January 28, 2006

Mystic vs. skeptic

anthonyjaycee (anthonyjaycee) wrote, @ 2006-01-27 01:57:00 spiritual science Integral Theory: This is pretty much what I'm going for, at least ideally-- bringing science and spirituality together. Integral theory (philosophy) From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Integral theory is comprised of those philosophies and teachings that seek a comprehensive understanding of humans and the universe by combining scientific and spiritual insights. According to the Integral Transformative Practice website, integral means "dealing with the body, mind, heart, and soul." Integral theory can be seen as a reaction against rationalism and materialism. It introduces instead a more universal and holistic perspective. Proponents view rationalism as subordinating, ignoring, and denying spirituality. Ken Wilber, one of the most important contemporary integral thinkers, begins by acknowledging and validating mystical experience, rather than denying its reality. As these experiences have occurred to humans in all cultures in all eras, they are accepted as valuable and not pathological. Integral theorists like Sri Aurobindo, Teilhard de Chardin, Wilber, and others argue that both science and mysticism (or spirituality) are necessary for complete understanding of humans and the universe.
(Post a new comment) moriarty6 2006-01-27 05:14 pm UTC (link)
Not to ask a silly question, but what do integralists mean by "mystic"? Are they using the word simply as a catch-all term for inexplicable subjective experience, or are they postulating the actual existence of a nonmaterial plane that all of these methodologies are supposed to point towards?
(Reply to this) (Thread) anthonyjaycee 2006-01-27 08:28 pm UTC (link)
Hmmm... Well, I can't speak for this level of specifics for the integralist community at large, since my approach is more one of "I know how I operate, and I'm trying to see what matches up to me." But I do have a couple thoughts on the matter.Firstly (though I don't think this quite answers your question), I'd suppose that the best generally agreed on definition of "mysticism" would be as described here:
Secondly, my own analysis of what you asked... From my perspective, "catch-all" and "inexplicable" tend to indicate something along the lines of "these experiences are all out there, and we're looking at them separately" and "nonmaterial plane" tends to indicate that these are all connected, deriving from the same source. Now, I myself am working towards unifying all these types of things in my own understanding, basically in a consistent, underlying science. So I think that fits in with the nonmaterial plane approach. Hmmmm... The nature of integral theory itself definitely looks to be attempting to unify things in a similar way. So, I think what's going on is that both sides of what you're asking about are being addressed-- they (and I) want to be expansive enough to include all manner of inexplicable subjective experiences, but at the same time, they (and I) want to bring all these together into a unified understanding.
(Reply to this) (Parent) spiritofnow 2006-01-27 11:03 pm UTC (link)
Hi -- found you while browsing through skepticaldebate. Hope you don't mind me friending you -- I am also studying Integral theory. :-)
(Reply to this) (Thread) anthonyjaycee 2006-01-28 01:00 am UTC (link)
Friending is fine; the more, the merrier. :) Sometimes I feel like I'm a pariah on skeptical debate... I don't agree with what I would call the groupthink of the greater scientific community, so I seem to continually find myself debating with people who say things like: "There's no hard evidence for that" (when there is, and they just haven't even looked for it) or "All people who believe in psychic abilities are charlatans and fakers" (which is a obviously an inaccurate generalization). But anyway, I've spent enough time pondering the deep stuff, and trying to resolve matters of spirit within a logical framework, that I can generally hold my own in such debates... and refer people to books that back me up well, when needed.
My favorite books to recommend in this realm (as you probably saw me mention on there) are The Holographic Universe and The Field. Also, I write a lot on here that's related to all this as well, which fit my "spiritual science" tag. There's probably some stuff of mine on here that you'd like, and some stuff that you wouldn't be as excited about, but I figure I'd recommend it in general. You can skim through however much you'd like of it here:
(Reply to this) (Parent) (Thread) spiritofnow 2006-01-28 02:10 am UTC (link)
I'm quite new to mysticism -- used to be a bit of a hard-headed skeptic myself until my kundalini awakening last year (if you've read my userinfo you can read a bit about my journey). You can read a description of my experience here: Thanks for the link, will go through your journal entries. :-)
(Reply to this) (Parent) (Thread) anthonyjaycee 2006-01-28 02:42 am UTC (link)
I'll have to check out your description and user info.It's kind of funny, but I actually haven't had any OBE's, NDE's, or a Kundalini experience myself. So, I feel like I'm missing out greatly on much of what many could take as "real proof." But I read a lot about a lot of related things. And I am very intuitive, so I'm great at channeling information from spiritual entities, and communicating with them intuitively in general... I just can't "prove that they're real." (But they do really help with the journal writing and the novel writing; that's tangible.) Plus, I get a lot of "hmmm, that was highly unlikely" types of signs that show up in my life. It does all add up, but I still feel like I'm missing out on some of the more powerful specific spiritual experiences that many have...
(Reply to this) (Parent) (Anonymous) 2006-01-28 02:15 am UTC (link)
By the way, for one of the best sites on the Internet synthesizing science and spirituality, check out: The mailing list is great, too. Alan Kazlev, who runs the site, is extremely well-versed in both science (especially paeleontology) as well as esotericism. (Reply to this) (Parent) (Thread) spiritofnow 2006-01-28 02:16 am UTC (link) Whoops, that comment above was me. :-)

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