Friday, January 09, 2009

Religion and Mysticism

I am in fullest agreement with what [your friend] has to say. I am a bit notorious for my statement, oft repeated, that "religion is the worst idea in the history of the world, but spirituality is the best." Your friend sadly, but understandably, misuses the word "mysticism," as a counterpoint to "reality." But Reality is precisely the very subject around which pure mysticism ennucleates! (Older writers called "reality" simply "truth.") [Your friend] is a man of refreshing passion. But when it comes to mysticism-- a subject that I have carefully studied for well over thirty years, and about which I have written more than twenty books-- he is a little confused. For true "mysticism" is, more often than not, the nemesis of religion-- especially in its orthodox forms. There is a galaxy of difference, as you know, between spirituality and
religion. And mysticism is squarely and consistently on the side of spirituality, even when it (as it often does) must speak against divisive religions.

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