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Gerontikon
#has-images
Each monastery or group of monks evolved its own Gerontikon often around a nucleus of Sayings of their founder or some other monk especially remembered there.

Gerontikon: . In the Gr. Ch., a book containing a collection of anecdotes and apothegms or sayings of ancient anchorites and monastic fathers.

#remix #mixandmatch

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#has-images
Reference resource - designed for easy reference - for help in time of need

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#affect #has-images #proudfoot

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#affect #has-images #proudfoot
Proudfoot - there are no intrisically moral, aesthetic, religions (etc.) experiences. There are only modes of interpretation.

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Bedford - emotions critique
#affect #has-images #proudfoot
Emotion as concept. Emotion words link personal (private?) experience to a conceptual network of context/culture/etc.

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#affect #has-images #proudfoot
Link to note: emotion as concept. An emotion is not a name for something. It designated a relation. Contra (James?) bodily change.

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#affect #has-images #proudfoot

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#affect #has-images #meditation #proudfoot

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#affect #has-images #proudfoot

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#affect #has-images #proudfoot
The reduction and focusing of ritual attention heightens sensitivity to anomalies. Affects.

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#affect #has-images #mysticism #proudfoot

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#affect #has-images #proudfoot

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Otto's numinous experience / religious experience may just be an excitation without words to describe. It transcends language only.
#affect #has-images #proudfoot

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#affect #has-images #proudfoot #reduction
Otto wants to counter the reduction of experience.

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#affect #has-images #proudfoot

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#affect #has-images #proudfoot
the problem with the analysis is that propositions always arise within a context and, therefore, they cannot be examined in a de-contextual manner. Everything happens in media res.

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#affect #has-images #proudfoot

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#affect #has-images #proudfoot

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reading away language: you cant analyze a phenomenological experience without understanding the ideas/language which mediated at experience
#affect #has-images #proudfoot

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exercise of thought = exorcise of thought ???
#affect #has-images #sharf

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#affect #sharf
This approach to religious phenomena is not confined to academic discourse alone; many lay adherents feel that the only authentic form of worship or scriptural study is one that leads to a personal experience of its ‘inner truth’. Consequently, scholarship that does not attend to the experiential dimension of religious practice is dis - missed by many as reductionistic

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the Holy Spirit, a Hindu about absorption into Brahman, a Buddhist about the extinction of the self. But if one is able to see beyond the superficial, culturally determined differences between these accounts one discovers a single unvarying core. Or so goes the argument advanced by William James (1961/1902), Rudolf Otto (1958/1917), Aldous Huxley (1946), W.T. Stace (1960) and Robert Forman (1990), among others. Needless to say there are important differences in the views of these scholars, but all more-or-less agree that it is possible to distinguish between a core experience (or c

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This understanding of mystical experience, sometimes known as the ‘perennial philosophy’ (a term popularized by Huxley’s 1946 book of that title), proved quite influential among scholars of religion. But how is one to make conceptual sense of such an experience? One

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This is, of course, a highly simplified account of the perennialist position, and its defenders do not speak with a single voice. Be that as it may, in the past few decades this approach to mysticism has come under concerted attack from a num - ber of scholars, notably Gershom Scholem (1969), Steven Katz (1978; 1983; 1992), Wayne Proudfoot (1985) and Grace Jantzen (1995). The objections are manifold. To begin with, critics note that we do not have access to mystical expe - riences per se, but only to texts that purport to describe them, and the perennialists systematically misconstrue these texts due to their a priori commitment to the perennialist position. Read impartially, there is little internal evidence to indicate that these very disparate accounts are actually referring to one and the same experience

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The ‘hermeneutic of experience’ was soon adopted by a host of scholars interested in religion, the most influential being William James, and today many have a difficult time imagining what else religion might be about. Yet prior to Schleiermacher, insists Proudfoot, religion was simply not under- stood in such terms, and it is thus incumbent upon us to reject the perennialist hypothesis in so far as it anachronistically imposes the recent and ideologically laden notion of ‘religious experience’ on our interpretations of premodern phenomena

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turn to premodern Asian sources the evidence is ambiguous at best. Take, for example, the many important Buddhist exegetical works that delineate the Bud - dhist marga or ‘path to liberation’ — works such as ‘Stages on the Bodhisattva Path’ (Bodhisattvabhumi), ‘The Stages of Practice’ (Bhavanakrama), ‘Path of Purity’ (Visuddhimagga), ‘The Great Calming and Contemplation’ (Mo-ho chih-kuan), ‘The Great Book on the Stages of the Path’ (Lam rim chen mo), and so on. These texts are frequently construed as descriptive accounts of meditative states based on the personal experiences of accomplished adepts. Yet rarely if ever do the authors of these compendiums claim to base their expositions on their own experience. On the contrary, the authority of exegetes such as Kamalasila, Buddhaghosa, and Chih-i, lay not in their access to exalted spiritual states, but in their mastery of, and rigorous adherence to, sacred scripture (Sharf, 1995a). This situation is by no means unique to Buddhism: premodern Hinduism was similarly wary of claims to authority pred

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Besides, while meditation may have been esteemed in theory, it did not occupy the dominant role in monastic and ascetic life that is sometimes supposed. (This point is often overlooked by scholars who fail to distinguish between prescriptive and descriptive accounts.) Even when practised, it is by no means obvious that traditional forms of meditation were ori- ented toward the attainment of extraordinary ‘states of consciousness’. Medita- tion was first and foremost a means of eliminating defilement, accumulating merit and supernatural power, invoking apotropaic deities, and so forth. This is not to deny that religious practitioners had ‘experiences’ in the course of their training, just that such experiences were not considered the goal of practice, were not deemed doctrinally authoritative, and did not serve as the reference points for their understanding of the path (Sharf, 1995a

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or example, the notion that personal experience constitutes the heart of the Hindu tradition originated with the prolific philosopher and statesman Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (1888–1975). Like his European and American predecessors, Radhakrishnan argued that ‘if philosophy of religion is to become scientific, it must become empirical and found itself on religious experience’ (1937, p. 84),

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One can, perhaps, find antecedents of Radhakrishnan’s hermeneutic in the writings of Debendranath Tagore (1817–1905), an early leader of the Western influenced Hindu reform movement Brahmo Samaj, who held that the teachings of the Vedas may be affirmed through one’s own experience. However, Tagore, like his predecessor Rammohun Roy (1772–1833), was intimately acquainted with Western thought in general, and Christian critiques of Hinduism in particu - lar. His exegetical writings, and his work for the Brahmo Samaj, were directed toward the ‘purification’ of Hinduism so as to stay the growing influence of Christian missionaries and their converts. In the end there is simply no evidence of an indigenous Indian counterpart to the rhetoric of experience prior to the colo - nial period (Halbfass, 1988).

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Suzuki, like Radhakrishnan, places this understanding of Zen in the interests of a transparently nationalist discourse. Suzuki insisted that Zen is the wellspring of Japanese culture, and that the traditional arts of Japan — tea ceremony, mono - chrome painting, martial arts, landscape gardening, Noh theatre, etc. — are all ultimately expressions of Zen gnosis. Japanese culture naturally predisposes the Japanese toward Zen experience, such that they have a deeply ingrained apprecia - tion of the unity of subject and object, human being and nature. This is in marked contradistinction to the excessively materialistic and dualistic traditions of the West. Suzuki’s musings on the ‘Japanese mind’ must be understood in the context of Japan’s sense of technological and scientific inferiority vis-à-vis the Occident in the earlier part of this century. In the final analysis, Suzuki, like Radhakrishnan, attempts nothing less than the apotheosis of an entire people. And like Radhakrishnan, Suzuki’s emphasis on experience owes as much to his exposure to Western thought as it does to indigenous Asian or Zen sources.

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Even the appealed to religious texts (Buddhist/Zen) are not clear in their description of this experience. Language problem again.
On closer inspection, however, we find that the scriptures upon which the vipassana revival is based (primarily the two Satipatthana-suttas and the Visuddhimagga) are often ambiguous or inconsistent, and contemporary vipassana teachers are frequently at odds with each other over the interpretation of key terms. For example, Buddhist sources categorize the range of available meditation techniques under two broad headings, samatha or ‘concentration’, and vipassana or ‘insight’.

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#sharf
Samatha practices, which involve focussing the mind on a single object, are supposed to result in an ascend - ing series of four ‘material absorptions’ (or ‘trances’, rupa-jhana) and a further series of four (or five) ‘immaterial absorptions’ (arupa-jhana), that bestow upon the practitioner various supernatural powers. Vipassana, on the other hand, involves the disciplined contemplation of seminal Buddhist doctrines such as impermanence or nonself, and leads directly to nirvana or full liberation. Nirvana is achieved in four successive stages known as the ‘noble attainments’ (ariya-phala), the first of which is called sotapatti or ‘entry into the stream’. While samatha is an effective means to acquire specific spiritual powers, such as the ability to levitate or to read minds, only vipassana leads to enlightenment proper. Since the soteriological ramifications of samatha and vipassana

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But once again the ethnographic evidence points in another direction. One quickly discovers that eminent teachers from other living Zen traditions (Rinzai, Soto, Obaku) do not accord legitimacy to Sanbkydan claims of kensho. This might be dismissed as

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#bush #proudfoot #sharf
the physiognomy of the aliens, the appearance of their spacecrafts, the ordeal of the medical examination, and so on — to popular science fiction comics, stories, and films of the past fifty years. The scholarly consensus would seem to be that the abductions simply did not take place; there is no originary event behind the memories. The notion of originary event is crucial here. Clearly, we will not get far by denying the existence of the memories themselves. Our scepticism is rather directed at what, if anything, may lie behind them. We suspect that the abductees’ reports do not stem from actual alien encounters, but that some other complex his - torical, sociological, and psychological processes are at work. Whatever the pro - cess turns out to be (and we are a long way from an adequate explanation of the phenomenon), it is reasonable to assume that the abductees’ memories do not faithfully represent actual historical occurrences

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#sharf
Qualia (the singular form is quale), is a term proposed by philosophers to designate those subjective or phenomenal properties of experience that resist a purely materialistic explanation. (The notion is an attempt to capture that aspect of consciousness that, say some, could never be reproduced by a ‘thinking machine’.) In short, qualia refer to the way things seem. ‘Look at a glass of milk at sunset; the way it looks to you — the particular, personal, subjective visual quality of the glass of milk is the quale of your visual experience at the moment. The way the milk tastes to you then is another, gustatory quale’ (Dennett, 1992, p. 42). As it is never possible to communicate exactly how things appear to us (how could we ever know whether your experience of red is precisely the same as mine?), qualia are construed as essentially private, ineffable, and irreducible properties of experience.

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Dennett thinks the whole notion of qualia is wrong-headed, and employs a series of ‘intuition pumps’, such as his musings on the flavour of beer, in order to undermine our confidence in the existence of intrinsic properties of experience

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Experience is a social function. Experience is constructed. Experience is not Cartedian theater.
#sharf
‘If it is admitted that one’s attitudes towards, or reactions to, experiences are in any way and in any degree constitutive of their experiential qualities, so that a change in reactivity amounts to or guarantees a change in the property, then those properties, those ‘qualitative or phenomenal features’, cease to be ‘intrinsic’ properties and in fact become paradigmatically extrinsic, relational properties’ (Dennett, 1992, p. 61). And if these most salient aspects of experience are in fact extrinsic and relational, one must relinquish one’s picture of experience as a determinate something that occurs someplace ‘inside the brain’, in what Dennett calls the ‘Cartesian theater’ (Dennett, 1991).

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Agnosticism about experience: the threat of alien abductions
#sharf
Felicitas Goodman, in her study of spirit possession, goes a step further, assum - ing a decidedly agnostic stance toward the existence of the spirits reported by her subjects. The experience of [the] presence [of spirits] during possession is accompanied by observable physical changes. We should remember that whether these changes are internally generated or created by external agencies is not discoverable. No one can either prove or disprove that the obvious changes of the brain map in possession or in a patient with a multiple personality disorder, for that matter, are produced by psy - chological processes or by an invading alien being (Goodman, 1988, p. 126). Goodman’s agnosticism is but a small step away from John Mack’s qualified acceptance of the existence of alien abductors

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differance? or evasion?
#bush #proudfoot #sharf
The category experience is, in essence, a mere place-holder that entails a substantive if indeterminate terminus for the relentless deferral of meaning. And this is precisely what makes the term experience so amenable to ideological appropriation.

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