Christian Mysticism

Susanrose> I want to welcome everyone here tonight!

Let me introduce Dark Magus, also known as Godwin on
Internet Relay Chat, who will be our leader tonight.

<Godwin> Christian Mysticism has been around in many different forms
since the early Christians of Christ's time.
I was not until the Middle Ages that Spiritualism/Christian Mysticism
became a form of regular use.

Today is Palm Sunday, an excellent time for providing some insight into the history,
philosophy and beliefs of Christian Mysticism. First, a little about myself.

For over 20 years, the lecturer has worked as a professor of parapsychology
and medieval history.

The lecturer has also taught courses in hypnosis and light therapy.
At present, this one is a student of the BOTA, Rosicrucianism,
the Philosophers of Nature .... an Initiate of the Eastern Brotherhood of Light,
Reiki Master and Christian Mystic.

For those not familiar with my lectures, usually presented on #Ancients,
my home channel, they present, whether they be on tantric sex, magic mirrors,
the Qabalah or the Infinite Unmanifestated of the Absolute, concepts which
are multi-layered, difficult yet simplistic in nature.

It should be understood that something which is difficult and seemingly complex
which through study becomes simplistic shows the truth,
while something which is difficult and complex, and
through study presents not its light or understanding is mere babble or falsehood.
Complexity in itself does not present truth, but rather complexity which
through study, illuminate itself into simplicity and spiritual awareness.

Before starting, I would like to provide insight into Christian Mysticism
by giving an example and discussing the use of a mystic mantra.
In this case information is provided in the book, The
Cloud of Unknowing: If you want this (naked intention directed to God)
summed up in a word, to retain it more easily, take a short word,
preferably of one syllable, to do so.

The shorter the word the better, being more like the working of the Spirit.
A word like "GOD" or "LOVE". Choose which you like, or perhaps some other,
so long as it is one syllable. And fix this word fast to your heart,
so that it is always there come what may. It will be your shield and
spear in peace and war alike. With this word you will hammer the cloud
and the darkness above you.

With this word you will suppress all thought under the cloud of forgetting.
So much so that if ever you are tempted to think what it is that you are seeking,
this one word will be sufficient answer. And if you would go on to think further
about the significance and analysis of that same word,
tell yourself that you will have it whole, and not in bits and pieces.

The Founder of the Christian Religion stated an occult maxim when He said:
"Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child
shall not enter therein" (Mark x:15). All occultists recognize the far-reaching
importance of this teaching of Christ, and endeavor to "live it day by day."

When a new philosophy is presented to the world,
it is met in different ways by different people.
One person will grasp any new philosophical effort
trying to ascertain how far it supports his own belief. To such an one,
the philosophy itself is of minor importance.

The prime value will be its vindication of his ideals.
If the work comes up to expectation in that respect,
he will enthusiastically adopt it
and cling to it with a most unreasoning partisanship;
if not, he will probably lay the book down in disgust and disapproval,
feeling the author has done him an injury.

Another adopts an attitude of skepticism as soon as he discovers
that it contains something which HE has not previously read, heard,
or originated in his own thought. He would probably resent as
extremely unjustified the accusation that his mental attitude is the acme
of self-satisfaction and intolerance; such is nevertheless the case;
and thus he shuts his mind to any truth which may be
hidden in that which he off-handedly rejects.

Traditional Christianity has been rightly accused of such a fault.
Now, many New Age and New Thought individuals have fallen into the same ego
and personal mire. The topic of Christian Mysticism is such an incident.
To many Christian Mysticism is just another word for traditional
Christians and should be avoided at all costs.

To traditional Christians, Christian Mystics are in league with Satin
and are doomed to hell. During the Middle Ages,
then Christian Mysticism developed, many were burnt at the stake or tortured.

What is Christian Mysticism?
Perhaps one of the best definitions is the love of God or the loving
intercourse the soul holds for God,
possessing the highest degree of insight. A less
simplistic interpretation of mysticism can be found
under several precepts or principles.

1. As in the macrocosm, the world of living organisms,
the law is universal that all life emanates
from life, omne vivum ex vivo, and as in the scale of their various
kingdoms the higher raises up and assimilates the lower,
the latter receiving an essential new and greater perfection from the
former, so in the microcosm, the minor world of the human individual.
Here, too life is from life and life is from above;
and the perfection of the lower consists in assimilation to the higher.

2. Beyond the natural life in man, the soul or mind,
Christian Mysticism discerns a supernatural
life consisting radically of a principle of activity higher
than that of man's purely mental and
volitional operations and, consequently, energizing in higher forms of thought,
belief, hope, aspiration, love, etc.

3. The existence and supernatural character of this life
and its activities are accepted in the first
instance, on faith -- the data of this belief being found in the Bible.
The foundations of this faith it is claimed are rational,
and the working of the higher life are confirmed by experience and
attested by manifest effects.

4. Essentially and objectively, this higher life consists
of the vivifying operation of the Divine Spirit,
within the human soul (Divine Spark);
accidentally and subjectively it consists of the responsive cooperation
-operation of man's mental activities with the Divine influences.

5. The reception of this higher life is normally conditioned
by certain spiritual dispositions and lines of conduct-notably of faith.
Love, prayer, repentance, and self-discipline. The soul is thus
prepared by alienation from carnal and inordinate propensities
and rendered more sensitive to higher stimuli.

6. According to the degree of the soul's cooperation-operation
with the indwelling Spirit of God the former
becomes proportionately assimilated into the latter.
The soul thus passes from what is known as
the purgative to the illuminative stage of mystic life.

7. This divine assimilation culminates in the act of contemplation.
This is distinguished from meditation in that it is not elicited by mental strain
and does not apprehend its object, the divine
presence or cognate truths, by inference;
but in consequence of the immanent light simply gazes
intuitively thereon; as all the mystics teach.

The clarity of this act, or state of vision, as St. Augustine says,
fills the consciousness with joy and rapture.
The faculties are herein not merely passive for
contemplation is a vital activity,
through the divine influence is the primary source
of its elevation and application to the corresponding truths.

8. The object-matter of contemplation is primarily God
or some of his attributes. Secondarily it may be any divine manifestation
in the created, inanimate or animate order, above all in this
respect the humanity of the Christ.
With many of the mystics the suggestion of the divine
perfection reflected from almost any object in nature
was enough to lift them at once to a condition of rapt contemplation.

9. This level of contemplation varies from moments to hours.

Christian Mysticism and the Ego --
According to the Christian Mystic, J. Boehme (The Supersensual Life),
Thou must consider that there are in the Soul two Wills, an inferior Will,
which is for driving thee to Things without and below; and a superior Will,
which is for drawing to Things within and above.

These two Wills are now set together, as it were, Back to Back,
and in a direct Contrariety to each other; but in the Beginning it was not so.
For this Contraposition of the Soul in these two is
no more than the Effect of the Fallen State;
since before that they were placed one under the
other, that is, the superior Will Above, as the Lord, and the inferior Below,
as the Subject. And thus it ought to have continued...

In the text, The Cloud of Unknowing it states,
"...we are like a man making a picture of his simple, uncreated, unbegun nature,
a nature which is free both in itself and for itself;
a nature found within all creatures but not restricted to them;
outside all creatures, but not excluded from them"

"Though you had beginning when your substance was created
(for there was a time when you did not exist)
yet in Him your being has existed from eternity,
without beginning and without ending
just as He too is in Himself ."

In the Ascent of Mount Carmel,
one discovers the following mystical interpretation of ego.
In order to reach the summit of this high mount,
(the soul) must have changed its garments (resulting in)
a new understanding of God in God, the old human understanding being cast aside;
and a new love of God in God,
the will being now stripped of all its old desires and human pleasures,
and the soul being brought into a new state of knowledge and profound delight,
all other old images and forms of knowledge having been cast away.
All that belongs to the old man, which is the aptitude of the natural self,
quelled, and the soul clothed with a new
supernatural aptitude with respect to all its faculties.

So that its operation, which before was human, has become Divine,
which is that that is attained in the state of union.
The soul becomes naught else than an altar whereon God is adored
in praise and love, and God alone is upon it ...

Finally in Revelations of Divine Love, the Mystic is reminded of the ego or self --
...Our good Lord Himself leadeth us in the same love that He made us,
and in the same love that He bought us ... through virtue of His blessed Passion.
Notwithstanding all this, we may never come to full knowing of God
till we know first clearly our own Soul.

For until the time that our Soul is in
its full powers we cannot be all fully holy:
and that is [until the time] that our Sense-soul by the
virtue of Christ's Passion be brought up to the Substance...

And I saw no difference between God and our Substance: but as it were all God;
and yet mine understanding took that our Substance is in God:
that is to say, that God is God, and our Substance is a creature in God...
We are enclosed in the Father, and we are enclosed in the Son,
and we are enclosed in the Holy Ghost.
And the Father is enclosed in us, and the Son is enclosed
in us, and the Holy Ghost is enclosed in us...

And then our Lord opened my spiritual eye and showed me
my soul in midst of my heart. I saw the Soul so large as it were an endless world,
and as it were a blissful kingdom... In the midst of
that City sitteth our Lord Jesus, God and Man...

And worshipfully He sitteth in the Soul, even-right in peace and rest.
And the Godhead ruleth and sustaineth heaven and earth and all that is,
-- sovereign Might, sovereign Wisdom, and sovereign Goodness, --
[but] the place that Jesus taketh in our Soul He shall never remove it,
without end, as to my sight: for in us is His homliest home
and His endless dwelling...

Highly ought we to rejoice that God dwelleth in our soul,
and much more highly ought we to rejoice that our soul dwelleth in God.
Our soul is made to be God's dwelling-place; and the
dwelling-place of the soul is God, Which is unmade.

And high understanding it is, inwardly to see and know that God,
which is our Maker, dwelleth in our soul; and an higher understanding it is,
inwardly to see and to know that our soul, that is made,
dwelleth in God's Substance: of which Substance, God, we are that we are.

But our passing life that we have here in our sense-soul knoweth not
what our Self is. [And when we verily and clearly see and know what our Self is]
then shall we verily and clearly see and know our Lord God in fullness of joy...
And therefore it belongeth properly to us, both by nature
and by grace, to long and desire with all our mights to know our Self
in fullness of endless joy.

Our Substance and our Sense-part, both together may rightly be called our Soul:
and that is because of the oneing that they have in God.
The worshipful City that our Lord Jesus sitteth in is our Sense-soul,
in which He is enclosed: and our Kindly Substance is enclosed in
Jesus with the blessed Soul of Christ sitting in rest in the Godhead.

These two parts were in Christ, the higher and the lower:
which is but one Soul; the higher part was one in peace with God,
in full joy and bliss; the lower part, which is sense-nature, suffered
for the salvation of mankind.

This position of the ego and its final abandonment is developed
in Meister Eckhart: Selected Writings in which Eckhart states --
But the soul must abandon her own being. This is where the
death that is spiritual begins. If the soul is to undergo this death,
then she must take leave of herself and all things,
holding herself and all things to be as insignificant as they were before
they existed ...

I do not mean that the being of the soul falls into nothingness as she was before
she was created, rather we should understand this cessation
to be the eradication of possessing and having.

That person who is thus rooted in God's love must be dead to themselves
and to all created things so that they are no more concerned
with themselves than they are with someone who is over a thousand miles away.
Such a person remains in likeness and in unity and is always the same...
This person must have abandoned themselves and the whole world ...
Whoever entirely renounces themselves even for a moment
would be given all things.

And what of desire of the soul and more exacting that of the ego?
It is evident in a Master - Disciple discussion in Boehme's The Supersensual Life
that the rest of the soul is extremely difficult.

Disciple: How is it that so few Souls do find (Rest)
when yet all would be glad enough to have it?

Master: They all seek it in somewhat, and so they find it not:
For where there is somewhat for the Soul to adhere to,
there the Soul findeth but that somewhat only, and taketh up its Rest therein,
until it seeth that it is to be found in nothing,
and goeth out of the somewhat into nothing, even into that nothing
out of which all Things may be made... Herein now it is that so very few find
this most precious Treasure in the Soul, though every one would so fain have it;
and might also have it, were it not for this somewhat in every one which letteth.

Disciple: But if the Love should proffer itself to a Soul,
could not that Soul find it, nor lay hold on it, without going for it into Nothing?

Master: No verily. Men seek and find not, because they seek it not
in the naked Ground where it lieth;
but in something or other where it never will be,
neither can be. They seek it in their own Will, and they find it not.
They seek it in their Self-Desire, and they meet not with it. They look
for it in an Image, or in an Opinion, or in Affection,
or a natural Devotion and Fervour, and they lose the Substance
by thus hunting after a Shadow.

They search for it in something sensible or imaginary,
in somewhat which they may have a more peculiar natural Inclination for,
and Adhesion to; and so they miss of what they seek, for Want of diving
into the Supersensual and Supernatural Ground where the Treasure is hid.

Now, should the Love graciously condescend to Proffer itself
to such as these, and even to present itself evidently before the Eye
of their Spirit, yet would it find no Place in them at all,
neither could it be held by them, or remain with them.

Disciple: Why not, if the Love should be willing and ready
to offer itself, and to stay with them?

Master: Because the Imaginariness which is in their own Will
hath set up itself in the Place thereof: And so this Imaginariness
would have the Love in it; but the Love fleeth away, for it is its Prison.
The Love may offer itself; but it cannot abide where the Self-Desire attracteth or
imagineth. That Will which attracteth nothing, and to which nothing adhereth,
is only capable of receiving it; for it dwelleth only in nothing,
as I said, and therefore they find it not.

Disciple: But how shall I comprehend
(this naked Ground of the Soul, void of all Self)?

If thou goest about to comprehend it,
then it will fly away from thee; but if thou dost surrender
thyself wholly up to it, then it will abide with thee,
and become the Life of thy Life, and be natural to thee. ...

If thou wilt be like (the Ground and Source of) All Things,
thou must forsake All Things; thou must turn thy Desire away from them All,
and not desire or hanker after any of them; thou must not extend thy Will
to possess that for thy own, or as thine own, which is Something,
whatsoever that Something be.

For as soon as ever thou takest Something into thy Desire,
and receivest it into thee for thine own... then this very Something
(of what Nature soever it is) is the same with thyself; and this
worketh with thee in thy Will, and thou art thence bound to protect it,
and to take Care of it even as of thy own Being.

But if thou dost receive no Thing into thy Desire,
then thou art free from All Things, and rulest over all Things at once,
as a Prince of God. For thou hast received nothing for thine own, and art
nothing to all Things; and all Things are as nothing to thee.

Thou art as a Child, which understands not what a Thing is;
and though thou dost perhaps understand it, yet thou understandest it
without mixing with it, and without sensibly affecting or
touching thy Perception, even in that Manner wherein God doth rule
and see all Things... Another way of approaching this is by saying (Boehme):
When thou standest still from the thinking of self, and the willing of self;

"When both thy intellect and will are quiet,
and passive to the Impressions of the Eternal Word and Spirit;
and when thy Soul is winged up, and above that which is temporal, the outward
Senses, and the Imagination being locked up by holy Abstraction,"
then the Eternal Hearing, Seeing, and Speaking will be revealed in thee;
and so God heareth "and seeth through thee," being now the Organ of His Spirit;
and so God speaketh in thee, and whispereth to thy Spirit,
and thy Spirit heareth His Voice.

Blessed art thou therefore if that thou canst
stand still from Self-thinking and Self-willing, and canst stop the
Wheel of thy Imagination and Senses
forasmuch as hereby thou mayest arrive at length
to see the great Salvation of God being made
capable of all Manner of Divine Sensations and Heavenly Communications.
Since it is nought indeed but thine own Hearing and Willing
that do hinder thee, so that thou dost not see and hear God.

Finally, in this Discussion this one would like to touch upon
the aspect of God. Who is God? In discussing God it is better to state
what God is not -- In Meister Eckhart: Selected
Writings one finds -- If I say that "God is good", this is not true.
I am good, but God is not good!

In fact, I would rather say that I am better than God,
for what is good can become better and what
can become better can become the best!
Now God is not good, and so he cannot become better.
Since he cannot become better, he cannot become the best.
These three are far from God: "good", "better", "best", for he is wholly

Therefore St. Augustine says:
"The finest thing that we can say of God is to be silent concerning
him from the wisdom of inner riches."
Be silent therefore, and do not chatter about God,
for by chattering about him, you tell lies and commit a sin.
If you wish to be perfect and without sin, then do not prattle about God.
Also you should not wish to understand anything about God,
for God is beyond all understanding.

A master says: If I had a God that I could understand,
I would not regard him as God. If you understand anything about him,
then he is not in it, and by understanding something of him, you
fall into ignorance...

In The Cloud of Unknowing, one further discovers God is neither soul nor angel ...
nor can He be described or understood ... He neither stands still nor moves ...
He is none of the things that have no being, none of the things that have being...
Nor is there any way by which we can reach Him
through reason or understanding...

<Susanrose> I can see that Godwin put alot of energy into researching
this topic and I thank him for presenting it.
The topic of Mystical Christianity reminds me of a survey done
of Catholic nuns who were asked to describe their FEELING of
how they related to God..
Some of them really took it to heart about being
BRIDES of Christ and had the same feelings of falling in love
that we all look forward to...
That happy blissful place...
I guess if the love of you life is divine
you don't tend to get disappointed
and that blissful place of falling in love
could be maintained for longer stretches

<^Angel^9> good pt SR
<^otter^> excellent point!!!!!!!
<Godwin> Thank you Susan. The whole aspect of Christian Mysticism
boils down to striving to be more like God.

<Susanrose> This is a path of yours to help you express love?
<Godwin> Well Christian Mysticism is like everything else, just a religion.
It all boils down to love of God,
trying to be like God and loving all peoples and life.
I really find joy in attempting to help and love those who are trying to
destroy me. I have done it in my every day life
<^otter^> I so agree Godwin!
<Godwin> Sometimes they just give up and say you are a fool
and not worth it

<Susanrose> Godwin... suppose someone at work is going you a rough time...
<Godwin> We cannot control another's hatred
but we can through emulating God's love show
one the Path. It is up to them to follow or not
<^otter^> everyone's path IS their own, all we can do is be living examples
of whatever goodness we have taken to heart!

<Susanrose> How do you combine the idea of things like tantra, etc,
that say that pleasure need
not be denied for mystic communion?
<^otter^> SR: I believe that pleasure coming from the right spiritual place
in oneself IS communion! :)
<Godwin> exactly otter
<Godwin> So Christian Mysticism is merely striving to join with the Oneness
....plants, animals and our fellow brothers and sisters. And Loving them without
judgment or selfish intent.
<^otter^> excellent description Godwin!

<Susanrose> things of the flesh are not necessarily of selfish intent.
<Godwin> True
<^otter^> exactly SR that's one of the false views many of us were given
<Godwin> only when it becomes greed

<^otter^> I kind of define them by looking at the 7 deadly sins,
which all boil down to selfish obsessive/compulsives from my perspective

<Susanrose> yes, only when pleasures overrun the will.
<Godwin> Thank you Susan
<Godwin> exactly Susan
<Ganesha> thank-you for the lecture...
contemplation is the inner road to the heart...
<^otter^> I think this is a very fascinating and important topic,
well done Godwin!
it is that most of us were raised in a non-mystical approach
to Christianity, kind of sad
<Godwin> Yes today's Christianity is indeed a poor substitute to the strivings
of the mystics of the Middle Ages

<Susanrose> Good night all!
Thank you Godwin and everyone for coming... :)
<Godwin> Night all and bless you.