Jung's concept of individuation is the process of self discovery and can be translated as 'self-realization'. That is to say, "the realization and int...moreJung's concept of individuation is the process of self discovery and can be translated as 'self-realization'. That is to say, "the realization and integration of all the possibilities immanent in the individual". This book is a good intro to Jung's psychology. (less)
Huxley was a brilliant man and this book was a very fascinating read. “To be shaken out of the ruts of ordinary perception“ says Aldous Huxley, “to be...moreHuxley was a brilliant man and this book was a very fascinating read. “To be shaken out of the ruts of ordinary perception“ says Aldous Huxley, “to be shown for a few timeless hours the outer and the inner world, not as they appear to an animal obsessed with survival or to a human being obsessed with words and notions, but as they are apprehended, directly and unconditionally, by Mind at Large - this is an experience of inestimable value to everyone and especially to the [psychologist, philosopher, theologian, scientist, artist, politician, etc].” He adds that the “man who comes back through the Door in the Wall will never be quite the same as the man who went out. He will be wiser, but less cocksure, happier but less self-satisfied, humbler in acknowledging his ignorance yet better equipped to understand the relationship of words to things, of systematic reasoning to the unfathomable Mystery which it tries, forever vainly, to comprehend.”
Below are some of my favorite quotes from this book:
"the judgment of a community or society cannot always prevent the projection process and the mista...moreBelow are some of my favorite quotes from this book:
"the judgment of a community or society cannot always prevent the projection process and the mistaken judgments, errors, and lies that accompany it, because whole groups can project collectively, so that their mistaken judgment passes officially for the acceptable description of reality."
"When unconscious identity operates negatively it causes us, naively and thoughtlessly, to take for granted that the other is like us and that what is valid for us is also valid for him, so that we feel justified in "improving' him, that is, in raping him psychologically. This is the origin of active projection."
"In the unconscious the inner world and the outer world are not differentiated."
"Jung surmised that an archetype in its quiet state is not projected".
"As this central, unified area of the unconscious is approached, time and space are increasingly relativized. The deepest area of the unconscious that is simply a unit or the center may therefore be understood as an omnipresence without extension. When something happens here at point A, which touches upon or affects the collective unconscious, it has happened everywhere. As this part of the objective psyche is not limited to the person, it is also not limited to the body. This psyche behaves as if it were one and not as if it were split up into many individuals. The multiplicity of the archetypes seems to be nullified or suspended in it."
"Jung conjectured therefore that the two poles of matter and psyche at the deepest level become one, in the sense of the existence of an unus mundus in which matter and spirit, outer and inner are no longer separate."
"A still living genuine symbol can thus never be 'resolved' (analyzed) by a rational interpretation, but can only be amplified by conscious associations; its nucleus, which is pregnant with meaning, remains unconscious as long as it is living and can only be divined."
In this book, Richard Bucke described the common mystical experiences in a wide variety of people including Jesus, Paul, Buddha, Plotinus, Dante, Baco...moreIn this book, Richard Bucke described the common mystical experiences in a wide variety of people including Jesus, Paul, Buddha, Plotinus, Dante, Bacon, Pascal, Blake, and Walt Whitman. According to Bucke, these experiences suggest an emerging faculty within human consciousness. Cosmic consciousness has been described in various ways by all of the world's mystical traditions. (less)
This book paints American foreign policy in a very different light. It's interesting how every culture has suffered from seeing only what they want to...moreThis book paints American foreign policy in a very different light. It's interesting how every culture has suffered from seeing only what they want to see. I still know people who think there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq regardless of the evidence.
I've listened to Chomsky far more than I've read his books. In religion, philosophers are so much more interesting to listen to than preachers. The same is true for politics. Many political activists sound more like preachers to me, but Chomsky sees things that very few people can see or articulate(like the manufacturing of consent). Chomsky isn't a religious man, and I understand why. But he is a powerhouse for social justice and promoting peace. And in my opinion, that is religious in the true sense of the word. (less)
Rational truth can be defined as ideas, definitions, facts, and concepts "about" reality. Mystical truth perhaps can be defined as a direct intuitive...moreRational truth can be defined as ideas, definitions, facts, and concepts "about" reality. Mystical truth perhaps can be defined as a direct intuitive apprehension "of" reality. Huxley does a terrific job in using the mystics from the East and the West to help us to understand this most important kind of truth. (less)
Bede Griffiths was a Catholic Priest who lived in India for forty years and tried to create a bridge between the East and the West. Mankind’s conquest...moreBede Griffiths was a Catholic Priest who lived in India for forty years and tried to create a bridge between the East and the West. Mankind’s conquest over nature comes from a disenchanted ego centered dualistic worldview. Western culture tends to be characterized by rationalism, masculinity, individualism, contractual relationships, capitalism, and science. According to Griffiths, it is an imbalance. Eastern culture (that has not been westernized) has been the counter balance to the west. It’s characteristics tend to be collective, passive, intuitive, feminine, and mystical.
Both eastern and western philosophy seems to represent two aspects of ourselves (perhaps corresponding to the two hemispheres of our brain). According to Griffiths, if consciousness and unity is to develop, the masculine and rational side of culture must not repress the feminine and mystical. This lopsided imbalance is the state we now find ourselves in western culture. “Yet it still remains possible”, says Father Bede Griffiths, “to conceive of a development of science and technology which would not seek to dominate nature in the style of the West, but to work with nature, building up from the basis of the village economy, as Mahatma Gandhi sought to do, and so create a new culture, in which humankind and nature, reason and intuition, the Yang and the Yin, would be brought into harmony.” (less)
Griffiths is a bridge between the East and West. I tend to agree with Father Griffiths who said without the enrichment of the mystical traditions of A...moreGriffiths is a bridge between the East and West. I tend to agree with Father Griffiths who said without the enrichment of the mystical traditions of Asia, western churches will have a difficult time discovering the fullness of Christ. After forty years of living in India, the Hindu way to God was, for Father Griffiths, like finding the other half of his soul. Western churches have focused so much on the rational that salvation itself has become a quasi-mathematical formula. (less)
Every era throughout history goes through a kind of insanity. Perhaps the psychopathology of modernity is the disconnect between the psyche of nature...moreEvery era throughout history goes through a kind of insanity. Perhaps the psychopathology of modernity is the disconnect between the psyche of nature and the human psyche. We are living in an era where the material aspects of nature are emphasized and exploited for short term economic gain. This is most likely due to our modern disenchanted world view. Technology is the crown of the Enlightenment, but when man removes himself from the Tao, he steps into a void, where human nature begins to resemble something artificial. Cultural and individual wholeness can only take place when we recognize that we are an integral part of the environment. This book provides dozens of perspectives on how this can be accomplished. (less)
This book isn't just about tea; it's more about Zen and aesthetics. I loved the following story:
Once in the Ravine of Lungmen stood a Kiri tree, a ve...moreThis book isn't just about tea; it's more about Zen and aesthetics. I loved the following story:
Once in the Ravine of Lungmen stood a Kiri tree, a veritable king of the forest. It reared its head to talk to the stars; its roots struck deep into the earth, mingling their bronzed coils with those of the silver dragon that slept beneath. And it came to pass that a mighty wizard made of this tree a wondrous harp, whose stubborn spirit should be tamed but by the greatest musicians. For long the instrument was treasured by the Emperor of China, but all in vain were the efforts of those who in turn tried to draw melody from its strings. The harp refused to recognize a master.
"At last came Peiwoh, the prince of harpists. With tender hand he caressed the harp as one might seek to soothe an unruly horse, and softly touched the chords. He sang of nature and the seasons, of high mountains and flowing waters, and all the memories of the tree awoke! Once more the sweet breath of spring played amidst its branches. The young cataracts, as they danced down the ravine, laughed to the budding flowers, the gentle pattering of rain, the wail of the cuckoo. Hark! A tiger roars, - the valley answers again. It is autumn; in the desert night, sharp like a sword gleams the moon upon the frosted grass. Now winter reigns, and through the snow-filled air swirl flocks of swans and rattling hailstones beat upon the boughs with fierce delight.
Then Peiwoh changed the key and sang of love. The forest swayed like an ardent swain deep lost in thought. On high, like a haughty maiden, swept a cloud bright and fair; but passing, trailed long shadows on the ground, black like despair… In ecstasy the Celestial monarch asked Peiwoh wherein lay the secret of his victory. “Sire,” he replied, “others have failed because they sang but of themselves. I left the harp to choose its theme, and knew not truly whether the harp had been Peiwoh or Peiwoh were the harp.”
Okakura Kakuzo in The Book of Tea uses this story to illustrate the mystery of art appreciation. Peiwoh represents art and humanity is the harp. “At the magic touch of the beautiful” says Kakuzo “the secret chords of our being are awakened, we vibrate and thrill in response to its call. We listen to the unspoken, we gaze upon the unseen. Memories long forgotten all come back to us with a new significance. Hopes stifled by fear, yearnings that we dare not recognize, stand forth in new glory…The art lover transcends himself.” (less)
This book was a catalyst for further research on this subject. The climax of the book, I think, is the chapter on mysticism. Although all spiritual an...moreThis book was a catalyst for further research on this subject. The climax of the book, I think, is the chapter on mysticism. Although all spiritual and aesthetic experiences are grounded in mystical states of consciousness, it is the mystical experience itself that James claims to be of paramount importance. He describes the common characteristics:
1. Ineffability - The structure of language seems to be completely unable to communicate the experience. They seem to transcend creeds and doctrines and are usually described more like cosmic consciousness, mystic union, nirvana, the fusion of the subjective world and objective world, etc.
2. Noetic - Although similar to states of feeling, they seem to be more like states of intuitive knowledge and carry an unusual sense of authority.
3. They only last for very short periods of time.
James gives the following example: "All at once without any warning of any kind, I found myself wrapped in a flame-colored cloud...I knew the fire was within myself. Directly afterward there came upon me a sense of exultation accompanied by an illumination impossible to describe. I saw...that the foundational principle of the world is what we call love. The vision lasted a few seconds and was gone; but the memory of it and the sense of reality of what it taught has remained during the quarter of a century which has since elapsed. That view, that conviction, I may say that consciousness, has never, even during periods of the deepest depression been lost."(less)