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sophiaserpentia posted a rather good comment here in challenging_god, which she reposted to her own journal here for further discussion.


Initially, I assumed a debunking of Neo-Platonic ideas based on physiological evidence, however, reading further commentary suggests against that. Nonetheless, I made some minor defense on the part of Neo-Platonic ideals (as they relate to my image of human perceptions, and how _they_ relate to the "reality" around us) - which brought me to the commentary I am going to post below.

Clearly, my Neo-Platonic roots are visible, yet I find myself at a rather different crossroads than spohiaserpentia- as they are recently exposed, rather than buried. My initial exposure to Platonic ideals was met with rejection, based strongly on my understanding of neurophysiology, as well as my own personal experiences having to do with the malfunctioning of those systems as they relate to an individuals ability to form concepts. Furthermore, I still have very strong beliefs about the makeup of reality - as it relates to matter, energy, and the interplay between the two.

Recent delves into kabalistic literature (in preparation for a lengthy raking of the Dead Sea Scrolls) have left me re-evaluating my concepts of perception-reality, and how they relate to the (sadly) limited knowledge we have of what is going on underneath our hoods. I find it interesting that I was planning on rambling about this later this evening, but someone jumped the gun in their journal on it.

The contemplative ramifications of the Sepher Yetzirah, along with many of its commentaries have mentally shoved me away from (what I call) constant-dynamic reality, and more towards a symbolic-representative reality (which Neo-Platonics represent in their particular fashion).

For some definitions:

I see constant-dynamic as a world where chaos theory is predominant, and the physiology of reality is unassailable. Things are in constant flux, and the process of thesis-antithesis-synthesis grinds through all matter, conceptual or physical, as time passes. The only true constant is the flux, and the patterns of randomness it creates in it's wake. All "ordered" activity within this pattern takes place in very limited bubbles of awareness (mostly constrained by time). Time, as it relates to constraining chaos, is "stuck" in forward motion, which allows for some "prediction" but never a revision of things which took place in the past (which, I realize, is an entirely separate debate).

Symbolic-representative reality is similar to the tenets of Neo-Platonism, with the exception (on my part) that the "ideas" do not have a divine origin. This version of reality encompasses far more universal constants than flux (as compared to my previous position above) - the entirety of reality is the physical manifestation ethereal legos (how is that for a rehash of ideal plastic?). I use "ethereal" here lightly (so as not to incite the Newtonians) - it is a blanket term which can be used to describe what is just outside the boundaries of physical interaction, yet plays an integral part in that interaction (see ZPE below). At any rate, these "ideas" (as the Neo-Platonist would label them) are the way in which the Mind (real substance) manifests reality - the base block forms of the legos form the "atomic ideas" of which all other "ideas" are made of. These elements are given from through the interaction of potential energy transferring to actualized energy, which creates zero point energy (this happens a great many ways).

Kabalistic literature is filled with what appear to be dualistic descriptions of a world of divinity and a world of creation. In particular, the literature suggests a possible dichotomy between two key conceptualizations, Ein Sof and the Sefirot.

A brief indoctrination, for the unindoctrinated:

Sefirot is the relationship of the manifested word of the Divine to the created world and to the hidden being of the Emanator (Prime Mover, in Platonic terms).

The Ein-Sof, "Infinite", often referred to as god in itself, is the absolute Essence. It lies beyond any speculative or even ecstatic comprehension. The attitude of the Kabbalah towards this god may be defined as mystical agnosticism. I do believe that there is en element of absolute essence, but i do not believe it relates to a divine entity (or divine system), which figures in greatly once you get to the debate part below.

The debate is if the is Sefirot synonymous with this god or not, and, if not, wherein lies the difference? Some 16th century sages, including Joseph Caro said - "The Emanation is the Divinity," while Ein-Sof cannot be subject to religious investigation, which can conceive of God only in His external aspect. The main part of the Zohar also tends largely toward this opinion, expressing it emphatically in the interchangeable identity of God with His Names or His Powers: "He is They, and They are He" (Zohar, 3:11b, 70a).

Regardless of the spiritual hair-splitting, what I think is important in this debate as it relates the topic at hand (what was that again? Oh yeah, reality..) is the division between a world of divinity and a world of creation. The constants of the “world of divinity” (what I call the ethereal) are what make up all of the elements of “the world of creation”, yet they do so without being a part of that world of creation.

How does this relate to the question spohiaserpentia brought up?

If you are still reading by now, I am sure you are curious.

Above I briefly mentioned
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<lj user="sophiaserpentia"> posted a rather good comment <a href="http://www.livejournal.com/community/challenging_god/352196.html">here</a> in <lj comm="challenging_god">, which she reposted to her own journal <a href="http://www.livejournal.com/users/sophiaserpentia/321465.html">here</a> for further discussion.

<lj-cut text="read on only if you care to - be forewarned, this is a lunch hour">
Initially, I assumed a debunking of Neo-Platonic ideas based on physiological evidence, however, reading further commentary suggests against that. Nonetheless, I made some minor defense on the part of Neo-Platonic ideals (as they relate to my image of human perceptions, and how _they_ relate to the "reality" around us) - which brought me to the commentary I am going to post below.

Clearly, my Neo-Platonic roots are visible, yet I find myself at a rather different crossroads than spohiaserpentia- as they are recently exposed, rather than buried. My initial exposure to Platonic ideals was met with rejection, based strongly on my understanding of neurophysiology, as well as my own personal experiences having to do with the malfunctioning of those systems as they relate to an individuals ability to form concepts. Furthermore, I still have very strong beliefs about the makeup of reality - as it relates to matter, energy, and the interplay between the two.

Recent delves into kabalistic literature (in preparation for a lengthy raking of the Dead Sea Scrolls) have left me re-evaluating my concepts of perception-reality, and how they relate to the (sadly) limited knowledge we have of what is going on underneath our hoods. I find it interesting that I was planning on rambling about this later this evening, but someone jumped the gun in their journal on it.

The contemplative ramifications of the <a href="http://www.sacred-texts.com/jud/yetzirah.htm">Sepher Yetzirah</a>, along with many of its commentaries have mentally shoved me away from (what I call) constant-dynamic reality, and more towards a symbolic-representative reality (which Neo-Platonics represent in their particular fashion).

For some definitions:

I see constant-dynamic as a world where <a href="http://www.imho.com/grae/chaos/chaos.html">chaos theory</a> is predominant, and the physiology of reality is unassailable. Things are in constant flux, and the process of thesis-antithesis-synthesis grinds through all matter, conceptual or physical, as time passes. The only true constant is the flux, and the patterns of randomness it creates in it's wake. All "ordered" activity within this pattern takes place in very limited bubbles of awareness (mostly constrained by time). Time, as it relates to constraining chaos, is "stuck" in forward motion, which allows for some "prediction" but never a revision of things which took place in the past (which, I realize, is an entirely separate debate).

Symbolic-representative reality is similar to the tenets of Neo-Platonism, with the exception (on my part) that the "ideas" do not have a divine origin. This version of reality encompasses far more universal constants than flux (as compared to my previous position above) - the entirety of reality is the physical manifestation ethereal legos (how is that for a rehash of ideal plastic?). I use "ethereal" here lightly (so as not to incite the Newtonians) - it is a blanket term which can be used to describe what is just outside the boundaries of physical interaction, yet plays an integral part in that interaction (see ZPE below). At any rate, these "ideas" (as the Neo-Platonist would label them) are the way in which the Mind (real substance) manifests reality - the base block forms of the legos form the "atomic ideas" of which all other "ideas" are made of. These elements are given from through the interaction of potential energy transferring to actualized energy, which creates zero point energy (this happens a great many ways).

Kabalistic literature is filled with what appear to be dualistic descriptions of a world of divinity and a world of creation. In particular, the literature suggests a possible dichotomy between two key conceptualizations, Ein Sof and the Sefirot.

A brief indoctrination, for the unindoctrinated:

Sefirot is the relationship of the manifested word of the Divine to the created world and to the hidden being of the Emanator (Prime Mover, in Platonic terms).

The Ein-Sof, "Infinite", often referred to as god in itself, is the absolute Essence. It lies beyond any speculative or even ecstatic comprehension. The attitude of the Kabbalah towards this god may be defined as mystical agnosticism. I do believe that there is en element of absolute essence, but i do not believe it relates to a divine entity (or divine system), which figures in greatly once you get to the debate part below.

The debate is if the is Sefirot synonymous with this god or not, and, if not, wherein lies the difference? Some 16th century sages, including Joseph Caro said - "The Emanation is the Divinity," while Ein-Sof cannot be subject to religious investigation, which can conceive of God only in His external aspect. The main part of the Zohar also tends largely toward this opinion, expressing it emphatically in the interchangeable identity of God with His Names or His Powers: "He is They, and They are He" (Zohar, 3:11b, 70a).

Regardless of the spiritual hair-splitting, what I think is important in this debate as it relates the topic at hand (what was that again? Oh yeah, reality..) is the division between a world of divinity and a world of creation. The constants of the “world of divinity” (what I call the ethereal) are what make up all of the elements of “the world of creation”, yet they do so without being a part of that world of creation.

How does this relate to the question spohiaserpentia brought up?

If you are still reading by now, I am sure you are curious.

Above I briefly mentioned <a href=” http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/pegrav.html”>potential energy</a> and <a href=” http://www.calphysics.org/zpe.html “>zero point energy</a>. On a physics level, these are two distinct theories under a broader umbrella – they both deal with energy, but one is a well-accepted construct of physics, the other a contentious issue of quantum mathematical theory.

This is where my image of reality has shifted. There is still flux, and it is still a constant, of this world – the world of creation. It is a necessary byproduct of the interchange between the two worlds – and the release and absorption of matter to energy and back again.

In kabala, everything of the world of creation has a name, and the name of the thing is important, due to the combinations of letters (and the numbers those letters relate to), as well as how that name relates to the elements around it. The parts of the name make the whole, so to speak. Everything in the created reality is part of a huge mass of alphanumeric counterparts – all of which are either final products of an equation, part of another equation, or both.

Here is where the metaphysics comes in.

The building blocks of reality are broken into their simple elemental forms (like legos, above). In kabala, this system is symbolized by the letters of the Hebrew alphabet, their numeric value, and the order in which you examine the alphabet. I believe that this system is a method by which humans have attempted to catalogue the formulae in the world of creation – which they cannot experience firsthand, but can see the results of daily (duh). As it relates to neo-platonic ideas - these elemental blocks are, in fact, the simple and complex maths and variables which make up all those equations and results of reality. However, without the zero-point energy (ZPE), they would forever remain apart from a physical reality. Kabala is not a path to spiritual enlightenment – it is a rudimentary system for looking at quantum mechanics behind the goings on of “reality”.

Through the interaction of the physical world, the transfer of matter and potential energy allows ZPE to alter our reality across the veil of worlds. The activity of the mind which leads to creativity, inspiration, learning, wisdom, etc – these are all simply manifestations of combinations of elementary units within the realm of ZPE, that gain “form” in our minds through the electro-chemical interplay of neurons.

None of this is “new” stuff, as far as I know, but I haven’t really read much to suggest a strong reinforce able link between Kabalistic philosophy and Quantum mechanics, as a framework of our reality. In a search for a unifying catalogue of formulae, the Kabalists seek to find their “god” – the entity which drives the motion of the elemental aspects of ZPE. However, in my sketch of reality – there is no one entity which exists in a sentient manner. The amount of understanding required to comprehend the scope of the permutations of the variables involved is hair-whitening. If a collective were to, over time, come up with a standardized manner for doing so, the potential for change would be introduced on a new axle – where we were no longer changing through a passive process, but, rather, driving the process for change with a knowing predetermination.

In short, what I think the goal at the end of a search of several thousand years of scholars is not a god, but, rather, the way to become LIKE a god.

So, yeah, what is my point…

The point is, that the real workings of the universe are beyond simple physical examination and quantifiable form.

No, that isn’t it.

The point is that kabbalists have set themselves an impossible task?

No, that has been done better too.

The point is, revel in the now – that is where ZPE interacts – tomorrow may be something totally beyond expectation, and yesterday, sadly, is lost to the langoliers.

Yeah, that sounds good.
</lj-cut>

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The Son of the last of a long line of thinkers.
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