Embracing Mysticism

Logical arguments no longer work. This has been especially visible in the pandemic response in 2020. If you dug even a little below the surface of any mainstream narrative in the past two years, you likely found points of disagreement. But showing people scientific papers, charts, statistical analysis, or other types of evidence accomplishes nothing, or worse it invites accusations of being part of the Other Team, one of those backwards, wrong, stupid people.

In mid-2020 Vin Armani (now Cyprian) started calling this change "The Dim Age"1. He suggested that most people still see the world as exclusively physical, oblivious to patterns of reality that are plainly obvious to more mystically aware people.

In an attempt to remedy my newfound illiteracy, I started exploring symbolism, which as I understood it dealt with identifying and understanding meaning. I found Jonathan Pageau's project The Symbolic World, which has some very accessible videos breaking down movies and other pop culture artifacts from a symbolic perspective 2. These commentaries did not seem arbitrary or speculative, but pointed to cultural trends that I couldn't un-see once I understood them. I binged a bunch more of his material, including eventually a book his brother Mattheiu wrote, The Language of Creation: Cosmic Symbolism in Genesis3. Through this I discovered a side of reality I had been almost completely oblivious to, and what's more, an aspect of my faith which had somehow completely passed me by.

From there I started listening to the Lord of Spirits podcast. I learned that commonplace, obvious understanding of existence as material and spiritual has been mostly lost, displaced by modern confidence that the material world is the limit of reality, over which sovereign mankind rules. The ancient faith of Christianity, known now as "Eastern Orthodoxy", corresponds with reality, especially spiritual patterns of reality as we see more plainly every week, better than anything else I know.

Additional thoughts

For a while I think my highest values have been freedom and truth. A desire to be solely responsible for myself, and a desire to understand myself and the world fully and accurately. But I didn't realize that my chief obstacle is hardly megacorps and governments: I am ruled by my own out-of-control desires: for comfort, pleasure, control, satisfaction, even self-mastery. In a paradise where my every whim was manifested, I would still be a slave to desire, consuming and wanting more and more.

Investigating eastern orthodoxy, this ancient Christianity, revealed a better path to freedom and truth: aiming higher. Every action and choice is in service to something. Instead of serving little tyrannical gods like comfort or pleasure, or potentially nobler gods like a country or even a "liberty movement", I will attempt to serve the Most High.