Thursday, August 12, 2010

"For so the whole round earth is every way Bound by gold chains about the feet of God.
- Alfred, Lord Tennyson

One of the consistent themes that has puzzled me over the years is this idea that Science is somehow a mixed blessing, as it is received at our hands, and by us. In my previous post, I suggested (along with the article) that G. MacDonald was clearly arguing against viewing Nature primarily as something to have dominion over in a rationalistic way; rather, Nature (as Chesterton might say) is neither a Mother nor a Slave, but a Sister. A very magical Sister. If Science is the backward unraveling of God's tapestry, in such a way that it precludes the very magic which we need to experience God, then it ultimately ought to be subordinated very closely to powerful and combative ways of mystical experience. It might also be subjected to the kind of intense scrutiny it itself applies to everything else (which has not yet happened).

If we do not, we risk becoming Men Without Qualities. Men will opine, and throw out the charge of Luddite heresy, but this is not an attack on Science. On the contrary, it is to recognize simply our tools and technology have been allowed to compulsively shape the manner in which we examine Reality, to a point that Science functions with all the trappings, power, & mystique that Sorcery once enjoyed in the ancient world. While not Science's fault, still, precious little has been done by scientists to guard against this eventuality. For them, Science opens doors of wonder. For us, those doors lead to more consumption and immersion in details & matter. The old myth of Thoth is relevant to our discussion here (see Neil Postman). What is it about Science which tends to exclude, even without meaning to, the ways of looking at & feeling about the world which proved so fruitful in former ages for both Art & Religion?


  1. {It might also be subjected to the kind of intense scrutiny it itself applies to everything else}Logres

    Great sentence.

    However, there is no contradiction between science and other forms of knowledge. Only fools think so. Science is only about probabilities; "testable explanations and predictions about the universe" as Wikipedia informs.

    Solar spirituality isn't about probabilities. Not at all. It's about the firmest knowledge, the highest degree of crystallinity and independence; such as that death cannot kill one. Sacred Science is far more scientific than mundane science.

    {"And he reaches the admirable path discovered by the intensity, the constancy and the concentration of the will, the admirable path discovered by the intensity, the constancy and the concentration of the energy, the admirable path discovered by the intensity, the constancy and the concentration of the spirit, the admirable path discovered by the intensity, the constancy and the concentration of investigation—with a heroic spirit as the fifth." And this continues: "And thus attaining these fifteen heroic qualities, he is able, O disciples, to achieve liberation, to achieve awakening. to attain the incomparable sureness.
    In this connection another text considers a double possibility: "Either certainty in life, or no return after death." If, on the highest level, "sureness" is linked with the state of "awakening," the alternatives can he similarly interpreted on a lower level, and we may think of a more relative sureness in life, created by a preliminary group of ascetic disciplines and able to prove its value in all fields of life, and yet that is essentially a foundation for an ascesis of a higher nature. It is in this sense that we can talk of an "intensive application," which is considered to be the keystone of the whole system and which, when "developed and constantly practised, leads to two-fold health, health in the present and health in the future.'" "Sureness," in ascetic development—bhāvanā—is associated with unshakable calm—samatha—which may be considered as the highest aim of a "neutral" discipline, and which can be pursued by one who yet remains essentially a "son of the world"—putthujjana. Beyond this there is an unshakable calm—samatha—which is associated with knowledge—vipassanā—and which then leads to "liberation."}

  2. Starting to understand this - Science deals with empirical probabilities, and properly speaking can only test intuitions (which it cannot generate). These conclusions are valid only in the temporal flux.

    Have you ever heard Mouravieff (and others) talk about the "mystery of the righteous" (those who are born loving God)?

  3. No, I haven't heard of this but I will look into it.

    "The Cherubinic Wanderer" [1657], 6 (I. 15)

    What hath been told of God is not enough for me:
    My life and light flow from the Super-Deity}

  4. “Sacred science / Super science / Sacerdotal science / Suprascience” = “Science-S”
    “Modern science / Mundane science / Materialistic science” = “Science-M”

    The apogee of the myth of physical science coincided with that of the bourgeois era, when positivist and materialist scientism was in favor.

    None of modern science has the slightest value as knowledge in the Traditional sense; rather, it bases itself on a formal renunciation of knowledge in the true sense and concerns itself solely with hypotheses and formulæ that can predict with the best approximation the course of phenomena and relate them to a certain unity. It is not a question of knowledge but a matter less of seeing than of touching, where the concept of certainty is reduced to the “maximum probability.” The system of science resembles a net that draws ever tighter around a something that, in itself, remains incomprehensible, with the sole intention of subduing it for practical ends. The more “comfortable” ideas and theories become “true,” in regards to the organization of the data of sensorial experience. A choice between such data is made consciously or instinctively, excluding systematically those that do not lend themselves to being controlled; thus also qualitative and unrepeatable that is not susceptible to being mathematized.