Indeed, there’s a phony, commodified form of spirituality or existential enlightenment that’s popular because it’s compatible with the consumer lifestyle. The question I mean to raise in the article is the one raised by Leo Strauss, about whether even the genuine mystics benefit from an uplifting but superficial, exoteric interpretation of monism, since the truth would be too subversive. If only the One is real, why should we care about the Many?

Of course mystics have addressed that question, and they come to different conclusions.

As for the need for humility, it may not come out in this article but it should in the overall body of my Medium writings, since I explore and defend a semi-Nietzschean, pragmatic form of pantheism that takes all of this philosophizing to be largely a matter of storytelling. We’re saturated in fictions, I say (link below), and that includes my articles. We’re quick to dismiss fictions as less useful than the objective theories from science, but objectivity is useless when it comes to deciding how we should live. That’s where fictions alone can guide us, and that’s why we need to sharpen our aesthetic sensibilities.

Knowledge condemns. Art redeems. I learned that as an artistic writer who did a doctorate in philosophy. We should try to see the dark comedy in all things.

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