Saturday, March 03, 2007

The real saviour will be seen as evolution itself

It is interesting to note that Stephen Jay Gould is a Marxist, and has himself commented on the connection between his "punctuated equilibrium" theory of evolutionary leaps and the Marxist idea of social evolution through successive, rapid changes (revolution). This connection sheds further light on Fr. Seraphim's prediction that spirituality will be added to communism to form the religion of the future.
In discussing the "God" of the new religio-scientific synthesis, we should comment here on an apparent contradiction in Fr. Seraphim's prognosis. In one place Fr. Seraphim says that the new God will be that of the deism of Freemasonry and the Enlightenment, and elsewhere he says that Teilhard is the predecessor of the New Religion -- and Teilhard, as we have shown, was a panentheist.
Upon close examination, however, the difference between deism and panentheism is seen to be more one of degree than of substance. In his Survival Course, Fr. Seraphim pointed out that, "in terms of religion, deism was perhaps the most typical movement" of the Enlightenment, but at the same time the deistic philosophers of that time replaced God with "Nature" as their central concept, and some called God "the soul of the world." Fr. Seraphim described the Enlightenment ideal as follows: "Nature ruling over everything, the mysteries of Nature being discovered, God still being in His heaven although not doing very much, and scientific knowledge progressing over the whole world." The Enlightenment thinkers were fully in the tradition of modern science, which arose during the Renaissance out of a kind of "natural mysticism" -- and even, as in the case of Giordano Bruno (1548-1600), out of the marriage of science and total pantheism.
In his book The Making of the Modern Mind, J. H. Randall, Jr., writes that, in the Enlightenment, the ideal of the Natural was "that which men wanted to realize themselves; and it easily passed over into the Divine. Nature was God's model for man; nay, it was the very face of God himself." In this way, Enlightenment deism passed over not into pure pantheism, but into a kind of deism/panentheism. Enlightenment thinkers kept their impersonal deistic God "in heaven, not doing much,," but their religious interest became directed toward the "face" of God which they identified with impersonal Nature.
If Teilhard de Chardin is indeed the prophet of the future combination of science and religion, then for the most part this combination will be not purely pantheistic, but rather deistic/panentheistic. It will be remembered that Fr. Seraphim called the famous evolutionary scientist Theodosius Dobzhansky a "deist" after reading Dobzhansky's "theological" statements -- and Dobhzaansky was an admirer of the panentheist Teilhard de Chardin.
But it is a secondary point just how far the future combination of science and religion will go on the scale from deism to pure pantheism. The main point is that, unlike the scientific materialism of today, the religio-scientific synthesis of tomorrow will have a "God," and it will not be He Whom Teilhard disparagingly called "the Father-God of two thousand years ago." It's "God" will be vague, and it will not be Personal.
The same can be said of the "Christ" of the New Religion. Already we can see within the mainstream culture a concerted effort to reinterpret Christ so that He is no longer threatening to the fallen human nature and to the devil -- so that He is no longer a Saviour.
If, according to the neo-pagan view, both we ourselves and Christ (together with everything else) are but diffusions of the Divine Nature, then there is nothing for Christ to do but guide us back to gnosis of what we already are. This idea, of course, is precisely the idea that is now being promoted under the guise of being the authentic, esoteric teaching of Christ. In actual fact, it is but a revival of the ancient gnostic heresy, based on pagan philosophy, that was rightly condemned by the early Fathers.
Ken Wilber speaks of the teachings which are being "rediscovered" in the gnostic texts:
Quote:It is obvious from these texts that Jesus' primary religious activity was to incarnate in and as his followers, in the manner, not of the only historical Son of God (a monstrous notion), but of a true Spiritual Guide helping all to become sons and daughters of God.... Elaine Pagels points out that there are three essential strands to the esoteric message of Christ, as revealed in the Gnostic Gospels: (1) "Self-knowledge is knowledge of God; the [highest] self and the divine are identical." (2) "The 'living Jesus' of these texts speaks of illusion and enlightenment, not of sin and repentance." (3) "Jesus is presented not as Lord but as spiritual guide." Let us simply note that those are precisely tenets of Dharmakaya religion.
Here is a clear example of the denatured Christianity of which we spoke earlier. Christ is seen as a vague concept of ultimate Good, the belief in Him as the only begotten Son of God is rejected as a monstrous notion, and the idea is put forth that we ourselves can be just like Him. This is a crucial element in the "religion of the future," for by it the Antichrist will actually be convinced that he is another incarnate Son of God.
In an outward way, the imitator of Christ will appear as a kind of saviour, solving man's economic and political problems and offering to satisfy his spiritual aspirations through what Fr. Seraphim called a "melting pot" of science and world religions. On a deeper level, however, the real saviour will be seen as evolution itself, moving forward in a natural development of this world into the Kingdom of God. The last great deceiver, who in the end will pretend to be Christ, will be seen as but another magnificent product of evolution.
Rose, Fr. Seraphim (2000). Genesis, Creation, and Early Man: The Orthodox Christian Vision. Platina: St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, 2000, pp. 557-567. March 02, 2007 Permalink

No comments:

Post a Comment