By T. R. Miles (auth.)

ISBN-10: 1349007412

ISBN-13: 9781349007417

ISBN-10: 1349007439

ISBN-13: 9781349007431

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I would even say that in so far as it implies this mistaken view it requires to be abandoned. 'Those experiences which put us in touch with non-material reality' is as unsatisfactory a form of words as 'Those experiences which put us in touch with square circles' ; in both cases alike we are misleading ourselves and have failed to reflect adequately on what our words mean. Such an interpretation carries the further implication that the experiences in question must be unusual and (quite literally) out of this world; and it is therefore small wonder that certain down-to- 22 earth persons assert that they 'don't have' religious experiences.

21 Some of the current discussions of dualism seem to me to suffer from precisely this defect. I am not saying that, throughout the history of philosophy, no uses can be found for the word 'dualism'. , is in many ways different from the language of common sense in which we speak of the familiar things of our experience - chairs, birds, sunsets, and flowers; and if someone chooses to say that there are therefore 'two kinds of reality', with suitable caution this could be harmless. ', and that, if this is the question, it is a misguided one.

In my own view the mythology can be dispensed with as long as the cosmic significance of the demand is fully recognised. My conclusion in this chapter is that it is possible to take people's accounts of their religious experiences seriously without having to accept the dualistic contrast between 'material reality' and 'non-material reality' and without having to suppose that, for instance, Jehovah, Jesus Christ or the Virgin Mary sometimes appear to people in 'non-material' form. 44 6 The 'Natural'-'Supernatural' Dichotomy The discussion so far has been concerned in particular with the issues of 'dualism' and 'materialism'.

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Religious Experience by T. R. Miles (auth.)


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