Reason Freely

Emotion and Revelation

Posted in discussion seed by reasonfreely on August 19, 2010

Does an extreme emotion or serious crisis ready a person’s mind for things beyond itself, touch the soul, break down the barriers of mundane concerns, awaken the spirit, and open your heart to the divine?

Or does it cloud your thinking, bias your judgment, and impair critical analysis?

I’ve heard it both ways.

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5 Responses

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  1. Andy said, on August 24, 2010 at 9:57 am

    There is no reply link to your latest comment, did you limit thread depth?

    Anyway, I’m hardly an expert on eastern religions either, but even sticking to Christianity, there are some flavors that would claim you must let go of critical thinking in order to open yourself to god. But they could be taking advantage of the notion that one is more likely to believe something was a religious experience when one doesn’t analyze it critically. For that matter, so could the buddhists.

  2. Andy said, on August 23, 2010 at 10:38 am

    Why can’t it do both?

    • reasonfreely said, on August 23, 2010 at 11:15 am

      If it’s both, it’s at different times, obviously. And likely generates different kinds of beliefs. Whether we attribute more gravity, value and meaning to one or the other defines something about us. What is that something?

      • Andy said, on August 23, 2010 at 12:21 pm

        Is that so obvious? I mean, you have three things: call them crisis, revelation and suspension of critical thinking; what makes the latter two mutually exclusive? Take, for example zen buddhism, in which revelation not only correlates with suspending logical analysis, but requires it.

        • reasonfreely said, on August 23, 2010 at 12:37 pm

          From what you say, it sounds like Zen Buddhists believe the latter and not the former — that extreme emotion or crisis can cloud your thinking, bias your judgment, and impair critical analysis.

          I also think their idea of revelation doesn’t involve deities speaking to them telepathically. But I’m not an expert on Eastern religion and could be wrong.


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