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Encyclopedia > Mysticism

Mysticism (from the Greek μυστικός (mystikos) "an initiate" (of the Eleusinian Mysteries, μυστήρια (mysteria) meaning "initiation"[1])) is the pursuit of achieving communion or identity with, or conscious awareness of, ultimate reality, the divine, spiritual truth, or God through direct experience, intuition, or insight. Traditions may include a belief in the literal existence of dimensional realities beyond empirical perception, or a belief that a true human perception of the world transcends logical reasoning or intellectual comprehension. A person delving in these areas may be called a Mystic. The Eleusinian Mysteries were initiation ceremonies held every five years for the cult of Demeter and Persephone based at Eleusis in ancient Greece. ... For other uses, see Initiation (disambiguation). ... Term meaning Mystical Union describing the concept common to all mystical traditions - Kabbalah, Sufism, Vedanta, Esoteric Christianity etc - that of the union of the individual human soul with the Godhead. ... Reality, in everyday usage, means the state of things as they actually exist. ... For other uses, see Divinity (disambiguation) and Divine (disambiguation). ... Spirituality, in a narrow sense, concerns itself with matters of the spirit. ... This article discusses the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ... In philosophy generally, empiricism is a theory of knowledge emphasizing the role of experience in the formation of ideas, while discounting the notion of innate ideas. ... In psychology and the cognitive sciences, perception is the process of acquiring, interpreting, selecting, and organizing sensory information. ...


In many cases, the purpose of mysticism and mystical disciplines such as meditation is to reach a state of return or re-integration to Godhead. A common theme in mysticism is that the mystic and all of reality are One. The purpose of mystical practices is to achieve that oneness in experience, to transcend limited identity and re-identify with the all that is. The state of oneness has many names depending on the mystical system: Illumination, Union (Christianity), Irfan (Islam), Nirvana (Buddhism), Moksha (Jainism), Samadhi (Hinduism), to name a few. In Christianity, the Godhead is a unit consisting of God the Father, Jesus Christ (the Son), and the Holy Spirit. ... Illumination is either Illumination as the practice of living in Love and Light lighting — supplying light to an area Enlightenment (Satori), see also Illuminati the art of decorating letters or pages with ink and embossing techniques. ... Union generally refers to two or more things joined into one, such as an organization of multiple people or organizations, multiple objects combined into one, and so on. ... Christianity percentage by country, purple is highest, orange is lowest Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch... Irfan (Arabic/Persian: عرفان) literally means knowing. ... For people named Islam, see Islam (name). ... ( Sanskrit: ; Pali: निब्बान Nibbāna; Vietnamese: Niết bàn; Chinese: 涅槃; Mandarin Pinyin: nièpán, Cantonese: nihppùhn; Japanese: nehan ); Korean: 열반, yeolbhan; Thai: nibpan นิพพาน); Tibetan mya-ngan-las-das-pa; Mongolian ɣasalang-aca nögcigsen), is a Sanskrit word that literally means to cease blowing (as when a candle flame... This article needs additional references or sources to facilitate its verification. ... Moksha - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... This article is under construction. ... Samadhi (Sanskrit, lit. ... Hinduism (known as in modern Indian languages) is a religious tradition that originated in the Indian subcontinent. ...


The term "mysticism" is often used to refer to beliefs which go beyond the purely exoteric practices of mainstream religions, while still being related to or based in a mainstream religious doctrine. For example, Kabbalah is a significant mystical movement within Judaism, and Sufism is a significant mystical movement within Islam. Gnosticism refers to various mystical sects which arose out of Christianity. Some have argued that Christianity itself was a mystical sect that arose out of Judaism. Non-traditional knowledge and ritual are considered as Esotericism, for example Buddhism's Vajrayana. Vedanta, the Naths (North India), the Natha (South India), Siddhar, Nagas are considered the several mystical branches of Hinduism. Hinduism being an ancient religion and a rather broad 'all-paths' embracing philosophy has many mystical branches. Exoteric knowledge is knowledge that is publicly available, in contrast with esoteric knowledge, which is kept from everyone except the initiated. ... This article is about traditional Jewish Kabbalah. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Sufism is a mystic tradition within Islam and encompasses a diverse range of beliefs and practices dedicated to divine love and the cultivation of the heart. ... For people named Islam, see Islam (name). ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Christianity percentage by country, purple is highest, orange is lowest Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch... Look up Esotericism in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article needs additional references or sources to facilitate its verification. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... This article includes a list of works cited but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Siddha. ... Hinduism (known as in modern Indian languages) is a religious tradition that originated in the Indian subcontinent. ... Hinduism (known as in modern Indian languages) is a religious tradition that originated in the Indian subcontinent. ...


Mystical doctrines may reference religious texts that are non-canonical, as well as more mainstream canon (Christian example of the former, Dark Night of the Soul, and the latter Book of Revelation), and generally require a more committed intellectual, psychological and physical approach from spiritual devotees. Most mystical teachers typically have some history or connection with a mainstream religious branch—controversial or otherwise, but gather followers through reinterpreting sacred texts or developing new spiritual approaches from their own unique experience. Dark Night of the Soul is a term used to describe a specific phase in a persons spiritual life. ... Visions of John of Patmos, as depicted in the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...

Contents

Practice

Mystics hold that there is a deeper, more fundamental state of existence hidden beneath the appearances of day–to–day living (which may become, to the mystic, superficial or epiphenomenal). For the authentic mystic, unity is both the internal and external focus as one seeks the truth about oneself, one's relationship to others and Reality (both the world at large and the unseen realm). The mystic's motivation for such an arduous endeavor appears to be unique to the individual and culture, and sometimes a new religion, order or sect may be the legacy. Generally approached through the purification processes of prayer, meditation, contemplation (communion with Reality) and a wide variety of other means, the mystic seeks to transcend any constraint to his direct experience of the divine.


The processes/experiences undertaken to achieve unity are described variously as the path, theosis, faqr (Sufism), Makhafah/Mahabbah/Ma'rifah (fear/love/knowledge, Sufism/Egypt), fana (Sufism/Arab and Persian), enlightenment, the way, transcendence, the Fourth Way (Gurdieff), salvation through the Christ self, satori (Zen Buddhism), dhyana or bhakti (Hinduism), wu-wei(Taoism), etc. Every culture develops traditions and myths pointing the way to the transcendent heroic Self; the process may be embodied in visual symbolism (Hindu "Shiva"/Christian "Stations of the Cross") or detailed psychologically in powerful stories such as Theseus and Odysseus, etc. Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      In Eastern Orthodox and... Enlightenment (or brightening) broadly means the acquisition of new wisdom or understanding enabling clarity of perception. ... In his early lectures, as documented by P.D. Ouspensky, G.I. Gurdjieff described his approach to self-development as a Fourth Way [1][2], in contrast to teachings that emphasize the development of the body, mind, or the emotions separately, Gurdjieffs exercises worked on all three at the... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Theseus (Greek ) was a legendary king of Athens, son of Aethra, and fathered by Aegeus and Poseidon, with whom Aethra lay in one night. ... Head of Odysseus from a Greek 2nd century BC marble group representing Odysseus blinding Polyphemus, found at the villa of Tiberius at Sperlonga Odysseus or Ulysses (Greek Odysseus; Latin: Ulixes or, less commonly, Ulysses), pronounced , is the main hero in Homers epic poem, the Odyssey, and plays a key...


The divine realm has been expressed in any of various ways across cultures—as God/Allah/Brahma/Creator, baqa' (Sufism), the perfect goodness, ultimate reality, hal (Persian sufism), a universal presence, force or divine principle. The ultimate unification with the divine may be experienced by the mystic as psychological emancipation, samadhi, being born again, wahdat al-wujud(Sufism) or unity consciousness, but in practical terms it can be described as a surrendered egoless state in which the external world synchronizes with the mystic's true nature and purpose. The term, heaven/nirvana, while generally considered an after-death experience in Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism is understood by the mystic as a non-physical realm or "field" with physical effects in the eternal "now." Severe cultural alienation often accompanies this effort as the mystic turns away from the world (fasting/emptying) seeking reunion with the Creator or Godhead within. This article discusses the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ... Allah is the Arabic language word for God. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


Mysticism is usually understood in a religious context, but as William James and Ken Wilber point out, transcendent experiences may happen to anyone, regardless of religious training or inclinations[2] [3]. Such experiences can occur unbidden and without preparation at any time, and might not be understood as religious experiences at all. A momentary unity may be experienced by the artist or athlete as a perceived interconnection with existence or a loss of self accompanied by feelings of euphoria, by the scientist as a spontaneous ecstatic inspiration, by an ordinary individual as a shift in physical reality after experiencing a temporary unconflicted state of mind, by a prophet as an open channel of knowledge or even dismissed as psychological disturbances in modern times. But, the authentic mystic's ultimate goal is a sustained stable state of full consciousness, wholeness/holiness through self-knowledge. First, the observer role (Seer, Watcher) must be stabilized before he/she can return to being, merge with the preexistent field - the Divine, allowing him to fulfill his purpose or realize his passion. With that in mind, the word mysticism, is best used to point to conscious and systematic attempts to gain transcendent insights/experiences through studies and practice. Possible techniques include meditation, contemplation (of causality), prayer, asceticism (fasting from the world), devotions, Dhikr, Sama, the chanting of mantras or holy names, communion with entheogens, and intellectual investigation. Mystics typically go beyond specific religious perspectives or dogmas in their teachings, espousing an inclusive and universal perspective that rises above traditional sectarian differences because they comprehend the shared basis of other religious traditions beneath the superficial . (see interdenominationalism, interfaith, and perennial philosophy). For other people named William James see William James (disambiguation) William James (January 11, 1842 – August 26, 1910) was a pioneering American psychologist and philosopher. ... Ken Wilber Kenneth Earl Wilber Jr. ... Religious is a term with both a technical definition and folk use. ... Seer has several possible meanings: A fortune teller or prophet The fictional character on the television series Charmed The Seasonal energy efficiency ratio standard for air conditioning appliances This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... There are a number of uses for the term Watcher: The Watchers are the fallen angels of the Bible and the Book of Enoch, who fell to earth in the days of Jared in Genesis, instead falling to Hell. ... A large statue in Bangalore depicting Shiva meditating Meditation describes a state of concentrated attention on some object of thought or awareness. ... It has been suggested that this article be split into multiple articles accessible from a disambiguation page. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Catholic devotions are prayer forms which are not part of the official public liturgy of the Church but are part of the popular spiritual practices of Catholics. ... Dhikr , ذکر (Zikr in Urdu and Zekr in Persian) (Arabic pronouncement, invocation or remembrance) is an Islamic practice that focuses on the remembrance of God. ... Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) of the automobile aftermarket was formed in 1963 by Roy Richter, Ed Iskenderian, Willie Garner, Bob Hedman, John Bartlett, Phil Weiand, Jr. ... In Tibet, many Buddhists carve mantras into rocks as a form of devotion. ... Entheogens are psychoactive substances that have traditionally been used in a religious context, such as psilocybin-containing mushrooms and Peyote cactuses. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Ecumenism. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... The Perennial Philosophy (Latin philosophia perennis) is the idea that a universal set of truths common to all people and cultures exists. ...


James points out that a mystical experience displays the world through a different lens than ordinary experience. The experience, in his words, is "ineffable" and "noetic"; placed beyond the descriptive abilities of language. While there is debate over what this implies, and whether the experience actually transcends the phenomenal or material world of ordinary perception, or rather transcends the capacities of ordinary perception to bring the phenomenal and material world into full view, it should be remembered that a complete absence of terminology - related to modern psychology, biology and physics - existed during the evolution of mankind's sacred texts and earliest attempts to communicate the unity experience. Ancient religious and mystical language may become more accessible with modern terminology and understanding in future translations and interpretations. However, mystics generally focus on the experience itself, and rarely concern themselves with ontological discussions assuming that the initiate understands, or will grasp the semantics as they progress. One example of the opposite can be found in Meister Eckhart, the 14th century Christian mystic, who was brought before the Inquisition for heresy because his interpretation of Christ's teachings as psychological metaphors linking mind with the Real were considered dangerous to laymen. A contemporary explanation of mystical phenomenon has been presented by Joseph Chilton Pearce in "The Biology of Transcendence; A Blueprint of the Human Spirit." To say that something is ineffable means that it cannot or should not be spoken. ... In philosophy and religion, the word noetic, from the Greek νοῦς (nous) is usually translated as mind, understanding, intellect, or reason. Most dictionaries define the term noetic as a synonym of mental or intellectual. ... This article is about the philosophical meaning of ontology. ... The Meister Eckhart portal of the Erfurt Church. ... Inquisition (capitalized I) is broadly used, to refer to things related to judgment of heresy by the Roman Catholic Church. ... Joseph Chilton Pearce is the author of The Crack in the Cosmic Egg, Exploring the Crack in the Cosmic Egg, Magical Child, Magical Child Matures, Bond of Power and Evolutions End. ...


The mystical perspective

Process

Author and mystic, Evelyn Underhill outlines the universal mystic way, the actual process by which the mystic arrives at union with the absolute. She identifies five stages of this process. First is the awakening, the stage in which one begins to have some consciousness of absolute or divine reality. The second stage is one of purgation which is characterized by an awareness of one's own imperfections and finiteness. The response in this stage is one of self-discipline and mortification. The third stage, illumination, is one reached by artists and visionaries as well as being the final stage of some mystics. It is marked by a consciousness of a transcendent order and a vision of a new heaven and a new earth. The great mystics go beyond the stage of illumination to a fourth stage which Underhill, borrowing the language of St. John of the Cross, calls the dark night of the soul. This stage, experienced by the few, is one of final and complete purification and is marked by confusion, helplessness, stagnation of the will, and a sense of the withdrawal of God's presence. It is the period of final "unselfing" and the surrender to the hidden purposes of the divine will. The final and last stage is one of union with the object of love, the one Reality, God. Here the self has been permanently established on a transcendental level and liberated for a new purpose. Filled up with the Divine Will, it immerses itself in the temporal order, the world of appearances in order to incarnate the eternal in time, to become the mediator between humanity and eternity.[4] Evelyn Underhill (1875-1941) was an Anglican writer on mysticism, a novelist, and a metaphysical poet. ... Saint John of the Cross (Juan de la Cruz) was a Spanish Carmelite friar, born on June 24, 1542 at Fontiveros, a small village near Avila. ...


Ambiguities of meaning

The mystic interprets the world through a different lens than is present in ordinary experience, which can prove to be a significant obstacle to those who research mystical teachings and paths. Much like poetry, the words of mystics are often idiosyncratic and esoteric, can seem confusing and opaque, simultaneously over-simplified and full of subtle meanings hidden from the unenlightened. To the mystic, however, they are pragmatic statements, without subtext or weight; simple obvious truths of experience. One of the more famous lines from the Tao Te Ching, for instance, reads: The Tao Te Ching (道德經, Pinyin: D Jīng, thus sometimes rendered in recent works as Dao De Jing; archaic pre-Wade-Giles rendering: Tao Teh Ching; roughly translated as The Book of the Way and its Virtue (see dedicated chapter below on translating the title)) is...

My words are very easy to know, and very easy to practice;
but there is no one in the world who is able to know and able to practice them. (Legge, 70)[5]

References to "the world" are common in mystical and religious traditions including admonitions to be separate and the call to detachment which is analogous to emptiness. One key to enigmatic expressions lies in the perspective that "the world" of appearances reflects only learned beliefs - based on the limitations of time, culture and relationships - and that unquestioned faith in those misperceptions limits one's return to the divine state. The cloaking of such insights to the uninitiated is an age-old tradition; the malleableness of reality was thought to pose a significant danger to those harboring impurities.


Readers frequently encounter seemingly open-ended statements among studies of mysticism throughout its history. In his work, Kabbalah, Gershom Scholem, a prominent 20th century scholar of that field, stated: The Kabbalah is not a single system with basic principles which can be explained in a simple and straightforward fashion, but consists rather of a multiplicity of different approaches, widely separated from one another and sometimes completely contradictory[6] Gershom Scholem (born December 5, 1897 in Berlin, died February 21, 1982 in Jerusalem), also known as Gerhard Scholem, was a German-born Jewish philosopher and historian. ...


Strategies

aphorisms, poetry, and etc.
semi-artistic efforts to crystalize some particular description or aspect of the mystical experience in words
  • God is Love (Christian and Sufi in particular), Atman is Brahman (Advaitan), Zen haiku, Rumi's love poems (Sufism). Over time many of these have become trite slogans, losing their core meaning as depictions of practical experience, i.e. "God is Love" - describing the power of creation inherent in pure desire/unconflicted singlemindedness of will.
koans, riddles, and metaphysical contradictions
irresolvable tasks or lines of thought designed to direct one away from intellectualism and effort towards direct experience.
  • The classic "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" (Zen) or "How many angels can stand on the head of a pin?" (Christian). Sometimes these are dismissed as mere incomprehensible silliness (see humor, below); sometimes they are taken (erroneously) as serious questions whose answers would have mystical significance. In either case, the intention is lost; the point being that excessive effort in contemplating the impossible leads the initiate to give up the ego pursuit of doing/getting as opposed to the unity experience of being/having.
  • The evocative Taoist phrase - To yield is to be preserved whole, to be bent is to become straight, to be empty is to be full, to have little is to possess - is another example of a metaphysical contradiction describing the path of emptying of the learned self.
humor and humorous stories
teachings which simultaneously draw one away from serious discussion and highlight metaphysical points
  • Primary examples are the Nasrudin tales, many of which focus on the unreliability of perception, e.g. someone shouts at Nasrudin sitting on a river bank, "How do I get across?" "You are across." he replies; Bektashi jokes (Islam) which serve as a means of opposing the pressures put on society by Orthodox Islam, and the Trickster or Animal Spirit stories passed down in Native American, Australian Aboriginal, and African Tribal folklore. Even the familiar "Br'er Rabbit and the Tar Baby", for example, is fairly acute psychology wrapped in a children's tale. Humor of this sort is often corrupted into mere jokes: some Nasrudin tales have a clear metaphysics built in, while others have devolved into little more than depictions of a crazy, dimwitted old man.
parables and metaphor
stories designed to teach a particular but unconventional metaphysical view of reality indirectly, by using analogy
  • One familiar example - the Garden of Eden story of Adam and Eve being cast out in shame - has lost its metaphorical meaning over time; the psychological/metaphysical consequences of shame when the innocent creative ego (feminine aspect) is tempted to reach for power and subsequently enters the belief in duality (eating of the tree of good and evil) because reason (masculine aspect of mind) has yet to waken. In the story, return to the Garden and Tree of Eternal Aliveness (divine reality) is only possible through purification of mind (the gate is protected by the lone innocent cherubim/Self wielding a flaming sword.) Compare this to the symbols of fire, masculine/feminine unity, time, fearlessness, and ego transcendence found in images of "Shiva the Destroyer" (Hindu) where the transformational process is described by visual metaphors. Christ is well-known for his use of parables, consistently using them to teach compassion and inclusion, while many contain hidden metaphorical content for "those who have ears to hear." In one of the most enigmatic stories from the Gospel of Thomas, he describes the Kingdom of Heaven as like an old woman returning home after a long journey, carrying all she values - a bag full of grain - on her back. A tear allows the grain to escape during the journey and she arrives home to discover it empty. Very Buddhist in tone, each word of the story has significance in describing the return path to the divine through a gradual emptying of earthbound value concepts and subtle internal conflicts. The old woman is a common metaphor related to the mind's creative incapacity when controlled by ego values.

These categories are, of course, intended only as guidelines; many mystical teachings cover the gamut. For instance, Yunus Emre's famous passage: An aphorism is a wise saying that bears repetition. ... Haiku )   is a mode of Japanese poetry, the late 19th century revision by Masaoka Shiki of the older hokku ), the opening verse of a linked verse form, haikai no renga. ... A koan is a story, dialog, question, or statement in the history and lore of Chan (Zen) Buddhism, generally containing aspects that are inaccessible to rational understanding, yet that may be accessible to intuition. ... The question how many angels can dance on the point of a needle? has become proverbial for futile debates. ... Nasreddin (also commonly spelled Nasrudin, Nasredin, Nasruddin, Nasr Eddin, Nastradhin, Nasreddine, Nastratin, Nusrettin) was a lower Muslim cleric who lived among the Middle-eastern people in the Middle Ages. ... Brer Rabbit is a fictional character, the hero of the Uncle Remus stories derived from African American folktales of the Southern United States. ... A parable is a story that is told to illustrate a religious, moral or philosophical idea. ... Look up metaphor in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The Gospel of Thomas is a New Testament-era apocryphon completely preserved in a papyrus Coptic manuscript discovered in 1945 at Nag Hammadi, Egypt. ...

I climbed into the plum tree
and ate the grapes I found there.
The owner of the garden called to me,
"Why are you eating my walnuts?"

is humor, parable, poem, and koan all at once as it describes the human potential for timelessness and moving beyond the vaguries of perception and levels.


The relation of mystical thought to philosophy, psychology, biology and physics

To an extent, mysticism and the modern sciences appear antithetical. Mysticism is generally considered experiential and holistic, and mystical experiences held to be beyond expression; modern philosophy, psychology, biology and physics being overtly analytical, verbal, and reductionist. However, through much of history mystical and philosophical thought were closely entwined. Plato and Pythagoras, and to a lesser extent Socrates, had clear mystical elements in their teachings; many of the great Christian mystics were also prominent philosophers, and certainly Buddha's Sutras and Shankara's 'Crest Jewel of Discrimination' (fundamental texts in Buddhism and Advaitan Hinduism, respectively) display highly analytical treatments of mystical ideas. Baruch de Spinoza, the 17th c. philosopher, while supporting the new discoveries of science and eschewing traditional Jewish concepts of God and miracles, espoused that Nature/Universe was one holistic reality with the highest virtue - the power inherent in preserving essence (being) or "conatus," and the highest form of knowledge - the intuitive knowing of the Real. These shared understandings occur again and again in the field of philosophy and yet some persist in disparaging the one over the other. Reductionism in philosophy describes a number of related, contentious theories that hold, very roughly, that the nature of complex things can always be reduced to (explained by) simpler or more fundamental things. ... PLATO was one of the first generalized Computer assisted instruction systems, originally built by the University of Illinois (U of I) and later taken over by Control Data Corporation (CDC), who provided the machines it ran on. ... Pythagoras of Samos (Greek: ; between 580 and 572 BC–between 500 and 490 BC) was an Ionian (Greek) philosopher[1] and founder of the religious movement called Pythagoreanism. ... This page is about the ancient Greek philosopher. ... Shankara can refer to: Shiva, the Hindu god Adi Shankara, Hindu philosopher of around 800 CE Also written, Sankara This is a disambiguation page: a list of articles associated with the same title. ... Baruch Spinoza Benedictus de Spinoza (November 24, 1632 _ February 21, 1677), named Baruch Spinoza by his synagogue elders and known as Bento de Spinoza or Bento dEspiñoza in the community in which he grew up. ...


The pursuit of knowledge in the realm of physics has been accepted for much of history as inseparable from understanding the mind of God - including the 20th c. comment by Albert Einstein that "God does not play dice," referring to the unfathomable discoveries of quantum physics. The rift between mysticism and the modern sciences derives mainly from elements of scientism in the latter: certain branches of the natural sciences, broadly disavow subjective experience as meaningless, misunderstanding the limitations of the ancient languages. That said, several areas of study in biology (work of Mae Wan Ho and Lynn Margulis are two examples) and philosophy address the same issues that concern the mystic, and modern physicists now struggle to understand a multiple dimensional reality that mystics' have attempted to describe for millennia. Physicist David Bohm speaking of consciousness expressing itself as matter and/or energy would be completely understood by the mystic, whatever his cultural/religious heritage. “Einstein” redirects here. ... Scientism is a term mainly used as a pejorative[1][2][3] to accuse someone of holding that science has primacy over all other interpretations of life such as religious, mythical, spiritual, or humanistic explanations. ... The Michelson–Morley experiment was used to disprove that light propagated through a luminiferous aether. ...


Furthermore, Continental philosophy tends to be concerned with issues closely related to mysticism, such as the subjective experience of existence in Existentialism. It should be noted that while existentialism suggests a nothingness rather than a oneness, the mystic's pursuit of emptiness - despite its fear producing angst - for the sake of union with the Divine, points directly toward a potential unity between physics and psychology that does not at present exist. The mystic's attempt to describe cause and effect between one's internal state and the miraculous, hints at a close connection between psychological stability (ego transcendence) and the mysterious realm of causality quantum physicists are now deciphering - dimensional reality shifts that synchronize with states of consciousness and unconflicted choices. Existentialism is a philosophical movement which claims that individual human beings create the meanings of their own lives. ...


Ontology, epistemology, and phenomenology

While the three philosophical fields - the nature of reality, knowledge and phenomenon - would appear to all relate to aspects of mystical experience, they have not as yet been correlated in a systematic way. Traditional use of the term ontology makes it a synonym of metaphysics. Prior to Immanuel Kant's theoretical separation of "reality" from the "appearance of reality," with human knowledge limited to the latter, the field of ontology/metaphysics concerned itself with the overall structure or nature of reality. Afterword, philosophical and mystical approaches were seemingly separated in a permanent way. 'The general focus on experience in mysticism tends to belie ontological questions; mystical ontology is rarely stated in clear affirmative particulars. Often, it consists of generalized, transcendent identity statements—"Atman is Brahman", "God is Love", "There is only One without a Second" — or other phrases suggestive of immanence. Sometimes it is stated in negative terms, from the Hindu tradition for instance, the word Brahman is usually defined as God 'without' characteristics or attributes. Buddhist teachings explicitly discourage ontological beliefs, Taoist philosophy consistently reminds that ontos is knowable but inexpressible, and certain 'psychological' schools—spiritual schools following after Carl Jung, and philosophical schools derived from Husserl—concern themselves more with the transformation of perceptions within consciousness than the connection between transformed consciousness and the external Real. In philosophy, ontology (from the Greek , genitive : of being (part. ... Plato (Left) and Aristotle (right), by Raphael (Stanza della Segnatura, Rome) Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the ultimate nature of reality, being, and the world. ... “Kant” redirects here. ... This article is about the philosophical meaning of ontology. ... Immanence, derived from the Latin in manere to remain within, refers to philosophical and metaphysical theories of the divine as existing and acting within the mind or the world. ... Carl Jungs partially autobiographical work Memories, Dreams, Reflections, Fontana edition Carl Gustav Jung (IPA: ) (July 26, 1875, Kesswil – June 6, 1961, Küsnacht) was a Swiss psychiatrist, influential thinker, and founder of analytical psychology. ... Edmund Husserl Edmund Gustav Albrecht Husserl (April 8, 1859 - April 26, 1938), philosopher, was born into a Jewish family in Prossnitz, Moravia (Prostejov, Czech Republic), Empire of Austria-Hungary. ...


Mysticism is related to epistemology to the extent that both are concerned with the nature, acquisition and limitations of knowledge. However, where epistemology struggles with foundational issues—how do we know that our knowledge is true or our beliefs justified—mystics often appear more concerned with process as the means to true knowing. However, every mystical path has necessarily as its ontological purpose, the discernment between truth and illusion, and many approaches emphasize the total discarding of beliefs as the prerequisite to knowledge in the phenomenological sense. Foundational questions are generally answered, in mystical thought, by mystical experiences. Their focus, less on finding procedures of reason that will establish clear relations between ontos and episteme, but rather on finding practices that will yield clear perception. The goals therefore are the same, but the mystic's awareness of evolving levels of consciousness encompass another realm altogether. At least one branch of epistemology claims that non-rational procedures (e.g. statements of desire, random selection, or intuitive processes) are in some cases acceptable means of arriving at beliefs, while the mystic's goal is discarding said beliefs as a limit to knowledge.[citation needed] The term "mysticism" is also used in a pejorative sense in epistemology to refer to beliefs that cannot be justified empirically, and thus considered irrational[7]. According to Schopenhauer[8], mystics arrive at a condition in which there is no knowing subject and known object: It has been suggested that Meta-epistemology be merged into this article or section. ... Arthur Schopenhauer Arthur Schopenhauer (February 22, 1788 – September 21, 1860) was a German philosopher born in Gdańsk (Danzig), Poland. ...

... we see all religions at their highest point end in mysticism and mysteries, that is to say, in darkness and veiled obscurity. These really indicate merely a blank spot for knowledge, the point where all knowledge necessarily ceases. Hence for thought this can be expressed only by negations, but for sense-perception it is indicated by symbolical signs, in temples by dim light and silence, in Brahmanism even by the required suspension of all thought and perception for the purpose of entering into the deepest communion with one's own self, by mentally uttering the mysterious Om. In the widest sense, mysticism is every guidance to the immediate awareness of that which is not reached by either perception or conception, or generally by any knowledge. The mystic is opposed to the philosopher by the fact that he begins from within, whereas the philosopher begins from without. The mystic starts from his inner, positive, individual experience, in which he finds himself as the eternal and only being, and so on. But nothing of this is communicable except the assertions that we have to accept on his word; consequently he is unable to convince. Brahmanism, also Brahminism, is the name given to Hinduism by some authors in the 19th century CE.[1] The term is considered derogatory by many Hindus. ... The word Om and similar words have these meanings:- Aum, a sacred bijakshara (syllable) of Hinduism, Jainism and Sikhism; also relevant in Buddhism. ...

Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Representation, Vol. II, Ch. XLVIII< Arthur Schopenhauer Arthur Schopenhauer (February 22, 1788 &#8211; September 21, 1860) was a German philosopher born in Gda&#324;sk (Danzig), Poland. ... Published in 1819, The World as Will and Representation, sometimes translated as The World as Will and Idea (original German title: Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung), is the central work of Arthur Schopenhauer. ...

The emphasis most accolytes place on the "mysteriousness" of the encounter with the divine and otherworldly transcendent goal of unity, leave most scientists and laymen behind for lack of interest in "mumbo-jumbo" - despite the seemingly causal relationship between self knowledge/accurate perception and the subsequent Real effects as described by not only the mystic, but the pychologist and philosopher as well.


Phenomenology is perhaps the closest philosophical perspective to mystical thinking, and shares many of the difficulties in comprehension that plague mysticism itself. Husserl's phenomenology, for instance, insists on the same first-person, experiential stance that mystics try to achieve: his notion of phenomenological epoché, or bracketing, precludes assumptions or questions about the extra-mental existence of perceived phenomena.[1] Heidegger goes a step beyond: rather than merely bracketing phenomena to exclude ontological questions, he asserts that only 'beingness' has ontological reality (similar to Baruch de Spinoza's suppositions) and thus only investigation and experiencing of the self can lead to authentic existence. Christian mystics would assert that "the Kingdom of Heaven is within" references the same approach. Phenomenology and most forms of mysticism part ways, however, in their understanding of the experience. Phenomenology (and in particular existentialist phenomenology) is pre-conditioned by angst (existential dread) which arises from the discovery of the essential emptiness of 'the real' and can go no further; mystics, by contrast take the step beyond to "being" and describe the peace or bliss that derives from their final active connection to 'the Real'. Those who adopt a phenomenological approach to mysticism believe that an argument can be made for concurrent lines of thought throughout mysticism, regardless of interaction[2]. This article is about the philosophical movement. ... Baruch Spinoza Benedictus de Spinoza (November 24, 1632 _ February 21, 1677), named Baruch Spinoza by his synagogue elders and known as Bento de Spinoza or Bento dEspiñoza in the community in which he grew up. ... For other uses, see Angst (disambiguation). ... Use of the word phenomenology in modern science is described in the separate article phenomenology (science). ...


Other perspectives

The philosopher Ken Wilber who has also studied mysticism and mystical philosophies in some depth comments that: Ken Wilber Kenneth Earl Wilber Jr. ...

"There is nothing spooky or occult about this. We have already seen identity shift from matter to body to mind, each of which involved a decentering or dis-identifying with the lesser dimension... consciousness is simply continuing this process and dis-identifying with the mind itself, which is precisely why it can witness the mind, see the mind, experience the mind. The mind is no longer a subject, it is starting to become an object [in the perception of] the observing self. And so the mystical, contemplative and yogic traditions pick up where the mind leaves off... with the observing self as it begins to transcend the mind."
"The contemplative traditions are based upon a series of experiments in awareness: what if you pursue this Witness to its source? What if you inquire within, pushing deeper and deeper into the source of awareness itself? What do you find? As a repeatable, reproducible experiment in awareness? One of the most famous answers to that question. begins, There is a subtle essence that pervades all reality. It is the reality of all that is, and the foundation of all that is. That essence is all. That essence is the real. And thou, thou art that. In other words, the observing self eventually discloses its own source, which is Spirit itself, Emptiness itself... and the stages of transpersonal growth and development are basically the stages of following this observing self to its ultimate abode."
Q: "How do you know these phenomena actually exist?
A: "As the observing self begins to transcend... deeper or higher dimensions of consciousness come into focus. All of the items on that list are objects that can be directly perceived in that worldspace. Those items are as real in [that] worldspace as rocks are in the sensorimotor worldspace and concepts are in the mental worldspace. If cognition awakens or develops to this level, you simply perceive these new objects as simply as you would perceive rocks in the sensory world or images in the mental world. They are simply given to awareness, they simply present themselves, and you don't have to spend a lot of time trying to figure out if they're real or not."
"Of course, if you haven't awakened to [this] cognition, then you will see none of this, just as a rock cannot see mental images. And you will probably have unpleasant things to say about people who do see them"[9].

According to author Joseph Chilton Pearce, author of "The Crack in the Cosmic Egg" and "Evolution's End," we have transcendence itself as our biological imperative: Joseph Chilton Pearce is the author of The Crack in the Cosmic Egg, Exploring the Crack in the Cosmic Egg, Magical Child, Magical Child Matures, Bond of Power and Evolutions End. ...

"...Spiritual transcendence and religion have little in common. In fact, if we look closely, we can see that these two have been the fundamental antagonists in our history, splitting our mind into warring camps. Neither our violence nor our transcendence is a moral or ethical matter of religion, but rather an issue of biology. We actually contain a built-in ability to rise above restriction, incapacity, or limitation and, as a result of this ability, possess a vital adaptive spirit that we have not yet fully accessed."

"Historically our transcendence has been sidetracked ... by our projection of these transcendent potentials rather than our development of them. We project when we intuitively recognize a possibility or tendency within ourselves but perceive this as a manifestation or capacity of some person, force, or being outside of ourselves. We seem invariably to project onto each other our negative tendencies..., while we project our transcendent potentials onto principalities and powers "out there" on cloud nine or onto equally nebulous scientific laws...we wander in a self-made hall of mirrors, overwhelmed by inaccessible reflections of our own mind."

"Culture has been defined by anthropologists as a collection of learned survival strategies passed on to our young through teaching and modeling...as the collected embodiment of our survival ideation, is the mental environment to which we must adapt, the state of mind with which we identify. The nature or character of a culture is colored by the myths and religions that arise within it, and abandoning one myth or religion to embrace another has no effect on culture because it both produces and is produced by these elements...That we are shaped by the culture we create makes it difficult to see that our culture is what must be transcended, which means we must rise above our notions and techniques of survival itself, if we are to survive. Thus the paradox that only as we lose our life do we find it."

"A new breed of biologists and neuroscientists have revealed why we behave in so paradoxical a manner that we continually say one thing, feel something else, and act from an impulse different from either of these...A major clue to our conflict is the discovery ...that we have five different neural structures, or brains, within us. These five...represent the whole evolution of life preceding us; reptilian, old mammalian, and human. Nature never abandons a good idea but instead builds new structures upon it...Thus, while we refer to transcendence in rather mystical, ethereal terms, to the intelligence of life, transcendence may be simply the next intelligent move to make."

"...Neurocardiology, a new field of medical research, has discovered in our heart a major brain center that functions in dynamic with the fourfold brain in our head. Outside our conscious awareness, this heart-head dynamic reflects, determines, and affects the very nature of our resulting awareness even as it is, in turn, profoundly affected."[10] The new field of neurocardiology hypothesizes that the heart is not just a muscle which pumps blood throughout the body but is a sensory organ. ...

Goals sought and reasons for seeking

Theistic, pantheistic, and panentheistic metaphysical systems most often understand mystical experience as individual communion with a God. One can receive these very subjective experiences as visions, miracles, dreams, revelations, or prophecies, for example. Theism is the belief in the existence of one or more divinities or deities. ... Pantheism (Greek: πάν ( pan ) = all and θεός ( theos ) = God) literally means God is All and All is God. It is the view that everything is of an all-encompassing immanent abstract God; or that the universe, or nature, and God are equivalent. ... Panentheism (from Greek: πάν (‘pan’ ) = all, en = in, and theos = God; all-in-God) is the theological position that God is immanent within the Universe, but also transcends it. ... This article discusses the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ... This is a disambiguation page &#8212; a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ...


Going beyond "natural theology" (theologia naturalis) to direct experience of God is "mystical theology" (theologia mystica) or, as Thomas Aquinas defined it, "experiential knowledge of God" (cognitio dei experimentalis). In Catholicism the mystical experience is not sought for its own sake, and is always informed by revelation (not of necessity visions or supernatural occurrences) and ascetical theology. The effort being analogous to reentering a divine "field" which we misperceive we have been excluded - by sin/shame/remorse. Repentance (awareness of lower-self attachments) and ascetics (giving up the thoughts/behaviors) is the requirement for reestablishing divine communion/unity/grace. Natural theology is the knowledge of God accessible to all rational human beings without recourse to any special or supposedly supernatural revelation. ... Mystical theology is the science which treats of acts and experiences or states of the soul which cannot be produced by human effort or industry even with the ordinary aid of Divine grace. ... Saint Thomas Aquinas (also Thomas of Aquin, or Aquino; c. ... Revelation This article is about prophecy. ... Ascetical theology is the organized study or presentation of spiritual teachings found in Scripture and the Church Fathers that help the faithful to more perfectly follow Christ and attain to Christian perfection. ...


Enlightenment is becoming aware of the nature of the self through observation. By examination of the interior thought system and emotions with detachment, one becomes aware of its processes without being controlled by them, allowing one greater creative capacity and ease of interaction with others and the environment. Enlightenment (or brightening) broadly means the acquisition of new wisdom or understanding enabling clarity of perception. ...

Hence the saying: If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.
Sun Tzu, The art of war [3]

Terms descriptive of a desired "afterlife" include Moksha (liberation or release), Heaven (traditionally understood as a gathering place for goodly spirits, near to God and other holy beings), and Nirvana (literally extinction), but in mystical parlance these reference an experience of reality "different from the present here and now." "Afterlife" is not related to an extension of life after physical death, but sought as a direct experience of the perfect, the divine reality in the present life. The goal is generally established through an "accidental" revelatory or miraculous experience such as a dimensional shift between one structure of reality to another. Once this "potentiality" has been experienced/received/observed, understanding how and why it has occurred becomes the goal of the individual and permanently stabilizing this "direct experience of God" is obsessively pursued . Because terms descriptive of the divine "goal" are defined differently - even by individuals within a given religion - and their usage within mysticism is often no less imprecise, it is extremely difficult for anyone, who has not experienced the simultaneity of the "shift in awareness/reality" to translate mystical language in a useful way. Sun Tzu (&#23403;&#23376; also commonly written in pinyin: S&#363;n Z&#464;) was the author of The Art of War, an influential ancient Chinese book on military strategy (for the most part not dealing directly with tactics). ... The beginning of The Art of War, in a bamboo book from the reign of the Qianlong Emperor. ... Moksha - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article discusses the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ... ( Sanskrit: ; Pali: निब्बान Nibbāna; Vietnamese: Niết bàn; Chinese: 涅槃; Mandarin Pinyin: nièpán, Cantonese: nihppùhn; Japanese: nehan ); Korean: 열반, yeolbhan; Thai: nibpan นิพพาน); Tibetan mya-ngan-las-das-pa; Mongolian ɣasalang-aca nögcigsen), is a Sanskrit word that literally means to cease blowing (as when a candle flame...


Types of experience

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy describes three common classifications of mystical and religious experiences: The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (hereafter SEP) is a free online encyclopedia of philosophy run and maintained by Stanford University. ...

  • Extrovertive – mystical consciousness of the unity of nature overlaid onto one's sense perception of the world.
  • Introvertive – any experience that includes sense-perceptual, somatosensory, or introspective content. An experience of "nothingness" or "emptiness", in some mystical traditions, are examples of introvertive experiences.
  • Theistic – experiences of God.

The somatosensory system is the sensory system of somatic sensation. ... Introspective is the fourth album, the third of entirely new music, by the UK electronic music group Pet Shop Boys. ... For the mathematics of nothing, see zero. ... Theism is the belief in the existence of one or more divinities or deities. ... This article discusses the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ...

External or internal divinity

From the inner light of the Quakers to the Atman of the Hindu, many have found a soul or other essential essence within themselves to be a center of focus. Even the buddhist who seeks Buddhahood through anatta places a great deal of emphasis on their inner world. The concept of the Inner Light is central to many versions of Quaker (or Religious Society of Friends) theology. ... The Religious Society of Friends, commonly known as Quakers, or Friends, is a religious community founded in England in the 17th century. ... The Atman or Atma (IAST: Ātmā, sanskrit: आत्म‍ ) is a philosophical term used within Hinduism and Vedanta to identify the soul. ... A Hindu ( , Devanagari: हिन्दु), as per modern definition, is an adherent of the philosophies and scriptures of Hinduism, and the religious, philosophical and cultural system that originated in the Indian subcontinent. ... The soul, according to many religious and philosophical traditions, is the self-aware essence unique to a particular living being. ... Bodhi (Pali and Sanskrit. ... In Buddhist philosophy, anatta (Pāli) or anātman (Sanskrit) refers to non-self or absence of separate self[1]. One scholar describes it as ...meaning non-selfhood, the absence of limiting self-identity in people and things. ...


In contrast some (particularly some gnostics and dualists) see the learned self (as opposed to essence) as wicked and deserving of punishment or extreme neglect through asceticism, with positive values placed only upon the transcendent true self. Gnosticism is a blanket term for various religions and sects most prominent in the first few centuries A.D. General characteristics The word gnosticism comes from the Greek word for knowledge, gnosis (&#947;&#957;&#8182;&#963;&#953;&#962;), referring to the idea that there is special, hidden mysticism (esoteric knowledge... In philosophy of mind, dualism is a set of beliefs which begins with the claim that the mental and the physical have a fundamentally different nature. ... In philosophy, transcendental/transcendence, has three different but related primary meanings, all of them derived from the words literal meaning (from Latin), of climbing or going beyond: one that originated in Ancient philosophy, one in Medieval philosophy and one in modern philosophy. ...


Mysticism and the soul

Abrahamic religions conceive of a soul that lies within each individual, which is of great spiritual significance. However, Judaism, placing more focus on this world than others, has resulted in multiple views... that man is a partner in God, all the way to the mystical esoteric knowledge of numerology and the Kabbalah. map showing the prevalence of Abrahamic (purple) and Dharmic (yellow) religions in each country. ... The soul, according to many religious and philosophical traditions, is the self-aware essence unique to a particular living being. ... Numerology is any of many systems, traditions or beliefs in a mystical or esoteric relationship between numbers and physical objects or living things. ... This article is about traditional Jewish Kabbalah. ...


Christian mysticism has diverse takes on the relationship between God and the soul with purification and reunion the goal and the soul synonymous with the Christ Self or one's true God-given nature. In Catholicism, saints and other beatific individuals are sometimes said to have received the Holy Spirit--Who grants them miraculous, prophetic, or other transcendent abilities—and this belief is taken up in certain charismatic and evangelical faiths that seek out testaments to divine revelation through spontaneous speaking in tongues, faith healing, the casting out of demons, etc. However, the practice is generally unrelated to a disciplined mystical approach. Christianity percentage by country, purple is highest, orange is lowest Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch...


In the Quaker view, the soul is inner light, an inherent presence of God within the individual. Other Christian traditions, such as Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, hold a more distinct division between the individual soul and God, given the traditional belief that the salvation of the soul and union with God will occur only at the resurrection after physical death, but these faiths generally hold that righteousness is possible and necessary during life. Christian mystics seek this unity state of the soul while in the body, variously, through intense prayer, ascetism (purification), contemplation and meditation, to achieve resurrection of the Christ Self/nature in this life. The Religious Society of Friends, commonly known as Quakers, or Friends, is a religious community founded in England in the 17th century. ... The concept of the Inner Light is central to many versions of Quaker (or Religious Society of Friends) theology. ... Righteousness is an important concept in the theology of Judaism and Christianity. ...


The Jainist view of soul is perceivable non-matter which has the ability to connect to infinite knowledge but cannot receive that knowledge without removal of the blanket of karma, but as self knowledge is gained, the hold of karma is loosened, everything can be seen clearly and nirvana(salvation) is achieved. The pure soul - divine unity - is accomplished when all the power of karma is destroyed. The hand with a wheel on the palm symbolizes the Jain Vow of Ahinsa, meaning non-injury and nonviolence. ... The soul, according to many religious and philosophical traditions, is the self-aware essence unique to a particular living being. ... For other uses, see Karma (disambiguation). ... ( Sanskrit: ; Pali: निब्बान Nibbāna; Vietnamese: Niết bàn; Chinese: 涅槃; Mandarin Pinyin: nièpán, Cantonese: nihppùhn; Japanese: nehan ); Korean: 열반, yeolbhan; Thai: nibpan นิพพาน); Tibetan mya-ngan-las-das-pa; Mongolian ɣasalang-aca nögcigsen), is a Sanskrit word that literally means to cease blowing (as when a candle flame...


Islam shares this conception of a distinct soul, but with less focus on miraculous powers; the Muslim world emphasizes remembrance (dhikr, zikr): the recalling of one's original and innate connection to Allah's grace. In traditional Islam this connection is maintained by angels, who carry out God's will—returning the soul to one's authentic origin - though only prophets have the ability to see and hear them directly. In Islam the mystical path is incorporated within Sufi and the Self/Soul is embattled (jihad) with the infidel/ego. Sufism holds that God can be experienced directly as a universal love that pervades the universe. Remembrance, for Sufis, explicitly means remembrance of the soul's love/purpose or returning to one's original divine state, and Sufis are particularly noted for the artistic turn their forms of worship often take. Dhikr , ذکر (Zikr in Urdu and Zekr in Persian) (Arabic pronouncement, invocation or remembrance) is an Islamic practice that focuses on the remembrance of God. ... For people named Islam, see Islam (name). ... Sufism (Arabic &#1578;&#1589;&#1608;&#1601; tas&#803;awwuf) is a system of esoteric philosophy commonly associated with Islam. ... Sufism is a mystic tradition within Islam and encompasses a diverse range of beliefs and practices dedicated to divine love and the cultivation of the heart. ...


Eastern philosophies, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism are concerned with the individual soul's dissolution of ego (moksha) into transcendent reality (generally Brahmanor Ishvara). In the mystical aspects of the Vedic tradition Atman (something not entirely different from the western conception of the soul) is believed to be identical with Brahman. Hindu mystical practices aim for God-consciousness and loss of lower self. This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Moksha - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... Brahman (nominative ) is the concept of the supreme spirit found in Hinduism. ... Ishvara (ईश्वर in devanagari script, pronunciation ī:shvərə), also variously transliterated (romanized) as Īshvara, Īshwara, Īshwar, Īśvara, etc. ... The Atman or Atma (IAST: Ātmā, sanskrit: आत्म‍ ) is a philosophical term used within Hinduism and Vedanta to identify the soul. ... Brahman (nominative ) is the concept of the supreme spirit found in Hinduism. ...


Buddhist teaching holds that all suffering (dukkha) in the world comes from attachment to objects or ideas (idols), and that freedom from suffering comes by freeing one's self from these inhibiting attachments. The doctrine of anatta suggests that the soul, or the perception of an unchanging and cohesive self, is a mental construct to which one may be attached, and thus a source of suffering. While conventional Buddhist religion has an assortment of deities and venerated beings, the mystical sects of Buddhism at minimum avoid affirming, and in some cases overtly deny the existence of a permanent or unchanging soul, or of any permanent or unchanging being to the universe. Dukkha (Pāli दुक्ख ; according to grammatical tradition from Sanskrit uneasy, but according to Monier-Williams more likely a Prakritized form of unsteady, disquieted) is a central concept in Buddhism, the word roughly corresponding to a number of terms in English including sorrow, suffering, affliction, pain, anxiety, dissatisfaction, discomfort, anguish, stress... In Buddhist philosophy, anatta (Pāli) or anātman (Sanskrit) refers to non-self or absence of separate self[1]. One scholar describes it as ...meaning non-selfhood, the absence of limiting self-identity in people and things. ...


Taoism is largely unconcerned with the soul. Instead, Taoism centers around the tao ('the way' or 'the path'). The human tendency, according to Taoism, is to conceive of dualisms; the Taoist mystical practice is to recapture and conform with that original unity (called te, de, which is translated as virtue). This article is about the Chinese character and the philosophy it represents. ... The Tao Te Ching (&#36947;&#24503;&#32147;, Pinyin: D J&#299;ng, thus sometimes rendered in recent works as Dao De Jing; archaic pre-Wade-Giles rendering: Tao Teh Ching; roughly translated as The Book of the Way and its Virtue (see dedicated chapter below on translating the title)) is... Personification of virtue (Greek ἀρετή) in Celsus Library in Ephesos, Turkey Virtue (Latin virtus; Greek ) is moral excellence of a person. ...


Regardless of particular conceptions of the soul, a common thread of mysticism is the experience of a collective peace, joy, compassion or love.


Differences of terms and interpretation

Pantheism, acosmism, dualism, non-dualism, syncretism

Pantheism means "God is The All" and "All is God". It is the idea that natural law, existence, and/or the universe (the sum total of all that is, was, and shall be) is represented or personified in the theological principle of 'God'. This article discusses the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ... ALL is a three-letter acronym that can denote: Albanian Lek (currency) Acute lymphocytic leukemia, a leukemia affecting mostly children. ... Natural law or the law of nature (Latin lex naturalis) is a law whose content is set by nature, and that therefore has validity everywhere. ... There is no universally accepted theory of what the word existence means. ... The Universe is defined as the summation of all particles and energy that exist and the space-time in which all events occur. ... The Absolute Infinite is Georg Cantors concept of an infinity that transcended the transfinite numbers. ... Theology finds its scholars pursuing the understanding of and providing reasoned discourse of religion, spirituality and God or the gods. ...


In contrast Acosmism denies the reality of the universe, seeing it as ultimately illusory (maya), with only the infinite unmanifest Absolute as real. Acosmism, in contrast to pantheism, denies the reality of the universe, seeing it as ultimately illusory, (the prefix a- in Greek meaning negation; like un- in English), and only the infinite unmanifest Absolute as real. ... Reality, in everyday usage, means the state of things as they actually exist. ... The Universe is defined as the summation of all particles and energy that exist and the space-time in which all events occur. ... An illusion is a distortion of a sensory perception, revealing how the brain normally organizes and interprets sensory stimulation. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Maya (illusion). ... Infinity is a word carrying a number of different meanings in mathematics, philosophy, theology and everyday life. ... The unmanifest is the Absolute, the pure and formless ground of being from which creation and manifestation arise. ... Look up absolute in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


There are also dualist conceptions, often with an evil (though existent) material world of the ego competing with a transcendent and perfect spiritual plane aligned with the true self/essence. Gnosticism is a term for various mystical initiatory religions, sects and knowledge schools which were most active in the first few centuries of the Christian/Common Era around the Mediterranean and extending into central Asia. These systems typically recommend the pursuit of special knowledge (gnosis) as the central goal of life. They also commonly depict creation as a dualistic struggle between competing forces of light and dark, and posit a marked division between the material realm, which is typically depicted as under the governance of malign forces, and the higher spiritual realm from which it is divided. As a result of these traits, dualism, anticosmism and body-hatred are sometimes present within Gnosticism. There is, however, variety, subtlety, and complexity in the traditions involved. The term dualism is the state of being dual, or having a twofold division. ... The Spiritual Plane is a term used for the fraction of reality which is not readily visible by means of ordinary perception. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... A sect is generally a small religious or political group that has branched off from a larger established group. ... Dionysius Exiguus invented Anno Domini years to date Easter. ... “Era Vulgaris” redirects here. ... The Mediterranean Sea is an intercontinental sea positioned between Europe to the north, Africa to the south and Asia to the east, covering an approximate area of 2. ... World map showing the location of Asia. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... The term dualism is the state of being dual, or having a twofold division. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Acosmism, in contrast to pantheism, denies the reality of the universe, seeing it as ultimately illusory, (the prefix a- in Greek meaning negation; like un- in English), and only the infinite unmanifest Absolute as real. ...


Mysticism is often found in common with nondual worldviews and many mystics, from whichever religion or tradition they originally came, also describe in many ways a non-dual view of existence. Ramesh Balsekar comments on nonduality and mysticism, that it is in order for phenomenae to occur, that the illusion of personal existence and doer-ship (ego) is present, and explains mysticism and nonduality in fairly accessible (conventional) terms: A nondual philosophical or religious perspective or theory maintains that there is no fundamental distinction between mind and matter. ... He is a disciple of Shri Nisargadatta Maharaj, a renowned Advaita master. ...

"Consciousness-at-rest is not aware of Itself. It becomes aware of Itself only when this sudden feeling, I-am, arises, the impersonal sense of being aware. And that is when Consciousness-at-rest becomes Consciousness-in-movement, Potential energy becomes actual energy. They are not two. Nothing separate comes out of Potential energy... That moment that science calls the Big Bang, the mystic calls the sudden arising of awareness..." [11]

Related to syncretism, mystics of different traditions report similar experiences of a world/reality outside conventional perception, although this does not infer an abandonment of knowledge understood through normal means. Mystics describe the same unity experience across history, culture and religion - despite the extreme individuality of the experience. If the attempt of religion, philosophy and science to describe reality is comparative to the fable of five blind men attempting to define an elephant by describing its parts, the mystic of every religion and culture sees the elephant despite the individuality of approach and differences in culture and language. Elements of mysticism exist at the core of all religions and in many philosophies, including those where the majority of the followers have no awareness of this. Some mystics perceive a common thread of divine influence in all religions and philosophies. The Vedic tradition is inherently mystic; the Christian apocalyptic Book of Revelation is clearly mystical, as with Ezekiel's or Daniel's visions of Judaism, and Muslims believe that the angel Gabriel revealed the Qur'an in a miraculous manner. Indigenous cultures also have cryptic revelations pointing toward a universal flow of love or unity, usually following a vision quest or similar ritual. Mystical philosophies thus can exhibit a strong tendency towards syncretism. Syncretism consists of the attempt to reconcile disparate or contradictory beliefs, often while melding practices of various schools of thought. ... This article discusses the historical religious practices in the Vedic time period; see Dharmic religions for details of contemporary religious practices. ... Christianity percentage by country, purple is highest, orange is lowest Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch... Look up Apocalypse in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Visions of John of Patmos, as depicted in the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry. ... Ezekiel (Hebrew: יחזקאל, ) is a prophet in the Hebrew Bible of the Book of Ezekiel. ... This article is about the Biblical figure called Daniel. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... 12th-century icon of Archangel Gabriel from Novgorod. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... A vision quest is a mystic search for the revelation of the unity of all things in the natural world and for the answer to a question. ... Syncretism consists of the attempt to reconcile disparate or contradictory beliefs, often while melding practices of various schools of thought. ...


Mysticism and traditional religions

Conventional religions, as a rule, are marked by strong institutional structures. A religious faith will generally have most or all of the following:

  • an established hierarchy
  • a definitive creed
  • a set of approved central texts
  • regular public services
  • an accumulation of rites, rituals, and holy days
  • a clearly stated ethical code or set of moral laws

Adherents of the faith are expected to respect or follow each of these closely. Most mystical paths arise in the context of some particular religion but tend to set aside or move beyond these institutional structures, often believing themselves to be following the 'purest' or 'deepest' representations of that faith. Thus, to the extent that a mystical path has a hierarchy, it is generally limited to teacher/student relationships; to the extent that they use a central text or ethical code, they view them as interpretable guidelines rather than established law. Conventional religious perspectives towards mystics varies between and within faiths. Sometimes (as with the Catholic church and Vedantic Hinduism) mystics are incorporated into the church hierarchy, with criteria set up for validation of mystical experiences and veneration of those who achieve that status. In other cases, mystical paths follow a separate but parallel course. Traditionally, Buddhist monks were closely interwoven into the fabric of village life through most of Asia, but had no authoritative position in the community; almost all the traditional Islamic 'orthodox' scholars, however, were Sufis, including Al-Shafi'i, Imam Nawawi, and Al-Ghazali.


Some systems of mysticism are found within specific religious traditions and do not relinquish doctrinal principles as a part of mystical experience. In some definite cases, theology remains a distinct source of insight that guides and informs the mystical experience. Christian Science, based on the mystical experience and writings of founder Mary Baker Eddy is one such example. Some faiths—including most Protestant Christian sects—find mystical practices disreputable; so called mystic "practices" and beliefs generally restricted to specific sects, such as the Society of Friends or certain Charismatic groups, which have implicitly incorporated them. Christian Science is a religious teaching regarding the efficacy of spiritual healing according to the interpretation of the Bible by Mary Baker Eddy, in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (first published in 1875). ... Mary Baker Eddy Mary Baker Eddy (born Mary Morse Baker July 16, 1821 - December 3, 1910) founded the Church of Christ, Scientist in 1879 and was the author of its fundamental doctrinal textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. ... The Religious Society of Friends, commonly known as Quakers, or Friends, is a religious community founded in England in the 17th century. ... The charismatic movement began with the adoption of certain Pentecostal beliefs—specifically what are known as the biblical charisms of Christianity: speaking in tongues, prophesying, etc. ...


The mystic's disregard of religious institutional structures often lends a quasi-revolutionary aspect to mystical teaching, and this occasionally leads to conflict with established religious and political structures, or the creation of splinter groups or new faiths. The relation of mysticism to ethics and morality is more complex than is usually assumed. Mystical experiences do not guarantee that mystics will be compassionate or moral, nor on the other hand is a mystical state incompatible with being morally concerned with others. Rather, a given mystic's ethics will depend on the factual beliefs and values espoused in that mystic's religious tradition..[12]


New religious movements, perennial philosophy and entheogens

Because of the need to interpret metaphorically, it is often difficult to distinguish mystic statements from mere obfuscation, a problem which became particularly acute in the occult movements of the 19th and early 20th centuries and has extended itself into many New Age and New religious movements, some near universally regarded as fraudulent cults. New Age describes a broad movement characterized by alternative approaches to traditional Western culture. ... A new religious movement or NRM is a term used to refer to a religious faith, or an ethical, spiritual or philosophical movement of recent origin that isnt part of an established denomination, church, or religious body. ... This article does not discuss cult in its original sense of religious practice; for that usage see Cult (religious practice). ...


The late 19th century saw a significant increase of interest in mysticism in the West that combined with increased interest in Occultism and Eastern Philosophy. Theosophy became a major movement in the popularization of these interests. Madame Blavatsky functioned as a central figure of the theosophy movement. This trend later became absorbed in the rise of the New Age movement which included a major surge in the popularity of psychological self-awareness groups such as Scientology, EST and many others. At the end of the twentieth century books like A Course in Miracles (purported to be a channeled course of study dictated by Jesus) and Conversations with God (in which the author describes his direct communication with God) became popularized. In late 2006, a new science of spirituality, Psycanics, born out of the experiences of the mystic, Thomas Michael Powell, claim to promote accelerated spiritual growth. Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century &#8212; 19th century &#8212; 20th century &#8212; more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... For other uses of this term, see occult (disambiguation). ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Theosophy, literally god-wisdom (Greek: θεοσοφία theosophia), designates several bodies of ideas. ... Helena Blavatsky Helena Petrovna Hahn (also Hélène) (July 31, 1831 (O.S.) (August 12, 1831 (N.S.)) - May 8, 1891 London, England), better known as Helena Blavatsky or Madame Blavatsky was the founder of Theosophy. ... New Age describes a broad movement characterized by alternative approaches to traditional Western culture. ... Scientology is a system of beliefs and practices created by American pulp fiction[1][2] and science fiction [3] author L. Ron Hubbard in 1952 as a self-help philosophy. ... Large Group Awareness Training or LGAT is a term popularized in the American Psychological Associations 1986 draft DIMPAC report and also by Margaret Singer in her 1996 book Cults in our Midst to describe intense commercial trainings by non-psychologists which from the outside may resemble group therapy. ... Second hardbound edition of A Course in Miracles, as published by Foundation for Inner Peace. ... Conversations with God (sometimes abbreviated as CwG) is a sequence of nine books written by Neale Donald Walsch. ...


The term perennial philosophy, coined by Leibniz and popularized by Aldous Huxley, relates to what some take to be the mystic's primary concern: The Perennial Philosophy (Latin philosophia perennis) is the idea that a universal set of truths common to all people and cultures exists. ... Gottfried Leibniz Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz (July 1, 1646 in Leipzig - November 14, 1716 in Hannover) was a German philosopher, scientist, mathematician, diplomat, librarian, and lawyer of Sorb descent. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ...

[W]ith the one, divine reality substantial to the manifold world of things and lives and minds. But the nature of this one reality is such that it cannot be directly or immediately apprehended except by those who have chosen to fulfill certain conditions, making themselves loving, pure in heart, and poor in spirit.[13]

Some mystics use the term to refer to a manner wherein the mystic strives to plumb the depths of the self and reality in a radical process of meditative self-exploration, with the aim of experiencing the true nature of reality. In philosophy, the self is the idea of a unified being which is the source of an idiosyncratic conciousness. ...


In some cultures and traditions, mind-altering substances—often referred to as entheogens—have been used as a guide; the Uniao do Vegetal being a notable modern example. This entry covers entheogens in the strict sense of the word (i. ... Uniao do Vegetal (O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao do Vegetal church or UDV) is a church which is known fundamentally for its usage of Hoasca (or ayahuasca) as a sacramental hallucinogenic Herbal tea. ...


Mysticism in Rosicrucianism, Masonry and Golden Dawn

"The Temple of the Rose Cross," Teophilus Schweighardt Constantiens, 1618.
"The Temple of the Rose Cross," Teophilus Schweighardt Constantiens, 1618.

The Rosicrucian Order is a legendary and secretive Order publicly documented in the early 17th century. It is associated with the symbol of the Rose Cross, which is also found in certain rituals beyond "Craft" or "Blue Lodge" Freemasonry. The Rosicrucian Order is viewed among earlier and many modern Rosicrucianists as an inner worlds Order, comprised of great "Adepts." When compared to human beings, the consciousness of these Adepts is said to be like that of demi-gods. This "College of Invisibles" is regarded as the source permanently behind the development of the Rosicrucian movement. The Temple of the Rosy Cross, Teophilus Schweighardt Constantiens, 1618 This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... The Temple of the Rosy Cross, Teophilus Schweighardt Constantiens, 1618 This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Daniel Mogling is the alchemist who apparently wrote the work Speculum Sophicum Rhodostauroticum (The Mirror of the Wisdom of the Rosicrucians), in 1617, under the pseudonym of Teophilus Schweighardt Constantiens. See also Alchemy Esotericism Hermeticism Rosicrucian External links The Alchemy website: Speculum sophicum rhodostauroticum University College of London: Rosicrucian text... Events March 8 - Johannes Kepler discovers the third law of planetary motion (he soon rejects the idea after some initial calculations were made but on May 15 confirms the discovery). ... The Temple of the Rosy Cross, Teophilus Schweighardt Constantiens, 1618 The Rosicrucians are a legendary and secretive order dating from the 15th or 17th century, generally associated with the symbol of the Rose Cross, which is also used in certain rituals of the Freemasons. ... In most areas of the world Masons gather together in Masonic Lodges to work the three degrees of Freemasonry: 1° = Entered Apprentice 2° = Fellow Craft 3° = Master Mason Blue Lodge is used to specify the basic Masonic Lodge granting the first three degrees and to differentiate it from other Masonic... The Masonic Square and Compasses. ... In metaphysics and esoteric cosmology, a plane of existence (sometimes called simply a plane, dimension, vibrating plane, or an inner, invisible, spiritual, supraphysical world, or egg) is conceived as a subtle region of space (and/or consciousness) beyond, but permeating, the known physical universe (or a portion of the physical... The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception or Mystic Christianity is a Rosicrucian text, written by Max Heindel (ISBN 0-911274-34-0) // Western Wisdom Teachings The first edition was printed in November 1909, it has little changed since then and it is considered to be Max Heindels magnum opus. ...


Freemasonry is a worldwide fraternal organization. Members are joined together by shared ideals of both a moral and metaphysical nature and, in most of its branches, by a constitutional declaration of belief in a Supreme Being. Freemasonry is an esoteric society, in that certain aspects of its internal work are not generally disclosed to the public,[14] but it is not an occult system. The private aspects of modern Freemasonry deal with elements of ritual and the modes of recognition amongst members within the ritual.[15][16] The Masonic Square and Compasses. ... A fraternal organization, sometimes also known as a fraternity, is an organization that represents the relationship between its members as akin to brotherhood. ... -1... Plato (Left) and Aristotle (right), by Raphael (Stanza della Segnatura, Rome) Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the ultimate nature of reality, being, and the world. ... The term Supreme Being is often defined simply as God,[1] and it is used with this meaning by theologians of many religious faiths, including, but not limited to, Christianity,[2] Islam,[3] Hinduism,[4] Deism[5] and Scientology. ... Look up Esotericism in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The word occult comes from the Latin occultus (clandestine, hidden, secret), referring to knowledge of the hidden.[1] In the medical sense it is used commonly to refer to a structure or process that is hidden, e. ... As Thought Process During the process of thinking, recognition occurs when some event, process, pattern, or object recurs. ... A ritual is a set of actions, performed mainly for their symbolic value, which is prescribed by a religion or by the traditions of a community. ...


The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (or Golden Dawn, as it is commonly referred to) is a tradition of magical theurgy and spiritual development, probably the single greatest influence on twentieth century western occultism and many other traditions, including Wicca, Thelema and other forms of magical spirituality popular today. By the mid 1890s, the Golden Dawn was well established in Great Britain, with membership rising to over a hundred from every class of Victorian society. In its heyday, many cultural celebrities belonged to the Golden Dawn, such as actress Florence Farr, Arthur Machen, William Butler Yeats, Evelyn Underhill, and Aleister Crowley. Many men and women of the 19th century Fin de siècle social culture were members of the Golden Dawn. The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (or, more commonly, the Golden Dawn) was a magical order of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, practicing a form of theurgy and spiritual development. ... The pentagram within a circle, a symbol of faith used by many Wiccans, sometimes called a pentacle. ... Thelema is the English transliteration of the Ancient Greek noun : will, from the verb θέλω: to will, wish, purpose. ... Florence Farr in 1890 Florence Farr (1860-1917) was a West End leading actress and one time mistress of George Bernard Shaw[1], acting head of a famed magical order, womens rights journalist, divorcee, educator, singer, musician, and author of the novel, She was a friend and collaborator with... Arthur Machen (March 3, 1863 – December 15th, 1947) was a leading Welsh-born author of the 1890s. ... William Butler Yeats, 1933 photograph, author unknown. ... Evelyn Underhill (1875-1941) was an Anglican writer on mysticism, a novelist, and a metaphysical poet. ... Aleister Crowley, born Edward Alexander Crowley, (12 October 1875 – 1 December 1947; the surname is pronounced // i. ...


Mystical traditions

An all-seeing Eye of Providence that appears on the tower of Aachen Cathedral.
An all-seeing Eye of Providence that appears on the tower of Aachen Cathedral.

Examples of major traditions and philosophies with strong elements of mysticism are: Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1200x1600, 370 KB) Beschreibung: de:Auge der Vorsehung am de:Aachener Dom in de:Aachen Fotograf: Trexer Aufgenommen: 2005 mit Nikon Coolpix 2200 File links The following pages link to this file: Eye of Providence ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1200x1600, 370 KB) Beschreibung: de:Auge der Vorsehung am de:Aachener Dom in de:Aachen Fotograf: Trexer Aufgenommen: 2005 mit Nikon Coolpix 2200 File links The following pages link to this file: Eye of Providence ... This article does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Aachen Cathedral The Aachen Cathedral, frequently referred to as the Imperial Cathedral (in German: Kaiserdom) of Aachen, is the oldest cathedral in northern Europe. ...

Seat of the Universal House of Justice, governing body of the Baháís, in Haifa, Israel The Baháí Faith is the religion founded by Baháulláh in 19th century Persia. ... Christianity percentage by country, purple is highest, orange is lowest Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch... Christian meditation is meditation in a Christian context. ... Mysticism is the philosophy and practice of a direct experience of God. ... Esoteric Christianity refers to the occult study and the mystic living of the esoteric knowledge related to what adherents view as the inner teachings of early Christianity, seen as a Mystery religion. ... The Spanish Mystics are a major feature of the Catholic Reformation in 16th and 17th century Spain. ... “Faith healer” redirects here. ... The Fourth Way has come to be used as a general descriptive term for the body of ideas and teachings of G. I. Gurdjieff, which are also sometimes called The Work or The Gurdjieff Work. // When asked about the teaching he was setting forth, Gurdjieff said, The teaching whose theory... The Ghost Dance by the Ogalala Lakota at Pine Ridge. ... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century &#8212; 19th century &#8212; 20th century &#8212; more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples from the regions of North America now encompassed by the continental United States, including parts of Alaska. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      A Christian () is a person who... Hesychasm (Greek hesychasmos, from hesychia, stillness, rest, quiet, silence) is an eremitic tradition of prayer in the Eastern Orthodox Church, and some other Eastern Churches of the Byzantine Rite, practised (Gk: hesychazo: to keep stillness) by the Hesychast (Gr. ... Eastern Orthodoxy (also called Greek Orthodoxy and Russian Orthodoxy) is a Christian tradition which represents the majority of Eastern Christianity. ... This article is about traditional Jewish Kabbalah. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Christianity percentage by country, purple is highest, orange is lowest Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch... The word occult comes from the Latin occultus (clandestine, hidden, secret), referring to knowledge of the hidden.[1] In the medical sense it is used commonly to refer to a structure or process that is hidden, e. ... Book of Mormon, see Latter Day Saint movement. ... This does not cite any references or sources. ... This article is about National Mysticism of all cultures. ... Nazi mysticism is a quasi-religious undercurrent of Nazism; it denotes the mixture of Nazism with occultism, esotericism, cryptohistory, and/or the paranormal — especially in the traditions of Germanic mysticism. ... Ascent in the Empyrean (Hieronymus Bosch) A near-death experience (NDE) is an experience reported by a person who nearly died, or who experienced clinical death and then revived. ... The word occult comes from the Latin occultus (clandestine, hidden, secret), referring to knowledge of the hidden.[1] In the medical sense it is used commonly to refer to a structure or process that is hidden, e. ... -1... The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception or Mystic Christianity is a Rosicrucian text, written by Max Heindel (ISBN 0-911274-34-0) // Western Wisdom Teachings The first edition was printed in November 1909, it has little changed since then and it is considered to be Max Heindels magnum opus. ... The Temple of the Rose Cross, Teophilus Schweighardt Constantiens, 1618. ... Sufism is a mystic tradition within Islam and encompasses a diverse range of beliefs and practices dedicated to divine love and the cultivation of the heart. ... For people named Islam, see Islam (name). ... Taoism (Daoism) is the English name referring to a variety of related Chinese philosophical and religious traditions and concepts. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Within the modern system of Thelema, developed by Aleister Crowley in the first half of the 20th century, is a complex mystical path designed to do two interrelated things: to learn ones unique True Will and to achieve union with the All. ... Thelema is the English transliteration of the Ancient Greek noun : will, from the verb θέλω: to will, wish, purpose. ... Tibetan Buddhism is the body of religious Buddhist doctrine and institutions characteristic of Tibet, the Himalayan region (including northern Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim and Ladakh), Mongolia, Buryatia, Tuva and Kalmykia (Russia), and northeastern China (Manchuria: Heilongjiang, Jilin). ... Transcendentalism was a group of new ideas in literature, religion, culture, and philosophy that emerged in New England in the early-to mid-19th century. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      Unitarianism is the belief... This article includes a list of works cited but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... Hinduism (known as in modern Indian languages) is a religious tradition that originated in the Indian subcontinent. ... Statue of Shiva performing Yogic meditation Yoga (Devanagari: योग) is a group of ancient spiritual practices originating in India. ... Hinduism (known as in modern Indian languages) is a religious tradition that originated in the Indian subcontinent. ... Bhakti yoga is the Hindu term for the spiritual practice of fostering of loving devotion to God, called bhakti. ... Surat Shabd Yoga or Surat Shabda Yoga is a form of spiritual practice that is followed in the Sant Mat and many other related spiritual traditions. ... Zen is a school of Mahāyāna Buddhism notable for its emphasis on practice and experiential wisdom—particularly as realized in the form of meditation known as zazen—in the attainment of awakening. ... This article needs additional references or sources to facilitate its verification. ...

See also

Negative theology - also known as the Via Negativa (Latin for Negative Way) and Apophatic theology - is a theology that attempts to describe God by negation, to speak of God only in terms of what may not be said about God. ... Interconnectedness is one of many concepts gaining popularity as part of the terminology of a worldview which sees a oneness in all things. ... Look up mystic in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This is a list of topics that may be of interest to a person who is researching subjects related to spirituality, esotericism, mysticism, or parapsychology. ... In Tibet, many Buddhists carve mantras into rocks as a form of devotion. ... When the question What is the meaning of life? is asked, one of a variety of questions may be implied, such as: What is the nature of life (and of the universe in which we live)?,[1][2] What is the significance of life?,[2] What is the purpose of... A large statue in Bangalore depicting Shiva meditating Meditation describes a state of concentrated attention on some object of thought or awareness. ... In religious experience, or sacred experience, the believer comes in contact with transcendental reality. ... Synchronicity is the experience of two or more events which occur in a meaningful manner, but which are causally inexplicable to the person or persons experiencing them. ... A spiritual awakening is a religious experience involving a realization or opening to a sacred dimension of reality. ... The term Western mystery tradition (also Western Esoteric tradition) refers to the collection of the mystical esoteric knowledge of the Western world. ... Quantum metaphysics is concerned with exploring the nature of all reality by using quantum mechanical theories and idea. ...

References and footnotes

  1. ^ The Eleusinian Mysteries, or mystery religions in general, do not necessarily involve mysticism; the present meaning of the term arose, rather, via Platonism and Neoplatonism, which made reference to the Eleusinian initiation as a metaphor for the "initiation" to spiritual truths.
  2. ^ James, William (1902). The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature. ISBN 0-679-64011-8. 
  3. ^ Anderson, R. A., "Church of God? or the Temples of Satan" (A Reference Book of Mysticism & Gnosis). TGS Publishers, Texas (2006); ISBN 0-9786249-6-3
  4. ^ Greene, Dana, Adhering to God: The Message of Evelyn Underhill for Our Times, SPIRITUALITY TODAY, Spring 1987, Vol. 39, pp. 22-38
  5. ^ Legge, James (1891). Tao Te Ching (Sacred Books of the East, Vol 39). 
  6. ^ Scholem, Gershom (1974). Kabbalah. Meridian. ISBN 0-452-01007-1. 
  7. ^ Bothamley, Jennifer (1993). Dictionary of Theories. Gale Research. ISBN 1-873477-05-8. 
  8. ^ Schopenhauer, Arthur (1844). Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung. 
  9. ^ Wilber, Ken. A Brief History of Everything, 197-208. 
  10. ^ Pearce, Joseph Chilton. The Biology of Transcendence;A Blueprint of the Human Spirit, 2-5. 
  11. ^ Balsekar, Who Cares?, p. 15-16
  12. ^ Jones, Richard (2004). Mysticism and Morality. Lexington Books. 
  13. ^ Huxley, Aldous (1945). The Perennial Philosophy. Perennial. ISBN 0-06-057058-X. 
  14. ^ Aims and Relationships of the Craft.
  15. ^ (1991) Emulation Ritual. Lewis Masonic. ISBN 0-85318-187-X. 
  16. ^ Griffin, Mark (2002). Freemasonry: Your Questions Answered. Retrieved on 2006-11-23.

This does not cite any references or sources. ... Platonic idealism is the theory that the substantive reality around us is only a reflection of a higher truth. ... Neoplatonism (also Neo-Platonism) is the modern term for a school of religious and mystical philosophy that took shape in the 3rd century AD, based on the teachings of Plato and earlier Platonists. ... Look up metaphor in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ... November 23 is the 327th day of the year (328th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 38 days remaining. ...

External links

Image File history File links Information. ...

Supportive

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (hereafter SEP) is a free online encyclopedia of philosophy run and maintained by Stanford University. ... Known in India as the Lotus Temple, the Baháí House of Worship attracts an average of four million visitors a year (around 13,000 each day). ...

Critical


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