Saturday, February 14, 2009

Rene Guenon & Reincarnation

For a few posts I would like to talk about the French philosopher and metaphysician, Rene Guenon (1886-1951), and his views on both metaphysics and reincarnation. I do not know how many posts this will be and I might even interrupt them with other things. I also am not making any promises about how fast they will get here. I think a quote from one of Guenon's books about the nature of the human spirit would be valuable to put here-even though it is a bit wordy: The "gross state" in fact is nothing else than the corporeal existence itself, to which[...] human individuality belong by one of its modalities only, and not its integral development. As the "subtle state," it includes in the first place, the extra-corporeal modalities of the human being, or of every other being situated in the same state of existence, and also, in the second place all other individual states[...]. It may be said, therefore, that the human being, considered in its integrality, comprise a certain sum of possibilities, which constitute its corporeal or gross modality, and in addition, a multitude of possibilities, which, extending in different directions beyond the corporeal modality, constitute its subtle modalities; but all these possibilities together represent, nonetheless, one and the same degree of universal Existence.

It follows from this that human individuality is at once much more and much less than Westerners generally suppose it to be: much more, because they recognize in it scarcely anything except the corporeal modality, which, includes, but the smallest fraction of its possibilities; much less, however, because this individuality, far from really constituting the whole being, is but one state of that being among an indefinite multitude of other states. Moreover the sum of all these states is still nothing at all in relation to the personality; which alone is the true being, because it alone represents its permanent and unconditioned state, and because there is nothing else which can be considered as absolutely real.

When I come back with the next post I hope to have some thoughts on his thinking about this subject. His vision of reality is really very grand-what he is basically saying in these two paragraphs is that the human spirit on the physical level of reality is only taking in a very tiny fraction of reality itself; and that the physical part is a very small part of universal existence that is mostly made up of non-physical planes of reality. As I go along I would definitely enjoy any comments from anyone who agrees or disagrees with Guenon-or anything else. I will give part of the series away right now -Guenon thought the idea of a human soul coming back to the physical or earth plane time and time again was absurd, so he didn't believe in the 'reincarnation' that people usually think of. I will get into some of the whys in the next post. Peace and be well to anyone stopping by! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ren%C3%A9_Gu%C3%A9non

11 comments:

angelo said...

Hello,

I'm curious to see why he didn't like reincarnation. It seems like a pretty widespread idea, but I have only heard of Swedenborg arguing against it just saying that it is explained by discarnate memories. But that seems to leave too much unexplained like birthmarks corresponding to past lives, and other things.

So it should be interesting to see a new perspective against reincarnation. I'll look for that next time.

Devin said...

Hi angelo-thanks so very much for stopping by MFM-great comment BTW! I had just reviewed some birthmark cases -amazing -I might even put them here when I am done with this-thanks also for the info about Swedenborg-as much about the man as I have read in my life -I never knew what his thoughts on reincarnation were-I may not have next post here til Monday-if you want to skip ahead in the wiki link-I think you will be able to find out why Guenon was so against the idea-again 'our' ideas of reincarnation-not necessarily any type at all-I do not think this will be a long series at all so I will give the posts a day or two to let the ideas 'soak' in -and then as usual ask anyone if they have any comments or ideas-thanks again so much for stopping by!

Aggie said...

That all sounded a little complicated to me. Still, its a point of view.

Devin said...

It really did Aggie-hopefully the post I will do tomorrow if all goes well will clear it up quite a bit-thanks so much for stopping by and best as always to you!

Autumnforest said...

What is that old saying, "we're not human beings have a spiritual experience, we're spiritual beings having a human experience?" Any time I have sickness or injury or am just feeling sorry for myself, I think about that. Our pain as humans comes from that fact, I believe. We are trapped in a human body that cannot go past the limitations of that. When I dream at night, sometimes I can run very fast without breathing hard, leap over trees, or do other things that my human body would never allow and I realize how the dream state is not nebulous, but perhaps is the most real state we ever experience as truly spiritual beings. In that way, the daytime we spend in our body is some kind of penance for the sleep state where we can be as we truly are without body...

Devin said...

Autumnforest -I really really enjoyed your comment!! I cant believe sometimes how the net seems to 'synch' peoples thoughts together or they are on the same wavelengths! last nignt when i was laying in bed in really bad pain -and feeling sorry for myself! -I thought of the same quote you just gave here-and also the reasons for human suffering! as with the folks who commented above I want to come back to your comment when i can comment more intelligently -i am really feeling rough right now and it seems to be getting worse-not better -thanks so very much for commenting on this series-as I told above commenters I was thinking when starting this i would be lucky to get one or two comments on whole series-and this series is pretty important to work i am doing for next posts-thanks again for stopping by -i will try to get to other sites today if i can stay on puter long enough-i will defintiely not be posting today best to you as always!

Devin said...

ps Autumn -i think you got the quote exactly right -now if i could just remember who said it:-)

Autumnforest said...

I hate to admit it, but I think I recall hearing it the first time on "Dr. Phil." Hee hee. I went through surgery and rehab for an achilles tendon rupture last summer and it's been an ongoing struggle to walk without a limp again. For a woman who was most noted as a model for her walk, it's been humbling. I learned a lot about myself dealing with pain and rehabilitation and I learned to re-name pain. I've always used cognitive (rational emotive) techniques to deal with things, but with pain it works equally well. I used to counsel folks with anxiety disorders and when they'd say things like "I was in my car going to the interview and I felt all weird and I got scared and ran home again." I'd say, you know, those fluttery feelings you get as a kid when it's Christmas Eve or your birthday? Those are the exact same sensations in your body, sweaty palms, racing heart, dizziness... Those symptoms may fit fear and anxiety, but they also are compatible with excitement and thrill and anticipation of something great (even orgasm has the same sensations). To live in these human bodies, we have to re-name sensations. I started saying things about my foot pain like "heated up" and then considered that when it's feeling "heated up" it's simply the knitting of the tissues in the healing process. It's not pain, it's healing. Hope that helps next time you're not feeling well, just rename it. When I counseled folks on fear of needles, I'd say, "Instead of bearing down against the needle, inhale and draw it in--it's something healthy and good entering your body, not an invader bent on hurt." I suppose I should do self-help articles again--I used to do ones published around the world on the subject of anxiety. I could probably write a good article about where to put your mind when you hunt ghosts...Hey, thanks for the idea Dev!

Devin said...

thanks as always for dropping by Autumnforest! it looks like I will have to be up all night tonight so my back doesnt go out-as i was in bed prob for over 24 hours more or less from fri eve to a few hours ago-so i look forward to using this time to cathcing up on work you and others i link to have done-very interesting about the anxiety disorders and things of that nature-I have had the same struggle with anxiety as it relates to crowds -public speaking-times when you have to be around many people-I am more than happy to give ideas to folks and am happy if they can run with them!! because of health I am way behind on this blog and hope I start to feel better soon to begin the next series-I always get the most wonderful ideas and things I can use in my daily life from looking at the articles people post who I link to -best to you as always!

Anadæ Effro said...

Whoa! Didja see, Devin? Both our comments on Gos(pel)porn's blog on William Blatty's scare fest just got published at the exact same time, 10:53! Talk about God winks, man! LOL!

Anywho, there's ALSO this nifty little religion that never really caught on, Faithism, whose channelled 1,000 plus paged Bible, "OAHSPE", another of the Creator's names meaning Sky-Earth-Spirit, is non-reincarnationist also.

Published in 1882, or A.K. 34 for their calendrical tracking of the Kosmon year, it was written, allegedly with angelic supervision, by an upstate New York Free & Accepted Mason & practicing dentist, John Ballou Newbrough.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oahspe

I'm delighted to say that I possess a copy of this nineteenth century relic of Spiritualism in my own library. He states that, despite souls themselves not returning in other lives at other times for more subsequest & ever-greater spiritual perfection, the soul itself ascends to higher spiritual realms, each rebirth call'd a Resurrection.

Faithism also preaches a vegetarian lifestyle & a sexually abstinent one, unless one is blessed by the sanctity of a heterocentralist union. You can just bet an accurate guess on what Dr Newbrough's views on being "one of us" were.

Always good to visit your blog, Devin. I'm glad I can always push the envelope.

Goin' to reread "OAHSPE" now, your friend & brother,
Anad' Effro ( :-)}

Devin said...

God does indeed wink Anadae! So great as always to see you here-Oahspe is something I have actually heard about believe it or not -thanks for the link also -I havent been feeling the greatest and am way behind on work for my blogs (i have a post i can do for history blog-but after the post I will be behind on it:-) Feel free to push the envelope here anytime you like -thats a lot of what MFM is for-in fact I am extremely happy for it right now because the next 'series' I want to get into is taking so long and is so intricate and yet very simple at the same time -you would be one of the great readers of my blog to have any ideas for 'short' posts-as I do not want this blog to completely 'die' while I work on my 'mad scientist' hypothesis or theory-----or perhaps people will look at it and think "yep hes finally gone over the edge":-) best as always to you my friend and feel free to stop by anytime -as far as I am concerned you can comment about anything even if it has nothing to do with subject heading of current post -this because I am so far behind in work-if you see any VunderVolk around please ask them if they have a remedy for extreme flu/cold-all the best[;->)~