Questioning Consciousness

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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby dada » Fri Jul 20, 2018 8:26 pm

How about some Persian mysticism. Anyone?

I find it to be very different than the other brands. A subtle teasing of the intellect outward, or inward, gently coaxing it beyond itself, towards a more sublime illumination than the kind or type which we're accustomed to in the 'Western mind.'

There are two major hurdles, it seems to me. The first I'm calling 'conceptual triggers.' Not trauma triggers. These conceptual triggers are words that we've formed opinions about previously. For example, when Corbin uses the word 'Theosophy,' he isn't making any reference to the Theosophy of the Blavatsky variety. Especially conceptually triggering are words like 'Shi'ite Islam,' 'the hidden Imams,' and of course 'the prophet.' Important to remember that Corbin is using these terms purely symbolically, absolutely divorced from their literal meanings.

Another one is 'gnostic.' Corbin doesn't mean 'A believer of the gnostic worldview,' but anyone who considers themselves a 'stranger,' a 'traveler,' a genuine seeker of gnosis.

If you can make it over the first hurdle, I congratulate you. Not many can, nowadays. But don't get cocky, the second hurdle is even more difficult. It requires a 'leap of understanding.'

If one assumes this is a sneaky way of saying a 'leap of faith,' the entire text will appear nothing more than a curiosity. I leave you with the advice given by Paracelsus, warning against any confusion of the Imaginatio vera, as the alchemists said, with fantasy, "that cornerstone of the mad."

Mundus Imaginalis or the Imaginary and the Imaginal

In offering the two Latin words mundus imaginalis as the title of this discussion, I intend to treat a precise order of reality corresponding to a precise mode of perception, because Latin terminology gives the advantage of providing us with a technical and fixed point of reference, to which we can compare the various more-or-less irresolute equivalents that our modern Western languages suggest to us.

I will make an immediate admission. The choice of these two words was imposed upon me some time ago, because it was impossible for me, in what I had to translate or say, to be satisfied with the word imaginary. This is by no means a criticism addressed to those of us for whom the use of the language constrains recourse to this word, since we are trying together to reevaluate it in a positive sense. Regardless of our efforts, though, we cannot prevent the term imaginary, in current usage that is not deliberate, from being equivalent to signifying unreal, something that is and remains outside of being and existence-in brief, something utopian. I was absolutely obliged to find another term because, for many years, I have been by vocation and profession an interpreter of Arabic and Persian texts, the purposes of which I would certainly have betrayed if I had been entirely and simply content-even with every possible precaution-with the term imaginary. I was absolutely obliged to find another term if I did not want to mislead the Western reader that it is a matter of uprooting long-established habits of thought, in order to awaken him to an order of things, the sense of which it is the mission of our colloquia at the "Society of Symbolism" to rouse.

In other words, if we usually speak of the imaginary as the unreal, the utopian, this must contain the symptom of something. In contrast to this something, we may examine briefly together the order of reality that I designate as mundus imaginalis, and what our theosophers in Islam designate as the "eighth climate"; we will then examine the organ that perceives this reality, namely, the imaginative consciousness, the cognitive Imagination; and finally, we will present several examples, among many others, of course, that suggest to us the topography of these interworlds, as they have been seen by those who actually have been there.

1. "NA-KOJA-ABAD" OR THE "EIGHTH CLIMATE"

I have just mentioned the word utopian. It is a strange thing, or a decisive example, that our authors use a term in Persian that seems to be its linguistic calque: Na-koja-Abad, the "land of No-where." This, however, is something entirely different from a utopia.

Let us take the very beautiful tales - simultaneously visionary tales and tales of spiritual initiation - composed in Persian by Sohravardi, the young shaykh who, in the twelfth century, was the "reviver of the theosophy of ancient Persia" in Islamic Iran. Each time, the visionary finds himself, at the beginning of the tale, in the presence of a supernatural figure of great beauty, whom the visionary asks who he is and from where he comes. These tales essentially illustrate the experience of the gnostic, lived as the personal history of the Stranger, the captive who aspires to return home.

At the beginning of the tale that Sohravardi entitles "The Crimson Archangel," the captive, who has just escaped the surveillance of his jailers, that is, has temporarily left the world of sensory experience, finds himself in the desert in the presence of a being whom he asks, since he sees in him all the charms of adolescence, "O Youth! where do you come from?" He receives this reply: "What? I am the first-born of the children of the Creator [in gnostic terms, the Protoktistos, the First-Created] and you call me a youth?" There, in this origin, is the mystery of the crimson color that clothes his appearance: that of a being of pure Light whose splendor the sensory world reduces to the crimson of twilight. "I come from beyond the mountain of Qaf... It is there that you were yourself at the beginning, and it is there that you will return when you are finally rid of your bonds."

The mountain of Qaf is the cosmic mountain constituted from summit to summit, valley to valley, by the celestial Spheres that are enclosed one inside the other. What, then, is the road that leads out of it? How long is it? "No matter how long you walk," he is told, "it is at the point of departure that you arrive there again," like the point of the compass returning to the same place. Does this involve simply leaving oneself in order to attain oneself? Not exactly. Between the two, a great event will have changed everything; the self that is found there is the one that is beyond the mountain of Qaf, a superior self, a self "in the second person." It will have been necessary, like Khezr (or Khadir, the mysterious prophet, the eternal wanderer, Elijah or one like him) to bathe in the Spring of Life. "He who has found the meaning of True Reality has arrived at that Spring. When he emerges from the Spring, he has achieved the Aptitude that makes him like a balm, a drop of which you distill in the hollow of your hand by holding it facing the sun, and which then passes through to the back of your hand. If you are Khezr, you also may pass without difficulty through the mountain of Qaf.

To continue:
https://www.amiscorbin.com/en/bibliography/mundus-imaginalis-or-the-imaginary-and-the-imaginal/
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby dada » Wed Jul 25, 2018 10:02 pm

Question for consciousness:

Now consciousness, you are aware, and aware of being aware, ad infinitum. But how many iterations can you really handle? It seems to me that it doesn't take too many 'aware of being aware of being awares' before you reach the point where you lose your handle on things, and fall into a Hegel-hole.

Zen guy says 'just the one is fine,' or even 'none.' You know how Zen guy can be. But that's not what I'm asking, I'm asking how many can you handle, not how few. Zen guy.

Two? Is that all? Aware of being aware. I think most animals can handle more than that. Even Self-learning thinking machine over there is aware of being aware. Certainly we can do better than Self-learning thinking machine.

Although, it does get difficult fast. It's an exponential progression. Or is it logarithmic? Exponential, says math girl. Okay. Thanks, math girl.

Some schools teach that three or four iterations of awareness is optimal. Some call them 'bodies.' And maybe that isn't a bad idea, I could see how using the physical metaphor might keep things from spiraling off.

But again, I wasn't asking about optimal, I was asking about how many can you handle. And anyway, optimal for what? Winning academic honors? Your definition and my definition of optimal might differ greatly.

Even within the school-system, there's disagreement on this point. Which is 'best?' You've even got your 'seven' school, which is a quite popular one. Use the colors, or notes of the scale to help visualize the progressive iterations of awareness. Although that's really arbitrary. There are a lot more color gradations than seven, and some musical systems do very well using scales of only five notes. So much for schools.

Some wisenheimer in the back of the auditorium said 'between five and six.' Very funny.

I'm not totally against the schools, by the way. I think three to seven iterations of awareness is already quite impressive. But more and more people are definitely going further. Very recently there's the Leary-Wilson method of eight circuits. Eight iterations of awareness without blowing a fuse. Not bad. One that I know of has even made it to nine.

So the bar is set, at nine. Perhaps you can handle more.

So, why do this exercise? Well it has to do with where my definition of optimal differs from the scholastic one. I think 'optimal' is what you can handle. I also think that we're blowing up the planet, and if we want to stop that, then three to seven iterations of 'aware of being aware of being aware...' are just not going to cut it. And of course the Hegel-hole approach is not helping things. Clearly, if we're going to be 'aware of being aware...' it means being aware of every single one of those 'awares.'
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby identity » Thu Jul 26, 2018 5:48 pm

Now consciousness, you are aware, and aware of being aware, ad infinitum. But how many iterations can you really handle?
[...]
Although, it does get difficult fast. It's an exponential progression. Or is it logarithmic?


I tend to prefer not to get involved in these discussions, but may I suggest that it is merely the thought — itself a child, product, or manifestation of consciousness — "I am aware, and aware of being aware" that gets caught up in an apparent exponential progression. Consciousness itself, as usual, simply knows the arising and passing away, arising and passing away, of this endlessly expanding conceptual hall of mirrors, itself always ever (n)one.

But you already know that.
We should never forget Galileo being put before the Inquisition.
It would be even worse if we allowed scientific orthodoxy to become the Inquisition.

Richard Smith, Editor in Chief of the British Medical Journal 1991-2004,
in a published letter to Nature
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby Burnt Hill » Thu Jul 26, 2018 6:05 pm

identity wrote:I suggest that it is merely the thought — itself a child, product, or manifestation of consciousness — "I am aware, and aware of being aware" that gets caught up in an apparent exponential progression. Consciousness itself, as usual, simply knows the arising and passing away, arising and passing away, of this endlessly expanding conceptual hall of mirrors, itself always ever (n)one.



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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby dada » Fri Jul 27, 2018 11:43 am

identity wrote:I tend to prefer not to get involved in these discussions, but may I suggest that it is merely the thought — itself a child, product, or manifestation of consciousness — "I am aware, and aware of being aware" that gets caught up in an apparent exponential progression. Consciousness itself, as usual, simply knows the arising and passing away, arising and passing away, of this endlessly expanding conceptual hall of mirrors, itself always ever (n)one.

But you already know that.


Yes, I think you were paying attention. Just the one awareness works just fine for me. What "Zen guy" said gets closest to an answer, probably.

Although zen guy also says "He who achieves supreme illumination is like an arrow flying straight to hell." I think it's best to take what zen guy says with a grain of salt.

No awareness, I don't know, that's a different story. No one might be my greatest enemy!

So maybe Zen guy is half right.

Still, there is a war going on out there. A mission is a mission. Hemmed in by a junk-model society, spectacle panopticon, bureaucracy and militias, the intellectual's only apparent move left is to help spread subversive thinking, so it seems. Encouraging discussion.
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby Sounder » Sat Jul 28, 2018 6:55 am

dada wrote...
How about some Persian mysticism. Anyone?

I find it to be very different than the other brands. A subtle teasing of the intellect outward, or inward, gently coaxing it beyond itself, towards a more sublime illumination than the kind or type which we're accustomed to in the 'Western mind.'


Back in my searching days Sufi's were my favorite because they were process oriented rather than goal oriented. Their wise guys held regular jobs rather than depending on the faithful for money. That seems like a big plus.
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby dada » Sat Jul 28, 2018 9:55 am

Sounder wrote:Back in my searching days Sufi's were my favorite because they were process oriented rather than goal oriented. Their wise guys held regular jobs rather than depending on the faithful for money. That seems like a big plus.


We might even say these were working class mystics.

Gurdjieff might call them 'Householders' doing the "work on one's self," of "growing a soul." He posits four paths: the householder, path of the heart, path of the intellect, and the back door.

But is there anything in mysticism that could help, or be of any use in the present moment. Right now, literal time? I think a critique of mysticism could help extract it. Up out of the mists of mysticism.

The value of critical thinking is in its subversiveness, this bringing the hidden aspects to light, up and through the regressive surface. Intellectually it's just 'bringing to the surface,' but the energy release is awesome, volcanic. This bringing to the surface isn't like a submarine surfacing, the rising truth cracks the earth as the pressurized pieces of the crust shake loose, fall away.

I think that's because it's sexual energy, emotional energy. It's the intellect releasing the heart. Historically we know, anyone who stumbles on this is called a heretic, especially scientists who discover it.

But I think a distinction needs to be made between differing societies, here. The Healer, Shaman, Trixter, Mystic, have productive roles in other societies. In the Western society, our analogues of Doctor, Priest, Comedian and Poet aren't the same thing. We have no role for the healer/shaman/trixter/mystic type in Western society. I think these types in our society are social outcasts, many locked up in asylums. Someone who incarnates as a shaman in the West has a difficult time of it. Survivial by luck and wits and skin of teeth. Maybe it's like training for the elite core of SEALs.

Getting back to what would be of value in mysticism, right now at this moment. Some of these mystics, and alchemists and the like through time say there is a lawful imagination, different from the imagination that takes 'flights of fancy.' Without taking their word for it as authorities, we could consider that there might be some truth to what they are saying. Or are they all deluded fools?

edited to add: I added "luck." to "by wits and skin of teeth." Because you just get lucky.
Last edited by dada on Sat Jul 28, 2018 3:16 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby brainpanhandler » Sat Jul 28, 2018 10:45 am

A deluded fool hitting keys at random for an infinite amount of time will almost surely produce:


THE BRAIN is wider than the sky,
For, put them side by side,
The one the other will include
With ease, and you beside.

The brain is deeper than the sea,
For, hold them, blue to blue,
The one the other will absorb,
As sponges, buckets do.

The brain is just the weight of God,
For, lift them, pound for pound,
And they will differ, if they do,
As syllable from sound.
"Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." - Martin Luther King Jr.
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby dada » Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:24 pm

And a jester is just a domesticated trixter. Or the fool, at least symbolically. Guy in a clown suit, not a care in the world, belongings in a sack on a stick, dog yapping at his heels, right off a cliff.
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby thrulookingglass » Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:41 pm

"Maybe. They taught us at Barnard about that word, 'utopia'. The Greeks had two meaning for it: 'eu-topos', meaning the good place, and 'u-topos' meaning the place that cannot be."-- Rachel Menken, Mad Men
"I hate to break it to you, but there is no big lie, there is no system, the universe is indifferent." -- Don Draper, Mad Men


Jeesh Dada, you go deep. Do you really think ages ago man understood it's relationship with the universe greater than we did? I do too...hah...I've glanced a this middle eastern religion/philosophy again and again. The sky is a clock, the picture of time. I dunno...they have a horrible relationship with sex, judaism, christianity, muslim. Sumerians, Babylonians, Early Hebrews and Zoroastrianism...we always forget about the far east. Hindu, Buddhism...I dunno...I keep looking and I find glimpses of that TRUTH...I keep waiting. I'd like to think its simple, love all serve all. Grace is a goddess. We've rejected the feminine. I was watching a special on you tube that explained the archangels written about in the bible were just representations of the days of the week, which is why seven became a divine number. Astrology...the twelve, another often thought divine number. 12 disciples, 12 calendar months, the chromatic scale. The moon's face happens to completely cover the sun's, the earth's covers the moon's.

"There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea."
Luke 21-25

Blood moon eclipse. You can see how it might have shaped early human mind's. A sign from the heavens. Is the answer to life to be greater, or just happy? Do you want to/need to outthink a "self-aware" machine? Those who place there importance before another's is only poised to fall. What greater consciousness should it seek than to help you find the true higher self? We have failed when only the righteous are loved, for none are righteous while any are damned. Morals bring greatness, happiness follows. As the truth exposed from Into the Wild, let Christopher McCandless handle that, "Happiness is only real when shared." That treasure withheld is the force of desire. Consciousness has no end, just please find it's lighter parts. Grace, altruism, benevolence. Within the realm of thought, we only find what we look for. Consciousness is the brush we use to paint a picture of our existence. Tomorrow you will be wiser, probably not better though.
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby dada » Sat Jul 28, 2018 3:37 pm

thrulookingglass wrote:The moon's face happens to completely cover the sun's, the earth's covers the moon's.


There is definitely some sort of harmony at work there.

But I don't care for astrology, I think it constricts the flow. The only use I can see for astrology is for fun or making me money. It's a toy. How many astrologers are stargazers? Even get off their computers and go outside?

Frank Herbert agrees with me on this point. In Dune Messiah, I think, he plays with the idea that the Tarot 'muddies the lines of prescience.'

From this perspective, the use of astrology is for plotting the movements of the heavens in real time. But what's the use of that, unless we're navigating through them? A toy. For fun and learning. But then it's not astrology, it's an astronomy clock.

Other than that, what's the use of astrology. Surrealist ritual purposes and worse things. Also for the Bene Gesserit missionaria protectiva.

So astrology constricts the flow.
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby BenDhyan » Sat Jul 28, 2018 7:50 pm

If one is to cut to the chase, ultimate reality itself, whatever it is, is forever on the other side of any and all the mind's conceptualization concerning it. Hence a mind free from thought is the only way to realize it. So long as one thinks or wonders about it, the mind is stuck in the duality, and thus the thinker and that thought about, forever remain separated, cease all thought otoh, and 'what is' is what is present, no judgement arises whatsoever to obscure its realization.
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby dada » Sat Jul 28, 2018 8:04 pm

When you let go of power, sometimes you stop thinking. I mean when I do, sometimes. I try to do tai chi without moving the energy, no pulling or pushing. When I stop thinking, I'm not pushing even when it looks like I am.

Say you're using astrology and the tarot in their most psychoanalytical sense. Then it's like the iching. A tool for getting a reading.

So, fine. I can see that. I just don't see myself carrying all those cards and maps around. Get a better reading without them, anyway.

I don't know. Games.

edited to add: I mean who am I to put down games? I play games. Games of leisure, I'm talking about. Sports, Astrology. Video games, Go.

I mean, how can you put down baseball? Why would you want to? From a space alien overlord perspective, I'm saying. Baseball is still fun.

lightning critique of games: Games are art of the 'escapist/entertainment' variety. Mostly harmless, apparently at least. Questions of whether this type of art has any right to call itself 'free' or 'revolutionary' haven't been settled to my satisfaction.

So there's potential in games. I'll give them that.

I like that the player with a computer beat the solo computer in Go. Good lesson there. For both of them.
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby dada » Sun Jul 29, 2018 1:13 am

"The moon's face happens to completely cover the sun's, the earth's covers the moon's."

Chaos settles into patterns, naturally. Gravitational harmony might be this sort of pattern. Whirlpools in gravity.

What I'm saying is that what's going on out there isn't a mirror of what's inside. The Music of the Spheres isn't a map to the lawful imagination. Because there's no space inside. If there is, where is it hiding? In the brain? The beating, literal heart?

The one-to-one relationship is one of basic principles, not proportion. Whirlwinds instead of whirlpools, that sort of thing.
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby thrulookingglass » Sun Jul 29, 2018 2:47 pm

Damn! You folks are pounding on the doors of creation itself! Awesome! Stop thinking of astrology as some supermarket check out headline. It’s the exact shape of the universe when you came into being. All is energy. Sacred geometry is the shape of you!
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