Friday, October 14, 2005

Mysticism and measuring rods

In Mind, Language and World ( Ed. Jonardan Ganeri, OUP:2002 ) Bimal Krishna Matilal claims, “ The ineffability of mystical experience or mysticism is a doctrine which seems to be unanimously accepted by most modern writers on mysticism.”( p. 3 )

There is nothing irrational about it, asserts Sri Aurobindo, speaking of the so called spiritual visions and experiences. The cosmic scheme of things has its own logic and necessity and hence the tenor and sequence of the whole dynamics appears to us as a jigsaw puzzle. But then a puzzle it is, which points to a solution, as yet unresolved and unrevealed.

Such an approach attracts labels of deterministic fatalism, but it arises from a human-centric world-view. Social science has its peculiar compulsions and it can’t do without the data-based procedures. The fact that it is under-equipped to probe matters in the realm of human mind should have been a well-accepted proposition. On the contrary, it is considered a rightful activity and the result is, understandably, disastrous.

Obviously, the mismatch is methodological. Though nobody can dispute man’s urge for plumbing his own depths, surely there can be disagreements about the tools and territories. The measure of success in such ventures would depend upon the measuring rods one selects.
One important aspect, which is often overlooked, is the personal disposition of the individual undertaking the exploration. Sedimented mind-sets are a terrible barrier. The tyranny of the normal and contemporary is formidable. Attempting empathy by rising above a hedonistic indifference is intimidating. Above all, the person is a hostage of his own contradictions and therefore, any objective inference is hard to expect.

No comments:

Post a Comment