Monday, August 05, 2013

Talent and skill …

… Mystical perception as a learned skill, and implications for religious epistemology - The Prosblogion. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

In the practices Luhrmann describes, religious experience is not like ordinary perception, which requires no conscious or deliberate training, but more like a skilled perception, such as that of an art connoisseur or a scientist. By acquiring the relevant skills, a scientist or connoisseur can discern things that would escape an ordinary observer.
The best way to develop an appreciation of painting is to look at a lot of paintings. Really look at them, on your own, with as little outside input as possible. This gives you your experience of painting. This experience helps when you encounter opinions regarding painting. It is the same with other arts. Immerse yourself in them before getting involved with criticism. Before trying to develop skills, discover what your inclinations are. As for prayer, best just to open yourself to God and let Him do His thing.

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