Re: MD Religion of the future.

Date: Sun Apr 25 2004 - 15:14:28 BST

  • Next message: David Morey: "Re: MD quality religion (Christianity)"

    I wanted to add a supplement to dmb's cogent explanation of transpersonality
    and the spiritual domain.

    Mark: Hi Dave, Thanks for your help.

    Your reaction--namely, nervousness--is the way that
    both modernity and postmodernity typically react to "eastern stuff."

    Mark: I love Eastern stuff Dave. I have great sympathy for Eastern stuff. My
    nervousness with regard to transpersonality and the spiritual domain does not
    involve a reaction to Eastern points of view. If it where not for my disbelief
    in reincarnation i would probably be a Buddhist in all but name.

    The problem breaks down somewhat like this: with the differentiation of the
    three primary modes of being-in-the-world, namely, I, we, and it, or subjective,
    intersubjective, and objective, or the three domains of knowledge, art,
    morals, and science, each branch of knowledge is freed up from the claims of
    all the others (what the MOQ calls the social level), and they are free to
    explore and develop as they please.

    Mark: I see. I don't understand what the metaphysical basis is for
    transpersonality and the spiritual domain is? For the MoQ, the metaphysical basis of
    everything is Quality of course!

    however, the latter, science, has developed so much faster than the others, not only because its effects and
    verification are visible , efficient, and "practical, but because it usurped
    the proper place of the first two branches, even denied their existence.

    Mark: The MoQ unifies art, morality and science by suggesting that Quality is
    the basis of everything. Thus, science is moral and artistic. So i see what
    you are saying.

    as wilber typically puts it, the enlightenment was all about making maps of
    reality, joyfully enacting the representational paradigm...but the vast
    majority of these maps leave out the mapmaker. as kierkegaard said in
    reference to hegel, the system is a great and grand and wonderful castle, but
    it has not room for the philosopher who built it. or as habermas puts it,
    the third branch of knowledge "colonized" the lifeworld of the individual and
    the collective, materializing and economizing aesthetic and moral experience.
    however, while habermas and critical theory in general has all but exhausted
    the critique of modernity and reached the limits of postmodernity (which is
    another way of saying the limits of REASON), they have nothing positive to
    in its place, because they have not yet lifted that have been upheld for
    centuries against the concrete, practical reality of individual levels of
    consciousness that transcend reason, which brings me to mark's reaction.

    Mark: The life world of the individual presupposes an individual, but the
    self is an illusion as far as i am concerned. My nervousness regardes,
    'individual levels of conciousness.'
    I would put this as inceasing coherence in SQ-SQ tension, leading to intense
    Coherence in mystic union. But the individual was not there to begin with, and
    patterns are assimilated into Coherence in mystic union?
    This is empirical, but the indication of it being real is patterned as a
    sense of beauty.

    as wilber shows to a much fuller degree than pirsiq, that nervousness, that
    angst, that fear, uncertainty, etc., which the thought, even the mention, of
    the transpersonal/transrational inspiries, is in fact not only the death
    throws of reason, but the death throes of the ego.

    Mark: If you can indicate what the metaphysical basis of transpersonality is
    i may be better able to understand what transpersonal means, what the
    spiritual realm means? The ego is a theory, and a poor one at that i think, so we
    agree there!

    what you have to see if
    that the ego, the self-concept, personhood, etc., is really just one form of
    awareness, a derivative one that comes after the fact, as pirsig demonstrates
    with the hot stove experiement.

    Mark: I do see that yes.

    furthermore, this notion of personhood is
    perfectly linked with the emergence of perspectival reason, which is where
    our good old friend SOM first becomes possible.

    Mark: Possible but not inevitable? I don't think there is perspectival
    reasoning, because the person is assumed not reasoned. In fact, reasoning destroys
    the arguments for self.
    SOM is based on assumptions rationality cannot support adiquately?

    again, this is what we call
    modern cognition; remember, before modernity, the individual is not the
    primary source of identity; you are a member of the tribe before you are a
    person, properly speaking.

    Mark: The leader of the tribe is differentiated by social betterness -
    Quality. Intellectual Quality can challenge that authority with abstract symbolic
    manipulations, but this does not necessarily imply individuality? A leader
    differentiated by intellectual Quality is still differentiated by social Quality
    and Organic Quality. The individual has to be reasoned for, and reason cannot
    support it without metaphysical assumptions. The celebrity does not have to be
    reasoned for, it exerts differentiation via social Quality?

    so what am i saying? that reason and personhood
    are the parents of SOM,

    Mark: SOM is an idea supported by reason and used to delineate substances.
    But reason doesn't have to be used to support SOM and delineate substances at
    all? It was not in the East and not before Aristotle. Reason is primarily
    concerned with the Good, that is, Quality.
    My nervousness with transpersonal psychology and the spiritual domain is due
    to not understanding the metaphysical basis for either of them?
    I think i understand the metaphysical basis for rationality and consciousness
    in MoQ terms, but not in Wilbur's terms?

    and, even though they are the latest development in
    the evolution of consciousness, the most recent static pattern of human
    cognition, they believe that they are the ceiling of development, the end;
    this is why habermas, critical theory, postmodernism, and contemporary
    philosophy in general can go absolutely nowhere, can generate nothing
    positive until they realize that their nervousness about transpersonal cognition,
    mystical experience, AND EASTERN THOUGHT IN GENERAL, is merely a product of
    forms of cognition whose partiality they have critiqued they hell out of.

    Mark: That's all very well for them, but i already don't agree with them. I
    have far more sympathy with Nagarjuna and the MoQ. The term transpersonal
    psychology and spiritual domain are used allot but it is with these that i have the
    Kant saw this, but he had the bias as well. so, to derrida's famous charge,
    that western thought in general has sufferred from a "phallologophonocentric
    bias" needs to supplemented by another: the rational bias, which does not
    admit, and severely frowns upon, higher, transpersonal levels of awareness.

    Mark: What is the metaphysical basis for transpersonal awareness? Are we
    appealing to reports from spiritual explorers? Where are these levels coming from?
    You see Dave, everyone can appeal to their experience of Quality, but i feel
    transpersonal psychology and spiritual domain are patterned descriptions? That
    is to say, they come with allot of bagage?
    the problem , of course, is that the only people who think about these things
    that have any attempt to change the course of collective thought are
    philosophy professors, who work in a highly politically charged industry
    where any adherence to transpersonality, spirituality, etc, is not only laughed at,
    but is a quick and sure root to professional ruin.

    Mark: Well, there are many US Universities which have two halves; one for
    academic study of Indian philosophy and one for meditation. If transpersonal psych
    ology has more in common with eastern views then there is a home for it?

    therefore, only rogues
    like wilber and pirsig are free from the slings and arrows of philosophology,
    and their patient and passionate wisdom will hopefully permeate the palace of
    postmodern philosophy, and maybe even politics too, though both, especially
    the latter, are extremely unlikely.

    Mark: This is a Western reaction? But the Eastern view has no problem, and
    has not ever developed a problem with many of the issues dealt with here? I feel
    that the MoQ strikes the right balance; it can and will be taught in
    philosophy departments one day. (It already has to some extent.)
    Tranpsersonal psychology is researched and i think it may be taught at
    Liverpool John Moore's University, but in the psychology department.

    but to wrap this up, when we talk about
    the spiritual domain, what we're really saying is that real religious
    experience is not about the exteriors, the customs, rites, historical truth
    claims, etc. of any particular religion (the social level aspects), it's
    about the individual experience, awareness, etc., and the religious forms are
    merely a springboard towards individual development, to transcend the static

    Mark: I understand this Dave. But what is the metaphysical basis for the
    spiritual domain? Or is this not a fair question?

    another way of saying this is that real spirituality is about the
    internal, rather than the external, and the reason you feel nervous about
    this stuff is that we live in a social world that for the most part refused to
    believe in internality in any form, which is precisely why we all feel so
    self-alienated, depoliticized, dehumanized, etc., why we are, to put it
    bluntly, a prozac nation. hope that clears some things up.

    Mark: Cheers. I really appreciate your time and patience in helping me out
    with this. I feel i need more help understanding the empirical nature of
    consciousness and how descriptions of it are given intellectually by Wilbur?
    My description of consciousness is SQ-SQ tension responding to DQ. Higher
    evolved patterns are held in more responsive tensions - value evolution. A simple
    analogy would be a violin - it has it's own tension and can be raised to high
    Quality tension when it is in tune.
    The metaphysical basis for all this is Quality.
    There is no spiritual domain or psychology involved here, and this is where i
    am experiencing problems.

    All the best,

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