Friday, June 8, 2012

mysticism (continued)


            Religions attempt to be sexy with paradoxical language, negative theology, and moralistic grandstanding. The greater they believe they are humble, the more thorough their spiritual arrogance. The Christians, who believe all other religions lead to hell, are among many spiritually arrogant religions. The Hindus regard their yoga experiences as the deepest, the best, the only real.

            Anything at all may be spiritualized from circumcisions to martyrdom to vomiting to poison drinking, which are all aspects of Christian spirituality across the various sects. To spiritualize a thing, after all, need make use of a material, but another material may have likewise but supercharged with similar meaning.

            The language of their mysticism becomes stereotyped and conventional, so that Pentecostals speaking in tongues sound alike, as do Catholic mystics and saints who are especially morbid in their experiences of the divine, speaking of death, being raped by God ("ravishment"), feeling the decay of their body, or worldliness, or pride, feeling profoundly guilty and convicted, all mixed into a series of symbols involving stigmata, if not images of hellfire. This exquisite poetry of death is they way they let themselves feel union with God. They would not let themselves feel it in any other way.

            The language is conventional, and an American would use a different accent. Whitman uses beautiful optimistic erotic images describing a sense of sinlessness, as in, there is no such thing as sin in anybody, and equality with God as a brother -- "Clear and sweet is my soul, and clear and sweet is all that is not my soul...I believe in you my soul, the other I am must not abuse itself to you, and you must not be abased to the other....swiftly arose and spread around me the peace and knowledge that pass all the argument of the earth, and I know that the hand of God is the promise of my own, and I know that the spirit of God is the brother of my own, and that all the men ever born are also my brothers, and the women my sisters and lovers, and that a kelson of the creation is love...In me the caresser of life wherever moving, backward as well as forward sluing, to niches aside and junior bending, not a person or object missing, absorbing all to myself and for this song...of every hue and caste am I, of every rank and religion...Walt Whitman, a kosmos, of Manhattan the son, Turbulent, fleshy, sensual, eating, drinking, and breeding, no sentimentalist, no stander above men and women or apart for them, no more modest than immodest...unscrew the locks from the doors! Unscrew the doors themselves from the jambs Whoever degrades another degrades me..."

            "I shall never believe that any soul who does not posses this certainty [of catholic dogma as I do] has ever been really united with God" said Saint Theresa. This, of course, speaks of her limitations, not any divine opening of her mind.

            The Buddhists, however, seek a union with nothingness, and create an artificial and achievable ladder of increasing feats of enlightenment.

            The Sufi Al-Ghazzali believed that his deep mysticism revealed to him the "certainty that the Sufis are assuredly walking in the path of God," as opposed to alternative paths. "The prophet [such as me and other mystics] is endowed with qualities to which you possess nothing analogous, and which consequently you cannot possible understand."

            Such is the spiritual presumption and arrogance of the yogis in Samadhi and the Buddhists in dyana, who like children think they best celebrate their own experiences by discrediting the experiences of others, not unlike the boy who brags that his dad can beat up your dad.

            "If money could but disappear from earth, I feel it would remedy all our ills," said Theresa, who also mocked disparagingly at "worldly" concerns for honor. Of course this is merely affirming the dogma already known in her church. Spiritual arrogance is the more profound and insidious the more a man or woman feels herself to be humble, and especially when she imagines herself uniquely humble and therefore in a position to mock at pride.

            Such traditions do give mystic experiences, but they misuse them insofar as they try to close the door on others who go a different route.




\ ~@M@~ /


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