Out of curiosity I did a Google search on the above three words in parentheses as a phrase. In the entire internet there was only one hit and it was to this forum in my discussion of ladder, climber, view. It is a unique phrase and even more, a valid contender for what this forum purports. It might even be a misnomer to call something postmetaphysical "spirituality" given what I said in the thread:
[Referencing "to see a world," see link] "As for turquoise, it reinjects 'Spirit' back into the equation. And
therein lies the question for an IPS, how to have a nondual spirituality that doesn’t separate spirituality from the mundane, that doesn’t 'include' the metaphysical interpretations from prior WVs. It might even be an expression of a metaphysical WV holdover to call something 'spirituality,' since the very term indicates the metaphysical notion of an absolute world apart from a relative WV. Granted we can re-define it any way we like but nevertheless its etymology is one of a split, dualistic origin. Another term that can be more easily separated from its metaphysical baggage is 'nondual.' Integral Postmetaphysical nonduality? I’ve already made a strong case that the intersection of American Pragmatism with second generation cognitive science is precisely this WV based on postformal cognitive functioning. And AQAL to boot, though they don’t use those terms."
I personally don't have that big a problem with the term "spirituality," as it has now come to encompass more than it originally did. For example, the series on "Western Spirituality" now has books on stoicism, skepticism, and kynicism -- philosopical regimens that do not necessarily require positing a ghostly essence. As Hadot points out, these are ways of life in the late ancient world. That, to me, more properly defines what a "spirituality" entails.
Agreed. That's how I interpret the word, as I indicated in my previous post. But calling the forum "Integral Postmetaphysical Ways of Life" is even more cumbersome than the current name!
I do like Ed's term, but to me that is a narrower focus than what this forum is about: it refers to a particular (interesting, promising, fruitful) philosophical perspective, while this forum (as I see it) allows for a range of (world)views and philosophical perspectives, as "ways of life" or "visions," to be gathered under the broader general umbrella of an "integrative" and "postmetaphysical" orientation.
On the other hand it seems Richard Dawkins sort of agrees with me, at least as the terms "God" and "religion" are used. I'm reading The God Delusion along with a reading group at the local UU "church."* Dawkins argues in Chapter 1 that many use such terms to denote a more general feeling of wonder or mystery, or to refer to a more generalized entity like nature or the universe. He says that such usuage though is so general as to be meaningless, and that we should stick to more specific language for such descriptions and limit those terms to belief in the supernatural, aka the metaphysical. He does make a good point, that if we are to find new modes of the postmetaphysical perhaps we need to "let go" of trying to fit new wine into old wineskins?
Granted the same case can be made for the term "nonduality" but not as convincingly, since that term seems to have arisen in the Buddhist context of no metaphysical self or reality. That others have misinterpreted such nonduality as metaphysical spirituality, including much later-day Buddhism (at least according to Batchelor), is not support enough to decry the terms usuage, especially in light of American pragmatism and 2nd gen cogsci, which expand and refine the postmeta aspects of at least a certain sect of Buddhism. (See for example The Center for Pragmatic Buddhism, on which Board Batchelor sits.)
*The same case can be made for calling UU a church, since it invites people of all persuasions, even atheists and secular humanists, to participate. In which case it is more of a community than the usual use of the word "church." The mission statement of the UU I'm attending is as follows, not particularly religious or spiritual:
"We gather in community to nourish souls, transform lives and do justice."
Although I am a bit squeamish about the word "soul" for the same reasons.
Hmm since the science of the future will be more unbelievably outrageous...causing rationality to be greatly expanded into the "spiritual" realm or non-physical...the way I see it, is that we need to upgrade or change our language to that which is not tainted with the old mythic-magic levels.
The Life Physics Group is attempting to do just that. Bring the rational mind fully to "God" without loosing any of the wonder, but instead amplifying it. www.lifephysicsgroup.org/ http://www.lulu.com/browse/search.php?search_forum=-1&search_ca...
Part of Dawkins message is that there is nothing that doesn't have a natural base, ie, something supernatural without a "body," so to speak. And of course because of this he has been criticized by the likes of Wilber for being reductionist, reducing everything to matter. But he doesn't do this. He notes for example:
"Human thoughts and emotions emerge [his emphasis] from exceedingly complex interactions of physical entities in the brain" (14). But a kennilinguist might reply: "But see, he is reducing mind to a its physical correlate, reducing the left to the right hand quadrant." But again this is a fallacious argument hiding behind a dualistic separation of inner-outer. While it might be useful to speak of inner-outer quadrants it's another thing again to think there is a actual ontological separation. As I demonstrated elsewhere the cogscipragos, through the principle of continuity, show the continuous relation between the levels of mind from its bodily base and the inseparable relation between the inside and outside. There is no actual, dualistic separation. One consequence of this is that there is no mind without a body, which doesn't reduce the mind to a body, since a mind emerges from and out of a body; a matter of degree, not kind.
Wilber did discuss the different meanings of the term "body," which includes the above two usages, that of body as a level (body-emotion-mind-spirit) and between inner-outer (body as physical base for consciousness).* In both cases though to say that because one recognizes the continuous, nondual relation between them is reductive because it doesn't accept a supernatural (aka spiritual) agent apart from them is to me metaphysical elevationism.
* Also recall the cogscipragos noting other meanings of "body" beyond the physical, associated with an social and cultural body, a hermeneutic body, all of which are emergent, developmental aspects of, but never separate from, a physical body. Granted a societal culture exists in its artifacts, like books, so any particular physical body is not required to perpetuate it. But without some body around to embody it it's moot as to its inherent existence apart from it. And to be sure this cultural artifact was created by body-minds.
Also note that Mark Edwards has criticized Wilber for his own reduction of the so-called exterior quadrants as being "merely material" and lacking in exactly the kind of developmental "bodies" referenced above.
Granted in Excerpt G Wilber indeed talks about the gross, subtle and causal bodies, so he's not limited to the physical body. But he adopts metaphysical Vedanta nondualism wholesale* here so his interpretation is not of the more postmetaphysical nondualism of the cogscipragos beyond physical (yet in the physical) bodies. For example, he begins by accepting the metaphysical involutionary scheme arising in Spirit. And critics have noticed how his subtle and causal bodies sound much more like levels of interior consciousness. Such confusion arises due to his adherence to traditional, metaphysical models instead of including the nondualism of the cogscipragos.
Now he does note that the subtle and causal bodies co-arise with more developed brain structures, which of course makes the case for them existing apriori via involution problematic. I think he's correct here but he's still interpreting them traditionally and metaphysically as subtle and causal. And we can find his dualistic nondualism again on display in page 2 of the series in his discussion of the Two Truths which he says "are of radically different orders."
* For example, from Part III: "I have incorporated those aspects, virtually unchanged, in my own model of Integral Psychology."
Later in Excerpt G Wilber discusses reincarnation and he rightly affirms that for cogscipragos like Varela consciousness is anchored "firmly in the sensorimotor body—so much so that reincarnation, by their theory, is impossible." And Wilber proposes that "the subtle bodymind can exist without the gross bodymind, and the causal bodymind can exist without either of them." Again he is using Vedanta/Vajrayana to support the thesis with its metaphysical concomitants.
Wilber also argues that consciousness is always embodied in Integral Spirituality, as I recall (I don't have my copy onhand). He says matter should not be conceived as the "bottom rung" on the ladder of being, but the "outside" of all levels. But I think you're right that, with some caveats that the model may be incorrect, he generally accepts the Vedanta/Vajrayana account of subtle and causal bodies (as the "exterior") of subtle and formless modes of consciousness. He correlates these "bodies" with complexification of the brain, but appears to make room for the possibility that these subtle bodies are also separable from the brain.
I personally don't think you need to keep consciousness localized in the brain to maintain a nondual outlook, nor do I think positing a subtle field or energy is necessarily metaphysical (in the "myth of the given" sense) -- at least, I think both positions can technically be formulated in nondual, postmetaphysical ways -- but I agree that evidence for either position is rather weak and anecotal at this point, and so these positions should be held provisionally (at least when formulating any formal theory).
I personally don't think you need to keep consciousness localized in the brain to maintain a nondual outlook, nor do I think positing a subtle field or energy is necessarily metaphysical (in the "myth of the given" sense)
As I pointed out, the socio-cultural "body" for example is not located in any particular brain and in effect resides in artifacts like books. And yet it didn't "involve" from a higher plane nor does it exist in a disembodied (i.e., no exterior) alayavajnana consciousness (aka collective unconscious). Such as the latter are themselves embedded in our evolved neurocircuitry on an individual level, and in recorded cultural artifacts on a social level. And as for subtle energy-bodies, indeed they can be formulated postmetaphysically but again, not separated from bodies that originate in the bio-electric field. The whole notion of involution, even as "morphogenetic potentials," where consciousness-bodies exist prior to the physical and can be completed separated therefrom, is metaphysical to the core.
Yes, involutionary theory is a metaphysical theory, as far as I can tell.
Something I was thinking about in relation to any apparent "separability" of consciousness from the body relates, in part, to something I've heard from some Tibetan teachers: that it is possible, through training and practice, to "develop" a dream-body or subtle body which can then roam "beyond" the physical body and acquire real-world knowledge. I understand this already is controversial, but just going with the idea for the moment, it seems this could possibly be understood as a (post-)biological non-local capacity of (trained) consciousness, rather than evidence of a pre-existing, independent 'ghost' of some sort. Personally, while I'm not sure about the above, I do think there is a need to explain apparent non-local access to information that I believe people do exhibit from time to time -- a phenomenon which is hard to explain if consciousness is imagined not only as identical with the brain, but limited to the confines of the skull and the immediate sensory environment, and if you also rule out premodern metaphysical theories of the "soul" or whatever.
Just off the "top of my head" non-local perception could be attributed to entirely physical processes, as in the physical properties of light, as discussed at length in a prior thread. Did you save that one? Link? The brain, specifically the pineal (being light sensitive) might be a receptor for such non-local light energy (body).
What paths lie ahead for religion and spirituality in the 21st Century? How might the insights of modernity and post-modernity impact and inform humanity's ancient wisdom traditions? How are we to enact, together, new spiritual visions – independently, or within our respective traditions – that can respond adequately to the challenges of our times?
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