Sunday, December 11, 2011

Received versus Experienced Knowledge

Thinking more of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, I am coming to realize that not a lot of people have seen the "Tree" in any other light than "all knowledge". This probably indicates that I am just not thinking about this correctly (aka "orthodox" = "correct thinking"), but being hetrodox, I just see things differently.

That's the problem with received knowledge...I am supposed to use the myths and metaphors correctly, lest I confuse myeslf and others, and lead all of us astray. But I cannot help myself: I just don't accept received knowledge without first testing it. Not any more, at least.

The effect of orthodoxy is to have exactly what you are suppose to think and do. I just think that when I accept the predefined schema I tend to automatically reject that which is disruptive to the orthodox worldview. In so doing, I think I create a division between the real world and the ideal of orthodoxy. In creating this separation: there are things that are holy and sacred, and that which is profane.

I saw a reference to a study on received knowledge in religion versus a more natural approach:
"From [Durkheim's] study of the religions of Australian aborignal tribes he concluded that the one thing all religions have in common is a division between the sacred---the realm of the extraordinary, and/or the divine---and the profane---the realm of the everyday, the commonplace, the ordinary. Durkheim claimed that the distinction between the sacred and profane is one that is socially constructed and not one that inheres in the object so designated. Thus tribal people attribute sacred meaning to a bird or an animal, designate it as their totem, and build up rituals surrounding it, and the symbol in turn becomes a source of unity."
I think this quote is very revealing. The division between good: the sacred, and the not sacred can easily devolve into the sacred being good, and all else being evil. While this can be a bit of a strawman--no Christian will agree to this characterization--the fact is that once I have accepted a given version of fiction or speculation as received knowledge, then any thing that contradicts the received knowledge must be rejected.

But to see the world in a grain of sand, or heaven in a wild flower, is to recognize that the space between heaven and earth is the body of a single being. Unity is the antithesis of duality-- to be unified in mind and spirit ("yogastah") is to experience the connection between this and that, here and there, now and then...all become one.


  1. In consideration of anything which had to do with religion (especially Mormonism) I used to think of myself as being an orthodox person, i.e., possessing a sufficient depth of scholarship to always know when I was in the realm of opinion. However, I am no longer sure of that irrespective of opinion and most certainly, scholarship.

  2. Hey Fool, What's up? It's me, SPG. I found the depth of your wisdom intriguing. I don't run into that often. Good people all over the place, but deep thinkers are sort of a novelty to me.

    If you don't mind, I would like to abuse your blog and challenge some of your theories and observations. Or, I could invite to my blog site and do it there.

    I found it strikingly interesting that I don't divide scared and not so sacred much.

    Sacredness is a matter of consciousness, to me. The divine is actually common everyday stuff to me. The magic of God happens everywhere, every moment, and is in everything.

    Sacred is a method of focusing the mind and energy of a living entity. Marriage is a sacred, the Bible is sacred, etc. Not that they are particularly functional, good, or smart, but it's the best we have.

    Sacred, when put to spirit is God like, because it is a great team building energy. Sacred helps focus team efforts to one purpose, even if you are just trying to get yourself focus.

    A holy quest helps align a person's energy to a one purpose.

    But to me, God is both sacred and the dirt I walk on. Duality is illusion, really nothing more then drama. Functionality reveals the unity of life.

    I often use the explain of our stomach. There is a war going on inside of us, where one type of stomach flora is trying to kill another. That fight, actually provides us energy. The stomach is the source our physical power, actually, and provide power to other realms as well, such as emotional, mental, and spiritual. Without that war, we might not be living.

    When I began to look at things from an "revelation/assumption" things began make sense. The Universe is consciousness based. It needs drama for stimulation and energy. To me, that is why love and fear are sort of the functional elements of consciousness. Love must fight the fear.

    There would chaos in a world without fear. Boundaries in general are based on fear. We have within us, a energy of desire, that wants everything. Without fear, there would be no boundaries to define what is yours and what is mine. Granted, the higher heavens are places without fear, and also very little boundaries. All life is one. Fear is the illusion that makes this world possible.

    But even with the duality, it's still a unified world. The divine mingles with the profane. The divine supports the illusion, yes, even the fear, for without it, our world couldn't exist. So, to me, the fear is divine, but a divine in pain the ass.

    1. Lord Challen/SPG - I always enjoy your posts. I have to say they present a way of thinking quite different than mine, so I have to absorb your concepts for a while. I really appreciate your fresh outlook.


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  4. “Durkheim claimed that the distinction between the sacred and profane is one that is socially constructed and not one that inheres in the object so designated. Thus tribal people attribute sacred meaning to a bird or an animal, designate it as their totem, and build up rituals surrounding it, and the symbol in turn becomes a source of unity.”

    This aspect with regard to the ‘social construction of reality’ is what the Mormon temple ritual is all about. It has already been suggested that Joseph Smith incorporated Masonic ritual symbolism because Free Masonry was fairly predominant in his day and community. However, had Joseph Smith been in a community where something else just as arcane was predominant, then that would have been the substance source of the unifying purpose of the Mormon temple ceremony. In other words, it matters very little whether a totem is this or that particular bird or animal and the specifics of a ritual that becomes built around it; what matters is that there *is* ritual to bind the members of a group together in an arcane (preferably) commitment based modality.

  5. Deep and thoughtful. I hope someday I can write this insightfully about spiritual matters. I like the unifying thought you bring everything together with at the end, and what I like about it most as that we don't need to be the same to be unified.