The symbolic world

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Re: The symbolic world

Postby felix dakat » Mon Dec 07, 2020 5:31 pm

Bob wrote:Many cognitively non-equivalent and mutually irreducible conceptual schemes must be used to take account of the different levels of reality. The use of symbolic language in the traditions is one way of dealing with this and can only be understood within that concept. As soon as one interprets symbolic language with scientific concepts, it doesn’t make sense.

I think the inclusion of moral features, free will, normativity, consciousness, and intentional properties in a worldview is important enough not to exclude them. Just because science has difficulty in categorising them doesn’t mean they’re not important. Therefore the use of symbols, analogy, allegory, metaphors, and fable is warranted.



Here's how the meaning crisis and the symbolic world looked to Peterson circa 1999:

The great myths of Christianity--the great myths of the past in general--no longer speak to the majority of westerners, who regard themselves as. The mythic view of history cannot be credited with reality, from the material, empirical point of view. It is nonetheless the case that all of Western ethics, including those explicitly formalized in Western law, are predicated upon a mythological worldview, which specifically attributes Divine status to the individual. The modern individual is therefore in a unique position: he no longer believes that the principles upon which all his behaviors are predicated are valid. This might be considered a second fall, in that the destruction of the Western mythological barrier has re-exposed the essential tragedy of individual existence to view.

It is not the pursuit of empirical, that has wreaked havoc upon the Christian worldview. It is confusion of empirical fact with moral truth that has proved of great detriment to the latter. This has produced what might be described as a secondary gain, which has played an important role in maintaining the confusion. That gain is abdication of the absolute personal responsibility imposed in consequence of recognition of the Divine in man. This responsibility means acceptance of the trials and tribulations associated with expression of unique individuality, as well as respect for such expression in others. Such acceptance, expression and respect requires courage in the absence of certainty, and discipline in the smallest matters. Jordan B Peterson, Maps of Meaning, page 466.


His response was to mine the psychological and ethical meanings in traditional stories. Now he's getting support from symbolic world Orthodoxy and the non-reductive naturalist points of view. The symbolic picture I'm getting is of emergence from the physical world below [earth] under the emanation from the hierarchy of meaning above [heaven] with Man in the middle mediating the process via consciousness. Without consciousness the whole process is meaningless. And reductionism in the name of the scientific cosmology, freedom, equality or whatever, denies meaning to consciousness thus it leads to nihilism AKA the crisis of meaning.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
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Re: The symbolic world

Postby Mad Man P » Tue Dec 08, 2020 9:31 am

felix dakat wrote:I haven't seen anybody dogmatically holding to one or the other positions at this point in the discussion.


I don't recall anyone making that accusation either...

Bob wrote:depending on our interests, we can correctly and usefully describe a chair in the alternative languages of carpentry, furniture design, geometry, or etiquette. each of these descriptions is useful in its own way, without being reducible to any of the others.
There is no a fundamental theory of what being a chair is, so to speak.


Unlike the idealist types, the fundamentals of what anything IS to an empiricist, isn't a model or "theory" but "that thing over there".
We point to the chair and say "that thing there, we will call a chair" and all "description" is constrained by, and evaluated against "that thing over there".
I may not be a carpenter, but I am no less able to observe "that thing over there" so regardless of what language we speak, convergence and correlation in our language WILL occur in our DESCRIPTION of it.

Escaping those constraints is to escape our shared reality and enter the realm of subjectivity and fantasy...
Because what you are describing then, is no longer found in the world and consequently our descriptions will cease to correlate and converge.
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Re: The symbolic world

Postby felix dakat » Tue Dec 08, 2020 3:21 pm

Mad Man P wrote:
felix dakat wrote:I haven't seen anybody dogmatically holding to one or the other positions at this point in the discussion.


I don't recall anyone making that accusation either...

Bob wrote:depending on our interests, we can correctly and usefully describe a chair in the alternative languages of carpentry, furniture design, geometry, or etiquette. each of these descriptions is useful in its own way, without being reducible to any of the others.
There is no a fundamental theory of what being a chair is, so to speak.


Unlike the idealist types, the fundamentals of what anything IS to an empiricist, isn't a model or "theory" but "that thing over there".
We point to the chair and say "that thing there, we will call a chair" and all "description" is constrained by, and evaluated against "that thing over there".
I may not be a carpenter, but I am no less able to observe "that thing over there" so regardless of what language we speak, convergence and correlation in our language WILL occur in our DESCRIPTION of it.

Escaping those constraints is to escape our shared reality and enter the realm of subjectivity and fantasy...
Because what you are describing then, is no longer found in the world and consequently our descriptions will cease to correlate and converge.

Perhaps I misconstrued what you were saying about "the faithful."
I get the "chair" and the "language" part, but where's the "shared reality" part empirically speaking? Doesn't that necessarily entail a theory of minds? It seems to me a mind can be inferred by a mind, but it's not empirically observable.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
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Re: The symbolic world

Postby Mad Man P » Tue Dec 08, 2020 8:45 pm

felix dakat wrote:Perhaps I misconstrued what you were saying about "the faithful."


Not everything is exhaustive or an affirmative.
I would qualify as a materialist because I, thus far, have no good reason to suppose anything other than matter exists.
It's not that I have learned or believe I KNOW or even have faith that only matter exists...
It's the lack of compelling reason or evidence to suppose anything else exists that's made me a materialist.

And I dare say I'm not alone in that... in fact I would be very skeptical that an alternative reason to be a materialist exists.

I get the "chair" and the "language" part, but where's the "shared reality" part empirically speaking? Doesn't that necessarily entail a theory of minds? It seems to me a mind can be inferred by a mind, but it's not empirically observable.


It's not necessary, no...
I'll explain this quickly, because this could get real lengthy otherwise...
There is qualitative experience, it's the one and only self-evident truth.
The rest is us trying to make the most sense of the contents of that experience as possible, so as to permit us to navigate from bad to good.
One notion that has proven quite practical in that regard is to categorize parts of that experience as "objective reality" and other parts as "subjective"
This better allows us to predict which parts interact with which parts and which parts don't interact...
The rock won't move unless something in the "shared world" moves it... that's good to know, so that if I dreamed it was moved, I don't waste time looking for it in the "new" location once I wake up.

I don't need other minds to discover the objective world is distinct from the subjective... I'd be crazy if I did.

Also the notable difference between inferring that people or even animals have a mind of their own, as opposed to say the wind or the sky, is that the goal seeking behavior is identifiable.
I'm assuming that's where you were going with that.. I apologize if it wasn't.
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Re: The symbolic world

Postby felix dakat » Wed Dec 09, 2020 7:06 am

Mad Man P wrote:
felix dakat wrote:Perhaps I misconstrued what you were saying about "the faithful."


Not everything is exhaustive or an affirmative.
I would qualify as a materialist because I, thus far, have no good reason to suppose anything other than matter exists.
It's not that I have learned or believe I KNOW or even have faith that only matter exists...
It's the lack of compelling reason or evidence to suppose anything else exists that's made me a materialist.

And I dare say I'm not alone in that... in fact I would be very skeptical that an alternative reason to be a materialist exists.

I get the "chair" and the "language" part, but where's the "shared reality" part empirically speaking? Doesn't that necessarily entail a theory of minds? It seems to me a mind can be inferred by a mind, but it's not empirically observable.


It's not necessary, no...
I'll explain this quickly, because this could get real lengthy otherwise...
There is qualitative experience, it's the one and only self-evident truth.
The rest is us trying to make the most sense of the contents of that experience as possible, so as to permit us to navigate from bad to good.
One notion that has proven quite practical in that regard is to categorize parts of that experience as "objective reality" and other parts as "subjective"
This better allows us to predict which parts interact with which parts and which parts don't interact...
The rock won't move unless something in the "shared world" moves it... that's good to know, so that if I dreamed it was moved, I don't waste time looking for it in the "new" location once I wake up.

I don't need other minds to discover the objective world is distinct from the subjective... I'd be crazy if I did.

Also the notable difference between inferring that people or even animals have a mind of their own, as opposed to say the wind or the sky, is that the goal seeking behavior is identifiable.
I'm assuming that's where you were going with that.. I apologize if it wasn't.


How does your mind and consciousness and the mind and consciousness of others fit into your materialist picture of the world? Do you see the mind and consciousness as emergent properties? And if so are they reducible to whatever is going on in our brains? To me they seem to be on qualitatively different levels. And the level of consciousness is dependent upon but not reducible to the level of brain function.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
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Re: The symbolic world

Postby Mad Man P » Wed Dec 09, 2020 8:38 am

felix dakat wrote:How does your mind and consciousness and the mind and consciousness of others fit into your materialist picture of the world? Do you see the mind and consciousness as emergent properties? And if so are they reducible to whatever is going on in our brains? To me they seem to be qualitatively different and non-reducible. The mind functions as a whole that's greater than the sum of its parts.


Geez, felix... you're gonna make me write a book with these hardcore questions!

I won't duck the question but let me start by noting a fundamental error in that mode of thinking.
My experience of thought is different to my experience of sight and my experience of my sight is different to my experience of touch and that of my hearing.

So when I SEE a shiny spoon then FEEL the cold metallic touch as I flick it and HEAR that clink consequently, am I to assume there is an invisible but touchable "metal" that has attached itself to the untouchable "shiny spoon" and an invisible and untouchable voice attached to the metal that makes a sound when it detects a flick? These are in my experience, irreducibly different... No amount of seeing will ever tell me what metal feels like and no amount of touching will ever let me know what metal sounds like when flicked... and yet you and I have no trouble reconciling that all of these sensations are in fact of the very same MATERIAL object.

So then WHY, Felix, when you SEE a brain do you expect it to "look like" thought?

Anyway, now the hard stuff...
Not that long ago I offered an explanation for how one might generate something akin to qualia with only matter, I'll simply quote myself.

A handsome son of a gun once wrote:This is a tricky area, because it's a gap in our knowledge. We are largely ignorant of how exactly the brain works, it's easy to fill in that blank with speculation
So while we could in PRINCIPLE explain qualia as a consequence of matter... it's still not definitive that's what's happening in our brains.

If you can't imagine how one might generate something akin to qualia, perhaps this thought experiment might help. Imagine a computer monitor that's being perceived by a camera. Let's say this camera is hooked up to an AI that plays chess but obviously does so visually, in fact it only does so visually. It can only play chess by observing and recognize the pieces and their positions as displayed on the monitor. It has to "appear" a certain way for this AI to recognize the game let alone play.

Now without changing anything about how this AI works, we can hook the input that determines what is shown on the monitor directly into the output of the camera...
We no longer need a screen nor camera... yet the AI can still play chess.

The visual perception it requires in order to recognize the game must be present, but it is rendered imperceptible to the rest of the world. All we see is the hardware clicking and clacking away, but clearly the AI is seeing a 2 dimensional image of a chess board, otherwise it couldn't play chess.

In such a case would that perception not be a form of qualia?

If you spend a moment and consider the implications you would have to conclude that the AI is no longer sensing EM radiation but is still receiving the visuals of chess... we could add audio to it's perception without actually vibrating the air. We now have a way to make it sense things that do not exist for anyone or anything else. It is merely interpreting electrical signals and turning them into "perception" at this point. We could make it see anything... hear anything... in fact we could categorize the signals however we like, we do not have to emulate the physical world at all. We could create sensations of novel things that are neither light, sound, taste nor anything else... we could call such things emotions... and none of it would appear as "electrical signals" to the AI... it would appear as chess or anything else we decide.


We already do this sort of thing, create intermediaries like software for editing music, writing emails or even just to play video games. It would be cumbersome and resource intensive for us to manipulate a video game by first reading the machine code and then issuing commands by writing machine code of our own... nevermind how unrewarding it would be. (though it's actually not even as easy as machine code, you'd have to read and send electrical signals to every single switch to really engage with the underpinning material world, but we'll just leave it at that)

Having an intermediary sort out the relevant stuff and present it to us in an assembled and clean form allows us to at a glance see or hear the important stuff and make streamlined decisions about what to do with it.
The practicality of that sort of design, lends itself to evolution favoring the assembling of raw data into a translated landscape, our minds eye, as it were
This allows a portion of us to engage with the aggregate of all that data, without having to fiddle with all nitty gritty detail.
It stands to reason that if evolution did favor this sort of design (as we do) then the very purpose was to keep that mind's eye blind to the machine code behind it all in favor of the assembled images, sounds and feelings put on screen.

Let me restate, there's plenty of unknowns in my picture of the world and this is one of them, this is entirely speculative...
But it's not as impossible as many people think...
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Re: The symbolic world

Postby felix dakat » Wed Dec 09, 2020 4:26 pm

Mad Man P wrote:
felix dakat wrote:How does your mind and consciousness and the mind and consciousness of others fit into your materialist picture of the world? Do you see the mind and consciousness as emergent properties? And if so are they reducible to whatever is going on in our brains? To me they seem to be qualitatively different and non-reducible. The mind functions as a whole that's greater than the sum of its parts.


Geez, felix... you're gonna make me write a book with these hardcore questions!

I won't duck the question but let me start by noting a fundamental error in that mode of thinking.
My experience of thought is different to my experience of sight and my experience of my sight is different to my experience of touch and that of my hearing.

So when I SEE a shiny spoon then FEEL the cold metallic touch as I flick it and HEAR that clink consequently, am I to assume there is an invisible but touchable "metal" that has attached itself to the untouchable "shiny spoon" and an invisible and untouchable voice attached to the metal that makes a sound when it detects a flick? These are in my experience, irreducibly different... No amount of seeing will ever tell me what metal feels like and no amount of touching will ever let me know what metal sounds like when flicked... and yet you and I have no trouble reconciling that all of these sensations are in fact of the very same MATERIAL object.

So then WHY, Felix, when you SEE a brain do you expect it to "look like" thought?

Anyway, now the hard stuff...
Not that long ago I offered an explanation for how one might generate something akin to qualia with only matter, I'll simply quote myself.

A handsome son of a gun once wrote:This is a tricky area, because it's a gap in our knowledge. We are largely ignorant of how exactly the brain works, it's easy to fill in that blank with speculation
So while we could in PRINCIPLE explain qualia as a consequence of matter... it's still not definitive that's what's happening in our brains.

If you can't imagine how one might generate something akin to qualia, perhaps this thought experiment might help. Imagine a computer monitor that's being perceived by a camera. Let's say this camera is hooked up to an AI that plays chess but obviously does so visually, in fact it only does so visually. It can only play chess by observing and recognize the pieces and their positions as displayed on the monitor. It has to "appear" a certain way for this AI to recognize the game let alone play.

Now without changing anything about how this AI works, we can hook the input that determines what is shown on the monitor directly into the output of the camera...
We no longer need a screen nor camera... yet the AI can still play chess.

The visual perception it requires in order to recognize the game must be present, but it is rendered imperceptible to the rest of the world. All we see is the hardware clicking and clacking away, but clearly the AI is seeing a 2 dimensional image of a chess board, otherwise it couldn't play chess.

In such a case would that perception not be a form of qualia?

If you spend a moment and consider the implications you would have to conclude that the AI is no longer sensing EM radiation but is still receiving the visuals of chess... we could add audio to it's perception without actually vibrating the air. We now have a way to make it sense things that do not exist for anyone or anything else. It is merely interpreting electrical signals and turning them into "perception" at this point. We could make it see anything... hear anything... in fact we could categorize the signals however we like, we do not have to emulate the physical world at all. We could create sensations of novel things that are neither light, sound, taste nor anything else... we could call such things emotions... and none of it would appear as "electrical signals" to the AI... it would appear as chess or anything else we decide.


We already do this sort of thing, create intermediaries like software for editing music, writing emails or even just to play video games. It would be cumbersome and resource intensive for us to manipulate a video game by first reading the machine code and then issuing commands by writing machine code of our own... nevermind how unrewarding it would be. (though it's actually not even as easy as machine code, you'd have to read and send electrical signals to every single switch to really engage with the underpinning material world, but we'll just leave it at that)

Having an intermediary sort out the relevant stuff and present it to us in an assembled and clean form allows us to at a glance see or hear the important stuff and make streamlined decisions about what to do with it.
The practicality of that sort of design, lends itself to evolution favoring the assembling of raw data into a translated landscape, our minds eye, as it were
This allows a portion of us to engage with the aggregate of all that data, without having to fiddle with all nitty gritty detail.
It stands to reason that if evolution did favor this sort of design (as we do) then the very purpose was to keep that mind's eye blind to the machine code behind it all in favor of the assembled images, sounds and feelings put on screen.

Let me restate, there's plenty of unknowns in my picture of the world and this is one of them, this is entirely speculative...
But it's not as impossible as many people think...


Of course I don't expect the brain to look like thought. Lol. I don't know where you would get that from anything I've said.

What we seem to have in the evolution of the cosmos are leaps where new structures and new phenomena emerge. First there is a big bang, then a sea of subatomic particles emerges. From that atoms emerge and so on until you get self-replicating molecules and the origin of life. And consciousness and human beings and culture and technology emerge eventually.

At the level of consciousness it seems that behavior is not just more complex it's qualitatively different. Mind and consciousness is qualitatively different than neurons and brain.

At a certain point in the history of the universe consciousness emerged. Before that there was no consciousness. It's a radically different kind of property.

The qualitative phenomena that we associate with consciousness, self-awareness perception, various mental states like intentionality didn't used to exist until there was the kind of being that could instantiate those properties. Culture includes symbolic representation and ethics and art. Those are also emergent phenomena. The universe didn't used to have those things at all. At some point the emergence of culture was new. Anyway this looks not unlike a hierarchy of beings.

I like what you said "it stands to reason that if evolution did favor this sort of design as we do then the very purpose was to keep that minds eye blind to the machine behind it all in favor of a simple images sounds and feelings put on screen." You probably intended that statement merely figuratively. But included in the statement is the idea that the evolution has a purpose. Given the metaphoric way we think, such language is hard to avoid.

The idea of purpose suggests that the process has a top-down teleology as well as a bottom up emergence. And that reminds one of a more traditional neo-platonic-like view of the cosmos. That's what those guys thought-- that logos (meaning) is built into the structure of being and that evolution has a purpose. The symbolic world is an alternative way of looking at things. In the symbolic world purpose of man was to inform matter with meaning and to express meaning with matter. That's the kind of idea we're kicking around here.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
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Re: The symbolic world

Postby Mad Man P » Wed Dec 09, 2020 10:44 pm

felix dakat wrote:The idea of purpose suggests that the process has a top-down teleology as well as a bottom up emergence. And that reminds one of a more traditional neo-platonic-like view of the cosmos. That's what those guys thought-- that logos (meaning) is built into the structure of being and that evolution has a purpose. The symbolic world is an alternative way of looking at things. In the symbolic world purpose of man was to inform matter with meaning and to express meaning with matter. That's the kind of idea we're kicking around here.


Purpose can also be synonymous with a specific function or utility (to identify when something is broken, say)... and natural SELECTION very much selects for function.
What I tried really hard to impress on you is that it hardly matters what symbols you use to represent the world you experience, what truly matters is what you use those symbols to describe.
Even in your "symbolic world" you description can be inaccurate and wrong... hell even delusional...

I don't much care in what form someone expresses a misapprehension or in what language they make a logical error... it's no less a mistake.
The only thing the chosen language adds to the equation is a mask.
Such that anyone who is not versed in that language, can't understand what it is you are expressing... and can't detect the BS.

I know next to nothing about the world of architecture and therefore can't always tell if some architect builds something as an homage to another.
I'm not qualified to judge if something is an homage or not. If I were better versed in the world of architecture, I'm sure I could see it as easily as the next guy.

So what the hell is it suited to express or describe, this "symbolic world" of religious language?
Human psychology? Artistic interpretation? The subjective landscape? What's all this talk about nihilism as a consequence of it's neglect?
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Re: The symbolic world

Postby felix dakat » Thu Dec 10, 2020 1:21 am

Mad Man P wrote:
felix dakat wrote:The idea of purpose suggests that the process has a top-down teleology as well as a bottom up emergence. And that reminds one of a more traditional neo-platonic-like view of the cosmos. That's what those guys thought-- that logos (meaning) is built into the structure of being and that evolution has a purpose. The symbolic world is an alternative way of looking at things. In the symbolic world purpose of man was to inform matter with meaning and to express meaning with matter. That's the kind of idea we're kicking around here.


Purpose can also be synonymous with a specific function or utility (to identify when something is broken, say)... and natural SELECTION very much selects for function.
What I tried really hard to impress on you is that it hardly matters what symbols you use to represent the world you experience, what truly matters is what you use those symbols to describe.
Even in your "symbolic world" you description can be inaccurate and wrong... hell even delusional...

I don't much care in what form someone expresses a misapprehension or in what language they make a logical error... it's no less a mistake.
The only thing the chosen language adds to the equation is a mask.
Such that anyone who is not versed in that language, can't understand what it is you are expressing... and can't detect the BS.

I know next to nothing about the world of architecture and therefore can't always tell if some architect builds something as an homage to another.
I'm not qualified to judge if something is an homage or not. If I were better versed in the world of architecture, I'm sure I could see it as easily as the next guy.

So what the hell is it suited to express or describe, this "symbolic world" of religious language?
Human psychology? Artistic interpretation? The subjective landscape? What's all this talk about nihilism as a consequence of it's neglect?

The thesis is that, as Nietzsche and Dostoyevsky predicted, in the God-is-dead postmodern world, the traditional values of goodness, beauty and truth have collapsed into a nihilistic flat world. Proponents of the symbolic world re-envision a cosmos in which a hierarchy of meaning and these traditional value exist.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
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Re: The symbolic world

Postby Bob » Thu Dec 10, 2020 10:41 am

felix dakat wrote:His response was to mine the psychological and ethical meanings in traditional stories. Now he's getting support from symbolic world Orthodoxy and the non-reductive naturalist points of view. The symbolic picture I'm getting is of emergence from the physical world below [earth] under the emanation from the hierarchy of meaning above [heaven] with Man in the middle mediating the process via consciousness. Without consciousness the whole process is meaningless. And reductionism in the name of the scientific cosmology, freedom, equality or whatever, denies meaning to consciousness thus it leads to nihilism AKA the crisis of meaning.

And consciousness is the big thing that the ancients discovered. How to talk about it? Myths and legends, metaphor and allegory. Consciousness is not only the mysterious aspect of mankind, it is a mysterious aspect of the cosmos. The breath of God.
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Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
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Re: The symbolic world

Postby Bob » Thu Dec 10, 2020 10:55 am

Mad Man P wrote:Not everything is exhaustive or an affirmative.
I would qualify as a materialist because I, thus far, have no good reason to suppose anything other than matter exists.
It's not that I have learned or believe I KNOW or even have faith that only matter exists...
It's the lack of compelling reason or evidence to suppose anything else exists that's made me a materialist.

And I dare say I'm not alone in that... in fact I would be very skeptical that an alternative reason to be a materialist exists.

You are obviously not alone, but dare I say that in everyday life there are moments when you are talking to something other than another conscious being. It happens all the time. There is this inherent belief that there is consciousness in things, which is almost automatic. This then, expanded, explains how the ancients perceived their universe. Science wasn't a thing, but they had to make sense of what was going on. They had to find a vocabulary for inexplicable things. It was progress that enabled them to do this, not regress, as we sometimes are led to believe. It is a different vocabulary from a different cosmology. The symbolic world.

There is qualitative experience, it's the one and only self-evident truth.
The rest is us trying to make the most sense of the contents of that experience as possible, so as to permit us to navigate from bad to good.
One notion that has proven quite practical in that regard is to categorize parts of that experience as "objective reality" and other parts as "subjective"
This better allows us to predict which parts interact with which parts and which parts don't interact...
The rock won't move unless something in the "shared world" moves it... that's good to know, so that if I dreamed it was moved, I don't waste time looking for it in the "new" location once I wake up.

I don't need other minds to discover the objective world is distinct from the subjective... I'd be crazy if I did.

Also the notable difference between inferring that people or even animals have a mind of their own, as opposed to say the wind or the sky, is that the goal seeking behavior is identifiable.
I'm assuming that's where you were going with that.. I apologize if it wasn't.

I think you are brave (or otherwise) to trust your senses so much that you can call sensual experience the "one and only" truth.

There are people who regularly extend their senses by the use of psychedelics and find that there is a whole lot more to existence than our senses can register.
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
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Re: The symbolic world

Postby felix dakat » Thu Dec 10, 2020 3:28 pm

Bob wrote:
felix dakat wrote:His response was to mine the psychological and ethical meanings in traditional stories. Now he's getting support from symbolic world Orthodoxy and the non-reductive naturalist points of view. The symbolic picture I'm getting is of emergence from the physical world below [earth] under the emanation from the hierarchy of meaning above [heaven] with Man in the middle mediating the process via consciousness. Without consciousness the whole process is meaningless. And reductionism in the name of the scientific cosmology, freedom, equality or whatever, denies meaning to consciousness thus it leads to nihilism AKA the crisis of meaning.

And consciousness is the big thing that the ancients discovered. How to talk about it? Myths and legends, metaphor and allegory. Consciousness is not only the mysterious aspect of mankind, it is a mysterious aspect of the cosmos. The breath of God.


Would you agree that symbolically breath is to wind as the human spirit is to the spirit of God which is as Atman is to Brahman and human consciousness is to divine consciousness?
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
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Re: The symbolic world

Postby Bob » Thu Dec 10, 2020 3:59 pm

felix dakat wrote:
Bob wrote:
felix dakat wrote:His response was to mine the psychological and ethical meanings in traditional stories. Now he's getting support from symbolic world Orthodoxy and the non-reductive naturalist points of view. The symbolic picture I'm getting is of emergence from the physical world below [earth] under the emanation from the hierarchy of meaning above [heaven] with Man in the middle mediating the process via consciousness. Without consciousness the whole process is meaningless. And reductionism in the name of the scientific cosmology, freedom, equality or whatever, denies meaning to consciousness thus it leads to nihilism AKA the crisis of meaning.

And consciousness is the big thing that the ancients discovered. How to talk about it? Myths and legends, metaphor and allegory. Consciousness is not only the mysterious aspect of mankind, it is a mysterious aspect of the cosmos. The breath of God.


Would you agree that symbolically breath is to wind as the human spirit is to the spirit of God which is as Atman is to Brahman and human consciousness is to divine consciousness?

Yes, that's the way I see it.
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Re: The symbolic world

Postby Meno_ » Thu Dec 10, 2020 5:31 pm

Felix wrote:


"So what the hell is it suited to express or describe, this "symbolic world" of religious language?
Human psychology? Artistic interpretation? The subjective landscape? What's all this talk about nihilism as a consequence of it's neglect?"

>>>>>>>00000+00>>>>>>>>>00000>>>>>>>>+00


Symbolism is an effect to flatten the curve to a line, that can evoke the breath of meaning to questions of human experience, and give reasons as to the subject of creation. by literally recreating it.

Lest we forget that when moment of total flatness arrives, the lines become codes, cleverly designed to convey whatever they hide.

Then there really grows the awareness of the merest reflection. Within the pond's manyform significance.
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Re: The symbolic world

Postby felix dakat » Thu Dec 10, 2020 6:26 pm

Meno_ wrote:Felix wrote:


"So what the hell is it suited to express or describe, this "symbolic world" of religious language?
Human psychology? Artistic interpretation? The subjective landscape? What's all this talk about nihilism as a consequence of it's neglect?"

>>>>>>>00000+00>>>>>>>>>00000>>>>>>>>+00


Symbolism is an effect to flatten the curve to a line, that can evoke the breath of meaning to questions of human experience, and give reasons as to the subject of creation. by literally recreating it.

Lest we forget that when moment of total flatness arrives, the lines become codes, cleverly designed to convey whatever they hide.

Then there really grows the awareness of the merest reflection. Within the pond's manyform significance.


I didn't write that.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
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Re: The symbolic world

Postby Meno_ » Thu Dec 10, 2020 8:20 pm

felix dakat wrote:
Meno_ wrote:Felix wrote:


"So what the hell is it suited to express or describe, this "symbolic world" of religious language?
Human psychology? Artistic interpretation? The subjective landscape? What's all this talk about nihilism as a consequence of it's neglect?"

>>>>>>>00000+00>>>>>>>>>00000>>>>>>>>+00


Symbolism is an effect to flatten the curve to a line, that can evoke the breath of meaning to questions of human experience, and give reasons as to the subject of creation. by literally recreating it.

Lest we forget that when moment of total flatness arrives, the lines become codes, cleverly designed to convey whatever they hide.

Then there really grows the awareness of the merest reflection. Within the pond's manyform significance.


I didn't write that.




Sorry, Mad Max did
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Re: The symbolic world

Postby Bob » Mon Dec 14, 2020 8:41 pm

Just as a joke is robbed of power when it has to be explained, metaphors and symbols lose their power when rendered explicit. And metaphor is not a decorative turn, applied on top of the serious business of language in order to entertain: all thinking, most obviously philosophical and scientific thinking, is at bottom metaphorical in nature, though we are so familiar with the metaphors that we don't notice their existence. It is the metaphors which provide the ‘something else’ which we know more intimately from our embodied, preconceptual experience, and to which we are, in every word we use, properly understood, making a comparison.

McGilchrist, Iain. The Divided Brain and the Search for Meaning (S.12-13). Yale University Press. Kindle-Version.
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Re: The symbolic world

Postby felix dakat » Sat Dec 19, 2020 7:31 pm

Bob wrote:Just as a joke is robbed of power when it has to be explained, metaphors and symbols lose their power when rendered explicit. And metaphor is not a decorative turn, applied on top of the serious business of language in order to entertain: all thinking, most obviously philosophical and scientific thinking, is at bottom metaphorical in nature, though we are so familiar with the metaphors that we don't notice their existence. It is the metaphors which provide the ‘something else’ which we know more intimately from our embodied, preconceptual experience, and to which we are, in every word we use, properly understood, making a comparison.

McGilchrist, Iain. The Divided Brain and the Search for Meaning (S.12-13). Yale University Press. Kindle-Version.


How well does this conception of metaphor mesh with Brett Weinstein's idea of metaphorical truth? And how well does either idea line up with Pageau's vision of the symbolic world?

https://youtu.be/c0_J998UD9s
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
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Re: The symbolic world

Postby felix dakat » Sun Dec 20, 2020 7:37 pm

James 1:17
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

This single verse encapsulates the fundamental principal upon which the biblical symbolic world is structured. It envisions a transcendent reality behind the emergent phenomena of the material universe. The good and perfect gifts emanate from above as words which call forth ever higher manifestations of order from the primordial chaos. They are seeds which, when planted in the ground of material beings, produce and direct evolution toward its ultimate goal.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
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Re: The symbolic world

Postby felix dakat » Thu Dec 24, 2020 10:44 pm

Below is an iteration of The Symbolic World as described in Newton's translation of the The Emerald Tablet, also known as the Smaragdine Tablet, or Tabula Smaragdina from Wikipedia. The translation by Isaac Newton was found among his alchemical papers. They are currently housed in King's College Library, Cambridge University.

Tis true without lying, certain and most true.

That which is below is like that which is above
and that which is above is like that which is below
to do the miracle of one only thing

And as all things have been and arose from one by the mediation of one:
so all things have their birth from this one thing by adaptation.

The Sun is its father,
the moon its mother,
the wind hath carried it in its belly,
the earth is its nurse.
The father of all perfection in the whole world is here.
Its force or power is entire if it be converted into earth.

Separate thou the earth from the fire,
the subtle from the gross
sweetly with great industry.
It ascends from the earth to the heaven
and again it descends to the earth
and receives the force of things superior and inferior.

By this means you shall have the glory of the whole world
and thereby all obscurity shall fly from you.

Its force is above all force,
for it vanquishes every subtle thing and penetrates every solid thing.

So was the world created.

From this are and do come admirable adaptations
where of the means is here in this.

Hence I am called Hermes Trismegist [sic],
having the three parts of the philosophy of the whole world

That which I have said of the operation of the Sun is accomplished and ended.


The symbolic principal "as above so below" goes back at least to Plato. Saint Paul understood this. He said "for the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen being understood by the things that are made even his eternal power and God head..." [Romans 1:20]
Pseudo Dionysius the Areopagite said "what is perceptible to the senses is the reflection of what is intelligible to the mind". And Goethe said "what is within is also without". The symbolic universe is a fractal pattern.

The Pageaus are busy recovering the meanings of the symbolic cosmology for us moderns. This shouldn't be as weird or difficult or absurd as it sounds at first. The symbolic world is based in phenomenology. It is a POV centered in one's own consciousness rather than the reductive ontological universe of the physical sciences in which consciousness is an illusion.

In biblical cosmology, the world was created by the union of ‘heaven’ and ‘earth,’ where the first is the source of spiritual meaning, and the second is the source of physical expression. Thus, everything in this universe is analogous to a written word in a divine language. These “cosmic words” will be referred to as symbols in the language of creation, where a “symbol” is simply a fact that embodies higher truth. This metaphysical framework implies a universe where all events may be interpreted as both factual and meaningful at the same time, possessing concrete reality as well as spiritual significance.1

Pageau, Matthieu. The Language of Creation: Cosmic Symbolism in Genesis (p. 27). Kindle Edition.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
Soren Kierkegaard– Journals, 432
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Re: The symbolic world

Postby Dan~ » Fri Dec 25, 2020 8:21 am

felix dakat wrote:Below is an iteration of The Symbolic World as described in Newton's translation of the The Emerald Tablet, also known as the Smaragdine Tablet, or Tabula Smaragdina from Wikipedia. The translation by Isaac Newton was found among his alchemical papers. They are currently housed in King's College Library, Cambridge University.

Tis true without lying, certain and most true.

That which is below is like that which is above
and that which is above is like that which is below
to do the miracle of one only thing

And as all things have been and arose from one by the mediation of one:
so all things have their birth from this one thing by adaptation.

The Sun is its father,
the moon its mother,
the wind hath carried it in its belly,
the earth is its nurse.
The father of all perfection in the whole world is here.
Its force or power is entire if it be converted into earth.

Separate thou the earth from the fire,
the subtle from the gross
sweetly with great industry.
It ascends from the earth to the heaven
and again it descends to the earth
and receives the force of things superior and inferior.

By this means you shall have the glory of the whole world
and thereby all obscurity shall fly from you.

Its force is above all force,
for it vanquishes every subtle thing and penetrates every solid thing.

So was the world created.

From this are and do come admirable adaptations
where of the means is here in this.

Hence I am called Hermes Trismegist [sic],
having the three parts of the philosophy of the whole world

That which I have said of the operation of the Sun is accomplished and ended.


The symbolic principal "as above so below" goes back at least to Plato. Saint Paul understood this. He said "for the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen being understood by the things that are made even his eternal power and God head..." [Romans 1:20]
Pseudo Dionysius the Areopagite said "what is perceptible to the senses is the reflection of what is intelligible to the mind". And Goethe said "what is within is also without". The symbolic universe is a fractal pattern.

The Pageaus are busy recovering the meanings of the symbolic cosmology for us moderns. This shouldn't be as weird or difficult or absurd as it sounds at first. The symbolic world is based in phenomenology. It is a POV centered in one's own consciousness rather than the reductive ontological universe of the physical sciences in which consciousness is an illusion.

In biblical cosmology, the world was created by the union of ‘heaven’ and ‘earth,’ where the first is the source of spiritual meaning, and the second is the source of physical expression. Thus, everything in this universe is analogous to a written word in a divine language. These “cosmic words” will be referred to as symbols in the language of creation, where a “symbol” is simply a fact that embodies higher truth. This metaphysical framework implies a universe where all events may be interpreted as both factual and meaningful at the same time, possessing concrete reality as well as spiritual significance.1

Pageau, Matthieu. The Language of Creation: Cosmic Symbolism in Genesis (p. 27). Kindle Edition.


I read your post.

In my dreams i have seen that one of the main and most common forms of transmutation have to do with food and micro organisms.
This is why some fermented foods are so good for the body.
Plants transmute the soil, air and sun light. Many plants are good for the body as well.

Food also has a spiritual element to it, which is why the ancients made food offerings to the spirits.
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Re: The symbolic world

Postby felix dakat » Fri Dec 25, 2020 2:42 pm

Dan~ wrote:
felix dakat wrote:Below is an iteration of The Symbolic World as described in Newton's translation of the The Emerald Tablet, also known as the Smaragdine Tablet, or Tabula Smaragdina from Wikipedia. The translation by Isaac Newton was found among his alchemical papers. They are currently housed in King's College Library, Cambridge University.

Tis true without lying, certain and most true.

That which is below is like that which is above
and that which is above is like that which is below
to do the miracle of one only thing

And as all things have been and arose from one by the mediation of one:
so all things have their birth from this one thing by adaptation.

The Sun is its father,
the moon its mother,
the wind hath carried it in its belly,
the earth is its nurse.
The father of all perfection in the whole world is here.
Its force or power is entire if it be converted into earth.

Separate thou the earth from the fire,
the subtle from the gross
sweetly with great industry.
It ascends from the earth to the heaven
and again it descends to the earth
and receives the force of things superior and inferior.

By this means you shall have the glory of the whole world
and thereby all obscurity shall fly from you.

Its force is above all force,
for it vanquishes every subtle thing and penetrates every solid thing.

So was the world created.

From this are and do come admirable adaptations
where of the means is here in this.

Hence I am called Hermes Trismegist [sic],
having the three parts of the philosophy of the whole world

That which I have said of the operation of the Sun is accomplished and ended.


The symbolic principal "as above so below" goes back at least to Plato. Saint Paul understood this. He said "for the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen being understood by the things that are made even his eternal power and God head..." [Romans 1:20]
Pseudo Dionysius the Areopagite said "what is perceptible to the senses is the reflection of what is intelligible to the mind". And Goethe said "what is within is also without". The symbolic universe is a fractal pattern.

The Pageaus are busy recovering the meanings of the symbolic cosmology for us moderns. This shouldn't be as weird or difficult or absurd as it sounds at first. The symbolic world is based in phenomenology. It is a POV centered in one's own consciousness rather than the reductive ontological universe of the physical sciences in which consciousness is an illusion.

In biblical cosmology, the world was created by the union of ‘heaven’ and ‘earth,’ where the first is the source of spiritual meaning, and the second is the source of physical expression. Thus, everything in this universe is analogous to a written word in a divine language. These “cosmic words” will be referred to as symbols in the language of creation, where a “symbol” is simply a fact that embodies higher truth. This metaphysical framework implies a universe where all events may be interpreted as both factual and meaningful at the same time, possessing concrete reality as well as spiritual significance.1

Pageau, Matthieu. The Language of Creation: Cosmic Symbolism in Genesis (p. 27). Kindle Edition.


I read your post.

In my dreams i have seen that one of the main and most common forms of transmutation have to do with food and micro organisms.
This is why some fermented foods are so good for the body.
Plants transmute the soil, air and sun light. Many plants are good for the body as well.

Food also has a spiritual element to it, which is why the ancients made food offerings to the spirits.


That insight is related to the truth behind this verse from the Gospel of John "And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst."
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
Soren Kierkegaard– Journals, 432
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Re: The symbolic world

Postby Bob » Sun Dec 27, 2020 12:04 pm

felix dakat wrote:Below is an iteration of The Symbolic World as described in Newton's translation of the The Emerald Tablet, also known as the Smaragdine Tablet, or Tabula Smaragdina from Wikipedia. The translation by Isaac Newton was found among his alchemical papers. They are currently housed in King's College Library, Cambridge University.

Tis true without lying, certain and most true.

That which is below is like that which is above
and that which is above is like that which is below
to do the miracle of one only thing

And as all things have been and arose from one by the mediation of one:
so all things have their birth from this one thing by adaptation.

The Sun is its father,
the moon its mother,
the wind hath carried it in its belly,
the earth is its nurse.
The father of all perfection in the whole world is here.
Its force or power is entire if it be converted into earth.

Separate thou the earth from the fire,
the subtle from the gross
sweetly with great industry.
It ascends from the earth to the heaven
and again it descends to the earth
and receives the force of things superior and inferior.

By this means you shall have the glory of the whole world
and thereby all obscurity shall fly from you.

Its force is above all force,
for it vanquishes every subtle thing and penetrates every solid thing.

So was the world created.

From this are and do come admirable adaptations
where of the means is here in this.

Hence I am called Hermes Trismegist [sic],
having the three parts of the philosophy of the whole world

That which I have said of the operation of the Sun is accomplished and ended.


The symbolic principal "as above so below" goes back at least to Plato. Saint Paul understood this. He said "for the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen being understood by the things that are made even his eternal power and God head..." [Romans 1:20]
Pseudo Dionysius the Areopagite said "what is perceptible to the senses is the reflection of what is intelligible to the mind". And Goethe said "what is within is also without". The symbolic universe is a fractal pattern.

The Pageaus are busy recovering the meanings of the symbolic cosmology for us moderns. This shouldn't be as weird or difficult or absurd as it sounds at first. The symbolic world is based in phenomenology. It is a POV centered in one's own consciousness rather than the reductive ontological universe of the physical sciences in which consciousness is an illusion.

In biblical cosmology, the world was created by the union of ‘heaven’ and ‘earth,’ where the first is the source of spiritual meaning, and the second is the source of physical expression. Thus, everything in this universe is analogous to a written word in a divine language. These “cosmic words” will be referred to as symbols in the language of creation, where a “symbol” is simply a fact that embodies higher truth. This metaphysical framework implies a universe where all events may be interpreted as both factual and meaningful at the same time, possessing concrete reality as well as spiritual significance.1

Pageau, Matthieu. The Language of Creation: Cosmic Symbolism in Genesis (p. 27). Kindle Edition.

I find the iteration fascinating because it is another source of enlightenment. I have been reading in similar sources:
Signposts to the Truth
Throughout his teaching mission Jesus is portrayed as performing various miracles. Such tales were the standard ingredients of fictional spiritual biographies in the ancient world. Then as now, the spiritually immature seem not to notice the immense and overwhelming miracle that is life itself, and so are attracted to the spiritual path by tales of little miracles. The Gnostic master's role is to awaken us to the obvious miracle of existence, which confronts us in every moment. But those not yet ready to hear this message are given tales of magic that excite them with the possibility of life being more than they have previously taken it to be. Which of course it is. Much more. Miracle tales inspire us with a sense of mystery, and as life is all Mystery these little mysteries can take us a little closer to the Truth.

Freke, Tim; Freke, Tim; Gandy, Peter. Jesus and the Lost Goddess: The Secret Teachings of the Original Christians (S.116). Tim Freke Publications. Kindle-Version.

I have been very much caught up in this book, which has been surprising in many ways. I'm still not finished and keep on going back and forth.
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
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Re: The symbolic world

Postby felix dakat » Sun Dec 27, 2020 4:55 pm

Coincidentally that book "Jesus and the Lost Goddess" was suggested to me by two friends of mine who are reading it together.

The divine feminine re-emerges historically as if according to Freud's principal of the return of the repressed. She resurfaced in the middle ages as the cult of Mary and the Shekinah of the Kabbalah and again in the late 20th century as the subject of feminist theology.

Carl Jung sought a means of making the trinity into a quaternity. Sometimes he envisioned the fourth quarter as Satan, i.e. God's shadow, at other times as Mary the divine feminine.

That said, one of my friends who is reading the book warned that the historical basis for Freke and Gandy's thesis is questionable.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
Soren Kierkegaard– Journals, 432
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Re: The symbolic world

Postby Bob » Sun Dec 27, 2020 7:48 pm

felix dakat wrote:Coincidentally that book "Jesus and the Lost Goddess" was suggested to me by two friends of mine who are reading it together.

The divine feminine re-emerges historically as if according to Freud's principal of the return of the repressed. She resurfaced in the middle ages as the cult of Mary and the Shekinah of the Kabbalah and again in the late 20th century as the subject of feminist theology.

Carl Jung sought a means of making the trinity into a quaternity. Sometimes he envisioned the fourth quarter as Satan, i.e. God's shadow, at other times as Mary the divine feminine.

That said, one of my friends who is reading the book warned that the historical basis for Freke and Gandy's thesis is questionable.

Yes, I wasn't too keen on the videos that Tim Freke had made, trying to set himself up as a "stand-up Philosopher" but because the book on Kindle was so cheap I had a look. I must say that the book did surprise me because there are a lot of quotations that have sources that seemed reliable. He does have a case about a lot but it gets difficult to read after a while. I'm sticking at it, in hope that the second half is better.

I haven't fisinshed Mathieu Pageau's book yet, probably because it is so thought provoking that I've put it down to think about the consequences of what he has written. At this stage, I think there is a lot to be discovered in the Bible and other ancient traditions that we have just glossed over and failed to register. It just isn't what evangelical Christians think it should be. If so much is symbolically a description of life in our world, I think I'll have to re-think what the final message is. Linking that with gnostic texts makes everything seem quite muddled.
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