Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Aren't Mysticism and Humanities Opposites? [2]

It might seem curious to mention Mysticism and the Humanities together.

Are they not opposites? Is Mysticism not an opaque study of the ethereal, higher planes, an attempt to fly off to some other-worldly state, while a student of the Humanities has an earthy, robust trust in human capabilities that feels no need to latch on to any level of transcendence to find completion?   

That is a true misunderstanding of what mysticism and spirituality really are. And even worse, a failure to grasp what a human being can and should be.

The Preacher's Mistake
by William Croswell Doane
“The parish priest
Of austerity
Climbed up in a high church steeple,
To be nearer God,
So that he might hand
His word down to the people.

“And in sermon script
He daily wrote
What he thought was sent from heaven;
And he dropped it down
On the people’s heads
Two times one day in seven.

“In his age God said,
‘Come down and die;’
And he cried out from the steeple,
‘Where art Thou, Lord?’
And the Lord replied,
‘Down here among my people.’ ”

“How many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?”

 Bob Dylan

A mystic whose eyes are always raised above is not divine. And a dweller of the earth that can see only with his physical eyes is not a man.

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