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I shall be telling this with a sigh,
Somewhere ages and ages hence,:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the road less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
 - Robert Frost

Mysticism versus Understanding
Updated: 01/19/2021

One of the great or fundamental issues for philosophy and/or theology is mysticism versus understanding, mythos versus logos. Mysticism in religion and science opens the
door to all kinds of intellectual chicanery.

The J person calls for our understanding of “God” as a human being. He equates that with salvation, as in, “And this IS eternal life, that they understand you and the one that you have sent.” Where does he call for some mystical connection or loss of individuality or physicality? In HIS prayer, he asks that we may be “one” with god, but clarifies that as being in unity. Being in unity MUST mean being in unity of purpose, values and paradigm! Yeshua had NOTHING to do with mysticism, but came to eradicate it by demonstrating himself as LOGOS, the source of purpose, logic and reason versus MYTHOS, the ground of mysticism.

Mystical Oneness

To think that final success is some mystical, impossible-to-understand-oneness is to deny the validity of all other natural, normal, morally defensible desires and needs. In such a situation everything loses definition. In this mindset there is no valid definition of life, nor definition of tangible love as fulfilling genuine, natural needs and desires, no enhancement of life beyond this mystical oneness. It makes “god” the end all and be all, and denies his character of humility and service, denies his offering of equality. It dissolves his being a friend and leaves him being the ultimate vacuum or black hole that sucks everything up into himself. It makes him the great demander for being the center of attention, the ultimate selfish egotist. It leaves him being defined as the center of power and control. It leaves him with no beauty or appreciable magnificence at all.

And why am I the problem in this regard? Why is the burden of submitting to this oneness upon me? If this is the great solution, then why doesn’t “god” submit to this oneness with me? I have no memory of choosing to be separate! The whole thing assumes facts not in evidence beyond any reason to even care to investigate or think along these lines.

Beyond understanding

Also, isn’t this idea of the mystical oneness the ultimate copout? An admission that we CANNOT understand and relate to as fully dimensional human beings? It requires that we lay down everything that we naturally cherish as human beings, including our rational faculties. Who is doing this completely? No one, and the people that promulgate this idea are the arrogant ones, the tricky egotistical deniers of reality. Meanwhile, they strive very hard to be somebody in the world, make a name for themselves. This is hypocrisy at its worst! Which was the ultimate (temporary) condemnation by the J-person.

Mysticism in stark contrast to J

The whole line of thinking is in stark contrast to the J-person’s life and message as a human being, and his response to Phillip's request for him to "show us what God is like." His reply was, “This is it. If you have seen (understood, experienced) me, you have seen God.” The whole mystical oneness thing removes J from being the paradigm, the truth that goes into the paradigm, and the inspiration to care. It denies his claims of being THE ONE shepherd or messenger of God and pulls him down to just being another in a long line of mystics. It denies his claim to be the AUTHORITY on the truth who came from beyond! Can they not read? “All who came before me are false shepherds.”

Buddhism does not resolve the human condition, but merely helps some people cope with it. Within the "mystical oneness answer" there is a complete denial of his promises of “houses and lands”, the empowerment to move mountains, and the ability to judge ideas and doctrines; a complete denial of his statement about a resurrection and an age of justice. It denies his respect for physicality, personal sovereignty and freedom. To equate J with this is to be egregiously irresponsible, careless and sloppy in your reasoning.

"All religions are founded on the fear of the
many and the cleverness of the few."
- Stendhal

Mysticisms of Christianity

The Christian paradigm generally posits a mysterious creator-deity of awesome power and ability–sometimes thought to be infinite–who is the originator of all conceivable things. This creator-deity is considered to be the author of natural law and a lawgiver of moral law by fiat.  This deity exceeds or transcends being human; indeed one who is so superior to us mere mortals that we can only get glimpses of his purpose and ways, so "transcendent"–hear alien–that we cannot understand any aspect of him except that part of his will that he deliberately reveals. This deity is considered to be an infallible holder of all knowledge–past, present and future–entirely incapable of learning or not knowing anything. Of course he has enough human dimension to value his creation including his creatures so long as they ultimately conform to his will.

In its development over the course of 2000[*] years, Christendom and the other religions have generated, borrowed, and incorporated many mysticisms that not only defy the spirit of Logos, that which is apprehended by logic or reason, that which can be understood, but which also are incompatible with John 1:18, "No one has ever understood God, but Yeshua his only begotten son has made him clear." Some of these falsities are:

  • Divine versus human
  • The trinity as 3 gods in one, or, 3 different faces of god, or 3 different roles of god
  • God the Father as a person
  • The Holy Spirit as a person
  • The dual nature of Yeshua as human and divine
  • Angels as belonging to a higher-than-human race of beings
  • The devil and demons as fallen superior beings called angels
  • Heaven as a literal place in the universe or sky
  • The soul as something that leaves the body at death and returns to heaven
  • The soul as something that God injects into a human upon birth
  • The logic of God that defies the logic of man
  • Transubstantiation of unleavened bread and wine into the flesh and blood of Yeshua
  • Sprinkling a person with water, or dunking them in it, infusing them with the Holy Spirit
  • The mysterious judgment of God, where we cannot understand the criteria used
  • Hell as a literal place with literal burning of the human flesh of the living
  • The substitution of Christ's merits for our own
  • Our bodies belong to God as his temples

And here is what Jack Zwemer has to say:

Catholicism began to teach that Christian righteousness is some quality poured into the soul, which gives a mystical fulfillment to life on earth apart from any secular status or position, indifferent to intellectual learning or attainment, and contrary to any bodily exercises or condition.

Some of these mysticisms have even risen to the level of dogma in the overwhelming majority of Christian sects and denominations. Let's endeavor to de-mystify each of these in the light of using Yeshua as the paradigm.

Divine versus human

The word divine is an adjective and comes from roots meaning healing, and was never originally meant to denote or connote something alien to being human. The now accepted contrast is a somewhat modern and fallacious development. Yeshua says nothing to affirm this contrast. Enough said!

Trinity as 3 gods in one

This doctrine has its foundation in ancient planet worship of the Trimurti, a unity of three of the major planet gods in perfect spatial alignment, and Christendom feels its "affirmation" is in the words of Yeshua, "In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. However, in the paradigm of Yeshua as the creator or the originator, the "Father"–the literal father of Yeshua as a child of the virgin Mary–would be all of the unfallen human being citizens in the universe, and the "Holy Spirit" would be their spirit or mentality, their attitude of perfect unity in the truth. No trinity of 3 different person-gods-in-one, and no mystery!

God the Father as a person

Yeshua called the unified unfallen citizens of the universe "the Father" because they initiated the conception that resulted in his birth. There is now no single being in the universe that wasn't created or in the case of Yeshua, recreated. Nowhere in the book of John does he refer to God as our father until after the resurrection, when the believers could claim the Father to be their spiritual father.

Holy Spirit as a person

Unfortunately or perversely in the early English Bible translations, the word "pneuma" got mistranslated as "Ghost" (the Greek word for ghost is phantasma) in the phrase that should be translated as "Holy Attitude" or "God attitude", and this helped set the tone for thinking of the Holy Spirit as a person and member of the Trinity.

Yeshua in his everyday communication with his disciples used the sayings, figures of speech and cultural language mechanisms of the time. In that culture it was popular to personify certain important aspects. For instance, wisdom was personified as a woman called Sophia. So also did he personify the corporate unfallen as the father. He personified the original lie, the origin of evil, as the divider, as one going about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. Finally, he personified the great spirit of unity of purpose, principles and plan as the Holy Spirit. Again, no mystery. The Holy Spirit can best be understood as the god attitude, the indomitable, triumphant, inferior to no one, never-give-up, adequate attitude, the human spirit to the max.

The dual nature of Yeshua

The psyche (modern meaning) or soul–which is what defines a person as human–of Yeshua is, was, and always will be totally and only human. Nowhere does he imply that he is anything other than human, and his favorite term for himself was "son of man", which means human. This term was alternated with "son of god". The term divine simply means healing, and does not imply being other than human.

Angels higher than human

In the Old Testament, two terms have been confused with referring to living beings, or types of living angels. The term cherub means monster, beast, or non-human entity, and the term seraph means fiery entity, such as a comet or meteorite. These terms were not originally used to apply to what we would call human or higher-than-human life forms. The issue gets confused, though, because the ancient people anthropomorphized the planets and other aspects of heavenly phenomena into gods and their agencies.

The other terms that are translated as angel, both in the Old and New Testaments, simply mean message and/or messenger. In the Old testament, we have the account of the man-angel-lord visiting Abraham. See: Genesis 18:2 & 10. Previous to this in the story of Abraham, the terms Lord and the Angel of the Lord have been used interchangeably. In the NT the term angel is used in the Gospels interchangeably with human or some variation of human such as man or youth. See: Matthew 28:2 where the term angel of the Lord is used in the visit to the tomb; where Mark 16:5 has it being a youth; where Luke 24:4 has two men, and where John 20:12 has two angels. Yeshua says nothing to indicate that angels belong to a higher race, and he even has it that we will be judging THEM some day. Remember, he referred to us as sons, daughters, brothers and sisters. It doesn't go any higher than that!

Devil and demons as fallen angels

At times in the gospels Yeshua speaks of the devil as a person, but we must remember that it was a common practice of the time–maybe even dictated by their paradigm of personifying into demons that which makes men act–to personify in your speech significant aspects of the human experience. As delineated above, he thus personified Wisdom, the Holy Spirit, and the Father. He personified the original lie as the evil one or the devil. However, these Thus, these "literary" personifications should not give us liberty to take these agencies as living persons. When there is no literalized personification there is no mystery to our way of thinking today.

Heaven as material place

Dealing with this one takes some rather extensive groundwork. First of all, modern Christendom tends to be materialistic in its thinking and translation of ancient words. The phrase translated "kingdom of heaven" should better be translated as "kingship of the heavens". The first is materialistic and directs our thinking to a literal region in the material universe where there are buildings, streets of gold, etc. The latter directs our attention to the empowerment of a king that is promised to us. I remember being quite dismayed when I first heard the suggestion that heaven was not literally material, but I came to realize that we can have both; the fulfillment and empowerment being by far the most important facets. You want bejeweled buildings and streets of gold? Then have them, but the spiritual or non-material aspects of IFISEEKUS make these material things fade into insignificance.

The ancient word Cosmos literally means "the designed, organized system" and does not specifically refer to the material universe. The word "heavens" came from old English and meant "the heavings", such as what one would take out away from the home and heave like potato peelings into the brush! The stars and planets were considered to have been heaved by the creator into the material universe. All so confusing? Welcome to the world of semantic problems, which no doubt contributes to the confusion in our thinking.

Another aspect of the valid understanding of the term "kingship of the heavens", usually stated in the plural, is that at that time the general thinking apparently was oriented to three "heavens". The first heaven was the sky of atmosphere, clouds, and the domain of birds. The second heaven was the realm of outer space, the domain of the planets and stars. The third heaven was considered to be the actual physical dwelling place of the godhead, whatever and wherever that might be. The point is that the phrase "kingship of the heavens" as used by Yeshua covered or included all of those. In modern street language it meant empowerment in ALL the realms.

Soul leaves body & returns to Heaven

When a person dies, the soul, the pattern of the body, mind, character and personality is not lost, but is perfectly kept just as it was. This does not imply that it is a living thing in and of itself nor that it "goes" anywhere in the material realm. The soul is not material but is like software, where as long as a master copy is kept, it is not lost

God injects Soul upon birth

God doesn't inject anything into a new human, upon conception or birth. The human father and mother create a new person, and the soul or psyche is the product of both nature and nurture. It is to a various degree nurtured and developed by the interacting humans that influence the purpose, values, attitudes and approach to life of the individual.

Logic of God defies logic of man

The logic, reason and wisdom of God are not alien, just not atrophied and diminished like our own.

Transubstantiation of unleavened bread and wine

The bread and wine are just symbols, and are NOT changed in any way into the body and blood of Yeshua. The idea of anything that goes beyond this is unmitigated superstition. Yeshua had no intention of starting any kind of rite or sacrament at the last supper. He just was asking the disciples to be and stay mindful of him, the meaning of his message, what he represented, until his death and resurrection.

Baptism infuses with Holy Spirit

Yeshua never baptized anyone or put his stamp of approval upon this ritual activity. His claim was that he came to baptize with fervor and spirit (mindset or attitude).

Mysterious judgment of God

There is no Mysterious judgment of God, where we cannot understand the criteria used. We can understand the judgment of God, because the citizens of the universe just want us to come into meaningful unity with them and with each other. Traditionally at the time of Christ, the word judgment of God was tantamount to "judgment for."

Hell as literal place with literal burning

"En passant Boulanger demonstrated that so monstrous a conception as Hell, which had tormented mankind for centuries, could never have been conceived by reasonable, natural man unless he had experienced in the flesh pangs as violent as the Hell of the religionist." - F. E. Manuel, The Eighteenth Century Confronts the Gods (Cambridge, Mass., 1967), p. 215.

As is shown elsewhere on this site, "Hell" is a construct derived from the fiery, deadly, disastrous ancient planetary catastrophes, some of which are described in the Old Testament.

Regardless of its origins, this construct of hell is the most atrocious, bizarre, macabre, evil doctrine that has ever come from the mind of man, and has no valid foundation in the words of Yeshua or even in the New Testament. This concept cannot be found in the Gospels, and is a monstrous fabrication from misunderstanding what the term "Hades" meant in that culture, and from a misunderstanding of what Yeshua prophesied as to where the Romans would later cast the dead bodies to be burned from the sacking of Jerusalem. The valley of Hinnom, or Gehenna, was the metropolitan refuse dump where the fires were kept burning and were not allower ("never") went out.

Substitution of Christ's merits for ours

Every human being has merit and unlimited potential merit. Merit is not the issue. It is our sin, our wrong concept of the nature and character of God and our perverse clinging to it, that must be eliminated, and no sham symbolic transfer or bookkeeping entry of righteousness or pretension of justification will do.

Our bodies belong to God as temples

First of all, we are HUMAN BEINGS not temples, and our bodies belong to US! Even as a metaphor this is distasteful, but to push it beyond this becomes irrational. Rather than focus on enlightened self interest, there is pressure put upon many Christians to be concerned about how God feels if we don't follow the very best health practices in order to not defile God's "temple". It is absurd to not realize that if God is so concerned about his "temples" he could stop the decay and aging process, protect us from being victims of accident, disease, environmental, hereditary and systemic problems.

Belief focused on the miracles

In the context of the miracles, a great mistake is made in understanding what Yeshua means when he says, "Because of your belief...". The efficacy for the result does NOT come from intense belief in or focused on the development or outcome itself, but is released from a belief in the mercy and goodness of God. The former type of belief is little more than Godless magic or mind over matter, and the latter is what is needed to "heal the nations" and bring about the great resolution.

Mystical Righteousness

Righteousness means NOTHING more than being intellectually responsible and reasonable within the ultimate human value system. It cannot be poured, transferred or replaced by that of someone else!

The Bottom Line? Christianity has degenerated

Christianity never got off the ground by focusing on the message of Yeshua, but rather was always based on the thinking of certain disciples and Paul. It has degenerated into JUST another major, mystical and false religion. Anyone that can't see that has to be in major denial! Christians should be alarmed enough to be asking why?, when?, where?, and how?!

Intellectual chicanery

Mysticism in religion opens the door to all kinds of intellectual chicanery. If you can be "mystical", you can entertain all sorts of fantastical, exotic concepts that are decoupled from any reality that we experience or that we would upon sober reflection even desire. Mysticism allows people to continue to live in denial and to be intellectually irresponsible, dishonest with themselves, on the most fundamental level.

Lastly, sometimes this line of thinking makes me the source of evil. Anything that I see as evil and cannot see as good is strictly my own fault for thinking wrongly. All of the distasteful aspects of the world are only illusions because I relate to them wrongly. Nature red in tooth and tong, the wanton destruction wrought by geophysical catastrophic agencies, the nefarious activities of fellow human beings, the relentless assault on ourselves by disease and aging, the unspeakable suffering of myself and others are all WONDERFUL? Give me a break from this insidious denial of REALITY by my fellow homo sapiens! It is the ultimate frustration to try to reason with people that are addicted to mysticism, because they have already been broken with it. Just as well save your pearls.

[*]  The 2000 years is the approximate value within the existing standard chronology. The value would be 1300 years in the revised chronology favored by this site. Still a time much too long.

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