The immortality of Tillich's "symbols"

Mak Thorpe
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The immortality of Tillich's "symbols"

 In an earlier thread, the subject of the eternal occurrence was examined.  For greater detail and consideration of the facets of the proposition mentioned here, the original thread may be of interest, and remarks or critiques of it are perhaps best posted there.  This thread builds on the concept, taking it in a new direction.  We vector from this point in the former dialog:

  
butterbattle wrote:
 
Mak Thorpe wrote:
Let's step through this to understand where the alleged silliness creeps in.  Our common ground is that you admit the possibility that the pattern of our individual existence is replicated infinitely.  Is it improper then to make the claim that that particular pattern is immortal?
 The way you're describing this is somewhat misleading and ambiguous. But yes, if there are an infinite number of universes, and there are identical copies of me in all those universes, then I suppose that particular kind of entity is "replicated infinitely." If "immortal" just means that it's never gone, then sure, it's immortal too.  
 Proceeding then from this common ground, one concept to juxtapose some ideas from Paul Tillich, a twentieth century theologian.  The eternal recurrence thread discusses the notion of a pattern of existence that each individual is an instance of.  The pattern is eternal and (depending on which model of infinity is valid) existing simultaneously in all possible states of a person's life.   It is common in theories of management and various schools of psychology, to identify sets of traits that are held in common across many different individuals.  Some of these have well developed narratives of recurrent patterns such as the Jungian archetypes of the "Eternal child", the Wise old man, or the Trickster.  Each of these may be thought of as a set of patterns of behavior that are present in the individual patterns of existence described in the eternal recurrence thread.  Depending on the system or psychological school, these personages, or personalty types or collective narratives may be considered by some to be invalid or arbitrary, but however they are viewed, it is possible to view groupings of common behavioral patterns into a set and assign them a name.   One of these is identified as Christ and is considered eternal by Christians.  The eternal recurrence is one way for those with a science orientation of understanding how it is possible for the existence of Christ to be at all compatible with a post enlightenment world view.  Most biblical literalists would deny the validity of this point of view.  They interpret this sort of viewpoint the same way they interpret Tillich's notion of Christian symbols.  To refer to something as a symbol is tantamount to calling it a false fairy tale.  On the contrary,  Tillich and other post literalist Christians would counter that such symbols are no less real than the color red.   Everything we know are in fact representations, making the perceived presence of the eternal Christ in another as no less real than the perception of a particular color.

 


mellestad
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Pardon me, but is there a

Pardon me, but is there a question somewhere, or are you just inviting comment?

 

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


butterbattle
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Mak Thorpe wrote:It is

Mak Thorpe wrote:
It is common in theories of management and various schools of psychology, to identify sets of traits that are held in common across many different individuals.  Some of these have well developed narratives of recurrent patterns such as the Jungian archetypes of the "Eternal child" , the W ise old man , or the Trickster .  Each of these may be thought of as a set of patterns of behavior that are present in the individual patterns of existence described in the eternal recurrence thread.  Depending on the system or psychological school, these personages, or personalty types or collective narratives may be considered by some to be invalid or arbitrary, but however they are viewed, it is possible to view groupings of common behavioral patterns into a set and assign them a name. One of these is identified as Christ and is considered eternal by Christians.

  So Jesus is a description of what many different entities have in common?  
Mak Thorpe wrote:
The eternal recurrence is one way for those with a science orientation of understanding how it is possible for the existence of Christ to be at all compatible with a post enlightenment world view.
  By redefining it into nothing more than an abstraction?

Mak Thorpe wrote:
On the contrary,  Tillich and other post literalist Christians would counter that such symbols are no less real than the color red.   Everything we know are in fact representations, making the perceived presence of the eternal Christ in another as no less real than the perception of a particular color.

Okay. So, just like you see the color red on physical objects, you also see specific attributes in other people, attributes that you've labeled Jesus Christ.  

This is seriously what you believe?

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare