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Confluence

Use this forum to suggest Good Words for Professor Beard.

Confluence

Postby gailr » Fri May 06, 2005 10:48 pm

I saw this in William's post and thought it would be a good WOTD. Confluence:
1432, from L.L. confluentia, from L. confluentem (nom. confluens), prp. of confluere "to flow together," from com- "together" + fluere "to flow."


Compare to influence:
c.1374, an astrological term, "streaming ethereal power from the stars acting upon character or destiny of men," from O.Fr. influence "emanation from the stars that acts upon one's character and destiny" (13c.), also "a flow of water," from M.L. influentia "a flowing in" (also used in the astrological sense), from L. influentem (nom. influens), prp. of influere "to flow into," from in- "in" + fluere "to flow" (see fluent). Meaning "exercise of personal power by human beings" is from 1439; meaning "exertion of unseen influence by persons" is from 1588 (a sense already in M.L., e.g. Aquinas). Under the influence "drunk" first attested 1866. Influential "powerful" is from 1734.


and effluence:
1603, from L.L. effluentia, from L. effluentem (nom. effluens) "flowing out," prp. of effluere "to flow out," from ex- "out" + fluere "to flow" (see fluent). Effluent (n.) "liquid industrial waste" is recorded from 1930.


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Postby anders » Sat May 07, 2005 5:31 am

I would prefer affluence, but I won't be anywhere near it in this incarnation.

BTW, on reincarnation/rebirth, what about metempsychosis for a good word? (You search for definitions.)
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Postby tcward » Sat May 07, 2005 8:36 pm

Metempsychosis

(Gr. meta empsychos, Lat. metempsychosis: Fr. metempsychose: Ger. seelenwanderung).

Metempsychosis, in other words the doctrine of the transmigration of souls, teaches that the same soul inhabits in succession the bodies of different beings, both men and animals. It was a tenet common to many systems of philosophic thought and religious belief widely separated from each other both geographically and historically. Although in modern times it is associated among civilized races almost exclusively with the countries of Asia and particularly with India, there is evidence that at one period or another it has flourished in almost every part of the world; and it still prevails in various forms among savage nations scattered over the globe. This universality seems to mark it as one of those spontaneous or instinctive beliefs by which man's nature responds to the deep and urgent problems of existence; whilst the numerous and richly varied forms which it assumes in different systems, and the many-coloured mythology in which it has clothed itself, show it to be capable of powerfully appealing to the imagination, and of adapting itself with great versatility to widely different types of mind. The explanation of this success seems to lie partly in its being an expression of the fundamental belief in immortality, partly in its comprehensiveness, binding together, as for the most part it seems to do, all individual existences in one single, unbroken scheme; partly also in the unrestrained liberty which it leaves to the mythologizing fancy.


Click the link above to read the full article from the Catholic Encyclopedia at www.NewAdvent.org

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Postby anders » Sun May 08, 2005 3:10 am

I use the Catholic Encyclopedia a lot, and keep a quick link in my browser. In most cases, it gives me useful information. In this case, however, I beg to disagree on the following parts.
Although in modern times it is associated among civilized races almost exclusively with the countries of Asia and particularly with India […] and it still prevails in various forms among savage nations scattered over the globe.

The last copyright notice for the online Cathen is from 2003, but the above quote seems like written in the year of the Nihil Obstat, 1907.

They throw in a paragraph like
Advocates of metempsychosis have not been wanting in modern times, but there is none who speaks with much conviction. The greatest name is Lessing, and his critical mind seems to have been chiefly attracted to the doctrine by its illustrious history, the neglect into which it had fallen, and the inconclusiveness of the arguments used against it. It was also maintained by Fourier in France and Soame Jenyns in England. Leibnitz and others have maintained that all souls were created from the beginning of the world; but this does not involve migrations.

just before the heading "Savage races" (finding that in 2005!), but I still have doubts. I'm not prefectly happy with its description of differences between Brahmanism, and Buddhism, but I've seen much worse.

I suppose you all know that reincarnation is a popular theme in various New Age quarters all over the world. I’ve seen an ad in a newspaper from a "reincarnation therapeut" endeavouring to help people by telling them what happed in their previous lives. Reincarnation or similar views were held by, among others, Kant, Lessing, Herder, Goethe, Schopenhauer and our Swedish Selma Lagerlöf. Not exactly members of "savage nations" (or???). Say "reincarnation" today, and I think many people would think of movements like spiritists, theosophists, and anthroposophists besides New Age. It is worth mentioning, though, that modern Western believers usually only acknowledge moving to higher levels.

IMO, even the prestigious Swedish Nationalencyklopedin doesn’t get all of it right. It explains, and I use some "literal translation",
reincarnation, metempsychosis, transmigration, wandering of souls, rebirth; the belief hat the soul, following death, takes place in a new body according to the actions in a previous life. This belief exists in Hinduism and in Buddhism, despite the fact that Buddhism originally denies the existence of a soul.
.

Traditional Buddhist will of course only speak of rebirths.

I have made some serious efforts to research the similarities and differences between Indian religions from these aspects, but I can’t present a definite statement. Questions I’d like to address are, Is the transfer process instantaneous on death, or is there a transit hall stage, waiting for a suitable body? From the angle of view of the receiving part, when does it get its new occupant: At the moment of birth (and are there definitions stating exactly when this occurs), at conception (and how are the dreaded hungry ghosts of Buddhism conceived?), or are the first few moments of life soulless? How permanent is the caste of the newly reincarnated Hindu – can it be improved during the life of the new body, despite the fate decided by its accumulated fruits or karma? How can, for example, the Dalai Lama be reborn with that identity, if there is no soul to take on a new life, but only a collection of aggregates, dissolved on death?
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Postby gailr » Sun May 08, 2005 12:30 pm

Discussions of someone else's religion which incude words such as primitive, civilized, savage, etc., always put me off.

Reincarnation in early Christianity This is the kind of information I discovered when pushing the envelope of indoctrination to encompass education--a process not exactly encouraged during "molding in faith".

I also found this essay on reincarnation and personality. I am not a theosophist, but liked some of his points:
In such diagrams we can put a "higher" self at the top and a "lower" self at the bottom, but the words we use are often wrong. How could a lower self "have" a higher self? And what right has a lower self or personality to talk possessively of "my" higher self, as if it was "my" bicycle or "me breakfast?

...

If we may then permit ourselves for the moment to speak of reincarnation after the dualistic personal way of thinking and speech, the "higher" self, grounded in oneness and wholeness, projects into this secondary world of duality and separateness a personality or "lower" self. This is done for a purpose. In due course the personality is withdrawn again through the process of death. The personal mind, which interpreted everything in terms of a "me" or of some personally defined starting point, is dissolved and as Faquahar and the New Testament have agreed, after death comes judgement.

The judgement at the close of an incarnation will be an assessment of how far the personal self has fulfilled its function as an instrument or projection extended by the higher self. In so far as it has succeeded in discovering and expressing qualities and capacities that can be subsumed into the life of the higher self, it can be said to have achieved a measure of "salvation". In so far as it has failed to do this it represents something of a loss and is discarded.

...

The death of a personality seems to dispose of it finally so far as our kind of time concerned, though it must be rarely that nothing is salvaged or saved by the higher self. The fact that the higher self may soon embark on another enterprise does not necessarily mean that this new personality is in any obvious way a continuation of the one preceding it. The new personality is to be a reincarnation of the higher self and not of the previous personality.

It happens to many of us that from time to time we catch glimpses of previous lives and of ourselves dressed in the garments of some past incarnation. Unfortunately so much of the interest that is found in such glimpses is expressed only in terms of current personality values - status in some past civilization, love affairs in ancient Egypt - that we take little note and get very little information about what such an experience is really like or how that other past personality differs from the present one.

Quite clearly there is a feeling that this is indeed "I", the same "I" that dwells somewhere in the inner life of our present personality. But that other past personality is immensely different in its values and thinking, perhaps in its age or sex, and certainly in its relational environment. It is virtually somebody else, though we ourselves probably feel better equipped to sympathize with it than is anybody else. The fact that that other personality possibly speaks a language quite different from ours and thinks in terms of the values imposes by that language is also a curiously baffling or even alienating factor.


[my emphasis above]

You raise interesting questions, Anders. The situation of persons such as the Dalai Lama may be the exception that proves the rule of personality dissolution at death. That is, if a mind (the "little i") achieves true enlightenment and, furtherer, commits itself to assisting all others to find release from samsara, then this state would surely be in accord with the "higher self's" purpose. Karma would ensure this quality to be uppermost in the next incarnation, especially since it would be voluntary in a way that most are not. If the mind fully grasps its own intransience/unreality and the oneness of all, are elements of that personality more readily "available" to future incarnations of the higher self? (Whereas the rest of us will survey the mixed results and bid a good-bye to good-rubbish, more than willing to start over with a tabula rasa after some R&R in whatever passes for our particular afterlife. Image)

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Postby Stargzer » Sun May 08, 2005 3:18 pm

anders wrote:. . .
The last copyright notice for the online Cathen is from 2003, but the above quote seems like written in the year of the Nihil Obstat, 1907.

They throw in a paragraph like . . .
just before the heading "Savage races" (finding that in 2005!), but I still have doubts. I'm not prefectly happy with its description of differences between Brahmanism, and Buddhism, but I've seen much worse.
. . .


Actually, Anders, it IS the 1913 Encyclopedia.

Knight chose the 1913 15-volume set because the later editions are still under copyright protection. Not only is the 1913 version in the public domain, but it is also thought by many to be the superior version. It covers topics both religious and secular, from a uniquely Catholic perspective. Although 84 years old, readers will find the information solid, surprisingly relevant, and eternally valuable.


("Byte by Byte, Catholic Encyclopedia Launched into Cyberspace")



Si fallor, sum.
-St. Augustine
(If I am deceived, then I exist)
Regards//Larry

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