Jazz theology

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Mendalla

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The passing of Dr. George Hermanson (Panentheism on the old Wondercafe) had me thinking again about one of the images he used for God. George was very much into process theology and wrote and talked extensively about it. He was also a jazz fan and used the improvisational nature of jazz as a way to explain how God and the universe interacted in a process view. It goes kind of like this:

George Hermanson said:
Imagine a jazz group. God sets down the melody. It is passed on to the others in the group, and they get the feel for it. Each listens closely to what the others are saying. Each, in turn, adds originality, colour and difference, tweaking the piece to offer it back to God. God now has to work with what was created by the subjective experiences of the players. God has to feel the offering to give it more feeling. The piece is transformed, to arrive at some satisfaction, which then becomes the ground for the next moments of improvisation.

So here we have God, not as an authoritarian creator, but as the one who sets out the melody which the rest of us then riff on and take into our lives in our own way. God then takes in those contributions to create the next melody.

At the time I first heard George use this metaphor back on WC Classic, I was not as into jazz as I am now. In fact, George probably helped spur my then casual interest in jazz into something more solid (he doesn't get sole credit for that, but he sure helped). And this idea of existence as a jazz combo with God as the "leader" is a very interesting appealing one, even if it is probably hard to rationalize from any scriptural sources of any tradition.

I don't recall George talking about where Jesus fits into this metaphor. Perhaps he is the great soloist who picks up the melody and starts riffing on it, providing those who follow with a starting point. Kind of like John Coltrane when he was in Miles Davis' band (George was a big Coltrane fan, by the way).

What do you think? Do you like the idea of the universe as jazz band riffing on God's melodies? Do you see an interplay back and forth between God and existence like this, or more of a one-way God to us relationship?
 

jimkenney12

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Ken Wilbur in A Brief History of Everything wrote of Spirit evolving along with us. Spirit needs, according to this possibility, spiritual others for interaction in order to evolve, sort of leading like George's analogy.
 

Luce NDs

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Ken Wilbur in A Brief History of Everything wrote of Spirit evolving along with us. Spirit needs, according to this possibility, spiritual others for interaction in order to evolve, sort of leading like George's analogy.

Do you suppose the evolving spirit is a thing of intelligence compared to the spirit of emotion that comes down?

Scott Peck discussed this thoroughly years ago ... yet many theological studies eliminate any sense of intelligence as related to the science of psychology.

How many are agreeable to the thawed sense that psyche was long ago put down ... thus explaining high emotional states in the temporal regions!

Something more to dig into ...
 

You just never know

Blip, blip, blip....
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I have always thought of Creator as continuously evolving. It would be quite boring to Create and then walk away and rest on your laurels for all of eternity. The idea of an improv Creator, whether Jazz or otherwise, is a pleasing concept.
 

BetteTheRed

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Given that life is always evolving, it seems natural to imagine an evolving Creator. Not always entirely pleasing to us; thinking of the COVID-19 variants.
 

Luce NDs

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Does evolution come in waves as the emotions overcome the intellect in the dark pool of psyche ... generates a system where some people can't see much because of the dark clouds!

It may be an essence concept ... approaching Freudian ladies getting vapors ... and to ttop that off do we each have a bit of the ancient mother inous ...
 

Luce NDs

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From what they were before ... becoming something else? That would upset the establishment on doing it ya way ...

Twas a thought contained in the vapor ... bit fuzzy?

Imagine the mind being a miracle of cognate attributes ... then demiurges set in ... turbulent eruptions! (Scott Peck and associates in this etude)

Shadowy considering what we know of such things ... and events ... being in a domain where knowledge is discouraged!

Is this due to extreme sate in the various personages? First, second, third ... more?

Those beyond ... out on the moor may be silent observers, part of the abstract?

One may have to go some in the indeterminate psyche to apprehend that thought as it exits the determinate stage ...

What is a becoming psyche? John Nash stated it to be a functioning, Beautiful Mind ... another novel thing to unravel!
 
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