Re: virus: Is there room for mysticism?

Lather. Rinse. Repeat. (
Sat, 13 Jan 1996 14:30:40 -0700 (MST)

On Fri, 12 Jan 1996, Duane Hewitt wrote:

> To me mysticism seems like a cop out. It does not take any justification
> to be a mystic because mysticisim defies "mere logic".
> As to finding beauty and fun in reason, I think Chess is a much more
> beautiful and elegant game than Snakes and Ladders. Chess is based upon
> strategy, logic and reason. Snakes and Ladders is based upon luck.
> It seems to me that mysticism is a game of philosophical Snakes and
> Ladders in which the player would rather depend upon some intangible
> factor than develop skill. This is probably why many people when faced
> with a logical
> argument they do not wish to acknowledge retreat to mysticism and denigrate
> the usefulness of reason.

There are many, many nuances to mysticism. Not all are opposed to logic
and reason.

I consider myself a fairly "mystical" person. I have and continue to
engage in various forms of "ritual magic", meditation, and "creative
visualization" or "astral travel". I have had visions and experiences
which have permanently altered both my world-view and the course of my life.

I am also an athiest. When I engage in "mystical" pursuits, I feel that
I am exploring the contents of my own psyche. I have discovered that these
contents have a tendancy to relate to each other in a way that is both
intuitive and logical. The language of visions, etc. is a language of
(often visual) symbols. There is no reason these symbols cannot relate
to each other in a logical way.

I should also add that I do not find science and mathematics
non-mystical. The connection between reason and mysticism goes back at
least as far as Plato and Pythagoras. That I "feel" a "mystical
resonance" when I study science and mathematics does not in any way
indicate that my understanding of those subjects is any less valid than
the understanding of someone whose study is not accompanied by a feeling
of mystical resonance.

I retreat neither from reason nor from mystical experience. To me, both
are essential to living fully as human being.

--Jay Thomas