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A Sourcebook for the Worldwide Discovery of a Creative Organic Universe
Table of Contents
Genesis Vision
Learning Planet
Organic Universe
Earth Life Emerge
Genesis Future
Recent Additions

II. Pedia Sapiens: A Planetary Progeny Comes to Her/His Own Actual Factual Knowledge

2. Perennial Wisdome: An AnthropoCosmic Code

Pandoli, Omar and Gian Piero Spada. The Supramolecular Chemistry between Eastern Philosophy and the Complexity Theory. Journal of Inclusion Phenomena and Macrocyclic Chemistry. 65/1-2, 2009. Reviewed more in Systems Chemistry, a unique contribution in this technical periodical that needs to be read in its entirety. Pandoli, University of Ferrera, presently Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and Spada, University of Bologna, achieve an extraordinary synthesis across ages between an innately creative natural systems substance and the essences of holistic perennial wisdom, as especially its Taoist dynamics of Yin and Yang.

Panikkar, Raimon. The Rhythm of Being. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2010. This recent volume by a most insightful sage of the past century (1918-2010) is a brilliant synthesis of his spatial and temporal wisdom. Born in Barcelona, his mother was a Spanish Catholic, and his father an Indian Hindu. His education includes doctorates in philosophy and chemistry from the University of Madrid. Please access the website www.raimon-panikkar.org for his lifelong literary corpus. Raimon offers a unique affinity with the 20th century visionaries Pierre Teilhard, Thomas Berry, and Ewert Cousins, the latter two with whom Raimon commiserated. I heard him speak in 1991 at a Fordham conference, although small of stature, he had a fiery spirit akin to Desmond Tutu and Helder Camara.

The book is the text of his Gifford Lectures. At some 400 pages it offers a grand evocation of an earthly and universal panentheism, a mystical, mythical encounter. Its essence is a “cosmotheandric” reality to convey a unity and genesis of Divinity, Universe, Earth, and Human. A rhythmic, dynamical creation thus pulsates through a recurrent Trinitarian synthesis across eons from parent to child. A luminous portal our fraught time so needs, for which an Introduction by theologian Joseph Prabhu provides a cogent synopsis. Its final section, The Emerging Mythos, well serves our auspicious moment when the perennial mysteries seem at last to be opened, clarified, and hopefully availed.

The fundamental insight of the belief in the anima mundi is neither a scientific discovery that the earth presents regularities of self-organization, as do plants and animals, nor a theological formulation of pantheism. Nor can it be reduced to the idea of the sublumary world as a living thing. The traditional insight sees the entire universe, and not the earth alone, as a living organism that constitutes a Whole of which human life is the root metaphor. From the purusa sukta of the Rig Veda and the several metaphors of Saint Paul regarding the mystical body of redeemed Reality, and passing through the Chinese, Buddhist, African, and native American traditions, one could give innumerable examples.

Summing up: a new mythos may be emerging. Signs are everywhere. I have already given many names to fragments of this dawning: cosmotheandric insight, sacred secularity, cosmology, ontonomy, radical trinity, interindependence, radical relativity, and so on. I may also use a consecrated name: advaita, which is the equivalent of the radical Trinity. Everything is related to everything but without monistic identity and dualistic separation. I have tried to spell it out throughout these pages. (404)

Patai, Raphael. The Jewish Alchemists. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994. The anthropologist and ethnographer (1910-1996) achieves a unique insight into this Kabbalist affinity that ran from Greece and Arabia to the 19th century. Of special interest is the archetypal vision and statement of Maria the Hebrew or Prophetess. Alchemy’s essence and project, often known as the Great Work, was the realization that fertile, material nature could be understood by virtue of its creative code “From One there is Two, a Third is then formed, from which a new One arises.” Please compare with Schipper, et al below with regard to Chinese wisdom, for across the spatial globe and temporal ages the same perennial secret is cited and sought.

Ramey, Joshua. The Hermetic Deleuze. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2012. A study by a Grinnell University scholar of the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze (1925-1995), who with his colleague Felix Guattari (1930-1992) was a leading influence on 20th century postmodernism. This work, however, points out that in contrast to other such thinkers, and earlier existentialists, Deleuze’s thought ought rightly to be placed within this perennial metaphysical tradition. While an icon of this Eurpoean rhizomic school, he was more of a romantic persuasion with a mind to restore an “enchanted cosmos.” As evidence, his 1946 article sought to revive a 17th century Mathesis Universalis quest for an intrinsic science and knowledge.

Rennie, Bryan. Reconstructing Eliade. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1996. An essay on the rich corpus of the Romanian historian of religion and myth, Mircea Eliade. The world’s faiths are each defined by a “coincidentia oppositorum” of polar, archetypal entities whose dynamic cycle spins the created realm. A major tension in this regard to Eliade stands between sacred and profane phases of unity and separation.

Robertson, Robin. Indra’s Net: Alchemy and Chaos Theory as Models for Transformation. Wheaton, IL: Quest Books, 2009. A clinical psychologist, author, and California Institute of Integral Studies professor achieves a unique contrast of these disparate illuminations upon a human universe that repeats the same archetypal bead and necklace from micro below to macro above, and everywhere in between. So put, the broad alchemical, metaphysical, Hermetic tradition and the new sciences of complex systems can be seen as two historic entrances to a single perennial wisdom, one earlier by human individuals, and in the 21st century by a collaborative humankind.

Schumacher, E. F. A Guide for the Perplexed. New York: Harper & Row, 1975. Sage insights on how we have lost our bearings because the scale of Being, whose vertical dimensions previously gave structure and meaning to the world, is now compressed by a material science into a horizontal, bottom layer confusion.

Smith, Huston. Forgotten Truth. New York: Harper Colophon, 1977. A basic guide to “The Primordial Tradition” founded upon an ascendant hierarchy of levels or gradations of the passage of mind and spirit. This has lately become stretched out on a temporal, evolutionary dimension.

Sterckx, Roel. Ways of Heaven: An Introduction to Chinese Thought. Basic Books, 2019. A Cambridge University professor of Chinese History, Science and Civilization provides an engaging survey across China in Time and Space, Art of Government, Individual and Collective, Behaving Ritually to The World of Nature, Work and Wealth and more. In a word its vision and reality is correlative in kind, whence a balance of its bigender complements are to be seen if procreative harmony everywhere. It would be surely grand if this ancient wisdom of the Orient might be availed to salve and solve both Western, and Eastern political conflict. See also The Daode Jing: A Guide by Livia Kohn (Oxford UP, 2019) for another current vista.

In short, the Chinese universe is dynamic and organic. It finds its order of itself, as a field of energy. The world functions by its own internal spontaneity, it generates and processes itself. Rather than being created out of nothing, the Chinese conceive of the world and its complex structures as having evolved from a prior, simpler state.

Tymieniecka, Anna-Teresa, ed. Islamic Philosophy and Occidental Phenomenology on the Perennial Issue of Microcosm and Macrocosm. Dordrecht: Springer, 2006. While interminable war and carnage rages between clashing civilizations, because all bearings from any essential roots are long lost, this volume in a Springer series contends that if their original, common wisdom might be revived today, now across a celestial and temporal span, a reprise could ensue. In this regard, the philosopher-editor advances the quintessence of Islamic, Western, and Eastern cultural tradition as this mirror image embodiment between human personage and numinous universe.

A typical paper such as “The Microcosm/Macrocosm Analogy: A Tentative Encounter between Graeco-Arabic Philosophy and Phenomenology” by Lebanese scholar Nader El-Bizri well shows that this forgotten correlation, once so basic to Aquinas, Avicenna, and Asia, still beckons as an ordained path to convergent rapport. Of further note is SUNY Stony Brook professor Sachiko Murata’s chapter “The Creative Transformation in Liu Chih’s Philosophy of Islam,” which conveys a deep affinity of the prism of Islam with an Chinese “anthropocosmos” as evoked by Harvard scholar Tu Weiming. What once and future promise might adhere if we would just ask, imagine, think, and seek altogether?

As for the present state or philosophy in the Occident we detect an intrinsic renovative force. Beneath the “main current” of empirical, positivist, reductionist thought in the West, there are now tentative, now forceful attempts at a full comprehension of old and newly gained awareness of human experience. The great resourcefulness that evolutionary theory is finding in nature in itself suggests just such an approach. The science of the evolution of the species, which was at first treated with suspicion, even furiously rejected, by metaphysical and religious thinkers, actually provides us with a new metaphysical synthesis of all knowledge. (xv-xvi)

Just such a project (to express an integral development from universe to human) was that of the great French philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a paleontologist in his specialization, who conceived of reality as an all-embracing evolution. He discerned a discrete continuity in the cosmogenesis of the universe, the geogenesis of our planet, the biogenesis that then occurred on earth, the psychogenesis among living beings, all of which culminated in the emergence of human beings with reflective consciousness. This entire course he envisioned as occurring within the “Divine Milieu,” now grasped in human experience as creation’s deepest principle, which endows it not only with its initial trajectory but also directs it toward its telos or fulfillment in the cosmic/mystic Christ. Teilhard spoke of humanity’s being prompted by divine direction toward an ultimate phase of evolution in which a “noosphere” would envelope the earth, with humanity then accomplishing its divine vocation in its achieving universal communion. In this vision of the divine origin, direction, and telos of evolution, science meets religious inspiration. (xvi)

Villasenor, Adrian. Toward an Integral Ecopsychology: In Service of Earth, Psyche, and Spirit. Integral Review. 9/3, 2013. The author has a doctorate in ecopsychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies, and is presently at the University of York concerned with the effects of inequality and deprivation on health, education and human development, especially in Mexico. This paper is a fine synthesis of natural, indigenous respects, broadly conceived, so as to guide 21st century sustainable and communal habitations. In regard, the richest resource may be the Anthropocosmic Vision of Confucian and Asian wisdom by way of an immanent and transcendent trinity of human, Earth and Heaven. Villasenor goes on to note cross-cultural affinities such as Vedic and Judaic teachings. The core concept is then a creative reciprocity between humanity and Heaven so as to advance both self and cosmic realization within an Earthly abide.

In this paper, I advance a proposal for an integral ecopsychology, defining it as the study of the multileveled connection between humans and Earth. The initial section expounds the critical moment we as a species find ourselves at. I then explore ways in which ecopsychology can dialogue with spiritual and religious wisdom, thus expanding the scope within integral philosophy. By way of aware consciousness, religious and spiritual wisdom can especially advise the anthropocosmic or “cosmic human” perspective. This contact is necessary for the study of the multileveled connection between humans and Earth. (Abstract excerpt)

Although I am aware of the several strands of integral philosophy (i.e., Aurobindonian, Wilberian, Gebserian), the integral approach advanced in this paper is mostly based on the work of Thomas Berry. In a way, the present research constitutes an extension of Berry’s integral ecology with the explicit inclusion of the psychological dimensions of our relation to the Earth. The confluence of Berry’s anthropocosmic or “cosmic human” perspective with current advances in ecopsychology conform the basis for my initial proposal of an integral ecopsychology, a formulation that would further equip us to face the challenges and gifts of the ecological crisis. (28)

Wakamatsu, Eisuke. Toshihiko Izutsu and the Philosophy of Word: In Search Eisuke of the Spiritual Orient. Tokyo: LTCB International Library Trust/International House of Japan, 2014. A definitive study of the Keio University philosopher (1914-1993) and international scholar who achieved unique comparisons of Asian and Islamic thought such as his 1984 Sufism and Taoism. He did so by emphasizing their common roots in and affinity with perennial wisdom traditions. Izutsu was a frequent speaker at Eranos meetings in Switzerland in the 1970s where he conversed with Mircea Eliade, Henry Corbin, and others. But the crux of his own thought is that this dual external and internal reality is best understood by way of its luminous textual essence, namely “Being is WORD.” Whether the Gospel of John or the tantric Buddhism of Kukai (774-835), in the beginning and unto this day resides the generative Word. The iconic message at the heart of knowledge thus reveals human beings as a microcosmic image of the macrocosmic creation, Imago Dei in the likeness of the divine.

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