Every Saturday, Susan and I have a deep conversation. This week’s was short but momentus. I want to list some of the highlights.
- Susan asked about Vipassana (Buddhist insight meditation) and how it relates to her Jewish faith. As happens so often, she drew an explanation from me that simply did not exist until she made space for its existence through the intelligence of her questions. I advised her to think of the concentration she would develop and maintain for maybe no more than a few precious minutes out the hundred-plus hours she’ll spend seated in meditation as Genesis 0:0 – the preconceptive divine spark that existed the moment before Genesis 1:1, before “God began creating heaven and earth,” when “the earth was void and desolate,” and “there was darkness on the face of the deep, and the spirit of God moved over the waters.” From there, she can witness regenesis.
- We discussed the two most common enceptions, which tend to project as metaphysical objectifications, materialism and idealism. She asked if either was more likely to be sociopathic. I don’t think they are more or less likely, but the form of sociopathy differs. Idealist sociopaths tend to become solipsistic and to believe the meaning they experience is the only one that exists or matters. Materialist sociopaths tend to become nihilistic and to believe there is no meaning, that nothing is true and anything is permitted.
- I finally caught the deep connection between everting objectivism and the idea of reenworldment. This is extremely unlikely to make any sense, but I’m recording it here just to mark the insight: Those intermediate conceptions where our differing understandings of the world are found are anchored at two points and suspended between them. One one end is the primary conceptions that give us our concrete experiences of reality (our primary givens), and on the other is the ultimate enception that gives us our sense of reality as a whole (our ultimate given). As long as these two points remain anchored, the intermediate conceptions that bridge primary conceptions with that enception are held firm, and are unlikely to change at any depth. Conceiving ambinity – not just having a synthetic grasp of it, but really spontaneously, immediately intuiting it – is our best opportunity for loosening and dissolving intermediate conceptions and their givens, so they can be reconceived.
- In ambinity, we are no longer required to subject primary conceptions to the standards of any one metaphysic. They are permitted to simply be primary. If we see something and experience it as good, that is what makes it good, and an account that justifies its goodness according to a theory of morals is not necessary.
- I repeated an old idea, that today seemed new: “Things are not your fault. But you are responsible. You have response-ability. That is what obligates you, not some debt on a moral balance sheet.”