Tuesday 4 June 2019

Mother-Father-Parents - developmental-evolution of the concept of God

(It seems that) In the developmental history of Men, there were three broad phases of how the ultimate deity was regarded: Orinially God as Mother; then - for most of recorded history - as Father; and - now and in the in future - Parents.

Hunter Gatherers seem to regard 'God' as (or, since it is not fully conscious or articulated, as if) a nurturing Mother; who provides all that is needed; and gives birth to all Beings. This goes with a passive and responsive attitude to the world - God as everywhere and Men as children.

Agricultural societies (and traditional sedentary societies - from at least Ancient Egypt until the Industrial Revolution in the West) generally have a masculine concept of God, or the supreme god; and this especially applies to monotheisms. This was the case for the early centuries of Christianity, and until the past several generations.This goes with a Kingly image of God, with religion as rituals and laws; and Men as subjects.

From the period of modernity (and especially since about 1800) I believe that the understanding of God is destined (supposed) to be as Heavenly Parents - Mother and Father in a celestial marriage, as a distinct but inseparable dyad - a polarity. This is - I think - the proper future and correct understanding of God: as Heavenly Parents.

This is explicit and officially sanctioned in the Restored Gospel of Mormonism, although in practice - so far - Mormonism has been as much (or more) Patriarchal as mainstream Christianity; and there is very little reference to Heavenly Mother or to the dyadic nature of God.

However, my interpretation of this, is that it is a temporary and merely-expedient distortion caused by the rise to dominance of materialist-leftist and socio-political feminism; which (as a strategy) tries to subvert the assumed male nature of real-God and replace it with an insincere female image of not-really-God (i.e. 'liberal Christianity' in its various forms).

Another distortion is the (only semi-serious, not truly lived-by) idea of restoring tribal ideas of God as Earth Mother - a pantheistic idea of non-purposive Goddess divinity; which owes much to an eclectic partial-assimilation of Hinduism and Buddhism. As well as being undesirable (an attempt to become spiritually children again); this is impossible due to the large changes in human and societal evolution: it just will not happen.  

Another distortion is the abstraction of God. Instead of regarding God as an incarnate person (of whom the resurrected Jesus was the filial image); the process began soon after the ascension of regarding the sex and personhood of God as childish anthropomorphism.

So we get the idea that God is not really either male or female, but both-or-neither. This leads to a sexless abstraction of God's person. And leads to the idea that the sex of mortal Men is just a temporary aspect of mortal life (just as mainstream Christians usually regard marriage as merely an expedient of mortal life, dissolved at death and without any equivalent in Heaven) - and that after death we will move-on to becoming de facto sexless.

(I regard this tendency to abstraction, sexlessness and not-incarnation of God, as the deep reason why mainstream Christians have found themselves unable coherently to defend real marriage against the mind-warping yet officially-mandatory literal-insanity that is SSM and the trans-agenda - and whatever is planned to come next...)

Anyway, to pull the argument together; my contention is that the truth and future of Christianity is to regard God as a dyad of Heavenly Parents - and to regard the sexes - man and woman - as ultimate, metaphysical realities, which underpin all of creation from eternity.


Lucinda said...

You wrote the other day about why you are not a universalist. I regard this point about the polar sexes as maybe the final opt-in of 'preferences' which leads me to not be universalist. It just seems pretty reasonable to think that some, maybe many, would rather not have to be eternally male or female (including polarized marriage, as well as parenthood), even though they enjoy having a body, and even like God and His creation in other ways. It just seems like one of those obvious personal questions posed by this life, "Is marriage and family desirable to you? or do you prefer to be 'on your own'?"

And I also agree that the socio-political situation of feminism and 'gender fluid' ideas is very destructive of the purpose of our mortal experience. As with so many things, the appeal of the falsehood is rooted in distorted truth, but the truth had been officially disregarded for quite some time.

I'm not sure how the recognition of the dyad of Heavenly Parents would help going forward without some kind of reset of other things. In the CJCLDS, most of the more recent adjustments have been apparently more along the lines of accommodating feminism. Though I do have hope that in actual practice the various changes will work against the anti-marriage and anti-family powers, in some kind of hobbit-from-the-shire-defeats-sauron way.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Lucinda - The 'opt in' idea is how I understand the different levels of Heaven - which I tend to regard in a flexible and individualised way, rather than as three subdivided categories.

The highest level of exaltation I would assume corresponds with those who want (and make the commitments, and learn from the necessary experiences) to become fully divine; which (I take it) relates specifcially to the highest form of creation - which is the procreation of spirit children.

It seems likely that there are some who never would want this, and would remain at lower levels of exaltation; where they also can participate in the divine work of creation, according to their abilities and motivations - but not pro-creation.

Linking to another speculation; I think this implies that Jesus must be celestially married; and I assume this was a major aspect of his incarnation; specifically the marriage to Mary Magdalene, which (as I understanding it) is pretty clearly described in the Fourth Gospel (as I argue in my Lazarus Writes mini book).

I'm not clear about where the recent adjustments of the CJCLDS are going (of course I am just an outside observer - albeit supportive and sympathetic); but I admit to being a bit worried. I am pretty sure that the public relations arm of the church has been, for several years, corrupted by political correctness (evidenced by some bureaucratic and deniably-dishonest/ misleading press releases, some of which I have commented on at Junior Ganymede). This *usually* is a harbinger of broader organisational corruption, so I am concerned.

Lucinda said...

An important clarification in my understanding resulting from this blog has to do with the personal aspect of the Savior. He's central and necessary in my progress to eternal life. But he's not MY husband, or MY best friend. And this has been important for me in understanding how to love those in my actual life better, more as themselves rather than as extensions of Jesus. I have a very limited imagination, and the added degree of separation sort of confused me and made love too abstract, circling back and chasing itself.

It seems to work well for some I've known to think about loving people in their life based on their first knowledge of Jesus' love, but I've usually come to know the Savior in terms I experienced first with those in my mortal life.

And in general I think it's why family formation traditions are legitimately such a priority to those who really want to do right. Because, properly done, it's the first and best witness of God's love for His children.