They don’t! Mystics with very developed experiences of mysticism regard music, love, beauty. art and emotion as human experiences, distractions that die with humans.
In mystics they evaporate as the mystic evolves.
For this reason you often hear the description of Seekers and Mystics as people who are, “in the world but not of it.”
Human love for instance is made up of lust, anger, greed, perennially actual or mythomanic attachments, and of course ego, the last to go …
But the love experienced in MER, (Mystical Experience of Reality), is primarily complete oneness of existence in all things as all things are one in you.
The result is a powerful joy beyond anything as singular as mere human love. Human love is motivated essentially by selfishness, ego, self satisfaction.
Music appeals to ordinary humans on different levels. Mainly emotional, on escapism as exemplified in pop music for instance, particularly in rock and roll, or classical music like Bach that stirs more biologically refined, deep, personal, existential, visceral feelings.
Art rearranges the make up of our currrent human perception, our chemistry and physics too, but is just self pleasure.
Art takes us nowhere spiritually. It’s not permanent because as its name implies, it’s not real, it’s just artifice, artificial, a copy, idea or indulgence expressed in human opinion.
Beauty can be described as the same non lasting self serving state too. Beauty is another visceral womb that can become equally distractive in the call of Reality to Seekers.
Emotion can become a human addiction too. It can overcome the fundamental evolutionary human need for logic, reason and pragmatism, with much else needed to preserve balance in personal and community life.
All these attributes are merely human cauldrons of impermanent, boiling ingredients of development at a very basic level.
You can see why some spiritual paths warn their pupils of these wasteful, distractive powers and suggest going into the Silence as a means of defeating them.
It’s interesting to note that the wisdom schools (and replicas of them like the original, pure Quakerism, Taoism, Buddhism, for examples), don’t or didn’t go in for any of the above clutter in their practices.
For all these reasons it can be seen why monks and wisdom schools separated 80 per cent of the population from themselves, why they only invited truly called Seekers and Mystics into their sanctuaries.
The sanctuaries that didn’t use this discipline are either a spiritual irrelevancy nowadays, or extinct.
This doesn’t seem to be a problem though. My experiences reveal the call to Reality is only for individuals who are, in ways yet unknown to us, called to a permanent Reality even in these early, primitive days of human evolution.
All Is Well. Reality is in charge.
I have to confess that my most profound experiences are inevitably inspired by beauty, whether that beauty is encapsulated by art, music or nature. My own belief is that art and music are yearnings for the beyond, for a better place, a better existence free from the harshness of what the world has served up. Perhaps such a better plane exists, perhaps not. Whether such transcendent moments of the mind represent a genuine view of the beyond , a genuine experience of some other form of reality is another matter.
Beauty, for me at least, is a portal to elsewhere.
“Perhaps such a better plane exists, perhaps not. Whether such transcendent moments of the mind represent a genuine view of the beyond , a genuine experience of some other form of reality is another matter.
“Beauty, for me at least, is a portal to elsewhere.”
No doubt your human attachments are genuinely experienced ‘portals’ into different levels of being human, Anthony. Hoever, mystic experience suggests that’s all they are. There are obviously more important things afoot in Creation than being merely human, as the certainty of death attests, as one instance …
All good wishes,
And yet Keith, look at the beauty seen by many mystics:
” “Then I saw a most splendid light, and in the light, the whole of which burnt in a most beautiful, shining fire, was the fire of a man of the sapphire colour, and that most splendid light poured over the whole of that shining fire, and the shining fire over all that splendid light, and that most splendid light and shining fire over the whole figure of the man, appearing one light in one virtue and power. ” Hildegard of Bingen
Emotional mind stuff? Where’s the spirituality, reality, or Reality?
Perhaps the old dear just had a crush on some local and wrote out of unrequited love. We shall rename her: Hildegard of Birmingham. She would be hard pushed to find any beauty there :)!
Or perhaps Rumi: ““Beauty surrounds us, but usually we need to be walking in a garden to know it.””. I think that beauty, whether evidenced by nature, the soul and it relationship with the divine or by art and music (inspired, at its best, by the divine) has formed an important part in the life of some mystics. Poetry can radiate beauty, particularly that of the Sufis, and for some at least, seems to form an intricate and important part of their mysticism. Just my interpretation perhaps but I for one would not wish to under emphasize the importance of beauty in coming to see the divine.
Intense and overwhelming beauty is what I have always seen and felt in mysticism. From the glory of plainsong or polyphony, to the geometric patters in a cathedral or monastic garden. From the exquisite words of some passages of the Bible to the feeling that perhaps one has actually felt the presence of something far, far greater. Hence the feelings and thoughts brought out in that clumsy little story of mine about the Mage and the songs and ecstasy found by Eustace in the woodland setting.
Is Reality using personal forms of Seekers’ consciousness such as beauty, poetry and music to imbue that Seeker with some level of the mystical experience of Reality, (MER)?
I write poetry, play the “Irish” flute, have painted, and even sold my sculptings, but they never made any discernible contribution to my MERs.
Best wishes, Keith.