Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Spiritual Experience

In the last blog entry, I introduced a new dynamic holistic way for viewing the nature of time (and space) which is based on interaction of the fundamental poles of experience.

So from one perspective external (objective) and internal (subjective) aspects always dynamically interact in experience; from an equally important perspective whole (collective) and part (individual) aspects likewise interact.

When we appreciate time ( and space) in the dynamic context of complementary external and internal aspects, time is revealed as possessing two dimensions (or directions) that are positive and negative with respect to each other; likewise space has also two dimensions (or directions) that are positive and negative with respect to each other.

In a similar manner to left and right turns at a crossroads, what is positive or negative is of a relative arbitrary nature, dependent on context.

Now when looked at from the appropriate perspective, time and space (as possessing both positive and negative directions) necessarily directly relates to the very nature of experience.

However customary interpretation of space and time is heavily based on limited linear (1-dimensional) notions.

Here space and time are separated in an asymmetrical manner (with 3 dimensions of space and 1 dimension of time). Likewise the spatial dimensions are readily identified with rigid notions of form (in quantitative terms). Though time necessarily has an also indirect nature, capable of quantitative measurement, it is appreciated in a more qualitative manner.

So the very notion of linear (1-dimensional) understanding based on single separate frames of reference is directly related to the customary interpretation of time, as likewise 1-dimensional, with a single positive (i.e. forward) direction.

In philosophical terms, this is directly equated with the nature of dualistic understanding (which always implies independent poles as frames of reference).

However in the various contemplative traditions the possibility of "higher" dimensional appreciation has long been recognised, where rigid dual notions increasingly give way to a more refined nondual form of awareness, which is directly of a spiritual intuitive nature.

What however has not been properly appreciated are the huge implications of such awareness for intellectual appreciation of the world (especially our most fundamental mathematical and scientific notions).

Nondual experience relates directly to spiritual intuitive awareness of the present moment. So once phenomenal identity arises in experience, a framework of relative space and time is necessarily involved (with directions that are paradoxical from an overall perspective).

So the very appreciation of the nondual (in a direct awareness of the present moment) provides the appropriate means for enabling the more refined switching as between opposite external and internal polarities, with a deepening appreciation of the merely relative nature of all phenomenal truth.

Thus in a very real experiential sense, positive and negative polarities, with respect to space and time, keep cancelling each other in experience, leading to a deeper spiritual awareness of the underlying absolute nature of reality that is always in the present moment.

In general terms the earliest stages with respect to the mature development of spiritual contemplative awareness relate to the movement from the somewhat dualistic appreciation of external and internal poles as separate, to a deepening realisation of their nondual nature, as dynamically complementary with each other (and ultimately identical in an ineffable manner).

This correspondingly leads to a breakdown with respect to the customary linear experience of space and time.

For example during the (positive) illuminative stages of such development one tends to look on the external world in an expansive manner with endless possibilities for further refined engagement in phenomenal terms.

However this leads inevitably to a problem of growing attachment to the secondary symbols through which spiritual truth is mediated, eventually leading to the need for a substantial period of purgation (spiritual cleansing) whereby the focus is directly on the eradication of undue attachment.

This purgation is then is associated with a profound experience of the negative direction of both space and time. It feels as if space and time undergo extreme compression so that - literally - the dimensional framework no longer exists to carry out one's customary activities. So as one sees the undoing of many skills and activities, with which one was previously associated, it genuinely is  experienced in psychological terms as backward movement in space and time.

So the direction now switches dramatically from external (conscious) to internal (unconscious) activity.

Then growing development of the unconscious in a new internal environment of space and time starts to take place with the same problems of undue attachment gradually arising leading to the need for a new more internal purgation.

This now leads to marked compression of one's internal framework of space and time with eventually sufficient harmony restored, so that a new even more refined expansive phase of illumination (with respect to the external world) eventually takes place.

Thus what happens during these periods is that absolute linear notions of space and time gradually break down to be replaced by understanding of an increasingly relative nature. So one better appreciates that both external and internal directions of experience are positive and negative (and ultimately completely paradoxical) with respect to each other.

Thus refined phenomenal  notions of space and time, of an increasingly relative form, are experienced against an underlying background of the absolute present moment (that is directly of a spiritual intuitive nature).

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