Cleric's Responses to Mystical Metaphysics (or How to Make a Logical Argument)

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

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Re: Cleric's Responses to Mystical Metaphysics (or How to Make a Logical Argument)

Post by Soul_of_Shu »

Lou Gold wrote: Thu Sep 23, 2021 8:54 pmIt is quite possible to rejoice in a non-exclusive both/and (neither exclusively within or without) ...
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.
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Re: Cleric's Responses to Mystical Metaphysics (or How to Make a Logical Argument)

Post by Lou Gold »

Be calm - Be clear - See the faults - See the suffering - Give your love
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Re: Cleric's Responses to Mystical Metaphysics (or How to Make a Logical Argument)

Post by AshvinP »

Lou Gold wrote: Thu Sep 23, 2021 5:25 pm
AshvinP wrote: Thu Sep 23, 2021 5:10 pm
Lou Gold wrote: Thu Sep 23, 2021 4:48 pm

Yes, your bolded comments seem an accurate characterization of the axial religions/civilizations, which emerged in biomes that were transitioning from a fruitful natural abundance into scarcities brought about by population pressure, deforestation and climate change. The result was an adversarial conquest orientation that is still the dominant paradigm amongst the power driven modern heirs of axial times. But, NO, this is not the only way that the human condition has evolved. There are ways that human spiritual traditions have evolved with a focus on maintaining/renewing abundance through their prayers and practices. I've often cited the example of the Kogi people. And thankfully there's a growing awareness among at least some contemporary scientists of the need to embrace the wisdom traditions of indigenous peoples in modern ways.

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants, is a great read:
As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer has been trained to ask questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces the notion that plants and animals are our oldest teachers. In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowledge together to take us on “a journey that is every bit as mythic as it is scientific, as sacred as it is historical, as clever as it is wise” (review by Elizabeth Gilbert).

My point is simple, Ashvin: If one focuses on the spiritual traditions (paradigms) of the power-seeking fallen (and falling) peoples, one will arrive at fallen results. There are other human ways. They do not view nature as "red in tooth and claw" but as a gift-bestowing reciprocity. For some, "higher wisdom" involves being down-to-earth.

Lou,

This is simply incorrect. You are projecting a Utopian state of existence onto the Kogi and other indigenous populations. Their relationship to the surrounding environment may have been much better, but it's not as if they somehow avoided the general human suffering and malevolence that every civilization and every individual has to deal with in the evolutionary course of life. No human culture has "solved" this problem simply by structuring their society one way or another. That is the rationalist and materialist bias creeping into our thinking, which convinces us that these deep spiritual problems, which emanate from the spiritual realms, can be addressed by cosmetic rearrangements of socioeconomic and political orientations on the Earthly plane. The "fallen" nature is first and foremost a failure of each individual human soul, so that is the level at which it needs to be addressed.
Interesting that you see down-to-earth as an Utopian projection. With respect, I confess that a view that rejects the possibility of an abundant reciprocity seems as a rather dismal science to me. But, yes, indigenous peoples also know the likely failures at the level of the individual soul, which is precisely why they put a lot of energy into teaching better ways.

Lou,

I have no problem whatsoever with your "down-to-earth" view. I do see it as Utopian, which for me is seeking of perfection-redemption from external authorities (state, external God, "nature", parents, spouse, peers on TikTok, etc.), but I also see you are being honest, and, actually, that is what matters the most. You are not a philosoper or scientist interested in highly logical reasoning, and you say that here honestly and openly. Others here do not want to be so honest, because they are not only interested in pursuing their own path as they claim. They are also interested in convincing everyone else not to pursue the paths they do not like, and they feel they can only do so by retaining an image of logically reasoning through all the arguments. That is where the problems arise with them, but not so with you.

Speaking the truth to oneself, which also entails speaking it to others, is truly the highest virtue. We are not referring to a "truth" of external "facts" which exist independent our spiritual knowing activity, but rather the most intimate truths that approach us from within through that spiritual activity. The kind of truths which one cannot help but affirm as they dawn on one's consciousness. JP refers to this as the "orienting mechanism" towards meaning, and clearly people are intuitively drawn to that message, as they are likewise drawn to the message of Christ incarnate. The cynic will say, "but that's just because they were more powerful and victorious and the victors get to pass their values along to everyone else". The inwardly truthful person says, "I am intuitively drawn to this value because it is deeply true".

The seeker of inward truth does not stop there - in fact that recognition is the impulse for great curiosity to figure out every last detail of why these virtues and values ring so true. But, under our view, this was not your first lifetime on Earth and will not be your last, and there are still yet many ages and rich experiences left to come. If we are correct, then our self-honesty in this lifetime will create the conditions for better alignment with the structure of Reality after death and in the next, meaning we are less inclined to follow mere desires and feelings, or to attribute all of our 4-dimensional experiences to a flattened concept of "absolute nothingness", "ineffable trascendent God", etc. If we are not correct, then there is no such structure of Reality to be too concerned with. Either way, self-honesty is the best bet.

"Time is long, but the True comes to pass." - Holderlin
Last edited by AshvinP on Thu Sep 23, 2021 9:44 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Cleric's Responses to Mystical Metaphysics (or How to Make a Logical Argument)

Post by Soul_of_Shu »

Lou Gold wrote: Thu Sep 23, 2021 9:26 pm The Great Bell Chant
Ring the bells that still can ring ... 🙏🙏🙏
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.
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Re: Cleric's Responses to Mystical Metaphysics (or How to Make a Logical Argument)

Post by Lou Gold »

Soul_of_Shu wrote: Thu Sep 23, 2021 9:20 pm
Lou Gold wrote: Thu Sep 23, 2021 8:54 pmIt is quite possible to rejoice in a non-exclusive both/and (neither exclusively within or without) ...
Rejoice, indeed!
Does make me wonder though if "stuck in the middle" might feel to a metaphysician seeking a single fundamental as rather hellish at times?
Be calm - Be clear - See the faults - See the suffering - Give your love
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Re: Cleric's Responses to Mystical Metaphysics (or How to Make a Logical Argument)

Post by Lou Gold »

Soul_of_Shu wrote: Thu Sep 23, 2021 9:39 pm
Lou Gold wrote: Thu Sep 23, 2021 9:26 pm The Great Bell Chant
Ring the bells that still can ring ... 🙏🙏🙏
I find it so much fun to trade youtubes with you Shu:

Be calm - Be clear - See the faults - See the suffering - Give your love
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Re: Cleric's Responses to Mystical Metaphysics (or How to Make a Logical Argument)

Post by Soul_of_Shu »

Lou Gold wrote: Thu Sep 23, 2021 9:39 pm Does make me wonder though if "stuck in the middle" might feel to a metaphysician seeking a single fundamental as rather hellish at times?
I suppose, if the S.I.N. of someone in hell isn't also dispelled ;)
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.
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Cleric K
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Re: Cleric's Responses to Mystical Metaphysics (or How to Make a Logical Argument)

Post by Cleric K »

Eugene I wrote: Thu Sep 23, 2021 2:27 pm
I guess there are two ways to look at it depending on interpretation, and these two ways can be traced in almost every tradition.

One ways is the escapist: life on Earth is fundamentally immersed in evil and is broken/fallen and unacceptable, and the only way to deal with it is to escape from it into some higher realms, or to completely transform it into something fundamentally different by Divine intervention. This can be seen in the original Buddha's teachings (yes, Buddha was a complete escapist, but later Mahayana Buddhism mostly abandoned his escapism), in Plato (cave), in Gnosticism, in monastic Christianity etc.

Another way to look at the life on Earth is as an evolving situation with certain problems which is a work in progress. There are problems that need to be addressed, resolved and fixed (primarily with human ego), and the help from higher realms and from the Divine is needed for that work. But we are not supposed to break the rules of the Earth realm, but transform and fix it within the framework of the rules. If completely opening the veil between the Earth and the astral domain and merging them together with full-blown intervention of the spiritual beings would be the right solution for the problems, it would be done long ago, but that is not how the life on Earth was intended to evolve. So, as usual, there needs to be the right balance between our work as humans on Earth and certain portions of intervention and help from higher realms. And we don't need to worry about the intervention part, they know what they are doing up there and know exactly what kind of help is needed. We just need to do our part of the job down here.

Fully agree with Eckhart
Eugene, you may try to look at things from another perspective. The above puts it as if there are different planes of existence, separated by veils. In this sense we are complete humans on the physical plane, while angels live in higher planes - also complete in themselves. Try imagining a different scenario: it's like if your feet belong to the physical plane, your intestines to the next higher world, your heart and lungs to the next, your brain to the next higher. Or another example - the solid matter of the body is one plane, the fluid - another, so with air and warmth. It should be noted that the ancients envisioned something quite different in the elements. Modern man practically understands only the mineral element. Even though the physicist speaks about fluids and gases, practically his thinking conceives mineral particles at various levels of kinetic energy. We don't conceive of 'matter-in-itself', we simply have thoughts in the shape of matter. If we are to approach what the ancients felt, for example, the fluid element to be, we should cease thinking with mineral-like concepts (words) and let our spiritual activity become fluid like. Modern man, without some sort of spiritual training, doesn't even know how to imagine that - that's how strongly our spirit is entangled to the mineral element.

In this sense there's no actual veil between worlds but it is entirely up to the development of consciousness to grow into the relations of all the planes. Our physical body is in the physical plane ('spectral band' of Divine Consciousness, so to speak), our feelings are of the same 'substance' as the astral world - they are part of the astral world, our thoughts are 'made of' intuition and they belong to the higher spiritual world.

We must be quite clear that it is because of our physical habits of mind that we are inclined to imagine things in the simple way. Because of our physical body, we're used to imagine our consciousness as packaged around it and belonging to the physical world. Similarly we imagine, for example, extraterrestrials as belonging with their complete body/consciousness package to other plane/dimension, and eventually they pierce the veil and visit us. It's one of those things that we can overcome only when we investigate ourselves and find out that we imagine things in this way entirely out of convenience. We simply take our understandings as developed through the interaction with the sensory spectrum and abstractly copy-paste them multiple times in different planes/dimensions.

This view is refuted by higher cognition. In fact, higher cognition is precisely the ability to see how our normal consciousness is made of these interpenetrating worlds. In our modern state, the highest in us - the thinking spirit - is locked into the patterns of the senses and nervous system. It's not that there's some veil 'entity' which separates our consciousness from other worlds. Think of human language. It represents a network of auditory perceptions with corresponding meaning experienced in intuition. The words mutually support each other, just like the words in a dictionary are defined through one another. Language as a whole forms a seemingly enclosed domain of conscious activity. It's not that it is truly isolated but we need effort to learn other languages in order to expands the domain.

We are within the higher worlds, they are not higher floors of existence that we're separated from through veil entities. Everything is everywhere, interpenetrating. It's only that the vast potential of these worlds doesn't register in our Earthly cognition. It's like a unknown language that passes through us and evokes no intuition in the spirit. Higher development consists precisely into developing the perception and cognition of the layers and how they play out into each other. Currently the whole 'volume' of our Cosmic being is being flattened onto the sensory impressions and the intellect adapted to them. The ancient Hebrews had a good feeling for this:
Psalms 44:25 wrote:For our soul is bowed down to the dust: our belly cleaveth unto the earth.
This is much more than poetic expression. It's quite literal [in the higher sense] when we know how to read.

So all these talks about escaping into the astral world and so on are based on misunderstanding. The astral world is veiled for the ordinary consciousness because our being is not yet properly organized. We experience the astral world only as sympathies, antipathies, desires related to the sensory spectrum. In other words we cognize the astral only as far as it intersects with the sensory. Through spiritual development we can recognize the astral in its more encompassing nature. As said, this nature is not a disconnected plane behind a veil. The veil is not something substantial that separates the worlds. It's veil in the same way that there's a veil for the illiterate man spread above the written words. As far as the man is concerned, this world of text meaning simply doesn't exist. Yet it doesn't exist not because higher beings are forcefully keeping it veiled but because the man hasn't developed his abilities which interrelate intuitions from a higher world (the meaning of the words) with visual perceptions (the written letters). In similar sense we're currently beholding the contents of our consciousness but don't know that everything is part of a script - the contents of consciousness are runes, hieroglyphs with hidden meaning. We need to learn how to read. This is how we must approach, for example, a concept as 'astral body'. It's useless to fantasize some colorful blobs. Instead, we should try to grasp the unity of our feelings and desires, we should feel that they are not disconnected conscious phenomena. This unity that we grasp quite vaguely in our thinking will grow and differentiate as we move along the path of development. When the time comes, our life of feeling becomes like an open book before us, our feelings have been harmonized and interrelated in such a way, that their unity, which we initially cognized only quite nebulously, now shines in full reality as the transfigured and harmonized life of feelings. These feelings become so refined and high-resolution that they become for us as an additional perceptible world, where not only our personal soul life is beheld but also the general soul world. This is possible because the harmonization of our feelings is not something that we achieve in isolation within ourselves. We harmonize our feelings in relation to the World and that's why the World flows into our soul and our soul into the World.

I'll use the following analogy (my apologies to those fed up with my analogies).
Image
The above illustrates the so called aliasing effect when a signal is discretized. For those unfamiliar with the concept, imagine a process that unfolds in time, yet we can only take momentary glimpses of it at regular intervals of time. For example, we may be looking at a turtle every one minute. Every time we see it, it has moved a little further and we conclude that it is moving slowly in one direction. But what if the turtle is actually a ninja turtle and runs around all the time but it so happens that at the time of looking we see it just at the right place, so we conclude that it's going linearly. In the diagram above the blue sinusoid is the actual signal, the red dots are the moments we peek at the signal. It can be seen how depending on how often we peek, we may get quite different impressions of what the signal is (the dashed line).

This is a limited but useful analogy for our conscious life. Please don't take it too rigidly, it's a metaphor, yet it has a lot of truth in it. Our physical body with the nervous system in certain sense determine the frequency of discretization of the conscious phenomena we experience. Ben said earlier that there's nothingness between our thoughts. This is only partly right. If we are able to increase the frequency of discretization of our spiritual activity we'll find out that this nothingness is actually a whole world and our ordinary consciousness is only like momentary snapshots of it. It looks to us like our thoughts are marching forward one by one but in reality it's an aliasing effect. When through the methods of meditative concentration we manage to change the rate of the snapshots we begin to live consciously in the phenomena which is always there and of which our ordinary consciousness is only an aliasing effect. We can't rise to the higher frequency worlds by simply thinking intellectually about them. Intellectual thinking keeps us frequency-locked to our nervous system. Yet when we think about things reported from higher cognition we live in the absolutely same higher worlds, it's just that we experience them in a more aliased form. This is the reason why intuitive thinking can give us complete confidence in the reality of the higher worlds, even if we don't tread the path of higher development, which alone can rise the discretization frequency.

There's a lot of food for thought here - for those who are ripe to know reality in its true depth. The main thing is that the astral and higher worlds are not separate planes of existence, separated by substantial veils. Our whole human experience encompasses the full spectrum of the worlds. It's only that our preoccupation with the physical body and the corresponding intellectual thinking determines the rate of discretization and we experience from all the worlds only the aliasing effects which are compatible with the mineral plane.

If this is comprehended in the needed depth, a lot of unnecessary arguing will fall off by itself. The above can give us proper understanding what evolution is, what the fallen state is (extreme frequency-lock with the sensory spectrum), what redemption is, how we're not an atom inside some of the planes of existence but a slice of all worlds, how some experience nothingness where others live in a spiritual world and so on. Meditating on this analogy can give us a lot. One of the most challenging parts of it is to envision that our intellectual mineral-like thinking itself is an aliasing effect, yet the spirit is fully active in the such formed plane of the intellect. When we rise the frequency of discretization we perceive directly this aliasing effect - we perceive what our ordinary self is made of. We now live in true Imaginative consciousness in a higher order spiritual activity, of which our linear mineral thinking and self-image are only aliased version. Our intellectual ego can't simply inflate and find the higher resolution reality. With inflation it will find only the nothingness between the thoughts. We must sacrifice the intellect so that we die for it, and resurrect in full consciousness within the higher being, which has so far been dreaming our ordinary self.
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Re: Cleric's Responses to Mystical Metaphysics (or How to Make a Logical Argument)

Post by Lou Gold »

Soul_of_Shu wrote: Thu Sep 23, 2021 10:11 pm
Lou Gold wrote: Thu Sep 23, 2021 9:39 pm Does make me wonder though if "stuck in the middle" might feel to a metaphysician seeking a single fundamental as rather hellish at times?
I suppose, if the S.I.N. of someone in hell isn't also dispelled ;)
and to find out, "let us go and make our visit."

PS: not a big deal but I do prefer the acronym S.I.N. to mean Separate Identity Nonsense because aligns better for me with my felt bias that Reality is best described as Mittakuye Oyasin or All My Relations.
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Re: Cleric's Responses to Mystical Metaphysics (or How to Make a Logical Argument)

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Cleric K wrote: Thu Sep 23, 2021 10:23 pm In this sense there's no actual veil between worlds but it is entirely up to the development of consciousness to grow into the relations of all the planes. Our physical body is in the physical plane ('spectral band' of Divine Consciousness, so to speak), our feelings are of the same 'substance' as the astral world - they are part of the astral world, our thoughts are 'made of' intuition and they belong to the higher spiritual world.

We must be quite clear that it is because of our physical habits of mind that we are inclined to imagine things in the simple way. Because of our physical body, we're used to imagine our consciousness as packaged around it and belonging to the physical world. Similarly we imagine, for example, extraterrestrials as belonging with their complete body/consciousness package to other plane/dimension, and eventually they pierce the veil and visit us. It's one of those things that we can overcome only when we investigate ourselves and find out that we imagine things in this way entirely out of convenience. We simply take our understandings as developed through the interaction with the sensory spectrum and abstractly copy-paste them multiple times in different planes/dimensions.


Brilliant. And let me be the first to say, I have been reading and thinking about spiritual science daily for many months now, and I always first envision the veil 'entities' between physical, etheric, astral, etc. I can repeat "there is only One reality, there is only One reality, there is only One reality" as many times as I want, but that initial perceiving-and-conceiving process of various 'veils' structuring the spiritual does not simply go away. It is only after a fair amount of thoughtful reflection, or a post like Cleric's above, when it sinks in and helps me make sense of all that I had been thinking about in that context. So this modern habit of mind is no trivial thing to (a) recognize and (b) overcome, whatsoever. If I were to approach an evangelical Christian today and explain how scripture is really referring to this prejudice throughout, they would feel I am completely trivializing the scripture, but that's precisely because they have never reflected on how deeply it influences all that we perceive and conceive in the world, which in turn influences all relationships and treatment of others.

This one simple prejudice of division, segregation, fragmentation, abstract copy-and-pasting, etc. makes sense of nearly all shortcomings in modern philosophy and science, as well as our own daily experiences. And this is nothing new - anyone reading who is familiar with Jungian depth psychology has already encountered this idea many times over. But, because of the very same prejudice, this abstract knowledge is not integrated with other fields of knowledge and our own immanent experience. It is all held flatly and abstractly and seems like just another "theory" in a long list of theories out there to consider and speculate over. Honestly confronting the prejudice and reflecting on how it functions within our immanent experience, even with mere intellectual reasoning, will automatically add living depth to the idea. That is a core aspect of PoF, for those who are currently reading it or plan on doing so - one can never add depth and thereby improve the life of ideals without first knowing what needs to be added to and how.

What does it mean to add "depth" to an idea? Well, for one thing, we suddenly realize why all the criticisms of "higher" cognition, "higher" spiritual realms, "higher" this or that, which try to pin the use of that language on some sort of Western spiritual superiority complex, is so far off the mark. It is quite literally higher in the same way that climbing to a higher-elevation mountain peak gives one a more comprehensive perspective on the range. Those flattened ideas of "projecton", "compensation", "shadow", "unconscious", etc. actually die and resurrect back to a fuller and more richly meaningful life in our own mind. Apart from myself, I think some like PZ can already testify to that spiritual rebirth occurring for much of the ideal content she was merely familiar with but never actually knew. Yet we can also understand that we are still climbing one of the lowest peaks in the range, and that is what is so exciting and enlivening about it.


"Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes." -Jung
“It is your presumption that freedom is something which you already possess that ensures that you will remain in chains."
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