metaphysics Moonshine? Look at some of the words and phrases associated with studies of consciousness: ... the explanatory gap, the hard and easy problems, functionalism, eliminativism, epiphenomenalism, interactionism, panpsychism, intrinsic monism, representationalism, nonreductive materialism, nonreductive physicalism, property dualism, substance dualism,dual aspect monism, cartesian dualism, eliminative materialism, mentalism, weak supervenience, strong supervenience, logical supervenience, ontological supervenience, higher order theory, multiple drafts theory, neutral monism, aristotelian hylomorphism, quantum theory of consciousness ... And think about some of the ideas associated with theoretical physics: ... indeterminacy, superluminality, nonlocality, superpositioning, complementarity ... It is enough to make anyone feel a little tipsy. Whether we are studying speculative cosmology or speculative cognitive science, from that end of the Great Chain of Being, where consciousness emerges, to that end near the earliest moments after the Big Bang, where we encounter the deepest structures of matter,

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ineluctable paradox confronts us. Despite the incredible complexity these realities present, our attempts to eliminate the paradoxes they generate are rather simple. They essentially boil down to four basic categories: 1) revisions of our logic; 2) revisions of our descriptions of causality; 3) propositions of incompleteness or hidden variables; and 4) submission to reductio arguments. Revised Hermeneutics? Proposed revisions to our logic and our understanding of causality, respectively, deal with epistemology and ontology, while propositions regarding hidden variables involve cosmology. Whether we attempt to resolve paradox with epistemological, ontological or cosmological revisions, we soon learn that the descriptive problems we are faced with are intractable and that every time we open a new interpretive window, reality shuts another hermeneutical door. Often, our last resort is a reductio argument, demonstrating the manifest absurdity of a given revision, but science, in its inexorable advance over the centuries, has justified the issuance of a caveat emptor on any casual rejection of the counterintuitive. How, then, are we to revise our logic? What epistemological tool do we abandon first? Excluded middle? Noncontradiction? Bivalence? And what about causality? What ontological determinations are we to give up? the Real? the Possible? the Actual? the Necessary? Which of our cosmological descriptions should we change? the Primitives? the Axioms? Perhaps we should not only break with our bivalent logic constructions, epistemologically, but also our realist conception of inquiry, ontologically? Problems Epistemologically confronted by godelian incompleteness, ontologically faced with friesian undecidability and cosmologically challenged by peircean unlimited semeiosis, are we the servants of our own formal symbol systems, unable to transcend them to see the reality that our language and thought are supposed to represent? Is there any way, rather, that language could be our servant, a calculus always subject to reinterpretation as we employ it in our progressive attempts to model reality? Whatever the case may be, one thing is certain: a priorism is clearly untenable. Lets back up. Does philosophy have to be confronted with the challenges of modern speculative cosmology and speculative cognitive science in order to recognize human cognitive limitations? And what precisely is at stake? The status of various truth

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propositions or merely the establishment of these limitations? Can we escape the epistemological, ontological, cosmological, and even axiological and teleological, cartesian dilemmas? Solutions It is our thesis that, prior to any confrontation by modern cosmology or cognitive science, we can prescind from our metaphysical perspectives to positions of both ontological and cosmological agnosticism, gaining virtual meta-ontological and meta-cosmological vantage points. Such a retreat might be energized by an essential pragmatism that avails itself of both well-known human cognitive limitations as well as well-founded human cognitive aspirations. Truth be known, epistemologically, our logic does apparently need some tweaking but certainly not a major overhaul? Ontologically, navigating from the possible to the actual, even employing the rigors of scientific method, is very problematical using the necessary at either helm or stern, wheel or rudder. Cosmologically, our descriptions of reality in terms of givens (or primitives), such as space, time, mass and energy, and of axioms, such as of the various forces (weak, strong, electromagnetic and gravity) and physical laws, are still incomplete, inviting propositions that consider manifold and multiform hidden variables. Epistemologically, then, we neednt abandon noncontradiction or excluded middle, but we might retreat to a contrite fallibilism, which recognizes the frame-dependent and contextual-relational aspect of our perspectives. Ontologically, we neednt give up our conceptions of possible and actual, but we might retreat to a modal logic that nuances necessity as conditional, the necessary yielding, instead, to the probable. Cosmologically, faced with the eternal fugue of pattern and paradox, order and chaos, chance and necessity, the random and systematic, we might minimally opt for a prime reality that is symmetric over against asymmetric, driven by the same exigencies that drove our modal logic revisions, compelled by humankinds long successful experience with knowledge advances as invariably driven, historically, by our incessant search for symmetry, such a search as may yet introduce new primitives or propose new axioms. Are there efficacies to be realized as we thus prescind to the functional and phenomenal from the ontological and cosmological? Can this be done in the modern day scientific cultural milieu where ontologies wage a battle royale in the philosophy of mind interdisciplines, where cosmologies collide in their implications for both our origin and our destiny? Emergence There is one unifying metanarrative and that appears to be that of emergence.

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In the great chain of being there are levels stretching from the quantum to the sociological. There are levels of being within levels of being. There are theories that govern interactions within levels and sometimes between levels, sharing concepts. The concepts concern 1) parts and wholes; 2) properties and 3) natural laws. There are three ways to look at the possible relationships between these levels. If a lower level completely explains a higher level, then we have reductionism and the strongest relation possible. When speaking in terms of parts & wholes, properties & laws, it is possible that reductionism will not explain a higher level, but we can still maintain supervenience, which is to say that any differences in parts, wholes, properties and laws at a higher level must have corresponding differences at the lower level (covariance without reduction). If a theory explaining higher level properties & laws is, in principle, unpredictable from a theory at a more fundamental level, then we have emergence, which is to say, novelty. Emergence is sometimes considered to correlate with supervenience, such that strong supervenience correlates with weak emergence and weak supervenience with strong emergence. Systems have also been characterized as closed emergent and open emergent systems. Closed emergent systems are epistemologically closed insofar as all of the system parameters for parts & wholes, properties & laws, are known; as such, closed systems are relatively deterministic at their lowest levels, even if indeterministic at their higher levels. Open emergent systems are epistemologically open, characterized by epistemic uncertainty. They may be either ontologically open or closed, which is to say they may or may not require new physical laws in their naturalistic explanations. Basically, if our current understanding of an emergent system is lacking, it is epistemologically open and if new physical principles are invoked, it is ontologically open. These distinctions speak directly to our evolutionary psychology as we climb the phylogenetic ladder adding sensation, perception, emotion, motivation, computational cognition, language, semiotics (syntactical & semantic) and nonalgorithmic cognition. I think the general consensus, among cognitive scientists, is that all of the system parameters for the parts & wholes, properties & laws of human consciousness are not known. In fact, they are extremely overdetermined. Presently, then, any understanding of the emergent system of human consciousness is epistemologically open, marked by substantial epistemic uncertainty. Until there is a more robust understanding of the properties and laws governing consciousness, we risk reification of both the structural and the functional concepts that describe our mental states and their interactivity with the physical. The putatively ontologically open systems of human consciousness would include Averys dimensional structure of consciouness, Penroses new physical laws, Ayn Rands objectivist epistemology and several other systems that amount to a naturalistic dualism, describing consciousness as primitive, as a fundamental property like space, time, mass or charge. Such systems are advanced by those who insist that the distinction between

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syntax and semantics in semiotic science are critical, that the distinction between computational and nonalgorithmic cognition is pivotal. Those who propose ontologically closed systems include the psychoneural identity theorists and others with various views regarding the Turing Test, Artificial Intelligence, eliminativism, epiphenomenalism, functionalism and such as Dennett over against Chalmers on qualia. The categories that distinguish between the open and closed systems, epistemologically and ontologically, are philosophical categories. Discussions of supervenience and emergence in the study of human consciousness, such as we set forth above, for the reasons we set forth above, presently are moreso subsumed under the philosophy of mind, not so much the science of mind. This notwithstanding, there is nothing discussed above that is not naturalistic, though a few approaches were nonphysicalistic. Regarding the mind-body problem, William James wrote: We are thrown back therefore upon the crude evidences of introspection on the one hand, with all its liabilities to deception, and, on the other hand, upon a priori postulates and probabilities. He who loves to balance nice doubts need be in no hurry to decide the point. Like Mephistopheles to Faust, he can say to himself, "dazu hast du noch eine lange Frist" [for that you've got a long wait], for from generation to generation the reasons adduced on both sides will grow more voluminous, and the discussion more refined. I'm more optimistic than James. Is the current explanatory gap epistemic? Perhaps we'l eventually close it, but only asymptotically approaching godelian boundaries. Is it ontological? Even then, I think our abductions will guide us toward an accumulation of indirect evidence, such evidence subjected to ever more rigorous statistical analyses and resulting in increasingly compelling inferences about the nature of consciousness, again constrained by godelian dynamics. As such, it will never be exhaustive of the competing ontological and cosmological approaches but will remain congruent with many of them through the highly refined nuancing suggested by James. Still, if we continue our search for the most comprehensive, and at the same time discriminating, synthesis of whatever is best in rival systems, then we think we'll get closest to the truth. Semiotic Emergence A very fruitful way of engaging a most comprehensive, yet very discriminating, perspective on emergence dynamics is through the hermeneutic of semiotic emergence. From the purely phenomenal perspective, prior to describing reality, ontologically, in terms of absolute necessity, cosmologically, in terms of primitives and their attendant axioms, or epistemologically, in terms of absolute logic, we can more tentatively and fallibilistically approach reality using an interpretive scheme of semiotic emergence, with meaning essentially defined as the establishment of information loops. In semiotic emergence, from a: 1) meta-epistemological perspective, the establishment of meaning is frame-dependent, contextual-relational, the laws of logic still holding; 2)meta-ontological perspective, semiotic realities are designated as real per a modal logic designating ontological status as possible, actual or probable, rather than necessary; and

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3) meta-cosmological perspective, semiotic realities transcend classical metaphysical descriptions of primitives and their governing axioms for the nature of the universe, such as in substance metaphysics with respect to being or materiality, such as in process metaphysics with respect to experience, or even such as in participative metaphysics with respect to entities. In approaching a semiotic reality epistemologically, we have prescinded from such as the excluded middle, not to take permanent refuge from the bivalent in the multivalent, rather, only retreating to a contextual-relational vantage with the clear intent of returning to perform our conventional logical operations. In approaching a semiotic reality ontologically, we have prescinded from such a modal logic as governed by necessity having observed in the crucible of experience that reality is apparently more so governed by probability. In approaching a semiotic reality cosmologically, we have prescinded from such an account of the nature of the universe as a priori relies on an invariable set of primitives and governing axioms, while nevertheless holding to a meta-cosmological bias toward symmetry. As with our epistemological circumspection, we can then return to the ontologies and cosmologies of our Weltanschauung and, having viewed reality through the interpretive lens of semiotic emergence, can better avoid confusing our maps for our territories, earnestly critiquing them, whether substance, process, participative or some other variety. (They will all, nevertheless, still be encumbered by this or that paradox of infinite regress, circular reasoning, ipse dixit, etc Oh, bother!) The semiotic emergence paradigm [SEP] can serve as an indispensable hermeneutical hygiene insofar as it clarifies our thinking about reality, enabling us to rise above the insidious cartesian dualisms, which breed the mutually unintelligible distinctions such as between essentialism and nominalism, realism and idealism, empiricism and rationalism, reductionism and holism, phenomenal and noumenal, foundational and nonfoundational, correspondence and coherence, deontological and teleological ethics, contingency and teleology, etc This hermeneutic is no more immune to paradox than any other, suffering as it does from an infinite regress of semiotic realities, but that is a small price to pay for the enhanced modeling power it provides us for reality, especially once considering the manifold and multiform efficacies than ensue from its transcendence of cartesian spectres. Efficacies of the SEP With respect to an anthropocentric, human exceptionalism, the SEP gives impetus to our attempts to jettison the cartesian baggage that weighs down our existential cargo holds and overloads our hermeneutical overhead bins. What baggage? The cartesian dualisms that prevent us from taking anthropological flight and attaining ecological altitude insofar as we allow them to: a) estrange us from our cosmic origin and cosmic support as they are mediated by nos environs;

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b) uproot us from our epistemological ground as we get trapped in infinite loop errors inside our own heads; c) alienate us from our own bodies as a result of our narrowly conceived substance ontologies that pit mind against matter; d) conflict us through inadequate theodicies as we struggle with the polynomial and bivalent nature of our values, lost on the path from the given to the normative, axiologically blind to any oughts that might inhere in the is; and e) set us aimlessly adrift without the benefit of a coherent teleonomy and a morally compelling eschatological vision that teleologically connects to our present milieu giving impetus to our interventions now, conveying a sense of urgency in our dire need to awaken to our solidarity that compassion might more quickly ensue, everything belonging (Rohr). The SEP counters any paradigm wherein biology is considered both necessary and sufficient in explaining human behavior. It also takes issue with any paradigm wherein the biological continuum and human instinct are excessively downplayed with cultural conditioning otherwise considered both necessary and sufficient in describing human behavior. Elements of an SEP There are many problems, solutions and efficacies addressed in the hereinabove-proposed hermeneutical revisions to classical metaphysics. What specific ingredients might best comprise an acceptable Semiotic Emergence Paradigm? My guess is a Polanyian-Peircean approach to biosemiotics, which incorporates the aristotelian insight: We have our virtues neither by nor contrary to our natures. We are fitted by our natures to receive them. If brains are amazing, the human brain is flat-out astonishing. .... No doubt about it: Our symbolic minds allow us to access mental experiences, like mathematics, aesthetics and spiritual intuitions, that we have every reason to believe are novel, unique to the human. ...But we suggest that it is also of utmost importance that we not lose track of our mental evolutionary antecedents. ... Any perspective on the human condition that brushes this fact aside is an incomplete perspective, --indeed, we would say that it is an impoverished perspective. ... Given that we have evolved from an intensely social lineage, we are uniquely aware of what it feels like to be pro-social, and it is this awareness of what it feels like to be moral -- this moral experience -- that undergirds and motivates the actions of a moral person.? by Ursula Goodenough and Terrence Deacon13 Proving Too Much People like Teilhard, Polanyi and Aurobindo have, in our view, thought deeply and in the
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From Biology to Consciousness to Morality by Ursula Goodenough and Terrence Deacon, Zygon D 03; 38(4): 801-819

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right direction, but otherwise "prove too much" with their metaphysics. This is still far better than those who "prove too much" with their science and metaphysics in what seems to me to be the wrong direction! That Fr. Bede and Merton and other spiritual technologists engaged the East seriously and recognized gifts for all of humankind in the Eastern traditions is important. It makes us want to pay attention, to take them seriously but not necessarily literally (speaking of such as Aurobindo's evolutionary ideas). In other words, however much their spiritual practices are integrally related to their ontologies and doctrines, it is curious that we can borrow their practices (again, for example, Aurobindo's accounts of Yoga) and have them work very well for us even if we do not buy into their ontologies and doctrines. It is especially curious if one buys into the maxim --- orthopraxis authenticates orthodoxy. We see all major traditions, not just Christianity, in search of a metaphysic. We think those (all) ontologies represent rather fallible and awkward attempts to articulate what humankind had ALREADY discovered to be the truth (or an approximation, at least) phenomenologically, which is to say that we know THAT such realities present themselves and THAT such practices work even as we do not always know HOW and WHY. This is to suggest that folks like Aurobindo were paying incredible and excellent attention to reality, especially human reality (like the Sufi mystics and the Enneagram, for example). The same is true for kundalini, just for another example. That we experience this reality, phenomenally, is not in dispute for those of us who have experienced such energies. The WHAT and HOW is of less importance. That we submit all to the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the counsel and discernment of community is what we are called to do. If we dug into these seemingly disparate doctrines and ontologies (East vs West) and their attendant language games and cultural embeddedness, then we just might find, at least, some minimalistic grounds for a syncretistic approach that is not heterodox after all; a true mystical core shared by the great traditions. (We think of John Hick, here.) Our suspicion is that those grounds would be pneumatological, which is to suggest the involvement of the Holy Spirit. Interreligious dialogue could proceed with our [Christology] in brackets and the Spirit out front and center. We wonder if our perspectives diverge at the point where we either search or do not search for, and if we search, whether we find or do not find, what some refer to as foundations and justifications? Or, perhaps, following Hans Kung, whether or not we even care to explain such a fundamental trust in uncertain reality as it seems we must all share, in some degree, in order to have these discussions in the first place? Kung talks about a justified fundamental trust in uncertain reality, which is to say that some folks do bother to tell others why they trust uncertain reality. He also talks about a nowhere anchored and paradoxical trust in uncertain reality. However, might we not further distinguish between the process of dropping anchor and the actual realization of anchoring, which is to ask: How would we know we are not, rather, merely dragging anchor?

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Whitehead suggested that all metaphysics are fatally flawed. Considering the source and knowing the value he invested in that very pursuit, perhaps he'd suggest that we can cash out some value in our anchoring attempts and that this value would be denominated in terms of realizing the least morbid system, the one least infected with paradox --veridical, falsidical, antinomial, conditional, or the system that is most consistent while least incomplete (Godel). Perhaps dragging an anchor is better than being blown haphazardly and willy nilly about. Still, we can build systems (the great traditions and ideologies). We can remain a respectful silence re: systems (phenomenology and some Buddhist approaches). We can gainsay and critique systems and need no system of our own in order to efficaciously do so (radically deconstructive postmodernism and practical nihilism). None of these approaches requires Ontology, this notwithstanding the fact that many adherents of these above-listed stances have attempted such metaphysical articulations. It was also Whitehead who said that Christianity was a religion in search of a metaphysic; and he was exactly right; just look at the many different types of thomism, for example, including aristotelian, analytical, existential, transcendental and more. What we are suggesting is that, at some level, given where humankind is on its journey, that all of the above stances, which might be variously categorized regarding their stance toward system building: system building affirmation/ontology, meta-system phenomenology, system agnosticism, and nonsystematic gainsaying and critique ... that all of these stances are still what William James might call live options. And we suppose the best way to adjudicate between them, to cash out their value, is in terms of modeling power of reality and with such a "power" oriented toward human value realizations and the bolstering of authentic human aspirations. Somehow, true dialogue might require us to at least be able to stand in one another's existential moccasins and to get in touch with why our otherwise disparate hermeneutics might truly remain live options. And then we can get on with the project of doing ethics, of seeking a more universally compelling morality and the articulation of a truly global ethic. And we had better not wait for an ontological consensus. We don't have time. We must come to the dialogue table with our ontologies bracketed and build on the common ground we already share vis a vis general precepts, human dignity, common good, universal declarations of human rights and so on and so forth with a premium placed on THAT we share them and a discount issued regarding WHY we share them (vis a vis our justification attempts). This is not to suggest that, at the same time, we should not otherwise still be seeking the most nearly perfect articulation of truth, beauty, goodness and unity attainable (and then urging it on others only with a great deal of circumspection and good sense of propriety). Emergence the phenomenological Intersubjective Intimacy in Community Intrasubjective Integrity of Spirit

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Lonerganian Conversions Formative Spirituality The Road to Completion We might consider giving up the old spiritual paradigm, which frames OUR journey in terms of perfection, and embrace another, which suggests were on a road, rather, to completion. We will experience lacking and painfully and poignantly so. And, as Richard Rohr emphasizes, that pain which we do not allow to somehow transform us we will continue to transmit to others. Allowing pain to do its transformative work is precisely a journey into intimacy because intimacy is what will complete us. So this pain impels us to longing and yearning. Consider these beautiful Gerald May14 quotes: We are conscious not just because our hearts are beating but because they are yearning (1). The only way to own and claim love as our identity is: to fall in love with love itself, to feel affection for our longing, to value our yearning, treasure our wanting, embrace our incompleteness, be overwhelmed by the beauty of our need (2). Love is present in any desire in all feelings of attraction, in all caring and connectedness. It embraces us in precious moments of immediate presence. It is also present when we experience loneliness, loss, grief and rejection. We may say such feelings come from the absence of love, but in fact they are signs of our loving; they express how much we care. We grieve according to how much of ourselves we have already given; we yearn according to how much we would give, if only we could (3). So, our choices play out in terms of whether our responses will be existential, which is to say life-giving and relationship-enhancing, or neurotic, which is to say life-detracting and relationship-destroying. And these are the choices whether we experience guilt, anger, lust, greed, envy, jealousy, pride or any other passion, whether somewhat bridled or not. We sit in the front row of a crowded theater and, on the big screen, a train is lurching toward us, picking up speed, getting ever larger and ever louder. Our sympathetic nervous system kicks in, adrenaline is released, our liver glycogen converts to glucose, our muscles tense and our heart starts pumping furiously as we enter fight or flight mode. To run out of the theater would be neurotic. On the other hand, should we be strolling down the railroad tracks, leisurely tossing stones into the adjacent stream, and a train rushes toward us, to jump off of the tracks into the stream would be existential. So, with Gerald May, let us value our feelings as they give us information about both our
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Gerald May need citation probably from Will & Spirit

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external environment and internal milieu. And let us enjoy the ways we squirm, cringe, and avoid life and relationships, existentially rather than neurotically. Nondual Awareness EVERYBODY has contemplative, nondual moments. The only reason for the fuss is that too often we squander them or allow them to be taken from us. A nondual stance toward a reality is that moment of pure raw awareness prior to any problem-solving processing. If that reality is another person, for example, if our encounter of that person places us immediately in a problem-solving mode, whether from our perspective or theirs, whether of a moral or a practical nature, then we are using our dualistic mind, which is empirical (measuring), rational (logical), practical (making use or meeting a need of either person) or moral (evaluating right and wrong, good and evil) and so on. Sometimes this functional mode is absolutely what is called for. On the other hand, if our encounter of that other person is sheer enjoyment of presence and wholly relational and involving verbs like trust, love, forgive and such, and if we are engaging in what is more like pure play and growing intimacy and self-forgetful ecstasy, then we are using our nondual mode. One can think in terms of paradox, too. In our problem-solving mode, we can resolve paradox (dialectical synthesis), dissolve paradox (thru paradigm and perspectival shifts) or evade paradox, practically (for example by ignoring it). Lifes biggest paradoxes, its cosmic ironies and deepest mysteries (like theodicy questions), it seems, do not lend themselves very readily to problem-solving resolutions, dissolutions or evasions but require, instead, what I like to call exploitation, whereby we take a tension and exploit it transformatively by maintaining the tension as a creative tension. In a nutshell, if you read the Old Testament and make a list of all of the complaints issued by the Psalmists and questions raised in Job, or even look in the New Testament, you notice that the age-old time-honored philosophical questions regarding lifes deepest mysteries like 1) what about creation, how and when did that take place 2) suffering and why THAT? and 3) other questions put directly to Jesus are not answered in philosophical or scientific or empirical or rational terms. God did not answer our night terrors from our beds with explanations and ideas. He answered by showing up, hugging us, telling us everything will be alright. He answered in a relational way but not a problem-solving way. He doesnt deconstruct our boogeymans. He holds us and sings us a lullaby. And we forget how scared and lonely we were. The nondual is robustly RELATIONAL. The problem is that people think religion is mostly about what is right and wrong,

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morally, or what we can do to earn Gods love; or religion is about how to have our practical needs met, our pocketbooks and health and prosperity Gospel garbage; or that religion answers our empirical questions about creation; or that religion shows us how to think logically to solve philosophical puzzles. If you listen to fundamentalistic evangelists, whether Protestant or Catholic, if they are preoccupied with empirical, rational, practical and moral questions, which are NOT unimportant or irrelevant, but spend very little time on RELATIONAL questions, like growing in trust, intimacy, forgiveness and love, then they are reinforcing the dualistic mindset and human socialization processes but neglecting the nondual stance and human transformational processes. We do not need special divine revelation to know what is true empirically, logically, rationally, practically or morally for that is all transparent to human reason (general revelation). The value-added aspect of special divine revelation is the GOOD NEWS of Jesus that God is not the deistic watchmaker but the lover, the Daddy. Thats where the emphasis needs to be placed on the Good News and less on the old news that anyone could figure out (like how to be good), even without Jesus. Nondual awareness is what one does when they are being loved, being love, beloved one. Thomas Merton contemplative prayer there must be a renewal of communion between the traditional, contemplative disciplines and those of science, between the poet and the physicist, the priest and the depth psychologist, the monk and the politician. Merton While Merton affirms that our symbols can bring us into closer contact with reality, he cautions against identifying them with reality. In a sense, he was saying, with Ralph Waldo Emerson : Heartily know, When half-gods go, The gods arrive.. What is this (contemplative prayer) in relation to action? Simply this. He (and she) who attempts to act and do things for others or for the world without this deepening of his own self-understanding, freedom, integrity, and capacity to love, will not have anything to give others. He will communicate to them nothing but the contagion of his own obsessions, his aggressiveness, his egocentered ambitions, his delusions about ends and means, his doctrinaire prejudices and ideas. Thomas Merton, The Climate of Monastic Prayer

Merton the False Self (properly understood) The concept of False Self is unfortunate. Why unfortunate? Because the False Self is not bad. We might better to draw such distinctions as early on our journey versus later on

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our journey thus and such happens. (This is not to deny that many unduly put off the journey to such things as transformation and even adulthood.) The early stages of formation and transformation are good. So are the later. And nothing that takes place on our early journey is abandoned. The false self represents our socialization, moving from little animals to humans. It represents our humanization. And our humanization and divinization are inextricably intertwined, not really distinguishable really. The more fully human we become, the more we reflect the Divine Image, the imago Dei. So, we dont abandon the false self. Not at all. Rather, we take full possession of it in order to surrender it to crucifixion. (And one cannot surrender what one does not form and possess.) We give it up in order to be radically saved (from sin and death); it is no mere pious gesture. Thus the seed falls to the ground and dies Thus every other metaphor for the Paschal Mystery This is my False Self. I give it up for you. Teresa of Avila did say that we must desire and occupy ourselves in prayer not so much so as to receive consolations but so as to gain the strength to serve. Still, a careful reading and parsing will note that she didnt negate or eliminate our desire for consolations but only added to them. I like the simple distinction between eros or whats in it for me? and agape or whats in it for God & others? Agape, however, does not extinguish or negate eros, but, rather, transvalues it and recontextualizes it. Thus we do not let go of whats in it for me? even as we strive to transcend it with agapic love. Merton It was Him! He done it! Another distinction from Merton. Merton discusses two of the types of confessio, of confession. One was laude or praise. The other was re: the more familiar It was me. I done it. that we know from the Rite of Reconciliation and from police shakedowns, or parental busts regarding hands in cookie jars. This distinction makes for rich reflection and meditation but our focus here is on the transformative process. The confession of praise is the converse: It was God. He done it. The psalms are about 50:50 penitential supplication taking the form of I done it and of praise taking the form of adoration of He done it. Merton insoluble problems? Merton has touched upon a dynamic, when he speaks of existential crisis, which is very much related to the Cross for Christians although it happens with all people, even in science. The dynamic, more specifically, involves our confrontation with a problem. We initially perceive the problem as soluble and we work mightily to solve it. It matters not whether

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it is a philosophical conundrum or some scientific hypothesis or some existential crisis/spiritual emergency. We exhaust all of our resources and then arrive at the point where we pretty much conclude that this particular issue is insoluble. At this point, we resolve to leave it alone, give it a rest, to forget about it altogether. So, we do. Then, when you least expect it, whether in a dream or while playing or working or chopping wood and carrying water, the solution comes to us in a flash, totally gratuitously and unmerited as pure grace, so to speak. Now, this dynamic is very natural and involves the workings of the human mind at a subconscious level, intuitions bubbling up to the surface, to be sure, not unaided by the Holy Spirit. Our Need for God per Merton "there must be a renewal of communion between the traditional, contemplative disciplines and those of science, between the poet and the physicist, the priest and the depth psychologist, the monk and the politician." Merton While Merton affirms that our symbols can bring us into closer contact with reality, he cautions against identifying them with reality. In a sense, he was saying, with Ralph Waldo Emerson : "Heartily know. When half-gods go, The gods arrive.". We'll begin with the partial retelling of a Merton story from earlier. Merton discusses two of the types of confessio, of confession. One was laude or praise. The other was re: the more familiar "It was me. I done it." that we know from the Rite of Reconciliation and from police shakedowns, or parental busts regading hands in cookie jars. The confession of praise is the converse: "It was God. He done it." The psalms are about 50:50 penitential supplication taking the form of "I done it" and of praise taking the form of adoration of "He done it." Now, there comes a point where we pass through existential crisis or a series of crises and recognize that there is little meritorious effort on our behalf other than cooperation with grace and that all else is pure unmerited Grace. This is part of recognizing our radical dependence on God, Whom we can trust because, well, look around at What He Done! Prior to getting to that place of praise and He Done It, we must get both to the place of I Done It regarding our abject sinfulness as well as It Isn't/Wasn't Me! regarding our manifold blessings and very existence. Part of the nondual experience, then, is the existential realization of It Isn't Me --- not this creation, not these feelings, not these thoughts, not any rule-following or goodness, iow, It Isn't Me cognitively, affectively or morally, that's responsible for starting all of this,

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holding it all together and taking it anywhere. This can be quite liberating. The famous singer-songwriter, James Taylor, once made a wisecrack about AA, saying that half of the people that are in it are trying to come to the realization that they are not God, while the other half had the job once and are desperately busy trying to tender their resignation. Well, it isn't enough to stop with It Isn't Me, and that is where an existential experience of the no-self can leave us. But this apophatic realization must be dialectically related to HE DID IT! IT'S HER! and this is the positive, kataphatic content that is truly fitting and proper, coming from a tongue that cannot confess same without the initiative of the Spirit's prompting. So, the loss of the affective ego can occur, in any of the many ways we have conceived it and experienced and particularly in a manner that Merton wisely discerned was apophatic, impersonal, existential, but needing completion in the kataphatic, personal and theological, these processes nurturing and mutually enriching and entailing one another. Point is, the confession of It's Not Me is necessary but not sufficient. What comes to mind with respect to adulterers and murderers like both King Herod and King David, is what, ultimately, makes the difference between our going Herod's route or that of David? To a certain extent, all that society asks by way of reformation is that we be rehabilitated into a good social persona, that we function well in our interpersonal dealings -politically, economically, socially and culturally. IOW, society asks that we follow the rules, that we obey the law. Adherence to the Law is what was required of these Old Testament persons, in accordance with the Old Covenant. David became a good man and a great king by meeting these standards. He became his true self, the psalmist, when he went deeper in his relationship to God. So, in its very essence, the Old Covenant very much corresponds to that second level of development, that which pertains to our socialization, and, although there were certain prophecies and foreshadowings, the crosses borne by these peoples were not the same as THE CROSS. Certainly, there must have always been some opportunity for humans on earth to partake of the transformative process effected by Jesus for once and for all through his birth, life, passion, death and resurrection. Indeed, many did undergo such radical transformation, especially, one might suspect, someone like David, the Psalmist, who points the way to Jesus, to the Father, in the Spirit.

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At the same time, the explicit announcement of the New Testament, the proclamation of the Good News, the living out of the Gospel, of the Kerygma, through the Cross, marked an existential crisis at a global level for ALL PEOPLES, and played itself out as, not a total renunciation but, as a total surpassing of the old way. This is directly analogous to the death to self that is called for on the journey of each individual but involved a type of death for the People of God as a whole, who were being called to a new level of intimacy. Again, we invoke, as individuals, because we have been convoked, as an entire People of God. We are called as a People and respond, radically alone (in many respects), as individuals. Another lesson that is taught about David by Louis Evely is That Man Is You , which is to say: what is wrong with the world is ME. What happens as we make the turn and drop the persona, which, again, was formatively necessary, is that we seek enlightenment out of compassion for the world, which constantly suffers our unenlightened selves. No longer are we in search of consolation or sensible positive affect because Perfect Love is its own reward, is totally unconditional, entirely kenotic. We lay down our false selves, not for our own benefit, not because we are tired of the pain it causes us, but because of the pain we are transmitting to our loved ones, to the world. Any pain that is not thusly transformed, however neurotic or psychotic or emotional or idiopathic, we transmit to others. We seek to be rid of this pain that we may desist from transmitting it to others. Perfect Love and Perfect Contrition are inextricably bound up. It is sufficient to enter the Kingdom, through the law, through the old gate, of following the rules and being sorry for the consequences to ourselves when we don't. That was the old way and it still works. BUT, if we take up our cross, go through the existential crisis, and come to that breakthrough where we are moreso sorry for our sin because of the consequences to others and to God, then we crucify the Old Man and rise as a New Creation, seeking the contemplative gaze, as Teresa says, not so much for the consolations but, rather, in order to gain the strength to serve. We become Christs. We allow God to be God-in-us, our truest selves. This isn't a requirement, but it is an invitation. The most important one that any of us will RSVP or not. Let us insert this here. Losing something like fear does not mean that we have come to any pollyannish conclusion that all of the bad things that could happen to us are not going to happen --- rather, it means that, we know full well they are even likely to happen but are nothing, ultimately, to fear. So, too, with guilt, anger ... We give up the neurotic version in exchange for the existential version, which is quite THE CROSS to arrive at the resurrected version, which is ALL IS WELL. This, too, is dialectical, like the Kingdom. It is on its way. It has already arrived. Paradise is ours to inherit. It is already in our hearts. All is decidely NOT well, temporally, in this earthly tent wherein we dwell, BUT, in reality, ours is a robe of resplendent glory and, eternally (not at the end of time or for a long time, but outside of time where we have both origin and destiny), ALL is, indeed, well.

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St. Thomas described how our love of God increases in proportion to our knowledge of God. And this is true. St. Bernard described how our knowledge of God increases in proportion to our love of God. This, too, is true. The knowledge of God that St. Bernard describes, however, surpasses that which St. Thomas was speaking and writing about. St. Thomas was talking about that knowledge of God that comes from both general and special revelation, a discursive knowing that increases through our study of philosophy, metaphysics, theology and such, such a knowing as could never attain to God's essential nature even as it might infinitely advance toward same. The love of which both Thomas and Bernard spoke of, however, can indeed communicate with God's essential nature, leading one to a mysterious type of knowledge that certainly informs our normative sciences (of logic, aesthetics and ethics) and descriptive sciences (for instance, natural science) but which also far surpasses them, a knowledge difficult to describe or articulate. Such a love is experienced on the threshold of contemplation. Such is the love which casts out all fear. The perfect love that casts out all fear is a love that has grown in dependency on God, has learned to trust God, that knows that, however bad the situation or dire the circumstances, in the final analysis, all will be well. It is the mystical love of Julian that sings all may, can, will and shall be well and is the realization of the promise that you will know that all manner of things will be well. Here, then, is the distinction we draw between existential fear and neurotic fear, existential guilt and neurotic guilt, existential anger and neurotic anger, the existential always in service of life and love and relationship, the neurotic invariably life-detracting, love-detracting, relationship-destroying. We are not dealing only with neuroses that are overcome in the process of individuation but also those sinful resistances to conversion that are overcome on our journey of transformation, distinct but intertwined realities. So, we might describe the loss of the affective ego as an energy inversion whereby the emotions and feelings and affective life don't so much energize our behaviors by initiating them but rather energize our behaviors by reinforcing them. It seems that this state could be effected all of a sudden through some precipitating event or could arise through time and a habit of virtue. Love, eminently reasonable, needs no reason, inasmuch as it is sufficient unto itself. Happiness, finally, cannot be pursued but must ensue. So, too, with good feelings. They aren't needed but will often ensue, which is to say, follow, love. Merton noted that often, when we are in pain and conflict and contradiction, we incorrectly associate same with old wounds, with old injuries that truly have been resolved and healed already. During such times, Merton encourages us to consider the very real possibility that we are, rather, being invited to open ourselves to a new level of being through such pain and conflict and

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contradiction. In other words, if we are not properly attentive, then we run the risk of stagnation, desolation and aridity, sometimes for months or years, dwelling on the wrong integrative and transformative issues, missing the invitation to move to another level, a level that could be attained in a day even. One of the chief obstacles to advancing in the spiritual life, then, is to gain a certain clarity of vision regarding the route to sanctity or to psychological integration (routes that are much intertwined) and then acting as if the vision itself is the attainment when, in fact, it is not the mapping of the journey that marks our growth but the walking of the road, which is to say that, if you are on the illuminative or unitive way, then get on with it, and so on. Further, the mapping never involves the entire journey but entails, rather, our next good step, a step which is the spiritual equivalent of taking the entire journey. Thus it is that the entire road is traversed, one step at a time in faith with the trust that that step is truly what is required for now, for today. We can get caught up with seeing the road and then fail to walk it, is our constant peril. Two lessons here: Sometimes one has to quit beating one's head against the wall just because it feels good when you stop. Sometimes one has to quit circling the same developmental block on the journey just because some of the signs look the same, which is to say that emotional memories can get in the way by misleading us into thinking that our pain is rooted in old unresolved issues when it is moreso about leading us in a new direction entirely (with a genesis in new issues), inviting us to another level entirely. Then, once we see this new direction, it is of the essence to WALK it and not merely content ourselves in the consolation of SEEING it! Well, this remains a very loose rendering of the meaning we have gathered from Merton and any misconstructions are our own. The point is that old emotional memories can get improperly associated with new spiritual emergence issues and that we can misdiagnose the reason for our present pain, conflict and contradiction. Merton noted that the spiritual path and the path of scientific breakthroughs is analogous. Specifically, the steps are: 1) We find an issue, sort through it and set about to solve it. 2) We grapple and grapple with it until we realize that it is virtually irresolute, unsolvable, beyond us, too difficult. 3) We let go and move on. 4) Sometimes, years later, the solution comes to us in an instant, in a flash. Nothing very profound here.We've all used this approach in balancing our checkbooks, eh? But the point is that that is how our human natures are constructed and that that is how our unconscious and conscious minds and spirits seem to interface. Seeing after not before is axiomatic for the spiritual mapping of the journey. Others' journeys, even those of the great mystical doctors, let's say the Carmelites like John of the Cross and Teresa of Jesus, can give us touchpoints for the journey, indications that we are on the road, but they have no predictive value. The same is true with Ignatian and sanjuanian discernment such as regarding: consolation and desolation, maybe even such as regarding loss of affect, depression, acedia, beginnings of contemplation -- where we are moreso discerning retrospectively and not so much being guided prospectively.

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The contemplative gaze in love transcends our cognitive and discursive faculties and penetrates through to the Divine Essence, actually communicating and relating to God's essential nature, a nature that is, in principle, incomprehensible. We must be careful, however, in confusing incomprehensible with unintelligible. If these experiences were unintelligible and God was unintelligible, this discussion wouldn't be possible? Another Mertonesque thought: We are moving toward an existential realization of how critical to our spiritual survival prayer really is. This realization is attained when we feel our need for prayer as acutely as we would feel the need for a breath when underwater. This has something to say to us all whether we are called to discursive mediation, lectio, meditatio, oratio, contemplatio, operatio or what have you. Whatever our prayer gift as led by the Spirit, it is to be engaged with the sense of critical and acute and urgent need that affirms our radical dependence and perennial state of existential crisis. Now, don't get Merton wrong. This is all dialectical. One moves into crisis to lose crisis. One loses self to gain self. First, there is a mountain. Then, there is no mountain. Then, there is. One recognzies one's radical dependency to move to place of radical trust. One experiences one's emptiness and abject poverty to realize one's utter fullness. One moves into paradox and pain and contradiction to realize that, what do you know, all is well. This is something re: the loss of self that is affirmed by the Sufi (Islamic)and the Hasidic (Jewish) mystics and that Merton, building on Buber as well as the Sufis, so well understood. So, too, with human affects and desires. John of the Cross speaks of disordered appetites and Ignatius speaks of inordinate desires. It is not the appetite or desire we seek to eradicate, ultimately, but through proper asceticism and renunciation, we lose our emotional energy that intitiates so many of our behaviors (both virtue and vice) only to regain it to reinforce our virtues. Think of Ignatian discernment regarding consolation and desolation, for example, and of how the different spirits console or afflict us, variously, as we either cooperate with Grace or backslide. This dialectic is working, likely, with the affective ego. Now, there may be something very deeply analogous going on with spiritual consolations and desolations and psychological affects that is not completely identical. This could account for how psychologically developmentally deformative influences might intefere/interact with spiritually transformative processes. This is no easy nut to crack and might profoundly influence with what facility one moves through an existential crisis to the experience of nocrisisafter-all. In other words, a spiritual emergence issue that gets foisted upon someone may not achieve its dialectical goal of teaching one to breathe underwater but could, for all practical purposes, drown a person. When He knew for certain only drowning men could see Him, He said all men shall be sailors, then, until the sea shall free them. Leonard Cohen Merton speaks of a Sufi scholar, who draws many parallels to psychoanalysis, which is to say who sees the therapy process as analogous to the spiritual journey. If in therapy our

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primary concern is the resolution of unresolved subconscious conflicts, then Sufism might be thought of in the same way, only on a deeper level. In therapy and normal individuation, we are resolving certain conflicts, the resolutions of which 1) take us from an infantile level, take us from the merely instinctual animal to a human type of being where our cognitive and affective development is concerned 2) then further take us and adapt us to successful social and cultural beings. Many struggle at the first level, such as with an Oedipus complex, by way of example, staying Momma's boys their entire life, but most get through it to the second level of struggle, some falling prey to escapes from the difficult realities of social-cultural life. AA is an example of a good way to deal with such evasions, helping primarily by providing motives to change, wise to the fact that one has to want to change in order to change and no one can do it for us. This is pretty much where conventional therapy stops, helping one deal with one's neurotic evasions of social responsibility. This, however, is insufficient for bringing about the general honesty required to go deeper and to become an authentic human who has faced life's fundamental challenges, life's BIGGER problems, gaining life's existential awareness. What are these BIG PROBLEMS? 1) continuity vs discontinuity - death 2) creativity having a life that is meaningful, a presence that makes a difference. What are the mistakes that even analysts/therapists make here? What mistakes are made by us as individuals at this level? We treat these issues as if they were problems of social adaptation (that second level we talked about). In other words, if you are esteemed by your society or in a particular cultural milieu, then you've conquered these problems, your presence not only has made a difference but lives on, in a manner of speaking. WRONG! This "solution" leads people into a further evasion from a truly meaningful life. This blueprint is wrong and must be torn up and thrown away. Think here of our affective reward system and not only what vices are reinforced by certain emotions but also by what so-called virtues are being reinforced by our range of emotions. There needs to be a rewiring. What is called for, rather, is a BREAKTHROUGH into existential awareness. In other words, we recognize that this social esteem and instinctual control we have gained is MEANINGLESS, not meaningless, to be sure, for our functioning in ordinary life, but certainly in terms of life's ultimate meaning. (Here Merton recommends Viktor Frankl.) So, from this deeper level, our social success is meaningless. On one hand, though, it is great and necessary, but, on the other, it is TOTALLY NUTS! How do we get in touch with what is needed on the deeper level? Through the Psalmist is one way, for the deeper level whether praying the mad, glad or sad psalms is always GOD. The CROSS is the demonstration of this struggle, the realization of this conflict in Jesus,

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a conflict between the establishment of the religion, such as in society, on one hand, and the realization of authentic religion, such as in one's heart, otoh. It REJECTS the silly notion of "Keep the rules and there you've got all the answers," which Merton calls a wooden nickel. It similarly rejects: "Don't keep the rules," which is a stupid form of the same silly game. The ultimate solution to our biggest subconscious unresolved conflicts, our existential questions, is experiencing our rootedness in God, God in our very hearts. Death loses its significance as an end because we are already finalities, already ends unto ourselves because of our being-in-God, being-in-love, which is sufficient unto itself with no further reason or justification. Our creativity is found in our issuing forth from the Creator and not in anything we do to gain social approval or cultural amenities. The obligational has become aspirational. One then studies and prays, fastening and binding one's spirit to God, clinging to God, after the manner we wrote about previously, needing prayer as badly as one who is under water needs a breath. Then, in all we see and experience, God is present, and we don't at all take seriously the self we have to be to operate in society, the role playing, the best things in life not being demanded by us but received a pure gift from God FOR ME, who lets God be Himself in me, when my false self has vanished. The old emotional programming, that was even formative and not deformative, must be re-wired, in order to move on to the deeper level of a human being-in-love-with-God. Hence the dark Nights. Hence, the transformation of the affective ego as we move from a false to a true self. Hence, what Merton is describing is our social persona, which must die. True enough, our formation from the animal-instinctual to the social-cultural self is required, is necessary for the journey. In fact, we cannot surrender this self to the Cross, which is to say, to the existential crisis, until we have fully come into possession of same. The existential crisis, then, involves a confrontation of the I with the not I , of the true self with the false self, and, when it is upon us, everything we see and observe and relate to in our existence is then seen through the lens of this crisis, of this Cross. For society-at-large, then, the Gospel is this lens. The problem is that we have talked about the Cross so much, about the Gospel so much, that we have, in some sense, trivialized it and robbed it of its profound and radical significance for our individual lives and our lives in community. While in this crisis, however, we come to realize that the reason the world has so many huge problems -- socially, culturally, politically, economically -- is because of people, people like us who are living on a phony, superficial level of existence, out of contact with our true source, Who is God, alone. The ultimate idolatry, then, is our self. So, we take this socially-formed self and crucify it and it is not like going to a movie or coming into an Internet discussion forum but is, rather, much more like walking into a fire. The reward system, the reinforcement mechanisms, the old emotional programs, which worked so well for those of us who made it through our formative years with more formation, reformation and information than deformation, must be transformed. This

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mirrors, in fact, how our loving knowledge of God no longer comes through our senses, no longer is accompanied by sensible consolations, but is a direct communication with the Divine Essence that is beyond our discursive faculties. All of this is a massive upheaval of the way things have been for us --- cognitively, affectively, morally even, for it is no longer a mere following of the rules that brings one closer to God, although that part of our formation was absolutely necessary. This is a huge project and undertaking, multilayered and multitextured and quite unique for each individual, although we have discussed the touchpoints and the mapping of this journey. The soul now approaches the God, Who needn't approach, Who dwells within, and the heart remains restless that has not made God its all. Rooted in God in radical trust and surrender, a new reward and reinforcement system gets set in place, where Love of self for sake of self has been transcended by love of God for sake of self, which has been transcended by love of God for sake of God, 'til, finally, our true self emerges and we love that self for the sake of God. The dialectic takes us back into self-possession, paradoxically, by self-surrender. This has cognitive, affective and moral aspects. This is why we are here. The care and nurturance of a soul is a most awesome task! You will appreciate this, once again, from C.S. Lewis: "It is a serious thing, to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no 'ordinary' people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilisations -- these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whome we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit -- immortal horrors or everlasting splendours. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously -- no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption. And our charity must be a real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinner -- no mere tolerance or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment." From __The Weight of Glory__ Spirituality Integrally Conceived as Lifes Value Pursuits If we take life as a journey made up of individual steps, which we might consider to be value-pursuits, and we measure the distance we travel in terms of milestones, which we might consider to be value-realizations, then we might consider each complete movement to require, minimally, three separate motions, optimally four. Those motions would be 1) the descriptive motion, where we ask: Is that a fact? 2) the evaluative motion, where we ask: What's it to us? and 3) the normative motion

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normative sciences per Peirce being the logical (symbolic), aesthetical and ethical where we inquire: How do I best obtain (or avoid) it? There is no value-realization movement that does not consist of these three integrally-related motions. We won't specify, here, how this differentiates us from other animals as Homo sapiens, but will note that these distinctly human motions and movements are the very essence of spirituality. And we may, through the vagaries of formation, deformation and reformation, be variously competent or incompetent, spiritually. Also, even if competent, we may be either consciously or unconsciously competent, which is where the fourth motion comes in, 4) the interpretive, which asks: How does all of this tie together? This interpretive motion, coupled with our evaluative attitudes, comprise the very essence of religion, which may variously be institutionalized (organized) or not, which may even be theistic, nontheistic, atheistic or agnostic. Thus it is that many can say they are spiritual but not religious, or that they are religious but not "believers." Growth, Development & Conversion A fulfilling spiritual journey thus requires our ongoing development and growth intellectually, affectively, morally and socially. Optimally, it will also be religious, which, as an interpretive and evaluative motion, necessarily entails much more than mere propositional assent, descriptively, but also the celebrations of the beauty we have encountered, evaluatively, the preservation of the goodness we have discovered, normatively, and the enjoyment of the community we have realized, unitively. Piaget, Erikson, Kohlberg, Fowler and other developmental theorists have described such growth dynamics psychologically. Gelpi, building on Lonergan, describes them in terms of conversion, which leads to progressive human authenticity. There is much that humanity shares spiritually, and even religiously, of a nonpropositional nature. This allows us to endeavor together to celebrate the beauty, advance the goodness and enjoy the community we have already realized and can foster our engagement in ever more authentic dialogue that we might together construct a much more compelling metanarrative. A Merton-inspired Reflection of the Journey In Thomas Mertons writings and recorded lectures, he generally describes our human journey in terms of humanization, socialization and transformation. Early on, formatively, we become less like little animals and more human. Primary school teachers report that parents turn in mixed results in this regard, speaking of the little animals that often occupy our primary schools. After some success with humanization, next we are socialized in all sorts of ways by all sorts of institutions like marriage, religion, government and schools. Through socialization, we learn how to function in society and we get our needs met through mutual give and take. This is mostly a pragmatic dynamic governed by extrinsic reward systems. We think in terms, hopefully, of enlightened self-interest as we buy into such notions of truth, beauty, goodness and unity. At some point, we might attempt to describe their origins, which, minimalistically and reductionistically might be partly explained in terms of evolutionary adaptive significance and sociobiology. These existential orientations might also be explained as transcendental

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imperatives. This is about as far as much of humanity ever goes. And, to be sure, it is nevertheless a beauty and wonder to behold. Sometimes, due to exceptionally good formation, but maybe most often through crisis, as Merton would say --- usually a crisis of continuity (death in all its forms) or of creativity (the need to matter or make a difference) --- some journey further, which is to say beyond mere humanization and socialization to transformation. Transformation has many descriptions, which vary from tradition to tradition, but its essence, in our view, is marked by the move beyond extrinsic reward systems to intrinsic reward systems, which is to recognize that some pursue truth, beauty, goodness and unity as ends in themselves, or, as we might say, as their own reward. By definition, one needs no apologetic or defense or explanation of such a path. And, it sometimes can make little sense to invite anyone to take such a path because there is no way to explain such a reward system to the uninitiated. For one thing, it may not be developmentally appropriate. Also, it can only be self-realized. At any rate, this type of approach is more often "caught" than taught. Another hallmark of transformation is the gifting of a new interpretive lens and evaluative disposition, which views reality not just empirically, logically and practically but also relationally. Merton often spoke of Bernardian love which progresses from 1) love of self for sake of self to 2) love of God for sake of self to 3) love of God for sake of God to 4) love of self for sake of God. Richard Rohr has often spoken of this same transformative dynamic by contrasting the dualistic mind, which is preoccupied with its practical and functional concerns using its problem-solving mindset, with the nondual approach, which is a loving gaze at reality, a trusting stance, a wholly different consciousness. Hans Kung describes a justified fundamental trust in uncertain reality. What seems to be equally compelling to many people, if I have properly interpreted their religious naturalist stance is this transformative dynamic, which progresses from 1) love of self for sake of self to 2) love of cosmos for sake of self to 3) love of cosmos for sake of cosmos to 4) love of self for sake of cosmos, where the cosmos is broadly conceived to include us all in ineffable solidarity with depthful compassion. Transformational Dynamics Most of the great traditions very much affirm what we would call the erotic aspect of our relationship to reality, or, in other words, the "what's in it for me" dynamic. This is a good thing and quite natural. This eros is, in fact, both necessary and sufficient, spiritually and religiously, for all reality really requires of us, at bottom, is an enlightened self-interest. This is, in fact, the exoteric aspect of most traditions. The cessation of suffering in Buddhism would be such an example. The mystics of all traditions, however, also give witness to a more esoteric aspect, which is the agapic dynamic, which is the realization of the superabundance to be found in the intrinsically rewarding parts of our journey. This goes beyond doctrines and metaphysics and belief systems, though not necessarily without them. Similarly, agape goes beyond eros although not without it. This goes beyond the empirical and rational and practical to the robustly relational, to the "just-because-ish-ness" of reality. This theme also resonates in the writings of many humanists and very poetically so in the writings of our early American transcendentalists and universalists. In the spirituality practiced by all of the great traditions, we do encounter many utterly transformed people and can reasonably attribute this to their

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esoteric teachings and mystical practices (and we broadly conceive mysticism to include both existential and theological varieties). And that is quite the essence. They otherwise differ, then, in the exoteric and socialization aspects of the human journey. And we do not want to say that getting those aspects as right as we possibly can is not important because optimal humanization and socialization and indoctrination can best foster transformation and better form people for transformation. Adjudicating which paths best lead to authenticity, following the aphorism that orthopraxis authenticates orthodoxy, is another task for another consideration. What we want to emphasize is that it is important to pay attention to the world's transformed people and to listen to their reflections on how it is their transformations may have come about because each such story contributes, along with many others' reflections regarding their paths, to part of the blueprint for the human journey. Also, it is great to recognize what we have in common with others even as we grapple with those aspects of the journey that are different. If all had transformation in common, we'd collectively figure out the norms of humanization and socialization much faster! The Contemplative Stance For those who cultivate a habitual contemplative approach, as commended by Merton and reinforced by Rohr and many romantic humanists, it can be difficult to discuss reality at a level that is one or two removes from experience. As one dwells habitually in a relationship to reality with an approach that goes beyond words and without prejudgment, with an approach that is robustly relational and not solely analytical, the ineffability that inheres in the process does not readily lend itself to a lingua franca of mysticism precisely because we are being led into an experience beyond words. We must rely, rather, on stories and myths and songs and koans and poetic narratives and metanarratives. And it seems to me that this presents special challenges for contemplative dialogue, whether interreligious or with coreligionists, or existentialist or humanist. How do we, then, otherwise profitably discourse with others about such experiences? Does contemplative experience lend itself to philosophical parsing and theological anthropology? Yes, but with caveats. In our view, any dialogical segue back into the world of words and analysis, in order to remain consonant with our contemplative approach, must simply and foremost proceed, similarly, without prejudgment and with a simple loving gaze. It also proceeds more profitably from an enhanced self-awareness of our own descriptive, evaluative, normative and interpretive stances as this awareness, in turn, heightens our awareness that others won't always share our descriptions and interpretations or our norms and values and that they won't always use our concepts and categories when making various claims about their experiences. Contemplative dialogue, then, perhaps more than many other types of dialogue, especially lends itself to idiosyncratic use of vocabulary and especially leads to situations where people can easily talk past one another. There is another type of dialogue where this happens often, metaphysical talk. And there is yet another, perhaps the most challenging of all and, as you guessed, it is the metaphysics of contemplative experience. Perhaps this is why so many contemplative critiques seem rather facile and also fraught with misunderstanding as people try to fit one another with hermeneutical straightjackets. The difficult spade work of philosophical disambiguation of categories and concepts is indispensable if the garden of dialogue is to bear good fruit. Even within faith traditions, which share vocabularies, dialogue is challenging because there is so much disagreement regarding what is essential vs accidental, core vs peripheral, regarding those traditions and their teachings and practices.

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Ecstatic, Enstatic & Epektasis we bear the future Oneness now Even as we accept the view of atonement as a teleological striving, we still affirm an eschatological dynamic (even if not apocalyptic), a mark toward which we press vis a vis the epektasis of Philippians 3:13 and in our prayer for the coming of the Kingdom, as taught by the Master. And insofar as it is indeed your and my inheritance as members of the Mystical Body (and not just some esoteric privilege of the so-called initiated) to both see the Oneness, ecstatically, and to see from Oneness, enstatically , we enjoy in this very present moment, in this very Presence a real participation in this Oneness as we proleptically bear the future consummation, now! We accept our incompleteness and through kenosis self-empty in order to be filled with the utter fullness of God. Paradoxically, we are not promised any cessation of the satiety of our desire, according to Gregory of Nyssa (the one who looks up to God never ceases in that desire). Hence, through contemplation we see with the Dionysian ray of darkness. Thus the ecstatic yields to the enstatic. Thus Merton says that we do not have an experience but become an experience. Merton explains: And here all adjectives fall to pieces. Words become stupid. Everything you say is misleading unless you list every possible experience and say: That is not what it is. Metaphor has now become hopeless altogether. Talk about the darkness if you must: but the thought of darkness is too dense and too coarse. Ascetic Disciplines & Spiritual Practices What practices and disciplines might best support the value-realizations associated with our phenomenal experiences of interobjective indeterminacy, intraobjective identity, intersubjective intimacy and intrasubjective integrity? Philip St. Romain has described different possible relationships between God, Self and Ego15, and the disciplines to support these. St. Romain has also examined these practices and disciplines in greater detail16. A quick sorting of practices & disciplines per the categories I have set forth above might look like this, below, even though it is a very rough mapping, again, just a heuristic & mnemonic device to foster reflection & help our memory.

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Philip St. Romain God, Self & Ego - Discerning Who's Who on the Spiritual Journey (self-published 2010) 16 Philip Romain Handbook for Spiritual Directees (self-published 2010)

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Intrasubjective Integrity (e.g. humanization, Ego-Self, individuation) Johari Window Writing a Faith History Studying the Nature of Attachments Learning How to Drop an Attachment/Addiction Disposing Oneself to Transformative Gifts Becoming Aware of Ones Type and Temperament Discovering the Manifold Spiritual Pathways Functional Intersubjective Interactions (e.g. socialization, functional relationships, extrinsic rewards, moral - consequences to self & eros and practical considerations) Daily Review The Way of Service Understanding the Origin of the False Self System Being Aware of Characteristics of the False Self System Pursuing the Way of Knowledge Employing the Via Negativa (when the interobjective is indeterminate) Engaging in Jesuit and llay spirituality. Karma yoga Studying the Ethics implicit in the demands of service and daily work Studying the Ethics implicit in the order of the universe. Personal Intersubjective Intimacy (e.g. transformation, God-Ego, Other-Ego, personal relationships, intrinsic rewards, moral -consequences to others & agape) Methods of Prayer Awareness Examen (Consciousness Examen) Examen of Relationships Guidelines for Discernment Learning Spiritual Theology Charismatic Gifts Transformative Gifts Pursuing the Way of Loving Devotion Devotional Christianity Bhakti yoga Studying the Ethics implicit in the demands of relationship. Intuitions of Intraobjective Identity Clarifying Your Images of God and Creation Pursuing the Way of Insight Raja yoga impersonal mysticism

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A key theme that is implicit in these ascetical disciplines and spiritual practices even across traditions is that --Orthopraxy authenticates orthodoxy and is first mediated by orthopathy in orthocommunio. Alternatively --Belonging precedes desiring which precedes behaving which precedes believing. These are descriptive observations regarding human developmental trajectories and not normative epistemological suggestions. A good norm might recognize, for example, that one may begin in media res within any such hermeneutical spiral and then must successfully complete the spiral in order to optimally realize the associated human values. This is all to be pragmatically cashed out in terms of a growth in human authenticity. That is to say that they will result in conversion, growth, and development in our intellectual, affective, moral, sociopolitical, and religious spheres of existence. The categories below may seem rather facilely mapped but they are not presented systematically, as if to advance an argument, only as a heuristic device to foster reflection. Belonging | to an interpretive community | mediated by religious conversion | via participatory imagination | presuppositionally being super-rational | realizing intrinsically rewarding unitive values | of intersubjective relationships (e.g. God-ego and other-ego with their phenomenal experience of intersubjective intimacy) | trans-valuing the extrinsically rewarding into the intrinsically rewarding for all other relationships | as bounded realities interact personally Desiring | per certain evaluative posits | mediated by affective conversion | via cultural methods | existentially being reasonable | realizing extrinsically rewarding aesthetical values | of intrasubjective relationships (e.g. ego-self, individuation processes with their phenomenal experience of intrasubjective integrity)| as bounded realities realize optimal integrity and freedom Behaving | following a normative framework | mediated by sociopolitical & moral conversions | via philosophical methods | rationally being intelligent & responsible | realizing extrinsically rewarding logical, pragmatic & ethical values | of interobjective relationships (although constrained by the phenomenal experience of interobjective indeterminacy as some realities remain either epistemically indeterminate or ontologically vague, for whatever reason, e.g. God's indeterminate nature or even the initial, boundary & limit conditions of various primal realities or any other realities that present with what we might refer to as unfathomable depth dimensions)| as bounded realities interact functionally

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Believing | a descriptive account | mediated by intellectual conversion | via scientific methods | evidentially & empirically being attentive | realizing extrinsically rewarding truth values | of intraobjective relationships (e.g. God & self, nature & self, God & nature with their phenomenal experience of intraobjective identity)| as bounded realities experience mutually interpenetrating immanence via boundary transcendence (even apparent dissolution) A Few Words on Practices & Energy Paradigms regarding Ki, Qi, Chi, Prana & Kundalini (& Reiki) Rather than treat these so-called energies, specifically, for there is much written elsewhere, let us raise another issue from a wider perspective. Much of the thrust of the epistemological approach advocated throughout this book has been directed at the need to prescind from robustly metaphysical accounts of reality to more vaguely phenomenological perspectives, precisely to avoid saying more than we know, to refrain from telling untellable stories or, quite simply, to avoid certain dogmatisms and gnosticisms (as well as a host of other insidious -isms or epistemic vices). Generically, then, to assert any type of energy paradigm apart from science would involve gnosticism or superstition. In our view, it is not helpful to interpret our life experiences in such paradigms while asserting metaphysical reality to such phenomena. The wider perspective asks whether or not various Eastern techniques practices, rituals and exercises might not be abstracted from their classical metaphysical (or even, sometimes, robustly theological) accounts and interpreted from a more vague phenomenological perspective, especially when they are associated with certain therapeutic efficacies realized in genuine life experiences, some of these efficacies yet to be fully described scientifically regarding their precise mechanisms of action, in which case it is best left to such entities as the National Institute of Health17 to sort out. In our view, when we reappropriate such technologies to situate them in a Christian perspective, while they will no longer be classically metaphysical and, just perhaps, not even authentically Eastern, there should be no a priori dismissal of their efficacies, especially when legitimate research remains underway due to the global ubiquity of this or that technology; such a dismissal would, itself, be gnostic! In any case, practitioners should be more clear, in their employment of related terminology, like chakras and ki and kundalini, that these words are being employed as general concepts corresponding to real life experiences (various constellations of experiences and symptoms in association with specific practices that recur in noticable patterns that merit investigation) of millions of people that are to best be understood as vague phenomena, which are still being researched by science, and not rather as specific terms, which are heavily invested in gnostic metaphysics. Such a distinction is easy
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http://nccam.nih.gov/

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enough to make and quite valid. References to energy paradigms should not be taken literally but claims regarding these patterns of experience deserve to be taken seriously. Gosh knows, Christianitys had its own problems with gnostic metaphysics, for example, interpreting life, gender and sexual realities in rationalistic categories little resembling, and thus not well corresponding to, the lived experiences of the faithful. Some of its teachers would do well to take their own counsel and guidelines18. All of our deontologies should be as modest as our ontologies are tentative, both East and West. And, if ones ontology is not tentative, then, one is way out in front of science, themselves. The way we like to approach this is to say that we can appropriate reiki, like so many other wonderful spiritual technologies of the East, as a practice, as an exercise, as a ritual. This is true of other meditative practices, yogic exercises and so on, all of which are being actively researched by the NIH-CAM precisely because of the efficacies reported by MILLIONS. Science does not have to fully understand what is going on with, for example, acupuncture, in order for it to be efficacious. Gosh knows, this is true for most psychoactive pharmaceuticals where we can only speculate about the precise mechanisms of action. So, our position is to continue to prayerfully minister and practice all of these time-honored Eastern technologies and to situate them within ones Christian worldview while refraining from characterizing them in precise physical and/or metaphysical terms. We do not need to know HOW something works in order to discover THAT it works. It is enough to say that science does not fully understand; we do not need to offer any physical or metaphysical hypotheses along with our treatments; only our loving intentionality. When we speak of kundalini or reiki (both of which Sylvest has experienced), we consider them realities yet to be explained. When we experience phenomena associated with certain practices, we needn't feel a need to label these metaphysically even as we cannot account for them scientifically. So, we actually agree with the bishops that it would be gnostic or superstitious to make definitive metaphysical assertions about the putative reality of chakras, life forces or subtle energies. We adamantly disagree and am saddened that they do not avail themselves of such distinctions as weve proposed, whereby we can successfully abstract spiritual technologies useful rituals, devotionals, practices and exercises from their classical metaphysical accounts and enjoy the many efficacies that flow therefrom, as attested by so many other people of large intelligence and profound goodwill and actual experience, which they ignored.

Immanent Trinity & Transcendent Ontological Frame Interobjective Indeterminacy & Ens Necessarium

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http://www.usccb.org/dpp/Evaluation_Guidelines_finaltext_2009-03.pdf

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Trialectical Teleology Values: Truth, Beauty & Goodness Immanent Axiological Frame Cosmological Axiology Historical Social & Cultural Anthropology Economic Transcendent Axiological Frame Political Trialogical Epistemology Methods: Science, Culture & Philosophy Immanent Epistemic Frame Descriptive Sciences Evaluative Cultures Normative Philosophies Why PostmodernISM & ModernISM are Both Silly Human knowledge advances incrementally, building on what we learned in and from the past. We see how this plays out in our word usage as we add various prefixes and suffixes and come up with new words (neologisms). Three prefixes come especially to mind: 1) post-, 2) trans- and 3) meta-. In the way I most often use these prefixes, 1) post- means after, 2) trans- means beyond or through and 3) meta- means more comprehensive. None of these prefixes necessarily also means without (which is most often indicated by the prefix a-). Not even the prefix nonnecessarily means without; it primarily means we are talking about something else. The postmodern critique remains a critical assessment of modernism. It suggests, for example, that modern methods should not be considered systems, modern practices should not be confused with conclusions and philosophical approaches should not misconstrued into schools of philosophy. It recognizes that the best methods, practices and approaches are fallible but self-subverting, self-critical, self-correcting and guided probabilistically (in other words, neither absolutely, infallibly nor apodictically). Our closures are then provisional. Ironically and tragically, there has been a perversion of this critique from a method into a system, a practice into a conclusion, an approach into a school of thought. This tragedy,

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postmodernism, mimics the failed school of modernism in its over-reaching. Modernism, for its part, was guilty of epistemic hubris. Postmodernism, a tonic turned toxic, proceeds with an excessive epistemic humility, which is manifestly unwarranted. Silliness thus abounds. Modernity gone awry with its conflation of methods into systems gave us scientism, an arrogation of science into a full-blown philosophical school, as well as fideism, a subjugation of faith via its divorce from reason. A metaphysic, misconstrued, imagines it can decouple from physics and many claim to be transrational whose approach is, in fact, arational. All manner of insidious -isms abounded as the approaches of modernity were inflated into such schools as logical positivism and radical empiricism. Religious approaches were perverted into encratism, pietism, rationalism, quietism and every variety of absolutist fundamentalism, including both sola scriptura and solum magisterium approaches of Protestantism and Roman Catholicism. As a therapeutic critique, the postmodern perspective would have us go beyond the modern not without it. We go beyond science but not without it. Faith, narrowly conceived as an epistemic leap beyond such nonrational presuppositions as nihilism, solipsism and relativism, is an indispensable prerequisite to knowledge. More broadly conceived, faith is a super-reasonable and existential response to reality that can be considered a forced (not to choose is to choose), vital (pertains to our ultimate concerns, most urgent and insistent longings, and most deeply cherished values) and live (neither empirically measurable nor logically demonstrable but still rationally equiplausible and practically defensible) option. Our great traditions, with their interpretive approaches to ultimate reality, and our science and philosophy, with their descriptive and normative approaches to more proximate realities, are all ordered, evaluatively, toward human value-realizations, which can be in turn assessed for how well they institutionalize our ongoing conversion and transformation, intellectually, affectively, morally, socio-politically and religiously (what Gelpi building on Lonergan might equate with a growth in human authenticity). What is the way forward? If it is indeed going to be posthierarchical, in addition to being more dialogical and democratic, will it necessarily be ahierarchical? or even necessarily noninstitutional? Or will some hierarchical and institutional apparatus inevitably emerge as a necessary evil, at least where it is, so to speak, developmentally appropriate? For that matter, if authentically post-Western, post-European and postcolonial, wont we much more narrowly conceive the meaning of developmentally-appropriate, especially vis a vis language, practices and cultural traditions? Under any other circumstances, it positively must be postpatriarchal and postpaternalistic? Certainly, it will be postfoundational, recognizing a plurality of methodologies and the primacy of narrative in all human knowing, but will it also acknowledge certain indispensable propositions and essential metanarratives? Certainly metaphysical and moral realisms are indispensable

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presuppositions? It will affirm that science, philosophy, culture and religion are methodologically-autonomous but will it acknowledge that they are also axiologically-integral? Will it eschew evidentialism, rationalism, presuppositionalism and existentialism in favor of a more holistic perspectivalism but without defining holism in terms of a facile moderation or simple balancing act, acknowledging that certain approaches will sometimes enjoy at least a primacy if not an autonomy? This is to ask, then, if the dual and nondual approaches to reality might better be described as the transdual, which necessarily goes beyond, but not without, our dualistic, problem-solving mind in approaching lifes most important values, primarily, from a nondual approach? Whatever we do, lets not be silly. Lets avoid modernism and postmodernism as we embrace the best of the modern and postmodern, as we embrace reality, one another, ourselves and our God. When we encounter a seemingly insoluble conundrum or deep mystery, we will not a priori know whether such a paradox might resolve dialectically (in an Hegelian-like synthesis), dissolve perspectivally (from a simple paradigm shift, changing how we approach the problem or overcoming a category error), best be maintained in a creative tension between competing aspects in a both-and manner or might present in a truly antinomial fashion (such that a reductio ad absurdum cannot be overcome without sacrificing the basic presuppositions of reason, itself). For lifes most important questions and most pressing concerns, dont expect easy problem resolutions and dissolutions. One best learn to nurture creative tensions and to live with absurdity. All of the great wisdom traditions are in agreement about this reality; in Christianity, its called the Cross. In the end, our trust in this process must go beyond our rational problem-solving and apologetics to be grounded in a relationship, which believes and hopes for the sake of love, alone, and loves for the sake of love, itself; in Christianity, this relationship is grounded in Jesus. Sillier Yet? The New Atheism - a wimpy caricature of the old The New Atheism is a superficial conflation of descriptive science, normative philosophy and interpretive metaphysics, which amounts to an Enlightenment fundamentalism or scientism. It is the obverse side of the epistemic coin of the same philosophically bankrupt realm as religious fundamentalism or fideism, which similarly conflates these approaches to reality. This wimpy atheism is but a caricature of the kind we encounter in the history of philosophy placing us in jeopardy of engaging what would be tantamount to a straw-man argument in bothering to refute it at length. For their part, however, the new atheists dont hesitate to engage only those religious fundamentalisms that are but a caricature of modern theology. As for any suggestion by David Bentley Hart that an authentic Christianity nurtures its own nihilism insofar as its our supposed view that what were given by nature and

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tradition is nothing if not transformed or unredeemed, that is poppycock! At least there are those of us with a radically incarnational outlook, who do not view at-one-ment as a response to some ontological rupture located in the past but instead as a teleological striving oriented toward the future, who, with Scotus and the Franciscans, hold that the incarnation was not occasioned by some felix culpa but was otherwise in the cosmic cards from the get-go. Even among those who take a more classical approach to atonement, not all buy into a notion of total depravity, anyway. And this leads into my next point, which is that we do not believe that special revelation is or was necessary in order for humankind to discern right from wrong, to distinguish good from evil. At the same time, we would not deny that the Good News helps us to journey more swiftly and with less hindrance through all of Lonergans ongoing conversions (intellectual, affective, moral, social and religious, as expanded by Don Gelpi). As a radically social animal and story-teller, humankind is inescapably liturgical, although the liturgy will be either doxologic or nihilistic. Among the doxologic approaches, in addition to such as the Eucharistic stance (of thanksgiving), there is the existentialistic, which even if not explicitly theistic need not be necessarily considered nihilistic, whereby people of large intelligence and profound goodwill realize such values as truth, beauty, goodness and unity, as they care deeply, are concerned with ultimates and celebrate whole-heartedly. How such people were formed and how many are where are historical and sociologic data, which are beyond us. That we should expect to encounter them, however, is our own theological anthropology grounded in a pneumatological (or even Christocentric) inclusivity? It does seem that the Enlightenment project ran amok on the Continent in its marginalization of religion but that the US approach properly integrated and even strengthened the influence of religion through its separation and non-establishment provisions. Still, while we neednt bracket our metaphysical and religious views in the marketplace, we must translate them in a pluralistic society. The Epistemological Limb where our Ontological Eggs are Nested Any postmodernISM, which aspires to the status of a philosophical system, inexorably, gets radically deconstructive, tending toward a litany of epistemic perjoratives: practical nihilism, moral relativism, essential pragmatism, facile syncretism, insidious indifferentism, false irenicism, ad nauseum and self-subversively sawing off the epistemological limb where its ontological eggs were nested. The postmodern CRITIQUE, on the other hand, was serious and deserving of a response by an excessively rationalistic and a prioristic foundationalism, which aspired to apodictic certainties, whether via the empirical demonstrability of a scientism informed by an Enlightenment fundamentalism or via the medieval metaphysical proofs argued by a sterile scholasticism. There has been some tendency 1) in evangelical & Arminian traditions to overemphasize the evidential (evidence that demands a verdict) 2) in reformed & Calvinist traditions -

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the presuppositional (belief as philosophically basic) 3) in fideist, Lutheran & neoevangelical traditions - the existential (faith as experience) and 4) in Catholic, both Roman & Anglican, the rational (logical argument). In all of these traditions, a more holistic approach is EMERGING. This approach is best articulated, in our view, by the American Pragmatist Tradition, particularly the pragmaticism of Charles Sanders Peirce, wherein pragmatic criteria are truth-indicative, which is to say pragmatism is a TEST of truth & not a THEORY of truth. In this sense, then, we still affirm a metaphysical realism, even a moral realism, even as we embrace a contrite fallibilism, recognizing our apprehension of values is somewhat problematical. This nonfoundational approach is not too different, for all practical purposes, from those critical realists who still embrace a weakened foundationalism. Peirce's approach combined with that of Bernard Lonergan makes for a very integral perspective. It is not too very different from Wilber's AQAL (all quadrants, all levels) with the notable exception being that AQAL must be better nuanced as AQALST, where the ST = same time, otherwise what is being affirmed as transrational becomes, instead, an arational gnosticism. Lonergan's protege', Daniel Helminiak, takes Wilber to task on this, but their differences might resolve with more nuance. Finally, all value realizations involve both propositional knowledge (epistemic duality) & participatory understanding (epistemic nonduality), involve the empirical, logical, practical & moral aspects of our descriptive & normative approaches to reality, cosmologically, as well as the relational & social imaginary aspects of our interpretive & evaluative approaches to reality, axiologically. The medievals have a name for this type of AQALST openness, contemplation. This contemplative stance, goes beyond but not without the dualistic mind. The most succinct statement of this position is that the normative mediates between the descriptive & interpretive to effect the evaluative. We derived this from Don Gelpi, SJs Peircean take: The normative sciences (logic, aesthetics, ethics) mediate between phenomenology & metaphysics. This left the question begging: Toward what end? And we added the evaluative aspect based on the work of Robert Cummings Neville. The editor of Zygon (Institute on Religion in an Age of Science), Wim Drees, draws a distinction between the cosmological and axiological, which overlays nicely on our Peircean-Nevillean derived scheme. We recognize familiar distinctions such as between doing and being, propositional knowledge & participatory understanding, conceptual map-making and the social imaginary, and, following Jacques Maritain: We distinguish in order to unite, which is to say that we neednt introduce false dichotomies or to place these value-realizations in an over against/versus dynamism (necessarily). Rather, we can affirm how all of these different aspects of human rationality (incl pre-, non- and trans-) are integrally-related. This is not some wimpy perspectivalism, however. When we say that none of these

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human rationalities is AUTONOMOUS, this is NOT to suggest that we are, at the same time, denying that any given aspect of human rationality may not be enjoying a certain PRIMACY, or its moment, so to speak, during this or that human value-realization. These various aspects tend to wax and wane, to now come in to sharper relief and to now fade into a background context. For example, lifes lesser goods, which we tend to enjoy only in moderation and as extrinsic rewards of a dualistic mindset, are most often PURSUED via our propositional, problem-solving knowledge. Lifes greater goods, such transcendentals as truth, beauty, goodness and unity, which are intrinsically-rewarding and can be enjoyed without measure, most often seem to ENSUE from our relational, participatory understanding. During our empirical and logical and moral and practical value-realizations, then, our problem-solving mind is enjoying a certain primacy, even though noticably transvalued and conditioned by our participatory understandings (including evaluative dispositions). These value-pursuits mostly involve getting the answers right. When we are pursuing the intrinsically rewarding existential orientations of our transcendental imperatives to relationship with others and God/de, in truth, beauty, goodness & unity, our participatory understanding is enjoying its moment, a certain primacy, even though noticably transvalued and conditioned by our propositional knowledge. In each case, we go BEYOND but not WITHOUT. It does seem, then, that in the life of one whos adopted a contemplative stance, whos given the nondual perspective its moment, habitually, that orthoPATHOS will enjoy a certain primacy, even if not autonomously, as it mediates between orthodoxy and orthopraxy to effect orthocommunio. This is an acknowledgement that the existential enjoys a certain primacy over the evidential & rational & presuppositional even as it in no way can be considered autonomous. Balance and moderation, then, in such a perspectivalism, is not achieved by always giving equal place and equal time to each perspective --- descriptive, normative, interpretive and evaluative ---, as through some a priori rational schema, but is something that requires a posteriori empirical discernment in community as orthopraxis authenticates orthodoxy. In other words, this is problematical, as one might expect our richly textured existence to require. The most important value-pursuits in life more so involve, then, less so getting the answers right as in getting the right questions, which will retain, if truly wise, an element of mystagogia. When we say descriptive, it is jargon mostly for science, falsification, positivism and such, which, in the simplest of terms, asks: What is THAT? Or, Is that a FACT? When we say normative, it stands for philosophy, mostly, especially logic, aesthetics and ethics & epistemology (How do we know what we know?) and asks: How can I best acquire/avoid IT (or THAT)? Taken together, this is what Wim Drees seems to be calling

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cosmology. In our view, this is Everybodys Story and we should not go around wily-nily just making this stuff up. It is mostly given. And this includes morality (is to ought, given tonormative), which we hold is something anyone can figure out without the benefit of any special revelation. When I say evaluative (Drees axiological), we are talking about our posits regarding values, or in the simplest terms, asking the question: Whats IT to me? What does THAT mean to me? as it relates to the interpretive, which refers to the question: How does all of this TIE-BACK-TOGETHER? = religate = religious. Lonergan-Gelpi talk about conversions intellectual, moral & social and affective & religious. One might think of these in terms of developmental stages (think Piaget, Kohlberg, Fowler et al the stage theorists in psychology). It so happens that the axiological concerns are our deepest and most insistent and that, in large measure, when it comes to lifes most important concerns (our ultimate concerns), well, from a cosmological perspective, were totally thwarted. There is a certain amount of epistemic parity here, which is to say, even after our best empirical investigations and rational demonstrations, the best verdict we can offer, cosmologically, is the Scottish verdict = unproven. So, while we cannot go around fashioning a cosmology to suit our tastes, we do have a great deal of freedom in choosing our axiological stance = Whats it to me? and How does this all hold together? As William James noted, such a choice is vital (it matters a lot), forced (we pretty much have to choose & not choosing is a choice) and a live option (follow your heart but dont betray your head). So, while we do not accept that there are competing cosmologies, we do recognize competing axiologies and we do believe we can successfully adjudicate between those that are good, better and best, within many constraints, by looking at how well any given tradition or religion or denomination or cohort has institutionalized conversion (Lonergan-Gelpi not Evangelical-style), which is to ask how its people have developed intellectually, morally and socially (cosmologically, propositional knowledge) and also affectively and religiously (axiologically, participatory understanding). Remember, we are talking about epistemology here. Our references to both cosmology and axiology address methods not systems, questions not conclusions. It is our view that methods precede systems, fallibilistic systems at that. Metaphysically, then, we are agnostic on such ontological matters as philosophy of mind, the essential nature of reality, various root metaphors such as substance, process or semiotic approaches and so on. If someone put a gun to our heads, on philosophy of mind, wed probably choose a nonreductive physicalism but without losing sleep over the possibility of some type of spooky, ghost-in-the-machine, Cartesian dualism. We thus affirm metaphysics as a project but feel that it is WAY too early on humankinds journey to come to even a good provisional closure, ERGO, we had best move along without a definitive view vis a vis our other human value-realizations. While some emphasize the existential approach to our ultimate concerns and dismiss evidential, rational and presuppositional arguments, we say not so fast. Our religious

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interpretive approaches are constrained by the best that scientific-descriptive and normative-philosophic approaches have to offer, such knowledge as has advanced slowly but inexorably. A good interpretive approach, or religion, when it is busy TYING IT ALL together, cannot fabricate its own scientific facts and philosophic norms but must incorporate same within its perspective. A religion, like Christianity, may not be able to empirically investigate or logically demonstrate in a conclusive manner its entire stance toward reality, but any evidence it does muster must be historically accurate and any arguments it does fashion must be, at least, valid if not otherwise demonstrably sound per extant scientific methods and coherent philosophical norms. It must be reasonable and it must be as reasonable as other competing stances, which is to say that it must, minimally, not be disproved even if not proved. Any faith is going to require some epistemic risk and any such risk demands some type of reward in terms of human value-realizations. We amplify such risks to augment values but these risks must be dutifully managed. In Phyllis Tickles writings, she employed a cable metaphor, a cable of meaning with various strands. It is interesting that Charles Sanders Peirce employed a cable metaphor, also, in a not wholly unrelated way, epistemologically. Peirces pragmatism, more appropriately pragmaticism, employs a nonfoundational approach, to be sure, but it is a constructive postmodernism, a semiotic realism, which affirms metaphysical and moral realisms along with its contrite fallibilism. There are many things in life we cannot empirically investigate or rationally demonstrate: 1) belief in other minds over against solipsism 2) belief in realitys intelligibility over against nihilism 3) belief in first principles like identity, excluded middle and noncontradiction. We take risks and are rewarded when we believe in realities like truth, beauty, goodness and unity. Hopefully, when we amplify these risks into creed, cult, code and community, we augment such value-realizations. The strands of the Peircean cable could be said to include the descriptive, normative, interpretive and evaluative, as well as abduction (hypothesizing), induction (empirical testing) and deduction (logical argument). It is nonfoundational epistemologically, only questioning the nature of our grasp of reality, which is not the same thing as denying either reality, itself, or the fact that we can apprehend reality, partially, even if we do not comprehend it, wholly. It recognizes that our systems are tautological but it also recognizes that just because something is a tautology does not mean it is not true. Further, it suggests that not all systems are equally taut and we can devise tests to see which best comport with reality, fostering authentic value-realizations like intellectual, affective, social, moral and religious development. It eschews the epistemic hubris of modernism and the excessive epistemic humility of postmodernism, embracing an epistemic holism that is more akin to weakened foundationalisms than wimpy postmodernisms. The consensus view in science employs an emergentist heuristic, which does not aspire to an exhaustive explanatory adequacy but does provide some very helpful conceptual placeholders. As Ursula Goodenough says, emergence means we get "something more from nothing but."

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We recognize that in this far from equilibrium environment in which we live, novel (but dissipative) structures arise. Some semiotic (info-conveying & meaning-making) realities arise which, apparently, transcend but do not violate physical causal closure. The take-away is that even reality's laws are dynamic and emergent, with some continuity to be sure but also some undeniable discontinuities (one could call them ontological and vaguely refer to them even when unable to robustly describe them). There is, then, a certain danger in extrapolating universal laws from a reality that, for all theoretical & practical purposes vis a vis Primal Reality, might be as local (and recent) as the by-laws of your neighborhood condominium association. Approaches like string & quantum theory interest us more so because any enhanced modeling power of reality will provide us with richer metaphors that will last longer before collapsing and more taut tautologies from which we can better navigate our ways from IS to OUGHT, but much less so because they might somehow better facilitate our so-called metaphysical grasp of reality's essential nature or (much less) improve our God-concepts. This is why we have some misgivings about any temporal critical realism & various (speculative, propositional) cosmological positions as related to theology and emphasize, instead, our (participatory) axiological dispositions. When it comes to humanity's ultimate concerns, our evidential, rational and presuppositional apologetics are not unimportant. They are, in our view, necessary but not sufficient because they cannot, whether alone or together, coerce a belief, or maybe better a stance,whether of nihilism or panentheism. We all end up falling back on our existential orientations with an attitude of gratitude & what Kung calls a justified fundamental trust in uncertain reality or with any number of other dispositions people indulge from time to time and in the course of a lifetime (sometimes even a day). So, even as we go BEYOND the evidential, rational & presuppositional apologetics of yesteryear, we do not want, in our view, to go wholly WITHOUT them and we certainly need to temper our reliance on them (BIG TIME). Below is a quote regarding Wim Drees19: "Critical realists such as Barbour, Peacocke and Polkinghorne have been careful to avoid theological speculations about t=0, recognizing that its status is controversial and subject to the shift in theories. However, they have not been equally attentive to the challenge to temporality per se by special relativity and general relativity, let alone by quantum cosmology and quantum gravity. Moreover, Drees claims the latter ought not be dismissed merely because they are speculative. Such a strategy to insulate temporal critical realism is ad hoc, since temporal critical realists are already committed epistemologically to a hierarchical unity of the sciences, and thus changes - even if only potential ones - at the fundamental level of the hierarchy carry enormous epistemic leverage. For its part, the timeless character of physics and cosmology leads us to view God in more Platonic terms. Drees explores this option in some detail, including the problem of divine action, the arguments for viewing God as an explanation of the
19

http://www.counterbalance.org/ctns-vo/drees2-body.html

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universe, and the constructivist view of science as myth. He concludes by suggesting that axiology may be a more apt focus for theology than cosmology, and this in turn would lessen the impact science has on theology." Nonfoundational Epistemology & Normativity? There is often resistance to nonfoundational approaches because, apparently, many have a difficult time imagining how a compelling metaethic could be grounded by anything other than the epistemological building blocks of a classic foundationalism with its self-evident, a priori and apodictic access to transcendentals and absolutes. All other approaches seem to capitulate, in their view, to a radically deconstructive postmodernism with its corrupting relativistic outlook and nihilistic bent. To be moral, however, one neednt resolve the debates between opposing epistemological stances and come down, finally, on the side of correspondence, coherence, foundherentism, pragmatism or any other theory of truth or justification. However it is finally determined that we are grounded and justified, there can be no denying that, due to our radical finitude and invincible fallibility, our access to putative absolutes is highly problematical. Resultantly, our approach to truth is a lot more like the strenuous climbing of an epistemic rope, which gains its strength from the intertwining of separate strands --- descriptive, evaluative, normative and interpretive ---, which makes for an ecological rationality that is inescapably fallible but slowly and inexorably progressive as each successive series of alternating hand, arm and leg value-pursuit motions effects a value-realization hoist, though not without the occasional slip or ropeburn. It is a lot less like the stacking of epistemic building blocks on a foundation of absolutes, always in jeopardy of crumbling should a bad brick be placed in the wall or, worse, should our site be discovered on shifting sands. To whichever realism we subscribe, it must be self-critical. It must also respond to critiques, which need not come from competing systems to be effective, for one cannot credibly claim that the postmodern critique was of no moment. At the same time, deconstructionism, which cannot coherently hold itself out as a system, was nothing but an epistemic thief whos come in a philosophical backdoor, co-opting anothers tautology and turning its inconsistent concepts, categories and claims on itself like a knife found in a dwelling and placed to the occupants throat. This thief did not slay deontology but, admittedly, weakened it. Whatever metanarrative one employs, it would necessarily contain within it, in the interest of descriptive accuracy, the manifold and multiform shared values that emerge from our somewhat universal human condition. To the extent our evaluative posits are attributes of a universal human condition, then, even though they may be relative, which one neednt concede, still, they would avoid much of the difficulty normally associated with such relativity by virtue of being remarkably consistent, despite their relativity. These posits thus would remain relative from a theoretic perspective but not so much so from a pragmatic perspective. When you think about it, this, and not some foundational, authoritative deontology, accounts for the resonance and shared respect we do enjoy for such as the UN Declaration on Human Rights, the US Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and such. Is it not evident that all of humankind does not share the same metaphysical conceptions, that all foundationalists don't appeal to the same foundations, and that all authoritarians don't point to the same authorities?

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We need to be mindful of the proportional mix of dogmatic, heuristic, theoretic and semiotic terms that are employed in any given metaphysical affirmation. It is not enough, I maintain, to issue forth with metaphysical claims that do not conflict with positivist data; rather, in our formulations and affirmations, we must keep as favorable a ratio as possible of semiotic and theoretic terms to heuristic and dogmatic terms; thus we can better avoid idle tautologies (rationalisms) that bear little resemblance and have little relevance to people's daily lives and lived experiences. What about Philosophy of Mind? Preliminarily, our particular account, above, is somewhat derived from Terry Deacon's work. Such hypotheses remain highly speculative and not at all uncontroversial. Phenomenologically, we think it is fair to suggest that we can refer to these distinct biosemiotic realities in terms of function but that our understanding is woefully inadequate in terms of structure and evolution, too, especially once considering how distributed linguistic functions seem to be in the brain. We must not confuse successful referencing of these biosemiotic functions with successful description of their distributed structures and pretend that we have thereby attained explanatory adequacy for the hard problem. So, let us be very clear, our project of describing this biosemiotic heuristic is AGNOSTIC to philosophy of mind issues and neurophysiology, too, for that matter. Our emergentist perspective and biosemiotic perspective and peircean perspective provide a combined heuristic that can help us keep our categories tidy and enhance our ability to make successful references to biosemiotic realities. This should enhance our modeling power for reality. It does not matter whether one otherwise prefers the approach of the Churchlands, Chalmers, Dennett, Deacon, Penrose, Ayn Rand, Searle or anyone else. We use Deacon to explicate my heuristic, not to propagandize our provisional closures re: philosophy of mind. Still, Deacon impresses us greatly. So, what might be going on? This may be something of a peircean minding of matter and mattering of mind. As a heuristic, it's somewhat agnostic to prevailing philosophy of mind perspectives. If we had to offer my sneaking suspicions, well ... let's see where that goes ... It is not always easy to specify the relationships between the concepts we employ to refer to our biosemiotic heuristic propositions and our biosemiotic algorithmic phenomena, the former being language-dependent and public, the latter referring to ineffable and private experiences. It is even difficult to clearly specify which of our heuristic practices, all propositional, are doxastic versus subdoxastic. There is something that phenomenal knowledge and subdoxastic propositional knowledge have in common; where both are concerned: We know more than we can say. But they should not otherwise be confused for one is highly symbolic and language-dependent and the other language-independent. The language-dependent, subdoxastic propositional knowledge can come into conscious awareness and we can learn to speak about such and more clearly specify it.

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What type of mutation-generated changes in nondoxastic practices and structures, common to humans and animals, encountered what kind of selection pressures to produce adaptively significant quasi-doxastic and subdoxastic and doxastic structures and practices unique to Homo sapiens? To the extent language function is associated with anatomically new areas of the brain, phylogenetically speaking, we can implicate some brain structure changes (remembering that language function is distributed). What practices, like imitation or aping, for example, involving animal signals and communication, could have been available to selection pressures and both culturally and adaptively significant? By what quantum leap did evolution take the apes from the phenomenal to the propositional and inferential? Our inferential and propositional and symbolic biosemiotic heuristics allow us to model reality. The Mode of Discovery? There are a lot of ways to define the different "modes" of discovery. We are sometimes tempted to suggest that there is only one mode of discovery. And we are tempted to then call what we most often consider to be modes, instead, something else. In fact we have called them aspects, or better yet, "moments" in the singular and integral act of knowing (or "the" mode of discovery). In this sense, philosophically, we would be saying that epistemology is epistemology is epistemology. And these "moments" in the singular and integral act of knowing, then, precisely gain their sympathetic potential from the fact that each moment actually presupposes the other moments, none getting the job of discovery done alone, all getting the job of discovery done together. These moments are autonomous only in the sense that they are asking distinctly different questions of reality and cannot, therefore, conflict with one another, in principle. And this is why they are, necessarily, in some sense, mutually limiting. These moments are otherwise, in a word, entangled (hierarchically-related perhaps being too strong a concept to defend). In the heuristic we have under consideration, we might think of these moments in terms of the interpretive, descriptive, prescriptive, normative and evaluative. Or, we might think in terms of the paradigmatic, positivistic, prudential and philosophic (all above-defined). So, too, we might think in more classical terms like apophatic and kataphatic, like cognitive and affective. The history of philosophy is littered with systems that wrenched some of these moments from their context in the whole of the integral act of knowing, or from their place in the singular mode of discovery, and then let them swell to madness in their isolation (to borrow phraseology from CS Lewis re: Scriptural exegesis). Without the mutual limitation of one moment versus another, and without the entanglement of these otherwise autonomous probes of reality, various so-called modes of discovery, powered by all too vivid human imaginations, get, improperly and variously, overemphasized and/or underemphasized.

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To wit: An overemphasis of the kataphatic and cognitive = rationalism. An overemphasis of the kataphatic and the affective = pietism. An overemphasis of the apophatic and the cognitive = encratism. An overemphasis of the apophatic and affective = quietism. Various overemphases of the positivistic, descriptive and/or of science = positivism, empiricism and scientism. Various overemphases of the paradigmatic, interpretive and/or of theology (or even atheology) = fideism, on one hand, Enlightenment fundamentalism, on the other, or dogmatism. An overemphasis of the prescriptive and normative, or on the law and code = legalism. An overemphasis on the evaluative = moral relativism and an embrace of the so-called fact-value dichotomy. And when combined with the rubrics of religion = ritualism. For a modern example, Ken Wilber claims an integral approach and an affirmation of the transrational. His approach is NOT integral just by the mere fact that he claims to holistically embrace objective, subjective, interobjective and intersubjective "modes" of knowledge (and these roughly correspond to our positivistic, philosophic, paradigmatic and prudential spheres of concern). It is not the affirmation of all such "moments" that makes one's approach integral; rather, it is the proper inter-relating of such moments that gifts them with their integral nature; it is their holonic inseparability that makes them holistic. What happens here? Ken allows unfettered reign (no mutual limitation) to the intersubjective and transrational moment of what should otherwise properly be considered but one moment, presupposing all the other moments, in an integrally related mode of discovery. Mysticism, then, goes wherever it wants, probes reality, comes back with reports that are unassailable. What we end up with is an unmitigated 1) arational 2) gnostic 3) radical apophaticism. The remedy, again: the philosophic mediates between the positivistic and the paradigmatic to effect the prudential. Or, put another way: the normative and evaluative mediate between the descriptive (science) and the paradigmatic (theology) to effect the prudential (moral and practical judgment). Each moment presupposes the others. Each moment has its moment, whether implicitly or explicitly, in the integral act of knowing, the singular mode of discovery. This is reinforced by Charles Sanders Peirce's observation that the three forms of inference all presuppose the others; induction (reasoning from the specific to the general), deduction (reasoning from the general to the specific) and abduction (the act of spontaneously hypothesizing or quickly coming up with an If-Then statement) all presuppose the others, none even making sense without the others. Transcendent Epistemic Frame Interpretive Religions & Natural Theology Intelligent Design a poorly designed inference

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There are many different issues in play in a consideration of intelligent design. Three come quickly to mind. The first concerns biblical hermeneutics, which we wont address. The others involve the design inference and demarcation criteria for science. Advocates of the design inference confuse complexity and improbability. When they say a structure is irreducibly complex or suggest a specified complexity, they describe it as either an inordinately high improbability or virtually zero probability and they further confuse improbability (chance) and coincidence. Coincidence is something that pertains to the present or past. Chance has meaning only when information is lacking. So, we distinguish the two in temporal terms. If we are considering an event a priori, chance is in play. If we consider it a posteriori, we have coincidence (something which, however, over the course of a lifetime even of a multiverse might otherwise be considered likely). So, the concept of probability has no validity vis a vis a coincidence and statistical science thus pertains to chance and not coincidence. Probability deals with the epistemically unavailable, is an empirical notion subject to empirical methods and is assigned to arguments with premises and conclusions (and not rather to events, states or types of same). Specified complexity and the strong anthropic principle thus deal with the past and with coincidence. It is not that one could not imaginatively walk oneself backwards in time and thereby properly invoke chance or probability. However, we do not know enough about the initial conditions of lifes origins much less that of the universe to inform our grasp of what should or should not be expected of this reality. A Radically Orthodox Epistemological Architectonic an exploratory heuristic

reintroducing enchantment or what G. K. Chesterton called the thrilling romance of orthodoxy Precis the normative mediates between the descriptive and interpretive to effect the evaluative Epistemological Posture a nonfoundational perspectivalism situated in a fallibilistic, triadic semiotic realism Epistemic Rubrics Semiotic Aspects normative descriptive

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interpretive evaluative EPISTEMOLOGY AS VALUE-REALIZATION We can think about human activities in terms of value-realizations. Each value-realization seems to consist of several other value-realizations. Each of these, while distinct , is indispensable and integrally-related to the others. What makes them distinct are their unique goals along with their distinct strategies and tactics for achieving those goals. To put it another way, we could say that they each employ different methods or rules or logics. So, we can say that they are intellectually-related even if not strictly logically-related. For example: 1) One value we could pursue is to get the answer to such questions as Is that a fact? Is that what I think it is? What is that? 2) These questions are different from such concerns as What's it to me? What do I care? Do I want that? 3) And those questions are different from such inquiries as How can I get some of that? What's the best way to get that? That first category involves descriptive value-realizations with methods like empirical observation and measurement, falsification, logical demonstration and hypothetico-deductive reasoning and it provides our descriptive premises. The second category reveals our evaluative posits. The third category involves normative things like best practices and provides us prescriptive premises. There is a fourth category which involves our interpretive concerns and which answers the question How do we tie all of this together? It provides the framework for the methods we will choose and the justifications we will employ in support of our evaluative and normative goals. Without resolving all of the interpretive questions left begging, we can observe that our normative pursuits mediate between our descriptive and interpretive endeavors to effect our evaluative concerns. And this is to recognize that once we know what something is and whether or not we care about it and want it, then we turn to our best practices, hopefully, to see how to optimally obtain it. At this point, what we have done, formally, is to have coupled a prescriptive premise --- that is either self- evident (so called) or agreed upon by social convention as a valid premise --- to a descriptive premise and then we have syllogistically reasoned our way to a valid normative conclusion, which, if also sound, will allow us to realize our evaluative goal. What we are engaging is an exploratory heuristic that combines insights that we gleaned from Don Gelpi regarding Charles Sanders Peirce and also from Robert Cummings Neville. Gelpi describes one Peircean rubric this way: The normative sciences mediate between phenomenology and metaphysics. Neville's axiology is heavily informed by human value pursuits. These insights are combined, herein, into this epistemic rubric: the normative mediates between the descriptive and interpretive to effect the evaluative. These are very broad categories. The normative sciences include logic, aesthetics and ethics, for example. If we wanted to narrow these conceptions, for any particular application of the rubric, we could say, for example, that the prudential mediates between the empirical and metarational to effect this or that value-realization. It could be further narrowed to describe the prudential in terms of either the practical or moral. What we are doing is providing an exploratory heuristic or metatechnica to help us talk about such problems as are being discussed here, or to talk about such things as the putative fact-value dichotomy or even the hard problem of consciousness. Such a heuristic provides placeholders for patterns that most can recognize and many can use, no matter what interpretive stance they bring to the conversation. By referring to the different logics of these categories, we are of course recognizing

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distinctly different value commitments as well as the axioms we employ in their pursuits but also am observing that there is a mix of propositional and nonpropositional, rational and nonrational, inferential and noninferential approaches in play. One way to look at it is that, while these categories involve distinctly different value commitments, employ radically different axioms and engage both our rational and nonrational faculties, each category necessarily presupposes the others; each is methodologically autonomous but all are inextricably intertwined, triadically, in the same way that abductive, inductive and deductive inferences presuppose each other, in the same way that the modal categories of possible, actual and necessary/probable imply each other. Conceptual Dispositions semiotic theoretic heuristic dogmatic The Language We Use and the Ideas We Have a classification scheme Humankind, as a community of inquiry, a community of value-realizers, articulates its descriptive, evaluative, normative and interpretive claims and stances with categories and concepts that are variously semiotic, theoretic, heuristic or dogmatic. These categories and concepts can be classed, broadly speaking, according to whether or not any given assembly of value realizers has negotiated their meaning. Negotiated terms are thus considered theoretic. Those still-innegotiation are heuristic, acting as placeholders. Non-negotiated terms, not shared by the community-at-large or held only by a restricted assembly of value realizers, are dogmatic. Semiotic terms are non-negotiable because they include such as First Principles and self-evident values on which meaningful communication, itself, depends. The proper integration of the various aspects and perspectives of human value-realization, as measured by the appropriate emphases to be placed on each in relation to the others, can best be discerned in the language employed by humankinds different communities of value-realization, as it reveals each communitys collective assessment of its various, relevant conceptualizations by virtue of any given concepts expressive status as semiotic, theoretic, heuristic or dogmatic. This is because, presumably, such epistemic status will reveal the amount of value that the community has been able to cash out for any given concept per that communitys established evaluative criteria, corresponding, roughly, to the old scholastic notations of possible, plausible, probable, certain, uncertain, improbable, implausible and impossible. Conceptual Categories qui (who) quid (what) quando (when)

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quo (where) quam (how) quare (why) quantus (how much) quotiens (how often) quia (because) quale (what kind) quod (that) haec (this) This Scotistic perspective resonates with Jack Haughts aesthetic teleology and von Balthasaars notion that truth and goodness are imperiled in a culture that loses its sense of beauty. It seems to me that if, with Scotus, we do not take the Incarnation to be a response to some felix culpa but a cosmogenic inevitability, we might reimagine our felix culpa to otherwise reside in our radical finitude. Because we are finite, we experience an epistemic-ontic divide, which is to recognize that ours is an ecological rationality that is inescapably value-driven, which is to further suggest that we must go beyond the empirical and logical aspects of our intellect to heed our evaluative aspects --- not only to thrive, but --to survive. In Scotistic terms, then, the descriptive, normative, interpretive and evaluative aspects of our ecological rationality are formal distinctions of an otherwise singular human reality, which is the value-realization. Such a value-realization for a finite being requires a harmonic balancing of the perspectives, which we will prescribe below in terms of a fallibilistic, nonfoundational perspectivalism. The pursuit of such harmony is also normed by our deeply-felt aesthetic sensibilities. Scotus gifts us with other insights. Going beyond qui (who), quid (what), quando (when), quo (where), quam (how) and quare (why), and even quantus (how much) and quotiens (how often), in our search for the ever-elusive quia (because), Scotus especially invites us to also consider the significance of quale (what kind) and quod (that) and maybe most especially of haec (this). Because of his quid-quale distinction, we learn that we can divorce our semantics from our ontology and affirm, for example, a univocity of being. Because of his concept of haecceity, or thisness, we learn that, as Peirce would later take it, we can make nondescriptive references like quod, for example Wittgensteins THAT things are, which is the mystical. This opens the door to engage in a robust phenomenology even as we prescind from any particular metaphysics as we recognize that it is one thing to successfully describe or explain a reality and quite another to successfully reference and model a reality. We can talk intelligibly about realities that lie beyond our full comprehension by at least apprehending them, in part. Evaluatively, haecceity opens us to the reality of individual significance, which affirms the precious value to be realized in each otherwise inimitable creature and moment, which then especially affirms the dignity of each human, and this all has tremendous normative impetus. If in our competing accounts of primal reality we reach a Scottish verdict, establishing, at best, an empirical and logical epistemic parity, then, as a result of this radical finitude, normatively, applying the equiplausibility principle, we might choose to be guided by beauty and goodness rather than caving in to a practical nihilism, and this felix culpa of ours will require of us a radical kenosis, a self-emptying of memory, understanding and will in surrender to hope, faith and love, the greatest of these being love. And this is to recognize that, if we must move beyond our best truth-conducive aspirations and operations and theories of truth to rely on our best truth-indicative approaches, both aesthetical and moral, as the Fab Four said: All you need is love. And that is as true for John, Paul, George and Ringo as it was for Matthew, Mark, Luke

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and John. Conceptual Distinctions epistemic indeterminacy methodological constraints epistemic a priori and a posteriori ontological vagueness modal ontological necessity and contingency semantical vagueness excluded middle and noncontradiction semantical analytic (explicative) and synthetic (ampliative) Elements of Actionable Norms truth-conducive and truth-indicative arguments epistemic warrant and epistemic parity philosophical methods and philosophical systems equiplausibility principle and Pascals wager Processes Informal Logic Argumentation might be examined from three different perspectives: the logical perspective, regarding its product; the rhetorical perspective, regarding natural persuasion; and the dialectical perspective, regarding the processes of argumentation. Our specific focus is on the logical perspective and the establishment of probative weight and epistemic warrant. What are the criteria for assigning these scholastic notations: possible, plausible, probable, certain, uncertain,improbable, implausible and impossible? To be clear, then, we are not discussing formal logic, which is indefeasible, monotonic and deductive, the assertions of which must be surrendered if not proven. Rather, we are dealing with informal logic, again, as employed in everyday common sense, scientific hypotheses and legal argumentation. It is provisional, defeasible and nonmonotonic and can be classed as either inductive inference, such as the statistical syllogism, or presumptive inference, which is known by its reversals of the obligation to prove (presumption must be given up if disproved). The 1) inductive inference is weaker than 2) deductive inference (strong inference) and probability is employed to help us gauge the frequency with which the argument will hold true. 3) Presumptive inference is weaker still, made up of both a) abductive inference, which employs probability values in its minor premises, such as an inference to the best explanation, and of b) plausible inference, the weakest of all, which employs confidence values and is normed by the equiplausibility principle20, for example. For our purposes, the equiplausibility principle norms our provisional closures and actions by placing before us the decision to choose that which is the most lifegiving and relationship-enhancing, amplifying beauty, goodness and unity in our
20

See Douglas Waltons Argument from Appearance: A New Argumentation Scheme in Logique et Analyse, 195, 2006, 319-340, which is available here:http://io.uwinnipeg.ca/~walton/papers inpdf/06arg_from_appearance.pdf

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ongoing pursuit of truth. For example, given the equiplausible notions that there is, in the dim light, either a snake or a rope on our parlor floor, we shall treat the thing as a snake. Given the equiplausible notions that this uncertain reality is a glorious contingency or a grand design, we shall respond eucharistically, with profound thanksgiving to Our Benefactor, and like Pip, in Great Expectations, set off in search. Robert Cummings Neville21 writes: I think rather that the question is how we respond to the ground of being that creates the natural world with such indifference, and here Corrington and I are not together. He says that sadness has the last word and that the proper response is lamentation. So his philosophy is a brilliant naturalistic theory that laments the fact that the mother who ejects us is cold indifferent effulgence. My response was forged in the grief of the death in infancy of our first daughter, which occurred a few short weeks before I had to deal with the copy editing of God the Creator. There was a passage toward the end of that book where I originally had quoted with approval the line from Job: "The Lord gives and the Lord takes away; blessed be the name of the Lord." My wife and I had loved our daughter with a love whose limits had not been reached, and she was taken away. Could I leave that line in? The result of much soul-searching was to leave it in as the mark of my response to the Giver and Taker. What it meant was that I could still adore the creator of a world whose forces of disease are blind to the purposes and passions of the human economy. The Dao is simply like that. That was in 1966, and nearly everything I have written since then has aimed to search out the ways, hows, and whys of that world, and the loveliness of its creator whose ways are not our own. Eternity and Time's Flow is my most explicit treatment of the shortness of life and other kinds of sadness. It's looking into the abyss no matter how you cut it. The issue is whether to rage like an abandoned orphan or melt in bliss at the loveliness of that power.

Methods "there must be a renewal of communion between the traditional, contemplative disciplines and those of science, between the poet and the physicist, the priest and the depth psychologist, the monk and the politician." Merton Our overall thrust is geared toward the search for enhanced modeling power of reality, toward trying to better define and attain epistemic virtue, toward a reconsideration of the "best practices" to be employed in our normative sciences of logic, aesthetics and ethics. It is a search for a Goldilocks epistemology, which is to say, one that has neither too much hubris nor an excessive humility. When it comes to humankind's descriptive enterprises, which are inherently normative, when we encounter paradox, we sort through different scenarios and try our best to determine its origins. To the extent we cannot determine whether any given knowledge advance is being thwarted by, on one hand, methodological constraints, or on the other, some type of in-principle occulting, the proper bias is to assume the former and eschew the latter. This is simply a pragmatic approach wherein methods will generally precede systems. Our methods will necessarily assume such things as common sense notions of causation, reality's intelligibility, certain first principles like identity, noncontradiction and excluded middle, such
21

Robert Cummings Neville in AMERICAN JOURNAL OF THEOLOGY & PHILOSOPHY Vol. 18 NO.3 September 1997

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principles alternately holding or folding in a semantical vagueness that flows naturally from the ontological vagueness and epistemic indeterminacy we ordinarily encounter in reality. Ontological vagueness means we change our modal ontology from the possible, actual and necessary to the possible, actual and probable. Epistemic indeterminacy is when we don't know if we are constrained methodologically or ontologically (the in-principle occulting I mentioned above). Epistemically, we can draw distinctions between the a priori and a posteriori. Ontologically, we can draw modal distinctions between the necessary and the contingent. Semantically, we draw distinctions between the analytic (explicative) and synthetic (ampliative). While the knowable and unknowable might be valid categories, this distinction is problematical and invites yet another between the provable and the knowable. For example, with Godel we might accept that we cannot prove the truth of the axioms of our systems, in theory, but this does not imply that we might not otherwise be able to see their truth, for all practical purposes. So, while the postmodern critique deserved a response, the proper response, in our view, was the move from a naive realism to a critical realism or even a pragmatic fallibilism. Even if reality writ large remains wholly incomprehensible, it is also still partly apprehensible, which is to say intelligible, lending itself to varying degrees of modeling power. Anyone who wants to enhance this modeling power must accept the onus of cashing out their novel methods in practical value-realizations. The most succinct summary of the difference between the pragmatists and the traditionalists of other schools, in our view, would be that the pragmatists' agenda would generally seek to replace the philosophizing of sociology with the sociologizing of philosophy. Below is a list of how we conceive the pragmatists' agenda in a conversation with the other schools of philosophy. If we honor a pneumatological hermeneutic, we will seek truth, beauty, goodness and unity wherever they may be found, which will always be in pilgrim churches and fallible, finite individuals. We must not make fetishes out of our own perspectives but should engage other perspectives recognizing the traces of the Holy Spirits creative work in all others, of course realized in varying degrees. The history of philosophy, unlike other sciences (Kuhn notwithstanding), has been marked less by the standing on others shoulders from preceding generations and more by the successive generations standing on their ancestors necks (McInerny), with overly pejorative rhetoric and often even incivil discourse. Going forward, striking a more irenic pose, let us endeavor, instead, to employ others perspectives moreso as an assist and less so as a foil. To wit: With foundationalism, remain realist but fallibilist With rationalism, seek internal coherence and logical consistency but with provisional closures Avoid confusion between necessity, an analytic concept, and probability, a synthetic concept, which is grounded in psychological expectations With the insights of both essentialism and nominalism, employ descriptions using vague heuristic devices With the insights of naive realism, enjoy a second naivete with a truly critical realism

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Honor todays time-honored, standard practices by updating them with always revisable methods Honor todays time-honored, standard systems by updating them with always revisable theories Honor the notion of objectivity by fearlessly committing ones concepts to a broader community of inquiry & social practice Augment the insights gleaned from the epistemological problems of representation, mirroring and correspondence with those to be gained from our grappling with such problems as are related to human value-realizations via perpetually enhanced modeling power of reality Consider what might happen if we repaired the Cartesian split, disavowed the Platonic myth, subverted the Kantian paradigm, worked an end-around the Humean critique, chastised the confidence of the Traditionalists and pragmatized Analytic philosophy or not. Can we a priori dismiss all of the insights of old systems, even if they are otherwise seemingly mutually incommensurate or unintelligible? How can we a priori know which paradoxes are veridical, falsidical, conditional, antinomial? And whether or ignorance is grounded in temporary methodological constraints or some permanent ontological occulting? Honor philosophy by distinguishing it from science, not by its a priori character, not by suggesting that academic disciplines are divided (horizontally) by natures carvable joints, but with the realization that such borders are drawn, rather, according to levels of abstraction (vertically)22. With Dionysius, we might recognize the apophatic character of all literal predications of God. With the Medievals, we might recognize the very weakly analogical, which is to say, metaphorical, nature of all kataphatic predications of God. With the Skeptics, we must recognize that even the most rigorously formulated god-concepts cannot compel assent in as much as they, at most, demonstrate the reasonableness of some faith formulations (which is not insignificant), at best, yield a Scottish verdict --- not proven, when subjected to the rigors of philosophical scrutiny. With Lombard, we can leverage our fundamental trust and radicalize it into an unapologetic and unqualified commitment to truth, beauty, goodness and unity, desisting, however, from any notion that we can absolutize our access to same as we convert our existential orientations toward these self-evident and intrinsically rewarding values into robustly, even if inchoate, theological imperatives. With Scotus, we can recognize our limitations in articulating any truly coherent principles that might demonstrably foreclose on all of our philosophical problems of beginning, whether of infinite regress, causal disjunctions, tautological self-reference and circularity; rather, we can only employ philosophy in the elucidation of our concepts, such as, for example, in Peirces abduction of the Ens Necessarium and
22

See Rorty, Putnam, and the Pragmatist View of Epistemology and Metaphysics by Teed Rockwell at http://users.sfo.com/~mcmf/rorty.html

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Occams association of necessity with the divine order. This pansemioentheist stance positively resonates with Franciscan sensibilities and creation-sensitivities, especially with the radically incarnational perspective that took Gods involvement with the cosmos as an eternally preordained given notwithstanding the popular and classical felix culpa theories. The soteriological efficacies remain, in any case. With Erasmus, we can affirm a minimalist deontology, following Adlers explication of Aristotles ethics. With Locke, we can affirm the probabilistic elements of any assent, such as those involved in the preambles of faith, which establish, at least, epistemic parity with other interpretive systems vis a vis primal conditions, providing some epistemic virtue as must necessarily precede other normative justifications of assent, however strong or weak. With Hume, we can recognize the problems that inhere in our informal logic and inference. With Kant, we might gain an appreciation of the putative immanentist and transcendentalist natures of divine interactivity, but we best temper any overly optimistic theological anthropology with the recognition that, as radically social animals, optimal realization of human values requires the successful institutionalization of Lonerganian conversions. With Hegel, we can form an inchoate panentheistic vision. With Freud, Marx, Feuerbach and Nietzsche, we gain an invaluable assist in our efforts to dispatch, as per Emerson, the half-gods, that God might then arrive. With Kierkegaard, we can better recognize the radical nature of our trust. With Newman, we can recognize, in our grammars of assent, the cumulative nature of otherwise independent probabilities, reminiscent of Peirces description of a rather strong cable made from otherwise intertwined weak strands, or filaments of belief, all consistent with a nonfoundational, fallibilistic approach. With James, then, well assert our will to believe (however firmly or tentatively) or assent (however strongly or weakly) based on those concerns that are vital and ultimate (Tillich) and existentially forced upon us. With Dewey, we will sociologize philosophy rather than merely philosophize sociology. With Peirce, we will cash out the value of our conceptions considering only such options as are epistemically and normatively live (James) and dutifully ordered toward such human value-realizations (Neville) as best foster human authenticity (Lonergan) as measured in terms of intellectual, affective, moral, sociopolitical and religious conversions (Gelpis Lonerganian account).

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With Peirce, we might recognize the distinction between philosophical argumentation (discursive and dialectical analyses, both inductive and deductive) and the philosophical argument, itself (the product of abduction). With Wittgenstein, we can gain a self-awareness of our language games and how they implicitly entail normative criteria for justification of beliefs, our everyday beliefs as well as distinctly religious beliefs, again, our informal logic, if you will. With Haldane, we can recognize that religious faith resembles the unprovable but incorrigible first principles, which make science possible, which establishes a modicum of epistemic parity between scientific descriptions and religious interpretations, while also recognizing that philosophical naturalism is not entailed by methodological naturalism. With Haack, we might recognize that while philosophy and science are not distinguishable, horizontally, by carvable joints in reality, they do, nonetheless differ in their approach, vertically, by levels of abstraction. And so, with Murphy, we might recognize the differences between science and theology in terms of degrees and not in kind, hence affirming our assertion that one epistemological shoe fits all philosophical feet. We have now demonstrated that the history of philosophy23 can be viewed in terms of various over- and under-emphases that result in various fetishes or absolutizations. Different aspects of the singular, integral act of value-realization --- descriptive, normative, interpretive and evaluative --- have been treated as autonomous modes of value-realization. Let us issue a cautionary note here. When we say beyond rationality and speak of the transrational, we are recognizing that, in addition to the empirical, logical, practical and prudential, there are also nonrational and relational aspects to human value-realizations; and it is only because we are finite and fallible that we must necessarily fallback on what are weaker truth-indicative signs (like defeasible inference, symmetry, parsimony and usefulness, for example) and cannot otherwise rely solely on the more robustly truth-conducive operations like empirical observation and logical demonstration. We must first exhaust our best truth-conducive efforts before relying on truth-indicative signs (as fallible tie-breakers); and we must keep all of these modeling power attempts very integrally related even as we respect the autonomy of their different methodologies. In summary, we must distinguish between our theories of truth and our tests of truth. Norming Actionable Knowledge One practical upshot of this consideration, in our view, seems to be that epistemology is epistemology is epistemology. There need not be one epistemological scheme for one human value-realization and yet
23

The historical basis for this biographical excursus was drawn from an article by James Swindal of Duquesne University, which is entitled, Faith and Reason, as accessible in the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy at http://www.iep.utm.edu/f/faith-re.htm

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other schemes for other value-realizations. This is not to deny different integrally-related yet otherwise autonomous methodologies with their specific axioms suited for distinct value-commitments. This is to suggest that the different strategies for norming actionable knowledge, belief or assent should not involve the raising and lowering of some mythical epistemic bar, one suitable to the evidentialists, another for different fideists and yet another for so-called reformed epistemologies. A committed fallibilist doesnt shorten or lengthen the field of epistemic play, does not move the epistemic goal posts for this type of human endeavor but not another, does not variously place high and low hurdles, or even none at all, around the epistemic track basing such maneuvers on the type of value being pursued. Rather, one runs as far as one can, jumps whatever hurdles are there, high or low, pursuing ones value-realization goals with singular purpose, taking from reality what it offers today and returning tomorrow to see what it may hold. If one gains knowledge, wonderful, forms a firm belief, great, or can only develop a weak assent, oh well. One simply must act and one simply must norm such action and justify it based on ones fundamental trust in uncertain reality (Kung), ones recognition of certain incorrigible first principles and ones legitimate aspirations to realize the best and the most of humankinds entire evaluative continuum, which is to say, robustly employing all manner of aesthetic, pragmatic and prudential criteria. Whatever attitude of trust or assent, whatever act of will or commitment, one might recognize that, while all integrally-related value-pursuits have rational and irrational aspects, out of fidelity to and trust of uncertain reality, itself, human intellectual pursuits must be transrational, which is to say, always and necessarily, going beyond mere rationality but never without it. Hermeneutical Approaches epistemically indeterminate and semantically and ontologically vague phenomenological approaches intersubjective intraobjective intrasubjective interobjective While the respective methodologies of these different aspects of value-realization are indeed autonomous, they are otherwise relativized by being intellectually-related even if not strictly logically-related. The same thing has happened with our different hermeneutical approaches --intrasubjective, interobjective, intraobjective and intersubjective --- as they have alternately been privileged, one over the next, rather than integrally-related as complementary vantage points, all contributing to each human value-pursuit. Anthropological Outlook existential orientations and humanistic imperatives as Lonergans conversions; minimalistic realisms: semiotic, aesthetical, moral and metaphysical; Kungs nowhere anchored and paradoxical trust in uncertain reality; practical nihilism of strong and weak agnosticisms, nontheisms and speculative atheism Natural Theology abduction of the Ens Necessarium; weak realisms: semiotic, aesthetical, moral and

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metaphysical; Kungs justified fundamental trust in uncertain reality; deism, theisms community creed cult code The Semantical Perspective of Natural Theology Our methods precede our systems. We can successfully reference realities we have not yet successfully described. We can model realities we have not yet fully explained. We can partially apprehend (intelligibly) realities we have not yet fully comprehended. We can thus apprehend, reference and model a reality, even if we cannot otherwise comprehend, describe or explain that reality. However, we cannot a priori know whether our lack of comprehension, description or explanation drives from temporary methodological constraints, from a permanent ontological occulting, or some combination of same. Faced with such epistemic indeterminacy and ontological vagueness, we must retreat into a semantical vagueness. This semantical strategy thus prescinds from any robustly metaphysical approach to a more modest and tentative phenomenological perspective. Our modal ontological categories of the possible, actual and necessary change to possible, actual and probable. Our application of first principles then varies from one modal category to the next such that 1) both noncontradiction and excluded middle hold for actualities, while, 2) for possibilities, noncontradiction folds and excluded middle holds, and 3) for probabilities, noncontradiction holds and excluded middle folds. Possibilities thus differ from probabilities in that the former are overdetermined and the latter are underdetermined. The necessary, or necessity, is an analytic concept, while the other categories refer to synthetic concepts derived from human experience and psychological expectations. The practical upshot of all this is that when an overdetermined, epistemic indeterminacy, as epistemology, models an underdetermined, ontological vagueness, as ontology, we cannot aspire to a robustly metaphysical comprehension of such a reality and can neither successfully describe nor explain such a reality using robustly theoretic concepts. Rather, we can only reference and model such a reality using indeterminate and vague heuristic concepts. One might consider our theoretic concepts as those that have already been negotiated by a community of inquiry, while our heuristic concepts are those still-in-negotiation. This consideration is methodological and semantical, an analytic and not a synthetic account of human signification, a semiotic of Charles Sanders Peirce, which Scotus, and maybe even Pseudo-Dionysius, anticipated, inchoately, such as with Scotus' univocity of being and formal distinction and Dionysius' neoplatonic logic? In this order of knowing and signifying (designating), we might say, with Wittgenstein, that we can distinguish our discourse about THAT things are from our discourse about HOW things are, such that we not confuse a successful reference with a successful description, a successful model with a successful explanation. This approximates the Scotistic quid-quale distinction although the quid is yet to be described. .One might refer to the reality of God, for example, by referencing God as a vague cause, a cause proper to such effects, a substance proper to such accidents, as could not be predicated of any other known causes. Thus we would have an existential statement involving universals, a meaningful statement because its predicates (effects and accidents) have a referent. Univocity of thatness, like necessity, is a logical or analytic concept. Apophasis is involved

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here to the extent we are literally saying, for example, not this cause and not that one and not any other cause known to us vis a vis primal realities. These semantical rubrics apply for all speculative sciences, for example, both metaphysics and theoretical physics, as well as natural theology. As one's investigation proceeds, turning from a semantical perspective to an ontological consideration, which requires the equivocity of howness, we invoke the subset of equivocity --- analogy, and the different subsets of analogy, like metaphor (weak analogues), in our God-talk, and also in metaphysics and the speculative sciences. Kataphasis and apophasis are involved here, both sharing the positive epistemic valence of increasing our descriptive accuracy (beyond mere successful reference), describing what something is or is not like. Apophasis can also serve in our devising of coherent concepts for formal argumentation, such as in modal ontological arguments, where negative predications can serve to guarantee conceptual compatibility of concepts used in an argument and also to avoid parody of an argument. Kataphasis may also, of course, aspire to robust literal explanations, and maybe even full theoretic comprehension, for those realities that are more epistemically determinable and more ontologically precise. At any rate, the divorce of our semantics from our ontologies is thrust upon us by different encounters with different realities insofar as they are variously overdetermined and underdetermined, epistemically indeterminate or ontologically vague. Not having normalized our accounts of gravity and quantum mechanics, much less primal reality, itself, Christianity remains in search of a metaphysic (Whitehead) but, happily, has thrived and will continue to thrive, enjoying a more or less phenomenological perspective. An ontological question still begs regarding God's transcendence and the analogy of being, metaphysically speaking, and it is that of causal disjunction. How can any reality enjoy a causal efficacy upon another reality if related only as a weak analogue or metaphor? Must there not be a matrix of interrelated causes and effects holding reality together?And might that be a Divine Matrix (Joe Bracken)? Might the neoplatonists have an insight into this vast intraobjective identity of all realities from which emerges our grand intersubjective intimacies with one another and Reality in a vague participatory way? Might this support, if not a more epistemically determinate and ontologically precise panentheism, a more phenomenologically indeterminate and imprecise panSEMIOentheism, to which we can successfully refer even if not robustly describe? We needn't reject analogy within the order of being itself, for it is necessary to increase our descriptive accuracy of realities, both determinate and indeterminate, both vague and precise. But is mere analogy also sufficient? Robert Cummings Neville24 writes: I maintain the controversial view that although we are responsible for our own actions insofar as they result from our decisions our decisions are also part of the overall singular creative act of God, and thus God and we are both authors of those actions in appropriately different senses." Issues of consistency and coherence aside, how does the experience of God bear upon this? Surely God is
24

Confer Robert Cummings Neville in AMERICAN JOURNAL OF THEOLOGY & PHILOSOPHY Vol. 18 NO.3 September 1997 REPLY TO SERIOUS CRITICS 281: 16 See Soldier. Sage. Saint (New York: Fordham University Press, 1978), chapter 5.

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sometimes experienced as external, and we sometimes experience the perversity of our hearts, if not our moral successes, as being both non-divine and in opposition to God. But surely also we sometimes experience the loss of self, its evaporation, in the singular act of God, with the consequence that personal identity, including negative (or positive) moral identity, is trivialized and all is appreciated as a divine movement beyond good, evil, or personal significance. The constant fight against antinomianism in nearly all religions testifies to the latter kind of experience. I don't know which is most basic of the two experiences, but my theory allows for both and the process theory for only the first. Process theology in the long run is hostile to mysticism.

A Peircean pansemioentheism, relying on Peirces concept of thirdness (habits, regularities, axiological realities), would take a firm pneumatological stance in accord with a neoplatonic participatory schema. In the final analysis though, one cannot mend the causal disjunction problem onto-theologically, because, to the extent reality presents as an ongoing fugue between pattern and paradox, order and chaos, the random and systematic, we cannot a priori know and do not a posteriori yet know whether realitys regularities emerged from chaos and contingency or from order and consistency insofar as probabilities occupy something of a middle ground leaving us to wonder about their primal origin and whether or not we inhabit a glorious contingency or grand probability. In the end, our hermeneutical turn, metaphysically, is a theo-ontology, an account of primal reality that enjoys epistemic parity with competing accounts and which then invokes the equiplausibility principle, which leverages our minimalist realisms into more robust but still critical realisms going beyond mere satisficing and survival values to ultimate concerns and meanings. In addition to the semantical, univocal predication of being between Creator and creatures, also ontologically, in order for there to be any meaningful interactivity between the Uncreated and created, we can only suspect that there is some metaphysical reality that could, in principle, be univocally predicated of both Creator and creatures, even as we concede that, for all practical purposes, the epistemically determinate and ontologically precise nature of such a reality could be grasped only through special revelation. Our guess is that it would be described semiotically and would involve an otherwise ineluctably unobtrusive but still utterly efficacious tacit dimension, which invites us, kenotically, per ardu ad astra, ad veritatem per caritatem. For our God is a gentlemanly suitor, Who would not force His way; neither timid nor coy, She seductively and patiently pursues us. Abduction of the Reality of the Ens Necessarium & Its Modal Ontological Proof Peirce's rejection of the notion that firstness and secondness could robustly account for the world as we know it, in my view, marks his retreat into ontological and semantical vagueness. To describe reality in terms of alternating pattern and paradox, chance and necessity, order and chaos, random and systematic, does seem rather question begging. It is also true that, nowhere, do we observe necessity in reality; necessity everywhere eludes us. It is equally true that human kind cannot avoid the inference of the necessary; necessity everywhere suggests itself. Like Polanyi's tacit dimension, necessity may be closer to us than we are to ourselves. It is at this juncture that humankind's Abduction of the Reality of the Ens Necessarium

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emerges and that the Peircean triadic semiotic straddles the unable to model in terms of knowing more than we can say, which, as we noted, consists of both phenomenal knowledge and subdoxastic propositional knowledge. We might ask how we make the leap between the subdoxastic and the doxastic, learning how to talk about what we previously experienced in less than full conscious awareness, learning how to model at least one part of our internal milieu, which had previously eluded our symbolic grasp. Wed suppose the simple answer is that we likely gather more symbols and learn from serious self-reflection and self-critique (employing our inferential triad) and from exposure to others ideas regarding same, whether in dialogue or through reading and study. But this does not speak at all to why it is we cannot seem to successfully model our phenomenal knowledge and cannot successfully communicate it to others, language-independent as it is. We can make the analytical observation and voice the reason tautologically: We cannot talk about it because it is language-independent. We cannot model it because it is symbol-independent. But neuroscience can gift us with enough synthetic knowledge to infer that the more phylogenetically primitive brain areas are not involved in the distributive language function. That information is just not presented to our propositional biosemiotic heuristic. Still, what do the apes lack, even in part, regarding their internal and external milieus and what do we possess regarding our internal milieu, which allows us to successfully relate our symbolic manipulations to one another through language, gifting one another with our inferential output, for better and worse, forming and deforming and reforming and transforming our paradigms, socially and culturally? Obviously, the apes must lack symbols for both their internal and external milieus. And, as we mentioned previously, they also lack our new brain areas. When it comes to that part of our own internal milieu that is language-independent, it seems that we lack more than symbols. We cannot model our own non-symbolic internal milieu because our model would lack the stomach that does the aching is all. Wed need to rig up another stomach in vitro and attach it to our brain stem in order to fully model a stomachache, even if we did have symbolic facilities and connections to and from our more phylogenetically primitive brain areas. The question still begs as to how selection pressures interacted with which specific behaviors, however rudimentary. We got something new, propositional, biosemiotic heuristics, from nothing but phenomenal, biosemiotic algorithms. Maybe a Siamese Twinned ape developed two pairs of furrowed brows every time it got a stomach ache and two pairs of furrowed brows and a couple of winces every time it got constipated and symbolic communication was born as the two ape heads gazed knowingly into one anothers eyes, thus bridging the phenomenal-propositional chasm, crossing the epistemological Rubicon. And although this bridge was not subject to selection pressure regarding the internal milieu of animals, the symbolic communication

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regarding the external milieu (re: each others facial expressions) was the rudimentary prototype of inferential facility and, once it was aped throughout their society, language born as constipated apes not only furrowed their brows and winced, but also let out loud moans. (Levity intended; this should have heuristic value even if no humor.) In all seriousness, if brain structure differences (between us and higher primates, but see Caveat below) are pretty darned clear, how big a leap is it to think behavioral differences (necessarily or probably) were not far behind, adaptively significant to this day, perhaps, assuming we dont use the phylogenetically new-found facility toward the end of effecting a nuclear holocaust, prior to the near-inevitable ecological whimper. No need for ghosts. No talk of machines. Emergent processes involve remembering. But all novelty requires some type of forgetting. What is lost is information. What is gained is complexity, that is if and when selection pressures thus foster rather than eliminate same. This is true in 1st, 2nd & 3rd order emergence - thermodynamics, morphodynamics & teleodynamics and especially semiotic processes. Think of instincts as very strict algorithmic feedback-loops and learning & memory as closed electro-chemical circuits, neuronal structures where sensations & perceptions are physically stored. A genetically-induced disruption or short-circuiting of these loops during development could have resulted in physical dis-locations of these stored sensations, which could have produced a phenomenal experience wherein properties of a given perceived reality were dissociated from that entity in memory such that, for example, the redness of an apple became a physical memory distinct from the apple, itself. Dissociate enough properties from different entities and, sooner than later, phenomenal experience presented the individual not only with what were mostly accurate sensations, perceptions & memories but also with manifestly inaccurate impressions of reality, which became "models" of reality that competed with actual reality & memories when it came to eliciting behavioral responses, on which selection pressures were exerted. These models of reality became constellations of icons, indexes and symbols --or imag-ination, which hosted possibilities in addition to actualities and which also re-cognized the relative regularity with which such possibilities and actualities were paired or not. The individual's behavioral repertoire became much more plastic, versatile and adaptive. Mistakes were thus opportunistically parlayed into survival advantages. Those mistakes now have many names In addition to grunts and groans and winces): predicates, subjects, analogies, metaphors, models and so on (hallucinations, delusions, dreams, etc). It's difficult to imagine a world without them. But they also make it easier to imagine worlds that are not real. Baldwinian evolution suggests an account where downward causation can be effective but without violating physical causal closure. We think the Peircean semiotic realism is a much more robust account and that nuance matters greatly. We have come, full circle: Biosemiotic heuristics X (Environment X Biosemiotic Algorithms) --> Behavior

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Propositional Knowledge X (Environment X Phenomenal Knowledge) --> Behavior The philosophic mediates between the paradigmatic and positivistic to inform praxis. Some Caveats: Per Deacon: Surface morphology and underlying brain functions are not directly correlated in most cases. If we project at least minimal symbolic capacity back to more recent, phylogenetically-related primates, increased brain size and language acquisition may be as much effects of language-acquisition as its causes. Grene & Depew address the complex interaction and mutual feedback among a whole variety of factors in the relatively sudden emergence of language. Complexity is good to keep in mind re: genes, memes, symbols, language, coevolution. They must not be wrenched from their context in the whole and swollen to madness in their isolation (to reapply CS Lewis). Or, from Wittgenstein: One might almost say that these foundation-walls are carried by the whole house. (So much for skyhooks. So much for cranes.) To equate cognition only with algorithmic or rule-governed computation is the computational fallacy. It is what it is in humans only in relationship to pragmatic and semiotic realities. To characterize genes as active agents or selfish or purposeful is an unhelpful shorthand. They gain their significance only in the context of the same dynamical semiotic and pragmatic realities. (Dawkins didnt literally misconceive this, himself). To equate memes only with replicators, as if they were analogous to parasites, is to isolate them outside of the dynamical semiotic and pragmatic realities that they should presuppose and is the memetic fallacy25. (Dawkins did commit this fallacy.)

The same is true for human inferential heuristics. They are irreducibly triadic -abduction, induction and deduction, each presupposing the other in the overall context of the same dynamical semiotic and pragmatic realities. None of these considerations conclude anything ontological about the mind. However, the inference to the best explanation is probably naturalistic and wouldnt require the introduction of new primitives to space, time, matter and energy (like consciousness, for instance). But we could be wrong. And that is okay. We are fallibilists.

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See: The trouble with memes (and what to do about it) by Deacon on Arisbe.

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If this heuristic has as its goal, the successful referencing of a reality even as successful descriptions of same elude us, then, we know that our project, from it's outset, does not ambition a robust explanatory adequacy. In order to successfully refer to the modal category of the necessary, we must turn to modal logic, itself. As we turn to modal logic, we begin to straddle ontological vagueness and metaphysics, or ontology with a capital "O." Many caveats and qualifiers will thus pertain to the framing of the argument, taking the Peircean concept and abduction from argument into formal argumentation. As we straddle ontological vagueness and ontology, semantical vagueness will begin to give way to careful parsing and rigorous disambiguation. Thus the argument must: 1) employ suitable predication (equivocal, univocal or analogical); 2) employ concepts that reflect the guaranteed conceptual compatibility of the different properties that they describe using only apophatic predication (increase of descriptive accuracy sought through negation, i.e. literally, what a reality is not like, analogically, or is NOT, literally); 3) employ concepts that reflect the guaranteed conceptual compatibilities of different properties via the logical impossibility of their coinstantiation; 4) employ a grammar of the modal category of the actual (where noncontradiction and excluded middle both must hold); and 5) not lend itself to parody yielding the absurd. None of this is to suggest that that which has been essentially defined employing only negative properties would not also be compatible, accidentally, with some positive properties. It is to claim logical consistency for our essential definition/concept of a reality when that reality has been essentially defined using only negative properties, then meeting another criterion, which is that it is not logically impossible to coinstantiate these properties. Using this logic of positive and negative terms, it follows that our definition cannot entail any conceptually incompatible attributes. Such an argument is not only valid but its reasoning is immune to parody using positive properties. Parody using additional negative properties can succeed but not against a concept with positive predicates that are analogical. Heidegger's question: "Why is there not rather nothing?" has been rendered a pseudo-question by those who'd employ an eliminativist strategy of considering "nothing" a conceptual reification, accusing all, who take existence to be a predicate of being, of a meaningless tautology. Indeed, not even Aquinas thought that natural philosophy could determine, absent positive revelation, whether or not nature itself was eternal. The tautology may, nevertheless, be sound; it simply does not add new information to any of our systems. Heidegger's existential question is better framed in terms of cosmological and ontological

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speculation: "Why is there not rather something else?" In this sense, clearly the reframed question does not refer to emergent realities per se but what might be described, rather, as the aegis of their initial conditions and boundary conditions, which, derivatively, even if analytically and tautologically, ground all of the "something elses" that have emerged from these "nothing buts" of a primal aegis and its initial conditions, aegis and initial being rather loaded terms, at best, otherwise totally question begging, to say the least. This Primal Nothing But, if taken as brute fact, has an occulted ad intra nature to it and is just a given. The initial conditions and boundary conditions ensuing under its aegis would have an ad extra nature discernible as the ensuing Something Else of emergent realities. Any such Ens Necessarium should, at a minimum, then, possess at least the following conceptually compatible properties26 (all meeting the above-listed criteria). It should be non-contingent and non-dependent. The proof of a suitably predicated aegis with initial conditions and boundaries might be thus: 1) Either the putative reality of the modally necessary, i.e. the non-contingent and non-dependent, is logically necessary or logically impossible. 2) It is not the case that this putative reality of the modally necessary, i.e. the non-contingent and non-dependent, is logically impossible. 3) The reality of a non-contingent and non-dependent aegis of initial conditions and boundary conditions is logically necessary. Now, pursuant to this assertion: This Primal Nothing But, if taken as brute fact, has an occulted ad intra nature to it and is just a given. The initial conditions and boundary conditions ensuing under its aegis would have an ad extra nature discernible as the ensuing Something Else of emergent realities. Given the Ens Necessarium, however occulted its inner nature of non-contingency and non-dependency, one might properly infer something of its ad extra nature from its ensuing emergent realities. The properties of any such nature would have to be argued with the same modal logic and they must be guaranteed as conceptually compatible in the same way as those of the Ens Necessarium. What has been proven, thus far, is the reality of a) a demiurge b) deism c) creatio continua d) a panentheism lacking nuance or some such reality with a capital R. Now, mind you, Peirce considers argumentation for God (such as our syllogism) a fetish and would have us desist from same, stopping with our abduction, our argument (distinguished from argumentation per CSP). But, taking heart from both Godel and Hartshorne, and inspiration from Christopher McHugh, we simply could not desist. Alas, our project is undertaken as poetry and not really prose. Who would write prose like this?
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To go beyond that, see Christopher McHugh's modal ontological formulation, which we relied on, above, at http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/doug_krueger/krueger-mchugh/mchugh1.shtml

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No, what is going on, introspectively, is well characterized by Chris Southgate who writes: David Daiches suggests five strategies for the religious poet. He/she may: address God, tell the reader about God, recount a visionary experience, find God through the workings of nature, or lastly agonize about Gods existence. The Divina Commedia in his opinion alternates in a most remarkable way between the visionary and the almost pedantically explanatory. And so too Four Quartets, though being written in the age of Russell and Wittgenstein rather than that of Aquinas, Eliots sequence approaches its religious task in a profoundly oblique way. Somewhere in these pages, one will find all of that, we hope. More About This Ens Necessarium Like Daniel Dennett, who wrote Consciousness Explained, but who, otherwise contrastingly, has a militantly atheistic stance, many unwittingly conflate one's ability to successfully refer to certain realities with one's ability to describe them (which requires a measurable degree of explanatory adequacy). In a nutshell, then, one must avoid "proving too much." One diagnosis for this illicit move is this: In one's arguments, one will substitute "the necessary" in place of "the probable." And fallibility then gets sacrificed on the altar of epistemological hubris. One thing has been impressed upon us, lately, as we systematically work through the modal categories of possible, actual and probable with their underlying grammars; there can be no ontology with a capital "O" until we abduct the reality of the necessary. Without the modal category of the necessary, our metaphysics cannot transcend mere phenomenology and our systems cannot transcend mere heuristic devices. There is an inescapably ineffable quality, though, to such a reality as would be necessary and it would have, in principle, an occulted ad intra nature (for nowhere in observable reality does the necessary present, insofar as all appears radically contingent). It's ad extra nature presents everywhere in observable reality as the deepest and most persistent human abduction of the reality of the necessary, which grounds our common sense understandings of causation and all other (sub)doxastic realities, i.e. first principles and other unjustified foundational presuppositions. This abduction is the foundation of the pneumatological imagination and one's first encounter with the Creator Spirit. Properly formed and nurtured, well, let's just say that, all manner of efficacious orthopraxis will ensue as reality is then perceived as an arena of pervasive intentionality. The economic Trinity is indeed the immanent Trinity (but maybe not vice versa). To do Ontology is to do Theology because there can be no successful reference to the reality of the necessary that is not predicated using the same modal ontological arguments as Godel, Hartshorne and Christopher McHugh. (And we see this realization dawning on Stephen Hawking in an inchoate fashion.) This is to maintain that, when scientists speak

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of initial conditions and boundary conditions in terms of brute facts, they have implicitly argued for the modal category of the necessary, which is inescapably an argument for the reality of the Ens Necessarium, which can be predicated as, at least, nothing less than an un-nuanced deism, which prepares the philosophical soil for positive theology. There can be no criticism of this minimalist theism from a systems perspective. Like radically deconstructive postmodernism, which was a critique but could not comprise a system, the atheistic critique must either come from a practical nihilism, which is naught but a manner of living and which articulates no system, or from a systematic monism, whether materialist or idealist, which can only be atheistic or pantheistic. Such accounts, however, in aspiring to system status, must abduct, at least implicitly, the reality of the necessary. This is required, even if only, to successfully refer to those systems' boundary conditions, such as, for example, for an eternally oscillating multiverse. Otherwise, those accounts must flounder in incoherency. An oscillating multiverse, from a pantheistic perspective, cannot coherently be described solely in terms of probabilities and contingencies but must invoke the radically other, ens necessarium, if only to successfully refer to the reality asserted as "the oscillating." This is all to suggest that atheism and pantheism, as systems, are incoherent, or, at least, ignorant of their own implicit presuppositions. (They are unconsciously competent pan-en-theists.) Thus, there are only three options: 1) remain a respectful ontological silence like some Buddhists and inhabit merely phenomenological perspectives employing merely heuristic devices 2) abduct the reality of the ens necessarium like most major traditions or 3) live out the consequences of an unmitigated nihilism with Kung's nowhere anchored and paradoxical trust in uncertain reality, unequipped with a system (because a materialist monism, of any stripe, cannot coherently do ontology with a capital "O" without, in principle, expanding science's modal categories of possible, actual and probable to include the necessary). There you go. We just "proved" God. Actually, we have just suggested that all coherent systematic accounts must be either deistic, theistic or panentheistic. The other alternative is to bark at all metaphysical passersby and to nihilistically howl at the moon, resorting to epistemological and ontological realisms only when it is time for supper and one is looking for one's bowl. McHughs proof, cited above, is a grand exercise in apophatic theology and formal argument (even formal symbolic logic). It is compelling and succeeds for those who buy into modal logic and its grammars. There is a Supreme Reality, an intentional reality. But is our love for Her unrequited? Will He love us in return? Theodicy issues emerge (but do not perdure, philosophically or theologically, only existentially.) McHugh notes that there are two problems of evil: 1) There is the theological problem, which is Why does a good God allow evil? 2) There is the philosophical problem, which is Can the existence of evil be used as evidence against the existence of a good God? ." If one can at all buy into our distinctions between methodological and philosophical

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naturalisms and between epistemological and ontological emergentist stances, which may be either open or closed, then let us suggest a way forward. Our own methodological naturalism and epistemological emergentism represent provisional closures toward such a metaphysical realism as can only be supported, via strict empirical observation, by such a phenomenological stance as is characterized by my heuristic of ontological, semantical and epistemic vagueness. We described ontological and semantical vagueness hereinabove. Epistemic vagueness presents either through methodological constraints or through such a putative natural occulting as might occur, for example, as we approach T=0 of the Big Bang or peer into the deepest structures of matter. Bias for Methodological Naturalism? We do well to look for our lost keys underneath the lamp post, for there is little hope of finding them in the dark. For some of us, that does not, at the same time, suggest that we have a priori decided where those keys may or may not be. The required steps forward, from a metatechnica to metaphysics, in our view, would take one from phenomenology to ontology and from a heuristic device to a system. One way of making this move would be to adopt some type of root metaphor to describe reality. But there is an intermediate step and it is not that complicated on paper. All one has to do is to change one's modal ontological categories from possible, actual and probable to possible, actual and necessary. Is such a move warranted? Nowhere do we observe necessity in reality; necessity everywhere eludes us (as contingency apparently rules observable reality). It is also true, however, that humankind cannot seem to avoid the inference of the necessary; necessity everywhere suggests itself. What about what some have referred to as the aegis of initial conditions and boundary conditions? Could these conditions, non-contingent and nondependent, and by some taken to be brute facts, be logically necessary? What question might they answer? Heidegger's question: "Why is there not rather nothing?" has been rendered a pseudo-question by those who'd employ an eliminativist strategy of considering "nothing" a conceptual reification, accusing all, who take existence to be a predicate of being, of a meaningless tautology. Indeed, not even Aquinas thought that natural philosophy could determine, absent positive revelation, whether or not nature itself was eternal. The tautology may, nevertheless, be sound; it simply does not add new information to any of our systems. Heidegger's existential question is better framed in terms of cosmological and ontological speculation: "Why is there not rather something else?" And this is the question that, perhaps, begs for a modal ontological argument of the necessary, which would be non-contingent and non-dependent.

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Sound or not, the argument would, in my view, articulate a valid philosophical inference. One would not have a TOE, at this point. One would not even have a strict ontology but would have the validation of metaphysics as a project, ontology as a respectable ambition. The modal category of the necessary would be logically necessary. This describes a move forward beyond the categories of the merely phenomenological and the merely heuristic to the more robustly ontological and robustly systematic. It affirms that there are many metaphysical blanks to be filled in. It acknowledges that many have already been filled in and that there is great promise for even more to be filled in. It also recognizes that many blanks remain blank and will likely remain so for quite some time. This rejects the excessive epistemological humility of a radically deconstructive postmodernism and the excessive epistemological hubris of Enlightenment fundamentalism. It is a Goldilocks epistemology . It is a tentative and fallible metaphysical approach that doesn't prove too much and doesn't exert unwarranted normative and prescriptive impetus on humankind's fallible but inexorable attempts to find its way forward. Now, mind you, we have not successfully described this putative reality, the necessary, but would only claim to have successfully referenced same. Analogically speaking, we might venture to say that it would in some ways be like our dictionary definition or be like our geometric concept, for example. It might even be like Polanyi's tacit dimension or Bohm's implicate order or what have you. We might thus speak of this reality's intelligibility even as we acknowledge it's regnant incomprehensibility. Trinitarian Theology Christology, Patrology & Pneumatology Special Revelation Transcendent Incarnational Christological Axiology Transcendence of Historical Tensions (past & future) Transcendence of Social & Cultural Tensions (individuals & institutions and competing, extrinsic values) Transcendence of Economic Tensions (needs & means) Transcendence of Political Tensions (coercion & freedom)

Patrological Axiology Eschatology Ecclesiology & Theological Anthropology

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Institutionalized Christianity All of the great traditions and even indigenous religions are Spirit-animated human attempts to articulate truth in creed, celebrate beauty in cult or ritual, preserve goodness in code or law, and celebrate fellowship in community. They engage us, participatively, in myth, story-telling, song and symbol, addressing our most insistent longings and ultimate concerns. They all suffer tendencies for dogma to decay into dogmatism, ritual into ritualism, law into legalism and community into institutionalism, but all have also gifted humankind with authentically transformed individuals. Orthopraxy authenticates orthodoxy such that the efficacies of a religious approach would be reflected in how well it institutionalizes Lonergans conversions (as expanded by Gelpi): intellectual, affective, moral, social-political and religious. At the same time, this is not to suggest that we can very easily gather and interpret such sociologic data in order to adjudicate which path(s) work(s) best. For its part: 1) Christianity has a robustly self-critical, self-correcting prophetic tradition. 2) Christianity has elements of a true myth. 3) Even if other traditions or denominations enjoy a salvific efficacy via our own belief in a pneumatological inclusivity and even if one could live a life of abundance via an implicit faith, we might legitimately aspire, nonetheless, to a life of superabundance, to the most nearly perfect articulation, celebration, preservation & enjoyment of truth, beauty, goodness and unity available even if it is terribly problematic figuring out what that might be. 4) Being on one path vs another might result in our moving more swiftly and with less hindrance on our ongoing journeys of conversion and transformation and we want to get this right out of genuine compassion for all. 5) There may well be a dynamic in play of what is or is not developmentally-appropriate for one individual or another, even one culture or another, or even for humankind as a whole, different pages for different stages, so to speak. 6) Christianity reveals a God inviting us into an ever more intimate and personal relationship. 7) Jesus did not answer the philosophical and metaphysical questions of old or provide a well-worked out theodicy in response to Job and the psalmists or fully address our propositional concerns but responded to our deepest needs with Presence, both modeling and warranting a trust relationship with the Father and encouraging, even now, the same thru a Helper, the Spirit.

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8 ) The Resurrection Event may be hard to describe in historical detail or a metaphysical account of HOW but has an overwhelming impetus and significance for us insofar as we can be confidently assured THAT something happened and it is responsible for our being here together, now, in love. Regarding any notion of piping in God or mediated God-experiences, in an incarnational view, we might see God coming to us and at us from many different angles and perspectives, using His creatures, indirectly, sometimes overwhelming us with Her Beauty more directly. It seems that we can recognize and affirm a sacramental economy that mediates presence, thanksgiving, reconciliation, healing and other gifts of God, while at the same time acknowledging that these very same gifts are available, variously directly and indirectly, sometimes more versus less mediated. As cocreators in a participatory unfolding, we are witnesses to and participants in a Divine Largesse that bowls us over from every angle. That said, we do want to avoid clericalism, institutionalism and other insidious -isms. There will likely be increasing numbers who will mindfully eschew and purposefully avoid institutional vehicles, as did Simone Weil. Many of these folks are authentic voices of prophetic protest, who dont just critique by walking away but who then articulate and live an alternative approach on its own terms and in a positive manner, which is to say not in solely an over against manner. At the same time, institutionalization is a natural response for humankind as radically social animals, a necessary evil in our temporal juridical realm of social, economic, political and cultural realities, which must employ civic coercion toward the end of fostering the common good. Even then, such coercion only legitimately extends to the maintenance of that aspect of the common good known as the public order. Our religious institutions are not ordered toward the juridical temporal realm, however, but are ordered to trans-temporal realities, which admit of no coercion. If, in our early religious formation, things are presented in an obligational mode, they are thus geared in a developmentally-appropriate way and religion will have, hopefully minimalistically, juridical functions and a somewhat coercive tone and tenor. If, later on our journey, we have not realized that religious realities, instead, belong to a much more aspirational mode of life and relationship, then we will have very much missed the whole point, which is that the essential nature of love, beyond early formation, knows nothing of coercion. In other words, when you came to your parents table as a child, it may be that you were required and also that you would not have otherwise been fed. Coercion thus served a function and met your extrinsic needs. Hopefully, as you return to your parents and grandparents tables for Thanksgiving, it will be for personal not functional reasons, for the intrinsic rewards of being together and not because you were coerced or would otherwise not be fed! Sacramentology

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Liturgical Spirituality serves an erotic love The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross translated by Kavanaugh & Rodriguez (ICS) has a Scriptural Index which reveals that Juan cited almost every book of the Old & New Testaments in his writings and the citations number somewhere between 800-1,000 bible references (we didnt count precisely, but that is a fair estimate)! It is easy to understand how new students of contemplative spirituality focus on, what is to them, the novelty of Juans via negativa. One could err, however, by failing to take into account Juans fidelity to Scripture, Sacraments, Liturgy and almost-Ignatian emphasis on God in All Things and almost-Franciscan emphasis on creation. (Hows that for a litany of kataphatic modalities?) Denis Read OCD, an ICS member, calls Juan the liturgical mystic and sanjuanist spirituality liturgical spirituality. In addition to Juans love and fidelity to Scripture, to the Eucharist (one of greatest personal trials in prison in Toledo was not being able to celebrate Eucharist) and to the other sacraments (strong emphasis on reconciliation), Juan quoted the Churchs liturgical books liberally, including hymns, antiphons of the Liturgy of the Hours Divine Office, Roman Ritual, etc! Richard Hardy, PhD in Embodied Love in John of the Cross states: The question we must answer is whether John is espousing the goal of an ethereal, purely spiritual love, or rather an embodied love replete with sensuality and delight. Juans emphasis on nature, the imagery of his poetry, his relational imagery reveal a man overflowing with sensuality and delight! He is selling us on nothing less than Divine Eros and as Hardy says: in the light of this erotic love challenges todays Christian to embrace a lifestyle that risks all for the sake of all. The apophatic-kataphatic remains in a highly creative tension with Juan and gets resolved, not by emphasis on one mode versus the other, but rather by a rhythmicity, by Juans recognition of Gods every spiration and by Juans re-spiring in accordance with same. Juan does NOT move us away from sensory delight but to purified sensory delight. Juan does not negate the kataphatic devotion but moves us to transformed devotion. Sanjuanist liturgical mysticism is mysticism par excellence. In Open Mind, Open Heart, Thomas Keating writes about aprophatic/kataphatic contemplation that there has sometimes been a misleading distinction suggesting opposition between the two, when, in fact, a proper preparation of the faculties (kataphatic practice) leads to apophatic contemplation, which in turn is sustained through appropriate kataphatic practices.

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To risk all for the sake of all now thats something worth considering! Map-making & Story-telling the twain shall meet Closely related to our liturgical reflections is story-telling. Oliver Sacks book and movie, Awakenings, describes how brain-damaged individuals can be roused out of stupor by music and art when nothing else can reach them. Tony deMello spent his life teaching the importance of awareness versus analysis, of insight versus information, perhaps patterned after the founder of his order, St. Ignatius, who emphasized the need to taste the truth versus merely knowing the truth. From Amos Wilder: Imagination is a necessary component of all profound knowing and celebration It is at the level of imagination that any full engagement with life takes place. From Morton Kelsey: God knew that human beings learn more by story and music, by art, symbols, and images than by logical reasoning, theorems, and equations, so Gods deepest revelations have always been expressed in images and stories. Jamie Smith recently published Desiring the Kingdom, which a publishers review describes as a focus on the themes of liturgy and desire: Malls, stadiums, and universities are actually liturgical structures that influence and shape our thoughts and affections. Humansas Augustine notedare desiring agents, full of longings and passions; in brief, we are what we love. The lesson we take away, here, is that not only is our relationship with God shaped and influenced through story-telling, the manner in which we live, move and have our being in the world is also. Charles A. Coulombe writes of one of Catholicisms greatest story-tellers, J.R.R. Tolkien: Its been said that the dominant note of the traditional Catholic liturgy was intense longing. This is also true of her art, her literature, her whole life. It is a longing for things that cannot be in this world: unearthly truth, unearthly purity, unearthly justice, unearthly beauty. By all these earmarks, Lord of the Rings is indeed a Catholic work, as its author believed: But it is more. It is this ages great Catholic epic, fit to stand beside the Grail legends, Le Morte dArthur and The Canterbury Tales. It is at once a great comfort to the individual Catholic, and a tribute to the enduring power and greatness of the Catholic tradition, that JRRT created this work. In an age which has seen an almost total rejection of the faith on the part of the Civilization she created . . . Lord of the Rings assures us, both by its existence and its message, that the darkness cannot triumph forever.

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Story-telling thus engages our concrete, imaginative & practical mind through our social imaginary, which can be thought of as the equivalent of hometown knowledge. Hometown knowledge is our experience of understanding how to get from home to school to the grocers and back home. This nondiscursive participatory understanding is quite different from our propositional knowledge, which engages our abstract, conceptual & theoretical mind through our discursive map-making approach to reality. The difference between these complementary approaches to reality might best be appreciated as we think back on occasions in our lives when newcomers or strangers to our hometown stopped and asked us for directions. Have you ever had the uncomfortable experience of being asked for directions only to bumble and fumble and stumble and mumble your way to a helpful response? Thats your story-telling ability trying to translate its understanding of into knowledge about using your map-making ability. Its not that we are never asked for directions by someone who otherwise shares our hometown knowledge, who shares our understanding of our local community. When they do, however, we experience the ease and facility of remaining in our story-telling mode without having to rely on our map-making skills (The new grocers is behind the school). While most of us rely most heavily on our story-telling mode as we navigate reality together with others, whether in the classroom, living room or boardroom, all of us, at some time or another, must fall-back on our map-making and map-using mode of processing reality. Furthermore, it is a great curiosity to many that there are a few of us who, by temperament, are natural born map-makers. In fact, that is their default approach to reality. In other words, they primarily engage reality through their abstract, conceptual, theoretical mind employing mostly our propositional knowledge and map-making ability. If you ask them a question, theyll hand you a map (rest assured its already been drawn) and it may even be a map of your hometown or your own backyard. And you will look at it with total fascination but utter bewilderment, unable to recognize the intricate representation of reality youve been handed. And theyll look at you, gazing proudly at their marvelous creation, waiting for that aha moment of recognition on your face, a moment that, disappointingly and unfortunately, seldom seems to materialize. Now, we're using the image of a map, metaphorically, of course, to illustrate the map-makers abstract, conceptual, theoretical approach to processing reality, which pervades both their spoken and written word, leaving others scratching their heads and talking about them behind their backs (if theyre lucky). And this is being contrasted with story-telling, which has the ability to frustrate the map-makers as much as they frustrate others. Youve heard the old joke: I asked her for the time and she told me how to make a watch. Well, that pretty much summarizes how most map-makers experience most story-tellers. Soteriology Pneumatological Axiology

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Orienting Empowering & Sanctifying Healing Saving General Revelation Immanent Indwelling Theology of Nature Yet Another Design Inference telos properly conceived While we have seen a design inference regarding any particular reality that, in our view, makes for good science or good philosophy, at the same time, we very much affirm a design inference regarding reality as a whole. While the various proofs of the reality of God are not empirically demonstrable or logically coercive, they raise valid questions that are left begging and they frame answers that, vis a vis other interpretive stances toward reality, are equiplausible. Modern semiotic science has reinvigorated notions of formal and final causation, which, for quite awhile, had been abandoned by science, which restricted its ambit to efficient causation. Notions of formal, final, efficient, material and instrumental causation have variously given rise to such proofs of God as we might call, respectively, epistemological, teleological, cosmological, ontological and axiological. Whichever root metaphor one chooses for ones metaphysics, any account aspiring to both completeness and consistency eventually collapses due to question begging, circular referentiality, infinite regress, causal disjunction and so on. Still, just because an account is tautological doesnt mean it isnt true; it only means we have not added any new info to our system. At any rate, from a semiotic approach to reality, we know that certain tacit dimensions of reality can be ineluctably unobtrusive while utterly efficacious. We also know that such semiotic realities can effect a downward causation without violating physical causal closure. It is perhaps beyond the scope of this consideration to explore this in more depth but we bring this up in the context of recognizing the role of telos in ordinary physical reality. By analogy, one would not unreasonably extrapolate this minimalist telos into a more robustly conceived telic dimension. This is exactly what John Haught does in his writings such as regarding the Cosmic Adventure (or even The New Atheists) and what Joe Bracken does in what he describes as The Divine Matrix. These approaches begin within the faith and are theologies of nature, which proceed via analogy and metaphor and sheer poetry, and they go beyond the proofs of God of such as natural theology as begins within philosophy but ends with the Scottish verdict, unproven.

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In one sense, we can recognize that generic faith is epistemologically prior to science, which could not otherwise proceed without our belief in realitys intelligibility, a belief which, itself, cannot be proved (just like our belief in other minds over against solipsism). This hermeneutical moment or basic interpretive stance toward reality is thus analogous to our belief in a Primal Design, Primal Cause, Primal Meaning, Primal Being, Primal Support, Primal Ground and so on. Primal Reality would not, in principle, lend itself to empirical measurement or logical demonstrability or rational proof, but the inference of such a Cause as would be proper to the effect we know as reality-as-a-whole is in no way unreasonable and remains eminently compelling to most of humankind. This inference, epistemologically, precedes both descriptive science and normative philosophy, and admits of no apologetic, whether evidential, presuppositional, rational or existential. It is what Hans Kung describes as a justified fundamental trust in uncertain reality over against a nowhere anchored and paradoxical trust in uncertain reality. Faiths chief foil is nihilism, a practical interpretive stance toward reality that is essentially an evaluative posit, having no way to articulate propositional cognitions. We either fundamentally trust uncertain reality or we do not because we are presented with options in faith and nihilism that are forced and vital. And make no mistake, both of these options are live in that most of us choose between them every moment of our waking life, living a life of vibrant faith but lapsing, too often, into what a dispassionate observer might otherwise conclude is a practical nihilism. A Theology of Nature - Pansemioentheism To the extent that we recognize, with science, that telos, as far as we now know, first emerged at that juncture in cosmic evolution that Deacon has described as 3rd order emergence or teleodynamics, and to the extent we next venture forth with Haught, theologically, guided by his aesthetic teleology, we are perhaps de facto suggesting that reality is pansemiotic. For those whose theological sensibilities do not resonate with any pantheist perspective, as ours do not, it would follow that our theological vision might otherwise be considered a pansemioentheism. To be clear, we offer this as a vague reference and not a robust description, which is to say that we are suggesting this as an analog that recognizes and affirms the Peircean categories phenomenologically without intending to imply any particular root metaphor, as would necessarily be required in the articulation of either a speculative metaphysic or a natural theology. This pansemioentheism is, instead, offered as a theology of nature, which originates not from natural philosophy but from our distinctly Christian perspective. While we affirm, in principle, the possibility of a speculative metaphysic, and we strongly encourage the search for the next most taut metaphysical tautology, which will employ the next most robust root metaphor for reality, we might, at the same time, recognize that humanitys metaphysical quest remains somewhat quixotic. Should we not gauge the practical efficacies of any of our root metaphors by attempting to cash out their value in such an exercise as, just for example, reconciling and renormalizing gravity and quantum mechanics?

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Theology of Nature & the Holy Spirit The Holy Spirit is so ineluctably unobtrusive while so utterly efficacious, a tacit telic dimension of a pansemioentheistic matrix of interrelated causes and effects, a pansemiotic Peircean thirdness breathing fire into Stephen Hawking's equations, a sacred reality we relate to impersonally until we awaken to the absolutely personal and intimate calling of all of creation forth to participate together in the eternal movement of divine kenotic delimitation in a community of ever-creative love. This divine urge is so tangibly present, so palpably real, so amenable to our successful references while ever-elusive to any successful descriptions. The Spirit, active in all of the great traditions, in all human endeavor, thus has many names and many analogs and it is not always clear when it is we are relating to the Spirit modally, which is to say literally, or when it is we are invoking the Spirit analogically. Surely, not all of our God-talk need be, in principle, merely apophatic or metaphorical? Still, this is not to say that whatever it is that could be univocally predicated of both creature and Creator is yet conceivable by humankind, even as a root metaphor. If we have come close, then our guess is that we share a creative, self-emptying love. In addition to many ontological and metaphysical considerations, we have also described an axiological epistemological outlook, a value-driven, fallibilistic perspectivalism. All things being equal, this perspectivalism honors the positivist agenda that defines epistemic virtue in terms of empirical rigor and logical consistency but takes heed of our radical finitude, which requires us to look beyond such truth-conducive virtue, when it yields only equiplausible accounts of reality, to pay heed to the normative guidance available in the truth-indicative virtues of aesthetics, ethics and pragmatics. This is not to say that we do not aspire to the epistemic warrant but only to recognize that, sometimes, all we can attain is epistemic parity. This is not to privilege the truth-indicative over the truth-conducive, for this perspectivalism is holistic and not holonic, which is to say that all of the integrally-related epistemic perspectives are necessary in each human value-realization, none sufficient. Thus we avoid epistemological vices like positivism, rationalism, empiricism, fideism, arationalism, gnosticism, pietism, encratism and other insidious -isms that comprise a long litany of epistemic pejoratives that have historically been tossed back and forth between competing philosophical schools. For all practical purposes, then, when it comes to humankind's most insistent longings and most passionate urges, we necessarily look beyond the mere evidential, rational and presuppositional to the existential and we recognize that the descriptive and interpretive perspectives would form an identity but for the fact of our radical finitude, which is to recognize our profound value-neediness. If the normative must then mediate between the descriptive and interpretive to effect the evaluative, then we can face this human condition in either existential despair and epistemic resignation or we can, instead, embrace our situation in recognition of the radical plenitude that putatively corresponds to our radical finitude. And we can be on the lookout for this abundance precisely

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because creation has gifted us with a down payment, an earnest, a guarantee, or, in other words, first fruits. We can take the mere fact of existence as brute and to be expected or we can remain ever-surprised and forever-befuddled by a glory that is surely not merely contingent. Reality's contingencies and possibilities indeed seem to be poised precariously between the random and systematic, between chance and necessity, between order and chaos, between pattern and paradox, but only to a mind immersed in modernist dualisms that are resolved by many postmodernists into different nihilistic urges, by many foundationalists into philosophical certitudes, whether the positivistic or fideistic variety, respectively, of Enlightenment or religious fundamentalism. If reality's possibilities and actualities do not point solely to chance, chaos, and randomness, neither can we discern sheer necessity and clear order. Reality is, rather, probabilistic, which is to recognize that possibilities and actualities are mediated by probabilities. The practical upshot of this reality is that our value-realizations cannot be guided solely by mathematical certainties and empirical verities but are also normed by beauty and goodness. That humankind must fallback on resources like beauty and love, otherwise lacking omniscience and omnipotence, one might receive as either poignantly glorious or positively scandalous, which is to recognize that we can rebel against our human condition and assert either our foundational, fundamentalistic certitudes or express our nihilistic despair, or we can embrace this cross, not taking equality with God as something at which we would grasp. We have moved swiftly and cursorily through the philosophical, epistemological, ontological and metaphysical considerations, which we have treated elsewhere at length, to arrive at a more theoretical theological perspective and a more practical spiritual outlook. What we wish to affirm is a radically incarnational perspective, which implies a moderately optimistic theological anthropology that affirms the Spirit's role in every trace of human goodness, at every point in human formation, reformation and transformation, in all human conversions (Gelpi's Lonerganian inventory), in both Merton's humanization and socialization and both his false self and True Self, in the gentle telic invitations of every unfoldment of the Cosmos. We can affirm a sacramental economy that consciously and efficaciously effects, explicitly, what it liturgically and ritualistically brings to mind together with an incarnational economy of the Spirit that effects the very same value-realizations albeit unconsciously and implicitly in all people of goodwill, who cooperate with the Spirit's creative urges whether knowingly or unknowingly. In our every encounter of truth, beauty, goodness and unity, we cooperate with Grace. Let us consider imperfections, whether embodied in our humanity, in particular, or playing out in creation, in general. Might we not take these imperfections and receive them with gratitude as icons of the One, Who alone, is perfect, as constant reminders lifting our hearts and minds in praise? At what level of imperfection would we otherwise be more or less satisfied with our "distance" from God, such that our lack of so much

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omniscience and omnipotence would ameliorate our misery and fulfill our incessant desire? Could creation have been more perfect, just a little less uncomfortable? Need we really account for some Fall, some felix culpa, to apologize for our finitude? Might we not rather recognize that we have been gifted, already, beyond any account of merit or demerit, with more than we could have ever imagined or conceived, just to have opened our eyes on the sky even if only to suddenly perish? Yet so many human lives are further gifted with many more days, even years. That we should exist at all is incredible. That we should then ever experience more than a rock might experience is not just brute fact but incredibly miraculous. How are we all not rather stuck at the fact of existence? struck by the glory of it all even as we are immersed in such finitude, some assuredly more painfully than others? Human imperfection, beyond the mere physical, shows forth in all manner of idiosyncrasies and personality foibles, less often as character flaws, rooted in who knows what vis a vis deformative influences, illness or failures to otherwise cooperate with grace. Although we can easily enough recognize failures to cooperate with grace, to walk in the Spirit, it is not our privilege to ever know which such failures result from willful rejections (sin) and which come from lack of formation or deformative influences, from differently-abledness or illness, or, even, plain and simple, human mistakes. Interestingly, there is a poignant beauty in so many human foibles and idiosyncrasies, even those that most often "get on our nerves." Older people know, from a longer experience and many funeral eulogies, that a loving gaze on our imperfect humanness turns these peccadilloes into endearments, into unique signatures of a glorious existence that, in the end, seems all too ephemeral. How we would long to be graced by such faultiness, finitude and fussbudgets again? Why did we not better recognize the beauty and the goodness and the glory in this imago Dei, whose presence we would so willingly now suffer, whose imperfections we'd so easily look past, if only we could hear their silliness, see their struggles, and hold them close again? Such longsuffering and forbearance does not just apply to our loved ones but should be extended to all humans, whom we tend to alternately deify or demonize based on our wholly unrealistic expectations of them, along with our typically dualistic all or nothing and either/or perspectives of reality, in general, other people, in particular. That our world leaders, national politicians and religious leaders, among others, are less than perfect, should come less as a surprise and more as par for the course. There is a lot less room for criticism of those who hold different views when we realize with Merton that we are so often morally fantasizing in a vacuum, which is to recognize that the world is a lot more complex socially, politically, economically and culturally than our facile political and moral prescriptions admit. In fact, too often, practical differences in problem solving get mischaracterized as moral differences in problem solvers, in a cyncial effort to manipulate the passions of the electorate. There is a lot less room for incivil discourse and the invocations of moral superiority than most political and religious "dialogue" would seem to display. All people deserve our compassion and our benefit of

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the doubt, even those whose behavior we must otherwise interdict, from time to time. Humanity, in our brokenness, is a wonder to behold, is made to be held, in solidarity and compassion. These are phenomenal truths that transcend our categories like natural and supernatural, nature and grace, physical and metaphysical. If creative advance, as per Whitehead, indeed takes place only on the borders of chaos, might this not be true both epistemologically and ontologically? Might creation not have advanced by divine self-delimitation? Might our own cooperation with grace as created co-creators (Phil Hefner) follow this pattern of kenotic self-emptying, as all creation yet groans in one act of giving birth? Is a world --- where all knowing and all-power eludes us thus requiring us to yield, normatively, to beauty, goodness and love in order to realize its values --- really somehow less perfect than some reality we otherwise imagine in our facile theodicies? Or is a reality wherein the more we need God and recognize our radical neediness the more we will see of Him, as per the universal testimony of the mystics, "good enough"? This is the poverty of St. Francis, the perfect joy, and not some otherwise misguided severe asceticism. This is the preferential option for the poor and marginalized, whom we eventually recognize, in genuine humility, as our very selves in full communion with all others who've been cast out of some idol-festooned eden. Our leprosy is okay. We are all lepers; this much is certain. Those of us who truly "know" this will not be scandalized but will go, in our radical nakedness, to be bathed, as a prelude to then being wed by the Beauty, Who sees our beauty, the Goodness, Who knows our goodness, the Love, Who desires our love. divine liminoid as formative play chaos theory complexity theory evolution and emergence physical anomalies & paranormal Aspects of Thirdness - Logos Definition of Delimitation: creativity Definition of Relimitation: help Definition of Liminal: transformatively helpful creativty and creative help; limit exploitation Definition of Liminoid: formatively creative play; limit exploration Thirdness as Limits: pneumatological delimitation, relimitation & liminality Kenosis as Divine Delimitation both Pneumatological and Christological

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Divine Liminal Threshold (neoplatonic proodos) Firstness - modal ontology of the possible Reality of the Ens Necessarium Liminal Space (neoplatonic mone) ontology of quasi-autonomy referenced by Process approach of divine matrix Thirdness - modal ontology of probable generally unobtrusive but utterly efficacious and tacit dimensionality incarnational reality as pneumatological relimitation and human divinization divine relimiting prerogatives hesychastic theoria signs and wonders charisms Theosis as Human Delimitation Human Liminal Threshold or Limen (neoplatonic epistrophe) ontology of intimacy described by Thomistic analogy of being ontology of identity described by Scotistic univocity of being Secondness - modal ontology of the actual incarnational reality as Christological relimitation divine humanization Jesus of Nazareth Mystical Body Cosmic Christ Human Liminoid Experience In a more comprehensive consideration, we would survey a hermeneutical progression from epistemology through the philosophies of science, mind and religion to a theology of nature, describing a putative fugue of Peircean thirdness as it resonates in each of these foci of human concern (hence, a tetradic fugue). Epistemologically, we would propose an exploratory heuristic to facilitate the discovery of this Peircean dynamic as it consistently and coherently informs the philosophic methods that will ultimately frame our theology of nature. Our epistemology, while nonfoundational, is manifestly realist, albeit in a minimalist sense. This particular fallibilist and critical realism also commits to both metaphysical and moral realisms. Peircean thirdness plays out in a triadic dynamic wherein the normative mediates between the descriptive and interpretive to effect the evaluative. In our philosophy of science, we consider the emergentist paradigm and consider thirdness in life forms, especially associating it with the characteristics of third order emergence, whereby spatial properties playing out over time begin to replicate, thus providing a substrate for selection dynamics, which involve an intricate interplay of initial conditions, boundary conditions and limit conditions. These conditions and characteristics of thirdness come into sharper focus with the teleodynamic interactions we consider in our philosophy of mind heuristics, whereby biosemiotic realities effect a minimalist telos, or downward causation, on other biosemiotic realities through an ineluctably unobtrusive but utterly efficacious implicate ordering or tacit dimensionality.

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In our philosophy of religion and natural theology, our analogical imaginations engage this thirdness in our abduction of the Ens Necessarium, a putative mediating reality intuited from our inescapably vague modal ontology, where we prescind from the necessary to the probable, for, even as it ubiquitously seems to suggest itself, always and everywhere, the necessary invariably eludes us. Thus the stage has been set for our Pansemioentheism as our pneumatological imaginations engage this pervasive thirdness in a Creator Spirit in our theology of nature. The fundamental argument that we would set forth is that a robust pneumatological imagination that is externally congruent, logically consistent, internally coherent, hypothetically consonant and interdisciplinarily consilient with both a Peircean metatechnica and the rubrics of modern empirical science is the 21st Century Rosetta Stone for unlocking an enhanced modeling power of reality as described by science, normed by philosophy, interpreted by theology and evaluatively realized by humankind in all of its prudential (both practical and moral) and aesthetical value realizations. Hereinabove, we already addressed some practical aspects of this systematic theology for formative spirituality, in particular, the life of faith, in general. Improperly considered, faith aspires to establish epistemic warrant in order to attain foundational interpretations of primal reality and articulate absolute norms for categorical imperatives, which can be a priori and objectively validated, privately even, through various noncontradictory abstractions. Properly considered, faith, propositionally, aspires to epistemic parity with other equiplausible interpretations of primal reality, and, evaluatively, radicalizes our fundamental trust in reality, transforming our existential orientations and temporal value-pursuits into the actionable norms of our transcendental imperatives and ultimate concerns, the transcendent nature and universal validity of which must be 1) communally discerned (orthocommunio); 2) tested argumentatively through rational discourse (orthodoxy); 3) authenticated pragmatically (orthopraxis) and 4) ritualistically cultivated (orthopathos). These norms are thus communally, or intersubjectively, actionable, which is to recognize that we invoke because we have first been convoked (ecclesially). And the action, then, is pneumatological, which is to say, divine. Theology as Open-Sourced and Per to Peer (P2P), Non-hierarchical? When Reuther uses the phrase intrinsic aspect of the mission of the church, one might sense in that a subversion of some of the logic employed by many in her churchs teaching office. There is an old, sterile scholasticism that employs a substance metaphysic as an ontology from which a deontology then issues forth with all manner of descriptions that specify the intrinsic nature of this reality or that. Where sex and gender issues are involved, such an approach is sterile because it is too rationalistic, a prioristic, biologistic and physicalistic and therefore divorced from the concrete lived experience of the faithful. Its all abstractions, like the sentences above, which leave us scratching our heads and asking: say what? Put differently, such an approach takes too narrow a view of the way things are (ontology) and then reasons to how things ought to be (deontology) from their very nature (intrinsically). A male is created like this and a female like that, therefore a male must do this and a female must do that and neither must do otherwise because that would

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go against ones intrinsic nature. This then pervades ones views of church polity, moral doctrine, sacramental theology and church disciplines. Now, we're all for deontology- is it right? (complemented by consequentialist- is it helpful?, contractarian- is it fair? and aretaic - is it virtuous?, approaches), but it is premised on starting with a good ontology, which, when were talking about people, means a good anthropology. We can ask the question, what if we as created co-creators, rather than being passive observers and characters playing out an authors script, have been gifted with a participatory role in creation such that we have something to contribute to how things are supposed to unfold (teleologically)? What if this whole notion of original sin as some ontological rupture rooted in the past is bass-ackwards and our experience of a most radical finitude is due, instead, to Somebodys unfinished business, which we experience as a teleological striving oriented toward the future? (cf. Jack Haughts aesthetic teleology.) In that case, we as created co-creators, while still partially determined and bounded (by our genetic inheritance & environmental parameters), would also be autopoietic (self-organizing) and free (quasi-autonomous in the divine matrix). (cf. Phil Hefners theological anthropology and Joe Brackens Divine Matrix) From an axiological (value-oriented) perspective, as semiotic (meaning-making) animals, we would not just discover meaning and values, but, without in any way disvaluing those we have discovered, or violating them, we would create new meanings and new values, which is to say that they would be novel, emergent realities. (combining Robert C. Nevilles axiology and Charles Sanders Peirces triadic semeiotic) If we thus change our perspective on the nature of our finitude, then we must change our understanding of the nature of atonement. This is to say that, if we change our assessment on what we think is wrong with reality (original sin and the Fall), this changes our view of how reality is to be fixed (soteriologically), which changes our view of the incarnation, itself (why God became man and why the Spirit so profusely permeates our reality, panentheistically). This would suggest that the incarnation, rather than being some grand cosmic repair job of some ontological rupture located in the past (the Fall), was a grand telic design built into the plan from the cosmic get-go, teleologically (cf. Teilhard and Scotus & Jack Haughts Cosmic Adventure27). This would all then change our perspective on 1) where things might be headed in the future (eschatologically) 2) Who the Cosmic Christ is (Christologically), and 3) how the Spirit empowers us (pneumatologically), all which then bear directly on 4) how we will experience one another in community (ecclesiologically). And we think the answers to these questions will have to take into account a radically incarnational and profusely pneumatological reality, which is then intrinsically participatory, profoundly inclusive and wonderfully universalist in its indelible
27

John F. Haught Cosmic Adventure available online

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catholicity. This need not, in the least, call into question the salvific efficacy of the incarnation and its indispensable role in effecting our at-one-ment. Rather, it broadens our conception of how deep is the love of the Trinity for creation and how we are called to a relationship of unspeakable intimacy in response to this divine eros, which then impels our agape toward self, toward other, toward our cosmos and toward our God, all in right relationship, shall we say, intrinsically. (cf. Thomas Merton re: these 4 vectors of love) A servant-leaders role becomes that of a host, patterned after this grand cosmic hospitality that we just described. As such, this role more so resembles that of a scribe or note-taker, asking each Participant where theyve been, what theyve been up to and where theyve witnessed the Spirit at work and inviting each to give voice in hymn, psalm, story-telling, ritual-sharing and fellowship-enjoying community, as they say, lex orandi lex credendi, our worship birthing our creeds. There is nothing exclusively top-down about this. Its all peer to peer (p2p), in essence. Do we institutionalize sacrament? Sure we do, as the radically social animals we are. Is there a clerical role? Sure there is, but we neednt be clericalistic. Neither do we need to be institutionalistic, over-identifying the Mystical Body with one aspect of an institution or another, denying the salvific efficacies of other traditions, institutions or even what are, ostensibly, noninstitutional vehicles. We might ask what the role of a hierarchy is in a p2p environment and whether that need be an intrinsic feature of its architecture. Emergence, itself, is intrinsically hierarchical, which is to recognize that a systems novel emergent properties can indeed effect a top-down causation. But we must also recognize that it is also in the nature of this causation to not violate the structures and properties from which it emerged. Complex emergence is a rich reality with both bottom-up and top-down causations. The essential element of the systems approach is that the value added to the system comes from the relationships between the parts and not from the parts per se, which is to suggest that the hierarchy doesnt impart value per se but that the value derives from the feedback loop as the hierarchy channels the information it has received from other system structures and processes, all for the good of the system as a whole. Anything else devolves into a degenerate hierarchicalism. In robustly semiotic systems, we must also pay heed to Walker Percys distinction between information and news, or what Benedict XVI calls the informative and performative, the latter which can be of profound existential import and eminently actionable. We might call such: Good News. What the hierarchy is to pass along, then, for example, is only that information first heralded by a shepherd who asked: Do you see what I see? Do you hear what I hear? Do you know what I know? It is only then that the king has any authority to say:

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Listen to what I say! Thats what an epiphany is per dictionary.com: a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience. If it isnt simple, homely or commonplace in origin, well our advice is to leave it alone. David Foster Wallace said it well: It is about the real value of a real education, which has almost nothing to do with knowledge, and everything to do with simple awareness; awareness of what is so real and essential, so hidden in plain sight all around us, all the time, that we have to keep reminding ourselves over and over: This is water. This is water.

Charles Sanders Peirce drew a helpful distinction between the theoretic and the practical, suggesting that we should speculate boldly in our theoretical endeavors but move more tentatively in our practical affairs. One way of interpreting his approach might be to say that we should employ a progressive bias in our academic, propositional disciplines and a conservative or traditionalist bias in our practical and pastoral approaches. This strikes us as right-headed in that, while in the first instance, we are dealing with relationships between ideas, in the latter case we are dealing with relationships between people. This aphorism seems easy enough to apply when we are drawing a distinction such as between our theoretic sciences and our practical politics. It gets more complicated, however, when we adopt the view that theology, itself, is very much more a practical science, not so much a theoretical endeavor. What are the implications? For starters, this means that theology advances as a science much more inductively via empirical observation than deductively via rational considerations (ahem, or at least it should). It also means that when theology gets descriptive and normative, what it describes and norms are interpretive and evaluative realities, like religions and cultures, and not physical, metaphysical, practical and moral realities, like sciences and philosophies. More concretely, then, theology does not gift us with cosmological insights, such as taking positions on the philosophies of mind, the origins of species or the putative reconciliations of gravity & quantum mechanics. Theology gifts us with axiological insights, observing and reporting how it is that humankind interprets cosmological realities and what it is about these realities that humans value most. One neednt be a distinctly Christian theologian to recognize that humankind, by and large, has interpreted reality pneumatologically, which is to say that it interprets reality with Spirit as a rather basic and universal category, and also participatively, which is to

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recognize that we all have co-creative roles. As we move from the vague to the more specific, our interpretations begin to diverge. Where we enjoy the strongest convergence, though, is evaluatively vis a vis what it is we most treasure or desire and, by and large, humankind desires the Kingdom of a God, Who is love. Again, as we move from the vague to the specific, theres some divergence in value-realization strategies, what we call spiritual practices and disciplines, but, increasingly, we are eagerly exploring and profitably exchanging them. If human religious realities are pretty much universally conceived, then, as thoroughly pneumatological, robustly participatory and profitably pluralistic, then theology as a discipline, it would seem, is going to be incredibly open-sourced. Those whose gifts include teaching and leadership charisms will exercise those roles, primarily by hosting, listening and observing those who are participating and profiting from manifold and multiform interpretations and practices and then exchanging that information with the rest of us. This is how Scripture itself came about, as a collation of hymns, psalmody, prayers, meditative practices, myths, parables, wisdom sayings, narratives, stories, rituals and other traditions. This is how my own traditions magisterium is conceived as listening to and observing the faithful and then promulgating these hearings and observations to all via the articulation of truth in dogma, celebration of beauty in the cultivation of ritual & liturgy, preservation of goodness in code & law and enjoyment of fellowship in community. This is to say that what we promulgate is the sensus fidelium or sense of the faithful, which is an inherently bottom-up, grass roots activity and not a trickle-down reality, whatsoever. And no hierarchy goes around wily nilly making changes based on ivory tower theological abstractions and constructions. Instead, it involves an indispensable active listening and observing process. Caveat: Note we said that this is how a magisterium is conceived and did not represent that this is how it always works in practice. Whats the practical upshot of all of this? Well, as our communication vehicles become increasingly peer to peer (p2p), the exchange of interpretations and practices will accelerate and will less and less require institutional channels. What is so very curious about all of this open-sourcing is that, perhaps counterintuitively, from a practical and pastoral perspective, rather than anarchically and indiscriminately jettisoning the old and embracing the wholly novel, what seems to be emerging is, instead, a radical orthodoxy, a returning to our roots, a retrieval, revival and renewal of our ancient interpretations and practices, an ardent appreciation for all that has been true in our creeds, beautiful in our cults, good in our codes and unitive in our communities. If joy is the infallible sign of the presence of God (Madeline LEngle), then truth, beauty, goodness and unity are assuredly an indelible sign of the presence of the Spirit. Although humankind has often lacked much in the way of cosmological knowledge, it has more than compensated for this deficit with an abundance of axiological wisdom. That we move forward rather tentatively in our practical (most vital) affairs suggests that

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Peirce was more so making an observation rather than a suggestion. Thats why this open-source theology doesnt scare me at all. If all the academic tongues were still, the noise would still continue; we rocks and stones, ourselves, will start to sing: Hosanna, heysanna, sanna, sanna, ho, sanny he, sanny ho, sanna!

To Place This Project in Context a Quote from Walker Percy: This chapter, as well as other parts of the book, owes a good deal to Carl Sagan's splendid picture book, Cosmos. I hope he will not take offense at some fanciful extrapolations therefrom. Sagan's book gave me much pleasure, a pleasure which was not diminished by Sagan's unmalicious, even innocent, scientism, the likes of which I have not encountered since the standard bull sessions of high school and collegeup to but not past the sophomore year. The argument could be resumed with Sagan, I suppose, but the issue would be as inconclusive as it was between sophomores. For me it was more diverting than otherwise to see someone sketch the history of Western scientific thought and leave out Judaism and Christianity. Everything is downhill after the Ionians and until the rise of modern science. There is a huge gap between the destruction of the library at Alexandria and the appearance of Copernicus and Galileo. So much for six thousand years of Judaism and fifteen hundred years of Christianity. So much for the likes of Aristotle, Hippocrates, Galen, Aquinas, Roger Bacon, Grosseteste. So much for the science historian A.C. Crombie, who wrote: "The natural philosophers of Latin Christendom in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries created the experimental science characteristic of modern times." So much, indeed, for the relationship between Christianity and science and the fact that, as Whitehead pointed out, it is no coincidence that science sprang, not from Ionian metaphysics, not from the Brahmin-Buddhist-Taoist East, not from he Egyptian-Mayan astrological South, but from the heart of the Christian West, that although Galileo fell out with the Church, he would hardly have taken so much trouble studying Jupiter and dropping objects from towers if the reality and value and order of things had not first been conferred by belief in the Incarnation. Yet one is not offended by Sagan. There is too little malice and too much ignorance. It is enough to take pleasure in the pleasant style, the knack for popularizing science, and the beautiful pictures of Saturn and the Ring nebula. Indeed, more often than not, I found myself on Sagan's side, especially in his admiration for science and the scientific method, which is what he says it isa noble, elegant, and self-correcting method of attaining a kind of truthand when he attacks the current superstitions, astrology, UFOs, parapsychology, and such, which seem to engage the Western mind now more than evermore perhaps than either science or Christianity. What is to be deplored is not Sagan's sophomoric scientismwhich I think I like better than its counterpart, a sophomoric theism which attributes the wonders of the Cosmos to a God who created it like a child with a cookie cutterno, what is deplorable is that these serious issues involving God and the nature of man should be co-opted by these particular disputants, a popularizer like Sagan and fundamentalists who believe God created the world six thousand years ago. It's enough to give both science and Christianity a bad name. Really, it is a case of an ancient and still honorable argument going to pot. Even arguments in a

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college dormitory are, or were, conducted at a higher level. It is for this very reason that we can enjoy Cosmos so much, for the frivolity of Sagan's vulgar scientism and for the reason that science is, as Sagan says, self-correcting. One wonders, in fact, whether Sagan himself has not been corrected, e.g., by Hubble's discovery of the red shift and the present growing consensus of the Big Bang theory of the creation of the Cosmos, which surely comes closer than Sagan would like to the Genesis account of creatio ex nihilo. 28 An Emergentist Account of the Biosemiotic Categories of Religion from a panentheistic perspective "Awakening to beauty, truth, and goodness is to waken to the unfoldment of Divine Life within us." -Thomas Keating In philosophy classes we were told that there were three things that especially opened us to the Transcendent: the good, the true, and the beautiful. Come join us as we again put together what was never really apart! Richard Rohr Prologue Something tells us Keating and Rohr are right. Maritain said that we distinguish in order to unite. Our Peircean heuristic draws distinctions between evaluative, normative, descriptive, interpretive and prescriptive stances but eschews any dichotomization of these identifiable moments in the otherwise integral act of human value realization. Each moment, necessarily, presupposes each other moment, as we harvest truth, beauty, goodness and unity. Of course, my framing of this heuristic in terms of value realization recognizes humanity's radical finitude. If we are in search of value, then this is a reflection of that inescapable reality of our vast neediness, our utterly contingent nature. All that said, this is not to suggest that we, as humans, do not enjoy the first fruits of what, anagogically, we hope will be an eventual eschatological harvest of all value, that we have not received, through the Holy Spirit, an earnest, a down payment, a foretaste of value realization. This heuristic thus defines epistemic virtue in terms of such value realization and cashes out its own value in terms of the successful institutionalization of this value realization whereby intellectual conversion harvests those contemplative moments we encounter as truth, affective conversion harvests those encountered as beauty, moral conversion those of goodness and sociopolitical conversion those of unity. Thus all contemplation leads to politics, which are most efficaciously articulated when we integrally tie all of these moments back together, religiously, transvaluing them through ongoing religious conversion. The aspect of institutionalization honors our biological, i.e. biosemiotic, heritage as
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Lost in the Cosmos: the Last Self-Help Book (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1983), 201-202.

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radically social animals. The epistemic goal of human value realization is thus fostered in a community of inquiry writ large. It may have been Merton who recognized that truth often comes flying in on the wings of beauty. This is an implicit recognition, in my view, that, in our more robustly contemplative moments, we are likely to realize truth, beauty, goodness and unity together, and, also, that our individual invocations of same grow out of our first being convoked as a community of value-realization. In trying to draw out the implications of this heuristic for a theological anthropology, which we are framing in terms of value realization strategies, we cannot help thinking of Sartre's description of the universal human condition as the reason for our shared values and sensibilities. Still, one must suspect that any such sharing of sensibilities and values is not rooted in the value realization moment we might call inference. Tom Short thus contextualizes Peirce: "if 'the faculty of reasoning' were 'of the first importance to success in life,' then 'natural selection would [have] operate[d] to breed the race for vigorous reasoning powers,' whereas, 'comparatively few persons are originally possessed of any but the feeblest modicum of this talent'." Instead, in Short's words, drawing on Peirce's distinction between theoretical and practical reasoning, "the one requires radical thinking and reliance on ones own powers of ratiocination, the other best relies on instinct, sentiment, and tradition, or, in short, the accumulated experience of countless generations." In our own description of human biosemiotic heuristics, there emerges, through the putative coevolution of language and brain, a novel capacity for intersubjectivity, which corresponds to Joseph Campbell's "transpersonal identity." We cannot help but recognize this emergent novelty in our species and it warrants a characterization of "exceptionality" vis a vis other biosemiotic other biosemiotic realities. One might ask whether such an exceptionality warrants further description in ontological terms and, given the received opinion of the philosophy of mind community, that answer must be an emphatic "Nyet!". For that matter, although most would consider the so-called hard problem of consciousness "epistemologically open," and while many nevertheless consider it "ontologically closed," still, even in that cohort that considers it "ontologically open," most of those philosophers hold to naturalistic, even if not physicalistic, positions. Biosemiotically, then, all life is apparently cut from the same fabric. Furthermore, and anyhow, the semiotic perspective does a conceptual end-around the classical realism-idealism conundrum and avoids the philosophical cul-de-sac of the mutually unintelligible essentialism-nominalism dichotomy. It may be too strong a position to defend, to a priori characterize such paradoxes using Quine's categories of veridical, falsidical and antinomial, but most of the synthetic and a posteriori money is on the antinomial view, which is to say that someone is asking the wrong questions of reality if they are still arguing within such Scholastic categories and coming away confounded. The practical upshot of this is that, because of our intersubjective and transpersonal human evaluations, decisions and tendencies, our species is gifted with a heightened

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awareness, not only of our radical finitude and contingent nature, but also, of our unfathomable solidarity with one another and the cosmos. As we have always maintained, "when we awaken to our solidarity, compassion will ensue." And this orthopathos has evaluative relevance and normative impetus and, hence, per our Peircean-derived heuristic, mediates between our ortho-communio (as a community of inquiry) and our ortho-doxy (value-realization paradigms) to effect ortho-praxis (our prudential judgments, both moral and practical). If orthopraxis thus authenticates orthodoxy, then our hypothesis is that one will most assuredly find them flying in on the wings of orthopathos and orthocommunio. If this has normative impetus, it precisely comes from its descriptive accuracy as a theological anthropology. We will discuss our epistemic, aesthetic and ethical sensibilities in more detail, later, as they respectively inspire assent, awe and reverence for Reality. If we have learned anything from the Godelian-like constraints on human ratiocinations, then it is that, with both Ignatius and the Psalmist, we are to "taste and see" the truth, beauty, goodness and unity of Reality, and, however necessary syllogisms are, they are not sufficient. There is a certain resonance, then, between the Scotistic notion that the Incarnation was a cosmic inevitability (almost Teilhardian) and not rather occasioned by a felix culpa, and the approach of Irenaeus, who sees creation as a place for soul-making, which corresponds to Scott Peck's metaphor of "life as a cosmic boot camp." In classical terms, then, we might view reality moreso through Haught's aesthetic teleology, oriented toward the future, creation crossing a vast teleological expanse toward the Eschaton, and not so much as an ontological rupture located in the past. Whatever metaphysical aspect of the nature of Jesus remains occulted, His moral nature is utterly transparent, eminently biosemiotic, setting always before us the way, the truth and the life as, meanwhile, all creation groans, hopefully, in one great act of giving birth. Our theological anthropologies have practical implications for our meta-ethical enterprises, which is to say, considerable normative impetus for the politics that govern relations between societies. In an apparently pervasively semiotic ecology, we only distinguish between humankind and the cosmos in order to unite. As a Eucharistic community, how well we "bust that move" called "The Dismissal," or Ite, missa est, will be revealed in our aspirations to realize our evaluations by making decisions with a tendency we might call Transignification, which, with the Jesuits, sees God in all things. There can be no dichotomizing, no compartmentalization, for our lives are a continuous extension of Eucharist in an ongoing hermeneutical cycle of value realization, or, are going to be fragmented and in peril of an otherwise regnant practical nihilism, which isn't difficult to see, not rewarding at all to taste. For those who do not buy into the notion of any so-called naturalistic fallacy, this theological anthropology of "who we are" will speak directly to the question of "what must we do," both morally and practically. If the Kantian interrogatories are irreducibly triadic in realizing values in terms of what we can know, what we must do and what we can hope for, then the Peircean triadic semiotic is also irreducibly triadic in correspondingly recognizing those tendencies that will most efficaciously mediate between our evaluations and decisions vis a vis society and the cosmos, which is to

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recognize that it is incoherent to reductionistically turn such distinctions as individual human beings, society and the cosmos into dichotomies as if they did not necessarily presuppose each other. Derivatively, it is also incoherent, then, to talk in terms of dominion and autonomy, for this is to take a de facto over against stance in relationship to our very selves. This is also to overemphasize the dialectical imagination and to explicitly disavow the immanence of the deity, one of humankind's longest and strongest evaluative sensibilities. If we are to articulate a consilient and coherent ecotheology, we have to recover that "instinct, sentiment, and tradition, or, in short, the accumulated experience of countless generations" that best preserved the seamless garment of human value realization, that best articulated the irreducible relationships between all (transkin) biosemiotic realities, that best articulated the eco-nomic or laws of eco-logical exchange, that best articulated the sociopolitical realization of reciprocal solidarity and compassion, and that best articulated such an Ens Necessarium as implicately orders all pansemiotic possibilities, actualities and probabilities and utterly unobtrusively, yet eminently efficaciously, coaxes them forward toward .... .... .... .... That recovery effort, then, might best take us back to that hermeneutical place that some of humankind inhabited prior to infection by Hellenistic rationalism and prior to the schizoid fractures brought on by cartesian dualisms. For Starters: What Do These Words Mean to us? Emergentist Account: In the great chain of being there are levels stretching from the quantum to the sociological. There are levels of being within levels of being. There are theories that govern interactions within levels and sometimes between levels, sharing concepts. The concepts concern 1) parts and wholes; 2) properties and 3) natural laws. There are three ways to look at the possible relationships between these levels. If a lower level completely explains a higher level, then we have reductionism and the strongest relation possible. When speaking in terms of parts & wholes, properties & laws, it is possible that reductionism will not explain a higher level, but we can still maintain supervenience, which is to say that any differences in parts, wholes, properties and laws at a higher level must have corresponding differences at the lower level (covariance without reduction). If a theory explaining higher level properties & laws is, in principle, unpredictable from a theory at a more fundamental level, then we have emergence, which is to say, novelty. Bio-semiotic: refers to life (bio) and significance or signs & symbols (semiotic). In humans, some biosemiotic capacities (the way we use information one might say) are language-dependent and public (shared between people) and some are ineffable and private experiences (and language-independent). They might be thought of as propositional (dealing with propositions like the logical categories of deduction and

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induction and inference), in the first case, and phenomenal, in the latter (feelings and dispositions). The first category refers to capacities that are innate (hardwired into our brains) but which are very open-ended and flexible (some say plastic). These we call heuristics because a heuristic just provides general guidelines and leaves the thinker or experiencer with wide latitude in proposing solutions and drawing conclusions. The second category is also innate but is fixed, inflexible, and so we call it algorithmic because there is no latitude as it drives human responses to "conclusions" and solutions quite directly (think of the immune system reacting to "information" automatically). One might also think in terms of fuzzy logic and formal logic for these categories. What is most important is that one understand that all animals are bio-semiotic, all life, in fact, but that only humans use such biosemiotic heuristics as would involve language. Categories of Religion: This involves a naturalistic account from an evolutionary perspective on the philosophical categories of most religious traditions. The four categories of religious practice that we will attempt to describe are Cult, Community, Creed and Code. Others might think of these in other terms such as Ritual or Liturgy, Fellowship or Church, Dogma or Doctrine, and Law or Rubrics. Religion: comes from root concepts that we interpret to mean "to tie life's experiences back together" so as to heal us that we may survive and grow us that we may thrive. It is about the actualization of the values to which we would aspire. Panentheistic: can be interpreted two ways. Some speak of a panen-theism, where creation and God are conceived in such a relationship that creation is part of God but where God is the Whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. This is not our take. Our take is pan-entheism, where God and creation are in a very intimate relationship, God indwelling in creation, implicately ordering it and gently coaxing it forward. A Word About Categories Recall the old scholastic notations: im/possible, im/plausible, im/probable and un/certain. Think, too, of the modal categories of possible, actual, probable and necessary. We want to draw a distinction between what we might call a positivist stance, or science, or the empirical, or the descriptive, on one hand, and, on the other hand, what we might call a paradigmatic stance, or metaphysics, or the analytical, or the interpretive. It seems to us that the positivist focus traffics in categories like im/plausible, im/probable, uncertain and also the possible, actual & probable. We like to call these categories modal phenomenology. Science deals with these modes of reality. At least empirical observations, thus far, reveal reality's pervasive contingency. It seems to me that the paradigmatic focus employs categories like im/possible,

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un/certain, and also the un/necessary. We like to call these categories modal ontology. In our view, both modal phenomenology and modal ontology are legitimate enterprises. What would make them both viable is an approach that eschews a priori modal assumptions and embraces, instead, only fallibilist hypotheses, which are verifiable and/or falsifiable, a posteriori. It seems that we can ask different questions normative, evaluative, descriptive, interpretive or prescriptive; or, put another way, philosophic, preferential, positivist, paradigmatic or prudential (moral/practical) --- about the same reality and cannot a priori suggest that any given answer to any given question will, so to speak, in principle and eventually, be un/answerable. Some additional comments re: modal phenomenology and modal ontology --Both often employ metaphors, analogies and models, not just pedagogically (as teaching tools) but epistemologically (in empirical methodology). Both propose hypotheses, some more highly speculative than others, some more readily falsifiable or verifiable than others. Both can involve naturalistic speculation about reality's givens in terms of space, time, matter and energy (primitives), forces (4 forces, so far) and axioms (laws like thermodynamics and quantum mechanics); about the advent of consciousness, the origin of life and other apparently emergent realities; about reductive and nonreductive physicalism; and such. Various Theories of Everything (TOE's) and various God Hypotheses are modal ontologies. It is difficult to draw a line of distinction between highly speculative cosmology and theoretical physics, on one hand, and what has traditionally been called metaphysics, on the other. However nuanced one's distinctions, those enterprises cannot really be facilely dichotomized. Some proposefalsifiability as a criterion to separate science and metaphysics, but propositions can be framed up that are falsifiable or verifiable, we might say, eschatologically. Others might suggest that any time we tweak, amend, addend or modify reality's givens, as presently received by most scientists, then we are going beyond physics to metaphysics. Maybe defining metaphysics is not as important or as meaningful as keeping track of our categories and their associated grammars and rubrics and looking over our shoulders at our various leaps of faith. Some thinkers, who have an apparent antipathy toward metaphysics, and a palpable animus toward theology, in their anxiety to annihilate those spheres of human concern from the realm of the cognitively meaningful, end up, inadvertently, trashing the epistemological methods that humanity has long employed at the frontiers of science (and those frontiers have of course changed greatly through time). Metaphysics, however broadly or narrowly conceived, is here to stay, and for at least as long as science and faith. It is an integral aspect of human value realization and in a dynamical relationship with the positivist, and all other, horizons of human concern.

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Adjudicating Competing Tautologies (or how Christian Culture Helped Birth Science) In any my tautology is tauter than your tautology dispute, there must be a cashing out of epistemic value in one approach over against the other. Why does this approach gift us with enhanced modeling power re: reality? If the topic under consideration could be adjudicated solely in terms of logical consistency, internal coherence, hypothetical consonance, interdisciplinary consilience, and conceptual consistency, then one interpretive framework would trump the other as it better interprets and predicts certain empirical observations or factual realities. Failing adjudication by those criteria and failing to provide a distinctly more robustly explanatory account in terms of predictability of phenomena, actionability of an ontology (albeit fallibilist), normative impetus (hopefully tentative), etc, then, with a more formally structured adjudication beyond our reach, we then fall back on such aesthetic criteria as elegance, parsimony, symmetry, facility of abduction and simplicity, and on such pragmatic criteria as usefulness, e.g. hypothetical fecundity. Regarding hypothetical fecundity, then, we might ask what happens to our research programs and what happens to falsifiable hypothesis-generation if one adopts this tautology versus that? Restated, in addition to organizing existing knowledge, does this tautology generate new hypotheses? Might it contribute to a new cognitive regime or paradigm shift or cast light on why this or that approach seems pregnant with paradox? Thus, once all other epistemic virtues have been taken into consideration for an issue, that a significant part of the philosophical and/or scientific community considers unresolved, i.e. under-explained, there is a certain inefficacy in approaches that are ignostic, noncognitivist and eliminativist, that try to a priori reframe this or that problem as a pseudo-problem, insofar as they discourage research or support the illusion that it is unnecessary. There is a certain irony in that a priori claims to the occulted nature of a given reality, or mysterian-like positions, are similarly inefficacious. Assuming all other epistemic criteria are equal (just for argument's sake), we then ask, how does this versus that alternate view measure up vis a vis hypothesis-generation? Epistemic Virtue One aspires to epistemic virtue insofar as one wants to be clear regarding what it is that one can reasonably say one knows. And, one wants to be clear in distinguishing belief from knowledge. At some level, one must wonder how this above-described epistemological exercise, itself, can be inherently normative insofar as one is going from an is, which is described as a distinction between knowledge and belief, to an ought, which one might prescribe (or proscribe ) as a prohibition against any argument regarding norms for belief in relation to metaphysical concepts. In some sense, one will have already busted that move insofar as one has, albeit

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minimalistically, set forth a meta-ethic for arguments regarding metaphysical concepts. How does one justify ones belief in ones own knowledge of the distinction between knowledge and belief? How does one justify ones belief in reality's intelligibility (over against an unmitigated nihilism)? How does one justify ones belief in such first principles as noncontradiction and excluded middle? How does one justify ones belief in common sense notions of causality? How does one justify ones belief in the existence of other minds (over against solipsism) such that one could argue with those minds regarding ones theory of knowledge and refrain from arguing with them regarding their metaphysical beliefs? These foundational presuppositions are not really propositional are they? One thus believes in order to know. There are some beliefs that must require no justification insofar as their negation would negate what we are calling knowledge, itself. Some beliefs demonstrably enhance our modeling power of reality. We do not demonstrate them, however, through formal argumentation. They are otherwise warranted by practical judgment. And this is why human knowledge is not strictly empirical in the first place; it has empirical, logical/rational and practical aspects, among others. If one accepts this approach, then, one might see fit to move beyond any agnosticism regarding some so-called metaphysical concepts and develop some epistemic criteria for when such beliefs are warranted. So, human knowledge is not strictly empirical, over against the radical empiricists and logical positivists; not strictly rational, over against the rationalists; not strictly evaluative, over against the noncognitivists; not strictly practical, over against an unnuanced pragmatism. It derives from aspects of value realization that are intellectually-related even though not robustly logically-related: normative, evaluative, descriptive, interpretive and prescriptive. At the same time, these aspects of value-realization need not be thought of as some type of metaphysical transcendental imperatives: truth, beauty, goodness and unity, for example. Rather, they can be thought of as an ecological rationality for an animal trying to make it in a particular niche. Human knowledge and beliefs, taken together, and thus conceived through the perspective of an evolutionary psychology, is really just a set of fast & frugal heuristics that have tremendous adaptive significance and were gifted our species via the courtesy of natural selection. As such, we need not hold, a priori, that these heuristics must obtain to transcendentals; rather, these fast and frugal heuristics can be thought of as existential

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orientations of a bounded rationality that are satisficing and not maximizing, which is to say that they are good enough for this or that end. This may all beg the question of how we might do ethics and politics without coming to closure on an ontology. Perhaps our solution requires what we might call a minimalist de-ontology, where our ontology is not a full blown metaphysic that accounts for so called transcendental imperatives, but is, instead, a modest account of distinctly human value-realization strategies. Such strategies, through nature and nurture, adapt us to reality with a good enough modeling power, which enables us to get along relatively well in the world, settling for optimal value realizations even as maximal realizations elude us. In this sense, then, we can maintain that epistemology models ontology (Polkinghorne) even as we have no need to a priori accept or reject the Kantian disjunction between phenomena and noumena. Then, we can still do politics even as the philosophical onto-policy wonks continue to work their way, fallibly but inexorably, toward a (meta)physical consensus in our community of inquiry. To Do or Not To Do Ontology We once looked at Peirce's semiotic and tried to describe his different sign categories in psychological terms vis a vis the different ways that humans might experience different modal realities. We made a matrix to ensure that we didn't inadvertently leave out any categories, but our matrix had more categories than Peirce had signs. We proceeded with our exercise anyway and then examined my leftover categories. They included what, psychologically, we would call delusion, hallucination, psychosis, mistakes, misinterpretation, etc Successful reference and description of reality takes place through ongoing, even infinite, semiosis, as we progressively but fallibly tighten our grasp on reality. And I have just described some of the reasons why we are fallible, why we need disambiguation and reinterpretation. Thus, an indispensable part of sign theory is the fact that we are error-prone at the same time that we are semiotic realists. So, in our attempts to model reality with an ever enhanced modeling power, we can, semantically, deal with something analogous to what the Kantian disjunction is trying to deal with in its distinction between phenomena and noumena. We say analogously because, in order to enhance our modeling power, semiotically, we do not need to a priori accept or reject the Kantian disjunction. We can, at the same time, then, affirm a theoretical role for ontology and be very circumspect in defining the conditions for when it can most efficaciously contribute to our enhanced modeling power, while also recognizing that, from a practical perspective, when it is facilely applied and casually employs such modal categories as certain, impossible and necessary, it most inefficaciously detracts from our modeling power and gets tied up in essentialistic-nominalistic knots. If we stick to a description like epistemology models ontology, then maybe we better capture how tentative and provisional our ontological projects are and how any ensuing

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normative impetus must be significantly curtailed, especially if our ontologies are not otherwise robustly actionable due to limited predictive accuracy and hypothetical fecundity, or are otherwise deficient vis a vis some foundherentist (just for example) criteria of epistemic virtue. As we see it, many metaphysicians have made their fallibilist move, which makes their ontologizing more benign and efficacious. And semioticians have acknowledged a role for ontology, in theory. The divide that remains seems to then focus on our practical judgment regarding ontologizing and just how practicable and actionable most ontological projects have been, are or will be. Note: This project is inherently difficult because we are trying to build an architectonic that includes physical and biological sciences, psychology, philosophy, religion and theology, each with its own jargon. The conceptual-bridging project gets even harder as one then tries to inhabit rather unique perspectives within those major disciplines, perspectives with their own specialized jargon, too. The Peircean perspective might have the most jargonistic stance one can possibly encounter in philosophy inasmuch as it is replete with CSP's own idiosyncratic neologisms. But we are trying to genericize it and make it more accessible. We hope any exchanges this project generates will make what we are proposing more accessible to others and my heuristic a tad less dense. We are not married to the vocabulary as much as we are to the categories and their associated grammars. We wish this could be fleshed out with no jargon whatsoever, while not abandoning the nuances. A Trinitarian Theology of Nature: pansemio-entheistic Peirce's rejection of the notion that firstness and secondness could robustly account for the world as we know it, in our view, marks his retreat into ontological and semantical vagueness. To describe reality in terms of alternating pattern and paradox, chance and necessity, order and chaos, random and systematic, does seem rather question begging. It is true that, nowhere, do we observe necessity in reality; necessity everywhere eludes us. It is equally true that human kind cannot avoid the inference of the necessary; necessity everywhere suggests itself. Like Polanyi's tacit dimension, necessity may be closer to us than we are to ourselves. Here we may encounter that type of biosemiotic reality that informs what we call our subdoxastic routines, or our biosemiotic heuristic subroutines. Thus, we draw yet another distinction between biosemiotic heuristic dynamics: the subdoxastic and doxastic. To some extent, they may be thought of in terms of unconscious competence and conscious competence, the first corresponding, somewhat, to common sense. In our schema, firstness corresponds to the epistemic field (where abduction has its moment); secondness corresponds to the ontic field (where induction has its moment) and thirdness corresponds to the semiotic field (all fields presupposing the others). Following the Franciscan Duns Scotus, the Incarnation, in our view, was a semiotic inevitability, part and parcel of an aesthetic teleology (Jack Haught), and any experience of a rupture

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between our essentialistic idealizations and their existential realizations is not some ontological rupture located in the past, occasioning a felix culpa and atonement, but, rather, results from a teleological chasm that we are crossing and oriented toward a future, an eschaton. Jesus is the eminently ontic, then, mediating between the immanent and the transcendent. With respect to thirdness, morally, He is transparent, the Trinitys immanent nature revealed in splendor; metaphysically, with respect to firstness, His nature is occulted, the Trinity's transcendent nature presenting to reality. Equivocally, He is True God and True Man. The Father, is eminently epistemic and utterly transcendent, characterized by the ungraspable, incomprehensible richness of the qualities of firstness. And so, the immanent Trinity mediates between the transcendent Trinity and the incarnational Trinity to effect the economic (semiotic and pragmatic)Trinity, which implies theosis. Again, where we wrote that: It is true that, nowhere, do we observe necessity in reality; necessity everywhere eludes us - it is equally true that humankind cannot avoid the inference of the necessary; necessity everywhere suggests itself. Like Polanyi's tacit dimension, necessity may be closer to us than we are to ourselves. Here we may encounter that type of biosemiotic reality that informs what we call our subdoxastic routines, or our biosemiotic heuristic subroutines. And here we have the abduction of the ens necessarium, the robustly telic field of reality, which mutually interpenetrates the epistemic, ontic and semiotic fields of reality, and which, as the immanent Trinity, also mediates between the transcendent Trinity and incarnational Trinity. Analogous to Baldwinian evolution, which in the coevolution of language and brain, operates via downward causation without the violation of physical causal closure, the telic field of the immanent Trinity operates via omnidirectional causation, eminently semiotically, without any violation of observable physical causation. It is thus unobtrusively yet utterly efficacious. All may be well. (Dame Julian) Don't you know it's gonna be alright. (John Lennon) The Holy Spirit is precisely how we'd refer to the eminently telic and eminently semiotic Reality, which accomplishes theosis through Homo sapiens, biosemiotically mediated, and which accomplishes any other natural mediations through implicate ordering (so called upward causation, impelling emergent reality forward) or through downward, or even, omnidirectional causation, ordering and re-ordering pansemiotic fields. As we see it, once we invoke downward causation in reality via Baldwinian evolution, as possibly even through Bohm's quantum interpretation and Sheldrake's morphic resonance, then, it is a valid move to infer a Trinitarian analogue, as long as our conception of same can cash out some value (pragmatic maxim) for human theosis and/or cosmic aesthetic teleology. We have wanted to preserved the patristic, dionysian logic in such a way that the medieval conceptions of the Scotistic univocity of being and the Thomistic analogy of being can be reconciled by employing proper predication - equivocal, univocal and analogical. To wit: 1) to speak of Firstness, the Father, the transcendent Trinity, the eminently epistemic, one must employ an analogy of semiosis; 2) to speak of Secondness, the Son, the incarnational Trinity, the eminently ontic, one must employ

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equivocal predication, or equivocity of semiosis, such that morally, the Godhead is made transparent, metaphysically, remains occulted; and 3) to speak of Thirdness, the Spirit, the immanent Trinity, the eminently telic, one must employ univocal predication, a univocity of semiosis. Thus, there is a place for one's dialectical imagination, one's analogical imagination and one's pneumatological imagination, which we refer to in terms of ones imaginative take on reality as an arena of pervasive intentionality via a web of infinite semiosis in the community of inquiry. Following the notion that whether or not creation is eternal, our treatment holds that this cannot be known from natural philosophy (and we understand that the discussion is framed from a theology of nature instead). At any rate, if one does not take existence to be a predicate of being, rendering Heidegger's "Why is there not rather nothing?" a reification of "nothing," then one still encounters a creatio continua, and the question then begs: "Why is there not rather something else?" and modal ontology pursues this with vigor, but so can the semiotic perspective. Rationalists attempt fail also because the metaphysical is a moving and sometimes hidden target. Process theologies (e.g. Whiteheadian projects) often fail because they have traded essentialism for nominalism, in abandoning their substantialism. Only the Peircean take maintains a robust epistemological realism (and does not justify, a priori, leaps to idealist and materialist conceptions of mind).29 Regarding Gregory Palamas and the Orthodox, we appreciate their perspective and do not see it over against any part of our tetradic heuristic. It actually makes pretty good sense vis a vis our omnidirectional semiotic causation. Their take on energies, however, may not be helpful other than to affirm some theotic epiphenomena, (such as John of the Cross, for instance, might have us ignore, anyway).

Let's begin with how physical causation operates in the natural world. From an emergentist perspective, as we observe emergent properties, the pattern seems to be that they represent something more than their constituent parts but are clearly nothing but the combination of those parts. Hence, we have Ursula Goodenough's something more from nothing but, or some prefer something else from nothing but. Sometimes emergent realities present in a very straightforward manner and our reductionistic accounts are easy to come by. Sometimes they present in a very problematical manner and explanatory adequacy eludes us. We can acknowledge the centrality of emergence without claiming to have acquired full explanatory adequacy for the entire spectrum of emergentistic phenomena, including all that might be involved in human neurophysiology. Thusly, our emergentist account does
29

These thoughts were also developed in dialogue with this publication: ROBINSON, Andrew J. (2004). Continuity, Naturalism and Contingency: A Theology of Evolution drawing on the Semiotics of C.S. Peirce and Trinitarian Thought. Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science 39 (1): 111-136 Visit: http://www.andrew-robinson.info/

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not ambition explanatory adequacy and is only a heuristic device. Accordingly, while we prescind from an ontological perspective, bracketing metaphysics, we are not, a priori, suggesting that anyone should therefore jettison their metaphysic. We are am simply suggesting that, if one keeps our Peircean categories and grammars in mind, then 1) their decision to do ontology or not, for this aspect of reality or not, will be more coherent 2) their metaphysic, if pursued, will model reality with measurably enhanced modeling power. The pragmatic maxim suggests that one must precisely demonstrate the enhancement of one's modeling power when one sees fit to multiply ontologies, cashing out the values of one's conceptions precisely in terms of such a significance as would be geared toward the realization of human values. Regarding the computational fallacy, we are simply saying that algorithmic or rule-governed computational accounts are necessary but not sufficient when referring to human cognition. Those biosemiotic algorithms are innate and hardwired, relatively closed-ended and inflexible, and language-independent. Their logic is, in a word, fixed. Whatwe are calling biosemiotic heuristics are also innate and hardwired, but are open-ended and flexible, or plastic, and language-dependent. Their logic is, in a word, fuzzy. One can observe and successfully refer to these biosemiotic realities and make note of their emergent properties, without claiming to have, in the same instant, described same with any degree of explanatory adequacy. So, no, we are not describing any philosophical fallacies that arise from competing ontological claims regarding human value-realizations. We would imagine that any number of ontological descriptions could fit quite comfortably underneath my heuristic umbrella. Our emergentistic heuristic is not robust enough to adjudicate between all of the really good hypotheses re: consciousness. Its value is cashed out solely in terms of making successful references to reality and not, yet, in terms of successful descriptions. Level 1 The probable mediates between the possible and the actual to effect the novel dissipative structures of nonequilibrium thermodynamics. The quasi-telic mediates between the quasi-epistemic and the quasi-ontic to effect the pan-semiotic. Quasi-telic because, while downward causation is clearly operative, violations of physical causal closure are not. Quasi-epistemic because only phenomenal experience is processed as knowledge. Quasi-ontic because emergent and novel, bounded and limited, autopoietic realities are dynamical and dissipative, probabilistic and modal. Pansemiotic because, in environments far from equilibrium, symmetries and other temporal patterns are preserved through successive bifurcations and permutations in increasing levels of complexity, presenting as first and second order (Deacon) emergent properties. Level 2 The quasi-telic mediates between the quasi-epistemic and the quasi-ontic to effect the

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biosemiotic. Biosemiotic because emergent properties are somehow progressively encoded, constraining the temporal patterns of second order systems, novelty replaced by replication, presenting a dynamic of adaptive significance and selection pressure whenever novelty re-presents. Level 3 The quasi-telic mediates between the epistemic and the quasi-ontic to effect the biosemiotic. Epistemic because propositional knowledge interacts with phenomenal knowledge as symbols are added to icons and indexes, knowledge not only syntactic but semantic. Boundaries mediate between limits and the autopoietic (self-organizing) to effect freedom (open-ended processor). To contextualize the dynamic in Hefners lexicon: The philosophic mediates between the positivistic and the paradigmatic to effect the pragmatic. Our articulation of the Peircean maxim is that the normative sciences mediate between phenomenology and metaphysics. The necessary (Peirces ens necessarium) mediates between the probable and the actual to effect the pansemio-entheistic. Our articulation of the argument in Peirces Neglected Argument for the Reality of God: The philosophic mediates between the positivistic and the theistic to effect the theotic (Peirces pragmatic maxim). Our articulation of Helminiaks horizons of human concern, the theotic, in Peircean terms representing the cashing out of value of the meaning of the conception, ens necessarium, as it must consist of the practical effects the conception would have on human behavior, orthopraxis authenticating orthodoxy. The Pan-entheistic Perspective brief introduction From a pan-entheistic perspective, the necessary mediates between the probable and the actual to effect Reality. The necessary entails the eminently telic, epistemic, ontic and semiotic. In observable reality, nowhere do we encounter such intentionality as would be eminently telic, which Id define as acting on reality in violation of physical causal closure. Nowhere do we encounter the eminently epistemic, human knowledge being necessarily fallible. Neither does the eminently ontic present insofar as emergent realities are all contingent, bounded and limited, dynamical and ephemeral, modal but probabilistic and dissipative even if self-replicating. Finally, the eminently semiotic does not present in observable reality, the practical upshot of which is that metaphysics as a project is seriously constrained; we must frequently prescind from metaphysical hypotheses to ontological vagueness and semantical vagueness, employing the Peircean grammars of modal ontology and triadic semiotic logic, reassessing the epistemic vagueness that constrains us, sometimes, methodologically, and sometimes through that which may be naturally occulted as we near T = 0 approaching the Big Bang, or, perhaps, in the deepest structures of matter. At bottom, nowhere in

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observable reality do we encounter the ens necessarium, although it is a valid philosophical inference. This is why many folks eschew metaphysics and ontology altogether. In what we are calling the pan-semio-entheistic heuristic, rather than reality presenting as three mutually interpenetrating fields of epistemic, quasi-ontic and semiotic influence, which are irreducibly triadic, a fourth modal category is introduced, the necessary, with its telic influence, efficaciously and unobtrusively coaxing reality toward the attainment of the maximum aesthetic value (Haughts aesthetical teleology). The four interpenetrating fields form a tetradic matrix, which corresponds analogously, in very many ways, to the tetradic heuristic we describe below. The eminently epistemic and truly ontic axes represent panentheistic transcendence. The axis representing the necessary and telic represents the panentheistic field of influence that is immanent and telic, implicately ordering the semiotic field of influence, all fields still mutually interpenetrating, hence, pansemio-entheistic. Even as we speak of fields, we only refer to same as conceptual placeholders, as heuristic categories, and do not offer them as ontological realities, for example, some type of substance-process dynamic. What is important is THAT such categories seem to present, phenomenologically, even as HOW such categories might interact remains an open question for science. Science can offer us some compelling inferences and analogies though, for example, vis a vis downward causation. But lets back up and unpack the concepts of this heuristic. Biosemiotic Categories of Religion #1 Below, we venture a naturalistic account from an evolutionary perspective on the philosophical categories of most religious traditions. The four categories of religious practice that we will attempt to describe are Cult, Community, Creed and Code. Others might think of these in other terms such as Ritual or Liturgy, Fellowship or Church, Dogma or Doctrine, and Law or Rubrics. This account will be written from a biosemiotic and pragmatic perspective. We intend to describe the origin and development of religious categories in terms of doxastic practices. We will draw a distinction between propositional heuristics and phenomenal experience but will focus on the normative aspects of the former. Insofar as religions attempt to model reality, we will describe their value-realization strategies in terms employed by traditional philosophical perspectives. Simply put, we will ask what philosophy makes of beauty, unity, truth and goodness and suggest that religion does something similar. We will briefly touch on what humans make of these values at the primary level of experience. We will describe the biosemiotic heuristic in some length and provide an example. In a nutshell, we will travel from biology to religion at warp speed, but this is moreso a heuristic than an hypothesis. Some hypothetical implications will be clear. This isn't going to sound very religious but will have an epistemological slant. After all, we're

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sketching religion's undergirdings from biology through evolutionary psychology to philosophy. We won't discuss this in that order, though, because it would be more helpful, we think, to describe how propositional heuristics work, starting in media res, where we find ourselves now. Biosemiotic Heuristics are characterized by simplicity & facility, are fast & frugal. Biosemiotic Heuristics include induction, abduction & inference to the best explanation. Biosemiotic Heuristics evaluate novelty, newly observed effects. Abduction reasons from a presently observed, novel effect to propose a set of probable causes. My hard drive wont spin up. Either that outside transformer is still defective, lightning got me again or we need to put this outlet on a different amp fuse. Induction reasons from an actual cause present to propose a set of probable effects. This power strip is off. The computer, monitor and printer will not work. Induction immediately critiques abduction, and if the set of probable effects contains the presently observed effect, the cause associated with that particular inductive inference could be tested, possibly explaining the novel effect (and falsifying the abductive inferences), possibly falsifying the inductive inference and possibly leaving the novel effect unexplained. The power strip is now on. The computer hard drive is spinning up. The power strip is now on, but this strip had other things plugged into it, not the PC. The power strip is now on and the monitor and printer are working but not the computer. If the process continues, induction further critiques abduction, limiting the set of probable causes to the set of actual causes present. If the sets of probable and actual causes do not overlap, abduction continues, conjecturing more probable causes. There were thunderstorms; the power company replaced the transformer last week and there are no fuses because theres a panel of circuit breakers, none tripped. Lets open the computer up and try a new power supply. If the sets of probable and actual causes do overlap, a search for more effects commences in order to further reduce this overlap, successive searches possibly winnowing down such set overlap, eventually, to a set with a single cause. There were thunderstorms but there have been no brown outs, and circuit breakers are

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used, not fuses. Check the clock radio and TV. If the search for more effects introduces additional novel effects, the process of alternating conjecture and criticism could be either compounded or simplified. The clock radio works but the TV doesnt. Deduction is presupposed in the irreducibly triadic logic of inference. It determines the logical consequences of hypotheses (abductive inferences) as they are tested inductively via actualities. The deductive inferences may be valid, only. There were storms? Lightning took out both the TV and computer. They may also be sound. Someone else unplugged the TV from its nearby outlet and unplugged the computer from the power strip, because a thunderstorm was on the way. The exhilaration one experiences from turning on the TV and computer (after having ever-so-briefly imagined that theyd both been destroyed) upon hearing the whirr of the hard drive against the background of the Seinfeld theme song, is not part of the triadic inferential logic, and neither are the sounds of the whirring or the song. Those experiences are part of the Phenomenal Knowledge of Biosemiotic Algorithms, while the computer troubleshooting is part of the Propositional Knowledge of the Biosemiotic Heuristics. The latter depends on the former, but only the propositional is language-dependent. The analysis would be more complicated if, when the TV was turned on, we heard, instead, Becker yelling at Bob and Linda. (Actually, it is already WAY more complicated but just grasp that there are real distinctions.) Their innate neurophysiological processes are distinct, both innate but only the Biosemiotic Algorithms are hard-wired, accomplished in finite steps, even if repetitive, accomplishing some biological end. We use the word algorithm analogically, not because were talking math problems but because the system is inflexible while the Biosemiotic Heuristics are very plastic, and open-ended. The recursive interplay, in Biosemiotic Heuristics, of abduction, retroduction, inference to the best explanation, induction, deduction and other layers of symbolism, is distinctly human. Primary Level Experiences & Meta-Level Evaluations #2 Propositional Knowledge X (Environment X Phenomenal Knowledge) --> Behavior How does this correspond to our maxim that the philosophic mediates between the positivistic and the paradigmatic to inform the practical? The philosophic gifts us with heuristics to guide our propositional applications of

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phenomenal knowledge. Our normative rationality, then, mediates between the analytical and empirical to inform the practical. Let us unpack this. It is clear enough, perhaps, how the rational is associated with the philosophic and inferential and the empirical with phenomenal knowledge and our senses. The practical relates to our actions, our behavior, ordered toward biological and socio-cultural imperatives of the species. The association between the environment and the analytical honors the fact that we are radically social animals and our environment is largely linguistic, comprised of other people and their propositional knowledge. Interestingly, that environment also includes our own internal milieu with its own propositional input and output. As we propositionally process our own propositions, our abstractions progress to second and third orders and meta-levels. Thus, the environment corresponds to the paradigmatic (but is not exhausted by same). Starting at the primary level of experience: Our experiences of beauty (symmetry, elegance, simplicity, facility, novelty), at the primary level of experience, are linguistically, semantically and neurologically processed and meaning is imparted at this meta-level and corresponds to what we call our aesthetical values. Our primary experiences of goodness (the practical fulfillment of biological and socio-cultural imperatives) thus become ethical and moral values. Our evaluations of the successes and failures of our alternating conjectures and criticisms provide us the rubrics and formalization (to the limited extent our inferential facilities are formalizable) of our noetical values, the axioms of different abstract logics, again, at this meta-level. Our primary experiences of the social and communal, in terms of reinforcement or reward, are reflectively abstracted into unitive values. At the meta-level, then, the aesthetical, practical, noetical & unitive aspects of normative rationality mediate between the analytical and empirical to inform the practical. I said, previously, that the philosophic gifts us with heuristics to guide our propositional applications of phenomenal knowledge. So, we are also saying that the philosophic resides at this meta-level, even comprises it. This philosophic perspective is not exactly the same as what we call the study of philosophy. Second order abstractions and propositions, as a meta-level structure, do not necessarily derive in full conscious awareness but are imparted through the acquisition of cultural symbolism (already layered) and through our own innate biosemiotic heuristic processes and neurocircuitry. These propositional facilities, albeit meta-level, because they are not fully conscious, might function as subdoxastic routines and consist of such as our foundational presuppositions and first principles. Most philosophical schools seem to address, in some way or another, what we are here calling subdoxastic routines or heuristic subroutines. This is not to at all suggest that conceptual mapping across various philosophical hermeneutics can be done facilely. Nevertheless, for example, we have Maritain's connaturality, Polanyi's tacit dimension, Newman's illative sense, Fries' nonintuitive immediate knowledge and

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Peirce's abduction. These are described, in our view, as innate existential orientations. Other subdoxastic routines are smuggled in as implicit presuppositions of culturally imparted paradigms. Heuristic Subroutines or Subdoxastic Routines #3 So, again, how might this correspond to the maxim that the philosophic mediates between the positivistic and the paradigmatic to inform the practical? In other words, what are some concrete examples of what might be considered subdoxastic routines or heuristic subroutines, which are not in full conscious awareness, this notwithstanding they are clearly second order or meta-level structures? We will characterize them as beliefs, but they are usually tacit or implicit beliefs. We label these beliefs as a literary device to lure people into awareness. How many of these heuristics do you accept without proof? Some of this is jargonistic but enough is accessible to gather our main thrust. Philosophic Horizon, Normative Sciences: a) belief in human intelligence over against radical skepticism; b) belief in other minds over against solipsism; c) belief in the recursive interplay of the inferences: deductive, inductive, abductive, retroductive, inference to the best explanation [IBE]; and in abstract, formal logic; d) belief in aesthetic-heuristic maxims of elegance, simplicity, parsimony, facility; e) belief in first principles: noncontradiction, excluded middle; f) belief in epistemic vagueness, how much ignorance is due to invincible methodological constraint versus ontological occulting; g) belief in fast and frugal heuristics of ecological rationality; h) Kung's fundamental trust in uncertain reality; i) eschewal of overworked distinctions (as if they were dichotomies), underworked dichotomies (as if they were mere distinctions), overworked analogies (where metaphors yield causal disjunctions) and traffic in trivialities, regressions, circularities & tautologies; j) embrace of distinction between necessary & sufficient; comprehensive & exhaustive; k) embrace distinction between veridical, falsidical and antinomial paradox 2) Positivistic Horizon, Empirical Science: a) belief in reality's intelligibility over against an unmitigated nihilism; b) belief in common sense notions of causality; c) belief in alternating conjecture & criticism, falsifiability 3) Heuristic Horizon, Paradigms: a) belief in Godel's Theorem; b) belief in modal ontology and ontological vagueness, the necessary and the probable; c) belief in semiotic realism and semantical vagueness, conditional use of noncontradiction and excluded middle; d) belief in renormalizability of incommensurable systems; e) belief in emergentist heuristic of something more from nothing but (or something else) 4) Pragmatic Horizon, Praxis: a) belief in pragmatic maxim; b) belief in cashing out one's paradigm in terms of what and how much difference they make. Most people seem unaware of these implicit presuppositions. When they become aware,

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they then struggle with justification. How do you justify any of these that you recognize as operative in your own hermeneutic? Doing philosophy; from subdoxastic to doxastic #4 What happens when we consciously reflect on these subdoxastic routines and do philosophy? How might these heuristics correspond to various schools of thought? The philosophic mediates between the positivistic and paradigmatic to inform praxis. This tetradic heuristic unfolds into four value-realization holons whereby subjective, intersubjective, objective and interobjective horizons of human concern each realize aesthetical, unitive, noetical and ethical values. The aesthetical thus mediates between the unitive and noetical to inform the ethical. Or, why truth often comes flying in on the wings of beauty and goodness. The subjective, intersubjective, objective and interobjective horizons correspond, respectively, to Jungian thinking, feeling (harmony between people), sensing and intuiting (harmony between ideas) functions, which further correspond, respectively, to left frontal, right posterior, left posterior and right frontal, cortical brain quadrants. Philosophically, these horizons generally correspond to rational, analytical, empirical and practical normative sciences. We approach aesthetical value realization 1) intrasubjectively, through formalism or essentialism in art; 2) intersubjectively, through expressivism or emotionalism in art; 3) intraobjectively, through mimesis and imitationalism in art; and 4) interobjectively, through art as instrumentalism. We approach unitive value realization 1) intrasubjectively, through possibilities and objective (conceptual) reality; 2) intersubjectively, through probabilities and semiotic reality; 3) intraobjectively, through actualities and physical reality; and 4) interobjectively, through ultimate (telic) reality. We approach noetical value realization 1) intrasubjectively, through virtue epistemology; 2) intersubjectively, through a semiotic, community of inquiry; 3) intraobjectively, through correspondence; and 4) interobjectively, through coherence. We approach ethical value realization 1) intrasubjectively, through aretaic or virtue ethics; 2) intersubjectively, through contractarian ethics; 3) intraobjectively, through deontological ethics; and 4) interobjectively, through teleological or consequentialistic ethics.

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Folks that raise any of these elements to an exclusive perspective or school of thought are simply indulging an epistemic fetish (except for the Peircean pragmatism, of course). What Else Is Going On in this Matrix of 16 Philosophical Categories? Our employment of the Peircean take on reality pretty much drives one directly to where Ursula Goodenough & Terry Deacon ended up in From Biology to Consciousness to Morality. Now, take Morality, for example, it has always seemed to us that, when approached philosophically, philosophers have elaborated theories that we could taxonomically characterize under four major categories and that those categories could be associated with the four major brain quadrants, which are variously dominant in different temperament types. And one could take Aesthetics and Epistemology and Social theories and see a similar type of association. That provided us 16 sets of jargon above, which we did not bother to unpack, YET, incorporating, as they do, the entire history of philosophy. Now, we are certain that one might recognize that our primary level encounters with reality generate different evaluative stances in terms of moral, aesthetic, epistemic and social sensibilities/inclinations. And one may be surprised to hear us assert that, for the most part, as human beings, we get along quite well in our encounters with reality, especially with one another, without bothering to elaborate major theories about these sensibilities, at least not beyond our naturalistic accounts of their origins. And this is to say that not many of us take the concepts we employ, when we are sharing and exchanging such sensibilities with one another, and then manipulate them into second or even third order, meta-level abstractions. So, this might also seem to suggest that, it is not the process of abstracting we must constrain as much as it is the process of, willy-nilly, drawing new inferences regarding those abstractions, so to speak, in a vacuum, isolated from sensible reality. The reason for constraint is that Peirce's pragmatic maxim is in play for those abstractions that are both helpful and harmful because, as semiotic creatures, we WILL cash out the value of such conceptualizations, for better and worse, by putting them into practice one way or another, either to our everlasting glory or by accelerating our inevitable demise. Nevertheless, all these caveats notwithstanding, humankind HAS elaborated such theories as have arisen from our moral, aesthetical, epistemic and social sensibilities and their meta-level, inferential structures. At one level, which appears to be mostly subconscious, these structures are hardwired, even if otherwise plastic and open-ended. They are not articulated beliefs but do comprise what most of us would recognize as common sense, and what the philosophers might call first principles, or unspoken presuppositions. This isn't to suggest that some cultural overlays, nurture adding on to nature, do not variously help or hinder common sense; it is only to recognize that, even when they do, they, too, remain rather tacit or implicit, most folks never bothering to articulate what, to some extent, must generally seem to be self-evident and thus rather trivial observations, which is to say, relevant but too much of a grasp of the obvious. The practical upshot is that we have taxonomically laid out 16 major philosophical approaches, which, in our view, can be characterized in association with brain quadrants, this notwithstanding the notion that our symbolic-linguistic function is

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rather distributed. So, in a nutshell, we have naturalized philosophy, itself, much less religion. (And, we do believe glucose metabolism in the brain can be measured to demonstrate what areas are "burning hotter" when --- in relationship to Myers-Briggs temperament typologies.) Stepwise, then, as Goodenough and Deacon take us from biology to consciousness to morality, our departure point is to then take morality and further reduce it to four major approaches; and to then recognize that their account applies to other evaluative sensibilities, too, and to then reduce them, each, to four major approaches. We do not see it as a facile mapping exercise. Now, the real shame is this. So many folks have, in their metalevel abstractions and inferences, moved from the realm of unconscious competence to unconscious incompetence. By doing philosophy, they have made themselves STUPIDER. Forget Jupiter, in medieval times, when a rather sterile scholasticism began its reign: Boys went to college to get more stupider. It has been said that, using logic, one of humankind's most efficient tools, an intelligent person, with a false premise and/or ambiguous concepts, can get further from the truth, faster and more efficiently, than any imbecile could ever aspire. And that is what goes on as folks inhabit their metalevel castles. It takes rigor and discipline and self-critique and self-reflexive awareness to "do metalevels" right. The cure for this is a move from unconscious competence to conscious competence, making what we call our unconscious subdoxastic beliefs more robustly conscious doxastic beliefs. Most of the trouble ensues when folks get busy trying to justify that which calls for no justification. One must not go overboard, though, throwing out the justification baby with the dirty metalevel bathwater because 1) so much of reality still begs questions and 2) there is a right way to do metalevels, which we won't prescribe presently (except to suggest that Peirce is our guide). We derived a heuristic from Peirce who said that the normative sciences mediate between phenomenology and metaphysics. This can be derived in simpler terms. We can say that probabilities mediate between possibilities and actualities. It may not be a stretch to even say that the aegis of initial conditions and boundary conditions and emergent hierarchies of biases mediate between possible novel emergent properties and actual emergent entities. This is a modal grammar. It has specific rules for how certain so-called first principles work in each category, but we'll desist from describing those now. We won't unpack what Peirce means by normative sciences, phenomenology and metaphysics either except to say that, if you are one who suffers an immediate negative visceral reaction to the word, metaphysics, fret not. This isnt what Peirce is doing (necessarily). The simple way to diagnose this supposed malady of the mind is to watch and see if one speaks in terms of possibilities, actualities and necessities --- and not rather probabilities. Mapping theTetradic Heuristic onto Ursula Goodenoughs Categories for Religious Naturalism & Daniel Helminiaks Lonerganian Approach: Again, our heuristic is this: The philosophic mediates between the positivistic and the paradigmatic to effect the pragmatic.

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Our mapping of this heuristic onto Goodenoughs project is this: The spiritual mediates between the emergentist perspective and the interpretive to effect the moral. The philosophic describes our ethical, aesthetical and epistemic sensibilities and includes the concepts that we might symbolically abstract from our primary level encounters with reality via our cognitive-affective juxtapositions. An inward personal response to 1) a deeply felt ethical sensibility might be that of reverence; 2) an aesthetical sensibility might be that of awe; and 3) an epistemic sensibility might be that of assent. To be philosophic is not the same as to do philosophy. Philosophy tries to change these sensibilities into standards and employs the language of norms. If the philosophic describes our evaluative sensibilities, then philosophy describes standards (norms) to help us realize their corresponding values. The philosophic answers the question: "What's it to ya?" and philosophy answers the question: "Where can I get some of that?" The philosophic is thus evaluative, while philosophy is normative. The philosophic is spiritual and thus deals with the prioritizing of values, describing not only what it is we value but what it is we value most and the order in which we place our often-competing values (ordinacy). We associate the normative with the Jungian category of Thinking, located in the left frontal cortex of the human brain, because our ethical, aesthetical and ethical sensibilities, here, give impetus to our rational attempts at normative justification. These rational attempts are meta-level processes that consciously reflect on the answers to the question "Where can I get some of that?" and then attempt to answer this question: "Why should I trust your, my or anyone else's answer to that question?" or, to use Kantian interrogatories, they attempt to navigate us, regulatively, to the answers to: What can I know? What can I hope for? What must I do? The positivistic describes our scientific endeavors and answers the question: "Is that a fact?" and is thus descriptive (associated with the Jungian category of Sensing, located in the left posterior convexity of the human brain). It aspires to successful reference through heuristics and explanatory adequacy through theory. It includes our emergentist perspective. Classically, it answers: What can I know? The pragmatic and moral describe our prudential judgments, hence informing our outward communal responses, answering the question: "What must I do?" and is thus prescriptive, aspiring to harmony between people (associated with the Jungian category of Feeling, located in the right posterior convexity of the human brain). Pragmatically, the question is: Is it useful? Morally: Is it good? The paradigmatic describes our overall orientations, including our positivistic understandings of nature, our philosophic and spiritual evaluations arising from the sensibilities that ensue from our primary level encounters of reality, and our pragmatic and moral responses to one another as radically social animals, as a symbolic species. The paradigmatic is interpretive, aspiring to harmony between ideas (associated with the Jungian category of Intuiting, located in the right frontal cortex of the human brain). It is an attempt to answer the question: Whats it all about, Alfie? or put in more

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anagogical terms: What can I hope for? How new is any of this? In some sense, we internalized these distinctions from patristic and medieval mystics, like Origen, pseudo-Dionysius and Duns Scotus. Origens senses of scripture 1) moral 2) allegorical/spiritual 3) anagogical and 4) literal/historical, correspond to moral, spiritual, interpretive and positivistic understandings set forth above. The dionysian logic and predications, alternately analogical, anagogical, mystagogical, apophatic, kataphatic, univocal and equivocal are precisely what is at work in these present considerations using different concepts. And Scotus and Peirce resonate semiotically (such as between the scotistic formal distinction and the peircean distinction between objective and physical realities). References to brain quadrants are over-simplified but the functional categories of temperament type are meaningful. At this point, we have only mapped the categories of Religious Naturalism to our Peircean categories. We want to now describe the practical implications of our Peirceanesque tetradic heuristic: The philosophic mediates between the positivistic and the paradigmatic to effect the pragmatic. Daniel Helminiak, building on Lonergan, describes four progressively expanding horizons of human concern, the determinations of each successive horizon constraining those of the previous horizons. He describes the 1) positivistic 2) philosophic 3) theistic and 4) theotic. These correspond to my genericized categories of the 1) positivistic 2) philosophic 3) paradigmatic and 4) pragmatic. These correspond to the RN categories of 1) emergentist perspective 2) spiritual 3) interpretive and 4) moral. As Phil St. Romain interprets Helminiak: "Spirituality, as a uniquely human phenomenon, is grounded in the philosophic level" and grounded in authenticity. Helminiak describes it thus: "For Lonergan, authenticity implies on-going personal commitment to openness, questioning, honesty, and good will across the board. In this sense, commitment to authenticity is exactly what characterizes the philosophic viewpoint." Now, the most immediately obvious practical upshot of this heuristic is that, while one is entitled to one's own overall interpretive orientation, or paradigm, one is not entitled to one's own positivistic determinations. It was Senator Moynihan who admonished: "One is entitled to one's own opinion, but one is NOT entitled to one's own facts." In fact, Helminiak's hierarchy of human foci of concern, placing the philosophic between the positivistic and theistic, is an implicit recognition of our peirceanesque heuristic, which would treat his concepts thusly: The philosophic mediates between the positivistic and theistic to inform the theotic, which is nothing less than the journey to authenticity via intellectual, affective, moral, social and religious conversion (think: development e.g. Piaget, Erikson, Kohlberg, Fowler et al). How, then, might the philosophic or spiritual, constrained by the positivistic, then be considered to, in any way, constrain the paradigmatic?

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Helminiak might suggest that Lonergan has described such spiritual constraints in terms of an "on-going personal commitment to openness, questioning, honesty, and good will across the board." Religious Naturalism might amplify this with such epistemic values as humility and reverence and assent toward reality. What anchors morality? How might we articulate a more compelling morality in a pluralistic society and on global venues? What we have just described, above, is human rationality. This rationality is emergent, bounded, autopoietic, normative, spiritual, positivistic and ecologically evaluative, the last criterion suggesting that, together in the same cosmic niche, our ethical, aesthetical and epistemic sensibilities will largely converge. The succinct way of putting this is that human prudential judgment, both moral and practical, is transparent to human reason. The practical upshot is that one is entitled to one's own interpretive paradigms and evaluative dispositions, but one is not entitled to one's own moral positions, which must be reasoned out in the community of inquiry writ large. After all, to quote a wise friend: "Life is not about survival of the fittest; it's about fitting in." Changing gears entirely. Heidegger's question: "Why is there not rather nothing?" has been rendered a pseudo-question by those who'd employ an eliminativist strategy of considering "nothing" a conceptual reification, accusing all, who take existence to be a predicate of being, of a meaningless tautology. Indeed, not even Aquinas thought that natural philosophy could determine, absent positive revelation, whether or not nature itself was eternal. The tautology may, nevertheless, be sound; it simply does not add new information to any of our systems. Heidegger's existential question is better framed in terms of cosmological and ontological speculation: "Why is there not rather something else?" The implicit answer, as if brute fact, might be proffered as "the aegis of initial conditions and boundary conditions." It is clearly not for everyone. The Grammar That Operates in This Peirceanesque Tetradic Heuristic If one buys into this mapping exercise whereby we have related my heuristic to that of Goodenough and Helminiak, then one may be interested in the grammar that governs the interplay of these categories: The evaluative-normative mediates between the descriptive and interpretive to effect the prudential (moral and practical). There is a modal logic of ontological vagueness that has us prescind from any scheme where the necessary mediates between the possible and the actual. This is because we are immersed in contingency as dissipative structures and finite entities, alternately emerging and perishing. And, as a brief aside, this has everything to do with aesthetic sensibility. Beauty, itself, is being birthed as the greater the number of bifurcations and permutations that are at play in the novel dissipative structures of reality, the greater the threat to system stability in terms of fragility and the greater, most folks seem to report, the beauty. The aesthetical axiom seems to be: the more fragile, the more

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beautiful. What gives these categories the type of hierarchical relationship invoked by Peirce and described by Helminiak, captured in our own tetradic heuristic? It is the interplay of the first principles of noncontradiction (these cannot both be true) and excluded middle (either this or that is true). Most people do not pay heed to first principles. Rather, we take them for granted as foundational presuppositions of common sense. It is the interplay of noncontradiction and excluded middle that comprises the semantical vagueness that is an integral logic of this heuristic. In the category of the probable, including the evaluative-normative, noncontradiction holds but excluded middle folds. This is to say that our conceptualizations must be conceptually compatible and their logic consistent. The concepts in play cannot negate each other and make any sense. They have a certain self-evident character. This is noncontradiction coming to bear. At the same time, we are in a probabilistic mode, so excluded middle folds, which is to suggest that we cannot know, a priori, which of this range of conceptualizations (let's say, frequencies, types and degrees of emergent properties) will present in reality. In the category of the actual, including the descriptive, both noncontradiction and excluded middle hold. This is the arena of reality where we encounter brute facts and the one most intuitive to most people, who have not, ordinarily, prescinded from the modal category of necessary to probable. In the category of the possible, including the interpretive, noncontradiction folds but excluded middle holds. This is the arena of reality that lies a tad beyond our grasp and mutually exclusive propositions, which are conceptually incompatible and logically mutually exclusive, remain live options. This is the folding of noncontradiction. At the same time, excluded middle holds as we know that one or the other paradigms must be true; they cannot both be true. An aesthetic teleology, for example, such a paradigm as experiences reality as an arena of pervasive intentionality, as takes an intentional stance writ large and not as a minimalist heuristic device (Dennett), is a live option, but it and a so-called self-evident nihilism cannot both be true. One or the other may be falsified or verified, as Hick might say, eschatologically. What is operating beneath the surface of both our ontological and semantical vagueness is precisely the biosemiotic heuristic we have described elsewhere, which can be thought of as the interplay between deduction (re: the probable and necessary), induction (re: the actual) and abduction (re: the possible). What undergirds our strategy of semantical vagueness is the triadic semiotic logic. It is a dynamical system. Implicit in the vagueness, both ontological and semantical, is the open-ended, plastic nature of our biosemiotic heuristics, which are easily contrasted with our closed-ended, fixed, biosemiotic algorithms. Strict logic has yielded to fuzzy logic, the latter being adaptively significant for a symbolic species operating in an arena of pervasive contingency. Human knowledge thus advances inexorably but ever so fallibly. But there can be no

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question that our grasps of reality are getting tighter and tighter and that our competing tautologies are getting ever more taut as they alternate between conjecture and criticism through both self- and mutual critique. All of this is to suggest that epistemology is epistemology is epistemology and that the reason there is no regnant moral relativism is that, at some level, we are all reading off the same sheet of music even as we seem to be singing in different keys. Some choir voices, however different, sound harmonious, others rather discordant. Through time, though, humanity will get progressively more symphonic, or, will go the way of the dinosaurs.

Hermeneutics in Dialogue Our Dialogue Conceived as Prayer This dialogue doesnt really lend itself to categories used to describe systems, products, conclusions or movements; rather, it is more so about methods, processes, practices or conversations. This dialogue, then, is best conceived as prayer, as people interacting with God and one another. It is an ongoing exchange of Do You Hear What I Hear? as the Spirit moves among the People of God as always. Sometimes, the Spirit moves and we respond competently even if not wholly consciously. We respond implicitly even if not with an explicit awareness. At different times in church history, our response becomes a tad more self-reflective, explicitly-aware, self-critical and consciously competent. Thats what the postmodern conversation is to me not a novel move of the Spirit per se or a response of the church, but another moment in time where many are simply paying more attention and appropriating a new awareness of what our gracious God has always been about. Certainly, efficacies will always flow when implicit faith is made explicit, when unconscious competence is made conscious, when we pause, from time to time, to reflect and resource and retrieve and revive and renew. Because we view every theological conversation as dialogue and prayer, the fruits of which are quite unpredictable as they flow from the hand of a sovereign God, Who seems to have quite the sense of humor, we find it helpful to view the conversation through the lens of Lectio Divina, our prayer. If there is a movement, then it is really no more and no less than prayer, itself, which does not lend itself to specific programs and definite agenda but yields itself to transformation, solidarity and compassion. These are realities that come about quite spontaneously and outside of our preconceived channels. While in creation, novelty arises that transcends but does not violate the order from which it emerged, still we cannot really look behind to get a sense of where were headed. Rather, we can look back and realize that others have been in places like this before and have been superabundantly rewarded in unpredictable, novel ways when they have trustfully surrendered. Joy remains a surprise. What emerges from this conversation will inspire joy but will be no less a surprise. The Spirit is like that is all I can observe. Seldom do we know how Gods designs will be worked even as we look forward with a

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confident assurance that all will be well. Below, we will describe 6 moments in prayer and 6 dynamics at play during these moments. They capture, for us, 6 dialogues going on in our postmodern conversation. 6 moments in prayer 1 ) Creation reveals God in a moment of Creatio. In the beginning was The Word. 2 ) The Word is received in a moment of Lectio by the Witnesses to Revelation. 3 ) The Word is pondered in a moment of Meditatio as the Witnesses meditate together on Revelation. 4 ) As the Word is accepted and spoken in a moment of Oratio, Revelation transforms its Witnesses. 5 ) As transformed Witnesses in a moment of Contemplatio, we respire the Word in every contemplative breath as the Word becomes life, itself. 6 ) We act on the Word in a moment of Operatio as the Word is integrated into every aspect of our lives. 6 dynamics at play 1 ) In Creatio, Revelation pours forth in Truth, Beauty, Goodness & Unity in a Teleological Dynamic which speaks to the transcendental imperatives and divine attributes that we experience in our existential orientations. This includes a robustly relational dynamic with four vectors as each value is realized in the self, the other, the environment and God, trajectories emphasized by Merton and further explicated by his description of Bernardian love of self for sake of self, of God for sake of self, of God for sake of God, of self for sake of God. This is what some have called Beginning with the End in mind. Its articulated in the question Whats It All About Alfie? All of the great traditions have in their own way articulated truth, celebrated beauty, preserved goodness and fostered unity. 2 ) In Lectio, we encounter the witnesses to Revelation in a Perspectival Dynamic which listens to the voices of these witnesses from intraobjective, intersubjective, interobjective and intrasubjective perspectives that mutually critique each other. For example, Scripture, Tradition, Reason and Experience. Or, in apologetics, the evidential, presuppositional, rational and existential approaches. We might think here of the Wesleyan Quadrilateral, the Anglican Three-Legged Stool, Fides et Ratio.

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3 ) In Meditatio, we employ a Methodological Dynamic which has four moments, the descriptive and normative moments of our cosmological methods and the evaluative and interpretive moments of our axiological methods. For example, we employ descriptive science and normative philosophy and evaluative culture and interpretive religion, each which is methodologically autonomous but axiologically-integral, which is to say all necessary but none sufficient, all intellectually-related though not strictly logically-related, in every human value-realization. Here we are reminded of the Science & Religion Dialogue, of Postmodern epistemology and other such discussions. 4 ) In Oratio, we speak the word as a first moment of accepting it and allowing it to work toward our transformation in a Developmental Dynamic, whereby we move toward authenticity in ongoing intellectual, affective, moral, socio-political and religious conversion. We especially think of Bernard Lonergans conversions as expanded and explicated by Donald Gelpi. 5 ) In Contemplatio, we live out of a Paradoxical Dynamic which takes us beyond but not without our dualistic, problem-solving mind to engage reality with a nondual approach that is more robustly relational. In our dualistic mind we have grappled with some success in dealing with paradoxical tensions, resolving some dialectically in synthesis, dissolving some perspectivally through paradigm shifts that introduce new concepts and categories, and evading others practically, although they are otherwise true antinomies, which reveal the limits of our formal approaches (as they would require our forsaking of some aspects of reason, itself, in order to eliminate certain apparent absurdities). These strategies of resolving, dissolving and evading paradox are somewhat successful as we grapple with lifes cosmological questions in science and philosophy, where we deal with how to describe and norm reality. When it comes to lifes most important questions, our most ultimate concerns and most significant value-realizations, as we grapple with lifes axiological questions in human culture and religion, our strategy shifts from getting the right answers through problem-solving to getting the questions right, in other words, to embarking on the right quest. This is about getting relationships right. Axiological paradox, which deals with how we value and interpret reality, does not yield to cosmological speculation with its empirical, rational and practical resolutions, dissolutions and evasions of paradox. Its paradoxical tensions are, instead, nurtured and maintained creatively. Creative tensions are the stuff of lifes deepest mysteries and most profound meanings and yield its most cherished value-realizations. One might say, then, when it comes to lifes deepest paradoxes, we exploit them transformatively. There is no better treatment of paradox and the nondual approach than that of Franciscan Richard Rohr.

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6 ) In Operatio, where we act on the Word and integrate it into every aspect of our lives, we employ an Integral Dynamic, which fosters integrity and authenticity through an ongoing process of boundary establishment, boundary defense, boundary negotiation and boundary transcendence. These boundary dynamics can be healthy or unhealthy, hence efficacious or counterproductive, if not maintained in a creative tension. Dogma can decay into dogmatism, cult into ritualism, code into legalism and community into institutionalism. Creed can otherwise articulate truth. Ritual can otherwise celebrate beauty. Code can otherwise preserve goodness. Community can otherwise enjoy fellowship. 6 dialogues in our Conversation 1 ) The exploration of teleological dynamics is quite straightforward in that it reflects a collective voice of prophetic protest that is coming from the margins of institutionalized Christianity and calling us to snap back into awareness in order to quit mistaking the finger pointing at the moon for the moon itself. Its nothing less than the age old clarification of means and ends. 2 ) The exploration of perspectival dynamics reflects the wisdom of mutual critique and the avoidance of various over- and under-emphases, whether sola scriptura or solum magisterium, whether a rationalistic foundationalism or a radically deconstructive postmodernism. 3 ) The consideration of methodological dynamics looks at the methods that are employed from within all of the perspectives and affirms their autonomy as each constrains and mutually critiques the others. Thus we avoid the conflation of science and religion and philosophy and respect what each contributes to every human value-realization. We therefore eschew scientism as well as fideism, for example. 4 ) The dialogue about developmental dynamics respects the human growth trajectory and recognizes that we are being transformed both as individuals and as a people. We think here of Bernard Lonergans conversions, Clare Graves Spiral Dynamics and so on. 5 ) Our interest in paradoxical dynamics draws its impetus from lifes inescapable mystery and inexhaustible depth dimensions. Here we explore the wisdom of uncertainty, the reality of doubt even in the midst of faith, the nondual nature of the contemplative stance. 6 ) Our exploration of integral dynamics is an exploration of boundary realities and how we are to establish, defend, negotiate and transcend this boundary or that, while maintaining our integrity and growing our authenticity. Gospel differentiating its brand in the marketplace

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Right & wrong. Good & evil. Merits & demerits. Debits & credits. Reward & punishment. Responsibility & accountability. These are the obligational aspects of human socialization, a process of formation & reformation that helps us function in society. Every society already gets this without the benefit of special revelation. The Old Testament revealed that a personal, faithful God was active & involved with humanity, establishing covenants, making promises. In the New Testament, the Gospel, the Good News, Jesus revealed the aspirational aspects of human transformation, a process that brings us into an intimate Daddy-like relationship with a tender, loving God. This differentiates the Gospel in the marketplace, so the aspirational should be emphasized at least as much as the obligational. Maybe more? So, the obligational aspect of our growth is about things like enlightened self-interest, imperfect contrition (sorrow for consequences to ourselves), extrinsic rewards and eros (whats in it for me?). The aspirational is about the intrinsic rewards of truth, beauty, goodness & unity, the pursuit of which is its own reward. Its about agape (whats in it for others) and perfect contrition (sorrow for consequences that others suffer). Its about growing in intimacy. The Old Covenant still works and the meeting of our basic obligations is still sufficient to enter the Kingdom (& to enjoy abundance). Its just that, in the Gospel, the New Covenant, we are called to so much more, to superabundance! God, like any good father or mother, wants more for us than we want for ourselves. When we see anyone settle for less, it is natural to grieve, but we should be gentle & accepting of where they are and respectful of their choices. Our invitation to come along to the New Creation should reflect our own faith & hope & love & joy & courage & peace!

Interreligious Dialogue About [Bracketing] as opposed to Jettisoning Our Ontologies We cannot have authentic dialogue if people arrive at the table and "jettison" some of their core positions. The [bracketing] of certain positions is only a dialogical tool (and not rather an epistemic maneuver) which challenges us to rearticulate our truth in a more universally compelling way that is more transparent to human reason. For example and concretely, then, we cannot urge others in a pluralistic political forum to join our side on the basis that the Bible or Koran "tells me so," even if, at bottom, that may be what formed our moral position. We must dig deeper and come to grips with WHY the "Bible told me so" and then offer that explanation with the logic and reasoning tools all humans share. And this logic must be tested against reality, too, because, without this inductive, positivistic or scientific grounding, logic can take us further from the truth, and more

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quickly, too. Evangelizing & Catechizing(& Proselytizing) It has been said that those whove done the best at evangelizing have not always done as well at catechizing and vice versa. While there is danger in overgeneralization, there is often some insight we can gain. To the extent catechesis fosters re-cognition, evangelization fosters real-ization. The first movement is propositional, evidential, rational, presuppositional, moral and practical and the next is existential, experiential and robustly relational. The distinction is between seeing the path and walking it, between conceptual mapmaking and participatory imagination. Both the emerging church conversation and pentecostalism do seem, in my view, responses to a modernist rationalism. Interestingly, my own reflections on these matters have not so much dealt with the emergent and pentecostal as recent phenomena via a vis the postmodern critique, but have employed a postmodern (postfoundational) approach to bring together emergence as a useful heuristic device as has been appropriated in the hard and human sciences, in general, and a pentecostal perspective as gathered from the Biblical narrative regarding the implications of the Incarnation & Pentecost. So, there are two contexts that might be of special interest, one being an overarching narrative and the other a specific historical event. Regarding the recent phenomena, to some extent, pentecostalism has better instilled first fervor and a fully realized first naivete. Emergence has perhaps better served as a vehicle for 2nd naivete. This works much like the Zen formulation of first, there is a mountain (precritically), then there is no mountain (critically), then there is (post-critical). It might be rendered: first there is a premodernist essentialism (naive realism & enchantment), then there is a modernist nominalism (nonrealism & disenchantment), then there is a constructive postmodernism (critical realism & re-enchantment). Emergent and pentecostal perspectives, held together in a creative tension, provide an answer to modernist excesses that have led to a/theological nonrealism, moral relativism and practical nihilism, as well as sterile scholastic rationalisms and Wittgensteinian fideisms. Taken together, we get a more holistic theological anthropology that mines all of the value to be realized from our pre-modern, modern and postmodern experiences without the need to cut out and invalidate large swaths of our Christian tradition. We do not want to lose our First, there is a mountain-encounter of Pentecost and the fire of first fervor gifted by our participatory, analogical imagination, nor do we want to lose the Then there is no mountain-recognition provided by our conceptual map-making and dialectical imagination, as we move into the reappropriation of Then there is and we realize through our 2nd naivete and pneumatological imagination that everything thats old is new again, as we see the original realities come alive in inculturated forms that reveal that the Good News is as fresh and vibrant and relevant to

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humankind as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be. We have seen some in their Pentecostal experience get rather stuck in a pre-critical first naivete. We have encountered some who, from an Emergent stance, have gotten stuck in a radically deconstructive nonrealism, what some have called Evangellyfish, washed up on postmodern shores, unable to get fully back into the swim. Those who severely critique both movements are generally describing these elements of Pentecostalism and emergence, which are mere caricatures of what these movements are and can become as they exploit the creative tension that they offer each other in ongoing and ever-fruitful mutual critique. We have enjoyed the fruits, in interreligious dialogue, as our rather exclusivistic ecclesiocentrisms have slowly yielded on the ecumenical front to a more inclusivistic Christocentrism. Without forsaking our own Christocentric stances, we might foster an even more fruitful interreligious dialogue by opening same with a pneumatological inclusivism. Pentecostals & Charismatics have led the way on such mutual understanding within Christianity, sharing our experience of Spirit. Might this be the model for advancing dialogue and understanding between the Great Traditions, too? Pentecostals might have some suggestions for a way forward. Religions Core Competency Our disparate faiths, including many indigenous religions as well as the great traditions, have a certain core competency. From that core competency derives the nature of their distinct value-added contribution, their unique role, in our lives. This role is not to describe reality scientifically, not to prescribe reality morally or ethically, not to norm reality philosophically, not to manipulate reality practically, and not to govern reality politically. These functions belong, rather, to the cosmological story told by science and philosophy, what some have called Everybodys Story, and rightly so, because it transcends cultures. And it does include our rather rudimentary, vague understanding of a Creator Spirit, one could say, pneumatologically. There are other stories to be told by religions and cultures, which are axiological. Their role is to help us interpret reality evaluatively. More plainly, their distinct contribution is to help us celebrate and value reality. The opposite of good religion is neither bad science nor bad morality, although many would leave us with that impression. The opposite of religion is indifference and nihilism, an attitude that reality offers nothing of enduring value to celebrate. We cannot talk people out of such an attitude with empirical evidence, logical reasoning or moral persuasion because these basic attitudes are not constructed of formal arguments. Instead, good religion forms people through exchanges of stories about lives well-lived, and through moments of celebration, and through the handing down of formative and transformative practices and through the comfort and enjoyment of fellowship in

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community. Inter-religious dialogue, then, is much more an exchange of practices and has very little to do with conclusions. It has a lot more to do with celebratory methods and transformative processes and very little to do with philosophical systems and products of moral reasoning. Religion is more so a participatory engagement and much less a propositional exchange. Much of the strife on our planet comes from religion masquerading as cosmology, attempting but failing to co-opt the prerogatives of good science and good philosophy with pseudo-religion. Creationism isnt bad religion; its bad science. Theocratic rule isnt bad religion; its bad political science. Misogyny and homophobia arent bad religion; theyre grounded in bad anthropology and are bad morality. Such dysfunctional approaches to reality inevitably result when religion departs from its core competency, strays from its distinct role and fails to attend to its own unique contribution, which Merton emphasized was transformation not socialization. A lot of strife also comes from various insidious isms. Many words that end in -ism and -ist are merely descriptive and only get pejorative when morphed into -istic. There are some, however, that describe realities precisely in terms of their normative implications, typically involving over- and under-emphases of various epistemic perspectives, e.g. empiricism, scientism, rationalism, positivism. In the realm of faith, for example, an overemphasis on the 1) kataphatic and affective is pietism, sometimes fideism 2) kataphatic and speculative is rationalism 3) apophatic and speculative is encratism and 4) apophatic and affective is quietism. There are many terms that otherwise describe what we might consider in terms of giftedness vis a vis the roles one might play in community, for example, as a settler or pioneer, conservative or progressive. Following St. Augustines aphorism in essentials, unity; in accidentals, liberty or diversity; in all things, charity those with a conservative or traditionalist charism help preserve and celebrate the essentials of the faith, while those with a liberal or progressive charism help explore and celebrate the plurality of our faith expressions. In this vein, then, it seems there have always been some who are traditionalistic or fundamentalistic in their tendency to treat faiths accidentals as if they were essentials and no too few who are, conversely, liberalistic or progressivistic in that they tend to treat essentials as if they were accidentals. (Which elements of the Christian faith are the essentials and which are the accidentals is not the focus, here.) Such considerations will often involve different epistemological schools and various theories of truth and justification vis a vis modernism and postmodernism and various non/foundationalist approaches. Religion in the Public Square In the old thomist tradition, distinctions were drawn between an essentialist or idealist

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interpretation and application of Gospel norms and an existentialist or realist interpretation and application of them. This distinction is necessary because we live in a tension where we are undeniably realizing the Kingdom now even as we, as created co-creators, join all of creation in the labor and groaning of the act of giving birth to an ever more full Kingdom realization. The essentialist understanding seizes upon the efficacies of the Spirits help and the Word, itself, proclaimed and lived by faithful witnesses. The existentialist understanding recognizes our human frailty due to our radical finitude and sinfulness and so makes allowances knowing humankind will yet fall short of Gospel ideals. One would not want to say that the essentialist approach is theoretical and the existentialist practical, because one would not want to discourage any courageous persons from living out the Gospel, radically, as prophetic witnesses and lovers of God and all. We can say that the existentialist approach is pastoral, however, looking with compassion and understanding on us in our human condition, helping us to do the best we can. Concretely, then, for example, this tradition affirms both pacifism and just war principles as legitimate expressions of Gospel ideals. Even those who are not themselves pacifists can be in deep solidarity with and very much supportive of their pacifist sisters and brothers. We would not want to live in a world without their voice of prophetic protest and without the witness of their lives. With respect to the law, the same distinctions apply. Those who eschew any active and coercive legal and political engagements can also serve as authentic voices of prophetic protest and witnesses to the reality of the Kingdom, now among us and yet to come more fully. From a pastoral perspective, consistent with an incarnational outlook, we can also legitimately seek to permeate and improve the temporal order. We can be thankful that our US founders integrated religion into the public square, strengthening its influence through nonestablishment and free exercise provisions. This was a healthy response to Enlightenment principles, healthier than the Enlightenment fundamentalism of the Continental experience, where religion was marginalized by secularistic forces. So, there's nothing wrong with a robust engagement of religious and metaphysical perspectives in the public square. Thats not whats wrong per se with the approach of many today. Where they go wrong is twofold: 1) They too often fail to translate their moral stances into a language that would give their moral intuitions a normative impetus for other groups of believers and even unbelievers. 2) They too often give jurisprudential considerations short shrift, emphasizing form over substance, paying too little heed to whether a law will, in actuality, be efficacious and bring about its desired aim, especially in a pluralistic society where demographics may reveal that a proposed law will not only be unenforceable but possibly even counterproductive. There is a related problem, which is that the failure to successfully translate some religiously-derived moral intuitions otherwise results from the fact that certain of those intuitions are philosophically and anthropologically indefensible.

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Bearing the Pain of Cultural Divides First, we acknowledge our grief and then naturally grieve all of this pain and misunderstanding. And we allow this pain to somehow transform us that we will not continue to somehow transmit it. How can MY response change is my first responsibility. Where others are concerned, we must recognize that such deeply held convictions, whether wholly or partly erroneous, are a very complex combination of irrational, pre-rational, nonrational, rational and supra-rational dispositions. As such, they do not yield in the face of superior logical argumentation, debates about religious epistemology, scriptural prooftexting, pragmatic appeals, enlightened self-interest, meta-ethical reformulations or natural law syllogisms. Such approaches only serve to further harden hearts and close minds. To reach people holistically, with a full body-soul-spirit and heart-mind blow, we need parables, stories, poems, songs, plays, movies and other musical & dramatic arts presentations. And, even more than that, primarily, we need to tell our relevant personal stories, share and exchange our personal, real life experiences, reinforcing our compassionate outlooks and forming and reforming our desires in prayer and liturgy. And we need to recognize that, such seeds that we plant, we may not be around to see sprout but others will assuredly reap the benefits. We must be willing to plant trees, the shade of which will not be ours to enjoy. Ministers of Reconciliation and Story-tellers are the most important people in the world (on average, about two generations after theyre dead.) Natural Mysticism & Enlightenment To the extent that natural mysticism and enlightenment seem to gift humans with what are authentic insights and intuitions about cosmotheandric unity and human solidarity and Divine immanence, then they foster human authenticity in the fullest lonerganian sense. They contribute to Lonergans secular conversions: intellectually, affectively, morally and socially. So it is with anything that truly humanizes a human being: good diet, good hygiene, good discipline, good awareness, good asceticism, good habits, etc Even the construction of the false self, the social persona, is part of the humanization process of this animal, Homo sapiens. So, this drives at the question of whether or not humanization and divinization are the same thing, perhaps. And we can answer in the affirmative. However, complete humanization, into the Imago Dei, seems to require the Lonerganian religious conversion, too, and seems to require Helminiaks theotic focus or realm of concern. Humanization and divinization go hand in hand but the process can be frustrated before one undergoes religious conversion and before ones realm of concern opens up beyond the positivistic, philosophic and theistic into the theotic.

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So, yes, there is something dynamically ordered about Zen and TM and natural mysticism, that moves one toward humanization and authenticity and which can improve on human nature in such a way that grace can build on a better foundation. That is what the Holy Spirit does nest pas? Grace builds on nature. So, anything that helps us more fully realize our humanity and authentic human nature can help dispose us to gifts of the Spirit. We can say this especially since enlightenment seems to gift one with docility, openness, quietness, stillness, solitude, solidarity, compassion, good asceticisms and habits that transmute into true virtue, all related to the life of love and prayer. The Spirit, however, as with anyone who progresses in the prayer life on through advanced stages of meditation to the simplest forms of active prayer, remains sovereignly in control of contemplative grace. Further, it does seem that one must have habitually nurtured kataphatic devotion and loving intentionality in a fully relational approach, in addition to any apophatic experience of nonduality or void, if one is to then expand their focus of concern to include the theotic, if one is to have their secular conversions transvalued by a distinctly religious conversion, which is clearly explicit and kataphatic, devotional and intentional and relational. In other words, for example, ditching ones mythic-membership consciousness (credally) is NOT the way to go, for that would entail the negation of a stage and not rather its transvaluation. East Meets West interreligiously but how? Awakening to beauty, truth, and goodness is to waken to the unfoldment of Divine Life within us. Thomas Keating In philosophy classes we were told that there were three things that especially opened us to the Transcendent: the good, the true, and the beautiful. Come join us as we again put together what was never really apart! Richard Rohr The philosophers are wrong, he [Scotus] argues; ordered love, not knowledge, defines and perfects human rationality. Human dignity has it foundation in rational freedom. In contrast to the philosophical, intellectualist model of human nature and destiny, the Franciscan offers and strengthens the Christian alternative, centered not merely on knowledge but on rational love. Throughout his brief career, Scotus works to put together a more overtly Christian perspective on the world, the person, and salvation that might stand up to this philosophical intellectual/speculative model and, by using the best of its resources, transcend it. The Franciscan tradition consistently defends a position wherein the fullest perfection of the human person as rational involves loving in the way God loves, rather than knowing in the way God knows. His position in this overall project can be best understood within Franciscan spirituality, which emphasizes the will and its attraction to beauty, love, and simplicity. Ingham and Mechthilds The Philosophical Vision of John Duns Scotus

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We do well to learn from Indias very long history of reflection on God and gods, Goddess and goddesses, if we are to speak intelligently of the God in whom we believe and to whom we pray. Faith ought to be single-minded, but theology has a duty to be broad and ever more open to new learning. Francis X. Clooney, S.J. America Blog, Teaching God at Harvard, Spring 2009 Fr. Richard Rohr OFM describes much of Buddhism as gifting one with practices and not conclusions. In this consideration, we'll break open the gift of this succinct insight and offer one interpretation of what this might mean for Christianity. The Advaita Vedanta and Bhakti schools of Hinduism, and the Mahayana school of Buddhism, are now the major (larger) schools of these great living traditions and all have prominent devotional elements. While the dualist and modified nondualist Vedantic schools are primarily associated with Bhakti thought, even the Advaitic school can be associated with devotional elements through its founder, Shankara. Even in Zen Buddhism (Mahayanan), both Chinese (Chan) and Korean (Soen) schools integrate devotional elements. What about the reform movement of the Japanese (Soto) school, which, by many accounts, does not so readily accommodate devotional elements? Some say this movement was rooted in the late 19th-early 20th Century Japanese nationalist tendencies, which both sought to differentiate itself from other schools in Asia and to support the countrys militaristic approach. Others say the reform was a response to Zens commercialization in Japan. Whatever the case may be, for manifold and varied historical reasons, the Japanese school lineages predominate in North America. To the extent that Japanese Zen lacks a governing body and a per se orthodoxy, unlike other Asian schools, it naturally lends itself to what would otherwise be considered heterodox adaptations, such as the emergent Christian Zen lineage. Our purpose in providing this background is to dispel any facile misconception that Eastern spiritual practices writ large, even when otherwise associated with various nondualities, necessarily lack a robust relationality or are otherwise incompatible with devotional elements. This is also to suggest that Americans, who have been primarily exposed to the Soto school, may especially fall prey to caricaturizing what are in fact the largest and most predominant living traditions of the East based on what for them has otherwise been a very narrow exposure to a reform element that turns out to otherwise be somewhat aberrant. We say this to affirm that, in my view, relationality is essential in all aspects of the life of the radically social animal known as Homo sapiens. We would argue that it is considered essential by most people in most all sects and denominations of the great traditions. It therefore seems likely that there is no, so to speak, essential Enlightenment experience for most people, neither East nor West, which is to suggest that most people, who undertake the ascetic disciplines and nondiscursive and/or apophatic meditative practices that can lead to experiences of absolute unitary being, cosmic awareness or even various energy arousals and awakenings, are already both formatively prepared and kataphatically situated in a devotional environs that is, more or less, conducive to an orderly unfolding of the psychic energies often associated with spiritual emergence such

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that they will not otherwise fall prey to what can be some very unsettling spiritual emergencies. This has profound implications for our inter-religious dialogue, especially as it pertains to our mutually enriching exchanges of spiritual technologies (ascetic and meditative practices), which might be a lot more adaptable (abstracted from doctrinal elements) between Eastern and Western traditions than one might first suspect, especially if only familiar with Japanese Zen as is the case with most Americans . Normatively speaking, this is to suggest that our emergent Christian Zen lineages need not feel compelled to turn away from devotional practices and may indeed want to more actively engage the many other schools of Hinduism and Buddhism precisely in search of their devotional modalities. Another problem in the West is the fact that there is an emergent pop-Advaitan and/or neo-Advaitan lineage that facilely engages Shankaras illuminative teachings while ignoring the founders devotional practices. This can only exacerbate the misconceptions, hence misapplications, that arise from the already narrow and misguided view of the Eastern traditions. Thankfully, many Western and Christian Zen lineages do offer caveats regarding any such over-conceptualizations of Zen. At the same time, as Robert Sharf30 points out: there is a world of difference between issuing such warnings in a monastic environment where ritual and doctrinal study are de rigueur, and issuing such warnings to laypersons with little or no competence in such areas. In short, the Sanbokyodan has taken the antinomian and iconoclastic rhetoric of Zen literally, doing away with much of the disciplined ceremonial, liturgical, and intellectual culture of the monastery in favor of the single-minded emphasis on zazen and a simplified form of koan study. Whatever the divergent ontological views of our many traditions, for the most part, in the East, there is a subtle distinction that is drawn between ultimate or absolute reality and phenomenal or practical reality, such that it is lost on many Westerners that various words/cognates, in fact, retain their conventional or pragmatic usefulness in a movement that, first, suspends our naive affirmations, then, subjects them to philosophical scrutiny and, finally, returns them back to their conventional understanding with deeper insights and with maybe a hygienic hermeneutic of suspicion. This insight and hermeneutic does not cast suspicion with the skeptics on all matters unseen but instead invites us to go beyond (not without) our senses and reason to penetrate reality more depthfully. In Christianity, Richard of St. Victor thus informs the Franciscan tradition thru Bonaventure about the occulus carnis (eye of the senses), the occulus rationis (eye of reason), and the occulus fidei (eye of faith). This eye of faith is what Rohr refers to as the third eye and, consistent with Merton, it integrally takes us beyond our senses and reason but not without them. This conceptually maps fairly well, but not completely, over such as Jewish and Tibetan concepts of Third Eye seeing.

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Robert Sharf Sanbokyodan: Zen and the Way of the New Religions p. 427-428

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Rohr often refers to knowledge through connaturality, which, per Maritain is knowledge through union or inclination, connaturality or congeniality, where the intellect is at play not alone, but together with affective inclinations and the dispositions of the will, and is guided and directed by them. It is not rational knowledge, knowledge through the conceptual, logical and discursive exercise of Reason. But it is really and genuinely knowledge, though obscure and perhaps incapable of giving account of itself, or of being translated into words. Rohr writes: Contemplation is also saying how you see is what you will see, and we must clean our own lens of seeing. I call it knowing by connaturality (Aquinas), or knowing by affinity or kinship, it is the participative knowing by which the Indwelling Spirit in us knows God, Love, Truth, and Eternity. LIKE KNOWS LIKE, and that is very important to know. There definitely is a communion between the seer and the seen, the knower and the known Hatred cannot nor will not know God, fear cannot nor will not recognize love. Because this deep contemplative wisdom has not been taught in recent Catholic centuries, and hardly at all among Protestants, it is a great big lack and absence in our God given ability to know spiritual things spiritually, as Paul would say (1 Cor.2:13). Clearly, then, Rohr advocates nonduality and not nondualism. The latter is a metaphysical proposition; the former is an epistemic method. In philosophy, we have recognized that methods can be successfully extricated from systems. In our East-West dialogue, we have recognized that some practices can be successfully extricated from their doctrinal contexts. Nonduality is a practice, a method, that can be successfully extricated from nondualism (as system or doctrine). In fact, it has a philosophical meaning vis a vis the false dichotomy fallacy that is quite independent of any Eastern traditions. Thats the meaning employed by Rohr. Heres a quote on the same theme from Pseudo-Dionysius: Do thou, in the intent practice of mystic contemplation, leave behind the senses and the operations of the intellect, and all things that the senses or the intellect can perceive, and all things which are not and things which are, and strain upwards in unknowing as far as may be towards the union with Him who is above all being and knowledge. For by unceasing and absolute withdrawal from thyself and all things in purity, abandoning all and set free from all, thou wilt be borne up to the ray of the Divine Darkness that surpasses all being. Christianity is recovering its mystical core via a neoplatonic-influenced dionysian logic. The classical emphasis has been on the dialectic between the apophatic and kataphatic, the former referring literally to what God is not, the latter an affirmation of what God is like, analogically. This has reduced all God-talk to metaphor and leaves a question begging as to how there can be any causal efficacy between Creator and creatures with such a causal disjunction as is necessarily implied by such a weak analogy.

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The classical logic31 looks like this: 1) God is | x | is true analogically and kataphatically. 2) God is | not x | is true literally and apophatically. Dionysian logic breaks out of this dualistic dyad, going beyond it but not without it: 3) God is neither | x | nor | not x | is true unitively.

This triadic perspective resolves the tension between the classical neoplatonic henosis, which refers to the dance between intersubjectivity and identity with ultimate reality, and dinonysian theosis, which refers to the growth in intimacy with ultimate reality, by affirming both an intraobjective identity between creature and Creator, in a panentheistic divine matrix of interrelated causes and effects, as well as an intersubjective intimacy between creature and Creator, the creature thus being quasi-autonomous. (auto = self) The practical upshot, then, which might be quite the essence (pun intended), of such a nondual perspective is that all may be well and that all are radically interrelated and this is true whether one is indeed an absolute monist, qualified monist, panentheist or classical theist. The theoretical rub would be ontological but all traditions, in fidelity to right speech, had better remain in search of a metaphysic at this stage on humankinds journey? For Rohr, Id say the nondual refers mostly to an epistemic process, such as in Zens dethroning of the conceptualizing ego in order to otherwise relate to some seeming contradictions, instead, as paradoxes, which might perdure as mystery, resolve dialectically, or even dissolve from a stepping out of an inadequate framework of logic or any other dispositions (or lack thereof) known to this paradox or another. This maps well with the broad conceptions of nonduality such as at Nonduality Salon and Wikipedia. Predominantly, though, Rohr affirms nondual thinking in an over against fashion as related to either-or thinking, i.e. false dichotomies, and as related to a failure to self-critique ones own systems and logical frameworks, as a failure, too, to affirm the rays of truth in other perspectives and traditions. It is a failure to move beyond the Law thru the Prophets to the Wisdom tradition, not to do away with them but to properly fulfill them. We can draw a distinction between Rohrs philosophical treatment or method of nonduality or nondual consciousness and the practice of contemplative prayer forms. The former is at the service of the latter, to be sure, but it is also at the service of all other value-realizations, as one should expect from a whole brain approach. Here we come full circle back to our consideration of the devotional elements that can be fruitfully employed in conjunction with any nondual approach, whether conceived from an epistemic and/or ontological stance.

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[need to footnote Samuel Brainards work here if possible]

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Rohr32 thus goes beyond any Mertonesque Zen-like formulations when he says that contemplation is a long, loving look at what really is. He writes: Contemplation means returning to this deep source. Each one of us tries to find the spiritual exercise that helps us come to this source. If reading the Bible helps you, then read the Bible. If the Eucharist helps, then celebrate the Eucharist. If praying the rosary helps, pray the rosary. If sitting in silence helps, just sit there and keep silence. But we must find a way to get to the place where everything is. We have to take this long, loving look at reality, where we dont judge and we simply receive. Of course, emptiness in and of itself isnt enough. The point of emptiness is toget ourselves out of the way so that Christ can fill us up. As soon as were empty, theres a place for Christ, because only then are we in any sense ready to recognize and accept Christ as the totally other, who is not me. In a nutshell, the general thrust of this whole brain approach is that, in order to have a relationship with your spouse in marriage, as was intended in creation, one has to approach ones spouse with more than words, logic, science, math, analytical skills and pragmatic considerations. One has to go beyond (NOT WITHOUT) these ways of knowing (Aquinas-like approach) to a knowledge that comes from love (Bonaventures approach). One must enter a relational realm, in addition to the logical, empirical and practical realm. One must move beyond the language of math, philosophy, business & commerce, engineering and so on to learn the language of relationship, the grammar of assent, loyalty, fidelity, trust, faith, hope, love. We tend to eventually get this in marriage, or it dissolves (and half of all marriages do). There is reason to suspect, then, that getting this in our relationship with God is similarly problematical for most people. In the story of Malunkyaputta33, who queried the Buddha on the fundamental nature of reality by asking whether the cosmos was eternal or not, infinite or not, whether the body and soul are the same, whether the Buddha lived on after death, and so on, the Buddha responded that Malunkyaputta was like the man who, when shot with an arrow, would not let another pull it out without first telling him who shot the arrow, how the arrow was made and so on. Thus the Buddha turns our attention to the elimination of suffering, a practical concern, and away from the speculative metaphysical concerns. This story of Malunkyaputta might thus help us to reframe some of our concerns, both regarding Buddhism, in particular, and metaphysics, in general. For example, perhaps we have wondered whether, here or there, the Buddha was ever 1) doing metaphysics or 2) anti-metaphysical or 3) metaphysically-neutral. In fact, we might have wondered if the soteriological aspects of any of the great traditions were necessarily intertwined with any specific ontological commitments. In some sense, now, we certainly want to say that all of the great traditions are committed to both metaphysical and moral realisms. However, at the same time, we might like to think that, out of fidelity to the truth, none of our traditions would ever have us telling untellable stories, saying more than we know or proving too much.
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Richard Rohr, Simplicity revised from 1991, Crossroad Publishing 2003 Jeryy Katz, One Readings in Nonduality, 2009 need citation, see my review at his site online

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One interpretation of Malunkyaputtas story, then, might suggest that it is not that the Buddha eschewed metaphysics or was even ontologically neutral; rather, it may be that the Buddha just positively eschewed category errors. This would imply that the Buddha would neither countenance the categorical verve of yesteryears scholastics nor the ontological vigor of our modern fundamentalists (neither the Enlightenment fundamentalists of the scientistic cabal nor the radical religious fundamentalists, whether of Islam, Christianity, Zen or any other tradition). Thus we might come to recognize that our deontologies should be as modest as our ontologies are tentative, that we should be as epistemically determinate as we can but as indeterminate as we must, that we should be as ontologically specific as we can but as vague as we must and that our semantics should reflect the dynamical nature of both reality and our apprehension of same, which advances inexorably but fallibly. The Buddha seemed to at least inchoately anticipate this fallibilism and, in some ways, to explicitly preach and practice it. To the Buddhas point, then, regarding the no-self humankind, as a community of earnest inquiry, has no better grasp now than we did then of the ultimate nature of the cosmos or the soul. The Mahayanan Buddhists, and many in other traditions and schools, apparently have no problem dealing with the self in conventional, hence practical terms, whether in the temporal or celestial sphere, and have a lively devotional practice, affirming a robust interrelationality vis a vis their pantheon of goddesses and gods, whom they worship, and all sentient beings, whom they offer karuna. They would thus seem to have no more trouble, practically speaking, in relating to self or other as a phenomenal experience than Westerners would have. Where they would have trouble is when, theoretically speaking, it comes to defining self using ontological categories, whether substantialist or process, essentialist or nominalist, in ways that would pretend to exhaustively comprehend primal reality. This, one might observe, is the type of trouble more Westerners should have. We are otherwise inclined, then, having some exposures to certain phenomenal experiences ourselves, not to interpret the no-self experience, ontologically, and instead associate the experience with what Jim Arraj calls the loss of the affective ego. As Arraj34 writes and we agree: It would probably by wrong, as well, to imagine that Zen Buddhism, or even the advaitan Vedanta is making any kind of ontological nondualist claims. Rather, they are trying to take into account a nondual experience, and sometimes their post-experience reflections can leave the impression that they are creating a nondual ontology. But they are not interested in philosophy in the Western sense, but rather, leading people to the experience, itself. The real question, which we will pursue later, is whether enlightenment is nondual in itself, or is presented in a nondual way because of the very means by which the enlightenment experience is attained. There should be no rush to judgment on the part of Christians as if they need to express Christianity in some nondual ontological fashion. This is not precisely what Zen Buddhists, and advaitan Hindus are doing.
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James & Tyra Arraj, Christianity in the Crucible of East-West Dialogue, innerexplorations.com

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It would be considered comical, if it were not otherwise so distressing, the way Advaitan accounts of absolute reality are manipulated in cyberforums and some popular literature, drawing the most absurd conclusions as they are misapplied to the practical considerations of our phenomenal experience, when conventional usage would otherwise indeed be the prescribed approach even for orthodox nonduality. Arguably, even Shankaras philosophy need not be interpreted as an absolute monism, especially once taking into consideration its account of causation in phenomenal reality, which at least resembles Aristotles vis a vis its teleological dimension, even if otherwise approaching Platos idealist conceptions. The Advaitan ontology addresses causes and effects in sufficiently vague references and its epistemology is most notably triadic, wherein the pramana (sources of knowledge, Sanskrit) each form one part of a triputi (trio), which include the subject and object mediated by the cause or means of knowledge. There are thus inchoate traces of the ontological vagueness, epistemic indeterminacy and semantical versatility that have made their way through the West vis a vis such as the Dionysian logic of the Neoplatonists, Meister Eckharts apophatic predications, Scotus formal distinction, Peirces triadic semeiotic and some postmodern criticisms. One might properly wonder if Hindus Rita successfully refers to, even if it does not robustly describe, such regularities as Peircean Thirdness, deontological accounts of right and wrong, liturgical celebrations of ritual or other analogs, maybe even modalities, of the eternal Logos and Spirit at the mystical core of all of our traditions? Thus we might think of Hindus Dharma and Rita, Taoisms Tao, Buddhisms Dhamma, Judaisms Torah and Christianitys Pneuma & Logos. Toshihiko Izutsu35 poetically describes certain regularities that, in my view, demonstrate a tacit dimensionality that, like the Spirit, is ineluctably unobstrusive but utterly efficacious: Listen! Do you not hear the trailing sound of the wind as it comes blowing from afar? The trees in the mountain forests begin to rustle, stir, and sway, and then all the hollows and holes of huge trees measuring a hundred arms lengths around begin to give forth different sounds. There are holes like noses, like mouths, like ears; some are (square) like crosspieces upon pillars; some are (round) as cups, some are like mortars. Some are like deep ponds; some are like shallow basins However, once the raging gale has passed on, all these hollows and holes are empty and soundless. You see only the boughs swaying silently, and the tender twigs gentle moving. Father Rohr spent five weeks, during Lent 2008, in a hermitage, in solitude. He spent this time reflecting and writing a new book, The Third Eye36. On Easter Monday, he made a presentation of an outline of these thoughts. Fr. Rohr defines his conception of the Third Eye as derived from two 11th Century monks, Hugh and Richard of the Monastery of St.
35 36

Toshihiko Izutsu , Sufism and Taoism, p. 368-369 This was eventually published as Seeing as the Mystics See. Need citation. This was compiled from an audio recording regarding Third Eye Seeing.

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Victor in Paris. The flowering of this thinking in his Franciscan tradition, he tells us, took place in the 12th and 13th centuries. Although the metaphor is similar to the same concept of Hindu and Buddhist traditions, it is apparently independent of those in that there was no contact between those and this Christian conceptualization, which is talking about the eyes of 1) sense, 2) reason and 3) faith. Basically, Fr. Rohr is amplifying his teaching on contemplative living, which, best we can discern, continues to be heavily informed by his love of Thomas Merton. He makes frequent references to Merton, False Self and True Self and compares and contrasts them in many different ways, using many different adjectives and metaphors. Fr. Rohr likes the word realization and sees it as being richer than the word experience for he describes the robust encounter of God as a total body blow, where not only head and heart are engaged but the body, too. Unfortunately, he says, we localize knowing and too often try to access God only in the top 3 inches of the body and only on the left side at that. This dualistic, binary or dyadic thinking, which we employ in math, science and engineering, or when we are driving a car, is of course good and necessary. It is the mind that divides the field Rohr says into classes and categories and then applies labels through compare and contrast exercises. It is the egoic mind that is looking for control and order, but, unfortunately, also superiority. It can lead to both intellectual and spiritual laziness, however, to an egoic operating system (Cynthia Bourgeault), which views all through a lens of How does it affect me? The contemplative mind goes beyond the tasks of the dualistic mind to deal with concepts like love, mercy, compassion and forgiveness. It doesnt need to divide the field for such tasks. The contemplative mind is practicing heaven in that it sees the Divine image as being equally distributed and present in all others. We see that presence, honor it and know it. The contemplative mind starts each moment with yes. It is vulnerable before the moment, opening heart space. It is present to people and does not put them in a box. So, in our primary level encounter with others, we do not prejudge. At the secondary and tertiary level, a no may be absolutely necessary. Once you know you can say yes, then it is important to be able to say no, when appropriate. Rohr makes clear, in his words, that we include previous categories and retain what we learn in early stages. Our goal, in his words, is to master both dualistic and nondualistic thinking. This matches my interpretation of the different perspectives engaged in the East, both the absolute and phenomenal. We must go beyond (not without) that part of our tradition that was informed mostly by Greek logic in order to be more open to paradox and mystery. Rohr described some of the early apophatic and nondual elements of the Christian tradition, especially in the first three centuries with the Desert Mothers and Fathers, especially in the Orthodox and eastern Christian churches, and describing John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila as the last supernovae. The apophatic and unknowing tradition has not been constant. For 400 years after these Carmelites there has been no real tradition. He credits Merton with almost single-handedly retrieving authentic contemplative teaching that has not been taught for almost 500 years. This type of mysticism, he, like Merton says, is available to all but it takes a type of humility to let go of our control tower.

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We and others are living tabernacles, even given the contrary evidence. That God dwells in us is the foundation of human dignity. Fr. Rohr discusses the Gift of Tongues in this contemplative vein and notes that when it died out, prayer-based beads emerged. He went on to discuss prayer beads in other traditions. Fr. Rohr notes that the East and West differ in that more emphasis is placed on discipline, practice and asceticism in the East, while, in the West, we emphasize surrender and trust. Both East and West have elements of all of these approaches, of course. Our Christian path is more one of letting go and yielding of self. He believes that most of us, a very high percentage, have enjoyed unitive moments, but that there was no one there to say thats it. He thinks that it would be useful to retrieve our contemplative tradition because we apparently need some degree of discipline or practice to keep seeing and trusting our unitive moments, our union, our communion. The Spirit will thus teach us all things and re-mind you that you are in union with God, that you are select; you are chosen; you are beloved. We need to learn how to live in communion, now, for that is what well enjoy in heaven. Fr. Rohr then describes practices that open up this contemplative mind: silence, stillness, solitude, patience about needing to know everything, poetry, art, body movement, music, humility and redemptive listening. He describes how we need to stand back and compassionately and calmly observe reality, without initial regard for how it affects us, but to see persons and events nakedly, seeing our drama almost as if it wasnt us. If we cannot thus detach, then we are over-identified. Whenever were defensive, it is usually our false self. What characterizes an addict is typically all or nothing thinking. We do not hate the False Self. We must simply see it. It is not our bad self, just not our true self. We need to better learn to hold together opposites and contradictions. A modern retrieval of our ancient practices of contemplative seeing can foster this type of non-judging awareness. Rohr says that a master of nondual thinking needs to also be a master of dualistic thinking. The Catholic tradition has great wisdom in retaining icon and art and symbols and music. The primary teachers of this approach to God and others and all of reality are great love and great suffering. Our primary paths have been suffering and prayer. When head and heart and body are all connected, that is prayer. This, says Fr. Rohr, is not esoteric teaching. Everybody has the Holy Spirit! What appears to be the new theme emerging from Fr. Rohrs latest thought is that of supplementing and complementing our traditional approach to belief-based religion with more practice-based religion. In particular, he sees great wisdom in retrieving those practices which have been lost or deemphasized that we can better cultivate a contemplative outlook. In prayer, we are like tuning forks that come in to Gods presence and seek to abide inside of a resonance with God. We need to set aside whatever blocks our reception, especially a lack of love or lack of forgiveness. And we need to embrace the gifts of the East, which, as Rohr properly recognizes, are practices and not conclusions. I see the Buddha smiling. May namaste, then, become more than a greeting but a way of life, as we look always

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and everywhere and in everyone for the pneumatological realities we profess herein. May our inter-religious stance be more irenic as we acknowledge the Spirit in one another with true reverence, in authentic solidarity and utmost compassion. A most fundamental aspect of the unqualified affirmation of human dignity would seem to be our nurturance of the attitude that all other humans come bearing an irreplaceable gift for us, that we are to maintain a stance of receptivity toward them, open to receive what it is they offer us through, with and in the Spirit. Whether the Magi were occidental or oriental, Jesus was receptive. When John offered baptism, Jesus was receptive. When Mary anointed his feet, Jesus was receptive. When invited to dine with tax collectors and prostitutes, Jesus was receptive. A critical gaze not first turned on oneself and ones ways of looking at reality will have very little efficacy when it is otherwise habitually and arrogantly turned first on others. All of this is to observe that, beyond whatever it is that we offer to the world as our unique gift, rather than always approaching our sisters and brothers as fix-it-upper projects in need of our counsel and ministry, sometimes the Spirit may be inviting us to listen, observe and learn from them in a posture of authentic humility and from a stance of genuine affirmation of their infinite value and unique giftedness. While our encounters of the Spirit may be manifold and varied from one phenomenal experience to the next, especially when situated in one major tradition versus another, we may be saying more than we know if we attempt to describe such experiences with more ontological specificity than can be reasonably claimed metaphysically or theologically, suggesting, for example, that such experiences necessarily differ in either origin or degree even if they otherwise differ, as might be expected, in other cognitive, affective, moral, social or religious aspects. More than semantics is at stake, here. We are not merely saying the same thing using different words when we draw such distinctions as between nature and grace, natural and supernatural, acquired and infused, existential and theological, immanent and transcendent; such explicit denotations also have strong connotative implications that might betray attitudes of epistemic hubris, pneumatological exclusivity or religious hegemony, which are clearly unwarranted once we understand that our faith outlooks are effectively evaluative. We say this because, in our view, our belief systems are otherwise, at best, normatively justified existentially after essentially attaining, minimally, an epistemic parity with other hermeneutics vis a vis our best evidential, rational and presuppositional approaches. While there are rubrics for discernment of where the Spirit is active and where humans are cooperative, they do not lend themselves to facile and cursory a priori assessments, neither by an academic theology with its rationalistic categorizing nor by a popular fideistic piety with its supernaturalistic religiosity, predispositions that tend to divide and not unite, to arrogate and not serve, with their vain comparisons and spiritual pretensions. It is a serious thing, to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and

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a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit immortal horrors or everlasting splendours. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption. And our charity must be a real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinner no mere tolerance or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment. C.S. Lewis__The Weight of Glory__

Nonduality must be approached with great circumspection, which is to say, with both appropriate epistemic imprecision and ontological vagueness, as necessarily inheres in the matter at hand. There is a real tendency for Western minds, in general, Christian minds, in particular, to engage the thought of the East from an ontological or metaphysical perspective. Now, we are not going to deny that there might even be some heavy metaphysical lifting going on in much of Eastern thought, for that denial, in and of itself, would entail falling into the trap that we are trying to help you avoid. So, just imagine, if you will, as we discuss nonduality that we are not so much trying to gift you with another way of interpreting or processing reality as we are trying to invite you to another way of seeing or experiencing reality. Put another way, a proper engagement of nonduality is not so much an exercise in discursive analysis as it is a cultivation of a more authentic awareness. It does not promote cognitive insight as much as it promotes conceptual clarity with a concommitant affective cleansing, which will result from ensuing detachments (broadly conceived). When engaging the literature on nonduality, in general, it might be helpful to receive what seem to be metaphysical assertions as epistemic stances or what seem to be ontological descriptions as more so a relating of phenomenal experiences. After all, there is no room to presume that folks who, self-described, would kill the Buddha are returning from ineffable experiences only to clearly effable about reality, or that they are telling us tales about, what they claim to hold in-principle as, untellable stories. Something else is going on, which is an invitation into an experience and not an initiation into a philosophical system. Many people with profound existential longings (comparing favorably to your own) enjoy authentic phenomenal experiences that point to a deep interconnectedness of all Reality. This interrelatedness is ineluctably unobstrusive, which is why so few see it, but utterly efficacious, which is why all experience it, even unawares. Because we are dealing with phenomenal experiences and existential realizations and

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not, rather, philosophical arguments, category errors and confusion will abound for any critic who chooses to analyze these experiences through dualistic Cartesian lenses rather than, instead, engaging the wisdom that is there to be had, even in, maybe especially in, paradox and uncertainty. As Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM observes regarding so much of Buddhism, we are being gifted with practices and not conclusions. I would add that we are being gifted with stories of experiences of unitary reality and not ontologies. One recurring theme, for example, is the triadic movement from 1) phenomenal appearances (illusions) through 2) interpretive critique (broadly conceived, such as lingustically, psychologically, etc) and back to 3) a new awareness (often an awareness of self and other that is so conventional and common sensical as to, ironically, be unconventional and uncommon, given so many of us succumb to the fogging of our lenses, save for occasional contemplative glimpses). From Nicholas of Cusa: "I have found the place where one can find Thee undisguised. It is surrounded by the coincidence of opposites. This is the wall of Paradise in which Thou dwellest. Its gate is guarded by the highest spirit of reason. Unless one overcomes it, the entrance will not open. On the other side of the wall of the coincidence of opposites one can see Thee, on this side never." The coincidence of opposites is a certain kind of unity perceived as coincidence, a unity of contrarieties overcoming opposition by convergence without destroying or merely blending the constituent elements. Although in once sense not obliterated, in another the constituent elements shed their multiple, differentiated status. Examples would include the coincidence of rest and motion, past and future, diversity and identity, inequality and equality, and divisibility and simplicity. ... coincidence does not really describe God. Rather it sets forth the way God works, the order of things in relation to God and to each other, and the manner by which humans may approach and abide in God. God is beyond the realm of contradictories. God ... preceded opposites, is undifferentiated, not other, incomparable, and without opposite, precedes distinctions, opposition, contrariety, and contradiction. [need the citation likely Rohr] What Nicholas of Cusa describes regarding the coincidentia oppositorum is very reminiscent of the type of nuance we find in semiotic theory vis a vis the principles of excluded middle and noncontradiction and when they hold and when they fold. It is also found in all approaches to the univocity and equivocity and analogy of being, whether of Scotus or Aquinas. It is found in early Dionysian logic, in Meister Eckhart, in the modern American Pragmatism of Charles Sanders Peirce and the teachings of Richard Rohr. It

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resonates our own Franciscan sensibilities, incarnational imaginations and appreciation for Scotus. Fr. Rohr says here: "The Secret" which is now gaining popularity in the USA, is probably a classic example of something that is partially true, and even good, being made into the only lens through which you read reality, and then it becomes untrue. Heresy could be defined as when we absolutize a partial truth, and I believe that is what is happening here. But I would also love for Christians to learn the partial truth, and that is why we teach the contemplative mind here. And he says this in the context of speaking against Gnosticism and for Incarnationalism, which is our portal to the Divine via the particular, the concrete, the physical ... even the sad and painful. That's what we'd expect from a good Franciscan, n'est pas? Fr. Rohr also wrote: "The Secret" which is now gaining popularity in the USA, is probably a classic example of something that is partially true, and even good, being made into the only lens through which you read reality, and then it becomes untrue. Heresy could be defined as when we absolutize a partial truth, and I believe that is what is happening here. But I would also love for Christians to learn the partial truth, and that is why we teach the contemplative mind here.

We think he is right on in what he is saying here. At the same time, we must take great care, semiotically and semantically, to make sure that the terms, categories and logic employed by any vocabulary of choice in our dialogue are referencing and describing the same realities, hence our ongoing emphasis on the need for deliberate disambiguation, careful parsing, high nuance, rigorous definition and suitable logic or grammar. From THE PARADOX OF NON-DUALITY by Fr. Thomas Keating, OCSO The state of non-duality is addressed in most of the advanced spiritual traditions of the world religions. It is sometimes referred to as No Self or Emptiness, as in Buddhism. It refers to the death of the false self or ego and the diminishment or extinction of the separate self sense, along with the abiding sense of unity with Ultimate Reality. One reading of Keating might suggest that he is facilely mapping one set of experiences over another without much rigor, disambiguation or parsing. Looking more closely, we feel safe in attributing an epistemic stance to him rather than an ontological perspective because we can glean that from within the context of other things he wrote in that same article and other things he's written over the years. It is not just a distinction between an epistemic stance and an ontological perspective, which is crucial, it is also a matter of distinguishing between states, structures and stages that, on one hand, ordinarily correlate (which we think it is fair to say) or, on the other hand, necessarily indicate (which would be patently absurd) one transformative or unitive level or another.

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We conceive of the False Self as the persona, which is a good and necessary thing, just not a sufficient thing for completing the transformative journey. We go beyond it but not without it. The No Self is not, then, the True Self that follows the development of the persona on our journey of individuation and transformation. The No Self is, rather, an experience of nondual awareness, of absolute unitary being. It may be, though, that this No Self experience is correlated with the journey to True Self. We find them together, often. Keating: Non-duality is clearly a state beyond what is called in the Christian contemplative tradition Transforming Union. The Cistercians, Franciscans, Carmelites, and other religious groups have described this state as bridal mysticism. Nondual awareness is a metaphysical intuition, not a state of virtue or level of transformation. It is, rather, value-neutral, in fact. Now, again, it may be that it is well-correlated with this state of virtue. Keating: The unifying force of divine love draws and unites the soul into ineffable experiences of union with the Beloved and forgetfulness of self. They remain two however. This seems quite alright vis a vis a spousal or bridal mysticism, in and of itself, which should not otherwise be equated with nondual states of awareness but might well be highly correlated with experiences of same. It is preferable to other formulations of No Self, which annihilate the ego, self or even personhood. Keating: St. John of the Cross in the Living Flame of Love hints at higher states of union, but is not explicit. Some of the Beguines of the 12th and 13th centuries wrote explicitly of the Transforming Union as initiating a further journey into states of unity consciousness that parallel the descriptions of no self or enlightenment found in Buddhism, Advaitic Vedanta, or Sufi literature. Here there is no self at all. We must be clear as to whether or not we are talking about a fleeting epistemic experience or an ontological reality. Keating properly speaks in epistemic terms is our take. Keating: Perhaps it might be useful to orient practitioners to the paradox of living a life that is neither dual nor non-dual, just as some spiritual traditions affirm that the Absolute is not this, not thator similar to the statement, not one, not two. These paradoxes point to the fact that God is beyond all that exists and beyond all categories of being and non-being, as well as in all that exists. We rather like that. It seems clear that Fr. Keating talks in terms of awareness or a sense of this or that, which is to say in epistemic terms, but does not commit the metaphysical category errors of

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others who make sweeping ontological & metaphysical claims. He affirms the dialectic between apophatic and kataphatic, nondual and dual (and transdual). Bernard of Clairvaux On the Song of Songs But notice that in spiritual marriage there are two kinds of birth, and thus two kinds of offspring, though not opposite. For spiritual persons, like holy mothers, may bring souls to birth by preaching, or may give birth to spiritual insights by meditation. In this latter kind of birth the soul leaves even its bodily senses and is separated from them, so that in her awareness of the Word she is not aware of herself. This happens when the mind is enraptured by the unutterable sweetness of the Word, so that it withdraws, or rather is transported, and escapes from itself to enjoy the Word. The soul is affected in one way when it is made fruitful by the Word, in another when it enjoys the Word: in the one it is considering the needs of its neighbor; in the other it is allured by the sweetness of the Word. A mother is happy in her child; a bride is even happier in her bridegroom's embrace. The children are dear, they are the pledge of his love, but his kisses give her greater pleasure. It is good to save many souls, but there is far more pleasure in going aside to be with the Word. But when does this happen and for how long? It is sweet intercourse, but lasts a short time and is experienced rarely! This is what I spoke of before, when I said that the final reason for the soul to seek the Word was to enjoy him in bliss. So, for all the talk of stages and levels and ways regarding the transformative journey, it is good counsel to give up the need to know where we are or where others are on this journey for there is no way to accurately judge such things. It is important, in our view, to draw a distinction between phenomenal states and psychic structures, on one hand, and transformative stages and levels of virtue, on the other hand. It is enough to know that they can often be highly correlated but important to know that they are not necessarily otherwise truly indicative one of the other. Some are given glimpses. Some experiences are fleeting and transitory. Others are more perduring. All is unmerited and freely given by God for reasons known to Him alone. This is how we would conceive any state beyond transforming union. This is clearly, in St. Bernard's view, a matter of experience, a type of awareness, an affective moment, an epistemic value-realization and not, rather, a perduring ontological reality. The following is an excerpt from an introduction to St. Bernard's Sermons on the Song of Songs by Prof. Katherine Gill for her courses at Yale Divinity School and Boston College: Sermon 52 illustrates Bernard's conviction that contemplation is a foretaste of heaven and a mystical (bridal) sleep that vivifies the mystical senses. But he also viewed it as a type of ecstatic dying to the world and as an apophatic, imageless-therefore, "angelic"contemplation of God. For St. John of the Cross, bridal sleep is the most apostolic work a person can do for the Church, because therein a person does what he or she was created for: to love and to be loved. The selected text from Sermon 74 is one of the most stunning attempts in the entire Christian mystical tradition to describe the mystical experience. When the Word invades the soul, he cannot be perceived by the senses. However, the heart, or the person's deepest center, suddenly becomes alive and

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its most secret faults are disclosed. When the Word leaves, it is like a boiling pot removed from the stove. The Life of the soul's life seems to have disappeared. Sermons 83 and 85 describe spiritual marriage and spiritual fecundity. The Word actually takes the soul as his bride, and two become one in spirit, yet remain two. Spousal mysticism emphasizes a differentiated unity. In other words, love actually makes two one, but also enhances personal identity. Love makes the soul equal to God, God by participation, but not simply God. Also, Bernard emphasizes that bridal love loves God for his own sake. Although as bride, the soul desires the Bridegroom's embrace, as mother she loves her children, that is, her neighbor. We must honor the distinction between a mystical experience, on one hand, and a level or degree or stage or state of sanctity or virtue or perfect charity, on the other. Sure, there are manifold and multiform phenomenal states, psychic phenomena or experiences that can be correlated with whether or not one is on the purgative or illuminative way, whether one is in this or that interior mansion, whether one is at base camp or the summit of Mt. Carmel. When speaking epistemically, especially of nonduality, a state would be temporary, an epistemological structure, or if you prefer stage, would be more permanent, which is to recognize a type of nondual consciousness that is not so much an experience per se as it is, instead, a way of perceiving reality. Of course, there is another notion of nondual realization, not of an experience or perception or type of awareness, in which case the state of one's consciousness doesn't matter: nonduality is just there to see. And it does seem that a good panentheist might figure this out through philosophical contemplation, someone else through an intuition of being, still another through a kundalini experience, yet another through enlightenment. At any rate, there is more to this stage paradigm than just the experiential aspect; when speaking of the transforming union we are talking not just about phenomenal experiences but habitual virtue, increased charity & sanctifying grace, preservation from serious sin and general avoidance of venial sin and so on. Mystical ecstasy is a type of nonduality, but does not exhaust that reality. Keating speaks of the transient nature of such ecstasy as is associated with bridal mysticism. We do not interpret him to be suggesting that this is what becomes permanent. Rather, at this point, we'd suspect he thinks in terms of nondual realization, an epistemological structure, whether one thinks of that in terms of a perduring unitive consciousness (or way of perceiving reality), or, as Wilber would (and Keating leans on Wilber), nondual realization, which doesn't require any form of consciousness per se. Now, this may all seem to leave a question begging ... of why, when it comes to nonduality, so many go the pantheistic route, or, worse, the materialist monist route, or maybe not as bad, the idealist monist route, rather than the panentheist route. And we're just going to leave this here as a footnote. The reason is, in our view, that they have not seen the wisdom of Dionysian logic, as has a modern counterpart in the semiotic approach of Charles Sanders Peirce; or they have not been exposed to a dialogue between

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the univocity and analogy of being, of Duns Scotus and Thomas Aquinas. Or, they just don't know how to get around the seeming inviolability of the principle of noncontradiction. The answer lies in the coincidentia oppositorum of Nicholas of Cusa. When it comes to a theism properly conceived, which excludes atheism, pantheism and other nontheistic traditions, we think the big divide, theologically, precisely has to do with defining our relationship to ultimate reality. It often seems that, when talking about God, some people equate our unitive striving in terms of a journey toward intimacy, or even more plainly put, as a transformation from what might start out as a merely functional relationship into a purely personal relationship. It has to do, then, with getting closer. Others conceive of this unitive striving as a dance between relationship and identity, as a journey from intersubjectivity into absolute subjectivity. Some affirm this intersubjectivity and then strive to transform it into absolute subjectivity; others see this intersubjectivity as an illusion. There is nothing in the Christian tradition that corresponds to this second type of unitive striving. Anyone who suggests this isn't so much being a heretic as they are just plain being silly. Now, it is possible to conceive of God, philosophically, as mostly in a functional relationship with creation, so there are other ways to be theistic without relating to the Creator as Abba or as in bridal mysticism. This isn't an option for the Christian. If Jesus revealed anything, then He revealed an actively involved and deeply caring God, building on the Hebrew experience. (Of course, let's not forget the Song of Songs, either). Thus, He taught us to pray, Our Father ... Aside from these distinctly theological concerns, nondual has different meanings that pertain to 1) psychological states: altered states of consciousness, ecstasy 2) epistemological states and structures: nondiscursive, preconceptual and transconceptual awareness; avoidance of subject-object cleavage; epistemic vagueness; nominalism & essentialism 3) linguistic and semiotic approaches: Dionysian logic, semantical vagueness, triadic semiotic grammar; deconstruction strategies 4) metaphysical & ontological theories: idealist and materialist monisms; aristotelian hylomorphism; ontological vagueness; modal ontology 5) philosophical: false dichotomies; binary logic; dualistic conceptions 6) ascetical practices & spiritual disciplines of all sorts, what we might call spiritual technology. When evaluating phenomenal states, psychic structures, psychological stages, Lonergan's conversions and ontological and theological degrees of perfection, we must carefully define their essential nature, inventory the graces that might accompany them and identify their fruits. In other words, we need to draw distinctions, but as Maritain said, in order to unite. We need to employ Dionysian logic, to embrace the coincidentia oppositorum. We must distinguish between univocal and equivocal predications of God. We generally cannot employ univocity when speaking of God and creatures, which is to recognize that the words we use to describe humans, like person, for example, cannot be literally predicated of God. There is an equivocity in play in any words we use to describe both

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God and humans. The way we bridge these distinct realities is to employ, then, analogical predications, which is to affirm that the Trinity is in a relationship LIKE that enjoyed by us a persons. When we speak of the Mystical Body of Christ or the Cosmic Christ, we speak of an eternal reality and employ such words as body and cosmic, not literally, but analogically. Even when we speak of Jesus in His life on earth, the precise nature of His humanity remains shrouded in mystery and these rules of predication would apply metaphysically. Revelation, though, has literal and historical dimensions (what can I know?), anagogical dimensions (what can I hope for? Last Things?), mystagogical dimensions (how does this all relate? and initiate into mystery), allegorical sense (how is this metaphor sustained?) and the tropological sense (morally and theotically, what must I do?). So, while we cannot say literally and metaphysically how Jesus' essential nature was realized, we can say that spiritually and morally He revealed the fullness of God's Trinitarian Life to us, as well as how we are to respond and what is in store for us. We think it is fair enough to say that our relationship with God is, in some sense, undeniably personal. As we conceive of the Mystical Body of Christ, there is obviously something transpersonal, that goes beyond our understanding of the personal, which is not employed univocally of God and creatures in the first place. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with also recognizing that the Reality of God cannot be robustly described using any of our human categories for, apophatically, the only literal descriptions we can predicate of God are those statements of what God is not. What we have, then, in Dionysian logic, is a trialectical (tetradalectical?) interplay between the both/and of apophatic/univocal predications and the kataphatic/equivocal predications, as well as the neither/nor of the unitive subversion of binary logic, hence, dichotomous thinking. Temporally speaking, we also have a tension between what we can experience now vs eschatologically versus proleptically (as though the future were present). An elucidation of Buddhism by Dumoulin with an assist from Peirce, Polanyi and Lonergan In Heinrich Dumoulins Understanding Buddhism37 one might discover possible resonances between our own Peircean-Nevillean inspired axiological epistemology, which opens to a Neo-Platonic, participatory ontology, and certain understandings of Buddhism as explicated by Dumoulin. First, on the question of metaphysics, Dumoulins observations seem to concur with those of our late friend Jim Arraj38, whom we quoted above but will repeat here for emphasis: It would probably by wrong, as well, to imagine that Zen Buddhism, or even the advaitan Vedanta is making any kind of ontological nondualist claims. Rather, they are trying to take into account a nondual experience, and sometimes their post-experience
37

Heinrich Dumoulins Understanding Buddhism (Weatherhill, NY & Tokoyo, 1994) as translated and adapted from the German by Joseph S. OLeary
38

James and Tyra Arraj, Christianity in the Crucible of East-West Dialogue at innerexplorations.com

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reflections can leave the impression that they are creating a nondual ontology. But they are not interested in philosophy in the Western sense, but rather, leading people to the experience, itself. The real question, which we will pursue later, is whetherenlightenment is nondual in itself, or is presented in a nondual way because of the very means by which the enlightenment experience is attained. There should be no rush to judgment on the part of Christians as if they need to express Christianity in some nondual ontological fashion. This is not precisely what Zen Buddhists, and advaitan Hindus are doing. Dumoulin writes: Turning to the question of God, I shall dwell on the enigmatic silence with which the Buddha responded to metaphysical questions, and show that this can be seen as one of the several ways in which Buddhism gives witness to divine transcendence. (pg 2) He continues in the same vein: "Worldviews described as pessimistic are of three kinds: ontological, existential and theological. Pessimistic philosophies of the first kind nihilism or Manicheanism declare the being as such is empty of value and meaning, that the foundations of the universe are askew. The Buddhist diagnosis does not entail anything of this sort, for it either refrains from raising questions of metaphysical ontology, or it does so only in a soteriological context, and then answers them in a way that cannot be called pessimistic. We have conceived of epistemology in terms of four autonomous methodologies that are otherwise integrally related axiologically: descriptive, normative, interpretive and evaluative. Preliminarily, it seems that these roughly correlate to Wim Drees definition of theology as a cosmology plus an axiology, where our descriptive and normative categories correspond to Drees cosmological category and our interpretive and evaluative roughly correspond to his axiological. These categories also roughly correlate with the traditional categories of theological apologetics: evidential, rational, presuppositional (all cosmological) and existential (axiological). We need to dutifully employ such categories as these when parsing texts in interreligious dialogue in order to avoid facilely reductive interpretations of different traditions. In our realist approaches to reality, we can draw a further distinction, that between a methodological and pragmatic realism and a theoretical and metaphysical realism. Even our metaphysical realisms can be further distinguished as weak, moderate and strong, or as robustly descriptive versus vaguely referential. These realisms are primarily distinguished from a nominalism, which reduces all meaningful discourse to issues of nomenclature. Polanyi critiques nominalism by advancing his notion of a tacit dimension, which we might describe as an ineluctably unobtrusive but utterly efficacious type of causation, such a causation as complements the efficient causation of the natural sciences with the minimalistically conceived formal and final causations of modern semiotic science. Lonergan critiques nominalism, which he calls conceptualism, by drawing a distinction between our naming exercises, which correspond to his imperative to be intelligent, and our judging exercises, which follow his imperative to be reasonable.

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Peirce critiques nominalism with his category of thirdness, which recognizes the reality of law-like generalities (probabilities and necessities) beyond the mere categories of firstness (possibilities as predicates) and secondness (actualities as subjects). These are the types of distinctions that we sense are very much coming into play as we parse the text and disambiguate the concepts of Buddhism in order to properly engage them in comparative theology and contemplative dialogue. If Buddhism is not doing ontology, then what exactly is it claiming, soteriologically, when invoking such ideas as nirvana and the no-self? Dumoulin addresses both realities: He writes of nirvana: Such reductive interpretations [of nirvana] cannot explain the language in which nirvana is evoked in radiant images of bliss, peace, security and freedom. The literal meaning of the word nirvana is extinction, but this can give a misleading impression. When the Buddha was asked about the state of the Perfected One after death, he pointed out that even in this life his state is deep, immeasurable, unfathomable as is the great ocean. When the fire is quenched, one does not ask in which direction it has gone, east, west, north or south. This is not because the fire no longer exists, but because, as an Indian audience would have gathered, the fire has returned to a non-manifested state as latent heat. Likewise, the nirvanic state is beyond our grasp, but it is not nothingness. (pg 29) He continues regarding selfhood: Modern Theravada Buddhism adopts no single clear stance towards the question of non-self and selfhood, and the complicated development of the Abhidharma philosophies impedes an unambiguous formulation. One both finds the denial of any kind of self, and the acceptance of a self. The position attributed to the Buddha himself rejects both nihilism (uccheda-ditthi) and substantialism (sassata-ditthi). The radical deniers of any kind of self can with difficulty avoid being found in a nihilistic position in the end, while the acceptance of a self leads easily to a substantialist metaphysics of being. The Buddha avoids both by his silence. (pg 37) There is certainly a minimalist ontology of vague references, a phenomenology, which the Buddha employs in these soteriological and pragmatic contexts. This does not, in our view, entail a denial of the self, existentially, only a deliberate prescinding from a robust description of the essential nature of the self, metaphysically. Not even a root metaphor like being can exhaust the reality of a human being, much less God. Cosmologically, or descriptively and normatively, the Buddha desists from saying more than one can know, from proving too much, from telling an untellable story. Axiologically, or interpretively and evaluatively, there is an inchoate opening to transcendence and a conditioning and prioritization of ones values as ordered toward both personal transformation and a profound compassion, which ensues from ones radical awakening to a deep solidarity with reality writ large. To wit, per Dumoulin:The true self, as my act of existence, is trans-categorical, not graspable in concepts, ineffable.To actualize the true self, one must undergo a dying of

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ones ego. Such an experience of self is an experience of transcendence, an opening to absolute reality, though the transcendence is represented in an impersonal, cosmological language rather than a personal theologicalone. (pg 43) This down-to-earth faith is far removed from the abstract pessimism which Westerners often associate with Buddhism. Thus the basic human experience, whereby one breaks through the bounds of the ego to open oneself to an all-embracing, protecting, and helping Power, works itself out in Buddhism in a distinctive style. Knowledge and nescience, transcendent faith and this-worldly confirmation, blend here in a rich varioety of forms. (pg.63) This defining ideal of Buddhism [compassion] is embodied in the Buddha, the bodhisattvas, and the Buddhist saints. The philosophical systems developed in Mahayna Buddhism were unable to provide a satisfactory philosophical illumination of this topic. Christian love, which has also found a convincing embodiment in countless lives, cannot be explained in philosophical terms either, though its foundations in divine transcendence are clear. (pg 86) Is Buddhism, then, transcending nominalist tendencies or reinforcing them? In our view, Buddhism, transcends nominalism pragmatically. First, there is a mountain, in its Peircean secondness, in actuality, in Lonergans imperative to be attentive. Then, there is no mountain, as Lonergans imperative to be intelligent critiques our conceptual formulations and choice of predicates as referenced in Peircean firstness or possibilities. Then, there is, once again, a mountain, pragmatically and phenomenologically, as we enjoy our second naivete following Lonergans imperative to be reasonable in our judgments of fact, as we affirm the Peircean thirdness in what Lonergan has called emergent probabilities. This reasonableness moves forward with the recognition that we do not have to have the essential nature of reality fleshed out in robustly metaphysical terms in order to navigate through reality realizing its manifold and multiform values, but can enjoy our value-realization pursuits with provisional closures and a contrite fallibilism. Buddhism honors Polanyis tacit dimensionality in its affirmation of an ineffable transcendent reality. Perhaps no word better captures the Buddhist conception of our human relationship to transcendent reality than participatory? While there can be no robust description of either the self or of transcendent reality in an unambiguous ontological language or system, both per Buddhism and my own take on metaphysics, neither can there be any doubt that the self is caught up in a universal relationality, extending beyond the empirical ego to the dimensions of the cosmos (pg 38). Dumoulin writes: Interpreted thus [Great Self as no-self], the sense of being one with the cosmos is an acceptance of ones relative place in the total web of things. (pg 39) This participatory realization, however, does not grow out of a Buddhist cosmology,

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descriptively and normatively. It is, rather, an interpretive stance toward an experience, which conditions ones outlook on reality, evaluatively. Existentially and axiologically, then, one opens oneself to ones place in the web of existence and approaches reality with a radical acceptance, a deep okayness, a willingness to participate on realitys terms in order to further realize ones solidarity with the One and to express the profound compassion that necessarily ensues from this experience. Dumoulin discusses an East-West convergence of apophatic mysticism. It raises our own suspicions about a possible convergence of these participatory ontologies, both conceived vaguely: Speaking of Gregory of Nazianzus, Gregory of Nyssa and John Chrysostum: These great theologians provided a solid basis for the thought of Psuedo-Dionysius, who also drew heavily on the thought of the Neo-Platonist philosopher Proclus. Are the similarities between Eastern and Western mysticism due exclusively to a convergence on the level of spiritual experience, or was Christian negative theology prompted by an encounter with Asia? There has been much discussion of possible Indian influences on the Middle Platonic and Neo-Platonic ideas which these theologians had absorbed, particularly in connection with Plotinuss mysticism of the One. Emile Brehier spoke of the orientalism of Plotinus and of deep affinities between certain aspects of Plotinian doctrine and the Upanishads. It is hard to dismiss the belief that the stream of negative theology, preserved and expanded in Christian mystical thought down to the present time, has one of its sources in that distant encounter with a form of Indian spirituality closely related to Buddhism. Though the channels of interactions remain obscure, these early interactions between Eastern and Western spirituality are a haunting theme in the history of religions and loom in the background of the present encounter between Buddhism and Christianity. (pp. 5-6) Dumoulin closes: The Christian sees ultimate reality revealed in the personal love of God as shown in Christ, the Buddhist in the silence of the Buddha. Yet, they agree on two things: that the ultimate mystery is ineffable, and that it should be manifest to human beings. The inscription on a Chinese stone figure of the Buddha, dated 746, reads: The highest truth is without image. If there were no image at all, however, there would be no way for truth to be manifested. The highest principle is without words. But if there were not words at all, how could principle possibly be revealed? As our own sacramentology thus affirms - our symbols reveal what they conceal & conceal what they reveal. Other Kindred Voices Affirming Multiculturalism & An Ancient-Future Aproach We do not want to too narrowly conceive when and where it is that value is to be mined, and not just liturgically speaking, but broadly speaking, philosophically, culturally, scientifically and religiously. The primary value to be realized from an Ancient-Future

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approach, as I conceive it, is the retrieval, revival and renewal of a harmony that existed between science, culture, philosophy and religion. This is not to ignore the fact that each of these human endeavors was being conducted at a much earlier stage of development than the stage we enjoy now. However, it is to suggest that the relationship between these human values was more holistic and integral. This is to recognize and affirm that theology must always be contextual, which is to say, related to our concrete lived experiences, where we can recognize how the Gospel speaks to the problems we encounter, here and now. A contextual approach requires, then, an inculturated theology, which involves much more than worship forms. To the extent our outlook is radically incarnational and robustly pneumatological, we will be on the lookout for the treasures of different cultures, whether across time or geography, because the Spirit has helped place them there. And we will want to preserve their diversity, form, expression and integrity. Such cultural realities not only include song, dance, meditative practices, story-telling and worship forms. They also include social realities like conceptions of marriage and family life, community interactions, pastoral approaches, philosophical norms and scientific-technological adaptations. Such cultural values are to be integrated into Christianity, which in turn is to be inserted into each culture. Ancient-Future covers only a temporal dimension, which needs to be complemented by a geographic dimension, North-South and East-West, vis a vis inculturation. We do not have to choose between the old and new or East & West; we get to have it all! We especially dont want to cloak the Gospel in exclusively European garments for others to put on. We risk not only the renewal of an authoritarian approach but a terribly parochialistic, colonialistic, paternalistic and hierarchicalistic approach. The most salient issue is making the Gospel relevant in this place, in this time, to this person, to these people. And we are called to pay attention to that truth, beauty, goodness and unity that have already emerged within a given culture, because the forms those values have taken are gifts from created co-creators, whove responded to the same Spirit. The harmony to be rediscovered, retrieved, revived and renewed is the holistic, integral relationship between the distinct value-endeavors of science, philosophy, culture & religion, whereby our descriptive, normative, evaluative and interpretive methodologies are affirmed as methodologically-autonomous but axiologically-integral. This DOES seem to more so characterize our premodern situation, wherein we affirmed approaches to reality that were robustly participatory and common sensical. It is a harmony that can heal the Cartesian split of modernism and bridge the nihilistic abyss of a radically deconstructive postmodernism. It is nothing less than an affirmation of the mind, spirit, heart and soul in proper relationship to one another within each person and each people. We dont want to too narrowly conceive how this harmony can be nurtured and sustained, not temporally, not geographically. These are cute lyrics:

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Call me a relic call me what you will Say Im old fashioned say Im over the hill Todays music dont have the same soul Just give me old time rock and roll But the fact of the matter is that todays music DOES have soul, just like yesterdays. And African drums and Indian sitars do, also. Who wants a world without Ravi Shankar and the cultural intermingling he fostered in more ways than one? Wed have no Norwegian Wood! Worse yet, wed have no Norah Jones! We shudder to think about it. A Trust Relationship with Reality? We can back up and look at the overall thrust of Jesus life, and that of other traditions even, from a more vague perspective, and we can reasonably come away with the idea that the saints and mystics and authentic practitioners of these traditions are testifying to profound experiences of a reality that is ultimately unitive and love-filled, that awakens us to solidarity and inspires in us compassion, and that inspires a trust-relationship with and toward reality, itself. This, then, is a rather universal testimony to the idea THAT reality is, at bottom, friendly, even as we might be left to wonder exactly HOW this may be so, because the evidence, of course, is ambiguous. Once we situate Christianity and its specific message in the context of the other great traditions, its specific hopes that all may be well do not appear wholly unreasonable. I think the novelist Walker Percy was very faithful in his articulation of the human predicament, as informed by his appreciation of the French existentialists and folks like Dostoevsky and Kierkegaard. Sartre and Camus et al and their perspectives on the human condition are not to be facilely engaged and then casually dismissed. Tillich was spot on in recognizing that faith was a polar reality with doubt an indispensable element, a state of being ultimately concerned and not, rather, propositionally certain. Walker said: I suppose my typical protagonist or hero or anti-hero is a fellow to whom a great deal has happened, who sees all the dark things that we are talking about, whos more or less dislocated like a Sartrean or a Camus character, but who, nevertheless, despite everything, sees a certain hopefulness, but has a certain resilience and reserve, and a feeling that there is something around the bend, like Huckleberry Finn. Now, that Walker quote strikes me as a distinctly axiological take on reality. It interprets and evaluates reality and speaks to the forming of our desires and the nurturance of our hopes. Its an interpretive-evaluative posit that has neither denied nor ignored the ambiguous and often brutal cosmological evidence. Its a practical existential response that goes beyond but not without the evidential and rational perspectives. To some extent, until we move beyond the extrinsic reward and punishment paradigm driven by the whats in it for me approach of our early moral and affective development in order to enjoy the intrinsic rewards of the pursuit of truth, beauty, goodness and

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unity for their own sakes, an approach associated with a more advanced affective and moral development, our religion has only socialized us and not really transformed us. Transformed folks have stared into the abyss, in one way or another, and not unflinchingly, and have nevertheless said: Lets see whats around the bend! and then go on loving, creating beauty and searching for truth. The journey becomes their destination. The quest becomes their grail. Our questions and concerns, hopes and desires, unite us far more than any metaphysical propositions and theological answers ever will. Is Reality Arbitrary? As we affirm the ancient-future approach we consider, also, both the now & the future aspects of the Kingdom. There are fruits we enjoy now even as we orient to a more complete realization in the future. The question of God being arbitrary involves all of the philosophical issues surrounding how we apply predicates to God via kataphasis, where we attempt an increase in our descriptive accuracy of a reality by employing positive affirmations via analogy and metaphor, and apophasis, where we increase such accuracy through negative descriptions of what God is not (literally) or is not like (metaphorically). For example, God is true, good and beautiful. God is like a parent. God is not indifferent. God is not uninvolved. So, one might go back and notice how each theologian must first deal with the disambiguation of the concept, arbitrary, and then must grapple with its application as a divine attribute through alternating kataphatic and apophatic descriptions. On the surface, one may come away with the initial impression that there has been some disagreement between these theologians. Upon further review, this is not really the case, whatsoever, because not everyone, when disambiguating and clarifying the concept, defined it & then employed it in the same way. Some were more so kataphatic in tenor, others more apophatic. Some were grappling via a propositional approach to the question, metaphysically. Others addressed the question in a more relational way, de-emphasizing conceptual map-making and more so engaging our participatory imaginations and how they engage God nonpropositionally via our existential & trans-rational orientations with their evaluative posits and affective dispositions. Put another way, we can answer that question with our mind, our spirit, our heart or our soul, but best answer it, holistically, with Ignatius engaging and then surrendering, our memory, understanding, our entire will, seeking only love. This is not unrelated to our postmodern giftedness, whereby our ontological modal categories changed from the possible, actual and necessary, to the possible, actual and probable. No longer is ours a philosophical or existential tug of war between pattern or paradox, order or chaos, chance or necessity, symmetry or asymmetry, or the random or systematic. These are false dichotomies, just like arbitrary or nonarbitrary.

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Reality is, instead, probabilistic. On one hand, it appears to have initial, boundary and limit conditions, while, on the other hand, it seems to be coaxing us forward toward a somewhat open future. We might suggest that Einstein was wrong in that it does look very much like God does indeed play dice; but the nihilists are manifestly wrong insofar as those dice very clearly appear to be loaded. Everywhere in reality, especially in mathematics and logic, the modal category of the necessary seems to suggest itself. But nowhere in reality have we ever encountered its physical instantiation! God may very well be the Ens Necessarium, but this doesnt leave us with a choice between determinism and indeterminism, ontologically. Instead, it leaves us in a fallible position, epistemologically, where our takes on reality are variously over- and under-determined. If we take the word arbitrary as a mathematical conception related to chance and necessity, then it cannot be predicated of God, metaphorically, because nowhere in reality can we find their physical analog, for reality is, instead, probabilistic. If we take the word arbitrary as an interpersonal reality related to the whimsical, then we are dealing with an affective disposition and we would find it very difficult to suggest that reality, from a human perspective, does not appear somewhat ambiguous for us and clearly ambivalent toward us. What we choose to imagine is that, should reality be less ambiguous for us and ambivalent toward us, it would somehow limit our freedom and coerce our relationship to God, Who, in spite of the apparent ambiguity and ambivalence, already seems true enough, beautiful enough and good enough to encourage our trust, inspire our awe and abide with our doubt and fear. But even when we cannot even imagine that inchoate theodicy, we believe, anyway, hope, anyway, love, anyway and trust, anyway. To Whom else can we go? As Hans Kung notes, we all have a fundamental trust in uncertain reality. For some, this trust is paradoxical and nowhere anchored. Others anchor this trust in God. Anchor is too strong an analogy to describe our trust. A sailing metaphor would seem more apt. Weve seen so many of our sisters and brothers throughout history, time and time again, who catch the winds of both incredible fortune and outrageous misfortune, alike, in the fragile but resilient sails of their human spirits. And then weve watched them courageously tack and jibe their way back to the shores of faith, hope and love. We want to be like them. We can trust these winds, and use them, even when we cannot predict or understand their variable nature. And even when they are headwinds and not rather tailwinds.

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Nurturing the Creative Tensions of Paradox The dialectical imagination (think Barth and apophasis) and analogical imagination (think catholic and kataphasis) are best held in a creative tension where neither drowns the other. Wittgenstein correctly affirmed the methodological autonomy of science, philosophy and religion, but a Wittgensteinian fideism fails to recognize that these different horizons of human concern are axiologically integral, which is to suggest that they mutually influence each other. Whether we employ a language game paradigm or an ontology with a chosen root metaphor, these human endeavors, while not logically-related, are very much intellectually-related. And this is to further suggest that religion is not merely expressive but also interpretive and to further recognize that it is not immune to cultural criticism employing prudential, pragmatic and practical criteria, which in themselves are at least weakly inferential or truth-indicative even if not robustly inferential and truth-conducive. The dialectical imagination enjoys a certain primacy in God-talk and it critiques the analogical imagination in that, where God is concerned, we employ the weakest of analogies in metaphor, which express dissimilarities that differ infinitely vis a vis any similarities they may otherwise invoke. The analogical imagination critiques the dialectical insofar as the exclusively dialectical would so distance God in a radical apophaticism as would render all God-talk incomprehensible and suggests that, however meager our metaphorical knowledge, it is precisely because we are grappling with a reality on the order of an infinitude that such knowledge becomes increasingly significant to us who, as radically finite creatures, greet such knowledge recognizing that it has profound existential import to us in our human condition. This is to say, then, while our dialectical approach properly invokes Gods utter incomprehensibility, our analogical approach affirms His infinite intelligibility. God dwells in ineluctable mystery and it would drown us if we tried to drink it all in, but we can taste and see His goodness in drops because He is not wholly unintelligible. It is a false dichotomy, indeed, that juxtaposes a choice between incomprehensibility and a final theory of everything. Rather, we move slowly but inexorably in our partial apprehensions and with our fallibilist provisional closures regarding ultimate reality, closures that do not aspire to the level of robust theory but, instead, to the presentation of a rather vague heuristic. A radical apophaticism and hyper-active dialectical imagination quickly devolve into such a theological nonrealism as will cut large swaths out of our Christian tradition, leading finally to insidious metaphysical and moral nonrealisms, too, which support nothing, in the end, but a practical nihilism and sad cynicism. This is existentialism, to be sure, but not of the Christian variety. It is Sartre and Camus and not Dostoevsky and Kierkegaard. In science and philosophy, we evaluate paradox and attempt to resolve it dialectically in

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synthesis, or to dissolve it perspectivally via paradigm shift, or to even evade it practically, such as by ignoring it. When it comes to lifes most ultimate concerns and deepest mysteries, any attempts to resolve, dissolve or evade paradox are futile. What we do rather, such as where God-talk is involved, is we exploit paradox, transformatively, nurturing the creative tensions that present in the mutual critique, for example, between our dialectical and analogical imaginations. While it is certainly true that our existential move into faith involves an unconditional assent, quite often it will be pragmatic arguments that lead us to the oceans edge and prudential criteria that will inspire our leap, where we discover the buoyancy of faith. And we will be thus tempted by the psalmist to taste and see the goodness of the Lord. And sometimes our human predicament will make us feel as if were about to drown. But when Jesus knew for certain, only drowning men could see Him, he said all men shall be sailors, then, until the sea shall free them (Leonard Cohen). So, our life of faith will very much require us to many times praise the Lord, anyway. And so we believe with a certain resiliency despite lifes tragedies. And we nurture Gods analogical goodness in a creative tension with His infinitely dissimilar dialectical goodness, exploiting the paradox transformatively, neither banishing the mystery with our ill-conceived aspirations to an exhaustive theodicy nor refraining from our frail theodicies, which, in the end, must properly retain the element of mystery. Love is not a syllogism. God is not an argument. But incomprehensibility and unintelligibility are two radically different semiotic realities. A deeply compassionate pastoral sensitivity will help us to hold our God-analogs loosely without letting go of our apophatic dialectic and to nurture the creative tension in the paradox presented by natural evil in a world created by, yes, a good God, as we suffer with God and transform our suffering co-creatively. Only a puerile iconoclasm inspired by a seriously misguided theological nonrealism would try to snatch these consoling God-analogs, however simplistic, out of a suffering worlds hands. Cajoling people with the distinctions of theo-esoterica in an attempt to dispossess them of the exoteric apprehensions of their God is at best an exercise in pedantry and at worst may leave others feeling not edified but bullied. Finally, its just plain philosophically indefensible to resolve such paradox in a wholly dialectical manner. Note: In applying scholastic notations like possible, plausible, probable, certain, uncertain, improbable, implausible and impossible to arguments and propositions regarding our ultimate concerns, while it may be true that we are at most dealing with equiplausible or equiprobable propositions and while it may also be true that the lex dubia non obligat axiom applies, meaning one has no obligation in conscience, it is manifestly not true that one can find no reasons to assent to one proposition rather than another, especially employing pragmatic criteria and prudential & relational (trust) arguments, which also happen to have normative epistemic force as truth-indicative criteria. Such existential moves might be transrational or suprarational or

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super-reasonable, but they need not be irrational or arational or without reason. A More Authentically Integralist Approach In some sense, the great traditions have always been about the articulation of truth in creed, preservation of goodness in code, celebration of beauty in cult (or ritual) and enjoyment of fellowship in community. An authentically integralist approach, then, will recognize Wilbers quadrants such that the intraobjective enjoys its moment of primacy in our pursuit of truth, the interobjective in our pursuit of goodness, the intrasubjective in our pursuit of beauty and the intersubjective in our pursuit of community. Where we are headed, ecclesiologically is toward a model of church that is 1) pneumatological, which is to say that it will primarily engage in interreligious dialogue from the perspective of the Spirit, this over against any ecclesiocentric approach and perhaps even bracketing our various Christological approaches 2) servant, which is to actively grapple with the questions of social justice & peace 3) herald, which is to recognize the orthopathic efficacies of the contemplative, nondual stance, inviting others to transformation via a shared social imaginary as cultivated by authentically transformative liturgical approaches, this participatory approach emphasized over (while complementing) the sterile and stale propositional apologetics of yesteryear and 4) mystical body, a visible manifestation of an invisible reality, to be sure, but dropping our old and insidious overemphases on the manifold and varied institutional structures. (cf. Dulles models of church) Wim Drees defines theology as a cosmology plus an axiology. Drees notes that, and serious emergentists might pay special attention, the discontinuity in emergent reality threatens the unity of the sciences. Because laws, themselves, emerge, we are on thin theoretical ice when speculating metaphysically regarding the nature of primal reality, causal joints for divine prerogatives, and so on. While cosmological and axiological approaches are integrally-related, they are methodologically autonomous. Cosmology answers the questions 1) Is that a fact? (descriptively) and 2) How do I best acquire/avoid that? (normatively). Daniel Helminiak, a Lonergan protege, would describe these as positivist and philosophic activities and rightly affirms, in my view, the philosophic as spiritual quest. Even if one concedes, for arguments sake, our ability to travel from the descriptive to the prescriptive, given to normative, is to ought (and Mortimer Adler well-demonstrates that we can get from an is to an ought) still, due to our universal human condition, wherein we are all, for the most part, similarly situated, even if our reasoning differs for certain precepts and would be theoretically relativistic, still, from a practical perspective our precepts are going to be remarkably consistent. The practical upshot of all of this is that cosmology, thus narrowly conceived, is truly

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Everybodys Story, which is to say we really shouldnt go around wily-nily just making this stuff up because it isnt really negotiable but is given. The reason we even have such a category as interpretation results from our radical human finitude. It is not that we dont affirm such a metaphysical realism as recognizes the validity and soundness of a putative best interpretative vision of the whole, but that, at this stage of humankinds journey, it is exceedingly problematical to fallibly discern and adjudicate between competing interpretations, especially as they fit into elaborate tautologies, all which are variously taut in their grasp of reality. In some sense, our cosmology comprises the propositional aspect of our metanarratives (aspiring to successful and robust descriptions with indications of correspondence) and our axiology comprises the narrative aspect (aspiring to vague but successful references with invitations to particpate). The postmodern critique does not instill incredulity toward our metanarratives per se; rather, it takes note of how every narrative aspect of our metanarratives is rooted in myth (yes, including scientism no less than fideism). Analogous to Gdels incompleteness theorems, we cannot prove our systems axioms within the system (evidentially, rationally, presuppositionally or propositionally), itself, but this does not mean that we cannot taste and see (existentially, as recommended by Ignatius, the Psalmist & enlightened speculative cosmologists ) the truth of those axioms, which we would necessarily express not formally, but through narrative, story, myth. This framework establishes a certain amount of epistemic parity between worldviews and religions, which then get authenticated by how well they institutionalize conversions: intellectual, affective, moral, social and religious and adjudicated with an equiplausibility principle, which looks for life-giving and relationship-enhancing criteria when choosing between otherwise ambiguous courses of action. We can also remain on the lookout for Gospel norms like a language of descent or downward mobility and a prophetic element (self-criticism). So, we do draw distinctions between a theory of truth and a test of truth and we do recognize that some aspects of reality are best grasped through correspondence while other aspects grasp us through participation. One lesson we take away is that our reliance on myth reveals that reality overflows our ability to process it, that creation, Creator and people present unfathomable depth dimensions that no encounter can capture or exhaust. If in our cosmologies, with their empirical, logical and practical foci, it is very much our intent to get the right answers, when it comes to our axiologies, with their relational foci, then, our quest is to get the right questions (Whom does the grail serve?). Our fundamental trust in uncertain reality requires no apologetic, then, and fashioning one is as futile as explaining why we love our Beloved in empirical, logical and practical terms (as if only extrinsically rewarding). Embodiments of truth, beauty, goodness and unity are their own rewards (intrinsically); they grasp us and possess us as we participate in these values with our existential orientations to these transcendental imperatives. As we distinguish between wants and needs, real and acquired desires, lesser and higher

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goods, our axiologies orient and dispose us to the higher goods, which we can enjoy without measure, and properly dispose us to the created goods that we really need in moderation and not in a disordered (John of the Cross) or inordinate (Ignatius) way. Our cosmology, which is scientific and philosophic, descriptive and normative, also includes our essentially spiritual quest, which is shaped by the positivist and normative sciences and addresses the orthopraxes of our ethical and moral strivings as well as those ascetical practices and disciplines that enhance awareness, including certain meditative practices, many which come from the East and are not inextricably bound to any religion or worldview (hence some are indeed spiritual without being religious, explicitly anyway). In our cosmology, we better come to grips with our empirical, logical and practical foci of concern and foster intellectual, moral and social conversions. Our axiology, which is interpretive and evaluative, goes beyond but not without our cosmology and is shaped by our religious myths and liturgical celebrations, which address the orthopathos of our prayer and worship, public and private, forming and reinforcing our aspirations and hopes, answering the question Whats it to me? in a manner that is properly ordered, truly fitting and proper, which is to say, Eucharistically. There is no worldview or metanarrative without either an implicit or explicit axiology that is integrally related to ones cosmology (so wed best tend to an explicit axiology in a consciously-competent manner). In fact, in addition to their methodological autonomy, our axiologies enjoy a primacy in relation to our cosmologies, although otherwise axiologically-integrated. It is our orthopathos that mediates between our orthodoxy and orthopraxis to effect an authentic orthocommunio. If our unitive strivings come up short, whether geopolitically or in our primary communities and families, we might look at our prayer lives for, if we invoke, it is only because we have been convoked. In our axiology, we better come to grips with our relational foci of concern, where our value-realizations are trust, assent, fidelity, loyalty, faith, hope, love, eros, philia, agape and so on and we better foster affective and religious conversions. We do our best to discern where Lonergans conversions have been institutionalized, looking to see which interpretive approach best fosters ongoing intellectual, affective, moral and social growth and development, leading to human authenticity. But were clearly in more negotiable territory here with discourse dominated more by dogmatic (non-negotiated) and heuristic (still-in-negotiation) concepts, this contrasted to cosmological discourse, which has more theoretic (negotiated in community) concepts and semiotic concepts (non-negotiable becausec meaning, itself, is invested in them). What would intentional evolution address? Nothing less than creed, cult, code and community (institutionalized), which are deconstructible, as semiotic realities ordered toward truth, beauty, goodness and unity, which are not deconstructible. How would it address them? Through the amplification of epistemic risks as ordered toward the augmentation of human value-realizations. Less abstractly and more concretely, how does one amplify epistemic risks?

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Understanding yields to faith, memory to hope, will to love and alienation to community. There are rather clear archetypal themes playing out in our cosmologies and axiologies, likely related to brain development and individuation processes. A cosmology engages mostly our left-brain (thinking function of the left frontal cortex & sensing function of the left posterior convexity) as the normative and descriptive aspects of value-realization alternately establish and defend boundaries; we encounter the King-Queen and Warrior-Maiden with their light and dark (shadow) attributes as expressed in the journeys of the spirit and the body, primarily through a language of ascent. An axiology engages mostly our right-brain (intuiting function of the right frontal cortex & feeling function of the right posterior convexity) as the interpretive and evaluative aspects of value-realization alternately negotiate (e.g. reconciliation of opposites, harnessing the power of paradox) and transcend boundaries; we encounter the Crone-Magician and Mother-Lover with their light and dark attributes as expressed in the journeys of the soul and the other (Thou), primarily through a language of descent. Our propositional cosmologies and participatory axiologies seem to best foster transformation when, beyond our passive reception of them as stories about others, we actively engage the archetypal energies of their mythic dimensions with a contemplation ordered toward action, and also, when in addition to our rather natural expectations, they include 1) a priestly voice that sings of the intrinsic beauty to be celebrated in seemingly repugnant realities 2) a prophetic voice that is robustly self-critical when speaking the truth 3) a kingly voice that articulates a bias for the bottom, expressing both a privileging of the marginalized and a principle of subsidiarity when preserving goodness 4) a motherly voice that, seeing and calling all as her children, draws every person into her circle of compassion and mercy with no trace of exclusion, only a vision of unity. Over-Against Theological Nonrealisms What if we say that Everybodys Story, which is what we all know (from descriptive science), is both necessary and sufficient to provide humankind with morality, ethics, logic, aesthetics and such (our normative understandings) and with what we value, like truth, beauty, goodness & unity (our evaluative posits), which are intrinsically rewarding (the pursuit of same is its own reward)? These descriptive, normative & evaluative stances would form ones core cosmology. Its a cosmology that can really work for everyone and speaks of abundance, even given lifes tragic aspects. We're thus relying only on what we see and hear and know to discern a cosmology, something we feel like we all share as spiritual quest. Our interpretive axis of interpretation, or axiology, while not essential for morality & value-realization, would be theistic, something we pursue as a religious quest, hoping & believing (not without warrant) there might be MORE!

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The Everybodys Story narrative and the typical Religious Naturalist response would both well articulate what we call our cosmology, which is something we feel like we KNOW (without getting rigorously philosophic about what know might mean). What we call our axiology, our axis of interpretion, is oriented to a putative reality for which we feel like we can (not without reason) HOPE and in which we feel like we can TRUST, and not without a great deal of difficulty at times, faith and doubt being a single polar reality. For those of a more philosophic bent, we might say that we feel like our cosmology enjoys an epistemic justification, which means that we look at competing cosmologies and feel like they are not equally probable, and we feel morally compelled to go with the most probable account, even if it is a provisional closure. Now, when it comes to our axiology, or our interpretive stance toward realitys putative initial, boundary & limit conditions, competing stances do seem rather equiprobable, more so equiplausible. A normative justification, pragmatic criteria, then govern this wager (cf. Wm. James). Whether one employs good old common sense or a rigorous philosophy, we can reasonably say that questions beg. And it seems that not only do we not have all the answers we dont even have all the questions. And of all the possible questions, it is highly problematic knowing which questions successfully refer to reality. Emergence, itself, is a powerful heuristic device that provides us some conceptual placeholders. It does not aspire to explanatory adequacy. Along with novel structures and properties, new laws emerge. In some attempts to probe the depths of nature, folks will often extrapolate these emergent laws into putative descriptions of a primal reality. But some of these laws, for all practical purposes, may be as local as the by-laws of our neighborhood bridge club. We often see such terms juxtaposed as chance or necessity? pattern or paradox? order or chaos? random or systematic? But nowhere in reality have we seen a physical instantiation of a so-called necessity. And reality is clearly not wholly described by chance or randomness. We do see nature presenting us with probability. But probability is premised on a temporal reality, which also emerged. Metaphysics? Caveat emptor. This all speaks to our wonder regarding realitys intelligibility. Haldane said reality was not only stranger than we imagine but stranger than we CAN imagine. Chesterton, on the other hand, cautions that we do not know enough about reality to say that it is unknowable. Clearly, we cannot say, a priori, when it is that our knowledge advance is being thwarted due to methodological constraints, epistemologically, or due, instead, to some type of in-principle ontological occulting. As far as final theories of everything, Gdel instructs us that we cannot prove a formal symbol systems axioms within that system, itself. But human knowledge does not advance solely thru formal argument. Few need to proceed halfway thru the Principia with Whitehead and Russell where the axioms for 2+2=4 are proved, but can taste and see the truth of those axioms. Perhaps someday a Theory of Everything will be put forth, the axioms of which well find variously non/trivial, or un/interesting, or whatever?

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Pragmatically, when thwarted, we assume temporary methodological constraints & not ontological occulting, which would be an epistemic cul-de-sac. This is to say that a formal Theory of Everything will always be coupled with an informal narrative. An utterly incomprehensible reality just might be infinitely intelligible? As we examine criteria for adjudicating between competing worldviews, we acknowledge that they are problematical. But this is not the same thing as being moot. Let us play John Lennon here. Imagine. Imagine that what is right and wrong, good and evil, is transparent to human reason. Imagine, too, that we can distinguish between apparent and real goods and lesser and higher goods and then reason our way from an is to an ought without religion. Imagine that, except for a few very complex moral realities, we mostly enjoy a consensus about lifes deepest values and have already articulated them in such documents as the Magna Carta, Declaration of Independence and codified them in such documents as The US Constitution & the Bill of Rights and the UN Declaration of Human Rights. Imagine that, with such a moral consensus, politics was the art of the possible and dealt more so with practical solutions and prudential judgment, even on matters of war and peace, but especially with regard to keeping everyone healthy, optimally educating everyone and striving for full employment. Imagine, too, that rather than having Republicans and Democrats, with such practical biases as so often morph into ideological absolutes, we would have, instead, the Tenders of the Golden Goose (because they are experts in keeping geese healthy, geese like business & industry & individual taxpayers) and Distributors of the Golden Eggs (because they were experts in delivery of essential products and services). Imagine, too, that all the Goose Tenders & Egg Distributors were all astute enough to know not to stress the Goose and fairminded enough to optimally distribute the eggs. Imagine, too, that rather than having Conservatives and Liberals, we would have Settlers and Pioneers, folks that were gifted with such charisms as, on one hand, boundary establishment & defense, on the other hand, boundary negotiation and transcendence. Now, what in the world would religion have to do if it were not otherwise preoccupied with moral and practical realities, much less encroaching on such empirical realities as fall under the purview of science? There is no question that as ones axis of interpretation, or axiology, an interpretive religion would transvalue our cosmological pursuits, those being descriptive science, normative philosophy and evaluative culture. Our cosmology serves the end of socializing humans, making us able to function in society, meeting one anothers needs. It deals with empirical, rational, moral and practical realities, as Merton would say, first taking us through the process of humanization, then through socialization. The problem is that our religious institutions have become more so instruments of socialization and less

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so of transformation. Religion gains its traction, then, not primarily or directly through the means of socialization and political institutionalization of services and political coercion. Religion gains its traction by fostering transformation, or Mertons True-Self-realization, or the Ignatian contemplation to attain love, or the Buddhist awakening to our solidarity that compassion might naturally ensue. Religion is a risk-taking adventure whereby we amplify the risks involved in our cosmological pursuits of truth, beauty & goodness into the axiological pursuits of faith, hope and love toward the end of augmenting all human value-realizations. But religion has been domesticated into one more social institution alongside others. The sense of adventure has been lost and the risk-taking aspects have been tamed. Its become a vehicle of respectability and social amenity when it should be, instead, instilling passion and shaping of desires. We need to honestly ask ourselves: What if science, morality and politics were already in good hands, then what value-added contribution would religion be expected to make? And we need to get on with THAT! The question then becomes, what if I told you that reality, at bottom, was friendly and that Someone loves you and has dreams for you beyond your own wildest imaginings? How would you respond to that Good News? That you are BE-LOVED! And what if we did all we could to sacrifice ourselves in kenotic, self-emptying for this person, these people, with whom we are sharing this Good News? There aint no Religious Right and Religious Left. Those are nominal socio-political realities cloaked in the garment of so-called religion. We need to emulate Ghandi and Martin Luther King and do an end-around all of these institutions with their sick identity structures trying to suck us into some machine on their own terms. In the end, it can change whos in Congress and so on, but that would be a by-product not the designed end-product. The Spirit moves when He wills, where She wills, how they will and is ineluctably unobtrusive even if utterly efficacious, subtle but powerful, triumphing without coercion. Non-violent civil disobedience and other tools of the trade are out of vogue. WHY? Weve got viral memes and blogs to publish treatises. Why not? A worldview, in my view, is an axiology, or an axis of interpretation, around which our cosmology spins. This distinction between an axiology and cosmology is explicated in an article previously cited by Wim Drees39. Such interpretive stances lend themselves to three verdicts: proved, disproved and unproven.
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Drees. Willem B. A Case Against Temporal Critical Realism? Consequences of Quantum Cosmology for Theology at counterbalance.com

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Some worldviews can be disproved, but only to the extent theyve committed category errors that place them at cross-purposes with other autonomous methods, like science and philosophy (e.g. epistemology). For example, an anti-evolution creationism is untenable. Equally untenable would be an epistemic nihilism, solipsism and stances that abandoned common sense understandings of causation. Of course, we can not prove such principles as noncontradiction, common sense notions of causation or even a critical realist stance, itself, or disprove such stances as nihilism and solipsism through formal argumentation or syllogistic reasoning. We proceed, instead, with an informal reductio ad absurdum or the essentially pragmatic criterion that going there just doesnt work, while going here does. The foundation remains bare and we are immersed in irony long before we start busting a/theological moves, which, if they cohere with our cosmology, are rendered, at best, the Scottish verdict unproven. Our point is that a metaphysical realism and natural theology are necessary to at least get us to this Scottish verdict while avoiding the disproved verdict. This is what Peirce would distinguish as an argument, a coherent framing of the question, as distinct from argumentation, which, when it pertained to the putative reality of God, he considered a fetish. When it comes to coherence, some adopt it as a theory of truth. As semiotic realists, we still hold the correspondence theory of truth but employ coherence, along with a host of other truth-indicative criteria, as a test of truth. Now, we do not vacillate between solipsism, nihilism and critical realism based on whether we had Cheerios or bacon & eggs for breakfast, even if the irony of our situation is ineradicable. Others might, but there is no sense in arguing with them. While we recognize and appreciate that, in a theological move, one will have to further amplify the risk that ones already taken (already taken to get past a more fundamental absurdity), our point is that any irony arrived on the scene long before one busts that move. As to whether or not one is open to such charges as have been leveled by Marx, Feuerbach, Freud or even the sociobiologists, those are impoverished anthropologies, which fall prey to what many semiotic scientists, nontheists included, call the adaptationist fallacy. It engages but a caricature of the life of faith. But thats not a controversy we feel called to settle or even further address. Our point is that ALL of our moves are essentially pragmatic and that ironist assumptions apply to ALL of our encounters of reality. (But we are not employing pragmatism as a theory of truth. There is a difference between what Peirce was doing versus Dewey, James and others in that lineage, much less Rorty.) We are suggesting that our essentially pragmatic moves, whether applying to common sense, or metaphysics, or theology, differ in degrees and not in kind. And that the same might be said of irony. In conversations with our nontheistic religious naturalist friends over the years, a fondness for Rorty surfaces from time to time. In exploring their minimalist religiosity, we found that we shared a cosmology (e.g. science, epistemology & values) and weve

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actively explored and have been trying to tease out the differences between our interpretive stances or axiologies. And we have resisted attempts to categorically dismiss Rorty, feeling there was something there to be exploited. The phenomenon of faith is a reality thatneeds to be more broadly conceived. If we too narrowly conceive it, we do violence to the depth dimension (or immense complexity) of human beings. If we get too vague, it means nothing. But there is more than the conventional understandings and more than even our nuanced Peircean understanding that can count for what we call faith. For some, it is not a Kierkegaardian leap but more like a single Petrine step out of the boat. In other words, a Rortian Ironism could be appropriated as a type of faith and might well describe, in fact, the type of faith that untold numbers practice and have practiced. This is all to recognize that in science we advance hypotheses that are inherently falsifiable and call them working hypotheses. In philosophy we adopt what we call provisional closures. In metaphysics our speculation is inescapably fallible. In theology our faith can proceed moment by moment with a response that is right enough. Faith, by definition, has never proceeded with the premise that we have captured God as She really is but, still, even our apophatic (via negativa) predications are clear attempts to increase our descriptive accuracy and differ from our kataphatic (via positiva) predications only insofar as they can be both literal and analogical. In other words, our positive affirmations are metaphors and have always only been metaphors. None of this, necessarily, entails a nonrealist approach. It might get the ironist out of the predicament of imagining shes not getting closer to reality or feeling that hes not able to take himself seriously? At any rate, we see a Rortian Ironism as eminently reasonable as either a secular or religious response to reality, all of these positions, again, describing various degrees of pragmatism and irony. We appreciate that Rorty mightve found such an appropriation repugnant. But we wonder if we have discovered a position where many stand? Our own Peircean pragmatism is vague enough to include a quasi-Rortian, religious ironism within a minimalist realism. This does not mean that we are not deeply sympathetic to the idea that some stuff is socially constructed. And we affirm metaphysics as an enterprise that helps us clarify helpful categories, disambiguate vague concepts (not specific terms), frame-up coherent arguments and validate meaningful questions. To that extent, we can at least adjudicate between those provisional interpretations of reality that are totally out to lunch and those that are at least asking meaningful questions. The approaches that are most coherent, in our view, will acknowledge irony, abide with paradox and will not proceed to advance their arguments through some type of syllogistic argumentation, as if lifes deepest questions can be thus answered. But some suggest there is a threshold (e.g. God-concepts) where nonrealism kicks in and all things epistemological just aren't that tidy. Its too neat, too facile, too arbitrary, to say now Im a realist and now I aint. Our grasps of reality, instead, admit of degrees and these differing degrees require increasing amounts of risk. And faith, hope and love are risk maneuvers and these risks are not just epistemic but existential. Thats the type of candor one might reasonably expect of believers.

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But one goes too far with ones iconoclasm, in our view, to suggest that believers are just making stuff up. How people frame issues invites parsing? For example, what might one mean by reason or even sufficient, when writing: "Im not denying that believers are able to trust that their God is benevolent and has some sort of plan that will redeem a long, senseless history of random human suffering. Im just saying that there isnt sufficient reason to believe in such a God. Well, it is one thing to say that the case for God cannot be conclusively adjudicated through evidence. It would be quite another to suggest there is no evidence. It is one thing to say that the rational arguments for God cannot coerce belief. It would be quite another to suggest that belief in God is wholly nonrational much less irrational. It is one thing to say that there are no empirical and scientific reasons to believe in God. It would be quite another to suggest that there are no coherent philosophic and pragmatic reasons for belief in God. It is one thing to say that our approach to God and reality does not proceed from indubitable foundations. It would be quite another to suggest that post-foundational epistemology and theology must be necessarily, then, nonrealist. It is one thing to recognize lifes irony and paradox and to affirm, even, an essential pragmatism. It would be quite another to suggest that Rortys vulgar pragmatism is definitive. It is one thing to suggest that our belief in God takes us BEYOND the evidential, rational and presuppositional. It would be quite another to suggest that we make such an existential move WITHOUT them. It is one thing to lament that there are many who remain stuck in a naive realism with an unnerving certitude and dangerous fundamentalism. It would be quite another to suggest that there can be no coherent cumulative case approach to the reality of God, mitigating against the distance one must leap, or, in some cases, perhaps, step (as a Rortian ironist), with a rather confident assurance in what one might reasonably hope for, with no small conviction regarding certain things unseen. Alas, Rortys neo-pragmatism resembles Peirce only superficially. Susan Haack40, a neoclassical pragmatist, wrote an enjoyable play that demonstrates their otherwise profound disagreements. She explains: The point of my conversation between Peirce and Rorty was, of course, to bring out how utterly different Rortys literary-political, anti-metaphysical pragmatism, with its disdain for logic and repudiation of epistemology, is from Peirces pragmaticist philosophy. And Rortys neo-pragmatism is not only very different from Peirces; it is also quite distant from Jamess, and even
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Susan Haack ,We Pragmatists Peirce and Rorty in Conversation

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from Deweys. The old pragmatist whom Rorty most resembles is F.C.S. Schiller the British philosopher whose radically relativist position James once described as the buttend foremost version of pragmatism. A philosophical goal to which we might reasonably aspire is to frame up our questions regarding our ultimate concerns in a manner that is congruent with reality (doesnt contradict established scientific theory), logically consistent (employing concepts and arguments that reflect good critical thinking) and internally coherent (dont have us working at cross-purposes with our own approaches to reality). If a ball comes flying over our fence into our yard and breaks a sliding glass door, it is not unreasonable to inquire of its origins. While we may never be able to ascertain its unknown cause, we may, from the nature of its effects, determine whether or not they are consistent with any other known causes, like kids playing ball, like lawn mowers hurling trajectories, like pitching machines in batting cages, like homemade potato guns and so on. And we may reasonably rule out any of the above possibilities by inference based on such properties as the nature of the damage inflicted on the door, the condition of the ball, the balls putative trajectory & velocity & acceleration as well as its mass & material composition. All such inferences will actually increase our descriptive accuracy of the cause even if only through negation, apophatically ruling out all known probable causes by saying it couldnt be this or that or anything like them, either. And we may increase our descriptive accuracy of the origin of the projectile through kataphatic affirmation by analogically describing what the cause must have been like, asserting far more dissimilarities than similarities. This globe we live on is hurtling through a space-time, mass-energy plenum leaving us perplexed and often frightened out of our minds. Our inquiry into its origins leaves us speculating, not idly, regarding its putative cause. And it is the most natural thing in the world for humankind to inquire after same. And I think we at least want to get our questions right and to avoid category errors as we continue our quest. We would not be treating this topic if we did not presuppose that some approaches to the problem are better than others, some more helpful, others downright hurtful. Some approaches deserve to be placed in baby strollers without bonnets and brought to a nearby hilltop and let go in a Monty Python skit. Others have the makings of a fairly good grail quest. But we dissent from any notion that philosophy cannot hold court on whats beyond. Some notions of whats beyond are incongruent with science, inconsistent with logic, incoherent with our shared norms and unacceptable vis a vis the moral and practical courses of action they inspire, on which humans then embark. Good philosophy holds court on things beyond and, although it has not yet, at this point of humankinds journey, rendered a proved verdict for any given worldview, it has competently and within its jurisdiction adjudicated both disproved and unproved (Scottish) verdicts. While there is no room for epistemic hubris, we need not surrender to an excessive epistemic humility or radical apophaticism. We understand and appreciate, then, that a nuanced agnosticism, nontheism or even

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nonmilitant atheism might have the same epistemic status as our own nuanced theism. Good philosophy helps us adjudicate an unproved verdict, which is not unimportant over against competing worldviews, including fundamentalistic theisms, scientistic atheisms and unmitigated practical nihilisms, which can be disproved. These competing worldviews all exert an incredible amount of normative impetus affecting the moral and practical approaches of the people who hold them, suggesting descriptions of what might ail them and insidious prescriptions for what might cure those ails. We dont just make coughing noises regarding their bullcorn. We enter the courtroom and argue our case, suggesting interdiction of these very real dangers. We affirm a fallibilist, metaphysical realism and a semiotic pragmatism and stand with Wittgensteins student, Anscombe, when it comes to such arguments as have been advanced, for example, by CS Lewis, on occasion. But we do not buy into a Kierkegaardian fideism, which seems to us to be an over-correction to an Hegelian scientism. Neither do we buy into a Kantian transcendentalism, which should have confronted the Humean critique practically. We see much value in what William James and Pascal had to say, but correct them with Peirce. Might philosophy hold court on things beyond? Might we expect philosophy to have something definitive to say on the matter in the future? We're with GK Chesterton in that it is too early on humankinds journey to say that reality is unknowable. Our knowledge advance is slow but inexorable. We've made clear that nothing is being proved. Our findings are epistemological critiques of scientism, fideism and nihilism, also essentialism and nominalism. And both a vulgar Rorty pragmatism and theological nonrealism. Some have suggested that philosophy and science both converge here to tell us that the question of the origin of space and time is a confused question, precisely because we cannot know what rules govern nothing. It was Wittgenstein who said that it is not HOW things are but THAT things are which is the mystical. That sounds a lot like Heideggers query: Why is there not rather nothing? Sounds to us like the Thomists, Wittgenstein, Heidegger et al might be reifying this conception called nothing and we have no a priori reason to know whether or not it successfully refers. One might, instead, more profitably invoke Godel and our inability to prove a systems axioms within the same formal system. Alas, that is not satisfying either because we humans do not advance our knowledge solely through formal symbol systems. Sometimes we can see the truth of our axioms even though we cannot prove them, which is to admit, for example, that one neednt work halfway through the Principia with Whitehead and Russell in order to see the truth in the axioms used to prove 2 + 2 =4. A better question might be: Why is there not rather something else?

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At any rate, we think others are confused if they equate quantum vacuum fluctuations with nothing. We do not buy into the dualistic distinctions between essentialism and nominalism, substance and process approaches, the noumenal and phenomenal and such but prescind to a more phenomenologial stance with a semiotic realism. Our conceptions have value insofar as we can cash same out pragmatically (as a test of truth, not a theory of truth). For example, whatever our conception of good is vis a vis the predicates and attributes we want to apply, that conception and those predicates dont lose intelligibility just because they get employed in a metaphor. Perhaps we might concede that some metaphors invoke analogies that are so very weak as to provide us very little information about the concept we are trying to describe? That is certainly true. However, when we are talking about a reality as BIG as God, a little bit of info goes a long way. Most people will say that God is good despite outstanding theodicy issues, despite the fact that His goodness differs from anything with which we're familiar. We know that, in our attempts to enhance our modeling power of reality, we will all inhabit somewhat elaborate tautologies. But just because a statement is tautological doesnt mean it is not otherwise true. It only means that we have not added any new info to our systems. But some tautologies are more taut than others and some metaphors are more resilient than others, even if all eventually collapse due to circular references, causal disjunctions, question begging or infinite regressions. The postmodern critique, properly considered per our view, did not dispossess us of our theory of truth, which remains a nuanced correspondence. It properly changed our theories of knowledge from a naive realism to different types of critical realism (some nonfoundational, others a weakened foundationalism). There are a host of criteria we can apply to working hypotheses like external congruence, internal coherence, logical consistency, inferential fecundity, interdisciplinary consilience, hypothetical consonance, symmetry, parsimony, elegance, abductive facility, pragmatic utility and on and on. Each such criterion, applied alone, amounts to a formal fallacy. Taken together, we've got something like common sense. But it would amount to a caricature of human knowledge to suggest that only the stronger forms of inference, like deduction and induction, lead us to what we call knowledge, as if we only advance same in formal, truth- conducive argumentation. Rather, reasoning our way retro-ductively back from such predicates as usefulness, elegance, parsimony and so on, most human knowledge advances fallibly as we reason our way informally, employing truth-indicative criteria. Not everything that is useful is true, indeed; that would be an insidious pragmatism. But we can say that what is useful, what works, has a higher probability of being true or real. And thus theologians have coined the aphorism that orthopraxis authenticates orthodoxy. And so we establish criteria for cashing out the value of our various theological conceptions in terms of their ability to foster (rather than stifle), for example, intellectual, affective, moral, social and religious development. We do not want to defend a position that suggests that metaphysical claims are not

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fantastic, which is likely why we dont subscribe to any given ontology. But we do defend the project. We do not know, a priori, when it is that our knowledge advances will be thwarted by methodological constraints, epistemically, or will be otherwise halted by some in-principle occulting, ontologically. But we generally eschew the latter assumption because it inevitably leads us down an epistemic cul-de-sac and assume the former, because it fuels our search in hope. The chief problem with any anxiety to annihilate metaphysics, though, is that we do away with speculative theoretical science along with it. All philosophical theology has ever done is to clarify the nature of our questions and to demonstrate that some of our putative answers are not unreasonable even if not provable. So, there is no denying the series of leaps we take, for example, over against solipsism and nihilism and the humean critique of our common sense notions of causality, and for some, also the leap called faith. But we need to examine the nature of these leaps and we find that those that go beyond descriptive science and normative philosophy but not without them will much better foster human development. And we can measure same, not without difficulty, empirically. In which civilizations did science eventually flourish and where was it stillborn? Which cultural cohorts are turning out radical fundamentalists, militarism, moral statism and creationism? Reality is no longer carved into discernible ontological joints or disciplines, but human knowledge still relies on different orders of abstraction and we need to govern this process, best we can. Getting radically apophatic and mysterian is self-defeating and not defensible, a priori. For all practical purposes, the deeper we get into the structures of matter and the closer we get to the earliest moments after the Big Bang, the more intractable are our problems. And we further acknowledge that, from what we observe in emergent processes, there is even novelty in the laws governing properties; ergo, there is a danger in extrapolating such laws as might, for all practical purposes, be as local, cosmologically, as the by-laws of our neighborhood Bridge Clubs. This might compel us to focus our analogia also on Christocentric realities and what Jesus reveals about Gods nature, in particular, and not just on the metaphors that He employed in His parables and discourses employing Mother Nature, in general. We're very sympathetic to radical orthodoxy and some of our ideas, originating with Lonergan, very much resonate with Hauerwas, Milbank, even Lindbeck. BUT, aside from some very general observations, sociologic metrics that would help us figure out which ecclesiologies have been delivering the goods are difficult to come by and hard to interpret. All of the great traditions have turned out mixed results, each with its own set of problems. And if we truly believe in a radically incarnational reality with a profusely pneumatological presence, then we must recognize and affirm the efficacies of the Spirit in all peoples and places, wherever the fruits are manifest, including nontheistic sources. Sanity and sanctity appear to run horizontally across the denominations and traditions rather than within this one or that. We would thus mightily resist any new triumphalism, colonialism, paternalism, hierarchicalism, ecclesiocentrisms, elitism and so

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on. So, we dont want to trade one fundamentalism for another. We know that analogy and metaphor are indispensable in our attempts to describe unknown causes even in science, where we do not really need a root metaphor in order to proceed profitably. And we know that we employ apophatic and kataphatic modes to increase descriptive accuracy in our ordinary speech, kataphasis proceeding via affirmation and apophasis by negation. So, we recognize and affirm these modalities, in general. A problem arises, however. Not all analogies are equally direct or strong or useful. In God-talk, we employ only the weakest of analogy, metaphor. Most of this metaphor takes place from a stance within the faith as a theology of nature. As for the type that takes place prior to the faith, a natural philosophy or theology, it can prove nothing, syllogistically. What we are attempting to do with our method is to preserve analogy, in general, as useful speech, while at the same time providing a rubric for different degrees of usefulness. For example, we need it to advance particle physics as we infer new particles from novel effects of heretofore unknown causes. But it has also been applied to cosmic origins, such as when we employ imaginary numbers using the square root of negative one to devise an hypothesis that the universe is finite but unbounded. And it has been applied to putative primal realities, such as when arguments have been advanced for primal origin, primal being, primal cause, primal goals, primal order, primal meaning and the classical so-called proofs ontological, cosmological, teleological, axiological, epistemological and so on. Peirce drew a distinction between the initial abduction of an hypothesis or the formulation of an argument, itself, and what he called argumentation or the process of reasoning through to a conclusion, syllogistically. We recognize the possibility that there might be a particular question begging and that our attempts to frame up some meaningful categories and heuristics in order to attack it is an eminently reasonable exercise. This formulation of the argument is telltale of the reasonableness of our quest. It validates our wonder. It says: Very good question. So far, so good. But the situation can quickly devolve into an argumentation that, for various reasons, like a lack of sufficient information regarding initial, boundary and limit conditions of a system, Peirce would consider to be, in his words, a fetish. So, heres the problem. We need criteria, a method, a rubric, to distinguish between such analogical reasoning as pushes backs the frontiers of knowledge and advances science and such reasoning as manipulates abstractions of varying degrees and truly indicates a fetish of sorts. So, we can ask, for example, what is the pragmatic value that can be cashed out of this conception versus the next, of this analogy vs another. In this way, we can avoid the tu quoque comeback that Im merely reasoning analogically and speaking metaphorically, which is the same thing you are doing, so, wheres the rub? And the rub is this. Humankind, as a broad community of inquiry (or value-realization), and various of its smaller cohorts or communities, do not just go around wily nilly employing abstractions just for the hell of it (of course we do, but thats a discussion for

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another day) but, instead, our employment of signs and symbols are oriented to value-realization and, in that vein, have been negotiated by the community (you know, language convention). So, without delving very deeply into semiotic theory or linguistic analysis or anything, we proposed a heuristic of four broad categories consisting of those concepts that 1) have been negotiated, the theoretic 2) remain still-in-negotiation, the heuristic 3) are nonnegotiable, required for meaning itself, the semiotic and 4) have not been negotiated between persons or across communities, the dogmatic. In a nutshell, then, the difference in one form of analogical argumentation and another vis a vis one that meets a host of informal, truth-indicative epistemic criteria (pragmatic utility, elegance, parsimony, fecundity, coherence, consistency and so on) and one that amounts to, well, a pure fetish, distills down to the relative mix of theoretic, heuristic, semiotic and dogmatic concepts employed in the argumentation. The higher the proportion of concepts previously negotiated, the better our chances for cashing out some value in practical terms. Yes, we all take leaps, such as the nonnegotiable semiotic leaps we take over against solipsism, nihilism & the humean critique of common sense notions of causality, such as the ones we take in favor of such first principles as noncontradiction and excluded middle, none of the semiotic leaps provable via syllogistic reasoning but presuppositions of reasoning, itself, both formal and informal. Its the number and the nature of the other leaps, as gauged by our employment of too many non-negotiated dogmatic conceptions and too few theoretic ones that then sets apart meaningful discourse from a fetish. Much of what passes for natural theology is a fetish. The argument formulation is fine and can demonstrate the reasonableness of our questions, recognizing that we are at the end of our epistemic cable of intertwined truth-indicative criteria. The argumentation beyond that gets us nowhere. This is why we cannot argue against the view that metaphysical claims are fantastic. This is why we draw distinctions, though, between incomprehensible and unintelligible. We eschew absolute dichotomies when it comes to knowledge and prefer to deal with them in matters of degree per our rubric. This brings us to our assignment of God attributes and the nature of the analogies and metaphors applied in our putative god-concepts when we are reasoning philosophically prior to any leap of faith. How dialectical and how analogical are such? One might employ a descriptor vis a vis the attribute of goodness, for example, the nth degree. That matches our own, which is of an infinite order. Simplistic kataphatic affirmations of primal reality are not philosophically defensible. They are highly problematical. Our rubric allows us to provide some rigor and provides us some tools to adjudicate competing claims for who is the most out to lunch epistemically. Not all leaps of faith are equally warranted. When we leave behind science, we have forsaken the descriptive, positivist and theoretic concepts from which humankind has cashed out a great deal of pragmatic value. When we leave behind philosophy, we have forsaken the normative, logical, aesthetical, ethical and semiotic concepts, which are also indispensable.

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We proceed beyond them but not without them or we proceed at our own peril. These are the grounds by which we can reject creationism and such a moral statism as claims to be advocating philosophical deontologies when, in reality, because of an inordinate degree of dogmatic concepts are putting forward what are essentially religious positions. This is how we avoid the charges of absolute fideism and radical fundamentalism or even a radically deconstructive postmodernism. These are also the grounds upon which we stand to advance the charges of positivism, empiricism, scientism and an Enlightenment fundamentalism, which imagine that the only meaningful discourse is scientific or philosophic, as if the natural progression of human knowledge has never employed heuristic devices with our concepts proceeding through ongoing negotiation and renegotiation, as if our semiotic concepts were not, themselves, resistant, in principle, to the filters of hypothetical falsification and empirical verification, and as if they were not perduring as nonnegotiables only via an otherwise resilient reductio ad absurdum. But, again, when one says "Im not denying that believers are able to trust that their God is benevolent and has some sort of plan that will redeem a long, senseless history of random human suffering. Im just saying that there isnt sufficient reason to believe in such a God." --When they speak of reason, here, are we including both epistemic/theoretic and prudential/practical reason? And in what sense do they mean believe? In tradition we pretty much mean an unconditional assent that does not depend on inference, or we mean an acceptance disposing one to trust, or even willfully accepting and acting in a way to inculcate trust, all implying that there is no seeing of the complete truth of the matter. We would suppose this also implies that there is going to be more than one interpretation of a reality that is possible, plausible (maybe even variously probable?) but manifestly not demonstrable or provable. In some sense, then, the very definition of belief vis a vis the faith life will preclude, in principle, epistemic reasons in that we are dealing with an unconditional assent? And to the extent such belief will involve our unconditional assent, hence willfully accepting and acting in a way that might further inculcate trust, then it would seem that a suitably nuanced pragmatic appeal might at least provide us some prudential reasons to go on and accept one interpretation rather than another and then act on it (think a nuanced Pascal & James here). In our view, in theory, we could conceive of a host of criteria that might be indicators of the relative practical efficacies and inefficacies of different interpretive stances toward reality, in general, and a vague god concept, in particular. The present constraints would seem to be methodological vis a vis properly gauging various sociologic metrics. Our provisional closures regarding same may not be universally compelling, but this approach does not seem to me to be unreasonable or unhelpful. The truth claims in question are not only a/theological but also often cosmological and anthropological, and the latter are accessible to scientific and philosophic critique.

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The pragmatic criteria proposed in tradition orthopraxis authenticates orthodoxy employs Lonerganian conversions (developmental processes akin to Piaget, Kohlberg, Fowler, Erikson et al) as criteria asking how well institutionalized practices foster intellectual, affective, moral, social and religious development. These are cross-cultural anthropological criteria and difficult to gauge but these are legitimate questions. Of course, it only works if one accepts, at least, semiotic and moral realisms (e.g. w/such distinctions as real and apparent needs, lesser and higher goods & some coherent approach that pays homage to aretaic/virtue ethics, deontological, consequentialist & contractarian ethics and so on; or at least a Sartrean view of our shared human condition leading us to devise similar prescriptions for what ails humankind despite our differences, such as we encoded in the UN Declaration of Human Rights). We can thus discern where it is that science flourished and where it was, rather, stillborn. We can discern who is cranking out the most fundamentalists, creationists, militarists. The caveat is Distinguishing between, for example, Christendom and Christianity, between where Buddhism has failed and where it may not have even been tried. We do not know enough about reality to say what will remain unknowable. But let us say this in Wittgensteinian terms that others might better grasp our meaning: To draw a limit to thought you must think both sides of that limit. And that is where many have grievously erred in their defense of nonrealism, both metaphysical and theological. One may wish to consult the lifes work of Wittgensteins literary executor, Elizabeth Anscombe, for a more universally compelling appropriation of his thought. FAITH Having faith, for us, has meant placing our trust, whether in this reality or that, or in Reality writ large, and then willingly living out the consequences of this or that trust relationship. We describe my faith life, then, in terms that apply to relationships, like fidelity, loyalty, love, trust and not so much in terms that describe my stance toward various propositions or, in other words, that involve any particular fixation of belief. Our faith does not ignore the empirical and logical, for that would be unfaithful, a betrayal of our trust relationship with Reality. Our faith goes beyond the empirical and logical, super-reasonably you might say, to the robustly practical and relational, acting as an interpretive lens through which we evaluate descriptive and normative realities. Faith defines what we care about and shapes our responses to Reality with such a trust in and fidelity to and love of Reality as will generally allow for a steadfastness of those responses even in the face of a seeming rejection of us and our cares by Reality. Through faith we choose to relate to Reality like any other beloved of ours, going way beyond (but certainly not without) mere propositional knowledge of who or what we care about to a robustly relational dynamic marked by such a faith, hope and love as requires no justifications and makes no apologies. We can no more tell you why we love and trust Reality than I can tell you why we love our spouses and children, but we'd have to imagine that having known such love and beauty we have been rendered forever unable to fix our gaze, or place my trust, elsewhere. A (Moderately) Radical Orthodoxy

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Philosophically, in this Peircean metatechnica, the classical approaches (rational or internally coherent) mediate between the evidential approaches (empirical or externally congruent) and existential approaches (relational or subjective) to effect human valuerealizations. Theologically, in this Radical Orthodoxy, the rational (Catholic, BOTH Roman & Anglican) or presuppositional (reformed, Calvinist) mediates between the evidential (evangelical, Arminian) and existential (fideist, Lutheran, neoevanaglical) to effect human value-realizations41.

The reformed approach cannot truly aspire to an epistemology per se because philosophy is an autonomous methodology and it is a category error to call it Christian. Frames reformed epistemology, however, might be well situated in our own epistemological architectonic, resonating, as it explicitly does, with our own robustly integral approach, only departing from our essentially philosophical treatment by uncritically substituting presuppositional scriptural norms in place of our own Peircean normative sciences of logic, aesthetics and ethics. Frames move is thus theological and, ergo, philosophically illicit, although our Peircean hermeneutic precisely takes one to the threshold of the abduction of the Ens Necessarium, thus leading into our pansemioentheist theology of nature, which values the reformed epistemology as a theology. Sure, there are those who fideistically conflate existential outlooks with evidential methodologies, who are rightfully charged with placing God in gaps, but there is no discernable increase in philosophical rigor by those who commit the inverse category error, scientistically suggesting that we must all necessarily conflate our descriptive and normative methods with our interpretive systems and then rush with them to metaphysical closure as philosophical naturalists. With Emerson, we believe that God arrives when the half-gods depart, and thus offer a re-enchanted (through and through) worldview over against any notion that either modernisms incessant chant of secularistic God of the gaps pejoratives, or postmodernisms nihilistic sensibilities, have ushered in either a philosophical naturalism, or an insidious relativism, as the default paradigm for primal reality, where our God of the ... gasp! still reigns. We question the classical patterns of dichotomous thinking, or at least suggest an overworking of same, as they necessarily divide reality into such categories as natural or supernatural, chance or necessity, existential or propositional, subjective or objective, reason or revelation, material or spiritual, nature or grace, acquired or infused, rationalist or empiricist or existentialist, evidentialist or fideist, secular or sacred, fact or value, and so on. We must discern which of these dyads are mere phenomenal distinctions and which are indeed ontological dichotomies without a default bias to either dualistic or nondualistic accounts. Instead, we affirm a holistic and integrative approach that, over against any sterile metaphysical compartmentalizations or epistemic absolutisms, and engaged by a robustly pneumatological imagination, sees creation thoroughly permeated by and wholly shot-through with the glory and splendor of our indwelling God-with-us. Our world is thus wholly, wholly holy (yes, theodicies notwithstanding).
41

For an explication of these philosophical correlations with these theological categories, see Faith Has Its Reasons by Kenneth D. Boa and Robert M. Bowman, Jr. http://www.bible.org/series.php?series_id=190 wherein John Frames presuppositional perspectivalism inchoately articulates our own nonfoundational perspectivalism).

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If, with Lonergan (and Gelpi), we believe that orthopraxis authenticates orthodoxy, then our political, economic, cultural and social metrics of success will be gauged in terms of intellectual, affective, moral, sociopolitical and religious development of our citizens, a much more holistic and expansive set of goals than can otherwise be measured by stock, bond and commodity indices, labor statistics, gross domestic products, monetary and fiscal measures, median incomes, cost and price indices and other measures of so called wealth. For, if wealth is not that which we possess but that which possesses us (Disraeli?), we may be otherwise seriously impoverished. As contemplation attains to politics, we must only emphasize that the political will only efficaciously mediate between the economic and the cultural to effect the social if it originates from an authentically contemplative stance, which is to suggest that, in the public square, we should not ever secularistically bracket our [religious] perspectives but should strive, rather, to semiotically translate them into whatever lingua franca is most accessible in this or that dialogical arena, which is to say with a suitably inculturated theology, which is what we aspire to offer to the American public as grounded in a Peircean-inspired nonfoundational epistemology. Most importantly, though, it is through our vibrant communities of creed, cult and code, that such conversion will be most efficaciously effected and not through state power or market forces. Human creativity and flourishing are so much more than can be gauged by marketplace metrics and are inextricably intertwined with the Holy Spirit, the source of all creative help and all helpful creativity. May we thus engage the Spirit both consciously and competently! Religious Naturalism In Goodenoughs Sacred Depths of Nature (2000 Oxford Univ Press), page xvi, concepts like a) culture-independent, globally accepted consensus and b) our scientific account, to me, do not seem to refer. They sound more like legitimate aspirations than laudable achievements. Further, there is a mix of theoretical (evolution and Big Bang) and hypothetical (origin of life & advent of human consciousness) concepts that do refer but differ radically in their degrees of explanatory adequacy. We do not, therefore, in my view, seem to be to the point of attainment of the story, the one story, that could get us to a shared worldview with a global tradition. Even the emergentist perspective remains only a heuristic device, not robustly explanatory; it provides us with more successful referents, is how it's value is cashed out, even as successful descriptions continue to elude us. Finally, MANY of us DO agree on the high probabilities of certain accounts (regarding both the origin of life and the advent of human consciousness) but are not otherwise in agreement, paradigmatically or interpretively, regarding reality's brute facts. The emergentist perspective, itself, does not refer to one set of brute facts versus another. In fact, it would seem to implicitly give one pause in any rush to closure regarding the nature of initial conditions and boundary conditions insofar as novelty abounds and even laws themselves seem to evolve making reductionistic accounts problematic, almost in principle, vis a vis emergentism. Thus, we might bracket [initial] and characterize our references to same as provisional and contextual. For instance, one might say, as we near T=0, or might say, in the deepest structures of matter, to distinguish between contexts. One might refer to the Copenhagen

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or Bohm interpretation to describe one's provisional closure. So, too, with philosophy of mind issues and approaches to the so-called hard problem. In many of their joint writings, Goodenough & Deacon consider the emergentist perspective and the shared moral sensibilities of humankind. That's a story outline we all can share even as many pages are left to be written. Those emergent sensibilities (aesthetical, ethical and epistemic) are necessary for one to be fully human, whatever one's interpretive stance. As their associated cognitive-affective juxtapositions ripple over our soma, flooding our synapses, the neurotransmitter fluid levels are sufficient to drown some in ecstasy. Emergentism thus describes what is necessary for all, necessary and sufficient for a few, but doesn't quite get to sufficient for most, it seems. As we employ our strategies of ontological and semantical vagueness and triadic semiotic logic, inviting the robust interplay of abductive, inductive and deductive inference, accounting for the possible, actual and probable, we can aspire to consensus on the answer: "What must I do?", but it is too early on humankind's journey to foreclose on the interpretive possibilities regarding the answer: "What can I hope for?". For most, it is clear, that nature is not enough. And that is a descriptive not a prescriptive statement. There are competing accounts (variously conflicting and overlapping) that proffer an answer to "What can I hope for?" and they are variously compelling and have some probabilistic status. Reasonable people of large intelligence and profound goodwill can reasonably differ in their interpretations of reality. In this sense, then, the nontheistic cohort of religious naturalism would not be characterized by such as a militant atheism but would more resemble the reverent silence of some types of Buddhism regarding certain aspects of reality and any theistic cohort would be characterized by more subtle conceptualizations of deity, for example, a highly nuanced and rigorously predicated panentheism, and not at all by the more fundamentalistic and fideistic approaches that are all too regnant in many parts of world (including the US). Socially & Culturally, then - or secularly Orthopraxis authenticates orthodoxy through the successful institutionalization of affective (beauty & aesthetical), sociopolitical (community & unitive), intellectual (truth and noetical), and moral (goodness and ethical) conversions (secular). People celebrate beauty through the arts and humanities endeavors, enjoy community through civic & social organizations and political & governmental institutions, articulate truth through academic institutions and media communications and preserve goodness through legal & justice systems and military institutions. Religious Conversion - reality as an arena of pervasive intentionality Religious conversion, another second/third order or meta-level evaluative heuristic, transvalues these secular conversions such that orthopathos mediates between orthocommunio and orthodoxy to inform orthopraxis. The great traditions reinforce and realize these values through cult, community, creed and code, which, respectively, celebrate beauty, enjoy unity, articulate truth and preserve goodness.

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Religious Critique Some nontheistic naturalists, called religious naturalists, affirm a deep overlap between their moral sensibilities and evaluative impulses and those of existing ethical and religious traditions (Ursula Goodenough42). Some prefer an irenic engagement of liberal religion, while working actively against fundamentalists (Michael Ruse). Others recognize the need for myth, aesthetically pleasing deceptions and noble lies to fend off a resurgent and self-evident nihilism (Loyal Rue). Some are active and outspoken against religion (Dawkins & Dennett).

Bias for Methodological Naturalism? We do well to look for our lost keys underneath the lamp post, for there is little hope of finding them in the dark. For some of us, that does not, at the same time, suggest that we have a priori decided where those keys may or may not be.

Theism, Nontheism & Atheism and Agnosticism We can frame up this question regarding belief systems, or interpretive stances, in essentially pragmatic terms, such as with the thought of the American pragmatists, i.e. Peirce and James, and also of Pascal. Peirce would distinguish between belief and knowledge. Sometimes a/gnosticism and a/theism refer, respectively, to totally different questions, on one hand, knowledge and description, on the other hand, belief and interpretation. The belief-knowledge distinction is not a dichotomy, however, as they are in a dynamical relationship insofar as humankind's knowledge advances fallibly but inexorably, insofar as our different types of beliefs can, in fact, have a role in advancing knowledge (or thwarting it, for that matter). Peirce relates these approaches by saying that the normative sciences mediate between phenomenology and metaphysics. We employ a derived formula which suggests that our evaluative & normative stances mediate between our descriptive and interpretive stances to effect our prescriptive stances. Restated, our philosophic (spiritual) stance mediates between the positivistic (like science) and paradigmatic (like a/theology or a/gnosticism) stances to effect the prudential (moral and practical) stances. Implicit in this approach, human knowledge enterprises are inextricably intertwined with
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Ursula likes to quote Jerry Fodor: Nobody has the slightest idea how anything material could be conscious. Nobody even knows what it would be like to have the slightest idea how anything material could be conscious.

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human value realizations, which is to recognize that our rationality is an ecological rationality (has adaptive significance). Also, we can see how these different stances are moreso intellectually related and not strictly logically related, which is to recognize, for example, that nonformal and quasi-formal stances often have a role in navigating us, however fallibly, to the truth. I am talking, for example, about such epistemic criteria as coherence, symmetry, elegance, beauty, simplicity, Occam's Razor, Pascal's Wager and reductio arguments (from ignorance). This is to also recognize that human cognition is not merely computational or algorithmic or syntactical but is also nonalgorithmic and semantical, again, dealing with meaning or value. And these stances resonate with William James' criteria for the Will To Believe: a) live choice b) forced choice and c) momentous choice. G. K. Chesterton said that we do not know enough about reality to say that it is unknowable. And it does seem too early on humankind's journey to make such a claim. Whitehead said that all metaphysics were fatally flawed but did not desist from the enterprise himself. When confronting the unknown, we cannot a priori know which of Quine's paradoxes (veridical, falsidical or antinomial) afflict us, or which type of vagueness --- epistemic, ontological or semantical --- we are dealing with, respectively: 1) Are we methodologically constrained? 2) Is there some type of in-principle occulting due to the emergentist nature of the reality in question? or due to its so-called "brute fact" status? 3) Does the problem stem from issues surrounding the predication and, hence, disambiguation of our concepts, themselves? The theological noncognitivism argument is interesting. Someone has paid close attention to the high nuance and rigorous predication of certain God-concepts insofar as they aspire to an increase in descriptive accuracy 1) thru negation, which is to say through the employment of negatively defined attributes (apophasis); and 2) thru affirmation, but only in a relational sense and only through the employment of analogical and metaphorical statements (kataphasis). There is a real problem, however, in that this noncognitivist critique, in its anxiety to an-nihilate (yes, the seemingly nihilistic choice) theology and metaphysics, would also destroy speculative cosmology and theoretical physics, too (in other words, science). This problem stems mostly from the failure to draw a distinction between the successful description of a reality and the successful reference of a reality, the latter not gifted with a robust explanatory adequacy, to be sure, but not at all necessarily devoid of this so-called "concrete meaning." This distinction has always been in play at the frontiers of science, such as when modern genetics and natural selection were merging into our now received neodarwinian understandings, as our mostly phenomenological references to genes yielded to robust biochemical and biological descriptions, or such as in our ongoing attempts to merge quantum mechanics and gravity, where our theories and terms do not only not mutually describe but do not even mutually refer. Now, we do not, at the same time, therefore, countenance giving people's imaginations free reign in hypothesizing, as if logical consistency and deductive validity were the only

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criteria of epistemic virtue, for we also saddle them with the responsibility of articulating inductive inferences, which is to require, empirical falsifiability. And because certain realities, by their very nature, tend to be only eschatologically falsifiable or verifiable, leaving us with a Scottish verdict (theism, atheism, nontheism), we are left adjudicating these competing claims with essentially pragmatic criteria and evaluative sensibilities. This, alone, does not make them noncognitive, unless one's apologetic is "grounded" fideistically or scientistically, which is to say by an unjustified and a priori pre- or post-Enlightenment fundamentalism. The proper grounding is described, in part, above, in the heuristic setting forth the interplay of our different stances toward reality, and, also, insofar as Peirce's approach entails a theory of knowledge, which presupposes an ontology even as it employs a pragmatic maxim, which requires us to cash out our beliefs in terms of value realization. Finally, people provisionally close, all the time, on all things philosophic, positivistic, paradigmatic and prudential, without, at the same time, necessarily, laying claim to any apodictic certainty. And they do so with varying degrees of confident assurance in what they hope for, discerning best they can what is possible, plausible, probable, certain, uncertain, improbable, implausible or impossible, variously well warranted or not. Therefore, agnosticism remains a live option. It is not a self-refuting belief --- neither in science nor metaphysics nor speculative, theoretical a/theology. For most of us, though, theology is a practical science. And that is exactly why the faith-based outlook, the emergentist perspective, some Buddhist stances and agnosticism, writ large and sufficiently nuanced, can all be correct insofar as they suggest, regarding this or that aspect of reality, that, sometimes, the most appropriate response is a reverent silence. Footnote Regarding Positivism Problems with ignosticism, such as theological noncognitivism, run much deeper than many recognize insofar as its core commitment to the principle of verification is the same employed by logical positivism, which is thoroughly undermined by its very own humean stance toward reality. Falsification has been extremely useful, but it is not, itself, falsifiable. We've been in a post-positivist era for some time? Verificationism is a dead-end, incoherent. At best, we have heuristic devices in verification, falsification, parsimony and other criteria and not self-evident foundations or indubitable starting-points for our otherwise commonly received methodological naturalism. Also, epistemology is inherently normative, so false dichotomies between cognitive and noncognitive aspects of the human intellect are not meaningful in our theory of knowledge insofar as normative/evaluative, descriptive/referential, interpretive/paradigmatic and prescriptive/pragmatic modes of value realization are intellectually related even if not logically related. However, even if one did not raise these objections of incoherence and igno-ignosticism and conceded a definition of so-called "concrete meaning," which allows only positive definitions for primary characteristics before applying secondary attributes and relational attributes, such an approach can be parodied to do away with science, itself.

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To wit: When we observe effects from unknown causes, sometimes, all we can do is to refer to those causes using models, analogies and metaphors, which is to acknowledge that the primary attribute is defined negatively, in other words, as being not literally this or that, and the secondary attributes are defined as being like this or that. And the thing is also assigned a relative characteristic, which is to say, as a cause relative to an effect. Do we really want to defend a definition of science that eschews analogies and models? Descriptive accuracy can be increased through either negation or affirmation. Why arbitrarily rule out negative definitions? Successful referencing is not robustly explanatory, but why must meaning be limited to successful description? Some realities are not wholly comprehensible but are certainly partly apprehensible, so, why limit one's definition of intelligibility and insight to full comprehensibility? When reality's givens are defined in terms of primitives like space, time, mass and energy, in other words, presupposing a space-time plenum, our use of terms like nonlocal, nonspatial and nontemporal are references to primary characteristics of putative realities as we near T=0. After all, time came into existence with the Big Bang. When describing the putative initial conditions and boundary conditions of the universe, or hypothesizing singularities, why a priori eliminate the meaningfulness of imaginary numbers? Without the use of analogy, we would lose M-Theory, string theory, multiverses and parallel universes, many-worlds & Bohm & Copenhagen interpretations. Furthermore, quite often, our equations refer to our models and not to nature, herself. And physical theories are mathematical models, which are subject to Godelian-like constraints, hence are intrinsically incomplete (or otherwise inconsistent). In Dialogue With Ken Wilber The most important take-away from what we are trying to say is that our different perspectives (subjective, intersubjective, intraobjective & objective) and methods (descriptive, normative, evaluative & interpretive) or disciplines (science, philosophy, culture & religion or even empirical, rational, moral-practical, relational) are methodologically-autonomous but axiologically-integral. In some sense, this seems to differ from what Wilber has said at times about, for example, the trans-rational. His work is very highly nuanced and he does, after all, say AQAL. However, what seems to come across, for all practical purposes, is that Wilber is saying that these perspectives are both methodologically-autonomous and axiologically-autonomous. The difference in what we are saying boils down to our suggesting that each of these perspectives (methods, disciplines or approaches) is necessary but none, alone, sufficient in every human value-realization. Wilber seems to be saying that each perspective is both necessary and sufficient, now for this value-realization, now for that. That said, we're not suggesting that ours is a devastating critique. We do think there are important differences that deserve high nuance and that have great import, for example, in our religion and

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science dialogue. We suppose we could say that, when we are using the word integral, we mean all quadrants, all levels, all the time (time not in a strictly temporal sense but meaning in every value-realization spiral). This is to say, then, that the trans-rational does well to go beyond the rational but has nothing to say to us when it goes without it. What we want to very much affirm is the value in listening to, during every human value-realization (think truth, beauty, goodness and unity), our pre-rational, non-rational, rational, trans-rational (maybe even irrational) voices, allowing them to mutually critique each other. What we positively want to avoid is giving any one of these voices the last word, which would not be an authentic trans-rational approach, but would be, instead, arational. In other words, authentic integrality does not come from our willingness to give each perspective its say about reality, now this voice for that value-realization, now that voice for another value-realization. Integrality employs a harmonic symphony of voices in every value-realization, all quadrants, all levels, all the time (AQALAT). Of course, this requires nuance because we do recognize that, as we move from one value-realization to the next, certain of our perspectives or voices will enjoy a certain primacy as it steps up to the microphone and others take their place in the chorus waiting for the conductor to to signal a pause or crescendo or what have you. For example, in apophatic, contemplative silence, other voices may be muted but any value-realization from that nondual moment will necessarily ensue from its place in the choral arrangement in relationship to other voices or moments, even if they occupy, in that instant, a rather tacit dimension. Tacit dimensionality plays a prominent role in semiotic science, as we like to say, ineluctably unobtrusive but utterly efficacious. A person formed in an Eastern tradition may be present to a moment of apophasis with an interiority that will receive its flow like a cliff receives water in a cascading waterfall while a westerner may experience the same moment with an interiority shaped like a winding riverbed. Different efficacies might thus ensue from these different semiotic sea-scapes (however otherwise tacit). On one hand, we have never worried much about having a general audience because most of what we have written is a defense of common sense and a subversion from within of sterile philosophies and metaphysics. In other words, we think your average Joe and Mary are at least mostly unconsciously competent, which is sometimes more poignantly beautiful than the self-inflated conscious-competents. On the other hand, the average person is thus susceptible to being radicalized precisely because they depart from common sense to inhabit these elaborate tautologies which they then cannot escape, unable to JOTS [jump outside their systems] of apodictic certainty. They do not need a LOT of hermeneutical help, only to be encouraged that their original native state of doubt even in faith is their salvation, that their ability to tolerate ambiguity and live with paradox is their true glory (ortho-doxy). Its the only thing that can save our species: Healthy doubt, Therapeutic uncertainty. In Dialogue With Gadamer

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Cynthia R. Nielsen, at Per Caritatem writes: In a sense, the C major triad is both a one and a many-it is a C major triad and thus has an integral unity of meaning; yet, it is a many because of its intimate connection to and function within the symphony itself-that place where it lives and moves and has its being. The dialectical self-cancelling movement occurs due to the fact that as the C major triad emerges from the background of the whole, it must cancel part of itself (the whole) in order to do so. (This sounds very Heideggerian, which is no surprise given the latters influence on Gadamer). Yet, to avoid mis-interpretation, it must not become completely severed from the whole, lest in a very real sense it die. If this is a correct understanding of Gadamer on this point, there are some interesting Christian connections to be made.

In Dialogue With Walker Percy 1 ) We suppose all weve really done in saying that the descriptive, interpretive and normative are methodologically autonomous but axiologically integral is that we have affirmed, with Peirce, that a descriptive, inductive science and an interpretive, abductive metaphysic and a normative, deductive philosophy are irreducibly triadic (Walker Percys Delta Factor). This is not unrelated to Walker Percys consideration of the various antinomies of science and philosophy vis a vis culture in that the source of antinomy lies in the limitations of the methods, themselves. Thus the need for mutual critique and meta-critique. Thus our recognition of manifold and multiform dynamics: teleological, perspectival, methodological, developmental, paradoxical and integral. Think here, too, of Percys treatment of the irreducible character of intersubjectivity. 2 ) And, perhaps, with Neville, our affirmation of the evaluative (culture) is but the application of Peirces pragmatic maxim, a recognition of the end to which the triad is ordered, teleologically. 3 ) Our distinctions between the theoretic, heuristic, semiotic (Walker Percys protocol statements) and dogmatic thus recognize degrees of pragmatic realization in the cashing out of values from our various conceptualizations. 4 ) Our distinctions between semantical, ontological and epistemic vagueness are recognitions of the fallible nature of semiosis. 5 ) Our suggestion that usefulness, beauty, goodness, elegance, parsimony, symmetry, facility and other aesthetic, pragmatic and ethical sensibilities (including, then, various pre-rational, nonrational and supra-or trans-rational approaches) can serve as truth-indicative signs is but a recognition of the probabilistic nature of semiosis as we reason, retroductively, from predicates back to putative subjects, for example, very often from effects to causes (and such known, or even unknown, subjects or causes to which only those predicates or effects could be proper). This is also to recognize that deductive, inductive and abductive inferences get progressively weaker even as we recognize that theyre all weve got to work with.

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6 ) Our equiplausibility principle recognizes this probabilistic nature of semiosis and affirms such distinctions as between information and news (Walker Percys Message in a Bottle) or informative and performative knowledge, affirming that our solutions to many of lifes paradoxes, ironies and questions are not so much theoretical as they are practical in that they provide us with existentially actionable knowledge, employing more so our participatory imagination than our propositional (conceptual map-making) cognition. 7 ) Finally, we step back from metaphysics, with Percy prescinding entirely from final ontological constructions as befits an empirical science, and approaching existential realities solely in light of an empirical finding the uniquely human symbolic transformation (Symbol as Hermeneutic in Existentialism). Walker Percy43 spoke of Kierkegaard s On the Difference Between a Genius and an Apostle : Like the readings that mean most to you, what it did was confirm something I suspected but that it took Sren Kierkegaard to put into words: that what the greatest geniuses in science, literature, art and philosophy utter are sentences which convey truths sub specie aeternitatis , that is to say, sentences which can be confirmed by appropriate methods and by anyone, anywhere, any time. But only the apostle can utter sentences which can be accepted on the authority of the apostle, that is , his credentials, sobriety, trustworthiness as a newsbearer. These sentences convey not knowledge sub specie aeternitatis but news .

This reiterates the distinction between our cosmology as knowledge sub specie aeternitatis and our axiology as Good News .

In Dialogue With Reformed Epistemology & Radical Orthodoxy Of course we have rejected foundationalism but we are also rejecting the solution offered by Reformed epistemology. We are deeply sympathetic to Radical Orthodoxy and its aim to mediate between faith and reason but are offering what we think is an indispensable corrective. Too many in RO seem to be saying that philosophy, metaphysics and theology are integrally-related methodologically and thereby overcome any insidious dualisms with their claim that all approaches are at bottom confessional. Their intuition that all of these approaches to reality have confessional elements is spot on but these approaches to reality remain, indeed and nevertheless, methodologically autonomous. If these approaches stay out of each others way, it is not because theyve been methodologically conflated, its because they are asking distinctly different questions, employing distinctly different commitments, all as explicated in our own heuristic. RO is correct in that these
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Zoltan AbadiNagi, The Art of Fiction XCVII: Walker Percy by 1986.

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approaches are integrally-related. Our corrective is that this integral relationship is axiological and not methodological. All put another way, we do want to affirm faith and reason while avoiding fideism and rationalism. The Reformed strategy reclassifies faith as a basic presupposition, immunizing it from an autonomous philosophy. ROs strategy reclassifies faith AS reason so fideism and rationalism dissolve in a categorial disappearing act. If, in the first instance, a belief in God is basic (and supposedly properly so, at that) and, in the next, all presuppositional beliefs are confessional (and unapologetically so, at that), both fideism and rationalism indeed disappear and, along with them, so do philosophy and metaphysics and, along with them, any lingua franca for conducting interreligious dialogue and, further, any autonomous methodology for adjudicating between competing truth claims. Our axiological epistemology employs another strategy to overcome both fideism and rationalism a) affirming the confessional nature of our methods via a contrite fallibilism and b) integrally-relating the distinct approaches to reality axiologically but c) maintaining the methodological autonomy of those approaches. Unlike the Reformed strategy, we do not redefine the essential nature of different types of belief but do otherwise distinguish them vis a vis epistemic risks. Unlike the RO strategy, we do not invoke epistemic parity between different types of belief vis a vis their different risk profiles but we do recognize and affirm an epistemic parity vis a vis their shared epistemic virtues. Faith remains. Reason remains. Philosophy remains. Metaphysics remains. Because all play an indispensable role in every human value-realization, fides et ratio are preserved and fideism and rationalism are thus avoided. (Essay for another day: John Duns Scotus is the wrong theological whipping boy for RO!)

Theology of Nature pansemioentheism, a pneumatological theology of nature Apologetics theological perspectives, a theological perspectivalism; robust realisms rational and presuppositional evidential existential trans-evaluative Anthropological Outlook existential orientations as theological imperatives (theosis) community as orthocommunio creed as orthodoxy cult as orthopathos

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code as orthopraxis THE THEOLOGICAL INTERFACE Turning our attention, now, from a mostly philosophical consideration, let us treat the interface between this architectonic and a more theological stance. Authenticity, in our view, grows as our faith transists from the clear but tentative to the vague but certain (a paraphrase of Benedict Groeshel). And this so happens to track our spiritual movement beyond (but not without) the discursive and kataphatic to the nondiscursive and apophatic, beyond (but not without) the merely rational and practical (as well as storge' and eros) to the robustly transrational and relational (as well as agape' and philia), which is the essence of the contemplative gaze. Merton grappled with such distinctions as between immanent and transcendent, impersonal and personal, apophatic and kataphatic, existential and theological, natural and supernatural, implicit and explicit, acquired and infused, as did Rahner, in an effort to reconcile East and West. Many of these theological conundrums were rooted, perhaps, in philosophical error, as the essentials of the Christian message became needlessly entangled with arcane and archaic metaphysics. What if, for example, Transcendental Thomism was ultimately derived from Kant who, instead of responding to Hume, should have ignored him? What if Rahner's thematic grace was, instead, a realization of transmuted experience (Gelpi)? What if we viewed original sin not so much, or at least not solely, in terms of an ontological rupture located in the past but as a teleological striving oriented toward the future (Haught)? What if the Incarnation was not a response to some felix culpa but a panentheistic reality featured in the cosmic cards and loaded in the probabilistic quantum dice from the eternal get-go (Scotus), metaphorically-speaking? Might the dichotomy between the natural and supernatural resolve into the ontological possibility that "it's all supernatural" and that all experience is thus graced and differs, thusly - not necessarily in kind but, instead - in degree? Might addiction psychology better explain at least some cases of so-called demonic oppression and possession? If with Scotus, we take the Incarnation as an eternal inevitability, and with Phil Hefner, we take humanity as created-cocreators, might our theodicy questions change in focus from why it is that we suffer to what it is we will do about it? Rather than the Rube Goldbergesque theological machinations of this or that Thomism (transcendental, existential, analytical, aristotelian and so on), for example, could we not, rather, prescind from our specific metaphysical ontological approaches to a more vague phenomenological perspective that affirms the robustly relational and personal, still conforming to humankind's vague intuitions regarding "intimacy" with the Divine, while recognizing that our autonomy from Brackens Divine Matrix of interrelated causes and effects is, necessarily, only "quasi," thus also conforming to humankind's vague intuitions regarding "identity" with the Divine? Perhaps some of Merton's dualistic conceptions are mere distinctions and not, necessarily, true dichotomies, at least from the standpoint of salvific efficacy, which was the real conundrum with which Merton and Rahner were, in essence and at bottom, grappling --- that over against a somewhat prevalent exclusivistic ecclesiocentrism. If all reality is graced and not bifurcated out into natural and supernatural, the very questions change even as the Incarnation remains the Answer, for it has never been an ideology or merely another set of affirmations, but, instead is an initiation into an intimate relationship. If grace is transmuted experience and all experience is graced, from the standpoint of salvific efficacy and Lonerganian conversion, then, we (humankind) have all been abundantly gifted with what is necessary

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and sufficient (let's say, at least, minimalistically speaking). Implicit faith might thus be viewed as a type of unconscious competence. What is at stake, then, via explicit faith (amplified in sacrament and liturgy, for example) is the further transmutation of our human experience into a conscious competence, which leads, in turn, to a superabundance. In this context, certain questions will not arise, for example, such as those that require such distinctions as acquired and infused contemplation, natural and supernatural, immanent and transcendent, while others take on a new significance, such as between the impersonal and personal, apophatic and kataphatic, existential and theological, implicit and explicit, for example. Our experiences of God will thus differ not necessarily in kind but in degree and not necessarily in ontological terms of either substance or process but in those of fullness of realization. Our vague intuition of "identity" can re-gift us with the realization of our unitive destiny, we believe, reinforcing just how close God is to us via the Divine Matrix of interrelated causes and effects (without leading us into quarrels over monisms and pantheisms). It can serve to moderate our dialectical imaginations, which, in some parts of Christianity, have redistanced God in a manner tantamount to a de facto Deism, which is clearly at odds with a reality Jesus conveyed by calling Yahweh "Abba.". At the same time, and ironically, our analogical imaginations have overemphasized the analogical and metaphorical and this has raised questions of relevance via causal disjunction, for how can a reality described only via analog interact causally with anything else? The "identity," which we like to describe as "intra-objective," we believe reinforces and does not detract from but, rather, enhances the "intersubjective intimacy" in a reality that is radically graced, pervasively incarnational. We are perhaps guided more so by Beauty and Goodness to hold these types of beliefs as Truth and not so much by metaphysical proofs, which, while they indeed hint at the reasonableness of our beliefs, cannot compel one to recognize their veracity or soundness. They can be normatively justified and evaluatively relevant, enjoying epistemic parity with other explanatory attempts, even if not otherwise epistemically warranted. This is also to say that being in proper relationship to Love is intrinsically rewarding, an end unto itself beyond any apologetic or theodicy. Some of our experiences of God, East versus West, for example, thus may or may not differ with respect to their origin, natural versus supernatural (as we might attempt to describe same metaphysically, for example in ontological terms of substance or process approaches), but rather with respect to degrees vis a vis the fullness of our realization of the God encounter. This simply recognizes that there's a lot of room for discussion in this regard, to wit: Rahner vs de Lubac vs Gelpi vs other modernists and postmodernists vs the old dualistic extrinsicism of scholasticism. Insofar as it does help tremendously to know what you're doing, we think we must recognize the distinction between conscious and unconscious competence vis a vis explicit and implicit faith. We very much affirm that our God encounters differ "in kind" from this perspective. What we do resist, however, is any temptation to suggest that this versus that experience is necessarily natural or supernatural or that the Holy Spirit is necessarily here but not there (pneumatological exclusivity). Still, we would not deny anyone's experiences or even their own interpretation of those experiences even as we think we might properly question how much normative impetus such interpretations could and/or should exert for others in the broader community of human value-realizers. Because there are metaphysical implications which flow from revelation, we prefer to think of human value-realization in terms of a recursive feedback loop such that the normative mediates between the

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descriptive and interpretive to effect the evaluative. Each of these human value-realizations presupposes the others. This is not a strictly truth-conducive algorithm (or strong type of inference) but a fallible process that is also, maybe even moreso, truth-indicative (a much weaker form of inference). We cannot even give a complete theoretic account of how knowledge works but can attest, pragmatically, that it indeed works, slowly and falteringly but inexorably advancing such human value-realizations as truth, beauty, goodness and unity (through such as creed, cult, code and community). The categories, concepts and claims associated with each aspect of this feedback loop are communicated, unavoidably, by a mixture of dogmatic, heuristic, theoretic and semiotic terms, which we can describe, respectively, as non-negotiated, still-in-negotiation, negotiated and nonnegotiable vis or vis this or that community of inquiry or value-realizers. Here are the practical implications of this schema. First, clearly, our dogmatic interpretive positions have clear metaphysical implications, especially implicit in our affirmation of God. This leads to a positivist-like descriptive claim, to be sure, but it tends not to get in the way of other positivist endeavors because, as far as our metaphysical enterprise is concerned, it is a claim regarding primal and/or ultimate origins, boundaries, limits and initial conditions, (and, analogously, the tacit dimension of the Holy Spirit via a Peircean thirdness) or what we might consider to be ontological paperwork that resides in the bottom drawer of the last desk in the back corner of the basement of our metaphysical library. Again, we do not want to say, for example, that all hypotheses (let's say, this time, theological anthropologies) are equally worthy of acting as working hypotheses (let's say, spiritualities), as if it were sufficient that our logical arguments be merely valid but not also sound. But what epistemic criteria are at our disposal when it comes to speculative systematic theology, for example? or natural law interpretations vis a vis a practical moral theology? such that we can differentiate levels of external congruence with reality in addition to other criteria like logical validity and internal coherence? Or, to put it another way, how do we determine which tautology has the most taut grasp of reality? Well, there are a host of considerations such as inventoried in the work of Stanley Jaki, and other criteria we previously listed such as hypothetical fecundity and such, as well as being mindful of the proportional mix of dogmatic, heuristic, theoretic and semiotic terms that are employed in any given metaphysical affirmation. It is not enough that we engage our fanciful imaginations vis a vis what might have happened to humanity (i.e. death) regarding original sin in light of evolution. It is not enough to claim that our natural law interpretations are philosophical and not theological in order to compel a moral vision. We must be mindful of our terms and definitions and employ as many nonnegotiable (semiotic) and negotiated (theoretic) concepts and categories as possible, and as few non-negotiated (dogmatic) ones as necessary, employing those that are still-in-negotiation (heuristic) mindfully and respectfully. Otherwise, our moral and political discourse will only be heard and heeded in ideological and dogmatic echo chambers. Otherwise, we are "proving too much." Otherwise, we will experience major disconnects from other people and their lived experiences, thus missing out on other credible and important witnesses to revelation. PANSEMIOENTHEISM a pneumatological theology of nature grounded in a minimalist realism a charismatic Franciscan contemplative perspective

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By pansemio- we are not specifying an ontology but are recognizing a phenomenological pattern that might include the proto- and quasisemiotic, such as in thermo- and morpho-dynamics (or first and second order emergence), in addition to the biosemiotic and teleodynamic (third order emergence). Reality may present, for instance, with proto- (or primal) dynamics, thermodynamics, morphodynamics, teleodynamics and eschato- (or final) dynamics, similar to a neoplatonic procession. First, second and third order emergence44, or thermo-, morpho- and teleo- dynamics may thus represent proleptic realities. Both the formal causation (a Polanyian tacit dimension) and final causation (downward causation) of biosemiotic realities, however minimalistically conceived and without violations of physical causal closure, would proleptically present both back and front doors for a radically interconnected matrix (Divine per Bracken) of causes and effects in reality. Such interactivity can be utterly efficacious while still ineluctably unobtrusive acting pervasively through primal realitys initial, boundary and limit conditions, whether temporally, atemporally or trans-temporally. This is a hermeneutic for a thoroughly enchanted nature, recognizing no necessary distinctions between natural and supernatural, or hierarchical orders of grace, or privileged levels of revelation, emphasizing, rather, the degrees of realization, levels of awareness and growth in the Spirit over any dualistic dichotomies and exclusivities. Most postmodern Christian theologies of nature seem to be in the throes of metaphysical angst, as if other hermeneutical rushes to closure now require us to place our ontological cards on the dialogical table. Christianity was once said to be in search of a metaphysic (Whitehead) and that sounds very right-headed to us, still. Why should we join the rush to declare our position and specify our ontological claims just because everyone else is busy committing category errors, conflating their methods and systems? When has the Kerygma ever competed with positivistic and philosophic, descriptive and normative, methodologies? Do our theological anthropologies require the successful resolution of initial, boundary and limit conditions of the universe or multiverse, or even a decision in favor of one philosophy of mind or another --- eliminativist, epiphenomenalist, nonreductive physicalist, emergent monist or even a radically Cartesian dualist account? Havent we always survived and thrived, even, with our phenomenological accounts and subjective and intersubjective experiences? The final methodological descriptions of our cosmic origins and epistemic faculties, however they turn out, will not change the essential thrust of our interpretive stances, whether of an aesthetic teleology or a pneumatological theology. We know from our empirical observations that biosemiotic realities require both a minimalist formal and final causation in addition to efficient causation. We can affirm, methodologically, top-down and bottom-up causations? There can be no denying of the possibility of a Divine Matrix of interrelated causes and effects even as we prescind from any robust descriptions of either the causal joints or the divine prerogatives. Whatever ones ontic account of our putative cosmic or epistemic boundaries, we havent yet an account of primal reality, herself. All competing interpretations, if methodologically faithful to prevailing positivistic and philosophic norms, at best, are equiplausible accounts that, ontologically, enjoy epistemic parity but certainly not the epistemic warrant we might otherwise properly ascribe to our various ontic disciplines. All competing interpretations should not pretend to have discovered the perfect root metaphor, the complete consistent system
44

See Terrence W. Deacon, Emergence: The Hole at the Wheel's Hub, __Chapter 5, The Re-Emergence of Emergence: The Emergentist Hypothesis from Science to Religion__ (Hardcover) by Philip Clayton (Editor), Paul Davies (Editor) Oxford University Press, USA (August 24, 2006)

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(Godel), or metaphysical Mecca. For gosh sakes, we havent yet reconciled gravity and quantum mechanics. And this isnt a capitulation to the notion that theology only rushes in to fill gaps left by the positivistic sciences. This isnt to deny that some theologians once did such a thing, and many still do; rather, it is to recognize that, when they do, they are simply being bad scientists. And vice versa; so many scientists are awful philosophers and god-awful theologians. However integrally related our methods and findings are, they still represent autonomous aspects of inquiry about distinctly different value-pursuits. Interpretations of primal reality, as equiplausible accounts of primal reality, while descriptive enterprises, theoretically, are essentially evaluative posits, practically speaking, precisely because their propositional elements have left us with Scottish verdicts and in search of other actionable norms, which, then necessarily, go beyond the inferential to the manifold and multiform other aspects of human value-realization. The strategy we put forward for competing with other metaphysical accounts is not to compete; their questions are wrong. Thus it is that phenomenology remains both necessary and sufficient for doing theology, which ends up being a practical and not a speculative science, for the most part. To the extent, then, that epistemology models ontology, and our ontology is a phenomenology, which is to say vague, then our epistemology is going to be, quite simply, fallibilistic. Hereinabove, then, we described what we like to call a Peircean metatechnica, which does not ambition metaphysical specificity but does rely on, provisionally, some patterns one can discern phenomenologically in nature. While we think it is important to affirm metaphysical realism, in general, we do not think it is otherwise important to engage any particular and robust metaphysic, in particular. Saint Bonaventure taught us Franciscans that when you stop seeing the divine presence in one of the seven links of the Great Chain of Being, the whole thing will fall apart. When you cannot recognize the divine indwelling in the earth itself and the waters upon the earth and the plants and trees that grow upon the earth and the animals, you will not see it in the human. And thats what has happened. We finally dont see that presence in the angels, saints or the divine itself. from Richard Rohr's Great Chain of Being Applications philosophies of science, mind and religion; theologies of nature; formative spiritualities

WHAT IS METAPHYSICS THAT WE SHOULD BE MINDFUL OF IT? In our view, following Whitehead, Christianity indeed remains in search of a metaphysic, but so does all other human endeavor. So, we have a very open mind about "how" it is that all manner of things may, can, will and shall be well. And we have to be similarly open regarding just what well means. Exactly "how" this may be so is, for me, a positivist or descriptive endeavor (e.g. scientific, falsifiable), which articulates its claims with categories and concepts that are, in a word, theoretic, in other words, scientific or positivist. Those claims and concepts and categories are negotiated by those in humanity who participate in our fallible but earnest community of inquiry. As previously set forth, many claims and concepts and categories are still-in-negotiation (heuristic) in this community of inquiry that we call humankind. Humanity, as a community of value-realizers, also engages in interpretive and evaluative endeavors,

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staking various claims regarding whether or not --- "that" --- all manner of things may, can, will and shall be well and articulating them with categories and concepts that are religious or ideological and, generally, not negotiated (dogmatic). Human spirituality more fully comes into play as a philosophic or normative endeavor, which might be thought of in terms of "best practices" that serve to mediate between our descriptive-positivist and interpretive endeavors to effect our evaluative goals in all types of human value-realizations. Ultimately, what is "best" is not negotiable; it is, then, in a word, semiotic, making meaning and intelligibility possible, in the first place, like various "first" principles; it simply is what it is, although discovering it is somewhat problematical. The normative, then, mediates between the descriptive and interpretive to effect the evaluative. Or, we could say that the philosophic mediates between the positivist and ideological-theological to effect human value-realizations. The practical upshot of this hermeneutic is that our interpretive and evaluative stances make some claims on our normative approaches, which, in turn, will certainly bolster our descriptive endeavors through enhanced modeling power of reality without, at the same time, making any specific descriptive or positivist claims. These various stances, approaches and endeavors are integrally related, intellectually, but not strictly related, logically, which is to recognize that human value-realizations, such as knowledge, for example, are not merely formally derived or driven by strict computational algorithms, instead being open-ended or plastic and dynamic. What we are suggesting is that metaphysics is mostly a descriptive and positivist endeavor and that we do not look to religious or existential mystical traditions for direct metaphysical insights. Our religious and ideological traditions exert their influence over positivist endeavors, instead, indirectly, through their shaping of our normative or philosophic outlooks, thereby, hopefully, enhancing our modeling power of reality. All of this is to say, then, that, for example, we do not look to any religion or ideology to determine the nature of human consciousness, to determine whether or not what we call the human soul is intrinsically immortal, to determine whether or not the universe is eternal, or how to resolve the many paradoxes that result from the classical tensions between essentialism and nominalism, substance and process approaches, or all manner of dual and nondual claims, categories and concepts. We do affirm metaphysics as a viable enterprise and say let a thousand metaphysical blossoms bloom, but let us judge them empirically, rationally and practically in the crucible of human experience by how well they foster Lonergan's conversions. Metaphysics, at this stage of humankind's journey, in our view, remains a great way to "probe" reality but not a reliable way to "prove" reality. Our deontological claims, then, should be as modest as our ontologies are tentative. However, they have been anything but modest as the general tendency among the great traditions, religious and ideological, has been, as we see it, to attempt to "prove too much." Perhaps we reflexively recoil from Mystery and thus try to banish the vague by anxiously pursuing the specific? There is a certain irony in that it is in our encounter with the concrete and particular that we most encounter the vague and mysterious, in the depth dimension of reality and other persons, while the abstract and conceptual only provides a "seeming" escape into the clear and certain. Still, we would not deny anyone's experiences or even their own interpretation of those experiences even as we think we might properly question how much normative impetus such interpretations could and/or should exert for others in the broader community of human value-realizers.

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Summary: an Epistemological Architectonic as Exploratory Heuristic Think of human value-realization in terms of a recursive feedback loop such that the normative mediates between the descriptive and interpretive to effect the evaluative. Each of these human value-realizations presupposes the others. This is not a strictly truth-conducive algorithm (or strong type of inference) but a fallible process that is also, maybe even moreso, truth-indicative (a much weaker form of inference). We cannot even give a complete theoretic account of how knowledge works but can attest, pragmatically, that it indeed works, slowly and falteringly but inexorably advancing such human value-realizations as truth, beauty, goodness and unity. The categories, concepts and claims associated with each aspect of this feedback loop are communicated, unavoidably, by a mixture of dogmatic, heuristic, theoretic and semiotic terms, which we have described, respectively, as non-negotiated, still-in-negotiation, negotiated and nonnegotiable vis or vis this or that community of inquiry or value-realizers. Even if we concede our inability to reason from the given to the normative (which we do not, following Adler), we caricaturize human reasoning if we describe it strictly in terms of formal argumentation or logic. This is all just to recognize that the hermeneutical, philosophic, positivist hierarchy is not wholly a one-way street and that, while our distinctly different value-commitments for our different human endeavors do involve autonomous methodologies, no value-realization, in and of itself, is otherwise fully autonomous but results from the fruits of this integrally-related feedback loop. They are, rather, indispensable separate motions required for any movement (as previously explicated).

AFTERWARD --- NORMATIVE IMPLICATIONS: May namaste, then, become more than a greeting but a way of life, as we look always and everywhere and in everyone for the pneumatological realities we profess herein. May our inter-religious stance be more irenic as we acknowledge the Spirit in one another with true reverence, in authentic solidarity and utmost compassion. A most fundamental aspect of the unqualified affirmation of human dignity would seem to be our nurturance of the attitude that all other humans come bearing an irreplaceable gift for us, that we are to maintain a stance of receptivity toward them, open to receive what it is they offer us through, with and in the Spirit. Whether the Magi were occidental or oriental, Jesus was receptive. When John offered baptism, Jesus was receptive. When Mary anointed his feet, Jesus was receptive. When invited to dine with tax collectors and prostitutes, Jesus was receptive. A critical gaze not first turned on oneself and ones ways of looking at reality will have very little efficacy when it is otherwise habitually and arrogantly turned first on others. All of this is to observe that, beyond whatever it is that we offer to the world as our unique gift, rather than always approaching our sisters and brothers as fix-it-upper projects in need of our counsel and ministry, sometimes the Spirit may be inviting us to listen, observe and learn from them in a posture of authentic humility and from a stance of genuine affirmation of their infinite value and unique giftedness. While our encounters of the Spirit may be manifold and varied from one phenomenal experience to the next, especially when situated in one major tradition versus another, we may be saying more than we know if we attempt to describe such experiences with more ontological specificity than can be reasonably claimed metaphysically or theologically, suggesting, for example, that such experiences necessarily differ in

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either origin or degree even if they otherwise differ, as might be expected, in other cognitive, affective, moral, social or religious aspects. More than semantics is at stake, here. We are not merely saying the same thing using different words when we draw such distinctions as between nature and grace, natural and supernatural, existential and theological, immanent and transcendent; such explicit denotations also have strong connotative implications that might betray attitudes of epistemic hubris, pneumatological exclusivity or religious hegemony, which are clearly unwarranted once we understand that our faith outlooks are effectively evaluative. We say this because, in our view, our belief systems are otherwise, at best, normatively justified existentially after essentially attaining, minimally, an epistemic parity with other hermeneutics vis a vis our best evidential, rational and presuppositional approaches. While there are rubrics for discernment of where the Spirit is active and where humans are cooperative, they do not lend themselves to facile and cursory a priori assessments, neither by an academic theology with its rationalistic categorizing nor by a popular fideistic piety with its supernaturalistic religiosity, predispositions that tend to divide and not unite, to arrogate and not serve, with their vain comparisons and spiritual pretensions. Indeed, we have been admonished not to be seduced by any false irenicism, insidious indifferentism or facile syncretism. And this seems fair enough --- to the extent that we are thereby trying to affirm the role of epistemic virtue in our approach to fides et ratio, in general. However, to the extent one might otherwise be suggesting that any given faith approach, in particular, is necessarily privileged and that other approaches do not enjoy epistemic parity (by virtue of their own normative justifications) vis a vis one's own given approach, that would be too strong a position to defend, philosophically? While it would be illicit to a priori claim that primal reality is in-principle knowable (scientism) or unknowable (agnosticism), still, it is clearly too early on humankind's journey to imagine we have successfully described or explained primal reality. Clearly, we do not know where it is on our knowledge journeys that we will be methodologically thwarted or otherwise ontologically occulted, although the philosophical naturalists rush to closure with the former conclusion and urge their god of the gaps pejoratives on the fideistic mysterians, who hold out for the latter position, not altogether certain where that final gap will irreducibly present itself. Even given Godelian constraints on completeness and consistency, there is no a priori reason to believe that we may not one day be able to see the truths of the axioms we will otherwise be unable to prove. And those aspects of reality that we are unable to successfully describe and explain, we may very well be able to successfully refer to and model. I suppose that all of this is to suggest that we can aspire to the rudiments of an onto-theology, modestly extrapolating a phenomenological pneumatology from our abduction of the Ens Necessarium as it emerges from our nonfoundational perspectivalism. This move doesn't require any robustly metaphysical commitments such as to necessarian or regularistic perspectives on natural laws, which is also to say that it does not require any final epistemic determinacy or ontological specificity but can abide with the same semantical vagueness employed by the early Church Fathers, Pseudo- Dionysius, the Neoplatonists and the Medievals like Scotus. This is to say, then, that Christianity, properly conceived, still remains in search of a metaphysic even if, epistemologically, it commits to metaphysical realism. Even the Peircean Thirdness, with its minding of matter and mattering of mind, when combined with other emergentist accounts, can be appropriated as but a fallibilistic exploratory epistemological heuristic and not a metaphysical commitment to any

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realist, idealist, monist or dualist categories, for example. It does not seem like this minimalist pneumatology need offend anyone's epistemic sensibilities or theological imaginations. It does seem like it could pave the way to a much more irenic engagement in interreligious dialogue. For those of us whose theological anthropologies were a tad too optimistic vis a vis our transcendental thomistic perspectives and felt the Kantian foundations of same crumbling beneath our Gospel-ready shoes, this pneumatological hermeneutic can reinstill an optimism even if a more chastised and modest optimism. For those who affirmed a Perennial Philosophy or even a mystical core of organized religions, our approach can situate same philosophically. To the extent we affirm a mystical core, why should our approaches not be a lot more irenic? why could we not affirm some modicum of syncretistic sensibility? Perhaps we could legitimately engage others' perspectives less so as a foil (to understand them better while deepening our own self-understanding) but more so with the aim of looking to them for an assist? And this includes not just their theological imaginations but also their manifold and varied philosophical ruminations, all which (presumptively) glimpse some aspects of reality as led by the Spirit according to the mode of the receivers vis a vis different stages of Lonerganian conversions of individuals and their societies, cultures and institutions. Most of all, we suppose this is an invitation to come on a philosophical journey that involves less hubris but not too much humility, that engages others looking for an assist and not a foil, that does not try to prove too much, that does not immodestly claim excessive normative impetus for (what can only be) tentatively held ontological conclusions, that emphasizes what we have in common while respecting why it is we differ, that doesn't enforce our own language and categories on others' unique experiences, that doesn't smack of pneumatological exclusivity, that doesn't claim normative superiority and reinforce theological one-upmanship on other hermeneutics that truly enjoy epistemic parity with our own having been, in the final analysis, "chosen" on what are - all things being equal after other more basic empirical (evidential) and normative (rational & practical) justifications - essentially evaluative (existential) "grounds." All this considered, then, one might see very little legitimacy in any competing claims for denominational superiority within Christianity or even between the major traditions, for example, especially once considering that there are no a priori grounds for making such claims and that any a posteriori evidence would be of a sociologic nature and nothing our sciences could, presently, successfully adjudicate given the complex social and institutional realities in play (and nothing our denominations, as perennially pilgrim churches, would want to submit to given their often pervasively dysfunctional status, for example, vis a vis their successful institutionalization of Lonergans conversions). This is to also suggest that, just because one is not religiously jingoistic does not mean she is also, then, an indifferentist. The essential teachings of Christianity certainly rely on a metaphysical realism, which is an epistemological outlook, but do not require the types of ontological specificities or metaphysical schools as many would seem to explicitly suggest or implicitly imply. It is enough to speak, phenomenologically, of our general phenomenal experiences and expectations when, for example, discoursing about deontological morality or contemplative spirituality, for the living of a good moral life and the growing of a good spiritual life do not require robustly metaphysical accounts regarding all manner of putative ontological continuities and discontinuities. At this stage of humankinds journey, we are saying more than we can presently know if we insist on one metaphysical account or another in our interreligious dialogue or our moral deliberations. Such ontological claims are highly speculative

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and our derived de-ontological claims, regarding such as how we should behave or even pray, for example, should, therefore, be commensurately tentative. Any specific teachings and traditions heavily invested in such claims, specifying, for example, all sorts of dual versus nondual realities, would necessarily be accidentals of the faith, not essentials. Clearly, some aspects of our creaturely reality, even if presently unknown, would be ontologically continuous with the Creator and univocally predicable of both creatures and Creator, otherwise questions would be left begging regarding how one reality could efficaciously effect another reality if related only by the weakest of analogies, i.e. metaphor? The East has something to say about this insight and how it leads to authentic solidarity and compassion. Clearly, the intersubjective aspect of our relationships between one another and our Creator affirm an aspect that is ontologically discontinuous? Clearly, we are then, in the broadest of phenomenological terms, quasi-autonomous and suspended in something like Brackens divine matrix of interrelated causes and effects, participating in a reality something like the Neo-Platonist conceptions of participation, perhaps unfolding in accord with Haughts aesthetic teleology as per Hartshornes notions of nonstrict identity. The West has something to say about this insight and how it leads to authentic solidarity and compassion. It is silly to argue about which insight is the most profound or important. Which realization comes first or last likely has more to do with whether one was raised with Eastern or Western sensibilities and ways of engaging reality and much less to do with which insight is the loftiest, whether spiritually, theologically or epistemically. (And such arguments DO take place!) One practical upshot of this, below, is that we are somewhat reticent when it comes to a priori granting many distinctions full status as ontological dichotomies, while not at all denying that such distinctions might otherwise spring, quite authentically, from our collective phenomenal experiences. This is not to say that we a priori affirm or deny this or that dichotomy, dualism or nondualism; we are only suggesting that obtaining such ontological specificity is highly problematical. More plainly, we are hesitant in applying such labels as natural and supernatural, secular and sacred, profane and holy, acquired and infused, material and spiritual, evidentialist or fideist, existential or propositional, objective or subjective, nature or grace, chance or necessity, reason or revelation, and so on. Phenomenally, of course, we simply must recognize the undeniable differences in the degrees of our realization of various relationships and values even as we prescind, ontologically, from any facile ascriptions of differences in origins vis a vis the above-listed distinctions and/or dichotomies. This applies, for example, to our relationship to the Holy Spirit. If something is lifegiving and relationship-enhancing and fosters intellectual, affective, moral, social and religious growth, my hermeneutical presupposition attributes same to a pneumatological dynamic. This is a fallibilistic default bias, an optimistic theological anthropology, always open to the possibility of being wrong. None of our thoughts seem to me to be novel, in the least, although our syntheses might be novel (and a tad idosyncratic). We may not have fully followed others' thoughts on their own terms but may have had a tendency to appropriate them and modify them to suit our own philosophical and theological agenda. Still, we are pleased to have engaged them because they guide our life of worship, which is our life in community with humankind and the cosmos, and we value accountability to this community, whom we love with all our being. We hope this becomes a genuine assist to somewhat of an ongoing movement from 1) an ecclesiocentric exclusivism to 2) a Christological inclusivism to 3) a pneumatological inclusivism that is Christologically normed. The

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pneumatological inclusivism recognizes that the Spirit active in creation has gifted humankind with all that is necessary and sufficient to live a life of abundance. The 4) Christological norming, then, explicitly recognizes the otherwise implicit soteriological efficacies and incarnational realities that, when progressively appropriated into an ever more consciously competent awareness of said realities, leads the community, proleptically and eschatologically, into a life of superabundance (vis a vis value-realizations). 5) Any ecclesiocentric norming would then aspire to the most nearly perfect a) articulation of such truth through creed or dogma, b) celebration of such beauty thru cult or ritual, c) preservation of goodness through code and d) enjoyment of fellowship through communion, over against any facile syncretisms, insidious indifferentisms or false irenicisms. Of course, the Christological and ecclesiocentric elements can be bracketed for authentic dialogue, where there is so much that can be done on the pneumatological level. AN ACCESSIBLE SUMMARY OF OUR HERMENEUTIC What about religion? Is it necessary? A religion is an axis of interpretation, an interpretive stance or axiology , around which our cosmology spins. Our cosmology is necessary to realize truth, beauty and goodness and, in that regard, it is also sufficient. Religion, then, is not necessary. One can live an abundant life without it. One can realize truth, beauty and goodness without religion. For example, many say they are spiritual but not religious ; they are not being disingenuous. What do you mean by our cosmology? I thought there were as many cosmologies as there were religions? Cosmology represents the relationship between science, culture and philosophy. Science is a descriptive method that asks: What is that ? Culture, an evaluative stance, asks: What is that to us ? Philosophy is a normative method that asks: How do we best acquire or avoid that ? Now, humankind celebrates this cosmological reality in many diverse and beautiful ways. But this story of the cosmos and our place in it is not really up for grabs. Its Everybody s Story. We are stardust. We are golden. But we re not necessarily making our way back to the garden (although that s a rather popular interpretive stance). Our cosmological knowledge has advanced slowly but it does advance inexorably. It includes both cosmic and biological evolution, for example, and the paradigm of emergence . How does religion fit in? If an abundant life of truth, beauty and goodness already available to us, what s left for religion to do? Religion looks at cosmological reality and asks: How does all of this tie back together or religate? Put more simply, it looks at lifes truth, beauty and goodness and asks: Is there, perhaps,

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more ? Religion, then, is our pursuit of superabundance . To the extent that life is a journey, we aspire to travel even more swiftly and with less hindrance toward truth, beauty and goodness. Religion seeks to augment these value realizations by amplifying the risks we have already taken in science, culture and philosophy. Religion amplifies these risks through faith, hope and love and realizes these augmented values in creed, cult and code. In creed , we articulate truth in doctrine and dogma. In cult , we cultivate beauty in liturgy, ritual and practices. In code , we preserve goodness in law and disciplines. And this new law, by the way, is love . And its justice is known as mercy . And its methods are not coercive; they re nonviolent . Where nonviolence is concerned, think of Polanyi s tacit dimension or of how in semiotic science and Baldwinian evolution there can be a downward causation without any violation of physical causal closure. Such forms of non-energetic or formal causation can be ineluctably unobtrusive while, at the same time, utterly efficacious. This provides a great analog for the gentle, yet powerful, influence of the Spirit on all of creation, always coaxing but never coercive. If its any consolation to our human passions, Jesus suggests that our nonviolent responses are experienced by our detractors like the heaping of burning coals upon their heads. Above all, we enjoy our unitive fellowship in community . A community (koinonia) of peace or grand shalom , where we find not perfection but wholeness . If all religions are about the task of aspiring to superabundance, then why all the fuss about, for example, an insidious indifferentism, a facile syncretism or false irenicism regarding different religions? Well, we are not indifferent in that we want to give God the greatest possible glory, ad majorem Dei gloriam . So, while it is one great image to conceive of us all there together in Eternity, lighting up the firmament to our fullest capacity, fired up by the very glory of God, it might otherwise be a somewhat sobering thought to also imagine that many of us will have escaped as through a fire with our little 40 watt bulbs while folks like Mother Teresa shine forth as a blazing helios . We can believe, in my view, that every trace of human goodness, every beginning of a smile, will be eternalized. Each moment of our lives is ripe for eternalization or will be burned off as ever to be forgotten chaff. But, far more than any fanciful contemplation of our eternal state, we are not indifferent because not all are equally able to enjoy and realize life s truth, beauty and goodness, life s intrinsically good and potentially abundant nature. And, yes, we affirm life s beauty and goodness and abundance, unconditionally, very much aware of some rather significant cosmic irony, not indifferent to the immensity of human pain, the enormity of human suffering. And, while we havent ignored some of those French existentialists (Camus and Sartre), we have paid more attention to their Russian counterparts (Dostoevsky).

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We do believe that it is when we awaken to our solidarity that compassion will ensue. So, it seems like we would want to aspire to practice such a religion as would best foster human development and growth: intellectual, affective, moral, sociopolitical and religious. We want to get religion as right as we can in order to help as many as possible to run life s race more swiftly and with less hindrance, sharing and enjoying life s abundance. We seek enlightenment for ourselves, even, out of compassion for our fellow wo/men who would otherwise have to suffer our unenlightened selves. It may be too early on humankind s journey to successfully discern which religions are best fostering such growth and conversion, but these are criteria about which we should care very deeply. We need to dialogue deeply and with great humility. Religions that get away from Everybodys Story and tinker wily nilly with cosmology are indeed out to lunch. Cosmology is not something one can just make up; its comprised of autonomous methodologies, like science and philosophy. Where, then, does the Incarnation fit in? Well, it is about atONEment but not, necessarily, in our view (or that of Scotus and the Franciscans), a penal, substitutionary atonement. In other words, it may not have been occasioned by some felix culpa (happy fault) as if in response to some grand ontological rupture located in the past. Rather, it may have been in the divine cards from the cosmic get go, this, God-is-with-us, Emmanuel . It may have more to do with a Teilhardian like teleological striving oriented toward the future. Most concretely, its all about a profound intimacy with a deeply caring Lover. Its a dance, perichoresis. What, then, about soteriology and eschatology? Well, we're with all the existentialists in recognizing that we are in a predicament of sorts. But we're also with those who affirm a radically incarnational view, which sees us as co creators in an unfinished universe, hence the moaning and groaning in this grand act of giving birth. We suppose we could join the theodicists and suggests that, surely, there must ve been a better way! But weve finally quit beating our heads against that wall just because it felt good when I stopped and have decided to just put our shoulders to the plow and plant a few seeds for the Kingdom. Eternity is not something that happens before or after time. It is an atemporal and thoroughly NOW thing! As has been said, its heaven all the way to heaven, hell all the way to hell. Heavenly thoughts that are of no earthly significance will not be realized in eternity because by not being now here theyll end up being nowhere. The truth of religion is found in a soteriology that measures its success in terms of how well we are fostering an eschatological realism grounded in conversion (Lonergan s) and compassion (leading to diakonia , service), NOW. What about God talk, metaphysics and such? There is a type of God talk that begins with cosmology. We could call that philosophical

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or natural theology . We are metaphysical realists, even regarding God concepts. Here we clarify categories, disambiguate vague concepts, frame up questions and formulate arguments. Here we affirm the reasonableness of our questions. This is not unimportant. But it is woefully insufficient for a number of reasons, like the excess of meaning we are dealing with, for example and to say the least. With Peirce, however, after forming the argument and asking the question, we then stop! We don t pretend to have answered the questions and we don t proceed with God proofs via syllogistic argumentation, which Peirce considered a fetish (and we agree). There is another type of God talk that proceeds from within the faith. We call that a theology of nature . Here we wax metaphorical with our analogical imaginations. All metaphors eventually collapse of course, but it is our belief that those drawn in fidelity to our cosmology are going to be the most resilient because our analogs will be better, our tautologies more taut. Of course, there are other descriptors for God talk, such as kataphatic and apophatic , both aspiring to increase our descriptive accuracy of God, the former through positive affirmations and the latter through negations. These categories apply to both natural theology and a theology of nature. Most Godtalk is going to come from our theology of nature. We can exhaust what can be known from the perspective of natural theology in a single afternoon s parlor sitting. The currency of natural theology is the affirmation: Good question! This does not mean, however, that the lingua franca of a theology of nature is going to therefore be: Good answer! A theology of nature traffics, instead, in iconography. It brings us to value realizations via a more nondual, contemplative stance toward reality. The chief caveat emptor where icons are concerned is their elevation into idols . In this regard, our 21st Century religion could use a huge therapeutic dose of ancient apophatic mysticism to ensure that our icons do not become idols. Another good distinction between natural theology and a theology of nature is that the former is philosophical and engages our problem-solving dualistic mindset while the latter is robustly relational and nondual. Even some of the best theologies of nature, like Jack Haughts aesthetic teleology and Joe Bracken s divine matrix , with all of their sophisticated references to the biological and cosmological sciences, are poetic ventures, metaphorical adventures, much more akin to St. Francis hymns to nature than, for example, Gdels modal ontological argument. What do you make of institutional religion and such approaches as involve clerical and hierarchical models? Well, for starters, we shouldn t confuse means and ends . And, once we ve identified the means, we shouldn t so quickly insist that they are the only means. The Spirit, it seems, is well capable of work arounds? Even the hierarchical structures we're familiar with are conceived in a way that gives primacy to bottom up dynamics. In other words, in theory, the top down dynamic is a dissemination of what s been received from below, not a de novo fabrication emanating from above. When a hierarchy, on occasion, loses this integral relationship or integrity, it is in a state of excommunication,a reality that travels a

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two way street. What about interreligious dialogue? We have made progress in moving from our exclusivistic ecclesiocentrisms to a more inclusivistic Christocentrism. We think our next good step is a pneumatological inclusivism , which needn t bracket our Christology but should lead, at least, with the Spirit. Those of us with a radically incarnational view of reality can affirm the Spirit at work in science, philosophy and culture and can recognize the truth, beauty and goodness realized on the human journey, which is pervasively graced. And we can recognize the value realizations that have been augmented by our great religious traditions, affirming the efficacies and recognizing the inefficacies in their attempts to foster intellectual, affective, moral, sociopolitical and religious growth, development and conversion. We need to dialogue regarding what we re getting right and what we re getting wrong not preoccupied with heavenly destinations, but in order to give God the greatest possible glory and in order to compassionately console and help others to travel more swiftly and with less hindrance on life s journey, realizing life s deepest values and greatest goods. A Movement Toward Praxis? A movement toward praxis might be one of the value-added takeaways for any who resonate with this speculative account. Such a movement is embedded in every aspect of this hermeneutical spiral. Peirce leads one away from what can often become an endless and fruitless cycle of abductive hypothesizing and deductive clarifying, such as can happen with a sterile scholastic metaphysic, by leading one always back to inductive testing. Indeed, one will there enjoy a recovery of the measure of concrete reality; but this is only a recovery of logical import. Such a pragmatic turn is but a test of truth; it is merely informative. Nevilles axiological turn leads us to a recovery of the measure of that which has vital import, which is performative. Lonergans conversions provide us the categories through which we recover the measure of this Peircean-Nevillean axiological epistemology in terms of the transformative. In Mertons encounter with the East and his excursus on humanization, socialization and transformation, one can see these pragmatic and axiological turns playing out in categories that correspond to a naturalistic, evolutionary epistemology that then extends to an existential phenomenology. Phenomenologically, any robust description of the human species will require a radically social ontology. This is because Homo sapiens is not merely social but, singularly, the symbolic species (Terry Deacon). Merton was known for his emphasis on the relational and situated the human in a tetradic relationship to self, other, world and God. To robustly describe the distinctly human experience, any authentic social, hence participatory, ontology must break open such categories as self, other, world and horizon. It must also provide a semeiotic account that recognizes the

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telic dimension of this experience. One does not yet encounter, here, telos in the classical sense or transcendence as a theological notion. One is grappling, rather, with a minimalist telos and a minimalist transcendence. One has crossed the threshold of spirituality when gazing over this philosophic horizon of human concern (Daniel Helminiak) but not in any robustly pneumatological sense. If philosophy and theology are both confessional exercises, what will characterize the theological turn to telos, transcendence and pneumatology, all robustly conceived? This question brings us full circle back to the creative tension that presents between the speculative and practical, between justification of beliefs and critical engagements of praxis, between our exoteric mythical accounts and our esoteric mystical experimentations, and even between radical fundamentalisms (including Enlightenment narratives) and radically deconstructive postmodernisms (such as Rortys vulgar pragmatism). Our postmodern milieu has had believers searching for an apologetic to articulate what it is that the common folk of all religious traditions, in every culture and age, have always known in their bones. This has been a difficult search because the philosophers of religion, at every so-called turn, have repeatedly buried this apologetic by variously misrepresenting it in many different forms of rationalism, evidentialism, fideism, presuppositionalism, existentialism and perspectivalism. For philosophers of religion, there has been, then, a rather frantic attempt to recover a measure of certainty, which was lost with the demise of various foundationalisms, by establishing some type of epistemic parity between, for example, the beliefs of science, culture, philosophy and religion. It will be the nature of the strategy employed in any given argument for epistemic parity that will distinguish one apologetic from the next. Certainly, one must attend to the validity and soundness of the reason, the quantity and quality of the evidence, the nature of the leaps, the basicality of the presuppositions, the existential actionability of the options and the integral relations of the perspectives. However, as we sort through our various scientific, cultural, philosophical and religious beliefs, it is too facile a notion to suggest that their epistemic playing field has quite simply been leveled by the postmodern critique such that, for example, one can merely claim that these beliefs are all confessional (and unapologetically so) or all basic (and properly so). We have already demonstrated, in our consideration of the Peircean semeiotic, that rationality is robustly participatory and imaginative and not merely conceptual and cognitive. From our axiological epistemology, we have gathered that it is value-oriented but horizon-situated, thus establishing both a minimalist telos and transcendence over against any facile charge of an unmitigated nihilism in secular approaches to reality. This is to recognize that the human condition offers an abundance of value-realizations, juxtaposed though they may be with the cosmic irony of its value-frustrations.

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How, then, do we evade the charges of either rationalism or fideism? Our axiological epistemology aspires to value-realization and thus to epistemic virtue. Any epistemic parity we enjoy vis a vis our various scientific, cultural (social, political, economic), philosophical and religious beliefs will derive from a shared virtue (when they meet such criteria, of course, which they can but often do not). We must otherwise concede that, even when equally virtuous (being neither unreasonable nor unwarranted), not all beliefs entail the same amount of epistemic risk, hence the perceived (and undeniable) epistemic disparity. This is not to suggest that any increased risks will necessarily take our hermeneutical spiral out of its otherwise virtuous epistemic cycle; rather, we look to each risk-amplification for some concomitant value-augmentation. It is this epistemic maneuver, then, that characterizes any theological (or atheological) turn. Such augmentations of value become cultural data (anthropological, psychological, social, political and economic). Thus would go any apologetic which recommends the theological turn in terms of risk-amplifications and value-augmentations. Thus wed describe the movement from a minimalist telos, transcendence and spirituality as a participatory phenomenology and ontology would conceptually map them onto reality with a much more robustly telic, transcendent and pneumatological imagination in play. The cultural data of just such a hermeneutic (the ubiquity of which makes me want to equate it with an open-hearted common sense) has universally been sought after and variously conceived in terms of gifts (risk-amplification encouragement) and fruits (value-augmentations) of a spirit. It is not only the task of the comparative theologian, then, but that of cultural anthropologists, sociologists, geographers, historians, economists and even political scientists, to discover and discern when and where and whether (or not) it is the Spirit, whom we call Holy. Below are the methodological presuppositions that situate my outlook as articulated above. This is the precis for a theological anthropology that seems to be coming together in an emerging postmodern pentecostal theology. One day we may be inspired to substantiate these claims. They describe, in part, what I believe might best correspond, cross-culturally and inter-religiously, to what we call the pneumatological imagination. 1 ) However one conceives different value-realization approaches to reality, those approaches are each methodologically-autonomous but all axiologically-integral. That is to simply say that all are necessary, none sufficient, in every human value-realization. (See note below for various approaches.) 2 ) Our value-realization conceptions are irreducibly tetradic. Each tetrad functions as a holon or fractal unit which, in various ways, will correspond to truth | beauty | goodness | unity. 3 ) Sometimes explicitly and well formulated, at other times implicitly and inchoately, such an axiological epistemology finds expression in Continental phenomenology and American pragmatism, also in various strands of Islamic, Hindu and Buddhist

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philosophies. 4 ) An authentic axiological epistemology will necessarily extend from an evolutionary (naturalistic) epistemology. 5 ) An authentic theological anthropology, as a theology of nature, will then necessarily extend from both an evolutionary epistemology, scientifically, and an axiological epistemology, philosophically. 6 ) In each of the Great Traditions and in many indigenous religions, an authentic theological anthropology typically emerges whenever a cohort of practitioners moves beyond an exoteric mythic spirituality to also practice an esoteric mystical spirituality. Both mythic and mystical spiritualities are practiced in all traditions and some mystical elements are introduced at every stage of faith development. So, the emergence of a mystical cohort then presents in varying degrees of mystical realization and not, rather, as an either-or binary reality. This is a profoundly relational and participatory reality, which cashes out its value in terms of intimacy. 7 ) Counter-intuitively to many, humankinds aspirations to inter-religious unity would proceed more swiftly and with less hindrance not first by unitive strivings on the exoteric plane of religious reality via some putative reconcilement of otherwise disparate mythic elements vis a vis our cognitive propositions between our traditions, but rather by better fostering greater degrees of esoteric experimentation and mystical realization vis a vis our participatory imaginations within our traditions. This is to suggest that, transformatively, the performative enjoys primacy over but not autonomy from the informative. Good News, then, enjoys a primacy over good knowledge. 8 ) Put differently, orthopraxy authenticates orthodoxy and is first mediated by orthopathy in orthocommunio. Put simply, belonging precedes behaving which precedes believing. 9 ) Esoteric experimentation and mystical realization can be pragmatically cashed out in terms of a growth in human authenticity. That is to say that they will result in conversion, growth and development in our intellectual, affective, moral, sociopolitical and religious spheres of existence. 10 ) In each of the great traditions, the esoteric and mystical will present in terms of a) some form of critical realism in their axiological epistemologies b) a critical scriptural scholarship c) a nondual, contemplative stance toward reality d) social justice component in their eschatological realism e) an eternal now awareness permeating their temporal milieu f) an institutionally marginalized yet still efficacious voice of prophetic protest g) a solidarity with and preferential option for the marginalized h) a deep compassion ensuing from an awakening to a profound solidarity i) broadly inclusivistic and ecumenical sensibility j) emergent, novel structures that are radically egalitarian. Note: tetradic employing categories like truth|beauty|goodness|unity and

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orthodoxy|orthopathy|orthopraxy|orthocommunio and creed|cult|code|community and descriptive|evaluative|normative|interpretive and science|culture|philosophy|religion and theoretic|heuristic|semiotic|dogmatic and objective|subjective|intraobjective | intersubjective

Suggested Reading Lonergan, Bernard, Method in Theology (New York: Herder & Herder, 1972) Deacon, Terrence, Emergence: The Hole at the Wheels Hub in The Re-Emergence of Emergence: The Emergentist Hypothesis from Science to Religion by Philip Clayton (Editor), Paul Davies (Editor) (Oxford University Press, 2006) Deacon, T. & Goodenough, U., The Sacred Emergence of Nature in The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Science (Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology) by Philip Clayton (Editor), Zachary Simpson (Editor) , (Oxford University Press, USA, 2006) Gelpi, Donald L., Varieties of Transcendental Experience: A Study in Constructive Postmodernism (Collegeville, Minn.:Liturgical press/Michael Glazier, 2000) Gelpi, Donald L. , The Gracing of Human Experience: Rethinking the Relationship between Nature and Grace (Collegeville, Minn.: Liturgical Press/Michael Glazier, 2001) Haught, John, The Cosmic Adventure: Science, Religion and the Quest for Purpose (Paulist Press: 1984) Bracken, Joseph, The Divine Matrix: Creativity as Link between East and West (Maryknoll: Orbis, 1995) For comprehensive discussions and bibliographical materials pertaining to the relation between science and religion, visit http://www.counterbalance.net/ Barbour, I., When Science Meets Religion: Enemies, Strangers, or Partners? (HarperOne, 2000) and Religion in an Age of Science: Gifford Lectures 1989-1991, Vol 1 (HarperOne, 1990) Polkinghorne, J., Exploring Reality: The Intertwining of Science and Religion (Yale University Press, 2007) and Science and Theology (Augsburg Fortress Publishers, 1998) Haught, J., Science and Religion: From Conflict to Conversation (Paulist Press, 1995) and The Cosmic Adventure: Science, Religion and the Quest for Purpose (Paulist Press, 1984) Peters, T., Bridging Science and Religion (Theology and the Sciences) by Ted Peters (Editor), Gaymon Bennett (Editor) (Augsburg Fortress Publishers, 2003) and Evolution from Creation to New Creation: Conflict, Conversation, and Convergence by Ted Peters and Martinez Hewlett (Abingdon Press, 2003) Peacocke, A., The Sciences and Theology in the Twentieth Century (University of Notre Dame Press, 1986) Paths from Science Towards God: The End of All Our Exploring (Oneworld Publications, 2001) Drees, W., Religion, Science and Naturalism (Cambridge University Press, 1996) and Religion and Science in Context: A Guide to the Debates (Routledge, coming in 2009)

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DRAFT TABLE OF CONTENTS GENERAL ORGANIZATION OF THIS MAUSCRIPT

Triadic Phenomenology Relationships: Word, Community & Spirit


The Economic Trinity & Our Immanent Ontological Frame Intraobjective Identity as Word Science the physical Ontology the metaphysical Emergence the phenomenological Intersubjective Intimacy in Community Intrasubjective Integrity of Spirit Lonerganian Conversions Formative Spirituality Disciplines and Practices The Immanent Trinity & Our Transcendent Ontological Frame Interobjective Indeterminacy & Ens Necessarium The Actual in Creative Tension with the Possible mediated by the Necessary prescinding to the Probable

Trialectical Teleology Values: Truth, Beauty & Goodness


Immanent Axiological Frame Cosmological Axiology Historical Social & Cultural Anthropology Economic Transcendent Axiological Frame

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Political Coercion in Tension with Freedom mediated by subsidiarity

Trialogical Epistemology Methods: Science, Culture & Philosophy


Immanent Epistemic Frame Descriptive Sciences Evaluative Cultures Normative Philosophies Transcendent Epistemic Frame Interpretive Religions & Natural Theology The Immanent Intuits an Assist from Beyond

Trinitarian Theology Christology, Patrology & Pneumatology


Special Revelation Transcendent Incarnational Hermeneutic Christological Axiology Transcendence of Historical Tensions (past & future) Transcendence of Social & Cultural Tensions (individuals & institutions and competing, extrinsic values) Transcendence of Economic Tensions (needs & means) Transcendence of Political Tensions (bias toward freedom & subordination of coercion mediated by Incarnate Word)

Patrological Axiology Eschatology Ecclesiology & Theological Anthropology Sacramentology Soteriology an assist from beyond? Anticipating a Messiah Pneumatological Axiology Orienting

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Empowering & Sanctifying Healing Saving an assist from within? Proleptic Realizations of the Cosmic Christ General Revelation Hermeneutic of Immanent Indwelling Theology of Nature

Hermeneutics in Dialogue
Interreligious Dialogue Other Kindred Voices