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Nondual Being And Me

"...all...things we (the nuns) have are a lot of nothing; but we have God, and that is everything..."  Joseph Terra, FSSP, chaplain of the Carmel or Jesus, Mary, and Joseph in Kootnei County, Idaho, describing the attitude of the eight Sisters who live there.

"Science can tell us everything about anything real."   Richard Dawkins, former Oxford University professor for the Public Understanding of Science.  These twp statements which came to me on the same day via the local Catholic newspaper and an NPR interview struck me as belonging together.  Both seem passionate about "reality" and somewhat paranoid about "illusions."  Each means something different, something opposite about those two words  == real and illlusory.

For one, anything you can touch, taste, smell, hear,  see, or think is real, anything else is an illusion.  Believing in unreal things can be dangerous!  For the other true reality lies beyond the realm of form.  Essence is a spiritual thing.  Truth is  not something that can be thought or thought about.  We do have some direction and this consists mostly of trying to recognize our connection to this eternal essence.

It seems to have been this sort of difference which made the poet, William Blake, so critical of the enlightenment and of the scienctific and industrial focus that accompanied it.

Blace thought we were losing our souls; science said "prove it." Go forward to a golden age, said science; go back to Plotinus, the gnostics. and the mystery religions, suggested Blake.  Blake was a Christian,  but a strange one, who preferred demons to angels and found the core of Christianity in mysticism rather than  sermons.

I was raised to be a Christian but became a scientist rather easiily, Autism and science seems like a natural fit.  My natural inclination is to find Dawkin's statement more or less accurate, and the nuns' attitude laudable but elusive.

I was reintroduced to a non empirical perspective through the Tao Te Ching which comes with a quick dose of via negative (apophatic theology) in the first chapter, and i came to a nondual perspective through the via negative.  It wes a convenient, expedient, easy answer to my questions about the Divine.  I had all my life struggled with atheism, agnosticism and 100 plus versions of Divine personages, male. female, impersonal, and more  or less mysterious.  It seemed that each chosen people had been been chosen by a divine being with a different name from that of the protecter of any other chosen people.  The insight that the god that could be called God could not be the real God seemed to suit me..  I was warned that am apophatic theology must be based on a firm foundation of cataphatic theology ("via positiva") but i had  to ignore this.  If i could not have a via negativa i would have no "via" at all.

Since the via  negativa comes with a promice of total inclusive unity, nonduality was a short step away when i was introduced to  it by one of my live journal friends.  It seems strange that i had not heard of it, having  studied Hinduism, but it seemed to come to me only about seven years ago

I must finish this later (and edit it later, sorry.)



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 8th, 2017 11:27 am (UTC)
I am thinking that I probably don't understand your use of "[non-]duality."

Now, I can accept Dawkins' statement as a definition of science. The other way round, "reality" changes tremendously with growth in scientific paradigms. :D
Sep. 9th, 2017 12:26 am (UTC)
I continue to be inspired (and my path reaffirmed) through your thoughts and words, sir.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )



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