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Kant - Nomenual and Phenomenual worlds

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Kant - Nomenual and Phenomenual worlds

Postby Lunarious1987 on Thu Jul 28, 2016 7:24 pm

These two words. Is the Nomenual world the world one awakens to?
And the other world where one is now? Samsara?

Peace
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- Shia: "We are the friends/owners of proof, wherever it bends we bend."
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Re: Kant - Nomenual and Phenomenual worlds

Postby desert_woodworker on Thu Jul 28, 2016 7:59 pm

L.,

I'd say, "No".

The "noumenal" world is what one thinks will be the nature of the world when (if... ) one awakens.

However, one has that thought (of "noumenal") while one is as yet unawakened. In other words, one conceives of it and forms an idea of it while one is still in a dream, deluded.

Any such thoughts are of course inadequate, impertinent, and unrealistic, because one is trying to view or depict something one has never experienced yet. So, all one's (inappropriate... ) thinking of it -- about it -- are conditioned by the wrong realm, that is, conditioned by samsara, where one still thinks one is separate, where one feels one has a real self-identity, and where one's actions add to karma and one digs oneself deeper down into samsara, and where true Wisdom and true Compassion cannot -- and do not -- arise.

But the nature of the world of awakened life is unimaginable. Thus, any thoughts of it before one wakes to it, joins it, experiences it, lives it, are mal-formed, and actually represent samsara, and not the world of awakening.

But, another point (emphasized by Zen Buddhists) is that the awakened world and the world of samsara are not really "two", and that they have the same nature (but are not identical). It takes an awakened person to see this.

To sum up, I'd emphasize that thoughts of the awakened experience which occur before one is awakened are completely inadequate and malformed. And I'd repeat that "noumenal" is what a deluded or unawakened person calls the world of awakening before ever waking up, when just talking and guessing about it. An awakened person does not call it "noumenal".

If an awakened person calls the world of awakened experience anything at all, he or she may call it "THIS", or "JUST THIS". There are many examples of that in Zen Buddhist literature.

Now, such an utterance does not describe that world, nor name it, but POINTS to it.

Pointing is all that can be done.

Teachers, too, "point". And encourage.

--Joe
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Re: Kant - Nomenual and Phenomenual worlds

Postby Lunarious1987 on Thu Jul 28, 2016 8:11 pm

No. There is a final day, buddhists talk of mayitya buddha.

Research the word, i think it comes from latin nomen for name (This!).
- Don't be thankful to be righteous. Be righteous to be thankful.
- Shia: "We are the friends/owners of proof, wherever it bends we bend."
- Imam Hussein was once asked: what is affluence? He said : Decreasing your wishes , and being satisfied with what is enough for you.”
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Re: Kant - Nomenual and Phenomenual worlds

Postby desert_woodworker on Thu Jul 28, 2016 8:19 pm

L.,

No what?

(you're not really communicating)

BTW, Maitreya Buddha, "the Buddha to come", has nothing to do with this topic.

If for some reason you want to read about "the numenal", a good book in English is Rudolf Otto, THE IDEA OF THE HOLY (1917). The original is in German, and has been translated. Otto is the writer, 100 years ago, who popularized the use of the words "numenal", and "numinous" in scholarly religious discussion. It has no connection to what Kant was talking about, as Otto's word comes from Latin, meaning "God's power", and Kant's noumenon is from Greek and refers to an unknowable subtratum of the world. There's a problem with that, of course, because if such a substratum is unknowable, how can anyone be right in asserting that it exists? There would be no evidence... .

Well, whichever interests you -- noumenon; or else, the numenous -- best wishes with the reading.

--Joe
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Re: Kant - Nomenual and Phenomenual worlds

Postby another_being on Thu Jul 28, 2016 9:13 pm

I believe it was meant to be stated the other way around -- (but, no, I see the point Joe is making.)

Noumenal is this as-it-is world, the nondual, "awakened" place we are.

The phenomenal denotes the dual, this and that, me and you, relative view.

"Noumenon, plural Noumena, in the philosophy of Immanuel Kant, the thing-in-itself (das Ding an sich) as opposed to what Kant called the phenomenon—the thing as it appears to an observer."

Of course, there aren't two worlds. Just these two words. :)
Basically, to answer the question in the OP, yes.

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Re: Kant - Nomenual and Phenomenual worlds

Postby Denial on Sat Jul 30, 2016 12:50 am

another_being wrote:
Noumenal is this as-it-is world, the nondual, "awakened" place we are.


I'd argue the opposite: The phenomenal is the as-it-is world. The noumenal cannot be seen, because anything attributed to it would be phenomenal. What is beyond the phenomenal? Nothing. There is just the phenomenal as-it-is.
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Re: Kant - Noumenal and Phenomenal worlds

Postby desert_woodworker on Sat Jul 30, 2016 3:06 am

D.,

Denial wrote:What is beyond the phenomenal? Nothing. There is just the phenomenal as-it-is.

Hi.

I'd say there's an epistemological problem with that view, too.

I think there can be no certainty in the claim that there is nothing "behind" (or in addition to?) the phenomenal, and even though a nouminous substratum is by definition not amenable to conventional means of detection. I think it's true that even years of negative-results in an effort to search for or intuit some such thing makes for no proof. And so, claims about the certainty of it's non-existence seem ultimately uninformed.

Remember, Occam's Razor does not assure correctness of a favorite position, it just simplifies arguments. There is no certainty at all that some other positions or claims are vacuous. I agree, though, with the often-made observation that the burden of proof (or discovery) is upon the party making claims about the reality of purple unicorns, etc.

I grant, too, that a substratum, if discovered, would then by most accounts be subsumed under the "phenomenal", by virtue of its eventual accessibility to detection. But, let's suppose that it is not sensible to machines or electronics or optics, or other types of scientific instrumentation, and, suppose, say, that it is however discoverable by human minds, via some sort of direct intuition.

At least one "thing", we could argue, is off-limits to instrumental detection so far: Consciousness. Are there other "things" besides this? I think it's up to humans to say "Yea" or "Nay" to this, as I gather that there is no other arbiter.

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Re: Kant - Nomenual and Phenomenual worlds

Postby another_being on Sat Jul 30, 2016 4:59 am

Denial wrote:
another_being wrote:
Noumenal is this as-it-is world, the nondual, "awakened" place we are.


I'd argue the opposite: The phenomenal is the as-it-is world. The noumenal cannot be seen, because anything attributed to it would be phenomenal. What is beyond the phenomenal? Nothing. There is just the phenomenal as-it-is.


Seen perhaps, but not expressible. I specifically recall the term noumenal being used in translations of Zen Buddhist material to express that ineffable, but of course, as has been pointed out, it's just another word. Words are insufficient, mere pointers, in the attempt at expressing, this.

The "phenomenal as-it-is," is also known as delusion in some attempts to convey.

What is, just this? As it is? Please do not answer. In words. We get off-track.
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Re: Kant - Nomenual and Phenomenual worlds

Postby fukasetsu on Sat Jul 30, 2016 12:38 pm

The 'phenomenal world' is just the noumenal world conceptualized, there's no seperation or duality, only different notions.
The noumenal world is 'what we are' and the phenomenal what we appear to be as seperate objects, hence there is no such thing as an entity in need of liberation.
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Re: Kant - Noumenal and Phenomenal worlds

Postby desert_woodworker on Sat Jul 30, 2016 4:25 pm

Fuki,

fukasetsu wrote:...hence there is no such thing as an entity in need of liberation.

Heh-heh. You knew that would draw me out, didn't you? ;)

Now, you don't need this, but I repeat it for anyone else who may be reading. And for practice.

Although it's true from the point of view of awakening to true nature that there is "no one in need of liberation", yet, even the Buddha Shakyamuni after his awakening was moved by true wisdom and true compassion to help others to the liberation from suffering.

If Shakyamuni had never risen from his seat and begun to teach, we would not be having this conversation. :)

From the point of view of suffering-in-samsara, a practitioner develops bodhicitta, has faith that there is a true nature to uncover and to realize, and has faith that there is a path. At that point, one sets to work with our companions on the ancient path, to liberate oneself and others.

Or, so it's been for thousands of years. I don't suppose it's changed. :tongueincheek:

:Namaste:,

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Re: Kant - Noumenal and Phenomenal worlds

Postby fukasetsu on Sat Jul 30, 2016 6:32 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:Heh-heh. You knew that would draw me out, didn't you? ;)

Now, you don't need this, but I repeat it for anyone else who may be reading. And for practice.


Yes I did, Joe :)

And as usual it was of additional value, plus you can manifest it better then I can
so these additions are my favourite kind of posts, and yes I agree, so thanks, well spoken.

:Namaste:

ps I did miss our connection when I was in the hospital, I mean the wordy stuff here on ZFI. :heya:
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Re: Kant - Nomenual and Phenomenual worlds

Postby Denial on Sat Jul 30, 2016 10:00 pm

another_being wrote:Seen perhaps, but not expressible. I specifically recall the term noumenal being used in translations of Zen Buddhist material to express that ineffable, but of course, as has been pointed out, it's just another word. Words are insufficient, mere pointers, in the attempt at expressing, this.

The "phenomenal as-it-is," is also known as delusion in some attempts to convey.

What is, just this? As it is? Please do not answer. In words. We get off-track.


Saying that words are just pointers doesn't mean they have no meaning. Words have two parts: The meaning the speaker gives them, and the meaning the listener takes from them. What I was trying to express, and perhaps unskillfully, wasn't to, for example, deny the existence of material things outside of consciousness, but to insist that the phenomenal is, as other users pointed out, not separate from the causality of the "noumenal". However, there is a certain relation between the two, so that the act of "seeing" noumenal results in appearance in the phenomenal. The appearance is not, and never can be, the noumenal as it is, but the appearance is the appearance as it is.
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Re: Kant - Nomenual and Phenomenual worlds

Postby fukasetsu on Sat Jul 30, 2016 10:32 pm

As mind cannot be used to get something from mind, just as sound cannot hear itself, the manifested is needed to realize one's true nature, though the manifested (phenomenal) is not your true nature it's also not seperate. Just don't mistake appearances for Source. That's all. (well not intelectually) "practise, practise, practise" (attention, attention, attention)

"Unknowing, Prajna knows all; unseeing, Prajna sees all."
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Re: Kant - Nomenual and Phenomenual worlds

Postby Denial on Sun Jul 31, 2016 1:20 am

fukasetsu wrote: Just don't mistake appearances for Source.

I don't like the word source here, because it creates a duality. To say source implies that phenomena are from something. Naturally, it would be unwise to confuse a description with a described object, but in this scenario there is no duality. The description is the description and the object is the object. With appearance and source, appearance is belonging to the object in a way that existence is beyond our perception. When I said nothing beyond in my first post, though perhaps I should have clarified, I didn't mean in addition with. I meant that if you say the material world is beyond the phenomenal, thus the phenomenal belonging to it, causality is seen to flow one way, in which noumenal causes phenomenal. However, object causes appearance and vice verse. For example, thought causes action and action causes thought. Here there is no duality.
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Re: Kant - Nomenual and Phenomenual worlds

Postby macdougdoug on Sun Jul 31, 2016 8:59 am

Very nice confusing stuff, bravo!
What about perception affecting appearance? Anything to add to that relationship? :heya:
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Re: Kant - Nomenual and Phenomenal Worlds

Postby sunyavadi on Sun Jul 31, 2016 9:13 am

Hi all - haven't posted here in a while but have been visiting from time to time. Can't resist making an entry on this one, it's an interest of mine.

The meaning of 'noumenon' is derived from the ancient Greek word 'nous' which means 'mind', but in a very special sense. It is the 'mind' that 'grasps the essential nature'. It is not a word which really has a modern translation (although 'nous' lives on in popular language as in 's/he didn't have the nous to see what was going on'.)

But the meaning of 'noumenal' is derived from that term.

Platonic Ideas and Forms are noumena, and phenomena are things displaying themselves to the senses. [...] that noumena and the noumenal world are objects of the highest knowledge, truths, and values is Plato's principal legacy to philosophy.


In Kant, the 'noumena' are objects 'as they are in themselves', which is distinct from how they appear to us, which is, as phenomena. So we obviously can't sense the noumena, as we can't see things 'as they are in themselves', but only as they appear to us. So that is a form of the distinction between 'reality and appearance' or 'noumena and phenomena' which is very much a recurring theme in Western philosophy from the time of Plato.

There's another word 'numinous', which is often confused with 'noumenal' but which means:

Numinous is an English adjective, derived in the 17th century from the Latin numen, that is (especially in ancient Roman religion) a "deity or spirit presiding over a thing or space". Meaning "denoting or relating to a numen", it describes the power or presence or realisation of a divinity.


(Wikipedia).

This word was popularised through a very influential text called The Idea of the Holy, by Rudolf Otto, which is a basic text in comparative religion. The two terms are often mixed up, but they're quite different.

As for the distinction between the 'phenomenal and noumenal' - that is one of the basic dualisms which Mahayana Buddhism tends to collapse. I think you can say this: that from the perspective of conventional truth (samvriti satya) there is indeed a distinction between appearance and reality, but from the perspective of higher truth (paramartha satya) there is not. That is the basis of the non-difference of Nirvāṇa and Samsara. Hence the paradoxical saying from the Lankavatara Sutra: 'the world is not as it appears - nor is it otherwise'.

There is a book that has generally gone out of fashion now, called Central Philosophy of Buddhism, by T R V Murti, which discusses all of this in depth (although as I say the current generation of Buddhist scholars tends to deprecate it).

Hope that is helpful.

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Re: Kant - Noumenal and Phenomenal worlds

Postby desert_woodworker on Sun Jul 31, 2016 4:15 pm

The word "beyond" is used quite a lot in discussions.

Some years ago, I took a look at it, and had a realization. It's unclear what the word means. What is the mechanism of "beyond"? And the means by which something is "beyond"... . Do users of the word know anything about that mechanism? From where or what do they get their certainty or assurance that "this" is beyond "that"?

I'd say that a lot of "beyond" talk is specious. And, harmful to the speaker, because it gives a false sense of a correctness, a false sense that there is actually knowledge, put to bed, about some situation. Thus, I think that a lot of "beyond" talk is ...nonsense. And not even delicious, at that.

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Re: Kant - Noumenal and Phenomenal worlds

Postby desert_woodworker on Sun Jul 31, 2016 7:00 pm

Thanks for your kind words, Fuki.

fukasetsu wrote:ps I did miss our connection when I was in the hospital, I mean the wordy stuff here on ZFI. :heya:

You were missed here.

I had no idea you were laid-up. Maybe start a thread to tell us what was up? Were you able to keep the hospital staff entertained? I hope you're all better.

best,

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Re: Kant - Nomenual and Phenomenual worlds

Postby another_being on Mon Aug 01, 2016 5:41 pm

The 'phenomenal world' is just the noumenal world conceptualized, there's no seperation or duality, only different notions.
-- Fuki

A perfect summation, as it sounds to me. :) Glad you're back Fuki, and hope you're well.

"Saying that words are just pointers doesn't mean they have no meaning. Words have two parts..."
Thank you, Denial. Right you are, and I appreciate all the words written here on this topic. Good stuff.
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Re: Kant - Nomenual and Phenomenual worlds

Postby Linda Anderson on Tue Aug 02, 2016 2:31 am

ah, all my friends showing up for this one... and Suny too! Hope you are well Suny. Welcome, Denial! all good... Fuki rules. Seems to me, the key is no separation which ofc can't be intended. Back in the day, and I mean way, way back, philosophy and Kant were fertile ground to read and explore. So many steps along the way which sooner or later become history. I'm just glad that I can still spell his name: Kant. so called heaven and earth are never far away... tho, forgive, it's only a figure of speech.
:hugs:

with regard to the nomenual and phenomenual worlds... I'm not sure which one carries the description of my hair color which now matches Joe's... and which world would tell me how to take and upload a new pic. I tried once, but it was too big. :lol2: anyhoo, the color has nothing to do with what I said.
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