Orthodox vs. Universal View

The idea of “orthodox” or “universal” thought may differ from person to person.  Still the following comparison demonstrates two different approaches to the understanding of life and its source.


ORTHODOX:   “God has revealed himself through the holy scriptures.  Any other image used for God is false.”

UNIVERSAL:    “God is infinite.  It is a reality beyond any physical reality.  Symbols may be used to help understand this abstract concept but symbols are just symbols and do not substitute for the true understanding of God.”

ANALYSIS:  God is the common reference made to the Cause that created the physical universe.  God is the Creator.  Physical universe is a created thing.  God is infinite. Physical universe is finite.

God has the characteristics of Total Cause, Full Responsibility, All Knowing, Omnipresent, etc. which are considered spiritual.  Physical universe has the characteristics of matter, energy, space, and time which are considered physical. God is not limited by the physical characteristics of matter, energy, space, and time.

An identity has form, shape, and existence and, therefore, it is subject to space and time, energy and matter.  Assumption of any identity for God amounts to reducing the concept of infinite God down to finite physical attributes.

Thus, no identity exists that can fully describe God.

COMMENTS:  If the Holy Scriptures are considered to have revealed an identity for God, such as, “God is male and human like in form” it is a misinterpretation of the scriptures.

Any identity assigned to God is a created symbol.  This may be an image (as an idol or a picture), or an idea of an image (as held in one’s mind), or a name, or a graphic symbol.  No symbol is false as long as it is understood to be a symbol and not God.  Understanding of God does not depend on an exclusive symbol or identity.

God has no identity, but it is an abstract reality that has attributes of Total Cause, Full Determinism, Full Responsibility, All Knowing, Omnipresent, etc.  A true understanding of God is direct and personal. One is guided by the Scriptures, but the final understanding comes through one’s own striving.


ORTHODOX:   “Man is created by God.  An individual is the sum total of his body, mind and spirit.”

UNIVERSAL:    “Body and mind are created entities but spirit is an extension of God.  An individual is essentially the spirit, which possesses a body and a mind.”

ANALYSIS:  Man has the attribute of being causative.  Unlike lower life forms, Man can be fully self-determined.  Man can also display a great sense of responsibility.  He can know and understand. Man is, therefore, endowed with spiritual characteristics of Cause, Determinism, Responsibility, Knowing, Understanding, etc. which exist as total attributes in God.

The individuality of a person is the self-determined cause that creates; whereas, his identity would be the shape, form, structure, role, position, etc. arising out of the creation.  In case of an accomplished actor whose skill is always there no matter what role, the skill would be individuality, and the role would be an identity.

In man, the spirit is the individuality.  The body serves as an identity.  The spirit and the body are two distinctly separate realities.

COMMENTS:  Man has, indeed, the likeness of God, but this likeness is in terms of the spirit and not in terms of the body.  The inherent nature of the spirit is to be cause in the likeness of God.

The spirit is not a created thing because it does not depend on matter, energy, space, and time. The body is a created thing being made up of matter, needing energy to operate, and having existence in space and time.

The body may die, but the spirit can never die. The spirit may approach “death” only by succumbing to ignorance and totally forgetting its true self.  Due to accumulated ignorance, the individual may consider himself to be a body and think and behave like one.


ORTHODOX:   “Man is basically sinful.”

UNIVERSAL:    “Man is basically good. He commits sin out of misunderstanding and ignorance.”

ANALYSIS  A sin is a non-survival action resulting from an incorrect estimation of the effort required to resolve a situation. Correct estimation takes into account the survival of self as well as the survival of others, i.e. family, group, mankind, all life, physical environment, etc.

Incorrect estimation occurs when the data used to resolve a situation is incomplete, false, or otherwise faulty.  A “sin” may result from an innocent misunderstanding, but if the individual does not take responsibility for it, he gets stuck with that misunderstanding from then on.

Where responsibility is lacking, misunderstandings accumulate, and the awareness lessens.  An individual becomes less causative and more machinelike (stimulus-response or reactive) in behavior.

This ignorance results in wholesale sins of omission and commission.  This sinful condition can be eradicated only by removing ignorance and restoring knowledge and understandings.

COMMENTS Knowledge and understanding come from perceiving something truly for what it is without altering it.  Resolution of a situation depends on accurate perception of all data relevant to that situation.

Accurate perception comes from persistence in being there and confronting all aspects of a situation, regardless of how painful it might seem as to one’s own involvement.  Confront is to face without flinching or avoiding.


ORTHODOX:   “Salvation comes from the unquestioned acceptance of  authority of God and its institutions as revealed in the holy scriptures and dictated by the Church.”

UNIVERSAL:    “Freedom comes from increased self-determinism.  This is accomplished by confronting oneself and by accepting responsibility for one’s actions. Understanding of oneself leads to the understanding of God.”


Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.
%d bloggers like this: