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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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lorenzop
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Re: This forum

Post by lorenzop »

Cleric K wrote: Fri Sep 09, 2022 8:02 pm I know that the World Content matter has been gone through with Ashvin but I would like to present yet another rendition.

What do we imagine when we hear the word 'world'? In the most general sense we picture a vast space filled with materials, plants, creatures, empty space between planets, forces, star stuff and so on. We imagine ourselves also as a creature within this world. These latter things that fill the world are the 'content'.

But is this world and its content something which is directly and unquestionably given to us? Or there's some unexamined thinking that gives it such a form? Let's compare our waking life with dreaming. In the former case we feel pretty confident that we know what the world is with all the creatures, trees, rocks. We imagine that this world exists outside of us and we only have subjective perceptions of it. What about dreaming? While we dream we play along the flow of imagery as if we're really moving within a world with its creatures and materials. So what is it which makes the dream imagery to be 'just a dream' instead of a real world? When we become lucid in a dream it is not because the visual content changes. What changes is our understanding of the perceptions. Seconds ago we were acting with implicit understanding that we're moving in a world, then our understanding changes and we comprehend our perceptions to be pliable flow of images that we can begin to shape in our lucid dream.

So it turns out that it is our thinking (even if implicit) that makes the difference between a visual landscape being understood as a dream image or as a sensory perception of the 'real' world. So what is the true given in our consciousness? It is the experience of certain colors, sounds, feelings and so on. A red color in itself doesn't have a label "Hey, I'm a dream color" or "Hey, I'm a color stimulated by your optic nerve". It is up to our spiritual activity to orient itself and grasp the dynamics of the perceptions, which make the dream imagery distinguishable from sensory perceptions.

So if we now ask "What is the world and its content?" we'll have to think twice before habitually answering "space filled with rocks, trees, creatures." As far as the given is concerned, the only world we know is that of first-person experienced color, sound, taste, feeling and so on. This is the only world we ever know! This is the only thing that comes to us as a certainty. The concept of a spatial world container within which all content resides exists only in our thoughts. Now this doesn't suggest that everything exists only in our head. Such a conception immediately falls into its own trap because it has to imagine some head existing within some space and then colors and sound existing within that head. We're not saying that the perceptions we experience exhaust the totality of reality. We're only saying that perceptions (no matter if sensory or dream) are the content of the world we experience. Just as through thinking, the meaning of these perceptions changes, so with even deeper development of cognition, our current spectrum of waking perceptions will be seen in a new light of understanding.

The key in all this is not to feel that some theory is being pressed upon us that has to be believed. It is actually the inverse of that - it's about taking a moment to step back and unbelieve the theories that we have unknowingly accumulated in our cognition. It's about focusing on what is certain and distinguishing what results from thinking about perceptions.

As it can hopefully be seen, all this doesn't require any special philosophical background, let alone certain personal names. It requires nothing but willingness to make inner observations, to go a little 'meta' in comparison to our habitual flow of cognition. Yes, this requires some effort, as any attempt to break a habit does, but how can we seriously imagine that the secrets of existence should simply appear effortlessly to us?
The above - written in clear understandable English, and, I never had any issues with the above. I doubt very few here would radically disagree with you, or could state it any better.
Let's try the next step - could you elaborate on your phrase above - 'step back and unbelieve' - are you referring to specific techniques?
Anthony66
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Re: This forum

Post by Anthony66 »

Federica wrote: Fri Sep 09, 2022 10:00 pm
Anthony66 wrote: Fri Sep 09, 2022 4:15 pm
I listened to the podcast and very much enjoyed it. You clearly haven't done the rounds of the philosophical podcasts if you think that one was long - Curt Jaimungal with his "Theories of Everything" podcast have episodes that hit 6 hours in length!

The thing that struck me most from this podcast was the statement that the "higher being is transformation itself" at around 69'. This is in contrast the the traditional view that the ground of reality is unchangeable.

Glad that you enjoyed that! No, I haven't done those rounds for sure : ) This one might very well be the first philosophical podcast I've ever listened to.
"Higher being is transformational itself" It's interesting, this didn't come as a surprise to me at all. But, as the guy (I still don't know his name) says, our religious background can make a huge difference in this respect. I see the idea of transformation as one of the most primordial, encompassing. And I don't have anything in my background to talk me out of that (I don't know if you do). In the specific context of this forum, evolution has been presented quite early to me as the central engine that allows humanity's deepest potential to progressively become. The perceptible landscape of nature is not unchangeable either. Transience, or transformation seems to be the most core characteristic of existence.
Indiscreet question: How is this new idea of transformation effecting your intuition of the higher worlds / ground of reality?
To be honest, I don't feel like I have a handle on "ground of reality" at this point. That said, I think I have made significant progress in recent times understanding what is being advocated here in terms of "living understanding". Over the past months I've vacillated from thinking that it is all mundane and self-evident to feeling totally confused. The analogy of bike riding as abstract concept versus actually participating in the activity has been most helpful.

As an ex fundamentalist evangelical Christian, I was very much into apologetics and philosophical arguments for the existence of God. The classical arguments have landed upon the unmoved mover and the unchangeable nature of that being. These have rested upon arguments of the impossibility of an infinite chain of events - there must be a "ground zero". But I see the problems now with the abstractions baked into that process.

Cleric has helpfully offered suggestions on thinking about the ground or centre of being but I still find my head exploding as I try to intuit it. But I suspect I'm not alone!

Certainly the evolutionary aspect of reality seems fairly self-evident, at least as far as what is evident to my current perceptions/thinking. In fact, it was this realization that precipitated my exit out of fundamentalism.
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Cleric K
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Re: This forum

Post by Cleric K »

lorenzop wrote: Sat Sep 10, 2022 2:46 am Let's try the next step - could you elaborate on your phrase above - 'step back and unbelieve' - are you referring to specific techniques?
There are techniques, many have been described here. The first technique is just to understand with normal thinking what all this is about.

We can continue with the dreaming metaphor. First let's take a note how our dreams can be affected by physical processes. For example, our neighbor might be doing home repairs and hammering hard on a wall. In our dream this may transform into a battlefield where we're running among falling grenades. Or we may have a fever and we can dream that we're trying to run from a burning building (there are dreams that can be inspired from other directions but there's no need to get into that here).

Now imagine that you're dreaming and you meet a dream person who says to you: "All this that you conceive as a world is only Maya. There's deeper, supersensible order (yes, from the standpoint of a dream, the events in the sensory world are supersensible to us. They influence the dream imagery but the neighbor's hammer is nowhere to be seen in the dream). Through certain effort you can first become lucid and then even awaken to the sensory world which influences the Maya imagery."

Now you may respond: "I have no interest in that. Why burden ourselves with such remote and unverifiable theories? Why don't we accept that the world is what it is? Why are you looking for a calf beneath the ox? One attains to reality when we step back from our transient character and simply give in to experiencing."

So we already arrive at two different types of stepping back. In our dream life we're being dragged along a stream of imagery, usually resembling the sensory world. One kind of stepping back is just to stop dramatizing and questioning the events in this stream, simply let go and flow with the perceptions as they are. In the context of our analogy it is quite clear that this doesn't at all get us closer to reality. Letting go and accepting the falling grenades as they are, doesn't get us anywhere near to the hammering in the sensory world. Neither accepting the fire gives us a hint about the existence of a physical body which is suffering a fever.

The other kind of stepping back can be understood when we recognize that becoming lucid in our dream, concerns first and foremost our cognition. What happens when we enter a lucid dream? Usually we think to ourselves "I'm dreaming!" So it's not that the dream colors and sounds have changed but it is a thinking realization that lifts and differentiates our "I" from the flow of images. This is something that has to be experienced very well. We really need to appreciate how in the act of becoming lucid we awaken to ourselves as a being which has its life not only within the dream images but also in other layers of the world spectrum, which until moments ago were unsuspected.

Note that the person in the dream is not trying to gaslight you. He's not trying to instill in you some belief about what the real world might be. He doesn't try to bribe you by convincing you that after the dream ends (death) you'll be welcomed by 70 virgins. Instead, he only tries to point attention to your own spiritual core, where you can become lucid to unsuspected degrees of freedom of your spiritual activity.

I'll leave it here for now. I would like to emphasize that this is an analogy and many many things have to be changed when we translate it to our waking sensory life (analogous to the dream) and the potential higher orders of existence, which supersensibly (from our sensory perspective) shape the flow of Earthly life.

The first technique is simply for the thinking being that we are, to lift its head from being dragged along the sensory flow. As long as we are happy to take perceptions for what they are and thoughts for just phenomena that come and go as part of the flow, we're not yet on a path to lucidity. We need to emancipate our thinking from the dream flow, so that we can begin to know ourselves as a spiritual being that 'dips down' from a higher world into the sensory and expresses itself in thought forms. We need to highlight this differentiation between our passive self being dragged along the flow of phenomena and our active self which through this activity rises its head above the flow.

So this is the first step. And it is completely natural that you will feel a great resistance for it. For many years you have cultivated the sweet surrender to the dream flow and accepting it for what it is. If you have understood the above analogy it should result into an inner split, where one part of you desires to keep flowing, while the other begins to become lucid in its thoughts and discovers how in this thinking activity freed from the immediate dream flow, it begins to awaken to a higher world where a hammer can be found.

This is a nice starting point. Simply see if you really understand the above analogy. If yes, see how it makes you feel. If it makes you feel like "This is indeed a possibility but I really wish it isn't true", you can go on reflect on why you wish it isn't true? What would change for you if it is true?

These are the kinds of questions that we can start with in a quiet meditative reflection, where we can approach the threshold of lucidity and begin to compare the arguments on both sides.
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AshvinP
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Re: This forum

Post by AshvinP »

Papanca wrote: Sat Sep 10, 2022 12:12 am
AshvinP wrote: Fri Sep 09, 2022 11:50 pm
Papanca wrote: Fri Sep 09, 2022 9:33 pm What some members here fail to understand is that it's more helpful to state their ideas in a clear, concise fashion before delving into indepth, cryptic and protracted developments.

People won't read 1000 paragraphs of cryptic messages with idiosyncratic lexicon every time some random person on the internet has an idea, there is a constraint of time, a question of tradeoffs, with so many theories, millions of people who think they got the key to undecipher reality, whether it's taking refuge with the lama or expounding steiner, we don't have neither infinite time nor attention, and forgive me for being blunt, but the chance that a 3/4 members on an obscure forum or one philosopher theories among countless other contradicting theories have nailed the truth is extremely weak, especially when he believes in easily refutable qualities like clairvoyance, we cannot read a novel everytime someone on the internet has a new theory, especially when the jargon used is obtuse, and the cultish vibes made by trying to subsume every conversation under the same philosophy, lauding and trying to evalute the lucky few elects who "get it" while demeaning the others doesn't help.
Papanca,

If you state clearly what philosophical, scientific, or religious inquiry you would find more refreshing to consider, then I will find you something either Cleric or I wrote directly germane to it which doesn't mention Steiner, clairvoyance, or anything similar, and uses plain English and standard philosophical terms. Probably some of Scott's articles would help too. And if some terms are not clear, we can easily translate them into terms anyone familiar with modern philosophy would know. And if you aren't familiar with modern philosophy, we could easily translate them into something any literate person would know.

Whether you will put some effort into reading it, contemplating it, asking questions for clarification, etc. as Federica has in the last few months, in good faith to reach shared understanding of what is being communicated, even if it doesn't fit exactly your expectations of what the answers should be, is up to you. And our logical reasoning should never be rooted in the fact that, if we have come across something, it probably isn't true, because otherwise we wouldn't have come across it, because we aren't good enough to be in the presence of unfamiliar truth.
This post you made for instance is quite interresting.

viewtopic.php?t=853

I never encountered any of those type of posts before.

Alright, so you are interested in learning the phenomenology of PoF, from a more philosophical perspective?

Max has a series of similar posts on that and other non-Steiner things, such as 'What is life?', on his substack - https://theoriapress.substack.com/

Max wrote:What we can see follows from how we can look. Theoria is a higher vision. As Plotinus says, “We must invoke...a new manner of seeing, a wakefulness that is the birthright of us all, though few put it to use.” Theoria strives for frution in theosis, as its final cause. We can support one another in this transformation.

Did you have any specific questions on that post or other ones?
"Two souls, alas, are housed within my breast,
And struggle there for undivided reign.
One, to the earth with passionate desire,
And closely clinging organs still adheres;
Above the mists the other doth aspire
With sacred ardor unto purer spheres.”
-Goethe, Faust
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AshvinP
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Re: This forum

Post by AshvinP »

Anthony66 wrote: Sat Sep 10, 2022 5:22 am
Federica wrote: Fri Sep 09, 2022 10:00 pm
Anthony66 wrote: Fri Sep 09, 2022 4:15 pm
I listened to the podcast and very much enjoyed it. You clearly haven't done the rounds of the philosophical podcasts if you think that one was long - Curt Jaimungal with his "Theories of Everything" podcast have episodes that hit 6 hours in length!

The thing that struck me most from this podcast was the statement that the "higher being is transformation itself" at around 69'. This is in contrast the the traditional view that the ground of reality is unchangeable.

Glad that you enjoyed that! No, I haven't done those rounds for sure : ) This one might very well be the first philosophical podcast I've ever listened to.
"Higher being is transformational itself" It's interesting, this didn't come as a surprise to me at all. But, as the guy (I still don't know his name) says, our religious background can make a huge difference in this respect. I see the idea of transformation as one of the most primordial, encompassing. And I don't have anything in my background to talk me out of that (I don't know if you do). In the specific context of this forum, evolution has been presented quite early to me as the central engine that allows humanity's deepest potential to progressively become. The perceptible landscape of nature is not unchangeable either. Transience, or transformation seems to be the most core characteristic of existence.
Indiscreet question: How is this new idea of transformation effecting your intuition of the higher worlds / ground of reality?
To be honest, I don't feel like I have a handle on "ground of reality" at this point. That said, I think I have made significant progress in recent times understanding what is being advocated here in terms of "living understanding". Over the past months I've vacillated from thinking that it is all mundane and self-evident to feeling totally confused. The analogy of bike riding as abstract concept versus actually participating in the activity has been most helpful.

As an ex fundamentalist evangelical Christian, I was very much into apologetics and philosophical arguments for the existence of God. The classical arguments have landed upon the unmoved mover and the unchangeable nature of that being. These have rested upon arguments of the impossibility of an infinite chain of events - there must be a "ground zero". But I see the problems now with the abstractions baked into that process.

Cleric has helpfully offered suggestions on thinking about the ground or centre of being but I still find my head exploding as I try to intuit it. But I suspect I'm not alone!

Certainly the evolutionary aspect of reality seems fairly self-evident, at least as far as what is evident to my current perceptions/thinking. In fact, it was this realization that precipitated my exit out of fundamentalism.
Anthony,

With regards to the evangelical topic, which we were also discussing elsewhere, you may find this valuable.
Max Heindel wrote:Before proceeding with an analysis it is necessary to say that the words of the Hebrew language, particularly the old style, run into one another and are not divided as those of our language. Add to this that there is a custom of leaving out vowels from the writing, so that in reading much depends upon where and how they are inserted, and it will be seen how great are the difficulties to be surmounted in ascertaining the original meaning. A slight change may entirely alter the signification of almost any sentence. In addition to these great difficulties we must also bear in mind that of the forty-seven translators of the King James version (that most commonly used in England and America), only three were Hebrew scholars, and of those three, two died before the Psalms had been translated!

We must still further take into consideration that the Act which authorized the translation prohibited the translators from any rendition that would greatly deviate from or tend to disturb the already existing belief. It is evident, therefore, that the chances of getting a correct translation were very small indeed. Nor were conditions much more favorable in Germany, for there Martin Luther was the sole translator and even he did not translate from the original Hebrew, but merely from a Latin text. Most of the versions used in Continental Protestant countries today are simply translations, into the different languages, of Luther's translations.

True, there have been revisions, but they have not greatly improved matters. Moreover, there is a large number of people in this country who insist that the English text of the King James version is absolutely correct from cover to cover, as though the Bible had been originally written in English, and theKing James version were a certified copy of the original manuscript. So the old mistakes are still there, in spite of the efforts which have been made to eradicate them. It must also be noted that those who originally wrote the Bible did not intend to give out the truth in such plain form that he who ran might read. Nothing was further from their thoughts than to write an "open book of God."

The great occultists who wrote the Zohar are very emphatic upon this point. The secrets of the Torah were not to be understood by all, as the following quotation will show: "Woe to the man who sees in the Torah (the law) only simple recitals and ordinary words! Because, if in truth it contained only these, we would even today be able to compose a Torah much more worthy of admiration. But it is not so. Each word of the Torah contains an elevated meaning and a sublime mystery. . . .The recitals of the Torah are the vestments of the Torah. Woe to him who takes this vestment of the Torah for the Torah itself!. . . The simple take notice of the garments and recitals of the Torah alone. They know no other thing. They see not that which is concealed under the vestment. The more instructed men do not pay attention to the vestment, but to the body which it envelops."
In general, we can sense how both the fundamentalists and the anti-Biblical skeptics make the exact same mistake of taking the outer forms as the thing-itself, while ignoring their own thinking perspective which imbues the depth structure with inner meaning. This is how all evolution proceeds and scripture is no different - it is a living organism. Just like the outer world, or this forum re: Scott's previous comment, things like scripture have simply become a stage for actors to carry on the dialogues they desire to have, which they would carry on regardless of what stage they were using. The religious debates we see today have nothing to do with spriituality as such, and everything to do with people's preferred world outlooks which they seek to justify to themselves and others. This is also what Cleric pointed to in his comment re: "world content". When that content is artificially separated from our thinking perspective in abstract thought and thereby flattened, it can serve as justification for any world outlook (or negation of world outlooks) as it pleases us. This entire process was valuable in the evolution of thinking, which is also world evolution, and still can be, if we focus not on the specific outlooks which resulted, secular or religious, but the underlying thinking which informed them.
"Two souls, alas, are housed within my breast,
And struggle there for undivided reign.
One, to the earth with passionate desire,
And closely clinging organs still adheres;
Above the mists the other doth aspire
With sacred ardor unto purer spheres.”
-Goethe, Faust
lorenzop
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Re: This forum

Post by lorenzop »

Cleric K wrote: Sat Sep 10, 2022 10:20 am
lorenzop wrote: Sat Sep 10, 2022 2:46 am Let's try the next step - could you elaborate on your phrase above - 'step back and unbelieve' - are you referring to specific techniques?
There are techniques, many have been described here. The first technique is just to understand with normal thinking what all this is about.

We can continue with the dreaming metaphor. First let's take a note how our dreams can be affected by physical processes. For example, our neighbor might be doing home repairs and hammering hard on a wall. In our dream this may transform into a battlefield where we're running among falling grenades. Or we may have a fever and we can dream that we're trying to run from a burning building (there are dreams that can be inspired from other directions but there's no need to get into that here).

Now imagine that you're dreaming and you meet a dream person who says to you: "All this that you conceive as a world is only Maya. There's deeper, supersensible order (yes, from the standpoint of a dream, the events in the sensory world are supersensible to us. They influence the dream imagery but the neighbor's hammer is nowhere to be seen in the dream). Through certain effort you can first become lucid and then even awaken to the sensory world which influences the Maya imagery."

Now you may respond: "I have no interest in that. Why burden ourselves with such remote and unverifiable theories? Why don't we accept that the world is what it is? Why are you looking for a calf beneath the ox? One attains to reality when we step back from our transient character and simply give in to experiencing."

So we already arrive at two different types of stepping back. In our dream life we're being dragged along a stream of imagery, usually resembling the sensory world. One kind of stepping back is just to stop dramatizing and questioning the events in this stream, simply let go and flow with the perceptions as they are. In the context of our analogy it is quite clear that this doesn't at all get us closer to reality. Letting go and accepting the falling grenades as they are, doesn't get us anywhere near to the hammering in the sensory world. Neither accepting the fire gives us a hint about the existence of a physical body which is suffering a fever.

The other kind of stepping back can be understood when we recognize that becoming lucid in our dream, concerns first and foremost our cognition. What happens when we enter a lucid dream? Usually we think to ourselves "I'm dreaming!" So it's not that the dream colors and sounds have changed but it is a thinking realization that lifts and differentiates our "I" from the flow of images. This is something that has to be experienced very well. We really need to appreciate how in the act of becoming lucid we awaken to ourselves as a being which has its life not only within the dream images but also in other layers of the world spectrum, which until moments ago were unsuspected.

Note that the person in the dream is not trying to gaslight you. He's not trying to instill in you some belief about what the real world might be. He doesn't try to bribe you by convincing you that after the dream ends (death) you'll be welcomed by 70 virgins. Instead, he only tries to point attention to your own spiritual core, where you can become lucid to unsuspected degrees of freedom of your spiritual activity.

I'll leave it here for now. I would like to emphasize that this is an analogy and many many things have to be changed when we translate it to our waking sensory life (analogous to the dream) and the potential higher orders of existence, which supersensibly (from our sensory perspective) shape the flow of Earthly life.

The first technique is simply for the thinking being that we are, to lift its head from being dragged along the sensory flow. As long as we are happy to take perceptions for what they are and thoughts for just phenomena that come and go as part of the flow, we're not yet on a path to lucidity. We need to emancipate our thinking from the dream flow, so that we can begin to know ourselves as a spiritual being that 'dips down' from a higher world into the sensory and expresses itself in thought forms. We need to highlight this differentiation between our passive self being dragged along the flow of phenomena and our active self which through this activity rises its head above the flow.

So this is the first step. And it is completely natural that you will feel a great resistance for it. For many years you have cultivated the sweet surrender to the dream flow and accepting it for what it is. If you have understood the above analogy it should result into an inner split, where one part of you desires to keep flowing, while the other begins to become lucid in its thoughts and discovers how in this thinking activity freed from the immediate dream flow, it begins to awaken to a higher world where a hammer can be found.

This is a nice starting point. Simply see if you really understand the above analogy. If yes, see how it makes you feel. If it makes you feel like "This is indeed a possibility but I really wish it isn't true", you can go on reflect on why you wish it isn't true? What would change for you if it is true?

These are the kinds of questions that we can start with in a quiet meditative reflection, where we can approach the threshold of lucidity and begin to compare the arguments on both sides.
I can accept the above. Thanks. I'm off to walk the countryside of Europe till November so I won't be pestering you with more questions at least till then. : )
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Cleric K
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Re: This forum

Post by Cleric K »

lorenzop wrote: Sat Sep 10, 2022 3:17 pm I can accept the above. Thanks. I'm off to walk the countryside of Europe till November so I won't be pestering you with more questions at least till then. : )
Alright, have a safe and inspirational trip!
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Re: This forum

Post by Federica »

Anthony66 wrote: Sat Sep 10, 2022 5:22 am
To be honest, I don't feel like I have a handle on "ground of reality" at this point. That said, I think I have made significant progress in recent times understanding what is being advocated here in terms of "living understanding". Over the past months I've vacillated from thinking that it is all mundane and self-evident to feeling totally confused. The analogy of bike riding as abstract concept versus actually participating in the activity has been most helpful.

As an ex fundamentalist evangelical Christian, I was very much into apologetics and philosophical arguments for the existence of God. The classical arguments have landed upon the unmoved mover and the unchangeable nature of that being. These have rested upon arguments of the impossibility of an infinite chain of events - there must be a "ground zero". But I see the problems now with the abstractions baked into that process.

Cleric has helpfully offered suggestions on thinking about the ground or centre of being but I still find my head exploding as I try to intuit it. But I suspect I'm not alone!

Certainly the evolutionary aspect of reality seems fairly self-evident, at least as far as what is evident to my current perceptions/thinking. In fact, it was this realization that precipitated my exit out of fundamentalism.

Yes, the bike riding metaphor is fully relatable and has helped me too. I don’t have a handle on the ground of reality either, I think it’s a ‘handle’ that comes by degrees. With every attempt and vacillation the density of the handle is improved, and I agree it all starts from inquiring what living understanding really entails.

I haven’t researched what fundamentalist evangelical Chrsitianity is, I don’t know what it is, only that it sounds quite bad : ) Paradoxically, for the little I can imagine, it seems a quite useful background to come from, where you can delineate striking contrasts between on the one hand that M.O. of postulating ontic truths, because one has to, because if we don’t, we never ‘hit rock bottom’ (as BK puts it) and on the other hand the solution to such annoying postulation habit found in living understanding, the only understanding we can own that has the potential to lead us somewhere, without getting side-tracked in abstract bubble-systems made up through conceding to assumptions, in disconnection with direct experience.

Back to that idea of transformation - in the psychedelic thread, Cleric’s aliasing link has prompted me to reflect on the nature of fluids as opposed to minerals. And it has occured to me that the thinking effort of trying to enter the 'first-person perspective of water', as in a mountain stream, a waterfall, the ocean, or the kitchen tap, sensing the difference between being water and the scientific understanding of water as a specific arrangement of mineral particles, could be a useful thought to get closer to the reality of transformation. In my reflection, the attempt of 'being water' brought me to the famous motto "all things flow and you cannot enter the same river twice" (panta rhei) which in turn can be a useful illustration of how reality necessarily emerges from the conflux of the concept-river and the percept-river. Because the percept-river is constantly transforming, we cannot enter the same river twice. The second time the percept will be another one. I used that as an opportunity to revisit the realization that there is no reality in the mere chaotic registration of the flow of percepts. They need concepts to make sense. In PoF a tulip is used, I believe, to illustrate that. Maybe water can help run through that realization again in a way that vividly connects with the idea of transformation.

“If we understand and feel that here in this life we already have a link with the infinite, desires and attitudes change. In the final analysis, we count for something only because of the essential we embody, and if we do not embody that, life is wasted.” (Carl Gustav Jung)
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Cleric K
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Re: This forum

Post by Cleric K »

Federica wrote: Sat Sep 10, 2022 4:26 pm Back to that idea of transformation - in the psychedelic thread, Cleric’s aliasing link has prompted me to reflect on the nature of fluids as opposed to minerals. And it has occured to me that the thinking effort of trying to enter the 'first-person perspective of water', as in a mountain stream, a waterfall, the ocean, or the kitchen tap, sensing the difference between being water and the scientific understanding of water as a specific arrangement of mineral particles, could be a useful thought to get closer to the reality of transformation. In my reflection, the attempt of 'being water' brought me to the famous motto "all things flow and you cannot enter the same river twice" (panta rhei) which in turn can be a useful illustration of how reality necessarily emerges from the conflux of the concept-river and the percept-river. Because the percept-river is constantly transforming, we cannot enter the same river twice. The second time the percept will be another one. I used that as an opportunity to revisit the realization that there is no reality in the mere chaotic registration of the flow of percepts. They need concepts to make sense. In PoF a tulip is used, I believe, to illustrate that. Maybe water can help run through that realization again in a way that vividly connects with the idea of transformation.
That's great, Federica! It's interesting to note that the elements for the ancients were something much more in line of what you describe. From esoteric perspective, although we see fluids with our eyes, the average person of today doesn't really enter into what the ancients called 'water'. With the advent of materialism, we're passing through a period where we really live only in the mineral element, which is really the form of our cognition (a symptom of which is the purely abstract thinking - arrangements of mineral shards).

What you are doing is redeeming back the living experience of the elements. Maybe it is not in the focus of your exercises in exactly this moment but what you're really developing through them is to liberate your spiritual activity from the rigid forms and learn to will its movements in a continuous fluid way. So it's not that much what we imagine but the spiritual gestures that we perform to make that happen. The reason this is important is because gradually these kinds of spiritual gestures become at the same time means of perception. How come? For example, unless we develop the ability to read, letters would be simply visual shapes for us. When we work with letter patterns we learn to experience concepts in them. Our world is full of spiritual gestures which simply pass unregistered through us. When we gain some experience with moving our imagination in this fluid ways, we'll soon begin to notice that we spontaneously encounter similar motions - initially, primarily in our own body. This is really the germinal beginnings of the experience of the etheric body. So you see, seeing these higher members is not a question of simply superimposing additional visual layer on top of our regular sight. The etheric body is weaved not of sensory perception but of living processes and we can become conscious of them only when our spirit learns to move like them. Then through a kind of resonance we can flow with these processes.

You may find it interesting to make a similar exercise by flowing with your oxygenated blood from the heart towards the periphery and then back. It is especially powerful if you can spread your imagination in all directions an keep simultaneous focus, instead of following a single artery, which is easier.

Similar very effective exercise is following the sap of a plant up and down.

One important note: we should be fully conscious that we're moving our imagination. By no means we should succumb to phantasm and believe that in this way we're having objective perceptions of the etheric realm. We should be completely clear that we're only training our spiritual activity in this way. Learning to resonate with actual processes requires additional work and as strange as it may sound, this work is primarily in the moral sphere. I'll not go into details but it's useful to reflect on the question why we would like to perceive these processes? To satisfy our curiosity? Or to put that knowledge in use for the whole? It may be helpful to think that anything we perceive from the invisible is like a kind of credit that the higher worlds lend us and it is of great import what we do with it.

I hope this gives you a hint about what the nature of perceiving the higher members of the human being is. It all boils down to the fact that everything in the dreamscape is moved by some form of spiritual activity. In our materialistic-scientific consciousness we alias everything into mineral shards, we collapse the wavefunction, we might say. But the life and soul processes are not some mechanical collisions of billiard balls (the way we think of the atomic realm). There's actual spiritual will behind everything, which is of thought nature and is responsible for the dynamics of the World Content. To perceive this spiritual activity we need to learn to replicate it through our own forces, we need to integrate that activity into our whole being. This is a very gradual process. It's also not that important at our stage that we develop it to the stage where we really begin to perceive the processes and beings. It's much more important to at least understand these things and at least set them as our ideal, as our direction. If we develop understanding now, then in the next incarnation this understanding will metamorphose into perceptions.
Federica
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Re: This forum

Post by Federica »

Jim Cross wrote: Fri Sep 09, 2022 9:23 pm (...)
I do not feel any obligation to answer every question posed to me. Some questions are so bad they are not worth answering.

The problem with your question is that the same argument and question be used against any viewpoint because all we have are viewpoints. How does anybody know anything? We rely on observation, science, testing, reasoning, and we try not to fool ourselves with wishful thinking.

The question is already answered in my post:
That our model of the world is dependent on learning, experience, and the physical structure of the brain and senses may seem a trivial observation. It may also mean that even slight, almost undetectable differences in brain structure could result in world models that are significantly different. Even if my “blue” is the same as your “blue” (something that some scientists dispute[6]), other aspects of our consciousness might be quite different even if we both have all our senses and are normal psychologically and physically. The fact that our own models can change significantly with age, experience, and ingestion of drugs suggests that we may each live in unique islands of experience even while behaving outwardly in ways that reflect a common consensus on reality.
It is a completely open question how much our models agree with the actual world. I think there is good evidence our models must agree in some ways. Otherwise, we could not survive. We could not rely on anything happening as expected. But clearly we also are subject to many misunderstandings and superstitions.

I think in one of my comments on my blog I referred to my view as a sort of limited solipsism - actually I would say a form of idealism. I think there is an world external to our models but we only can interact with our models of the external world. The evidence of the external world is quite direct. We know we cannot control everything in our model. Our model includes things that are beyond our control. We can't jump off a tall building without a parachute and arrive at the ground unharmed by thought or wishful thinking alone.

You say:
The problem with your question is that the same argument and question can be used against any viewpoint

Not true, for instance one could not ask BK that same question about analytic idealism. What makes your model vulnerable to the question - however bad you think the question is - is precisely its solipsistic color. From the confinement in which you put yourself with your model, you shouldn’t be able to emit any theories about reality. First you eliminate for yourself the possibility of knowing anything besides your isolated arbitrary representations, only to end up stating, for example, that you know that my model of the world is my consciousness. Now you are also stating that “all we have is viewpoints”. Your own model forbids you to emit such statements, but for some reason, you ignore your own bans.

You say “this is my viewpoint”. What you did is, you emitted assumption n. 1 “all we have is viewpoints” followed by assumption n. 2 “my viewpoint is that we are all confined in personal models”, and that’s it. Your system consists of emitting two static assumptions, 1 + 2, et voilà. There is no going somewhere with your assumptions, static and disconnected from everything else. As soon as you try to reason them out, the internal contradiction gets you stuck. The only thing you can do with your n. 1 and n. 2, after conjured up, is to contemplate them without touching them, and to suffer. I would say, that’s the character of an artistic endeavor, rather than a philosophical one.

In this perspective, I have browsed the forum for some of your past posts, hoping to understand you a little better. Soon enough, I came across a post where you argue that Cleric and Ashvin are the same person…….…....……………………………………… At that moment - as we say in some languages - my arms fell off. As you can imagine, I can hardly keep on typing in this condition.

“If we understand and feel that here in this life we already have a link with the infinite, desires and attitudes change. In the final analysis, we count for something only because of the essential we embody, and if we do not embody that, life is wasted.” (Carl Gustav Jung)
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