MAKES SOMEONE A MYSTIC?
do some people have intense mystical encounters while others
suspect that the ear of the Sacred is
not turned their way? And if we don’t have super-charged
moments with God, does that mean we are not as spiritually evolved,
that we’re stuck in some evolutionary holding tank for
those who haven’t developed the spiritual equivalent of
standing up straight?
be quite frank, is the mystical life something we want to aspire
to, anyway? Most mystics, it seems, are single, childless, and
committed to some type of holy order. Must we turn our back on
the world, on marriage and family? Does
being a mystic require quitting your job, saying goodbye to your
possessions and devoting your day to staring heavenward?
problem we have with our conception of mystics may be partially
due to reportage. Not many people are called mystics these days,
but in fact a mystic may be as close to you as the next office.
The mystic’s life is different, as different as we all
are from those around us. For the mystical life is one committed,
as writer Evelyn Underhill proclaimed, to a union with Reality.
Mystics open their soul to the divine in complete surrender,
knowing that God is ultimately in control, and their mission
is to listen, with a singularity of purpose, to the voice of
God wherever that may be found.
where do they find the Divine speaking: in nature, in the plight
of the oppressed, in the dark days of the soul, and in the kitchen
scrubbing pots. In essence, God
is everywhere for the mystic, and what makes someone a mystic
is the ability to see through the fog of everyday circumstances
and discern the pure light of holiness.
can learn from the mystics--their
writing, their poetry and their processes--how
to move toward a clearer vision. Here we offer
a brief look at why some are considered mystics, and what is
mystical about their experience. We also offer some practices
that can help us shed our shell of selfhood and open ourselves
to the divine. We may not have mysterious visions, receive
the gift of healing touch or be able to see into another’s
soul, but there are other signs indicating an intimate connection
to God. We all are invited to be in close relationship with
the Holy. How that connection takes shape is really up to the
Mystery of God.