Thursday, January 26, 2017

Apocalypse Versus Apokatastasis

"You may remember that passage in St. Paul about the apokatastasis (Apokatastasis is reconstitution, restitution, or restoration to the original or primordial condition), which is the same idea that the whole of nature, all creatures, are expecting the revelation.
As we are expecting the manifestation as the children of God, a revelation of the Holy Ghost within us, so all creation, even the animals and the plants, are waiting for it too; that spiritual miracle of redemption or completion which happens in man means the crowning of all nature at the same time. So everything that has been fettered will be released with the liberation of the children of God.
The idea is that man is the representative of the whole of creation, and whatever happens to him happens in a magic way to the whole world. It is an exceedingly mystical idea. And as Paul thought, so the unconscious still thinks." …………….. C.G. Jung, Visions Seminars, Vol. 1
Jung reflects the thoughts of theologians like Origen in the third century AD and St. Gregory of Nyssa in the fourth century AD.
It was Origen who gave meaning to Universality of the Redemption and the Final Restoration. His interpretation of St. Paul’s letter1 Corinthians 15:25-28, seem to extend to all rational beings the benefit of the Redemption, and Origen allows himself to be led a philosophical positioning that the end is always like the beginning: "We think that the goodness of God, through the mediation of Christ, will bring all creatures to one and the same end" (De Principiis I.6.1-3). The universal restoration (apokatastasis) follows necessarily from these principles.
St. Gregory of Nyssa who explicitly taught this doctrine.
“It first occurs in his "De animâ et resurrectione" (P.G., XLVI, cols. 100, 101) where, in speaking of the punishment by fire assigned to souls after death, he compares it to the process whereby gold is refined in a furnace, through being separated from the dross with which it is alloyed. The punishment by fire is not, therefore, an end in itself, but is ameliorative; the very reason of its infliction is to separate the good from the evil in the soul. The process, moreover, is a painful one; the sharpness and duration of the pain are in proportion to the evil of which each soul is guilty; the flame lasts so long as there is any evil left to destroy.” …………..New Advent
The language used by Gregory of Nyssa can be mapped to the theory of reincarnation and karmic purification in Vedic and Buddhist philosophies. The process of reincarnation or Sasāra is the continuous cleansing process of the individual soul till it reaches a stage of absolute purity or the original state from which it descended into the material realm.
This doctrinal theology of Apokatastasis has been recast in the twentieth century by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a French idealist philosopher and Jesuit priest who trained as a paleontologist and geologist and took part in the discovery of Peking Man. He conceived the vitalist idea of the Omega Point (a maximum level of complexity and consciousness towards which he believed the universe was evolving). As seen with Gregory of Nyssa, Teilhard’s cosmic theology is largely predicated on his interpretation of Pauline scripture, particularly Colossians 1:15-17 (especially verse 1:17b) and 1 Corinthians 15:28. He drew on the ‘Christ consciousness centrism’ of these two Pauline passages to construct a cosmic theology which recognizes the absolute primacy of Divine consciousness. He understood creation to be "a teleological process where individual consciousness evolves towards union with the Godhead or Divine consciousness, effected through the symbolism of incarnation and redemption of Christ. He further posited that creation would not be complete until each "participated being is totally united with God through Christ in the Pleroma, when God will be 'all in all' (1Cor. 15:28)
As the consciousness of humanity evolved over the two million years towards Homo Sapiens, our perception of reality has also evolved to grasp the interconnectedness of all manifestations. Jung’s words that the idea of man as a representative of the whole of creation stems from this heightened awareness. It is through individual and collective human consciousness that we give birth and meaning to the existence of this universe and the concept of the multiverse.
The chronological thought process from St. Paul to Origen to Gregory of Nyssa and then to Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and the exponential ramping up of our current understanding of the world around us as nothing but our own personal observation in which all possibilities are collapsed to a single identity, we are in a position to have a greater vision of the process of our human journey.

Enjoy the ride and love to you all.

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