This book provides a critical overview of such subjects as mysticism, speaking in tongues, John-Roger Hinkins and MSIA, Sathya Sai Baba, astrology, near-death experiences, and UFOs. Previously published under the title The Mystical.
Excerpt: There is a mystical dimension that runs through all aspects of life. Eventually every human endeavor directly encounters an impenetrable mystery where knowledge turns into ignorance and control into wonder. Indeed, no matter how much science or technology may advance, the essential mystery of life will never change. The reason why is simple: Reality is always greater than our conceptions of it.
Thus, contrary to our popular notions of mysticism, genuine spiritual practice is not concerned with increasing knowledge, per se, but rather reconciling man with his fundamental state of absolute ignorance. We are born into a mystery; we live in a mystery; and we die in a mystery.
Although we may learn about things, achieving various levels of technical proficiency, we apparently can never know what a single thing is. For instance, what is a circle? What is a thought? What is a self? The essence of everything eludes us because our perceptions are always limited. As the late Baba Faqir Chand, the great sage of Hoshiarpur, once told me personally, "Nature is unfathomable. No one has ever been able to know it completely. No one has known it. A small germ in a body cannot know the whole body. Similarly (a) human being is like a small germ in a vast Creation. How can he claim to have known the entire Creation. Those who say that they have known are wrong. No one can describe or even know the entire Creation. It is indescribable."