Tips on how to approach CAT Reading Comprehension passages
- Don’t get into the minor details of the passage; just focus on what each paragraph has to say
- As you read, create a map of the passage; you must remember what thing is located where in the passage
- Once you read the question, come back to the part of the passage that is likely to have the answer
- Compare the options and eliminate the incorrect choices based on the evidence that you see in the passage
- Choose the answer once you are convinced of the right choice
It must be remembered that mysticism is at the heart of all religious systems, including Buddhism. Mystical insights, it is claimed, can only be attained by direct, divine intervention, or else by inward contemplation; logic and reason are not part of the process. If one attains mystical insight by divine intervention , it is likely to result in a closed system of thought, meaning a system that claims to possess all the necessary knowledge for proper conduct of life. These systems naturally tend to be dogmatic, for who would have the temerity to question the divine? Religions of this type are referred to as 'revealed religions,' and they are characteristic of the West. Christianity, Islam, and Judaism are all 'revealed religions.'
By contrast, if the 'revelation' is arrived at by reflective contemplation alone, whereby one does not actually 'hear' the divine but instead perceives it intuitively, an open system is more likely to develop. Eastern religious thought tends to favor this over the first type of insight.
Nonetheless, mysticism, whether employed by Buddhists, Christians, or anyone else, is by its nature anti-reason. Reason, if not overtly attacked, as in Christianity, is demoted to a lower level, as in Buddhism and Hinduism. To the mystic, emotions are valid cognitive tools, which represent a realm of 'higher' reality than that attained by 'mere' reason. At the root of all mystical thought is the concept that consciousness is an axiomatic, irreducible primary; consciousness is superior to physical existence, and many religionists argue that consciousness in fact 'created' existence itself. Therefore, argues the mystic, the highest level of consciousness is that which is perceived through mysticism.
The obvious problem with mysticism is that not all mystics arrive at the same truth. More often than not, they contradict one another. The history of warfare has largely been the history of the conflicts of opposing belief systems, with mysticism as the foundational cause.
Gautama, to his credit, was able within the context of his time to obviate a strictly mystical outlook and recognize the essential role of sensory validation in acquiring knowledge. Buddhist knowledge must be conjoined with seeing , for without some kind of sensory validation, one cannot hope to understand the world around us. Thus Buddhism, unlike Western religions, has no need to attack sensory validation or blindly attack reason.Question: Which of the following can be inferred about Christianity, Judaism and Islam?
They are all revealed religions
They tend to be dogmatic
They have followers only in the West
None of the above
Question: According to the passage, which of the following is the similarity between an open system and closed system of thought?
Both the systems are dogmatic in nature and are attained by divine intervention
They both are favoured by the Eastern Religious thought
They both are a form of mystical insights
They both rely on logic than on emotion to arrive at the truth
Question: Which of the following is implied about Western Religions?
They attack sensory validation and reason
According to them, the highest level of thought is perceived through mysticism
They have opens system of thought
Both I and II option