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Mysticism is a Step--Not a Goal

Point out that it is the seeking of experiences exclusively, making them central, that I criticize--and not the value of the experience itself. Experience is necessary and important. But the young, devaluing the other components of the quest, are going to extremes in seeking experiences alone. For then, in the end any means will do, so--drugs and sex. These are manifestations of the impatient desire for quick results, results at any cost, results here meaning getting experiences, which has become such a mania today. This impatience affects even foods, where instant processing robs them of nourishment and ruins their flavour.

Whirling, as practised so artistically by the Mevlevi dervishes is another way of losing the everyday consciousness and gaining the mystic experience. It is comparable to the more elementary forms of yoga like mantram-muttering. But its value is as limited as the latter's. It gives no wisdom.

Balance requires all the other quest components; experience is then put in its proper place as their associate. It then becomes healthy, being kept in equilibrium by them. Otherwise there is no discrimination between good experiences and evil ones, no protection against the misleading, the dangerous, or the insane. Cults appearing in the last thirty-six years have emphasized experience and were bemused by the raptures of drugs and sex. Gerald Heard started Trabujo Monastery, which collapsed. D. Goddard tried to start the first Buddhist monastery in Vermont and failed. His friend and near disciple Aldous Huxley wrote on mescaline--all were seeking experience.

In non-mystic circles among the youth and younger adults, the same over-concentration on experience occurred. In this case experience of sex led to an explosion of having sex continuously and promiscuously. If bare walls and a monastic cell appeal to him he may find peace there. If celibate single existence appeals without experience in the world, there too he may find it.

-- Notebooks Category 16: The Sensitives > Chapter 3: Philosophy, Mysticism, and The Occult > # 4

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