Home (theory of the ego death and rebirth experience)

Determinism in Esotericism


Mystical determinism metaphors. 1


Mystical determinism metaphors

Cheryl wrote:

>>>Is the intense mystic state also a seeming metaphor when viewed from the mystic state? 

The mystic state is not a metaphor.  It is a directly self-existing mode of cognition, largely characterized by loose cognitive-association binding between and within mental-contruct matrixes, something commonly and typically described by metaphor, in pre-modern culture.  I keep referents separate from metaphor; a metaphor describes a non-metaphorical referent.  The mystic state is a given that is later described by using metaphors.

>>>Would you consider the following words to portray a type of answer to the above question, and in what way?

Michael wrote:

>>The loosened mind can feel remotely monitored and controlled by a dominant observer-and-controller entity who is in a position of power; one becomes a cybernetic puppet, and the perceived locus of control shifts up to a separate control agent who resides on a higher level in the control hierarchy.

Metaphors do inform and give substance -- they provide ways of thinking about and concretizing more abstract experiential phenomena.  The mystic state includes a "closing-in labyrinth" experience; it is important to have a large set of conceptual metaphors and less-metaphorical idea constructs, to most fully experience and latch onto and amplify the potential phenomena of the mystic state. 

I'm generally against Steven Katz' theory that mysticism is nothing but language, a linguistic construct; I keep the layers separate: there exists a universal thing, "the mystic state" -- characterized by loose cognitive association binding -- that is comprehended and richly experienced by using a separate, distinct overlay of metaphor and language to engage with it.  This layered model is more powerful than munging the two together -- the mystic state and the metaphor used to intellectually interface with it and explore it. 

Mysticism and Philosophical Analysis

Steven Katz


Language is inherently metaphor-drenched, but it is most productive to differentiate between layers or aspects of mystic thinking: the mystic state of loose cognition, metaphor to describe experiential insights potentially encountered in that state, and relatively non-metaphorical language to theoretically and systematically model the mystic state.  Though distinct, there is rich interaction between the mystic state, non-metaphorical theory, and metaphor -- that's why it is absurd to praise experiencing while disparaging theory or myth. 

You could say that there are 3 required components for maximizing gnosis: mastery of the mystic state, mastery of theory, and mastery of myth.  Neoplatonism is somewhat like mastery of theory, but it was theory so much in an ancient mode.  The ancients get high marks for mastering the mystic state and myth, but low marks for theory. 

Modernity is potentially better than antiquity at all three, through an Integral Theory approach of both differentiating and integrating the three components; do mysticism separately through myth, mystic-state (loose cognition), and theory, and also integrate and interpenetrate these 3 components.  Ancient thinking fully integrated -- that is, fused without differentiation -- the mystic state and myth, leaving out the theory in any sense modern thinking would recognize.

>>>In constructing a mental model of egodeath and determinism, do you conceptualize "practical controllership stability" as seeming to portray a hierarchy of "(pseudo) freewill will"?  Do you choose to portray the hierarchy as theoretically infinite?

Against the spiritualists who never find the classic mystic climax experience but talk of an endless path, I follow the ancient perennial initiation-series model, which is also a hierarchy, which is also an inward or outward vector.  With ergonomic study of perennial philosophy, and entheogens ready-to-hand, only around 9 visionary-plant initiation sessions are required for full basic enlightenment, salvation, redemption, and satori. 

This movement centers around the central issue of no-free-will, immediately forming 3 main levels, but these aren't usually matched to 3 initiation sessions.  The first few sessions are done within the naive freewill assumption.  The later are dominated by comprehending and experiencing determinism, and the final sessions break through to transcendent need for something beyond determinism and the practical self-control limitations and drawbacks of ordinary rationality. 

First there is naive freewill-styled thinking and general feeling of control power; then there is determinism-consciousness leading to self-control seizure; then there is leaping out of the system in order to regain practical control power even though freewill has switched from delusion to consciously seen-through illusion.  I am glad to at last have a place for magic and for transrationality as Ken Wilber has had (and some sort of transcendent form of a kind of freewill), but without his clumsy literalism about it.


Home (theory of the ego death and rebirth experience)