please take this as further peeling of the onion
This is my first post. I'm just reading through the book, and began to re-read the first part of Section 2 (chap 17) about mysticism and beliefs.
My reason for doing so: I'd like to get really clear on the logic therein so that I may be better equipped to open up the minds of anyone I spoke to (eg., about such things as OOBEs) who believed that reality is all contained within "the PMR data-set" and must "follow ordinary objective causality".
in the Christmas spirit of giving advice you didn't ask for - keep in mind that your primary objective is to form loving intent regarding your interaction with others, and that it is the system's job to shake them up occasionally, when they are ready for it, and show them the larger reality - this cannot be done through intellectual jousting - so it is more of a case of preparing should someone ask you about it, should someone jump for the bait...you put it out there carefully, and occasionally the other person is interested, and has been prepared by the system to hear it
That being said, a bit of aggressive Jehovah's Witness style TOE thumping evangelism might be a good thing!
in the spirit of further "mothering", also, be mindful to speak the language of the listener, and not try to impose the language of MBTOE on someone not versed in it, like shouting html code at someone trained in fortran (oh...showing my age here) (Ref: Antony Robbins is big on using the language of the target listener)
The paragraph below from the book (2nd paragraph of pg 116) seems to contain the nub of the logic which might be used to propose/argue/show that conventional science is based on mysticism. I suspect this would be a powerful reframe - a curve ball even - for many. And yet, frustratingly, I don't fully understand the paragraph! So could anyone help explain it to me please?
Tom seems to like humour and irony, and there is a certain irony in accusing the scientific community of mystcism
Before I quote the paragraph and my questions, bear in mind that Campbell defines the word mystical (which it is right to define as precisely as is practical in such arguments) as follows:
"If some process, phenomena [sic], or conceptualization appears to lie beyond our potential ability to explain it within the context of PMR (physical-matter reality), we describe is as mystical."
(This is from the very 1st paragraph of Section 2, pg 115.)
yeah...I think mystical is a polite word for WTF! or "damned if I know" ; - )
"Belief is a conclusion based upon a mystical premise. -Tom
Why is a belief based upon a mystical premise? 'Mystical' is, earlier in the same chapter, defined as describing something that we believe is beyond our potential understanding. It is quite possible for me to believe something that I know that I don't know for sure, and which I believe is knowable (ie., within my potential ability to understand).
Tom has said that in actuality, nothing is a pure 100% known, and extrapolating this, possibly too far, perhaps few things are a pure 0% unknown - true skeptical openness is assigning the correct probability to each of our perception hypotheses. One treads into entropic belief when one assigns a higher probability to a perception hypothesis than the data merits. We become much more efficient when we are more honest about what we don't know (except when your girlfriend asks you if these pants make me look fat! ; - )).
Again, I think the mystical tag is Tom having a bit of fun at the expense of the scientific community...and it might even be a bit personal and passive aggressive ; - ) [I am probably projecting my own professional baggage here]
Scientists might believe that what is unknown must be contained within the PMR data-set and follow ordinary objective causality, but that belief or article of faith simply expresses a more accepted form of mysticism. How so?
Tom is saying that the unknown Big Picture or Big Science is not contained within the PMR data-set, it is rather contained within the NPMR data-set and beyond, and that virtually all academic scientists have blinders on, have an a priori presumption about reality, (or are willfully dishonest in order to protect their jobs and funding), and that these blinders are qualitatively the same philosophical "crime" as religious mystical belief....which is pretty funny....and the inverse is implied, which is that so called religiony mysticism turns out to be true.
Mysticism that supports our cultural beliefs is accepted as obvious fact. By definition, such a belief necessarily appears to be the most reasonable assumption that a rational person (within that culture) can make. (Understood.)
This is how ordinary mysticism expressed as cultural and personal belief is transmuted into an unquestioned philosophical foundation. We see that the objective cauality of Western meterialism must necessarily spring from a foundation of mystical assumption. I can see how it springs from an assumption. But I want to understand why it springs from a mystical one. Anyone?
hopefully by now this is clearer. When you shift your perspective from PMR-centricity, what was ordinarily "mystical", becomes what is, and the philisophical framework for what was perceived to be reality, itself becomes mystical - which I think is Tom's word for "bullpucky" -> belief beyond the data, based on bullpucky is what is the philosophical "crime"
that being said, Tom does say the the origins of AUO, before it started to organize into AUM, is mystical to us, but I think this is an example of making a correct assignment of mystery, to something that is actually mysterious and unknowable - the primordial WTF ; - )