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Lecture 17

RELS 1002 Lecture 17: Myc

Religious Studies
Course Code
RELS 1002
Alexander Treiger

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Mysticism Cont:
1. Mysticism is a religious movement that insists it is possible to experience the
divine/God in this life
Focus on the word experience”: thinks about how personal experiences
are un-sharable.
In addition it can seem as though the experience with the divine is
beyond words (ineffable) thus mystics are forced to use symbolic
Such symbolic languages have and need symbolic interpretation by
Symbols are the only way to express the inexpressible
2. Mystics believe they obtain secret (classified) knowledge through such
This knowledge can be about God, the world, creation, the future, etc..
Can help the reader develop a deeper sense of scriptures
Mystics see themselves as almost like prophets
Focus on the word secret”: not only is this info not available to others
but this info should not be shared with others due to them being
unprepared to handle such profound knowledge
Symbols act as a way to protect the text from outsiders (who don’t
understand these symbols) thus maintaining this sense of secrecy over
this knowledge
3. Special practices/techniques that promote experiencing God
Extensive prayer
Extreme fasting
Meditation usually consists of repetition of divine names
Ex; Eucharist Christians essentially believe that they eat the blood and
meat of Jesus and this is supposed to be transformative experience
4. The Story of The 3 Moths
3 moths saw a fire and decided to investigate
1 moth decided to fly towards the fire and investigate what its like. Flys
to the fire notices how bright it is and goes back to the 2 other moths and
tells them about how bright the fire is
Moth #2 decides to go fly to the fire and gets closer to see if it notices
anything else and finds that the fire is really hot as well as bright
Moth #3 decided to get even closer to the fire to investigate and
discovers that the fire is bright, hot but it keeps going and eventually gets
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