Dialogue with a Mystic

Moshe Ben-Chaim

Mystic: Why don't you believe in mysticism just like you believe in rational matters?

Rabbi: What is mysticism?

Mystic: The belief in forces and powers we don't know about.

Rabbi: So you want me to accept something you cannot prove?

Mystic: Maybe there are forces out there other than natural law.

Rabbi: Why do you accept natural law?

Mystic: Because I witness it.

Rabbi: But you don't witness mystical matters?

Mystic: No.

Rabbi: Yet, you believe in them?

Mystic: Yes.

Rabbi: Your position is this: something can be real, although never witnessed. Meaning, our subjective views are not conclusive. This alone is agreeable. However, do you actually live this way, in the same manner you wish me to live, to incorporate the belief in powers into my daily decisions? If I told you there are mystical forces that will make money fall from your ceiling, will you quit your job? Will you walk in traffic blindfolded if I told you there are mystical forces that will protect you?

Mystic: No.

Rabbi: Why not?

Mystic: Maybe the forces wont protect me when I need them to, but maybe they still exist.

Rabbi: You are saying these imagined forces play no role at all in your daly life?

Mystic: Correct.

Rabbi: So you live exactly as I do. 

Mystic: No, I believe these forces exist.

Rabbi: Let me tell you something…."zather" exists. 

Mystic: What?

Rabbi: "Zather" exists! 

Mystic: What is zather?

Rabbi: I don't know.

Mystic: Then why did you say it exists?

Rabbi: You mean it's meaningless to say this, since I don't know what it is?

Mystic: Yes.

Rabbi: Your statement that mysticism exists is equally meaningless.