Sunday, January 24

Walking in the shadows of the mystics.

Introduction

Out of my childhood were mystical memories of dreamy imagined worlds whose characters cast magical spells in the shadows of the giant hypnotic eucalypts which grew in the tranquil peaceful bush land setting behind our family home. At night my bedroom glass window louvers shimmered in the pale light and rattled to the sounds of wind or rain as I listened to the incessant buzz of cicadas or the more strident cry of - “mowpoke! , mowpoke!" of the mowpoke owl before drifting off into sleep.

Although I would consider myself as a more practical and skeptical type person that mystical dreamy imaginative sense has also stayed with me to emerge in later life, prior to any feelings about religiosity, in the form of a recurring day dreaming state from which I imagined nothing whatsoever existed; after a time when the feeling became uncomfortable I would return to my everyday perception.

In Australia over several decades we have seen a minor renaissance in spirituality in contrast to declining church attendances as increased environmental awareness generates more interest in the wisdom streams of ancient societies. Many older cultures although beholden to magic and lacking scientific knowledge nevertheless were more attuned to harmonious co-existence with nature as a consequence of mystic wisdom streams.

But firstly I should define mysticism which is, according to the definition of my Oxford dictionary:

1. Chiefly the Christian church, the beliefs or mental tendencies characteristic of mystics; belief in the possibility of the union with or absorption into GOD by means of contemplation and self surrender; belief in or reliance on the possibility of spiritual apprehension of knowledge inaccessible to the intellect.

2. Religious belief characterized by self delusion or dreamy confusion of thought; belief based on the assumptions on occult qualities or mysterious agencies.

Aboriginal mysticism

In our oldest known continuous culture of the Australian aborigines’ the ancestral origins of mysticism reside in the dreamtime creation where all living things were believed to be made co-dependant and reactive to one another in one inseparable land.

So it was in the beginning the dreamtime was to dominate every facet of their rich life; in mythical creation stories, ceremonial art, music, ritualistic practice; initiation rites into adulthood; and in the repository of knowledge of the law handed down from one generation to another. Within the tribal system adolescents were isolated away from the rest of the tribe under the control of elders who provided tutelage on all matters of their law until they were sufficiently aware to make the positive transition to adulthood which carried with it the responsibility towards their tribe and the environment upon which they were dependant - Charles P Mountford – The Dawn of time.

As a child just before the time of the record –breaking floods which were to submerge our family home in raging floodwater I recall the inexplicable death of the Aborigine named Kinjika from bone pointing for tribal transgressions. Speculation was that his extreme fear caused his untimely death just five days after admission to hospital as medical authorities were unable to find any injury, poison, disease or medical condition that could be held responsible.

Eugene Stockton is a priest who has spent many years with the aboriginals and talks about their tribes gathered around the campfires at night experiencing a mystical oneness with the environment. To read the full article entitled 'Mysticism in the Australian environment: Calls to a new consciousness' click here .

Like many religions aboriginals were interested in the meaning of dreams which unlike other cultures were perceived as a mystical return to the past rather than to interpret the future.
Aboriginal people often interpret dreams as being the memory of things that happened during this Creation Period. Dreams were important because they were considered the time when one was transformed back into prior ancestral time. This linking of dreams to the Creation Period has led people to adopt the general term “The Dreamtime” in order to describe the time of creation in their religion. The term “Dreamtime” in Aboriginal mythology is not really about a person having a dream, but rather, a reference to this Creation Period.

To read more about aboriginal culture and religion click here

Ineffable mysticism and reverence for life

In modern day terms the divide between mysticism in religion and philosophy has become blurred for although the experiences of mysticism may be claimed to be ineffable (Incapable of being expressed; indescribable or unutterable), nevertheless for those traditions to take root and be successfully handed down from one generation to the next required a teacher able to coherently convey what is meant to ensure a future survival.

In the Taoist religion “The Tao” was considered with such reverence that any references made could no longer be considered the true Tao-Lao Tzu (Taoist), since such supremacy in spirit is also ineffable.

For more on the philosopher Lao Tzu click here

GOD was also ineffable in early Judaism

In early Judaism coherency in teachings was described by reference to GOD’S ways or actions in the mystical stories of the Old Testament. The Jewish approach to mysticism is complicated but generally it is agreed the mystics are to be interpreted in terms of allegory and imagination, a not dissimilar view held by scholars today in relation to the parables contained in the New Testament.

In the end any inherent complexity must become mundane for its future survival, as the old story goes of the student and his understanding of the various contemplative mysteries of the mountain whose enlightened state reveals it is a mountain.

In more recent times the definition of mysticism has also tended to be expanded to include the ecstatic experience of oneness found in Indian religions such as Hinduism or Sufism in Islam which aims at unity or absorption of the divine.

In turn the idea of a oneness has also influenced other philosophers such as Albert Schweitzer who said the “Brahmins, taught as a great secret the mysticism of the identity of the souls of all beings and all things with the Universal Soul. According to this mysticism all that is of the nature of soul belongs to the Universal Soul. Man carries the Universal Soul within him. And because the Universal Soul dwells in all Being, it finds its own self again in all Being, in the life of plants as in the life of gods. This is the meaning of the famous Tat twam asi (That thou art thyself) of the Upanishads."

Schweitzer whilst in the midst of a calm river setting in Africa gazing at a grazing hippopotamus, experienced his mystical insight into the principle of reverence for life, which proved to be ‘ manna from heaven’ for a war ravaged weary world, striking a chord that subsequently led to his Nobel peace prize in 1952.

A similar theme is evident In Tathagatagarbha Buddhism to proffer the idea of an enlightened indestructible nature for all beings, obscured by moral and mental contamination but whose enlightened essence is the Buddha Nature, present also in Tibetan Buddhist texts and traditions. Nothingness does not mean an absence of anything but rather the enlightened state from which attachments bringing moral and mental contamination are removed.

Christian mysticism

Turning to Christian mysticism we find an amazing labyrinth of different strands from the medieval Christian mystics included St. Augustine, St. Bernard of Clairvaux, St. Teresa of Avilia and Meister Eckhart and all of the other successors.

But by far the greatest of all of the Christian mystics is the apostle St Paul whose 13 letters make up half of the New Testament, although most scholars contend that only 7 were actually written or under the direction of Paul. Paul was a scholar, sail maker and mystic whose epic journeys established Christendom throughout the Mediterranean and ensured its spread throughout the world. Paul was seen as an apostle for the gentile’s yet in typical Judaist tradition frequently uses allegory by way of Old Testament references in his letters to the recently established infant communities.

Paul remains an enigmatically unique character – virtually unknown in a historical sense other than to be remembered in Jewish disagreements amongst followers, but one who professes to be willing to understand all things and become ‘as one’ to all men to further the cause of being “in Christ” which arose from his mystical experience on the road to Damascus. I think this factor had led many to interpret his work in a more complicated manner than need be the case.

The phrase ‘In Christ” has prompted many different interpretations and Schweitzer in his work ‘The Mysticism of Paul the Apostle’ on page 380 provides his view

"For him [Paul], believers are redeemed by entering already, through the union with Christ, by means of a mystical dying and rising again with him during the continuance of the natural world-era into a supernatural state of existence, this state being that which they are to possess in the kingdom of God. Through Christ we are removed out of this world and transferred into the state of existence proper to the kingdom of God, notwithstanding the fact that it has not yet appeared. “

Much has been made of the abstract nature of Pauline theology as a bridge from the more individualistic Judaism into Christianity with the idea of justification by faith but I think the primary aim of Paul was one of universal freedom from the law under the Jewish covenant about which he disagreed with Peter. His letters are best read simply as letters, not necessarily to be held as always Paul’s specific views but more to be understood as an encouragement and call to the fledgling communities to co-exist with love and respect for one another without the need for the prior ritualistic imposition of Jewish law.

St Paul is of significant interest to secular philosophers because his ideas carry with them the idea of a universal unencumbered system of unity which presupposes through grace existential philosophical aspects to life; to hold our life existence as sacred, to ascertain and acknowledge ones gifts for the benefit of the whole community, to joyfully exist in a state of grace without fear of death, to be free and remain free from guilt, to share in all things and to place love and affection ahead of all other known things. In the process Paul acknowledges our humanity and the imperfect cradle of existence which will continue to see communities straddle the idealism that is encapsulated in their new understanding and freedom from their law only to fall prey to the usual earthly failings.

In the same way as Schweitzer was to say he knew only Jesus of Nazareth; Paul sends his letters of encouragement and hope in the expectation that the experience of freedom from the law will bring joy to existential living to transcend earthly suffering and sorrow.

From a letter written by Albert Schweitzer to his future wife Helene, dated May 1, 1904, "Sometimes it seems to me as if I had arrived beyond the clouds and the stars, and could see the world in the most wonderful clarity, and therefore have the right to be a heretic. To know only Jesus of Nazareth; to continue his work as the only religion, not to have to bear anymore what Christianity has absorbed over the years in vulgarity. Not to be afraid of hell, not to strive for the joys of heaven, not to live in false fear, and the false submission that has become an essential part of our religion--and yet to understand the one Great One, and to know that one is his disciple."

CONCLUSIONS

Mystical experiences have been crucial in providing the creative imagination which helps shape our philosophies and give us that sense of self that gives rise to our humanity.

What is strikingly apparent from many of the mystics is the similarity in ideas about oneness and interdependence for all living things. Another is the wonderful philosophies which are suggested, through grace, as being available to all regardless of belief, to be simply experienced by engagement in mind and spirit. To find your own meaning to life (as opposed to seeking a meaning for life) as I see it in the use of one’s gifts in the way that was intended for a more complete and energised happy life for oneself and community. In that respect secular philosophers’ views often unintentionally reflect religiosity just as the more skeptical views of some religious commentators can be more secular than religious.

In another sense, in a more generalized universal viewpoint my personal philosophy leads me to believe that all life is sacred. We can learn from the mystics but ultimately we all determine what philosophy and life meaning we personally adopt. If you agree with me that all life is sacred then a call to arms must always be viewed with suspicion except in extraordinary circumstances.

22 comments:

Mercutio said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mercutio said...

(expanded from the previous comment)
A fine overview of the topic.

It occurs to me that all of mysticism would fit neatly within the various types of knowledge which Spinoza enumerated.
(a passage from On the Improvement of the Understanding which I am referring to here.)

But not exactly.
It would seem as if mysticism itself is more of a method knowing which is separate from the knowledge or the knower in question.
This being the case, the question would naturally arise as to whether other such methods exist, and the efficacy of various extant methods.

Further, it occurs to me that the purpose (or value) of knowledge is to enable one to arrive at more judicious decisions. Choices confront us at every turn, and it is this, more than anything else, which forms the particular world which we inhabit.
Then, to the extent that mysticism enables one to make more judicious choices, it proves to be beneficial.
Conversely, to the extent that mysticism would cloud the capacity to arrive at more judicious decisions, it would prove to be an impediment.

lindsaylobe said...

Thanks for your insightful comments and I like the idea of mysticism as a method of knowing separate to the knowledge or the knower in question. These aspects remain vexed questions hotly debated by scholars of divergent opinions bur let me expand more on my views.

The spirit blows where it wills in the freedom to accumulate knowledge and knowledge to make judicious decisions but hopefully with the humility to accept such knowledge is confined to the earthly state upon which we exist and the ceiling imposed by language.

I think we could argue our mystical experience is the actuation of our various gifts which, in that sense, leads us to the conclusion we are all mystics and have the choice of sharing in those gifts conferred by the spirit to varying degrees or otherwise according to our freedom. But that is not to say we have mystical religious experiences which we can rationally refer to at any time or that mysticism is a method to potentially override other methods of acquiring future valuable knowledge.

Rather we might feel energized or mindful that we are engaging our gifts in the manner as was intended which will allow us to freely change our minds and to gain new knowledge without the restraint or imposition of ideologies presupposing necessary outcomes.

Thanks again for your thoughts on the matter.

susan said...

This is a wonderful and well written post. I've read about the Aboriginal bone pointing previously in the Song Lines where the theory given was that the offending person was considered dead by his tribe and family at that moment and would die in reality because his life was no longer supported. In essence, the man would die of heartbreak.

We live in a world where survival and growth is better assured by cooperation rather than attack and the greatest reward in life is happiness and self-fulfillment. It seems to me we could be surrounded by all manner of different consciousnesses in vibrational fields or dimensions other than our own. When saying 'Hello' to God it's not the style that counts but good thoughts and sincerity.

Good wishes

The Crow said...

As Susan wrote - well written.

I was particularly taken with the second paragraph in the Conclusion section, because I woke up this morning (28 Jan) wondering what meaning our lives have, why we are here.

After much wrangling with those and other questions, my mind settled pretty much where yours seems to have: "To find your own meaning to life (as opposed to seeking a meaning for life) as I see it in the use of one’s gifts in the way that was intended ..."

Good post, Lindsay; useful to me personally, and insightful.

Martha

lindsaylobe said...

Susan – The Aboriginal bone pointing became a self fulfilling prophesy for the reasons you mentioned. I think we have always depended more upon cooperation than attack combined with sincerity in thought and good intentions to facilitate the sharing of our gifts during both good and difficult times as was intended.

Martha
I’m delighted to see the extent of the courage and fortitude so evident in your life and very pleased you find a common affinity with the conclusion to my post.

raymond said...

Beautiful article lindsaylobe, thank you.

Regarding Albert Schweitzer’s “Not to be afraid of hell ……”

I would add one further right: free not to make any sense of, or moral excuses for the entity that causes mystical experience, that thing/being/dynamic which allows me to love without reason. For me it is an experience for which no theology fits, unless we want to consider the manifestation of unconditional love as theology.

DVA Theatre Company said...

An interesting article. The paragraph at the beginning was magic. I love the beautiful way you describe childhood environments and experiences!
Nicla B.

Laura said...

Very interesting, thorough post, Lindsay. And absolutely beautiful introduction!

I'm not 100% convinced St. Paul was a mystic as much as a political genius. A "mystical" experience does not a mystic make - at least not according to St. John of the Cross, Meister Eckhart, or the unknown author of The Cloud of Unknowing. Mysticism, according to these mystics, is reliant upon realization.

I do agree, however, that those who try to make sense of the mystical experience must fall back on imagination to express the realization since expression through language has its limitations.

lindsaylobe said...

Hi Laura
Thanks for your insightful comment.
Many of the more traditional and older scholars would agree with you that St. Paul writings denote a political genius, and that "mystical" experience does not a mystic make, but rather according to your accepted references is primarily reliant upon realization.

But a redefined meaning for mystics and mysticism emerged amongst many leading scholars from the mid 19th century onwards to firmly lumps Paul in with the mystics.

Let me explain in more detail.

The reason to include Paul was based on the fact he had a known mystical experience which was continulaly subtlety evident therafter, notwithstanding on face value his writings differ markedly with the more traditional mystics.

Although mystical experiences are said to be ineffable recipients gain insight and knowledge unavailable otherwise to the intellect which raises the question of contradictions since the experience is said to be ineffable. But this seemingly contradictory ineffable nature of the experience is coherently expressed in knowledge by reference to a metaphor or allegory or as is the case of St. Paul's to be mystically 'in Christ'.

The counter argument of course is his letters bear no relevance whatsoever to mystical experiences but rather were simply inspired by the Holy Spirit to incorporate rational thinking.

Such an assertion however will lead us circuitously back to mysticism since mysticism is the fruits of the Holy Spirit.

What could be argued instead is the Holy Spirit produces this mystical experience by way of actuation of various gifts - in this case the gift to provide revelation in text and scripture to become representative of much of the church as we know it. In that broader sense we are all mystics sharing in the gifts bestowed upon us. But that is not to say we are having a mystical religious experience which we can rationally refer to at any time but rather we might feel energized or mindful that we are engaging our gifts in the manner as was intended. Largely such maters will remain ineffable. This type of thinking is to expose the rather arbitrary nature of trying to categorize an understanding on the basis of style and substance when the subject matter to begin with is highly subjective.

These aspects remain a vexed question hotly debated by scholars of divergent opinions.

However in a religious sense I think Mysticism is a branch of spirituality which is explained by catholic priest EUGENE STOCKTON in the article I provided with the link :

AM I SERIOUS? A couple of decades ago one would hardly bother to give thought to the idea of Australian Spirituality; a few years back it would have been preposterous to imagine mysticism as a core to our Australian experience of God- Now contemplation, whether in a Christian or non-Christian context, is widely discussed as a respectable topic of conversation and commonly admitted as a personal practice. Rahner is often quoted as forecasting: 'The devout Christian of the future will either be a 'mystic', one who has 'experienced' something, or he will cease to be anything at all.' It is commonplace in scientific works to read a call for a new consciousness in the coming age (e.g. Reanney 1991; 1994) A kind of mystical attitude accompanies many pastimes favoured by Australians: surfing, fishing, bushwalking and gardening.
Best wishes

Laura said...

Thanks for the response. In terms of Paul as mystic, I certainly could be convinced otherwise. My personal beliefs, which aren't based on theological understandings as much of just plain old Biblical "observation" (one of these days I'll finally read James' Varieties of Religious Experience!!!), are simply that Paul did have a legitimate mystical conversion experience. But the primary thrust of his life was political, rather than mystical. He claimed to be an apostle of Jesus even though he never met the guy and clearly had altercations with Peter and James who were actual disciples. The Christian religion, as Paul established it, was quickly adopted by Rome. Constantine was said by the Catholic Church to have had a similar mystical experience, yet continued to worship the Roman Sun God and wasn't baptized until death. (Of course, he wasn't sainted in the Roman Catholic Church, but he was sainted in the Eastern Orthodox Church.)

Of course, I have to be fair. I've been reading ACIM and what is that if not a mystical experience of Christ several centuries after Jesus' existence rather than just a few decades later? :)

But the more mystical among the ACIM students contend it is technically an atheism, which seems to be true of many of the Christian & Sufi mystics, too. The experience does not seem to lend itself to some thing "out there" as does religion. So I'm not so sure what to think of Eugene Stockton's thoughts on mysticism and Christianity. It is my understanding that the mystical experience of oneness is more often described as the experience of "no-thing" rather than "some-thing".

lindsaylobe said...

Hi Laura
Thanks for your thoughtful response.

Referring again to my posting; in Tathagatagarbha Buddhism we have the idea of an enlightened indestructible nature for all beings, obscured by moral and mental contamination but whose enlightened essence is the Buddha Nature, present also in Tibetan Buddhist texts and traditions.

Note however in this context as I understand it nothingness does not mean an absence of anything but rather the enlightened state from which attachments bringing moral and mental contamination are removed.

The idea of nothingness in these traditions is not to be confused with the idea there is no reality but rather no reality to the bonding to earthly desires other than that occasioned by our desires. Furthermore in some traditions we have the idea of heavens, hells and even a soul as is the case with Tibetan Buddhism.

In Tathagatagarbha Buddhism and the Pure Land streams of teaching the Buddha is the omnipresent, omniscient essence of a reality who creates vast "pure lands", e.g. "Buddha paradises"; representative of pure Nirvana.

Paul’s mysticism similarly was to be present in the form of being “in Christ” which was to be the enlightened messianic kingdom free from the shackles of the law, continually washed in Christ’s grace in actuation of our gifts.

Buddhism or AICM or Christianity as envisaged by Paul expects one to travel a road to enlightenment to similarly throw off our shackles of desire and insecurity.

But always grace is ever present.

Hence the fact that a mystical experience does not lend itself to something ‘out there “ in terms of that particular experience does not mean it is not a religious experience. The distinction between a ’no –thing’ rather than a ‘something‘ is arbitrary according to the experience of the particular mystic. It can be as different or as varied as is the abundance of gifts that are bestowed upon us. I thnk you already know that !
Best wishes

Laura said...

My understanding (within Zen and Tibetan Buddhism, at least) is that to call the Buddha Nature an "enlightened state" is based on a faulty understanding of the Buddha nature. All beings have Buddha nature all the time. It isn't a state of being. It just is. It's not something to be "achieved". It can only be realized. This does not necessarily require the removal of imperfections. Imperfections remain after the realization. (There is a Zen saying: Depressed before enlightenment. Depressed after enlightenment." The depression remains, but the reaction to it changes.)

In a very literal sense, I think, Buddhists (Zen and Tibetan - I'm not as familiar with Pureland) mean there is "no-thing". It's not the absence of things - it's simply that our experience of nouns (ideas, things, people) is a mental projection. That doesn't mean there is "no reality". Just that reality, as we typically perceive it, is faulty.

My daughter and I just watched a show on string theory. If such a theory is correct, this would confirm that there is "no-thing". It's all waves of energy and infinite fields of potentiality. And it is desire that thwarts our ability to be open to the infinite field of potentiality. It limits the playing field, so to speak.

Jesus preached acceptance which opened up the field of possibility. The belief that they were poor, hungry, broken, etc. was not the true "state of things" in God's Kingdom (Love's Dominion), which is our true home.

Paul, on the other hand, seemed to me to be preaching desire, not acceptance. He saw a way to set people free from political oppression. Which is great, phenomenal, miraculous, etc. But not necessarily the best spiritual basis for a religion. Western Christianity is primarily based upon Paul's teachings, not those of Jesus. And I tend to agree that Paul is a big part of the reason for our current existential crisis. He attempted to merge two ideas that simply could not be merged: Jewish individualism and the Hellenistic abstract value system.

I think the reason Americans are turning to Buddhism is because it maintains the idea of individualism, but does not attempt to enforce abstract values.

This is much more similar to what Jesus actually taught than what Paul taught.

Laura said...

Sorry - sent that before I was finished. The abstract value system is what tells us that enlightenment and some sort of moral/ethical perfection can be "achieved". Which is basically what Paul was shooting for, wasn't he? The end was around the corner so we have to be ready?

lindsaylobe said...

Hi Laura - thanks for returning to the conversation. We are off to Phillip Island this morning for few days so I may add anything else interesting that comes to mind on my return.
The use of just of a few words can change meanings and my reference to the Buddha Nature as an "enlightened state" is to say as I understand it you traverse from a state of non-understanding to understanding- or words to that effect. That does not imply you are changing anything other than your understanding or perceptions, nor does it imply that it doesn’t already exist as you have stated.
Classical physics work well with large objects in the Universe but at the quantum level they break down entirely and it appears all we are ultimately left with is only pure energy - nothing whatsoever other than energy. In a sense you might say that our classical theory of physics is fatally flawed and not that the quantum theory is incorrect. A search for quantum theory for gravity goes on and maybe forever.
These are a few scattered thoughts – but once again thanks for adding your usual insightful thoughts.

Best wishes

Laura said...

Have fun, Lindsay!

I just noticed tonight that our church has a class called Eclipsing Empire on Paul. It's based on a book by Borg and Crossan who claim there are three Pauls in the NT. There are 7 genuine letters that show a radical Paul, the rest have been de-radicalized through altering or actually attributing letters to Paul that were not Paul (these are what they call the reactionary Paul). (The course is about "reclaiming the radical visionary behind the church's conservative icon".)

I signed up for a course on Group Spiritual Direction. Kind of wish I had signed up for the class on Paul, now. :)

raymond said...

In my opinion, "faith not works" is a profound mystical dynamic. It is an archetypal experience and is also found in Zhuangzi and Dzogchen Buddhism. Which Paul wrote about it does not matter to me. I am fairly sure that the writer could not have written about it if he had not realized it.

lindsaylobe said...

Hi Raymond
Thanks again for your continued interest in this matter and for your insightful comment. The idea that "faith not works" is a profound mystical dynamic makes a lot of sense to me. Interesting that you point to a similar mystical "Pauline’ experience evident in Zhuangzi and Dzogchen Buddhism.
Best wishes

lindsaylobe said...

Hi laura- thanks for the additonal info - From one commentary I read about the The First Paul (Harper One 2009)it was reported Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossman refer to Paul as a "Jewish Christ mystic," transformed by a "risen Christ," to which the authors relate directly to the Buddha's "awakening" under the Bo Tree.

The oft touted "justified by grace through faith" is seen as the transformation to a practical application which would challenge the imperialist power of Rome and to which he was finally executed.

Best wishes.

Gary said...

What a terrific essay Lindsay. I think it's interesting that science is tending to align with and support some of the roots of mysticism, as we learn more and more. One example is the recognition through pyhsics that all matter is energy - and that the universe is made of energy masquerading as rocks and cows and trees and stars and me.

Another is the fascinating research into brains. Yogis in deep meditation not only lower their pulse and blood pressure as they drift into a mystical state - their brain scan shows that they are activating areas in the brain, that when stimulated, lead people to feelings of wellness and oneness.

All that said - your early childhood dream state may be a more deeply human experience than that of the intellect and separation from the dream that we think of as 'growing up'.

Thanks!

Laura said...

I am somewhat uncomfortable with the whole Jesus Seminar so am not always readily accepting of Crossan's and Borg's interpretation of the Biblical texts. (Huston Smith and Borg had an interesting debate not too long ago and I resonate far more with Smith than Borg. I do not agree with Borg's interpretation of mysticism.) That said, I need to re-open myself to Paul. I think I have been unnecessarily closed minded of late.

lindsaylobe said...

Hi Gary
Thanks for your thoughts and I agree that it is indeed fascinating to consider the fact our bodies at the sub atomic level are all pure energy. As you say meditation also has been shown to be amazingly beneficial to the mind and body.
Laura
Huston is certainly a delightful character - even at 90 years of age he remains witty, considerate and an expansionary thinker outside of the box!
Best wishes