Prolegomenon to the study of the similarities in mystical theology and science

#1
Prolegomenon to the study of the similarities in mystical theology and science

Mystical aspects of science

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Mystical theology and science share a common understanding in regard
to the limitations and hindrance of language in unlocking reality. Both
would agree that language falsifies reality. It falsifies it by imposing
limits to the real. It falsifies it by imposing human categories and
classifications to the real. For both realities is beyond words and
human concepts. Reality transcends language. Language in fact hinders
a true understanding of the real. What language does is create what the
Hindus’ call Maya. Namely a conventional reality based upon language
-a world of appearances and forms of illusion or deception generated
by a falsifying language which an unenlightened mind takes as the only
reality. For the physicist Bohr language is a barrier to understanding
reality Dante like Lao Tzu, Pseudo-Dionysius St Augustine (354-430),
St Thomas Aquinas (1225-74) Zen and many forms of Eastern
mysticism knew the simultaneous inapplicability and inevitability of
human language when talking of reality or God and his attributes and
domains. Whether the reality as investigated by science is really just
another name for God or the reality investigated by science is just a
reality and not the God of religion. In other words is God just another
name for reality or is reality just another name for God is by the by.
What is important is this reality/God as understood by both science and
theology is beyond the ability of human language –and thus intellect to
grasp




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SCIENCE
Heisenberg notes that “ the strangest experience of those years was that the
paradoxes of quantum theory did not disappear during this process of
clarification; on the contrary they have become even more marked and
exciting.”
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In regard to the paradoxes
and contradictions of quantum theory Wick state
the orthodox view when he says “here my opinion of the orthodox quantum
mechanics, like Bohr, comes down to the meaning of words. “Classical” and
“complementarity”, insult and commendation, are euphemisms; the belief
concealed is that Nature has been found in a contradiction. But quantum
physicists are not simpletons. In their hearts they know such a claim is
philosophically unacceptable and would be rejected in other sciences.”

Wick notes “ I believe orthodox quantum theorists [slates] reason,
consciously or unconsciously, something like this. The microscopic world
exhibits paradoxes or contradictions and this fact is reflected in the best
theory describing it.”





Nicholas of Cusa states “... needfulto enter the darkness and to admit the
coincidence of opposites beyond all grasp of reason ... [God] art found
unveiled is girt around with the coincidence of contradictories ... the door
whereof is guarded by the most proud spirit if reason and unless he be
vanquished the way in will not lie open”



Now on the point of an object being both a particle and a wave Zajak notes
that “we are limited by our language to lists of words much as our worldly
experiences limit the concepts those words bring to mind.”

With this inmind Zajak points out that we naively apply to the micro world concepts
which only have applicability in the macro world. Electrons don’t behave
like mini billiard balls a nd light does not be have like scaled down sea waves.
As Zajak notes “ particles and waves are macroscopic concepts which
gradually lose their relevance as we approach the submicroscopic
domain
.




“... all our knowledge is what a Taoist would call conventional knowledge,
because we do not feel that we know anything unless we represent it to
ourselves in words, or in some system of conventional signs as the notation
of mathematics..

 
#2
Hi M,

Thanks for posting the links and for the excerpts. It's clear that you've done a lot of thorough work in exploring the ideas of many of the most profound philosophers and scientists.

I saw on your profile that you mention that you like poetry. I'm curious about how your studies of philosophy/science inform your poetry or how your poetry informs your study of philosophy/science?

Also, I wonder if you have thoughts and opinions about unusual phenomenon that some people experience: near-death experiences, msytical experiences, etc.
 
#3
Also, I wonder if you have thoughts and opinions about unusual phenomenon that some people experience: near-death experiences, msytical experiences, etc.
There are two possible explanations for near-death experiences, mystical experience

1) We have an experience but our culture gives us its interpretation of the experience-a persons beliefs determine how he interprets the experience
a Hindu has a Hindu near-death experiences, mystical experience ie he interprets the experience thru Hinduism
a Christian has a Christian near-death experiences, mystical experience interprets the experience thru Christianity
etc

2) Our culture in fact creates the experience ie it is not an interpretation but is infact a real ontology-a persons beliefs create the experience
a Hindu has a Hindu near-death experiences, mystical experience ie his Hinduism creates the experience
a Christian has a Christian near-death experiences, mystical experience ie his Christianity creates the experience

Now in both possible explanations
The million dollar questions are
1) is the uninterpreted experience real or just a product of the mind?-due to brain function
2) is the created experience real ie an ontology or just a product of the mind?-due to brain function

My views on these things is 1) the near-death experiences, mystical experiences, etc.are shaped by the culture one is in
In other words we have an experience but our culture gives us its interpretation of that experience-a persons beliefs determine how he interprets the experience
or
a Hindu has a Hindu near-death experiences, mystical experience ie he interprets the experience thru Christianity
a Christian has a Christian near-death experiences, mystical experience interprets the experience thru Hinduism
etc
 
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