Thursday, July 9, 2009

(1) Solar Logos


I didn't know a soul at the Princeton Theological Seminary, so
I thought it best to simply make an inquiry at their office. After
introducing myself, I stumbled around trying to explain what I
was after. Somehow it all seemed a bit of *deja vu,*in that the
situation reminded me of when I first approached the Philosophy
Department at the university.

I was mumbling around about the "Solar Logos" to kindly office
clerks, trying to make myself understood. Finally I was sent to
talk with an official, who promptly gave me the name of a professor
who taught Religious History at the seminary. Probably I could
get some information from him.

So, after making an appointment, I sat down and had a good
talk with this very erudite professor who later typed out a
"starter's" reading list on his computer and gave it to me. It
would be up to me to do the research on the evolving concept
of the Logos. Looking at the reading list, I saw that, generally
speaking, I could be running down the history of God the All
Powerful--starting nearly from the beginning of written history.
If this was a starter's reading list, I had to wonder what a serious
seminary scholar would have to plough through!

Fortunately this good professor took pity on me, in that he also
secured a permit for me to use the seminary's library stacks. For
this I was grateful. I already had a permit for the university's larger
library, but I figured the seminary holdings might be more specific.
And I was right in this case.

Nonetheless, I narrowed down my research almost from the start.
I decided that since I was going to carry forth my pilgrimage from
the perspective of Western Science, than perhaps it would be
wise to stick mainly with Western cultural intuitions of the Logos.

However, right off, after scanning through a number of books on
my list, I started to realize that the idea of the "Sun" was really
important to many cultures as they worked through their develop-
mental history. There were sun gods galore, everywhere, at all
levels. Why the Sun? Because it is the Light of Life. Its rays, its
warmth and illumination were utterly necessary for the existence
of Life. The Sun also played on the theme of illumination, focusing
on mental development, on wisdom. But, above all, the Sun
represented the Cosmic! Even before the advent of modern
astronomy, human observers saw all the lights in the sky,
figuring that there were thousands of suns everywhere.

And, of course, we now know via modern astrophysical
technology that there are millions of galaxies, billions of sun,
and heaven knows how many planets. Hence we come to the
"Solar Logos" that serves as the Plenum of all this universe.

But before all our modern knowledge, there was the intuition of
this great Plenum, the Godhead, that underlies the All of it.
And our evolving cultures, especially those situated around the
Mediterranean, developed a steady stream of sun gods that
has carried through to this very day.

I chose to concentrate first on the religions of Ancient Egypt,
then onward into the Greco-Roman Civilization, and finally
unto Christianity.

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