Spirituality

Drifting Into Mysticism

A recent comment on one of my posts caused me to review my blog and to question what I am trying to say in writing it. Honestly, I didn’t really think that I had a purpose other than to express my thoughts on my changing spiritual perspective and to account for my changed views on Christianity, without overtly stating that I think Christianity has many false doctrines far removed from the original movement in Galilee. (Oops, there I have finally outright said it! So, I will let it ride). To be clear, I don’t think the whole of Christianity is evil, or false, just that it inadequately represents what the teachings of the Christ were meant to convey. I believe that the original ministry of Jesus was more in line with eastern philosophies than Christians are led to believe through their “Romanized” doctrines, and the truer message of Jesus, his references to the mysteries, needs to be sifted out from the political influences that structured what came to be known as western religion.

supernovaMany years ago when my agnostic tendencies started appearing one of the things that I realized was that Buddhists seemed to more follow and practice the teachings of Christ than Christians did. After reading the gnostic texts I began to see the unity in the bible with other spiritual teachings and that it was mostly interpretation that separated eastern and western philosophies, and that western interpretation seemed more created or “forced to fit” than did an eastern basis of interpreting the writings. I think the teachings of “the way” in Taoism, “enlightenment” in Buddhism and “kingdom of God” in Christianity are interesting similar. The tenet to “love thy neighbor” is not exclusive to Christianity and is present in most religions. I came to realize that spirituality has a unified oneness that Christianity in its western interpretation teaches people to overlook and cast aside.

Spiritually I am drifting toward mysticism. Hopefully that word doesn’t bring to mind crystal balls and tarot cards, etc., because that is not what I mean. Mysticism is defined as the search to identify with an ultimate reality or spiritual truth through conscious awareness, intuition, instinct and insight. I have been in that place for a very long time while stubbornly abiding the skeptical part of myself. I am continuously revisiting the religion of my upbringing, the religion most of my family still subscribes to, trying to understand the concealed mystery in the bible and how it relates back to the only commandment given by Jesus…to love others as you love yourself and as I have loved you.

I’ve written elsewhere that I consider that all souls travel a path back to the source, and that the spiritual journey contains many stations of knowledge. That is what religion represents to me, just a station of knowledge along the way. Mysticism in my understanding is recognizing that the path is long, twisting and unending in this physical lifetime. It is continuing to quest, to knock upon the unopened door and listen to the inner spirit guiding me along, until I take my last breath and know the truth of this existence and hopefully experience what can be understood as, “well done good and faithful servant, you have been faithful in a few things, enter into the joy of the Lord.”

Sidenote: As an example of changing perspective, my understanding of the word, “servant” in the verse above has changed. As a Christian I understood that word to describe someone trying to live a sinless life adhering to doctrine in an attempt to serve God. Now I understand the word “servant” to represent “one who has served”, the willingness to be of service to others (works, grace), to meet a need when it is known, obedient to the universal tenet to “love one another”.

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8 thoughts on “Drifting Into Mysticism

  1. Having taken the path less traveled, I believe that you may be now ready to join what I affectionately call the Family of Man. It’s a rather small family, but growing.

  2. I don’t really get how someone could ‘drift’ into mysticism.

    Either you have mystical experiences or you don’t.

    I guess you could start by rejecting them, labelling them as delusional or diabolic, then ‘drift’ into acceptance, but from your writing that doesn’t seem to be your situation.

    Do you mean that your mystical experiences inspired you to ‘drift’ away from conventional bible thumping?

    Please don’t imagine for an instant I’m trying to invalidate your beliefs or experiences.
    My own mystical journey, so far, has been from atheist to skeptical agnostic.
    I wasn’t even looking for a spiritual path, so I guess you could say I was dragged rather than drifted ;).

    • Your perception is good. When I say that I am drifting into mysticism I should more accurately say that I am increasingly willing to publically proclaim my acceptance of mysticism and a take a stronger stance in denying my religious indoctrination.
      I never was a bible thumper, per se, because from the time I could reason I questioned why the pieces didn’t fit together. So much did not make sense. In some fashion I have always questioned Christian doctrine.

      The mystical experiences that I have had are the foremost reason why, even in my most agnostic stages, that I remained a believer. As much as I would like to have assigned them to a natural explanation, they are what they are, without one. But I am the only one who can possibly know what that means as attempting to explain them to anyone else would result in immediate skepticism in some way.

      I can identify with your sense of being dragged into a mystical journey because sometimes I feel like I am being pushed. 🙂

      • But I am the only one who can possibly know what that means as attempting to explain them to anyone else would result in immediate skepticism in some way.

        Sure identify with that.

        I learned pretty early that trying to describe my mystical experiences to others made me seem like an idiot or a lunatic (not helped by the fact that I am a lunatic).

        Last October I received some unprecedented healing during two mystical experiences and since then I’ve been bursting to communicate them again. If they can do for just one other person what they did for me it would be worth a lot of effort and making myself seem foolish.

        No luck so far though.
        A bodhisattva I ain’t.

  3. Alright my Christian Agnostic Pantheist Ietsist.
    (I jest of course, labels can indeed be frustrating)

    It’s interesting you talk about “Romanized” Christianity, as that’s something I always took for granted. I grew up in a conservative Christian background, so without those Pauline letters, Christianity and the Bible seemed pretty darn rough and tough to me. In fact, I was so staunchly “pro-Grace” that hearing this way of thinking is novel to me. So what the heck does Christianity end up looking like to you uninterpreted from that reference? How much of what other texts are you drawing to get to that (for instance, does that view uphold just within the Bible itself, or does it take a hefty does of the Gnostic texts)? And how is this legitimized?

    I still find it hard sticking Christianity in peaceably with the other religions mentioned, but maybe if I figure out what its original self was looking like to you, it’ll make more sense to me. Not meaning to grill you, but it looks like you have a unique viewpoint here, and I tend be hungry for those.

    • Whew! That could be a long, long answer. So, let me summarize:
      Jesus is not God. There is no such thing as sin, except to not show grace and favor to others. There was never an original sin that required blood sacrifices and penal salvation. The fall of man/angels was not because of sin. Free will is not the choice of whether or not to “serve” God but is the experience of material reality. God does not expect anything or demand salvation but rather provides means for the soul to awaken back into spirit. Jesus did not die “for” sins, but because of them. Salvation is realized when man understands who he truly is and how far “off the mark” he has drifted with the corporeal knowledge that he has been given. The spirit within man inherently seeks or longs to be reunited with the Source. Jesus tried to teach the way. Grace is the fruit of the awakened spirit, works evidence the Grace or rebirth into spirit.
      The bible is just one written record of man’s spiritual journey and without the rest of the written texts presents an incomplete picture. It was selectively compiled to support a specific doctrine leaving out much of the whole record of the early Christian movement. The gnostic texts add to the overall picture, as do other written texts, and together create a better understanding of the nature of spirituality and soul journey.

      • I guess just sticking primarily to the words of Jesus with some gnostic leanings I could see this. How does it “stick” for you though as truth? What I mean is we have quite a few competing spiritual ideas out there that are mutually exclusive without some significant filtering. You can do that filtering, but then you run the risk that you are only picking and choosing by preference rather than reality (which I recognize we all do “pick and choose” but Id claim some necessary foundations or limitations). It then seems that truth is not at all evident as well (as much religion is a glimpse at best, bastardization seeming more likely of it).

  4. @Page 28. Not just the gnostic texts but many other texts as well that have been excluded from the Christian theology.
    As for “pick and choose”, and what makes truth stick for me, I don’t believe that a universal divine truth exists and that it is all a matter of subjective personal truth. But my answer became long and rambling so I thought I would tweak it and make it into a post rather than a wordy comment.

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