|Sent on:||Friday, January 23, 2009 11:20 AM|
I like to make a distinction between rational, irrational and unrational.
Emotion and Intuition are not irrational, they are unrational.
I think too often the pursuit of reason has meant the suppression of the unrational.
The unrational is not inherently irrational, but it can lead to irrational ideas. We need both the rational and unrational in order to be authentic human beings.
The relationship between the rational and unrational needs to be delineated.
I think that the unrational should have the same status as the five senses.
For example we may think that we are looking at a cat in the distance, but through empirical verification we learn that it is really a crumpled paper bag.
Through practice and continued verification we can learn how to better distinguish between a cat and a crumpled paper bag.
The same is true of intuition. Our intuitions of life and the Universe can improve but only through rational and empirical verification. In time we may come to trust these intuitions without the need for verification. But we must always be cognizant of the fact that our intuitions (or senses) could be wrong.
There have been people who have experienced a sublime one-ness with all that is and intuited that they have transcended the natural or physical. But this is based on a supernatural paradigm that while internally logically consistent, is ultimately at odds with all that we know scientifically about the universe. If we look for the source of this faulty paradigm I think that it is a faulty notion and experience of self.
I don't believe that the physical can be transcended, though I do believe that our normal experience of self and reality can be "transcended". Furthermore, these alternate experiences of self can provide valuable information concerning the actual relationship between self and the universe. For example, we can realize that self is less like a bit of flotsam tossed about in the stream and more like a pattern of ripples in the stream - part of a larger and constantly unfolding pattern of simultaneous, parallel interactions and serial actions. This has implications for a person's understanding of and reaction to determinism - we are not controlled by the chain of causal events, we ARE the causal events. We are not flotsam tossed about in the stream, we ARE the stream.
Unfortunately, our default experience of the relationship between self and the universe seems to be that of flotsam in the stream. This is because of our experience of self (like reason) tends to be serial. We need to perceive the whole pattern and not individual serial chain of events. This can only be done through intuiton.