Does Analytic Idealism hold joy?

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martinhall
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2022 12:17 pm
Location: England

Does Analytic Idealism hold joy?

Post by martinhall »

Hi all,
I’d love to hear about your ‘felt experience’ with Idealism as a philosophy. I’ve begun to think it’s lacking ‘something’ emotionally (joy, fun, beauty).

As a short background, I'm a relatively recent arrival to Idealism (and philosophy generally), though I guess my story is common. I consumed Rupert Spira's work and non-dual spirituality for a decade, eventually leading me to BK’s work. Intellectually, I firmly believe consciousness is the ontological primitive. Emotionally, I feel consciousness is the root of all being. In short, I am a believer.

I came to study Idealism in April, following the invasion of Ukraine. That cataclysmic event really threw me off-balance, emotionally and intellectually. Suddenly, spiritual understanding seemed insufficient for peace of mind. The world no longer made sense. I questioned whether spiritual practice was enough. I needed to explore these matters intellectually, so here I am!

Finding Analytic Idealism was tremendously stimulating and captivating. I ‘gobbled it up’. In three months, I’ve read countless essays, several books and watched numerous YouTube videos. Perhaps I’ve bitten off more than I can chew in a short period, but just over the past few days, I’ve started to feel the work is missing ‘something’ in the felt / emotional sense, whether one labels that ‘joy’, ‘fun’, ‘beauty’ or ‘love’, to be truly transformational ‘as it is, in itself’ (to coin a Kastrup-ism). Can Analytic Idealism be transformational, stand alone?

Undoubtedly, there’s acknowledgement within the work that, as we are all rooted in the same being, as one, it holds transformational power for our lives. Somehow though, within this philosophical framework, as far as my limited understanding of it goes, the words feel - ‘hollow’.

Don’t get me wrong, I admire BK’s work immensely. He’s obviously very dedicated, smart and a precise communicator. This is not a personal judgement on BK. However, I guess, I am doubting the potential for Analytic Idealism to become ‘the’ mainstream paradigm. Disclaimer - I’ve read a few posts on this forum indicating BK is no longer active here, otherwise I wouldn't post a critique like this here (particularly as a newcomer).

I suspect I may be too emotionally and intellectually immature to face discovering the inherent confusion and ambiguity underlying the ‘will’ / ‘mind at large’. Perhaps, Jung is the driver of the emotional ambiguity I've derived from studying AI.

Anyhow, to the point - I’d appreciate hearing about others' experiences with this philosophy, from an emotional perspective.
Questions I have include:
  • Am I misunderstanding what the role of any philosophy is supposed to be?
  • Is it spirituality’s job to take care of the ‘felt’ side of things?
  • Have you found emotional well-being by immersing yourself in this philosophy?
  • Has this philosophy changed the way you treat others, all living beings and the environment?
  • Are other forms of Idealism more oriented towards the emotional realms of experience?
  • Is it just me that can’t see much joy, fun or love in Analytic Idealism?
  • Do I have unrealistic expectations of this work?
Admittedly, I have a very limited view of Idealism (and philosophy overall), having only studied BK’s work for a few months, so perhaps I’ve not encountered the more ‘transcendent’ aspects of this philosophy yet. With that in mind, I'd appreciate any pointers to Idealist books, websites or philosophers with more transcendent (emotional) angles.

I’d greatly appreciate hearing others' ‘felt experience’ with Analytic Idealism or Idealism generally.

Thanks,
Martin Hall
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Cleric K
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Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2021 9:40 pm

Re: Does Analytic Idealism hold joy?

Post by Cleric K »

martinhall wrote: Thu Jul 07, 2022 2:09 pm Hi all,
Hi Martin!

Yes, you are right that Analytical Idealism is quite restricted. Actually BK doesn't claim that it gives full picture of reality. He sees it as a starting point. So it's normal that you feel AI doesn't has much to say about feelings like devotion, love, sacrifice, wonder, prayer-like openness and so on.

The question is how deep you want to go into the understanding of such feelings? Do you simply seek a philosophical system that accounts for these conscious phenomena? Do you expect answer in the form of "Feelings are such and such effects occurring when X impresses into our dissociative boundary" to which you say "Aha! Alright then, now my mind has the intellectual satisfaction that it has a theory about feelings, so I can now go on to feel joy and love merrily"? Or you feel that the intellectual layer of consciousness is only part of the spectrum and that feelings are another part of the spectrum which, however, at our stage of development eludes clear cognition?

Let me use an analogy. You know the peculiar nature of breathing. On one hand it is a fully autonomous process. On the other, we can take conscious control of it any point. I can't go into details here but it can be argued that we're in a similar situation about the heart. For the man of today the heart rhythms seem to be completely involuntary, autonomous processes. Yet we do have a hint that we have inner 'levers' through which we can affect the heart rhythms. For example, if we've been annoyed by something our heart rate may have risen. Some people - innately or as a result of practice - are able to consciously calm down which lowers the heart rate. This of course is still very far from feeling tightly responsible for the heart waves in the way we do for breathing, yet it suggests that our soul processes are not completely without significance.

What I'm suggesting is that we can see the world of feelings in a similar way. We can anticipate that the life of feelings is only an elusive impression of kinds of spiritual activity that we are yet to develop in the course of evolution. Please note that there's certain inversion that happens as something autonomous becomes conscious. Imagine for a moment that your breathing is completely involuntarily. You can sense it, you perceive the movement of your chest, the inhalations and exhalation but all this happens by iron necessity, in the way it happens for your heart at this time. Normally you can easily hold you breath and cease breathing but you don't know what button of the will to push in order to hold your heartbeat. Now imagine that when you discover your ability to will the breathing process, it is something completely new that you experience. The sensations of breathing are the same but the act of consciously willing the breath is something you haven't known before. You have developed higher soul faculties so to speak. In a certain sense you have found 'the other side' of breathing (thus the inversion). In a similar sense, when we speak of becoming spiritually active in the world of feeling we shouldn't imagine that we simply increase or decrease the intensity of joy, fear, etc. as we currently know them. The more important thing is that we find completely new forms of spiritual activity, of which the feelings are only the effects, just like once we gain control of breathing, we see the sensations as effects of our will.

So the question is what do you think about this? Are you interested in simply having intellectual explanation of feelings and eventually learning how to maximize those deemed desirable - like love and joy? Or you're also open for the possibility that the form of consciousness we now experience is only an evolutionary stage and feelings are only the shadows of higher forms of spiritual activity, to which we can eventually grow?
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Lou Gold
Posts: 1698
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2021 4:18 pm

Re: Does Analytic Idealism hold joy?

Post by Lou Gold »

martinhall wrote: Thu Jul 07, 2022 2:09 pm Hi all,
I’d love to hear about your ‘felt experience’ with Idealism as a philosophy. I’ve begun to think it’s lacking ‘something’ emotionally (joy, fun, beauty).

As a short background, I'm a relatively recent arrival to Idealism (and philosophy generally), though I guess my story is common. I consumed Rupert Spira's work and non-dual spirituality for a decade, eventually leading me to BK’s work. Intellectually, I firmly believe consciousness is the ontological primitive. Emotionally, I feel consciousness is the root of all being. In short, I am a believer.

I came to study Idealism in April, following the invasion of Ukraine. That cataclysmic event really threw me off-balance, emotionally and intellectually. Suddenly, spiritual understanding seemed insufficient for peace of mind. The world no longer made sense. I questioned whether spiritual practice was enough. I needed to explore these matters intellectually, so here I am!

Finding Analytic Idealism was tremendously stimulating and captivating. I ‘gobbled it up’. In three months, I’ve read countless essays, several books and watched numerous YouTube videos. Perhaps I’ve bitten off more than I can chew in a short period, but just over the past few days, I’ve started to feel the work is missing ‘something’ in the felt / emotional sense, whether one labels that ‘joy’, ‘fun’, ‘beauty’ or ‘love’, to be truly transformational ‘as it is, in itself’ (to coin a Kastrup-ism). Can Analytic Idealism be transformational, stand alone?

Undoubtedly, there’s acknowledgement within the work that, as we are all rooted in the same being, as one, it holds transformational power for our lives. Somehow though, within this philosophical framework, as far as my limited understanding of it goes, the words feel - ‘hollow’.

Don’t get me wrong, I admire BK’s work immensely. He’s obviously very dedicated, smart and a precise communicator. This is not a personal judgement on BK. However, I guess, I am doubting the potential for Analytic Idealism to become ‘the’ mainstream paradigm. Disclaimer - I’ve read a few posts on this forum indicating BK is no longer active here, otherwise I wouldn't post a critique like this here (particularly as a newcomer).

I suspect I may be too emotionally and intellectually immature to face discovering the inherent confusion and ambiguity underlying the ‘will’ / ‘mind at large’. Perhaps, Jung is the driver of the emotional ambiguity I've derived from studying AI.

Anyhow, to the point - I’d appreciate hearing about others' experiences with this philosophy, from an emotional perspective.
Questions I have include:
  • Am I misunderstanding what the role of any philosophy is supposed to be?
  • Is it spirituality’s job to take care of the ‘felt’ side of things?
  • Have you found emotional well-being by immersing yourself in this philosophy?
  • Has this philosophy changed the way you treat others, all living beings and the environment?
  • Are other forms of Idealism more oriented towards the emotional realms of experience?
  • Is it just me that can’t see much joy, fun or love in Analytic Idealism?
  • Do I have unrealistic expectations of this work?
Admittedly, I have a very limited view of Idealism (and philosophy overall), having only studied BK’s work for a few months, so perhaps I’ve not encountered the more ‘transcendent’ aspects of this philosophy yet. With that in mind, I'd appreciate any pointers to Idealist books, websites or philosophers with more transcendent (emotional) angles.

I’d greatly appreciate hearing others' ‘felt experience’ with Analytic Idealism or Idealism generally.

Thanks,
Martin Hall
I appreciate your questions Martin, I also have high regard for BK's work of refuting physicalism and and opening philosophical doors so to speak. In all honesty, Analytic Idealism has never generated for me a direct experience or feeling about anything but I never expected that it might. I was simply glad for many of my feelings and experiences to be rationally considered as plausible contra the dominant paradigm, which denied them.
I’ve started to feel the work is missing ‘something’ in the felt / emotional sense, whether one labels that ‘joy’, ‘fun’, ‘beauty’ or ‘love’, to be truly transformational ‘as it is, in itself’ (to coin a Kastrup-ism). Can Analytic Idealism be transformational, stand alone?

My take as a non-philosopher is that AI is missing a compelling story about how one might navigate through the pain/joy of being human in an incomplete state of evolution. I say "pain/joy" because the heart of compassion can not be opened to one without the other any more than a window can be opened to the perfume of roses and not also to the stench of decay. A compelling story in my mind at this time of unraveling, confusion and suffering would be one(s) offering felt and lasting experiences of healing, restoration and renewal.
Be calm - Be clear - See the faults - See the suffering - Give your love
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Lou Gold
Posts: 1698
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2021 4:18 pm

Re: Does Analytic Idealism hold joy?

Post by Lou Gold »

Lou Gold wrote: Sat Jul 16, 2022 2:48 am I appreciate your questions Martin, I also have high regard for BK's work of refuting physicalism and and opening philosophical doors so to speak. In all honesty, Analytic Idealism has never generated for me a direct experience or feeling about anything but I never expected that it might. I was simply glad for many of my feelings and experiences to be rationally considered as plausible contra the dominant paradigm, which denied them.
A correction Martin: Once, in my earliest days of contemplating AI, I somehow came into a direct experience. I was walking on a lovely morning on my way to the supermarket. I began spontaneously to repeat as a mantra, "Everything I see is a symbol on consciousness." By the time I arrived in the market my whole world had transformed into a gorgeous vibrancy, truly an extraordinary ordinary.
Be calm - Be clear - See the faults - See the suffering - Give your love
Starbuck
Posts: 176
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2021 1:22 pm

Re: Does Analytic Idealism hold joy?

Post by Starbuck »

Hi Martin, you say you got to BK through Rupert Spira. Analytic idealism is the intellectual counterpart to Ruperts work. Do you find spira lacking in joy and meaning? I would simply supplement Bernardo work with the spiritual understanding that pure rationality cannot convey.
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