The Numinous
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16-10-2011, 05:42 AM (This post was last modified: 16-10-2011 06:44 AM by ebilekittae.)
The Numinous
Recently I've been really struggling with something. I've been really strongly craving the numinous, a feeling which I used to be able to get on demand from any number of divine sources. For a while (up until quite recently) I've been toying with the idea of practicing a type of religion in order to get that feeling, but the whole "I don't actually really believe any of this crap" seemed to put up a brick wall. As a musician I was also able to get that great, numinous feeling by playing my heart out, but my brother stole and subsequently broke my instrument, so that's not available to me, either.

So I decided to ask here: what do you do to feel the numinous? When you just want to get the feeling of awe, of "worship" (as I would have put it when I was a Christian) what do you do? I need it very much right now, and I'd really rather not resort to brainwashing in order to get it. Tongue

Thanks in advance for sharing!

"It does feel like something to be wrong; it feels like being right." -Kathryn Schulz
I am 100% certain that I am wrong about something I am certain about right now. Because even if everything I stand for turns out to be completely true, I was still wrong about being wrong.
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16-10-2011, 06:35 AM (This post was last modified: 16-10-2011 06:42 AM by Peterkin.)
RE: The Numinous
(16-10-2011 05:42 AM)ebilekittae Wrote:  So I decided to ask here: what do you do to feel the numinous?

In May, early morning, i close my eyes and listen to the poplars laughing. In July, late at night, i go outside and smell the poplars. On an October afternoon, i stand on a hill and look at golden poplars among scarlet maples. In winter, just on twilight, i see the purple shadow of bare poplars stretched out across the snow. Poplars pretty much do it for me every time. Other things in nature do it, too.

But for you, you really need to get the music back.

Imagination exercise for x-xtians : Suppose Heaven is furnished with all the memories people bring from life. What will you contribute? In your ordinary day, stop once in a while and notice things around you - sights, sounds, feelings, words, whatever - and choose the ones you wish to keep forever; concentrate on committing those to permanent memory, so that you can faithfully reproduce them in heaven. (To nobody's surprise, i'm bringing a whole forest of poplars.)

It's not the mean god I have trouble with - it's the people who worship a mean god.
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16-10-2011, 11:57 AM
RE: The Numinous
I have music too, either playing it or listening to it. Concerts are a great way to get that feeling. Same can be said about roller coasters though so.. I also get it from nature much like Peterkin. All the little things nature can do just for the fuck of it, is so awe inspiring to me.

Also I found out that snuggling with my daughter while watching toons is also equal. The love is so overwhelming.

"I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments." -Jim Morrison
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16-10-2011, 01:20 PM
 
RE: The Numinous
Let me add my 2-cents' worth (from the book I am writing on Physics):

Physics often humbles me -- I cannot help but feel awed by the beautiful rationality of what I see.

Where do these “Laws of Nature” come from?

Why does inanimate matter follow them with unerring precision ? Why does soulless matter behave as if it ‘wanted’ to follow the rules?

Take one example:

The ‘Law’ of conservation of angular momentum.

It basically says that as long as there is no external torque acting on a system, its angular momentum (having to do with how hard it is to start, or stop it, rotating) must stay the same.

Look at an ice skater, for example.

She starts a pirouette by giving herself a small spin on the ice, with her arms . stretched out. Once she has a low-speed rotation, she gradually pulls her arms in, lifting them slowly to a vertical position, until her arms are as close to the axis of rotation as possible. Observe how her spin speeds up as she does that. Her body, without any further effort on her part, obeys the law: “your angular momentum shall remain the same” - the law of conservation of momentum must be obeyed. Just imagine, how a little girl must feel when she first learns this neat trick: without any effort, just by raising her arms, a sudden force grabs her and starts spinning her body in a dizzying pirouette!

We call it the “Laws of Nature” and they are so marvellously logical and so marvellously consistent. Of course, calling Nature logical is like the mouse, in a cute little joke, saying to his friend, the elephant, as they cross a bridge together: “What a racket we’re making!”

Physics gives us a lot more than formulas, rules of clear thinking and methods for discovering truth. Physics is breath-taking in its scope and depth.

Let me tell you what physics means to me. It is a door to a universe full of secrets and miracles and mystery. It is Alice's Wonderland, where everything is different from what you expect. Space and time is one and curved; simultaneity is an illusion; forever can last a second, and a minute may last forever. Cause and effect may change roles and, if you didn't pay attention to the sound of the falling tree, you may have made it 'never happened'.

Physics is a window to look at the birth (and death) of the universe; it allows you to read messages from billions of years in the past, before the atoms making up the planet you stand on were created. Physics is the rapidly increasing heaviness that paralyses your body as you approach the speed of light so you can move only as in a dream - but only to the observers you are speeding away from, while you think you are going around in your normal way.

It is a world where matter can be created from nothing but energy and then turned back into radiating emptiness again; where particles can annihilate each other, winking out as they collide; where either of 'twin' particles, moving in opposite directions at the speed of light, still knows and reacts to what happens to the other; and where the entire universe may be nothing more than fluctuating vacuum, delineated by the Big Bang and the Big Crunch.

How can anything compete with miracles of this kind?
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16-10-2011, 03:19 PM
RE: The Numinous
I saw "Tree of Life" again yesterday. It's pretty numinous.

Or just listen to the Berlioz Requiem minus the visuals.

Birds too. The Allen's hummingbird that has staked out territory around our feeder. The warblers that cavort in our birdbaths. The crow (or raven--I can't tell them apart) that sings a song I can play on the piano.

This time of year, as opposed to the times when you can't even see them, the mountains look like a painted backdrop against the horizon. Numinous.

Curled up together on the couch, watching bad TV and laughing.

Numinosity is all around us.

Religious disputes are like arguments in a madhouse over which inmate really is Napoleon.
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16-10-2011, 08:13 PM (This post was last modified: 16-10-2011 08:16 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: The Numinous
(16-10-2011 05:42 AM)ebilekittae Wrote:  So I decided to ask here: what do you do to feel the numinous? When you just want to get the feeling of awe, of "worship" (as I would have put it when I was a Christian) what do you do? I need it very much right now, and I'd really rather not resort to brainwashing in order to get it. Tongue

Pharmacology. It has the advantages of consistency and recognized mechanisms of action.

I am us and we is me. ... bitches.
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18-10-2011, 12:42 AM
RE: The Numinous
I saw some physics up there I hadda give a thumbs-up - but I'm a geek like that.

As an artist, I'm stoopergeek when it comes to drawing Gwyneth Paltrow - that girl is my immortal soul and I ain't hearing elsewise - but drawing her seems to make the whole local reality numinous. I can probably produce testimonial - but what I'm saying, is the source of the numinous is the "soul reaching for the divine," rather than the other way around.

Now that I'm atheist, I am with tao. As a concept, tao has no concrete definition, merely the interpretations of those with tao. One interpretation I have, is tao as "the rhythm of the universe" - a beat that goes - one to the many to the one to the many... ad infinitum - only more beautiful than the words can describe.

Reach from within to the tao, would be my simple advice to a fellow artist needing to get his groove back. Smile

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25-10-2011, 09:30 PM
RE: The Numinous
For me, it's poetry. Some poets have the amazing ability to communicate all sorts of emotions through language, and I often experience those feelings for myself when I read their poems. I also love language itself and to read poetry aloud and hear the relationship of sounds and meaning can take me out of the moment and into... well, the numinous. I guess that's the word Tongue

Also, long drives at night when the sky is clear. Something about being able to sit with my head against the window, looking out at the stars (obviously I'm not the one driving! lol)... The night sky in general is awe-inspiring. It reminds me of how absolutely tiny we are... we revolve around just one of those innumerable, shiny little dots in the sky.

Okay, this reminds me of Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot, which is also awe-inspiring Heart

"Remember, my friend, that knowledge is stronger than memory, and we should not trust the weaker." - Dr. Van Helsing, Dracula
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26-10-2011, 10:37 AM
RE: The Numinous
It’s motorbikes for me, winding through some quiet coastal road my attention locked on to what I’m doing and not the little things that climb into my head and keep me awake at night.

We all need something to help us step outside our chaotic lives and breathe for a moment, if it’s working out quantum spin and the relation to the sun or if it’s sitting in a café and having a coffee with a friend you must have something.

I wouldn’t be who I am now if I didn’t ride, I have made good friends through my love of motorbikes and unfortunately lost a few on the way too.
It has hardened my resolve to enjoy my life the best I can and to try and leave my world a little better than it would have been without me.

A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything. Friedrich Nietzsche
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27-10-2011, 09:54 PM
RE: The Numinous
The music does it for me, too. Playing guitar or when that's not possible watching in awe some amazing musicians on YouTube.

Apart from the music, a walk in a forest or along a beach. Awesome!

"To think of what the world has suffered from superstition, from religion, from the worship of beast and stone and god, is
almost enough to make one insane."

Robert G. Ingersoll
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