In my post, “Thoughts about Intimacy” I said that when we think about God as Father, Son, and Spirt we must understand that He is relational before we understand anything else about Him. God is love (1 John 4:8), and love is relational.
In “Making sense of the Old Testament – Part One” I showed that we cannot understand the Bible by dissecting it compartmentally and separating it from its relationship to the culture it was written to. In fact, we will understand nothing about God or the Bible or even nature apart from seeing it in relationship. Everything we can know that is true is derived relationally.
And, now, science is finally shaking off its Enlightenment “clockwork” compartmentalized view of the universe for a more relational model, one that the ancient mystics, philosophers, and poets had intuited. Here’s what Dr. Giuseppe Del Re said about this advancement in our understanding in his book, The Cosmic Dance: Science Discovers the Mysterious Harmony of the Universe (1999):
“The times are over when our voyage would have been a royal visit to the empire which human ingenuity has conquered for our welfare and pleasure; it will be a humble and patient search for the meaning of the greatest concepts of science in the context of poetry, history, and philosophy. We shall be guided in our exploration by the ancient, recently revived idea: that all there is participates as it were in a great harmonious Dance.” (p.xiii *)
Later he said…
“The cosmological metaphor, which has dominated science since the time of Galileo and Newton down to our time despite increasing difficulty, has been called “the clockwork image”….The clockwork image summarized what philosophers have called, “mechanistic-deterministic” view of the world. Today, science has had to accept chance and organization as key concepts for understanding and predicting facts, and another cosmological metaphor appears more consistent with what we know about the material universe. It is the image of a Great Dance.” (p.6 *)
I’ve written a lot about the concept of a “Divine Dance” on this blog so I won’t review it all here. But this paradigm changes everything: how we understand cosmology, biology, sociology, psychology…our relationship to each other as human beings. Interestingly, Paul, reciting an ancient creed that predates his letter, said this about the Cosmic Christ:
15 He is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn of all creation.
16 For by Him all things were created—
in heaven and on earth,
the seen and the unseen,
whether thrones or angelic powers
or rulers or authorities.
All was created through Him and for Him.
17 He exists before everything,
and in Him all holds together. (Col.1:15-17 TLV *)
This is why Robert Capon rightly said that Jesus did not come to create a new religion but to announce the end of religion.
The idea of separation is what Einstein called “an optical illusion.” The reality is, everything is connected to everything else. As Dr. C. Baxter Kruger has said, science can look at a coffee cup and compartmentally dissect its components down to the atomic level, but that doesn’t begin to tell us what the coffee cup is for. The only way we can “know” a coffee cup is by being in relationship with it (by enjoying a cup of coffee!) This is what the Bible means by “knowing” something.
This was Jesus’ prayer for us before He was betrayed by us: that we would see each other in Him. This was God’s desire from before the beginning and why He saved us (c.f., Eph.1:3-10), that we would participate in this cosmic dance with Him:
21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.
24 “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. (John 17:21-24 NKJV *)
With all the turmoil and conflict in the world today, perhaps we, as human beings sharing this universe together, should leave the adolescent mindset that we are separated and think about answering Jesus’ prayer. Just a thought.
Actually religion has done more to divide humanity than anything else.
Maybe the adolescent mindset is with those like you who continue to try and spread such ridiculous vile doctrine.
The countries that are moving toward secular humanism are far more stable, emphatic, economically sound and well-rounded than any of their religious counterparts.
I actually agree with you about the division. That’s why Jesus came to put an end to religion. Religion poisons everything. The early Church transformed their world by the means I’m describing, not by religion. The adolescent mindset in the “Christian” religion was the invention of later centuries when Christianity became the state religion of Rome. The problem is not with Christ but human beings who are not Christ-like and then do evil things in the name of Christ.
I wouldn’t put your hopes in secular humanism. It cannot solve the world’s problems. Actually, a lot of “religious” people are more secular humanists than they are Christ followers.
And all said and done he failed at this as well. So much for the power of prayer.
No, He didn’t fail. The story is far from over. And there have always been people who understood this and lived this way. They usually got persecuted by the politicized world and religious people. We’ve only been around for 2,000 years. We’re just getting started!
Amen,Mel.That harmonious mystery or Divine dance as you call it, is one of my favorite things, the grand symbiosis of it all. You see that in biology pretty clearly, one thing connected and related to another, inter-dependent.
In terms of psychology and spirituality,everything is relational, too. Our fractured human relationships, flawed belief systems, often become just like scripts we keep replaying until we find the root and pluck it out, or the “curse” and break it. It’s kind of sad when people can’t see this, because those fractures often separate us from God. There is no actual “separation,” but of course if we are perceiving God as our earthly father who once abandoned us, we’ll keep our own selves separated.
I really like Matthew 5:24 in that context, “Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.”
Amen, IB. Well said.
….that we would participate in this cosmic dance with Him: I like that.
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