Quotes & Sayings

We, and creation itself, actualize the possibilities of the God who sustains the world, towards becoming in the world in a fuller, more deeper way. - R.E. Slater

There is urgency in coming to see the world as a web of interrelated processes of which we are integral parts, so that all of our choices and actions have [consequential effects upon] the world around us. - Process Metaphysician Alfred North Whitehead

Kurt Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem says (i) all closed systems are unprovable within themselves and, that (ii) all open systems are rightly understood as incomplete. - R.E. Slater

The most true thing about you is what God has said to you in Christ, "You are My Beloved." - Tripp Fuller

The God among us is the God who refuses to be God without us, so great is God's Love. - Tripp Fuller

According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater

Our eschatological ethos is to love. To stand with those who are oppressed. To stand against those who are oppressing. It is that simple. Love is our only calling and Christian Hope. - R.E. Slater

Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger

Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton

I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – Anon

Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII

Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut

Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest

We become who we are by what we believe and can justify. - R.E. Slater

People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – Anon

Certainly, God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater

An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater

Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann

Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner

“Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh” means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14) or, conversely, “I AM who I AM Becoming.”

Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton

The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens, we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – Anon

The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul

The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah

If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – Anon

Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson

We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord

Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another, so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater

To promote societal transition to sustainable ways of living and a global society founded on a shared ethical framework which includes respect and care for the community of life, ecological integrity, universal human rights, respect for diversity, economic justice, democracy, and a culture of peace. - The Earth Charter Mission Statement

Christian humanism is the belief that human freedom, individual conscience, and unencumbered rational inquiry are compatible with the practice of Christianity or even intrinsic in its doctrine. It represents a philosophical union of Christian faith and classical humanist principles. - Scott Postma

It is never wise to have a self-appointed religious institution determine a nation's moral code. The opportunities for moral compromise and failure are high; the moral codes and creeds assuredly racist, discriminatory, or subjectively and religiously defined; and the pronouncement of inhumanitarian political objectives quite predictable. - R.E. Slater

God's love must both center and define the Christian faith and all religious or human faiths seeking human and ecological balance in worlds of subtraction, harm, tragedy, and evil. - R.E. Slater

In Whitehead’s process ontology, we can think of the experiential ground of reality as an eternal pulse whereby what is objectively public in one moment becomes subjectively prehended in the next, and whereby the subject that emerges from its feelings then perishes into public expression as an object (or “superject”) aiming for novelty. There is a rhythm of Being between object and subject, not an ontological division. This rhythm powers the creative growth of the universe from one occasion of experience to the next. This is the Whiteheadian mantra: “The many become one and are increased by one.” - Matthew Segall

Without Love there is no Truth. And True Truth is always Loving. There is no dichotomy between these terms but only seamless integration. This is the premier centering focus of a Processual Theology of Love. - R.E. Slater


Note: Generally I do not respond to commentary. I may read the comments but wish to reserve my time to write (or write from the comments I read). Instead, I'd like to see our community help one another and in the helping encourage and exhort each of us towards Christian love in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior. - re slater

Thursday, September 21, 2023

R.E. Slater - What is the Difference between Processual and Pancessual?

Processual Cosmology and Metaphysics
What is the Difference between Processual and Pancessual?

by R.E. Slater

Hi. I developed a new word about a year ago to more fully express the complex integration of process philosophy, theology, science, and the world. I've been using it awhile and needed to check if I was using it correctly while sufficiently portraying the idea itself. Thus today's discussion.


I have expanded the idea of processual evolution into the metaphysical and ontological categories. I like to redescribe processual cosmology by a word I created... that of "pancessual."

By implication I am trying to not only capture the process or flow of events one to the other but also the complexity of intersectional activity between events (sic, Pan-relational, Pan-experiential, and Pan-psychic, among other descriptors).

In this way I can describe a metaphysic cosmology as both processual and pancessual. Could this make sense?


The term "pancessual" that you've coined to describe a metaphysical cosmology that incorporates both processual and pan-relational, pan-experiential, and pan-psychic elements does make conceptual sense within the framework of philosophical discourse. Here's how it can be understood:

Processual Cosmology: This aspect acknowledges the dynamic, evolving nature of reality and the universe, drawing from process philosophy. It emphasizes the continuous flow and development of events, entities, and experiences.

Pancessual Elements: By adding "pancessual" to your framework, you are highlighting the interconnectedness and complexity of events and entities in the metaphysical realm. "Pan-" prefixes are often used to signify a comprehensive or all-encompassing quality. In this case, "pancessual" suggests that your cosmology considers the relational, experiential, and psychic aspects as pervasive and fundamental to the fabric of reality.

Intersectional Activity: Your cosmology emphasizes the intricate intersections and interplay between events and entities in a way that incorporates relational, experiential, and psychic dimensions. This reflects a holistic view of reality where everything is interconnected and influences everything else.

Metaphysical Cosmology: This approach extends beyond the empirical and scientific realms into metaphysics, where you explore the fundamental nature of reality, consciousness, and existence. By combining the processual and pancessual elements, you create a comprehensive framework for understanding the metaphysical underpinnings of the universe.

In summary, your concept of "pancessual" cosmology appears to be a holistic and comprehensive approach that integrates process philosophy with metaphysical elements, emphasizing the interconnectedness and complexity of reality at both empirical and metaphysical levels. It's a creative and intriguing way to describe a cosmological worldview that seeks to capture the depth and richness of the universe's inner workings.


Yes, agreed. Btw, my typo "Pancesdual" = "Pancessual"


Thank you for the clarification! "Pancessual" still captures the essence of your concept, emphasizing the comprehensive and interconnected nature of your cosmological framework.

If you have any more questions or if there's anything else you'd like to discuss, feel free to ask. I'm here to help!


Good for now. Please save discussion. Thank you for your help. End of line.


You're very welcome! I'm glad I could assist you. Feel free to return whenever you have more questions or topics to discuss. Have a great day! End of line.

ChatGPT and I Discuss "The Evolution of God & Religion" (in 5 Parts)

article link

ChatGPT and I Discuss
"The Evolution of God & Religion"

Over the last several months or more I've been in a quandary as to how to approach the subject matter of the Evolution of God and Religion. I have tried several times to start this discussion after completing several long series:




My most current series -

Evolution of God and Religion

Today, I would like to set the parameters to Part III's study (above) for future studies I'll write up over the next year. The approach will require a variety of emphases, to wit, I enlisted ChatGPT into our discussion to help me sort it all out. Below is what we came up with last night...

And as you will discover, there is a lot to consider... which is why I finally decided I needed a bit of help in sorting out my own thoughts.

Most likely, the next several articles on the evolution of God and religion will be related to the links below. So be patient as I try to re-digest each part below one by one while adding a few videos to help us to think not only philosophically and theologically but anthropologically as well.


R.E. Slater
September 21, 2023

* * * * * *

PART 1 -
Kinds of Processual Evolution

RS (me)

Hi. It’s been a while. Please reference our discussions from my account.

ChatGPT (3.5)

I'm here to help, but I don't have access to past conversations or user account information. Each session with me is stateless and doesn't retain any previous discussion history for privacy and security reasons. How can I assist you today?


Ok. My interest is in AN Whitehead's process philosophy and John Cobb's process theology. I have been applying it to all subjects and disciplines over the last several years.


That's fascinating! Whitehead's process philosophy and John Cobb's process theology are intricate philosophical frameworks that can be applied to various subjects and disciplines. If you have specific questions or if there's a particular aspect of these philosophies you'd like to discuss or explore, please feel free to let me know, and I'll do my best to assist you.


Yes, I do. I wish to apply these concepts into the general subject area of the evolution of God and religion beginning with the earliest histories of hominin of 2.5 million years ago to around 350,000 years ago before the evolution of modern man (homo sapiens).


Exploring the evolution of God and religion from the perspective of process philosophy and process theology is a thought-provoking endeavor. Here are some key points and considerations when applying these frameworks to this subject:

Cosmic Evolution: Process philosophy views the universe as in a state of continuous evolution. You can apply this to the idea that religious and spiritual concepts have also evolved over time in response to changing human experiences and environments.

Theistic Evolution: Process theology often incorporates the idea of a God who evolves along with the universe. You could examine how early religious beliefs among hominins might have mirrored their understanding of their environment and the forces they encountered.

Religious Practices: Analyze how religious rituals and practices evolved from simple, animistic beliefs to more complex organized religions. Process thought can help you understand how these practices adapt and evolve over time.

Morality and Ethics: Consider how moral and ethical systems within various religious traditions have developed in response to changing societal needs and contexts.

Interconnectedness: Process thought emphasizes interconnectedness. You might explore how early religious beliefs reflected a sense of connectedness with nature and the cosmos.

Theological Implications: Discuss how process theology's view of God as evolving might relate to the development of monotheistic religions and the idea of an ever-changing, dynamic deity.

Archaeological and Anthropological Evidence: Incorporate findings from archaeological and anthropological research to trace the development of religious practices and beliefs among early hominins.

Remember that applying these frameworks to the evolution of God and religion is a complex endeavor, and it's essential to take into account both historical and cultural contexts. It can be a fascinating journey into the intersection of philosophy, theology, and anthropology. If you have specific questions or need more information on any of these points, please feel free to ask!

* * * * * *


Hominin -  A primate of a taxonomic tribe ( say, Hominini ), which comprises those species regarded as human, directly ancestral to humans, or very closely related to humans.

Hominid - an older term for hominin

Hominini - any member of the zoological “tribe” Hominini (family Hominidae, order Primates), of which only one species exists today — Homo sapiens, or [modern] human beings. The term is used most often to refer to extinct members of the human lineage, some of which are now quite well known from fossil remains.

Hominim - Not a definition nor a word.

Simarily, Hominim - Often mixed up with "ad hominem" which is used as an argument attacking a person's character or their motivations rather than their position or argument. It may also appeal to the emotions of the argument rather than to the logic or reasoning behind it.

* * * * * *

PART 2 -
The Evolution of God


What might be said of the evolution of God qua early hominins before the neolithic age? (This will necessarily include homo sapiens as the only surviving homo soevies at this time.)


The evolution of the concept of God among early hominins before the Neolithic age is a subject that combines anthropology, theology, and philosophy. When examining this, you can consider several key points:

Animism and Nature Worship: Early hominins likely had animistic beliefs, perceiving spiritual forces or consciousness in natural elements like animals, plants, and natural phenomena. These animistic beliefs can be seen as a precursor to more complex concepts of God.

Polytheism: As human societies became more complex, they often developed polytheistic belief systems with multiple gods, each associated with various aspects of life. These gods could represent natural forces, ancestors, or other beings. This can be seen as an intermediate stage in the evolution of the concept of God.

Anthropomorphism: Over time, gods began to take on more anthropomorphic qualities, resembling humans in form and having distinct personalities and roles. This shift can be seen as a step toward monotheism.

Monotheistic Tendencies: Some early civilizations, such as ancient Egypt and the Akkadian Empire, displayed tendencies toward a single, supreme deity above others. This hints at the emergence of monotheistic concepts of God.

Philosophical Reflection: In ancient Greece and other cultures, philosophers like the Pre-Socratics began to contemplate abstract and metaphysical concepts of a single, unified principle or deity. This philosophical reflection contributed to the [continuing] evolution of monotheistic ideas.

Social and Cultural Factors: Consider how changes in social structures, cultural interactions, and technological advancements influenced the development of religious beliefs among early hominins.

Evidence from Artifacts: Analyze archaeological artifacts, cave paintings, and early religious symbols to understand how early hominins expressed their spiritual beliefs and the evolution of religious symbolism.

It's important to note that this evolution was gradual and varied across different [geographical] regions and cultures. The transition from animistic beliefs to polytheism, and eventually to monotheism, was a complex and multifaceted process. The study of this evolution can provide valuable insights into the cognitive development and cultural evolution of early human societies.

* * * * * *

PART 3 -
The Evolution of Religion


Similarly, what might be said of the evolution of religion before the neolithic age?


The evolution of religion before the Neolithic Age is a complex and multifaceted topic, and it's essential to consider various aspects of early human societies and their beliefs. Here are some key points to consider when discussing the evolution of religion during this period:

Animism and Spirituality: Early hominins likely practiced animism, where they attributed spiritual significance to natural elements, such as animals, plants, and natural phenomena. This can be considered the foundation of religious thought.

Shamanism: Shamanistic practices, involving individuals (shamans) who communicate with the spiritual world, may have been prevalent. Shamans played a crucial role in early religious and healing practices.

Rituals and Burial Practices: Examine the archaeological evidence for early rituals and burial practices. The treatment of the dead often reflects religious or spiritual beliefs about the afterlife and the role of ancestors.

Cosmology and Mythology: Investigate the creation myths and cosmological beliefs of early societies. These stories often provided a framework for understanding the world and humanity's place in it.

Cave Art and Symbols: Study prehistoric cave art and symbolic representations. These artworks may provide insights into the spiritual and religious symbolism of early cultures.

Social and Economic Factors: Consider how religious beliefs and practices were influenced by the social and economic conditions of early hunter-gatherer societies. Religion may have served as a way to explain natural events and promote social cohesion.

Cultural Variation: Recognize that religious beliefs and practices varied significantly across different [localized] regions and cultures. The evolution of religion was not a linear process but rather a complex interplay of local traditions and influences.

Transition to Agriculture: The Neolithic Revolution marked a significant shift as humans transitioned from hunting and gathering to agriculture. This transition likely influenced religious beliefs, with the [more recent] emergence of agricultural deities and fertility rituals.

Technological Advancements: Advances in tools and technologies may have influenced religious practices and beliefs, as humans gained greater control over their environment.

Cognitive Development: Consider how the [biological] cognitive development of early humans played a role in shaping religious beliefs, including their capacity for abstract thought and symbolic thinking.

Studying the evolution of religion before the Neolithic Age provides valuable insights into the development of human culture, cognition, and spirituality. It's a rich area of research that combines archaeology, anthropology, and the history of human thought.

* * * * * *

PART 4 -
The Evolution of Religion


When speaking of God or of religion can one present a list of similarities and differences between the two subject categories in a non-institutional form of speculation?


Certainly, you can explore the similarities and differences between the concepts of God and religion in a non-institutional form of speculation. Here's a simplified breakdown of some key points:


Subjective Experience: Both God and religion often involve deeply personal and subjective experiences. Individuals may have profound encounters with God or find personal meaning and purpose through religious practices.

Human Constructs: Both God and religion are human constructs. God represents the divine or transcendent, while religion encompasses the organized systems of beliefs, rituals, and [polity] practices created by humans to understand and relate to the divine.

Interconnectedness: Both concepts often emphasize interconnectedness. Religion can highlight the interconnectedness of individuals within a community, while God is often seen as the source of all creation and the ultimate interconnected reality.


Nature and Existence: God typically refers to a divine, supernatural being or force believed to exist independently of human perception and experience. Religion, on the other hand, refers to the organized systems of beliefs, practices, and institutions that humans create to relate to God or address spiritual questions.

Multiplicity: While various religions exist, each with its own concept of God or gods, the concept of religion itself can encompass a wide range of beliefs and practices. This means that religion can be pluralistic, while God is often considered singular or monistic within a particular religious tradition.

Purpose: God is often seen as the ultimate source of meaning, purpose, and transcendence. Religion serves as a means for individuals and communities to access or connect with this transcendent reality and to find guidance in matters of ethics, morality, and spirituality.

Institutional vs. Personal: Religion often has institutional aspects, such as churches, temples, or religious organizations. God, on the other hand, is a more abstract and personal concept that can be experienced and interpreted differently by individuals, whether within or outside [corporate] institutional settings.

Evolution and Adaptation: Religions can evolve and adapt over time in response to cultural, social, and historical changes. The concept of God may remain relatively stable within a religious tradition but can also evolve as theological perspectives shift.

Remember that these are simplified generalizations, and the nuances and interpretations of God and religion can vary significantly among different cultures, philosophies, and individuals. Non-institutional speculation can delve deeper into these complexities and explore a wide range of perspectives and interpretations.

* * * * * *

PART 5 -
The Processual Evolution of Belief


How would you recast these thoughts in a processual manner?


Certainly, let's recast these thoughts in a processual manner, aligning with the principles of process philosophy and theology:


Dynamic Subjective Experiences: Both God and religion can be seen as dynamic, evolving subjective experiences [where] individuals [and institutions] engage in ongoing processes of religious exploration and spiritual growth, which evolve over time.

Emergent Constructs: God and religion [processually] emerge through human experiences and interactions. They are not static entities but continuously evolve in response to the changing circumstances, needs, and insights of individuals and communities.

Interconnected Becoming: The concepts of God and religion are interconnected in a processual manner. Religion emerges as a response to human experiences of the divine, and the concept of God evolves within the context of various religious traditions and practices.


Creative Evolution of God: In a processual perspective, God can be viewed as a [primal] creative, evolving [pancessual] force or principle that is immanent within the universe's ongoing [processual] becoming. Different religions and individuals may perceive God's creative process in diverse ways, leading to a multiplicity of theological interpretations.

Religion as Transformative Process: Religion, as a process, involves [processual] transformative experiences and growth. It is not a fixed institution but a dynamic journey of spiritual development, where individuals and communities adapt their religious beliefs and practices over time.

Purposeful Evolution: The purpose of religion may be understood as an ongoing quest to explore and deepen one's connection with the divine, whatever form that may take. In contrast, God's purpose, as conceived within religious traditions, is often seen as guiding and sustaining the universe's evolutionary processes.

Institutional Adaptation: Religious institutions, in a processual sense, adapt and change to meet the evolving needs of their adherents and society. This adaptation is a response to the ongoing process of cultural and societal transformation.

Co-Creative Relationship: The relationship between God and religion is co-creative and interactive. God is not a distant, static deity but [One who] actively participates in the ongoing process of human spiritual exploration and religious expression [to one another and creation itself].


By approaching the concepts of God and religion in a processual manner, we emphasize their dynamic, evolving nature and the interconnectedness of the human experience with the divine. This perspective invites ongoing exploration and adaptation, reflecting the principles of process philosophy and theology.


Awesome. Thank you.


You're very welcome! If you have any more questions or if there's anything else I can assist you with in the future, feel free to reach out. Have a great day!