Monthly Archives: December 2012

Why We Say One Should “Look Within” … The Highest Reality Is Also the Most Immediate One: Transpersonal Perspective, Part Seven — Experience Is Divine, Cognition Is Illusion

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No, Bette Midler, God Is NOT Looking at You “From a Distance.” The Divine Could Not Be Any Closer, It Is Identical to Your Very Own, Immediate, Experience

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I use the terms, God and the Divine, to refer to the Highest Reality, the Reality Itself or That Which Essentially Is.

Cognition is not the Reality itself any more than a picture of a beach is the actual waves hitting the sand or the feeling of the beach-goer basking in the sun.

You cannot have any “revelations” if you only allow in the thoughts you already have.

If “looking within” does not mean looking into one’s direct experience, what could it possibly mean?

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Experience Is Divine

Since the terms God or the Divine are usually associated with what is most real or what is the highest reality, I use those terms (God and the Divine) to refer to that Reality, Highest Reality, or That Which Essentially Is throughout the text.

66721_4973054325219_636523978_nSo since Reality can only be that which is directly experienced, and we can know nothing other than that, then Experience is God. Experience is the Divine, cognition is essentially illusion. I do not mean that the experience of cognition is illusion, for that itself is Experience, not simply cognition. When I say that cognition is illusion, I mean that the contents of cognition are illusion; and even more so, the results of cognition or reason are illusion. They are maps solely—reflections only of the That Which Is.

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Now, maps can be useful. They can reorient us and send us back to Experience in a manner that allows us to experience What Is in a different way, maybe even a better way. But they are not the Reality itself any more than a picture of a beach is the actual waves hitting the sand or the feeling of the beach-goer basking in the sun. Yet a picture of a beach may allow someone experiencing a beach to have the thought of looking around for prone bodies and may open them to a different experience of beach because of that, whereas otherwise one might continue having the same, or similar, experience again and again. It is in this way that maps are part of our experience of the Other, are part of our direct experience, which “impinges” on us and leads us, ultimately, into greater beingness.

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If, furthermore, that Direct Experience has other characteristics associated with the Divine—e.g. , it guides us in living, provides us with values, assists and “saves” us, and basically helps us to grow and be better beings ourselves—then essentially that Reality is acting as God and deserves to be called by that name and worshiped as such.

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That Experience might have these characteristics is not something that can be deduced rationally or in the traditional scientific manner—it is outside those domains. But it can be empirically tested on the individual level, much as Ken Wilber (1977) has described that mysticism can be tested empirically on the individual level—i.e., if you as an individual follow these particular steps, such and such will happen to you, or will be observed by you. It is in this sense that one can say that an assertion such as that Experience provides values and assists us can be tested in a scientific manner. Once that experiment has been accomplished, one can go to the spiritual literature and see if Experience As Divine does not make sense of much of what is found there, indeed much of what is incomprehensible otherwise. This experiment is one that can only be done by each person for him- or herself.

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While this conceptualization of God as Experience or Reality as Experience may seem unusually phrased, I explain that I am meaning the same thing by these statements as I believe is meant by phrases such as “Reality As Consciousness” (Wilber), or “I Am the I Am” (the meaning of Jehovah in The Bible). I believe it means the same as saying in Hinduism that Brahman (the ground of all Being) is equivalent to Atman—the “ground” of one’s individual being. As explanation of this statement, Satya Sai Baba explains that the only reality is the “I” or “the witness,” which is the watcher and Experiencer preceding all maya or illusion. But if this is so, then the Experiencer is Experience itself, is Awareness itself, for how can one distinguish the Experiencer from the contents of Experience—a point that is also made in these traditions.

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Also, what else is to be meant by the terms that one should “look within” or “search within” when seeking out the presence or guidance of the Divine? If “looking within” does not mean looking into one’s direct experience, what could it possibly mean?

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This is also no different from what Nietzsche meant in describing the empirical basis of all true knowing. He pointed out that what was truly real could only be that which one directly perceived. But he did not mean what one perceived only with one’s major five senses—i.e. , seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, smelling—as his famous assertions have been taken to mean in the founding of modern science, but rather he meant a radical empiricism that could be founded only upon what one perceived in the sense of the totality of one’s experiencing.

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Continue with Why Scientists, Unless They Are Einstein, Make Lousy Mystics: Being Able to Control and Predict Reality Is Hardly the Same as Understanding It

Return to Fearful of Looking Directly at Experience, We Defend Against It with Ego and by Creating Time: Experience Is Divine, Cognition Is Illusion, Part Six — The Shield of Perseus

To Read the Entire Book … on-line, free at this time … of which this is an excerpt, Go to Experience Is Divinity

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Fearful of Looking Directly at Experience, We Defend Against It with Ego and by Creating Time: Experience Is Divine, Cognition Is Illusion, Part Six — The Shield of Perseus

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Interpretation Brings Metaphor: Reality Is Not the Interpretation of Experience … “To Regress” Means to Go More Deeply Into the Experience of Now.

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“The fastest way to get to where you are going is to be most fully exactly where you are.”

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Interpretation Brings Metaphor Into Existence

Raw experience has the only ontological reality that we can know. Thus interpretation of that experience creates distortion. Furthermore, interpretation brings metaphor into existence. By metaphor I mean the symbolizing or reflecting or map-making that we do so as not to experience Reality directly. Fearful, for reasons to be described later, of looking directly at Experience, we, like Perseus, turn our backs on it and seek to discern its mirrored image in the polished shield (i.e. , psychological defenses) of our egos.

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But with this first gap, error is introduced, just as a rippled pond distorts the image of the moon reflecting in it. Metaphorical realities then become all that can truly be known in the common sense of “knowing.”

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It makes perfect sense then that, if metaphors are what we must use to convey one’s experience to another, metaphors that hover closest to the realities they describe, that hover close to the raw experience, have the most to say or convey about the nature of the Reality they are reflecting. This does not give metaphors an ultimate ontological status then—as is done in archetypal psychology, where the metaphors hover close to experience—nor does it assign metaphors an ultimate ontological status when they are furthest and most generalized from experience—as, for example, in the “Platonic” abstractions upon abstractions, the “fundamental” laws and principles of science.

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394340_485721344772182_353499239_nNo, metaphors are still reflections at all levels, they are not the Thing-In-Itself (the Experience). Still, there are close-hovering metaphors—ones that, let us say, are reflecting off the least disturbed pond or the most polished, least distorted shields. Thus, it is the attempt to seek out better metaphors, more closely mapped on to direct Experience, closer to God (“honest to God”?) metaphors, if you will, that is the intention and purpose in this work. Thus I seek to go, in the following, below even the relatively low flying ones of Jungian psychology. I seek to find ones laid deeper, closer onto the bio-spiritual experience of the individual, and related to patterns of experience associated with the pre- and perinatal times of our lives. We find that this takes us into, and beyond, the archetypal. We find it confirming much of archetypal psychology and providing new light and new vantage points of other parts of it, sometimes major parts of it.

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Then we see it opening up to new vistas on a transpersonal reality beyond even this—and likewise providing both confirmation and new perspectives.

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Time Is an Abstraction As Well

61028_395675523848598_1079361759_nObviously then, this Experience that is direct and is not an abstraction must be experienced in the Now. For past and future are abstractions; they can only exist as memories or imaginings that exist in the Now. Thus there is only the Now, and direct Experience in the Now. And it is from this base upon which, I believe, all good theory on the nature of reality is based.

It is within this understanding of past and future that I weave my meanings of the terms regression, re-experience, and reliving, as they are used throughout. Regression commonly implies going back in time; more so, it means to return to a “lower” state. Yet regression in the field of pre- and perinatal psychology—which is the field that most informs this work—means simply to return in time and implies no evaluation of that state as “lower”—only meaning “previous.” In this sense it is identical to its meaning in the Freudian term, regression in the service of the ego.

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578797_2214324854448_756151266_nYet from a transpersonal perspective, rooted firmly in the Reality of the Sole Existential Moment—the Now—regression is impossible. The past or future does not exist except as abstractions, usually cognitive ones, in the Now. We have to admit that to say one goes back in time is a mere conventionality of speech. We clarify it by saying that “to regress” means to go more deeply into the experience of Now. And when immersed in that experience of Now one discovers patterns of experience and feeling—which were always there, subtly, almost imperceptibly, but were simply not focused on—which one discovers afterwards to seem to have been caused in a remembered past (admittedly an abstraction), one says one has “regressed.”

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We use the terms reliving and re-experiencing also for such events. But I emphasize that these are conventions of speech. We mean by regression, re-experiencing, and reliving that a person comes more fully into a Now and happens to discover patterns of experience that are related to the patterns of experience in the Now that one calls one’s memories—only one has a fuller, more vivid, and more immediate experience of them than is normally the experience of “memories.”

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It is in this coming more fully into the Now that we can see the same direction in this maneuver of “regression” and “reliving” as in the more commonly known ones of spiritual practice, such as meditation.

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Continue with Why We Say One Should “Look Within” … The Highest Reality Is Also the Most Immediate One: Transpersonal Perspective, Part Seven — Experience Is Divine, Cognition Is Illusion

Return to From Transpersonal Reality to the Fall From Grace: “Development” Is Actually a Reduction of Awareness Through Painful Experiences, Which “Civilized” Cultures Rationalize as Being “Good”

To Read the Entire Book … on-line, free at this time … of which this is an excerpt, Go to Experience Is Divinity

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anunnaki,alien gods and spirituality

Plants are very much alive. Not only do they dislike human noise but they also posses the capacity to learn and communicate.

Perhaps even more astonishing is that plants can also make music.

Have you ever heard the incredible music of the plants? No? Are you waiting for an invitation? Find some cheap airline tickets, hop on a plane and fly down to hear the wonderful sounds these plants can make.

Plants can actually sing and compose music and listening to it is truly beautiful and relaxing!

Ever since 1975, researchers at Damanhur, in northern Italy have been experimenting with plants, trying to lean more about their unique properties.

Researchers use devices which they have created to measure the re-activity of the plants to their environment. The devices judge the plants’ capacity to learn and communicate.

Using a simple principle, the researchers used a variation of the Wheatstone…

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2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 15,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 3 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

From Transpersonal Reality to the Fall From Grace: “Development” Is Actually a Reduction of Awareness Through Painful Experiences, Which “Civilized” Cultures Rationalize as Being “Good”

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This Plague of Devolution, Which Has Afflicted Humans in the Last 1% of Our History, Creates the “Kitty-Drowners” and “Butterfly-Mashers” of the World: Transpersonal Perspective, Part Five

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From Transpersonal Reality to the Fall From Grace

Invisible Others Exist

spiritual-experiences-occurredIf subjectivity or psyche is ultimately more real than the material world as presented to us by our external senses, it follows that certain “psychic” realities may exist and even be more real, even though not manifesting in the physical world. Thus, this position, this worldview necessarily includes the position that psychic or “invisible” realities—e.g. , God, Spirit, “allies,” spirits, and so on—(which are seemingly separate from us but which ultimately we are part of) may exist though in common-sense (i.e., anthropocentric) reality we do not normally concede they exist. This position can be supported at even the most fundamental levels. In addition to the argument presented earlier about the existence of quasars to hunter-gatherers, at the simplest levels of argument there are few people who would assert that realities that are not directly perceived, even by our most sophisticated instruments, do not exist, when their existence is compellingly thrust upon us by their effects and by the congruence that their existence has with the principles upon which our world is found to run.

lightbeingsIf one could not see the other side of the moon, one would not say that it did not exist. There are those among us who would theorize that it is made of green cheese, but that is another matter. No, even the least dimly lit among us would not assert that it ceases to exist when it is out of sight. Nor would we say that electricity does not exist simply because we normally cannot see it. Our operations on the world simply would not be possible, logically so, if the world operated like that.

However, I believe that we are not normally aware of these other realities, call them “spirit,” or “other consciousnesses,” because our past experience influences us to believe, and therefore perceive, in particular distorted ways. These ways are prejudiced by our past experience (1) as a spiritual entity, (2) as identified with a particular species form, and (3) as identified as a particular person.

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Yet our prejudices are challenged continually, in both lesser and greater ways, by the other realities which we do not see; for these realities impinge upon our experience whether we acknowledge their existence or not. That something is able to do that is a part of the definition of something that is considered “objectively real” as opposed to being “imaginary.” Thus in this case they would be “objectively real” subjective, or psychic, or experiential realities. So it is that some people, having become aware of this, will allow themselves to be taught by these experiential challenges to their prejudices and will therefore become aware of some of these other “invisible” but “realer than real” realities once again.

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Devolution From Grace

images3Also, it is in the process of being taught by the incongruence of one’s prejudices with That Which Is, that one can come to learn the roots of those prejudices in one’s “past” experience and can come to know that one’s experience was less 352846750072278prejudiced “prior” to those experiences and that one was more aware then of the “greater reality” of which I have been speaking. So a corollary of this learning is the realization that our so-called “development” is actually a process of reduction of awareness through various painful experiences which, 64053_3393096646594_1588625540_ncuriously enough, “civilized” cultures have come to rationalize as being “good” for an individual in the course of that person’s “development.” This gradual reduction in awareness in the course of an individual’s “development” is what I call devolution. And I use that term because it carries the meaning of the reverse of evolution and the opposite of forward growth.

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Finally, the startling conclusion arising from all this is that “civilized” societies’ distinction from the other 99% of human societies that have existed over the several hundred-thousand year history of our species lies in a peculiar pathology that is a result of cropcircle-devolutiona devolution — same meaning as above—that occurred to us as a species in that time. This distinctive mental illness is characterized by reduced awareness, which—for reasons having to do with the pain of cognitive dissonance and the need, therefore, to rationalize as good any experience (regardless of its true value) in which one finds oneself—is elevated (desperately) to an undeserved status in our worldview and is mistakenly said to be a result of an evolution . In our desperate struggle to justify the pathetic and meager state in which we find ourselves (and thereby to beat back the pain of realizing how much we have truly lost), we promote our meager “civilized” state far above that which is truly high and good and better for our species and for the experiences of the individuals within that.

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OB-UE021_butter_DV_20120814080729Correspondingly, when we are confronted with aspects of that better way of being, exemplified by certain other people in certain other cultures, we feel the urgent need to scapegoat them, lest we become aware of our Western craziness; thus we project onto them the characteristics of that pathology which is, in actuality, inside of ourselves but which we are frantically, and uncourageously, running from.

This plague, which has arisen and afflicted us in the last 1% of our history, thus creates the “kitty-drowners” and “butterfly-mashers” of the world. kitty-drowner-butterfly-masherThese things being true, we are able now to understand how it could be that we would find ourselves, at this point in time, on the brink of a self-destruction so all-encompassing that it would take most, if not indeed all, other life forms on this planet down with us into oblivion. (Have a nice day!)

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Continue with Fearful of Looking Directly at Experience, We Defend Against It with Ego and by Creating Time: Experience Is Divine, Cognition Is Illusion, Part Six — The Shield of Perseus

Return to We Are One at Our Source … Explaining Shared Experience and Overlapping Identities: Transpersonal Perspective, Part Four — How “Within” Can Also Be “Outside”

To Read the Entire Book … on-line, free at this time … of which this is an excerpt, Go to Experience Is Divinity

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We Are One at Our Source … Explaining Shared Experience and Overlapping Identities: Transpersonal Perspective, Part Four — How “Within” Can Also Be “Outside”

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“Within” Is Direct Experience, “Without” Is Indirect Experience: Ultimate Reality—World Soul, Atman, the Void—Is the Same for All and Is Discovered “Within”

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How “Within” Can Also Be “Outside”

Despite the time-honored traditions and the revered societies and cultures that have maintained the preceding worldview, Westerner’s find it hard to consider such perspectives without getting trapped in the boxes of solipsism, narcissism, “navel-gazing.” This last—”navel-gazing”points to the problem Westerners have in that, with their materialistic bias causing them to equate the self with the body, they cannot imagine a Divine Within or a God as Self or Experience without picturing it actually inside that body, and hence separated from the world outside! Then to take the further step of calling the physical world “illusory” has them imagining that world disappearing, leaving only one’s body, suspended in a vast and empty space. Not very appealing. Not very logical or intelligent either, but entire paradigms and philosophies are based on such cognitive prejudices and cultural constructions of thought.

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Nevertheless, living in the Western world as we do, the question must be addressed: Is this Experience solipsistic? What is its ontological status? By way of answering and to reiterate, the Common-Sense Realism that is taken as the basis for scientific claims about the material basis of reality is itself overturned by science. Hence on what basis is such a transpersonal reality to be founded as I’ve described? What is the ontological status of this model of radical subjectivity and how can it fit with and make sense of the elements of our experiential worlds? Jung attempted to answer these questions with his metaphysic, yet he has been criticized on both flanks, by scientists and religionists.

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Scientists have called him too mystical in his implications of a higher ontological status to psyche than to matter. But we have discussed how scientists themselves have overturned the notion of any ontological status to matter—letting us know that the status of our material world is dependent on the perceiving organism.

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Hence that leaves the psyche or subjectivity of the perceiver with a higher ontological status.

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Yet from religious circles Jung’s metaphysic has been criticized as being “merely psychological.” It is said he has destroyed the old gods. Yet one could only think of psychological as in any sense “merely” only if one attributes a higher ontological status to matter than to psyche. Thus, that so-called religious people would criticize in this manner displays in them an inherent materialistic, not spiritual, worldview.

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At any rate, Jung has not destroyed the old gods, science did that, physics and astronomy did that. What Jung has done is to give such gods and spiritual realities back to us, although on a more enlightened level.

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The old gods were always “merely psychological,” but the “merely” part of it can only exist if one underestimates the psyche. And this usually happens when one overestimates the outside world. And here I think Jung sees remarkably well.

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Matter Matters. It Just Ain’t Material

He warns against the mistake of forgetting that the outside world is experienced as a function of the psyche, that one’s perceptions are dependent upon the psyche. So what could be more fundamental than the psyche? It is the only thing that one can ever really know to exist!

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The outside world is an inference as Jung said, and it is well not to forget that whenever one goes about discussing reality. This is not to say that the outside world does not exist, but merely that if one may legitimately assume anything then it is that the psyche exists for it is directly perceivable and not that the outside world exists as it is perceived because it is only indirectly perceived.

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If the external world were to exist as it is perceived (the theory of Common-Sense Realism), then one would need to assume that the psyche, or the brain, or the perceptions, whichever you wish, is perfect, is capable of sensing exactly what is out there. But then this is ridiculous, and even the relatively limited means of modern “scientific” psychology has shown that different individuals perceive different things according to their mental set, attitude, and so on.

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And as to whether or not one individual’s experience of external stimuli is exactly equal to another individual’s of the same stimuli, there is no evidence nor any means of obtaining evidence that it is, and there is some evidence that it varies at least a little (for example, the same stimulus may be said to have different intensity, etc.).

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The point is that all is ultimately dependent upon the psyche. So what kind of facts could possibly be ultimately more valuable than psychic facts? We perceive and experience the world within and the world without, the one directly and the other indirectly. We interpret these experiences and call it reason; there is no rational mind if there has been no experience. Therefore, experience is fundamental and what is experience but that which is the psyche, or, in a sense, produced by the psyche. No psyche, no experience, no perception, no outside world. In this light it seems that in relating religious life to the psyche, Jung is closer to building a foundation for it than reducing it to nonsense.

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To me, it seems that the reason people shy away from the idea that ultimate reality is within is that it seems then so limited. It seems that when a person encounters the concept of a reality within there is a tendency to picture in some way a small world within one’s physical body, or at least to imagine that it would be limited to within one’s ego. And since one externally views one’s body as being a certain size and shape, and, most importantly, separated from everything in the whole world that is not oneself, one gets the feeling that if there is something, some kind of reality within, that it is likewise separated from all else and hence becomes of little value; thus the term “merely psychological.” Yet, to me, this concept is not necessary and may be replaced by a new one.

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Allow me to propose an image which, although it makes no claims for ultimate truth, expands the mind sufficiently to be able to imagine a situation in which “within” may also be inclusive. Eastern mystics and psychedelic researchers have frequently used terms such as “planes of existence,” “planes of reality,” or “levels of experience” in attempting to describe their journey within. The implication is that there are other states of consciousness or of experience at which the body and physical reality are no longer experienced as subject-object, in other words, that one somehow has access to the Universe and is no longer separated from it.

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However, for the externally-oriented Western person, as mentioned, it is hard to imagine how within could also include the without. Mandalas have often been used by the mystics to illustrate this situation where descending into one’s self is also a release into a greater reality, and mine will be on that order. Imagine the earth as a hollow globe with a cloth material covering the surface. Imagine the center of the globe as the source of all; and from this source extends roots in all directions, supply lines which proceed to diverse points on the surface. At the surface are figures which have emerged from the center and have protruded with layers of cloth enveloping their self, somewhat like Halloween sheet ghosts. And the sheet acts to filter reality, so that a limited perception is possible. (Somewhat far-fetched, I admit, but it serves to illustrate the point.)

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Domains or “Levels” of Experience

4. Sensory/ Materialistic/ Common-Sense Realism

3. Recollective-Analytic/ Rational/ Culturally Constituted Realities

2. Metaphorical/ Symbolic/ Existential/ Perinatal/ Biologically Constituted Realities

1. Integral/ Raw Experience/ Ground of Being/ Non-Metaphoric, Non-Interpretive/ Transpersonal Reality

TOTALITY OF EXPERIENCE

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As you can see from the diagram, an obscure perception is possible of the relative reality of the external world including the other people in it.

Thus, it is possible to imagine humans as having their roots in a Source which is likewise the same for all. This cosmological mandala resembles the Sri Yantra in meaning when it is said of it that from the center emanate forces which are manifest on the surface as physical reality, maya, or illusion; so that what we see are the diverse surface manifestations of one Source or one Ultimate Reality.

Yet it is not that the external reality does not exist, rather that it is filtered through the sheet of our ego. And this is not to say that external reality does not exist; rather that it is transitory, not ultimate, and that it is also not perceived as it really is even in its relative reality for it is distorted by the individual ego, which is language, memory, in one wordconceptions.

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Conceptual reality forms our external world and is necessarily relative and idiosyncratic. Yet the reality within is ultimate reality and is the same for all. It has been called World Soul, Mind-at-Large, Atman, and the Void. In this light, for example, one will not make the assertion that psychic phenomena if it arises from the psyche is therefore not valid or real or true. If one conceptualizes as I have described, one may think that if a person has “died” and gone back to the Source, it is possible for that person to visit a relative in a dream and rise from the depths of that person’s unconscious (being therefore a psychological reality, “merely”), because in the framework I have mentioned we would all be connected at the Source, at the center.

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And one could easily understand how it would be possible for a man like Edgar Cayce to know things that others know or have known, having access to the roots of all through the Unconscious. In other words there may be an intuitive link between us all. And of course the Common Intersubjectivity I’ve described earlier—with shared experience and overlapping identities—is clearly understandable in this model.

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The point of all this is that it is possible to imagine a metaphysical framework … and one only has to look to the East to see that it’s been done … in which “merely psychological” realities can be both ultimate and inclusive.

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Continue with From Transpersonal Reality to the Fall From Grace: “Development” Is Actually a Reduction of Awareness Through Painful Experiences, Which “Civilized” Cultures Rationalize as Being “Good”

Return to I Am You, and You Are Me, and We Are We, and We Are All Together: The Radical Rational View of Us and It and the Basis of the Belief of Non-Separation

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I Am You, and You Are Me, and We Are We, and We Are All Together: The Radical Rational View of Us and It and the Basis of the Belief of Non-Separation

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Transpersonal Perspective, Part Three — Experience Is Divine: From Solipsism to Transpersonal Reality … How You Are God, the Universe Is Friendly

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From Solipsism to Transpersonal Reality

I Exist

Everything that we say exists is dependent upon our subjective experience of it. So all we really can know exists for sure is a subjective experience of anything. Beyond that, the proposing of anything else as existing is pure speculation. So essentially all that we can know to exist is experiencethat which is, in any particular moment, for oneself—the perceiver or receptor of experience.

This is solipsism, pure and simple of course. But it is the best place of all to start. As W. T. Stace wrote, “The initial position of every mind must be solipsistic,” and further, that while continued investigation might eventually lead to “very good reason to believe in the existence of other minds,” still, “each of us must begin from within his own consciousness” as a “solitary mind” (Theory of Knowledge and Existence , pp. 65-66).

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You Exist

And so it is that from this initial starting point of solipsism a compelling deduction is next made—and it can be made, on the basis of one’s experience alone—that others exist. How so? One deduces the existence of others from one’s experience that there is something outside of the bounds of that which we call one’s self which happens to “impinge” on one’s self. Or we can say that we discover “wills” other than one’s own “will” . . . and this is especially obvious when they are at odds or in conflict with one’s own will. We also deduce the existence of an Other from the fact that there are aspects of one’s experience that are completely surprising and unintended and thus “unwilled” by oneself—one discovers creations which are to all appearances and upon all reflection other than one’s own. Now, these elements alone would imply simply that experience contains the unintended, the contrary, and the surprising. However, these surprising and unintended occurrences can be seen to have meaningful patterns to them. They are meaningful in the sense that we are able to deduce that these “patterns” are themselves centers of experience, centers of will or creation, in much the same way that oneself is. This is a compelling deduction, based on the evidence of one’s experience, but is not a necessary one.

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Having the compelling conviction that others (that is other experience containers, or experience screens, or experience perceivers) exist, we are informed (i.e., “impinged” upon in meaningful [to us] ways) by these “patterns” (entities) of experiences which are not like our own. At least we are “told” and led to believe this through the “communications” that we have with these alleged “others.” Thus, the World emerges as meaningful patterns of experience within oneself (within one’s experience, one’s experiential world) which reveal themselves as separate from us to varying degrees (and we label the degree of separation in accord with their similarity with us: thus, humans—very similar; animals—less so; other living things—less again; inanimate things—even less; and so on).

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We Are All

So far, so good. We have our normal world here; the way we normally think of reality. Then along come other-than-normal experiences. We experience, or find out indirectly, experiences that are supposedly those of one or more of those supposedly separate others! (e.g., psychedelic or other altered-state experience of another’s experience, from another time and place, especially). We are led to conclude that therefore other’s experience is not separate from one’s own, that that was a mistaken view built up on insufficient experience (evidence). We conclude that there is a “bleed through” of experience from what was thought to be separate entities/realities.

we-are-here-to-awaken-from-the-illusion-of-separation

Other evidence/ experiences (such as experiences of being or “identifying with” what were thought to be other “things” or other “species”—this is how we named those patterns that were supposedly farthest from our own experience) convince us that there is no separation either between what we called oneself and what we called world, others, other species, and so on.

We are led to conclude that we are part of all that exists, as far as we know of things existing, or at least that we are so in potential. That is to say we discover that there are no definite and impenetrable boundaries where we thought there were distinct separations. The World as far as we know it appears to be characterized by interconnectedness, overlapping identities, and “porous,” indistinct, or illusory boundaries.

It is by this empirical-existential means that I have come to know (and others have come to know—according to the patterns that have been made known to me through the other patterns in my experience called communication) that one’s subjective experience is not separate from that of others. I repeat, the basis of this belief of non-separation lies in my understanding that (1) people in certain other-than-normal states are able to experience what “other” people have experienced in different times and places—and this is verifiable; (2) the phenomena of morphic resonance and morphogenetic fields—which point to a sharing of subjective space or a Common Intersubjectivityare also able to be empirically validated; and (3) various other experiences of “experience-sharing” are verifiable—such as the trans-species experience and identification with aspects of the so-called “material” world, which have both been described by Stanislav Grof in his many works as occurring quite frequently.

God Exists

So we are part of All That Is (as far as we know it) and the perceived boundaries are only illusory.

The Universe Is Friendly

The next element in this argument enters with the realization that those supposed other-than-us, separate things that impinge on us do so in ways that lead us positively forward into better and better experiences, even despite our intentions . . . and this, if only known in hindsight. Even events constituted mainly of supposedly inanimate “others” (i.e., actions of the “physical” world) reflect a helpful tendency. Thus we conclude that there is something outside of us that is both helpful to us and higher than us (in that it knows what is better for us even when we do not). We call this unknown, powerful, helpful, and everywhere and always present thing, “God.”

We Are God

But since we have found we are not separate from the so-called Other, the so-called World, we must conclude that we also are not separate from that helpful thing that is part of what we thought was Other, and World.

Thus, the conclusion is that one is part of All That Is (insofar as one is in any way aware of what is), that one mistakenly concluded at one time that one was separate from that All because of insufficient evidence (and we learn later, also because of fear that caused us to retreat from the evidence for our essential unity which we did have), that All That Is is beneficent overall (or at least, if this ends up being wrong in the long run, it would be better that we make this mistake than even to get it correct), and that we are part of that beneficence in the All That Is, which we call God.

It is on these sorts of grounds that my viewpoint has come to approximate that of primal, or indigenous, societiesa viewpoint that Western culture has termed pantheism—as well as to approximate the mystical teachings of all spiritual traditions and the perennial philosophy on the essentially Divine nature of the self. These perspectives can be summed up in that all that exists is God, that all that can be seen and perceived are manifestations of God, that all that can be experienced is God, that therefore Experience itself is God, and that I also am God in that I am part of the All That Is (which is God) in that I partake of that Experience.  

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Continue with We Are One at Our Source … Explaining Shared Experience and Overlapping Identities: Transpersonal Perspective, Part Four — How “Within” Can Also Be “Outside”

Return to The World of “Matter” Is But the Appearance of Mind to Itself: The Footprints on the Shores of the Unknown Are Our Own

The book of which this is an excerpt – Experience Is Divinity – is now published and is available in print and e-book format at Amazon, among other outlets.

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The World of “Matter” Is But the Appearance of Mind to Itself: The Footprints on the Shores of the Unknown Are Our Own

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In This Age of Quantum Physics, LSD, Holographic Paradigms, and Consciousness Research, Scientific Arrogance Must Cease: Transpersonal Perspective, Part Two

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Rationalism As Egoistic Self-Abuse

Similarly, we have an argument against Idealism—more specifically the version of it called panpsychism, which is, by the way, the position being asserted here—by Wittgenstein in his Philosophical Investigations. His conclusion is that the position of panpsychism is unintelligible. Stating “Could one imagine a stone’s having consciousness?” he concludes that if one could it would only amount to “image-mongery” (Sec. 390, p. 119e). The implication is that since we cannot do something adequately—that we cannot understand something completely—there is something wrong with it!

consciousness-of-stones

This kind of reasoning qualifies for the “All-Time Boners in Philosophy Award.” For the argument—while claiming not to be saying anything about the truth or falsity of a position, nor about its provenness or unprovenness—would want us to evaluate positions, and even possibly dismiss them as viable (i.e., as possibly true), based upon whether we (as a species) are capable of understanding them with our intelligence.

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Whereas, not only does this limit our knowledge endeavor—removing it from any possibility of speaking of truth unless it somehow (miraculously, I suppose, or through some sort of chosen-by-God kind of privilege) happens to coincide with what is intelligible to us; not only does it eliminate the scientific and philosophical enterprises in their attempts at venturing, ever on, after what may actually be true (or at least “truer” than we had previously held); but it presupposes that what is unimaginable at one time, or to one person, will be unimaginable, or unintelligible, to all others in all other times.

matter-as-metaphor-ufo

This is one particular instance where Rationalism displays its egoistic self-abuse . . . hence its inherent fallacy. For we know by looking at the record that what is unimaginable at one time, or to one person, ends up being imaginable to another. For example, do we suppose that an early “animistic” hunter-gatherer could imagine a physical universe as we picture it today—with black holes, a heliocentric solar system, a Big Bang, quarks, and quasars?

primacy-of-consciousness

Do we say that because this primal person could not imagine these that we must dismiss them as possible truths (i.e., as possible good models of our reality). Or must we say that our conceptualizations of these things amount to “image-mongery” and thereby dismiss them on those grounds.

This last point leads beyond it in compelling us to realize that all forms of what we call “intelligible” venturing after truth are already a matter of “image-mongery.” That is to say that all our attempts equate with imagining models of what is; none of which can be said to actually constitute the thing described inasmuch as the map cannot constitute the territory.

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Hence we are led, again, to a realization of the inevitably anthropocentric nature of such arguments as Wittgenstein’s attack on panpsychism—and the equivalent degree of arrogance that corresponds with them. For the argument reduces itself to “if we can’t imagine something, it doesn’t exist!”

Leaving behind such a fatuous and uninspired rationale, let us return to the position of Idealism anew.

matter-reflects-mind

Scientific Arrogance Must Cease

For—even admitting these claims of the unimaginability or incredibility of an Idealistic or panpsychic position—that was then, and this is now. It may have been unimaginable in Wittgenstein’s time or incredible from Joad’s perspective to consider a non-materialistic view of Reality. However, in an age that has witnessed LSD; a revival of shamanism; the emergence of virtual reality; the concepts of quantum physics, holographic paradigms, morphic resonances, cellular consciousness, and holotropic minds; and consciousness research in almost every branch of the natural and social sciences at this point . . . in such a day it might be ripe to reconsider some of what has been prematurely, and I might say arrogantly, set aside.

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I say “arrogantly” based upon what I’ve said elsewhere about the anthropocentric bias of scientists. For with an understanding of biologically constituted realities of species we gain an appreciation of the fundamentally limited and species-relative nature of our views of Reality.

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Hopefully, we can set aside, to at least a little degree, some of the anthropocentric egotism which obscures any truly reasonable attempt at constructing fruitful reality models. That being so, we need to admit of the possibility … not of the “intelligible-to-Wittgenstein possibility,” but of the real possibility … of the prior fundamental reality of psyche over matter, of the observer over the observed.

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The Footprints on the Shores of the Unknown Are Our Own

From the preceding it should be clear that I believe that consciousness is the only thing of the Universe or that it is at least the only thing knowable of the Universe. It should be just as evident why we would have such difficulty in acknowledging this obvious fact. Still, despite our modern difficulties with this worldview, it is not an uncommon position in philosophy. As Patrick (1952) describes Idealism,

dafagaghhhshjjIdealism, too, asserts that reality is one, that one being mind or spirit. For the Idealist matter is at best a representation or construct of mind. The world of “matter” is but the appearance of mind to itself. The world which the physical scientist talks about is, as Eddington says, in The Nature of the Physical World (p. xv), a “world of shadows.” What really is, in the final analysis, is of the nature of mind. (p. 185)

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Patrick (1952) elaborates further, quoting Eddington:

matter-mind-reflectA. S. Eddington, at the end of his chapter “On the Nature of Things” closing his striking book on Space, Time and Gravitation, comes to the conclusion that something of the nature of consciousness forms the essential content of the world.

The theory of relativity has passed in review the whole subject-matter of physics. It has unified the great laws, which by the precision of their formulation and the exactness of their application have won the proud place in human knowledge which physical science holds today. And yet, in regard to the nature of things, this knowledge is only an empty shell—a form of symbols. It is knowledge of structural form, and not knowledge of content. All through the physical world runs that unknown content, which must surely be the stuff of our consciousness.

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Here is a hint of aspects deep within the world of physics, and yet unattainable by the methods of physics. And, moreover, we have found that where science has progressed the farthest, the mind has but regained from nature that which the mind has put into nature.

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We have found a strange footprint on the shores of the unknown. We have devised profound theories, one after another, to account for its origin. At last, we have succeeded in reconstructing the creature that made the footprint. And lo! it is our own. (Eddington, Space, Time, and Gravitation, pp. 200-201, from Patrick, 1952, p. 116)

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Continue with I Am You, and You Are Me, and We Are We, and We Are All Together: The Radical Rational View of Us and It and the Basis of the Belief of Non-Separation

Return to The Consciousness of Stones: Transpersonal Perspective, Part One — Affirming Idealism, Debunking Materialism, and Rationalism as Egoistic Self-Abuse

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The Consciousness of Stones: Transpersonal Perspective, Part One — Affirming Idealism, Debunking Materialism, and Rationalism as Egoistic Self-Abuse

consciousness-of-the-world

The Map Is Not the Territory, Reality Is What Is Directly Experienced: In Support of Panpsychism and the Primacy-of-Consciousness Postulate

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Some Assumptions

The perspective contained in this final argument on Experience Is Divinity: Matter As Metaphor and in the upcoming work, Falls from Grace, arises out of a set of assumptions that should be made clear at the outset. In addition, certain words are used with particular meanings that might not be clear to the reader initially. These terms are devolution, regression, the Divine, Experience , and metaphor; and I will deal with each of them in due course. In this part, “The Transpersonal Perspective,” I will discuss the definitional, epistemological, ontological, and methodological issues that pertain to the body of this work.

This book’s working set of assumptions is congruent with those of transpersonal psychology and the perennial philosophy as put forth by Ken Wilber (1977), and it is compatible with the metaphysical view constructed by Carl Jung. The basic assumption within that set is that Reality is

(1) something that is directly experienced and

(2) is not the interpretation of that experience.

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That is, that as soon as one begins to interpret, one is already abstracting from What Really Is, one is removing oneself from that Reality and is beginning the process of increasing abstraction, degression, and devolution (meaning the reverse of evolution, the opposite of growth forward) from What Is.

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(1) Reality Is Something Directly Experienced

Let us take each premise in turn. That Reality is something that is directly experienced is related to the position of Idealism, in philosophy, which is contrasted with the position of Common-Sense Realism or Materialism. Not only does Idealism have a strong historical legacy in philosophy, it has vital contemporary and empirical support from both the mainstream and cutting edges of our sciences.

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Debunking Materialism

To establish Idealism more strongly we might want, first of all, to undercut the prevailing notion of Common-Sense Realism or Materialism.

On the contemporary side, biologist, natural scientist, and philosopher Rupert Sheldrake (1991a) lists nine “essential features of the mechanistic world view”:

1. Nature is inanimate

2. Inert atoms of matter

3. Determinate, predictable

4. Knowable

5. Universe a machine

6. Earth dead

7. No internal purposes

8. No creativity

9. Eternal laws (p. 17)

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You will notice how many of these aspects of the mechanistic worldview overlap with what I have been calling Materialism. At any rate, Sheldrake (1991a) then states, and goes on to demonstrate, that “every one of those essential claims has been refuted by advances of science. In effect, science itself has now superseded the mechanistic world view” (p. 17).

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Why this is not common knowledge is answered by Sheldrake (1991a) in pointing out: “Although science is now superseding the mechanistic world view, the mechanistic theory of nature has shaped the modern world, underlies the ideology of technological progress, and is still the official orthodoxy of science” (p. 17). And furthermore about this reluctance to change: “It has had many consequences, not the least of which is the environmental crisis” (p. 17).

Nevertheless, it is our duty to shed popular or convenient positions when they are contradicted by the evidence … or else we should give up our endeavor’s claim to be a truthful one. In so doing, Sheldrake’s (1991a) conclusion is that

[T]he modern changes in science have effectively transcended each of these features. These changes in science have not happened as part of a coordinated research programme designed to overthrow the mechanistic paradigm. They have happened in specialized areas, seemingly unconnected with each other, and often without any consciousness that this was leading to a change in the overall world view of science. What I am going to suggest is that we can now see that this has effectively refuted the mechanistic world view within the very heart of science itself. (p. 18)

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And similarly, as concerns Materialism specifically:

Inert atoms have given way to the idea of atoms as structures of activity. Matter is not fundamental in modern physics. Energy and fields are fundamental. Energy is what gives things actuality or activity; it’s like the flow of change. Fields are what organize the flow of energy. As David Bohm says, “Matter is frozen light,” It’s the energy of light, or light-like energy trapped within a small space going round and round upon itself within fields. So matter is energy bound within fields. And as Sir Karl Popper has pointed out, “through modern physics, materialism has transcended itself,” because matter is no longer the fundamental explanatory entity, no longer the fundamental feature of things. Fields and energy are the most fundamental things. (p. 19)

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Affirming Idealism

With Materialism in disrepute, it is logical to consider the alternative of Idealism. Idealism is the position, in philosophy, that states that matter’s existence is dependent upon our perception of it, that we cannot know that matter exists outside of our perception of it, and hence that what is most fundamental about Reality is the observer, not the observed . . . that the observed always presupposes an observer, prior to that.

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This position fits in exactly with the idea of “biologically constituted realities” as I have described it elsewhere. This idea is that “worlds,” including “physical worlds,” are dependent upon the particular biological paradigm that constitutes the observer. Another way of saying that is that the “structure” of the observer … most notably, what is commonly called the “species” … determines the “world” that will be apprehended.

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By “structure” I naturally mean a “psychic” structure (which we mistakenly label a physical structure such as the anatomy of a species, of course, because of our culturally constituted materialist bias) as opposed to a physical structure—for after all we are herein arguing for the more fundamental reality of psyche1 over matter.

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At any rate, it follows that an infinite number of worlds are possible, corresponding to an infinite number of perceivers. That is to say that perceivers consist in an infinite number of conceivable “biological paradigms”; we call them species.

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Furthermore, subjective worlds vary as well within the individual biological structures that comprise each species. For the worlds of species vary with the individual perceivers or members which are by definition of similar, but not identical, construction to each other.

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At any rate, in our materialistic age, such an “Idealist” position that posits the essence of World as psychical or subjective is looked down upon. Indeed, it has been roundly dismissed as “logically impeccable but incredible.”2

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Rationalism As Egoistic Self-Abuse

Similarly, we have an argument against Idealism—more specifically the version of it called panpsychism, which is, by the way, the position being asserted here—by Wittgenstein in his Philosophical Investigations. His conclusion is that the position of panpsychism is unintelligible. Stating “Could one imagine a stone’s having consciousness?” he concludes that if one could it would only amount to “image-mongery” (Sec. 390, p. 119e). The implication is that since we cannot do something adequately—that we cannot understand something completely—there is something wrong with it!

consciousness-of-stones

This kind of reasoning qualifies for the “All-Time Boners in Philosophy Award.” For the argument—while claiming not to be saying anything about the truth or falsity of a position, nor about its provenness or unprovenness—would want us to evaluate positions, and even possibly dismiss them as viable (i.e., as possibly true), based upon whether we (as a species) are capable of understanding them with our intelligence.

313603_499893186703562_1470181529_n

Whereas, not only does this limit our knowledge endeavor—removing it from any possibility of speaking of truth unless it somehow (miraculously, I suppose, or through some sort of chosen-by-God kind of privilege) happens to coincide with what is intelligible to us; not only does it eliminate the scientific and philosophical enterprises in their attempts at venturing, ever on, after what may actually be true (or at least “truer” than we had previously held); but it presupposes that what is unimaginable at one time, or to one person, will be unimaginable, or unintelligible, to all others in all other times.

matter-as-metaphor-ufo

This is one particular instance where Rationalism displays its egoistic self-abuse . . . hence its inherent fallacy. For we know by looking at the record that what is unimaginable at one time, or to one person, ends up being imaginable to another. For example, do we suppose that an early “animistic” hunter-gatherer could imagine a physical universe as we picture it today—with black holes, a heliocentric solar system, a Big Bang, quarks, and quasars?

primacy-of-consciousness

Do we say that because this primal person could not imagine these that we must dismiss them as possible truths (i.e., as possible good models of our reality). Or must we say that our conceptualizations of these things amount to “image-mongery” and thereby dismiss them on those grounds.

This last point leads beyond it in compelling us to realize that all forms of what we call “intelligible” venturing after truth are already a matter of “image-mongery.” That is to say that all our attempts equate with imagining models of what is; none of which can be said to actually constitute the thing described inasmuch as the map cannot constitute the territory.

483377_396568390391692_1865419850_n

Hence we are led, again, to a realization of the inevitably anthropocentric nature of such arguments as Wittgenstein’s attack on panpsychism—and the equivalent degree of arrogance that corresponds with them. For the argument reduces itself to “if we can’t imagine something, it doesn’t exist!”

Leaving behind such a fatuous and uninspired rationale, let us return to the position of Idealism anew.

matter-reflects-mind

Continue with The World of “Matter” Is But the Appearance of Mind to Itself: The Footprints on the Shores of the Unknown Are Our Own

dreamtime_sisters_photo_s1

Return to How End Times Can Be Seen as Beginning Times: Science As Myth, Part Six — Emanationism and the Cyclical Nature of Time and Change

To Read the Entire Book … on-line, free at this time  … of which this is an excerpt, Go to Experience Is Divinity

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How End Times Can Be Seen as Beginning Times: Science As Myth, Part Six — Emanationism and the Cyclical Nature of Time and Change

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Further Implications of the New Paradigm: On Yugas and the Shift, Emanationism, Panentheism, and Child “Development” as Spiritual Devolution 

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Emanationism and the Cyclical Nature of Time and Change

Emanationism is another important non-Western perspective that comes out of the new consciousness research, the new physics, and quantum theory. Like the Lamarckian view of evolution and the subjectivity-as-primary postulate of Reality, it, also, is ridiculed and pooh-poohed by the many self-ordained “rational” men of science. But like the others, it, too, is given new credibility and life through some of those same “inconvenient” findings of science which overturn common-sense materialism and neo-Darwinism.

27996_10151253638310758_240918830_nEmanationism is a view of our changes over time that suggests that we devolve from an original pure state to increasingly diffracted, diffused, and more impure states of being. It asserts that, rather than evolving to higher forms, we descend from a highest form to lower and lower forms as we get farther from an original source. On Emanationism, Wikipedia says,

Emanationism is an idea in the cosmology or cosmogony of certain religious or philosophical systems. Emanation, from the Latin emanare meaning “to flow from” or “to pour forth or out of”, is the mode by which all things are derived from the First Reality, or Principle. All things are derived from the first reality or perfect God by steps of degradation to lesser degrees of the first reality or God, and at every step the emanating beings are less pure, less perfect, less divine. Emanationism is a transcendent principle from which everything is derived, and is opposed to both Creationism (wherein the universe is created by a sentient God who is separate from creation) and materialism (which posits no underlying subjective and/or ontological nature behind phenomena being immanent).

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150374_272876926165259_93694049_nThe importance of such a distinction in the views of the nature and direction of Reality might not be obvious. But it is supremely relevant to just about everything we think of as advance or development: In spirituality or spiritual growth,417002_520498194627937_1765380096_n it determines whether or not one can pile up spiritual “accomplishments,” ladder-style, step-by-step and analogous to the way one acquires credits toward a scholastic degree, or whether one needs to let go and stop trying to control one’s development and instead place the source of one’s plan for eternity outside of the ego. It has much to say about the so-called “advances” of civilization and points to an idea that these accomplishments take a much higher toll than they provide benefits; the net result being that we continually retreat, not advance, with technological and cultural elaboration.

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185135_234481183344891_1818458744_nIt has something to say about our development in life and whether we lose more than we gain as we get older, alongside the measure of perhaps the most important things of life. It might say something to a physicist pondering the Big Bang and its aftermath as well about where one might look for the more optimal state of the Universe — something we approach, an Omega Point, or something we left behind, an Origin or Source. For the traditional Western view in each case sees all growth and development as linear; whereas the Emanationist view in each case sees Reality more like the ways indigenous folks and our progenitors saw it: Reality as a cycle, with times of decline followed eventually, and fortuitously, by eternal returns to states of renewed vitality.

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If this sounds strange, keep in mind that this is the central idea in the concepts of being “born again,” of rebirthing, and of renewal of any sort that is sought in any endeavor, spiritual/psychological or secular. Keep in mind that Emanationism is in line with right-brain or “organic” thinking, which sees progress as growing outward in all directions at the same time from a Source which is also then the End Point.

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Fall and Return to Grace

Whereas a traditional view of progress has it being linear and in line with left brain thinking which posits everything in cause and effect relation from a dim, unforeseeable beginning to an incomprehensible Omega Point at the opposite end of Infinity … which is a mathematical impossibility, by the way, so even it, though linear, is not logical.

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yggdrasilSo while such an idea as Emanationism might sound strange these days … thus reinforcing my argument for the overweening success of the theory of evolution … yet it was one that was common among ancient philosophers.TreeofLifeGoddess It was and is a common “primitive” — a better word is primal — depiction of the way things work. It is a cornerstone of ancient Gnostic teachings. A good deal of ancient Greek philosophy is presented this way — for example, the writings or Plotinus and Proclus. It is the perception of Hindu cosmology, even up to this day, with the belief in a system of yugas or ages — each one being a decline from the previous one. Strangest of all, it appears in a physical form (almost as if it had to come out somewhere, even if only “reflected”) in the theory of cosmic origins put forth by the scientific community called the “big bang” theory. People this very day have this conception in mind in thinking there might be some renewal on the horizon at the end of the Mayan calendar or coinciding with some other celestial or macrocosmic shift.

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yugatime298-04-yugasHowever, generally speaking, in this philosophical conception, the Universe is seen as “running down” over time — that is, in a spiritual or moral sense, not a physical one like the scientists’ refracted formulation. Consequently, the current age, which we think of as the height of evolution is, in Hindu cosmology, the Kali yuga, the lowest level of decline, of degenerate morals, habit, and custom that is possible before the starting up of the cycle all over again from the “top” … which, keep in mind, is also the beginning or “bottom.”

P5_mayan_cosmos

Karl Christian Friedrich Krause and Panentheism

And this viewpoint is expressed magnificently as recently as the early nineteenth century by philosopher Karl Christian Friedrich Krause with such import and power that it led to an entire movement outside of Krause’s Germany in the country of Spain during the mid-nineteenth century and after his death.

Of Krause, Encyclopedia Brittanica reports,

kcf_krauseKarl Christian Friedrich Krause,  (born May 6, 1781, Eisenberg, Rhenish Palatinate [Germany]—died Sept. 27, 1832, Munich, Bavaria), German philosopher who attracted a considerable following, especially in Spain, where his disciples, known as krausistas, greatly influenced the direction of Spanish education in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Krause’s system of philosophy, which he called “panentheism” (essentially an attempt to reconcile pantheism and theism), asserts that God is an essence that contains the entire universe within itself but is not exhausted by it. He put particular emphasis on the development of the individual as an integral part of the life of the whole.

Among his major works are Entwurf des Systems der Philosophie (1804; “Sketch of the System of Philosophy”), Vorlesungen über das System der Philosophie (1828; “Lectures on the System of Philosophy”), and Vorlesungen über die Grundwahrheiten der Wissenschaft (1829; “Lectures on the Fundamentals of Knowledge”).

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Ostracizing Emanationism In Our Intellectually “Open” Society

Yet this viewpoint is decried and suppressed these days. Sure of our beliefs in evolution which, conveniently enough, puts us at the top of the ladder of creation, we relegate the idea of Emanationism and the philosophy of Krause, for example, to the trash heap of history. The Encyclopedia of Philosophy has this to say about Emanationism as regards its contrast with the theory of evolution: “In modern times, evolutionism has obliterated the emanationist philosophy” (Merlan, 1966, p. 473).

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Pinnacle of Evolution?

And sure enough, in my computer search of the seven million titles in the entire University of California library system I found not one title at all related to the topic of Emanationism. Similarly, of the forty-six titles listed on Krause, only two were in English and both of those were concerned, not at all with Krause’s philosophy, but rather with his other major interest — his political views on world peace, and the other title an analysis of the sociological movement that followed from his ideas in Spain. Therefore there wasn’t one title in English on this philosophy, this viewpoint!

We may congratulate ourselves on having an open intellectual society, a freedom of expression and viewpoint. However, inquiry like the one above forces us to acknowledge the existence of certain forces in our world — be they psychological, political, economic, sociological, or all of these — that severely circumscribe the range of ideas available for consideration by our supposedly “open” minds in this supposedly “open” society.

But I do not wish to make the case for Emanationism just yet. That will be the task of the book which follows this one, Falls from Grace. In it I present exactly that proposition: that in the process of coming into the world, in an individual’s life, the individual’s consciousness proceeds from a state of high awareness and spiritual expansion to lower and more constricted levels of such awareness.

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Fallen and We Can’t Get Up

This would be ontogenetic emanationism or what I refer to as devolution. In the work previous to this one, The Great Reveal, I lay out the manner of this emanationism as it has occurred for our species. This phylogenetic or cultural emanationism or devolution is the idea that in the process of eons of time we have existed on Earth our species has gone from a state of grand awareness and spiritual fullness to increasingly lesser states of such.

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Crown of Creation?

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Further New-Paradigm Implications: Child “Development” as Spiritual Devolution

Whatever the weight of the assault I am making on the scientific bias, it must at least be acknowledged concerning scientific theories that theoretical positions that ignore the very foundations upon which they are based — that is, the subjectivity of the observer — are going to be the weaker for that.

Yet, acknowledging even that, one could argue that there is no clear idea of how to go about applying these new perspectives. How could they be used? How could they be relevant? What implications might they have?

It is in answer to these questions that I have offered the analysis in the work following this. In Falls from Grace, I detail how these new-paradigm perspectives, specifically emanationism, can be used in the understanding of child “development” and personal growth or spirituality. I propose just such an emanationist or devolutional model — one that is rooted in Wilber’s (1977) “spectrum of consciousness” theory.

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Fallen from Grace … Returning to Grace

It is more than just speculative, however, for it is based also on the findings of the new-paradigm experiential psychotherapies — that is, the ones that place primacy upon experience over concept, “territory” over “map,” and percept over object.

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The implications of this approach, I show, are for no less than the validity of the current direction of child-caring, the effectiveness of mainstream psychiatric approaches, and the direction of psychological and spiritual growth. It is my belief that such implications are far from irrelevant or unimportant.

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Emanationist Devolution

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Endpoint of Emanationist Devolution … Endpoint of Falls from Grace

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Return to Grace … Return to Source

The Transpersonal Perspective Explained

But first, in this work Experience Is Divinity, I wish to provide a more comprehensive philosophical viewpoint that arises from the modern consciousness research. In the Transpersonal Perspective, I will lay out what I believe can be known about Reality. For it is the basis upon which any true knowledge can exist.

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Continue with The Consciousness of Stones: Transpersonal Perspective, Part One — Affirming Idealism, Debunking Materialism, and Rationalism as Egoistic Self-Abuse

Return to Science Has Demonstrated That Psychological, Subjective Changes Affect the Rest of Reality: Everything We Think and Do Affects All of Consciousness


Science as Myth Footnote

1. Experiments testing the theory of morphogenetic fields have been reported in a number of places, including New Sense Bulletin, Noetic Sciences Bulletin, and of course Sheldrake’s own works and presentations.

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Science As Myth References

Jones, Roger S. (1982). Physics as Metaphor. Minneapolis, MN: The University of Minnesota.

Lawlor, Robert. (1991). Voices of the First Day: Awakening in the Aboriginal Dreamtime. Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions International.

Merlan, Philip. (1967). Emanationism. In Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 473-474.

New Sense Bulletin. (1991). Contest-winning studies support Sheldrake theory. New Sense Bulletin, 17(1) [October 1991], 8.

Institute for Noetic Sciences. (1991). Noetic Sciences Bulletin.

Sheldrake, Rupert. (1981). A New Science of Life: The Hypothesis of Formative Causation. Los Angeles: J.P. Tarcher.

Sheldrake, Rupert. (1991). The Rebirth of Nature: The Greening of Science and God. New York: Bantam.

Sheldrake, Rupert. (1991). Is nature alive? Human Potential, 16-21, 33-39.

Sheldrake, Rupert. (1995). Nature as alive: Morphic resonance and collective memory. Primal Renaissance: The Journal of Primal Psychology, 1(1), 65-78.

Wilber, Ken. (1980). The Atman Project. Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House.

Wilber, Ken. (1981). Up from Eden. New York: Anchor Books.

Wilber, Ken. (1982). The pre/trans fallacy. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 22(2), 5-43.

Wilber, Ken. (1983). A Sociable God. Boulder, CO: Shambhala Publishing.

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Continue with The Consciousness of Stones: Transpersonal Perspective, Part One — Affirming Idealism, Debunking Materialism, and Rationalism as Egoistic Self-Abuse

Return to Science Has Demonstrated That Psychological, Subjective Changes Affect the Rest of Reality: Everything We Think and Do Affects All of Consciousness

To Read the Entire Book … on-line, free at this time … of which this is an excerpt, Go to Experience Is Divinity

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