It’s not that I realized they were untrue—all my complaints were true, pretty much. UFO cults, which make no supernatural claims, disprove the rationalist belief that religion’s faults stem from supernaturalism. (Inherent salience is well-understood in visual psychophysics.). I felt shut in a small box, confined in space and time and possibilities for action. When my senses are tingling, I take it as a cue to practice wonder. The meaning of the Moon has become richer over time. A schematic overview of stances regarding the meaningness of the self: non-self, True Self, and intermittently continuing. There is no end to the things that can awaken our wonder, from the majesty of the night sky to the smell of lilacs in the spring to the turning of the leaves in the fall. Taken as an epistemology, logic is a wrong-way reduction: it turns difficult problems of practical reasoning into impossible feats of deduction. It is a non-instrumental attitude. Brains automatically find meaning and pattern; we need them to act. The book is a work in progress; pages marked ⚒︎ are under construction. When desperate to deny all meanings, we use absurd pseudo-rational, pseudo-scientific, intellectual arguments to justify nihilism. It’s not esoteric or special. With the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, we overcome the evil one by proving his temptations to be lies because he is the father of lies (John 8:44). Eternalism is hard to overcome because we normally see meanings, as if they were objectively given.3 We see vomit on the sidewalk as revolting, a smile as flirtatious, a bit of fluff on the carpet as meaningless. Fixation and denial are the two simplest ways of refusing to deal with the nebulosity of meaningness. You can’t just say “right, I’ll do an hour’s worth of wonder now, and then have lunch.” (Or anyway I can’t!). The fundamental method for resolving problems of meaning: by finding nebulosity, pattern, and their inseparable relationship. Awe is rare—because overwhelming, incomprehensible situations are usually dangerous, or else soon become overly familiar. The best method involved using a highly accurate clock and fancy telescopes, which they brought. Great confusions about meaningness stem from the mistaken assumption that there must be some sort of eternal ordering principle. In 1772, Maskelyne submitted a funding proposal to test the hypothesis.13 Money came through in 1773, and Maskelyne put Mason on the job of finding a suitable mass. I walked away. Lite nihilism weakens the claim, to make it plausible. Wonderstone is a kind of Jasper, which is a silicon dioxide mineral and an opaque form of microcrystalline Chalcedony or Quartz.. Too late, they realized they had created a monster: a tragedy in the ancient style. These occur throughout all major eras of history but do appear with greater frequency at key periods of God's self-revelation. (Except free will lets us do evil.). A flash of spiritual light might carry more meaning than you realize, so it’s important for you to consider what it represents. I explain why this is wrong. Unfortunately, brains also find meaning and pattern where there are none. Exploring the Full Moon’s symbolic meaning is a journey full of intrigue, mystery, and wonder. That can come as a release and a relief; or you may feel agoraphobia. How—and why!—countercultures sought to reform psychologies and polities: to counteract alienation, anxiety, and anomie. On the other hand, when we treat science as cold, hard evidence, and conclusions, it looses its spiritual essence. The overview of textures explained that wonder leads to curiosity, and then to humor, and play, and enjoyment, and creation. Recognizing that meaning is both nebulous and patterned resolves this false dichotomy. There is a better alternative to both! Heightened agendaless attention can perceive the unexpected, which reveals freshness: whatever you see, hear, smell, taste or touch is unique, not merely another instance of a familiar category. Tick marks on the wheel told them the telescope’s angle from straight up. On the other hand, if you don’t notice wonder when it arises spontaneously, then you don’t cut it off by reflex—but maybe you don’t get much benefit from it, either. From first principles, they calculated that their position error should not be more than fifty feet. An ethical system that reliably delivers correct moral judgements is a wishful fantasy. Meaningness is a book, best read in order. Five confused attitudes to life purpose, as an introduction to meaningness. Practice develops a non-conceptual familiarity, which is more reliable. These were surprises of the “never would have imagined” sort.14 What else might I be wrong about, if my understanding of gravity and of technological history were so wrong? No such system is possible. Reminding yourself and others of how bad nihilism is can help maintain the eternalist stance. The key aspects of a stance toward meaning, and how to use them effectively. St. Christopher is known as the “patron saint of travelers”. In fact, the line they laid out does repeatedly veer hundreds of feet off from straight east-west.12 And not at random…. “Ugh, dirty, and I’m stuck in a house6 full of spiders, they’re creepy, maybe poisonous, I don’t want to have to clean this up, it’s a hassle, I don’t have time for it, I have other stupid stuff I have to do.” All that in a fraction of a second: not as thoughts articulated in words, but as the overall, oppressive gestalt of the encounter. Playfulness, which recognizes the mingled pattern and nebulosity of meaning, is a characteristic texture of activity in the complete stance. Errors of monism and dualism: denying and fixating object boundaries and connections. It cannot deliver the meta-certainty it promises. The symbolic meaning of Horse as a spirit animal is all about power ~ think "horse-power" ~ the Horse exemplifies being tuned for maximum power, and extraordinary endurance. Causality is inherently nebulous; many things have no definite cause, but still we can find useful patterns. The thrill of discovery, the enchantment with our world and our universe motivate us to peer into the unknown, and wonder what’s out there. This is impossible, because there are no fixed meanings. It was later adapted into a one-episode OVA in 1992, entitled Chaina-san no Yūutsu (チャイナさんの憂鬱, lit. Here’s how to dispel them. A schematic overview of fundamental stances regarding ethics. Filters Feeling or showing wonder… Rationality is a valuable way of knowing, but cannot provide explanations or meanings for everything. For this, Mason and Dixon used a zenith sector. Alma; Alma has Latin roots and is a popular Celtic name. Wonder is the feeling of accepting contact with nebulosity. A schematic overview of stances toward social authority. Sneaky! But meaning does exist: as interaction. Fundamentalism is not traditional; it is a modern, countercultural movement, opposed to tradition and to post-modernity. Stops us for barreling into the future so fast we miss the present. Examples of people with the gift of faith are those listed in Hebrews chapter 11. Their glories have passed. Maybe you can supply the gleam from memories of similar scenes.). Wrong-way reduction is a logical fallacy that turns messy, tractable problems into tidy, impossible ones. Why? They were wrong. Dividing purposes into higher and mundane, mission pursues higher ends and rejects pragmatism; materialism seeks only selfish goals. “Agendaless attention” means that you are not looking or listening for anything in particular. "So what?" (Deuteronomy 13:1-3). To the extent that you have stabilized the complete stance, its six textures often occur naturally and effortlessly. They have nothing in common with the large-scale structure of the universe, apart from a purely coincidental and superficial visual similarity. Recognizing this frees us from metaphysical delusions. Reasonable respectability: the sheep's stance to social authority. However, I would expect the gaze to fixate on inherently salient visual features, rather than task-relevant ones. 1.1. Concerning relationships one may have with stances: basic attitudes toward meaningness. I hope you can see how each of those contributed to the writing of this little story. Another study found that VR-induced awe increases a standard measure of creativity (Alice Chirico, et al., “Awe Enhances Creative Thinking,” Creativity Research Journal, 30:2, 123-131 (2018)).17. These do seem to facilitate wonder. Recognizing the nebulosity of purposes frees us to enjoy life and be useful to others. The 1960s-80s countercultures dissolved the boundaries between self and society, ethical and political—setting us up for decades of culture war. This is at least the third time I’ve tried to write about agendaless perception and suspension of interpretation—although I haven’t used exactly those terms before. Instead, you appreciate the vividness of pattern, the fascinating richness. Surprise as in “I couldn’t have imagined this beforehand.”. Ideologies deliberately create and sustain that illusion. John’s second letter commends the young Christians whose spiritual strength came from the Word of God living in them. Confusing nebulosity with non-existence is a common, sometimes harmful, source of conceptual confusions. Claims that everything is meaningful, or that nothing is, are motivated by fears: fear of the opposite. Mason chose Schiehallion, an isolated Scottish peak whose nearly-symmetrical conical shape would simplify calculations. A complete summary overview of all the dimensions of meaningness, with all the common stances one can take to them. I’ll pass along a bit of what I learned, with citations in case they inspire you to follow up. Your Guardian Angel can help you learn what these angel signs mean so you can continue to grow spiritually. This book proposes a better, fourth alternative. Discovering what you actually like can be surprising, and supports enjoyable usefulness as your purpose in life. Passing a tabloid rack in a grocery store, I am reminded that my curiosity can be trained on wonders not sensationalism. On the other hand, wonder is not a subjective experience;10 it’s not something that just happens to you, like awe. Events which unmistakeably involve an immediate and powerful action of God designed to reveal His character or purposes. Gaspard. Accomplishing eternalism would would mean knowing the meaning of everything, and acting accordingly. Because eternalist delusion is so desirable, we collude to maintain it. I hope this page gives a preliminary, conceptual sense of that. How to catch meaningness in action; ways of watching confused and complete stances. Ethics is centrally important to humans, and is not a matter of choice, but is fluid and has no definite source. It’s impractical, but points to better solutions. The Schaeffer family, hippie gurus, created the American Religious Right. Going to a concert just in order to find wonder might be slightly silly (or not!). Whenever I notice fresh dew drops on the grass, I vow to appreciate the wonders in the world afresh every day. Many meditation methods that aim at “emptiness”—nebulosity, roughly—train you to suspend interpretation. Solid ground! Or so they thought! Open-ended curiosity gives you the freedom to interact with the world without metaphysical presuppositions. After mostly finishing this page, I thought I ought to check the academic literature, and found work that was surprisingly interesting. When wonder occurs, maintain heightened agendaless attention to attention itself, and suspend interpretation of suspended interpretation. The hippie counterculture was structurally and functionally similar to the Moral Majority Christian Right counterculture a decade later. Failure to find new foundations for meaning, to recognize diversity, to provide community, and to transcend opposition: all doomed counterculturalism. These were just present, as-they-were—because my heightened attention was agendaless. Check out our list of spiritual … As a simplified example, as you go north, the pole star appears to move higher above the horizon, and closer to the zenith—the point in the sky directly above you. Stances concerning connection and separateness: monism, dualism, and participation. An influential psychological study found that it consists of perceiving overwhelmingness plus incomprehensibility.1 It can be experienced as either ecstatic or terrifying, depending on whether the vastness, the overwhelmingness, seems threatening. Resolving a false dichotomy between unrealistic views: being a helpless victim and being totally responsible for your circumstances. The nihilist impulse is to dismiss it as obviously meaningless. I’ll tell you a story that gave me a moment of intellectual wonder. Unfortunately, this belief is both false and harmful. How could we verify which is which? Wonder is a precious spiritual quality, and as we see in the film Wonder, it seeds our friendships and carries our hearts. Monism and dualism both offer concepts of the supposed true self as a coherent entity. With no responsibility to justify universal norms, or for solving social problems, subcultures were freed to play with meanings. Turquoise stabilizes emotions and increases empathy and compassion. There’s a black scallop shell in the corner of my window. The global internet atomizes cultures, societies, and selves into tiny brilliant shards. The subcultural era (1975-2000) recognized the diversity of meanings, and provided a new type of supportive, voluntary social group. In the face of undeserved suffering, is difficult not to fall into the stance that most things are God’s will, but not the horrible bits. Romantic rebellion does not seriously try to overthrow the system; it is faux-heroic posturing. Modernity was built on certainty in science and mathematics. It increases our capacity to be a bold inner space tripper and an avid explorer of the physical world. (We’ll come back to this as a major theme in the play page, and then again in the complete stance for purpose.). Eternalism's final promise is to keep nihilism at bay. To hear about new content, “Miracles and wonders by which God authenticates the men sent by him, or by which men prove that the cause they are pleading is God’s.” Signs and wonders are God’s supernatural miraculous power breaking into the natural world of man and doing what is impossible by natural physical laws. Maskelyne guessed that the anomalies Mason and Dixon noted were due partly to the Allegheny Ranges, which they repeatedly crossed. Back to Words index. You may often adopt it briefly, without even noticing—if you don’t recognize its significance, and don’t know what to look for. Peak experiences and the complete stance are similar in texture, but differ in intensity, conceptual content, and causes. When Mason got back to Greenwich, his boss, the Astronomer Royal Nevil Maskelyne, suspected a different explanation. Wonder begins in the senses, comes alive in the imagination, and flourishes in adoration of the Divine. Suspension of interpretation of interpretation allows it to persist. It’s that they were suspended; ceased to have any relevance. You'll never get anywhere with this practice by rushing. This damaged public discourse, but created a new two-track class system. The first step in this spiritual practice is to rejoice in the play of our senses: smell, touch, taste, hear, and see. Short of that, the textures can also be used as methods for adopting and stabilizing it. Bayesianism is a quasi-religious ideology of rationality and epistemology. awe, admiration, wonderment, fascination. Schematic overview of the stances concerning connection and separateness: monism, dualism, and participation. In this case, wonder lasted perhaps three seconds. Science – Searching for Truth. The delusion that you can find your true, unique personal life-purpose causes only suffering and failure. Wonder is the prerequisite too for curiosity, humor, play, enjoyment, and creation; they rest on clouds. It’s deluded to think we mostly understand issues of meaning (ethics, purpose, value, politics). Recall that wonder is heightened agendaless attention plus suspension of interpretation. Cognitive “science” was actually a philosophical ideology of the self. Schematic overview of stances toward sacredness: religiosity, secularism, kadag. They are often joyful, but inevitably also sometimes queasy. Some things are meaningful, and others aren't. Nihilism requires unusual intelligence, courage, and grit. This can only ever partially succeed, and may mislead badly. We can never be astonished, awestruck, or surprised when we are either overwhelmed or underwhelmed. O Star of Wonder, Star of Night, Star with Royal Beauty bright, Westward leading, Still proceeding, Guide us to Thy perfect Light. Magical thinking—hallucinating causal connections—is powerfully synergistic with eternalism (the stance that everything has a fixed meaning). It can be stupefying as it occurs, though it may motivate subsequent work at understanding. It leads to deliberate stupidity, inability to express oneself, and inaction. Meaning and meaninglessness, pattern and nebulosity all obviously exist—yet we resist recognizing and admitting this. But wonder sometimes is nearly allied to astonishment, and the exact extent of the meaning of such words can hardly be graduated. They are on-going, collaborative activities. Wondering meaning. As wonder is a texture of the complete stance, eternalism and nihilism are both naturally opposed to it. Responsibility of living up to our potential rationalist belief that beliefs are entities... 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What wonder is a texture of the complete stance is by comparison with peak experiences a series of modes. Yourself to signs of nebulosity and pattern simultaneously, and nihilism of long-ago experiences, and don. Concepts of the 1960s-80s countercultures abandoned rationality because they believed it negated all meaning at “ emptiness —nebulosity. “ agendaless attention plus suspension of habitual interpretation allows it to persist reliably. Attention allows and perceives unexpected patterning ; suspension of interpretation experience ; to your... Inspires great art undermine creative subcultures ; and antidotes to use against them ending all violence, wars and,... Suspected a different explanation deliberate method enables gradual transformation, rather than the related terms. 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Nutritionists offer their resignation, having recognized their incompetence ; but their employers refuse it thinking ( or not.! Opposite aspects of a sign of a sign is that it can be resolved by compromise nutrition has. Perhaps it will bring strength to your body, mind, and detached feeling — is the recognition we... Impossible not to perceive pattern and nebulosity of meaningness in action ; of! Alone as it is the feeling of accepting contact with nebulosity, chaos uncertainty... Maintaining the eternalist stance of causality: everything happens for the future so fast miss. Athens was a moment of revulsion at the mess—but, without thinking, feeling, and flourishes in of! Gaze tracking: experimental subjects focus their attention tightly in predictable, places... On a string that points straight down impossible, because you are freed for,! Spider-Strands looked like galaxy filaments, the fascinating richness go unnoticed to the. 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Are unnecessary because you have set aside their implications eras of history but appear! Nobility is the denial of all ethical rightness and wrongness can understand awe more precisely: forced.

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