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Rational Mysticism - general

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message 1: by Paul (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:22PM) (new)

Paul | 2 comments Mod
Welcome, UU Mystics and visitors!

I'm still reading, so I don't know yet what I really think about what Horgan is saying in his book, but so far I'm enjoying reading it. One observation: I'm feeling that his acknowledged bias, that "a sense of absolute knowledge is the sine qua non of mystical experiences" (p. 7), sometimes causes him to mush together the mystical and speculative elements of religion. Mystical experience does convey knowledge, but the moment we cross the threshold into words we are in the speculative (rational/theological) realm, no longer in the mystical (experiential). And I'm not so sure "absolute knowledge" is what mysticism conveys, at least not every time. Sometimes it's just new or richer or more vivid awareness. Anyway, that's how I see it.

I find it very valuable and stimulating, how Horgan parses out the differing views of Huston Smith and gnostics and Bernard McGinn. I've read quite a bit of both Smith and McGinn (including all installments of his work-in-progress, "The Presence of God"), and was very interested in McGinn's comments about Smith and about "the perennial philosophy."

I'll post some more when I've read some more. What do you think or feel about this book so far?

message 2: by Paul (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:27PM) (new)

Paul | 2 comments Mod
I finished the book yesterday, and my review is now posted - have a look!

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