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Re: Theism Can't Honestly Be Dismissed

Nov 23, 2002 09:32 AM
by Steve Stubbs

--- In theos-talk@y..., "rnewman2003" <robertnewman@e...> wrote:
> This is simply begging the question; i.e., assuming what you have 
> yet established. 

Not really. It is a scientific fact, for example, that the color red 
does not exist in nature, but only in our consciousness. Red is 
therefore said not to be real but ideal, ideal being a word used in 
philosophy to represent things of the mind, such as ideas. Red is 
therefore said to be phenomenal (meaning it exists in the mind) but 
not noumenal (meaning it exists objectively to ourselves.) So if 
someone said he read a Krishna comic book and then thought he shook 
hands with Krishna, his experience might be of great value, but it 
would not be an experience of ultimate reality.

> At least since the time of Shankara (and his Western counterparts), 
> there has been a popular tendency in esoteric circles to 
> think, "Well, OF COURSE the ultimate reality must be featureless 
> undescribable!" But there is no logic here, unless it's the logic 
> suicidal negation;

Not true. See the above. The concept of voidness existed long 
before Sankara was born.

There is an inferior technique recommended by Vedantins such as 
Sivananda and Theravadin priests such as Buddhaghosa in which one 
cultivates a disgust for the world. However, this merely creates 
conflict in the mind and does not liberate one from attachment.

> Similarly, the simple negation of 
> experience is the poor man's view of ultimate reality

I don't think so, given what "the simple negation of experience" is 
an euphemism for in this sentence. If you want to say that there are 
a lot of self styled gure out there who don't know what they are 
talking about and practices which are ancient and totally 
wrongheaded, then we agree.

> contradicted by the reports of mystics, especially in the Vaishnava 
> tradition, of features or "phenomena" of a different order, to be 

Sometime when you get a chance, could you briefly tell us which 
autobiogaphies you sre referring to, and why you think phenomenal 
experience is actually ultimate reality?

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