"Mistiek: Van Verwarring na Waarheid? ʼn Filosofiese verkenning"

Abstract

AbstractMysticism: from confusion to clarity? A philosophical reconnaissanceIn spite of the fact that a great variety of mystical and semi-mystical spiritualties are again popular today, for many people past and present mysticism is a mystery, something misty and vague. According to others, however, a mystical experience is nothing extraordinary since it can even be produced instantly by simply taking a chemical drug. Again, some other proponents of a religious kind of mysticism believe that (semi)mysticism can be an antidote against stagnant beliefs and dying churches, a vitamin capable of revitalising any religion. They are opposed by other Christian thinkers who regard any kind of mysticism as unbiblical and thus to be totally rejected. Such disagreements and confusion call for a clarification of what mysticism really entails.Many approaches to this phenomenon, like psychological, theological, sociological ones and more are available today (cf. e.g. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2014). This essay tackles the issue from a philosophical perspective, trying to determine some basic characteristics of mysticism.The investigation is divided into the following five main sections. In the first a bibliographical summary is given of some works on mysticism and their more general definitions. The second contains a selection of philosophical definitions of mysticism. The third reviews the contributions of a few authors to arrive at some basic characteristics or typologies of mysticism. The fourth section is devoted to differing viewpoints about the possibility of instant chemical mysticism. It is followed by a brief review of the latest research on mysticism. The concluding section provides a summary of the final results of this reconnaissance. OpsommingTen spyte van die feit dat ʼn groot verskeidenheid mistieke en semi-mistieke spiritualiteite vandag baie gewild is, bly die mistieke figure en geskrifte van die verlede en die hede vir baie mense enigmas. Vir ander weer is ʼn mistieke ervaring niks buitengewoons nie. Volgens sommiges kan dit selfs vinnig met een of ander chemiese middel opgewek word. Nog ander persone is van mening dat ʼn religieus-gekleurde (semi-)mistiek as vitamiene diens kan doen om ʼn verstarde geloofslewe en sterwende kerke te laat herleef. Hulle standpunt word egter bestry deur ander Christelike denkers wat daarvan oortuig is dat enige vorm van mistiek onskriftuurlik is en geen plek in die lewe van ʼn Bybelgelowige behoort te hê nie. Sulke uiteenlopende en botsende standpunte met gevolglike onduidelikheid oor wat mistiek presies behels, is die motivering vir hierdie verkenning. Van die baie benaderings tot hierdie verskynsel (bv. histories, psigologies, teologies, sosiologies) probeer hierdie een mistiek vanuit ʼn diepermeer filosofiese perspektief benader. By 1.5 hieronder word vyf stappe genoem wat in hierdie ondersoek gevolg sal word om uit die huidige verwarring die waarheid oor ʼn aktuele saak te probeer uitkristalliseer.https://doi.org/10.19108/KOERS.80.3.2237
https://doi.org/10.19108/KOERS.80.3.2237
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