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Skeptic Or Mystic?


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To all my friends here, as you have gotten older, have you become more of a skeptic or more of a mystic?

 

Whichever way you have gone, what are your major reasons for doing so?

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Ive always believed in the existence of realities beyond human comprehension. That remains unchanged which makes me a mystic.

 

Religious skeptics question religious authority and are not necessarily anti-religious but are those skeptical of a specific or all religious beliefs or practices. Some are even deists, such as believing in a God, but yet reject organized religion.

 

By definition I am a skeptical deists because I believe in God but reject certain religious beliefs, doctrines, and practices. That is a fairly recent change in my beliefs. That change came about due to my affiliation with radical Christian fundamentalism. Ive come to reject most of those rigid doctrines, teachings, and traditions. I now embrace far more moderate and flexible religious views and beliefs.

 

Religious legalism often results in mental bondage and in extreme cases physical bondage as well because it takes on the traits of a mind controlling cult.

Edited by Javelin
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To all my friends here, as you have gotten older, have you become more of a skeptic or more of a mystic?

 

Whichever way you have gone, what are your major reasons for doing so?

 

Aww, do I have to choose only one? :)

 

Well, in light of how skeptical one can be, I definitely fall in with the mystics. Although, honestly, a healthy skepticism drives mysticism imo. There's also an unhealthy skepticism, which doubts all things to the point of spiritual stagnation.

 

I suppose mysticism won out for me because I realized that one does not have to know everything in order to live the truth, and that some things are in principle unknowable. I also realized that we can always ask "why" to whatever answer we posit, so that there really is no intellectual certainty. Someone once said that he who knows that he knows nothing is closer to the truth than he who entertains a host of false doctrines.

 

Demanding to know everything, to have everything sorted out in its proper category before actually walking the religious path will result in having never done anything at all and passing up the chance for real discovery. I find that you learn things along the way about what’s really important, which helps you leave certain doubts behind.

 

An ancient Indian hymn ends like this:

 

He, the first origin of this creation, whether he formed it all or did not form it,

Whose eye controls this world in highest heaven, he verily know it, or perhaps he knows not. (The Song of Creation)

 

I love how it ends with a "well, then again, maybe he doesn't know."

 

Ultimately, does it really matter?

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To all my friends here, as you have gotten older, have you become more of a skeptic or more of a mystic?

 

Whichever way you have gone, what are your major reasons for doing so?

 

 

One might say that I am without question more of a mystic. It was more an unfolding or revealing of that which already was rather than a 'becoming'. It seemed to me to be without regard to reason or purposeful intent on my part. It was never a conscious intellectual decision to become one or the other. It was more of a natural happening. As I have gotten older I have become less inclined to either a position of doubt (skeptic), or for that matter 'believing' based on reason. I have no major reasons for becoming anything.

 

As you probably already have perceived, it seems to me the label provides an unnecessary box but since I consider you my friend and you asked, I have answered.

 

Joseph

 

 

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No, folks, you don't have to choose. :) I'm just interested how what leads some people, in the face of disillusionment with organized religion, to follow the path of skepticism and what leads others to delve deeper. Some folks here have walked similar paths to others while other folks here have walked paths that seem to be very unique to just them.

 

I'm curious as to if a person who is seeking Truth or God or Reality has to, at some point, decide to be a skeptic or a mystic or if skepticism and mysticism are things that just sort of happen to us without much conscious choice on our own parts.

 

Personally, because I am more of a rationalist, my head leans toward skepticism. But at the same time, my heart is drawn toward mysticism. Rationalists seem to disdain mystics as too "new agey" and "touchy-feely". Mystics seem to disdain rationalists as too intellectual, too stuck on wanting things to make sense.

 

So I'm wondering if there is a middle ground, a place where skepticism and mysticism can both exist in relative harmony? I don't mean a physical place, but a place within us? Are they two sides of the same coin? Or are they two completely different animals where one must finally submit to the other?

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It was more an unfolding or revealing of that which already was rather than a 'becoming'. It seemed to me to be without regard to reason or purposeful intent on my part. It was never a conscious intellectual decision to become one or the other. It was more of a natural happening.

 

Yes, Joseph, that's what I was asking by my OP, if having a skeptical or mystical mindset (for lack of a better word) is something that is just part of our makeup from the start, something that we might awaken to, but have little to no control over.

 

Thanks for your input. This isn't about labels, just about how we describe our experiences. ;)

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(snip)

 

Personally, because I am more of a rationalist, my head leans toward skepticism. But at the same time, my heart is drawn toward mysticism. Rationalists seem to disdain mystics as too "new agey" and "touchy-feely". Mystics seem to disdain rationalists as too intellectual, too stuck on wanting things to make sense.

 

So I'm wondering if there is a middle ground, a place where skepticism and mysticism can both exist in relative harmony? I don't mean a physical place, but a place within us? Are they two sides of the same coin? Or are they two completely different animals where one must finally submit to the other?

 

It seems to me the word "disdain" (To regard or treat with haughty contempt) is a bit harsh. It seems okay and good to me that there are those who wish to be "rationalist", whatever that is to mean. Disdain is a self perception that at least in my view is not applicable. To answer your final question, I am (in my view) of the inclination that it is inevitable that in time the one will submit to the other. This is because the one is a created product of the other and in a sense will perish with time.

 

Just a view to consider,

 

Joseph

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It seems to me the word "disdain" (To regard or treat with haughty contempt) is a bit harsh.

 

I wasn't trying to be harsh. And I don't have a dictionary in front of me. And I disdain using one from a website. :lol: I just meant that rationalism and mysticism does seem to look askance at the other. People that claim to have been abducted by aliens think that scientists simply don't have the tools it takes to understand or verify the experiences, while most scientists would claim that abductees are simply deluded.

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I wasn't trying to be harsh. And I don't have a dictionary in front of me. And I disdain using one from a website. :lol: I just meant that rationalism and mysticism does seem to look askance at the other. People that claim to have been abducted by aliens think that scientists simply don't have the tools it takes to understand or verify the experiences, while most scientists would claim that abductees are simply deluded.

 

If I may interrupt to inject my opinion regarding this. I understand, as you have noted, that there tends to be a very real tension between rationalists and mystics. But I find that I am sympathetic to both parties. I don't think its particularly useful (and to be clear I can only speak here of my own life) to be at the extreme end of either category. Both staunch rationalism and uncritical "new-ageism" do not work for me. Einstein said that the most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is so comprehensible. In my view (which you anticipated by citing the coin analogy) the mystery and the rational order are two sides to the same reality.

 

I suppose there are many specific ways in which to arrive at this "middle ground", and I cannot say which is the correct one. I am skeptical of systematic thought anyway.

 

You can study the flowers and how they live and grow, but, as I read somewhere in far eastern literature, if you want to know where the flowers come from, not even the god of spring knows.

 

Peace to you,

Mike

Edited by Mike
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I suppose there are many specific ways in which to arrive at this "middle ground", and I cannot say which is the correct one.

 

And that, Mike, is what I am curious about: how do we find a "middle ground"? For instance, I have an acquaintance who is so into mysticism that I simply don't know how to communicate with this person. I can't relate to this person's experience at all. It seems that the best thing for me to do right now is to ignor this person, but that is not love. It troubles my heart, but I don't know what to do about it.

 

As progressives, it seems that, as you say, there might be or should be specific ways in which to arrive at a "middle ground." But I'm like you, I don't know which is the correct one or if there even is such a thing. All I know is that we often seem to speak different languages, very few of us are fluent in all of them, and translators are hard to find. :)

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I would have to say I am attracted to the mystic. I feel the two ways are legitimate spiritual paths. Jnana Yoga is the path of the intellect, which leans to the skeptic. It comes to understanding through reflection on concepts,ideas and on experience. At some time the concept arises that the experience of the world is not outside of one’s own constitution. Experience and knowledge are bound up within one’s being.

 

As a person who studies science I think skepticism is important and healthy. Now, I use my meditation as my compass. I feel the memory of God comes to a still mind so I had and have to satisfy my intellect with legitimate answers so it will be quiet so I can go to the deeper layers of my mind and beyond where my mind waits for my return. I get up at 4:30 just so I can meditate before going to work and at night, no matter how tired I have to mediate before sleep. If I don't I feel I am missing something.

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Bill,

 

I can only speak for how I approach this middle ground. For me I fully believe that science has truthful things to say about reality. Words do have meaning, and there are false beliefs: for instance, that the earth is flat, or that the holocaust didn’t happen. These propositions are not a matter of subjective opinion. Their truth or falsity has to do with reality.

 

But at the same time I do not think the scientific method says all there is to say about reality. There is consciousness, taste, color, sensation, and qualitative, subjective experience in general. There is more than one way of relating to reality, many levels, which is why metaphor and poetry can often hold more truth than plain, rational description.

 

You also cannot stand outside of reality to give it some kind of truly objective description, since we are all subjects participating in this immediate, qualitative experience. Objectivity somehow misses the heart of reality. Reality is participatory, reality is connected, relative. But the ‘what’ of it all, the ultimate Truth of 'just what is reality', is ineffable, unanswerable, beyond category, which is in principle a mystery. There is more to the fact of existing than can be captured by description, even if you were given an infinite amount of words to use.

 

Mysticism to me is an affirmation, beyond all words, that everything is oneness, and that the subject/object dichotomy is more-or-less a conceptual structure imposed on our true, existential experience, blinding us to our true self, our true identity. 'This' and 'that', 'on' and 'off', 'something' and 'nothing' are the same reality, the same fact. What would mysticism say is our true identity? This, Reality.

 

Just my take on this at the moment. I will have probably worded it differently by tomorrow. Now, I don't claim to have any magnificent mystical intuition, and chances are your friend would be just as indecipherable to me as to you. But that's where I'm at at this moment in time.

 

Peace to you,

Mike

Edited by Mike
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And that, Mike, is what I am curious about: how do we find a "middle ground"? For instance, I have an acquaintance who is so into mysticism that I simply don't know how to communicate with this person. I can't relate to this person's experience at all. It seems that the best thing for me to do right now is to ignor this person, but that is not love. It troubles my heart, but I don't know what to do about it.

 

As progressives, it seems that, as you say, there might be or should be specific ways in which to arrive at a "middle ground." But I'm like you, I don't know which is the correct one or if there even is such a thing. All I know is that we often seem to speak different languages, very few of us are fluent in all of them, and translators are hard to find. smile.gif

 

Bill,

 

It seems to me that love is acceptance of the person. To me this has little to do with whether one speaks the language of a mystic or rationalist (whatever that means). To me, real communications is not in words anyway. One can 'listen' to the other without judgement or belief or disbelief. There is something that is sensed beyond the words and that is what it seems to me all religions try to point to and is the real "middle ground". "Middle ground" perhaps is not necessarily in being a little bit of both but in my view, realizing as Mike may have suggested in a question, "Ultimately does it really matter?"

 

Joseph

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I'd say it doesn't matter what you identify yourself as, reality is what reality is. No matter what you want reality to be or not be.

 

But, I tend to go with the mystics, although terms like mystic and spiritual, have dualistic connotations of other worldly or abstract, altered states of consciousness and so on.

Edited by Shekinah
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I would agree that ultimately it doesn't matter. It doesn't change reality, and should not be a point of contention by any means. Yet at the same time, one's relationship to reality does matter greatly to that individual, and for him, a new realization, a new way of being or perceiving, does change reality for that person.

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There are a lot of interesting ideas to think about here and I'm not sure I follow all of it. But in the context of what has been written, I'm going to respond pretty much with whatever comes to mind. I think first of all I have trouble seeing how one must be either a skeptic or a mystic, but the contrast causes me to say that I think I am a materialist and neither mystic or spiritual. And by materialist I mean one who believes that the universe (including what we call God) is made of "stuff." That doesn't mean that I think of myself as atheistic-I don't. And I am enough of a theist to find the idea of God very important for how I live my life (or try to anyway).

 

And I suppose this may seem contradictory, but I am a Presbyterian elder and pretty active in the congregation I belong to. Earlier this evening I used the Presbyterian Confession of 1967 (C67) as the basis for a presentation I made at our session (congregational governing board) meeting. Some of the points I drew from C67 were: In Jesus, God and the world are reconciled to one another, and the church calls us to be reconciled to one another; The events of Jesus' life "set the pattern for the church's mission;" That pattern includes working for human well-being, seeing "the face of Christ in the faces of [all those] in every kind of need," acknowledging our "complicity in injustice," and working for the triumph of good over evil, of love over hate, of life over death.

 

I find I am still stirred by such ideas, maybe even profoundly, but I just don't think of my response as mystical or spiritual.

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So I'm wondering if there is a middle ground, a place where skepticism and mysticism can both exist in relative harmony? I don't mean a physical place, but a place within us? Are they two sides of the same coin? Or are they two completely different animals where one must finally submit to the other?

 

I'm still in the middle, but the jury's out on whether one side will ultimately win. It's so tempting at times to be pure skeptic, to throw the baby out with the bathwater, but I think the people who do that miss out on something beautiful -- that mystical baby.

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Bill, as you stated to me in my intro thread, our stories could be the same one. I find myself as being a skeptic, rationalist, mystic and other things, and changing between these options more often than I change my socks sometimes.

 

For example, I'm on quite the rationalist kick right now, as keep finding myself confronted (for lack of a better word) with traditional Christian apologetics, which I'm sure you all know, is supposed to be the rational, evidential defense of the traditional Christian faith. Therefore the things I have problems with I have been seeking out the rational rebuttals. The problem for me personally is that I end up agreeing with both rationales, and not being able to get behind either one. In other words, I don't have an answer, and end up more confused than when I began, which leaves me tempted to chuck the whole spiritual idea all together.

 

What's interesting to me is that the things that keep me from doing that are in fact the things that I've heard religious leaders tell me not to pay attention to. I've heard several times that you simply have to throw out your rational thoughts. Let go of what you feel, because your feelings can be so deceiving. But I have had personal experiences and feelings that make me question the rationales that tell me to throw out spirituality all together.

 

I guess my point is that I am both a skeptic and a mystic, and while I would love to find a middle ground (and I have on some days) I often find that they are two sides of me that do tend to fight each other. :)

Edited by DoubtingThomas
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...I guess my point is that I am both a skeptic and a mystic, and while I would love to find a middle ground (and I have on some days) I often find that they are two sides of me that do tend to fight each other. :)

 

I can identify with what you’re saying DT. Fundamentalism mandates their adherents accept what they’re told without questioning. Questioning is equated to unbelief, which is unacceptable.

 

If you find yourself in that kind of situation the first step is to rid yourself from that kind of thinking. Once you start asking questions the process tends to snowball. Once the flood gates of rationalization have been opened maintaining some kind of balance between skepticism and faith can often be challenging. Like you, I’m constantly bouncing back and forth in the quest to resolve my seemingly never ending questions and doubts.

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I can identify with what you’re saying DT. Fundamentalism mandates their adherents accept what they’re told without questioning. Questioning is equated to unbelief, which is unacceptable.

 

If you find yourself in that kind of situation the first step is to rid yourself from that kind of thinking. Once you start asking questions the process tends to snowball. Once the flood gates of rationalization have been opened maintaining some kind of balance between skepticism and faith can often be challenging. Like you, I’m constantly bouncing back and forth in the quest to resolve my seemingly never ending questions and doubts.

I understand your comment here completely, as I find myself in the same place. The other thing I have to fight is my own connotations that spring to my mind in accordance with certain buzz words and/or common phrases of faith. The fact is I'm not "confronted" with these things as often as I think, it's just that I've developed an aversion to them. The church I come into contact with the most is not extremely fundamental. But again, it all comes from a Bible-literalist point of view, and so, even when you are "encouraged" to question things, you are told that the answers lie solely in the Bible (of course, in the Protestant version of the Bible). That, to me, is not true questioning, nor is it true investigation into your questions.

 

I would like to state, if I haven't already, that I do find it encouraging to find others that are experiencing some of the same things I am. I apologize if I have diverted the conversation into more of my own personal story.

 

Back on-topic, I am definitely having a skeptic type of day. :)

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(snip)

I would like to state, if I haven't already, that I do find it encouraging to find others that are experiencing some of the same things I am. I apologize if I have diverted the conversation into more of my own personal story.

 

Back on-topic, I am definitely having a skeptic type of day. smile.gif

 

Hi DT,

 

It is often more refreshing to hear the personal stories relating to the subject matter to make a point than reading handfuls of references to Biblical writings. You are on topic and sharing your personal story is welcomed. In fact it provides support and encouragement to others here on similiar paths which is part of TCPC's mission.

 

JosephM (as Moderator)

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I see the Bible as a catalyst for thought depending on the interpretation. A person with a mystical bent will see spiritual insights and a person with a more materialistic mind will gain insight also even though they might seem to contradict each other. We might be of mystical mind and a few hours later be of materialistic mind. My spiritual practice is to try to witness my mind in both situations. To do this I have to constantly remind myself that I am consciousness with a mind and not a mind with consciousness. As a mind with consciousness I seem to react and as a consciousness with a mind I seem content to be as in human being. I am happy a just being with no need to react.

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The following should be taken as one persons view given in the spirit of sharing and doesn't require or look for agreement or disagreement......

 

Perhaps it would be good if we shared a mutual common definition as pertains to Christianity/Religion to aid understanding of these words Mystic and Skeptic and related them to some teachings we might be familiar with to gain some level of possible common insight.

 

Mystic (as a Noun) -

One who achieves mystical experience

 

Mystical -

1. Of or having a spiritual reality or import not apparent to the intelligence or senses.

2. Of, relating to, or stemming from direct communion with ultimate reality or God

 

Skeptic -

1. One who instinctively or habitually doubts, questions, or disagrees with assertions or generally accepted conclusions especially as relates to skepticism in religious matters.

 

As may be apparent to most, the Skeptic is concerned with intelligence in that the Skeptic uses and relies heavily on the mind as a scientific tool to question assertions and generally accepted conclusions in what one deems a rational and logical manner. It seems to me that being a Skeptic can get past a lot of myth and erroneous conclusions inserted by men who form religions to further their own ends. However, being primarily 'reason based', its understanding can only go so far achieving a level of wisdom and meaning but never reaching beyond the limitations of the thinking mind to true revelation, transfiguration and illumination of consciousness.

 

In my view, the Skeptic can only attain a high level of intelligence with what Christianity may speak of as the 'old creature'. To discover the ultimate reality of God or direct communion, in my experience takes a leap into the mystical which in a sense is very difficult (but not impossible) for those who place great emphasis on intelligence or are deep into the cares of this world whether they be politics, philosophy, theology or whatever.

 

The Mystic, to have mystical experiences as relates to Christianity must be as it is recorded Jesus taught, be 'born again' and not of something that is flesh and blood but of Spirit. This is the only way to truly see the 'kingdom of heaven' that is at hand (here now). In a sense one must become as 'a little child' in that one must at least temporarily shed ones past conditioning of the thinking mind to see that kingdom or in eastern religion some would say to enter the unconditioned. In my experience, the world or reality of the Mystic is not something that is realized by thinking, doubting or believing. You can't think about it, because the minute you do, it is not to be found. It never goes away but it is not found in thought or concepts or labels or opinions or religious positions. It is realized in silence and stillness even when among noise.

 

In this sense one could say that the Skeptic and Mystic are two sides of the one coin but when the Mystic is experiencing there is no coin to be found nor does either label have significance though that state would be agreeable to all.

 

I would leave you with these words recorded as being from Jesus and with deep analogy/significance as related to what is being discussed here.

 

Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. 31 In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back. 32 Remember Lot's wife. 33 Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it. 34 I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. 35 Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 36 Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 37 And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together Luke 17:30-37 (KJV)

 

Love in Christ,

Joseph

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Thank you for a very thoughtful and insightful post, Joseph. It does help to try to define the terms we are discussing. And, in the spirit of sharing, I would like to offer my thoughts on the “other side”, somewhat as a rebuttal, but not to create personal confrontation, but in the hope that the dialog within PC may be able to find some way to bring together these two seemingly opposite worldviews.

 

You wrote:

“It seems to me that being a Skeptic can get past a lot of myth and erroneous conclusions inserted by men who form religions to further their own ends.”

 

I think that, at its best, this is what skepticism does. But being a skeptic myself, what I can’t distinguish between is what you call “myth” and what is called a mystical experience. Many people have had mystical experiences that they ultimately use to further their own ends. They believe that they have direct communed with God and that God has given them a message or a mission for the rest of us. When the mystic declares himself/herself to be the mediator, it is at that point that I think things are apt to go wrong.

 

You wrote:

“However, (skepticism) being primarily 'reason based', its understanding can only go so far achieving a level of wisdom and meaning but never reaching beyond the limitations of the thinking mind to true revelation, transfiguration and illumination of consciousness.”

 

I agree. We all know that intelligence and wisdom are not the same thing. Our culture has the intelligence to invent bombs that can kill each of us 20 times over. But we do not have the wisdom to get rid of these bombs. But being a skeptic, I am inclined to think that wisdom comes, not through supernatural revelation or sudden illumination, but from learning from the mistakes of the past and from questioning motives, personal and cultural. I don’t think that having a mystical experience automatically makes one wise.

 

You wrote:

“In my view, the Skeptic can only attain a high level of intelligence with what Christianity may speak of as the 'old creature'.”

 

I understand what you are saying, but I disagree with your (and Paul’s) take on the interpretation. Your statement comes from, in your view, a position of superiority i.e. that the mystics are spiritual and the skeptics are carnal and never the twain shall meet. You are insinuating that the skeptic is the “old creature” and that the mystic is the “new creature” and that there is no room for intelligence or using the mind/reasoning/discernment in the “new creature.” Such a claim, pardon the expression, seeks to “disarm” the skeptic by insisting that the skeptic has no right to examine/judge/critique the truth claims made by the skeptic. So the mystic gets away with making any claim that they want because they are the “new creature” and don’t have to submit their claims to the judgment of others whom they consider to be carnal. Situations like this, my friend, can lead to circumstances like what happened in Waco. David Koresh claim mystical direct revelations from God and felt that no one had any right to question his claims or his authority. Maybe God has given the church skeptics to help keep the mystics grounded. :D

 

You wrote:

“To discover the ultimate reality of God or direct communion, in my experience takes a leap into the mystical which in a sense is very difficult (but not impossible) for those who place great emphasis on intelligence or are deep into the cares of this world whether they be politics, philosophy, theology or whatever.”

 

Again, while I agree that God is not known primarily through intelligence, the paradigm that you are portraying seems to say that the mystic cares nothing for politics, philosophy, or the cares of this world. I believe Jesus was a mystic and I simply don’t see that, for him, being a mystic made him less caring about the affairs of this world. To the contrary, I think his mysticism drove him deeper into caring about people and the lives that they lead.

 

You wrote:

“In a sense one must become as 'a little child' in that one must at least temporarily shed ones past conditioning of the thinking mind to see that kingdom or in eastern religion some would say to enter the unconditioned. In my experience, the world or reality of the Mystic is not something that is realized by thinking, doubting or believing. You can't think about it, because the minute you do, it is not to be found.”

 

I find this to be one of the most troubling statements, Joseph. The notion that one has to become “childlike”, while biblical, is, to me, unwarranted and even dangerous. Children are uncritical, self-centered, and often unable to discern the truth of things because they simply trust whatever an authority figure in their lives may tell them. So I find it troubling that at the center of mysticism is the notion that one must uncritically accept whatever someone experiences as the “truth” and that “new creations” must, essentially, stop thinking. No progress has ever been made in humanity when people have been told to just accept what happens to them and to stop thinking. To me, that sort of “progress” leads back to the Dark Ages, not to enlightenment. It seems to me that mature people question truth-claims and they don’t have to shut down their minds at the door of the church or in the presence of God.

 

It’s is my deep hope that PC can find a way to bring skepticism and mysticism into balance, even into synergy. Yes, intelligence is limited. And perpetual doubting can lead to fatalism. Mysticism, being directly in touch with God or ultimate reality, is, hopefully, a way forward for humanity because it does seek to remove the “middle-man.” But I also believe that mysticism needs the feedback of skepticism. If mysticism doesn’t allow for that, then it becomes just another religion of who is in (spiritual) and who is out (carnal) and fosters more divisiveness. We have enough of that already, don’t we?

 

So how can we appreciate and best utilize what both “sides” bring to the PC discussion? Or will PC become a “mystics only” club?

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(snip)

So how can we appreciate and best utilize what both "sides" bring to the PC discussion? Or will PC become a "mystics only" club?

 

Bill,

 

It seems to me most certainly not by 'assuming' the thought or false inclination that TCPC is or will become a "mystics only club" . The very 8 points defining TCPC and your very accepted presence here along with others of differing viewpoints should provide evidence as to the answer to that question.

 

Joseph

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