• ZzzoneiroCosm
    983
    So how is this not the same thing as what I have said in that you already have to believe in mystical, supernatural things to go seeking it out?Harry Hindu

    If the mind can do a thing, that thing is not supernatural.

    The 'seeker' is seeking new vistas in the mind. It's a question of will; although belief - namely, a belief in the corruption, laziness and littleness of most minds - does play a role. The 'seeker' sees the people in his world and hopes the mind can do more than this. He seeks the more the mind can do. Nothing at all supernatural in that.

    Mystics who get plump with ego - or overexcited by young revelations - are the kind who make assertions about ultimate truth or minglings with the supernatural. You can divide mystics neatly into humble and ego-plump.
  • praxis
    2.4k
    I think you just posted examples of how we imagine what is beyond our little fishbowl of experience.Harry Hindu

    Did I? The things that I mentioned are pretty unremarkable and I think show the how limited our imagination is, and not how otherworldly expansive it could be in an altered state. Like our dreams, visions in altered states may offer insights about ourselves or the mind in general, but the elements are comprised of our worldly experiences. Even if there were a premonition that proved to be true, it is still limited to the world we know and human concerns.
  • Punshhh
    1.9k
    An asshole is going to be an asshole after ‘enlightenment’. They might even be an asshole with a more inflated ego, because they’ve experienced selflessness, oddly enough.
    Somehow I don't think an asshole would fit through the eye of the needle.

    I don’t think we can begin to imagine what is beyond our little fishbowl of experience.
    Nicely put.
    This would suggest to me that we are not going to figure it out with our little minds, but rather it is revealed to us, or not, as the case may be.

    RIP Little Richard.
  • 180 Proof
    1.4k
    So ecstatic - "A-wop-bop-a-loo-bop-a-wop-bam-boom!"

    :death: :flower:
  • praxis
    2.4k
    We thought of life by analogy with a journey, a pilgrimage, which had a serious purpose at the end, and the thing was to get to that end, success or whatever it is, maybe heaven after you’re dead. But we missed the point the whole way along. It was a musical thing and you were supposed to sing or to dance while the music was being played. — Alan Watts
  • javra
    1k


    Ha!

    Two or three angels
    Came near to the earth.
    They saw a fat church.
    Little black streams of people
    Came and went in continually.
    And the angels were puzzled
    To know why the people went thus,
    And why they stayed so long within.
    — Stephen Crane
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.2k
    I accept that time is involved in these processes to quite a fundamental degree. I want to draw you back the what I am aiming for which is a relation between, in a sense different apparatus in a person's psyche, or being. The easiest way to explain this is if one considers that we have a soul, this soul is (for arguments sake) pure and divine. It does though have life, a past, a present and future and it is myself, but ordinarily I am somehow not aware of it, or at least can't distinguish it from the limited self. The orientation is to achieve an alignment of the person of the limited self and the person of the soul, such that the goals, desires, understanding and motivations of both is one and the same. The soul though being perfect cannot change, so the limited self being imperfect will change to become perfect.Punshhh

    OK, but I'm having difficulty grasping what you mean by "pure and divine", "perfect". I've been told before, that if I want to better myself, I need to apprehend this (let's call it an ideal), because I won't be able to truly judge better from worse, without some sort of scale which would be based in the ideal, the notion of perfection. But I don't completely apprehend that need. Can't I just judge one thing as better than another thing, in relation to a third thing? So the one thing is closer to the third thing than the other thing, and therefore better. This would make the third thing the best, of all those three things, without the necessity of being perfect. Now I need to question what makes this third thing the best, and I can't just relate it to a fourth thing, and a fifth thing ad infinitum, so maybe I really do need an ideal to ground the notion of "better".

    To put your perfect soul, in relation to the temporal terms which I used, I would say that the perfection, or ideal, which I am looking for, is the perfect division between past and future. This would be the perfect and unchanging 'now', the eternal present. All change, and activity which has already occurred is in the past, and all possible change, which hasn't yet occurred is in the future. At the perfect 'now', as the division between what has occurred, and what has not occurred, there cannot be any change, just the pure and divine division between past and future. That is where we find the soul, at this dimensionless point which divides future from past.

    But that seems all wrong. In reality, all change and activity occurs precisely at the present. The past, as what's already occurred is fixed, static and unchanging, while the future is full of static possibilities which do not change until time passes to bring them forward, and fixed in the past. This leaves the present as an imperfect division, because it is that time when things are changing, and perfection is defined in terms of unchangingness. Shouldn't we place the soul, as existing at the present, within this category of being imperfect? Now my ideal, my principle, or scale for judging better and worse, is grounded in imperfection rather than perfection. My ideal is an ideal of imperfection. My goal can be described as moving away from imperfection, rather than moving toward perfection. But if I'm moving away from imperfection aren't I necessarily moving toward perfection? Even if I have absolutely no idea of what perfection is, having only been shown imperfections, by knowing that I am moving away from imperfection, I know that I am moving toward perfection. But I've really just made a circle. Again, how do I know that change is associated with imperfection? I only got that idea because people have said that changeless is associated with perfection, so I associated change with imperfection. What if change itself is really the ideal, perfection?
  • Punshhh
    1.9k
    OK, but I'm having difficulty grasping what you mean by "pure and divine", "perfect". I've been told before, that if I want to better myself, I need to apprehend this (let's call it an ideal), because I won't be able to truly judge better from worse, without some sort of scale which would be based in the ideal, the notion of perfection. But I don't completely apprehend that need. Can't I just judge one thing as better than another thing, in relation to a third thing? So the one thing is closer to the third thing than the other thing, and therefore better. This would make the third thing the best, of all those three things, without the necessity of being perfect. Now I need to question what makes this third thing the best, and I can't just relate it to a fourth thing, and a fifth thing ad infinitum, so maybe I really do need an ideal to ground the notion of "better".
    I will try to address your concerns here. But first I want to put in context what I have been talking about in this thread. What I am referring to is a set of mystical practices, practices which are precisely targeted at a process developed to help a natural growth within a person, rather like practicing Yoga for your health. In this the concern is relationships between aspects of the self of the practitioners so entirely internal. It is the case that the practitioner is living in our world simultaneously to this, but the practice is the focus and in this time is of little importance other than its role in the animation of events. I do accept that time does on occasion become the focus of such practice.

    So going back to your concerns. People may tell you to look to perfection of some kind to better ones self, but it is nothing more than a platitude I think, like if you eat more carrots you will have better eye sight. As for judging better from worse, this depends on the perspective when the judgement is made. In mystical practice this is contemplated, but no judgement is made other than what is perceived to be appropriate for the practice. Of course one is free to come the judgements for personal consideration, opinion etc, but this is separate from the practice. I should point out that I don't think the human mind is equipped to understand reality, this is not to say that it is not equipped to behold it, but rather to work it out unaided.

    I think that attempting to position the soul in your time theory might be useful, but I don't think we can find the truth of the situation, but what makes sense to us. I am familiar with your thoughts on the metaphysics on time, which I broadly agree with, but haven't enquired into much myself as I am not so concerned with the metaphysics of physical reality. Rather that physical material is a tool for the expression and development of being and that being is of more interest.

    I perceive a problem for the human mind in coming to a definitive metaphysics, due to not having any idea where reality begins, or ends, or how deep it goes. Rather like trying to peddle without peddles. I am open to being corrected on this, but don't hold my breath.
  • Harry Hindu
    3.2k
    If the mind can do a thing, that thing is not supernatural.ZzzoneiroCosm
    Exactly. It would be natural.

    The 'seeker' is seeking new vistas in the mind. It's a question of will; although belief - namely, a belief in the corruption, laziness and littleness of most minds - does play a role. The 'seeker' sees the people in his world and hopes the mind can do more than this. He seeks the more the mind can do. Nothing at all supernatural in that.

    Mystics who get plump with ego - or overexcited by young revelations - are the kind who make assertions about ultimate truth or minglings with the supernatural. You can divide mystics neatly into humble and ego-plump.
    ZzzoneiroCosm
    This post contains two contradictions:

    The first part seems to me a delusion of grandeur - the type you equate with "mystics who get plump with ego" later in your post. It would fall into your ego-plump category.

    If a mind can do a thing, and that thing is not supernatural, then expecting more than the mind can do would be expecting something supernatural, not natural, from the mind.
  • Harry Hindu
    3.2k
    Did I? The things that I mentioned are pretty unremarkable and I think show the how limited our imagination is, and not how otherworldly expansive it could be in an altered state. Like our dreams, visions in altered states may offer insights about ourselves or the mind in general, but the elements are comprised of our worldly experiences. Even if there were a premonition that proved to be true, it is still limited to the world we know and human concerns.praxis
    You said,
    I don’t think we can begin to imagine what is beyond our little fishbowl of experience.praxis
    Obviously, we have begun to imagine. We may be the first imaginers in the universe.

    Now, you're saying that our imagination is limited. Well sure, nothing is infinite, except maybe the (multi-)universe in space and time. If what you mean is that fact may be stranger than we could imagine, then we could talk about that.
  • ZzzoneiroCosm
    983
    If a mind can do a thing, and that thing is not supernatural, then expecting more than the mind can do would be expecting something supernatural, not natural, from the mind.Harry Hindu

    No one said anything about expecting the mind to do more than it can do. That's a phrase you invented.

    It's a question of will: willing the mind to do more than most minds can do. Again, nothing supernatural in that.




    As I said at the outset: A fruitful dialog between the two of us is unlikely. You're entrenched. You want to negate and not to understand. That's your prerogative. But I'm not interested in continuing our talk.
  • Harry Hindu
    3.2k
    No one said anything about expecting the mind to do more than it can do. That's a phrase you invented.ZzzoneiroCosm
    :meh:
    The 'seeker' sees the people in his world and hopes the mind can do more than this. He seeks the more the mind can do. Nothing at all supernatural in that.ZzzoneiroCosm
    :roll:



    It's a question of will: willing the mind to do more than most minds can do. Again, nothing supernatural in that.ZzzoneiroCosm
    :meh:
    Mystics who get plump with ego - or overexcited by young revelations - are the kind who make assertions about ultimate truth or minglings with the supernatural.Harry Hindu
    :roll:



    As I said at the outset: A fruitful dialog between the two of us is unlikely. You're entrenched. You want to negate and not to understand. That's your prerogative. But I'm not interested in continuing our talk.ZzzoneiroCosm
    Yes, I am entrenched in my idea that ideas need to be coherent and consistent to qualify as knowledge.
  • ZzzoneiroCosm
    983
    Yes, I am entrenched in my idea that ideas need to be coherent and consistent to be considered knowledge.Harry Hindu

    Your entrenchment is taking a toll on your reading comprehension. You're projecting contradictions.

    Experimenting, with a will to psychical expansion and odyssey, to determine if my mind can do more than most minds - is different from:

    ...expecting more than the mind can do...Harry Hindu



    You see a contradiction because you haven't absorbed my words in good faith. Fruitless. Enjoy the day.
  • Harry Hindu
    3.2k
    to determine if my mind can do more than most minds..ZzzoneiroCosm
    is a great example of the thought process of
    Mystics who get plump with egoZzzoneiroCosm

    The fact that you don't see the former as an example of the latter is an indication that you are probably talking about yourself as someone who thinks that their mind can do more than most minds - I mean how egotistical is that?

    And why would a mind that can do more than most minds want to communicate this fact and what it can do to those minds can that can't do what it can do, other than to gloat?

    Is critical thinking no longer a requirement in philosophy?
  • ZzzoneiroCosm
    983


    Many, many minds can do more than most minds. :fire: :halo: :fire:
  • Harry Hindu
    3.2k
    Many, many minds can do more than most minds.ZzzoneiroCosm
    This puzzle piece doesn't integrate with the rest of the puzzle that you presented. This piece is for a different puzzle.
  • praxis
    2.4k
    You said,
    I don’t think we can begin to imagine what is beyond our little fishbowl of experience.
    — praxis
    Obviously, we have begun to imagine.
    Harry Hindu

    I wasn't claiming that we can't begin to imagine.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.2k
    Rather that physical material is a tool for the expression and development of being and that being is of more interest.Punshhh

    I agree, "being" is the starting point, the point of interest. But for me, "being" leads straight to temporality. It's a temporal concept, and there's no avoiding this. Sure you might prefer your type of mystic approach, go to the guide and say lead me, but the guide will inevitably lead you down that winding path toward temporality, because there is nowhere else to go with this interest in "being".

    In English we have a term, "happening", which means occurring, as events. And "being" in modern, western lingo, is sometimes replaced by "happening". Notice that "being" might signify a static unchanging existence, while "happening" signifies activity. Happening is similar to the ancient concept of "becoming", which is often contrasted with "being". "Being" signifies something staying the same as time passes (the suffix "ing" indicates that time is passing), while "becoming" signifies something which is changing while time is passing. Time is the underlying theme. So I approach "being" from a western background, seeing the world as happening, and wondering what is happening. From this empirical, scientific background, there is no "being" for me, being is some sort of mystical ideal, what you've called a platitude.

    So there is this mystical concept, "being", which doesn't really relate to anything real in the world, in the way that I understand the world, as consisting of events, happenings. But let's say you and I have both had an interest in this mystical concept, "being", so we've delved into it. You appear to have opted to enroll in some sort of formal mystical training, with a guide, while I have taken the philosophical approach, which is to look into as many different philosophies as possible, approaching the subject from many different directions, and in a sense to be self-guided because I can choose my directions of approach. So I'll refer back to your opening post in this thread:

    Part of the reason for coming to sites like this was for me to try to integrate some of this with the philosophical tradition, but this has not been easy, not withstanding my belief that they are not incompatible. I find the philosophy quite rigid.Punshhh

    I think you express the wrong attitude toward the philosophical approach here. The opposite of what you say about the rigidity of the philosophical approach, is actually closer to the truth. In the philosophical tradition there is a vast array of different approaches to the same issue, being. As you know, philosophers do not agree. The problem with the philosophical approach though, is that there is far too much variance, so unless you go to an organized school, a university or something, and have professors, as guides, who point toward the appropriate material, you might get lost, overwhelmed by the vast material, perhaps wasting a lifetime getting nowhere. So you have chosen a guide instead, but the guide gives you that rigidity of a singular approach, the way that the guide knows. Unless you recognize when you have gotten as far as that guide can take you, and you move along to another guide, in the same way that we switch professors and courses in university, you will not get as far as you might want to get.

    Quite, confirmation, or reaching a perceived goal is a side issue. But rather a growth, or progression along a path is what is important, rather like the growing of an oak tree. The acorn cannot jump from acorn to mature tree in one step without growing through all the millions of smal steps in between.Punshhh

    Notice how you describe your progression as a type of growth, which is a becoming, rather than a being. This is an odd tendency. We want to refer to ourselves as beings, human beings, such that the self has a temporal extension as the unchanging "I", yet when we describe ourselves we describe a changing, growing creature.

    The natural inclination appears to be to relate to ourselves as beings, something which is, like Descartes said, "I am". However scientific endeavors demonstrate that what we are is changing, growing, evolving things. By what means would I say that I am the same "being" that I was twenty years ago? So science provides no place for the "I", the self. The perception is that expressed by ancient Greece as "becoming". Plato and Aristotle demonstrated and incompatibility between being and becoming, so the concept of "matter" was proposed to reconcile them, to bridge the gap.

    I think that the concept of matter provided the basis for a revolution in western mysticism. In pre-Socratic times mysticism consisted of ancient myths concerning the relationship between the gods and the world, as well as the relationship between souls and bodies. These relationships were not well understood, and the myths were very sketchy. After Aristotle the main focus of western mysticism became the nature of matter, whether it's real, whether its inherently evil, etc.. Matter is a central concept in the western world, but there are two very distinct ways of looking at matter. The scientific approach takes matter for granted. The mystical approach does not attribute any necessity to matter.

    It is the case that the practitioner is living in our world simultaneously to this, but this is the focus and in this time is of little importance other than its role in the animation of events.Punshhh

    I see this as the key point, and the reason why time becomes so important. We apprehend ourselves immediately as "a being" because we have memories which provide the base for an "I" or "self", extended in time. However, we also have to relate to what you call here "the animation of events". And this is a very practical issue, which opens up all the questions of freedom, constraint, and agency. We simply cannot deal adequately with any practical issues without having the required understanding of the role of time in the animation of events. The extent of the requirement varies by degree, depending on the subject. But to ourselves, as beings, time only appears as a particular extension, or dimension, of existence. The temporal extension of the self provides the testimony for this. So there are two seemingly incompatible notions of time at play here. One plays a role in my static identity as "I", and the other plays a role in the animation of events.
  • Statilius
    60
    Though such experience cannot always be expressed, at times poetry has the power to break open an illumined space:

    The Far End of the Garden

    at the far end of the garden
    I kneel and weep for the world -
    in the simple shelter of tall beans,
    old fence, fragrant dill, and
    sweeping asparagus fronds,
    it is there that I weep for the world
    in the silence of morning light.

    it is the ecstatic summer.
    it is the song and the reconciliation.
    it is the ripened fruit.
    it is the rain, the earth, and the impossible sky.

    (at the far end of the garden,
    I am born, grow old, and die.)

    it is the sweet clover and the mint,
    it is the beetle and the syrphid fly,
    it is the borage blue and the burning bush.
    it is the ecstatic summer.

    like one who has finished his work
    and knows so for certain,
    I examine a tattered leaf.
    spontaneously present,
    without fear or expectations,
    I study the movements of a worm.

    Statilius
  • Punshhh
    1.9k
    I agree, "being" is the starting point, the point of interest. But for me, "being" leads straight to temporality. It's a temporal concept, and there's no avoiding this. Sure you might prefer your type of mystic approach, go to the guide and say lead me, but the guide will inevitably lead you down that winding path toward temporality, because there is nowhere else to go with this interest in "being".
    You say being is the starting point and is of interest and then limit it in your view of it as a concept and therefore subject to time. This seems to not see the baby in the bath water.

    In English we have a term, "happening", which means occurring, as events. And "being" in modern, western lingo, is sometimes replaced by "happening". Notice that "being" might signify a static unchanging existence, while "happening" signifies activity. Happening is similar to the ancient concept of "becoming", which is often contrasted with "being". "Being" signifies something staying the same as time passes (the suffix "ing" indicates that time is passing), while "becoming" signifies something which is changing while time is passing. Time is the underlying theme. So I approach "being" from a western background, seeing the world as happening, and wondering what is happening. From this empirical, scientific background, there is no "being" for me, being is some sort of mystical ideal, what you've called a platitude.
    You do acknowledge here that there is at least the notion of being as something beyond the temporality of concepts. You then reduce it to a meaningless aspect of the physical world.

    So there is this mystical concept, "being", which doesn't really relate to anything real in the world, in the way that I understand the world, as consisting of events, happenings. But let's say you and I have both had an interest in this mystical concept, "being", so we've delved into it. You appear to have opted to enroll in some sort of formal mystical training, with a guide, while I have taken the philosophical approach, which is to look into as many different philosophies as possible, approaching the subject from many different directions, and in a sense to be self-guided because I can choose my directions of approach.
    Likewise, I am a veritable magpie for collecting philosophical, religious and mystical concepts and traditions. It has though become distilled into a very simple philosophy and view.

    What I have been doing here is suggesting some ground rules from which to explore the issue. Just like the philosophical foundations, or ground rules which are required for a discussion of metaphysics for example. These ground rules are necessary so as to be discussing genuine mysticism as practiced down the ages by people who take the discipline seriously. Rather than skirting around the edges which people tend to do who have not studied the discipline, just like with metaphysics.

    I haven't really been discussing my personal view, or practice, but rather the equivalent of an academic approach, but for mysticism. Which unfortunately doesn't have much in the way of a formal academic structure in western learning.

    I think you express the wrong attitude toward the philosophical approach here. The opposite of what you say about the rigidity of the philosophical approach, is actually closer to the truth. In the philosophical tradition there is a vast array of different approaches to the same issue, being. As you know, philosophers do not agree. The problem with the philosophical approach though, is that there is far too much variance, so unless you go to an organized school, a university or something, and have professors, as guides, who point toward the appropriate material, you might get lost, overwhelmed by the vast material, perhaps wasting a lifetime getting nowhere. So you have chosen a guide instead, but the guide gives you that rigidity of a singular approach, the way that the guide knows. Unless you recognize when you have gotten as far as that guide can take you, and you move along to another guide, in the same way that we switch professors and courses in university, you will not get as far as you might want to get.
    Yes some varied background reading and approaching from more than one established path of entry into the discipline. Along with talking with a diverse group of adherents does help one to get a rounded take on the discipline. I suppose what I was getting at in my first post that you reference is that often the philosopher one engages with will require you to use established terminology, follow the ground rules and will be critical, or dismissive of anything which does not fit therein.

    Notice how you describe your progression as a type of growth, which is a becoming, rather than a being. This is an odd tendency. We want to refer to ourselves as beings, human beings, such that the self has a temporal extension as the unchanging "I", yet when we describe ourselves we describe a changing, growing creature.
    This falls into what I described a minute ago as skirting around the edges of the issue while not adhering to the ground rules. I hadn't gotten around to any ground rules regarding being, or self, or "I"

    The natural inclination appears to be to relate to ourselves as beings, something which is, like Descartes said, "I am". However scientific endeavors demonstrate that what we are is changing, growing, evolving things. By what means would I say that I am the same "being" that I was twenty years ago? So science provides no place for the "I", the self. The perception is that expressed by ancient Greece as "becoming". Plato and Aristotle demonstrated and incompatibility between being and becoming, so the concept of "matter" was proposed to reconcile them, to bridge the gap.
    Mysticism delves beyond the intellectual, or mind derived understanding of being, self and "I".

    I think that the concept of matter provided the basis for a revolution in western mysticism. In pre-Socratic times mysticism consisted of ancient myths concerning the relationship between the gods and the world, as well as the relationship between souls and bodies. These relationships were not well understood, and the myths were very sketchy. After Aristotle the main focus of western mysticism became the nature of matter, whether it's real, whether its inherently evil, etc.. Matter is a central concept in the western world, but there are two very distinct ways of looking at matter. The scientific approach takes matter for granted. The mystical approach does not attribute any necessity to matter.
    I don't really perceive a problem, or crisis within mysticism from the modern views and discoveries about matter, physical material.

    I see this as the key point, and the reason why time becomes so important. We apprehend ourselves immediately as "a being" because we have memories which provide the base for an "I" or "self", extended in time. However, we also have to relate to what you call here "the animation of events". And this is a very practical issue, which opens up all the questions of freedom, constraint, and agency. We simply cannot deal adequately with any practical issues without having the required understanding of the role of time in the animation of events. The extent of the requirement varies by degree, depending on the subject. But to ourselves, as beings, time only appears as a particular extension, or dimension, of existence. The temporal extension of the self provides the testimony for this. So there are two seemingly incompatible notions of time at play here. One plays a role in my static identity as "I", and the other plays a role in the animation of events.
    Yes you point to a potential conflict between temporality and permanence/perfection. Like I have said physical material, as far as I am concerned in this endeavour, is a tool of expression of being. Time and space, spacetime is an aspect of physical extension and material.

    I know that this last point could become a point of contention here and I do accept that mysticism does become concerned with matter and time. But only really at a more advanced level and we would need to have established the ground rules of discussion before reaching a point where this can be adequately expressed.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.2k
    You say being is the starting point and is of interest and then limit it in your view of it as a concept and therefore subject to time. This seems to not see the baby in the bath water.Punshhh

    I don't see your point here. Being is a concept. If you are thinking of something other than a concept, you are not thinking about "being", but "a being". And any concept is limited by the way it is understood. But that's a big issue, because the way that we understand a concept is tempered by our education and cultural background, and the conditions for understanding extend into intuition and innate factors. So I might understand "being" in a way completely different from you, and this fact makes Platonism (within which a concept is supposed to have independent existence) very doubtful.

    To me, this elucidates a very important distinction between empirical knowledge and mystical knowledge. In the empirical sciences we observe physical things, and describe these objects according to the limits of the thing, as observed. In mystical knowledge we are describing limits which inhere within the knower. These limits are mysterious, because we do not directly observe them, and we cannot truthfully say that they are a product of the culture. So for example, my education, and my culture, contribute to the limits of my understanding of "being", but I go beyond this in my imagination and speculation, producing new, original limits, which are distinct from those that others impress upon me. Since the nature of these limits, how they get created or where they come from, is very mysterious, the study of these is properly mysticism.

    Mysticism delves beyond the intellectual, or mind derived understanding of being, self and "I".Punshhh

    Right, because "understanding" implies limits already produced, so to approach the process which creates the understanding, and this is the truly mysterious, we must delve beyond the understanding itself. This type of knowledge cannot be properly called understanding.

    You do acknowledge here that there is at least the notion of being as something beyond the temporality of concepts. You then reduce it to a meaningless aspect of the physical world.Punshhh

    I don't understand this criticism. By "temporal concept" I mean a concept based in time. And I don't understand time to be an aspect of the physical world, it's more like something which makes the physical world possible. As such time is therefore mysterious, and a subject of mysticism. It's existence is not evident through any senses and so it is not revealed to, and cannot be a subject of empirical science. In this way time is very similar to matter. We never sense matter itself, only various configurations of matter, the configuration rather than the matter is what is sensed Both time and matter are taken for granted by empirical science, but since they cannot be in anyway sensed, they are beyond empirical science's capacity of study, being limited to things observed. That's why the nature of these things falls into the category of mysterious, and it is only mysticism which can properly apprehend them. Life, the soul, falls into this category as well. All three, soul, time, and matter are aspects of being, and are subjects of mysticism. It wouldn't be correct to reduce mysticism to the study of one or the other, because one cannot be properly apprehended without apprehending its relation to the others.

    What I have been doing here is suggesting some ground rules from which to explore the issue. Just like the philosophical foundations, or ground rules which are required for a discussion of metaphysics for example. These ground rules are necessary so as to be discussing genuine mysticism as practiced down the ages by people who take the discipline seriously. Rather than skirting around the edges which people tend to do who have not studied the discipline, just like with metaphysics.Punshhh

    I don't see the distinction between metaphysics and mysticism. Metaphysics deals with the very same subject matter as mysticism. If anything, one might be a form of the other, like metaphysics might be a form of mysticism, or vise versa. But since we can go either way with this, metaphysics is a form of mysticism, or mysticism is a form of metaphysics, this induces the probability that they are actually both just different words for the same thing. As such, I can see that it would be an extremely arduous task to establish proper ground rules, or any principles which would be used to recognize a "genuine mysticism". However, in metaphysics it is not difficult to distinguish the different degrees of seriousness which people assign to the discipline. The serious devotees are identifiable by the quality of the discussion.

    This falls into what I described a minute ago as skirting around the edges of the issue while not adhering to the ground rules. I hadn't gotten around to any ground rules regarding being, or self, or "I"Punshhh

    There's very good reason for skirting the edges when approaching a subject , and this is to avoid narrowing it down too soon. It's very easy to get distracted by one particular aspect of a thing, and focus on that aspect, as if it is the only important aspect, or the essence of the thing, or something like that. Then you don't get the whole big picture, zooming in quickly to focus on one particular part. So the skirting is necessary to determine the required scope of the enquiry, prior to laying down any ground rules. Circumscribing the whole of the subject is an act of unification whereas singling out a particular part without first establishing a strong unity, would be divisive. Notice, a form of synthesis is prior to analysis, because we need to establish what it is which is to be analyzed.

    I think that in the case of mysticism it might be a very good idea to keep skirting for a long time. The subject matter, by its very nature, is not immediately evident, hidden, mysterious, so we need to take our time in finding the things which belong in this category. What I find is that there is an element of the mysterious which permeates all knowledge, of all things, so there is a need to apply some mystical principles in all of our practises, making allowance for the unknown. Mysticism is what protects us and saves us from things like superstition and paranoia in our endeavours, which are a fear of the mysterious.

    I know that this last point could become a point of contention here and I do accept that mysticism does become concerned with matter and time. But only really at a more advanced level and we would need to have established the ground rules of discussion before reaching a point where this can be adequately expressed.Punshhh

    As you can see, I'm not big on ground rules of discussion. I think ground rules may be a little bit counterproductive to the mystical process. By limiting the subject through application of ground rules, we might sort of create an understanding, thereby negating the mysteriousness which is actually supposed to be the subject. Understanding is created by dispelling the mysteriousness. So I think we really need to relax the rules, allowing freedom of discussion, until we develop a better idea of what we are talking about.
  • Outlander
    357
    Ah, mysticism. Where to begin. Suppose I'd start by telling a bit about my own beliefs then continue to my understanding of the concept more broadly. As a religious person (biased I know) you tend to believe in either a 'God' or 'Power' that can influence the world we live in either drastically or minutely either following scientific law or not. You may also be told of another form of the same that is to be avoided. Often you are told pursuit of either ie. supernatural power is to be avoided in this life and is taboo. A forbidden fruit if you will. That if there is a need and it is willed it will occur ie. a miracle and to essentially leave it alone. I believe this and haven't given it much thought beyond this.

    Generally speaking I imagine it's much of the same. Either the acknowledgement or attempt to study or understand or for some even control and pursue the metaphysical or supernatural, usually for some tangible benefit to the individual. Premonitions, auras, thetan levels, chakras, chi, the list goes on.

    I remember a while back I was reading about 'magical thinking' and how it should be avoided. The author of the article mentioned if/when Jesus walked on water it was not just 'magically done' rather the particles of the water were adjusted so they were much more dense and able to be walked on, intentionally of course.

    Something to keep in mind though. There's a popular story in a certain religious book of two high priests by an altar, each with an offering, and each aligned to an opposing entity both together for the purpose of showing their followers whose would be accepted/consumed by fire from Heaven and thus is real. Story goes one poured water on their offering and shortly after it was consumed with fire while the others were not. Then I remembered an old chemistry kit I had a while back. Two bottles. One was a powder. The other a liquid solvent, not too different looking from ordinary water. You could mix the two and after a while a bright, dazzling flame would appear and burn for a pretty good while. Who's to say their offering wasn't coated with this powder and their 'water' was not this solvent? Another example. Say a high priest comes to an enemy kingdom in Biblical times holding a staff and demands to see their high priests. Saying they have been misled and are worshipping false gods and that he has been instructed to show them 'the truth' by ways of a divine act so their people may be saved. They agree to see him and he offers them to inspect his staff to see that it is real. They all pass it around and examine it very closely. Now say the staff has been coated with a fast acting and dissipating hallucinogen that he has become immune to by frequent exposure. He throws it by their feet and 'calls forth a snake' over and over making hissing sounds in the process. Let's say the staff is also very identical in appearance to one. They all may very well 'see' one before their eyes then shortly after 'see' it turn back into a staff and immediately inform their rulers this kingdom is sent from God to save them. To name a few examples.

    Point being you can easily place yourself in a position where you avoid rational thought and skepticism when you place 'mysticism' foremost. Some say "sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" and they may be right. Imagine being in the 9th century with a lighter. Or the 12th century with a printing press. Even today in some places. Imagine seeing a lizard regrow its tail, a starfish regrow its limbs, or an 'immortal jellyfish' become mortally wounded and revert back to a polyp only to live again. You'd be amazed. Sure we're told these things happen because 'that's just how their cells are' and 'that's just what they do'. Ok? Lol. If you say so. Maybe the cells in God's brain create humans, disasters, and raise the dead because 'that's just what they do' while you're at it. Rambling but just my thoughts on the subject.
  • Punshhh
    1.9k
    I don't see your point here. Being is a concept. If you are thinking of something other than a concept, you are not thinking about "being", but "a being". And any concept is limited by the way it is understood. But that's a big issue, because the way that we understand a concept is tempered by our education and cultural background, and the conditions for understanding extend into intuition and innate factors. So I might understand "being" in a way completely different from you, and this fact makes Platonism (within which a concept is supposed to have independent existence) very doubtful.
    I think we need to see if we can agree on what being is here. By reducing it to a concept we limit it to a product of intellectual deliberation. Or if we are a bit more generous, a product of mental life. A product which requires being to exist, as it is a content of being. But these contents are abstractions, abstractions produced by the being they are questioning. Perhaps there are difficulties in seeing the wood for the trees here. My cat has being (a being), she knows/is her being equally as I am and know my being. She doesn't require intellectualisation to be. Therefore neither do I, so in expelling my intellectualisation of being (putting it to one side), I can experience my being absent conceptualisation. I find actually that I have a better understanding, or knowledge of my being while in that state. The trees in my garden have being, arguably they know their being better than my cat knows it, (they have less intellectualisation than the cat) or at the very least to the same degree. Indeed the cat may well be more aware, have better knowledge, of my being than I am/have.

    To me, this elucidates a very important distinction between empirical knowledge and mystical knowledge. In the empirical sciences we observe physical things, and describe these objects according to the limits of the thing, as observed. In mystical knowledge we are describing limits which inhere within the knower. These limits are mysterious, because we do not directly observe them, and we cannot truthfully say that they are a product of the culture. So for example, my education, and my culture, contribute to the limits of my understanding of "being", but I go beyond this in my imagination and speculation, producing new, original limits, which are distinct from those that others impress upon me. Since the nature of these limits, how they get created or where they come from, is very mysterious, the study of these is properly mysticism.
    But these limits you talk of are intellectual constructs, my cat knows nothing of them. I know more of the being of my cat through sitting with my cat than through intellectualisation. Where are the limits in this sitting?

    Mysticism is the study of things beyond intellectualisation, as I have repeatedly pointed out. A fact which I keep pointing out to Banno, in which he finds himself speechless. Quite a good response I think. Oh, indeed here it is referenced in your post:

    Mysticism delves beyond the intellectual, or mind derived understanding of being, self and "I".
    — Punshhh

    Right, because "understanding" implies limits already produced, so to approach the process which creates the understanding, and this is the truly mysterious, we must delve beyond the understanding itself. This type of knowledge cannot be properly called understanding.
    How are you going to address that which is beyond intellectual understanding, other than through mysticism?

    I don't understand this criticism. By "temporal concept" I mean a concept based in time. And I don't understand time to be an aspect of the physical world, it's more like something which makes the physical world possible. As such time is therefore mysterious, and a subject of mysticism. It's existence is not evident through any senses and so it is not revealed to, and cannot be a subject of empirical science. In this way time is very similar to matter. We never sense matter itself, only various configurations of matter, the configuration rather than the matter is what is sensed Both time and matter are taken for granted by empirical science, but since they cannot be in anyway sensed, they are beyond empirical science's capacity of study, being limited to things observed. That's why the nature of these things falls into the category of mysterious, and it is only mysticism which can properly apprehend them. Life, the soul, falls into this category as well. All three, soul, time, and matter are aspects of being, and are subjects of mysticism. It wouldn't be correct to reduce mysticism to the study of one or the other, because one cannot be properly apprehended without apprehending its relation to the others.
    I think the key here is the phrase, spacetime, as far as I am concerned space and time are two sides of the same coin, both necessary parts of extension. Matter, material and it's attendant time, is an innate product of this extension and cannot exist, or be regarded as existing absent the time involved in that extension until the duration of it has ended. This is what Einstein told us, is it not.

    I agree that time and material are of interest to the mystic, but as I have already said, it is not what is important initially in mystical enquiry and the study of it is only in regard to how being is developed and expressed through extension, or incarnation. This is very complicated and for more advanced levels of mysticism, as I understand and regard it.

    I don't see the distinction between metaphysics and mysticism. Metaphysics deals with the very same subject matter as mysticism. If anything, one might be a form of the other, like metaphysics might be a form of mysticism, or vise versa. But since we can go either way with this, metaphysics is a form of mysticism, or mysticism is a form of metaphysics, this induces the probability that they are actually both just different words for the same thing. As such, I can see that it would be an extremely arduous task to establish proper ground rules, or any principles which would be used to recognize a "genuine mysticism". However, in metaphysics it is not difficult to distinguish the different degrees of seriousness which people assign to the discipline. The serious devotees are identifiable by the quality of the discussion.

    The distinction is simple, metaphysics is the study of what the intellect can say about existence and is couched in the history and dictates of academia etc. Mysticism rejects this initially and enquires into the same through other means namely life and experience. The intellect is necessary to do this, but only in the interpretation and understanding of it. Also in the contemplation of it, but not in the intellectualisation used in academia. This is perhaps a controversial distinction, which is partly why the mystic steals clear of academia initially.

    There's very good reason for skirting the edges when approaching a subject , and this is to avoid narrowing it down too soon. It's very easy to get distracted by one particular aspect of a thing, and focus on that aspect, as if it is the only important aspect, or the essence of the thing, or something like that. Then you don't get the whole big picture, zooming in quickly to focus on one particular part. So the skirting is necessary to determine the required scope of the enquiry, prior to laying down any ground rules. Circumscribing the whole of the subject is an act of unification whereas singling out a particular part without first establishing a strong unity, would be divisive. Notice, a form of synthesis is prior to analysis, because we need to establish what it is which is to be analyzed.

    Yes, I accept this, although I think it necessary to define what mysticism is and how it differs from philosophy and visa versa. So as not to confuse metaphysics and mysticism.

    I think that in the case of mysticism it might be a very good idea to keep skirting for a long time. The subject matter, by its very nature, is not immediately evident, hidden, mysterious, so we need to take our time in finding the things which belong in this category. What I find is that there is an element of the mysterious which permeates all knowledge, of all things, so there is a need to apply some mystical principles in all of our practises, making allowance for the unknown. Mysticism is what protects us and saves us from things like superstition and paranoia in our endeavours, which are a fear of the mysterious.
    Mysticism avoids this by focussing initially on the self, the person and not getting bogged down in what is not understood about the external world. These can be looked into much further down the line when the aspirant understands the distinction between mysticism and the sciences and academic knowledge.

    As you can see, I'm not big on ground rules of discussion. I think ground rules may be a little bit counterproductive to the mystical process. By limiting the subject through application of ground rules, we might sort of create an understanding, thereby negating the mysteriousness which is actually supposed to be the subject. Understanding is created by dispelling the mysteriousness. So I think we really need to relax the rules, allowing freedom of discussion, until we develop a better idea of what we are talking about.
    I think you misunderstand me, I simply mean to define mysticism and what it is doing, what it involves and which does require at least one assumption. The assumption that there is some kind of the spiritual, for want of a better word, in the world we find ourselves in. If one were to work on the possibility, or conviction that the world we find ourselves in is nothing more than a place of material as described by science, then mysticism become irrelevant.
  • hiep
    1

    "Sure we're told these things happen because 'that's just how their cells are' and 'that's just what they do'." You are misunderstanding something. We do not listen just because they say so. We listen because we trust the facts that are presented. So, there is sufficient evidence that backs up the reason to believe why cells behave the way they do. However, we do not have a good enough reason to suggest that God's brain created humans, disasters and raises the dead. That is just assumptions and guessing. That doesn't mean the possibility is ruled out. It just means we cannot measure that idea in any way; therefore we restrain from that field, scientifically-speaking.

    when Jesus walked on water it was not just 'magically done' rather the particles of the water were adjusted so they were much more dense and able to be walked on, intentionally of course.
    That is a possibility. But that still implies 'magic' or some sort because how did they change the particles? With their mind? If so, that is a poor attempt at justifying the incident. It is possible for us to change the particles of water but that requires a highly-advanced knowledge in biology or some sort. I am too illiterate in the fields of biology to explain it precisely but I do know that is a possibility that can happen. The only thing that differentiates every living being and every living thing are the combinations of DNA. If we happen to change those combinations we can probably yield some amazing results.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.2k
    My cat has being (a being)...Punshhh

    I see here two distinct meanings of "being". To say my cat "has being" is to use "being" to refer to a property attributed to your cat. To say my cat is "a being" is to make "being" refer to a type of thing, and classify your cat as one of those things. We need to untangle these two distinct meanings in order to avoid the confusion of equivocation. Would you accept that "being" as a property, in the sense of "my cat has being", signifies something conceptual? It is a quality which you perceive that your cat has, and so when you claim your cat has being, this statement is a reflection of your mental judgement that your cat has this property of "being". We might proceed further to enquire what constitutes "being", and this would be to define that concept. On the other hand if you say "my cat is a being", then "being" signifies a category of things, a type of thing, and we might proceed to enquire as to what qualities distinguish this type of thing from others. In this case as well, you might judge your cat as fulfilling the conditions for being called "a being", so "being" signifies something conceptual in this sense as well. The difference is that In the first case, "being" signifies a particular quality, and using the term requires judgement that the thing referred to has that quality, while the second case doesn't require immediate judgement of particular qualities. It is a less restricted sense, requiring a simple judgement of a thing, that it might be classed as a being, without necessarily citing the particular quality or qualities which constitute that class of things called "beings".

    There is as well, possibly, a third sense which may be implied by your statement, this is the sense of "my cat has a being". If this is what you mean, I find it very ambiguous and confusing. It's as if you would be saying that your cat has particular property, and this property is itself a being. How could this be the case? Your cat is itself a being, so how could it have another being, which is other than itself in order to say "my cat has a being"?.

    My cat has being (a being), she knows/is her being equally as I am and know my being. She doesn't require intellectualisation to be. Therefore neither do I, so in expelling my intellectualisation of being (putting it to one side), I can experience my being absent conceptualisation.Punshhh

    Here, you are using "know" in a very strange way. You are saying that if someone or something, such as you or your cat, experiences something, then they know that thing. So you claim that you, and your cat, each knows its respective property of being, simply by experiencing that being. But that's not consistent with any acceptable use of "knowing". Simply experiencing something is not sufficient to produce knowledge of that thing, other factors are involved. Knowledge requires memory and some sort of association, as well as experience. And, we remember particular events particular instances, while being is something general. So we do not remember being, it is an abstraction, requiring intellection. Therefore, in as much as your cat may have knowledge through memory and association, it doesn't remember being, because being is something abstract, and it, like you, remembers particular things.

    How are you going to address that which is beyond intellectual understanding, other than through mysticism?Punshhh

    We address these things through metaphysics. But as I said, metaphysics is the same as mysticism.

    The distinction is simple, metaphysics is the study of what the intellect can say about existence and is couched in the history and dictates of academia etc.Punshhh

    I reject this distinction, because I see no reason for creating such a divide between metaphysics and mysticism. Metaphysics will expose the limits of what can be said about being and existence, but it does this by demonstrating the vast portion of reality which we have not the means to talk about. We call this "the unknown". We can't say anything about it (describe it) because it's unknown, but we could also call it "the mysterious", both refer to the same vast portion of reality.

    Language is a social construct. What we can or cannot say about existence is determined by our language. And this is a reflection of our knowledge, both intellectual abstract knowledge, and other knowledge. So when we cannot say something about something, this is a reflection of a deficiency in our cultural knowledge. We simply do not have the knowledge required to say that. Maybe the subject was taboo, we never had the need, or we could not develop the knowledge. But since languages and knowledge evolve, and progress, this situation can be rectified. So by outlining the limitations of language and knowledge, metaphysics will expose the areas where what needs to be said cannot be said, i.e. exposing the unknown, the mystical.

    Mysticism rejects this initially and enquires into the same through other means namely life and experience. The intellect is necessary to do this, but only in the interpretation and understanding of it. Also in the contemplation of it, but not in the intellectualisation used in academia.Punshhh

    The path you describe as mysticism is the very same path as the metaphysician's. The metaphysician must reject all former knowledge, as a skeptic, and start from the bottom, to understand from the perspective of life and experience. But what we might do, as metaphysicians, is inspect fundamental epistemological principles, from that perspective of life and experience, to see where these principles might create illusions which hide the truly mysterious, or unknown aspects of reality through a false knowledge. So whereas the simple mystic, which you describe, might be interested in being expose to the mystical, the metaphysician might be interested in exposing the mystical to others. This is the duty of the philosopher, as described in Plato's cave allegory. After being exposed to the true reality, the philosopher has a duty to go back into the cave in an attempt to lead the others to see the light. Even in your description of mysticism, you refer to a guide. The guide is like Plato' philosopher, the metaphysician.

    Yes, I accept this, although I think it necessary to define what mysticism is and how it differs from philosophy and visa versa. So as not to confuse metaphysics and mysticism.Punshhh

    I think such a division is counterproductive. The type of person which one culture calls a metaphysician, another culture might call a mystic. Of course distinct cultures are going to have distinct approaches to the same subject matter, but if each person is studying the same subject matter, then they are doing the same thing in their own way, as determined by their respective cultural background. We ought not shun the other person just because they have a different way of doing the same thing. Having a different way indicates a different knowledge base, and when the subject is the unknown, or the mysterious, seeing a different way is beneficial for obtaining insight.

    I think the key here is the phrase, spacetime, as far as I am concerned space and time are two sides of the same coin, both necessary parts of extension. Matter, material and it's attendant time, is an innate product of this extension and cannot exist, or be regarded as existing absent the time involved in that extension until the duration of it has ended. This is what Einstein told us, is it not.Punshhh

    I distinctly did not mention "space" as a subject of mysticism. This is because space is an empirical concept, it is supported by sense observation, and the resulting conceptual structure is geometry which is not a mystical study. Time however, cannot be placed into this category so the union of space and time in "spacetime" is one of those epistemological principles mentioned above, creating an illusion which hides the truly mysterious and unknown nature of time itself behind false knowledge.

    The assumption that there is some kind of the spiritual, for want of a better word, in the world we find ourselves in. If one were to work on the possibility, or conviction that the world we find ourselves in is nothing more than a place of material as described by science, then mysticism become irrelevant.Punshhh

    The spiritual is self-evident. That's fundamental, a first principle in philosophy, basic philosophy101. Those who deny this are undisciplined. They claim a philosophy which is actually unphilosophical. So if this is what is necessary for mysticism, we're both on the same track. And if this is the type of ground rule which your talking about, then I can accept that.
  • javra
    1k
    My cat has being (a being), she knows/is her being equally as I am and know my being. She doesn't require intellectualisation to be. Therefore neither do I, so in expelling my intellectualisation of being (putting it to one side), I can experience my being absent conceptualisation. — Punshhh

    Here, you are using "know" in a very strange way. You are saying that if someone or something, such as you or your cat, experiences something, then they know that thing. So you claim that you, and your cat, each knows its respective property of being, simply by experiencing that being. But that's not consistent with any acceptable use of "knowing".
    Metaphysician Undercover

    To butt in slightly, there are experiential knowns. If one experiences X – though knowledge that X is as one experiences it might require more than brute experience – one’s experience of X, as experience, with be a factual given. And, hence, will be a known. For instance, I see a tree while strolling in a park. What I visually interpret to be a tree might, in fact, be an elaborate statue that someone’s placed in the park I’m in and, therefore, not the tree that I visually experience at this juncture. Nevertheless, that I visually experience seeing a tree while so visually experiencing seeing a tree will, of itself, be a known fact to me. Though maybe different in some ways, this is at the very least related to what is termed knowledge by acquaintance. To here rearticulate the point I’m making, my acquaintance with X is known to me simply on account of my acquaintance with X – this irrespective of whether or not X is in fact as I experience it to be.

    Then, in reference to experiential knowledge of being: To know one is a being (which to me does not entail a conceptualization of being a thing … I, for example, experientially know that I am – hence that I hold the property of being – without in any way conceptualizing myself to be a thing) all that is required is a tacit awareness of acting and reacting relative to that which one experiences as other – which endows one with direct experiential knowledge of being un-other, or what we term a self, in relation to other. In this sense, a cat has experiential knowledge of being, even though it cannot articulate this experiential knowledge via concepts that it linguistically expresses to itself or others. Its experience of being other than, for example, the mouse it is after or the dog it is standing in relation to will be all that is required for the experiential knowledge of one's own being to occur.

    This is at least my take on what @Punshhh was here saying. To the extent we differ, I'm sure Punshhh will elaborate on his own views.
  • Punshhh
    1.9k
    Would you accept that "being" as a property, in the sense of "my cat has being", signifies something conceptual?
    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.
    How could this be the case? Your cat is itself a being, so how could it have another being, which is other than itself in order to say "my cat has a being"?
    I haven't found myself in this position, perhaps this is a quirk of intellectualisation.

    You are saying that if someone or something, such as you or your cat, experiences something, then they know that thing. So you claim that you, and your cat, each knows its respective property of being, simply by experiencing that being. But that's not consistent with any acceptable use of "knowing". Simply experiencing something is not sufficient to produce knowledge of that thing, other factors are involved
    This may be the crux of the issue, the knowing you describe as acceptable is the result of intellectualisation. A knowing via rational thought, Aristotelian. This kind of knowing is entirely an abstraction of the results of experience.

    The knowing I refer to is an innate knowing of experience, this does not require intellectualisation, although intellectualisation can be employed in its contemplation. Memory and association both occur in my cat, just as they do in me (absent my intellualisation). I know this because we are both mammals, closely related. The difference being that the memory and association probably occur unconsciously in the cat, whereas I tend to ignore this in me and follow the route of intellectual reference to memory and association.

    We address these things through metaphysics. But as I said, metaphysics is the same as mysticism.
    Well I will agree with this on this occasion, for purposes of discussion, as you have repeated it, but I do maintain that there is the difference in the use of the intellect. Namely the metaphysics requires an intellectual result, or product to determine the course of progress, whereas mysticism rejects this in a preference for natural, or spiritual processes to determine the course of progress. This is why when I engage with a metaphysician, she tells me that it has to fit the rationality before I can go there and if it doesn't, it may as well be a unicorn.

    Language is a social construct. What we can or cannot say about existence is determined by our language. And this is a reflection of our knowledge, both intellectual abstract knowledge, and other knowledge
    This is not exhaustive, Things can be known and conveyed about existence by other means. This means is through being a part of nature and communing with nature. When I commune with my cat, this is what I am doing. All one is required to do to see this is to contemplate the idea that life is a direct expression of being and that everything else is a construct provided for the expression and development of life/being. If you spend a few hours in a quiet natural setting you will have a glimpse at some point of this, provided you can spot it. If you then spend many hours, or years training yourself to be able to commune with nature and forego intellectualisation, you will find it easier, indeed natural.

    I am happy to go with you in your description of space and time for now, as the understanding of these things by metaphysics is adequate at this stage. As I say in mysticism this is only to be tackled at a more advanced level.

    The spiritual is self-evident. That's fundamental, a first principle in philosophy, basic philosophy101. Those who deny this are undisciplined. They claim a philosophy which is actually unphilosophical. So if this is what is necessary for mysticism, we're both on the same track. And if this is the type of ground rule which your talking about, then I can accept that.
    I presume you are referring to theology here. Spiritualuality is unfortunately nebulous in the way it is treated by academia, like mysticism. There may be as many different types of spirituality as there are people who say they are spiritual.

    You do realise presumably that on the assumption of spirituality, there is a flip of authority here, as metaphysics takes a back seat and mysticism a front seat. For example, the kind of knowing I am using becomes the primary form and intellectualisation becomes a frail attempt to explain the perfect, or pristine by a limited, embryonic mind, emerging from nature.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.2k
    To butt in slightly, there are experiential knowns. If one experiences X – though knowledge that X is as one experiences it might require more than brute experience – one’s experience of X, as experience, with be a factual given. And, hence, will be a known.javra

    This is clearly not true, due to the nature of time. And that's why I brought up the importance of time. As each moment passes the world changes, some say that the world is born anew at each moment. So having experienced something does not necessitate that it is known, because it must be remembered. This is the problem Whitehead encounter in his process philosophy, which he tried to solve by positing what he called "prehension". He found that in experience, events of the past must be somehow related to events of the present, not simultaneously but one after the other, and this is necessary to account for identity. So he assumed something called prehension.
    https://www.pdcnet.org/8525737F005826D7/file/C125737F0061E26EC125756D005F66BE/$FILE/ipq_1979_0019_0003_0003_0013.pdf

    Nevertheless, that I visually experience seeing a tree while so visually experiencing seeing a tree will, of itself, be a known fact to me.javra

    You are not accounting for the fleeting nature of time. The visual experience of "seeing at tree" requires an extended period of time. Remember, a period of time can be as short as a Planck length, and you cannot see a tree in such a short time. So the visual experience of seeing a tree requires an extended period of time. Some sort of memory, or "prehension", must tie those short periods of time together, connecting the past with the present in order for such an experience to be created.

    I, for example, experientially know that I am – hence that I hold the property of being – without in any way conceptualizing myself to be a thing) all that is required is a tacit awareness of acting and reacting relative to that which one experiences as other – which endows one with direct experiential knowledge of being un-other, or what we term a self, in relation to other. In this sense, a cat has experiential knowledge of being, even though it cannot articulate this experiential knowledge via concepts that it linguistically expresses to itself or others. Its experience of being other than, for example, the mouse it is after or the dog it is standing in relation to will be all that is required for the experiential knowledge of one's own being to occur.javra

    You're missing the point. To know that you hold the property of being requires that you conceptualize the property of being. Otherwise you would not know what the property of being is, and you couldn't know that you hold the property of being for this very reason. We can say that we know something without actually knowing it, so you can say that you know that you have the property of being, and that's a fine statement, but unless you know what the property of being is, your statement is false.


    I am very critical of your use of these two words, intellectualisation, and academia.

    You describe mysticism as an exercise of the human intellect, but then you want to separate this from metaphysics, by saying that metaphysics is an intellectualization. In reality, mysticism and metaphysics are both forms of exercising the human intellect, and so your distinction based on intellectualization is unwarranted.

    Furthermore, you class science and philosophy as academia, and then you want to separate mysticism from this. But "academia" refers to any institution of education or training, so mysticism cannot be separated from academia. In western universities we have a separation between science and arts. Though it is not often taught as such, mysticism would be one of the arts. It would be a branch of philosophy, the one that we call metaphysics.

    See, you deceptively use words like "intellectualisation", and "academia" in an attempt to separate mysticism from philosophy, but no such separation is warranted. You just create an illusion of separation, with the way that you use those words. And to what avail? As metaphysicians and mystics, we ought to work together, in unity, having the same goals. What is the point of such divisiveness insinuating that one, metaphysics, or mysticism, doesn't qualify to be associated with the other?

    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.

    This may be the crux of the issue, the knowing you describe as acceptable is the result of intellectualisation. A knowing via rational thought, Aristotelian. This kind of knowing is entirely an abstraction of the results of experience.Punshhh

    This is your disturbing, derogatory use of "intellectualisation". Look, as human beings we are all intellectual creatures. You cannot remove the intellectuality out of the human experience, to say that you are following this practise, mysticism, in which you will not use your intellect at all, so that there will be no form of intellectualization. That's nonsensical, if you could remove your intellect you would no longer be a human being.

    Your position is no different from the materialist who assumes that the world would be exactly as perceived, without a perceiver. That's nonsense. And so is your attempt to remove intellectualization from your thinking. Instead, we are much better off to distinguish different types of thinking and training, as I described above. But metaphysics doesn't get classed with science, just like visual arts doesn't get classed with science. And mysticism gets classed in philosophy, right there with metaphysics. To say that one involves intellectualisation and the other does not, just doesn't make sense.

    The knowing I refer to is an innate knowing of experience, this does not require intellectualisation, although intellectualisation can be employed in its contemplation. Memory and association both occur in my cat, just as they do in me (absent my intellualisation). I know this because we are both mammals, closely related. The difference being that the memory and association probably occur unconsciously in the cat, whereas I tend to ignore this in me and follow the route of intellectual reference to memory and association.Punshhh

    If you recognize this, what you say here, then why would you have said that your cat knows its being in the same way that you know your being?

    Namely the metaphysics requires an intellectual result, or product to determine the course of progress, whereas mysticism rejects this in a preference for natural, or spiritual processes to determine the course of progress.Punshhh

    Again, I don't see the need for the separation here. The intellectual result ought to be natural and spiritual. If the intellect wavers from this, then these intellectual principles are not true, that's what I tried to explain last post. There are many types of human character, and some will introduce intellectual principles which are not true. That's what we need to be wary of. If your metaphysician friend offers to you, as a proposition, a rational principle which is not consistent with what you apprehend as natural and spiritual, then you are obliged to reject it. This is how we judge metaphysics. I'm sure you would do the same with your mystic course, if the trainer led you on a path which was inconsistent with what is natural and spiritual to you, you would choose another trainer.

    This is not exhaustive, Things can be known and conveyed about existence by other means. This means is through being a part of nature and communing with nature. When I commune with my cat, this is what I am doing. All one is required to do to see this is to contemplate the idea that life is a direct expression of being and that everything else is a construct provided for the expression and development of life/being. If you spend a few hours in a quiet natural setting you will have a glimpse at some point of this, provided you can spot it. If you then spend many hours, or years training yourself to be able to commune with nature and forego intellectualisation, you will find it easier, indeed natural.Punshhh

    Yes, I completely agree with this, with one exception. I would actually call this a form of intellectualisation. In fact it is probably the highest form of intellectual activity. Communing with nature brings the intellect in line with it's proper position, as subservient. So it has to be an intellectual activity, a submission of the intellect. The intellect must submit. The reality of this gives reason not to separate mysticism from intellectualisation, because that submission is an intellectual act. Allowing that it is a form of intellectualisation. gives it it's proper position as the highest form of intellectualisation. Disassociating it from the intellect denigrates it in the eyes of many.

    I presume you are referring to theology here. Spiritualuality is unfortunately nebulous in the way it is treated by academia, like mysticism. There may be as many different types of spirituality as there are people who say they are spiritual.

    You do realise presumably that on the assumption of spirituality, there is a flip of authority here, as metaphysics takes a back seat and mysticism a front seat. For example, the kind of knowing I am using becomes the primary form and intellectualisation becomes a frail attempt to explain the perfect, or pristine by a limited, embryonic mind, emerging from nature.
    Punshhh

    As I said, I don't agree with your separation of mysticism and spiritualism from metaphysics. I think it's misguided. I do agree with your sentiments, because I do have a mystical perspective, (calling it metaphysical), but I don't agree with the way that you divide up the different types of knowledge.
  • Punshhh
    1.9k
    I may have been vague in my use of intellectualisation and academia, normally this is not an issue, but here I think more explanation is necessary. 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.

    Regarding intellectualisation, I may have to veer further away from what is described in the WAC here. I consider that there is more than one level or form of mind conducted in the brain and body. In such a way that the intellect is one of a number of mental processes. It appears to me that WAC reduces the person to a singular intellectual individual (II) and doesn't allow for much else that equates to mind going on in the brain, or body. This reduction appears to insist that all understanding, knowledge and intelligent action must pass through the prism of this intellectual individual (II) and as such can be fully analysed and be rationally dissected through intellectual thought and science.

    This essentially reduces a human to a unit of intellectual activity divorced from the body of that individual, for the purposes of analysing its mental activity and that logic can be exercised, applied and imparted on this (II). Thus any aspect of experience is regarded as a psychological, or rational process exercised by this II.

    I am not criticising the results of understanding a human through this process that is achieved, but rather what it ignores, or insists must be rendered through this intellectual prism.

    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.

    Also I come to it from the appreciation of a spiritual dimension of which the being of the biosphere is an expression. An expression in which humanity embodies the development of an awakened mind. But a mind newly emerged, which is having to learn a new.

    There is a difference in emphasis, in which I do not attempt to explain human experience through the prism of mind of (II). Indeed this is a minor consideration. There is greater emphasis on ones position in the life of the being of the biosphere and ones communion therein. It's true that the intellect is involved in this, but only as a tool of articulating thought in an integrated organism.

    Perhaps this is enough for this post and I can address the other questions later when this has been looked into.
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