The Invitation

The Invitation

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About Dorothy Hunt

Dorothy Hunt, L.C.S.W., founder of the San Francisco Center for Meditation and Psychotherapy, has practiced psychotherapy since 1967 and currently serves as Spiritual Director of Moon Mountain Sangha, Inc., teaching at the request and in the spiritual lineage of Adyashanti. Dorothy is the author of Only This!, editor of Love: A Fruit Always in Season, and a contributing author to both The Sacred Mirror and Listening from the Heart of Silence. For more information, you may visit www.dorothyhunt.org or call 415-567-8404.

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One Response to The Invitation

  1. Mthunzi says:

    How does James distinguish bweeetn consciousness and pure experience? Experience of what appears to be the foreground sounds like consciousness directed toward objects in the world, whereas experience of what normally appears in the background sounds like consciousness directed inward toward itself, i.e. self-consciousness. I guess I’m not sure what is gained by dropping consciousness.Also, I don’t see how doing away with consciousness and replacing with pure experience leads to nonduality. Once you start talking about relationships bweeetn portions of pure experience, you have a dualistic system. It may not be substance dualism there is still only one kind of stuff in the world but it sounds like property dualism, where some portions of this pure experience can be subject, some can be object. Finally, I don’t see how pointing out that dualities may be shifting or arbitrary automatically leads to the idea of nonduality. It would be good to fill in this lacuna in the argument.Interestingly, in response to Descartes’ conception of a single, immaterial, indivisible soul (pure consciousness or thinking), the great Scottish empiricist David Hume pointed out that we never actually experience this simple unity of self. All that we experience is a constantly changing flux of perceptions, sensations, thoughts etc. According to Hume, if a concept does not correspond to anything in our experience, then it is a fiction and so the Cartesian idea of a simple, unified self is a fiction. I wonder, does James make use of this argument in his radical empiricism? Does he prefer the term experience to consciousness because of his commitment to empiricism? Did consciousness at that time have rationalist connotations?

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