Dr. Arthur Chang, author of “The New Positive Spirituality: Finding Purpose and Happiness in Everyday Life,” defines positive spirituality as the practice of positively embodying God’s attributes of love and law and using them in our lives to bring our desires into physical reality.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019


By Arthur Chang

Ernest Holmes’ dream was for a time to come (process) when science and religion walked hand in hand. That time is now. However, in the search for truth there is no guarantee that what is found will fit seamlessly into one’s assumed and familiar cosmology or worldview.

Process theology is radically different in many important ways than Plato/Aristotle influenced classical theism we have accepted as theological correct for centuries. Process is a theology that grew out of current philosophy and science (namely quantum physics) rather than out of the scriptures. However, the concept of God fits more closely the qualities of God in history, which is more like the Judaic/Christian model than it is like the current classical theism of Greek philosophy with its notion of God as a static actuality, immutable, perfect, and unfeeling.

Process thought affirms that process is fundamental. This does not mean everything is in process. That would imply even process is subject to change. It teaches that there are unchanging principles and abstract forms. However, to be actual is to be a process. Thus, anything that is not a process is an abstraction from process, and not a full-fledged actuality.

Alfred North Whitehead, the seminal thinker on this latest form of process thinking, says the temporal process is a “transition” from one actual entity to another. These entities are momentary events, which perish immediately upon coming into being (quantum physics). They perish to be succeeded by the succeeding events. Time does not flow but comes in “droplets.” Think of a filmstrip with discrete frames. When in motion it seems to flow smoothly. Without the boundaries, there could be no real individuals. Boundaries are what allows us to identify events.

However, there are events that have their own unity, unlike a storm, or party. These may consist of person or animal, tree, mountain and so forth. This is an experiential unity. Events of this type Whitehead calls “actual occasions” or “occasions of experience.”

This subject becomes much more complex and I’ll stop here. However, there are great implications for theological reflections. As we proceed we will see that God does not control everything, or else there would be no true freedom. There are past actualities as well as present. However, the future has no actualities. God is fully engaged in our lives offering options. God feels us and is responsive, and God is not coercive, God is persuasive.

This is an extremely brief attempt to introduce to you a few concepts of Process theology and Process Science of Mind. Learning it is worthwhile even if you will have to live with it awhile to arrive at that conclusion.

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