The title of this post is the tag line on David Lane's web site, Neural Surfer. I like it. That's a great place to be -- the shore line of reality where skepticism shovels away the loose sand of mysticism, getting closer to a solid bedrock of truth.
Here's a sample of David's take on the subject: "Tangled Phone Lines: why Richard Dawkins hung up on Ken Wilber."
Like me, David is an initiate of Radha Soami Satsang Beas who has decided to take seriously the precept that it's possible to have a "science of the soul."
I clearly believe that mysticism can be studied scientifically. Indeed, it already has been for decades.
I don’t necessarily think that mystics and skeptics should depart company and go on their respective ways, but I do think that if they seriously communicate with each other something is bound to give. And what each side may have to give up is more than they might be willing to concede.
...if a mystic is serious about studying the subject scientifically it means that he or she may have to radically revise their understandings and prior theological dogmas about what is actually happening when they undergo a transformation of consciousness.
He uses Faqir Chand as an example. Chand was an Indian guru who was appealingly honest about his mystical powers. Or rather, non-powers.
For example, when disciples would claim that Chand had appeared to them in his "radiant form," Chand would reply that he knew nothing about this. Yet David speaks about how other gurus were reluctant to concede that mystical experiences are only within a disciple's mind, not in some sort of objective reality.
To be truly scientific, an organized religious or mystical faith has to honestly admit "These teachings could be wrong."
However, how many do so? Not many. Maybe none, in fact.
So it is necessary for anyone who wants to pursue a scientific approach to mysticism to strike out on the Reality Road on their own. Because organizations have a vested interest in preserving their belief system, even it is wrong.