RE: virus: Is there room for mysticism?

John E.Mayer (
Tue, 16 Jan 1996 19:04:08 -0500

>> 1)logic covers reasoning processes. Logic can neither
confirm nor deny intuition, since the two processes
involve different human faculties.

Stephen Anfort wrote:
>Are either parallel to each other or perpendicular; probably both.
Parallel if there exists no
>causality between them. Perpendicular if there exists causality but it is
negated. I'm not sure
>where this train of thought came from so keep that in mind.

Parallel sounds more natural, though there *is* interaction, which might
tend toward causality.

>> 2)expertise in one area of study does not predicate
similar expertise in another. A medical doctor may
know a bit more about the mind than an engineer, but
if he goes head-to-head with a psychiatrist, he loses.

>Predicate? As in:

pred=F9i=F9cate vt. -cated, -cat=F9ing
1. orig., to proclaim; preach; declare; affirm
2. a) to affirm as a quality, attribute, or
property of a person or thing [to predicate
the honesty of another's motives] b)
Logic to assert (something) about the
subject of a proposition
3. to affirm or base (something) on or upon
given facts, arguments, conditions, etc.
4. to imply or connote
vi. to make an affirmation or statement
1. Gram. the verb or verbal phrase, including
any complements, objects, and modifiers, that
is one of the two immediate constituents of a
sentence and asserts something about the
2. Logic something that is affirmed or denied
about the subject of a proposition (Ex.:
green in "grass is green")
adj. Gram. of or having the nature of a predicate

2a and 4.

>> 3)without exact definition in terms, argument is
futile and counterproductive. We have used several
nebulous terms without pinning them down, making it
truly difficult to discuss these terms rationally.

>But the definition always changes in the act of defining it (therefor
cannot define it accutately)
>so you arrive at 3 without having acomplished anything.

True enough, but we can at least establish a starting point for more
effective communication.

David McFadzean wrote:

>>You're not alone in being unclear about that. Holy wars are fought
>>in magical circles over the truth about this question. The more

>It seems to me that it wouldn't be too difficult to test the
>claims and resolve the question. For instance, if it turns out
>that the magick rituals work only on people that know that
>the ritual was performed, then that would indicate that there
>are no mystical forces involved.

Mmmmmm. Misconception here. Spellcasting, which is what you
refer to here, is a low form of magick. I haven't had much experience
in that field. What is called "high magick" refers to the use of magical
techniques to, ummmmm...*forcibly evolve* the individual magician.
In other words, to raise one's consciousness to a higher level.

>Actually I don't think intuition is a non-logical process, rather
>it is a non-consciously-rational process. No-one doubts there is
>plenty of cognitive processing going on below consciousness,
>from pattern matching (recognition) down to physiological process
>regulation. Say you recognize you are in a dangerous situation
>and that causes adrenaline to be pumped into your bloodstream so you
>are ready for an immediate fight or flight response. That is a
>perfectly logical reaction, though none of it depended on
>consciously following any rules of logic. I think intuition works
>in a similar way, except the effect rises to the conscious level
>so that the idea or hunch seems to appear for nowhere.

I don't think we're out of sync here on the concept, just the terms.
Logic operates as an observable process, so we can chart its flow
and direction, whereas intuition has not (to my knowledge) been
heavily studied with a view to developing its methodology. The
single exception of which I am aware is the work of the J.B. Rhine
Institute, here in NC.

>Doesn't the above logical analysis confirm intuition?

I suspect we've already agreed on this.

>> 2)expertise in one area of study does not predicate
>> similar expertise in another. A medical doctor may
>> know a bit more about the mind than an engineer, but
>> if he goes head-to-head with a psychiatrist, he loses.

>Engineers may be in a better position than you might think.

I concede the point. Hasty selection of a term of comparison.

>I agree it is important and useful to discuss semantics but
>exact definitions are unattainable outside pure math (maybe
>even in mathematics?).

So we'll make do with general guidelines. BTW, magical writings
maintain that the purest truth contains a lie. Parallel thinking?

>I'm inclined to say that their is insufficient evidence for
>the existence of spirits as separate from body and mind in
>the "real world", however spirits do exists in the realm
>of imagination (the ideosphere), therefore 'spirit' is
>certainly not a meaningless term. If that's true then
>'spiritual' is used to describe things pertaining to these
>particular memes.

Hmmm. I'll have to absorb that one slowly.

>Love is simply a biological mechanism
>useful for pair-bonding and, ipso facto, perpetuating the
>species :).

Then homosexual love is a perversion of nature?

>What is wrong with being rationalists with a new coat? Isn't
>everything new "merely" something old with a new coat?

I prefer to think of new ideas as the evolution of an old idea.
If I've understood correctly so far, CoV is intended to be a
higher octave of rationalism, something very different from
the same old ideas in new clothes.

>By using "arrogate" you are already assuming that we are creating
>a church without justification. I guess that is grandiose
>by definition.

I worded that kinda strongly, but you gotta admit it got your

>That is one of the functions of a religion, but not the only one.

Good! Other functions?

>I thought we were materialists. Or does equating the spiritual
>realm with the memetic realm make us idealists with a new coat?

Idealists would use the same old coat. Perhaps we are evolutionists.
Virus =3D Evolution?

Duane Hewitt wrote:

>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.

You are quoting a common misconception about mysticism. Consider
the earlier example of Zen and tea ceremony. Most of this study is
intimately involved with developing skills. Or yoga. If you don't think that
takes skill, you've never tried any advanced asanas (postures, poses).
Consider also St. Hildegard of Bingen, whose musical studies carried
her to mystical states.

Jay Thomas wrote:

>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=
>> 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=

Awright! I thought I was alone out here!

>The connection between reason and mysticism goes back at
>least as far as Plato and Pythagoras.

Pythagoras' school was purportedly for the study of "the mysteries" by
means of mathematics. "The Music of the Spheres" is mathematical,
but not necessarily logical.

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

I concur.

Papa John