Friday, August 19, 2011

Faith versus Consciousness

With the increasing sophistication of the modern man's consciousness, together with his cognition skills and cultural development, the issue of faith has become more and more problematic.  Faith, and end of discussion.  The issue is with discussion.  Discussion presupposes the use of cognition, and the setting aside of feeling, in particular inner feeling, the mention of which oftentimes implies a weakness of one's cognition or cognitive skill!

Yet the modern man cannot escape from his now sophisticated cognition and his sophisticated culture. Even those intellectuals who have developed a more sophisticated inner self. Oftentimes they can't escape from Doubt: will it be of a higher spiritual achievement if one's inner conviction can be supported empirically? Jesus had had His doubt ("Why hast Thou forsaken me?"). So why not we humble humans?

I'm talking about Carl Jung, who wrote brilliantly on his inner transcendental experience in his "Seven Sermons to the Dead" (I shall write a post some day on his Pleroma vs. Tao). Yet he added an anagram at the end:


Up to this day the anagram has not been solved by any person. Presumably it can only be solved by Jung, who, if he or his spirit can come back, will inspire the psyche of a human being to solve this anagram.

I'm also talking about late psychiatrist Ian Stevenson who claimed to have proved Reincarnation. Nearly 40 years ago, Stevenson bought and set a combination lock on a filing cabinet in the Division of Perceptual Studies. He based the combination on a mnemonic device known only to him, possibly a word or a sentence. A colleague, Emily Williams Kelly, told The New York Times: "He did say, that if he found himself able, he would try to communicate that. Presumably, if someone had a vivid dream about him, in which there seemed to be a word or a phrase that kept being repeated—I don't quite know how it would work—if it seemed promising enough, we would try to open it using the combination suggested." As of February 2007, the Times reports, the filing cabinet remains locked. And there is no news that the fact doesn't remain the same.

I'm also talking about prominent Taoist, western trained intellectual, Master of Chinese martial art, a revolutionary of the Republic, Du XinWu (杜心五), a lineage student of Liao ran/Liao kong (了然/了空) who was also the teacher of Zhao Bichen (趙壁塵), author of the famous Taoist Yoga translated into English by Zen master Charles Luk. Faithful to his belief, Du claimed that he would come back after his (physical) death and show people that Taoist teachings had always been (empirically) correct.

Yes, all three had doubt. But, it is understandable.

Famous Taoist and revolutionary Du Xin wu 杜心五 [Right: a TVB drama]

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