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Civic = Greece, Prophetic = Israel?
#1
Do  the archetypes have anything to do with our civilization's double source?

The civic values are rationality, masculinity and togetherness or "cooperative freedom", which looks a lot like Ancient Greek values, or to be more precise Aristotelian values, since this is the philosophy which exerted greatest influence on the modern West through Thomistic Catholicism. The word "civic" is derived from "citizen" and citizenship was the focus of Aristotelian ethics. Its main point was to raise brave citizens ready to die for the free polis, the way GIs died for democracy during WW2 and Republicans during the American Revolution. 

Then the prophetic archetype is about personal righteousness and spirituality, which is just what the Bible preached. All 2Ts, including the Boomers' one, featured a renewed interest in Christianity. The Puritans made it clear they want to build a new Israel and reject the culture and political system of Europe because it was too Roman. Criticism of Western civilization was also a part of later 2Ts including Romanticism. Hippies weren't fond of Christianity, but they still respected Jesus as a prophet of peace. For millennials Jesus is not really relevant.

Both sources were in fact one-sided and lacked the other dimension. Greeko-Roman society after death of its early prophetic currents like Pythagoreanism was so civic-minded that it had to import its spirituality from Syria, Egypt, eventually from Israel. Israel as a prophetic nation was a spiritual superpower, but technologically and politically it was feckless. We don't know any ancient Israelite inventors, and of course they never were a major political player.
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#2
It's true; these are the two sources. I agree. And they each are lacking in the other.

I as a prophet tend to look at them as both flawed ideologies, since rational civilization too often deferred to limited scientific views, and spiritual civilization tended to defer to rigid dogmatic and authoritarian expressions of it such as the Christian Church and more recently fundamentalism.

Alan Watts, a favorite philosopher of mine, nailed it when he described them as the two main myths of our culture in which the universe and life are explained: the ceramic model and the fully-automatic model. In the ceramic model, the world is an artifact made by a creator God, as explained in Genesis. In the automatic model, the creator is dispensed with and the explanation is mechanical, as explained by the Greek atomists and sophists, Newton, and Darwin.



"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#3
I liked the republican vs monarchic universe metaphor. A monarchy is unpredictable, it operates according to the king's will. So is the religious universe. There are some differences in the king's character though. In Abraham's view the king is just and trustworthy, while Mohammed's king is more whimsical. That's why Jews and Christians were more likely to adopt scientific methods than Muslims. Th e Islamic "golden age" was influenced by Greek philosophy and ended when the mullahs made it clear this is not compatible with the Koran.

A republic, like the scientific universe, is predictable, although we may not understand all rules. There may be laws of physics which require IQ above 500 to grasp, but as far as we're dealing with laws understood on our level, our predictions come true. The religious universe has one creator, while in the scientific universe all intelligent beings are citizens and creators on some level.
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#4
(10-11-2019, 08:46 AM)Bill the Piper Wrote: I liked the republican vs monarchic universe metaphor. A monarchy is unpredictable, it operates according to the king's will. So is the religious universe. There are some differences in the king's character though. In Abraham's view the king is just and trustworthy, while Mohammed's king is more whimsical. That's why Jews and Christians were more likely to adopt scientific methods than Muslims. Th e Islamic "golden age" was influenced by Greek philosophy and ended when the mullahs made it clear this is not compatible with the Koran.

A republic, like the scientific universe, is predictable, although we may not understand all rules. There may be laws of physics which require IQ above 500 to grasp, but as far as we're dealing with laws understood on our level, our predictions come true. The religious universe has one creator, while in the scientific universe all intelligent beings are citizens and creators on some level.

Great summary, though you may have been a bit hard on Muslims.  In the early days they were quite advance, then something happened.  I put that on culture more than religion: the native culture underlying Islam was then, and is now, quite reactionary.  Much of the Islamic world stopped advancing in the 13th century, and hasn't moved very much since.  Opinions vary as to why.  Read the subsection Significance for a good, albeit brief, discussion.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#5
(10-11-2019, 08:46 AM)Bill the Piper Wrote: I liked the republican vs monarchic universe metaphor. A monarchy is unpredictable, it operates according to the king's will. So is the religious universe. There are some differences in the king's character though. In Abraham's view the king is just and trustworthy, while Mohammed's king is more whimsical. That's why Jews and Christians were more likely to adopt scientific methods than Muslims. Th e Islamic "golden age" was influenced by Greek philosophy and ended when the mullahs made it clear this is not compatible with the Koran.

A republic, like the scientific universe, is predictable, although we may not understand all rules. There may be laws of physics which require IQ above 500 to grasp, but as far as we're dealing with laws understood on our level, our predictions come true. The religious universe has one creator, while in the scientific universe all intelligent beings are citizens and creators on some level.

We have to take care in the scientific universe, so long as it follows the myth of the automatic model, that it does not impair our humanity and turn us into robots, either literally because of tech, or implicitly because in its worldview we are robots. In the fully automatic model, there is no creator at all, because creation does not exist.

These two myths rule over us, and not for our good, unless we can throw them over and live according to a more sensible myth closer to reality.

Myself, I grew up in the milieu of the fully automatic model, as do most of us. I believed in it, largely because it was passed down to me from my civic generation parents and their world. I did not believe in the ceramic model. I, being of a prophet generation, was just more curious than many people, and I came of age during an Awakening. Those two things made a big difference, and I was able to question authority, and thus throw off the fully automatic model.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#6
Good match to the original post with the Alan Watts video. I like that Watts says that science is prophecy. The ceramic and the mechanical are two worldviews both seeking explanatory power. Now the Greeks did have their prophetic idealists - Plato, Pythagoras - though they may not have been ceramicists. And the Israelites had their civic heroes - Moses led the people to the promised land but Joshua conquered it.
Steve Barrera

[A]lthough one would like to change today's world back to the spirit of one hundred years or more ago, it cannot be done. Thus it is important to make the best out of every generation. - Hagakure

Saecular Pages
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#7
(10-13-2019, 03:49 PM)sbarrera Wrote: Now the Greeks did have their prophetic idealists - Plato, Pythagoras - though they may not have been ceramicists. And the Israelites had their civic heroes - Moses led the people to the promised land but Joshua conquered it.

Surely, but the Civic mindset dominated Greece and Rome while the Prophetic dominated Israel. The Israelites never idolized Joshua the way they idolized Abraham and Moses. Some Greeks worshipped Plato and called him divine, but he did not have the following Homer's warriors had.

What about other cultural areas? The Far East, India, pre-Columbian Mexico. Do you think they were more prophetic or civic? I've read Confucius and he seems civic, but couldn't Taoism and Buddhism be the prophetic wing? They had a lot of appeal to hippies after all.
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#8
(10-16-2019, 05:59 AM)Bill the Piper Wrote:
(10-13-2019, 03:49 PM)sbarrera Wrote: Now the Greeks did have their prophetic idealists - Plato, Pythagoras - though they may not have been ceramicists. And the Israelites had their civic heroes - Moses led the people to the promised land but Joshua conquered it.

Surely, but the Civic mindset dominated Greece and Rome while the Prophetic dominated Israel. The Israelites never idolized Joshua the way they idolized Abraham and Moses. Some Greeks worshipped Plato and called him divine, but he did not have the following Homer's warriors had.

What about other cultural areas? The Far East, India, pre-Columbian Mexico. Do you think they were more prophetic or civic? I've read Confucius and he seems civic, but couldn't Taoism and Buddhism be the prophetic wing? They had a lot of appeal to hippies after all.

I definitely agree that orderly, prescriptive Confucianism is the Civic side, and mystic, contemplative Taoism the Prophetic side.
Steve Barrera

[A]lthough one would like to change today's world back to the spirit of one hundred years or more ago, it cannot be done. Thus it is important to make the best out of every generation. - Hagakure

Saecular Pages
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#9
There are Greek Christians around. Hell, there are Christians in Israel, Lebanon and (if you can find them) all over the Near and Middle East. Ever had the opportunity to ask one of them what he thinks about us Catholic & Protestant "schismatics"?
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#10
I always saw Catholicism as the Civic wing of Christianity and Protestantism as the Prophetic. Orthodoxy has a lot of Civic patriotism, with its allegiance to Rodina (Mother Russia). But it has a strong mystical tradition, which is Prophetic.

See also the discussion of Catholicism and Puritanism by Olaf Stapledon:
https://web.archive.org/web/201302230230...ch2.html#2

Puritans themselves, of course, had a strong sense of community; and churchmen of individuality. Some Puritans were economic communists; some churchmen were emphatic- ally economic individualists. But always, Puritans insisted on the final responsibility of the individual, and churchmen stressed the social aspect of religion.

Latino liberation theology is perhaps the best example of the civic aspect of Catholicism today.
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