Re: MD The MOQ and Mysticism 101

From: Mark Steven Heyman (
Date: Sun Dec 26 2004 - 20:44:21 GMT

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    On 26 Dec 2004 at 17:50, Sam Norton wrote:

    Hi MSH,

    > I'd like to simplify the raging debate between Sam and DMB, for my
    > own sanity and peace of mind, if nothing else.

    Marvellous, great, wonderful, it'll do wonders for my sanity and
    peace of mind as well. DMB and I have been going at this for so long
    that all the oxygen has been sucked out of the atmosphere, burnt up
    in our flamings. Other people contributing will let in some fresh

    > I think the essence
    > of their disagreement can be examined in terms of what each claims
    > is revealed through a mystical experience.


    msh says:
    LOL. Well, I SAID I don't know anything about this stuff.. This is
    Mysticism 1010, remember.

    Or, well, sort of. The notion of "mystical experience" is what is
    being contested, from my point of view at least.

    msh says:

    > For DMB, a mystical experience reveals that god exists, and we,
    > everything, every rock root and sentient, are pure god, through and
    > through. We, each and everyone of us, are complete and equal in
    > godliness.
    > I think Sam is saying that a mystical experience reveals that there
    > is a God, and that we are part of it, but not all of it. There is
    > something external to us that is God as All. And (taking a chance
    > here) Sam might be suggesting that our complete realization of GOD
    > (our becoming one with God) isn't possible through any "earthly"
    > mystical revelation, but only after bodily death.

    DMB can comment on whether he thinks your characterisation of his
    view is accurate. But the word 'God' has come up remarkably seldom in
    our conversations, it seems to me. So I'm interested as to why you've
    brought it in.

    msh says:
    Well, for me, here, it's just shorthand for the ground of being.

    I think DMB would prefer to use the language of 'the
    one' for a start.

    msh says:
    Well, we'll see what he says. The one, the GOB, the common core,
    these are all the same to me.

    Besides which, I don't think there is any one thing
    that mystical experience reveals, there is no 'common core' - that's
    the main thing that I object to, the idea that the different
    mysticisms are interchangeable.

    msh asks:
    Ok. I'd be interested to know what you think is revealed (or hinted
    at or implied) by mystical experiences, and maybe make a distinction
    between a Christian experience and a Buddhist experience. I
    understand that ineffability is part of it, but does this mean we
    can't talk about it all? Because, if that's the case, then I gotta
    wonder what it is you and DMB have been discussing all these years.
    If "mystical experiences" are completely ineffable then how can we
    confirm or deny that they even exist? How do we distinguish between
    "real" mystics and Zappa's Mystery Man? How do we distinguish
    between Mystics and EveryMan?

    And in contrast to what DMB would have you believe, that isn't just
    something I would claim from a Christian perspective, it flows from
    understanding Wittgenstein and his notion of 'family resemblance'. I
    think the different mystical traditions are just that - different -
    and I think those differences should be respected.

    msh says:
    So do I. And the differences seem to be very clear to you, so that's
    what I'm hoping I can get you to talk about. For example, are some
    mystical traditions of higher quality than others? If so, how? And
    how do we know? How would one go about evaluating such things?


    Your "mystified " student,
    Mark Steven Heyman (msh)
    InfoPro Consulting - The Professional Information Processors
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