In most areas of life, demystifying that which can be demystified is a practical and sensible approach. (Or so we think in our culture, so why not play along?)
Most spiritual teachers today do a good job demystifying mysticism. They use a clear and direct language. They use a practical approach. They often describe direct experience instead of relying exclusively on traditional – and sometimes confusing – terminology.
And by doing this, what is truly mystifying is left even more obviously mystifying.
Something is. What can be more amazing?
And I don’t know. A story may appear functional in a practical sense, but it is still a story. A story may appear to point to what I am, but it doesn’t really. Even when what I am is awake to itself, that is all that is known. And even that is mystifying.
So it can be helpful to demystify that which can be demystified, such as maps and pointers, leaving what is truly mystifying still mystifying.
And it may be less helpful to do the reverse. To mystify that which can be clear. And to demystify – by taking stories about it as true – that which is genuinely mystifying, which is everything.
And I don’t know. Even if a story appears to be functional in a practical way, there may be many other stories out there that make more sense. And no story even touches what I am and anything is, even if they appear to point to it. (Which they don’t really.)
Even when what I am notices itself, all that is known is what I am. And even that is mystifying.
Many spiritual teachers today do a good job demystifying mysticism. Following the usual norm in western societies, they present it in a (mostly) clear, practical and direct way, and often emphasize a direct description of experience rather than – or in addition to – the traditional and sometimes confusing terminology.
Demystifying mysticism can be very helpful. It lays out the terrain in simple words. It brings attention to the qualities of direct experience. It can help dispel some of the stranger misconceptions.
In most areas of life, demystifying that which can be demystified is a practical and sensible approach.
And at the same time, the mystifying aspects of mysticism are still there.
It is still amazing and unbelievable that anything is at all. That there is something – awareness and form – rather than nothing.
And there is still don’t know. Within the realm of stories, other stories than the ones I am familiar with may be more helpful. And what I am cannot be touched by stories, even when they appear to point to it. (Which they don’t really.)
So it can be helpful to demystify what can be demystified, such as maps and pointers. And also leaving mystifying that which is genuinely mystifying, which is really everything even when they are talked about in the most clear way possible.
And it may be less helpful to do the reverse. To mystify that which can be clear. And to demystify – by taking stories about it as true – that which is genuinely mystifying. Which is everything.
- follow mainstream western attitudes, common among teachers today
- clear, simple, direct, phenomenological (description of experience)
- that anything is at all
- don’t know
- conventional sense
- as what we are (only know what we are)
- simple, clear guidelines and language, all out there as much as possible
- don’t know
- less helpful
- if obscure that which can be simple (maps, guidelines)
- if demystify that which is genuinely mystifying (anything is at all, don’t know)