quote: Originally posted by Phil: Nondual consciousness cannot establish as truth . . .

[johnboy clipped Phil's list of creedal, doctrinal & discipline questions] These are all important questions, some moreso than others, and the Christian community has had to clarify their meaning(s) on many occasions. In almost every case, nondual insight has had very little contribution to make to the outcome.

I agree with Phil, Dominicus. Perhaps you mean nondual insight as narrowly defined as an extraordinary enlightenment-like experience, but I interpret that experience as differing in degree, not kind, from other more ordinary nondual experiences (per Andy Newberg's research and reflections). Under any circumstances, nondual approaches, which are nonpropostional, would not be expected to contribute creedal propositions, which are supra-rational (superreasonable), but such nonrational approaches are, nevertheless, indispensable axiologically as affective attunements, which turn our attention to that (Whom, or even womb) which ultimately concerns us, shaping the end(s) we live for, making us in the image of Whom (or what) we desire. We don't want to buy into Wilber's category error and respond to his alleged hege- monism by countering that the dualistic appproach is, itself, necessary and sufficient. Rather, we dismiss the false dichotomy and embrace an authentic integralism, which recognizes that both contribute distinct aspects to every human value-realization, as we are embodied pre-rationally, non-rationally, rationally and suprarationally (faith). In fact, in arriving at creedal and doctrinal formulations, the community first engaged in post-experiential reflection ensuing from practices (liturgical, devotional, communal and moral), whereby their desires were thus formed in community, whereupon certain behaviors were found to conform, normatively, in realizing the associated values. Nondual approaches thus, typically, lead the way, as there is a mystical core to organized religions. From primary encounters with truth, creed is then articulated toward the end of sharing it. From primary encounters with beauty, rituals are then cultivated toward the end of celebrating it. From primary encounters with goodness, codes are then elaborated toward the end of preserving it. From primary encounters with love, community is formed toward the end of sustaining it. quote: Originally posted by Phil: One extreme conclusion to draw would be that, because nondual knowing does not/cannot resolve these issues, then they are thus unimportant, irrelevant, "dualistic" in concern, 1

and, hence, a distraction to the true goal of Christ's message, which is nondual mysticism. That seems to be a position I hear articulated in one way or another by various writers today.

Hege-monism and imperialist dualism are two peas in the same false dichotomy pod, which, when planted, makes for a bad epistemic weed. quote: Originally posted by Phil: What do you all think of this? I'll leave that question hanging, and will reflect on this with you in the days ahead, but I do invite your response to this position.

Jim Arraj wrote: "In an intentional nonduality, I don't have the same nature as God, but I can become like God through knowledge and love. Therefore, the way is open for me to try to know and love as much as possible." Here he was distinguishing between an ontological and intentional nonduality. But he went further: "No matter how 'metaphysical' much of Buddhist and Hindu literature appears to be, I don't think they are talking in the same ontological way [as Thomas Aquinas]." And that, also, sounds very right-headed to me, for their focus often seems to be much more soteriological , much less ontological (only with vague implications not robust metaphysics). I discussed above how a polydoxic perspective suggests that different soteriological (let's say, healing ) trajectories might vary as one primarily engages God as ground, contingency (and/) or relation. This is also to suggest that we should not, therefore, facilely conflate our conceptions of hindu karuna, christian agape and buddhist bodhicitta , for they would likely be differently textured, affectively, thus performed and enfleshed, variously (to borrow John Thatamanil 's phraseology and insights). Notwithstanding these important distinctions, the nondual approach does seem to afford one, East or West, an affective attunement, which certainly transvalues our interpersonal attunements. The approach, itself, and the intensity of its ensuing experiences are engaged along a broad spectrum of experiences and deep continuum of intensities. Few, East or West, engage what neuroscientists have metabolically mapped as thoroughgoing experiences of absolute unitary being (whether Enlightenment or mystical contemplation), but most experience some level of affective attunement and practice, to some extent, karuna, agape or bodhicitta (even if not in the socalled unitive way, many not even in the illuminative way, for that matter). 2

Both East and West, though, engage what are essentially nondual approaches, which, along with dualistic approaches, are integral to human value-realizations. Neither approach, alone, is sufficient; both are necessary. Dualistic approaches primarily engage positions , while nondual approaches primarily engage dispositions . Dualistic approaches primarily engage being intelligent, reasonable & responsible, while nondual approaches primarily engage being attentive & in love. Dualistic approaches primarily engage problem-solving realities, while nondual approaches primarily engage relational realities. In our encounter of other believers, initially, our discussion will necessarily involve a consideration of methods, practices and experiences and not, rather, belief systems, conclusions and propositions. What emerges, then, will not always be in the form of arguments (creeds, for example) in the strict sense. Instead, we are discovering a convergence that is more so of nonpropositional nature. This is to say that this convergence does not articulate, for example, a new narrative arch of a distinctly descriptive, normative or speculative nature, which would be a cosmological enterprise. Rather, this convergence has an axiological trajectory, which is to say that it fosters a harmonic resonance of an evaluative, interpretive or existential nature. Interpretively, we are coming away with a deepened sense of solidarity. Evaluatively, we share a profound sense of compassion. Our conversation, at first, will be less about positions and more about dispositions, about being disposed to a Deep Awareness, Deep Solidarity, Deep Compassion, Deep Humility, Deep Worship, Deep Justice, Deep Ecology and Deep Community. That these realities will play out in our lives we are confidently assured. How they will play out is something we explore in humility and civility with all people of goodwill. At first, ours will foremost be shared axiology, interpretively and evaluatively, of what we deeply desire and deeply value. We can share practices that shape, form, cultivate and celebrate these desires and values. We believe that, one day, this will lead also to a shared cosmology, descriptively and normatively, consistent with the best science and best philosophy. quote: Your life is shaped by the end you live for. You are made in the image of what you desire. Thomas Merton


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