Re: MD Static and dynamic aspects of mysticism and religious experience

From: Sam Norton (
Date: Fri Dec 03 2004 - 09:54:16 GMT

  • Next message: Sam Norton: "Re: MD Self"

    Hi Wim,

    > O.k., let's understand 'theology' as 'instruction for religious practice'
    > then and return to the original issue: my objection (14 Oct 2004 10:14:54
    > +0200) to Scott's quote (and your agreement with it):
    > "What I find annoying are critics of religion who have not studied it. No
    > modern non-fundamentalist theologian is ignorant of the value of science,
    > but how many critics of religion are familiar with modern theology?"
    > I object to the implication that you have to study instructions for
    > religious practice to be allowed to criticize religious practice.

    Except this is still an understanding of theology which I reject, in other words I think theology IS
    religious practice. By which I don't mean what goes on in academic departments (necessarily,
    although it could easily be) but that 'theology is prayer' and prayer is theology. Journeying deeper
    into God, loving God with your mind, however you want to describe it - that's what I think theology
    is. So I think there is an underlying agreement here between us, in the sense that it is not
    'instructions for religous practice' that I am wanting to defend (understood as academic
    abstractions) but the fruits of the journey into God. They don't have to be determinative, but they
    can be illuminative.

    > My evidence that 'there are more Quakers who are former Anglicans than the
    > other way around [and p]robably ... even more Quakers who are also members
    > of the Anglican church than Anglicans who left Quakerism...' is Dutch Quaker
    > experience (almost all Dutch Quakers coming from other churches and
    > sometimes retaining a double membership and hardly any that I know of who
    > leave Quakerism to return to a more regular church) and a few instances I
    > read about of members of Britain Yearly meeting with double memberships.

    Given your professional expertise, do you think that this is a legitimate methodology for your
    inference? How many Anglicans are there in Holland at all?

    I'm going to pass on the 'symbol' point for the time being.

    >> You conclude with:
    >> 'I don't see "becoming competent at the third level" as being equivalent to
    >> "having social status among fellow practitioners".'
    > Isn't 'social status' the core value, the essence of stability of 3rd level
    > patterns of value (like 'truth' or comparability of symbols and symbolized
    > is at the 4th level)?

    No, I don't believe that it is - unless you make the definition tautological. I think it is one
    aspect of a broader spectrum of social values. See my post on the 'Self'. I think the search for
    social status is commonly understood to be egotistical (ie arrogant) but I don't see all social
    level activities as arrogant, or driven by an arrogance. Perhaps I am reading your point about
    'social status' too narrowly?


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