Download Agents of Uncertainty: Mysticism, Scepticism, Buddhism, Art by John Danvers PDF

By John Danvers

Via an research of many various examples, Danvers articulates a brand new state of mind approximately mysticism and scepticism, no longer as contrary poles of the philosophical spectrum, yet as fields of enquiry with overlapping goals and techniques. triggered by means of a deep experience of ask yourself at being alive, many mystics and sceptics, just like the Buddha, perform disciplines of doubt on the way to develop into freed from attachment to fastened appearances, essences and viewpoints, and in doing in order that they locate peace and equanimity. They strengthen methods of residing with impermanence and the unforeseen through letting pass of adherence to dogmatic ideals and through postponing judgement. In universal with many artists and poets they act as brokers of uncertainty, actively tense the exercises and conduct of daily proposal and behavior so one can display the right way to continue a feeling of stability and spontaneity in the middle of life's problems. issues explored contain: being and self as technique; mysticism and language; scepticism and dogmatism; Buddhism, interdependence and vacancy; Daoism and impermanence; dialectics of doubt in paintings and poetry. Written in a full of life and available variety, observed through drawings and pictures by means of the writer, this quantity is aimed toward students, artists, lecturers, and somebody drawn to philosophy, faith, artwork, poetry and methods of being.

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Extra resources for Agents of Uncertainty: Mysticism, Scepticism, Buddhism, Art and Poetry (Consciousness, Literature and the Arts, Volume 31)

Example text

He maintains that, “There is only one substance, ‘God or Nature’; nothing finite is selfsubsistent”. (ibid: 594) Individual entities, objects or things are all “merely aspects of the divine Being”, (ibid) whose being is infinite and therefore must include everything. It is only the infinite everything, the universe as a whole, that is “self-subsistent”, the one infinite undifferentiated substance. Every thing can only be a part of that totality, a subsistent aspect of the whole, dependent for its existence on all the other parts of the whole.

To paraphrase Dogen: to search for enlightenment is to postpone enlightenment; to realise enlightenment is to be present to this moment – to wake-up to the actual, to what is. Mysticism 49 In doing so and without intending to, we are, like the sceptic and the mystic, free from the domination of linguistic categories, including names and numbers. Observation III – under the yew tree The yew tree stands dark, overhanging the old shed. At the tip of each branch new bright-green flattened needles grow an inch or so, not much more, adding their season’s weight to the bulk of years gone by.

Ibid) Nevertheless, Teresa goes on to write at length about her experiences and about the methods she advocates to her fellow nuns, but there is often an ambivalence in what she has to say about reading and writing. When writing about the difficulties of “standing outside oneself” she suggests that the attempt to describe or explain such a struggle “may very well be foolish”. ] every account we read is marred by one defect or another”. (ibid) Even the use of “metaphor, hyperbole, and paradox” fails to achieve more than an indirect pointing to the unsayable sublimity of the states of consciousness the mystic attempts to describe.

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