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Posts Tagged ‘Epistemology’

Perils Of The Examined Life

The Neoplatonist Dilemma

Any inclined to study the nature of being best heed the following advice: don’t go shopping for Ultimate truth unless you’re damn well ready for the consequences.  Such words may seem harsh but experience suggests they’re true.  Contrary to what many may think, gaining a better sense of one’s place in the grand scheme frequently depresses rather than ennobles.  Nowhere is this bitter quandary more evident than within the study of Neoplatonism.  Though long considered one of the cornerstones of mystical theory, Neoplatonism often stimulates an all too familiar pathology; desperate souls searching for existential meaning find themselves cast into the nihilistic void of personal absurdity.  Their new found ontological insights offer very little in the way of individual purpose or ethical direction.  Sometimes it gets worse. 

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Last Updated on Sunday, 5 January 2014 09:35
Circular Reasoning
Barbury Castle Crop Circles

The Barbury Castle crop circle above appeared on 7/16/1991. Creating the impression of a tetrahedron, the distance from the center of the formation to the outside of any of the three surrounding circles is approximately 180 feet. Courtesy of bibliotecapleyades.net

Assessing The Mystery of Crop Circles

Significant existential insights usually come in small and discreet forms. The novelties within the movement of sub-atomic particles, the existence of DNA or the faint signal of some distant cosmological process are so subtle as to be undetectable through ordinary sensation. Rarely is the perception of our being radically challenged by the sudden appearance of unknown phenomena of massive proportion. However unlikely, many believe precisely such a process is occurring throughout the farmlands and pastures of our planet. They claim profound messages from an undetermined source are being encrypted within the sprawling geometric patterns and pictograms found in crop circles. Long a subject of curiosity, there’s no denying the intricacy and elegance of the circle patterns arouses a sense of the mystical within the minds of human observers. But there’s more. For many, the geometry of the circles seems to stimulate a psychological resonance of a deeper recognition — something expanding the boundaries of who and what we are, something integrating us within a higher field of being. It’s easy to understand why many feel the circles to be the work of forces outside the mundane.

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Last Updated on Sunday, 12 March 2017 08:57
The Fingerprint Of God

In one way or another all of us are searching for evidence of God.  Granted, few words in the language are more loaded than “God.”  Those more linguistically tempered wisely sidestep the inevitable religious associations by using a bevy of other, more neutral appellations.  For them such terms as Pure Being, Supreme Consciousness, Ultimate Intelligence, The One or Divine Awareness are closer to the ideal they have in mind.  Oh, you can dance around it all you want.  Regardless of label we all know what we’re really talking about.  We’re searching for the source; something that deliberately designed and infused the grand pattern in which we exist with purpose and meaning.  In a world gone crackers with absurdity, endless relativity and intellectual complexity this desire is understandable.  But take heart, as the tubercular munchkin Alexander Pope noted for us all, “hope springs eternal.”  Occasionally, previously hidden patterns of experience or structure emerge so sublime, calculated and profound as to seemingly defy the possibility of random process.  

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 June 2012 02:23

There comes a time in life when many begin reorienting their priorities to a more spiritual trajectory.  In numerous cultures this transition is an expected and time honored tradition for those of a certain experiential stage.  Secure in their identities, their position in society and the well being of their families many begin abandoning their worldly concerns to work on understanding and pursuing the higher elements of existence.  However, this is not always a joyous process spawned by personal satisfaction.  In his book Embodied Spirituality in a Sacred World, (2003, SUNY, Albany,) Michael Washburn claims this transition often occurs because social and personal routine creates a sense of deep alienation which in turn stimulates a long dormant psychological realm within the human mind.  For Washburn this “crossroads” stage serves as the fulcrum for a detailed examination of the process of human psychological and spiritual development from the neonatal stage all the way to full spiritual awakening. 

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Last Updated on Thursday, 6 October 2011 04:22