In formulating a new theory of Reality, there are a number of logical starting points.
It can be however be seen that each of the above options has their own advantages and disadvantages.
Begining from the finite individual perspective of everyday consciousness and exploring, like a depth or transpersonal psychologist or a phenomenologist, provides a good familiar starting point. It allows the cynic or sceptic or physicalist to follow (although they would only follow so far) without making too many assumptions at the start. And the various discoveries can them be present4ed and argued for.
Examples here are Descartes (Meditations on Method) and Husserl (phenomenology) in philosophy, and C.G. Jung and the Transpersonal movement in psychology.
Disadvantages - the physical and even the pure thinking mind is limited and its assumptions are based on what it knows and understands. When that material is incorrect, the result will be equally incorrect (in computer jargon - "Garbage In - Garbage Out". An example: Descartes couldn't go beyond materialism on the one hand and a Protestantised Platonic and Platonic-inspired dualism on the other, the result being a and metaphysically crippled dualism of body/matter and mind/soul, in which not only all the intermediate strata of existence are denied (the same problem in fundamentalist Protestantism (and derived born again, revivalist, and evangelical sects) as a whole), but animals (because they can't speak) are mere automata and it is okay to torture them for the sake of science. (the Graeco-Judeo-Christian-Islamic fallacy that only man has a soul)
Beginning with the unitary Absolute Reality and proceed from there avoids the problem of the limited lower mind, by grounding things firmly in the Supreme. In this way one can trace all the stages of the unfolding of Creation from the Supreme Consciousness, to create a grand theosophic and esoteric cosmology, in which everything has it's place in the spectrum of being.
Examples are the great mystical monistic and esoteric philosophies of Advaita Vedanta, Neoplatonism, Sufism, Kashmir Shaivism, Kabbalah, Jacob Boehme, and others.
Disadvantages - this approach can be considered (and in fact is) arbitrary by (or from the perspective of) the physical-based academic consciousness, the sceptic and the rationalist, who sees unwarranted assumptions made about the nature of Reality. Moreover there is the problem of the idiosyncratic nature of the various teachings - Tibetan Buddhists say one thing, Advaita Vedantins another, Sufis and Kabbalists yet another. Sure they do agree on many points, but they also disagree, especially on finer points of doctrine. And where such disagreements arise, how does one know which teaching is more reliable?
Begining with other Grand Metaphysicians. Here again there is the same problem, where they disagree. Aristotle says one thing, Hegel another, Steiner yet another. If anything the problem is even worse here, because there is not the common framework or methodologies of the previous positions; everyone has their own take on things, again distorted by culture, upbringing, social, religious, and philosophical bias, and so on.
Begining with recent or contemporary Western universal theorists. Here we have the advantage of modern science and the vaster accumulation of knowledge there is in today's world than in former times. But again there is the problem of each having a different take on things. However, I find that 20th (and 21st) century authors are better at specialising in a particular subject - Stan Gooch in psychology, Erich Jantsch in the natural (physical and life) sciences, and so on.
As can be seen, each of the above options have strengths and weaknesses. I have decided therefore to combine all of them, to hopefully take of advantage of their respective strengths and discard their respective weaknesses or disadvantages.
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