"Ground of all Being"?

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Re: "Ground of all Being"?

#21  Postby tolman » Oct 16, 2014 3:55 pm

Kafei wrote:"Ground of Being" is actually a metaphor for the Absolute. This, I believe, could be distilled through M-theory. Does anyone dabble in string theory?

Well, Rob Bryanton had a metaphor to describe the 11-dimensional hyperspace of M-theory. He said, "Think of it as a place where all possibilities are contained." So, our manifested universe is only a finite subset which draws from this infinite spectrum of possibilities that make up 11-dimensional hyperspace. It is a pure, unmanifest potentiality. Our perception of the universe is projected in 3-dimensional space, and it's often said in string theory that all energy or matter is simply strings vibrating in hyperspace. So, if you could imagine a horizontal slice through a three dimensional cone would cut out a two-dimensional circle. In that very same way, our perception is a slice of this hyperspatial manifold to give way to the appearance of this three-dimensional manifested universe, an on-going interrelationship between the relative interpenetrating the absolute.

This is precisely how Brahman is described in Hinduism. It is absolute, unmanifest, changeless, infinite, and timeless domain that is intuited through a phenomenon in consciousness which eastern mystics have referred to by various names, i.e. savikalpa samadhi, nirvana, satori, sunyata, moksha, etc.

Well, religions which refer to a vague 'absolute everythingness' as being the divine are arguably somewhat mappable onto speculative physical descriptions of 'everythingness'.

Because the key to such religious description is meaningless vagueness.

I'm not sure where 'precise' comes into it.
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Re: "Ground of all Being"?

#22  Postby Stein » Oct 16, 2014 9:07 pm

tolman wrote:
Kafei wrote:"Ground of Being" is actually a metaphor for the Absolute. This, I believe, could be distilled through M-theory. Does anyone dabble in string theory?

Well, Rob Bryanton had a metaphor to describe the 11-dimensional hyperspace of M-theory. He said, "Think of it as a place where all possibilities are contained." So, our manifested universe is only a finite subset which draws from this infinite spectrum of possibilities that make up 11-dimensional hyperspace. It is a pure, unmanifest potentiality. Our perception of the universe is projected in 3-dimensional space, and it's often said in string theory that all energy or matter is simply strings vibrating in hyperspace. So, if you could imagine a horizontal slice through a three dimensional cone would cut out a two-dimensional circle. In that very same way, our perception is a slice of this hyperspatial manifold to give way to the appearance of this three-dimensional manifested universe, an on-going interrelationship between the relative interpenetrating the absolute.

This is precisely how Brahman is described in Hinduism. It is absolute, unmanifest, changeless, infinite, and timeless domain that is intuited through a phenomenon in consciousness which eastern mystics have referred to by various names, i.e. savikalpa samadhi, nirvana, satori, sunyata, moksha, etc.

Well, religions which refer to a vague 'absolute everythingness' as being the divine are arguably somewhat mappable onto speculative physical descriptions of 'everythingness'.

Because the key to such religious description is meaningless vagueness.

I'm not sure where 'precise' comes into it.


It's discouraging that no one here seems interested simply in distinct mental states. That's what we're dealing with here. Look, certain individuals across cultures have all experienced these weird mental sensations suggestive -- TO THEM -- of weird dimensions not immediately comprehensible to them. But it doesn't frigging matter what individual individuals think they're seeing. What really matters is what professional rigorous scientific analysts can extract from placing this recurring trans-cultural phenomenon under properly rigorous scrutiny. If religions and the notion of some deity had never been mooted by humans, what is the first thing a sensible neuroscientist would do in analyzing this constantly recurring brain hiccup? What is really going on in these hiccups, and why do they recur across millennia?

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Re: "Ground of all Being"?

#23  Postby epepke » Oct 16, 2014 9:09 pm

Stein wrote:It's discouraging that no one here seems interested simply in distinct mental states. That's what we're dealing with here.


I am, but I'm weird.

The most interesting thing about the OP was the idea that it slipped away. That's pure Hebbian learning, right there.
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Re: "Ground of all Being"?

#24  Postby tolman » Oct 16, 2014 9:45 pm

Stein wrote:What really matters is what professional rigorous scientific analysts can extract from placing this recurring trans-cultural phenomenon under properly rigorous scrutiny. If religions and the notion of some deity had never been mooted by humans, what is the first thing a sensible neuroscientist would do in analyzing this constantly recurring brain hiccup? What is really going on in these hiccups, and why do they recur across millennia?

The reason why similar things happen to different people is that brains are similar, and when they function abnormally they tend to do so in common ways.

People often have similar experiences to each other when feverish, or when they take a particular psychoactive substance, or get sleep-deprived, or suffer from particular mental illnesses, or...

How does someone 'rigorously scrutinise' someone else's feeling of 'oneness with the universe'?
Such feelings seem likely to be vague by definition and difficult to verbally describe.
It's possible to stick someone in a scanner and see what brain regions are active, but that doesn't say much about what the experience is actually like or what it feels like it's about.
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Re: "Ground of all Being"?

#25  Postby Stein » Oct 17, 2014 4:31 am

tolman wrote:
Stein wrote:What really matters is what professional rigorous scientific analysts can extract from placing this recurring trans-cultural phenomenon under properly rigorous scrutiny. If religions and the notion of some deity had never been mooted by humans, what is the first thing a sensible neuroscientist would do in analyzing this constantly recurring brain hiccup? What is really going on in these hiccups, and why do they recur across millennia?

The reason why similar things happen to different people is that brains are similar, and when they function abnormally they tend to do so in common ways.

People often have similar experiences to each other when feverish, or when they take a particular psychoactive substance, or get sleep-deprived, or suffer from particular mental illnesses, or...

How does someone 'rigorously scrutinise' someone else's feeling of 'oneness with the universe'?
Such feelings seem likely to be vague by definition and difficult to verbally describe.
It's possible to stick someone in a scanner and see what brain regions are active, but that doesn't say much about what the experience is actually like or what it feels like it's about.


But it can LIKELY tell a neuro-researcher just which centers of the brain are involved in the hiccup. Why the hell that's of no frigging interest to anyone here I'll never know.

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Re: "Ground of all Being"?

#26  Postby Kafei » Oct 17, 2014 7:10 am

tolman wrote:The reason why similar things happen to different people is that brains are similar, and when they function abnormally they tend to do so in common ways. It's possible to stick someone in a scanner and see what brain regions are active, but that doesn't say much about what the experience is actually like or what it feels like it's about.


Yes, this is exactly what I meant by that it seems to be something more in the substrate (the human brain itself) rather than a Freudian model that the experience is somehow a projection of the personal psyche or subconscious. That's why it may exhibit universal themes. I think more reasonable people, despite not having the experience, tend to find that this may be the better explanation. However, because they still have not had the experience, they tend to disregard the rhetoric of someone coming out of that experience as "meaningless vagueness," as though that were intentional. However, I will say that this so-called "universal experience" is nevertheless filtered through the individual's personality. Sometimes, before getting to the core of this experience, the detritus of the ego goes this sort of process of shattering. Basically, all the things one's been sweeping under the carpet of their psyche is suddenly confronting you, and you're forced to deal with it. If you can get past it, then you can reach this more archetypal experience that is now seen without the obstacle of the ego. As an example, Amber Lyon, a reporter for CNN was censored by CNN after reporting the war that's going on in the middle east. Amber wanted to spread the truth, and when CNN silenced her, she quit, and became depressed. She recalled that a friend of hers told her about taking a retreat to Peru to try ayahuasca. She felt like that was her only hope, so she sought the experience, and this very thing happened to her.



I don't think it's truly possible to stress how profound this experience ultimately is when you're actually the one experiencing it and not looking at a person undergoing it or staring at the fMRI results. Examining the experience and actually experiencing it are two very different things, of course, but I don't think this "meaningless vagueness" is truly without meaning. I mentioned the work of Strassman earlier where he actually did clinical trials with DMT. Volunteers came back and often used phrases such as "beyond dimensionality" or "fourth-dimensional" in describing their experiences, and he records this research in his book "DMT: The Spirit Molecule." We're used to thinking of things in the context of tensed time; as in past, present, and future tensed. Well, you can have a very powerful impression that all time somehow coalesces into a single point. There is this tenseless sensation of existence, a pure duration that somehow encompasses everything, all past, present, and future, and it's all felt through very powerful intuition. Sam Harris thought that this panesthesia might occur due to the heightened neuronal activity in the brain that gives way to this full-spectrum of experience, this impression of having multiple or perhaps all experience at once. So, it's not that this experience is necessarily ineffable, but this is why I believe the experience is so difficult to articulate. The articulation, however, will always be a concept, and the concept is not the experience. I don't know who said it, but someone once said, "The mystery of life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced."

Now, I'm not saying that you're actually glimpsing a "higher dimension," what I'm saying is that it can nevertheless produce such a powerful impression that one could feel as though this were the case. So, to someone who lived about 2,000 years ago and had this experience, it would be quite easily for this person to interpret it as "God." Again, I'm not saying it is "God," it's a phenomenon consciousness that is nevertheless of colossal profundity that when it happens to someone, they tend to reach for profound metaphors to describe what's happening such as the genius loci, the apotheosis, the extraterrestrial, the higher dimension, God, Brahman, etc. If you're a Taoist, you might say, "It is the flowing of the Tao." I've never met anyone come back and say, "Oh, well, this was merely hallucination."
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Re: "Ground of all Being"?

#27  Postby hackenslash » Oct 17, 2014 8:53 am

And by 'profundity' you actually mean 'deepity'.

yes, I've done lots of drugs, and encountered all sorts of brain states as a result. Doesn't make 'ground of all being' anything other than apologetic arse-water.
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Re: "Ground of all Being"?

#28  Postby Will S » Oct 17, 2014 9:00 am

Kafei wrote:Now, I'm not saying that you're actually glimpsing a "higher dimension," what I'm saying is that it can nevertheless produce such a powerful impression that one could feel as though this were the case.

Surely, in that sentence, you put your finger on the crucial issue. If you really are glimpsing a "higher dimension", then won't there be separate and independent means of verifying that you are? And isn't it important to search out and apply these means?

In the analogy which I used earlier, if a man has a powerful impression that he can, on some occasions, see through solid objects, then there will most likely be ways of verifying to the satisfaction of sceptics who haven't shared his experience that he really can do so. If it turns out that he can't do so, then we can all go back to sleep; if he can do so, then the implications are enormous.

(Or perhaps you're implying that it doesn't matter whether or not you're actually glimpsing a "higher dimension". In which case, I profoundly disagree!)
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Re: "Ground of all Being"?

#29  Postby tolman » Oct 17, 2014 11:42 am

Stein wrote:
tolman wrote:How does someone 'rigorously scrutinise' someone else's feeling of 'oneness with the universe'?
Such feelings seem likely to be vague by definition and difficult to verbally describe.
It's possible to stick someone in a scanner and see what brain regions are active, but that doesn't say much about what the experience is actually like or what it feels like it's about.


But it can LIKELY tell a neuro-researcher just which centers of the brain are involved in the hiccup. Why the hell that's of no frigging interest to anyone here I'll never know.

It's not of huge relevance to the 'religious experience' issue to know precisely which brain areas are lighting up.

Even if one could compare what happens in someone who gets into a certain state via meditation or prayer with people taking various drugs and show a serious correlation, that doesn't stop someone simply saying that the drugs are 'wrongly' activating the part of the brain which the Universal God uses to give people visions. Or even saying that the drugs are a lazy and/or potentially hazardous or immoral short cut to a genuine visionary experience.

This isn't really a neuroscience discussion.
What happens in the brain does interest me, and I think many other people here, but I'm not sure of the direct relevance.
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Re: "Ground of all Being"?

#30  Postby Will S » Oct 17, 2014 11:47 am

tolman wrote:Or even saying that the drugs are a lazy and/or potentially hazardous or immoral short cut to a genuine visionary experience.

I remember hearing Christian people saying something very like that when Aldous Huxley wrote about his experiences of taking mescaline in 'The Doors of Perception'.
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Re: "Ground of all Being"?

#31  Postby tolman » Oct 17, 2014 12:04 pm

Kafei wrote:... I think more reasonable people, despite not having the experience, tend to find that this may be the better explanation. However, because they still have not had the experience, they tend to disregard the rhetoric of someone coming out of that experience as "meaningless vagueness," as though that were intentional. However, I will say that this so-called "universal experience" is nevertheless filtered through the individual's personality.

The meaningless vagueness I referred to was not an attempt to dismiss the personal experience an individual might have, but simply to point out that the necessary vagueness of the description means that drawing parallels with science seems to be meaningless.

It seems little better to compare descriptions of Brahman and M theory and say there's a perfect match than for someone to say they dropped a tab and saw 'everything' and claim that's a perfect map onto physicists' attempts to make a 'theory of everything'.

Kafei wrote:I don't think it's truly possible to stress how profound this experience ultimately is when you're actually the one experiencing it and not looking at a person undergoing it or staring at the fMRI results. Examining the experience and actually experiencing it are two very different things, of course, but I don't think this "meaningless vagueness" is truly without meaning.

I wouldn't say my experiences were meaninglessly vague, just beyond useful description.
As for whether they have 'meaning', I do find it interesting when my brain is operating abnormally - beyond sheer entertainment value it does give me some kind of insight (or at least the feeling of insight) into how it might work as a result of various black boxes not functioning normally.

Kafei wrote:Now, I'm not saying that you're actually glimpsing a "higher dimension," what I'm saying is that it can nevertheless produce such a powerful impression that one could feel as though this were the case. So, to someone who lived about 2,000 years ago and had this experience, it would be quite easily for this person to interpret it as "God." Again, I'm not saying it is "God," it's a phenomenon consciousness that is nevertheless of colossal profundity that when it happens to someone, they tend to reach for profound metaphors to describe what's happening such as the genius loci, the apotheosis, the extraterrestrial, the higher dimension, God, Brahman, etc. If you're a Taoist, you might say, "It is the flowing of the Tao." I've never met anyone come back and say, "Oh, well, this was merely hallucination."

Most of my 'experiences' have been eyes-closed ones in darkened rooms, most akin to intense fully-awake dreams.

'Hallucinations' would to me suggest something else - believed-in overlays of nonexistent things on supposedly real visual imagery of the world, beyond what could be accounted for by tricks of the eye or the brain making things up in the absence of clear input.
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Re: "Ground of all Being"?

#32  Postby epepke » Oct 17, 2014 2:43 pm

hackenslash wrote:And by 'profundity' you actually mean 'deepity'.


"People call things 'profound' when the truth is that they aren't even superficial."—Nietzsche
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Re: "Ground of all Being"?

#33  Postby Kafei » Oct 17, 2014 5:49 pm

tolman wrote:Most of my 'experiences' have been eyes-closed ones in darkened rooms, most akin to intense fully-awake dreams.

'Hallucinations' would to me suggest something else - believed-in overlays of nonexistent things on supposedly real visual imagery of the world, beyond what could be accounted for by tricks of the eye or the brain making things up in the absence of clear input.


Well, it's this sort of description that leads one to call it a "deepity," and I don't agree with this because you also added that you didn't see anything beyond "entertainment value." The point that someone like Terence McKenna was trying to make in advocating what he called a "heroic dose" is that there's a physiological threshold that must be exceeded in order to elicit the experience in the first place, the so-called reality-dissolving "ego death" or "mystical experience," and this experience is anything but fun or entertaining, I might add. I don't think people take those sort of doses for fun, but rather spiritual insight or if you don't like the word spiritual, then psychological insight. I wouldn't equate even to a fully lucid dream, but unfortunately, I don't have the time to elaborate right now because I have to go to work, but I promise to come back to this topic and elaborate a bit more so that I could make a clear distinction as to what it is that is being referred to when people discuss this phenomenon.
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Re: "Ground of all Being"?

#34  Postby tolman » Oct 17, 2014 6:35 pm

Kafei wrote:
tolman wrote:Most of my 'experiences' have been eyes-closed ones in darkened rooms, most akin to intense fully-awake dreams.

'Hallucinations' would to me suggest something else - believed-in overlays of nonexistent things on supposedly real visual imagery of the world, beyond what could be accounted for by tricks of the eye or the brain making things up in the absence of clear input.


Well, it's this sort of description that leads one to call it a "deepity," and I don't agree with this because you also added that you didn't see anything beyond "entertainment value."

Wrong.
I was pointing out that 'experiences' I had could not be meaningfully described as hallucinations, and that I personally saw things in them beyond entertainment, such as a greater insight (or at least a feeling that I had greater insight) into how I think.

I just don't feel or pretend that experiences I've had are reflective of anything hiding 'out there'.

Kafei wrote:The point that someone like Terence McKenna was trying to make in advocating what he called a "heroic dose" is that there's a physiological threshold that must be exceeded in order to elicit the experience in the first place, the so-called reality-dissolving "ego death" or "mystical experience," and this experience is anything but fun or entertaining, I might add.

I'm intrigued as to when either Terence McKenna or you became experts on my internal experiences, how consistently 'fun' they may have been, and what I may or may not have done in order to have them.

And that will be Terence 'the universe will end in 2012' Mckenna, I suppose.
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Re: "Ground of all Being"?

#35  Postby Stein » Oct 18, 2014 1:46 am

tolman wrote:

I just don't feel or pretend that experiences I've had are reflective of anything hiding 'out there'.



And of course, you're going after a straw man when you blurt out things like this. NO ONE, least of all Kafei, is making any such blanket claim at all.

You know, I've had very interesting experiences on all sorts of boards when talking about precisely the sorts of psychedelic experiences under review in this thread. No, I haven't experimented with drugs myself for two reasons: A) I enjoy reality too much, and B) I'm a coward. But I have read numerous accounts from all sorts of sources including Oliver Sachs, etc.

And when I discuss these accounts -- and, yes, the theories of modern physicists involving 11 possible dimensions do come up often, so sue me -- I invariably discuss them using exactly the same accounts and the same terms each time, wherever I am. But I always get this response on theist boards --

"Quit trying to reduce our faith in God to some chemical imbalance -- WE KNOW BEST"

and I always get this response on atheist boards --

"Quit bothering us with unverifiable mind trips to a sky daddy -- WE KNOW BEST".

And we wonder why education and scientific research in particular is under such siege right now!

People LOOOOOVE their ignorance, and they're paranoid about anything that might expand the frontiers of human knowledge. They want to cuddle up with their original toddlers' safety blanket that they've had since they were practically in the f#%%#*%#ng womb, and they love to stick with that safety blanket until the very second they finally drop dead from sheer terror of reality.

You know what? PEOPLE REALLY SUCK.

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Re: "Ground of all Being"?

#36  Postby tolman » Oct 18, 2014 2:40 am

Stein wrote:
tolman wrote:I just don't feel or pretend that experiences I've had are reflective of anything hiding 'out there'.


And of course, you're going after a straw man when you blurt out things like this. NO ONE, least of all Kafei, is making any such blanket claim at all.

You know, I've had very interesting experiences on all sorts of boards when talking about precisely the sorts of psychedelic experiences under review in this thread.

The thread started off being about vague religious descriptions of some 'ground of all being'.
I only chipped in when someone tried to suggest that a vague religious description of a god which was a changeless universal everything was some direct analogue of what string theory or M theory when it really doesn't seem to be.

The fact that the original topic faded out so quickly tends to suggest it is too vague to mean much - a catchall description of the universe which is compatible with essentially anything

Stein wrote:And when I discuss these accounts -- and, yes, the theories of modern physicists involving 11 possible dimensions do come up often, so sue me

Who wants to sue you?

I wasn't aware that serving up tired comparisons beyond their sell-by-date were grounds for a civil case.

Stein wrote:I invariably discuss them using exactly the same accounts and the same terms each time, wherever I am. But I always get this response on theist boards --

"Quit trying to reduce our faith in God to some chemical imbalance -- WE KNOW BEST"

and I always get this response on atheist boards --

"Quit bothering us with unverifiable mind trips to a sky daddy -- WE KNOW BEST".

How ironically frustrating that perception must be for someone who evidently knows best.

Who here is telling you to 'quit bothering them'?

But then maybe you can't read very well, perched all the way up there on your high horse.

Stein wrote:And we wonder why education and scientific research in particular is under such siege right now!

I wasn't aware it was that much 'under siege' where I come from.

Stein wrote:People LOOOOOVE their ignorance, and they're paranoid about anything that might expand the frontiers of human knowledge. They want to cuddle up with their original toddlers' safety blanket that they've had since they were practically in the f#%%#*%#ng womb, and they love to stick with that safety blanket until the very second they finally drop dead from sheer terror of reality.

You know what? PEOPLE REALLY SUCK.

Well, when (ie if) the brave souls supposedly 'expanding the frontiers of human knowledge' actually come back with some fucking knowledge, maybe you won't need to be so uptight.
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Re: "Ground of all Being"?

#37  Postby Stein » Oct 18, 2014 3:17 am

tolman wrote:

Stein wrote:I invariably discuss them using exactly the same accounts and the same terms each time, wherever I am. But I always get this response on theist boards --

"Quit trying to reduce our faith in God to some chemical imbalance -- WE KNOW BEST"

and I always get this response on atheist boards --

"Quit bothering us with unverifiable mind trips to a sky daddy -- WE KNOW BEST".

How ironically frustrating that perception must be for someone who evidently knows best.

Who here is telling you to 'quit bothering them'?

But then maybe you can't read very well, perched all the way up there on your high horse.


Excuse me, who here is going outside their petty little corners? I have not encountered ONE who doesn't get STUNG by these accounts, as though their f*#***#*ng amour propre were f#*#*##*#*ng disturbed. You can't pretend your gander isn't up at the mere mention of mental states just possibly being studied in depth. It's Galileo and his telescope all over again. You're acting just as defensive as any theist I've ever encountered on this question, and I've encountered plenty. I've seen no one who hasn't strongly implied that scrutiny of these mental hiccups is "just a waste of our lordly time, la-di-f#*##*#*^#%##%ng- da".

Why don't you get off your high horse? :thumbup:

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Re: "Ground of all Being"?

#38  Postby tolman » Oct 18, 2014 3:42 am

Stein wrote:You can't pretend your gander isn't up at the mere mention of mental states just possibly being studied in depth.

Sorry to burst your inflated bubble, son, but I don't need to pretend.
It isn't up, since I really have no fear about what actual scientists will find if they investigate such states more than they already have done.

Stein wrote:It's Galileo and his telescope all over again. You're acting just as defensive as any theist I've ever encountered on this question, and I've encountered plenty.

What's 'defensive' about my position?

I've had experiences, but none that are at all irreconcilable with a brain roughly as I understand it, and (maybe more importantly) as I understand the relevantly qualified people to understand it.

Stein wrote:I've seen no one who hasn't strongly implied that scrutiny of these mental hiccups is "just a waste of our lordly time,

In that case, I guess you should probably go to Specsavers:

tolman wrote:This isn't really a neuroscience discussion.
What happens in the brain does interest me, and I think many other people here, but I'm not sure of the direct relevance.


'The ground of all being' seems to be more a matter of vague religious philosophical bullshit than neuroscience.
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Re: "Ground of all Being"?

#39  Postby SpeedOfSound » Oct 18, 2014 4:06 am

Shuggy wrote:Can someone give a clear explanation of what the God as "Ground of all Being" means (if anything). I flirted with this version of theism/deism in the late 1960s, and some good people who aren't fools (eg Bishop Spong) seem to follow it, but it's sort of slipped away from me. I guess it's what a lot of people who say things like "I have my own religion" believe in.

The trouble is that all of the GAGOABists seem to have reached it by whittling away the woo and preposterousness from conventional theism. It's a God without the creationist/revelation/anthropomorphism of the mainstream God, but what is left? Has anyone arrived at a concept of GAGOAB from the other end, by adding goddity to atheism, and does it make any coherent statements about the fundamental nature of the Universe?

Or is it like my Transitional Object (age 4), a Ronny Rabbit pull-toy that had lost his eccentric wheels and his tail and his head and most of his paint, and was in fact just a cylinder of wood with one piece of dowel sticking out of it, on the end of a piece of string? I can vaguely remember looking at him one day and realising that he was no longer the Ronny Rabbit I'd known and loved. I probably never pulled him again.


Has anyone arrived at a concept of GAGOAB from the other end, by adding goddity to atheism, and does it make any coherent statements about the fundamental nature of the Universe?


I think I have. It sort of involves dropping all of the silly ideas we have about materialism being this dry mechanical reduction and then it rises up to god-like levels. The limp form of materialism is just a reaction to religion. It's not the fact of the universe. Many I think have left behind theistic beliefs but still plod along viewing the world as would a religionist. The stink of religion is still strong in standard materialism.
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Re: "Ground of all Being"?

#40  Postby nunnington » Oct 18, 2014 8:58 am

Kafei wrote:
tolman wrote:Most of my 'experiences' have been eyes-closed ones in darkened rooms, most akin to intense fully-awake dreams.

'Hallucinations' would to me suggest something else - believed-in overlays of nonexistent things on supposedly real visual imagery of the world, beyond what could be accounted for by tricks of the eye or the brain making things up in the absence of clear input.


Well, it's this sort of description that leads one to call it a "deepity," and I don't agree with this because you also added that you didn't see anything beyond "entertainment value." The point that someone like Terence McKenna was trying to make in advocating what he called a "heroic dose" is that there's a physiological threshold that must be exceeded in order to elicit the experience in the first place, the so-called reality-dissolving "ego death" or "mystical experience," and this experience is anything but fun or entertaining, I might add. I don't think people take those sort of doses for fun, but rather spiritual insight or if you don't like the word spiritual, then psychological insight. I wouldn't equate even to a fully lucid dream, but unfortunately, I don't have the time to elaborate right now because I have to go to work, but I promise to come back to this topic and elaborate a bit more so that I could make a clear distinction as to what it is that is being referred to when people discuss this phenomenon.


I can connect your ideas to the so-called 'non-dual', which is found in a number of Eastern religions. It involves the dropping of the ego, or the separate I. This can be done via various meditation techniques, some drugs, such as ayahuasca, and I've met some people who just sort of slide into it.

I'm not sure about the ground of all being, but I can see how that experience could occur, since the non-dual experience quite often seems to invoke feelings of oneness and creativity. And again, I can see how this might lead some people to theism, but then in disciplines like Zen, it doesn't. But in something like advaita, the individual and God are the same, so this is quite different from the Abrahamics, (where God is the Other); maybe this is rather similar to Berkeleyan idealism, although I stand to be corrected on this.
je suis Marxiste, tendance Groucho.
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