Thursday, April 25, 2013

Diagram Development from Al Mozol

[I was thrilled to see this further development by Al Mozol of his diagram posted on Wednesday April 10, 2013. I am still taking this new analysis on board. Thank you, Al.]

Understanding faith through the lens of Rossian epistemephasis

-      'two epistemologies' connote a binary, an intellectual fissure, a neat bifurcation in the brain, even a hierarchy of thinking

-      'two epistemologies' connote the primacy of logos over non-logos/the unsayable/ruach

-      epistemephasis: dynamic co-existence of the hemispheres of the brain; dynamic, transfiguring interplay between logophasis and apophasis; cycle of gestation and birthing of sapiential knowledge/theology; marriage of knowledge and wisdom; resurrection of the mind; creative (as in the priestly creation account in Genesis) coinherence of silence and speech; contemplative stance/presence in the world

-      retention of the root word “episteme” has both incarnational/immanent undertow as it points to the potential of human “knowing” mediated by the human brain, but also transcendental in the sense that such human knowing is anchored on the phasis of “knowledge of reality” through contemplative liturgy, silence, prayer, or the body in active listening to the abyss of unknowing; it is dependent on pneumatic strokes or movement for its authenticity in the world of many knowledges

-      epistemephasis as critique and corrective to modernist rational foundationalism and postmodernist anti-foundationalism; a philosophical corrective to the traditional dominance of epistemology much as Panikkar's Christophany is to the cymbal-noise of Christologies

-      epistemephasis as foundation of theology currently either gasping for breath, or swimming fashionably in the deconstructive foundational doubt/distrust of Derridean epistemologies; or for theology (and its ramifications like ecclesiastical hierarchy or rituals) seemingly choked by its own stringent cordon sanitaire of self-promotional, self-preservational, or even dialectical hermeneutic (ex. over-rated Marx/Gramsci-inspired liberation theology/ feminism that give primacy to the hermeneutic and referentiality of redemption/personal and structural sin/cross/Exodus/Pesach over structural and pedagogical beauty of creation//priesthood of creation/Temple vision of paradise through its liturgical enactment/ resurrection/silence/beholding)

-      epistemephasis as foundation of reason and faith; of speech and silence 

-      where there is no epistemephasis, or lack of habit thereof, there is only epistemology or epistemologies and its many versions of disembodied (armchair, absolutist), wounding dualisms, mechanisms of ideational and rational control and moral or even technological elitism; the verbosity, overconfidence and utilitarianism of the human logos/rationality/discourse ironically siring foundational distrust on any human transaction as if human authenticity is but an illusion

-      the goal and context of epistemephasis is theosis/transfiguration into the self-outpouring, non-grasping, and infinitely open, cosmic “mind of Christ”


Anonymous AM said...

Many thanks for the vision you share to us, a vision more profound than MacIntyre's retrieval of the Aristotelian story and espousal of 'new monasticism' as panacea for our fragmented world.

11:13 am, April 25, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow ... I am going to sit with this and let it speak its wisdom in silence ... thankyou

3:07 pm, April 25, 2013  
Anonymous MS said...

A story from the gospel helps anchor me in the idea that I don't ever know what's actually going on:

Jesus kept silent while he was being berated; people asked him to prophesy. Meanwhile his prophecy was coming true as Peter denied him 3 times before the cock crowed.

5:59 pm, April 25, 2013  
Blogger Daisyanon said...

I'm so sorry I didn't understand a word. Or, rather I understand some of the words but not what it all meant.

That's not a criticism. Just an observation.

6:38 pm, April 25, 2013  
Blogger Maggie Ross said...

Admittedly it's technical and academic; it's more or less about changing the language and the justification for it. Why don't you ask him via a comment about what you specifically want him to unpack?

I think—I haven't had very long to think about it—he's pointing to the fact that the construction of the word 'epistemology' contains an inherent dualism and he's trying to come up with language that better reflects the process. Comment, Al?

6:43 pm, April 25, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Daisy,

What I got from it is this:

There doesn't exist a logical brain (words that come into our head) AND a deeper brain (stuff that only God knows) - these are not separate entities that may alternate in priority. Rather, the reality humans perceive using our senses/reason is complimented by a divine Knowledge that we can access through habitually sitting in silence/beholding.

I've been practicing thinking of things I normally 'define' (people, places, fears, etc.) and then allowing a divine Knowledge to melt away the mold I've created for them. It's relaxing, actually.


7:07 pm, April 25, 2013  
Blogger Daisyanon said...

Thanks for trying to enlighten me. I get a glimmer. I'm not academic or even very well educated in that way.

I am currently reading a book called 'Addiction and Grace' about our attachments and how they can become idolatry and false images of God. I find the language of this book more accessible, but I suspect it is talking about much the same thing. And which says similar things to Amber's comment.

9:24 pm, April 25, 2013  
Blogger Maggie Ross said...

That's a great book, Daisy; so is his 'Will and Spirit'. 'Willingness for whatever' sums up so much of what this process is all about. [A phrase that came after reading it, which is in 'The Fountain and the Furnace']. Gerald May (RIP) was a lovely man.

10:06 pm, April 25, 2013  
Blogger changeinthewind said...

Maybe that a systematic or hierarchical sense of being is inherently misleading.

Maybe we are hardwired in this.

This sounds like beholding said another way.

Dualism is intrinsic, it attempts to show we are in relationship which is an arrrangement,static or fixed.

This is misleading because it is systematically rational.

Christ is not such.

? Whatever,it's fantastic.

11:57 pm, April 25, 2013  
Anonymous AM said...

Thank you for your feedback. Actually,the outline of ideas has to be read side by side with the technical diagram by Maggie Ross which is not posted in this blog I guess for copyright reason. It is the basis of this outline. It took me "many hours" to dwell on the diagram, with deep curiosity and joy as well, doing things for the sake of seeking something truthful, simple but not simplistic. I thought there is something of a new model of thinking and understanding reality in the diagram and a fundamental answer to some fundamental questions that we grapple with. Foremost of these questions are: what do we know? how do we know it? and what's faith got to do with what we know and the way we know it? They are questions of content, method, and the connection of faith to both. I have the sense that Maggie's diagram somehow provide foundational answers/guide to those basic questions, answers/guide that could shift the long-revered field of questioning. This long-revered field is epistemology to which the science and art of interpretation or hermeneutics is a sub-field. How do we know? By interpreting things. The content of what we know, largely dependent on our interpretive tool or method.

I understand there's a lot to unpack in this outline - from philosophy to Biblical studies to what theologians call systematic models of theologizing (theological lenses of understanding). They need long gestations i assume to unpack those, to muse and write about, much more, convert those into reader-friendly blog posts. Also, the readers' background, academic or professional or work engagement or life's experiences, matter in the reading of this outline.

1:00 am, April 26, 2013  
Anonymous AM said...

My undergrad background is in philosophy and so there is a high tendency for me to use the lens of philosophy to understand Maggie's diagram. A professional mortician most likely will have a different take on the diagram. So i began musing on the phrase that's part of the title of the diagram: "two epistemologies". What's with epistemology aside from the fact that what we know has a big bearing on the way we behave in our churches or homes or deathbed? Or beauty parlors which is actually not far from funeral parlors with the presence of cosmetologists? Academically, epistemology has a long tradition in philosophy. It is one big domain of philosophy. Start asking what is perception, or how do we know and you know that a philosopher is in the room when someone starts clearing his/her throat. It is not so much the question of whether they are qualified to join the discussion. They are. It's their turf. The question is: what method do they use to "know reality" and how did it get to dominate the intellectual landscape to the point that even the word "epistemology" brings some shudders to non-professional philosophers? Of course, we cannot go into the long history of the field here and in cases of mental emergency, you may consult the Stanford website for aid. But basically, the monolithic answer from philosophy is - we know things because we are rational. This is not something new, ain't it? Christianity accommodates this answer under the rejoinder of faith - we know not only by reason but by believing. This is not something new to us - Catholics or non-Catholics more or less.

So what's new with Maggie's work, especially in the area of reason and faith, knowledge and believing? It's Einsteinian in the theological field and i take the risk of being wrong also. Maggie's work to my understanding introduces something less linear than philosophy banners about when it comes to knowing. Likewise when it comes to faith which organized religion is no different from philosophy of being linear - faith as adherence to the statics of religions like dogmas or questionable tradition of apostolic succession or the meaning of the Eucharist. Maggie's model is willing to go paradoxical rather than linear - the paradoxical interchange between reason or knowledge and faith born out of freefalling into contemplative silence. The connection between the two is dynamic rather than static. So faith born out of contemplative, aside from engendering knowledge of reality, is infinitely open, and so is reason or knowledge. But being infinitely open does not mean it is not alive. It bursts forth with energy, ain't it?

Till here for the meantime. I need to catch up with my school clearance. Many thanks.

1:00 am, April 26, 2013  
Blogger Maggie Ross said...

The diagram appears on the blog July 23, 2012. Click on it to enlarge.

1:27 am, April 26, 2013  
Anonymous AM said...

Readers may wonder why the need to come up with a new word in lieu of the pedestaled word "epistemology," or at the minimum, critically question its linguistic value. It is for the simple reason that words are loaded with certain orientation, and in the case of "epistemology," its philosophical weight and background tradition from Plato to Plantinga, to my view no longer fits with the new model proferred by Maggie. It's heavily oriented to the human logos. Episteme-logy means the logos of knowledge. Bio-logy means the logos of life. Zombielogy (still to emerge in Ivy League schools LOL!) means the logos of zombies. But in the new model, the human logos or those of non-human creatures, or objects is but one part of the spectrum. Obviously, it "erases" silence as its origin, or the context from which they evolve. There are no hints in "epistemology" pointing to the dynamic interchange of human logos/discourse/knowledge and contemplative silence where divine self-outpouring is at its fundamental effusion. It is because "epistemology" and its basic orientation had callused into a static method and content of human knowing. Maybe it's time to question not only "epistemology" but also "theology". This is more or less my transdisciplinary questioning with Maggie's model in mind.

8:46 am, April 26, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is good rich reflection and thinking - thankyou Maggie. In pondering all this a question has arisen -
what is the implication - if any - for the 'logos' as expressed in John's gospel?
Or am I missing the point?

10:34 am, April 26, 2013  
Blogger Maggie Ross said...

No, of course it's not beside the point, but rivers of ink have been spilled and entire forests cut down addressing this very question. It's not my specialité so does anyone want to take a crack at summarizing the arguments?

12:32 pm, April 26, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To what logos are you referring in John's gospel?

1:04 pm, April 26, 2013  
Anonymous MS said...

Is it John 16:12? (I have much more to tell you but you cannot bear it now.)

1:18 pm, April 26, 2013  
Blogger Maggie Ross said...

The Prologue?

1:46 pm, April 26, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was referring to - 'In the beginning was the Word ...' Word as in Logos from the Greek. In the exploration of non-dual language a question arises (for me) about how this relates to 'Logos' as a descriptor for Jesus. Am sitting with this one myself - meanwhile, any thoughts anybody?

1:48 pm, April 26, 2013  
Blogger Maggie Ross said...

How about it, Al; can you unpack this a bit more for us?

1:56 pm, April 26, 2013  
Blogger Maggie Ross said...

NB: Al lives on the other side of the world, so we may not get a reply until tomorrow Euro-American time.

3:31 pm, April 26, 2013  
Anonymous AM said...

I'm part of the organizing committee for a national conference on media and religious education, to which i expect silence will be sidetracked also LOL. I'll try to post my comment soon...

1:27 am, April 27, 2013  
Blogger Maggie Ross said...

In his new book on Silence, Diarmaid MacCulloch writes " foundation strand, based on the Gospel of John, gives Jesus the Christ the name "Word", or rather calls him by the Greek word which means so much more than simply "word". Logos is the whole act of speech, or the structured thought behind the speech, and from there its meanings spill outwards into conversation, narrative, musing, meaning, reason, report, rumour, even pretence."

7:46 am, April 27, 2013  
Anonymous AM said...

I'm aware that there are people who devote their lives to specializing on the intricacies and depth of John's gospel. I am not one of those people. I know that it has an air of contemplation, the disciple being the first to notice the Risen Lord on the seashore: "It is the Lord," a case of deep resonance and sharpened/transfigured perception that a habit of silence can gift someone with.

As regards his employment of the Greek word "Logos," I like to parallel it to the question on why Jesus had to be male: it has nothing to do with the gender of God but to the necessity of communication, given the patriarchal milieu of his time, to make the message more credible. Jesus was the other possibility of masculinity. "Logos" grew out of John's Greek milieu. And the Greek milieu was the penchance for performance, a culture of spoken word. Even male silence is described as "aggressive and other-directed, extroverted, bound to explode openly into cries of suffering." The necessity of communication then was to present someone as an alternative to a noisy culture - more tamed, contemplative, esoteric in a sense because in the crowd listening were the Gnostics and the admirers of Philo, the great syncretist of Greek culture and Judaism. Greek culture aside, John in a sense was a corrective to the drowned silence of his time, so that his concept of Logos, relevant to his milieu, is Someone who entered space and time yet originated from the silence of eternity. The word/speech itself points to silence as its origin. Every reader then is invited to notice that the kind of logos employed by John, human language as it is can "intensify beyond its own limits, break open in and into silence."(MacKendrick)

11:18 am, April 27, 2013  

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