Western Crippled Hearts

Mysticism makes no sense without cynicism.

First a quick review: You may recall the Aristotle assumed that this universe is all there is. He didn’t argue against the existence of deities and beings who were invisible to human perception, but he insisted they had to exist here nonetheless. This was an innovation; virtually every other culture up that time assumed the existence of other realms of being. It’s not that those cultures produced literature asserting it in all cases, but that it was an obvious assumption from how they talked about anything at all.

The definition of mysticism is the belief that one can experience deity directly. If you come from a culture influenced by Aristotle (i.e., the West), then you would assume that experience has to do with a different level of intellect. If you approach mysticism from any other cultural background, you would assume mysticism means a wholly different level of awareness separate from intellect.

Western mysticism still seeks to perfect this world because this is all we have. Eastern mysticism is otherworldly by nature. Just so, Western Christianity seeks to redeem this world by correction. Any other kind of Christianity seeks to redeem the self by moving toward the exit from this existence. We assume this world cannot be redeemed.

That’s the crux of the whole debate between Eastern mystical religion and Western religion. The latter isn’t actually all that mystical.

This is why we aren’t activist; we are cynical. We don’t expect things to get significantly better. It’s not laziness or failure of some imaginary civic duty. We don’t accept the Anglo-Saxon notion that individuals are property of the society in which they live. We don’t accept the notion of scolding if someone breaks a social rule, like cutting in line. That presumes an imaginary authority. We hold to a different standard rooted in another level of existence. Divine justice is its own reward; it’s not a question of correcting someone else.

We don’t panic if someone announces corruption in government officers. What’s new? We figure it’s almost impossible to have government without some kind of skimming. The same with business; if you have employees handling money, a ten percent loss is normal. It’s budgeted. It’s all about fallen human nature.

People from a Western viewpoint simply cannot quite accept the teaching of the Fall. They can’t accept Paul’s teaching on election in Romans 8, except perhaps as a sterile intellectual concept. But this is not a question of logic; we who walk by the heart can feel it in our bones. We see our own fallen nature and have no difficulty with being merciful. We take action only when it’s part of our individual calling from God. We don’t correct anyone who hasn’t accepted us covenant shepherds over them, but we may fend off any predatory action that threatens our dominion granted from God.

A Western orientation makes you incapable of morally embracing the Fall and election.

About Ed Hurst

Disabled Veteran, prophet of God's Laws, Bible History teacher, wannabe writer, volunteer computer technician, cyclist, Social Science researcher
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