Meaningfulness and meaninglessness were equally irrelevant. “Habitual interpretation” is the usually-automatic, unthinking, barely noticed, nearly-instantaneous perceptual process that assigns meanings to phenomena, or dismisses them as meaningless. Some links are part of the Amazon Affiliate Program. Feeling the first, we don't notice the subtle blessings in our surroundings; we don't take the time to stop and smell the roses. As a Unitarian Universalist congregation with no geographical boundary, the CLF creates global spiritual community, rooted in profound love, which cultivates wonder, imagination, and the courage to act. Nihilistic rage wants to destroy whatever has meaning, and whoever points to meaning. It cannot deliver the satisfaction it promises. Failure to find new foundations for meaning, to recognize diversity, to provide community, and to transcend opposition: all doomed counterculturalism. (I’ll call this “closed-ended curiosity” on the next page.) Heightened agendaless attention allows and perceives unexpected patterning; suspension of habitual interpretation allows and perceives unexpected nebulosity. In wonder, there are no set boundaries, and the world opens up into vastness. Ideologies deliberately create and sustain that illusion. “Spaciousness” seems closely related to “openness to experience,” considered one of the five fundamental factors of personality in current empirical research. (Alice Chirico et al., “Effectiveness of Immersive Videos in Inducing Awe,” Scientific Reports 7, 1218 (2017).) Stances concerning connection and separateness: monism, dualism, and participation. Intellectual wonder recognizes that your existing systems of meaning cannot encompass the new one, so you must suspend your usual ways of thinking. From cover: "A SENSE OF WONDER guides the reader toward the great transformation of this age which is taking place all over the world - a shift in perspective from seeing oneself as separate and alone to knowing one's unity with all existence through a universal, basic essence which is spirit. Existentialism, a hopeful alternative to rigid meanings, makes wrong metaphysical assumptions, and cannot work. Wonder can occur frequently. They attributed this to imprecision in the instruments, which they corrected by taking multiple measurements and averaging. Specialness is a sense of having been picked out for destiny by the Cosmic Plan. It leads to deliberate stupidity, inability to express oneself, and inaction. Wonder is ambivalent. Wonder is a natural way of being. Spiritual Meaning of Gems ~ The Wonder of Created Gems Raw Lab Created Ruby, Sapphires and Emerald Grown in a high tech lab in fascinating process, these gems are … Taking political activism as a personal mission usually messes up your life, and messes up politics too. “The meaning of that song was taken away from me by the media who jumped on it,” he said. Schematic overview of the stances concerning connection and separateness: monism, dualism, and participation. Wonder is the feeling of accepting contact with nebulosity. You realize nothing is altogether solid, and that groundlessness provokes vertigo. Roaring Silence, by Ngakpa Chögyam and Khandro Déchen, is a guide to the most relevant introductory meditation practices. In this case, wonder lasted perhaps three seconds. The previous section explained wonder’s activity aspect, consisting just of heightened attention and the suspension (non-activity!5) of interpretation. Purity is an obsessive focus for dualist eternalism. The stance that things happen for no reason. ‘Athens was a place of wonder and beauty’. But they were wrong. The butterfly meaning represents spiritual rebirth, transformation, creativity, endless potential, vibrant joy, change, ascension, and an ability to experience the wonder of life.. The Meaning Of Signs And Wonders In The Bible. And we still love it and keep going back for more. In the wake of the psychology replication crisis, I suspect this would no longer count as “science.”. Eternalism is the wrong idea that everything has a definite meaning, fixed by an external ordering principle. Lionsgate, 11/17, DVD 02/13/18 My prediction is that wonder engenders significantly greater visual exploration (as could be measured by gaze tracking), and tighter focus (as could be measured using the methods of Erol and Mack), than awe. Words used in the Scriptures to describe the miraculous include sign, wonder, work, mighty work, portent, power. The meaning of the Moon has become richer over time. There is no end to the things that can awaken our wonder, from the majesty of the night sky to the smell of lilacs in the spring to the turning of the leaves in the fall. It will also integrate your past with the present and heal unhealthy past life energies that are affecting your present, which will result to a complete acceptance of yourself. For thousands of years, humans have been drawn to the beauty and meditative solitude that nature offers. How to let go of attractive, mistaken idea that you have one ultimate purpose in life—without falling into nihilism. Not all of the early Christians had the spiritual gifts of tongues, interpretation of tongues, healings, and miracles. All stances have thinking, feeling, and activity aspects, which pervade their textures. He does make the point that you can experience awe entirely within the conceptual domain; he uses the examples of first encountering Gödel’s and Turing’s work on impossible knowledge. Science – Searching for Truth. Mingling mission and materialism attempts to gain both self-indulgent and self-justifying goals—but loses both enjoyment and empathetic joy. The Meaningness book gives some words distinctive technical meanings; some definitional choices could be misleading. Spiritual Meaning of. Short of that, the textures can also be used as methods for adopting and stabilizing it. To hear about new content, “Archipelago” is a political model in which everyone can choose what social system to live in. It helps to consider it no big deal; something to enjoy when it occurs, but not something to try to hold onto, crank up artificially, or make a fuss about after the fact. Wonder appreciates phenomena just as they are, for their own sake, not for some external value. Meanings are interactions: neither inherent in external objects nor merely mental. Materialism says that only mundane purposes like money, sex, and power count. The Religious Right and New Age Left both promoted time-distorting meta-myths—imaginary past golden ages and implausible future utopias—to hide their defects. A complete summary overview of all the dimensions of meaningness, with all the common stances one can take to them. Let’s call the analog of conceptual awe “intellectual wonder.” As a response to incomprehensibility, we can contrast it with wondering and with bafflement. Another study found that VR-induced awe increases a standard measure of creativity (Alice Chirico, et al., “Awe Enhances Creative Thinking,” Creativity Research Journal, 30:2, 123-131 (2018)).17. This was approximately 5/9. Practice develops a non-conceptual familiarity, which is more reliable. Going beyond resolutions of specific problems: consistently maintaining an accurate stance toward meaningness. This is now the classic work on the topic; I took the definition of awe as overwhelmingness plus incomprehensibility from it.16 I also learned from Brent Dean Robbins’ “Joy, Awe, Gratitude and Compassion: Common Ground in a Will-to-Openness,” presented at the conference Works of Love: Religious and Scientific Perspectives on Altruism, 2003. A schematic overview of stances toward contingency: causality, chaos, and flow. or see the list of recent pages. Surprise as in “I couldn’t have imagined this beforehand.”. I had seen what there was to be seen. It does have subtle doing components: attention and suspension. Menu. You'll never get anywhere with this practice by rushing. There is no middle way between them. Ethical nihilism is the denial of all ethical rightness and wrongness. Like stars in the night sky. Ways to find freedom from the compulsive need-driven quality of mundane desires, and enjoyment free from grasping. The first such study showed people a series of outer space images, played them Sigur Rós’ Hoppípolla, “a song with qualities known to evoke awe,” and asked them how they felt about them. Or so they thought! In other words, it’s based largely on experience. St. Christopher is known as the “patron saint of travelers”. May wonders never cease. Mystification uses thoughts as a weapon against authentic thinking. That was a six-foot telescope mounted on a wheel, like in the picture above. All systems of meaning—religious, political, artistic, psychological—began to fall apart. Probability theory is sometimes called a complete theory of rationality, on the mistaken belief it generalizes logic. Whenever I notice fresh dew drops on the grass, I vow to appreciate the wonders in the world afresh every day. Spider webs are utterly mundane and ordinary. Unfortunately, this belief is both false and harmful. Fixed meanings are claustrophobic. The boundary was legally defined as running due west from a specific point, so for the survey it was mainly important to get the latitude—the north/south coordinate—right. Awe’s overwhelming emotions and its incomprehension prevent conceptual thought. Wakes us from the stupor of everyday routine and drudgery. The subcultural era (1975-2000) recognized the diversity of meanings, and provided a new type of supportive, voluntary social group. I am one of those Baptist General Conference people who believes that "signs and wonders" and all the spiritual gifts of 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 are valid for today and should be "earnestly desired" (1 Corinthians 14:1) for … Resolving the twin delusions that nothing is sacred and that the only sacred things are those designated by some authority. This was a spectacular confirmation of Newtonian gravitation. Wonder can be quite quiet, so it may even go unnoticed. Wonder is ambivalent. When eternalism lets you down, you are tempted to make a bargain with it. Out of its many meanings, one is “independent spirit”. Reading the previous two attempts may deepen your understanding by coming at the topic from different angles. Newton’s theory of gravitation had been thoroughly confirmed as applying to planets. Finding the specifics of life unacceptable motivates the escapist fantasy of monism: the stance that All is One, denying diversity. Meaningness is cloud-like: nebulous. These spiritual gifts are not designed to validate the truth of the speaker but miracles, signs, wonders are. A schematic overview of stances regarding issues of capability. Christopher. It makes us do stupid, crazy, evil things. When wonder occurs, maintain heightened agendaless attention to attention itself, and suspend interpretation of suspended interpretation. Spiritual Meaning of Wonders. What is the meaning of an extra-marital affair—or any relationship? “Ugh, dirty, and I’m stuck in a house6 full of spiders, they’re creepy, maybe poisonous, I don’t want to have to clean this up, it’s a hassle, I don’t have time for it, I have other stupid stuff I have to do.” All that in a fraction of a second: not as thoughts articulated in words, but as the overall, oppressive gestalt of the encounter. We can never be astonished, awestruck, or surprised when we are either overwhelmed or underwhelmed. Aesthetic appreciation, fascination with beauty in its intricate specificity, typically accompanies wonder. In a well-practiced task, you know what to look for where, because you know what the things you see mean. Spiritual girl baby names have taken off as a popular name trend. The basic nature of a sign is that it points people to God. Materialism fails on its own terms. A schematic overview of stances toward purpose: mission, materialism, and enjoyable usefulness. Wrong-way reduction is a logical fallacy that turns messy, tractable problems into tidy, impossible ones. Researchers basically asked people to tell stories about their memories of long-ago experiences, and looked for commonalities. One way might be through visual psychophysics: objective measures of what people are looking at and what they see, using for example gaze-tracking cameras and reaction time tests. I suggest that wonder occurs in heightened agendaless attention combined with suspension of habitual interpretation. Spirituality & Practice. In elation and vertigo, my curiosity piqued me. The apostles clearly possessed these gifts as did other early Christians. Eternalism is hard to overcome because we normally see meanings, as if they were objectively given.3 We see vomit on the sidewalk as revolting, a smile as flirtatious, a bit of fluff on the carpet as meaningless. Not a surprise as in “maybe this will happen, or maybe that, but I expect this”—and then you get that. Peak experiences and the complete stance are similar in texture, but differ in intensity, conceptual content, and causes. That works here: Wonder is to the complete stance as awe is to peak experiences. You can armor yourself against evidence, and arm yourself to destroy it. Going to a concert just in order to find wonder might be slightly silly (or not!). Slow down and tune into the varied world of this and that. Exploring the Full Moon’s symbolic meaning is a journey full of intrigue, mystery, and wonder. Apparent insights may be productive, or not. subscribe to my email newsletter, Ethics is centrally important to humans, and is not a matter of choice, but is fluid and has no definite source. Now what? becomes our response instead of "ah-ha!" The overall conceptual framework: “stances” are simple patterns of thinking and feeling about meaningness. But meaning does exist: as interaction. They were wrong. Too late, they realized they had created a monster: a tragedy in the ancient style. I’ll pass along a bit of what I learned, with citations in case they inspire you to follow up. Part 1: Are Wonders against the Word? Wonders can serve as a sign of a future event. That is what gives peak experiences their transformational power.2. We’ll look at what wonder is, what it implies, and what its value may be. Walking across to the window, spots of dust stuck to strands of the web were glittering. You may often adopt it briefly, without even noticing—if you don’t recognize its significance, and don’t know what to look for. Kadag: Because nothing is inherently sacred, everything can be sacred. (Alice Chirico et al., “Designing Awe in Virtual Reality,” Frontiers in Psychology 8 (2018) 2351.) Suspension of interpretation of interpretation allows it to persist. So what is awe? This chart is an overview of Meaningness and Time: the past, present, and future of culture, society, and our selves. Meaning is nebulous, yet patterned; meaningfulness and meaninglessness intermingle. I shared a prayer about wonder here. That there is no specific method for producing wonder may contribute to the misleading and counterproductive sense of specialness around it. The book is a work in progress; pages marked ⚒︎ are under construction. The eternalist stance of causality: Everything happens for the best, in accord with the Cosmic Plan. There are meditation methods that train you in heightened attention—including, in some cases, attention to attention. Your Guardian Angel can help you learn what these angel signs mean so you can continue to grow spiritually. (Even my favorite 2D video games seem to do that for me.) It differs from admiration, in not being necessarily accompanied with love, esteem or approbation, nor directed to persons. Stances—responses to meaning—are unstable thought-patterns. Using a ten-foot azimuth sector, Maskelyne confirmed that the mountain did deflect the plumb-bob. Although English speakers regularly use \"miracle\" to refer to a broad range of wondrous events, the biblical concept is limited to those not explainable solely by natural processes but which require the direct causal agency of a supernatural being, usually God. A history of supposedly-scientific nutritional theories illustrating pathologies of rationalism (scientism), with an analogy to cognitive science. Unfortunately, brains also find meaning and pattern where there are none. Their glories have passed. an event in the external world brought about by the immediate agency or the simple volition of God, operating without the use of means capable of being discerned by the senses, and designed to authenticate the divine commission of a religious teacher and the truth of his message ( John 2:18; Matthew 12:38).It is an occurrence at once above nature and above man. Your mind may dart in all directions looking for answers, or you may want to read on as quickly as possible. Reality is a delicious surprise. awe, admiration, wonderment, fascination. It is possible to decide to suspend interpretation for an hour before lunch. You can read recent comments and join the discussion. Political eternalism is the belief that some system of government can provide an unquestionable foundation for meaning. Claims that everything is meaningful, or that nothing is, are motivated by fears: fear of the opposite. That can come as a release and a relief; or you may feel agoraphobia. Over the past century, systems of meaning gradually disintegrated, and a series of new modes of meaningness developed. Wonder enables gradual transformation, rather than sudden radical rebirth. Now what? Wonder is intrinsic, non-referential; it involves no external purpose. The thrill of discovery, the enchantment with our world and our universe motivate us to peer into the unknown, and wonder what’s out there. By locating stars in the telescope, checking their angles from the vertical, and consulting tables that said where they should appear at what time of night, they could determine their position. Wonder requires willingness to allow chaos, uncertainty, ambiguity, discontinuity, meaninglessness. Nihilism is impossible—but so is avoiding it. Nihilism promises you don’t have to care, because nothing means anything. Studies of awe have found that it can be provoked by conceptual vastness, just as by perceptual vastness. I do not know of one that specifically trains you in the agendaless attention that wanders about according to its evolving fascinations.11 The poet Robert Bly recommends training in art appreciation for this purpose; he describes it as “sharpening the senses by labor.”. “Spacious freedom” is my somewhat idiosyncratic presentation of relevant theory. Nihilism seemed the only alternative. Informally introducing the central themes of the Meaningness book. Membership is a major attraction. A fluid society ideally provides the benefits of tradition, modernity, and postmodernity, while avoiding their defects. Here I’ll cover feelings typical of wonder; then we’ll do thinking in the next section. Many parents are looking to reconnect with their faith and their basic values. A schematic overview of stances regarding the meaningness of the self: non-self, True Self, and intermittently continuing. Also, at the end of this appendix, I’ll suggest a possible line for further research. 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