Feb 16

You start with innocent faith, and end with full-on knowledge – how does that happen?

You are your own alembic. By looking inside the vessel, by testing its contents, mixing new components, adding pressure and heat, cooling down, inspecting the outcome, eventually you will distil whatever is left and that is it – the pure gold of knowing.

There is only one wisdom.

Francis Bacon (1561-1626) first came up with the idea of empirical method, whereby you test by experiments the truth of your understanding. This leads to a particular type of knowledge, one that is quite objective and able to be analysed by others. Tests may be repeated and results compared. Truth ought to be the outcome. Certainly that is the desire. (David Hume, of course, proved that nothing could be known with certainty – not even that the sun will rise tomorrow [and, well, it doesn’t actually ‘rise’ anyway, but no matter] – and more recently dear old Karl Popper refined the scientific method by saying that all meaningful propositions must be refutable; but leaving all that aside… What empiricism did do was lead to modern science and the laws of Boyle and Kelvin and Newton and Einstein et al, to engineering and modern manufacturing procedures: the modern world, in other words.

No only this. Bacon’s method is possibly best applied to the individual and their own testing out of their own knowledge. Empiricism then becomes the best method of becoming quite certain of one’s own understanding of one’s own self.

This may seem to be an odd form of esoteric investigation and yet it invariably leads to correct results.

This is essentially a description of ‘mysticism’. I am surprised that no one else has pointed this out before. Bacon, of course, was an Imperator of the Rosicrucians.

So, this is what mysticism is about: testing one’s knowledge until faith is cast aside and certainty in the results is discovered.

There is one more very important aspect concerning mysticism, and this will be dealt with in tomorrow’s Diary posting.

Today has started out gloomy but that won’t deter me from going for a walk through the woods and getting as much fresh air and exercise as possible. Day by day, I am feeling stronger, my appetite has returned, and I can only hope that these are sure signs of recovery from a period of extended illness.

NOVELS

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