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.

 

INTERESTING THOUGHT: THE ATOMS THAT FORM YOU

“After having gone through all the trouble to make you, the atoms that form you are impertinent. Not only do they have no interest in you, they don’t even know you exist. In fact, when you die, your atoms go elsewhere, so, ultimately, your entire body disappears. Isn’t it strange that the atoms that formed you go on to form other things, but you disappear? Humbling, to say the least.”

ROBERT RINGER, Author of two New York Times #1 bestselling books, both of which have been listed by The New York Times among the 15 best-selling motivational books of all time.

THE SCIENTIFIC FACTS OF HUMAN ILLUSION?

By Professor Glen Olives Thompson | Mexico News Daily

Our species is in a sense a victim of our big brains: we seek to understand, and when knowledge is unavailable we make things up and call it knowledge.

We are pattern-seekers, explainers, believers in the idea that everything happens for a reason, every effect has a cause, every problem has a solution, and that justice will be served – in this world or the next.

The fathers of modern epistemology – Hume, Kant and Schopenhauer – produced an impressive body of philosophical work that indubitably demonstrated that objects conform to our knowledge of them, and that because of our very biology, some things will remain forever unknowable to us (what Kant called the “noumenal” to differentiate it from that which is observable and discoverable by humans – the phenomenal).

To illustrate by way of analogy, a beetle might “know” Octavio Paz’s The Labyrinth of Solitude as a comfortable place to build a nest or eat its pages, but because of its biology, it will never be able to know it as the brilliant intellectual work on Mexican society and culture that it is.

And so it is with us – we can only observe what our biology will allow. Of course, unlike the beetle, we have developed a very powerful tool of apprehension called the scientific method. But even this has limitations and is often misunderstood, even by scientists.

Karl Popper showed us that nothing in science is provable through observation and that we cannot indeed even observe causation. But when science is slow in giving us easily digestible answers, we are too easily inclined to grasp for anything that might, even if the answers are spurious.

We’re not machines that operate on algorithms: we’re gloopy globs of flesh and bone and nerves with blood coursing through our veins with the same salinity of the oceans from which we came. And scientists are people too – perhaps more aware of, but nonetheless subject to, the cognitive biases inherent in our neurobiology.

glen-thompsonGlen Olives Thompson is a professor of North American Law at La Salle University in Chihuahua, a specialist in law and public policy and a regular contributor to Mexico News Daily. Some of his other nonacademic work can be viewed at glenolives.com.

SCIENCE CONFIRMING MYSTICISM? Professor Harry Hunt says so.

Professor Harry Hunt of the Psychology Department of Brock University, Canada, suggests in a paper called, “The Truth Value in Mystical Experience”, pub. Journal of Consciousness, that what the mystics know by what he calls “intuition” physicists have to calculate …

His ($27.68 plus tax) paper identifies “truth values” from the mystical experience, such as “intuition/epiphany, pragmatism, coherence and correspondence”. He notes ‘coherence’ or ‘representation’ as the definition of the core of modern science.

He also records the mystical experiences of “gratitude”, “compassion”, “faith”, and “inner freedom”

He says modern science and mysticism “may have much in common” and “may eventually allow a contemporary reformulation of the macrocoscm-microcosm unities basic to traditional cultures”.

I think this heavily academically guarded, not to say defensive sentence might mean the Professor thinks science and mysticism might have a lot in common. This is not news to traditional mysticism but we must not forget what other scientists have already suggested, that while science is inside trying to look out, mystics have been experiencing outside for millennia …

” … advanced mystics and cosmological physicists seem to be describing similar things ..” Douglas G. Lockhart, pp.172 , FIRE IN THE MIND, Vol.1 of  3.

Keith Hancock.

Please click on FOLLOW to receive new postings and comments.