Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Transcendence and immanence

The first time I encountered the juxtaposition of the concepts of transcendence and immanence was in a sixties book with a wild psychedelic cover called The Private Sea: LSD and the Search for God, by William Braden. (You can actually read it online.) Braden was concerned with reconciling what was then the “New Theology” with psychedelic experience, and he did this by picking up on the assertion that the transcendent God of ancient times has become immanent through the Incarnation into human form. And the psychedelic voyageurs were the latest manifestation of that trend. I think that both of these terms are useful, mainly for pointing to the direction that you are noticing IT right now. Whether “God” is a useful term anymore is debatable; it reinforces the transcendent dimension, but makes it pretty unapproachable.

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