What is Mysticism? – 1

A core perspective of this blog is the mystical.  The word mysticism and its derivatives (mystical, mystic) may be unfamiliar or confusing to some, while others may be using the word in a sense different from my own understanding.  So, I would like to start a series that discusses mysticism, particularly mysticism in the Christian tradition.  Hopefully this can help clarify what mysticism means and that toward which the word points.

In John’s Gospel Jesus says, “The Father and I are one.”  Jesus was engulfed by the loving mystery of God, his Abba; he was wrapped in infinite goodness.  And, Jesus lived from this divine oneness in his daily life.  Jesus was a mystic. 

If we are to take Jesus seriously, we must become mystics ourselves.  To live as Jesus did, we must let God be God for us, just as Jesus let God be God for him.  You see, the source of Jesus’ dynamism, holiness, authority, and radical freedom was his oneness with his Heavenly Abba.  He was able to heal because God’s love flowed through him.  God’s love flowed through him because he was one with God.  He put up no obstacles to the flow of divine energy.  He was totally transparent to God.

In the same section of John’s Gospel, Jesus responds to the people, “If I do not perform my Father’s works, do not believe me; but if I perform them, even if you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may realize (and understand) that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”  He performs his works because of his relationship with his Abba.  To follow Christ fully we must become mystics, that is, people immersed in and absorbed by God—we are called to say with Jesus: “The Father and I are one.”

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2 thoughts on “What is Mysticism? – 1

    • In a way. Mysticism is about transcending knowledge, and often the mystics will use words like “concealment” or “unknowing” (negative words) to describe what essentially lies beyond knowledge. At least, this is the case with the Christian mystics. Thanks for the comment!

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