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Thread: Transcendence

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    creator kari's Avatar
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    Transcendence

    I was talking with my friend about what constitutes a "divine experience"

    +++

    To start -

    Why do people say "God is Truth"?

    Why do people say "God is Love"?

    For me, transcendence, as the opposite of immanence, is what constitutes that divine experience

    Love and truth are so absolute in nature that they transcend the mortal realm.

    Then I thought about qualia...

    Love is kind of like experiencing another's qualia - transcending your own subjective experience to feel another's subjective experience.

    And God is often conceptualised as a universal consciousness,

    So to have a divine experience is to experience the qualia of God.
    I fucking hate the cold! - Wim Hof

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    Pull the strings! Architect's Avatar
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    Another angle on this is the concept of the numinous which I prefer. The numinous seems to be an inherent feature of human psyche, or perhaps of corporeal existence. Being in a beautiful natural setting with the sun coming up can evoke this. Another version is music, we are the only species that makes music which can also frequently evoke these feelings. But "God" is a concept without a decent basis. Scratch 10 people as to what it means and get 10 different vague answers. But if you ask them if they experienced the numinous most will say yes.

    I think the concept of God - as you mention it here, is a way for us to describe these numinous experiences. Because it seems gives you access to a greater connection with the world. Another interpretation is that taken by Spinoza which is that of the Theistic God (as opposed to the Deistic God I think you reference above). Using the word God in this sense is a convenient way of saying "greater connection with the rest of the universe", and I think here we get to what is really going on. We evolved to have a singular perspective (avoid predators, find food and procreate), but humans, with a large brains, have the capacity to see things outside our narrow perspective. This gets into the concept of love you mention above.

    I think from this people then springboard off the deep end by getting into "God is Truth", "God is Love" etc, when so far I think we've been on a solid basis of the experience.

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    creator kari's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Architect View Post
    But "God" is a concept without a decent basis. Scratch 10 people as to what it means and get 10 different vague answers. But if you ask them if they experienced the numinous most will say yes.
    It might be an interesting exercise to ask 10 people from varying religious denominations this question. I might do so and report back. I guess the problem is I don't know 10 religious people... I was just in a chapel two weeks ago and had the perfect opportunity to, dammit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Architect View Post
    I think the concept of God - as you mention it here, is a way for us to describe these numinous experiences. Because it seems gives you access to a greater connection with the world. Another interpretation is that taken by Spinoza which is that of the Theistic God (as opposed to the Deistic God I think you reference above). Using the word God in this sense is a convenient way of saying "greater connection with the rest of the universe", and I think here we get to what is really going on. We evolved to have a singular perspective (avoid predators, find food and procreate), but humans, with a large brains, have the capacity to see things outside our narrow perspective. This gets into the concept of love you mention above.
    Yes I've been thinking about this a lot... It seems to relate to the concept of ego death - stripping away the facade of individual identity and instead seeing yourself as part of a larger organism. Spinoza's God is like that, the idea that the sum of the world is greater than the parts, and so Spinoza's God is paradoxically both transcendent and immanent, as both the totality of all nature and the totality being greater and transcendent than the sum
    I fucking hate the cold! - Wim Hof

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    Sky Anvil Vison's Avatar
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    For me transcendence is when you stop identifying as a single being and start as a piece of greater interconnected whole of awe-inspiring immensity. All "localized" identification of the self dissappears.

    Euphoric hypomania and mania in bipolar disorder does this for me. Emphasis on euphoria. I feel very comfortable saying I have met my "god/s." The universe is a symphony of an ever increasing complex dance of life surging forward into ecstatic joy of experience.

    The numinous, as Architect brought up, is a very mild version of this. It's calm and clean, and ultimately more sustainable.
    Oh fuck it, Its the 90's.

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    Pull the strings! Architect's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kali View Post
    It might be an interesting exercise to ask 10 people from varying religious denominations this question. I might do so and report back.
    In my experience people don't let you get an opportunity to ask such a question, and if you do you find they never really thought about it.

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    I say I had one. Doctors say it was bipolar mania, hah!

    I believe Gnostic Christianity tries to achieve what you mentioned. In the sense that Gnosis means knowledge. Knowledge of what? Knowledge of direct experience with the divine. You transcend from faith to knowing. Not all knowing. Just no longer requiring faith because you know...if that makes sense.

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    Sky Anvil Vison's Avatar
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    Sufism and taoism are very similar in that regard as well. Loose the chains of doctrine.
    Oh fuck it, Its the 90's.

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    Aporia Dysphoria Dirac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kari View Post
    Love is kind of like experiencing another's qualia - transcending your own subjective experience to feel another's subjective experience.
    Interestingly, this is what I think the purpose of art is. An attempt to bridge the qualia gap.
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