Evolution

Any topics primarily focused on metaphysics can be discussed here, in a generally casual way, where conversations may take unexpected turns.

Moderator: Soul_of_Shu

User avatar
Soul_of_Shu
Posts: 1580
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2021 6:48 pm

Re: Evolution

Post by Soul_of_Shu »

Toto Gale wrote: Tue Aug 03, 2021 10:47 pm Evolution is the theme of our lives. Beyond mortal biological evolution and psychological evolution (human development) there is immortal spiritual evolution. This leads to considering the motive of universal consciousness creating alter-consciousnesses, and putting those alters through hell. What would the Prodigal Son say about that? Why did his father let him go out in the world? Why did the alter (son) desire that life? To evolve. Time is the medium of evolution.
If the ever-evolving, explorative, metamorphic process of Mind's novel Ideation, and manifesting meaning, is an open-ended infintude, then how could the suffering-prone ideation of this realm have been precluded? The key attraction, it would seem, is the compelling challenge of transfiguring it—clearly a work in progress, with all the expected setbacks. Yet I've heard there's actually an inexhaustible lineup to opt in and participate ... to earn one's bodhisattva badge perhaps? ... Christ you know it ain't easy ;)
Here out of instinct or grace we seek
soulmates in these galleries of hieroglyph and glass,
where mutual longings and sufferings of love
are laid bare in transfigured exhibition of our hearts,
we who crave deep secrets and mysteries,
as elusive as the avatars of our dreams.
User avatar
Eugene I
Posts: 1427
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2021 9:49 pm

Re: Evolution

Post by Eugene I »

AshvinP wrote: Wed Aug 04, 2021 3:12 am There is another consideration which must be factored in here - our own tendency to anthropomorphize all that which transcends our current understanding. I am not sure if that is the proper word, because it is really a projection of modern man more than any humans before the modern era. We want the higher level Reality to bend to our intellect rather than the other way around. There is probably a little fragment of truth in all of the above "motives and reasons", but not nearly enough to form a comprehensive understanding. If that is acknowledged consciously, then it is no problem to speculate. But all too often we start thinking we can logically deduce which motive, reason, option, etc. is the most likely one, and that is simply idolatry of a dangerous kind, because it blocks from our view answers to the most fundamental questions we can ask and answer for ourselves. The modern age has especially been characterized by people of all sorts seeking to blame God, or whatever they call the highest unifying principle they can imagine within the structure of Reality, for all the suffering in their lives and in the world. I discuss this some in latest essay.
Ashvin, agreed, and that's why I put there "- And of course there might be other motives"
"Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Kanzas anymore" Dorothy
User avatar
AshvinP
Posts: 2900
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2021 5:00 am
Location: USA

Re: Evolution

Post by AshvinP »

Eugene I wrote: Wed Aug 04, 2021 3:23 pm
AshvinP wrote: Wed Aug 04, 2021 3:12 am There is another consideration which must be factored in here - our own tendency to anthropomorphize all that which transcends our current understanding. I am not sure if that is the proper word, because it is really a projection of modern man more than any humans before the modern era. We want the higher level Reality to bend to our intellect rather than the other way around. There is probably a little fragment of truth in all of the above "motives and reasons", but not nearly enough to form a comprehensive understanding. If that is acknowledged consciously, then it is no problem to speculate. But all too often we start thinking we can logically deduce which motive, reason, option, etc. is the most likely one, and that is simply idolatry of a dangerous kind, because it blocks from our view answers to the most fundamental questions we can ask and answer for ourselves. The modern age has especially been characterized by people of all sorts seeking to blame God, or whatever they call the highest unifying principle they can imagine within the structure of Reality, for all the suffering in their lives and in the world. I discuss this some in latest essay.
Ashvin, agreed, and that's why I put there "- And of course there might be other motives"

I guess my main point was that "motives" is not a very helpful way to think about these matters - corporeal human beings in current age have motives in so far as they picture results they want to come about and then act in a way they think will bring about those results. All of that takes place within our phenomenal experience of linear time. I don't think we can extrapolate any of that to Consciousness at large, because they are all experienced that way due to our particular physical organization at this point in time.
“It is your presumption that freedom is something which you already possess that ensures that you will remain in chains."
Toto Gale
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2021 11:33 am

Re: Evolution

Post by Toto Gale »

I haven't learn how to embed a quote snippet.

Eugene wrote:
This is the most daring question to any version of idealism that assumes that the universal consciousness is meta-cognitive. BK avoids answering this question by claiming that the universal consciousness is not meta-cognitive and therefore, being driven by instinctual will, does not know what it is doing and can not be held responsible for "putting those alters through hell". Various meta-cognitive universal consciousness idealism variants suggest a variety of answers. And there may be not a single answer or a single motive/reason for the universal consciousness to create alter-consciousnesses and to "put those alters through hell", but multiple motives and reasons, such as:

- To escape the loneliness of timeless state of solipsism
- To develop higher levels of cognition
- To acquire the experiences of multi-personal relationships and life of a community
- To experience imagined/simulated realities from multiple personal perspectives "as if" they are real. In other words, not just imagine what it is like to be a fox, but to actually experience what it is like to be a fox, including all the suffering associated with such experience.
- To explore the unlimited universe (fractal) of possible conscious states
- To unleash the creativity and create an unlimited variety of conscious forms enjoying the thrill of the creative process and the beauty of the created forms
- And of course there might be other motives
------
Reply:
Thank you for clarifying this for me. Very helpful.

I don't have direct knowledge of what universal conscious is. Only indirect knowledge. But I doubt that it is just instinctual. It doesn't feel that way to me. What it feels like is that my alter-spirit (soul) is a fractal part of universal consciousness and that it is sentient.

I make sense of the alter going through the shit storm of time (hell) because it furthers evolution by knowledge of direct experience. In other words I sense that universal consciousness is seeking to understand itself, and evolve, by our experiences. Since spirit is immortal and all material things, including humans, are mortal and subject to time, in a sense it really does not matter what happens to them in life because it is all temporary -- an illusion of time.

Take suffering for example. A child that is doomed to die of malnutrition before its first birthday, and a mother that cries in despair. I think this experience enriches and informs universal consciousness. I sense the alter child chose this experience for its own growth before it incarnated in that alter. So did the mother. Perhaps it allowed them to resolve some personal karma.

I don't have children, but when I watch good parents, I see that they let their kids make dumb choices, because children need that experience for individual development (to evolve into adults). They manage risks to some degree, but they let "bad" things happen.

What is the risk of eternal consciousness incarnating as a human in time? A "bad" dream? A Technicolor romp on the Yellow Brick road?
User avatar
Soul_of_Shu
Posts: 1580
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2021 6:48 pm

Re: Evolution

Post by Soul_of_Shu »

Toto Gale wrote: Wed Aug 04, 2021 8:59 pm I haven't learn how to embed a quote snippet.
Click the " icon, upper right corner of the post you want to quote, then delete whatever text you don't want to quote, leaving the BBCode [/quote] at the end of quoted text.

For more info on using BBCodes, here's a link to the BBCode guide.
Here out of instinct or grace we seek
soulmates in these galleries of hieroglyph and glass,
where mutual longings and sufferings of love
are laid bare in transfigured exhibition of our hearts,
we who crave deep secrets and mysteries,
as elusive as the avatars of our dreams.
Toto Gale
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2021 11:33 am

Re: Evolution

Post by Toto Gale »

Soul_of_Shu wrote: Wed Aug 04, 2021 9:35 pm
Click the " icon, upper right corner of the post you want to quote, then delete whatever text you don't want to quote, leaving the BBCode
at the end of quoted text.

For more info on using BBCodes, here's a link to the BBCode guide.
[/quote]

Thank you.
Lysander
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2021 3:25 am

Re: Evolution

Post by Lysander »

Eugene I wrote: Wed Aug 04, 2021 2:44 am
Toto Gale wrote: Tue Aug 03, 2021 10:47 pm Evolution is the theme of our lives. Beyond mortal biological evolution and psychological evolution (human development) there is immortal spiritual evolution. This leads to considering the motive of universal consciousness creating alter-consciousnesses, and putting those alters through hell. What would the Prodigal Son say about that? Why did his father let him go out in the world? Why did the alter (son) desire that life? To evolve. Time is the medium of evolution.
This is the most daring question to any version of idealism that assumes that the universal consciousness is meta-cognitive. BK avoids answering this question by claiming that the universal consciousness is not meta-cognitive and therefore, being driven by instinctual will, does not know what it is doing and can not be held responsible for "putting those alters through hell". Various meta-cognitive universal consciousness idealism variants suggest a variety of answers. And there may be not a single answer or a single motive/reason for the universal consciousness to create alter-consciousnesses and to "put those alters through hell", but multiple motives and reasons, such as:

- To escape the loneliness of timeless state of solipsism
- To develop higher levels of cognition
- To acquire the experiences of multi-personal relationships and life of a community
- To experience imagined/simulated realities from multiple personal perspectives "as if" they are real. In other words, not just imagine what it is like to be a fox, but to actually experience what it is like to be a fox, including all the suffering associated with such experience.
- To explore the unlimited universe (fractal) of possible conscious states
- To unleash the creativity and create an unlimited variety of conscious forms enjoying the thrill of the creative process and the beauty of the created forms
- And of course there might be other motives

Regarding the "problem of suffering" ("putting those alters through hell"), IMO no benevolent and meta-cognitive conscious being would purposely put other conscious meta-cognitive beings "through hell" without their consent even if the outcome of that would be good. Therefore, I can only see these alternatives:
- The MAL is malevolent (Gnosticism version)
- The MAL does not act purposely/meta-cognitively (BK's version)
- The alters incarnate into humans (and perhaps other living forms subject to amnesia and suffering) only by their free pre-consent/choice. The question remains why would alters want to do that ("Why did the alter (son) desire that life?") if they know that it will involve suffering? Possible motives for that choice are listed above. There is also a Buddhist answer: they do that because of ignorance and because they are unconsciously driven by desires (in other words, they are not meta-cognitive enough to understand what they are doing and why they are incarnating). In reality all of these motives might be in play with some of them more or less pronounced depending on the alters personalities.
The other Buddhist answer- which applies to most formal philosophical topics - is that this seeking after metaphysical answers of the unknowable isn't about Truth but about quenching the desire to know. In other words, it is another pleasure to "discover the meaning" and then feel satisfied in having done something great. The Buddhist response might be to interrogate this questioning-self rather than continue in its inquiry. At least, it would compartmentalize the questioner into the category of entertainment because of the finitude of metaphysical knowledge before the necessary purifications. I think all esoteric traditions would require necessary disciplines, aestheticisms and purifications of the heart before the meaning of metaphysical insights dawn into one's being. And it seems to me that the meaning of metaphysical insights is quite different than what one expects them to be prior to spiritual practice. The meaning doesn't arise as a parable or symbolic explanation of a legendary myth but as felt and lived nonverbal (or preverbal) realities that only manifest to others as presence and other similarly intangible qualities. I say this is a Buddhist answer because that tradition does have a reputation to be subtlely "anti-intellectual", such as Zen, and that isn't necessarily a bad thing despite its harsh first impression.
User avatar
Eugene I
Posts: 1427
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2021 9:49 pm

Re: Evolution

Post by Eugene I »

Lysander wrote: Sun Aug 08, 2021 6:16 am The other Buddhist answer- which applies to most formal philosophical topics - is that this seeking after metaphysical answers of the unknowable isn't about Truth but about quenching the desire to know. In other words, it is another pleasure to "discover the meaning" and then feel satisfied in having done something great. The Buddhist response might be to interrogate this questioning-self rather than continue in its inquiry. At least, it would compartmentalize the questioner into the category of entertainment because of the finitude of metaphysical knowledge before the necessary purifications. I think all esoteric traditions would require necessary disciplines, aestheticisms and purifications of the heart before the meaning of metaphysical insights dawn into one's being. And it seems to me that the meaning of metaphysical insights is quite different than what one expects them to be prior to spiritual practice. The meaning doesn't arise as a parable or symbolic explanation of a legendary myth but as felt and lived nonverbal (or preverbal) realities that only manifest to others as presence and other similarly intangible qualities. I say this is a Buddhist answer because that tradition does have a reputation to be subtlely "anti-intellectual", such as Zen, and that isn't necessarily a bad thing despite its harsh first impression.
I agree, but I have a few comments on that:

- The Buddhist point (of interrogating the self who is desiring and questioning rather that seeking answers to the questions arising from the self's desire to know) is usually interpreted as if once you uncovered the origins of the desire to know, the desire itself will/should go away. Myself being a long-time Buddhist practitioner, I actually came to disagree with that interpretation. By all means we should interrogate the questioning and desiring self and find out all we can about its nature, yet that does not mean that as a consequence of that knowledge we would necessarily become "desire-less". IMO it is not about "quenching" the desires (including the desire to know) but about transcending them and mastering a skill to control and shape them rather than being controlled by them. I would call it mastering the skill of "desiring consciously". And that includes the desire to know: you know why you have the desire to know, and you can perfectly live with or without it, yet you can still choose to pursue it if you know what you are doing and why. You may argue that this view does not align with the traditional Buddhist teaching, and that may be true, but I don't care :)

- These metaphysical/spiritual insights are still acts of cognition, just not of the intellectual/discursive kind of cognition.
"Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Kanzas anymore" Dorothy
User avatar
AshvinP
Posts: 2900
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2021 5:00 am
Location: USA

Re: Evolution

Post by AshvinP »

Eugene I wrote: Sun Aug 08, 2021 1:00 pm
Lysander wrote: Sun Aug 08, 2021 6:16 am The other Buddhist answer- which applies to most formal philosophical topics - is that this seeking after metaphysical answers of the unknowable isn't about Truth but about quenching the desire to know. In other words, it is another pleasure to "discover the meaning" and then feel satisfied in having done something great. The Buddhist response might be to interrogate this questioning-self rather than continue in its inquiry. At least, it would compartmentalize the questioner into the category of entertainment because of the finitude of metaphysical knowledge before the necessary purifications. I think all esoteric traditions would require necessary disciplines, aestheticisms and purifications of the heart before the meaning of metaphysical insights dawn into one's being. And it seems to me that the meaning of metaphysical insights is quite different than what one expects them to be prior to spiritual practice. The meaning doesn't arise as a parable or symbolic explanation of a legendary myth but as felt and lived nonverbal (or preverbal) realities that only manifest to others as presence and other similarly intangible qualities. I say this is a Buddhist answer because that tradition does have a reputation to be subtlely "anti-intellectual", such as Zen, and that isn't necessarily a bad thing despite its harsh first impression.
I agree, but I have a few comments on that:

- The Buddhist point (of interrogating the self who is desiring and questioning rather that seeking answers to the questions arising from the self's desire to know) is usually interpreted as if once you uncovered the origins of the desire to know, the desire itself will/should go away. Myself being a long-time Buddhist practitioner, I actually came to disagree with that interpretation. By all means we should interrogate the questioning and desiring self and find out all we can about its nature, yet that does not mean that as a consequence of that knowledge we would necessarily become "desire-less". IMO it is not about "quenching" the desires (including the desire to know) but about transcending them and mastering a skill to control and shape them rather than being controlled by them. I would call it mastering the skill of "desiring consciously". And that includes the desire to know: you know why you have the desire to know, and you can perfectly live with or without it, yet you can still choose to pursue it if you know what you are doing and why. You may argue that this view does not align with the traditional Buddhist teaching, and that may be true, but I don't care :)

- These metaphysical/spiritual insights are still acts of cognition, just not of the intellectual/discursive kind of cognition.

Very well put, Eugene. Our desire to know should not be considered any sort of pathology, rather it is a reflection of the fact that we don't yet know all there is to know. We have not yet discovered all meaning there is to discover in experience by way of integration. Simple, but true. But, as you say, Self-knowledge is the first step necessary to tame and purify that desire so as to take control of it and orient it in the proper direction with full clarity of consciousness. That is the image of spiritual awakening.
“It is your presumption that freedom is something which you already possess that ensures that you will remain in chains."
Lysander
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2021 3:25 am

Re: Evolution

Post by Lysander »

Eugene I wrote: Sun Aug 08, 2021 1:00 pm And that includes the desire to know: you know why you have the desire to know, and you can perfectly live with or without it, yet you can still choose to pursue it if you know what you are doing and why.
I agree and think this is right. I've also never had the experience of desire itself dropping away or becoming lesser. My desires only change form and ideally I am directing them towards higher aims rather than worse ones. I understand the anticipated 'desire-less state' to not be mastery as a kind of effort-based or effortless skill but rather an incredibly profound understanding which is transformational of the precursor energies that go into desire. So Buddha led his healing ministry on earth for 40 years vitalized by a transformation in the precursor energies based on profound insight(s) which were also prepared by training.

It seems to me that our thinking creates an image of ourself in reality, and this orients the perception of our energies. As our image (i.e. deepest understanding) changes then our desires and experience follows. So I suppose the practical point is meta-cognition of how we mismatch our perceived image of our deepest understanding, such as what we think we should or ought to do, with our actual deepest understanding, when we are utterly truthful and humble with ourselves. Then next is awareness or inquiry of whether our deepest understanding does change over time and then how it does so. We would know this by whether the fundamental facts of our way of being changed, like how we relate to others, or whether only our thoughts changed. And I think it mostly does through difficult confrontation, at least in my life and I've noticed in others. An important part of that is confronting all the dishonesty, failings and abuse we engage in with ourselves to ourselves and then stop covering it up and stop ignoring it.

Sorry if I veered away from the original post topic
Post Reply