A phrase to describe my beliefs popped to mind today — “Cognitive Mysticism“. Well, being only two common words, and lots of writers out there, I am sure these two words have been put together before so please excuse me if someone has grabbed them and given them their meaning before me, and please indulge me.
Religious mystics are generally despised by the orthodox in their home religion. The orthodox value creeds, doctrines and right thinking. The Mystic values relationships and being. The mystic’s first offense, a social one, is to deny the need the religious specialists or traditions to communicate to their god. The Mystic’s second offense, a philosophical one, is to hold doctrines as suspect — Mystics questions the power of language to capture that truth of the encounter with the divine.
I too question authority (while understanding it’s usefulness in the lives of others) and hold that beliefs are merely anchors for our web of life with no more substance than the function they serve. Our webs of belief capture far deeper realities than the words that string them together. These deeper realities are our relationships — relationships to ourselves, others and the world we live in.
Cognitive mysticism allows me to dialogue with other faiths without, at times, a need to challenge their treasured assumptions. If I want to help a person change their way of relating to their world I can still look to change their web while still preserving many of their cherished beliefs. I can take pleasure in just making them a better version of themselves while they do the same to me.