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IEET > Rights > FreeThought > Vision > Bioculture > Galactic > Staff > J. Hughes > CSR

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Becoming Gods pt1



Terryl Givens

Changesurfer Radio

Posted: Oct 8, 2010


Dr. J. chats with Terryl Givens, professor of Literature and Religion at the University of Richmond and a scholar of Mormon theology. They discuss the doctrine of theosis, the Mormon Transhumanist Association, and the Mormon’s church’s position on women, homosexuality and race.





Part 1:

Part 2:


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Concerning individuality and true unity, Godhead and heresy..

The ancient heresies that reject such lines of thinking as "man becoming God" dates back centuries, yet maybe the underlying reasons for this rejection are due solely, (soul-ley), to the contemplation and understanding concerning "true" unity and Oneness with a Godhead? And this is perhaps something we each of us have contemplated ourselves when our thoughts or wishes aspire towards God and heaven? What happens to "me" the "Self" the "ego" if absorbed or assimilated into divine Godhead?

The problem with the traditional notions of ascending spiritually towards the Godhead are ceremoniously prescribed as being of great difficulty, (especially within Gnosticism), and involving much sacrifice and devotion to the faith, (whichever one follows). This makes sense in the guise that only by working hard towards the goal and with much devotion one may achieve spiritual wisdom. Hence hierarchy and complexity is built up through church and status to support this devotion. And every now and then a young rebel rouser arrives to shake the foundations of immovable doctrines and show that a spiritual path towards God and Godhead is not so difficult. This usually ends in rejection of these novel views as heresy, (at first), and the persecution of the individual normally ending in execution, (Jesus Christ, the prophet Mani and etc).

The Abrahamic faiths, (and Platonic/Neo-Platonic/Gnosticism/Egyptian tenets), teach us that our individualism is ensured in heaven, therefore the prize is immortality through eternal companionship and spiritual relationship with God. Yet is this theosophical position merely to appease or allay the mind's fear and horror of our ascension and joining with the Godhead as loss of individualism, loss of individual subjectivity?

Hence we reconcile thoughts of heaven with Souls eternal, individuals eternal, and other "worldly" aspirations as reuniting with lost loved ones etc etc. This "loss of Self", this horror in the final throes of death that the "Self" is fading is something almost too impossible to contemplate fully. Yet the Buddhist philosophy of "Anatta" or no-Self, (Self as illusion), due through "Anicca", (impermanence), is precisely that which the Buddha and later Hinduism schools prescribe to, and that which overcomes this irrational reasoning of Souls eternal and lost or separated from Godhead.

In these Eastern philosophies subjectivity and dualism is proposed as illusion, and through this "veil of ignorance" (Avidya), separation is manifest. Even The Mystical Tao exists both within and without the jar - you take an empty jar, you scoop up some air, you pop on a lid - what is in the jar? The same as what is outside of course! And here we may indulge that separation is an illusion? Even the jar is not separate from the cosmos/universe, or from divine substance?

Monotheism > One God, One unity, One substance, One origin > Monism

An over-simplified analogy of thinking from theism to deism to Monism. Yet this line of thinking is precisely covered in all aspects of the Hinduism schools of vedanta. There are six schools of thought pertaining to an understanding and explanation for creation, origin, perceived separation and subjectivity, and towards the realisation that all things arise from the "One potential", (substance or entity or God). All of the six schools are non-contradictory, yet depending as to where the individual mindset lies, a theosophical position is proposed for the relationship with God and the Godhead.

Some may be born and raised and never ever contemplate any other further theosophical position as to God and individual Souls, (Jiva) and their relationship. Or alternatively some may aspire to the more lofty goals of Advaita, which prescribes of only one eternal and ineffable "potential" described as merely "that", yet also named as Brahman. Here, because all things arise from this one potential "that", you and I are in fact inseparable as described in the phrase, "Tat Tvam Asi", (That Thou Art). The heresy here is not so much that "man may aspire to become God", but rather that there is nothing that is separate from God, God IS you, you have no choice in this revelation. Hence to aspire towards this knowledge in whatever goals, understanding or achievement is deemed as merely positive and not blasphemy.

The more scientific position for this understanding concerning monism, is that complexity and diversity, duality and subjectivity and consciousness arises from the "potential" for these to become manifest. A natural consequence of an ever-evolving Universe is that layers of self-reflection and consciousness have resulted in the evolution of life and intelligence and intellects, (all perceiving themselves in separation).

Posthumans will also have to contemplate "true unity" and "connectedness" both within the material worldview and with the subjective, especially where the possibility of sharing sensations or merging of minds, direct connection of minds, telepathy, merging of uploaded minds with machine intelligence, may be concerned. In the Borg styled "Hive mind" individualism is ultimately lost, thus the Borg are deemed as sinister and in opposition to all that we humans embrace as of value, namely individuality, for fear of what it really means to lose it and thus the fear of the unknown. The dominion, (also in Star Trek), as changelings have the ability to merge in form and mind, and yet still preserve and separate as individuals - whatever you want to aspire to.. you decide.

All in all there is no blasphemy in any of these notions of man overcoming separation through technology, if you realise that the Godhead is the ultimate source of all potential. And so the realisation of any of man's goals is merely due to the grace of God, or moreover due to the grace of the "potential" for these things to become realisation.





@CygnusX1:

Huah, huah, huah, "they" have no idea what is coming. I feel that as long as we don't forget the wisdom we have gained from our past mistakes then becoming enlightened on a global scale should be beyond awesome.

www.teleologicalevolution.com



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