Analysis of a news story
On February 7th, 2014, I read an article about an interesting religion phenomenon in China. A lot of temples and Buddhas are built in many places in China to entice tourists, and actually earn huge profits. “The statue helped the park earn more than RMB 1.2 billion ($194 million) in 2013 according to the South China Morning Post.” as it written in the news (Ma, 2014). The temple is a sacred place, where disciples can worship their God. It becomes one of the most scenic places for tourists to visit, and is a profit machine in contemporary society, isn’t that interesting?
Why are there so many “Gods” in the world? Why do people believe in their own “Gods”? There are many reasons; one of the most important one, according to James’s work, is the mysticism of religion. The core meaning of the book, according to James’s own words, is the exploration of mysticism (James, 1902). The government also knows the mysticism of temple and Buddhas, therefore, can bring more people in to visit. As multiple examples of mystical experience, James summarizes mysticism to have four characteristics (James, 1902). First one is the ineffability. Second one appears to be the Noetie quality. Third one is the transiency, with fourth being the passivity. From this generalization, James's quite profound understanding of mysticism can be noticed (James, 1902). In the expanded interpretation, mysticism not only has a deep meaning, but also has an important value for the development of the human spirit.
Let us take a first look at the “ineffability.” If we think about the reverse side of it, we might ask: can the language of human invention convey everything? The answer is no. When you go to temple or church, you pray to God, you express your feelings exactly to God; thus, expressing something you cannot say in real life. In fact, as early as the ancient ages, it has been found that the language is not capable of explaining everything. In real life, we often cannot find the appropriate words to express our feelings, such as pain, when it is difficult to speak to your doctor accurately and clearly. As for the music, the feeling of love is also difficult to say out loud as well. It shows that language is so feeble, when we want to express our mental world, and even sometimes we can be misunderstood, and even distorted. Although mysticism has “unspeakable nature”, it is not unknown. Moreover, it is mysterious and known. This “known” has a profound degree; it can reach deeply in consciousness that languages can explain a lot. The example gives us enough proof of that evidence. There will be no one visiting the temple, if they didn’t know the mysticism of religion. Just like James’s words: “They are insightful state of truth, it is the profound degree of truth, it cannot be detected by the discursive, it is illuminations, revelations, although completely beyond speech, but full of implication and importance for the future and they usually have a weird sense of authority (James, 1902).” In other words, this insight is beyond language, beyond the reality, which also has a predictable; one can communicate the reality and the future, rather than merely intellectual understanding of the stalemate in real life.
The so-called “transiency” shows the mystery of the unspeakable insight state that cannot be sustained. Afterwards, it relies on memory, but the memory of that feeling becomes incomplete, which later is compared to the dream. People who live in a dream hole are out of feelings, short, and unsustainable. After the wake up, when try to remember their dream, the kind of original live experience becomes incomplete. For personal religious beliefs, the sense of God, God's guidance, happiness salvation, etc., are indeed short and cannot be sustained. Nevertheless, the importance of the existence of mysterious and immeasurable experience cannot be denied. Because of this short experience, the soul of a believer is baptized, and thus obtains the saints, and gets reborn. That can also explain the reason why so many people like visiting temples or churches.
The Passivity does not mean that individual efforts do not work in the emergence of a mystical experience. The word “passive” here refers to one entering the mystical experience state, where the subjective of an individual will automatically shut down, and will be completely commanded by the highest state of spiritual strength-the mystery of God's will. Just like when some people visited the classical temple or church, and got inspired by the atmosphere, and started to believe in God eventually.
And to conclude, let’s take a look at the news again. After revealing the veil of religion, we seem to understand the reasons behind it. The mystery is the internal representation of religious belief state. When you have a mysterious feeling, regardless of a state of religion, or mental state, or state of consciousness, a profound change can happen to the nature. This change is mainly reflected in the nature, and discovered a huge new spiritual force, replacing the secular spirit of the original center of power to make unlimited enhanced perception, which can be found in the vast new world. For religion, all the self-cultivation, the purpose is to obtain the final state to enter the mysterious, because only entering this state can open the gate to paradise. That’s also the reason for many people visiting temples or churches, not trying to reveal the mystery, but actually entering it. However, as a man with conscious, I choose to stay calm, and will try to unveil the religion together with those talented people in the future.
Ma, L. (2014). China builds bigger Buddhas to entice tourists. [online] Retrieved from: http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/06/travel/china-builds-bigger-buddhas/ [Accessed: 11 Apr 2014].
W, J. (1902). THE VARIETIES OF RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE: A Study in Human Nature. New York: Longmans, Green And Co.