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The original intent behind nearly each of the world’s religions was to produce a teaching that instructed man in the ways of how to redeem his birthright: the evolution of his soul, and its union with God. In this essay and the next, we will demonstrate how Wisdom Schools through the Ages crafted ... read more...
What is Mysticism?
Mysticism is the bridge which connects man to the God within, and through this connection, man becomes the recipient of divine wisdom, love, and compassion.
In the above detail of Michelangelo’s mystical masterpiece, The Creation of Adam, which was painted for the Sistine Chapel in Rome, the viewer becomes immediately aware of, and is drawn to the mysterious space or void between the index finger of God and that of Adam.
It is through study, action, and the dedicating of one’s life to the mystical path, that man is able to develop the ability to traverse the Void between these two fingers, leading one to form an internal union with God.
While there are numerous paths in both the East and the West that one may follow in order to attain this union with God, in essence all true paths are similar. The paths of mysticism differ solely in their form, not in their goals.
These forms include, but are not limited to yoga, meditation, prayer, Kabala (the mystical teaching of Judaism,) self-remembering, and Sufism (the mystical teaching of Islam.)
The remainder of this essay will highlight a few of the major precepts of mysticism in a clear and coherent manner, so that should you, the reader, decide to further explore the possibility of embracing a mystical way of life, you will not be deterred or disheartened by the many prevailing fears and misconceptions that surround mysticism.
Perhaps the first and foremost teaching of mysticism is that man, as he is, is unaware or asleep to the divine realm that lies within. And unless he comes in contact with someone who either has awakened, or is on a path of awakening, he will remain oblivious to this realm throughout his life.
Mysticism teaches that man is born with a small spark of the divine, and that the meaning and purpose to life is to transform this spark into a raging fire in order to create a complete soul. The religious art of disparate cultures has subtly transmitted the idea of a complete soul for the over five thousand years.
In the mystical vignettes of ancient Egyptian art, for example, a complete soul is depicted as the sun hovering above the head of a figure. In Christian art, the Egyptian sun was replaced with a halo, and in Asian art the Buddha is frequently depicted surrounded by fiery flames.
The means of accomplishing the transformation of the spark into a fire is the ultimate content of all mystical teachings.