Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Response to Yesterday's Post (Forget, Remember, Forget, Remember...)

Fantastic thoughts and comments everyone.

The Tao te Ching says that "The Tao that can be spoken about is not the real Tao." When we get into topics like this - such as the nature of reality - there is so much room for speculation and fluidity that writing anything is really just ludicrous. Dan brought up some interesting questions and though I won't propose any answers, it just shows that there are (like Kev said) "loopholes" and inconsistencies in any written or spoken philosophy. Speaking about or writing down truths or speculated truths concretizes things - and reality just refuses to be "nailed down" by the English language, the thinking mind, and friggin' blogs.

To speak personally, I too subscribe to this hide-and-seek notion of things - not just intellectually but experientially. The language is clunky (as Andrew said, it provides no "tidy explanations"), but the general idea makes sense to me for many reasons and it has been (like Isaiah said) the reality for many mystics and saints for thousands of years.

Yet in the final analysis, we have to remember that we can talk about orange juice all day - discuss its acidity, speculate its sweetness, and argue about its origin - but it cannot be "known" through words - it has to be tasted and experienced.


Dan Price said...

I totally agree that there are not going to be tidy answers to all of our deep questions. I believe that we do not have 100% evidence about anything and that there is that unknowable faith and the leap that Kierkegaard talks about.

At the same time, we can have justified true beliefs. It can be a cop out to just say, "I believe this and have no explainations or opinions for the big-ass loopholes and inconsistancies that I am facing."

Here's why it's important:
1. What if what you believe is wrong?
2. What if what you believe affects your life or your afterlife?
3. What if your beliefs affect others around you?

Now it's a heck of a lot easier to dismiss these questions as "a modernistic, englightenment age" approach to reality.

But is our current answer to not even seek any further? (when I found out that Reindeer didn't fly, I stopped believing in Santa Claus.)

It may have been "reality for many mystics and saints" over the years, but so has the view that we are made by God and that he is wholly "other" from us.

I know I'm probably not going anywhere with this because our belief systems are at completly different starting points. But I just wanted to though some more spagetti on the wall. Unfortuanatly my ineptitude at communication will probably not let any stick!

Thanks for letting me spam your blog with my thoughts!


Trev Diesel said...

Thanks Dan for the spagetti... you have no ineptitude at communication... I hear ya!

"What if what you believe is wrong?" Very intersting question, especially when you realize the billions of beliefs and perspectives out there. We certainly can't all be 100% right all the time - but we certainly believe that WE are the one/group that has it all figured out.

Rather, we've gotta do the best we can with what we have. Better yet, don't take someone else's word for what you "believe" - either KNOW it to be true, or don't. In my meditation practice, in my everyday life, in my VERY occasionally mystical experiences - what I experience to be the nature of things is what Alan Watts and the "saints and sages of old" are explaining here. It's not just a BELIEF ("I hope it's true, I hope it's true.") - it's an interpretation of experiential reality.

Then, yes, our "beliefs" will affect our life and those around us because they're the core of who we are - not just an intellectual truth, but because that is the center of our reality.

So I guess what I'm saying is I really don't care about people's "BELIEFS" at this time in my life (nor am I convinced that "God" cares we have all our intellectual "beliefs" straight).


Trev Diesel said...

By the way, it is quite true that saints/mystics have been in the "God is other than the world" camp as well - there have been folks on both sides of the fence, and many who ride the fence and say "Since God is infinite, BOTH are true." :) Just wanted to acknowledge your comment!