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In reply to an earlier post on 29 Apr 2012 10:36:36 BDT
C. A. Small says:
Sombrio- I think an awful lot of mysticism has derived from early cultures, and the rest from wishful thinking. Early cultures used shaman (or whatever the local title was) to guide people, the local spiritual leaders almost certainly took locally available hallucinogenics to "increase awareness" and their visions were viewed as an insight into the future, or the spirit world. Mysticism is nonsense, a rejection of reality due to unpleasant circumatances, or a fear of the future, especially a fear of the unknown, of which death is the ultimate.

A cunning individual can make a good living by feeding this fear, and indeed increasing the fear dramatically with drivel such as an afterlife. and visions of hell. A good example is the catholic church.

Mysticism aids those who seek something different from reality, but it is no more real than the "Fantastic four or Superman". Go to any of the mystic based emporia that abound ( I do because they are often in interesting places) and you can have your aura photographed, have your tarot cards read, the stones read, your horoscope read and a myriad of other utterly false "tellings" performed which can be very funny if you are sensible.

When it becomes sad is when people actually fall for this drivel.

You want your spirit lifted? Walk in a wood ( bluebells out currently), walk along the beach- whether sunny or a gale- no finer experiance, swim in a river in the rain, climb a mountain, sit in a field and watch the wildlife.

The rest of mysticism is just nonsense.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Apr 2012 11:05:21 BDT
Last edited by the author on 29 Apr 2012 11:08:30 BDT
Sombrio says:
Clive,

I won't even try to argue with you on this topic. Like I said before in that piece of doggerel wisdom my dear father passed on to me : "A man convinced against his will,... Is of his own opinion stiil."

Your response shows that your mind is already COMPLETELY made up; there is only one valid way to look at the question, (i.e. I think an awful lot of mysticism has derived from early cultures, and the rest from wishful thinking."). End of story.

All your examples of fraudulence and gullibility afterwards, I could equally counter with, "There would be no such thing as 'fake gold', if 'real gold' did not exist somewhere."

But your mind is made up. I don't know what you would interpret those words as. Probably some other form of fraud, gullibiliy or ignorance. My feeling is that when we look at the world, we don't actually see 'what is',.... we just see a reflection of the opinions and concepts that currently make up our personality.

.

Anyway, I'm glad that we at least share this connection :

"You want your spirit lifted? Walk in a wood ( bluebells out currently), walk along the beach- whether sunny or a gale- no finer experiance, swim in a river in the rain, climb a mountain, sit in a field and watch the wildlife."

I'll never fall out with you on those sentiments.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Apr 2012 11:10:58 BDT
Sombrio,

"If we were seeing an undistorted view,.... then we would all see/experience the same thing"

If we all saw and experienced the same things, we'd all be the same person.
However, you've now altered the situation. Before, you were talking about the experience of a single person. Their perception would alter from distorted to undistorted (or less distorted) and so allow them to see a wider view of reality. Now you're talking about the difference between the views of different individuals. This doesn't show that our view of reality is distorted, nor what form that distortion takes.
In the matter of the differing views of individuals, this is what science attempts to eliminate by constantly checking findings against reality. The individual involved becomes irrelevant
If you want to claim that a person's view is distorted due to them being a person, then you'll always have this, and the only way to eliminate that distortion would be to become something else. No guarantee, though, that that wouldn't bring a different distortion.
I don't find this a convincing argument for mysticism.

"I haven't said, (nor intended to say), that mystical experiences are "undistorted"."

To quote you... "These [mysticism] are experiences in which many of the filtering and distorting 'mind-protection-devices', get temporarily removed".
Okay then, "less distorted" rather than "undistorted". My point still stands. How can you determine that you've gone from distorted to undistorted/less distorted rather than vice versa.

"But we can get an inrush of a bigger and less distorted amount of it."

How do you determine that?

"the experience seems to be virtually universally profoundly pleasurable, nothing is 'gained'."

Many experiences are profoundly pleasurable, but that doesn't mean that they should be labelled 'mystical'. That does seem to be what you're doing here; applying a meaningless label.

"Be wary of trying to place every experience into some 'material' form of gain and loss."

Be wary of applying unwarranted labels to things.

"Nevertheless, the testimony of countless people attest that mystical experiences DO happen."

Argumentum ad populum.

"So how would you suggest I "prove" to you something that has happened in someone else's mind ???"

And yet, you're convinced by their obvious honesty and the number of people making the claim. If you can't show me that mysticism is real, how can you know that yourself?

Oh and by the way... Cut out the personal attacks. They're only reflecting on you.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Apr 2012 11:54:25 BDT
Last edited by the author on 29 Apr 2012 11:59:39 BDT
Sombrio says:
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In reply to an earlier post on 29 Apr 2012 12:12:49 BDT
C. A. Small says:
Sombrio- a flaw in your analogy, whether you do or do not like Indian food or Italian food ( I love both, but Italian for me is sublime) both exist and can be shown to do so. Not so mysticism.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Apr 2012 12:16:40 BDT
Last edited by the author on 29 Apr 2012 12:17:45 BDT
Sombrio,

We're not discussing the difference one person's perception and another person's perception. Again, you're trying to shift the focus. You claimed that some people have their perception altered to a point where they're able to perceive something that they couldn't before; a wider view of reality.
We're discussing whether the curry exists, not people's reaction to it.
I'm also not discussing people's sincerity when they talk of these 'mystical' experiences because their sincerity is irrelevant. They may be fully convinced that they're telling the truth, but that doesn't mean that it was the truth. If you find sincerity convincing, then I have this amazing box that contains the most wonderful thing you'll ever see. It'll change your life for the better forever, and it's yours for the meagre price of one-hundred-grand.

And yes, of course the discussion is between two people. And if you feel that your case is strengthened by repeated personal attacks rather than addressing the points, then as I said, expect that to reflect more upon you.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Apr 2012 12:31:20 BDT
Sombrio says:
Clive,

This may come as a surprise and a bit of a shock to you,... but there is ALSO a flaw in your reasoning :

In the analogy, I was talking about the "enjoyment" of Indian or Italian food. This enjoyment does not exist anywhere, other than in the mind of the person experiencing the taste. If this enjoyment were an actual tangible, 'proveable' thing,... the everyone would share the same feeling towards it. Because it was 'real'.

So, the experience of enjoyment exists solely in the mind of the individual, It is 'unproveable', and 'unknowable' to another person,... because I cannot know that you like Italian food, and you cannot prove to me that you do.

But, would I therefore be correct in argueing that your enjoyment is 'NOT real' ?

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Apr 2012 12:35:11 BDT
Last edited by the author on 29 Apr 2012 12:36:53 BDT
Sombrio says:
Sam,

You wrote, "Sincerity is irrelevant. They may be fully convinced that they're telling the truth, but that doesn't mean that it was the truth."

If this statement is true,... then surely it also applies equally to what you are arguing ? (I am assuming here that you were being sincere when you wrote it)

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Apr 2012 12:36:56 BDT
C. A. Small says:
It is real to me, just as the loony bins have a lot of people in who think they are Mussolini or Napoleon.

But I can show you the food, show you me eating it, and then you can see the food being swallowed. Not so mysticism.

Posted on 29 Apr 2012 12:40:04 BDT
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In reply to an earlier post on 29 Apr 2012 12:48:30 BDT
Last edited by the author on 29 Apr 2012 12:56:22 BDT
Sombrio says:
Clive,

Are you pretending to be obtuse for the simple ornery pleasure of it ?

Dinner happens on your plate. It weighs a certain amount, its temperature, density, etc, can ALL be measured and universally agreed upon.

The enjoyment, (or otherwise), of the meal happens only in your head. It's 'realness', temperature, density, etc CANNOT be measured or proved by anybody. Nevertheless, it is real.

Mysticism does not happen on a plate. It, too, happens only in people's heads. It, too cannot be measured or proven. Nevertheless, the accounts of a tremendous number of seemingly sincere people thoughout history, and in every culture in the world, attest that it, too, is real. (Even if it didn't happen on their plate !)

You're confusing the fact that you don't like the sound of something that you can't see, measure, or prove,... with whether it exists or not. I don't like the taste of rollmops,..... but I don't believe that it is therefore impossible for others to experience 'the liking of them', just because that same liking doesn't happen in my own head.

Posted on 29 Apr 2012 12:58:57 BDT
(If I've dropped you in at the deep end, try this, a summary: German Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) ).

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Apr 2012 13:03:42 BDT
Sombrio,

Look at the argument, not the person saying it.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Apr 2012 13:04:19 BDT
C. A. Small says:
Sombrio- obtuse? Dinner can be weighed, its temperature and density calculated using scientific instruments and it demostrably exists. You do not seem to get that mysticism is lacking in the existence department. I wouldn't eat rollmops ( i'm veggie) but a friend of mine does, I can see him eat them. If he said I have just had an experience that cannot be shown that is fine- I suffered from sleep apnoea for most of my life. It was real to me, as were the hallucinations and night terrors- but they were just figments of my own brain ( due to oxygen starvation). They were in reality about as real as any other mental abheration.

Perhaps I shoould start a religion? A mystic cult? I can describe to the nth degree the dreams and hallucinations, but that does not make them in any sense real.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Apr 2012 13:20:41 BDT
Last edited by the author on 29 Apr 2012 13:25:45 BDT
RE: " ... I can describe to the nth degree the dreams and hallucinations, but that does not make them in any sense real.".

In any sense? Are you sure? Are you forgetting yourself again, C.A.?

it makes them as real as the previous experience which preceded, shaped and moulded them. Or are you trying to say the world [and your senses] made no impressions on your mind whatsoever beforehand, and did not influence the nature of the hallucinations? are you saying you believe in solipsism? that would make you a Cartesian. You and Spin have something in common.

That's not even to mention the language you use to describe them or conceive of them.

It turns out they were not so "unreal" (or "nonsensical") / detached from reality, after all.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Apr 2012 14:51:53 BDT
Last edited by the author on 29 Apr 2012 15:12:09 BDT
Sombrio says:
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In reply to an earlier post on 29 Apr 2012 15:11:17 BDT
Last edited by the author on 29 Apr 2012 15:15:11 BDT
Sombrio says:
Clive,

I am sorry to hear that you've suffered for many years with a sleep abnormality. So many things about our own 'health' we take for granted until we meet someone who has some missing element that robs them of a great deal of some quality that we are not even aware that we are enjoying.

So, in what I am saying, I am in no way intending to downplay the unfortunate experience you have had.

But, your argument is as shot full of holes as a colander, so the battle to patch you up and get you seaworthy again,... must go on regardless !

You said, "You do not seem to get that mysticism is lacking in the existence department."

You don't have to go very far to realise that the greatest part of our existence, (and many there are who have said the 'entirety' of our existence),.... depends on something which in itself, is lacking in tangibility, prove-ability, weight, substance of any kind, etc.

And that, of course,.... is 'thought'.

True, we 'know' they happen in our own mind, (But we cannot prove what we are thinking to anyone else). A record of their activity can be recorded on ECGs and the like, (but those print-outs are no more 'thoughts themself', than a photograph of a Mallard duck, is an actual Mallard duck.

Show me an actual thought. Prove to me it exists, or else I won't believe in them !

.

As to your sleep problems caused by oxygen starvation,.... mysticism is hardly a chemically caused phenomenon simply because in some cases it is, (dervishes, chanting, and the like) To try to pretend to this kind of logic is similar to saying that because many car crashes are caused by drunken drivers,... therefore, all car crashes are caused by alcoholic intoxication.

Poppycock logic.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Apr 2012 15:18:56 BDT
C. A. Small says:
Sombrio- unless you have some evidence that the delusions suffered by people are not caused by causes we know produce the effects of which you write, then logically we are correct to presume mental abnormality over supernatural gibberish.

To presume the supernatural mysticism and work backwards is not only logically flawed, it is frankly dim.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Apr 2012 15:29:21 BDT
Last edited by the author on 29 Apr 2012 16:29:46 BDT
Except that you've got it wrong. The experience of curries* is a real effect that happens in the mind of the person eating the curry. The sensory input is processed by the brain. A different person processes it differently because they have a different brain and so has a different reaction. The curry exists. The experience exists, albeit differently in each person. Alter a person's sense of taste (somehow) and their experience of the curry is altered.

But, a person doesn't always interpret an experience correctly. Someone might sincerely believe that they've seen a wider view of reality because they've had their perception altered, but they can't show that this is the truth. Everyone has moments of clarity when it seems that realisation comes from nowhere, and that can be misinterpreted by people who are already inclined to label it mystical.

* Don't know what rollmops are, so went with curries.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Apr 2012 15:47:44 BDT
Last edited by the author on 29 Apr 2012 17:01:46 BDT
Sombrio says:
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Posted on 29 Apr 2012 15:56:41 BDT
Last edited by the author on 29 Apr 2012 15:57:05 BDT
The curry can also alter one's experience of reality, and that of anyone else nearby. Especially if it's a vindaloo.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Apr 2012 16:07:15 BDT
Last edited by the author on 29 Apr 2012 16:53:16 BDT
Sombrio says:
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In reply to an earlier post on 29 Apr 2012 16:31:17 BDT
Sombrio,

You're still completely misunderstanding it, but I can't be bothered to write another long post at the moment.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Apr 2012 16:46:47 BDT
Sombrio says:
Sam,

At least we both finally agree on one thing. I too feel, in my heart-of-hearts, that " You're still completely misunderstanding it."

At last. Harmony.

Much more blissful isn't it ?

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Apr 2012 17:18:44 BDT
"I too feel, in my heart-of-hearts, that " You're still completely misunderstanding it.""

Well, there's your problem. Try using your head instead.
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Discussion in:  religion discussion forum
Participants:  27
Total posts:  335
Initial post:  23 Apr 2012
Latest post:  7 May 2012

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