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Pagan/Newage Paradigm Toolset

To: nagasiva 
From: "E. Alan Meece" 
Subject: Re: Pagan/Newage Paradigm Toolset (was Re: spiritualism and spirituality)
Date: Tue, 24 Jun 1997 02:36:41 -0700

> I hope some Newagers will see the benefits of moving away from it based
on the notion that the natural world of flesh may be more important than
something to be treated like a temporary and disposable kleenex.

The eivdent interest among new agers in health and living to the fullest=20
is all the evidence I need to convince me that new agers never had such=20
a view of the =93flesh.=94

>> I would also say that to describe the "physical" in material terms
>> is probably inaccurate; everything is to some degree "spiritual" or
>> "mental." "More dense" and "less dense" is a good way of putting it,
>> but only as a way of speaking.

>this is a different kind of spiritualist paradigm I usually characterize
>as 'emanational', in which the physical or material world is described
>as having spiritual origin, perhaps in some way relating to prototypical
>origins on par with Plato and his 'forms' or 'ideas' (though I'm more
>interested in seeing Plato's ideas understood in centralist terms --
>more on this latter below).

There is no reason to assume a Platonic cast to this world view.

>as with the preferences of the MPP Spiritualists, I wonder what
>motivation there might be for compassion for the natural world, in
>that it is all a manifestation of spirit and can therefore at any
>time be 're-manifest' should our actions on this dense physical plane
>pollute and destroy that manifestation beyond repair.

If manifestation were that easy, life would be a breeze. It=92s not so=20
easy to manifest the spiritual visions in the dense =93material=94 realm.=
any case, though, I=92m not sure how far you can take an evaluation of a=20
world view based on what motivations it creates. The primary concern is=20
whether it is accurate.

>>Most new agers don't believe in two entirely separate realms, IMHO.

>I agree, though most I've met seem to believe in two realms which I'd
>characterize as distinguished by virtue of relation to the self-other
>boundary (object-subject).  usually the question as regards how the
>'two' realms (when spoken of in 'matter/spirit' terms) interact is
>unaddressed and merely overlooked.

Maybe that particular philosophical problem doesn=92t interest them.

>>I would agree with the idea that spiritual realms are the "source"
>>of "material" realms, however.

>this is very interesting to me because it appears to be the exact invers=
>of the type of materialism (emanational) popularized by some modern

Indeed so.

>the 'immaterial' or 'spiritual' is sourced to the material
>realm, being less dense, 'only imaginary', etc.  do you have some eviden=
>for the one you favor?  or is it more pleasing to you?=20

Both. The primary evidence is simply from my own experience of who I am;=20
beyond that there is evidence from psychic experiments, etc. I don=92t=20
wish to debate the evidence, though. There=92s plenty of evidence for bot=
sides, but I prefer to believe views that affirm my own evidence=20
existence and others rather than views which deny it.

>do you dislike
>'material' as a name for the more dense end of the spectrum?  do you for
>some reason prefer 'physical'?  if so, why?

I prefer analogies such as =93less dense=94 or =93slower=94 etc. since I =
believe reality is objectifyable or explanable in such terms which=20
=93physical=94 and =93material=94 imply.

>>> MPP tends to see the 'earth-plane' as a temporary place, a kind of
>>> classroom where we come to learn lessons and then depart for less
>>> dense realms.

> is true that *because* we are said to inhabit them temporarily it
>does not necessarily devalue them.  my point is that this manner of
>viewing things gives greater *incentive* for so devaluing them, just
>as emanational materialism and egoism give greater incentive for a
>devaluation of the environment on account of temporary residence.

>that is, the idea of TEMPORARY RESIDENCE (whether contained in a
>spiritualist or materialist paradigm) provides the potential for
>short-term actions and degradation of the current surroundings.
>"I'm getting out of here in a couple years (or a couple of life-
>times) anyway, so no need to concern myself with how I affect it."

You miss the point (although you evidently heard it) that we inhabit all=20
places temporarily, whichever view you hold. So it makes NO DIFFERENCE;=20
ALL worldviews (including yours) would have the same degradation effect=20
that you assume MPP has. Perhaps if you believe in physical immortality=20
you might have a point. Even so, the Earth must someday pass away, so=20
you can=92t really escape the fact of temporariness.=20
If anything, materialism is the most degradating to the Earth, since we=20
are presumed to be =93alive=94 (if that=92s the word) once for a few year=
s and=20
that=92s it, and essentially it makes no difference whether we are here o=
not. You only go around once, so get yours and to hell with tommorrow.=20
With reincarnation we are here for many lifetimes, so it=92s important to=
preserve the =93classroom.=94

>>> MPP typically includes ideas like 'reincarnation' (the origin of
>>> the 'meat-inhabiting idea' -- carn=3D> meat).

>> Reincarnation is a valuable idea, whatever your attitude to
>> spirituality is, and is found in most religions and spiritual
>> philosophies.

>if origin =3D value and the material/bodily
>originates in the spiritual, then somehow asceticizing our way back
>to the spiritual can become an obssessive focus...

Self-possession is the value, which could just as easily be described as=20
=93fully be-here-now=94. Asceticism is not a preoccupation of new agers;=20
that was for Christians in the Middle Ages (with left-over =93moralism=94=

>>> .....what we take to be 'the spirit' is us looking at ourselves as
>>> immaterial subjects.

>>It is us looking at ourselves. The phrase "as immaterial objects"
>>may be superfluous, since that's what we are.

>from an emanational spiritualist standpoint this is of course correct.
>the emanational materialist describes 'spirits' as 'unreal' and bodies
>as 'what we are'.  the radical centrist describes both body and spirit
>as real and the whole (perhaps extending beyond these) as 'what we are'.

As I=92ve been aware since I=92ve known you, you are generally a=20
thorough-going non-dualist. I am less inclined to insist on it; but=20
rather to a view of dualism as correct in some situations/points of view=20
and non-dualism correct in others; or perhaps a dual/non-dual polarity.=20
As far as =93spirit=94 vs. =93matter=94 is concerned, I am primarily a mo=
(it=92s all spirit) with varying =93speeds and densities=94 (usually perc=
through the distorted lens of our senses) accounting for the impression=20
of difference of realms, whether on Earth or elsewhere. And the dialogue=20
between =93subjective and objective=94 or =93self and other=94 in all rea=
makes the game and dance of life what it is in all its glory.

>>> an analogy for this is the comparison between a living-room on
>>> wheels and an automobile.  the living-room on wheels is seen from
>>> the inside (spirit), the automobile from the outside (body).
>>> both are the same but they are experienced in two different ways.

>I would add to this that there is no 'driver'.  the living room on
>wheels is our entirety, just as the automobile is our entirety.

I may be wrong, but I prefer to keep the =93driver.=94 As you know, I do=20
believe in =93selves=94 though may Eastern-type views do not. I don=92t=20
believe the soul or self is =93separate=94, however, from other selves or=

>> To "enhance the subjective" may include to enhance one's experience of
>> subtle and non-physical "less dense" realms,

>I tend to presume it would, yes.

>> and also to enhance one's experience of the "subtle" beauty within
>> "physical" nature and humanity as well.

>actually, the way I've defined it above it would not.  'spirituality'
>would have to have a correlative, 'materiality', which enhances the
>physical experience.  'humanity' is the entirety which, without our
>bifocal resolution glasses, we take to be two realms otherwise.

Wow, I spoke too soon above? This sounds like dualism to me, and if so I=20
disagree. The =93material=94 realm as I experience it is spiritual and fu=
of spirits and =93gods,=94 and my own =93experience=94 of nature (which i=
n that=20
sense is my own consciousness and thus =93spiritual=94) is among the most=
spiritual experiences that I have. And that includes my sense=20
experiences of nature, if you were wondering.

>> Let's be open to alternative realities, not limited to what the
>> scientists and priests say it is!

>my point precisely.  more than this, promote a range of paradigmatic
>tools for use and compare and contrast their attendant results and
>repercussions to self and other beings.

In the sense that I take you as meaning (proper view to care of the=20
Earth, etc.), that would take centuries to determine. My own paradigm=20
has become more like breathing by now; of course to be open as possible=20
is a worthy goal, which may mean having no paradigm at all, or the=20
willingness to suspend it. I could describe my own world view as my best=20
current working hypothesis, expressed in symbols as necessary.

>> The [MPP] may be unacceptable to Tyagi,

>actually it is not, but I think that it is over-used and dangerous at
>present to the wild animals in the world of nature (you know, those
>fuzzy things that live in holes and forests that we see on teevee).

=93dangerous at present,=94 then.....and I don't think it is any more=20
dangerous than any other view on account of =93temporariness=94 as mentio=
above; I guess you=92ll just have to come up with another reason for=20
thinking new agers devalue the Earth.....; whatever you say I=92ll=20
disagree, though! :-)

>> Keep the spirit (soul) alive.

>if everything derives from spirit (as you suggest), then how can it not
>remain alive?  is there some inhibitive factor within this model which
>might prevent 'aliveness' from being possible to spirits?

You enjoy dissecting my slogan! Ok, I would say that, as I said above,=20
manifesting spiritually in this more dense spiritual realm (=93physical=20
plane=94) is not so easy, and we are subject to many distractions and=20
challenges (social ones, primarily; but also sometimes from our own=20
senses/bodies/especially our brains) which numb, en-trance, desensitize=20
and deaden us. So it means to be more consciously and sensitively alive,=20
and be self-possessed rather than driven by others. Of course, there are=20
disadvantages to the spirit in =93heavenly=94 realms too, or we wouldn=92=
t be=20
here instead.
Or --perhaps the one we should blame is.......SATAN??? (the tempter;=20
possession, etc.).....

> many seem to think that *THIS WORLD*
>is Satan's Kingdom, and I'm inclined to agree.  the natural, material
>world (of the flesh, like in the Bible), not an Underworld (this is
>the Underworld to the Overworld 'Heaven'), is Satan's true home.
>sending Satan underground so we won't see Hir is the typical action
>taken with the Shadow (out of sight, literally out of mind).

That=92s a good way of turning the tables on the Christian/MPM views. I=20
still think for most people Satan conjures up different ideas than=20
yours, so I=92m not comfortable with that symbol for my own diety, or wit=
propagating it to others.......

Be seeing you....
E. Alan Meece

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