Participatory Spirituality for the 21st Century
The leading cause of death for males in the civilized world is (arguably) prostate cancer. Several medical recommendations exist to help to prevent this abominable scourge that is slaying my gender in droves. Prominent among these recommendations is broccoli (and similar vegetables) whose chemicals are uniquely nourishing and supportive to cells in this region of the body. And ejaculation. Men who ejaculate more frequently, it turns out, do not leave tiny clumps and semen-derived crystals in their system. These unused objects weaken us and leave us statistically more vulnerable to degenerative diseases in this region of the body.
This is only one of many pieces of modern data which directly opposes the old spiritual notion that we should "conserve" the release of our sexual fluids. The old notion is metaphysical.
The sense that spiritual improvement and health are likely to be related to conservation and purity seems to be based on a mixture of legitimate insights & cultural ignorance. Most metaphysical schemes have (something like) "conservation" at their heart.
Metaphysics usually believes in an initial condition of natural or divine perfection, or authenticity, which is corrupted by the world and squandered by our bodies. Our duty is to return to the source and protect our purity. As Nietzsche observed (I'm paraphrasing) "The quintessential metaphysical assumption is that qualities must originate in things that are like themselves -- never from their opposites."
He also said: We will never be free of God as long as we have faith in Grammar. One of the meanings of that sentence is that our sense that a subject must condition a predicate (that "doing" must be done by a doer).
WHAT IS "METAPHYSICS"?
These two notions -- that qualities depend upon their original condition & that prior intentional agents are required in order for activities to occur coherently -- are hallmarks of metaphysics. To them we might add that totalizing activities of the mind, which propose to fix the universe in a single interpretation that will never be out-of-date, are also dangerously metaphysical. But these are very high-level investigations! For most people metaphysics means something more basic, simpler. It means, perhaps, the acceptance of angels, ghosts, voodoo, crystal power and the mythological tales of ancient books. All these entities were used almost like science (physics) by our ancestors. The seem like metaphysics only in comparison to modern rationality. And modern rationality itself can be subjected to high-level abstract complaints about the lingering metaphysical assumptions in its grammar, cosmology, etc.
An integral definition must operate equally well at the "levels of the Spiral". Thus we cannot take up a fixed position in the usual sense. While we hope to make philosophy and spiritual practice into something which can live (and flourish) beyond the criticism of explicit and implicit metaphysics we have to explain how our position operates equally well in every cultural operating system. Here is a simple way to do that:
(INTEGRAL) METAPHYSICS:The array of entities which previous cultural operating systems did not feel it necessary to prove.
Each "level" of socio-cognitive system enfolds its predecessors. Thereby it observes that they believed too much, accepted too many unjustified things. It stands out to the new system, very obviously, that its necessary precedents included types of entities which inhibit the expansion of consciousness, empathy & understanding. Any integral notion of metaphysics must affirm the phase-like structure of organic relativity.
The Aboriginal Cultural Operating System treats as "metaphysics" whatever implied humanimal beliefs are not provable in the dreamtime-clan system.
The Barbarian (Village/Horde) COS includes Aboriginal "totem & taboo" in its definition of metaphysics. The shamans, chiefs & matriarchs who have discovered that emotional-muscular self-assertion can violate the hypnotic boundaries established by Lore & Elders must then experience that lore as unsubstantiated. The animal or half-animal spirits can be dominated by rebellious human gangs and subordinated to the to local man-god.
The Traditional COS includes Barbarian entities in its definition of metaphysics. The local humanoid gods are understood as unsubstantiend, misperceived -- ontologically exaggerated. They may be treated as demons, saints, etc. but their deityhood is unjustified before The Great Law.
The Modern COS includes mythic-orthodoxy in its definition of metaphysics. This is the popular notion of metaphysics. The Great Chain (One Legal Order) appears unsubstantiated, merely presumed.
The Pluralist COS includes implied modern assumptions in its definition of metaphysics. Many basic points of modern reasoning appear to preserve uninspected patterns which resemble orthodoxy. Singularity. First Cause. Cause & effect. Doers. The "right way". Realism. All these become dubious, yet to be confirmed.
The Integrative COS includes pluralistic presumptions in its definition of metaphysics. The alterity and apparent limiting influence assumed by ecologists, revisers, sensitives, tolerators, etc. is not necessary what it seems. Its nature is called into question. The implications of contextual shifts and multiple lenses are not as ontologically obvious as the pluralist feels them to be. Etc.
Hi Layman - This latest scientific factoid makes sense, too, now that you say it. Use it or lose it.
As with all current science-like intuitions and conclusions, this may be ousted with more contrary research, or it may be made highly conditional with research that refines the territory. As you know. This happens day after day with our favorite theories of the moment.
As just one qualifying variable, in a range between insufficient and excessive ejaculation there may be variation in outcome. There may likely be many other variables that pertain. What are these conditions? We don't know yet.
Sheesh - and even chocolate may not be all good.
Yeah, use or lose it (obviously within certain limits). The "metaphysics" of conserving purity are a recipe for losing it. Another form of nihilism.
I moved this here as it seemed the more appropriate place.
I wonder if this proposal may be of utility. I wonder if it would be helpful if we were to think this way: that there was a time of pre conventional metaphysics where anything and everything was once thought of as an explanation for existence/reality/being; that this era had early, middle and late phases. This transitioned to the times of conventional metaphysics where empiricism, reason, logic, scientific method, became the tools and criteria used to discern existence/reality/ being. This era also had its early and late phases. This era is slowly transitioning to a post conventional metaphysics wherein the previous conventional era is examined and deconstructed . This era has its early phase (MOA1) and potential late phase ( MOA 3/4) . Perhaps there are already a few people that are perceiving an even newer era and are intuiting today a deconstruction of the present era. Perhaps the early phase of a post conventional metaphysics reconsiders some of the strict knowledge claims posited by the conventional metaphysicians ( that existence/reality/being is strictly material and physical). That the post conventional metaphysicians have more flexibility and less stiffness when dealing with conventional orthodoxies. This would put Wilber squarely in the post conventional metaphysics era and explain his proclivity to endorse spiritual hypothesis ( a reconsideration of some of the better spiritual explanations from previous eras ). This era may even introduce new spiritual ideas or proposals. Under this proposal Tart would be categorized as a post conventional metaphysician positing a systems approach to various states of being.
Some more thoughts along this line of thinking: generally speaking, people enacting a conventional metaphysical world space tend towards the discarding of all spiritual notions; everything spiritual gets flushed because of the sheer volume of lunacy that the pre conventional espoused. But even here, people are haunted: Francis Collins, as an example of one who is certainly conventional succumbing to the traces of pre conventional metaphysics. Perhaps there is an element of nostalgia and conservatism in the direction he chose to move in spiritually, considering that there are now more coherent post-conventional avenues of spiritual exploration and explanation.
If there is such a beast as post conventional metaphysics then I think it's a valid inquiry to ask how one arrives at such a destination. I see Sam Harris hinting at trajectories in this direction, but his view is strictly framed by conventional metaphysics. Whereas I would posit that a full left turn into post conventional metaphysics would be considered reflection on possibles; albeit ones that don't flagrantly contradict reason and logic. As for myself, I still think that there are things that cannot be measured or quantified by conventional methods, yet; and eventually, possibly, it may be a spiritual explanation that solves the incoherence between quantum and relativity theories.
I'll briefly add this link as an example of what might be a post conventional metaphysics:
This blog post relates to the Christian tradition who's interpretation is an alternative to pre conventional metaphysical dogmatism. Myself, I prefer a more universal panendeism or panentheism that isn't necessarily connected to any of the traditions; more of an overarching approach. But to me, this is still very much useful and of important utility.
Hey LP, here is how a sentence in your initial post would alter if there were any merit to my proposal :
This is only one of many pieces of modern data which directly opposes the old spiritual notion that we should "conserve" the release of our sexual fluids. The old notion is metaphysical. IS PRECONVENTIONAL! haha!
Given the topic, perhaps it is preapus?
That wasn't the topic I riffed on Ed, but I am quite comfortable being dismissed:) Someone, recently, in Vancouver, riffed on your theme:
Okay, just for fun- we might say SDI corresponds to my premise this way: all of the initial stages of SDI correspond to pre conventional metaphysics; orange and green to conventional metaphysics ( early and late phases); and the first Integral tiers to post-conventional metaphysics.
Sticking with the original thread topic, and the pre-trans theme, can we then say that pre-ejaculate fluid is a lower level than sperm-filled ejaculate?
I'm wondering if there is such a thing as a post metaphysical moron> HAHA LMAO!!!!
Anyway, for the record: notwithstanding my impersonal persona on forums; I do consider pretty well everyone in this place as friends! Although, I must admit that there are some threads here that make my friggin' head hurt!