By Alan Watts
This learn of the need of mystical faith, additionally indicates how conventional Western doctrine should be reconciled with the intuitive faith of the Orient.
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Additional info for Behold the Spirit: A Study in the Necessity of Mystical Religion
My neighbors, how can I tell you about Essence when you do not even understand stories. If you only knew how great the sweetness, the expanse, and the strength are when one reaches the bottom of all the stories— there where the stories begin and where they end; there, where the tongue is silent and where everything is told at once. How boring all the lengthy and tedious stories of creatures then become! Truly, they become just as boring as it is for one who is accustomed to seeing lightning to hear stories about lightning.
To complete this meditation on the anagogic, climactic way to interpret and learn from a text, I can report that though I always enjoy writing, writing about religion gives me the greatest pleasure, because at religion’s best (the part I dwell on), it inspires me. This makes writing about it enjoyable, and more. It brings the kind of fulfillment Aristotle called flourishing and makes my mornings a holy time—by extension, a time of prayer. 12. It follows from the above that exegesis that stops with the literal meaning of a text—the lowest of the four steps on the ladder—cannot do that text full justice.
Now, God is at least as different from our human world as are the micro- and megaworlds, because he includes them—remember, the Infinite is that out of which you cannot fall. It follows from this that if we stick to the Bible’s literal assertions, we find ourselves in a tangle of contradictions analogous to those that scientists encounter when they try to draw verbal pictures of their subjects. ) And we too are driven to despair if we stay with the contradictions that the Bible’s actual words confront us with, as the following assemblage of spliced-together passages indicates: We become ourselves by dying to ourselves.
Behold the Spirit: A Study in the Necessity of Mystical Religion by Alan Watts