Are misanthropy and mysticism compatible?

A lot of mystics seem to be described as loners. Does that mean a lot of them have relationship difficulties? Is it possible for someone to generally dislike human beings and yet seek out experiences in which they feel self and time are illusions and that they are a part of a greater whole when the greater whole includes other people? How stupid is this question? After you’ve answered it give it a stupidity rating out of 10.

Even though it’s stupid I think it’s in the wrong Forum. Is there a moderator who agrees with this?

I’m not a mystic, but I am a loner quite a bit of the time. I’m not a misanthrope, I just find a little company goes a long way. As far as someone looking for esoteric experiences to realize a sense of connectedness, that could be misanthropy, or it could be a striving for something which the person feels is missing. People look to this kind of stuff sometimes out of a sense of altruism, but more often, IMHO, out of a desire for happiness and an anasthetic for the pain that life can cause. Also, it is possible to dislike someone, and yet still feel a sense of compassion or love for them. And if one dislikes people, and yet does see themselves as truly part of a greater entity called humanity or life, then that dislike must logically be felt towards themselves as well.

Stupidity rating, one being the lowest, and ten being the stupidest imaginable. I give your question a stupidity rating of 2.9 due to it’s incompleteness of context. It seems something must have occurred which would cause you to think of this question.

I give my own answer a 5.3 for stupidity.

I decided to do this methodically.

Impossible to know for certain without a detailed market survey.

Sure, why not? I feel this way sometimes myself. It’s like being fascinated by Star Trek, but annoyed by Trekkies. A person who feels the way you describe is fascinated by the human condition, not by humanity itself.


I’d give it a 5. Not dumb, but rather unfocused.

In a seriously would-be enlightened way Christians seem to me to be principally concerned with their relationship with Jesus at the expense of their fellow human beings. Christians seem far less interested in activism or being activists than you would expect. You never see Christians at the barricades in anti-globalisation demonstrations or amassing at the borders of barbaric African countries, or creating a massive fuss about landmines. Although this is almost certainly a completely unfair remark to make it seems to mean that Christians are able to by-pass their feelings for other human beings to a certain extent and focus on a relationship with the divine. And is it true to say there have been some famous Christian misanthropes? A lot of early Christians were known for their misogyny, anyway.

Too many Christians spoiled that post. I have been slipping up all day. Half my stuff has errors. I think I should give it a rest.

Yeah, I guess. As usual, your OP was hard for me to interpret. The responses have me some guideline, though, so now I have a pretty good idea of what you’re getting at.

So, at the risk of being stoned to death by David and Gaudere, it’s off to Great Debates. I mean, with terms like “greater whole” and “anti-globalisation demonstrations”, where else can it go? :slight_smile:

As well they should.

Is there a forum devoted to incoherency?

Well, of course they are! Ayn Rand. Q.E.D.

Ah yes.

But G Nome isn’t half as wordy.

G. Nome: I think that many who follow a mystical path subscribe to solitary inclination not out of dislike for others, but as a more conducive means to exploring oneself, without the distraction of the everyday world.

In Buddhist mystic monastic tradition, there is a split between Theravada (lesser) and Mahayana (greater) tradition. Theravada is concerned with getting the individual out of the morass of illusion. Mahayana is a practice that, in addition of getting one’s own self out of the morass, includes the promise that what one has learned will go toward the greater good of getting everyone out of the bog. Ya promise that you’ll work toward that, because the overarching condition says that unless everyone is freed, no one truly is. So, in Mahayana Buddhist practice, part of your meditation, no matter if you’re up on yond in a cave, is working for the better of all involved in the same place you are.

As to your second post; I beg to differ. I have seen several people of Christian faith in my own small sphere who have done immense good in Africa and other Third World countries. These are committed, devout people acting with Christian motives, who then come back and continue their work in the US. My particular experience is in Mississippi, which benefits from these folk’s work. I don’t know if they’re mystics, but I don’t see how your second post was trying to say anything meaningful about the Christian Mystic tradition.

Are you sincerely trying to explore the difference between a secular and monastic existence, albeit, in particularly pissed off terms?

I’d like to say that I am innately anti-Nietzchean and have extreme respect for Christian values. Nanotechnology has even got me considering the possibility of a personal God as strange as that sounds. But, as it is with so many people, I can’t come to grips with Jesus’ divinity. What you say about missionaries is too true. But evangelists like Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar, Joyce Meyer etc etc seem to preach before breath-taking numbers of people. And yet it was only Princess Diana who brought the world’s attention, briefly, to landmines a few years back. Afghanistan is a country full of landmines but how many of Benny Hinn’s people are out there doing something about it? Christians would be better off doing that than killing abortion doctors, that’s for sure.

Mysticism seems to be a holier than holy subject but it has come in for its share of ridicule. Similiarities have even been drawn between mystical experiences and psychosis. And a lot of people like to joke about how St Theresa of Avila was just a naughty girl.

I like to read “science lite” - the sort of stuff where quantum physics is interpreted (rightly or wrongly) in a mystical way. Obviously I haven’t read enough because I don’t know the answer to my question which wasn’t really about the difference between the secular and monastic, I don’t think. It was more about whether a person in either of those situations can leave other human beings out the equation in any mystical experience they may seek to have.

Well, they do both start with “mis”. (Sort of.)