collapse
2019 Donation Drive

It's time for our annual Server Donation Drive! We need to raise at least $650 (same as last year) to keep The Cauldron's server online for another year. Please help! Either hit that Paypal button to the right and make a one-time donation in any amount or set up a monthly Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor subscription. You can find more info in this message!

Donations as of 16 Sept 2019: $660 donated. $10 more our minimum goal! Let's beat last year's total of $99 more than the minimum!


Note: This total is updated manually, usually once a day


* "Unable to verify referring url. Please go back and try again" Problem Logging In?

If you get an "Unable to verify referring url. Please go back and try again" error when you try to log in, you need to be sure you are accessing the board with a url that starts with "https://ecauldron.com".  If it starts with https://www.ecauldron.com" (or "http://www.ecauldron.com") you will get this error because "www.ecauldron.com" is not technically the same website as "ecauldron.com". Moving to the more secure "https" means it is more picky about such things.

Author Topic: Light, Knowledge, Truth  (Read 587 times)

EclecticWheel

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2013
  • Location: Texas
  • Posts: 631
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 145
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Re-evaluating/ Star & Marian Rites, Agnostic with faith
  • Preferred Pronouns: he/him/his
Light, Knowledge, Truth
« on: July 18, 2019, 03:38:08 pm »
I'm not sure if this belongs in the philosophy section, but I placed it here because I wanted the discussion to be open to conceptions of light, knowledge, and truth that are more spiritually and subjectively oriented than philosophical concepts alone.  Not that those two are mutually exclusive, I suppose.  But I don't mind if the thread is moved if that is a more appropriate fit.  This may be a long post.

I've been pondering the nature of light (in a spiritual sense), knowledge, and truth and would be interested in hearing from other minds on these topics.  I may be struggling somewhat to express myself in this post.  I've been pondering some of these matters for a long time, but they're difficult.

Mind you, I have no doubt that there are different ways people use these words with different concepts underlying them, and I'm still exploring that.  But I think of knowledge in two different senses at the very least.  There is knowledge of the objective world which I understand to be a statement or idea that is true (meaning that it corresponds to reality insofar as that is possible) and which I have good reason to believe is true.

Of this knowledge I can never be certain.  I haven't had that kind of certainty in a long time.  I do put faith in reason because it is so useful, and it has seemed to work up until this point in time in both history and my personal life, but I could never know if it might stop working in the future, and sometimes models (scientific or otherwise) can be useful and reasonable but come to be replaced by other models once we acquire more (provisional) knowledge.

Then there is what I call direct knowledge.  The only direct knowledge I have is of perception.  My knowledge of the objective world, assuming the objective world exists, is mediated by perception and so is indirect, but I know my perceptions directly.  This is a different kind of knowledge than we can have of the objective world, and the truth of the statement must be different, too because this is not correspondence truth.  Another concept of truth I might mention is coherence truth -- such as the rules of mathematics or reason -- although I am not sure this kind of truth is what I'm talking about here, either.

I have because of these matters been pondering what light means in a spiritual and metaphorical sense, especially since some gods are associated with light.  I think of light in terms of bringing knowledge (the illumination of darkness) and in terms of bringing a new perspective (shedding "light" on a matter).  I'm sure there are other ways, too.  Hekate, although she is often thought of as a goddess of darkness, bears torches in some images, illuminating that darkness.  It can be difficult to know what light means in a spiritual context: according to one Christian hymn, the Phos Hilaron, God dwells in "light inaccessible."

One scripture very often used as a weapon against people of different spiritual orientations than Christianity is the one proclaiming Jesus as the "the way, the truth, and the life," but I tend to think of that one in a very different way from its common usage.  If we're going to conceptualize of truth as a person rather than coherence truth or correspondence truth, well that gets interesting.

Insofar as I know a person, I know that person through my relationship with hir, and I might know that person in a very different way than the way you know that person, and we might even come to completely different conclusions about that person and different conceptions of that person.  So if we're going to talk about truth in terms of a person, we might very well come to different conclusions and conceptions of that truth.  I gather that this is a very different take on what that scripture is saying when compared to how it is often used!

Now, one type of knowledge and truth I am passionate about is the inner workings of my subjective world: what various religious concepts do for me, how my emotions respond to various concepts and stimuli, what effects various people have on me, and so forth, but this type of knowledge might be termed wisdom.  However, it's still provisional.

My subjective world is always changing, and I don't know that it will always work the same way.  My religious path looks much different than it did five years ago and radically different from how it looked 15 years ago.  I am not static, so these things are always changing.  Therefore, if my inner world has been illuminated for me such that I have gained wisdom about what choices and religious concepts work for me in my life, this is a type of knowledge or truth that is changing and provisional.

If a god of light has shed light for me on my inner, subjective world, I tend to think of this in terms of having "shed light on a matter."  I see the world in a new light, from a new perspective, and five years from now that same god of light may still yet shed a different kind of light on this world, a different perspective.  And both of those perspectives may have been valid and useful during their respective time frames, but still different, and we might call these perspectives a kind of truth, albeit a subjective type of truth.

I hope I have made some type of sense in this post because these are all very difficult matters for me.  I have discussed light, knowledge, and truth in a way such that I hope the concepts were interconnected.  But I am interested in hearing of others' conceptions of these matters taken collectively or individually and separately, whatever is wished, especially how others may conceptualize of light or gods of light in a spiritual sense.
My personal moral code:

Love wisely, and do what thou wilt.

EclecticWheel

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2013
  • Location: Texas
  • Posts: 631
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 145
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Re-evaluating/ Star & Marian Rites, Agnostic with faith
  • Preferred Pronouns: he/him/his
Re: Light, Knowledge, Truth
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2019, 03:47:27 pm »
Insofar as I know a person, I know that person through my relationship with hir, and I might know that person in a very different way than the way you know that person, and we might even come to completely different conclusions about that person and different conceptions of that person.  So if we're going to talk about truth in terms of a person, we might very well come to different conclusions and conceptions of that truth.  I gather that this is a very different take on what that scripture is saying when compared to how it is often used!

I might add that these statements apply to the way people understand truth in general.  But while I may use reason to strike down someone else's perspective on truth as it applies to the objective world, it would be much harder to undermine someone's perspective on another person using reason because they might have a very different relationship to that person than I do.
My personal moral code:

Love wisely, and do what thou wilt.

Klaw

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Apr 2019
  • Location: NH
  • Posts: 100
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 42
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Norse Pagan
  • Preferred Pronouns: she/her/her
Re: Light, Knowledge, Truth
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2019, 04:55:18 pm »
I'm not sure if this belongs in the philosophy section, but I placed it here because I wanted the discussion to be open to conceptions of light, knowledge, and truth that are more spiritually and subjectively oriented than philosophical concepts alone.  Not that those two are mutually exclusive, I suppose.  But I don't mind if the thread is moved if that is a more appropriate fit.  This may be a long post.

There is a lot here that I, without a lot of thought, can't cover. What stood out at first was knowledge. During my 20's, I had an understanding that everyone who had graduated High School all had a standard set of knowledge. Boy was I wrong, then I made the same mistake in my 30's when I finally came in contact with other pagans and found out they didn't know any more than I did.

The perspective of light bringing awareness or knowledge translates for me as knowledge brings illumination and understanding. Certainly something I associate with Odin. Are Sun Gods included in you light dieties? Also something outside of the spiritual about light that has always fascinated me. In art white is considered the absence of color and when looking at white light it is all colors of light.

Light, knowledge and truth are a wonderful combo when all are in balance. Truth is a very hard thing to get nailed down. It can sometimes change when more information is added. It can be like the difference between just reading books and going out and experiencing what you just read.

Sefiru

  • Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Nov 2013
  • Location: In the walls
  • Posts: 1707
  • Country: ca
  • Total likes: 346
    • View Profile
Re: Light, Knowledge, Truth
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2019, 07:16:07 pm »
I might add that these statements apply to the way people understand truth in general.  But while I may use reason to strike down someone else's perspective on truth as it applies to the objective world, it would be much harder to undermine someone's perspective on another person using reason because they might have a very different relationship to that person than I do.

Where my free-associating mind went with this is: in German, there are two different words for 'knowing'. 'Wissen' is used for knowing facts and skills, while 'kennen' is used for recognizing or remembering familiar things, including 'knowing somebody'. So from that point of view, two very different mental processes are going on here.

Thoughts on the rest still to come.

ehbowen

  • Grand Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Location: Houston, Texas
  • Posts: 1146
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 199
  • A Ways Around the Bend...
    • View Profile
    • Streamliner Schedules
  • Religion: Southern Baptist
Re: Light, Knowledge, Truth
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2019, 06:00:17 am »
I've been pondering the nature of light (in a spiritual sense), knowledge, and truth and would be interested in hearing from other minds on these topics.  I may be struggling somewhat to express myself in this post.  I've been pondering some of these matters for a long time, but they're difficult.

I haven't spent a great deal of time contemplating the matter, but one fact from our current understanding and scientific models is...light is simultaneous. Since photons propagate at the speed of light, and since time dilates to nothingness as one approaches that speed, it means that, to the photon emitted by a star in a distant galaxy and detected only today by a telescope in an Earth observatory, the transit took no time and both events occurred at the exact same instant...even though we would say that billions of years separated the two events.

Exactly what this means from a philosophical and theological standpoint I really can't say, but I do feel that the observation is significant.

Sent from my STV100-1 using Tapatalk
« Last Edit: July 19, 2019, 06:02:13 am by ehbowen »
--------Eric H. Bowen
Where's the KABOOM? There was supposed to have been an Earth-shattering KABOOM!

EclecticWheel

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2013
  • Location: Texas
  • Posts: 631
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 145
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Re-evaluating/ Star & Marian Rites, Agnostic with faith
  • Preferred Pronouns: he/him/his
Re: Light, Knowledge, Truth
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2019, 04:25:22 pm »
I'm not sure if this belongs in the philosophy section, but I placed it here because I wanted the discussion to be open to conceptions of light, knowledge, and truth that are more spiritually and subjectively oriented than philosophical concepts alone.  Not that those two are mutually exclusive, I suppose.  But I don't mind if the thread is moved if that is a more appropriate fit.  This may be a long post.

I've been pondering the nature of light (in a spiritual sense), knowledge, and truth and would be interested in hearing from other minds on these topics.  I may be struggling somewhat to express myself in this post.  I've been pondering some of these matters for a long time, but they're difficult.

Mind you, I have no doubt that there are different ways people use these words with different concepts underlying them, and I'm still exploring that.  But I think of knowledge in two different senses at the very least.  There is knowledge of the objective world which I understand to be a statement or idea that is true (meaning that it corresponds to reality insofar as that is possible) and which I have good reason to believe is true.

Of this knowledge I can never be certain.  I haven't had that kind of certainty in a long time.  I do put faith in reason because it is so useful, and it has seemed to work up until this point in time in both history and my personal life, but I could never know if it might stop working in the future, and sometimes models (scientific or otherwise) can be useful and reasonable but come to be replaced by other models once we acquire more (provisional) knowledge.

Then there is what I call direct knowledge.  The only direct knowledge I have is of perception.  My knowledge of the objective world, assuming the objective world exists, is mediated by perception and so is indirect, but I know my perceptions directly.  This is a different kind of knowledge than we can have of the objective world, and the truth of the statement must be different, too because this is not correspondence truth.  Another concept of truth I might mention is coherence truth -- such as the rules of mathematics or reason -- although I am not sure this kind of truth is what I'm talking about here, either.

I have because of these matters been pondering what light means in a spiritual and metaphorical sense, especially since some gods are associated with light.  I think of light in terms of bringing knowledge (the illumination of darkness) and in terms of bringing a new perspective (shedding "light" on a matter).  I'm sure there are other ways, too.  Hekate, although she is often thought of as a goddess of darkness, bears torches in some images, illuminating that darkness.  It can be difficult to know what light means in a spiritual context: according to one Christian hymn, the Phos Hilaron, God dwells in "light inaccessible."

One scripture very often used as a weapon against people of different spiritual orientations than Christianity is the one proclaiming Jesus as the "the way, the truth, and the life," but I tend to think of that one in a very different way from its common usage.  If we're going to conceptualize of truth as a person rather than coherence truth or correspondence truth, well that gets interesting.

Insofar as I know a person, I know that person through my relationship with hir, and I might know that person in a very different way than the way you know that person, and we might even come to completely different conclusions about that person and different conceptions of that person.  So if we're going to talk about truth in terms of a person, we might very well come to different conclusions and conceptions of that truth.  I gather that this is a very different take on what that scripture is saying when compared to how it is often used!

Now, one type of knowledge and truth I am passionate about is the inner workings of my subjective world: what various religious concepts do for me, how my emotions respond to various concepts and stimuli, what effects various people have on me, and so forth, but this type of knowledge might be termed wisdom.  However, it's still provisional.

My subjective world is always changing, and I don't know that it will always work the same way.  My religious path looks much different than it did five years ago and radically different from how it looked 15 years ago.  I am not static, so these things are always changing.  Therefore, if my inner world has been illuminated for me such that I have gained wisdom about what choices and religious concepts work for me in my life, this is a type of knowledge or truth that is changing and provisional.

If a god of light has shed light for me on my inner, subjective world, I tend to think of this in terms of having "shed light on a matter."  I see the world in a new light, from a new perspective, and five years from now that same god of light may still yet shed a different kind of light on this world, a different perspective.  And both of those perspectives may have been valid and useful during their respective time frames, but still different, and we might call these perspectives a kind of truth, albeit a subjective type of truth.

I hope I have made some type of sense in this post because these are all very difficult matters for me.  I have discussed light, knowledge, and truth in a way such that I hope the concepts were interconnected.  But I am interested in hearing of others' conceptions of these matters taken collectively or individually and separately, whatever is wished, especially how others may conceptualize of light or gods of light in a spiritual sense.

I'm still exploring what is the nature of subjective truth and if that concept makes sense.

It may be said that subjective truth is the world as we experience it, so if I say, "This orange is delicious!" I have ventured into the realm of subjective truth, the world as I experience it.

Religious matters often deal with mysteries beyond our grasp or can also involve in experiential religions the subjective realm generally.

When dealing with experiential matters, subjective truth as we experience it may be the way in which we order and thus render meaningful our subjective world through mythology and other means.

Does this seem coherent, or can subjective truth mean anything? (I'm obviously still grappling with that.)

I have discussed these matters with some others, but they tend to prize objectivity above all else and consider subjective truth to be nonsense, which somehow strikes me as impoverishing. 

Due to my extensive skepticism, I am more concerned with refining a coherent conception of subjective or experiential truth.
My personal moral code:

Love wisely, and do what thou wilt.

Sefiru

  • Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Nov 2013
  • Location: In the walls
  • Posts: 1707
  • Country: ca
  • Total likes: 346
    • View Profile
Re: Light, Knowledge, Truth
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2019, 06:52:21 pm »
Does this seem coherent, or can subjective truth mean anything? (I'm obviously still grappling with that.)

It may help to think in terms of subjective statements, rather than subjective truths. That's what I do - my own concept of 'truth' is too closely associated with 'facts' for it to connect with subjective phenomena in my mind.

I've mentioned this elsewhere, but I think it's relevant here too: the way I figure, objective statements (eg 'oranges are citrus fruits') are supported by facts (eg, oranges have segments and an aromatic rind), while subjective statements (eg 'oranges are magically delicious') are supported by narratives (eg 'This one time, I had an orange that was so perfectly ripe that my mouth watered just from smelling it...')

The tricky part is determining whether a supporting statement is meant to be taken as a fact or a narrative. For one thing, in our science-minded society, claiming objective truth is a powerful narrative. (Ow, I think I sprained my brain.) For another, historical events can be presented as both fact and narrative - their strength as fact depends on documentary evidence of their happening, while their strength as narrative depends on the emotions associated with them.

You've probably heard the saying 'anecdotes are not data'. But when it comes to subjective statements, they make darned good evidence.

Quote
I have discussed these matters with some others, but they tend to prize objectivity above all else and consider subjective truth to be nonsense, which somehow strikes me as impoverishing.

That's because it is. These sound like the sort of people who think that studying Literature (and the other Humanities) is a waste of time, that love is just the brain's release of oxytocin, that poetry is stupid ... I think you can see where I'm going with this. Joy, beauty, meaning, purpose -- these are all part of the subjective side of human experience.

Darkhawk

  • Senior Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Posts: 4824
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 709
    • View Profile
    • Suns in her Branches
  • Religion: An American Werewolf in the Akhet; Kemetic; Feri; Imaginary Baltic Heathen; Discordian; CoX; Etc.
  • Preferred Pronouns: any of he, she, they
Re: Light, Knowledge, Truth
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2019, 12:21:57 pm »
I have discussed these matters with some others, but they tend to prize objectivity above all else and consider subjective truth to be nonsense, which somehow strikes me as impoverishing. 

I mean, if they want to live in a world without love, beauty, or morality that's... certainly a choice.
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
38 Replies
3945 Views
Last post November 18, 2012, 10:29:01 pm
by SunflowerP
176 Replies
13596 Views
Last post September 16, 2013, 12:48:21 pm
by Astariel
1 Replies
824 Views
Last post August 06, 2013, 06:17:37 pm
by missgraceless
6 Replies
770 Views
Last post December 12, 2013, 07:30:26 am
by MichelleBlyth93
20 Replies
5353 Views
Last post July 24, 2016, 06:56:35 pm
by milkeyedmender

* Who's Online

  • Dot Guests: 24
  • Dot Hidden: 0
  • Dot Users: 0

There aren't any users online.

* Please Donate!

The Cauldron's server is expensive and requires monthly payments. Please become a Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor if you can. Donations are needed every month. Without member support, we can't afford the server.

* In Memoriam

Chavi (2006)
Elspeth (2010)
Marilyn (2013)

* Cauldron Staff

Co-Hosts:
LyricFox & Randall

Senior Staff:
Darkhawk

Message Board Staff
Board Coordinator:
Sunflower

Assistant Board Coordinator:
Aster Breo

Board Staff:
Allaya, Chatelaine, HarpingHawke, Jenett, Morag, rocquelaire, Sefiru

Discord Chat Staff
Chat Coordinator:
Morag

Reserve Staff:
Aisling

Cauldron Council:
Bob, Catja, Emma-Eldritch, Fausta, Jubes, Kelly, Phouka, Sperran, Star, Steve, Tana

Cauldron Assistants
[Non-Staff Positions]

Site Assistants
[Non-Staff Positions]
Webmaster:
Randall