Mysticism & Virtual Reality

Evelyn Underhill writes in her 1915 book Practical Mysticism, ‘Mysticism is the art of union with Reality. The mystic is a person who has attained that union in greater or less degree; or who aims at and believes in such attainment’. This begs the question, what then is ‘Reality’? The writer goes on to say that only a mystic can understand ‘Reality’ (presumably believing herself to be a mystic). So what can a mystic know about reality? Doesn’t everyone, mystics included, have their own idea of what reality is? It’s a bit like having your own virtual reality. -Quote from Practical Mysticism, Evelyn Underhill, Dutton & Company USA (1915).

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The Man Who Fell to Earth

In the 1960’s sci-fi classic The Man Who Fell to Earth the visiting alien is asked, ‘Are you from this solar system?’. He replies, ‘Yes. As far as I know, there aren’t any others…only suns…no planets.’ Scientists now believe there could be as many as 10 billion exoplanets in the Milky Way which are earth-like and possibly habitable. And that’s just in our own galaxy!!! So it seems that Earth is just another planet after all, important to us humans of course, but insignificant in the grand scheme of things. -Quote from The Man Who Fell to Earth, Walter Tevis, Frederick Muller Limited UK (1963).

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Our Mysterious Universe

Evolution has given human beings just the senses we need to survive here on Earth. With our feeble, limited senses we can observe only our immediate environment, that insignificantly small part of the universe that exists around us. It is science and technology that has enabled us to see farther and farther. Less than 100 years ago it was thought our galaxy, the Milky Way, was the entire universe. But now it seems the ‘greater universe’ is likely to be both infinitely large and infinitely complex. Can we realistically expect to know very much about it?

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How Many Universes Are There?

By definition, there is only one universe and everything that exists must be contained in that universe. Some people like to use the term multiverse thinking there may be other universes outside the visible universe. And some people believe there must be other dimensions or spiritual realms or parallel universes somewhere beyond the visible universe. If you click on parallel universes you’ll see Wikipedia has decided they are just fiction. So how do we know what’s fiction and what’s not?

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Delusions of Geocentricity

Here’s a link to the Fixed Earth website. Could it be a joke or a scam? Must be, surely? Well, have a look at this blog: Heliocentrism is an Atheist Doctrine. While it may be natural and intuitive to think that Earth is at the centre of the universe, science and logic tell us otherwise. There are an estimated 200-400 billion stars in our home galaxy alone. And it is now thought that most of these have a planetary system of some sort. Multiply this by an estimated 100 billion galaxies in the observable universe!

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Does the Earth Really Move?

Our home, planet Earth, is not at the centre of the universe. It’s not even at the centre of the Solar System. Doesn’t everybody know that? Apparently not! There are people who believe the Earth is fixed in space and that the entire universe moves around it. In other words, they think the sun and all the other planets of the Solar System revolve around a stationary Earth in such a way that it creates the illusion of heliocentricity. Why on Earth would people think that?

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Scientist Burned at the Stake

An Italian scientist was burned at the stake because of his ideas about God and the universe. Giordano Bruno (1548-1600) was an astronomer and a philosopher who was tried and condemned by the Inquisition. He thought that space was infinite, the sun and its planets were but one of a number of similar systems, and that there might be other worlds with intelligent life. Even as recently as 2000 AD the Catholic Church maintained that Bruno’s execution was justified.

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