Friday, January 27, 2017

(285) Further on The Holy Grail

On January 23rd 2017 I had already begun searching for more gen re something which had recently, once more, started to very much preoccupy me: The Holy Grail
An e mail arrived from David DeAngelo headed -The Holy Grail of One-Night-Stands.

At lunchtime on January 24th 2017 I was rereading this Entry specifically for stuff on the Holy Grail.

Just a few seconds after I had read this of point (12)
Through further researches I gathered that the quest for the Holy Grail represents very much a personal and individual attempt to contact the divine.
Works such as H. Kahanne’s and R. Pietrangeli’s "The Krater and the Grail, Hermetic Sources of the ‘Parzival’ " clarified to me how the symbolism of the Grail was born from ancient cults and myths, e.g. the Greek krater was the deepest bowl of creation and divine wisdom. 

In Gnosticism the krater was a feminine principle; the mixing vessel filled with spirit, which the Creator sent down to earth so that those who strove for higher consciousness might be baptised in it.
So the krater could be viewed as the most primal aspect of the Grail pantheon
. -
My wife mentioned, re portions of tomato soup she had just prepared for us using a soup-making machine, since our cooker was temporarily out of action,
"There you are; mine´s the cup, yours is the bowl."
At lunchtime on Jan 25th I found myself thinking on being asked a question on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? re the meaning of ´cognate´.
My reply would have been that I had only ever come across the word once and that was in a piece by Anthony Burgess. But it meant ´of like mind´.

A couple of hours later I felt moved to look up, again, the meaning of ´Paraclete´, as used by Bernard Levin in  his piece from The Times of February 18th 1988 apropos Parsifal in Point (1) of the above Narrative entry :

When Parsifal enters he adds strains from the other world… Suddenly… we hear, for the first time… the Grail… in the struggle between good and evil… it is approaching, with its glorious news that the battle is almost over, and light has triumphed over darkness…
Surely this is what the shepherds who were tending their flocks must have experienced when the angel appeared to them with glad tidings of great joy.
The tidings in Parsifal are brought in Act Three, when the Spear, which pierced Christ’s side heals the wound of Amfortas’ guilt…
And… what is the Christian message but hope?
Surely Wagner is saying that Parsifal is neither Christ nor John the Baptist, but the Paraclete of St John’s Gospel, who is sent to comfort the world: "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you." And it is man, sinful but capable of redemption, who receives the divine gift from the hands of "the innocent fool, made wise by pity."

I see the first hit when that word is entered into Yahoo is its definition in Wikipedia -

In Judaism
Philo speaks several times of "paraclete" advocates primarily in the sense of human intercessors.
The word later went from Hellenistic Jewish writing into rabbinical Hebrew writing. For a summary of rabbinical usage see Jewish Encyclopedia 1914 "Paraclete".
The word is not used in the Septuagint, the word "comforters" being different in Job. Other words are used to translate the Hebrew word מְנַחֵם (mənaḥḥēm "comforter") and מליץ יושר.
In modern Hebrew, the cognate 'praklit' (פרקליט) means 'solicitor' or 'legal counsel', 'praklit ha-mechoz' means district attorney, and 'praklitut ha-medina' the Israeli equivalent of the solicitor-general.

This last sentence also contained the very rare word ´cognate´. And that prompted me, some 30 mins or so later, to look up the meaning of ´cognate´ via Google

At the lefthand bottom corner of that page there was a section headed
For Everyone.

Below it were listed four options. The first was
Play The Challenge

Somehow I found myself taking an interest and that link...and I clicked in it... to find I had thus activated a multiple choice check on one´s understanding of the word ´cognate´ with FOUR possible answers.
I chose the right one of the four (´Similar´).
Four possible correct options is, of course, what would have been presented had the word´s meaning featured as a question on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? - the very scenario upon which I had not long before been pondering.

On the evening of February 20th 2017 I was moved by a reference to Luna Incognita resulting from my looking at the entry on ´Crater Plaskett´ in Wikipedia
That entry linked to the ESA Press Release of March 1st 2007 which features just before Point (1) of Entry here.
One subsequent lead which resulted from my entering´Luna Incognita´into my search engine was this, from a NASA Lunar Science Institute seminar of April 2013 -
One subsequent leadS ipeaker: Ben Bussey, Johns Hopkins University – Applied tfrhPhysics LaboratorLuna Incognita”
Abstract: When we began this integrated research project, the lunar Polar Regions were regarded as “Luna incognita”, the unknown Moon.  During the last four years we have striven to further our understanding of the Polar Regions so that they are now as well known, and in some case better known, than the rest of the Moon. ”Luna incognita” has become “Luna cognate”:

The mapping of the moon´s dark side was proclaimed with a proto-map on the day I was born.
Here I now learned of yet another meaning for ´cognate´. This time in Latin.
It means ´known´.
...   ...   ...
Circa 18:23 on Jan 25th 2017 I was reading clips from the book
The Holy Grail
from the Works of
Rudolf Steiner.

It is a compilation of just over forty pages of extracts from his lectures with each extract referring to The Holy Grail. I read swiftly through the entry on p.11, which is from a lecture in Basle of 22nd November 1907, headed simply -
The Gospel of St John

This brief extract concludes with the sentence -
"This is represented in the Holy Grail, the shining chalice, the attainment of which floated as a shining goal before the knight of the Middle Ages."

My son came home, saw the title of the work I was reading, and said that this formed a coincidence for he had just found a copy of The Bible.
In fact he had scooped up some five minutes earlier, in Paseo de las Delicias, a Gideons copy of the Nuevo Testamento, including Psalms and Proverbs, and, of course, the Gospel of St John

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

(284) "Only 1%" accept the validity of subjective experience as well as obective facts

Circa 11: a.m. on January 12th 2017 I was doing some cleaning and had on in the background this podcast of Sam Harris´:

I had not listened to it before. It had arrived by e mail ten hours earlier.

I was thinking about my six previously cited and advanced reasons - e.g. at Facebook threads - for accepting the existence of some Deity.
Those are -
a) Over forty very brief experiences of compassion way beyond normal consciousness and which could only be described as Divine.
b) That others report such experiences of the Divine.
c) These coincidences
d) The faults with neo-Darwinism.
e) The philosophical argument from design.
f) The very existence of the ´Occult Classics´.

In each instance there are of course counter arguments.

a) Sceptics might say there is only my testimony to have experienced the Divine.
b) There is only the testimony of the other claimants too.
c) That coincidence does not necessarily point to anythng beyond itself.
d) Lack of authentic evidence for neo-Darwinian theory does not demand acceptance of a Deity. Strident anti Darwinists such as Dr James le Fanu and Richard Milton have no religious beliefs.
e) Those who detect design in Nature that they attribute to a Higher Power speak only for themselves.
f) And claims re an  ´outpouring of Esoteric truth´ in books which began in the late 19th century with Blavatsky have yet to be independently corroborated. Some people simply like drawing attention to themselves. Plus a lot of the writings of  Blavatsky, Bailey, Besant, Rudolf Steiner, etc is largely repetitive verbiage.
Point a) was the overwhelming one.
Impossible for the experiencer to doubt some Divine component to reality after even one such experience. I promoted it in my mental reckoning from 80% significance to a full 90%.
Point (c) I demoted from a significance of 10% to now only 5%.
re point d), however, I, continued with an allocation of just 1%. It may at best be called "indirect evidence", since Darwin critics like Milton and le Fanu harbour no belief in a Deity.

I found myself thinking on how, in an exposition of why I accepted God´s existence, the importance of the faults with neo-Darwinian theory were only 1%.
Within four seconds of my thinking that I heard what Harris says at 17:17 of the podcast.

That caught my attention so I listened more keenly to the few minutes before and after that.
Circa 12:50 he and Dawkins agree that personal and introspective experience may be of value scientifically. Harris expounds on how he has been trying to do away with the distinction between outer ´canonical´ fact and subjective experience. For him each is valuable.

Finally, at 16:00 Harris points out that we could never know what was going through the head of "JFK" just before his assassination.
And when making the short drive home after a lunchtime visit to the beach I found my car immediately behind a black one with a numberplate ending in JFK.