A Recap of the Wild One Series

How often do you wonder about human suffering?  What it might mean to “experience god”?  Whether there are different kinds of love, and whether one of those kinds is unconditional?

“The Wild One” series of blog posts addresses those and other issues from the standpoint of human religiosity.

There are currently six posts published in the series.  In each post, I raise different issues and then — as will surprise no long-term, loyal readers of this blog — I admittedly screw up massively while attempting to shed light on the issues.

Oh well.

The posts published to date are these:

1) “Tragedy and Dukkha” — The first post in the series surveys a few of the ways in which people have thought about human suffering and ends by asking the question, “Can life be radically affirmed even in the face of tragedy and dukkha (“suffering”)?”

2) “God Who?” — The second post in the series introduces a distinction between two kinds of human religiosity.  I foolishly name those two kinds of religiosity, “the domestic god”, and, “the wild god” — a mistake I will later need to correct. I also make a distinction between two ways of knowing something — as logos and as gnosis — which I have not yet had to correct.  Not yet.

3) “The Currents of Our Minds” — In this post, I merrily explore the psychological and evolutionary roots of the domestic god, while for the moment ignoring the wild god.

4) “Born Wild” — In this post, I look at mystical experiences and discover in them the psychological origins of what I have been calling, “the wild god”.

5) “Nikita and Makita” — The fifth post is by far the most boring in the series, albeit it is necessary.  Among other things, I correct my earlier mistake of naming the two human religiosities, “the domestic god” and “the wild god”.  And I propose that both the domestic and the wild religiosities originate in psychological events and processes in the human brain.  Boring.  Boring.  Boring. But necessary.

6) “The Miracle of Love?” — In the sixth post, I look at the causes and consequences of conditional love. This post totters on the brink of being way too exciting even for a wild man like me.   Grab your smelling salts and hold on to your desk chairs!

There will be at least two more posts in the series, and possibly more.  Since these are blog posts, rather than book chapters, they reflect an ongoing evolution in my thought about the issues they raise.  Thus, I reserve the right to ferociously contradict any earlier opinions I offer if and when I come up with better opinions.  Perhaps you might try thinking of these posts as attempts to start some conversations, rather than as attempts to impart knowledge and wisdom.  That won’t make them any less annoying to read, but you’ll at least see them in the spirit in which they are written.

4 thoughts on “A Recap of the Wild One Series

  1. “And I propose that both the domestic and the wild religiosities originate in psychological events and processes in the human brain” – What do you think of the view that the human mind is intrinsically social and that as a function of that intrinsically social nature of mind cognitive processes extend beyond the brain?

    • It’s an interesting view, Stephen. I don’t know how it could be falsified, though. But I do think there’s something at the very least analogous to it in the apparent fact that humans do much better at reaching reliable truths when they work cooperatively to do so.

      We seem to come with so many innate cognitive biases that we all but rely on others to check our work, so to speak. So there seems to be a sense in which some of our best thinking is done as a communal exercise.

      There is a downside to that, though. The cooperative pursuit of knowledge ultimately relies on shared experiences. When you have something like the mystical experience, which is not shared by everyone, your methodology of relying on shared experience can create the appearance that the experience is an hallucination.

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