Elements of Mysticism

Part 7 of 9 in the series Types of Bliss

What are the qualities or elements of the binding common spirituality of all humanity? Those elements define the mystic.

These are outlined below, and you can choose in the IQS which ones you feel resonate or seem to work for you.

(Preparation: If you have not done so please read the glossary term for mysticism,  as this page is relies on the term.

Note: Mystic in LISN is not to be confused with the modern use of it as a magical character, as in computer games etc)

The Intent of Love

Spirituality has a direct link to Love, the force behind the Golden Rule.

Love’s intent may seem a mystery, why should humans desire to love an ‘other’, a non-connected victim or even an enemy? However most spiritual history shows this common energy is what we all desire, because on any given day I may be that victim or that enemy.

So the first characteristic of spiritual connection (mysticism) is the intent of love, the guiding principle behind all spiritual and religious intent. Many religions either see Love/Kindness is the base belief, or is the key attribute of all divine or god-like character. It is on the foundation of this intent that the following qualities are developed.

Morality

All spirituality recognized that the way we intend to act (morality) is essential to HOW we act (ethics).

Spirituality’ that is not authentic or consistent within the behavior of both morals and ethics – in other words people who don’t walk their talk, (hypocrites) – is the cause of most antagonism towards the true spiritual journey.

The values/virtues of compassion, love, mercy, kindness etc, applied to both the self, and then to all others, is the keystone of spirituality. Anyone who consistently lies, cheats, or acts in any way to treat others without love is not being true to their humanity, to their mystic selves. Spiritual health is therefore holistic and authentic. Societal expectations can influence the behavior, for example in Japan the incidence of anti-social acts like stealing is low due to well-taught and accepted moral principles. Indian social norms emphasize more respect and care for parents than in the west.

Moral principles are also encouraged by religious laws/expectations. For example the Abrahamic religions 10 commandments, or the Five Precepts in Buddhism.

However morality is essentially non-legal, as it must define what the intent is, and that cannot be enforced, only encouraged. Hence morality should be the carrot towards achieving personal objectives of bliss and connection, rather than the stick of power and control.

Respect for All Life

The authentic mystic inside each one of us calls us to respect our self, our worth, and therefore the inherent worth of every life. This is not just lip service. It is the throwing away of views of anything being unworthy, of any judgement regarding superiority or control.

The sense of solidarity with all life is a mystical view of consciousness. It is a sense of seeing any life with compassion, from an ant to an elephant to an enemy soldier. This makes sense if we consciously see ourselves as interdependent on all events, as Chaos Theory suggests “The flapping wings of a butterfly in South America has an influence on an emerging cocoon in Europe”. Quantum Physics also illustrates a similar theme, as renowned scientist Fritjof Capra states “the universe is a complicated web of interdependent relationships.”

One key indicator of respect for life is non-violence. Non-violence is consistent with both the intent of love and respect for life. As growth in spiritual wisdom occurs, there is more sensitivity towards the rights of others, including other species. Is non-violence sustainable? Yes, we can look to two examples for this. Jainism adopted non-harming or ahimsa as a philosophy over 2500 years ago and have never fought a war. The Quakers, Christians, have a sustained and consistent stance against non-violence for over 400 years, and were instrumental in the anti-slavery movement and conscientious objection in WW1 and WW2.

Such respect for life involves wisdom, sensitivity, acceptance of others as they are and a deep humility.

Humility

Humility is putting into perspective the role and value of one’s own life, the ability to laugh at one’s own faults, limitations and foibles.

Thomas Keating says “The greatest accomplishment in life is to be who you are, and that means to be who God wanted you to be when he created you.” That may be constrained compared to your own views or comparisons, just look at the example of Helen Keller, blind and deaf from birth.

Humility is closely linked with authenticity and the acknowledgement of fragility. Being humble means we see ourselves for who we really are, and are able to accept and revel in that. That is significantly different to dishonest expectations and comparisons with others.

Humility of the heart is an advanced state of being humble and yet to being able to live in kindness, love compassion and with grace and gratitude.

“The sage has no mind of his or her own. He is aware of the needs of others.”
Tao Te Ching

“To appreciate love of a soul, God does not judge its greatness, but upon the extent of its humility”
St John of the Cross

Research in the west shows that the average person tells a lie thirteen or fourteen times a day. We easily mislead ourselves as well as others. Humility confronts our conscious with the Xconsciousconscience’ or awareness of the lies we tell ourselves.

Spiritual Practice / Consistency

Attending to what is happening in the Xconscious level of our personality is important. If we do not heed the call of, for example, the body’s notification of disease or pain, our health suffers. But we also know that prevention is better than cure.

In order to be aware of what we want, how we intend to live, to relate to others and ourself, we need to pay attention to the spiritual signals also. This means being aware of the intuitive aspects of our personality, and also the areas of our interaction with consciousness that we do not understand. For example, our dreams, our emotions and the communications we may have with other spirits, living or dead.

The light from the sun falls on all without prejudice, but it is indiscriminate.

The direction each of us seeks is presented with the individualized care of a dedicated personal coach!

Our inner personal trainer encourages us through our dreams, emotions and rich, unique, individual awareness.

Don’t complain you don’t have daily guidance –it shines within each open heart.

Philosofree

 

One heartening historical tradition which is embedded in every culture is that of silent listening or ‘inner work’. This is one way that the experience of the ‘other’ can be known. It can be called meditation, yoga, contemplation or ‘sitting quietly listening to nature’, and through these practices the universal intention to love can be heard. This practice opens up space within us, and we can discover who we truly are, by tapping into the energy within. We are used to the noise of the world, but the most important personal messages arrive with no noise at all.

These ‘inner dynamics’ refer to anything that goes on inside you, any energy system that lives and acts from within you. It may be an emotional event, such as a surge of anger. It may be an inner conflict, an inner personality acting within you, a feeling, an attitude, a mood. It is from these inner dynamics that we can learn to understand what is going on inside. St. Francis of Assisi gave us this inspiring poem; “There are beautiful wild forces within us. Let them turn the mills inside and fill sacks that feed even heaven.”

Attending to inner dynamics is inner work.

This work requires as much consistency and attention as the work we do for earning a living. That is why it is called Spiritual Practice or Discipline. It is ignored only to the detriment not only of our own psyche, but also to the detriment of the larger body/cosmos that we are a part of.

How do we do this? There are many books and videos on the subject. Each religion offers many practices and paths. Here is an overview of the common ones that all religions seem to agree upon.

The result of such practices on a regular basis is to construct a channel to Love, enabling our individual selves to become a “channel of your peace” as St Francis said.

Mature Self Awareness

A simple test of this mystic quality is to assess your own level to which you are comfortable and experience the following virtues:

  • Joy and bliss in daily life
  • A sense of humor and willingness to laugh at our selves.
  • Peace. How much of your day is spent in fear or being anxious?
  • Freedom in your sense of self. How much fun and lightness do you feel?
  • Gratitude and thankfulness

If these are high then you are in tune with your mystic self.

Service and Outreach

Selfless service is not attached to what you get back.

Life provides many opportunities to share what you have been given. The easiest of these to share is money. The most challenging is to pay attention to the inner spirit of another, to truly listen to their story, not just to shrug them off, but to hear with the heart what is happening in their life. It is from this empathy that physical sharing becomes a willing action rather than a sense of social responsibility or obligation.

The mystic heart inside sees others as a part of your own world, without judgment. That is what empowers Love towards them, in the same way the divine includes and cares for each of us.

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