Ed,

with all due respects to Harlan, I think the matter of 'mystic' and 'mythical' are important and do not need to be associated with 'religion'. If we look at things like ninja's or certain figures in MA and even Buddhism, then we can apply the words to them.

For instance, Bodhirama (sp.) may be viewed as a mystical character, he had esoteric methods and teachings. There was/is an aura of mystery about him which can be called 'mystical'. However, he also has stories told about him. Did tea plants really grow from the place where he threw his eyelids? I doubt it... therefore he is also mythical in some aspects.

This might suggest that mystical aspects create mythical aspects.

Now, as Harlan herself once demonstrated, we should be wary of early teachings which have influenced us and should 'unlearn'. In which case we need to beware of the mythical behind the mystical and, perhaps, search for it to understand and expose it (if necessary).

I'll stick my neck out and risk the Harlanic wrath. If we look at the other thread about dharma combat, might we interpret the master who shouted about the orange, "what is this?", as trying to create some kind of mysticism about an orange? Might he be later elevated to the level of mythical master because he created these illusions that there was something mystical about an outspan?
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See how well I block your punches with my jaw!!

Supporting everyone saying "nuts to cancer"