In my second year of Medical School, during cadaveric dissections, I was struck by how limited our brains are. We tease apart the dead to unravel the mysteries of life. How odd! Friends are shocked to see a physician with background in microbiology drawn to mysticism. Trying to explain the mystic experience is much like killing a frog and cutting up its parts to uncover life.
Take out a white paper and on it write “1+2=5”. Look at the equation. Now, walk back until the numbers merge into each other and become a single dot on the page. Walk further back until you can no longer see the writing. Walk closer. So close that the numbers become blurred, one amalgam again. Now close your eyes. Go inside the numbers. See the smaller parts, the ink on the paper, the molecules, the atoms, the electrons, the sub-particles.
From far, what actually exists cannot be perceived by our brains. A little closer and all becomes one. Very close, and truth becomes blurry. Deeply close, and all sub-particles are one again. Our senses detect a very narrow range. Like a radio, we can tune into one station or another, but not all stations instantaneously.
Now imagine a Mind that perceives all frequencies on an infinite continuum, at once- everything far and near, unlimited by time, unencumbered by space, and not subject to rules such as 1+1=2. To the mystic, that is God. The transient experience of that Mind or that Force is the mystic experience.
If all is one, unraveled by time and space in limited dimensions so that we can understand reality, then we too must have been part of One once! Mystics believe that we were once part of God and we carry within us a drop of the Infinite. The purpose of the mystic’s life becomes searching for The Beloved and reuniting with Her. Although we are a dot in this enormous universe, our spirit connects with The Infinite, and is infinite. The ultimate tool of the mystic quest and the mystic experience is love, deep love. Love that is not limited to us but that embraces all diversity under the sun. The more passionately we love, the more diversely, the closer we come to oneness.
Mysticism insists that the unseen, the intangible, is far more important than what can be experienced through the faulty senses. It is a surrender of our reality to something larger, more eternal. What physical cage this body forms around the free bird of our spirit is shed in the moment of the mystic experience.
To the mystic, both science and faith inspire awe, each strengthening the other, evoking deep gratitude, oozing love. The mystic sees subject over object, thrives on the unknown, and has limited fear inside God. The mystic knows that although his heart is small, it can hold a world and thirst for even more.
Perspective is the gate to happiness. Some people read the Bible and see a cruel god who punishes little beings for wrongdoings, while others read the same Book and see a kind God that tries to protect from harm His beloved people through a free world which must allow for random cruelty. Some summarize history as destruction, mass killing, hatred and disease, while others look back and discover miraculous art, music, science, medicine emerging despite suffering.
To enter this world with a cry, to search for the Beloved, to experience temporary bursts of love and union, that is the purpose of life. Our goal should be to love so deeply and passionately, that at the time of our departure from earth and return to The Beloved, the stars would gaze in awe and wonder if they have enough strength to hold the universe in balance.
Despite entropy, we have envisioned and painted a world of great beauty. Despite plagues, we have added years to lives. Despite natural disasters, we have built monumental highways. We are more than the sum of our parts. Some think we are food for warms, but not me. And still, we are worth more than we can ever imagine!
The currency of the mystic is intangible, not backed up by gold, but by God!
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