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The supernatural: real or crap

Re: The supernatural: real or crap
July 15, 2010, 07:51:57 PM
It seems to me that everyone in this thread is talking about completely different things.
 
So can we get a definition of what qualifies as 'supernatural'?  For that matter, what is 'occult' and what is 'esoteric'?
 
Blavatsky had some decent ideas, but probably best to get the general feel rather than get too deep into theosophy.  Aleister Crowley's Magick Without Tears is great, but again, you probably don't have to trek through the whole text.

Look into the Tarot and astrology, too.  There are interesting things that go on with symbolism there.

Re: The supernatural: real or crap
July 15, 2010, 07:58:00 PM
I used to be somewhat interested into this symbolism nonsense, but getting older I realize it's just a total and complete waste of time.  There are better ways to communicate ideas than by wrapping them up in mystical, overtly abstract metaphors

People disguise ideas with nonsense to make their views sound deeper.  Esotericism is highly overrated and prone to subjective interpretation.

Re: The supernatural: real or crap
July 15, 2010, 09:11:29 PM

People disguise ideas with nonsense to make their views sound deeper.  Esotericism is highly overrated and prone to subjective interpretation.

It's true for most of it, mostly for controlling dumb people, and it's false that in one point of esotericism, symbolic evolution cross-pollinates with senses which in turn is making more from less, hyping it up into something bigger than it actually is, lying, turning the unreal into the real.

It may not mean much to many people at the present, but for the future the 'supernatural' is just natural, but more super and a product of a sequence of events that lead to it (evolution, technology, successful denial of reality). Natural evolves into intelligence, intelligence combined with technology gives the super natural and the ability to deny reality whilst surviving, meaning able to create subjective distortions of reality whilst sustaining ourselves from the external reality and not collapsing back into it.

The supernatural then combined with time travel, say a future technocratic society with god-like overmen/machine things then pass back in time and can rain down across multiple surfaces of the 'present' from a future era, to warp reality from their own subjective supernatural biologically infused technologies, and that cannot be proved by 'evidence' because evidence is a symbolic web that glues information toward the present time, prejudices and socialized exoteric hive-mind regardless of the future.

Re: The supernatural: real or crap
July 15, 2010, 11:33:23 PM
It seems to me that everyone in this thread is talking about completely different things.
 
So can we get a definition of what qualifies as 'supernatural'?  For that matter, what is 'occult' and what is 'esoteric'?

Here are some pretty good attempts by Frithjof Schuon:

SUPERNATURAL
--------------------------
Quote
Supernatural: It is necessary . . . to be clear as to the meaning of the word
“supernatural”: the supernatural can be what is contrary to the laws of nature, but it
cannot be contrary to the very principles of the Universe; if we term “natural” that which
simply obeys the logic of things, with no other restriction, the supernatural is also natural,
but it is so on a scale far vaster than that of physical causality, that of this lower world.
The supernatural is the “divinely natural” which, irrupting into an eminently contingent
and limited plane of the natural, contradicts the laws of this plane, not by virtue of the
causality proper to the latter, of course, but by virtue of a far less contingent and limited
causality. [From the Divine to the Human]

OCCULT
-------------
Quote
Occult: The word “occult” has its origin in the vires occultae, the unseen forces of
nature, and in the occulta, the secrets relating to the ancient mysteries; in fact, however,
modern occultism is by and large no more than the study of extrasensory phenomena, one
of the most hazardous of pursuits by reason of its wholly empirical character and its lack
of any doctrinal basis. Occultism ranges from pure and simple experiment to
pseudoreligious speculations and practices; it is only one step further to describe all
authentically esoteric doctrines and methods as “occultism,” and this step has been taken
either through ignorance, indifference, or carelessness, and without shame or scruple, by
those who have an interest to serve by this kind of depreciation. It is as though one were
to describe genuine mystics as occultists on the grounds that they too were concerned
with the unseen. [Logic and Transcendence]

ESOTERIC
----------------
Quote
Esoterism: The word “esoterism” suggests in the first place an idea of complementarity,
of a “half” as it were: esoterism is the complement of exoterism, it is the “spirit” which
completes the “letter”. Where there is a truth of Revelation, hence of formal and
theological truth, there must also be a truth of intellection, hence of non-formal and
metaphysical truth; not legalistic or obligatory truth, but truth that stems from the nature
of things, and which is also vocational since not every man grasps this nature.
But in fact this second truth exists independently of the first; hence it is not, in its
intrinsic reality, a complement or a half; it is so only extrinsically and as it were
“accidentally”. This means that the word “esoterism” designates not only the total truth
inasmuch as it is “colored” by entering a system of partial truth, but also the total truth as
such, which is colorless. This distinction is not a mere theoretical luxury; on the contrary,
it implies extremely important consequences.
Thus esoterism as such is metaphysics, to which is necessarily joined an appropriate
method of realization. But the esoterism of a particular religion – of a particular
exoterism precisely – tends to adapt itself to this religion and thereby enter into
theological, psychological and legalistic meanders foreign to its nature, while preserving
in its secret center its authentic and plenary nature, but for which it would not be what it
is. [Survey of Metaphysics and Esoterism]
Whatever you honor above all things, that which you so honor will have dominion over you.

Re: The supernatural: real or crap
July 15, 2010, 11:39:44 PM
It seems there are more fake teachers than real ones.

I have found Distinctive Themes of the Perennial Tradition by Norman D. Livergood to be a helpful essay.
"It is not the language of painters but the language of nature which one should listen to, the feeling for the things themselves, for reality, is more important than the feeling for pictures." - Van Gogh

Re: The supernatural: real or crap
July 16, 2010, 09:15:53 AM
It seems there are more fake teachers than real ones.

I have found Distinctive Themes of the Perennial Tradition by Norman D. Livergood to be a helpful essay.

Mr Livergood certainly is a third rate author on the subject. In order to learn about the Perennial Philosophy, it is best to read, prior to others who have written on the subject, the following authors: René Guénon, Frithjof Schuon, Titus Burckhardt, and Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, because their knowledge and elegance of expression is still unsurpassed.
Whatever you honor above all things, that which you so honor will have dominion over you.

Re: The supernatural: real or crap
July 16, 2010, 07:23:29 PM
The most comprehensive modern presentation of "theosophia perennis," with proofs of its diffusion throughout the world in every age, may be found in the writings of H. P. Blavatsky, in particular in her magnum opus, The Secret Doctrine, subtitled "The Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Philosophy."

(By W. T. S. Thackara, source:freepeechproject.com)

New Age or perennialism?

You're quite hostile.

I got a right to be hostile, man, my people been persecuted!

Re: The supernatural: real or crap
July 18, 2010, 08:01:17 AM
The most comprehensive modern presentation of "theosophia perennis," with proofs of its diffusion throughout the world in every age, may be found in the writings of H. P. Blavatsky, in particular in her magnum opus, The Secret Doctrine, subtitled "The Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Philosophy."

(By W. T. S. Thackara, source:freepeechproject.com)

New Age or perennialism?


New age, read Guenon's book on the subject.  Blavatsky was borderline insane and had no essential understanding of Eastern doctrines and her school is largely responsible for the wildly inaccurate impressions of Hindu/Buddhist concepts in the West.

Re: The supernatural: real or crap
July 20, 2010, 02:15:43 AM
It seems to me that everyone in this thread is talking about completely different things.
 
So can we get a definition of what qualifies as 'supernatural'?  For that matter, what is 'occult' and what is 'esoteric'?
 
Blavatsky had some decent ideas, but probably best to get the general feel rather than get too deep into theosophy.  Aleister Crowley's Magick Without Tears is great, but again, you probably don't have to trek through the whole text.

Look into the Tarot and astrology, too.  There are interesting things that go on with symbolism there.

The Supernatural: That which is spiritual in nature and cannot be ascertained by eyes alone.  This can refer to supernatural beings, to The Master huself, or in other more subtle things.  It could be colloquially said that the supernatural exists behind a veil that cannot be pierced by eyes or hardened hearts.

Esoteric in the sense I posted of: The inner heart of a faith or spiritual tradition which can be reached through piety, adherence to external dogma, and study ... at least in the Islamic and Judaic senses with Sufism and Kabbalah.  Think of the system as a sphere comprising shells.  You enter through basic adherence and intention.  If one so desires they can go further and through adherence to the principles of the path can move onward into the world of that faith by emulation and practice of the doctrine, saints/sages, and practical applications of the spirituality in action.  This can lead to one then moving on to becoming a student of a rabbi, sheikh, priest, monk, etc. in a spiritual brotherhood.  However, one can benefit from these teachings even if one is not a member because some ideas and concepts can be easily sought after.  It is others more elusive which take much more effort, practice, and austerity.  It really requires a love for The Divine and a want to draw closer.  This path inward is not for the faint-hearted because it will change a person deeply and they may never be able to return back to their prior state once a certain point is reached ... especially if they were not pious beforehand.

Re: The supernatural: real or crap
July 20, 2010, 11:33:06 AM
Devamitra, you seem to have researched those subjects, to what conclusion did you come: Can magic or other supernatural things alter the physical world?

By the very definition, these words refer to "unexplainable" phenomena men believe to have personally experienced or happened elsewhere; philosophically it hardly alters the subject if we accept the postulate that a rational explanation could be deducted for these deeds or events; it suffices that currently they are "unexplainable".

Consider for a moment finding yourself in possession of real power, not a conjurer's trick. The capacity to harm enemies, to heal the sick, to control the climate (hello mr. Browning) would instantly, irrevocably, place you apart from mankind. Only by seclusion, even hiding, would you have a moment of peace. Could you ever be free from the notion that even your closest friends are merely trying to use you? Could you repel the doctors and the scientists and the businessmen, for whom you would be a rare prize object? And most importantly of all, how would you cope with events such as death, sickness, accidents and decay near or far, knowing that you could have reversed the process at any point?

Everything can be altered, and we are surrounded by a strange, cold, uncharted cosmos. But people looking for shortcuts, or answers to their problems, or a more meaningful life, hardly find them in the mazes of esoteric mind-science.

Re: The supernatural: real or crap
July 20, 2010, 05:42:28 PM
Thanks for all the answers. 

To the guy that said hyperspace, I just read a quote by a south american mystic who claimed to have experiences with the "fourth dimension" (jinas):

"Soon Astrophysics will demonstrate the existence of hyperspace. This can be demonstrated by hypergeometry."
You're quite hostile.

I got a right to be hostile, man, my people been persecuted!

Re: The supernatural: real or crap
July 30, 2010, 03:27:00 PM
Quote
In his proposal, time and space can be converted into one another, with a varying speed of light as the conversion factor. Mass and length are also interchangeable, with the conversion factor depending on both a varying gravitational “constant” and a varying speed of light (G/c2). Basically, as the universe expands, time is converted into space, and mass is converted into length. As the universe contracts, the opposite occurs.

“We view the speed of light as simply a conversion factor between time and space in spacetime,” Shu writes. “It is simply one of the properties of the spacetime geometry. Since the universe is expanding, we speculate that the conversion factor somehow varies in accordance with the evolution of the universe, hence the speed of light varies with cosmic time.”

As Shu writes in his paper, the newly proposed models have four distinguishing features:

• The speed of light and the gravitational “constant” are not constant, but vary with the evolution of the universe.
• Time has no beginning and no end; i.e., there is neither a big bang nor a big crunch singularity.
• The spatial section of the universe is a 3-sphere [a higher-dimensional analogue of a sphere], ruling out the possibility of a flat or hyperboloid geometry.
• The universe experiences phases of both acceleration and deceleration.

http://www.physorg.com/news199591806.html

Science, or religion, or science, or religion?