by Darren Iammarino
What is the first thing that most people think of when they hear the phrase: Process Theology? My experience has shown that the answers are the following: that sounds too academic, too complex, too intellectual, and, it seems boring. Now go out to some of those same people and tell them that you do or practice Process Yoga and see what their response is. My point here is simple, Process Theology—as amazing as it is—has for the most part failed to transform the theological, religious, spiritual or metaphysical landscape or zeitgeist. There are four reasons that I believe can account for this failure.
- First is the issue highlighted above, Process Theology needs an updated “rebranding,” and a “cool factor.”
- It is too cerebral and academic! How many people are going to pick up Process and Reality and actually read it? Furthermore, if they do, how many will understand it on a first reading? Zero.
- This one may be controversial to some…Process Theology remains too deeply connected with Christianity.
- Most importantly, how do I practice it and how is it unique from Christianity or Buddhism etc.?
Point 1 (Rebranding): So, Process Theology can benefit from some rebranding and the simplest way to do this is to shift to speaking of Process Yoga. There is actually a sound reason to make this shift even from inside the writings of Whitehead, Cobb, and Griffin: multiple religious ultimates. Process thought is not merely limited to “theology,” it is really process metaphysics, but if anything is scarier than Process Theology as a label, it is probably process metaphysics! The generic use of the word yoga is both metaphysically accurate and far more appropriate to a new, younger audience. Yoga means to yoke or unite and that is what process-relational philosophy is all about. Process thought and process practice aims to reconnect us with the sacred elements of Reality…and process suggests there is more than one ultimate.
In other words, God is not the whole story. We must talk of God and a World of finite actual entities, as well as primal, but ever present Creativity. We also may want to discuss Forms or Eternal Objects, as Whitehead would call them, and maybe even a Platonic Receptacle or Storehouse. The term yoga is actually far more appropriate to make us think in terms of reuniting and oneness, but oneness of a well functioning system of ultimates that taken together make up Reality itself. By contrast, the word theology is very academic in nature. Theology is head-oriented more than heart-oriented and does not conjure up images of a reciprocal ecosystem or organism, which is what Whitehead’s philosophy was actually called…the philosophy of organism.
For more ideas on how to put process ideas into action check out Darren’s book Religion and Reality available via the following link: http://www.amazon.com/Religion-Reality-Exploration-Contemporary-Metaphysical-ebook/dp/B00FARXAO6/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1448348364&sr=1-3&keywords=darren+iammarino