Material vs. Immaterial

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Reconstructo
 
Reply Mon 30 Nov, 2009 11:59 pm
@jeeprs,
I suppose the difficultly is putting non-dual experience, for instance, into the medium of words, which have been described as a system of differences.

I've always felt a strong emotional attraction to monism. It's as if man is programmed to unify his experience. Parmenides had his One, and Hegel his substance which was subject. Spinoza of course. Schopenhauer and Nietzsche with Will-to-live and Will-to-power. Marx and economics. All thru philosophy I see the desire toward fusion, reduction to a single element, unification.

I see in this the work of what Jung calls the Self archetype, which is also the God archetype. For Jung the Self is the totality of the psyche, whereas the Ego is off-center, more in relation to the external world than the Self in general.

But archetypes must be inferred from their determinate content. (We note what Jesus, Buddha, the One, Pantheism, etc. have in common.) The archetype itself can be conceived of as a pregnant void. It is always experienced with a certain amount of concrete peculiar detail. (We all have a different Jesus/ Buddha/Einstein, etc., even if only slightly.)

Forgive me if you are already familiar with all this.

Smile
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Tue 1 Dec, 2009 12:50 am
@Holiday20310401,
hey nothing to forgive. Not many people are aware of this in the least, and you put it differently to anyone else, and very well. During October I went to a conference Science and Nonduality which was all about this topic so it is very much on my mind at the moment.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Tue 1 Dec, 2009 01:04 am
@Holiday20310401,
I followed the link. Looks like something I relate to. It's always nice see the false opposition of science and mysticism transcended. Both are so valuable. Let's have our cake and eat it too.

Smile
 
Khethil
 
Reply Tue 1 Dec, 2009 11:25 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;107211 wrote:
I followed the link. Looks like something I relate to. It's always nice see the false opposition of science and mysticism transcended. Both are so valuable. Let's have our cake and eat it too.


Here, here! Both have value, both are important to understanding the human condition.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 1 Dec, 2009 11:30 am
@Khethil,
Khethil;107300 wrote:
Here, here! Both have value, both are important to understanding the human condition.


I am not sure what "the human condition" is, exactly. But I wonder (on general principles) how mysticism would be useful in understanding it. It isn't useful in other areas.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Tue 1 Dec, 2009 02:08 pm
@kennethamy,
I think it's useful for the understanding of history and other human beings in general. It's comparable perhaps to the understanding of music.

Man is a creature of feeling as well as thought. I personally think of mysticism in terms of sublime feelings in relation to certain symbols and myths, as presented by religion and art.

To live without experiencing such sublime feelings is to miss out. Understanding, in the Hegelian sense, is the faculty that tears apart -- the analytical faculty. Whereas Reason sees the union of subject and substance. But I am still in midst of studying this. I do not claim to be an expert on Hegel.

Also I think to understand Parmenides, Plato, and Spinoza, it's useful to feel the aesthetic-mystical resonance of their assertions. I do not envision man as a cold calculator. He's a warm blob of gore in the midst of chaos, inventing and discarding images of this chaos by which to live. Many of these images serve emotional purposes.

Thought without passion is dead. Passion without thought is blind.
 
prothero
 
Reply Tue 1 Dec, 2009 02:10 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;107338 wrote:
Thought without passion is dead. Passion without thought is blind.
Very reminiscent of Einstein's quote about religion and science "science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind".
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Tue 1 Dec, 2009 02:12 pm
@Holiday20310401,
Beautiful quote. I wasn't familiar with it. Einstein played the violin, married his pretty cousin. Knew he was something. In his way, a man of faith. Great man. Poetic that he thought so brilliantly on light, himself a light.

Smile
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Tue 1 Dec, 2009 05:59 pm
@Holiday20310401,
There is an excellent new (2006) bio of Einstein by Walter Isaacson, with a chapter called 'Einstein's God'. He had a deeply mystical view of God, and never doubted his existence, but also a scathing view of religion (although he was generally very tactful about it.) People were always trying to enlist Einstein into various causes, social, political and religious, and he would have none of it; ever the complete individualist. But he had some great quotes on the topic:

Quote:
'Try and penetrate with our limited means the secrets of nature and you will find that, behind all the discernable laws and connections, there remains something subtle, intangible and inexplicable. Veneration for this force beyond anything we can comprehend is my religion'


(Mind you, doesn't stop people from trying to envisage it, comprehend it, and explain it, as they constantly do on the Forum.)

On whether he accepted the historical existence of Jesus:

Quote:
'Unquestionably! no one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. no myth is filled with such life'


On whether he believes in God:

Quote:
'I'm not an atheist. The problem involved is too vast for our limited minds. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn't know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God. We see the Universe marvelously arranged and obeying certain laws but only dimly understand those laws.'


The chapter goes on to stress that Einstein did not believe in a personal Deity and certainly was never a member of a religion except for as a non-observant Jew. However he was adamant that he was not an atheist:

Quote:
"There are people who say there is no God. But what makes me really angry is that they quote me for support of such views."


(Incidentally, the first chapter of Dawkin's The God Delusion - 'A Very Religious Non-Believer' - does exactly that by invoking Einstein as a model of 'intelligent unbelief'. But I do know from experience that any posting on the Dawkins forum which expresses the views given by Einstein above will automatically and scathingly be dismissed as 'superstitious nonsense' and I doubt very much that the portrayal given in the Dawkin's book, and the one in the Isaacson book, can actually be reconciled.)

All quotes from Walter Isaacson - Einstein - His Life and Universe Simon and Schuster Britian 2007, Chapter 17.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Tue 1 Dec, 2009 06:03 pm
@jeeprs,
Excellent post. His hair implied all this somehow. Smile
 
 

 
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