Does Theory of Mind Adequately Explain the Mystic’s God?

Let’s assume for the sake of discussion that Theory of Mind adequately explains why many — perhaps even most — non-mystics believe in this or that god.

Is it true then, that Theory of Mind also explains why many — perhaps even most — mystics believe in this or that god? Or does the god of the mystic have a different origin from the god of the non-mystic?

Last, if Theory of Mind adequately explains why many or most mystics believe in god, then how does Theory of Mind account for the mystical experience of god?

5 thoughts on “Does Theory of Mind Adequately Explain the Mystic’s God?

  1. I’m not quite sure about what “mystic” means to most people. Must a mystic have actually experienced the monistic Unity that is the hallmark of the experience?
    I suspect most ‘mystics’ are just aficionados of some New-Age philosophy or active members of a Sufi or Zen community.

    Those who actually experience the expanded consciousness and subject-object unity of the mystical experience have transcended any personalized God. Should they choose to use one in their everyday life and interactions with others I’d suspect this was purely a convenience.

    The theory of mind, to my thinking, better explains the non-mystic’s perception of an intentional and personalized super-entity.

    Like

    • Good to see you, Sey! Thank you for posting!

      “I’m not quite sure about what “mystic” means to most people. …
      I suspect most ‘mystics’ are just aficionados of some New-Age philosophy or active members of a Sufi or Zen community.”

      I agree, Sey. It seems the word “mystic” has a very wide range of meanings which depend on the individual using the term. Moreover, those meanings are often contradictory, or at least, bear no relation one to the other.

      “Must a mystic have actually experienced the monistic Unity that is the hallmark of the experience?”

      I most often use the term “mystic” to refer to someone who has actually experienced that Unity. And sometimes I use the term to refer to someone who has dedicated themselves to at some point experiencing that Unity. But that’s about all I use the term for.

      “Those who actually experience the expanded consciousness and subject-object unity of the mystical experience have transcended any personalized God. Should they choose to use one in their everyday life and interactions with others I’d suspect this was purely a convenience.

      The theory of mind, to my thinking, better explains the non-mystic’s perception of an intentional and personalized super-entity.”

      We are in complete agreement, here.

      Like

  2. 1. It does not explain the existence of atheists.
    2. It’s quite a leap from applying you theory of mind to an inanimate thing, which is there to be observed, to applying it to something that isn’t even there. I think you need some extra explanation for taking that hurdle.
    3. There is another brain capacity we have: recogising faces. We’re damn good at it because a whole section of the brain is dedicated to it. Yet is has not led to anything more further-reaching than us recognising faces in clouds, treebark and rock formations, and saying: “hey, that looks just like…”

    Like

I'd love to hear from you. Comments make my day. Please feel free to share your thoughts and feelings!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s