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Old 07-09-2010, 05:45 PM
 
Location: missouri
1,179 posts, read 1,211,118 times
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All of this is meaningless without an answer and is a cover for the answer that we have none. The statement begins with "if", well the assumption is that as the "if" implies, the canvas and brush does not think, speak, complain, or anything else. Take gentle-what is that? The question I seek is to answer the problem of knowing and it should be simple for one to say how one thinks one knows without resorting to something that compounds the hidden-ness of the problem. And artists do get deterred, depressed, some are crummy and know it, some misuse their tools, and some kill themselves. So?

 
Old 07-09-2010, 05:49 PM
 
5,499 posts, read 4,573,490 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by june 7th View Post
Maybe....But what it says about "mystical experience" and one's "experience of God" in it's analogy is the answer that was being sought.


Take gentle embedded care.
 
Old 07-09-2010, 06:23 PM
 
7,374 posts, read 7,401,731 times
Reputation: 895
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahigherway View Post
Thanks for the link Heartsong! While I don't like the term "mystics" since many Christians will automatically say that it's "of the devil," I think it'll be enjoyable reading!

Blessings to you!
brian
The word Mystic derives from the word mystery. A mystic is one who studies the mysteries of being. The scriptures are mystical texts, and the apostle Paul refered to the mystery of godliness, as well as the mystery which has been kept a secret sense the beginning of time which is revealed by the writings of the prophets and the apostles.

The term has only taken on a derogatory connotation because fundamentalists associate the concept with Occultism.

In fact the word occult only means hidden or secret, and of itself does not necessarily refer to black magick or witchcraft, etc ...

1Ti 3:16
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.




Nemaste ...
 
Old 07-09-2010, 06:54 PM
 
7,812 posts, read 10,703,343 times
Reputation: 3443
Quote:
Originally Posted by allen antrim View Post
All of this is meaningless without an answer and is a cover for the answer that we have none. The statement begins with "if", well the assumption is that as the "if" implies, the canvas and brush does not think, speak, complain, or anything else. Take gentle-what is that? The question I seek is to answer the problem of knowing and it should be simple for one to say how one thinks one knows without resorting to something that compounds the hidden-ness of the problem. And artists do get deterred, depressed, some are crummy and know it, some misuse their tools, and some kill themselves. So?
Allen-

I can assure you that if my post offended you, it most certainly was not intended to. In a sense, it was a 'play on' the nature of mysticism, by quoting a Christian mystic. Essentially, the point that I was trying to get across (perhaps in a poorly crafted manner, for which I apologize) is the fact that mysticism speaks to the ways in which one 'knows' God. It has nothing to do with intellect, or "intellectual knowledge" and far more to do with intuition.

Christians pray all the time. In purely academic terms, "prayer" and communicating with God via prayer could be regarded as a 'mystical' phenomenon. Granted, it is rarely thought of that way, as prayer is far more of an acceptable entity than the overall concept of "mysticism" is. Yet Christians pray as a means by which they connect with God. That seems valid to me. Events in one's life where God intervenes are often intuited, and the very presence of God in one's life is largely an intuitive matter, as well, whereby the believer "knows" that the presence and existence of God is there, and real. Mysticism speaks to all those things.

The analogy of the artist and the brush was seen by me as more of an analogous 'vehicle' if you will....The inter-connection of the entities within the analogy applies; the Spirit exists within the overall process.

Again, if my post offended, you have June's sincere apology, as she would not intentionally set out to offend any member.


Take gentle care....
 
Old 07-09-2010, 09:10 PM
 
Location: missouri
1,179 posts, read 1,211,118 times
Reputation: 151
Why are you apologizing? How come and why would I be offended? I am after information and this is writing for an attempt at getting such. I have no problem with you or anyone else being or thinking they are being, anything they want, nor am I attempting to convert anyone to my way of thinking (I am pretty much sold on modern systems theory so converting others is out of the question); however, when people claim things I want to know how they know what they think they know. If we have coffee together, perhaps the tone you read in my posts, would not be present, but, this is a different medium.
 
Old 07-09-2010, 09:14 PM
 
7,812 posts, read 10,703,343 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allen antrim View Post
Why are you apologizing? How come and why would I be offended? I am after information and this is writing for an attempt at getting such. I have no problem with you or anyone else being or thinking they are being, anything they want, nor am I attempting to convert anyone to my way of thinking (I am pretty much sold on modern systems theory so converting others is out of the question); however, when people claim things I want to know how they know what they think they know. If we have coffee together, perhaps the tone you read in my posts, would not be present, but, this is a different medium.
Coffee's on June!


 
Old 07-09-2010, 09:29 PM
 
Location: missouri
1,179 posts, read 1,211,118 times
Reputation: 151
So, how can one bypass the intellect? How does one know that one's intuition (if there is a such a thing) is the correct one; surely mystics differ so intuition must vary; how could all have the same, and there will be contradictions among them (there are different sects)? All this feeling stuff can be translated into language, we are attempting this now. It seems to me that at this intuition level and no intellect, one is saying one does not know anything-is this not thoughtless? And if you are not working with knowledge then are you saying you do not know what you are actually doing? You are starting to explain, so obviously you are putting this into language, knowledge and intellect; which would seem to me that at its root, it is intellect. The problem I had with the poetic piece is that it is aesthetic. That is fine except that it seems to me a poor explanation. If we are working with knowledge (and perhaps we are not at this cluster of posts and then what I am writing has no bearing here), then aesthetics do not get at the nature of knowing except in a very round about way. Aesthetical objects-things, poems, silence, whatever- seem to me to be very subjective and subject to personal, and therefore, diverse interpretation and doesn't get at a social understanding. But I know this is not true because mystics pass on the secret "knowledge" and practices, so doctrine is present; even if the goal is to get beyond: so doctrine then "hidden" doctrine, but still there even if unreflected-isn't that how mystics get followers?
 
Old 07-10-2010, 05:51 AM
 
Location: Italy
6,387 posts, read 5,287,826 times
Reputation: 869
Quote:
Originally Posted by allen antrim View Post
I like my feelings, that is not the issue unless these determine knowing and truth rather than being along for the ride; and you agreed with departing from the scriptures is needed (with christygirl) as the final word if one is to make progress in life (someone should have told karl Barth that), if I am reading this right. I am really not concerned with feelings as I am aware that they are part of us. You now seem to disagree with christygirl and the scriptures are the confirmation and I would agree with this, although you only give it a "help" function. What I wish to know is what is the extra, the stuff beyond the "help"? Where does it come from? And then how does one know that it is legitimate?
Hi allen,
Here is an explanation I find useful:
"By that light of Reason that is in man, he may see a suitableness in many things, but not in all things; for the reason that acts in another man, may see a weakness of reason that acts in me: but now the Spirit Reason, which I call God, the Maker and Ruler of all things, is that spiritual power, that guides all men's reasoning in right order, and to a right end: for the Spirit Reason, does not preserve one creature and destroy another; as many times men's reasoning does, being blind by the imagination of the flesh: but it has a regard to the whole creation; and knits every creature together into a oneness; making every creature to be an upholder of his fellow; and so every one is an assistant to preserve the whole: and the neerer that man's reasoning comes to this, the more spiritual they are; the farther off they be, the more selfish and fleshy they be.
....I am made to change the name from God to Reason; because I have been held under darkness by that word, as I see many people are.." -"Truth Lifting Up Its Head Above Scandals" by Gerrard Winstanley

The Word will confirm if what you are seeing inside you is the Christ arising, or your flesh. And no man or manmade doctrine will be able to gainsay what it truly of the Spirit of God in you, try as they may.

Blessings!
brian
 
Old 07-10-2010, 09:52 AM
 
7,812 posts, read 10,703,343 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allen antrim View Post
So, how can one bypass the intellect? How does one know that one's intuition (if there is a such a thing) is the correct one; surely mystics differ so intuition must vary; how could all have the same, and there will be contradictions among them (there are different sects)?
Mysticism, to my understanding, largely by-passes the intellect. It focuses more on one's consciousness; in particular, how one is conscious of, aware of God. To a considerable extent, one's consciousness of God is intuited. It is intuited in the sense that one "knows" God, that one thereby experiences God. There is a unity/union with God that surpasses the intellect. While there are many 'mystical traditions' (as there are numerous world religions) they do, however, all possess underlying, common denominators or features that would define them as mystical. In part the commonality would be an intense, and very real experience of God, such that intellectual articulation would be difficult. For instance, when you think of the biblical passage about "a peace that surpasses understanding" in one's experience of God, it would appear to be difficult for one to accurately articulate just what exactly that experience of "peace" is. --And yet, one can say with certainty that it "is God." It's real, yet nondescript in many ways.

Quote:
Originally Posted by allen antrim
It seems to me that at this intuition level and no intellect, one is saying one does not know anything-is this not thoughtless?
I'm not sure that I would describe it as "thoughtless" as much as "experiential." Mystics claim to have had an intense experience of God, or Christ, within the Christian tradition. One example would be Paul's conversion on the road to Damascus. To my best way of understanding, the experience surpasses thought, as it is direct experience of God. For instance, I suspect there is a big difference between someone saying "I experienced God with(in) my soul" or "I was filled with the Spirit of god" versus "I understand God based upon what I have read in the bible or been taught via sermons or studying." There is a clear difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by allen antrim
And if you are not working with knowledge then are you saying you do not know what you are actually doing? You are starting to explain, so obviously you are putting this into language, knowledge and intellect; which would seem to me that at its root, it is intellect.
--But you are working on some level with "knowledge." One by necessity has to be able (within any 'mystical' type experience) to possess the ability to acknowledge that what one has experienced is, in fact, God. Without some ability to "know" God, I don't see how one could possibly have any form of mystical experience. The one thing that underscores the various writings and explanations of the Christian mystics that I have read is that they knew as a result of their experience that they had, in fact, come into unity, communion with the Christian God. On that they are very, very clear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by allen antrim
The problem I had with the poetic piece is that it is aesthetic.
-But mysticism is, to a very large extent, aesthetic. In one of the articles I recently read, the word "aesthetic" was used throughout as a means of attempting to describe the various experiences of God that Christian mystics had had. As best I can recall, common examples sited were speaking in tongues, prayer, and the sense/experience of having had an intese experience of God which --much like in the biblical passage mentioned above-- appeared to 'surpass rational understanding.' (And in many if not most cases, articulation.) I suspect that most would find difficulty in expressing an experience of having encountered the pure Oneness of, and unity with God. This does not mean that an aesthetic experience cannot be described or articulated. It simply means that the overwhelming aspect of the experience of God would seem to "surpass rational understanding."


Quote:
Originally Posted by allen antrim
Aesthetical objects-things, poems, silence, whatever- seem to me to be very subjective and subject to personal, and therefore, diverse interpretation and doesn't get at a social understanding.
If I am understanding correctly, a mystical experience of union with God is, in fact, an intensely personal thing. No doubt one could perhaps say that it is subjectively experienced, although the actual experience itself is that of having come into communion with the Objective. I suspect there does, in fact, exist a "social understanding" as regards various types of mystical experineces, otherwise we wouldn't have so many accounts written by Christian mystics. At the same time, however, I suspect that for the individual who has actually had such an experience, social understanding may seem somehow at a loss...

I don't know if this post has actually addressed what you have written/said/asked, but June tried. (Yet even she would be the first person to say she feels she did a rather lame job in so doing...)


Take gentle care.

Last edited by june 7th; 07-10-2010 at 05:21 PM.. Reason: June just can't spell! :-(
 
Old 07-10-2010, 10:33 AM
 
40,056 posts, read 26,735,309 times
Reputation: 6050
Quote:
Originally Posted by june 7th View Post
Mysticism, to my understanding, largely by-passes the intellect. It focuses more on one's consciousness; in particular, how one is conscious of, aware of God. To a considerable extent, one's consciousness of God is intuited. It is intuited in the sense that one "knows" God, that one thereby experiences God. There is a unity/union with God that surpasses the intellect. While there are many 'mystical traditions' (as there are numerous world religions) they do, however, all possess underlying, common denominators or features that would define them as mystical. In part the commonality would be an intense, and very real experience of God, such that intellectual articulation would be difficult. For instance, when you think of the biblical passage about "a peace that surpasses understanding" in one's experience of God, it would appear to be difficult for one to accurately articulate just what exactly that experience of "peace" is. --And yet, one can say with certainty that it "is God." It's real, yet nondescript in many ways.

I'm not sure that I would describe it as "thoughtless" as much as "experiential." Mystics claim to have had an intense experience of God, or Christ, within the Christian tradition. One example would be Paul's conversion on the road to Damascus. To my best way of understanding, the experience surpasses thought, as it is direct experience of God. For instance, I suspect there is a big difference between someone saying "I experienced God with(in) my soul" or "I was filled with the Spirit of god" versus "I understand God based upon what I have read in the bible or been taught via sermons or studying." There is a clear difference.

--But you are working on some level with "knowledge." One by necessity has to be able (within any 'mystical' type experience) posses the ability to acknowledge that what one has experienced is, in fact, God. Without some ability to "know" God, I don't see how one could possibly have any form of mystical experience. The one thing that underscores the various writings and explanations of the Christian mystics that I have read is that they knew as a result of their experience that they had, in fact, come into unity, communion with the Christian God. On that they are very, very clear.

-But mysticism is, to a very large extent, aesthetic. In one of the articles I recently read, the word "aesthetic" was used throughout as a means of attempting to describe the various experiences of God that Christian mystics had had. As best I can recall, common examples sited were speaking in tongues, prayer, and the sense/experience of having had an intese experience of God which --much like in the biblical passage mentioned above-- appeared to 'surpass rational understanding.' (And in many if not most cases, articulation.) I suspect that most would find difficulty in expressing an experience of having encountered the pure Oneness of, and unity with God. This does not mean that an aesthetic experience cannot be described or articulated. It simply means that the overwhelming aspect of the experience of God would seem to "surpass rational understanding."

If I am understanding correctly, a mystical experience of union with God is, in fact, an intensely personal thing. No doubt one could perhaps say that it is subjectively experienced, although the actual experience itself is that of having come into communion with the Objective. I suspect there does, in fact, exist a "social understanding" as regards various types of mystical experineces, otherwise we wouldn't have so many accounts written by Christian mystics. At the same time, however, I suspect that for the individual who has actually had such an experience, social understanding may seem somehow at a loss...

I don't know if this post has actually addressed what you have written/said/asked, but June tried. (Yet even she would be the first person to say she feels she did a rather lame job in so doing...)

Take gentle care.
Quite the contrary, our special "just June" . . . this beautiful post comes closer to articulating it than I have ever been able to. I have stayed out of this thread until I could discern what its tenor and utlimate tone would be. (Yes . . . even I weary of the intransigent "truth-holders" and incessant scoffing). Besides I also find allen's posting style . . . without pauses and separations . . . as annoying as others find my visual elipsis pauses. But this sincere summary has drawn me out . . . as June 's posting often does.

I have frequently alluded to a common experience of altered states that I felt MIGHT provide a sufficient analogue to enable those who have not had a mystical experience to relate. It is the dream state. There is a "knowing" that we experience in dreams that frankly . . . is NOT explainable by the content or context of the dream itself. Yet we are certain of it . . . and when awakened and trying to account for it . . . we are at a loss to do so.

My encounter with God . . . and make no mistake because of the "knowing" thing and my subsequent effort and encounters . . . I am absolutely certain of its source . . . was totally unexpected and counter to all that I had intellectually been led to expect from deep meditation. In my case . . . it differs from the accounts I have subsequently read of other mystic's experiences in the various traditions. I have no explanation for these differences . . . but they were unmistakable . . . and I have no uncertainty whatsoever. It was that profound . . . almost as profound as our heathen atheist "just June" writing such an excellent description of it . . .( j/k . . . excellent job, June . . . thanks).

Last edited by MysticPhD; 07-10-2010 at 10:57 AM..
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