Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Mysticism: Review

It is a fine use of time to "think on these things," as the mystic Paul wrote.

It is common for a mystic not publicly to identify herself as a "mystic." The word "mystic" is capable of terrible and horrifying misunderstandings. People apply it to everything from spiritual elitists to occultists.

The only time that a mystic is likely to so identify herself is when she has a chance to teach, and so, clarify that she is neither a spiritual elitist nor an occultist. If you were to ask the sweet old lady, Theresa of India, what she thought of herself, she would likely say that she is just an "ordinary" woman who has been gifted with an extraordinary calling and/or Love, which is not her own.

The greatest sickness in our world is the lack or absence of Love, intimacy, and even simple courtesy and friendliness. As Lao Tzu says, it is when the sage-mystic "gets sick of sickness" that she starts to discover a cure. And that healing is to allow more of the deep inner Lovemind to express Him/Herself through the "transparent" mind of the mystic. This is called "crystalmind."

I did not mean to suggest that Theresa made it an ironclad "rule" or "law" set in granite that no one call her "mother." It is just that mystics almost universally reject honorifics. Is this "only" symbolic? Yes, of course. A mystic is selfdefined by neither praise nor blame. Of course, nothing changes in selfimage when one receives a title from others. Theresa was likely only yielding to the tradition of her Church when she accepted the title "Mother." What I meant to imply was precisely the fact that she did not define her value in terms of this title. With intuitive knowing, I knew that she would have been more comfortable without it altogether.

In her own words, Theresa attempted to clarify this position: She was working for the mystical state called "detachment," which is not aloofness or irresponsivity, but simply a state of freedom in which one is not controlled by the world or environment.

Mystics do not live by dogmatic or granitic laws. It is a common tradition that, after the mystical experience, they do change their names. Still, lest this become a dogma, we should make it crystalclear that a number of mystics use also their given earthly names (birthnames)as well. When Jesus was born, he was named "Immanuel," but somewhere along the line, changed his name to "Jesus." Peter also was born with the name Cephas, and Paul with the name Saul, etc.

So, I've no objection to using the birthname. Even mystics historically and traditionally do this. But there is this: When Mary Smith has a transformative experience, and then says, "I am Mary Smith," she feels, correctly, as if she is lying: She has become so much more than Mary Smith.

What the mystic must watch, microscopically and assiduously, is her major challenge: ego. For it will, in a splitsecond, reassert itself as the master of her life, and will be delighted to "take over again," just like in the "bad ol' days." It is controlled by fear-- the mystic's only real enemy. The mystic has no human enemies. And even the ego can be seen as teacher rather than nemesis.

The mystic does not take her egoname with deadly, utter seriousness. The ego is just a mask, a role being played on the stage, in the play, of life, by the real Soul. And it is cosmic Mind that is "playing the role" of the Soul. But the mystic must be aware of and beware the cunning, subtle schemes of ego to take over her life, and control everything, as it once did.

Because God is playing every role, the mystic lives as a "part of God." Her mind grows towards becoming, or complete identification with, the cosmic Mind of Love.

So, the human name is only a tag or label, used for convenience. It in no way encompasses the totality of her being, nor does it describe in any way her infinite Mind.

People as a rule, on the whole, are growing and becoming gradually more spiritual. This is precisely why an educational enterprise of spiritual understanding is needed at this time.

The Spirit, Coremind, dreams up the cosmos. It does this in a subsector of Spirit called the "Creator." (This is Creatormind or Dreamind.)

The world is dreamed by the Spirit, but experienced by the conscious mind. The Spirit, being perfect, dreams up a world that is potentially perfect.

The Soul lies "halfway" between Spirit and conscious mind. As the Spirit is "sending" the dream to the conscious mind, it must pass through the Soul. When the Soul gets the dream from the Spirit, it adds its own karmic contents. (The personal Unconscious and preconscious do the same.) So, by the time that the world is perceived by the conscious mind, it is not perfect. That is, it is not all Love-filled, beauty, tranquility, bliss, etc. This is because the final dream that we call "everyday reality" has been modified by the Soul and the personal Unconscious.

The mystic wants to work towards an omega-point, a zenith in Mind, called the "allembracing" or "allgood" Mind, in which everything is seen to be good. Thus, she wants to grow to the point where all things are seen to be good. This means, as you imply, overcoming even bionature. For we are repelled at an organic or biological level by some things. (This is no doubt bioprotective.) To embrace the rabbit and puppy as "God" is easy. But it is not so easy to embrace, or even to like, the rattlesnake and the tarantula. And when it comes to the even less-pleasant things, they offend our natural and esthetic sensitivities.

Still, the full assignment of the mystic is to return to "eden," or "pleasure," and so, to find that all things are good, to be interpreted as the dream of One. That One is the good and perfect Mind, and cannot dream up anything that is bad or imperfect. And because Creatormind is also all beauty, He/She cannot dream up anything that is truly "ugly."

The entire point is that "bad" and "ugly" are just labels, and do not represent the "intrinsicity" of anything or anyone. So, we are given the greatest challenge of all-- to overcome our longstanding "prejudices," however deep their roots, and even if they are organic (built into the biosystem.)

Of course, people have different sensibilities and sensitivities. But mysticism calls us all to the one path, no matter what our natures. Is it more difficult for one than for another? Yes, certainly, especially this one of the "allembracing Mind." But other parts of the Way would be more difficult for other temperaments. For example, nonmaterialism is more challenging for taurus people than for sagittarians or geminis. The Way of silence is much more difficult for geminis and libras than for capricorns, etc.

Poverty, purification, etc. are often linked together in the development of the mystic's higher consciousness. Not that we must go to the extreme of Franciscan poverty. In fact, avoiding extremes, the modern mystic wants to stay out of poverty. At the other end of that same spectrum, she must avoid greed, which means taking more than her fair share of the pie of earthly resources. The perfect solution? Simplicity. This is described in my book Simplicity Made Simple: The Economics of Compassion.

For simplicity avoids both poverty and extreme greed and wealth. This Way enhances respect for the earth's limited resources,and also for our brothers and sisters.

Historically, mystics have often embraced actual poverty, but this has often been more symbolic of renunciation than any kind of "requirement" for the pursuit of mysticism.

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