Cambridge dictionary defines Mysticism “The belief that there is hidden meaning in life or that each human being can unite with God”
Britannica says “mysticism, the practice of religious ecstasies (religious experiences during alternate states of consciousness), together with whatever ideologies, ethics, rites, myths, legends, and magic may be related to them.”
Abraham Maslow said mystical experience was a peak experience of a self-actualizing individual or Carl Jung expression was individuation. In today layman terms I would say when a person reaches or touches the authentic true self. These experiences have been a universal phenomenon that has occurred for centuries. The experiences from my perspective embraces consciousness or cosmic consciousness with different levels of realisation or enlightenment pertaining to self.
The religious icons through the ages who were mystics often persecuted for their beliefs. The heresy in the dark ages burnt witches, heretics, and the like for opposing the traditional concept of God and reality. Baruch Spinoza was excommunicated for his perceived ideas at a vey young age. One of the precursors from his experience and from Maslow exploration of experiencing the true self is through knowledge not tainted by prejudice or dogma.
The trepidation of science and sceptics from my insights have replaced many mainstream religious institutions with nonsensical fear of the unknown. From my previous experience of being brainwashed with fear tactics of a religious cult for decades strangled my perception of what the real self is. Materialistic preoccupation in western cultures engulfs a person rich inner world of who they are. Again, by my experience I had no time to read, explore and reflect on the richness of life. Rupert Sheldrake is an eminent scientist who was an atheist for many years but transcended into the reality of a new perception of life.
The mind has limitless potential in cognitive, emotional, and especially spiritual development. The mind can be the master of your destiny by other concepts, or YOU can be the master of YOUR mind by challenging your perception and experiences. The mind loves validation and approval from others to keep it safe. But if you want to explore the colour of the universal platform of delights, you may experience ridicule and animosity from the ignorant. The mystics in the past had to endure much but the prize they received was while on earth living their authentic self, releasing the soul identity for who and what it is.
Abraham Maslow mentions characteristics he researched traits of mystic. The information taken from the book Transcend by Scott Barry Kaufman. I would say the book is a must if you want to go to the next level in your journey of personal development.
1: Complete absorption
2: Richer perception
3: Disorientation in physical time and space
4: Intrinsic reward of the experience
5: Ego transcendence
6: Dichotomy transcendence
7: Momentary loss of fears, anxieties, and inhibitions
8: Greater acceptance and forgiveness of oneself and others
9: Heightened aestheticism, wonders, awe, and surrender
10: Fusion of the person and the world
The experiences of mystics are well documented throughout history with their contribution to the sea of knowledge and understanding. They can be found in many different religious societies shedding light from their enlightening perspective. Here are few examples
Mystics in history
Francis of Assisi = Catholic
Rumi (Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhī) = Muslim
Sri Aurobindo = Hindu
Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha) = Many Zen Buddhist are mystics
William Blake = Protestant
Next post ideas on how to open the doors to becoming a mystic in the modern era.