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The value of logic in belief

The Value of Logic in Belief

 

Belief systems often rely on logic to differentiate between faith and convictions. Traditional supernatural religions base their beliefs on the existence of one or more gods, a concept that lacks empirical evidence and falsifiability. Mystricism, on the other hand, is rooted in naturalism and reason, and values the scientific method as its cornerstone.


The foundational difference between these two belief systems raises important questions, particularly in the context of the principles of Mystricism. A hypothesis must withstand rigorous scrutiny and empirical testing to be sound, and the concept of a supernatural deity fails to meet this criterion.


This divergence becomes more apparent when considering the ethical and "spiritual" constructs derived from these premises. In supernatural religions, morals and values often stem from the decrees or characteristics of the deity, but lack universality and stability. In contrast, Mystricism bases its ethical framework on observable and natural phenomena, leading to a more universally accessible and verifiable moral structure.  Moreover, Mystricism's emphasis on naturalism and reality aligns with a logical understanding of the universe. It replaces the unverifiable with the verifiable, and the mystical with the tangible. This shift not only grounds Mystricism in reality but also reinforces its intellectual robustness.


In conclusion, the value of logic in belief systems is paramount. Logic separates the unsubstantiated from the substantiated, guiding believers towards a more grounded and intellectually honest understanding of the universe and their place within it.

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How Mystricism has changed me

How Mystricism has changed me?

Starting The Mystrical Community Union (the MCU) and embracing Mystricism marked the beginning of an unexpected personal transformation for me, rooted in the principles of kindness, scientific inquiry, and natural "spirituality". This journey began with a vision to create a "spiritual" community that values rational thought and empirical evidence, standing as an alternative to traditional supernatural religions. Through Mystricism, I sought to explore a more grounded and realistic approach to "spirituality", emphasising ethics and morals derived from the natural world and scientific understanding.

 

As I delve deeper into the creation of the MCU and the practice of Mystricism, I notice significant changes within myself. These changes are surprising and unexpected, yet, in hindsight, entirely predictable, given the depth of my trust and confidence in the project.

 

At first, without being fully aware, my approach to life is starting to align more closely with the ideals of Mystricism, significantly affecting my mental state and behaviours. I have always intellectually and philosophically known about the power of kindness. I'm what you would call a happy-go-lucky person, and I tried my best, like everyone, to be nice to people. There were always those problematic people with whom I needed help being perfectly friendly. My default level of compassion mostly came from my innate personality, the fear of being disliked, and a pathological desire to be liked.

 

The principles of patience, kindness, and compassion, central to Mystricism, however, started to extend far beyond their usual limits in my life, driven by a desire to embody the life of a Mystric. This shift isn't just a conscious effort but also seems to occur through philosophical osmosis, where the ideals I hold dear gradually flow through to my thoughts and actions.

 

This osmotic influence of Mystricism also manifests in my approach to knowledge and understanding. Embracing the scientific method and its internal philosophies of verificationism and falsificationism leads me to adopt a more cautious and thoughtful stance toward forming conclusions. This isn't a rejection of my previous values, as I already knew its value, but an enhancement integrating a deep respect for empirical evidence into my cognitive methodology.

 

Moreover, as the expression goes, my desire to stop and "smell the roses" has also deepened and become more frequent (Aweism). Mystricism deepens my appreciation for the natural world, enriching my experiences of awe and wonder. I now break more often to marvel at those moments of natural "spiritual" transcendence, connection and wonder. I take long pauses to experience these occurrences and readily seek them out. I always did, but the scope of the feelings I now experience and the time I subconsciously and consciously devote to them have been magnified.

 

Despite these positive changes, it's crucial to acknowledge my flaws and limitations. I am an incredibly ordinary human, grappling with fear, envy, greed, hate and other less admirable traits. Yet, Mystricism is gradually guiding me toward becoming a better person, not through denial of these flaws but by providing a path toward improvement. Like all of us who try to take active steps to be better people, do less harm, bring more joy and see the world with greater clarity, I will fail, but not utterly. It's about identifying the most rational, "spiritual", and compassionate ideal and heading towards it as best you can. A Mystric uses the ideals of Mystricism like beacons on the path up a dark, ragged mountain. The closer we get to the top, the better the world becomes, and we become better people along the way.

 

Believe it or not, I created Mystricism to offer a sensible rival to traditional superstitious religions. Mystricism offers realistic "spirituality" that is natural, not supernatural, combined with clear morals and ethics to employ based on the methods of science, with kindness as its overarching prime directive. We are a community to belong to and a place to be amongst those on the same page.

 

What I was surprised to find out was how this whole notion was going to change me. I am often overwhelmed and chuffed about this. I'm reminded of the Nietzsche quote "if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you". I always interpreted that to mean our focus shapes our thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. We are not hunting monsters, however. We are seeking kindness, beauty and the best approximate truth.

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Navigating the paradox of dogmatism in Mystricism

Navigating the Paradox of Dogmatism in Mystricism

The essence of Mystricism, a philosophy that intertwines the reverence for nature with the rigors of scientific inquiry, raises an intriguing question: Does it, despite its foundational principles, inadvertently fall into the traditional pitfalls of doctrinal dogmatism? This question probes the heart of what makes Mystricism both unique and paradoxical, especially when it positions itself against the backdrop of other belief systems that have long been critiqued for their unwavering dogmas.

 

At the core of Mystricism lie principles that emphasise kindness, naturalism, honesty, reverence, and a scientific approach to understanding reality. These tenets, while technically dogmatic, are designed to foster a framework of inquiry and understanding that is fundamentally non-dogmatic. The MCU's commitment to the scientific method, a process inherently about questioning, reevaluating, and revising our understanding of the world, illustrates a profound paradox: Mystricism is dogmatic about its non-dogmatism.

 

This unique stance of Mystricism, where dogmatic beliefs pivot around the principle of open inquiry, is not a flaw but rather a deliberate synthesis of stability and adaptability within a belief system. Our doctrine delineates a set of non-negotiable values and methods, such as the importance of kindness, the adherence to naturalism, and the reliance on scientific inquiry. However, it asserts that the knowledge and conclusions derived from these methods are perpetually open to scrutiny, challenge, and revision. This approach underscores a nuanced form of dogmatism, which is steadfast in its methodology rather than immutable and absolute truths about the universe.

 

Far from stifling inquiry, Mystricism's structured framework within which inquiry occurs encourages a dynamic exploration of the world. It champions intellectual honesty, humility, and the readiness to adapt beliefs in light of new evidence, reflecting a commitment to growth, learning, and the evolution of thought. This adaptability is crucial in a world where scientific discoveries continuously reshape our understanding, showcasing Mystricism's dedication to a living, evolving understanding of approximate truth that is free from the constraints of traditional dogma.

 

Moreover, Mystricism acknowledges human fallibility and cognitive biases, advocating for a process of continual re-examination and intellectual growth. This acknowledgment not only enriches its philosophical foundation but also ensures that its principles remain relevant and responsive to new discoveries and insights.

 

Mystricism navigates the paradox of dogmatism with remarkable finesse, presenting a dogmatic belief system in its commitment to open-ended inquiry and the provisional nature of knowledge. By doing so, it avoids the trap of traditional religious dogmatism, offering instead a path that balances the stability provided by core principles with the flexibility and humility required to adapt and evolve. This approach sets Mystricism apart, making it a compelling and refreshingly rational "spiritual" philosophy.

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Trust vs faith - Mystrics choose trust every time.

Trust vs Faith - Mystrics Choose Trust every time

Blind faith and earned trust represent two fundamentally different approaches to belief and knowledge. Blind faith, the simpler of the two, is belief without evidence or scrutiny, often passed down through tradition or authority without question. It's akin to accepting a story as truth because it's been told and retold, not because it's been proven. This approach can be comforting but is criticized for lacking depth and fostering gullibility.

 

Earned trust, however, results from rigorous questioning, testing, and evidence gathering. It's about engaging with ideas critically, applying the scientific method to sift through claims, and only holding onto those that can stand up to scrutiny. This form of trust is dynamic, always open to reevaluation in the light of new evidence, and values a concept's ability to predict future events and explain past occurrences.

 

The distinction between these two lies in the acquisition method and their impact on individuals and societies. Blind faith can lead to dogmatism and intolerance, while earned trust fosters a culture of inquiry, scepticism, and openness to change. In a world increasingly defined by complexity and ambiguity, the shift from unearned faith to cognizant trust represents a move towards a more thoughtful, evidence-based approach to understanding the world around us.

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Mystricism is universal because it is sensible 

Mystricism is Universal because it is Sensible 

The world's spirituality and religious beliefs are as diverse as its inhabitants. Mystricism proposes an approach to "spirituality" that is both universally applicable and already deeply ingrained in the standard practices of humanity, regardless of cultural or religious background. We assert that, at its core, Mystricism embodies the most rational and universally practised set of principles, making it the most sensible religious identity one can find.

 

The Pillars of Mystricism

At the heart of Mystricism are five foundational pillars that are universally practised to some degree by everyone, making it distinct from other religious or spiritual beliefs:

1. Kindness and Compassion: These intrinsic human values transcend cultural and religious boundaries, fostering a sense of community and empathy among individuals.

 

2. Scientific Inquiry: It champions scientific methods to uncover truths about the world, emphasising rationality and evidence-based understanding.

 

3. Naturalism: Mystricism posits that everything in the universe is natural, dismissing supernatural explanations in favour of understanding the world through natural phenomena.

 

4. Appreciation of Natural Beauty: Mystricism encourages a profound appreciation for the beauty of the natural world, seeing it as a source of inspiration and wonder.

 

5. Humility for the Unknown: Unlike traditional religions that may fear the unknown, Mystricism advocates for a respectful and awe-inspired approach to the mysteries that have yet to be understood, encouraging curiosity and open-mindedness.

 

Critique of Traditional and New Age Beliefs:

Mystricism critiques traditional supernatural religions and new age ideas as irrational constructs, likened to crudely shaped obelisks, sculpted by many without a coherent rationale. We argue that a clear-eyed and industrious sculptor would discover beneath the layers of superstitious beliefs and practices lies the adamantine essence of Mystricism, a dogma that is both rational and universal. This metaphor suggests that while many religious and spiritual traditions may seem disparate or nonsensical, they are all, in some way, failed attempts to uncover the same underlying principles that Mystricism openly embraces.

 

The Universal Subconscious Practice:

Mystrical principles are already subconsciously practised by everyone, including those who are particularly devout or pious members of superstitious religions. We argue that even in moments dominated by religious fervour, individuals live according to the principles of Mystricism without even realising it. Mystricism's tenets are already embedded in the fabric of reasonable human behaviour and thought, transcending conscious religious affiliations.

 

Universal acts like sharing food with those in need, the innate curiosity that drives us to learn, our shared awe at natural phenomena, such as the changing seasons or a starry night, are perfect examples. These everyday behaviours and experiences highlight the subconscious, yet widespread, practice of Mystricism’s principles across different societies.

 

A Call to Maturity

The message of Mystricism is not just a philosophical stance but a call to action. We encourage humanity to "grow the fuck up" and reevaluate its collective belief systems, encouraging a shift towards a more rational, evidence-based understanding of the world. This call to maturity is about fostering a more sensible and mature approach to human life.

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Life, the universe and everything

Life, the Universe and Everything

 

At the heart of Mystricism lies a profound acknowledgment of the limits of our current understanding of the universe. Before delving into the nuanced responses to traditional theistic arguments, it is essential to state unequivocally that, in the pursuit of understanding the origins of the universe and life, we simply do not know (yet). This humility before the vast unknown is not a resignation but a catalyst for deeper inquiry. Scientists operate within the realm of verifiable evidence, crafting hypotheses, engaging in robust discussions, and conducting experiments. Despite the tremendous strides in knowledge, the ultimate answers to how the universe began or how life emerged remain elusive. Mystricism asserts that if these answers are ever to be discovered, they will be uncovered through the meticulous application of the scientific method, not presupposed by theological assertions.

 

This foundational stance is coupled with a radical reconsideration of beginnings and ends as human constructs, heavily influenced by our own experiences of birth and death. Mystricism proposes an intriguing perspective: what if the concept of beginnings and ends reflects our human tendency to anthropomorphise the cosmos? 

 

Mystricism invites us to look beyond our linear perceptions of existence. From the moment of our birth, influenced by our parent’s DNA, to the sustenance we derive from the earth and eventually to how our physical forms return to the earth, life is a continuum. This cycle, devoid of true beginnings or ends, mirrors the broader processes observed in nature and the universe. The materials that constitute our being have been part of the cosmos for eons and will continue to exist in various forms long after our departure. In this sense, existence is not a straight line but a circular or spiral journey, echoing the expression that “history doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.” 

 

Here, we explore and respond to several classical theist arguments positing a divine creator, responding with perspectives grounded in naturalism and supported by scientific evidence.

1. First Cause or Cosmological Argument

Theistic View: Everything that begins to exist has a cause; therefore, the universe must have a divine cause.

Mystrical Response: Mystricism, aligning with astrophysical insights, acknowledges the human tendency to seek beginnings and causality. However, invoking a deity as the uncaused cause introduces an arbitrary exception to the universal principle of causality. The field of quantum mechanics hypothesises that particles can emerge from “nothing,” challenging the necessity of a divine initiator. This perspective not only adheres to Occam’s Razor, favouring simpler explanations without unnecessary entities.

2. Teleological Argument or Argument from Design

Theistic ViewThe complexity and order of the universe imply a designer.

Mystrical Response: Mystricism appreciates the intricate beauty of the universe, seeing it not as evidence of design but as the outcome of natural laws. Evolution by natural selection demonstrates how complexity can arise without a designer, a process observable in the diversity of life on Earth. The weak anthropic principle further rationalises the universe’s fine-tuning as a prerequisite for our existence to ponder it rather than a marker of design. This stance encourages a humble appreciation of the universe’s wonders, grounded in naturalistic explanations.

3. Argument from Morality

Theistic View: Objective moral values indicate a divine lawgiver.

Mystrical Response: Mystricism views morality as a natural phenomenon emerging from human social evolution and cultural development. Ethical norms evolve to enhance well-being and facilitate cooperation and social cohesion, a perspective supported by evolutionary psychology and measurable by science. This naturalistic understanding of morality fosters a sense of shared humanity and ethical responsibility, free from the constraints of divine command theory.

4. Argument from Consciousness

Theistic View: Consciousness’s subjective experience points to a divine spark.

Mystrical Response: Drawing on neuroscientific research, Mystricism interprets consciousness as an emergent property of complex neural processes. This view aligns with materialistic explanations for consciousness, challenging the notion of a soul or divine essence. The ongoing exploration of the brain’s mysteries embodies Mystricism’s reverence for the unknown, emphasising empirical inquiry over supernatural speculation.

5. Argument from Religious Experience

Theistic View: Personal encounters with the divine validate religious beliefs.

Mystrical Response: While acknowledging the profound impact of religious experiences, Mystricism attributes these experiences to the rich tapestry of human psychology and cultural context. Similar experiences can be induced through various means, suggesting they originate from human cognition rather than divine sources. This perspective values the depth of human experience while advocating for a naturalistic understanding of these phenomena.

6. Argument from Historical and Scriptural Claims

Theistic View: Religious texts and prophecies confirm divine intervention.

Mystrical Response: Mystricism approaches scriptural claims with a critical eye, prioritising empirical evidence and historical analysis. The mythological nature of many scriptural stories, alongside their contradictions with scientific understanding, suggests these narratives are merely early human attempts to explain the natural world. This critique underscores Mystricism’s commitment to a reality grounded in observable phenomena and verifiable facts.

7. Argument from the Existence of the Universe and Life (Abiogenesis)

Theistic View: The improbability of life arising from non-life suggests a divine creator.

Mystrical Response: Mystricism embraces the scientific exploration of abiogenesis, viewing the natural emergence of life as a testament to the universe’s inherent potential. Scientific research into abiogenesis, though still unfolding, offers promising natural explanations for life’s origins. This approach exemplifies Mystricism’s dedication to understanding the universe through the lens of natural processes, eschewing supernatural explanations in favour of empirical inquiry.

The Mystrical Community Union, through the lens of Mystricism, invites a reexamination of our most fundamental assumptions about the universe, life, and consciousness. By embracing the limits of our current knowledge and questioning the very constructs of beginnings and ends, Mystricism fosters a worldview that is at once grounded in scientific inquiry and open to the boundless mysteries of existence. This approach does not seek to dispel the wonder of the cosmos with easy answers but to deepen our reverence for it through a continuous quest for understanding, guided by the principles of honesty, reverence, and the "spirited" pursuit of knowledge that defines Mystricism.

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Navigating recovery through the lens of Mystricism

Navigating Recovery through the lens of Mystricism

by Andy F (Mystric]

 

An agnostic's path in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) can be fraught with scepticism, especially when the twelve steps' references to a higher power evoke memories of a rigid religious upbringing. Such was the case for me, whose early encounters with religion were marked by a lack of acceptance and the absence of God's love in a strictly Catholic foster home and, later, a monastery boarding school. My rejection of God and religion by the age of ten was a direct response to these experiences, and this scepticism followed me into my initial foray into AA.

 

A Skeptic in Recovery:

Upon encountering the God-centric language of the twelve steps, my old resentments were instantly reignited. The mention of God in five of the twelve steps and the allusion to a higher power in another seemed like insurmountable barriers to my recovery. Thus, I sought refuge in therapy, only to find, after a decade, that it exacerbated my wounds rather than healing them. My problem lay not in the treatment but in my reluctance to accept responsibility for the life I had created.

 

The Pursuit of External Solutions:

In the years that followed, I sought solace in sex, power, food, money, and codependent relationships—each a temporary fix for my inner emptiness. My compulsions only led to more chaos, from my struggle with sex addicition to dependencies on sugar and chaotic relationships. All of these eventually left me feeling more isolated and suicidal when I realized how temporary all these external fixes were.

 

A Crisis of Powerlessness:

Amidst this turmoil, I continued to chase professional success, driven by a deep-seated need to prove my worth and bolster my low self-esteem through career achievements. However, the lack of personal confidence and power became painfully evident, leaving me trapped in a cycle of unmanageability and failure, particularly in romance and finance.

 

The Turning Point - A New Direction:

It was only after thirteen years of self-sponsorship and unrelenting misery that I reached an all-time low. My persistent attempts to recover on my terms had failed, leading to a profound moment of surrender. Desperate for change, I sought the guidance of David B, a sponsor known for his rigorous approach. David presented me with a lifeline: to view AA itself as a higher power, offering a new perspective that required no immediate belief in God.

 

Mystricism and the Path to a Non-God-Centered "Spiritual" Awakening:

David's approach has similarities with the principles of Mystricism, a philosophy I recently encountered that emphasizes the unknown as a concept and power greater than ourselves. Mystricism, with its foundation in naturalism and the scientific method, provides a framework that allows one to embrace a higher power without resorting to supernatural explanations. Mystricism challenges traditional religious notions while fostering a community of kindness and inquiry.

 

Embracing the Unknown:

The vast mystery, such as that feeling of awe and respect you get from looking at a clear starry sky, symbolizes their higher power. It dwarfs any ego and connects to the larger fabric of the universe. Mystricism’s challenge to conventional religious practices can fortify recovery, providing a sense of belonging in a community that values empirical evidence and a deep reverence for the natural world.

 

A Happy Destiny Reimagined:

Through my work with David and subsequent sponsors, Jamie and Witek, both open to supporting an agnostic, I experienced a non-God-centered "spiritual" awakening that has transformed my life. Today, I not only enjoy a fulfilling career and a stable, loving relationship but also serve as a sponsor to others in AA.

 

Mystricism and the MCU can enrich your understanding of the twelve steps, demonstrating that recovery is possible whether one believes in God or not. As I continue to navigate "the road of happy destiny," the twelve promises of the Big Book manifest in my life, affirming that as long as I trust in the program, clean house, and help others, I can thrive as a satisfied sober agnostic through the twelve step program.

 

In fellowship,

 

Andy F

https://aaforagnostics.com/

https://www.facebook.com/aaforagnostics

Group Discussion
Employing kindness in difficult situations

Employing Kindness in Difficult Situations

 

Kindness, in its essence, is a universal virtue, recognised and valued across cultures and societies for its ability to promote empathy, understanding, and connection among individuals. Its power lies not only in the joy and comfort it brings to recipients but also in the profound impact it has on those who give it. Yet, the true potential of kindness extends far beyond the ordinary and expected exchanges of goodwill. It achieves its greatest strength and transformative capability when offered in the most challenging circumstances, when it is least expected and, arguably when it is perceived as undeserved. In these moments, kindness acts as a catalyst, breaking down barriers and illuminating the shared humanity that connects us all. This extraordinary application of kindness can alter perceptions, change trajectories of interaction, and profoundly affect both the giver and the receiver. It's in these least-expected contexts that kindness reveals its ability to heal, inspire, and create waves of positive change that ripple through communities and societies.

 

Employing the "pause", as described in the context of dealing with difficult situations or people, is a moment of intentional reflection and restraint. It acts as a strategic breather, allowing you to step back from the immediacy of your reactions and emotions. This pause serves multiple purposes: it gives you time to calm down, reducing the likelihood of a knee-jerk or emotionally charged response. During this pause, you reflect on the kind of person you aspire to be, aligning your actions with your core values and principles as a Mystric who values kindness, honesty, and humility.

 

Moreover, this pause enables you to empathise with the other person, fostering a deeper understanding of their motivations and struggles. By considering questions like "Why are they behaving this way? Is their behaviour rooted in pain or fear? When was the last time they experienced genuine kindness?", you open the door to compassion. This approach encourages you to see beyond the surface level of difficult behaviour, recognising the humanity and vulnerabilities in others. Above all, it gives you space to confront and set aside your ego and pride, questioning whether they are serving any useful function. 

 

Let's explore studies demonstrating the positive impact of kindness, especially in challenging situations:

  • The impact of prosocial behaviour on physical health: A study by Post (2005) in "Altruism, Happiness, and Health: It's Good to Be Good" examined how engaging in acts of kindness has direct health benefits for the individual, including stress reduction and improved heart health. This research suggests that kindness, especially when it challenges us, can have profound physiological and psychological benefits.

  • Kindness and its effects on the brain: Research by Davidson and Schuyler (2015) explored how acts of kindness and compassion meditation activate regions of the brain associated with empathy and emotional regulation. Their findings indicate that kindness, even in the face of negativity, can enhance emotional resilience and well-being.

  • Social and relational impacts of kindness: Studies on the "helper's high," such as those by Luks (1988), have found that helping others can produce positive emotions and enhance social connection. This research supports the idea that being kind, especially when it's difficult, can strengthen relationships and foster a sense of community.

  • Kindness in organisational settings: Research by Fowler and Christakis (2010) in "Cooperative behaviour cascades in human social networks" demonstrated that kindness is contagious and can influence groups and communities, leading to more cooperative and positive social environments. This supports the notion that kindness in challenging situations can have a ripple effect, improving organisational and social dynamics.

 

These studies collectively underscore the transformative power of kindness, not just for the recipients but also for the individuals practising it. Engaging in acts of kindness, particularly in difficult situations, can promote physical and emotional well-being, enhance social connections, and foster a more compassionate and understanding community.

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The necessity of Mystricism

The Necessity of Mystricism

 

In the evolving landscape of belief systems, Mystricism faces criticism for its rational and sensible foundation, leading some to question its necessity. This essay addresses these concerns, illustrating why Mystricism is essential despite its practical nature.

 

The Structured Ethical Framework

Mystricism's core values of kindness, honesty, humility, and inspiration form a cohesive ethical framework. This structure provides clear guidance for ethical living and decision-making, integrating rational thought with deep-seated moral principles. Unlike informal secular philosophies, Mystricism offers a defined system that supports individuals in navigating complex moral landscapes. Plus, let's face it, having a structured guide is a relief for those who panic at the sight of an ethical dilemma.

 

Fostering Community

One of Mystricism's primary functions is creating a sense of community and belonging. It provides a sanctuary for individuals who value rational inquiry, scientific understanding, and natural "spirituality." This communal aspect is vital for human well-being, offering social support, shared rituals, and ceremonies that mark significant life events, strengthening social bonds and enhancing individual and collective resilience. After all, even the most sensible people need friends, right?

 

Addressing the Need for Meaning

Humans inherently seek meaning and purpose. While rational thought provides clarity, it often lacks the emotional and "spiritual" fulfilment derived from a connection to something greater. Mystricism bridges this gap by promoting a profound connection to the natural world and the cosmos, enriching the rational and empirical understanding of reality with a sense of awe and wonder. We may not have supernatural beings, but the universe is impressive enough on its own.

 

Balancing Rationality and Empathy

Pure rationality can sometimes seem detached. Mystricism integrates empathy and compassion into its rational framework, ensuring that logical thought is always tempered by kindness and humanistic values. This balance fosters a humane and just society where ethical considerations and scientific understanding coexist harmoniously. Because, let’s be honest, nobody likes a know-it-all who forgets to be nice.

 

Encouraging Continuous Growth

Mystricism promotes continuous inquiry and the pursuit of knowledge through the scientific method. This commitment to learning and growth is essential for personal development and societal progress. Unlike static belief systems, Mystricism remains adaptable and open to discoveries, ensuring its principles evolve with human understanding and scientific advancements. We’re the adaptable chameleons of the belief system world.

 

Inclusivity and Diversity

Mystricism welcomes individuals from diverse backgrounds, fostering a unifying platform transcending traditional religious divisions. This inclusivity promotes mutual respect and understanding, enhancing social cohesion and contributing to a more harmonious world. We’re like the social butterflies of rational thought, always making new friends.

Mystricism, with its rational foundation, redefines what it means to be a religion in the modern world. It offers a structured ethical framework, a sense of community, and a profound connection to the natural world, addressing essential human needs for meaning, belonging, and growth. Despite its sensible nature, Mystricism is necessary for providing a balanced and inclusive approach to living, harmonising rational thought with "spiritual" experiences. This integration makes Mystricism a compelling and necessary alternative in today's diverse and evolving society, enriching the human experience with integrity and wonder. Because, in the end, even the most sensible among us need a little magic in the mundane.

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Avoiding cognitive dissonance as a Mystric

Avoiding Cognitive Dissonance as a Mystric

Cognitive dissonance occurs when an individual experiences a mental conflict between their beliefs, values, or attitudes and their actions or new information. This conflict leads to an internal drive to reduce the dissonance and achieve consonance.  Without effective strategies and attitudes to manage this phenomenon, our ethics and integrity are often the primary causality.

 

Embracing the idea that imperfection is inherent to the human experience is essential to navigating cognitive dissonance. Mystricism is about aiming for continuous improvement rather than being perfect or even close to it.

 

Mystricism encourages viewing each moment as an opportunity for learning and growth, focusing on gradual and mindful improvement. It is about being pointed in the right direction and striving to be kinder, more honest, and more inspired. By maintaining this perspective, Mystrics can handle life’s complexities with poise and integrity, enriching their experience and guiding them on a path of continuous self-improvement.

 

Cognitive dissonance can manifest in various psychological and behavioural symptoms and, ultimately, to real-life consequences:

 

Symptoms 

Cognitive dissonance occurs when actions contradict beliefs, causing mental discomfort such as anxiety, stress, and guilt. People rationalise their actions by justifying them or ignoring contradictory information. Avoidance behaviours, like procrastination and denial, are common. Emotional reactions include frustration, anger, and embarrassment when facing conflicting beliefs and actions.

 

Consequences 

Cognitive dissonance can lead to behavioural changes, either aligning actions with beliefs or adopting new beliefs. It can cause chronic stress, lowering self-esteem, and straining relationships. Decision-making becomes difficult, often resulting in poor choices. Persistent dissonance may lead to depression and anxiety disorders.

 

Potential Sources 

 

1. Kindness versus Real-World Interactions

 

A Mystric aims to be kind but finds themselves in a situation where responding kindly might lead to being taken advantage of or ignored.

 

Example: An employee who consistently is kind and accommodating to a colleague who repeatedly shirks responsibilities feels frustrated and undervalued.

 

Strategy: Mystricism encourages kindness but not at the expense of self-respect or enabling harmful behaviour. The employee can practice assertiveness, setting boundaries while maintaining a kind disposition. For instance, they might say, “I’m happy to help, but I also need to ensure my tasks are completed.”

 

2. Honesty versus Social Harmony

 

A Mystric values honesty but fears that being entirely truthful might hurt others' feelings or disrupt social harmony.

 

Example: A friend asks for an honest opinion on a sensitive topic, and the truth might be painful.

 

Strategy: Mystricism supports honesty tempered with empathy. A Mystric can constructively frame their honesty, focusing on positive aspects and offering suggestions for improvement. For example, “I think you have a strong foundation here, and perhaps a few tweaks could make it even better.”

 

3. Naturalism versus Cultural Beliefs

 

A Mystric embraces a naturalistic worldview but faces pressure from a culturally ingrained belief in the supernatural.

 

Example: During family gatherings, the Mystric is expected to participate in rituals or traditions contradicting their naturalistic beliefs.

 

Strategy: Respectful dialogue and setting personal boundaries can mitigate this dissonance. A Mystric might explain their perspective and suggest participating in ways that align with their beliefs, such as focusing on the communal aspects rather than the supernatural elements.

 

4. Inspiration versus Disillusionment

 

A Mystric seeks inspiration in the natural world but encounters situations where the harsh realities of life lead to disillusionment.

 

Example: Witnessing environmental destruction and feeling despair instead of inspiration.

 

Strategy: Balance inspiration with realistic action. The Mystric can channel their feelings into efforts for positive change, such as participating in environmental conservation initiatives, thereby transforming disillusionment into a motivating force for good.

 

5. Emotional Control versus Mystricism's Ideals

 

A Mystric strives to embody kindness and honesty but find themselves overwhelmed by frustration and anger in a challenging interaction.

 

Example: Sarah, a dedicated Mystric, works in a team setting where one of her colleagues, John, frequently misses deadlines and disrupts meetings with off-topic remarks. Despite her efforts to remain kind and understanding, Sarah grows increasingly frustrated. One day, after John interrupts her presentation with irrelevant comments, Sarah snaps and harshly reprimands him in front of their coworkers. Immediately after, she feels a deep sense of dissonance as her outburst contradicts her values of kindness and humility.

 

Strategy: Mystricism promotes practical techniques to manage such situations, including the purposive pause and calming techniques focused on breathing.

 

Practical Tips for Avoiding Cognitive Dissonance

 

1. Embracing Imperfection and Growth: A core tenet of Mystricism is the understanding that perfection is neither expected nor required. Mystricism values the direction of one’s ethical journey, aiming to be kinder, more honest, and inspired rather than an unyielding state of adamantine perfection. This approach alleviates cognitive dissonance by allowing individuals to acknowledge their shortcomings and continue striving for improvement.

 

2. Reflect Regularly: Periodic self-reflection helps identify areas of dissonance. Deliberately setting aside time to contemplate, journaling or discussing experiences with fellow Mystrics can provide clarity and support.

 

3. Seek Balance: Strive for a balanced approach in all aspects of life. Balancing kindness with assertiveness, honesty with empathy, and inspiration with action can prevent cognitive dissonance.

 

4. Practice Mindfulness: Mindfulness practices, such as meditation, can help maintain focus on Mystrical values and reduce stress caused by dissonance.

 

Avoiding cognitive dissonance within Mystricism involves understanding potential conflicts, applying practical strategies, and embracing imperfection as part of the human experience. Recognising and addressing these challenges, Mystrics can maintain alignment with their values. This approach mitigates cognitive dissonance and enriches their journey toward a more harmonious and enlightened existence.

DALL·E 2024-05-19 00.25.11 - An artistic depiction of a cosmic snail, symbolizing cognitiv
Rational atheism - Angry atheists

Rational Atheism - Angry Atheists

 

In the Mystrical Community Union, we identify as agnostic atheists. This means that while we do not hold a belief in any gods, we also acknowledge the limits of our knowledge and the vastness of the unknown. Our stance is rooted in humility and respect for the infinite mysteries of the cosmos, aligning with the philosophical principles of verificationism and falsificationism. The god hypothesis, so far, has not been scientifically verified, nor is it scientifically falsifiable. As a result, because we don’t know (agnostic), we don’t believe (atheist). The scope and subsequent implications of this particular hypothesis especially demand our strict adherence to the methods of science.

 

While atheism is clearly a rational conclusion, individuals’ paths to reach it are not always grounded in reason. The reasons behind our beliefs are crucial, as they shape our understanding and approach to reality. Some common irrational ways people arrive at atheism include:

 

  • Rebellion Against Authority: Rejecting the concept of gods as a form of rebellion against religious or parental authority rather than through logical reasoning.

  • Emotional Reaction to Trauma: Turning to atheism as an emotional response to negative experiences with religion, such as abuse or hypocrisy, without critically examining the underlying beliefs.

  • Peer Influence: Adopting atheism to fit in with a social group or because it is perceived as trendy rather than through personal intellectual exploration.

  • Misinformation: Embracing atheism based on misconceptions or incomplete understanding of religious doctrines and scientific principles.

 

It's important to recognise that some people become atheists due to a lack of respect for authority or as an emotional reaction to past hurts. These individuals often have an over-heightened sensitivity to ideas that, on the surface, merely resemble irrationality, reacting strongly against anything that seems superficially unscientific or unfounded. This can lead to a hostile, reactive and dismissive attitude towards all new ideas. Identifying these emotional and psychological factors is crucial for understanding the diverse motivations behind different types of agnosticism/atheism and fostering a more inclusive, rational and empathetic community.

 

While atheism is a rational conclusion for many, the journey to this belief can be fraught with irrational motives. Mystricism advocates for a thoughtful and reasoned approach to atheism, rooted in evidence, humility, and a profound sense of wonder at the mysteries of the universe.

DALL·E 2024-05-30 13.05.23 - A photo-realistic scene featuring a large, luminous cosmic sn
Embracing awe: Part 1 of 3

Embracing Awe:

Part 1 of 3

In our fast-paced world, pausing and appreciating the profound moments of awe and wonder of the natural world can be challenging. Mystricism, with its foundation in Aweism and naturalised "spirituality", encourages individuals to stop and "smell the roses". This philosophy celebrates the beauty and mystery of the universe without invoking supernatural elements. Integrating moments of awe into our daily lives can enhance our well-being, activate and enliven us, and promote a deeper connection to the world.

 

Examples of Awe

We experience awe through interactions with nature, sentient creatures, and the unknown.

 

Morning Walks: Start or end your day with a walk in a nearby park or nature reserve. Pay attention to the details: the dewdrops on leaves, the birds’ songs, the perfumes of nature, or the patterns of sunlight filtering through trees. These small observations can evoke a sense of wonder and connection to the natural world.

 

Example: Imagine walking through a park at dawn, the air crisp and fresh. As you stroll, you notice the intricate pattern of a spider's web glistening with morning dew, each droplet reflecting the rising sun. This simple observation can fill you with a sense of awe at the delicate complexity of nature.

 

Nature Bathing and Gardening: Tending to a garden, whether a small window box or a backyard plot, can be a source of daily awe. Watching seeds germinate and grow into thriving plants reminds us of the incredible processes of life.

 

Example: While tending to your vegetable garden, you observe the transformation of tiny seeds into robust plants bearing fruit. The daily changes, from the first sprout breaking through the soil to the ripening of tomatoes, offer a continual reminder of life's resilience and beauty.

 

Star Gazing: On clear nights, take a moment to look up at the stars. Contemplate the vastness of the universe and our place within it. The night sky has inspired awe in humans for hundreds of thousands of years and continues to be a profound source of beauty and wonder.

 

Example: Lying on a blanket in your backyard, you gaze at the night sky. The Milky Way stretches across the darkness, and you spot shooting stars darting through the heavens. The sheer scale and beauty of the cosmos can leave you feeling humbled and inspired.

 

Travel: Visiting natural wonders, such as the Amazon Rainforest, the Sahara Desert, the Great Barrier Reef, or the Northern Lights, provides unparalleled opportunities to experience awe. These destinations highlight the grandeur and beauty of the natural world on a scale that is difficult to replicate in everyday settings.

 

Example: Standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon, you marvel at the rock layers, each telling a story of millions of years of Earth's history. The sheer size and depth of the canyon evoke a profound sense of awe and a deeper appreciation for the natural world.

 

Acts of Kindness: Participating in humanitarian efforts or performing acts of kindness and selflessness can evoke a sense of awe in the human "spirit". Volunteering for causes that resonate with you can provide a sense of connection and a positive impact from collective human effort.

 

Example: Regularly assisting an elderly or disabled neighbour, family member or friend with daily tasks, such as grocery shopping or household chores, can be profoundly rewarding. Over time, you develop a close bond, witnessing your support’s positive impact on their quality of life firsthand. This experience can fill you with awe at the power of human kindness and the deep connections forged through selfless acts.

 

Ceremonial Gatherings: Mystricism encourages ceremonies and gatherings celebrating the natural world and human connection. Events such as communal meals, seasonal festivals, and reflective ceremonies provide structured opportunities to experience collective connection.

 

Example: During a summer solstice festival, you join a group singing and dancing around a bonfire. The shared experience of celebrating the longest day of the year under the open sky fosters a profound sense of unity and connection to nature’s cycles.

 

Moments of Solitude: Finding inner serenity and peace can be achieved even amidst busyness and noise. You can quiet your mind by focusing on simple elements like your breath, the steam off a cup of tea, or the gentle air movement.

 

Example: Sitting in a bustling café, you close your eyes and focus on the sensation of your breath entering and leaving your body. The surrounding noise fades into the background as you find calm, clarity and inner awe, appreciating the simple act of breathing.

 

Seeing Beauty in the Prosaic: Beauty is everywhere, even in scenes that may seem devoid of it. Observing the intricate details of your surroundings can reveal the ubiquitous sublimity of reality. Consider moments like sitting in an office, waiting at a bus stop, enduring a dull meeting, or gazing at an overcast sky.

 

Example: Notice the delicate grain patterns in the timber of the bus stop seat, the white noise hum of the office air conditioner, the intricate play of thought and emotion on the faces of those around you in the meeting, and the indecipherable movement of clouds with their hues of grey in the sky. Each of these details reveals the inherent beauty and wonder of the world around us.

DALL·E 2024-06-05 17.34.52 - A highly realistic depiction of a cosmic snail traveling thro
Embracing awe: Part 2 of 3

Embracing Awe:

Part 2 of 3

Techniques to Savour Moments of Awe

 

To fully embrace and relish these moments, engaging your senses and being present is essential. Here are some techniques to help you stop and appreciate the awe-inspiring moments in life:

 

Stopping and Pausing: During your busy day, take a deliberate pause. Whether walking, working, or simply sitting, permit yourself to stop for a moment. This pause creates a space for awareness and sets the stage for experiencing awe.

 

Example: You're walking to work and notice a beautiful sunrise. Instead of rushing, stop for a minute. Watch the colours change and feel the moment's serenity.

 

Breathing: Focus on your breath. Take slow, deep breaths, inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. This simple mindful breathing helps ground you in the present moment and heightens your sensory awareness.

 

Example: While sitting in a park, close your eyes and take deep breaths. Feel the fresh air fill your lungs, and with each exhale, let go of any tension, allowing yourself to become more attuned to your surroundings.

 

Listening: Close your eyes and listen to the sounds around you. Whether it's the rustling of leaves, the chirping of birds, or the distant hum of city life, immersing yourself in the auditory landscape can evoke a deep sense of connection to your surroundings.

 

Example: At home, close your eyes and listen to the rain tapping against your window. Focus on the rhythm and variations in sound, letting it transport you to a place of calm and wonder.

 

Smelling: Engage your sense of smell by taking in the scents around you. The aroma of fresh flowers, the earthy scent of soil, or the fragrance of rain can be incredibly evocative, enhancing your experience of the moment.

 

Example: In a garden, take a moment to smell a blooming flower. Close your eyes and breathe deeply, letting the fragrance evoke memories and emotions connecting you to nature.

 

Touching: Use your sense of touch to connect with the physical world. Run your fingers over the bark of a tree, feel the texture of a leaf, or dip your hands in a stream. These tactile experiences anchor you in the present and deepen your connection to nature.

 

Example: While hiking, stop and touch the rough bark of a tree. Feel its texture and temperature, grounding yourself in the experience and fostering a deeper appreciation for the natural world.

 

Focusing on Detail: Take a close look at the intricate details around you. Observe the patterns on a butterfly's wings, the veins in a leaf, or the way sunlight dances on water. Focusing on these small details can magnify your sense of wonder and appreciation.

 

Example: While sitting by a lake, watch the sunlight sparkle on the water's surface. Notice how the light shifts and changes, creating a mesmerising dance that draws you into the moment.

 

Unfocusing for Broader Scope: After focusing on the details, shift your perspective to take in the broader scene. Look at the entire landscape, the vastness of the sky, or the expanse of the horizon. This shift in focus can help you appreciate the larger context and the interconnectedness of all things.

 

Example: After observing the patterns on a leaf, look up and take in the entire forest. Appreciate the diversity and scale of life around you, feeling a profound sense of belonging within the natural world.

 

By incorporating these techniques into your daily life, you can cultivate a deeper connection to the world around you and enhance your ability to savour moments of awe.

 

Seeing Beauty in the Prosaic: Beauty is everywhere, even in scenes that may seem devoid of it. Observing the intricate details of your surroundings can reveal the ubiquitous sublimity of reality. Consider moments like sitting in an office, waiting at a bus stop, enduring a dull meeting, or gazing at an overcast sky.

 

Example: Notice the delicate grain patterns in the timber of the bus stop seat, the white noise hum of the office air conditioner, the intricate play of thought and emotion on the faces of those around you in the meeting, and the indecipherable movement of clouds with their hues of grey in the sky. Each of these details reveals the inherent beauty and wonder of the world around us.

DALL·E 2024-06-05 17.20.06 - A realistic depiction of a cosmic snail on a journey through
Embracing awe: Part 3 of 3

Embracing Awe:

Part 3 of 3

The Incomprehensible and Ineffable

 

A crucial aspect of these awe-inspiring moments is recognising and embracing the incomprehensible, ineffable elements that are ultimately unknown. These experiences remind us of the vastness of the universe and our limited understanding, invoking a profound sense of humility and wonder.

 

Accepting the Mystery: Some things cannot be fully understood or articulated. The beauty of a sunset, the complexity of life, or the depth of human emotion often transcend words and logic. Embracing this mystery adds depth to the experience of awe.

 

Example: Watching a breathtaking sunset, feel the colours and light shift, creating a sense of beauty that words can't capture. Accept that this moment's essence goes beyond explanation, and enjoy the experience.

 

Finding Joy in the Unknown: Revel in the fact that there are still uncharted territories of knowledge and experience. The unknown is not a dark abyss to be feared, but a radiant beacon of endless curiosity and inspiration. Releasing the need to fully comprehend can unlock doors to more profound, meaningful experiences.

 

Example: While stargazing, marvel at the vastness of space and the countless stars. Feel joy knowing there is still so much to learn and discover, and let this curiosity inspire you.

 

Communing with the Infinite: Recognize that these instances of awe link you to forces beyond your individual existence. Whether it’s the vastness of the universe or the intricacies of a single blossom, these encounters underscore our place in the grand tapestry of existence. This connection can evoke a sense of kinship and deep "spiritual" contentment.

 

Example: Observe the intricate details of a flower, from its petals to its fragrance. Understand that this small yet complex piece of nature is part of a much larger system, and feel a sense of connection to the entire universe.

 

Savouring moments of naturalised 'spiritual' transcendence involves nurturing awareness and admiration for the splendour and intricacy of life. Whether through daily rituals, extraordinary experiences, or profound human bonds, incorporating awe into our lives enhances our being and nurtures a deeper bond with the world around us. Mystricism’s focus on Aweism and naturalised 'spirituality' provides a structure for experiencing and commemorating these moments, amplifying personal and communal welfare.

 

By embracing these moments of awe, we enrich our lives and contribute to a culture that values and respects the natural world and human experience. In doing so, we align ourselves with the principles of Mystricism, finding "spiritual" fulfilment in the natural and the real and celebrating the incomprehensible and ineffable mysteries that make life so profoundly beautiful.

DALL·E 2024-06-05 17.38.04 - A hyper-realistic depiction of a cosmic snail traveling throu
Pride & hubris: Balancing confidence & humility

Pride and Hubris: Balancing Confidence and Humility

​​

Pride is a multifaceted emotion that embodies self-worth, confidence, and a sense of achievement. However, pride can be a double-edged sword if not vigilantly domesticated, often leading to conflict and adverse outcomes. 

 

Evolutionary Origins of Pride

From an evolutionary perspective, pride likely developed to enhance individual status and promote social cohesion within groups. It can act as an emotional mechanism that signals one's accomplishments and abilities to others, thus facilitating survival and social bonding. Pride represents an instinctual aspect of human nature, an automatic response that often operates beyond conscious control. 

 

Pride is ultimately hollow and empty, all heat but no light. It often deceives both others and oneself. More measurable and objective ways exist to assess an individual's inherent value for personal respect, mate selection, or leadership roles. These criteria include capacity for kindness and compassion, physical health, attractiveness, intelligence, natural alignment with rationality, credibility perception, problem-solving skills, adaptability, emotional temperance, impulse control, social skills, and other innate genetic traits and positive heritable behaviours.

 

The Animal Nature of Pride

Pride is automatic and animal. It represents the outward emotional manifestation of our DNA, striving to protect and ensure its insatiable goal of survival and genetic longevity. The issue is that this primal reaction plays checkers in the complex modern world of 3D chess.

 

Pride can be seen as a vestige of our primitive instincts, an emotional tool that once played a crucial role in our biological, cultural, and technological evolution. However, in the modern world, this instinctual pride can become misaligned with more complex social dynamics, leading to the following issues:

 

  • Arrogance and Superiority: Excessive pride can manifest as arrogance, fostering a sense of superiority over others and resulting in disrespect and a lack of empathy.

  • Isolation: Prideful individuals may alienate themselves, leading to social isolation and difficulty forming meaningful connections.

  • Resistance to Criticism: Those with excessive pride often struggle to accept criticism, hindering personal growth and development.

  • Conflict and Tension: Pride can create conflicts in personal and professional relationships due to an unwillingness to compromise or acknowledge others' viewpoints.

  • Stagnation: A prideful attitude can lead to complacency and resistance to change, impeding further improvement or innovation.

  • Poor Decision-Making: Overconfidence from pride can cloud judgment, resulting in risky or uninformed decisions.

  • Emotional Strain: Maintaining a facade of superiority can lead to stress, anxiety, and a lack of genuine self-worth.

  • Ethical and Moral Issues: Excessive pride can result in unethical or immoral behaviour due to a belief in one's infallibility.

  • Reduced Learning Opportunities: Pride can prevent individuals from seeking advice, mentorship, or new knowledge, limiting their growth.

  • Societal Impact: On a larger scale, pride can contribute to elitism, discrimination, and inequality, perpetuating social divisions.

 

Domestication of Pride

To prevent hubris and harness any vestigial positive aspects of pride, it is essential to cultivate self-awareness and humility. Here are some practical strategies:

 

  • Regular Self-Assessment: Periodically evaluate your actions and attitudes to ensure they stem from genuine intention rather than pride.

  • Seek Feedback: Encourage honest feedback from others and accept criticism constructively.

  • Practice Gratitude: Regularly acknowledge and appreciate others' contributions, recognising that success is often a collective effort.

  • Acknowledge Limitations: Accept that you do not know everything and that there is always more to learn. Admitting mistakes and shortcomings is a sign of strength.

  • Acknowledge Failure: View failures as opportunities to learn and grow rather than as personal defeats.

  • Practice Active Listening: Truly listen to other’s perspectives and experiences, enhancing empathy and reducing self-centred thinking.

  • Surround Yourself with Diverse Voices: Engage with people from different backgrounds and viewpoints to challenge your assumptions and broaden your perspective.

  • Develop Strong Mentorships: Seek mentors who exemplify humility and wisdom to provide a counterbalance to pride.

  • Mindfulness Practices: Engage in mindfulness or meditation to stay present and aware of your thoughts and feelings and manage your prideful tendencies.

  • Gratitude Meditation: Focus on the positive aspects of your life and the contributions of others, fostering gratitude and reducing self-importance.

  • Celebrate Team Successes: When achieving goals, celebrate the team’s success rather than focusing solely on individual accomplishments.

  • Awe and Wonder: Embrace the sublime mystery of the cosmos, as Mystricism advocates. This perspective can subdue ego and foster humility.

 

Integrating these practices into daily life allows you to effectively manage pride and prevent hubris, leading to more balanced and fulfilling personal, professional and societal relationships.

DALL·E 2024-07-02 17.43.49 - A realistic cosmic snail with a proud and haughty expression,
Kindness is Reason - Love is Feeling

Kindness is Reason - Love is Feeling

​​

Love, a profound and multifaceted emotion, is a transformative feeling that enriches our lives and strengthens our connections. Characterised by deep affection and emotional bonds, it evokes feelings of warmth, tenderness, and attachment. Love creates a sense of security and belonging, nurturing deep bonds and bringing a sense of completeness and fulfilment.

Love is a common thread running through many philosophies and religions. Judaism and Christianity teach, "Love your neighbour as yourself." Buddhism advocates compassion and loving-kindness. Hinduism promotes non-violence (ahimsa). Islam encourages mercy, with their Prophet Muhammad saying, "Love for your brother what you love for yourself." Sikhism stresses universal love, while New Age philosophies call it a "universal solvent." Taoism also emphasises deep love in harmony with the Tao. These examples show that love is a universal concept transcending cultural and religious boundaries, connecting us all in our shared humanity.

 

Mystricism admires love like any other philosophy or religion, but it is not the centrepiece of our doctrine. Our focus is on kindness. In many belief systems, love is the driving force behind kindness, encouraging adherents to emulate the love shown by their deities or theological role models, such as Jesus, Buddha, Mohammad, and the principles of Tao, for a short list of examples.

 

In the MCU, kindness is viewed through a different lens. Our doctrine sees kindness as an act of reason and rationality potentially independent of any feeling. The human capacity to perform acts of empathy and compassion towards someone or something for whom we do not possess feelings of love in any of its incarnations clearly indicates that kindness is not bound by love. Love can make kindness easier and feel more natural, but it is not a prerequisite. This perspective can open our minds to new ways of understanding and practising kindness.

To a Mystric, kindness is an act of reason because it promotes cooperation, trust, and social cohesion, making society function more effectively. These qualities enhance human interactions, reduce conflict, and promote well-being, addressing emotional and psychological needs. This facilitates our ultimate purpose, uncovering the beauty of reality and comprehending the universe.

 

Showing compassion towards those we may feel antipathy or enmity for is often the most potent version of kindness. It breaks down barriers of hostility and promotes understanding, reconciliation and healing. This kind of empathy helps defuse conflicts, reduce tensions, and create a more peaceful environment. It sets a powerful example for others, encouraging a culture of respect and tolerance. By choosing to act with kindness, we demonstrate the strength of our character and the capacity for reason to override animal passions, ultimately contributing to a more just and harmonious society. This can only be achieved if we choose kindness not merely as a byproduct of love but as a deliberate act of reason.

 

Needless to say, we are not anti-love by any means; that would be absurd. Love is one of the most amazing and noble feelings any sentient being can experience and express, an example of Aweism that transcends the ordinary, something to be savoured. However, Mystricism holds that if our decision to be kind depends on possessing a feeling, it can ultimately become selfish, unreasonable and limited. It can reach the point where the decision to show charity and empathy is no longer ours; it is in the ephemeral hands of our emotions and affections.
 

DALL·E 2024-07-14 16.19.28 - Cosmo the snail, with a realistic and detailed galactic shell
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