many thanks for your reasoned and elegant response!
I think that we are probably in agreement about the nature of scientific thought and method. For me at least, scientific method is that which seeks to take an idea and via testing and analysis aims to demonstrate the validity of that idea. In its purest form scientific method also contains an important non-attachment to the concepts that it aims to test. If a better idea is able to be demonstrated, a more comprehensive solution found, then old ideas are jettisoned and new ones adopted. This ethic of a willingness to constantly refine and develop ideas in an open forum is worthy of praise, at least to me, and not at all unlike what my conception of the reasoning that takes place on this board should be, at least in theory.
What do I think a mystic is? What a great question! A mystic, to me, is a being that seeks to achieve as direct and authentic an experience of life as is possible. This clearly requires some further explanation. By direct and authentic i&i mean as unobstructed by preconceived notions, patterns of thought,and illusory separation of self and object. It is to be utterly, totally aware.
There would seem to be many roads to this goal. Though it would also seem that at least to some extent the few who have reached these higher heights, be they rasta, jew, christian, buddhist, moslem, pagan, or whatever, seem to say (or more acurately hint) very similar things about the ultimate nature of reality.
Which brings me back to the nature of science. It is very true to say that looking to journals and scientific papers would be a poor choice if you are searching for a complete view of the truth, for what it is worth I do not think that science would claim to have arrived at anything close to that. Though, to get back to my original point about the unecessary separation between science and the mystic, perhaps the problem is more one of application than of method.
Imagine if scientific method was applied to life rather than just in labs. If people were prepared to constantly refine and test their ideas and values, and when they are found lacking, to abandon them, as part of an ongoing dialogue and open exhange. Could this not be yet another way to the truth?
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