I’m fascinated by mysticism. Like him, I believe exploring the irrational realms is necessary for understanding. In a way, these realms illuminate areas of ignorance, which can be turned into rational inquiry. Reason and logic is not good or bad. It’s an instrument, a tool. Values determine the intention of how these tools are applied. I have an aversion to those who push back on reason and science, the same way I push back on those who proclaim religion and god’s divine inspiration is all man needs to survive. Perhaps. Many people get along fine with religion and their private spirituality. But exploring the world has lead to more understanding of the universe and our place in the universe than religion has ever done. And religion and spirituality will never be replaced by science and reason. Religion creates communities, and spirituality creates unity, both of which orient humanity to higher values, both necessary for humanities survival. But values without reason is like fire without an engine. It’s powerful and illuminating, but can be dangerous when reason isn’t there to anchor the heart to the mind, which provides vision of consequences. I don’t think being uneducated is a virtue. On the contrary. I think being educated is one of the highest virtues. But education isn’t formal. It’s not an end. It’s a continual process of action and reflection, and refining, so to continually align values with reason and experience, to create soundness and coherence and resonance with the inner and outer. Self-education is the highest spiritual journey. Accumulating understanding is not just remembering, it’s also the process of forgetting. But relying entirely upon yourself is also risky, because of our natural propensity to self deceive, by taking our singular experience as the only experience of value. Gathering with other minds, from conversation and reading, and becoming educated on the various perspectives of others, greatly enhances our ability to understand.

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