drtao (drtao) wrote,

post-coital hypothesis

Mysticism is the beginning and end of religion. But that which goes by the name "religion" seldom admits this (and tends to work against it). Even the best scholarly studies that look for the "origins" of mysticism somewhere in Hellenistic Juduaism or during the Buddha's reforms miss the point completely. Religion would have never arisen without the experience of the mystic. The problem with "religion" as it has come to be understood in the West after 325 CE is vested power interests, which work precisely against the mystical impulse. In any hierarchical organization -- from the Catholic Church to the Neo-Pagan three-letter soup du jour -- those in power emasculate the religious instinct in humankind by insisting on dogma, deference to authority, and so on. Religion gives way to politics but retains its former name, slippery semantic gymnastics that would make de Saussure proud.

The words mystic and mystery both derive from the Greek verb muein, "to close," usually referring to the eyes. On the one hand, those who haven't been initiated should avert their eyes. On the other, material "reality" should be occluded by the eyelids.

Evangelicalism and its biblical literalism has been successful partly because of its (partial, and fucked up) integration of mystical experience. There's no doubt that some of those glossolalligagging motherfuckers are faking it. But some of them are having authentic experiences, yet haven't been trained (disciplined) to tell the difference between an "angel" and a "demon," speaking fastly and loosely. Hence an authentic "religious experience," but one interpreted through a fucked-up teenage psyche fed materialistic delusions of grandeur by whichever programming device is most readily accessible.

Side note: Would recommend the documentary "Constantine's Sword"; if you have Netflix you can watch it online.
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