Frequently Asked Questions About The Numinous Way
Q: What is the Numinous Way?
A: The Numinous Way is a Way of Life: one answer to fundamental questions, such as "What is the Meaning of Our Life?" According to The Numinous Way, the meaning of our life is to live, in harmony with Nature and the Cosmos, so that we can evolve ourselves and, after our causal death, transcend to another type of existence, in the acausal. This evolution of ours is also an evolution of Nature and the Cosmos.
Thus, The Numinous Way conceives of an individual as a nexion - as one, causal, connexion between the life that exists in the causal and the life, the beings, the energy, that exist in the acausal.
The Numinous Way has its own ethics, which it calls
Cosmic Ethics, and the basis for these ethics are personal honour,
empathy and compassion.
Hence The Numinous Way is a practical, and spiritual,
way of living, as well as providing answers to fundamental
philosophical, and ethical, questions. The Numinous Way is apolitical.
Empathy may be said to be the essence of The
Numinous Way - empathy with life, with Nature; with other human beings;
with the very Cosmos itself. From empathy arises compassion - the
desire to cease to cause suffering, the desire to alleviate suffering -
and honour is how we can do this, how we can restrain ourselves and so
do the right, the moral, the empathic, thing.
Thus the ethics of The Numinous Way - and in an important sense compassion and honour are developments of our consciousness: an evolution of our perception, of our very being.
Q: What are the causal and the acausal?
A: The Numinous Way conceives as the Cosmos as having two fundamental aspects - or two types of Time and Space. There is causal Time and causal Space, and acausal Time and acausal Space. The ordinary, non-living, matter/energy of the Cosmos exists in causal Space-Time. We also exist in causal Space-Time - but, because we are alive, we also have, within us, a certain type of acausal energy. That is, we are a nexion, a connexion, between causal Space-Time and acausal Space-Time. All life, because it is life, has a certain type of acausal energy - that is, it presences acausal energy, in the causal, in causal Space-Time. Acausal energy cannot be created, or destroyed - it just changes the manner of its presencing, or its "strength", its amount.
The acausal energy which we possess, as temporal, causal-living beings, as an individual, as a causal nexion, is just one type of acausal energy.
Q: What does the word numinous mean?
A: As used by The Numinous Way, the term numinous means
a presencing of acausal energy, in the causal. In a more ordinary
sense, what is numinous is what we might regard as "sacred"; as
special. It thus contains, or manifests, presences, beauty, harmony. It
reminds us that we are but a single nexion, among many. It reminds us
of Nature, and the Cosmos, beyond us - it provides us with perspective.
It presences the true meaning of life, the true meaning of our causal
existence, since it is manifestation to us, for us, of the essence of
Life itself, of The Cosmic Being.
Q: What is a nexion?
A: A nexion is a region, in causal Space-Time, where acausal energy exists, or is manifest, of through and by which acausal energy can be manifest, or can be presenced, in the causal. We, as individuals, are individual nexions by virtue of being-alive, just as Nature is another, supra-personal, nexion - a connexion to the life, the acausality, the energy, of the living-Cosmos.
What needs to be understood is that the Cosmos is both causal and acausal. We are mostly aware of only the causal aspect - the material world around us; our planet; the stars; Galaxies, and so on. But the acausal exists within, and beyond, us - and the Cosmos is a Unity, a matrix of connexions, of causal and acausal. Thus, The Numinous Way conceives as all life - everything that lives, that exists, in the Cosmos - as connected, as part of The Unity, of which causal and acausal are a part. Being aware of this Unity, of how we are connected, of ourselves as one nexion, is the beginning of understanding the meaning, the purpose, of our own lives.
Q: What do you mean by the term presencing?
A: Presencing means the flow of acausal energy, or energies, from the acausal to the causal, or a manifestation of such energies, in the causal. Thus, a sublime piece of music may be said to presence the numinous, because it captures, it expresses, it manifests, some-thing beyond us, as individuals - something beautiful, numinous, sublime - and as such it may make us aware of The Unity, of the living-Cosmos, and be or become a nexion itself: a kind of "gateway" through which certain acausal energies may flow, or be presenced, which energies may change our consciousness, our being, our life, in certain ways, thus changing us, often in a positive, life-enhancing, way. That is, such a work of Art can access certain acausal energies.
We, as individual living beings, are one presencing of acausal energy, as is Nature, to which we are connected.
Q: What is this acausal energy?
A: Acausal energy is discussed in the article The Question of Time: Toward the New Acausal Science of Life and in the article Acausal Science: Life and The Nature of the Acausal which is based upon parts of the previous article, and an update of it. These articles also outline, in a tentative manner, the nature of the acausal itself.
Basically, acausal energy is the type of energy (or "matter") that exists in acausal Space-Time, and some of this type of energy can be manifest, or presenced, in the causal. That is, the type of acausal energy which we know and experience - which gives beings life in the causal - is only one type of acausal energy.
Q: What about the question of suffering?
Empathy makes us aware of the reality of suffering, as
it guides us, through compassion and honour, toward an understanding of
what is necessary for us to alleviate suffering. The ethics of The
Numinous Way guide us toward striving to alleviate suffering: toward
refraining from causing suffering to other living-beings. Indeed, the
desire not to cause suffering - to be empathic, compassionate and
honourable - may be said to be the basis of individual living according
to The Numinous Way.
Q: What is Culture?
A: A numinous culture is regarded, by The Numinous Way, as a type of being: some-thing which has Life; a presencing of acausal energy here on this planet surrounding our star, the Sun, which star is one star among millions in one Galaxy among millions upon millions of Galaxies in the Cosmos. We, as individuals, are part of our own culture - as culture is part of Nature.
A numinous culture arises over time, usually through a
group of individuals ethically and numinously living in a
certain area - a homeland or ancestral territory - through shared
experiences, through a
common heritage, history and so on. Over time, this specific culture
developes a certain character: a certain nature, which in
general serves to distinguish it from other cultures.
This character may be manifest in the way of life of the people of that
culture, their religious
outlook, their literature, their natural music (that is, their "folk
music"). Thus, a numinous culture is not an abstract, easily defined,
"thing" but rather is a living, changing, evolving,
being - a unique type of life. Such a culture is thus a living
being - in symbiosis with the
being which is (or rather which is presenced in) the land of the
individuals who dwell in that certain locality, in symbiosis with that
community or that
collection of communities. And it is
this living which is numinous, which presences the numinous.
One of the distinguishing features of a numinous
culture - of a living culture - is its smallness. Another is that those
dwelling in its communities still possess a reverent awareness of, an
empathy with, life and especially with Nature, and often also with the
Cosmos, beyond. That is, there is an awareness of "the sacred"; a
desire to not commit hubris, to profane or destroy or undermine what is
sacred, what is numinous. A culture ceases to be numinous once it
strives for abstractions, and once the ground of its morality moves
from the individual, the community, to something dogmatic and idealized.
Q: Is Culture important?
A: The Numinous Way considers each living culture -
of Nature, if you will - to be important, and considers that these
living beings should be aided, and evolved, but only by ethical means
consistent with the ethics of The Numinous Way. That is, through
honour, empathy, compassion, reason, and tolerance. Thus, The Numinous
Way considers that the diverse cultures - the different unique
cultures which have arisen on Earth - are worth caring about; worth
nurturing, in an ethical, tolerant way. It does not wish to see this
great diversity of culture destroyed by, for example, the levelling of
urbanization, or by the materialism of consumer-capitalism, or by some
political ideology, or even by some supra-personal, large and abstract
Each individual is and should be, according to The
Numinous Way, free to choose what to believe, what to uphold, where and
how they live - this personal liberty, this respect for personal
dignity, is an essential part of The Numinous Way which suggests that
some individuals may choose to belong to, to identify with and to aid
in an ethical way, their own ancestral culture, as some may choose to
live in a small community where their culture is treasured in a
rational and honourable manner, just as some might choose to live in
another way such that new local cultures are born and nurtured.
Q: What is the nature of these living beings - such as Nature and culture? Are they acausal beings?
A: They are manifestations of acausal energies in the causal, and as such can be said to be a type of acausal being. They are not purely "acausal beings", though. They presence acausal energy in causal Space-Time. As such, they live - they come-into-being in the causal; they change; they evolve; and their causal existence can end. That is, they, or rather their causal apprehension, their causal mode-of-being, can die - become extinct, in the causal.
Q: What about tolerance and racial prejudice?
A: Tolerance is an essential part of The Numinous Way.
Racial prejudice is dishonourable, and
therefore against the ethics of The Numinous Way. The Numinous Way
regards empathy, compassion and personal honour to be supreme virtues,
and these imply that each person must be tolerant and that they only
judge people on a direct individual basis.
Q: What are the ethics of the Numinous Way?
A: The ethics of The Numinous Way - often called Cosmic Ethics, or the Cosmic Ethic - are based upon the concepts of personal honour, compassion, and empathy. One aspect of personal honour is having manners: treating people with courtesy and respect. What is good is defined according to honour and compassion - that is, what is good is what is honourable and what does not cause or contribute to the suffering, or which alleviates the suffering, of other living beings. What is wrong, or bad, is what is dishonourable and causes suffering or which contributes to suffering.
"What causes suffering? A lack of compassion; a lack of empathy; a lack of honour, a lack of self-awareness, a lack of self-discipline, a lack of the Cosmic perspective. Where is this lack of such things to be found? In ourselves, in our craving for pleasure and material possessions; in the abstractions and the ideas which we project onto the world; in political ideology; in dogma, be it religious or social or whatever; in prejudice, and in intolerance, towards others...The great change toward the cessation of suffering - toward a better world - begins with [the] reformation of ourselves, this evolution of ourselves, this inner development." (A Personal Learning)
How can we reform ourselves and so evolve? Through compassion, empathy, gentleness, reason, and honour: through that gentle letting-be which is the real beginning of wisdom. One of the most important principles of The Numinous Way is this personal reformation of ourselves: that to restore goodness, and honour - to presence what is good in the world - we need to change ourselves, through developing empathy and compassion, through letting-be, that is, ceasing to interfere, ceasing to strive to change or get involved with what goes beyond the limits determined by personal honour. Honour is only ever personal - and relates to that which affects us, as individuals, and those near to us, such as our family.
Q: What is The Cosmic Being?
A: The Cosmic Being is regarded as the Cosmos in evolution, with Nature representing one manifestation, one incarnation, of the Cosmic Being on our planet, Earth. In a quite profound way, we are this Being - or rather, we are the incipient consciousness of this Cosmic Being, who, or which, is The Unity, composed of the matrix of causal and acausal connexions - the matrix of nexions - which are the living-beings of the Cosmos, both causal and acausal.
That is, the Cosmic Being is manifest in us, because we are a nexion. Furthermore, we can aid this Being - contribute to its increase in consciousness, its awareness, its evolution - or we can in some ways harm this Being, for this Being is not perfect, or complete, or omnipotent. It is us - all life, everywhere in the Cosmos - existing, changing, being, evolving. We aid this Being when we access acausal energies through such things as honour, compassion, empathy - and especially when we change ourselves, when we become more self-aware, when we develope our understanding, our own consciousness, our reason, and when, at out causal death, we move-on, into the acausal, bringing with us the acausal energies we have "collected" during our causal existence. We harm this Being - and the evolution of the Cosmos, and the aspects of this Being presenced as individuals, as Nature, as other living-beings - when we contribute to suffering, or cause suffering, or do what is unethical and dishonourable, for such things remove acausal energy from us, or distance us from acausal energy.
Thus, there is an interaction here - an on-going creation and evolution, of which we all are a part, although many of us do not see or understand this, such is our lack of empathy with other living-beings, our lack of empathy with Nature, and our lack of empathy with the Cosmos itself. For the Cosmos is alive, just as much as Nature is alive, here on this planet which we call Earth.
Q: What about life after death?
A: The Numinous Way posits that the acausal energy which we, as an individual possess by virtue of being alive, by virtue of us existing, having-being, in the causal, is not destroyed when our physical bodies die. Instead, this acausal energy is returned to acausal Space-Time, since the physical nexion - our physical being, in causal Space-Time - no longer exists.
The Numinous Way understands this physical life of ours as a means - never to arise again - whereby "we" can evolve toward the acausal. We can do this by strengthening the acausal within us while we exist in causal Space-Time. This involves us in cultivating honour, compassion and empathy - in using our will to restrain ourselves, to do what is right, honourable, and compassionate. Why do these things do this? Because they do or can presence acausal energies, and so we can access certain acausal energies through them, and so change ourselves, so "evolve" thus acquiring for ourselves more acausal energy.
At present, we cannot express in words or even concepts the true nature of this next acausal existence, except to posit that it is and will be an evolution of our own self-consciousness: a returning to The Unity where our self expands to include the consciousness of The Unity, to be, in one sense, the consciousness, the awareness, of the Cosmos itself. This is so because of the nature of the causal and the nature of the acausal. The causal - where we exist, as physical beings - is bound by causal Space, and Causal, linear, Time. So there is birth, life, death: a beginning and an end, separated in both time and space; causal change and causal movement. The acausal, however, is not bound by causal Time nor by causal Space: it is, "everywhere at once" and "eternal" (when viewed via causal Time).
What about Prison? Did I not read somewhere that,
according to The Numinous Way, prison is barbaric?
The Numinous Way regards Prison as an unethical method
of dealing with those who are without honour and empathy, who lack
compassion, and those who - perhaps overcome by their desires or by
some emotion - do something dishonourable and unethical which affects
As mentioned in the now somewhat dated essay
Honour, Justice and Penal Reform
until a new type of society, new communities, a new culture, arises,
based upon the ethics of empathy, compassion and personal honour - and
which thus has Numinous Law as it basis - then it is ethical to work
toward penal reform, just as it is ethical to work toward ending the
suffering we inflict upon animals by, for example, becoming
vegetarians, and ceasing to use animals for so-called scientific
Q: Is there any relation between The Numinous Way and other religions, such as Buddhism?
A: Only in so far as both understand the nature of suffering and the causes of suffering. But they are distinct answers to the questions about life, and existence. It could be said that The Numinous Way is somewhat more rational, positing as it does concepts such as causal and acausal, and that The Numinous Way is aware of Nature, and the Cosmos itself, as living beings, whereas Buddhism is not.
In addition, personal honour is central to The Numinous
Way, whereas personal honour is not central to, or even important in,
Buddhism. Personal honour
sets moral guidelines for personal and social interaction with other
human beings, and from it a cultural community derives their laws. In
essence, honour is the basis for genuine freedom, since freedom,
correctly and morally understood, is a respect for the autonomy of the
Q: What about Christianity and Islam?
A: The Numinous Way is quite different from both Islam and Christianity, and indeed incompatible with them. For more details, see the essay The Theology of The Numinous Way.
"The Numinous Way is but one answer to the questions about existence, it does not have some monopoly on truth, nor does it claim any prominence, accepting that all the diverse manifestations of the Numen, all the diverse answers, of the various numinous Ways and religions, have or may have their place, and all perhaps may serve the same ultimate purpose - that of bringing us closer to the ineffable beauty, the ineffable goodness, of life; that of transforming us, reminding us; that of giving us as individuals the chance to be cease to cause suffering, to presence the good, to be part of the Numen itself." Presencing The Numen in The Moment