Dogen, Spinoza, and Whitehead by Seth Segall

Check out this interesting post by my cousin, Seth Segall, over at the Existential Buddhist. The topics Seth discusses include whether consciousness is emergent from or intrinsic to the physical world, the place of values (human or otherwise) in the universe, and the variety of God concepts available to those willing to philosophize about such matters. Seth…

Centropy, Entropy, and Ethics in the Universe

Levi Bryant recently posted about Entropy. He writes: Entropy is the measure of order in any system. In this regard, to take a rough and ready criterion, the more probable it is that a particular element is located anywhere in a system the more entropy that system embodies. By contrast, the more improbable the location of an element in a system, theless entropic that system is….

God and Religious Experience in Whitehead: another response to Levi Bryant

Levi Bryant has problematized my attempt to clarify Whitehead’s position on the function of divinity in the universe. He writes: “You make the claim that without God there would be chaos and no order. This is a problematic claim for two reasons. First, you have repeatedly tried to claim that God isn’t supposed to explain…

Death as Trickster

A reflection after participating in Steven Goodman‘s “Tibetan Trickster” workshop at CIIS several weekends ago. See my follow up comments to this essay here. ——————————————————————— I should begin. I don’t know how much time I have… I’d like to tell you a secret, even though I’m not sure if I can repeat it exactly as…

Religious Dialogue as Soul-Making: A Prayer to Buddha and Christ

Why Religious Dialogue? Interreligious dialogue is not a distant possibility but a present necessity. This essay is a response to this need, but it is written also as an intrareligious dialogue. This is because the conditioned nature of my own personality, having been historically shaped into what it is by my unique imaginal participation in…

The Spirit of Intrahuman Dialogue: A Meditation

The following is a short personal reflection written for a course on inter-faith dialogue with Prof. Jacob Sherman. ————————– “Any interreligious and interhuman dialogue, any exchange among cultures,” writes Panikkar, “has to be preceded by an intrareligious and intrahuman dialogue, an internal conversation within the person” (p. 310, 1979). My personal interest in religion, broadly…

Logos of the Lived Body: Remembering the Way Home

Logos of the Lived Body: Remembering the Way Home   By Matthew Segall Fall 2009 Buddhist Philosophical Systems Prof. Steven Goodman     Introduction   “Embodiment is: emerging into this world of light and sound…confinement to a body as a constantly changing piece of luggage, always a surprise to look down and it has sprouted…

Gnostic Consciousness: Knowing with Spiritual Beings

Introduction Despite my resolute sense of the sacred nature of earthly existence, religious belief has yet to strike me as a particularly appropriate form of response to the presence of the holy. Belief is to be distinguished from Faith, in that believing implies conceiving of the existence of spiritual beings without the perceptual experience to…

Spellbound: Magic Words and Minds Without Self

Introduction There was a time when physics, still high on the spirit of the Enlightenment, took seriously the idea that its measurements of the fundamental stuff composing the universe could explain just about everything worth knowing about. Granted, it didn’t have all the necessary measurements compiled just yet, but it assured everyone that it was…