I started an online learning circle that is really getting hot!

I thought this group might like to check this out by going straight to here


and begin a lively discussion over here about what is happening over there!


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Comment by Balder on April 30, 2012 at 8:15am

Hi, Bonnie, yes, I've been following your several rich threads of discussion and have appreciated the boundary-pushing, playful, inspired inquiry ongoing there.  And I agree with the creative, exploratory use of metaphysics (as consonant with a post-metaphysical orientation), which is something I've been doing in my own recent writing, and of course which is what folks like Morton, Bryant, and some of the other folks Ed is discussing are doing as well.

Comment by bonnitta roy on April 30, 2012 at 8:03am

Howdy! FYI, in the Magellan Courses, we don't read for content, we use readings to evoke generative discourse beyond any existing interpretation... we even challenge Dogen!

Of course, this is the post-metaphysical spirit, except that we employ metaphysics as creative imaginaries and thought experiences, too!

Hope you all are well.

Comment by Balder on April 30, 2012 at 7:57am

With all these bright folks, including postmetaphysically aware ones, seeing something of worth in the shentong view, it can't be all bad ... ;-)

From my reading of The Listening Self, however, I actually do not think Levin is describing a disembodied, eternalistic causal "void," even when he uses language which is reminiscent of shentong or Zen.  But I appreciate your posting these comments here, Ed, because you remind me that I really enjoyed that book and didn't quite finish it.  I will return to it. 

Comment by Edward theurj Berge on April 27, 2012 at 9:39am

Levin goes on, where the echo sounds (pun intended) like the withdrawn:

“The echo...carries us from the ontic world into the ontological field.... Only the ungraspable, unreachable echo....teaches our hearing the presence of absence and the absence of presence....where the empty sound of metaphysics die out in the self-concealment of Being....it goes into hiding....has nothing substantial about it” (238).

One difference it seems is that for Bryant the withdrawn is entirely substantial, i.e., grounded, as it were, in the body (form, structure). Levin might indicate the same and yet, as I've criticized before, his language often seems to coincide with kennilingus (and its Tibetan shentong roots*) in an insubstantial withdrawn(ness) like the causal realm, in itself part of the very metaphysical correspondence theory he is criticizing. I know, he also carefully caveats with the likes of the quotes above, but still... (another intentional pun.)

* This notion of a metaphysical presence in shentong has in fact a long history of (and oft times polemical) debate in the Tibetan tradition (and here in the forum). See Batchelor for example (and Rosch), with other links and references. Not coincidentally, Levin's (and Bonnie's and other forum members) own Buddhist preference comes from the shentong lineage. We also got into Morton's Buddhist leanings in the OOO thread, where he too is a shentong dong and tries to square this circle from his own angle here and following.

Comment by Edward theurj Berge on April 27, 2012 at 12:00am

Related to my last comment in the OOO thread, further reading in the chapter says this:

"For this ego, the truth of things, the essence of things, is totally present.... For the echo is radically deconstructive, subversive, even anarchic...it denies the possibility of pure presence.... The echo is a challenge to the closure of metaphysics. Whereas metaphysics reifies and totalizes, making all instances of presencing into objects that are permanently present-at-hand...the echo sets in motion a hermeneutical deconstruction of this ontology. Moreover, the echo deconstructs the metaphysical projection of an 'original ground,' compelling us to recognize this...'constant presence' as the deluded projection of a metaphysical reading of the field of perception" (237-8).

Comment by Edward theurj Berge on April 26, 2012 at 11:05pm

Bonnie linked to chapter 6, Hearkening, in Levin's The Listening Self. Therein I read:

"When our listening self is deeply rooted in the body's felt sense of being, it belongs to what Merleau-Ponty called the 'intertwining,' the essential co-origination and interdependence of subject and object, self and other: it belongs to a dimension of our being which is not restricted to...the ego-logical structuring...but lays out, rather, between subject and object...the resonating, co-responsive interdependence of a 'differential interplay.' (Derrida's concept of the 'arch-trace' is, I think, remarkably close to Merleau-Ponty's concept of the 'intertwining'...the 'arch-trace' is the 'constituting possibility' of a 'differential interplay,' and as such, it is the necessary condition of the possibility of all relationships" (220).

Comment by bonnitta roy on April 20, 2012 at 10:47am

loving that the videos are igniting conversation!!

i'll be loading up some more in the next couple of weeks... as we get closer to the notion of onto-logics, i suspect there will be more divergent ideas... which is good. if there is an onto-logics, then it is certainly only emergent, latent, not well-formed or clearly made explicit -- i want most to point to the space where we might see it, as we coax it into existence

Comment by Edward theurj Berge on April 20, 2012 at 10:01am

See my previous response to this video from another thread. Continuing with the videos in the series:

In Bonnie's video 4e she asks: “What is it for an object to be for a subject?” She correctly notes that the developmental models don't ask this question, instead taking for granted how the subject of one level becomes the object of the next, i.e., the epistemic fallacy. This is exactly the focus of OOO. She further asks: “What is ego?” Again noting how the developmentalists avoid the issue. This forum of course has examined this in detail. Another of her points is that instead of continuing complexification perhaps development requires us instead to go deeper into ontological simplicity. Again something we've explored extensively here. The same with her other points, including non-symbolic (re)presentation (clarified below).

In the following video about Cook-Greuter she touches upon the highest levels of ego development. These do not come from the highest levels of earlier developments, as in the complexification model, but rather originates from branching out of earlier levels. Again something explored in this forum. This includes finding the deeper ground of opposites, not their higher synthesis.

I'm in much agreement about the construct aware stage, but CG's here reinstitutes a dichotomy between language and phenomenon. Whereas we saw with Loy, for example, the nondual after one has obtained language doesn't result in a return to a supposed pre-linguistic or pure state of awareness of the one reality but rather it expresses through language. This sees the multiplicity of views generated by language while attaching to none of them, but it doesn't posit an underlying pre- or overlying trans-linguistic reality as such; reality is in language and thought, the map as performance of the territory. (Also see the many posts about Lakoff's work.) Again, a very different way of seeing nonduality.

Where things further diverge is in the unitive stage, which presupposes that there is “one underlying reality.” Many of the other characteristics of this stage seem consistent with our explorations except for the one reality. Or rather, that the one reality is One instead of multiplicity. But again, not in terms of duality in opposing the one, but in terms of the multiplicity being the ground of the one-many duality. There is a distinctly different flavor in the multiple or polydox ground versus the so-called unitive ground.

Another difference is the presumption that we can have “immediate experience” of this One which “frees us from duality.” We've seen this time and again, how both arise from a metaphysical view that support each other. This was explored in depth in the Two Truths Debate with Gorampa and Tsongkhapa, which is still playing out in the ongoing integral debate about nondual ontology.

This also has to do with the withdrawn nature of the ontological, certainly withdrawn from our experience of it. This refutes the notion that there is a pure Witness that directly experiences a unified reality, a notion we also see in kennilingus and with which CG agrees. Ironically enough, it is more a return to metaphysical dualism rather than its transcendence. This is not “totally different” but a reconceptualization (again ironically enough) of the metaphysical systems of Gorampa's descendents up to and including Guenther.

The end of the CG video notes the unitive person is comfortable with “not knowing.” This seems to suggest the withdrawn, and could get there if only if wasn't for the metaphysical presupposition of a direct perception of reality “as it is.” There is indeed an underlying reality that the likes of OOO asserts, but it is not directly experienced. And this is a difference that makes all the differance in terms of the legitimation battle for defining the next (non)stage of evolution, which is not particularly human but transhuman.

Comment by Balder on April 6, 2012 at 7:28pm

Bonnie has posted some juicy video orientations to the Magellan Courses.  Parts One and Two:

Comment by Balder on March 30, 2012 at 11:00am

Hi, Bruce -- I've also been really enjoying it.  Mostly in "lurker" mode, since I hardly have time to keep up with posting on my own website, but the quality of exchanges have been really high and the content engaging.

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