Wednesday 17 May 2023

Can "the planet earth" choose to be damned (or saved)?

I have developed the metaphysical assumption that reality consists of Beings in relationships; this is a version of the spontaneous ('animistic') assumptions of 'all' young children and (so far as is known) hunter-gatherers - including our ancestors. 

I assume that this is an essentially true way of understanding reality which is why it was and is innate, 'built-into' Men - by God. 

Beings are therefore regarded as the ultimate, fundamental, metaphysically primary units of reality; Beings that are alive, with attributes such as consciousness, and purpose.  

In other words: there are ultimately no 'things' (or, more exactly, no knowable things - because chaos is not knowable - it can only be a label for uncreated stuff, including the primordial background state). Ultimately; there is no 'it' - but only 'him' or 'her' (or some other linguistic term that refers to Beings). 

This seems to mean that the spiritual war of this world includes all Beings, not just us human Beings; but animals, plants, and features of what we refer to as the 'mineral' world - sea, sky, and aspects of the earth - and the earth herself. 

And as usual, as with humans, there are Beings within Beings - just as we contain innumerable cells that are beings - for instance the white blood cells which roam our blood and lymph, consuming germs and debris, that are very similar to amoebae. 

And we Men, as individual Beings, are also biologically (and spiritually) 'social animals', with a 'Beingness' of some kinds of human groups, that is difficult to conceptualize yet also traditionally regarded as true; and which seems to exist above the individual level.    

One among many aspects of this situation is that all Beings have an analogous choice to that of Men, of whether to accepts the salvation made possible by Jesus Christ. Whether, that is, to choose resurrection into Heaven.

(Or not - and thus by default [whether actively or passively] to choose... something else.) 

I assume all Beings are - in their very different ways, due to their different qualities and degrees of consciousness - able to choose resurrection - or not. 

And this would apply to that Being which is 'the planet earth'. 

That there is indeed some such Being as 'planet earth', I am assuming on the basis that it seems to be spontaneous knowledge, and a feature of many cultures of many kinds through history. 

This earth will therefore - like you and me - at some point need to make an eternal commitment to Heaven - if the earth is to become immortal, everlasting... resurrected. 

And resurrection entails death; death is the only portal to eternal life of individual Beings. 

So, in order to become part of heavenly Life Eternal; the earth (as a Being) would first need to die; and must then choose - by an eternal commitment - to be resurrected. 

The death of the earth seems 'inevitable', given entropy; which seems to apply to all material stuff in this reality. And then, after death; will the earth choose to be resurrected? 

It seems to me that the earth will not have made this eternally-binding choice to 'discard' all sin and corruption and become everlasting; until after she actually has made this final commitment; because in this mortal and entropic material world, nothing is or can be eternal - including not our choices.

Our choices are open to change, to revision, until they are final choices; which happens only after death: when the spirit has separated from the (dead) body.  

In conclusion; we cannot know in advance whether the planet earth as a Being will, or will not, be part of Heaven; because that final choice has not yet been made by the Being that is Earth. 

This means that the question is still open; and we can be sure that Satan will be trying to influence the choice of Earth; such that she will reject Heaven; and by using broadly the same kind of methods that Satan uses against Men, to induce Men to reject Heaven.

How might this be working? Well, since the modern era (developing from circa 1500 in The West), and even more since the industrial revolution; Men have been set against Earth. Men's assumptions include that the Earth is Not a Being, that 'it' is dead, and can therefore be manipulated and explained as desired. 

The Earth is not even despised; but is regarded as outside of the drama of creation, because unalive. 

Atheists do this, Christians do this, modern environmentalists do this... 

Environmentalists - in particular - have reduced the living earth to an abstract concept called 'the environment'; which is broken down into a multitude of dead sub-concepts derived from science. 

Indeed - at present - the environment is in practice being reduced to mathematical models concerned with Carbon Dioxide; and everything else is ignored or subjugated to these models and their implications. 

In sum; there are many, many reasons why the planet earth might have developed the same kind of sinful, negative, sins that beset modern Man: I mean such sins as fear, resentment and despair. 

We might suppose that such negative attitudes could lead the modern (here-and-now) earth towards the same kind of attitudes to God, divine creation and Heaven as beset modern Men; and might lead to the same salvation-rejecting attitudes as are characteristic of so many modern Men. 

Indeed, it may be that when Christians (or anybody else - but I am addressing Christians in particular) make assumptions about what Will Happen to the planet earth; by acting as-if the earth had no say in the matter, they may be making matters worse! 

When Christians assume that the planet earth Will Be resurrected into the New Jerusalem - that Heaven Will Be on some version of this earth - are they actually taking-for-grated that the living-conscious earth will do exactly what human beings want earth to do, and thereby treating the earth as unalive, just 'a thing' which exists for the convenience of Men?

Just as if we were to assume that we knew for sure whether some particular human being would necessarily ultimately choose or reject salvation and resurrection; because that outcome is part of our own plans. 

To speak 'anthropomorphically' (which may not be far from the literal truth); when we think, speak and behave concerning the earth as an 'it' consisting of 'things' - the earth knows about this! and presumably does not like it, and may develop negative attitudes in consequence - and yet we continue and increase this way of not-relating to the earth. 

(How many of the troubles of Men with 'natural disasters' that we put down to 'bad luck' are actually a direct consequence of the way we regard the earth as a dead it and an unalive thing - and the same for Beings composing, and dwelling on, the earth? Some of the troubles, for sure.)

If we really dwell in this reality as Beings among Beings; then such matters are of fundamental importance: I mean recognizing the agency of other Beings, and recognizing that each Just Is responsible for his or her own salvation. 

It is so easy for us modern Men to fall-into the evil practice of regarding 'the universe' as a 'machine' - and this is wrong even when what is being-assumed is 'a machine for salvation'. 

We are not components in a mechanism, or elements in a determined-plan - and neither is the planet earth! 

We are all Beings, engaged in a free quest, located in a world which is engaged in spiritual war; a vital aspect of which is relationships. 

And one primary principle of such relationships is that we recognize each other as Beings - not as things. 

Conversely; it is a plank of the devil's program of damnation, that Men cease to do this; and instead habitually (and by conviction) regard 'the environment', animals, plants and other Men - as things instead of Beings.

Making Men into things, and he/ she into 'it'; is the malign intent behind such core evil-strategies as bureaucracy, totalitarianism, transhumanism, 'Artificial Intelligence', the transagenda, and the incremental and coercive computerization and digitalization of Life. 

Beings are not necessarily-determined, nor are they random. Instead; Beings have natures (dispositions), and purposes, can learn, make choices - and until they have made eternal choices, their fate cannot be known in advance.

To think and talk otherwise, is choosing to become a component part of the agenda of evil. 

Note added: On re-reading the above, I find it rather unsatisfactorily expressed; and I think this is because I am preaching something I cannot practice - although I want to! For instance, I found several examples (which I needed to edit out) in which I had used 'it/ its' about the planet earth! Nonetheless; this merely emphasizes how deep and pervasive is this 'objectivizing' and dead-ly way of thinking. It has even permeated what most adults (and indeed older children) regard as 'common sense' - so that it strikes most people as dumb or insane to acknowledge the livingness and consciousness of the universe and its true-components. I myself had to be driven to this conclusion (metaphorically 'kicking and screaming') via theoretical biology, and the attempt to define 'life', discuss the 'origins' of 'life', understand the nature of creativity - and indeed to map the proper boundaries of biology... All of which attempts I found to be impossible without the artificial drawing of boundaries that seemed too-obviously arbitrary. When confronted by the dilemma that - therefore - everything must either be alive, or else unalive. (In reductionist scientific terms; all of reality is either 'biology' or physics.) I felt intuitively compelled to assume the truth of the former - given that the idea that all of reality is ultimately physics (or maybe abstract mathematics), has underpinned the assumptions that have led Western Civilization to where we are now. That life consists in irreducible and primary Beings, arose from noticing the abstract - and again artificial - nature of any other conceptualization of biology/ life/ creation.  


William Wright (WW) said...


I assume this post is at least partly a carry over of our discussion in the comments section of this post:

I wasn't sure whether it was a worthwhile thing to respond given that I likely already wore out my welcome on the topic given the number and length of comments on that post, but also because it seems that with the premise of this post you have made up your mind that prophecy is and cannot be a valid thing in a reality and creation comprised of living beings blessed with agency or choice (of which the earth is one, as you have rightly pointed out).

But I think to deny prophecy, that is indeed a gift from God given to some, even about beings with choice, is itself a sin and an evil that one would need to repent of. So, I thought it might be worth one more comment, if even perhaps it might be useful for another reader.

The earth has many prophecies regarding its future state. You mention one: The New Jerusalem, buy have said elsewhere that it, and other things like Jesus' return to this earth, are fabrications that were invented later.

The Book of Mormon stands probably as the best example we have that this is not so. Despite so much of what we find in the bible actually being fabricated or twisted, the notion of Jesus' return and the redemption of this earth actually turns out to be a real thing, though I think our understanding of what that means is very limited since we have lost so much of what was written and prophesied about these things.

In the Book of Mormon, Jesus himself, along with Enoch, Moroni, and others, speak very plainly of the New Jerusalem. I suppose their words could be viewed as presumptuous, evil, or making a choice for the earth and forcing it do what they want it to do - which seems to be what you say about those speaking about such things.

I would rather suggest that they speak with deep knowledge of the earth and its desires, and thus can prophecy about things yet to come. To be reunited with its creators and engage once again in loving creation with them, as it was intended to be from the beginning, I think may be one of the earth's greatest desires, if not its greatest. This also includes the earth being redeemed from its current state of physical corruption, as well as from evil beings that inhabit it (who will be dismissed elsewhere), which is something the earth continues to pray and plead for, as seen by Enoch in vision.

It's not a great analogy, but one that comes to mind now is that to speak with prophecy that the earth already has and thus will make the choice to be a home once again to its creators is in a very real sense no more difficult than me making a prophecy that if I offer my kids ice cream tonight, they will choose to have the ice cream... in fact, be joyfully heading to the freezer to get it. They have made that desire known consistently enough on this that I have absolute knowledge of what their choice will be... they have already made it, in fact. To say that I know they will choose ice cream does not make them or me any more a cog in the machine, or beings without choice in the matter, but rather speaks to the fact that I know my children very well.

And very unlike Men, the earth's current state of corruption was not brought about by its own choices. It has always chosen to follow its creators - always - and thus its fall was something that was both caused by the actions of others (Demons and Men) as well as something it willingly chose to undergo with the promise that it would someday be redeemed. In this way, it does share the same need for repentance as does Men, and therefore its path to redemption is not completely analogous.

In this way, the earth is a very real type of example of Jesus himself, being wholly Good and willing to submit to everything that is required, including taking on corruption and evil, having perfect faith that it will be made whole based on promises already given to it and to others on its behalf.

Bruce Charlton said...

@WW - I was indeed extending the topic of that post and our discussion in the comments, as well as writing something that I have been thinking about for a while.

wrt prophecy - if you do a word search here, you will find some of the things I have written about what things it can be, and how it may work. I'll be doing another post on this soon wrt 'precognition'/ precog - as it appears in the novels of Philip K Dick (quick preview: I do not think *that* kind of prophecy is genuine).

True examples of prophecy are notoriously impossible to use as predictions! In other words, what the prophecy means only becomes apparent after it happens. BoM prophecies - like most of Christianity - take place from a world view that did not think about how exactly we could draw lines between Men and animals and plants and the mineral world; nor one in which the mineral world had been used to explain all of the others (to the 'perfect satisfaction' of science!).

I am convinced that we cannot now honestly revert to that Ancient Greek/ Medieval categorical world view - our minds have changed, we are conscious of things that those in the past accepted unconsciously. There are (by my estimation) deep impossibilities about rigorously and in a principled way applying such schemata - problems analogous to mapping the real world onto the tautologies of mathematics.

I don't think there is any honest way out of re-thinking how salvation applies to all Beings, despite that this has (probably) not been done before - at least not on the basis of a (Mormon-derived) pluralist metaphysics.

In other words, the fact that Christians of 200 years ago saw no problem in talking as if the 'mineral' world would just 'do as it was told', when the time came for it to be 'used' in making Heaven - is an oversight on their part! An oversight we need to correct!

"the earth's current state of corruption was not brought about by its own choices." - likewise: this statement is Not self-evident, and is something that needs to be rethought.

(I say 'need' - we need to do it if/when we become aware of the issue: and I mean we 'need' to do it if we are to be honest and coherent.)