Dark night of the soul
Discoveries (multiple independent)
Dark night of the soul
Word definition: The experience described by St. John of the Cross, a 16th-century Spanish mystic
Etymology: Dark Night of the Soul (Spanish: La noche oscura del alma) is a poem written by the 16th-century Spanish mystic and poet St. John of the Cross. The author himself did not give any title to his poem, on which he wrote two book-length commentaries: Ascent of Mount Carmel (Subida del Monte Carmelo) and The Dark Night (Noche Oscura).
Technical description: The poem of St. John of the Cross, in 8 stanzas of 5 lines each, narrates the journey of the soul to mystical union with God. The journey is called “The Dark Night” in part because darkness represents the fact that the destination, God, is unknowable, as in the 14th century, mystical classic The Cloud of Unknowing, which, like St. John’s poem, derives from the works of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite in the sixth century. Further, the path per se is unknowable. The first verse of the poem is translated:
Phenomenological description: The “dark night of the soul” does not refer to the difficulties of life in general, although the phrase has understandably been taken to refer to such trials. The nights which the soul experiences are the two necessary purgations on the path to Divine union: the first purgation is of the sensory or sensitive part of the soul, the second of the spiritual part (Ascent of Mount Carmel, Ch. 1, 2). Such purgations comprise the first of the three stages of the mystical journey, followed by those of illumination and then union. St. John does not actually use the term “dark night of the soul”, but only “dark night” (“noche oscura”).
Synonyms: Theosis has three stages: first, the purgative way, purification, or katharsis; second, illumination, the illuminative way, the vision of God, or theoria; and third, sainthood, the unitive way, or theosis. Thus the term “theosis” describes the whole process and its objective. By means of purification a person comes to theoria and then to theosis. Theosis is the participation of the person in the life of God. (Wikipedia)
Word definition: The state of being deified.
Etymology: Word Origin & History: late 14c., from Late Latin deificationem (nominative deificatio), noun of action from past participle stem of deificare.
Technical description: Theosis, or deification, is a transformative process whose aim is likeness to or union with God, as taught by the Eastern Orthodox Church and Eastern Catholic Churches. As a process of transformation, theosis is brought about by the effects of catharsis (purification of mind and body) and theoria (‘illumination’ with the ‘vision’ of God). According to Eastern Christian teaching, theosis is very much the purpose of human life. It is considered achievable only through a synergy (or cooperation) between human activity and God’s uncreated energies (or operations). (Wikipedia)
Phenomenological description: By the activation of subtle energies on the highest ontological levels, a unification takes place with the totality of the subtle energies on the highest ontological levels. ( M.J.M.)
Synonyms: Apotheosis, Theosis.
Cross-cultural comparisons: Is identical with spiritual enlightenment.
Relevance of the concept: transforming or deifying union, or spiritual marriage (properly) of the soul with God. The first three are states of the same grace, viz. the weak, medium, and the energetic. It will be seen that the transforming union differs from these specifically and not merely in intensity. Mystical union
The concept in mythology: ascents to the heavenly palaces and the Throne of God.
Word definition: An act or instance of delivering.
Etymology: Word Origin & History: c.1300, “action of setting free” in physical or spiritual senses, from Old French deliverance (12c.), from délivrer (see
deliver). Formerly also with senses now restricted to delivery.
Technical description: Salvation, in religion, the deliverance of humankind from such fundamentally negative or disabling conditions as suffering, evil, finitude, and death. In some religious beliefs it also entails the restoration or raising up of the natural world to a higher realm or state. The idea of salvation is a characteristic religious notion related to an issue of profound human concern. (Encyclopaedia Britannica)
Phenomenological description: Collective nirvana.
Synonyms: Liberation, salvation, redemption.
Relevance of the concept: Future state of humanity
The concept in mythology: Escape.
Word definition: Something that is to happen or has happened to a particular person or thing; lot or fortune, the predetermined, usually inevitable or irresistible, course of events, the power or agency that determines the course of events.
Etymology: Word Origin & History: mid-14c., from Old French destinée (12c.) “purpose, intent, fate, destiny; that which is destined,” noun use of fem. past participle of destiner, from Latin destinare “make firm, establish” (see destination). The sense is of “that which has been firmly established,” as by fate.
Technical description: Destiny, sometimes referred to as fate (from Latin fatum – destiny), is a predetermined course of events. It may be conceived as a predetermined future, whether in general or of an individual. Traditional usage defines fate as a power or agency that predetermines and orders the course of events. Fate defines events as ordered or “inevitable” and unavoidable. This is a concept based on the belief that there is a fixed natural order to the universe, and in some conceptions, the cosmos. (Wikipedia)
Phenomenological description: the idea that there are timelines of events that are predetermined.
Synonyms: Inevitability, foreordination, predestination .
Cross-cultural comparisons: kismet, providence, fortune.
Relevance of the concept: The concept of determinism is to be found within worldviews, theology, philosophy and even within theoretical physics.
The concept in mythology: Classical and European mythology feature personified “fate spinners,” known as the Moirai in Greek mythology, the Parcae in Roman mythology, and the Norns in Norse mythology. They determine the events of the world through the mystic spinning of threads that represent individual human fates. Fate is often conceived as being divinely inspired. (Wikipedia)
Word definition: The Dharmakaya (Sanskrit, “truth body” or “reality body”
Etymology: a central concept in Mahayana Buddhism
Technical description: The true Buddha, the source of the emanations, was the dharmakaya, a term that still refers to the Buddha’s transcendent qualities but, playing on the multivalence of the term dharma, came to mean something more cosmic, an eternal principle of enlightenment and ultimate truth, described in later Mahayana treatises as the Buddha’s omniscient mind and its profound nature of emptiness. (Encyclopaedia Britannica)
Cross-cultural comparisons: In the Lotus Sutra, Buddha explains that he has always and will always exist to lead beings to their salvation. This aspect of Buddha is the Dharmakaya. The Dharmakaya may be considered the most sublime or truest reality in the Universe corresponding closely to the post-Vedic conception of Brahma.
Relevance of the concept: Buddhist concept of the divine.
Supporting evidence: Similar independent descriptions from different cultures.
Word definition: Dhyana in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism means contemplation and meditation, though their technical context is different. Dhyana is taken up in Yoga exercises, and leads to samadhi and self-knowledge.
Etymology: The concepts of dhyana and its practice originated in the Vedic and upanishadic era, developed further in the Buddhist, Hindu and Jain traditions, partly independently, partly influencing each other, and have been influential within the diverse traditions of Hinduism.
Dhyāna (Sanskrit: ध्यान, Pali: झान) means “contemplation, reflection” and “profound, abstract meditation”.
The root of the word is Dhi, which in the earliest layer of text of the Vedas refers to “imaginative vision” and associated with goddess Saraswati with powers of knowledge, wisdom and poetic eloquence. This term developed into the variant dhya- and dhyana, or “meditation”. (Wikipedia)
Technical description: In Buddhism, Dhyāna (Sanskrit) or Jhāna (Pali) is a series of cultivated states of mind, which lead to a “state of perfect equanimity and awareness (upekkhii-sati-piirisuddhl).” It is commonly translated as meditation, and is also used in Hinduism and Jainism. Dhyana may have been the core practice of pre-sectarian Buddhism, but became appended with other forms of meditation throughout its development. (Wikipedia)
Phenomenological description: A state where thought processes are absent.
Relevance of the concept: Dhyāna, in Indian philosophy, a stage in the process of meditation leading to Nirvāṇa.
The concept in mythology: Flying carpet.
Literature: Books / Articles / Websites:
Buddha: “The Mahaparinirvana sutra.”
Discoveries (multiple independent-)
Word definition: The concept of multiple discovery (also known as simultaneous invention) is the hypothesis that most scientific discoveries and inventions are made independently and more or less simultaneously by multiple scientists and inventors.
Etymology: When Nobel laureates are announced annually—especially in physics, chemistry, physiology, medicine, and economics—increasingly, in the given field, rather than just a single laureate, there are two, or the maximally permissible three, who often have independently made the same discovery. Historians and sociologists have remarked on the occurrence, in science, of “multiple independent discovery”. Robert K. Merton defined such “multiples” as instances in which similar discoveries are made by scientists working independently of each other. Merton contrasted a “multiple” with a “singleton”—a discovery that has been made uniquely by a single scientist or group of scientists working together. As Merton said, “Sometimes the discoveries are simultaneous or almost so; sometimes a scientist will make a new discovery which, unknown to him, somebody else has made years before.” (Wikipedia)
Technical description: Historians and sociologists have remarked the occurrence, in science, of “multiple independent discovery”. Robert K. Merton defined such “multiples” as instances in which similar discoveries are made by scientists working independently of each other. “Sometimes,” writes Merton, “the discoveries are simultaneous or almost so; sometimes a scientist will make a new discovery which, unknown to him, somebody else has made years before.”
Commonly cited examples of multiple independent discovery are the 17th-century independent formulation of calculus by Isaac Newton, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and others, described by A. Rupert Hall; the 18th-century discovery of oxygen by Carl Wilhelm Scheele, Joseph Priestley, Antoine Lavoisier and others; and the theory of the evolution of species, independently advanced in the 19th century by Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace.
Multiple independent discovery, however, is not limited to only a few historic instances involving giants of scientific research. Merton believed that it is multiple discoveries, rather than unique ones, that represent the common pattern in science.
Merton contrasted a “multiple” with a “singleton”—a discovery that has been made uniquely by a single scientist or group of scientists working together.
A distinction is drawn between a discovery and an invention, as discussed for example by Bolesław Prus. However, since the same phenomenon of multiplicity occurs in relation to both discoveries and inventions, this article lists both multiple discoveries and multiple inventions. (Wikipedia)
See further: https://marinusjanmarijs.com/evidence-based-approach/14-research-areas/non-physical-perception-and-communication/parallel-discoveries/
Phenomenological description: many inventors, creative people have commented that ideas hang in the air.
Cross-cultural comparisons: many of the multiples are from totally different cultures.
Supporting evidence: intercultural evidence, and the fact that many Nobel prizes are shared by independent working scientists.
Parallel patterns in time: Multiples are parallel patterns in time
Literature: Books / Articles / Websites:
Merton, Robert K. (1963). “Resistance to the Systematic Study of Multiple Discoveries in Science”. European Journal of Sociology. 4 (2): 237–282. doi:10.1017/S0003975600000801. Reprinted in Merton, Robert K., The Sociology of Science, op. cit., pp. 371–382.
Word definition: The splitting off of a group of mental processes from the main body of consciousness, as in amnesia.
Etymology: Word Origin & History: 1610s, from French dissociation, from Latin dissociationem (nominative dissociatio), noun of action from past participle stem of dissociare (see dissociate).
Technical description: In psychology, dissociation is any of a wide array of experiences from mild detachment from immediate surroundings to more severe detachment from physical and emotional experiences. The major characteristic of all dissociative phenomena involves a detachment from reality, rather than a loss of reality as in psychosis.
Dissociation is commonly displayed on a continuum. In mild cases, dissociation can be regarded as a coping mechanism or defense mechanisms in seeking to master, minimize or tolerate stress – including boredom or conflict. At the nonpathological end of the continuum, dissociation describes common events such as daydreaming. Further along the continuum are non-pathological altered states of consciousness.
More pathological dissociation involves dissociative disorders, including dissociative fugue and depersonalization disorder with or without alterations in personal identity or sense of self. These alterations can include: a sense that self or the world is unreal (depersonalization and derealization); a loss of memory (amnesia); forgetting identity or assuming a new self (fugue); and fragmentation of identity or self into separate streams of consciousness (dissociative identity disorder, formerly termed multiple personality disorder) and complex post-traumatic stress disorder. (Wikipedia)
Phenomenological description: Dissociative disorder, any of several mental disturbances in humans in which normally integrated mental functions, such as identity, memory, consciousness, or perception, are interrupted. Dissociative disorders can occur suddenly or gradually and may last for a short time or become chronic. There are different forms of dissociative disorders; they include dissociative identity disorder, dissociative amnesia, dissociative fugue, depersonalization disorder, and dissociative disorder not otherwise specified.
Dissociative identity disorder (formerly called multiple personality disorder) occurs when an individual displays two or more different personality states or identities that recurrently take control of the person’s behaviour. The patient may be unable to recall events over the span of time when another personality has assumed control. Dissociative identity disorder is a chronic and complex disorder and may result from severe childhood abuse (physical, emotional, or sexual) or neglect. It is diagnosed more frequently in women than in men.
Most individuals who are affected by dissociative identity disorder are unaware of their condition and may seek treatment for depression. Many patients receive other diagnoses prior to treatment and may not respond to medications. The transition (“switch”) from one personality to another is usually sudden. The degree of impairment depends on the manner in which various personality states interact with each other. The switching is a vulnerable time. Patients may attempt suicide, mutilate themselves, or become violent toward others. Some patients may undergo long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy, which attempts to expose unconscious sources of suffering. (Encyclopaedia Britannica)
Synonyms: dissociative neurosis, dissociative type hysterical neurosis, hysterical neurosis, dissociative type.
Supporting evidence: Psychological data.
Literature: Books / Articles / Websites:
Word definition: to make divine; deify.
Etymology: 1275–1325; Middle English < Latin dīvīnus, equivalent to dīv(us) god + -īnus -ine1; replacing Middle English devin(e) < Old French devin
Technical description: Apotheosis (from Greek ἀποθέωσις from ἀποθεοῦν, apotheoun “to deify”; in Latin deificatio “making divine”; also called divinization and deification) is the glorification of a subject to divine level. The term has meanings in theology, where it refers to a belief (Wikipedia)
Deification (Greek theosis) is for Orthodoxy the goal of every Christian. Man, according to the Bible, is ‘made in the image and likeness of God.’. . . It is possible for man to become like God, to become deified, to become god by grace. This doctrine is based on many passages of both OT and NT (e.g. Ps. 82 (81).6; II Peter 1.4), and it is essentially the teaching both of St Paul, though he tends to use the language of filial adoption (cf. Rom. 8.9—17; Gal. 4.5—7), and the Fourth Gospel (cf. 17.21—23).
The language of II Peter is taken up by St Irenaeus, in his famous phrase, ‘if the Word has been made man, it is so that men may be made gods’ (Adv. Haer V, Pref.), and becomes the standard in Greek theology. In the fourth century, St. Athanasius repeats Irenaeus almost word for word, and in the fifth century St Cyril of Alexandria says that we shall become sons ‘by participation’ (Greek methexis). Deification is the central idea in the spirituality of St. Maximus the Confessor, for whom the doctrine is the corollary of the Incarnation: ‘Deification, briefly, is the encompassing and fulfillment of all times and ages,’ . . (Wikipedia)
Phenomenological description: to enter the highest ontological levels.
Synonyms: “apotheosis”, Christian theology uses in English the words “deification” or the Greek word “theosis“
Relevance of the concept: Evolutionary process relating to the Ultimate destiny of humanity and the kosmos.
The concept in mythology: Hercules.
Supporting evidence: the nature of the highest forms of mysticism.
Literature: Books / Articles / Websites:
Aurobindo: “The life Divine.”
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The concept in mythology:
Serial patterns in time:
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Literature: Books / Articles / Websites: