Wednesday 26 June 2013

Retrospective prayer, the impossibility of. Changing my mind *again*


In the above, written two years ago - I said that having not understood the concept of retrospective prayer, in - for example - Charles Williams' novel Descent into Hell - I now (as of two years ago) finally understood it.

Or not...


As of now I  believe that the concept of retrospective prayer, and indeed the Boethian framework which rationalizes it, and describes God as out-of-Time, does not make sense - or rather, that it:

1. contains an incomprehensible necessity for transitions between God's world out-of-Time/ in eternity; and mortal human life in Time,


2. entails an ultimate monism and stasis in which change and free will is an illusion, and (among other things) human mortal life is rendered a futility.

I now believe that - as common sense implies - Time is linear, events are irreversible; and once something has happened, it cannot be undone (although it may be healed, and indeed it is this promise of healing which is near the heart of the Christian Gospel).


A belief in retrospective prayer will not stay-put - but its implications ramify and erode the vital importance of now - erodes the reality of free will - disperses the necessity of bringing of matters to the point of choice.

Having tried to live with the implications that retrospective prayer is valid I find that it is a confusing, paralysing, demotivating theological idea.

I think the idea of retrospectively-effective prayer is one of those brought in to deal with  unacceptable consequences of other false theological principles - so I believe it can be discarded without bad consequences.

And I have therefore discarded it. Let's see how this works out...


1 comment:

Nicholas Fulford said...

If one postulates a God beyond time, (i.e. omnipresent), then God alone is in fact, with all else being an expression of God, bound within and by the is-ness of God. (In other words free will is a persistent delusion--one which even the strict determinist experiences.)

I remember searching for an example of omnipresence many years ago, and the thing that came to mind was a fractal equation. The equation does not change, and it defines the limits of what is expressible when the equation is instantiated, (whether or not the equation ever is instantiated.) What is of interest, is that what is expressed through iteration is both contingent and necessary. It is contingent in that it cannot be without the equation, and it is necessary because within the boundaries defined by the equation that form exists via one of the possible pathways. Hence there is the omnipresent equation, and there is a path to it via iteration.

The Omniscient defines the limits of what is expressible, and from that ground all contingent-necessary forms arise. Being existent is to be within a singularity. Some will call that singularity "God", others a more scientific name, but by whatever name we use, it is the same thing in itself.