Friday, December 1, 2023

Contra Alan Watts

Take a look at this link, if you like. If you prefer theatrical "wise old man" Alan Watts' pretentions of being a genuine mystic over tons of Carmelites and nuns, you probably deserve to be damned.

Alan Watts Opens Up About Religion (thought provoking video)
Dorothy Shelton | 6 May 2023

Now, some comments as a slight correction to this self proclaimed voice of "the divine" whatever he means by that ...

1:17 There is much to be said against the word "informal" in the phrase "informal tradition" ...

Why would a tradition which involves apprenticeship after apprenticeship, starting with 12 and 72 under Jesus, be in any way, shape or form "informal"?

Could it be because Alan Watts was brought up by Protestants and learned to take "tradition" as the Catholic Equivalent of a Joker?

2:01 It can be noted that "belief in divine inspiration" is per se not sufficient evidence.

[of the global truth of a religion, it is obviously evidence within that religion for specific truths]

Proofs of divine actions, a k a miracles, are what it takes, and for that historicity of tradition with writings is actually enough, even before an enquirer (I'm no longer one, and my enquiry didn't go in that order in my life) decides on concluding divine inspiration for a specific tradition.

3:10 Liable to be distorted by that vehicle?

Human imperfection stronger than God's grace?

Can't be held even as a kind of bolster to freewill. If the hagiographers intensely wanted to preach God's unadulterated truth, God was not distorting or hurting their free will if He removed any obstacle to that goal that could arise from their otherwise in other contexts possibly extant imperfection.

3:26 A faulty sound system does not equal a sound system with the theoretic possibility of a fault.

That the hagiographers were men who in this life were able to sometimes sin doesn't mean that they actually were sinning and therefore distorting God's truth at those moments of the days and months they were writing.

3:59 "what religion were you brought up with?"

An excellent theological case for the postulate that Abraham did not start out as an erroneously many-god believer.

Whether he momentarily fell or not, when his father and grandfather or father and brother (or all three) became idolaters, idolatry was NOT the language he was brought up in.

Now, is that postulate in any sense also realistic as a fact? Yes.

In the LXX based timeline I use for the Genesis 11 genealogy, Sarug remained alive 50 years after Abraham was born. And Sarug, whether or not he made statues of good or brave men as good or brave men, much like modern statue usage in the West, he was not an idolater. He was giving the language that Noah had handed down.

And Noah was giving the language that Adam had handed down.

Whatever sound shifts and grammatical restructuring Hebrew went through between Adam and Moses, it was not distorted at Babel. Its original terminology was preserved.

From Adam's three sons Cain, Abel and Seth, to the present, there was never a generation where no one was raised exactly the right way, with exactly the right terminology and attitudes to comprehend what God wanted of him.

5:28 I don't know exactly what hit Alan Watts, but reducing Christ's divinity to a moment of what he considers as "divine inspiration" similar to his own is, not just heresy, or apostasy, but also somewhat lacking in humility.

Reducing others to one's own level is ... a kind of envy and small heartedness.

Even if it's actually a high level. Whatever that means.

6:06 How many of those miraculous stories involving psychic powers are involving people raised from the dead?

I mean, Buddha very famously promised one woman who had lost her son to raise him, if she could hand him dust from a house in which no one had died or whatever the terms were.

And this she was unable to do. Buddha preferred to teach her a lesson over doing a miracle.

Jesus on more than one occasion made a miracle, and he never gave that lesson. And I mean miracles of raising the dead.

6:38 No, I don't see any point in imagining that I'm God.

For instance, I see no point in imagining that just because I could raise no dead while so imagining, God couldn't or couldn't communicate it to people.

For instance, because it's not true.

6:48 "the Apostles didn't quite get the point"

But Alan Watts does? Who was closer to Jesus?

Whom do we know historically He chose as His disciples?

Matthew 10, verses 2 to 4, I see no Alan Watts. (Nor do I see the gematria of Apoc 13:18 in it ...)

7:28 The Apostles who called Jesus, Him alone, the Son of God wanted to secure social stability because "cosmic experience" can be a nuisance?

I believe you have been around guru land. But I do not believe you have been around much of NT texts, let alone other old Christian writings.

Avoiding to be a nuisance was very certainly not their priority. The Gnostics whom you might prefer were far better at avoiding martyrdom or conspicuous displays of the miraculous.

7:40 Come on ... is Giordano Bruno your prime example of "cosmic experience" when he was in fact a prime example of free masonry like conspiracies of secret initiations, hardly the kind of thing you'd expect of a brave person to whom his own flesh had become just a vehicle for truth?

If you want bravery and being a nuisance, how about Savonarola? The problem for you is that he seemed to be totally indifferent to cosmic experiences, and he was a very humdrum hell fire preacher, much like lots of Franciscans and Dominicans before him.

Or when it comes to anything resembling cosmic experiences, how about St. Teresa of Avila or St. John of the Cross? But they weren't persecuted by the Church (well St. John of the Cross was persecuted by some Church men, but escaped 15 of August 1578 (I looked it up on wiki, wouldn't want you to imagine I'm having cosmic experiences) and remained a free man up to his death in 1591).

7:44 Giordano Bruno was burned, yes. John Scotus Eriugena was however not excommunicated. A work of his was later, long after his death censured, and in fact burned, but it's disputed if he was the author. He was far from being persecuted.

7:48 On Meister Eckhard, you seem to have hit some kind of bingo, both a mystic and brave and condemned in some theses.

However, he recanted them:

"Pope John XXII issued a bull (In agro dominico), 27 March 1329, in which a series of statements from Eckhart is characterized as heretical, another as suspected of heresy.[25] At the close, it is stated that Eckhart recanted before his death everything which he had falsely taught, by subjecting himself and his writing to the decision of the Apostolic see."

7:51 "and so on and so on"

V e r y unspecific.

7:53 A few mystics got away with it ... because those are the ones you heard of?

I'm reminded of a history test where I commented on the man that Charles XII had replaced August the strong with "his name was never famous" and my history teacher remarked "can't you remember it, Hans?" in red letters on my copy. No, I could not recall the name of Stanislas Leszczyński, probably because I hadn't even learned how to pronounce Polish yet, and the last name had too many consonants.

A few mystics, Alan, haven't you heard of the other ones?

All or Nothing: Sr. Clare Crockett - Full Movie
Home of the Mother | 3 Nov. 2023

Or Saint Catherine Labouré:

Heralds of the Gospel | 24 Nov. 2023

7:56 "because they used cautious language"

No, because they believed the dogmas of the Church, their mystic experiences weren't changing these.

8:22 No, the one passing off an emasculated Gospel is you.

You're depriving the Gospel of all attributes the modern élite doesn't view as equally fashionable as your own brand of un-Catholic mysticism.

Mysticism isn't the point of the Gospel, at least not all of the point.

The Gospel is the point of Mystics that I care for.

And that means the Catholic Gospel.

By the way, I'm not a hagiographer. Here is a thing I wrote:

If the hagiographers intensely wanted to preach God's unadulterated truth

Here is what I should have written:

If the hagiographers faithfully wanted to preach God's unadulterated truth

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