Ages ago I said I would write more sometime on my spiritual views. I’ve not done so, because a) there’s been so much else to write about, and b) I’d hate, as I’ve said before, for anyone to feel I’m ‘pushing’ my views on them. However, lately some events have propelled me into doing so.
The first of these was finding a book in my local library on mysticism. It looked interesting, so I took it home, but I wasn’t prepared to find that my concept of ‘mysticism’ was awry. I had a vague concept of ‘mystics’ as the sort of people who deliberately made their body of ‘spiritual’ knowledge obscure or secret, so as to seem more mysterious and powerful than in fact they were. To me, therefore, ‘mysticism’ was the practise of a lot of mumbo-jumbo, self-serving bull.
In fact, I found, mystics are those who seek to approach God/The Divine Power directly, rather than through intermediaries such as churches, priests, ministers, imams, rabbis, etc. Their methods of doing this have varied – meditation, prayer, sacred dances or trances, certain drugs – but the central theme is clear. There have been mystics since the days of the prehistoric shamans, and they still exist today. Some people simply prefer to have not a conception of God (ie an idea), but a perception – ie a direct experience.
Sometimes they were, at least nominally, members of one religion or another – there have been Christian, Jewish and Islamic mystics – but this didn’t mean they were exempt from the persecution and hostility heaped on mystics over the millennia, as they of course threatened the power of those intermediaries over their ‘flocks’.
I am a mystic too, I realized. Through meditation, prayer, and trying consciously to live my life according to my spiritual principles, I have sought to establish, maintain and strengthen a direct relationship with the Divine. I neither need nor want a church, minister, whoever, telling me what to do, or ‘what God wants’, or how I should live. I outgrew formal religion about the same time as I became a fully-functioning adult, but have never seriously considered not having a connection to the Infinite. I am a spiritual being, it is who and what I am.
And as a spiritually-minded aspie, mysticism suits me – I always like to ‘go to the source’, to go deeper into things, to not just accept ‘Received Truths’, but to find out for myself. I doubt I will go round telling people I’m a ‘mystic’ – although I have included it on my Facebook page in the space for ‘religion’ – but it’s nice to know I’m part of a long, long tradition of like-minded people.
I hope to say more about my spiritual views in further posts.