• javra
    1.1k
    This is clearly not true, due to the nature of time.Metaphysician Undercover

    As your reply just reminded me, we disagree on the nature of time. While I don’t want to turn this tread into a discussion of time, to me the present is experienced to be extended and not duration-less – nor is it experienced to be extended via Plank lengths of time, which is already a model derived from what is experienced (and thereby experientially known) and not the experience itself. As one example, my presently hearing a bird’s chirp (to be clear about temporal extension, for a bird’s chirp has duration) occurs in the present – from the beginning of the chirp to its end; my memory of a bird’s chirp (even if one I recently heard) references an aspect of the past; and any prediction, for example, of when I might hear another bird’s chirp is an aspect of the future. Yet neither my memory of what has occurred in the world nor my forethought of what will occur in the world reference what I experience to be presently occurring in the world around me. The present is ever changing and fleeting, yes, like a current (hence, "the current moment"); and the present we adult humans find ourselves in is always typically for most and most of the time (editing the "always": a common example: when one spaces out there sometime is experienced only the present sans any past or future) in conflux with cognizance of both past and future, yes; yet the present, of itself, is experientially – is experienced to be – extended. And this experienced duration of the present occurs in manners that cannot be easily, if at all, quantified – the duration of the experienced present moment certainly cannot be plotted onto a chart.

    Again, I don’t want to turn this thread into a discussion of time. But because we approach the nature of time differently, we approach the issue of experiential knowledge differently. I’m happy to leave it at that on this thread.

    You're missing the point. To know that you hold the property of being requires that you conceptualize the property of being.Metaphysician Undercover

    No. The point was one of experiential knowledge. A concept is a generalized idea of which one is aware, abstracted from what else if not concrete instantiations of experience? And how can a concept be known if at least some of the concrete instantiation of experience from which the concept is abstracted are not themselves known (hence, experiential knowledge)? But I’ll reference back to the first part of this post.
  • Punshhh
    2k
    Yes, but that is a label, just like the label, this thing, this cat is a being. One is referring to a property and the other is referring to a thing. Although when I say my cat has being, I am not using either label because I am using a language in which there is only being, the material and things are constructs made out of the tool of material.
    — Punshhh

    I've read this numerous times and it still makes no sense. Your using a language in which there is only being? Everything you say means being? I don't understand, it appears like you're skirting the issue, trying to claim that it cannot be spoken about, or something like that.

    I wanted to explain this a little more, it may be difficult to put into words what I mean, but for me being is present where there is life, in a certain sense it is life, but not physical life, more an underlying essence. I may have to stray into Hindu terminology to explain this. An essence of Atman,
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C4%80tman_(Hinduism)

    If you are familiar with Hindu cosmogony it might be easier to use that terminology, or to cross reference.

    My cat has Atman and I have Atman, we know our Atman through family bonding, or communion.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.5k
    By academia I refer to the Western academic tradition (WAC), as taught in Western Universities and derived from Greek and Latin historical sources. I accept that other schools can be included in academia, but I am not referring to them, only what I have just pointed out. I am not aware of any mystical training in these traditions, other than some reference to it in theology. If you can suggest any, I would be interested.Punshhh

    We need to consider the word "tradition" here. The academic tradition in the western world is a tradition of change. Knowledge is changing and evolving at an increasing pace. So what you call "academia is changing. I agree that the trend is away from mystical training in all universities, and I do not know modern theology, but I would think that there is very little mystical training as it has been outcast in modern western society. However, it has played a large role in academia in earlier times.

    We could start with Plato's numerous recitals of ancient myths concerning the immortal soul. Phaedo, is a very good example, but in many instances he stirs up the imagination through recanting ancient myths about the soul. You might argue that this is not, strictly speaking mystical training, but it is training based in mysticism. Remember, Plato insists in the cave analogy, that after seeing the light the philosopher will be impelled to teach others, to lead them from the cave. His method of teaching is the written word. The fact that it is in words, and what you called intellectualized makes it no less mystical. The point is that the mystic, Plato in this case, went beyond any existing limits of knowledge, delved into the mystical world, and things were revealed to him so he sought ways to tell others. His most reliable way was through ancient myths. It is the need to communicate with others which produces the intellectualization you refer to.

    Plato's Timaeus is very mystical. When I first read it I couldn't even understand it, but at the same time it was very childish. It was full of mythology and didn't seem to make sense. Then I found out that this writing was highly respected in Neo-Platonism and early Christianity, so I had to read it a couple more times to start understanding. Neo-Platonism is recognized as mysticism, and provided tenets for early Christianity. St-Augustine went through Neo-Platonist training. The interesting thing with the Timaeus for me, is that Plato brought the independent, immaterial Forms, out of the world of mysticism, and gave them intelligible existence. But to do this he had to posit a receptacle for the Forms in the sensible world, and this was called "matter".

    So he brought the soul, mind, Forms, and being, out of the mystical realm, into the intelligible, and left "matter" there in the mystical, as a replacement. Aristotle went on to define "matter" as potential, what may or may not be, making it an exception to the law of excluded middle, and therefore inherently unintelligible. So at the time of Neo-Platonism there were numerous different mystical sects such as Manichaeism, with significantly different approaches to matter. Matter, being associated with the body, and original sin, was sometimes believed to be inherently evil. In the western tradition, mysticism is involved with how we approach matter. The soul, intellect, and Forms, are taken for granted as immaterial existence. This is expressed by Descartes with "I think therefore I am". But matter was not taken for granted, and as unintelligible, it was mystical. That is expressed by Descartes' doubt of the physical world, and Berkeley. That was the western tradition, but Newton changed this with his laws of motion. He assigned a fundamental and essential property to matter, inertia. Doing this gave "matter" intelligibility, and brought it out of the mystical, such that the conceptual development could explode in growth, into energy etc.. But it pretty much put an end to western mysticism. It created the appearance that the mysterious and unintelligible aspect of the universe, matter, which was only approachable through mysticism, was suddenly known and understood. Now there was no need for mysticism in the western world.

    As an alternative to this analysis of a human, I come to it from a different direction, in which there is a being, a being, expressed through an organism who through the good fortune (or not) of recent evolutionary development has developed the ability for intellectual thought. That prior to this development there was a mind, a being, an experience. This can be observed in animals and plants around us.

    Also I come to it from an appreciation of life as an animating force. Animating rather like the way idealism describes the world. But rather than viewing it from the perspective of the individual human, I view the whole biosphere as one individual and each human is a part of it. This biosphere being an expression of a being via material.
    Punshhh

    This is similar to Aristotle's "On The Soul". This work demonstrates that the soul is necessarily prior to the body of the living being. Plato's Timaeus also claims that the immaterial Form is prior to the material existence of any material object. In western mysticism, such as Neo-Platonism, we attempt to put ourselves into that position, as a soul, prior to having a material body, and get a glimpse of that relationship between the soul and the material body. The immaterial soul, having been logically demonstrated as necessary is taken for granted. Since the existence of matter is not necessary, as the immaterial is, matter becomes incomprehensible. So there are numerous mystical approaches. But from this perspective, all the separation between us, division, disunity, individuation, all pain and suffering, is a consequence of the existence of matter, and we might wonder what is matter, or what is the purpose of matter.

    As one example, my presently hearing a bird’s chirp (to be clear about temporal extension, for a bird’s chirp has duration) occurs in the present – from the beginning of the chirp to its end; my memory of a bird’s chirp (even if one I recently heard) references an aspect of the past; and any prediction, for example, of when I might hear another bird’s chirp is an aspect of the future.javra

    But how is that not completely illogical? The bird's chirp has temporal extension, so you hear the beginning of it before you hear the end of it. At any given time while the bird is chirping, you are hearing that part of the chirp, not the part before, or the part after, so it cannot be all simultaneously at the present. Think of a piece of music, a melody. You hear a note, then the next note and the next, and so on. You do not hear it all at the same time. And, the reason why you recognize it as a piece of music (just like the way that you recognize the bird chirp as a bird chirp), is that you are relating the parts that have already gone past, through the use of some form of memory and system of association, to the part at the present.
  • javra
    1.1k
    Think of a piece of music, a melody. You hear a note, then the next note and the next, and so on.Metaphysician Undercover

    Musical notes are representational models of what is heard – an intellectualization of what is experienced, so to speak. “Notes” in English usage only retroactively reference the very sound that a note otherwise represents. Otherwise, one might as well speak of sounds, and not of notes. Even so, musical notes have duration embedded in them via their note value. So each note one hears in the present holds a specific duration of time. Be it via a piano key being struck, via the plucking of a guitar string, as so on.

    There is no such thing as a duration-less sound – to be even clearer, no such thing as the experience of a duration-less sound. When we speak to each other, for example, we do not apprehend what is said at any given present moment by relating past beginnings and future endings of particular verbal sounds within some duration-less present.

    There are sounds we hear in the present, there are sounds we remember, and there are sounds we anticipate. Those that occur in the present can only have duration.

    But how is that not completely illogical? The bird's chirp has temporal extension, so you hear the beginning of it before you hear the end of it.Metaphysician Undercover

    A bird's chirp, just like a musical note, has a duration. Like a musical note compared to an entire song, a bird's individual chirp is not the entirety of the bird's song. The temporally extended present moves through the duration of both songs while hearing individual chirps an notes in the present. But each bird's individual chirp, like each individual note of a melody - with both chirp and note having a beginning and end to a duration - will be apprehended within the experienced present, not the experience past nor the experienced future.

    I'll reciprocate the same tonality by asking in turn:

    How is the concept of a duration-devoid present wherein sound is experienced not "completely illogical"?
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.5k
    There is no such thing as a duration-less sound – to be even clearer, no such thing as the experience of a duration-less sound.javra

    Right, that's my point. In the sensible world, there is nothing sensed that is without duration. So to perceive anything as a sensed thing, or even for physical "things" to have any real existence, requires what I called a sort of memory, what Whitehead called "prehension", to connect the past with the present constructing the existence of the objects of sensation, which according to experience (empirical observation) have temporal extension.

    How is the concept of a duration-devoid present wherein sound is experienced not "completely illogical"?javra

    I'm not talking about a duration devoid present. I am talking about how experience exists. I believe that understanding what I am describing, necessitates a twofold understanding of time, a two dimensional time. Time has "length", what we call temporal extension. But since the intellectualized "present" is used to divide one part of this extension from another, past from future, as a point in time (your duration-less present), yet the present necessarily has duration, as you describe, we must allow for this duration at the present, by giving time width, what I call the "breadth" of time. You can search this idea online, but it's difficult to find much information on it because it's mystical, and physicists who experiment with multidimensional time use a completely different approach with different presumptions.
  • Punshhh
    2k
    Thanks for your summary of western mysticism. I am familiar with most of it, but am not widely read, or formally trained. I have a copy of Timaeus, but haven't read if for over 30 years, so it's a bit rusty. I veered off in the direction of Bhuddism and Hinduism after that and use Hinduism for any structure I require.

    I find with the western tradition it stems from attempts to understand existence through reason, hence the development of philosophy. This is not to diminish mysticism in the Christian church, but there is a seperation between this and reason/philosophy/science. Such that Christian mysticism seems to have been discarded by the later. I find the Eastern traditions far more of use.

    So my mysticism is fashioned around the Hindu traditions. In which rather like what you describe in reference to Plato, material is a tool of expression and that the mystical path is concerned with a refinement of that expression specifically through the vehicle of the human body and mind. Any purposes in this, in relation to that body, or the wider world are (I noticed you referred to the purpose of matter) not important as they are a deep mystery, other than the natural processes of the personal development of the mystic.

    So when I use the word mysticism, I am referring to this process of refinement and development of the individual and through this the refinement and development of the being of the biosphere. This is necessarily a big subject.
  • javra
    1.1k
    I'm not talking about a duration devoid present. I am talking about how experience exists. I believe that understanding what I am describing, necessitates a twofold understanding of time, a two dimensional time. Time has "length", what we call temporal extension. But since the intellectualized "present" is used to divide one part of this extension from another, past from future, as a point in time (your duration-less present), yet the present necessarily has duration, as you describe, we must allow for this duration at the present, by giving time width, what I call the "breadth" of time. You can search this idea online, but it's difficult to find much information on it because it's mystical, and physicists who experiment with multidimensional time use a completely different approach with different presumptions.Metaphysician Undercover

    I’m somewhat baffled. Namely, if this was your stance all along, why all the fuss in relation to what I’ve been saying. Such as your accusation of “complete illogicality” in reference to hearing a bird’s chirp within the timespan of the experienced present - prior to this experience becoming a memory of what once was and, hence, the experienced past.

    At any rate, glad to see that we agree on the temporal extension of the experienced present.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.5k
    find with the western tradition it stems from attempts to understand existence through reason, hence the development of philosophy. This is not to diminish mysticism in the Christian church, but there is a seperation between this and reason/philosophy/science. Such that Christian mysticism seems to have been discarded by the later. I find the Eastern traditions far more of use.Punshhh

    I agree that Christian mysticism, in any organized form, is pretty much gone, and I believe it is because of the reasons I described. The mysticism is centered around matter, and the discipline of physics has produced the illusion that matter is understood. That this is not the case has recently become increasingly evident in quantum physics. I think that the dead ends which modern physics has come up against, have produced a renewed interest in mysticism. There is no organized tradition of mysticism in the west, so many people turn toward eastern traditions, because they provide some sort of structured training.

    In the east, the tradition might be an effort to maintain with consistency over millennia of time, a similar practise. In the west, we have a rapidly evolving educational structure so the tradition of mysticism has been to revisit the past. This is to look back at ancient texts, and find principles which persist through time. I wouldn't call this an intellectualizing, it's more of a simple memory preserved through written material, which is carried forward as the principles remembered are still applicable today. It's a preservation timeless principles, but these principles are themselves mysterious.

    Plato lived in a time where writing was much younger than it is today. He looked back to myths which were perhaps a thousand or two, maybe even more years old at that time. This was prior to the time that these people had writing. He tells us about how the stories were carried down from one generation to the next in the form of verse, songs and poetry. These myths contained mystical knowledge, moral lessons and information about the gods. I believe the information was put to print around the time of Hesiod and Homer, and this is roughly the same time that the Old Testament of the Bible was put to print. It also contains stories previously told in oral tradition.

    The mystic tradition in the west seems to have always been a communal practise involving words. If you've ever gone to church there's a lot of hymns and psalms, things recited without most the people, especially the young, even truly understanding what is being said. It's as if getting together in a group, and chanting the same thing (Gregorian chants for instance) is somehow meaningful, even if they do not know the meaning. I'm not familiar with eastern practises, but I imagine there is a communal practise of getting together, maybe some chanting, and inspirational words, but maybe the words spoken have not developed to the same level of intellectual meaning that we find in the west. But even in the west, the meaning of the words is a matter of interpretation, and this is one thing which might separate mysticism from intellectualism.

    So my mysticism is fashioned around the Hindu traditions. In which rather like what you describe in reference to Plato, material is a tool of expression and that the mystical path is concerned with a refinement of that expression specifically through the vehicle of the human body and mind. Any purposes in this, in relation to that body, or the wider world are (I noticed you referred to the purpose of matter) not important as they are a deep mystery, other than the natural processes of the personal development of the mystic.Punshhh

    I see an issue here with the question, "why?". What Plato assumed, or claimed, is that people have a fundamental curiosity, "wonder", and this is at the root of philosophy. So we can't simply dismiss the importance of "why?". If you commune with nature, as you say, you'll see that other animals possess this curiosity as well, they are often inclined to check things out. So there are some things which are a deep mystery, like matter, but it is natural for us to be curious. Now when you say that something is or is not important, this is relative to a person's individual perspective. All people have different character and traits, and when a person has the philosophical perspective of wonder, delving into a deep mystery might be the most important thing to that person. Of course we cannot say that it is wrong for the person to see great importance here, because it is not immoral or anything like that.

    I’m somewhat baffled. Namely, if this was your stance all along, why all the fuss in relation to what I’ve been saying. Such as your accusation of “complete illogicality” in reference to hearing a bird’s chirp within the timespan of the experienced present - prior to this experience becoming a memory of what once was and, hence, the experienced past.javra

    I guess it depends on how long the bird's chirp is. I find that the beginning of the chirp is out of the experience of the present, by the time I am hearing the end of the chirp. That's why I argued that. The reason why I called it "illogical" (I apologize if that was a little harsh), is that we proceed in logic, from accepted premises. In measuring time it is accepted that there is a point which separates before from after. Therefore it is illogical to say that the entire bird's chirp is at one time, the present which divides past from future, because this would be saying it is simultaneous. So that would require a definition of "present" which is unconventional. On second thoughts though, I realize that there probably isn't such a thing as a conventional definition of "present". But that's another reason why time is mystical.
  • jgill
    797
    I agree that Christian mysticism, in any organized form, is pretty much gone,Metaphysician Undercover

    And that is a shame. Christianity would be much richer had it not abandoned the pathways championed by Teresa of Ávila and others. I suspect she and her followers were able to employ certain kinds of lucid dreaming in their spiritual lives. When I first experienced the Art of Dreaming, my immediate thought was, This is how religion started.


    The mystic tradition in the west seems to have always been a communal practise involving words.Metaphysician Undercover

    Wrong. Quietism? Teresa's walks through her mystical mansions? Vows of silence?

    Philosophers should either practice a mystical art or refrain from talking about them. They know not of what they speak. (I might say the same about mathematics, but I won't :cool: )
  • Punshhh
    2k
    In the east, the tradition might be an effort to maintain with consistency over millennia of time, a similar practise.
    It's more about continuing a lifestyle in which mysticism is to a degree a part of everyday life in the community and the mystics, the sadhus and gurus play an integrated and revered role within the community. I saw this first hand on many occasions in India. Indians are adept at adopting modern ways of doing things, but behind this there is always this deep connection with a living vibrant mystical tradition, going back unchanged for thousands of years. If you go the puja, the religious ceremony everyone present is open to and indeed expecting something magic, or the divine to play out before them. The congregation will naturally adopt this stance, equivalent to the exhalted mystical state of a sadhu.

    Here in the west all this was lost millennia ago, although there are ocassional exceptions in places like Lourdes, or Ireland where something magical happens. Religion became corrupted by power and then distrusted by science.

    I see an issue here with the question, "why?". What Plato assumed, or claimed, is that people have a fundamental curiosity, "wonder", and this is at the root of philosophy. So we can't simply dismiss the importance of "why?". If you commune with nature, as you say, you'll see that other animals possess this curiosity as well, they are often inclined to check things out. So there are some things which are a deep mystery, like matter, but it is natural for us to be curious. Now when you say that something is or is not important, this is relative to a person's individual perspective.
    Yes, when I said purpose is not important it is my personal view, but not without good reason and others do agree on this point. Purpose for me is a curious thing, it can only be known by the agency whom for whatever reason adopted it and inline with the aspiration of the mystic of following the course of one's higher nature, or spiritual guide, for lack of a better word, that purpose is naturally deferred to a higher power. Indeed it scales up through the hierarchy of exalted beings to the very top. Meaning that the purpose of anything that happens in the world of the mystic, or indeed in the world of being is expressed for a higher purpose the nature of which is unfathomably profound( profound, only in the respect of being far reaching, beyond what a limited mind can comprehend).

    So just like the mystic differs their agency to a higher purpose, also they defer their reason why, or the purposes for what they do, to a higher power. This both means that the mystic is not at all interested in why, or for what end they do what they are doing. But also and crucially, their purposes, their motivations, their wants and desires are aligned with this higher goal and don't differ from it. In the sense that in following the higher goal they are not foregoing any freedoms, rather they simply agree with the higher goal, because it equates to their own personal goals.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.5k
    Purpose for me is a curious thing, it can only be known by the agency whom for whatever reason adopted it and inline with the aspiration of the mystic of following the course of one's higher nature, or spiritual guide, for lack of a better word, that purpose is naturally deferred to a higher power.Punshhh

    I believe that purpose, due to its vague and general nature, cannot even be known by the person who has the purpose. Within us, the reason for doing something, purpose, starts as some sort of unintelligible, strange feeling which inspires us to act. So for example, there is the feeling of hunger, which is just an odd sort of discomfort which you wouldn't recognize as hunger unless you've come to know it. But the conscious mind does come to recognize that feeling, and directs its attention toward something particular, something to eat. We then can say, the reason (purpose) for this particular action, eating that thing, is to satisfy this general feeling. Notice that the feeling (which constitutes the purpose) comes from somewhere external to the conscious mind, remaining inherently unintelligible, while the mind simply recognizes it and understands the particular actions required to fulfill it. But the realm of human actions is extremely varied, and we say that these are purposeful actions. So, each one of those particular actions must be inspired by some unintelligible general thing which is outside the individual's mind. There are two important points concerning "purpose" here. It originates from outside the individual's mind, and it is not particular, it is something general.

    What I believe is very consistent with what you say then. If you follow your own nature, purpose is necessarily deferred to a higher power, because that vague and general feeling, which constitutes inspiration, and the reason for doing anything, comes from outside of one's own mind. Further, being general in nature, and not directing one's attention toward any particular thing or action of necessity, it is not a feature of the sensible or physical world, which consist of particular things and actions. If the inspiration to act came from the sensible world, it would direct your actions toward this or that particular thing, but it's clear that this inspiration, or "purpose", allows one to choose from a vast array of possible actions. So we must attribute purpose to something outside of ourselves, but not part of the sensible world, this is what you call a higher power.

    But that puts purpose in a curious place, as you say. I understand it to be in a place slightly different from what you described though. Since I do not allow that it is properly "known", even by the person who carries out the purposeful act, we are left in a sort of deficiency of knowledge with respect to purpose. We do not ever properly know why we do what we do, what we ought to do, or if we are doing the right thing. This causes us to seek confirmation and consultation from others, assurance that we are doing the right thing. And that is the reason why meaning, as what was meant by written words for example, cannot be attributed to the purpose of the author of the words. The author doesn't even know one's own purpose. The purpose, as the inspiration for action, and therefore what was meant, and meaning, actually comes from an external source, the higher power. So our acts of discussion, between us is how we attempt to actually determine the meaning, and that's why people say meaning is something public. We cannot simply refer to what the author meant, because the true purpose is something outside the mind of the author, which inspired those acts.

    Meaning that the purpose of anything that happens in the world of the mystic, or indeed in the world of being is expressed for a higher purpose the nature of which is unfathomably profound( profound, only in the respect of being far reaching, beyond what a limited mind can comprehend).Punshhh

    Yes, meaning is beyond what a limited mind can comprehend, but now with communication we have a multitude of minds which can work together on the same problems. This is where I think western mysticism excels. We have come to recognize the power of communication in uniting our minds, to work together. But there is a very dangerous pitfall here as well. Some people in the west apprehend this unified group of human beings as that higher power. Instead of seeing our unity as an effort to work together toward understanding the meaning from the higher power, they apprehend this unity as the higher power, the creator of meaning instead of the interpreter of meaning. This syndrome, or condition, makes us into the fallen angel, or Satan, the false believe that we are the higher power, which is derived from a misunderstanding of where the inspirational power actually comes from.

    So just like the mystic differs their agency to a higher purpose, also they defer their reason why, or the purposes for what they do, to a higher power. This both means that the mystic is not at all interested in why, or for what end they do what they are doing.Punshhh

    I don't agree with the second sentence, and perhaps this is the difference between eastern and western mysticism. In the west we have what is called a revelation, and this is when something is revealed to a person from the higher power. Now, according to what I described above, the meaning of the revelation cannot be properly under by the person who has received it. Therefore the person must act within the community if the meaning of the revelation is to be brought out, and the purpose intended by the higher power is to be brought to fruition. We cannot say that the mystic, being the person with the revelation, is not interested in why they are doing what they are doing, or else they would not carry out that act; the act being the attempt to determine "why?", which is the meaning of the revelation, why the thing revealed was revealed, the purpose of it.

    This is very similar to the philosopher in Plato's cave allegory. The philosopher catches a glimpse of the true reality, and we can say this is analogous to the revelation. According to Plato, the philosopher has a duty to go back into the cave, and teach the others. But under the scenario I described above, the mystic who has had the revelation cannot properly understand it, and needs to go back to consult with the others to actually understand what has been revealed. So it is not exactly an act of teaching the others, but more like consulting with the others to describe the experience in an attempt to understand the meaning, through the help of the others. If we say that the mystic is not interested in why the revelation occurred, then the meaning will not be understood, and the revelation from the higher power will be in vain, recognizing that the purpose is from the higher power.
  • Punshhh
    2k
    I don't disagree with what you say about the purposes of an individual as in the example you give. I should have been more precise, I am only referring now to purposes in the acts of practicing mysticism, or more accurately acts of service.

    Also, Regarding the purposes of said higher power, I don't think we can come to any conclusions about the nature of their agency, or degree of awareness of what they are doing. Although I agree that processes of their living bodies, or vehicles will to a certain degree dictate what those purposes may be. I caution in this way because the lives of such beings may be inconceivable to us in multiple ways.

    Also if one factors in that purposes are deferred up the hierarchy of being, then the being initiating the purpose would be uniquely inconceivable, even to exalted beings below them in the hierarchy.

    I agree with what you say in the last paragraph, but with the qualification that this is only one of numerous ways in which revelation becomes imparted. We are not here discussing revelation, that is another subject.

    And that is the reason why meaning, as what was meant by written words for example, cannot be attributed to the purpose of the author of the words. The author doesn't even know one's own purpose. The purpose, as the inspiration for action, and therefore what was meant, and meaning, actually comes from an external source, the higher power. So our acts of discussion, between us is how we attempt to actually determine the meaning, and that's why people say meaning is something public. We cannot simply refer to what the author meant, because the true purpose is something outside the mind of the author, which inspired those acts.
    I agree with what you say, it is like a relativism of purposes and meaning. Again I make the distinction with regard to mystical practice. The mystic realises that the purpose acted out, or contributed to by herself is necessarily unknown or unknowable for her in her practice, while the meaning may be revealed. The meaning might be revealed through revelation, or epiphany, in the orientation of a beholder looking upwards towards the higher power which may be represented as a form recognised by the mystic. Whereas the purpose of the same circumstances cannot be apprehended from below because the orientation is downward from above viewing the hierarchy from the exalted position wherein the purposes where conceived.
    The conception of the purpose requiring the full cognition and consciousness of the exalted being to behold. Although I expect that the mystic can be taken up to behold the vision directly, which would require their mind to behold that level of cognition, this would be an exceptional event and would result in the mystic being transformed to the extent that she would become unusually exalted on earth, making social interaction problematic. There are examples of this in the lives of the saints etc.

    Due to unnecessary complications like this (not to mention complications with the ego, or personality)it is more appropriate for the mystic to relinquish any concern for such matters and to simply follow the practice and service in humility. I have myself found myself in situations where if I were to ponder purposes, or meanings, I would become distracted in what I was doing ( when I say what I am doing, I am referring to practice, in which I have already accepted that I don't know the purposes, or meaning, or what is going on, not personal things that I am doing in my day to day life, which I do know about).
  • Metaphysician Undercover
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    Also if one factors in that purposes are deferred up the hierarchy of being, then the being initiating the purpose would be uniquely inconceivable, even to exalted beings below them in the hierarchy.Punshhh

    This is questionable. If a lower being can conceive the purpose of the next higher being in a hierarchy of being, then there would only be an inconceivable purpose if there was an infinite regress. But you've already assumed that there must be an initiator of the purpose, so there is no infinite regress. The very nature of "purpose" is that it is what we posit as the end to an otherwise infinite regress, hence the Aristotelian term for goal or aim is "end". One of the most glaring problems with physicalism and materialism is that they always run into infinite regress. This is because they refuse to take into account "purpose", being immaterial. In this way "purpose" is as you say, a curious thing. It appears to us as if it is unintelligible, but assuming the reality of it is what makes things intelligible. This is what Plato said about "the good", it makes intelligible object intelligible, just like the sun makes visible objects visible.

    I agree with what you say in the last paragraph, but with the qualification that this is only one of numerous ways in which revelation becomes imparted. We are not here discussing revelation, that is another subject.Punshhh

    Revelation is not really another subject. You described a significant aspect of mysticism as coming into contact with the higher power (God). In the west, this is called revelation.

    Due to unnecessary complications like this (not to mention complications with the ego, or personality)it is more appropriate for the mystic to relinquish any concern for such matters and to simply follow the practice and service in humility. I have myself found myself in situations where if I were to ponder purposes, or meanings, I would become distracted in what I was doing ( when I say what I am doing, I am referring to practice, in which I have already accepted that I don't know the purposes, or meaning, or what is going on, not personal things that I am doing in my day to day life, which I do know about).Punshhh

    Again this is that same matter of personal difference. You might find that pondering meanings distracts you from what you are doing. This would indicate that you value what you are doing as more important than pondering meanings. However, for the person whom pondering meanings is for some reason important, this will be what that person is doing, finding doing other things as distracting from this. Aristotle identified contemplation as the highest virtue. Accepting "I don't know the meaning of this" can either inspire one in an attempt to determine the meaning, or turn one away in futility.
  • Punshhh
    2k
    This is questionable. If a lower being can conceive the purpose of the next higher being in a hierarchy of being, then there would only be an inconceivable purpose if there was an infinite regress. But you've already assumed that there must be an initiator of the purpose, so there is no infinite regress.
    I didn't say that the lower being can conceive of the purpose of a higher being (except in the exceptional circumstances I refer to in the second to last paragraph). No one is conceiving of the purposes except the one who initiates the purpose. Also infinite regress is a peculiarity of logical thinking in a limited mind. I don't use it, or find it of any value in these matters. Likewise I am not assuming there is a purpose, just allowing for there to be one.
    I would point out also that getting to concerned with material initially is a distraction and likely to lead to dead ends. My primary concern is not with material, but being (I do consider being to be material in some form, along with the immaterial but not physical material).

    Revelation is not really another subject. You described a significant aspect of mysticism as coming into contact with the higher power (God). In the west, this is called revelation.
    Yes, but we were discussing purpose, I see purpose, even when acted out by a person on the lowest rung of the ladder of purpose, as something which is not revealed and not any kind of revelation. I mentioned it when responding about meaning, which is more commonly revealed.

    However, for the person whom pondering meanings is for some reason important, this will be what that person is doing, finding doing other things as distracting from this.
    Yes, I draw you back to what I was addressing when I pointed out what I meant when I say mysticism, "So when I use the word mysticism, I am referring to this process of refinement and development of the individual and through this the refinement and development of the being of the biosphere. This is necessarily a big subject". This refinement includes the alignment of the individual with the hierarchy of being, that the higher purpose be realised in some way. As such the motivations, purposes of the individual are the same as those of the hierarchy of being, there is no seperation. And as I also said earlier in my response to Javra, the individual hasn't lost any autonomy, or agency, or freedom in this, the purposes of the individual and the hierarchy of being just happen to be the same, hence " I and the father are one" John 10:30

    Aristotle identified contemplation as the highest virtue.
    He's wasn't a mystic, but a philosopher, I do agree that contemplation is the most important mental faculty of the individual.
    Accepting "I don't know the meaning of this" can either inspire one in an attempt to determine the meaning, or turn one away in futility.
    Yes, but as I say this has already been accepted and the person has already agreed within themselves that the action, or service is primary and their personal inquisitive interest is secondary and can be contemplated at leasure after the event, provided this doesn't become an impediment to the enterprise.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
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    I didn't say that the lower being can conceive of the purpose of a higher being (except in the exceptional circumstances I refer to in the second to last paragraph). No one is conceiving of the purposes except the one who initiates the purpose.Punshhh

    I don't see how a lower being could get to the point of understanding the procedures which one is involved in, without conceiving the purpose of the higher being who directs the procedures. You could be a pawn simply following orders, a cog in the wheel, carrying out your activity in a perfect fashion, but you need to understand what the wheel is doing in order to truly know what you are doing. It may be the case that this type of understanding is reserved for exceptional cases, but that simply means that the majority are satisfied in simply going through the motions. Having mystic minds, we want to see beyond the physical motions. Aren't those inclined toward mysticism already exceptional cases?

    Yes, but we were discussing purpose, I see purpose, even when acted out by a person on the lowest rung of the ladder of purpose, as something which is not revealed and not any kind of revelation. I mentioned it when responding about meaning, which is more commonly revealed.Punshhh

    I don't see how you can separate purpose from meaning in this way. Meaning is commonly defined as what was meant, And to know what was meant is to know the purpose. So for instance, if the person on the lowest rung of the ladder is given instruction, that person might understand the instruction and follow the order, carrying out the requested activity precisely, without having a complete understanding of the meaning. This is because there is also a hierarchical structure in levels of meaning. To understand the words of the instruction and to be able to carry out the requested activity, is one part of the meaning, but how that instruction fits within the larger context of what the person giving the instruction is doing, is another part of the meaning. The latter is often concealed and this is the root of deception.

    It may be the case that modern linguistic analysis would not consider this 'deeper meaning' as part of the meaning, but then they have no principles to separate honest use of language from deceptive use of language. Unless complete understanding of the meaning requires placing the statement into a larger context, the same statement has the same meaning whether it's spoken honestly or deceptively. Modern linguistics has made faulty divisions, and presents us with a representation of "meaning", which excludes the sincerity of the spoken word from being part of the meaning of the word. "I love you" would have the same meaning regardless of how it is used, except as distinguished by referring to distinct definitions.

    When the concealed, deeper meaning, is revealed to the person on the lower rung of the latter, we might call this a revelation. You might see forms of this in the type of mysticism you practise. You might learn a particular procedure, and get proficient at it. This indicates that you understand the first level of meaning in the instruction, you can proceed with the requested action. As you carry on and learn more procedures and grasp how they all fit together, you might look back at the first, and see that it now has a different meaning.

    Yes, I draw you back to what I was addressing when I pointed out what I meant when I say mysticism, "So when I use the word mysticism, I am referring to this process of refinement and development of the individual and through this the refinement and development of the being of the biosphere. This is necessarily a big subject". This refinement includes the alignment of the individual with the hierarchy of being, that the higher purpose be realised in some way. As such the motivations, purposes of the individual are the same as those of the hierarchy of being, there is no seperation. And as I also said earlier in my response to Javra, the individual hasn't lost any autonomy, or agency, or freedom in this, the purposes of the individual and the hierarchy of being just happen to be the same, hence " I and the father are one" John 10:30Punshhh

    Right, I see this as the same thing as I described above, said in a different way. The biosphere is the larger context. To completely grasp the meaning of what one is doing, is to understand it within that context. As an example, consider that you might prioritize your actions in relation to your personal goals. That would be a low level of meaning. Then you might prioritize them in relation to your family, and that would give them a higher level of meaning. You could prioritize them in relation to your community or the entire human race for an even higher level. Or, the entire biosphere is an even higher level.

    Notice that in order for what you say here, "the motivations, purposes of the individual are the same as those of the hierarchy of being", to be true, the person must get the glimpse (revelation) of the higher purpose or meaning. Otherwise the person is carrying out activities prioritized by lower levels. That "the purposes of the individual and the hierarchy of being just happen to be the same" is natural because that's how purpose within living beings is structured. And this is why you and I see exactly the same thing, though we come from completely different directions (east and west), and use completely different words and imagery to describe it. It's what's built into, inherent within living organisms. In seeing this we do not lose our autonomy we just facilitate our own decision making by relieving the stress of not knowing one's position in the world, and thereby being unsure in decision making.

    This is similar to the distinction which Christian moralists make between the real good and the apparent good. The apparent good is what appears to the individual as good, but it may not actually be good. Because of the deficiencies in the human mind the apparent good may not be consistent with what is good in relation to God; this is the real good. If an individual apprehends the real good though, the person will choose the real good necessarily. This does not mean that the individual has lost one's freedom to choose, being necessitated by the real good, it just means that the apparent good has become the same as the real good. It is natural, the person still has the power to choose otherwise, but has no desire to because of that natural tendency.
  • Punshhh
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    I don't see how a lower being could get to the point of understanding the procedures which one is involved in, without conceiving the purpose of the higher being who directs the procedures. You could be a pawn simply following orders, a cog in the wheel, carrying out your activity in a perfect fashion, but you need to understand what the wheel is doing in order to truly know what you are doing.
    I don't see the requirement for the lower being to truly know what they are doing. Provided this being is happy to and able to, carry it out there is no requirement for this. Aren't we all pawns anyway, with a little bit of freedom thrown in?

    Let me give an example which for me was a profound example, once I realised it. Let's say my body is a colony of cells, which cooperate to form a whole which acts as a larger organism, a human. None of these cells are aware of the purposes exercised by that human organism. But they carry out their role in the cooperative and the fact of their not knowing why they are carrying out their role does not hinder their effectiveness in playing their part. Likewise I am a cell in the body of the biosphere and the biosphere is a cell in the body of the Sun, or the galaxy for example. The cell in my body is also carrying out a role in the body of the biosphere by carrying out its role in me and also its role in the body of the Sun and the galaxy. But in all of this the hierarchy of purpose means that the most senior purpose being carried out in this scenario is the purpose of the being whose body of expression is the galaxy. Now I know that the cell in my body I refer to couldn't understand this purpose and likewise, I could not understand it, it is to all encompassing from my perspective and I would have to know of the affairs of that larger being to have any conception of the purpose we are all engaged in, likewise for the cell in my body.

    Having mystic minds, we want to see beyond the physical motions. Aren't those inclined toward mysticism already exceptional cases?
    I don't know the answer to this, although there is a good reason which I have identified. These people inclined towards mysticism are human and subject to an extent to human nature, meaning that they are compromised by human frailty. I will give an extreme example, let's say that you or I were given a revelation of a greater purpose, or plan and inadvertently during this revelation, next weeks winning numbers for the state lottery were revealed. What would you, or I do on the run up to the lottery, would you buy a ticket and use those numbers? I would find it very difficult not to do that. Because I am embedded within the society and culture, which includes money worries, or with relations experiencing money problems. Or I could do with a bigger house, or better car etc. There are many other repercussions and problems caused by this unfortunate revelation and many other less extreme examples like this, where human frailty can become exposed.

    I don't see how you can separate purpose from meaning in this way.
    I only separate them because of the difficulty of imparting the purpose of the being at the top of the hierarchy as I have pointed out. Otherwise I don't disagree with what you are saying.

    You might see forms of this in the type of mysticism you practise. You might learn a particular procedure, and get proficient at it. This indicates that you understand the first level of meaning in the instruction, you can proceed with the requested action. As you carry on and learn more procedures and grasp how they all fit together, you might look back at the first, and see that it now has a different meaning.
    Yes, this could be a problem, better that the pawn doesn't know the purpose and meaning.
    You do realise, presumably, that the mystic was aware of the requirement to forgo any knowledge of the purposes, or meanings that they are going to cooperate in before they follow that course. It is one of the preconditions for discussion, I was going to provide earlier. There are a number of preconditions like this which a budding mystic must offer to cooperate in before they are a suitable pawn for service in this fashion. There is no compunction for anyone to follow this path, it is the choice of the mystic.

    And this is why you and I see exactly the same thing, though we come from completely different directions (east and west), and use completely different words and imagery to describe it. It's what's built into, inherent within living organisms. In seeing this we do not lose our autonomy we just facilitate our own decision making by relieving the stress of not knowing one's position in the world, and thereby being unsure in decision making.
    Yes, I agree, but as I said earlier, I don't see any requirement for the mystic to be privy to the purposes they are to become involved in. Their actions could be directed intuitively, or unconsciously, thus avoiding the exposure of their human frailty.

    it just means that the apparent good has become the same as the real good

    Yes, this is the point I was making. However if it is going on within a person, it is more comprehensive and transformative.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
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    I don't see the requirement for the lower being to truly know what they are doing. Provided this being is happy to and able to, carry it out there is no requirement for this. Aren't we all pawns anyway, with a little bit of freedom thrown in?Punshhh

    I agree, it's not a requirement. It's clearly not necessary. Your example portrays this well. And that's why I said, when we first started talking about purpose, that the purpose of action is not ever really known even by the person carrying out the activity. In the west, we commonly represent a intentional agents as having a purpose in mind, then acting to fulfil that purpose. But it's not that straight forward. As Aristotle demonstrated, we do one thing for the sake of another, which is for the sake of another, and so on, such that each end turns out to be the means to a further end. He suggested we ought to posit an ultimate end, happiness. Whether or not we actually need to end the apparent infinite regress in this way is another issue.

    I only separate them because of the difficulty of imparting the purpose of the being at the top of the hierarchy as I have pointed out. Otherwise I don't disagree with what you are saying.Punshhh

    Once the person, who is the lower being, accepts it as reality that there is a hierarchy, a need is produced within that person. So it is not necessary that the person recognizes the hierarchy of purpose in order to carry on with one's tasks, but when it is recognized that this exists, a need to understand (the philosophical curiosity) is produced. And this same type of need is what is probably responsible for the person coming to see the hierarchy in the first place. So we cannot exclude requirement or necessity absolutely. In the case of beings acting for a purpose, the being has to produce one's own activities according to the situation it is in, so we cannot say that the being's activities are directly determined by the higher being's purpose. Since the being has to determine one's own activities there is some need to know the higher purpose.

    There is a type of necessity here which is not exactly a logical necessity. From the perspective of the higher being, what is required is that the lower being carry out the task, and nothing more. But the higher being is not there to tell the lower being what to do in every changing situation. So the lower being has within, an inquisitive nature, which creates a want, a desire, a need to understand, which is associated in human beings with the desire for freedom. That needy nature is inherent within the beings right down the chain to the very bottom, because the beings are left to fend for themselves in uncertain circumstances. The higher power never really determines exactly the action which the lower must engage in, and this is why there is a need for the lower to understand the purpose of the higher. The lower must understand the purpose of the higher in order to know how to behave in changing circumstances.

    I will give an extreme example, let's say that you or I were given a revelation of a greater purpose, or plan and inadvertently during this revelation, next weeks winning numbers for the state lottery were revealed.Punshhh

    This example would not fit with "revelation" as I described it, and understand it. I don't think that the meaning or purpose is actually revealed in the revelation. The person simply recognizes significance, and must present the material to others for a proper interpretation. I think it requires numerous people in consultation, discussion, to bring out the true meaning of the revelation. This is why people are still interpreting ancient traditions and ancient passages.

    Furthermore, the revelation could not contain things of such personal advantage, due to the distinction between real good and apparent good which I described already. The revelation cannot be simply produced by the mind of the person experiencing it, or else it would be completely imaginary, and the higher power would be irrelevant. It would not be a "revelation". So there must be something (the higher power) responsible for producing it, let's call it "nature". If nature produces the revelation then the revelation must be consistent with nature, therefore consistent with the real good. So it could not inspire a person to act in a bad way. That means that a revelation could not contain the type of information as in your example. And if someone managed to get such information it would be in some way other than revelation. Something which appeared to be a revelation, but inspired a person to act in a bad way is not really a revelation, and this is known in mental illness.

    And that's another reason why I say that the true purpose or significance of the revelation must be interpreted by numerous other people, because the individual on one's own, cannot properly distinguish between revelation and mental illness.

    I don't see any requirement for the mystic to be privy to the purposes they are to become involved in.Punshhh

    There is a distinction of before and after. The mystic is not privy to any such information prior to starting. However, there is the will to start, which is the manifestation of the need for such information, as described above. Simply through proceeding, the mystic comes into contact with that information.

    Yes, this is the point I was making. However if it is going on within a person, it is more comprehensive and transformative.Punshhh

    I think we may have reached a need to distinguish between what goes on within the person, and what is proper to the person's relations with others. This is because the person, on one's own, does not have the capacity to properly distinguish reality in these matters, as is evident by mental illness. This is why we need mystical training as you describe, and interpretation of revelations, as I said. So the "comprehensive and transformative" experience is not completely represented as something going on within the person. It might be better described as something going on in the person's relations with others. Otherwise we might have trouble distinguishing mysticism from mental illness.
  • Punshhh
    2k

    What you are saying about the intellectual understanding of the consequences of the mystic's action (during practice) makes sense, but from my position is largely irrelevant. Because the mystic may not have the capacity to understand, or conceive of any meaning, or purposes. Also such understanding would be an impediment unless it was some endeavour initiated by the mystic for the purposes of doing one thing for another in her small world.

    As per my analogy what business does a cell in my body have in understanding that I am running to catch a train which leaves any minute now and I'm still a hundred yards away from the station? It is irrelevant, the cell simply carries out the duties which it has signed up to in being a part of the colony of cells. The situation is the same for the mystic, but on a more complex level. Any curiosity, interpretation, vision, or need is irrelevant and it is the choice of the mystic whether to forgo any such impediments as identified.

    Regarding revelation, my lottery number analogy is relevant. Let me give another equivalent example. Let's take the crucifixion of Jesus. Now I have always thought that he did not know exactly what was going to happen and at what moment, because if for example he knew the horror and pain that he was imminently to endure. There would be a fight or flight response in him due to his human frailty, or survival instinct to take avasive action. If it had been revealed to him what was about to happen, which it may, it would have taken tremendous powers of self control for him not to take evasive action. Whereas if it had not been revealed he would have not needed these powers of self control, or only some of them. When he shouts out "God why have you forsaken me" (my words), presumably he did at that moment behold the true nature of the event, initiation, he was involved in. By that point he was powerless to take evasive action and so that knowledge was not an impediment.

    Or another example, let's say a mystic where given the powers to move objects at a distance, or to make them disappear and appear somewhere else. Likewise human frailty would become exposed again.

    For reasons like this, presumably, it would operate on a need to know basis only.

    What you say about drawing a distinction between what is happening inside the mystic and what is external is important here. Namely most of what the mystic does in their practice is internal. What is external is nothing more than good neighbourly relations and some kind acts, consciously at least. What is going on unconsciously, or behind the scenes could be anything and is of little concern to the mystic. For example the sole act in a Mystics life which is of value might be to turn right instead of left at a crossroads at a certain point, on a certain date. It is the role of the mystic to be impressionable enough to the hierarchy of being, or some guide so as to somehow impell, or guide them to that place and that time and to cause them to turn right, when they might have turned left. This might require a lifetime of preparation within the mystic to reach that level of impressionability. Also there is an issue with mental illness, I would think though that were this to occur then the mystic would fail to carry out anything meaningful and would follow a path often followed by people in general.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
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    I see that we disagree on the roll of necessity, in the sense of need. I like to think of a purposeful action as being carried out through a sense of need by the agent which acts. Judging by your examples, it appears to me like you attempt to conceive of purposeful actions being carried out in a mechanistic way. You seem to think that the so-called pawn we were talking about, could continuously carry our one's task without apprehending the need or purpose for this task. This would be like a machine, carrying out its activity by the necessity of the forces of physics, rather than a living being which acts according to some perceived need. Without perceiving the need for the task, the living being would wander off and start to do something else.

    What you are saying about the intellectual understanding of the consequences of the mystic's action (during practice) makes sense, but from my position is largely irrelevant. Because the mystic may not have the capacity to understand, or conceive of any meaning, or purposes. Also such understanding would be an impediment unless it was some endeavour initiated by the mystic for the purposes of doing one thing for another in her small world.Punshhh

    So here for example, you describe the mystic as partaking in mystical practise without perceiving any need for that practise. What kind of thing, other than a machine, could act in this way? Surely when a living being acts, it has in some way perceived a need for that act and this is why the act is carried out. How do you think that the mystic could wander into mystical practise and remain in that practise without any purpose? And if it is just a small purpose, in a small world, then we cannot dismiss it as irrelevant, because it is the reason why the mystic is carrying out the practise and clearly not irrelevant. Therefore I do not see how you can dismiss purpose as if it is irrelevant, and portray the mystic as going through motions just like an inanimate machine, with complete disregard for any purpose to these motions.

    As per my analogy what business does a cell in my body have in understanding that I am running to catch a train which leaves any minute now and I'm still a hundred yards away from the station? It is irrelevant, the cell simply carries out the duties which it has signed up to in being a part of the colony of cells. The situation is the same for the mystic, but on a more complex level. Any curiosity, interpretation, vision, or need is irrelevant and it is the choice of the mystic whether to forgo any such impediments as identified.Punshhh

    In this analogy, you are assigning importance in a completely disproportionate way. You are assessing the conscious judgement of "I must catch the train" as extremely important, probably because it is a conscious judgement, so the act of running which proceeds from this judgement, you assign importance to. Then the activities of the cell within your body you assess very little importance. In reality though, the need to catch the train is for the purpose of getting somewhere else, which is for the purpose of doing something else, which is for the purpose of some further thing, and so on. Since catching the train is so low on the chain, many other acts could sufficiently take its place, so it is really of very little importance. This conscious judgement, to run for the train, and the activity which follows from it, is really not very important at all. Now look at the activity of the cell, and the information which it has with genetics and DNA. That cell could very well know more about the reason why you are running for the train, than your conscious mind knows.

    Now we need to know what you mean by "the duties it has signed up to", when you are talking about the cell. This is because unlike a machine, a living being has some degree of freedom in relation to what activities it will carry out. Because of this we have to consider the need. What makes the being behave in one way instead of another? We does the cell sign up for duties? And we cannot even say that the cell acts like a machine, because there are many strange mutations and things like that which could happen. So even the cell behaves the way that it does because there is some need for it to behave that way, and it is somehow affected by that need. How is that need, which makes the cell behave as it does, any different from the need which makes you run for the train? I think they are both from the same source of need, and your conscious mind grasps this need no better than a cell in your body grasps this need.

    Regarding revelation, my lottery number analogy is relevant. Let me give another equivalent example. Let's take the crucifixion of Jesus. Now I have always thought that he did not know exactly what was going to happen and at what moment, because if for example he knew the horror and pain that he was imminently to endure. There would be a fight or flight response in him due to his human frailty, or survival instinct to take avasive action. If it had been revealed to him what was about to happen, which it may, it would have taken tremendous powers of self control for him not to take evasive action. Whereas if it had not been revealed he would have not needed these powers of self control, or only some of them. When he shouts out "God why have you forsaken me" (my words), presumably he did at that moment behold the true nature of the event, initiation, he was involved in. By that point he was powerless to take evasive action and so that knowledge was not an impediment.Punshhh

    I still don't see the relevance here. Jesus sacrificed himself willingly, so this was a strong showing of will power. He decided what needed to be done and he did it at the cost of personal pain and suffering. The revelation to Jesus was that this sacrifice had to be carried out. His death was planned. There was no matter of fight or flight, just will power and determination to carry out what he believed needed to be done, as revealed to him.

    So it does take will power to carry out the actions called for by the revelation. And again, this is the situation in Plato's cave allegory, the philosopher, after seeing the light, must go back to teach the others, and this is a very arduous task, due to the attitude of the others. But the actions called for by the revelation, as difficult as they might be, are good actions. There could be no temptation to proceed with a bad action as the result of a revelation, because that would not qualify as a revelation, it would be mental illness or something like that.

    For example the sole act in a Mystics life which is of value might be to turn right instead of left at a crossroads at a certain point, on a certain date. It is the role of the mystic to be impressionable enough to the hierarchy of being, or some guide so as to somehow impell, or guide them to that place and that time and to cause them to turn right, when they might have turned left. This might require a lifetime of preparation within the mystic to reach that level of impressionability.Punshhh

    So here we're back to this issue of need and purpose again, which we disagree on. Let's say that the purposeful thing for the mystic to do is to turn right. But intrinsic within, the mystic has the capacity to go either way. Nothing is determined in a mechanistic way. So the person requires a reason to turn right, and this means to be impelled by some sort of need. How could there be any degree of certainty, higher than a 50/50 chance, that the mystic would turn right, unless the mystic perceived some purpose for turning right?
  • Punshhh
    2k
    You seem to think that the so-called pawn we were talking about, could continuously carry our one's task without apprehending the need or purpose for this task. This would be like a machine, carrying out its activity by the necessity of the forces of physics, rather than a living being which acts according to some perceived need. Without perceiving the need for the task, the living being would wander off and start to do something else.

    So let's say we have a devout vicar who is interested in mysticism as part of his service. If he didn't know, or understand what God is upto, Gods purpose as expressed through his ministry. He might feel like a mindless mechanistic pawn and wander of and do something else instead? This is stretching the point rather.

    How do you think that the mystic could wander into mystical practise and remain in that practise without any purpose?
    The purpose of the mystic is to offer service for the betterment of humanity, or nature, or the biosphere. That is an end in its self.

    It is implicit in the choices entailed in this enterprise (the enterprise of mysticism) that the mystic may be called on to express some higher purpose, which may be unknown during their practice, or life. This is not to much to ask is it?

    In this analogy, you are assigning importance in a completely disproportionate way.

    The point of the analogy is that it is obvious that the cell in my body is not aware of the bigger picture. That I really want to catch the train. Also that it is plain to see that the cell does not need to know about this in order to carry outs role in the body. It's that simple.

    Now look at the activity of the cell, and the information which it has with genetics and DNA. That cell could very well know more about the reason why you are running for the train, than your conscious mind knows.
    Yes, it might be better tuned in the purposes of the biosphere. But one thing is for certain, it doesn't know that I am running the catch the 11.15 from Paddington station. Which is what the organism embodying the cellular colony of which it is a part is doing.

    Now we need to know what you mean by "the duties it has signed up to", when you are talking about the cell.
    The duties of the cell are those entailed in being a particular part of a healthy multicellular organism. Any more than that is labouring the point, and the cell is not likely to go of in a huff and join another body, or go fishing, or something like that.

    I still don't see the relevance here. Jesus sacrificed himself willingly, so this was a strong showing of will power. He decided what needed to be done and he did it at the cost of personal pain and suffering. The revelation to Jesus was that this sacrifice had to be carried out. His death was planned. There was no matter of fight or flight, just will power and determination to carry out what he believed needed to be done, as revealed to him.

    You don't know this and on the assumption that it is on a need to know basis, Jesus does not need to know the specifics of what is going to happen until the point where he shouts out God why have you forsaken me, when the whole reality of the situation is laid bare. Also I consider that that laying bare was required for the specific initiation that Jesus, the Christ, was undergoing.

    Let me give you another example one which did actually happen to me so was very real. A number of years ago I lost the end of a finger in an accident at work. Of course I didn't have any idea it was going to happen and from the moment it happened, my body went into shock protecting my psyche from the horror of what happened, I was in a delirious state of shock, I felt no pain and psychologically I was in a dream like state, which enabled me to get through the trauma unharmed psychologically.

    Now let's consider that I knew this was going to happen beforehand, a day or two beforehand. Imagine the psychological impact and the state of mind as the event approached, or even the urge to place my hand somewhere else at the last moment so that the accident didn't happen. I would have to fully consciously place my hand into the machine knowing what trauma was about to happen. It would have been a Herculean task and I don't think I would have recovered psychologically from such trauma. When in reality it was not traumatic at all, there was no pain, just Some shock and ruffled feathers and I was over it in a few days with no psychological trauma. This was done on a need to know basis and I wouldn't have it any other way.

    How could there be any degree of certainty, higher than a 50/50 chance, that the mystic would turn right, unless the mystic perceived some purpose for turning right?
    Happenstance, the butterfly effect. The mystic has developed a means of receiving direction from a guide of some kind, a nudge process.

    Really this is basic stuff and we will end up chasing our tails. Perhaps it is time to actually lay out what mysticism entails and look at it in more general terms.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.5k
    So let's say we have a devout vicar who is interested in mysticism as part of his service. If he didn't know, or understand what God is upto, Gods purpose as expressed through his ministry. He might feel like a mindless mechanistic pawn and wander of and do something else instead? This is stretching the point rather.Punshhh

    You're missing my first premise. I said that no one really understands any purpose, not even when the purpose appears to be one's own. So there is not a question of whether anyone understands what God is doing. We don't even properly understand what we are doing so we're very far from understanding God's will. The issue is whether we ought to try and understand as best as we can. If yes, the vicar stays. If no, the vicar wanders off and does any random thing.

    The purpose of the mystic is to offer service for the betterment of humanity, or nature, or the biosphere. That is an end in its self.

    It is implicit in the choices entailed in this enterprise (the enterprise of mysticism) that the mystic may be called on to express some higher purpose, which may be unknown during their practice, or life. This is not to much to ask is it?
    Punshhh

    It is too much to ask. If the person has no desire to do this, there is no point in asking one to do it. That's the point, why would anyone want to do that, what you call the mystic's enterprise? To offer service to the betterment of the biosphere, is surely an end in itself, but what I'm talking about is why a person would desire to do this. This is where a revelation could play a roll. Something may have been revealed to that person to make them realized that this is what they ought to be doing.

    The point of the analogy is that it is obvious that the cell in my body is not aware of the bigger picture. That I really want to catch the train. Also that it is plain to see that the cell does not need to know about this in order to carry outs role in the body. It's that simple.Punshhh

    As I explained, I think you present the smaller picture as the bigger picture. You wanting to catch the train is the small picture, very low priority, a completely insignificant and unimportant act. But because you have chosen that act with your conscious mind, it appears very important to you in your intellectualizing. The cell, on the other hand is involved in very important actions, and because you do not fully apprehend these acts with your conscious mind, you dismiss them as insignificant in relation to your conscious acts.

    The duties of the cell are those entailed in being a particular part of a healthy multicellular organism.Punshhh

    I see that you really do recognize the importance of the acts of the cell. The activities of the cell are necessary for the health of the organism, and this is far more important than you catching the train. This is why we need to adequately weigh the risks, and don't let the conscious mind rush us into dangerous situations. You could trip and fall while running, injuring yourself. And all for what? Just to catch a train.

    The conscious mind leads us, and misleads us, into thinking all sorts of different things are important. That's why we need to consider this question of why would a person want to do what a mystic does. Is this a case of the conscious mind leading the person, or is it a case of the conscious mind misleading the person (like thinking that catching the train is important is a case of misleading). Simply directing ourselves toward an end is meaningful only at a very base level, because we need to determine the appropriate end.

    Now let's consider that I knew this was going to happen beforehand, a day or two beforehand. Imagine the psychological impact and the state of mind as the event approached, or even the urge to place my hand somewhere else at the last moment so that the accident didn't happen. I would have to fully consciously place my hand into the machine knowing what trauma was about to happen. It would have been a Herculean task and I don't think I would have recovered psychologically from such trauma. When in reality it was not traumatic at all, there was no pain, just Some shock and ruffled feathers and I was over it in a few days with no psychological trauma. This was done on a need to know basis and I wouldn't have it any other way.Punshhh

    I still can't see the relevance of your example. You are mixing up intentional acts with unintentional acts (accidents) If it were revealed to you, that for some reason you needed to cut your finger off, to make some sort of statement or something, and you felt very strongly about this, then you would proceed with this act. The psychological trauma would not be as you describe, because it's a willed event, just like suicide. The issue though, is whether this act of yours, to intentionally cut off your finger, is inspired by revelation or by mental illness. In the case of most suicides, we'd say it's illness, and we'd probably say the same if you intentionally cut off your finger. But in the case of Jesus willfully having himself sacrificed (accepting my interpretation), we'd say it was revelation. What distinguishes revelation from mental illness? One produces good ideas and the other produces bad ideas?

    The mystic has developed a means of receiving direction from a guide of some kind, a nudge process.Punshhh

    Right, so this is the point. If it's a 50/50 chance of a good idea or a bad idea, and the mystic gets nudges or guidance toward good ideas, then we must be able to say that the mystic has found a way to be consistent with the higher purpose. And going back to the beginning of this post, this does not mean that the mystic knows the higher purpose. We really do not understand purpose to a very significant degree at all, but the mystic has developed some special incite, allowing a clearer capacity for good ideas.

    Perhaps it is time to actually lay out what mysticism entails and look at it in more general terms.Punshhh

    I've been trying to get at these general terms, but you don't agree. All the features of western mysticism which I bring up, you want to exclude from mysticism in general, because you seem to think that only features of eastern mysticism qualify as genuine features of mysticism. Perhaps we can start with a most general definition. I propose, interest in the mysterious, what is beyond human understanding. Feel free to change or adapt that to your liking.
  • Punshhh
    2k
    The issue is whether we ought to try and understand as best as we can. If yes, the vicar stays. If no, the vicar wanders off and does any random thing.
    Rather tenuous and not a requirement. The mystic is free to work out, learn, take an interest in an understanding of anything they like. This understanding though, does not constitute the route to mystical practice, although It may help the individual adjust to it.

    It is too much to ask. If the person has no desire to do this, there is no point in asking one to do it.
    The mystic has already freely chosen this course of action.

    This is where a revelation could play a roll.
    Yes, this is commonly called a calling.

    The cell, on the other hand is involved in very important actions, and because you do not fully apprehend these acts with your conscious mind, you dismiss them as insignificant in relation to your conscious acts.
    You have misunderstood what I am saying and portrayed me in this light.

    Going back to the hierarchy of being, there is a progression in being from a small expression to a larger expression. This involves an evolution of complexity in what is apprehended by the individual being in that hierarchy. So the cell, if it is apprehending anything, it is something to do with its interaction with the surrounding cells, the enzymes etc in circulation and its own processes of life. Whereas the person running for the train will have whole libraries of information on the shelves at home, interact with complex situations with numerous organisms and their constructions, and has developed things like personality and ego for example to process all this apprehension. Likewise further up the hierarchy of being the being of the biosphere, Gaia, there is likely to be a larger step up in complexity of apprehension, the likes of which we really couldn't imagine. As the the importance of actions of beings, then we would need to refer to the being at the top of the hierarchy whose purposes we are acting out, somehow Idoubt we would understand if she told us.

    I still can't see the relevance of your example. You are mixing up intentional acts with unintentional acts (accidents) If it were revealed to you, that for some reason you needed to cut your finger off, to make some sort of statement or something, and you felt very strongly about this, then you would proceed with this act.
    My example was to show how performing acts which go against our animal instincts, human frailty, is difficult, causes personal trauma and risks the task not being carried out. Why go through all that when if it is carried out on a need to know basis, none of that comes into play. Also you seem to think that we can determine if an act in our life is of importance, necessary. We don't know if my injury was as necessary, or not, as was the crucifixion of Jesus.
    A mystic can't become the arbiter of what is of importance in regards to the purposes of being, this is an elementary realisation.

    We really do not understand purpose to a very significant degree at all, but the mystic has developed some special incite, allowing a clearer capacity for good ideas
    Yes, but as I say the insights which the mystic develops are a side issue, because the practice is concerned with procedure. Although there is a psychological aspect to this and a healthy philosophical mind is advantageous for that.

    I've been trying to get at these general terms, but you don't agree. All the features of western mysticism which I bring up, you want to exclude from mysticism in general, because you seem to think that only features of eastern mysticism qualify as genuine features of mysticism. Perhaps we can start with a most general definition. I propose, interest in the mysterious, what is beyond human understanding. Feel free to change or adapt that to your liking.
    Do you remember that I suggested this at the start and you said it would be better to go round the houses first. I was saying what it means to me, what it means and entails will be different for each individual, so it is probably a case of agreeing on some common principles and referring to relevant schools, or teachings to cross reference.

    I agree an interest in the mysterious is a good start, a desire to understand reality somewhat. Or what is often the case, the individual has a calling of some sort through some kind of revelation. Giving them a motivation, or desire to delve into these matters.

    When it comes to mystical practice, the individual would have read, or been taught about mysticism in religious practice. So would be motivated to get involved in some kind of practice.

    When it comes to what is necessary to carry out this practice, the individual will follow a path of discovery perhaps of what is entailed. This is where some ground rules come into play as I mentioned in the beginning.

    Then there are more advanced levels of practice and involvement, which can be evidenced in the lives of the saints, or bodhisattvas and deities. This might entail yogic practices, or practices with the goal of reaching enlightenment, or nirvana, or union with God, for example.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.5k
    The mystic has already freely chosen this course of action.Punshhh

    Yes, so the point is why does one choose this action. What is the purpose?

    Going back to the hierarchy of being, there is a progression in being from a small expression to a larger expression.Punshhh

    You are doing the same thing now, which you accused me of earlier. You are basing your hierarchy on material characteristics. I presented you with a hierarchy based in something immaterial, purpose, and you come back with a hierarchy based on observed complexities of material organisms.

    This is the problem with your desire to remove intellectualization, it leaves you incapable of a true understanding of "hierarchy", which is an intellectual structure based in some value. So instead, you are left to construct your hierarchy on simple principles of material observation, big and small, more or less complex bodies, when a hierarchy really ought to be based in a system of values.

    My example was to show how performing acts which go against our animal instincts, human frailty, is difficult, causes personal trauma and risks the task not being carried out. Why go through all that when if it is carried out on a need to know basis, none of that comes into play.Punshhh

    I really can't understand what you mean by "on a need to know basis". You've used it numerous times. There is fundamentally no need to know anything, knowing is voluntary. However there is a need to know, in the sense of a want or desire to know. You don't seem to differentiate between these two senses of "need".

    The need to act precedes the need to know. In other words, we need to act (experiment) to learn, in order to know. And, there is a desire to know. There is always the desire to know. So it makes no sense to say that we ought not act unless there is a need to know, because there is always a need to know, therefore always the need to act. Action produces knowledge

    We don't know if my injury was as necessary, or not, as was the crucifixion of Jesus.Punshhh

    Yes we do know this. You described the act as an accident. Therefore it was not necessary, by that description. No one decided that it was required. The crucifixion of Jesus was not an accident, it was determined by someone as necessary. This is what "necessary" means, having been determined by someone as required.

    I agree an interest in the mysterious is a good start, a desire to understand reality somewhat. Or what is often the case, the individual has a calling of some sort through some kind of revelation. Giving them a motivation, or desire to delve into these matters.Punshhh

    See, here it is, the desire to know, right here at the base of mysticism. So all this time you were attempting to remove this desire to know, this need for intellectualizing, from mysticism, arguing that this is not an essential aspect of mysticism. Yet when we come to define mysticism in it's most general sense, you agree that it is some sort of desire to understand. Therefore the "need to know" is inherent within mysticism, essential to it, just like philosophy. And the need to know is what produces reasoning, what you call intellectualising.

    When it comes to mystical practice, the individual would have read, or been taught about mysticism in religious practice. So would be motivated to get involved in some kind of practice.Punshhh

    Right, so would you agree that this motivation is some sort of "need to know", which is within the person who wants to get involved in mystical practise? It is a need to know which drives the person to mystical practise, in the same sense that hunger is a need to eat which drives a person toward food.

    When it comes to what is necessary to carry out this practice, the individual will follow a path of discovery perhaps of what is entailed. This is where some ground rules come into play as I mentioned in the beginning.Punshhh

    So, I do not see the need for ground rules. I think they would be counter-productive. What the mystic is interested in is the mysterious, and that is the unknown. If there were rules to follow, then it would be a pretense, that the unknown is already known through this organized practise, and these are the rules to follow in this organized practise of understanding the mysterious, or unknown. But if the mystic is interested in the truly mysterious, which is the most deeply unknown, then one cannot follow rules, because if there were rules to this experimentation which the mystic would be involved in, then it would not be truly mysterious and unknown.
  • jgill
    797
    See, here it is, the desire to know, right here at the base of mysticismMetaphysician Undercover

    I agree there is the desire to know what may be lying beyond everyday reality, to experience something beyond the normal world. Teresa of Ávila had the burning desire to know Jesus. A Zen student might want to know the truth about one's "I" . But too great a desire may very well be a hindrance to knowledge.
  • Punshhh
    2k
    Yes, so the point is why does one choose this action. What is the purpose?
    The purpose or reason for why a mystic chooses to follow the mystical path are unique to the individual. Generally they have a calling of some kind. Although I agree some may follow this path out of a desire to understand things.

    You are doing the same thing now, which you accused me of earlier. You are basing your hierarchy on material characteristics. I presented you with a hierarchy based in something immaterial, purpose, and you come back with a hierarchy based on observed complexities of material organisms.
    I am illustrating that different beings have different expressions when they incarnate in physical material. These expressions are like a surface layer upon a subtle being, their complexity is dictated by the nature of the being. So by highlighting the differences in expression I am illustrating the difference, or from a perspective, the complexity of the being. I am talking about beings again, as I repeat physical material is a tool, of expression of the beings.

    The rest of your post is in reference to the person who falls into my first and to degree the second category of, stage of the development of, a mystic*. The other categories are concerned with mystical practice which is an internal practice within the individual and comes after the point where the mystic has thought rationally about their philosophy and reached a personal philosophical grounding which works for them. The practice itself is not any more philosophy it is a practice of internal metamorphosis, where the only two points of focus are the self and the divinity (I leave this undefined as it is unique to the individual).

    I have been talking about this practice and keep repeating this, but you just want to go around the houses and talk about purpose, need, desire etc in ordinary life. The mystic chooses to do something else, an endeavour of rebuilding themselves. It operates under different processes because the mystic develops along a path of initiation.


    *1: I agree an interest in the mysterious is a good start, a desire to understand reality somewhat. Or what is often the case, the individual has a calling of some sort through some kind of revelation. Giving them a motivation, or desire to delve into these matters.

    2: When it comes to mystical practice, the individual would have read, or been taught about mysticism in religious practice. So would be motivated to get involved in some kind of practice.

    3: When it comes to what is necessary to carry out this practice, the individual will follow a path of discovery perhaps of what is entailed. This is where some ground rules come into play as I mentioned in the beginning.

    4: Then there are more advanced levels of practice and involvement, which can be evidenced in the lives of the saints, or bodhisattvas and deities. This might entail yogic practices, or practices with the goal of reaching enlightenment, or nirvana, or union with God, for example.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.5k
    am illustrating that different beings have different expressions when they incarnate in physical material. These expressions are like a surface layer upon a subtle being, their complexity is dictated by the nature of the being. So by highlighting the differences in expression I am illustrating the difference, or from a perspective, the complexity of the being. I am talking about beings again, as I repeat physical material is a tool, of expression of the beings.Punshhh

    OK, if I understand, you are saying that the physical body is an expression of the underlying being. So if the physical body is more complex, so is the being which expresses it. We call that learning about the cause through the effect.

    The practice itself is not any more philosophy it is a practice of internal metamorphosis, where the only two points of focus are the self and the divinity (I leave this undefined as it is unique to the individual).Punshhh

    Is this a change in the underlying being, mentioned above. Can a being itself change in this way, or can you explain why you call this a metamorphosis rather than an understanding, or a revelation? Being a relation between the self and the divinity, I would call anything which result form this relation a revelation rather than a metamorphosis.

    *1: I agree an interest in the mysterious is a good start, a desire to understand reality somewhat. Or what is often the case, the individual has a calling of some sort through some kind of revelation. Giving them a motivation, or desire to delve into these matters.Punshhh

    We seem pretty much in agreement here at #1.

    2: When it comes to mystical practice, the individual would have read, or been taught about mysticism in religious practice. So would be motivated to get involved in some kind of practice.Punshhh

    This is where we start to go our separate ways. I don't see why the mystic needs to take up an organized, structured practise. If the focus is on a relationship between the self and the divinity, and one already has an inclination in this direction as described by #1, what is the purpose of such human rites? These rites are just a ceremony, creating the illusion of importance, when what is really important is the relationship between the self and the divinity. And the path to the divinity is through the inner self not through some pompous ceremony.

    3: When it comes to what is necessary to carry out this practice, the individual will follow a path of discovery perhaps of what is entailed. This is where some ground rules come into play as I mentioned in the beginning.Punshhh

    So we continue on our separate ways now. In western mysticism there are no such rules as to how one must proceed. The relationship is between the individual and God, and any rules involved are produced by this relationship. We do not abide by the rules of other human beings when communing with God, as this would be counter productive. The idea is to get the message directly from God, not through the medium of some human sacrament.

    4: Then there are more advanced levels of practice and involvement, which can be evidenced in the lives of the saints, or bodhisattvas and deities. This might entail yogic practices, or practices with the goal of reaching enlightenment, or nirvana, or union with God, for example.Punshhh

    Is this the point where you can drop the sanctimonious nonsense of rule following? To me, such rule following is to participate in a religion, but the mystic doesn't necessarily adhere to any particular religion.
  • Punshhh
    2k
    OK, if I understand, you are saying that the physical body is an expression of the underlying being. So if the physical body is more complex, so is the being which expresses it. We call that learning about the cause through the effect.
    Yes.

    Is this a change in the underlying being, mentioned above. Can a being itself change in this way, or can you explain why you call this a metamorphosis rather than an understanding, or a revelation? Being a relation between the self and the divinity, I would call anything which result form this relation a revelation rather than a metamorphosis.
    It is distinct from a revelation in that it is a growth, through stages. Also, by describing it I am referring to bodily processes rather than intellectual, or things being revealed to the mind. I agree in that there is some overlap between this growth and revelation, where the growth involves the mind.

    This is where we start to go our separate ways. I don't see why the mystic needs to take up an organized, structured practise. If the focus is on a relationship between the self and the divinity, and one already has an inclination in this direction as described by #1, what is the purpose of such human rites? These rites are just a ceremony, creating the illusion of importance, when what is really important is the relationship between the self and the divinity. And the path to the divinity is through the inner self not through some pompous ceremony.

    There is a stage of trying to break out of, or free of one's conditioning and establishing an outpost, or free place, free of conditioning, in the self. Where one can retreat from the world, one's conditioning. This has to be more than simply an intellectual exercise, it requires a psychological change, in which the person fashions something new in them selves and grows into it sufficiently that it can become an alternative dwelling place in the self. I used to call this questing, the aspirant is trying to break free and some kind of schooling within a tradition is useful, because at this stage the aspirant, as a novice does not really know what they are doing.

    I accept that we may go our separate ways here as you don't recognise what I am talking about. Your depiction of these processes is incorrect in saying pompous ceremony etc. And yes the path is through the inner self. I am talking of the processes involved in forging that link from the self to the divinity.

    The relationship is between the individual and God, and any rules involved are produced by this relationship
    Precisely, now perhaps we can stop going round the houses.

    The idea is to get the message directly from God, not through the medium of some human sacrament.
    It is more complicated than that because, the God, or divinity is not acting in this endeavour, it is the mystic. So how does the mystic know what to do? Praying on its own won't cut the mustard. When I say ground rules, it is a clumsy phraseology, because there is not much terminology around for this and what there is tends to fall within different religious traditions. What I am referring to in reality is natural processes in the human psyche and body which occur as this process develops. This is what I mean by initiation. A point where a threashold is reached and broken through, after which the narrative used before the breakthrough is insufficient and a new one is developed. This might be done through revelation and/or contemplation, or simply an adjustment in their daily lives, if they dont understand what happened. It is unique to the individual.

    Is this the point where you can drop the sanctimonious nonsense of rule following? To me, such rule following is to participate in a religion, but the mystic doesn't necessarily adhere to any particular religion
    Are you bored, or don't you like my tone? Yes I agree about not adhering to a religion, the mystic operates alone, in terms of their own development.

    Let me point out one of these rules (for use of a better word), I have already pointed this out, but it was ignored. The mystic reaches a threashold where to continue without offering up freely their autonomy, they risk inflating the ego and becoming an arbiter in their own performance. The ego must be subdued and used as a tool, or mechanism, not given control of the self. If it is the mystic will not progress past this point and will diverge into a fantasy of their own creation.

    So as to avoid inflating the ego, humility and offering up of autonomy is exercised. Once this point, or threashold is passed the ego falls into line, does not become inflated and the mystic can move forward.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.5k
    Are you bored, or don't you like my tone? Yes I agree about not adhering to a religion, the mystic operates alone, in terms of their own development.Punshhh

    I guess I was a bit bored so I thought I'd spice up the conversation a bit by down talking religious rituals. I've never been very interested in these procedures and I've considered mysticism as a way to practise spirituality without the necessity of any of these religious ceremonies and rules. I really don't think that mysticism requires adherence to any religious practises. That's why I disagree with your claim that the mystic needs to follow ground rules. Rules, and particular practises are the elements of specific religions, but all religions have aspects of mysticism. So the various rues of practise are unique to the various religions, while mysticism pervades all religions as an aspect of spirituality. Therefore we ought not say that any particular rules are necessary for mysticism.

    t is distinct from a revelation in that it is a growth, through stages. Also, by describing it I am referring to bodily processes rather than intellectual, or things being revealed to the mind. I agree in that there is some overlap between this growth and revelation, where the growth involves the mind.Punshhh

    Would you agree that a being is a composition of body and mind, so the "growth" referred to here is a growth of both body and mind? Or maybe it's an improvement of the relationship between these two.

    There is a stage of trying to break out of, or free of one's conditioning and establishing an outpost, or free place, free of conditioning, in the self. Where one can retreat from the world, one's conditioning. This has to be more than simply an intellectual exercise, it requires a psychological change, in which the person fashions something new in them selves and grows into it sufficiently that it can become an alternative dwelling place in the self. I used to call this questing, the aspirant is trying to break free and some kind of schooling within a tradition is useful, because at this stage the aspirant, as a novice does not really know what they are doing.Punshhh

    I accept that schooling is useful, but in the broadest sense. A person might be self taught, looking at the practises of one religion then another, and another, and so on, learning from them all, without taking up the practise of any of them. There is no necessity to follow precisely to one particular tradition.

    I can see how it would be useful to adhere to a specific practise, if one was trying to "break free" from another practise. This would be like taking up a new practise in order to break free from an old habit, but if the person is not currently involved in any type of spiritual practise, then on might be already free to dabble in many different religious practises while maintaining a strong spiritual inclination.

    And yes the path is through the inner self. I am talking of the processes involved in forging that link from the self to the divinity.Punshhh

    The point is that you are describing one such path, which is not the only path. And you talk about this path as if it is the genuine path. However, I believe that the most important aspect of mysticism is that there is not one particular path or process which one must follow. Each individual is different, and may forge the link between self and divinity in one's own way. There is no need for the mystic to proceed through a religious course. And adhering to such a course would most likely be detrimental because the religion would be an intermediary between the self and the divinity, impeding the desired relationship.

    It is more complicated than that because, the God, or divinity is not acting in this endeavour, it is the mystic.Punshhh

    I disagree with this. God must act, or else the presence of God, to the mystic, is simply made up, imaginary. In order that the God apprehended by the mystic is the real living God, this God must act, and it is through this activity that the mystic know the true actual God has been encountered.

    Let me point out one of these rules (for use of a better word), I have already pointed this out, but it was ignored.Punshhh

    It was ignored because you pulled this from a premise which I disagree with. So I argued the premise, and not what was derived from it.

    The mystic reaches a threashold where to continue without offering up freely their autonomy, they risk inflating the ego and becoming an arbiter in their own performance. The ego must be subdued and used as a tool, or mechanism, not given control of the self. If it is the mystic will not progress past this point and will diverge into a fantasy of their own creation.Punshhh

    I really don't see what ego has to do with this. I think you throw this in as a ruse. I believe that the mystic must offer up freely one's autonomy as a condition before even entering into mysticism. That's why I persisted so long in questioning the reasons why one might enter into a mystic course. So what you call subduing the ego is a necessary condition prior to becoming any sort of mystic at all. One might enter into a course of religious training for any of a variety of reasons, but this does not make the person a mystic. What makes the person a mystic is the reasons for entering into religious studies.

    So as to avoid inflating the ego, humility and offering up of autonomy is exercised. Once this point, or threashold is passed the ego falls into line, does not become inflated and the mystic can move forward.Punshhh

    Perhaps it is this condition which separates the mystic from someone who is simply engaged in religious activities.
  • Outlander
    608


    There are good and bad forces out there. Rather, some that can be harmful.

    If you're a skilled philosopher. And some kid comes up to you saying wisdom is stupid, prove me wrong or you're a fraud. Just exactly how inclined would you be to do so? Meanwhile.. others will be more than happy to oblige. Usually for a non reciprocal purpose.
  • Punshhh
    2k
    That's why I disagree with your claim that the mystic needs to follow ground rules. Rules, and particular practises are the elements of specific religions, but all religions have aspects of mysticism. So the various rues of practise are unique to the various religions, while mysticism pervades all religions as an aspect of spirituality. Therefore we ought not say that any particular rules are necessary for mysticism.

    The ground rules (this is my phrase and may not describe what I am referring to very well), could be viewed as a set of preconditions before spiritual development may occur. Indeed you do agree with the only ground rule I provided in your post, which I have bolded.

    Would you agree that a being is a composition of body and mind, so the "growth" referred to here is a growth of both body and mind? Or maybe it's an improvement of the relationship between these two.
    Both, this covers a large area of study, so would require a lot of teasing out.

    I can see how it would be useful to adhere to a specific practise, if one was trying to "break free" from another practise. This would be like taking up a new practise in order to break free from an old habit, but if the person is not currently involved in any type of spiritual practise, then on might be already free to dabble in many different religious practises while maintaining a strong spiritual inclination.
    Yes and this is the course I followed, but eventually I would always go back to the same source because it worked well for me, became a suitable template, structure to work with.

    The point is that you are describing one such path, which is not the only path. And you talk about this path as if it is the genuine path.
    This is your interpretation, I am talking of what I know, as each path is unique, how could I talk about another.

    However, I believe that the most important aspect of mysticism is that there is not one particular path or process which one must follow. Each individual is different, and may forge the link between self and divinity in one's own way.
    Yes, however I am trying to focus on universal traits within mysticism, traits, or processes entailed in all the routes due to the nature of the human body and humanity. There are certain processes which the mystic will inevitably go through involving body and mind as they grow. These are the ground rules I refer to, without them happening the mystic remains an observer rather than an actor.

    I disagree with this. God must act, or else the presence of God, to the mystic, is simply made up, imaginary. In order that the God apprehended by the mystic is the real living God, this God must act, and it is through this activity that the mystic know the true actual God has been encountered.
    Again, this is complicated a subtle relationship which requires a lot of teasing out. I a man simply saying that the divinity with which one is forging a link is already at the required stage of development, whereas the mystic is not and has to change herself to improve the connection, the divinity does not change to accommodate the mystic. Or if it does necessitate this, the divinity which changes is not actually changing, but appears to be to the mystic.

    It was ignored because you pulled this from a premise which I disagree with. So I argued the premise, and not what was derived from it.
    But you do agree with it, in this post (bolded).

    I really don't see what ego has to do with this. I think you throw this in as a ruse. I believe that the mystic must offer up freely one's autonomy as a condition before even entering into mysticism. That's why I persisted so long in questioning the reasons why one might enter into a mystic course. So what you call subduing the ego is a necessary condition prior to becoming any sort of mystic at all. One might enter into a course of religious training for any of a variety of reasons, but this does not make the person a mystic. What makes the person a mystic is the reasons for entering into religious studies.
    well I would say that where the line is between who is a mystic and who isnt is debatable and each commentator will draw their own view.

    Perhaps it is this condition which separates the mystic from someone who is simply engaged in religious activities.
    As a rule of thumb perhaps, although I think there are many people who engage in religious activities who are practicing mysticism, but who don't see it in that way, they might only see themselves as living a humble and caring life. I would say that are more appropriate definition is one who wishes to connect in some way with nature, or divinity, to develop an interactive relationship, so I a sense every human is a mystic as you said in the beginning.
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