By John Danvers

Via an research of many various examples, Danvers articulates a brand new mind set approximately mysticism and scepticism, no longer as contrary poles of the philosophical spectrum, yet as fields of enquiry with overlapping goals and techniques. brought on through a deep experience of ask yourself at being alive, many mystics and sceptics, just like the Buddha, perform disciplines of doubt for you to develop into freed from attachment to fastened appearances, essences and viewpoints, and in doing in order that they locate peace and equanimity. They advance methods of dwelling with impermanence and the unforeseen by way of letting pass of adherence to dogmatic ideals and via postponing judgement. In universal with many artists and poets they act as brokers of uncertainty, actively worrying the workouts and conduct of day by day notion and behavior so as to exhibit the best way to retain a feeling of stability and spontaneity in the course of life's problems. themes explored comprise: being and self as strategy; mysticism and language; scepticism and dogmatism; Buddhism, interdependence and vacancy; Daoism and impermanence; dialectics of doubt in artwork and poetry. Written in a full of life and available kind, observed through drawings and images through the writer, this quantity is geared toward students, artists, lecturers, and a person attracted to philosophy, faith, artwork, poetry and methods of being.

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Extra resources for Agents of Uncertainty: Mysticism, Scepticism, Buddhism, Art and Poetry (Consciousness, Literature and the Arts, Volume 31)

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This is not unlike Eckhart’s ideas that God and the human soul share the same “ground” – grunt, in Eckhart’s German terminology. (ibid: 127) This common ground or grounding of God and soul is a nameless, featureless, indivisible desert or wilderness – an indeterminate field. 48 Agents of Uncertainty Evagrius is well known in Christian theology for his statement that prayer is “the conversation of the mind with God”. Harmless points out that this form of conversation is not what we might usually think of as being a conversation, that is, an exchange of words and opinions, instead, “as Evagrius conceived it, [conversation with God] is to move beyond words into wordless contemplation”.

Ibid) Mysticism 55 Mystical theology to some extent oscillates between studies of these two modes of silence. Davies argues that tishina, the silence of the forest, within the JudaeoChristian traditions, is identified “with God, who is eternal and infinite, and who, as silence, is the primordial and generative ground” out of which words, as divine utterance and the speech of human beings, arise. (ibid: 203) According to Turner, “the transcendent, unoriginate and infinite God who is one with silence, who is silence, chooses to break that silence by speaking”.

These misguided attachments to objects (houses, cars, money, status, roles, ideas, beliefs and values), as if they were absolutes, can be linked to what Spinoza describes as our bondage to “the passions”, those reactive emotions like hatred, anger, fear and envy, “in which we appear to ourselves to be passive in the power of outside forces”. (ibid: 598) Russell quotes Spinoza: “An emotion which is a passion ceases to be a passion as soon as we form a clear and distinct idea of it”. (ibid) In other words, once we understand and accept the relative nature of reality we no longer feel an obsessive attachment to any part of it.

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