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Mysticism and rationalism…
Posted: 17 January 2007 11:16 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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The usual presentation of mystical insights by mystics has been:

1. I did this and this and this…
2. I experienced this and this and this…
3. If you do the same thing you'll experience it too…

This sounds very testable, even empirical.
But it requires a lot of hard work to do.
People don't like hard work.

When a mystic says:

1. I learned the following from my practices…
2. You should believe it…

It's all a lot easier! No work!
This is what happens to mysticism when it turns into
religion.

neal

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Posted: 17 January 2007 12:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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[quote author=“njohnson23”]The usual presentation of mystical insights by mystics has been:

1. I did this and this and this…
2. I experienced this and this and this…
3. If you do the same thing you’ll experience it too…

This sounds very testable, even empirical.
But it requires a lot of hard work to do.
People don’t like hard work.

When a mystic says:

1. I learned the following from my practices…
2. You should believe it…

It’s all a lot easier! No work!
This is what happens to mysticism when it turns into
religion.

Actually, I think it goes more like this:

The usual presentation of mystical insights by mystics has been:

1. I did this and this and this…
2. I experienced this and this and this…
3. If you do the same thing you’ll experience it too…

This sounds very testable, even empirical.
But it requires a lot of hard work to do.
People don’t like hard work.

When the mystic dies (or is killed), his followers/disciples/converts, in a steadily degenerating game of telephone, say:

1. The mystic said this and this…
2. The mystic was: a) god; b) a god; c) equal to god; d) the son of god…
3. You should believe what we say the mystic said…
4. If you believe, memorize, chant, and regurgitate everything we say the mystic said, you’ll: a) be saved; b) go to heaven/paradise when you die; c) have eternal life…

It’s all a lot easier! No work!
This is what happens to mysticism when it turns into
religion.

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Posted: 17 January 2007 04:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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[quote author=“mahahaha”][quote author=“njohnson23”]The usual presentation of mystical insights by mystics has been:

1. I did this and this and this…
2. I experienced this and this and this…
3. If you do the same thing you’ll experience it too…

This sounds very testable, even empirical.
But it requires a lot of hard work to do.
People don’t like hard work.

When a mystic says:

1. I learned the following from my practices…
2. You should believe it…

It’s all a lot easier! No work!
This is what happens to mysticism when it turns into
religion.

Actually, I think it goes more like this:

The usual presentation of mystical insights by mystics has been:

1. I did this and this and this…
2. I experienced this and this and this…
3. If you do the same thing you’ll experience it too…

This sounds very testable, even empirical.
But it requires a lot of hard work to do.
People don’t like hard work.

When the mystic dies (or is killed), his followers/disciples/converts, in a steadily degenerating game of telephone, say:

1. The mystic said this and this…
2. The mystic was: a) god; b) a god; c) equal to god; d) the son of god…
3. You should believe what we say the mystic said…
4. If you believe, memorize, chant, and regurgitate everything we say the mystic said, you’ll: a) be saved; b) go to heaven/paradise when you die; c) have eternal life…

It’s all a lot easier! No work!
This is what happens to mysticism when it turns into
religion.

Or, “The curse of the magus is that he must speak the truth so that the falsehood contained therein may enslave the souls of men.”

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Posted: 18 January 2007 03:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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[quote author=“burt”]“The curse of the magus is that he must speak the truth so that the falsehood contained therein may enslave the souls of men.”

Great quote :!:  What is the source?

Here is another:

“The truth lies in the interpretation - in both senses of the verb.” - Raimon Panikkar

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Posted: 18 January 2007 04:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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It seems to me it’s the believers who are doing the heavy lifting.
One of my favorite mystics, Jean Klein, left us a book called ‘Be Who You Are’. How much work is that?
The believers are not avoiding work. They’re avoiding simplicity. Hard work makes you feel important. It makes you feel you’re in charge.
My experience has been, and continues to be, that mysticism is all about surrender. Surrender to a concept of God is too much hard work - you have to maintain the concept, which is a real hassle. Surrender to a system, whether Buddhist or Christian or Advaita or whatever, mostly consists of the hard work of trying to figure out what the system is actually saying. Surrender to the guru, as in the Indian traditions, is just plain Unamerican. It’s terrible work for an American to try to be Unamerican.
Surrender to what is - well, that’s like taking candy from a baby. It’s like falling off a log. The only thing that suffers is your self-image.

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Posted: 18 January 2007 05:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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[quote author=“Pat_Adducci”]It seems to me it’s the believers who are doing the heavy lifting.
One of my favorite mystics, Jean Klein, left us a book called ‘Be Who You Are’. How much work is that?
The believers are not avoiding work. They’re avoiding simplicity. Hard work makes you feel important. It makes you feel you’re in charge.
My experience has been, and continues to be, that mysticism is all about surrender. Surrender to a concept of God is too much hard work - you have to maintain the concept, which is a real hassle. Surrender to a system, whether Buddhist or Christian or Advaita or whatever, mostly consists of the hard work of trying to figure out what the system is actually saying. Surrender to the guru, as in the Indian traditions, is just plain Unamerican. It’s terrible work for an American to try to be Unamerican.
Surrender to what is - well, that’s like taking candy from a baby. It’s like falling off a log. The only thing that suffers is your self-image.

It seems to me whatever any if us THINK about any of this amounts to trivial b.s.

njohnson23 had it correct the first time:  it’s about a mystic having an experience that the mystic relates can be duplicated.  What, who, if and how vary infinitely - or at least in proportion to the number of human conciousnesses there have been, are, and will be.

It’s rather useless for any of us pretenders to expound any further on it.  If you purport to be a knower and not a pretender, what are your credentials and aren’t you violating the prime directive of mystism: “Those who know, don’t say; those who say, don’t know.”  :?:

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Posted: 18 January 2007 05:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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[quote author=“mahahaha”][quote author=“burt”]“The curse of the magus is that he must speak the truth so that the falsehood contained therein may enslave the souls of men.”

Great quote :!:  What is the source?

 

Aleister Crowley, a very quotable character you would probably want to avoid.  smile

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Posted: 18 January 2007 06:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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[quote author=“burt”]Aleister Crowley, a very quotable character you would probably want to avoid.  smile

The black magician.  I already avoided him :wink:

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Posted: 18 January 2007 09:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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Burt wrote:

Aleister Crowley, a very quotable character you would probably want to avoid.

Now you tell me.

I read all his works, including his 26 volume encylopedia. But I only read his books for the sex, drugs, and rocknroll.

Love is the Law.

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Posted: 18 January 2007 12:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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[quote author=“Joad”]Burt wrote:

Aleister Crowley, a very quotable character you would probably want to avoid.

Now you tell me.

I read all his works, including his 26 volume encylopedia. But I only read his books for the sex, drugs, and rocknroll.

Love is the Law.

Ditto, kept me quite busy in the late 70s.  :twisted:

Love Under Will

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Posted: 18 January 2007 02:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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[quote author=“burt”][quote author=“Joad”]Burt wrote:

Aleister Crowley, a very quotable character you would probably want to avoid.

Now you tell me.

I read all his works, including his 26 volume encylopedia. But I only read his books for the sex, drugs, and rocknroll.

Love is the Law.

Ditto, kept me quite busy in the late 70s.  :twisted:

Love Under Will

He’s keeping me quite busy right now.
We could devote an entire thread to quotes from The Great Beast.
It seems like Harris and Dawkins have converged on much of what he was saying back in the 30’s and 40’s.

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Posted: 19 January 2007 05:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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mahahaha - I wonder if we could agree that mysticism is a way of perceiving, a way of investigating? That it’s an ordinary part of being human, not reserved for some special few?
The aspect of mysticism that might make it seem esoteric is its resistance to memory. That makes any mystical experience from the past irrelevant. It has to be right now. If I’m reading a text from centuries ago, it is mystical if it evokes that kind of ‘knowing’ in me right now. If it only triggers some understanding on a verbal level, that’s fine, but that’s not mysticism.
It’s been really good for my development to be able to contact people who are alive and speak my language, and who are better able than I am to connect with this aspect of our being. I mentioned a book by Jean Klein. I found that book wonderfully precise and accessible. I was too late to meet Jean Klein, but I was able to attend some meetings with Francis Lucille, who had been with Jean Klein.
I especially remember this one exchange. Francis talks about ‘consciousness without an object.’ I was baffled because I always have some object or other in consciousness. So I said, ‘It’s not possible to have consciousness without an object.’ The way Francis looked at me and said ‘Yes, it is’ haunted me. You see, that’s what I can’t remember - what exactly happened in that exchange?  Why did it haunt me?
Now I can see that of course there are objects in consciousness, but they don’t need to fully occupy my attention.
To the intellect, this kind of thinking may appear trivial. If fact it’s possible nothing I write communicates anything on any level. I’ll take that chance.  I write because I think someone else may recognize the perfectly ordinary mystery of spiritual experience, even through this mask of thinking. You don’t need to be some sort of ‘Master’ in order to communicate about mysticism. I don’t consider Francis Lucille to be a Great Master, but he’s worth listening to, for me.

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Posted: 19 January 2007 07:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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[quote author=“Pat_Adducci”]mahahaha - I wonder if we could agree that mysticism is a way of perceiving, a way of investigating? That it’s an ordinary part of being human, not reserved for some special few?

It is my take that the mystical is other than mere perception and/or investigation, and that while many are called, few are chosen. 

Which is why I think it is not worthwhile to talk about.  I haven’t had a mystical experience, so I would just be speculating if I tried to imagine what it would be And, if I did have a mystical experience, anything I said about it would be interpretation, and not experience.  Neither is worth a heck of a lot.

It’s easy, however, to say what it is not.

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Posted: 19 January 2007 11:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
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[quote author=“mahahaha”][quote author=“Pat_Adducci”]mahahaha - I wonder if we could agree that mysticism is a way of perceiving, a way of investigating? That it’s an ordinary part of being human, not reserved for some special few?

It is my take that the mystical is other than mere perception and/or investigation, and that while many are called, few are chosen. 

Which is why I think it is not worthwhile to talk about.  I haven’t had a mystical experience, so I would just be speculating if I tried to imagine what it would be And, if I did have a mystical experience, anything I said about it would be interpretation, and not experience.  Neither is worth a heck of a lot.

It’s easy, however, to say what it is not.

Actually, any time that you have suddenly recognized a unity in what previously seemed a disconnected collection of things or ideas, you have had a mystical experience.

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Posted: 20 January 2007 02:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
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[quote author=“burt”][quote author=“mahahaha”]It’s easy, however, to say what it is not.

Actually, any time that you have suddenly recognized a unity in what previously seemed a disconnected collection of things or ideas, you have had a mystical experience.

Not.  :idea:

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Posted: 20 January 2007 04:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
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[quote author=“mahahaha”][quote author=“burt”][quote author=“mahahaha”]It’s easy, however, to say what it is not.

Actually, any time that you have suddenly recognized a unity in what previously seemed a disconnected collection of things or ideas, you have had a mystical experience.

Not.  :idea:

:?:

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