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Re: Theism Can't Honestly Be Dismissed

Nov 22, 2002 09:00 PM
by rnewman2003

--- In theos-talk@y..., "Steve Stubbs" <stevestubbs@y...> wrote:

>>> Regrettably, if these masters have "described" their experience 
then the experiences afe necessarily phenomenal in character, else 
they would not be describable. People who have experienced the 
ultimate reality are unable to give any descriptions of it because 
the experience cannot be stated in phenomenal terms.

This is simply begging the question; i.e., assuming what you have not 
yet established. 

At least since the time of Shankara (and his Western counterparts), 
there has been a popular tendency in esoteric circles to 
think, "Well, OF COURSE the ultimate reality must be featureless and 
undescribable!" But there is no logic here, unless it's the logic of 
suicidal negation; i.e., since our present reality is so troublesome 
to us, and since it's characterized by all kinds of phenomena and 
features and personalities, the ultimate reality, which is the best 
and highest, must have none of that.

It's like a man with chronic nausea who hates to eat, even though he 
must eat to stay alive, and thinking that to be healthy must mean 
never having to eat. He doesn't know anything about the pleasure of 
eating when the body is healthy. Similarly, the simple negation of 
experience is the poor man's view of ultimate reality, and it is 
contradicted by the reports of mystics, especially in the Vaishnava 
tradition, of features or "phenomena" of a different order, to be 
sure, but still describable, at least in outline, in familiar terms.


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