The Meta-narrative of Awakening

  1. Philosophy Forum
  2. » MetaPhilosophy
  3. » The Meta-narrative of Awakening

Get Email Updates Email this Topic Print this Page

jeeprs
 
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2009 05:22 am
I have been posting here since March and have generally found it a very positive experience. I have a conviction about what I understand as the nature of philosophy which I would like to present. It is probably completely unorthodox and I really don't know whether it is shared by any, or many, of the contributors here. I don't know if it is an explicit part of Western philosophy at all, although there may be some that had this understanding. (Any opinions on this welcomed.)

This meta-philosophy revolves around a meta-narrative. The meta-narrative is the idea of evolutionary enlightenment, the idea that there is a purpose behind evolution, namely that the human being is 'life becoming conscious of itself'. This is why there has been a development from very simple single-cell lifeforms to intelligent beings.

Generally speaking, individuals are completely caught up in their own story, in being themselves. This might indeed be a good cause and the individual concerned may be living an exemplary life. However the attainment of wisdom really means going beyond oneself, seeing beyond the me and the mine and its limited goals and small concerns. This is a spiritual, rather than philosophical, goal, in the modern sense of the word 'philosophical'. However it is very much the understanding of many of the mystical schools and of Neo-platonism. I also feel it is deeply part of the Ancient Greek philosophies, although this element has mostly been redacted out for various reasons.

When this goal is realised, the human has become what is known as 'a realised being'. Such a being is really awake to the true magnificence of their own nature, in which the universe itself acts and is reflected. I won't provide a list of those whom I regard as realised beings but there are some.

This understanding, this meta-narrative, makes sense out of evolution and many other aspects of our modern sensibility. It was really first articulated by R.M. Bucke, in his book Cosmic Consciousness, published in 1901. He maintains that the human species has evolved from animal consciousness, to the state of self-consciousness that we are now in, towards cosmic consciousness which is where we are headed. I suppose this is the new age but I have always felt that was a very trivial way of expressing it (notwithstanding the reality that we really are entering an entirely new age.)

And the reason I call it a meta-philosophy is because by its very nature, it accomodates an enormous range of perspectives and insights from many cultures and disciplines. It is not really 'this way' as opposed to 'that way'.

Now of course not everyone will get this, or want to, and I am certainly not interested in evangalising it or pushing it to anyone. To each in his or her own time - my motivation is only to share it with those who are interested and from whom I can learn. But I am dissappointed by the attitude which says, in a triumphant kind of way, that everything is meaningless, life arose by accident, there is no purpose, and so on. I can't understand why this is a prize or a victory. Yet its exponents always seem to cling so determindely to it. Perhaps it is because they hate anything spiritual. Kind of a phyrric victory I would have thought.

So, that is the statement of what I understand as the philosophy behind philosophy. As for my personal involvement in it, this is the basis of one's spiritual discipline, to serve a universal awakening. The traditional philosophy that is most like it is Mahayana Buddhism and I hope I can engage with it in a way which is useful to those who wish to understand it.

With Metta
:bigsmile:
 
William
 
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2009 06:50 am
@jeeprs,
Hello jeepers,

Bingo! Right on the mark IMO. Could it be reaching the understanding and "crying uncle" to the inanity of our assumed autonomy? In that we begin to learn that we are not the masters of our creation as we approach brick walls that we cannot surmount and come to the realization of that cosmic consciousness we are all a part of? That life up until now has be an orientation or indoctrination to what sentience is all about and our misunderstanding of it as it relates to the universitility of it all. "We are not alone!" We are not separate from it?

As one looks at what we have recorded in our efforts to retain the past to retrieve some sense of it we get bogged down in the very complexity of it all as you espouse "this way or that way" as it identifies our individual perspectives of that past in our attempts to "organize" it into some coherent way that will make sense of it yet get bogged down still only further. Yet knowing all along there is some sense to it if we could just see it?

Think about this jeepers. We are "perfect creations". Now will a perfect anything be open to contridiction? I think not. We are indeed perfect just "incomplete" as it relates to understanding "we are not alone" which brings into play the "missing link" that will join us with that cosmic consciousness we are "a part" of. As it relates to heaven and hell and your "evangelist" thinking, for a perfect anything to understand and begin to realize what perfection is, they must come to an understanding of what is indeed "imperfect". And that is what the orientation and indoctrination is meant to do. Brings us to our senses, so to speak.

As we relate also to that "evangelistic" thought of some, it rationalizes our being to be flawed; and rightfully so by all appearances as we discover the differences of joy and misery and all it comparables our senses allow us to realize. We can also "assume" this cosmos is also learning what it is to "be human" as it learns along with us what "good" that sentience will offer in it's everlasting continuum as we, as one, maintain that harmony so essential to it's eternal journey. :a-ok:

Great thread. What do "you" think?
William
 
pagan
 
Reply Mon 3 Aug, 2009 11:57 am
@William,
hi jeeprs

i think it is an attractive philosophical perspective, creative and expansive with a sense of responsibility and wonder.
Quote:


Generally speaking, individuals are completely caught up in their own story, in being themselves. This might indeed be a good cause and the individual concerned may be living an exemplary life. However the attainment of wisdom really means going beyond oneself, seeing beyond the me and the mine and its limited goals and small concerns.
Where do you see 'individuals who are caught up in their own story' fitting in with your philosophy, if at all? Imminent for progression to becoming realised beings? What if they dont make it, by for example refusing to go along with it? Still 'me and mine' are their possibly exemplary lives?

Do i sense an extra perspective available to them that might confirm how they have been living? I am puzzled as to the relevance of your perspective compared to other philosophies...... do you see it uniquely adding something of use to society or an individual?

This is not a criticism of your point of view in and of itself, i just wondered if you had a sense of loss and frustration that other people (even those who you consider exemplary in their actions) do not share it. I acknowledge that you are not evangelising in the preaching sense of the word, but rather sharing.

with metta
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Mon 3 Aug, 2009 05:20 pm
@jeeprs,
All I was driving at is that people generally are fundamentally concerned with themselves. Selfish, if you like, but maybe not in a gross and obvious way. You can be quite a decent citizen and still be fundamentally self-centred. (This applies first and foremost to myself of course. I am not pointing the finger but making an observation about the human condition.) Basically I see spiritual/religious teachings as being metaphors of various kinds to get you beyond the selfish or self-interested perspective. I think the teaching that is most direct about this is Buddhism, and Buddhist meditation is the most direct way of facing it. But there are others. A lot of the time the symbology of these teachings is misunderstood and just becomes ground for further selfishness. But I am getting over being frustrated by that. One has to learn not to be attached to views, even (or especially) your own, and also not to be indignant about the perceived shortcomings of others. I am trying to learn and also to provide a perspective that others may find useful. That is the motivation.
 
pagan
 
Reply Mon 3 Aug, 2009 07:29 pm
@jeeprs,
i was surprised you haven't mentioned anything specific jeeprs, like enlightenment. Some kind of experience that goes with the teaching ...... or cosmic consciousness.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Mon 3 Aug, 2009 08:06 pm
@jeeprs,
I do recommend the book Cosmic Consciousness. It is a perennial title and well worth owning. It has had a big influence on my outlook.
 
richrf
 
Reply Mon 3 Aug, 2009 08:26 pm
@jeeprs,
Well, I do believe that we are evolving and becoming in the process more sensitive to all that surrounds us. Just like an artist may evolve with better sense of colors.

We are probably involved in more than one narrative - or comedy/drama. Family, business, friends, acquaintances. We interact with all of them as a way of learning and exploring. Sort of like the way actors explore the characters they are playing. So life is like an onion - one comedy/drama within another within another.

At times I play my roles seriously and at times not too seriously. At times I become and observer and enjoy all the drama. Life does take on a different sense when one is actively involved in the drama (e.g. watching my son grow up), or when one is an observer (e.g. watching people at the coffee cafe). So, it is all there. All very interesting.

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2009 04:40 am
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;81139 wrote:
All I was driving at is that people generally are fundamentally concerned with themselves. .


That is likely true. But it is hardly unorthodox to believe so. And, it is self-interest that makes the world go round, as Adam Smith pointed out in his, The Wealth of Nations. (By "self-love", Smith means, "self-interest", which is not selfishness, since in Adam's view, it helps, not harms. You seem to think that if someone is not altruistic, then he is selfish. But that is not so.

"In civilized society he [man] stands at all times in need of the cooperation and assistance of great multitudes, while his whole life is scarce sufficient to gain the friendship of a few persons. In almost every other race of animals each individual, when it is grown up to maturity, is entirely independent, and in its natural state has occasion for the assistance of no other living creature. But man has almost constant occasion for the help of his brethren, and it is in vain for him to expect it from their benevolence only. He will be more likely to prevail if he can interest their self-love in his favour, and show them that it is for their own advantage to do for him what he requires of them. Whoever offers to another a bargain of any kind, proposes to do this. Give me that which I want, and you shall have this which you want, is the meaning of every offer; and it is in this manner that we obtain from one another the far greater part of those good offices which we stand in need of. It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages."
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2009 05:36 am
@jeeprs,
I do indeed believe that 'enlightened self interest' is one of the greatest of oxymorons. Self interest does not make the world go around, not even metaphorically. The world goes around because of the laws of physics.

No doubt the barons of Wall Street have a billion reasons why their self-interest 'makes the world go around'. This is the whole message behind 'supply side economics' and so on, isn't it?

'All suffering comes from seeking for one's own pleasure. All joy comes from seeking the happiness of others' according to Santideva's Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life. This is a very simple principle and one that hardly needs to be argued. I have no intention of trying to win a debate over the matter. I don't think self-interest, enlightened or otherwise, is short of advocates.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2009 06:03 am
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;81185 wrote:
I do indeed believe that 'enlightened self interest' is one of the greatest of oxymorons. Self interest does not make the world go around, not even metaphorically. The world goes around because of the laws of physics.

No doubt the barons of Wall Street have a billion reasons why their self-interest 'makes the world go around'. This is the whole message behind 'supply side economics' and so on, isn't it?

'All suffering comes from seeking for one's own pleasure. All joy comes from seeking the happiness of others' according to Santideva's Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life. This is a very simple principle and one that hardly needs to be argued. I have no intention of trying to win a debate over the matter. I don't think self-interest, enlightened or otherwise, is short of advocates.


Have you any criticisms of what Adam Smith says? Or do you simply want to tell people what you and this other chap believe? It may be a simple proposition that all suffering comes from seeking one's pleasure, and joy from seeking the happiness of others (and it even may be uplifting) but it seems simple-minded to me, and there seems little to be said for it-particularly the bit about suffering. Still, it is true that if anyone should know what suffering is, it is people from the area of the world from which various Gurus seem to come. And joy seems to be in short supply there. Or was, until people began to seek their own pleasure. India is a much happier country since it began to turn to the Western ways Adam Smith talks about, and people began to pursue their own self-interest. Don't you think? As Bishop Joseph Butler said, it is not from pursuing one's own self-interest that unhappiness comes, but from not pursuing one's own self-interest sufficiently.
 
richrf
 
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2009 08:50 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;81178 wrote:
It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages."


Best, I think to think in terms of a team game, where we look out for ourselves and we look out for each other, and we do the best we can in finding a reasonable compromise between the two. Teams with each member is playing for himself/herself rarely do well.

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2009 08:55 am
@richrf,
richrf;81222 wrote:
Best, I think to think in terms of a team game, where we look out for ourselves and we look out for each other, and we do the best we can in finding a reasonable compromise between the two. Teams with each member is playing for himself/herself rarely do well.

Rich


Maybe that would be best (although, I doubt it) but, in any case that is not how it works, and Adam Smith acutely points out. And, since we are not on a team, what happens with teams doesn't matter.
 
richrf
 
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2009 09:06 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;81223 wrote:
Maybe that would be best (although, I doubt it) but, in any case that is not how it works, and Adam Smith acutely points out. And, since we are not on a team, what happens with teams doesn't matter.


Relationships are an essential part of life. They begin at birth and they continue through death. Adam Smith needed them just like everyone else. He probably just didn't recognize it.

Looking out for Number One is an extreme viewpoint, that has its issues. Many on Wall Street who thought that cheating their clients was a great way to make money quick are not unemployed. True, a percentage made out like bandits, and are very wealthy but many more are now on the unemployment line along with those that they cheated. Some are even in jail. It is a chance one takes when they are only thinking of Number One.

I think that life it learning to take care of oneself and helping others when they ask, and learning to work as a team. This metaphor for living a life is everywhere and challenges us all of the time.

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2009 09:49 am
@richrf,
richrf;81225 wrote:
Relationships are an essential part of life. They begin at birth and they continue through death. Adam Smith needed them just like everyone else. He probably just didn't recognize it.

Looking out for Number One is an extreme viewpoint, that has its issues. Many on Wall Street who thought that cheating their clients was a great way to make money quick are not unemployed. True, a percentage made out like bandits, and are very wealthy but many more are now on the unemployment line along with those that they cheated. Some are even in jail. It is a chance one takes when they are only thinking of Number One.

I think that life it learning to take care of oneself and helping others when they ask, and learning to work as a team. This metaphor for living a life is everywhere and challenges us all of the time.

Rich


But looking out for Number One need not mean cheating and stealing. It often means, looking out for your grandchildren, and others who mean a great deal to you. There are a lot of people I would not want to be members of any team I would join, because a team which had such members would be certain to lose every time, and I prefer not to be on such a team, thank you.
 
richrf
 
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2009 09:59 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;81231 wrote:
But looking out for Number One need not mean cheating and stealing. It often means, looking out for your grandchildren, and others who mean a great deal to you. There are a lot of people I would not want to be members of any team I would join, because a team which had such members would be certain to lose every time, and I prefer not to be on such a team, thank you.


Grandchildren, children, parents, spouse, friends, business associates .... it goes as far as one wants to go. That is the team.

Yes, looking out for Number One does not mean cheating and stealing - but it can. Something that Smith forgot about. You need relationships in order to protect against those who cheat, steal, and worse ..

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2009 01:07 pm
@richrf,
richrf;81234 wrote:
Grandchildren, children, parents, spouse, friends, business associates .... it goes as far as one wants to go. That is the team.

Yes, looking out for Number One does not mean cheating and stealing - but it can. Something that Smith forgot about. You need relationships in order to protect against those who cheat, steal, and worse ..

Rich


My point is that I look out for my grandchildren. They do not look out for me. So, there is no team. And my looking out for them does not depend on their looking out for me. You are confusing matters. You assume a team when there isn't one. The law protects against those who cheat and steal. My grandchildren don't.
 
richrf
 
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2009 01:18 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;81277 wrote:
My point is that I look out for my grandchildren. They do not look out for me. So, there is no team. And my looking out for them does not depend on their looking out for me. You are confusing matters. You assume a team when there isn't one. The law protects against those who cheat and steal. My grandchildren don't.


Your grandchildren may not look out for you. My girlfriend use to spend lots of time looking out for your grandmother. It is different for different people.

The law is made up of people who come together as a community to define laws and to enforce them. That is the team. Grandchildren may care for their grandparents. Or they may not. Each community is different. But community is almost inevitable unless one lives under the most extreme circumstances.

Into the Wild - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

And then the author died, knowing that relationships did matter.

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2009 01:32 pm
@richrf,
richrf;81280 wrote:
Your grandchildren may not look out for you. My girlfriend use to spend lots of time looking out for your grandmother. It is different for different people.


Rich


I have no idea what your point is. I look after my grandchildren because I love them, not because they are on my "team". Whatever do you mean? Do you see everything in terms of sports?
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2009 03:12 pm
@jeeprs,
Adam Smith is quite correct within his realm of expertise. As far as being a happy and productive citizen then it is perfectly sound to advance and protect one's interests. Can't dispute that India has benefited from Westernization, either. Be that as it may, what has caught my attention is the idea that there is a state beyond worldly joys and suffering. Indian philosophy has a lot to say on this, notwithstanding the existence of poverty and deprivation in India.
 
pagan
 
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2009 03:33 pm
@jeeprs,
Quote:
jeeprs - what has caught my attention is the idea that there is a state beyond worldly joys and suffering. Indian philosophy has a lot to say on this, notwithstanding the existence of poverty and deprivation in India.
what is this state? ...... and even if it were possible to get beyond worldly suffering, isn't losing worldly joy a very high price to pay?
 
 

 
  1. Philosophy Forum
  2. » MetaPhilosophy
  3. » The Meta-narrative of Awakening
Copyright © 2024 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.02 seconds on 04/22/2024 at 03:41:45