Mystical Eastern philosophies
Current understanding of physics
leads down a path which is mystical.
Physics returns to the Beginning.
Beginning with mystical
philosophy knowledge unfolds in a development of
intellectual thought that
increasingly turned away from its
Western science is finally
accepting the value of Eastern philosophies.
Proof is based on intuition
along with experiments of great
precision and sophistication using a
rigorous and consistent mathematical formalism.
The roots of physics
is found in the first period of Greek philosophy in the
sixth century BC, in
a culture where philosophy and
religion are unified.
The sages of the Milesian school in Ionia were concerned with the
nature, or real
construction of things which they called "physis."
"physics" is derived from this Greek word and originally refers to the endeavor
of peering deeply into the
nature of all things.
The Milesians hylozoists, "those who think
matter is alive,"
distinction between animate and inanimate,
spirit and matter.
As all forms of
existence are manifestations of the "physis," endowed with life and
spirituality, there was no word for matter.
Thales declared all things
to be full of gods.
Anaximander saw reality as
a category of organism
which was supported by "pneuma" in the same way the
human body is supported by air.
Milesian philosophy paralleled ancient
Indian and Chinese philosophy crystallizing in the philosophy of
in a reality of perpetual
change, of Eternal Creation.
To Heraclitus all static existence was
a deception as his first principle was
fire; a symbol for the continuous
flow and change of all things.
Heraclitus taught reality arises
from dynamic cyclic interplay of
Heraclitus saw any
pair of opposites as a unity.
Unity, containing and
transcending all opposing forces, is the
of this unity began with the Eleatic school of thought, which assumed
a divine principle
standing above all gods and men.
unity, first El, then
Yahweh and finally
ultimately, to the
separation of spirit and matter and to a
dualism which became
characteristic of Western philosophy.
In opposition to Heraclitus,
Parmenides of Elea was a monotheist.
conceptualized existence as unique and invariable.
changes perceived as mere illusions of the
This is the foundational concept of
an indestructible substance.
the fifth century BC, Greek philosophers attempted to overcome the sharp
contrast between the views of Parmenides and Heraclitus.
the Static Ideal of
Parmenides with the Eternal
Creation of Heraclitus, they assumed existence is manifest in invariable
substances, the mixture and separation of which gives rise to the
This led to the concept of the
Atom, the smallest indivisible unit of matter.
Atoms are found in
the philosophy of Ieucippus and Democritus.
The Greek atomists drew a
line between spirit, that which
animated matter and matter,
picturing matter as being made of "basic building
passive and intrinsically dead particles moving in the
The cause of their
motion was associated with external forces which were
assumed to be of spiritual
origin and fundamentally different from
In subsequent centuries, this image became an essential
element of Western thought, of the dualism between
mind and matter, between
body and soul.
The scientific knowledge of the
systematized and organized by
Aristotle, became the
foundation of the Western
worldview of reality.
Aristotle pursued questions concerning the
The Aristotelian model, supported by the
Roman Catholic church as
orthodox doctrine, remained unchallenged throughout the
first used mathematics to decribe empirical observations.
Rene Descartes the formulates
- separate independent realms:
that of mind (res
cogitans), and that of matter
The Cartesian division
deludes us into seeing the
material world as a multitude of different objects assembled in a huge
Isaac Newton constructed his
mechanistic worldview it immediately
infiltrated the intellectual fields of politics and economics.
rational dissociative state of
consciousness used by the Cartesian division and
is both beneficial and
rational dissociative state of
consciousness advanced the development of
classical physics and
technology, but has
many adverse consequences.
mechanics turns the Cartesian division and
mechanistic worldview inside
out overcoming fragmentation
as it leads back to unity.
Our tendency to
divide perceived reality into
individual and separate things and to experience ourselves as isolated egos
is an illusion which comes from
our measuring and categorizing mentality.
It is called avidya, or ignorance, in
Buddhist philosophy, and is
seen as the state of a
disturbed mind which has to be overcome:
When the mind is
the multiplicity of things is produced,
but when the
mind is quieted,
the multiplicity of things
Eastern mysticism emphasizes
the basic unity of the universe.
Eastern mysticism informs -
Hindus - Buddhists -
Taoists - to become
the unity and mutual interrelation
of all things - to transcend
the notion of an isolated
individual self and to identify
self with quantum reality.
Awareness - also known as 'enlightenment' - is
an experience which involves the whole individual and is
religious in its
Eastern philosophies are
of nature into separate objects is not fundamental in the Eastern worldview
as objects have a fluid
Essential features of the Eastern worldview
are time and
The cosmos is seen as one
inseparable reality forever in motion.
A divine principle,
an intrinsic property of matter, controls
He who, dwelling
in all things,
yet is other than all things,
things do not know,
all things are,
who controls all things from within
your controller, your Eternal Soul.
reality, the Noumenon, is
a system of inseparable,
interacting, and ever moving components, with
the observer an integral
part of this system.
The underlying reason for
the widespread dissatisfaction within Western culture is the
domination of the mechanistic,
fragmented view of reality.
Two modes of
consciousness, rational and intuitive - associated with
science and religion - have been
recognized universally throughout history.
These two types of knowledge
may be termed Logos and
In the West intuitive knowledge is devalued in favor of
relational knowledge, whereas the traditional Eastern attitude is traditionally
The Upanishads speak of a higher and a lower knowledge and
associate the lower knowledge with various sciences, the higher with religious
Buddhists mention two forms of knowledge - 'relative' and 'absolute'.
Abstraction is a crucial
feature of relational
Chinese philosophy emphasizes the complementary nature of
the intuitive and
the rational by representing them in the
Yin and Yang.
Accordingly, two complementary philosophical traditions -
Confucianism developed to
deal with the two lower forms of knowledge.
Rational knowledge is
derived from physical
Relational knowledge belongs to
the realm of the
intellect, whose function it is to discriminate, divide, compare, measure
Relative knowledge exists in a duality, a world of
of opposites which can
exist only in relation to each other.
In order to compare and classify the
immense variety of shapes, structures, and phenomena we select a few
We construct a 'map
of reality' by reducing things to their
Relational knowledge is
a system of abstract
concepts, characterized by
thinking and speaking just like this line
world, of infinite variety, contains no straight lines or completely regular
shapes, where things happen in interlocked sequences.
Abstract systems of conceptual
thought cannot adequately describe reality.
model will be
faulty as we can only expect an approximate representation of reality as
all rational knowledge is
The realm of science requires ever
"Every word or concept, clear as it may
appear to be, has only a limited range of applicability." - Werner
of rational knowledge always recede from conscious thought.
representation of reality is so much easier to grasp than reality itself,
we tend to confuse the two and to take our
symbols for reality.
The main aim of mysticism
is to rid us of this confusion.
Buddhists say that a finger is
needed to point at the moon, but that we should
not trouble ourselves with the finger once the moon is recognized.
"The purpose of a fish
basket is to catch fish, and
when the fish are caught the
basket is forgotten. The purpose of
a rabbit snare is to catch
rabbits. When the rabbits are
caught, the snare is forgotten. The purpose of the word is to convey ideas.
When the ideas are
grasped, the words are forgotten.
Where can I find a man who has
forgotten words? He is the
one I would like to talk to." - Zhuangzi
Equivalency in the West is
shown by the statement made by the semanticist Alfred Korzybski, "The map is not the
What mystics are concerned
with is a direct experience of reality which transcends not only
but also sensory
In the words of the
"What is soundless, touchless,
likewise tasteless, constant, odorless, immaterial without beginning, without
end, higher than the highest,by discerning
that, one is liberated from the mouth of
Knowledge gleaned from mystical experience is called
absolute knowledge by
Buddhists because it does not rely on the
abstractions, and classifications of the
relative and approximate.
In the West this absolute knowledge or
esoteric gnostic knowledge has
been suppressed since Constantine
started a civil war to overturn Jupiter Optimus Maximus Soter.
Apperception is the
central characteristic of all mystical
noumenon can never be an object of reasoning or of demonstrable
As the noumenon lies beyond the realm of human senses
words and concepts so derived remain inadequate.
The Upanishads note:
the eye goes not,
speech goes not, nor the mind.
we know not, we
how one would teach it.
"If it could be talked about,
everybody would have
told their brother."
who calls reality the Tao, states the same thing in the opening line of the Tao
Te Ching: " The Tao that can be expressed is not the eternal Tao."
Communicating true knowledge through the use of symbols or words is nearly
impossible and this is why the ancients settled on the
True knowledge inhabits
nonintellectual experience of reality,
an experience arising in a
state of consciousness out of the ordinary which may be called a
mystical or disassociated state
In the words of William James:
consciousness as we call it, is but
one special type of
consciousness, whilst all about it,
parted from it by
the filmiest of screens, there lie other potential forms of
physicists are mainly
concerned with relational knowledge
and mystics with intuitive
knowledge or mythical
consciousness, both types of knowledge occur in both fields.
becomes apparent when we examine how knowledge is obtained and how it is
expressed, both in physics and Eastern mysticism.
In physics, knowledge
is acquired through the process of scientific research which can be seen to
proceed in three stages.
Initially consists in
evidence about phenomena.
The experimental facts are correlated
with symbols and a scheme is
worked out which interconnects these symbols in a precise and consistent
Such a scheme
develops a hypothesis into a model or a theory.
This theory is then
used to predict the results of further experiments.
satisfied when they have found a
scheme and have learned know how to use it to predict outcome of further
To share this knowledge physicists express results
Basing all theories firmly on experiment is known as the
Greek philosophers had
extremely ingenious ideas about nature which often come very close to modern
scientific models, the enormous
difference between the two is the empirical attitude of modern science..
obtained models deductively from
The Greek art of
deductive logical reasoning
is an essential ingredient in the second stage of scientific research, the
formulation of a consistent model.
constitutes a major part of scientific research.
intuition is what gives
scientists new insights making them creative.
Insights come suddenly when
analysis has been dropped
and the subconscious has had the chance to
process the presented
The intuitive mind takes over
and produces suddenly clarifying insights.
Intuitive insights do
not impress engineers and are of no use to anyone unless they can be formulated
into a consistent interpretation
Abstraction is a crucial feature
of this framework.
This framework is a
system of concepts which constitute a map of reality.
This map represents only some features of
We do not know
exactly where the gaps in knowledge lie since we started compiling our map
gradually and without critical analysis in our childhood.
The words of our language are
thus not clearly defined.
They have several meanings, many of which
pass only vaguely
through our mind and remain largely in our subconscious when we
hear a word.
The inaccuracy and
language is essential for
poets who work largely with its
Science by aiming for clear definitions and
unambiguous connections abstracts language further by limiting the meaning of
its words and by standardizing its structure in accordance with the
abstraction takes place in mathematics where words are replaced by
operations of connecting the
symbols are rigorously defined.
Mathematics is an extremely
abstracted and compressed language.
Many mathematicians believe that
mathematics is not just a language to describe nature, but is
inherent in nature
mysteries introduced the belief "All things are numbers," which was
incorporated into Chaladean
numerology and Kabbalah.
Followers of Pythagoras set
up Serapeum throughout the
newly Hellenized world in the wake of Alexander the Macedonian.
The intimate blending of religion
and reasoning that Pythagoras engaged in spawned a technological revolution of
The Pythagorian mysteries began a sort of
blockchain of intimately linked concepts with each new concept overlaying the
A defining factor the
Pythagorean mysteries is
a logical admiration of that
which is timeless.
conceptual worldview forged a chain of individuals
subscribing to the
concept of creating perfection in humanity including
Spinoza crystallizing in
The scientific method of
the use of rational
Common symbol systems, or
languages, must contain flexibility within their very structure in order to be
This flexibility disappears with terminology
within schools of thought.
The language of mathematics
reaches a point where links with reality are so tenuous that the relation of
symbols to sensory experience is no longer evident.
Rational thought symbol
systems, or models, must be supplemented with
symbol systems in order to be understood.
Rational thought symbol
systems are rigorous and consistent as far as their internal structure is
concerned but their symbols are not directly related to
"The 'seeing' plays
the most important role in Buddhist epistemology, for seeing is at the basis of
Knowing is impossible without
all 'knowledge' has its
origin in seeing." - DT
thought symbol systems come from
direct sensory experience and, being exceedingly complex, are
hard to chronicle in
rational thought symbol systems
like the one you are now reading in.
experience is at the core of
"Personal experience is the
foundation of Buddhist philosophy.
Described as direct insight
outside the realm of the intellect obtained by watching rather than thinking;
by looking inside oneself; by observation.
Taoism, this notion of
observation is embodied in the names for Taoist temples, kuan, which originally
meant "to look."
Taoist thus regarded their temples as places of
In Ch'an Buddhism, the Chinese version of Zen,
enlightenment is often referred to as 'the vision of the
Tao' - true vision is regarded as the basis of knowing in all Buddhist
The first item of the
Eightfold Path, the
prescription Siddhartha Gautama gave
us for self-realization,
is true vision,
followed by true
Knowing and seeing are united in the
Zen of Siddhartha Gautama.
The mystical experience is
experiencing true reality -
from Franz Capra
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