RE: Re to Steve - Phenomena & Noumena
- Nov. 26 2002
I find this most interesting, May I observe?
If there are mental images, then there has to be a thinker who evolves
The thinker employs some force to design, frame and animate them, what
would that be, and how would it be used ?
are the Thinker and his thoughts, and the surroundings, are all part
of a single CONSCIOUSNESS ?
There have to be memories as well. And the power to recollect or
evoke them ?
There has thus, to be also the power of anticipation. How Would That
be Based ?
Also there has to be some kind of substance (s) on which they are
The thinker has also the power to alter them.
At present, it would seem that most thinkers we are aware of, reside
in bodies of various kinds: matter, electro-magnetic patterns, life
currents, desires, thoughts, and finally, of universal and impersonal
facts that are seemingly invariable.
We might call these last, the basis of WISDOM and of UNIVERSAL MEMORY
/ MIND. [Perhaps these are the "seeds. ? and, or "reality ?"]
It is not unreasonable to assume that our mental perception, arising
in the material plane, is self-limited.
However if that mind (or myself in the here and now) can envisage
residence and activity in other levels of substance, and, if those are
in correlation with each other and the physical, then each thinker may
be an individualized CONSCIOUSNESS with faculties that are drawn from
the whole of the Universe ( Nature ). Is this a commonly experienced
Are not noumena ( causes ) connected with "phenomena" (effects) on
various planes, as the effects which choice and change bring about ?
Are not certain correlated "planes" also affected ?
What would be so extraordinary as to find that individual Thinkers are
inevitably all linked ?
Finally what kind of force (s) or objective (s) cause (s) the UNIVERSE
( NATURE ) to be ?
Is that connected with my and your "existence ?"
Sent: Monday, November 25, 2002 7:52 PM
To: Theosophy Study List
Subject: Re to Steve - Phenomena & Noumena
Hi Steve. Having read your ideas on Kant before, I was pretty sure
were Mauri's mystery person.
<<<Very close. The way Kant, who coined the word, defined it,
to something which can be thought but not experienced directly through
senses. Phenomena refers to representations in consciousness of
reality (again in Kant's usage.) We can only experience our conscious
representations of physical reality and not the reality itself (the
thing-in-itself or ding-an-such). >>>
We can think of a rabbit with horns, etc, things that have no "real"
except as mental images. Are these also noumena? I would think so.
The Mind Only school of Tibetan Buddhism also teaches that external
are all conscious respresentations, projections from the alayavijnana.
say that all possible experience is due to the seeds stored in the
alayavijnana. And all schools of Mahayana Buddhism agree that there is
thing-in-itself to experience. It is very unfortunate that Blavatsky
vague on this.
<<<We can, however, if we are objective idealists, infer the existence
ding-an-sich at thesame time that we cannot directly experience it.
therefore becomes a type of noumenon. I found Kant so hard to
understand that I had to refer to Dewey's explanations to get this.>>>
OK, but I think that I am more of a subjective idealist, and I do not
that phenomena or noumena can exist independently of the mind that
conceives/perceives them. One reason I say this is because in
can transcend phenomena and noumena. If they are "real" it is hard for
see how such a trancendence would be possible. The mind can be raised
spiritual formless states suggesting that mind has a "real" existence
phenomena/noumena do not.
<<<This split between representations in consciousness (phenomena) and
objective reality being represented in consciousness (noumena) is what
Hindus call maya. Every Theosophist with whom I have communicated
the split exists.>>>
Interesting. These "representations in consciousness" sound like the
taught by the early Mind-Only folks like Dharmakirti. He taught that
of consciousness were the bridge between external but non-material
conscious experience. Intriguing line of thought there...
Most Theosophists are of the opinion that maya is simply sensory
taught in modern science classes. I have been trying to show that is
more than this, but only a few seem to understand. According to many
Buddhists, the very experience of an external reality that seems to be
independent or different from the mind experiencing it is maya. And
true no matter what plane we are on. Dream contents always seem to
independent of our mind, and even in lucid dreaming we can control
cannot unite with them owing to our countless past lives of mayavic
experiencing. But after we wake from a dream, we realize that they had
mental projections. Buddhists claim that after enlightenment, which is
waking up to mayavic illusion, we will realize that this is true on
planes. Something to think on, anyway.
<<<So suppose there are such things as elemental spirits and they are
connected with forces. We can think the but not perceive them. Thus
a type of noumenon, since that is how the word is defined. If we
ability clairvoyantly to perceive them then the elementals cease to be
noumenal and become phenomenal - thus the idea of "planes" of
This is certainly one valid way to look at it. The beauty of "reality"
it can be modeled in so many ways. When we transcend phonomena on one
the noumena of the next plane becomes our phenomena and so on up the
There is no valid reason to reify the planes and posit some kind of
independent objective reality to them as Blavastky did in the SD. I
where our experiences can be modeled either way.