‘…..do not let the word “mystic” scare you off. It simply means
one who has moved from mere belief systems or belonging systems to actual inner experience.
All spiritual traditions agree that such a movement is possible, desirable, and available to everyone. In fact, Jesus seems to say that this is the whole point! (See, for example, John 10:19-38.)
Some call this movement conversion, some call it enlightenment, some transformation, and some holiness. It is Paul’s “third heaven,” where he “heard things that must not and cannot be put into human language” (2 Corinthians 12:2, 4). Consciously or not, far too much organized religion has a vested interest in keeping you in the first or second heaven, where all can be put into proper language and deemed certain. This keeps you coming back to church, and it keeps us clergy in business.
This is not usually the result of ill will on anybody’s part; it’s just that you can lead people only as far as you yourself have gone. Transformed people transform people. From the way they talk so glibly about what is always Mystery, it’s clear that many clergy have never enjoyed the third heaven themselves, and they cannot teach what they do not know. Theological training without spiritual experience is deadly.
We are ready to see and taste the full sunset now and no longer need to prove it or even describe it. We just enjoy it — and much more!’
The core of all Traditions and the three actions they ask of us are : Awaken more; Detach more; Serve others Better.
This is both mysticism and everyone’s day to day spiritual challenge. – RP
Great site of introductory articles on Western Mystics by Bob O’Hearn –
‘Mysticism is living Love’s oneness’ so says contemporary Sufi teacher Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee.
At first I mis-read the title as ‘Mysticism: Living one’s Oneness’. I am wondering if that also is true?
Another way to put that is to say how far does integration of the individual’s (false) self a prerequisite for purity and lack of self-deception in our preparedness for mystical experience.
Perhaps a useful metaphor here is that of radio interference – from thoughts, feelings or the ‘world’ that keep us suffering negatives from the past – fear, etc – or from the ‘future’ anxiety etc.
I take it that almost everyone is a mystic in the same way that most people can walk, run and throw but not at Olympian levels. But it is part of the soul’s experience, in basic forms, for most people – except sociopathic and psychopathic people or those in whom there is a complete take-over by the egoic self.
I work with a simple definition ‘a mystical event is an experience, via truth, goodness or beauty, that enables us to transcend our little, frightened egoic self’. Such an event has probably happened to you today, or recently, when you were moved by a smile, or something a child said, or a beautiful landscape etc.
A third way of asking the question is ‘is our sensibility to possible mystical events conditional on a substantial degree of transformation of disturbing negatives into a higher degree of integration?
The article by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee is HERE – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/llewellyn-vaughanlee/mysticism-living-loves-oneness_b_1304518.html
John Hick said;
Religion consists primarily in experiencing our life in its relation to the Transcendent and living on the basis of that experience….
…..in terms of Ninian Smart’s six-dimensional analysis – distinguishing the
experiential dimensions of religion
– mysticism is a general name for religious experience together with part at least of the network of religious practices which support it.
Hick, John, (1981) Mystical Experience as Cognition in Understanding Mysticism, ed. Richard Woods, London: The Athlone Press
‘God cannot be apprehended by man’s intellect and that only love can pierce the “cloud of unknowing” which lies between Him and us.’
In the 14th Century an anonymous English mystic wrote a book called ‘The Cloud of Unknowing’, the main theme of which is that God cannot be apprehended by man’s intellect and that only love can pierce the “cloud of unknowing” which lies between Him and us.
I feel that in my own life anything I have done of possible worth has happened in spite of my gross, worldly self. I have been no more than the vessel used to convey ideas above my intellectual capacities. When people praise passages I have written, more often than not I can genuinely say, ‘Did I write that?’ I don’t think this is due to my having a bad memory, because I have almost total recall of trivialities. I see it as evidence of the part the supernatural plays in lives which would otherwise remain earthbound.
Patrick White Australian novelist and winner of the 1973 Nobel Prize for Literature.
“Mysticism is the art of reality” – Evelyn Underhill
For more about Evelyn Underhill go HERE http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evelyn_Underhill