Humans are only useful to a mystic or seekers because they lay down warning boundaries between human impermanences such as spirituality, (religion, faith, hope and belief), politics, governance, culture, and idealogies versus the realness of the human condition as exemplified in the mystical experience of Reality (MER).
Contemplation of this void between the mystic way and the human way is all mystics and seekers need to exercise their Calling daily.
This contemplation delivers the realisation MERs aren’t experiences, events, as some scientists suggest might be the case – in my case, Reality was me and I was Reality. My MERs were a transposition the uncalled have not yet experienced.
To assuage the hunger and thirst mystics and seekers have to achieve and remain in this state of MER, Sufis and enlightened Yogis warn of being misled, distracted from MER by “mindstuff” – emotions. MER is not an emotion.
For instance, speaking anecdotally, a Jesuit priest spoke approvingly of what he saw as my emotional understanding/feelings for religion. He gave me the impression he thought human emotion was the basic requirement of religion/spirituality.
My uncontrollable trembling and unbidden tears he witnessed were prompted by the sudden unexplainable but undeniable presence of Reality in a quotation from the Bible used in The Spiritual Exercises Of St Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, in which we were engaged. (Ironically, Ignatius suggested the revelation of mystics is, “the better part” of the religious way). What my Course Director priest saw in me was not a full blown MER but probably what some Muslims might recognise as ‘baraka’.
I think it was what the priest asked me to read from Isaiah in private that triggered the episode. It was such an astonishing personal message from a such a faraway stranger. It hit me like the kick of a mule. It almost sent me to my knees. I was rendered bloodless, speechless.
I was overwhelmed with the thought Isaiah, this raggle taggle old man of God out of the dust of history from before even the advent of the biblical Jesus should send his message so unerringy into the etherialness of the millennias to find one the old prophet knew would receive and understand it.
I tremble still at MERs’ far reaching perennial powers. MER is not new, we are.
Suchlike milder ‘events’ than MER come often but not so dramatically. I wouldn’t call that episode an organic abnormality, an emotion, any more than I would call finding myself suddenly thrust out of the comfort and warmth of indoors into a sea of freezing water an “emotional indulgence”.
Love, as another human emotion, an organic reaction, is sometimes an indulgence of lust, anger, greed, attachment and ego, whereas MER is a benign, all engulfing experience from outside any current human experience.
I felt no human or other emotions whatsoever in my main MERs, simply because ‘I’, the human body and mind, wasn’t there to have such feelings.
I did not feel like shouting my MER experiences from the rooftops like a lovelorn teenager, desperate to share such ego massaging. Instead, my human ego’s defences took over when I came back after the MERs. They shut me up, guarded me from non MER human reactions. I kept them to myself, though nowadays it’s safer for mystics to be more forthcoming, I hope.
Nevertheless there have to be boundaries between the enlightened and the as yet unenlightened who will never understand MER until they too have experienced It. The Christian bible’s parable of the pearls illustrates the point somewhat.
So it’s best for a true mystic or seeker to nod benignly in silence whenever they get into proximity with people with a passion for religions, politics, metaphysical studies, science, ideologies, ambitions and suchlike.
My spiritual ‘boundary strategy’ is to practice friendly reclusiveness, keeping my distance by writing instead of speaking about MER. If you’re a mystic or a seeker, try it. Works for me.