Saturday, May 3, 2014

Exploring Immanence

With respect to spiritual experience, I continually have emphasised the complementary nature as between transcendence and immanence.

Transcendence implies spiritual understanding as beyond all (phenomenal) form. Thus the truly infinite field which properly represents spiritual reality is necessarily limited in a finite manner through identification with phenomenal notions.

Immanence by contrast implies spiritual understanding as a priori to our understanding of phenomenal form.
So from this perspective spiritual notions of immanence are already inherent in finite understanding.

So strictly all such understanding implies the relationship of finite and infinite notions.

Thus conventional science unfortunately, for example, in its approach to evolution gravely reduces the true experiential nature of understanding in merely finite phenomenal terms.

Worse still it then so often attempts to ridicule the inclusion of authentic spiritual notions through using such reduced understanding as the only valid reference base for scientific meaning.

However there is a problem with conventional language in properly emphasising the complementary nature of transcendence and immanence.

Though we frequently use the phrase "beyond all form" to refer to transcendence, we lack the appropriate English term to refer to its opposite. What is the opposite of beyond? Well, I think you will struggle to give a satisfactory one word answer.

This problem is replicated in the lack of a corresponding verb that complements "transcends".

We do indeed have satisfactory complementary opposites for the noun "transcendence" and the adjective "transcendent" in "immanence" and "immanent" respectively. But then we have no accepted complement for "transcends".

So we can indeed say that spirit transcends all phenomenal form; however we then lack an exact  convenient opposite manner of expressing that spirit is a priori to all form.

We can indeed state that spirit is immanent in all form. However this comes across as somewhat reductionist (as if spirit was somehow a component of such form).

Indeed this very problem of expression in a sense helps to sustain the reduced scientific attempt to exclude spiritual (holistic) notions from inquiry.

If we were to use an exactly complementary verb to transcends it would be immans. So rather than saying that spirit is immanent in all form (with its reduced implications) we would say that spirit immans all form (i.e. is a priori to all form in physical terms and of course equally a priori to all mental consideration of the nature of such form in a psychological manner).

There is also a direct link here to the nature of what is referred to as the "the present" or "the present moment".

It is important to recognise that space and time relate to phenomenal notions of a finite nature.

However in direct terms the notion of "the present" relates to corresponding spiritual notions of an infinite nature.

Again in actual experience both finite and infinite interact, so that we properly experience space and time in relation to an underlying present moment that is spiritual.

Again there are two aspects to this experience of the present. The "eternal present" directly corresponds to the transcendent aspect of spiritual awareness; however the "immediate present" corresponds by contrast to its immanent aspect. 

So in appropriate dynamic interactive terms, the universe is present as existing in an eternal "now" while also present each moment in an "immediate" now. And mediating between these two extremes of the present are our customary finite notions of a universe existing in phenomenal space and time.

Though we misleadingly - as in our interpretation of the Big Bang - attempt to deal with space and time in an absolute linear manner, it truth all notions of space and time are inherently paradoxical and ultimately of a purely relative nature.

However before we can appreciate this fact we need to view understanding of the world, not in abstract terms as something physically independent of what is known, but rather as always necessarily in dynamic relationship to the (psychological) knower in a true experiential fashion.