Howdy, Stranger (always wanted to say that) and Lizard:

You’ve both been looking at the relationship between metaphysics and practical philosophy; I’ve been thinking about Esse from a different perspective, namely reflective or meditative. I see a parallel of sorts between the kind of seamless conceptual coherence that the Lizard is looking for and the mental clarity I find that contemplation of Esse can give me.

The meditative technique—if I can call it that—begins, as most do, with a relaxed but stable sitting posture with eyes closed. After focusing initially on the idea of Esse as the object of contemplation, the mind disengages from conscious thinking and becomes aware only of itself. The process then follows a path analogous to your description, in the “Genesis” piece, about the self, spontaneously aware of its singularity, becoming conscious of an external reality which (the mind having been primed to contemplate Esse) manifests itself in this instance as a generalised sense of existence. This state having been achieved—I call it “apex consciousness”—the mind focuses on the idea that existence is God and God is existence or Esse, and that Esse is eternal, with nothing before or after it. The object is to sustain this thought and no other for as long as possible.


The first time I tried this I was stunned by the feeling of transcendence it gave me (not to mention a particularly interesting physical side effect). I’ve tried it a few times since without the same intensity of impact, but I plan to keep practising with the aim of getting better at it, and developing the ability to use it as a psychological resource.

I’m not sure what, if anything, this adds to your conversation, or what role, if any, meditation etc. plays in your thinking about Esse.