I’ve removed all of the old content (300+ pages) to make way for a new launch of the site. Please keep an eye out for the new material.
I’ve been struggling with the problem of how to make this material more understandable; in a very real way, it is a “chicken and egg” problem — it’s hard to know what to put first because everything relies on everything else, making the entire subject a “web of belief” as Quine would call it.
In addition to my go-to writers that I quote often (e.g., Spinoza, Wittgenstein, Kierkegaard), I can tell you that in the last year I’ve discovered some other authors who have also tried to make this material understandable. Perhaps surprisingly they come under the category of Christian Existentialists — often people will equate Existentialism with atheists such as Sartre, but it turns out that there are Christian Existentialists other than Kierkegaard.
From what I have seen, these Christian Existentialists don’t mention mysticism much (if at all), and yet to me the connection is obvious. Existentialism focuses on the individual and the individual’s subjective experience, which is one hundred percent the focus of the mystic — any experience of God is by it’s very nature individual and subjective.
I’ve also been wrestling with the three solas: Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone), Sola Gratia (Grace alone), and Sola Fide (Faith alone). In my opinion these Reformation-era ideas have been sending Christians astray for centuries, and these may in fact be why so many people have trouble maintaining a Christian mindset. But that’s not to say that the Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox church have got everything correct either.
Who am I to write this? I’ve struggled with that question for decades myself. This material is already available but not accessible. I guess that the ability that I bring to the table is my ability to explain complex ideas, which I’ve been doing it as a college professor for years, with various levels of success. One thing that I am sure of though is that none of this comes easy; in fact it’s possible that it can only make complete sense to someone who has themselves had a direct experience of God (the complete and only useful definition of mystic). And so I am likely in the same boat as Wittgenstein when he wrote
This book will perhaps only be understood by those who have themselves already thought the thoughts which are expressed in it—or similar thoughts.Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus
Let’s see if I am up to the task.
May the Spirit of God be with you!
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