By John Danvers
Via an research of many various examples, Danvers articulates a brand new state of mind approximately mysticism and scepticism, no longer as contrary poles of the philosophical spectrum, yet as fields of enquiry with overlapping goals and strategies. triggered via a deep experience of ask yourself at being alive, many mystics and sceptics, just like the Buddha, perform disciplines of doubt which will develop into freed from attachment to mounted appearances, essences and viewpoints, and in doing in order that they locate peace and equanimity. They increase methods of dwelling with impermanence and the unforeseen through letting cross of adherence to dogmatic ideals and by means of postponing judgement. In universal with many artists and poets they act as brokers of uncertainty, actively demanding the workouts and conduct of daily concept and behavior as a way to show tips on how to keep a feeling of stability and spontaneity in the course of life's problems. themes explored comprise: being and self as technique; mysticism and language; scepticism and dogmatism; Buddhism, interdependence and vacancy; Daoism and impermanence; dialectics of doubt in paintings and poetry. Written in a full of life and available type, followed through drawings and images via the writer, this quantity is geared toward students, artists, academics, and an individual attracted to philosophy, faith, paintings, poetry and methods of being.
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Extra info for Agents of Uncertainty: Mysticism, Scepticism, Buddhism, Art and Poetry (Consciousness, Literature and the Arts, Volume 31)
Diversity is integral to Dewey’s conception of the universe as an “infinite complex of interacting events”. (ibid: 220) Dewey speaks of the “miscellaneous and uncoordinated plurals of our actual world” (ibid: 221) – a world of ceaseless motion and interaction, about which we can never reach any conclusions, final answers or definitive theories. All we can do is try to find an effective way of living with this unending mutability. It could be argued that this is what Thomas Merton and other mystics and sceptics try to do in their different ways.
This sceptical attitude to verbal language has parallels with similar attitudes displayed by some Christian mystics. In his book, Mystics, (2008) William Harmless has some interesting things to say about these matters. He gives an account of Meister Eckhart’s ideas about the “oneness” of God, a oneness that is not reducible to number, “Eckhart’s term for this is ‘indistinct’”. (ibid: 117-118) Harmless reminds us that when we distinguish between things, we are saying: “This is not that”. In the act of identifying and naming we separate one thing from another and number them, but Eckhart argued that “God is exempt from all number”.
Likewise with the flint, at its edge there is a pulse of indefinite radiance, a sensuous unknowable region which is neither stone nor table-top, neither geological punctuation nor precise position in space. It is as if both of these moments of objecthood, states of fact and self-evident truth, are also fugitives from definiteness and locality. They are not what they seem to be, while being entirely what they are: simple things within my gaze, yet also complex whisperings always out of reach of eye and comprehension – oak-leaf and stone hinting at finality yet haunted by infinitude, clouds masquerading as monoliths.
Agents of Uncertainty: Mysticism, Scepticism, Buddhism, Art and Poetry (Consciousness, Literature and the Arts, Volume 31) by John Danvers