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Mysticism


Guest Hazel
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Is there such a path within the pagan tradition?

 

Please forgive me if I sound ignorant on this subject but I really do not know that much about it.

 

I would welcome any thoughts and ideas.

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Hello Enquirer :D

 

I thought I'd put this here to tell you that the subject of Mystery is being discussed inside the forum.

 

If this is your direction then come on in :D

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  • 1 month later...

yes of course...mysticism exists also in various forms of paganism...

it is a bit too profound a subject here...proof is no real replies are there,

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Mysticism's wot happens when some funny thing happens with the air in winter and you can't see, innit? :o

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I think you are getting confused with fogticism :-)

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Mysticism's wot happens when some funny thing happens with the air in winter and you can't see, innit? :o

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I think you are getting confused with fogticism :-)

407207[/snapback]

 

Fogticism?!

 

I shall say no more!

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Is there such a path within the pagan tradition?

 

Please forgive me if I sound ignorant on this subject but I really do not know that much about it.

 

I would welcome any thoughts and ideas.

390939[/snapback]

 

I would be interested to hear opinions about this!

 

mys·tic / ˈmistik/

• n. a person who seeks by contemplation and self-surrender to obtain unity with or absorption into the Deity or the absolute, or who believes in the spiritual apprehension of truths that are beyond the intellect.

• adj. another term for mystical.

ORIGIN: Middle English (in the sense ‘mystical meaning’): from Old French mystique, or via Latin from Greek mustikos, from mustēs ‘initiated person,’ from muein ‘close the eyes or lips,’ also ‘initiate.’ The current sense of the noun dates from the late 17th cent.

 

I am sure I cannot speak for (what is generally accepted as) pagans although there is no doubt that all major religions do have a Mystical aspect including the advaita vedantists (to name but one) of Hinduism, the Sufi mystics of Islam, The mystics of Sikhism including some nihangs (and the gurus themselves) the contemplatives of Jain, the christian mystics from St Francis to Meister Eckhart etc etc

And of course all Buddhists (with the exception of those that choose the title without the methodology)

 

MM

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the christian mystics from St Francis to Meister Eckhart etc etc

 

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the history of Christian Mysticism goes much further back than St Francis. For a while I was a Fransican postulate, but decided not to take my final vows. However, for many years before than (and some years after it, as long as I was Christian) I was a mystic, mainly in the Western tradtion but also trained in somne aspect of the Eastern tradition.

 

As a pagan, as it was as a Christian, I found there are stronger bonds between mystics (of whatever religion) than there are between some people within a single religion. Mystics are the ultimate heretics - uncontrollabel by heirarchies.

 

I found no organised mysticism within paganism. however, there are people who know of the silence and the place "behind the waterfall". Those who have been there recognise each other. :o

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the christian mystics from St Francis to Meister Eckhart etc etc

 

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the history of Christian Mysticism goes much further back than St Francis. For a while I was a Fransican postulate, but decided not to take my final vows. However, for many years before than (and some years after it, as long as I was Christian) I was a mystic, mainly in the Western tradtion but also trained in somne aspect of the Eastern tradition.

 

As a pagan, as it was as a Christian, I found there are stronger bonds between mystics (of whatever religion) than there are between some people within a single religion. Mystics are the ultimate heretics - uncontrollabel by heirarchies.

 

I found no organised mysticism within paganism. however, there are people who know of the silence and the place "behind the waterfall". Those who have been there recognise each other. :o

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I am fully aware that Christian mysticism goes back much further than St Francis of assisi (the 'from and to' was meant to indicate breadth of experience not chronological time frames otherwise I would not have placed Nihangs before Gurus in Sikhism (I thought that was obvious from the post)

I have to disagree (with all mystics are heretics) some mystics continuation within the fold of their (chosen) institutionalised hierarchies proves just this point...look to the likes of Henri Le Saux (Swami Abhishiktananda) etc

 

MM

:lol:

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I have to disagree (with all mystics are heretics) some mystics continuation within the fold of their (chosen) institutionalised hierarchies proves just this point...look to the likes of Henri Le Saux (Swami Abhishiktananda) etc

 

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Hmmm... I suppose I was thinking in terms of the Western Christian tradtion. I take you rpoint about other religions. :o

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I have to disagree (with all mystics are heretics) some mystics continuation within the fold of their (chosen) institutionalised hierarchies proves just this point...look to the likes of Henri Le Saux (Swami Abhishiktananda) etc

 

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Hmmm... I suppose I was thinking in terms of the Western Christian tradtion. I take you rpoint about other religions. :o

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Henri Le Saux (Swami Abhishiktananda) was of the Western Christian tradition.

 

MM

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^ - I think you just don't know and don't want to admit it.

 

Hazel - my thoughts on this are that there's little mysticism in modern pagan traditions, because people just don't have the time to give to it, and the culture we have in the UK at least isn't one in which mystics can really devote the necessary amount of their lives to it and still actually live.

 

There are no pagan temples or monasteries, and no support system for people to give the necessary devotion to a full life of mysticism and still actually be able to survive.

 

There are elements of mysticism in some of the more formalised paths, but it's compartmentalised and something that doesn't require total devotion to.

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because because it is too complexe for this column...too advanced Pomona!

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morgane, that comes across as very patronising. You have no way of knowing the level of complexity anyone on this forum can handle, or how advanced anyone here may be within their path. I may not agree with muddymick, but he is certainly one who has a good understanding of such things and is more than capable of dealing with the complex.

 

Academics expect to have their ideas challenged and to have to defend them regularly. It can be done without malice.

 

And I'm sure if anyone can't follow what you write, they will ask for more explanation.

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As a pagan, as it was as a Christian, I found there are stronger bonds between mystics (of whatever religion) than there are between some people within a single religion. Mystics are the ultimate heretics - uncontrollabel by heirarchies.

407250[/snapback]

 

 

I have to disagree (with all mystics are heretics) some mystics continuation within the fold of their (chosen) institutionalised hierarchies proves just this point...look to the likes of Henri Le Saux (Swami Abhishiktananda) etc

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It is, however, a useful generalisation if understood as that... first, a mystic operates on the principle of direct experience of the numinous reality (please read numinous in its broadest possible interpretation)... on the whole, this is something most religious hierarchies actively discourage, instead creating a system of mediation (Buddhism being a profoundly unique exception, but then we get into the whole Buddhism as religion thing anyway ;) )

 

And second, Henri Le Saux is a perfect example of what I believe was MH's main and most significant point... that "here are stronger bonds between mystics (of whatever religion) than there are between some people within a single religion"... as is Fr. Bede Griffiths... recognising that mystical paths broke the confines of their own traditions

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As a pagan, as it was as a Christian, I found there are stronger bonds between mystics (of whatever religion) than there are between some people within a single religion. Mystics are the ultimate heretics - uncontrollabel by heirarchies.

407250[/snapback]

 

 

I have to disagree (with all mystics are heretics) some mystics continuation within the fold of their (chosen) institutionalised hierarchies proves just this point...look to the likes of Henri Le Saux (Swami Abhishiktananda) etc

407253[/snapback]

It is, however, a useful generalisation if understood as that... first, a mystic operates on the principle of direct experience of the numinous reality (please read numinous in its broadest possible interpretation)... on the whole, this is something most religious hierarchies actively discourage, instead creating a system of mediation (Buddhism being a profoundly unique exception, but then we get into the whole Buddhism as religion thing anyway ;) )

 

And second, Henri Le Saux is a perfect example of what I believe was MH's main and most significant point... that "here are stronger bonds between mystics (of whatever religion) than there are between some people within a single religion"... as is Fr. Bede Griffiths... recognising that mystical paths broke the confines of their own traditions

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I will concede that a mystic operates on a direct experience of the numinous (in it's broadest possible interpretation) however not all religious hierarchies have actively discouraged this. It is only when this experience (including the sharing of it) brings the mystic (or those that would follow) into opposition or discord with the said hierarchies, within the western Christian tradition we have many examples of those that trod the fine line between obedience to the church and obedience to ones mystical imperative.I will not deny it is problematic on the whole for both the churches and the mystics or that on the whole the churches would prefer a less charismatic detraction however ........

Not all mystics are Heretics.

 

I do however concur that authentic mystics have a shared experience of the numinous that engenders a unparalleled bond and understanding that is outside the confines of theology and theism.

Fr Bede Griffith did not break the confines of either his vows to the church or the traditions of the church them self. He recognised a unity in the experience of the ineffable that rather than contradict his faith deepened it on an experiential level and one that could be framed by existent religious tradition.

 

MM

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I will concede that a mystic operates on a direct experience of the numinous (in it's broadest possible interpretation) however not all religious hierarchies have actively discouraged this. It is only when this experience (including the sharing of it) brings the mystic (or those that would follow) into opposition or discord with the said hierarchies, within the western Christian tradition we have many examples of those that trod the fine line between obedience to the church and obedience to ones mystical imperative.I will not deny it is problematic on the whole for both the churches and the mystics or that on the whole the churches would prefer a less charismatic detraction however ........

Not all mystics are Heretics.

 

I do however concur that authentic mystics have a shared experience of the numinous that engenders a unparalleled bond and understanding that is outside the confines of theology and theism.

Fr Bede Griffith did not break the confines of either his vows to the church or the traditions of the church them self. He recognised a unity in the experience of the ineffable that rather than contradict his faith deepened it on an experiential level and one that could be framed by existent religious tradition.

 

MM

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I absolutely concur regarding Bede and his vows and the very fine line successfully trod by many mystics within orthodox traditions. It probably is a topic for another discussion, but I think the dynamic between orthodoxy and mysticism can be a very interesting one... the conflict is often more complex than a simple orthodoxy/heresy split, with different factions regarding mysticism within their own traditions in different lights.

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I wonder if MH meant..... that within the parameters of those that constitute the church (as a majority) who hold a consensual theology (if you will) Mystics are always heretics ;) . :blink:

If so I will absolutely concur.......because for most average Joe's in christianity or islam or sikhism etc etc mystics are nearly always heretics (unfortunately)

I did not use capital letters for faith names in this instance as I do not consider these to reflect those faiths in their true sense (not meant to be discourteous to the actual faith)

 

MM

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Is there such a path within the pagan tradition?

 

Please forgive me if I sound ignorant on this subject but I really do not know that much about it.

 

I would welcome any thoughts and ideas.

390939[/snapback]

 

I would be interested to hear opinions about this!

 

mys·tic / ˈmistik/

• n. a person who seeks by contemplation and self-surrender to obtain unity with or absorption into the Deity or the absolute, or who believes in the spiritual apprehension of truths that are beyond the intellect.

• adj. another term for mystical.

ORIGIN: Middle English (in the sense ‘mystical meaning’): from Old French mystique, or via Latin from Greek mustikos, from mustēs ‘initiated person,’ from muein ‘close the eyes or lips,’ also ‘initiate.’ The current sense of the noun dates from the late 17th cent.

 

I am sure I cannot speak for (what is generally accepted as) pagans although there is no doubt that all major religions do have a Mystical aspect including the advaita vedantists (to name but one) of Hinduism, the Sufi mystics of Islam, The mystics of Sikhism including some nihangs (and the gurus themselves) the contemplatives of Jain, the christian mystics from St Francis to Meister Eckhart etc etc

And of course all Buddhists (with the exception of those that choose the title without the methodology)

 

MM

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To come back to the OP... I think your definition is interesting... I'm not going to get into a "what is Mysticism" discussion... I learned my lesson in the what is paganism debate :lol: (thanks, Marcus ;) )... but in order to flesh out an answer to the OP I would be interested to hear peoples thoughts on what is the primary defining characteristic of mysticism... is it

.: a practice (eg. "contemplation and self-surrender")

.: a goal (eg. "to obtain unity with or absorption into the Deity or the absolute")

.: an experience (in the sense that one might be a natural mystic)

or what?

 

I tend to agree with Alistair in that there is no well-defined mystical path as such in Paganism, at least not in the sense that Islam has its Sufi traditions (and I do know the arguments that Sufism predates Islam and has non-Islamic branches ;) ), Judaism its Qabbalah etc... but, one defining characteristic (for me) of contemporary western paganism is that it attempts to reconnect with a sense of the indigenous, and indigenous traditions often do not seem to create a distinction between mystical and non-mystical approaches, providing for both mediation with the supra-mundane and direct experience of it within the same tradition... I see elements of the latter in contemporary western paganism... say Druidry...

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407244[/snapback]

To come back to the OP... I think your definition is interesting... I'm not going to get into a "what is Mysticism" discussion... I learned my lesson in the what is paganism debate :lol: (thanks, Marcus ;) )... but in order to flesh out an answer to the OP I would be interested to hear peoples thoughts on what is the primary defining characteristic of mysticism... is it

.: a practice (eg. "contemplation and self-surrender")

.: a goal (eg. "to obtain unity with or absorption into the Deity or the absolute")

.: an experience (in the sense that one might be a natural mystic)

or what?

 

I tend to agree with Alistair in that there is no well-defined mystical path as such in Paganism, at least not in the sense that Islam has its Sufi traditions (and I do know the arguments that Sufism predates Islam and has non-Islamic branches ;) ), Judaism its Qabbalah etc... but, one defining characteristic (for me) of contemporary western paganism is that it attempts to reconnect with a sense of the indigenous, and indigenous traditions often do not seem to create a distinction between mystical and non-mystical approaches, providing for both mediation with the supra-mundane and direct experience of it within the same tradition... I see elements of the latter in contemporary western paganism... say Druidry...

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To be Honest I just got the OED definition for ease and to have something by which to steer by (thus avoiding the what is..........question) if it is not adequate to the task please discard it.

I think the whole approach to any tradition that distinguishes between mystic and non mystic approaches is somewhat strange.

I personally see mysticism as a natural progression from intellectual/discursive investigation and as such part of any authentic path.

Could you illuminate me with regards to the mystic trad of Druidry....?

 

MM

 

Edited by Fortuna to fix quote

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Could you illuminate me with regards to the mystic trad of Druidry....?

407393[/snapback]

I knew I should have kept the big hole in my face shut :lol:

 

It isn't mature, IMO, and given that Druidry is as diverse in its expression as any other contemporary tradition, it isn't even anything that could claim consistency in teaching or practice, but I do see elements present which I promise I will develop in a later post when I have done trying to avoid doing work for a grumpy client ;)

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wikkipiedia-mysticism

 

I found this and thought it was interesting.

 

In my opinion, for what its worth I think alot of religious and spiritual understandings come from forms of mysticism and mystic traditions. So I think mysticism is a path within paganism and connected to various pagan traditions. I may be wrong but aren't some Wicca traditions seen as mystery/mystic traditions? :lol:

 

I would really like to learn more about the mystic side of paganism and how to practice. humm ;)

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BTW Muddymick you mentioned Nihangs.....I have spent a lot of time with this order since 1997.......and got intiated in 1999. :D

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To be honest I meant to put Udasi, but couldn't remember the name :o_angry:

I spent some time with the Nihangs while I was at Anandpur Sahib a few years ago although I was interested I didn't really have enough time to get into real discussions regarding the more mystical aspects of Sikhism I do remember quite a furore when their leader refused to condemn the use of bhang so he was replaced...... :o

 

Interesting....whats your perspective are you Sikh? baptised? Punjabi?

Sorry for being nosey I am intrigued.

 

 

MM

:)

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HI MM

Yes i'm back...you have just gained back my esteem...i agree entirely with all you say...well that was easy...on Druidry may i recommanded the beautiful passages connected with the worrior being fixed with a silver hand...this is all very very mystical...as are the episodes concerning Manawdyan Ab lyr, Rhiannon and Prydery in the Mabinogion...

i won't comment the texts though just let you read them...it is fantastic mystical enlightened litterature...Blessed Be!

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HI MM

Yes i'm back...you have just gained back my esteem...i agree entirely with all you say...well that was easy...on Druidry may i recommanded the beautiful passages connected with the worrior being fixed with a silver hand...this is all very very mystical...as are the episodes concerning Manawdyan Ab lyr, Rhiannon and Prydery in the Mabinogion...

i won't comment the texts though just let you read them...it is fantastic mystical enlightened litterature...Blessed Be!

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Hi Morgane... just curious... how, precisely, is the tale of Nuadha mystical enlightened literature (in the sense in which "mysticism" has been discussed so far in this thread)?

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Yes I'm curious about Nuadha? Not the story as such (even though it's along time since I read it) but more it's application to mysticism in this thread :D

 

 

MM

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