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Atheism with Thuse

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Nick_A
Posts: 2391
Joined: April 19th, 2009, 11:45 pm

Post by Nick_A » November 1st, 2009, 12:14 am

Hi Thuse
I have tried to show, in my opinion, that your thinking is confused, that your ideas entail contradictions, that you have misunderstood Christ, Buddhism, the Buddha, Kabbalah, Taoism, Dualism, Panentheism, Eckhart, Weil and some others, that you speak of much of which you have no experience of yourself, that the majority of your information comes from what you have read/been told and not worked out yourself and that your arrogant and resistant responses to being faced with these things has promoted an intense reaction of extreme, irrational denial.

But I haven’t called you names, I haven’t ignored you, I haven’t disrespected you, I haven’t mocked you, I haven’t nailed you to a cross and I certainly haven’t “persecuted” you. If you believe that my assimilation and alleged refutation of your argument is equivalent to persecution then, trust me, you don’t know persecution. You can keep your self-declared martydom to yourself.


This is really what I do not understand. You say that negative emotions do not color your logic and I seem to sense them.

I never meant that you were persecuting me but rather those in the cave analogy were quick to mock and ridicule this person having experienced the light. I am referring to a psychological tendency but not referring to our conversation. Why assume something that wasn't intended?

You think my thinking is confused but why does this have to be the end all. Why can't you be open to possibilities you have not yet experienced something? You say that I don't understand Meister Eckhart which of course may be true but why is it also not possible that you have not understood Meister Eckhart?

I may be wrong but it seems Meister Eckart is describing triune relationships and a distinction between the Father, son, and man.

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Sermons_(Meister_Eck hart)/The_Attractive_Power_of_God
Therefore the Son came down from heaven, and was incarnate of a Virgin, and took upon Him all our bodily weaknesses, except sin and folly, into which Adam had cast us; and out of all His words and works and limbs and nerves, He made a cord, and drew us so skillfully, and so heartily, that the bloody sweat poured from His sacred Body. And when He had drawn men without ceasing for three and thirty years, He saw the beginnings of a movement and the redemption of all things that would follow. Therefore He said, "And I, if I be lifted up on the Cross, will draw all men unto Me." Therefore He was stretched upon the Cross, and laid aside all His glory, and whatever might hinder His drawing men.
The Son comes down from the Father and in turn draws Man to the level of the Son. I cannot see how Man and God can be considered equal. If fact Simone as usual makes it clear free of the normal cutsey pooh religious sentimentality and brings additional meaning to the expression "know thyself."
"We can only know one thing about God - that he is what we are not. Our wretchedness alone is an image of this. The more we contemplate it, the more we contemplate him."
Why is being trying to be open to deeper ideas irrational denial?
Perhaps, but you claim you are much more holy and awakened than everybody else, therefore you are right. You may not try to put others down, but you do try to raise yourself to an elevated 'untouchable' position – which has an equal and opposite reaction.
Suppose I just have an interest in the unification of science and religion and feel like Jacob Needleman suggests that it is essential for the future of our species? Does it require great awakening to consider what I believe is just rational thought. Is an examination of spirituality and the intellect really an expression of superiority as in this discussion:

http://www.intuition.org/txt/needle.htm
JEFFREY MISHLOVE: Hello and welcome. Our topic today is "Spirituality and the Intellect." You know, so often we think of spirituality as dealing with the realm which is beyond the intellect, beyond ego, beyond time and space itself -- a realm touching the infinite, the divine. The intellect, on the other hand, is concrete, is tangible; it deals with numbers, with concepts. And yet, clearly these two realms somehow intersect, somehow have an important role in which they overlap and interact with each other. My guest today is Professor Jacob Needleman, a member of the Philosophy Department of San Francisco State University. Dr. Needleman is the author of numerous books, including A Sense of the Cosmos, The Heart of Philosophy, The Way of the Physician, a novel called Sorcerers, and also The New Religions. Welcome, Jacob.
Is such a discussion an expression of superiority or is our denial of this connection unnatural?
MISHLOVE: One of the notions that you introduced in your book, The Heart of Philosophy, is that true philosophy involves a kind of agonizing, or a remembering -- I don't quite remember the word that you used, but it has to do with the dual nature of man -- that part of us is here in this physical body, in this three-dimensional world, and another part of us partakes of the infinite, of the absolute, of the Platonic or spiritual realms. The fact that we have these two parts to us creates an inescapable tension. And real philosophy is in effect its coming to terms, grasping that tension and really beginning to deal with it.

NEEDLEMAN: Yes, we're creatures in two worlds -- the world beyond this one, and this one. And Socrates' understanding of philosophy is one of the ways to help us remember, feel, hear the call of something in us that is from a much greater reality. It's what he called remembering -- the way of remembering. It helps us to remember that there's something much greater in ourselves. At the same time, we live in this world, we're egos, we're people, we're physical. So this human condition of being both the high and the low together, both the inner and the outer, of being two things at the same time -- that's what distinguishes human beings from all other creatures. And it's our task, as you say, to deal with it -- well, at least to face it, to live it.
If this is true, do we benefit more from spirituality by denying conflict or consciously experiencing it?
It isn’t simply disagreement. It’s not like we are arguing over “who is better, Beethoven or Mozart?”, which would be down to opinion. “Duality” is a word defined a certain way, within which is included your conception of a “triune”. If you call a “duck” and “ostrich”, you are simply wrong, it is not a matter of conjecture. If you choose to continue believing something mistakenly simply because you don’t want to acknowledge the truth, then so be it, but it shows you may not be so “awakened” as you wish to convince yourself. Surely, it is not a good thing to be asleep, let alone willingly.
If these ideas suggest a means for building my understanding by becoming open, why is it considered denial and simply wrong? I'm not being critical but it just seems that you are asserting a right and wrong that may not be valid. This is why this interview is not an attempt at proving you wrong but just trying to clarify your beliefs and the attitudes associated with them.
You have misunderstood my point. If the Absolute is without Objects, then it is without concepts, and without duality. It cannot, therefore, be described as “IS”, “having potential” or any of the other qualities that you are attributing to it. By giving it labels, including the label “the Absolute”, it is no longer the Absolute.
This is difficult to express but the ideas is that Isness contains simultaneous unity and ultimate diversity in potential connected by the Spirit. It is ultimate affirmation. Duality begins as the vertical expression of this relationship into creation when the gradual manifestation of every-thing is a denial of the whole.
I am not calling you “wrong” or an “idiot”. I am saying that, as I have tried to argue, your ideas are confused, contradictory and inherently false. The ideas, not you, are false. Your fake humility is nonsensical. You have a kind of “all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others, namely me and anyone who agrees with me” attitude to things. You are thoroughly lost in your own mind, so it seems to me.


How do you know they are false? What is so horrible about saying you don't know? Perhaps Plato is right and humanity contains different degrees of understanding? It isn't politically correct but this isn't to say it is not true. If it weren't true then the whole idea of degrees of awakening to higher conscious perspective is meaningless. This is why it is silly for me to consider you wrong since all that is important for me is to continually grow in understanding. I believe it is the same for those with a sincere interest in experiencing objective human meaning and purpose.
Let’s say, tomorrow, Jesus appears to you and says, “hey Alex_A, you are the chosen one, everything you think is right, bravo, now go save the world” then he vanishes. How do you know you were not hallucinating? How do you know someone didn’t spike your milkshake? How do you know it wasn’t the devil in disguise? You don’t, you can’t, and therefore, it is a worthless experience. Truth is that which cannot be doubted. I can doubt your levels, so can you, therefore, they are not Truth.
Well first I'd say Mr. Spirit you've confused me with Alex but my name is Nick. :)

What you are describing is basically what happened to Helen Shucman, the founder of "A Course in Miracles."

I wouldn't want to die as she did so am not that gullible..

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=200712 02013258AA3qNjJ

I've always liked that story by Jiddu Krishnamurti. explaining why religion must devolve into its secular exoteric level.

OK so now I'm going to try and pull Simone's ideas together with Jacob Needleman's preface to Lost Christianity and see if there is anything meaningful in it for you.

The following is from Simone Weil's book" the Need for Roots she wrote as she was near death as her contribution towards rebuilding France after Hitler's devastation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simone_Weil#The_Need_ for_Roots
Obligations versus rights

There are several key themes in the work. The first is the precedence that obligation has over rights. For Weil, unless a person understands that they have certain obligations in life, towards themselves, towards others, and towards society, notions of right will have no power or value.

At the same time, obligations have a transcendental origin. They come from a realm that imposes an imperative — this must is a light from the other world which shines on this world and provides it with direction and order. For Weil, this is a spiritual concept — this means that it transcends the world of competing interests and power games. It opens up a world where justice is possibility and a promise and provides the foundation upon which any purely selfish and relative means find their true perspective.

Obligation has its analogy to the “Thou Shalt not…” of the Ten Commandments. It is the feeling of sacredness with regard to the holy. It is that which stops us from transgressing certain boundaries of ethical or spiritual behavior. It is that which, if profaned, inspires in us feelings and torments of guilt, and has its home in the conscience.

For Weil, there is one obligation that supersedes all others. This is the obligation to respect and love the Other. It is recognizable in the feelings and emotions associated with harming something so essential to being human that if we violate it, we violate a holy shrine. This something in a human being is what makes them who they are and what they are.

For Weil, without this supernatural world, we are left to a human world where power and force hold sway. The struggle for power is the motor of human history, she believes. It is the human condition. It is the source of human suffering and injustice. In her analysis, there is no human answer to this struggle for power, nor is it possible to stop the struggle with any form of ideology, such as Marxism or capitalism or any other form of human-made political system.

The world of spirit, for Weil, confronts this struggle for power. Spirituality is not a way out, an unearthly and utopian dream — instead, she believes that there are techniques that enable humans to become spiritual. These techniques are the ones that the great mystics of every religious tradition have recognized and practiced. For her, the mystical practices of Saint Francis of Assisi or Saint John of the Cross are especially telling. For Weil, they are manuals for dealing with the pain and suffering of concrete life while maintaining a link to the transcendent world of God.

Obligations, therefore, provide a link to the spiritual realities that give life meaning and sustain the oppressed and sufferer with its healing power. But obligation is also that power that calls to each of us from the face of another. For Weil, this aspect of the other is that which is inviolable in each and every human being. As she states in one of her essays, it is that part of each of us that expects the good to be done to us. It is that which cries out for justice when it is violated.

Rights, on the other hand, are those relative ends which we strive for. They are not eternal in the way that obligations are, and instead rely on obligations to have legitimacy. That is, unless we have an obligation to respect the human in people, rights can not have any legitimacy.
Simone Weil asserts that it is only through higher influences that we are capable of assuming the quality necessary to accept obligations. Without this influence we will degenerate into the results of power and force.

As an atheist do you first believe that this balance between obligations and rights is a necessity to sustain a free society?

Do you disagree with Simone that this higher influence is a necessity? Do you believe man is capable through its own motivations of rising above the motivations of power and force?
Man would like to be an egoist and cannot. This is the most striking characteristic of his wretchedness and the source of his greatness." Simone Weil....Gravity and Grace

Thuse
Posts: 34
Joined: October 4th, 2009, 3:16 am

Post by Thuse » November 1st, 2009, 10:35 am

Nick_A wrote:
You can keep your self-declared martydom to yourself.

This is really what I do not understand. You say that negative emotions do not color your logic and I seem to sense them.
I don't think I was being particularly negative nor angry. I was simply stating the facts as I see them. I think self-pity is a far more negative attitude.

Even if this was the case, I was simply saying that your apparent martydom is, in my eyes, totally ridiculous. This is a value judgment, so there is no logic to cloud.

Anyway, I think that anger can sometime be a positive, not negative, emotion - ever had angry sex?

Anger can give way to violence, but it can also be a manifestation of passion. I am passionate about not supporting self-pity.

You are assuming my passion is personal, but it isn't, it is totally impersonal.

I take a position of "tough-love" in all walks of life. I speak to you just as I would address my oldest friend or myself. I expect the best, because we are all capable of our best, and this teenage-esque self-pity "the world is against me" shtick is not your best.
I never meant that you were persecuting me but rather those in the cave analogy were quick to mock and ridicule this person having experienced the light. I am referring to a psychological tendency but not referring to our conversation. Why assume something that wasn't intended?
It was intended. You see us in Plato's Cave, you see yourself as seeing the light to some extent, thus you must see my responses as persecution, which is "basic". You can insert "what if" before a sentence, to give the illusion of parsimony, but you are not fooling neither yourself nor I. You think you are better than everybody else, thus your philosophy is totally egoic and fails as a transcendental one, in my view.
You think my thinking is confused but why does this have to be the end all. Why can't you be open to possibilities you have not yet experienced something?
What would make you think that my viewpoint doesn't come from experiece? I think that would contradict much of what I have said.

There are many things that I have yet to experience. I have never denied this, in fact, it seems you are not open to this possibility in your own case, not I.

Unlike yourself, I do not speak of anything other than that I have come to know and experience personally. You read the words, then listened to the teachings and only then overlayed that upon your experience. It is not that I don't trust your experiences per se or believe them not possible, but your methodology is irreconcilably flawed, therefore, I can easily doubt the veracity of your experiences.
You say that I don't understand Meister Eckhart which of course may be true but why is it also not possible that you have not understood Meister Eckhart?
Of course. I have never once denied this. Do you know what a straw man is?

If you are unable to distinguish conjectured interpretation from facts, then this is worrying. It should be obviously implied that such things are not set in stone, just as it should be obviously implied that I am perfectly aware of my own limitations. It seems you are perhaps not so aware.
I may be wrong but it seems Meister Eckart is describing triune relationships and a distinction between the Father, son, and man.

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Sermons_(Meister_Eck hart)/The_Attractive_Power_of_God

The Son comes down from the Father and in turn draws Man to the level of the Son. I cannot see how Man and God can be considered equal.
I have already pointed out that in my interpretation, along with many others, the Trinity is understood by Eckhart as a metaphor.

I have also already quoted Eckhart as denouncing separation of any kind. Someone who believes in god, but doesn't believe in separation, must therefore believe himself not-separate from god. I think this is self-evident from most of Eckhart's works.

The interpretation that Eckhart believe in a "triune" reality is inconsistent with everything else he said. Since he placed the most importance on negating separation, it follows that this is the basis from which to interpret his ideas.

Instead of using this as a basis, you are interpreting him only to fit in with your ideas. You are assuming he is "triune" first, then squeezing his ideas, out of context, to fit. This is not a rational nor critical analysis. It is a bias and clouded one. I do not believe that clouded perceptions can lead to clear awareness, so this is why I dismiss your notions.
Why is being trying to be open to deeper ideas irrational denial?
It isn't - but you are not open to deeper ideas on any level whatsoever, in my view. You are only open to your own ideas, which isn't being open but thoroughly closed. Again, straw man.

As you have already said, you cling to these ideas not because they are rational, logically deduced, confirmed by experience nor consistent, but because they satisfy your ego and emotions. Irrational, by definition and denial, by definition. You can continue believing they are true, that is possible, but it is false that they are not irrational denials, since the opposite would be impossible.
Suppose I just have an interest in the unification of science and religion and feel like Jacob Needleman suggests that it is essential for the future of our species? Does it require great awakening to consider what I believe is just rational thought. Is an examination of spirituality and the intellect really an expression of superiority as in this discussion
You are repeatedly twisting your words, attempting to hide behind semantics, and it is very transparent. You must ask yourself why honesty regarding your ideas is something you feel the need to evade.

An examination of the intellect and spirituality is not what your doing; you are not examining your own intellect or spirituality, rather everyone else. You are saying "X is true" without reason, then examining other intellects to see what extent they fit in with this premise. This is not a proper methodology of examining anything, this is a methodology of fundamentalist faith building. It would be valuable to turn your questioning upon yourself.

Expressing superiority is a fallacy of authority - your own, which you have not yet given any justifiable reason to trust. Your claim "I am awakened" is not verified by the nature of your argument and ego.

Moreover, you have already denied that what you think is rational, so now stating that it is rational is even more irrational.
Is such a discussion an expression of superiority or is our denial of this connection unnatural?
What does that discussion have to do with anything? We are talking in about this discussion. In this discussion, you have offered your only reason for believing these things that you do as because you are highly awakened, yet, your awakening has absolutely nothing in common with anybody elses.

There is no commonality between how you present your ideas and think about them and this discussion.
If this [the linked discussion] is true, do we benefit more from spirituality by denying conflict or consciously experiencing it?
I don't think it is true. If anybody can provide a single shred of evidence or rational argument as to why there is a world beyond this one, then we can take it seriously, until then there is no need.

Once again, I must conclude that you are purposely misrepresenting me. I have not said to deny conflict, conflict certainly exists, but is not inherent. Consciously experiencing conflict is exactly that which makes it appear as it truly is.
If these ideas suggest a means for building my understanding by becoming open, why is it considered denial and simply wrong? I'm not being critical but it just seems that you are asserting a right and wrong that may not be valid. This is why this interview is not an attempt at proving you wrong but just trying to clarify your beliefs and the attitudes associated with them.
Sincerely, please look up "straw man". I was talking about your denial that your idea is a dualism here, not the entirety of your idea. Obviously, it is not a fact that your whole idea is false, which is why that is not what I said.

It is, however, a fact that your idea is dualistic. I cannot do anymore to elucidate why this is true. If you continue to persist that it isn't, then that's life. I call a rock a rock, you can call it whatever you please.
This is difficult to express but the ideas is that Isness contains simultaneous unity and ultimate diversity in potential connected by the Spirit. It is ultimate affirmation. Duality begins as the vertical expression of this relationship into creation when the gradual manifestation of every-thing is a denial of the whole.
If there are no Objects there, then there is nothing to affirm. If knowledge has a referent, an Object, and if the source consciousness is Object-less, nothing can be know about it. Therefore, you, literally, do not know what you are talking about.
I am saying that, as I have tried to argue, your ideas are confused, contradictory and inherently false. The ideas, not you, are false.
How do you know they are false?


Please read my posts more carefully, I certainly extend that curteousy to you.

Look what is written there: "as I have tried to argue". This is how philosophy and science tries to work, by presenting arguments for certain cases. Refuting an argument is not the same thing as saying that one is 100% certain it is false/another is true.

The extent to which I have tried to argue that these ideas are false is apparent throughout this thread.
What is so horrible about saying you don't know?
You are not going to achieve anything by patronising me nor making nonsensical irrelevant statements like this. At no point have I tried to infer that I "know" anything, so such a question is simply dishonest.

What is ironic is that I have already said I don't know repeatedly in this thread, while you have never said it once, other than contradict yourself and repeat Socrates.

I am constantly admitting that I don't know, I have nothing to protect. It seems you haven't understood the difference between opinion, knowledge, conjecture, argument and so on; there is no need to patronise me in light of your own misunderstanding.
Perhaps Plato is right and humanity contains different degrees of understanding?
Obviously. Perhaps ask yourself this question. I accept that it is possible you understand far more than myself, and I am wrong about everything. I wonder if you can accept this possibility in reverse, that I have actually understood these kinds of ideas with more clarity that yourself, which I have been trying to hint at throughout this thread, but your presumptions about me have blinded you to seeing that?
It isn't politically correct but this isn't to say it is not true.
No, it has nothing to do with political correctness.

It is illogical, irrational, unreasonable, counter to experiential evidence and counter to empirical and scientific evidence. This is why there is good reason to say it isn't true.
If it weren't true then the whole idea of degrees of awakening to higher conscious perspective is meaningless.
Right, now you're getting it. Ideas are meaningless. Reality is much better than ideas.
This is why it is silly for me to consider you wrong since all that is important for me is to continually grow in understanding. I believe it is the same for those with a sincere interest in experiencing objective human meaning and purpose.
Okay, for you that is fine.

It is silly for me to consider your correct since, if you are correct, evidence, logic, rational thought, my own experiential evidence, every mystic who has ever lived, science in general, the laws of thermodynamics, philosophy, critical thought, meditation, inner inquiry, self-reflection are all wrong.

In such a case, the Universe would indeed turn out to be totally absurd. Therefore, if you are correct, than the Universe is completely nonsensical and it doesn't particularly matter anyway. Naturally then, it is silly for me to consider after my intense examination that you still might be correct, contrary to observation.

My only issue is that you do not seem to know the difference between words, ideas and reality. No description is preferable. You are starting with words and concepts, trying to climb up to the "Absolute", when it should be the other way around, in my view.
Well first I'd say Mr. Spirit you've confused me with Alex but my name is Nick. :)
Ha, whoops, sorry, I should have been more aware. :wink:
What you are describing is basically what happened to Helen Shucman, the founder of "A Course in Miracles."

I wouldn't want to die as she did so am not that gullible..

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=200712 02013258AA3qNjJ
Then you admit that you can doubt your experiences, in which case, you no longer have any reason to continue believing what you do, since the experiences of others was the only cause you had for faith.
I've always liked that story by Jiddu Krishnamurti. explaining why religion must devolve into its secular exoteric level.
With all due respect, you have completely missed the point of the story then.

Perhaps true understanding is that all understanding, including the esoteric, is exoteric.
The following is from Simone Weil's book" the Need for Roots she wrote as she was near death as her contribution towards rebuilding France after Hitler's devastation.
[...] It opens up a world where justice is possibility and a promise and provides the foundation upon which any purely selfish and relative means find their true perspective.
It is ironic, of course, that Weil is in fact promoting selfishness and relative means.

She acts from her self, her soul, thus she is selfish by definition.

She believes morality comes from "trascendental" objective morality, therefore, her morality is relative.

Thus she has contradicted herself in such an infantile, inexperienced way that no reasonable person could give her ideas any credence.
Obligation has its analogy to the “Thou Shalt not…” of the Ten Commandments. It is the feeling of sacredness with regard to the holy. It is that which stops us from transgressing certain boundaries of ethical or spiritual behavior. It is that which, if profaned, inspires in us feelings and torments of guilt, and has its home in the conscience.
So, we should only act morally because somebody orders us to and because we will have negative subjective experiences otherwise.

This is an incredibly submissive, weak and selfish perspective.
For Weil, there is one obligation that supersedes all others. This is the obligation to respect and love the Other.
Unless of course the Other has different beliefs or ideas to Weil.

True compassion exists because it is not an obligation. Acting compassionately out of obligation and fear of reprisal is not love at all, far from it. Actions born of fear and weakness will never result in good.
For Weil, without this supernatural world, we are left to a human world where power and force hold sway.
Well, she is wrong about this; I do not believe in somethng non-natural, and my life is not one where power and force hold sway. Thus, again, she is wrong about this, and may be wrong about much else.
The struggle for power is the motor of human history, she believes. It is the human condition. It is the source of human suffering and injustice. In her analysis, there is no human answer to this struggle for power, nor is it possible to stop the struggle with any form of ideology, such as Marxism or capitalism or any other form of human-made political system.
I would disagree, personally.

I do not believe that the human condition is a struggle for power. Rather, that the ego seeks to be real by gaining affirmation and attention, which would be perceived as a "seeking of power" by the less cautious. The ego seeks control and power and in doing so induces separation if itself and environment. The individual mistakenly takes itself to be the ego, or self, or soul, and thinks itself separate. Upon non-presumptive introspection, this is revealed to be false.
The world of spirit, for Weil, confronts this struggle for power. Spirituality is not a way out, an unearthly and utopian dream — instead, she believes that there are techniques that enable humans to become spiritual. These techniques are the ones that the great mystics of every religious tradition have recognized and practiced.
Yet, she never practiced them, at least not to a sufficent degree to weild here any use. It is so unfortunate that she proceeded so little, had she continued, she might have been less confused and unhappy.

Rather than allow her failure to be a burden, let her life be a lesson, not to assume you know of things when you have no knowledge of them yourself and to study and practice the very techniques of the ancients, if you consider them so valuable, instead of simply doing it "a bit", assuming you then know absolutely everything there is to know, and building an entire, comprehensive, dualistic philosophy from them.

I think this more or less settles to satisfaction that Weil was a novice who mistook herself for a mystic and should be taken in that light. I shan't continue, there is no need. I think it is best to get what you can of value, learn from her and don't follow her, then move on.
As an atheist do you first believe that this balance between obligations and rights is a necessity to sustain a free society?
Ultimately no, since a society obligated to act and a free society is, obviously, a contradiction.

I believe that acting out of fear is never going to result in love, as this is an impossible result.

Morality that is gained from somebody else is not morality. Morality must be understood and self-perpetuated. Being ordered to act a certain way and choosing to act a certain way are two different things.

In Weil's view, Abraham was right to obey god and (almost) murder his son. This contradicts absolutely everything Weil has said about respect and love of other beings, and the sanctity of life. Thus, Weil is obviously confused and we can completely disregard her views as completely absurd and think for ourselves instead.

In my view, if Abraham would have said to god that he would rather disobey his master than visciously murder an innocent child, then he would have acted morality.

The only moral of this story from the Bible is that obedience supersedes genuine morality. Thus, Christian morality in general is not morality at all but selfish action, based in fear, and committed out of weakness. Obviously, not love then.
Do you disagree with Simone that this higher influence is a necessity?
I don't see any reason to believe why a "higher" separate influence exists, and Weil has yet to offer a single one. I am forced to conclude then it is not a necessity but a primitive faith based tendency.
Do you believe man is capable through its own motivations of rising above the motivations of power and force?


Of course, this is self-evident. For example, I am not motivated by power or force whatsoever, yet I have a completely different understanding than Weil.

By force and power, you of course mean, essentially, violence. By violence, you mean conflict. And by conflict, you mean separation.

Therefore, the notion that force and power can be overidden by creating more conflict, force, power and separation is clearly completely false. If you add more beans to a bowl of beans, you get more beans, not less or no beans. It seems Weil was not very good at mathematics.

Peace,

Thuse

Nick_A
Posts: 2391
Joined: April 19th, 2009, 11:45 pm

Post by Nick_A » November 1st, 2009, 5:32 pm

Hi Thuse

I don't believe I am wallowing in self pity nor willing to kill myself over personal beliefs
Anyway, I think that anger can sometime be a positive, not negative, emotion - ever had angry sex?
Angry sex by definition is a negative emotion feeding on sex energy. The fact that it feels good doesn't make it positive. Sex is a pleasant sensation and anger is an emotion. It intensifies when it can feed off of sex energy. I do not see anything positive in it regardless of how good it may feel at the time.
Anger can give way to violence, but it can also be a manifestation of passion. I am passionate about not supporting self-pity.
I read this as having a negative attitude towards self-pity that for some reason is being associated with me.
It was intended. You see us in Plato's Cave, you see yourself as seeing the light to some extent, thus you must see my responses as persecution, which is "basic". You can insert "what if" before a sentence, to give the illusion of parsimony, but you are not fooling neither yourself nor I. You think you are better than everybody else, thus your philosophy is totally egoic and fails as a transcendental one, in my view.
Don't forget that in the cave analogy Socrates asserts the possibility that the person could be killed through righteous indignation being generated at this person's experience. Our discussion doesn't have this animosity so it would be foolish to speak of persecution.

I'm not concerned with being "better." I just consider myself fortunate for discovering the means to answer certain essential questions in a way that invites their personal validation. The heavy work still must be done so what does "better" have to do with it?
Unlike yourself, I do not speak of anything other than that I have come to know and experience personally. You read the words, then listened to the teachings and only then overlayed that upon your experience. It is not that I don't trust your experiences per se or believe them not possible, but your methodology is irreconcilably flawed, therefore, I can easily doubt the veracity of your experiences.
All cosmology does is present a skeleton that one is invited to verify through inner empiricism known in ancient times as the endeavor to "know Thyself." How is this methodology irreconcilably flawed?

I'm trying to better understand your beliefs while you seem to be trying to negate mine and perceive them as being considered superior. I just don't see the sense of it. Even if I am totally wrong, how does it affect your beliefs?
I have also already quoted Eckhart as denouncing separation of any kind. Someone who believes in god, but doesn't believe in separation, must therefore believe himself not-separate from god. I think this is self-evident from most of Eckhart's works.


Correct me if I am wrong but you assert that we cannot believe any old thing. I agree but that doesn't mean we must deny everything either. This is why I believe that Meister Eckhart and Simone Weil are right even though in the minority as to what it means to negate:
Eckhart's approach to theology is known as negative theology, since it is an attempt to negate what is not the Godhead, since such ideas are necessary limiting and finite; thus, Eckhart asserts that "for God's sake," we must "take leave of God." Meister Eckhart
"...It is not for man to seek, or even to believe in God. He has only to refuse to believe in everything that is not God. This refusal does not presuppose belief. It is enough to recognize, what is obvious to any mind, that all the goods of this world, past, present, or future, real or imaginary, are finite and limited and radically incapable of satisfying the desire which burns perpetually with in us for an infinite and perfect good... It is not a matter of self-questioning or searching. A man has only to persist in his refusal, and one day or another God will come to him."
-- Weil, Simone, ON SCIENCE, NECESSITY, AND THE LOVE OF GOD, edited by Richard Rees, London, Oxford University Press, 1968.- ©
The emphasis is on negating blind belief. Yet this is not to deny the authentic calling of the human heart. So my question to you is how your atheism and atheism in general values the calling of the heart to a quality of "good" that is not of the world?

This doesn't negate the triune reality but rather expresses that the seed of the soul has the potential to develop and become able to experience reality.
As you have already said, you cling to these ideas not because they are rational, logically deduced, confirmed by experience nor consistent, but because they satisfy your ego and emotions. Irrational, by definition and denial, by definition. You can continue believing they are true, that is possible, but it is false that they are not irrational denials, since the opposite would be impossible.


Satisfying me intellectually is not the same as the egotism that asserts superiority. As I said if true they unify science and the essence of religion. How could this be irrational intellectually?

I appreciate the calling of the artist and involved in the arts. Real art expresses the search of the inner man for "meaning." The emotional experience related to it is of a greater quality then our normal negative emotions. Why not value such experiences and consider them as potentially indicating a higher conscious reality?
I don't think it is true. If anybody can provide a single shred of evidence or rational argument as to why there is a world beyond this one, then we can take it seriously, until then there is no need.
You say this because you're not familiar with the distinction between the classic logic of the Law of the EXCLUDED middle and the re-discovery of the Law of the INCLUDED middle. Without appreciating this, it is easy to assume that I'm really referring to duality.

I don't invent these things nor do I consider to have the understanding of a particle physicist with the stature of Dr. Nicolescu. But that doesn't deny me the opportunity to learn intellectually of a vertical perspective that allows for beginning to understand the union of science and the essence of religion.

Where the Law of the Excluded middle is based on duality, the INCLUDED middle is based on a triune relationship.

http://basarab.nicolescu.perso.sfr.fr/ciret/bullet in/b12/b12c3.htm
2. The logic of the included middle

Knowledge of the coexistence of the quantum world and the macrophysical world and the development of quantum physics has led, on the level of theory and scientific experiment, to the upheaval of what were formerly considered to be pairs of mutually exclusive contradictories (A and non-A): wave and corpuscle, continuity and discontinuity, separability and nonseparability, local causality and global causality, symmetry and breaking of symmetry, reversibility and irreversibility of time, etc.

For example, equations of quantum physics are submitted to a group of symmetries, but their solutions break these symmetries. Similarly, a group of symmetry is supposed to describe the unification of all known physical interactions but the symmetry must be broken in order to describe the difference between strong, weak, electromagnetic and gravitational interactions.

The intellectual scandal provoked by quantum mechanics consists in the fact that the pairs of contradictories that it generates are actually mutually contradictory when they are analyzed through the interpretative filter of classical logic. This logic is founded on three axioms:

1. The axiom of identity : A is A.

2. The axiom of non-contradiction : A is not non-A.

3. The axiom of the excluded middle : There exists no third term T which is at the same time A and non-A.

According to the hypothesis of the existence of a single level of Reality, the second and third axioms are obviously equivalent. The dogma of a single level of Reality, arbitrary like all dogma, is so embedded in our consciousness that even professional logicians forget to say that these two axioms are in fact distinct and independent from each other.

If one nevertheless accepts this logic which, after all, has ruled for two millennia and continues to dominate thought today (particularly in the political, social, and economic spheres) one immediately arrives at the conclusion that the pairs of contradictories advanced by quantum physics are mutually exclusive, because one cannot affirm the validity of a thing and its opposite at the same time: A and non-A.

Since the definitive formulation of quantum mechanics around 1930 the founders of the new science have been acutely aware of the problem of formulating a new "quantum logic." Subsequent to the work of Birkhoff and van Neumann a veritable flourishing of quantum logics was not long in coming [4]. The aim of these new logics was to resolve the paradoxes which quantum mechanics had created and to attempt, to the extent possible, to arrive at a predictive power stronger than that afforded by classical logic.

Most quantum logics have modified the second axiom of classical logic -- the axiom of non-contradiction -- by introducing non-contradiction with several truth values in place of the binary pair (A, non-A). These multivalent logics, whose status with respect to their predictive power remains controversial, have not taken into account one other possibility: the modification of the third axiom -- the axiom of the excluded middle.

History will credit Stéphane Lupasco with having shown that the logic of the included middle is a true logic, formalizable and formalized, multivalent (with three values: A, non-A, and T) and non-contradictory [5]. Stéphane Lupasco, like Edmund Husserl, belongs to the race of pioneers. His philosophy, which takes quantum physics as its point of departure, has been marginalized by physicists and philosophers. Curiously, on the other hand, it has had a powerful albeit underground influence among psychologists, sociologists, artists, and historians of religions. Perhaps the absence of the notion of "levels of Reality" in his philosophy obscured its substance. Many persons believed that Lupasco's logic violated the principle of non-contradiction -- whence the rather unfortunate name "logic of contradiction" -- and that it entailed the risk of endless semantic glosses. Still more, the visceral fear of introducing the idea of the included middle , with its magical resonances, only helped to increase the distrust of such a logic.

Our understanding of the axiom of the included middle -- there exists a third term T which is at the same time A and non-A -- is completely clarified once the notion of "levels of Reality" is introduced.

In order to obtain a clear image of the meaning of the included middle, we can represent the three terms of the new logic -- A, non-A, and T -- and the dynamics associated with them by a triangle in which one of the vertices is situated at one level of Reality and the two other vertices at another level of Reality. If one remains at a single level of Reality, all manifestation appears as a struggle between two contradictory elements (example: wave A and corpuscle non-A). The third dynamic, that of the T-state, is exercised at another level of Reality, where that which appears to be disunited (wave or corpuscle) is in fact united (quanton), and that which appears contradictory is perceived as non-contradictory.

It is the projection of T on one and the same level of Reality which produces the appearance of mutually exclusive, antagonistic pairs (A and non-A). single level of Reality can only create antagonistic oppositions. It is inherently self-destructive if it is completely separated from all the other levels of Reality. A third term, let us call it T', which is situated on the same level of Reality as that of the opposites A and non-A, can accomplish their reconciliation.

The entire difference between a triad of the included middle and an Hegelian triad is clarified by consideration of the role of time . In a triad of the included middle the three terms coexist at the same moment in time . On the contrary, each of the three terms of the Hegelian triad succeeds the former in time. This is why the Hegelian triad is incapable of accomplishing the reconciliation of opposites, whereas the triad of the included middle is capable of it. In the logic of the included middle the opposites are rather contradictories : the tension between contradictories builds a unity which includes and goes beyond the sum of the two terms.

One also sees the great dangers of misunderstanding engendered by the common enough confusion made between the axiom of the excluded middle and the axiom of non-contradiction [6]. The logic of the included middle is non-contradictory in the sense that the axiom of non-contradiction is thoroughly respected, a condition which enlarges the notions of "true" and "false" in such a way that the rules of logical implication no longer concerning two terms (A and non-A) but three terms (A, non-A and T), co-existing at the same moment in time. This is a formal logic, just as any other formal logic: its rules are derived by means of a relatively simple mathematical formalism.

One can see why the logic of the included middle is not simply a metaphor like some kind of arbitrary ornament for classical logic, which would permit adventurous incursions and passages into the domain of complexity. The logic of the included middle is perhaps the privileged logic of complexity, privileged in the sense that it allows us to cross the different areas of knowledge in a coherent way, by enabling a new kind of simplicity.

The logic of the included middle does not abolish the logic of the excluded middle: it only constrains its sphere of validity. The logic of the excluded middle is certainly valid for relatively simple situations. On the contrary, the logic of the excluded middle is harmful in complex, transdisciplinary cases.
We are a long way IMO from this becoming common knowledge. This distinction between the dual and triune relationships will I believe in the future become a part of what Jacob Needleman is referring to in the preface of "Lost Christianity" when it is begun to be experienced by the inner man.

What would it take for the atheist to be open to this observation? If scientifically proven through quantum physics that the INCLUDED middle is a reality, how would it affect atheism not in the belief of a personal God but rather a universe being structured on levels of reality and the implications of man psychologically related to a higher cosmos?
My only issue is that you do not seem to know the difference between words, ideas and reality. No description is preferable. You are starting with words and concepts, trying to climb up to the "Absolute", when it should be the other way around, in my view.



This is what cosmology does. It presents a scale of being that connects "As above, so below." It functions both with the bottom up inductive reason and the top down deductive reason. The value of gnosis or satori is that it verifies the value of deductive reason.
So, we should only act morally because somebody orders us to and because we will have negative subjective experiences otherwise.

This is an incredibly submissive, weak and selfish perspective.
No, it is the opposite. she is referring to becoming open to the experience of inner morality described by Plato. It is our attachments to external morality that causes so much trouble. Inner morality leads to becoming open to human meaning and purpose while external morality is just slavery to societal standards.

Continuing with Wiki; is any of the following agreeable to you

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simone_Weil#Spiritual ity_and_politics
Another aspect of this question is the awareness that Weil brings to social and political problems of why spirituality is necessary. It might be a truism that true change in a society cannot occur unless there is a subjective change as well. There is an example of this in alcohol or drug treatment programs. Unless the person wants to change, all the counseling and the support groups will not make a person change.

For Weil, on the social level, this is true of societies as well. In her analysis of history and revolutions, she showed that every revolution ultimately replaced one form of oppression with another. For her, this showed that the reality of history is struggle for power. This is why she believed that for true change, a spiritual awakening must occur in individual conscience.

Take an example: why, with all the money thrown at poverty in the US, is there still poverty? For Weil, the answer to this question is that the programs and money were directed at the wrong problems. Because they were programs by those who had for those who did not have, the misrelation in power continued — in many ways, the rich instituted programs that would continue to benefit them and maintain their hold on power.

Perhaps this in and of itself justifies the notion that living with the poor and oppressed changes one’s consciousness. Of course, a simple or superficial identification with the poor will not be an authentic experience. But a continued and extended opening up of oneself to the pain and suffering of the poor and oppressed — putting oneself into their condition and seeking that condition would seem to work a change in the spirit.

Perhaps this is why Weil commends the mystical practices of the saints — this rigorous and methodical emptying of oneself does not come easily — it is too easy to believe that one is there while still holding on to the escape route in the back of one’s mind. It demands something like a spiritual practice to seek out all those ways we have of deluding ourselves and lying to ourselves. Weil never says that it is simply a matter of living with the poor — there is a constant reminder in her writings that this experience must permeate one’s entire spirit and being. In her words, one must become a slave to understand what a slave endures.
Man would like to be an egoist and cannot. This is the most striking characteristic of his wretchedness and the source of his greatness." Simone Weil....Gravity and Grace

Thuse
Posts: 34
Joined: October 4th, 2009, 3:16 am

Post by Thuse » November 1st, 2009, 9:25 pm

Anyway, I think that anger can sometime be a positive, not negative, emotion - ever had angry sex?
Angry sex by definition is a negative emotion feeding on sex energy. The fact that it feels good doesn't make it positive. Sex is a pleasant sensation and anger is an emotion. It intensifies when it can feed off of sex energy. I do not see anything positive in it regardless of how good it may feel at the time.
I guess what I meant is when very passionate, frustrating arguments between lovers end in an equally passionate act of love.

In such a scenario, the build up of something negative ends in a release, a dispersion; a positive result.

In Hindu mythology, creation, maintenance and destruction are all significant aspects of existence. The equivalent in Christian mythology is, of course, the trinity - the Father (creation), the Son (destruction i.e. of sins, suffering, ignorance and so on) and the Holy Spirit (maintenance i.e. of balance, connection, link etc.).

So, anger, destruction gives way to rebirth, renewal and creation. In this sense, anger can be expressed as a positive emotion rather than negatively, feeding off and becoming hatred.

Ideas, like cities, must be torn down without hesitation, if they are to be rebuilt on firm foundations. The softness of air is useless to this end - but not an angry tornado, which still has the nature of air at its centre.

So, in my opinion, anger can be used for a creative and positive result. If my anger was merely of the negative kind, I apologise.
Anger can give way to violence, but it can also be a manifestation of passion. I am passionate about not supporting self-pity.
I read this as having a negative attitude towards self-pity that for some reason is being associated with me.
I feel that, rather than acknowledge the possibility that some of your thinking requires further development, you would rather assume all is your enemy, attempting to persecute you, when this is not the case. When not clinging to one's self, we can avoid this possibility, perhaps.
Don't forget that in the cave analogy Socrates asserts the possibility that the person could be killed through righteous indignation being generated at this person's experience. Our discussion doesn't have this animosity so it would be foolish to speak of persecution.
It is clear what is being implied. It is to be expected. A hedgehog rolls into a ball when poked, even if it is poked with a tasty carrot. Don't forget that Socrates did not equate righteousness with self-righteousness.
I'm not concerned with being "better." I just consider myself fortunate for discovering the means to answer certain essential questions in a way that invites their personal validation. The heavy work still must be done so what does "better" have to do with it?
You have decided that you know what you cannot possibly know. I do not think faith is useful for uncovering truth. All Objects can be doubted, including, obviously, experience. Which means that all experience, since all Objects are revealed via experience, with experience itself an Object, can be doubted.

What is that which cannot be doubted?
All cosmology does is present a skeleton that one is invited to verify through inner empiricism known in ancient times as the endeavor to "know Thyself." How is this methodology irreconcilably flawed?
1. Knowing thyself implies exactly that - know thyself. Your cosmology is acquired from others first, then overlayed on experience.

Let's say you taste some snow, but you don't know it is snow because you have a blindfold on and a clip on your nose.

Weil says, "It is cold".
You say "Yes!"

Weil says, "It is wet and melts at the touch".
You say, "Yes!"

Weil says, "It is ice-cream".
You say, "Yes! Of course! It makes so much sense now!"

2. You begin with this premise "it is levels of reality/conscious connections etc." as your starting point. The brain is like a computer and its job is to process information. These ideas to you are like filters, all incoming information is processed in terms of them. So, you are not accepting new information that contradicts your model, but only either rejecting it outright or trying to convert it into some shadow of its former self that can be assimilated in terms of your model. This filtering is so intense, that you are denying things like the Laws of Thermodynamics and the simple way words are defined, like 'duality', even though these are utterly irrational things to do.

A better methodology would be, in my view, not to have any starting position at all. Then, you can assimilate new information in terms of itself only. You can avoid this risk of bias this way. You are not your brain. You must therefore learn to bypass your brain, including your intellect to a degree, which is much more easily satisfied. You have to outsmart your brain, which is designed to be easily 'fooled' by its very nature.

In contrast, a methodology that is based on that which it is attempting to derive is not actually a method at all. This is called a "confirmation bias" in science and the fallacy of "begging the question" in philosophy. In such a case, one assumes one thing to be true, then attempts to derive its validity afterwards. Such a methodology is "irreconcilably flawed".
I'm trying to better understand your beliefs while you seem to be trying to negate mine and perceive them as being considered superior. I just don't see the sense of it. Even if I am totally wrong, how does it affect your beliefs?
Atheism, to me, represents the search for truth and the acceptance of it without emotional bias. The tools of atheism are logic, reason, critical thought, science, experience and determination. This is theory. I feel it is best to represent my atheism not simply in theory but practice too. I feel my beliefs are best put into action.

It is also true that I like philosophy and I like challenges. I am not trying to be obtuse nor confrontational. I simply personally believe that you are part of that of which I am a part. Thus I can only speak to you as I would myself, since you are not seen by me as different from that. If my attitude is deemed inappropriate, I apologise. The medium of the Internet does not serve me well in translating the humour and playfulness I have in person. I am working on fixing that (my communication style, not the Internet).

It is not my intention to negate anyone's beliefs. All beliefs, including my own, are negligible. I do not think you 'totally wrong' either. I simply believe that you have not followed the entirety of your conclusions. I also believe that Weil was not a genuine authority. Since you take much influence from here, I naturally believe this association is harmful. Your respect for Weil clouds your judgment of her actual philosophy, in my opinion.

You have made a lot of very bold claim, many of which contradict scientific evidence. Surely this could be misleading to other's if not queried. If you make assertive statements that I passionately disagree with or that contradict evidence, it is only natural for me to question them, but might help me elucidate my ideas also. I don't intend to be rude. I am learning, too.
I have also already quoted Eckhart as denouncing separation of any kind. Someone who believes in god, but doesn't believe in separation, must therefore believe himself not-separate from god. I think this is self-evident from most of Eckhart's works.


Correct me if I am wrong but you assert that we cannot believe any old thing. I agree but that doesn't mean we must deny everything either.
Since atheism to me is about thinking about things carefully, from my point of view, I would suggest that we should think very carefully here.

It is god you seek, essentially, yes? You are about to quote Weil and Eckhart, both commending that you deny all that is not god. You have asserted already that god is not an Object. Thus all Objects, including things, concepts, beliefs etc. are not-god. Therefore, it is literally imperative that you deny everything, in your philosophy, if you are to know that which is beyond conceptualisation.

Are you familiar with the Indian concept Neti Neti?

Neti Neti is a nondual practice, precisely equivalent to Eckhart's negative theology (thus presenting evidence, rather than simply assertions, that he was a nondualist, rather than a triunist). It might be of interest to you, it might not.
This is why I believe that Meister Eckhart and Simone Weil are right even though in the minority as to what it means to negate
Precisely, I would agree in my view also. Although, I would note that this, in my opinion, is what I mean when I say you are not "taking your ideas to their fullest conclusions". If you wish to know that which negation is directed towards, it is surely essential that you negate all beliefs, including those of levels of reality etc.

Perhaps reread Eckhart with this in mind.
The emphasis is on negating blind belief.
Then perhaps you should do exactly that!
Yet this is not to deny the authentic calling of the human heart.
Surely, as I see it, it is to deny absolutely all Objects, including the "authentic calling of the heart", which exists only as you know it as a perception, a feeling, whatever, but still an Object of consciousness. Thus it must be denied. That which is not an Object, is not an Object. This is my view and surely Eckharts in the quote you mention.
So my question to you is how your atheism and atheism in general values the calling of the heart to a quality of "good" that is not of the world?
Just as a note, it is technically impossible for me to answer, sine the question here commits the above mentioned fallacy called begging the question, where the conclusion is assumed in the premises i.e. it assumes good is an objective quality that exists outside of that which exists etc.

Nevertheless - this is a very important question, at the base of it, of course. I believe that "good" references the actual nature of the 'individual'. Once the individual perceives existence as fundamentally without separation, as I believe to be the case, one can only act compassionately since all is perceived as equal to oneself.

This is certainly not an instantaneous process but a gradual one. It is also clear to me that, when expressing one's genuine nature, even if you have not personally realised it, you encourage it in a sense. Thus, the concentration in yoga, Buddhism and Christianity for instance on acting with compassion is an attempt to trigger what I guess you would call "awakening" through self-expression.

If the nature of the self, as most mystics believe, is consciousness and/or that which is consciousness, then the structure of morality can be modeled by observing consciousness. Consciousness embraces all things (compassion) and treats all equally (love). The Tao, which I consider equivalent to consciousness, is described by Lao-Tzu:

"All-pervading is the Great Tao.
It can be at once on the right hand and on the left. All things depend on it for life, and it rejects them not.
Its task accomplished, it takes no credit.
It loves and nourishes all things, but does not act as master.
It is ever free from desire.
We may call it small.
All things return to it, yet it does not act as master.
We may call it great.

The whole world will flock to him who holds the mighty form of Tao.
They will come and receive no hurt, but find rest, peace, and tranquillity."

Note how this description is also a perfect description of consciousness, which I do not consider coincidence. Note also how it is also a great description for what we consider "good", and is merely listing the attributes of consciousness/Tao, also something I do not consider coincidence.

So, in this view, what is "good" is that which is the most accurate expression of one's genuine nature. No external invisible entity nor conscious connections nor things "not of this world" are needed.

In practice, we might say that when you rightly criticise me for anger and emotive language, i.e. not acting in a "good" way, it is precisely because I am not behaving in accord with my actual nature.

Similarly, when I criticise you for being self-pitying it is also because it is not in accord with who you really are (i.e. "good") (the Tao/C-ness does not pity itself nor have any self at all).

Thus, we both have each other's best interests at heart, really.

So, this is one example of how an atheist, in this case myself, may be able to understand "good" and act accordingly, without believing in objective morality nor the existence of invisible isolated entities. There is no surplus here that requires these things to explain anything.
This doesn't negate the triune reality but rather expresses that the seed of the soul has the potential to develop and become able to experience reality.
This view does not make any sense to me, if I am honest. Eckhart and to an extent Weil are urging you to deny all things which are not god, which we have concluded is all Objects. Thus, you must deny even reality however you believe it to be, since you only know it as an Object and know your conceptions of it as Objects.

To clarify, this is what I mean when I say that I feel your beliefs and methodology are inconsistent. You have acknowledged that Weil and Eckhart are suggesting an action, but do not believe, for no particular reason, that it applies to you. I think it applies to you too. Everything in that sentence, "seeds" and "triunes" etc., are all Objects, thus, they are not that which is Object-less, and must be denied. Again, also what I mean when I say you must develop your ideas fully, not stop halfway, in my opinion.
Satisfying me intellectually is not the same as the egotism that asserts superiority. As I said if true they unify science and the essence of religion. How could this be irrational intellectually?
I would say they don't unify science and religion at all though. Why would you think such a thing?

The Laws of thermodynamics, for example, are counter to your claims.

The observable, testable and verified predictions from Quantum mechanics, such as entanglement and Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, also cannot coexist with your current philosophy, as another example.

While still a theory and unconfirmed, String Theory also negates your philosophy as absolutely true, as another example.

So, there is nothing in your philosophy in its current form that is compatible with most of, nor unifies science. I am admittedly quite confused as to how you could have possible thought it does.
I appreciate the calling of the artist and involved in the arts.
Me too, coincidentally.
Real art expresses the search of the inner man for "meaning." The emotional experience related to it is of a greater quality then our normal negative emotions. Why not value such experiences and consider them as potentially indicating a higher conscious reality?
How can you infer that reality has higher levels to it from this? Why not simply see it as...complex? Or see your previous conceptions as not what reality is? These might be more reasonable conclusions. There is no clear reason to consider them to indicate such things.

The emotions and feelings I get from practicing art are indeed unlike other emotions, such as I have taken them to mean that my "purpose" (I use that in a loose sense, I lack belief in objective "purposes") is to practice art in these forms. But a plumber might feel this way about plumbing, deciding it his passion without inferring that it must imply higher levels of reality.

As for meaning and its search - I don't believe myself that art, is the search for meaning per se. I think all art is self-expression, often taking how things appear to us, then expressing that aspect of self. So, the higher quality that is felt is simply, to me, that I am expressing an aspect of myself, thus knowing myself in some way, which is bound to produce such effects.

I am able to experience all of this as a part of a unified multidimensional reality. Why would you assume that I therefore do not value these experiences? How can you conclude higher levels of the thing that includes all levels from this? This is not a reasonable conclusion to me.
I don't think it is true. If anybody can provide a single shred of evidence or rational argument as to why there is a world beyond this one, then we can take it seriously, until then there is no need.
You say this because you're not familiar with the distinction between the classic logic of the Law of the EXCLUDED middle and the re-discovery of the Law of the INCLUDED middle. Without appreciating this, it is easy to assume that I'm really referring to duality.
Here, you surely are wrong, that I can safely say. I am very much aware of such notions.

I have already pointed out the tetralemma to you, here is a slightly simpler version:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetralemma

Please click on that link.

You will see that here that the law of the "included middle" has been around since the ancient Greeks. It was refined by the great Buddhist philosopher Nagarjuna. So your man didn't actually discover or even re-discover anything, he simply didn't do any research whatsoever (since a quick search on Google would have sufficed, surely).

Note also that it includes a fourth possibility, not included in your philosophy. Perhaps that will suggest something to you, perhaps not.

Note finally that the tetralemma would be a very good way to describe that which is without objective nature, (Object-less), if one were so inclined.

So, I am quite aware of such a 'law', and perhaps even humbly state that I am aware of it to a degree you are not. So, I do not confuse myself when I call your ideas dualistic, they are indeed dualistic.

1. Duality is a belief that considers two or more things to be ontologically separate.

2. Your beliefs consider two or more things to be ontologically separate.

3. Therefore, your beliefs are a duality.

I cannot make it any clearer than this friend.
Where the Law of the Excluded middle is based on duality, the INCLUDED middle is based on a triune relationship.
Not at all. It can be used to accurately describe quantum events, this is true. But lets take a look at those quantum events. (Note: I am no Quantum physicist, but believe all these claims can be verified easily).

Take the case of an electron that is either spin-up or spin-down (dualistic). Prior to observation, it is in neither state, but something called a state of superposition http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_superposition.

Superposition is not a state unto itself. Therefore, it is not a triune state.

So, "triunism" does not account for Quantum mechanics.

What superposition is, is an indeterminate "(non)state" that includes all possible states. Lets call spin-up state X and spin-down state Y in the case of our electron. Superposition would be:

X

not-X (Y)

Both X and not-X (Y)

Neither X nor not-X (Y)

...all at once.

What do you know, we have the tetralemma; something that describes something nondual, coincidentally.

So, unfortunately Mr. Nicolescu is not only several thousand years too late, he also forgot the fourth term, which is included in the definition of quantum superposition, which is a testable, predictable and verified phenomenon.

So, unfortunately, "triunism" is denied by Quantum mechanics and doesn't explain anything in it, not simply because it is dualistic and QM is not(non) dual.

I have not been able to find any info on this mysterious "Dr. Nicolescu" and it seems his work has not been peer-reviewed.

I am not a Doctor, admittedly. However, I do have two degrees, one in a science and the other in philosophy, of which formal logic made up a significant part of my course. So, I think I can say with a fair amount of confidence that he is talking about things that science and logic has already progressed much in. His observations about QM are half-true (or three-quarters), I will credit him that. But QM and its implication on logic has been studied at length. His logic is not of the advanced formalization necessary when dealing with Quantum mathematics or complex philosophical topics, so it is clear to me that he is not a scientist or philosopher.

I think it is important to remember caution when examining those who claim argument from authority, such as in this case, it is misleading. It is of course immediately apparent that no philosopher, scientist nor scientific study would use such opinionated, emotive and biased language.

In any case, it does not matter - this claim has already been studied and continues to be, with results compatible with a non-dual understanding, as many actual scientists have noted.
We are a long way IMO from this becoming common knowledge.
Actually, we have known about it (the tetralemma) for about 3000 years. It is older than Jesus, literally. I think anyone who has studied mysticism would be intimately familiar with it, so it is common knowledge in this sense.
This distinction between the dual and triune relationships will I believe in the future become a part of what Jacob Needleman is referring to in the preface of "Lost Christianity" when it is begun to be experienced by the inner man.
Well, as highlighted above, it actually doesn't have anything to say for triune, but highlights an indeterminate non-state that is neither one nor two - nor a third. It is "not-defined", a nondual potential. In this light, it is compatible with the various mysticisms of the past.
What would it take for the atheist to be open to this observation?
As above, atheism has already accepted this quite readily. It is common scientific fact. It is not a scientific fact, however, that this implies a distinguished state of reality, this is false, but how you mistakenly interpret it to be. It is a potential for either state, not a third, distinct state. We have already verified this experimentally.
If scientifically proven through quantum physics that the INCLUDED middle is a reality, how would it affect atheism not in the belief of a personal God but rather a universe being structured on levels of reality and the implications of man psychologically related to a higher cosmos?
Again, as above, none of this has anything whatsoever to do with triunism or what have you, this is a misunderstanding of Quantum mechanics.

It already has been proven that Quantum events exist in a 'non-state' that has the potential for either dualistic outcome, prior to measurement.

So your question does not apply, since there is no implication of any other levels of reality at all, let alone psychological relationships with it (where did that come from?? Do you mean the Observer effect?).
The value of gnosis or satori is that it verifies the value of deductive reason.
:shock:

Wise men say: Do not speak of that which you have no knowledge.

I humbly suggest you take heed.

(Especially of the "No Boundary" part in that link.)
Continuing with Wiki; is any of the following agreeable to you

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simone_Weil#Spiritual ity_and_politics
I personally belief that Ghandi has it spot on when he said "be the change you want to see in the world." I think Weil's views here would agree with this for the most part.

My view is relatively simple. I think that all actions have an equal and opposite reaction. Actions that stem from love, compassion, freedom, fearlessness, unity sincerity and selflesness will have then, an equal result.

This is where I part ways with Weil. She believes that one should act from a place of self(ish)ness, conflict, fear, obedience, violence and separation. I disagree with her that this will have a positive result. I think she should have attempted to not act in these ways, and "be the change she wanted to see in the world" instead, in my view.

The problem with Weil's ideas is simply herself. She was a very, very conflicted person. She speaks so highly of other mystics, and yet is so bizarre that she did not learn from them in any significant way nor enagage in mystical practice with any remote degree of discipline. Lovely words she has, but absolutely no content. It is even more bizarre that a smart person like yourself, with all of these great teachers and mystics around, had to pick Weil! Seriously, just try someone else, anyone else, for a bit.

In any case, someone who is separate is conflicted, someone who is conflicted is violent, someone who is violent is incapable of acting compassionately.

Similarly, someone who acts from self acts from self-interest, someone who is self-interested is self-centered, someone who is self-centered is selfish, someone who is selfish is incapable of acting with love.

So, I cannot accept any of Weil's ideas, even though I agree with many aspects of it, because Weil was a selfish and violent individual internally, thus, her external acts will have always followed suit with an equal reaction. Had she indeed "emptied" herself of these things as the mystics did, instead of just admiring them, she would have been a much wiser and worthy figure no doubt.

Peace,

Thuse

Nick_A
Posts: 2391
Joined: April 19th, 2009, 11:45 pm

Post by Nick_A » November 2nd, 2009, 6:02 pm

Hi Thuse

One thing I've learned from my own path is why everything in nature turns in circles including the psych of Man. Ecclesiastes 3 is a reality. There is a time for everything.

From nature's perspective the transitions you describe are the norm:
So, anger, destruction gives way to rebirth, renewal and creation. In this sense, anger can be expressed as a positive emotion rather than negatively, feeding off and becoming hatred.
However, consciousness of these patterns is the beginning of the freedom not to turn in circles and become what Man is consciously capable of. From this perspective anger is just an energy drain. Anger is really the frustration from having a desire greater then our perceived ability to serve it. When this assault on our ego happens we become angry.

I was amazed when I read how Simone had taken this deep idea and expressed it with her usual annoying objectivity.
"Nothing can have as its destination anything other than its origin. The contrary idea, the idea of progress, is poison." Simone Weil
This can really stick a pin in ones inflated ego. Man is evolving towards its origin. Substituting the appearance of social and technological progress is only celebrating an aspect of a life cycle that will by law as it continues its change, eventually turn into its opposite. There is a time for everything. Society glorifies a favorable position of the cycle at the expense of becoming aware of what is necessary to minimize the eventual unfavorable change.

Anger is positive and favorable in relation to a cycle but not so in relation to man's potential to be more then a reactive creature unconsciously participating in nature's cycles.
I feel that, rather than acknowledge the possibility that some of your thinking requires further development, you would rather assume all is your enemy, attempting to persecute you, when this is not the case. When not clinging to one's self, we can avoid this possibility, perhaps.
When I was around twelve I was interested in chess and was reading Emanuel Lasker's book: "The Manuel of Chess." Towards the end he remarked how he had spent the last thirty years of his life forgetting what he had learned in the first thirty years. Having done so he has freed himself of much useless information and acquired a far greater understanding of "methods" He wrote that the method is plastic. If you appreciate the method, you will understand in ways knowledge of details is incapable of.

This registered in me and I have come to appreciate that this is one of the great values of cosmology. It reveals the universe as an interrelated process structured on levels of reality. Once the process is understood much of what is now misunderstood becomes clear.

Take the idea of a miracle for example. A fundamentalist would call it a direct intervention by God while a secularist would deny it in favor of secular explanations. Yet from a cosmological perspective a genuine miracle is just a manifestation, either accidentally or consciously, of what is lawfully normal for a higher cosmos manifesting in a lower one.

My need is to better understand process and the universal flows rather then obsess with details. In this way I am drawn to the potential of deductive reason I am at the beginning stages of awareness of. It is this quality of understanding that appeals to me:
In our attempt to reconcile the inner and outer world, however, we do come up against a very real difficulty, which must be faced. This difficulty is connected with the problem of reconciling different 'methods of knowing'.

Man has two ways of studying the universe. The first is by induction: he examines phenomena, classifies them, and attempts to infer laws and principles from them. This is the method generally used by science. The second is by deduction: having perceived or had revealed or discovered certain general laws and principles, he attempts to deduce the application of these laws in various studies and in life. This is the method generally used by religions.. The first method begins with 'facts' and attempts to reach 'laws'. The second method begins with 'laws' and attempts to reach 'facts'.

These two methods belong to the working of different human functions. The first is the method of the ordinary logical mind, which is permanently available to us. the second derives from a potential function in man, which is ordinarily inactive for lack of nervous energy of sufficient intensity, and which we may call higher mental function This function on rare occasions of its operation, reveals to man laws in action, he sees the whole phenomenal world as the product of laws.

All true formulations of universal laws derive recently or remotely from the working of this higher function, somewhere and in some man. At the same time, for the application and understanding of the laws revealed in the long stretches of time and culture when such revelation is not available, man has to rely on the ordinary logical mind."
I am attracted to this quality of deductive reason and see it as part of the means to know thyself since I have had a glimpse of it.

I do believe that Jesus and Socrates are right in that the secular world must hate this awareness since it threatens secular idolatry. I'm not important enough to be individually hated. Granted I've had the typical run ins with secular Interfaith or RDF that must defend secular idolatry but this is nothing special. As a whole I do believe that secularism will always be annoyed at those like Simone for example. I think this is why she is both so hated and so loved. the fact that this is true indicates to me that her "lucid madness for truth" expressed a lot of great value. Her brother Andre affectionately called her a pain in the ass knowing full well how much the world needs these people to shake things up and invite sincere self questioning.
"It will now be I think 23 years that you made your entry into the phenomenal world to create the greatest pain in the ass for rectors and school directors"
I must admit being jealous. I probably caused a few gray hairs but nothing compared to how she shook things up.

I don't intend to cling to myself but rather move closer to becoming myself.
You have decided that you know what you cannot possibly know. I do not think faith is useful for uncovering truth. All Objects can be doubted, including, obviously, experience. Which means that all experience, since all Objects are revealed via experience, with experience itself an Object, can be doubted.
I don't see why the continual universal process of involution and evolution cannot be known. It is based on laws and we can grow to become able to verify through inner empiricism.

2. You begin with this premise "it is levels of reality/conscious connections etc." as your starting point. The brain is like a computer and its job is to process information. These ideas to you are like filters, all incoming information is processed in terms of them. So, you are not accepting new information that contradicts your model, but only either rejecting it outright or trying to convert it into some shadow of its former self that can be assimilated in terms of your model. This filtering is so intense, that you are denying things like the Laws of Thermodynamics and the simple way words are defined, like 'duality', even though these are utterly irrational things to do.

A better methodology would be, in my view, not to have any starting position at all. Then, you can assimilate new information in terms of itself only. You can avoid this risk of bias this way. You are not your brain. You must therefore learn to bypass your brain, including your intellect to a degree, which is much more easily satisfied. You have to outsmart your brain, which is designed to be easily 'fooled' by its very nature.

In contrast, a methodology that is based on that which it is attempting to derive is not actually a method at all. This is called a "confirmation bias" in science and the fallacy of "begging the question" in philosophy. In such a case, one assumes one thing to be true, then attempts to derive its validity afterwards. Such a methodology is "irreconcilably flawed".
I don't believe anything can truly be verified in the context of universal understanding in this way. You wrote
Atheism, to me, represents the search for truth and the acceptance of it without emotional bias. The tools of atheism are logic, reason, critical thought, science, experience and determination. This is theory. I feel it is best to represent my atheism not simply in theory but practice too. I feel my beliefs are best put into action.
The implication is that truth is an intellectual verification and I believe it comes from the our collective conscious experience of sensory, emotional, and intellectual knowledge.

I agree with the harm of emotional bias which is why skepticism as emotional bias is harmful. However without emotion we cannot experience objective quality and without being drawn to objective quality, intellectual knowledge has only relative societal value.

I know it isn't intentional but my experience has been that much of atheism avoids opening to an emotional experience of objective quality since it doesn't believe it exists. Yet for those like Simone, it is this attraction to objective quality that allows her to inwardly experience that it doesn't arise on the earth but an attribute of higher consciousness that instead feeds the earth.

I'm not being critical here and correct me if I am wrong but I read you as saying human associative thought can lead to ultimate truth? Is this true?
It is god you seek, essentially, yes? You are about to quote Weil and Eckhart, both commending that you deny all that is not god. You have asserted already that god is not an Object. Thus all Objects, including things, concepts, beliefs etc. are not-god. Therefore, it is literally imperative that you deny everything, in your philosophy, if you are to know that which is beyond conceptualisation.
Saying things and creatures are not God is not to deny things and creatures but only that they are not God. I am not seeking God since I know this is futile. Yet humanity and me as a part of it can acquire a conscious perspective that includes appreciating universal meaning and purpose including Man's potential within it. but doing this requires the conscious attempt to experience the external world with the whole of oneself and not just thought. For example if I can sense, feel, and intellectually comprehend cold, then I will understand cold. But it takes a while just to distinguish between feeling and sensing cold. We are surprised when we experience our limitations yet it is essential if we truly want to understand so as to invite our potential connection with higher consciousness.

Can atheism be open to the idea of valuing and uniting our three modes of contact with the external world: senses, emotion, and thought, so as to see the advantage of attempting to experience the external world with the whole of ourselves rather then just through associative thought?

This takes healing. We've lost a lot of sensory sensitivity to the results of technology. For example how many are capable of hearing music in half tones much less the quarter tones that some Eastern musicians are open to? Do we really see color anymore or has society blinded many of their color sensitivity.

The human heart is hidden under a lot of negative emotion. Can atheism be open to what is necessary to heal the human heart so that it can perform its function of distinguishing quality and the inner experience of conscience rather then the conditioned reaction we call conscience? I maintain that as creatures in Plato's cave, we cannot appreciate conscious humanity with sensory sensitivity and a living conscience. How can anyone strive towards this without beginning with efforts to be open to the external world with the whole of themselves.
So, in this view, what is "good" is that which is the most accurate expression of one's genuine nature. No external invisible entity nor conscious connections nor things "not of this world" are needed.

In practice, we might say that when you rightly criticise me for anger and emotive language, i.e. not acting in a "good" way, it is precisely because I am not behaving in accord with my actual nature.

Similarly, when I criticise you for being self-pitying it is also because it is not in accord with who you really are (i.e. "good") (the Tao/C-ness does not pity itself nor have any self at all).

Thus, we both have each other's best interests at heart, really.
Our differences as you imply do not require us to have a dual at dawn. Rather then the usual battles normal for websites and victory through mob rule, we can actually try to understand. A toast to you Thuse.
So, this is one example of how an atheist, in this case myself, may be able to understand "good" and act accordingly, without believing in objective morality nor the existence of invisible isolated entities. There is no surplus here that requires these things to explain anything.
We do have different conceptions of "good" I believe it to be relative and quality having an origin far above human nature. Like Jesus said, why call me good, only the Father is good.

"Meaning" is like this and what gives meaning to people varies in quality IMO. some find the greatest meaning in money while others in a quality of inner experience. What gives us meaning is our god. That is why as a person grows in the inside they abandon beliefs in false gods. Abandoning beliefs doesn't deny their existence but only puts them into a higher perspective.
I would say they don't unify science and religion at all though. Why would you think such a thing?
Take the current conflict over evolution for example. Science insists that it is a result of natural selection without any direction but through chance. Yet if one takes organic life in the world as a whole, it is a living machine that eats itself to serve its purpose of the transformation of substances and sustain itself through reproduction. I don't see how such a complex living machine where its creatures develop such a sensitive interaction can just arise by chance.

Yet if evolution is considered as initiating with a higher cosmos within which organic life exists in form as an organic whole we can see how if necessary it can devolve through the process of involution and manifest on earth to begin to evolve in accordance with cosmic needs serving its function in the process. So evolution in the context of involution makes perfect sense and easily pursued by scientists with an open mind towards this triune relationship between this higher cosmos of forms and the manifestations of the dual basis of life on earth.
As for meaning and its search - I don't believe myself that art, is the search for meaning per se. I think all art is self-expression, often taking how things appear to us, then expressing that aspect of self. So, the higher quality that is felt is simply, to me, that I am expressing an aspect of myself, thus knowing myself in some way, which is bound to produce such effects.
I don't know what form of art you practice but once again Simone hits the nail on the head for me anyhow:
"A work of art has an author and yet, when it is perfect, it has something which is anonymous about it." Simone Weil
I agree that much of what we call art is self expression. Yet I also believe that a higher quality allows the artist to serve as a medium for something beyond ourselves. the artist's skill is what makes it intelligible.

One of my ancestors painted the sea as well as anyone ever did. I read something once that made an impression on me. When asked how he was able to paint as he did he remarked that a person had to go into their studio and remember it. How do we remember something in constant motion? it requires an inner perception of the interactions of universal laws. Somehow being re-membered, it is placed on a canvas.

I don't see this as self expression but rather an expression of objective laws beyond the normal interpretations of our personality that lives our life for us. Where self expression appeals to our personalities, I believe real art is conscious communication where one essence can touch another.

Maybe I'm missing something but I don't see how the tetralemma correlates with the Law if the included middle. The tetralemma describes possibilities for logical assertions. The included middle includes a new term. It reconciles duality through a new term rather then just defining the possibilities of an assertion. As Dr. Nicolescu points out it is illustrated by a triangle. I don't see where the tetralemma becomes a triangle that connects a duality with an apex that reconciles it.

Basarab Nicolescu is not well known in the United States but is well respected outside of it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basarab_Nicolescu

I agree that everything is connected. Once I accepted the truth in this it became clear why everything in the world must be as it is and an expression of connection lawful with collective being. so regardless of speeches, good intentions, or anything else, organic life including human civilizations will continue as expressions of our being. If everything is connected it cannot be different.

While mystical experiences are valuable, they only indicate a potential for Man. This isn't popular to say but I do believe that we are a plurality. We are not one but many and in opposition to ourselves. Paul describes the human condition in Romans 7
14We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
21So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22For in my inner being I delight in God's law; 23but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.
The human condition is such that we have a choice of slavery. We have to decide which we prefer. If this is true it is nice for Ghandi to speak of being the change we want to see in the world. But the human conditioned denies it other than in a secular fashion.

This is the big difference between Judaism and Christianity. People don't respect this difference and this lack of respect leads to a lot of foolish fights. Dr. Henry finch describes it:

Judaism and Christianity are complimentary. They are based on different essential directions. "Simone Weil and the Intellect of Grace" by Dr. Henry Leroy Finch was written as he was dying so the book contains a lot of sincerity. In chapter 12: Time and Timelessness, he makes the following comparison between Judaism and Christianity:

"................The law has a timeless character just because it is laid down once and for all as part of the timeless myth or timeless history of the people. Even when it is practiced by only a handful of people, it remains alive and authoritative. These Orthodox people are a demonstration of the original character of Judaism which did not distinguish the sacred from the secular and united the cultural, the biological, and the religious in one timeless system.
I turn to the Christian experience of time and timelessness. This is as much a closed book to Jews as the Jewish point of view is to Christians. But as the Jews have their treasure which is the treasure of the Law preserved in the torah, Christians too have their treasure, which is the spirit of Christ preserved in the Gospels.
If we study the Gospels we will find that it is life in the present - not in the timeless present of past and future, but in the (tuneful) present of the NOW - that is the true essence of Christianity The secret of the teaching of Christ is that all true life is life in the present, as distinct from the past and the future. This is where reality is. If there is no experience of the present, as the now, then there is no real life at all."
There is nothing wrong in trying to be good people in the world. I believe the advantage of Christianity is witnessing and admitting the human condition in ourselves so as to become open to help from above. This is the beginning of coming to grips with it. Both seek the good and they are complimentary. Yet this idea of inner growth towards becoming oneself through conscious evolution is not a secular idea so largely unknown.

The mystical experiences referred to in the link are very meaningful but the West needs a path that can cope with a quicker pace and more intellectual emphasis. This is what attracts me. It is the same reason why Simone said that we don't need more saints but rather a new saintliness that is willing to consciously experience life in the raw. Cosmology unites religion and science by adding a new vertical dimension to science while showing the religious that there is no essential conflict. If this influence grows it may be just what is necessary to prevent humanity from destroying itself. As Simone said:
"Humanism was not wrong in thinking that truth, beauty, liberty, and equality are of infinite value, but in thinking that man can get them for himself without grace." Simone Weil
If I were to restructure the educational system I would include much of what Simone Weil describes as what is necessary for the spiritual needs of the soul so that students could begin to feel their own inner worth as well as in the context of the obligations necessary for a free society. Do you disagree with any of the needs Simone Suggests? On what basis would your atheism improve upon public education?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simone_Weil#The_Spiri tual_Needs_of_the_Soul
Man would like to be an egoist and cannot. This is the most striking characteristic of his wretchedness and the source of his greatness." Simone Weil....Gravity and Grace

Thuse
Posts: 34
Joined: October 4th, 2009, 3:16 am

Post by Thuse » November 4th, 2009, 5:39 pm

However, consciousness of these patterns is the beginning of the freedom not to turn in circles and become what Man is consciously capable of. From this perspective anger is just an energy drain. Anger is really the frustration from having a desire greater then our perceived ability to serve it. When this assault on our ego happens we become angry.
I think you are absolutely right. This is exactly why I apologised for my hypocrisy in dealing with negativity with negativity. In this way my ego was overcome, in this instance, and negativity from both sides was transformed into positivity with a simple gesture.

I also think that just as (at least most) anger drains energy, so to do other negative emotions, such as self-pity and self-aggrandisement. But I think the first step for change is recognition. Recognising your ego is the first and most important step because if you cannot recognise it, you cannot do anything about it. So when the ego is present it is vital that one notices it rather than deny or defend it further.
I was amazed when I read how Simone had taken this deep idea and expressed it with her usual annoying objectivity.
I think taking this idea to its deepest surely reveals that nothing positive can come from something negative, which Weil was seemingly unable to realise.

I think that all negative emotions, such as anger and self-pity, arise from inner conflict.

Something that is disorder cannot produce something that is order.

So, there was a depth here that Weil never reached.

Also, the word “objectivity” refers to an empirical, scientific approach. Since Weil’s philosophy was based primarily on intuition and subjective emotions and impressions, it is in fact “subjective”.
This can really stick a pin in ones inflated ego.
Such as an ego that thinks itself awakened perhaps?
Anger is positive and favorable in relation to a cycle but not so in relation to man's potential to be more then a reactive creature unconsciously participating in nature's cycles.
Yes, I have always agreed with this.

I feel it is the same for all emotions and behaviours that are formed from a self. Only if there is self (a "react-er") there, can there be a reaction. For instance, one might discover certain ideas about the world and think himself lucky, grateful and eventually, superior to his fellow man. What may begin harmless becomes harmful, as it spirals into egocentric thinking. The ego thinks itself rather special.

This is equally telling that such a person has not yet realised his potential, I think.

But, as you note, I too am confident that "there is a time for everything".
Once the process is understood much of what is now misunderstood becomes clear.
Yes, but I understand your ideas and yet claim them not to be clear.

This thinking assumes that one who does not believe does not understand. This is the kind of egoic arrogance that ensures one keeps going round and round that circle you mention. The ego is a closed loop.

You are unable to speak of your ideas or those you admire without using adjectives such as “great”, “brilliant” and so on. In psychology, this is called “reinforcement”; it is how your mind is belligerently reinforcing ideas irrelevant of their accuracy. As mentioned above, recognising that this is what the mind is doing is the first step to overcome it.
My need is to better understand process and the universal flows rather then obsess with details.
You have self-created a closed system of ideas, by which to work with, which is the source of the problem.

Let me give an example of what I mean.

Let’s assume I now claim that reality comes in levels, and these levels are made of Pancakes.

However, I also claim that the truth of this statement can only be verified by a mystical awakening and that science, which is ignorant of such awakenings, only naturally believes reality to not be a stack of Pancakes.

I also claim that I have had such an awakening.

Now, the problem here is very simple and has to do with the influx of new information. I am using this idea as a starting premise. Only then do I decide that I am going to seek truth.

The problem arises because any new information that contradicts my model can very easily be explained – anyone who says that reality is not made of pancakes simply hasn’t had the enlightenment I have, therefore, whatever evidence, logic and reason they have that says otherwise can be disregarded outright.

That is the important bit – that new information is judged not in terms of intrinsic value but only to what extent it fits in with my premise.

If it holds to my pre-assumed law, then it gets in. If not, it doesn’t get in. This is the only rule by which information is judged.

So now I have created a problem of a loop effect – no new and relevant information is actually being received, it is simply the same information recycling itself.

Now what is even more problematic is that I have defined in my own model that the true pancake reality is not the same as the standard observed reality. In other words, I have explicitly stated an absurdity – that the very fact reality does not appear perceptively or empirically as levels of Pancakes precisely means that it is levels of Pancakes.

So now, when I look at reality and see it is not Pancakes, this confirms that it is Pancakes. I then say this idea “makes so much sense” and helps me “understand reality perfectly”. But this is only because it defines itself in terms of itself. It actually makes no sense at all.

No doubt you can see the absurdity when the word Pancakes is used, but not when your words are used. Yet, the structure and explanatory power of both models are exactly the same. Therefore, it is impossible to rationally deny that either both are absurd, or neither are.

This is why I would say that “details”, such as proof, evidence, methodologies, verification, truthfulness, accuracy, avoidance of fallacious arguments and so on are so very important.
In this way I am drawn to the potential of deductive reason I am at the beginning stages of awareness of.
Rather than just make assertive statements, perhaps you could prove that something in your model can be realised by deductive logic.

I ask because your entire thought process thus far is completely inductive.
I don't intend to cling to myself but rather move closer to becoming myself.
Well, surely then, you must not simply intend, but actually stop clinging to yourself, including your ideas and even your intentions themselves.

Tell me: you accept that your mind/body/soul or what have you is still conflicted in some way. That is to say, there remains disorder to some degree.

We can think about this logically. You are admitting that currently, you are a disordered being. Yet, it is this very disordered being that, you state, is attempting to enforce order onto itself. That is, you are attempting to “become yourself” i.e. order, but the very you who is trying to do this is himself disordered.

Do you see that the logic here is self-defeating – something that is disordered is trying to create order out of itself. This you will see is obviously impossible – something that is disordered cannot produce order.

What is the solution?
You have decided that you know what you cannot possibly know. I do not think faith is useful for uncovering truth. All Objects can be doubted, including, obviously, experience. Which means that all experience, since all Objects are revealed via experience, with experience itself an Object, can be doubted.
I don't see why the continual universal process of involution and evolution cannot be known. It is based on laws and we can grow to become able to verify through inner empiricism.
I’m not sure why you started talking about something completely different.

My comments were regarding the Absolute, not evolution/involution.

Do you understand there is a very significant difference?

You are also perhaps, unintentionally, evading my question regarding verification and doubt. You have already acknowledged that all experiences can be doubted – in fact, your ideas stem from the very doubting of superficial experience.

Therefore, all experiences can themselves be doubted. (Also, inner, that is, subjective empiricism is actually an oxymoron. Empiricism refers to objects, subjectivity to the subject. Obviously, I feel from my own experience that there is great value in what you are referring to, I simply suggest using a different phrase perhaps).

Involution/evolution can be doubted, god can be doubted, your conceptual verification of these things can be doubted, any mystical experiences you claim to have had etc. can also be doubted. You can never know the reality of these things with certainty.

So what can’t be doubted?
I don't believe anything can truly be verified in the context of universal understanding in this way.
Perhaps, but the other extreme, believing in lots of things with no verification whatsoever, is surely nonsensical.

Its one thing to believe something that cannot or has not been disproved nor proved. This is not necessarily irrational. An example might be a belief in god, or that there is a supermassive black hole at the centre of our galaxy. These are not overtly irrational beliefs.

It is another thing to believe things which have been disproved outright many, many times. Examples of this would be things like ontological separation. This is an irrational belief.

Your notion of inner verification is incoherent, because you are basically saying if I subjectively decide/feel it is right, then it is.

Moreover, if mystical experiences are a reality (and we both will agree they are no doubt) then surely, if we apply verification to them in a scientific sense, we should measure the quantity of what people having these experiences are verifying.

It is simply that 99.9% claim they felt things like being one, non-separate to everything else, that reality was a whole not cut up into lots of bits and so on.

So why is it that the inner verification that is yours and yours alone should be trusted above all others, since they are contradictory?

For examples of this contradiction:

“…it generally "refers to the realization of nonduality of subject and object””

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kensho

“in this state there is no longer mind, duality, or subject-object relationship or experience…the differences we saw before have faded and we can see everything as one…nothing is missing to take away from Wholeness and Perfection.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samadhi

And so on.

I am interested in what gives you personal certainty that all of these people for thousands of years so completely missed the mark and not yourself? Why is your inner verification above and beyond all of these men’s?
Atheism, to me, represents the search for truth and the acceptance of it without emotional bias. The tools of atheism are logic, reason, critical thought, science, experience and determination. This is theory. I feel it is best to represent my atheism not simply in theory but practice too. I feel my beliefs are best put into action.
The implication is that truth is an intellectual verification and I believe it comes from the our collective conscious experience of sensory, emotional, and intellectual knowledge.
I don’t see where this is implied. One of the most basic tenets of science is that it cannot determine absolute certainty of something. So, it would never be implied that atheism with the help of science could determine truth, literally.

What I said was that atheism, via science, “represents the search for truth and the acceptance of it". The search for truth is not truth.

What this means is that science cannot determine if a thing is true but it can determine if a thing is not true. Science falsifies things that are impossible.

So, in searching for truth, science looks under the pillows, behind the couch, under the sofas and can cross these things of its list. It will never find truth itself, however, only what truth is not.
However without emotion we cannot experience objective quality and without being drawn to objective quality, intellectual knowledge has only relative societal value.
How and why do you believe that quality is objective?

Do you not think it makes more sense to say the source of quality, or even that which quality is a form of, is objective? How can quality exist without a Subject to qualify it?

Do you understand that this is not a paradox but self-refuting?

I ask these things because it seems relevant to your questions.
I know it isn't intentional but my experience has been that much of atheism avoids opening to an emotional experience of objective quality since it doesn't believe it exists.
I would personally say that this isn't necessarily an atheistic belief, but a rational, scientific and logical one.

Your use of language here presumes that atheists are simply ignorant and refuse to "open" up to these things. This is of course not true, and again shows this reinforcement of arbitrarily presumed ideas behind your thinking, that you may not even be aware of yet. This is what scientists mean by “bias” or “emotive responses” and mystics by “egoic tendencies”.

We are completely open to these things. The burden of proof is simply on yourself to justify why these things must exist. Since no justification has ever been provided, and many scientific experiments suggest otherwise, we are forced not to take an active belief in it.

If you can prove otherwise, we will thank you for it, not resist you.

My personal beliefs are usually considered mystical, especially by other atheists, however nothing I believe is yet contradicted by science. So, it is entirely possible to have a mystical understanding that is accompanied by science and still in agreement with almost all other mystics, instead of in conflict with it.
Yet for those like Simone, it is this attraction to objective quality that allows her to inwardly experience that it doesn't arise on the earth but an attribute of higher consciousness that instead feeds the earth.
(As before, if assertive statements are made I feel “obliged” to question them, I do not believe that is a negative but a positive and constructive thing).

Okay, so your justification is that Weil believed this. I personally try to see things from the viewpoint of science and reason.

Science would look at the evidence, assess Weil and logically deduce the possibilities, like I tried to do in this thread, while you have preferred not to.

We can assess the credibility of her history, for instance, to see first if her ideas are actually worth listening to. You have shown, from historical evidence, that she was a commendable human being in many ways. I have in contrast shown that she was a very violent and conflicted person in many ways. Science would decide that they must then doubt both assessments since there is conflicting evidence. No decision here can be made reasonably.

However, we can turn to historical, experiential and anecdotal evidence. From this, we see without question that Weil's beliefs in general are indicative of the early stages of "spiritual practices". They are not indicative of the later stages in any way. This suggests obviously that she was not aware of the later stages.

A scientific methodology would then conclude that her beliefs then are of superficial value and that it is obvious they are simply not fully developed in light of her lack of personal development, as I have shown for instance.

Compare with your methodology of simply believing her because you feel like it must be true.

This is why atheists deny such claims as “objective quality is true because Weil claims it is and I feel like it is”. Critical thinking and investigation can reveal the truth of the matter.

We are open to it, just like I originally was; until I did the investigation of the claims and realised there is no longer any reason to be open to it. You are open to it too, but not open to any other possibility. Therefore, you are closed in a way I am not, and necessarily have less information than myself. Therefore, atheists deny your claims for reasons such as this, that you simply have less information about the thing in question than they do.
I'm not being critical here and correct me if I am wrong but I read you as saying human associative thought can lead to ultimate truth? Is this true?
You are always welcome to criticise, it is not a bad thing. Why is critical thinking bad?

In this case, as above, you are indeed mistaken, I probably should have been clearer.

I believe that dualistic thought can never lead to truth in an absolute sense. Things become complicated however since going beyond dualistic thought, paradoxically, reveals all dualism to be simultaneously true, in some sense.

For example, recall Ghandi's claim "god is in the rock, too." Ghandhi was a Panentheist, as such, he was correct in saying that god was in the rock, but also correct had he said god was not in the rock. This is a nondualistic interpretation, in my view, which reveals dualism to be false (exoteric) and simultaneously true on some level (esoteric). To Ghandhi, even the thought and belief "there is no god" is, essentially, god.

All experience is meditated via consciousness. So an experience of anything whatsoever has a boundary of consciousness, so to speak. Therefore, even an experience of god, standing in front of you, could not be truth, since it could not be experienced directly.

Consciousness, on the other hand, is the only thing ever known directly (by itself). Therefore, only direct knowledge of consciousness is possible, where direct knowledge = truth.

So no thought, experience or Object of consciousness can ever be known directly, therefore, can never be truth.

This I would consider one level of understanding.

Another level would be the realisation that all experiences and Objects are, paradoxically, the Subject, consciousness; and thus everything we experience is fundamentally truth. Simultaneously, consciousness can never fully directly experience itself, thus truth is not an Object of experience – we cannot know truth, literally.

In this mystical view, truth then is not something "out-there" - we literally are truth. This is what I currently believe, until evidence suggests otherwise.
It is god you seek, essentially, yes? You are about to quote Weil and Eckhart, both commending that you deny all that is not god. You have asserted already that god is not an Object. Thus all Objects, including things, concepts, beliefs etc. are not-god. Therefore, it is literally imperative that you deny everything, in your philosophy, if you are to know that which is beyond conceptualisation.
Saying things and creatures are not God is not to deny things and creatures but only that they are not God. I am not seeking God since I know this is futile.
Obviously, on one level. But it seems you have not yet understood the full conclusion and implications of the results of a negative theology.
For example if I can sense, feel, and intellectually comprehend cold, then I will understand cold.
Not completely. If you go deeper, and examine the actual quality of coldness itself, what happens? I think doing this will perhaps produce something else we can understand about cold.
We are surprised when we experience our limitations yet it is essential if we truly want to understand so as to invite our potential connection with higher consciousness.
First of course, you must have a self, soul or, at least, a consciousness. What happens when you look for your consciousness? Why can't you find it? Why can't you grasp it? How can you possibly be expected to do all this stuff if you can't even find your consciousness?

I say, actually find your consciousness first, then worry about all this conscious connection stuff later. You have to start if you want to begin, no?
Can atheism be open to the idea of valuing and uniting our three modes of contact with the external world: senses, emotion, and thought, so as to see the advantage of attempting to experience the external world with the whole of ourselves rather then just through associative thought?
I think science in general relies on associative thought, if it didn't, things wouldn't work. Since science directs atheism, it follows that atheism too would have a hard time believing it should be abandoned at some point.

That said, it is okay for atheists, like myself, to be nondualists i.e. believe it is possible to go beyond dualistic/associative thought and gain value from it.

Various techniques and practices exist to this end, such as yoga, meditation etc. which are often rigorously attended to by atheists. I think that most religions, namely theistic ones, usually are very anti-scientific because science and critical thought causes many problems for them, which rather than learn from, are incapable of self-correction and growth.

Atheism however, is able to combine scientific thought and non-dualistic practices, or practices that attempt to bypass the dualistic, associative, cognitive mind, and create a better understanding of the world around them.

Such methods are closely related to the understanding of Quantum mechanics, for example, that I mentioned earlier.

So, nondualism, that is, that an understanding beyond associative, dualistic thought is claimed possible, is being combined with various fields of science as we speak.

Therefore, the value of that beyond associative thought can be non-offensive to atheists like myself, who focus on the importance of a methodology.

For instance:

Nondualism and Psychotherapy: http://www.wisdompsy.vpweb.com/

Nondualism and Physics/Biology (this one involving literally hundreds of prominent scientists): http://www.scienceandnonduality.com/index.shtml

Nondualism and Quantum mechanics: http://quantumactivist.com/

Nondualism and Psychology: http://integralinstitute.org/

These are a few examples of how non-dualistic and the benefits of understandings beyond associative thought is being combined within a scientific understanding and thus would be non-offensive to atheists like myself. It also introduces the "so what?" question and answer to these things - since atheism and science would question the value of going beyond dualistic thought.

Obviously, it is suggested subjectively that there is great value to be had from Nondual awareness, however, there is hope and suggestion now that it may revolutionise the way we see biology, neurology, physics, evolution, philosophy, theology and science in general. So, I personally think any atheist would be foolish not to consider the value of this.

However, it is true that both the scientists and atheists who are aware of this value are in the minority.
This takes healing.

[..]

The human heart is hidden under a lot of negative emotion. Can atheism be open to what is necessary to heal the human heart so that it can perform its function of distinguishing quality and the inner experience of conscience rather then the conditioned reaction we call conscience?
Well, as above, there is no clear reason to believe that objective morality, much like objective quality, exists. However, there are at least arguments for objective morality as oppose to objective quality, which has been more or less erased as an idea since we have come understand the brain. So, the second part of the question is unanswerable from my position, so I can only attend to the first part.

Again I maintain that I do not speak for atheists in general nor represent the majority of them in anyway. I can only present my own atheism rather than that of others.

I think you can only say that your human heart is under a lot of negative emotion. That is to say, you and I have absolutely no idea what other people feel like subjectively. This does not erase the problem, but suggests that you should seek to heal yourself before you can heal another. You must turn inwards first that is, before you can really get to work externally.

You have already admitted that you are a conflicted being. This is problematic when wishing to change the world. A conflicted being can only create more conflict, more disorder, through their actions. So, it is imperative that you first erase conflict from yourself, before you can make a positive difference on reality.

It is also true of course that a disordered mind cannot possibly have an ordered interpretation of the world. So, you do not know that the world needs healing, since this is an assessment of a conflicted mind, essentially. Perhaps it does – but until you rid yourself of conflict and disorder, you cannot be expected to make a clear assessment, obviously.

Also, the need for healing you perceive refers to a problem that needs to be healed – i.e. disorder and conflict again. So, you are disordered, perceive disorder and wish to make it ordered, the only idea of which (order) that you have is coming from a place of disorder!

Again, this also implies duality, between what you want and/or what should be and what actually is, which is another reason why such beliefs are in fact dualistic.

So, I as an atheist feel it is imperative that we free ourselves of conflict and disorder if we wish to engage this process of healing. In fact, this process of healing is precisely the process of removing conflict, disorder, separation etc. from one’s psychophysical self.
I maintain that as creatures in Plato's cave, we cannot appreciate conscious humanity with sensory sensitivity and a living conscience. How can anyone strive towards this without beginning with efforts to be open to the external world with the whole of themselves.
Well, in my view the problems here abound. How can one strive if one does not know who or what is striving and why, for instance? You acknowledge the striving first, then become passive to and directed by it, but do not think to seek the source of this striving to begin with, it seems.

Another problem is that we are already fully functioning whole beings. So, our lack of wholeness, we know, is created only in the mind. Thus, we must eradicate perceived separation, surely, if we are to regain the wholeness that was originally present and thus act accordingly.

So, first one must seek inside; question even the questioner and source of the questioning. To turn within first would be a better beginning, in my view. Since, without recognition, one has not even started to solve the problem.

The question then is not how to become open to the world but why do I not think and feel open to the world right now. The process of answering this question then becomes the “how”.
Thus, we both have each other's best interests at heart, really.
Our differences as you imply do not require us to have a dual at dawn. Rather then the usual battles normal for websites and victory through mob rule, we can actually try to understand. A toast to you Thuse.
Cheers.

Not to cause more conflict, I also suggest a toast, not to one another, but to ourselves, since surely all learning and understanding is really just about ourselves, in the end, wouldn’t you agree?
We do have different conceptions of "good" I believe it to be relative and quality having an origin far above human nature. Like Jesus said, why call me good, only the Father is good.
I think if we replace the word “Father” with another word, then our conceptions would not be different.
"Meaning" is like this and what gives meaning to people varies in quality IMO. some find the greatest meaning in money while others in a quality of inner experience.
…And others still find it lies in that which cannot be doubted, unlike money and experience.
I would say they don't unify science and religion at all though. Why would you think such a thing?
Take the current conflict over evolution for example. Science insists that it is a result of natural selection without any direction but through chance. [/quote]

This is actually not true.

Evolution is a self-organising, self-correcting feedback system. This is not the same as “chance”. It is precisely the lack of chance, i.e. the non-chance components of evolution that actually allow it to exist. We evolved precisely because it wasn’t chance.

Selection, the mechanism of evolution, is a non-random process. This means the mechanism of evolution is non-chance.

So, evolution by Natural Selection is neither directionless nor driven by chance and science does not insist this.
Yet if one takes organic life in the world as a whole, it is a living machine that eats itself to serve its purpose of the transformation of substances and sustain itself through reproduction. I don't see how such a complex living machine where its creatures develop such a sensitive interaction can just arise by chance.
Thus it is a good thing it hasn’t arisen by chance.

What you are describing (“a machine that eats itself”) is a complex interactive self-perpetuating integral system that recycles information/energy and expands and complexifies over time. This is exactly what science thinks too.

Science would consider reproduction as self-creation or self-replication, which I would too, but perhaps tailor it to say self-expression. The entire process started with a single self-replicating molecule “expressing” a slightly imperfect copy of itself.

Also, it is vital that you understand the fallacy in philosophy called “argument from incongruity” or “argument from ignorance”. This is an argument that says “I cannot understand how it could happen or see how it could happen, therefore, it did not happen”. If you were to study evolutionary biology for instance, you would not no longer be able commit this fallacy.
Yet if evolution is considered as initiating with a higher cosmos within which organic life exists in form as an organic whole we can see how if necessary it can devolve through the process of involution and manifest on earth to begin to evolve in accordance with cosmic needs serving its function in the process. So evolution in the context of involution makes perfect sense and easily pursued by scientists with an open mind towards this triune relationship between this higher cosmos of forms and the manifestations of the dual basis of life on earth.
No, it doesn’t really make perfect sense at all.

Also, again, implying that only something that has already been disproved by scientists will be accepted if they open their minds is a nonsensical and very arrogant/ignorant claim. Noticing this would perhaps be a good opportunity to observe and recognise the ego at work.

Again, all of this comes from your own inability to understand evolution, which you have admitted. For those of us who understand it, there is no problem.

I also feel I need to point out that this notion is not scientific at all.

A scientific theory is one that is falsifiable. Your theory of ontological separation and triune realities have already been falsified.

Moreover, the notion that evolution is divine love or what have you evolving is not falsifiable. Therefore, it is not a scientific theory.

So this idea that a non-scientific idea would unite science is, no offense, completely ridiculous. It, as you have already admitted, arises only from your own lack of knowledge regarding science, evolution and, it seems, the original idea of involution/evolution.

This notion of involution/evolution has been lifted by you from Nondualism; it was a Nondualist that invented the very concept called Sri Auribindo, although we might say that ancient Nondual philosophies had similar ideas much, much earlier.

The problem is that in all of these conceptions it is consciousness that does the involuting/evolution. It is a sensible idea in this sense, because this may be something falsifiable and/or actually suggested by experiment (see above links).

Divine love (which I assume what you, following Weil, attribute to the nature of the process) is something for which you have no evidence; moreover, it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever why love would involve/evolve, whereas a good argument can be built as to why consciousness might do that.

So there is absolutely nothing in your ideas that makes sense with regards to science. It is not a scientific idea nor does it have any explanatory power, in fact, it only creates more questions, which are never answered.

If you were to change it to consciousness that is doing the involving/evolving, we might get somewhere, and many scientists already think this and are making a case for it (again see the above posted links). No scientists currently posit the idea that reality is triune and made of love, not because they are ignorant, but since this is not scientific (i.e. it includes non-falsifiable and already falsified ideas).
I agree that much of what we call art is self expression. Yet I also believe that a higher quality allows the artist to serve as a medium for something beyond ourselves. the artist's skill is what makes it intelligible.
I feel that the greatest art is something not done by the individual.

It is as though the Universe is speaking through the artist, using the artist as a medium to communicate an idea or represent a form of itself. I will create something that, in the end, I feel I was not the one who did it, nor know where it came from at all. In my view, this is because, afterall, there are no separately existing “I’s” at all.

I feel this is the antithesis of separation and the notion of individually isolated selves/doers/artists. In this way, we can allow the Universe to express itself through us.

There is a great beauty to this, I find, without any need for a notion of objective quality nor isolation.
One of my ancestors painted the sea as well as anyone ever did. I read something once that made an impression on me. When asked how he was able to paint as he did he remarked that a person had to go into their studio and remember it. How do we remember something in constant motion? it requires an inner perception of the interactions of universal laws. Somehow being re-membered, it is placed on a canvas.
This is called in Japanese “Li”. It is the impression of a moment of the subject of the painting. Your ancestor could not paint the sea, so he painted it’s Li, its abstraction, its general form. It is precisely because this general form is entirely subjective that makes it so remarkable. It seems that all forms arise within the formless.
Where self expression appeals to our personalities, I believe real art is conscious communication where one essence can touch another.
However, I do not believe ontological separation exists. That means, conversely, there are no selves to express, literally. You misinterpret what I mean by “self-expression”.

So, my “self-expression” in art has absolutely nothing to do with my personality at all. It is this very thing that is bypassed in the art process, which is why so much art is “unconscious” (per se).

When I create art, I am not the artist at all. I am a medium for the creative process. The art just happens, there is no individual that “does” it.

However, it seems my art is not “real” art, to you, because only you define “real” art, apparently. So be it, I will have to stick to “fake” art.
]Maybe I'm missing something but I don't see how the tetralemma correlates with the Law if the included middle. The tetralemma describes possibilities for logical assertions. The included middle includes a new term.
No, it doesn’t include a new term

It is the term “Both A and ¬A”. This term is the third term of the tetralemma (literally: “four-cornered”).

So the “law” (it really isn’t a “law”) of the included middle hasn’t included anything new by offering a less complete version of something between 3-6000 years old.

So it is completely worthless.
It reconciles duality through a new term rather then just defining the possibilities of an assertion.
No, it doesn’t. The notion (Both A and ¬A) implies it’s opposite (Neither A nor ¬A) which is not included. Therefore, it is dualistic, since it includes a duality, and has not reconciled anything at all.
As Dr. Nicolescu points out it is illustrated by a triangle. I don't see where the tetralemma becomes a triangle that connects a duality with an apex that reconciles it.[.quote]

What is it with you and triangles?! In this metaphor, a triangle is a two-dimensional Object. The tetralemma goes beyond Euclidean geometry, into infinite multi-dimensionality (Nonduality). Every point of duality is every other point of duality so that there is no longer duality at all. Thus, it is not a two-dimensional shape, a duality, but a fractal or hologram, where every point reflects all other points. So the tetralemma is not a triangle, but a circle with its circumference nowhere and center everywhere.
Basarab Nicolescu is not well known in the United States but is well respected outside of it.
Perhaps, but it is irrelevant. The study is not philosophic nor scientific, but contain vast elements of pseudoscience and opinionated argumentation. The work is not even suitable for peer-review.

Having a PhD does not give you freedom to make such mistakes, nor simply fail to notice that the idea already existed for thousands of years and was actually complete and avoided the dualism he was trying to avoid, but failed.

A scientist should have known better.

This is why we must always question authority.
I agree that everything is connected.
Except you believe in ontological separation, thus, you do not actually believe that everything is connected.
Once I accepted the truth in this it became clear why everything in the world must be as it is and an expression of connection lawful with collective being. so regardless of speeches, good intentions, or anything else, organic life including human civilizations will continue as expressions of our being. If everything is connected it cannot be different.
If everything is connected, taken to its conclusion, you have no self, soul or individual being, but are an inseparable part of a self-created, self-perpetuating, self-organising whole, experiencing itself subjectively. Being is singular, separation is not inherent and we are already That which we seek.
While mystical experiences are valuable, they only indicate a potential for Man. This isn't popular to say but I do believe that we are a plurality. We are not one but many and in opposition to ourselves.
Okay, so, you negate everything that you have said above about everything being connected then.
If this is true it is nice for Ghandi to speak of being the change we want to see in the world. But the human conditioned denies it other than in a secular fashion.
I don’t think I have ever seen anyone patronise Ghandhi with such complete obliviousness.

Remember that you base your conception of Weil’s morality on the basis “she did good deeds, therefore, she was correct”.

If you dismiss Ghandi so readily, but must acknowledge his good deeds which were so much more than Weils, then it is clear that you do not follow thorough in your reasoning.

More evidence it seems that your reasoning is completely inconsistent and disconnected from reality.

You speak of all of these things you seem so sure of but how do you know any of it?

You claim you have verified it through experience.

Well, it is obvious you are not talking about Satori, Kensho, Samadhi or their equivalents as we have established. So, you obviously haven’t got that “far” with your own “mystical” experiences. So why assume all of this based on early undeveloped experiences?

You also say that experiences are not the end of it and limited in some way. You also seem to acknowledge they can be doubted. So when doubting you experience, you can doubt your own “feelings”.

Thus, you do not know experientially, logically, scientifically, reasonably, rationally or any other way whatsoever. You really see no problem with this?

You literally have no reason to believe any of this, including your own “feelings” about it.
This is the big difference between Judaism and Christianity. People don't respect this difference and this lack of respect leads to a lot of foolish fights.
There is no fundamental difference between esoteric Christianity and esoteric Judaism.

There is lots of difference between Judaism and your Christianity because your Christianity is not much like esoteric Christianity, but much more like exoteric Christianity.

Any belief system that involves isolation will necessarily create “foolish fights”. Respect is irrelevant. If you ideas are conflicted, you are conflicted and you believe in conflicted things, then you will necessarily cause and create conflict.

Reality is whole and without intrinsic separation. I think that naturally then, those ideas with lots of separation and isolation are those farthest from reality.
Do you disagree with any of the needs Simone Suggests?
No, certainly not the first concepts, although I wouldn’t call them needs. Who needs them and why? Weil was unable to answer that.

Obviously I can ignore her comments regarding ‘grace’ as it is clear she is not talking from personal experience and, since grace is presumably subjectively experienced, it is obvious then she is simply making things up.
On what basis would your atheism improve upon public education?
If each individual realises him or herself as part of an interconnected whole, and becomes aware of their genuine nature, it is no longer necessary for anything to be “improved”. Rather, the actions of a complete and peaceful person will create complete and peaceful things all by themselves. The duality here then (between improver vs. improved) is avoided and integrated without conflict.

For me to assume that education needs improving creates a duality between what I want and what is. I am not a dualist as Weil was, so I must try to transcend this duality.

Moreover, as a person with conflict, it is logically impossible that I could commit an action that produced a lack of conflict. Conflict plus 0 always equals conflict, not 0. Just like 1 + 0 equals 1, not 0. However, when I deny or bypass my “I”, which can never not be conflicted, then conflict needn’t be created.

So, the very notion to me is indicative only of perceived separateness. Perhaps education should not be improved. Perhaps a system that encourages separateness must be included, otherwise the individual has nothing to realise later in life. The Universe is funny like that.

Peace,

Thuse.

Nick_A
Posts: 2391
Joined: April 19th, 2009, 11:45 pm

Post by Nick_A » November 6th, 2009, 1:17 am

Hi Thuse
Recognizing your ego is the first and most important step because if you cannot recognize it, you cannot do anything about it. So when the ego is present it is vital that one notices it rather than deny or defend it further.


True but what notices it. It can be anything between just one aspect of your ego recognizing another or it could be the purity that Simone referred to that has the power to contemplate defilement.
Also, the word “objectivity” refers to an empirical, scientific approach. Since Weil’s philosophy was based primarily on intuition and subjective emotions and impressions, it is in fact “subjective”.


You simply do not understand Simone. I am not being critical since I know how new she is to you. I know of only one person I believe that was more advanced then her in their power of attention and capacity for detachment. T.S. Eliot sums up my attitude towards Simone:
"In trying to understand her, we must not be distracted ... by considering how far, and at what points we agree or disagree. ... I cannot conceive of anybody's agreeing with all of her views, or of not disagreeing violently with some of them. But agreement and rejection are secondary: what matters is to make contact with a great soul." T.S. Eliot in his Introduction to The Need for Roots (1949)


That is so wonderfully Simone. Her life's efforts invite us to experience the contradiction and not shy from it. At times when reading her notes it was like getting a glimpse of what Mary Magdalene was like after being saved from the depths of psychological hell. She had learned by experience and acquired a valuable quality. Simone's search is so pure that it embarrasses me as a man which is a good thing

She professes two kinds of objectivity: emotional and intellectual. We already disagree as to emotional objectivity and probably also concerning intellectual objectivity.

I remember reading Dr. Lasker's Manuel of Chess where he wrote that the combination reveals the hypocrite. Later on when attending college, it became clear that the advantage of chess is its power of revelation. College doesn't have it so subsists on intellectual BS. However in chess the combination reveals all the faulty analysis.

Chess also has the advantage of making clear a psychological quirk that can allow us to admit intellectual limitations. When reading on famous combinations I was amazed how obvious they were once I played over the moves and read analysis. What I couldn't see before was now completely clear and I wonder how I missed something now so obvious. This is a limitation of intellectual thought. It proceeds in known patterns and unaware of different variations that are obscured by our attachment to intellect. It raises a valuable question of what it means to think in a new way not confined to conditioned patterns.

Simone's study of mathematics did not allow for subjective emotion. She was respected enough to be included in a theoretical group started by her brother Andre who was a peer of Einstein called "Bourbaki." You can say a lot about Simone but a woman trapped in subjective emotion is not one.
This thinking assumes that one who does not believe does not understand. This is the kind of egoic arrogance that ensures one keeps going round and round that circle you mention. The ego is a closed loop.


I do not emphasize what to believe but instead the importance of how to experience. One doesn't believe in cosmology. It is a hypothesis that one is invited to verify through inner empiricism. Belief just gets in the way. As Simone suggests, loss of doubt leads to tyranny. I think we disagree on what it means to doubt rather than deny.
"Whenever one tries to suppress doubt, there is tyranny." Simone Weil
You are unable to speak of your ideas or those you admire without using adjectives such as “great”, “brilliant” and so on. In psychology, this is called “reinforcement”; it is how your mind is belligerently reinforcing ideas irrelevant of their accuracy. As mentioned above, recognizing that this is what the mind is doing is the first step to overcome it.
Dr. lasker was a brilliant chess player. Jacob Needleman has extraordinary understanding, Simone Weil was an "event." What is so bad about being descriptive? I'm not ashamed to admit their superiority over me. It would be inaccurate to assume otherwise.
This is why I would say that “details”, such as proof, evidence, methodologies, verification, truthfulness, accuracy, avoidance of fallacious arguments and so on are so very important
I don't disagree with this. As I pointed out, chess reveals how trapped we are to patterns and the hypocrisy of egotistically defending them. As Dr. Lasker said, the combination reveals the hypocrite.
Rather than just make assertive statements, perhaps you could prove that something in your model can be realised by deductive logic.

I ask because your entire thought process thus far is completely inductive.
Involution cannot be experienced by induction but requires deductive reason. A person can see how they begin with a goal and lose their aim. Sin is called "missing the mark." Simone's purity leads to deductive reason. We begin with a premise from experience that relates to universal laws that are spelled out and see if it holds true in our lives. Once we experience the big psychological picture cosmology asserts, we deduce that the same patterns lead to the same result regardless of denials and fine speeches. If it holds true, then it has been verified.
We can think about this logically. You are admitting that currently, you are a disordered being. Yet, it is this very disordered being that, you state, is attempting to enforce order onto itself. That is, you are attempting to “become yourself” i.e. order, but the very you who is trying to do this is himself disordered.
We are disordered due to the natural results of the loss of consciousness and the dominance of imagination to reconcile it. The solution is then working towards conscious presence which automatically aligns our being. The greater the moments of presence, the less our disorder. That is the solution. We are used to thinking in terms of goals yet presence refers to the importance of process.
I’m not sure why you started talking about something completely different
We agree that we cannot know the Absolute if it exists. However we can know its laws and their expression through the lawful complimentary processes of involution and evolution in a conscious universe. Its recognition IMO is what will eventually unite science and religion.
So what can’t be doubted?


Nothing. However anything can be denied. So the important question is the difference between doubting and denial. Does this distinction exist for atheism or must it insist on denial?
It is another thing to believe things which have been disproved outright many, many times. Examples of this would be things like ontological separation. This is an irrational belief.
It is for you. However I believe that the Milky Way galaxy and the Andromeda galaxy are separate even though they may unite in the distant future. So from one perspective they exist as ONE and from another they are separate. Cosmology allows for recognition of relative perspective where something can be simultaneously unique and yet a part of a higher whole.

Your interest is in mystical experiences but mine is what it means to be a man. I accept the definition that a man is defined as one who is master of himself. A man is capable of a soul that allows for "thy will to be done on earth as it is in heaven." Living with the inner conflict normal for life in Plato's cave can only lead to turning in circles. what good is mystical experiences if one remains on the wheel of samsara? The resulting conflict just leas to worsening states on samsara.
Kenshō itself has been said to be "...a blissful realization where a person's inner nature, the originally pure mind, is directly known as an illuminating emptiness, a thusness which is dynamic and immanent in the world."[4] Kenshō experiences are tiered, in that they escalate from initial glimpses into the nature of mind, on to an experience of emptiness, and then perhaps on to Buddhahood.
This is what Simone experienced but she adds that this illuminating emptiness when pure is actually grace.
I am interested in what gives you personal certainty that all of these people for thousands of years so completely missed the mark and not yourself? Why is your inner verification above and beyond all of these men’s?
Genuine masters express some things for secular public consumption and others for students. a Master can only give what people can digest. I do believe in the transcendent unity of religions and for anyone having become part of it, it all becomes clear.

If it wasn't for Simone, I'd assume the following account to be typical French story telling. But with those like Simone we cannot know so I prefer to keep the question open and the possibility of a higher quality of conscious humanity:

http://www.abc.net.au/rn/relig/enc/stories/s116621 .htm
Simone Weil's life and work has played a big part in your life. Could you perhaps, give us a brief anecdote to end with?

Well, here is an astonishing story. Though it has to do with Simone's after-life, am not making this up. I tell it because it has illustrative value.
A man had a dream... He dreamt that he entered into a building, took an elevator up to the top floor, where he found a door and pushed the buzzer. Upon being invited to enter, he walked across an apartment and reached a room where he saw a large table at which someone was seated, who looked as if she might be a scholar.
"You must know many languages", he told her.
"Where I am, we speak only one language", she answered.
At this point, the man woke up. The language in question he guessed to be that of love.
Some time later, after he discovered the writings of Simone Weil, he made by telephone an appointment with Mrs Selma Weil (Simone's mother), and proceeded to number 3, rue Auguste Comte in Paris. When he came to the building, he recognised it. And he entered the very elevator he used in his dream, reached the same floor, saw the same door, walked through the same apartment and came to the same room, where stood the same table. On the wall, he noticed a photo which was that of the very same person he had seen in his dream. The books of Simone Weil he had read had not been illustrated. Thus he saw there for the first time the features of the person he had met in his sleep.
Since this story was told to me by the man himself, a reverend and furthermore a psychiatrist, and "there are more things in heaven and earth" than our philosophy can think of, I did not doubt his tale. He is dead now, but I hesitate to mention his name. The gist of the matter however is that this story brings home a point which was made by Pascal: "C'est le coeur qui connait Dieu." "It is through the heart that we know God". And, may I add: "And everything else also."
I have a choice. I can either deny it as BS or accept it as a possibility. Of course I don't know so it makes more sense to me to keep the possibility open that conscious evolution is a reality and somehow he felt an influence that did not originate from the earth. I am willing to admit "I don't know."
What this means is that science cannot determine if a thing is true but it can determine if a thing is not true. Science falsifies things that are impossible.

So, in searching for truth, science looks under the pillows, behind the couch, under the sofas and can cross these things of its list. It will never find truth itself, however, only what truth is not.
The trouble with science is not the techniques but the way it has devolved for many. Beginning from page 5

http://acmsonline.org/Taylor-SimoneWeil.pdf
.............For Weil, “the true definition of science is … the study of the beauty of the world”30.Because beauty is utterly beyond any of us, the proper reaction to beauty is joy and humility.

Instead of humility, Weil sees an intoxication with the power and prestige of science. She criticizes society’s very idea of what greatness is. “Our conception of greatness is the very one that has inspired Hitler’s whole life. When we denounce it without the remotest recognition of its application to ourselves, the angels must either cry or laugh, if there happen to be angels who interest themselves in our propaganda.”31

This confusion of greatness with power and prestige affects the very motives of scientists:

“Technical application plays such a large part in the prestige of science that one would be inclined to expect savants to derive a powerful stimulant from reflecting upon the different forms of application. In fact, what provides a stimulant is not that but the actual prestige such applications confer on science. Just as the idea of making history goes to the heads of the politicians, so the savants become intoxicated at feeling themselves to be taking part in something really great.”32

Of course this sense of greatness that inspires so many scientists is false because it is “a greatness independent of any consideration of the good.”33 Regarding this lack of consideration of “the good”, Weil asks if there is any scientist who, though he realizes his discoveries will upset human existence, would not “strain every effort in order to carry his researches to a successful conclusion.”34 Instead of considering the consequences of his or her research, the scientist attempts only to produce more and more results.

Are non-technological sciences, such as mathematics or theoretical physics, any better? No, Weil responds. She gives two reasons why theorists are no better than technologists. First, though theorists often profess a disdain for applications, they fail to realize that almost all of the prestige that comes to science comes from those technical applications. She points out that apart from technical applications, skill at theoretical science would be viewed by the public as something akin to skill at chess: a nice game, but one without any importance. Thus, the attitude of detachment assumed by theoreticians is at best deluded or at worst hypocritical.35 Weil dissects the motives of scientists even further: they do not even primarily care about the opinion of the public—they care primarily for the opinion of their fellow scientists.

“The primary social consideration for savants is purely and simply one of professional duty. Savants are people who are paid to manufacture science; they are expected to manufacture some; they feel it to be their duty to manufacture some. But that is insufficient for them as a stimulant. Professional advancement, professorships, rewards of all kinds, honors and money, receptions abroad, the esteem and admiration of colleagues, reputation, fame, titles—all that counts for a great deal.”36

Her thought here was likely influenced by her brother. Early in his mathematical career, André Weil fought, in his terms, a “war of the medals”, where he and several friends campaigned against the introduction of new national medals for scientists. He feared that the pecuniary awards would corrupt the motivations of scientists. Looking back on that time period he reflects sarcastically, “We were naïve enough to think that the joy of discovery was itself ample reward.”37 This was a sentiment with which Simone would surely have agreed.

Late in his life the only one of the many awards which André Weil ever mentioned was the Kyoto prize; the rest he ignored.38

For Simone, however, the arrogance of scientists is merely symptomatic of a larger and deeper problem. The problem is that the pursuit of truth has been forgotten. And forgotten not only in science, but also in all of culture. “Since the spirit of truth is absent from the motives behind science, it cannot be present in science. If one were to expect to find it, on the other hand, to any considerable extent in philosophy and literature, one would be disappointed.”39

Weil is particularly caustic towards those who see an opposition between religion and science. It is a sign that the spirit of truth is absent from both. “No deaf men’s dialogue could possibly equal in comical force the polemic between the modern spirit and the Church.

The unbelievers select, in the name of the scientific spirit, and to use them as arguments against the Christian faith, truths which constitute indirectly, or even directly, manifest proofs of that faith. The Christians never notice this, and make feeble attempts, with a bad conscience and a distressing lack of intellectual honesty, to deny such truths. Their blindness is their punishment for the crime of idolatry.”40

In science, the lack of truth is seen in the fragmentation of the academy. Even people in the same department cannot understand each other’s research. Every one is a stranger outside their own work. Weil is not primarily protesting against increased specialization. She objects to how scientists believe whatever a scientist from outside their discipline says, based solely on his reputation or popularity. They are reluctant to question the assertions of another scientist because it would limit their own public authority. The cultural vogue is to accept the words of scientists as authoritative, much as an earlier generation accepted the words of priests.

This inability to evaluate the work of other scientists or accurately communicate one’s own work testifies to a lethargy towards truth. “Today the ease of communications all over the world in peacetime and specialization carried to an extreme have made it so that savants of each specialty, who themselves constitute reciprocally their one and only public, form the equivalent of a village. … Whatever [the village] is prepared to admit in science is admitted; whatever it is not prepared to admit is rejected. There is not a single disinterested judge among them, since each specialist, owing to the very fact that he is a specialist, is an interested party.”41

What then is the solution? For Weil, “the remedy is to bring back again among us the spirit of truth, and to start with [it] in religion and science; which implies that the two of them should become reconciled.”42 How is this reconciliation to take place? Weil points to the ancient Greek model. “Greek science was based on piety. Ours is based on pride. There is an original sin attaching to modern science.”43....................
So if science originally was based on piety and now a source of pride, it is easy to see how the egoistic need for pride deters the essential purpose of science.
How and why do you believe that quality is objective?
I believe in a relative scale of being that connects its source to what is most distant from it at the lowest cosmos.

A vegetable is higher on the scale of being than a mineral since minerals are within vegetables and vegetables are not within minerals. The scale of being is one of inclusion. Physical man on earth is the highest on the scale of being on earth since all the substances of being normal for minerals, vegetables, and animals are included within man's being. Having become complete in physical evolution Man now is invited to continue on to conscious evolution and the return to its higher origin.
I would personally say that this isn't necessarily an atheistic belief, but a rational, scientific and logical one.
This is an essential difference between us. For me the idea isn't to become without emotion but to heal the heart so we can experience not only positive emotions and the higher emotions necessary for us to evolve in human perspective rather then continually becoming lost in negative emotions.
We are completely open to these things. The burden of proof is simply on yourself to justify why these things must exist. Since no justification has ever been provided, and many scientific experiments suggest otherwise, we are forced not to take an active belief in it.

If you can prove otherwise, we will thank you for it, not resist you.

My personal beliefs are usually considered mystical, especially by other atheists, however nothing I believe is yet contradicted by science. So, it is entirely possible to have a mystical understanding that is accompanied by science and still in agreement with almost all other mystics, instead of in conflict with it.
If my beliefs conflicted with science then I could never hope to unite science and religion. It is not up to me to prove anything to you. If you need to understand, you must make the necessary efforts towards inner empiricism. But how many are open to it? If interested you can read this short article on inner empiricism. You are free to accept or reject an invitation to go further but I surely cannot provide inner verification

http://cogweb.ucla.edu/Abstracts/Needleman_93.html
Another level would be the realization that all experiences and Objects are, paradoxically, the Subject, consciousness; and thus everything we experience is fundamentally truth. Simultaneously, consciousness can never fully directly experience itself, thus truth is not an Object of experience – we cannot know truth, literally.
But this is what we are called to do. We must doubt until we give up. Then we can have a direct experience. But of course this is far easier said than done:
“In what concerns divine things, belief is not appropriate. Only certainty will do. Anything less than certainty is unworthy of God.” Simone Weil
Meister Eckhart said basically the same.
First of course, you must have a self, soul or, at least, a consciousness. What happens when you look for your consciousness? Why can't you find it? Why can't you grasp it? How can you possibly be expected to do all this stuff if you can't even find your consciousness?

I say, actually find your consciousness first, then worry about all this conscious connection stuff later. You have to start if you want to begin, no?
There is nothing mysterious about all this. The idea isn't to experience God but to be able to become capable of a conscious experience. Why not if drawn to esotericism make attempts in that direction? I've found what Jacob Needleman asserts in his book: A Sense of the Cosmos" to be true for me.
"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. All definitions, no matter how profound, are secondary. Even the formulations of ancient masters on this subject can be a diversion if I take them in a way that does not support the immediate personal effort to be aware of what is taking place in myself in the present moment."
The question then is not how to become open to the world but why do I not think and feel open to the world right now. The process of answering this question then becomes the “how”.
What good is analysis if we are asleep in Plato's cave? The WHY then can lead just so far. If we want to open to the external world we have to strive for conscious presence which aligns our being. Once we see how easily we lose it, the WHY makes far more sense.
Not to cause more conflict, I also suggest a toast, not to one another, but to ourselves, since surely all learning and understanding is really just about ourselves, in the end, wouldn’t you agree?
Yes. Of course as an unintended advantage, an additional shot of good scotch won't hurt. :)
I think if we replace the word “Father” with another word, then our conceptions would not be different
Would that word be "man?"
Science would consider reproduction as self-creation or self-replication, which I would too, but perhaps tailor it to say self-expression. The entire process started with a single self-replicating molecule “expressing” a slightly imperfect copy of itself.

Also, it is vital that you understand the fallacy in philosophy called “argument from incongruity” or “argument from ignorance”. This is an argument that says “I cannot understand how it could happen or see how it could happen, therefore, it did not happen”. If you were to study evolutionary biology for instance, you would not no longer be able commit this fallacy.
Regardless of the fallacy I still find it impossible to accept. It is one thing for a cell to mutate but without guidance, how does it produce the continual interactions of organic life as a whole. It seems far more logical to look at organic life as a whole as a kind of jig saw puzzle in potential. It's pieces gradually evolve into their planetary manifestations. The alternative view of a cell mutating and eventually producing the myriad forms of life on earth just doesn't make sense to me.
Divine love (which I assume what you, following Weil, attribute to the nature of the process) is something for which you have no evidence; moreover, it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever why love would involve/evolve, whereas a good argument can be built as to why consciousness might do that.

So there is absolutely nothing in your ideas that makes sense with regards to science. It is not a scientific idea nor does it have any explanatory power, in fact, it only creates more questions, which are never answered.
Involution isn't an action of the energy of love but rather the energies of creation. The energy of love is unifying while the energy of creation is unity into diversity the "breath of Brahma is just exhalation as involution and inhalation as evolution.
There is a great beauty to this, I find, without any need for a notion of objective quality nor isolation.
I have to just let this be your position since there is no way for me to prove the nature of conscience as the emotional equivalent of consciousness. We agree that intellectual quality varies. some are better chess players than others. Yet emotional quality cannot be proven intellectually so we must rely on inner experience to verify the experience of quality.
This is called in Japanese “Li”. It is the impression of a moment of the subject of the painting. Your ancestor could not paint the sea, so he painted it’s Li, its abstraction, its general form. It is precisely because this general form is entirely subjective that makes it so remarkable. It seems that all forms arise within the formless.
I don't know about Li. I do know that he could paint the sea. The celebrated British seascape painter Joseph Turner would not have called him a genius if he couldn't. There always must be some subjective impression but that doesn't preclude the expression of the interactions of elementary laws.
Except you believe in ontological separation, thus, you do not actually believe that everything is connected.


Everything is connected at one level and involution is the process of unity into diversity. So unity and separation simultaneously exist on a vertical scale of being.
If everything is connected, taken to its conclusion, you have no self, soul or individual being, but are an inseparable part of a self-created, self-perpetuating, self-organising whole, experiencing itself subjectively. Being is singular, separation is not inherent and we are already That which we seek.
This is true as we are. But what of our potential? We have the potential for "I Am." That is to say the expression of unity "I" into diversty "Am." But lacking inner unity we are as you say but with a seed capable of developing to reconcile a vertical duality from a higher cosmological perspective.
You speak of all of these things you seem so sure of but how do you know any of it?

You claim you have verified it through experience.


Yes, I have verified that like Paul, I am the wretched man. That is a beginning.
Well, it is obvious you are not talking about Satori, Kensho, Samadhi or their equivalents as we have established. So, you obviously haven’t got that “far” with your own “mystical” experiences. So why assume all of this based on early undeveloped experiences?


We are concerned with different things. Where you are concerned with kensho, I'm concerned with the experience of human meaning and purpose. It is clear to me that this requires help from above.
Thus, you do not know experientially, logically, scientifically, reasonably, rationally or any other way whatsoever. You really see no problem with this?


There is no problem. If the solution is the conscious experience of the external world, what good is trying to be logical without complete information? It is like looking at a complex chess position from simple variations. As they say a picture is worth a thousand words. Once we have the conscius experience, everything can fall into place.

We have basic disagreements as to the nature of man. This year I've been involved with discussions on Simone Weil both since it is the centennial year of her birth and because of what Jacob needleman and others have written as to the importance of unifying science and religion. Naturally I hope that students may disccover Simone and ideas contained within her book "The Need for Roots" and that they may become more know in the universities.



I want to learn if we can find common ground in the value in the societal quality of metaxu even though we disagree on the need for grace from above.

I wil use this summary from simone Weil's book: "The Need for Roots." We can gradually bring our spiritual differences into the plant analogy

Simone Weil describes a human being as similar to a plant. From Wiki
The concept of uprootedness and the need for roots is basic to Weil’s entire book. Why this metaphor? Is it a metaphor? In some passages she seems to speak quite literally — as though humans and their social environments are plants and gardens that can be grown and planted through effort.

As the title of the book suggests, there is a need for roots — that is, humans need roots to grow. Roots provide the stability and nourishment of a plant. The deeper they go, the more the plant can withstand bad weather and shocks to its system and the more extensive its root system the more nourishment it can receive to grow and remain healthy.

So let’s become clear about what the soil is and what the plant is. The soil is the social structure that humans create to protect themselves from harm, catastrophes such as starvation, protection from animals, from the elements, and finally protection from each other. The roots are from the plant that symbolizes us humans.

Just as plants need good roots and soil to root in, they also need sun. For Weil, the sun to humans is the world of the spirit. It provides light so the nutrients can work properly, just as photosynthesis creates energy from the nutrients using the energy of the sun.

Now, let’s explain the logic of this metaphor. The plants in the soil are human beings. The soil is the social and cultural structures that human beings have built up over the millennia. In most cases, they are evolving and in time we see more recent shoots sprout and grow from older plants. The laws governing the growth of these plants are similar to the laws that govern nature. They are just as rigid, just ineluctable as the law of gravity. The laws that govern the actions of humans in society mirror the laws of the natural world. That is, just as we find a struggle for existence and survival in nature, so also we find a similar struggle within human social structures. This, for Weil is the struggle for power.

In outline, this struggle is unique to human beings. It rests on the necessity of wrestling from the natural world a place that humans can survive in — a human environment which humans have created. At a certain level of human social organization, humans are at peace with other. They have little strife among themselves — the main battle is to find food and shelter and weather the natural elements. We can see examples of this in some tribes in the Amazon.

As societies become more structured and humans begin to develop technical skills and more control of their natural environment, a division of labor occurs — That is, the work that is needed to build cities, grow food for larger populations, pave roads, carry out religious rites—this division of labor means that you must have those who give orders and those who follow orders. This arrangement of worker and manager is necessary for any extended and complex social activity. To conceive, plan, and carry out any great project, there must be those who give orders and those who take orders.

The struggle for power is not, Weil asserts, between the workers and the managers, as Marx and others had theorized. The struggle is between those who have the power. They fight and vie with each other for more and more power, more and more control of the undertakings and the direction that a society will take, as well as all the material and psychological rewards that come from power.

For Weil, this struggle is inevitable. There is no way to get around it, since human beings must continue — for their survival — to provide for themselves and to maintenance the social structure that is the main instrument of their continued existence. Weil sounds a very pessimistic note on this state of affairs — at the end of one of her essays, she notes that we are born slaves.

This pessimism is only brightened for Weil by the illumination provided by the spiritual reality that she came more and more to experience in her life. It is the spiritual world, with its revelation of obligations and ethical insights that enables societies to soften and re-route the immense pain and suffering caused by the struggle for power. Through the power of the spiritual, human beings can see that their final destiny does not merely end on earth, and that perhaps there will be a final reckoning for the actions that one has performed in this life in a life after death. She found this concept in many religions, from Mesoamerica to Egypt to Greece to China to Druid England.

Societies embed these spiritual insights and beliefs into their practices, rituals, and symbols. The spiritual insights of past generations are stored in memory and passed down from generation to generation. The customs, traditions, sacred writings and religion of a society are the embodiment of this spiritual treasury. As generation follows generation, individuals in the present can communicate with the past and the past communicate with the present through this accumulated spiritual wealth. In this way, a medium of continuity across time and space is created and the wisdom of the past can inform and perhaps direct the activities and behavior of the present as individuals plan and move into the future.

We have already seen what spiritual needs the individual has to have to remain free and just. A society that meets and provides these needs is a spiritually rooted one. This society will provide the material and spiritual needs of each member of the society. Weil finds these societies as part of the natural development of human life on earth. They are ordained by God as the creator and source of life. They are precious and should be honored and venerated for their beauty, but above for their ability to sustain human life in its material needs, if not more so with their spiritual journeys and desires.

Once a society begins to lose the ability to provide and meet these needs, it starts to die. Once individuals begin to lose their contact with the soil that nourishes and the sun that illuminates each person’s days, they decay from the inside out. Like a tree that has a sickness, the pith and meat of the tree soften and eventually cannot support the weight of the plant and it topples.

Why or how does this happen? The answer to this question is complex. But for now we can say that, for Weil, most societies do not die natural deaths. They are killed by conquerors and invaders who uproot civilizations, not only not leaving buildings and temples standing but also destroying those spiritual roots that had perhaps sustained the civilization for hundreds if not thousands of years.

This is an immense crime in Weil’s eyes. Through her study of history she had come to love the wonder and beauty of several civilizations. That they were no longer existent, beat into dust by empires, hurt her sense of spiritual balance. Yet, her moral outrage emanated more from a deep despair for she knew that as beautiful as art, architecture, poetry, and religion are, they are nothing compared to the beauty of a human being. Above the death of every civilization she heard a mournful dirge of immense pain and affliction which was the combined voices of each individual who had been hacked, burned, raped, and sodomized — whose human dignity and beauty had been profaned by the merciless and bloody boot of empire and desire for power.

It was this affliction which was caused by a human being treating another human like a piece of garbage which she ultimately saw as her own spiritual vocation in life. But above that, it was the vision of a world wherein humans have the responsibility and mission to alleviate as much of this affliction as possible — to create just and free societies where the cries of the orphans and the widows would be heard that drove her to use all of her spiritual and intellectual and physical resources to bring to birth a manifesto that would lay out the blueprint for rebirth and regeneration. This rebirth would serve as the basis for the rise of a civilization to equal those great ones of history…

In one of her essays, Weil says that the oppressed cannot voice their affliction, cannot cry out due to the weight of the pain they suffer. Her work — her words and her life—is an attempt to give voice to this affliction. This aspect of her work puts it on the level of the ancient Jewish prophets, those men and women who stood up against injustice in the name of God and gave voice to the widows and the orphans, those who are crushed beneath the unending struggle for power.

Note the eccentricity of several of the prophets: Ezekiel is said to have used dung to bake his bread, Isaiah to have lain on his side for months at a time. And then we recall Hosea, whom God told to marry a prostitute who continued to leave him, get impregnated, and yet God would tell him to take her back — numerous times. With this in mind, perhaps we can make room for a frail, sickly, young French Jew, who spent her life’s fire fighting for workers, the despised, the marginalized, and died by starving herself because she could not forget that men, women and children in her homeland were dying for want of food.
So first of all as an atheist, do you believe that society should serve to develop individuality or should individuality be sacrificed to society?

Leaving the leaves of the analogy aside for the moment, Societal metaxu is what feeds the roots in the plant analogy. What would make for a healthy metaxu from the atheist's perspective? I'm trying to first see if we can agree on what could feed the roots in a way that would sustain a free society,
Man would like to be an egoist and cannot. This is the most striking characteristic of his wretchedness and the source of his greatness." Simone Weil....Gravity and Grace

Thuse
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Joined: October 4th, 2009, 3:16 am

Post by Thuse » November 8th, 2009, 8:05 pm

Hey Nick_A, another long post.
Nick_A wrote:Hi Thuse
.So when the ego is present it is vital that one notices it rather than deny or defend it further.


True but what notices it. It can be anything between just one aspect of your ego recognizing another…
I think ego arises in awareness. Awareness is of the ego, not the ego of the awareness.

So, if one aspect of your ego is recognising another, then this is not what I mean by “recognition”. What I mean is to simply be aware of this happening, without judgment (i.e. the ego interfering).
…or it could be the purity that Simone referred to that has the power to contemplate defilement
Surely the notion that there is a "contemplater" of thoughts is itself the ego.

From the point of view of awareness, or conscious witnessing, thoughts and contemplations simply arise, with no doer of any kind.

So Weil’s ego is contemplating its own defilement. It appears she was unable to differentiate her ego and her consciousness, which is apparent to any student of meditation, for instance.

This is why it I feel it is unhelpful to me personally to consider Weil’s philosophy as useful to me. I am personally more interested in removing associations with mental Objects, such as the ego, rather than encouraging them.
Also, the word “objectivity” refers to an empirical, scientific approach. Since Weil’s philosophy was based primarily on intuition and subjective emotions and impressions, it is in fact “subjective”.


You simply do not understand Simone...
She professes two kinds of objectivity: emotional and intellectual. We already disagree as to emotional objectivity and probably also concerning intellectual objectivity.
My point though was that from a scientific perspective, objectivity refers to objective empiricism, where emotions and even intellect are attempted to be removed from the equation.

There may or may not be value in Weil's "emotional objectivity"; my point is that it cannot be analogous to empirical objectivity, since it is not objectively or empirically verifiable.

All things in reality can be divided, conceptually, into different aspects, which we touched upon earlier – yin and yang, on and off, this and that, negative positive or Subjective and Objective etc.

Weil and your own philosophy focuses on the Subjective: how things seem or are interpreted, while science focuses on the Objective: how things can be measured or derived empirically.

So, your Subjective methodology is wholistic, emotional, experiential, intuitive, personal, transcendent, interpretative and so on.

Sciences Objective methodology is analytical, intellectual, experimental, representative, impersonal, immanent, not subject to interpretation and so on.

Both of these methodologies have their flaws because each one neglects one aspect of existence (i.e. the Objective is neglected in triunism/the Subjective is neglected in scientific materialism). It means that they come to completely opposite and contradictory (in their own respective models) conclusions.

For instance, you have concluded that some things are Objective, when actually they are completely Subjective (such as quality, value, meaning etc.).

On the other hand, scientific materialism has concluded that Subjective events are Objective (consciousness, awareness, mind etc.)!

So, we have two different modes of approaching reality that neglect an entire side of it – which necessarily leads to all sorts of nonsensical conclusions, such as that objective brains are exactly equal to subjective experiences, or that subjective quality is objective etc.

I believe that what is needed is an integral account of these two things. The Subject and Object should be viewed as complimentary, rather than in conflict.

In your model, you are in total conflict with scientific evidence, while science is in total conflict with your subjective experience.

This is okay though – it is possible to begin to integrate these two perspective into a unified whole (although that will involve dropping certain assumptions from both) which will create a description of reality that includes, rather than excludes, all levels.

In this sense, reality can be understood to be neither exclusively Objective (science) nor exclusively Subjective (Weil/triunism).

Afterall, the aim of all mysticism is the union (yoga) of Subject and Object – that is, the nonduality of Subject and Object/mind and reality/male and female etc.
The ego is a closed loop.


I think we disagree on what it means to doubt rather than deny.
Denial is negating something one knows to be true or affirming something one knows to be false.

Doubting is suspending judgment on something one does not know to be true or false.

I don’t feel I can do anything more for you to explain these differences in this regard.
I'm not ashamed to admit their superiority over me. It would be inaccurate to assume otherwise.
I think perhaps you have misunderstood the concept of reinforcement.

Only an ego can be less/more than another. Everytime we think how much better/worse than another we are, we are in fact identifying with our egos.

Mysticism and esotericism argue that our identification with an ego alone is a false one. Therefore, in order to “know thyself” we must cease this process of misidentification.

We can start doing this by simply becoming aware of the ego - thus distinguishing between the ego and that which is aware of it.

So, there is nothing wrong with the ego thinking itself inferior/superior to another – in fact, this is what it is programmed to do.

One simply must become aware of this happening, if one is to follow the instructions of the mystics.
Rather than just make assertive statements, perhaps you could prove that something in your model can be realised by deductive logic.
Involution cannot be experienced by induction but requires deductive reason. A person can see how they begin with a goal and lose their aim. Sin is called "missing the mark." Simone's purity leads to deductive reason. We begin with a premise from experience that relates to universal laws that are spelled out and see if it holds true in our lives. Once we experience the big psychological picture cosmology asserts, we deduce that the same patterns lead to the same result regardless of denials and fine speeches. If it holds true, then it has been verified.
You have not actually presented any deductive arguments here. What you are describing is called "inductive" reasoning in philosophy and logic.

Inductive means that events are explained from a multitude of possibilities by picking only one conclusion, when it could be others.

Deductive means that one conclusion is picked, which is the only possible conclusion.

It seems you have not understood the difference here, but this is a very important distinction.

Again, if you have any deductive arguments, I would be interested in seeing them.
That is, you are attempting to “become yourself” i.e. order, but the very you who is trying to do this is himself disordered.
We are disordered due to the natural results of the loss of consciousness and the dominance of imagination to reconcile it.
Yet if we accept we are disordered, then we accept that above conclusion you make is one made by a disordered mind. Please note this well before you dismiss it.

In my view, it is vital that we rid yourself of disorder first, before assuming we know the causes of this and that.

Until you have located and eradicated the cause in oneself, you cannot be in a position to know for all others, I believe.
The solution is then working towards conscious presence which automatically aligns our being. The greater the moments of presence, the less our disorder. That is the solution. We are used to thinking in terms of goals yet presence refers to the importance of process.
If by presence, you mean awareness, then I effectively agree.

I think you have not acknowledged the totality of this process. You are creating a conflict between when you are present and when you are not - between what should be, as you perceive, and what is not.

So, you have created more disorder. It is always the case that saying is not enough; one must do.

Being present means being aware. So be aware of this disorder, and it will begin to cease, I claim.
I’m not sure why you started talking about something completely different
We agree that we cannot know the Absolute if it exists.
If it cannot be known as an Object, what might this suggest? If something were not an Object, then what is it?
So what can’t be doubted?


Nothing.
Hah, precisely. No-thing can be denied, that is, no Object. What then, is not an Object? This is a valuable line of inquiry, in my view.
So the important question is the difference between doubting and denial. Does this distinction exist for atheism or must it insist on denial?
I must ask: to what end is your false assertion that atheists deny things? What benefit, what gain can you arrive at by false accusations?

I do not think being dishonest is helpful in our communication.

Atheism has not only a distinction between denial and doubt, but also denial and rejection.

I, as an atheist, reject your beliefs because they are denied by scientific evidence, experiential evidence and historical evidence.

This is the Objective aspect of my philosophy.

Further, as a student of mysticism and related techniques, I reject your claims, because I believe them to represent an earlier level of experience and interpretation than that I am used to.

This is the Subjective aspect – which is then integrated with the Objective, rather than ignoring it, as triunism feels it must do.

I cannot do any more to elucidate this for you.

If you wish to repeat that I am in denial, when I am not, then I suggest researching “projection” in addition to “reinforcement” in psychological literature.
It is another thing to believe things which have been disproved outright many, many times. Examples of this would be things like ontological separation. This is an irrational belief.
It is for you.
It is because of the reasons above, that is, it is defined that way.

An irrational belief is one without rationality, so in this sense, it is irrational for me, scientists, philosophers, rational persons and mystics alike.

This is an example of your rejection of Objectivity, for exclusive Subjectivity only. I do not this is valuable for an integrated worldview, in my opinion.
Your interest is in mystical experiences but mine is what it means to be a man.
This is not the case at all; again, what is the value in dishonesty?

The truth of your beliefs is entirely dependent on mystical experiences. So, it is you have an invested interest in them.

From reviewing this thread we can clearly see that, unlike yourself, I have been able to clarify my position using evidence, science, logic and reason.

As it turns out, mystical experiences are consistent with my position too. But I have not needed to hang my views on this fact, and so have not done so.

I hope your persistence to make claims that we both know to be false is as telling for you as it is for me. I would humbly suggest: Observe yourself, without judgment.
What good is mystical experiences if one remains on the wheel of samsara?
Which is exactly why I highlighted in my last post that even mystical experiences can be doubted, which is why they are effectively useless to the genuine seeker who seeks to integrate the Objective with the Subjective.

I feel that the fact you have chosen to ignore this, on purpose, and infer something else, is a product of the power of your imagination.

Know that whatever you see in me is merely a reflection. All we are is mirrors for one another.
Kenshō itself has been said to be "...a blissful realization where a person's inner nature, the originally pure mind, is directly known as an illuminating emptiness, a thusness which is dynamic and immanent in the world."[4] Kenshō experiences are tiered, in that they escalate from initial glimpses into the nature of mind, on to an experience of emptiness, and then perhaps on to Buddhahood.
This is what Simone experienced but she adds that this illuminating emptiness when pure is actually grace.[/quote]

I admit, I am extremely confused by your actions here. Why would you ignore what I posted regarding this exact description?

It begins:
Literally it means "seeing one's nature"[1] or "true self."[2] It generally "refers to the realization of nonduality of subject and object."
Why would you purposefully ignore this?

Obviously, it shows that this is not what Weil was referring to. We can express this in a deductive argument if you would prefer.

P1. Weil believed there was a distinction between Subject and Object.
P2. Kensho/Satori is the realisation of the nonduality/nondisitinctino between Subect and Object.
C1. Therefore she was not referring to, nor did she experience, Kensho/Satori.

Hopefully, you can now accept this.

In addition, Emptiness refers to the true nature of all things and, ultimately, consciousness. This is a well established fact in Buddhism, which is clear if you were to study Buddhism.

Thus, assertions that Emptiness equals grace are without reason or validity and actually based on nothing at all other than your own opinions; which are entirely false in this case.

When we have realised a mistake or misunderstanding of ours, is it better to learn and correct it or resist and deny it entirely? I believe the former, hopefully you will too.
I am interested in what gives you personal certainty that all of these people for thousands of years so completely missed the mark and not yourself? Why is your inner verification above and beyond all of these men’s?
I do believe in the transcendent unity of religions and for anyone having become part of it, it all becomes clear.[/quote]

As do I, regarding both of these claims.

Yet, I do not assume that my experiences are above and beyond every mystic that has ever lived except one I choose arbitrarily.

Instead I learn from this, and do not jump to conclusions about what I experience.

Doing this, I am able to integrate, rather than deny as you do, the experiences of others.

*snip dream story*

I have a choice. I can either deny it as BS or accept it as a possibility. Of course I don't know so it makes more sense to me to keep the possibility open that conscious evolution is a reality and somehow he felt an influence that did not originate from the earth."
In a case such as this, we have many options.

You feel that a story regarding a possible visitation by the spirit of Weil refers to conscious evolution and other-wordly communication.

This is called "inductive" logic as I mentioned earlier. Inductive logic means that only the explanation that you can think of is being implied, even though there are many possibilities. A few examples:

- Perhaps the person had watched a television show on Weil when he was younger, which featured a picture of the house and Weil. His subconscious had remembered this and realised it during the dream.

- Perhaps the individual is lying.

- Perhaps an inter-planetary intelligence, with advanced technology, purposely interacts with his mind and generated this experience for good or evil reasons.

- Perhaps the individuals dream was much more vague, and the more interesting details where actually added later.

- Perhaps it was simply coincidence.

And so on.

This is why inductive logic is problematic.

While many of these examples will seem very ridiculous and unlikely to you no doubt, and they are, they are actually not more likely than the explanation "conscious connections with other worldly entities is possible".

Inductive logic does not apply to probabilities you see. So, no explanation is preferable to another in inductive logic.

So while you are right to keep an open mind about these things, it is dangerous to assume the only possibility is the one you can think of.

One must also keep an open mind regarding the limits of their knowledge too.

This further relates to my belief that Subjective and Objective methodologies should be integrated, not in conflict.
The trouble with science is not the techniques but the way it has devolved for many. Beginning from page 5

*snip*

So if science originally was based on piety and now a source of pride, it is easy to see how the egoistic need for pride deters the essential purpose of science.
Where we disagree is that I feel mysticism can be and is easily compatible with the scientific method (rather than modern science, currently).

I use the scientific method to verify the claims of mystics and judge my own experiences.

In this way, I am attempting to unite the Objective and Subjective as equally valid aspects of the same thing.

You are forced to dismiss scientific evidence and reasoning in order to preserve your own exclusively interpretive/subjective methodology.

This is where we differ.

However, you actually use it to an extent when you judge your own impressions of quality, then inductively (science is deductive remember) judge how they can be explained. So, you use the methods only when it suits you.

This is very, very problematic, because it mixes up methodologies and does not highlight vital problems with the experiments and explanations.

By all means, reject the current ideologies and paradigms of scientists. But do not reject the findings of science nor scientific methodology itself.

I personally think by doing this you will easily be able to clear up the various contradictions, confusions and impossibilities in your model.

It will also mean that you don't have to accuse everyone who doesn't agree with you as less enlightened/awakened as you, and can evolve past such meaningless and false defenses.

Thus you might be able to understand some of your beliefs in a new light, while finally integrating science and logic into your model as well with a new understanding.
How and why do you believe that quality is objective?
I believe in a relative scale of being that connects its source to what is most distant from it at the lowest cosmos.[/quote]

So do I.

So do all physicists.

Why do you believe that subjective quality is objective though, that was actually the question.

If you argue that quality is objective – then you must either negate the qualitative (Subjective) or the quantitative (Objective).

This is what is meant when it is said that your model is not integrative, but exclusive, and does not unite science, but negates it.
This is an essential difference between us. For me the idea isn't to become without emotion but to heal the heart so we can experience not only positive emotions and the higher emotions necessary for us to evolve in human perspective rather then continually becoming lost in negative emotions.
I must ask again why you feel it beneficial or constructive to associate me with things that I am not associated with and have explicitly stated, repeatedly, that I am not for.

Do you remember what you said about sleeping man in Plato’s cave? You said that non-awake man simply repeats cyclical patterns of conditioned behaviour. Please, please note and really think about this well.

I do not want to "become without emotion", which is clear from what I have been saying during this thread.

I do not think we should be exclusively dependent on emotion only.

Emotion is Subjective, but does not relate to the Objective very well. I seek to integrate the two instead.

In your case, everything you believe you do so because you "feel" so. It is this methodology with which I disagree. It is entirely Subjective. I belief that our models should be integrative, not limited.

It is clear that the intellect (relates to Objective) and emotion (relates to Subjective) are in conflict in your model - you have already acknowledged this.

I believe that when intellect and emotion are in balance, this conflict will disappear.

Is it possible that you feel something genuine that you have not understood intellectually, and this is the reason for this conflict? I think so.

I believe that rather than let one faculty (in this case emotion) rule others, everything in the psycho-physical organism can be brought into balance.
If my beliefs conflicted with science then I could never hope to unite science and religion.
Well the problems are that your beliefs contradict science in a multitude of ways.

For example:

- The Laws of Thermodynamics contradict your model.
- The results of neurology and neuroscience contradicts your model.
- Quantum mechanics contradicts your model.
- String theory contradicts your model.
- Evolution by Natural Selection contradicts your model.
- Etc.

There are others, but this is probably enough for now.

If you want to unite or integrate the two, then you perhaps must start by not having an exclusively narrow viewpoint – that of Subjectivity only.

You are tailoring, misconstruing, misinterpreting and outright negating much scientific evidence and fact in order to meet your own subjective interpretations and emotions. This is not "uniting" science and your beliefs. You have misunderstood the concept of "unite".

In order to unite science and religion, one must be able to integrate Subjectivity into the Objective, and the Objective into the Subjective, neither of which, obviously, you have been able nor tried to do yet.

As before, I can only show you these things, if you would like to continue to deny such things then I can do no more.
It is not up to me to prove anything to you.
I actually said that the burden of proof, in a philosophical and scientific sense is on you, which it is.

If you choose not to prove anything, but just repeat stuff you’ve been told, then do not be surprised when atheists do not take you seriously, was my point.

Again, it is impossible to unite science and religion with this attitude. This is clearly evident to you now I am sure.
If you need to understand, you must make the necessary efforts towards inner empiricism. But how many are open to it? If interested you can read this short article on inner empiricism. You are free to accept or reject an invitation to go further but I surely cannot provide inner verification
It is peculiar that you must insist on patronising me. I don’t feel it is very helpful.

Do you think that if a scientist looks down a sharply focused microscope for decades, with eyes wide open, he would not see anything at all?

This is essentially what you are saying of me, which I think is obviously a bit foolish - I have even corrected you on much of these things, recall. :roll:

Whatever; this is attitude of yours here is exactly what is meant by an isolated, or non-integrative philosophy.

Your entire justification is based on your own interpretations of internal experiences. However, these are just your own internal interpretations. Interpretation is important, but surely not the whole story.

A different methodology, my own, is to take personal subjective mystical experiences and apply to them to scientific understanding, compare and contrast them with other experiences and apply them to logic, rational thought and so on.

Only then is it necessary to integrate them in an interpretive methodology, which is what you do from the beginning however.

The problems with this methodology of yours abound.

For instance, you are completely unable to make sense of my experiences (and most others)– they fit nowhere in your model, therefore, you are forced to deny them or trivialise them in some way, because you cannot explain them at all.

On the other hand, in my integrative model, your experiences are both perfectly valid and easily explained and compatible.

Science actually defines the accuracy of a model by its ability to explain the most data; therefore, your model would be considered less accurate by scientific standards since it cannot explain the majority of the data, even though it explains some data (Weil and your own) well.

For these reasons, for me this shows that this integrative (empirical and interpretative) model is a more efficient model than your purely interpreted one.
But this is what we are called to do. We must doubt until we give up. Then we can have a direct experience.
The problem I see is that you have not given up anything. You have clung to assumptions from the start. This is not a valuable why to investigate something.

For instance, if a Detective assumes he knows the murderer already, and discounts all the evidence that points elsewhere, he would not be much of a Detective!

I claim you must give all assumptions and conceptual biases up. You must abandon absolutely everything in the search for truth.

I believe then and only then might one achieve something of value, instead of just more views and opinions.

I believe that, if you were inclined to study the mystics, you would find that most of the “awakening” experiences are not actually "experiences" at all in the normal sense.

It is precisely because that you are not aware of this that I reject your experiences, not necessarily because of their validity, but because they are of no interest or value to me personally. All anyone has to do to taste the "Divine" is drop some acid or do some yoga for a few years. Ultimately though, it is worthless. Just more ripples on the ocean, albeit subjectively impressive ones. Yet the actual ocean goes unnoticed so often.

Only that which is (non-)experienced as an Object is not subject to interpretation. Similarly, truth is not subject to interpretation, which is why I can discount your experiences as valuable in this regard, because they are subject to interpretation.
I say, actually find your consciousness first, then worry about all this conscious connection stuff later. You have to start if you want to begin, no?
There is nothing mysterious about all this. The idea isn't to experience God but to be able to become capable of a conscious experience. Why not if drawn to esotericism make attempts in that direction? [/quote]

Please do not evade the question, I feel this is important. You have not understood my point at all.

Where is your soul, self, consciousness? How do you know it exists? What happens when you look for these things? What is found?

If you are drawn to esotericism, then know that esotericism is about what is hidden, or secret, or undisclosed - the word “esoteric” literally means that.

It is not and never easy to find that which is hidden. So you must start from the beginning, not halfway.

In fact, in my view, you must start from the beginning, or you cannot be said to have started at all.

And as Jesus so brilliantly pointed out, the best place to hide something is right "in front of you".
It is relatively easy for the whale to find the fish - but not so easy for it to find the water, which is much more hidden to it.
What good is analysis if we are asleep in Plato's cave? The WHY then can lead just so far. If we want to open to the external world we have to strive for conscious presence which aligns our being. Once we see how easily we lose it, the WHY makes far more sense.
We are conscious and we are present.

That we think otherwise is obviously the problem then.

Hence, “Why do I not realise what is?” is the question.

You cannot be something other than what you are.

It seems to me you have misunderstood the meaning of “ask” here. It is not a verbalised analysis. It is an internal inquiry. It is called “self-inquiry”. It is the process of “knowing thyself”. It is an internal seeking, called in Raja Yoga ”Pratyahara” and it is a key practice in Jnana yoga. All modes of mysticism have derivatives of it.

In order to “know thyself”, you have to find out who the “thyself” is first. If you are looking somewhere other for it than right here, then who is looking?

I think you should find out who is asking all these questions. Find out why they arise in the first place. These are necessary before the “how” even comes into it, in my opinion. If you do not know the “who” first, you cannot know to whom these things apply. Since the “I” is primary to all thought an experience I think it follows one should seek it, and its source, primarily also.
Not to cause more conflict, I also suggest a toast, not to one another, but to ourselves, since surely all learning and understanding is really just about ourselves, in the end, wouldn’t you agree?
Yes. Of course as an unintended advantage, an additional shot of good scotch won't hurt. :)
;)
I think if we replace the word “Father” with another word, then our conceptions would not be different
Would that word be "man?"
Haha, no, the word would not be “man”. How you arrived at this is beyond me. It is as though you haven’t really been following what I have said. Maybe you shouldn’t have had the extra shot afterall ^^

Where do heaven and hell themselves arise? What is without dependence, yet all things, even man, even gods, even existence and nonexistence, depend on it? Where does even “the Father” arise?

Whatever word you arrive at as the answer to these questions, this is the word I would use to replace “the Father”.
Regardless of the fallacy I still find it impossible to accept. It is one thing for a cell to mutate but without guidance, how does it produce the continual interactions of organic life as a whole. The alternative view of a cell mutating and eventually producing the myriad forms of life on earth just doesn't make sense to me.
Okay, but then you are still in conflict with science, not just the consensus, but the actual evidence itself.

If you cannot integrate the evidence that shows a single molecule can produce the entirety of life on Earth, then you cannot feasibly integrate your ideas with science.

I respect you difficulties; I would suggest having a look at evolutionary algorithms, its related topics (which you can find from that wiki page) and especially cellular automatons which really proves that immensely complex life and its interactions can arise from simple (binary) digital inputs. I think that, once it is understood that evolution could have happened, it becomes clear that it did.

I know evolution is hard to assimilate. I appreciate that, right now, it may not make complete sense to you, however, once you have considered the extent of the explanation, I am sure that it will. Remember, evolution does not disprove god, it simply disproves that he is needed for evolution or life to occur.
Involution isn't an action of the energy of love but rather the energies of creation. The energy of love is unifying while the energy of creation is unity into diversity the "breath of Brahma is just exhalation as involution and inhalation as evolution.
Right. This is a bit more inline with the original idea of involution/evolution, albeit still not grasping the main point, in my opinion.

And what is Brahma in this metaphor? From where did Brahma arise? Who or what creates the creator? These aren’t rhetorical questions. They are more important than any others, in my opinion.

I would suggest, instead of focusing on the differences between you and your god, switch your analysis into what ways you are similar.
I don't know about Li. I do know that he could paint the sea. The celebrated British seascape painter Joseph Turner would not have called him a genius if he couldn't.
It’s okay, I didn’t mean it like you are inferring - I meant he couldn’t paint the sea in the sense that you yourself said and meant it, that he cannot paint the sea in motion.

It seems you have assumed the worst here, even though it was not entailed by what I said. Is this kind of conditioned reaction suggestive of anything perhaps?
There always must be some subjective impression but that doesn't preclude the expression of the interactions of elementary laws.
No, it doesn’t. Nor does it have anything to do with objective quality.
emotional quality cannot be proven intellectually so we must rely on inner experience to verify the experience of quality
If I were to say, “objective quality doesn’t exist, you don’t have to agree, but when you are ready, you’ll experience it, like me” what you would you think?

I think it will be useful for you to remember how you would’ve respond to this first the nest time you feel that you must refer to this kind of flawed reasoning.

Everyone experiences quality, the same as you, but do not need to believe that it is objective; you only do this because certain books tell you so.

Perhaps you might seek the source of all quality if you are to ascertain whether it is objective or subjective first. This would be more reasonable than saying so only because your (as you have admitted) disordered mind cannot imagine it any other way, no?
Except you believe in ontological separation, thus, you do not actually believe that everything is connected.


Everything is connected at one level and involution is the process of unity into diversity. So unity and separation simultaneously exist on a vertical scale of being.
Now you are sounding almost a bit more like a nondualist and less like a dualist! Still, not quite. I personally feel like you have the sums but haven’t quite added them up, in my mere opinion.

Should you feel like it, I would highly suggest you keep going with this line of thought and ponder what it might entail, if you consider it valuable to do so.
We have the potential for "I Am." That is to say the expression of unity "I" into diversty "Am." But lacking inner unity we are as you say but with a seed capable of developing to reconcile a vertical duality from a higher cosmological perspective.
What of your “I am”? Where does “I am” arise? Who is the I that knows that I am? What is the source of “I am”?

Surely these questions must be answered if you want to find out what is meant by “I am”. That is what I think, in my opinion.
I have verified that like Paul, I am the wretched man. That is a beginning.
Who is wretched? Your ego. So you have realised you have an ego that thinks itself wretched. Wretched or not, awareness is there, indifferent, no? Realise this and that would be a beginning, in my opinion.

Again, you evaded my point about doubt. When you doubt these experiences, you have nothing left.
So why assume all of this based on early undeveloped experiences?


We are concerned with different things. Where you are concerned with kensho, I'm concerned with the experience of human meaning and purpose. It is clear to me that this requires help from above.[/quote]

I am not overly concerned with Kensho at all; you are twisting my words and ignoring others, purposely, and it is very unconstructive. There is no point in having an interview/discussion if no communication occurs, that is, no information is being assimilated. I have assimilated and tried to accurately represent information from your side, please stop being so closed in this regard.

You have agreed you obviously have not experienced Kensho, Satori or Samadhi. You admit this. I have established that Weil had no knowlegde of these things either,beyond doubt. Therefore, you have no way of knowing what is experienced in a mystical experience such as these.

Hence, you cannot cling to the idea that mystics are talking about what you are, since you have no idea what they are talking about.

When reviewing the nature of these experiences, it is clear that they contradict much of your views, such as the duality (or triunity if you prefer) of Subject and Object.

Hence, mysticism, including esoteric religion, is either wrong, or you are.

Therefore, there is no hope or recognition on your side for the unity of religions, clearly.

Kensho, higher meaning, higher purposes…all these things are but flickers in a sea of existence. I believe that your insistence that I am overly interested in these things is rather futile, since we both know it not to be the case.

Until the Self is known, one cannot possibly ascertain the meaning or purpose of the Self. To think such things is obviously nonsensical. This is where I see you as having your methodology backwards, hence the confusion. You don’t know the Self, yet you feel you know the meaning of the Self. This is not even an inductive position, it is totally illogical.

You say you assess validity based on experiences, yet you admit that these experiences are very undeveloped and preliminary. For some reason, unbeknown to either of us, you do not follow that the deeper experiences will likely verify or suggest something different, which makes no sense. I see this as a very confused and conflicted mindset, in my view.
There is no problem. If the solution is the conscious experience of the external world, what good is trying to be logical without complete information?
It seems to me you are not thinking clearly about what you are saying.

If you do not have complete information, then you cannot make these assertions about “conscious experiences” and so forth, which you admit not having, since you yourself have incomplete information.

So, the contradiction here is blinding me, but you seem not to see it.

You will not find your self by looking for the other, in my opinion.
We have basic disagreements as to the nature of man. This year I've been involved with discussions on Simone Weil both since it is the centennial year of her birth and because of what Jacob needleman and others have written as to the importance of unifying science and religion. Naturally I hope that students may disccover Simone and ideas contained within her book "The Need for Roots" and that they may become more know in the universities.

I want to learn if we can find common ground in the value in the societal quality of metaxu even though we disagree on the need for grace from above.

*snip*

So first of all as an atheist, do you believe that society should serve to develop individuality or should individuality be sacrificed to society?
As all things are interconnected, all things depend on one another for their existence. Therefore, there are no such things as individual “beings” at all.

This means that the society and the doings of “individuals” happens totally of its own accord, and according to pre-determined causes dating back to the beginning of the Universe.

There is then no individuality as I see it; the “individual” is equal to the society. They are not two different things.

Further, I could not state what “should” be done. What is done will be the case, regardless of what my own ego thinks should or should not be.

So, individuality here means ego of course, since this is what we mean when we say “individuals”.

In this light, perhaps it would be good if society does not develop egos; that is largely why we face most of the problems we currently do.
Leaving the leaves of the analogy aside for the moment, Societal metaxu is what feeds the roots in the plant analogy. What would make for a healthy metaxu from the atheist's perspective? I'm trying to first see if we can agree on what could feed the roots in a way that would sustain a free society,
I would say that there is no such thing as a healthy metaxu. So I would say only that the healthiest metaxu is no metaxu at all.

A metaxu is a barrier, a boundary, which promotes separation, conflict, violence and war. In Weil’s metaphor, she likened a metaxu to like a barrier between two prisoners. While they are separate, they can communicate through the medium of the wall, which was the metaxu. For Weil, this was a good thing.

I believe that, when we can simply tear down the walls and embrace one another, we will have no need for boundaries. I see no boundaries anywhere, so I can see Weil’s meataxu as superficial only. The two sides of the duality which the metaxu connects, including the metaxu itself, all arise together.

Peace,

Thuse.

Nick_A
Posts: 2391
Joined: April 19th, 2009, 11:45 pm

Post by Nick_A » November 9th, 2009, 6:11 pm

Hi Thuse
Hey Nick_A, another long post.
That's curious, she said the same thing last night. :wink:
I must ask: to what end is your false assertion that atheists deny things? What benefit, what gain can you arrive at by false accusations?
Let me go back a bit and try to clarify the different aspects of atheism. Tell me if you agree with the essence of this article. I have no ulterior motives but just prefer to explore the potential connection between atheism and higher consciousness asserted in the transcendent unity of religions.

http://www.investigatingatheism.info/definition.ht ml
The exact meaning of 'atheist' varies between thinkers, and caution must always be shown to make sure that discussions of atheism are not working at cross purposes. Michael Martin, a leading atheist philosopher, defines atheism entirely in terms of belief.[1] For him, negative atheism is simply the lack of theistic belief, positive atheism is the asserted disbelief in God, and agnosticism is the lack of either belief or disbelief in God. This suggests that negative atheism, the minimal position that all atheists share, divides neatly into agnosticism and positive atheism. It is worth noting that the 'positive atheist' need not have certainty that God doesn't exist: it is a matter of belief, not knowledge.
If negative atheism "is simply the lack of theistic belief", then Simone is close to being a negative atheist with the only difference being that she distinguishes between false god's and something we cannot believe in:
"To believe in God is not a decision we can make. All we can do is decide not to give our love to false gods. In the first place, we can decide not to believe that the future contains for us an all-sufficient good. The future is made of the same stuff as the present...."
It seems "false gods" do not exist for atheism since there is no objective source for atheism. But this doesn't deny the potential for an experience that suggests Panentheism. Would you agree?
It is worth noting that the 'positive atheist' need not have certainty that God doesn't exist: it is a matter of belief, not knowledge.
If this is true, what is the difference between the belief in a god concept and the belief in the denial of god? Neither is based on knowledge.
Surely the notion that there is a "contemplater" of thoughts is itself the ego.


True, but their are egos less closed then others. She is referring to becoming able to admit the human condition. This is very rare and only a relative few become capable of this sincerity. It requires conscious attention and the need for reality. Without them we must fall into denial.

Once a person becomes truly aware of the human condition as it exist within themselves and how we exist as a plurality in opposition to ourselves, then it becomes possible to hit bottom and let go of denial. But again this is very rare.
My point though was that from a scientific perspective, objectivity refers to objective empiricism, where emotions and even intellect are attempted to be removed from the equation.

There may or may not be value in Weil's "emotional objectivity"; my point is that it cannot be analogous to empirical objectivity, since it is not objectively or empirically verifiable
This is where we would disagree. I am referring to becoming able to experience objective human meaning and purpose. This requires more then cold scientific facts. Is human meaning and purpose limited to experiencing cold facts or must it include emotional quality not dominated by negative emotions?

For example, I do believe in the human potential to experience inner morality. As a whole humanity has lost this ability so are restricted to the blind conditioned external morality. A person having opened to human meaning and purpose would be open to the experience of inner morality. Facts do not prove its validity but the experience of inner morality does. The idea isn't to interpret it but to retain the experience
For instance, you have concluded that some things are Objective, when actually they are completely Subjective (such as quality, value, meaning etc.).
True, I believe that if the earth and everything on it were destroyed by an asteroid, the universe would continue serving its universal purpose that could be consciously experienced as "meaning" through qualities of consciousness that permeate the levels of our universe
In your model, you are in total conflict with scientific evidence, while science is in total conflict with your subjective experience.
There cannot be a conflict. Science measures in time and space. It measures between before and after. Cosmology measures the vertical quality of a moment in time. Science cannot measure this. It is a conscious experiential measurement that vertically connects above and below in a moment of time which cannot exist for time. A moment does not have dimensions so technically doesn't exist for science.
Denial is negating something one knows to be true or affirming something one knows to be false.

Doubting is suspending judgment on something one does not know to be true or false.
Would you say that positive atheism is based on denial while negative atheism is disbelief that necessarily must include doubt?
Only an ego can be less/more than another. Everytime we think how much better/worse than another we are, we are in fact identifying with our egos.
So what is wrong with that? If I played twenty chess games with Kasparov he will win all twenty. He is a better player. I don't see the sense in denying this for mysticism? You can say that from the point of view of the purity that enables contemplation of the experience, we can see it as objectively meaningless. But regardless Kasparov will win all twenty games.

I don't look at the ego as something bad. The human condition has just corrupted something of great importance. The ego is what connects our inner world with the external world. The ego should provide a conscious connection. The human condition has made this impossible as we are. Instead we have become creatures of reaction motivated primarily by imagination. Would you accept the possibility that rather then denying the value of the ego, the emphasis should be on healing it so that it can function as the conscious connection it should?
Again, if you have any deductive arguments, I would be interested in seeing them.
First I have to know if you accept or reject this distinction between inductive and deductive reason.
In our attempt to reconcile the inner and outer world, however, we do come up against a very real difficulty, which must be faced. This difficulty is connected with the problem of reconciling different 'methods of knowing'.

Man has two ways of studying the universe. The first is by induction: he examines phenomena, classifies them, and attempts to infer laws and principles from them. This is the method generally used by science. The second is by deduction: having perceived or had revealed or discovered certain general laws and principles, he attempts to deduce the application of these laws in various studies and in life. This is the method generally used by religions.. The first method begins with 'facts' and attempts to reach 'laws'. The second method begins with 'laws' and attempts to reach 'facts'.

These two methods belong to the working of different human functions. The first is the method of the ordinary logical mind, which is permanently available to us. the second derives from a potential function in man, which is ordinarily inactive for lack of nervous energy of sufficient intensity, and which we may call higher mental function This function on rare occasions of its operation, reveals to man laws in action, he sees the whole phenomenal world as the product of laws.

All true formulations of universal laws derive recently or remotely from the working of this higher function, somewhere and in some man. At the same time, for the application and understanding of the laws revealed in the long stretches of time and culture when such revelation is not available, man has to rely on the ordinary logical mind."
Until you have located and eradicated the cause in oneself, you cannot be in a position to know for all others, I believe.


True, the human condition is a hypothesis that must be verified through inner empiricism. Eradicating the cause is to eradicate the control of imagination over our lives. That is a whole other ball game.
I think you have not acknowledged the totality of this process. You are creating a conflict between when you are present and when you are not - between what should be, as you perceive, and what is not.


Becoming self aware or becoming aware that we are aware is the beginning of awakening. Soon after we lose the experience and fall back into our normal conditioned states. This is not a conflict. They are just different qualities of being normal for the nature of our plurality. It isn't a matter of what should or should not be. If a person is interested in awakening they have to become aware of what denies it and struggle against it. This is the same as with anything else in life. If we want to lose ten pounds we must struggle against the diabolical temptation of a chocolate chip cookie.
If it cannot be known as an Object, what might this suggest? If something were not an Object, then what is it?
It is "being" without dimensions. Objects are defined as relative qualities of existence within the dimensions of time and space.
I, as an atheist, reject your beliefs because they are denied by scientific evidence, experiential evidence and historical evidence.


How can science reject a moment in time. It cannot verify it but that doesn't mean it can reject it. All it means is that the objective appreciation of a moment in time is beyond the limitations of science.
An irrational belief is one without rationality, so in this sense, it is irrational for me, scientists, philosophers, rational persons and mystics alike.

This is an example of your rejection of Objectivity, for exclusive Subjectivity only. I do not this is valuable for an integrated worldview, in my opinion.


Yes, this is why Socrates said that the man in the cave analogy beginning to see the light would be considered irrational. It has always been this way. Objectivity in Plato"s cave is based on fragmentation: disconnected knowledge. It lacks inclusiveness. The world view that results cannot be other than the same that produces war.
The truth of your beliefs is entirely dependent on mystical experiences. So, it is you have an invested interest in them.


No, the truth of my beliefs comes through inner empiricism. A mystical experience is something else. The reason I bring it up is to be part of what brings it to the attention of others. Jacob Needleman referred to it in the previously posted preface to his book: "Lost Christianity."
"......................It is all that, to be sure, but what is lost in the whole of our modern life, including our understanding of religion, is something even more fundamental, without which religious ideas and practices lose their meaning and all to easily become the instruments of ignorance, fear, and hatred. What is lost is the experience of oneself -- myself, the personal being who is here, now, living, breathing, yearning for meaning, for goodness; just this person here, now, squarely confronting ones existential weaknesses and pretensions while yet aware, however tentatively, of a higher current of a higher current of life and identity calling to us from within ourselves. This presence to oneself is the missing element in the whole of the life of Man, the intermediate state of consciousness between what we are meant to be and what we actually are. it is perhaps the one bridge that can lead us from our inhuman past toward the human future."
The experience of oneself isn't mysticism but rather the experience of our plurality. It is just our collective ignorance of the human condition that everything continues as it is. I do believe that the more a person becomes inwardly aligned as part of the process of the experience of oneself, they will automatically open to help from above because as I understand it, the only thing that denies it is the dominance of our imagination that denies the experience of oneself.

We are capable of experiencing levels of reality in ourselves as self awareness because as a microcosm we have the same inner structure as the higher cosmoses.

Becoming capable of detachment that impartially experiences life in the raw is not mystical. It is a vivid experience of our connection with the external world. Yet it is necessary to become a human being other than in name only.
From reviewing this thread we can clearly see that, unlike yourself, I have been able to clarify my position using evidence, science, logic and reason.
Good, that is its intent.
Quote:
Literally it means "seeing one's nature"[1] or "true self."[2] It generally "refers to the realization of nonduality of subject and object."


Why would you purposefully ignore this?

Obviously, it shows that this is not what Weil was referring to. We can express this in a deductive argument if you would prefer.

P1. Weil believed there was a distinction between Subject and Object.
P2. Kensho/Satori is the realisation of the nonduality/nondisitinctino between Subect and Object.
C1. Therefore she was not referring to, nor did she experience, Kensho/Satori.

Hopefully, you can now accept this.


When Simone refers to filling the void it is different than contemplation. But what illuminates our experience for ""seeing one's nature"? I would suggest it is what fills the void in the absence of imagination.
Thus, assertions that Emptiness equals grace are without reason or validity and actually based on nothing at all other than your own opinions; which are entirely false in this case.


The void or emptiness is one thing and grace that fills it in the absence of imagination is another. You believe it false which doesn't mean it is fault.
Yet, I do not assume that my experiences are above and beyond every mystic that has ever lived except one I choose arbitrarily.


Attempting to verify a hypothesis relating to the human condition does not put me on a pedestal. It just means I value striving for inner verification.
It will also mean that you don't have to accuse everyone who doesn't agree with you as less enlightened/awakened as you, and can evolve past such meaningless and false defenses.

Thus you might be able to understand some of your beliefs in a new light, while finally integrating science and logic into your model as well with a new understanding.
It's not a matter of being more enlightened but just becoming aware of a vertical direction in addition to my usual linear life. There is no ego trip in this. I know Simone was aware of it since without appreciating it, she could not have united science and religion with such depth as in the following quote:
I believe that one identical thought is to be found--expressed very precisely and with only slight differences of modality-- in. . .Pythagoras, Plato, and the Greek Stoics. . .in the Upanishads, and the Bhagavad Gita; in the Chinese Taoist writings and. . .Buddhism. . .in the dogmas of the Christian faith and in the writings of the greatest Christian mystics. . .I believe that this thought is the truth, and that it today requires a modern and Western form of expression. That is to say, it should be expressed through the only approximately good thing we can call our own, namely science. This is all the less difficult because it is itself the origin of science. Simone Weil....Simone Pétrement, Simone Weil: A Life, Random House, 1976, p. 488
I appreciate such people and also believe their influence to be essential if we are to be saved from the advances of technology that create more and more efficient methods of mutual destruction.
Why do you believe that subjective quality is objective though, that was actually the question.
It isn't. Subjective quality is defined by us and obscures objective quality . Objective quality exists even if Man on earth did not. It is a measure of the relative scale of "being."
Emotion is Subjective, but does not relate to the Objective very well. I seek to integrate the two instead.


You study Buddhism. Is compassion in contrast to consolation an emotional response to imagination or the objectivity of the human condition?

Agape in Christianity is not the love of image but of a human being and their potential for objective meaning and purpose. It has to be developed which is why most that refer to it are referring to love of image. But agape is an objective action.
Do you think that if a scientist looks down a sharply focused microscope for decades, with eyes wide open, he would not see anything at all?

This is essentially what you are saying of me, which I think is obviously a bit foolish - I have even corrected you on much of these things, recall.


Not at all. Inner empiricism appears to be a new word for you. It is not patronizing to suggest reading up on it if you are interested. All it means is applying the scientific method to the Socratic axiom to "know thyself."

You see, like a nice person with an interest in the significance of deeper ideas. That is a good thin in my eyes. what is there to be patronizing about?
Your entire justification is based on your own interpretations of internal experiences. However, these are just your own internal interpretations. Interpretation is important, but surely not the whole story.
As I have said I cannot invent these ideas. I am invited to verify an inner hypothesis as to the nature of the universe and man's objective place and potential within it. It isn't a matter of interpreting but rather of verification.
I claim you must give all assumptions and conceptual biases up. You must abandon absolutely everything in the search for truth.


This is like the Buddhist analogy of needing the boat to get to the new land. But once on the land it is senseless to carry the boat around.

I am just admitting that I need the boat since without it I would again sink into the normal rationalisms and escapism at the expense of any perspective the boat reminds me of.
We are conscious and we are present.


Have you verified this? Have you ever tried to remain self aware? Have you ever tried to simultaneously think, feel, and sense, the same thing which is possible when we are present? I know how surprised I was to experience how far I am from either consciousness or presence.
And what is Brahma in this metaphor? From where did Brahma arise? Who or what creates the creator? These aren’t rhetorical questions. They are more important than any others, in my opinion.
Why must the source of creation (being) need a source if it is beyond the confines of time and space? Whatever exists needs a source. What IS remains outside of time and space so is not created.
It’s okay, I didn’t mean it like you are inferring - I meant he couldn’t paint the sea in the sense that you yourself said and meant it, that he cannot paint the sea in motion.

It seems you have assumed the worst here, even though it was not entailed by what I said. Is this kind of conditioned reaction suggestive of anything perhaps?
I didn't mean anything offensive here but rather that he was painting the sea in motion. The greats in seascape art are able to include the past and future in their works. A person can experience the flow because it is lawful It is like chess players looking at a position. A non player just sees pieces of wood while a good player sees the pieces and their interactions in motion in accordance with the rules of the game. Elemental laws are a part of our being and some are able to depict them in their art. Most seascapes lack this quality yet there are those rare artists that paint in such a way that we feel the motion.
If I were to say, “objective quality doesn’t exist, you don’t have to agree, but when you are ready, you’ll experience it, like me” what you would you think?
I would think maybe so but as of now I haven't experienced it. There is nothing to be upset about.

I've found this reaction to be similar both with my experiences on RDF and with secular Interfaith forums. It seems that those that assert the value of tolerance are usually the most intolerant. Transcendent Interaith for example recognizes that at the exoteric level we all are expressing partial truths so there is nothing to be upset about. Secular Interfaith in contrast demands acceptance of recognized commonalities of its idolatry. Naturally then it is intolerant of what questions its idolatry.

It seems to be the same with many atheists I've met. Their idolatry of science, logic, and secularism in general provokes a reaction of insult at the implication that there may be more to creation then what science can verify. Again, I'm not being critical but rather just pointing out my experiences. I've concluded that idolatry is harmful regardless of whether the idol is some personal god, person, or Plato's description of society as the "Great Beast." Idolatry is a form of egotism that I agree as being potentially dangerous.
What of your “I am”? Where does “I am” arise? Who is the I that knows that I am? What is the source of “I am”?
Surely these questions must be answered if you want to find out what is meant by “I am”. That is what I think, in my opinion.
But the human condition is the loss of I AM. I Am now requires it being followed by athis or that. We are a plurality so actually for us "We Are." I Am is our conscious evolutionary potential where what we do would be an expression of inner unity. What then is the sense of contemplating what doesn't exist? Wouldn't it be better to consciously experience and contemplate what does exist?
Hence, you cannot cling to the idea that mystics are talking about what you are, since you have no idea what they are talking about.

When reviewing the nature of these experiences, it is clear that they contradict much of your views, such as the duality (or triunity if you prefer) of Subject and Object.
Hence, mysticism, including esoteric religion, is either wrong, or you are.
All I know is that when I've read Meister Eckhart he makes sense to me. You may think me misguided but regardless he still makes sense to me.
Until the Self is known, one cannot possibly ascertain the meaning or purpose of the Self. To think such things is obviously nonsensical. This is where I see you as having your methodology backwards, hence the confusion. You don’t know the Self, yet you feel you know the meaning of the Self. This is not even an inductive position, it is totally illogical.


As with any hypothesis the idea is either to validate it or reject it. Cosmology is a hypothesis that leads to gradually increased conscious self awareness or it doesn't.

You don't seem to value individuality. Is this a common belief for atheism? It is an interesting contrast to my belief in individuality.
In this light, perhaps it would be good if society does not develop egos; that is largely why we face most of the problems we currently do.


As I see it society can contribute to the repair of the ego and through its quality of metaxu.. Society is metaxu. People are connected to each other through society. It would seem that the more society emphasizes the methods necessary for the development of consciousness such as "attention," the greater would be the quality of its metaxu. As is quoted in my signature:
"Man would like to be an egoist and cannot. This is the most striking characteristic of his wretchedness and the source of his greatness." Simone Weil....Gravity and Grace
We have the capacity for an ego that expresses the whole of ourselves that connects our inner world with the external world. But as we are, we cannot do it.

So I really question if atheism is in conflict with my ideas on a healthy metaxu. Must it deny becoming open to what Jacob Needleman was quoted as asserting previously within this post. Do you agree or as an atheist must it be rejected?
I believe that, when we can simply tear down the walls and embrace one another, we will have no need for boundaries. I see no boundaries anywhere, so I can see Weil’s meataxu as superficial only. The two sides of the duality which the metaxu connects, including the metaxu itself, all arise together.


If we do not know ourselves, how can we know others? As a believer in help from above I appreciate Simone's reference to the leaves in the plant analogy. We need this help from above. How as an atheist would you begin to tear down your own boundaries?
Man would like to be an egoist and cannot. This is the most striking characteristic of his wretchedness and the source of his greatness." Simone Weil....Gravity and Grace

Thuse
Posts: 34
Joined: October 4th, 2009, 3:16 am

Post by Thuse » November 11th, 2009, 11:12 am

Hey Nick_A, another long post.
That's curious, she said the same thing last night. :wink:
Haha cheeky monkey.
Tell me if you agree with the essence of this article.
I personally try to avoid extremes.

I believe the human mind categorises everything into opposite categories, dualisms, which do not reflect the inherent completion I believe constitutes Reality.

Therefore, I am an atheist in the sense that I simply (try to) lack extreme belief in anything.

Belief is mental clinging, which detracts from the clarity that I consider to be the actual nature of mind.

Awareness is like a blue sky, in which beliefs of "god" and "no god" just obstruct the sunlight like rainclouds.

So, I personally wouldn't categorise myself as negative or positive anything - I try to move beyond all duality.
If negative atheism "is simply the lack of theistic belief", then Simone is close to being a negative atheist with the only difference being that she distinguishes between false god's and something we cannot believe in
To me, Weil still has faith, and a belief regarding god that "god is that to which belief cannot apply".

All of these things are still clouds, obstructions in the sky.

An attempt at complete non-attachment to any views or ideas about things is how I would characterise my own atheism, therefore, there is little in common with Weil in this sense.
But this doesn't deny the potential for an experience that suggests Panentheism. Would you agree?
If Panenthesism is true, then all experiences are of god, since everything = god (even though god is also transcendent).

Panentheism, Monotheism, Polytheism - all of these are, to me, attempts to conceptualise, to subject to the mind, something that would be theoretically beyond apprehension. In this sense my atheism sees all of this as simply the effort of the mind to grasp at smoke.

Weil was willing to deny all that was not god, but always assumed god existed to begin with, in some sense.

So, her actions were built out of attachment, out of ego effectively; hence actually her idea is contradictory from the outset, and at least not useful to me personally, as I seek non-attachment (excuse the paradox).
It is worth noting that the 'positive atheist' need not have certainty that God doesn't exist: it is a matter of belief, not knowledge.
If this is true, what is the difference between the belief in a god concept and the belief in the denial of god? Neither is based on knowledge.
Absolutely.

There is no fundamental difference - however, science has established, partly in theory partly in fact, that the entire Universe could be explained without the need for a god at all. So, following Occam's razor, the non-belief in god is technically a more parsimonious, and therefore more rational, belief – if it is defensible, that is.

This doesn't make belief in god irrational, however, nor does it change the fact that both are based on faith alone and nothing meaningful.

Given the choice of the lesser of two evils then, I choose not to cling to either.

That which I am is all I can know directly or will ever know; therefore, that is what I am interested in exploring.

Thus, any attachment to an idea of god, whether it be his "existence" or "non-existence", or Weil's "existence/is-ness but beyond belief", are no more valuable than attachments of any other kind to me.
Surely the notion that there is a "contemplater" of thoughts is itself the ego.


True, but their are egos less closed then others.
Attachment to an "open" ego and attachment to a "closed" ego are still just attachments of an ego.

Is dropping your ice-cream on the sidewalk better or worse than dropping it in the road?
She is referring to becoming able to admit the human condition. This is very rare and only a relative few become capable of this sincerity.
I don't think it is that rare, myself. The "spiritual" search cannot begin without this. Most mystical practices integrate this kind of thing from the outset. So, in my experience, it is not a particularly rare thing, within that context. Globally, certainly.
There may or may not be value in Weil's "emotional objectivity"; my point is that it cannot be analogous to empirical objectivity, since it is not objectively or empirically verifiable
This is where we would disagree. I am referring to becoming able to experience objective human meaning and purpose. This requires more then cold scientific facts.
So then, we don't actually disagree. It still isn't objective, that is, it cannot be verified objectively.

You can claim that something objective is being experienced, but you cannot prove it objectively. Your verification is private i.e. subjective.

Also, remember that virtually everyone experiences quality and internal moral imperatives, but not all believe them to be objective.

So, these experiences, everyone has them. Yours are not special nor unique, only your interpretations are.
Is human meaning and purpose limited to experiencing cold facts or must it include emotional quality not dominated by negative emotions?
The problem is that you reject all facts, cold or otherwise, and rely only on your emotion. What you do not realise is that you are employing intellect without realising, when you assume this and that to be the case.

Everything we experience is Objective, in the sense that all experiences are mental Objects.

However, everything we experience applies (superficially) to an "experiencer", thus it is Subjective.

Thus, there is no meaningful distinction. The Subject and Object are not-two.

Try to find the boundary between in here and out there – I would contend that it cannot be found.

Science places much importance on the Objective, rejecting the Subject.

You place much importance on the Subjective, rejecting the Object.

Both, then, are incomplete, by definition.

Imagine a glass prism. White light shines through it, and creates a rainbow.

Science studies the prism. It will never find the light this way.

You study the rainbow. You will never find the light this way.

As I see it, nothing in this equation is actually separate.

Without the light, there would be no rainbow. Without the prism, there would be no rainbow. Light is the nature of both. Yet, without both the prism and the rainbow, the light would have no meaning.
For example, I do believe in the human potential to experience inner morality.
Of course, so do I. I experience inner morality everyday.
As a whole humanity has lost this ability so are restricted to the blind conditioned external morality. A person having opened to human meaning and purpose would be open to the experience of inner morality. Facts do not prove its validity but the experience of inner morality does. The idea isn't to interpret it but to retain the experience
I am very fond of this Christian idea that, if there were no god, Christians would have no reason to be moral. I really hope you’re all just kidding.

Again, I experience inner morality. I simply do not interpret it as you interpret it.

I believe morality, as a process or effect, is an “objective” manifestation of what we are by our very nature. This is my interpretation.

It is also true that the experience of it has become stronger and more pronounced over the many years I have been practicing "mystical" technologies.

All of this happens without a belief that morality floats around in the ether.

Morality is something meaningful, and information only has meaning when there is a mind there to cognize it.

That which gives rise to morality being objective, and morality itself being objective, are two different things.

Perhaps you have not realised this yet, despite all of your various awakening experiences.

How many great teachers can you think of that justified the validity of their ideas based on private experiences that made them superior to everyone else, instead of reason, logic evidence etc. ?

So far, you have alluded to how much more awakened and opened than me you are at least 5 separate times in this post, and we are barely a third of the way through.

Please just think about that.
In your model, you are in total conflict with scientific evidence, while science is in total conflict with your subjective experience.
There cannot be a conflict.
Well, there is I'm afraid. Your beliefs are contradictory to scientific findings. It is clearly the case.

I'm sure that science only measures the horizontal and so on, but is not the horizontal a valid part of reality? Why neglect it? Why is it so difficult for you to just re-evaluate what you believe in light of the evidence?

Why is growth something to be feared by your model?

I believe growth can only ever be positive – there is no such thing as negative growth. It seems you think so.
Would you say that positive atheism is based on denial while negative atheism is disbelief that necessarily must include doubt?
Positive atheism is based on denial if and only if your beliefs are also based on denial.

Positive atheism believes there is no god, even though this has not been proved.

You believe in ontological separation, for instance, even though this has been disproved in many areas; engineering, systems theory, cybernetics and more depend on its being false. If it were true, we could not build cars, trains, buildings, bombs or just about anything, energy would not exist and the Universe would not work - yet you choose to deny all these "cold facts".

So really, this is a much more extreme form of denial than simply saying that something doesn't exist which hasn't been disproved.

So, if negative atheism is denial, then obviously so is triunism.

In any case, I would not consider myself a negative nor positive atheist.
Only an ego can be less/more than another. Everytime we think how much better/worse than another we are, we are in fact identifying with our egos.
So what is wrong with that?...I don't see the sense in denying this for mysticism?
It is only “wrong” in that you are identifying with something that is not yourself.

You are taking yourself to be something you are not. Mysticism aims precisely to prevent this.

Perhaps you are mistaking mysticism for something else? Mysticism is about the freedom from clinging, not the reinforcement of it.
You can say that from the point of view of the purity that enables contemplation of the experience, we can see it as objectively meaningless. But regardless Kasparov will win all twenty games.
Yes, but to think “I am inferior” is erroneous. You are simply aware of the ego's feelings of inferiority. It doesn't really mean anything, other than you are aware.

You are more than your ego, in my opinion.
Would you accept the possibility that rather then denying the value of the ego, the emphasis should be on healing it so that it can function as the conscious connection it should?
I don't deny the value of the ego.

Without the ego, we couldn't speak, eat, talk, communicate, think or do anything at all.

I "deny" the value of associating with the ego. The Subject is not an Object (within the context of this level of description i.e. relatively speaking).

First I have to know if you accept or reject this distinction between inductive and deductive reason.
Man has two ways of studying the universe. The first is by induction: he examines phenomena, classifies them, and attempts to infer laws and principles from them. This is the method generally used by science. The second is by deduction: having perceived or had revealed or discovered certain general laws and principles, he attempts to deduce the application of these laws in various studies and in life. This is the method generally used by religions.. The first method begins with 'facts' and attempts to reach 'laws'.
This is literally complete garbage, if this is what you are reading then it explains a lot.

The first part is true regarding science, but this is not induction.

The scientific method is obviously deductive - this is a fact that is common sense and common knowledge. This lovely chap can call it what he wants, but he is simply not correct.

Science depends on mathematics and logic, which use deduction.

Religion takes pre-assumed laws and principles, then interprets them based on their ability to imagine things – this is called induction.

Religion does use deduction, but very rarely; and often the buck stops at a holy text, thus rendering the deduction meaningless e.g. the Bible says god exists, therefore god exists etc.

Take for instance dinosaur fossils.

Early Creationists originally explained dinosaurs by arguing that the devil had planted them to test humanity. This is an example of induction - inferring what is the case, based on conditioning, assumptions and pre-existent beliefs.

Later, Creationists changed this to the idea that dinosaurs lived with humans in the Garden of Eden. This is a difference between induction and deduction - deduction cannot change unless the premises do, however, here the inductive argument has changed substantially while the premises ("the Bible says so") remain the same.

Scientists employ things like carbon dating and use deductive logic, e.g.

P1. Carbon dating establishes the age of a specimen.
P2. Dinosaur fossils are one such specimen.
C1. Therefore, carbon dating establishes the age of dinosaur fossils.

If the premises, which themselves depend on deduction, are falsified, then all following arguments dependent on them are falsified pending further data.

So, another example of induction is what you do when you infer your subjective experiences are experiences of conscious connections, objective quality/morality and so on.

Please actually research the validity of this before responding in the negative - on scientific/philosophical/credible websites. Or simply look up deductive and inductive logic on Wikipedia. The distinction between inductive logic and deductive logic is well defined, and this is not it.
Becoming self aware or becoming aware that we are aware is the beginning of awakening. Soon after we lose the experience and fall back into our normal conditioned states.
I have practiced and continue to practice today many types of meditation that seek to maintain constant self-awareness during all activities. Mindfulness is one such popular and relatively easy technique.

Even depending on how we define self-awareness, and our level of understanding of the Self, it is quite possible to retain self-awareness of all types in daily life.
If it cannot be known as an Object, what might this suggest? If something were not an Object, then what is it?
It is "being" without dimensions. Objects are defined as relative qualities of existence within the dimensions of time and space.
Okay, but of course "Being without dimensions" is an Object.

Anything that can be described is an Object (including the description "not an Object").

You are still defining this Being relative to what you claim it is not, an Object. This, paradoxically, makes it an Object.

You have an idea of it, an idea which is an Object. I am asking you non-conceptually, non-dualistically. Can you answer without invoking any dualities?
I, as an atheist, reject your beliefs because they are denied by scientific evidence, experiential evidence and historical evidence.


How can science reject a moment in time. It cannot verify it but that doesn't mean it can reject it. All it means is that the objective appreciation of a moment in time is beyond the limitations of science.
What any of this has to do with your beliefs or science, I'm not sure.

Is what you’re talking about simply being present?

I think I have understood you a bit better now.

Being consciously present is of vital importance and of incredible value.

However, I don’t think it is correct to classify it as “awakening”.

Being present ensures one can be more mindful of their actions and aware of their surroundings, reduce clinging and dualistic thought etc., however, it cannot help one develop “wisdom”, in the mystical sense, in regards to an insight into the nature of reality and self.

That is to say, it does not tell you “who”, “what” or “where”, but it may tell you “how” (to act consciously and with compassion).

I think you are mistaken to attribute awakening with being consciously present, and to mistake conscious presence as an infallible source of verifying pre-existing beliefs.

Consciousness is not the same thing as your cognitive mind. That is, you are aware of something, your cognitive mind says “this is objective quality”, but you then fail to differentiate between the mind and consciousness.

Actually, consciousness does not think, it is simply conscious of thinking. Your mind is limited, your consciousness is not. Do not confuse the two.

You may disagree, I only ask you to consider this possibility.
This is an example of your rejection of Objectivity, for exclusive Subjectivity only. I do not this is valuable for an integrated worldview, in my opinion.


Yes, this is why Socrates said that the man in the cave analogy beginning to see the light would be considered irrational. It has always been this way.
Please, stand back, breath, and read the above statement with clarity.

Imagine a man who believes that the moon is made of beans. If he were to speak out about his beliefs, he would likely be called irrational.

Perhaps he would say, “Well, Plato said this would happen to the awakened man, so therefore, I am awakened”, then added something ominous and pseudo-wise, like “So it is, so it has always been”.

Do you see now that this kind of thinking is incredibly flawed? To assume that your awakening makes you impervious to critical thought or intellectual development is a very negative and destructive path to tread.

I am very pleased that you are exploring and embracing being present.

However, please, do not think that this gives you immunity to make objective interpretations, nor that it is anything more than a beginning.

The light in the cave signals an opening, a way out.

Don’t grasp at the light, don’t cling to it and think you know what is causing it.

Follow it, without judgment.
Objectivity in Plato"s cave is based on fragmentation: disconnected knowledge. It lacks inclusiveness. The world view that results cannot be other than the same that produces war.
Well, Plato is dead.

If consciousness evolves, then what he said 3000 years ago may be different.

Perhaps then you should think for yourself more instead, and let your understanding grow and develop, not stay stagnant and rot.

You admit that fragmentation leads to war - but your fragmentation, apparently, does not.

Listen to what you are saying here: if objectivity is fragmented then so too, obviously, is subjectivity, simply because it is fragmented from the objective.

Surely harmony is found in the integration of the two. A war is one when two sides become one, not if they continue to fight.

If science is fragmented by dismissing subjectivity, then your view is equally fragmented by dismissing objectivity. Please see this.
No, the truth of my beliefs comes through inner empiricism. A mystical experience is something else.
Jesus, Buddha, Lao Tse, Eckhart, Rumi, Nagarjuna, Shankara and many others were able to use logic and evidence to conclude completely different things to you, without having to claim how much more awakened they were.

Inner experiences are valid and valuable, but become worthless if we do not examine them critically and incorporate an objective viewpoint too.

That said, if mentally clinging to beliefs keeps you occupied and satisfied, then we simply seek different things.
The experience of oneself isn't mysticism but rather the experience of our plurality.
Sure, this is accepted in mysticism and universally referred to as an "exoteric" understanding. There is no disagreement here.

On the apparent (exoteric) level, we are plural; we only have to look without.

On the deeper (esoteric) level, we are one; we only have to look within.

On the level of no level, we are both and neither; no more looking.
It is just our collective ignorance of the human condition that everything continues as it is. I do believe that the more a person becomes inwardly aligned as part of the process of the experience of oneself, they will automatically open to help from above because as I understand it, the only thing that denies it is the dominance of our imagination that denies the experience of oneself.
I seek truth, peace, compassion, non-attachment and nonduality.

According to you, I am deluded and ignorant.

Okay.

But I would rather stick with my ignorance, than swap it for arrogance, narcissism and false humility.

Just try to suspend attachment and judgment, that is all I can suggest.

When you find a door, you don’t mistake the door for what you were looking for. You open it.
From reviewing this thread we can clearly see that, unlike yourself, I have been able to clarify my position using evidence, science, logic and reason.
Good, that is its intent.
Good, then you accept that your philosophy is not "inclusive" at all, because here are many you haven't included.
Obviously, it shows that this is not what Weil was referring to.


When Simone refers to filling the void it is different than contemplation. But what illuminates our experience for ""seeing one's nature"? I would suggest it is what fills the void in the absence of imagination.
So, you accept it seems that Weil never experienced Satori, Kensho or Samadhi. This is positive.

Remember of course that meditation, of which these three experiences apply, is not the same as contemplation.

Voidness is self-sustaining. It is full of Voidness, empty of non-Emptiness, all by itself. So, it needn't be filled by Weil nor anyone.

In the absence of imagination, Emptiness is Emptiness.

In the presence of imagination, Emptiness is Emptiness.

Emptiness is self-illuminated – it is the “Clear Light”, according to the Buddhists.
The void or emptiness is one thing and grace that fills it in the absence of imagination is another. You believe it false which doesn't mean it is fault.
"Oh, Sariputra, Form Does not Differ From Emptiness,
And Emptiness Does Not Differ From Form.
Form is Emptiness and Emptiness is Form;
The Same is True For Feelings,
Perceptions, Volitions and Consciousness."

~ The Heart Sutra

So, actually, it is fault and false, not simply because I believe it.

Emptiness and that which “fills” it (Form) is not-different from Emptiness.

So, imagination, grace, whatever, is Emptiness too - they are not in fact "two different things" at all.
Attempting to verify a hypothesis relating to the human condition does not put me on a pedestal. It just means I value striving for inner verification.
It means that you are using inductive logic to evaluate your experiences, which creates a hypothesis, but does not verify one. It is vital that you understand scientific and logical terms, if you are to employ them.

Countless people have had your experiences, but evaluated it differently.

So, you are not verifying a hypothesis, you are trying to explain the data in terms of one.

This is not science, not empiricism, not objectivity. It is futile to insist on calling it these things; I think that actually, you know otherwise.

Your experiences are valid, no one is or can question that.

It is the difference between your interpretation, which is based on your own limitations, and what is actually happening, that you cannot discern. Learning proper discrimination is very important, in my opinion.

What things appear to be to you does not equal truth; to assume so is simply arrogance and results in premature conclusions, and does indeed put you on a self-created pedestal.
It's not a matter of being more enlightened but just becoming aware of a vertical direction in addition to my usual linear life. There is no ego trip in this.
Yet, your entire position is based on your belief you are more awakened than everyone who disagrees with you, like the Buddha for instance (see above), therefore your interpretations are infallible.

What worries me is that you actually really believe this, that there is no ego trip in this. The irony being that it is the ego that believes this.

All I would ask is, what would you find the hardest thing to accept about your experiences?

I think you should consider what that means, personally.
I know Simone was aware of it since without appreciating it, she could not have united science and religion with such depth as in the following quote:
We have been through this, many times. I really don’t know why you keep stating otherwise.

Weil and Triunism is incompatible with scientific findings, Buddhism, Yogic philosophy, Hindu mysticism, Jewish mysticism, Sufism and so on. This is totally beyond question.

I have gone through scientific theory, mystical ideas, religious concepts, philosophical arguments and logic to point this out.

Weil and yourself can claim otherwise, but when we test that hypothesis, we falsify it beyond all doubt.

There is no value in denying this over and over. Just let go.
You study Buddhism. Is compassion in contrast to consolation an emotional response to imagination or the objectivity of the human condition?
Buddhism is a Nondual philosophy/religion.

Therefore, Buddhism tries to avoid all extremes - this is exactly why it is called the "Middle Way".

So, in this sense, quality, and everything else, is neither exclusively Objective nor Subjective, since Reality is itself neither.

Emptiness was described by Ven Nyoshul Khenpo Jamyang Dorje like this:

"Emptiness, the wish- fulfilling jewel, is unattached generosity. It is uncorrupted discipline. It is angerless patience. It is undeluded exertion. It is undistracted meditation. It is the essence of prajna. It is the meaning in the three yanas.
Emptiness is the natural state of mind. "

[Note: "yanas" are the 3 main vehicles of Buddhism - Mahayana, Vajrayana and Hinayana - and "prajna" basically means wisdom]

So, Emptiness, the natural state of mind (and all things in Buddhism, because reality is interconnected) is by its nature unattached, patient, undeluded, generous (in that it encompasses all things equally) and so on.

So, these are not Objective (nor totally Subjective). Rather, they are what Emptiness is, they reflect its nature.

Therefore, when Buddhists aim to be compassionate and unattached, they are simply trying to manifest (as Form) their true nature (as Emptiness) as accurately as possible. There are becoming the best self-expression possible, the greatest work of art.

This is similar to what I assume Weil meant by grace.

However, the inconsistencies and extremities as well as a misunderstanding of Emptiness and what it represents separate Weil's ideas as attachments to objective moral codes, instead of expressions of one's being when non-obstructed.

In other words, compassion etc. comes naturally when there is no bullsh*t in the way. We should not have to strive, as Weil commanded, as striving is the opposite of what the Buddha suggested.

Moreover, this does not come to the pure vs. the impure dichotomy Weil adhered to. Emptiness is everyone and everything’s nature, and not elitely reserved for special people.

Based on your question, you did not know any of this, yet it might be of value to you, and you might have learnt something new, perhaps.

Since an ignorant sleeping person like myself can still offer something new and valuable to you, which actually changes your views, even if only slightly, perhaps imagine what other wide awake wise beings like yourself might be able to offer.

Perhaps then, in light of this, it is unwise to believe you have it all figured out and believe you know the “truth”, getting attached to these ideas. Even the Buddha said:

“Believe those that seek the Truth; doubt those that have found it.”
Do you think that if a scientist looks down a sharply focused microscope for decades, with eyes wide open, he would not see anything at all?

This is essentially what you are saying of me, which I think is obviously a bit foolish - I have even corrected you on much of these things, recall.


Not at all. Inner empiricism appears to be a new word for you. It is not patronizing to suggest reading up on it if you are interested. All it means is applying the scientific method to the Socratic axiom to "know thyself."
1. In that very post, I linked to several pages illustrating advanced techniques that do exactly that.

2. I have also said, from very early on, that I have practised such techniques extensively, and have backed this up with a demonstrable understanding and knowledge of said techniques.

3. I also said, clearly, that I agree there is value in what you call “inner empiricism”, although I do not call it that myself, since the phrase is an oxymoron and not literally empirical. It is a new word, not at all a new concept.

4. I have also encouraged throughout the importance to seek within and know thyself…as oppose to without and elsewhere and in books and off the Internet.

So, it is patronising to me that you would ignore all of this, assume for no valid reason whatsoever I’m not intimately familiar and as, if not more, experienced than yourself in these things, and just make things up instead.

It is also ironic that, despite my repeated hints, you haven’t realised that Jnana yoga gave us the prefix “gno-“, as in “knowledge” and “gnosis” – the latter being what Jnana yoga became when borrowed by Christians, and of which “inner empiricism” is a less sophisticated version of.

However, you decided to assume I had no knowledge of these things, just because I don’t agree with you, and condescend me, and 6000 years of Indian “inner empiricism”, instead.

Perhaps this might suggest you shouldn’t take yourself so seriously, and that it is better to be critical and knowledgeable about these things, and accept your own limitations, before assuming you know the truth.
You see, like a nice person with an interest in the significance of deeper ideas. That is a good thin in my eyes. what is there to be patronizing about?
Simply that you have made an assumption that I have not made.

You have made the conclusion that my views and sciences are false simply because they contradict your interpretations of your subjective experiences.

So, you assume from the outset that your interpretations are correct, complete and infallible. This alone, and only this, warrants your rejection.

I did not make that assumption.

However, based on, for example, your inability to explain scientific evidence, your lack of knowledge of other traditions, your lack of knowledge of the meanings of key terms like “empiricism”, “objective”, “deductive”, your inability to observe with clarity the manifestations of your ego and your refusal to accept even a single flaw or contradiction I have pointed out so far, I conclude you are not an awakened being.

You have now retreated to an untouchable “private experience” defence to justify your interpretations. I believe that if you were more practiced in such things, you would abandon them in discussions, due to their unconstructive and easily dismissed nature.

Of course, I must seriously consider the value of your interpretations of your experiences, in that you may be correct – however, I have concluded that they are not useful not me, nor correct, due to your misunderstanding of terms such as “Emptiness”, “conscious witnessing” and “duality”, which I feel confident would not be made by anyone with a sufficient experiential background in these matters.

It now seems also that you may be referring to being consciously present as “awakening”, which would adequately explain your confusion.

Statistically, it is simply more probable that you are mistaken about one small interpretation than science, mysticism, Buddha etc. is mistaken about absolutely everything.

Thus, accounting for this evidence, I reject your beliefs. Not denial etc….

However, you have chosen to ignore all of this evidence, and belief that you are right and have the truth.

I personally find this arrogant, irrational and patronising, towards people like the Buddha, Einstein, every Physicist in the last 100 years, Evolutionary Biologists, Philosophers and Logicians…etc.

But hey, c’est la vie. Planting seeds is one thing, but we all have to tend to our own crops eventually.
As I have said I cannot invent these ideas. I am invited to verify an inner hypothesis as to the nature of the universe and man's objective place and potential within it. It isn't a matter of interpreting but rather of verification.
Everything is mediated through subjectivity and the intellect etc., so everything is a matter of interpretation.

Millions have had your experience, but conclude it to be the work of Allah, Xenu, or whatever.

You interpret it as a connection with a conscious source, and others as objective quality. It’s still just an interpretation.

You are simply trying here to claim, for no reason, that your truth is real truth.

But it doesn’t work like that.

Your interpretations are as subjective as everyone else’s, including mine. You must acknowledge this.

I personally think that when you accept this, you will be better off. It will not be a defeat at all, but a great victory for you – which is precisely why it is so hard to do. No battle is easily fought.

This is like the Buddhist analogy of needing the boat to get to the new land. But once on the land it is senseless to carry the boat around.

I am just admitting that I need the boat since without it I would again sink into the normal rationalisms and escapism at the expense of any perspective the boat reminds me of.
The boat is a tool, a vehicle – in the Buddhist analogy, the boat is literally a lie; a helpful one, a skilful means, but a lie nonetheless.

You can’t get to the shore if you take the boat to be the shore.

This is what you are doing, when you say things like “no, the truth of my beliefs is verified by this thing not one else can see or interact with or question in anyway…”.

By all means, if you can’t swim, take the boat – but just don’t get attached to the boat as if it is the shore.
We are conscious and we are present.


Have you verified this?
Yes. It is also verified by science. So, I interpret it to be the case, Subjectively, and Objectively it is the case too.

Don’t misunderstand me - that we delude ourselves, such that we are not fully aware of being conscious and present is a different story.
Have you ever tried to remain self aware?
Yes. Every morning, for about an hour when meditating, and as much as I can throughout the day, for about 12 years.
Have you ever tried to simultaneously think, feel, and sense, the same thing which is possible when we are present?
Well, I don’t think I try to do anything, because I don’t believe a “try-er” exists.

Thinking, feeling and sensing arise in my awareness together. Nothing to do with “me”.
I know how surprised I was to experience how far I am from either consciousness or presence.
What I mean is that, our natural state is conscious and present.

Before you experienced this, people could still see and talk to you, you were aware of what was happening - so you were and always are conscious and present.

So, naturally, originally, actually, we already are conscious and present.

When we associate with things that are not-I, then we associate with that which is not conscious and present, thus we perceive reality accordingly.
Why must the source of creation (being) need a source if it is beyond the confines of time and space? Whatever exists needs a source. What IS remains outside of time and space so is not created.
If god is that “beyond which nothing greater can be conceived”, then god is not that which is beyond time and space and IS but doesn’t exist, because his very nonexistence is only relative to the existence of time and space.

Thus, if god IS, because he IS outside of time and space, then we can only give the concept meaning by relating it to what does exist within time and space.

Therefore, we have a duality, a dualistic god. I can conceive of a god beyond duality, therefore, this god is not god.

Further, this source then that IS, is not independent – his ISness depends on that which exists and time and space.

Thus, he is within the interconnected, interdependent chain of reality, and cannot be the originator of it, logically speaking.

Originally, what I meant was that you used the metaphor of Brahma, who is exactly equal to your notion of a source. I was suggesting looking into who or what preceded Brahma, if you are interested.
If I were to say, “objective quality doesn’t exist, you don’t have to agree, but when you are ready, you’ll experience it, like me” what you would you think?
I would think maybe so but as of now I haven't experienced it. There is nothing to be upset about.
Who is upset? Why would I be upset about what you think? We are what we are, whether we believe it or not, so I’m not going to get upset, just enjoy the bit in the middle. I think you think your influence on me is greater than it is.

So, there are two alternatives here:

Either you are simply lying, acting as though you are open to such an idea when you are actually not, rather than simply contemplating the point of the rhetorical question and sincerely being aware of your thoughts.

Or you are admitting that you have not found truth, since if you thought “maybe”, you would be doubting the truth of your internal verifications, in which case you would be forced to admit that you no longer have any kind of certainty or justification including that of inner experiences, and that your earlier claims were in fact false.
I've found this reaction to be similar both with my experiences on RDF and with secular Interfaith forums. It seems that those that assert the value of tolerance are usually the most intolerant.
What reaction? What are you talking about?!

Again, I am not angry or upset or any of that.

You can make a martyr out of yourself it you want; but there is no cross, no persecution, no denial here. Just lots of nails.
It seems to be the same with many atheists I've met. Their idolatry of science, logic, and secularism in general provokes a reaction of insult at the implication that there may be more to creation then what science can verify. Again, I'm not being critical but rather just pointing out my experiences. I've concluded that idolatry is harmful regardless of whether the idol is some personal god, person, or Plato's description of society as the "Great Beast." Idolatry is a form of egotism that I agree as being potentially dangerous.
Okay, but I don’t idolise science.

I try to integrate science, objectivity and empiricism into my methodology, along with emotion, interpretation and subjectivity. I seek an integral and not limited understanding.

In this way I am different from both yourself and most of the atheists you seem to have met.
Who is the I that knows that I am?
But the human condition is the loss of I AM. I Am now requires it being followed by athis or that. We are a plurality so actually for us "We Are." I Am is our conscious evolutionary potential where what we do would be an expression of inner unity. What then is the sense of contemplating what doesn't exist? Wouldn't it be better to consciously experience and contemplate what does exist?
If you have not sought the source of “I am”, then you cannot know any of this.

Sometimes we want to cling to all these concepts we’ve been told about and not do any of the hard work. But if you are thirsty, to build a well you must dig first.

Everything in Reality, absolutely everything, depends on another thing for its existence.

So, nothing intrinsically exists, whole, complete and unto itself; if it did, it could not interact with anything else, and cause and effect would not occur.

Therefore, the idea of a persisting essence in things that exists is false. You are included in this, of course.

However, we as human beings are the only link in this chain that is self-aware, and we can observe our own awareness.

Since awareness, which expresses itself as “I am”, is included in Reality, and is inseparable from it, it follows logically that if one can find the source of mind, one can then find the source of reality, because mind is intrinsically interconnected with everything else.

This is why “knowing thyself” is of unequalled value.

The “I am” is the only rainbow that can find it’s source.
All I know is that when I've read Meister Eckhart he makes sense to me. You may think me misguided but regardless he still makes sense to me.
Eating lipstick when I was 5 made sense to me. Obviously then, lipstick equals truth.

Eckhart makes sense to me too, but I interpret him differently.

So, I measured my interpretations, which just like yours are subjective and not infallible, against those of others, and found them much to be in accord.
After that, I still did not blindly believe, but actually decided to find out for myself.

To not do this, and assume randomly I must be correct, would indeed make me misguided.
As with any hypothesis the idea is either to validate it or reject it. Cosmology is a hypothesis that leads to gradually increased conscious self awareness or it doesn't.
Your method of “verification” is subjective, interpretative and far from infallible.

As with any hypothesis, once we have categorically refuted it and disproved it, we can reject it; which is exactly what science has done with regards to triunism for the last couple of centuries. So move on to bigger and better things.

What you perceive as your increased self-awareness could simply be explained by an increased awareness of the world around you by seeking to validate your hypothesis. The conclusion that “therefore, triunism is true” does not follow.
You don't seem to value individuality. Is this a common belief for atheism? It is an interesting contrast to my belief in individuality.
I think so, to a degree.

Many atheists have a hard time giving up the idea of free-will, which is hard for any ego to accept.

However, the majority accept the overwhelming scientific evidence for cause and effect, which denies the possibility for individually and inherently existing systems (individuals).

So, actually, I would imagine the majority deny the existence of freely acting individuals, but may be resistant to accept its conclusions of a unified being.

This is likely because many atheists, in my experience, have a negative emotive response to any conclusion (such as those from Quantum mechanics) that imply those verified by the mystics - just as most if not all theists retract in horror at the thought of empiricism, objectivity and scientific methodologies. In both cases, facing the facts shatters their belief systems.

That said, my atheism is not of the usual variety, and I get plenty of negative reactions from RDF members, for instance, too. Although, I think when you have science, logic, experience and rationality on your side, you have nothing to fear or run from.

Since I interested in mysticism, while most atheists are not, I am able to draw experience and influence from things that many atheists are not exposed to. In this sense, my specific views on interconnectivity and an lack of individuals in an absolute sense is admittedly rare among atheists in my experience.
So I really question if atheism is in conflict with my ideas on a healthy metaxu. Must it deny becoming open to what Jacob Needleman was quoted as asserting previously within this post. Do you agree or as an atheist must it be rejected?
Well, I disagree in that there are individuals existing in isolation, or that separation is healthy.

And I disagree that it is a question of openness or denial, but simply one of truth.

I don’t think that atheism in general is in conflict with you general take on the idea. Again, many atheists accept causation and so accept the lack of intrinsically existing entities, however, the logical derivation of a unified being is not an easy one to achieve. Otherwise, mysticism would be a waste of energy.

That is, atheists take the same amount of time to assimilate knowledge as everyone else, and so may have simply not realised yet what all this implies.

So, I am sure there are many atheists who have not understood the full conclusions of such things, or dispute from an emotional perspective that free-will is an illusion, in which case, they would certainly agree in that regard.
If we do not know ourselves, how can we know others?
Exactly! Why are you so fixated on the “other” then? Why not turn the awareness inwards instead?

I would argue that, when one fully knows themselves, they do know the other.
As a believer in help from above I appreciate Simone's reference to the leaves in the plant analogy. We need this help from above. How as an atheist would you begin to tear down your own boundaries?
We don’t all need help from above. As I mentioned earlier, there is no need for a boat if you can already swim.

My short answer to your question is simply: awareness.

When one turns the light of awareness onto reality and what they take to be “self”, it is seen that all things are transient, including the body and mind, and have no lasting essence.

Moreover, it becomes obvious that causation interrelates all things, and that separation is not inherent in reality.

I also believe that meditation is the greatest tool for this, or in fact any, end.

During meditation, one is able to cease the associations with the mind’s products, and reality is subjectively experienced as totally complete.

This has been the message of every great mystic, and one I thoroughly agree with.

So, once it is acknowledged that the mind is the creator of all separation, and that it cannot exists in reality, or there simply would be no reality, it becomes effortless to prevent attachment to the dualistic separation process of the mind.

This is the great illusion, again also referred to by all the mystics, that of the distinction between the Subject and the Object.

So when this is dissolved in oneself, and they are seen to be not-different, all subsequent boundaries are dissolved. Self/other, this/that, quality/quantity, man/god…all just ripples on a pond.

Peace,

Thuse.

Nick_A
Posts: 2391
Joined: April 19th, 2009, 11:45 pm

Post by Nick_A » November 12th, 2009, 5:55 pm

Hi Thuse
Belief is mental clinging, which detracts from the clarity that I consider to be the actual nature of mind.

To me, Weil still has faith, and a belief regarding god that "god is that to which belief cannot apply".
In all fairness you don't understand Simone. But consider these two quotes:
The fideist theory (N.B. fideism is the view that any affirmation of the mind does not come from reason, but from feeling): one believes something because one wants to believe it; belief in certain things becomes an obligation. Fideism is a view very well suited to all forms of spiritual tyranny; fideism always ends up in the subordination of thought to a social myth.
But the fact that doubt is possible shows that fideism is false. What is more, whenever one tries to suppress doubt, there is tyranny.
- Simone Weil, Lectures in philosophy (Leçons de philosophie)

No human being escapes the necessity of conceiving some good outside himself towards which his thought turns in a movement of desire, supplication, and hope. consequently, the only choice is between worshipping the true God or an idol. Evey atheist is an idolater--unless he is worshipping the true God in his impersonal aspect. The majority of the pious are idolaters.
- Simone Weil, First and last notebooks (last notebook 1942)
(Oxford University Press 1970) p 308
She denies blind belief but asserts that we are drawn to something beyond are comprehension. Can you as an atheist accept this mutual attraction to idolatry that denies direct experience? Would you agree that the perceived differences are really forms of idolatry?
Given the choice of the lesser of two evils then, I choose not to cling to either.
What causes clinging? Can a person come to a belief without clinging? Do you think it is possible for a person to acquire and sustain a belief not based on clinging but because it is true and an expression of direct knowledge?
Science places much importance on the Objective, rejecting the Subject.

You place much importance on the Subjective, rejecting the Object.

Of course, so do I. I experience inner morality everyday.
I see I'm not making myself clear. Let me try another angle. Could you give me the atheist's impression of "Acornology" as described by Jacob Needleman in his book: "Lost Christianity." Can you accept that a person has qualities they are born with and over time acquires a personality that lives a person's life. If this is true, there is a morality that we are capable of that would be an expression of a developed essence and also the morality that is conditioned and becomes a part of our personality. Is it possible that most are not open to distinguishing between the real and unreal in our collective being?
Acornology

I began my lecture that morning from just this point. There is an innate element in human nature, I argued that can grow and develop only through impressions of truth received in the organism like a special nourishing energy. To this innate element I gave a name - perhaps not a very good name - the "higher unconscious." My aim was to draw an extremely sharp distinction between the unconscious that Freud had identified and the unconscious referred to (though not by that name) in the Christian tradition.

Imagine, I said, that you are a scientist and you have before you the object known as the acorn. Let us further imagine that you have never before seen such an object and that you certainly do not know that it can grow into an oak. You carefully observe these acorns day after day and soon you notice that after a while they crack open and die. Pity! How to improve the acorn? So that it will live longer. You make careful, exquisitely precise chemical analyses of the material inside the acorn and, after much effort, you succeed in isolating the substance that controls the condition of the shell. Lo and behold, you are now in the position to produce acorns which will last far longer than the others, acorns whose shells will perhaps never crack. Beautiful!

The question before us, therefore, is whether or not modern psychology is only a version of acornology.
Must the atheist see a person's daily existence as the outer shell or including the development of a quality of being that is beyond the understanding of the personality? If this kernel of life does exist, wouldn't it be indicative of relative being society is unconcerned with?
Yes, but to think “I am inferior” is erroneous. You are simply aware of the ego's feelings of inferiority. It doesn't really mean anything, other than you are aware.


I am inferior to Kasparov in chess. This is an intellectual observation. Why must I wallow in "feelings" of inferiority. If the joy of the game influences me to better my game, then that is the fun of it.

Inferiority doesn't have to generate a negative emotion. In fact a genuine relationship between student and teacher often inspires the opposite.

Chess contains a rating hierarchism based on wins and loses. Are you against hierarchism as a rule or is it possible that a society could function with a legitimate hierarchism? If it could, would such a hierarchy have to be dominated by negative resentment?

I ask because the only basis I can see for such a legitimate hierarchy would be knowledge of man's evolutionary potential and society's dedication to helping it. Could atheism accept a possible legitimate hierarchy based on something more than secular advantage?
I have practiced and continue to practice today many types of meditation that seek to maintain constant self-awareness during all activities. Mindfulness is one such popular and relatively easy technique.

Even depending on how we define self-awareness, and our level of understanding of the Self, it is quite possible to retain self-awareness of all types in daily life.
Self awareness is one thing. I am referring to the awareness that we are aware
You have an idea of it, an idea which is an Object. I am asking you non-conceptually, non-dualistically. Can you answer without invoking any dualities?
No. All we can do is create a contradiction that contains what is beyond our comprehension. That is real art. For example I can say that the source of "being" outside of time and space is simultaneously infinitely small and infinitely large. It doesn't make sense to us but without dimensions it has to be the case since creation we are a part of is structured on dimensions.
I think you are mistaken to attribute awakening with being consciously present, and to mistake conscious presence as an infallible source of verifying pre-existing beliefs.
Presence requires consciousness and consciousness is the beginning of awakening. I am not nor is Christianity concerned with mysticism as much as allowing for "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven," It is not a denial of the body but rather allowing the physical, emotional, and intellectual aspects to function consciously as a connected whole that realistically furthers the connection of the higher with the lower. An awakened Man would be capable of such a connection within his being as well as in his contact with the external world.
Consciousness is not the same thing as your cognitive mind. That is, you are aware of something, your cognitive mind says “this is objective quality”, but you then fail to differentiate between the mind and consciousness.
Agreed. The cognitive mind requires objects while consciousness does not.
Perhaps he would say, “Well, Plato said this would happen to the awakened man, so therefore, I am awakened”, then added something ominous and pseudo-wise, like “So it is, so it has always been”.

Do you see now that this kind of thinking is incredibly flawed? To assume that your awakening makes you impervious to critical thought or intellectual development is a very negative and destructive path to tread.
All this means to me that the cave people will attack without appreciation. They cannot distinguish fantasy from revelation so anything that threatens their ego must be destroyed. I suggest that these attacks destroy truth and fantasy equally.
If consciousness evolves, then what he said 3000 years ago may be different.
What makes you think consciousness has evolved? Just because we have advanced technology and developed more advanced methods for BS doesn't indicate any advanced consciousness. Consciousness requires developed attention. It is obvious that the speed of technology has lessened attention span. So if anything, consciousness as a whole within society has decreased.
Inner experiences are valid and valuable, but become worthless if we do not examine them critically and incorporate an objective viewpoint too.

That said, if mentally clinging to beliefs keeps you occupied and satisfied, then we simply seek different things.
I still believe that in expressions of quantity two plus three equals five. Do I cling to it? Yes, but if you show why it isn't the case I'm not afraid to let go. My feeling of self worth doesn't depend on it.
On the level of no level, we are both and neither; no more looking
What is the difference between no level and being dead?
I seek truth, peace, compassion, non-attachment and nonduality.

According to you, I am deluded and ignorant.

Okay.

But I would rather stick with my ignorance, than swap it for arrogance, narcissism and false humility.
It is one thing to want peace, truth, compassion, non-attachment and nonduality but quite another as I've experienced to be open to the inner truth that we are the wretched man, in opposition to ourselves, so can only create the illusion of this through escapism.

I've found that my position is extremely offensive and in the past having provoked the most vile replies. I don't include you in this of course. But still what you wrote has a sort of good guy, bad guy connotation about it.

This is what I don't understand. Somehow the aspiration to leave Plato's Cave is seen as arrogant, narcissistic, and expressions of false humility to secularism including atheism and secular Interfaith. The intent of these groups is to be satisfied with meaning derived from the world and share meaning on that basis. But then we have this minority, the black sheep, who are somehow aware that human meaning and purpose is not a societal quality normal for cave life but something we are called to that requires freedom from preconceptions of peace, truth, compassion and the whole nine yards. They believe in paths that lead to it. This is intolerable, and elitist. but the black sheep will seek the pearl of great price that exists beyond cave limitations and their needs will be considered insulting. Who do they think they are to nor be one of us? They must think we are ignorant.

Perhaps it would help if you explain how you value religious aspiration. Does it have any meaning for an atheist?

To be or not to be is the question. I am referring to the human calling "to be." Yet somehow it is seen as being a form of elitism in opposition to truth, compassion, and everything else. But yet "to be" is really the striving to actualize what we normally seek through imagination which can have no other result then turning in circles. How do you appreciate "aspiration?"
Yet, your entire position is based on your belief you are more awakened than everyone who disagrees with you, like the Buddha for instance (see above), therefore your interpretations are infallible.
The intellectual experience of vertical levels of reality is far from being awakened. If Mount. Meru has levels of reality, why would Buddha object?
Weil and Triunism is incompatible with scientific findings, Buddhism, Yogic philosophy, Hindu mysticism, Jewish mysticism, Sufism and so on. This is totally beyond question.


Sez you. I do know that the Law of the Included Middle expresses the triune reality which scientists work with. I may be wrong but I do believe that in fifty years if our species survives, it will be just common knowledge. So we shall see.
"Emptiness, the wish- fulfilling jewel, is unattached generosity. It is uncorrupted discipline. It is angerless patience. It is undeluded exertion. It is undistracted meditation. It is the essence of prajna. It is the meaning in the three yanas.
Emptiness is the natural state of mind. "
Simone's observation:
"The difference between more or less intelligent men is like the difference between criminals condemned to life imprisonment in smaller or larger cells. The intelligent man who is proud of his intelligence is like a condemned man who is proud of his large cell.

"... All that matters is that he has come to the end of its intelligence, such as it was, and has passed beyond it. A village idiot is as close to truth as a child prodigy. ..."Simone Weil - Human Personality?

So there is intelligent conscious life beyond the contents of our associative mind and science. If so, what does that mean and what is its source
Simply that you have made an assumption that I have not made.

You have made the conclusion that my views and sciences are false simply because they contradict your interpretations of your subjective experiences.

So, you assume from the outset that your interpretations are correct, complete and infallible. This alone, and only this, warrants your rejection.
I did not make that assumption.

My interest isn't in proving you false but rather in appreciating the logic of the universe and objective human meaning and purpose within it. If I discover something that makes sense to me, why should it be offensive? Why shouldn't I pursue what has made sense to me even though increasingly annoying for increasing secularism?

My purpose isn't to prove you wrong but rather to see if their is common ground that atheist's and believers can agree on. Simone Weil having been an atheist and dying as a Christian mystic offers inights into the means IMO for greater mutual understanding.
Simone Weil has observed: "There are two atheisms of which one is a purification of the notion of God."
- William Robert Miller (ed.), The New Christianity (New York: Delacorte Press 1967) p 267; in Paul Schilling,
God in an age of atheism (Abingdon: Nashville 1969) p 17
I believe she is right and the atheist serves a very necessary purpose but it is impossible to explore with either believers or atheists with their heels dug in.

So I ask you sincerely; what is so wrong about trying to understand at the expense of disagreeing with another? Must disagreement be offensive by definition?
However, you have chosen to ignore all of this evidence, and belief that you are right and have the truth.

I personally find this arrogant, irrational and patronizing, towards people like the Buddha, Einstein, every Physicist in the last 100 years, Evolutionary Biologists, Philosophers and Logicians…etc.
No, I just have come to the conclusion that it is through levels of reality that everything begins to make sense and that there are a great many people of science and the humanities that have agreed. The difficulty is that levels of reality assumes a source which is becoming increasingly out of fashion in an increasingly secular society so it must be rejected. That doesn't mean that I have to reject it.
Your interpretations are as subjective as everyone else’s, including mine. You must acknowledge this.
If I did it would only mean that the search for "meaning" is meaningless for me. Since it isn't, it would be foolish for me to deny relative quality.

Cosmology is a hypothesis so is naturally subjective. However it is asserted that it is a skeleton of universal structure. As a potential microcosm I'm invited to verify it, fill in the skeleton through inner empiricism. It is a means of pursuing esoteric thinking. The results are subjective but it is the process of contemplation that leads to inner understanding.
Well, I don’t think I try to do anything, because I don’t believe a “try-er” exists
.

Does "will" exist for you? Without a try-er what is the source of will?
Everything in Reality, absolutely everything, depends on another thing for its existence.


True, all evolution does is change primary connections. But everything is still connected.

I get the impression from what you've written that we don't have anything other than subjective man made meaning or any objective universal purpose. Is this true? If it is, are most atheists the same in their denial of anything beyond imagined subjective human meaning and purpose?
Man would like to be an egoist and cannot. This is the most striking characteristic of his wretchedness and the source of his greatness." Simone Weil....Gravity and Grace

Thuse
Posts: 34
Joined: October 4th, 2009, 3:16 am

Post by Thuse » November 17th, 2009, 7:29 am

Hey Nick_A, sorry in the delay on getting back to you, I forgot to mention I would be away for most of the weekend. So here is an epic post to make up for it.
In all fairness you don't understand Simone. But consider these two quotes:

*snip*

Can you as an atheist accept this mutual attraction to idolatry that denies direct experience? Would you agree that the perceived differences are really forms of idolatry?
I don’t personally believe I haven’t understood Weil. You have quoted her saying she doesn’t blindly believe, however I have countered this offering many examples where she blindly believes, so, perhaps it is the other way around.

I think Weil is here arguing that her own idolatry is superior, as is her belief in something she wants to be true.

Whether she is correct would be impossible to determine – the hypocrisy here, in her condemnation of clinging to beliefs while she herself does exactly this, prevents her argument from being particularly meaningful, I think.

I personally think that this talk of idols and idolatry is overtly fundamentalist, and has no place in the speech of someone who considers themselves a mystic.
Given the choice of the lesser of two evils then, I choose not to cling to either.
What causes clinging?
The drive of the mind to seek something permanent.
Can a person come to a belief without clinging?
No, obviously not, by definition. Any sustained mental Object, such as a belief, must be clung to.
Do you think it is possible for a person to acquire and sustain a belief not based on clinging but because it is true and an expression of direct knowledge?
No. Believing and knowing are not the same two things.

Genuine knowledge only applies to truth (knowledge = justified, true belief), and truth only applies to that which one can know directly.

One can only know the knower directly, therefore, it is not simply that knowledge can only ever be of the Subject, knowledge actually is the Subject in any meaningful sense, since any knowledge of something is knowledge of an Object, and thus is not knowledge.

Therefore, for instance the hypothesis “reality is layered in pancakes” can only ever be a belief, even if true, and never known, in an epistemological sense.

This would not make such a belief necessarily false, but it would make it not “Truth”, capital “T”, that can be known in a meaningful sense.
Of course, so do I. I experience inner morality everyday.
I see I'm not making myself clear.
In what sense? Are you doubting my experience of inner morality? That would be rather hypocritical!
Can you accept that a person has qualities they are born with and over time acquires a personality that lives a person's life.
Of course.
If this is true, there is a morality that we are capable of that would be an expression of a developed essence and also the morality that is conditioned and becomes a part of our personality.
That an “essence” exists of any kind does not follow from this argument, nor is it technically possible, if the laws of physics, thermodynamics, conservation of energy etc. are true.

We can have qualities we are born with (e.g. blue eyes, sexual preference, the capacity for cancer etc.) which sometimes develop over time, and/or shape our personality to some extent.

However, there is not necessarily any reason to assume that an “essence” exists, nor that this has anything to do with morality, at all. Blue eyes are expressions, physical manifestations of information encoded in genes, not of blue eye “essence”. It is like the way the images on your computer screen are expressions of units of information in the website’s code, but not “forum essence”.
Is it possible that most are not open to distinguishing between the real and unreal in our collective being?
Of course, but this has nothing to do with essences or objective god-given morality, necessarily.

It seems you are bringing the mass stupidity of the human race to justify your position. “Most people are ignorant or asleep, therefore, objective morality exists as do essences etc.” but this is not a valid or reasonable position.

I have encountered in the past some people who believe that the human race has been infiltrated by reptilian extraterrestrials from Zeta Reticulai, who might use the exact same argument. They would ask, “Is it true that most people are unaware of the difference between the real and their imagination? Therefore, George Bush is a shape-shifting alien.” This is not a meaningful argument, you see, but it is analogous to your reasoning here.
Must the atheist see a person's daily existence as the outer shell or including the development of a quality of being that is beyond the understanding of the personality?
It is a false dichotomy to believe that anything that is not the personality must be “relative being” etc.

I would say that what you are talking about is “becoming”. “Becoming” is not “being”. If you are busy becoming, you are not being. If something becomes, in any way, it is not being.

So, the notion that being develops or becomes is an oxymoron, it is an impossible contradiction, and not a deep esoteric paradox or anything.

In Esoteric Buddhism, they call “becoming” the wheel of Samsara. When there is no becoming, there is Nirvana. Accordingly, the Buddha only ever referred to himself as the “Tathagata” - which literally means “he who has not come or gone” i.e. “he who is not becoming”.

In Esoteric Hinduism, they call becoming Maya, or illusion. When there is no becoming, or no illusion of becoming, there is Moksha, or “liberation” – precisely liberation from becoming.

The god of the Old Testamnet of course refers to himself as “I am That I am” – which would be accurately interpreted as something that is not “becoming”, but “being”.

In “acornology”, the analogy shows that, in desperation to maintain the acorn, it eventually dies, rots, goes stagnant. When the scientist clings to certain ideas, beliefs and concepts about the acorn, it is being prevented from growing, developing, this is the whole point.

So, if we are inspired by this metaphor, then it is perhaps best to learn the moral and not resist development and growth, surely?

If the acorn is to grow, it must forget everything it knows about being an acorn – all this is useless. It thinks it is a mere, isolated acorn, yet it has the potential for the whole forest. It must abandon what it thinks it is, and jump into the unknown. Only then can it blossom into a tree.

Moreover, it not only thinks it knows everything about being an acorn, it doesn’t realise that once it is a tree, all of that becomes irrelevant anyway.
If this kernel of life does exist, wouldn't it be indicative of relative being society is unconcerned with?
Literally, nothing can be indicative of being that becomes, because being that becomes is not being, but becoming.

Also, the connections between these things is not clear at all. If we say that “quality is objective, therefore, humanity is ignorant” or “growth happens, therefore, being is relative”, we are not making coherent statements, even if these things were true.
I am inferior to Kasparov in chess. This is an intellectual observation. Why must I wallow in "feelings" of inferiority. If the joy of the game influences me to better my game, then that is the fun of it.
I really don’t know why you must wallow in feeling of inferiority, nor wallow in feelings of superiority. I am asking you this question.
Inferiority doesn't have to generate a negative emotion. In fact a genuine relationship between student and teacher often inspires the opposite.
Acceptance of the ways in which one is lacking is not a negative emotion.

Preventing one’s independent development, because they are unable to relieve attachment to their ideas regarding their teacher, is certainly negative.

Believing oneself to be superior, intellectually and spiritually, to all fellow men, to the point that it completely inhibits the ability to process and integrate new information, is certainly negative also, in my opinion.
Chess contains a rating hierarchism based on wins and loses. Are you against hierarchism as a rule or is it possible that a society could function with a legitimate hierarchism?
I think society already does function according to certain hierarchies – one being Capitalism, the other being Meritocracy.

The problems with these is that certain skills are rewarded, while others not, and that “wins” are defined in terms of the individuals ability to meet pre-determined criteria.

In this sense, development has become meaningless, since it is simply a reaching for an arbitrary goal or “point”, rather than self-sustained or self-perpetuated in anyway. There is more joy to be had in playing chess for the sake of chess, than playing to win.

Within a “spiritual” context, the irony is that the more one develops spiritually, i.e. the more one “wins”, the less oneself sees themselves as actually gaining or winning at all. If someone still thinks in terms of winning and losing, they are stuck in dualism, and simply losing.

That is to say that, as spiritual growth develops, one increasingly sees themselves as equal and less different to others as the process continues.

So, any notion a practitioner has that they have won more spiritual brownie points than another, or that a teacher has even more than them, is only indicative, to them a well as others, that they are at an early stage of their inner development.

Hence, it is said in the Zen koan, “Should you see the Buddha in the road, kill him”. This is because he is an imposter - anyone who claims to be the Buddha is not the real Buddha, since we are all Buddha’s already, we just think otherwise. If you see the Buddha on the road, and not your own mind, you know it cannot be the Buddha.

This is why, for example, the traditions place such emphasis on compassion, love and peace, since as the practitioner grows, the “other” becomes indiscernible from the “self”.

So, in this regard, hierarchies are always superficial, and their existence often causes people to forget this, which is not a positive outcome.
I ask because the only basis I can see for such a legitimate hierarchy would be knowledge of man's evolutionary potential and society's dedication to helping it. Could atheism accept a possible legitimate hierarchy based on something more than secular advantage?
I’m intrigued, what’s “secular advantage”? I’m not sure what you mean exactly.

I think that the potential for growth doesn’t really have anything to do with a hierarchy. The problems with hierarchies is that they are decided – one may ask another: “What is the ideal hierarchy?” “Why, mine, of course.” “Where would you place yourself?” “Near the top, of course.” There are obvious problems with this, for more information see: Soviet Russia, Nazi Germany, Spanish Inquisition etc.

I think the potential for growth and its actualisation is uniquely directed within each individual – the Universe grows, by its very nature, and thus, so do we. My own growth is independent of the society I live in, in fact, in many ways it is a response to it. Stress is what spurs growth in all things.
Self awareness is one thing. I am referring to the awareness that we are aware


So am I. Why would you think otherwise? Perhaps you are trying to dismiss my practice and experience, which is not very constructive.

I am also referring to awareness of being aware. I do not mean bodily awareness, or awareness of ego etc. I am equating self-awareness with awareness of being aware because they are not two separate things…
You have an idea of it, an idea which is an Object. I am asking you non-conceptually, non-dualistically. Can you answer without invoking any dualities?
No.
Then try harder!
All we can do is create a contradiction that contains what is beyond our comprehension.
All you can do, so far. Why is what you have done, and what you think, the measure for all others? This is not practical, or true, I think.

I think if you were to investigate the traditions, and practice what they suggest, you might find very quickly that they have gone much further than dualistic conceptions.
For example I can say that the source of "being" outside of time and space is simultaneously infinitely small and infinitely large. It doesn't make sense to us but without dimensions it has to be the case since creation we are a part of is structured on dimensions.
It makes sense to me.

However, a source of being infinitely small and infinitely large is relative to a (non)source of (non)being that is not infinitely large and not infinitely small. So, again, this conception is dependent, dualistic and not possibly god, if god is dependent and not subject to duality.

This is why conceptions cause problems. I think there is value in going beyond conceptions.

Take a rose. Looking at the rose, we can conceive of it, describe it, categorise it and so on. However, these categories will never be truly faithful to the experience of the rose itself. The actual momentary awareness of that simple rose is something that can never be contained within any category we can conceive of.

Therefore, might this not suggest that experience is more valuable, with regards to the inconceivable, than our conceptions?

Perhaps then, when our imagination can only go so far, it is better to seek out these things directly, rather than indirectly via an idea, conception etc.
Presence requires consciousness and consciousness is the beginning of awakening. I am not nor is Christianity concerned with mysticism as much as allowing for "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven," It is not a denial of the body but rather allowing the physical, emotional, and intellectual aspects to function consciously as a connected whole that realistically furthers the connection of the higher with the lower. An awakened Man would be capable of such a connection within his being as well as in his contact with the external world.
Right, so you are talking about being consciously present, almost Eckhart Tolle style.

Again, I do not think this is the same as the “awakening” referred to in the various traditions. It is very valuable though, of course.

Also, I do not think that this gives one the power to turn their interpretations into truth, since there are many people who practice this constantly with conflicting views, including myself.
To assume that your awakening makes you impervious to critical thought or intellectual development is a very negative and destructive path to tread.
All this means to me that the cave people will attack without appreciation.
To me it means you are potentially impervious to critical thought or intellectual development.

It also means to me that whenever somebody questions you, you can just shrug them off as un-awakened, call them cave men, and feel self-righteous. This is not a healthy attitude, to me.
They cannot distinguish fantasy from revelation so anything that threatens their ego must be destroyed. I suggest that these attacks destroy truth and fantasy equally.
If consciousness evolves, then what he said 3000 years ago may be different.
What makes you think consciousness has evolved?
This involution/evolution theory that you have (presumably unknowingly) borrowed from Sri Auribindo – well, in his original idea it is consciousness doing the evolving, which is the same as Jewish mysticism and various other forms of mysticism, like Advaita.

That is to say that the forms of consciousness - which is constant throughout - evolves, but all these evolving forms are reducible to the original unchanging consciousness, in these traditions.
Just because we have advanced technology and developed more advanced methods for BS doesn't indicate any advanced consciousness.
I think that, globally, there is a current transition among a minority that indicates a shift in awareness – more and more now have access to mysticism and inner technologies and are becoming increasingly aware as a result that we are all part of the same whole. I think (and hope) we are on the verge of a transition from isolated, closed and contracted existence to a collective, open and expanded one. In other words, metaphor or not, we are going from a lower, denser vibration, to a higher, extended vibration, in my view.

Remember though that your criteria for advanced consciousness depends on the extent that someone agrees with you. So certainly, in this regard I can certainly see where you are coming from that the rest of the world looks incredibly unconscious to you.
Consciousness requires developed attention.
Consciousness is both the attention and the thing developing itself!

So obviously it is not dependent on these things, and cannot “require” them. Self-consciousness, consciousness of being consciousness, definitely.

If you had no consciousness, you would not function – consciousness itself requires nothing, yet everything we do requires it. So, consciousness does not require anything itself.
It is obvious that the speed of technology has lessened attention span. So if anything, consciousness as a whole within society has decreased.
Again, attention, something consciousness does, does not equal consciousness itself. Just like kicking a ball does not equal a footballer. The kick may lessen, but there is not less footballer.

How can we define increased consciousness? If consciousness is what consciousness is of, then it has certainly increased. However, consciousness has no location, no space, no time; one might even say it was infinitely large and simultaneously infinitely small, if one were so inclined. So how can it technically increase?

I think that, looking at a relative timeline, it is hard to see to what extent we have developed, consciously or otherwise, as a people. However, going back a few hundred, or thousand years, we have surely come a long way. For instance, 500 years ago, both you and I would have been justifiably executed just for having this conversation. So, surely, there is progress, it may simply be on a larger scale than our lifetimes.
I still believe that in expressions of quantity two plus three equals five. Do I cling to it? Yes, but if you show why it isn't the case I'm not afraid to let go. My feeling of self worth doesn't depend on it.
However, this metaphor fails, because your beliefs about the nature of reality and the mind have already been shown to be false, in any possible way that they could be, yet you continue to cling to them.

Also, your ideas are in no way comparable to mathematics, in fact this is ironic, because mathematics also shows many of your ideas to be false, and mathematics is falsifiable/testable/objective/non-interpretive etc.

There is no possible way that I could show you that they are false, that I have not already done. So this attitude is inconsistent; quite clearly, when you are shown why it isn’t the case, you are afraid to let go, for whatever reason.

You seem to have a very elevated opinion of yourself and your spiritual progression, which certainly seems to have decided your sense of self-worth in this matter. Your inability to accept certain facts, question or develop your belief system, does indeed suggest to me you have too much personal investment in them, specifically because you seem like an otherwise reasonable and intelligent person.
On the level of no level, we are both and neither; no more looking
What is the difference between no level and being dead?
I don’t know, I’m not dead yet.

As far as I know, the only difference is that one is possible while still alive, the other, not.
It is one thing to want peace, truth, compassion, non-attachment and nonduality but quite another as I've experienced to be open to the inner truth that we are the wretched man, in opposition to ourselves, so can only create the illusion of this through escapism.
Not at all. I seek truth, which means that I must be open to these things. Once the information has been assimilated, I can then move on.

From my perspective, I used to think similar things to what you think now, then I developed my views and have a different understanding.

Though obviously you don’t, I personally consider my current views not to be simply an alternative to your own, but a more developed and refined version of what you currently think. I may be wrong; nevertheless, it seems unlikely that I will develop further by regressing into a previous conception, since that doesn’t make any sense.
I've found that my position is extremely offensive and in the past having provoked the most vile replies. I don't include you in this of course. But still what you wrote has a sort of good guy, bad guy connotation about it.
Although I am not one of these people, and direct no anger or negativity towards you, see it from the other side: your position is that you practice being consciously present, which makes you an awakened being, and makes your experiences infallible and impervious to science, reason, doubt or logic.

The inference is that, irrelevant of the experiences of the other person, irrelevant of what they know or don’t, irrelevant of anything they have to say whatsoever, if what they say is not what you believe, then they are ignorant, un-awakened, persecuting you and so on.

Now, I just want you to imagine what you would think how you would react if someone had this attitude towards a different belief to your own.

And no matter what came up, what evidence, arguments and so on you presented, they would maintain that they were awakened, had subjective experiences that were more valid than anyone else’s and that their interpretations were not interpretations, but truth.

I think, were you a weaker, more impatient person, you would certainly become frustrated, possibly even offended and finally, if you lacked the degree of self-control and maturity that you have, maybe even respond with violent words and vile replies.

It would not be because you were ignorant, asleep or in a cave, nor “fulfilling the prophecies” with your denial of this awakened being’s truth, but simply that you were upset that somebody had completely closed themselves off to any form of reason at all.

At the heart of it, it would be your desire to do this guy a favour, to help each other, that was being prevented and causing the disruption. Your anger/negativity would be because you were watching a reasonable person become totally lost, and you were seemingly helpless to stop it, not because you were offended by their beliefs.
This is what I don't understand. Somehow the aspiration to leave Plato's Cave is seen as arrogant, narcissistic, and expressions of false humility to secularism including atheism and secular Interfaith.
It is not the aspiration to leave the Cave that evokes this response. It is the persistence that you, and only you, know the way out, and the denial of any other possibility.

The member of the cave who is in the biggest trouble, and causes the biggest difficulty for themselves, is that one who does wake up, only to mistake the shadows on the wall for the light itself. There becomes no difference between him and a man who dreams himself waking up.

If there is pattern reoccurring when you express your beliefs, then you should isolated the constant as the cause, which, unfortunately, is your ideas.

But you are doing the opposite; you are blaming the variable – everyone else.

Imagine a scientist who set lots of different things alight, then decided it was the things generating heat, not simply the fire, the constant each time. This wouldn’t be very good science, nor very sensible, but it is equivalent to your methodology.
The intent of these groups is to be satisfied with meaning derived from the world and share meaning on that basis. But then we have this minority, the black sheep, who are somehow aware that human meaning and purpose is not a societal quality normal for cave life but something we are called to that requires freedom from preconceptions of peace, truth, compassion and the whole nine yards. They believe in paths that lead to it. This is intolerable, and elitist. but the black sheep will seek the pearl of great price that exists beyond cave limitations and their needs will be considered insulting. Who do they think they are to nor be one of us? They must think we are ignorant.
Seeking meaning, seeking purpose, seeking pearls, seeking a way out of ignorance (the cave)– I think these are virtuous things. Believing that you know the identity of purpose, meaning and the pearl, before you have acquired them, and believing everyone else to be ignorant cave men, is not virtuous in my opinion, but dangerous and thoughtless.

Your journey for truth so far, was likely not without struggle, not without plenty of difficulties that, without a doubt, weaker men would not have got through.

And you are a stronger person for it, many of these strengths even shine through in your words and can be seen by people like me, despite not knowing you at all, which is a commendable achievement (and that, to me, is “real” art, btw).

However, I am sure that you learned very quickly that each new problem was not only harder to overcome, but harder to actually see, to recognise, at all.

I would simply ask: just remember – if you are taking to be the truth, that which is not the truth, everything you have struggled for, fought for, everything that you have sacrificed has been wasted.

Because, in the cave, there is no difference between the men sleeping at the bottom, and those who take a nap half way up the slope.

William Blake said (to paraphrase): “When the truth can be told so to be understood, it will be believed”.

Following Blake, you are convinced that the lack of other’s belief is a lack of understanding on their part.

This may be so – however, if we are honest, this is not a humble claim, nor a selfless one, nor, in cold facts, a statistically viable one, nor appropriated by any evidence whatsoever.

I think it would be of value to consider, without ego, self, or investment, the possibility that the reason for believe is not for want of understanding, but of truth. Conversely, this claim would be humble, selfless, statistically viable and corroborated by lots and lots of evidence.
Perhaps it would help if you explain how you value religious aspiration. Does it have any meaning for an atheist?
For the majority of atheists, absolutely not, it is nothing short of delusion etc. So that would be the quick answer for the majority, I think.

However, I am not in the majority myself. And I like long answers.

I think there is two different kinds of religion.

The first is much like what I interpret as your idea of “Christendom”; the manufactured, bastardised version of religion that proliferates for the purpose of pacifying, rather than liberating men from their “wretchedness”. It is the structural organisation of certain beliefs that were originally intended to be discerned independently – until we decided to kill those who didn’t arbitrarily believe, or have “faith”, which meant that the independent realisation of certain truths became obsolete, and religion degenerated into the exoteric nonsensical fantasy of talking snakes and literal water-walking that it has become.

Then there is the original notion of religion, which is something else altogether, something I call “choiceless”. I will capitalise the “R” just to differentiate.

The word “Religion” comes from the latin “re-“ which means “return” and the verb “ligare” which means “to bind”.

Cynical people would claim this means that Religion means “a return to bondage”, literally.

I don’t think so – the word bind can also mean union, harmony even peace, as an extension. In this sense, the word Religion means “return to union”, or I guess in your idea, a “return to the source”.

So, I think that religion, small “r”, is just a return to bondage. Aspiration is to be more controlled, more pacified, and more oppressed.

Then there is Religion, big “R”, which is aimed at allowing the individual to return to the original union prior to perceived separation. This is yoga, this is meditation, this is mysticism, this is the art and practice of liberating oneself from separation, to know the underlying balance and unity of all things.

In this sense, aspiration in Religion is the drive and desire to free oneself from the illusion of separation, the feeling that we are missing something, that something is lost, forgotten, absent. This feeling is choiceless, as is the aspiration to relieve it, which is why I refer to it in this way.

For all intensive purposes, this kind of Religion is totally nonexistent today in its organised form – however, mysticism, yoga (i.e. independent “spiritual” practice in general) have fortunately taken its place.

That would be my take on it.
To be or not to be is the question. I am referring to the human calling "to be." Yet somehow it is seen as being a form of elitism in opposition to truth, compassion, and everything else. But yet "to be" is really the striving to actualize what we normally seek through imagination which can have no other result then turning in circles. How do you appreciate "aspiration?"
Well, I disagree here that you are talking about “being” at all.

I think your idea is valid, about the human calling to “be” – however, I think you are mistakenly trying to be by becoming. Becoming is never, ever being.

Therefore, one cannot, literally, strive to “be”, or seek to “be”, or do anything that involves becoming at all – since this is not being.

Hence, in the traditions that emphasise “being”, when noting this paradox, aim instead to strive to remove the various delusions and ignorance, our “wretchedness”, that prevent us from seeing our constant being clearly, and being content with it.

To escape the wheel of karma, samsara, hell, maya etc. is to stop “becoming” at all. The truth, it seems, is that there never is or was any becoming at all, we are always ”being” - the trick is to remind ourselves of this fact.

So, in this sense, I appreciate aspiration in the sense that I strive to remove my delusion, my ignorance and my wrong views, that prevent me from “being” and keep me “becoming”. I cannot strive or aspire to “be”, because then I cancel out “being” in that I try to become what I already am, which is impossible.
The intellectual experience of vertical levels of reality is far from being awakened. If Mount. Meru has levels of reality, why would Buddha object?
Because the notion is not literal, this is the key difference.

Reality is fundamentally whole, complete, unitary which is something the Buddha advocated. Levels are within it, but they are not levels “of” reality, literally. They are the minds way of dissecting reality in such a way that it can make sense of it.

Just like the mathematicians numbers are a way of representing something non-numerical out there, a description, so too are you using levels to represent something non-levelled, also a description, not the thing described.

But Reality is not really made of numbers, nor is it really made of levels.
Weil and Triunism is incompatible with scientific findings, Buddhism, Yogic philosophy, Hindu mysticism, Jewish mysticism, Sufism and so on. This is totally beyond question.


Sez you.
Not just “sez me”. I have shown this to be the case pretty clearly. There is no credible evidence that says otherwise. Your justification that Weil united science and religion is literally just because she said so.
I do know that the Law of the Included Middle expresses the triune reality which scientists work with. I may be wrong but I do believe that in fifty years if our species survives, it will be just common knowledge. So we shall see.
Again, the “Law of the Excluded Middle” was an invention by someone ignorant that these things are already being employed and have been known about for thousands of years. It is already common knowledge. It has nothing whatsoever to do with “Triunsim”.

This is what I mean when I say it is possible that people are just getting frustrated with you sometimes, and not simply “persecuting” you because they are all ignorant zombies.

For instance, I have shown, very carefully, lots and lots of evidence, from all the traditions, from all over science, that categorically proves these ideas wrong, without doubt.

Over pages and pages I have done this, with as much patience and sensitivity as I can, only to hear you say at the end, after ignoring all of it, “sez you”, then act like it never happened and just repeat yourself.

So, if people are giving you negativity, perhaps consider that it may be because you invite it, not because they are jealous of your awakening or whatever.
"Emptiness, the wish- fulfilling jewel, is unattached generosity. It is uncorrupted discipline. It is angerless patience. It is undeluded exertion. It is undistracted meditation. It is the essence of prajna. It is the meaning in the three yanas.
Emptiness is the natural state of mind. "
Simone's observation:

*snip seemingly unrelated quote*

So there is intelligent conscious life beyond the contents of our associative mind and science. If so, what does that mean and what is its source
I assume you are still talking within the context of Buddhism. Emptiness, in Buddhism, is the source of everything, nor different from that sourced. So, if you interpret Emptiness to be intelligent, conscious and alive, then it doesn’t get this from anywhere; it is the thing that underlies everything else, but nothing contains it. Intelligence, consciousness and life are empty (“shunya”) of independent existence.

What that means is that, at the root of your mind, lies something that is also the source of all being, all possible being, and is effectively what you are.

My interest isn't in proving you false but rather in appreciating the logic of the universe and objective human meaning and purpose within it. If I discover something that makes sense to me, why should it be offensive? Why shouldn't I pursue what has made sense to me even though increasingly annoying for increasing secularism?
I am not offended or annoyed by your ideas in any way. I think you really should drop this idea that I am this furious atheist, offended by your noble desire to seek truth and blah blah blah. It isn’t actually true at all. I find this all humorous and fun, I’m far from annoyed. Challenges bring drama, and without drama, life is no fun. As I say above, stress precedes growth.

Anyway; if somebody in your cave is happy with their cavedom, because being asleep in a cave is something that makes sense to them, and they say “I would like to pursue these shadows, which by the way are absolute truth because I say so” what would you say? Probably you would feel a bit bad if you didn’t at least try to snap them out of it, right? If someone puts their hand in a waste disposal, you don’t think, “Well, they have a right to pursue that if they want, I should be more tolerant”. You don’t want them to get hurt, so you do your best to persuade them otherwise. But you don’t necessarily force them to stop, nor force them to listen. It’s like a game of chess, there are no wrong players, just wrong moves. In the end, it was all just a game anyway. So let’s just enjoy it, but make it as interesting, and challenging, as we can too.
My purpose isn't to prove you wrong
I know, but if you can, that is a good thing. I welcome it whenever I am proved wrong. Growth is always positive.
…but rather to see if their is common ground that atheist's and believers can agree on. Simone Weil having been an atheist and dying as a Christian mystic offers inights into the means IMO for greater mutual understanding.
I think there often are, perhaps we are just a less usual case, Weil and your own version of Gnosticism is unusual to what I am used to.
I believe she is right and the atheist serves a very necessary purpose but it is impossible to explore with either believers or atheists with their heels dug in.
I really hope you are not implying I am one such atheist, since that would be totally asinine.

I have already said that I think Weil’s comments are patronising by their very nature. I have also said that Weil’s mysticism is quite obviously a basic and underdeveloped form, and have offered lots of evidence as to why this is so.

I have offered valid reasons as to why I take the position that she was a novice in these areas, so it is incredibly belligerent to suggest that I am being obtuse, if you indeed are, simply because I have a differing position to yours, despite the various arguments and evidence I have presented – particularly as you have offered exactly none, other than quotes from her own book. Which sounds more like the attitude of someone with “their heels dug in”?
So I ask you sincerely; what is so wrong about trying to understand at the expense of disagreeing with another? Must disagreement be offensive by definition?
Please, it is unfair and not constructive to imply I have said things I have not and create straw men. If you truly do want to communicate, you must cease misrepresenting me, purposefully. Saying you ask sincerely does not make it sincere.

I am not offended by your and your beliefs; I am not offended by anything. On the contrary, you amuse me, as most things on this strange planet do. I also think there is absolutely nothing wrong with disagreement, which I have said many, many times. I encourage it.

To insist and infer otherwise, in spite of the truth, is, honestly, a bit infantile. If I am not your idealist version of an ignorant atheist, that is not my problem, you’ll have to just deal with that and stop projecting this stuff onto me.
No, I just have come to the conclusion that it is through levels of reality that everything begins to make sense and that there are a great many people of science and the humanities that have agreed.
Not that ontological separation exists. No credible scientist, nor someone who studies humanities, would ever deny things like thermodynamics, entanglement, conservation of energy, quantum mechanics etc. This is nothing short of a mistruth, perhaps unintentional, due to your misunderstanding of the difference between a description and the described. Present one single example of one, and I will retract everything I have said in this thread. I will save you time: you can’t, because none such exist, and you are confusing a description with what is described.
The difficulty is that levels of reality assumes a source which is becoming increasingly out of fashion in an increasingly secular society so it must be rejected. That doesn't mean that I have to reject it.
I think the difficulty is that you have misunderstood the difference between perception and reality.

Within reality, there are patterns, repeated types of encoding, repeating information.

The way a galaxy is formed, for instance, is in many ways analogous to the way an atom interacts with another, even how a foetus grows. In this sense, there are patterns that repeat on different “levels” of description, however, these levels are not actually present in reality itself, only in how it appears to us. Reality is, by definition, complete and whole.

If these “levels” were ontologically separate, then no energy, nor information, which composes everything including thoughts, could not transfer from one level to another.

In other words, if separation inherently existed, causation could not occur across levels; for instance, one could not “consciously connect” with a source on the highest level, because there would be no way for one to do this.

To believe that this source would make it so miraculously is peculiar, since this source, if real, created absolutely everything else according to causation and specific rules (physics) thus it would be strange if the source were to magically make information transfer across levels, without medium and contradict all the other rules in an instant it so carefully laid out.

What is more likely is that, the last few hundred years of modern science is correct, and that there are no literally “closed-systems”, and that separation, whether between two things or between “levels” cannot actually be inherent in reality, since the Universe could not function, at all, literally, if this were the case.

The alternative is to disregard all of this evidence in favour of one person’s perception that reality really is subdivided into distinguished levels.

This is not very likely nor reasonable, therefore, it is assumed that causation, physics and all the sciences are in fact representative in some sense of reality.

Hence, reality is considered to not be literally split into parts, but is in fact the whole. This is not the same as “digging our heels in”, I hope you realise.

So, because it is considered, by all of science, false that reality is literally divided, there is subsequently no inference of a source necessarily, because it has been proven, empirically, impossible that this would be the case anyway.

In either case, the inference for a source would be equal. If one were to accept what has been established by science, that there are no “levels” of reality literally, and couple it with the understanding that their notion of levels is just an attempt by their mind to grasp and make sense of a very complex reality, then one could still make a good case for a source.

I would have thought that this is and has been in fashion for a very long time – the majority of this planet has always been a believer in a conscious source of some description. You are very much in the majority.
Your interpretations are as subjective as everyone else’s, including mine. You must acknowledge this.
If I did it would only mean that the search for "meaning" is meaningless for me. Since it isn't, it would be foolish for me to deny relative quality.
I think you are not grasping the point. When you interpret an event, you cognise it, and infer based on various things what you think that event is. This is called “interpretation”; it is subjective, and can never be objective.

So, no-one could ever reasonably claim that their subjective interpretations were objective, this is an impossible situation. What they might do is argue, with evidence and reason, that their subjective interpretations correspond accurately with an objective truth. This is much more reasonable.

However, it must be understood that admitting that our subjectivity is not objective does not necessarily affect meaning or “relative quality” in any way.

Whenever we encounter information of any kind, we must process it through the senses, or the mind, mediated by consciousness.

So all experiences, whether it be of scientific data, levels of reality, conscious connections or anything else are effectively subjective. We cannot know to what extent these things correspond to reality at all.

This is why I would place considerable emphasis on getting to know the Subject, since it is the only thing to which “truth” can apply.
Cosmology is a hypothesis so is naturally subjective. However it is asserted that it is a skeleton of universal structure. As a potential microcosm I'm invited to verify it, fill in the skeleton through inner empiricism. It is a means of pursuing esoteric thinking. The results are subjective but it is the process of contemplation that leads to inner understanding.
Okay, but as I have pointed out, if my hypothesis were that reality consists of levels of invisible pancakes, I could verify it exactly the same way as yourself, I would get exactly the same results as yourself, and I would be equally justified in claiming these results lead to inner understanding that reality is made of pancakes.

I would disagree that it is a means of pursuing esoteric thinking myself, because this has no derivative in any esoteric tradition, including the majority of esoteric Christianity.

I also think, personally, that you have misunderstood the various forms of gnosis in the traditions, and are misusing it to persuade yourself that whatever you think you interpret you are perceiving is true, and that it is beyond question, because you say it is.

I believe that if you are interested in what you are calling “inner empiricism”, it would be beneficial to you to actually research what Gnosis (Christianity), Jnana yoga (Hinduism), meditation (Buddhism etc.) and so on actually are and what they consist of.

You will find very quickly that what you are calling Gnosis, self-enquiry and esoteric contemplation are in fact none of these things at all.

In all cases, one does not start with a hypothesis at all, which reality is then explained in terms of, as in your case. What all these traditions actually do is abandon views in general, and seek internally, which then results into insights regarding reality.

You are taking a hypothesis, seeing if you can make sense of it subjectively without any kind of scientific method, and then calling it truth, empiricism and objective if you can. According to science and the traditions, this is a flawed methodology. What the traditions suggest is that you don’t start with any assumptions at all, engage in the suggested practices, and come to your own conclusions instead.

This way is a better form of verification, because it means you can come to understand certain “truths” completely independently – because these truths are subjective and cannot be verified objectively, it provides a method of verification, simply because the various insights you gain correspond with exactly those performed by the experimenters before you both within and outside your tradition.

This is a much stronger system of verification than believing it because you reckon it is true and makes sense to you personally, which is actually not a methodology at all.

Perhaps this is the reason why your mysticism conflicts with all the other traditions, including much of esoteric Christianity. Or it may just be that all those other people are ignorant and asleep, of course.
Well, I don’t think I try to do anything, because I don’t believe a “try-er” exists
.

Does "will" exist for you? Without a try-er what is the source of will?
The word “will” is closely related to the word “wild”, which I think corresponds to my view.

In the same way wild things simply grow, of their own nature, human beings do exactly the same, and take their wildness to be will. Everything that happens is simply part of the way of the world, the “Tao”, which is beyond human expression or comprehension. The answers from both physics and mysticism tell us that simply because there is the potential for something, there is its actualisation – 0 = ∞. It is simply because It can.
Everything in Reality, absolutely everything, depends on another thing for its existence.


True, all evolution does is change primary connections. But everything is still connected.
That’s a good way to put it, “change primary connections”. I don’t understand why you need to say “but everything is still connected”. Obviously, that is and has always been my point. Also, the notion that all things are connected is not compatible with the notion all things are ontologically separate; they are literally completely incompatible.

Think this through though. If all things depend on another for their existence, then nothing exists unto itself. Therefore, from this premise, which you agree, it follows necessarily that no thing exists in isolation from another i.e. is separate. It also follows that what you take to be “yourself” is not meaningfully different from everything else.

When we couple this with the self-evident fact that all things decay and are transient, that nothing persists, what we have is something like a “net of being”, which is constantly changing and shifting. Thus, the conclusions that we logically arrive at from following the premise are completely different from your conclusions.
I get the impression from what you've written that we don't have anything other than subjective man made meaning or any objective universal purpose. Is this true?
Almost. I don’t believe anything in reality, nor reality itself, is exclusively objective, or exclusively subjective. So, there is no meaning that is subjective, nor any meaning that is objective.

I believe that the Universe operates according to repeating patterns, that repeat on all (non-literal) levels, such that the human being can simply look at what the Universe is doing, and follow suit. It seems to me, that the Universe is expanding in all possible directions, emerging new forms and increasing in complexity. Hence, I consider it the “point” to expand, emerge and complexify in one’s own life.

Also, as mentioned before, human beings are the only part of this process capable of true self-awareness, such that they have an ability to find the source of their own being, which, considering that all things are non-separate, is necessarily the source of all being itself. So, while it may not literally be a “purpose” to search within, I think there are certainly a lot of hints in that direction, one might say.

So, here, I derive meaning from both the subjective and the objective, such that meaning is not really either. I overlay my interpretations onto objective events, from which I then extract meaning and purpose.

At the same time, the notions of meaning are arbitrary conceptions, in a lot of ways. They are more attempts by the mind to grasp something permanent. What does a mountain mean? This question doesn’t even make any sense. Why should the meaning of the Universe or I be any different?
If it is, are most atheists the same in their denial of anything beyond imagined subjective human meaning and purpose?
This is probably why people react negatively towards you, because you accuse everyone who doesn’t agree with you of denial. I must have pointed out this out to you perhaps 6 or 7 times, yet you choose to endure. I wonder if you would consider the possibility that you purposely, either consciously or subconsciously, condescend everybody else, so that they react negatively towards you, just so you can then accuse them of “negative emotion”, and justify your own self-righteousness. Of course, I am amused and not angered, so I don’t fit into this self-fulfilling prophecy very well.

Moving on, I think that most atheists are nihilists, in that they don’t believe in any kind of meaning. It is rare that they will fully plunge into nihilism, which takes immense courage in a way, to believe everything is totally worthless, so most will settle for a subjective “life is what you make of it” kind of position.

In any case, the question “what does it mean?” regresses infinitely, such that it could also be asked of any answer given over and over. So, it would likely be argued by many atheists, though not necessarily myself, that the question itself is, ironically, meaningless.

Peace,

Thuse.

Nick_A
Posts: 2391
Joined: April 19th, 2009, 11:45 pm

Post by Nick_A » November 19th, 2009, 1:37 am

Hi Thuse

Simone Weil did not consider herself a mystic. Rather she had mystical experiences that she learned were similar to what mystics had experienced.

Simone Weil was not an idolater but rather a believer in a process that is the title of a book on her ideas called "Gravity and Grace" which is similar to the complimentary processes of involution and evolution.

For her it is based on Plato's famous analogy of Plato's Chariot. We either move further into creation through this psychological gravity or become open to rise through grace.
Therefore, for instance the hypothesis “reality is layered in pancakes” can only ever be a belief, even if true, and never known, in an epistemological sense.

This would not make such a belief necessarily false, but it would make it not “Truth”, capital “T”, that can be known in a meaningful sense.
There is external knowledge which we verify with the senses and inner knowledge which we verify through inner experience. Simone Weil describes the problem in her last entry before she died:
"The most important part of teaching is to teach what it is to know."
What is inner verification? The scientists experiments with facts outside the body. Verification for the inner man is the verification of processes. The atheist values the external scientific results while the spiritual person values inner processes that connect the higher with the lower. They are complimentary when genuine but should not be confused.
In what sense? Are you doubting my experience of inner morality? That would be rather hypocritical!
We have agreed to the value of doubt. We only differ as to the effects of the emotions of skepticism Tell me then how you have experienced inner morality and how you have differentiated between your experiences of inner and external morality.
However, there is not necessarily any reason to assume that an “essence” exists, nor that this has anything to do with morality, at all. Blue eyes are expressions, physical manifestations of information encoded in genes, not of blue eye “essence”. It is like the way the images on your computer screen are expressions of units of information in the website’s code, but not “forum essence”.
How often have you read the idea in New Age literature about our inner child? This is basically the idea. The trouble with New Age is that in order to feel good it doesn't recognize that an inner child becoming the inner adult matures in these qualities they are born with

For example we are born with the sacred emotions of love, faith, and hope, in their rudimentary form. If this essence or the kernel within the acorn doesn't develop, these qualities remain at their rudimentary level.

Evolved hope for example is not something that is normal for us. we only have hope IN this or that. Hope as an inner quality only exists in us in a rudimentary form.

Jacob Needleman describes hope but it is not something we can appreciate:
"Hope is a state of the mind, not of the world... Hope, in this deep andpowerful sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously heading for...success, but rather an ability to work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed."
This quality of hope is part of the higher world of processes and absurd for our normal earthly interactions.
I have encountered in the past some people who believe that the human race has been infiltrated by reptilian extraterrestrials from Zeta Reticulai, who might use the exact same argument. They would ask, “Is it true that most people are unaware of the difference between the real and their imagination? Therefore, George Bush is a shape-shifting alien.” This is not a meaningful argument, you see, but it is analogous to your reasoning here.
I agree. The question becomes how to differentiate the wheat from the tares within. We don't appreciate how difficult it is to develop this impartiality. Scientology is attractive because it prostitutes some esoteric concepts, interprets them into egotism, and people fall for it hook line, and sinker. It is one of the most vile forms of creating human slavery. People have inner needs and get swept into cults.

You quoted that famous story of the man picking up a piece of the truth which becomes useless through interpretations our horned hero is most eager to help us with. That is our problem and not so easy to deal with.
Moreover, it not only thinks it knows everything about being an acorn, it doesn’t realise that once it is a tree, all of that becomes irrelevant anyway.
But the healthy kernel of life protected by the husk of the acorn is a seed. It isn't an oak. If it believes itself an oak it cannot grow. It must admit what it is in relation to its potential.
It is a false dichotomy to believe that anything that is not the personality must be “relative being”
etc

This isn't what I meant. The personality cannot evolve. Only the inner man that has the potential for conscious evolution. Our personality is a tool that allows us to adapt to society. It doesn't require consciousness.

Let me try to explain relative being in this way. Pythagoras had the right idea IMO in his explanations of octaves.

Take a musical octave like a C scale. It has eight tones connected by high C and middle C for example. The notes of the scale have a harmonious connection based on vibratory frequency. The span between two notes is what you are calling becoming as I understand it. The pancakes if you will are connected by the basic three forces disconnecting at the level of a higher pancake and reconnecting at a different vibratory frequency directly below. The trick to understanding the laws of evolution and involution require understanding the process by which yin, yang, and qi unite and divide.

We agree that everything is connected which means the note la on the scale doesn't have an independent existence but is defined in relation to the octave as a whole and the two notes that resonate above and below it: si and sol. This is part of the idea that everything exists as a "middle" and is connected to all other "middles." From this perspective man on earth as in the seed of the acorn vibrates on one level but has the conscious potential to vibrate on a higher level or note of the scale.
Believing oneself to be superior, intellectually and spiritually, to all fellow men, to the point that it completely inhibits the ability to process and integrate new information, is certainly negative also, in my opinion.
This reminds me of a story I read about a spiritual teacher with "understanding." One of his young female students meekly approached him and confessed that she was unable to relax in his presence because he was so advanced and she felt inadequate. He paused an looked at her for a while and finally said and I paraphrase: "Yes, compared to me, your are sh-t and I compared to some others am also sh-t. So you see we are the same.

She left confused but shortly came back with a big smile and thanked him. The point being that as we are, superiority and inferiority is not the issue. It is all part of a scale and it is all necessary. Of course the difference is that with these people the superior help the inferior instead of normal life where the secular superior take advantage of the inferior.
I’m intrigued, what’s “secular advantage”? I’m not sure what you mean exactly.
A secular advantage would be money for example. An esoteric advantage would be to know when and to become able to sacrifice it for a greater good beyond psychological secular limitations. The rich man in the New Testament couldn't do it.
I think that the potential for growth doesn’t really have anything to do with a hierarchy. The problems with hierarchies is that they are decided – one may ask another: “What is the ideal hierarchy?” “Why, mine, of course.” “Where would you place yourself?” “Near the top, of course.” There are obvious problems with this, for more information see: Soviet Russia, Nazi Germany, Spanish Inquisition etc.
You are referring to variations of secular hierarchy and I'm referring to the development of the inner man from child to adult. We don't know what this is other than as an intellectual hypothesis.
I am also referring to awareness of being aware. I do not mean bodily awareness, or awareness of ego etc. I am equating self-awareness with awareness of being aware because they are not two separate things…
This is a basic difference and I guess it would have to be the case. I distinguish between reactive awareness and conscious awareness of reactive awareness. It is spiritual parts of our collective being becoming aware of our continual mechanical reactions and their interpretations.
However, a source of being infinitely small and infinitely large is relative to a (non)source of (non)being that is not infinitely large and not infinitely small. So, again, this conception is dependent, dualistic and not possibly god, if god is dependent and not subject to duality.
You lost me here. I cannot see a non source of non being as anything other than words. Perhaps you mean how I distinguish between no-thing, every-thing, and nothing. No-thing is pure conscious potential that manifests as every-thing within creation. Nothing in contrast has no conscious potential and is just dead for want of a better word.
Also, I do not think that this gives one the power to turn their interpretations into truth, since there are many people who practice this constantly with conflicting views, including myself.
conscious presence is not about interpretations but rather consciously receiving the reality of the external world as a whole. The need is for conscious experience of the external world with the whole of ourselves rather then interpreting.
It also means to me that whenever somebody questions you, you can just shrug them off as un-awakened, call them cave men, and feel self-righteous. This is not a healthy attitude, to me.
It's not a matter of shrugging anyone off but if Plato is right, and we are psychologically in Plato's cave, it would be foolish to have blind faith in it. We are un-awakened so it isn't a matter of right or wrong but simply first admitting the human condition. I admit it for myself and don't feel embarrassed to do it.

As a believer in a Source of Creation and its cosmology, the idea of Plato's cave and relative being for Man makes perfect sense. Is there a way that this conception of Plato's cave and our fixation with the shadows on the wall could be acceptable for atheism?
I think that, globally, there is a current transition among a minority that indicates a shift in awareness – more and more now have access to mysticism and inner technologies and are becoming increasingly aware as a result that we are all part of the same whole. I think (and hope) we are on the verge of a transition from isolated, closed and contracted existence to a collective, open and expanded one. In other words, metaphor or not, we are going from a lower, denser vibration, to a higher, extended vibration, in my view.
While I would agree that the potential is there for acquiring consciousness on a larger scale then just a few, it is also clear that many that have picked up a piece of the truth have had our horned partner help to devolve it into fantasy and its exponents appear on Oprah.
Remember though that your criteria for advanced consciousness depends on the extent that someone agrees with you. So certainly, in this regard I can certainly see where you are coming from that the rest of the world looks incredibly unconscious to you.
No, I believe that conscious humanity exists which is completely different then discriminating between individuals. All we can see is the results of what is being done. I would suggest that what happens in the world now would be impossible for conscious humanity.
How can we define increased consciousness? If consciousness is what consciousness is of, then it has certainly increased. However, consciousness has no location, no space, no time; one might even say it was infinitely large and simultaneously infinitely small, if one were so inclined. So how can it technically increase?
"A human being has so many skins inside, covering the depths of the heart. We know so many things, but we don't know ourselves! Why, thirty or forty skins or hides, as thick and hard as an ox's or bear's, cover the soul. Go into your own ground and learn to know yourself there." Meister Eckhart
Our personalities are happy with our skins and escapism cannot come to know them. Each skin has a relative degree of consciousness. Conscious attention leads to higher consciousness and the place of the seed of the soul.
I think that, looking at a relative timeline, it is hard to see to what extent we have developed, consciously or otherwise, as a people. However, going back a few hundred, or thousand years, we have surely come a long way. For instance, 500 years ago, both you and I would have been justifiably executed just for having this conversation. So, surely, there is progress, it may simply be on a larger scale than our lifetimes.
I would say that all we call progress and its hypocrisy is just normal adaptation for our collective being. It doesn't require consciousness.

However, this metaphor fails, because your beliefs about the nature of reality and the mind have already been shown to be false, in any possible way that they could be, yet you continue to cling to them.

Also, your ideas are in no way comparable to mathematics, in fact this is ironic, because mathematics also shows many of your ideas to be false, and mathematics is falsifiable/testable/objective/non-interpretive etc.

There is no possible way that I could show you that they are false, that I have not already done. So this attitude is inconsistent; quite clearly, when you are shown why it isn’t the case, you are afraid to let go, for whatever reason.

You seem to have a very elevated opinion of yourself and your spiritual progression, which certainly seems to have decided your sense of self-worth in this matter. Your inability to accept certain facts, question or develop your belief system, does indeed suggest to me you have too much personal investment in them, specifically because you seem like an otherwise reasonable and intelligent person..


So who is being dismissive? :)

There are people far more capable then you and I that understand far better than we do. You haven't proven anything false simply because I have not gone into detail. We are discussing basic mindsets. I'm just willing to doubt and ask questions about what is not fashionable in these times.

You say that the union of science and the essence of religion is impossible but people that study integral science for example would disagree and some are highly educated in the university sense. Consider:

http://www.integralscience.org/

Many articles deal with uniting the vertical with the horizontal realities. They try rather then condemn.
Not at all. I seek truth, which means that I must be open to these things. Once the information has been assimilated, I can then move on.
Where in you is it assimilated?
Although I am not one of these people, and direct no anger or negativity towards you, see it from the other side: your position is that you practice being consciously present, which makes you an awakened being, and makes your experiences infallible and impervious to science, reason, doubt or logic.
This like saying if you practice piano for an hour a day, in two weeks you'll be a pianist. It doesn't work that way. If I become an awakened being, I'll let you know.
The inference is that, irrelevant of the experiences of the other person, irrelevant of what they know or don’t, irrelevant of anything they have to say whatsoever, if what they say is not what you believe, then they are ignorant, un-awakened, persecuting you and so on.
No, all it means is that when perspectives are different I don't need to condemn. Yet I've found that condemnation is a norm for secularism and I question why it is so.
Now, I just want you to imagine what you would think how you would react if someone had this attitude towards a different belief to your own.


This is the trouble with the group think of secular Interfaith for example. They condemn from an assumption of righteous indignation attached to secular goals.
And no matter what came up, what evidence, arguments and so on you presented, they would maintain that they were awakened, had subjective experiences that were more valid than anyone else’s and that their interpretations were not interpretations, but truth.


I would know it is meaningless. The reason is that an awakened human being has a certain energy about them that allows someone to open in ways they could not before. The Apostles did not drop everything to follow Jesus because of what he said but because of what he was. They knew who he was by the energy about him.
At the heart of it, it would be your desire to do this guy a favour, to help each other, that was being prevented and causing the disruption. Your anger/negativity would be because you were watching a reasonable person become totally lost, and you were seemingly helpless to stop it, not because you were offended by their beliefs.
I don't feel I'm doing anyone a favor. I'm concerned with problems Jacob Needleman asserts from the disconnect between science and religion and know that it could lead to the mutual destruction of an enormous amount of humanity. So if those like he and Simone as well as others seek to close the gap, why should I just avoid it and say wonderful politically correct ideas so as to meet with secular approval. What good does it do?
It is not the aspiration to leave the Cave that evokes this response. It is the persistence that you, and only you, know the way out, and the denial of any other possibility.
It isn't only me. I learn from others. I believe in the transcendent unity of religions that are the source of objective human meaning and purpose for man. By definition, normal exoteric exchanges are just what is normal for the world of shadows. It is hard to discuss this question of human "being" with someone who has yet to appreciate their limitations. I'm used to it now and willing to admit them. I consider it my advantage.
The member of the cave who is in the biggest trouble, and causes the biggest difficulty for themselves, is that one who does wake up, only to mistake the shadows on the wall for the light itself. There becomes no difference between him and a man who dreams himself waking up.
Yes, this is a primary motive for the creation of "experts."
But you are doing the opposite; you are blaming the variable – everyone else.
But it isn't a matter of blame. The world is as it is and it is no ones fault. Everything is as it is since it is a reflection of the collective chaotic expression of man's "being." The question for me is how to realistically deal with it. It is a minority view. I have over six hundred dollars worth of books on my path that most are unaware of.

Trying to get to the bottom of it doesn't require blaming others. People do what they do
Seeking meaning, seeking purpose, seeking pearls, seeking a way out of ignorance (the cave)– I think these are virtuous things. Believing that you know the identity of purpose, meaning and the pearl, before you have acquired them, and believing everyone else to be ignorant cave men, is not virtuous in my opinion, but dangerous and thoughtless.
I believe I do know a path that leads to them. The path is a process and not the goal. To know the path is not to know the goal. Socrates said the path is to "know thyself." I agree.

But what about you and atheism? Do you believe that Man has any objective meaning and purpose? If not, what is your goal in your study of mysticism if it is meaningless?

Because, in the cave, there is no difference between the men sleeping at the bottom, and those who take a nap half way up the slope.

The difference is that those who nap half way up have acquired something. They are "responsible." This is why a real teacher doesn't accept a casual student. They can become "responsible" and vulnerable to karmic consequences. The more one understands, the more it can be perverted and lead to result far worse then ever having begun.
William Blake said (to paraphrase): “When the truth can be told so to be understood, it will be believed”.

Following Blake, you are convinced that the lack of other’s belief is a lack of understanding on their part.
Did Jesus, Buddha, and Socrates tell the truth in a way it could be understood? Why was it only understood by a few?
I think it would be of value to consider, without ego, self, or investment, the possibility that the reason for believe is not for want of understanding, but of truth. Conversely, this claim would be humble, selfless, statistically viable and corroborated by lots and lots of evidence.
Understanding is one thing and truth is another. A belief may be either true or not true

What is evidence? For example, some people believe that love exists. If it does, how do they prove it to another that has never experienced it? What is the evidence that can prove to another that they are not just mentally ill?
In this sense, aspiration in Religion is the drive and desire to free oneself from the illusion of separation, the feeling that we are missing something, that something is lost, forgotten, absent. This feeling is choiceless, as is the aspiration to relieve it, which is why I refer to it in this way.

For all intensive purposes, this kind of Religion is totally nonexistent today in its organised form – however, mysticism, yoga (i.e. independent “spiritual” practice in general) have fortunately taken its place.

That would be my take on it.
Religion does exist but not public in society that is dominated by religion. It must be this way to preserve its purity. Its purpose is not to provide ingenious methods of escapism but to deal with the human condition in relation to human inner potential.
So, in this sense, I appreciate aspiration in the sense that I strive to remove my delusion, my ignorance and my wrong views, that prevent me from “being” and keep me “becoming”. I cannot strive or aspire to “be”, because then I cancel out “being” in that I try to become what I already am, which is impossible.
What are you? If you were to remove delusion what would you be?
Not just “sez me”. I have shown this to be the case pretty clearly. There is no credible evidence that says otherwise. Your justification that Weil united science and religion is literally just because she said so.
The concept of the Trinity can be traced back to Egypt and is a foundation on Hinduism. You can shrug it off as lacking proof but then again it may require us to be open to truth. The continual union and division of the three essential forces are the processes of involution and evolution. All we can do is agree to disagree as to the Law of the included Middle.
For instance, I have shown, very carefully, lots and lots of evidence, from all the traditions, from all over science, that categorically proves these ideas wrong, without doubt.

Over pages and pages I have done this, with as much patience and sensitivity as I can, only to hear you say at the end, after ignoring all of it, “sez you”, then act like it never happened and just repeat yourself.

So, if people are giving you negativity, perhaps consider that it may be because you invite it, not because they are jealous of your awakening or whatever.
Perhaps nothing has been proven. All you are doing is asserting that you don't understand the distinction between the laws of the excluded and included middles as does someone like Dr. Nicolescu. How will you prove him wrong? But why must it lead to believing me referring to myself as awakened? This seems to be the trouble with atheism for me. I believe it serves a necessary purpose of purification but at the same time when someone disagrees with the significance of its evidence, it is somehow considered worthy of negative reactions. It seems that I must be elitist to appreciate the observations of Dr. Nicolescu
What that means is that, at the root of your mind, lies something that is also the source of all being, all possible being, and is effectively what you are.
I had not thought of this. Is atheism limited to either the denial of an ultimate source or the belief that we essentially are part of this source? If this is true, it is easy to see why creation as levels of reality and Man as a creature within creation having initiated within creation would be absurd. Is there any way in your beliefs that negative reactions would become unnecessary?
To insist and infer otherwise, in spite of the truth, is, honestly, a bit infantile. If I am not your idealist version of an ignorant atheist, that is not my problem, you’ll have to just deal with that and stop projecting this stuff onto me.
You are not an ignorant atheist. I don't mean to imply this but rather just compare beliefs. Could we agree that encouraging developing the power of attention in education could be a goal we could agree upon? Wiki gives some of Simone's observations of this idea:
Reflections on the Right Use of School Studies with a View to the Love of God

Although people seem to be unaware of it today, the development of the faculty of attention forms the real object and almost the sole interest of studies.
School children and students who love God should never say: "For my part I like mathematics"; "I like French"; "I like Greek." They should learn to like all these subjects, because all of them develop that faculty of attention which, directed toward God, is the very substance of prayer.
Attention consists of suspending our thought, leaving it detached, empty, and ready to be penetrated by the object; it means holding in our minds, within reach of this thought, but on a lower level and not in contact with it, the diverse knowledge we have acquired which we are forced to make use of.
Above all our thought should be empty, waiting, not seeking anything, but ready to receive in its naked truth the object that is to penetrate it.
All wrong translations, all absurdities in geometry problems, all clumsiness of style, and all faulty connection of ideas in compositions and essays, all such things are due to the fact that thought has seized upon some idea too hastily, and being thus prematurely blocked, is not open to the truth.

We do not obtain the most precious gifts by going in search of them but by waiting for them. Man cannot discover them by his own powers, and if he sets out to seek for them he will find in their place counterfeits of which he will be unable to discern falsity.
The capacity to give one's attention to a sufferer is a very rare and difficult thing; it is almost a miracle; it is a miracle. Nearly all those who think they have this capacity do not possess it. Warmth of heart, impulsiveness, pity are not enough.
Paradoxical as it may seem, a Latin prose or a geometry problem, even though they are done wrong, may be of a great service one day, provided we devote the right kind of effort to them. Should the occasion arise, they can one day make us better able to give someone in affliction exactly the help required to save him, at the supreme moment of his need.
Modern technology has shortened attention span. Can we agree that it is not a good thing to condition the younger generation to sacrifice attention span for the sake of fascination with the speed of technology?
The way a galaxy is formed, for instance, is in many ways analogous to the way an atom interacts with another, even how a foetus grows. In this sense, there are patterns that repeat on different “levels” of description, however, these levels are not actually present in reality itself, only in how it appears to us. Reality is, by definition, complete and whole.
I agree. The same laws that create galaxies create microbes. they only differ in scale
If these “levels” were ontologically separate, then no energy, nor information, which composes everything including thoughts, could not transfer from one level to another.

In other words, if separation inherently existed, causation could not occur across levels; for instance, one could not “consciously connect” with a source on the highest level, because there would be no way for one to do this.
But they are vertically connected through the Law of the Included Middle. I cannot explain all this in a post but all I ask is if great minds pursue these ideas, there may be something to them.
To believe that this source would make it so miraculously is peculiar, since this source, if real, created absolutely everything else according to causation and specific rules (physics) thus it would be strange if the source were to magically make information transfer across levels, without medium and contradict all the other rules in an instant it so carefully laid out.
Think of Creation as an octave. Taken together the octave is ONE. However the notes within the octave are connected through lawful vibratory frequencies that ancients described as harmoniously.
So, no-one could ever reasonably claim that their subjective interpretations were objective, this is an impossible situation. What they might do is argue, with evidence and reason, that their subjective interpretations correspond accurately with an objective truth. This is much more reasonable.

However, it must be understood that admitting that our subjectivity is not objective does not necessarily affect meaning or “relative quality” in any way.
I am not asserting objectivity but rather the value of consciously witnessing our lack of objectivity. It is the conscious vertical path to the world of forms.
Perhaps this is the reason why your mysticism conflicts with all the other traditions, including much of esoteric Christianity. Or it may just be that all those other people are ignorant and asleep, of course.
It doesn't conflict with esoteric Christianity. My interest isn't in mysticism but rather what it means to be a Man. For a Man, mysticism is normal. Jacob Needleman describes what I believe to be my human obligation in the previously posted preface to "Lost Christianity."
What is lost is the experience of oneself -- myself, the personal being who is here, now, living, breathing, yearning for meaning, for goodness; just this person here, now, squarely confronting ones existential weaknesses and pretensions while yet aware, however tentatively, of a higher current of a higher current of life and identity calling to us from within ourselves. This presence to oneself is the missing element in the whole of the life of Man, the intermediate state of consciousness between what we are meant to be and what we actually are. it is perhaps the one bridge that can lead us from our inhuman past toward the human future.
It is a path that serves to connect the higher with the lower that I believe to be vital for our collective future and the eventual union of science and the essence of religion.
Quote:
If it is, are most atheists the same in their denial of anything beyond imagined subjective human meaning and purpose?


This is probably why people react negatively towards you, because you accuse everyone who doesn’t agree with you of denial. I must have pointed out this out to you perhaps 6 or 7 times, yet you choose to endure. I wonder if you would consider the possibility that you purposely, either consciously or subconsciously, condescend everybody else, so that they react negatively towards you, just so you can then accuse them of “negative emotion”, and justify your own self-righteousness. Of course, I am amused and not angered, so I don’t fit into this self-fulfilling prophecy very well.
What is condescending about asking if an atheist can accept an objective state of consciousness that is no longer subjective. One either denies it or accepts the possibility. Why is it condescending? This is what concerns me. I posted an article describing positive and negative atheism where positive atheism is based on denial. Just clarifying what is being denied isn't condescending. Why do you think I believe it is important if a person disagrees with me? Many do. But it is not anything for me to be upset about. How could that question be phrased differently so as not to create that effect?
Man would like to be an egoist and cannot. This is the most striking characteristic of his wretchedness and the source of his greatness." Simone Weil....Gravity and Grace

Thuse
Posts: 34
Joined: October 4th, 2009, 3:16 am

Post by Thuse » November 20th, 2009, 9:09 pm

Hey Nick_A, how you keep your posts so relatively short is beyond me.
There is external knowledge which we verify with the senses and inner knowledge which we verify through inner experience.
By verifying something, we do not make it knowledge. Science verifies through experiment, but it cannot ascertain truth-value.
The atheist values the external scientific results while the spiritual person values inner processes that connect the higher with the lower. They are complimentary when genuine but should not be confused.
This is not really true. I am both an atheist and “spiritual”; however, I integrate both scientific and subjective experiences into my models. I do not confuse them, yet they are both complimentary. So, I am both atheist and spiritual, and I value both external results and internal ones.
We have agreed to the value of doubt. We only differ as to the effects of the emotions of skepticism
No, I would say that we simply disagree on the definition of scepticism. I equate scepticism with doubt so, actually, you agree with my scepticism.

If you are defining scepticism as emotionally motivated, then I would agree this is not a positive thing, and do not practice it.
Tell me then how you have experienced inner morality and how you have differentiated between your experiences of inner and external morality.
I argue that we call morality is the direct expression of our nature. Like water, when nothing is blocking it, it flows naturally.

I do not differentiate, ultimately, between inner and outer anything, as inner and outer are products of thought, and not inherent in reality apart from thought.

If we look for ourselves, we will find quickly that the boundary between “in here” and “out there” does not actually exist, and is simply imagined, without reason.
For example we are born with the sacred emotions of love, faith, and hope, in their rudimentary form. If this essence or the kernel within the acorn doesn't develop, these qualities remain at their rudimentary level.
Okay, I simply disagree – I feel that some of these things, specifically love, is an aspect of what we already are, all-embracing, thus when distortions of the mind are removed, “love” is free to express itself more fully.

So, love is not something developed, something forced. It is just a case of letting it flow, like water, all by itself.
This is not a meaningful argument, you see, but it is analogous to your reasoning here.
I agree.
So you agree that your argument here is meaningless? This is a positive observation.
Moreover, it not only thinks it knows everything about being an acorn, it doesn’t realise that once it is a tree, all of that becomes irrelevant anyway.
But the healthy kernel of life protected by the husk of the acorn is a seed. It isn't an oak. If it believes itself an oak it cannot grow. It must admit what it is in relation to its potential.
Yes and no – what it “is” is the potential for an oak – it is that, already. It is not the actualisation of an oak, but it still is the oak, not-different from it.

It is just like the same amount of energy is present before and after a system does work, it only changes form. Or how a projector makes many different movies, but it is all just light.

If it “admits” it is an acorn, it can never be more than an acorn, it limits itself. If it knows it is an oak, then it must rid itself of all acorn-ness to express this, not become more of an acorn. When the acorn is shed of itself, the oak will become, naturally and effortlessly.
This isn't what I meant. The personality cannot evolve. Only the inner man that has the potential for conscious evolution. Our personality is a tool that allows us to adapt to society. It doesn't require consciousness.
Everything we do requires consciousness. You cannot perceive things without it.

Also, my personality evolves all the time; it is not constant, nothing physical is or can be.

What you are trying to say is that you are conscious in a way others are not.

This doesn’t make others unconscious, literally. Understand the difference between a “metaphor” and “reality”.
The span between two notes is what you are calling becoming as I understand it.
The misidentification of the note as a note and not the underlying vibration, which composes all scales, is what I mean by becoming.

Notes are what the vibration becomes, vibration is what the notes are.
The pancakes if you will are connected by the basic three forces disconnecting at the level of a higher pancake and reconnecting at a different vibratory frequency directly below. The trick to understanding the laws of evolution and involution require understanding the process by which yin, yang, and qi unite and divide.
Yin Yang are two aspects of one undivided whole, in all philosophies and traditions that expound them. Yours, I believe, is not a new expounding, but simply a general misunderstanding of this principle.

The Taijitu, which is that black and white symbol that represents the Yin and Yang, you see as being two divided sides, coming into union. Hence, you call it Yin and Yang, when actually it is just Yin Yang – one principle, not two separate ones (if you don’t believe me, you can look it up).

In fact, this symbol is actually a circle, with two aspects. This is how it must be understood. To see Yin Yang as separate is mistaking reality with appearance. They appear separate, but are in fact one – there is actually no “and”, but the mind wants to put an “and” there.
We agree that everything is connected which means the note la on the scale doesn't have an independent existence but is defined in relation to the octave as a whole and the two notes that resonate above and below it: si and sol. This is part of the idea that everything exists as a "middle" and is connected to all other "middles." From this perspective man on earth as in the seed of the acorn vibrates on one level but has the conscious potential to vibrate on a higher level or note of the scale.
I more-or-less agree, I would simply take it further.

Si is defined by la and sol, but sol and la are also defined by it. Similarly, all notes are defined by one another, and define one another in turn. Thus, everything is interdependent. If you remove one note, you remove all notes.

A poetic way to think of this is called Indra’s Net. Imagine a giant net stretched out infinitely in all directions, intersecting at all possible points. At each point of intersection is a drop of dew. Within each dew drop, is reflected all other dew drops, and in each reflection is reflected each reflection…and so on, such that every single drop is a reflection of the whole. Moreover, the substance of each drop is not more than this reflection.

What I believe you are not entailing logically with your concept of interdependency is that you are also interdependent. However, you believe yourself to be beyond this, even though all the traditions warn against exactly this – not to let our ego’s self-importance supersede our logic and reason.
Believing oneself to be superior, intellectually and spiritually, to all fellow men, to the point that it completely inhibits the ability to process and integrate new information, is certainly negative also, in my opinion.
This reminds me of a story I read about a spiritual teacher with "understanding." […] Of course the difference is that with these people the superior help the inferior instead of normal life where the secular superior take advantage of the inferior.
Perhaps instead the teacher, if he were a good one, encourages the student to transpose their thoughts, opinions and beliefs onto him.

The teacher, for the student, is nothing more than a reflection of the student – the student sees only what they want to see.

The student returns to thank the teacher, because the teacher was presenting the prejudices and judgments of the student only. Beyond that, there is no such thing as inferior and superior.

If it is necessary for somebody’s growth to believe various people are inferior to them and superior to them, then that is fine, I support that, but only as a beginning.

However, if they haven’t grown out of this view eventually, and have not moved beyond it, I am simply concerned that they will become more stuck in it than they already are. The most important thing about a stage is recognising it as just a stage. Of course, I could do no more than point this out to them; what they do with that information is their concern.
I distinguish between reactive awareness and conscious awareness of reactive awareness. It is spiritual parts of our collective being becoming aware of our continual mechanical reactions and their interpretations.
Awareness reacting and awareness in consciousness is still awareness.

Electricity in a TV and electricity in a computer is still electricity.

Don’t mistake the medium with the message, i.e., don’t confuse a difference in form with a difference of the thing itself.

Lightning and ripples on a pond appear as separate, but are ultimately the same thing (energy in motion in this case).
You lost me here. I cannot see a non source of non being as anything other than words. Perhaps you mean how I distinguish between no-thing, every-thing, and nothing.
No, I do not mean that.

If a non-source of non-being is no more than words to you, then its opposite, a source of being, is no more than words also.

If you cannot understand the negation of something, then you cannot understand its affirmation. If you don’t know what an apple is, then you cannot know what it means for there to be no apple, and vice versa.

I am simply suggesting that you/we move beyond empty words, which in my opinion is of unequalled value.
Also, I do not think that this gives one the power to turn their interpretations into truth, since there are many people who practice this constantly with conflicting views, including myself.
conscious presence is not about interpretations but rather consciously receiving the reality of the external world as a whole. The need is for conscious experience of the external world with the whole of ourselves rather then interpreting.
Obviously, I am aware of this; there was no apparent need to define what conscious presence is, but thanks anyway.

I was saying that practising conscious presence does not justify one making their interpretations truth.

Many people practice conscious presence, then when they are not practicing it, make interpretations, just like when you are not practicing it, you are making interpretations.

However, many of these people who practice conscious presence, like myself, do not make the same interpretations as you later on, therefore, it must not give one the ability to discern truth.
It also means to me that whenever somebody questions you, you can just shrug them off as un-awakened, call them cave men, and feel self-righteous. This is not a healthy attitude, to me.
It's not a matter of shrugging anyone off but if Plato is right, and we are psychologically in Plato's cave, it would be foolish to have blind faith in it. We are un-awakened so it isn't a matter of right or wrong but simply first admitting the human condition. I admit it for myself and don't feel embarrassed to do it.
Yet, this is exactly what I mean by “shrugging it off”.

You claim that it is not shrugging it off, then proceed to shrug it off by saying “well but if Plato/Weil/etc. is right then…” and you then repeat yourself, ending by saying something totally irrelevant, like, “I just like puppies, I don’t see why there is anything wrong with that”.

No information has actually been processed in any of this. You are just repeating the axiom “but what if they are right” in response to most things, even though we have established that in many ways, they were not right.

My view is very simple; I believe that you cannot receive genuine knowledge from books, nor from what you have been told, but must seek it yourself, within yourself.

I am sure that there are many wise things that Weil or whoever has said for any occasion; nevertheless, I will always disagree that believing something to be true simply because you have read it or been told it by someone you have faith in is not a valid methodology, to me. “Kill your idols” is a good metaphor here.

Abandoning conditioned beliefs and views, I think we must seek within, which is only, I claim, where truth can be found, not in books, nor in others words.

In doing so, one must only speak of what one has experienced and not simply repeat the empty words of others.

This is where we simply disagree.
As a believer in a Source of Creation and its cosmology, the idea of Plato's cave and relative being for Man makes perfect sense. Is there a way that this conception of Plato's cave and our fixation with the shadows on the wall could be acceptable for atheism?
I, for instance, suspect that we universally misidentify with thoughts, and suffer various delusions that keep us away from knowing our genuine nature, so in this sense, we are in a metaphorical cave.

However, until we are out of that cave ourselves, there is no use in speculating on anything else, nor attempting to help anyone else, as a disordered being can only create more disorder.

I also agree that all things exist relatively, or interdependently, but would reject the notion of “relative being”, and replace it with “relative becoming”. That which “is”, being, is not relative to anything; even non-being must be to exist.

Atheism is not like religions in that it is not organised, and has no set beliefs. So, there is no reason that someone who lacks belief in independent entities, such as myself, would reject any of this, though most if not all certainly reject “relative being”, since it is a contradiction in terms.
While I would agree that the potential is there for acquiring consciousness on a larger scale then just a few, it is also clear that many that have picked up a piece of the truth have had our horned partner help to devolve it into fantasy and its exponents appear on Oprah.
Haha, I agree, whole-heartedly.

*snip Eckhart quote*

Our personalities are happy with our skins and escapism cannot come to know them. Each skin has a relative degree of consciousness. Conscious attention leads to higher consciousness and the place of the seed of the soul.
I think it would be useful for you to actually follow Eckhart’s directions, and study your own consciousness, before you decide its nature. “If you don’t look through the telescope, you don’t get to vote on how many moons Jupiter has”.
I would say that all we call progress and its hypocrisy is just normal adaptation for our collective being. It doesn't require consciousness.
What is the difference between a foetus and an adult? Progress.

Progress is simply an increase in complexity, it needn’t be good/bad.

To deny progress is to deny growth, which may be the root cause of the rejection of growth.

Again, no example of something that does not require consciousness, or at least awareness, can be provided, by anyone, anywhere. Even sleep requires awareness, for otherwise nothing is lacking.

You are aware, so study you own awareness, not what Weil, Needleman nor I say about it.
There is no possible way that I could show you that they are false, that I have not already done. So this attitude is inconsistent; quite clearly, when you are shown why it isn’t the case, you are afraid to let go, for whatever reason.


So who is being dismissive? :)
If by dismissive, you mean negating an idea with evidence, reason and logic, then yes, I am being “dismissive.”
There are people far more capable then you and I that understand far better than we do.
Since you are talking “credentials”, then actually, I believe I am perfectly capable.

If academic credentials are relevant, then I have a degree in Biological Evolution, and a degree in Philosophy, the latter of which my dissertation was an integrative study of mysticism and science, so naturally, I believe I am pretty qualified to talk about philosophy, mysticism, integral theory and religion, because I have studied it extensively both independently and in an academic context.

As you know, I practice the various “spiritual” methodologies daily, and I also learnt yoga and Advaita in India from genuine teachers, learnt Theravada and Mahayana Buddhist theory and meditation techniques from Buddhist teachers in Thailand and Cambodia and briefly studied under a Zen master and a Lama in a Tibetan monastery right here, in London. So, that may give me some credence to talk about Buddhism, Indian philosophy and mysticism.

In addition, I am currently organising research for a PhD in Philosophy regarding complex systems, of which thermodynamics, quantum mechanics and cosmology are being included at a graduate level.

What is more is that I actually write about philosophy, mysticism and theology as part of my profession – people actually pay me to think and write about these things.

Does this qualify as a “capacity” in your eyes?

In some sense, all this is meaningless, yet perhaps it gives me some capacity to talk about these things assertively and from an academic standpoint. In any case, I have provided evidence and reason for everything I have said, so social or academic brownie points aren't really necessary, I think. Neither Christ nor Buddha had degrees or whatever, after all.
You haven't proven anything false…
How are you defining “proof”?

If you mean, logical, empirical and historical, then, actually, I have proven much of your assertions about Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Eckhart, Quantum Mechanics and philosophy to be false, for instance.

So what? Why not just accept this, and move on?

Surely that is a better idea that just reasserting what is not the case.
…simply because I have not gone into detail.
If, one day, the sun did not rise, then all previous observations regarding the rising sun would have to be abandoned, irrelevant of how much of it there was. One disproof is always enough.

So, it is not necessary for you to go into any more detail; from what you have said already the actuality has already been established beyond doubt.
We are discussing basic mindsets. I'm just willing to doubt and ask questions about what is not fashionable in these times.
Much of your ideas are basic exoteric Christian ones, arguably all of them, which are believed by the majority of the population of this planet. So, I don’t think we can call them “unfashionable”; actually, it is the opposite.

What is “unconstructive” rather than “unfashionable” is to deny things like quantum mechanics and thermodynamics, evolutionary theory etc.

Also, remember that being “willing to doubt” means that you must be willing to doubt your own beliefs and assumptions too.

Since you are not, the assertion that you are “willing to doubt” is actually meaningless and not true.

What you mean is, you are willing to doubt anything that doesn’t fit into your previous assumptions and interpretations, which is not the same.

We are not what we say, but what we actually do. So, you say this, but actually do another.
You say that the union of science and the essence of religion is impossible but people that study integral science for example would disagree and some are highly educated in the university sense.
I did say that; however, that was before we clarified our definitions of religion.

Esoteric religion in the mystical sense can and has been integrated into science; that is exactly what I have been doing in this thread, for instance.

Religion in the exoteric sense, such as that there exists a Holy Spirit, or wine is literally the blood of Christ, or the Earth is 6000 years old, have already been disproved, or (in the case of the first example) are not scientific hypotheses. So, in this sense of religion it would be impossible to integrate it with science, by definition, obviously.

However, I would be careful of the use of the word “integral”. It has become a very fashionable word, in fact, I consider myself to be an integral philosopher and have written much about it, and expressed integral theory throughout much of this thread. However, for something to be integral, it must integrate the ideas from all schools.

Because you, for example, reject science and atheism, your ideas are not integral. In other words, you cannot explain them in terms of your model.
Consider:

http://www.integralscience.org/

Many articles deal with uniting the vertical with the horizontal realities. They try rather then condemn.
Again, I am not condemning anybody. I can only repeat this so many times.

I really like this site; I think you should study it and its papers more carefully.

You will soon find that no one is rejecting science, but simply expanding it beyond the objective.

This is exactly what I have been suggesting all along, and what’s more, it is called “integral science”, which is the very same exact thing that I was talking about earlier.

I am already very familiar with the majority of papers there, have been inspired by many of these authors, and have been incorporating their ideas throughout this thread and elsewhere.

What’s more is that the various sites I linked to in an earlier post are, literally, all there, on the front page. This site represents exactly what I have been supporting all along, an integral worldview, not a limited one.

Note the quote on the front page (my bold):

“Science comes from the Latin word to know. Integral means to be whole, comprehensive, and complete… Integral science, however, is not limited to perceptual data and conceptual theories about them, but is open to the entire range of experience, and to all our capacities for apprehending truth.”

So, if you are interested in these kinds of ideas, perhaps you might consider following this advice and mine, and integrate a wholistic point of view into your ideas.

Obviously, it is a little odd that you would mention a site, inferring that it supports your views, when it quite literally is a site about the philosophy I have been expounding this entire thread.

In any case, thank you for bringing this site up, it makes my point much more clearly. I implore you to have a good read of its contents; I believe it will be helpful to you.
Not at all. I seek truth, which means that I must be open to these things. Once the information has been assimilated, I can then move on.
Where in you is it assimilated?
In that place in my body that is capable of processing information, the nervous system.
Although I am not one of these people, and direct no anger or negativity towards you, see it from the other side: your position is that you practice being consciously present, which makes you an awakened being, and makes your experiences infallible and impervious to science, reason, doubt or logic.
This like saying if you practice piano for an hour a day, in two weeks you'll be a pianist. It doesn't work that way. If I become an awakened being, I'll let you know.
But you are saying that if you practice piano for an hour a day for two weeks, you will be able to tell what is true regarding a piano, and deny any evidence that contradicts this, even from others who have been playing piano much longer.

It doesn’t work that way either, unfortunately.
The inference is that, irrelevant of the experiences of the other person, irrelevant of what they know or don’t, irrelevant of anything they have to say whatsoever, if what they say is not what you believe, then they are ignorant, un-awakened, persecuting you and so on.
No, all it means is that when perspectives are different I don't need to condemn. Yet I've found that condemnation is a norm for secularism and I question why it is so.
I am secularist, yet I don’t condemn anyone, so obviously, what you have found so far is now categorically falsified simply by virtue of me existing.

It means our perspectives are different, yes. Yet it also means all of the above, too. Your actions and words have established this.

You cannot delete the past by simply observing, “we have different perspectives”. Just like in court you cannot get off a murder charge by telling the judge “we have different perspective”. Yes, but you still murdered someone.

In our case, yes, sure, but mine is open to growth, integration, development and can be falsified.
Now, I just want you to imagine what you would think how you would react if someone had this attitude towards a different belief to your own.


This is the trouble with the group think of secular Interfaith for example. They condemn from an assumption of righteous indignation attached to secular goals.
Again, the comparison is worthless here, because I am not condemning you nor anyone else for anything at all.

What I have asked you to do is, quite simply, see this from my point of view, and instead, you have reacted overtly negatively, inferred falsely that I am condemning you, when it is clear that I am not. And all that was asked was that you view your position objectively.

I feel this shows us something truly important about your way of thinking, the structure of your belief-system and attached emotional states.
And no matter what came up, what evidence, arguments and so on you presented, they would maintain that they were awakened, had subjective experiences that were more valid than anyone else’s and that their interpretations were not interpretations, but truth.


I would know it is meaningless.
Good, then you understand why I view your position as meaningless.
The reason is that an awakened human being has a certain energy about them that allows someone to open in ways they could not before. The Apostles did not drop everything to follow Jesus because of what he said but because of what he was. They knew who he was by the energy about him.
I believe that only the foolish would follow someone simply because of charisma or energy. I have met many charismatic people in my life, who turned out to be complete jerks.

So, actually, I believe that an awakened being can be recognised by his words, thought and action, and putting his or her teachings to the test and finding them to be so, rather than on the basis of our personal judgments about them.
So if those like he and Simone as well as others seek to close the gap, why should I just avoid it and say wonderful politically correct ideas so as to meet with secular approval. What good does it do?
Again, it is very important to actually be consciously aware of what is happening, instead of simply overlaying our prejudices on a situation, wouldn’t you agree?

For instance, my position, and others, has absolutely nothing whatsoever do with political correctness, nor does my refutation of your ideas, which you are seemingly unaware of, but seem to think something else is happening, which is not.

First, you can never close the gap between religion and science, because currently much of your beliefs are refuted by science. So, it does no good for you to keep on trying to do something that is impossible.

You see, Weil’s, Needleman’s and your interest is not actually in bridging the gap between religion and science; it is forcing science to believe your subjective interpretations. This is senseless, from the point of view of science, not integral, and has absolutely nothing to do with the ethos and goal of that site you posted earlier, as you can see for yourself.

Second, that Weil and Needleman might be wrong, and, in fact, are wrong about many things.

So, the conclusion is relatively simple: science can never be integrated with religious ideas that it proves to be false. Instead, a genuinely integral theory would have to explain how these false ideas arise, which it can.

However, the core, universal ideas of esoterica, such as non-separation, nondualism, and so on can and have been integrated with science. This is called “integral theory” and is covered extensively by that website you linked to but appear not to have read.
It is not the aspiration to leave the Cave that evokes this response. It is the persistence that you, and only you, know the way out, and the denial of any other possibility.
It isn't only me. I learn from others.
No, it really is only you when communicating with people who respond negatively to you.

And you only learn from others who agree with you, so you’re not actually learning, since you are not processing any new information, this is key.

When we learn something, we must necessarily possess new information – we literally create new connections in our brain.

So, if we simply reject those things that do not correlate with the connections we already have, we are not learning anything.
I believe in the transcendent unity of religions…
So do I, sans “transcendent”.
…that are the source of objective human meaning and purpose for man. By definition, normal exoteric exchanges are just what is normal for the world of shadows. It is hard to discuss this question of human "being" with someone who has yet to appreciate their limitations. I'm used to it now and willing to admit them. I consider it my advantage.
It seems strange that you find it so hard to understand your negative responses, when right here you are basically saying that I am too stupid/ignorant to understand the complexity of your argument.

Here, I have pointed out a problem in your view to you; however, you ignore this, and simply transpose the flaws in you views onto me. Instead of accepting what the evidence suggest, you reason that these things exist because I am lacking in some way, I have “not yet appreciated my limitations”, even though there is no reason to believe this.

Even your language here: “I [Nick_A] am used to it now…” – this is the reinforcement I mentioned earlier. When confronted by a flaw in your ideas, you feel the need to reinforce your positive self-image, instead of learning from experience.

Also, “ willing to admit them” - here, you imply that others are simply not willing to admit something that is true; in other words, you are responding to a challenge by inferring the other’s weakness, and reasserting your own superiority instead. I believe you called this “conditioned patterns of behaviour”.

I am sure you will accept none of this – nevertheless, you cannot reasonably expect people to respond any other way than they do if you don’t.

If you really are “willing to get to the bottom of it”, “capable of accepting such and such”, “able to appreciate your limitations”, then, please, actually do so by recognising this.

But you are doing the opposite; you are blaming the variable – everyone else.


But it isn't a matter of blame. The world is as it is and it is no ones fault. Everything is as it is since it is a reflection of the collective chaotic expression of man's "being." The question for me is how to realistically deal with it. It is a minority view. I have over six hundred dollars worth of books on my path that most are unaware of.

Trying to get to the bottom of it doesn't require blaming others. People do what they do


So again, you seem to have ignored my entire point, and begun talking about something completely unrelated by picking up on a relatively trivial word. Why?

What is interesting, to me if not you, is that, instead of simply acknowledging these basic flaws in you reasoning, you choose instead to change the subject and start talking, again, about how superior you are, how you “deal with it” (implying others don’t/can’t), how much of an underdog you are, how “aware” you are, how many great books you have, how you are so dedicated to getting to the bottom of it etc. etc.

So, your reaction to a personal flaw in thinking is to start vehemently reasserting your superiority, which has become potentially damaged, subconsciously. Given the choice to remove a layer, you simply deflect it by adding another skin.

In these kinds of situation, all the energy required to defend our egos, which is ultimately negative, could be saved if only we are more aware.

As I mentioned earlier, it is positive, not negative, to accept flaws in our thinking and move beyond them, than waste time and effort defending our egos.

Socrates said the path is to "know thyself." I agree.


So then, what good are all these books and dead words?

Perhaps you should follow Socrates’ advice, not merely repeat it, and seek within, not without.

For instance, if I told you that it was true that chocolate was better than vanilla, but had never tasted vanilla, no doubt you would have as much trouble as I and others do in taking these kinds of claims into serious consideration.

But what about you and atheism? Do you believe that Man has any objective meaning and purpose? If not, what is your goal in your study of mysticism if it is meaningless?


I believe that nothing is exclusively objective, nor exclusively subjective. So meaning, purpose and so on are also not exclusive in either sense.

I study mysticism because I believe that it passes down, through time, a ‘secret’ message, “known by the wise”, which gives one the means and ability to know, and abide in, one’s true nature, which is, coincidentally, both “knowledge” and “truth”.

I have always sought “truth”, have tried all possible methods available to me, and have found that mysticism and its suggested practises, specifically meditation, simply work, just like they said they would, and provide the exact results that were described in every tradition, from Buddhism, to Christianity, to Judaism and on and on.

I seek truth and I like things that work; mysticism and science work. I also like finding out for myself and not believing for no reason (faith); mysticism and science encourage and are based on exactly this. So that is my reasoning for the study and practice of mysticism.

The difference is that those who nap half way up have acquired something.


Whatever they believe themselves to have acquired is trivial.

They are still in the cave, just as ignorant, asleep and trapped as those below them, except worse, because they now humour themselves that they have “acquired” something.

The true seeker strives on. The seeker seeks truth, not tasty cookies.

The more one understands, the more it can be perverted and lead to result far worse then ever having begun.


Exactly!!!

Did Jesus, Buddha, and Socrates tell the truth in a way it could be understood?


Yes. That doesn’t mean it is understood by all, of course.

Understanding requires effort on both sides. This is why the organisation of religious beliefs is tiered such that one must work to understand them. They are structured in such a way that the student’s ability actually defines his level of understanding.

Just like a physicist explaining Quantum mechanics, the student has to put the work in to understand him. He has to start simple - learn addition, long division etc. first.

Eventually, the teacher tells him something that blows everything else he has learnt out of the water – but he had to learn it first, or there would be nothing to blow away.

Why was it only understood by a few?


Because the ego is a force to be reckoned with.

People didn’t like being told that we should think for ourselves, like Socrates suggested; they like to be told what to think.

People don’t like being told that they are not their egos, like Buddha suggested; people like to be special.

People didn’t like to be told that there is no heaven, and that we are all god, as Jesus suggested; people like to believe in escapism and believe someone who can tell them what to do from above.

Unfortunately, it seems, when the truth is told, people (egos) don’t like it.

Fortunately, truth is truth, whether we like it or not. Thus, the true seeker “accepts truth, no matter what it is”. Whatever is not truth, is disregarded.

Including tasty cookies.

What is evidence? For example, some people believe that love exists. If it does, how do they prove it to another that has never experienced it? What is the evidence that can prove to another that they are not just mentally ill?


Evidence can be empirical, logical, anecdotal, mathematical, historical and so on.

There is a lot of anecdotal evidence for love. Thus, it is reasonable to assume it exists and that all these people are not mentally ill. So the point is refuted.

Further, this is not a case of “proving to another who has not experienced” at all in our case. I not only do not deny the experiences you are talking about, I claim to have them. It is your interpretations that I question.

Also, how can someone prove to themselves that their experience of “love” is not simply certain bio-electro chemical signals that evolved over generations being interpreted by their brain? Do you see my point?

Religion does exist but not public in society that is dominated by religion. It must be this way to preserve its purity. Its purpose is not to provide ingenious methods of escapism but to deal with the human condition in relation to human inner potential.


I thought your ideas are in the minority, and we are all secularists etc.? How could this be if society is “dominated by religion”?

Anyway, I really hope you are not inferring that meditation is an “ingenious method of escapism”. If you are, then this is a totally unreasonable, very ill-informed thing to say, and demonstrates that you have no idea, whatsoever, what you are talking about. Because, it would be all the more ironic since, as I am sure you are aware, conscious witnessing is a form of meditation.

So, let’s hope you weren’t implying this, because that would be absurd.

What are you? If you were to remove delusion what would you be?


Empty.

The concept of the Trinity can be traced back to Egypt and is a foundation on Hinduism. You can shrug it off as lacking proof but then again it may require us to be open to truth. The continual union and division of the three essential forces are the processes of involution and evolution.


Christianity, and the trinity, is not the foundation for Hinduism, where did you read that?

If you want to pick apart the roots of pre-Christ Christianity, then don’t stop there and simply ‘pick and choose’ – note the commonalities between the legend of Christ and Mithra, or Christ and Osiris, or Christ and the Egyptian Sun god or Christ and the various other pagan gods that share the exact same details.

There a couple major difference between the Hindu trinity and the Christian one:

First, the members of the Hindu trinity are not believed to be literal entities by the majority of Hindus schools, but are nearly universally considered to be abstract representations, purposefully created, for various forces in nature (mainly, creation, maintenance and destruction). They are not “gods” nor even entities in the Western sense; they are more like “aspects”.

Second, all the members of the Hindu trinity are actually manifestations of Brahman, the ultimate reality. Brahman, in contrary to you claim, really is the foundation for Hinduism.

Also, I actually already brought up the commonalities between the Hindu trinity and the Christian trinity in this thread, so, it looks a bit strange that you would give me a history lesson I already gave, then say I will “shrug it off”.

So, let’s hope that consciousness doesn’t really require attention, because it seems you are not very good at paying attention.

All we can do is agree to disagree as to the Law of the included Middle.


We do not disagree, I have simply informed you that this law is not new, nor is it complete, but has existed in the form of the Tetralemma for perhaps thousands of years, and in that version it has its counter-part, which is necessary in philosophical systems of logic, which you are refusing to acknowledge.

This is not a simple disagreement then, but a misunderstanding on your behalf of what logic is, what a logical system must provide and what historical, common knowledge has already established and put to use.

All you are doing is asserting that you don't understand the distinction between the laws of the excluded and included middles as does someone like Dr. Nicolescu. How will you prove him wrong?


You are just saying things now that have no bearing on reality.

Literally everything you just wrote is not true.

Please, stop and just listen, carefully. Humour me.

Go to this page - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetralemma

Perhaps the problem here is simple, and my fault – that you are not familiar with logical notation. If so, I apologise, I should have explained this.

I have a mac, so I don’t know if these symbols will show up, but this ¬ means ‘negative’ or ‘not’ - so (¬apple) means “not-apple” - and ^ means “and” while v means “or”.

So, go to that page and you will see that the third one down says: “(X ^ ¬X) both”.

This means both X and not-X, at once. This is the so-called “Law of the Included Middle”, only it is already present, as you can see clearly for yourself, in a system of logic that is very, very old.

In logic, there is a principle that for any assertion its negative must have a potential truth-value, which basically means if it is true that “X” then it must be at least possible that “¬X” (not-X). As in, “if a car can exist, it must be possible for it not to have existed at all” etc.

So, if it is true that both (X ^ ¬X), which is the “Law of the Included Middle”, then it must also be possible that neither (X v ¬X), which you will see as the final, fourth term in the link I posted.

So, you hopefully see now this is proof of a few things: first, that Dr. Nicolescu was actually just unaware of something very old and well known - the tetralemma.

Second, that the tetralemma is a functionally complete system of logic, whereas the “Included Middle” is not. So, in philosophy, and logical science, the latter would be incomplete.

Third, that this “Law” has been known for thousands of years, and used for as long.

Fourth, all of these things, combined, suggest that Dr. Nicolescu was completely ignorant of these points.

Also, you assert mistakenly that I wish to prove the Dr. wrong, which I do not, only to prove that his version is incomplete, which it is, and that he couldn’t be bothered to do his research, which it would seem he couldn’t.

So the moral here is – don’t simply believe one scientist, in one single paper, without finding out for yourself. Always think for yourself, because even doctors make mistakes. Otherwise, you end up being vastly mistaken, like you are here.

(We might also learn: don’t accuse people of not understanding things, when you yourself haven’t understood something, because you end up looking like a hypocrite, among other things, when they show the case to be otherwise.)

But why must it lead to believing me referring to myself as awakened? This seems to be the trouble with atheism for me. I believe it serves a necessary purpose of purification but at the same time when someone disagrees with the significance of its evidence, it is somehow considered worthy of negative reactions. It seems that I must be elitist to appreciate the observations of Dr. Nicolescu


No, not elitist. Simply lazy…and maybe a little uninformed, if we’re honest.

And, again, I am not reacting negatively; if you think that providing evidence and proof of ones reasoning is “negative”, then this is a very distorted position.

A simple search on the net, and a brief course in very basic logic will suffice in establishing what is actually the case. In fact, all you have to do now is click on one single link that I have provided above, and that is it, case closed.

You have not done these things, but simply read one non-academic paper, which I have above proven to be incomplete, misleading and lacking in research, which you can verify by simply clicking on one, single, link. You also believed this single paper gave you enough justification to assert that I don’t know the difference between the Law of the Included Middle and the Excluded Middle, which was obviously untrue and a little thoughtless, at best.

What that means is that, at the root of your mind, lies something that is also the source of all being, all possible being, and is effectively what you are.


I had not thought of this. Is atheism limited to either the denial of an ultimate source or the belief that we essentially are part of this source?


Please, please, do not get attached to this word “source”. Do not think about it, do not create a conception of it. I am literally begging you.

If this is true, as you ponder, then please don’t get attached to some notion of it, at all; don’t believe or disbelieve, simply find the root of your mind, then you can see for yourself what is the case, instead of creating more concepts and ideas, if it is indeed true.

If this is true, it is easy to see why creation as levels of reality and Man as a creature within creation having initiated within creation would be absurd. Is there any way in your beliefs that negative reactions would become unnecessary?


I am not negatively reacting to anything here, so I can’t say I know what you are talking about. It has no apparent correlation with reality that I can discern.

If this is true, then forget levels of this and that – if it is true, find the root of your mind, instead of thinking about what it might be like when you do.

Could we agree that encouraging developing the power of attention in education could be a goal we could agree upon?


Certainly.

Modern technology has shortened attention span. Can we agree that it is not a good thing to condition the younger generation to sacrifice attention span for the sake of fascination with the speed of technology?


I think it is important never to resist, but always facilitate, change.

The Universe is constantly changing, so resisting change is never helpful.

I say this because the change is certainly shifting towards more and more technology, and more and more fascination with it.

So, the idea, I believe, would be to not resist this, but make something positive out of it. I think we should embrace all of it, do so with compassion, understanding and generosity, because that is all we can do. It is a question of either building a dam, or building a boat instead, I think.

In other words, if separation inherently existed, causation could not occur across levels; for instance, one could not “consciously connect” with a source on the highest level, because there would be no way for one to do this.


But they are vertically connected through the Law of the Included Middle. I cannot explain all this in a post but all I ask is if great minds pursue these ideas, there may be something to them.


It seems to me that you are making the mistake that I do not already understand you and these ideas, however, I do, very clearly, as I have shown above.

That law implies that a state of potential exists that is the combination of all possible states. It can be extended to imply that the resultant states are not isolatable from the original potential. This is what it means.

None of this whatsoever has anything to do with disproving the conservation of energy, nor the impossibility for a truly closed system to exchange energy or information with another closed system.

What this means is that there is no energy or information in your body-mind, nor anywhere else, which is not part of the original potential that it arises as a form of. In short, there cannot be any amount of energy or information, anywhere, that is separated in any ontological sense at all.

I know these things, precisely because I have pursued them, for many years, researched them extensively and written lots of papers about them etc.

To me, it seems that you are not fully conceding my position. My position is not so much in opposition to your own here, but arguably a development of what you currently think. I really suggest considering this and going back to integralscience.org and reading some more of the papers there.

I am not asserting objectivity but rather the value of consciously witnessing our lack of objectivity. It is the conscious vertical path to the world of forms.


Yet, you are, since you are arguing your interpretations are more valid than others, and that they are not even interpretations, but observations of objective truths.

Perhaps this is the reason why your mysticism conflicts with all the other traditions, including much of esoteric Christianity. Or it may just be that all those other people are ignorant and asleep, of course.


It doesn't conflict with esoteric Christianity.


I think it does, and have provided evidence for this assertion.

I have already pointed out where this idea conflicts with Eckhart, for instance, who is arguably the principal esoteric Christian, and also where it contradicts the actual words of Jesus himself in the Gospel of Thomas, which is arguably the principle esoteric Christian text. Here is another example of an esoteric Christian who would disagree with your interpretations of things like ontological separation, if you are interested: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDuAHdaleNU

My interest isn't in mysticism but rather what it means to be a Man.


Mysticism concerns direct apprehension of reality and/or god (or similar). So, I think that your idea is approaching mysticism, and inspired by it, even if you are not interested in it.

Also, mysticism and esoterica are functionally related. The first is practice, the second theory, effectively.

It is a path that serves to connect the higher with the lower that I believe to be vital for our collective future and the eventual union of science and the essence of religion.


The unification of science and religion concerns what correlations between scientific and religious ideas they are, and to what extent they are complimentary and how religious revelation can be acquired and organised via a scientific methodology. That is what it is about.

So, if you believe that these things are involved, then it must be shown why, using science, not by rallying against it. This is what “integral” means.


This is probably why people react negatively towards you, because you accuse everyone who doesn’t agree with you of denial.


What is condescending about asking if an atheist can accept an objective state of consciousness that is no longer subjective. One either denies it or accepts the possibility. Why is it condescending?


From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denial :

“Denial is a defense mechanism postulated by Sigmund Freud, in which a person is faced with a fact that is too uncomfortable to accept and rejects it instead, insisting that it is not true despite what may be overwhelming evidence.”

So, by inferring that atheists and everybody else is in “denial” means you are suggesting 1. That their rejection is psychological, not scientific/logical 2. That they are simply too weak/afraid/etc. to accept what is self-evident 3. That there is “overwhelming evidence” for such things and 4. That you are superior to everybody, because you “accept” it.

Of course, all four things are demonstrably false, hence, to accuse me and many others of denial, when we are not in denial about anything, can reasonably be claimed to be both condescending and arrogant.

On the other hand, if you did not realise that this is what denial means, but were simply repeating it because Weil says it a lot, then you could reasonably be claimed to be ignorant.

I feel I should state that if I claim these things, I mean your attitude, not you as an individual – I don’t even know you at all, but you seem like a really nice guy, and I respect you in a lot of ways too, such as your patience and tolerance, which far exceed my own. I simply think I would be of more use in this case being antagonistic than tolerant; stress breeds growth. What may be perceived as “negative” is really not that. I do not see you as your ego, anymore than I see you as your eye colour, so that is why I point these things out so “casually”. What I see in you is just a reflection of myself, too.

This is what concerns me. I posted an article describing positive and negative atheism where positive atheism is based on denial. Just clarifying what is being denied isn't condescending.


Denial is only denial if there is overwhelming evidence for what is being denied and if the denier is simply manifesting a psychological inability to accept certain realities. This is complete garbage in reference to atheism, hence people, naturally, accuse you of being condescending.

I think that if I brought up an Italian philosopher, lets call him “Veil”, who said that all theists are just atheists, they are just too stupid to work that out, although he masked it a bit more poetically than that, then you would be right in accusing me of being condescending too. (Anyway, I don’t need to do this, I am pretty condescending already; but I don’t deny it, at least, and I am working on it.)

So, perhaps you should shift your “concern” onto yourself, rather than seeking your problems, their cause and solution, in others.

Why do you think I believe it is important if a person disagrees with me? Many do. But it is not anything for me to be upset about. How could that question be phrased differently so as not to create that effect?


Your question was “If it is, are most atheists the same in their denial of anything beyond imagined subjective human meaning and purpose?”

I think a better question would be, “Is the refutation of objective moral values common among atheists?” for example. “Refutation” (as oppose to “refuted”) or similar is neutral; what is being refuted may be true, or it may not be. “Denial” is not neutral – denial is of something already true.

This way, you avoid accusing atheists of being psychological inferior, ignorant, stupid, fantasists and/or inferring that you are superior, intellectually, spiritually, emotionally and stronger in you ability to accept the “truth” - literally all of which is inferred in you previous question.

Remember though, our words are just reflections of our thought processes; ultimately, they are only an effect in this sense. Change the cause, and you change the effect, by itself. But just change the effect, and the cause can remain.

Peace,

Thuse.

Nick_A
Posts: 2391
Joined: April 19th, 2009, 11:45 pm

Post by Nick_A » November 21st, 2009, 9:19 pm

Hi Thuse
Hey Nick_A, how you keep your posts so relatively short is beyond me.
It's from hangin with the right women. You have to get the word in while you can. :)

It is obvious that we disagree as to levels of reality. Let me try another approach..

I recently discovered this maverick philosopher

http://maverickphilosopher.typepad.com/maverick_ph ilosopher/simone_weil/
I have the Ph. D. in philosophy and have published a book and 60+ articles in such professional journals as Analysis, Dialectica, Nous, Ratio, and The Monist. A recovering academician, I taught philosophy at various universities in the USA and abroad before abandoning a tenured position to live the eremitic life of the independent philosopher in the Sonoran desert. Following an ancient tradition, I entered upon a life of creative leisure, dedicated to serious pursuits under the guiding ideal of otium liberale, of cultured retirement, free of the constraints of the academic marketplace.
He seems like he has paid his dues and trying to retire from the intellectual side of philosophy in order to experience something more basic.

Would an atheist believe this to be a good idea or just a waste of time in pursuit of "understanding?"

He appreciates Simone Weil so he cannot be all bad. He writes:
Simone Weil in the Light of Plato, Phaedo 83

To understand Simone Weil, you must understand her beloved master, Plato. So let's interpret a passage from the Phaedo, and then compare it to some statements of Weil.

At St. 83 we read, "...the perceptions of the eye, and the ear, and the the senses are full of deceit." The point is presumably not that the senses are sometimes nonveridical, but that they tie us to a world that is not ultimately real, and that distracts us from the one that is. The point is not epistemological but axiological and ontological. It is not that the senses are unreliable, whether episodically or globally, in respect of the information they provide us about an external world of spatiotemporal particulars. They are reliable enough in providing us such information. The point is rather that the senses deceive us into conferring high value on what is of low value, and into taking as ultimately real what is derivatively real.

It would be a mistake, therefore, to read the passage as an anticipation of the modern problematic of the external world. The point is much deeper. The Platonic inquiry call into question, not human knowledge of a physical world taken to be ultimately real, but the reality and importance of the physical world itself.

On the same page, we read that ". . . nothing which is subject to change has any truth." 'Truth' is here used ontically as equivalent to 'being' or 'real existence.' The mutable is not ultimately 'true' or ultimately real. The idea is not that the mutable is a mere illusion, but that it lacks plenary reality. One who feels this to be so has Platonic intuitions. I suggest that any arguments one develops that this is so will be no more than articulations of this deep intuition or spiritual insight which one either has or does not have, depending, to allude to Fichte's famous saying, on what kind of person one is. (. . .was für eine Philosophie man wähle, hängt ... davon ab, was man für ein Mensch ist.)

And a little farther down, ". . . when the soul of any man feels vehement pleasure or pain, she is forced at the same time to think that the object, whatever it be, of these senations is the most distinct and the truest, when it is not." Plato's point is not that the senses deceive us about what is really there in the sense world, but that the senses deceive us into thinking that the sense world is a world of true being or ultimate reality. Compare the allegory of the cave in the Republic.

To find reality the soul must "gather herself together" and "stand aloof from the senses" using them "only when she must . . . ." Pleasure and pain, desire and fear (aversion) must be avoided since they pin the soul to the body, and by pinning it to the body, pin it to the changeful world of sense. Inner purification and meditation, by which the soul "gathers herself together," are nnecessary for the philosopher's approach to the Real. The true philosopher aims at a separation of the soul from the body, and so must not fear death. We fear death because we love the body and its pleasures.

We now turn to some statements by Weil. The following three paragraphs stand under the heading Profession of Faith which begins her Draft for a Statement of Human Obligations:

There is a reality outside the world, that is to say, outside space and time, outside man's mental universe, outside any sphere whatsoever that is accessible to human faculties.

Corresponding to this reality, at the centre of the human heart, is the longing for an absolute good, a longing which is always there and is never appeased by any object in this world.

Another terrestrial manifestation of this reality lies in the absurd and insoluble contradictions which are always the terminus of human thought when it moves exclusively in this world.

The first statement conveys the Platonic conviction that ultimate reality is beyond the world of sense. But Weil goes beyond Plato and deeper into mysticism by holding that the reality beyond the sense world is inaccessible to human faculties. At St. 84, Plato has Socrates say that (intuitive) reason is the faculty whereby we contemplate what is "true and divine and real."

The second statement conveys the Platonic thought that the soul's longing can never satisfied by any sense object.

The third statement suggests a way of arguing that the sense world cannot be ultimate: if we take it to be such we land among insoluble aporiai. At this point there is a link-up with my series of posts on Zeno. The point of Zenonian argumentation is not that motion and sensible plurality are mere illusions but that they have a derivative, second-rate reality. I hope to expand on this thought in a later post.
I am secularist, yet I don’t condemn anyone, so obviously, what you have found so far is now categorically falsified simply by virtue of me existing.

First, you can never close the gap between religion and science, because currently much of your beliefs are refuted by science. So, it does no good for you to keep on trying to do something that is impossible.

You see, Weil’s, Needleman’s and your interest is not actually in bridging the gap between religion and science; it is forcing science to believe your subjective interpretations. This is senseless, from the point of view of science, not integral, and has absolutely nothing to do with the ethos and goal of that site you posted earlier, as you can see for yourself.
This is what I mean. You believe something has been established which is clearly not the case. It is a form of condemnation to insist it has been refuted. Just the idea that the essence of religion concerns the quality of the moment and something science cannot measure should be sufficient to appreciate why science cannot refute the essence of religion and the relative objective quality of a moment. If this is true, why not just leave the question open? Science refutes what it can but must come to admit its limitations as to the objective quality of a moment.
Also, “ willing to admit them” - here, you imply that others are simply not willing to admit something that is true; in other words, you are responding to a challenge by inferring the other’s weakness, and reasserting your own superiority instead. I believe you called this “conditioned patterns of behaviour”.


Very true It is only our misguided defense mechanisms that prevent us both individually and collectively to admit the obvious absurdity of the human condition.

This is one reason I appreciate Simone. She had no need to be cutsey pooh. She called a spade a spade and was about as uncompromising as anyone regarding living a lie. It is a politically incorrect quality that I have the highest regard for concerning the real meaning of philosophy.

I am sure you will accept none of this – nevertheless, you cannot reasonably expect people to respond any other way than they do if you don’t.


I agree. Any legit spiritual path begins with the assumption of our own nothingness. Secularism cannot do this. If it does it just leads to nihilism which is even worse. So our connection to higher consciousness is blocked and social idolatry, science, and technology provides our experiences of meaning and purpose. I am doubting the beauty of social idolatry or the "Great Beast." It is no wonder that I will provoke my share of growls.

Now that I will be joining the American Weil Society, on April 23, 2010 I will go to Boston College to attend the annual Simone Weil Colloquy. There will be all sorts of people including highly educated philosophy professors. It will give me a chance to ask questions and share some ideas with people that are open to dropping their defense mechanisms. So hostility from one direction is balanced by knowing others who aspire to more then the usual. Here are some papers written for the 2009 colloquy

Colloquy XXIX

April 24-25, 2009

Southern Illinois University- Edwardsville, Edwardsville, IL

Simone Weil: Are We Ready for Her?



Dino Alfier, University of the Arts, London, “Taming Proteus Today: Art and Attention in Simone Weil”



Joseph Cosgrove, Providence College, “Weil and Weyl on Mathematical Physics: Connections between Simone Weil and Phenomenology.”



E. Jane Doering, University of Notre Dame, “Despair is the Handmaiden of War.”



Tomeu Barcelo Estelrich, Boston College, “Simone Weil on Modern Disequilibrium.”



*Cynthia Gayman, Murray State University, “An Ethical Account of the Self Who Might Be Otherwise: Simone Weil and Judith Butler.”



*Coy Jones, University of Chicago, and Krista Duttenhaver, University of Notre Dame, “Power, Subjectivity and Resistance in the Thought of Simone Weil and Michel Foucault.”



Vance Morgan, Providence College, “Simone Weil and Erotic Pedagogy.”



*Christopher Nelson, South Texas College, “‘To Make Known This Method’: Simone Weil and the Business of Institutional Education.”



Jesse Perrillo, Loyola University Chicago, “Reading Weil at Walter Reed: Affliction, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and the Just War Tradition.”



*A. Rebecca Rozelle-Stone, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, “The ‘War’ on Error? Violent Metaphor and Words with Capital Letters.”



*Mario von der Ruhr, University of Swansea, Swansea, Wales, “Christianity and the Errors of Our Time: Simone Weil on Atheism and Idolatry.”



*Inese Radzins, Pacific School of Religion, “Truly Incarnated: Simone Weil’s Revised Christianity.”



Larry Schmidt and Paul York, University of Toronto, “An Explanation of the Role of Christ as Counter-mimetic Scapegoat, as Seen through the Lens of Simone Weil's Social Activism”



*Eric O. Springsted, The Reformed Institute of Washington, “Mystery and Philosophy,”



Mindy Young Lawson, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, “An Aesthetics of Liberation: Attending to the Post/colonial Artist.”


If these people are all misguided, I feel I'm in good company.

Perhaps you should follow Socrates’ advice, not merely repeat it, and seek within, not without.

For instance, if I told you that it was true that chocolate was better than vanilla, but had never tasted vanilla, no doubt you would have as much trouble as I and others do in taking these kinds of claims into serious consideration.


I agree but are you able to agree with Simone's observation:

"The relative value of the various religions is a very difficult thing to discern. It is almost impossible, perhaps quite impossible. For a religion is only known from inside. Religion is a form of nourishment. It is difficult to appreciate the flavour and food-value of something one has never eaten." Simone Weil

How do we deny what we haven't eaten?

I believe that nothing is exclusively objective, nor exclusively subjective. So meaning, purpose and so on are also not exclusive in either sense.

I study mysticism because I believe that it passes down, through time, a ‘secret’ message, “known by the wise”, which gives one the means and ability to know, and abide in, one’s true nature, which is, coincidentally, both “knowledge” and “truth”.

I have always sought “truth”, have tried all possible methods available to me, and have found that mysticism and its suggested practices, specifically meditation, simply work, just like they said they would, and provide the exact results that were described in every tradition, from Buddhism, to Christianity, to Judaism and on and on.

I seek truth and I like things that work; mysticism and science work. I also like finding out for myself and not believing for no reason (faith); mysticism and science encourage and are based on exactly this. So that is my reasoning for the study and practice of mysticism.


I agree in part. I also know of the human condition and the nature of life in the West. Buddhism is fine in the East when one can be part of a temple. But here in the West life is rapid and intellectually oriented. This is the attraction of my path that strives to reconcile the essence of religion with science. They are complimentary and one serves the other. The understanding that becomes possible may very well save us from mutual destruction.

It doesn't deny the value of meditation but rather appeals to the whole of a person allowing one to experience the value of living their philosophy. We need more than meditation but also the ability for presence so as not to be sucked out by a quickening culture. In this way and with the help of Grace, we can preserve some of the good acquired through meditation and grow towards understanding rather then the continued obsession with knowledge which leads to selfish manipulation.

Whatever they believe themselves to have acquired is trivial.


Yet taken together it may be vital for the survival of humanity.

I thought your ideas are in the minority, and we are all secularists etc.? How could this be if society is “dominated by religion”?


I was referring to religion at least on the esoteric level. Religion at the exoteric level and cut off from the esoteric is religion in name only. It is just distorted acceptable secular expression of greater truths. It is impotent.

When you refer to the Trinity, you are expressing exoteric traditions of Christendom. For anyone that appreciates how ONE and THREE can simultaneously exist, they must be open to levels of reality.

Your link to the Tetralemma does not include the third term necessary for the included middle explained in the Basarab Nicolescu link:

2. The logic of the included middle
Knowledge of the coexistence of the quantum world and the macrophysical world and the development of quantum physics has led, on the level of theory and scientific experiment, to the upheaval of what were formerly considered to be pairs of mutually exclusive contradictories (A and non-A): wave and corpuscle, continuity and discontinuity, separability and nonseparability, local causality and global causality, symmetry and breaking of symmetry, reversibility and irreversibility of time, etc.

For example, equations of quantum physics are submitted to a group of symmetries, but their solutions break these symmetries. Similarly, a group of symmetry is supposed to describe the unification of all known physical interactions but the symmetry must be broken in order to describe the difference between strong, weak, electromagnetic and gravitational interactions.

The intellectual scandal provoked by quantum mechanics consists in the fact that the pairs of contradictories that it generates are actually mutually contradictory when they are analyzed through the interpretative filter of classical logic. This logic is founded on three axioms:

1. The axiom of identity : A is A.

2. The axiom of non-contradiction : A is not non-A.

3. The axiom of the excluded middle : There exists no third term T which is at the same time A and non-A.

According to the hypothesis of the existence of a single level of Reality, the second and third axioms are obviously equivalent. The dogma of a single level of Reality, arbitrary like all dogma, is so embedded in our consciousness that even professional logicians forget to say that these two axioms are in fact distinct and independent from each other.

If one nevertheless accepts this logic which, after all, has ruled for two millennia and continues to dominate thought today (particularly in the political, social, and economic spheres) one immediately arrives at the conclusion that the pairs of contradictories advanced by quantum physics are mutually exclusive, because one cannot affirm the validity of a thing and its opposite at the same time: A and non-A.

Since the definitive formulation of quantum mechanics around 1930 the founders of the new science have been acutely aware of the problem of formulating a new "quantum logic." Subsequent to the work of Birkhoff and van Neumann a veritable flourishing of quantum logics was not long in coming [4]. The aim of these new logics was to resolve the paradoxes which quantum mechanics had created and to attempt, to the extent possible, to arrive at a predictive power stronger than that afforded by classical logic.

Most quantum logics have modified the second axiom of classical logic -- the axiom of non-contradiction -- by introducing non-contradiction with several truth values in place of the binary pair (A, non-A). These multivalent logics, whose status with respect to their predictive power remains controversial, have not taken into account one other possibility: the modification of the third axiom -- the axiom of the excluded middle.

History will credit Stéphane Lupasco with having shown that the logic of the included middle is a true logic, formalizable and formalized, multivalent (with three values: A, non-A, and T) and non-contradictory [5]. Stéphane Lupasco, like Edmund Husserl, belongs to the race of pioneers. His philosophy, which takes quantum physics as its point of departure, has been marginalized by physicists and philosophers. Curiously, on the other hand, it has had a powerful albeit underground influence among psychologists, sociologists, artists, and historians of religions. Perhaps the absence of the notion of "levels of Reality" in his philosophy obscured its substance. Many persons believed that Lupasco's logic violated the principle of non-contradiction -- whence the rather unfortunate name "logic of contradiction" -- and that it entailed the risk of endless semantic glosses. Still more, the visceral fear of introducing the idea of the included middle , with its magical resonances, only helped to increase the distrust of such a logic.

Our understanding of the axiom of the included middle -- there exists a third term T which is at the same time A and non-A -- is completely clarified once the notion of "levels of Reality" is introduced.

In order to obtain a clear image of the meaning of the included middle, we can represent the three terms of the new logic -- A, non-A, and T -- and the dynamics associated with them by a triangle in which one of the vertices is situated at one level of Reality and the two other vertices at another level of Reality. If one remains at a single level of Reality, all manifestation appears as a struggle between two contradictory elements (example: wave A and corpuscle non-A). The third dynamic, that of the T-state, is exercised at another level of Reality, where that which appears to be disunited (wave or corpuscle) is in fact united (quanton), and that which appears contradictory is perceived as non-contradictory.

It is the projection of T on one and the same level of Reality which produces the appearance of mutually exclusive, antagonistic pairs (A and non-A). A single level of Reality can only create antagonistic oppositions. It is inherently self-destructive if it is completely separated from all the other levels of Reality. A third term, let us call it T', which is situated on the same level of Reality as that of the opposites A and non-A, can accomplish their reconciliation.

The entire difference between a triad of the included middle and an Hegelian triad is clarified by consideration of the role of time . In a triad of the included middle the three terms coexist at the same moment in time . On the contrary, each of the three terms of the Hegelian triad succeeds the former in time. This is why the Hegelian triad is incapable of accomplishing the reconciliation of opposites, whereas the triad of the included middle is capable of it. In the logic of the included middle the opposites are rather contradictories : the tension between contradictories builds a unity which includes and goes beyond the sum of the two terms.

One also sees the great dangers of misunderstanding engendered by the common enough confusion made between the axiom of the excluded middle and the axiom of non-contradiction [6]. The logic of the included middle is non-contradictory in the sense that the axiom of non-contradiction is thoroughly respected, a condition which enlarges the notions of "true" and "false" in such a way that the rules of logical implication no longer concerning two terms (A and non-A) but three terms (A, non-A and T), co-existing at the same moment in time. This is a formal logic, just as any other formal logic: its rules are derived by means of a relatively simple mathematical formalism.

One can see why the logic of the included middle is not simply a metaphor like some kind of arbitrary ornament for classical logic, which would permit adventurous incursions and passages into the domain of complexity. The logic of the included middle is perhaps the privileged logic of complexity, privileged in the sense that it allows us to cross the different areas of knowledge in a coherent way, by enabling a new kind of simplicity.

The logic of the included middle does not abolish the logic of the excluded middle: it only constrains its sphere of validity. The logic of the excluded middle is certainly valid for relatively simple situations. On the contrary, the logic of the excluded middle is harmful in complex, transdisciplinary cases.


You wrote

You have not done these things, but simply read one non-academic paper, which I have above proven to be incomplete, misleading and lacking in research, which you can verify by simply clicking on one, single, link. You also believed this single paper gave you enough justification to assert that I don’t know the difference between the Law of the Included Middle and the Excluded Middle, which was obviously untrue and a little thoughtless, at best.


Without the third term, I cannot see how they are the same. But it is through appreciation of the third term and the triangle it creates.

I agree. I'm not creating an idolatry of the world of forms. But there is a conscious inner direction that is different from the direction of our normal daily lives. This can be experienced. Would it really shock you that much to discover that possibly you do not understand what Dr. Nicolescu is referring to. It is possible.

I am willing to admit that I could be wrong. Are you willing to admit the same? I just know that there is no sense in avoiding the real questions to pacify secularism and bask in idolatry of an imaginary creation namely "The Great Beast" and its imaginary wonderfulness.

So, the idea, I believe, would be to not resist this, but make something positive out of it. I think we should embrace all of it, do so with compassion, understanding and generosity, because that is all we can do. It is a question of either building a dam, or building a boat instead, I think.

But we cannot do it. This the harsh reality of it. Because we are as we are everything is as it is. That is why my interest is in what we ARE, regardless of the growls it will illicit. We cannot change what we DO since it is just the normal reactions of our being, but man has the capacity to change what he IS. This is what Prof. Needleman is suggesting and I believe he is right.

What this means is that there is no energy or information in your body-mind, nor anywhere else, which is not part of the original potential that it arises as a form of. In short, there cannot be any amount of energy or information, anywhere, that is separated in any ontological sense at all.


This clarifies our difference. A cosmos in creation is a level of reality and lawfully distinct from others. While the materiality of a cosmos contains the materiality of cosmoses above it, it has its own unique vibratory frequency that defines it. Man on earth is of one cosmos with the potential to be normal for a higher cosmos. I find it surprising how open atheism to mechanical evolution but is closed to conscious evolution. I've always thought that if atheism is open to conscious evolution, it suggests a quality of consciousness beyond our comprehension.

It isn't that I deny mysticism but rather know that our problem is what goes on in daily life. We are not ONE. As a plurality we are dominated by the chaos of the interactions of the lower levels of our being. I am concerned with the human condition that can be helped from above.

My disagreement with atheism is that it assumes anything can change through teaching secular values. It cannot. Since we are as we are, everything is as it is.

“Denial is a defense mechanism postulated by Sigmund Freud, in which a person is faced with a fact that is too uncomfortable to accept and rejects it instead, insisting that it is not true despite what may be overwhelming evidence.”


Yes, this is the human condition.

So, by inferring that atheists and everybody else is in “denial” means you are suggesting 1. That their rejection is psychological, not scientific/logical 2. That they are simply too weak/afraid/etc. to accept what is self-evident 3. That there is “overwhelming evidence” for such things and 4. That you are superior to everybody, because you “accept” it.


As I've said, I agree that atheism serves to purify religion. It questions as it should. At the same time it rejects a relative quality of the moment that neither denial or science can measure.

What I see in you is just a reflection of myself, too.


I agree, we can learn from each other. I believe this is the great danger of secular Interfaith. Rather than being honest and laying it on the line, it prefers platitudes and references to commonalities. It denies the obvious truth that commonalities exist and the real problem is attitudes towards differences. Instead of denying them in favor of cutsey pooh expressions of harmony, admit and explore them. We cannot begin to really come to grips with the human condition until we become realistic as to what we ARE.

Your question was “If it is, are most atheists the same in their denial of anything beyond imagined subjective human meaning and purpose?”

I think a better question would be, “Is the refutation of objective moral values common among atheists?” for example. “Refutation” (as oppose to “refuted”) or similar is neutral; what is being refuted may be true, or it may not be. “Denial” is not neutral – denial is of something already true.

OK, I'll try it your way. I just don't see the difference. If someone asks me if I deny there is a cow in the kitchen, it would be the same as someone asking me if I refute that there is a cow in the kitchen From your experience with atheism, “Is the refutation of objective moral values common among atheists?”

Would you say that there may be more sensitivity to potential word connotations with atheism then in Buddhism for example?
Man would like to be an egoist and cannot. This is the most striking characteristic of his wretchedness and the source of his greatness." Simone Weil....Gravity and Grace

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