March 17, 2006

Supersensible, supralogical, transrational

True philosophy (not academic philosophy, which is just an adolescent parlor game) depends on two variables: the depth of one's intelligence, and the source and value of one's information. Neither of these conditions may be reduced to rationalism, for "depth of intelligence" is not something subject to rational measurement, any more than depth of aesthetic vision is. And reason can only prove what follows from its premises, which may or may not be true. Moreover, some true premises are not necessarily arrived at rationally--certainly not in the case of supersensible knowledge or revealed wisdom.
The rationalist is someone who reasons adequately in the world of phenomena, but who is closed off to the supralogical and transrational interior of the cosmos. Therefore, rationalism is by definition a false and partial metaphysic which will simply stamp the world in its own restricted form. This represents not a discovery of integral reality, but its foreclosure. At best, as the greatest rationalist, Kant, concluded, it can map the phenomena but cannot speak of the noumenon except to say that it exists (or "in-sists").
There is a story about Sri Aurobindo contained The Adventure of Consciousness, which is the best general summary of his philosophy. I bring it up because Sri Aurobindo is widely considered to have been the greatest Hindu sage of modern times, in large measure because he had a thoroughly Western education and developed a translogical system that unified the vertical and horizontal:
"The day came when Sri Aurobindo had had enough of these intellectual gymnastics. Probably he had seen that one can continue indefinitely to amass knowledge and to read and read and to learn new languages, even all the languages in the world and all the books in the world, and yet not advance [spiritually] an inch.
"For the mind does not seek to know truly, though it seems to--it seeks to grind. Its need of knowledge is primarily a need of something to grind. And if perchance the machine were to come to a stop because the knowledge was found, it would quickly rise in revolt and find something new to grind, to have the pleasure of grinding and grinding: This is its function. That within us which seeks to know and to progress is not the mind but something behind it which makes use of it:
" 'The capital period of my intellectual development,' confided Sri Aurobindo to a disciple, 'was when I could see clearly that what the intellect said might be correct and not correct, that what the intellect justified was true and its opposite also was true. I never admitted a truth in the mind without simultaneously keeping it open to the contrary of it.... And the first result was that the prestige of the intellect was gone!'"
Of course, that was just the beginning of the Adventure, not the end. posted by Gagdad Bob at 6:22 PM 43 comments United States Clinical psychologist Robert Godwin is an extreme seeker and off-road spiritual aspirant

No comments:

Post a Comment