We discussed that at length in the thread on "Evaluating centering prayer," and came to affirmation that relationship with God can indeed be advanced just as much through kataphatic means as through apophatic. To be human is to speak and act in the body, so kataphatic means of prayer and worship are very appropo. Not sure if this addresses your point, however. (Good to see you here again. )
thanks, Phil good to be back
Some of you might be interested in Patrick Byrnes's article in a journal on Lonergan's philosophy and theology.
- see http://www.lonerganresource.co...thod_Vol_13_No_2.pdf beginning with P. 131.
It helps to know a little about what they mean by levels of consciousness (1. being attentive; 2. being intelligent; 3. being reasonable; 4. being responsible). Sublation refers to how one level becomes sublated or absorbed in the service of another. Subject refers to the "I" that is intrinsic to attention and is, hence, sublated in all operations of consciousness.
There are many implications, here, for understanding what some seem to be describing as nondual consciousness. Byrne even touches on how subjectivity itself can become sublated in mystical experiences.
Give it a try when you've got your thinking cap on.
Well, you were certainly on the level (though I don’t know which one) when you said we should have our thinking cap on as we read Byrne’s article on Lonergan that you linked us to.
Problem is my thinking cap blew off many years ago as I was riding my bicycle on a windy fall day. It soared over the overpass wall and down into turnpike traffic. Alas, I never was able to find and retrieve it. – though I do pray to St. Anthony of Padua who has helped me many times to find things.
So a hardy Holy Smokeyola -- to Mr. Byrne, yourself, and all the Lonergan afficiandos of the world – (perhaps all those with a T in their Myers-Briggs temperament? or at least males with a T?).
Having winced and strained from the zeroeth level as I read, I realized how much I agree with and favor Christine’s perspectives at times – the one to the effect that: we come to know God best by love rather than by understanding. STA had similar thoughts and made it to some level – though who knows which one.
All I can say is that I would hate to be spouse to all you Lonergan lovers. You mightn’t be kissing me but rather lost in thought pondering which level you were on and whether or not you were reaching # 7.
Methinks sometimes, that one’s thinking cap can become one’s condom.
I got an F in my temperament test, so that perhaps explains my failure. F is for Failure, right? Lol.
Here I had thought God was simple – that the Lord our God was One -- as the shema says.
On another tack: Indeed, Byrne’s ‘crystal clear object immersed in a crystal clear sea’ is very nicely imaged! No doubt about that.
Non-duellingly yours (just reflecting),
p.s. Squid-inky in an inky sea as I often am, I nevertheless rather like to Feel my orgasms than to Think them. Different strokes for different folks and a’ that, I guess..
Thanks for the reflections, Pop. Don't say I didn't warn you, however.
The article is an example of how the Lonergan approach and its recognition of a non-reflecting aspect of human consciousness provides a basis for validating our common experience of self-presence -- except in extreme mystical experiences. It does seem that many these days are referring to this non-reflecting subjectivity in their descriptions of nonduality. I thought the forum might be interested in seeing how the Lonergan scholars go about discussing all this.
Having read dozens of threads on awakening/enlightenment/nonduality/etc on this forum, there seems to be a sticky point which I don't quite get. That is, there is a great deal of fussing about terminology which seems to point to a discomfort with... what? I am not quite sure.
Perhaps that concepts we more commonly associate with Eastern religions don't have any place in Christian tradition? Or that any accounts of such changes in perspective are probably not true, because the words the person uses to try to convey it are not accurate enough?
I have to say I can't really follow (or don't have the interest in following?) the technical details of whether this or that term means exactly this or that...that always seems to me like debating exactly how many feathers are on the chicken rather than just plucking it and frying the darn thing for dinner.
But perhaps someone can clarify what the root of the difficulty is? Or is it just an enjoyment of that sort of academic exploration?
I think the fussing with terminology is inevitable.
For ordinary external objects, we can all agree that the word "cat" points to a feline quadruped.
But internal experience isn't made up of solid objects. We're trying to represent fleeting, preverbal phenomena by solid words. That's a venture that filled with pitfalls and perhaps even doomed to failure.
Is there really a thing called "consciousness" in the same way as there's a thing called "cat"? Is there really a thing called "awareness," separate from the ever-changing experiences of which one is aware?
It's as if any vocabulary must assume a conceptual model, and a conceptual model of preconceptual experience will always be at best provisional.
Ona, could you give us an example of what you're talking about, here?
I generally try to clarify the meaning of my terms and relate them to experiences.
I think this: "It helps to know a little about what they mean by levels of consciousness (1. being attentive; 2. being intelligent; 3. being reasonable; 4. being responsible). Sublation refers to how one level becomes sublated or absorbed in the service of another. Subject refers to the "I" that is intrinsic to attention and is, hence, sublated in all operations of consciousness.
There are many implications, here, for understanding what some seem to be describing as nondual consciousness. Byrne even touches on how subjectivity itself can become sublated in mystical experiences. " left me dazed.
But for instance in the midst of that is "what some seem to be describing as nondual consciousness" - which seems to hint at a lack of confidence that these "some" are just making stuff up, or have no idea what they are talking about. Which may well be true!
Do you find that Christian terminology is weak in addressing mystical experience or changes in perception? I know in private conversation Derek suggested that using other vocabularies (psychology, etc.) can help people understand, especially if they are not Christian. It's true, as Dereks says in the next post, that we need to use conceptual frameworks to communicate about preconceptual/nonconceptual experience, but why throw every framework in the world at it, rather than focus on, say, the Christian one? (I am not meaning this as criticism, just curious about the (personal? pragmatic?) motivations behind exploring so many massively diverse frameworks, rather than focusing on a few.)
I was using Bernard Lonergan's approach to consciousness as described by Daniel Helminiak. The approach provides a way for comparing different types of nondual experiences, which is why I used the term "some" -- as in "some types."
It's difficult using a Christian framework to assess, say, Buddhist nondual experience, for Christianity is theistic and Buddhism is not.
But . . . I think the example you give is one from the middle of the discussion, which is a follow-up of another discussion, and that of a difficult topic to begin with.
I'll go back to some early threads from the forum to get more context for these kinds of discussions. I do myself tend to use different vocabularies depending on who I'm talking to, so I get that this can be a practical thing.
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