In correspondence with Anthony Garner of zenothestoic.com, who is a follower of this blog, he made an interesting declaration of where he is in his progress as a Seeker.
He kindly agreed to let me share this ‘manifesto’, with my added comments, as follows:
“I believe that unknown unknows greatly (perhaps almost infinitely) exceed known knowns. I admire scientific achievement but believe that we are as fish in a bowl and may never be able to see outside our universe. Or even to the fullest reaches of the inside.
“I have always had a great affinity to Teilhard de Chardin and the concept of the Omega Point. Electric lights and the telephone would once have been deemed impossible magic. The concept of god or reality should be widened out and not restricted to the (frankly) ridiculous dogma of many of the world’s religious thought experiments.
“I see no conflict between mysticism in a very broad sense and science. It can only be a belief of course, my belief, but eventually, like de Chardin, I see sentience approaching the level of what we would now call “god” or at least something with godlike powers.
“Am I talking of Spinoza’s god? Very probably. I certainly do not refer to the Abrahamic version but the Buddhist sense of an infinitely fecund emptiness gets me much closer.*
“Is god a number, an algorithm? Perhaps.
“Personally, I shall never cease to wonder at the universe and to hope for better things.”
I am much impressed with your erudition on the subject of mysticism Anthony, because all that written stuff seems to me to come only from human experience, mainly of the mind, (though maybe derived from some real mystical experience too, who knows? People of the ages could not admit to mystical experience in those religion sodden days so it’s difficult to know who had the mystic experience or not …!)
Whatever, you seem to have a special attribute that enables such works to “speak to your (spiritual) condition” as the Quakers would say.
If that’s true you are very much an exception to the widely held mystical belief that human learning and books are not the way Reality reveals Itself to us.
Perhaps it’s the way Reality just reveals Itself basically, without the full experience – but only to sincere Seekers with a real vocation so Seekers know they are on a real path?
PS: Your, “the Buddhist sense of an infinitely fecund emptiness” is a description of what I saw in some of my experiences! Though at the time I had them It didn’t make me think of fecundity as one of Reality’s attributes.
‘Fecundity’ is certainly one way of describing Reality’s creation of everything known and unknown.
Coincidentally, my blogged description of this ’emptiness’ lead to another follower suggesting I had achieved what Hinduism strives for, Brahm.
I told him nothing in my experiences suggested any ‘achievement’, if any, were ever under any volition of my own! All my mystical experiences of Reality, (MER), were infused in me without choice, spontaneously …