August 14, 2006

The theory of emanation

alan kazlev Says: August 12th, 2006 at 4:44 pm Well, by secular I mean a certain sceptical way of thinking inspired - usually subconsciously - by scientism and the scientism-based physicalist worldview. Even in postmodernism one finds this, although not always - e.g. Jorge Ferrer’s Revisioning Transpersonal Theory is an excellent book. Sri Aurobindo has described this sort of attitude quite well:
“At the outset man lives in his physical mind which perceives the actual, the physical, the objective and accepts it as fact and this fact as self-evident truth beyond question; whatever is not actual, not physical, not objective it regards as unreal or unrealised, only to be accepted as entirely real when it has succeeded in becoming actual, becoming a physical fact, becoming objective: its own being too it regards as an objective fact, warranted to be real by its existence in a visible and sensible body; all other subjective beings and things it accepts on the same evidence in so far as they can become objects of our external consciousness or acceptable to that part of the reason which builds upon the data supplied by that consciousness and relics upon them as the one solid basis of knowledge. Physical Science is a vast extension of this mentality: it corrects the errors of the sense and pushes beyond the first limitations of the sense-mind by discovering means of bringing facts and objects not seizable by our corporeal organs into the field of objectivity; but it has the same standard of reality, the objective, the physical actuality; its test of the real is possibility of verification by positive reason and objective evidence.” The Life Divine p.413
I would tend to see them as simply points of view; to a materialist everything is secular, to a pantheistic or panentheistic mystic everything is sacred...Well according to esoteric and occult cosmologies there are supra-physical realities that exist independently of our narratives and explanations, just as there are in the physical reality. But yes I certainly agree with you that the sacred/secular dichotomy is a narrative construct (specifically of monotheistic type religions that posit a transcendent deity)...
Ah, but the problem lies in how we define “subjective”! From the external physical perspective it does indeed seem that the subjective and intersubjective are very transitory and limited realities, which only appeared with the development of metazoan animal life with nervous systems and so on. But from the esotericist perspective, it is often argued or stated that ultimately everything (including the Absolute) is (nondual) Consciousness. So “subjective” is simply a scaled down aspect of the Absolute (and matter even more scaled down), which is what the theory of emanation basically says anyway. Also the fact that the experiences were life changing also shows their potency, in this regard they cannot just be dismissed as merely subjective.

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