Saturday, March 20, 2010

We are all mystics

A mystic is often defined as a person who communes with and experiences the divine personally, immediately and directly.  By that definition, it seems clear to me that we are all mystics.  We all have experiences with a beautiful scene, an important moment, a loved person that shoots a consciousness through us that the world is a big and complex interrelated place.  We don't know just where it came from or how, but it seems to have a rhythm and a meaning that is quite noticeable.  Whether a person expresses this coherence and connectedness by ascribing it to God or to the Good is a matter that tends to involve meanings and doctrines, traditions and loyalties, habits and commitments.  Those elements may differ from place to place and age to age but the feelings of awe, of holiness, of the sacred come to us all, regardless of our period of history, our continent, our age or gender or nationality.

One reason for noting this is that it may alert us to the fact that over the ages, many people have had feelings and experiences that seem directly from God or some similarly important and powerful source.  It is true that tons of humans have had such experiences but been unable or unwilling to speak or write about them.  Unless a mystical experience or idea or feeling occurs to a person who can write or is an artist, it will not be recorded.  So, writings by mystics are from people who are or were literate and are or were willing to make some mention of the experience.  In some times and places, such a mention could be dangerous to a person's earthly health or that of loved ones.  Therefore, the set of records of mystical experiences is limited to only some lucky, brave or driven individuals.  But it might be a good thing to be on the lookout for things referred to as mystical and take a look at some of them from time to time.

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