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One of the reasons that i particularly like this meditation is that it tries to deal with our faulty and feeble abilities to get beyond the manifestations to the essence. http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Richard-Rohr-s-Meditation--Losing-Myself-to-Find-Myself.html?soid=1103098668616&aid=DIzJdUTgn2k,

It admits that language is a poor tool for getting beyond our perception of multiplicity, which the mystics say is false, to the True Reality which lies beyond concepts and perceptions.

But he calls the dualistic self (the "manufactured" self) a "private self" and it is far from private.  It is far more a social self than a private one.  It is "manufactured" under the tutelege of parents, teachers, preachers, politicians, and all sorts of wealthy, powerful, and privileged people, to say nothing of the subculture of underprivilege which seeps up to intrique our young minds as we half suspect the brainwashing we are getting at home, church, and school.

To start getting rid of the false self we must, as Rohr suggests, get even more dualistic and recognize that there, perhaps, a True Self waiting to be uncovered and discovered.  He ends his Christian coded message by suggesting that the Buddhists can explain it better!

Well, certainly the Buddhists would explain it differently, as would the Hindus, the Sufis, the shamanists, etc., etc.  And since we  know  that our explainations are  inadequate, we need theirs even more than we need our own.

If our language is a  poor vehicle from which to survey reality, our cultures, religions, clans, classes, occupations, philosophies. and sciences are even worse.  As a monolingual person, i have not idea what the world would be like from the point of view of a person speaking a different language.  I can maintain the comforable illusion that there is "something out there" which can be percieved correctly if i just try to be more observant and/or objective and/or scientific and/or detached.  Discovering that people who speak different languages live and different words would disabuse me of that illusion.

The same is true of gender, class, culture, religion, etc.  Each artificial difference reinforces our own arificiality as purveyors of wisdom and truth,  And a single language, culture, religion, etc. would not help.  We would simply be reinforing the illusion that what is "out there" is real.

Edward Stevens* has argued that i must strip away everthing that socialization, society, culture and history has given me and stand empty and silent before the Real.  This won't be easy, in fact it might be impossible.  The phenomonologists tried to objectfy the numina and ended up talking about .... phenomena.  But i must try.

* (An Introduction to) Oriental Mysticism by Edward Stevens, Paulist Press, 1973, p60ff.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 3rd, 2016 04:55 pm (UTC)

As a monolingual person, i have no idea what the world would be like from the point of view of a person speaking a different language

Well, you should fix that!  It is a real thrill to think in another language.

As for “artificial differences,” be aware of the reality that there ARE differences, that “discrimination” is what keeps you from driving off the road, viz discriminating “road” from “not-road” i e ditch, fence, center divider, &c.

[Dear Mr Stevens:  Society, culture and history have given me the knowledge to understand the Real.  Do you know how rainbows work?  Why the sky is blue?  I do.  Being illiterate, innumerate and blankly ignorant of everything has very limited value.]

Edited at 2016-08-03 04:56 pm (UTC)
Aug. 3rd, 2016 09:16 pm (UTC)
Yeah, i hear you and an increasingly smaller part of myself tends to agree.

But living with the illusions we call realities has produced a great deal of "evil" along with the "good." Has the "evil" outdistanced the "good?" (I used to think not, but i am far less certain now.)

Even the mystic knows how to go around material barriers and they fall into ditches no more frequently than the rest. I'n sure i could figure out HOW the sky is blue in a Newtonian universe. I don't know HOW the sky is blue in a quantum mechanics universe. I may never know WHY the sky is blue

People continue to insist on asking questions that will not be answered soon -- perhaps not ever.

The path toward stillness and emptiness is traveled by only a small number of people, and by some others who no longer serve any real use in the world. Both paths are valid, in my opinion. We need reminding that this an illusion, however necessary a one it might be.
Aug. 9th, 2016 09:59 pm (UTC)
om shiva nomenae

Show me the Buddhist who loves His family.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )



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