It seems that my first book, Claiming Sacred Ground, which came out ten years ago, is circulating for free online as a PDF. (I just downloaded it myself to see if it’s the real thing; it is. Do a PDF search for it if you want it.)
I don’t mind people downloading it — it’s a good way to look at it before deciding if you want to spend money for a hard copy. The hardcover is pricy — or was when it came out. But it’s also attractive and nice to hold in one’s hands, and you can now find it cheap. (Ask me if you want one for under ten bucks.)
This is the concluding part of a three-part article. Part 1 can be found here, Part 2 here. They should be read in the sequence in which they were published.
The True, the Good, and the Beautiful
All of this can be related to the triad of the True, the Good, and the Beautiful — or, in their Peircian sequence, aesthetics, ethics, and logic. Aesthetics, as Peirce conceived it, is most directly concerned with firstness; ethics, with secondness; and logic, with thirdness.
This continues from the previous post, where Shinzen Young’s model of core mindfulness practices was expanded into a system of classifying what a human bodymind can do. Here the model is deepened following the process-relational insights that are at the core of Shinzen’s system as well as of other (especially Mahayana and Vajrayana) Buddhist systems, and of the philosophies of A. N. Whitehead and, in some respects, of C. S. Peirce, Gilles Deleuze, and other process-relational thinkers. This part is followed by a concluding segment, found here.
Working with Shinzen Young‘s system of mindfulness training, which I’ve described here before, and thinking it through in the process-relational logic I’ve been developing on this blog (and elsewhere), is resulting in a certain re-mix of Shinzen’s ideas, and of Buddhism more generally, with Peirce’s, Whitehead’s, Wilber’s, Deleuze’s, and others’. Here’s a crack at where it’s taking me…
I’ve divided this into three parts due to its length. Part 1 builds on Shinzen’s “5 ways to know yourself as a spiritual being,” which presents five core mindfulness practices, to develop a basic classification of ways in which the human bodymind can know itself and the world. Part 2 deepens the model by pushing beyond traditional dualisms through incorporating what Shinzen calls “flow,” which is analogous to the central insight of process-relational philosophies about the fundamentally processual nature of subjectivity or mentality, objectivity or materiality, and the dynamic and interdependent relationship between the two. Part 3 provides some concluding thoughts and caveats.
Working through the last decade or so of Wilberian integral theory (which I’m doing in preparation for the upcoming group reading of Integral Ecology) is no small challenge.
Ken Wilber’s been an incredibly prolific writer, publishing scores of books over the last 15 years in addition to scattered shorter materials of various kinds, including new forewords and revisions of older works (in his eight-volume Collected Works series), summaries, interviews (including auto-interviews), several hundred pages of manuscript materials from work in progress, and much more. Beyond that, there is a virtual industry of commentary, discussion, critical evaluation, application, and revision of his work by followers and detractors alike — most of which, fortunately, is readily found online.
In defiance of the idea that Nature — the thing, or the idea (capitalized or not), or both — is either dead or unnecessary, I feel like posting some favorite passages from “Nature Alive,” the second of A. N. Whitehead’s two 1933 lectures on nature, published in Modes of Thought (1938/1968), which you can read the full text of online.
This post continues from the previous in this series, which looked at integral ecophilosopher Sean Esbjorn-Hargens’s writing on the ontology of climate change. Here I examine the relationship between leading integral theorist Ken Wilber, integralist Esbjorn-Hargens, and process philosopher Alfred North Whitehead.
Chris Vitale has a nice post up on Deleuze’s Bergsonian notion of the image as a “slice of time,” or a “slice of the world” — which for Deleuze amounts to more or less the same thing. In a similar spirit, I thought I’d post briefly about a Whiteheadian notion of time.
Normally when we think of slicing into time to depict a moment of it, we tend to think of it as a linear flow. Slicing into time is like slicing into bread: what’s on the left of the slice is the past (for westerners and others who read from left to right), what’s on the right is the future, and the slice itself is where we’re at right now. The world as it appears to us is a cross-section of the loaf.
Or a better metaphor, since we’re in motion, might be a train moving forward on the track of time: the tracks ahead of us are the future, those behind are the past, and the train is us.