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Using my categories, Enlightenment would involve experiences of
intraobjective reality. Such experiences are distinct both from any intuition of
same and from any philosophical approach to same. In these experiences,
Lonergan's imperative to "Be attentive!" operates in our will and the
experiences impart a knowledge that works through connaturality in
conformity to undifferentiable reality. In the traditions of both East and West,
devotional pathways involve experiences of intersubjective realities, which
also operate in our will and impart a knowledge through connaturality but in
conformity to differentiated reality. Neither Enlightenment nor devotional
experiences begin with the problem-solving dualistic mindset, both nondual in
that regard, both nonconceptual when working through connaturality. One's
experience of intrasubjective integrity would be marked by ongoing
conversions (Lonergan), which grow one's authenticity.
It can be helpful to quiet and simplify human problem-solving and conceptual
map-making for all sorts of reasons. There are all sorts of ascetic disciplines
and spiritual practices that foster such quieting and simplification. While they
may superficially resemble in their techniques, they may otherwise be ordered
toward different ends in that they are intended to foster distinctly different
goals, all worthwhile. For example, what has been called acquired or active
contemplation may be helpful in further disposing one to a deeper devotional
experience, which would distinguish it from Zen, which is ordered toward the
Enlightenment experience. Housewives trying to balance a checkbook,
scientists aspiring to paradigm shifts and engineers searching for technical
breakthroughs can also benefit from a quieting and simplification ordered
toward the harnessing of one's subconscious resources.
These experiences of intraobjective, intersubjective and intrasubjective reality
would reflect our encounters with Creator and creation, with determinate
reality. Over the horizon, though, might lie an indeterminate reality (an
interobjective indeterminacy), which is why we would affirm that part of
Rahner's axiom that suggests that 'the economic Trinity is the immanent
Trinity' but would withhold judgment regarding any putative vice versa.
My categories address conceptual not ontological distinctions. They certainly
imply ontological-like distinctions but they don't require any particular root
metaphor or metaphysical system to gain traction. An affirmation of these
conceptual distinctions, alone, imparts sufficient normative impetus and
implies significant practical consequence for our formative spirituality, life of
prayer and human value-realizations. All of our resonance with and
attunement to reality would come from our pneumatological and proleptic
participation in the eschaton, which is realized in various degrees in different
persons at different times and places, often quite remarkably so and for
reasons that defy our facile explanations (metaphysical, theological or
1
theodicial). What has been called mystical contemplation is a good example of
what we would call a remarkable proleptic realization!
pax,
jb

inter = between
intra = within
subjective = involves sapient intentional agents
objective = involves the perceived and perceivable, conceived and conceivable
(includes other subjects)
reality = real
intrasubjective = dynamics within a subject
intersubjective = dynamics between subjects
intraobjective reality = dynamics within reality perceived/conceived as a
whole
interobjective reality = dynamics between objects
differentiated reality = reality differentiated as subjects and objects
undifferentiated reality = reality encountered as a whole
undifferentiable reality = any reality that may be occulted in-principle
epistemically indeterminate = unknown either due to methodological
constraints (perhaps only temporaray) or ontological occulting
(insurmountable in-principle)
I have been strongly tempted to use the personal and impersonal distinction
rather than subjective and objective, but that would be saying more than I feel
I know at this point. After all, the objective order includes the subjective and
so would present in varying degrees of the personal. Also, at first blush, these
categories are not making theistic references. Of course, the manner in which
they are predicated gets rather complicated when we do that.
The categories above refer to very vague relationships in broad
phenomenological categories, so serve as pre-ontological or pre-metaphysical
conceptual placeholders. I am hoping, then, that one could take one's thomism
or process approach or what have you and then further develop this metatechnica as a meta-system. In other words, this is intended as a grammar
which implies certain constraints on systems. The practical upshot in the case
at hand is that various experiences, East vs West, invite certain distinctions,
imply certain ontological distinctions, by making a general REFERENCES TO
2
even if not robust DESCRIPTIONS OF various ontological continuities and
discontinuities. And, as you know, there are PRACTICAL consequences that
flow even from these vague distinctions.
I have to run. Hope this helps. I am pleased to make this attempt to better
explain my intuitions. The intraobjective affords a certain Tau-like resonance.
The intersubjective is much more of a devotional interaction. But even the Tau
can be experienced as somewhat personal at times, eh? Hence, my reluctance
to go with personal/impersonal. There may be an inchoate realization of a
sapient, intentional agency in some who experience enlightenment?

Just back from Baton Rouge. I want to further flesh out my intuitions here.
When we have any kind of experience with reality, we distinguish between the
raw experience, itself, and any subsequent processing of same. Most values
tend to be realized in a hermeneutical spiral, for example, what I have
described as the descriptive, evaulative, normative and interpretive, or any
other spiral one chooses, such as pre-rational, nonrational, rational,
transrational and so on. We situate our analysis in a telic dimension that asks
what an experience may be ordered toward. Now, certainly, the first things
that come to mind are such as Lonergan's conversions; we might ask if we
witness the fostering of one's growth in intellectual, affective, moral, social (&
political) and religious development. We might simply note with St Teresa
that "the water is for the flowers" and that consolations strengthen us for
service. But you mention aesthetic contemplation and that speaks of an
intrinsically rewarding dynamic. That is to say that the connatural attuenment
and resonance with reality, simply taken as a whole, is its own end. It is its
own reward. It is an unthematized experience of reality's implicate ordering
and immanent ultimacy. Pneumatologically, it orients one, empowers one,
sanctifies one, heals one, saves one and, of course, efficacies will ensue as
extrinsic-like rewards, when reflective processes follow. So, too, with our
devotional life and experiences of intersubjective intimacy, such as spousal
mysticism, for example. It is its own end, its own reward, an intrinsic good --but efficacies will ensue and we will look for those in terms of Lonerganian
conversions and so on. That's one thing we mean by not primarily involving
our problem-solving mindset in both cases. But the distinction between a
simplification and quieting oriented toward a connatural knowledge of reality,
objectively, taken as a whole, a knowledge through attunement and resonance
and not via concepts or intuition, and a simplification and quieting oriented
toward a connatural knowledge of another subject, which includes spouses,
friends and others, as well as God, is significant. In the first case, it is much
more like being in touch with a moral order through engagement of the will.
In the next, it is much more like being in touch with a lover, also an
engagement of the will. Both are connatural by virtue of being habitual, graced
attunements of the will but they otherwise differ insofar as the first is a
connatural knowledge of an implicit objective reality (including perhaps an
immanent God?) and the second of an explicit subjective reality (including a
transcendent God?). This is much like Merton's distinctions between
3
immanent-transcendent, apophatic-kataphatic, impersonal-personal,
existential-theological, natural and supernatural and such. However, I'm not
going that far. I see some distinctions but rather hint at them with vague
references than a priori declare them with robust descriptions. Any
distinctions require a posteriori discernment.
Finally, one thing I do not want to lose sight of is that, from a sociological
perspective, we need to ask just how many are likely on the purgative,
illuminative or unitive way? just how many experience enlightenment? just
how many come to engage reality, objective and subjective, through intuition
and philosophical contemplation in addition to or rather than via
connaturality? and in any of these cases to what degree of realization? What
practices and liturgies and institutions are best fostering Lonergan's
conversions? helping more people to run the good race with much less
hindrance and much more swiftly? At some level, each of us must believe that
there is something distinctive about our approach, our faith, that --- over
against any facile syncretism, insidious indifferentism or false irenicism --leads us to embrace it as our primary means of transformation rather than
another. Zen, properly considered, can enliven and enrich the Christian
journey. Improperly considered, it can derail one. Of course, Zen makes an
excellent foil because so many have encountered the East thru Japan and the
Soto school. There is some danger, though, of caricaturizing the East, which
otherwise has many prominent devotional elements, in terms of a radically
apophatic quietism, when there is so much more to it than that.
ORDINARY TIME? SWEET SWEET SWEET ORDINARY TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!
pax,
jb

4

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Zenchristian

  • 1. http://shalomplace.org/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/18910625/m/8444085487 Using my categories, Enlightenment would involve experiences of intraobjective reality. Such experiences are distinct both from any intuition of same and from any philosophical approach to same. In these experiences, Lonergan's imperative to "Be attentive!" operates in our will and the experiences impart a knowledge that works through connaturality in conformity to undifferentiable reality. In the traditions of both East and West, devotional pathways involve experiences of intersubjective realities, which also operate in our will and impart a knowledge through connaturality but in conformity to differentiated reality. Neither Enlightenment nor devotional experiences begin with the problem-solving dualistic mindset, both nondual in that regard, both nonconceptual when working through connaturality. One's experience of intrasubjective integrity would be marked by ongoing conversions (Lonergan), which grow one's authenticity. It can be helpful to quiet and simplify human problem-solving and conceptual map-making for all sorts of reasons. There are all sorts of ascetic disciplines and spiritual practices that foster such quieting and simplification. While they may superficially resemble in their techniques, they may otherwise be ordered toward different ends in that they are intended to foster distinctly different goals, all worthwhile. For example, what has been called acquired or active contemplation may be helpful in further disposing one to a deeper devotional experience, which would distinguish it from Zen, which is ordered toward the Enlightenment experience. Housewives trying to balance a checkbook, scientists aspiring to paradigm shifts and engineers searching for technical breakthroughs can also benefit from a quieting and simplification ordered toward the harnessing of one's subconscious resources. These experiences of intraobjective, intersubjective and intrasubjective reality would reflect our encounters with Creator and creation, with determinate reality. Over the horizon, though, might lie an indeterminate reality (an interobjective indeterminacy), which is why we would affirm that part of Rahner's axiom that suggests that 'the economic Trinity is the immanent Trinity' but would withhold judgment regarding any putative vice versa. My categories address conceptual not ontological distinctions. They certainly imply ontological-like distinctions but they don't require any particular root metaphor or metaphysical system to gain traction. An affirmation of these conceptual distinctions, alone, imparts sufficient normative impetus and implies significant practical consequence for our formative spirituality, life of prayer and human value-realizations. All of our resonance with and attunement to reality would come from our pneumatological and proleptic participation in the eschaton, which is realized in various degrees in different persons at different times and places, often quite remarkably so and for reasons that defy our facile explanations (metaphysical, theological or 1
  • 2. theodicial). What has been called mystical contemplation is a good example of what we would call a remarkable proleptic realization! pax, jb inter = between intra = within subjective = involves sapient intentional agents objective = involves the perceived and perceivable, conceived and conceivable (includes other subjects) reality = real intrasubjective = dynamics within a subject intersubjective = dynamics between subjects intraobjective reality = dynamics within reality perceived/conceived as a whole interobjective reality = dynamics between objects differentiated reality = reality differentiated as subjects and objects undifferentiated reality = reality encountered as a whole undifferentiable reality = any reality that may be occulted in-principle epistemically indeterminate = unknown either due to methodological constraints (perhaps only temporaray) or ontological occulting (insurmountable in-principle) I have been strongly tempted to use the personal and impersonal distinction rather than subjective and objective, but that would be saying more than I feel I know at this point. After all, the objective order includes the subjective and so would present in varying degrees of the personal. Also, at first blush, these categories are not making theistic references. Of course, the manner in which they are predicated gets rather complicated when we do that. The categories above refer to very vague relationships in broad phenomenological categories, so serve as pre-ontological or pre-metaphysical conceptual placeholders. I am hoping, then, that one could take one's thomism or process approach or what have you and then further develop this metatechnica as a meta-system. In other words, this is intended as a grammar which implies certain constraints on systems. The practical upshot in the case at hand is that various experiences, East vs West, invite certain distinctions, imply certain ontological distinctions, by making a general REFERENCES TO 2
  • 3. even if not robust DESCRIPTIONS OF various ontological continuities and discontinuities. And, as you know, there are PRACTICAL consequences that flow even from these vague distinctions. I have to run. Hope this helps. I am pleased to make this attempt to better explain my intuitions. The intraobjective affords a certain Tau-like resonance. The intersubjective is much more of a devotional interaction. But even the Tau can be experienced as somewhat personal at times, eh? Hence, my reluctance to go with personal/impersonal. There may be an inchoate realization of a sapient, intentional agency in some who experience enlightenment? Just back from Baton Rouge. I want to further flesh out my intuitions here. When we have any kind of experience with reality, we distinguish between the raw experience, itself, and any subsequent processing of same. Most values tend to be realized in a hermeneutical spiral, for example, what I have described as the descriptive, evaulative, normative and interpretive, or any other spiral one chooses, such as pre-rational, nonrational, rational, transrational and so on. We situate our analysis in a telic dimension that asks what an experience may be ordered toward. Now, certainly, the first things that come to mind are such as Lonergan's conversions; we might ask if we witness the fostering of one's growth in intellectual, affective, moral, social (& political) and religious development. We might simply note with St Teresa that "the water is for the flowers" and that consolations strengthen us for service. But you mention aesthetic contemplation and that speaks of an intrinsically rewarding dynamic. That is to say that the connatural attuenment and resonance with reality, simply taken as a whole, is its own end. It is its own reward. It is an unthematized experience of reality's implicate ordering and immanent ultimacy. Pneumatologically, it orients one, empowers one, sanctifies one, heals one, saves one and, of course, efficacies will ensue as extrinsic-like rewards, when reflective processes follow. So, too, with our devotional life and experiences of intersubjective intimacy, such as spousal mysticism, for example. It is its own end, its own reward, an intrinsic good --but efficacies will ensue and we will look for those in terms of Lonerganian conversions and so on. That's one thing we mean by not primarily involving our problem-solving mindset in both cases. But the distinction between a simplification and quieting oriented toward a connatural knowledge of reality, objectively, taken as a whole, a knowledge through attunement and resonance and not via concepts or intuition, and a simplification and quieting oriented toward a connatural knowledge of another subject, which includes spouses, friends and others, as well as God, is significant. In the first case, it is much more like being in touch with a moral order through engagement of the will. In the next, it is much more like being in touch with a lover, also an engagement of the will. Both are connatural by virtue of being habitual, graced attunements of the will but they otherwise differ insofar as the first is a connatural knowledge of an implicit objective reality (including perhaps an immanent God?) and the second of an explicit subjective reality (including a transcendent God?). This is much like Merton's distinctions between 3
  • 4. immanent-transcendent, apophatic-kataphatic, impersonal-personal, existential-theological, natural and supernatural and such. However, I'm not going that far. I see some distinctions but rather hint at them with vague references than a priori declare them with robust descriptions. Any distinctions require a posteriori discernment. Finally, one thing I do not want to lose sight of is that, from a sociological perspective, we need to ask just how many are likely on the purgative, illuminative or unitive way? just how many experience enlightenment? just how many come to engage reality, objective and subjective, through intuition and philosophical contemplation in addition to or rather than via connaturality? and in any of these cases to what degree of realization? What practices and liturgies and institutions are best fostering Lonergan's conversions? helping more people to run the good race with much less hindrance and much more swiftly? At some level, each of us must believe that there is something distinctive about our approach, our faith, that --- over against any facile syncretism, insidious indifferentism or false irenicism --leads us to embrace it as our primary means of transformation rather than another. Zen, properly considered, can enliven and enrich the Christian journey. Improperly considered, it can derail one. Of course, Zen makes an excellent foil because so many have encountered the East thru Japan and the Soto school. There is some danger, though, of caricaturizing the East, which otherwise has many prominent devotional elements, in terms of a radically apophatic quietism, when there is so much more to it than that. ORDINARY TIME? SWEET SWEET SWEET ORDINARY TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!! pax, jb 4