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Posts Tagged ‘Phenomenology’

The Morality Of God

In Search Of An Ultimate Ethos

With each passing year science and philosophy continue to offer more rational and persuasive explanations suggesting the original force from which all existence springs may contain a distinctive intelligence. Those who’ve never doubted the existence of such a creative, thinking ultimate power have traditionally assigned such an entity a wide variety of different names.  The theistically inclined freely use the word “God” to personify this cognitive cosmic source.  Those more circumspect favor such titles as Initial Being, Ground of Being, Cosmic Awareness, Ultimate Intelligence, Essential Consciousness, The One, The All or dozens of other cautiously crafted appellations.  By any other name, the attributes we ascribe such a force show a predictable similarity.  For most, such an entity would be imbued with three core attributes: initial creative power, Ultimate intelligence and moral authority. While the implications of the existence of any of the above characteristics are unfathomably significant, we mere humans seem particularly obsessed with the morality issue.

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Last Updated on Sunday, 12 March 2017 08:55
The Intuitive Truth

Observations On The Work Of Sri Aurobindo

In the world of Transpersonal studies mystics and theorists rarely mix.  In truth the relation between the two is often filled with mutual disdain and a mistrust bordering on antagonism.  Mystics frequently view theorists as rigid, empirically compulsive, soulless thought brokers whose need for evidence, order and explanation drains the metaphysical of its wonder and divinity.  Anxious to return the favor, theorists often deride the mystics as starry eyed idealists totally devoid of the detachment and critical abilities necessary to discriminate fact from fantasy.  The hard reality is both remain dependant on the other.  Without mystical experience theorists would have nothing to underlie their studies and without theorists mystics would have little to validate their experiences and impressions.  Of course, the line between the two is never so neatly drawn.  Few have heard of the transpersonal theorist whose interest doesn’t stem from some personal spiritual episode or intuition.  Nor have I met the mystic lacking a theory as to how their impressions derive from and square with the physical world. 

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Last Updated on Thursday, 26 September 2013 01:03
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
A Case for Panpsychism

The essence of Transpersonal study revolves around elements of experience occurring outside the norm.  It’s a uniquely subjective field investigating phenomena that frequently elude conventional scientific scrutiny.  It assumes the existence of unseen forces driving human intuition, belief and behavior.  Despite this avowed respect for the non empirical there nonetheless remain certain epistemological biases in many who study these experiences. This is understandable.  For those whose scientific understanding is rooted within the positivist and objective tradition, the tendency to force this same paradigm upon the unseen phenomena they encounter is all too common.

Within the field of anthropology this form of ‘transpersonal scientism” is most evident when studying the spiritual beliefs of traditional cultures; particularly those with deep animist orientations.  The overwhelming tendency is to assume there to be only symbolic or metaphoric reality regarding claims that certain objects or entities possess mind or spirits.  Those rites and rituals designed to muster or placate such forces are labeled with such common psychological pathologies as transference, archaic sublimation or base superstition. 

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 July 2010 09:47
Return To The Garden?

Modern science, our beloved paradigm of truth has failed to show us the spiritual light.  Compounding its shortcomings, like a petulant loser unable to admit its inadequacies, science often reverts to trivializing and deconstructing the mystical and transcendent to the point of irrelevance.  Though imperious empiricists may be quick to dismiss the realm of the unseen, for the rest of us the questions of our spiritual being still persist.  As such, like a new breed of existential explorer many contemporary people feel we must look to the culturally remote, pre-modern peoples of the planet in search of the ultimate answers.  Like modern Transcendentalists we’re convinced something as basic and pure as the nature of being must lurk in places of similar character.  Places of yore where the innocents remain uncontaminated by the taint of modernity; where idyllic life styles coexist with the forces and principles of creation.  In desperation our imaginations run wild.  We’re convinced the pre-moderns hold the answers to our mystical awakening.  

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Last Updated on Friday, 23 July 2010 12:57

Scientists of every stripe are always looking for “unitive theories.”  One grand idea neatly integrating all the diverse elements of their study into a nice tidy bundle.  In a world of caveats and exceptions such packages are hard to find.  Fortunately, there is no shortage of ambitious souls willing to try.  In two complementary books, Science and the Akashic Field and The Akashic Experience, (Rochester, Vermont-Inner Traditions,) the Hungarian Systems Theorist, Ervin Laszlo tries to integrate consciousness with the cosmos and through the process offer a startling perspective on the essence of human existence.

The Akashic Field, (or record or chronicle,) was a concept much in vogue in Theosophical circles in the early 20th century.  Akasha is a Sanskrit word meaning “ether.”  The gist of the theory asserts

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Last Updated on Sunday, 12 March 2017 09:01