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28 Apr 1999 READ THIS

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  • Dick.
    28 Apr 1999 READ THIS In the early days of cyber groups I found a group of academics and university lecturers who wrote books about mystical experience. I
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      28 Apr 1999 READ THIS




      In the early days of cyber groups I found a group of academics and
      university lecturers who wrote books about mystical experience. I
      applied to join this group and with great difficulty I got in. I decided
      to keep my mouth shut and just listen to them. But after a few weeks my
      blood was boiling and I let rip. It was the most fun I have ever had on
      any group in all that fifteen years :- ) These blokes were from all over
      the world. But the writer of this email was a well known lecturer from
      The Nederland's, but his English was better than mine, and he was so
      funny. But he was dead serious about trying to learn something about
      mystical experience – he genuinely wanted to know. They didn't,
      except for one guy in Canada who was a mystic, and his name was also
      Dick : - ) What a coincidence. But this guy's name was Jan (never
      mind the other name for that is private). His method of learning was
      done by attacking. I could see through him like a book :- ) So he
      attacked me and this other bloke called Dick, but mainly me. I loved it,
      and for a couple of weeks we shook the joint. He also tore a strip put
      of the group owner, who was indeed a pratt. The outcome was that he was
      banned for attacking me :- ) But he continued to write in private to me
      and the other Dick. It IS an important message; you might enjoy.....




      [ Dear Axel, Dick, Dick and other friends, Thanks for your friendly
      words, support and solidarity. I think excommunication always is a
      victory for the person excommunicated, never for the Grand Inquisitor.
      Did I want to stop? Yes and no. I was fed up with hate mail (often
      offlist) from anonymous pseudo-mystics and hysterical and ignorant
      postmodern feminists, like Barb O'Neill, Pat Sloane and that awfully
      pompous and stupid Susannah Chewning, who even missed the jokes I
      `didn't' make.




      Some discussions, however, I really enjoyed, particularly those with
      what I think are authentic mystics and/or truly open-minded and tolerant
      people. I also thought my incipient discussion with Bob Hoftiezer was
      promising, because the ultimately unbridgeable relation between
      "interior" experience and "exterior" descriptive language is
      `the' intellectual core problem, in my opinion. It also is the
      reason why the scientific study of meaning never got off the ground (it
      never will) and why modern cognitive science is disappointing in the
      long run. It's not generally realized, but most of our world is beyond
      the scope of science and has a mystical flavor, as was understood by
      people throughout history, including many great mathematicians and
      logicians, from Pythagoras to Kurt Goedel.




      In my opinion, David, our list owner, is not interested in mysticism at
      all but mostly in his career. This is not a deadly sin for a young man,
      but his lack of intellectual curiosity and humor, his cowardice and
      hypocrisy are amazing. What he wants is taking mysticism and religion
      for granted plus some polite exchanges of commentary and bibliographical
      material, without any urge for understanding and explanation. This
      mentality is not uncommon in the humanities, which, particularly in the
      US, are heading for intellectual disaster since they adopted French
      postmodernism. This list was a unique opportunity to meet real mystics
      and to try to get something out of them by asking difficult questions.
      How else could you (apart from personal experience) learn something
      about mysticism? But David does not seem to like it, neither the mystics
      nor the difficult questions. For me, his last interference was a reason
      to give up. Hero as he is, he attacked some of us personally, without
      mentioning our name and in violation of his own rules. He and his kind
      always say that things are becoming boring and that discussion is only
      limited to 2 or 3 people, while it is flatly contradicted by the fact
      that I get quite a few encouraging e-mails from people who say they like
      it. What makes these statements even more ridiculous is that without the
      2 or 3 people in question, the list would be a monument of silence most
      of the time. What David really means but doesn't dare to say is that
      some of us make jokes about religion and that that is not tolerated.
      Deep in his heart, it seems, he hates free speech and a critical
      mentality. He certainly can't use a list with freethinkers and sarcastic
      atheists very well for his career. So, he regularly spoke out against us
      and almost never against his fellow custodians of the sacred, no matter
      how many insults they directed towards me and others. It's always the
      same story with religionists (Dick Richardson's wonderful term): Kill
      the infidel! Burn his books! They were also upset about my jokes about
      the medieval curiosity Margery Kempe. You should read her stuff, it's a
      real loony and you don't believe your eyes: coming in ecstasy in front
      of a naked man on a cross (an instrument of murder, after all: a cruel
      and sadistic image, only not considered insane because we are
      conditioned in a certain way), conversations with apostles, a dalliance
      with the Lord, and other hot adventures.




      Anyway, it was lots of fun and I learned a lot, not only about mysticism
      but also about intolerance and religious fanaticism in their modern,
      digital disguises. I would like to thank you and all other wonderful
      people I had so many good discussions with. God does not exist, but he
      would certainly bless you all! Best regards, -- Jan ]







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