Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Threat of Literalism - Catonsville, MD Patch

Very good and interesting article by Ken Kovacs.  And for those of us who are anti-skeptoid, this goes for those debunkites as well. I don't share the author's religious views -- ie, that JC is the "fullest revelation of God the world has ever known" -- but that's beside the point.

The Threat of Literalism - Catonsville, MD Patch: James Hollis, Jungian analyst and writer, suggests that literalism is actually a form of religious blasphemy because it seeks to concretize (nail down, define) and absolutize the core experience of the Holy, of God – a God, if God, who cannot be controlled or defined; a God, as theologian Karl Barth (1886-1968) insisted, who was Wholly Other, a God who remains ultimately a mystery. And a mystery is not the same thing as a puzzle (which can be solved); a mystery is always enigmatic and is therefore inherently unknowable.

It gets down to the following, which really touches on the gist of these "literalists" including anti-paranormal/ufo skeptoids:
Hollis, whose writings I admire and enormously respect, even argues that literalism is a kind of psychopathology in need of deep healing (redemption?). From his many years as a psychotherapist he has come to see that a way to gauge mental health and emotional maturity is the degree to which one is able to tolerate what he calls the triple A’s – ambiguity, ambivalence, and anxiety. The ability to hold these in tension – and not escape into literalism and fundamentalism, into strategies of avoidance – is a way to test our psychic strength. I can certainly resonate with this. The literalists (of all varieties) I have known and know (and love) have difficulty tolerating ambiguity, ambivalence, and anxiety. They use their faith or their political ideology to bolster themselves against, hide themselves from the triple A’s that define the human condition.

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