Up@dawn 2.0

Monday, April 20, 2015

Final Project Post Numero Uno

- The Search for Knowledge and the True Nature of Reality -

A Quick Warning: This writing is the musing of a blank-slate ape. I harbor no bad feelings for any group of people and am on the same intellectual journey as all of you, though mine may be a bit more crazy. What I say, I don't hold onto with any aggressive belief (at least not until I've figured things out a tad more). I may speak about topics that offend you or seem like an attack on your personal beliefs, which is certainly not my intention! This writing is a bit of performance art on my part. The art being that it is a picture into my own cognition; this is my own, slightly more researched and put together, stream of consciousness. Excuse my immaturity of thought and semi-didactic tone but this is a big- time soapbox and I can't refuse a good opportunity to vomit thoughts all over smart people!

The damned curse of the analytical mind! I know nothing... 

Part 1 - Introduction & the Pursuit of Knowledge Through Mysticism

The pursuit of gaining knowledge is, for most people, a respectable and noble pursuit. Many college students start off with the mentality of wanting to learn as much as they can as humans (I chose this topic because its typically in the minds of idealistic college students). Unfortunately, gaining procedural knowledge can be very difficult and exhausting. Other than reading, which takes lots of time, a human concerned with intellectual growth must practice conceptualization of complex problems and topics. The interstices within everything that surrounds us are so numerous that it would be impossible for a person to learn everything about everything, especially when humans are creating new ‘things’ at an ever-increasing rate. Even learning a small percentage of what there is to know can be, and often is, stressful. I believe the overwhelming amount of data shoved in our faces causes us to take a metaphorical ‘time out’. What I mean by this is that we tend to look at the details, get over-stimulated and then attempt to create a simpler understanding of the universe. This little and most likely grotesquely naïve elaboration will center on the ways in which we try to understand our inherited environment and how we try to deceiver the true nature of reality.
From the beginning of history, man has concentrated on the mystical. To me, mysticism is a practice which regards the undeniably complex and attempts to put a relatively simplistic blanket over it. Mystics grasp at what is unknown and attempt to make it know through some form of concentrated thought or meditation. As complex biological structures, humans feel. We feel the good, the bad and the downright mystical. These feelings are a phenomenon which undeniably happen and, to most, would seem of a veritable importance; almost as if there were no barrier between the analytical mind and the fabric of reality itself. This belief that the mind and the universe are connected through some enigmatic structure is the very basis of mysticism, most commonly found in religion.
Religion is an extremely convenient tool for the confused. Let’s face it, the world is a very confusing place. Certain deist religions take what is thoroughly unthinkable and forces it into the simplest model possible. The religion nearest to me, Christianity, assumes the absolute existence of a singular creator who watches over every living being (but gives extra special attention to humans). Growing up as a Christian, I found it quite nice to have a cognizant security blanket who seemingly answered all of my questions and who took care of all of my problems. Because of my own experience, I understand where Christians come from in their search for deeper knowledge and truth. I use the example of Christianity only because it is something I know a lot about and that it is the predominant religion of the world (soon to be usurped by Islam).
There are many who reject orthodox religion, yet fully respect the reality of the mystical. This pseudo-religion seems to not have a common name, yet is clearly based on a loose form dogmatism, as oxymoronic as it sounds! This form of mysticism focuses on energies which are invisible and undetectable. Hinduism expounds upon this idea in its concept of ‘Shakti’. In the Hindu religion, Shakti is a primordial cosmic energy which acts as a driving force for complexification and creativity in the universe embodied by a goddess. This is the key difference between the atheistic religions and the theistic religions. The belief in a creative energy is the same, yet the strict belief that there must be a deity behind it is the difference. Both are yogic practices in which the unity of the mind and body are essential for the liberation of the soul from the material world. Yoga intrigues me and I am still looking into it further. I only do yoga and meditate to achieve a state of mental stability and centeredness however. Personally, the ultimately non-human truth involved is still up in the air. I fear that the ‘study’ of energies or concentrations of energies in the body (chakras) are another form of fantasy.

1 comment:

  1. You're a colorful writer (and person), Bryce, and a bit too self-effacing: this is not rhetorical or visceral ejecta, it's intelligent discourse from a questing spirit.

    "There are many who reject orthodox religion, yet fully respect the reality of the mystical." Indeed there are. Mysticism, when it's not too New Agey or fruit-loopy, is a necessary corrective to the reductive tendencies of hyper-rational analysis. There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in anyone's discursive and conceptualizing philosophy, there are more significant experiences than we have words for.

    But I'm wary of the phrase "atheistic religions." Some atheists are passionate in their fervor for a godless world, but atheism per se is just the rejection of gods and supernatural agencies. That doesn't provide much of a basis for a religion.

    And here's a commercial ad: I think you'd enjoy, and contribute positively to, my course "Atheism & Philosophy" next Spring. Check it out at athphil.blogspot.com.