General Painting Without A Canvas (part 2)

Does truth Require Belief?

  • Yes

    Votes: 6 40.0%
  • No

    Votes: 9 60.0%

  • Total voters
    15

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Oct 14, 2007
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Sachkhand
Now we are getting the crux of the matter. What did the gurus believe about knowledge? Great inquiry!

As for 4 kinds of truth.

Deductive or logical
Formal or mathematical
Empirical or inductive
Religious based on a priori assumptions (beliefs) about good, evil and the supernatural.

Slight addition. Is Sikhism really a priori assumption~: May be or may be not as it is beyond reasoning. May be it is not an empiricist based study as well but is not a radicalism leading to some thing that senses can make us know the truth based on the perceptions of senses. Something is missing.
Carry on; shall peep into from time to time.
E & OE
 
Okey dokey

Here’s the deal. I had some free time on my hands because of the long weekend and purged through the site that you provided. It was a very interesting read. Most of it is based upon frustrated educators trying to combat looney-toon creationists in Mobile Alabama (A task riddled with aggravation…after all, it is Alabama we are talking about).

What did I get from this site?

Overall summary of science:

Theories explain facts. These facts are observable truths (through perception…or induction). Theories and natural laws may be deduced to help us understand the facts and look for ‘continuity’.


Favourite quotes from the site:
“Science, as an intellectual activity, encompasses observations about the natural world that can be measured and quantified, and the ideas based thereon can be tested, verified, falsified, or modified.” --- I liked this quote.

“One aspect that religion and science have in common is that they both are built on underlying assumptions, albeit they are different ones, i.e., each discipline has its own set of assumptions. Not only do religion and science rest on differing underlying assumptions, only one -- science -- goes about rationally testing its assumptions.”--another quote I liked.


The assumptions that underlie scientific truths (justified true beliefs):
“Let us now examine the assumptions that underlie science. There are at least three basic interrelated assumptions:
1. Oginsky and Umbreit, in their classic textbook on bacterial physiology, stated the first assumption very succinctly -- The unknown is knowable and we are capable of knowing the unknown.
2. The second assumption is that there is order in nature.
3. The third assumption is that the collective human intellect is capable of discovering this order. Underlying this third assumption is that the human senses can observe accurately and that the human intellect and judgment -- the higher functions of the brain -- can deal with the observations and discover their order by progressing from fact to fact through a process called reason. In other words, the collective human intellect can deal with these facts and by integrating and coordinating them into coherent patterns.”


“The unknown is knowable and we are capable of knowing the unknown”
That is definitely an externalist view of the existence of justified truth (knowledge).

Many thanks to aad 002
 

PCJ

Mar 27, 2008
91
8
Fremont, California
A definition of character I have heard is that whatever you do when nobody is watching. So if you do the right thing because someone, Guru or God, is watching you then this is not your character. If you do the right thing even though nobody is watching you, then this is a true reflection of your character.

For those, who believe in truth without any fear, the truth without belief or faith does exist....
 

spnadmin

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Jun 17, 2004
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PCJ

If belief and faith were a requirement for truth, then we would be saying that nonbelievers of any faith had no character. That would be a gross misjudgment of many people. Thank you for pointing this out.
 
Since no one is taking a stab at it … I’ll take a stance… I could wait a little longer, but patience is a virtue that I was never blessed with (I blame television).

Original Question: Is sikhi designed in a way that takes perceivable knowledge/truth as external to the mind or as something internal?

It is imperative that we denote what truth I am talking about?

I am talking about perceivable truth…or scientific, justified true beliefs…mathematical, a-priori derived truth, and a-posteriori derived truth (dependant on the assumption that human perception is not deceptive …lets not get into this argument). I am NOT talking about subjective moral truths or ‘social truths’.

In short….exoteric knowledge

Start with this aside note:

What is Gnosticism or Gnosis?
The word 'Gnosticism' is a modern construction, though based on an antiquated linguistic expression: it comes from the Greek word meaning 'knowledge', gnosis (γνῶσις). However, gnosis itself refers to a very specialised form of knowledge, deriving both from the exact meaning of the original Greek term and its usage in Platonist philosophy.

Gnosis (γνῶσις) refers to knowledge of the second kind. Therefore, in a religious context, to be 'Gnostic' should be understood as being reliant not on knowledge in a general sense, but as being specially receptive to mystical or esoteric experiences of direct participation with the divine. Indeed, in most Gnostic systems the sufficient cause of salvation is this 'knowledge of' ('acquaintance with') the divine. This is commonly identified with a process of inward 'knowing' or self-exploration
(I got this from wikipedia… I don’t like this site…but for convenience sake it will do…surprisingly this was a good definition)

From this definition, a person can make an educated affirmation that Sikhism is a psuedo-Gnostic movement. Sikhs must believe in a second kind of knowledge…beyond perception in the traditional sense (a “sixth sense” type perception to realize God…not on the basis of touch, sight, smell, sound, taste). In other words, Sikhs believe that the realization of God is not justifiable on any traditional grounds but is true nonetheless. This realization comes about through “loving God”, “Seva/community service”, “from inward ‘knowing’”, “discipline”, “self-exploration” or “soul-searching”, chanting, etc.

Another conundrum is that Sikhism believes in something called a “soul-spirit” an entity that is separate from the mind but whose existence is albeit un-provable (using perception). This soul is separate from our mind (or perhaps has a mind of its own). This adds another layer of complexity to the question:

Is what the soul believes to be true the same as what the mind believes to be true? What is the relationship and interplay between the two? Does the soul contribute to the formation of self?
http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/sikh-sikhi-sikhism/2057-mind-soul-and-maya.html
In this thread Neutral Singh explains how he thinks mind and soul are two very distinct entities but still interrelated. Perhaps we could use his wisdom and knowledge here?

Esoteric Knowledge…Soul based
Exoteric Knowledge…Mind based

In conclusion Sikhs must believe in the existence of 2 different types of knowledge. The more detailed question is; did the guru’s believe that Exoteric Knowledge is internal to the mind or external to the mind or both?

Discourse continued…

Sikh philosophy does not project internalism…because the ‘mind’ is not part of the ‘whole-self’, it is not part of the soul...it is external…IF THE MIND IS EXTERNAL THEN ALL THAT WHICH IT PERCIEVES AND ANALYZES MUST ALSO BE EXTERNAL relative to the “self”. Including knowledge or Justified true belief held by it.

So the guru’s are externalists by default (or at least the philosophy they preached was so)

However…
One could still argue that even if the mind does not constitute the whole-self or ‘I’, it can still be internalist (and knowledge is internal to the mind even though the mind does not constitute 100% of the “I”).

This is a longshot analysis that I just spit onto the page in a couple of minutes…to get the ball rolling…any challengers?

In conclusion, it is impossible to analyze sikhi using the rubrics of epistemology.

I am longing for a debate. (Perhaps not between me and someone…but some other members who are more endowed with knowledge of Sikh scripture…in the meantime I am going to keep at it…it’s one of those subjects…the more you get into it, the harder it seems to be determinable).

Also note: there is no such thing as ‘I’ in Sikh philosophy. If the I does not exist or does exist in multple parts then i dont think we could continue.
 

spnadmin

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Since no one is taking a stab at it … I’ll take a stance… I could wait a little longer, but patience is a virtue that I was never blessed with (I blame television).

Original Question: Is sikhi designed in a way that takes perceivable knowledge/truth as external to the mind or as something internal?
Neither -- In my mind, the internal/external distinction is transcended in Sikhi. The distinction between perceivable truth and (not subjective) truth that transcends the perceivable is an artifact, a term of art, of western rationalism. And not really germane to Sikhism which can embrace this internal/external distinction, but also moves beyond it.

It is imperative that we denote what truth I am talking about?

I am talking about perceivable truth…or scientific, justified true beliefs…mathematical, a-priori derived truth, and a-posteriori derived truth (dependant on the assumption that human perception is not deceptive …lets not get into this argument). I am NOT talking about subjective moral truths or ‘social truths’.

That is fine -- He created His creation including the material existence which can be tested using scientific methods. So He is cool with that. This is, only in my opinion, why Sikhs as a group have not fallen back into a self-defeating determinism that traps the multitude in blind faith-- instead accepting the motive to move forward and study, become educated, become important forces in the arts, sciences, commerce and so forth, with no fear of abandoning fundamental principles of faith.

From this definition, a person can make an educated affirmation that Sikhism is a psuedo-Gnostic movement. Sikhs must believe in a second kind of knowledge…beyond perception in the traditional sense (a “sixth sense” type perception to realize God…not on the basis of touch, sight, smell, sound, taste). In other words, Sikhs believe that the realization of God is not justifiable on any traditional grounds but is true nonetheless. This realization comes about through “loving God”, “Seva/community service”, “from inward ‘knowing’”, “discipline”, “self-exploration” or “soul-searching”, chanting, etc.

He is Truth and consciousness of Him is True because He is Consciousness.

Another conundrum is that Sikhism believes in something called a “soul-spirit” an entity that is separate from the mind but whose existence is albeit un-provable (using perception). This soul is separate from our mind (or perhaps has a mind of its own). This adds another layer of complexity to the question:



Esoteric Knowledge…Soul based
Exoteric Knowledge…Mind based

In conclusion Sikhs must believe in the existence of 2 different types of knowledge. The more detailed question is; did the guru’s believe that Exoteric Knowledge is internal to the mind or external to the mind or both?

Internal/external and/plus consciousness that enshrines that Divine Greater Than All of That Whose Consciousness Embraces All Of That.

So the guru’s are externalists by default (or at least the philosophy they preached was so)

I do not think so. I think the gurus were trying to explain a truth continuum -- that the distinctions between material and spiritual, internal and external are misleading distinctions.

However…
One could still argue that even if the mind does not constitute the whole-self or ‘I’, it can still be internalist (and knowledge is internal to the mind even though the mind does not constitute 100% of the “I”).

This is a difficult question to resolve because munn is used in 2 ways in Gurbani -- sometimes it is a partial and deficient faculty that is wholly concerned with material truths and understanding. Sometimes it is a faculty that is transformed by consciousness and bridges the gap between material and Divine -- as in all the times when Guruji invites munn to swim across the world ocean and overcome its fear. Those lines in Gurbani suggest that munn has one nature in the here and now and at least one other nature that is capable of attaining understanding beyond knowledge of the material world.


In conclusion, it is impossible to analyze sikhi using the rubrics of epistemology.
I think, yes, but am not certain why I think that. And may want to revisit the question with your permission.

I am longing for a debate. (Perhaps not between me and someone…but some other members who are more endowed with knowledge of Sikh scripture…in the meantime I am going to keep at it…it’s one of those subjects…the more you get into it, the harder it seems to be determinable).

This would be a celebration for me as well if it happened and took off.

Also note: there is no such thing as ‘I’ in Sikh philosophy. If the I does not exist or does exist in multple parts then i dont think we could continue.

This may be too simple a characterization. How many times has Guruji said meera munn?

Well I guess I am saying that Guruji may be telling us that knowledge and truth are found in continuous layers of awareness. That it is sad to be stuck in the awareness of material truth because material truth is constructed truth and causes misery and falsehood. Even when this awareness is positive and joyful we must understand that that too can trap us in a place which stops us from moving toward a greater understanding that is our birthright-- if we decide to accept it. Just some thoughts - very crude, very deficient, only reflecting my level of understanding. :{-:)
 
Aad ji, although I value your response please understand that there is nothing more that I pray for, than the death of absolute certainty…so in the spirit of debate you have shackled me into a rebuttal (self inflicted by me and I think unconsciously by you…enough blame to go around...in a good way).

He is Truth and consciousness of Him is True because He is Consciousness.

Rebuttal:
I am Truth and consciousness of myself is true because I am consciousness.

Which one is more aesthetically pleasing? Which one follows Occam’s razor? (that is a matter of taste, nothing more)


Recall:

The point of philosophy is to start with something so simple as not to seem worth stating, and to end with something so paradoxical that no one will believe it.
-Bertrand Russell

Again we see the forces of externalism vs the force of internalism (and around and around we go…like a merry-go-round)…you have chosen a very externalist view right here by stating; “He is truth”…as if truth is external to you. But then you also state “he is consciousness”…which is a very internalistic view. By this logic, you are ‘He’ and ‘He’ is you. Therefore;

He is Truth and consciousness of Him is True because He is Consciousness =~= I am Truth and consciousness of myself is true because I am consciousness

According to the principle of Occam’s Razor the former argument can be null because it is not proven like the latter.
Kant’s answer “I think therefore I am” Supports the latter not the former. The “I” exists for all of humanity But the “He” doesn’t. Again the sheer existence of the "he" requires belief.


But why is externalism winning in the poll?
We can say that the majority of Sikhs are externalists (because they must accept the quote you provided) ei: “God is truth” …now all we have to do is find out WHY?

Well that’s easy….im pretty sure Sikhi stated somewhere “god is truth” (or equated him with the word ‘Sach’)

Sikhs are externalists because according to dogma they must believe the premise:

“He is Truth and consciousness of Him is True because He is Consciousness.”

Rather than another premise which may also be equally true:

I am Truth and consciousness of myself is true because I am consciousness.

The former being a more externalist statement than the latter.

cheers
 
Last edited:

spnadmin

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Sinister ji

What a joy!!!


Aad ji, although I value your response please understand that there is nothing more that I pray for, than the death of absolute certainty…so in the spirit of debate you have shackled me into a rebuttal (self inflicted by me and I think unconsciously by you…enough blame to go around...in a good way).

He is Truth and consciousness of Him is True because He is Consciousness.

Rebuttal:
I am Truth and consciousness of myself is true because I am consciousness.

Espoused by Spinosa -- and one possible understanding of enlightenment




Which one is more aesthetically pleasing? Which one follows Occam’s razor? (that is a matter of taste, nothing more)

I am Truth, etc. because no other consciousness is required, or has to be posited, in order for the statement to make sense. If we are following Occam's razor. But I am not sure the Gurus saw it that way.


Recall:

The point of philosophy is to start with something so simple as not to seem worth stating, and to end with something so paradoxical that no one will believe it.
-Bertrand Russell

We do a good job of that here on SPN :}{}{}:- So it is a philosophy forum after all!

Again we see the forces of externalism vs the force of internalism (and around and around we go…like a merry-go-round)…you have chosen a very externalist view right here by stating; “He is truth”…as if truth is external to you. But then you also state “he is consciousness”…which is a very internalistic view. By this logic, you are ‘He’ and ‘He’ is you. Therefore;

He is immanent and He is transcendent. (Jap Sahib)

He is Truth and consciousness of Him is True because He is Consciousness =~= I am Truth and consciousness of myself is true because I am consciousness

According to the principle of Occam’s Razor the former argument can be null because it is not proven like the latter.

So given your preference, the proof of the latter would work against eliminating absolute certainty, no more and no less than proof of the former.

(problem with externalist argument) How do you know that there is an "I" -- with absolute certainty? Where is it? What are its attributes? If "I" is a construction of self, based on feedback from your surroundings, are you not then utterly dependent on proof of "I" from those who may be as "deluded" as yourself?
(please do not take offense, I am using the term as per SGGS.)

A few smilies are needed so you don't think I am trying to insult you :);):cool::rolleyes::confused::D Forum Fury, you know.

(problem with internalist argument) If "I" is something else, is it an embedded, pre-existent construct whose logical necessity is inferred from its effects on the environment? If so, then how can we be sure it is really there?

(you of course by now realize these are the same arguments used in debate about the existence of God)


Kant’s answer “I think therefore I am” Supports the latter not the former. The “I” exists for all of humanity But the “He” doesn’t. Again the sheer existence of the "he" requires belief.

I think it was Spinosa not Kant but it doesn't matter for the sake of argument. The 'I' that exists for all of humanity may be a convenient fiction maintained to make it possible to share theories of reality. These theories can differ radically-- and there may be more than one theory of reality.


But why is externalism winning in the poll? What poll? Where is it? I love polls.
We can say that the majority of Sikhs are externalists (because they must accept the quote you provided) ei: “God is truth” …now all we have to do is find out WHY?

Well that’s easy….im pretty sure Sikhi stated somewhere “god is truth” (or equated him with the word ‘Sach’)

As in Sat Nam which is both simple and paradoxical!

Sikhs are externalists because according to dogma they must believe the premise:

“He is Truth and consciousness of Him is True because He is Consciousness.”

Rather than another premise which may also be equally true:

I am Truth and consciousness of myself is true because I am consciousness.

The former being a more externalist statement than the latter.

cheers

Sikhs don't necessarily subscribe to “He is Truth and consciousness of Him is True because He is Consciousness.” That is my understanding. I don't know what all Sikhs subscribe to I must confess. I have not interviewed all 23 million plus of Sikhs or even a random sample that is sufficiently large. :{;o:That's a lot of interviewing.

Sat Nam
aad0002

 

pk70

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: there is no such thing as ‘I’ in Sikh philosophy. If the I does not exist or does exist in multple parts then i dont think we could continue.
There are two ways to understand this concept, going deep into the concept of I-less and I-ness. Whenever I-ness is advised to be in harmony of the world, it is about behavior of I-less, when I-ness is in effort of dominance over others then it triggers problems. In Sikhism, I-ness is asked to be aligned in harmony of the rest. When it gets aligned in harmony to others, it ceases to exist even though it still there. Conflicts are also faced in the same manner. I-ness defends I-ness but never promotes the I-ness during conflicts; it is also style of I-ness in harmony of others. Truth, factual, visible or understandable by reason, can be a mater of science but neurological experiences supersede reasoning, in out world it can be named as delusions or so but experienced ones understand that too because they understand in religion, that kind of personal experience rises too big to express. Very close example to understand the happiness of spiritual truth/experience is to understand how a mother goes through labore sticking to a feeling of slowly inching towards internal ecstasy. Lectures can be written on it but only Mother can express it. Since it is biological event, other one is totally a way beyond senses.
__________________
 
Hello Pk70 ji,

When it gets aligned in harmony to others, it ceases to exist even though it still there.

you lost me bro...is this one of em literary nonsense type of things?

Conflicts are also faced in the same manner. I-ness defends I-ness but never promotes the I-ness during conflicts;

? I disagree.. or maybe you need to clarify what type of conflict you are talking about. Are you talking about a particular ethic or human nature?

it is also style of I-ness in harmony of others.

Truth, factual, visible or understandable by reason, can be a mater of science but neurological experiences supersede reasoning,

So you live under the assumption that reasoning is not a neurological experience? or did you mean emotion?

in out world it can be named as delusions or so but experienced ones understand that too because they understand in religion, that kind of personal experience rises too big to express.

hmmm ... i suspected this...which is why it is fruitless to continue with this analysis.

Sikhism is an esoteric and psuedo-gnostic faith? It is a philosophy that guides its adherers to go beyond the realm of reason to prove to themselves the existence of God. The realization of god can only come about through the acquisition of Esoteric Knowledge not Exoteric Knowledge. Or better yet, no distinction is ever made between the two types of knowledge because Sikhism adopts a certain characteristic holistic view of knowledge. (just like Hinduism)

Sikhism basically rejects Reductionism which is the reason it escapes from the rubrics of epistemology.

Cheers
 

pk70

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ello Pk70 ji,[/FONT]
Howdy Sinister ji ![/FONT]
Was on the road for some days, so couldn’t address your brilliant comments. They are so interesting but I have to disagree with them.[/FONT]
Quote:
Originally Posted by pk70
When it gets aligned in harmony to others, it ceases to exist even though it still there.
you lost me bro...is this one of em literary nonsense type of things? [/FONT]
First of all, literature was not, is not, will be not nonsense, let me correct you on this. Every thing in this world is not mere science and logic. Emotions, instincts (most of the time it goes beyond boundaries of logic and science) are big players in life and they are major subject of the top literature of the world. Please read” Age of reason” by ( I think) Jean Paul Satre, , “Lust for life” Irving Stone, Art of Loving by Erick Fromm. Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell, War of the Worlds by H.G Wells, it will brush up some absurd views about literature. If you personally fail to enjoy it, please don’t call it nonsense even in humorous way. Or accept the facts humorous way.[/FONT]
Now coming to my quote that triggered your kingly declaration on literature as “ nonsense”( just trying to amuse on it) When it gets aligned with harmony to others, all actions due to it, just cease, still it doesn’t mean the individual and his/her identity are gone, actually harmony with others took over conflicting instinct, that is all. Spiritual experiences are unique and above logical explanation, that is why they are known as inexpressible completely. Only attempts are made to express them and this practice is repeated in Gurbani. You really are not fond of falling in love,( I may be wrong, you never know, right?) so how emotions take over logic, I may not succeed in convincing you but what can I do except saying it is inexpressible? Life cannot be guided only with science and logic, if it could, there would have been no spiritual pursuits ever. Being in that personal experience Guru Nanak ji refers how people would call him “ ghost like, lost one, a poor thing” All those idiots calling him with these assumptive adjectives were more into logical understanding due to devoid of spiritual understanding. I still hope you can take it as separate supernatural phenomenon that doesn’t fit in science theories, even in psychiatric guessing. [/FONT]

Quote:
Originally Posted by pk70 http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/gener...ut-a-canvas-part-2-a-post80327.html#post80327
Conflicts are also faced in the same manner. I-ness defends I-ness but never promotes the I-ness during conflicts;

? I disagree.. or maybe you need to clarify what type of conflict you are talking about. Are you talking about a particular ethic or human nature? [/FONT]
Since you pointed out at Sikhism, I referred here to Sikhs’s fights in self defense and their unshettered faith in Guru teaching not to let ego ever come in a way even during conflicts they faced with. More clarification I can do with examples but you are brilliant, I feel, you don’t need it.[/FONT]
Quote:
Originally Posted by pk70
it is also style of I-ness in harmony of others.
Originally Posted by pk70
http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/gener...ut-a-canvas-part-2-a-post80327.html#post80327Truth, factual, visible or understandable by reason, can be a mater of science but neurological experiences supersede reasoning,
So you live under the assumption that reasoning is not a neurological experience? or did you mean emotion?[/FONT]
Here forgive me my wonderful buddy, I meant” spiritual”, not neurological, big heart can forgive me and by the way thanks for pointing it out otherwise it would have remained an abstract statement, may be incorrect one.[/FONT]
Quote:
Originally Posted by pk70
in out world it can be named as delusions or so but experienced ones understand that too because they understand in religion, that kind of personal experience rises too big to express.
hmmm ... i suspected this...which is why it is fruitless to continue with this analysis.[/FONT]
Why do you think it is fruitless, I disagreed with you, did I feel so? Where is the intellectual patience? [/FONT]

Sikhism is an esoteric and psuedo-gnostic faith? It is a philosophy that guides its adherers to go beyond the realm of reason to prove to themselves the existence of God. The realization of god can only come about through the acquisition of Esoteric Knowledge not Exoteric Knowledge. Or better yet, no distinction is ever made between the two types of knowledge because Sikhism adopts a certain characteristic holistic view of knowledge. (just like Hinduism) [/FONT]
Sikhism basically rejects Reductionism which is the reason it escapes from the rubrics [/FONT]
of epistemology[/FONT]
Of co{censored} Sikhism is an esoteric faith but it was made exoteric by preaching through sharing over two hundred years. How can you call it pseudo-gnostic? It was experienced one,(Maajh Ki Vaar Guru Nanak), have you ever heard any one used” pseudo” word with experience. May be you missed some thing. The real experiences are well expressed by Guru Sahiban numerous times in Guru Granth Sahib ji. If you want to disbelieve in Guru Nanak, then “ no further question” Actually it doesn’t reject reductionism since complexities about spiritual liberation were made more simple compare to prior existing expressions of it especially in Hinduism. By the way it should not be rubrics of epistemology any way because it deals with taking mind to another elevation where purpose of epistemology becomes useless.[/FONT]

All the same, I always enjoy your statements triggering brain exercises.[/FONT]
 
Pk70 ji, Thankyou for your replies

your first post was a little confusing...this explanation had more truthiness.

http://www.sikhspectrum.com/022006/postmodern.htm

good article...thought you might like to read the first part.

Spiritual experiences are unique and above logical explanation, that is why they are known as inexpressible completely

hmmm ... i wouldnt have them any other way...lol... that would be scary!

could you give opinion and or insight, in more detail, how you think sikhism addresses reductionist thought?

"Actually it doesn’t reject reductionism since complexities about spiritual liberation were made more simple compare to prior existing expressions of it especially in Hinduism"

because all evidence, when you read scripture is contrary to this.
gurbani itself is a script that can never be understood fully in its respective parts.
I think sikh philosophy outrightly comdemns reductionism just by looking at the structure of Bani! Sikhism is a holistic-empirical practice. Bent more on feeling and experiencing rather than metaphysical contemplating. (as are most faiths)

If you want to disbelieve in Guru Nanak, then “ no further question”

lets refrain from this ...after all this is just an exercise of understanding...lets not make it into a personal test of faith. I would like to understand before i 'believe' or 'disbelieve' (because when the moment to 'feel' arives...it will be that much sweeter, neh?)....Apathy is my status right now.

cheers
take care

recourse:
truthiness trumps all
 

pk70

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Sinister Ji, here is my try on some of your question like comments. Thanks for referring the article, usually I go on that site, some of the articles I found very informatory( though I am not fond of the author you referred).

Spiritual experiences are unique and above logical explanation, that is why they are known as inexpressible completely

mmm ... i wouldnt have them any other way...lol... that would be scary!
Try if it happens, possibly you won’t like to come out of it ever.
could you give opinion and or insight, in more detail, how you think sikhism addresses reductionist thought?
I am totally against enveloping good ideas in pompous and abstract statements because it becomes property of a few. Before Guru Nanak, in Hinduism, Vedas and other scriptures were not read or understood by commoners. It was a property of so called Sanskrit pundits that enabled them to exploit the general public and they built a wall of tough language and scriptures in it. Guru Nanak tears down that wall and introduces the Truth directly to the masses; it is an act of reductionism any way. There are ones ( Dr Ahulwalia, Gurtej Singh, Late S. Kapoor Singh etc) who always intend to envelop Guru Ji’s philosophy in more abstract way and in a pompous language trying to glue it to previous esoteric views. Ego of being knowledgeable forces them to stay in that category. Only late Principal Teja Singh remained committed to convey Guru message as it was meant to be, there are many more though. Many of Sikh Scholars have allergy to write in simple language to do service, as per my observation for they are under inferiority complex. Gurbani since is in Poetic form, its complexities are obvious and more over inevitable but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand it in its totality. So reductionism is a part of Gurbani in a way.


because all evidence, when you read scripture is contrary to this.
gurbani itself is a script that can never be understood fully in its respective parts.

Gurbani has a way of expressing same ideas in very simple way too since it was addressed to different kind of people having different caliber, otherwise it stand alone in conveying message in very simple way contrary to then prevailed religious scriptures. Please try Anand Sahib, Ram Kli Mehla 3,GGSJI 917

I think sikh philosophy outrightly comdemns reductionism just by looking at the structure of Bani!
Prove me, we will look at it. Where does it condemn reductionism outright? No hear say, give me example.

Sikhism is a holistic-empirical practice,. Bent more on feeling and experiencing rather than metaphysical contemplating. (as are most faiths)

Holistic empirical practice? I concur. Since the spiritual experience is out put of a
[/FONT] special way of living in harmony to His Ordinance as a result of understanding it not according to personal preferences but as whole. Being indulged in all kinds of satisfying temptations of personal preferences and then contemplate on spirituality doesn’t make any sense because that behavior gives birth to conflicts. That alone aspect proves Sikhism to be more harmonious philosophy than any one in context of World peace, above all it is simply putting responsibility on the shoulders of the seekers than getting into a trade of doing good deeds to have ticket in Heaven. What does do alone metaphysical contemplation? Compassion etc( feelings) are made a part of all other faiths too.
Apathy is my status right now.
Smilingly I respect that.
 
I think sikh philosophy outrightly comdemns reductionism just by looking at the structure of Bani!
Prove me, we will look at it. Where does it condemn reductionism outright? No hear say, give me example.

Pk70 ji,

I will give you very clear examples, and we will proceed and perhaps dwell upon that;


If we look at how the guru’s describe god. They call him Wondrous, Infinite, Unknowable, Indescribable, Ineffable and Immeasurable… The very idea that god and his plans are indiscernible by human logic is a rejection of reductionism! and any attempt to unravel them (gods plan, intentions, or realm) is foolish…. is the rejection of reductionism.

Sach Khand (the abode of god) is described as being full of endless numbers and forms, universes and regions. If this isn’t the rejection of reductionism, What is?


SO where exactly does my conundrum arise, I wonder:

If we accept that a human being is an entirely natural phenomena (i.e., no aspect of the human being is nonmaterial, spiritual, or supernatural), then the primary use of the scientific approach to discover how human beings are structured, how they function, and how they change over time within and among different contexts or ecologies seems to be warranted. However, if that basic proposition or assumption is not accepted, rather if it is accepted that the human being is, in essence, a spiritual being or even in part a spiritual being), then the exclusive use of the scientific method (or for that matter personal experience or material philosophy or reductionism) to discern truth about human beings and human behavior is probably not warranted.

--reductionism is rejected to a more holistic practice of constructing reality.

Wouldn’t you agree? :yes:

This is how Sikhism escapes from the rubrics of epistemology. Sikh philosophy never addresses a difference between esoteric and exoteric knowledge.

unless you know otherwise (please share)


cheers
 

pk70

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Quote”I will give you very clear examples, and we will proceed and perhaps dwell upon that; If we look at how the guru’s describe god. They call him Wondrous, Infinite, Unknowable, Indescribable, Ineffable and Immeasurable… The very idea that god and his plans are indiscernible by human logic is a rejection of reductionism! and any attempt to unravel them (gods plan, intentions, or realm) is foolish…. is the rejection of reductionism.[/FONT]
[/FONT]
Sinister Ji, that part is true because the word infinite warrants that conclusion. Why does this word (infinite) exist in our language? May be to express inexpressible, just kidding.[/FONT]

Sach Khand (the abode of god) is described as being full of endless numbers and forms, universes and regions. If this isn’t the rejection of reductionism, What is? [/FONT]
Well, that realm is not a description of the things you are mentioning, actually that is “the personal experience” of Guru Nanak; that state of mind is explainable only by going through it, the Sikh Scholars interpreted it in vain. It is very intoxicating state of mind that totally involved with HIM. Your first idea has forced me to agree with you but not this one.[/FONT]


SO where exactly does my conundrum arise, I wonder:[/FONT]
The reason of your riddle is to go to extreme as I see, it is like take either this or that, if you try to compromise like a centrist, it shouldn’t bother you then. I feel, more knowledge we obtain about anatomy, physics, the more understandable becomes HIS infinity.
If we accept that a human being is an entirely natural phenomena (i.e., no aspect of the human being is nonmaterial, spiritual, or supernatural), then the primary use of the scientific approach to discover how human beings are structured, how they function, and how they change over time within and among different contexts or ecologies seems to be warranted.[/FONT]
I concur, doubtless. [/FONT]
However, if that basic proposition or assumption is not accepted, rather if it is accepted that the human being is, in essence, a spiritual being or even in part a spiritual being), then
[/FONT] the exclusive use of the scientific method (or for that matter personal experience or material philosophy or reductionism) to discern truth about human beings and human behavior is probably not warranted.[/FONT]
I have to differ for I would prefer looking at the same Truth in two ways to one only, as science looks at human as a natural phenomena, Spiritual approach looks at it a little further; accepting its origin(water=natural phenomena)) and the power behind its creation, both are warranted for the knowledge about the truth/reality. Science though rejects any power behind this creation due to its approach; we need both to over cross limits of one or the other.[/FONT]

--reductionism is rejected to a more holistic practice of holistic constructing reality[/FONT]
In a way, you are very much right too; however, when inexpressible is attempted to describe in simple way, that is not complete rejection of reductionism especially in a context where GOD was described different way before Sikhism. That reality, also known as absolute Truth, is explained as being in two forms, ”Nirgun, Sargun” one is visible, the other is not, at this junction, spiritual approach divorces scientific approach.

This is how Sikhism escapes from the rubrics of epistemology, Sikh philosophy never addresses a difference between esoteric and exoteric knowledge.[/FONT] unless you know otherwise please share[/FONT]
It is getting long please bear with me. Again, it is religion and is more devoted towards soul which even doesn’t exist in scientific field; how it can go in detail of epistemology. When esoteric kind of knowledge is shared with common people with more clarity, automatically it becomes exoteric ones. Those words you mentioned above in the beginning were actually interpreted in Gurbani many times, so effort is in process. In science, it is easy to explain with experimental facts but in spirituality the limitation is the language and the probability of spiritual experience is very thin. That was one another reason Guru Guidance is vital in pursuit of spirituality since like scientific experiments, there is personal experience involves. In [/FONT]Patiala[/FONT], [/FONT]Punjab[/FONT], there was a woman, she would take any thing within the body by simply touching it and bringing it to the finger; medical surgeons would be amazed and failed to explain that after having witnessed her performing. I personally witnessed that too. It was not miracle but spiritual ability. Here spirituality beats medical science but still remains unexplainable. Even if some one tries to give explanation, it will remain ambiguous due to the limitation of language in context of spiritual field. So I am not in favor of pick one and reject the other in both cases. The origin of the world is addressed by Guru ji but is not based on scientific research. Before [/FONT]everything, there was HE Himself. Unlike epistemology, spiritual statement is just a statement out of personal spiritual experience. Even today, scientific theories about origin of universe are still vague( Scientific guesses are made quite contrary to nature of science) too because questions can be dragged to endless curiosity; from where all theses planets and galaxies came after all, what was before that and from where that came into existence. What about Universes, our own universe is still under search, will remain under search centuries to come.. Spirituality accepts it as His creation and moves on in stead of splitting hairs. In the end, I happily accept that some of your conclusions are right but some are not and are based on extreme approach that can also cripple the leaning of other side in which personal experiences are documented( in Gurbani itself)[/FONT]

[/FONT]
 

spnadmin

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Jios,

How did "infinity" come into the language?

The Isha Upanishad of the Yajurveda (c. 4th to 3rd century BC) states that "if you remove a part from infinity or add a part to infinity, still what remains is infinity".

Pūrṇam adaḥ pūrṇam
idam
Pūrṇāt pūrṇam udacyate
Pūrṇasya pūrṇam ādāya
Pūrṇam evāvasiṣyate.


That is full,
this is full

From the full, the full is subtracted

When the full is taken from the full

The full still will remain — Isha Upanishad.



And puraan - whole, complete, unbroken - from the sanskrit purnam - inexhaustible.

The wikipedia link appears to be written by a person versed in mathematics and history. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infinity
 

pk70

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Pūrṇam adaḥ pūrṇam
idam
Pūrṇāt pūrṇam udacyate
Pūrṇasya pūrṇam ādāya
Pūrṇam evāvasiṣyate.


That is full,
this is full

From the full, the full is subtracted

When the full is taken from the full

The full still will remain — Isha Upanishad.



Aad0002 ji

Reread this stanza from Isha Upnishad,” That is full, this is full”, in these two lines, the author is saying a power (that)” Full” and a taken part from it,are both ” Full”, basically it is to confuse others and steer them to" a taken part" and guide them to treat it as "full." but rationality rejects that illusion. What is taken as a part of something cannot be itself“ Full’ at all. The word “Full” has nothing to do with infinity. Infinity as it defines its boundless characteristics is beyond words like “full”, any part taken out of it, cannot be infinite, period. In Gurbani, there are a few words used for it” atull( Inestimable),agamm( inaccessible), that is the correct expression of Infinity. Here, you see no game of words is played, that is why Guru ji says repeatedly in Jap Ji Sahib that people try to express HIM but just cannot successfully. Above, the author is advocating an idea of Sargun Sroop to be accepted as” full/complete” as it has come out of another Sroop” Full” but he forgets that a part which is taken out of some thing, cannot be close to be “ full”. A lot of stuff like this floats around in there but His inestimable and inaccessible qualities keep all expressions as an incomplete expression. Thanks for sharing this though !
 

spnadmin

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pk70 ji

This conversation happened so many weeks ago that I cannot remember why I posted it. However, I disagree with you that the intent of the author is to mislead. The idea is that "full" in the sense of the vedas was "inexahustible" with the author indicating how the concept of whole, complete, full cannot be diminished.

In other words, you can take from it but you can never exhaust it because it is complete in and of itself.
 
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