Thursday, 22 November 2012

Beyond One Commandment - Mystical "knowing"

 My last post The One Commandment was my thought about the Secularist idea that we should have one commandment that could cover our behaviour in all circumstances. Lots of Secularists are Atheists. Often they are charged with not having a moral framework for humans. The One Commandment could be it. I find many Atheists are very aware of what is morally right or wrong. they have been freed from having to follow religious rules stipulating what is right or wrong. How do they "know" what is right or wrong? The One Commandment is so close to Jesus's teaching, I wonder if it was inspired by Jesus, or did the person who suggested it, have an inner knowing? Did it spring from an inspirational place - or plain "logical thinking" so admired by Atheists?

I am not an Atheist. I am not Religious. But I believe we have an aspect - an inner place, where "knowing" arises. Atheists I know have a problem with this.

I think mystical is not about that which we do not know - I think it is about the delight and surprise that we feel when apprehended by sudden understanding - of knowing right is right, or an expanding of the heart, or an intimate moment with nature or a person. I am very sorry it is contained in the Atheist's 'not allowed' list. I think it shows a very superficial idea of mystical. Many people have mystical experiences, peak experiences, indescribable feelings which mysteriously come upon them, or are gripped by 'oneness'. This has got nothing to do with believing in god - but only about accepting the depth, richness and beauty of the human experience occurring in a vast body of the Universe .

Here's a really important point in talking about the mystical element of being alive. It's from Sam Harris "On Faith"

"So, apart from just commending these phenomena to your attention, I’d like to point out that, as atheists, our neglect of this area of human experience puts us at a rhetorical disadvantage. Because millions of people have had these experiences, and many millions more have had glimmers of them, and we, as atheists, ignore such phenomena, almost in principle, because of their religious associations—and yet these experiences often constitute the most important and transformative moments in a person’s life. Not recognizing that such experiences are possible or important can make us appear less wise even than our craziest religious opponents".
The problem with Atheism