Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, Vol 11, No 2 (2015)

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Beyond Conception: Ontic Reality, Pure Consciousness and Matter

Leanne Whitney

Abstract


Our current scientific exploration of reality oftentimes appears focused on epistemic states and empiric results at the expense of ontological concerns. Any scientific approach without explicit ontological arguments cannot be deemed rational however, as our very Being can never be excluded from the equation. Furthermore, if, as many nondual philosophies contend, subject/object learning is to no avail in the attainment of knowledge of ontic reality, empiric science will forever bear out that limitation. Putting Jung's depth psychology in dialogue with Patañjali's yoga philosophy is one way to attempt an alliance between dualistic and nondualistic models. Jung's assertion of an unconscious is what notably sets him apart from Patañjali. Furthermore, whereas Patañjali distinguishes between pure consciousness and the contents of consciousness, Jung does not. Although both Jung and Patañjali attempt to ground their work in the direct experience of life, and guide us towards wholeness, looking at Jung through the lens of nonduality, wholeness appears beyond reach. It is through Jung's synchronicity hypothesis where we may be able to forge a bridge between the models. This bridge allows a contemporary argument for an understanding of the ontic reality of pure consciousness, and subsequently the discrimination between things as they are and things as they appear.

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