Through much of my life, I haven’t given much thought to the word ‘mystic’. I used to relegate it to someone who was ‘over the edge’ in their beliefs and kind of ‘spooky’ in their deportment.
But historically, in religious circles, the title ‘mystic’, is used to describe some of our notable contemplatives. In the last couple of thousand years, these ancient church mystics possessed a relationship, piety, and reality in God that set them apart. Some of the more commonly known mystics includeFrancisof Assisi, Ignatius Loyola, John of the Cross, Brother Lawrence, andJeanne Guyon, just to name a few.
Religious opinion and tradition generally require that to be called a mystic, one must have had a personal transformation… or must have effected transformation in someone else.
But if you think about it, that definition should apply to any seriously devout God-person. In Christian…
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I took the offer to Reblog this to mysticexperiences.net despite its assumption that mysticism is an offspring of religions in general and Christianity in particular. It isn’t.
Mysticism is a human word that refers to individual human engagement with an all encompassing Reality that existed before humans.
The reason mystics appear to be associated with religions is because they had no choice. In the old days they were crucified, beheaded, burnt, incarcerated, banished, tortured and had their works destroyed etc., etc. because mysticism opposes being organised. Reality is in charge. Priests and their rituals only know of human morality and ethics at best.
It’s ironic that this essay should even mention some of the mystics who were victims of the religions of their time.
Mysticism is a personal, individual experience. It cannot be evangelised or prosyletised or used as a collective ideology as this essay suggests.
Still, the essay is worth republishing here if only as a heads up indication of what still besets the evolutionary mystical progress of the human race.
Best wishes, Keith.
At the very least it would be arrogant to assume that the experience of oneness with reality or the divine is restricted to Christians. However and wherever such experiences occcur, they ocvur to people. Not to believers in a particular dogma or faith. The author ought to read the intensely beautiful poetry of the Sufis. Or the glorious literature of Buddhism or Hinduism. Christianity and indeed these other doctrines all point at the same experience of the same ineffable.