Thursday, January 14, 2010

Missing the Point: Mystification

300_spiritual_med           Today I was listening to a Christian preacher on the radio and found myself agreeing with his sermon on the harms of living egocentrically. I realized his ideas were not strictly Christian, nor were they strictly religious. The themes he preached fit quite well with the spiritual teachings of  Eckhart Tolle, philosophies found in Buddhism, as well as with Psychoanalytic theories in Psychology. I was compelled to continue listening since his insights were practical and applicable to living well. This all quickly changed when the preacher started branding his ideas ‘Christian’ in the form of divine truth. To take ethical beliefs as God-given, and to live morally for the sake of worshiping a transcendental entity is to miss the point altogether.

           I believe we should take these concepts, that are often mistaken as mystical, and bring them down to a concrete level in order to see how they may operate in the everyday. This can be seen with the concept of Karma in Buddhism. Karma works on a action/ reaction basis rather than a mystical one. Karma 'energy' is not something transient, but rather the lens through witch one sees the world. This Lens affects ones emotions, which in turn affects their actions. These actions then affect how other people perceive the individual. A Cooley said; 'I am who I think you think I am', therefore, the self becomes created on this basis. This micro chain of action/ reaction works on a macro level and can be otherwise called the 'butterfly effect'.

          Many religious concepts that are thought to be 'mystical' can actually be perceived as down-to-earth insights we can all relate to. The mystification of morality occurs where there is literal interpretation of poetic writing.

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