philstanfield

You might ask ‘What does materialism have to do with mysticism?’, ‘Why would someone who holds that objective reality is primary to consciousness have on his blog writing that subscribes to the opposite?’

My answer is that not only is materialism indebted to mysticism - as Marx implicitly acknowledged when he correctly described Hegel’s philosophy as mystical - mysticism and its influence pervades Western culture.

The contribution of mysticism in all areas has been profound - to literature, the visual arts, religion, particularly to and through philosophy with its concealed priesthood (which priesthood was identified by the overt priest Nietzsche), and to science. It inspired Copernicus to the greatest scientific hypothesis, and Kepler.

We, in the West, on the back of all that has been achieved, believe a monumental lie, a monumental arrogance, a monumental delusion - that while others worship idols, stare at their navels, are committed to 'failed ideologies' or are obsessed with filial piety, WE have risen above this to become the triumphal bearers of millennial ‘reason’. We wear this self-awarded badge of ‘reason’ as a cultural definition. It is the belief we have relied on to most distinguish the West from the rest.

The impact of mysticism argues against this. Linguistic reason, a core tool of all authoritarians, is not the only form of reason. At the heart of mysticism is another - far more fluid and creative.

Linguistic reason draws on this as its proponents seek to contain and deny it. The artist and theologian Plato is a prime example. I refer you to the poetic power of the Ion.

Linguistic reason, while reason’s jewel, is but its tip. When we wake in the middle of the night with the solution to a long-standing problem, had we been dotting every ‘i’ and crossing every ‘t’, or might trotting chairs and fluttering wings have borne fruit in creative 'space'?

Of when you round a corner and bump into a stranger - no time for considered words and structured sentences there - think of the richness, at multiple levels, of what has taken place in your brain in a moment's silence. …the power of 'first impressions'… This thinking is the ever-present underlay of what is done linguistically.

Intuitive thought draws most deeply on our connectedness - to all that comprises us, including our memory, and to the world. That this has been given metaphysical meaning does not detract from the point.

In considering what comprises 'reason', the materialist must begin with how the brain functions in its totality, recognising that those functions are inseparable and bear on each other, dialectically, and not focus only on the brain's capacity for its highest product - linguistic expression.

As a materialist, I will use this blog to not only argue for and develop my perspective but also to explore mysticism and its effects (particularly on creativity) in relation to it. I will also, at times, post on other subjects. Hopefully you will like what I do and contribute.