Samstag, 28. Februar 2009

The Meaning of Life and Evolutionary Spirituality

Next, my thoughts about the meaning of life from a Taoist perspective:

Compassion and love with all sentinent beings in midst of an allways changing world. There is a unity behind, in which all of the world is connected with and flows in the Tao. "Feel the force!"
But be aware: "Fear is the path to the dark side...fear leads to anger...anger leads to hate...hate leads to suffering." Master Yoda in the 'The Tao of Star Wars', by John M. Porter, p. 103.

And here my view on Evolutionary Spirituality (from a critical and enlightenment perspective):

Evolutionary Spirituality - a global religious word view. Is there something spiritual in evolution? Is there more than crude materialism and egoistic genes? - One approach is to see our world as an integral whole, an interdependent web. This is the starting point of an integral view. The integral or holistic approach is linked with names like Sri Aurobindo, Ken Wilber and Andrew Cohen. But what is different in our approach to evolutionary spirituality is, that we don't belief in superstitious enlighentment experiences! We just cherish the holistic, vedantin world view from a philosophical point of view.This integral or holisitc approach is diammetrically opposed to the genecentered, materialist and in general reductionist approach of Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett. First of all, they don't distinguish between what is our geneinfluanced evolutionary potential and the culturally influanced realisation of that potential, the actual religious world view. Nor do they distinguish between formation and validity (Genese vs. Geltung). One emminent predecessor of integral thinking was Hegel. „Der absolute Geist ist dieses, dass er sei, das ewige sich selbst gleiche Wesen, das sich ein anderes wird und dieses als sich selbst erkennt.“ The world is an eternal, ever being the same spirit. But this spirit becomes another. And the spirit recognizes this other as itself. Hegelian dialectic thinking and taoistic yin/yang thinking are quite close. What is important with regard to Hegel, is the idea of a world spirit which develops further and becomes conscious of itself. That's quite the same what happended with evolution, starting with the first cell and developing towards us self-conscious humans. And now evolutionary spirituality assumes some more directionality and teleology. There is potential for a further development. The next stage is the integral culture. But contrary to proponents like Sri Aurobindo, Ken Wilber and Andrew Cohen we don't assume a "leap in consciousness" nourished by meditative experiences of "higher consciousness". We don't get to higer levels of consciousness with these biological brains. There is no "authentical self" which would allow us to access directly the "evolutionary impulse". There is "only" the possibility of classical philosophy to get to more developed, rationally argued world views. It will be only with further developments in brain scanning technologies, genetics and nanotechnology that we might get ones the possibility to develop volitionally our brainstructure, which is the hardware for all our sensations.I have written a longer essay on this questions: Evolutionary, Spiritual Conceptions of Life. But my views on this topic are evolving. I am very interested in any comments.
Finally, we must mention that an Evolutionary Spirituality is not the solution to all our religious and existential problems. There remains at the deepest level existential Angst (Heidegger). Evolutionary Spirituality is just one way of finding hope. Nevertheless the fundamental anxiety remains. But the integral approach tries to integrate as many important aspects of our reality as possible. Evolutionary Spirituality gets the best possible "macro" view. Therefore it might be the best answer we can find to our existential worries.
On the other hand there might be potential, too, in an "Existential Spirituality". An "Existential Spirituality" might concentrate more on the "micro" aspects. On the psychological dynamics of being confronted with death. But this is another chapter ...


1 Kommentar:

  1. "Nur bei Master Yoda fehlt mir, was Sie gesagt haben und mir so eingeleuchtet hat: dass es darum geht, ob man sich von der Angst einschüchtern lässt oder nicht; also nicht die Angst als solche führt auf die dunkle Seite, sondern es hängt davon ab, wie man mit ihr umgeht."
    Frau Alice Holzhey-Kunz über das richtige Verständniss von Angst und den Weg zur dunklen Seite der Macht.


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