MYSTICISM VERSUS RELIGION AND SCIENCE?

I read Thomas Merton* many years ago and came to the conclusion he had not had the Mystical Experience of Reality (MER). He was not a mystic.

If he had the MER he would have avoided use of the word “God”. The name is so adulterated with cultural layers of linguistics, logic, reason, mythomania, politics, faith, hope and belief that the word “God” now confuses all credulity, sense and understanding.

Also, based on his mystic experience he would not have expressed himself in the religious terms of his or any other “church”. I had the feeling he was in the church because there was no better life on offer in those days for a Seeker, a human who is called. But religious terms, even human terms, are not the terms of the Reality experienced first hand by the mystics.

Non religious scientists avoid this confusion by using the mind and experiment to get closer to truth. They are fundamentalists. They prefer to use the word “reality”, with a lower case “r”, avoiding religious/cultural accretions.

Mystics on the other hand use the word Reality, with a capital “R”, the meaning of which is only penetrated by experiencing Reality at first hand.

All these approaches are historically well documented. Current state of play is that religions are dead or dying; science, say some scientists, is at a dead end; only mysticism might have the answers say other scientists.

mysticexperiences.net


merton_thomas* Thomas Merton, O.C.S.O. was an American Catholic writer and mystic. A Trappist monk of the Abbey of Gethsemani, Kentucky, he was a poet, social activist, and student of comparative religion.  — Wikipedia.

 

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IS THE HUMAN RACE ON A JOURNEY THAT INCLUDES ITS EXTINCTION?

Is heaven not on earth?

hoffman-portraitDr Donald Hoffman, Professor of Cognitive Science at the University of California, says some research suggests “… the physical world isn’t final reality”.

He says such research also suggests “Natural selection drives our perceptions to extinction.”¹

Amen! (to borrow a phrase …).

This is precisely what my mystical experiences of Reality suggest. It’s what has been alluded to often in the nearly 100 posts to this blog.

The human race is on a long journey that includes its extinction. This is its destiny, its fulfillment. Heaven is not on earth. That’s the mystic message.


¹See Dr. Hoffman’s interview in the series of interviews with leading scientific researchers on the subject, “Is Consciousness Final Reality?” on the free video series, closertotruth.com.

 

MYSTIFIED AND SCEPTICAL ABOUT MYSTICAL EXPERIENCES OF REALITY?

The wonderment and disbelief of the uninvited

Reader “GG” wrote to us as follows:

“Those of us who dwell on the outside of your perplexing alter ego and who were casually introduced to it, as was I, are, rather, somewhat mystified and, I might add, skeptical.

“We do not doubt your revelations or refute the existence of this world, although, judging from our previous discussions, that noun may not apply: it is an essence, I gather, rather than a place. And we outsiders who are mere listeners about this phenomenon can only — as some say in the vernacular — give our head a shake.

“Perhaps this can be a launching pad for your weekly missive: the wonderment and disbelief of the curious but uninvited.”

Mysticalexperiences.net’s answer:

Charles T. Tart PhD’s., book, The End of Materialism: How Evidence of the Paranormal is Bringing Science and Spirit Together is a summation of his 50 years of research on consciousness, altered states of consciousness (ASCs) and parapsychology. He is one of the founders of the field of Transpersonal (spiritual) Psychology.

Dr Tart’s’ and other scientists’ work convinced him “there is a real and vitally important sense in which we are spiritual beings, but the too dominant, scientistic, materialist philosophy of our times, masquerading as genuine science, dogmatically denies any possible reality to the spiritual. This hurts people, it pressures them to reject vital aspects of their being.”

The long list of eminent authors and scientists who write to support Dr Tart’s work is a testimony to science’s growing acceptance and resolve to discover what experiences of phenomena like MER mean in general and to the human condition in particular.

These testimonials and the full text of Dr Tart’s relaxed, very readable introduction to his book can be found on his website.

mysticalexperiences.net


profile_charles_tartCharles T. Tart is internationally known for his more than 50 years of research on the nature of consciousness, altered states of consciousness (ASCs) and parapsychology, and is one of the founders of the field of Transpersonal (spiritual) Psychology. His and other scientists’ work convinced him that there is a real and vitally important sense in which we are spiritual beings, but the too dominant, scientistic, materialist philosophy of our times, masquerading as genuine science, dogmatically denies any possible reality to the spiritual. This hurts people, it pressures them to reject vital aspects of their being.

MYSTICS AS INTERMEDIARIES?*

 

An excerpt from the Conclusion to the book, PATHS BEYOND EGO, by Dr. Roger Walsh and Dr. Frances Vaughan:

“Carl Jung spoke of the importance of gnostic intermediaries, those people who transmit a wisdom tradition by imbibing it themselves and then translating it into the language and concepts of another culture.

“Perhaps the transpersonal movement can function as a collective gnostic intermediary, whereby the timeless wisdom of traditional transpersonal disciplines can be translated. tested, and winnowed, and then can inspire and transform contemporary culture.

“Yet the transpersonal movement is more than a gnostic intermediary. For in addition to translating knowledge it is actively involved in creating knowledge. New techniques are being devised, data generated, and both ancient and contemporary claims are being tested scientifically, philosophically, clinically, and experientially.

“The long-term effects of this enterprise may be far more than we can imagine. Already we have seen a shift to a more generous view of human nature and possibilities.

“We have moved from a perspective that encompassed only a single, healthy waking state of consciousness to a recognition of multiple states; from viewing normal development as our ceiling to seeing it as a culturally determined limit; from denying lucid dreaming to exploring it in the laboratory; from regarding meditation as a regressive escape to appreciating it as a developmental catalyst; from dismissing mystical experiences as pathological to recognizing them as beneficial; and from devaluing non-Western psychologies and philosophies to appreciating that some of them are, in their own unique ways, highly sophisticated.

“These shifts and more may make transpersonal studies an essential cornerstone in the emerging paradigm. These shifts also may change each of us, for what we do reflects our beliefs about who and what we are.

“The transpersonal vision of our possibilities may therefore call forth our individual and collective efforts to actualize them. This actualization may be crucial for the survival of our planet and our species …”


rogerwalsh1ROGER WALSH, M.D., Ph.D. DHL. graduated from Australia’s Queensland University with degrees in psychology, physiology, neuroscience, and medicine, and then went to the United States as a Fulbright Scholar. He is now at the University of California at Irvine where he is a professor of psychiatry, philosophy, and anthropology, as well as a professor in the religious studies programme. He is a proponent of the development of “transpersonal psychology” that includes phenomena such as MER (Mystical Experiences of Reality).

vaughanbw-210-expFRANCES VAUGHAN, Ph.D. is an author, educator and retired psychologist in Sonoma County, CA.


*COMMENT: If my experiences of these “transpersonal” psychological experiences of Reality (MER) are anything to go by, there were no indications they were meant to make me an intermediary to the human race.

Any direction I got regarding humans was to avoid them as a distraction, counterindicative to an understanding of the existence of the greater Reality being revealed.

Keith Hancock
Publisher
Mysticexperiences.net

IS REALITY WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT?

People who are called to think about their existence want to be authentic. It is a pressing thirst and hunger.

There’s a deep instinct to be whatever it is we’re meant to be despite the clutter of expectations coming at us from all levels.

Those not called to think about such things remain what the wise ones to this day call “sleepwalkers”.  They await their turn.

So those who for some reason not yet known to mankind are not sleepwalkers, the perennial question is,

“Are our lives best left to Reality? Is it the daily promptings in our lives of Reality that are meant to keep us focused on authenticity by ridding us of our human irrelevancies and distractions?”

Is it the experience of Reality that gives us the discernment to avoid the repetitive pains of human history –  so that we can develop individually in peace and contentment – eventually shucking off the human experience to become what we really are?

Is the locus of every person’s true identity, their true existence, not after all in sleep walking through life automatically, indiscriminately adopting the world’s values by default?

Is there anything of lasting value to be found in studying humanity after all?

Even scientists are now suggesting science is not able to answer the perennial questions of existence. Professor Michio Kaku suggests humanity is only at a level of “Type ‘O’  civilisation”. (See hundreds of “Closer to Truth” probing video interviews with leading scholars, academics, scientists, philosophers and psychologists).

So, is humanity merely a carrier? Are humans just transients, passing through, evolving? Is this what mystics experience? Is Spirit winning over Matter?

Is only Reality forever, always true, totally dependent, steadfast? Is anything else as awake, as authentic? Is Reality what it’s all about?

Mysticexperiences.net