I should be proud that I earned mostly “A” marks this semester, but it seems whatever academic achievements I secure do little to fill this void I feel.
On that note, I’m on the [X]Press online staff for the fall. Can we utter an understated “huzzah” for me?
The people don’t seem too horrible, and the actual newsroom is amazingly well-equipped. It doesn’t beat EC’s gorgeous workspace, but very few college newsrooms will.
At any rate, I have a long summer ahead of me. I am aiming to have a multimedia piece ready to go by the first day of the semester. That’s awfully ambitious of me, but meh. I just need to become a master at Soundtrack Pro and Soundslides within three months. W00t.
Story ideas, please?
Back to Eckhart. Huzzah for mysticism, yes?
I have approached the conclusion that although I may exceedingly admire mysticism and its ideas in theory, I will never be able to realistically practice it.
So thoroughly enmeshed in sensory perception, I am.
Mysticism, any branch of it, relies on the notion that the path of salvation requires the negation of individualism. In most Western religions, salvation is achieved through God, who is the negation of all negation. He is wholly Other.
To cease suffering, we must lose all cravings and desires. Only then will we be able to focus on the cessation of our individual existence and achieve communion with God.
Or Nirvana. Whichever you prefer.
This is what Eckhart meant when he wrote that detachment is the highest virtue. Detachment requires an emptying of the soul. Whereas a virtue such as love compels me to love God, detachment compels God to me. And according to Eckhart, it is far greater to compel God to come to me because His very nature is that of purity and unity.
This seemingly paradoxical idea was the subject of our class discussion today. Generally, it ended with exclamations of “I guess,” or “Yeah, sure.”
It is a difficult concept to wrap your head around.
Interjection: David just spilled an entire cup of water into my purse. Good thing none of my journals and notebooks were seriously damaged.
Because God is existence, and transcends all, the only method of achieving communion with Him is to transcend all created things. In this way we become closer to God’s true nature, God the Unmanifest, as opposed to God the Manifest, the part of God we may give attribution.
Interesting side note: Mose Maimonides, a Jewish philosopher who greatly influenced Eckhart and another proponent of via negativa, said that the more characteristics we attribute to God, the closer we get to idolatry. Therefore, the closer we are to becoming infidels. I love that word.
Another interjection: “A pleasure to read, indeed!” Silly ethics TA.
Well, back to the original statement. I could not be a mystic for the following reasons:
– Sex is fabulous, contrary to what I may utter aloud.
– Food is orgasmic. Yes, food can be orgasmic, especially if it’s bomb-diggity sushi. Or chocolate.
– Music fuels the soul.
– Good literature fires up the mind.
– Certain scents evoke amazing memories.
I’m not sure if Eckhart meant detachment from entities such as music or literature. I can only assume so when he uses the phrase “all created things.” As I mentioned before, I am far too enmeshed in the sights, sounds, smells and feelings of this reality. To be perfectly honest, the mere idea of having to let those go frightens me. Those are the only entities that are concrete; I have stored empirical evidence in my brain. I know I can play with David’s hair or read a good comic. I can savor fine champagne or that amazing New Zealand roll from RA Sushi.
But I understand the concept of transcendence. It truly is the only supernatural concept that I fully appreciate and believe in.
Meh. Another example of my duality.
The Hedonist versus the mystic.