“Mysticism”

Mysticism can be defined as the pursuit of communion with (or conscious awareness of) an ultimate reality, divinity, spiritual truth or God through direct experience, intuition or insight, or any practice intended to nurture such an experience or awareness. It usually refers to beliefs and practices which go beyond the liturgical and devotional forms of worship of mainstream faith, often by seeking out inner or esoteric meanings of conventional religious doctrine.

The term “mysticism” originally comes from the classical Greco-Roman mystery cults, in which the “hoi mystikoi” were those who had been initiated into the secret rites and rituals (“ta mystika”). The ancient philosophical traditions of Pythagoras, Plato, and the Neo-Platonists can all be considered mystical in nature, as were Gnosticism and early Christianity and later occult traditions such as Alchemy, Hermeticism, and Rosicrucianism.

Because of its implicit belief in the existence of realities beyond perceptual or intellectual apprehension, which…

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