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Johannes Jacobus Poortman unterscheided sechs verschiedene metaphysische Sichten der Welt, die er von Alpha bis Zeta benennt:

(1) Alpha: monistischer Materialismus: alle Realität ist materiell, es gibt nur gewöhnliche Materie;

Only physical matter composed of atoms is real. This position denies the possibility of the psychological and sublime pneumas and thus rejects any form of Hylic Pluralism. Most contemporary mainstream scientists are proponents of this position.

(2) Beta: hylischer Pluralismus, dualistischen Materialismus: es existiert nur Materie, aber es gibt verschiedene Arten der Materie, im Besonderen sind Gott und andere spirituelle Seinende aus einer feineren Art von Materie kreiert, nicht wahrnehmbar für unsere wissenschaftliche Instrumente;

Epicurean Materialism. This position is similar to the Alpha position in giving priority to matter, but it differs by maintaining that the soul is comprised of a finer matter invisible to the naked eye. Its proponents included the ancient Greek atomists Democritus, Epricurus, and Lucretius. The 17th century British philosopher Thomas Hobbes, unlike his contemporary Descartes, also fits this position. Hobbes maintained that God was an incarnate being, a body composed of fine atoms. This position accepts only the first pneuma.

(3) Gamma: monistischer Materialismus mit immaterieller Transzendenz: alles außer Gott ist materiell, auch die Seele; Es existiert nur Materie, mit Ausnahme einer immateriellen Wesenheit, z.B. Gott, Braham etc. Diese Sicht hat ist Poortmanns eigene.

Immaterial Divinity. This is a transitional position between Epsilon and the last position Delta. It maintains that the Oneness of Divinity is completely immaterial, while the multiplicity of created reality is material. Emphasizing God's transcendence, the human soul is exclusively material while God is not. This position is apparent in the schools of Indian philosophy that describe the One Spirit, Purusha, and the multiplicity of created nature, Prakriti. In the Christian tradition the medieval theologian Bernard of Clairvaux was a leading voice for this position with his emphasis on God's transcendent and uncreated nature.

(4) Delta: anthropologischer Trichotomismus die Seele ist immateriell, benützt aber feinstoffliche Vehikel, speziell nach dem Verlassen des physischen Körpers beim Tod; es gibt zwei unterschiedliche Arten der Materie und eine Art des Immateriellen, Geistigen existiert. Z.B. das frühe Christentum (bis zum 8 ökumenischen Konzil) und die Gnostiker glauben daran, dass der Mensch aus Körper, Seele und Geist besteht, wobei die ersten beiden verschiedene Formen der Materie sind, und das letzte immateriell.

Immaterial Soul. This position holds that the soul is one with the Divine and thus immaterial and immortal in essence. Being immaterial, the soul incarnates through the use of different leveled ochema, or vehicles/sheaths, composed of fine matter. According to Poortman, three central features comprise the Delta position: 1) the gross body composed of coarse matter; 2) several subtle bodies composed of fine matter; and 3) a fully immaterial aspect of the individual soul. Among the main proponents of the Delta position are the 3rd century metaphysician Plotinus, who defined his Delta position in opposition to the Beta position of the Stoics; the Renaissance esotericist Paracelsus; and the Vedanta school in Hinduism.

(5) Epsilon: anthropologischer Dualismus: der Descartes'sche Standpunkt, dass Materie (res extensa) und Geist (res cogitans) sind zwei ganz verschiedene Dinge. Absoluter Gegner des hylischen Pluralismus;

Anthropological Dualism. This position is unique to the modern West, and its best known proponent is Descartes, and later Kant. Descartes's proposal that spirit(mind) and body are two entirely different substances underlies this position, and thus it is diametrically opposed to psychohylism, in which the soul is never without a material aspect (a position maintained by Leibniz). Widening the rift that Descartes first proposed, Kantian philosophy maintains this radical dualism between the world of phenomena (the mere world of sense experience) and that of noumena (things-in-themselves). This position denies the existence of all three pneuma.

(6) Zeta: monistischer Idealismus; Illusionismus, oder psychischer Monismus: absoluter Spiritualismus, wonach die Materie nicht real und alles spirituell oder psychisch ist. Vorallem vorzufinden im Brahamismus des Hinduismus.

Absolute Idealism. At the opposite spectrum from the Alpha position, the Zeta position proposes that all being is completely immaterial. Matter and bodies are simply appearances and thus inherently unreal (maya). The various proponents of this position include the Irish Bishop and philosopher George Berkeley and the mayavada schools of Vedanta.

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