Occasionally "cc," a regular commenter on this blog, sends me email messages. They're as cogent, interesting, and well-written as his comments.
Below is a recently-received message that deserves sharing. One of the things I like most about cc's style is the open-endedness of his thoughts. Usually what he says leaves me with more questions, rather than answers.
Or questions about answers.
Reading the following message, I was struck by the words numinous and numinosity. "Numinous" usually is considered to belong in the realm of religion, referring to some sort of divine experience.
But the Wikipedia article notes that numinous can be separated from religion and the supernatural.
For example, when one experiences awe and fascination with natural phenomenon such as majestic landscapes, night sky or deep appreciation of fellow human creations such as art and engineering marvels. At times like these a feeling of the numinous can overwhelm the mind and body, yet in no way is this interpreted to be supernatural or of divine origin. The very fact that one feels inspired by such encounters extends the depth of feeling of the numinous and makes accessible a real sense of humane solidarity with ourselves and with our natural world.
A You Tube video is referenced that consists of a discussion between Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, and Christopher Hitchens. I'll embed it after cc's message. Well worth watching. We can have a non-supernatural sense of the "divine," for sure.
Here's what "cc" had to say:
The more you know about mistakes, the less likely you are to make them. Sometimes it's reasonable to assume that someone knows better than you, and sometimes it's foolish.
It's best to find out what someone claims to know before believing them, and if what they know is too abstruse or recondite for you to verify or deny, it's best to be skeptical.
Some people know a lot about some things and a lot of people just think they know things, and this is because most people can't really think. If they could, they would see the error of accepting anything that can't be tested for veracity or be logically explained without allowing for the numinous.
Pascal's wager was that it's better to assume the existence of God than to doubt or deny it because, should it turn out that God does exist, the doubter/disbeliever is worse off. But what about the self? Do I, me, you, as persons really exist, or are we as fictitious as God?
If you found out that you are no more than an improvised character constantly adapting or constantly justifying its intransigence, would that have a liberating and innoculating effect, or would it compel you to launch a new religion?
You might do the latter if you'd lived a hundred years ago when the realization of what self is/isn't was big news to people who hadn't made a religion of it yet.
The truth is that most people are dreadfully confused about the self because, as much as they want themselves to be found non-existent, they don't want to lose the numinous. They want it both ways, and they go about having it by using magic words - words for which the meanings can't be pinned down.
The words "love" and "self" are so uncertain in their meanings that they can mean what you want them to mean. Religion is built on what can't be grasped, and science, on what can.
The scientist looks down on the religionist because all he really does is play with words, and the religionist looks down on the scientist because he views the numinous skeptically.
How can we talk meaningfully about love if we can't live lovingly on this planet? How can we talk meaningfully about the self if we can't acknowledge its appointed numinosity?
The Realization of No Self is Enlightenment
It helps mankind, but not the poor person
whom realizes it and is afflicted with it.
This poor person has been stripped of Disneyland.
Much of the motivation and
meaning of life are stripped away.
Our brain is a slab of meat.
Yet, our brain wants to dine with God
in Sach Kand. And, merge with the Creator.
Yes, we are a slab of meat, unless
Something Else is involved we do not suspect.
Posted by: Mike Williams | June 02, 2013 at 09:21 PM
"Numinous" is one of those magic words. It can refer to the realm of religious notions (which is how I used it), or to any experience that undermines or overthrows the mind's notion of what is true and irrevocable.
Posted by: cc | June 02, 2013 at 10:07 PM
Yes, thanks, for writing the above, cc...excellent !...Great video, too.
I see, also, how religion has indeed 'hijacked' numinosity as one of the guys talking stated.
Posted by: aristok | June 03, 2013 at 06:50 AM
"The Realization of No Self is Enlightenment"
---Could you expand(discuss in further detail) on what Realization is meant by, in this usage?
Posted by: Roger | June 04, 2013 at 09:52 AM
People can read Susan Blackmore
and find out consciousness is temporal.
Thought can never be a self. Yet, thought
weaves itself into a WHO.
Thought dreams up a self, or WHO.
Our brain is a piece of meat.
Can a slice of prime rib ever be a
self ? Not only a self, but a piece
of meat that can become one with God ?
If there is a God and we do manage to
get to Sach Kand, we may find out we
are "whats for dinner".
Realization by the person he has no self
strips one of all ego and vain persuits
to wax a non existant self.
Posted by: Mike Williams | June 04, 2013 at 01:24 PM
Inspiring post – as always –
with an awakening effect on my “slab of meat”
though very disillusioning
because anyhow it has to be taken into consideration that our self (our individual self) most probably doesn’t exist.
So we really are in a bad situation, realizing our impermanence
and that we are not so special that we will exist for ever and ever
as we tend to believe
due to our fear of death
what remains as a compensative factor and a hope is
what you said in one of your previous posts:
“If we have no self , must not everything be our Self?
Posted by: Sandra | June 04, 2013 at 02:53 PM
"Can a slice of prime rib ever be a
self ? Not only a self, but a piece
of meat that can become one with God?"
Mike, it's quite well known that a slice of prime rib did, in fact, achieve self-realization before becoming one with God...that is, before God ate it.
Posted by: cc | June 04, 2013 at 03:46 PM
Hi cc and Sandra,
Yes, COTC is in fact the "House of Pork".
Our pen names should be tenderloins,
rump roast, pork bellies, pig ears
I would like a satsangi to explain
to me how beef, with a little static
electricity, can merge with God.
Well, if God eats us, we certainly will
merge. But, then again, we may exit Him as poop.
So, it might not only be said God gets the last laugh,
but God also gets the last crap.
Unless Something Else is involved we don't suspect.
Posted by: Mike Williams | June 04, 2013 at 10:05 PM
The great mystery, so utterly incomprehensible, is only due to seeking the truth as an object.
When you look at the moon you are the moon looking at itself.
Posted by: tucson | June 05, 2013 at 11:26 PM
No when i am looking at the moon i am just looking at the moon.
Ain't you moon you are a man.
Posted by: Slayd | June 06, 2013 at 01:28 AM
You are existing a long time
but today is the first time I m looking
It's a lot to go through all stuff but I think You c q readers/commenters
there are some doubting the existance of God
Ever heard of 'solopism'
It is that a "source" plays a storybook with himself
Just You alone exist, all other stuff , me included is virtual
Amnesia is implied for activating more realness
and yes reincarnation(s) in the same game so that all this wilml not end itself to rapidly.
Now, advaita people they always talk about Oneness but not really as solopism
because when you really believed that
you would be SO alone.
I think it is exactly like said
because there is no other reasoable explanation
To win the lotto
is mathematically a 1: 50 billion chance
but to exist is much less
If you place a zero on each electron
in the univers it wouldn't be enough.
Further because the whole enterprise can take hazardous forms there is a rescue security exit
which is identifying yourself with
the Sound, a strange expression on this forum be bewitched , . . like Guru Nanak says.
Anybody can join, also the people outside the Disneyland
The reason God is doing this trick and many other tricks is very simple
Imaging you are so powerful and you have everything . . .
what would you like to receive for birthday
Nothing can apply than LOVE
So , if from each Galaxy the gain would be One Saint_like person filled with love
the love_harvest would be immense
grace to some compassionated jeevas, . . who share, . . it is more
Charan said : " It ever grows"
Yes , that's a part of the trick
There is no heaven although there is the seventh heaven ( vvirtually but real )
You are already in that system of approaching this knot of accumulated love at a center In a spiral way approach ( fibonnaci way )
You never be the center
and Swami Ji confirms this saying
there is Alakh, Agam etc
Imaging how "long" this is underway already
You can consume all those experiences
while approaching this center
It's a big giant Fun to participate
also full of proof underway
I joined long ago, I see former lives
and you will too
There is this thing always ignored about Satgurus
when you see the more or less "Radiant Face", you also see and are "hypntysed" by the face of the Guru of your own Master , like Charan is bewitched akll the time by Sawan, and so on and so on
You see Jaimal, You see so many guys
when I say 'see' I mean Djyan
which is difficult to explain
It is majestic, one can only cry
I was initiated in 1965
and there was no second without the feel I describe here
It is a splendid Path
All the best and Cheers
I will stay anonymous which will permit me
to tell some more in the future
Posted by: 777 | June 06, 2013 at 03:10 AM
"I was initiated in 1965 and there was no second without the feel I describe here. It is a splendid Path"
---Where is the "Radiant Face" experienced? Inside the brain or some other place? How does the human brain create a 'splendid' path? Is the brain creating the 'feel' as described, since 1965? Please don't ask me to read a book or website.
Posted by: Roger | June 06, 2013 at 10:04 AM
There need be no other understanding than the obvious...that what I-HERE-NOW-AM is no object.
If I am no objective thing, I am not a subject either because a subject is an object.
Anything other than this direct perception implies an entity conceptualizing.
Even this that is being said here now can become conceptual. If so, then I become some objectivized thing. But I cannot be thought because what I am is necessarily unconscious of being conscious.
As a thought, being conceptualized, I see that what I am is that kind of object which is no-object. But what I am is not a no-object. I am total objective absence which is total subjective presence, unaware of absence as of presence.
I, therefore, am not, whereby I AM, I who am necessarily everything and no thing and neither any nor no thing.
So, the Universe is I.
You are what I am and I am what you are. I am what God is.
Is God what we are?
YES! If we sing it.
Posted by: tucson | June 06, 2013 at 11:24 PM
yes it's the same as the maximum you can remember when you had this supercrush on a girl
It's done with our imaging power
But it ever grows
from a molecule to a kind of Mount Everest
There is nothing static in that phenomenon
It is a wave form but spiraling up
It is pushed by that sound that probably
every human hears without being aware
Once aware the Three join
and part of the Ego is absorb in it
with interference in music
Advaitist say that there is silence but that is just before things start to happen before the highs chakra opens
Also a little remark about physical dhyan
You must agree and let happen but the value of looking with your eyes to a person 'more developed' than you is that
where one has to sit for hours before things 'happen'
the holy guy makes happen these things without the slightest effort
other than the train to go there.
In that way I was really made sure that Gurinder is Charan s successor
Although much less impressive as a guy
he makes it happen also, these things
you don't have to work for.
SuperPath, Yes, nice is also that it's not for the pious people
there are some but a lot of scum :) is there too.
Even if a neuro biologist explains to me
that it's all my own mind and I might agree ( wiki solopism )
I wouldn't have missed a second of my long life
Posted by: 777 | June 09, 2013 at 03:21 AM
thanks for sharing
Posted by: ragambet | January 22, 2022 at 10:04 PM