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What does a Mystric believe?

 

Living Mystricism - A Journey of Kindness, Inquiry, and Awe

As a Mystric, the essence of our beliefs is woven from the fabric of kindness, the rigour of the scientific method, and a wonder-inspired view of the universe we term Aweism. These are not mere philosophical stances but lived experiences that shape every aspect of our lives and interactions with the world.

 

The Foundation of Kindness:

Kindness is the cornerstone of our interactions, guiding us to approach each other and the world with empathy, compassion, and understanding. It partners and integrates with rationality, embedding warmth into the cold logic that often defines pure logic reason. This principle fosters a community where social harmony, scientific discovery and personal growth are not just ideals but realities we strive for daily.

 

Upholding Scientific Inquiry:

Our commitment to the scientific method is a testament to our pursuit of truth. It equips us to navigate the complexities of existence with a critical eye, embracing evidence over superstition and fostering a culture where beliefs are challenged and refined. This approach has led us to adopt agnostic atheism, recognising the limits of human knowledge while remaining open to the vast sublime unknown.

 

Embracing Aweism:

Aweism, the naturalised "spirituality" we advocate, celebrates the profound beauty and mystery of the universe without invoking the paranormal and supernatural. It is in the grandeur of the cosmos, the intricacy of natural phenomena, and the depth of human connection that we find "spiritual" fulfilment. This perspective enriches our lives, providing a sense of humility and belonging to something greater than ourselves, rooted in the real and the tangible.

 

In embodying these principles, we, the Mystrical Community Union, offer a sanctuary for those seeking to blend intellectual curiosity with "spiritual" depth. Our journey is one of continuous learning, ethical living, and a celebration of the natural world, guided by kindness, driven by inquiry, and inspired by marvel and awe.

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Why the cosmic snail as our symbol?

 

The snail, a gentle earthly creature, signifies our devotion to naturalism and our pledge to remain grounded in a reality that is observed, felt, and scientifically understood.

 

In the fable of the Tortoise and the Hare, the slow-moving creature triumphs through steady, unwavering determination. Similarly, our path is one of persistent inquiry, not swayed by the swift allure of unproven beliefs but fortified by steady, rational thought.

 

Our icon's spiral shell echoes the profound patterns that dance through nature and the universe - from the grand spirals of galaxies to the delicate curves of seashells, from the twirling forces within weather systems to the dynamic swirl of water draining. This spiral connects us to the universe's omnipresent patterns, representing the unending cycle of growth and evolution.

 

Look closely, and you’ll notice the optimistic tilt of the snail's head—a subtle embodiment of our positive outlook and curiosity. The snail's antennae, its investigative sensors, reach out to the world with eagerness, symbolising our community's quest for truth and discovery.

 

Our icon is a testament to our belief system: a snail, grounded yet guided by the stars, inspires us to explore the majestic tapestry of existence with optimism, curiosity, and a profound respect for the rational and the awe-inspiring alike.

Image by Krzysztof  Niewolny
What does a Mystric believe?
Why the cosmic snail as our symbol?
Why the name?

Why the name?

 

"Mystricism" is a portmanteau, blending "Mystery" with "Metric," representing a unique juxtaposition to our worldview. While "mystery" suggests the unknown, ineffable, or unexplainable, "metric" denotes measurement, quantification, and logical methods of understanding. Thus, "Mystricism" signifies an endeavour to apply measurable and analytical methods to uncover the unknown aspects of reality while holding in reverence the profound mystery for what remains yet to be discovered.

Ocean Road
Why are we Aweistic?

Why are we Aweistic?

 

Aweism is a concept introduced by sociologist Phil Zuckerman in his book "Living the Secular Life: New Answers to Old Questions." 

 

It represents a profound, non-supernatural sense of existential wonder and appreciation that Zuckerman (and Mystrics) believes connects secular individuals, like atheists, humanists, agnostics, and others, to the universe and each other. Zuckerman describes it as a "profound, overflowing feeling" experienced in moments of intense personal significance, such as spending time with family or enjoying nature. He considers it akin to a naturalised "spirituality" grounded in the world and not linked to theological beliefs.

 

Zuckerman's concept of aweism addresses the misconception that secular people lack purpose, meaning, or emotional depth. He argues that lay individuals can experience awe without needing supernatural explanations, embracing the mystery and beauty of life without requiring a divine context. This concept is an attempt to unite various factions of nonbelief and offer a positive, optimistic identity beyond simply rejecting religious belief.

 

Experiences considered "aweistic" generally involve profound connection, wonder, or appreciation, often arising from everyday occurrences or natural phenomena. These are experiences that evoke a deep sense of marvel or amazement, transcending ordinary life. They can be intensely personal and vary widely from person to person. Some examples include:

 

1. Nature's Grandeur: Witnessing a breathtaking sunset, a star-filled sky, a thunderstorm, or the serene beauty of a forest.

 

2. Artistic and Cultural Experiences: Being deeply moved by music, art, literature, or a performance that resonates personally.

 

3. Scientific Revelations: Experiencing awe at the vastness of the universe, the complexity of life, or a scientific breakthrough.

 

4. Human Connections: Profound bonding moments, like the birth of a child, a wedding, or reuniting with a loved one after a long separation.

 

5. Acts of Kindness and Humanitarian Achievements: Observing or participating in acts of compassion, bravery, or altruism that highlight the best of humanity.

 

6. Historical or Architectural Marvels: Standing before ancient ruins, historic landmarks, or architectural wonders that connect one to the past or the feats of human ingenuity.

 

7. Personal Achievements and Milestones: Achieving a personal goal, overcoming a significant challenge, or reaching a major life milestone.

 

8. Moments of Solitude and Reflection: Times of quiet introspection or meditation, where one feels a deep sense of peace and connection to the self or the world.

 

These experiences are characterised by their ability to evoke a sense of awe and wonder, often leading to a deeper appreciation of life, the universe, or the human experience without necessarily invoking supernatural elements.

Night Skies
Why is kindness crucial to Mystricism?

Why is kindness crucial to Mystricism?

 

Kindness, often perceived as a moral attribute driven by emotion, is, in fact, deeply rooted in rationality and logic. Simultaneously, it possesses an intrinsic value that extends beyond rational justification.

 

Kindness's role in promoting social harmony and trust underscores its logical foundation. Sociologically, kind behaviour is pivotal for building strong, cohesive communities. Studies consistently show that altruism leads to more stable social environments, making kindness a rational strategy for societal harmony.

 

Kindness brings warmth, humanity, and sustainability, softening the sharp edges of pure logic and stark reason that can be cold and harsh without its gentle influence. It serves as a crucial counterbalance, preventing the descent down inhumane pathways of thought and action. In the absence of this essential principle, ideas such as eugenics, research into offensive military technology, and animal testing, among others, can flourish unchecked.

 

The principle of reciprocity provides another logical basis for kindness. This foundational aspect of human interactions suggests that kind behaviour often leads to positive responses, establishing a cycle of compassion and support. Far from being merely moral or emotional, this reciprocal nature of kindness is a logical, sustainable approach to positive social exchange.

 

Evolutionary biology further supports the rationality of kindness. Traits like empathy and cooperation have been vital to human development, suggesting that kindness transcends moral choice and becomes a strategic tool for survival and progress.

 

The emotional and psychological impacts of kindness, such as improved mood, reduced stress, and enhanced well-being, underscore its intrinsic value. These benefits extend beyond the logical advantages of social harmony, highlighting the human capacity for compassion and the essential nature of kindness for a meaningful life.

 

Kindness also contributes to personal character development and societal values, fostering humility and empathy. It is a universal language, bridging cultural and social divides and promoting global understanding and peace. In a world often divided, kindness emerges as a unifying force, demonstrating its unique intrinsic value.

 

Adopting a balanced approach to kindness involves recognising its rational and intrinsic aspects. Integrating kindness into daily decisions promotes a logical basis for compassionate behaviour while nurturing its inherent value as an expression of our humanity.

 

Incorporating kindness into personal and professional realms can be transformative. In personal relationships, it deepens bonds, and in professional settings, it fosters a culture of respect and collaboration. Kindness catalyses positive change, showcasing its versatility as a rational and intrinsically valuable virtue.

 

Kindness is a multifaceted attribute that encompasses both reason and intrinsic worth. Its rational aspects - promoting social harmony and having evolutionary advantages - position it as a logical choice. At the same time, its inherent value enriches human experiences, fostering personal growth and global harmony. Embracing kindness entirely means acknowledging its logical underpinnings while celebrating its intrinsic virtue. In doing so, we contribute to a more harmonious society and embrace the rewarding experience of our shared humanity. Kindness is not just a rational choice but a necessity, a virtue that enriches our existence, underscoring its indispensable role in human life.

Holding Hands
Why do we uphold the scientific method?

Why do we uphold the Scientific Method?

 

The Mystrical Community Union (MCU) firmly upholds the scientific method, intertwined with the philosophies of verificationism and falsificationism, as its guiding principle for discerning truth about the universe. This steadfast commitment is rooted in recognising inherent human fallibilities, such as errors in perception, the sway of ego and pride, cognitive biases, and the vulnerability to persuasive language—that can obscure our quest for understanding.

 

Addressing Human Fallibility: Human cognition is prone to errors, influenced heavily by personal biases, desires, and the compelling nature of persuasive narratives. With its structured approach to inquiry through observation, experimentation, and analysis, the scientific method offers a systematic way to navigate these pitfalls. By demanding empirical evidence and reproducible results, it minimises the impact of individual biases and subjective interpretations, aiming for a more objective truth.

 

Verificationism and Falsificationism as Pillars of Inquiry: Verificationism asserts that statements must be directly verifiable through empirical observation to hold meaning and encourage a direct engagement with the material world. This engagement ensures that the theories and claims within the MCU are not just speculative but are anchored in observable phenomena. Falsificationism, on the other hand, emphasises the importance of being able to refute hypotheses through testing. This principle is crucial for maintaining intellectual integrity, as it accepts the provisional nature of knowledge, understanding that all conclusions are subject to challenge and change with new evidence.

 

Embracing Intellectual Honesty: By integrating these philosophical approaches, the MCU fosters an environment where intellectual honesty prevails over the comfort of unwarranted certainty. This methodology accepts the limitations of human knowledge and the ever-present possibility of being wrong, valuing the journey of inquiry over the destination of supposed absolute truths. It’s a humble acknowledgment that understanding is constantly evolving, and so must the beliefs and doctrines of the community.

 

Adapting to New Insights: The dynamic nature of the scientific method, combined with the principles of verificationism and falsificationism, ensures that the MCU remains open and adaptable to new insights. This adaptability is crucial in a rapidly changing world where scientific discoveries continuously reshape our understanding of the universe. It signifies a commitment to growth, learning, and the evolution of thought, free from the constraints of dogma and doctrinaire thinking.

 

The MCU’s endorsement of the scientific method, verificationism, and falsificationism reflects a profound commitment to exploring the universe with rigour, openness, and an honest acknowledgment of our limitations. This approach not only guides the community in a quest for empirical truth but also embodies a philosophical stance that values intellectual humility, the readiness to adapt beliefs, and the pursuit of understanding free from the distortions of ego, bias, and unsubstantiated claims. Through this lens, the MCU seeks to comprehend the vast, intricate, and beautiful complexities of our universe.

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Why are we naturalistic?

Why are we Naturalistic?

 

Naturalism, at its heart, is the appreciation and reverence for the natural world and the laws that govern it. It's about acknowledging that the universe is enough in all its complexity and beauty. We don't seek supernatural explanations but find awe and wonder in what is real and observable.

 

In Mystricism, we see the world through a lens of awe and respect. The stars, the mountains, and the intricate patterns of life are not just subjects of scientific study but are sacred glimpses into the sublime unknown. They are reminders of the ineffable mystery of reality that we celebrate.

 

Our commitment to naturalism also means we value reason, evidence, and critical thinking. Understanding the natural laws and phenomena enhances our "spiritual" experiences and ethical understanding. It grounds our morals and ethics in the realities of our world.

 

Naturalism teaches us that we are not separate from the natural world but part of it. This understanding fosters a deep connection and responsibility towards our environment and fellow beings. It's about harmony, balance, and living in a way that honours the interconnected web of life.

 

In embracing naturalism, Mystricism keeps in touch with the "numinous". Instead, we find the numinous in the natural , the wonder, complexity, and beauty of the universe surrounding us.

Image by Larisa Birta
Why are we Agnostic Atheists?

Why are we Agnostic Atheists?

 

In the quest for understanding the complexities of our existence and the universe, the concepts of belief, knowledge, and the existence of a higher power have perennially been subjects of inquiry and contemplation. This essay delves into our rationale for adopting agnostic atheism. The principles of empirical evidence, logical consistency, and the methodologies inherent in scientific inquiry meticulously inform this position. 

 

The Foundations - Verificationism & Falsificationism:

Our journey into agnostic atheism began with an inherent curiosity about the nature of belief and the existence of higher powers and the supernatural. Like many, the implications of such notions propelled us into a space where fantasy grapples with reason, where the quest for truth is both a personal and philosophical undertaking. Our stance of agnosticism emerges from acknowledging our epistemic limitations, recognising that human knowledge, particularly concerning the divine and the supernatural, is inherently constrained by the complete absence of reliable empirical evidence and irrefutable logic. This principle, known as verificationism, posits that for any claim to be meaningful, it must be verified. However, the claims regarding the existence of deities or supernatural phenomena need credible empirical evidence to elevate them beyond the realm of speculation. Thus, agnosticism is not merely a tentative position but a reasoned conclusion derived from the current state of evidence and logical discourse. 

 

We extend our scepticism further, underpinned by the principle of falsificationism. Falsificationism argues that for a hypothesis to be considered scientifically valid, it must be inherently falsifiable; that is, it must be possible to conceive an observation or an argument that could negate the hypothesis. By their nature, deities and paranormal concepts elude such falsification. They are framed so that they are immune to empirical testing and refutation, existing beyond the bounds of observable and measurable phenomena. This approach dismisses untestable ideas as merely unproven hypotheses at best and meaningless, irrelevant fantasies at worst. Scientists have an expression for these ideas: “Not even wrong.”  

 

Consequently, these practices inevitably steer us toward agnostic atheism. The god hypothesis, to date, has not been scientifically verified, nor is it scientifically falsifiable. The scope and subsequent implications of this particular hypothesis especially demand our strict adherence to the methods of science. This stance is not merely a procedural preference but a fundamental imperative, born out of the recognition that the existence of supernatural entities or paranormal forces bears profound and far-reaching ramifications to our understanding of the universe, our place within it, and the nature of reality itself. As a result, because we don’t know whether gods exist (agnostic), we therefore don’t believe gods exist (atheist). 

 

The Scientific Method as a Beacon:

Central to the journey towards agnostic atheism is an unwavering reliance on the Scientific Method to navigate the complexities of the natural world and the claims made about phenomena beyond it. This methodological approach mandates rigorous testing, questioning, and retesting of hypotheses. It is a process that seeks not to confirm preconceived notions but to uncover the closest approximation to truth through empirical evidence and logical analysis. Mystricism, a synthesis of rational thought and “spiritual” experience, advocates for a scientific inquiry that is open yet stringent in its criteria for acceptance. Hypotheses that cannot be empirically tested or fail to meet the requirements of logical coherence are deemed scientifically invalid. This rigorous adherence to the principles of scientific inquiry emphasises a reality predicated on natural elements and dismisses the plausibility of superstition and supernatural claims.

 

A Stance of Skeptical Openness:

In sharing this exploration into agnostic atheism, the intent is not to engage in debate or persuasion but to articulate a profoundly personal and fundamentally rational perspective. Mystricism, as a philosophical and “spiritual” framework, approaches the profound questions of existence with a balance of scepticism and openness. It recognises that while our journeys through these philosophical waters may differ, there is value in navigating them with an anchor in empirical evidence and logical consistency.

 

Agnostic atheism, therefore, is not merely a label but a reflection of a thoughtful engagement with the world and the mysteries that lie beyond our current understanding. It is a stance that honours the beauty of the unknown while steadfastly advocating for a worldview anchored in the principles of scientific inquiry. In this light, agnostic atheism emerges not as a conclusion but as an ongoing dialogue with the cosmos, a testament to the human “spirit’s” quest for knowledge and the humility to acknowledge the limits of our understanding.

Thinking Man
Why do Mystrics revere the unknown?

Why do Mystrics revere the Unknown?

 

The Mystrical Community Union's (the MCU) reverence for the unknown is a rich and multifaceted belief deeply grounded in human history and psychology. It reflects a mature and considered view of the world and its mysteries. The unknown is our higher power, which irresistibly compels humility, respect and awe.

 

From the dawn of humanity, our ancestors were confronted with the ubiquitous unknown, evoking feelings of uncertainty and terror. Their initial response of dread led to the creation of supernatural explanations for what they could not understand. They invented concepts of an afterlife, "spirits" and deities to explain natural phenomena, providing a sense of control and understanding, albeit a hollow artificial one.

 

As humans evolved, however, so did their approach to the unknown. The progression from fear and superstition to a more rational and scientific understanding marked a significant shift in human consciousness. This journey, characterised by expanding knowledge through trial and error and ultimately refined into the scientific method, did not eliminate the unknown or even its scope but changed our relationship with it.

 

The MCU, in its philosophy, acknowledges this evolution. Mystrics believe that the initial emotional reactions of our ancestors were understandable, but that humanity has matured since then. Instead of fear and terror, reverence is considered the more appropriate response. This reverence is not a supernatural concept but a deep, complex emotion that combines wonder, awe, and respect. It is a recognition that there are aspects of the universe grander and more mysterious than us, invoking both a sense of beauty and humility.

 

This reverence allows one to face reality and the unknown head-on without desperation's distracting, reactive emotions. It is a stance that encourages observing reality with open eyes, filled with respect and awe, rather than cowering in fear and sealing gaps with supernatural contrivances.

 

The profound reverence for the unknown held by the MCU represents a holistic, mature, and rational approach to the mysteries of life. This reverence acknowledges the vastness of what remains unknown, coupled with an appreciation for humanity's journey of discovery and understanding. This reverence is an emotional and intellectual response, providing a balanced and enlightened perspective on the world and our place within it. The undiscovered mystery of the cosmos is our higher power; it humbly reminds us that we are but a infinitesimally tiny thread in an epic cosmic tapestry.

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How did Mystricism get started?

How did Mystricism get started?

 

The inception of Mystricism stems from an observation about our "spiritual" journey as a species. Historically, humans have sought to understand the unknown through supernatural beliefs and glorified superstitions, a legacy of our early days, barely off the Savannah. This was our first fear-driven, desperate attempt to make sense of the world around us. However, as we've advanced, so has our understanding of the universe and ourselves, although we've only begun to scratch the surface.

 

When confronted with the vast unknown, early humans turned to supernatural explanations to bring order to chaos. This was a natural response for a species striving to comprehend its environment. But as centuries passed, our species acquired new tools to decipher the world. Among these, the Scientific Method has been pivotal. It allows us to distinguish what is known, unknown, and as yet unknowable, moving us beyond simplistic labels and answers driven by fear and superstition.

 

Mystricism is born from the belief that it's time for the more significant questions in life to be scrutinised with the same intellectual integrity. We should not be quick to settle for easy explanations but embrace our world's complexity. The Scientific Method isn't just for empirical inquiries; it's a beacon guiding us through the fog of superstition towards a clearer understanding of our place in the universe.

 

With this backdrop, Mystricism emerges as a necessary voice in the "spiritual" discourse. Major religions often overshadow and bully non-supernatural viewpoints, leaving a gap for those who seek "spiritual" connection grounded in reality. Mystricism represents those who wish to explore "spirituality" through the lens of modern understanding and rational thought.

 

Recognising the isolation many rational "spiritual" seekers feel, Mystricism aims to create a community. It's a space where questions are encouraged, and "spirituality" is explored in a way that harmonises with our intellectual growth as a species.

 

Central to Mystricism is Aweism, a concept that fosters a non-supernatural sense of awe, wonder and appreciation for the universe's beauty. Aweism is the belief that a naturalised "spirituality" can coexist with rationality. Mystricism sees the universe, in all its complexity and marvel, as more than sufficient for spiritual fulfilment, negating the need for supernatural explanations.

 

Mystricism is a response to our evolutionary journey from ancient superstitions to a more enlightened understanding of the world. It offers a path for those who seek to blend their "spiritual" quest with intellectual integrity, embracing the wonder of the universe through the lens of reason and scientific discovery.

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Pausing to be more human

Pausing to be more Human

In the doctrine of Mystricism, a critical tenet is the deliberate enhancement of our human nature while simultaneously domesticating our more primal, animalistic baggage. This pursuit is embodied in a contemplative pause, a practice that signifies a moment of intentional reflection, a deliberate break in the continuum of our automatic responses.

 

Mystricism champions the enhancement of human consciousness, advocating for a life led by deliberate thought, moral contemplation, and the pursuit of understanding. It posits that within each individual lies the potential for a profound transformation that moves us away from instinctual, survival-driven behaviours towards a more reflective, intentional mode of being. This evolution is not about rejecting our biological heritage but rather about reaching the heights of what our human nature allows: empathy and rationality.

 

The divergence between our human capabilities and our animal instincts is stark. While most animals typically only act predominantly based on blunt instinct, driven by the fundamental need for survival, humans have the capacity for abstract thought, self-reflection, and ethical reasoning. Our ability to imagine futures, empathise with others and make choices grounded in values rather than mere survival sets us apart. This human capacity for moral judgment, creative expression, and philosophical inquiry underpins a Mystric’s goal of living a life that transcends the animalistic.

 

A purposeful pause represents a pivotal moment of choice, a space between stimulus and response where we can exercise our uniquely human capacity to think, reflect, and choose with intention. This concept encourages individuals to halt their automatic reactions, allowing for a moment of contemplation that can lead to more thoughtful, compassionate, and rational decisions. By pausing, we engage in self-examination, questioning not only our immediate impulses but also the broader implications of our actions on ourselves, others, and the world at large.

 

Incorporating the pause into our daily life is cultivating a mindfulness that permeates our interactions, decisions, and perceptions. It is about developing a habit of stopping to reflect on our motivations, the consequences of our actions, and the alignment of our behaviour with our deepest values. This practice can take many forms, from a brief yet full moment of reflection before responding in a conversation to more extended periods of contemplation when faced with significant life decisions. The essence is to foster a mode of existence where our actions result from deliberate choice rather than unexamined habit.

 

The scientific method (SM) is a powerful tool in the Mystric’s arsenal.  Many feel that the SM is a philosophy restricted to use in a laboratory. They are profoundly wrong. By applying its basic principles to our everyday lives and decision-making processes, we can approach our lives with the same curiosity, openness, and rigour scientists apply to their inquiries.  The SM relies on sufficient time to observe, hypothesise, experiment, and revise.  Pausing allows us to challenge our assumptions, test our beliefs, and ultimately, live more intentionally and authentically.

 

Deliberate contemplation is not merely a cognitive technique but a profound shift towards a more conscious, intentional way of living that embodies the highest aspirations of Mystricism. It invites us to transcend our primal instincts and fully embrace our capacity for thoughtfulness, empathy, and moral clarity. In doing so, we not only enrich our own lives but also contribute to the creation of a more compassionate, rational, and harmonious world. This practice, rooted in acknowledging our human potential and fallibility, offers a path to a life of greater meaning, purpose, and connection.

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The purpose behind the values of Mystricism

The Purpose Behind the Values of Mystricism

 

Mystricism is anchored by two fundamental principles: kindness and honesty. By employing kindness, we cultivate a climate of harmony and peace, enabling a broad spectrum of minds to explore and appreciate the mysteries of the cosmos. Without compassion, our world is marred by suffering and strife, stifling opportunities for discovery and learning. We can genuinely engage with and understand the world only when we eliminate conflict and division. We must ensure that everyone is included in this quest, as each person perceives a unique facet of reality that contributes to our collective understanding. This collaboration reveals the intricate beauty of life, the universe's most precious jewel.

 

Honesty is equally vital. It demands that we confront our cognitive limitations, illusions of pride, and interpretations of truth. This honesty is upheld by the methods of science, the only honest and reliable system for finding the best approximate truth. Celebrating beauty only holds authenticity if  it is rooted in reality and avoids the traps of fear, hope, and misconception.

 

The ultimate purpose of the principles of Mystricism is to explore and reveal the mysteries of the universe, while appreciating its awesome beauty and sublime magnificence. The infinite unknown is our higher power, vast and ineffable; it epically dwarfs our ego and pride, driving us to pursue and understand its true essence. Humanity's presence in the universe is minuscule and fragile, as is our grasp on reality. Our journey is one of perpetual exploration, seeking true understanding and witnessing the inherent grace of the cosmos.

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The unknown: our higher power & purpose

The Unknown: Our Higher Power and Purpose

 

When pondering our "Purpose to Life" and our version of a "Higher Power," we find a delicate balance reminiscent of the yin and yang. These concepts have two sides, each reflecting and complementing the other around the philosophical centrepiece of the infinite unknown. This harmony between the known and the mysterious highlights the dynamic interplay that shapes our understanding of existence.

 

Part 1 - A Power Greater than Ourselves

 

In the Mystrical framework, our higher power isn't a deity or supernatural concept but the profound mysteries of the universe yet to be discovered. Instead of worshipping a divine entity, we revere the vast, awe-inspiring, unknown aspects of reality. This aligns with Mystricism's principles of naturalism and the intentions of science, where belief in the supernatural is replaced by a deep respect for the natural world and its unexplored wonders.

 

Mystrics see the higher power as a guiding light rooted in the universe's limitless potential for discovery. This perspective celebrates the vast expanse of knowledge awaiting our insatiable curiosity rather than fearing what we don't yet understand. It acknowledges our modest place in the cosmos and embraces the journey toward understanding the myriad mysteries surrounding us. The vast unknown humbles our pride and ego, creating an environment where hubris cannot take root.

 

For those in recovery programs like Alcoholics Anonymous, the requirement to believe in a higher power can be a philosophical hurdle. Mystricism offers a refreshing alternative where the higher power is the awe-inspiring unknown, not a god figure or other superstitious concept. This approach empowers individuals in recovery by providing strength and humility grounded in the natural world and sublime mystery, fostering a personal and meaningful "spiritual" journey. It instils hope and inspiration, reminding them there's always more to discover and understand.

 

Reverence for the unknown is central to Mystricism, embodying a holistic and mature approach to life's mysteries. This reverence isn't based on supernatural feelings but on deep, complex emotions combining wonder, awe, respect, and humility. It encourages individuals to face reality head-on, observing it with open eyes filled with appreciation and veneration rather than cowering in fear and resorting to supernatural explanations. 

 

Part 2 - The Meaning of Life

 

Mystricism tackles the profound existential questions of life's purpose by embracing a search for relevance and significance beyond human-centred concerns. For millennia, people have turned to religion to answer the question: Why are we here? What is our purpose? The key to answering these questions is to ask another: What does it all mean? The answer: We don't know. 

 

The answer is found in the search itself.

 

In Mystricism, life's meaning and higher purpose are established in uncovering the unknown in a quest for discovery. When we unmask mystery and reveal the unknown, we witness beauty and receive knowledge, understanding and wisdom. This tenet embodies Mystricism's philosophy, celebrating our endless journey of enlightenment.

 

So, let's embrace the unknown with a sense of adventure. Who needs all the answers when the quest itself is this exciting? After all, isn't it more fun to explore the cosmic treasure hunt of knowledge than to pretend we've already found the chest?

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Our Golden Rule [NEW]

Our Golden Rule

 

Over the millennia, long after humanity left its arboreal origins, moved beyond the savannah, and expanded its understanding of the world, we began to uncover pieces of universal wisdom that remain undeniably and uncontroversially true. Among the most significant is known as the Golden Rule. This principle has appeared in virtually every religious, philosophical, and cultural teaching since the Earth’s crust cooled. It emphasises reciprocity and empathy, encouraging individuals to consider others' feelings as they do their own. Here are some well-known existing versions of the Golden Rule from various sources:

 

Christianity: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." (Matthew 7:12, Bible)

 

Judaism: "What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow man. This is the entire Law; all the rest is commentary." (Talmud, Shabbat 31a)

 

Islam: "None of you [truly] believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself." (Hadith)

 

Hinduism: "This is the sum of duty; do naught onto others what you would not have them do unto you." (Mahabharata 5:1517)

 

Buddhism: "Treat not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful." (Udana-Varga 5.18)

 

Confucianism: "Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself." (Analects 15:23)

 

Taoism: "Regard your neighbour's gain as your gain, and your neighbour's loss as your own loss." (T'ai Shang Kan Ying P'ien)

 

Zoroastrianism: "That nature alone is good which refrains from doing unto another whatsoever is not good for itself." (Dadistan-i-Dinik 94:5)

 

Sikhism: "I am a stranger to no one, and no one is a stranger to me. Indeed, I am a friend to all." (Guru Granth Sahib, p. 1299)

 

Baha'i Faith: "Lay not on any soul a load that you would not wish to be laid upon you, and desire not for anyone the things you would not desire for yourself." (Baha'u'llah, Gleanings)

 

Ancient Egypt: "Do for one who may do for you, that you may cause him thus to do." (The Tale of the Eloquent Peasant, 1800 BCE)

 

Native American (Cherokee): "Do not judge your neighbour until you walk two moons in his moccasins."

 

Jainism: "One should treat all creatures in the world as one would like to be treated." (Mahavira, Sutrakritanga)

 

Greek Philosophy (Socrates): "Do not do to others that which would anger you if others did it to you." (Socrates)

 

Humanism: "Don't do things you wouldn't want to have done to you." (British Humanist Society)

 

Unitarian Universalism: "We affirm and promote respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part." (Unitarian Principles)

 

African Traditional Religions: "One going to take a pointed stick to pinch a baby bird should first try it on himself to feel how it hurts." (Yoruba Proverb)

 

Shinto: "The heart of the person before you is a mirror. See there your own form." (Shinto Saying)

 

Plato's Republic: "May I do to others as I would that they should do unto me." (Plato)

 

Scientology: "Try to treat others as you would want them to treat you." (L. Ron Hubbard, The Way to Happiness)

 

The Mystrical Community Union has its own version. Our incarnation of the Golden Rule acknowledges its original wisdom and universality. Still, it is also aware that much time has passed since most of these variations were written, let alone revisited and upgraded. Our Golden Rule is thus:

 

"Treat all life with kindness, honesty, and consideration, as you would want to be treated. Ensure your actions contribute to the well-being and reduce the suffering of all sentient beings and ecosystems of the universe."

 

The Golden Rule has been a cornerstone of ethical thought across cultures and ages, guiding humanity toward empathy, reciprocity, and mutual respect. The Mystrical Community Union honours this timeless wisdom while embracing modern understanding and values. Our enhanced and clarified version of the Golden Rule reflects our commitment to compassion and rectitude. We strive to create a harmonious and compassionate world for all by aiming to adhere to these principles. Join us in this journey of ethical living, where every action contributes to the collective well-being of our interconnected universe.

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The trinity of the unknown [NEW]

The Trinity of the Unknown

 

The concept of the unknown has always been a central feature of human thought. From our earliest ancestors to the present day, it has spurred curiosity, fear, reverence, and wonder. In Mystricism, the unknown is not just a backdrop but a central feature that forms the core of our higher meaning, our purpose, and our naturalised "spirituality." These elements, represented by each facet of a trinity, offer a natural, rational, and "spiritual" guide to our lives, with the unknown as the central feature.

 

Facet One: Aweism - Rational Inspiration

 

Aweism, a cornerstone of Mystricism, celebrates the profound beauty and mystery of the universe without invoking the supernatural. It is in the grandeur of the cosmos, the intricacy of natural phenomena, and the depth of human connection that we find "spiritual" fulfilment. The experiences that provoke feelings of wonder, connection, awe, and joy are not known or fully understood, highlighting the role of the unknown in these transcendent moments.

 

For instance, consider the experience of standing beneath a vast, star-filled sky. The sheer enormity and beauty of the cosmos can evoke a deep sense of wonder and awe, reminding us of the limits of our knowledge and the vastness of what remains to be discovered. This differs from the satisfaction from well-understood physiological experiences, such as enjoying a delicious meal, sexual gratification or the endorphin rush after exercise. While these are wonderful, they do not capture the transcendent quality that Aweism seeks to highlight. Instead, the extraordinary moments, like witnessing a solar eclipse, feeling the profound connection during a moving piece of music, or contemplating the complexities of life and the universe in quiet solitude, embody Aweism. These moments are not fully understood and are rooted in the unknown, providing a rational yet profoundly "spiritual" experience.

 

Facet Two: Purpose - Unveiling the Unknown

 

The second facet of our trinity focuses on purpose. Beyond mere survival and reproduction, the ultimate purpose of intelligent life, as posited by Mystricism, is to unveil and understand the unknown. This drive for knowledge and understanding is deeply embedded in our nature and propels us forward in our quest to explore the mysteries of the universe.

 

The pursuit of uncovering the unknown aligns with the core values of science and rational inquiry. Historically, each discovery we make only reveals deeper complexities and further mysteries, expanding the frontiers of our knowledge. This continuous discovery process advances our understanding and reinforces the idea that the unknown is effectively infinite.

 

In practical terms, this pursuit of purpose manifests in various ways. Scientists investigating the fundamental particles of matter, explorers venturing into uncharted territories, and individuals seeking to understand the depths of human consciousness all contribute to this collective endeavour. 

 

The unknown drives innovation, fuels our curiosity, unveils beauty, and ultimately enriches our understanding of the cosmos and our purpose within it. Carl Sagan said it best, "We are a way for the cosmos to know itself." Symbolically speaking, this reflects the notion that human consciousness and intelligence are mechanisms through which the universe gains self-awareness. 

 

Facet Three: The Unknown as a Rational Higher Power

 

The third facet of the trinity positions the unknown as a rational version of our higher power. This perspective subdues our hubris and egotism, promoting a sense of humility and awe. For sensible, sceptical, scientific individuals, the mysteries of reality are the only power greater than ourselves that does not conflict with logical thought, the Mystrical values of naturalism, and the ideals of science.

 

When viewed as infinitely vast, the unknown aligns with historical precedents, where each scientific discovery unveils new layers of complexity. This scientifically rational perspective acknowledges that our knowledge is limited and that those limits are ever-expanding. It promotes epistemic humility, recognising the boundaries of our understanding while encouraging continuous inquiry and exploration. This aligns with the principles of falsifiability and Bayesian reasoning, which underpin the methods of science.

 

In Mystricism, revering the unknown as our higher power complements the values of humility, honesty, and awe. It acknowledges the epic vastness of what we do not know, promoting a sense of wonder and inspiring lifelong curiosity. This reverence for the unknown does not imply a supernatural force but a deep respect for the mysteries surrounding us, encouraging us to approach them with an open mind and a humble heart.

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The true test of kindness [NEW]

The True Test of Kindness

Kindness, often seen as a gentle, effortless virtue, a joy to bestow upon others, holds a deeper truth. Genuine kindness, far from being a simple act, is at its most potent and transformative when it is most challenging to practice. The true measure of kindness is not in the ease of its expression but in its endurance under pressure and adversity.

 

In everyday life, showing kindness when reciprocated or appreciated can be a source of joy and satisfaction. These moments reaffirm our positive self-image and reinforce our social bonds. Yet, these instances do not test the depth of our capacity for kindness. The true strength of our kindness is revealed in the crucible of conflict, discomfort, and personal affronts.

 

Imagine a situation where your pride is under assault, where you feel belittled, embarrassed, or shamed. Our instinctual responses often lean towards defensiveness, anger, or retribution in such moments. In the heat of emotional turmoil, it is precisely here that choosing kindness becomes a profound act of human will. When kindness is least deserved by others, when they have wronged or shown us contempt, our decision to respond with patience, compassion, and understanding holds the greatest potential for positive impact.

 

The irony of kindness lies in its most significant power emerging when it is most difficult to manifest. By extending kindness in the face of provocation, we uphold our moral integrity and break the cycle of negativity. This act of grace can disarm hostility, foster reconciliation, and promote healing in ways that retaliation or cold indifference never could.

 

Furthermore, demonstrating kindness in challenging circumstances is a testament to our inner strength and resilience. It signifies a triumph over our primal animal instincts and a dedication to our higher human values. This fosters a sense of inner peace and self-respect, affirming that we have acted in alignment with our principles and maintained personal control despite the pressures to do otherwise.

 

When our pride is under siege, when we feel the sting of condescension, and when we are most tempted to forsake our Mystrical principles, kindness becomes a revolutionary act. Choosing this arduous path not only enriches our own lives but also plants seeds of compassion and understanding in the hearts of others, initiating waves of positive change in a world often scarred by conflict and division.

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The true test of kindness: Exceptions [NEW]

The True Test of Kindness: Exceptions

Kindness is a cornerstone of the Mystrical ethos. Yet, common sense informs us that the practice of kindness is not without its limits, and certain situations may necessitate deviations from this principle. These exceptions, though rare, require careful contemplation, patience and a nuanced understanding of the ethical situation.

 

Protecting Oneself and Others

 

One significant exception arises in situations where personal safety or the safety of others is at risk. If showing kindness to an aggressor endangers oneself or others, it may be necessary to take protective measures that, on the surface, may appear unkind. For instance, setting firm boundaries with someone abusive or harmful is an act of self-preservation and protection for potential victims. In such cases, the principle of kindness is not abandoned but redefined as a duty to prevent harm.

 

Upholding Justice and Accountability

 

Another exception to the rule of kindness involves upholding justice and accountability. At times, leniency could perpetuate injustice or allow harmful behaviour to continue unchecked. Addressing systemic injustices or confronting unethical practices may require firm and uncompromising actions. Holding individuals or institutions accountable for their actions, even if they cause discomfort or hardship, aligns with a broader conception of kindness, including the well-being of the larger community and upholding moral integrity.

 

Responding to Manipulation and Deceit

 

Those with manipulative intentions can sometimes exploit kindness. In such scenarios, responding with unwavering kindness may inadvertently enable deceit or perpetuate a cycle of manipulation. Recognising when to draw the line is crucial. Setting boundaries and, if necessary, withdrawing kindness in these situations can prevent further exploitation and encourage accountability. This approach promoted a healthier dynamic based on respect and honesty.

 

Defending Freedoms Against Unjust Restrictions

 

In some situations, kindness may need to take a backseat to defend fundamental freedoms, especially when social contracts are violated without meaningful, consensual justification. When freedoms are restricted arbitrarily, standing up against such encroachments might require actions that, while not immediately kind, are necessary to preserve liberty and justice for the greater good. This stance ensures that the principles underpinning a just society are upheld.

 

Managing Chronic Conflict and Hostility

 

Adopting a more assertive approach may become necessary in environments where chronic conflict or hostility persists despite repeated efforts to encourage understanding and reconciliation. This does not mean abandoning kindness altogether; instead, it means prioritising establishing a stable, respectful environment where meaningful dialogue can occur. In such cases, kindness might take the form of decisive actions to remove toxic influences or to enforce boundaries that protect the well-being of the broader community.

 

Addressing Persistent Negativity

 

When faced with individuals who consistently exhibit negativity or disruptive behaviour, kindness must be balanced with maintaining a positive and productive environment. After multiple attempts to engage kindly and offer support, it may be necessary to take steps that protect the group’s overall harmony and functionality. This could involve setting stricter limits on negative behaviour or, in extreme cases, removing the individual from the situation to safeguard the collective well-being.

 

Navigating Irreconcilable Differences

 

In situations where irreconcilable differences exist and all efforts at mediation and understanding have failed, it may be necessary to accept that a harmonious resolution is impossible. Here, kindness might manifest as a respectful but firm acknowledgment of these differences, allowing each party to pursue their paths without further conflict. This approach respects the dignity of all involved and avoids the futility of forced reconciliation, which can lead to greater resentment and discord.

 

Dealing with Immediate Crises

 

In immediate crises, such as natural disasters or emergencies, the urgency might override the usual practices of kindness. Quick, decisive actions that prioritise safety and stability may be necessary, even if they seem abrupt or harsh. In these moments, the focus shifts to crisis management and survival, with the understanding that kindness can be restored once the immediate danger has passed and stability is regained.

 

Balancing Kindness with Self-Care

 

Finally, kindness must be balanced with self-care. Constantly prioritising others' needs at the expense of one's well-being can lead to burnout and resentment. Recognising the importance of self-kindness ensures we maintain our capacity to be genuinely kind to others. This balance is critical; it sustains our emotional health and reinforces the authenticity of our kindness.

 

While kindness remains a fundamental principle of Mystricism, understanding its limits and exceptions is crucial. These exceptions do not undermine the value of kindness but enrich our ethical framework, allowing us to navigate complex situations with wisdom and integrity. All these exceptions should be seen as a last resort only after several different strategies of kindness have been attempted and found insufficient. Recognising these boundaries ensures that our commitment to kindness is sustainable and meaningful, promoting a harmonious world where compassion and justice coexist.

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The true test of kindness: Violence [NEW]

The True Test of Kindness: Violence?

In extreme circumstances, defensive violence may become necessary to protect oneself or others from imminent harm. This exception to kindness does not endorse aggression but recognises that self-defence, employing only the minimum force required to ensure safety and security, is sometimes unavoidable. Such actions must always be a last resort for a Mystric, undertaken only after all other de-escalation strategies and non-violent resolution have been exhausted.

 

For those rare instances where defensive violence is necessary, one might consider learning and applying martial arts with a strong emphasis on defensive actions and restraining techniques, such as Aikido, Judo, or the defensive features of Jiu-Jitsu. These disciplines focus on self-defence, using an opponent’s force against them, and controlling or subduing attackers without causing unnecessary harm.

 

For example, in extreme situations, such as being attacked while walking home, one might need to use defensive violence. This can be in the form of blocking strikes, disarming your opponent if armed, applying a hold to subdue, or, in extreme circumstances, offensive actions to incapacitate to protect others or to escape harm personally.

 

In certain dire situations, defensive violence on a larger scale, such as in war, may become necessary to protect a community, country, or group from existential threats. This form of violence is justified when all avenues of peaceful resolution have been thoroughly exhausted, and the threat remains imminent and severe. In these circumstances, thoughtful preemptive plans and preparations are also considered logical and ethical. Defensive war aims to preserve life, liberty, and essential values, using force strictly as a last resort.

 

For example, During World War II, the Battle of Britain was a notable example of defensive violence. In 1940, facing the threat of Nazi invasion, Britain had no choice but to engage in aerial combat to protect its territory and people. The Royal Air Force (RAF) defended the nation against relentless attacks by the German Luftwaffe. This defence was crucial to safeguarding the freedoms and lives of millions, preventing occupation, and maintaining the nation’s sovereignty. While violent, The RAF’s actions were necessary to protect the country and uphold justice, demonstrating that sometimes, the defence of a community or nation requires force when no other options remain.

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