I will also add that I am a mystic in the spirit of Ken Wilber anyone interested in learning about spirituality or the mystic philosophical view, I suggest they read mr Wilber's book, An introductory reader, or to take up chi kung, or reiki, believe me you will have your materialist world view challenged. Mr. Skinner-
I am familiar with Ken Wilber; my impression is that he does an artful job talking apart dualism and says some things that very much need to be said opposing a Cartesian ontology of the self. However, he then switches to a dissolving organicism, in trying to overcome dualism, sets up a dualism between the organic and the instrumental that simply redualizes the human condition... the fallacy of all organicisms is that the transcending of dualisms by denial of the atomic/instrumental aspects of the human condition are still dualistic. Still, I respect Wilber as an interesting writer with valid insights, and specially a very honest person, for instance in his approach to postmodernism. I personally recommend Chris Sciabarra'a Total Freedom: Towards a Dialectical Libertarianism and Ayn Rand: the Russian Radical for a discussion of the problems of the organic methodology, particularly his discussion of Solovyov's philosophy in the latter work... Sciabarra point to a dialectical orientation that transcends both the dualism, atomism, and monism typical of Western 'materialist' thinkers and the organicism of "Eastern' thought.
Mmmm... oh, forgive me, but 'materialist world view'*? Wasn't I just quoting Blake? Oh dear, oh dear. Might a curious woman suggest that social intercourse is more pleasant without such assumptions, mmn? I am a material girl, certainly, but I do think there is more to experience in life.
Oh, Mike, you are really, really preaching to the temple. As most Pagan escorts, I know the basics of working with chi; I use energy in my work and am learning tantra, and I've been very grateful on occasion to receive some reiki at the St. James Infirmary here in San Francisco. But with my philosophic background and amatewr historianism, I really work much better with spiritual traditions based more on symbolism and association, especially with my Husserlian background, which breaks down the alignment of consciousness/object with spiritual/material, logically led me to conclude that 'material' (outer sensory) entities can be used as concepts or percepts and that 'spiritual' (inner sensory) entities are still objects of consciousness and that our 'ideas' are not necessarily the exhaustion of the set. That, and in the practise of my vocation, which has its own spiritual traditions, gives me an art of personality which ends up involving the same basic thing.
Am I making myself clear? If so, I would appreciate an apology for making assumptions about my metaphysics, especially when I openly list myself as Pagan on my profile.
If the above isn't clear, then might I suggest you take down your patronizing tone, because I'm not a materialist, and I might know a bit about what you assume I mindlessly reject. And I am a Western technological type who believes in observing, comprehending, and making use of anything that exists in this cosmos... so if I take reiki or chi seriously, I prefer not to have it treated as some spiritual superiority to posture over inferior materialists with, but as another inquiry for the intellect and potential means of pursuing happiness. Of course, doing so may end up taking a long circuitous route around instrumental rationality for the means, but so does art. It is still the pursuit of happiness on this Earth.
I am a libertarian, and I respect your right to swing your fist until you get too close to my nose. You can say whatever you like (except for the proverbial 'kill' to the trained attack dog), and it's not ultimately my concern. But I still do not exactly appreciate your tone, and may I suggest a good baseline rule with strangers, until they prove otherwise, is the old gun rights slogan, 'an armed society is a polite society.'?
Jeanine Shiris Ring ))()((
promiscuity of the mind leads to promiscuity of the body
* For that matter, Objectivism is not a materialist world view either; it is seculae and atheistic but does not reduce consciousness to existence... or at least it didn't, before it started uncritically playing 'science says' with sociobiology.