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
that increasingly turned away from its mystical origins.
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
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."
The term "physics" is derived
from this Greek word and originally refers to the endeavor of peering deeply
into the essential nature
of all things.
The Milesians hylozoists,
"those who think matter is alive,"
no distinction between
animate and inanimate, spirit
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.
philosophy paralleled ancient Indian and Chinese philosophy crystallizing in
the philosophy of Heraclitus of
Heraclitus believed in a
reality of perpetual
change, of Eternal
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
The split 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
Yahweh led, 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 ether.
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 Eternal
The Aristotelian model, supported by the Roman Catholic
church as orthodox doctrine, remained unchallenged throughout the Middle
Galileo Galilei first used mathematics
to decribe empirical observations.
Rene Descartes the formulates
Cartesian split -
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.
dissociative state of consciousness used by the Cartesian division and
worldview is both beneficial and
rational dissociative state of
consciousness advanced the development of
classical physics and
technology, but has
Quantum mechanics turns
the Cartesian division and mechanistic worldview inside
out overcoming fragmentation
as it leads back to unity.
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.
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 disturbed,
the multiplicity of things is produced,
but when the mind is
the multiplicity of things
mysticism emphasizes the basic unity of the universe.
mysticism informs - Hindus -
Buddhists - Taoists - to
become aware of
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 ultimate
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
dwelling in all
yet is other than all things,
whom all things do
whose body all things
who controls all things from within
he is 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
These two types of knowledge may be termed
In the West intuitive
knowledge is devalued in favor of rational knowledge, whereas the traditional
Eastern attitude is traditionally the opposite.
The Upanishads speak
of a higher and a lower knowledge and associate the
lower knowledge with
various sciences, the higher with
Buddhists mention two
forms of knowledge - 'relative'
and 'absolute' .
Chinese philosophy emphasizes the complementary nature of
the intuitive and
the rational by representing
them in the archetypical pair
Yin and Yang.
Accordingly, two complementary philosophical traditions -
Confucianism developed in
China to deal with the two kinds of
Rational knowledge is
derived from the physical
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.
Abstraction is a crucial
feature of relational
In order to
compare and classify the immense variety of shapes, structures, and phenomena
we select a few significant ones.
We construct a 'map of
reality' by reducing things to their general outlines.
Rational knowledge is
a system of abstract
by linear, sequential
thinking and speaking just like this line
The natural world, of infinite variety,
contains no straight lines or completely regular shapes, where things happen in
Abstract systems of conceptual
thought cannot adequately describe
model will be
faulty as we can only expect an approximate representation of
reality as all rational
knowledge is necessarily limited.
The realm of science requires
ever collapsing paradigms.
"Every word or concept, clear as it may
appear to be, has only a limited range of applicability." -
limitations of rational
knowledge always recede from
our representation of
reality is so much easier to grasp than reality itself, we tend to
confuse the two and
to take our concepts and
The main aim
of mysticism is to rid us of this
Zen 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.
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 intellectual
thinking but also sensory perception.
In the words of the
What is soundless,
likewise tasteless, constant, odorless, immaterial
beginning, without end, higher than the highest,
by discerning that, one is
liberated from the
mouth of death.
experience is called
by Buddhists because it does not
rely on the discriminations,
classifications of the
intellect, always relative
In the West this
absolute knowledge or
knowledge has been suppressed since
Constantine started a civil war to
overturn Jupiter Optimus Maximus Soter.
Apperception is the central
characteristic of all
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 say
There the eye goes
speech goes not, nor the mind.
we know not, we understand not
one would teach it.
"If it could be talked
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 Oral Tradition.
True knowledge inhabits
an entirely nonintellectual
experience of reality,
an experience arising in
a state of consciousness out of the ordinary which may be called a
meditative, mystical or
disassociated state of
In the words of William James:
"Our normal waking
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
Although physicists are mainly concerned
with rational knowledge and mystics with
intuitive knowledge or
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 way.
Such a scheme develops a hypothesis
into a model or a theory.
This theory is then used to predict the
results of further experiments.
Physicists become satisfied when they
have found a scheme and have
learned know how to use it to predict outcome of further experimentation.
To share this knowledge physicists
express results in common language.
theories firmly on experiment is known as the scientific method.
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..
The Greeks obtained models
The Greek art of
deductive logical reasoning is an
essential ingredient in the second stage of scientific research, the
formulation of a consistent model.
knowledge constitutes a major part of scientific research.
is what gives scientists new insights and makes them creative.
Insights come suddenly when analysis has been dropped
and the subconscious has had the chance to process the presented
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 in plain
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 reality.
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
ambiguity of our 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 rules of logic.
The ultimate abstraction takes place
in mathematics where words are replaced by symbols and 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
mysteries introduced the belief "All things are numbers," which was
incorporated into Chaladean
numerology and Kabbalah.
Followers of Pythagoras
set up Serapheum throughout the newly Hellenized world in the wake of Alexander
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
worldview forged a chain of individuals
subscribing to the
concept of creating perfection in humanity including
Spinoza crystallizing in
the use of rational
Common symbol systems,
or languages, must contain flexibility within their very structure in order to
be broadly understood.
This flexibility disappears with terminology
within schools of
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.
thought symbol systems
are rigorous and consistent as far as their internal structure is concerned but
their symbols are not directly related to experience.
systems come from direct sensory experience and, being exceedingly complex,
are hard to describe in
symbol systems like the one you are now reading in.
Direct mystical experience
is at the core of all mysticism.
"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
Gautama gave us for
is true vision,
followed by true knowledge.
"The 'seeing' plays the most important role
epistemology, for seeing is
at the basis of knowing.
all 'knowledge' has its origin in
seeing." - DT
Knowing and seeing are united in the
Zen of Siddhartha
experience is experiencing true reality -
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