a digital library of Unitarian Universalist biographies, history, books, and media
the digital library of Unitarian Universalism
Home » Poetry, Prayers & Visual Arts » Symbols of Power in Hartshorne: A New World View

Symbols of Power in Hartshorne: A New World View

Designed by Herbert F. Vetter

Vetter Symbols of PowerVetter Symbols of Power
spinner
Seven Arts of Power
The Seven Possible Types of Power
Strife Is the Eternal Price of Freedom
The Sun Is New Each Day
Where Is God?
God Is Creative Power Eternally Evolving
God is Beginningless and Endless Power
Is There Anything More Absurd
I Listen to the Agony of God
Being-in-Becoming Is Reliable Power
Life's Eternal Wheel of Chance
Fire-Water-Earth-Air

A LETTER FROM CHARLES HARTSHORNE

January 26, 1962

Dear Mr. Vetter,

Thanks so much for sending me your manuscript. Of course I am deeply moved by your estimate of my work, in relation to your general theme. I do not note any “misrepresentation”.

I think that “reality = God” is valid, though capable of several meanings. More than one of these is correct, in my view, but perhaps not all. If it means that the divine reality contains all else, I affirm it. If it means that to be real, in any fashion, is to be some aspect or function of God, I also agree. But some writers take it to mean that anything is identical with God, and hence with anything else. This is a non-sequitur of the two meanings given above, and I don’t know how much one needs worry about it. But the old “pantheism” tended to give it this perverse meaning. The trouble is that “reality” has no single meaning. It sometimes means, all that is real. It sometimes means, the status or property of being real. Either way, it can be equated with God, but only provided that God be taken also in different aspects or senses. Is there a single reality, complete once for all or is there a partly new reality each time we refer to it. The same protean character can be attributed to a deity. Thus your equation may be valid, but requires proper interpretation. Reality as a whole, and taken as ideally integrated into a single spiritual whole or conscious experience, is indeed God; but there is no reality once and for all, and no concrete actuality of God complete once and for all, but an ever-growing reality or divine actuality…

Einstein’s equation describes God, but whether in his eternal nature or only as in this cosmic epoch depends upon whether it is an empirical or a purely a priori law. Only if the latter does it describe God as eternal.

Best wishes,
Charles Hartshorne

Series Navigation<< The Development of Process PhilosophyHartshorne: A New World View – Recommended Reading >>

Notable in UU History
Austin Samuel Garver

Garver, Austin Samuel (1849-1918)

Austin Samuel Garver was born in Scotland, Pennsylvania on December 12, 1849, and died in Worcester, ... Read More

Chapin, Augusta Jane (1836-1905)

One of the earliest women to be ordained a Universalist minister, Chapin was also the first ... Read More
Moncure Daniel Conway

Conway, Moncure Daniel (1832-1907)

The Heralds of a Liberal Faith have been from time to time reinforced by recruits from unexpected ... Read More
Frederick Lucian Hosmer

Hosmer, Frederick Lucian (1840-1929)

Biographical Introduction One of the premier Unitarian hymn writers. Hosmer was born in Framingham, Massachusetts on ... Read More