Metamorphoses of the Spirit: Incarnating the Christ

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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Cleric K
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Re: Metamorphoses of the Spirit: Incarnating the Christ

Post by Cleric K »

Ashvin, thanks again for the great work!
It was very interesting for me to read the words of these philosophers, most of which I'm unfamiliar with, since I don't have very wide philosophical experience. It always gives warmth to the heart when co-experiencing the work of the Spirit within souls extending along the depth axis!
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Re: Metamorphoses of the Spirit: Incarnating the Christ

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Cleric K wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 10:28 pm Ashvin, thanks again for the great work!
It was very interesting for me to read the words of these philosophers, most of which I'm unfamiliar with, since I don't have very wide philosophical experience. It always gives warmth to the heart when co-experiencing the work of the Spirit within souls extending along the depth axis!
It was my pleasure and thank you for the ongoing inspiration!
“It is your presumption that freedom is something which you already possess that ensures that you will remain in chains."
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Re: Metamorphoses of the Spirit: Incarnating the Christ

Post by Apanthropinist »

AshvinP wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 10:27 pm
Apanthropinist wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 10:16 pm I suspect it may be better placed here seeing as though it references the title of your essay "Metamorphoses of the Spirit: Incarnating the Christ"
You placed it here disingenuously to call me "disingenuous". Have we debated before on Thinkspot? Because your childish tactics remind me of a few people on that forum.

I don't know what Thinkspot is and also don't do any social media or any other forums, I don't even know how to use my mobile properly. Though I am confident that you may well hang out in any number places that reflect your level of maturity.

Anyway, I thought this might be better placed here though I posted it to your other thread as that's where you responded as below. Best kept to one place I suspect. I'll be taking a break after this as I have a life and it will give you time to dowse those flames from your underwear I imagine and it will be nice for you to theologise without interruption for a bit.

AshvinP wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 9:30 pm
Apanthropinist wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 6:40 pm
AshvinP wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 5:48 pm I had no idea what you are talking about anymore.
I suspect you might if you paid more attention to what it is that I might be doing. But in order to do that you would need to drop your assumptions and beliefs and just follow what I am actually doing. I also suspect that you are quite capable of doing so. I don't doubt your intelligence.
AshvinP wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 5:48 pm I did not make an argument for "Deities" or "Theological entities" in the Kant essay or this essay.
Quotes from your "Metamorphoses of the Spirit: Incarnating the Christ"

"Steiner is easily the most prolific and profound commentator on the metamorphoses of Spirit."

"Perhaps a series of events when the sovereign individual consciousness became the most important locus of the Spirit."

"Specifically, they highlight the individual ego becoming responsible for its own progressive reintegration within the Divine."

"Christ in Jesus also speaks of fulfilling the law and the prophets rather than abolishing them."

"As maddening as it may be for militant skeptics, what Christ revealed is not much different from what modern science has also revealed."

"The only difference between sound Christian theology and sound assessment of theoretical physics stems from the latter's refusal to acknowledge that what is standing 'behind' the appearances of the world is psychic in nature."

"What illuminates the shadows dancing in front of us on the cave wall is not more shadowy stuff, but the true Source of Light."

"...therefore, we are striving to become Christ-like in the most real and concrete sense we can possibly imagine for ourselves."

"Here is when the dualist Christian chimes in to say, "it is not only seemingly impossible, but actually impossible, and that is why we remain forever dependent on God's grace". Yet, if our broad overview through the metamorphoses of Spirit has revealed to us anything so far, it is that our cross is only ours to bear right now."

"The third and final part of this essay will explore the reason why our spiritual activity, as it has metamorphosed over the centuries, is connected to the Divine. We will see how anyone reading these words right now can begin exploring these connective relationships of the Spirit at any given time they choose. We all have a choice to make and let us remain honest with ourselves when doing so, because the stakes remain very high. Only then can we begin contemplating how it is that Saint Paul remarked so many centuries ago, "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me."

Then can we also begin taking seriously what Jesus prayed to his disciples at the Last Supper:

"You, Father, are in me, and I am in you. May they also be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. I have given them the glory You gave Me, so that they may be one as We are one - I in them and You in me - that they may be perfectly united..."
- John 17:21-23
."
AshvinP wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 5:48 pm Maybe I am just too dull to follow your logic, or maybe you are not, in fact, talking about anything of substance. Until you provide more clarity, I am happy to leave this as it is.
I doubt anyone, dull or smart, could support the logic of your assertion that you are not making an argument for Theological entities/Divinity (as I quoted from your essay above)...or maybe you are not, in fact, talking about anything of analytical idealism. Until you cease being disingenuous, I am happy to continue.
So you failed to notice I said "in the Kant essay or this essay", or you noticed and intentionally ignored it. Either way I have grown tired of holding your hand like an unruly child so I am done until you make a substantive contribution on this forum. (you started off well mentioning Julian Jaynes and went quickly downhill from there).
So you failed to appreciate that no one might anticipate what was coming in your subsequent essay (improper cognition?). Then, when it did come in your subsequent essay and you did make arguments with Deities and Theological entities and you were challenged about it by quoting that essay.......you intentionally ignored it because you cannot defend it in case it exposes your disingenuous attempt to 'poison the well' of philosophical analytic idealism by an attempt to conflate it a Gnostic-Christian-Anthroposophy.

It is quite a puerile tactic to Ad Hominem, as I have encouraged you to consider, as a way of trying to insulate and immunise yourself from legitimate philosophical challenge. If you can't bear legitimate philosophical challenges I can only suggest you find someone to hold your hand. Fortunately, contrary to your insulting remark, I wear adult trousers and so I can see it for what it is because I am not blinded by Theological ideation and the need to demean anyone who doesn't agree with me. I am interested in attacking a persons argument, not the person, and I can only encourage you to adopt that mature principal.

I'll offer you a simple piece of guidance. You fail, as do many, to get your logic lined up first because you are far too wrapped up in the substance of what you may feel is a glorious idea. It is probably the most common mistake of any undergraduate. They devour Kant and Hegel and Hume and Nietzsche etc etc and become so fuelled with ideas and in such a headlong footrace to present their fabulous argument to the world, that they entirely forget one simple but absolutely crucial thing: A false premise exposes an unsound argument.

Then, when they get their essay marked down, they get all moody because no one is recognising the substance of their fabulous argument and complain about it, only to be told by a tutor that, yes, it does sound interesting, but it isn't a successful argument because there are fallacies and flaws in the logic of it and so it cannot succeed.

After a few times repeating the same things, they either finally get it and do much better, or they don't get it and go off and do Theology instead.

Philosophy lacks the mercy of Theology and the Christ you quoted in your essay, it is unforgiving towards unsound arguments.

I sincerely wish you well with your theological Gnostic-Christian-Anthroposophy beliefs and hope they bring you comfort, spirituality can and does do that as I have my own privately held spiritual beliefs. But please don't try and pass it off as rational philosophy on a forum closely associated with the rational philosophy of Kastrup's analytic idealism.

I'll leave you with a couple of things from Khalil Gibran that I really love:

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.
Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.
And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy;
And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields.
And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief.
Much of your pain is self-chosen.
It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self.
Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquillity:
For his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided by the tender hand of the Unseen,
And the cup he brings, though it burn your lips, has been fashioned of the clay which the
Potter has moistened with His own sacred tears.

“No man can reveal to you aught but that which already lies half asleep in the dawning of your knowledge.
The teacher who walks in the shadow of the temple, among his followers, gives not of his wisdom but rather of his faith and his lovingness.
If he is indeed wise he does not bid you enter the house of his wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your own mind.”
'Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel''
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AshvinP
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Re: Metamorphoses of the Spirit: Incarnating the Christ

Post by AshvinP »

Apanthropinist wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 12:07 am So you failed to appreciate that no one might anticipate what was coming in your subsequent essay (improper cognition?). Then, when it did come in your subsequent essay and you did make arguments with Deities and Theological entities and you were challenged about it by quoting that essay.......you intentionally ignored it because you cannot defend it in case it exposes your disingenuous attempt to 'poison the well' of philosophical analytic idealism by an attempt to conflate it a Gnostic-Christian-Anthroposophy.

It is quite a puerile tactic to Ad Hominem, as I have encouraged you to consider, as a way of trying to insulate and immunise yourself from legitimate philosophical challenge. If you can't bear legitimate philosophical challenges I can only suggest you find someone to hold your hand. Fortunately, contrary to your insulting remark, I wear adult trousers and so I can see it for what it is because I am not blinded by Theological ideation and the need to demean anyone who doesn't agree with me. I am interested in attacking a persons argument, not the person, and I can only encourage you to adopt that mature principal.

I'll offer you a simple piece of guidance. You fail, as do many, to get your logic lined up first because you are far too wrapped up in the substance of what you may feel is a glorious idea. It is probably the most common mistake of any undergraduate. They devour Kant and Hegel and Hume and Nietzsche etc etc and become so fuelled with ideas and in such a headlong footrace to present their fabulous argument to the world, that they entirely forget one simple but absolutely crucial thing: A false premise exposes an unsound argument.

Then, when they get their essay marked down, they get all moody because no one is recognising the substance of their fabulous argument and complain about it, only to be told by a tutor that, yes, it does sound interesting, but it isn't a successful argument because there are fallacies and flaws in the logic of it and so it cannot succeed.

After a few times repeating the same things, they either finally get it and do much better, or they don't get it and go off and do Theology instead.

Philosophy lacks the mercy of Theology and the Christ you quoted in your essay, it is unforgiving towards unsound arguments.

I sincerely wish you well with your theological Gnostic-Christian-Anthroposophy beliefs and hope they bring you comfort, spirituality can and does do that as I have my own privately held spiritual beliefs. But please don't try and pass it off as rational philosophy on a forum closely associated with the rational philosophy of Kastrup's analytic idealism.
Bottom line - there are plenty of non-theological philosophical arguments in the essays which you can choose from to critique, yet you consistently choose not to critique any of them but instead focus on how everyone who you disagree with is not doing "proper" philosophy. There is nothing mature about that. If you had devoted even a little bit of that brain power to discussing the philosophical points made, then we would not be stuck in 100% unproductive back and forth.
I'll leave you with a couple of things from Khalil Gibran that I really love:

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.
Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.
And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy;
And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields.
And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief.
Much of your pain is self-chosen.
It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self.
Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquillity:
For his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided by the tender hand of the Unseen,
And the cup he brings, though it burn your lips, has been fashioned of the clay which the
Potter has moistened with His own sacred tears.

“No man can reveal to you aught but that which already lies half asleep in the dawning of your knowledge.
The teacher who walks in the shadow of the temple, among his followers, gives not of his wisdom but rather of his faith and his lovingness.
If he is indeed wise he does not bid you enter the house of his wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your own mind.”
Great poem. Much of our pain is indeed self-chosen, particularly the self-chosen refusal to break the Cartesian-Kantian habits of mind which declare philosophy has no systematic relevance for spirituality and vice versa. I suspect it is not an accident you are refusing to state your philosophical position on those. I suspect it is not because you reject Descartes and Kant as being proper topics for philosophical discourse.
“It is your presumption that freedom is something which you already possess that ensures that you will remain in chains."
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Cleric K
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Re: Metamorphoses of the Spirit: Incarnating the Christ

Post by Cleric K »

Eugene I wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 6:16 pm
But that tradition also goes much further to specify more ideal relations (not necessarily "all there is to reality") in addition to the simple fact that Mind exists and can know Itself
Right, studying those relations is definitely a good part of the Western contribution. Yet, even that knowledge is slightly distorted because of the lacking component of experience, and based on that, investing to much value and emphasis to the relations and ideas only (because according to its view, knowing ideas is knowing everything to be known about reality). In a way, it's lacking a balance. I'll quote myself here with this analogy again:
It's like you always looked below the horizon paying all your attention only to all the variety of life that happens on the ground and all the mechanics and relations of that, and you thought that the life on the ground is all there is to life and to the world. And suddenly you raised your eyes and for the first time see the luminous and indivisible sky. There may be a temptation to forget the ground and get stoned just looking at the sky, but I don't think it's a good choice either. Instead, it is better to enhance you view and see the whole picture at once all the time - both the sky and the ground, and keep walking on the ground while enjoying the wholeness of the landscape. This is where we can find the perfect balance between being too much lost and focused in the details of what happens on the ground, or being stoned and focused on the sky only.
So the world of ideas and relations in such all-encompassing view becomes only one of the aspects of reality, still an essential one, but not exhaustive or complete in itself.
Eugene, I don't know if you make this on purpose or you really haven't grasped it. Almost every post where I need to get to the epistemological foundations I speak of perceptions and ideas. Scott and Ashvin have also done that. The only reason you see ideas as lacking balance is because you insist on viewing them only when they are experienced as abstract thoughts. If we speak of the abstract intellect and its concepts this is understandable. But all attempts have been made to explain that ideas find their unity only when they become united with the corresponding perceptions. We can speak about string theory as being lost in ideal relations but it's not justified to say the same for botany, for example. When I describe the number of petals, the shape of the leaves, etc. I connect ideas with perceptions, I'm not floating in the sky, it's precisely the balance you speak of. I made an attempt to explain how spiritual science continues in the same way - we have supersensible perceptions to which the intellect can unite corresponding concepts.

What you call direct experiences correspond to perceptions in the above terminology. I hope it's clear that perceptions don't include only the physical senses. In the most general sense, a perception is anything that can become the object of thinking. So let's synchronize the terminology - what you call direct experiences are perceptions because, I hope you would agree, it's possible to think about these experiences.

The reason that you try to distinguish direct experiences from intellectual ideas is justified. But it's untrue that Western esoterism doesn't understand this - it is precisely the opposite because Occidental Wisdom recognizes the different gradations of ideas, of which intellectual concepts are only one. Perceiving without intellectual thoughts, which you call direct experiences, has something to do with the highest stage of cognition called Intuitive knowledge. I've tried to give a rudimentary sketch on the connection between the evolutionary iterations and the degrees of cognition, in the Deep M@L essay (the slides). This can be experienced very nicely in meditation. I'll do some first-person descriptions in vivo.
I stop any thought activity and simply observe the objects in front of me in inner silence. In this state it can be said that my spiritual activity can be best described as focusing of attention on perceptions. For example, now I contemplate my cup of tea on the desk with no thought activity (obviously I take breaks in order to type). There's complete inner tranquility, all my activity is simply supporting my visual focus on the cup. There are no thoughts, words, relations, yet I'm perfectly aware of what I'm seeing. I don't think it, there are no moving forms, yet I experience certain meaning as I'm focused at the cup. I don't feel confusion, vagueness, I simply know what I'm seeing. It's very interesting to do this exercise while remaining in the same tranquil and thoughtless mode while shifting the focus of my vision. All I experience is how I move and nail my gaze at different objects one at a time. Now I see an Arduino board, now my soldering station, now the keyboard and so on. Again - there's absolutely no vibration of thought activity, only movement and fixation of attention in perfect stillness of the inner waters. Yet it's very interesting to experience how the meaning of what I experience changes as I shift my gaze. Even though there are no words, there's perfect clarity of what I see - I know what I see. Now I return to the cup. From this state I can very slowly produce the verbal thought 'cup' and observe the experience. It feels like the thought lifts like a perturbated form from the sea of tranquility. This is a new element within my consciousness - it's a different perception, it's a verbal perception, I practically hear a word (although I literally see it as it forms in my larynx soul organ). But when I observe very closely (that's why it helps to form the thought very slowly) I see that the meaningful content of my tranquil thoughtless observation doesn't really change. In fact the verbal thought becomes only a symbol for the meaning. It's like saying: "Now I make a gesture with my larynx soul organ, I inwardly see and hear this gesture and for me this gesture will from now on remind me of the meaning that I experience when I thoughtlessly observe the cup." Now I turn my gaze away, assume the tranquil state again and make the same gesture with my larynx - that is, I slowly produce the verbal thought 'cup'. Even though I no longer have the visual impression of a cup, I experience a reverberation of the same meaning.

These are very pleasant and valuable exercises. Since you are experienced with meditation I think it won't be a problem to try them out. If you do, I think we'll be able to come to terms about what is called idea in the fundamental sense. If you are able to discern the meaning implicit in the tranquil contemplation of an object, even though there are no thoughts produced through the larynx, you'll know what is meant by idea in the widest sense. By the way the larynx soul organ produces not only verbal but any thought forms. A very handy analogy is cymatics. Of course here it's not physical sound which creates the forms but spiritual activity that is being shaped within the larynx organ and produces the forms within the astral substance, which to varying degrees imprints in the etheric. Normally this impression occurs most readily in the etheric brain, that's why most people experience their thoughts roughly in that area. But I have no problem in this moment to produce forms in any part of the body and even outside the body. The latter gives us the experience of what is called the aura in popular language. Anyway, I digress. My point is that the thoughtless mode already points to what is called Intuitive consciousness and which is actually the highest form of cognition achievable, allowing to explore the most ancient eon of evolution.

If the above is understood correctly it'll be reckoned that spiritual science doesn't deal with abstractly chaining concepts together but seeks the direct experiences that you speak of. In non-dual traditions one also attains to the tranquil thoughtless state but the focus is on the wholeness. In this sense I can now continue my exercise and expand my visual field, include also all other senses and feelings. I do this with eyes open and I behold the totality of awareness without any movement of the larynx organ. If I close my eyes the state becomes what most non-dualists seek. I experience a total unified meaning of this state, similarly to the way I experience a more specific meaning of the cup when I'm focused on it. It is at this point where Occidental esoterism continues further. I simply need to make an observation - even though I'm in thoughtless state with no inner perturbations, yet I'm still in the body. Even though I'm in perfect stillness, I know what I experience - I experience the tranquil state of my head organ (the two-leaf lotus), unperturbed by movements of the larynx. At this moment I talk about the soul organs intuitively, similarly to the way I would find my way to the bathroom in pitch-black night - I can do it because I've done it countless times and I know where the wall is, where the door is, etc. Yet if I want to really encompass the picture I need to leave the body. Not in the naïve way that OBEs describe as going flying somewhere but by simply becoming free of the physical processes that otherwise restrict my activity. The physical body is within and outside me, but now I experience how my loosened astral body interacts with it. Now the soul organs become almost as hubs of potential where I can see not only what I can otherwise think inside the body thought by thought but how the rays of the organs interfere and create a panorama of possibilities. Right now the heart organ interferes lovingly with the living presence of all of you, friends. Something wants to flow out, it passes through the larynx, clothes itself in a form out of the panorama of possibilities that harmonize with the heart impulse, takes concrete shape in the head and flows through the hands all the way to the fingertips and the keys.
...

I didn't intend the above paragraph but with the cup exercises I entered deeper meditative state and Imaginations started to flow so I decided to simply describe them as an on-air example of the kinds of experiences that spiritual science describes. As it can be seen it's all perceptions with corresponding meaning and they are all related. But it has nothing to do with relating floating abstract ideas in the head. The expressed ideas are related through the perceptions and not through random and mechanical connections between concepts. In a similar way the botanist can describe the relations between the stem, leaves, buds, flowers and so on. These are not free floating ideas that we fantasize in some made up relation - we read out the relations directly from the perceptions. In this sense spiritual investigation is really about reaching reliably certain states (which themselves are unique constellations of the bodies and the soul organs) where the supersensible perceptions and their relations can be described.
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Re: Metamorphoses of the Spirit: Incarnating the Christ

Post by Cleric K »

PS: I hope it's clear from the above that spiritual investigation doesn't concern itself with some abstract and absolute truths. It's all about describing facts of higher experiences. The relations of the facts and their practical implications (and thus possibility for verification) is what gives the worth of these facts. Interestingly these facts of higher observation can be quite encompassing. For example, when we investigate the four iterations of the Solar system that led to our current state we are describing something concrete. I don't know if other star systems use the same blueprint, yet these observations show clearly that in our case three other iterations will follow (again this can be seen on the slides in the Depp M@L essay). We know that this will happen in a (roughly!) analogous way to the fact that if someone puts on four sweaters, he'll have to undress them in the reverse order. Although this is a concrete fact (not some absolute and eternal truth) it actually reveals the telos of our whole evolutionary context quite precisely. As I said not long ago, this spiritual context will pass through these iteration with or without man, simply because other beings are doing this as part of their own development. It's in our best interest to investigate the dynamics of the context so that we can unfold our creative activity in the greatest freedom. Otherwise we're like someone who doesn't care about any context and tries to grow vegetables in the winter.
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Re: Metamorphoses of the Spirit: Incarnating the Christ

Post by Eugene I »

Cleric K wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 1:31 am What you call direct experiences correspond to perceptions in the above terminology. I hope it's clear that perceptions don't include only the physical senses. In the most general sense, a perception is anything that can become the object of thinking. So let's synchronize the terminology - what you call direct experiences are perceptions because, I hope you would agree, it's possible to think about these experiences.
Now I have BK on my side: "all there is in the world is only conscious experiences". Perceptions are experiences, thought and ideas are also experiences and they are experienced exactly in the same way, even though tier quality is different. Directly experiencing everything in the world as experiences that are just taking different forms and having different aspects and qualities is what I call the "direct experience". So, intellectual ideas are also experiences (can you have an idea that you do not experience?), and so I do not distinguish "direct experiences from intellectual idea", and (in my terminology) perceiving with thoughts and without thoughts are equally experiences.
Now I see an Arduino board, now my soldering station, now the keyboard and so on.

Oh nice, I'm playing with Arduino at home too :)
My point is that the thoughtless mode already points to what is called Intuitive consciousness and which is actually the highest form of cognition achievable, allowing to explore the most ancient eon of evolution.
You can go much further than that and even shutter your "intuitive consciousness". But the experiencing will still be there. The whole point of this "thoughtless state exercise" is to remove everything that we usually focus on so that it will allow us to discover the "thing" we never noticed before: the experiencing itself. Once that done, you can forget about those thougtless states, they are really useless otherwise.
These are not free floating ideas that we fantasize in some made up relation - we read out the relations directly from the perceptions. In this sense spiritual investigation is really about reaching reliably certain states (which themselves are unique constellations of the bodies and the soul organs) where the supersensible perceptions and their relations can be described.
There is a lot of ways you can stretch your cognition and develop all kinds of perceptional abilities and explore the layers of reality that become accessible with such abilities. That's what Yogis and psychics do as well, and there is definitely a value in this.
"Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Kanzas anymore" Dorothy
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Re: Metamorphoses of the Spirit: Incarnating the Christ

Post by Cleric K »

Eugene I wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 2:22 am
Now I have BK on my side: "all there is in the world is only conscious experiences". Perceptions are experiences, thought and ideas are also experiences and they are experienced exactly in the same way, even though tier quality is different. Directly experiencing everything in the world as experiences that are just taking different forms and having different aspects and qualities is what I call the "direct experience". So, intellectual ideas are also experiences (can you have an idea that you do not experience?), and so I do not distinguish "direct experiences from intellectual idea", and (in my terminology) perceiving with thoughts and without thoughts are equally experiences.
...
You can go much further than that and even shutter your "intuitive consciousness". But the experiencing will still be there. The whole point of this "thoughtless state exercise" is to remove everything that we usually focus on so that it will allow us to discover the "thing" we never noticed before: the experiencing itself. Once that done, you can forget about those thougtless states, they are really useless otherwise.
Again, I'm not sure if you evade the core point on purpose or I'm not doing a good job explaining it.

I don't think I can go in much finer detail that what I did in the meditative experience with the cup which I described. My point was to present a clear description of the way we can transition from a state of pure observation which experiences the meaning of what is being observed (and which you call direct experience) to the state where we experience the same meaning as if concentrated into a symbol.

When you say "You can go much further than that and even shutter your "intuitive consciousness". But the experiencing will still be there." I don't think you really grasp what is meant by intuitive consciousness. Just repeat for yourself the exercise with the cup, with the thing that you call 'much further than intuitive consciousness' (I don't know what that could be). Remove all movements of thoughts and feelings and just experience in perfect stillness that 'further' thing. Then slowly form the verbal thought "this is the 'further' experience". If you succeed in doing this you'll find out that this is the same thing that I described for the cup and then extended to encompass the totality of experience.

I'm trying to show that what is called Idea is the inseparable meaningful essence of what you call experience. You ask "can you have an idea that you do not experience?". I can't. But I can similarly ask "can you have experience that you don't know that you are experiencing?" You see, to be aware of having experience is actually something quite profound and deep. It's impossible to be aware of something without experiencing some meaningful essence in relation to it. There's no such thing as "I'm aware of the experience of the cup, without the direct meaning that I see a cup". There's no such thing as "I'm aware that all there is are experiences of qualia, without the direct meaning of this observational experience."

It must be clear that we're not doing regular philosophy here. We are observing closely how philosophical thoughts come into existence. In regular philosophy we form the thought often quite unconsciously and focus on its meaning. What is needed today is not to be content with the end-result of thinking but to trace the very process of thinking itself. This is 'meta-philosophy', it's the rudimentary beginning of actual spiritual perception. Not juggling words that refer to thinking in the same way we can speak about digestion, but actual observation and perception of the formation of thoughts. This perceiving is already a form of higher seeing. In this sense, when we say "all there is in the world is only conscious experiences" we should observe how exactly we arrive at that thought. The cup exercise provides the basic framework for this observation. Unless we stand on the grounds of actual observation of the thinking process we'll simply throw around the end-products of thinking without ever addressing the process that brings the thoughts into existence. Unless we try to observe intimately how the thought "all there is in the world is only conscious experiences" precipitates from the meaningful thoughtless intuition (direct experience imbued with meaning/idea), it's impossible to detect how we commit an error when we declare that the experience is primary and the idea of the above thought only secondary. The perception of the verbal thought (the symbol) is indeed secondary but the ideal meaning is the same in both the thought and the thoughtless experience (pure intuition). It's entirely up to us to observe this without prejudice. Otherwise we fantasize an abstract primal 'experience' which is devoid of meaningful essence and imagine that somehow this ideal meaning appears as secondary effect in our cognition (intuitive or intellectual).

PS: These things are plain as day for me. Maybe this confuses me to think that they could be clear to anyone. I'll be grateful on any feedback from anyone reading here, if what I write makes sense at all, or I don't do a good job to step into other people's shoes and build a more gradual bridge.
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Re: Metamorphoses of the Spirit: Incarnating the Christ

Post by Apanthropinist »

AshvinP wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 1:08 am Bottom line - there are plenty of non-theological philosophical arguments in the essays which you can choose from to critique, yet you consistently choose not to critique any of them but instead focus on how everyone who you disagree with is not doing "proper" philosophy. There is nothing mature about that. If you had devoted even a little bit of that brain power to discussing the philosophical points made, then we would not be stuck in 100% unproductive back and forth.
But this is precisely my point Ashvin, the lack of logical rigour ensures that it does just go unproductively back and forth, like a theological debate about whose idea of divinity is best and is an arm wrestling contest of spiritual ego. Kastrup knows the substance of his argument but he is also a good philosopher in that he understands the crucial importance of lining up his logic so that it can defend challenge. What is important about a sound argument is that you have no choice but to agree with it. That's what separates philosophy from theological debate. We are persuaded by argument, not simply informed by it, as we can inform ourselves by reading any and everything. It simply doesn't matter how much we know or who we can quote. And again, your aim is in error, it's not you who I disagree with, it's your argument. I'm actually interested in your idea and in Cleric's, if you are willing to believe that, but I am not willing to take them on faith and I can't see how they can be argued successfully. Logic is the beginning, a foundation and a method which can create a clear path, ultimately to a door. If the logic of an argument fails or is fallacious, it is an indication of an obfuscated path potentially to nowhere.
AshvinP wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 1:08 am
Apanthropinist wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 12:07 am I'll leave you with a couple of things from Khalil Gibran that I really love:

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.
Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.
And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy;
And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields.
And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief.
Much of your pain is self-chosen.
It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self.
Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquillity:
For his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided by the tender hand of the Unseen,
And the cup he brings, though it burn your lips, has been fashioned of the clay which the
Potter has moistened with His own sacred tears.

“No man can reveal to you aught but that which already lies half asleep in the dawning of your knowledge.
The teacher who walks in the shadow of the temple, among his followers, gives not of his wisdom but rather of his faith and his lovingness.
If he is indeed wise he does not bid you enter the house of his wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your own mind.”
Great poem. Much of our pain is indeed self-chosen, particularly the self-chosen refusal to break the Cartesian-Kantian habits of mind which declare philosophy has no systematic relevance for spirituality and vice versa. I suspect it is not an accident you are refusing to state your philosophical position on those. I suspect it is not because you reject Descartes and Kant as being proper topics for philosophical discourse.
Ashvin please, for the love of god, put your intellect aside and read those again with your 'heart' which has as much, if not more, 'intelligence' than your head. Your intellect appears too much your 'Master' and not enough an 'Emissary' (and no, I am not panpsychist like McGilchrist).

I was very fortunate to know a very good philosophy professor as an undergraduate, an affable Irishman, who offered me many valuable pearls of encouragement and was a genuine teacher. Two of which, as best I can remember:

"Try to adopt a compassionate understanding of your opponents position, as if you were them. At least, you will learn something about the strengths and weaknesses of their argument, rather than the echo chamber of your own. At best, this will help you anticipate their objections because you will be compelled to thoroughly re-examine the strengths and weaknesses of your own argument and you will then be less likely to hammer them over the head with the frustration of your own laziness and ego."

...and similarly:

"Find a philosophical position you thoroughly oppose and which presses your buttons. Put your own opinion to one side as much as you are able and try to argue as successfully as you can for that opposite position. Nothing will help you to learn the philosophical discipline faster than that and it can help to dowse the fire that can blind you."

When you say "habits of mind which declare philosophy has no systematic relevance for spirituality and vice versa." I would oppose the first part but am uncertain of the latter (the vice versa). My position is, as I noted earlier "Logic is the beginning, a foundation and a method which can create a clear path, ultimately to a door." Logic, and more importantly language itself, end at that door and cannot penetrate beyond it. What comes after that cannot be bound by the language of a dissociated alter as we are now as it would just produce a paralysing meta cognitive loop of description ad infinitum.

Strangely enough, Descartes demonstrated the limit of logic (and primitive of consciousness), with the 'Cogito' and perhaps may have been better to just say "I am". I'm sympathetic to his attempt to figure things out logically though I oppose the dualism it assumed. The Cartesian experiment applied to the question of fate or free will, simulation or reality, reveals, if we think it through to its ultimate conclusion, that logically we cannot tell the difference, in practice. It is a paralysing trap where logic ultimately defeats itself and goes into an endless loop. That is the limit of logic and language of a dissociated alter as we are now. After that it is anyone's guess as a guess is all it could be and would use language so would be suspect to the same loop. Consciousness itself cannot describe itself, it simply 'is'. For me poetry comes closest as a finger pointing to any spirituality not because of the words but what they point to. But that is just my opinion.

Anyway, I'm going to leave it at that as I have some intense studying to do (attempting to learn Python programming, any tips?) and it isn't easy for a grumpy old fart like me in my late 50's ;)

All the best to you.
'Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel''
Socrates
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Re: Metamorphoses of the Spirit: Incarnating the Christ

Post by Eugene I »

Cleric K wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 11:37 am I'm trying to show that what is called Idea is the inseparable meaningful essence of what you call experience. You ask "can you have an idea that you do not experience?". I can't. But I can similarly ask "can you have experience that you don't know that you are experiencing?" You see, to be aware of having experience is actually something quite profound and deep. It's impossible to be aware of something without experiencing some meaningful essence in relation to it. There's no such thing as "I'm aware of the experience of the cup, without the direct meaning that I see a cup". There's no such thing as "I'm aware that all there is are experiences of qualia, without the direct meaning of this observational experience."
Answer to your question: yes, I did have such experience, I told about it before. It was an experience of a "lucid" deep sleep which I entered after lucid dreaming, where there was absolutely nothing at all and even no knowledge that I have the experience. It was a really dumb coma/vegetable state. But somehow it was recorded in the memory. But after I woke up I recalled that state and realized that even though there was nothing to experience and no knowledge/meta-cognition of experiencing, the experiencing itself was still clearly there. But of course I agree that in our waking state the thinking (whether on intuitive or on rational level) always accompanies our experience, I have no problem with that. But notice that all those acts of knowing and thinking are also experiences. The main point of this exercise is to realize that the whole universe is "made of" only different conscious experiences (of a great variety of forms), exactly like BK said in his yesterday's chat. So, that's what the "direct experience" is: seeing the world as it actually is: a flow of direct experiences of forms, without denying the reality of those forms, ideas etc. There is nothing "mystical" here, it's really simple.
It must be clear that we're not doing regular philosophy here. We are observing closely how philosophical thoughts come into existence. In regular philosophy we form the thought often quite unconsciously and focus on its meaning. What is needed today is not to be content with the end-result of thinking but to trace the very process of thinking itself. This is 'meta-philosophy', it's the rudimentary beginning of actual spiritual perception. Not juggling words that refer to thinking in the same way we can speak about digestion, but actual observation and perception of the formation of thoughts. This perceiving is already a form of higher seeing. In this sense, when we say "all there is in the world is only conscious experiences" we should observe how exactly we arrive at that thought. The cup exercise provides the basic framework for this observation. Unless we stand on the grounds of actual observation of the thinking process we'll simply throw around the end-products of thinking without ever addressing the process that brings the thoughts into existence. Unless we try to observe intimately how the thought "all there is in the world is only conscious experiences" precipitates from the meaningful thoughtless intuition (direct experience imbued with meaning/idea), it's impossible to detect how we commit an error when we declare that the experience is primary and the idea of the above thought only secondary. The perception of the verbal thought (the symbol) is indeed secondary but the ideal meaning is the same in both the thought and the thoughtless experience (pure intuition). It's entirely up to us to observe this without prejudice. Otherwise we fantasize an abstract primal 'experience' which is devoid of meaningful essence and imagine that somehow this ideal meaning appears as secondary effect in our cognition (intuitive or intellectual).
I'm not prioritizing the experience as primary and ideas as secondary. I'm only saying that experience is permanent, and the ideal content of experience is impermanent, which does not means that it is "secondary". And I'm saying that if the "experience" part of it is ignored, we get a distorted and fragmented interpretation or reality and start interpreting it as a conglomerate of separate "material things", or separate "selves", or separate ideas. The "experiencing" aspect is what glues the world together into a unity without ignoring or de-prioritizing the variety. Once that is established, everything else you said about spiritual science, super-sensory perceptions, studying astral organs etc is great, I have nothing against it. But notice that all you surer-sensory perceptions and all the organs and structures you perceive and all ideas you have are also experiences and only experiences.

The only thing I would say about your spiritual science is this. Natural science is a very useful branch of human activity and brought us a lot of knowledge. But that does not mean that scientists are the only people that are doing things "right" and that every single human has to become a scientist. Similarly, if you are doing spiritual science, great for you, please do and share with us your discoveries. But that does not mean that you are the only person doing things "right" and everyone else that do or understand things differently are doing it wrong, and does not mean that everyone has to become a spiritual scientist. There are many other ways to develop consciousness and do all kinds of spiritual and mundane activities.

It's this attitude "those who are not with us are against us and serving evil forces" is problematic here, the same attitude with which Jesuits burned the witches because they honestly believed that they are "evil". This is based on an epistemological fallacy that assumes that there is only one truth, and this is exactly the truth that we have the knowledge of, therefore any other variants of "truth" have to be wrong. This is what I call "spiritual dictatorship". Even if there is an absolute truth comprehensible by thinking, that does not mean that it is exactly your variant of truth. So, please give us a break, let people have different views, do different practices, develop and grow in their own ways, and you can keep doing your own, noone is going to stop you, and you can share with us your discoveries and the benefits of your views and practices, I'm sure you will find other followers. I follow my own non-dual practice but always say that it is entirely optional and I can be wrong with my views. But I still take them "provisionally" and keep practicing because I see a practical benefit in it for me, that's all.
"Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Kanzas anymore" Dorothy
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