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Old 07-10-2010, 04:17 PM
5,499 posts, read 4,573,490 times
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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.
When "Just June" goes off into tangent...just me tries to follow...
Take gentle 'profound' lame job care.

Old 07-11-2010, 03:39 PM
Location: missouri
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I just got back to this and will have to go through it all. But, I will post this now, man can not bypass the intellect, the mind is made to think and analyze as reason is in all things; composes the cosmos, and that is how mind gets at it, and man sees these "metaphysical" (philosophical use not new age) with thought-that is how one "sees" god, by thought (atheists are so dumb they look for the "spirit" with physical eyes, like those first soviet cosmo-naughts who didn't see god in space; eo epso, god did not exist). When one has experience, as is suggested here, one reflects on it-that is the fact of being man, and that is going on now in these posts-if you were pure intuition or feeling, I suppose one could not post at all or relate their "union" as there would be no information as information must be a structure (although, as it turns out, intuition or feelings are communications-they have to be, so at the root these must be rationally structured or there would be no apprehending them by mind-for a human, I would assume that would be worse than being animal). Once that begins, a "story" is in the works, or construction begins (as is happening here now, and once a story begins to be constructed, it is up for deconstruction, as that is the social; if one claims pure subjectivity then there is no objective argument as there is no information to relate except within the subject's own mind; this seems to be the retreat, or convenience of the mystic-can't verify). That story begins to define it, mold it, shape it etc, and the mind or minds building this begin to accept the story (believe me here when I say I am not questioning truth; that seems to me irrelevant and unimportant), this is all a rational structure and, therefore, subject to all the problems of that kind of structure. This story or construction comes from somewhere as no single person is born with a complete correctly informed mind. So, this is primarily culturally derived either from school, pals, a little mystic group, books etc; and this could vary depending on topic. It seems to me you all wish to cross some line and enter some other world of certainty based on the uncertain (don't tell me knowledge has the same problem, this I know, but then the knowledge you are developing will now precede your further experience and color it), so an experience of god (especially given the environment to the mystic; candles, robes, a monastery, whatever), can be culturally determined and then accepted as such, and a feeling of connection can be induced. How does one have experience and not reflection? I guess that is what I mean by thoughtless. I would think any rational person (and I know there are few of these today; at least reflecting upon it) would always reflect upon one's experience-this would not only further thought but feeling as well, and further the desired outcome: in other words the desired effect is preloaded into the technique. Someone said previously (and I don't want to go back at this moment because last time I lost what I was writing), that reason in one may conflict with reason in another; that is one of the most sensible statements I have read at this data thing, and it should be understood on the philosophy threads! However, a conflict is in the works when what follows is that the Spirit, or big time reasoning (I forgot the term), leads all men to the correct reasoning, and this can't be so as men still conflict with each other in reason (actually Hegel was ahead of this somewhat). Even mystics are divided-I know this is true because of Merton's experience (even though he was attempting a commonality with the buddists-who also vary). Of coursed the direction here is not diversity, or distinction, but union-all religions if evolving to the mystical will eventually be one, as hinted at in previous "reasonings"; well is already accomplished in a messy way, except for the "ugly" specter of doctrine (and that is why I sense a movement away from doctrine and an out right despising of it), and this is the danger to the christian, as christ will have to eventually go-and I think this time is pretty close in the west (this is a hegelian culture at the moment, so the drive for oneness is at our root, but the post modern breaks this up with its drive for diversity or difference {even though the post modern culture seems to oppose this}).

A statement that one has had a mystical union with god is not verifiable, even to the mystic-no matter how he felt or how sure he knew because everyone has feelings and certainty-just read all the posts here; why should a mystic have a corner on certainty?. An atheist would be certain there is no god to have a union with. There is also a statement in the bible that the heart is deceitful and not knowable. He can feel the "union" but how can he know that that union just wasn't good ice-cream or sex (some mystics think it is at the orgasm that god is reached)? I, as a person can not take a mystic's word, who are they to me? Car salesmen also give their word.
Old 07-11-2010, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by allen antrim View Post

....atheists are so dumb they look for the "spirit" with physical eyes, like those first soviet cosmo-naughts who didn't see god in space;

This atheist is not "dumb." This atheist has made a good will effort to answer some of the quesitons you have posed. Your attitude is offensive.

Originally Posted by allen antrim

He can feel the "union" but how can he know that that union just wasn't good ice-cream or sex (some mystics think it is at the orgasm that god is reached)? I, as a person can not take a mystic's word, who are they to me? Car salesmen also give their word.
I would strongly suggest that you never again read, much less trust the account of Paul's conversion on the road to Damascus. But if you do...

Take gentle care.
Old 07-12-2010, 10:47 AM
Location: missouri
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In relation to what the cosmo-naughts said, it was dumb. God or deity is spirit, if one looks for god through the physical, directly, and do not see him and that is proof-it is dumb because they lack theological structure (the present western christian one) and knowledge of what a deity is-how could something that is physically everywhere and without shadow at the same time be seen (a difference is needed)? One could see nothing else. How could something that is present in all things be distinguished-it needs to be present as difference? Your offense is unjustified. It is an opinion of mine (of course I mean in relation to god-I am on a christian thread am I not {the bible is worse and calls him a fool, I, un-biblically, at least, gives him an open horizon}? Not an atheist gynecologist; although given the probability, there would be some dumber ones; the race is a continuum after all), am I to change it because of your sensitivity-I would laugh it off unless it applies, and then you should thank me for a moment of self discovery. Atheism is an idea, and to hold it without working on a rational structure for it, is dumb; as the idea is held thoughtlessly (same with christians, to hold the idea without theological structure, is dumb; same with mystics and their ideas or non-ideas, I guess it seems like). I am dumb about many things; such as veterinary science, brain surgery, and thermodynamics and most of what passes for life; should I be offended by those who know or think they know? Being dumb is an excellent position, as one can go about building one's mental structures in what one is interested in from scratch and easily modify (as long as one keeps their self awareness of their dumbness, and realize that life will never give them a mental or idea conclusion, except death), with the possibility for bypassing the investment capital of the know-it-all (who would feel the offense), which he is loath to give up to change his mind, and rebuild. So call me dumb if you like, I like the open horizon and maneuvering room; as a matter of fact, anyone who back slaps my posts as a fount of know-it-allness offends me.

This is a forum for ideas, I assume, and the posts are short (people do not like work or long content, and especially the need to think some, to build up the idea-these are dumb people, and want it all on the cheap and dumb say so authority; but they do not want to move out into the horizon, so these are really dumb) and lack much content, and that means things are written in a short form. I can say a lot with one term, such as dumb, but obviously, if I were writing a book the term "dumb" could be fleshed out, so to speak with more content.

Paul's conversion is based on a me and thou, a distinction, not a unification-to read mysticism into this event is an error. God speaks and paul ain't sure who this is. The dialog (how should they believe unless they hear?), a rational structure, is fitted for paul's understanding. He is drawn (no one comes to the son unless the father draw him), so he can hear, his rationality is not bypasses and this exhibits god's respect for him-atheists can not hear as they are not drawn. His attempt to have god on his terms is a failure (through law: technique, or the letter-not the word) and god does the intervention, otherwise, he would have continued on to perdition. He is then told to move on-to work out his salvation: in existence by doing. The distinction always remains, and paul does not unite to god but remains himself, and god remains himself.

I appreciate your efforts, but as always, everyone who posts, speaks, does any form of communication, socially, is always up for critique. Moderator cut: deleted.

Now, it seems to me, listening to all the christian junk (do not be offended as the word is a catch all, and as I like old trucks, I really like junk yards) that passes my way and from some hints in previous posts here, that what is happening is that the gifts of the spirit are being elevated above the biblical record. These gifts come from the record, so to devalue the record seems to me that one would have to devalue the gifts-if the record is error than it can be in error here as well-one's bias picks and chooses. This is a theological problem to me. How does one hold to something like this? It seems to cut the foundation. The word, logos, must be distinguished from the word letter. Such as the spirit and the letter passage. And one must not, theologically, set the spirit against the word, as theologically, the spirit always points to the christ (those dumb pentecostals and their obsession with the spirit has a lot to do with this confusion growing and the loss of the rational). These gifts; love, joy, peace etc, must be interpreted from the entire record and not from our own desires for what such things should look like. Love is not a singular thing but has many different, what Deridda would call, restrictive economies, or thought streams that can not be combined but must each stand on their own to make up love. God is love, a really dumbed down statement for the simple minded, and as a quick reference for us all. From the word, god does a lot of damage, so evidently, this love has many aspects or distinctive characteristics that defy combining (nurture/destruction-there is some person having trouble with this on another thread because she can not live within a multi-streamed world and must have it reduced to one singular stream-the "good" stuff as she sees it in relation to love, rather than live with all the difference being held together). The simple mind, or western mind needs to reconcile that which defies or conflicts in these structures (god is the holder of all contradictions, and I suspect the mystic wishes to be done with this difficulty and not deal with it). It seems to me that the goal of the mystic is to erase the difference, to various degrees amongst the various sects, and that is just not the nature of the cosmos: it is based on difference, as the creation story relates and as our senses relate to us directly and as related on this thread; difference means that in an afterlife, there will be some in and some out. The atheist is the true mystic. At death, his body will be one with the physical elements as he decays, and all those electrons that composed his thought will go onto somewhere else and becomes parts of that. A true unification but still composed of difference, and he needs no technique, but just wait as death is coming for him and will take care of it all.

Last edited by june 7th; 07-12-2010 at 12:10 PM..
Old 07-12-2010, 05:59 PM
40,056 posts, read 26,735,309 times
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I really only want you to answer my main questions:

"The one that concerns your background and educational achievements . . . since you present such a condescending attitude to the posters here. What specific training or expertise breeds this attitude of mental superiority? And also . . . what mystical experiences or training have you been exposed to or practiced that enable you to so facilely dismiss or denigrate them? These are sincere questions."
Old 07-12-2010, 10:33 PM
Location: missouri
1,179 posts, read 1,211,118 times
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!. Masters in Sociology-thesis concerned Niklas Luhmann and Kierkegaard. Undergrad was a cross of engineering and society and technology. I went to 4 seminaries but did not complete any; across the spectrum they were. I am not sure about my high school, I left before I would have graduated. I suppose my drafting, and welding, and autobody and weapons schools are unimportant for you. I have no honors and have not been recognized as having contributed to the human race in any fashion, well they wanted to give me the air force commendation medal but I turned them down; I think I needed to be out of town on the day they wished to give it to me.

2. I really think you may be reading stuff into my posts as I think they are humorous and full of irony-especially the rambling ones (everyone who thinks I am a snob or not, cast your vote). I write in this fashion for my self and to push off the non-thinking. If too difficult or annoying you should avoid them. My thoughts concern me, yours do not, except the posts as an occasion to develop my own. All thinking has holes and these must be found, even though they all won't be, but existentially, it is our business to try to find them. If one is interested in truth, or getting there, I imagine style would not deter one from reading a piece; a lot of older work has very long paragraphs and the writers are not concerned with ease of reader apprehension.

3. Because I am a slow learner and married to a professional woman who likes me to have the ability to carry on intellectual chit chat, I have lots of time: I have read Karl Barth's Dogmatics (the whole set) 3 times, Hegel's philosophy of religion at least 3 times, all of Kierkegaard, Nietzche, some other Hegel (I can't get through the logic but have tried several times), Kant, of course and Descartes, much of Foucault, much of Luhmann (in english) and other constructivists, the unspellable Russian "existentialists", Much of Calvin, Luther, and several of those reformer guys, Hannah Arendt, Heidegger, Weil, a host of the post moderns, Plato of course, Most of Bohnhoeffer-several times (the "act and being" is extremely difficult for me), bunches of junk from the seminaries (threw away most), many of the covenant theologians, etc, etc. I can not give you a detailed list! I have also tried to figure out these old vacuum tube radios and have read up on these but, I can't make heads or tails of them; I can repair them if they are not too far out of specs.

4. I am not a mystic and I don't do techniques. But it is all human activity, so it is available for human observation (do you critique things that you are not?). Once you begin to get it out in public (get a mystic or whatever), to put it up into a structure-I have tried to get atheists on the other threads to do this but they claim they do not need to; whatever it is, form it up into language-the idea, it takes on a rational form and then the holes begin to appear (one does not need to be a mystic to see these holes and many organizations bring in outsiders to see what they can not {it is a good practice}-I should be receiving thanks here); there are holes in all of it-all rational forms of all human activity. All activity comes under a theory, or can have theory applied. The reason is what gets you, and the reason is universal; it doesn't matter, as all of mind is operative in reason.

5. I do not dismiss this activity (as you seem to wish to dismiss mine). I attempt to take it apart-there is a difference; of course one doesn't always like to have one's little existence taken apart. It all exists as human activity, so it is there and people perform it. All this brings it into observation and makes it available for analysis; we must progress thought and mind; even in our little out of the way corners.

I hope this answers your questions.

Now, all communication outside of thought is public (even a nod, prayer done with technique, gibberish, talk, whatever); communications make up the social. This forum is a social system and so it is structured up with communications (naturally there are other ways to observe it). The more communications the more expansive this social system becomes. So we as individuals, outside of this social system (individuals are not the social, only their communications; individual humans are psychic and biological systems) will want much participation and we will never indicate that a person should not post. Since communications are social, public, these will collide with many other communications and, therefore, will come under critique. At times one will not want his material critiqued, I feel this way at times, and, therefore, one should not post, or bring something into the public domain, if at that particular moment one would rather avoid the hassle, and then when that moment is past one feels like taking on the social again, and of course, this is the individual's prerogative (where are those smiley faces?).
Old 07-12-2010, 10:57 PM
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Thread temporarily closed pending further moderation.
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