MysticalTalk is your home for our common desire to connect with something that is “more” than ourselves. That comes in many forms, from the traditional religions and prayers to spiritual enlightenment and mysticism. To start, here is a breakdown of the major concepts of this yearning to learn and experience the “oneness” of the universe:
To start, spirituality revolves around the belief and desired further understanding of the supernatural. This is the contemplation of something bigger than ourselves.
One core concept is the belief that even though each of us, as individual souls, can sometimes minimize our belief in what we are, we are actually part of a much bigger, complex, but beautiful existence.
Being a spiritual person is synonymous with being a person whose highest priority is to be loving to yourself and others. A spiritual person cares about people, animals and the planet, and strives to be a kind person. A spiritual person knows that we are all One, and consciously attempts to honor this Oneness.
- First of all, spirituality is an endeavor. It is not simply a set of concepts or beliefs to keep in our head. It is both a vision of life and a way of living in accord with that vision. In other words, it involves choice and it is action-oriented. Spirituality ought to give direction not only to our thinking, but also to our decision-making and actions.
- Second, it is an ongoing endeavor. That is, spirituality is not something we eventually finish, like a job or a project. We attend to it, nurture it, refine it till the day we die. Like the biblical notion of conversion, spirituality is dynamic and never-ending.
- Third, its goal is growth in our relationship with God. This assumes that we already have a relationship with God. The task is to develop and deepen it, much like any other relationship. To do so requires spiritual discipline, such as Scripture reading and personal prayer.”
– Father Martin Pable, OFM Capuchin
If you want to be a spiritual person, then let kindness be your guiding light – kindness toward yourself, toward others, toward animals and toward this beautiful planet that is our home. Recognize that we all have the spark of love that is God within us, and learn to honor that love so that you can know and experience the Oneness of all that is.
Whereas spirituality is a belief in the supernatural, and a desire to learn more about the greater existence, mysticism is the pursuit of communion with the supernatural. In most instances, mystical people and belief systems define this as “God” or a similar terminology. People affect their life around being more in tune with “God” or the supernatural. Spiritualism and Mysticism are not contradictory, but complementary concepts… one is the pursuit of understanding; the other is the pursuit of union.
Mysticism is a religion or religious belief based on union or communion with a deity, or divine being. Mysticism is what lets you transcend the physical to experience enlightenment — let’s just say you’ll recognize it when it happens.
Mystical, mysterious, and filled with wonder, mysticism is easily associated with crystals, New Age theories, or the occult (the supernatural). The truth is that many faiths, including Hinduism, Judaism, and Christianity, have their own forms of mysticism, placing an emphasis on spiritual connection and union, and the mysteries of religion over dogma or rigid rules. Outside of religion, mysticism is applied to cryptic, obscure, or irrational thought — leaning toward mystery and wonder, rather than logic.
Mysticism usually centers on a practice or practices intended to nurture those experiences of awareness. Mysticism may be monistic, dualistic, nondualistic, or ontologically pluralistic. Differing religious, social and psychological traditions have described this fundamental mystical experience in many different ways. The words “mystical” and “mysticism”, though commonly used by mystics to affirm extraordinary insights beyond all expression, and thus impossible to communicate to others, have also sometimes been used in a presumptive sense which insists that others must believe and accept what aspects of the experiences can be communicated, or in an entirely pejorative sense, strongly related to rejection of such authoritarian claims.
Mystical & New Age Religion
All the religious traditions teach about ultimate values and their relationship to our worldly lives. How religious thinkers — and the scholars who study them — develop their ideas about human rights, law, and gender relations from primary sources, and how this changes over time, is an essential part of the academic study of religion. Some of the traditions are the oldest extant bodies of thought. The religions of the world are an ancient and living source for values.
Religion is a fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a group of people. These set of beliefs concern the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, and involve devotional and ritual observances. They also often contain a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
Ever since the world began, man has demonstrated a natural inclination towards faith and worship of anything he considered superior/difficult to understand. His religion consisted of trying to appease and get favors from the Supreme Being he feared. This resulted in performing rituals (some of them barbaric) and keeping traditions or laws to earn goodness and/or everlasting life.
In many teachings in the world it is thought that religion is an attempt to answer or resolve the fundamental problem of human suffering. In this sense and in this understanding, religion is a plan to enable human beings to escape their condition and attain a greater state of mind and a far better condition, either within the world or beyond, though beyond the world is usually what is emphasized.
Religion is seen as an attempt to define what human suffering is, to determine its causes and to establish an approach where these causes can be reversed or overturned in some way so that human suffering can be remedied, providing humanity a greater comfort and a greater destiny. However, let us redefine the purpose of religion so that religion can have a new meaning and a new application in your life.
Astrology & Mysticism
Astrology is the study of the effects of planetary forces upon man. It is not fortune telling. It is one of the best methods for man to learn about who he is, where he came from and where he is going. Astrology reveals CHARACTER and character is destiny. If man can change his character, then man will have changed his destiny. The main uses of astrology are diagnosis of health and sickness, character analysis, vocational guidance, analysis of children’s horoscopes so as to give parents a better idea as to how best to raise their children, and analysis of the compatibilities between people.
Astrology does not show anything but tendencies. A man can rule his stars by exerting his will. If a man decides to flow with the tide of life, then the tendencies indicated in the birth chart will at some time have their effect. The one thing a birth chart does not show is the WILL of the individual and how he may exert it. The matter of exercising free will is left entirely up to the individual. The wise man rules his stars; the fool is ruled by them. Astrology forewarns and being forewarned, a man is thus forearmed to better cope with the struggles of life.
Since the 3rd millennia BC, astrologers have put together and drawn from a body of inspiration about planetary cycles that has served many generations. The reason for its longevity is that it has proven to capture elements through observation that help us to understand our place within the greater cosmos. The Forbidden City in China was built to reflect the cosmos above. Pyramids were erected as ancient observatories to monitor celestial movement which coincided with rainfall. The many mythical stories about Zeus, Marduk and other heroes who overthrow old regimes can be tied to the precession of the equinoxes from Taurus and Bull Worship to Aries, as a single hero overthrew the old pantheon.
Like the Greek story of the abduction of Persephone, virtually every culture has a myth about the movement of Venus during the time that it is hidden below the earth. In ancient times it was called Lucifer (bearer of light) and was said to be an imposter of the sun. It appeared brightly in the sky either before sunrise or after sunset and sometimes disappeared altogether beneath the earth. In the Hebrew texts, Isaiah compared a prideful Babylonian king to Venus when he wrote: “Lucifer who has fallen.” The subsequent mistranslations led to a different mythology. Kulkulkan of the Mayan world also embodied how Venus flies through the sky only to disappear below the world like a snake embodying the Feathered Serpent.
The New Age Movement is in a class by itself. Unlike most formal religions, it has no holy text, central organization, formal membership, ordained clergy, geographic center, dogma, creed, etc. They often use mutually exclusive definitions for some of their terms. The New Age is in fact a free-flowing, decentralized, spiritual movement — a network of believers and practitioners who share somewhat similar beliefs and practices, which many add on to whichever formal religion that they follow.
New Age is a catch-all term for a wide range of spiritual and social movements that developed mostly from the Human Potential Movement of the 1960s and 1970s. Characteristic of the New Age movement is the focus on spiritual matters, with emphasis on individuality. These beliefs are often attributed to real or alleged Asian mystics, particularly Indian and Tibetan, and many New Age type beliefs draw heavily from Eastern religions, particularly Hinduism.
The New Age movement lacks intellectual rigor and shuns scientific approaches to reality, ostensibly due to the perceived separation between science and spirituality, but also under the pretense of a vague postmodernism. New Age believers typically take a pick-and-mix approach to spirituality, adapting beliefs and practices from a wide variety of sources such as Hinduism, neopaganism, ufology, Zen Buddhism, and any other weird concept that is appealing.
Prayer & Mysticism
Prayer is relationship with God. This bond with God is the ability to pay attention to life in all its wonder, savor the experiences and see God at the center of it all. The following is a brief reflection on how people experience God.
A very old definition of prayer described it as “the raising of the heart and mind to God.” What is the “mind”; what is the “heart”? The mind is what thinks – it questions, plans, worries, fantasizes. The heart is what knows – it loves. The mind is the organ of knowledge, the heart, the organ of love. Mental consciousness must eventually give way and open up to the fuller way of knowing which is heart consciousness. Love is complete knowledge.
Most of our training in prayer, however, is limited to the mind. We were taught as children to say our prayers, to ask God for what others or we need. But this is only half of the mystery of prayer.
The other half is the prayer of the heart where we are not thinking of God or talking to him or asking for anything. We are simply being with God who is in us in the Holy Spirit whom Jesus has given us. The Holy Spirit is the love, the relationship of love that flows between Father and Son. It is this Spirit Jesus has breathed into every human heart. Meditation, then, is the prayer of the heart uniting us with the human consciousness of Jesus in the Spirit. “We do not even know how to pray but the Spirit himself prays within us.” Romans 8:26
An angel is a pure spirit created by God. The Old Testament theology included the belief in angels: the name applied to certain spiritual beings or intelligences of heavenly residence, employed by God as the ministers of His will.
The word “angel” actually comes from the Greek word aggelos, which means “messenger.” The matching Hebrew word mal’ak has the same meaning.
The term usually describes the whole range of spirits whom God has created, including both good and evil angels, and special categories such as cherubim, seraphim, and the archangel. Angels are mentioned at least 108 times in the Old Testament and 165 times in the New Testament (Chafer, Systematic Theology, II, 3). Hence, there is ample information available in Scripture to allow us to build a foundation for our knowledge of angelic beings.
The Scripture speaks about the creation of angels, therefore, it is clear that they have not existed from all eternity (Nehemiah 9:6; Psalm 148:2,5). Colossians 1:16-17 explains: “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created by Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” The time of their creation is never definitely specified, but it is most probable that it occurred in connection with the creation of the heavens in Genesis 1:1. It may be that God created the angels immediately after He had created the heavens and before He created the Earth—for according to Job 38:4-7, “the sons of God shouted for joy” when He laid the foundations of the Earth.
Meditation & New Age Practices
Meditation means awareness. Whatever you do with awareness is meditation. “Watching your breath” is meditation; listening to the birds is meditation. As long as these activities are free from any other distraction to the mind, it is effective meditation.
Meditation is not a technique but a way of life. Meditation means ‘a cessation of the thought process’ . It describes a state of consciousness, when the mind is free of scattered thoughts and various patterns . The observer (one who is doing meditation) realizes that all the activity of the mind is reduced to one.
The word meditation, is derived from two Latin words : meditari(to think, to dwell upon, to exercise the mind) and mederi (to heal). Its Sanskrit derivation ‘medha’ means wisdom.
Many people imagine meditation as a deep and complicated spiritual practice involving incomprehensible mantras and unobtainable seating postures. The reality is that anyone can practice meditation, nearly immediately, and it can be done in a variety of ways. Simply put, meditation is the suspension of linear thought and the connection to a deeper level of consciousness that dwells beneath the surface of the mind, also known as the subconscious mind or soul.
Regardless of what you may have been taught, you do not have to subscribe to any particular belief system to meditate; I mentioned Buddhist teachings only as one example. Today, people from every walk of life and from the widest spectrum of beliefs you can imagine meditate to access this deeper and innately higher level of awareness. We cannot categorize this practice any more than we categorize humanity itself.