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Mysticism and social crisis

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posted on Apr, 8 2010 @ 08:54 PM
Looking at history, it seems many mystical movememts have arisen in response to social crisis or collapse.

For our purposes, I will define mysticism loosely as a form of spirituality/religion that is non-fundamentalist. In contrast to text-based fundamentalism like biblical literalism, mysticism is an inward-directed quest for the divine. In other words, one searches for the divine (be it conceived of in the form of a God or a more impersonal force like the Tao, etc.) not primarily through combing through a holy text, but through practices such as meditation, contemplation, shamanic ecstasy, and so on.

Looking at history, we can corrolate a number of mystical movements with points of great upheaval or crisis on a social level. For example:

-Decline and fall of the Roman Empire = the rise of mystical Gnosticism. Neoplatonism, "Mystery Religions," etc.

-Medieval Dark Ages = a golden age of Christian mysticism

-China's catestrophic 8th century An Shi Rebellion (75% of the population killed or starved) = time of creation of Ch'an (Zen) Buddhism in China.

-End of the Gupta Empire in India = rise of Tantric Hinduism

-Japan's Kamakura Period = Decline of the old Heian scholastic Buddhsim and rise of mystical Zen Buddhism, Amidism, Nichiren Buddhism, synchretic Shinto-Buddhist mystical cults, etc.

There are probably other examples, and exceptions as well. But I do see a pattern here.

So the question becomes, if we are headed into a new era of social turbulence, decline, or even chaos, will we see a corresponding rise in mystical spirituality, in place of the fundamentalism/textual literalism that seems dominant today?

[edit on 4/8/10 by silent thunder]

posted on Apr, 8 2010 @ 09:00 PM
I agree but most mystical orders are deep underground.and will not surface until the need arises and their crafts are accepted.And they will only be accepted because they will be in dire need.

For example in the case of 2012 and the mayan prediction of 12-21-12 if this does truly happen and the earth is in a wounded state,would it not be the druids in some aspect that would be a great benefit to mankind.

At the present moment there looked upon as kooks,so they are underground i could name many mystic groups that would play a role in rebuilding a crippled mankind

posted on Apr, 8 2010 @ 09:14 PM
reply to post by silent thunder

Wow you know your history! Anthropologist Tim Ingold argues that adrenochrome increases during social stress as an adaptive trait -- causing hallucinations or mystic vision for social revolution:

Dr. Abhram Hoffer studied how adrenaline (stress in any form, alergies, mental, emotional or spiritual, stimulants, sugar, etc.) cause adrenoline and the adrenoline turns into a kind of mescoline called adrenochrome, a free radical. Dr. Hoffer cured many thousands of schizophrenics by giving them niacine, niacinamide, or no flush niacine, which pulls the adrenoline/adrenoline (a hallucinogine that causes the voices and dysperceptions).

[edit on 8-4-2010 by drew hempel]

posted on Apr, 8 2010 @ 10:35 PM
Great question. Let me gather my mental energy and chime in.
It appears to me that, for lack of a better phrase, "the pillars of society are crumbling before our very eyes!" I'm not going academic on you here, look at current events and how quickly information traverses the globe. The day after the German child abuse hotline opened US radio listeners get interviews with untrusting church goers in Peru - just happenstance, maybe. We're seeing the phenomena occur between people and their institutions of government, it all seems concurrent and "viral". My hope is that the beast has grown beyond it's masters' ability to control.

As some pillars or ideas weaken in influence on a society, others strengthen, so I concur with your presentation that spiritual influences may also wax and wane. Thanks.

edit spelling

[edit on 8-4-2010 by ganjoa]


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