Methodological considerations - Geistige Entwicklung

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Methodological considerations

Spiritual Knowledge

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Content-related statements can basically only be understood from within themselves and against the background of the concrete communication situation in the context of which they are made.

The Christian mystic Meister Eckehart wrote: "God is what he is; and what he is, that is mine; and what is mine, that I love; and what I love, that loves me and draws me into itself; and what has thus taken me to itself, to that I belong more than to myself. Behold, therefore, God minneth, and ye become God with God" (Eckehart 1973:18). A literalist Christian may find this text arrogant or even heretical, a psychologist sees here an extreme narcissism.

Even more radical is the statement of the Sufi mystic Ḣallāğ: "I am God" (Gramlich 1998:352) is understood by an atheist as megalomania, by an orthodox Muslim as blasphemy. In contrast, the Muslim mystic Rūmī explained this statement as follows: "Rūmī sees in 'I am God' the outward humility and slave-mindedness and the complete elimination of duality realized in Ḣallāğ: 'When his love for God reached its climax, he became his own enemy and made himself nothing. He said, 'I am God. That is to say, I am de-created, God has remained, nothing else. This is extreme humility and the highest degree of slavery. It means: He is, nothing else" (Gramlich 1998:352). In this, Rūmī argues as follows: If I remain with the statement, "You are God, I am your slave," I remain with the duality of "I" and "He": "So whoever says 'You are God' or 'He is God' is stuck in duality. As a true monotheist, Ḣallāğ said, 'I am God'" (quoted from Gramlich 1998:352).

These two examples show that the content of a statement, of a text, must be related to the context of the text itself and to the environment in the narrowest sense - anything else leads to misunderstanding and intolerance, or even violence.

Therefore, the following principles should be observed in every text:
1. every text speaks first of all for itself: Every text is first of all what it says - no more and no less.
2. if a text is unclear, it should be related to its immediate, temporal-local context, which includes the communication situation, the author and the target persons of the text.
3. ideological, theological-dogmatic or magisterial judgments or evaluations are mostly a consequence of the shorter or longer history of the impact of a text - and thus secondary: they rather obstruct the access to the text than clarify its meaning. understands these principles as a hermeneutic method and feels committed to them.

Therefore, first and foremost, we let the text speak for itself. In most cases, the content is already clear from the text. Comments, paraphrasing or explanations are only added if they are absolutely necessary for the understanding of the text, or to lead over to a new thought.

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