Renaming Things

Years ago, I had a friend who spoke of her mother’s vehement discussions with their pastor about how mysticism was infiltrating and destryoing the church. (I think they were some kind of Evangelical Methodist. Not sure.)

On the other hand, my friend also pointed out that her mother had what she called “Relaxation Tapes” and was very excited to use those.

The bizarre aspect, said my friend, came in that her mother had simply renamed the whole process of meditation, relaxation, and so on. She opposed meditation but not relaxation.

She called it something different.

And so it is. This is the point of importance- we have ideas, we have experiences, and we call them by different names, know them under different constructs and ideas.

Is relaxation the same as meditation? Well, relaxation of the body and mind seem to be part of meditation, for sure. Allowing the body to systematically relax allows the mind to systematically relax as well, and then one can focus better.

At least that’s how I see it.

But then again, I’m not here to apologize for mysticism “infiltrating” anyone’s religion. Not here to do that. Not apologizing for people trying to have direct experiences of the spiritual world. No. Because anything that tries to control that has the potential to collapse into authoritarianism and rigidity that will destroy the lifeblood of the religion.

That may sound like a sweeping statement, and some people may object to abuse of spiritual experiences, but I’m not talking about having a teacher who’s had the experiences themselves guiding you. A guide is one thing; an overlord is another.

That’s all for now.

Steve

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