Borderlands of the Spirit: Reflections on a Sacred Science by John Herlihy

By John Herlihy

Via a penetrating research of cause and mind, religious mind's eye, and the sunshine of religion, this ebook addresses primary questions bearing on our look for that means.

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Extra resources for Borderlands of the Spirit: Reflections on a Sacred Science of Mind (Perennial Philosophy)

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In fact, at every level in the hierarchy of being, we can witness forms of intelligence within nature that reflect the natural instincts that are required for natural phenomena to exist and function within their own sphere of experience. 8 The intelligence of the macrocosm shines forth in the vast array of heavenly bodies and the spectacular and harmonious precision that is witnessed in the celestial movement of the cosmos. Sensory intelligence identifies and appreciates gourmet tastes; olfactory intelligence recognizes a wide array of smells and responds to them on a number of levels, including memory and emotion; even the intelligence of the sense of touch knows the difference between the natural fibers of cotton and the artificial feel of polyester, as everyone who lives in a tropical climate fully appreciates.

Unlike the intuitive knowledge of the human intellect, which according to the various traditions represents a direct and immediate descent from above, discursive knowledge is basically synonymous with indirect and mediate knowledge, which is the mainstay of human reason, a knowledge that is gained by participation in the cognitive process alone. It cannot find within itself the guarantee of its own truth, but instead must receive this guarantee from principles that surpass it. Otherwise, it is merely the individual mind attempting to define supra-individual realities on its own together with a faculty of reason that wears a wizard’s cap.

In chemistry, for example, large-scale reactions are accounted for by examining the behavior of molecules. Physiologists study the activity of living cells in terms of processes carried out by organelles and other sub-cellular entities. The predilection of modern scientists to approach the understanding of the phenomenal world in purely reductionist terms attempts to limit the intelligence to the strictly human frame of reference, namely brain matter, human reasoning, and the insights of the physical senses.

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