"Seven Dimensions of Religion"

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Nefastos
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"Seven Dimensions of Religion"

Postby Nefastos » Wed Mar 11, 2015 7:07 pm

You might be familiar with Ninian Smart's idea of the seven dimensions of religion:
I. The Practical / Ritual Dimension
II. The Experiential / Emotional Dimension
III. The Narrative / Mythic Dimension
IV. The Doctrinal / Philosophical Dimension
V. The Ethical / Legal Dimension
VI. The Social / Institutional Dimension
VII. The Material Dimension


I can't help but to think of our theosophical principles of man every time these are mentioned somewhere. Let's compare:

I. The Practical / Ritual Dimension --> physical ~ linga sharîra --> Stone Aspect
II. The Experiential / Emotional Dimension --> emotional ~ kâma rûpa --> Serpent Aspect
IV. The Doctrinal / Philosophical Dimension --> rational ~ kâma manas --> Eye Aspect

So the "lower threefold world" is there, and in correct order already. What about the rest? For us, the higher threefold world is an esoteric & formless, & then there's the seventh which bridges these two trinities. Smart's dimensions are not metaphysical, but practical. Therefore we must analyze what are the practical working emphases of our brotherhood aspects. I suggest the following correspondences:

III. The Narrative / Mythic Dimension --> bridging personal to archetypal ~ prâna-jiva --> Chalice Aspect
V. The Ethical / Legal Dimension --> ethics, morals ~ buddhi --> ...
VI. The Social / Institutional Dimension --> culture, social communication ~ manas --> ...
VII. The Material Dimension --> ideas molded into physical action by actual work ~ âtma --> ...

Concerning the three higher principles it is not so clear what are the principles stressed, but it seems to be that the whole âtma-buddhi-manas is equally emphasized in all our colour aspects, although a little bit differently in each. But if we think which of them surfaces the most, at the moment they seem to be:

White Aspect: Manas ("The Social / Institutional Dimension")
Red Aspect: Âtma ("The Material Dimension")
Black Aspect: Buddhi ("The Ethical / Legal Dimension")

(Or perhaps the Red & Black the other way around: Black for Material & Red for Legal?)

What do you think?
Faust: "Lo contempla. / Ei muove in tortuosa spire / e s'avvicina lento alla nostra volta. / Oh! se non erro, / orme di foco imprime al suol!"
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Kenazis
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Re: "Seven Dimensions of Religion"

Postby Kenazis » Thu Mar 12, 2015 12:05 pm

Smart's seven dimensions of religion is familiar and I like it because it seems to cover and explain (I first wrote expalin, but hopefully not ex-Palin yet. Must clarify! Michael, not Sarah) a lot + is very easy to grasp. Haven't been thinking the theosophical principles and seven dimensions this way, but surely seems interesting area to study. Lower triarchy seems to go very well with the first three dimensions as you point out. I think your colour aspects are also very fitting. I'll see Black for Buddhi and Red for Âtma better fitting at this moment.

I almost always study two "systems" together, so I think I will throw myself deeper into this theosophical principles/Ninian's Dimensions - subject.
"In darkness let me dwell, The ground shall sorrow be..."
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RaktaZoci
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Re: "Seven Dimensions of Religion"

Postby RaktaZoci » Thu Mar 12, 2015 9:24 pm

Concerning the colour aspects, I find the terms to be a little bit in contradiction with their respective aspect: I mean, "The Material Dimension" in connecion to Red makes sense, but I'd connect "The Social" also to Red.

Then again, I'd connect "The Ethical" more to White, as love for example is seen as an ethical attitude.

So my version of your diagram would be:

White Aspect: Manas ("The Ethical / Institutional Dimension")
Red Aspect: Âtma ("The Social / Material Dimension")
Black Aspect: Buddhi ("Legal Dimension")

Thoughts?
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Nefastos
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Re: "Seven Dimensions of Religion"

Postby Nefastos » Mon Mar 16, 2015 11:50 am

RaktaZoci wrote:White Aspect: Manas ("The Ethical / Institutional Dimension")
Red Aspect: Âtma ("The Social / Material Dimension")
Black Aspect: Buddhi ("Legal Dimension")

Thoughts?


Why not, but those are no longer Smart's dimensions. :)

I think that the viewpoint of Smart's does not work very well with the esoteric dimensions, e.g. our colour aspects. His dimensions are good when dealing with the exoteric side, but when it comes to the occult side it seems that we must bend the ideas so much that they become almost meaningless.

Smart's three "unused" dimensions might actually work better as below the exoteric chart (how the brotherhood may act upon & be seen in society) where the "unused" esoteric aspects might be located above the chart.
Faust: "Lo contempla. / Ei muove in tortuosa spire / e s'avvicina lento alla nostra volta. / Oh! se non erro, / orme di foco imprime al suol!"
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Kenazis
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Re: "Seven Dimensions of Religion"

Postby Kenazis » Mon Mar 16, 2015 12:07 pm

Nefastos wrote:Smart's three "unused" dimensions might actually work better as below the exoteric chart (how the brotherhood may act upon & be seen in society) where the "unused" esoteric aspects might be located above the chart.
Exoteric Inside aspect:
I. The Practical / Ritual Dimension --> physical ~ linga sharîra --> Stone Aspect
II. The Experiential / Emotional Dimension --> emotional ~ kâma rûpa --> Serpent Aspect
IV. The Doctrinal / Philosophical Dimension --> rational ~ kâma manas --> Eye Aspect

Exoteric outside aspect:
III. The Narrative / Mythic Dimension --> How the teachings are seen from outside
V. The Ethical / Legal Dimension --> How the action is seen from the outside
VI. The Social / Institutional Dimension --> What is the status within the society
VII. The Material Dimension --> What symbols, material things people can see and reach
"In darkness let me dwell, The ground shall sorrow be..."
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Nefastos
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Re: "Seven Dimensions of Religion"

Postby Nefastos » Mon Mar 16, 2015 12:29 pm

Yes. Let's remember that the Chalice aspect is twofold, part exoteric, part esoteric. In its first part as -
Kenazis wrote:Exoteric outside aspect:
III. The Narrative / Mythic Dimension --> How the teachings are seen from outside


- it clearly has to do with our publications, mainly published by Viides Askel (with its chalice logo). In its esoteric form the same aspect forms the gate from the exoteric to the esoteric side via this very same narrative / mythic dimension, i.e. embracing a certain occult world view.

In these both, the Chalice is the cup of the eucharist, containing (as related in Fosforos) the "blood" or the inner philosophy. (As opposed to the "bread", which is exoteric doctrine, common to all: for example, for the Star of Azazel the constitution & the seven principles). So, the same cup offers two possible & consecutive rituals of passage.
Faust: "Lo contempla. / Ei muove in tortuosa spire / e s'avvicina lento alla nostra volta. / Oh! se non erro, / orme di foco imprime al suol!"

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