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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Mystics vs. Rationalists.

     I'd like to see that one. It would be an epic battle. Kind of like the Cubs vs. the White Sox. Or like you always wonder about animals facing off in the wild. What would win in a fight between an alligator and a Grizzly bear? Really if you think about it, in a sense both mystics and rationalists are freaks. But do they know something the rest of us don't?
     That's certainly going to be the claim of the mystics. That they are getting mystical revelations that most of us poor earthbound dwellers aren't privy to. Which doesn't mean there isn't something to mystical revelation. I don't know. But a lot of the mystics do feel they've got the ear of God or the Universe or whatever. Like God's doing them special favors because of how evolved or holy or chosen they are.
     And then there's the rationalists. Now, don't get me wrong, the people that embrace a fair amount of rationality make a lot of sense to me. It's the ones that put rationality up on a pedestal, that make rationality the be and end all of their existence that I can't make sense of. Because ultimately where does rationality end up taking us? In other words, what's rational about death? It's like you go through all these struggles as a human being on earth (eg. you learn how to play golf) and after seemingly endless failures and stops and starts you finally start getting proficient at living and then, guess what, it's at that point that you have to check out. Makes absolutely no sense.
     And I think the people that live their lives based solely on their mystical relationship with God or the Universe are really not the most truthful people in the world, and in a lot of ways they're quite cowardly. I've seen it time and time again where the mystics state as fact what can only be conjecture. "Well, this is what God told me today."  I've heard those exact words!
     And often I've seen that sort of a situation used totally selfishly. This one not very cool guy once was asking to get into a bible study (which some of the cool people attended) at the church I was going to at the time. Well, the guy kept asking if he could join, and I heard the bible study leader tell him: "I haven't heard from God yet. (whether to let him in.)" Really, what crap. So instead of telling the guy the truth, he hides behind his "spirituality." Pure cowardice.
    Or the preacher that talks about "what God's doing" in his church. He doesn't know what God's doing. That is so arrogant to talk like that and it's dishonest. Now if he says, "What I think God's doing." Or "What it seems God's doing." I'm okay with that. But this certainty they almost always convey is a joke.
     It seems to be a theme with me: there's no easy answers to these questions about life.
     But we gotta keep trying to figure it out, right? (And sometimes trying to figure it out can even be fun.)
 

5 comments:

  1. Why do you consider the guy who told the not cool guy that he was waiting to hear from God if he could be in the Bible study a mystic? Because he says he gets messages from God?

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  2. Yes. I know my meaning of "mystic" is pretty broad here, but yes, the guy was saying he was waiting to get a message from God (about whether to let the uncool guy join) when in reality all he was doing was putting him off.

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  3. All of us are mystics, i.e. all of us have the propensity for divine revelation. The people who in history are considered "mystics" worked at getting these divine revelations and experiences. You and I could do the same. The people you talk about who give mystics a bad name are not "arrogant mystics", they are "arrogant people". It is well known that fools flaunt a little bit of knowledge. They are not "cowardly mystics", they are just cowardly people.
    It doesn't seem strange to me that once we finally get proficient, we are called upon to check out. Maybe in this lifetime we are just supposed to reach a level of proficiency and we have fulfilled our life's mission. On to the next life to get proficient at new skills! Any thoughts?

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  4. Andrea, Some of those "cowardly people" were also very spiritual people ("cowardly mystics"). I'm sure that's not always the case, but it was in the situation I was referring to.

    It doesn't seem strange to me that once we finally get proficient, we are called upon to check out. Maybe in this lifetime we are just supposed to reach a level of proficiency and we have fulfilled our life's mission. On to the next life to get proficient at new skills! Any thoughts?

    Well, that of course includes the presupposition that there are other lives. I admit THAT would make more sense. But I don't think it's the case.

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  5. Gregg, You probe an interesting topic... Mystics. Even Mystics are human, therefore, totally fallible. There is a line between using knowledge haughtily and beneficially (and stupidly.) Humans want to feel special and privileged, that's not the crime. The crime is in the absolute certainty and arrogance that you mentioned. Humility is an essential component. There are more questions than answers in life. Clarity emerges in time and patience. That God/Universe would enlighten us in any way is a magnificent truth. We learn, we error, we grow, and we learn again. If you think about it, you would probably see Mystic qualities in yourself as well. I thoroughly enjoy your take on the thoughts so many of us have and simply keep silent. Keep it up Mr. Bell, your mind is intriguing.

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