Thursday, February 9, 2012

Discursive Meditation

Cecil L. Disharoon

Last night I began reading about what has been known for centuries as the Lectio Divina: a form of meditation that incorporates prayer, reading, meditation, and contemplation. I'd started trying to look up levitation---quickly finding myself learning about the existence of a recently-discovered quantum force found at the microscopic level! Setting that aside for the science discussions in the new incarnation of my Integr8d Fictions blog, I began clicking around through five informative articles before finding my way back here to collect notes; it's a facet of how I've always learned, spiral-like.

I was just reading about Richard Rorty's critique of analytical philosopy--chuckling over the possibility Steve Gerber had him in mind when he selected a name for his disc jockey and friend of swamp dwellers, Richard Rory. I came to Dr. Rorty's views through looking up Quietism, and got THERE from Discursive Meditation, which is not the same thing but is apparently elided with it historically.

Discursive Meditation: The traditional Western approach to meditation, which uses the thinking mind to explore symbols and visionary experiences.

What is it good for?

From this site, I gleaned:

"Discursive meditation is a thinking-oriented approach to meditation. One reasons with oneself, moving from the doctrinal to the personal. Reasoning may be based on the seven auxiliary questions: why, who, what, where, when, how, & with what helps. The lectio portion may be brief, centering on a virtue, a fault, or a spiritual truth. The exercise concludes in the oratio portion with suitable resolutions. This discursive meditation results in a change of behavior."

I quote this directly from the third of five occasional articles of variations on Lectio Divina meditation based on the book Prayer and Temperament by Chester P. Michael and Marie C. Norrisey.

In the interest of understanding similar that discursive meditation apparently is not, here's the methodology known as Quietism.

From Wiki, we get this definition, which inspired me because it reminds me in many ways of what Be Chill, Cease ill has become, to me, at least. As usual, I'm grabbing a concept by the end closest to me to get a grip, knowing there's so much more than I understand, but whatever, I'm cutting and pasting elements intended to offer lights, but who knows who's really home? For example, I've just read that this was a 17th century heresy, so who knows what incidental subtext I've incurred.

Quietism in philosophy is an approach to the subject that sees the role of philosophy as broadly therapeutic or remedial. Quietist philosophers believe that philosophy has no positive thesis to contribute, but rather that its value is in defusing confusions in the linguistic and conceptual frameworks of other subjects, including non-quietist philosophy. By re-formulating supposed problems in a way that makes the misguided reasoning from which they arise apparent, the quietist hopes to put an end to man's confusion, and help return to a state of intellectual quietude.

Now, I've been practicing a form of meditation for some time involving letting go of thoughts freely, so the next may come, always seeking the Gap between thoughts for its rejuvenating values and virtues. This idea is different. This is Lectio Meditatio: there's an object of one's ruminations, and it's probed by seven basic one word questions also used in journalism.

No comments: