Known/The Unknown/And Belief
The study of human historical development is a dynamic subject that cannot be contained in any one particular subject area or perceptual parameter (domain). In seeking to learn about ourselves as individuals and in community with others the documentation and writings from the past can help us better understand multi-deminsional reality- that being; the wonder of physical universe existence as an opportunity to have the kind of experiences that can only be called universal and ‘miraculous’ (whether or not that experience is intellectually understood or not). Every culture in every time period has had to deal with the fact of finite existence and the mystery of actual physical universe experience, and as such to study the history of our species is to have a broader selection of perspectives from which to cast a viewpoint. In seeking to understand this subject there is an opportunity to examine those factors and decisions that have shaped the context of present day viewpoints about cosmic ( celesteral and/or terrestrial) reality- and this opportunity could provide the kind of backdrop perspective that could be especially relevant in this current time period of great geo-political and spiritual world change. The heart of this subject sheds insight into the phenomenon of belief, intuition and memory- as fundamental components of human psychology and affinity nature. This is so because every cultural group in recorded history has documented an awareness and need for spiritual-solidarity with the apparent and non-apparent universe. This awareness and solidarity has been expressed in many different ways and customs throughout recorded history. In the end, the essence of this subject speaks of mans need to have some understanding and/or spiritual connection with the whole of physical manifestation and consciousness.
The subject of known and unknown spiritual dynamics is a particularly relevant subject that is not separate from the genesis value systems that determine experience-interpretation (ie. reception/perception and/or meaning) for both given individuals and/or cultural group(s). For this reason, the dynamic changes that shook the medieval world in the 14th century cannot be viewed as an isolated phenomenon that only involved cultural interchange between the European and Islamic world as two isolated cultures separate from the composite world group but rather this encounter can be viewed as another signal that sheds insight into genesis human qualities that are trans-continental and trans-idiomatic. To really penetrate into the depth of this subject is to establish a viewpoint that takes into account a) the subject of individual experiences b) the dynamics of group experi-ence and c) the ‘weight’ (significance) of identity-(cultural) experiences from a tri-centric perspective that allows for several viewpoints to co-exist as relevant (ie. meaningful). This is so because the evolution of the three great religious movements that brought on Christianity, Islam and Hinduism was not isolated from the early philosophical speculations and beliefs of the ancient early cultures- including Mesopotamia and extending to Persia. All of these matters are part of the continuum of human evolution and world change. That is, the subject of what aspect of information is considered known or unknown gives insight into the ‘asethetic-way’ of a given cultural and/or lineage group’, and this information can aid one in the development of a relevant world perspective that takes into account the ‘known’ world and the consideration of ‘hope’.
Before I can attempt to focus on the unique inter-relationship between 14th century European and Islamic philosophy, it is first necessary to examine the theater of existing belief structures platforms in the early period. This is so because I am interested in better understanding the base sentiments that evolved in what we now call mysticism. It is my viewpoint that the collected experiences of our species gives insight into the heart of the give and take of human evolution and that all of the major documented cultural ‘ways’ have a relevance that must be both respected and intellectually considered. There are three aspects to this subject 1) the meta-reality constructs of the early religions 2) the difference between dialectic psychological aesthetics and all encompassing psychological aesthetics and 3) the emergence of modernity. In the first category the phenomenon of mysticism can be viewed as an expression of known and unknown human affinity-positions. To understand this variable is to confront human curiosity and the phenomenon of attraction. By the term mysticism in this context, I am referring to the documented recognition by every cultural group regardless of time period in the belief that there are some things that can be known and some things that cannot be known. Moreover, the phenomenon of mysticism also establishes the historical insistence (belief) that there are aspects of our physical universe existence (reality) that cannot be recognized (experienced) on the surface but remains hidden from the uniniated. The phenomenon of mysticism starts at this point, that is; the realization of memory and consciousness (including intention) and the fact of movement (change) leading to intuition( or revealed intuition leading to a recognition of something cosmic that is transcendent and individually relevant) . What for one cultural group is blasphemy is sacred in another culture. The time period that would usher in the Christian era was much more complex than any one religious movement or aesthetic position. It must be remembered that the transition time cycle that brought in the Roman Empire and the end of the Hellenic period contained many different religious movements and customs.
To understand the ‘theater of spirituality’ in the beginning of the Christian era is to be fronted with at least five related religious movements that prefigured the continental mapping of northern Europe and the Mediterranean basin. Those movements are: 1) the henotheistic religions from the eastern cults 2) the writings of the Greek scholars 3) the work of the Islamic scholars in the 14th century and 4) the restructural work that opened up in the middle ages and 5) the complexities of the Medieval period. In the first category, Gnostic cults representing many different schools of thought from Persian religions were taught in the schools at Alexandria. The thrust of this development was an outgrowth of the expanded possibilities that opened up though the use of positional astronomy and the development of astrology and horoscopic astrology ( and the emergence of omenology and the esoteric sciences). The aesthetic implications of Gnosticism would be consistent with many aspects of emerging Christian doctrine. In particular the concept of determinism and the negative disposition of matter( the inherent evil in matter) and the forming of the earth experience as a trial to be transcended are ideas that predated the emergence of the Christian movement. These notions of reality give insight into the vibrational and aesthetic nature of humanity . There were also the ideas of the Epicureans who thought in terms of natural chance as well as the atomists philosophers who thought in terms of material reduction as a basis to model belief structures (ie. theology) and early science (ie. application). It is at this point in history where the iconic dimensions of restructural mythology would see the emergence of fresh concepts that spoke of angels and devils, as representatives of religious and/or theological positions.
It is important to remember that the writings of the early Greek philosophers have not all survived into the modern era. Too often we forget that the great works of Plato and Aristotle are compilation works that sum up the ideas of many different people and time periods as opposed to the isolated word of one or two geniuses . Plato in particular was obsessed with the notion of saving the information of his time era through documentation as well as saving or accounting for the phenomenon under examination. Yet the genesis point of historical documentation traces the idea of ‘save the phenomenon’ to Pythagoreans so even this aspect of conceptualization was not the work of a single individual. The Timaus is important because it details a subjective European affinity nature by detailing an inductive perceptual alignment that sees experienced-reality as a model of actual reality (which for Plato is cosmic reality). This is one example of knowingness and unknowingness – as a dialectical construct that can allow for dynamic speculation about the aesthetic nature of physical universe reality . The opposite is true for Aristotle: that is, the thrust of his work moves to create a stable logic context that focuses more on the mechanical design and workings of the universe. Aristotle is saying that God can be understood by looking at actual reality- on the level of specific disciplines and categories (ie. God is in the details). The difference between both approaches is the difference between belief (in the mutable) and certainty (in the structure). Plato’s writings would help to establish the forms of western curiosity and vibrational attraction. His viewpoint seeks to find the ‘God’ inside of the viewpoint and/or aesthetic . The thrust of Platonic ideas would expand to include fresh number theories (and correspondences) that would have extended implications for the composite world group . Aristotle seeks to find God thru the expression and laws of the physical phenomenon being studied. The solidification of both perspective would detail the aesthetic deminsions and character of the Hellenic world but the actual essence of ‘experience’ each philosopher sought to understand (ie. detail) has universal implications in that their viewpoint demonstrated a recognition of stable, synthesis and mutable logic thought constructs as a model to speculate (postulate) from.
The work of the first generation of Islamic scholars is a complex subject that sheds light on the nature of information transfer and the particulars of cultural dynamics. That the Islamic community would be host of the ancient Greek information in the complex dark and early middle ages is no light matter and demands our understanding. My point being, that the Islamic interest in the Greek philosophy was consistent with the history of our species- the history of cultural exchange and the use of the ‘other’ as a reflection that gives the possibility of fresh insight. To understand the backdrop conditions that contributed to the use of Platonic and Aristotelian ideas in the Islamic world is to first confront 1) the theology of Mohammed 2) the political and cultural reality of Islam and 3) the restructual extensions of symbolic curiosity. In the first category, the psychology of the Islamic religions reaffirms the fact of God as totally intertwined into every aspect of cultural life. It is at this point where the genesis psychology that governs the sentiment of a cultural group can be examine (or noticed). The concept of God as an all consuming entity that is reflected in every aspect of existence and human behavior establishes the context of human affinity dynamics and social behavior( individual and group experiences) in the Islamic world- and it is through this aesthetic position where experience is interpreted (and translated into either aesthetics or applied function/discipline) . That is, the work of Avicenne and Averrone must be viewed in the composite sense of Islamic culture. Their work was an attempt to isolate the forms of Platonic and Aristotelian philosophy as a wedge to combat orthodox theology and the unquestioning nature of classical religion . Because the essence of Islamic theology is a revealed religion/experience that accents the significance of individual revelation and involvement. The concept of history as a series of actions and originality or the idea of the cosmics representing ‘the divine principle’ amplifies the rational/empirical philosophical approach of Aristotle. Mr. Hasr writes of ‘striving towards spiritual unity as a philosophical directive.The dynamic implications of his work would extend the reach of Platinist/Aristot-liean perceptual models into the zone of ‘vibrational structures’ ( ie. the use of number symbolism to structure belief). In seeking to understand the work of these scholars we are forced to also acknowledge the static effect of isolated spiritual interpretations that sought to limit the context of human speculation . The attractiveness of the Greek information was based on its ability to establish fresh guidelines for both spiritual dialogue and cultural interaction dynamics.
The category of symbolic extension involves the dynamic implications of syncretism as a term that seeks to take into account the uniqueness of cultural and/or affinity transfer. To really understand the balance of factors that dictated the nature of resturctural information in the middle ages is to take into account 1) the significance of hermeticism 2) the work of the second wave of scholar philosophers 3) the lure of magic and 4) the need for individual experience. In the first category the heart of the hermetic writings seek to stress the hope of spiritual restoration as a component axiom of recognition. This is an occult aesthetic that positions the unknown in a spiritual construct that reflects Platonian values. In the second category, the story of trans-European science would find itself pre-occupied with fulfilling and extending the range and tools of Aristotelian mechanics into the realm of motion and impetus. There were practical problems to be solved- like for instance, the need for accurate calenders that accounted for the movements of the heavens ( including a theory that accounted for the ‘wandering planet’ phenomenon that everyone knew was not correct). The poetic implications of this phenomenon would extend to the hope of magic power concepts imported from Islam and the early ancient cultures that it might be possible to have an individual realization/experience that could reveal cosmic truth. The concept of the Magus – as one who can communicate with nature, who in effect has ‘the inside-track’ on real knowledge or truth is a reflection of the balance of a ‘known and unknown’ polarity.
The medieval era of European progressionalism was an important time period that saw continued cross influence of Islamic and European ideas that redefined the components of known and unknown spiritual qualities. We cannot forget that it was Thomas Aquinas who insisted on the strength of spiritual belief over rationality (this is true even though Aquinas is usually thought of as a post-Aristotliean theologian). The attraction of natural philosophy in the early period was consistent with the composite platform of information in the changing world balance that led to the post Roman Empire time cycle. To understand this phenomenon is to view the geographical routes given groups traveled and the related political systems that a given group found itself in. The thrust of the extended natural philosophies were not separate from the actual encounters of various migrating groups seeking to integrate known and unknown experiences and spiritual revelations. The phenomenon of belief in this time period would reemphasis actual experience and the oneness of God’s work in manifestation. There are three aspects of this phenomenon: 1) the relationship between Aristotle’s formal model of mechanics and the Catholic Church 2) the need for mystery and 3) —-. In the first instance, the work of Aristotle would provide a formal model that was consistent with the tenet structure (theology) of the forming Christian theological model. The thrust of Aristotle’s mechanics in this context would help to solidify hierarchic ideas about God and the heavens that was consistent with the genesis version of the Bible . The net effect of this relationship would establish a context of ‘known relationships’ (ie. a hiearchical spiritual order) that would form the basis of intellectual and spiritual speculation in the post Hellenic time period. The concept of known information (and/or perceived cultural reality) would accelerate the effect of stable logics constructs as a basis for qualifying whether something is known or not. Later, as the systems of connections in Aristotle’s work became ilrelavant, the demonstrated use of stable logic manipulation (ie. mathematics) had come into its own as a principle tool that could be used as a tool- whether it was relevant or not in the uncovering of spiritual essences- in the end Aristotle’s work would further the cause of human investigation leading into the forming of modern science. The early middle ages can also be viewed as a response to the desire of the people to have a spiritual connection (theology) that was personal and could be relied upon (and that took human experience into account). More and more the people of the early middle ages would find themselves unsatisfied by the constructs of classical religion theology and the idiosyncrasies of local environments- this discontent transcended any one isolated factor and can’t be contained in any one context (ie. the Catholic Protestant division that led to the emergence of the Lutheran continuum as well as various isolated individual movements must certainly be viewed as one of the main factors that inspired social revolution but there was also the profound changes brought about by the overall advances of secular life and the acceleration of cultural reality changes through specialization ). In seeking to understand this phenomenon we are in fact looking into the vibrational essence of European culture in an important period of transition.The middle ages, moving into the Renaissance period is also the same time period where Europeans would become reinvolved in a fresh awareness and of the composite known world in that time period – and the exchange of information that took place in the medieval period happened because it fulfilled some aspect of human attraction and natural synthesis. It would be through and from the awareness of world culture where fresh theories of spirituality and occult mysticism would evolve. Yet, at the same time the composite thrust of the realigned Islamic information would come with its own complexities. This is especially true for the evolution of modern science. Yet it would be wrong to assume there were no connections between the concrete and occult models of perceptual alignment that came back through the Islamic scholars. Because the formal systems of the early Greeks would now be applied to ‘the forms of recognition’ from a tri-centric perceptual alignment that took into account individual experience. The forward thrust of western science would extend to build constructs of recognition that would in effect become ‘trans-personal’ in the sense that more and more the emphasis of intellectual scrutiny necessitated that attention be directed at the phenomenon under examination- separate from the dynamics of individual experience and/or aesthetics. This approach is an extension of the experimental nature of the early Mesopatanian culture, which sought to differentiate between theoretical and technical speculation. But the people of the pre- Medieval period reacted against the overbalance of classical definitions and political authority and the work of the Islamic scholars in the thirtieth century provided a wedge of fresh associations and aesthetic connections that revived the natural mysteries of existence and returned the individual perceiver to a position of respect and autonomy. In seeking to understand this phenomenon we are in fact looking at the gradual separation that occurred between science and religion as well as the separation that took place between the classical religions of the west and east as well as the reaccelleration of the independent so-called pagan religious movements.
The time period of the medieval period is the point of definition that would see 1) the separation between Europe and the Islamic world 2) the emergence of science as a continuum with its own agenda and 3) the solidification of restructural ‘vibrational’ forms. In the first category the separation that took place between Europe and Islam was a gradual phenomenon that is not separate from the aesthetic realness that different cultural groups tend to view reality based on their individual and collective experiences. While the aesthetic nature of the collective Islamic scholars would seek to experience and interpret phenomenon based on the hope of ‘a more perfect life’ as perceived through the spiritual goals of their theologies tenet structure ( as part of the goal of spiritual fulfillment) the European community in the medieval time period would experience the second great push to establish university structures that would allow for information transfer (learning) on a level that was unprecedented in the history of our species. The net effect of that decision would see the acceleration of the scientific method and the sharing of a community information base.
The Medieval period is also the period that would see the separation of science into its own domain – separate from the influence of both the church as well as naturalist speculators. There are three aspects to this subject that can be sited: 1) the emergence of isolated recognition models that would expand into the modern laboratory 2) the resolution of Aristotelian complexities in astronomy and 3) the rise of secular humanism as a factor that detailed the internal experiences in the emerging modern era. In the first category, the work of Copernicus and Euclid establish fresh models that on one hand established a restructural level of procedures that fulfilled the ‘aesthetic tenets’ of Aristotelian concepts of speculation . The resolution of Aristotles mechanics would be accomplished in a way that would allow for the kind of continuity that the church has long fought for ( and the Medieval time period is the period in trans-European history that would see a reconceptualization- ‘iconic shift’ from the concept of heaven as a vertical polarity perceptual image-model to a refinement image-logic that would emphasis the wonder of ‘light’ and the power and stature of the sun). This viewpoint is really another form of the occult. Still, in the beginning of the thirtieth century it was forbidden to teach Aristotle’s work in the universities. There were simply to many factors that had to be resolved – a) the concept that the universe had a beginning and ending b) man not as an individual but as part of the universe and c) the fact of ‘no genesis story’ but an acceptance of physical universe reality and ‘change’). The concept of faith and science uniting is in fact a correspondence phenomenon that again speaks of the world of the ‘known and unknown’. The intellectual focus of the ensuring time period would see an emphasis on inquiry into the ’causes’ of things rather than the meta-reality of things. Still the concept of ‘divine revelation put forth by Aquinas is still an occult statement-even though we tend to think to the established religions as somehow ‘above mysticism’. The council of Trent in 1277 must have been quite a session. By the fourteenth century the genie had been left out of the bottle and the emerging forms of belief and solidified ( ie. stable logic belief- belief in the apparent universe and in the phenomenon being observed or mutable logic affinities that were attracted by the multi-directional forces of modernity and as such practiced ‘belief through intuition- through the balance of known and unknown correspondences). In either case, the work of the Greek scholars helped to establish the forms of recognition for both formal and material correspondences. The concept of occult recognition then can be viewed as one use of the fundamental constructs that make up perceptual or vibrational (ie. sensory) experience. The phenomenon of known and unknown experiences (and/or intuitions) lies at the heart of human curiosity. Our senses have been shaped, and indeed the nature of the physical universe experience itself remains as one of the mysteries, by the phonomenology of recognition and experience, colored by the ritual use of hope and belief ( hope as an ‘immediate concept’, belief as a psychological aesthetic axiom). The most basic idea of the occult (from a universal perspective that is trans-continental) is to know the truth ‘from every direction’ and the beauty of every time period for me is that each new moment brings about an opportunity to re-explore these most fundamental questions.