Re Heschel’s “Concepts are delicious snacks with which we try to alleviate our amazement.” (1971:7) “If amazement is a good thing why would we want to alleviate it?”

Some comments re Heschel’s,
“Concepts are delicious snacks with which we try to alleviate our amazement.” (1971:7)

A member of our One Garden group asked for comments on; “Assuming amazement as something good I want to enhance or amplify it not alleviate it.” (?)

As a question I’m reading that as, “If amazement is a good thing why would we want to alleviate it?”

COMMENTS:
It’s not the amazement that needs alleviating it is our spiritual hunger that needs alleviating – the hunger to be at-one – and to be free of the burden, and suffering, of egoic self.

Concepts, like food snacks, won’t satisfy us compared to the real thing, a proper spiritual meal – which is to rest as our Nondual self – to rest as awareness (substantially ) free of self.

The ‘snacks quotation’ relates to the ‘Citizens of two realms’ quotation. Here is a slightly longer version of the ‘Citizens of Two Realms’ extract’;

“The Search for reason ends at the known; on the immense expanse beyond it only the sense of the ineffable can glide. It alone knows the route to that which is remote from experience and understanding.

Neither of them is amphibious: reason cannot go beyond the shore, and the sense of the ineffable is out of place where we measure, where we weigh.

We do not leave the shore of the known in search of adventure or suspense or because of the failure of reason to answer our questions. We sail because our mind is like a fantastic seashell, and when applying our ear to its lips we hear a perpetual murmur from the waves beyond the shore.

Citizens of two realms, we all must sustain a dual allegiance: we sense the ineffable in one realm, we name and exploit reality in another.

Between the two we set up a system of references, but we can never fill the gap.

They are as far and as close to each other as time and calendar, as violin and melody, as life and what lies beyond the last breath.”
― Abraham Joshua Heschel, Man Is Not Alone: A Philosophy of Religion.

A saying not by Heschel is helpful “The larger the island of knowledge, the longer the shoreline of wonder.” – (source unknown though many have used it e.g.Huston Smith)

My reading of Heschel is that he is describing the dual world as the ‘island of knowledge’ and the nondual as ‘wonder’ – the ineffable experience of the Whole, of Mystery – that another great mystic, Einstein, wrote about so beautifully;

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed. This insight into the mystery of life, coupled though it be with fear, has also given rise to religion. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms— this knowledge, this feeling, is at the center of true religiousness. In this sense, and in this sense only, I belong in the ranks of devoutly religious men.” http://sciphilos.info/docs_pages/docs_Einstein_fulltext_css.html

Wonderment is the state we are in when, with selfing subdued, we enter the mystical, Nondual, state – the home of our true Self.

Wondering is the head process of philosophizing – and belongs to the dual realm.

Here is Heschel seeming to say that ‘wonder’ is ‘radical amazement’-l http://www.awakin.org/read/view.php?tid=1080

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To become aware of the ineffable is to…

To become aware of the ineffable is to part company with words. …The tangent to the curve of human experience lies beyond the limits of language. The world of things we perceive is but a veil. Its flutter is music, its ornament science, but what it conceals is inscrutable. Its silence remains unbroken; no words can carry it away.

Sometimes we wish the world would cry and tell us about that which made it pregnant with fear-filling grandeur.

Sometimes we wish our own heart would speak of that which made it heavy with wonder.

–Abraham Joshua Heschel

“What is the reality of being human on the way to realizing enlightenment?

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We are using these quotations in our discussions at present;

TOPIC: The Reality of Being Human on the Way to Realizing Enlightenment

QUESTION: “What is the reality of being human on the way to realizing enlightenment?

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1 “Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement. ….get up in the morning and look at the
world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is

incredible; never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed.” …….“Wonder rather than doubt is the root of all knowledge.”― Abraham Joshua Heschel


2 “Like two birds of golden plumage, inseparable companions, the
individual self and the immortal Self are perched on the branches of the

selfsame tree. The former tastes of the sweet and bitter fruits of the

tree; the latter, tasting of neither, calmly observes.

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“The individual self, deluded by forgetfulness of his identity with the

divine Self, bewildered by his ego, grieves and is sad. But when he

recognizes the worshipful Lord as his own true Self, and beholds his

glory, he grieves no more.”

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3 Don’t contemplate
as mere activity

Be void contemplating void.      p221  365 Tao – Deng Ming-Dao

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4 After scaling the high summits of wonderment the wayfarer cometh to the Valley of True
Poverty and Absolute Nothingness.

This station is the dying from self and the living in God, the being poor in self and rich in the

Desired One.

From ‘The Valley of True Poverty and Absolute Nothingness’ the 7th valley in Baha’u’llah’s 7 Valleys

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5 The experience of one’s own identity or “I”, is a source of great wonder……..Spiritual attainment
is a fundamental transformation of the “I” from a separate, limited, and contracted identity into a

rich and infinite one.  It is a movement from separation to union.

p85 Living Presence A Sufi Way to Mindfulness & the Essential Self – by Shaikh Kabir Helminski
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6 You say, “I want to know myself.”  You are the “I”.  You are the Knowing.  You are the
consciousness through which everything is known.  And that cannot know itself; it is itself.

p55/56 Stillness Speaks by Eckhart Tolle

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About religion Max Muller said, ““He who knows one, knows none.”

“Awareness of the divine begins with wonder It…

“Awareness of the divine begins with wonder. It is the result of what man does with his higher incomprehension. The greatest hindrance to such awareness is our adjustment to conventional notions, to mental clichés. Wonder or radical amazement, the state of maladjustment to words and notions, is therefore a prerequisite for an authentic awareness of that which is.”

From Abraham Heschel’s ‘God in Search of Man’

Contemplation is the highest expression of man’s…

“Contemplation is the highest expression of man’s intellectual and spiritual life. It is that life itself, fully awake, fully active, fully aware that it is alive. It is spiritual wonder. It is spontaneous awe at the sacredness of life, of being. It is gratitude for life, for awareness, and for being. It is a vivid realization of the fact that life and being in us proceed from an invisible, transcendent and infinitely abundant Source. Contemplation is, above all, an awareness of the reality of that Source.”

Thomas Merton
New Seeds of Contemplation