I appreciate your sincerity. This is the value of interviews. rather than several people beginning to be nasty, I can further understand our differences through your sincerity.
Thank you. I am grateful for your tolerance and patience towards my views, and thank you for appreciating my honesty even when I may be critical of things very important to you.
What you refer to as the involution/evolution of matter, I call the tendency towards increasing complexity and increasing entropy originating from a source of infinite density. So, I think actually while our definitions here different, the meaning and thing we are referring to is the same. We differ in that I don’t consider reality as anything other than unified; but what I would call an essential difference between us is, ironically, that I perceive no essential difference between us. The process that makes up existence, being unified, is a whole from which the parts cannot be separated from or taken in isolation in any absolute sense. So, the difference between us might simply be that you see separation where I see none.
I think you misunderstood me. Creation for me begins with matter of such a fine density and high vibratory rate that it is not recognizable for us. It is usually described as a undetectable higher form of white light for want of a better explanation.
Creation for me is the act of slowing vibrations and the increasing density of matter within creation. The process of involution is the gradual division of unity into diversity.
I can easily understand how vibrations can slow down but I cannot see how they can begin to speed up. It seems to go against Newton first law of motion. Without a source, why would vibrations increase?
Apologies if I misunderstood you.
The second law of thermodynamics relates to entropy, which we can simply describe as the measurement of order in a system. Entropy basically means that any time there is a transfer of energy into information, some of that energy can never be used again (since energy is never actually destroyed). Most of the things around us can be thought of energy as information – or energy in-form. When energy takes form, entropy means that the collective well of useable energy in the Universe depletes a bit. This means two things – first, that the energy is not infinite (otherwise entropy would not exist) and second that the energy will necessarily run out someday.
If we look back at the Universe’s timeline, I think we can see an increase of information and a decrease of energy that is measured by the direction of entropy. First we have stars, then constellations, then galaxies, solar systems, planets and eventually life. Life gets more complex, builds computers, microchips etc. etc. What we see here is an increase in complexity regarding information or simply energy taking form. As energy takes form, it follows a pattern of becoming denser and smaller. Think of the progress of microchips – more and more information can be fit into smaller and smaller spaces, following Moore’s Law.
So, remembering entropy, this ordering of information must be counteracted by an increase in chaos, disorder etc. Eventually, if, we take this process to its logical conclusion, we will be left with an infinite amount of information packed into an infinitely dense space. This is also what is considered by physicists to be what the Universe was prior to the Big Bang. The next step in this process may be a big explosion, where the energy is then redistributed and the process starts again – this theory of the Universe as on in an eternal cycle of expansion/contraction is a popular contemporary model.
So, to answer your question, finally, information requires energy to vibrate at a higher level since it is the creation of order. Disorder is a lower vibration of the fundamental particles of the Universe, which eventually return to unusable potential energy. We can visualise this process as an expansion/contraction of all the particles in the Universe. It gets denser and denser with each contraction (high vibration) and is counteracted by entropy and the increase of disorder which itself continues similarly as an exponential process of expansion (low vibration) – until the whole thing ‘bangs’. Kind of like Cosmic hyperventilation, with each in and out breath getting bigger each time. So, an increase in complexity is an increase in order and vibration.
For her part, Simone Weil, in one of her last essays, wrote:
"Toujours le même infiniment petit, qui est infiniment plus que tout."
[Always the same infinitely small, which is infinitely more than all.]
This seems like an absurdity. However assuming that consciousness without contents is of such a high rate of vibration, we can see that as it slows and fractions of the Absolute are produced, infinity is created.
I think it would be better to actually experience consciousness without contents before we assume it exists, and is god. Remember that, paradoxically, consciousness is fundamentally without actual content. All objects of mind are created from the raw material of consciousness – so, in a sense, consciousness is always without content and always of itself. Might this be an interpretation of the realisation of objectless consciousness the ancients spoke of? That it is already the case?
Where I see the unification in interconnected levels of reality, you see it as one whole without levels.
Perhaps – I think what you see as coming in different levels, I just call reality. So, even if you are correct, I would still call the whole interconnected thing reality, so it my just be a different use of terms.
Is this Weil? With all due respect, she’s talking... sillyness. The Dharma cannot be ‘known’ at all, so it is not ‘knowledge’ of the Universe nor anything like it. Its analogy in Christian mysticism is the Logos, not ‘wisdom’. Moreover, conscious experiential knowledge is, by its very nature, subjective. So a subjective experience of objectivity is a contradiction in terms.
No, this isn't Simone. I understand the dharma as:
dhar·ma (därm, dûr-)
1. Hinduism & Buddhism
a. The principle or law that orders the universe.
b. Individual conduct in conformity with this principle.
c. The essential function or nature of a thing.
2. Hinduism Individual obligation with respect to caste, social custom, civil law, and sacred law.
a. The body of teachings expounded by the Buddha.
b. Knowledge of or duty to undertake conduct set forth by the Buddha as a way to enlightenment.
c. One of the basic, minute elements from which all things are made.
Okay, I see the confusion here. The word dharma is used in two distinct ways, which can often get confusing to Western interpreters. There is ‘Dharma’ with a big ‘D’ and ‘dharma’ with a small one. Dharma with a big D is the ‘way’ of the Universe, the underlying principle that orders it. It is equivalent to the Christina ‘Logos’ and literally identical to the Taoist ‘Tao’. The Dharma cannot be known
, since it is far beyond the comprehension of a mere human mind. One can however learn to be more ‘in tune’ with it, or align with it as you have said. But it cannot be made an object of mind or knowledge - this is absolutely fundamental. It is something you can be, not something you can see.
Then there is dharma with a small ‘d’. This word can mean a number of things: teachings, principles of, laws, systems, sermons etc. So, for instance, the Buddha talked a lot about Dharma, the way of the Universe. However, his teachings are also referred to as dharma, small d, which simply means the teachings of the Buddha. For instance, in India, Buddhism is actually called ‘buddhadharma’, which simply means the way/teachings/philosophy of the Buddha. It does not refer to the Universal Dharma with a big D, however.
So, in the definitions above, we can see how a, b, 3c would refer to ‘Dharma’, while 2, 3a, 3b and so on refer to ‘dharma’.
So, knowing the Dharma itself is impossible. But knowing various dharmas is relatively easy. So, it is true that Dharma cannot be known and is not analogous to wisdom, but certainly many dharmas can.
Doesn't science seek to understand "a. The principle or law that orders the universe." I believe we can grow to understand it but the question is how?
I certainly think science seeks to understand this principle, however, whether such a thing is even possible or foreseeable cannot be determined. Certainly, if this principle is the Dharma of Buddhism/Hinduism, the Logos of Christianity and the Tao of Taoism, then it certainly cannot be known or understood at all. So, the question of how to understand it becomes obsolete. The only question that remains is how to not obstruct it. That’s okay too.
Wisdom is speaking here:
The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.
I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.
When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water...
When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth... when he gave the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment; when he appointed the foundations of the earth: then I was by him...
Now therefore harken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways.
Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.
For me then, wisdom like the dharma is objective experiential knowledge of the interactions of universal laws and always was. To live by the dharma is to live in accordance with the benefits of these laws.
Hopefully, I have cleared up above that you cannot be referring to the Dharma as an object of knowledge. But certainly, one can live in accordance with it, but never know it literally. It far too vast to be subjected to the mind.
To be honest, I see no valid reason to think so and nothing has been offered so far by her except appeals to emotion. Furthermore, there is only reality, to talk of a multitude of reality is senseless – reality is the thing that is multiple. So, I can’t think she was sensitive to a different reality, because there is necessarily no such thing!
Again, I appreciate your sincerity. I've felt it not to the degree of Plato or Simone but enough to convince me of a reality that I've had a glimpse of.
Well, I would be very wary of following people who espouse the truths of experiences you yourself have not had. Perhaps I have glimpsed certain things myself, yet I have a very different viewpoint to you. Therefore, we should be wary even of our own experiences.
It seems you are very set on having these experiences of higher consciousness, conscious connection, seeing the levels of reality and so on. These are all ultimately objects, they are mere perceptions, they are relatively insignificant compared to the nature of that which perceives it, the Subject, which I refer to (trivially) as being and consciousness. The fact of our being and the fact of our consciousness are surely unscathed by whatever is presented to them. They remain peaceful, silent and indifferent to experiences of the ‘white light of the void’ that many have read about in books. While often such anecdotes might give us something to aim for, they also take us away from whatever is happening right here and now.
Remember that Jesus had his moment of doubt on the cross, and Buddha died from food poisoning. That is to say, that even those considered enlightened are still subject to the same human weaknesses as everyone else. Another Buddhist saying is that, if you see the Buddha on the road, kill him. Why? Because, there is no-one who is not a Buddha, so anyone claiming to be the one and only enlightened being is lying and misleading you to think that there is anyone who is not already enlightened. Jesus meant something similar when he said we should become like children to enter the kingdom, a kingdom he later revealed in the gospel of Thomas you posted earlier to be within each of us and in the world we are already in. In other words, the innocence of a child, the lack of conceptualisations and appreciation for life as it comes is what he is suggesting must be done for ‘enlightenment’. These concepts of higher consciousness etc. are not present in the various teachings of the ancients, but are a totally modern invention that completely misses the point. It distracts people with unnecessary concepts, instead of immersing themselves totally in the only reality – this one. How can you retain any concept of god that is separate from his creation? What is all artwork, if not simply a reflection of, and part of, the artist?
Plato writes of the normal response to people like this in the cave analogy:
[Socrates] And if there were a contest, and he had to compete in measuring the shadows with the prisoners who had never moved out of the cave, while his sight was still weak, and before his eyes had become steady (and the time which would be needed to acquire this new habit of sight might be very considerable) would he not be ridiculous? Men would say of him that up he went and down he came without his eyes; and that it was better not even to think of ascending; and if any one tried to loose another and lead him up to the light, let them only catch the offender, and they would put him to death.
Is this fantasy for you and these men would be right to think this man nuts or could there be more to it?
If I am interpreting you correctly, it’s incredible to me that you are comparing Weil and, I presume yourself, to this man that can see and not the prisoners. Look at the first sentence – how they competed in measuring the shadows against the wall. That’s what I think you both are doing, comparing shadows of whose consciousness can get higher than the others, even though neither of you seem to have had any of these experiences you are grasping for. While some of us are content chasing shadows, others will seek the light. While it may be bright, even burning sometimes, it has a reality that the shadows can never have. They are mere reflections. Once we see shadows as simple reflections, and seek not that which they reflect but the light which illuminates all objects
instead, we may finally be free of our chains with the realisation that all bondage is self-created.
So, to me, it seems she was sad and in a moment of weakness created an idea to find comfort in rather than deal with her problems. People often demonstrate this kind of weakness, I can’t really hold it against her. It’s easier to take drugs than deal with life, just as it’s easier to steal than work for a living. Weil simply refuses to embrace life and be courageous, but instead rejects life (the very one she alleges god gave her) preferring death over the life she already has if she can’t have certain conceptual accessories– not very grateful to her creator is it?
Her problem was described by Albert Camus as a "lucid madness for truth." How then does she deal with it? She did so by living life in the raw in ways we would be unwilling to do. We don't need reality like she did. She wrote:
"Attachment is the great fabricator of illusions; reality can be attained only by someone who is detached."
"There is no detachment where there is no pain. And there is no pain endured without hatred or lying unless detachment is present too."
She was willing to give up the pleasures of attachment to acquire the detachment necessary for the pure living experience that could led to truth.
The Red Virgin: A Poem of Simone Weil by Stephanie Strickland won the Brittingham Prize in Poetry in 1993. She wrote in the intro:
"Weil came to her philosophical and religious ideas by a path that included elite university training, factory work, potato digging, harvest in the vineyards, teaching philosophy to adolescent women, partisanship in trade unions, anarchistic Socialism, pacifism, rejection of pacifism, a conversion experience that did not lead her to joining ... a religion, exile in New York City, and employment by De Gaulle's government-in-exile in London.
Weil used her body as a tool as well as a weapon. She threw herself under the wheels of the same issues women are starving for answers to today: issues of hunger, violence, exclusion, betrayal of the body, inability to be heard, and self-hate. ...
"Weil, our shrewdest political observer since Machiavelli, was never deceived by the glamour of power, and she committed herself to resisting force in whatever guise. More 'prophet' than 'saint,' more 'wise woman' than either, she bore a particular kind of bodily knowledge that the Western tradition cannot absorb. Simone Weil belongs to a world culture, still to be formed, where the voices of multiple classes, castes, races, genders, ethnicities, nationalities, and religions, can be respected. To achieve this culture is an impossible task, but, as Weil would remind us, not on that account to be forsaken.
Today we look to Weil for hope, for meditation, for the bridge a body makes. She knew that the truth had been 'taken captive,' and that we must 'seek at greater depth our own source,' because power destroys the past, the past with its treasures of alternative ideals that stand in judgment on the present."
Rather then using philosophy for escape, Simone used her body to verify the human condition. Who does this? Philosophers like to sit at desks and write books. Simone is acquiring experiential understanding.
I have been doing a bit of research on Weil since our last discussion. It seems her above eulogy forgets to mention the part about how she effectively killed herself out of stupidity, in addition to her questionable mental health and various reports that she may have actually been mentally ill her whole life – including from her coroner. It also doesn’t mention the fact that she was anti-education in general, anti-learning and literally anti-intelligence. She actually criticised intelligence
. So, no, it seems clear she didn’t seek understanding, she openly admitted she abhorred it.
Weil was severely physical ill her entire life. Finding herself in a difficult body forcing her to struggle with everyday living, it is not difficult to see how she spent her days fantasising about a beautiful kingdom in the sky she arbitrarily assumes the existence of, where everything will one day be better. So, actually I would disagree, it seems fairly obvious to me that her philosophy was nothing more than an escape.
There are lots of people who have done considerably more than Weil in their lifetimes without these odd claims of purity, superiority and specialness nor deciding the point of life is to have certain experiences they have never actually had themselves, like Weil did. Take Gandhi, for instance. He was a theist whose social contributions surpass nearly anyone’s, yet at no time did he make himself out to be a ‘brilliant’ martyr. Nor did he claim a direct link to god because he was so much purer than anyone else. In fact, he once said “god is in the rock, too” – something that couldn’t be further from anything Weil has ever said. Perhaps he was just a foolish old man, not sensitive to the higher levels of reality that Weil was the first human being to ever discover. Personally, I don’t think so.
And I think it is in err to think that philosophers simply sit around and write books. Plato, Weil, Jesus, the Buddha…these people are all philosophers. Perhaps if Weil had valued intelligence, knowledge, education, understanding and generally getting information from somewhere other than her own thoughts, she would have realised that that is clearly untrue. Further, had she read a relevant book that wasn’t one of her own, she might have saved herself the embarrassment and nonsensical contradiction of being anti-philosophy and anti-knowledge…then going on to be a philosopher and write books.
Apparently her detachment from material things could be extended to food
, which resulted in her suicide, but not detachment from the products of her own mind. So, her final philosophy then, her take on the meaning of life itself, was: that we should all just believe everything we think and starve ourselves to death. I fail to see this as very constructive philosophy or a particularly ‘positive’ contribution to mankind.
We, or at least I, cannot be like these special people with such a need for truth. Yet they can be an inspiration and allow us to sincerely question what is necessary to further experience what the heart calls us to. If I need wisdom, am I willing to pay the price through conscious detachment for the sake of impartiality? Have you had the experience of the heart calling us to understand just as the intellect does?
I believe my interest in this subject matter is more than simply intellectual, yes. I think we all feel a subtle feeling of separation, which we seek to rectify, initially by seeking elsewhere. Eventually, we find it was not outside ourselves we should have been looking at all. I think that we can use people as inspiration, yes, but must be careful not to get attached to our images of them. Weil is not you, and Weil’s path is not your path. I say, be your own leader. You are fundamentally independent, precisely because you are fundamentally dependent. I also think that perhaps a lack of attachment (not the same as detachment, which I personally view as Weil and your own mistake) should be applied to our concepts
too; for instance, the concept of connecting consciously to higher levels of reality, perhaps.
Don't forget that Simone Weil died at 34 and was a Marxist and atheist for much of her life. There was no reason for her to read the mystics.
No, but surely she should of read the Bible at least, since usually what Jesus says is considered important by Christians. Apparently, not in her case.
As she explains, it was to her advantage not to do so:
I had never read any mystical works because I had never felt any call to read them. In reading as in other things I have always striven to practice obedience. There is nothing more favorable to intellectual progress, for as far as possible I only read what I am hungry for at the moment when I have an appetite for it, and then I do not read, I eat. God in his mercy had prevented me from reading the mystics, so that it should be evident to me that I had not invented this absolutely unexpected contact.
She later learned that her first mystical experience was surprisingly similar to what those like Meister Eckhart wrote of.
Let’s say Weil wanted to be a biologist. And she decided not read what any other biologists had ever done. Likely, she wouldn’t get very far. Obviously, the exact same thing has happened with her mysticism. Eckhart was busy studying the DNA, while she couldn’t even spell photosynthesis yet. Her arrogance here is only self-defeating.
I find interesting the part where god, in his mercy, prevented her from reading books, getting an education and avoiding ignorance. Then god, in his mercy, instead endowed her with massive physical impairments, possibly insanity, tuberculosis, then murdered her by starvation. How merciful of him.
Personally, I see absolutely no similarity whatsoever between her writings and Meister Eckhart’s.
As her writings became discovered they were gradually organized into books. Would Notre Dame for example review a nut job?
Well, if the various historical accounts are correct and she was literally nuts, then yes, I suppose they would. I don’t recall Nietzsche’s madness ever preventing him from getting a book review. In fact, lunacy often sells. Personally, I don’t care whether she was nuts or not, I care that she propagated ignorance, condoned existential martyrdom and self-pity and persuaded many a sincere seeker to escape reality and live in their own minds instead, much to the detriment of all involved.
Further, I personally think you are misinterpreting him here. He says, specifically, that by knowing yourself you will come to know ‘the father’. Lets think about this. In other words, he is saying that knowing thyself is equivalent to knowing the father – that is, that the two are not separate things.
But this is not what is written. Instead Jesus says:
"When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known,"
This is a big difference.
This can only be understood in context. The full quote is:
Rather, the kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you. When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living father.
So, he clearly in the first sentence states that heaven is inside you and outside you, right now. Therefore, heaven as an external transcendent kingdom does not exist. Therefore, Weil was mistaken and the proof is right here.
Then he says, when you know yourself you will become known and
realise you are the sons of the father. The sons of the father does not mean simply children of god, in the normal sense, that would not be new/profound nor would it be a correct interpretation. He obviously means sons of god, as in how Jesus is commonly described. When Jesus is referred to as the son of god, he is necessarily assumed to also be god – both man and god. Throughout the entire Bible, the epithet ‘son of god’ literally means one who is both man and god. Jesus is saying that we are all the son of god. Therefore, we are all god, and all is god. Weil, again, is mistaken.
This is not a novel interpretation; this is reiterated repeatedly throughout the gospel of Thomas. For instance, v77, Jesus:
I am everywhere. From me all came forth, and to me all return.
Split a piece of wood, and I am there. Lift a stone, and you will find me there,
So Jesus, i.e. god, says he is everywhere and in all things. Obviously this includes humans. Therefore, god is not apart from his creation, and we are all god, already. I think that god is, surely, the highest authority on this matter, so you don’t need to believe me, its right there, coming from his own lips. This is similarly in complete contrast to Weil's preachings.
Take this from v5:
Know what is in front of your face, and what is hidden from you will be disclosed to you
It surely sounds like here he is saying know the reality you are experiencing, not some other hypothetical level of reality. I mean, he literally says the one ‘in front of your face’. I don’t think he could be clearer than that. I don’t think that Weil could be further away from that.
Again, this is reiterated in V113:
" His disciples said to him, "When will the kingdom come?"
“It will not come by watching for it. It will not be said, 'Look, here!' or 'Look, there!' Rather, the Father's kingdom is spread out upon the earth, and people don't see it."
So, according to Weil, we are all essentially slaves to a, I think its fair to say in Weil’s case, sadistic master, and had better pray we are pure enough to get into his kingdom one day OR we are all god, and heaven is right here and now, according to…god.
For me it is important to become known. Correct me if I'm wrong but it seems like for the atheist, it is important to know through introspection.
I would certainly think so, I think this goes without saying. Introspection, to me anyway, is so incredibly important. People like Weil would surely have benefited so much if they only searched within themselves, rather than without.
How do you understand skepticism? Do you distinguish between skepticism and doubt or are they the same? I've come to appreciate that skepticism in contrast to doubt is an emotional attitude that denies impartiality.
"The poison of skepticism becomes, like alcoholism, tuberculosis, and some other diseases, much more virulent in a hitherto virgin soil." Simone Weil
For someone who valued critical thinking so much it is obvious that she is not referring to doubt. Rather she refers to a negative attitude that closes us off to greater understanding.
Skepticism and doubt are, I think, interchangeable. There is nothing I see in Weil’s writings to suggest that she ever doubted the validity of her imagination in approximating truth. There is nothing in her writings that demonstrate she valued critical thinking either.
I think the idea that doubt and/or scepticism is a negative attitude is surely false. In Weil’s mind, god created us all, gave us these minds and our inquisitiveness. Would he really not expect us to doubt and be sceptical? Are we not simply behaving according to the very nature Weil alleges he granted us? What kind of petty god would give us a thirst for knowledge, then expect us to randomly guess what to believe then just cross our fingers, have faith and never be sceptical? What is the difference between this and pulling the legs of a spider? I see none. Weil sees none. But Weil is happy to be the spider. Hell, she’s even grateful. I don’t think that makes her a very suitable role model, in my eyes.
My own experiences with RDF for example, proved to me how strong the negative attitude of skepticism is. Yet I don't believe it is necessary and a person could be an atheist without such negativity and express a healthy doubt instead. Could you expand on this and whether you think I'm wrong or right.
I think anyone on RDF, even the most hardened atheist or materialists, even me, suffer the same kind of intense scrutiny. Perhaps, what you perceive as negative scepticism is only negative because it questions things you already hold to be true. The extreme, intense scepticism about circuitry that makes your toaster work and boils your kettle so you could eat your breakfast this morning you wouldn’t perceive as negative. The Internet you are using would not have been possible without a scepticism much more intense that anything suffered by you or, trust me, myself too on RDF.
I think this interview is about honesty, and I have done my best to be honest so far, so it would be silly to stop now. I think, personally, that the reason you perceive any kind of scepticism regarding your beliefs is because it makes you aware that they are doubtable. Further, it makes you aware that, deep down inside, you don’t know if you are right. You take something on faith, and the presence of scepticism is a reminder of how shaky the foundations of that faith really is. The Zen Buddhists say enlightenment is like seeing your father in a crowd; you have absolutely no doubt that its him/it. Well, lots of people on RDF, I imagine, saw your enlightenment, and yet they doubted it. Even, most likely, you doubt it, at least a little. What does that tell you?
When I, for instance, criticise people like Weil, I really do it not (just) because I’m an asshole. I do it because I believe she is preventing people from freedom and from, ultimately, truth – since whatever truth is, it isn’t her. That’s what I believe, so I do everything I can to defame her because I truly want to do others a favour – because, essentially, I think she is wrong. I think you are wrong too. That’s okay though, you think I’m wrong, so we’re even. Everybody else thinks everybody else is wrong. Atheists on RDF are no different from this, but they have a different burden than you. You see, they don’t believe in a variation of an afterlife, or a variation of god, and they don’t have your open-minded tolerant position that there are many ways to the truth. They see your truth as no truth, not a different kind. So, to the atheists on RDF are really trying, despite appearances, to do you a massive favour – to get you out of what they see as your illusion, and get you appreciating this, the only life they see you as having. What to you is negative scepticism is, on another level of reality (;)), an incredibly compassionate thing, whether they are wrong or right. People have strange way of not being able do anything but love, whether they realise it at the time or not. Humans are funny like that. So, really, the negative scepticism is exactly that, superficially. If you can see beyond appearances though, they do it because they really want to help, not discourage.
The truth, surely, is so great that it would be able to withstand the greatest scepticism, the most intense doubt. I think it is fair to say that Weil and your own truth does not fair well in these conditions. Perhaps this is indicative as to the quality of your truth.
While patience over there is often rare, one needs be fairly thick-skinned to survive.
Absolutely, and I appreciate that you are such thick-skinned. In light of some of my own less patient words above, it should be noted that one can only give back what they receive, many, many times themselves.
Well, I don’t think “defilement” really exists objectively. The world is not “defiled”, everything is as it should be. To assume otherwise, as Weil does, would assume that creation is imperfect. Since a perfect being cannot create something imperfect, god is imperfect, defiled and necessarily not all-powerful. So, Weil has managed to contradict her entire theology in one sentence.
Defilement doesn't mean bad but rather less perfect. Creation must be imperfect to serve its purpose. Cosmological involution is just increasing degrees of imperfection where the imperfections of mechanics are witnessed by a higher conscious degree of conscious perfection and in turn, known from above.
Okay, but says who? Did you work this out from introspection? Critical thinking? The sayings of Jesus? Did you see it in a vision?
Or…are you just repeating someone else’s words?
Perhaps we understand consciousness differently. What is your take on part 4 of chapter one of Jacob Needleman's "Sense of the Cosmos?"
I think my take can be summed up when he said
Thus, in order to understand the nature of consciousness, I must here and now in this present moment be searching for a better state of consciousness.
So, in order to understand consciousness, he assumes the existence of some other type of consciousness for no particular reason. Furthermore, by searching for another state of consciousness, he is anyway other than here and now in this present moment – that couldn’t be further from the truth. So, this sentence is a total contradiction and really demonstrates his wrong thinking and faulty, misguided assumptions. Why look anywhere else for consciousness? Notice how it follows you everywhere you look. He makes the classic mistake of confusing the contents of consciousness with consciousness itself. It is like the light of a projector screen. He is more interested in renting a good movie, to see on the projector. Finding the “highest movie” there is. All the time, the light from the projector shines through, illuminating all the movies. No matter what movie he finds, the light from the projector is what gives them life. This light brings forth all the form of all the movies, but has no form itself. And its always right there, shining away. But he just hasn’t noticed yet.
Do you distinguish between consciousness and contents of consciousness?
On a relative level yes. However, technically speaking, the contents of consciousness are composed of consciousness itself. The various objects of mind are internal but projected externally, and consciousness is that which composes them. So, in an ultimate sense, the subject and object are not distinct. For all intensive purposes, consciousness is reality; at the very least, the only possible reality that can be experienced. Even an experience of an anthropomorphic god sitting on his throne or what have you would need to be mediated through consciousness. So, even an experience of some external being, higher reality and so on is still beheld and subjected to
by consciousness. Consciousness is basically totally awesome like that.
So, now when we review what Feynamn and Weil have said, we can see clearly that Feynman is displaying a fairly good attempt at the unification of the two. His understanding is demonstrating a balance between a male interpretation and female interpretation, or unification of left brain/right brain. Now, if we turn to Weil, we can see that her view is irrational (technically), emotional, subjective etc…yet we can also see that it lacks any of the corresponding attributes, e.g. logic, reason, objectivity, rationality, order and so on. It is clear that her view represents a complete dissonance between these two kinds of mind – not what we expect from a ‘spiritual’ master who has, most importantly, alleged to mastered herself. She appears quite overrun by all the negatives of one state of mind, totally unbalanced by the positives of either.
So I guess what it boils down to is that I believe in our great universe being structured on levels of reality. If this is true then these levels can be appreciated as connected by objective quality where the higher the cosmos the greater the conscious quality, and closer to the source.
It would not be surprising for Simone to have become inwardly aware of this structure so naturally sees beauty as a separation that indicates a higher conscious reality.
I doubt you believe that bread is literally the body of Christ, right? Probably because ideas like that are dated and no longer relevant metaphors. So, something more modern might be that we need to “align the vibrations of transcendental consciousness and harmonise our frequencies with the objective ultra-noumenal resonance within the multi-dimensional supra-reality matrix”. That will surely get us to god right? Maybe. But all I have said here is “god left a trail of god juice through all the realities that pure people can tune into and find their way back to him”. That sounds a lot less sexy, don’t you think?
Compare with “god is in the rock, too”. I think this is a humbler alternative.
Richard Feynman is being very logical about it so naturally leans towards fragmentation as a response to beauty without being drawn to levels of reality. It is sufficient to see a beautiful fruit and dissect it into parts where levels of reality are unimportant. Would you agree?
No, not at all. He doesn’t dissect anything in his quote. Weil is clearly doing the dissecting. Fenyman is embracing unity of all levels. Weil is creating nonexistent conflict between them. Fenyman examines his beauty and, not understanding it, accepts and appreciates it anyway. Weil examines hers and, not understanding it, concludes for some reason that it is gods way of leaving existential arrows that she must follow by vibrating faster and connecting to a bunch of things she can’t see and doesn’t have any reason to believe in. I think a bit of logic, rational though, critical thinking etc. wouldn’t go amiss here. I think the risk of ‘fragmentation’ by being rational and logical is a lot less than believing the first thing you come up with and deciding its truth, and the meaning of life, for no apparent reason.
Fragmentation equals conflict. Conflict equals separation. Weil talks only if separation between in here and out here. Feynman sees no such separation. As such, he is without conflict. Weil is the mother of it.
She seems to be seeking nothing more than a big string father-like figure that she can readily drop to her knees for and be at his service. Perhaps she merely seeks an aspect of herself, which she is projecting externally. As JC says, she will surely only find that by inquiring within, not without.
Simone simply seeks truth. She wrote.
"Yet I still half refused, not my love but my intelligence. For it seemed to me certain, and I still think so today, that one can never wrestle enough with God if one does so out of pure regard for the truth. Christ likes us to prefer truth to him because, before being Christ, he is truth. If one turns aside from him to go toward the truth, one will not go far before falling into his arms.
No, what she is doing is not seeking Truth. She says in this quote that Christ is Truth. Wait, what? Lets say, I say this potato is Truth. I am now going to seek this potato by going swimming. Therefore, according to you, I am now seeking Truth. You see, truth is something you find out. Randomly declaring something to be the truth, for no reason, then finding odd ways to seek that specific truth you’ve already declared, is not seeking truth.
In any case, she seems to be saying that she gave up her intelligence. That is not surprising. Notice how she tells us what Christ ‘likes’, as if she actually knows, even though she obviously hasn’t heard a word he ever said – especially in regards to my quotes of him above. JC quite clearly contradicts basically every principle Weil has in her philosophy, so I wouldn’t take her to be an authority of what he likes or doesn’t.
When does Christ say anything about giving up intelligence, reason, intellect, critical thought, cognition, doubt, scepticism and rational thought? Lets say I present you with a theory, but tell you first that I have given up all of those things. What would you think? Would you accept whatever I said as the truth? I pretty sure you wouldn’t. Christ says, as above, “enquire within”. He doesn’t say, “read Weil’s books, cultivate purity and then create a conscious connection to higher frequencies of reality by abandoning rational though, logic, reason and critical thinking”.
This is the key. Much of what is in the world is based on imagination. As such there is a great divide between science and religion. She experientially learned that it doesn't have to be. I believe she is right. The trouble is that I don't have her lucid madness for truth. I'm not willing to live in the raw.
Well, according to some sources as mentioned above, that lucid madness for truth may have been, it turns out, actually just madness.
Well, you believe her, that’s your right. I think you are right that much of the world is based on imagination though. I find it somewhat more likely, personally, that Weil’s arbitrary decision that the way to truth is by traveling up dimensional planes of existence to be one such imagination about the world. It seems unlikely that Jesus, aka God, would not just forget to mention this, but say only things that completely contradict it. To me, it doesn’t seem likely that Weil worked out something that god himself did not.
From "Gravity and Grace"
"A test of what is real is that it is hard and rough. Joys are found in it, not pleasure. What is pleasant belongs to dreams." Simone Weil
Sadly her attitude suggest that she is more of a man then I am.
Well, dreaming is certainly something I think she knows a lot about. And I hope that her dreams granted her, if nothing else, pleasure.
How about joining me in a shot of good scotch. Somehow now it seems appropriate.
Cheers! Lets drink to Truth, which we are all a part of, whether we know what it is or not.