the z-theory in a simple diagram and explanation

z theory diagram by nakedpastor david hayward

I posted this for my other site, the online community The Lasting Supper, but I thought I would share it with you as well.

Hopefully this will help some of you understand the z-theory better. It is based on a waterfall dream I had a few years ago that left me the impression it graphically depicted the structure of reality. I suggest this diagram can be used by all religions and world-views.

So as I try to explain to my Christian friends, this is why I rarely, if ever, use the word “God”, or demand that people believe in the man “Jesus” and the bible as sole source of truth, or that the “Holy Spirit” of Christianity hold dominion over how we talk about the human collective, including the church. I always try to avoid exclusivity and the presumption of privilege that comes with that.

Therefore, a Buddhist could say the All is Nirvana or the Buddha nature; the Appearance is the Buddha, Siddhartha, including the Sutras; and the Application is the Sangha, or the community.

An Atheist could say the All is undiscovered scientific realities; the Appearance is human discoveries of these realities; and the Application is the use of these discoveries for the better of the human collective and the earth.

On and on we could go.

So at the same time, even though the All, like water over the falls, fills all things, somehow it is at the same time separate, an infinite source, so that we are at once full of “God” or the All, while at the same time the All does not lose itself, its objectivity, its “Wholly Otherness”.

I’m offering this paradigm as a way to understand how, even though we are very diverse in our beliefs and world-views, we can all find ourselves within this construct.

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  • klhayes

    I copied this illustration down in my journal…I really like that!

  • Nathanael Meyer

    I like this. It makes a lot of sense. Especially, remembering that God is ultimately a mystery beyond our ability to comprehend (or define), gives us some humility and willingness to respect, dialogue with other perspectives.

  • thanks klhayes!!

  • thanks nathanael

  • David, check out Austrian philosopher Karl Popper’s three worlds theory. It is very similar to your Z-theory. Karl Popper said he in turn got his ideas from Plato. You are in very good company here.

    For Karl Popper,
    World one is the physical universe (the all)
    World two is our discovery or direct understanding of world one.
    World three is what we do with that understanding like making art, scientific theories, writing books, forming mythologies, etc.

    Each person’s world two only partially intersects with worlds one and three.

  • Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz….

  • I’ll have to check him out. Thanks Jeff.

  • Al Cruise

    Steve stop being so self righteous.

  • Michael Raburn

    Where does the Father fit in here?

  • ChuckQueen101
  • thanks so much chuck