What is a mystic?

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A_Seagull
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Re: What is a mystic?

Post by A_Seagull » Tue Apr 26, 2016 6:55 am

A mystic is an egotist who doesn't know what day it is.

I am only hypothesizing here as I have never met a 'mystic'. But If I did meet someone who claimed to be a mystic, then I would expect them to have both those characteristics.

Jaded Sage
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Re: What is a mystic?

Post by Jaded Sage » Tue Apr 26, 2016 9:52 am

A_Seagull wrote:A mystic is an egotist who doesn't know what day it is.

I am only hypothesizing here as I have never met a 'mystic'. But If I did meet someone who claimed to be a mystic, then I would expect them to have both those characteristics.

Why? That doesn't sound very scientific of you?

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Arising_uk
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Re: What is a mystic?

Post by Arising_uk » Tue Apr 26, 2016 11:30 am

Jaded Sage wrote:• A mystic is someone who has direct experience of God.
So they have to be a theist?
• A mystic is someone who considers personal firsthand experience to be the highest authority, especially regarding religious things, most especially God.
So a theist and one who thinks what they believe is true?
• A mystic is an unorganized philosopher.
What do you mean by "unorganised", that they've not thought things through?
• A mystic is someone whose understanding is bigger than their intellect.
What do you mean by "understanding" then?

Jaded Sage
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Re: What is a mystic?

Post by Jaded Sage » Tue Apr 26, 2016 11:53 am

BIG BIG questions. I'll get back to them when I can.

Obvious Leo
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Re: What is a mystic?

Post by Obvious Leo » Tue Apr 26, 2016 12:12 pm

Plonker alert

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Greta
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Re: What is a mystic?

Post by Greta » Tue Apr 26, 2016 12:38 pm

My impressions:
Jaded Sage wrote:• A mystic is someone who has direct experience of God.
Arising_uk wrote:So they have to be a theist?
Just expressed in theistic terms IMO. I interpreted it as being able to freely move into the state that people enjoy when they have peak experiences. Lucky them.
• A mystic is someone who considers personal firsthand experience to be the highest authority, especially regarding religious things, most especially God.
Arising_uk wrote:So a theist and one who thinks what they believe is true?
It's a strong valuing of subjective experience. We live in a society where subjective experience is less valued than in the past, dismissed as "anecdotal" or just electrochemical activity, which are fair enough ideas but they miss the point IMO.
• A mystic is an unorganized philosopher.
Arising_uk wrote:What do you mean by "unorganised", that they've not thought things through?
Unstructured, untutored. A kinaestetic learning style. Gonzo philosophy.
• A mystic is someone whose understanding is bigger than their intellect.
Arising_uk wrote:What do you mean by "understanding" then?
Maybe they put more effort into making connections with their existing information than seeking out new information?

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Re: What is a mystic?

Post by Obvious Leo » Tue Apr 26, 2016 12:50 pm

Mysticism defined as gonzo philosophy is very astute, Greta.

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Re: What is a mystic?

Post by attofishpi » Tue Apr 26, 2016 1:29 pm

Jaded Sage wrote: A mystic is someone who has direct experience of God.
Er...that's me and i don't miss dick.

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Greta
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Re: What is a mystic?

Post by Greta » Tue Apr 26, 2016 1:47 pm

Obvious Leo wrote:Mysticism defined as gonzo philosophy is very astute, Greta.
Thanks Leo. Just riffing, as usual. Every now and then it works out.

This talk contains a fair bit of what I think of as secular mysticism (non so "gonzo"): https://www.ted.com/talks/richard_dawki ... anguage=en

Jaded Sage
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Re: What is a mystic?

Post by Jaded Sage » Tue Apr 26, 2016 3:49 pm

Greta, some big questions too. I'll get back to you when I can. But it's definitely not gonzo.

Jaded Sage
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Re: What is a mystic?

Post by Jaded Sage » Tue Apr 26, 2016 4:18 pm

Arising_uk wrote:
Jaded Sage wrote:• A mystic is someone who has direct experience of God.
So they have to be a theist?
• A mystic is someone who considers personal firsthand experience to be the highest authority, especially regarding religious things, most especially God.
So a theist and one who thinks what they believe is true?
• A mystic is an unorganized philosopher.
What do you mean by "unorganised", that they've not thought things through?
• A mystic is someone whose understanding is bigger than their intellect.
What do you mean by "understanding" then?
• Usually they are theist, but by no means do they have to be.

• When they are theist, and say, for instance, their experience conflicts with scripture or doctrine, they believe in their experience over doctrine or scripture.

• The word unorganized comes from the fact that after all the philosophers and mystics I've read I've begun to see little difference between the two other than subject matter. I felt organization seemed like a good distinguisher.

• I would think this is the most straightforward of all. Often what they are able to comprehend is beyond what they are able to express.

Jaded Sage
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Re: What is a mystic?

Post by Jaded Sage » Tue Apr 26, 2016 4:27 pm

Greta wrote:My impressions:
Jaded Sage wrote:• A mystic is someone who has direct experience of God.
Arising_uk wrote:So they have to be a theist?
Just expressed in theistic terms IMO. I interpreted it as being able to freely move into the state that people enjoy when they have peak experiences. Lucky them.
• A mystic is someone who considers personal firsthand experience to be the highest authority, especially regarding religious things, most especially God.
Arising_uk wrote:So a theist and one who thinks what they believe is true?
It's a strong valuing of subjective experience. We live in a society where subjective experience is less valued than in the past, dismissed as "anecdotal" or just electrochemical activity, which are fair enough ideas but they miss the point IMO.
• A mystic is an unorganized philosopher.
Arising_uk wrote:What do you mean by "unorganised", that they've not thought things through?
Unstructured, untutored. A kinaestetic learning style. Gonzo philosophy.
• A mystic is someone whose understanding is bigger than their intellect.
Arising_uk wrote:What do you mean by "understanding" then?
Maybe they put more effort into making connections with their existing information than seeking out new information?
A mystic doesn't have to be a theist.

They value the subjective and objective equally.

Untutored is greatly incorrect. It can be kinesthetic but it can very much be by lectures as well (that's why the word philosopher was included). It's definitely not gonzo.

"Maybe they put more effort into making connections with their existing information than seeking out new information?" That seems most accurate, my dear. I'd say an equal amount. But that's not what I meant by the line. See the other post.

Also, Richard Dawkins is in no way a mystic.

Mysticism is more of a teaching style, rather than a learning style. Well, it's an independent learning style; hence the holding of personal firsthand experience as the highest authority.
Last edited by Jaded Sage on Tue Apr 26, 2016 5:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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SpheresOfBalance
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Re: What is a mystic?

Post by SpheresOfBalance » Tue Apr 26, 2016 4:41 pm

I believe this does a good job:

mystic [mis-tik]
adjective
1. involving or characterized by esoteric, otherworldly, or symbolic practices or content, as certain religious ceremonies and art; spiritually significant; ethereal.
2. of the nature of or pertaining to mysteries known only to the initiated: mystic rites.
3. of occult character, power, or significance: a mystic formula.
4. of obscure or mysterious character or significance.
5. of or relating to mystics or mysticism.
noun
6. a person who claims to attain, or believes in the possibility of attaining, insight into mysteries transcending ordinary human knowledge, as by direct communication with the divine or immediate intuition in a state of spiritual ecstasy.
7. a person initiated into religious mysteries.

Of course with such definitions I would tend to believe that in fact they're actually schizophrenic.

Jaded Sage
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Re: What is a mystic?

Post by Jaded Sage » Tue Apr 26, 2016 5:01 pm

This is outdated. And terrible. And most of those are adjectives. We're looking for the noun. And number 6 is too Christian. We want mystics in general. Ecstasy is usually a Christian thing. But they got the direct experience right.

Jaded Sage
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Re: What is a mystic?

Post by Jaded Sage » Tue Apr 26, 2016 5:21 pm

Maybe nonsystematic is a better word than unorganized. The point I want to make is that philosophers and mystics are not all that different. Both Plato and Kant have been called mystics.

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