Ep. 33 - Awakening from the Meaning Crisis - The Spirituality of RR: Wonder/Awe/Mystery/Sacredness

topic

discussion

my notes

Phenomenology of RR in terms of Meaning Making/Spirituality

  • Relevance Realization fed from:
    • Problem Solving
    • Insight
    • Categorization
    • Demonstrative Reference
    • Consciousness/Working Memory/g
    • Inference
    • Communication
  • RR -> Self-organizing Criticality/SMN
  • Optimizing of connectedness/fittedness
  • Complexification -> capacity for self-transcendence, produce emergent functions
  • Overcoming self-deception endemic to meaning making machinery, also capacity to bullshit yourself
  • Connectedness to something greater/other than them, but to whom identity coupled
  • Perspectival knowing/Participatory knowing, procedural knowing
  • Creating of affordances: obviation of transjective relationship in which capacity to solve problems can be developed
  • Caring: something we care about, bind ourselves to, commit ourselves to
  • Can help explain what’s going on in altered states of consciousness - get change in salience landscape, altering optimal grip
  • Helps explain higher states of consciousness

Other aspects of RR understood as Spiritual in Nature

  • Fundamental Framing of Reality
    • We are inside the framing, participating in it
    • At the level of the agent/arena
  • Preconceptual: At the level below propositional processing, pre-propositional
  • Belief: assertion of propositions so RR taking place deeper than belief.

(sure, it’s at the level of experience. But leads to beliefs)

  • Belief is an effect of RR
  • RR is pre-inferential, pre-communicative
  • Learning pre-supposes it.
  • Pre-experiential:
    • meaningfully structured experience (level of common-sense obviousness) is a result of it.
    • Not generated by it.
    • Not generated by the level of common sense obvious meaningful world.
    • That world is generated out of RR coupled to the environment.

(hmm, I just said it was at the level of experience. How do we realize any relevance without first having an experience to find relevant? It may be pre-meaningful experience of the world but is it pre-experience? The experience seems to me has to come first)

  • Pre-egoic:
    • Your agency and the world as an arena in which you have a narratively structured ego emerge out of RR
    • By the time you have you in a common-sensically obviated world of meaningful objects and situations RR has already done a lot of work
  • Pre-normative:
    • Primordial normativity: before you can assess truth, things have to be meaningful to you
    • Before you can assess beauty, things have to be aspectualized
    • Before can assess goodness have to have agency/arena
    • RR makes possible judgements about what is true, good and beautiful

Spirituality

  • Points to aspects of human spirituality:
    • Complexification -> Self-transcendence
    • Self-deception - Foolishness
    • Connectedness
    • perspectival/participatory knowing -> procedural knowing
    • co-emergence/creation agent/arena
    • Binding of agency, caring, cognition
    • Altered states/higher states consciousness
    • Deep metaphors
    • Deeper than ego, etc.
  • The way that can be spoken of is not the way
  • Pre-experiential. Fundamental grounding of being and being connected. He says these are the same.

(I’m not sure he’s quite made this case. Or at least have to explore this more. It can’t be pre-experience. One can experience without any kind of relevance realization. Consciousness is more fundamental. But he says: fundamental “grounding”. What does this mean?

It may be fundamental to being connected. But to being? How can they be the same? What does he mean by “being” here. I can exist without RR. Is he stretching or am I not getting it.)

  • A lot of what is captured by spirituality is captured by way this machinery unfolds
  • Religio: to bind together, to connect
  • Right side of the board:

  • Using religio in spiritual sense as in: pre-egoic, binding, that simultaneously grounds the self and its world
  • The Joys of Secularism: Paul Acosta: A Secular Wonder:
    • Wonder: fact that things always “matter” in some way to us, cannot help but be affected by things as if we were immersed in a bubble of meaningfulness
    • Atmosphere of significance
    • Import that we do not create from scratch, but absorbed by
    • A living being must atune or adjust
    • Bubble of significance: the experience of having a world, has roots not in a focal object, but in the emergence of a bubble of significance plays the same role as the atmosphere to the earth: you participate in the atmosphere.
    • Creates special conditions of life where existentially crucial distinctions between inside and outside are drawn
    • Primordial ground makes possible distinctions between inner and outer
    • Transjectivity deeper than subjectivity and objectivity which require all of this machinery
    • Because not aware of atmosphere in a perceptually focalized object, similarly bubble of meaning, don’t experience it directly but through wonder/awe, absurdity/horror
    • Wonder is the state in which we become aware in a participatory and perspectival way of the significance and our involvement, participation of RR
    • St. Paul: God is whom we live and move and have our being.
    • Not saying RR = God, but wonder and awe disclose the RR and it’s spiritual significance to us, the way in which we live and move and have our being
  • Robert Fuller: Wonder:
    • Also argues how central wonder is
    • Wonder responsible for some of our deepest spiritual experience
    • Wonder/awe = being mode. Curiosity/problem solving = having mode
    • Curiosity is problem solving - has a focal object
    • Wonder is - Ahhh - opening up, perspective and participatory sense of Oh Ah
    • Fuller argues this emotion point of wonder, participate in the gestalt, how does it all fit together. Awe pushes to an opening, an ongoing accommodation, sense of the inexhaustible, the combinatorially explosive nature of reality and the ongoing evolving adaptability of RR to that explosive potential within reality itself
    • Not about solving a problem, but remembering, putting you in touch with religio
  • Wonder gives something like participating, emerging from, co-creating with the ongoing course of your world

(is it co-creating or experiencing?)

  • Not with a story though, grounded in something deeper
  • Awe - accommodation, opening up - come to know, I am transformed, knowing how I’ve changed and the disclosure of how it is is bound together.
  • awe= being mode (remembering SATI)
  • Confronting the mystery
  • Frame problem as a box, then insight, opening wider box, then what starts to happen is opening up, and insight goes from reframing to a transframing:

  • Trajectory of transframing: doesn’t stabilize. Doesn’t land on a focal object, Exposes the machinery of Religio
  • Find it deeply meaningful to a point, though if pushed too far in a negative sense: horror

The Mystery of Religio

  • Difference between something being a phenomenological mystery and it being something can’t explain
  • Ex: phenomenologically impossible for me to perspectivally know what it is like to be dead - can’t get a framing of my own non-existence. That’s not proof I’m immortal
  • Mystery: need an additional argument to go from phenomenological mystery to claim theoretical inexplicability
  • Can never make a focal object of my framing my capacity for RR perspectivally
  • Whenever thinking or doing anything it’s always framed. What I’m thinking of is inside the frame. But what’s not inside the frame is the framing process -> mysterious
  • I vs. Me: can never see the I, but by means of the I. But doesn’t mean unaware of it, always have a subsidiary awareness. Always aware through the I. Not inaccessible. But can’t focalize it.
  • The machinery of RR is a deep phen. mystery
  • Can’t use the objects of subjects and objects to talk about RR in the sense of exemplifying it - transjective
  • But not a theoretical inexplicability
  • The mystery opens up an affordance of trajectory of transframing that allows us to participate in, perspectivally, that kind of wonder and awe of religio
  • Can get into a transjective trajectory flow state - celebrating in flow our participation in religio.
  • To make significant, to reflect upon, to celebrate and enact religio is to fundamentally enhance our agency, the disclosure of the world and our connectedness to it.
  • What else could be more valuable to us?

The Sacred vs. Sacredness

  • What’s missing in religio but found in religion is to confront the sacred
  • The sacred: when we want some accountof the metaphysics of what grounds our experience of sacredness - metaphysical proposal - supernatural
  • Sacredness: psycho-existential proposal: what it’s like to experience it
  • Existential:
    • Modal
    • Being mode
    • Transjectivity
    • Primordiality
  • Psycho:
    • Cognitive processing
    • Knowing
    • Embodiedness, embeddedness
  • Religio is psycho-existential as well
  • Sacredness within a psycho-existential sense, ground it in RR, then make proposal about what it tells us about metaphysics.
  • Sacredness:
    • Agent-arena relationship
    • Domocide: disastrous. Deep loneliness, deep cultural shock
    • Part of sacredness is to hone the world: (Goetz)
    • We hone the world and the world hones around us
    • One of the functions of sacredness is a meta-meaning level
    • Goetz: religion not a system of meaning but meta-meaning.
    • If agent-arena relationship doesn’t hold, none of the other systems of meaning can work - won’t make sense
    • Religion he argues if you don’t have religion none of individual systems work.
    • Religion: experience, cultural and individual experience of sacredness gives us meta-meaning system that protects from domocide
    • One of the functions of sacredness is the meta-meaning process of homing us against horror
    • Horror overwhelmed by loneliness, alienation, anxiety, etc.
    • When we go into a sacred setting, we have pscyho-technologies that allow us to do the serious play with sacredness so we are homed against horror
    • research shows one way to improve capacity to make way in the world is to be committed to a spiritual community and a spiritual path (with a history behind it), institutions to make it more prototypically like a religion
    • He’s not looking for a nostalgic return but looking at the functionality
    • Worldview attunement: homing against horror
    • Criticize goetz: mistake if think sacredness can be reduced to or identified solely with the machinery of worldview attunement and homing against horror
    • It is necessary, but not sufficient feature of sacredness
    • Ex: gnosticism as a response to domicide. Gnosticism a way of trying to awaken us to the primordiality and mystery of religio - also transjectory of transframing is transgressive: trying to overturn the grammar of a worldview.
    • Points to something else the sacred does for us.
    • Otto: influenced by Kant:
      • Holy: related to wholeness and completeness, health
      • Typically think of it as righteousness and glory
      • Numinous - the fundamental experience
      • The experience of the numinous is to experience the transgressive side of the sacredness, how it opens us up in wonder and awe, and takes us to the horizon of horror

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