MAYA-GAIA INTRODUCTION & SITEMAP
Note: My maya-gaia website is a chronicle of my passing all considered opinion through the lens
of my Nirvikalpa Samadhi with both an open-mind and healthy skepticism.
Concurrent, Two-Tier, Dual-Nondual, 200 Percent Model of Reality
Page Initiated 10 30 07
Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.
Philip K. Dick
Through the past couple of years of fairly intense effort to integrate my Nirvikalpa Samadhi experience with a variety of ontologies and epistemologies in religion, science, philosophy and metaphysics I feel comfortable in proposing a tentative Brahman/Gaia Paradigm that it reveals. The methodolgy is to pass all the concepts- historic and modern- that I've accessed on the Internet over the past ten years through the filter of my direct experience and see what sticks.
I suppose the cosmic reality paradigm that is described in the following definition for Panendeism is as close to my belief system as any ontology- except that I believe some metaphors in the Upanishads describe real dynamics of how our soul becomes transformed into Brahman nonduality during temporary samadhi or our physical death.
Panendeism Panendeism is a sub-category of Deism. It is based on the speculation that the universe is a part of god, but not all of god and literally means "all in god". Some panendeists have established numerous additional beliefs, some of which are quite detailed, and use more specialized terminology to describe their beliefs. However, any deist who believes that the universe is a part (but not the whole) of god, can be considered a panendeist. It is true that both panendeists and pantheists share the view that the universe and every natural thing in it is pervaded by divinity. However, since Panendeism postulates that the universe is contained within god and not god in the universe, Panendeists believe in a god who is present in everything but also extends beyond the universe. In other words, god is the universe but is also greater than the universe. What remains to be broadly defined is God, and I imagine attributes that combine some aspects from Vedic Brahman, Buddhist Bodhi and Cosmic Consciousness whose mysterious nature I have only infinitesimally glimpsed through direct mystical experiences that I apply to my model.
PanenDeism is a merging of ideas found in Process New Thought, PanenTheism and Classic Deism. The basis of PanenDeism is one of reason and rationality (as in classic deism)-- which lends a solid practicability and scientific foothold to this new form of Process Theology--but reason is to be held as a "tool" of spiritual investigation, rather than as a replacement "deity" to worship, as is common in many classically deistic approaches to spirituality. On the more positive side of the discussion, however, a scientific approach to spirituality, as Edward O. Wilson explains in his important book "Consilience", generally leads us to a more deistic understanding of God.
PanenTheism is a near "state-of-the-art" conception of Deity, positing (among other things) that all of physical reality exists within God (Immanence AND Transcendence), but Panentheism is seriously limited by retaining some of the elements of classical Theism. What is mandated is a complete "break" from a middle-ages based metaphysics and epistimology. PanenDeism answers that call.
Above all, PanenDeism boldly embraces the ideas of Process Theology, and is, indeed, an innovative new iteration of that theme. It remains "open at the top" in it's scope; allowing room in the evolution of PanenDeistic thought for such insights as "string theory", "parallel universes", or whatever else quantum physics might happen to teach us.
God Theorem Example of non-academic critiques of panendeism- this by Robert G. Brown, Philosophy, Duke University, 2011. See also Introduction to Philosophy of Religious Belief by Robert G. Brown. End Update
I've compiled some concepts and vocabulary which I'm integrating with my Nirvikalpa Samadhi experience to propose a heuristic metaphysical model for reality. I had every expectation that the result would be something that conformed to a particular non dual school. Instead, I had to borrow principles and concepts from traditions that have fundamental disagreements to which I've added my own contradictions to all.
My "model" is a only a crude outline of the supreme transnuminous of conscious/reality and should be perceived as a holographic conceptual space wherein the states of consciousness and transcendent and immanent tiers interfere concurrently to create a blurred pattern of blended possibilities. A fundamental caveat in its regards is that it is infinitely incomplete and every feature identified is ephemeral and is merely a finger pointing to the moon- altogether they are not the moon.
don’t confuse the map for the territory … or … its shadows all the way down
Something to consider in proposing models of reality is the fragile, solipsistic nature of quantum states that allows for negative information. This suggests that the more you learn in the quantum sense- the less you understand reality. This may result in ultimate enlightenment being a state of perfect ignorance which may relate to some ancient traditions awarding holy status to sadhu or the "touched". Meher Baba an alleged Perfect Master, spent many years travelling the length and breadth of India seeking out Masts (pronounced must), somewhat extraordinary individuals, considered mad in their relationship to this world, but awake to the invisible realms within. Baba considered it part of his mission to find such people and help remove their spiritual obstructions. Many of them were essentially people who had not fulfilled earlier stages of practice, where bodily integration, ego development, and character building occur, and were stuck in an ascended state of one degree or another, without critical intelligence or the ability to function. Baba would tend to these individuals in a loving, motherly way, while working on straightening out their subtle neuro-anatomy.
Ignorance is Bliss The dangers of a high-information diet 15 January 2010 by Paul Parsons. We might be in danger of knowing too much. "Information can potentially be extremely dangerous", says philosopher Nick Bostrom, director of the Future of Humanity Institute at the University of Oxford. "The effects arising from knowledge can be momentous." Bostrom has coined a term for the danger that arises from knowledge: he calls it "information hazard". (mg commentary: Although the article focuses on the practical hazards of information overload in technology- I'm sure Bostrom has considered the subject as it relates to the ontological problem for direct apperception of non dual reality where intellectual expectations or mediation interfere with the clearing of consciousness to a state of stillness and utter desirelessness.)
Although the proverb- ignorance is bliss has many phenomenal interpretations, I propose a more subtle and profound paradoxical relationship to apply to a scenario that transpires in some accounts of a Nirvikalpa Samadhi journey where the experiencer briefly "knows everything" perhaps as manifest of a collective consciousness- but that infinite body of knowledge is realized at first as awesome, but almost immediately becomes insignificance and finally vanishes in irrelevance in a deterministic preparation for becoming swept up into a full-blown state of non dual union of ananda consciousness of light, bliss and love.
Smithsonian Magazine, June 2006 p.65) In describing a state of bliss he experienced while contemplating the totally inexplicable meanings of shamanic cave paintings in a Havasupai site in Grand Canyon, author David Roberts provides a phenomenological example of how surrendering to utter ignorance may trigger the welling up of ecstasy- a possible precursor to transcendence.
May total ignorance be analogous to Unknowing and the space between Burber's I and Thou?
Holographic Theory and Groups Renee A. Levi 2001 - The first possibility [for enlightenment] is silence. Perhaps the pause between stories, between words, is what is needed for a greater understanding - for a message from beyond - to emerge. Perhaps it is silence which, when enfolded into the group process, has the power to call forth from the stories sitting on the group plate at the moment, the greater understanding, the field surrounding the group and within it. It would be like Buber's - [God exists in the space between I and Thou] - like meditation's space between two thoughts - a kind of no-thought, energy-filled consciousness - very alive - that connects together the participants and to a universal source from which a different kind of knowing is possible. In an essay on field consciousness, Renee Weber cites Meister Eckhart as saying that "there is nothing in all the universe so much like G-d as silence," (1978). Perhaps with all of our thinking activity we are missing the greatest kind of intelligence available to us through the simple act of staying still. Silence, then, might be one kind of reference beam for group access to a greater intelligence.
Tensions Between Traditional Values and My Samadhi Arrogance
Needless to say this is a work in progress which will try not to extrapolate beyond the pure experience mindful that imagination is what Spinoza described as the power on which all the errors, superstitions, and prejudices of revealed religion rests. A further refinement of this caution is when Einstein took one of the most elegant imaginative leaps in the history of physics that led to his special theory of relativity, and proclaimed "imagination is more important than knowledge". I'd suggest that direct apperception supersedes both imagination and knowledge in revealing ultimate reality.
Although I have exploited the collective body of wisdom provided by non-dual teachings, prophetic religions and postmodern transpersonal psychology, philosophy and science for context, I take the complex of values revealed in my
Nirvikalpa Samadhi as primary and in every case where there is a perceived conflict between these teachings and my revelations, it is the teachings which must be modified or abandoned for my model of reality described herewith. My arrogance is a product of my samadhi enlightenment both in the mystical, and historic sense and I strive to limit my narcissism to satisfaction that I am helping in some incrementally small way to satisfy God's desire to be known rather than to be recognized as one enlightened.
Still my level of arrogance may be hard to abide as it exceeds even that which is the major objection Buddhist scholar Bhikkhu Punnadhammo raises in his critique of Stephen Batchelor's book Buddhism Without Belief when he says: "The book, and the whole trend of "new Buddhism" that it represents is inspired by the confrontation of the Dharma with the dynamic cultural heritage of the West. Buddhism arose in the very different cultural milieu of pre-modern Asia and now it is establishing itself in the western world there are inevitable tensions between the elements of the two different world-views. Mr. Batchelor is enthusiastic about many aspects of the western tradition and words like democratic, secular, agnostic and scientific occur often, with an unexamined positive valuation. These are contrasted to the perceived negative values of what he terms "religious Buddhism", that is the Buddhism as understood and practiced by all Buddhists prior to the last few decades."
Symington (1996); Noel-Smith (2003) ...the arrogant assumption that one can actually know the outer world through being it, through incorporating it, must be relinquished and the loss of the possibility of an omniscient understanding of the real world, unbounded by our organising principles of time and space, must be relinquished. (p. 20) (mg commentary: The attitude here is clear, the suggestion of direct experience of, or oneness with the universe, is omniscient and arrogant.)
My samadhi arrogance has imbued in me a skeptical/idealist presumption, to challenge Badiou's vérité. Badiou refers to particular truths (vérité) as "infinite" but he says the temptation to read this as an endorsement of a conception of truths as transcendent, otherworldly, quasi-noumenal etherealities must decisively be resisted. The militant subject of the truthevent is unable, from within the finitude of his/her local perspective, to predict the indefinitely large number of ways in which a particular truth can and will be inscribed into unforeseeable orders of knowledges-yet-to-come. For this very reason, Badiou vehemently denies that he indulges in any sort of idealism- "To be an idealist you have to distinguish between thought and matter, transcendence and immanence, the high and the low, pure thought and empirical thought."
Revelation naturally inspires idealism thus my effort to conceive distinctions-yet aware of Nietzche's caution- to oppose the pure ideal of knowledge as an end in itself but to offer some "knowing" in the service of the best life.
St. Teresa observed, It is one grace that our Lord gives grace; it is another grace to understand what grace and what gift it is; and it is another and further grace to have the power to describe and explain it to others.. It is with profound gratitude that the Internet/Computer Technology provides me this small voice - affordable thanks to angelfire.com.
Simulations, Models, Forecasts 2001 by Cosma Rohilla Shalizi, Department of Statistics, Carnegie Mellon University. Outlining a compendium of issues arising in efforts to design models and paradigms (climate, consciousness, microcosms, macrocosms, Antikythera device, etc.) with extensive resources for further reading.
Examining the relationship of human consciousness and climate change- from which I draw implications that creating models of either present challenges of a similar order due to uncertainties in interpreting the complexity of evidence.
Embodied Human Consciousness, Abrupt Global Climate Change, and Freedom - S. David Stoney, Ph.D. How knowledge of abrupt, global climate change requires us to develop "new eyes" and my attempt to do so. A brief description of embodied human consciousness modeled as awareness cubed, dynamic topological structures that underlie dualistic and complementary thinking, and a first attempt at describing the natural history of embodied human consciousness in a space defined by participation, alienation, and self-awareness.
Beyond The Razor's Edge
"the keen edge of a razor" as metaphor for events in a soul's journey to Isvara; for the difficulty and hazards of the path to realization and for parsimony by Occam's Razor
The "razor's edge" alluding to the width of a space between the two halves of the cosmic egg through which the soul passes on its journey to Isvara
There is a quotation in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad that says: "Where heaven and earth meet there is a space wide as a razor's edge or a fly's wing through which one may pass to another world." that metaphor exactly describes the horizontal slot feature I mention at the moment I was launched out on my Nirvikalpa Samadhi journey. In addition the "passing" described in this Upanishad involves a journey to the "borderline of the cosmos" where there is an encounter with spirits (Agni-Indra and Atimanava Purusha) that take possession and guide the soul along the path to liberation. "Now Hiranyagarbha Prana holds the soul within itself, and then transfers it to the higher region of Isvara [sic] Himself."
I examine the extraordinary synchronicities in my Nirvikalpa Samadhi journey with the cosmography and events in the metaphors of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad that extend into my confrontation with the cosmic gatekeeper and subsequent annihilation and transformation to non dual union with the godhead.
The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad by Swami Krishnananda (Discourse-17) The two halves of the Brahmanda, or the Cosmic Egg join, as it were, at that particular part. The juncture is so subtle that you will not be able to know where it is. It is stated here in the Upanishad; It is so fine as to be compared to the edge of a fine razor or the thickness of the wing of a fly. Very thin indeed. You cannot even know that it is there.
The razor's edge as metaphor for the hazards of the path to realization
(and modeling reality)
In modeling "Reality", we are subject to the hazard of The Razor's Edge in the sense of the epigraph to Maugham's novel which reads: The sharp edge of a razor is difficult to pass over; thus the wise say the path to Salvation is hard. [Katha Upanishad]. (Maugham used Isherwood's translation of the Sanskrit but I believe an iteration of his translation that better captures the essence of the metaphor intended in the Upanishad would be: The wise say the path to Salvation is as difficult as traversing the sharp edge of a razor.).
Another translation that refines this essence is
The Katha Upanishad Translation and commentary by Pandit Rajmani Tigunait - 1-III-14: Awake, arise; find those who are wise and gain knowledge from them. This path is as sharp as the edge of a razor, as the knowers of truth say, and difficult to tread.
On applying Occam's razor to Spiral Dynamics and Integral Spirituality
The razor's edge also serves as metaphor for attaining parsimony in intellectual constructs as in Occam's razor - used to trim out the fat. Einstein applied the principle to theoretical physics and succinctly put it: Make everything as simple as possible, but no simpler.
The question regarding these approaches as postmodern disciplines is: beyond replacing the historic symbolic and metaphoric language of religious superstition with more acceptable integral concepts and neologisms of transpersonal theory- do their emergent consciousness postmodern paradigms actually advance our enlightenment? For a majority- transpersonal theorists provide a real service in boiling down the perennial body to its holistic essentials but m-g cautions that although they reveal and clarify, they risk over-hypothesizing the epistemological and ontological details. The degree to which they employ the language of vision-logic and inflate these meager essentials into multi-dimensional models like Wilberian Integral Spirituality and Spiral Dynamics with their excruciatingly intricate quales, memes, holons and lattices- introduces new layers of ambiguous speculation, given that transpersonal psychology lacks the empirical evidence that is largely the standard for credibility. Since paradigms for reality depend on extrapolating the qua-ineffable evidence for consciousness, the trend towards speculative complexity grows exponentially.
The inflation of complexity in theories of consciousness may be an unavoidable manifestation of the second law of thermodynamics that says everything in the universe gets messier over time. Or, more formally: The entropy of any system increases. The kind of knowing that nirvikalpa samadhi reveals may be the cosmic hand wielding Occam's razor over all rational effort to define ultimate reality.
The implication is that Integral Spirituality et al could benefit by restraining over imagining in their effort to penetrate phenomenology, consciousness and death- the latter described by Woody Allen as a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma and that simpler may come closer to Truth.
This conundrum intrudes on the ongoing dialectic not only between science and metaphysics but among all the disciplines of material science, new science, quantum science, TOE's, transpersonal and consciousness theory as to what constitutes pseudo science. Of course the most nebulous dialectic is that between rationality and the Hindu Advaita tradition- (that may go too far with the- but no simpler part of Einstein's axiom) where incorporating the phenomenal world in an effort to know reality is viewed as an exercise in futility because it is based on illusion or Maya.
Geoffrey Falk Integral Spirituality's curmudgeon and general critic of transpersonal science's political correctness. Geoffrey Falk has been the most active, the most merciless, and the most ignored, critic of Ken Wilber's writings to date. He gathered his numerous and lengthy blog comments on Wilber into the ebook "Norman Einstein".
Tension Between the Mystic and Philosopher A review of Jeff Meyerhoff's book Bald Ambition: A Critique of Ken Wilber's Theory of Everything by Jan Brouwer Discourse over the major dialectic between the mystical (Wilber) and the philosophical (Meyerhoff) apperception of reality. Where the philosopher/scientist is generally restrained within the bounds of materal, rational objectivity (that excludes consciousness) - the integral mystic attempts to synthesize perennial, transrational knowledge (valuing historic and personal experiential revelation) with a postmodern New Science Theory of Everything. Meyerhoff reply
Introducing Ken Wilber By Lew Howard 2005, who says, "I wrote this book to make the work of Ken Wilber accessible to the average person. Wilber's integral understanding (which is an interlocking whole) is broken down into concepts that can be individually understood. These understandings result in an integral conception of the Kosmos."
In The Heart of Franklin Merrell-Wolff's Philosophy Thomas J. McFarlane describes the conceptual hazards at the dual, nondual interface.
This ineffability of Transcendental Consciousness gives rise to an apparent problem. Insofar as teachings such as Wolff's philosophy are limited to definitions, concepts, thought, and conceptualization, they are cut off from this Consciousness. Whatever is known conceptually is known dualistically, and thus falls short of Realization, which is by nature non-dual. So, it seems that philosophy can never take us to That which is beyond philosophical understanding. In other words, it appears that the dualistic nature of thought and conception severs Wolff's philosophy from Fundamental Realization and that we can never arrive at the heart of the philosophy through the philosophy. Wolff, however, denies that this is the case. In fact, he unequivocally affirms the value of philosophy as a means to Realization:
There are also theoretical problems that arise when we fall into the delusion that what is real is what can be conceptually defined, and no more. When we fall into this conceptual reductionism, we inevitably encounter paradoxes and contradictions. Naturally, these problems arise when we attempt to use concepts, which are limited, to describe all of Reality, which is not. For example, if we say Reality is ineffable, then we have used the word ineffable to describe it. But if it is truly ineffable, we can not describe it with any word, including ineffable. Similarly, if we say Reality is non-dual, then we have used the word non-dual to distinguish Reality from that which is dual. But if Reality is truly non-dual, then it is not distinct from anything, including the dual. Similar paradoxes arise with concepts like infinite, unconditioned, and Consciousness Without An Object.
These paradoxes and contradictions all arise when we strictly limit concepts to their explicit definitions, then forget this limitation and try to apply them to all of reality. This kind of conception, which is strictly limited to definition in terms of other concepts, creates a closed system. So there is no way for concepts to take us beyond conceptual understanding. This does not mean that there is nothing beyond conceptual understanding. It only means that concepts can not capture all of Reality. As Wolff puts it,
The direct value of that Recognition is inexpressible and inconceivable in the sense of concepts meaning just what they are defined to mean and no more. (Experience, p. 315)
Thus, because concepts are strictly limited to their definitions, they can not be applied to the indefinable, unlimited Reality without contradiction. The misguided attempt to apply concepts to Reality is a result of conceptual reductionism, a confusion of reality with what is conceivable. Similarly, our delusion of an objective world is a result of confusing reality with objects appearing through the process of conception.
Zen, Collective Consciousness and The Internet
Update 10 26 08: It appears that the way science can approach the truth revealed by the non-dual consciousness experience is to evolve beyond its efforts to explain or model from hypothesis and instead detect metaparadigms by crunching Google data clouds. This raises the notion that synchronicity may prove to be the fundamental expression and reality of the transcendent singularity and that the Internet may take on qua-psychic qualities.
Notes on The Metaphysics of Virtual Reality by Michael Heim - article by Dave Fisher, 2000. Spiritual-psychosensory approach to growing a synchronicity between the attention of the mind/body with the virtual reality of the Internet as a vehicle for intuitive transformation of human consciousness. Impossible Inferences: A mathematical theory of knowledge's limits takes shape by Graham P. Collins (SciAm.com Feb, 09) David H. Wolpert, a physics-trained computer scientist is the latest of theorists like Werner Heisenberg, Kurt Godel, Alan Turing to propose ironclad limits on what we can know. Wolpert models a general structure of asking a specific question about the universe by defining a class of mathematical entities that he calls inference devices that are general enough to be independent of the laws of physics. Wolpert proves that in any such system of universes, quantities exist that cannot be ascertained by any inference device inside the system.
Evidence of a Global SuperOrganism by Kevin Kelly - So far the proposition that a global superorganism is forming along the internet power lines has been treated as a lyrical metaphor at best, and as a mystical illusion at worst. I've decided to treat the idea of a global superorganism seriously, and to see if I could muster a falsifiable claim and evidence for its emergence.
The End of Theory: The Data Deluge Makes the Scientific Method Obsolete By Chris Anderson, 2008. "All models are wrong, but some are useful." So proclaimed statistician George Box 30 years ago, and he was right. But what choice did we have? Only models, from cosmological equations to theories of human behavior, seemed to be able to consistently, if imperfectly, explain the world around us. Until now. The new availability of huge amounts of data, along with the statistical tools to crunch these numbers, offers a whole new way of understanding the world. Correlation supersedes causation, and science can advance even without coherent models, unified theories, or really any mechanistic explanation at all.
The Tim Boucher Experience Implicate and Explicate Orders in the Holographic Universe - The semi-holographic and implicate nature of the Internet.
Transcendent experience in the use of computer-based media Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction; Vol. 82: If interactive computer media is engaging and immersive, it may trigger similar feelings that people experience when they, for example, are wandering in nature, participating in high-risk sports or listening music. These experiences have been often characterized by words like 'transcendence', 'peak experience' and 'spiritual experience'. We conducted an experimental study in which the participants rated their feelings of transcendence after browsing and navigating through a hypertext or watching a film.
The synchronicity of how photons function as waves until they interact with matter and the fact that everything our consciousness touches turns to matter suggests a linkage between our consciousness and photons. Add to this the fact that physicist Henry Stapp and others ammend the Copenhagen Interpretation to say that human consciousness is necessary for the collapse of the wave function in a quantum event allowing speculation that photons are quanta constituting a panpsychic conscious cosmic matrix. The alleged properties of photons which manifest both wave and particle forms give credence to an understanding of reality which is simultaneously substance (matter) and illusion (maya). While alive our brain's neurons orchestrate photon vector collapse to perceive reality as matter. When dead we are unified in the cosmic conscious matrix absent the illusion of a substantive reality. This defines reality as simultaneously two-tiered- a material duality while alive and maya nonduality when dead (or temporarily experiencing Nirvikalpa Samadhi).
The notion that there is a higher samadhi experience named sahaja which transforms the transcendent experiencer into a jivanmukta (jivamukta) or Tathagata who lives in a permanent state of supreme enlightenment is probably derived from the fact that very few who experience Nirvikalpa Samadhi integrate the experience into a faultless spiritual lifestyle. According to the sahaja hypothesis- those rare individuals who do, have experienced some superior samadhi that has imbued them with their unsurpassable enlightenment. I maintain that the high level of enlightenment the satguru manifests is the result of determined post-integration of the Nirvikalpa by actively replacing the vasanas with right precepts thus energizing an exceptional spiritual awareness and not because their samadhi was of a superior nature or higher level than Nirvikalpa.
The critical concept in regards to what the Nirvikalpa experience engenders is the Free Will by which the episode is remembered, interpreted and integrated into the remainder of one's life. The spiritual options range from utter detachment to full engagement and from adhering to some strict dharmic protocol to originating novel spiritual paradigms which in the extreme may allow aberrant rude boy or even exploitive or abusive behavior.
For a more focused examination of sahaja samadhi, jivanmukti and the experience of the Godhead-Brahman-Atman-Cosmic Consciousness Singularity go here
Commentary on Wholeness and the Implicate Order - a metaphysical system bridging East and West, by David Bohm - "David Bohm verges on Two-Tier Reality in physics and metaphysics".
All authority of any kind, especially in the field of thought and understanding, is the most destructive, evil thing. Leaders destroy the followers and followers destroy the leaders. You have to be your own teacher and your own disciple. You have to question everything that man has accepted as valuable, as necessary. - J. Krishnamurti
Examining J. Krishnamurti Are there any significant distinctions in Krishnamurti's teachings and Advaita Vedanta? by Alan Gullette 1980
Particular and Universal: Problems posed by Shaku Soen's "Zen" by John M. Thompson, Christopher Newport University, 2005 ...the most striking feature of Soen's views of mysticism...is the fundamental tension between universalism and particularism that lies at its heart. Interestingly, this tension directly reflects a metaphysical vision so characteristic of East Asian religious philosophies (e.g. Tiantai/Tendai and Huayan/Kegon Buddhism, the Neo Confucianism schools of both Zhu Xi and Wangyang Ming, etc.) that simultaneously affirms both unity and difference, transcendence and immanence. For Soen, this identity-cum-difference, of "the one in the many and the many in the one:" is the true vision of Buddhism, and the final truth of Zen... Such a view is not logical in the ordinary sense, defying as it does the logic of our worldly intellects. In a word, it is mystical, the result of a direct encounter with what seems to be ultimate reality.
Outline for the Concurrent, Two-Tier, Dual-Nondual,
200 Percent Model of Reality
Distinguishing occult and psychic states from the spiritual and transcendent.
Two tiers- Immanent and Transcendent- function concurrently to make up the totality of reality.
IMMANENT REALITY TIER 1:
Manifests in four major states while we are alive.
Dual 1: (Ordinary) Phenomenal state of our biological and conscious selves, minds, egos, instincts, beliefs, psychoses, sleep, dreams, intuition, consilience, ESP- and the entire material cosmos.
Dual 2: (Aberrant But Common) Psychic state where consciousness manifests (entangles with) occult action- transpersonal, psychedelic, paranormal events, animate and inanimate phantasms, shamanic episodes, psi, kundalini, siddhis, NDEs, etc. In Distinguish Psychic - Numinous I describe these episodes as intrapsychic as distinct from the transnuminous episodes of the following states.
Dual 3: (Uncommon) Qua-transcendent state of Savikalpa Samadhi- occasional episodes of latent transcendent interaction- overmind episodes, shamanic journeys, prayers answered, trickster events, synchronicity, ecstasy, epiphany, qua enstasis, qua numinous, qua noumenal.
Dual/Nondual 4: (Rare) Transcendent state of Nirvikalpa Samadhi or Cosmic Consciousness - entanglement with collective consciousness. An ultimate transcendent experience via grace beholding Brahman in both omniscient dual form- confirming both a personal relationship (manifesting free will)- and nondual deterministic form, climaxing in a brief temporary experience of (noself) absolute non-duality, the supreme state of turiya as in physical death, where our conscious self dissolves into the Brahman of light, bliss and love - deterministic ending that begins the challenge of free-will integration into phenomenal life.
TRANSCENDENT REALITY TIER 2:
Nondual state: (Eternal) Ultimate Reality where at death our ego consciousness dissolves (is extinguished) into the deterministic cosmic ocean of light, bliss, love (Brahman). Unknown whether the Phenomenal Universe remains real or vanishes into Maya. The possibility that some vestige of our consciousness is [occasionally or regularly] reconstituted into a partial continuum in the persona of a newly born human, viz.- (reincarnation devoid of karma).
Implications of the Reality Model in Formulating a Plausible Deism.
How to conceive of the omniscient presence with which we have a personal relationship and free-will to respond? First- acknowledge it is a manifestation of supreme Brahman, become immanent so as to correspond with us and be known- (Brahman as synonymous with Cosmic Consciousness Noetic Absolute, and Supermind.)
Here I discover conceptualizing a manifest for the revelation of Nirvikalpa Samadhi is an archetypal process that those who have the experience have undertaken for millennia and has resulted in the tradition of Ishvara (Isvara). The exercise in modeling reality I'm undertaking here- although original- is a close reflection of that process both in cause and effect.
The Divine Light and the Mystery of Existence Sutapas Bhattacharya p 43: In Hindu philosophy, the form projected by the mind onto the Light or Godhead is known as the Ishta Devata, the Chosen Deity. Any image, not only anthropomorphic ones, can perform this function of representing the Godhead.
Update: 04 30 2013 Sutapas Bhattacharya writes: "Having spent 7 years writing my new book The Brainstem Brainwaves of Atman-Brahman: The Synthesis of Science and Spirituality, I just published my website preview that includes the essay The Tacit Racism of Western Academia.. For obvious reasons I am searching for an Indian publisher." End Update
What name is most suitable for this manifestation, recognizing that words such as God or Lord inflict historical conceptual chaos as do all the establishment anthropic deities. Variations of dual/nondual synonyms such as
I Am that I Am or I Am That or the
Self and NoSelf of Advaita and Buddhism and integral spirituality all infer proprietary natures that are inconsistent with our model. The Vishnu of Ramanuja's school of Vishishtadvaita comes close to our nature but is too confused with other traditions.
It has been said that Cosmic Consciousness implies a condition so abstract and close to atheism that Ishvara is left in limbo making bhakti virtually impossible.
Update 07_04_2011: I initiated a page at Primordial Rhythm Meditation that details a private Bhakti yoga practice that I've been performing every morning for almost a year that seems to provide all the potential for a sense of communion with a supreme satchitanada to express reverence and gratitude for the gift of life and all the blessings I've received. I've not experinced any difficulty in directing a sense of love and celebration to this relatively abstract construct perhaps because of my experience in Nirvikalpa Samadhi where in the state of non duality there was sentience of love with no object.
Something that captures the essence of "manifested supreme consciousness" without proprietary religious or integral preconception and baggage would do.
Is not all of Nature- from photons, life and the universe, manifestation of the supreme consciousness? The notion of Gaia expanded to stand as a cosmic immanence, not only of Earth but the cosmos, would seem an appropriate agent for Brahman Cosmic Consciousness and I personally am comfortable with a feminine manifest of a neuter ultimate reality. This notion derives in-depth support over a wide range of traditions that already suggest the sacred feminine as the supreme manifestation of creation- Lakshmi and Devi of Hinduism, Shakti of Tantra, Yin of Daoism, Sophia of gnosticism and numerous protoreligions. Devi of Shaktism is revered as the absolute, ultimate godhead. She is the appearance of Supreme Brahman itself, the "one without a second", with all other forms of divinity, female or male, considered to be merely her diverse manifestations.
Yoga and freedom: a reconsideration of The Yoga Suras of Patanjali- by Ian Whicher. "Kaivalya requires the presence of both purusa and prakrti in the act of pure "seeing", purusa providing the consciousness of the seer who actually "sees" and prakrti supplying the arena of the seeable, the existence of the seen." This commentary corresponds directly to my Nirvikalpa (Kaivalya) Samadhi imbuing me with the sense (purusa) to see (prakrti) Nature (Earth and the Cosmos) as holy- evoking my Gaia imperative.
Gaia as immanent manifest of Brahman is virtually synonymous with this elemental
portrait of Shakti by N. N. Bhattacharyya: "The Shaktas conceive their Great Goddess as the personification of primordial energy and the source of all divine and cosmic evolution. She is identified with the Supreme Being, conceived as the source and the spring as well as the controller of all the forces and potentialities of nature. Shakti (i.e., the Supreme Goddess as Power, or Energy) is considered the motivating force behind all action and existence in the phenomenal cosmos. The cosmos itself is Brahman; i.e., the concept of an unchanging, infinite, immanent and transcendent reality that provides the divine ground of all being. The masculine and the feminine are aspects of the divine, transcendent reality, which goes beyond but still encompasses them. Devi, in her supreme form as consciousness thus transcends gender, but her transcendence is not apart from her immanence. Indeed, this affirmation of the oneness of transcendence and immanence constitutes the very essence of the divine mother and her ultimate triumph."
My Gaia is utterly free of the immense body of attributions that Shakti has accumulated over millennia of religious profiling and so manifests in her pristine state (as defined above) without all the theistic and occult baggage burdening the Hindu/Buddhist goddess. Shaktism presents a deity whose nature has been so convoluted with occult properties and is so intertwined with a foreign theistic anatomy that there remains no comparison to the qualities of my Gaia to whom I ascribe an unqualified, tough-loving character of cosmic nature. She has none of the horrific attributes of Shakti in her demonic aspects of Kali, Durga or retinue of wrathful dakinis of Hindu and Buddhist Tantra. Likewise she is detached from the anthropomorphic traits and genealogy (but manifests the cosmological aspects) of her Greek mythos.
Update: 03 15 08
A more precise distinction of the ontological relationship between the immanent manifested Gaia universe and transcendent Brahman is found in the Visishtadvaita of Ramanuja.
In Dvaita, any sort of unity, whether it be mystical or ontological, between the individual self and God is impossible- hence the term Dvaita or "dualism".
Advaita- also called nirvisesha Advaita, or "non-duality of the Absolute without qualities" wherein all form is maya- to distinguish it from Visishtadvaita.
However, our concept of God refers to that Supreme Entity which contains all within itself; the entire universe, including all living beings, are fundamentally real and internally distinguishable from one another. However, there is only one total reality, as God includes all existence within Its very being. The individual selfs and the universe exist as God's attributes, since God pervades absolutely everything and gifts these substances with their reality. In other words, God is the indwelling Self of all, and this "all" is real (not maya) as they are included in His body. Therefore, Visishtadvaita literally means non-duality of the qualified, since God is qualified by innumerable glorious attributes, including individual selves and matter...which is the immanent manifested Gaia.
See also Three Great Acharyas by Neria Harish Hebbar M.D. - Visishtadvaita contains elements of both Advaita and Dvaita, since only God the Absolute, omnipresent Self exists and introduces theistic concepts in our personal relationship with the divine.
Is Buddha God?- Reflections on Divinity within Buddha-Dharma by Dr. Tony Page. ...'the concept dhamma takes in Buddhism the place of the brahman of older Vedanta' ... We have shown ...that in Upanishadic thought, ever since its Vedic beginnings, the equivalence of both terms [i.e. Dharma and Brahman] reflects the sameness of the entity they designate. ...Tathagata (Buddha) is "God", known under countless diverse names: ...Isvara, Brahma, Shiva, Vishnu, Non-Duality (advaya), Nirvana, Dharma, Brahman and infinitudes of names and terms for Godhead. As the Buddha declares in the Mahaparinirvana Sutra (Vol. 4, p. 47): "Truth is one, but names are many."
(maya-gaia note:) More specifically, my Gaia essentially incorporates the Vedic male Brahma- along with the entire Indian Pantheon that He creates along with the Sikh definition of Isvara- who is...God as related to the phenomenal reality, the personal aspect of the impersonal Reality. He is the Lord of Maya, the Creator, Sustainer and Destroyer, immanent throughout His creation as manifestation of Brahman. Instead of an individual being however, she is conceived as the entire reality of the universe of matter and dual consciousness which we perceive until we ultimately dissolve into Brahman/Dhamma.
Dhamma and Non-duality by Bhikkhu Bodhi - Vipassana Fellowship Part 1 2005 Spiritual seekers still exploring the different contemplative traditions commonly assume that the highest spiritual teaching must be one which posits a metaphysical unity as the philosophical foundation and final goal of the quest for enlightenment. Taking this assumption to be axiomatic, they may then conclude that the (Theravada) Pali Buddhist teaching, with its insistence on the sober assessment of dualities, is deficient or provisional, requiring fulfillment by a nondualistic realization. For those of such a bent, the dissolution of dualities in a final unity will always appear more profound and complete. However, it is just this assumption that this author challenges.
Theism and Atheism in Philosophy Links to resources for examining the enigmatic subject of divinity in dual and non-dual traditions.
Gaia is a name I can live with as personification- not of an anthropomorphic goddess- but of all phenomenal nature as immanent manifest and correspondent for an omniscient Brahman. This implies I've evolved from being an agnostic (based on unexamined assumption before my Samadhi) to being a qualified modern deist or panentheist (embracing a theistic philosophy based on reason- post Samadhi). According to Websters Online- deism holds that God is wholly transcendent: God exists, but does not intervene in the world beyond what was necessary for Him to create it. In this view, God is not anthropomorphic, and does not literally answer prayers or cause miracles to occur. So my belief paradigm is obviously a modified version of all others as I hold that Brahman is both transcendent and immanent but my Gaia, as full immanence of the divine, intervenes only sparingly with grace in our affairs as Nature unfolds in accordance with the fundamental order of the cosmic logos. I suppose I might also be considered as an adherent of a panentheistic deism Panendeism) with a modified Visishtadvaita as my Brahman has no gender.
Modern Vs Classic Deism Religious Forum -
Deism is a reason-based faith that postulates a belief in God through a foundation of Reason, Personal Experience and Nature (nature of the universe) with emphasis on freethought rather than a foundation of Divine revelation(s) and Holy texts. Deists reason that the order and complexity found in nature and our own personal experiences coupled with a rational appraisal of the body of metaphysical evidence leads to belief in a non-anthropomorphic God.
Panentheism Wikipedia article.
The deception of Deism by Lewis Loflin.
An exacting examination of perspectives about religious syncretism evolving from classical Deism, Unitarianism, Judaism, etc. including pantheism, panentheism and variations of new age type mysticism- pandeism and panendeism. "Panentheism says that all is in God, somewhat as if God were the ocean and we were fish. The Apostle Paul was a panentheist".
Having embraced Gaia, my personal relationship revealed in my Nirvikalpa Samadhi engenders the imperative to love, honor and protect Her and devotion is suitably expressed in efforts I can take to protect Her manifested nature over which I feel stewardship. The obvious responsibility is, at the very least, to adopt an eco-compassionate lifestyle and provide activist support to conservation and environmental orgs to have some practical benefit to preserving nature. If one is moved to express gratitude for existence and devotion or even pray to the ultimate awareness- a cosmic Gaia seems to offer a suitable conceptual schema for immanent supreme reality.
Update 09 22 08: In the face of the recent near collapse of the U.S. economy and the sudden escalation of threats from Al Queda, Russia, Iran and N. Korea I have been forced to compromise my Gaia imperative in favor of our national defense and advocate a crash program (combining alternative sources, conservation and domestic production) for ending our dependency on oil exports even at the cost of mitigated increased risks to the environment. See Jnana-Bhakti Tension for my further elaboration on this topic.
Update 12/1/16: I've been following the National Geographic TV Channel new series Years of Living Dangerously and am persuaded that climate change poses the most pernicious, existential threat to life on Earth - including all humanity - that requires the U.S. join a global commitment to impose a carbon tax on every venue within their jurisdiction contributing greenhouse gases into Earth's atmosphere and oceans. Citizens Climate Lobby Join today to help build constructive, working relationships with members of Congress to approve a climate change solution that bridges the partisan divide. Carbon Fee and Dividend, a revenue-neutral carbon tax with 100% of the net revenue returned directly to households, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions 52% below 1990 levels within 20 years while growing the economy and saving lives.. End Update
Some Gaian Meditative Mandalas
Gaia as Nataraja
Cosmic Dancer Mandala
(from my vision of God at age 8)
Gaia Mandala Embracing Earth
Birth of Gaia Mandala
"Out of Chaos Rose Gaia"
Gaia chakra mandala
for the root of Kundalini
It is obvious that what gender we do or don't ascribe to various features of our theistic paradigm is a reflection of our psycho/sexual bias. I hated my father and never male-bonded after disillusionment with male friendship, trust and camaraderie as a teenager- thus patriarchal metaphors are inimical to my spiritual constitution. I have no direct insight as to whether any aspect of my reality model has any gender attributes whatsoever but adopt feminine metaphors comfortable with my vasanas. Since we tend to populate our heavens with symbols for those we love on Earth the average person may feel more disposed to imagine nature as manifest of ultimate reality composed in equal balance of male and female. The Green Man could stand as the masculine aspect of divinity compatible with Gaia- comparable to Siva in his role in Shaktism where he is considered solely transcendent, although there his worship is usually relegated to an auxiliary role. While dual religions are categorically patriarchal- non-dual traditions vary in how their metaphysics award supremacy to either male or female aspects with a wide range of subtle permutations as to how Siva/Sakti, yab/yum or yin/yang interdepend. The cosmic dancer Nataraja is usually defined as an aspect of Siva but is also portrayed as androgynous- half male and half female. In the Bhagavad Gita the term Iswara is used to explain Nirguna Brahman the absolute supreme Brahman and is neuter but has a Saguna Brahman male aspect (Brahma) with Shakti as the female life force manifestation. Devi can be synonymous with Shakti but also, along with Lakshmi, perceived as the female absolute that even replaces Brahman. The nondual traditions provide a broad spectrum of iconography over which devotees can find metaphors that match a virtually infinite variety of orthodox and alternative social and psycho/sexual facets of their lives and cultures.
Atman is not male or female, nor is It neuter; neither is It happiness or suffering. How dare ye pervert It?
The Avadhut Gita 41
Shadow of The Dalai Lama Both Tantrism and alchemy are dominated by the idea that our universe functions as the creation and interplay of a masculine and a feminine principle and that all levels of existence are interpenetrated by the polarity of the sexes- everything has gender.
The imperative to act out and imbue numinous aspects of reality with sexuality expressed in Tantra, Taoism and other non-dual traditions may be nothing more than the last vestige of our grasping our anthropomorphic attachment but there are atheistic schools both in Advaita and Zen Buddhism that presume to rise above those attachment altogether. What is plausible is that life started asexually and was a manifest reality devoid of sex for some 2.5 billion years. This makes the effort to ascribe gender to any aspect of either immanent or transcendent reality models pretty unrealistic- except that for many it is a critical aspect for being psychologically comfortable with their metaphors, meditations and beliefs.
Although Hinduism contains many permutations that disparage sex- brahmacharya- as well as mores that diminish the status of female gender (Fundamentalist Islamism being the most egregious of all religions in this respect)- the most pervasive legacy of gender discrimination in the West is found in Catholicism. See Who Was Mary Magdalene? By James Carroll Smithsonian magazine, June 2006; From the writing of the New Testament to the filming of The Da Vinci Code, her image has been repeatedly conscripted, contorted and contradicted as her identity is transformed from equality among apostles to a repentant whore in sync with the later church's preoccupation with sexuality and gender and evolves the Catholic order of celibacy for priests and prevents women from being ordained.
Directly below are some recent additional resources I accessed to compose the reality outline presented above in addition to those listed in the links presented here where a phenomenological approach was taken to integrate my current reality outline with my Nirvikalpa Samadhi revelations.
Conscious Cosmic Matrix An exploration of concepts that feature a manifest reality with photons as the elemental sentient quanta that compose a conscious matrix that constitues the immanent tier 1 of Gaia as manifest reality, functioning concurrently with the tier 2 of transcendent cosmic consciousness.
The Light of Cosmic Consciousness Creates and Sustains the Phenomenal Universe
Update 05 28 13:
Particle Adventure Universe Evolution:
A change from an indefinite, incoherent homogeneity, to a definite, coherent heterogeneity; through continuous differentiations and integrations. The site is an award-winning interactive tour of quarks, neutinos, antimatter, extra dimensions, dark matter, accelerators and particle detectors from the Particle Data Group of Lawrence Berkely National Laboratory. End Update
Ecospiritual Controversy Some controversies regarding ecospirituality that have arisen within the integral spiritual community.
The Science of the Green Man by Andrew Rothery: Can the Green Man stand as a male counterpart of Gaia? Since there is often said to be an archetypal relationship between Gaia and the Green Man, does this link carry over into scientific fact, and if so, in what particular scientific disciplines might the Green Man appear? Does the Green Man have a place within conventional Gaia theory?
Prefix Qua- Situations and the structure of content by F. Recanati; What characterizes situations in the technical sense is their double nature: They are entities and, qua entities, they have properties and bear relations to other entities; at the same time they are like a micro-universe containing entities having properties and bearing relations to other entities. We capture this double nature by associating each entity (each situation) with a set of facts (the factual set of the entity).
Enstasis Studies relating to Herman Dooyeweerd Dr. J. Glenn Friesen; Enstasis means a "standing within". It can be contrasted with dis-stasis (non-standing). It can also be contrasted with ecstasy or ec-stasis (a standing out of). The word "enstasis" is normally attributed to Mircea Eliade, who used the word in his 1954 book on yoga to describe yogic samadhi. He used this term in place of the word "ecstasy", which he said means ek-stasis, or a going out of oneself.
Teosofia- after the fourth century B.C. the word mythos came to mean "fiction" or even falsehood, as distinct from logos, the "word for truth". As per Robert Graves' definition, "Mythology is the study of whatever religious or heroic legends are so foreign to a student's experience that he cannot believe them to be true. Hence the English adjective 'mythical,' meaning 'incredible'."
The attempt to divorce mythos (the poetical) from logos (the rational) is as old as Plato's Republic. The risk of that operation is rationalism, what Vico dubs "the barbarism of the intellect", pure reason rationalizing what ought never be rationalized.
Prof. C. S. Lewis- points out that a myth makes what was merely a principle imaginable. That is the beauty of the myth; it makes use of symbols and conveys psychological facts and truths in a tangible manner. He also says that when myth is translated, innumerable abstractions or truths arise from it. "Myth is the mountain, whence all the different streams arise which become truths, down here in the valley." ("Myth Became Fact", in The Grand Miracle, pp. 40-41)
Gaia Hypothesis- An excellent update on the evolution of the Gaia Hypothesis- an ecological hypothesis that proposes that living and nonliving parts of the earth are viewed as a complex interacting system that can be thought of as a single organism. Named after the Greek earth goddess, this hypothesis postulates that all living things have a regulatory effect on the Earth's environment that promotes life overall.
Distinguishing Psychic from Spiritual Epiphenomena
Back to Reality Model
The hardest problem for understanding the altered consciousness process is how to correlate states generated from bottom-up psychic effects of self-hypnosis, meditative practice, entheogens, etc that appear to mix in a qua-continuum with spiritual states that arise spontaneously, seemingly top-down from a transcendent source.
Update 04_25_2012: See Distinguishing Numinous and Psychic - beyond the extrovertive/introvertive states of Jung, Eliade and W. T. Stace, and the ecstasis/enstasis of Otto that categorize mystical states - I draw distinctions between transnuminous experiences that are part of the mystical continuum orchestrated by grace and intrapsychic experiences resulting from psychic projections that can manifest as independent episodes or entangle with the former. End Update
My take is that there is an even more fundamental difference between psychic events and spiritual than merely matters of degree and that they may be realms as distinct as the Non-Overlapping Magisteria Stephen Jay Gould applied to the relationship between science and religion. The territory of the psychic and its way to the spiritual is the terra incognita in all the reality maps, from the perennial to the integral and the occult effects that arise in the practice of kundalini yoga epitomize this enigma. Mo-shan Liao-jan was a Ch'an nun- a master of the Buddhist Tathagatagarbha tradition. Her position was that she had no interest in supernatural (siddhis) power, because it had nothing to do with Enlightenment.
For more about Ch'an see: Sudden and Gradual: Approaches to Enlightenment in Chinese Thought By Peter N. Gregory page 129: Traces Ch'an movement as it evolved through a Sino-Indian qua-Buddhist soteriology to classical Ch'an practices- such as meditation that would supersede even no-thought. (Bodhi is a Sanskrit word meaning enlightenment; it is awareness. Nirvana is a Sanskrit word meaning calm-extinction ; it is calmness.) Early Ch'an meditation movement collapses samadhi and prajna seeking to define a single, overarching experience in which the entire Buddhist path (mārga) would be subsumed. But Ch'an emphasis on direct insight left little place for the progressive development of samahdi and prajna. Ultimately, what need was there to retain such terms if they were collapsed into one another, or were said always to be present? The conceptual baggage that inevitably accompanied the use of these Indian concepts was so overwhelming that Ch'an eventually discarded both of them. Samadhi and prajna were condemned as having only provisional value for dullards who were as yet unprepared spiritually for the more sophisticated techniques of the later Ch'an.
Gopi Krishna The Kundalini Research Foundation, Ltd. Undoubtedly the teachings of Gopi Krishna are of great value in advancing an integrative paradigm involving the event of Cosmic Consciousness- yet, I believe his hypothesing about the causal effects of non dual awakening (advaita experience) ascribing realization to Kundalini and parana energy is unduly used to indorse all the extreme, (and potentially dangerous) psychic practices proprietary to kundalini yoga. See also
Gopi Krishna interview on Mystical Experience, Drugs, and the Evolutionary Process - Excerpted from The Awakening of Kundalini, 1975. "We have to admit that mystical experience, or Cosmic Consciousness, cannot only be developed by effort, but it can also occur spontaneously. This entirely agrees with my view: that there is a "mechanism" which is called Kundalini, that is carrying all mankind toward a higher state of consciousness, and that all the prophets and mystics known to history had their "mechanism" already active from birth; and also that this mechanism is active in the case of men of genius and extraordinary intellectual talent."
(m-g comment: This commentary by GK is more representative of his primary view of Kundalini as a holistic energy rather than endorsement for any specifics of Tantra Kundalini Yoga such as arousing pranic energy as an epiphenomenal Kundalini Kali through chakra centers.)
Psychic versus Spiritual A practical perspective from Keys to Higher Consciousness by Graham V. Ledgerwood.
Integral Psychology Sri Aurobindo - The term "Psychic" or Psychic Being in this context derives originally from the occult kabbalistic teachings of Max Theon, as conveyed by The Mother. Sri Aurobindo is careful to distinguish between the Psychic Being as defined in the Yoga and the ordinary meaning of "psychic" which refers more to the desire soul, or to psychological or paranormal phenomena which are connected with the inner mind, inner vital, or subtle physical subliminal nature rather than the true Soul (The Life Divine p.227 note).
Jainism The psychic order is not the spiritual order. Similarity between Jaina `darsana' and Buddhistic `Nirvikalpa Jnana'.
Spiritual Illumination vs. Psychic Illusions by By G. de Purucker, 1974. In a letter written shortly before her death, H. P. Blavatsky warned: Psychism, with all its allurements and all its dangers, is necessarily developing among you, and you must beware lest the Psychic outruns the Manasic and Spiritual development. Psychic capacities held perfectly under control, checked and directed by the Manasic principle, are valuable aids in development. But these capacities running riot, controlling instead of controlled, using instead of being used, lead the Student into the most dangerous delusions and the certainty of moral destruction. Watch therefore carefully this development, inevitable in your race and evolution-period, so that it may finally work for good and not for evil. -- From a letter dated London, April 15, 1891 to the Fifth Annual Convention of the Theosophical Society, American Section, held at Boston, Mass., on April 26-27
The plain fact is that the West is being misled by psychical teachings which in themselves have nothing permanent in them. And those who follow these practices are, ninety-nine times out of a hundred, people of untrained spiritual and psychical fabric of character who are thus easily caught by the maya of psychism. This does not mean that such faculties and powers are evil or are not natural parts of the human constitution; nor that they are useless. The meaning is that they are very hazardous to one without spiritual vision and the power of intellect and spiritual will to guide and control the psychical nature in which these faculties inhere.
Church of Christ Claims as evidence for credibility of the Pentecostal Theistic approach- that there is an EXACT correlation between: Pentecostal/Charismatic churches today and The Serpent Power of the Awakening Kundalini; Guru Sathya Sai guru; Subud worship manifestations; Qigong healing manifestations; Shakers manifestations; African Kung Bushmen of the Kalahair; Stage Hypnotists; etc. (mg comment: however all of these correlates are themselves primary examples of self-hypnotic dynamics involving psychic- rather than spiritual manifestations. As in my Goombay experience- these experiences evoke acute feelings of being swept up by an all-powerful deterministic force but are patently distinct from the authentic 'gracing' of a Nirvikalpa Samadhi and transcendence into Brahman consciousness. They are in the Immanent Reality Tier I, Dual 3: overmind episodes of my Consciousness Model) and are a separate magisteria from transcendent Nirvikalpa Samadhi and even more obscure and terra incognita in the consciousness map.)
Update: 11 06 07
My simplistic outline is a collage of terms and precepts from the compendium of Google data which I've arranged into a composition that most resembles the face of reality revealed intuitively from my Nirvikalpa Samadhi experience. Prior to presenting my outline however I had virtually zero contact with the vast literature specifically relating to reality hierarchical ontology- perennial, classical, post-modern or integral and had never viewed a corresponding diagram, map or model. As I continue my current research, it may be that rather than adding complexity and details to this original outline I may simply bring the sophisticated epistemologies and ontologisms of major philosophers into a comparative context of my subjective model so that readers can make their own permutations.
For instance after composing my Concurrent, Dual Nondual, 200 Percent Reality outline I found- among the 1500 treasures buried within Alan Kazlev's vast kheper.net website which I have just now started to seriously access- his essay The Metaphysics of Process - Ontodynamics: which introduced me to the historical and contemporary philosophical body of constructs of "reality hierarchical ontology" which I was totally unaware of. Here I discover that my outline has a basic format essentially identical to what Alan refers to when he says: "Indeed, according to the perennial philosophy, ontological gradation of at least a simple form (three or four levels) is basic to all pre-modern thought." Even more specifically I thought my distinguishing between psychic and spiritual states was somewhat an innovation from the impression I got from the consensus of websites relating to spirituality and the occult which tend to blend the two categories under the topic of metaphysics. Instead I learned from Kazlev's overview that "psychic" and "noetic" are distinguishing realms from the inception of the perennial hierarchy and extending well into post-modern models.
After writing this update, the next day I read Kazlev's essay
Mandala: Quadontology - the Fourfold Reality - A Metaphysical "Map" of Consciousness/Reality wherein he says: "In keeping with the earlier discussion regarding the quaternity, it is suggested here as a working hypothesis that there are not one but four hierarchies of consciousness/being, each of which constitutes a particular process or dynamic of Consciousness (or Reality, or 'God', whatever term you wish to use)."
I have only a very ordinary intellect and have virtually no knowledge of the vast scholarship relating to consciousness ontology yet have intuitively formulated a reality map that closely resembles not only the perennial model but shows a synchronicity with one as brilliant and knowledgeable as Alan Kazlev. Similar to the fact that I experienced my Nirvikalpa Samadhi from a state of absolute naivete, my reality outline was composed from a state of relative ignorance and prior to reading Kazlev's elucidating Hierarchical Ontology and Quadontology.
In the last few days I've Googled terms that concern conceptual maps and models of reality and am of course discovering a vast body of constructs from the perennial philosophy of antiquity to the flourishing contemporary effort to integrate metaphysics and science into comprehensive paradigms. I already see there are things I would change or ad to my original outline from my research over the past few days such as including the term emanate to describe the role of Gaia as manifestation of Brahman, but will leave any modifications for a future entry in this chronicle.
From this point I will present (below), concepts and resources that I continue to access after creating the outline for my Concurrent, Dual Nondual, 200 Percent Model of Reality- (above), without modifying this version with knowledge obtained after the fact in order that it stands- like the original account of my Nirvikalpa Samadhi experience- as an intuitively inspired document rather than merely an accumulation of a priori knowledge.
Update 04_04_09: In reviewing my Reflections on Samadhi and Old Age I noticed the synchronicity in the Vedic tradition to divide the fundamental maths of Parusartha (aims of life) and Ashrama (stages of life) into four parts- like the four states of my Immanent Reality. It might be of interest to see to what degree one could find algorithms that suggest synchronicities for the number four throughout the vast body of Vedic literature that might be compared to the significance for number seven in Western traditions.
Alan Kazlev is an integralist whose writings range over the the entire metaphysical spectrum with a breadth and clarity that emanates from a unique combination of intellect, scientific grasp, in-depth knowledge of esoteric arts and an intuition that seems finely tuned to the Muse. There are other authors (Wilberians, etc.) in the integral movement more scholarly and better organized and I sometimes find his ecumenical reach excessive (crop circles and Kirlian photography for examples) but his fundamental message for the primacy of a Gaian emanation of the supreme consciousness resonates with my instinctive philosophy. Kazlev's vast portfolio could use better organization (and typo-checking) and many of his 1500 essays are hard to find in his kheper.net website, so I've gathered links to those I found there and elsewhere that are particularly relevant to my discussion in the following list for easier, direct access.
Integral Theory Integral Esotericism - Part Four An in-depth, intensive examination. by Alan Kazlev 4-I. The Intrgration of Knowledge (includes other authors' models of integral reality). The theoretic aspect of the Integral path, Integrative Philosophy or Integral Theory, represents the mental or intellectual side of the Integral metaparadigm, including of the Esoteric Integral Paradigm presented here. Inspiration for Integral Theory may range from mere intellectualising of the gross physical mind, to some opening to inner realities but still totally exoteric (e.g. Wilberian theory), to fully esoteric and higher intuitive (such as Aurobindonian philosophy and this current work of Integral Esotericism which draws on the latter).
The Concentric Axis - from Innermost to Outermost being - The Inner-Outer Dimension
A New Integral Paradigm - A Metaphysical "Map" of Consciousness/Reality: Noetics - Levels of Selfhood; Occultism - The "Vertical" Physical-Spiritual Axis; Psychology and Mysticism - The "Concentric" Axis; Holarchy - The Universal-Atomistic Axis - The "Concentric" or Inner-Outer dimension is totally different from (but sometimes confused with) the vertical series of planes of consciousness as described by Theosophy etc. A number of stages of manifestation can be posited here, from the outermost to the Absolute. These are each associated with their own states of consciousness and states of existence.
Absolute Reality Alan Kazlev comes through with a series of essays concerning ultimate Reality for which he has created a neologism- Paramology- to define his synthesizing a compendium of knowledge in comparative non-dual religion and metaphysics with great economy and clarity.
Mandala: Quadontology - the Fourfold Reality - A Metaphysical "Map" of Consciousness/Reality.
Living in Harmony with Gaia - Holism and Ecological Spirituality and The emerging eco-spiritual civilisation by Alan Kazlev. Some Links and Resources
Gaia as immanence of supreme reality The Earth as the Focal Point for Cosmic Transformation
The Planes of Existence Many esoteric teachings propound the idea of a series of worlds or hypostases as cosmic ontological gradations in the Great Chain of Being, arranged metaphorically in an "upper and lower" manner. The idea of a vertical world-axis, a cosmic mountain or tree or pole, is in fact a common archetype, and the theosophical planes are just one particular version or interpretation of that. Another is the Tantric theme of chakras, which are associated with an ascending series of states of consciousness, culminating in the Absolute Reality located either at or above the Crown. From this perspective then, the Cosmos can be divided "vertically" into a number of worlds or states or gradations of being. See diagram of "Kosmic Physical" Planes of Existence according to Alice Bailey. See also Kazlev's Very Provisional Table of Planes of Existence.
Huston Smith and the Primordial Tradition The Great Chain of Being begins with the Source and proceeds through emanationist through various stages of manifestation, down to matter and non-being. Thus Reality is described in terms of a specific structure. The accounts of different traditional and pre-modern esoteric and exoteric cosmologies are similar enough for it to be possible to present a single account embracing all of them
Emanationism: In contrast to the familiar Judaeo-Christian monotheistic view, according to which the whole universe just appears ready- made through Divine Fiat (or command), and the materialistic view which simply ignores first principles, Emanationism explains creation as a gradual process of emanation and descent from a transcendental Absolute to mundane reality. Thus there is no Creator God standing apart from, even if intimately connected with, the universe as in monotheism; but rather a series of stages of down-grading of Consciousness-Being, by means of which the Absolute principle actually becomes the multiplicity of entities and objects. It has been suggested (by Professor Huston Smith, in his book Forgotten Truth) that the basic cosmology, arrived at independently by many different philosophies and spiritual traditions, shows Reality to be divided into a very minimum of four levels or planes of reality: the Infinite or Absolute (the topic of Monism), the Celestial or Divine, the Intermediate or Psychic (with which occultism deals), and the Terrestrial or Physical (the level considered by Materialism). Each of these can in turn be sub-divided
E say The Absolute Reality
I argue for the of the Emanation hypothesis on two grounds: firstly it is a central element in much of the "perennial philosophy" (see also The emanationist worldview), and secondly it provides the only explanation for how things came to be that is not nonsensical (craetio ex hihilo) or reductionist. Assuming then that emanation is a fact (much as it contradicts the current physicalist consensus paradigm of the secular West), a number of specific ontological laws or principles would seem to follow. These are listed as follows: Principle of Authentic Reality; Principle of Distinct Hypostases; Principle of Qualitativeness; Principle of Downward Causation; Principle of nondifferentiated ground; Principle of non-diminishment; Principle of Reflection; Principle of Proximity; Principle of Fractalisation
The Nature of The Absolute and the Nature of Reality The following pages present a more detailed comparative overview of the Absolute Reality in all its aspects. Intellectually, one cannot prove anything that pertains to the esoteric. Which is why I say that a truly integral paradigm has to be grounded on spiritual receptivity and gnosis.
Unified Theories of Reality - Links to Other Projects. Based on the law of Correspondence there have been a number of attempts at producing a grand synthesis - a unified diagram of Reality. Here are a few.
Towards a Foundation of a Universal Esoteric Science by M.Alan Kazlev with additional material by Steven Guth and Arvan Harvat. This essay presents the first steps at formulating a universal and unified esoteric science; one which works alongside and with scientific method, rather than belittling or rejecting it. Such a universal system of esotericism would constitute a wider framework into which more specialised aspects of human knowledge, in all its facets, can be placed. It also represents and requires a radical paradigm shift. I have tried to minimise the amount of intellectualising and dogma, keeping it to the minimum, and emphasise instead a diverse range of ideas and suggestions.
Integral World Kazlev is a regular contributor to this portal for integral theorists. His latest: EVOLUTIONARY ALLIES - Alan Kazlev: "In earlier essays I've made it known where I stand regarding Sri Aurobindo and Wilber. Now, a number of converging factors have brought home to me the importance of working together with mainstream Integralists in a more harmonious manner, while at the same time retaining my status as a strong independent voice."
Towards an Integral Gnostic Community Having participated in and checked out a number of "integral" forums and on-line communities, I am intrigued by the fact that there is one thing that seems to be missing. Gnosis. By Gnosis I mean an inner certainty and spiritual knowing that goes beyond the endless futile turnings of rational argument. When there is an lack of gnosis, all that understanding has to rely on are endless intellectual theories, abstractions, dogmas, of which one is chosen as the mental truth, and the others denied or subordinated to that. Sure there are degrees of gnosis too; it's not like anyone who has Insight is the same or in agreement or lacks ego. This is only the very first step.
Update 03 13 09:
Dabase.org Glossary I just found this schematic depicting the anatomy of consciousness reality by Adi Da. Da conceives of three dimensions with Conditional Existence composed of five sheaths that is a more sophisticated concept of the four states of Immanent Tier 1 of my reality model but there is a direct comparison between Da's Unconditional Reality and my Transcendent Reality Tier 2.
For me to independently create a model of reality that comes this close to one conceived by Adi Da, who Ken Wilber acknowledged as his most realized teacher suggests that my insight is derived from authentic revelations provided by my Nirvikalpa Samadhi experience- expressed intuitively rather than via my very limited intellect and learning (I find most classical scholarly papers on philosophy and metaphysics beyond my grasp).
Following links updated: 03 30 09
Concept of 'hypercosmic God' The one million dollar Templeton prize in 2009 goes to French physicist and philosopher of science Bernard d'Espagnat for his "studies into the concept of reality". D'Espagnat, 87, is a professor emeritus of theoretical physics at the University of Paris-Sud, and is known for his work on quantum mechanics. Through science, he says, we can glimpse some basic structures of the reality beneath the veil, but much of it remains an infinite, eternal mystery. So what is it, really, that is veiled? At times d'Espagnat calls it a Being or Independent Reality or even "a great, hypercosmic God". It is a holistic, non-material realm that lies outside of space and time, but upon which we impose the categories of space and time and localisation via the mysterious Kantian categories of our minds.
A cosmos with no beginning or end by Richard Talcott (Astronomy, March, 09) Uncertainties about the Big Bang helped motivate cosmologists Paul J. Steinhardt of Princeton University and Neil Turok of Cambridge University to develop a theory they call the "cyclic model of the universe." The model envisions a universe that undergoes limitless cycles. Each cycle begins with a Big Bang, is followed by a long period of expansion and cooling, and ends with a Big Crunch. The cycle repeats perhaps once every trillion years. The Big Bang that launched our current universe is just the latest in a long line of such bangs. Our universe exists on a three-dimensional membrane, or "brane" for short, near a second such brane. (The distance between the branes lies along a fourth spatial dimension.)
The following item is an excerpt from
Consciousness Wormhole featuring graphics depicting wormholes from Planck to holographic universal scales.
(m-g: My concurrent dual-nondual, 200% reality model finds a poignant synchronicity with this two-brane theory- even in the feature I describe of returning from my samadhi as the stream ejected me into a funnel-like opening in a filamentous membrane. At the time- the membrane appeared to fade into invisability beyond the area impacted by the funnel but later concepualizing suggested that it would likely compose an astral layer configured in relationship to each particular human consciousness whether everyone in a Kumbh Mela multitude on the banks of the Ganges or an astronaut visiting the moon.
Smeddum.net A beautiful website by Wendy Howard who has integrated both homeopathy and astrology into a professional practice. Although I hold an uninformed skepticism regarding each of these "disciplines" Howard presents some provocative essays providing insight into many of the metaphysical and new science reality paradigms I support but elucidated via her more advanced knowledge-base and intellect.
In Does It Matter?: Mass and Gravity, she presents an animated gif of toroidal flow pattern that is a meditative mandala for contemplating the convection of immanent and transcendent consciousness through a wormhole within the holographic sea of reality. See also Permaculturing in Portugal - a chronicle of a bold, out-of-the-box, transformative move for Wendy and her family.
Principles of Quantum Buddhism by Francois Lepine (Quantum Buddhism Association, St-Raymond, Quebec, Canada) Samadhi occurs during deep meditation. Scientifically, in altered states quantum brain activities may become more directly connected with the universal quantum geometry and its collective information. Number 10 of 22 abstracts of papers presented at Quantum Mind Conference University of Salzburg, Austria July, 2007 by leading scientific theorists for interconnecting consciousness and the physical world listing author, Email and association. Many of these papers present highly technical science-based theories relating to how our personal cosciousness may entangled with a conscious cosmic matrix.
Individuation and Subtle Body - Individuation and subtle systems: Observations on Jung's 1932 Kundalini Seminars. A dissertation submitted by Gary W. Seeman to Pacifica Graduate Institute in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology. An in-depth examination of Jung's psychological interpretation of the chakras and his various controversies with Indian Kundalini scriptures including his dire warnings to Westerners who attempt Asian meditation practices. Also highlights the role that alchemic tradition played in the formation of Jung's concepts and the independent perspectives of philosopher Jean Gebser on many of the issues Jung raised.
Reflections on the Absolute by Thomas J. McFarlane 1995 - An epistemological approach to an aspect of reality that is at the core of my model.
The Divine Matrix by Gregg Braden - Max Planck- Dr. John Wheeler - matter is a manifest of a conscious matrix.
Glossary of Sanskrit Yoga Terms by Georg Feuerstein
MindPapers A Bibliography of the Philosophy of Mind and the Science of Consciousness compiled by David Chalmers & David Bourget Australian National University.
Glossary of Buddhist Terms
Gaia Sutra by Tim Willard: "Could Gaia be an independent conscious entity similar to the collective unconscious? An intriguing model emerges if we weave the Gaia Hypothesis together with several works concerning mind and consciousness. The Gaia Sutra combines Lovelock, Bateson, and Chalmers and proclaims a planetary Gaia Mind a complex system system that meets Bateson's criteria for mind, born of the One Mind that is the ground of all being. A growing body of scientific evidence suggests that the Gaia Mind does indeed have some form of consciousness. Since the nature of the Gaia Mind is different from the nature of the human mind, it is reasonable to suppose that the nature of Gaia consciousness is different from that of human consciousness. Perhaps the Gaia Consciousness represents one of the higher levels of consciousness that many religions have described. But whatever it's nature, it is real."
(TW continues:) Fritjof Capra, in The Turning Point (online chapters), puts it this way; "In the stratified order of nature, individual human minds are embedded in the larger minds of social and ecological systems, and these are integrated into the planetary mental system-the mind of Gaia--which in turn must participate in some kind of universal or cosmic mind. The conceptual framework of the new systems approach is in no way restricted by associating this cosmic mind with the traditional idea of God. In the words of Jantsch, 'God is not the creator, but the mind of the universe.' In this view the deity is, of course, neither male or female, nor manifest in any personal form, but represents nothing less than the self-organizing dynamics of the entire cosmos- The Collective Gaian Consciousness."
Theistic Science Divine Immanence and Transcendence Notes Author: Ian J. Thompson, revised 04/03/2008 "In theology there has long been a tension between the transcendence and the immanence of God, both of which are asserted by classical theism. To avoid a deism which has only transcendence, to avoid pantheism which has only immanence, and thus to see how theism may be a coherent belief, it is necessary to give some rational account of how God may be both transcendent of and immanent in the world. (maya-gaia became utterly lost after this paragraph: 'Divine Dispositional Immanence' (DDI for short), and is : The dispositions of an object are those derivatives of Divine Power that accord with what is actual about that object.
The Oneness/Otherness Mystery By Sutapas Bhattacharya. This is a work about our very existence, about Reality, about the relationship between the individual personality and the cosmos in which that personality exists, showing how the person is a microcosm, a little part of the cosmos, subtly reflecting his `world` however autonomous or independent he may believe he is. See also preview in Google books.
Sutapas also has alerted me to Ralph Abraham whose prodigious portfolio consists of articles from a highly evolved mind- integrating perspectives from direct experience in pan-disciplinary mysticism and physical, mathematical and consciousness sciences. See also Vibrations and Forms - A remarkable biographical account of the author's experiential evolution in formulating concepts about reality as member of the LSD-tripping, mysticism-questing, diaspora of young American intellectuals who like Baba Ram Dass joined satsang with Neem Karoli Baba in India in the 1970s and as made the transition of living in a cave as a sadhu to become Professor of Mathematics, U. of CA at Santa Cruz
Synchronicity Between Vedic Anatomy of the Body of Being and my
Dual Nondual 200 Percent Model of Reality
Update 01 07 10:
I've just encountered an interesting synchronicity contained in the Hindu Vedic Metaphysical Tradition that presents an anatomy (model) of the 5 states that "function simultaneously" to compose the body of our being that bares a strong resemblance to my dual-non dual concurrent model of reality. See "Chapter 20 Life After Death"
- The 5 sheaths: In Sanskrit, the bodies of our being are called kosa, which means "sheath, vessel, container or layer." They are the sheaths through which the soul functions simultaneously in the various planes of existence. The kosas, in order of increasing subtlety, are as follows: —annamaya kosa: "Sheath composed of food." The physical body, coarsest of sheaths. —pranamaya kosa: "sheath composed of prana (vital force)." Also known as the etheric or health body, it coexists within the physical body as its source of life, breath and vitality, and is its connection with the astral body. —manomaya kosa: "Mind-formed sheath." The lower astral body. The instinctive-intellectual sheath of ordinary thought, desire and emotion. —vijnanamaya kosa: "Sheath of cognition." The mental or cognitive-intuitive sheath. It is the vehicle of higher thought, understanding, knowing, direct cognition, wisdom, intuition and creativity. —anandamaya kosa: "Body of bliss." The intuitive-superconscious sheath, the ultimate foundation of all life, intelligence and higher faculties. Anandamaya kosa is not a sheath in the same sense as the outer kosas. It is the soul itself. The term "astral body" names the subtle, nonphysical body in which the soul functions in the astral plane. The astral body includes the pranamaya kosa, the manomaya kosa and the vijnanamaya kosa.
The strongest features of synchronicity are the concept that all states function "simulaneously" in life (my term: concurrently) and that at death the astral soul retains the three states in the Vedic model that relate to the state of dual awareness that occurred in both the ascent and descent portions of my Nirvikalpa Samadhi journey plus the anandamaya kosa that is the ground of the soul that continues on to be transported to transcendent Brahman non dual consciousness in samadhi and death.
Theistic Naturalism Michael H. Barnes. There is another obvious alternative: naturalistic theism. From the deists and their sometimes otiose God to Whitehead and Rahner, there have been theologies of a God who has made a universe to operate fully naturally, with ongoing divine sustenance of this natural order, but without miraculous interventions.
The Premise Keepers Victor J. Stenger Published in Free Inquiry Vol. 23 No. 3 Summer 2003, pp. 40-43.
chapter in - Has Science Found God: The Latest Results in the Search for Purpose in the Universe. VS argues against: John Polkinghorne, "Chaos Theory and Divine Action", in W. Mark Richardson and Wesley J. Wildman, ed., Religion & Science: History, Method, Dialogue (New York and London: Routledge, 1996), pp. 243-52. and John Polkinghorne, Belief in God in the Age of Science (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1998), pp. 85-6.
Concept of Consciousness index to abstracts - U of Arizona: Promoting open, rigorous discussion of all phenomena realated to conscious experience.
The Gaia Mythos is a story about us, the human species, and where we come from, told in the perspective of a more inclusive story that relates the cosmic drama of Gaia, the Earth Goddess with the Sophia of Gnosticism and the archetypal memory of the Muse.
The Primordial Leap and the Present: The Ever-Present Origin - an Overview of the Work of Jean Gebser by Ed Mahood, Jr. Systasis- a categorical element is the integrating dimension by which the three-dimensional spatial world, which is always a world of parts, is integrated into a whole in such a way that it can be stated. This already implies that it is not an ordering schema paralleling that of system. We must especially avoid the error of considering systasis -- which is both process and effect -- as that which is effected, for if we do we reduce it to a causal system. We must be aware that systasis has an effective character within every system. Systasis is not a mental concept, nor is it a mythical image (say) in the sense of Heraclitus' panta rei ("all things are in flux"), nor is it a magic postulation of the interconnection of everything to and with everything else. And finally, it is not integral, but integrating.
Religion and Scientific Naturalism: Overcoming the Conflicts By David Ray Griffin. Review by Thomas Jay Oord. This volume, one in the SUNY series in Constructive Postmodern Thought, argues a Whiteheadian based philosophy that religion does not require supernaturalism and science does not require materialism. Griffin describes himself as a panentheistic Christian, one who sees God as more than the universe and yet the universe as part of God. He sees God at work in the universe, but in a "persuasive" rather than in a "coercive" way.
Integral Postmetaphysics Forum -Introduction; Basic Premises - or why believe one over the next universalizing integral metaphysician?; Epistemology - what do we know about knowing; Metaphysics - A Map of Consciousness/Reality; Ontodynamics - the Dynamics of Being; Evolution and Transformation - where we are, where we came from, and where we are going; Praxis - building a new civilization
The Art and Science of Light Bulb Moments A sample chapter from the book by Tom Evans. Whole Brain Thinking Whole Mind Connection - Collective Thoughts To get our heads around how to tap into the collective consciousness to access such light bulb moments, we need to replace our left and right hemispheric model of mind with a tiered Three Mind model - Superconsciousness; Akaskic Field; Cosmic Egg.
Unified Deism an unofficial definition by J. Hardwick. Deists develop a belief in God based on the foundation and the application of our ability to use Reason. While there are no "official" tenets of Deism, many of the following "unofficial" tenets might be the best way to introduce generally accepted beliefs within Deism. Most eists will agree with these basic tenets and regard Deism as a personal philosophy (theology) and as a religion. Many may expand on these beliefs and may also add personal touches. This is appropriate and encouraged as Reason tells us that humans are freethinkers that have different beliefs and experiences.
Duality and Non-Duality: Awakening to Unified Perspective by Donna M. Brown. The three principle philosophies of Vedanta—Advaita (non-duality), Visitadvatia (qualified duality), and Davatia (duality)— each evolved different systems of thought with respect to these two fundamental assertions. Advaita, the oldest system in the Vedas, expounded by Sri Adi Shankaracharya (788-820) its most revered teacher, maintains that there is an ultimate, non-dual relationship between the soul, all of creation and Brahman. Advaita maintains that while the three tiers of reality or being exist— absolute/non-duality, relative/qualified duality and illusion/duality— each one counterbalances or neutralizes the previous. These three tiers are contained in Brahman where all are One. In the words of Shankaracharya: No matter what a deluded man may think he is perceiving, he is really seeing Brahman and nothing else but Brahman. ...This universe, which is superimposed upon Brahman, is nothing but a name.
Varieties of Nondual Realization: Divine Play as One/Many by Timothy Conway 2006. A concise overview of how a strong recent movement of nondually-oriented psychotherapists interfaces with a nondual and "neo-nondual" spiritual movement in Asia, Europe and America featuring more-or-less enlightened teachers and students in lineages of eastern and western religions who have increasingly integrated the traditionally mystical-spiritual perspective of Pure Solid Awareness - the profound Truth or Reality of whatever experience/experiencer arises. This is Nondual Realization, the quintessential mystical experiencing. One of the Internet's most comprehensive and integrated resource on Spirituality, awakening to nondual Awareness, mystical traditions, powers of Consciousness, and more.
Science and Theism: Concord, not Conflict - Robert C. Koons. It is widely held that the belief in supernatural entities, like God and the soul, is incompatible with a modern, scientific viewpoint. This bit of conventional wisdom is seldom backed up by careful argument. I will reconstruct some plausible arguments for the claim that science undermines the rationality of religious belief...and closely examine the actual historical relationship between science and theism in Western history.
Empiricism, Naturalism, and Theism by Shandon L. Guthrie- empiricism does not deny belief in God. Because empiricism has been widely acknowledged in various disciplines (e.g. science), I shall explain how empiricism has been superficially and haphazardly characterized by metaphysical naturalism. In this essay we will also look at how belief in theism has been retained in empiricism thereby decrying the uncritically accepted metaphysical naturalism in contemporary empirical epistemology. See also: Theism and Contemporary Cosmology
Thealogy- The Gaia Paradigm
Here I'm just starting to reference what I'm discovering is a vast library of concepts and controversy (no surprise!) about thealogy and perspectives (feminist and otherwise) for integrating the cosmic Goddess (Gaia) and ecospirituality starting with this excellent resource.
Goddess As Nature: Towards a Philosophical Thealogy By Paul Reid-Bowen- Contributes to elucidate the meaning of a female and feminist deity at the beginning of the 21st century. Bridging the gap between the religious discourse of thealogy, discourse about the Goddess, and a range of analytical concerns in the philosophy of religion, this book argues that thealogy is not as incoherent as claimed by critics.
In Wilber's understanding, 'primitieve' fertility or immanental models of deity must be kept separate from more profound metaphysical and transcendent models. In Women and Spirituality In King's understanding, p 63, dimensions of immanence and transcendence can come close together, touch each other and be intertwined in the understanding of the Goddess, the human vision and conceptualisation of the Divine can never be solely grounded in women's experience of motherhood as exlusive starting point for reflection about ultimate reality.
The Gaian Paradigm by Bill Ellis - Book I: The three themes of this book are 1: Our world view or paradigms are shaped by our cultural nurturing; 2. There are no evil paradigms but just cultures we do not understand; 3. The technology that connects us to each other reveals the cosmos as one and makes possible a new direct democracy in which all people can make decisions to improve their lives.
Postmodern Paradigms An introduction to the criteria for postmodern paradigms and sampling of alleged examples from a variety of disciplines.
The thealogian Donna Wilshire effectively expresses and summarizes the Goddess feminist models of divine female generativity, cosmic origination an organization in the following terms: If we posit that the Goddess is ever full of potential, nothingness cannot be a part of Her nature. She would not create ex nihilo as the transcendent male deity is said to, for She who is always pregnant with possibility has no emptiness about her. She has no ego and no Plan. But She always has the raw materials for new forms in Her belly, womb or cauldron. She is always stirring them, constantly changing, re-newing, re-forming, re-creating them. As a model of non-linear, non-dualistic reality, the Goddess is always in media res, already is from every moment. She always has been - and has always been full of Potential. Aperiodic Big Bang is Her way of getting Things re-shuffled and reenergizied from time to time. (Introduction to Virgin, Mother, Crone p. 220).
Breaking the Silence- Homily On the Divine Feminine by Jane D. Schaberg 2005: I have never given a sermon before. Never been asked to before, never allowed to. I am a member (at least I say I am) of the Roman Catholic church, 1.1 billion strong, that does not ordain women and does not permit women to preach. Southern Baptists, the largest Protestant denomination in the United States, and smaller ones, like the rapidly growing COGIC (Church of God in Christ), also do not ordain women or allow them to preach. We Christian feminist scholars are not alone. Think also of the hundreds of millions of Islamic women and those from other traditions whose voices are not heard.
Esoteric notions of the Divine Feminine: Hinduism; Al-Giyamah; Christianity; Judaism; Islam; Taoism; Buddhism; Sikhism; Native Traditions
Gender in Mystical and Occult Thought: Behmenism and Its Development in England By B. J. Gibbons; (p 64-88) An examination of the movement created by Jacob Boeheme which arose during the height of he 17th century European witchcraze with examples (p 65-66) of how gender and sexuality were major components in forming the practices of alchemy, Christian mysticism and religious devotion as erotic acts. Boehme was able to avoid the general derogation of the feminine in the Gnostic and Cabala traditions by feminizing the godhead in the person of the Virgin Sophia.
God and Realism By Peter Peter Byrne - Chapter 6 p-127 Contrastive Anti-Realism Beginning with a definition of realism, PB discusses the various forms of theological realism and offers a critical study of a number of issues surrounding the realist interpretation of theism and theology. "that elements of what we call 'language' or 'mind' penetrate so deeply into what we call 'reality' that the very project of representing ourselves as being 'mappers' of something 'language-independent' is fatally compromised from the very start."
Happiness of Being A website dedicated to exploring in depth the philosophy and practice of the spiritual teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana. e-book copy of Happiness and the Art of Being, which is an in-depth introduction by Michael James to his philosophy and practice.
Contemplative Quakerism - Mystical Experience in Modern English. Index: Introduction; The Problem of Language; Effing the Ineffable; Knowing and Being; Experiences Mistaken for Unitive Experiences; Psychology and Spirituality; Self Esteem and Mortification; Motivation Beyond Desire; Enlightenment
Putting Theism back in Pantheism by Brunla Van Cleve, Ph.D.; Not surprisingly then, an increasing number of scientists who believe in God-guided evolution are looking for answers other than materialistic ones to questions of ultimate reality. The Panpsychist concept of Theism fits well with their understandings of Theism as the ultimate power. Because of this, and the reasons listed below, these scientists are taking a long hard look at the monistic form of pantheism known as Panpsychism.
Introduction to the Physics of Consciousness Published in Journal of Consciousness Studies, 17, No. 3–4, 2010, pp. 165–91 by Wolgang Baer. The ‘Hard Problem’ of consciousness and its ‘Explanatory Gap’ can only be explained if we develop a physical theory which recognizes the Universe as a cognitive being and is based upon a fundamental process that transforms mind into body and back again. The physical requirements needed to realize such a transformation cycle are investigated and an explicit implementation of the consciousness process is presented. This implementation consists of an integrated mind-body activity that explains mental experiences with a model of the activity itself. Such a self-referential loop is shown to be both a fundamental physical process and a container of primitive self-awareness from which complex experiences can be built. I will...go on to discuss the approximations which limit quantum theory from providing a complete explanation of consciousness and suggest the metaphysical underpinnings required to expand quantum physics into a more complete description of reality.
Open theism, also known as free will theism, is a theological movement where man has a free-will relationship and correspondence with God.
Spiritual Evolution Spiritual evolution is the philosophical, theological, esoteric or spiritual idea that nature and human beings and/or human culture evolve, extending from the established cosmological pattern or ascent, or in accordance with certain pre-established potentials. It is synonymous with "higher evolution", a term used to differentiate psychological, mental, or spiritual evolution from the "lower" or biological evolution of physical form. The concept of spiritual evolution is also complemented by the idea of a creative impulse in human beings, known as epigenesis.
Certainty Series: Nihilism; Agnosticism; Uncertainty; Justification; Probability; Estimation; Belief; Certainty; Determinism
The Sacred Mirror: Nondual Wisdom & Psychotherapy (John Prendergast, Peter Fenner, & Sheila Krystal, Eds.) 2003. A review by Timothy Conway, Ph.D
"I was impressed at the wealth of nuance in how each author has truly "owned" the language of nonduality, and doesn't merely sound like s/he is parroting nondual wording from the Perennial Wisdom traditions of Advaita Vedanta, Kashmir Saivism, Zen Buddhism, Vajrayana Buddhism, and contemplative Taoism (the main five sacred traditions that have engendered the rise of nonduality in the West)."
Principia Cybernetica Overview of the PC Web Project. This is the web server of the Principia Cybernetica Project (PCP), an international organization. PCP tries to tackle age-old philosophical questions with the help of the most recent cybernetic theories and technologies. Stated more precisely, the Project's aim is the computer-supported collaborative development of an evolutionary-systemic philosophy. (A kind of meta-philosophical Wiki) Example: Synopsys- Atheism is the philosophy that there are no gods ("a" = without, "theos" = god) author F. Heylighen. One must note that atheism is not in contradiction with religion. In its original, Latin sense, religion means "that which holds together", implying a kind of overarching philosophy and system of ethics that guides society as a whole, without necessary reference to God. Also in the more practical sense, several "religions", including Zen Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism, lack any idea of God, and thus may be properly called "atheist religions". Also the different emotions that typically accompany religous experiences, such as the feeling of being part of a larger whole, can very well be experienced by an atheists, leading to what may be called "atheist religiosity".
Free Will Versus Determinism - is one of the oldest and most vexed of philosophical problems, and bringing it up is not a good way to guarantee that your date will go to bed with you, although it has worked on occasion. Determinism is a position that is sometimes also called 'predestination' or 'fatalism'. This is the belief that events are somehow determined before they happen; everything is inevitable. The position of free will is largely a response and a reaction to the various positions of determinism and is often not as clearly defined. Belief in free will is often based on a more or less vague feeling of being 'in control' of one's actions. Quantum physics introduced fundamental uncertainties into the measurement and perception of the physical world. Particles cannot be pinned down in their behaviour or nature in the way that physicists classically liked to do. The wave-particle duality of photons or electrons is a good illustration of the way classical physics can't cope with the results of certain experiments. One way classically-minded physicists have tried to remove uncertainty is to propose a theory of 'superdeterminism'that spreads in all directions, and forwards and backwards in time as well, so the experimenter is there to do the experiment to get the result. The whole universe could be thought of as a huge four-dimensional block of aspic, with every event that has ever happened, is happening, or will ever happen fixed in it. The trouble is a superdetermined world is going to look exactly like ours. There is no way to tell a free world from a superdetermined world. Even if we found an experiment to tell them apart, it could be argued that this was predetermined, we were always going to get results which disprove superdeterminism, and so they don't disprove it. There is, happily, a way out, a way back to common sense.
Epistemology- a comprehensive definition: Defined narrowly, epistemology is the study of knowledge and justified belief. As the study of knowledge, epistemology is concerned with the following questions: What are the necessary and sufficient conditions of knowledge? What are its sources? What is its structure, and what are its limits?
The Idea of God: Historical, Critical, Constructive By Clarence Augustine Beckwith, 1922; complete book download (start p 261 regarding cosmic immanence)
The Internet- Our New Path to God by Lynn Woodland 2006 The chaos theorist, Ralph Abraham...believes the explosive growth of the World Wide Web has increased the bandwidth of the mind's connections and increased the overall intelligence of our species. The early twentieth century philosopher, Pierre Teilhad de Chardin, anticipated this quickening of human consciousness, Dulcinos writes, in his theory of noogenesis, a theory that as humans stopped evolving biologically, hey began an evolution of consciousness. "The World Wide Web is the material manifestation of Teilhard's vision." Dulchinos himself speculates that, "the Internet represents the latest manifestation, in the material world, of the ongoing evolution of consciousness."
Mythunderstanding Your Cosmic Mysteress- Male and female He created them. A blog by Gagdad Bob about the cosmic imperative of yin-yang. A forum discussion in which anonymous refers to Aurobindo and The Mother opinioning that rather than an imperative- ascribing gender to aspects of the numinous is an expression of our anthropomorphic grasping.
Meanwhile- in another Ecstatic dimension- a 21st century version of the "tune in, turn on, drop out" counter culture phenomenon created by LSD guru Timothy Leary has arrived with Guruphiliac Jody Radzik touting the virtues of the drug Ecstasy to reprogram an entire generation to a Gaian consciousness. Having little knowledge of either drug, I can only guess at a comparison from my one episode with magic mushrooms, that psychedelics (now called entheogens) tend to open the lone experiencer directly to transcendent states (albeit with varying degrees of dual/nondual morphing). With ecstasy it appears that experiencers remain in immanent dual state with romantic feelings, along with instincts that connect us holistically to all of nature, dramatically amplified. Thus, allegedly, the Gaian consciousness arises- as does societal criticism to the same degree the LSD craze generated. (Ecstasy may act as a synthetic combination of dopamine and the hormone oxytocin resulting in an emotional compromise of intense energy and exhilaration of the romantic impulse triggered by the former to the connecting, bonding effect of the latter. See video background to story This Thing Called Love- National Geographic Magazine, Feb. 2006.
Update 11 16 08:
Jody Radzik (mg: Jody sent me an Email calling my attention to this statement in his blog- refining his view on psychedelic spirituality and positing that it disclaims my "strong misapprehension" that he advocates the drug ecstasy as a enabler for authentic samadhi. I generalized from the considerable body of Google references to his drift which seemed an enthusiastic advocacy of ecstasy-inspired spirituality. I'd say his challenge is to convert the public impression this body has created with as vigorous a campaign as for example Antony Flew launched when he converted from an advocate of atheism to born again deism.) End Update
Impossible Inferences: A mathematical theory of knowledge's limits takes shape by Graham P. Collins (SciAm.com Feb, 09)
David H. Wolpert, a physics-trained computer scientist is the latest of theorists like Werner Heisenberg, Kurt Godel, Alan Turing to propose ironclad limits on what we can know. Wolpert models a general structure of asking a specific question about the universe by defining a class of mathematical entities that he calls inference devices that are general enough to be independent of the laws of physics. Wolpert proves that in any such system of universes, quantities exist that cannot be ascertained by any inference device inside the system.
Update 02 07 09
Naked Singularity and Samadhi Scientific American January, 2009 Do Naked Singularities Break the Rules of Physics? The black hole has a troublesome sibling, the naked singularity. Physicists have long thought--hoped--it could never exist. But could it? All kinds of processes unknown to science may occur at the singularity, yet they have no effect on the outside world. Astronomers plotting the orbits of planets and stars can safely ignore the uncertainties introduced by singularities and apply the standard laws of physics with confidence. Whatever happens in a black hole stays in a black hole. Yet a growing body of research calls this working assumption into question. Researchers have found a wide variety of stellar collapse scenarios in which an event horizon does not in fact form, so that the singularity remains exposed to our view. Physicists call it a naked singularity (Cosmic Censorhip Hypothesis). Matter and radiation can both fall in and come out. Whereas visiting the singularity inside a black hole would be a one-way trip, you could in principle come as close as you like to a naked singularity and return to tell the tale.
(m-g: This suggests a tantalizing analogy or synchronicity to the role of Nirvikalpa Samadhi realization and its relationship to the phenomenal, material world in which we are born, live in and die. It provides a state of consciousness by which a consciousness singularity is exposed to our view and we are returned to tell the tale. See also Consciousness Singularity and
The reference links here present some epistemology and ontology issues I considered to integrate my Nirvikalpa Samadhi into my Concurrent, Two-Tier, Dual-Nondual 200-Percent Model of Reality.
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