What does it mean to be a mystic?
Some imagine yogis sitting in meditation for hours on end, or think of mystics as Christ-like people who have extraordinary powers to heal, predict the future, or travel into other realms. Though these are examples of mysticism, a mystic is simply “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.”
When we believe mysticism is reserved for a chosen few, or for those willing to give up all earthly pleasures, we disconnect from our inner mysticism which can be a powerful link to create the lives we desire. By discovering and embracing the mystic we were born to be, we align with authenticity, empowerment and joy.
Contemplation and Self-Surrender
Meditation can be a form of contemplation, but it is not the only path to unity consciousness. Many mystics use a variety of methods to surrender their egoic limitations and allow for absorption into the absolute. Yoga, spiritual study groups, conscious breathwork, fasting, and dance are all valid actions a mystic can consciously utilize with intention to achieve a spiritual quest. Again, these are not the only methods one can use.
If your intention is to experience oneness, then do so in your daily endeavors. While washing dishes, become completely mindful of your task. Feel the plate, notice the soapy sponge as it makes contact to remove the grease, experience the heat of the water. Don’t limit yourself by believing a mystical experience of oneness with the Divine has certain qualities, or wait for it to happen to you spontaneously. Instead, cultivate a practice of seeking oneness with the mundane tasks you perform each day. Allow absorption into the present moment.
As well, seek wonder. By opening yourself to the marvels that are ever-present, you release the walls that keep you confined to your smallness. Finding the awe in the things around you may seem to emphasize your smallness, or minimize you to no-thing, but this is an essential shift in awareness. As you expand your perceptions to take in the wonder that exists in all things, you realize the vastness and wonder that is within you… that is you!
Star-gaze, sincerely hug a tree, notice your plants dancing softly with the wind, listen deeply to the sounds of birds in your yard, watch a squirrel capture an acorn, spend ten minutes snuggling with your dog. Though you can discover the wonder in anything, connecting with the forces of the natural world is not only pure and easy, it helps align you with your own natural state, which is inherently mystical.
Spiritual Apprehension of Truths
Intellectually speaking, we can get fixated on what truth really is, and formulate thoughts that lock us in to particular beliefs. Yet truth, like light, can be perceived, experienced, and even manipulated, but can never be grasped in the literal sense. Our mind finds comfort in understanding and containment, helping us feel sure, solid, safe. Mystics are willing to experience the discomfort of uncertainty as they seek truth.
The innocence of a child allows each experience or teaching to be taken in as some kind of truth. Through development, understanding and intellect begin to form the information received into perceptions. Discernment allows for rejection of information, whether based on truth or one’s perceptions. Yet, as fallible human beings, our perceptions can become distorted. Therefore, the thoughts we believe may not be completely true. This is okay, unless they limit us, of course.
If you are experiencing limitation in your life, your move toward freedom begins with a shift in your perceptions. Most notably, the majority of your untrue perceptions are about yourself! You may even believe you are not a mystic! Whether or not you have consciously taken an oath to obtain unity with the absolute, if you believe in the spiritual apprehension of truths that are beyond the intellect, by definition, you are a mystic!
Although we may not want to admit it, most of us have some kind of resistance to owning our truth, power and joy. In spite of our striving, we often settle for far less and become comfortable with good enough. However, as a collective, we are opening to deeper parts of ourselves than ever before.
Globally and individually, we are discovering there are significant consequences to whether we choose to reject or accept ourselves. With rejection, we experience blocks, depression, feelings of worthlessness, confusion and a general emptiness in our lives, and our actions reflect even the most subtlest of our rejections. Aligning with authenticity, self-empowerment and joy, on the other hand, drives our actions to support a promising world and meaningful lives.
In centuries past, living with mediocrity was accepted as status quo with only a minority seeking and cultivating truly fulfilling lives. Rejection of self and joy was considered humble, and even holy, while power was limited to a select few who usually misused it. Unfortunately, some of these limiting patterns are deeply embedded in our consciousness.
Thankfully though, as we've evolved, not only have we recognized that the individual has worth, we've deemed the pursuit of happiness to be a fundamental right, as is personal empowerment. Yet, declaring such values and living them may not always go hand in hand. With financial demands, social constraints, and a plethora of obligations, we often find ourselves unconsciously disconnected from our truth, power and joy even when we believe we are pursuing them. As we navigate our way through the bombardment of have-to’s, limiting rules and beliefs, and our occasional bouts of unworthiness, we may find ourselves living within the confines of partial-truth, just-enough-empowerment, and semi-joy. Yet, our soul’s tolerance for mere survival and unsatisfactory living has reached its limit.
As conscious individuals, we came here to enlighten the world and mediocrity is no longer an option.
Our personal disappointments, whether or not we believe we’ve contributed to them, stem from our rejection of, or misalignment with, our essential truth, power and joy. Fortunately, since we have been collectively resisting who we are and are now ready to awaken and realign with our true nature, millions of people are seeking ways to heal these misperceptions, and various tools have become available to us.
As practical individuals, many of us benefit from step-by-step guidance or outside assistance to overcome our obstacles. Yet, as we embark on this journey to connect with our essence, we will increasingly experience the layers, dimensions, and formlessness of our souls, as well as our perceived obstacles. We will see, and perhaps appreciate, the multifaceted complexity we face. We can let this overwhelm or stop us from clearing old patterns and realigning with our core, or we can delight in awe over the incredible interplay of spirit and matter.
The complexity of our soul, as well as the issues we face, are indications of our incredible nature.
If we think of our blocks as protective veils that have been put into place by our higher selves to preserve us for grander times, it helps dissolve the shame and blame that our egos might want to seize and use against us. We can recognize the forces our spirit had to employ to make us believe we are anything less than holy. As well, we can use those same forces to release this fundamental misconception. In reality, our veils are as thin as light and can be released at any time.
For a moment, let’s look at the basic ways we avoid – consciously or not – our truth, power or joy:
Fortunately, it really can be that simple! Acknowledging your challenges, opening to their gifts and offering them Love are the simplest ways to integrate your truth, power and joy. Whether you choose to seek support from another person, find resources to guide you, or take an individual approach, it is important to incorporate Love.
Not necessarily easy or instant, the bottom line is that pure, unconditional Love changes everything.
Are you ready to let Love help you align with your Truth, Power and Joy?
You can take these suggestions in and contemplate them over a period of days or weeks, or focus your attention on one area of your life and use them as the foundation of a dedicated processing session you offer yourself:
Recognize your essence is Truth, Power and Joy. Though your ego may forget, or your circumstances may look otherwise, you are Divine, Perfect Love – right now and always… and in all ways – and are simply experiencing the interesting parameters of being human.
Observe your “shortcomings” with neutrality. Whether you feel inadequate, are frustrated with a particular area of your life, or have come across a confusing obstacle, learn to sit and be with the situation, including your feelings about it, with neutral wonder. Become aware of the obstacle. Observe it. Feel what comes up for you. Notice and allow.
Look deeper. Open yourself to exploring the “whys” beneath the surface. Were you shamed as a child? Does having power frighten you? Do you feel guilty when you’re happy? As you discover the obstacles, ask, “Why is this here? What do I have to gain from this?” Explore your questions with wonder.
Hold space for your revelations. You don’t need to chase your “whys” down a rabbit hole, but once you discover the underlying causes, again sit with them. Allow them to expand, feel into the stories and concerns, let them become a tsunami and wash over you. Feel, watch, and allow your issues to become as deep and expansive as your soul. Stay with your experience for as long as you can.
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the definition of truth is "sincerity in action." Therefore, when you know who you are, all your actions are rooted in sincerity.
From a spiritual perspective, truth is the ability to know who you are. (In Oneness, there is no such thing as who you are not.) Truth is allowing the essence of who you are to open your heart to you. Truth is “expansiveness”, it is “opening,” it is energy. And yet, it is nothing; it is no thing. And, of course, truth is in everything.
Trying to find the “right” way, or even the “highest” way, to explain or understand truth is like trying to find the “right” or “highest” expression of God. There is no “highest” expression. God simply IS. Truth simply IS.
It's in these spaces of confusion and uncertainty that I try to seek "meaning."
What I'm I "supposed to" do?, I wonder.
What do you want to do?, I hear.
Want? I want the world! My mind spins in and around wish lists that have been forming since I was a child. Sure, I have outgrown some of the things I wanted in my youth, but there are certainly some things that have never changed. I want to live in opulence, contentment and joy!
So, why don't you?
I wish I could!
So, why don't you?
The frustration grows as my mind grasps at the other list... the one with all the reasons why I can't have those dear, sweet experiences in my life.
I don't have enough time or money! are the two things my mind has clumped together and turned into the greatest obstacle in the world.
Oh, I see.
I know I need more excuses! Sure, time and money are the biggies, but this didn't seem to be a good enough reason for lack, longing and such... so my mind digs deeper.
It searches, but all the other excuses seem piddly and really do tie into the two biggies.
I just can't! Life's not fair!, I insist. Although I am alone, I feel the overwhelming desire to cross my arms, stomp my foot and plop down in a funk on the couch.
I hate being conscious enough to know I can no longer fool even myself.
Yet, the confusion reigns. I am utterly wrapped into my mood of stubborn despair.
How can I live in opulence, contentment and joy with little or no time or money?
I hear laughter... a sweet laughter, I admit.
My heart knows I have already been doing so. I whole-heartedly understand that opulence, contentment and joy are matters of perception. I also know, though I try to avoid this truth at times, that time and money are also matters of perception. All of these energies can be perceived, shifted and created into whatever I choose.
Yet, I am also clear that there is a mass consciousness that - like the stubborn, forgetful me - believes otherwise. This belief is so thick and sticky, it has gotten hold of many of us. It has trapped us into a way of life and often results in suffering.
Ah, suffering. I am not a stranger to suffering. There are times I don't want to suffer, and life is simply hard.
Yes, life can be very hard.
I am reassured that my perceptions aren't completely invalid. I take a quiet, deep breath... a sigh of surrender, really. I feel my shoulders drop a bit; my jaw softens.
The frown remains, but I am not as anxious to fight. What I realize is that my mind is still clenching the list of desires. I still do want to have more time and money... especially the money because I believe it will buy me more time.
I can be such a noble martyr. My mind searches for the stories. I have many to choose from; I can dare anyone to pick a theme and I could offer a rich, real story likely to put theirs to shame. This game is getting old, however. I'm bored to tears with my stories, though I do use them, as needed. You know, those times that drama is the icing on the cake and your sweet tooth has become a craving out of control.
Yeah, those moments still happen. I hear myself laughing now.
My reasonable mind simply wants an A to Z answer. How can I make more time and money?
Spirit can't seem to reason with my irrational mind at this point. It is caught in the sticky goo, trying to figure it all out. In fact, it assures me, if it figures it all out, it can sell it to others and then make lots of money off the answer!
My heart simply smiles. It patiently waits for the conscious, wise me to return... to once again be centered in my heart where opulence, contentment and joy have been living all along.
I hear more sweet laughter. I have this funny feeling that my heart knows that time and money are living there, too.
Waking... waking... waking...
How can one awaken if in reality there is only the awakened state?
Sometimes I feel myself as a huge being of light with infinite wisdom. Other times I am a struggling mother with a flabby belly and a messy home.
Of course, I know I am both... all.
Yet, the reality is that this reality is a tricky one. It is so full of potential, that somehow I have created an entire story and made it real. Wow! Now that is powerful.
Yet, the truth is, I don't exactly remember how I did this. Oh, yes, I know people claim to know the "secret," but I don't. Well, I only have a vague memory of the plan, the workings, the so-called truth.
I have chosen to stay asleep to this, however, and I yearn to awaken. Or do I?
Isn't this the glorious experience? To know, but forget you know, and then try to remember?
In the meantime, I am learning to cherish the forgetfulness. To laugh, to play, to be perfectly human. Sometimes the mommy struggles, sometimes she soars. Sometimes the belly squeezes itself into a tight pair of jeans, sometimes it is caressed with love and kindness. Sometimes the house is messy and chaotic, sometimes it is the center of the Universe, filled with love and life and everything outside it disappears completely.
Hm.... a strange, yet fascinating experience full of air, water, earth and fire. The elements of life itself.
Am I awakening? Maybe I have awakened. I seem to know the basics. Perhaps this is good enough.