What’s in a Name? Labeling the Mystic

“I’m a Mystic,” I told them. They’d known me for years but I’d never come clean about it before, because I knew they wouldn’t like it very much.

“You’re a what?” Alice asked. “Is that like a witch?” Her eyes got all big as if she thought I was about to cast a spell on her.

“Isn’t that a sin?” Kendra said from across the table in a low whisper.

I took a deep breath and tried to explain myself…

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What is a mystic anyway, besides an eccentric weirdo who fits in nowhere and in no place, someone who is seen by most Christians as too esoteric for the faith, and by the New Age movement as a dinosaur of a bygone era–the age of Pieces, anyone?–best left buried?

Merriam-Webster defines mystic as:

Of or relating to mysteries or esoteric rites

Relating to mysticism or mystics

Mysterious

Obscure

A feeling of awe or wonder

Having magical properties

Unfortunately the words Esoteric, Mysterious, Obscure, and Magical don’t exactly help my case any when it comes to certain secs of Christianity, particularly the Evangelicals (the background I come from) and the Fundamentalists (certain family members I can’t seem to hide hard enough from) who both see God as completely defined and one hundred percent known through the bible. According to them, there is no mystery, nothing obscure, and the word esoteric practically gives them a case of the hives. Now, no one is required to justify their beliefs in the first place. Faith is faith, and it comes from a secret (dare I say esoteric) part of one’s own mind and heart; but let’s face it, people like to define themselves with a label, and they love to define others that way too. Labels aren’t always bad. They allow us to categorize people so we’ll know how to properly relate to them.

I’m going to go ahead and try to label the unknown.

To be a mystic, means firstly to seek after a tangible experience with God, sort of the guru thing, with meditation and waiting on the Creator to commune with you. Or more accurately, I should say, that we wait for our ‘monkey brains’ to chill down to the point where God can finally be felt and heard. Is the whole Experiencing God thing even real in the first place? Well, I’ve BEEN there, at the Throne Room, Heaven, Time Space Continuum, Behind the Veil, or whatever else you want to call it, but obviously my personal account isn’t quantifiable. But then neither is faith. God can’t exactly be measured and put to the Scientific Method. So for me, yes, it’s real. I would even go as far as to say that it’s more real than this three dimensional world of our five senses.

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In Christianity there’s this whole deal about how God is a loving Father who wants to have a personal relationship with us. Cool, right? Well, it is, but most churchy type people will, and in the very same breath, tell you that to experience God firsthand is wrong. They’ll tell you it’s dangerous and that you’ll catch a demon that way. (Kind of like catching a cold, I guess.) The obvious problem here is that these two points are diametrically opposed.

“God wants to have a personal relationship with us” verses “we shouldn’t do anything to foster that relationship but pray in certain logical ways and read the bible.” Oh and be a good person, but let’s face it, every faith including Wicca will tell you that.

And yet… in the bible, that they hold in such high regard that it’s practically become an idol to them, people had, can anyone guess???

“That’s right boys and girls.” They had mystical experiences with God.

“By golly, really?”

“Yes, that’s right, Timmy, they did.”

So, how on earth does one, who is a seeker by nature like me, who actually had a mystical experience with God as a teenager long before any training on meditation, reconcile the mainline Christian viewpoint with personal experience? They don’t. Because you can’t. They are opposed. Thus the reason why I consider myself a Mystic. In the end, it’s the only thing that makes sense.

Now, why don’t I call myself New Age, Wiccan, Pagan, Hindu, or Buddhist? It’s because my experience of God has in fact evolved out of the personhood of Christ. I just can’t, however, not question the church experience after meeting with God face first (so to speak).

 Isaiah 29:13 13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:

 The precept of men… they believe and trust in men.

 I’m not an innovator. I’m not interested in taking apart the church system and rebuilding it. Even if I could, all I’d manage is to create yet one more of literally tens of thousands of denominations anyway, and what would be the point in that? I’m just a woman, who has ‘seen’ God, and is now seeking my true life’s purpose. Not a career like we’re told is supposed to make us so happy, but what I’m really here for. The whole, “What’s the meaning of life?” kind of thing. I am a Mystic with a gift of Knowing (others would call this clairvoyance) through dreams, visions, but also in flashes of sudden awareness. This too is unquantifiable of course, but that’s ok. No one has to believe it. It just is. This isn’t Peter Pan. No one needs to believe in me or clap their hands or whatever. Really, I’d rather no hand clapping anyway. This isn’t kindergarten. This is life. Good, bad, ugly, or as untenable as it can be.

If anyone in the shadow sea of faces out there is interested in mysticism, I recommend reading Evelyn Underhill’s book called Practical Mysticism. It’s the premier work on the subject, especially for those coming from a Christian perspective.

 

 

 

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