What is a mystic?

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thedoc
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Re: What is a mystic?

Post by thedoc » Wed Apr 27, 2016 3:05 pm

Gary Childress wrote: What was the experience like? What lead you to believe it was an experience of a/the "holy spirit"? Obviously feel free not to answer but I am curious (though also reserve some right to be skeptical).
I must preface this account by saying that it was over 30 years ago and I understand that only those present would get the significance of it. We were attending a conference of Charismatics attended by the pastor of my home church, and on the last day there was a service in a large room with a large crowd attending. Part way through the service there was a very localized disturbance in the crowd, it was like people murmuring, and shuffling their feet, and moving their chairs. As I said the disturbance was very localized and moved around the room as if something invisible was flying over the crowd and causing the disturbance. It stopped, after moving around the room several times and very quickly, and settled on a young woman who was part of the musical group that had preformed for the gathering, but not at this service. She stood up and started singing, but it was in a language that I did not recognize, and I can recognize several languages just by the general sound, but not by understanding them. When she finished singing in this unknown language, she sang it again in English, which fit the statement in the Bible that speaking in tongues in a group should then be translated into the language that people can understand. When she finished she seemed very much used up as if drained of her energy, the service then continued, it had stopped while she was singing, and no-one made any attempt to stop her. I understand that you might be skeptical of my interpretation, and that's OK, as I said before the event was for those present and if you hear my account and accept it, that's OK too. One more point, there was no advance notice or warning that this was going to happen, in fact those conducting the service seemed a bit surprised at the interruption, but didn't make any move to stop it.

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Arising_uk
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Re: What is a mystic?

Post by Arising_uk » Wed Apr 27, 2016 3:40 pm

Greta wrote:Have you done those sessions? Do they induce peak experiences?
Depends what you mean by 'peak experiences' but yes.
I would say people believe far less unquestioningly than in the past, which is obviously a good thing. However, there is a growing vein of logical positivism with a dismissive attitude towards subjective experience and consciousness that seems to me have thrown the baby out with the bathwater.
I think this is out of date as LP has long been and gone in philosophy as the last word on such things. However I don't think mysticism is a replacement nor do I think the LP critique that misplaced when it comes to the epistemology about such things.
Maybe some do do that. However, there is the option of staying rational while not being dismissive of intuition. ...
By 'intuition' you mean feelings and emotions? If so then I think the rational thing is to have such things coherently integrated with all the other thoughts and that includes the thinking done with language.
That worked for Einstein, whom many think of as somewhat of a mystic.
I think he'd be spinning in his grave at that thought.

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Re: What is a mystic?

Post by Gary Childress » Wed Apr 27, 2016 4:52 pm

Harbal wrote:This is like overhearing a conversation between two seven year olds.
Well, I'm actually in my late 40s. I think a statement like the one you make above may have an effect of stifling a conversation and the exchange of ideas. I think sometimes, when talking to another person, it's a good idea to withhold judgment (if even only temporarily) in order to better facilitate a meaningful exchange between what might seem like relatively disparate viewpoints. Do you disagree?

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Re: What is a mystic?

Post by Gary Childress » Wed Apr 27, 2016 8:10 pm

Harbal wrote:
Gary Childress wrote: it's a good idea to withhold judgment (if even only temporarily) in order to better facilitate a meaningful exchange between what might seem like relatively disparate viewpoints. Do you disagree?
Normally, yes, I would agree. In this case, however, all you are facilitating is your own disappointment, Jaded Sage doesn't do meaingful exchanges.
Maybe you're right. In some senses it may be true that it wasn't a meaningful exchange. It is a little difficult for me to understand how someone can come to a "realization" that they have "Jesus' feet" or "Adam's hands" and be reasonably sure that it is the case that such a state of affairs is "true". However, I can't say I'm particularly "disappointed" because I didn't really have high expectations to begin with.

On the other side of the coin, mysticism is a fascinating topic to me. I was curious about his claim so I thought I would ask. Had I started the conversation off with "you're a fruitcake" he probably wouldn't have shared his story at all. He probably would have simply returned an insult of his own and then both of us would be shouting at each other back and forth. That really didn't seem to be a very desirable state of affairs to me.

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Harbal
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Re: What is a mystic?

Post by Harbal » Wed Apr 27, 2016 8:15 pm

Apologies, Gary, I think I may have underestimated you.

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Gary Childress
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Re: What is a mystic?

Post by Gary Childress » Wed Apr 27, 2016 8:22 pm

Harbal wrote:Apologies, Gary, I think I may have underestimated you.
Thank you, Harbal. Apologies accepted. And best wishes to you in return. You seem like a very intelligent and capable person to me, far more so than I can credit myself. I hope we can have some good philosophical conversations in the future. :)

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Re: What is a mystic?

Post by Lacewing » Wed Apr 27, 2016 9:33 pm

Right. You did a good job of drawing out the information, Gary, so that you could see what was really being talked about. I usually try to use that approach because I really want an open and honest exchange with people -- AT LEAST I try until I see there's no point. When it becomes clear that there's some kind of closed agenda, I might feel compelled to cut to the chase to save time and hopefully unveil as much as possible without further ado. That probably makes me look mean, but I'm not. I just prefer truth over games.

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Greta
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Re: What is a mystic?

Post by Greta » Thu Apr 28, 2016 2:31 am

Greta wrote:While the interconnected oneness of all things seems indisputable, there's this problem of other minds. Why should our minds be so separate if we are all fundamentally one thing? The situation suggests to me that either blind or extremely slow processes are at hand because the problem of other minds seems to have no advantage, just causing suffering through objectification, misunderstandings and misreadings.
Lacewing wrote:I think the purpose is to explore. More territory can be covered when the energy is going in all directions... and trying all possibilities. The discoveries can then be transmitted back to the collective, which can evolve and expand. The illusion of separation seems to need to be a delicate balance: enough illusion to keep the game going, but not so much illusion that we simply compete for dominance over "each other" rather than seeking expansion. That's my guess... at the moment. Of course, the total failure of the human/ego component could be a huge lesson in the overall exploration.
I agree with the expansive aspect. Life explores like the water that largely comprises it - spreading out in all directions, inevitably finding any cracks or niches.

Thing is, I don't think separation is an illusion but a simultaneous truth - that reality is one and many. Life only survives through the destruction of other forms. It seems as though it doesn't matter what anyone thinks, humanity is going on this seemingly unavoidable fall into unsustainability, destruction and the emergence of whatever distilled forms of humanity arise from the wreckage. We can't avoid it due to competitive pressures - because it only takes one non-cooperating nation to exploit a group of cooperating ones for any controls to break down. The tragedy of the commons.

As you know, I've had peak experiences that gave me the impression that love is somehow a more fundamental aspect of reality than I'd thought - yet the problem of other minds and the insane amount of suffering in life suggests otherwise. Killing and torturing of innocents does not strike me as a loving form of education to promote growth. I can't reconcile it.

Logically, I could quickly resolve the issue by figuring that the peak experiences were just the result of a runaway dopamine feedback loop. Trouble is, after 50+ years of life you get to experience a lot of different things but those PEs were in class of their own. It felt more real than usual, as though I was finally facing reality head on rather than retreating into the usual low intensity waking dreams. Delusion? Maybe. How do the delusional know that they are delusional?

Still, the disconnect between the dual tendencies towards both love and suffering is still not comprehensible to me. It feels to me that there is something simple that everyone, or almost everyone, is missing that would make the nature of reality more understandable.

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Re: What is a mystic?

Post by Greta » Thu Apr 28, 2016 2:43 am

Greta wrote:Have you done those sessions? Do they induce peak experiences?
Arising_uk wrote:Depends what you mean by 'peak experiences' but yes.
AUK, either on the thread or by PM, I'd be interested to know a little about what the NLP sessions were like if that's okay.
Arising_uk wrote:I think this is out of date as LP has long been and gone in philosophy as the last word on such things. However I don't think mysticism is a replacement nor do I think the LP critique that misplaced when it comes to the epistemology about such things.
Then again, one of today's most famous, popular and influential philosophers is Dan Dennett.
Maybe some do do that. However, there is the option of staying rational while not being dismissive of intuition. ...
Arising_uk wrote:By 'intuition' you mean feelings and emotions? If so then I think the rational thing is to have such things coherently integrated with all the other thoughts and that includes the thinking done with language.
Language (and math) can only approximately model subjective experience.
That worked for Einstein, whom many think of as somewhat of a mystic.
Arising_uk wrote:I think he'd be spinning in his grave at that thought.
A Google phrase search for "einstein was a mystic" - About 6,380 results - the exact words, never mind all the references that would not have used those words.

If my comment has set Einstein spinning then, with all those other references, by now his body would be spinning like a neutron star. Or maybe the notion isn't so left field, after all?

thedoc
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Re: What is a mystic?

Post by thedoc » Thu Apr 28, 2016 2:57 am

Arising_uk wrote:
Greta wrote:Have you done those sessions? Do they induce peak experiences?
Depends what you mean by 'peak experiences' but yes.
I would say people believe far less unquestioningly than in the past, which is obviously a good thing. However, there is a growing vein of logical positivism with a dismissive attitude towards subjective experience and consciousness that seems to me have thrown the baby out with the bathwater.
I think this is out of date as LP has long been and gone in philosophy as the last word on such things. However I don't think mysticism is a replacement nor do I think the LP critique that misplaced when it comes to the epistemology about such things.
Maybe some do do that. However, there is the option of staying rational while not being dismissive of intuition. ...
By 'intuition' you mean feelings and emotions? If so then I think the rational thing is to have such things coherently integrated with all the other thoughts and that includes the thinking done with language.
That worked for Einstein, whom many think of as somewhat of a mystic.
I think he'd be spinning in his grave at that thought.
If Einsteins "thought experiments" were not based on intuition, what were they based on?

thedoc
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Re: What is a mystic?

Post by thedoc » Thu Apr 28, 2016 2:59 am

Greta wrote: If my comment has set Einstein spinning then, with all those other references, by now his body would be spinning like a neutron star. Or maybe the notion isn't so left field, after all?
Good old Pinwheel Einstein.

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Arising_uk
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Re: What is a mystic?

Post by Arising_uk » Thu Apr 28, 2016 11:08 am

thedoc wrote:If Einsteins "thought experiments" were not based on intuition, what were they based on?
They could have been but until someone can tell me what they actually mean by 'intuition' I'll think them more based upon imagination.

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Re: What is a mystic?

Post by Arising_uk » Thu Apr 28, 2016 11:19 am

Greta wrote:AUK, either on the thread or by PM, I'd be interested to know a little about what the NLP sessions were like if that's okay.
Rather than bore people I'll PM you.
Then again, one of today's most famous, popular and influential philosophers is Dan Dennett.
Fair point although I'd question that popular and influential go with philosophy today.
Language (and math) can only approximately model subjective experience.
How so? As I'd have thought language was exactly produced because of the subjective. Although I'm still puzzled about what people mean by 'subjective experience'? The best I get is 'what it's like to me' but other than how it 'feels' to me I'm at a loss as to what this means, as how can there be a 'like' to me given one cannot compare this 'like' with others or even with oneself.
A Google phrase search for "einstein was a mystic" - About 6,380 results - the exact words, never mind all the references that would not have used those words.
Again this depends what someone means by being 'a mystic'? If it means some kind of supernaturalism then I think him not such but if it means being in touch with the feeling of awe at Kant's Noumenon or Spinoza's 'God' then I think it probably fits his thoughts about such stuff.
If my comment has set Einstein spinning then, with all those other references, by now his body would be spinning like a neutron star. Or maybe the notion isn't so left field, after all?
He's probably a blur and not least because of whats been done to his term 'relativity'.

thedoc
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Re: What is a mystic?

Post by thedoc » Thu Apr 28, 2016 2:56 pm

Arising_uk wrote:
thedoc wrote:If Einsteins "thought experiments" were not based on intuition, what were they based on?
They could have been but until someone can tell me what they actually mean by 'intuition' I'll think them more based upon imagination.
One way to think of intuition, (but not the only way) would be of a feeling about something. From the accounts that I have seen, Einstein had a feeling about the understanding of light, and used his imagination to devise a thought experiment to enhance his understanding. His theories were developed from these thought experiments and later confirmed with actual experiments conducted by other physicists, is fact different aspects and predictions of his theories are still being confirmed today.

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Re: What is a mystic?

Post by SpheresOfBalance » Thu Apr 28, 2016 8:52 pm

Arising_uk wrote:
thedoc wrote:If Einsteins "thought experiments" were not based on intuition, what were they based on?
They could have been but until someone can tell me what they actually mean by 'intuition' I'll think them more based upon imagination.
I used to believe as you do on this one. Imagination made more sense than intuition. Now I see it differently. I believe that Intuition can only be seen as the sudden conscious linking of several, up to that point, unrelated subconscious bits of data. So it's doing the math quietly in the subconscious while one's not consciously doing the math, until, VIOLA, the conscious mind catches a glimpse, so as to suddenly make report. Or at least logically, that seems to make the most sense to me!

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