Thursday, November 16, 2006

Reading Tillich 31: Faith and Mysticism

There is no faith (but only belief) without the Spirit's grasping the personal center of him who is in the state of faith, and this is a mystical experience, and experience of presence of the infinite in the finite. As an ecstatic experience, faith is mystical, although it does not produce mysticism as a religious type. But it does include the mystical as a category, that is, the experience of the Spiritual Presence. Every experience of the divine is mystical because it transcends the cleavage between subject and object, and wherever that happens, the mystical as category is given.
Systematic Theology III, 242.
I have become more and more careful in using the word mysticism. We should be aware that the term itself is little over 100 years old. What Tillich is saying here is basically that faith is something you experience. Unless faith is something that grabs you ("grasping your personal center") it is not faith but something else. I think this is not so much something that religious people need to be reminded of, but something that theologians need to take into account. We have all read theology that is completely avoids the mystical category, and speaks of God as if he/she was an object. I think some of the most famous theologians do this, and then accuse people like Tillich of "speaking about man in a really loud voice". I think that is not only fair, but fundamentally wrong.

Theology, if it wants to stay true to the religious experience, true to faith, must always kind of talk around its subject. Because "every experience of the divine is transcends the cleavage between subject and object" it is not something we can really talk about.

2 comments:

Tabascocat said...

Good writings!

sushil yadav said...

The link between Mind and Social / Environmental-Issues.

The fast-paced, consumerist lifestyle of Industrial Society is causing exponential rise in psychological problems besides destroying the environment. All issues are interlinked. Our Minds cannot be peaceful when attention-spans are down to nanoseconds, microseconds and milliseconds. Our Minds cannot be peaceful if we destroy Nature.

Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment.

Subject : In a fast society slow emotions become extinct.
Subject : A thinking mind cannot feel.
Subject : Scientific/ Industrial/ Financial thinking destroys the planet.

Emotion is what we experience during gaps in our thinking.

If there are no gaps there is no emotion.

Today people are thinking all the time and are mistaking thought (words/ language) for emotion.


When society switches-over from physical work (agriculture) to mental work (scientific/ industrial/ financial/ fast visuals/ fast words ) the speed of thinking keeps on accelerating and the gaps between thinking go on decreasing.

There comes a time when there are almost no gaps.

People become incapable of experiencing/ tolerating gaps.

Emotion ends.

Man becomes machine.



A society that speeds up mentally experiences every mental slowing-down as Depression / Anxiety.

A ( travelling )society that speeds up physically experiences every physical slowing-down as Depression / Anxiety.

A society that entertains itself daily experiences every non-entertaining moment as Depression / Anxiety.



FAST VISUALS /WORDS MAKE SLOW EMOTIONS EXTINCT.

SCIENTIFIC /INDUSTRIAL /FINANCIAL THINKING DESTROYS EMOTIONAL CIRCUITS.

A FAST (LARGE) SOCIETY CANNOT FEEL PAIN / REMORSE / EMPATHY.

A FAST (LARGE) SOCIETY WILL ALWAYS BE CRUEL TO ANIMALS/ TREES/ AIR/ WATER/ LAND AND TO ITSELF.


To read the complete article please follow either of these links :

PlanetSave

EarthNewsWire


sushil_yadav