Discussion of Mysticism and Interesting thought by Rudolf Stiener

by frankiespeakin 77 Replies latest jw friends

  • Narkissos

    What interests me in mysticism (especially the via negativa of Middle-Ages theologians, which echoes much Eastern philosophy) is not supranaturalism.

    Rather its pointing to an internal limit of language and conceptualisation, hence reason.

    It is not to be thought of as an external border, on the far side of which would lie or stand "something" unattainable through language. Language potentially encompasses everything, what is and what is not, as it creates its own realm of fiction -- indeed making any naming or description of what would lie beyond language a self-delusion, practically undistinguishable from fiction.

    The internal limit I refer to is the following: as I name things, my grasp on them is limited to the things as named, iow to signifiers; actually, only my naming makes them "things" separate from other "things" in my imaginary "reality". To allude to a well-known buddhic example, there remains an essential, yet strictly ineffable, difference between the actual rose before me and my description of "it", however precise. What before me remains indifferent to the word "rose" as to the depiction and measurements of colour, size, form, smell, touch, and is not separable from what I call the stem, the plant, the ground, the air or the sun, this I cannot really name nor describe. Even if I call it being, à la Heidegger, I have just made up another concept which is not "it" either. What is not enlightened by the light of the logos-ratio I simply cannot tell but I know it ek-sists, "outside language" as it were and yet within every "thing" named through language. Or, more exactly, I know that whatever I know is not all that is, and actually is not at all. There is an unsuperable separation (the Lacanian "symbolic cut" if you will) between what I name "a rose" and a rose (which I can only refer to by naming and erasing).

    "Mysticism" to me is nothing but a pause, or silence, on the edge of language. Not stepping out of language ("I" cannot) but feeling the inner limit of language from within language. This sometimes results in a different way of speaking -- perhaps an even more indirect, metaphorical one. Strangely enough, you might "see" the rose better through poetry than through botanics -- even though the latter can prove quite helpful too.

  • Sunnygal41
    This serves the purpose of dividing men into those who feel guilt and those who cash in on it.

    Terry, your cynicism is showing again.

  • Sunnygal41
    As you experience the loss of one or more your quality of living grows astoundingly more limited.

    That is ABSOLUTELY not true. It has been well documented that loss of one of your senses causes the other remaining ones to become even more acute. Blind people report their hearing and sense of smell IMPROVES. This does not LIMIT them. They learn to live with the loss and STILL excel at life. Ever watch Animal Planet? What about the dogs and cats that lose two legs? They are not limited by this at all, they still carry on their doggie and kitty lives, adapting for their loss. The only limits, I think, are those you impose YOURSELF. What if Lance Armstrong, after finding he had cancer had allowed himself to feel like he was through?


  • LittleToe

    "A rose, by any other name, would smell as sweet..."

  • Rod P
    Rod P

    I hope the material below is of relevance here.

    Morphogenic Fields Explained by "The Hundredth Monkey" - by Ken Keyes Jr.

    The Japanese monkey, Macaca fuscata, had been observed in the wild for a period of over 30 years.

    In 1952, on the island of Koshima, scientists were providing monkeys with sweet potatoes dropped in the sand. The monkeys like the taste of the raw sweet potatoes, but they found the dirt unpleasant. An 18-month-old female named Imo found she could solve the problem by washing the potatoes in a nearby stream. She taught this trick to her mother. Her playmates also learned this new way and they taught their mothers too.

    This cultural innovation was gradually picked up by various monkeys before the eyes of the scientists. Between 1952 and 1958 all the young monkeys learned to wash the sandy sweet potatoes to make them more palatable. Only the adults who imitated their children learned this social improvement. Other adults kept eating the dirty sweet potatoes.

    Then something startling took place. In the autumn of 1958, a certain number of Koshima monkeys were washing sweet potatoes- the exact number is not known.

    Let us suppose that when the sun rose one morning there were 99 monkey on Koshima Island who had learned to wash their sweet potatoes. Let's futher suppose that later that morning, the hundredth monkey learned to wash potatoes.

    By that evening almost everyone in the tribe was washing sweet potatoes before eating them. The added energy of this hundredth monkey somehow created an ideological breakthrough!

    But notice. A most surprising thing observed by these scientists was that the habit of washing sweet potatoes then jumped over the sea.

    Colonies of monkeys on the other islands and the mainland troop of monkeys at Takasaklyama began washing their sweet potatoes.

    Thus, when a certain critical number achieves an awareness, this new awareness may be communicated from mind to mind. Although the exact number may vary, this Hundredth monkey Phenomenon means that when only a limited number of people know of a new way, it may remain the conscious property of these people. But there is a point at which if only one more person tunes-in to a new awareness, a field is strengthened so that this awareness is picked up by almost everyone!" END....

    Comments: I think there is a lot more going on in the Universe than what our five senses can detect. And at our stage of development/evolution, even the extensions of our senses, namely the technological inventions that help us see beyond our physical sensory apparatus, we have still only become aware of a limited number of other energies and phenomena (eg. x-rays, gamma rays, ultra-violet, infra-red, electricity).

    There are dozens of other phenomena that have been observed and verified, and yet science is scrambling to find plausible explanations for their existence. Examples are telekinesis (i.e. the ability to move an object on the physical plane using only the power of the mind)

    So to regard Mysticism as a kind of mythological wishful thinking merely because it is unverifiable at the present time is, IMO, a bit short-sighted, even prejudicial.

    Rod P.

  • Markfromcali
    Being is not found in thoughts sounds intuitively correct to me, and Being as only thought or thinking sounds correct also. Maybe that's the paradox of duality and oneness??

    Why would being only thought sound correct? I mean you are also this body right, and when you stop thinking you still exist. But of course when we think it is us too, but to think only that activity is what we are is just limited.

    So when reading words such as these from an author we do not have direct or on going contact with it would be good to not focus so much on the vehicle of language in the transmission, but where it's aimed at, which is right here where you are. The clarity and how articulate the expression is is really secondary to whether it is received.

    You mean reading it without intellecualizing it??

    Are you talking about the "self" recieving it and awakening?

    Well on a practical note it would simply be a matter of reading it without picking it apart, yes. But of course what we're talking about is two people who have the same experience, and rather than going by what you imagine they mean by the description one who has had the same experience simply knows what they are getting at.

    Now as far as the second sentence is concerned, doesn't that refer to an intellectual framework of the self in non-dual spirituality? If I just gave a direct response to that it would likely perpetuate activity on that level, whereas in pointing it out we might be aware of the process, and then it's just a matter of stepping back from that into the awareness itself.

    Holding on to nothing
    And holding nothing away
    I awake inside myself
    And now comes the singing

    -song lyrics by Steven Walters

  • Terry
    On the contrary, and this may be the source of your mistaken contention with "believers". Mysticism posits that there are more than five senses...

    Did I mention I posit the existence of more than one way to answer a question? For example, by stretching the meaning of an ordinary everyday word into a separate one (conceptually) I can make anything mean anything.

    Let's take the word...mmmm....SENSES, as an example!


  • Terry
    So you acknowledge the mind abstracts and modifies sensory data. Then that should tell you right there that the mental picture is not the true picture if it is abstracted and modified. And if we use science to fill in missing pieces then you also then admit to pieces we can not see or detect with the 5 senses.

    Well, not really.

    Your tax return is an abstraction of your income. It isn't every single actual transaction you and your family made during the year. But, it is a distillation for a particular purpose.

    In a business office a person's desk might be covered with papers. Those papers are not some ULTIMATE TRUTH. They are tools to aid a job to be done.

    You see....our minds enable us to FOCUS on particulars.

    You are confusing ALL data with truth. We don't need all data. We need small bits at a time. It is like chewing your food after you take small bites. Only a small child tries to shove the entire muffin in his mouth without taking bites.

    Your view has been colored (damaged) by mysticism. People like Immanuel Kant have disabled the minds of man by causing them to doubt their own power to think.

    Your rational mind is your first and last defense. If you doubt it, disable it or turn away from it you only have your irrational side left to think with.

    What you see, feel, taste, hear and smell are bites of the real world. It is YOUR job to make the parts into a whole and deal with it. If you turn to imaginary senses you cease to function as a thinking human being in a real world.

    The mind's job is to abstract (take a bite) and FOCUS.


  • Sunnygal41
    Did I mention I posit the existence of more than one way to answer a question? For example, by stretching the meaning of an ordinary everyday word into a separate one (conceptually) I can make anything mean anything.

    Terry, Hahaha...........I knew it........I was just waiting for that. It's a discussion that you've presented before.........know what......bottom line, I think that you are not as open minded as you say you are............you have had a very bad experience with the Borg, and it has turned you sour to any mystical or spiritual or religious experience. You love to play with words, but, in the long run, you aren't really open to anything spiritual. In fact, reality has become your God of choice. As for me, I remain an ever hopeful dreamer.

    Rod P. loved what you said, that was well put.

    Peace everyone.............

  • Terry

    This article is interesting; but, it purports to explain without actually explaining. It gives an example and jumps to an unfounded conclusion.

    When CALCULUS was invented there were three different men who thought of it at about the same time unknown to each other. Each approached it from a different methodology.

    There was John Wallis, Gottfried Leibniz and Isaac Newton simultaneously and spontaneously producing something never before seen. But, it was not a mysterious thing that was happening. No, not at all. It was a case of NECESSITY being the mother of INVENTION. Each man had a need in his work for a more transcendant methodology of calculation.

    Although Leibniz may have had the better go at it, it was Newton's reputation that pushed his views into popularity.

    Nothing mystical.

    Incidentally, as enormous a genius as Newton was, when it came to mystical thought he fell on his face repeatedly. He sought to understand Scripture the way he tackled understanding the laws of nature.

    Once Newton crossed the line into imaginary worlds and characters his results were as much folderol and folly as everybody else. Genius is only possible in a real world.


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