A Different System of Thought?

It seems to me that there has to be a better system of thought than the two current systems used in America today. On one side there is rationalism, where everything is analyzed, categorized, and stripped of all feelings and emotions. This system is perfect for finding facts about and understanding the universe in which we find ourselves. It is not good at showing us who we are at a non-physical level or giving most people a sense of meaning in their lives.
On the other side there is mysticism, where everything is felt out and best-guessed and devoid of evidence and logic. This system is good at making people feel good about themselves and their role in the universe, but tends to lead to “I’m right and you’re wrong” thinking from multiple sides. That, then, leads to fighting and all-out war between people that would have gotten along fine if not for their different beliefs.
There has to be a way to view the world as it really is while being human about it. It seems to me that the two systems active in our culture today tend to separate us from the planet and other life forms on it, to raise us above everything else, either because we are “smarter” or because “god put us here”. Maybe the answer is in the direction of oneness with the earth (on a logical and emotional level).


9 responses to “A Different System of Thought?

  1. We take both of those systems, and hold them in tension with each other. We do this because we recognize that humans are physical beings in a physical world, as well as uniquely spiritual creatures with a mind that has the ability to percieve a reality beyond our five senses.

    Call it…the Yin and Yang of Everything?


  2. @Wingnut
    It’s not working very well… Look at what we do. Maybe there is a unifying system of thought out there that can bring the good parts of the two systems together, while leaving the rest behind.

  3. Still reading and pondering, WITH an open mind. I see your point! (I think) I am in sort of a depressed state at this time in my life, so to be honest my brain is sortta/kinda numb.

  4. @Marica
    Dare I ask what you are depressed about?

  5. @zebulonthered
    I would like to think that we’re figuring it out pretty well. It’s just everyone around us:)

    In all seriousness, I believe that a careful reading of the Hebrew Scriptures will reveal that Judaism took great strides in this regard, recognizing humanity’s unique place within both the physical world and the spiritual.

    As a follower of Jesus, I believe that Christians are, along with the Jews of today, the spiritual heirs of this tradition.

    And I suspect, though I may be wrong, that you’re hearing echos of the scriptures you learned as a child as you read the Tao.


  6. @Wingnut
    “Judaism took great strides in this regard, recognizing humanity‚Äôs unique place within both the physical world and the spiritual.”
    Did they? Where did they place us in these realms?

  7. As opposed to other ancient Near-East religious traditions that viewed man as some sort of accident, a mere by-product of the gods, or a slave or servant to fulfill the needs of the gods, Judaism placed man at the pinnacle of the physical world, imbued with the Image of God as a physical creature with spiritual knowledge.

    Man is not merely a servant of the gods, man was intended to be a companion to God, a representative of God in the physical world.

    Our physical actions have spiritual implications, and our spiritual beliefs affect our day to day (physical) lives. We cannot be “only physical” or “only spiritual” because we are 100% both.


  8. @Wingnut
    “…pinnacle of the physical world, imbued with the Image of God as a physical creature with spiritual knowledge.”
    I don’t see how this is true. Does our ability to dominate make us the best? I don’t know, seems like if we were the “pinnacle” we would be able to live in harmony with everything else…
    Also, how do you know that “lower” lifeforms lack spiritual knowledge? Just because we can’t understand them we assume we have a monopoly. You know what they say about assuming.

  9. I tend to agree with you Z but not sure how we could go about putting these two methods together to create a third viable method. I am not sure I can ‘find’ the good part of mysticism as the entire thing is not based in reality and smells of fakery. I think Christopher Hitchens asks it best when he poses the concept that religion comes from the adolescence of humanity and it was the best proposition available to us. I think we need to grow away from mysticism. I think we are getting there slowly.

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