Posted: Oct 16, 2014 5:45 am
by Kafei
Fenrir wrote:Still fluffy word salad*.

*With added fallacy dressing. If only I'd had a magikal yet nonspecific experience then I could understand it all.

Well, as I mentioned, I get very specific about the experience within the links. I just didn't feel the need to re-type a lot of what I've already explained and linked to. It's only a word salad to the person who's not had this type of experience. So, if you had this type of experience, these metaphors and analogies would no longer appear as a word salad to you, and that's the point I'm trying to get at. I'm going to assume that you probably didn't investigate any of the links I left. The issue with trying to describe this someone is that words like "divine," "God," "spirituality," etc. have so much baggage attached to them. In order for me to really get at what these metaphors born out of the mystical experience are trying to convey, you have to first rid yourself of this baggage, of all the preconceived notions you might have when you hear the word "God." That's one thing, because I assure you, when you finally, without short of having the experience for yourself, try to understand what is being said in an intellectual sense, you'll find that this is not an array of word salad at all. Like I pointed out, the reason I agree with William James that one cannot truly understand it unless they've had the experience for themselves, because they can only ever mull over the "mystical experience" conceptually. This is quite obviously due to the fact that the thing in which they are trying to grasp intellectually is, in and of itself, an experience. The point is not a series of concepts, but the experience itself. It's something you must go through to truly grasp it, otherwise, you're like a person trying to explain an orgasm to someone who's never experienced one. What would you say? "Oh, it feels like your genitals are sneezing." Well, this pays no justice to the splendor of the experience, you see.

Another thing I pointed out, but I'm not sure if you caught it, is that all of us, theists and atheists alike, are set-up in a way to intellectually doubt that such a possibility in consciousness exists in the first place. I know that if I hadn't had it for myself, I probably would share your criticism, and probably would also accuse others of partaking in "word salad," but I know that's not the case, and that's only because I've had this experience for myself. Romain Rolland in a letter to Sigmund Freud tried to make Freud aware of this phenomenon, but because Freud could not find this experience within himself, he disregarded it, and it only ended up as a footnote in two of his books. Jung, late in his life, was slowly catching on, and in fact, this was the basis of his concept of the "collective unconscious," and did plan to meet with Sri Ramana Maharshi, but died before having the opportunity to do so. If Freud or Jung would have spent their effort investigating the "mystical experience," I guarantee it wouldn't be this obscure thing in our culture that sits at the back burner, that is only peripheral, that many people are, in fact, completely unaware of, it's like this missing puzzle piece that would make sense of how the major religions came to be. If Freud or Jung had been directed to it, then maybe it would be taken a little bit more seriously in our institutions today. William James believed that religious experience should be the primary study of religion. Of course, today, in a western context it has been completely squeezed out of the equation.