Let's talk mysticism.
Ok, I'm sorry, I know it's a terrible topic, but hey, I just got out of a recitation for a class where we've just read two articles on the topic. One guy (Katz) says that the mystic experience is bogus, that it's shaped by pre-existent culture and by one's previous experience, as well as by one's own post-experience interpretation. The other guy (Forman) says that Katz is, and I quote, a "moron", and that mystic experience is, for the most part, dependent entirely on the opposite. I guess the problem they have with each other is that one guy says that everyone's experience is different, and the other says everyone's experience is the same.
I'm inclined to agree with both.
This obviously means that I disagree with both as well. A problem? Not really. The issue is really this: which parts of the experience are similar, and which parts are different? I noticed that neither breaks apart the experience into any sort of components, other than "before, during, and after." Does the experience (and by using the singular, it's hard to say that there are no similarities) have components that are similar to other experiences? Yes. Does the experience have components that are different from other experiences?
See, by calling any "mystical experience" just that, Katz implies an underlying similarity which he then denies. And by saying "there are lots of people who have these experiences, their accounts are basically the same," Forman says that yes, experiences are not necessarily identical.
In other words, both are being stupid. I'm sorry if calling "smart" people "stupid" upsets some of you (all three of my readers), but I find it rediculous that they would both put what they call reality in such absolute and obviously self-contradicting terms.
I'm tired of them. I think I'm going to have my own mystic experience by finishing my cookie.