Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Way of Mysticism


When most people hear the adjective "mystical," they think of something occult, or even magical. They don't quite know what it is, but are sure that it is something "spooky"! Actually, the histories of intercultural forms of mysticism (such as gnosticism, kabbalism, and sufism, in their most generic forms, as well as Buddhism, Hinduism, and Taoism) prove that this Way has nothing to do with the occult or with magic.

The mystic has begun a tentative knowing of the cosmos. She knows that it is not a separate collection of objects, like the universe's largest yard-sale. Instead, she comes to see the entire "material" cosmos as a complex dream. and the mystic knows that it is not her dream; it is being dreamed by a greater, immense Mind through her tiny human mind.

This dream was called by our Hindu sisters and brothers maya, a Sanskrit word meaning "illusion." The entire material universe, together with all of spacetime, are a part of this dreamillusion. When the kabbalists spoke of "creation," they were also referring to this same dreaming Mind.

But if the cosmos is being dreamed into being by a perfect, flawless Mind, why is it so imperfect, even ugly, in some ways? Because the material cosmos, before it can be sensed/perceived, must flow through the "filters" of other mindlevels. One of these Mindlevels is called the "Soul," and it makes sure that the cosmic dream also contains all personal karma. So, the projection of this karma alters the "perfect world" of a perfect Mind. We end up living in precisely the exact "virtual reality" that we need in order to grow and develop.

And if anything is "ugly," the mystic says, the problem is within the "labelmaker" within your head! If, for example, a person truly believes that a rainy, cloudy day is "beautiful," then, to her, it really can be, and is, "a beautiful day."

Every effect has a cause. And there is not the slightest object or event in your world that "just happens" or "comes from nowhere." In a nightdream, if you encounter a fly, there is a reason for it; the mind has chosen it as a symbol, in order to teach you. And so it is with the "real," ordinary or everyday world. There is no such thing as "random chance"; that is simply a cover-up for ignorance, when the causes are not known.

Knowing karma as the ultimate servant of Love, the mystic does not believe in "innocent victims." But the most important aspects of her mind are yearning and longing to "become one," meld, or merge, with Lovemind. This Supermind is deep within her unconscious Mind. So, she takes an interior heartvow always to act and react with the most Love possible. The mystic is not yet perfect; she makes mistakes. But she does her honest best, in all circumstances, to respond with her maximum Love.

She believes in Love. Even more, she believes that "God is Love," as the ancients said. So, she worships Love; it is Number One, all the time, her first priority. This makes her a happy and courteous person who loves harmony, and who renounces actively all violence, egocentricity, and superiorism. She actively contemplates humility and lives in simplicity.

This article was written by a franciscan taoist who has been exploring the Path for thirty years. If you have any questions about the Way of intercultural (universal) mysticism, which is not a religion, please write:

No comments: